Living Legacy: Rav Avrohom Chaim of Zlotchiv
By: Yehuda Alter
Thursday, 26 Teves, marks the yohrtzeit of Rav Avrohom Chaim, the son of Rav Gedaliah Moshe, author of Orach L’Chaim and Pri Chaim.
He was born to his father, Rav Gedaliah Moshe, the rov of Zalkava in the year 1726. From an early age, his Torah and his kedusha shone forth from him, and he would be known for the rest his life for his tremendous avodah and his complete mastery of all areas of Torah. He would spend all of his days immersed in learning and davening.
Among the great tzaddikim who greatly lauded him was the Chozeh of Lublin who said about him that he is a “tzaddik, a chossid, bnon shel k’doshim, Harav Hamo’or haGodol.”
The tzaddikim of his generation in whose light he basked included the Maggid of Mezrich, the Zlochiver Maggid, the Haflo’oh of Frankfurt, and the Rebbe Reb Shmelka of Niklosburg.
Following is a story that is said about him. Once, he saw in a dream that his holy Rebbe, the Zlochiver Maggid, is seated outside of Gan Eden. This caused him terrible anguish, and he fasted many fasts over this. But then again, he saw in a dream how his rebbe is seated outside Gan Eden, not inside with the tzaddikim. But then the Rebbe himself came to him in a dream and explained: “don’t think that I am not worthy of being allowed in Gan Eden, but rather, I am preoccupied with pulling neshomos out of geihinom.
He returned his holy soul to its maker in the year 1815. He had not had an biological children, but he had raised a son of Rebbe Moshe Leib of Sasov was niftar when his son was seven years old, and before his passing, Rebbe Moshe Leib had asked that he should raise him.
His seforim Orach l’Chaim and Pri Chaim were published after his passing in the city of Bardichev. Among the haskomos on the sefer are those of the Berdichever Rov, the Koznitzer Maggid, The Chozeh of Lublin, the Apta Rov, the Be’er Mayim Chaim, and Rebbe Mordechai of Kremnitz.
Following his passing, tzaddikim would come through the town of Zlochiv, where he had served as the rov following the departure of his father-in-law, and spend many hours at his kever, invoking the zechus of the holy tzaddik.