On Friday, Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Groner, son
of Rabbi Leibel Groner, was interviewed on Radio Kol Chai. The following is an
excerpt from the interview during which Rabbi Groner illustrated, through
examples, the greatness of the Rebbe MH”M.
There was no concept of day and night for the Rebbe. For us, a day
means a day of work, and nighttime is for resting. For the Rebbe, day and night
did not exist. There’s no such thing as: now it’s night and it’s time to go to
sleep, or rest. When the Rebbe went home at midnight, he took sack loads of
letters with him. If we look at the letters the Rebbe wrote, it’s hundreds and
thousands. A person might think the Rebbe simply invested all his time in
answering questions and writing letters about Torah and all areas of life. But
the truth is that most of the time, or a large part of the time, the Rebbe was
closed off in his room learning. He only devoted part of his time to answering
If you’ll ask me how the Rebbe could possibly have answered so many
letters, I’ll tell you an amazing thing I saw. I saw how the Rebbe picked up
long letters on big pieces of paper with small script, and read it in seconds. I
have no explanation for this, except that he has G-dly vision. He reads it
instantly and moves on to the next letter. But most of the time the Rebbe was
closeted in his room and even the secretaries couldn’t enter because the Rebbe
was busy learning.
I’ll give you an example. I remember how as a child we had a guest
who was an architect from South Africa who designed malls. His plans were
written on blueprints which covered a number of pages. He copied all the plans
on to a small card and gave it to the Rebbe as a souvenir of his work.
The Rebbe looked at the card briefly and said, “You forgot the
The architect left the Rebbe’s room and came to our house. I saw
him looking white as a sheet and completely shaken up. He said, “The Rebbe saved
me from a loss of millions of dollars. If I hadn’t put the drainpipes in this
mall, I would have lost everything. I just don’t understand how the human eye
could perceive that in mere seconds, from that little card, which is just a
miniscule version of the plans!” He said he couldn’t believe it and that it had
to be G-dly vision.
The Rebbe deals this way with every Jew. The Rebbe doesn’t look at
a Jew’s outer covering; the Rebbe looks at every Jew’s neshama no matter
where he’s holding. The Rebbe once put it thus: If you go outside and see a
group of children who are hungry and thirsty, who haven’t eaten in a number of
days, what would you do? Go to work? Would you remain apathetic? You would
immediately bring out food and feed them! What Jewish heart wouldn’t melt at the
sight of such children?!
So too with the Jews around us. We see Jews in the street who have
no Torah and mitzvos, and the Rebbe sees their neshama, how they
hunger and thirst for Yiddishkeit. That’s why he instituted shlichus.
* * *
I have an uncle who became a shliach in Australia in 1959.
Australia in those days was a spiritual desert, and the shluchim who went
there were going to a place of spiritual poverty.
On the way to Australia my uncle would carry out all sorts of tasks
for the Rebbe in Far Eastern countries. Sometimes he would have to walk enormous
distances on Shabbos. I remember how his tallis was completely blue from
the tropical rains.
He once told the Rebbe that yes, he’s the Rebbe’s shliach in
Australia, and he would do that forever, but he had no more strength for all
those missions to the Far East. It was hard for him, for he encountered all
sorts of obstacles.
So the Rebbe asked him, “If I go along with you, would that make it
My uncle answered, “Of course!”
Then the Rebbe said, “You should know that I accompany you on all
your trips.” He left the Rebbe’s room and burst into tears. He began to feel how
the Rebbe truly was with him in every difficult step of his shlichus.
This really gives strength to the shluchim.