Pop Chassid wrote an article about one of the benefits this generation merits living in a post Gimmel Tammuz world in which many, I would say over 30% of Lubavitchers never got to see the Rebbe. I offer my simple perspective below. While I agree with much of what is written, I think that some very critical points were missed which can help a person who might struggle with this challenge of being born 20 years to late.
Such an article (as yours and mine) can only be written by someone who didn’t see the Rebbe’s hakafos. To see an Ish Elokim, a man of G-d, a Jew completely bound up and nullified with Hashem, Torah, and Klal Yisroel, which Chassidus explains is all one. You are right that miracles are not the ikkar, but to write them off as something second rate, or not an important focus misses a foundation of Chassidus, and even the pshat of Torah S’B’Ksav. Everything has a purpose including miracles and the reason they are recorded in the Torah and in Jewish books throughout history is because we have a special relationship with Hashem and the world. All Jews believe in miracles. Someone was sick and B”H recovered, thats a miracle! Someone sealed the deal on a big business acount, now THAT is a miracle and so on. The non Jewish world leaves such events to chance, luck, their own skills and intellect, and most of all, nature. We are above nature and therefore we are in a realm where miracles exist, have a purpose, and are there to teach us a very important message. Still they are not the ikkar, and neither was being in 770 with the Rebbe, as the Rebbe made clear on many occasions.
It is recorded in HaYom Yom 9 Adar II [that] the intense longing to be bound closely (to a Rebbe) can be satisfied only by learning maamarim of Chassidus which the Rebbe delivers as oral discourses and writes down; simply seeing him is not enough. This doesnt mean that seeing him, isnt anything, but it is not the ikkar. This is why no other Chassidic group can survive without a physical Rebbe outside of Chabad. In Breslov it seems that some of these big Rabbi’s act as Rebbe.
I never met the Rebbe, and neither did my parents. That means, no Rebbe stories, no dollars, no kos shel bracha (although I do have wine from kos shel bracha), and most of all never seeing the Rebbe’s Hakafos on Simchas Torah. How is it then that people who have all of the above and more ask me how I have such strong hiskashrus? How do I have such a determined driver to fulfill the request and demands of the Rebbe when I receive all of them from a book or a video?
I believe with 100% emmunah that the purpose of the decent of the Rebbe soul was to bring Moshiach. He lifted up a generation after one of Jewish History’s greatest tragedies and strengthened them. Through his powerful and inspirational words of Torah and yes, his miracles, he turned a Chassidic group of a thousands at best into a movement connecting millions of Jews to Hashem and his Torah. His demands on his Chassidim are great, but I know the results are worth it. The Rebbe wanted us to simply do a little more today than we did yesterday.
I Farbreng almost every Thursday and on Shabbos, and depending on the week it could be more. Fabrenging is as vital to a Chassid’s life as davening and learning, and the Alter Rebbe said that what a Chassidish Farbrengen can accomplish, even the Malach Michoel cannot. Are there stories of the Rebbe? Yes. Are there Miracles spoken about? Yes? Do you leave the Farbrengen ready to grow in your Avodas Hashem? Only you can answer that. We focus on what we want to focus on and I am sure if the main talk at a farbrengen is miracles and you try to bring out the action, b’poel, no one will mind.
I have heard many times people say, “If only I had lived before Gimmel Tammuz….”. I ask them what would be different? They are usually convinced they would be a better person, in a better place, with better things, etc. We are born and live in the generation where our potential can reach its highest. This is why we are writing blog posts in 5773 about how we are lucky to live in our generation because of x, y, and z, and not in the generation of Moshe, R’ Yehudah HaNasi, the Arizal, or any of the Rebbeim. Our greatest potential is to live in the generation that brings Moshiach Now! B’Poel Mamash!!!