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Chaim VaChesed: Day & Night Print E-mail

writingsThe 23rd of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Chaim (ben Shmuel) Cheikel (Chaikel) of Amdur (Indura) (1787). Born in Karlin, he was a disciple of the Vilna Gaon, and later became a student of Rav Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mazerich. Rav Chaim became one of the first Chassidic Admorim in 1772-73. He authored Chaim Vochesed.

Amdur is about 25 miles south of Grodno (Hrodno). Amdur and Grodno are located in the northwest corner of what is now the independent country of Belarus , close to the Lithuanian and Polish borders. During the Cossack revolt of 1648 against Polish landowners and gentry, over 100,000 Jews, mostly in Ukraine and southern Belarus , were murdered. However, the marauders did not advance north to the Grodno region. Jews comprised 80% of the population in Grodno at that time. Rav Chaim’s daughter married Moshe, the brother of Aharon, founder of Karlin Hassidism. Rav Chaim was succeeded by his son, Rav Shmuel of Amdur.

Behold, God created day and night. Without night we would not fully appreciate the light of the day.

A human being also has his day and night.

Love is his day for it is the result of clear  intellectual vision. Fear of God is a man’s night for they reflect one who serves God in faith without full intellectual clarity.

Just as night leads us to appreciate the light, so too, serving God in faith and fear will lead to love that results from clarity and light.
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