HE IS A BORN REBBE!
November 1, 2015
Beis Moshiach in #993, 20 Mar-Cheshvan, Chabad History, Compilation, Rebbe Rashab

From the Rebbe Rayatz’s sichos from the night of Shabbos Parshas VaYeira, Chaf Cheshvan 5706, in which he tells new details about the birth and childhood of the Rebbe Rashab.

Presented by R’ Boruch Sholom Cohen

YOU WILL HAVE A HEALTHY CHILD!

When my grandmother Rebbetzin Rivka (wife of the Rebbe Maharash) was pregnant with my father (the Rebbe Rashab, in 5620), she was very weak because she had given birth two years earlier to Raza (in 5618) and the year before that she gave birth to R’ Avrohom Sender (who passed away when he was eight years old).

Her husband, the Rebbe Maharash, went to his father, the Tzemach Tzedek, and told him about his wife’s weakness. The Tzemach Tzedek said she should come to him.

When she came in the Tzemach Tzedek said to her, “Mazal tov! It will be a healthy child!” And the Tzemach Tzedek told her how to conduct herself during the pregnancy and told her to conceal her pregnancy as much as possible.

The practice was to hide the fact of the pregnancy in the early months until it was obvious, to the extent that women would go to the mikva so that nobody would know.

Then the Tzemach Tzedek told his son, “It will be a boy, but don’t tell anyone.”

NOACH IS NOT THE TIME

Rebbetzin Rivka began feeling labor pains on Parshas Noach 5621. Her mother-in-law, Rebbetzin Mussia, went to the Tzemach Tzedek and told him. He said, Noach is not the time for this; it’s only an illusion!

I REVIVED MYSELF!

On Shabbos, Parshas Lech Lecha, the Tzemach Tzedek said a maamer in which he spoke about the difference between Avrohom and Yitzchok, that Avrohom’s avoda was to arouse from below in order to draw down the divine light, while through Yitzchok’s avoda there was the actual drawing down of that light in the worlds.

Afterward, the Tzemach Tzedek said (about the birth): I revived myself! Better Avrohom (apparently he meant, if the baby was born the week of Avrohom, i.e. Parshas Lech Lecha) but this is also good. He will be a healthy child but the bris won’t be on time.

One of the people there asked the Rebbe Rayatz: Was the Rebbe Rashab born on Shabbos?

The Rebbe answered: No, he was born in the middle of the week.

A REBBE FROM BIRTH!

My father, after he was born, did not cry a lot and he would smile. When he saw light he would laugh and smile.

Rebbetzin Rivka told this to her husband, the Rebbe Maharash, and said: He is a born Chassid, with bittul.

The Rebbe Maharash told his father what his wife said and the Tzemach Tzedek said: She is making a mistake. He is not aborn Chassid but a born Rebbe!

IT’S NOT A SMALL THING

When my father was three or four, he once asked his sister, Devorah Leah, what bracha he should say on a certain food and she told him.

When he found out that it was a mistake (and another bracha was supposed to be said), he began to cry and said he would ask his father for a tikkun. Devorah Leah laughed and said: It’s a small thing, but my father said to her: It is already no small thing.

AVODA IS THE MAIN THING

My father did not hold of learning a lot of Chassidus; rather, a little bit but permeated with avoda, i.e. worked through and to daven with it.

When it drips from above, that drop is worth more than a bucketful from below.

THE ANGELS ARE ENVIOUS

In the city of Mikhlino there was a man who spent a long time on his davening every day, even on Sundays and Wednesdays which were market days.

The Rebbe Rashab once said about him: Angels are envious of his prayers. Supernal s’firos do not have that kind of light, the kind made by his prayers when they go aloft.

ATTAINING THE TRUTH

One time, R’ Yaakov Mordechai of Poltava asked my father how to attain truth in tfilla.

My father answered him in surprise: How could you not attain truth in t’filla?! When you daven properly you attain the truth. If you don’t attain the truth, that is an indication that you are not davening properly.

HIS BROKENNESS WAS HIDDEN

My father was a broken man. He was broken within, but this was not apparent externally. He did not want his brokenheartedness to be apparent.

IN SEARCH OF PLEASURE

My father would demand of himself for having a “geshmak” (sublime pleasure) in understanding and grasp but not having (so much) geshmak in “gefeel” (having a feel for something).

My father cherished the teachings of Chassidus and loved Chassidim.

YOU NEED TO KNOW WHERE YOU’RE HOLDING

It used to be that Chassidim knew where they were holding (in their avoda) and where they need to be holding. They knew from which train station they traveled and which train station they were going to.

THE REBBE RASHAB AND POLISH ADMORIM

Ramash (our Rebbe) asked the Rebbe Rayatz: Did the Rebbe Rashab meet with Polish Admurim and did he discuss Chassidus and Kabbala with them?

The Rebbe Rayatz replied: My father met with them but did not speak to them at length about these matters.

THEY CALL HIM REBBE

The Rebbe Rayatz said: We need to farbreng tomorrow (on Shabbos, for Chaf Cheshvan, the birthday of his father).

He added (about the need to farbreng) [referring to himself in the third person — ed.]: They call him “Rebbe,” and learn his maamarei Chassidus. Is it not shameful for him that they are associated with him (and are called his Chassidim)? However, when they farbreng, this (that they are called his Chassidim) will descend and come down into action.

THROUGH BROKENHEARTEDNESS

I once heard my father say that you don’t achieve anything through being brokenhearted. And I once heard my father say that through brokenheartedness you can achieve everything.

The Alter Rebbe demanded (of his Chassidim) that the main thing not be understanding as much as feeling. And he said that he succeeded with just one of them.

The Rebbe Rayatz explained: One can explain that what he meant was that he only succeeded in the one area of feeling (that his Chassidim should have a feel for G-dly matters) but to implement that understanding not be primary he did not succeed in.


THE BIRTH ORDER OF THE CHILDREN OF THE REBBE MAHARASH

In the history of our Rebbeim, printed to date, we are not told the year of birth of R’ Avrohom Sender, and even the birth order of the Rebbe Maharash’s children are written in two different ways. One way: 1) R’ Shneur Zalman Aharon (Raza), 2) the Rebbe Rashab, 3) R’ Avrohom Sender, 4) R’ Menachem Mendel. Another way has R’ Avrohom Sender listed first.

In a sicha of the Rebbe Rayatz, he tells how the Rebbe Rashab called R’ Avrohom Sender, “my older brother.” It also says in that sicha that R’ Avrohom Sender died at the age of eight, in the lifetime of the Tzemach Tzedek, so that he had to be born before the Rebbe Rashab, as the Tzemach Tzedek passed away in 1866 when the Rebbe Rashab was five-and-a-half.

However, in this sicha it refers to R’ Avrohom Sender being born one year before the Raza, which would make him the firstborn son of the Rebbe Maharash.

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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