Thursday, May 23, 2013

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The Chassidic Way to Learn from the Past

via Lma’an Yishme’u

th (6)The Torah urges us to remember the past and learn from it, and to learn from the older generation on how to conduct oneself.  (האזינו לב,ז)

The Frierdiker Rebbe (the 6th Rebbe of Chabad Lubavitch) wrote: The avoda (the divine service or path) of learning from the ways of talmidei chachomim (the learned Torah scholars) is accomplished at chassidishe farbrengens (chassidic soul gatherings), where eltere (old) chassidim relate sippurim (stories and recollections) about tzaddikim (the righteous) and chassidim (those who go beyond the letter of the religious law). They discuss the lesson to be learnt and arouse their listeners appropriately, ensuring that the arousal be translated into action. Telling sippurim was (and is) therefore cherished by our Rebbeim and by other great tzaddikim of Chassidus.

On one occasion the Frierdiker Rebbe said: Remembering 'the days of old' was always precious to chassidim. Homes used to be saturated with middos tovos (good deeds) and ahavas HaShem (love of G-d), ahavas haTorah (love of Torah) and ahavas Yisroel (love of your fellow), and no matter whether people were rich or poor, their doors were always open for chachomim (to the learned and wise).

In the past, he added, eltere chassidim would speak on their own without being asked. This was not mere storytelling; rather, a way of life was shared.

(אג"ק מוהריי"צ ח"ו ע' עה, לקוטי דיבורים ח"א ע' 234)


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