WE BLEW IT! Mirroring Energy
WOW! What a Rosh Hashanah that was. It actually felt (a bit) like the “good ol days.” Thanks to you, WE BLEW IT! The Shofar that is… in a most exciting manner.
With an overflow attendance at Rosh Hashanah services in the Chabad Tent, many more than expected (and RSVP’ed) showed up to pray, in person, in an open and spaced out safe way.
It just goes to show that people really do want to be together and that there is room in our tent for everyone. The crowd was into it and the energy was good. There was an energy that I drew from the crowd that I haven’t felt quite so intensely for many years.
Was it the fact that people felt pent up and they were finally burstin out? Was it the fact that people just wanted to be with one another? Was it the energy that they were sharing with me and I was mirroring back at them?
I can’t tell you for sure but it certainly reminded me of a great chassidic story (one of my favorites) that I heard from Rabbi Kesselman, the Mashpia (spiritual mentor) of the Yeshiva in South Africa where I spent two years as a student shliach, helping the community and studying to be a rabbi along with 9 other colleagues.
He related the following to us (repeating in my own words as I recall them. I heard this story over 25 years ago.):
The Rebbe Rashab – Rabbi Sholom Dovber Schneerson – the 5th Chabad Rebbe 1860-1920 once was in Vienna and was staying in an upscale hotel. The Rebbe would travel often at times for communal matters and at other times for medical treatments that couldn’t be found in the more suburban areas where he had set up his Chassidic court. This time, while in Vienna, his son, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson, later to succeed him as Rebbe, came into his fathers hotel room to find his father sitting on his chair with his eyes closed in a what appeared to be a state of dveykus (a trance like state of deep thought and reflection).
Not wanting to disturb his father, he stood silently by his side awaiting him to come out of his dveykus. While standing there he heard soft sounds of music coming up from the main ballroom where the orchestra was practicing for an evening concert. Surprisingly, as soon as the band finished that set, the Rebbe (RaSha”b) opened his eyes and was no longer in that trance. When the Rebbe saw his son Yosef Yitzchok, he told him to go down to the conductor and tell him that his father was upstairs in the hotel and was listening to the music and really enjoyed it, and that he noticed that at a specific point during the music, the orchestra missed a note and did not hit the crescendo.
The young Yosef Yitzchok went immediately as instructed and reported this information to the conductor. The conductor was very impressed at his fathers very sensitive ear to be able to hear this subtlety and he told Yosef Yitzchok two things. 1) “Here are tickets for the concert, I’d like to invite your father as my guest. “and 2) “tell him that there are certain notes that are in the music sheets and can be read and played by the orchestra if they follow the notes. However, beyond that, there is a note that is not on the music sheets, it is an energy that the orchestra feels from the crowd that is reflecting the music back to them. When the musicians feel that energy they play with even more enthusiasm and they are able to hit a deeper note that can only be reached in a live concert with a live audience and only when the crowd is feeling that energy. It is not a note on the music sheet, it is a note in the soul.
Not to compare myself to the holy Rebbe in any way, but that was the energy I felt on Rosh Hashanah. It wasn’t me or anything I had done differently, it was the mirroring energy that was coming to me from the crowd.
So, thank you for lifting me up this holiday, and hopefully, you were lifted up as well.