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When Fire Touches Fire

When Fire Touches Fire

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As a child who had grown up in a world defined by the ties between Rebbe and Chassid, Sholom Ber understood well the Rebbe/Chassid dynamic. He was aware that while a Chassid will often ask his Rebbe for help with various personal problems, a private audience with a Rebbe is also an opportunity to reach for greater spiritual understanding.

So on another occasion when they were playing "Rebbe and Chassid," Sholom Ber asked his brother, "Rebbe, tell me, what is a Jew?"

"A Jew is fire!"

"Then why don't I get burned when I touch you?" asked the Chassid.

"You too are fire. Fire does not get burned when it touches fire."


Sometimes we may be overtaken by doubt. We feel cold; our faith has withered. At this time, we must know that our essence is fire; our essence is warm. All we need is to reveal our essence and its fire will warm us up, giving us the strength to overcome the frigidity of doubt.1

Sholom Ber (1860-1920) grew up to be the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe. His older brother Zalman Aharon became known as the Razah, who refused to accept any leadership position.

Footnotes
1.

10. Based on the Rebbe's talks Shabbat Shemos 5747 (1987) and Vayikra 5749 (1989).

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