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

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Criteria in choosing a personal Rav

The Rebbe instructed each chossid to fulfill the dictum of the Mishnah: “Asei lecha Rav”—“Appoint for yourself a teacher” (Avos 1:6), a personal guide and mentor.

Of course, one
Asei lecha Rav needs to be intelligent, knowledgeable, sensitive, wise, insightful, refined, and so on. However, although these qualities are necessary, they are more external. The Rav’s ability to advise us depends upon his bittul to Hashem, and for chassidim, part of bittul to Hashem is bittul to the Rebbe, who is the “intermediary who joins” us with Hashem. So a chossid should seek an Asei lecha Rav who possesses this quality. Then the Asei lecha Rav’s role is not to tell us ideas of his own, but to explain to us what the Rebbe wants of us.

Thus, when we go to an
Asei lecha Rav for counsel, we do not go to him as an individual (albeit one with wisdom and experience), but as an extension of the Rebbe, for “one’s agent is the legal equivalent of oneself” (Nedarim 35b).

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