The 21st of Shevat is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yechiel Yehoshua (ben Yerachmiel Tzvi) Rabinowitz, the Bialer Rebbe (1901-1982). Born in Biala, Poland, he was a grandson of the Divrei Binah of Biala and a direct descendent of the Yid Hakadosh. The Divrei Binah passed away when Yechiel Yehoshua was only 4, and tragically, Rav Yerachmiel Tzvi passed away shortly thereafter at the age of 26. In 1919, Rav Yechiel married Beila Chana Pesha, and in 1924, he was formally installed as Rebbe of Biala, and set up court in Sedlice with a population of 200,000 Jews. He was exiled to Siberia with his family in 1940. In 1947, he moved to Eretz Yisrael, living in Tel Aviv for 8 years before setting up his beis midrash and kollel in Zichron Moshe in Yerushalayim, where he remained for the next 27 years. He authored the sefer Chelkas Yehoshua.
“[You] Who causes grass to sprout for cattle, and vegetation for the labor of man, to bring forth bread from the earth (Psalms 104:14).” A person’s service of God should be as the, “vegetation for the labor of man.” Just as it is prohibited plant to mixed species and to keep each planting distant from the other types, we are instructed that, despite the fact they will all be drawing nurturance from the most basic root; the earth, so too, a person must keep his distance from another person without interfering in his service of God. Each of us must work on our own personal development, what we need to repair in this lifetime, each according to the root of his soul. (Chelkat Yehoshua; Tehillim)