While reciting Aleinu at a Purim mairiv in 770, R’ Elya Chaim Roitblat was overcome with such disdain for wickedness that he muttered an expletive. A wide smile spread across the Rebbe’s face.
In the Rebbe’s presence chassidim were naturally measured. However, there were times when a chossid’s self-expression in front of the Rebbe caused nachas ruach.
“It happened one year on Purim,” related Reb Yisroel Friedman a”h, “as we stood and davened maariv with the Rebbe at seven o’clock. Since the farbrengen would only begin hours later, the crowd was very small, and every motion that anyone did was audible.
“Reb Elya Chaim Roitblat, the longtime melamed of Oholei Torah, recited the Aleinu prayer in his place, pronouncing every word with devotion. Everyone in the shul could hear him.
“When he reached the words ‘she’heim mishtachavim le’hevel ve’larik – they bow to vanity and nothingness’ he muttered to himself almost unwittingly, ‘Feh, kelipa!’
“I will never forget how the Rebbe turned around to look at Reb Elya Chaim. A wide smile spread across his holy face, expressing deep pleasure.”
(Techayeinu Issue 7)
From The Weekly Farbrengen by Merkaz Anash
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I enjoyed the story but I don’t think the word expletive was an appropriate word to use for the title of this story.
I appreciate the heartwarming story about my grandfather, but was greatly disturbed by the use of the word ‘expletive’, which Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as “an exclamatory word or phrase. especially : one that is obscene or profane”, and definitely has the connotation of something vulgar and unrefined.
This is a very inappropriate and disrespectful choice of word to use about a chossid like R’ Eli Chaim.
I would appreciate if this can be changed, and kept in mind for the future.