One day Rabbi Bentzion Shemtov arrived on the scene. Our connection to the Rebbe and Lubavitch changed very quickly. Rabbi Shemtov was the ideal, the perfect soldier of the Rebbe, and he served the Rebbe and the Jewish people with self-sacrifice, friendliness, gladness and joy.

He explained to us how the Lubavitch teachings and doctrines pertained to us as well. I remember a story he told us that illustrated this in such a way that even a child could comprehend the dogma. It had a profound impression and everlasting effect on me.

Rabbi Shemtov related:

The Alter Rebbe shared a two-floor apartment with his eldest son and successor, Dovber, the Mitler Rebbe. The Mitler Rebbe was known for his unusual power of concentration. When he was engaged in study or prayer he was totally oblivious to anything around him.

On one occasion, when the Mitler Rebbe was thus engrossed, his baby, sleeping nearby, fell out of his cradle and began to cry. The Mitler Rebbe did not hear the baby‘s cries.

The infant‘s grandfather, the Alter Rebbe – who was in his study on the upper floor, also engrossed in his studies – did hear the baby‘s cries. He interrupted his studies and went downstairs, lifted the infant, soothed it back to sleep and placed him back in the cradle. The Mitler Rebbe remained oblivious to all this.

Subsequently, the Alter Rebbe admonished his son. “No matter how engrossed one may be in the most lofty worlds, the cry of a Jewish child must always be heard and soothed.”

The child may be an infant in age, or even a grownup that has fallen from the cradle of the Jewish religion, heritage and way of life. Their souls cry out in anguish for a guiding hand that will restore them to the serenity, warmth and comfort of their faith. We must all hear their cries, no matter how preoccupied we are, even with the most lofty spiritual causes.