The Chassidic “Traitor” Thrown Out by His Wife

A talmid of Tomchei Temimim, R. Fallik Gurary, brother of the Rashag, went on to become a gvir and askan like his father. Despite being arrested and exiled to Siberia for his activities, he and his wife remained committed to raising their children with a staunch dedication to Yiddishkeit and Chassidus.

R. Yehoshua Fallik Gurary was born in Kremenchug in 5646 to the famous Gurary family of Chassidishe gevirim. His father, R. Mendel was a gevir and askan, and his brother, R. Shmaryahu, would later become the Frierdiker Rebbe’s son-in-law.

talmid of Tomchei Temimim in Lubavitch, he married his first cousin, Faiga Vita, the daughter of R. Nosson Gurary, and went on to become a Chassidishe gvir and askan himself. R. Fallik lived in Leningrad, where he was arrested by the Communists and exiled to Siberia for his activism on behalf of Torah. He was killed in the holocaust in Leningrad (c. 5703).


While in Lubavitch, R. Fallik was offered to acquire for a large sum tefillin parshiyos written by the Alter Rebbe’s legendary sofer, R. Reuven of Yanovitch. Unsure if they were authentic, R. Fallik asked to be allowed to show them first to the Rebbe Rashab.

The Rebbe looked at them and said that they were without a doubt R. Reuven’s writing. “Take them,” the Rebbe told him, “You need them. If you don’t take them, then I will.” R. Fallik bought and wore them, and they were recognizable by their large size tefilin.


Suffering from doubts in emuna, R. Fallik went into yechidus to the Rebbe Rashab, who advised him to learn Masechta Kerisus. The Rebbe explained that sfeikos come from chatos ne’urim (sins of the youth) which dulls a person’s sensitivities.

The Rebbe then added, “As difficult as it is for you to share, it’s even harder for me to hear it. But it must be said!”


After being released from prison, R. Fallik didn’t return to his home since it was situated on a main boulevard. Instead, he hid in the home of his brother-in-law, R. Leizer Karasik, while his wife told neighbors that she had thrown out the “traitor” and his whereabouts were unknown.

Notwithstanding the difficult situation, they continued to raise their children with staunch dedication to Yiddishkeit and Chassidus, and their son Zalman grew his beard, despite knowing that it put him in great danger.


R. Fallik would often say at farbrengens: “We’re part of a lofty enterprise — and an enterprise one must be careful not to dishonor.”

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