(Courtesy: Tales of Hassidim – Martin Buber)

“On the last New Year’s festival in the life of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak, they tried in vain to blow the ram’s horn. No one could wring from it a single note. Finally the tzaddik himself put it to his lips, but he too did not succeed. It was clear that Satan was involved in the matter. Rabbi Levi Yitzhak put down the horn, laid it aside, and cried: ‘Lord of the world! In your Torah it is written that we Jews are to blow the ram’s horn the day on which you created the world. Look down upon us and you will see that all of us have come with our wives and children to do your command. But if we are denied this, if we are no longer your beloved people, well – then let Ivan (the Russians) blow the ram’s horn for you!’

“All wept and in the depths of their hearts they turned to God. After a time, the rabbi put the ram’s horn to his lips again, and now it emitted a flawlessly pure sound. After the prayer, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak turned to his congregation and said: ‘I vanquished him (Satan), but it will cost me my life. Here I am, a sin-offering for Israel.’

“He died a few weeks later.”