Rabbi Shneur Zalman – The Torat Chesed of Lublin

The gaon Rabbi Shneur Zalman Zatzal, the author of the book Torat Chesed, was among the greatest men of Torah in his generation. He was born in the town of Ladi (hence his family carried the name “Ladirer”) and he frequented the Tzemach Tzedek, the Rebbe of Chabad. After his marriage, a fire broke out that destroyed everything his wealthy father-in-law owned. Rabbi Shneur Zalman was thus forced to accept a rabbinical position, becoming the Rav of Plotsk. When his reputation began to spread, he was appointed as the Rav of Lublin. All the great men of Torah testified that never in his life did he forget anything he learned. Doctors were utterly amazed by his prodigious memory, saying that his brain capacity was twice the norm. He could, in fact, review 18 chapters of the Mishnah in 18 minutes. Many Halachic questions were put to him, the answers to which he assembled in his great work entitled Torat Chesed. In 5652 Rabbi Shneur Zalman left every honor behind in the exile when he went to live in Jerusalem, where he remained until his dying day. All the great men of Torah, as well as all the people, respected him as a king. His holiness was legendary in the land, and miraculous stories are told of him. His life ended on Nissan 5, 5662, as his soul ascended to the celestial academy to bask in the hidden light reserved for the tzaddikim. On the day of his death (which occurred in the spring), the heavens erupted with lightening and thunder, and a torrential rain fell upon the earth. Rabbi Shneur Zalman is buried on the slopes of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. May the memory of the tzaddik be blessed.




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