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Wednesday
May202015

When there is a Rebbe, there are Chassidim

One who is [by name] a Chassid but is not a Chassid – this causes the Rebbe to not be a Rebbe. The Alter Rebbe was a Rebbe, so he made Chassidim. And the Chassidim, by being Chassidim and by being accomplished in the realm of the service of the heart [prayer] – they gave strength to the Rebbe.” * From Chapter Eight of Rabbi Shloma Majeski’s Likkutei Mekoros (Underlined text is the compiler’s emphasis.)

Translated by Boruch Merkur

[The Rebbe Rayatz narrates: During a visit of elder Chassidim to my home soon after my wedding] the Chassid, Reb Yaakov Mordechai Bespalov, nishmaso Eden, told those present that once during a yechidus [with the Rebbe Maharash] he had asked the Rebbe to elaborate on certain points of the maamer delivered on the preceding Shabbos relating to the concept of Adam Kadmon. The Rebbe directed him to study the maamer in Likkutei Torah entitled “LaM’natzeiach Al HaShminis,” and told him to ask his son (the Rebbe Rashab) for the unpublished explanation of that maamer. […]

[Reb Yaakov Mordechai concluded his account of the yechidus with what the Rebbe Maharash had said about the Alter Rebbe.] “He was a Rebbe, and where there is a Rebbe, there are Chassidim.”

(In the midst of relating these words, Reb Yaakov Mordechai began to weep copious tears, affecting all those present. They tried to calm him down, but to no avail, until Reb Leib Hofmann said: “This is a time of a three-fold simcha – the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov, the day of his revealing himself to the world [as a hidden tzaddik], and our Rebbe is celebrating the wedding of his only son. Is this a time to cry?! Rav of Poltava, this is a time to do t’shuva!”

(Reb Leib, who had an incredible voice, began to sing a niggun, and all of his companions joined in. Reb Dovid Tzvi Chein, Reb Sholom Reb Hillel’s, and Reb Asher Grossman then rose from the table and started to dance. Following their lead, they were soon joined by all the others – all that is, except for Reb Yaakov Mordechai, who was weeping, his head resting on his arms. The elder Chassidim went to fill their cups to say l’chaim.

(At this point, Reb Yaakov Mordechai stopped crying but said in a tremulous voice: “The Rebbe told me then, ‘When there is a Rebbe, there are Chassidim).’”

[Reb Yaakov Mordechai then resumed his account of how the Rebbe Maharash had concluded that yechidus.] That is, Chassidim that are active in avoda. But one who is [by name] a Chassid but is not a Chassid – this causes the Rebbe to not be a Rebbe. The Alter Rebbe was a Rebbe, so he made Chassidim. And the Chassidim, by being Chassidim and by being accomplished in the realm of the service of the heart [prayer] – they gave strength to the Rebbe.”

(Likkutei Dibburim pg. 37; see the translation by Uri Kaploun, Vol. 1, pg. 87-88)

 

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