The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Taken in Prague last Adar

A thought from last Shabbos's Hayom Yom:

My father said: In Chassidus the "beginning is wedged into the end and the end is wedged into the beginning." This is the state of igulim, "circles," without beginning or end. Nonetheless, order and system are crucial.

The Baal Shem Tov was systematic and orderly. The Maggid, his successor, insisted on order. And my great-grandfather - the Alter Rebbe - taught chassidim to be orderly. We see this in his maamarim, letters and melodies. Chassidim who had set times to come to the Rebbe in Lyozna - and later to Liadi - were not permitted to change this schedule without permission from the Rebbe.2 Any request for a change had to be justified with a reason.

The Rebbe had a special committee headed by his brother, R. Yehuda Leib, charged with overseeing order among chassidim. Another committee, under the Miteler Rebbe, directed the younger chassidim.

The Rebbe uses three different expressions for the different generations of the Ba'al Shem Tov, Maggid and Alter Rebbe: The Ba'al Shem Tov was a Mesuder, the Maggid was M'dakdik -insistent on order, and the Alter Rebbe hot gelernt di chassdidim tzu zayn m'sudarim -he taught others to be orderly.
Perhaps these three expression represent three levels of influence that the respective tzaddikim had on the world, the effect their Chassidus had on others:
For the Ba'al Shem Tov was in his essence orderly, the Mittler Rebbe brought it out in those around him -that it was visible in them, and the Alter Rebbe caused that the Chassidim themselves should not only be orderly due to him, but changed them in their essence that they themselves would be orderly -so much so that they would in turn effect others.

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