About R' Uri, Strelisker Gaon, the Seraph from Strelisk, אורי מסטרעליסק
R. Uri ben Pinchas of Strelisk (ha-Seraf, 1757-1826) was a student of the Baal Shem Tov and knew such Hasidic luminaries as R. Jacob Joseph of Ostrog, R. Pinhas of Koretz, and R. Zusya of Annopol, but was most close to R. Solomon of Karlin.
Earlier members of the family with the same surname - Strelisker descend from the daughter of Saul Wahl Katzenellenbogen's son, Feiwel. Feiwel's daughter married into the Strelisker rabbinical family.
Wunder, Me'orei Galicia, vol.1 p.709 & vol.2 p.364 (Horshovsky) & p.995 (Zilberstein).
Neil Rosenstein, [ http://www.tali.com/neilr/ The Unbroken Chain, vol.1 p491]
After the murder of the R. Solomon in 1792, R. Uri became rebbe in Lvov and later settled in Strelisk.
Most of his Hasidim were poor. When asked why this was so, R. Uri responded that they did not pray for wealth, but that they should be blessed with true faith and fervor. He disdained fame and is known to have said that it is better for a person to jump into the heat of a fiery furnace than to become famous.
Due to his different facial expressions, depending upon what he was doing, R.Uri was known as ha-Seraf (a heavenly being) for the six winged creatures who sing praises to the Lord (Isaiah 6:2) His wife, Rebbetzin Blima Strelisker (Hager) was the sister of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hager, founding Viznitzer Rebbe, author of Tzemach Tzaddik. He was the son-in-law of Rabbi Israel of Ruzhin, and a scion of the Kosover Dynasty. The Vizhnitz dynasty is a branch of the old Kosover dynasty,
Imrei Kodesh אמרי קודש Hasidic discourses of R. Uri of Strelisk (ha-Seraf) recorded by his disciple R. Zeev Wolf. Not only is Imrei Kodesh valuable in its own right as a important Hasidic work by a renowned zaddik, but it also includes remarks from and insights concerning other contemporary Hasidic admorim.
An example is that of R. Mordecai of Neskhiz, a zaddik, founder of the Neskhiz dynasty, and one of the most famous "miracle-workers" of his time. It is reported in Imrei Kodesh that R. Mordecai of Neskhiz “was familiar with the mysteries of creation... and wrought many miracles but he regretted his actions.”
Paragraph 2 מהרב ... רבי אורי מסטרעליסק זלה"ה והועתק אות באות מכ"י הנמצא תחת יד ... ר' זאב וואלף מלבוב זלה"ה שהיה תלמידו וכתב בעצמו כל דבור ודבור ששמע מפיו הקדוש. בדף האחרון: אזהרות הקודש ... הרב ר' אהרן קארלינר זצ"ל. Reference Description BE alef 2210; EJ; Rabbinowicz, Encyc. of Hasidism, p. 472; CD-EPI 0108326
Rav Uri of Strelisk (d. 1826) http://www.pardes.org.il/online_learning/weekly-talmud/2006-04-20.php
One of the saintly hassidic masters, Rav Uri of Strelisk (d. 1826) offered a creative reading of Rabbi Akiva's two prayer settings. Rav Uri, who was opposed to the hassidic wonder-workers of his day, was known for his ecstatic mode of prayer and this may have been the reason he was known by the name Rav Uri the Seraph. In fact, every day upon departing for the synagogue, Rav Uri would bid his family farewell, lest he die of ecstasy during his zealous and devout prayers.
A notable aspect of Rav Uri's conduct in the synagogue also highlights the advantage of communal prayer. It is reported that the master would pray at the back of the synagogue so that as he ascended through supernal worlds he would virtually embrace the entire congregation standing before him. Thus Rav Uri would take those present in the synagogue on a spiritual journey to the Divine. Rav Uri felt that had he stood at the front of the synagogue - as many leaders do - those present would be relegated to grasping his coat tails in a bid to benefit from the hassidic master's powerful ability to commune with God. In this account another beneficial facet of communal prayer is underlined.
