"Moshiach is ready to come now-our part is to increase in acts of goodness and kindness" -The Rebbe

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why Should We Miss Out?!

Why don’t we have a Rebbe that we can see?! Why can we no longer go up and “see and be seen”? Are we less worthy than the Chassidim of yesteryear, of what is now the previous generation? 

Is it normal for a Chossid to have to go to an Ohel, where he is seen but cannot see, and have “the Rebbe find a way to answer,” instead of going to a Rebbe whom he can see and communicate with directly? To have to be inspired from a Rebbe one has never physically seen, of ink on paper, of audio and video, of fading memories of aging elders?

Lomo nigorah?! Why should we miss out?! Ad mosai!

But what’s even worse than missing out is ... starting to forget that we’re missing out. Starting to tolerate and ultimately accept the situation, and not give it a second thought.

Let us constantly remind ourselves that this is not the way the relationship of a Chossid and Rebbe should be. Let us davven and demand that although we firmly believe that the Rebbe is with us just as before, guiding and blessing us along every step of the way, we are not satisfied with this. We want to see him.

As the Rebbe put it: “Ve’nizkeh zehn zich mit’n Reb’n doh lematoh in a guf, u’lematoh mei’asoroh tefochim, v’hu yigaleinu”—“May we merit to see the Rebbe down here in a body, and in our immediate reality, and he will redeem us.”


  1. Amen.
    Although perhaps we really are less worthy. But if not for the sake of the chassidim, then for the sake of everyone else....

  2. "To have to be inspired from a Rebbe one has never physically seen, of ink on paper, of audio and video, of fading memories of aging elders?"

    Poor us, to have never met moshe rabbeinu or the ushpizin and their wives. We have been blessed to have so many great leaders, many of whom we will never have a chance to meet.

    There are great rebbes among us. There may not be one, great, superstar rebbe, but one can aspire to emulate the ones that came before and set an example for the ones to come.

    Immortality is achieved by sharing, by teaching people. Our great rebbeim live on in us. Pirkei says acquire for yourself a teacher.

    If your big teacher is different teacher than mine, that's okay.

    How fortunate we are to have great teachers available to us on more local levels, throughout the world.

    May you merit to be someone else's big teacher by passing on the wisdom of the great rebbeim who have come before you, and maybe sharing some insights of your own.

    There's a ner tamid in everyone's heart. I sing bilvavi. :)

  3. Thank you for your comment s(b.), and I agree that we should learn from the teachers that we have ("Yiftach beDoro KeShmuel beDoro"). However, I'm afraid that you are lacking a grasp of the concept of a Rebbe according to Chassidus in general, and according to Chabad Chassidus in particular. A Rebbe is much, much more than a teacher, or even a great teacher. For further explanation I recommend that you see my blog http://tzaddikim.blogspot.com/ Also, I thank you for your blessings and I wish you much success in sharing the wisdom of Torah as well.

  4. I understand about the rebbe. I spent time at BY of Boro Park, when my yeshiva was on vacations, when I was a little girl; I was in Tzivos HaShem and in the rebbe's candle-lighters' club. Lubavitch chassidus has always been dear to my heart.

    It's true, there will never be anyone else like the Rebbe (z"l). And there will never be anyone like my Eema or Abba, and I get the idea. And there are a few rebbeim on whom I can call when I've got a shayla, and I don't think I would want to have just one rebbe, because people are human, and not always available, so I find an informal, personal vaad a more practical approach that works for me.

    I understand that for you, and for Chabad, as an organization, it can be difficult to not have the rebbe walking earth anymore. But there are some great rebbeim out there (I will mention Rabbi Perl of Long Island, because that's where I live, but my favorite local Lubavitch chasid is a musician who knows the stories to which I refer, even though I don't remember the names of who said what to whom [I was raised hearing Shabbos table stories of R'Schneur Zalman of Liadi and the Baal Shem Tov]).

    You are right, and I am wrong. I will not understand, and I am glad I don't, the same way I am glad I don't understand old Deadheads (fans of a secular band called the Grateful Dead) who miss Jerry Garcia daily with a passion, even though his music and his influence lives on in so many places, with his old bandmates and in younger musicians. I intend no disrespect and am not comparing the Rebbe to Jerry Garcia, just noting a parallel in the sense of deep loss and sadness I observe among those to whom they meant and continue to mean so much.

    Sei gesund. May each day bring you closer to healing in some real, helpful way, or a change that helps you not feel as if you are missing out any more.

  5. Rabbi Perl seems to be a very good Rabbi, but he's not at all a Rebbe in the sense of a Chabad Rebbe.

    I also want to clarify that I, and all Chabad Chassidim, still consider the Rebbe our Rebbe in the present tense. In other words, we believe that the Rebbe is still leading us despite his passing.

    The post above is meant to express the pain at the situation in which we are not able to directly see the Rebbe. This is not a pain that I would ever want to lose. Because the Rebbe is not gone, ch"v; he is hidden. We can continue to connect to him, and now even more than before. I've discussed this in other posts on this blog.

    It is not accurate to describe it as a sense of "loss and sadness", because those words have an air of permanence. Rather, the pain I write about in my post is a sense of ... intense yearning for the Rebbe's fully revealed leadership, which will surely return in the very near future.

    Thank you again for your good wishes.


Thank you for your comment! :)