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Divrei Yechezkail: Vayigash I

The 6th of Tevet is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, the Shinover Rav (1815-1899). He was born in Rudnick, Galicia, eldest son of Rav Chaim of Sanz. He was an ardent follower of Rav Asher of Ropshitz, and a chassid of Rav Tzvi Hirsh of Rymanov, Rav Shalom of Belz, and Rav Meir of Premishlan. Tragically, he was married and widowed 5 times. His first wife was the grand-daughter of the Yismach Moshe, Rav Moshe Teitelbaum of Mujehly, Hungary. He is known as the Divrei Yechezkel.

“My master has asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or brother?’ And we said to my master, ‘We have an old father and a young child of his old age. His brother is dead, he alone is left from his mother, and his father loves him.” (Genesis 44:19-20)

We can read this verse as, “My Master,” being God, asked His servants, “Have you a father?” The Hebrew for father is “Av,” which also means “desire,” as in, “vilo ava yabmi,” “He did not desire to marry me.” “Or brother,” “ach,” which also means to attach, as in “reattach the torn clothing of a mourner.” (Moed Katan 22b) God asks us, “Do you have desire for Me, and are you striving to attach to me?”

We responded, “A young child from his old age,” – we have yet to repair the damage of the sins of our youth. The Evil Inclination is still attached to us, and all that remains is for us to do Teshuva and show our love for You as the love of a child for his mother.
(Divrei Yechezkail – Vayigash)

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