Rav Uri once arrived at a certain village and, as was his custom, he prayed with vivid excitement and fervor. The local rabbi, spying Rav Uri's lengthy prayers, approached the hassidic master at the conclusion of the service and respectfully inquired: "Is the master not concerned about placing a burden upon the congregation as they wait for the completion of your lengthy service?" The rabbi continued, citing our talmudic passage as a support for his query: "Even Rabbi Akiva would be brief, shortening his prayers so as not to inconvenience fellow supplicants!"
Rav Uri replied, presenting a problem with the report of Rabbi Akiva's conduct: "As we know, Rabbi Akiva had 24,000 disciples (B. Yevamot 62b). Surely, amongst the myriads of students, he could find a quorum of 10 who would be prepared to patiently and uncomplainingly pray with the sage and would not feel saddled by their teacher's protracted supplications! Why then did Rabbi Akiva feel the need to shorten his prayers?"
Rav Uri continued, answering the question he had posed: "Rabbi Akiva was not coerced by the congregation into cutting the length of his prayers; rather, he did not feel the need to draw out his supplications when he prayed with the community. Praying with those around him, however, was not just a matter of having others present during the service. When the congregation would pray with Rabbi Akiva - not just in the flesh, but emotionally and spiritually - lengthy individual supplications were deemed unnecessary, for communal requests are instantly received."
Turning to Rabbi Akiva's other prayer scenario, Rav Uri continued: "Despite physically standing with other people, Rabbi Akiva at times prayed unaccompanied, a lone voice of concentration and devotion, isolated from those surrounding him. In such instances, Rabbi Akiva was burdened with the task of raising the prayers of those around him and was, therefore, forced to prolong his supplications."
Thus praying with the congregation not only serves the ancillary goal of binding individuals into a community, it also serves the principal aspiration of the service by making the prayers more efficacious.
-------------------- Rav Uri, the Seraph of Strelisk, He is the author of Imrei Kodesh. (1826).
He is a disciple of Rav Shlomo of Karlin and of Rav Mordechai of Neshchiz, and he was the brother-in-law of Rav Menachem Mendel of Kosov.
His main disciple was Rav Yehuda Zvi Hirsch, the first of the Stretyn dynasty.
His year of Hilula is 1826 which is 5586 - תקפו in the Hebrew Calendar. The Year of His Hilula has the essence of "His assault or His attack.
R. Jakob Kopel was one of the first followers of Baal Shem Tov. Although a great scholar in Talmud and Kabbalah, he didn't want to be a rabbi and earned his living as a merchant. He died on 15 Elul 547 (1787) and left two sons, R. Yizchak of Kolomea and R. Menachem Mendel of Kossov and a daughter, Blima who was married to the famous Tzadik, Uri Strelisker --------------------- Books mentioning R' Uri the Seraph of Strelisk.
The Bridal Canopy, by Shmuel Yosef Agnon page 53
"A World Apart: a memoir of Jewish life in nineteenth century Galicia." by Joseph Margoshes, Ira Robinson, and Rebecca Margolis. Page 49 ….the world-renowned Hassidic rebbe, Rabbi Uri Strelisker, or "Der Saraf:, the Seraph.
Understanding Jewish mysticism: by David R. Blumenthal page 91 Rabbi Uri, the Seraph, of Strelisk
-------------------- Rabbi Yehuda Tzvi Langner - stories of the Admor of Strzeliska
The following are a few of these stories: The Holy Rebbe, Rabbi Shmelke of Nickelsburg, of blessed memory, went on a trip for a worthy cause, and by Shabbos he had gotten as far as the town of Zawalow. The Holy Rabbi Shmuel Zanvill, of blessed memory, the chief rabbi of Zawalow, received him in keeping with his exalted stature, but the people of the town did not. When the Holy Rebbe Shmelke decided to leave, he called the chief rabbi and said to him, “Tell me what blessing you would like.”
