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The following is a freely translated excerpt from a letter by the Rebbe, dated Cheshvan 25, 5713 (November 13, 1952):[11]

Many times I have heard my father-in-law[12] repeat the teaching by the holy Baal Shem Tov[13] that:

“from everything one sees or hears, one should derive a lesson in one’s personal life.”

Also your occupation – the automobile business – is replete with such “pointers.”

A fueled automobile has all the necessary parts and potential energy to move from place to place. Still, the first impetus must come from a spark, generated by the “starter”; all subsequent movement of the automobile is dependent upon this spark. Nevertheless, it is not desirable to repeatedly activate the starter to stimulate each new movement of the auto. Once moving, the auto should run on its own, without the need for any further sparks.

The same applies to the inner motor of man. G-d created us complete with all the necessary parts and resources to drive our lives – our body, our G-dly Soul and our Animal Soul have all been supplied with everything that we need to serve G-d and fulfill our purpose in creation. Nevertheless, we all need, from time to time, a “spark,” an inspiration from Above, some revelatory moment to turn us on and get us moving. But one must take care not to grow too dependent on such sparks and come to require a new boost at every turn in the road. The first spark should be enough to get us started, after which we should draw on our own internal resources, which we possess in abundant supply, to continue moving toward our destination.


Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber

[11] Igrot Kodesh, vol. VII pp. 46-47

[12] Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), sixth rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch.

[13] Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), founder of the chassidic movement.


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