Thursday, March 4, 2010
He was one-of-a-kind. A Chassid, a shliach, and a mentor for Jews throughout the Holy Land.
The following is a transcript of a unique audience Reuven Dunin, a”h, Chabad rabbi of Haifa, had with the Rebbe in the winter of 1964.
Included is a beautiful photo from the Rebbe Archive, with special thanks to Yechi Ezagui.
In his diary, Rabbi Reuven Dunin, a”h, remembers a profound private audience with the Rebbe that took place Tishrei 5724 (1964):
"They say the Rebbe knows all that goes on. He certainly knew me like the back of his hand, because as soon as I entered his office, the Rebbe asked me:
“Nu, what’s going on? Why are you so angry? What is the reason you are not someach (joyful)? I told you that I wanted you to be be'simcha. If you don't do my work with happiness, then you are not fulfilling my will, and you are not performing in the same way that I am.
"Because I can't be everywhere at once. I can't be in Holon, Kfar Chabad, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Eilat, Paris, Melbourne -- and also in Brooklyn! Therefore I send out shluchim. I chose for you to go to Haifa and I want to make you a high commander, a general. I would hope that knowing what I want would be a source of joy that would stay with you -- just knowing that the one who is being commanded is doing what his commander wants.”
When my mood, however, did not seem to change, the Rebbe demanded, "Haven’t I influenced you in ways that make you happy yet? You must be involved in shlichus in a happy way.”
I mumbled to the Rebbe my concerns -- concerns over money, and the source, or rather, lack of income. It was hard to be a Chassid, or at least a happy Chassid, when mundane problems stared me in the face.
The Rebbe listened sympathetically, then answered, "Regarding a livelihood -- it doesn't make a difference if you work for a company or if you work for an individual. The main thing is to have as much income as possible, because you need to feed and clothe your family. They should have the proper amount--as much as the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) dictates.”
He admitted the importance of personal responsibility. "It is not enough that you and your wife are Chassidim,” he added. “The children, too, must be my Chassidim and their material needs properly met. I want your whole family to be comfortable, so that they will be the finest Chassidim they can be.”
Nevertheless, he again stressed the role of a Chassid – to obey his leader and carry out his leader’s tasks.
“When you return to Israel you should make a farbrengen for your friends, neighbors, and acquaintances,” he commanded. “Tell them about your trip here, and convey my best wishes. People will be inspired by hearing what you have learned here, if your message is properly delivered, since 'words that come from the heart enter the heart.'"
The Rebbe concluded: "Your trip back should be with a joy just like the joy felt on Motzei Simchas Torah. Take good news from here and send good news from there."
Posted by The Avner Institute / Menachem M Kirschenbaum at 8:23 PM