When Reb Mordechai Shachna Zirkind told the Rebbe that he wanted his son, Simcha, to remain at home so he could observe kibbud av va’eim, the Rebbe had a novel suggestion for him.
“Will you allow your son to continue his Torah studies in Montreal?” the Rebbe asked Reb Mordechai Shachna Zirkind.
Reb Mordechai owned a small butcher shop, and could not afford to hire any workers, so he therefore wanted his son Simcha to stay in Brooklyn and help out.
“I am not inclined to let him go” he responded, “because when my son will be far from home, he will not be fulfilling the mitzva of kibbud av va’eim (honoring his parents).”
But the Rebbe had a solution, “If you command your son to travel to Montreal to learn, and he fulfills your wishes, then he will actually be honoring you by doing so!”
“If you put it that way,” conceded Reb Mordechai, “how can I refuse?”
Simcha indeed studied at the Montreal Lubavitch Yeshiva for seven consecutive years and went on to dedicate his life to the Rebbe’s work, first in Tunisia and then in Canada.
(As heard from the Zirkind Family)
From The Weekly Farbrengen by Merkaz Anash