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Divrei Yisrael: Honoring God



The 13th of Kislev is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yisrael Taub of Modzhitz, author of Divrei Yisrael (1849-1920). He was the son of Rav Shmuel Eliyahu Taub of Zvolin (1888) and the grandson of Rav Yechezkel Taub of Kuzmir (1856), who was one of the students of the Chozeh of Lublin. He became the first Rebbe of Modzhitz and was succeeded by his son, Shaul Yedidya Elazer. Legend has it that in 1913 Taub composed a 30-minute negun while having his leg amputated without anesthesia.

“Ein ribui achar ribui, ela l’ma’et,” The rule is that an amplification following an amplification intimates nothing but a limitation. “Ein mi’ut achar mi’ut, ela lerabot,” the rule is that a limitation after a limitation intimates nothing but an amplification. (Bava Kamma 45b)  We can certainly explain this according to the Zohar’s teaching that, “One who is great, arrogant, is actually insignificant, and one who is small, humble, is truly great. (Shelach 168a) One who amplifies himself time and again, only serves to limit himself, and one who constantly limits himself, and practices humility, only expands.

We can also explain this Talmudic rule based on a Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni, Lech Lecha #76) that says: All who increase the glory of heaven and limit their own honor, will find their honor increasing. All who limit the glory of Heaven and expand their honr, will find their honor constantly lessening.

The application of the Talmudic rule would be: An amplification after amplification of personal honor will only serve to limit. A limit after limit on personal honor, will only serve to amplify one’s personal honor.

(The Rebbe then applies this concept to many more ideas in Spiritual Development.)
Divrei Yisrael – Aleph

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