Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



The Man From Kelm

Rabbi Yaakov Feitman

Dignity. Serenity. In thinking about Rabbi Nachum Zev Dessler, ztz”l, these past few days, the words recur like the chorus of a symphony. You could not help but straighten your tie and adjust your jacket when passing Rabbi Dessler, even for a moment. In his later years, although it was difficult for him, he would don his kapote just to greet a visitor. Rabbi Dessler carried himself with the serenity of one who was constantly at peace with himself, with the world, and most importantly, with his Creator.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

I had the privilege of hearing Rabbi Dessler speak at many bar mitzvahs. A favorite vort of his resonated deeply with his own Kelmer personality. At the end of Parshas Vayeishev, Yosef is in prison with the king’s butler and baker, and notices that they are in a foul mood. He inquires about their condition, they recite their now-famous dreams, Yosef interprets them, and the rest is both history and Torah. Rabbi Dessler took note of what Yosef’s own mental state should have been at the time. He was an abandoned youth, alone and in prison in a frightening and alien land. Yet his antennae were so attuned to two strangers’ sorrow that he sought to assuage their grief.

Rabbi Dessler’s message to several generations of thirteen-year-olds was minted in Kelm and printed in Cleveland, but its wisdom is for the ages: Never ignore the plight of another. No matter how intense your own pain may be, you might be able to help someone else. And then you must.

Rabbi Dessler lived this ideal. Let us try to do the same.

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"