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ב"ה

Greener Pastures

Friday, 11 June, 2021 - 6:31 am

As the Rebbe’s 27th yahrzeit approaches (this Sunday), I am filled with wistful sensations. I recall the uplifting moments I spent with my mentor. I am transported to the cherished feelings of awe and elation standing in the Rebbe’s presence. It’s hard to describe what it’s like to be in the presence of a true tzaddik.

And, to some degree, I pine for the days of my youth; the days when I traveled to New York to hear the Rebbe speak and study his teachings. I long for the feverish dancing at the Rebbe’s Hakafot on Simchat Torah.

Then, I remind myself that I must live in the here and now – that the Rebbe’s deepest wish is that we continue his mission of making this world the holy Garden of G-d it was designed to be. Right now is indeed the best moment. This is where I need to be. This is where I want to be.

The grass is not greener on the other side.

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In this week’s Parsha of Korach we find a populist fighting for the people. Or at least that’s the pretense. Korach claims that the entire congregation is holy and Moshe and Aharon should not take the leadership positions for themselves. Ultimately, Korach’s true colors emerge when he requests leadership for himself.

We’ve seen many a person follow this path.

The Talmud tells us that Korach was wise and ridiculously wealthy. If so, the driving force behind his attempted mutiny was not necessarily greed or the hunger for power. In a strange way, he simply saw the grass as being greener on the other side. Time for change. I want to try something I don’t have.

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The famous Chassidic legend Rabbi Zushe of Annipoli was once asked if – given the opportunity – he would switch roles with Abraham the Patriarch. “Of course not,” responded Reb Zushe. “If I were to replace Abraham then G-d would be missing Zushe.”

Essentially, Zushe was saying the grass is not greener on the other side. Because G-d gives us opportunities and challenges that are custom-tailored to our personal mission. When we recognize that our pasture is already green then we are comfortable in our own skin and can meet life’s challenges with courage and certainty, whether they bring change or stability.

So long as we have our priorities right, the grass is always green.

*

In fact, our generation is fortunate to enjoy both the inspiration and wisdom of the Rebbe – whose legacy and life’s mission we will realize – as well as a myriad steps forward. We will yet be the ones to see the Rebbe’s dream of a perfect world fulfilled. The Moshiach reality is around the corner.

We are midgets on the shoulders of giants – and at the front row of history.

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