Section: Stories   Category: Story Corner
Rav Shlomo Kluger Stops The Malach HaMaves in Court
Rav Shlomo Kluger of Brod was known for his fierce opposition against the Reform movement, whose members called themselves Maskilim.  The Maskilim began changing old-age customs, including the customs involving in burying the dead.  They began transporting the niftar in a wagon, instead of the customary method of carrying the niftar in their hands and walking on foot during the funeral.  When R’ Kluger became aware of this, he forbade any niftar which was carried by wagon to be brought to Kever Yisrael, Jewish burial.  Instead, the niftar would have to be buried among non-Jews.

When the Maskilim heard about Rav Kluger’s decision, they started a court case against him in the non-Jewish court.  The judge ruled that the dead should be transported in wagons until the case was heard.  The heads of the Torah community came to Rav Kluger with heavy hearts, and told him about the judge’s decision.  They asked him what to do when the next funeral became imminent.
Rav Kluger answered them, “I promise you that until the judge will legally allow us to continue with our custom, no one from the kahal in Brod will die!”
Three months passed, and not only were there no deaths during this period, but there were also no stillborns.  When the court case was finally heard, the judge asked R’ Shlomo, “Bring me a proof from the Tanach, that the dead body is carried specifically in one’s arms.  The Rav immediately replied, “It’s written in Parshas Yayechi, ‘And they carried Yaakov their father.’”  The judge accepted the proof and said, “The Rav is right – that’s how it’s written, to carry in the hands and not in a wagon.” (Told over by R’ Yaakov Teitelbaum from his Rav, Rav Meir Arik) ( Shaal Avicha Yeyegadcha)