When the Rebbe Rashab was a child of five years old, he was playing with his older brother Reb Zalman Aharon. Since both of them were raised in a home where discussion of the Rebbe-chassid relationship was very common, they decided to play a game of “Rebbe and chassid.”

The older brother, Reb Zalman Aharon, played the role of “Rebbe,” and the Rashab assumed that of the “chassid.”

The RaZa sat down on a chair and fixed his hat like that of a Rebbe. The Rashab (playing the part of a chassid) entered the “Rebbe’s room” and requested a tikkun (rectification) for a particular shortcoming of his. “This past Shabbos,” he said, “I ate peanuts. And only after I finished them did I remember that the Alter Rebbe writes in his Siddur that one shouldn’t eat peanuts on Shabbos.”1

Reb Zalman Aharon answered immediately with advice. “Begin praying from a Siddur; not by heart. This is your tikkun.”

The Rashab responded: “You’re not acting like a real Rebbe.”

The RaZa asked, “Why? I gave you good advice.”

The Rashab answered: “A Rebbe first lets out a sigh of commiseration — and only then does he give advice. You didn’t show me any compassion — and therefore you are not a Rebbe and your advice is useless.”

Sichos Kodesh 5720, Purim