There are many stories about him, but I chose one about us. Forty-nine years ago, today, Rabbi Aryeh Levin passed away, the man who was called “The Jerusalemite Tzadik”, “The Prisoners’ Rabbi” and was a one-man _chessed_ operation. We can write a lot about the warm, wise attention that he knew how to give to everyone – from the Prime Minister to the street beggar. He also managed to give hope to the prisoners in prison, to sick people in bad condition, and actually to everyone who came into contact with him. But here is a story of a totally different kind that the author Chaim Be’er once related:

“Once, when I was a child in Jerusalem, I couldn’t restrain myself and asked him: ‘Is it true that you are one of the Lamed-Vav (36) Tzadikim?’
Indeed, according to tradition, the world exists thanks to 36 Tzadikim, Lamed-Vav hidden Tzadikim, who are in every generation. R’ Aryeh seemed to me to be surely one of them. But he smiled and replied with one word: ‘Sometimes’. What a true, wonderful answer. He actually told me then that this is not a life time job or position, but a changing one. The world exists thanks to the Lamed-Vav tzadikim, and every time you get out of yourself and do something worthy, something good, you are considered to be one of them, and then you give your place to someone else after you who does something worthy.”

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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