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Wednesday
Jun052019

The Chasam Sofer and his Violin

Since its inception two years ago, Learn & Bring Moshiach, has facilitated the founding of many Moshiach Shiurim in Crown Heights and around the world. In this special Beis Moshiach project, Yossi Liberow will visit these shiurim and come back with a field report…Impressions of a Moshiach Shiur with Rabbi Yossi Schmukler

“Please, do me a favor,” the Rebbe told Rabbi Avrohom Sofer, “find this manuscript, prepare it for print, and I will pay for its publishing!”

Rabbi Avrohom Sofer was a descendant of Rabbi Moshe Sofer, known as the Chasam Sofer, a Rav and halachic authority from Hungary who lived in the 18th century. During a Yechidus with the Rebbe, he related that the family had recently discovered that their great-grandfather played the violin, and he would use it on only two occasions: on Chanukah and by weddings of yesomim (orphans). This information was revealed to the family through a recently discovered manuscript, in which the Chasam Sofer writes about his violin and music notes. “However,” Rabbi Avrohom Sofer continued telling the Rebbe, “the family has resolved not to publish this manuscript. We have all agreed that its publicity would ruin the holy image of our great and pious grandfather.”

The Rebbe’s response mentioned above doesn’t come as a surprise to a Chassid who has learned even a little of the Rebbe’s Torah and knows the Rebbe’s approach to worldly matters.

This story was just one of many insights Rabbi Yossi Schmukler shared in his weekly class on Moshiach, held every Sunday at 9 pm in at the Kollel, just across the street from 770.

As he distributed the Likkutei Sichos and began teaching it seemed to me that he would just be delivering the sicha, but I struggled to find the place in the sefer. It was then that I realized that he was teaching the sicha the way it was really intended to be learned, including a full elaboration and overview of the Mitzvah “Kedoshim Tihiyu” according to Rashi, Ramban, and the Kli Yakar. Now the Rebbe’s words are singing a completely different tune.

***

”Es kumt ohn shver – there is a difficulty”, the Rebbe acknowledged, “to internalize the Moshiach message.” So, the Rebbe gave us a solution: to learn about Moshiach. Torah has the power to transform the way we think, feel, and believe. But it seems that the Yetzer Hara has decided to focus his efforts on making it shver to even get to the Moshiach Shiur.

So week after week, while I saw the signs in 770 advertising Rabbi Schmukler’s Sunday class, I always told myself that this week I’ll go. But somehow it just never worked out. Finally, some Chof Ches Nissan inspiration got me to joining a Shiur b’rabim.

So that is how I made it to my first shiur on the “Learn and Bring Moshiach” list. The pleasant smile of Rabbi Schmukler on the shiur sign matched the smile on his face when I entered the room.

He explained in his clear and pleasant style how to draw down Hashem’s essence into the world. It happens not only by performing mitzvos but rather when every aspect of our life, including the so-called “mundane” ones, are used for Hashem’s sake, using the story of the Rebbe and the Chasam Sofer’s violin as an example.

Despite the heavy rain, the shiur was joined by close to a minyan of men spanning varying age groups. Reb Noach Vogel, the dedicated organizer of the shiur since its founding two years ago, told me that there are close to two minyanim who attend the shiur weekly, with a wide variety of participants who enjoy Rabbi Schmukler’s warmth and unique style.

When I asked him to share a moment of satisfaction and encouraging feedback, he replied without missing a beat: “When we’ll succeed and reach our goal – the final hisgalus of the Rebbe, then we will have satisfaction! That will be our greatest feedback!”

 

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