Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fear of G–d must come through Avodah

For Chabad Chassidim, it is not enough to be a G–d-fearing Jew. This fear of G–d must come through Avodah, effort. Concerning this, the Rebbe relates:

A Chossid once asked the Tzemach Tzedek to bless his son with a good memory. “He should remember everything he sees and hears when among the Rebbe and Chassidim, and automatically he will be a G–d-fearing Jew. The Tzemach Tzedek responded, “It has been already over 50 years that my grandfather (the Alter Rebbe), my father-in-law (the Mitteler Rebbe) and I have been toiling that Chassidim should be G-d-fearing through Avodah, and not automatically.”

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 3, p. 800.

Nowadays the desire for publicity can be used positively

The Previous Rebbe says that times have changed, and the desire to publicize is not inherently, irredeemably superficial, as it was once regarded; rather, this inclination ought to be used to spread positive, holy messages:

Today’s generation of Chassidim has an inclination to expansion and exposure, which would once have been regarded as chitzoniyus (lit. “external,” superficial behavior). Nowadays it is hard to say that this is chitzoniyus. I would suggest that this expansion and exposure be used to publicize everything that we have discussed.

Sefer HaMa’amarim 5708, p. 260.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hisbonenus brings inner change

Hisbonenus leads to Da’as. G–dliness then becomes real, and this translates itself in the person’s behavior. The Rebbe says that Da’as must be widely disseminated:

In general, effort must be invested to accomplish that “the earth be filled with the knowledge of G–d as the waters cover the sea”[1] to the extent possible nowadays: The entire earth, and every single corner of it, should be filled with knowledge of G–d.

The Alter Rebbe explains[2] the advantage of knowledge—da’as—over wisdom and understanding. Knowledge “implies attachment and union. That is, one binds his mind [to the concept] with a very firm and strong bond, and firmly fixes his thoughts [on the concept].”

Then he does not possess abstract intellectual knowledge [of what is moral] and do the opposite; rather, the principle permeates the person in a manner of da’as [leading him to put it into practice].

Hitva’aduyot 5744, Vol. 4, p. 2168.

[1] Isaiah, 11:9.

[2] Tanya, ch. 3.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

"With yearning and intense desire"

The Rebbe deeply yearns that every bochur think Chassidus, and derives tremendous pleasure from their doing so: 

After Yud Shevat Hagadol, Tof Shin Lamed (1970), Reb Shlomo Chaim Kesselman, the famed Mashpia of the Yeshivah in Kfar Chabad, received a Yechidus (private audience) with the Rebbe.

The Rebbe said to him: “How good it would be if it would be possible to demand from every bochur to think Chassidus for ten, twenty, or thirty minutes!” The Rebbe said this in a tone of yearning and intense desire.

The Rebbe expressed interest in one of the Temimim (students in the Chabad Yeshivah). Reb Shlomo Chaim reported that that bochur learns assiduously and thinks Chassidus. The Rebbe responded joyfully, with excitement, “Really, really? He thinks Chassidus as well?” Later on this bochur received a letter of blessing at the Rebbe’s initiative. 

Teshurah L’zecher Reb Shlomo Chaim Kesselman, p. 34.