The Chossid Who Was Told Not to Learn His Shiurim After Davening

R. Yehoshua Lein of Nevel, who served as a rosh yeshiva, rov and schochet, was given a seder in learning by the Rebbe Rashab. When asked when to learn them, the Rebbe advised him to delay it until later in the day, so he would carry around that obligation.

Reb Yehoshua Lein was born in Nevel around the year 5641 (1881). At bar mitzvah age he was sent by his father Reb Chaim Dovid to learn under his great-uncle, the Radatz, in Tchernigov.

After some years he continued his learning in Lubavitch and was among the yoshvim (full-time learners in Lubavitch before the opening of Tomchei Temimim). He received guidance from the elder chassidim there — Reb Yerachmiel Binyominson, Reb Shlomo Zalman Havlin, and also from the Rebbe Rashab himself.

In 5666 (1906), he headed the yeshiva in Dokshitz. After a few years, as per the Rebbe Rashab’s directive, he accepted the position of rov first in Ovstravna, near Vitebsk, and later in Beshenkovich. After the Russian revolution, he was forced to flee and settled in Rudnia near Lubavitch, where he served as a shochet. On Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 5702 (1941) he was killed by the Nazis al kidush Hashem.


After his marriage, Reb Yehoshua came to Lubavitch and requested a daily seder from the Rebbe Rashab. The Rebbe Rashab instructed him to get up in the morning no later than seven o’clock and to begin davening around nine-ten o’clock. He also gave him specific shiurim to learn every day.

Reb Yehoshua asked if he must finish all the shiurim immediately after davening. The Rebbe Rashab explained that quite the contrary is more desirable, since then the whole day he would carry in his mind the “ol” (burden) of finishing the shiurim.


Reb Yochanan Gordon related:

When I came to Lubavitch for Rosh Hashana 5669 (1909), Reb Yehousha was also there, and during Aseres Yemei Teshuvah he farbrenged. I remember that he was saying that it’s a chutzpah for one to prepare himself and go lie down in bed deliberately, saying “Now I can relax.” To fall asleep is one thing, but to prepare oneself is a chutzpah.

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