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If We Cannot Hear The Rebbe It Is Because The World Has Become Too Coarse
By Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Ginsberg

The mashpia Reb Mendel Futerfas used to tell the following story:

Soon after the Chassidim learned that the Rebbe Rayatz was ill and that his speech was impaired, a farbrengen was held with the famous Reb Yitzchak Horowitz (Reb Itche der Masmid, may G-d avenge his blood). The Chassidic gathering proceeded like any other, with the Chassidim saying “l’chaim” and blessing the Rebbe with good health – “der Rebbe zol gezunt zayn.”

At one point, however, Reb Itche suddenly began to cry. With tears in his eyes, he lamented that the world had become so “megusham,” so coarse and materialistic, that the Chassidim could no longer hear the Rebbe speak.

As Reb Mendel used to bring out, Reb Itche’s message was that whenever we perceive any kind of “defect” in the Rebbe, we must realize that the imperfection lies in us and not in the Rebbe, G-d forbid. The Rebbe is “ashir be’eztem” – essentially well off – and the concept of defect or imperfection just doesn’t apply to him. In the truest sense of all, the Rebbe is well, and can speak as much or as little as he wishes. The problem lies entirely in the world’s being so “megusham” that it cannot perceive this.

As explained in the maamerTefilla L’Moshe” that was said in 5729 (printed in Kuntres Yud Alef Nissan 5751 and Volume 5 of Seifer HaMaamarim Meluket), and in the maamerZos Chukas” of the same year (Kuntres Yud Beis Tammuz 5751 and Seifer HaMaamarim), Moshe Rabbeinu is the epitome of “ashir be’etzem,” as is the Moshe Rabbeinu of every generation. The Nasi lacks absolutely nothing, and transcends all boundaries and limitations.

Furthermore, because the Rebbe is completely united with Hashem’s essence, when he davens for someone else, what he is essentially doing is davening that that same state of perfection be manifested in a revealed manner in the other person.

To paraphrase the Rebbe’s words: Even when “Moshe Rabbeinu” appears to us as if he is imprisoned or ill, there is no “darkness” or “concealment” as far as the Rebbe is concerned, nor are the concepts of “redemption” or “healing” an innovation to him!

In fact, the Rebbe goes on to wonder why people are so astounded by the geulos of Yud Beis Tammuz and Yud Tes Kislev! After all, the Rebbe was always the “baal ha’bayis” in charge of whatever happened to him, and could have walked out of prison whenever he wished. So what exactly is the big commotion over the Rebbe’s liberation?

The Rebbe explains: True, as far as the Rebbe is concerned there is no concealment or tzimtzum. But being that the primary function of a Rebbe is inextricably connected to the people, as long as the Chassidim perceive a situation of darkness or concealment, it reflects on the Rebbe and is considered a concealment. In other words, it is the people’s perspective that is the determining factor on Yud Tes Kislev and other Chassidic festivals of redemption. We celebrate because we perceive the Rebbe as being liberated, even though the Rebbe is essentially “ashir be’etzem” and above all such concepts.

* * *

The famous answer of the Rebbe shlita to a woman who had complained that she was nervous and fearful has recently drawn a lot of attention: “She should look at a picture of my father-in-law the Rebbe whenever she feels her good will weakening; she should remember that the Rebbe, as the true shepherd of the Jewish people, is also looking at her at that moment. This will be beneficial in all the above.”

Let’s consider this for a moment: How many pictures of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach are circulating all over the world? How many Jews and l’havdil non-Jews have seen the Rebbe’s photograph or watched him on video? The number is obviously in the millions.

The Rebbe has told us explicitly that whenever an individual looks at his picture, at that moment the Rebbe is also looking at him, thinking of him and helping him!

And how many thousands of Jews ask the Rebbe’s advice through the Igros Kodesh in the course of a single day? The Rebbe, the “true shepherd of the Jewish people,” listens to their requests and answers each and every individual according to his needs. Does anyone seriously think that a person with “limitations” is able to do this?

The idea that the Rebbe is above and beyond all restrictions is basic, a fundamental principle known to all Chassidim. Whatever happens to the Rebbe, his every action and deed, occurs only with his full consent and approval.

Now let’s explore the Chassidic concept of Hashem’s tzimtzum. How did G-d “contract” Himself within the “limitations” of Torah and mitzvos, and circumscribe “His Divine presence within the confines of the poles of the ark”?

It goes without saying that tzimtzum does not imply any deficiency on G-d’s part, ch’v, as G-d is obviously the definition of infinity and perfection. The fact that G-d has chosen to “limit” Himself to any one place and not another (for example, G-d does not “dwell” in a seifer Torah that is pasul in the same way that He “dwells” in a kosher one), is only because He so wishes to do so.

