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A PRIVATE AUDIENCE WITH A GENIUS OF THE SOUL

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

He hoped that the Rebbe would bless him with miracles, with answers, with guidance, with inspiration. * On the Hayom Yom entry for 18 Tammuz.

by Bing AI

To paraphrase Hayom Yom: The Alter Rebbe said of R’ Moshe Willenker: Moshe has a powerful mind that can bear opposites, and in the ten years of toil, he acquired an absorptive, breadth of mind.


For three years, R’ Moshe Willenker prepared himself for private audiences with the old Rebbe, and afterwards he stayed seven years in Lyozna to bring the private audiences into actual service.


The following is a fictional story inspired by the Hayom Yom for the 18th of Tammuz:

R’ Moshe Willenker had been waiting for this moment for three years. He had studied, prayed, and refined himself to be worthy of a private audience with the old Rebbe, the leader of Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidism. He had traveled from his home in Shklov to Lyozna, where the Rebbe resided, and joined the community of devoted Chassidim who sought to learn from the Rebbe’s wisdom and guidance.


He had received a letter from the Rebbe’s secretary, informing him that his turn had come. He was to present himself at the Rebbe’s office on the 18th of Tammuz, at 10:00 in the morning. He felt a surge of joy and awe, mixed with fear and trembling. He knew that this was a rare and precious opportunity, and he did not want to waste it.


He spent the night before his audience in prayer and meditation, reviewing his questions and requests, and asking G-d for mercy and blessing. He also wrote a letter to the Rebbe, detailing his spiritual state and his aspirations for growth.


He hoped that the Rebbe would read it and give him some advice and direction.

He woke up early in the morning, washed himself, and put on his best clothes. He wrapped himself in his tallit and tefillin, and opened his siddur. He began to recite the morning blessings, thanking G-d for giving him a soul, for opening his eyes, for clothing him, for giving him strength, and for all the other gifts of life. He felt a gratitude and love for his Creator, who had chosen him to be a Jew and a Chassid.


He continued with the psalms of praise, singing them with joy and melody. He felt a connection and harmony with the rest of creation, which was also praising G-d in its own way. He marveled at the beauty and wisdom of G-d’s works, and at the kindness and compassion of His providence.


He reached the Shema, and covered his eyes with his hand. He declared his faith and loyalty to G-d, who is one and unique, who is the source and master of everything. He accepted upon himself the yoke of G-d’s kingship, and the obligation to love Him with all his heart, soul, and might. He felt a devotion and awe for G-d, who had revealed Himself to His people at Sinai, and who had given them His Torah and commandments.


He proceeded to the Amidah, and stood up straight. He faced Jerusalem, the holy city, where the Temple had once stood, and where it would be rebuilt soon. He bowed his head slightly, and began to whisper his prayers. He praised G-d for His greatness and holiness, for His power and glory, for His mercy and forgiveness.


He asked G-d for His help and blessing, for wisdom and understanding, for health and healing, for prosperity and success, for peace and security. He prayed for himself, his family, his friends, his community, his people, his land. He felt a humility and trust in G-d, who hears and answers every prayer.


He finished the Amidah, and took three steps back. He bowed to the left and right, saying “May peace be upon you”. He then bowed forward, saying “May G-d bless His people with peace”. He felt a calmness and serenity in his soul.


He sat down again, and continued with the rest of the prayers. He read from the Torah portion of the week, learning from its stories and laws. He recited some passages from the Talmud and the Zohar, delving into their mysteries and secrets. He said some psalms of supplication and thanksgiving, expressing his needs and desires, his joys and sorrows.


He concluded with the Aleinu prayer, affirming his hope and vision for the future. He envisioned a world where all people would recognize G-d’s sovereignty, where evil would be eradicated, where justice would prevail, where harmony would reign. He felt a passion and enthusiasm for G-d’s plan.


He closed his siddur, kissed it gently, and put it back on the shelf. He looked at his watch. It was 9:30. He had half an hour to get to the Rebbe’s office.


He took his letter, his hat, and his coat, and left his room. He walked briskly through the streets of Lyozna, feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness. He wondered what the Rebbe would say to him, how he would look at him, how he would feel in his presence.


He reached the Rebbe’s cour. He saw a few other Chassidim waiting outside, some of them holding letters or books. They greeted him warmly, wishing him success and blessing. He thanked them, and joined the line.


He waited patiently, watching as one by one, the Chassidim entered the Rebbe’s office. He heard some of them crying or laughing as they came out, some of them silent or speechless. He wondered what they had experienced inside.

He looked at his watch again. It was 9:55. He was next. His heart started beating faster. He felt a surge of adrenaline in his veins. He took a deep breath, and said a silent prayer.


The door opened, and the secretary came out. He looked at R’ Moshe Willenker, and nodded. “You can go in now,” he said.

R’ Moshe Willenker stepped forward, holding his letter in his hand. He reached the door, knocked gently, and opened it.


He saw the Rebbe sitting at his desk, surrounded by books and papers. The Rebbe looked up at him, and smiled.

R’ Moshe Willenker felt a shock of recognition and awe. He realized that the Rebbe was not just a man, but a soul that shone with divine light. He sensed that the Rebbe knew everything about him, his past, his present, his future. He felt that the Rebbe loved him unconditionally, and wanted only the best for him.


He also felt a fear and a doubt. He wondered if he was worthy of being in the Rebbe’s presence, if he had prepared himself enough, if he had anything to offer or to ask.


He also felt a hope and a longing. He hoped that the Rebbe would bless him with miracles, with answers, with guidance, with inspiration. He longed to connect with the Rebbe’s soul, to receive his wisdom, his light, his love.


He walked slowly towards the Rebbe’s desk, his eyes fixed on the Rebbe’s face. He reached the desk, and bowed slightly.

R’ Moshe Willenker sat down on a chair opposite the Rebbe. He handed his letter to the Rebbe, who took it and placed it on his desk. The Rebbe looked at him with a gentle and penetrating gaze. He spoke to him in a calm and clear voice.


“My son, I am happy to see you. I have been waiting for you for a long time. I know who you are, and what you have done. I know your strengths and your weaknesses, your achievements and your challenges. I know your questions and your requests, your dreams and your fears. I am here to help you, to teach you, to guide you, to bless you. But first, I want to hear from you. Tell me, how are you? How is your family? How is your learning? How is your service of G-d?”


R’ Moshe Willenker opened his mouth to answer, but no words came out. He felt a lump in his throat, and tears in his eyes. He did not know what to say, or how to say it. He looked at the Rebbe, hoping for a sign, a clue, a hint.

The Rebbe smiled again, and reached for his letter. He opened it, and began to read it silently. R’ Moshe Willenker watched him intently, trying to guess what he was thinking, feeling, or planning.


The Rebbe finished reading the letter, and folded it carefully. He put it back on his desk, and looked at R’ Moshe Willenker again. He spoke to him in a soft and soothing voice.


"My son, I have read your letter. I understand your situation. I appreciate your honesty. I admire your courage. I share your pain. I have some things to tell you. Some of them may surprise you. Some of them may challenge you. Some of them may comfort you. But all of them are for your good.

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