I am cutting off relations with my mother

Friday, 11 June, 2021 - 3:23 am

She was an American girl from California who had just discovered her Jewish roots. She was learning in a girls’ seminary for people just like her. But her mother had not yet accepted this determination of hers to become religious, and every visit to her home in California ended up being a nightmare of disagreements and explosions.

“That’s it!” She told her friends. “I am cutting off relations with my mother. If she isn’t willing to accept me, then I won’t accept her.”

Her friends begged her: “This is a fateful move. Go the Rebbe, ask him for his advice.” Reluctantly, she agreed to do so.

In the Rebbe’s room, overawed, she told the Rebbe of her decision.

The Rebbe then began to do something very uncharacteristic: he began to talk of himself, of his greatness and of the great honor he enjoyed. “Were you here for Shabbat? Did you see the thousands who wait on my every word? Did you notice how much they respect me? Did you see how, with one wave of my hand, they start dancing? You surely know as well, that each and every one of the Chassidim there, if I just say so, will pick up and leave immediately on a mission from me to any part of the world.”

“Yes, Rebbe, I saw everything,” the young woman answered, surprised at what she was hearing, which seemed to be bordering on pride, even haughtiness.

“Well,” said the Rebbe, “I am willing to give all of this up – all of it! In order to meet my mother of blessed memory even one more time. And you – you can just get on a plane any time and meet your mother, and this is your attitude?

“So it’s a little hard for you. With Hashem’s help you will find the right way to cope. But to give up on your mother? No! No!”


Moshe Rabbeinu did a similar thing, as told in this week’s Parasha. After Korach and his people, headed by Datan and Aviram, refused to come and meet him, Moshe got up with all his eminence and glory, causing the seventy Elders to follow him to the encampment of the troublemakers. Moshe hoped and expected that perhaps his greatness and eminence, glory and distinction would cause Korach’s people to respect him and to agree to sit down with him and settle the differences between them.

“Moshe arose and went to Datan and Aviram, and the Elders of Israel went after him.” Datan and Aviram didn’t change their minds – for them it was too late – but we can learn from this that when the need arises, one should present things as they are, because perhaps that will bring some peace to the world.

This coming Sunday, the third of the month of Tammuz we will mark the Yarzeit day of the lubavitcher Rebbe, it is a day of inner gathering and contemplation in order to learn more from him, to adopt his way and attitude towards each person. for some it will be a real paradigm shift, and for others, extra Power for what we already believe in, one way or another, we have something to work on.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski 

תמונה של הרבי עוצמתית מהאוטו.jpg 

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