NEW YORK (VINnews) — When R’ Shaya Rosenblum, was newly married he lived in a border city in Hungary. At that time, the Divrei Chaim’s son, Rav Shalom Leizer of Ratzfert, used to go around from city to city collecting money for his large charity projects, as his father the Divrei Chaim had before him. When R’ Shaya heard that the Rebbe was in his city he begged him to come stay at his home, telling the Rebbe he would arrange a daily minyan for him in his home with a sefer Torah.
R’ Shaya’s son related the continuation of the story:
“My father told me something remarkable! Every day before he prayed, the Ratzferter Rebbe would stand on the porch for an hour staring at the sky, and when he would come inside to daven Shacharis, his face glowed like the sun out of his deep connection with Hashem, like an all-consuming fire.
“When World War II started, the Ratzferter Rebbe was already in his 80s. My father was sent to Auschwitz, where he worked by the crematoria sorting clothing, and one day he saw the Ratzferter Rebbe getting off the train, and his heart filled with dread.
“Somehow while the Rebbe was waiting in the selection line, my father managed to approach him, and whispered to him: ‘Rebbe, I have to tell you that the Germans are going to say they are sending you to the showers. But you need to know that nobody comes out of those showers alive!’
And the Rebbe said to my father, “Shaya’le, I will promise you Olam Haba, the World to Come, if you bring me half a cup of water.”
“And my father brought the Rebbe some water and he washed his hands, and pronounced the martyr’s blessing, ‘Blessed are you O G-d, King of the World, who commanded us to sanctify your name in public.”
And then he asked my father, “Shayale, please give me back my tzitsis, let me die like a Jew with my tzitsis on.” After putting back on his tzitsis, the Rebbe grabbed my father’s hand and said, ‘Shaya, you will survive the war. You must tell people what happened here!”
And my father told me that then the Ratzferter Rebbe walked into the gas chambers like he walked into Shacharis every morning, his face shining like the sun.”
R’ Shaya tells the story of the Ratzfert Rebbe
It should be noted that another son of the Divrei Chaim, Rabbi Yitzchok Yeshaya of Chechov HyD, was also murdered by the Nazis while wearing a tallis which had belonged to his father.