The Rebbe Never Rests

January 15, 2016

BH

My birthday wish came true last week when the view statistics kept rising and I got a blogbuster. People’s comments are always the icing on the cake, but they’re usually from people I know. Not that I don’t appreciate all my friends’ encouragement, but I’m thrilled when I receive a comment from a total stranger. That’s when I see the power of the written word, and of course, the power of the internet to fulfill the Rebbe’s mandate: to spread G-dliness everywhere in this world in order to bring Moshiach. That’s the good news. The bad news, at least in this case, was that the person was clearly troubled by what I wrote.

To backtrack: I wrote last week how I write to the Lubavitcher Rebbe (there’s an APP for that) asking for assistance in “reaching the right person or people to bring Moshiach NOW.” I questioned whether or not to include that piece of information, but decided that it set a grateful tone for my birthday post. As they say (well, as I say, anyway), I’ve lived half my life without the Rebbe’s guidance and lived half my life with the Rebbe’s guidance, and trust me, living life with the Rebbe’s guidance is better.

But the idea of writing to the Rebbe bothered this particular person. He commented, “you aren’t allowed to ask the dead for anything…not to mention FOR ASSISTANCE!”

He didn’t mention the family picture or even wish me happy birthday. He just seemed to be accusing me of being a necromancer (still one of my favorite words). But I can thank him for giving me this week’s blog post inspiration. And I hope he keeps reading.

The notion of asking for assistance from the righteous who have physically departed is as old as the Torah, which details how Yehoshua and Calev went to Hevron to pray at the Tomb of the Patriarchs before the spies went into the land of Israel. Since then, we have been praying at graves everywhere. As Jews, we are supposed to be connected with a leader who serves as our spiritual conduit to G-d. This notion is as old as the Torah, too, starting with G-d and Moshe.

(If that sounds strange, here’s something to ponder: Did you ever ask yourself where you got your information about what it means to be a Jew? Were your teachers well-informed? Inspired?)

As G-d would have it, my big birthday trip concluded with a visit to New York, where we went to the Ohel, the Rebbe’s resting place. (The Rebbe’s predecessor, his father-in-law, is buried next to him.) There’s some Ohel protocol (giving tzedaka beforehand, not wearing leather shoes at the actual kever, grave site), but the main objective is to write what’s in your heart and ask for what you need. Or just want. (In short, “for assistance.”)

At the actual resting place, people from all walks of life communicate in the language they know best. Then, they tear the words they’ve written, tossing them onto the grave. The white pages cover the site like a blanket of large snowflakes.

What happens after a person writes to the Rebbe, I don’t know. I just know that, for me, it’s been a very good thing to do.

 

9 Comments

  1. Reply

    Paulettala

    In the REBBE’S MERIT, please G-d answer all the prayers we write to the Rebbe about at the Ohel.
    (A sec. Of the Rebbe once explained that we only and always only pray to G-d, asking that in the merit of the person our prayers should please be answered for good.)
    May you have all of the Rebbe’s blessings revealed in various ways everyday!

    1. Reply

      Lieba Rudolph

      Thanks for taking the time to share your beautiful words!

  2. Reply

    Paulettala

    More re:
    ASSISTANCE comment: in today’s Chitas when G-d told Moses that in the merit of the Israelites forefathers and THEIR OWN MERIT, and the faith they had in Me when they came out of Egypt are sufficient to split the sea for them. – (from Mechilta, Exod. Rabbah 21:8…..and when the Israelites cried out: “They seized the art of their ancestors (I.e., they prayed)” The Rebbe would reply sometimes to letters with blessing and by just saying that he would mention …when visiting the resting place of his father-in law, as the Freidiker Rebbe was/is also the Advocate with great merit.
    My questions are: Are there those who, like your “assistance” commentator misunderstand these actions, the process, as onlookers, and even more so, are some of those who pray by the Ohel, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, G-d forbid,not Praying directly Only to G-d and asking assistance only from G-d in the merit of advocates like our forefathers,the Rebbe, as well as in their own merit – especially after
    giving charity – or is there confusion out there amongst Ohel visitors? Hopefully, your blog will help motivate some clarity and publicized guidance from our leaders who are in a position to do so! THANKYOU. With Blessings, Paulettala

    1. Reply

      Lieba Rudolph

      Thanks for helping to clarify…may we finally merit to greet Moshiach who will answer our questions once and for all!

      1. Reply

        Paulettala

        AMEN! When asked if the Rebbe ever said HOW Moshiach’s is going to come, a secretary of the Rebbe answered, “The Rebbe always said, “Think good and it wiill be good” and that Moshiach should come b’chesed v’rachameem – with kindness and mercy. (i think we should always try to add the prayerful phrase “b’chesed v’rachameem” whenever we talk about Moshiach’s coming & revelation knowing that Moshiach is on the way!” NOW! Blessings, Paulettala

      2. Reply

        Paulettala

        AMEN! When asked if the Rebbe ever said HOW Moshiach’s is going to come, a secretary of the Rebbe answered, “The Rebbe always said, “Think good and it wiill be good” and that Moshiach should come b’chesed v’rachameem – with kindness and mercy. (i think we should always try to add the prayerful phrase “b’chesed v’rachameem” whenever we talk about Moshiach’s coming & revelation, knowing that “Moshiach” is on the way!” NOW! Blessings, Paulettala

  3. Reply

    Rivky

    Thank you for posting! For yud shvat, I listened to the panel (which included Mrs. Rudolph) made in school about the Rebbe. After, I made a hachlata (resolution) for this week to read something inspirational before I go to bed every night.Thank you Mrs. Rudolph, Mrs. Engle, and Mrs. Deren for inspiring me to make the hachlata and a special thanks to Mrs Rudolph for helping me come through with it with this inspirational blog.

    1. Reply

      Lieba Rudolph

      Wow! Thank you Rivky! Yud Shevat (the day when the Rebbe assumed leadership) is an awesome day to commit to staying inspired. I hope we can work on it together!

    2. Reply

      Paulettala

      Ricky, your comment made me wish I could forward it and this inspiring PONDERING blog to selected others, but , as I am not on social media at all, I would not know how to. You and some teens may be able to. Please try to publicize various PONDERINGS to all Jewish social media sites,if that is possible, and let the readers know how we can to individuals where they may be appropriate. Also, you reminded me about how I used to read something from Proverbs, Eclesiastes from my Bible every night, and then expanded into reading and studying the Bible every night so well, that I wound up entering and winning the very 1st INTERNATIONAL BIBLE CONTEST from New England. I came in 3rd in the finals held at Stern College in NYC; though I knew all the answers, I was too overwhelmed with excitement that I might win the trip to Israel, I just could not answer anymore! So, you never know what reading something inspiring every night will lead to! With blessings, Paulettala

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