Stories of the Rebbe
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A story of the Rebbe #263 - Whom Do We Thank? Print Email

A Jew who once passed the Rebbe during the regular Sunday morning distribution of dollars outside 770 told the Rebbe that he wanted to express his gratitude. He said, "The doctors said that I was about to die, and I had to undergo a serious operation. The Rebbe gave me a bracha, and I recovered completely. I therefore wanted to say thank you."

The Rebbe replied, "You are alive in the merit of Hashem!"

The other man answered, "That's true, but the Rebbe gave me a bracha!"

In reply, the Rebbe just gave him a very big smile ?.

Kfar Chabad Magazine

<b><FONT COLOR=RED>NEW SHMAIS.COM FEATURE:</FONT></B> A story of the Rebbe #1: Total Self-Nullification Print Email

Rabbi Sholom Dov Eichhorn, who was privileged to serve at the court of the Rebbe Rayatz, relates, ?Throughout the years that I served there, I cannot remember even one occasion on which the Rebbe uttered a word, spoke or asked anything from his father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], during the 'seudos.? He would always sit in front of the Rebbe [Rayatz] with deep humility, and he would never even open his mouth[ to speak].

?[The Rebbe's] attitude of connection and self-nullification to the Rebbe [Rayatz] was so very apparent, even when he had to go into his father-in-law. Even though he would meet with him every single day, I was always impressed when I saw [the Rebbe] preparing himself with such self-nullification, and how he would wait in the corridor, getting himself ready before going in. He would straighten his clothing over and over again, so that he could go in to the Rebbe'suitably dressed, much like one who comes before the king.?

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #2 - Dancing All Night Long Print Email

Before the Rebbe accepted the nesius, he would dance on the night of Simchas Torah from 10 p.m until 7 a.m. No one else could dance for so long even if they took a break, yet the Rebbe danced the entire time non-stop.

One particular year, someone from the household of the Rebbe Rayatz came downstairs to say that the dancing was creating a lot of noise. This message was passed on to the Rebbe, who immediately took off his shoes. The Rebbe continued to dance all night while singing, 'sha, sha, sha,? to the niggunim.

On another Simchas Torah, the Rebbe danced all night, along with another three or for Chassidim. They sang the niggun, ?Ay, ay, ay ? mareh Kohen,? and each of the other people would take a break between the dances. However, the Rebbe danced on non-stop, throughout the night.

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #3 - The Baal Shem Tov of New York Print Email

During the years before the Rebbe accepted the nesius, the Rebbe once asked a Jew from a Chassidic family from Poland, who had become less observant since his arrival in America, ?If the Baal Shem Tov were living in New York, would you visit him??

The other man replied, ?Of course I would.?

?If so,? the Rebbe continued, ?then you should know that he is right here, in 770.? The Rebbe was, in fact, referring to the Rebbe Rayatz. Within a short period of time, the Polish Jew grew closer to Yiddishkeit and eventually became a member of Anash.

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe #4 - Vilde Menschen Print Email

On Shushan Purim, 5710/1950, which fell a few days after the end of the Rebbe Rayatz's shloshim, the Rebbe'stated:

?Anyone who says that the expression ?histalkus? means that the Rebbe is no longer with us are ?wild men? (vilde menschen), who Don't know what they are talking about. ??

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 5 - The Rebbe and the President Print Email

When Mr. Zalman Shazar visited America for the first time in his capacity as president of Israel and wanted to see the Rebbe in 770, various members of his party and the government stated that this would be disrespectful to the State of Israel. They felt that the country's president should not visit the Rebbe in the manner of a regular chassid, but rather that the Rebbe'should come to the president.

Mr. Shazar approached the mazkirus and told them that from his point of view he was perfectly happy to visit the Rebbe in 770. However, due to public pressure, he wanted to know if the Rebbe could visit him at the hotel where he was staying in Manhattan.

The Rebbe replied that he did not want to make this decision on his own, and that he would ask his father-in-law, the Rebbe Rayatz. When the Rebbe returned from the Ohel, he sent a message to Mr. Shazar that ?we do not travel from here.?

