Super Hero

Rebbe is my superhero. Lets face it, he is and I'm not afraid to admit it. heck, I've said a lot of other things that might raise some eyebrows. Rebbe is my grade A bona-fide superhero. If I HAD to compare Rebbe to some of the other superheros out there...well I would not compare him to someone who was bitten by a radioactive spider, or some guy who was from planet Krypton, Rebbes not like Flash, Thor, Hulk, or even Super Grover. You want to know which superhero is most like Rebbe? It's BATMAN. Know why? Because they are both homegrown. They were not handed any superpowers on some super silver platter.They made it by the grace of G-d,blood, and spit.
I remember one time in shuir Rebbe was talking about different types of Rebbes. He mentioned some Rebbes who he felt were born with their superhero-ness, while other Rebbes were not. I think Rebbe mentioned R. Feinstein as being one those who were born with it.
How do I know Rebbe was not born with it? How do I even know Rebbe was even born? All good questions, I don't know for sure, but I have some ideas...
For instance, for those of the chevra who have not watched this weeks naaleh maa'ymer- Rebbe discusses the Arizal on the sin of Adam and Eve. He talks about the snakes argument that the level of Avodah would be much higher if Adam and Eve would ingest the fruit and bring about a bigger temptation and challenge. Arizal says that this actually was supposed to happen, BUT on Shabbas, when the evil inclination is much milder, as Rebbe puts it. It would be a sweeter challenge. Rebbe gave the example of having 10 thousand dollars in front of him, and stealing it and hiding out in Africa as opposed to not having any money on the table and not having that temptation. Rebbe actually has discussed two yetzer hara-like inclinations that he has, if anyone wants to talk about, you know where I can be founds. Just ask Dr. Kimball.


Chaim David at the Maitlands

When: Sunday Evening, November 9th at 7:00pm
Where: 339 Maitland Ave., Teaneck
Cost: $15
Questions: 201-837-0723 or Eliemischel@aol.com
This musical event has been approved by Rebbe.


How to be a True Chassid - A Model for Us to Follow

Its not so simple to be a chassid of Rebbe. Or maybe its too simple.

"Just as light of the moon is only a reflection of the sun, so too Reb Noson's Torah light was only a reflection of what he received from his rebbe. Rebbe Nachman had many great students, some in certain ways were even greater (and older) then Reb Noson, notably Reb Yudel and Reb Shmuel Isaac. The question can therefore be asked, why have Breslover Chassidim unanimously accepted Reb Noson to be the one who truly understood Rebbe Nachman's message. It is said that when Reb Yudel, who was already a famous talmid chacham, came to Rebbe Nachman he asked to be taught a "derech in Avodas HaShem", however Reb Noson didn't even stipulate that. Reb Noson was a total reflection of his rebbe, not someone who in even the smallest way used his rebbe's teachings to fulfill what he thought was important. This is also why Reb Nosson refused to be considered a rebbe himself, for he would always be the talmid.

This lesson is simple and fundamental, the more room we make in our minds to accept the tzaddik's teachings, the more we are able to gain. If we limit ourselves and only accept what we think fits nicely, then we will never completely understand the tzaddik's true message. Although it is wonderful and possible to gather advice from many tzadikim, without picking one to be our rebbe will limit our ability to ever grasp one derech to the best of our ability."


Esther Emunah Mischel

Erev Yom Ki-Purim...

Ha'Aderet veHa'Emunah...

Tzila D'mehemnusa...

May Esther Emunah lead us from darkness unto light!


