Hiskashrus to the Rebbe begins with our thinking about another Jew. Thinking about how to connect another Jew to the Rebbe and also connect him to the tremendous chain of the Nasi Ha’dor. To put the Rebbe’s wishes before us at all times and to push aside our egos which diminish others in our eyes.* Presented for 11 Nissan
By Rabbi Zalman Landau
There is a sicha (Leil Hoshana Rabba 5752) in which the Rebbe says that in our generation each of us needs to be a Rebbe. What can this possibly mean? What connection is there to being a Rebbe on the part of a Chassid who is battel to the Rebbe?
Whoever learns this sicha of the Rebbe understands that the Rebbe did not mean acting like an Admur, as we might imagine superficially, or acting above any other group. He means acting in a way of true bittul on the level of yechida, which is the level of the Rebbe.
There is a story about a Chassid of the Alter Rebbe who was very rich and passed away at a very young age. After his passing, the Alter Rebbe told the man’s sons that they should not be sad over their father’s death for he sees that their father is currently on extremely high levels and a great light is shining forth from him.
After some time, it came to light that in that town lived a big Misnaged who was very jealous of the rich Chassid and how all the townspeople honored him. The Misnaged tried to do all he could to denigrate the Chassid and even tried to compete with the Chassid’s livelihood.
The Chassid would import a great quantity of tea every year which he would sell across Russia. In the Misnaged’s great envy and after seeing that all his attempts to humiliate the Chassid were unsuccessful, he decided to inform on him to the government. He said that the one who sold the tea to the Chassid did not pay the requisite tax. In this way, he thought, he wouldn’t directly inform on the Chassid but would cause him a heavy monetary loss, since the government would confiscate the goods after the Chassid had paid good money for it.
Miraculously, rather than take away the merchandise of the Chassid, the government took the Misnaged’s merchandise. The Misnaged was left with nothing and had many debts. Due to his great debts, he became deathly ill.
The Chassid went to visit him and after leaving the house of the Misnaged, the members of the household discovered that he had left a large sum of money to support the Misnaged and another large sum to marry off his daughters.
When the family heard this story, they realized what the Alter Rebbe meant when he said a great light emanated from him.
From this story we learn about how a Chassid behaves and how this kind of behavior is demanded of every one of us. A genuine Chassid is someone who puts himself in a position of utter bittul, to the point that he raises himself totally above his desires and inclinations.
One of the signs of a Misnaged is that he protects his honor and always looks for ways to raise himself up over others; to see himself as important relative to the other, and to put down the other person’s qualities.
Contrariwise, the quality of a Chassid is expressed in his lowered ego. A Chassid looks at another person and sees, first and foremost, the good points of the other, and he does not give any weight and significance to the weaknesses of another.
When speaking of a Misnaged, we need to remember that there is the “Misnaged within you.” In each of us exists a Misnaged, who burrows into the heart and causes us to think negatively about others and diminish their worth.
True love for another is when he shames you, and you respond with love and shower good upon him.
This is the avoda of every Chassid, to rise above himself, without considering his honor and dignity. As one of our Rebbeim once said to one of the Chassidim, that before he says a maamer Chassidus, he puts himself into such a state of bittul that he imagines himself walking down the street and a group of children are chasing him with stones to throw at him (as they would the town lunatic).
To be a Chassid is to reach a true level in which we can look at every Jew from the aspect of his G-dly soul. Although there may be times when it is legitimate to get angry at someone and be annoyed with him, why he doesn’t give us enough respect and doesn’t value what we do enough, but in the times that we live in we have no time for considerations like these. We need to start living in a Moshiach-state of mind, a state in which each of us rises above all limitations of this world and above all exile considerations.
At this time, we need to place ourselves in a position in which we see the essential goodness that is hidden within every Jew, to see the goodness in every Jew without looking at how he regards us.
The avoda assigned to us to live with Moshiach is an avoda that pertains to each one of us. What we need to do is to start living in the Moshiach state in which there is no jealousy and competition.
Each of us can welcome Moshiach by getting out of our inner exile and starting to live with simcha and with real Ahavas Yisroel for every Jew.
This point is essential when it comes to hiskashrus to the Rebbe MH”M, for without living with genuine Chassidic love, and without rising above our material desires and calculations, it is not possible to fully accept the Rebbe’s malchus.
This is the point which we need to take with us from this special day of 11 Nissan. The point that unifies all areas of hiskashrus to the Rebbe is to have utter bittul to the Rebbe, and to truly love every Jew because of his G-dly soul. That is how we can ask for the Rebbe’s malchus.
This doesn’t include any sadness whatsoever; it entails rising above our personal concerns and being utterly battul to the Rebbe, the bittul of yechida.
When we all rise above our ego, we will all be battul to the Rebbe and merit his complete and immediate hisgalus.
Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’olam Va’ed!