On Sunday September 19 (Tishrei 13 in the Hebrew calendar), it was the yahrzeit (annual day of passing) of the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe, The Rebbe Maharash - Rebbe Shmuel of Lubavitch. He was famed for frequently saying the following quote, which is also the name of a niggun (tune) by him:
The world says that if you cannot crawl under an obstacle, try to leap over it. However, I say, leap over it in the first place! – Rebbe Maharash
How can we come to internalize this message? After all, what does he mean by the world’s approach to crawl under and by his approach to leap over.
I think of crawling under as to when I was a young boy I try to avoid being caught for whatever mischief I did, or even just hiding something I felt insecure about. In these images, I looked for ways to avoid the problem and allowed the possible consequences to stop me. According to the Rebbe Maharash, this is the approach of the world in reaction to obstacles. When we create a vision or a goal, there are many things we label as obstacles - money, time, resources, obligations, priorities, etc. Crawling under represents a solely physical approach to accomplishing one’s goals: a person at present place and his goals somewhere out there, separate from him. In order to accomplish the goals, the person has to learn certain skills, acquire knowledge, and go through space, which takes time. This can work, but leads the person to think what he really desires is something outside of him, when really he can live in that space now as the vision pulls him towards it. Meaning that often the goal we desire is the emotional state that (we think) comes with it - peace, health, excitement, clarity etc. If and when we can live in that state of emotion now do we notice better ways of accomplishing our goals and new opportunities that bring us to our visions sooner and with less stress. Only when the world has tried crawling under does it leap over.