The Rebbe's Approach - getting to the root of the matter

Friday, 19 June, 2015 - 2:01 pm

While addressing symptoms is often necessary, getting to the root of the issue is generally the best way to deal with a situation. I believe this is why the Rebbe always referenced redemption and the coming of Moshiach in connection with anything that was being discussed.

From the Rebbe’s perspective, all ills in the world resulted from one root problem – a concealment of G-d’s presence in the world. This is a by-product of creation in general - in order for there to be a functioning world in which people operate under the system of free will – there must be a concealment of the Divine reality or else people could never choose evil. However, the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash and the subsequent exile of the Jewish people, along with the state of exile for the whole world, have magnified this concealment many times over.

Kabbala teaches and Chassidus emphasizes to an even greater degree, that it is our task to reverse this state of exile and concealment, by increasing the G-dliness in the world through Torah, Mitzvot and acts of goodness.

Therefore (in addition to other reasons) it is entirely appropriate to suggest religious or spiritual solutions even when talking about a very specific physical or material problem. Increasing Torah and Mitzvot always goes hand in hand with strengthening security or assessing a business plan or finding a medical solution.

So when there is a natural disaster or an act of terror or senseless hate-filled murder (such as the one witnessed this week in Charleston), the specifics require attention; but the ultimate solution can be found by attending to the root cause – revealing G-dliness in the world through the Torah of peace and its Mitzvot, which are beacons of peaceful light to the world.

Aside from dealing with the root cause, this approach is also empowering to all. For each one of us can and must play a role in bringing the world to a state of Redemption. While we may not, as individuals, have answers to the symptoms, we can certainly contribute to reversing the root cause.

This Shabbat, the third of Tammuz, people the world over will be reflecting on the Rebbe’s message and profound influence on the Jewish and general world. Let us take this lesson to heart and look at things through the Rebbe’s lens to get to the core of the matter. Let every one of us intensify our efforts to move the world along to the time of Redemption – when all of the symptoms will disappear and the world will be one in serving G-d and discovering His presence. Amen.

Jewish Educational Media (JEM) recently discovered and restored a cable televised talk by the Rebbe from the summer of 1981. Please join us on Sunday evening – 7 PM at Chabad House (uptown) for a screening of this newly released DVD. The film is over 3 hours long but it is divided into sections and can be watched all or in parts. Come by for as long as you can. Refreshments will be served.

Mazel Tov to Tulane alum Mr. and Mrs. Aharon Ross upon the engagement of their son Mendy to Tirtza Phillips.

Mazel Tov to Chaim Schreiber upon his graduation from Touro College. Best of luck in future endeavors.

Mazel Tov to Idan and Lina Washafsky upon the birth of their daughter Mia.

Mazel Tov to our daughter Mushka upon her graduation from Beth Rivkah High School. Best of luck in Israel next year.

Mazel Tov to our daughter Basy upon her Bas Mitzvah. We look forward to the celebration next month.

Have a good Shabbos
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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