Reb Mendel’s Probe at a Samarkand Farbrengen

During a Yud Beis Tammuz farbrengen in Samarkand, Reb Mendel Futerfas noticed that something was bothering Reb Yisroel Noach Belinitzky, and he wanted to know what it was.

By writer

Reb Yisroel Noach Belinitzky was one of the famed Chassidim of the previous generation, known for his profound avodah as well as his mesiras nefesh during difficult times in Russia.

“During one of the terrible years of World War II in Samarkand,” Reb Mendel Futerfas related, “the Chassidim gathered for a Yud Beis Tammuz Farbrengen. It was a particularly ‘warm’ Farbrengen, and a lot of L’chaim was said.

“At one point, I noticed Reb Yisroel Noach lying in a corner looking exhausted. After watching him for some time, I realized that he was not asleep; he was actually in the midst of hisbonenus.

“Reb Yisroel Noach was a pnimi. He rarely spoke about himself. Now that he had said a lot of L’chaim, I thought, it would be a perfect time to gain some insight into his inner world.

“I approached him and asked, ‘Reb Yisroel Noach, what are you thinking about? What is bothering you?’

“He looked at me with his wise eyes, and told me with a broken voice, ‘I’m thinking through my entire life, and wondering if I ever had a true hirhur teshuva…’”

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