CHAF-DALED TEIVES
 
   

The Rebbe & The Alter Rebbe
There was a special connection between the Rebbe and the Alter Rebbe, between the 7th Rebbe and the 1st. * A farbrengen with Rabbi Leibel Groner about the essential connection and love between Rebbe and chassidim. * Part 2 of 3
(Free translation )

There are a number of differences between the Rebbe and the earlier Rebbeim in their hanhaga. On a number of occasions, the Alter Rebbe said that the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid had come to him. Other Rebbeim also told about various "appearances." The Rebbe did not speak about any appearances of earlier Rebbeim, except for a few rare occasions, and from that we can conclude that it didnít happen only on those few occasions that he revealed to us. Rather, when the Rebbe had a reason to tell us, he did. Thereís no question that this happened regularly.

Another thing the Rebbe didnít talk about was: himself, his kochos, who he is. But in this too, there were a few times that the Rebbe did reveal something...

On Shabbos Mevarchim Iyar 5712 (1952), there was a long farbrengen in which the Rebbe said some amazing things. In the middle of the farbrengen the Rebbe asked for a Meseches Sanhedrin. The Rebbe studied it for some time and when he finished, he held on to it. Near the Rebbe sat an older chassid who had been a chassid of the Rebbe Rashab and the Rebbe Rayatz. He offered to take the Gemara from the Rebbe so it shouldnít be heavy for him. The Rebbe said, "Either way! If I am a... [and the Rebbe paused without saying his title], then thereís nothing that is heavy for me. But if thereís something that is heavy for me, then itís a pity youíre sitting here..." The Rebbe was, in effect, saying that if he is "Rebbe," then thereís nothing heavy for him.

Something similar happened with a chassid who came to the Rebbe every year. It happened that he didnít come for a few years, and then he appeared once again. When he had a yechidus, the Rebbe asked him, "Itís been a number of years that I havenít seen you - what happened?" The chassid answered that he wanted to spare the Rebbe from concern. The Rebbe said, "You see this room? This room is full of stones that came from the hearts of Jews who spoke about their situations. In this room there are thousands of stones, and this room can contain all the tzaros of all the Jewish people whatever situation they might be in."

The Rebbe is above all limitations, and therefore, nothing is difficult for him. That is why his room can contain all the tzaros of all the Jewish people.

Chazal say that the aron in the Kodesh HaKadoshim was "eino min haímidda," meaning that when they placed the aron in the Kodesh HaKadoshim, despite the fact that the aron had specific dimensions, if you measured the Kodesh HaKadoshim, the room measured the same [as the total distance from either side of the aron to the walls].

The same is true with the Rebbe. Although we can "measure" the Rebbe bígashmius - i.e., we can follow what he does - he cannot actually be measured or grasped in our understanding. Nevertheless, we can connect to him by learning what he taught and going in his ways, and we can connect to the Rebbe on the level that is completely beyond measurement.

When the Rebbe asks us to do things, we cannot say we canít do what the Rebbe wants us to do. The Rebbe is beyond measurement and limits, and likewise his hashpaa is beyond any measure or limit.

There was once a farbrengen on Shabbos, and in the middle of the farbrengen, the Rebbe told a number of chassidim to do a certain project. When the Rebbe arrived at 770 Sunday morning, he asked whether something had been done regarding what had been spoken of the day before. I told the Rebbe that those chassidim had met Motzaei Shabbos, but since they saw that they faced a formidable challenge, with several obstacles in their way, they did not actually begin carrying out what the Rebbe had asked of them.

The Rebbe said to me, "Itís a big miracle that they werenít at Krias Yam Suf, because they would have been on the edge of the sea with the sea in front of them and they wouldnít have jumped in. On the other hand, there were Egyptian soldiers! So what could they do? So there was a Nachshon ben Aminadav, who didnít ask questions and jumped in, followed by the rest of the Jewish people .

"What do they think? When I asked them to do this, did I not see the difficulties they would face? I thought that with their emuna, when they would get started, the difficulties would disappear as though they never existed..."

I said, "Shall I tell them now that they have to do everything [possible], and the obstacles will disappear?"

Said the Rebbe, "Now itís too late. If they began immediately, it would all have been nullified in the face of their emuna. But now theyíll do it out of intellect and understanding, and it wonít be effective..."

Similarly, there was a chassid who needed a complicated operation, and there were two top doctors in New York who could do it. The chassid asked the Rebbe which doctor to choose. The Rebbe asked him, "Why donít you ask not to need the operation altogether?" So on the spot, the chassid asked him for a bracha for that, but the Rebbe said, "Itís too late. If to begin with, when you came here and stood on the threshold, you had faith that the operation wouldnít be necessary, it would have been unnecessary."

Something similar happened to a member of my family. The doctors once said my mother had a tumor in her lungs. I told the Rebbe what the doctors said. The Rebbe said it was nothing. I asked the Rebbe what I should tell the doctors. The Rebbe said, "Go back to the doctor and tell him that I said itís nothing." Then the Rebbe added, "I take it on my shoulders." The moment the Rebbe said that, all concerns my family had, disappeared. Two weeks later we went to the doctor, and after additional tests, he apologized and said that he mistakenly diagnosed her. He said that apparently my mother had been sick with a lung inflammation in her youth, and there had been some remaining signs of the illness, and it looked like a growth.

The Rebbe once told Rí Shmuel Levitin that when chassidim asked the Rebbe Rashab for a bracha, he would respond with a wave of his hand, and whatever it was would disappear. The elder chassidim once discussed this and wondered whether the Rebbe saw with his ruach haíkodesh that the thing was not there, or whether by motioning with his hand, the Rebbe was erasing it. Most of the chassidim believed that the thing was there to begin with but the Rebbe got rid of it.

There was a chassid whose sister was seriously ill and the doctors wanted to do an emergency operation. He asked the Rebbe what to do, and the Rebbe said not to operate. One night, the chassid called me and said that the doctors told him that if they didnít do the operation, the woman would die, and what should he do?

I went to the Rebbe and told him what the chassid said, and the Rebbe responded, "If they donít want to listen to what I say, I would take her out of that hospital and bring her elsewhere, where a doctor will agree that thereís no need for an operation." And something happened so that they had no choice but to transfer her to a different hospital, where there was a doctor who said medication would be enough and she didnít need an operation. She eventually recovered.

(To be continued.)

   

The Alter Rebbe
 

 

The Rebbe said, "Either way! If I am a... [and the Rebbe paused without saying his title], then thereís nothing that is heavy for me. But if thereís something that is heavy for me, then itís a pity youíre sitting here..."

 

 

"What do they think? When I asked them to do this, did I not see the difficulties they would face? I thought that with their emuna, when they would get started, the difficulties would disappear as though they never existed..."

 

 

I asked the Rebbe what I should tell the doctors. The Rebbe said, "Go back to the doctor and tell him that I said itís nothing." Then the Rebbe added, "I take it on my shoulders."

 


YECHI ADONEINU MOREINU V'RABBEINU MELECH HA'MOSHIACH L'OLAM VA'ED!

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