Stories of the Rebbe
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A story of the Rebbe #113 - The Vision of a Tzaddik Print Email

The late Rabbi Dovid Jungreis of the Beis Din Eida Hachareidis in Jerusalem once had a long yechidus with the Rebbe, during which they spoke about various mystical concepts. Apart from the inspiration that he derived from the Rebbe's words, Rabbi Jungreis spoke about how impressed he was when he asked about certain parts of Jerusalem where it was not completely clear whether Purim should be celebrated on 14th Adar, or on Shushan Purim, the next day.

When Rabbi Jungreis mentioned the site of the Hadassah hospital as an example, the Rebbe replied that one particular law applied to those places situated along the old route of the #19 bus, while other things needed to be done along the new route.

The Rebbe then gave a descriptive tour of Jerusalem, its streets and neighborhoods, stating which law applied to each of them. Although Rabbi Jungreis lived in Jerusalem all his life, the Rebbe mentioned places that even he did not know about. Rabbi Jungreis later remarked with great feeling, "This is the meaning of the expression, ?a tzaddik sees from one end of the world to another.?"

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #114 - In Pursuit of Peace Print Email

When a Jew once walked past the Rebbe during dollars, he told the Rebbe that he was involved in trying to promote unity among different congregations. The Rebbe replied, "By me, you Don't need to make peace because I get on with everyone. You really Don't have to worry in terms of me. Keep working with others, and there should be good news."

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #115 - Ahavas Yisroel Print Email

During a shemitta year, the late Rabbi Yisrael Moshe Dushinsky of the Eida Hachareidis once visited the Rebbe. During their conversation, they discussed the laws of shemitta. At one point, the Rebbe remarked, "The chareidim Don't use ?hetter mechira,? and even in Kfar Chabad this hetter is not applied. However, as many of our fellow Jews do rely on it, it would be very worthwhile if the talmidei chachamim and scholars would take the time to study these halachos and do whatever they can to make sure this hetter is observed properly."

Rabbi Dushinsky later observed, "This is such a wonderful idea. I have never seen such a great degree of ahavas Yisroel and yiras Shomayim from any other Torah leader."

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #116 - The Day Will Come Print Email

Rabbi Ezriel Miller once related, "I went to the Rebbe for yechidus in 5724/1964. This was after a visit to Russia, during which I saw a room in the shul in Leningrad that was full of ancient sifrei Torah. I asked the Rebbe if we should try to get the sifrei Torah out of Russia in the sense of ?redeeming captives.?

"I was very surprised by the Rebbe's answer. ?Don't touch them,? he said. ?The day will come when the Jewish community in Russia will grow and develop, and not only will the religious articles already there be insufficient, but they will even need to bring in more.? At that time, in 1964, such an idea did not seem possible.

"And yet, this is what eventually did happen in Russia. More than forty years after this yechidus, we Don't even need to describe the situation in Russia today."

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #116 - Remembering Warsaw Print Email

When the Rebbe was in Warsaw, soon after his wedding, several Chassidim were walking out of the mikve one day, deep in discussion. As one of the Chassidim made a particular comment to his friend, the Rebbe walked by at that moment and overhearing, he remarked on the subject under discussion.

Many years went by, and that particular Chassid paid a visit to the Rebbe. When he went into yechidus, he told the Rebbe that he had never forgotten what the Rebbe told him next to the mikve in Warsaw.

In response, the Rebbe looked directly at the now elderly Chassid and said, "If so, I?ll continue," and he added a further explanation to what he had said years earlier in Warsaw.

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #117 - The Lamplighter Print Email

In 5724/1964, around Shavuos, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchok Glick and his family traveled to Crown Heights for the first time on a charter organized by Chabad Chassidim from England. During that particular visit, Rabbi Glick had a yechidus with the Rebbe twice.

The Rebbe told Rabbi Glick that his private business symbolized his main purpose in life: "You sell lamps and light fittings all over. This is also your spiritual task in life. But Don't be satisfied with making sure that other people buy these lights. Remember that lamps are only kindled when other people light them .You Don't only need to elevate souls from the depths, but also to illuminate these sparks with the light of Torah and Chassidus."

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #118 - Iranian Maror Print Email

A story of the Rebbe #118 - The late Rabbi Yaakov Yehuda (JJ) Hecht once related:

"On the instructions of the Rebbe, we organized a campaign to save the Jews of Iran, and many children were placed in the care of the institutions run by the ?National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education.? We were very involved with their absorption in this country after their flight from Iran, where Khomeini had just taken control of the government. We looked after over 100,000 Iranian Jewish children, taking care of all their needs.

