WE MUST HAVE ONE ANOTHER
Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita
Having obtained a certain age I have license to reminisce about days gone by and of memories they created. There was a certain warmth that permeated the fledgling Chreidisha world back then. In the early moments after the Churban, hiemisha Yidden looked beyond labels and found what was good in one another. I remember how the Bobover Rav Ztl smiled with joy when he first heard that my Kallah was the product of a Polisha Chossid from Ger and the daughter of a Rov from Vilna. He saw it as proof of how Klall Yisroel would always survive and thrive. “You see, who would have thought before the war that Yidden from such diverse backgrounds would create the next generation of Torah families.” There was such frielichen hope in every corner, we were living a new and positive chapter of Torah life.
One aspect that I cherish from those memories was the sense of “Chein” we witnessed in one another. This word is hard to translate into English, some would call it “charm”, but it means much more than that. Chein is the essence which one sees in another, it’s as if Chein is in the eye of the beholder. The Skverer Rebbe Ztl would give a special brocha whenever I had the merit to meet him. He would hold my hand and say, ‘You should always be nosah Chein ‘(find favor) in others eyes. I was then busy in askonsus and I believe strongly that the Rebbe’s brocha opened many a door for me. Chein is a special blessing, you can’t bottle it because it is mostly contingent in how you are perceived by others.
In Parshas Yisro we read how before receiving the Torah at Har Sinai:
‘And Israel encamped there, opposite the mountain.’ (19:2)
The Vorke Rebbe Zt”l explains that these words depict the great togetherness of the children of Israel, as we are told, ‘the Yidden were like one man with one heart’ we were one people sharing a love for one another like one being. Says the Vorker, the Hebrew word for encamped is ‘Vayichan’ which has in its root, the word Chein. Each Yied saw only the good in the other, no one sought to see any wrong in his fellow man, they only perceived their positive traits. It was this that allowed this nation of former slaves to rise above all else and receive Hashem’s Torah. It was then that Moshe Rabbenu ascended the Mountain….
Look about you sweet Yidden, we have been ensconced in a darkness that defies description. Hashem is calling out to us, we are at the cusp of our redemption. Yet, we are creating walls between one another, Machlokes, anger, chutzpa marches in the streets, and we are left in our homes wondering when and where it will end.
Please, let us bless one another with chein, let us see the good and turn from the bad. We must save our young from witnessing this loss of ahavas Yisroel, they need to know that the Torah is meant to be ours through our sharing of chein with one another. The Alexander Rebbe, Rebbe Yechiel Zt”l explains:
The building block and vital focus of the entire Torah is only Ahavas Yisrael and achdus. He brings the well-known story from the gemorah in Shabbos as a convert came to Hillel Hazaken and asked him to convert him. The Tzadik taught him: ‘That which you don’t want others to do to you, you must not do to them, and this is the foundation of the Torah!’ Chazal tell us, you should love your neighbour as yourself, this is the klall godal of the Torah. The Rebbe continues, this is why the entire Ten Commandments ends with the words “to your fellow”, signifying that all the Ten Commandments that are written in the Torah must be fulfilled with the understanding that we are all together as one people that share love and understanding for each other.
We all await the advent of the Moshiach, soon and in our days. Our actions are meant to precipitate this wondrous moment. The starting point must be ahavas Yisroel, not as a jingoistic turn of phrase but as an immediate reality. Look to the Chein of your brethren, and allow the flow of goodness pave the way to our final redemption.