3 Iyar is the yathrzeit of the legendary tzaddik, Reb Shayele Steiner of Kerestir – Reb Yeshaya ben Moshe zy”a, who was known for his unconditional ahavas Yisroel and the amazing power of his berachos. Because he passed away in 5685/1925, there are many people alive today who heard miraculous stories from people that witnessed them firsthand. My friend Reb Bobby Orbach shlita, told me that his mother-in-law, Mrs. Roszie Scharf a”h, lived near Reb Shayele. As a little girl she personally witnessed the famous bag of bilkelech (challah rolls) of Reb Shayeleh, with which he would wondrously feed an unlimited amount of people, until there were no more people left to feed.


The tzaddik was especially known for his hachnasas orchim and making sure that Yidden always had food to eat. He was very concerned for the parnassah of Klal Yisroel. This is alluded to by his name, as ישעיה is equal in gematriya to פרנסה .

There are several Sheimos connected to parnassa that are discussed in seforim: ,פא״י ,סא״ל ,חת״ך and דיקרנוס״א. Together, these Names add up to 1041, the gematriya of רבי ישעיה בן משה ז״ל.

Reb Shayeleh was also known for giving people berachos to save them from non-Jews that wanted to harm them.

This is alluded to by the name he was affectionately known by, ישעי׳לה. This name is equal to תכ״ה, which the Arizal teaches are the letters of a Divine Name that destroys the enemies of Klal Yisroel.

Remazim from Tehillim Yomi

Tehillim Yomi of the third day of the month – the day of Reb Shayeleh’s yahrzeit – contains Laminatzeiach (Ch. 20), which speaks about being saved from suffering and defeating our enemies.

It says עתה ידעתי כי הושיע יקוק משיחו יענהו משמי קדשו בגברות ישע ימינו. This pasuk, which speaks about Hashem saving us from our enemies, can hint to the name ישעיה from the words הושיע ישע. The first letters of יענהו משמי קדשו בגברות are the first letters of ישעיה בן משה קערסטירער. The Malbim writes that this pasuk speaks about Hashem saving us with miracles. This fits in with the derech of Reb Yeshayeleh, who constantly help bring about miraculous salvations.

The yahrzeit is on the 18th day of the Omer, and the first kappitel of the Tehillim Yomi is Tehillim 18, which, unsurprisingly, also contains remazim to this tzaddik that fit in with the message of the pesukim.

It says in pasuk 15: וישלח חציו ויפיצם וברקים רב ויהמם – “He sent forth His arrows and scattered them; a multitude of lightning and He confused them.”

The word ברקים contains the first letters of רבי ישעיה בן משה קערסטירער.

In pasuk 17 it says: ישלח ממרום יקחני ימשני ממים רבים – “He sent from on high and took me; He drew me out of deep waters.” The word רבים contains the first letters of רבי ישעיה בן משה.

The day of 3 Iyar is the day of נצח שבתפארת in Sefiras HaOmer. This alludes to the tzaddik as his father’s name was Moshe, which is associated with נצח, and תפארת is equal to רב ישעיה בן משה זי״ע.

Ahavas Yisroel

Reb Shayeleh’s ahavas Yisroel was legendary. It is no coincidence that his passing was in the week of Acharei Mos-Kedoshim, when we read ואהבת לרעך כמוך.

Helping Others

Reb Tzadok Hakohen of Lublin teaches that we can learn out the essence of a word from the first place it is mentioned (Pri Tzaddik, Rosh Chodesh Tammuz 1). The first time צדקה is mentioned is by Avraham Avinu, who was the pillar of Chessed.

There, the pasuk says, והאמן ביקוק ויחשבה לו צדקה (Lech Lecha 15:6).

The first word, והאמן, contains the same letters as אמונה. The last word is צדקה.

ויחשבה לו are exactly equal to ישעיה.

Avrahom Avinu is the pillar of chessed. If we spell out אברהם bimiluyאלף בית ריש הא מם – it is equal to 1119, the same gematria as אחרי מות קדשים, the week of Reb Shayele’s passing.

Many people who have said they felt a tremendous hisorerus at the kever of Reb Shayeleh and in the room where he used to accept kvitlach. I know people who have not even been to the kever, but have been encouraged to work on their ahavas Yisroel and helping others just by hearing stories of this tzaddik.

A Good Eye

The Gemara says that if one gives tzedaka, he receives six berachos. If one speaks kind words to a poor person, he receives eleven berachos (Bava Basra 9b). Tosafos explains that one who gives tzedaka and speaks kindly to a poor person receives 17 berachos. All of these 17 berachos enumerated in the Gemara (with the Haga’os HaBach) are learned out from pesukim in Yeshaya (58:7-12), the sefer whose name Reb Shayaleh bears, as he lived and taught these teachings that we still have today.

This could be hinted to by טוב עין הוא יברך כי נתן מלחמו לדל (Mishlei 22:9), which means that one with a “good eye” is blessed since he gives from his bread to the poor.

The words טוב עין contains the same letters as טוב עני, alluding to this that when one gives with a “good eye” to a poor person by speaking kind words, he will receive 17 berachos, the numerical value of טוב.

טוב עין הוא יברך with the 4 words is equal to ישעיה.

I heard from Reb Elimelech Biderman shlita that Reb Moshe Leib Sassover explains the beracha of “Sheosa Li Kol Tzarki” being the singular tense to teach us that we are supposed to believe that Hashem gives us everything we need – even if our limited understanding makes us think we’re lacking. However, when it comes to another person, we are not supposed to think that he has all his needs, and we should do all we can to help him. In a similar vein, Reb Moshe Leib Sassover says that heresy can be used for good – when we see another Yid is in need. When it comes to another person’s lack, we shouldn’t say “I’ll leave it to Hashem, Hashem will help him.” Rather, we are supposed to do everything in our power to help him.

May the zechus of Reb Yeshaya ben Moshe zt”l protect us all, and may we be zocheh to all the shefa he would bless people with! May we all be zocheh to internalize his teachings of doing whatever we can for another Yid – to always be givers, never takers!

Zechuso Yagein Aleinu!

R' Dovid Friedman
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