Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Today is the birthday of the Frierdikker Rebbe, the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe. It is also the anniversary of his release from Soviet prison.
One of the Frierdikker Rebbe's legacies was his mesirus nefesh (self-sacrifice) for fellow Jews. At a farbrengen this evening, the speaker said; "If someone tells you, jump from the roof to the ground, okay, this can be done. But what the Frierdikker Rebbe did was jump from the ground to the roof. His mesirus nefesh was not normal, the things he did were impossible." He worked tirelessly in Soviet Russia, helping Jewish life as it was forced underground. For his efforts he was harassed, jailed, and beaten.
One of the things the Frierdikker Rebbe said was, "L'alter l'teshuva, l'alter l'geula." "Immediate return (repentance), immediate redemption." He believed (and publicized) that when Jews return to their purity, Moshiach will arrive.
Such an effort! How much work must each of us do to uncover our purest selves? Yet, I think the Frierdikker Rebbe reminds us that this can be instantaneous.