The Power Of Melava Malka


A villager had married his daughter to a Chasidic scholar. After the initial period of adjustment to married life, the young son in law began to leave home from time to time to visit his Rebbe for Shabbos.

As a dedicated chasid he also wanted others to appreciate his way of life but being somewhat immature, he was a little too pushy. One of the people who bore his zealous efforts was his father in law.

“Come see the Rebbe,” the young chasid constantly pressed him. “Visit him for just one Shabbos,” and the like. The father in law did not object to his son in law’s involvement with a Rebbe but he was personally uninterested.

“I’ve seen many Rebbes,” he assured him. “I’m sure that he’s special but it’s not for me.”

Nevertheless after a time, and more to quell his son in law’s incessant requests than for any other reason, he agreed to accompany him for one Shabbos. That Friday evening the Rebbe led the prayer service. The son in law was overwhelmed with the sweetness and sincerity of the Rebbe’s prayers.

“Wasn’t it outstanding?” he asked his guest.

“I told you I’ve seen Rebbes before,” his father in law answered indifferently.

Afterwards, when the Rebbe partook of the Shabbos meal together with his chassidim, the son in law listened in rapture to the wistful melodies and intuitive teachings. Again, however, the father in law was unimpressed:

“I’ve seen many Rebbes before,” he reiterated.

The same exchanges repeated themselves throughout Shabbos morning and Shabbos afternoon. The son in law was extremely impressed with his Rebbe; the father in law remained unmoved.

As they were preparing to return home Saturday night, several chassidim invited them to a Melaveh Malkah. The son in law was embarrassed to keep his father in law waiting and decided to defer to his wishes. To his surprise however the father in law agreed.

“I always have a Melaveh Malkah at home and there’s no reason for this Shabbos to be any different.”

They spent a couple of hours with the chassidim, sharing a modest meal, songs and stories.

Throughout the whole of the following week, the son in law did not mention a word about the Rebbe to his father in law. Suddenly on Thursday night he was overwhelmed when his father in law proposed:

“Let’s go to the Rebbe again.”
“Why do you want to go?” the young man asked. “Nothing you saw impressed you!”

“True, I was not impressed by the Rebbe’s insights and songs, but I was moved by the Melaveh Malka. We were in a home with a dozen chassidim for two hours and I couldn’t tell who was the host and who were the guests. If a Rebbe can engender such togetherness among his chassidim, I want to be one of his followers.”

From:  Hayom Yom – Tackling Life’s Tasks – Every Day Energized  – Published by Sichos in English

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