|When Reb Dov Ber, the Mezeritcher Maggid, was five years old, a fire broke out in his parents' home, destroying the whole house with all its contents. Reb Dov Ber's mother was heartbroken by the fire which had consumed all their possessions, and refused to be comforted. Seeing her tears, her young son asked her in surprise, "Mamma, why are you so upset? All that was lost was a few broken cups and saucers, we didn't own more than that. Did they really mean so much to you?"|
Reb Dov Ber's mother listened to her son's words, and answered him, "No, my son, I am not crying about the loss of our old and dilapidated belongings. It's the loss of our family tree which upsets me so much. Our family is descended from generations of famous Rabbonim and tzaddikim. The tree listed their names all the way back to Dovid Hamelech (King David). It meant a lot to me and now that we have lost it, how can I not weep?"
Reb Dov Ber comforted his mother and told her, "Mamma, don't be upset about the loss of our ancestry. I will start a new family tree, which will replace the one destroyed. Until the coming of Moshiach our family will light up the world with its Torah and kedusha (holiness)!"
The young boy kept his word and grew up to become the famous Maggid of Mezeritch, the talmid (disciple) and successor of the Baal Shem Tov. After the Maggid's petirah he was succeeded by his son Reb Avrohom Hamalach (the "Angel", who was called so due to his great holiness) and he was in turn succeeded by his son Reb Sholom Shachna of Prohibisht, the father of the Ruzhiner. The Ruzhiner and his children and grandchildren proceeded in the ways of their forefathers, becoming a household name among Jews throughout the world.
After the end of the Second World War, it seemed to many as if the glory of the Ruzhiner dynasty had come to an end. Many of the Rebbes together with thousands of their chassidim had been killed, their beautiful shuls and courts lay in ruins.
But today much of the glory has been restored and the name of Ruzhin is to be heard once again. New shuls and yeshivos have been built to replace those which were destroyed, and under the leadership of the Rebbes of Ruzhin shlita, the Ruzhiner community continues to grow from strength to strength until the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our days.