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Hiskashrus: Seven Generations, One Leader

In the Rebbe MH”M’s first maamer, “Basi L’Gani,” the Rebbe drew a parallel between the seven generations of tzaddikim who brought the Shechina down to earth and the dynasty of Chabad Rebbeim. The Rebbe stated that our generation is the seventh, “and all sevenths are beloved,” and that we must finally conclude this mission and actually bring the Redemption.

In the years to follow this point was often repeated. On countless occasions, the Rebbe emphasized that our generation is the seventh, and that “all sevenths are beloved.” However, there were times that the Rebbe stressed that the seventh generation is a direct continuation of the generations that preceded it. In the maamer of 5711 the Rebbe stated that the advantage of the seventh comes as a result of the first, for without the first there wouldn’t be a seventh! The Rebbe repeated this point on dozens of occasions. The following is a partial overview of his statements on this topic.

One Inyan

In Likkutei Sichos, Volume 1, in the sicha for Yud Shvat, the Rebbe said that all the Rebbeim are one, and part of one neshama:

Generally speaking, we can say that all the Rebbeim, up to and including my teacher and father-in-law, were one inyan. Each one was involved comprehensively in all areas. This can also be understood from the expression, “filling the place of his fathers,” which means a successor, in all its details.

At the same time, each of the Rebbeim had a special area of interest to which he displayed a particular enthusiasm, and through which he carried out everything else.

The Rebbe explained that, similarly, each of the supernal sfiros includes the other sfiros. Likewise, all matters were included in the special area of interest of each Rebbe.

Two Opinions in Kabbala

The following account appeared as a story in The Yiddishe Heim:

The Rebbe said l’chaim to someone at a farbrengen, and offered him a cup of wine. Since the person was standing some distance from the Rebbe and he couldn’t get close enough to take the cup from the Rebbe’s hand, he asked others to pass it over to him.

R’ Mordechai Mentlick (who poured wine for the Rebbe during farbrengens) said to him, “If the Alter Rebbe himself would give you l’chaim, would you also want someone else to give it to you, or would you push your way through in order to get it directly from the Rebbe?”

Overhearing Rabbi Mentlick, the Rebbe commented that the Kabbala presents two opinions about the nature of the Divine revelation called kav (line). One opinion states that it is a straight line of G-dly light, while the other maintains that it is composed of points of light which together make a line.

Chassidim understood this as an explanation how all the Rebbeim, from the Alter Rebbe to the Rebbe, are one line. However, each Rebbe stresses his own point, which is connected to all of them.

Mashke from the Alter Rebbe

At the Purim farbrengen of 5711, the Rebbe spoke about the nesiyus (leadership), speaking harshly about himself with phrases such as, “Who am I and what am I?” During that farbrengen, some older Chassidim told the Rebbe that this was not what the Chassidim wanted to hear. One of them declared, “Ir zeit Rebbe, es iz ein hemshech un ein shalsheles fun dem Alten Rebbe’n” (You are Rebbe, a single continuation and chain from the Alter Rebbe), and he asked the Rebbe for mashke, saying that he wanted to receive mashkefun dem Alten Rebbe’n” (from the Alter Rebbe). The Rebbe smiled and gave him mashke.

The Baal Shem Tov in 770

A book called Yemei Melech relates the story of a man of Polish Chassidic background who had cooled off somewhat towards Yiddishkeit upon his arrival in America. One time he met the Rebbe, who asked him, “If the Baal Shem Tov lived in New York, would you go to see him?’

When the man answered that he certainly would, the Rebbe said, “If so, you should realize that he is to be found in 770” (referring to the Rebbe Rayatz before his histalkus).

The man became a Lubavitcher shortly thereafter.

He is the Nasi, the Baal Shem Tov

In Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 18, p. 463, the Rebbe said clearly:

“For the nasi, my father-in-law, the Rebbe, is the nasi, the Baal Shem Tov – except in a different body...because in this generation he is the Baal Shem Tov and the Moshe Rabbeinu of our generation…There is no generation without a Moshe Rabbeinu.”

Aspaklaria HaMe’ira

A shaliach in Eretz Yisroel related that at the farbrengen of Chaf MarCheshvan 5736, celebrating the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab, the Rebbe said that whoever had merited to see the Rebbe Rashab and was present [at the farbrengen] should picture his face.

During the singing, the Rebbe, smiling, turned and spoke to one of the older Chassidim. The Chassid responded, and suddenly the Rebbe’s face turned serious and he looked downward.

Few noticed, but the shaliach did notice and asked the Chassid about the conversation. The Chassid said, “After the Rebbe told us to picture the Rebbe Rashab, he told me that since I had seen him a number of times and had yechidus with him as well, I should picture him. I said to the Rebbe, “I see the Rebbe [Rashab] here ba’aspaklaria ha’me’ira (clearly), [referring to the Rebbe MH”M]. That’s when the Rebbe turned around and his countenance changed to such a serious one.”

