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
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
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
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.)