Keyword Browse           
Oct. 30, 2014 - 6 Heshvan 5775
Daf Yomi Yevamos 26
5461/1700 Rav Yehuda HaChasid

 
 
bracha search
Recently Viewed Bracha
Apple Kugel
Quiche, Broccoli, Spinach, or Mushroom
Luckshon
Cranberry Sauce
 
ASK
Tevila
Sefirah
Sleeping On Side
Halacha Lemaaseh
>>go to site
 
Revach Lists
Names Of Moshe Rabbeinu
7 Names Of Yisro
10 Reasons for Blowing the Shofar
5 Reason Why We Dip Apples In Honey
 
Shiur
RN"K Who Is A Good Wife by Rabbi Mordechai Appel
Acharei Mos by Rabbi Mordechai Appel
Parshas Tzav/Zachor 5771 by Rabbi Mordechai Appel
>>go to site
 

Tehilim List
Submit names to be said at the Kosel HaMaaravi.  Please join us in saying Tehilim 32 for:

submit names

RSS Feeds
Today's Revach
Daf Yomi
Chumash
Halacha
Stories
613 Mitzvot
Headlines
 
[view all articles in this category]

Section: Stories   Category: Gedolim Biographies
The Yesod V'Shoresh HaAvodah: Holy Above All - Rav Alexander Ziskind

"Rav Alexander Ziskind is a great as his Sefer and his sefer is as great as him" so proclaimed the Vilna Gaon about the great and holy Michaber of the classic sefer Yesod V'Shoresh HaAvodah.

In the second half of the 18th century when Chasiddus was just beginning and the sharp reaction to it created a warlike atmosphere between the two camps, Rav Alexander Ziskind was a rare individual that transcended the battle and was beloved by both sides. His classic sefer Yesod V'Shoresh HaAvodah on tefila and Moadim is cherished by both Misnagdim and Chassidim alike and learned by all.

Rav Aharon of Karlin travelled to Horodna to try to bring Rav Alexander Ziskind to Chasiddus. His goal was to persuade him to come to the Maggid of Mezeritch the successor of the Baal Shem Tov for Shabbos. Successful in his mission, Rav Aharon returned to Mezeritch for Shabbos with Rav Alexander Ziskind. During the Friday night seudah the Maggid did not speak any Divrei Torah only Divrei Chol. This caused great pain to Rav Alexander Ziskind but he patiently waited for the morning seudah. The scene replayed itself again with an absence of Divrei Torah and only Divrei Chol. Sitting through Seudah Shlishis with the same results totally destroyed Rav Alexander Ziskind. As soon as Motza'ei Shabbos came he ran out of Mezeritch never to return again. When Rav Aharon of Karlin asked the Maggid why he spoke Divrei chol and not Divrei Torah he replied that he saw in Rav Alexander Ziskind a Tzaddik Tamim and did not want to influence him to change his ways in Avodas Hashem.

Rav Alexander Ziskind was imprisoned for a full year and half for trying to leave Hamburg with money he collected for the poor in Eretz Yisroel. As soon as he was released he immediately began to collect once again. When asked why he would do this he answered that "do you think that because of the danger to me the poor people sitting before Hashem in the Holy Land should starve?"

Before one Pesach a Jew was arrested in a blood libel and sentenced to a cruel death unless he converted. Rav Alexander Ziskind was worried he would lose his resolve and cave in. He obtained special permission to visit this person in jail where he gave him Chizzuk to stand strong and die "Al Kiddush Hashem" despite the torture. On the day the sentence was to be carried out, while all the local Jews were hiding fearing a pogrom, Rav Alexander Ziskind bravely went to the town square among the goyim to watch the murder of the innocent Jew. As the Jew was murdered Rav Alexander Ziskind heard him make the bracha that one makes before dying Al Kiddush Hashem. He then went back to Shul and made and Azkara for the martyred Holy Neshama.

Details about his life are scarce. His place of birth is unknown although he lived in Horodna. He was a talmid of Rav Aryeh Leib Epstein the Baal HaPardes and he never accepted any rabbinical position. He was believed to be under sixty at the time of his death. About his fiery sefer on Kavonas HaTefila he testified on himself that all his own personal tefilos were in accordance with his sefer and he even added many other Kavanos that he did not write in the Sefer.

In his Tzavaah he writes that his name Alexander has a gematria of 365 for the Mitzvos Lo Saaseh and Ziskind with its seven letters equals 248 for the Mitzvos Aseh, "all of which I accepted to keep in any possible way." He did not allow any titles on his Matzeiva except "Here lies Alexander Ziskind... Oveid Hashem Yisborach" He was niftar in 5554/1794. Yehi Zichro Boruch

RELATED ARTICLES:biography  Yesod V'Shoresh HaAvodah

<<Previous Article
Rav Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev - The Nes of Purim Paves the Way For A New Aleph Bais
 Next Article>>
Parshas Vayakhel: Sridei Eish - Building Shabbos & Building A Bais HaMikdash
 
send your commentsprintable versionemail to a friend
Visitor Comments: 2

SH, Jerusalem, 2008-02-27 02:38:56
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov said about the holy Rav Alexander Ziskind that on his deathbed he snapped his fingers and said"Eibergishpringen"! Which means "I made it".
Rabbi Nachman was stressing that a person can never be sure about himself until the very last moment - even a great Tzadik such as this.
aw, ofakim, 2013-02-28 02:55:57
A famous story exists -- similar to what your bring down about the Pesach blood libel victim -- about HARov Ziskind who at great risk attended the murder al kiddush Hash-m of Avrahamer amein to his bracha of kiddush Hash-m -- is this the same story or two separate stories -- is there any testimony to the accuracy of either version???

