Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk’s Yahrtzeit


Yizkor Candle on the 21st of the Jewish month Adar, Jews all over the world commemorate the passing of Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk (1717-1787) and flocks from all over the world come to pray at his gravesite.

The author of both holy Noam Elimelech and the Tzetel Katan, he performed many miracles during his lifetime, as well as after his passing. Jewish sources tell us that Tzaddikim are greater after their deaths than during their lives. Following is one story that illustrates this fact.

A non-practicing Israeli Jew once asked his friend, an observant travel agent why so many people travel to Lizhensk every year. The travel agent told him that whoever makes the trip to the holy site gets his prayer answered.

The Israeli was skeptical considering it a superstitious belief. So his friend asked him, “Is there something you need?”

“Yes,” he answered, “We are married for many years and still don’t have children.”

“Why don’t you travel to the burial site of Rebbe Elimelech in Lizhensk, Poland and pray? I’ll pay all your expenses. But, if you have a baby son thereafter, you must call him Elimelech,” the travel agent offered.

Being desperate, the friend accepted the offer, and his wife had a baby boy some time later. Not knowing how to break the news of his commitment to name their son Elimelech to his wife, he asked a rabbi for advice.

In their circle, the name Elimelech was old-fashioned and obsolete. “Call your son two names and let your wife pick his first name,” proposed the rabbi.

“Noam is the perfect name for him,” said the wife. 

The rabbi was very pleased with the combination. Baby Noam Elimelech named for the author of the holy book Noam Elimelech, authored by Rebbe Elimelech.

Rabbi Elimelech was always practicing kindness and doing good deeds. In fact, he gave away his entire wealth to the poor as charity.

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