Tobacco box from Hrh"k Rabbi Moshe of Leluv zy"a, known and famous in the world of Chassidut as one of the very holy and unique items.
among all the holy artifacts, the unique (tabbak) tobacco box is an inheritance from sages of generations, of which great Chassidic sages quoted many great and clandestine rituels on them.
Hrh"k Rabbi Moshe of Leluv arrived to Jerusalem with the famous Aliya from Poland in the year 1850, with the purpose of bringing closer the salvation and bringing Mashiach Tzidkainu, but after 72 days of arriving to Eretz Yisrael, he passed away and his intention was not fulfilled.
His tobacco box was found among the items he left behind. Great sages and admori"m used to go the home of his son Rabbi Yitzchok David of Leluv, and smell from it, as a segula for fear of heaven and redemption of great salvation.
The tobacco box was inherited by his descendants, his grandson son of his daughter, HaGaon HaChassid Rabbi Betzalel Yeshaya [R’ Betzalel Daayen] son of HaGaon HaChassid Rabbi Binyamin Yehuda Leib Berenstien and after him his son R’ Arye Mordechei Vekselstien. Durring many long years, World Wars, hungry and bereft of everything, the great men and sages craved the inheritance to bask in its smell and absorb from its holiness.
Hrh"k Rabbi Moshe Mordechei of Leluv had a practice to come from time to time to his family members, inheritors of the box, to smell and take from her a pinch of tobacco as he took pleasure of this rare and wonderful privilege. And so for many years, Hrh"k Rabbi Moshe Mordechei laid this box before him during the Yamim Noraim until today there
remains in the corners of the box left over tobacco, from which many Great sages of Jerusalem and the righteous from the Leluv household for generations smell from.
Of all these years this rare item was never released to the wider public.
Picture of the holy box appeared in many publications during all generations. among them ‘Ginzei Ketuvim’ Jerusalem 1963, pages 14-15, Sefer HaChassidut [Alfasi] page 118, Bet Mechirot Judaica Jerusalem catalog 1996.
Size 86x22x50 mm.
Hrh"k Rabbi Moshe of Leluv was born in the year 1777 to his father hrh"k Rabbi David of Leluv. He was the son in law of Hrh"k the Yehudi Hakodosh of Pershischa. In the year 1803 he started replacing his father leading the courtyard and from all over Poland they flocked to him. Amongs his famous students where hrh"k the ‘Tiferet Shlomo’ of Radomsk.
Hrh"k the ‘Beair Moshe’ of Koznitz said on him: "Want to look at the profile of Moshe Rabbainu – look at him"
"הרוצה לראות את צורתו של משה רבינו- יסתכל עליו".
He was from the founders of Kolel Warsaw Poland –Jerusalem.
In the year 1851 he ascended to Jerusalem saying that if he merits to reach the Kotel he will hasten the final redemption.
His student Hrh"k the Tiferet Shlomo of Radomsk said he longed to ascend to Eretz Yisrael because he is "בעלה דמטרוניתא" Like Yosef HaTzadik (and indeed he passed away Parashat "Vayechi" in which is the passing of Yosef HaTzadik).
Hrh"k Rabbi Yisrael of Rizhen recommended on his traveling: "אין "פולין" (ראויה) לאור הנר".
When he arrived to Eretz Yisrael he became sick, and when he saw that his condition worsened he requested to be dragged with his bed to the Kotel. But when he neared the Kotel the Satan succeeded and Arabs threw stones at them and they had to return, that day the 13th day of Teves 1851 he passed away and was laid to rest next to the grave of Zecharie HaNavi.
Hrh"k Rabbi Chaim of Sanz said to the "גוטער יוד" Of Nuestadt: R’ Moshes of Leluv was 3 years before his travels in the upper world, and couldn’t take the air of foreign nations.
His students: The Tiferes Shlomo of Radomsk, Rabbi Yaakov of Vidama, Rabbi Emanuel of Pshedburz, "Emes L’Yaakov" Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok of Blendov, Rabbi Hillel of Radishitz, and more.
His sons: Harh"k Rabbi Shlomo Yechial (son-in-law Rabbi Yosef of Tartchin son of the "Chozeh of Lublin") passed away by 22 years during his father’s life.
Hrh"k Rabbi Yitzchok David.
