Motzei Shabbos Story: One Tisha B’av, a few chassidim of the heilige Ruzhiner began pranking their friends. When they mistakenly pranked their Rebbe as well, the Ruzhiner had something to say…
The Frierdiker Rebbe related:
The Holy Ruzhiner (Chassidic master Rabbi Israel of Ruzhin, 1797-1851) rejected all feelings of sadness, even of bitterness. So his chassidim would engage in all sorts of practical jokes on the Ninth of Av (in order to mitigate the sadness of the day). They would throw burrs at each other. Then they conceived of the following prank: they opened a skylight in the roof of the study hall and dropped a snare; when someone walked into the study hall, they would yank on the rope so that the snare fastened itself around him, and pull him up to the roof.
It happened that the Ruzhiner himself walked in to the study hall. Those who were up on the roof could not see clearly who was coming in, so they pulled him up. To their dismay, they saw that they had pulled up their rebbe! As soon as they recognized who it was, they let him down.
Cried out the Ruzhiner: “Master of the Universe! If Your children are not properly observing Your ‘festival,’ take it away from them!”
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