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23****Rabbi Uri of Strelisk - Ha-Saraf (the burning angel)

Rabbi Uri of Strelisk - Ha-Saraf (the burning angel)

Born: Yanuv, (year ?)

Died: Strelisk, Poland, 1826

Chassidic leader and the foremost student of the famous Chassidic rabbi, Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin.

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 were 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.

May the merit of the tzaddik Rabbi Uri of Strelisk protect us all, Amen.

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