Life with a goal is one worth relishing | Chovas Hatalmidim | Harav Yitzchok Reuvein Rubin

Life with a goal is one worth relishing

Chovas Hatalmidim – Week 5

A new commentary by Rabbi Yitzchok Reuvein Rubin

There are discussions that must be had but seldom are. We are living in a world that has challenges never experienced before. This is not something new; each generation has unique trials that are created specific to that time. It’s why the world was created in the first place. Hashem made a world that needed fixing, and each neshoma is tasked to participate in its unique way in this rectification. It is only by each individual fulfilling these tasks that the total redemption of the world can be achieved. The world will never be whole if we don’t accomplish our specific goal.

“Do you really want to cause Klal Yisroel to continue to waste away in Golus, without prophets, without leaders?”

Each generation’s challenges are therefore different from whatever came before, and the neshomas sent to the world at that moment are those that are uniquely apt for the particular time.

Previous generations never faced what we face, nor would we be able to thrive in theirs.

Boruch Hashem we have been given the merit and holy examples of previous epochs of our long Golus; we stand on their shoulders, enabled through their holiness to face our own trials. However, the souls living today are the only ones that could ever accomplish fulfilling the unique challenges that our contemporary world brings.

Our young ones are heroes; they face challenges never before envisaged, and yet their souls are primed to create a Kiddush Hashem, despite the darkness that surrounds them. This ability comes from the fire that burns in every soul. Tragically, many youths aren’t aware of all this. The kids have no idea how much potential they have nor how much kedusha dwells within them. This is what I meant about discussions, had or otherwise.

Many of our young souls have no idea what potential lays within their neshoma nor of the illumination that awaits fulfilment.

It is our duty to give them the reference points they need to realise their unique role and how much Hashem has invested in their success.

The Rebbe ztl talks to youngsters in his sefer Chovos Hatalmidim. He never talks down to them, yet he explains that although they are youngsters and that they deserve a childhood with its playtime and adventures, a Yiddisher child still must be aware of who he is and what sort of responsibility he has.

“Jewish youth! You carry a tremendous responsibility, far greater than you realise. It is you who are going to establish the future generations of Klal Yisroel; our future tzaddikim, Torah giants, and community leaders are going to emerge from you. The eventual revelation of Hashem’s Shechina and the coming of the Moshiach lie in your hands as well.”

Sure, the Rebbe wants the young to be young, yet he doesn’t exclude them from knowing how important they are to Hashem. If we allow our students to learn that being a Yiddisher neshoma comes with a responsibility that is tinged with the light of hope, they will become aware of how wondrous a sense of their spirituality is.

The Rebbe asks:

“Do you really want to cause Klal Yisroel to continue to waste away in Golus, without prophets, without leaders?”

He continues:

“Your concerns are our concerns; the load you carry, which may at times seem too heavy to bear, we carry together with you. This is the basic message that we want to communicate in this work.”

Sweet Yidden, do you hear what this Kodosh is telling us from the mists of yesteryear’s holiness?

He wants parents to share the concerns and dilemmas with their young, not as bystanders, nor mere payers of tuition fees. No, we must carry their challenges together with them. The tzaddik declares that his whole Sefer was written to give this message.

“Don’t be depressed, young Jewish man. Don’t let the responsibility that you carry overwhelm you.”

Be alive!  Know that a life with a goal is one worth relishing. The Rebbe says that his readership should never rely on friends who may say: “Let the future Gedolim flourish from other boys. I want an easy life.”  He explains that such lives are anything but easy. The void left in their hearts becomes filled with the darkness of sadness. Life lived with no sense of purpose is just a waste of space.

I learn with boys, youngsters from lovely Torah homes. I ask them something the Rebbe poses: “What is the goal in your life?”

More often than not, the answer is silence. Young people aren’t asked such questions today; it’s not the done thing. We don’t want to burden them with too many challenging questions, they just seem not to bother with such matters, so why upset them? They will grow up frum and proper, just as we are. The question is: are we? Are we frum and proper, or are we floating through a life of pantomime?

This is where we may be going wrong. If teenagers have a sense of responsibility for the fact that they are Jews, born with a unique goal that no other person in the world can ever fulfil, they may turn their youthful exuberance towards creating a connection that will bring illumination to their souls, souls often threatened by the dross of material filth.

If we have discussions, delve into what it is they are here for and how wondrous they are every time they do a mitzvah, well, who knows what can happen? Hopefully our total Redemption!