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Thursday
Sep242015

A ROYAL RIDDLE

 

By D Chaim


I woke up early in the morning.  After washing my hands I noticed a note lying near my pillow.  I opened it curiously and this is what it said:

A deep matter which is inspiring,

which reaches the lowest of all places.

On Rosh HaShana it is emphasized,

and every year – every moment anew. 

Who put this riddle here, I wondered.  I liked the idea. My friends know that I enjoy riddles and figuring them out in my free time.  But here, in my cousins’ house? How do they know about my hobby?

Of course you don’t know who my cousins are and why I am at their house.  And you probably want to know the meaning of this riddle.  I will tell you everything from the beginning.

“Mendy!”

My father’s voice from the living room roused me from the book I was reading.

“Yes, Abba.”

“Come sit on the couch. I want to tell you something.”

Something in Abba’s voice made me very curious.

Abba looked at me with a serious look and then said, “This year, G-d willing, you will become bar mitzva.  Ima and I have decided that you are old enough to travel with me to 770, to the Rebbe, for Tishrei.”  And just like that, Abba imparted the exciting news.

“Wow! Thank you! How exciting!” I rejoiced.  Abba did not want to cool off my enthusiasm.  After I had calmed down a bit, he said, “Don’t forget that this requires something of you.”

“But I already donated most of my savings to the contest I organized with my friends in school.  I don’t think I can pay for a ticket.”

My father smiled and said, “No, that’s not what I meant.  A trip to the Rebbe requires preparation.  Adding in concentration in t’filla and learning with more enthusiasm.  It would also be good if you made a good resolution.”

The days passed by quickly and there I was, walking into 770 with my father.  It was so special walking around 770 and seeing everything in person for the first time.  This is the place of the Rebbe and therefore, also the true home of every Jew.

After I learned a little, I felt tired because of the flight and I told my father I was going to our relatives who were hosting us.  My relatives welcomed me graciously and urged me to go nap.  I went to my room and soon fell asleep and had Chassidishe dreams.

The next morning I woke up early and found the riddle that I told you about before.  The last of my sleepiness vanished in an instant. I wondered who wrote the riddle and was glad I had something to work on.  The riddle looked hard and I decided I needed to find someone to help me solve it.

I chose Shloimy, a cousin my age.  He is a bit tall and wears glasses.  He’s smart and I was sure that together we could solve the riddle.  At first I even thought he was the one who wrote the riddle and I decided I would tell him about it and if he played dumb I would know it was him.

That evening I went to his room and told him about the riddle.  He excitedly said, “I have a book which has all sorts of ways to solve riddles.  It’s in English and you won’t be able to read it but I will try to find a solution in it.”

When I returned to his room half an hour later, I burst out laughing.  Shloimy was sitting on the bed with a lot of books around him and every few minutes he picked up another one.  His glasses were on the end of his nose and he looked like a professor.  Every few minutes he went through all the books once again.

The scene amused me but Shloimy sounded disappointed.  “I did not manage to find even a hint to the answer.  I guess it’s not an ordinary riddle.” We decided to push off working on the riddle until after Rosh HaShana.

770 was packed during the Rosh HaShana davening.  I was sitting with relatives but all the guests from Eretz Yisroel stood.  You couldn’t find an empty spot in the entire shul.

The davening began and I was very moved by it.  The special tunes for the Yomim Nora’im, the holy place of the Rebbe who was surely with us in 770, and the atmosphere of unity among the many Chassidim davening there.  All of it together made me feel overcome by emotion.

The chazan worked hard and even at the other end of the shul you could hear, “HA’MELECH.”  I was suddenly reminded of what I learned in school.  This is no ordinary t’filla.  We were crowning Hashem as King over us and accepting his malchus with complete bittul.

The words of the t’filla burst forth from me.  Then it was time for the t’kios.  My father motioned to me to look at the center of the shul and I saw a Chassid with a white beard going up to the Torah bima.

There was silence and he said, “Rosh HaShana is a time when we coronate Hashem as King over us by blowing the shofar.  The completion of Hashem’s malchus in the world is through Moshiach.  So we will now all accept the malchus of the Rebbe with utter bittul to fulfill his instructions.  We demand his immediate hisgalus and he will redeem us, with this proclamation: Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’olam Va’ed!”

The crowd repeated Yechi three times and the shofar-blower got ready to blow.  Everyone focused on their machzor and read the chapter of T’hillim that precedes the blowing of the shofar.

I slowly read the words and felt a strong desire for the Rebbe’s hisgalus, for him to blow the shofar and take us all to the third Beis HaMikdash in Yerushalayim.  Wordlessly, I promised the Rebbe that from that day on, I would try to think before every thought, word and action about whether it would give him nachas.  Yes, I accepted the Rebbe’s malchus.

When we returned home after the davening, I remembered the exalted moments before the t’kios and it immediately hit me.  That’s the solution! A deep matter which is inspiring – that is kabbalas ha’malchus that comes from a very deep place in the neshama; which reaches the lowest of all places – it affects even the most minor of our actions;  On Rosh HaShana it is emphasized – the time for coronating Hashem as King over us; and every year – every moment anew – we need to remember it and behave according to the Rebbe’s wishes.

After I told Shloimy the solution, I told my father all about it.  He listened closely and then I noticed a mischievous smile on his face.  I immediately realized who it was that had left the riddle near my pillow.

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