In every alley, melody, and routine, the Chassid discerns a divine lesson, transforming the mundane into the miraculous. * On the Hayom Yom for 21 Menachem Av.
Activism on behalf of the ways of Chassidus means that even when a chassid is in the marketplace, deeply involved in his business, he still thinks about what he can do for chassidic concerns and the welfare of chassidim. When he encounters a business acquaintance among the market people he should seek to persuade him to attend the shi'urim (public study sessions) in Chassidus, or to attend a farbrengen. Activism on behalf of the ways of Chassidus is a personal obligation, regardless whether one is great or limited in knowledge of Chassidus.
The Hayom Yom for the 21st of Av serves as a clarion call, inviting us to a life where the fervor of Chassidic activism remains unquenched, irrespective of our environment. Whether amidst the chaos of the marketplace or the quiet of the study hall, a Chassid is perpetually preoccupied with the thoughts of uplifting Chassidic values and ensuring the welfare of his brethren. From this profound statement, we distill three core tenets: the essence of Chassidic Activism, the power of Everyday Opportunities, and the clarion call of Universal Duty. Our sacred texts beautifully illuminate these principles.
BE LIT AND LIGHT OTHERS
Rabbi Sholom DovBer of Lubavitch elegantly captures the essence of a Chassid's role in the world: "A Chassid is a lamplighter. The lamplighter walks the streets carrying a flame at the end of a pole. He knows that the flame is not his. And he goes from lamp to lamp to set them alight.” Every alley, every boulevard, every marketplace becomes a conduit for spiritual illumination. This aligns harmoniously with Rabbi Gamliel's exhortation in Pirkei Avot 2:2 that suggests a marriage between Torah study and worldly engagement. In the world, but not of it – therein lies the Chassidic ethos.
IN ALL WAYS
The Baal Shem Tov, with his uncanny ability to discern the divine in the everyday, was a living embodiment of the teaching from Mishlei (Proverbs) 3:6, "b'chol d'rachecha da'eihu". "In all your ways, know Him." Every encounter, every mundane event, every simple melody carried a divine lesson, urging us to recognize the spark of the Divine in all things. Every facet of life, every routine, becomes a gateway to connecting with the Almighty, transforming the mundane into the miraculous.
EVERYBODY FITS THIS PUZZLE
The idea that every individual, regardless of stature or erudition, has a pivotal role in the divine narrative is foundational to Jewish thought. Ben Azzai's wisdom, enshrined in the Mishnah, Avot 4:3, cautions us: "Do not disdain any person... for there is no person who does not have their hour." Our individuality, our unique perspectives, are not just cherished but are indispensable. Echoing this sentiment, the Kotzker Rebbe astutely observed: "If I am I because you are you, and you are you because I am I, then I am not I and you are not you!" Every soul has its divine mission, its unique melody. And when self-doubt clouds our purpose, we draw inspiration from the Tzemach Tzedek’s parable – every gesture, monumental or minute, weaves into the divine tapestry.
Today’s Hayom Yom is much more than a directive; it is an eternal invitation to illuminate every corner of the world, to find the Divine hidden within the everyday, and to wholeheartedly embrace our unique and vital role in G-d’s plan.