Innocent Observations
Seeing The World Straight
When the light that enters our eye reaches the back of the lens to form a picture the objects appear...read full story

Olam HaTorah
If You Promise He'll Be The Next Reichmann!
The Mashgiach Rav Dov Yaffe tells a story about a father who wanted to pull his son out of Yeshiva....read full story

Mashal
Rav Elya Lopian - Tzadikim Have It All

At the end of Birchas HaMazon we say the pasuk in Tehilim (34:11) "V'Dorshei Hashem Lo Yachsiru Kol Tov", those...read full story

Chanoch L'Naar
Rav Eliyahu Dessler - The Child Within Us
As Pesach is a time to instill true emunah into our children, the entire Haggadah is a textbook on how...read full story

Bnei Bayscha
Some Shidduch Questions From Rav Shmuel Rozovsky

One day a Yid from Yerushalayim traveled to Bnei Brak to ask the legendary Rosh Yeshiva of Ponevezh, Rav Shmuel...read full story

Gadlus
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach Checks Out The Candy

One day in the car after delivering his shiur in Yeshivas Kol Torah, Rav Shlomo Zalman asked the driver to...read full story

Tefila

Shmoneh Esrei - Choose The Way You Will Die
The halacha requires us to close our eyes when davening Shmoneh Esrei. It is brought in the Seforim that...read full story

Likras Shabbos
Parshas Vayakhel: Sridei Eish - Building Shabbos & Building A Bais HaMikdash

Parshas Vayakhel talks almost exculsively about building the Mishkan, however the first few pasukim are about the Mitzva of Shabbos....read full story

Lessons in Tzedoka

Parshas Vayakhel: Rav Chaim Soloveitchik's Long Wait

"K'chu Mei'itchem Truma" take from them donations (Vayakhel 35:5). The pasuk before says that Moshe spoke directly to the...read full story

Galus
Parshas Ki Sisa: Rav Shimon Schwab - Mordechai's Brings Real Freedom For His Nation

The germara in CHulin 139b says that Mordechai HaTzaddik is hinted at in the Torah in the pasuk (Ki Sisa...read full story

Emuna

The Joy that Mourning Brings to a Wedding
Shlomo HaMelech tells us in Koheles (7:2) "Tov Lalaches El Bais HaEivel MiLeches El Bais HaMishteh", it is better to...read full story

Ahavas Yisroel
Parshas Truma: Rav Moshe Shternbuch - Brilliant Colorful Diversity

Among the layers of the roof of the Mishkan was the Tachash. The Tachash was an animal with brilliantly...read full story

Gedolim Biographies
Reb Dovid of Lelov - Is It A Crime To Favor Your Own Child?
Reb Dovid was born in 1746 and was a talmid of Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk and later of the Chozeh of Lublin. ...read full story

Story Corner
Rav Nosson Adler Dances For The Donkey
One cold winter day, the Gaon, Rabbi Nosson Adler, was traveling together with his esteemed talmid, the Chasam Sofer.  The...read full story

Moshiach
Chofetz Chaim - Will Your Plaque in The Bais HaMikdash Bring You Eternal Pride or Shame?

The Chofetz Chaim (Shem Olam 1:17) says that whoever helped build the second Bais HaMikdash is listed in Sefer Nechemiah...read full story

Elul-Tishrei
What Is Isru Chag Exactly?
Isru Chag, the day after each Yom Tov, is a term that comes from a Pasuk in Hallel (Tehilim 118),...read full story

Rav Chatzkel

Rav Chatzkel Levenstein - First A Smack, The We Can Talk

Chazal tell us "Oy Lani MiYom HaDin, Oy Lanu MiYom HaTochacha", woe is to us from the day of punishment,...read full story

Around The Year
Tu B'Shvat - The Tragedy Of The Free Leaf

"Ki Hadam Eitz HaSadeh", a person is like a tree in the field. There are many comparisons between a...read full story

Kodesh
Shabbos is a Day of Three Kinds of Rest

By Mincha on Shabbos we say that Hashem gave us Yom Menucha, a day of rest. We then go...read full story

Eretz Yisroel
Parshas Shlach: Kotzker Rebbe - Impressions Of Eretz Yisroel

"Uri'isem Es HaAretz Ma Hi... HaTova He Im Ra'a... HaShmeina He Im Razah" (Shlach 13:18-20). Moshe Rabeinu tells the...read full story

Introduction
Shaarei Tzvi - Unlocking The Best Kept Secret In Megilas Esther

Every now and theb there is a Chazal that drops a bombshell, which changes everything you everything. Its implications...read full story

Postcards From Kotzk
Kotzker Rebbe On The Dormant Monster Within

The Yehudi HaKadosh MePishischa was a Chosid of the Chozeh of Lublin, until one day one of the elder statesmen...read full story

Mitzva Opportunity
Parshas Re'eh: Netziv - Feeling Your Own Pain
The Torah forbids us to harm ourselves in any way when mourning over the dead because we are a Holy...read full story

Ikvisa D'Mishicha
Reb Elchonon Wasserman's Last Drasha, We Are Saving The Yidden in America
Reb Elchonon Wasserman was one of the great pre-war Roshei Yeshiva in Europe.  He learned in Telz Yeshiva and joined...read full story

Perek Shira
Perek Shira: The Snake's Song - Taking a Plunge

No creature in history has taken a fall like the snake.  This once companion of man, with legs that would...read full story

Tehilim
Tehilim Perek 139: Hashem Is Here, Hashem Is There
"Im Esak Shamayim Sham Ata V'Atzia She'ol Hineka", If I ascend up to heaven, you are there. If I make...read full story

copyright © 2007 - 2010 Revach L'Neshama All Rights Reserved