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Devar Torah - Pinchas

Thursday, 27 June, 2013 - 10:00 am

It Really Is Up to Us

By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

Over the last few years we have spoken many times about the importance of the Rebbe’s directive of Asei lecha Rav-To appoint yourself a Rav. In general, there are special moments in our lives when we feel an acute need for reach out for some sage advise. I recently read a story of Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb who sought the Rebbe’s advise to a question he thought only the Rebbe could answer. When he called Rav Hadokov and requested to speak with the Rebbe, he didn’t give his name. After checking with the Rebbe, Rav Hadakov related the Rebbe’s answer that there was a person in his town with whom he could speak by the name of Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb. The man calling was the very person to whom he was being sent by the Rebbe! He took this to mean that he must first look a little deeper into the matter by himself to find his answer.

There is a similar story with Rav Moshe Hecht brought in Igros Kodesh v. 23 where the Rebbe’s answer to his question was that he already sent a shalich to his town to help him named Rav Moshe Hecht and added: “You should get to know him”…

So what do we actually do? Do we look within or do we go to a mashpiah? There was a recent JEM video where the Rebbe asked R. Yehuda Avner, an advisor of Menachem Begin, why doesn’t he become part of us (meaning Lubavitch). He responded that he could see that the Rebbe has great capabilities that he doesn’t realize. The Rebbe replied: “Some people need crutches”. The Rebbe then explained what a Rebbe is with the example of a candle. What is a candle? You may have wax and a wick but it’s not yet a candle. It only becomes a candle when you set it in a holder light the wick and then the light illuminates the room. This fulfills the purpose of the candle because we can then have use of it. So too with our soul, only by lighting the wick, our neshamos used together our bodies, which is like the wax are we able to fulfill our purpose in the service of Hashem. The job of a Rebbe is to bring the fire to light the neshama. R. Yehuda then asked the Rebbe: “Rebbe, did you light my neshama?” The Rebbe answered: “No, I gave you the match”

Our ability to receive the Rebbe’s brachos depends upon our will to utilize our intellect emotions and abilities and not just to use the Rebbe as a crutch. A mashpiah serves a pivotal role in between a Rebbe and chosid to bring the chosid’s intellect emotions and abilities from potential into action.

In the sicha for parshas Behaloscha in 5751 the Rebbe explains that the mitzvah of lighting the Menorah is until the flame goes up by itself. So too it is with teachers and mashpiim with their students and mushpayim. They need to continue giving until the students are able to stand on their own.

The fact that we need to stand on our own two feet and make important decisions does not mean that we go it alone. The Rebbe has given and continues to give us the kochos so that we can accomplish what we need to, without crutches.

So in summary, it isn’t that we are looking for the Rebbe to take care of everything. Also, if we’ve gone it alone then were off the path. Rather, the Rebbe has given us the match; and we need to light it and keep it lit. The source of the light, the koach comes from the Rebbe. When the Rebbe said to look toward oneself for advice, he gave us the koach to look, decide and then to act. 

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