Freud vs. the Rebbe

Friday, 1 July, 2022 - 4:56 am

“Freud dug into the soul of man and came up with mud; chassidism dug into it and found gems and pearls.” So said the Rebbe to someone in a personal meeting in his room, what we call a yechidut.

To my understanding, there is no opposition here to Sigmund Freud in particular; what there is, is a demand aimed at the whole world. If you peered inside the soul of a person, a friend, or a relative, and yours as well, and found mud and dirt, then you weren’t looking right; you hadn’t reached the root; you hadn’t peeled enough away, you hadn’t touched the point.

It’s okay if at the beginning one finds mud; it makes sense that one doesn’t see the diamond right away. Even in the best diamond mine in the world one has to dig and sort, clean and refine. But all that, on condition that we remember all the time that we’re sitting on a diamond seam, because otherwise we will think that it is indeed just mud, and we will give up. 

And yes, sometimes one needs a professional, an expert, who can examine the find and determine that these are indeed diamonds, and not mud.

The Rebbe was a professional, an expert. The Rebbe examined the soul of man and found the beauty and the purity, the richness and the good. He reached the gems. 

Tomorrow is the 3rd of Tammuz.

The 3rd of Tammuz is the yahrzeit, the hillula of the Rebbe. There is much to learn from the Lubavitcher Rebbe. For every realm of life there is the Rebbe’s original approach, his clean and pure view, the surprising message (how didn’t we think of this before?). And sometimes it seems to me that everything is based on that message. Because when we have the sense to see the good, clean root of every person, ourselves included, then in every single thing in life, and especially in our connections with other human beings, the approach and the response, the speech and the action, everything will emerge from a deep and clean place in us, and so will certainly touch the other person and reach the deepest, cleanest place in him. 

This is not just another positive view; it is not just a focusing on the half cup that is full; it is the view of the one and only truth. Diamonds, not mud. 

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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