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"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"

When 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."

(p. 1)


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."

(p. 3)


"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."

(p. 8)

Since 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."

(p. 14)

The Most Humble
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."

(p. 2)


"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 truly accomplishes."

(p. 25)

I 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 klapper.

"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."

(p. 44)


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 the world."

Someone exclaimed, "The Rebbe should take us out of everything!" and he replied, "The Rebbe’s Torah will take us out of everything."

(p. 177)


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."

(p. 189)


"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."

(p. 235)


"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."

(p. 236)



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