When Mr. Shazar heard that this was the answer, he defied the criticism of the members of his entourage and he visited the Rebbe in 770, just like any other chassid. The Rebbe greeted Mr. Shazar at the entrance to 770 and ushered him inside. As the president walked in, the Rebbe'showed him the Small Zal, pointing out the place where the Rebbe Rayatz would celebrate on Simchas Torah, where he would cry on Tisha b?Av, and where he would give over his Chassidus. ?I could never have brought any of this to your hotel in Manhattan,? the Rebbe remarked.

When they entered the Rebbe's room, the Rebbe pointed to the table and said, ?Above this table, the weeping of many Jews can be heard. This room brought Jews out of Russia, and from here Chassidic discourses are given. I could never have brought this with me if I had come to visit you.?

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 6 - "I Received This Room as a Present from the Rebbe" Print Email

The mazkir Rabbi Binyamin Klein relates that Rabbi Yaakov Yehuda Hecht OBM, who was very close to the Rebbe's household, once asked if the chandelier in the Rebbe's room could be changed because it was very old.

The Rebbe was completely against this idea. "I received this room as a present from the Rebbe, including the chandelier in this room. So I could I possibly change it?" he answered.

Rabbi Hecht then asked if the chandelier in Gan Eden HaTachton could be changed. The Rebbe replied, "There, you can do whatever you like."

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 7 - How Could I Possibly Go Anywhere Else? Print Email

Even during the earliest years of the Rebbe's nesius, large crowds began to flock to 770 and the building became too small to contain the growing number of people who would attend tefillos. The overcrowding was especially apparent during farbrengens.

For this reason, large farbrengens, such as on Yud Tes Kislev, Yud Shevat and Purim, were held in large rented ballrooms in the neighborhood, while smaller events took place in 770.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchok Shemtov writes in a letter dated 15th Cheshvan, 5712/1952:

?The Rebbe was asked right at the beginning, before the chaggim, if we should hire a larger place for davening and farbrengens during the High Holy Days. The Rebbe replied: ?The Rebbe [Rayatz] remained within these walls for the final ten years of his life, with all of his tears and his last strengths. So how could I possibly go anywhere else???

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 8 - Creating a Portrait of the Rebbe Print Email

During a yechidus with the shliach Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner in 5712/1952, the Rebbe'said: ?Every avreich who ever saw my father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], should go into a corner either before or after Bircas Hashachar, and create a portrait of the Rebbe [Rayatz]. This will give him the vitality for everything he needs.?

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 9 - The Warmth of the Ohel Print Email

On Friday night, Parashas Vayikra, 5727/1967, a group of elder Chassidim and mashpi?im went into a special yechidus to ask the Rebbe to take care of his health. The group included Rabbi Shmuel Levitin, Rabbi Moshe Dovber Rivkin, Rabbi Nissan Telushkin, Rabbi Yisroel Jacobson, Rabbi Eliyahu Simpson and Rabbi Schneur Zalman Duchman.

The group expressed their concern over the Rebbe's frequent visits to the Ohel [the resting-place of the Rebbe Rayatz], where it could get very cold. The Rebbe replied: ?But it would be impossible without [these visits]. I have to carry such a burden that you yourselves would say that we need a Rebbe. And when you say that the Ohel is cold, you can ask Rabbi Zalman Duchman, who visits the Ohel very often, and he would tell you that it is actually very warm over there ??

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 10 - What is a Rebbe? Print Email

Before the Rebbe accepted the nesius, he once told another Jew regarding the Rebbe Rayatz:

?You cannot imagine what a Rebbe really is. Your letter does not have to reach him in order for him to know the question, and you do not actually have to get a letter from him to receive an answer.?

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 10 - Before and After Birchos Hashachar Print Email

During the early years of his nesius, the Rebbe told an avreich during yechidus:

"Every avreich should think each day before and after birchos hashachar about my father-in-law the Admor [Rayatz]." And as he spoke, the Rebbe burst into tears.

