After posting last week’s video, a reader directed me to a letter of the Rebbe on this very topic. In a post script to a letter (אגרות קודש, י׳׳ז, ע׳׳ב), the Rebbe explains directly the significance of the order of the Nusach of Chosid, Yerei Shomayim and Lamdan. The Rebbe clearly lays out the steps and process involved in reaching the goal of being a Lamdan – namely, being a Chosid, and having Yiras Shomayim. In other words, as discussed last week, the placement of Lamdan last is not any indication of lesser importance, but rather an indication of how to achieve that level in the truest sense.
Minimizing of ones personal yeshus leads to Yiras Shomayim
The Rebbe brings the explanation of the Alter Rebbe that a Chosid is one who burns his nails. In other words is willing to risk harm to himself for the sake of others. This is an expression of Bitul. Bitul, continues the Rebbe is a pre-requisite for Yiras Shomayim, as Chazal say, that one who has arrogance does not leave “space” for Hashem to dwell with him – certainly, not an expression of Yiras Shomayim.
The Frierdike Rebbe expands on this explaining that refraining from Chassidus which leades to refinement of one’s Middos results in even the Shchina losing importance in one’s eyes – further lack of Yiras Shomayim. Whereas, on the other hand, when one has Yiras Shomayim, he can have Wisdom – be a Lamdan.
המעשה הוא העיקר
The Rebbe concludes that such a Lamdan, is not just a matter of academics and intellect, but when the Lamdan arrived through this path, it will lead to action, and action is the ultimate goal.
So the question for us is, what are we doing in our Yeshivos to ensure that our Talmidim are working the steps? Are we guiding them to be true Chassidim, or is our focus on a shortcut to be a Learner? What are we doing correct and what can we improve?