3 Adar | March 1| Issue 650
"In Sorrow: It was the glory and splendor of Torah aristocracy fused with the purity and power of the masters of Kabbalah. Rav Yaakov Edelstein, one of the six founding talmidim of Ponevezh, would become a close talmud of the Chazon Ish, yet when his mentor passed away, Rav Yaakov, in search of a rabbi, ended up in the humble Tel Aviv apartment of the mysterious *“Sandlar,” a humble shoemaker who attracted a diverse following of elite Torah scholars from among the yeshivah chassidic worlds.
"Rav Yaakov would succeed his father as rav of Ramat HaSharon, leading the community while also presiding over a kehillah in Bnei Brak, traveling between two worlds with ease. In recent years, the Rav drew a steady stream of people in search of blessing, offering words of advice and chizuk along with more mystical solutions as well… Over the past year, Rav Edelstein was ill and only able to communicate via handwritten notes. The Rav offered his last words, a note penned just an hour before his petirah:
“It is a difficult time," he wrote. “Study the last page of Maseches Makkos in depth… may Hashem help that the danger passes.”
Talmidim explain that the message –
the final gemara in Maseches Makkos, which tells of how the chachamim cried when witnessing a fox emerging from the Holy of Holies, yet Rabi Akiva laughed, seeing the tragedy as the beginning realization of a prophecy of ultimate redemption – is reflective of their rabbi's steady avodah, finding the rachamim in what appears to be din.”
Toldos Aharon Rebbe Visits Rav Shalom Shmueli “Hasandlar” Matzav (first viewed on yeranenyaakov). The “shoemaker,” a noted mekubal, is the father of mekubal Rav Benayahu Shmueli. During their conversation, the Rebbe and his host shared blessings for a kesivah vachasimah tovah and exchanged words of Torah. "The Rebbe, who has a mysterious connection with the shoemaker – who is the father of mekubal Rav Benayahu Shmueli – from the time he learned under the mekubal Rav Mordechai Sharabi."
*WIKIPEDIA: Johanan HaSandlar (lit. "Johanan the Shoemaker" or "Johanan the Sandalmaker", alternatively "Johanan the Alexandrian") (Hebrew: יוחנן הסנדלר) (c. 100 CE – c. 150 CE) was one of the main students of Rabbi Akiva and a contemporary of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. He is one of the tannaim whose teachings are quoted in the Mishnah. The name "HaSandlar" may imply that Rabbi Yohanan earned his living as a shoemaker, but it could also indicate that he was a native of Alexandria, Egypt. Rabbi Yochanan was a great-grandson of Rabbi Gamaliel the Elder; he also purportedly traced his ancestry back to King David. Rashi, the great medieval commentator, was a 33rd-generation descendant of Rabbi Yochanan. He is well known for his saying in the Mishnah of Pirkei Avoth (4:14): "Every assembly that is for the sake of Heaven will survive; but if it is not for the sake of Heaven, it will not survive.” He died on the 29th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz (the same yahrzeit as that of Rashi), and was buried 200 meters from the tomb of Shimon bar Yochai in Meron, now located in Israel.
*Rabbi Yohanan Hasandlar was a fourth generation Tana and one of the main students of Rabbi Akiva. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt.