Some personal thoughts in connection with Gimmel Tammuz 5771 written by a Chabad Shliach in the U.S.:
A friend recently toured a new exhibit at Ellis Island and related about a sign that really caught his eye: “I came to America because I heard the streets were paved with gold. When I got here, I found out three things: First, the streets were not paved with gold. Second, they weren’t paved at all. Third, I was expected to pave them.”
For so many of us, in the years preceding Gimmel Tamuz 5754, it was so much easier to feel the closeness of the Imminent Geulah .. that any second we would be led out of this bitter Golus together with our Rebbe .. Nothing could stand in the way of the Golden Path the Rebbe was leading us on …
As we stand 17 years after the frightening and trembling day of Gimmel Tammuz – we realize that while the Rebbe’s path is the same – and nothing changed on his part and Moshiach is even closer – yet in order for us to remain connected to the Rebbe, we will need to work much harder and “Do All that we can do,” to start paving our homes and lives to the dream that the Rebbe yearns we realize.
As Chassidim we know that while the darkness is thick and the yearnings intensify – our bond to the Rebbe is our lifeline and our source of energy and now more than ever we need to work on strengthening our soul connection.
Allow me to share with you a couple of stories:
It’s related about Reb Nissan Nemanov, the legendary Mashpia, a touching story:
In the early years his son fell gravely ill. He corresponded immediately with the Rebbe – and received the Rebbe’s Brachos, yet his son’s healing still took some time. As his son’s situation took a turn for the worse and became quickly a question of life and death , several of his peers asked him to try some “other channels ” as well, as he was very close to a famous Mekubal who was known to perform miracles and ask him for his Bracha. Reb Nissan refused saying “We only have one Rebbe”.
Seeing his stubbornness, three elderly Rabbonim /Chassidim decided to call him to a Din Torah, with the singular mission of demanding from him to personally beseech this Mekubal for a Bracha for his ailing son.Reb Nissan arrived at the Din Torah and as soon as he got wind of what they wanted from him unequivocally stated:
“ALL ASPECTS OF A CHOSID’S LIFE COMES FROM HIS REBBE … HIS CHAYUS AND LIFE ENEMATES EXCLUSIVELY FROM THE REBBE. LIFE THAT COMES FROM ANYWHERE ELSE ISNT LIFE … AND I HAVE NO NEED FOR THEM.”
That ended the Din Torah.
I recently heard a very moving story told from a Shlucha on Campus:
She and her husband ran a very successful Chabad House on Campus and attracted hundreds of students annually through their doors. She glowingly watched them grow in their own personal Jewish journey and had incredible fulfillment and nachas from all her students.
Around the fifth year into her Shlichus, her very calm Shlichus hit turbulence. Personal health concerns of her extended family members started really disturbing her peace and started to distract her from her ability to concentrate on her Shlichus. The mountain of pressure grew, until she felt she had no choice but to leave her Shlichus. It was a deeply painful decision, something she didn’t take lightly, yet she saw no other way.
She decided to spend one final Shabbos with her students and at Havdalah she’d break the news to her closest students that she would be leaving very shortly.
That final Shabbos, she put her heart and soul into these students as she knew that perhaps this would be the very last one. She finished the Shabbos meal at the early wee hours of the morning and farbrenged till the very last student left her house and went to sleep.
At approximately 9 AM – she awakens and sees one of her closest students waiting for her in the kitchen, with panicky eyes, looking very pale.
The student told her that she too went to sleep late last night after the Farbrengen. She had a most disturbing dream that she needed to relay to the Shlucha. In Her dream, she saw herself going through a particularly rough day on campus and in order to unwind as she so often did, she came to the Chabad House to find the Shlucha, to unload her burden.
And then the student continued:
“You were there with your bags packed – about to board a bus and as I tried to approach you, you looked at me with a distant look and just waved and started leaving me. Then the student broke down and, grabbing the Shlucha arm cried, “YOU WOULD NEVER LEAVE US …RIGHT ?!? TELL ME ITS SO …YOU WOULD NEVER LEAVE US?!”
The Shlucha wept together with her student and with tears vowed to her student, “NO, I WOULD NEVER LEAVE YOU.” (The Shlucha remained in her Shlichus till today, and interestingly enough, that student today is looking to go on campus and open a Chabad House due to the devotion she saw in her Shlucha.)
Friends, as bitter and tough as this day is, one thing every one of us knows in our heart of hearts:
The Rebbe “Loi Azav Es Tzoin Mariesoi..” the Rebbe did not forsake us! Never. The door to the Ohel is never locked …and when our hearts are open and we cry out “Ad Mosai,” we feel in the deepest recesses of our soul that “Hu Bachayim,” he lives on and guides us – and takes us on the golden path of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, NOW!