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Rebbe and Chassid: Nineteen Views of a Relationship

Rebbe and Chassid: Nineteen Views of a Relationship


Mother and daughter; father and son; brother and sister; husband and wife; friend and friend; teacher and pupil. To the varied array of human relationships, the phenomenon and experience of Chassidism has added one more: the bond between the rebbe and the chassid.

What is the nature of this bond? There is fierce love in it, and unquestioning loyalty. There is passion, devotion, admiration, appreciation, awe, mentorship, care, concern, sacrifice. Almost every human emotion is there, in heightened form. (Chassidim even quip that had King Solomon been a chassid, he needn't have resorted, in his Song of Songs, to the example of romantic love as a metaphor for the relationship between G‑d and Israel — he could have used the model of the love between rebbe and chassid.) But can it be described?

Meeting: Three Yechidut Stories

The Ladder

The Needy and the Needed

Playing at Rebbe-Chassid

A Surgical Procedure

The Miracle Worker

The Ache in My Heart

One On One

The Girl Who Had to be Jewish

The Blow

"Success in Writing"

"The Rebbe Said"

The Miracle Chassid

My Rebbe the Rebel


The Head

The Emissaries

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Anonymous August 11, 2004

Regarding your: "The moment I try to read these articles with the mind of one who's never experienced the connection, it reads like a rave by a celebrity worshipper, or the forgivingly naive gushings of a young newlywed."

I can't imagine any chassid, regardless of the label he's given himself as such, reading a rebbe-chassid story as if he's never experienced such a connection. Could I, for example, read an article that deals with someone's deeply loved mother with the mind of one who's never experienced such a mother-daughter relationship?

Of course, I may have misunderstood you altogether.