Friday, November 23, 2007

Question & Answer With Mottel Of Letters Of Thought - Advice After Gimmel Tammuz

A Simple Jew asks:

As a Lubavitcher, without a living Rebbe in command who do you go to now for personal guidance and direction?

Mottel of Letters of Thought answers:

The answer to your question is one of a very personal nature. Though I gladly answer it, my answer must be viewed in the light of an individual Lubavitcher's feelings and thoughts, based on the unique combination of events that have composed the story of his life -I can answer only for myself. What is more, my experience with the Rebbe is one who never merited to see him with physical eyes -I was both too young before the histalkus in nun daled, and in any event did not come to Chabad until I was older.

The connection between a Rebbe and chossid is one of the deepest love possible -the Frierdiker Rebbe once remarked that had Shlomo Hamelech been a chossid, he would have written Shir Hashirim about the love between a Rebbe and chossid, not a husband and wife. Before Yechidus, private audience with the Rebbe, chossidim would fast, say tehillim, and prepare themselves spiritually. R' Moshe Vilenker, a chossid of the Alter Rebbe, spent three years preparing himself for Yechidus, and then spent an additional seven years in Liozna bringing the Yechidus into practical application in his Divine service.

After the Rebbe's heart-attack, on Shemini Atzeres, 5738 (1977) the Rebbe insisted, despite the assumed risk to his health, that he keep up his correspondence personally in order to properly dispense advice. Even after the Rebbe stopped 'Yechidus', he made himself available for consultation in other ways -most notably by standing for hours while giving out dollars on Sundays.

All this being said, it is clear then that the bond between Rebbe and Chossid is one of great importance and power, and that going to a Rebbe for advice is something integral to Chassidus - both for the Rebbe and the Chossid.

Well before Gimmel Tammuz, the Rebbe made clear how Chassidim should seek advice . . .

The Rebbe commented at times that by listening to the Farbrengens, all of one's questions could be answered as if via Yechidus. Even more so, the Rebbe Spoke about 'Asei Lecha Rav', the obligation to make a Rav, a Mashpia, for oneself. It is related that after the Rebbe spoke of his desire for people to find personal mashpi'im, an elderly chossid found a chossid even older then him to be his mashpia.

This then is how I seek guidance, by consulting my mashpia - an individual who I trust for advice and seek consultation in all serious matters. As well, I gain inspiration and guidance from the Rebbe's own words, through his sichos, ma'amorim, and letters.

In truth, however, the bond between Rebbe and chossid is such that even in light of the current situation, the Rebbe is still accessible. In a recent post on my blog, I mentioned the recollections of a certain Chossid whose father was in Paris with the Rebbe during the outbreak of the Second World War. Though at the time Paris was relatively safe, dark clouds loomed on the horizon, and this Chossid was not sure if he should leave Europe and abandon the successful business he had, starting anew in America, or to remain behind. Seeing as how the Previous Rebbe was stuck in Nazi controlled Poland, he approached the Rebbe (at the time known chiefly as the PR's son in law) and asked him for advice.

"Shrieb a briev tzum Rebbe'n -Write to the Rebbe," was the reply.

The chossid was shocked, as all communications to Poland were seemingly cut off by the war, and the Previous Rebbe had gone into hiding in the Warsaw Ghetto.

The Rebbe saw his confusion and said,

"The Rebbe doesn't need a letter, telegraph or phone call. He can reach you without all of these thing."

The story ends with the Chossid sending a telegram, despite the scoffing of others, and the next morning waking up with a clear conviction to leave France as soon as possible.

The answer regardless, the point I wish to bring out is the that the bond between Rebbe and Chossid is one beyond the barriers of time and space.

The Alter Rebbe, the Ba'al Hatanya v'HaShulchan Aruch, writes in Igeres Hakodesh of Tanya about the saying of the Zohar, that a Tzadik is found in this world even more so after his histalkus. Until the hilulah, he is located within the bounds of a physical body; after, however, he is accessible beyond all limitations.

By visiting the places where the Rebbe was: his room, his shul, and his ohel, we reforge a connection -each in his own way. Stories are well known of the continued connection between the Rebbe and Chassidim. I can only relate what I have myself experienced -how during times of atzvus, when I have felt low, a sicha being played in yeshivah has been the answer to my problems, or letters that I have read upon coming to particularly difficult situations. My friend, when pondering if he wanted to go to Poland (which he ultimately did with me), came out of the Ohel to find a video playing about David Chases' conversation with the Rebbe about helping the Jews in Poland.

May we merit to see Yeshuos b'kerev ha'aretz, with Moshiach now!


At November 23, 2007 at 6:22:00 AM EST, Blogger Isaac יצחק said...

I believe that the Rebbe answered this question on Motzoei Shabbos Trumah, in Tof Shin Mem Ches immediately after the Shiva of his wife, the Rebbetzin. The Sicha wasn't published and remained Bilti Moogo. Rabbi Aaron Lezer Tzeitlin of Tzfas told me that the Rebbe has asked a number of times that this Sicha be published but it was not. It is about "Boi VeNachshov Cheshbono Shel Olom" from Bobe Basra and is code for what happens next. It is available as a video, and I have seen it in the back of Toras Menachem in a non intuitive place. Given that time, and the mood, I think it was an important Sicha. I'm not a Chossid, so issue a disclaimer.

At November 23, 2007 at 10:30:00 AM EST, Blogger Mottel said...

I know about the sicha, and have learned it in the past.

At November 23, 2007 at 1:36:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is there a transcript of that sicha?

At March 12, 2009 at 12:35:00 PM EDT, Blogger Yehoishophot Oliver said...

A transcript can be found in this post.


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