My Tsaddik Peptalk

My Tsaddik Peptalk

My issue isn’t that I’m too hard on myself. I don’t tend to beat myself up (at least too much) over my various failures or shortcomings.
My issue is, more, that I tend to think: “What’s the big deal?”
For me, for example, it’s wonderful and very challenging to be the mother of 8 kids. But many religious moms have big families. So what’s the big deal?
For me, it’s wonderful and very challenging to observe Shabbat every week. But all religious people do that. What’s the big deal?
For me, it’s wonderful and very challenging to be the homemaker of such an active, kid-filled home. But most of my neighbors live in homes that are even more crowded than mine, with more little kids shot-putting legos around and smearing playdough onto their sofas. So, what’s the big deal?
I love going to kivrei tsadikim, to the gravesites of righteous people. Because I imagine how that tsaddik would see me and my life. And I always imagine the whopper of a peptalk that tsaddik would give me.
One of the graves I visit most frequently is the grave of the Zviler Rebbe, Rav Gedalia Moshe, who spent 7 years in a Siberian labor camp under Stalin before he fled to the land of Israel, where he died in 1949. When I visit his grave, I imagine the Rebbe telling me, “In the Soviet Union, millions of Jews are under threat of being imprisoned or executed if they dare to live as Jews. In Europe, millions of Jews have been annihilated in concentration camps. And in the United States, millions of Jews have assimilated, a silent Holocaust rages far and wide. And imagine! Here you are, Chana Jenny Weisberg, raising a simple Jewish family, keeping Shabbat, keeping the mitzvot. You have no idea what a rare, what a precious thing that is! How precious that is in Hashem’s eyes!”
Every tsaddik I visit, I imagine, gives me a different peptalk.
And then, a few weeks ago, I had a revolutionary idea. I could give myself tsaddik peptalks in my own home! That way, every day I can imagine any tsaddik, anywhere in the world, telling me what I need to hear.
So for the last few weeks, I’ve been doing just that. Over the last few days, my tsaddik of choice has been the Lubavitcher Rebbe. I imagine I am meeting with him, and he tells me, “I understand that grew up in a family that was not so observant. And now, for almost 30 years, you have been keeping mitzvos, And you are a devoted wife and mother, and are raising your children to keep the mitzvos too. OK, so there are issues. Not everything is perfect. But do you have any idea how much nachas the Eibishter is getting from you and the way you are choosing to live your life?”
And that helps. It helps me to understand, truly, what’s the big deal.

3 comments

  1. Beautiful inside and out!(I am referring to what you wrote, but I am also referring to you,yourself)

  2. So interesting, cuz right after reading the suggestion midway through your writing, i was thinking the Lubavitcher Rebbe was always saying to do more and more, not exactly saying ‘wow! what you are doing is so much and good enough already and so amazing for just being anaverage mother.’
    And then i kept reading, and you had chosen the Lubavitcher Rebbe…

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