12 – 13 TAMMUZ
LIBERATION OF THE PREVIOUS REBBE
The 12 and 13th of Tammuz are the days of liberation from prison of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn.
The Rebbe was placed in prison because he spread the teachings of Torah and Mitzvos outwards. He didn’t consider the difficulties and disturbances that would impede his mission – but rather continued with his service. At the end of the matter, he was successful and was freed from prison.
This is a teaching for every single one of us. Each of us should strengthen ourselves in the study of Torah. Even if there are disturbances along the way, it is forbidden for us to stop and interrupt our service – and we can be assured that in the end we will be successful!
The following are a selection of thoughts taught by the previous Rebbe. May they penetrate us and aid us in improving ourselves, bringing the Tzaddik who taught these teachings much Nachas, and may he in return be a Meilitz – an advocate on our behalf that in the merit of our internalising and fulfilling these teachings, that we be taken out of our exile immediately on these days of liberation. As the Rebbe said, these days were not just days of liberation for him, but were days of liberation for us all.
LOVE EVERY JEW
The Rebbe Rayatz spoke about the Baal Shem Tov. When the Baal Shem Tov was 5 years old, his father said to him, “My son, do not fear anybody – only the Holy One Blessed be He. Love every single Jew with all your soul– no matter who he is or however he is.”
The Baal Shem Tov strengthened himself in these two matters: Fear of G-d and love of his fellow Jews. With these teachings he lived during all the days of his life in his holy service.
The Rebbe told this story, and it is a teaching for everybody – even for children – obviously. These two essentials – fear of G-d and love of a fellow Jew – should be the light that leads us and outlines our path during our lives.
Many people ask, how is it possible not to fear anything and anyone? Surely we are so small and weak – how can we work on ourselves not to be afraid?
The Maggid of Mezritch – the pupil of the Baal Shem Tov – answered: “When a father loves his young child, then even though he is far greater than the child, much wiser and more learned, he goes down to the level of the small child. He makes himself like a small child – occupying himself with his matters, and conducting himself like the small child. This is how the father shows his love to his son – and through this the son knows that the father loves him.”
We are Jews – children of G-d. The Holy One Blessed be He comes down to his children, satisfying their needs, even in material matters, even in small matters. G-d comes down to the Jewish people, even in small matters. He protects them and helps them. Therefore there is nothing at all in the world to fear! Our Father – Hashem – protects us.
ON THE OTHER HAND…
Sometimes a Jew thinks to himself: “I am a child of G-d, of a Father so great, I can do whatever I desire, and in the end G-d will forgive me!” A Jew is liable to make a mistake and to think of himself as a great person because he is a son of G-d, and to permit himself to conduct himself in a non-fitting manner.
The grandson of the Alter Rebbe asked him when he was 3 years old: “Why is the word ‘Vayikra – ויקרא” written with a small letter (in the Sefer Torah)?”
His grandfather the Rebbe, answered him: “Every Jew has many good points, and especially – Moshe Rabbeinu had many good points. However, Moshe Rabbeinu held himself to be humble and small like a small ‘Aleph’ – he did not become proud or haughty. Specifically therefore, Moshe Rabbeinu merited to reach the highest levels. He received the Torah, and he brought the children of
The teaching from here to all Jews is to do everything that Hashem commands – without thinking if one has a reason for something or not – ‘if it is nice for me or if I desire it.’ Since G-d commanded this, there is no doubt that this is something good!
VICTORY OVER THE YETZER HARA –
THE EVIL INCLINATION
And what can one do against the evil-inclination – that it comes to disturb us from fulfilling the commandments as is necessary? How can one be victorious over the evil-inclination?
The son of the Alter Rebbe gave advice: “When one is fighting against the Yetzer HaRa, one needs to speak about this with another Jew. It is possible to speak with a friend or with a guide or with a teacher that is teaching us. Then there will be two good inclinations against one evil-inclination! At the time of war, when two are at war against one, the two will be victorious! So too do we strengthen ourselves over the evil-inclination!
(Adapted from Likutei Sichos 2 pp 593-597. As translated from Maayan Chai)