A couple once sought a blessing from Rabbi David-Moshe of Chortkov: unfortunately they had lost several infants shortly after birth, and now that she was pregnant again, wanted to secure a blessing for the longevity of the next child. The Rebbe told them that when the next child was born it should be given the name of a person from that week's Torah Reading and it would survive.

They were blessed with a girl in the week in which parashat Naso is read, a portion notable replete with names of men, but none of women! The father approached the local rabbi for advice, and was told to name his daughter after the mother of Shimshon (Samson), featured in the Haftora, whose name is known through rabbinic tradition to have been Tzlelponis (Baba Basra 91a. See also: I Chronicles 4:3)

Some time later they traveled to the Chortkover to inform him of the good news. When they told him the baby's name, he told them that Maharshal** says that the name Tzlelponis is auspicious for counteracting evil spiritual forces. While the Rebbe had not chosen the child's actual name, through following his advice the couple had selected one that was most appropriate to protect her.

Approximately a century later, in the 1990’s, the Pshevorsker Rebbe, R' Yaakov Leizer of Antwerp, was about to deliver a Torah thought at his tish [extended table] on the Friday night of parashat Naso, when he suddenly found himself speechless; he had forgotten what he had prepared to say! He did not wish to leave the meal without telling his audience something, and so cast about for an appropriate story. All at once the above story came to mind, which he repeated to the chasidim present.

Later that night one of his chasidim came to him in a frantic state, asking urgently for the Rebbe's bracha. His daughter, due to be married shortly, had fallen and been seriously injured; she was in a coma.

R' Yankel wondered why that night had been the first time he had ever forgotten his prepared remarks; perhaps it was Divinely ordained that he recall that story so that he should remember that the name Tzlelponis is a good omen for abolishing evil.

Turning to the distraught father, he instructed him to add the name Tzlelponis to his daughter's name. The man did so on the following morning, and his daughter immediately recovered.

Editor's note:

** Rabbi Shlomo Luria, author of Chochmas Shlomo, Magenei Shlomo, and other important works (and also an uncle of the holy Ari of Tsfat).

Adapted from "Gut Voch " (Mesorah) by Avrohom Barash

Biographical note:
Rabbi David-Moshe Friedman (20 Cheshvan 1828-21 Tishrei1903), the first Chortkover Rebbe, was the fifth of the holy six sons of the famed Rabbi Yisrael of Rhyzhin (1797-1850). After the death of his father, he attracted a large following. He is the author of Divrei Dovid.

Reb Yaakov Leizer (6 Tevet 1907 - 27 Cheshvan 1998) became the second Pshevorsker Rebbe in 1976. Like his father-in-law and founder of the dynasty, Rabbi Moshe Yitzchak Gevirzman, great-grandson of the Rebbe Elimelech, "Reb Yankele" did not seek to open a network of institutions. Even so, specially chartered planes would bring hundreds of chasidim to Antwerp for every Yom Tov and occasion. Among the visitors were often those who had come seeking salvation of one type or another. Hundreds of stories abound about his Divine inspiration and the miracles that he performed. His only son, Rabbi Leibish Leizer, is the current Pshevorsker Rebbe.

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