And the rabbi asked to be blessed with a son who will be a tzaddik and a Gaon like the Rebbe, and indeed, there was a son born who filled the house with light, later to become the Holy Rabbi, Yehuda Zvi of Stratyn, of blessed memory, student of the Holy Rabbi of Ui, of blessed memory. Now we know the origin of our teacher, the first Rabbi of Stratyn, Rabbi Yehuda Zvi, who he was and whose son he was.
Our tale begins when he was still a young man, and the people of Stratyn were in need of a rabbi. “They sent a committee to the town of Zawalow to request of the rabbi, the father of Rabbi Yehuda, to permit his son to become the rabbi of their town, but the young man was not willing to accept this position. He was, however, willing to be the town shochet (ritual slaughterer) and returned with them in this capacity.
It soon became known in Stratyn that chickens run after him to be slaughtered, while cattle crouch down and extend their necks to be slaughtered. In one instance there was an ox that was very wild and gored anyone who came close to him. This ox escaped from his owner, and no one was able to catch him. People therefore advised the owner to have this ox slaughtered by the new shochet of the town, and when the shochet appeared with his slaughtering knife, the ox immediately crouched down and extended his neck to be slaughtered.
The Rabbi of Strzeliska once said, “When Mashiach ben David arrives and all of the tzaddikim come out to receive him, the Baal Shem Tov with his students and the Holy Magid, the Rebbe Reb Ber, with his students, I shall come with my student, Reb Yehuda Zvi, and I will have nothing to be ashamed of.”
It is related that after the demise of the holy Stratyner, of blessed memory, a number of Hasidim came to the Ruzhiner to spend Shabbos. After Shabbos the Ruzhiner said, “It is no great marvel that these Hasidim behave as they do having had such a rebbe, but it is also no great marvel that their rebbe was as elevated as he was, having Hasidim of this stature. And when the Holy Ruzhiner used to refer to the Stratyner, he would call him “my heartfelt friend.”
Once when the Holy Ruzhiner met with the Holy Reb Yehuda Zvi, they sat facing each other while important people stood behind them, and the Holy Ruzhiner ordered them to leave the room permitting no one else to hear what was being said. When the Holy Reb Yehuda Zvi returned to his lodgings, the Holy Ruzhiner sent him one of the tefillin straps of his arm, while Reb Yehuda Zvi sent the Ruzhiner the tefillin strap of his arm.
One time on learning that there was a Hasid from Stratyn travelling to the Admor of Lublin, he sent a kvitel and a pidyon nefesh[Tr8] with him. When the Hasid arrived in Lublin and delivered the kvitel, the Lubliner said, “He shines, he shines all over the world. Tell him in my name to immediately stop being a shochet. Thousands of Jews are waiting impatiently for his prayers to help them in their spiritual elevation, and there is one celestial hall where the prayers of a shochet are not permitted. When you return home, tell him in my name that I order him to stop being a shochet.” When the Hasid returned, he passed this message on to Rabbi Yehuda Zvi, and this is how he eventually became the Stratyner Rebbe.
“It is well known that Rabbi Yehuda Zvi had a book of remedies and cures, and many times he literally saved people's lives through these remedies, but what is not so clear is where he obtained this information. Some say that he obtained it from his holy teacher, the Admor of Strzeliska, of blessed memory, who in turn learned it from his rebbe, Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin, of blessed memory, and the Holy Rabbi of Strzeliska said to him, “I never wanted to make use of them for private reasons of my own, but you have my permission to make use of this book.”
