Tuesday, January 29, 2008

22 Feelings

Today is the twenty-second day of the month of Shevat, the anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe's wife, Rebbitzen Chaya Mushka. There's been a nice thought that I've been meaning to relate, but I hadn't remembered it until today, which is perfect, as you'll soon see. BTW, I heard it from our Dean, the great Mordechai Friedman.
In the Torah it says that when Aaron the High Priest passed on everybody wept, while when Moses our Teacher left this world only the mens' eyes moistened. Rashi explains what he explains, and you can look it up there. R. Friedman explains, and this is available right here, that the reason everyone cried by Aaron was because they all saw Moses crying. This is similar to what is brought down in Rashi in the portion of Yisro, when he says that the entire Jewish nation came out to greet Jethro because Moses went out.
The Rebbitzen's funeral was packed, because the Moses of our generation, the Rebbe, was there.

In other news, and believe you me there ain't too much, today is also the Yahrtzeit of the Kotzker Rebbe. He's one of those guys who have some seriously popular sayings, but no one would ever actually try and follow what he says, because they'd probably lose their minds, which is precisely what his opponents accused him of doing. His goal was to seek the truth. That sound easy? Not if you think about it. Living a life according to the truth is pretty difficult.
There's a story, whose truth I can't vouch for, that a Kotzker Chassid came to his Rebbe and said that the way of Kotzk was too harsh, and he wanted to have a little more love, so he was going to the Tzemach Tzedek, to Lubavitch (which everyone knows means "City of Love"). The Kotzker said, and of course I paraphrase here, "No problem, but you should know that Chabad says the same thing as I do."
The lesson for us? As the old saying goes, "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down."


e said...

I heard from Rabbi Eli Nasson Silberberg (in Chicago) that the Kotzker Rebbe told the chassid, "What, you think Mendel Mendel gezeirah shava?"