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

Monday, November 9, 2009

Connecting to all the Rebbeim—via the Rebbe

As discussed earlier, the Rebbe makes a point of referring to all the Rebbeim as Raboseinu Nesi’einu, our Rebbeim and Nesi’im. It is notable that the Rebbe made this concept very practically relevant in a way that was not done in previous generations by holding a farbrengen in many years on both the birthday and the Yom Hillula (day of passing) of the earlier Rebbeim, and by singing the niggunim associated with all the Rebbeim at important farbrengens (Rosh Hashonoh, and in later years, 19 Kislev).

As the Rebbe puts it in connection with the
Yom Hillula of the Rebbe Maharash:

Although there were several Nesi’im after the Rebbe Maharash, “Holiness doesn’t depart from its place” (cf. Eitz Chaim 4:3, 34:3), and this applies all the more when the holy matters being referred to are the accomplishments of a Nosi, which have a special quality. His accomplishments during his lifetime thus surely have an ongoing impact on all future generations ... and this is particularly true each year on his Yom Hillula.

Hisva’aduyos 5744, Vol. 1, p. 146.
The Rebbe raised the question: Is it not written “A generation may [only] have one leader” (Rashi, Devarim 31:7)? The Rebbe did not answer this question on that occasion.

However, in a
farbrengen delivered in honor of the Yom Hillula of the Mitteler Rebbe, the Rebbe provides the answer to this question.

The Rebbe cited the Frierdiker Rebbe’s words that when one attends a farbrengen on the
Yom Hillula of a Tzaddik, this is like handing a pan to that Rebbe. Then the Rebbe continues:
It ought to be clarified that in no way does this contradict our Hiskashrus [bond] with my father-in-law, the [Previous] Rebbe, who is the Nosi of our generation, for the Hiskashrus with the Mitteler Rebbe that is effected through handing over a pan is to the Mitteler Rebbe as he is subsumed in my father-in-law, the [Previous] Rebbe, the Nosi of our generation.

... Each of the Rebbeim is a luminary [which is in fact one, unchanging luminary], and yet each Rebbe had his own unique quality, in according with his level in the
Sefiros. As is known, the Baal Shem Tov corresponds to Atik, the Maggid of Mezeritch to Arich, the Alter Rebbe to Chochmah, the Mitteler Rebbe to Binah, and so on.

The Previous Rebbe, the luminary of our generation, includes all the luminaries—the Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid, the Alter Rebbe, the Mitteler Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, the Rebbe Maharash, and the Rebbe Rashab—for he accomplishes all the things that they accomplished in their time.

Thus, now [on the
Yom Hillula of the Mitteler Rebbe] we ought to bind ourselves with the luminary of the Mitteler Rebbe as he is included in the luminary of our generation, my father-in-law, the [Previous] Rebbe.

Toras Menachem 5711, Vol. 1, pp. 105-106.
In summary, on the one hand, in a certain sense all of the Rebbeim are our Rebbeim now. At the same time, the current Rebbe—for us, the Rebbe—is the primary Rebbe, and thus in order to connect ourselves with the Previous Rebbeim, we need to do so via our Rebbe, who embodies all the Previous Rebbeim.

Practically speaking, what does this mean? Perhaps one significant way of accomplishing this (in addition to learning from the teachings of that Previous Rebbe on the special day associated with him, as the Rebbe has instructed us many times) is to make a point of learning what the Rebbe said in connection with that particular birthday,
yom hageula (day of release), or Yom Hillula.

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