"Our connection with them first began when my son, Rabbi Sholom Ber Hecht, visited the country and became aware of the situation. On Pesach, we made a large communal Seder for the Iranian Jews, and the Rebbe later asked me for the maror from that particular Seder. The Rebbe actually told me, ?I would like to eat from their maror.?"

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #119 - Reb Berke Chein's Question Print Email

The late chassid Rabbi Berke Chein once told the following story:

"Around the time when I left Russia, from where I went to Kfar Chabad, I would gather the children in the shul before Kabbalas Shabbos and tell them a few stories about the mesirus nefesh of the Chassidim in Russia. Afterwards, when the minyan struck up with "Lecha Dodi," I would wonder whether I should daven now or learn Chassidus first and then daven. I decided that I would ask the Rebbe when I would get to visit him. So when I went into yechidus, I asked the Rebbe, ?When I learn Chassidus before davening, I forfeit davening with the tzibbur. In such a case, which is better, to make sure to daven with the tzibbur or not??

"At that time, there were certain individuals in Kfar Chabad who were not careful to daven with the tzibbur. Therefore, the gist of what the Rebbe answered me was as follows: 'since it is important to encourage davening with the tzibbur in Kfar Chabad, and since people look to you as an example, they might think that it would be alright not to daven with the tzibbur. For this reason, you need to daven with the tzibbur and only afterwards study Chassidus.?"

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #120 - Blinded by the Light Print Email

The late Rabbi Chaim Gutnick, Rav of Melbourne, once related:

"During a time when a certain religious Jewish group in New York came out against particular teachings of the Rebbe, I asked the Rebbe the following question during a yechidus: ?How could Torah-observant Jews want to put a stop to and interfere with the excellent work that Lubavitch does??

"The Rebbe answered, ?In Torah Ohr, we learn that during the First Temple period, the Jews committed the grave transgressions of worshipping idols, immorality and bloodshed. Yet this was such a spiritually elevated time, when the First Temple was still standing. Although prophecy was openly revealed and all of the Temple vessels were still there, it was specifically then that the Jews transgressed the three most severe aveiros. During the era of the Second Temple, several things were missing that had existed previously. However at that time, those three particular aveiros were not the problem. The Second Temple was destroyed due to causeless hatred.

" 'so why was it that the First Temple period, where there was a far brighter spiritual light, was a time of such terrible transgressions, while during the era of the Second Temple, when the light of the Shechina was less revealed, these aveiros were not committed?

" ?The answer is that when the accusing angel sees such a spiritually lofty light revealed in the world, it finds every way to make the Jews stumble in even the most fundamental aspects of Jewish life. But when the light is not so revealed, the accusing angel doesn?t need to work so hard, and he finds less grave transgressions to trip us up with. " ?The mivtzoyim that we do have brought about such a great revelation of light that the accusing angel feels totally overcome. For this reason, he isn?t satisfied with the usual struggle, but is now even using Jews who are known to be Torah observant and G-d-fearing,? the Rebbe concluded."

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #121 - Ten Jews from the Street Print Email

Rabbi Yosef Raices relates:

"During Tishrei, 5711/1950, the Rebbe appealed to everyone to try to bring at least ten Jews closer to the Torah, mitzvos and Chassidus. When the Rebbe'said this, I wondered to whom the Rebbe was really issuing this directive. I thought that he probably didn?t mean me or my fellow bachurim, but rather the baalei batim, who had many connections with Jews outside our community, such as their neighbors, workmates and other acquaintances. At that time, I was a yeshiva bachur and I spent most of my time inside the zal.

"The following day, erev Rosh Chodesh, I stood in line with many other people, waiting to give the Rebbe a pidyon nefesh (as was the custom in those days). When it was my turn, the Rebbe looked at me and said, ?Raices, you for sure Don't need to worry about the ten Jews!?

"At first I was a bit confused, and I asked, ?Which Jews?? The Rebbe replied, ?Those we spoke about on Shabbos.? I was still a little unsure as to what the Rebbe meant, and I asked, ?Where do you find ten Jews?? The Rebbe answered, ?Take Jews from the street and bring them closer to Yiddishkeit!!!?"

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #122 - Room for More Boulders ... Print Email

Rabbi Leibel Groner relates:

"A certain Jew used to go into yechidus with the Rebbe every year, until at a particular point, there was a gap of two or three years, after which he asked for a yechidus just as he always used to.

