Saturday, November 15, 2008

* Precious Moments with the Rebbe *

When I watch videos of people interacting with the Rebbe, I'm often overcome with-besides awe-a feeling of envy in my heart. What an inspiration it is to have been face to face with the Rebbe! I don't understand how someone could turn their head away a second earlier than necessary. How could a Chossid not take full advantage of our holy Rebbe?!

Tonight, something occurred to me. Yes, seeing is inspiring. But doing is connecting.

In the words of the Hayom Yom: An extremely simple person has an inner sense of bitul (nullity) before the wisdom and greatness of a scholar - a bitul in which he senses himself to be an utter nonentity. The sage in turn, does not sense or perceive the simpleton as belonging at all to the category of human beings! Not that the scholar dismisses or rejects him, G-d forbid, for that would be an evil trait; he simply sees no connection or relationship with him whatsoever.

Now, when the sage instructs the simple man to do something for him, that command brings the simpleton "into being." In his own self-perception he is no longer a nonentity but a "somebody"; he has assumed a status unto himself in that he is able to carry out an order of the sage, and it is him that the sage addressed and instructed. In the eyes of the sage too, the simpleton now "exists"; he is a "somebody" to whom he (the sage) can speak and instruct. What is more, the command actually unites the lofty, exalted sage with the gross simpleton. There is no difference at all what the command is about, whether a great, lofty matter or a simple trivial one.

On screen, they are filming the photographing of a Kinnus Hashluchim group photo from a number of years ago. "This is where your Tatty will be next week, im yirtzeh Hashem!" I exclaim excitedly. Across the room, the six year old Shlucha mouths to me, eyes shining: "And me too!" She has memorized an impressive amount of Tanya in order to earn this trip. For a few days, she will join hundreds and hundreds of other Yiddishe girls as they stream into Bais Rivka and settle down to learn in a building that has sheltered thousands of hours of Chassidish learning. She will soak up the experience and it will rejuvenate her and strengthen her during the months ahead. She, herself, is home-schooled in a foreign land. She can barely communicate with the children of her city. She learns Chassidus during her weekly taxi ride to ballet class. She recites Shema from a siddur, every night. In the evenings, she has the chance to spend two luxurious hours online--listening, learning, laughing--with fellow kid Shluchim from around the world. When I say "Moshiach should come tonight!", she corrects me, "Moshiach should come BEFORE tonight!" She is six years old.
This is a Precious Moment with the Rebbe.

We see the Rebbe walking with a brown paper bag that is filled with papers. "Those are the panim that people sent to the Rebbe", I explain. "Hey! My letter is in that bag!!" shouts the 4 year old Shlucha who is sitting beside me. "I told my Tatty to write a letter to the Rebbe saying 'I love you Rebbe and I love you Hashem and I know that you are happy that I didn't eat the not-kosher food in my preschool'." This is what she tells me. In 2008. She is one of six Lubavitchers in her country. She attends a local non-Jewish preschool. She stands on her chair every morning and fiercly demands that Hashem send us the Beis Hamikdosh. She never went to a rally or farbrengen of the Rebbe. She is four years old.
This is a Precious Moment with the Rebbe.

"Why are the kids standing on the benches in 770??" asks the 2 year old Shliach who is sitting on my lap while gazing at the video screen. "So they can see the Rebbe better", I answer. "Also, they are very b'simcha and it's hard to be happy when you just sit in one place, so they are jumping and dancing." "Why are they so happy?" "Do you see the Rebbe waving his hand? It's so the people should sing more and louder". "I don't understand. Why does the Rebbe want them to be so happy?" "Because it's a big mitzvah to be happy. It will bring Moshiach closer." A pause and then he starts jumping, curls flying all about him, "We want Moshiach now, we want Moshiach now..." He is two years old.
This is a Precious Moment with the Rebbe.

The "Precious Moments with Rebbe" DVD ends with a scene of two Chassidim walking. It's refreshing and it's appropriate because, in essence, that IS the "end" of the Rebbe--that his Chassidim and his Shluchim are living their lives as they are.

Inspiration comes and inspiration evaporates.
Today, we are occupied with doing.


mishmum said...


afroson said...

even I, that grew up on shlichus never felt a "precious moment with the rebbe" so clearly as you did.

I jelous

I also read your blog

the sabra said...

thanks tu-h. thanks for tellin me and thanks even more, for reading.

Myself growing up, I didn't either feel this. Didn't know it, didn't think of it. Only NOW, now when I look at videos, when I hear stories, when I think about it's a whole different story. We're much closer to moshiach now, son. It's in the air.

the sabra said...

*rachel, THIS is the original pfff'er