Devar Torah - Bo

Friday, 19 January, 2018 - 2:12 pm

Two Stories about the Rebbe in preparation for Yud Shevat
By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

As we approach Yud Shevat it is customary to prepare and increase our connection to the Rebbe by learning his Sichos and Maamarim and telling stories about him. The following are two stories about the Rebbe, one about how the Rebbe edited a Maamar and another about how the Rebbe edited a Sicha.

Rabbi Chaim Shaul Brook told the following story. There is a Maamar titled “Habayim Yashresh Yaakov” which the Rebbe gave out to be learned in preparation for the 24th of Teves 5750-1990. It was a Maamar that was delivered on the 19th of Teves 5748-1988. In the Maamar the Rebbe said that when we keep the Torah we are guaranteed all the brachos. This is true even when we cannot see it in the moment, nonetheless it will be good. Knowing this gives us strength in fulfilling the Torah and mitzvos. Even during this long galus, even though we do not see the end, and we do not yet experience the good and final result from all that we do, knowing what will be gives us strength. The Rebbe removed this part from the edited version of the Maamar.

When Rabbi Yoel Kahn saw that it was removed he approached Rabbi Groner to ask the Rebbe why it was removed since he felt that it gave a lot of strength and encouragement if it would be left in. Rabbi Groner asked late on a Friday afternoon with little time left to print before Shabbos. When he told the Rebbe what Rabbi Yoel Kahn said the Rebbe took the Maamar, put it on the desk and said in a resilient and definitive tone; Yidden need and must have what is good; the good they need must be NOW (not some time in the future).

The second story I heard from Rabbi Leibel Shapiro the Rosh HaYeshiva of the Lubavitcher Yeshiva of Miami.  He would prepare the Likutei Sichos Sicha for it’s weekly publication and then send to the Vaad in New York for further preparation that would then be sent into the Rebbe for editing.

Once in 1974, he sent in a parshas Shlach Sicha from the year 5732-1972 (which was later printed in volume 13 of Likutei Sichos). The main point of the Sicha revolves around the question asked; why didn’t Moshe Rabbenu daven for the meraglim, the 10 spies to live. At that time Moshe Rabbenu davened for the entire Bnei Yisroel, why not daven for the meraglim also? The answer came by first tracing the meraglim’s words of incitement and their effect on the Jewish people. The incitement caused Bnei Yisroel to fight against Moshe out of the fear for their lives. Because they lacked bitachon they went against Hashem but not against Moshe Rabbenu himself. The meraglim however were inciting everyone against Moshe Rabbenu himself. Therefore, it is because of their direct incitement against him that he was unable to pray for them. This is known from the axiom that an accuser (or the accused in this case) cannot serve as a defender. This axiom was learned by the golden calf, the eigel hazahav. The Jewish people used gold in the sin of the eigel hazahav and as a result Hashem disallows the use of gold on the garments of the Kohen Gadol as he enters the Kodesh HaKadoshim on Yom Kippur. When the Kohen Gadol enters the Kodesh HaKadoshim on Yom Kippur he brings atonement to everyone for their sins including the sin of the eigel hazahav. This is the reason he cannot enter wearing gold because the same material that was used to sin (which is now the accuser) cannot be used to defend and bring atonement.

What was the lesson from this Sicha? The lesson is that while we all must daven ourselves for our needs, nevertheless we still need Moshe Rabbenu to daven for us as well. The Rebbe brought out that Moshe Rabbenu can accomplish what we cannot accomplish on our own. He continued by saying that one cannot be fighting with either Moshe Rabbenu or the Moshe Rabbenu of the generation because then he will not be able to help you just as it was by the meraglim.

This was the way that Rabbi Leibel Shapiro wrote up and sent in the Sicha. When he got back the edited Sicha, this last piece, that one cannot be fighting with either Moshe Rabbenu or the Moshe Rabbenu of the generation because then he will not be able to help you just as it was by the meraglim was missing. He asked the Vaad what happened to this part of the Sicha and the following is what they told him.

We submitted the Sicha the way you prepared it. The Rebbe crossed out this piece and wrote next to it the words “not appropriate”. We thought that probably it just needed some editing so we rewrote it and then submitted it again. We received it back with it crossed out again with the comment; this is the complete opposite of the sensibilities and spirit of Chassidus. The paper that it was written on should be burned and it should never be mentioned again. See Chapter 2 of the Tanya. (In Chapter 2 it says that even those who willfully sin and rebel against the Torah Sages still receive their spiritual sustenance and life from them, they only receive it however from the hind-part as it were of their Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama.)  

We see from this story that a Rebbe is someone who will ALWAYS help. He is there for everyone.

A Good Shabbos

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