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

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Completely pointless identification

The Previous Rebbe writes:
If you desire to be in the list of those bound with me, you need to fix a time every day to learn the words of the living G–d, the teachings of Chassidus Chabad. On Shabbos you should learn twice as much. You should conduct yourself in the ways of Chassidus with regard to the version of the liturgy that you use, and by immersing in the Mikveh before Shabbos, and on the morning of Shabbos and Yom Tov. You should wear Tefillin in the manner [customary for chassidei Chabad], and make a point of praying at length on special occasions.

Without the above, it is completely pointless [for you to be counted in the list of those bound with me].

For one who has not bound himself up [with me], and who does not wish to conduct himself according to the ways of chassidim, and study the teachings of Chassidus—and especially for those who oppose it, as some administrators of your age have done—I am not sure whether the blessings that we bless them have any benefit.

Igros Kodesh Admur HaRayatz, Vol. 4, p. 279.
To put this in my own words: To identify as a chossid, and reap the spiritual and material benefits of being connected to the Rebbe, there are conditions, requirements, and rules. It is not a free-for-all.

People may notice that chassidim behave distinctively in particular areas, and come to the conclusion that these areas define Chassidic identity. For example, a chossid will make a point of fraternizing with other chassidim and dressing in a certain way. To be sure, being a chossid means taking part in the Chassidic community, but that’s not to say that one’s choice of social circle makes one a chossid. Likewise, although a chossid dresses differently, one’s dress does not make one a chossid.

Rather, it’s about how one acts. One who has genuinely committed to follow the lifestyle that Chassidus prescribes makes himself a vessel for the spiritual blessings from the Rebbeim, and is worthy of being called a chossid. In contrast, one who doesn’t follow this lifestyle will not receive these blessings, and shouldn’t call himself a chossid. Not that he can’t receive any blessings, but he can’t receive these blessings. And calling oneself a chossid, and failing to fulfill what is required of a chossid, or at least striving conscientiously in that direction, won’t make one a chossid, and in that case calling oneself a chossideino inyan klal”—is completely pointless.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment! :)