Rabbi Avraham of Trisk

Son of the tzaddik, Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl. His book 'Magen Avraham' includes guidelines for Yeshiva students.

Died: , 1889

Rabbi Avraham of Trisk (the Maggid of Trisk) was one of eight sons of the tzaddik, Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl.
He was well known for blessing people, blessings which did not go unanswered.

Rabbi Avraham said that his soul came down to this world to correct and fix the Avrechim (Yeshiva students). In his book Magen Avraham he includes many guidelines for Yeshiva students.


  Before he passed away, Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl divided his kingdom among his children and put the Trisker Maggid in charge of the people from the Other Side.

 R' Avraham lived like this. Eight o'clock in the morning he'd get up, go to the mikveh, pray. Two o'clock in the afternoon, he wuld start to yawn. "I'm so tired, I've got to lie down a little bit." He'd go to his room until three, then pray both afternoon and evening prayers. Ten o'clock at night he might start yawning again. "I'm so tired. I've got to go back to my room." The fact of the matter is that the Trisker Maggid never ate and never slept. He also never kept any books in his room, because - as everybody knows - when he closed the door to his room he was dealing with souls from the Other World who needed fixing. People from the Other Side are not able to read Torah. In order to avoid making them feel bad, the Trisker Maggid never permitted books in his room. If he found one, he put it out.

 The Trisker Maggid once came to a village where only one Jew had enough room in his house to accommodate the rebbe and his chasidim. But this man was a mitnaged (opposed to the chassidic movement). He had heard many stories from his fellow mitnagdim and was suspicious of the rumor that the Trisker Maggid never slept and never ate.
"Eating I can believe. He sleeps so much, he doesn't need to eat. But he doesn't even keep a book in his room, so you can't tell me he isn't up there napping!" This wealthy Jew was more than happy to have the Trisker Maggid as his guest, because it would give him a chance to prove what R' Avraham was doing behind closed doors. "He's snoring, I'm sure. While the Trisker Maggid was davening Maariv, the evening prayer, the Jew managed to get into R' Avraham's room and to hide under the bed.

 At ten o'clock, the Trisker Maggid said to his chassidim, "I have to go back to my room." The rich Jew heard R' Avraham come into the chamber and felt him sit down on the bed. No sooner had the chasidim closed the door to give the rebbe a little privacy when it seemed to open again. A crowd pushed their way into the room.
The man could hear the shuffle of feet, the murmuring appeals. During the day, the host had already witnessed the Trisker Maggid's audiences with ten, maybe even thirty people, at a time. But this sounded like thousands. What was happening? Where were all these people coming from? How could there even be a place for them in this little bedroom?

 During the day, people would complain: "Rabbi! I'm sick. Please cure my back." "I need money for my business." "Would you find a wife for my son?" But by night, the people were saying, "Rebbe! I'm so broken! They won't let me into Paradise. They won't let me into Hell. All I can do is wander. Rebbe, please fix my soul." The worst was that the mitnaged heard so many voices in the room. But when he peeked out from underneath the bed, he couldn't see any feet. The Jew was so frightened that he was shaking and had to do his best to keep his teeth from chattering.

 Suddenly, he heard another, different voice cry out: "Rebbe! Have compassion on my tormented neshamah. Fix me! Fix my soul!" "What can I do for you?" the Trisker Maggid asked. "While you were alive, you never bothered to come to me. You didn't even give me one penny tzedakah, one penny for charity, to connect yourself to me. So how can I help you now?" "There must be a way!" The poor soul pleaded with the rebbe, from a place of deep anguish. "Actually, there is one way. Your neighbor, Shmuelik, was one of my top chasids. Shmuelik gave me a great deal of charity during his lifetime. If he were to tell me now that one penny of the riches he gave as tzedakah was for you, then I could find a way to help you." "Shmuelik would do that for me, I'm sure." "Fine! Then I want you to go and ask him!" "How can I do that? He won't believe that I come from you "Then I'll send somebody along to act as your witness."

At this point, the Trisker Maggid gave a strong, swift kick under the bed and said to the Jew: "Come out!" When the Jew realized that the Trisker Maggid was about to send him into the Other World as witness to an exchange between two souls, he began pleading from under the bed. "Please, Rebbe! Don't do this to me! I promise I won't tell anybody what I saw!" "Come out!" The Jew came out, crawling on his stomach. He was crying, screaming, clinging to the rebbe's feet. "Please, Rebbe! You've seen! I have a wife and three children. I don't want to die yet. I'm not ready to die!"

"God forbid you should die. But if you're going to spy on me, you must go as my witness. Take my stick and walk with the soul of this man to the cemetery." The Jew looked around. The greatest nightmare of all was that there was absolutely no one else in the room, only himself and the Trisker Maggid. "Knock on the first grave in the second row and say that Avraham ben Channah orders Shmuel ben Rivkah to give one penny to fix the neshamah of this Jew - Yosele, his neighbor."

(As was heard from the great-great grandson of the man who hid under the bed. It goes without saying that he lived to become a very great Trisker chasid.)

May the merit of the tzaddik Rabbi Avraham of Trisk protect us all, Amen.

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