Monday, March 02, 2009

Question & Answer With A Talmid - Hiskashrus

A Simple Jew asks:

Is it possible that a form of Chassidus may have tens of thousands of chassidim but none who really feel a personal connection to their rebbe; that their hiskashrus is negatively affected because the rebbe may not have the time too meet with them regularly and discuss the issues closest to them?

A Talmid answers:

I think it is possible for someone to speak to his Rebbe perhaps even only once a year and feel a real connection. If the Rebbe is truly a great tzadik, then when he speaks to each individual, they feel that the Rebbe really cares for them, feels their pain, etc., and then they can feel connected to their Rebbe even though they don't see each other often. This may not hold true for everyone, but I say this because that is how many people I know – Chassidim of different Rebbes – feel about their Rebbe. They feel that the Rebbe is concerned with them all year long, even though they may only speak once or twice a year. I can not tell anyone who is really a great tzadik and who is not. However, if you see a Rebbe who genuinely cares for you and feels pain when you have an issue, that is definitely someone that you can feel connected to.

Don’t be scared off of going to see a tzadik who may have a large following, thinking that you’re just one of thousands of people that he speaks to. Some will remember personal details about each of the thousands of people he sees. You may only spend a small amount of time with him, but it may change your life. Even just to see the face of a tzadik is very beneficial, as many tzadikim say. I know of people who went to tzadikim to get a brocha for parnasa or the like, and wound up developing a real attachment to the tzadik in spiritual matters.

Interestingly, people used to make fun a Breslover Chassidim for having a Rebbe that was no longer in this world. Practically speaking, I think something very good came out of this. In a Chassidic dynasty, usually a son takes over after the fathers passing. It is possible that the successor may not be that worthy, but he becomes Rebbe anyways by default. Since Reb Nachman had no surviving sons to succeed him, the Chassidim looked to find a great tzadik to guide them, though he was not called a "Rebbe". Because of this great tzadikim, who were great enough to be "Rebbes" in their own right had they wanted, became the ones to whom Breslover Chassidim turned to for guidance. As Rabbi Micha Golshevsky wrote recently in a comment on A Simple Jew: "As the Porasover Rebbe, shlita, once said, ‘It's true that Breslovers have no Rebbe but look at who they produce! The mehalech of Breslov builds Rebbes! If you say that each person with a hundred close followers is a Rebbe, how many Breslovers would the rest of the velt call bona fide Rebbe's?’ For all of its unstructured openness, what other chasidus can make such a claim? (And no; the Porosover is not a Breslover.)"

Reb Nachman teaches that one should daven very much to find a proper teacher (Likutei Mohoran 30:2). We have the teachings of the tzadikim who aren’t with us any more, but we also need living tzadikim to guide us. Therefore, we should all daven to find the proper Rav or Rebbe that will be able to guide is a material and spiritual aspects, and that we should be able to feel a real attachment to.


At March 2, 2009 at 10:58:00 AM EST, Blogger Yehoishophot Oliver said...

For a beautiful Torah concerning maintaining the inspiration that one receives through the Tzaddik, see this post.

At March 2, 2009 at 11:53:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dont understand the q 100 years ago people only went to the rebbe once a year if that unless they lived in the shtetl?? and we all agree they were worthy chassidim with holy rebbes


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