Hrh"k Rabbi Elazer Menachem Mendel replaced and continued as Admo"r of Lelov.
Son in laws: Rabbi Efrayim Fishel HaKohen of Stekshin zt"l (grandson of Hrh"k R’ Shimon of Yarislova)
Rabbi Yitzchok Menachem of Valbrum. (Grandson of the "Ohr L’Shemayim" of Apta) zy"a vaky"a.
ספרי החסידות מלאים במקורות לגבי קדושת חפצי הצדיקים. הבאנו אך מקורות אחדים לחשיבות חפצי צדיקים:
במדרש רבה שיר השירים פ"א על הפסוק לריח שמניך טובים:
ובית מדרשו של ר"א היה עשוי כמין ריס ואבן אחת היתה שם והיתה מיוחדת לו לישיבה, פעם אחת נכנס ר’ יהושע התחיל ונושק אותה האבן ואמר האבן הזאת דומה להר סיני וזה שישב עליה דומה לארון הברית…
חתם סופר פרשת תולדות:
"…אבל נלע"ד דמשמע בירושלמי ר"פ ואלו מגלחין דבמלבושיו של אדם נאצלים מקדוש של הלובש וה"ה בהיפוך והלובש אותם אחריו יאצל עליו מאותו הרוח לטוב ולמוטב בסוד אשר ילבשם תחתיו מבניו… כשם שנאצל עליו ע"י מלבושים מחמדה שלי ה"ה עכשיו שנתברך יעקב באותן מלבושים ושוב לובשם עשו עתה א"כ מהראוי שע"י המלבושים יאצל גם עליו מהברכוח וזה הלא אצלת לי ברכה ע"י המלבושים והשיב לו יצחק אה"נ…"
A tiny bit, on the significance and segulot of tobacco boxes inheritance from righteous of generations:
Hrh"k the ‘Divrei Chaim’ of Sanz had in his possession an exclusive tobacco box, though he never smelled from it. Befor ‘Kol Nidrei’ erev Yom Kippur, his son hrh"k of Czchów as child was in a very dangerous state. The daughter of the Divrei Chaim requested her father to pray for the child but the Divrei Chaim exclaimed who can think of these things in such a high moment. The daughter did not give up until her father relented and said: ‘lay the tobacco box on the child and he will yet live a long life and bring forth salvations.
Hrh"k of Czchów recovered from his sickness he safeguarded all his life this exclusive tobacco case, and he cured many sick people, as he instructed to put this case on the body of the sick or women in childbirth. One day the exclusive tobacco case disappeared from his house! They searched in every place, but could not find it this caused him much anguish, and he discussed his distress with his brother Hrh"k of Shinova. Hrh"k told him "The son of our father does not need to rely on this tobacco case, it is in his power to bring forth salvation even without".
On the subject of repentance,
Hrh"k of Czchów inspired a youth who went astray with the tobacco case: It is told, that when Hrh"k of Czchów was in one of the villages in Hungary, someone came to him crying bitterly about his son that went astray, became a maskil (educated student) and disregarded the Torah and its commandments, not even keeping Shabbat and the like. Hrh"k advised him to see to bring his son to him, and then he will see what he can do. When the son arrived home his father asked him to come with him this one time to the Bet Hakneset. The son agreed to his request and went with his father. When at the Bet Hakneset the father showed to Hrh"k of Czchów his son, when Hrh"k saw him he ran towards him and offered him to smell from his tobacco case. It seems that for the honor of the Sage and his father he did not decline and took a pinch with his fingers and smelled the tobacco. And so it was after he smelled just a bit the good smell of the tobacco he changed and became a different person and feelings of remorse overcame him until he requested for his Tefilin that his father bought for him by his Bar Mitzva to be brought to him, which he has not put on for a very long time. From that day he fully repented and became a complete Baal Teshuva and a proper Jew.
A special tobacco case from
Hrh"k Rabbi Mordechei of Nasciz was in the posession of Hrh"k the
"Ahavas Yisrael of Viznitz", laying before him during the prayers on Yamim Noraim. Also by his son Hrh"k the
"Imrei Chaim of Viznitz" the tobacco case laid before him during all the prayers on the Yamim Noraim and from time to time he smelled from it. The Avavas Yisrael said: "I smell the case more than the tobacco…"