Living Legacy: Rav Nosson Nota (Lehrer) of Chelem

Living Legacy: Rav Nosson Nota (Lehrer) of Chelem

Yehuda Alter 

Rosh Chodesh Shevat marks the yohrtzeit of Rav Nosson Nota of Chelem, author of Neta Sha’ashuim. He was the son of Rav Avrohom Broide, who was the son of Rav Aharon Broide, who was a descendant of Rav Meir Katzenelenbogen and Rav Shaul Wahl. 

He was an exceptionally holy person, a mekubal, and a great ba’al mofes who affected many yeshu’os for his brethren. Thousands of Chassidim came to learn from him, and he worked his entire life so that no one would know of his greatness. 

He was a talmid muvhok of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizensk, and learned much from him in both the hidden as well as the revealed Torah—and his rebbe, in turn, held his student in tremendous esteem. 

In addition, he journeyed to the Rebbe Rav Baruch of Medzibuz, the Ma’or Vashemesh, and the Chozeh of Lublin. 

After the passing of Rebbe Reb Elimelech, he accepted upon himself the leadership of the Rebbe Reb Mordechai of Neschiz, and journeyed to him on many occasions, even after he became the official rov of Chelem.  

In his youth, he worked as a private melamed. Not realizing his greatness, his employer asked him to double as a guard for his forests at night. He welcomed this opportunity to serve Hashem in seclusion, and every night, he would conduct tikkun chatzos with great sobs. One night, a group of vandals came to steal wood from the forest, and when they heard crying, they followed the sound until they discovered Rav Nosson Nota and saw a great light emanating from his surroundings. 

Following this incident, his employer publicized his greatness, and people would stream from all over to witness his avodah.   

He also made his way to the Chozeh of Lublin, alongside the other talmidim, Rebbe Dovid of Lelov and the Yehudi Hakodosh of Peshischa. He attempted to conceal himself, but the chozeh sought him out, recognizing his lofty levels. His daughter would marry the son of the Chozeh. 

He became a rov in Wlodowa, Poland, and later in Chelem until his passing on Rosh Chodesh Shevat of the year 1812, and was interred in the town of Chelem.

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