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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Mordechai Lipskier

The Rebbe felt only pain and sympathy

Parshas Korach- Gimmel Tammuz

Someone once wrote to the Rebbe accusing the Rebbe of bearing a grudge and deliberately not responding to his letters. The Rebbe wrote a gentle response assuring the writer that he bore no grudge. However, the Rebbe clarified, I am pained. Not because you hurt me personally but because I see that there are so many good things awaiting you but you are not taking the necessary steps in order to receive the brachos, i.e., your wife isn’t covering her hair as I encouraged. And the fact that you’re not taking the necessary steps to make your life better pains me deeply. The Rebbe then reiterated that the delay in his response was merely due to his workload. The Rebbe concluded by blessing him with the strength to create the appropriate vessels needed to receive the abundant brachos in store for him.[1] In this week’s sedra, after Korach’s people refused to meet with Moshe Rabbeinu, we read that “vayichar l’Moshe m’od.” The typical translation of vayichar would be, “and he became enraged,” but here, Rashi interprets it to mean “very grieved.” Anger would indicate that Moshe was provoked due to personal interests. But the truth is that Moshe was entirely dedicated to the Yidden, so what bothered him was that Korach’s people would lose out on so much goodness. He wasn’t annoyed or angry with them. No. He was pained for them. This type of love and dedication is something we can strive for.

At a yechidus (private audience) with the Rebbe, a man from Boro Park humbly shared that although he’s not yet a chossid, he visits non-religious Jews in the tenement buildings on Ocean Parkway to offer them the opportunity to do mitzvos. “What’s your response when someone refuses you?” the Rebbe asked. “After we leave such an apartment, I always tell my son that it’s a pity on this Yid, he doesn’t know how precious a thing he’s turning down.” The Rebbe smiled. “In that case, you are a chossid.” A chossid is someone who looks to help his fellow Yid, not considering his personal gain or loss in the matter. When someone rejects us personally, it’s easy to look down at them and view them with contempt. But if we love them, then we want the best for them, and instead of anger we will feel sympathy. If a loving parent saw his child inflicting pain on himself, R”l, his love for the child would reach beyond possible feelings of anger. It would likely express itself in feelings of deep pain and sympathy, and in never-ending dreams, plans and hopes of how he can bring his child back to a healthy place. We can earn the title of “chossid” and follow the example of Moshe Rabbeinu and the Rebbe. Let’s dwell on loving our fellow Yid and striving to help them live their best possible life. And if they reject our efforts, let this rejection evoke a genuine feeling of pain and sympathy, motivating us to keep on trying to help them. Gut Shabbos, Rabbi Mordechai Lipskier [1] Igros Kodesh vol. 17, pg. 288.


The Flint family l’zecher nishmas Reb Avraham Michoel ben Yaakov Shimon Halevi a"h

The Moshe Group Moshe and Rivky Majeski


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