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 11 - Before His Very Eyes Print Email

At one point during the first Yud Tes Kislev farbrengen of the Rebbe's nesius, the Rebbe turned to the late Rabbi Shmuel Zalmanov, a'h, and told him that the Ten Niggunim of the Alter Rebbe would be sung.

Afterwards, the Rebbe remarked: It is written, "When a person quotes something he has heard it is as if he can see the person who said what he has heard standing in front of him, etc. The Tzemach Tzedek once said that this specifically refers to divrei Torah. However, in the case of a niggun, it is not only -as if- [he sees the person], but this is actually meant in the literal sense. Therefore, when the niggun of the Alter Rebbe was sung in the presence of the Tzemach Tzedek, everyone could see the Alter Rebbe'standing right there.?

As the Rebbe'spoke, he suddenly grew very pale, and his hand, which was resting on the table, began to tremble very vigorously.

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 12 - The Story of the Second Window Print Email

Rabbi Goldstein relates:

?Even before the Rebbe accepted the nesius, he would usually come to every event that we organized for children. The Lag b?Omer parades were primarily attended by the children who came to the ?Messibos Shabbos? programs. They would sing niggunim, recite pesukim, say Shema, and they were given plenty of candies. Around fifty children would take part in the bigger parades, which was then considered to be a large turnout. If one hundred children took part, that was already something special.

?The Rebbe would speak in Yiddish, after which Rabbi Kazarnovsky would translate what was said into English. On one such occasion, while the Rebbe was speaking, I noticed that one of the windows of the Rebbitzen's room had opened. Apparently, the Rebbe Rayatz was there, and he was listening to every word that the Rebbe was saying.

?Not everyone noticed this. But I, who was used to looking out for such things, noticed it because I knew that I had to watch out ? This was the nature of Lag b'Omer, as it says in Tehillim: "Uncover my eyes that I may perceive the wonders of Your Torah.

Afterwards, a second window to that room opened. I looked up to see who was there, but I could not see anyone at all.

As soon as the Rebbe finished speaking, the secretary approached him and said, "Your father-in-law [the Rebbe Rayatz] wants to see you right away." The Rebbe immediately hurried upstairs.

Afterwards, the Rebbe related what had happened when he was in the Rebbe Rayatz's room. (And I heard this from Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner, who was present when the Rebbe himself spoke about it.) The Rebbe'said the following:

The Rebbe [Rayatz] told me, ?The difference of opinion between the Alter Rebbe and his mechutan, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev, regarding the verse, ?Veshomru Bnei Yisrael? [And the children of Israel observed] is well known. [Rabbi Levi Yitzchok] said to the Alter Rebbe, ?There is a hue and cry above, and a great fair takes place when the Jews say, ?Veshomru Bnei Yisrael.? The Alter Rebbe replied, ?Father-in-law, father-in-law, that is true, but we Don't need to be at every fair.?? When the Rebbe Rayatz finished speaking, he smiled and then continued, ?But the Alter Rebbe was present at this fair!?

?When I heard this story, I suddenly realized what had happened, and I said to myself, 'so that was the story behind the second window!?

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 13 - "If the Chassidim Would do their Avoda it Would be Worthwhile" Print Email

Rabbi Avraham Dovid Tennenhaus relates:

It was erev Shabbos Yud Shevat, 5711/1951, the night before the Rebbe officially accepted the nesius by delivering his first maamar. Everyone already knew that the Rebbe had agreed to lead the Chassidim from that point on.

That night, my father, who was very close to the Rebbe, asked the Rebbe,

?Why should you have all of this bother? It is a huge burden. If you wanted, you could continue to learn in obscurity without all this fuss.?

After taking a brief moment to think, the Rebbe replied,

?If I would have Chassidim who would do their avoda [in these circumstances], it would be worthwhile!?

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 14 - When the Doors are Open Print Email

From the diary of a Tomim, written on the day after Pesach, 5710/1950:

?????? Today, after davening in the room of the late Rebbe [Rayatz], the Ramash [the Rebbe] spoke to several people. He said, ???Why didn???t a larger crowd come yesterday? When all the doors were locked, a huge crowd would gather and everyone would be squashed. Yet now, when all the doors are open, no one comes! ??? As Eliyahu Hanavi cannot be everywhere at the same time, sparks of his being are found in every place. Yet in the case of Rav Hamnuna Saba, Eliyahu Hanavi would appear in his entirety. Therefore, here, where the Rebbe runs ten Sedarim, could there be a greater revelation than that!???????

