In Lubavitch-770, 5706
by Rabbi Shimon Neubort
The following is a
farbrengen of the Rebbe Rayatz that took place on Purim, 5706 (1946), hanacha
When the Alter Rebbe first arrived in Vitebsk he was already considered
a gaon (master of the Talmud). It is known that when he was 13
years old he was already a gaon, and when his father R’ Boruch
came with him to arrange his match in Vitebsk, the gaonim of
Vitebsk already knew of his genius. Until 17 years of age, however, the
Alter Rebbe did not reveal himself, but when he was 18 he already had
colleagues with whom he studied, and that is how his genius was
his genius became known, his uncle, the Maharil, said to him, “You
know how to learn, but you know nothing of Chassidus.” And then the
Alter Rebbe traveled to Mezritch.
returning from Mezritch, the Alter Rebbe said that in Mezritch he took
on a new approach: We must know we are amei ha’aretz and an am
ha’aretz is an elevated level. An am ha’aretz does
everything with simplicity without reason or logic as to why he is doing
anything. From this simplicity one achieves tmimus (complete
also took on the emphasis of song from Mezritch — that song has the
power to remove a person from his present state and to bring him to
where he ought to be.
When the Alter Rebbe returned from his first Purim in Mezritch, he was
surrounded by young married men who were outstanding scholars. When they
asked him what he had heard there, he said: The Rebbe explained to us
what yada (knowing) means, and that one must attain “lo yada”
(not knowing), which is actually the true yada [i.e., the
ultimate knowledge of G-d, is the knowledge of how unknowable He really
Chabad Chassidim are, boruch Hashem, in a good state, but
a lot is still lacking. Early Chassidim learned less, understood less,
and they were not expert in many maamerim. But with the maamer
Chassidus that they learned, the Chassidus taught them. The Chassid and
the Chassidus were one thing.
traveled to the Rebbe [only] once a year, once in two years, once in
three years. But when they heard something from the Rebbe, they lived
with it. The Chassid and Chassidus were one thing, in the street, in the
store, when he ate, he always lived with it.
today a lot more is understand. Chassidus is learned, but the Chassidus
does not teach its learner anything. The student and the Chassidus are
when one goes to daven, he doesn’t skimp on snapping his
fingers, and he even bangs on the table, but it doesn’t affect him.
You should know that this is antithetical to the point of it all.
When I was in yechidus in 5658 (1898), my father told me what he
had heard from Grandfather, the Rebbe Maharash, in the name of the
Tzemach Tzedek — that the Divine service of the Alter Rebbe was to
reveal the Chabad (intellectual faculties) of the soul in everyone. When
a Jew came to him for yechidus (a private audience) — a simple
Jew — he would “squeeze” (that is how the Rebbe Maharash put it)
the Chabad of the soul.
the Alter Rebbe returned from Mezritch to Vitebsk and wanted to take
(captivate) the young married scholars, he sang a niggun for
them, and with this niggun that he sang for them, the young men
achieved a dveikus and burned like a candle. Then the light of
Torah illuminated in them and all their questions and difficulties were
answered. But afterwards, when the Alter Rebbe said Torah, they fell
asleep in the middle.
is like the well known story of R’ Isaac of Homil with the Tzemach
Tzedek, in connection with the maamer “The World Stands on
Three Things,” which the Tzemach Tzedek said at the beginning of his nesius,
the same maamer which he had heard from the Alter Rebbe when he
was a boy. At that time, the Tzemach Tzedek went to visit R’ Isaac who
was ill, extended his hand to him and healed him. Then R’ Isaac said
that the Tzemach Tzedek had essential “lights” and developed
“vessels,” whereas his own “lights” were given to him, but the
“vessels” were not developed.
We know that R’ Isaac was a tremendous genius, and his genius was
famous not only in his surrounding area, but also in Minsk and Slutsk,
and even in Vilna they repeated his teachings. When he returned from
Liozna, they asked him what he heard there, and he said: I heard a
little, but I saw a lot — I saw the light of Torah. They asked him:
how is it possible to see the light of Torah? He answered: When the eyes
are not blind, and when the ears are not deaf, it is possible to see and
hear something like the light in the Beis HaMikdash.
order to say such a thing, you have to be on the level of R’ Isaac.
Today we can only wish for ourselves, if only we said sayings in the
name of the older Chassidim with sincerity and penetrating
understanding. In truth, we have nothing and we are nothing. We make do
just like that pauper who rejoiced when the wealthy man greeted him...
is an old saying about those who are not involved in avoda: Why
do you denigrate the Torah? You have taken a pure Torah and put it in a
has to be like Father said, “toporu da placha” (the hatchet
to the wood; that is to say, action is the main thing.
When the Alter Rebbe was imprisoned in the fortress in Petersberg, the
Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid came to visit him and encourage him. The
Alter Rebbe said to them: I don’t need encouragement, for I accepted
upon myself mesirus ha’guf (the sacrifice of the body), but
with my mesirus nefesh (sacrifice of the soul) I want to ensure
that those who go in this path will succeed, and their way should be
when the Alter Rebbe returned from Petersberg he said that he received
guarantees about this matter, but he asked the Chassidim not to debate
the Misnagdim at all, and that they should not pride themselves over
too, must behave in this way. We do not have to debate with Misnagdim at
all. We have to behave in such a way that they see the right way. If he
agrees, we have to do a Jew a favor. But if he is a fool, it is not
necessary. It is not pleasant to be with a fool, even in Gan Eden after
in distress, r’l, one screams Father! Grandfather! We must
prepare to sing the Alter Rebbe’s niggun, and we must picture
how those who are in the ohel in Haditch are banging on the door
and saying, Rebbe!
All things — whether in Torah, in fear of Heaven, or guidance — have
to be done b’pnimiyus (internally, sincerely), without fanfare.
First one must work on oneself — to fix oneself, and as far as what
you want to fix in a talmid, it must be done without fanfare.
Even children who cannot eat at home [due to the fact that their parents
are not observant], shouldn’t eat, but without showing chutzpa
to their parents.
talmidei ha’Tmimim have no idea what we hope to accomplish
through you. You must do everything with pnimiyus, and Hashem
will help you have success in your work.
will make the brokenhearted rejoice. May Hashem help that this should be
the final Purim in Exile and that all Jews be in Eretz Yisroel, the way
it is supposed to be, and that everything should be with chayus.