-------------------- Rabbi Uri of Strelisk - Ha-Saraf (the burning angel) Chassidic leader and the foremost student of the famous Chassidic rabbi, Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin. (1826) Rabbi Uri was famous for his style of prayer, full of fire, extraordinary fervor and enthusiasm. Tens of thousands of Jews visited his minyan, and joined him in prayer. His personnel style of prayer awakened them to do repentance and good deeds. Every day before going to pray Rabbi Uri would bid farewell to his household, in case his soul would leave his body while praying in his usual ecstatic style. He would also tell them that the manuscripts in the drawer are not his own, but belong to his teacher Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin. R' Uri taught his chassidic followers to work on their hearts and cancel any kind of lust for money. It is said that there was not even one wealthy Jew among the Strelisk Chassidim, and R' Uri himself leaved in extreme poverty. Rabbi Uri's foremost student was Rabbi Yehuda Tzvi of Stretin. The bond of love between them was considered to be extraordinary. Rabbi Yehuda Tzvi became a prominent chassidic leader (a man of wonders and miracles) after R' Uri's departure. Rabbi Shalom, who later became known as 'HaSaar Shalom', founder of the Belz Chassidic dynasty, once visited Rabbi Uri. Rabbi Shalom had a habit of making unusual movements and outcries while praying. As he sat at Rabbi Uri's tisch (ceremonial, public meal), he made such a movement and cried out, "Oy, Tatte!"-- "Oh, Father in heaven!." The Strelisker gave a roar, as was his custom, and yelled out in Aramaic, "And maybe He is not your father? "Rabbi Shalom understood that Rabbi Uri still had lessons to teach him to assist him in his spiritual growth. And so he remained in Strelisk for an entire year." The Four Courts of Heaven Rabbi Uri of Sterlisk made the following statement two days before his death. "There are four separate courts in heaven - a Sanhedrin of 71, a smaller Sanhedrin of 23, a heavenly Beit Din and an earthly one. The great Reb Michel of Zolotzhov served in one of these batei din but since he was so punctilious and strict in the laws of the brit, he was promoted to the greater Sanhedrin. He left a vacant place in the beit din which awaits a tzaddik to occupy it." People who heard his words did not dream that he was foretelling his own imminent death. But two days later, on the 23rd day of Elul, Rabbi Uri returned his soul to his Creator. (Admorei Belz) Rabbi Uri once said : "Who ever said that one must pray with a whole heart? Perhaps it is preferable to pray with a broken heart." The spiritual discourses of Rabbi Uri were all written down in the book Imrei Kadosh , by his student Rabbi Zev Shinblum of Lebov.
When Reb Uri of Strelisk would complete his holiday prayers he would tell his community, “We have just completed, chetzyo lachem, (the physical half of the day). Now that we are going to eat our holiday meal we will fulfill the chetzyo lahashem, (the half of the day that must be given to God).” R. Uri’s body had been transformed, after all the years of battling his urges, he experienced prayer as a sensory pleasure. To him, eating was difficult and was an obligation performed solely because Jewish law demands food ingestion on the holiday. That is why in his holiday experience the prayers were the physical enjoyment while eating was the spiritual duty.
http://books.google.com/books?id=y2z_fSGHHw8C&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=rabbils+from+strelisk&source=bl&ots=HvnuCXUxuK&sig=q3f8x0Teya6pxCbdpihXFfyZzgI&hl=en&ei=aYmVTJKjKcH48Abh_LyRDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBUQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q&f=false Understanding Jewish Mysticism, A Hasidic Tradition by, David R. Blumenthal - P.91 "Rabbi Uri the Seraph"
When the Strelisker Rebbe (a great Hassidic rabbi) passed away, his children came before the Rhiziner Rebbe (also, a great Hassidic rabbi). He asked them, 'What was the most important thing to your father?
' They said to him, 'To him, what to do right now was most important.' Most people have the general idea: life is all planned out for them forever. But when it comes to the moment they have no idea what do to.
Those are the words of the wise rabbi.
R' Uri Strelisker, The Strelisker Rebbe's Timeline