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 15 - First and Second Thoughts Print Email

In 5709/1949, Yud Beis Tammuz fell on Shabbos. The Rebbe Rayatz farbrenged with the Chassidim on the following day, while the present Rebbe held a farbrengen on Yud Beis Tammuz itself. During his farbrengen, the present Rebbe poured out some wine and put it aside, saying: ???I am sitting here and speaking, but the Rebbe is right here! And as it would be very insolent of me to speak when the Rebbe is here, I shall be quiet and say no more.???

Afterwards, the Rebbe picked up the cup and put it down at his own place. He said, ???I thought earlier that since the Rebbe is here, wouldn???t it be rather insolent if I spoke? After all, it is the Rebbe who should be speaking, and if he is not speaking I should remain silent. Then I thought, ???But what are the Rebbe??'s wishes right now???? The Rebbe??'s wishes are that we should farbreng and speak to each other, because the Rebbe is davening right now. And I hope that the Rebbe will include everything that we say at this point in his prayers.???

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 16 - To Have Mercy on the Rebbe Print Email

Before the Rebbe Rayatz passed away, a certain Chassid told the present Rebbe that he had a number of problems, but he did not want to trouble the Rebbe Rayatz with them. The Rebbe replied: ?We Don't need to have mercy on a Rebbe.?

Several years went by, and the Rebbe accepted the nesius. When that same Chassid went into yechidus with the Rebbe, the Rebbe told him, ?Please have mercy on me.? The surprised Chassid asked, ?But didn?t the Rebbe himself say that one should not have mercy on a Rebbe?? The Rebbe replied, ?But you Don't have to be mehudar on this issue!?

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 17 - If Only We Had Shown the Rebbe Mercy... Print Email

The chassid Reb Yitzchok Goldin was with the Rebbe Rayatz during the years 5680-5681/1920-1921. Years later, when Reb Yitzchok arrived in the United States, the present Rebbe instructed that he should be allowed into yechidus immediately, without fixing a time beforehand. (The Rebbe explained that ???Yitzchok Goldin iz an anderer zach,??? Yitzchok Goldin is a different case.)

Reb Yitzchok spent half an hour with the Rebbe, and when he went out of the Rebbe??'s room he stood by the wall and cried. Someone asked, ???Reb Itche, why are you crying? You were just by the Rebbe. You should be very happy! Go to shul now and farbreng with the crowd!???

Reb Yitzchok replied, ???I was with the Rebbe just now, and the Rebbe told me that among chassidim it is a known thing that we do not have mercy on a Rebbe. [The meaning of this statement is that whereas we might not reveal our troubles to a close family member in order to spare him from suffering, we should tell them to the Rebbe.] And the Rebbe continued, ???But we can now seen it differently. If we had had mercy upon my father-in-law, the Rebbe would still be with us now ?????????

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine

A story of the Rebbe # 18 - On Receiving a Blessing from the Rebbe Print Email

On Receiving a Blessing from the Rebbe On erev Rosh Hashana, 5717/1957, a Chabad chassid sent a pidyon nefesh to the Rebbe, including the names of several people who had asked him to send in their details for a brocha. Among them was the name of a leading Torah scholar.

The Rebbe gave the following response:
"At an auspicious time, I will mention all of the names that he has written at the gravesite of my teacher and father-in-law, the Rebbe. And it would appear that the abovementioned has not been told that when a person has the privilege of being mentioned at the gravesite, this requires an extra arousal and unity with the teachings of the one who is buried there, and he should follow in his ways. The person who is being blessed, who is himself a key figure in his community and circles, should fulfill his obligation to publicize the teachings and ways of the one who is buried at the gravesite. And from now on, anyway, he should be involved in this."

Translated from the Kfar Chabad Magazine


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