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New York - Documentary On The Noam Elimelech Brings Origins Of Chasidus Into 21st Century

Published on: March 3, 2013 11:28 AM
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New York - As thousands flock to Poland for today’s yahrtzeit of R’ Elimelech of Lizhensk, a new film by master storyteller Hanoch Teller offers a glimpse into the life of a leader so revered that countless followers continue to make the annual trek to his gravesite in the dead of Poland’s frigid winter, 226 years after his death.

Titled “Reb Elimelech and the Chassidic Legacy of Brotherhood”, the seventy four minute documentary delves into the life of R’ Elimelech Weisblum, better known as R’ Elimelech of Lizhensk and gives the viewer a glimpse into the early foundations of today’s chasidic movement.

“If not for the holocaust, the period prior to the Baal Shem Tov was perhaps the most horrific period of anti-semitism ever,” Rabbi Teller told VIN News.  “There were blood libels, taxes, wars and with every war, they blamed the Jewish people.  The Baal Shem Tov came along and gave people hope, a reason to live and a message of love for one another.  As time went on, the young chasidic movement embraced the charismatic R’ Elimelech as its leader and as someone who spent time in a self imposed golus wandering from place to place, he was able to share his message with the people.”

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While R’ Elimelech’s message was warmly welcomed by many, there were those who felt that the time had come to stop the chasidic movement in its tracks and attempted to discredit R’ Elimelech and the fledgling movement he was spearheading.

“R’ Elimlech refused to give into them or to confront these misnagdim in anyway,” explained Rabbi Teller.  “The now famous words of his tefila ‘Aderaba’, were an inspiration, urging everyone to see the good and never the bad and that message was an unstoppable force that appealed to me and explained the pull of R’ Elimelech to the many people who continue to flock to his gravesite.”

The film includes appearances by Rabbi Abraham Twerski, Rabbi Berel Wein, Rabbi Moshe Weinberger, Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, Rabbi David Gottlieb and singers Abish Brodt and Avraham Fried.  Featuring rare archival material, state of the art graphics and full orchestration with music that Rabbi Teller describes as “hauntingly beautiful” the film brings R’ Elimelech’s message into our own frame of reference as it intersperses the messages of ahavas yisroel with footage of some of today’s best known organizations including Camp HASC, Yad Eliezer, Hatzala and Camp Simcha.

“The ahavas yisroel that we see today dovetails with the messages of the Baal Shem Tov,” said Rabbi Teller. “I was in America the week after Hurricane Sandy and there was such a tremendous outpouring of ahavas yisroel, so many people who wanted to help others.  We see so many examples of bikur cholim, hachnassas kallah, a clear demonstration that the legacy of chasidus is alive and well.”

Reb Elimelech and the Chassidic Legacy of Brotherhood was filmed last summer in Minnesota and has been screened in numerous locations around the world including Jerusalem, Manchester and various locations in the United States.  Screenings of the film, which is not being made available for sale, can be arranged with Rabbi Teller at www.hanochteller.com and should scheduling permit, Rabbi Teller will personally come to the screening to introduce the film at no charge.

Several viewings are being held this week in honor of R’ Elimelech’s yahrtzeit on the 21st of Adar including March 3rd at 8 PM at the Young Israel of Midwood, March4th at 4:30 PM at Yeshiva Ateres Shmuel in Waterbury, Connecticut, March 5th at 8 PM at Bais Yaakov High School in Toronto, March 6th in Miami at Yeshiva Toras Chaim at 8 PM and two screenings on March 10th at the Cincinnati Hebrew Day School at 12 noon and at the Kanner Hall in Los Angeles at 7:00 PM.

Rabbi Teller reports enthusiastic response from audiences who have seen the film.

“We had 180 people in Minneapolis who had no connection with religious Judaism dancing in the aisles as they watched the film.  In Dunwoody, Georgia we had people singing the song Aderaba with their southern accents.  And after a small viewing of eight to ten people in another area, every person who saw the film said that before their car keys were in the ignition they had already resolved to do more to help others.”


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1

 Mar 03, 2013 at 03:52 PM Anonymous Says:

It is so obvious that Henoch Teller is neither a chosid nor did his homework about the subject he is writing about.
1. In Europe before the war, and any chassidiser yid always referred to the "Rebbe R' Elimeilech". Never simply calling him R' . There was a tremendous reverance that was given to him by addressing his name with the additional title of "Rebbe" before his name. No European yid would know who you are speaking of otherwise. You will say, "get off it" what differance does it make? You are 100% right. But in the context of writing about this person and doing research - call him by his name.

