Monday, November 12, 2012

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Seeing the Heavens

When Czar Nicholas decreed that the Jews of Russia were only allowed to wear a hat with a large visor, the Alter Rebbe (the first Rebbe of Chabad Lubavitch) said, "Kelipa (the negative side) is disturbing people from gazing at the sky, which is a known segula for yiras Shamayim (fear of Heaven); now there will be additional avoda (human effort for divine matters) - turning around the hat."

Indeed, many chassidim turned around their hat, making the visor face the back, so that they would easily be able to gaze above.

(רש"י ברכות ל"ד ע"ב, טעמי המצוות פ' ואתחנן, אג"ק ריי"צ חי"ד ע' תלח)

(h/t Lma’an Yishme’u)


Daas Yuchid said...

Tzar Nicholas I reigned from 1825. The Alter Rebbe, R Shneer Zalman died in 1812.

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