I miss you. It’s been 26 long years since we last saw you, and more than ever, we need you now. We need your voice, your leadership, your far-reaching and unconditional love.
What would you say if we could hear you speak? What message would you convey to us and to the rest of the world? I try to imagine.
You’d see the chaos and unrest on the streets of New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Minneapolis. You’d see the boarded up stores, the angry protestors, the rioting and the looting.
But you’d look deeper.
You’d see the frustration and exhaustion, years in the making, that are bursting to the fore. You’d listen, really listen, and understand how fed up with the system people are. You’d gaze into the eyes of ordinary Americans and feel their immense dissatisfaction with the leadership, being locked down with no income for over three months, and you would recognize the deep and growing—seemingly unbridgeable—divide in this country.
Dear Rebbe, I have lived with your teachings every day for the last 26 years, reading and re-reading your talks and letters, and I can picture you addressing us at a farbrengen this very Shabbos.
While I don’t know exactly what you would say, I know you would reassure us. Your words would both calm and empower us. You would remind us that there is a Master to this Universe, Who is choreographing every move. You would emphasize the importance of good and the power of each individual to effect change.
You would teach us to alter our perceptions and look beyond the surface. Beyond the frustration, we would see hope. Beyond the exasperation, resilience. Beyond the anger, determination to change. And beyond the hatred, we would see deep love for humankind and a desire to better the world for everyone.
You would bring the kind of clarity we can only dream of!
I know you’d tell us not to panic at the thought of the second wave that medical experts are predicting. You’d remind us that G-d is in charge, and you’d inspire us to place our full trust in Him. You’d encourage us to think positively, because doing so can actually change our reality.
Dear Rebbe, I hear your voice in my head. I hear you crying at this bitter exile from which we have not yet broken free. I can hear you insisting—demanding!—that G-d send the immediate redemption.
I can imagine your message to the world: Hang tight! We are at the very last moment of darkness; redemption is within reach, when we will understand that the chaos is just part of the Divine plan, and we will watch all the pieces fall into place.
Looking forward to reuniting with you physically real soon!
Rabbi Uriel Vigler