The climate in today’s world is very challenging to pure, authentic Yiddishkeit. As parents and educators, we must cherish the time we have to dress our children with the warmth of pure, authentic Torah and Yiddishkeit.
By Rabbi Mordechai Lipskier
When the Frierdiker Rebbe was approximately 30 years old, his father, the Rebbe Rashab, sent him on a mission to avert a decree made by Russian Prime Minister Stolypin. The Frierdiker Rebbe managed to secure a meeting with a statesman by the name of Konstantin Pobedonostsev who was known to have a strong influence on Stolypin.
Pobedonostsev set the meeting for Friday night in his castle which was in the suburbs of Petersburg. There were no Yidden living nearby so the only accommodations the Frierdiker Rebbe could find were at a bar. He paid the owner handsomely and asked that he escort him on the dangerous walk to Pobedonostsev’s castle for his Friday night meeting.
At the appointed time, the Frierdiker Rebbe put on his heavy fur coat and followed his escort to the castle. When they reached the outer gate of the estate, the escort said there was no way he would go any further. He was afraid of the vicious dogs, and he turned back. The Frierdiker Rebbe continued on his own (and subsequently had to walk back alone as well).
Upon entering the castle, Pobedonostsev shouted at him, “What’s wrong with you and your father?! Why did he risk the life of his only child by sending you here?! You could have been ripped to pieces by my dogs!!” The Frierdiker Rebbe replied: “A Yid has no fear of dogs. Dogs are afraid of a Yid.”
The Frierdiker Rebbe relayed this story to chassidim,  clarifying that he was not highlighting his own mesiras nefesh, rather he is showing every Yid, and particularly chassidim, that they possess enormous strength to stand up for Torah and Yiddishkeit, no matter the odds and no matter the opposition.
On one of the occasions when the Rebbe repeated this story,  he asked a question. The fact that the Frierdiker Rebbe put on his warm coat before going outside is seemingly an unnecessary detail to the story. Why did he share it?
The message here is that before we go out into the “cold” world we must fortify ourselves with warm clothing that will protect us in any climate. Whether we’re businessmen, community activists, or shluchim, the more we fire ourselves up with Torah and mitzvos before stepping outside, the more successful we’ll be in our efforts to be a positive influence and remain unaffected by the velt.
The climate in today’s world is very challenging to pure, authentic Yiddishkeit. As parents and educators, we must cherish the time we have to dress our children with the warmth of pure, authentic Torah and Yiddishkeit. And with Hashem’s help, we will witness how capable they are of standing up against inevitable challenges with fearlessness and courage.
 Sefer Hasichos 5708 pg. 177
 Yud Shevat 5741 (1981)
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