The Chossid Who Was a ‘Half Rebbe’

11 Menachem Av marks the yahrtzeit of the renowed chossid Reb Hillel Paritcher, who was a chossid of three Rabbeim, but was also known as ‘half a Rebbe’.

By Hershel Rosenbluh –

Today, 11 Menachem Av, is the yahrtzeit of the great chossid Reb Hillel Paritcher. He is the author of the seforim Pelach HaRimon. Reb Hillel was niskarev to Chassidus Chabad through hearing the chossid Reb Zalman Zezmir chazzer a ma’amar of the Alter Rebbe. He never merited to see the Alter Rebbe in person. He was a chossid of the Mitteler Rebbe and Tzemach Tzedek.

He was a great Lamdan and Mekubal and would be very stringent when it comes to Mitzvos. He would travel to the small towns and villages and collect money for pidyon shvu’im and teach Chassidus. They said about the Tzemach Tzedek, in the name of the Rebbetzin Rivka, that he had 2 and a half Chassidim; since Reb Hillel, who was one of them, was half a Rebbe as well.

He passed away on this day in 5624/1864, 157 years ago, and was buried in Cherson.

Reb Zalman Posner once met an old Yid in Nashville who saw Reb Hillel when he was a 8 year old child. That Yid said a brochoh with uncharacteristic concentration, for someone of his caliber. When Reb Zalman asked him about it the man told him the following:

“When I was eight years old Reb Hillel Paritcher came to our town. He gave me an apple and told me to make a brochoh, and I made a loud brochoh, as pure and innocent children do. When I finished making the brochoh Reb Hillel told me to always make such nice brochos!”

The man had gone through much in life, including leaving Russia and coming to the United States. This was also some 80 plus years later, and the man still made brochos the way Reb Hillel told him to!

Listen: Two niggunim of Reb Hillel:

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