Op-Ed

Recently I was listening to a well-known mashpia farbrenging, when he said, “I travel around and see more and more young people who have less and less interest in the Rebbe and the Rebbe’s inyanim. They don’t know what happened in those years, they don’t know who was who and what happened when. Is this the future of Lubavitch…?”

The mashpia paused, then sighed. “It’s terrible…”

After hearing this refrain increasingly from countless mashpi’im and chassidim, it seems appropriate to address these sentiments head-on.

But first, to all those who like to live in the past; who prefer to find inspiration in video and audio recordings; who look ahead only to see a grim future for their children, a future with waning personal inspiration and little leadership or guidance; to those who are waiting for Moshiach to magically appear and solve all their problems: this message is not for you. You are living an inspirational, purposeful life, and you seem to have much to look forward to.

However, to those chassidim who are sick and tired of living in the past:

You’re allowed to believe that the so-called “dor hashvi’i” is over. It’s okay if the Rebbe zy”a doesn’t inspire you. “Hiskashrus” in its traditional sense doesn’t have to be meaningful to you. There’s nothing wrong with you if you find video and audio clips of the Rebbe boring. If you have no interest in remembering exactly when the Rebbe said what, or in owning a collection of rare Rebbe pictures, don’t bother.

And it’s perfectly okay.

You can still be a chossid. You can fulfill all the mitzvos of the Torah, including our own minhagim, with zest and vigor. You can find lasting inspiration in the vastness of Toras haNiglah, and in the depth of Toras haChassidus. You can learn to appreciate and be in awe of the Aibershter through meditative davening. You can travel to the furthest reaches of the world to tell people about the Truth of G-d. You can perceive Elokus in your own life, and reveal it to others, to create in this world a dirah betachtonim.

Ultimately, this is the future of Lubavitch. And it’s not so terrible.