The Yor Tzeit (anniversary of the passing) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe is this Shabbos
What does it mean to me (and hopefully now to you)
Many people misunderstand the role of a Rebbe
Some go so far (usually out of jealousy) to call Lubavitch a cult)
Lubavitch is no less a cult than Judaism, who believes in Mosses as an intermediary to teach the word of God
Cults are defined by their lack of meaningful, only cult attention, to a leader
However Judaism defines a leader as one who is completely self-effacing
Last night we were privileged to hear from Raba Eliyahu Silberstein from Cornell University regarding what Gimmel Tammuz means to him.
He began with a parable:
What is the difference between my painting and an artist’s painting, for do we both not paint a face, two eyes, a nose etc. etc.?
The difference is, that my painting represents an eye, but it is far from an eye, however, an artist, not only represents an eye, it brings us to a deeper appreciation of an eye; for the genius of the artists, is be able to express an eye in a way that perhaps a simple layperson can never see – hence we marvel not so much at the technical skill a painter has, for is not a picture even more technically accurate? rather at the emotional depth of the meaning behind his painting.
Similarly, many people may study Torah – those with great minds may come up with great insights, but only a Rebbe, being in another realm – his, a soul of God, sees empirically God; whereas our body, also containing soul of God, nonetheless, are obscured through the descent of our soul into the cloak which obscures God.
For example, two people look at a hand, one is a microbiologist, the other an ordinary layperson; the microbiologist is aware of the millions of potentially harmful bacteria, the ordinary person sees nothing but the form and perhaps function of the hand!
Hence Judaism, in fact all religions, and Judaism being the precursor of the major religions necessitates a leader of extraordinary spiritual heights that can translate the extraordinary into the ordinary, for the ordinary r person.
Anyone who assumes Judaism needs no leader forgets that it comes from a leader, and all they have is only because leaders such as the Rebbe came before them and without them they would be like the child playing in dirt, oblivious to any other reality than what his senses can tell him.
Rabbi Silberstein suggested, that on this most auspicious of Gimmel Tammuzs – this Shabbos – as the energy in this word is greater than Yom Kippur’s energy – flows into each and every person who desires it, hence by opening our hearts and minds, our emotions and intuition, and most importantly our faith and trust in God, we will unite in an infinite bond with truth.