by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
A well known chassidic story emphasizes different paths of chassidus...
After the passing of the Maggid of Mezritch, when the spheres of influence in spreading the teachings of Chasidism were divided up, Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi, known also as the "Alter Rebbe" and the founder of Chabad chassidus, was allotted Lithuania and White Russia. However, being as Rebbe Shlomo of Karlin had followers in the towns of Beshenkovitz, Tzeshnik and Liepli, he was allowed to continue visiting there.
When Rebbe Shlomo decided that he wanted to permanently move to Beshenkovitz, he first asked permission of Rebbe Shneur Zalman. The Alter Rebbe agreed with the following conditions:
1) Rebbe Shlomo would not demean those who devoted themselves seriously to the study of the revealed parts of the Torah;
2) Rebbe Shlomo would not disparage those who had an innate fear of Heaven;
3) Rebbe Shlomo would teach his own Chasidim that faith alone in the tzadik (righteous person) is not sufficient to enable one to ascend to higher spiritual levels but that one must personally toil in one's G-dly service.
Rebbe Shlomo was willing to agree to the first two conditions but could not come to terms with the third, for he taught his Chasidim that those who are bound to the tzadik are elevated by his service; the mission of their Divine service is simply to be enthusiastic about the study of Torah and the observance of its commandments. His teachings conflicted with the school of thought of Chabad Chasidism established by the Alter Rebbe. The Alter Rebbe taught that each individual must personally exert effort in understanding G-d and in one's Divine service.
Thus, Reb Shlomo did not move to Beshenkovitz, though he continued to visit there periodically.
Chabad does not say one should not be bound to the Rebbe, to the tzadik. But it does say it's not enough. One must labor in divine service, reaching out to and understanding G-d (to the best of human ability, through the many holy teachings in the full width of the Torah). This is everyones duty of the heart.
Monday, May 25, 2009
// 5/25/2009 //