Precious Gems

Chaya Mushka Litzman, Spring Valley, NY
Essays 2018

A Chabad Chossid strives to become a better person. This a constant struggle that is an encountered in day to day life. With the help of our Rebbeim, we are able to conquer our daily struggles. One example of a struggle, is, judging favorably. It is hard when you only see something from the outside, you can’t see inside. And then jump to conclusions, of why the person may not be acting as you see fit.

When one see a girl wearing a skirt above her knees, or a boy not wearing tzitzus. Your initial, think. “Why can’t that girl just pull down her skirt? Or since when don’t people own tzitzus?” But I’m sure there is a reasonable explanation why that person might not be acting accordingly. You don’t need to jump to conclusions of why the person may not be acting as how you see fit.

In a Rebbe Letter, that the Rebbe wrote(1), “The story of Lag b’Omer, as related in the Gemoro, is well known. Our Sages tell us that the disciples of Rabbi Akiva were stricken by a plague because they were not respectful towards one another. On the thirty-third day of Sefira—Lag b’Omer—the plague stopped.” Meaning that the students of Rabbi Akiva didn’t treat each other with respect. So G-d decided there should be a plague, on the thirty-third day of counting Sefira which is Lag b’Omer the plague stopped.

The Rebbe goes on to explain that every single girl and boy can take a lesson from this story. To begin with the Gemora calls them “Disciples of Rabbi Akiva” this means clearly they were worthy of this title. Which shows that they obviously kept the Torah and Mitzvot. With devotion, diligence, and Mesiras Nefesh (self-sacrifice). As the great Rabbi Akiva taught them.

Obliviously every Jew that G-d created is able to bear the name of being G-D’s children. Literally G-D’s children, every Jew has a literal piece of G-d(2) inside them. So then, why is it so hard for us to love a fellow Jew?

The Rebbe goes on to explain in his letter that every Jew has a different way of serving G-d. A Jew might be serving out of love, but his neighbor might be serving G-d out of fear. A third may be doing it out of obedience to serve G-d. Your Friend might not be up to covering her elbows, but doesn’t mean that she’s not as good as a Jew, you are. But at the end of the day, we all are serving G-d.

The students being students of Rabbi Akiva, they each served G-D the right way but in their own way. And they thought it was my way or the high way. I’m the one doing serving G-d right, you’re doing it all wrong. They cared so much for their friend that they wanted to show them “the right way” of serving G-D.

We can learn Mitzvoths(3) from the above story. One of them being V’Ohavto L’Reacho Komocho(4) (love your fellow Jew as yourself), this must be fulfilled to the best of someone’s capability. And a person must look kindly and respectfully upon every Jew.

“A further instruction from the above is that even if one meets a Jew who has not yet attained the proper level of Divine service, the approach must still be that of respect and affection, in accordance with the teaching of our Sages, “Judge every person favorably.” It is necessary to bear in mind that the person lacking in commitment to Yiddishkeit may not be responsible, and that he simply may not have had the opportunity to receive the proper Jewish education. On the contrary, in such a case, one must pity such a person all the more, and it is necessary to make the utmost effort to help him come closer to Yiddishkeit, and to do so with love, respect and in a pleasant manner.” So when you see someone, that isn’t up to absorbing the Torah and Mitzvoth at the time. Act out of unconditional LOVE, it’s the key. And hopefully one day they will be able to absorb the Torah, and do it out of love.

The Freideker Rebbe(5) explains in two Sichas the Mamor Haichaltzu said by the Rebbe Rashab(6). It is based off a piece of Chassidus that the Alter Rebbe(7) said, in 1768. The Freideker Rebbe said that there was a Chossid who came from a town with a lot of fights. The Rebbe Rashab wasn’t feeling well, when this Chossid came to visit Lubavitch, they had a Farbraingin with the Freideker Rebbe, since the Rebbe Rashab was sick. But the Rebbe Reshab came in, because he wanted to pervent fights from happening, with this Chossid. This Mamor was directed to the Chossid.

The Freideker Rebbe also wrote a letter about this mamor. That is speaks about the importance of Ahavas Yisrael and judging favorably, and giving the benefit of the doubt. The Mamor has 32 chapters which alludes to the Hebrew word leiv, (heart). This alludes to Ahavas Yisreal, to love a fellow Jew.

The Mamor is called Heichaltzu, meaning armed solders. G-d told Moses to take revenge on the nation of Midian, and you should rage war with them. The Rebbe Rashab asks “what’s the connection between Moses death and war? ” G-d waited for Moses to start the war. Through this war Moses soul completed his mission in the world and was able to pass away after the war.

The ten attributes that every Jew poseses, are unifed by the name Havaya. The Klipot of the Seven Nations is exact opposite. Unity is achieved when the parts aid one another. When one uses their ten attributes to work together, so that one can have unity in all they do. This will help out their daily life, because that way one will have an easier time loving one another. At the end of the day, the Jewish Nation are brothers and sisters.

Baseless hatred prevents one from partaking in joy or sorrow of a fellow Jew. There is an explanation for a person’s suffering, but one can’t find explanations of why a Jew is in pain, since one must judge favorably.

Gathering with friends and discussing Torah it brings unification in the serving of G-D. Haughtiness causes someone to hate another person who is on a higher level than them, but allows a person to love simple people.

One must completely destroy hatred in themselves because it is the source of all evil character traits. The Median Klipah is more dangerous than any of the Seven Nations. It is the opposite of the name Havaya, which is the source of all creation.

Once a lady was waiting in line to receive a Rebbe dolor. When her turn came she asked the Rebbe, “Rebbe don’t your feet get tired by standing the whole day?” the Rebbe replied, “You dint get tired when you are counting precious gems.” If one looked at a fellow Jew as a gem, they can realize how precious and special they are. Then this will cause one, to stop and think before they jump to conclusions or judge them the one can have oneness and unification and be able to make a difference one step at a time.

1. 13th of Iyar 5730 May 19th 1970
2. “Nefesh elokis memel Mamish” Perek Two of Tanya Author: Alter Rebbe the first Chabad Rebbe
3. Commandments of G-d
4. Leviticus 19:18 Midrash
5. 6th Chabad Rebbe
6. 5th Chabad Rebbe
7. 1st Chabad Rebbe