2. When wanting to bring the Rebbe R' Elimeilech's chassidus into the 21st century, there was no one to interview but Rav Ehrentrau, Gottlieb, Weinberger, who are each great ehrliche, wonderful leaders in our community, but what have they with Chassidus of yesteryear? Yes we understand the ahavas yisroel to everyone and for all segments of judism. This is like speaking to Godol Hador Rav Steineman or Rav Shach and asking them about the gadlus of the Baal Shem!

2

 Mar 03, 2013 at 04:52 PM eluzer Says:

there is hundreds of r r elimalichs einiklich pious yiden and 1000's who learn his books weekly and adhere to his teachings. so what's the point with a treif movie?

3

 Mar 03, 2013 at 06:05 PM Yid Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

It is so obvious that Henoch Teller is neither a chosid nor did his homework about the subject he is writing about.
1. In Europe before the war, and any chassidiser yid always referred to the "Rebbe R' Elimeilech". Never simply calling him R' . There was a tremendous reverance that was given to him by addressing his name with the additional title of "Rebbe" before his name. No European yid would know who you are speaking of otherwise. You will say, "get off it" what differance does it make? You are 100% right. But in the context of writing about this person and doing research - call him by his name.

2. When wanting to bring the Rebbe R' Elimeilech's chassidus into the 21st century, there was no one to interview but Rav Ehrentrau, Gottlieb, Weinberger, who are each great ehrliche, wonderful leaders in our community, but what have they with Chassidus of yesteryear? Yes we understand the ahavas yisroel to everyone and for all segments of judism. This is like speaking to Godol Hador Rav Steineman or Rav Shach and asking them about the gadlus of the Baal Shem!

Because this is a historical documentry, and u need credible scholars.

4

 Mar 03, 2013 at 08:20 PM Pinchos Says:

Henoch Teller is excellent at his craft, however he is neither a scholar in this particular area or an adherent of Chassidus.
It seems to me driven by opportunism.

5

 Mar 03, 2013 at 08:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

It is so obvious that Henoch Teller is neither a chosid nor did his homework about the subject he is writing about.
1. In Europe before the war, and any chassidiser yid always referred to the "Rebbe R' Elimeilech". Never simply calling him R' . There was a tremendous reverance that was given to him by addressing his name with the additional title of "Rebbe" before his name. No European yid would know who you are speaking of otherwise. You will say, "get off it" what differance does it make? You are 100% right. But in the context of writing about this person and doing research - call him by his name.

2. When wanting to bring the Rebbe R' Elimeilech's chassidus into the 21st century, there was no one to interview but Rav Ehrentrau, Gottlieb, Weinberger, who are each great ehrliche, wonderful leaders in our community, but what have they with Chassidus of yesteryear? Yes we understand the ahavas yisroel to everyone and for all segments of judism. This is like speaking to Godol Hador Rav Steineman or Rav Shach and asking them about the gadlus of the Baal Shem!

The rabbonim u mentioned are chassidish

6

 Mar 03, 2013 at 09:24 PM oiber-chacham Says:

Reply to #2  
eluzer Says:

there is hundreds of r r elimalichs einiklich pious yiden and 1000's who learn his books weekly and adhere to his teachings. so what's the point with a treif movie?

and whats the point in making idiotic comments on the TREIF internet,which is a thousand times more TREIF than any movie,your name fits you perfectly, you are a loozer.
CH.S

7

 Mar 04, 2013 at 07:23 AM Sarak Says:

My thoughts:

This movie is not for the chassidum as they know all there is to know on this topic (or so they think) nor do most of them have the ability to watch this.

So to get this info to the non chassidum you must feature in the movie people that are more mainstream.

Looking forward seeing this on DVD and even on PBS

8

 Mar 04, 2013 at 03:22 PM eluh Says:

Reply to #6  
oiber-chacham Says:

and whats the point in making idiotic comments on the TREIF internet,which is a thousand times more TREIF than any movie,your name fits you perfectly, you are a loozer.
CH.S

yes indeed ober chacam !

9

 Mar 04, 2013 at 03:33 PM fresser #1 Says:

good movie to eat 'pop corn' with butter while learning chasidus.

10

 Jan 01, 2014 at 06:54 PM Anonymouss Says:

R Elimelech wrote Aderaba because of amachlokes with one if HIS talmidim NOT the misnagdim- he never wanted friction and he therefore wrote ADERABA. It is a Tfila said at his Ohel before beginning tfilos there.

11

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