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Amidah-Radomsk-Avot-Mesirat Nefesh

The 29th of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Shlomo Rabinowitz of Radomsk, first Rebbe of the Radomsk dynasty. Rabbi Aaron, the son of Rav Chaim of Tzanz, journeyed once to Gorletz on a bitterly cold day, wrapped in a bearskin. One of his fellow travelers had no overcoat, and suffered dreadfully from the cold. He became mortally ill. When Rabbi Chaim heard of this, he severely reproached his son. “Why did you not give him your bearskin?” he asked.


Rabbi Aaron answered, “Father, I had only one skin.”

“You should nevertheless have given it to him,” continued Rabbi Chaim.

Rabbi Shlomo of Radomsk heard the conversation and said, “Then you would rather your son imperil his own life, though it is written, “Everyone is his own neighbor (Sanhedrin 9).”

“That is doubtless true,” said Rabbi Chaim, “but know, Radomsker Rabbi, that when it is a question of a man’s life or death, we need not proceed according to what is written.” (Priester der Liebe, page 228)

We are taught to accept to be Moseir Nefesh, risk our lives, in our service of God. Perhaps we can add this element of being aware of the suffering of others and willing to take risks to help them.

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