Breaking Down Hiskashrus
Chabakuk Elisha commenting on Hiskashrus:
Hiskashrus, similar to other emotional bonds (love, for example) is something that is felt, and it is felt to varying degrees.
There are a number of ways to get there (and it's often a combination) such as:
1. Automatic: We'll call it "ruchni," or a "soul connection." This can apply to anyone from anywhere and under any circumstances. It just "is."
2. Inherited: One was raised with it. It's in their "mother's milk." Regardless of anything else in their background, they are raised in a way that developed and created a strong hiskashrus in their consciousness.
3. Created: This can happen a number of ways; I subdivide them into 2 groups:
a) Decision Based: One may find a derech or individual Tzaddik's message especially compelling, or their individual situation may be especially compatible with a specific derech or Tzaddik's message. Based on that, they create a bond or hiskashrus.
b) Based on Intangibles: One may feel a natural connection due to one's history, background, family or other mainly emotional circumstance.
I have heard people tell me many reasons for their development of hiskashrus to a certain derech or tzaddik. Sometimes they had a teacher that had a shaychis to a specific derech/tzaddik that they especially were especially fond of, and this was the most significant force in their ending up also a follower of that derech/tzaddik. Sometimes they grew up with a specific old sefer on their shelf belonging to a specific derech/tzaddik that caused them to end up connected with that derech/tzaddik. Sometimes they looked up to certain people that represented a specific tzaddik/ derech. The reasons are endless.
We know that ahava that is tluya bedavar doesn't endure when challenged, unlike like ahava that isn't dependant on any specific cause – which is far deeper and enduring. We also know that if one feels it in their bones from causes beyond themselves it will be far stronger, more powerful and palpable in one's life. And the more that one individual can connect emotionally (and intellectually) the stronger that the hiskashrus is likely to be.
So, if one shares more in common (meaning shared culture, shared experiences, shared background), it is more likely that the bond will be stronger – and if, let's say, someone comes from 12 generations of followers of a drech/tzaddik, and comes from the basic area of that tzaddik/derech's roots, it would seem obvious that they have more "resources" to draw upon – but, with all that said, quite often none of it is necessary, and an individual can have a far greater true hiskashrus even though they have none of those advantages.