We Are All Miracles of the Rebbe

“I was sitting at a Farbrengen with a guest Mashpia who shared that he was born through a special miracle from the Rebbe. But then a bochur challenged him, ‘How should I inspire myself if I am not a miracle of the Rebbe?'”

By Rabbi Gershon Avtzon

We are now “Shloshim Yom Lifnei” Gimmel Tammuz of “Vayehi Bishloshim Shana”. While –  understandably –  there are so many different viewpoints and outlooks on that specific day, there is one thing that all Chassidim agree on: It is a day that we must think about the Rebbe, our connection to the Rebbe, and the special Shlichus that the Rebbe gave each and every one of us to get ourselves – and the world around us – prepared to accept Moshiach Tzidkeinu.

I would like to share a thought that I think is important that we all think about and internalize:

A few years ago, I was sitting at a Farbrengen with a guest Mashpia. The mashpia was speaking about what motivates him to go beyond himself in his Avodas Hashem. He mentioned that he was born through a special Bracha that his parents received from the Rebbe, a truly miraculous story, and thus he felt completely indebted to the Rebbe. Because he understands that his very existence is miraculous, he tries to live with a higher purpose and meaning.

Most of the crowd sitting by the Farbrengen were young Mesivta-age bochurim. They were obviously all born after Gimmel-Tammuz 5754. One of the talmidim had the courage to speak up and ask the question that many in the audience probably had: “Rabbi, what you just said is very nice and inspiring for you. This motivates you because you believe that you are a miracle of the Rebbe. However, how should I inspire myself to dedicate myself to the Rebbe’s shlichus if I am not a miracle of the Rebbe?”

The mashpia was silent and the question hung in the air. The mashpia knew that this question could not remain unanswered and it needed to be explained on a level that a young student could understand. The following is what he answered on the spot, and I have really thought about ever since. He explained to all the Talmidim that we need to redefine what a miracle is: A miracle is not always exciting and glamorous, rather anything that is beyond the regular order of nature is a miracle. 

This is based on a famous story about a group of high school students that had Yechidus with the Rebbe (from www.chabad.org) . At the end of  the Yechidus, one of the students asked the Rebbe: “I have heard it said that the Rebbe has the power to work miracles. Is this true? Do you perform supernatural feats?”The Rebbe replied: “The ability to work miracles is not confined to a select group of individuals, but is within reach of each and every one of us. We each possess a soul that is a spark of G‑dliness. So we each have the power to transcend the limitations imposed upon us by our physical natures, no matter how formidable they may seem.

“To demonstrate this to you,” said the Rebbe, “I will now perform a miracle.”

Smiling at the startled young faces around his desk, the Rebbe continued: “Each and every individual in this room will now resolve to improve himself in one specific area. You will each choose an improvement that you recognize as necessary, but until now have perceived as being beyond your power to achieve. Nevertheless, you will succeed, proving to yourselves that the soul indeed has the power to overcome the natural ‘reality’ . . .” From this story we see that a miracle in essence is a change in the natural path and direction of events.

He turned to all the participants of that Farbrengen and asked the following question: How many of you have four grandparents that were born into a Lubavitcher family? Most (including me) did not. Most had parents, or grandparents, that were brought close to Yiddishkeit or Chassidus by one of the Shluchim of the Rebbe.  He explained to those talmidim that they are living miracles of the Rebbe as according to the regular path of nature, they should not be in Lubavitch. It is only because the Rebbe sent out his Shluchim that the miracle – of a person changing the direction of his parents and becoming a Lubavitcher and thus so many of the bochurim existing as Chabad chassidim – happened.

He then turned to the boys that did not raise their hand and asked them to raise their hand if they have more than two siblings and they are from the third child and down. Most raised their hand and it was clear on their faces that they were wondering why he was asking the question. He continued: “Do you know that statistically, most American families have an average of two children? The reason is simple: If you do the calculations of cost, and energy, of raising a family – it can barely be afforded. The reason we, as chassidim, have larger families is because the Rebbe encouraged us to think and live above nature. Every additional child is clearly a miracle of the Rebbe!”

There were still a few boys who did not fit into the two above-mentioned categories and were still waiting to be addressed. He told them: The truth is that all I mentioned above is extra, as the very fact that we are sitting by a Farbrengen –  over twenty years after Gimmel Tammuz 5754 –  and speaking about how we can strengthen our Hiskashrus is miraculous itself! While all the media predicted the demise and disillusionment of Lubavitcher Chassidim, the opposite has happened. How is that possible? Because all Chassidim that are living after Gimmel Tammuz have hand-picked souls – with extra strength to stand up to this final test of exile. We are truly all miracles of the Rebbe and thus have the responsibility to live and act accordingly.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on the above with me by sending me a personal email: [email protected]

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