The angel of G‑d revealed Himself to him in a flame of fire from within a thornbush…

And G‑d said: I have seen the affliction of my people... (3:2-7)

Why a thornbush? For G‑d says: "I am with him in his suffering" (Psalms 91:15).

- Rashi's commentary.

Once, when Rabbi Sholom DovBer of Lubavitch and his brother, Rabbi Zalman Aharon, were children, they played 'Rebbe and Chassid.' Young Shalom DovBer was close to five years of age at the time, his brother a year older. Little Sholom DovBer refused to play the 'rebbe', insisting that "there is only one rebbe" (i.e. the 'real' Rebbe, their grandfather Rabbi Menachem Mendel). So Zalman Aharon acted the role of 'rebbe' and Sholom DovBer played the 'chassid'.

A chassid's consultation with his rebbe in yechidus (private audience) usually concerns one of two things: a query of haskalah, an intellectual question or problem, or a request for guidance in his avodah, his personal relationship with G‑d. In the children's game, the little 'chassid' entered into yechidus with a query in each of these areas.

In the haskalah portion of the audience, the exchange went as follows:

"Rebbe, what is a Jew?" asked the 'chassid'.

"A Jew is fire."

"So why am I not burned when I touch you?"

- "Fire does not burn fire."

The little 'chassid' then complained of a deficiency in his personal avodah and the 'rebbe' advised him on how to correct it. To this the young Sholom DovBer said: "You're not a rebbe."

"Why?" asked Zalman Aharon.

"A rebbe," said the child, "would emit a sigh before replying…"