Living Legacy: Rebbe Meir of Premishlan
The 29th of Iyar marks the 173rd yohrtzeit of the second Rebbe Meir’l (Leifer) of Premishlan, a great tzaddik and ba’al mofes.
The rebbe's father was Rav Aron Aryeh Leib, the son of the first Rebbe Meir’l, who traced his lineages to great tzaddikim all the way to Hillel Hazoken and Dovid Hamelech.
Following the passing of his father, Rebbe Meir’l assumed the leadership of the Chassidim.
He was a talmid muvhak of Rebbe Mordechai of Kremenetz, the son of Rebbe Michel of Zlochev, who was one of the greatest talmidim of the Ba’al Shem Tov and the Maggid of Mezrich.
From the youngest age, he was preoccupied with the needs of others, busy with providing tzedakah and chessed for the needy. A great poverty reigned in the home—even a proper table didn’t exist there, but a barrel over which there was a slab of wood; everything was given away to the poor.
It was known that Rebbe Meir’l did not leave even a penny in his home overnight, preferring to give it all away to the needy.
The following story is told about Rebbe Meir’l, illustrating his complete connection to Hashem, in which he allowed a rare glimpse.
The Mikveh in Premishlan was located across town, on the other side of a steep hill. Once, in the dead of winter, the men struggled to navigate the hill… but were constantly slipping due to a sheet of ice that had formed over the hill. Yet, when Rebbe Meir’l came, he marched right up, as though it were a smooth plateau on a summer day.
Asked about this, he said, “az m’iz gebunden fun oiven falt men nisht unten, if one is tethered above, he doesn’t fall below.” The implication was clear: the tzaddik was connected to Hashem Above, and therefore he did not fall below…
The miracles that he performed for his fellow Yidden are otherworldly altogether, and the stories could fill volumes. His ahavas Yisroel was likewise legendary.
On Erev Shabbos, the 28th of Iyar, the rebbe fell ill, and on Shabbos, the 29th of Iyar of the year 1850, he returned his pure soul to its maker. He was interred in the cemetery in the town of Premishlan, today in Ukraine.
Rebbe Meir left behind a son, Rav Tzvi, and four daughters, all of whom were great personalities who continued his illustrious legacy.