The recent government bailout of Bear Stearns and the prevailing concern about the mortgage crisis and what it means for local banks has the 1980's culture of corporate takeovers readying for a comeback. I figure there has to be something here that's a) positive and b) relevant to our service of G‑d. There must to be a "bright side" spin to this whole takeover phenomenon.

Consider an alternative scenario: a corporation reaches its output capacity and seeks new avenues for growth. A keen-eyed executive searches for an under-funded enterprise with a valuable product. They enter into a partnership, providing the capital to allow the Mom & Pop venture to grow to a level it could never have achieved on its own.

Judaism has its spiritual embodiment of this model: a Rebbe.

A Rebbe is a tzaddik, a wholly righteous Jew who has mastered his personal mission. He then turns his attention to infusing the undercapitalized startups of the generation with G‑dly vigor and shepherds them to otherwise unattainable heights, pumping spiritual capital into the corner stores and empowering them to spiritually swell beyond their own abilities.

A Rebbe's leadership does not diminish one's independence it enriches it. Like the conglomerate that seeks out the investment, it does so precisely because it values what the startup already is; the corporation seeks to augment its new partner not alter it. In fact, the investor's sharp eye often sees value that the small business never realized was there.

This Wednesday, the 11th of Nissan, is the 106th anniversary of the birth of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory—a leader who personified this idea.

The Rebbe sought out Jews with an unprecedented vigor; he saw significance in every individual by virtue of the spark of G‑d invested within him or her. All too often we undervalue ourselves, thinking that we are a corner store when in fact we can be an international conglomerate. We think we are okay when we are great; that we are the simple son when inside there is a wise son eager to break out. The Rebbe infused us with his spiritual wealth, empowering us to discover our abundant, though often latent, abilities.

Perhaps this is why the Rebbe dispatched thousands of emissaries beyond the "enclave" of Brooklyn—despite the pleas of well-meaning contemporaries who feared that exposure to the "outside" would do irreparable damage to young impressionable couples. Like a venture capitalist that sees the undervalued company, he was willing to take the risk of investment, confident that the "gamble" would pay huge dividends. The Rebbe saw G‑dliness everywhere and trusted his emissaries to see the same. He didn't send them to "bestow upon strangers," but to evoke the natural G‑dliness from within their brothers and sisters.

A Jewish leader is obsessed with the needs of others. Everyone else gets to go to sleep at night; content to concern themselves with their family's needs. Perhaps they are active in their neighborhood or city, even their state or country, yet at some point they say "dayenu" (enough); sorry that's not my department. I often tell people who question why we refer to the Rebbe as the "leader of the generation," and not just the leader of the Lubavitch Chasidim: "The response is simple; no one else wanted the job!"

May we merit to believe in ourselves as deeply as the Rebbe believes in us.