The Rebbe’s Guidance on Writing to the Rebbe


    The Rebbe’s Guidance on Writing to the Rebbe

    From the desk of Rabbi Gershon Avtzon, Director of Yeshivas Lubavitch – Cincinnati: I’m a teacher in the seventh grade. In preparation for Yud Aleph Nissan I would like to speak to the students about writing to the Rebbe. Any guidance as to what I should tell them? Click to Read


    I’m a teacher in the seventh grade. In preparation for Yud Aleph Nissan I would like to speak to the students about writing to the Rebbe. Any guidance as to what I should tell them?


    This is indeed an important topic to discuss with your talmidim. The following are some general guidelines to share with your students in regards to writing to the Rebbe (from the letters of the Rebbe himself):


    (1) “There is a well-known adage of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ”מ: There are “tzoros Chassidim,” individuals who recall the Rebbe and Chassidus when something undesirable occurs to them; then they write a pidyon. But when things work out, [they return to the norm:] “…Each under his vine and under his fig tree.”..

    …“My intent is not to evoke anything that is the opposite of the quality of mercy, Heaven forbid. I am simply amazed with compounded amazement about those who have the choice whether to be “Polish” chassidim, tzorus Chassidim, or womanlike chassidim — or to try, at least somewhat, to be the type of Chassid that the Nesi’im of the teachings of Chabad demanded of us. We have tasted the flavor of the light that is good. And, nevertheless, we first become family men. Afterwards, we become occupied [with worldly concerns] and then we recite a line of Chassidus and [think that] it is enough and that nothing more should be demanded of us.” (Igros, Vol. 3 p. 416; #713)

    (2) “After a long interruption, I received your letter with you Pa”n, which will be read at the tziyun of the Rebbe. It is a wonder on the Anash — -especially the bochurim — that notwithstanding the fact that I have mentioned that if they would write to me besuros tovos (good news), this would lessen the times that they would need to write about negative things, they have not acted on it.” (Igros, Vol. 20 p. 325; #7746).


    “There is no need to apologize for writing the truth to me, (even though it was not “pretty”). I have written to many of Anash that writing the complete and unfiltered truth — even if the truth is not nice — is the appropriate thing to do and this has been the way of Chassidim from all previous generations.

    This is especially true in our orphaned generation … as I will be receiving the negative news from others which are not fond of Lubavitch — and thus tend to exaggerate the negative things — and if I would hear the true story from friends (even if it is not a nice story), it would lessen the aggravation that I receive.” (Igros, Vol. 14 p.368; #5141).


    “There was a young man who was forced to flee from his location. Now this person is not one who has a connection with the Divine service of [meditative] prayer. He is not devoted to the abstract contemplation of Chassidus (a maskil), nor to the applications of these teachings in his efforts for self-refinement (an oved). He does not [even] have a beard. He never studied in Tomchei Temimim or in any other yeshivah. This person jour­neyed to a very distant place, one far removed in both a physical sense and in its connection to Jewish life. After a short time passed, men and women from that place began to develop a relationship with my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita.

    For example, a businesswoman who was offered an oppor­tunity to rent a store and a dwelling either in one part of the city or another asked the Rebbe Shlita to decide what she should do. She has never seen him. And she knows that my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, has never been in her city, nor even in her country. She is not part of the chassidic brotherhood, nor are her roots there. But she heard the young man [mentioned above] speak sincerely, with words coming from the heart, that there is a Rebbe among the Jewish people, that he is not bound by the limitations of nature, and that a person who wants to follow a secure path — be it in business or in directing his household — should not raise his hand without asking the Rebbe. She saw that the young man’s words reflected his inner feelings, because words of truth can be recognized, and she asked that her question be written [to the Rebbe].” (Igros, Vol. 3 p. 54; #445)

    The Rebbe Cares About Your “Petty” Things 

    The Moshiach Connection: It is important to share with the talmidim that the Rebbe is very interested in hearing from them, even if they consider themselves small, simple and not worthy. This is a trait of Moshiach (Hayom Yom for Rosh Chodesh Av): “The distinctive quality of Moshiach will be his humility. Though he will be on the highest level, and will teach Torah to the Avos and Moshe Rabbeinu, he will nevertheless possess ultimate humility and self-effacement, and will teach even simple folk.”


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