"When this man walked out from that yechidus, he told me that the Rebbe had asked him where he had been during those years. The man replied, ?As the Rebbe has seen so many of the troubles and sorrows of the Jewish people, I thought that at least I should try to spare the Rebbe from having to hear about my problems.? The Rebbe replied, ?Here in this room, there is a place for every Jew. Here, there are many boulders that Jews have lifted from their hearts. Here, Jews have taken away many things that have bothered them, and there is more room for even more boulders.?"

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #123 - An Appetite that can't be Satisfied Print Email

The late Rabbi Chaim Gutnick once related:

"I once had to travel to Israel, and when I went into yechidus beforehand the Rebbe asked me to carry out a certain shlichus once I got there. I obviously agreed to do so, and I said, ?I hope that I will be successful in this shlichus and will make the Rebbe happy.? The Rebbe replied, ?You should succeed to the extent that you make yourself happy. As for me, I have an appetite that can never be satisfied.?"

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #124 - Only With Rashi and Tosafos Print Email

Rabbi Kuperman once wrote to the Rebbe before Yud Tes Kislev that he was unable to complete the masechta he had been studying in honor of that special day. The Rebbe replied that he should at least study that particular masechta with Rashi and Tosafos.

(This story illustrates the high level of learning preferred by the Rebbe.)

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #124 - "Quick" Print Email

In 5744/1984, a Chabad chassid from Brooklyn wrote to the Rebbe asking for advice on a personal matter. As it was urgent, he marked the letter "mahir" ("quick"). The Rebbe answered the question and added, "He should write (sometimes), and also quickly, that he has fixed times for Torah study, etc."

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #125 - Love Conquers Anger Print Email

The director of a certain institution once told the Rebbe that he substituted one of the members of its board for another person, and the original board member was very angry about it. The Rebbe replied, "If you feel love in your heart for him, his anger will surely disappear."

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #126 - The Fourth Dollar Print Email

A young bride once waited on line to receive a dollar from the Rebbe. As she waited, she thought that she would ask the Rebbe for an additional dollar for her chassan, who also wanted to receive a dollar from the Rebbe. As she drew closer to the Rebbe, she noticed that everyone was being given three dollars that day. She now wondered what she should do. How would she be able to divide three dollars between herself and her chassan? When her turn finally came, she was very surprised when the Rebbe gave her three dollars like everyone else and then handed her an extra one, saying, "Now it will be easier to share!"

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #127 - "When You Become a General, Let Me Know ?" Print Email

When a boy from Kfar Chabad went into yechidus with his father, the Rebbe asked him which rank he had attained in Tzivos Hashem. The boy did not know what to answer, and the Rebbe explained, "In Tzivos Hashem there are various ranks, ranging from a captain to general. You need to learn well and behave properly until you reach the highest rank. And when you become a general, please let me know ?"

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #128 - A Hat Like That Requires a Rank Print Email

A French boy once went into yechidus wearing a hat of a high-ranking officer in Tzivos Hashem. The Rebbe asked him which rank he had reached, and the boy replied that he had not reached any rank at all.

The Rebbe'smiled and said, "To wear such a hat, you need to have achieved a number of ranks and points ?"

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #129 - "May the Merciful One Bless ?" Print Email

When Rabbi Chessed Halberstam and his son Aharon Yosef, Hy"d, went into yechidus on 18th Adar, 5748/1988, the Rebbe gave Reb Chessed a Chumash, which was bound with an edition of the Rostov Siddur. This special Siddur included notes and commentaries composed by the Rebbe, as well as other additions in his handwriting.

In it, the Rebbe wrote the following before "Mah Tovu": "Before prayer, it is appropriate to recite the words, ?I accept upon myself the positive commandment of loving your fellow as yourself.?"

In the paragraph "Harachaman" of Birchas Hamazon, there is a sign in the margins, with a note in the Rebbe's handwriting, "May the Merciful One bless the Admor (Adoneinu Moreinu Verabbeinu)."

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #130 - Tikkun Chatzot Print Email

The Rebbe used to hold yechidus three times a week, but after a while this was reduced to twice. On these days, private audiences were held from around 8 p.m. until the early hours of the morning. After a number of years, it became apparent to some people that from after midnight, the Rebbe would constantly refer to concepts related to the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of the Shechinah without the people who were with him even noticing.

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine


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