"I Am A Shul Klapper"
in honor of Chaf Mar-Cheshvan, the
Rebbe Rashab’s birthday, Beis Moshiach
presents a compilation of sayings of the Rebbe Rashab, taken from his sichos and
published from notes of those present in "Toras Shalom"
you study Torah, you know everything.
On Shmini Atzeres 5652 (1891),
before Hakafos, the [Alter] Rebbe called one of his pupils and berated
him for studying philosophy. The Rebbe said, "Do you think that the gedolei
Yisroel who knew secular wisdom, knew it by studying secular books? Heaven
forbid! Believe me, I know all these disciplines" – and he enumerated the
subjects he knew. "Do you think I learned them from books? No! Not even
from Moreh Nevuchim (Guide for the Perplexed). When you study
Torah, you know everything."
"OPEN YOUR MOUTH
AND I WILL FILL IT"
After saying the maamer
"Ein Aroch Lecha," in which he explains that every physical
object is G-dliness, the [Alter] Rebbe pointed at the fish on the plate before
him and asked, "Do you think these are fish? These aren’t fish, but the
word of G-d which flows into them constantly and compels them to exist. It (the
word of G-d) speaks constantly and says, "Be fish," and by saying so,
compels them to be."
The Rebbe pointed at his hand
and asked, "Do you think this is a hand? Do you think I am speaking? It is
not I who speaks. ‘Open your mouth and I will fill it’ – one merely has to
open his mouth."
"Did I not see the Tzemach
Tzedek? Although I am not ‘the holy word they call me’ [referring to the
appellation ‘Rebbe’; in the early years, the Rebbe Rashab had not officially
accepted the nesius], I can boast that I was mekushar to my father
like a servant, and it makes no difference to me whether simply like a servant
or perhaps like a son, who is a servant."
He Resembles What Is Above
The Rebbe Rashab stated that in
general, when a Jew cries on Erev Yom Kippur, the crying comes after much
preparation. The person contemplates that after all, he is a Jew, that now it is
Erev Yom Kippur, and, therefore, he cries. The Rebbe Rashab said, "Believe
me, I can swear to you – but it is forbidden to swear – that I saw someone
whose crying was without prior preparation. It was my father. He wasn’t one
who [typically] cried. He smiled. Yet I once spoke to him about topics having
nothing to do with tears, and he suddenly burst into tears from the innermost
depths of the heart. I saw it myself.
"By nature I am a baal
hispaalus [one who is excitable], but nevertheless, I am not impressed by
what’s on the outside, but by inwardness. Why is this so? For I had
grandparents and I had a father. And my father, besides being my father, was
also my Rebbe. Besides being his son, I was also his Chassid. And I saw him cry
from the innermost depths of the heart with no prior preparation. Since he
resembles what is Above, and up Above it was a time for crying, therefore he
also burst into tears."
Of All Men – Boasting
On Simchas Torah 5652 (1891),
the Rebbe Rashab explained how he "raised himself up," even though it
was not the way of humility to do so. "Even Moshe Rabbeinu took a bit of mashke
on Simchas Torah, because it seems out of character for Moshe Rabbeinu to praise
the tribe of Gad by saying, ‘There the portion of the legislator is hidden,’
which refers to his own burial in their lot. Indeed, he was ‘more humble than
all people,’ yet this doesn’t sound modest.
"I heard from my father
[the Rebbe Maharash] that the Torah portion read each day pertains to that day.
Since we read this verse on Simchas Torah, it has a connection to Simchas Torah.
Moshe Rabbeinu said this statement on Simchas Torah. [Apparently the Rebbe
Rashab derived this from the fact that the joy of Simchas Torah is about
concluding the Torah, therefore the day Moshe died, which is when he blessed the
tribes and concluded the Torah for the first time, must have been Simchas
Torah.] On Simchas Torah he took some mashke. And when you take some mashke,
the yechida of the soul is illuminated. And when the yechida
of the soul is illuminated, you can boast of your own accomplishments – and at
the same time, be the most humble of all men."
ACTUALLY FEELING ATZMUS EIN SOF
"When I sit in my room,
secluded and learning some drush of Chassidus, I actually feel atzmus
Ein Sof (the essence of the Infinite One). I have recognition of the atzmus
Ein Sof at that time, for I can envision to myself the aspect of Ein Sof…although
I know my own lowliness and I do not want to boast, ch’v. I think no
one should attribute this accomplishment to me, etc. This is what Chassidus
accomplishes – the grasp of all these matters that are so lofty, etc.
