Wednesday, May 07, 2008

When the Rebbe Cries

I had a skip in my step as I made my way into the Jewish Children’s Museum. After a beautiful walk and an inspiring class, today was going to be good. It was around 9 a.m. as I made my way towards the elevator in the Museum’s silent entrance hall. I pressed the up button and the elevator door flung open.

I had one foot in the door way when I heard a sound and stopped.

To my right, the video screen that normally plays lively clips of the Rebbe was motionless. In place of a lively farbrengen, a niggun, talks and handing out dollars, there was a still image, an up close black and white picture of the leader of our generation.

All I hear is heavy breathing and a deep, almost silent, crying.

It becomes clear that I have walked into the middle of something.

I take my foot out of the elevator. I am not going to leave the Rebbe’s tears to meander unheard through this quiet lobby. Rebbe, I am here.

Through an audibly pained voice, the Rebbe continues. He is championing and defending the objections of the Jewish people. He is expounding on the suffering in the world, asking how us mere flesh and blood can handle it any longer. He is questioning G-d’s expectation that we yearn every second for Moshiach. In only the way that the head of our nation can do, he is crying out to G-d on our behalf, joining us in our protest.

The Rebbe cries and the blood inside me is immobile and rushing at the same time.

To grasp the thoughts of the Rebbe while he cried is totally beyond me, but there is nothing like the purpose, honesty and power in his tears that can bring the depths of my soul into such sharp focus. After you hear the Rebbe’s cry, it is impossible to be me-centered. It is impossible not to care. It is impossible not to try and believe just a little deeper. Who has ever cried like that? Who will ever cry like that again?

I need to hear the Rebbe crying more than ever, but I can’t. I can’t actually see his eyes water and the tears flow down his face. All I can do is try to pour tears the same way he would. For the same nation. For the same desire. For the same fight.


Itzhak Schier said...

All I can do is try to pour tears the same way he would.
Once again, Mimi, you put into words what we all should feel and how we should all react to all of this seemingly incessant tragedy that surrounds us.

I never saw this video; strangely, probably because I remember that which was before Gimmel Tammuz as well as being too technical and therefore knowing all too well that a video is not the real thing, videos of the Rebbe rarely seem to have much of an effect on me.

Unlike your words.

Chana said...

The hashgacha protis in this is just too close... I came on your blog with the intention to looks back at some older posts... the really sad ones, cuz something really sad happened yesterday. A 44 year old husband and father of 6 (k'ah) passed away. Though I came on to connect with your past words, this "surprise" post was so so fitting. Of course the Rebbe is crying today! Who isn't crying?

You know how each month has it's theme? Well how come only Av seems to (unfortunately) live up to it's theme? How could there have been a massacre in Adar? How can a sick person not have been healed and instead pass away on R"CH Iyar - the month of HEALING? I'd like to see some statistics to back up these themes. We hear them and we learn them... but Hashem - own up to it! If Iyar is really the month of healing then heal everybody already! With so many horrible things that go on in our world - does anybody else feel like they're living in fear? It's pretty hard to continue to have bitachon that everything is always gonna be great when things AREN'T great.

Anyway, sorry to have hijacked... I just needed to get it out, so thanks :)

Anonymous said...

yes, i saw the video as well and it is so powerful. I bookmarked it for those times when I just think there's no feeling in me...I know the daughter of the 44 year old father that chana wrote about...yesterday we were all crying with the Rebbe. Thank you Mimi for your powerful words. We need Moshiach right NOW!

Anonymous said...

is there are link to this video?

ML said...

It is a very powerful video.
Interesting how it's only audio played over a montage of black and white photos . . . Everything seems so simple.

And then one hears the Rebbe sobbing.

We realize that things aren't what they seem. We aren't seeing simple photos bound in an eternal stasis . . .

Things are now seen as they've broken down to their essential parts. We're focused.
"Sunday he looks . . ."
"Monday he looks . . ."

It's real.
The Rebbe cries for us, cares for us -and what do we do?

Now though is enough, it's time to wipe away the tears.

The Rebbe once said that Iyar is the month of ultimate simcha.
Adar is the joy of Purim -boundless joy, yet tempered by the fact that we are still in Golus ("we remain slaves of Achashveirosh")
In Nissan we go out of Egypt, we are free . . . but we have not yet matured, the revelations are all from above -we are not yet ready.
In Iyar every day is a mitzvah, each day has a unique sefirah to count, each day is a chance to forge anew out eternal bond with G-d. The joy of a mitzvah, of a connection with the essence of the Creator, is the true joy.

So Rebbe, please stop crying. We don't want to cry, and we don't want you to cry. We are hurting, and seeing you in pain hurts us even more.

Let us laugh together again.

Mimi said...


Meanwhile, you had the video on your blog?!?! I didn't see it! (Once again, our blogs are like mirrors...)

Now I get to see what came before I walked in and heard the Rebbe crying (and I've never cried like this at my work desk...)

Your words on the video are beautiful. Thank you.

Nemo said...

Haven't really been watching Living Torah recently, but this was posted on another blog and it caught my attention. From the hundreds of videos I've watched, I can't recall ever hearing the Rebbe talk like that, neither the way he cries, nor what he says.

ML said...

Sometimes we look and we look, never realizing that what we seek has been in front of us the entire time. (What did I say last time? Great minds . . .)
I'm glad you liked what I wrote. May we both keep bringing inspiration to the world . . .

Nechama said...

Yes, as Chana mentioned before, a terrible tragedy happened, i was in despair being that i know two of the 44 year old man A"H' daughters, seeing this video it made me feel better kniwng that the Rebbe is up there crying every tear possible for the redemption, and for all his children suffering down here.
Thank you Mimi, you really gave me an insperation.

Itzhak Schier said...

Thanks so much for posting the video, but I must have a heart of stone or technical problems with my audio as I fail to hear the crying or to be moved by anything other than the Rebbe's words. I'll have to try it again tonight when I'm not distracted and use headphones this time.