Dreaming of Moshiach

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Releasing Hostages

The following fascinating story was told by Tzaddik Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, zs'kl, after witnessing the soul of the deceased Tzaddik, HaRav HaKadosh Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib of Sasov, zs'kl, in Shamayim and how he was granted permission to release hostages held in Gehenom.

"I heard the Divine Spirit (bat-kol) announcing, "Make room for HaRav HaKadosh Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib and come greet him!". All the Tzaddikim came to greet HaRav HaKadosh Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib when suddenly a loud noise was heard from one end of the world till the end. Immediately, Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib run towards the noise till he reached the gate of Gehenom (hell). He walked inside Gehenom and remained inside while everyone waited for him to exit out of there. But a few heavenly hours passed and Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib refused to come out.

The guards of Gehenom observed Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib wondering around Gehenom as if he was searching for someone and they thought to themselves that perhaps he erroneously entered Gehenom and was unable to find his way out. The guards approached him and said, "This place is not for you. Your place is in upper Shamayim (heaven)." The guards asked Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib to come out of Gehenom with them but Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib kept silent and would not budge. The guards got frightened and did not know what to do, whether to forcibly remove him or allow him to remain.

The fact that Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib was inside Gehenom caused a big commotion in the upper Gan Eden. Immediately a command was given to the minister of Gehenom that as long as Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib was inside Gehenom, the fires must immediately stop. The minister of Gehenom shut off all the fires and the souls inside had relief from being tormented.

The minister of Gehenom turned to Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib and said, "Your place is in Gan Eden. I'm begging you to please leave this place and go to your destined place. You are interrupting my work for as long as you are here, I'm not permitted to ignite the fires." The Tzaddik replied, "If my strength is so powerful to a point where you are not permitted to torment these souls as long as I'm here, I'll not move from here until all the souls in Gehenom have permission to join me in Gan Eden." The minister asked him why and Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib replied, "All my life I was occupied with Pidyon Shvuyim (releasing hostages) and I saved many people. My wish is to be permitted also in this world to save souls."

The minister of Gehenom went to the Heavenly court and told them Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib's argument but no one knew an answer because such a thing never happened before, for a Tzaddik to willingly go inside Gehenom and then refuse to exit. The Heavenly court decided to bring the case to the Heavenly Throne. The Heavenly Throne said, "Bring Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib to the Heavenly Throne to clarify what brought him to do such a thing, to mingle with wicked souls."

The messenger of the Heavenly Court went to Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib and told him that the Heavenly Throne is calling him to immediately come with him to the Heavenly Throne. But the Tzaddik was not frightened and quietly replied, "During my whole lifetime in the deceitful lower world I observed the commandment of releasing hostages and now that I arrived in the world of truth, you want me to stop observing this Mitzvah? I'll not be moved from here till I save all the souls that are being tormented in Gehenom. If you want to hear my argumentation, I am ready and willing -- but only here. I'll not move from here." The messenger returned to the Heavenly Throne and permission was granted to hear Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib's claim.

Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib said, "Master of the World, You know how tremendous the Mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuim (releasing hostages) is and You observed this Mitzvah, not thru a Malach (angel) and not thru a messenger. When Am Israel were hostages in Egypt and Pharaoh refused to release them, You Yourself went down to Egypt to release the Jews from the Egyptians. All my life I suffered to observe this Mitzvah and all the hostages were like government ministers in my eyes. I did not distinguish between a righteous or wicked man. I loved each one of them and when I heard of a Jewish hostage being held, I did not hesitate for one second to rescue him and I'd find no rest till he was released. And here, I found so many hostages and I want to observe the commandment of Pidyon Shvuyim and this Mitzvah does not depend on time or location. And if You will say that now I'm exempt from Your commandments, I'll not move from here till I can perform this Mitzvah."

"Master of the World, it is known to You that I was not a servant that served His master for rewards. More than that, I love Your Mitzvot and I intend to continue observing them regardless where I am, even if I suffer tremendous consequences for it. Allow me to fulfill Your Mitzvot also here and release the hostages in Gehenom. If not, I'd prefer to stay here with them and suffer together with them than go to my allocated place in Gan Eden."

Blessed HaShem heard Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib's argument and the Divine Spirit announced, "Tremendous are the Tzaddikim that sacrifice their lives for Am Israel. This special Mitzvah is accounted for in both worlds. Therefore, since the merits of observing this Mitzvah is gigantic, it is necessary to count how many hostages Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib released during his lifetime, including all the descendants that came from the released hostages in all generations. The amount of people that Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib saved in the lower world, he is granted permission to release the same amount of hostages also from here."

Immediately the Book of Memory was opened and each person that was freed by Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib was accounted for, including children, grandchildren, grand-grand children, etc. The total amount counted was sixty thousand people.

They went to the Minister of Gehenom and said, "Justice stands with Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib and therefore, Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib has permission to release 60,000 souls from Gehenom."

Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib went from one department to another in Gehenom searching for souls to rescue, there was not one corner in all the rooms in Gehenom that Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib did not search. It was not an easy task because the souls in Gehenom are scattered in all different departments. After much exertion, he collected 60,000 souls and on his way out, he collected a few more thousand and led all the souls straight into Gan Eden. Only after all the souls together with Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib entered Gan Eden, the gate of Gan Eden was locked.

Today, Prime Minister Olmert and all the ministers in the Kadima government merited to return the bodies of hostages Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, HI"D, back into Eretz Israel for a proper Jewish burial.

Prime Minister Olmert merited observing the tremendeous Mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim.




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו