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

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gimmel Tammuz: Hiskashrus Before and After

Gimmel Tammuz:
Before and After

Rabbi Y. Oliver

Ever since Gimmel Tammuz occurred, Hiskashrus—the deep, personal bond between chossid and Rebbe that inspires the chossid to a far higher level of connection with and devotion to Hashem—appears to have changed, in a certain sense.

Before Gimmel Tammuz one didn’t have to work so hard to feel a sense of deep connection, for just being in the Rebbe’s presence lifted the person up in an incredible way. It suffused the person with intense energy with which to serve Hashem.

Now, however, Hiskashrus is an Avodah, a lengthy process that requires intense, active effort, or else it simply won’t happen. No longer can it come though osmosis. Granted, one can still be in the Rebbe’s presence by visiting the Ohel. However, only through lengthy preparation (especially by studying the Mitteleh Rebbe’s Kuntres Hishtatchus) will one truly feel that one is in the Rebbe’s presence. Likewise, one can be in the Rebbe’s Shul, an atmosphere permeated with the Rebbe’s holiness, but one will only connect with that holiness in a deeply-felt way through lengthy preparation (especially by studying the Rebbe’s Kuntres Beis Rabeinu Shebebovel, printed in Sefer HaSichos 5752, Vol. 2).

On the one hand, this situation creates a greater difficulty, especially for those who lack personal memories of seeing the Rebbe. On the other hand, one who attains something easily usually isn’t affected as deeply as when it comes with difficulty. Thus, in a way the bond that one creates with the Rebbe after Gimmel Tammuz will necessarily be more pnimiyusdik—more real and deeply-felt.

Practically speaking, this means that one needs to regularly learn the Rebbe’s teachings and constantly grow in following his instructions, for as the Previous Rebbe writes in the HaYom Yom of 24 Sivan, this is the way to attain Hiskashrus.

May this final stage of the Golus finish, enabling us to see the Rebbe again, immediately!

To be sure, even before Gimmel Tammuz one could have treated Hiskashrus as an Avodah, prepared for it thoroughly, and been deeply inspired. But one didn’t need to. One could have followed “the path of least resistance” and sufficed with the inspiration that came automatically. Now, however, until Moshiach comes, one has no other option. It won’t come from above. Either one actively works on the relationship, or it simply won’t exist.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Despite kashes, our mission is clear

How do we deal with challenging questions, “kashes,” concerning the relationship between the Rebbe and chassidim after Gimmel Tammuz? Perhaps a lesson can be derived from the excerpt of the sicha below:
The question is asked: Why did the Histalkus of my father-in-law, the [Previous] Rebbe, have to occur? We had a Jew who displayed miracles openly; if so, we could have continued and completed together with him the years remaining until the arrival of Moshiach?

I have no solution to this question.

However, we should know that the reality is that “A
Tzaddik who passes away is found in all the worlds even more than during his lifetime” (Zohar 3:71b). “This means that even in this world of action he is found more” (as explained in Igeres HaKodesh in the explanation to sec. 27). Thus even now the Rebbe grants the strength to go out and draw a fellow Jew close to Torah, to the teachings of Chassidus, and not only to the school of “general Chassidus” [a reference to non-Chabad Chassidus], but also to the teachings of Chassidus Chabad.

However, some fools ask questions. The proper solution is not to listen to them, pay attention to them, or be deterred by them.

Toras Menachem, Vol. 2, p. 22.

To apply this to our current situation: Why did
Gimmel Tammuz happen?

Various answers may be suggested, but let’s just say for the purpose of this post that we don’t know.

Yet regardless, one thing is clear. The Rebbe is still our Rebbe and we are still his

We have a mission with which he has charged us—to teach Torah and
Mitzvos in general and chassidus in particular to every single Jew.

Are there questions that could be asked—
kashes? Yes.

But they don’t change the fact of the Alter Rebbe’s statement that the
Tzaddik’s connection with his Chassidim continues after his passing—words that are clearly directly relevant to our situation (especially in light of the principle of “he ruled concerning himself” discussed here).

Those who get carried away with kashes and lose sight of the pure truth in the words of the Alter Rebbe are fools. Nothing personal, of course. The intention is not to insult or talk unfavorably of another Jew, G–d forbid, but to reject this way of thinking. But why do so by calling the person a fool? This especially striking choice of language here is noteworthy considering the Rebbe’s general aversion of using any even slightly inappropriate language. Perhaps in this connection the idea of a fool is one who dismisses the truth, as the Alter Rebbe writes so powerfully in
Tanya chapter 14: “I do not wish to be a fool like him to deny the truth.”

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Who's really at fault?

The Previous Rebbe said:

Even if the other person is not as he should be, the person should know that he is lacking. The other person doesn’t know what you know. If he would know what you know, he would certainly become a different person. If you would behave properly, others would learn from you.

Sefer HaMa’amarim 5710, p. 264.

In my own words: When one see a fault in others, human nature is to see it as just that—a fault in him, and not in oneself. But in many cases in fact the opposite is true: The other guy behaves inappropriately because he doesn’t know better. But I do know better, and yet I fail to live up to what is expected of me. Moreover, if I would change, he would be inspired. So in a way, my negligence is the cause of his faults.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Unconditional Acceptance: A Delicate Balance

Unconditional Acceptance:
A Delicate Balance

Rabbi Y. Oliver

The Rebbe writes:
It is difficult to establish rules concerning your question whether to deliver a speech at [political] party meetings or for groups that are not G–d-fearing.

On the one hand, it is proper to use every opportunity to influence
diverse groups of our Jewish brethren, to draw them close to Judaism, Torah and Mitzvos.

On the other hand, one must exercise caution to ensure that one’s participation in their gathering not be interpreted as a form of endorsement of their views, or at least of their activities.

Practically speaking, you should make a point of negating the last concern, and lecturing in any place that is fit to sow a seed of Judaism and fear of Heaven. Most of the time this sowing leads to growth, whether on the spot, or at least at some later point in time.

Igros Kodesh, Vol. 4, p. 199.

The suggestion that you teach in a school with mixed classes and the like does not seem correct to me, for this lends endorsement [to such conduct].

Ibid., Vol. 18, pp.
Spreading Yiddishkeit involves maintaining a delicate balance. Obviously one should seek out every possible opportunity to exert influence on as many people as possible, and in order for the listener to accept one’s message, one needs to be tolerant, compassionate, and even unconditionally accepting of him.

Nevertheless, one should ensure that the listener does not walk away with the impression that one’s accepting approach on a personal level also entails tacit acceptance and endorsement of his inappropriate behavior.
How to make this point, however, depends upon the situation.

First and foremost, one should be mindful of the inherent need to project a clear moral standard and to prevent one's actions or words from being construed as being permissive. Then one can figure out how to go about doing so in one’s individual circumstances, or consult with a
mashpia for assistance.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

On the Importance of Speaking Yiddish

On the Importance of Speaking Yiddish

Rabbi Y. Oliver

There are many reasons to learn Yiddish and speak Yiddish, most notably that (for European Jews) it is the “mameh loshon,” the distinctive Jewish language that sets us apart from the gentile nations in our speech.

However, as a chossid there is an additional very important reason: to understand the Rebbe.
Sadly there are many
chassidim who not only do not learn sichos from the original, but don’t even have the language skills to do so! They don’t know Yiddish.
Even if they regularly learn the
sichos available in English or Hebrew:

1. A translation is not the same as the original;

2. There are many, many
sichos that have not been translated into English or Hebrew;
They can’t understand the Rebbe speaking. We have such a wealth of inspiring audio (see here) and video recordings of the Rebbe speaking. Personally, I feel so uplifted when I hear the Rebbe speak, and boruch Hashem I can understand every word he’s saying. I see others viewing subtitles, and I feel sorry for them. The subtitles are good, but ... they just don’t do justice to the original. Not because they’re not well translated (they usually are), but because when you hear the words and the feeling in the words and understand it at the same time, the impact is far more powerful than when you hear the words and read text.
I have great difficulty imagining how one can feel a strong identity as a
chossid, which means feeling an intensely deep bond with the Rebbe and with the Rebbe’s teachings and directives ... when he doesn't even understand the language that the Rebbe speaks! To realize how absurd this is, just imagine being married to someone and interacting solely through an interpreter!

