Today is the 3rd day of Tammuz. Today is the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Yartzeit. Today is the anniversary of the day a great Tzaddik left us. Our world is a darker place today because The Rebbe is not here. There are many ways I could write today’s post. I could tell you my “where was I on Gimmul Tammuz” story. But I’d rather not because that only explains the pain and sadness of that one day. The real pain is what has come in the last 13 years.
We have been without a true leader and it has showed. From my earliest years I always remember the Rebbe’s smile more then anything else. He always smiled, and every time I saw him, whether for a dollar on Sundays, or by Kois Shel Brocho after a Yom Tov. He smiled at me. He always had so much spirit and love. The Rebbe was a spiritual father to hundreds of thousands of people for many decades. We lost that father and on this day, instead of choosing to feel the pain of that loss – I’d like to be thankful for what I received.
My parents are both Baal Teshuvahs and if not for The Rebbe I’d not be here today. I would not have my met wife, and I would not have had my beautiful and precious children. The Pirkei Avos write that when you save one Jewish person, it’s as if you saved the whole world. For every single person the Rebbe’s love and guidance reached, it rippled through generations and will continue to ripple for generations to come. I learned so many lessons from The Rebbe. Ivdu Es Hashem B’Simcha, Ahavas Yisroel, faith, love, hope – but there was one major thing I learned that has stayed with me till today and helped guide my life.
It’s that it’s never too late to make a change.
Whether it’s going to more Shiurim, or giving more Tzedakah, or being stricter with your Hashkafah or Hiskashrus. This even applies to the seemingly mundane physical things. Changing your career path, your actions at home, your relationships with your family and friends, your parenting styles, your bad eating habits or your smoking. Anything is possible if you just believe that it’s never too late to change.
Growing up in a Chabad home, and a home built by two Baal Teshuvahs I was always exposed to the “Baal Teshuvah” world. I was always amazined to hear peoples stories. Where they came and sometimes I was shocked to hear that people left “perfect” lives to become Frum. In the Rebbe’s successes I always found faith and hope for myself. If these people could do it, and if these people could make these huge changes, then anyone could.
There was a time in my late teens/early 20’s when I questioned many things in my own Yiddishkeit. It was only through remembering everything I have wrote here that I “made it” through those years.
So today, if there is one lesson you take from The Rebbe’s Yartzeit. It’s that anything is possible, any change can be made, as long as you just believe.