This Monday night, March 16, marks the 21st of Adar, which is the yarhzeit of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk. Under the direction of the gedolim in Eretz Yisroel and America, women around the world are being asked to meet block by block to say Tehillim b'tzibur at 8:30 pm.Rabbi Elimelech Mi-Lizhensk was a great tzaddik, and this day is a very auspicious day to daven for rachamim.May Hashem bring about the release of the innocent and tortured boys in Japan in the merit of the tefillos of noshim tzidkanios (righteous women).Please organize your block to join women around the world to daven to free these bochrim in Japan.One of the mothers of the interned boys, Mrs. Mirel Goldstein, will be speaking in the New York area this weekend:Sunday evening, March 15th at 8:00 PM in Lakewood at Yeshiva Orchas Chaim -410- Oberland AvenueTuesday evening, March 17th at 8:00 PM in Boro Park at Khal Chassidim-4820-15th AvenueThey are also looking to raise money for pidyon shovuim. With any contribution, you can call a special number set up to receive a brocha from Hagoan HaRav Chaim Kanievski, Shlita. Please call Chaya [redacted] at [redacted].The names of the boys are:
YOEL ZE'EV ben MIREL RISA CHAVA
YAAKOV YOSEF ben RAIZEL
YOSEF ben ITA RIVKA
May Hashem hear our tefillos berachamim!
I have a few thoughts and comments on the above.
1) First and foremost, I did not feel comfortable sharing the full name and phone number above. But if you would like to contribute, and call, send me a private email or drop me a comment with your email, and I can tell you this information privately.
2) Second, I hope they are successful, whether by collecting and then applying the appropriate moneys or by the tehillim.
3) That said, I have a few questions about the above:
a) "Under the direction of the gedolim in Eretz Yisroel and America"
Which gedolim in Eretz Yisrael and the US? Unfortunately, some people misattribute things to the gedolim all the time, or kvetch their words to be more than what they said. Not that I am specifically suspecting these folks, but it would be good in general to specify. Is it Rav Kanievsky in Eretz Yisrael, or is he only associated with the fundraising effort?
b) "women around the world are being asked to meet block by block to say Tehillim b'tzibur"
Did the gedolim approve this wording? With modern Amen parties and Amen groups, under extremely frum Orthodox auspices, the boundaries of halacha have been blurred, IMHO. Halachically, it is only a tzibbur if 10 Jewish males are present, so it is not Tehillim betzibbur, or tefillah betzibbur, without this.
c) "Rabbi Elimelech Mi-Lizhensk was a great tzaddik, and this day is a very auspicious day to daven for rachamim."
Is one permitted to say this, or think this? Haman figured out auspicious days, based on the death-day of the tzaddik Moshe Rabbenu. But for Jews, this might well be meOnen. Of course, chassidic or kabbalistic influences might have undone this halacha. But, to cite Yeranen Yaakov's translation of a halacha Yomit from Rav Ovadiah Yosef:
In the Gemara in Tractate Sanhedrin (page 65b), it says: The rabbis learned: [What is a] Me'onen? Rabbi Akiva says, "This refers to someone who calculates times and hours and says, 'Today is a good day to travel.' [or] 'Tomorrow is a good day to purchase (to do business)' because at those times, the Mazal is good or bad - and similarly, anything similar to these [statements]." (Rashi explains: The word "Me'onen" is like a master of "Onot" [time periods], where he distinguishes the [good from bad] time period and says, "Today is a good day to travel on the road.")Perhaps since this is not based on astrology but instead on tzaddik-worship, it is not as problematic. Or maybe it is more problematic, if accompanied by a belief that the dead tzaddik is some power to turn to for help on this day.
Rabbeinu HaRambam made a similar halachic decision [by saying]: What is a "Me'onen"? These are those that give times, that they say through astrology that a certain day is good, and a certain day is bad, etc. Similarly, Maran [Rabbi Yosef Caro] in Shulhan Aruch (Y"D 179) decided: Regarding one who says, "Do not begin to collect money from me because it is morning" or "because it is Motza'ei Shabbat" or "because it is Motza'ei Rosh Hodesh" (because this person thinks that those times are not good for that matter), saying such a statement is forbidden.
On the other hand, why specifically Rav Elimelech of Lizhensk, and why specifically this day? The Jewish people have been blessed with great tzaddikim in each generation, and plenty of them, such that by now, every day is a yahrtzheit.
To cite the Zchus Avos blog, and excerpt only a little:
20 Adar - R’ Yoel ben R’ Shmuel Halevi Sirkis (1641), author of Bach- Bayis Chadash on the TurLook, I know that chassidim and others flock to Rav Elimelech's gravesite and turn his into a saint, but why should the anniversary of his death by any more auspicious than the Bach and the Aruch Hashulchan. They, too, were tzaddikim.
21 Adar – R’ Elimelech ben R’ Elazar Lipman (1787) Known affectionately as the Rebbe Reb Meilech, author of Noam Elimelech, which is know as the “sefer of tzadikim”. He and his brother, the Rebbe Reb Zushia of Anipoli were talmidim of the Magid of Mezerich.
22 Adar - R’ Yechiel Michel ben R’ Ahron Halevi Epstein (1902) author of Aruch Hashulchan