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Section: Tefila   Category: Story
Rav Yechezkel Abramsky Survives The Sub-Zero Weather

The Gaon Rav Yechezkel Abramsky was exiled to Siberia in 1929 by the Communists.  The cold was unbearable; at times the temperature dropped to forty degrees below zero.  Rav Yechezkel had arrived in Siberia with lightweight clothes, and had no means of obtaining warmer ones.   

In the morning the head of the camp commanded the Jews to remove their shoes and run barefoot on the ice for an hour.  This would be their everyday morning routine.  Rav Yechezkel, who had always had a weak disposition, feared for his very life.  He lifted his eyes to Shamayim and said, “Ribbono Shel Olam, You commanded us in Your holy Torah to guard our health, and protect ourselves from the cold.  Here, it’s impossible to protect ourselves, and the obligation of protection falls on You.  Please, Ribbono shel Olam protect and guard us!”

Rav Yechezkel remained healthy throughout the duration of his exile in Siberia and did not fall ill even once.     (Ukarasa Leshabbos Oneg)

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RELATED ARTICLES:health  Rav Yechezkel Abramsky  Siberia  Story  tefila

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Visitor Comments: 1

RS, Gateshead UK, 2009-06-10 09:25:05
Perhaps one of the factors of his survival of such intense cold was ZECHUS OVOIS.
Toward the end of his life, Dayan Abramsky publicly related the one incident that happened in his youth which changed his life forever.
As a young child, his parents sent him away to a special cheder, which catered for gifted promising children like himself. On one mid-winter visit home, he noticed with surprise that there was no heating in the home. His parents were wrapped up in heavy blankets trying their best to endure the frigid Russian winter.
When he questioned his mother, she explained that his Rebbe had insisted that his tuition fees be paid in advance for the entire winter. Your father, she explained, made a chesbon, and realised that if he complied with this request, there would be no fuel to heat the home for the winter.
If thats the case,! he said, we will go without heating The winter will come and pass but our Chezkelle must go and learn!!
When young Yeschezkel saw what mesirus nefesh his parents were undertaking for the sake of his learning - he was struck by the sense of achrayus to live up to their aspirations. It was this, he said, that made him into what he became!

Perhaps this mesirus nefesh paid off in other ways too?

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