The Hermitage Museum in S. Petersburg
A Gutt Yom Tov to all! L'shana tova t'kaseiv v'sichaseim b'limud hachassidus u'b'darkei hachassidus!
After finishing my article on Reb Shamshon Charitonow I was left with a bunch of interesting stories I'd collected, but that didn't make it to print. As a present for the Rosh Hashanah l'chassidus, I give them to you my reading public (to be used freely - on condition that I'm credited as the source - as per my creative commons copyright!)
-In order to avoid the draft for the Red Army, R' Shamshon pretended to be unable to read the eye chart in front of him. After a few minutes of
squinting and 'guessing' he reached into his pockets and produced a pair of extremely high prescription glasses he had purchased and then proceeded to read off the chart (from memory) . . . he was given a dispensation.
-When R' Fol'e Kahn came to America for the first time, he saw R' Shamshon and told him that he had a 'grus fun amal fun frierdiken Rebbe'n'. When Kahn had been in Vienna several years before, he had been in yechidus with Frierdiker Rebbe. At one point the Rebbe had asked, "What's going on with Sholom (Charitonow's) son.
-When the Rebbe wanted to teach the niggunim on Simchas Torah he would wait for the ba'alei neginah to be there - including R' Shamshon.
-R' Leibel Motchkin once passed a shul in Samarkand and was told not to enter, as the NKVD were inside. They had taken the Jews in the shul by surprise and were shipping off all those without proper papers. He entered and saw a Soviet big shot standing guard over the gathered Jews waiting for his men to return and ship them off.
"Show me your papers (Vashe documentov)!" He barked at Leibel.
"Show me yours" replied Leibel.
"What do you mean? Don't you see my medals?" he said, pointing to all of the medals an awards on his breast.
"I know the Uzbeks here. You could be faking it."
As such the conversation continued.
While this conversation was going on all of the Jews began to sneak out. Leibel finally produced his documents, and finding them in order, the officer dismissed him . . . only to find the room empty.
-When R' Chonya Marazow came to Lubavitch for the first time, he arrived with group of new boys for the Elul Zman. Almost all of the new bochurim were turned away from the Yeshivah due to their connections with the haskalah and preference for heretical books. While Chonya also leaned in that direction (he read 'Spinoza's' works), the hemshech of Ranat hot im farchopped.
-R' Mottel Lipschitz cam by the shiva, and when offered a chair, didn't want to sit. "Hob Ich shoin gezetzin zibitzen yahr."
-Reb Sholom Charitonow (the Mashpia) mentioned to R' Mottel Lipschitz their experience meeting in Moscow during the '80s. Lipschitz had asked him if he had any of the new sefarim being printed in NY. 'Baruch Hashem, Somach vov and Eyin Beis we have - but We need something fresh! Like a fish, even though it lives in water - when it rains it still sticks its head up to get a fresh drop!
-Moshe Gronner was once in the Frierdiker Rebbe's apartment, and the rebbetzins (Nechama Dina, Rebbetzin Chana, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, and Chana Gurary) were making a farbrengin. As he, listened Rebbetzin Chana was corrected on the nusach of a particular niggun they were singing. Someone told her that this was how R' Shamshon Charitonow sang it.
"Ich ken im altz kind, un er is a chassidisher Yungerman - uber azei hot der fetter [Yanovsky] gezungen."
R Shamshon Charitonow, Chabad, The Rebbe, 19 Kislev, Russia, Judaism, Stories