The Cry of Rebbe Reichman on Yom Kippur

I see Rebbe Reichman quite infrequently of late. This just makes the times when I do see him more special. This year, as in years past, I prayed Yom Kippur davening in the Shenk shul at YU. I enjoy this davening because the tunes are beautiful, and the davening is heartfelt. I also enjoy looking up at the old stained glass when things get too intense. Despite the patched holes, the glass is still quite beautiful. Rebbe Reichman usually leads Mincha davening on Yom Kippur at Schenk. In fact, he roves around YU alot throughout the holiday, reminding me of the description of the Kohen Gadol during the Avodah, rushing back and forth, in radiant white, with a purposeful, yet relaxed look on his face. This year, we had a 15 minute pre-mincha break. I chose to take a walk down toward Amsterdam with a friend, to clear my head and get some air, in preparation for Round Three (four?). I felt him before I saw him. Rebbe came walking across 185th actually looking like a Kohen Gadol, and when he saw me, he smiled, and gave a little "ah" of recognition (always music to my ears). I walked with him to Mincha, and enjoyed his innovations on last year's tunes. One thing which I always get alot of benefit from is the way Rebbe does every single Al Chet out loud, and with feeling. Certain ones, such as "sinat chinam," and kibbud av, he does with extra feeling and sometimes a tear in his voice. This always breaks my heart. I'm not quite sure why. Yet its the reason I decided to write this post. I think the reason it shakes me up so much to hear Rebbe cry during the Al Chets, is because I can't help think to myself "wow. If Rebbe feels remorse over these, I'm going straight to hell". In reality, perhaps Rebbe is acting remorsefully as a Shaliach of the kahal, but I don't think its just that.
Anyways, from Mincha, I moved with Rebbe to Neilah, at the Rubin Shul, carrying his glasses, and a sheet with the names and faces of captive or wounded Israeli soldiers. I enjoy this minyan for Neilah because there are elderly people present-- and I'm talking OLD. There is one old man, who uses this Machzor that he's probably been using for 60 years. It is so incredibly inspiring to see him flip the well-worn pages (which are barely attached!), and say Neilah. How much meaning Yom Kippur must have for someone in their 80's or 90's-- I can't imagine. It's very special, and important, for me to daven in a minyan of mixed ages, and a shame that YU doesn't mix it up a bit more somehow, though I understand why its logistically impossible.
On the way, we discussed the purpose of Neilah and Yom Kippur generally. Rebbe remarked (from my nutrient-starved memory), that built into the whole concept of teshuva and forgiveness is that we try our best, and G-d understands this, and knows this, and forgives us despite our imperfections. Before Neilah, Rebbe gave a small speech to the Nusach Sephard minyan, and he echoed the same thoughts. He broke down a bit when he relayed the same message in front of the crowd, and later during the service, towards the end, during the point in Neilah when it discusses our imperfections and nothingness before G-d. This was incredibly powerful for me, and is one of the reasons I love Rebbe so much. His understanding and sensitivity about the depth of suffering and striving in this world, sensitivity to the pain and struggle that regular humans, and especially those humans trying to live a holy life, go through, is exceptional, and deep. If I had to guess, this is probably why alot of the RRRR enjoys being with Rebbe. I'm not sure why, but he understands brokenness, and his empathy is off the charts.
I always feel like Neilah with Rebbe achieves something in the world, and it certainly makes a lasting mark on me. His cries on Neilah echo through my heart during moments of genuine prayer throughout the entire year.
I bless us all with a happy, healthy and successful new year.


Working Stiffs – Why We Cannot be Litvaks without Blowing our Brains Out: Part II

Second Rate Jews? Pheh!

The Words of our Rebbe, and the Rebbe of all the World (including Snaggim, whether they know it or not):

"From the point-of-view of plain parnasah, you know intellectually that it’s part of a Torah life, because God made me in a way that I have to be an ish yotse ha-sadeh – that’s Hashem’s ratson. A guy who makes a living and supports a wife and children – right away he’s doing a mitsvah. So you have to look at it, at least intellectually, as a mitsvah. Don’t think that you’re a second-rate citizen, a failure. You’re not a failure. You have your mission: to make a kiddush Hashem outside the beit midrash. Is that going to give you aspiritual feeling when you do it? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a mitsvah. As we said before, there are many mitsvot you can do without a spiritual feeling.

In hasidut, we say a remarkable thing. If you are forced by life to do a mitsvah where there is no spirituality, something difficult which is made even more excruciating because there’s no immediate spiritual payoff, hasidut says that’s really the greatest mitsvah. Hashem is testing you to see whether you are so loyal to Him and to the Torah that you will do it without an immediate payoff. So when a guy goes into general studies, he has to know that Hashem wants him to serve Him in that way. He’s not going to enjoy it on a spiritual level. He’s not going to come home and say that he had an aliyah. He may even say he went down, but he has no choice – he has to pay the bills and take care of the children. In the end, then, it might be an even greater mitsvah."