Reb Sender [died] while he was still a young man. His son Reb Moshe was still a little boy, and he was raised in the home of his grandfather Reb Hirsh. Therefore, he was called "Reb Moshe Reb Hirsh's."
Reb Moshe married a woman of high pedigree, Leah Golda the daughter of Reb Binyamin Broida, a grandson of Reb Avraham Broida, author of Eishel Avraham. She was a very prominent woman, and G-d had favored her with a highly astute intellect. Her powerful wisdom, profound understanding, and great piety would be considered wondrous even among men, and all the more so among women. She possessed exceedingly good character traits, and she was especially careful to avoid anger.
My great-aunt Gittel related that her grandchildren once decided to test her character, to see if they could anger her. Since she was very G-d-fearing, they decided to invent the story that something not kosher had been prepared in her kitchen. Thus, they would test her.
They told her that the cook was not careful about placing clean fleishig dishes next to the milchig ones. She was very shocked at hearing this story, but she said nothing. She immediately rose and went to the cook's home. When she arrived there, she did not get angry or yell. Instead, she began to speak in a pleading tone, "Sterkele, my daughter, what's the matter with you? It seems you have made a mistake, and you mixed up the dishes. But we are all only human; such things happen. Now, tell me the truth."
The cook had no idea what she was talking about, for in fact nothing had happened. Thus, it was obvious that one could not get her angry.
The saintly Reb Moshe and his wife, the kindly Rebbetzin, had four sons. The fourth son was the saintly chassid Reb Aharon, father of my grandmother the Rebbetzin. As previously mentioned, Reb Aharon ben Moshe was born in the year 5569. He was brought up in his father's home, in affluence. He possessed great Torah scholarship, outstanding intellectual faculties, and wonderful skill in handiwork.
My saintly grandmother the Rebbetzin told me that before the fire she still had in her possession a panel of wood that Reb Moshe had given as a gift to my grandfather, the Rebbe Maharash. [Reb Moshe] had discovered it among the objects that had been hand-crafted by his son Reb Aharon. Reb Aharon had also been a very talented engraver. She told me that she was sure she had one stone engraving of his remaining somewhere in her possession. All his other handiworks had perished in the fire.
Reb Aharon was distinguished by his great diligence in Torah studies. Besides the lofty faculties he possessed, his diligence was outstanding. His manner of investigating a subject was also wonderful. But above all, he was very careful with the use he made of his time. Even when exhausted from his hard toil in his studies, he would not permit himself to sleep or to rest; instead, he would work at his handicrafts. He slept very little; even while eating, he would read a sefer containing subject matter that did not require much intellectual effort, such as Ein Yaakov or Midrash. He also loved mussar seforim. About worldly subjects, he spoke as little as possible.
He possessed a cheerful nature and would severely reprimand those who complained about their personal situation. He was also wonderful at comforting anyone who was bitter at heart; he was able to point out the beneficial features of any kind of suffering. Reb Aharon was also a great master of humility.
My saintly great-grandfather the Tzemach Tzedek related to my saintly grandfather the Rebbe Maharash that whenever they would study together or converse about some novel insight in the revealed Torah - if someone posed a question when it was Reb Aharon's turn to supply the answer - he would always say, "Perhaps we might possibly answer the question as follows...; but this is only a suggestion."
He would supply a brilliant analysis, but he always presented it as merely a possible suggestion. And if they rejected his analysis, he would not insist too strongly. He always acknowledged the truth and paid as much attention to discussing someone else's analysis in as great depth as he would his own.
When he was seventeen years old - in the year 5586 - the Mitteler Rebbe took him as a husband for his daughter, Rebbetzin Sarah. She was about fifteen years old at the time, having been born in [her father's] old age.
- (Back to text) [See entry in the Glossary.]
- (Back to text) Sister of my grandmother the Rebbetzin.
- (Back to text) ["Sterkele" is a familiar form of the name] Sterna, which was the cook's name.
- (Back to text) See the entry in my diary for 25 Menachem Av of this year, where I recorded six stories about her that I heard from my great-aunt [translated infra, in Supplement B.]
- (Back to text) Of the year 5616 [see infra, Ch. 8 of this supplement.]
- (Back to text) As noted earlier, these were praised by the Tzemach Tzedek.
- (Back to text) He seems to have inherited this talent from his mother, the wise Rebbetzin Leah Golda, who possessed the same nature. Apparently, she instilled this wondrous talent into her children during their upbringing.
- (Back to text) My grandmother the Rebbetzin reported to me that the Rebbe Maharash had told her this.