The Central Nervous System of the World

Friday, 8 July, 2016 - 2:09 pm

This weekend is the third of Tammuz, the day on which the Rebbe’s physical presence was taken from us in 1994. I have the privilege of being in New York this weekend and took the opportunity to spend several hours at the Rebbe’s Ohel last night studying and praying on behalf of my family and our community.

Much has been written over the years about the role of a Rebbe and why he has had so much influence over a very diverse and broad spectrum of the Jewish people and indeed the world.

I would like to share one element that taps into a concept in Jewish mysticism. Kabbala speaks of the Jewish people as a Komah Achas Sheleimah - a singular organism or body, with each individual serving a unique function within this greater entity. In the human body the brain serves two capacities – the nerve center that transmits messages to all parts of the body and also feels or senses what is going on with every part of the body. The brain instructs and guides each unique body part regarding its role and it is also where the pain and pleasure of every aspect of the body is sensed.

The word Rebbe is an acronym for Rosh Bnei Yisrael – head (brain) of the Jewish people. One of the roles of a Rebbe is to have intimate knowledge of the role of each and every Jew, thereby providing the guidance and inspiration to fulfil that role. The Rebbe also senses the triumphs and tribulations of every Jew (member of the greater singular organism). As such he can also serve as an address for alleviating the pain and heightening the pleasure that every Jew experiences as a member of the Jewish people. This is why so many people turned and continue to turn to the Rebbe for blessings, advice, solace, guidance, inspiration, insight and encouragement.

Last night into this morning I watched as thousands of people streamed to the Ohel for a moment of connection. People of every type and stripe. Jews and non-Jews alike. They all sense that their nerve center is with the Rebbe and they seek to strengthen that point of attachment. If you haven’t already, take a moment and explore to learn more and discover what resonates with you. Please join one us at Chabad Uptown or Chabad Metairie for a Kiddush farbrengen tomorrow after services as a way of connecting together.

Wishing you a meaningful Shabbat
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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