The Rebbe Rayatz: “We Will Meet Again”

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The Rebbe Rayatz: “We Will Meet Again”

After the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Rebbe Rayatz was miraculously saved from the Soviet prison, he was sent to exile and from there was expelled from Russia. Before he left Russia, his chassidim came to take leave of their Rebbe:

When the Rebbe Rayatz left Russia, at the end of Tishrei 5688 (1928), the chassidim came to take leave of him. Among those chassidim was the family of Reb Chanya Marozov. Reb Chanya himself was in Siberia, either in prison there or on a mission for the Rebbe Rayatz.

Reb Chanya’s young son, Reb Shalom, held onto the Rebbe and didn’t want to let him go. The Rebbe said to him, “We will meet again.”

Let us imagine this story: The Rebbe Rayatz is about to leave Russia. The family of Reb Chanya (Elchanan) Marozov (it is good to be familiar with the names of these people, who had tremendous self-sacrifice for their brethren), who himself is in jail or on the Rebbe’s mission in Siberia to strengthen the spiritual state of his fellow Jews, has come to part with the Rebbe. There is a little boy there, Reb Shalom, whose father is in jail. For now, the Rebbe is like a father to him. While it is not good that his father is in jail, it is good that he relates to the Rebbe as his father. He is holding on to the Rebbe and does not want to let go. The Rebbe feels the little boy’s pain and wants to reassure him. He confidently promises him that, “We will meet again.” In those tumultuous times, when the Rebbe was leaving Russia and the Marozov family was remaining in Russia, it was no simple matter to promise the boy that they would meet again.

22 years later, the Rebbe’s promise was fulfilled: Despite all the upheavals of those dark days, in Tevet 5710 – just a month before the Rebbe Rayatz’s passing – Reb Shalom reached the Rebbe’s headquarters in New York. When he entered the Rebbe’s room for his personal meeting (called yechidut) the Rebbe said to him, “Nu, so we meet again.”

In this story, we see the Rebbe’s foresight, an aspect of the attribute of wisdom, as the sages say, “Who is wise? He who sees what is to be born (the future).”[1] It is also an expression of the attribute of understanding, which is referred to as, “the coming future” and “the World to Come.”[2] This refers to the future that is full of joy, just as the sefirah of understanding is full of joy, its inner dimension.

Another important lesson that we learn from this story: The Rebbe sees a small boy crying. He looks into his soul and knows what the child needs to hear. He knows what will calm him and promises that they will meet again. We can all learn how to relate to others in this manner. The Rebbe is not simply relating future events. He was bringing the future into the present; as it were, borrowing from the future in order to give the child strength in the present, strength that would help him persevere until the joy of the future would be revealed.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev said that it is greatly beneficial for a person to imagine himself with a tzaddik. This can save him from difficult situations and spiritual failures. The Rebbe Rayatz told the boy that they would meet again. His promise surely accompanied him and safeguarded him through all the years in Russia – until he merited seeing the Rebbe once again.

[1] Tamid 32a.

[2] Eitz Chaim, Shaar 15, chapter 5.

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