I understand that some people may think that they don’t have the time or opportunity to learn Yiddish. But is that a reason not to try? Why not at least make it a goal, one word at a time? Perhaps learn a few words a day. Not advanced words, but basic words. It doesn’t take long to develop a basic vocabulary, to figure out the tenses, singular and plural, masculine and feminine. There are books can be obtained that explain these rules. After those basics are in place, the rest is much more easy. Especially since the Rebbe does’t speak a sophisticated Yiddish, and mixes in a lot of
loshon kodesh.

Really, try it. It makes such a big difference. Instead of feeling that the Rebbe is speaking Chinese, you’ll feel that he’s speaking to you—and he is.

(See this book on Yiddish.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Being a chossid: Obedience and inner change

Be happy, it’s Simchas Torah! Why? Because the Shulchan Aruch says so! Oh, okay.

ad mosai (a demand to Hashem to bring Moshiach)! Why? Because the Rebbe says so! Oh, okay.


Being a Jew is about both
kabbolas ol and pnimiyus.

Kabbolas ol means soldier-like obedience. Hashem is the King, so I follow His orders, the Mitzvos. I do so even when I don’t understand or feel why I should, and at times some of these orders seem odd. I obey regardless, because I believe in Hashem, I know that His intellect is incomparably superior to mine (which He created). He knows better than me, so his edicts must be obeyed. However, this is only the beginning, the foundation of the building.

Pnimiyus means that I change my inner self, until I want what Hashem wants: “Make His will your will” (Pirkei Avos 2:4). I build the edifice of a personal relationship upon the foundation of obedience. The edifice is the motivation: I am motivated to perform Mitzvos and I do so with a deeply-felt enthusiasm and excitement (ahavas Hashem); I am motivated to avoid sinning, and I do so with a profound sense of awe and trepidation (yiras Hashem).

Being a Chabad
chossid is also about both kabbolas ol and pnimiyus.

Kabbolas ol means that I follow the Rebbe’s orders—because they are essentially G–d’s orders, of course—even if I don’t understand and feel why I should. The Rebbe is my general, my king, so I obey. I feel a certain emotional connection and identification with what I do, but only because of my having accepted him as my Rebbe. I feel little personal identification with the things that the Rebbe tells me to do, and I have difficulty grasping why they are important, but I obey out of the minimum belief in the concept that “the Shechinah speaks in the mouth of Moshe” (Zohar 3:232a, ibid. 3:7a).

In short, when
Shulchan Aruch tells a Jew to do something, or the Rebbe tells a chossid to do something, then he must obey regardless of whether he feels a personal connection with the matter. Obedience is the beginning of one’s relationship with Hashem as a Jew, and with the Rebbe as a chossid. Still, one should realize that if that’s all there is to the relationship, then something is fundamentally lacking.

Pnimiyus means I change my inner self, until I want what the Rebbe wants—which is, of course, a deeper way of connecting with what Hashem wants. I enjoy learning Chassidus, davvenen (praying) according to Chassidus, fulfilling the Rebbe’s instructions in all areas, and emulating his example. I don’t enjoy these things because the Rebbe said I should enjoy them—which would be a very superficial feeling—but because I actually understand why they are important, and this brings me to feel it deeply.

Similarly, I don’t avoid that which the Rebbe says to avoid “just because the Rebbe says so,” but because I truly understand why such a course of action is undesirable and so I find it emotionally repulsive. The inspiration gained through learning Chassidus and conducting myself according to the ways of Chassidus in turn infuses my observance of Mitzvos with an extra ahavas Hashem and yiras Hashem that is otherwise unattainable (see here). And even if I have not yet actually attained this level, it is my genuine aspiration and I am steadily working towards it.

The only way to truly feel excited about something holy is to work on it really hard. To learn, to meditate, to
davven with the concept. If one is not doing these things, then he can assume that his connection with the matter is superficial. It’s at best kabbolas ol, and possibly not even that (because kabbolas ol alone rarely lasts—but that’s for another blog post).

In a way, being a chossid in certain superficial (albeit important) areas (e.g., dress, customs, etc.) and not regularly working on changing one’s
pnimiyus is simply missing the whole point. The whole purpose of the introduction of Chassidus was to infuse vital inspiration into one’s avodas Hashem. That is the inner goal that all the more external aspects exist to serve.

To sum up, being a Chabad
chossid is not about being a yes-man. It’s about following a program that brings one to feel the most sublime and profound intellectual and emotional bond with Hashem possible until Moshiach comes, and thus as ready as possible for Moshiach when he comes. But the only way to get there is hard, perhaps even grueling labor. There ain’t no short cuts.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rebbe and chossid: An ever-increasing bond

Some may think that although the Rebbe remains with us after his passing, perhaps the intensity of his blessings and bond with his chassidim diminishes with time. The Rebbe teaches us below that in fact, the opposite is the case:
... Yet even these hidden, sealed-away treasures [the teachings of Chassidus Chabad] were revealed in this generation, and until today the [Previous] Rebbe, my father-in-law, the Leader of our Generation, is revealing them further and further, for even after [his passing in] 5710 he did not abandon his flock. Moreover, he is found with us in a way of ever-increasing holiness from year to year. This year, 5746, he is with us in an even higher manner than he was last year, 5745, and so it will continue until the Moshiach comes, and even afterwards.

For although after Moshiach arrives, “one man will not teach his fellow, saying, ‘come, know G–d,’ for they will all know Me, small and great alike,”[1] there will still be a difference between “great” and “small.” This also means that there will still be a difference between students and Rebbes, such that every student will be together with his Rebbe, and through him he will join with G–d’s very Essence—“they will know Me”—in a way of an “intermediary who [only] connects”[2] (unlike a translator [who also divides]).

Hisva’aduyos 5746, Vol. 1, p. 88.

[1] Yeshaya 31:33.
[2] See Sefer HaSichos Toras Shalom, p. 158. Likkutei Sichot, Vol. 2, p. 510. See here.
In my own words: Here the Rebbe says that even after the Previous Rebbe’s Histalkus (passing) on Yud Shevat, the Previous Rebbe is still with the chassidim, and continues revealing chassidus to them and leading them. Moreover, he does so in an ever-increasing manner. (This appears to be based on the principle the “one should constantly rise higher in holiness”—Berachos 28a.) In fact, this bond will continue until Moshiach comes, and even after, for even then the relationship of chossid and Rebbe will continue, with each chossid together with his Rebbe.

Lesson: According to the principle of “he ruled concerning himself” discussed here, the Rebbe’s statement concerning the Previous Rebbe surely teaches us how we, as the Rebbe’s chassidim, should relate to him after Gimmel Tammuz. Not only has his flow of blessings and personal guidance not decreased with time after his Histalkus, but it increases constantly.

Moreover, the personal bond that chassidim establish with the Rebbe now, even after his Histalkus, will continue and grow all the more close after Moshiach comes, for this bond will enable the chassidim to connect with the lofty divine revelations of the Messianic age, and even the revelation of Hashem’s very Essence.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Being a Chossid: Not Just Obedience, but Acceptance

Being a Chossid:
Not Just Obedience, but Acceptance

Rabbi Y. Oliver

The secular world trains us subliminally that not only is everyone entitled to an opinion, but everyone must have oneand an independent one. It’s a status symbol. But the Torah approach, lehavdil, is quite different.

In fact, even a more humble not-yet-Torah-observant person can recognize logically that when
we use our minds, even if we are highly intelligent, our judgment is very weak and imperfect:

1) we may well lack vast amounts of background information, such that although our conclusion may follow logically from the premises, if the premises are incorrect, so is the conclusion;

2) we may well lack truly sharpened reasoning tools, such that even if all our premises are correct and we have considered all relevant information, we may not be drawing the correct conclusion;

3) we may well lack true objectivity; thus, the conclusions that we reach with imperfect methods are themselves highly imperfect.

This applies even when calculating secular matters, and it holds all the more when calculating spiritual matters, in which extreme refinement and attunement to spirituality and holiness is required in order to attain truth.

Accordingly, a G–d-fearing Jew strives to base everything he believes on Torah. If he does not know for certain what the Torah teaches on a particular topic, he may formulate an opinion, but that opinion is inherently tentative. Thus, if he then hears that the Torah teaches otherwise, he will immediately accept that his opinion must be wrong, and give it up. 

It’s not as if the intellectual arguments that brought him to reach the opinion he had held cease to exist. They still need to be resolved, and he hopes to resolve them. But instead of compelling him to a conclusion, these arguments revert to unanswered questions. He says, “I see now that sadly lo kivanti, I wasn’t privileged to grasp the correct understanding of this concept on my own. I hope that with time, with the help of Hashem, by pleading to Hashem with a chapter of Tehillim, I’ll discover exactly all the reasons that my mental calculation was faulty, whether I was lacking—in information, in refined reasoning tools, or in personal refinement and objectivity (or a combination of the above)leading to a false conclusion. But for the meantime, I am happy to admit my mistake, knowing that now I have the truth.”

This is not just submission of one’s
ko’ach ha’maaseh
(faculty of action) to Hashem, but a submission of one’s mind to Hashem. This is the deeper meaning of the Mitzvah to don the head Tefillin: shibud ha’moach, submitting one’s intellect to Hashem.

This approach requires humility. It also requires a strong sense of the severe limitations of human intellect when compared with that of
Hashem, the Creator and Director of the universe.

It’s true that highly intelligent people will have more difficulty reaching this sort of submission. But it’s quite attainable, really. On the contrary, a truly wise person will be fully aware of his limitations, and any opinion he reaches though his own reasoning (as opposed to a clear statement of the Torah) will be held tentatively, pending further investigation, and pending confirmation through an explicit Torah source. Hence, when he learns that his opinion was mistaken because of the simple fact that the Torah says otherwise, he does not cling to it; rather, he accepts intellectually and emotionally that he erred, and that the Torah, which is “a Torah of truth” (blessing on the Torah), was correct.

And all the above also applies to the way a
chossid regards his Rebbe. A non-chossid will accept a Rebbe’s words if they makes sense to him. If not, not. In contrast, a chossid has the bittul (humility) and emunas Tzaddikim (faith in Tzaddikim—see here) to know that the Rebbe’s perception is not only superior to his own, but simply in another league from it. Just as it is silly for a little child to disagree with his parents, so is it ridiculous for a person to disagree with his Rebbe. In fact, it is far more ridiculous, since the distance between them is far greater, for a child will one day become an adult, while a chossid will never become a Rebbe.

So (following on from
this earlier post on the topic) we have a further definition of what is a
chossid: A chossid does not just obey, he accepts.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Key to Bringing Moshiach

What is the reason for the name given to the Alter Rebbe’s holy work, the Tanya?
Tanya begins with the word tanya despite the fact that the prevalent version of the text quoted at the beginning of Tanya starts differently—“darash Rebbi Simla’i.” As is known, there is a Kelipah called tanya that opposes the study of the secrets of Torah, through which we draw the redemption near. By beginning in this way, with the word tanya, the Alter Rebbe intended to weaken and nullify this Kelipah, and therefore to draw close and bring the actual redemption.
Sefer HaSichos 5751, Vol. 1, p. 189, fn. 113.
Let’s face it: the neglect of the study of pnimiyus HaTorah, the inner dimension of the Torah, is widespread, and found even among those who have been taught how important this study is. We need to understand that is no coincidence. There’s a fierce battle going on. Since dissemination of this wisdom is the key to bringing Moshiach, the Kelipah fights back with every tool in its arsenal to “cool off” this study by creating an inner and outer resistance.

However, this very knowledge empowers us, for then “the game is up,” and when we encounter this resistance, we see through it. We realize that all the explanations given for the neglect of this study, no matter how logical, sensible, and even pious they sound, are nothing but pathetic, empty excuses. Worse—they are a devious ploy of the evil inclination to distract us from what we should be doing, for it knows that this study is the key to its downfall.

We then devote ourselves consistently and fearlessly, with redoubled effort, to studying this wisdom in tremendous depth and in great amounts, and disseminating it as widely as possible, with enthusiasm and love. And with this devotion, we will succeed at bringing
Moshiach NOW.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Making a Kiddush Hashem

Making a Kiddush Hashem
Rabbi Y. Oliver

A Jew must set a living example for one and all of proper conduct, for he represents G–d. This is the idea of making a kiddush Hashem, sanctifying G–d’s Name.

