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Baal Hatanya is a Beinoni

Monday, 3 January, 2022 - 9:48 am

In today's daily Tanya portion the Alter Rebbe describes three degrees of Beinoni (see full portion at chabad.org/dailystudy). In this regard, Rabbi Chaikin added the following story: 

Once, the Alter Rebbe said, "I am a Beinoni". Hearing this, the chossid Reb Mordechai Leipler asked, "But I am no Rasha...?" So, the Alter Rebbe responds, "There are four hundred levels of Beinoni..."

It seems strange that the Alter Rebbe, who studied and revealed the mistake in Rabba's describing himself as a Beinoni, should make the same mistake. 

A possible approach to this question is: The Alter Rebbe wants to offer beinonim an up-lift. Even the language of Tanya suggests that the Beinoni needs comforting "v'ze yihye nechamaso...".  

Like the Baal Shem Tov's sukkah, which was kosher by only the barest standard - to the degree that a note fell from heaven to confirm that it kosher, since it was so dubiously so. The Baal Shem Tov built his sukkah that way purposely, in order to give an up-lift to all the sukkahs of Jews who couldn't afford to make propper sukkos. 

As well as like our Rebbe, who told a chassid was hesitant to work on shlichus under his father-in-law. The Rebbe said, "I also work for my father-in-law." 

Even when the chassid Reb Yaakov of Yanovhitch approached the Alter Rebbe with the complaint, "I'm a simple man and no-one will offer my three daughters a good shidduch." The Alter Rebbe offered to give him the Mitteler Rebbe as a shidduch and then everyone will want to marry into his daughters.

So we see that the inyan of the Rebbeim was to uplift Jewish people. So, again, maybe the Alter Rebbe describes himslef as a beinoni in order to comfort all those who might look poorly at themselves for "only being a beinoni." To them the Alter Rebbe says, "I am also a Beinoni." 

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