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Monday
Jul142014

TO RAISE UP THE LOWLY 

A point from the weekly D’var Malchus with a relevant message.

Mendel is a little Chassid. He always does what his mother asks him to do. It also sometimes happens that he suddenly says, “I don’t want to.” 


“Mendele, put the plate back where it belongs” – “I don’t want to.”

“Collect the toys and put them in the box” – “I don’t want to.”

The “I don’t want to” phenomenon depends on age, the family situation, the child’s nature, and other things. It’s not unusual, and there is no normal home that raised children without hearing “no” in some form or another.

As parents in the era of Geula, how should we react?

Before talking about a reaction, we need to examine the situation and define it, i.e. analyze it. The “world” thinks that there are only two stages. Stage one: before the child says “no,” and stage two, after he says “no” and the parent gets him back on track. In other words, when he says “no,” he is going from a normal state to a different state and when he “gets back to himself” and realizes that you don’t say “no,” and don’t behave that way, he is getting back to his normal state.

According to Chassidus, there are three stages-states. In the first stage, the child is in a normal state. In the second stage (when he says “no”) he is no longer in the normal state. In the third stage (which is the chiddush of Chassidus), he does not return to his normal state. He is in a new position. The third stage is not a repeat of stage one; it is something else altogether.

What is the difference between the third stage and the first stage? The difference is immense. A child in the first stage will get to the second stage. A child who reached the third stage, despite the third looking like the first, will never revert to the first since he already passed the second stage.

If the second stage is repeated again and again (i.e. the child says “I don’t want to” about the same thing in the same situation) that shows that the second stage did not end and he went back to stage one. When you really get to the third stage, the second stage cannot be repeated.

The most critical stage of the three stages, i.e. the stage where a parent has the opportunity to shape the child and direct him to make the right choice, is the second stage, when the child is in the middle – when he left his usual state (the first) and still did not enter the new state (the third).

Now we will ask the question again in a clearer fashion. How should parents in Yemos HaMoshiach correctly handle the second stage, in order to bring the child to the third stage? The answer to this question is answered by the Rebbe in this week’s D’var Malchus.

Dealing with the second stage can be done in one of two ways. The first way is by strengthening the first stage, by drawing the child along and raising him up to a higher place without relating to the problem itself. Consequently, he is extricated from his state. The second way is by relating to “stage two.” To recognize that there is a tachton (one who is in a lowly state) and to go down to him, in the state he is in, and provide him with the tools to deal with life and rise up by means of his own power.

Each of these ways has a pro and a con. The advantage in the first way is that the child receives superior powers transcending his own (the disadvantage is that it does not permeate him). The advantage of the second way is that it permeates him (but the power isn’t transcendent and strong).

Which is better? With either way, the child’s improved conduct won’t last long. There will be a temporary change but afterward, he will revert to his behavior. With all due respect to the first and second ways (with all their power and advantages) they still don’t bring the child to the third stage. 

***

In the times of the first Beis HaMikdash there was tremendous hashpaa from above. It did not last because it did not permeate the tachton. In the times of the second Beis HaMikdash the avoda was primarily from below. This building too, like its predecessor, did not last since it did not have the power from above. What will make the third Mikdash last eternally has to do with the combination of both advantages.

Going to further extremes in either one of the approaches (the first or the second) is not enough. We need the combination of the two and this is what creates the third. At this point, there is no going back.

***

To summarize: When a child leaves the first stage and enters the second stage, the first thing is not to be frightened. Be happy that he reached the second stage because it is only from there that he could reach the third stage from where there is no going back. The Geula approach for dealing with the second stage is not to overemphasize one of the two ways but to use both of them together. To raise the child up high (strengthening the first) while relating to his present condition (the second), where he is at, and according to his abilities.

This is how it ought to be: “I understand you (it is not enough to say so, you need to really understand, to be with him), I understand what you are dealing with, and am aware of your limited abilities in this …” At the same time, “I will help raise you up, to bring you to a higher place than you were until now.” When you don’t give in on either aspect, you create the third stage in the child. He really ascends and it is “his,” truly and forever.

Oh, and don’t forget the next stages: four, five… (See D’var Malchus).

 

 

 

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