The Talmud explains:
“You shall love the L–rd your G–d” (Devorim 6:5): The Name of Heaven should become beloved through you. One should read Scripture, learn Mishnah, and serve Torah scholars, and his dealings with people should be conducted pleasantly. What do people then say of him? “Fortunate is his father who taught him Torah. Fortunate is his teacher who taught him Torah. Woe unto people who do not learn Torah. This person who learned Torah, see how pleasant are his ways, how refined are his deeds.” Of him Scripture says: “He [G–d] said to me, ‘You are My servant, Israel, through whom I am glorified.’” (Yeshaya 49:3)
Yoma 86a.
In other words, when we do not behave as we should, others interpret our actions as reflecting upon the values that we profess to stand for. Since we hold those values dear, and do not want people to think less of them—on the contrary, we want others to adopt them, if possible—we need to be extra careful not to allow our own weaknesses to give G–d and the Jewish people a bad name; on the contrary, we should make every effort to behave in a friendly, decent manner, one that will reflect favorably upon G–d and the Jewish people.

This is despite the fact that in reality one’s undesirable behavior does not stem from the Torah, but from his personal weakness. All Jews are “believers the sons of believers” (
Shabbos 97a), yet they may sin because they choose to give in to their evil inclination, which does not care to follow the Code of Jewish Law.

However, an outsider will not interpret the action he observes in this way. He will only see the action itself, and extrapolate from the action that such behavior conforms to the values of Torah.

This concept applies not only in terms of one’s behavior in the eyes of gentiles, not-yet-observant Jews, or peers; it also applies when relating to anyone who is in some sense on a lower level than oneself, for whatever reason. They may be:
  • less knowledgeable
  • coming from a less observant background
  • less particular in observance of Mitzvos
  • it applies in terms of the difference between Yissochor, those devoted to full-time Torah study, and Zevulun, those in the workforce, who should look to Yissochor for inspiration
To a far lesser degree it would seem to apply even when in the presence of someone on a much higher level, in the sense that everything that happens in a person’s environment has an impact upon him or her.

Hashem help us to always remember the importance of making a kiddush Hashem, and may we always succeed at doing so.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Rebbe will find a way to answer I

I once heard from Reb Barel Lipsker that every week he and his friends would farbreng together and discuss various questions and issues in Avodah, and they soon realized that in an uncanny way, every week at the farbrengen on Shabbos, the Rebbe would discuss and resolve the exact question that they had been discussing!

I don’t know about other people, but in a similar way I find this happening to me regularly. I’ll have a question, and the same day or the following day, I’ll learn something in a sicha or in Igros Kodesh or the like that is really talking to me, and directly addresses the very question that I am having. I feel that this is Hashem showing me the fulfillment of the Rebbe’s words concerning the Previous Rebbeand by extension, himselfthat “the Rebbe will find a way to answer.” Have other people had similar experiences?

Friday, February 6, 2009

What is a chossid?

What is a chossid?

Some say that a
chossid is a kind person, for the word chossid is related to the word chessed, kindness. However, this cannot be the core of what a chossid is, for non-chassidim can also be kind.

Others suggest that a
chossid is one who goes beyond the letter of the law, but this can also not be considered a defining feature, for many non-chassidim are careful to go beyond the letter of the law.

Yet others suggest that a
chossid is joyful in serving Hashem. However, many non-chassidim also serve Hashem joyfully, so that can’t be it either.

Or perhaps being a
chossid is about what one believes. For example, chassidim believe in Hashgacha Pratis, personal Divine Providence. But again, a person can accept this belief without being a chossid.

chossid davvens very seriously. He engages in hisbonenus, deep meditation on Hashem’s greatness with the goal of inspiring himself to love for Hashem in prayer and to profoundly changing his character traits. Yet one could technically engage in all this without being a chossid.

These are all things that
chassidim do or should do, but they are external, and thus they do not truly define what is a chossid.

I submit that the core definiton is that a chossid is one with genuine bittul, self-abnegation, to his Rebbe, to whom he submits and whom he obeys. This is most succinctly expressed in the word used to describe a Rebbe: adonenu, our master. And this relationship is the most important relationship in his life, for he knows that this is the key to a true relationship with Hashem.

He then
also engages in kindness, scrupulous observance, joy, sensitivity to
Hashgacha Pratis, passionate prayer, and so on. However, all these external aspects stem from the core foundation of bittul to his Rebbe.