Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The Ropshitzer Rov on The Chassidic body
A story is told about a non-Chossid who once met Reb Naftoli of Ropshitz in an roadside inn. "I'm glad I found you here", says the Jew. Reb Naftoli recognized this Jew as an "anti", and engaged him in conversation. "Why are you so happy to have met me?" he asked. The Jew answered that he had just seen one of the Ropshitzers Chassidim transgress a Torah commandment. "I believe that all your followers are like him, sinners", said the Misnaged. The Ropshitzer Rov answered him so:
A Rebbe and Chassidim are a קומה שלימה, a complete body. The Rebbe being the head, the מוח, the שכל, and the Chassidim being the limbs that receive their sustenance, their very life, from the Head, each one according to his ability and his level. Just like the body has an assortment of limbs, some clean, some uncovered, like the face, hands, and eyes, and some unclean, vile, and concealed, so too is it regarding Chassidim, there are all types, including vile ones. "We Chassidim look at the good ones, but you Misnagdim always manage to see the vile ones."
(Translated From "דער סאנזער צדיק")
I quote this story not to tell you that there are bad apples in every Chassidic group, but rather to stress the former, that the Rebbe is the Rosh who gives sustenance to those who are connected to him. We do not have the choice to disconnect from our Mekor Chayim. For some reason this concept is taboo in most Chassidic circles, mostly because they simply don't believe, (and heretical in Lithuanian circles), and Chabad seems to be from the few that teach it.