29 Kislev: Yahrzeit of Reb Elia “Yaichel” Simpson

29 Kislev is the Yahrzeit of Harav Hachosid Reb Eliyahu “Yaichel” Simpson a”h. Rabbi Simpson was a chossid and mekushar to three Rebbeim, and was called a “neeman bayis” by the Rebbe.

Written by a grandson of Rabbi Simpson for Anash.org

Monday night, 29 Kislev the Fifth Lichtal of Chanukah, is the 44th Yahrzeit of Harav Hachosid R’ Eliyahu Simpson a”h.

Rabbi Simpson studied in Tomchei Tmimim in Lubavitch for over 13 years, where he was from the primary chozrim of the Rebbe Rashab and his devout chassid and mekushar.  When the Rebbe was sent the proposed language for the matzeiva of Rabbi Simpson, the Rebbe added the words “meroshei chozrei Dach – Chasidus – biLubavitch”.

Below is a copy of a postcard that the Rebbe Rayatz, who was in Berlin at the time on a Shlichus of the Rebbe Rashab, sent Rabbi Simpson who was then from the chozrim of the Rebbe Rashab, asking him to write to him the beginning, end and “tochen” of the ma’amarim that the Rebbe Rashab was saying when he was away.

After Rabbi Simpson’s wedding, the Rebbe Rashab sent him in 1917 to be the mashpia of Anash in the City of Odessa. Rabbi Simpson meticulously recorded many hanhogos of the Rebbe Rashab, some of which are printed in the Sefer Haminhagim.

After the Rebbe Rashab’s passing, Rabbi Simpson became a devout chassid and mekushar of the Rebbe Rayatz. When the Rebbe Rayatz established Kupas Rabeinu shortly after the passing of the Rebbe Rashab, he asked Rabbi Simpson to join the vaad.

Attached below is a copy of the letter of the Rebbe Rayatz specifying such appointment – his family name in this letter is Yaichil, it was changed to Simpson when he arrived in America.

When Rabbi Simpson was sent an invitation and visas from family members who were then in America to move to America he asked the Rebbe Rayatz and the Rebbe Rayatz answered him that he should go “al minas lihachzir” – on condition he returns. The Rebbe Rayatz explained that he means “lihachzir nishamos liAvinu Shebashamayim” – to return souls to their Father in heaven, which was Rabbi Simpson’s primary focus for the rest of his life.

Years later, when the Rebbe Rayatz visited America in 1929, he stayed for a period of time at the home of Rabbi Simpson. When the Rebbe Rayatz relocated to America in 1940, he appointed Rabbi Simpson as a gabbai. Rabbi Simpson was also appointed by the Rebbe Rayatz as a member of the vaad of Mashiach’s Sefer Torah.

Following the Frierdiker Rebbe’s passing, Rabbi Simpson became a devout chassid and mekushar of the Rebbe, from the moment of the histalkus. He was very instrumental in beseeching the Rebbe on Behalf of the Chasidim to accept the nesius.

The Rebbe appointed Rabbi Simpson as a shadar – personal emissary – and he would travel on the shlichus of the Rebbe to communities in the United Sates to make a hisorurus to strengthen Yiddishkeit and for maamad.

When the Rebbe established the Yeshiva Gedola in Melbourne, Australia, he sent Rabbi Simpson as his shliach with the first group of shluchim. The Rebbe instructed the shluchim that they should receive “hadracha” – guidance – from Rabbi Simpson and they should seek his advice as to who should be the mashpia and rosh yeshiva of the Yeshiva Gedola.

In 5730, when the Rebbe decided to complete Mashiach’s Sefer Torah and gave Am Yisroel the opportunity to participate by buying letters, he appointed Rabbi Simpson to be in charge of the selling of the letters and organizing the siyum, which took place on Yud Shevat of that year.

Attached below is a copy of the letter whereby the Rebbe appoints Rabbi Simpson as his Shadar. The Rebbe referred to Rabbi Simpson as a “neeman bayis” – a trusted aide – of the Rebbe, an unusual designation and attached below is a copy of a mamaar of the Alter Rebbe which specifies the qualities of a neeman bayis.

Rabbi Simpson had a minhag that every night of Chanukah, after he lit the Menorah, he would sit down and watch the licht while learning Sharei Orah of the Mitteler Rebbe. Also, he had a interesting minhag, that every day, in addition to saying a Kapital Tehillim for his age, he also similarly learn every day a Perek Tanya corresponding to his age.

Zechusoi Yagein Oleinu.  

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    1. Hi Nadine—have you met or been in contact with Joann Turits (neé Medoff)? Her grandfather was Philip Simpson, the brother of Rebbe Simpson. We are working on her genealogy at the moment and have just uncovered this wealth of information.

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