Lechat’chilah Ariber: What Does That Really Mean?

Lechatchila Ariber

The Rebbe Maharash (fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe) was born on the 2nd of Iyar 5594 (1884), which coincides with the 17th day of the Omer counting, and its corresponding attribute of tiferes shebetiferes. 1 In the entry in HaYom Yom for this day, the Rebbe records how, when the Rebbe Maharash was seven years old, he was tested in his studies by his father, the Tzemach Tzedek. He did so well in the test that his teacher was enormously impressed. Unable to restrain himself the teacher said to the Tzemach Tzedek, Well, what do you say? Hasn’’t he done marvelously? The Tzemach Tzedek responded, What is there to be surprised about when tiferes shebetiferes does well…? The Rebbe Maharash is considered synonymous with his most famous adage: Der velt zagt, as men ken nit arunter, darf men ariber! The world says that only if we cannot go beneath [an obstacle], then we should climb over. Un ich halt, as men darf Lechat’chilah Ariber but I hold that we should go over to begin with!

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