From a Sicha of the Night of Simchas Torah before hakafos, 5727
In a farbrengen on the night of Shmini Atzeres 5705 (in the Sukkah) the Previous Rebbe told that about 100 years prior, in the year 5627, the Rebbe Rashab told his children that today is exactly 100 years since the Alter Rebbe saw the Baal Shem Tov while he was awake (in the year 5527, after the Baal Shem Tov had already passed away).
According to the way things were done, that the children of the Rebbeim participated in "parting from the Sukkah", so too the Rebbe Maharash went with his children -- the Rebbe Rashab along with his brothers and sisters -- and "parted from the Sukkah" with a cup of tea and some cake, and at this time he spoke about the matter mentioned above and told the following story:
On Sukkos 5527, when the Alter Rebbe was serving as the shammes for the Maggid, the Maggid sat in the Sukkah and the Alter Rebbe entered after him. The Maggid said to him: lock the door so that no one can enter, and don't become excited but rather internalize this and let it sink in -- the Rebbe is coming!
--Then they saw the Baal Shem Tov while they were awake, seven years after his passing!
From this we see the great level of a shammes, that davka through this the Alter Rebbe merited to see the Baal Shem Tov while he was awake seven years after his passing.
Seemingly, it is not understood: the nesius of the Maggid continued for 13 years until the year 5533, and the Alter Rebbe was by him during this time for less than 3 years -- 32 months, which is a small portion of the years of the nesius of the Maggid (and certainly not the majority of the years). So how is it possible to say that the Alter Rebbe served as a shammes by the Maggid in a way of "he never departed"?
The explanation is: even though the Alter Rebbe wasn't by the Maggid all the time, but rather he travelled to Liozna, nonetheless he went there in order to fulfill the shlichus of the Maggid -- to spread Chassidus there, and since he travelled on his shlichus to fulfill his will, thus the Maggid was with him the entire time.
As has been said numerous times, everything can be spotted in the revealed aspect Torah, for there is "one Torah for everyone", so there is a basis to inquire on the matter of "shlucho shel Adam k'moso" the shliach of a person is like the person himself (Brochos 34b, in the mishna). There are three ways to learn this:
1) that the shliach performs the action, but he is given the power by the sender to do it in place of him.
2) that the power of action of the shliach is the power of action of the sender.
3) that the body of the shliach becomes exactly like the sender, his existence is the existence of the sender.
All of this is said if indeed the shliach becomes like the sender, but regarding the sender himself we don't find that he becomes like the shliach; but even so, even as regards teh sender we could learn these three ways, even the third way -- that the sender transforms to be the existence of the shliach.
So, too, it is in the ruchniyus of the matter: when the Alter Rebbe went to fulfill the shlichus of the Maggid, the existence of the sender (the Maggid) transformed to be the existence of the shliach (the Alter Rebbe).
Now, as well, when we fulfill the shlichus of the Rebbe then the Rebbe is found together with us and the Rebbe is the one who carries out the matter.*
After the Alter Rebbe was in the role of shammes, this caused him to see the Baal Shem Tov after his passing, while he was awake. --In addition to the level of the Baal Shem Tov himself, there is the additional maalah that the Baal Shem Tov had already gone through the stage of "you are dust and you will return to the dust" (not like Eliyahu Hanovi who ascended to heaven in a storm), and the Alter Rebbe saw the Baal Shem Tov while awake, not in a dream, and a time when one is obligated in Torah and Mitzvos. And like Moshe's superiority over all the other prophets -- that all the prophets had to remove themselves from physicality in order to be able to receive the prophecy, unlike Moshe who would remain standing in his place -- similarly here was this level (by the Alter Rebbe), that he saw the Baal Shem Tov while awake.
Regarding actual action:
There are those who served as shammes by the [Previous] Rebbe in his life in this world, someone in this capacity, someone in another capacity, and they also want now to serve as shammes by the [Previous] Rebbe.
So there is guidance (hora'a') that when fulfililng the shlichus of the Rebbe he becomes a shammes of the Rebbe and the Rebbe is together with him wherever he is found, even in a distant country, since he is fulfilling the shlichus of the Rebbe.
And "it is not in the heavens" and "it is not wonderous", but rather "the thing is very close to you to do it" in actuality, it is relevant to every single person that the Rebbe is found together with him and he is able to see the Rebbe and while he is awake,** and through this he sees all the Rebbeim.
* See Sefer Hasichos p.55 "I gave my nefesh, ruach, neshoma to the Rebbe, and so therefore 'I' don't know".
** To note, from Sichos Kodesh 5713 (new printing) p. 228: The [Previous] Rebbe told that once the Rebbe Rashab said "Come now, let us debate" (Yeshaya 1:18). There were some chassidim of the Rebbe Maharash there, and he brought about then that they saw the Rebbe Maharash...(text missing). If one desires, it is possible to see also today, except that the yetzer hara is clever and sly, a "kluginker" in the words of the [Previous] Rebbe, and he blinds the intellect.
Labels: Rebbe, Rebbeim