* * *

Throughout the Rebbe’s leadership, from 5710 and on, the Rebbe referred to the Rebbe Rayatz as “my revered teacher and father-in-law, nasi doreinu” (leader of our generation). Older Chassidim explained that because the Rebbe was one with the neshama of the Rebbe Rayatz, when the Rebbe says, “my teacher and father-in-law, the Rebbe,” he means the neshama of the Rebbe Rayatz as it is invested in the body of the Rebbe. The following are quotes from the Rebbe stating explicitly that he and the neshama of the Rebbe Rayatz are one:

“He Chose Me”

On the 26th of Sivan 5710, a few months after the histalkus of the Rebbe Rayatz, the Rebbe said (Toras Menachem, Vol. 1, p. 115):

My father-in-law, the Rebbe, led and directed until the histalkus, and even after the histalkus he will continue to lead the many aspects of the work of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch. He chose me to carry these matters out, including raising funds for the many expenses.

You Must Connect To The Rebbe Himself

At the farbrengen of Simchas Torah night 5711 (Toras Menachem, Vol. 2, p. 44), the Rebbe mentioned that certain matters are carried out through him. The Rebbe cried a long time saying this, resting his head between his hands, and speaking with his head down. Among other things, he said, “Vos vilt ir fun mir?” (What do you want of me?)

The Rebbe said, “Listen Yidden! I will repeat it again: Now you must connect to the Rebbe himself, not through intermediaries. I am not stingy, not with mashke and not with... But now you must connect to the Rebbe himself. The fact that I give mashke to some of those sitting here has to do with personal matters, matters which in the past as well were carried out through me. Indeed, they must continue to be carried out through me now, as well. That is why I give out mashke. But you must connect to the Rebbe himself.”

Just a Funnel

In a letter from the year 5716 (printed in Hiskashrus, issue 10):

“As was said before, I am nothing but a funnel. I try as much as possible to help all the mosdos and matters of the Rebbe. Therefore, there is no insult to me. Either something causes sorrow and pain, or it causes satisfaction and nachas. They need not apologize. To begin with, it’s between them and my father-in-law, the Rebbe.”

He Is Connected To Me And Through Me To The Rebbe

In a sicha of Simchas Torah 5716 (Sichos Kodesh 5716, p. 95):

“[A certain Chassid] mentioned to someone that he received an order from so-and-so — mentioning a title he gives me — and that through his being connected to me, and through me, [he is connected] with the Rebbe. Saying this influenced the person he told it to.”

At the farbrengen of Parshas Shmini 5712 (Toras Menachem, Vol. 5, p. 183), the Rebbe spoke about the nesiyus in a somber tone:

Upon examining the greatness of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, and the fact that he left us – I do not know why Hashem did this, but this is the situation. It is obviously not against [the Rebbe’s] will, because concerning the Rebbe, there is no such thing as “against his will.” When the Rebbe agrees to something, it is because that is what he wants – so you have no other choice, and I too have no other choice.

…Regarding what I accepted upon myself, that is my mission in this world. I try [to see to it] that it is with kindness and mercy...

When an elder Chassid referred to the Rebbe Rayatz as “der Rebbe nishmaso Eden,” the Rebbe reacted strongly and with great emotion:

Why are you sending my father-in-law, the Rebbe, to “Siberia,” to “Salavki” Gan Eden?! We need him (and maybe he needs us) here!

He Is The Nasi, And The Nasi Chabad

We will conclude with words the Rebbe wrote about the Rebbe Rayatz (in a letter of Gimmel Tammuz 5710, Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 11, p. 209):

Many seek to explain the great attributes of the Chabad leaders in general and the leader of our generation, my father-in-law, the Rebbe, in particular, in various ways — that he is a man of mesirus nefesh, a genius, a baal midos, a tzaddik, one who has ruach ha’kodesh, is accustomed to miracles, etc.

Of course, these praises are even greater according to the definitions in Chassidus as to what mesirus nefesh is, and what a gaon is, etc. Still, [in these praises] the main point is missing. Namely, the fact that he is the nasi, and the nasi Chabad [in particular]. In addition to this point being essential, it is especially important because it is particularly relevant to us, the community of Chassidim and his mekusharim.

For a nasi in general is called the head of multitudes of Jews, and he is like the head and brain relative to them, and from him they derive their sustenance and life. By connecting to him, they connect and unite with their roots way above.

There are different types of leaders: those whose influence is in a way of pnimiyus and those whose influence is in a way of makif. And this distinction itself can be further subdivided: whether their influence is in Nigla of Torah or Nistar, or both together, teaching the ways of avoda and Chassidus, bringing down material hashpaos, etc.

Some have a number of these attributes, or even all of them. This has always been the case with the leadership of Chabad, from the Alter Rebbe to my father-in-law, the Rebbe, inclusive — that they incorporated all the different types. They extend their influence in both a pnimiyus and makif way, in Torah, avoda, and gmilus chasadim, in ruchniyus and gashmiyus. Therefore, the connection with [their Chassidim] was with all the 613 limbs of the soul and body of the mekusharim.

Each one of us must know, i.e., to contemplate this, that he is the nasi and the head. From him and through him come all the hashpaos in gashmiyus and ruchniyus. Through connecting to him (and he already taught in his letters how to connect) one connects and is united with the root, and the root of the root reaching way up above.








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