"And although we learn in s’farim
that there are lofty matters that cannot be perceived, such as the existence
of the Creator, which is only by way of faith, Chassidus enables it to be
grasped. Therefore I say this publicly, since this is what Chassidus
Am A Shul Klapper
"When I say ich ("I"),
it indicates hagbahas ha’atzmus (the elevation of the essence of self)
and I have no connection to hagbahas ha’atzmus. I am nothing. I am as
low in my own estimation as one can be about himself. If you see any exaltedness
on my part or on the part of others, that others exalt, they should not suspect
me, for I am not at all capable of exalting myself. What do I do? I have already
said that I am a shul klapper [one who bangs on the doors of houses in
order to waken Jews to go to shul], and today I’m repeating that – I
am a shul klapper.
"My parents were who they
were [when saying that his parents ‘were,’ one could see that he wished to
elaborate, but concluded ‘were who they were’]...and they left me to be a shul
"But I can say this, that
for what they appointed me, that I will do. I reveal their desires and arouse
others to fulfill their desires [of my parents]. Until today I have ‘banged,’
thank G-d, may He help me further, amen…
"The avoda of a shul
klapper is to bang and arouse others. In Shklov there was a shul klapper who
woke everyone up. Wherever there was a shutter he would bang: Get up for
daybreak! Whoever wanted to sleep would get angry, but he would still knock. I
don’t care if there are people who are not up to this or who actually oppose.
I must do my work."
WE ARE FROM THE SEED OF DOVID,
AND WE WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MOSHIACH
At a farbrengen on Motzaei
Shabbos, 21 Kislev 5673, the Rebbe Rashab said, "His candle will never
be extinguished; the light of the Baal Shem Tov will constantly illuminate.
Chassidus will, without a doubt, exist until the coming of Moshiach, for ‘Dovid
Melech Yisroel chai v’kayam’ – this was the Baal Shem Tov and the
Maggid and the Rebbe, and so on, for we are of the seed of Dovid and we will
continue until Moshiach. The Rebbe will take us all out."
One of those present said,
"Here’s the Rebbe!"
He answered, "I am not
leaving, I did not leave, and I am not leaving now. With G-d’s help I have the
ability to reveal the teachings of the Rebbe, and the heavens bear witness that
I don’t mean to exalt myself, for the Torah of the Rebbe is already here and
one merely has to be a vessel for it. By this I do not mean a vessel of a mekabel,
but a vessel of a mashpia.
"I thank G-d that I have
the ability to reveal the Torah of the Rebbe. There should just not be obstacles
as far as the body is concerned. There is nothing that intervenes or halts it,
neither are there concealments due to sins. Insofar as the body holds back –
by this is meant the health of the body – it shouldn’t interfere. If there’s
good health or the opposite, ch’v, one cannot argue with it; it should
just not interfere."
Somebody present said,
"May it be G-d’s will that you not travel abroad [out of Russia],"
and he answered, "I do not want to travel. Grant me the times I must
travel, but it is like separating from life, since my life is to reveal and to
ensure that Jews take Chassidus. Hashem is my witness that I can take care of my
own situation, as my father said to me, my intention is merely to accomplish in
Someone exclaimed, "The
Rebbe should take us out of everything!" and he replied, "The Rebbe’s
Torah will take us out of everything."
NOBODY CAN TAKE THE
"SON" FROM ME
The conversation turned to the
topic of atzmi (essential traits) and he said, "I took atzmi
because I am the son, and the ‘son’ cannot be taken from me by anyone."
Someone asked, "Did you
not once say you were a Chassid of your father?" He replied, "Yes, it’s
clear. I was his Chassid. I never thought of myself as his son. When I heard a
saying from him, it would penetrate me completely."
Someone asked if he remembered
that his father, the Rebbe Maharash, once said about him, "See, there goes
a Chassid." He replied, "Yes. I was his Chassid, for who else could be
a kaliker (a good-for-nothing) like a Rebbe’s son? Grant me this – I
was his Chassid."
"THE ONE WHO CHOOSES DOVID
AND HIS CHILDREN AFTER HIM" CHOSE US
"Only I can help. Why? As
it says, when G-d gives greatness, He gives it to him and his children after
him. I have no pride because of it, and pride is not relevant here, for ‘the
One who chooses Dovid and his children after him’ chose us, just like He chose
the tribe of Levi. ‘For He chose it’ – and there is no pride.
"I never chose the
opposite of the Rebbe’s will. Grant me that what the Rebbe wanted, I chose.
May Hashem grant that it be forever, lower and lower."
MY WILL IS
THE REBBE’S WILL
"May Hashem help that the
will of the [Alter] Rebbe, and the Mitteler Rebbe, and Grandfather (the Tzemach
Tzedek), etc., and my will be realized, since my will is the Rebbe’s will and
the Rebbe’s will is G-d’s will."