Section: Stories   Category: Gedolim Biographies
Reb Dovid of Lelov - Is It A Crime To Favor Your Own Child?
Reb Dovid was born in 1746 and was a talmid of Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk and later of the Chozeh of Lublin.  He introduced the Yehudi HaKadosh of Peshischa to the Chozeh.  Reb Dovid was the epitome of Ahavas Yisroel in the same way as Rav Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev. 

Even as a child his Ahavas Yisroel knew no humanly bounds.  One day his father bought for him an expensive warm winter coat that he so desperately needed.  The next day he found another young boy trembling from the cold.  When he returned home without the coat his mother asked him what happened.  He saw that had no choice but to tell her the truth.  She told him he better go get the coat back before his father comes home and gives him a serious smacking.  Little Dovid answered that not only is he prepared to receive a spanking from his father, but in order to be Mikayem Kibud Av V'eim, he will prepare the rod so his father does not need to go look for it.  This way his father can take out his frustration because he has absolutely no intention of asking for the coat back.

Once when Reb Dovid's son fell gravely ill, his chasidim spared nothing in their effort to help him live.  They paid for the most expensive doctors and poured their hearts out in tehilim.  When the boy recovered they saw Reb Dovid crying and they didn't understand why.  He explained that they turned heaven and earth over for his son, but what about any other Yiddishe child who becomes sick, are they less worthy?  He once said that he cannot be considered a true Oheiv Yisroel because he loves his children more than other Yidden.

Rav Dovid was able to hide his torah abilities and was thought not to be a great Lamdan. The Chidushei HaRim once said that the greatness Reb Dovid's Ahavas Yisroel gave him cover for his incredible prowess in torah.  He said that Reb Dovid would sit in the attic learning day and night.  By time he was twenty years old he finished Shas 14 times.  The Avnei Nezer of Sochatchov similarly echoed these sentiments and said that his mind from from generations long gone by.  Furthermore while it is possible to speak of his greatness in revealed torah, it is impossible to describe his greatness in hidden torah.

Rav Dovid started the Lelover dynasty which was one of the first to transplant itself in Eretz Yisroel, as Reb Dovid's son and successor moved to Eretz Yisroel in the last year of his life.  His most famous talmid was Rav Yitzchok Kalish of Vorki the founder of the Amshinover dynasty and a close friend of Rav Menachem Mendel of Kotzk.  He also made a great impression on Reb Simcha Bunim of Peshischa.  Reb Dovid was niftar at the age of 68 on 7 Shevat 5574/1814 the same year as the Magid of Kozhnitz and the Yehudi HaKadosh MiPeshischa.  The next year witnessed the Petira of the Chozeh of Lublin and Rav Mendel of Rimanov.  Yehi Zichro Boruch!