Yehuda Avner, former Israel ambassador to Australia and an unofficial liaison between the Chassidic, Lubavitcher Rebbe and the Israeli government, once related this story:
Once, he asked the Rebbe what the purpose of a Rebbe is. The Rebbe answered with an analogy of opening a cupboard and seeing an unlit candle. Essentially, a candle is a stick of wax with a string, but until it is lit, these elements serve no purpose.
The candle represents a person's body, and the stick, a person's soul. The flame is the fire of Torah. Only when the candle is lit does it serve its purpose. Similarly, only when one is shining the way for others is he fulfilling his or her purpose. The Rebbe is the one who helps light the candle.
Upon concluding the meeting, Mr. Avner asked the Rebbe if he had kindled his (Mr. Avnerís) wick. The Rebbe answered, "No . . . but I have given you the match."
posted to the Donmeh
Thu, 3 Jun 1999
and the Chassidic Rebbe's Candle
page historypage uploaded 5 June 1999