The Revolution Continues

Friday, 31 January, 2020 - 11:44 am

Seventy years. 

This coming Wednesday, the 10 of Shevat on the Jewish calendar (corresponding to February 5), will mark seven decades since the Rebbe began to lead the global revolution known as Chabad. 

To be sure, the Rebbe never saw it as his revolution.  This was a campaign to actualize G-d’s timeless vision for the world, the Torah’s Divine blueprint for society. Even more, the Rebbe was – in his own words – simply perpetuating the efforts of six Lubavitcher Rebbes who preceded him (beginning in the 18th century). 

But the Rebbe was nothing less than an extraordinary revolutionary, leader of his generation and luminary of the generations. And it began that fateful day in 1950, when the Rebbe accepted leadership of the small, Holocaust-battered community known as Chabad. 

Any credible attempt to describe the Rebbe’s vision, brilliance and impact would need a set of books, not a brief article. So I want to focus on a single attitudinal element of the Rebbe’s leadership, which presents itself as a clear thread through the decades of his talks and writings.

You – whomever you are - matter. Your next decision has the potential for cosmic impact. Not just in a rhetorical, let’s get-you-motivated sense. The objective truth is that G-d, and the cosmos, really care about what you do.

On the 10th anniversary of the Rebbe’s leadership, 10 Shevat 1960 (February 8th of that year) the Rebbe related and analyzed the following Chassidic teaching (loosely translating in my own words):

Sometimes, one’s excessive ‘humility’ prevents closeness to G-d. When we don’t believe that we matter, we close ourselves to the truth that G-d absolutely delights in our personal prayer, study and Mitzvot. We disable our ability to accept that our positive choices trigger Divine flow into the world and that the very angels are nourished by the Holiness we generate. If we believed in our own potential for cosmic impact, our lives and would be filled energy and enthusiasm. 

Each of us should take the time for introspection to contemplate that our actions genuinely matter to G-d. G-d is waiting to kiss our lips when they express our desire for Divine closeness…..

The Rebbe believed in me and you. In each member of humanity. He saw our potential for personal greatness way beyond what most of us can see ourselves. And he tirelessly continued – and continues -to encourage us to make a difference, one step at a time. 

Think about the next moment, your next decision, and do the right thing.

The universe is waiting

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