If a human being were to shut the door and seclude himself in his room, does this mean that he is limited in any way? Obviously not; it just implies that for that moment he has chosen not to reveal himself to others, while his faculties and powers remain unaffected. In the same way, G-d is always all-powerful, even in a state of tzimtzum. The concepts of limitation or even limitlessness do not apply to Him in the least. G-d is the true “baal ha’bayis.” He can do whatever He wants and be wherever He chooses to be according to His will.

The same principle applies to the Rebbe, particularly now in the “seventh generation,” when the “service of separating the sparks” has been completed and even the “buttons have been polished.” The Rebbe, being completely nullified to G-d and synonymous with His will, knows the true state of affairs, and has assured us that the world is ready for the final Redemption.

If it appears to us that the Rebbe is “limited,” it is only because he has chosen to put himself in such a position. The Rebbe has temporarily “shut the door” and chosen to “seclude himself in his room,” rather than reveal himself publicly. Nonetheless, the Rebbe retains all his infinite faculties and strengths, and can still exercise his will in any way he wants.

As the Rebbe put it in the sicha of Chaf Av 5710, whoever doubts this doubts “I am the L-rd your G-d” and “You shall not have any other gods before Me” [i.e., the first two of the Ten Commandments].

The recent controversy over whether or not it is permissible to write “shlita” after Gimmel Tammuz does not revolve around the use of a particular word, or whether or not it is “ofen ha’miskabel.” Rather, the crux of the argument is much more fundamental.

[Personally, I see no difference between “shlita” and “yechi l’olam va’ed” (“may he live forever”), as whoever objects to the first term will object to the other.]

The question is as follows: Is there or is there not at present a Rebbe, above all limitations while at the same time inhabiting a physical body, in fulfillment of G-d’s desire for “a dwelling place in the lower worlds”? Is there a Rebbe who can see every individual and is truly with him at all times? Is there a Rebbe who desires all Jews to be as mekushar to him, to obey his directives, to ask his advice and act on his counsel, and to believe in his prophecies, the main one being about Moshiach’s imminent arrival?

Or, do we content ourselves with our “illustrious past,” look back on it with longing and nostalgia, and conclude that the Rebbe “wasn’t successful,” G-d forbid?

Let’s go back to Shabbos Parshas VaYigash 5747, soon after the triumphant legal verdict on Hei Teives about the ownership of the Rebbe’s library. As is known, the crux of the case was whether or not the Rebbe’s words are to be taken literally. It was then that the Rebbe first mentioned the beginning of a new era:

“It is to be announced and publicized that we are now in a special time (and place), in which only a single matter remains…as expressed in the language of my father-in-law the Rebbe who said, ‘Everyone should be ready for the building of the future Beis HaMikdash, with the coming of Dovid Malka Meshicha.”

Shortly afterward (printed in a “non-edited” hanacha in Volume 2 of Hisvaaduyos) the Rebbe also stated:

“A person could seemingly make the case that such statements are ‘wild speech,’ and that things like this were never said in previous times and generations. Why are these statements suddenly being made? How will the world react to hearing them?

“However, the most important thing is to know that there is no need to be alarmed by the ‘world’ or [the threat of] ‘what people will say.’ Because this is true, according to the Torah of Truth, it must be announced in an open manner.

“Furthermore, the situation today is that the world itself is also ready to accept it. All that needs to be done is to go and speak about it publicly.

“Similarly, whenever the claim is made that ‘they have already eulogized and embalmed him,’ the truth according to Torah must be stated explicitly. There is nothing to fear concerning the reaction, as the world is ready to accept it.

“Moreover, whenever assemblies are held to discuss matters pertaining to the Jewish people, there is nothing to be alarmed at. On the contrary, [the non-Jews] must be told to simply look in the ‘Bible’ (which is also holy to them) and consider the words of the Prophet Isaiah about the people of Israel: ‘This people have I formed for myself; they shall proclaim My praise.’

“As stated, the world has reached the point where it can accept such words; the only proviso is that they be uttered from the heart, in which case they will be effective in ‘ways of pleasantness and peace,’ without having to overcome any opposition. And how much more so will there be no need to wage war!”


At one point, Reb Itche began to cry. With tears in his eyes, he lamented that the world had become so coarse that the Chassidim could no longer hear the Rebbe speak.




“Whenever the claim is made that ‘they have already eulogized and embalmed him,’ the truth according to Torah must be stated explicitly.”


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