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Thursday
May092019

BE A MAN – OF G-D 

We live in unpreceded times. The Rebbe’s broad shoulders that carried the world’s weight is now our load to bear. How can that possibly be? If the Rebbe did all he can to bring Moshiach, what more can we possibly do? * Now it’s clear why it is imperative to the Rebbe to make leaders, not followers.

By Rabbi Boruch Merkur

Rabbi Avrohom Lipskier (left); Rabbi Chaim Dovid Wichnin, a”h (right)

The legendary chassid and mashpia, Rabbi Avrohom Lipskier, zol zain gezunt un shtark, famed for leading so many Jews to the path of t’shuva with his inviting smile and charisma, used to farbreng almost daily with his students. It was a rigorous regime of ongoing, uplifting inspiration that lasted for years and left the rabbi with a snow-white beard.

Perhaps that pace just wasn’t sustainable. The daily farbrengens became weekly at best. They still packed a punch, but the bachurim wanted more. They would simply knock on the front door of his home and beg him to farbreng.

Taking liberties like that seems to have morphed into the contemporary, formalized tactic of complaining to the mashgiach. I saw this recently in the Toronto yeshiva. A bachur excused his lackluster attendance and unproductivity on the need for more inspiration, more farbrengens. That will spur me to do more, he argued.

I’m not convinced that the frequent aftermath of late-night farbrengens is conducive to making it on time for seider, etc. You cannot learn chassidus and daven unless you’re awake and alert.

And inspired? A few times a year is the right measure for all-nighters.

Here I take I cue from the beloved rosh yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Dovid Wichnin, alav ha’shalom. Rabbi Wichnin’s farbrengens were rich in Torah, brimming with vigor and wit, but they almost never went into extended play. He would stop farbrengens precisely at midnight, just before the cutoff, just before the sleep-in clause came into effect. Clearly Rabbi Wichnin’s farbrengens were from the short-but-sweet school of thought. (On the other hand, doesn’t real transformation take place at farbrengens well after midnight?)

Back to Toronto. The mashgiach’s response to the complaint didn’t miss a beat: A Jew needs to be “a flame that rises on its own.”

I think that got my fire going. True, each chassid must be a leader in his own right. He must carry his own weight and rise above the cynical masses. A Tamim can’t rely on others to schlep him along. But if there is genuine interest, who would pass on the opportunity to inspire Jews? What can be a bigger z’chus than lighting up the darkness of exile by kindling neshamos? Isn’t that what the Rebbe does?

I asked rosh yeshiva Rabbi Akiva Wagner how he felt standing before the Rebbe. Did you experience the Rebbe conducting the chassidim like an orchestra? What was it like at Dollars, looking into the Rebbe’s eyes?

In the presence of the Rebbe, you just receive, Rabbi Wagner affirmed. You are lit up with the Rebbe’s fire.

Surely that fire is the foundation of a chassid. So what now? The topic changed abruptly: On 28 Nissan 5751, when the Rebbe said – “I have done all I can; now it’s up to you” – was that unprecedented?

Totally unprecedented.

Now it’s clear why it is imperative to the Rebbe to make leaders, not followers.

***

We live in unpreceded times. The Rebbe’s broad shoulders that carried the world’s weight is now our load to bear. How can that possibly be? If the Rebbe did all he can to bring Moshiach, what more can we possibly do?

There are clues in the sichos. Look at the 11 Nissan 5751 farbrengen, just weeks before 28 Nissan:

[The Rebbe’s kapital, Mizmor Tzaddik, Psalm 90, alludes to] a blessing that transcends all limitations, drawn through Moshe to every Jew … (The) Moshe Rabbeinu (of each generation) … is the memutza ha’mechaber “between you and G-d, your L-rd.” (Seifer HaSichos 5751, pg. 414)

Every Jew has within him the aspect of Moshe … for which [fearing G-d enough to comply with His Mitzvos] is a “light matter” … inspiring his actual avoda … “to go in His ways and to love and serve Him” … “Moshe ish ha’Elokim” enables each Jew to draw down this power. (Ibid 415-416)

The intent is that through one’s own avoda, a Jew should reveal (“the work of our hands” – not Bread of Shame, G-d forbid) the light of his soul within his body. (Ibid 418)

The Rebbe empowers the aspect of Moshe in each Jew of our generation, especially through the inner dimension of the Torah, as well as through disseminating Torah and Judaism, revealing how each person is “Moshe ish ha’Elokim” … This avoda begins with oneself, through each Jew revealing (through the power of Nasi Doreinu) how he is the emissary of G-d, and an emissary of a (Supernal) man is like Him (“Moshe ish ha’Elokim”) … By doing his avoda b’shleimus, integrating his ten soul-powers – “shliach” becomes “Moshiach” (which is numerically equivalent to “shliach” plus ten), to the point of the actual revelation of Moshiach. (Ibid 419)

There is unprecedent power at our fingertips. The king has truly emptied his coffers and given us all the treasures to inspire us with the Rebbe’s fire for redemption, to recognize that the ultimate merit is to be a part of it and to light up others to do the same. There is no greater z’chus. When a Jew comes to you to be inspired, feel the awesome merit of that opportunity. Be “Moshe ish ha’Elokim” and light up his soul as the Rebbe lights up ours. ■

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