Once upon a time there was teacher whose classroom was known far-and-wide. Students from around the world came to listen and learn. Become edified and advance.
Year after year attendance grew as new students joined. Room was made and a great and deepening sense of camaraderie was felt.
Between lessons students endeavored to apply these teachings to the best of their abilities. Listen and apply, listen and apply.
Each class was a novelty, a rich resource.
But then one day, as the classroom was filled to capacity, the teacher didn’t show up.
And so they waited…. and waited…
One group of students encouraged their friends to sit and wait. Their beloved teacher will return soon… in moments.
But the other group was more pragmatic and decided that if there are no new lessons to listen to, then at least they can study the old teachings and apply, study and apply.
Then a third group formed. This group left the classroom entirely as neither option seemed compelling. In answer to the outcry from their former classmates, they answered point-blank that if the teacher is not here to teach, then they are not going to sit around and either wait for his return or convince themselves that study and deed are the way to connect to their teacher now.
They were called the rebellious ones. Those that have closed their eyes and ears to the teachings of their beloved teacher. But the opposite was the truth.
They missed their teacher so very much that deep down they knew there was something more to the story. That now that we don’t see him directing the class, he wants us each to begin and grow classrooms of our own.
What do the other students respond?
And you think you can be a teacher? You are better off quoting and adapting, quoting and adapting. But don’t attempt to innovate. Our teacher was the innovator. But you? Don’t view yourself so highly as to innovate.
What is this student to think? On the one hand the two groups don’t interest him; and then he is told that the task which would truly excite him is beyond his capabilities? What do you expect that he should do now?
The Rebbe doesn’t want us to remain students. He wants us to start someone new, to innovative Torah according to the teachings of Chassidus.