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

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rebbe and Chossid: Imagining the Reunion

The Previous Rebbe once declared at a farbrengen:
Everyone should remind themselves of ten minutes in which he stood before my father [the Rebbe Rashab], and [consider] the way he is now, and that he will have to appear before my father [when Moshiach comes].
We can surely apply this statement to our current situation, after Gimmel Tammuz. To state the obvious, one of the main problems that we as chassidim face in our time is that we do not see the Rebbe physically. Yes, we are able to visit the Rebbe at his holy Ohel and bask in his physical presence. Yes, we can view pictures and videos, and with an ease and availability completely not possible even a decade ago, and we surely need to appreciate and make the most of this. Likewise, audio of the Rebbe speaking is more available than ever before. And despite it all, at the end of the day, we don’t see the Rebbe himself with our eyes of flesh.

Obviously, part of the interim solution to this problem is to remind ourselves constantly of the truth that the Rebbe taught us again and again when discussing the Previous Rebbe (and especially over the course of the year after the Previous Rebbe’s Histalkussee, for example, here) that a Rebbe never abandons his chassidim, and so we, too, know (see here) that the Rebbe davvens for us, blesses us, guides us, and leads us even now no less than before. In fact, in a sense he leads us even more than before, albeit in a hidden way.

Yet of course, all this is not enough. When the Rebbe is hidden from the chossid (due to our many sins), the chossid should not be satisfied with relating to the Rebbe in a hidden way, because this is not the way that the relationship of Rebbe and chossid ought to be. Rather, he should be filled with an intense desire to be physically reunited with the Rebbe.

The Rebbe himself has set this example for us, for he famously wished at the conclusion of his very first ma’amar (see here): “May we merit to see the [Previous] Rebbe, down here in a physical body and within our immediate reach, and he will redeem us.” Moreover, a chossid should regard it as his personal responsibility to bring this reunion about, as the Rebbe wrote to Reb Avrohom Parizh: “Reb Avrohom, we have to bring the Rebbe back” (Igros Kodesh, Vol. 4, p. 156).

But imagining, yearning, and praying to see the Rebbe again,
as important as they are, are not enough. Chassidim are bound to the Rebbe through an intense love (see here), and part of love is a desire to make ones beloved happy, and to avoid causing him or her pain. Thus, the desire to be reunited with the Rebbe should also bring us to Teshuvah, to change our behavior such that it conforms with the Rebbes instructions totally, for we realize that not only is the Rebbe pained now when we behave inappropriately (for he surely sees the way we are acting even now), but when we will at long last be reunited with the Rebbe (and it is only a matter of time, im yirtzeh Hashem), he will look at us and look through us and be reminded of exactly how we acted when he was hidden. And we will look back at him.

So lets imagine it, and ask ourselves fearlessly exactly what type of response we will deserve, as painful as that question may be.

We cannot escape the fact that whether the Rebbes response will be one of joyful pride or painful disappointment depends upon the way we choose to act now, in the moments before we are reunited. So lets act wisely and make sure we don’t, as they say, have “egg on our faces” when Moshiach comes.


  1. I once heard it said only half in jest that if Shlomo Hamelech had known of the Rebbe-Chassid relationship he would have used that instead of a man-woman for the model in Shir Hashirim.

    Such a deep love between rebbe and chassid, as explained in this post!

  2. My daughter (who is 8!) and I have a plan when we go clothes shopping together. When we pick something off the rack (for me or her) we ask each other, "would you where this in front of the Rebbe?" If the answer is no it goes back on the rack. B"H this works well for both of us and keeps the Rebbe in our sights at all times. I think this method can be instituted in almost any situation for a positive outcome.


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