Brian Sullivan

In kabbalah each day on the Jewish calendar has its own energy. In our kabbalistic search for meaning, what then can we discover for today, June 16, or the third of Tammuz on the Jewish calendar?
Today, Joshua stopped the sun, the and the former Lubavitcher Rebbe was released from prison and last Lubavitcher Rebbe died.
So what?
It is also the date that links Victor Frankl, founder of logotherapy and author of Mankinds Search for Meaning, to the Rebbe.
After enduring the Nazi final solution, Frankl concluded that even in the most severe suffering, the human being can find meaning and thus hope. In his words, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’” wrote Jacob Biderman, Chabad Shliach in Vienna, Austria.

It’s not that Frankl was an overnight success.

Frankl had been a young colleague of Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler. However, Frankl rejected the view we are driven by the need to gratify physical needs, a "will to pleasure." Frankl taught we are driven by a "will to meaning," possessing free choice and the capacity for self-transcendence. "Between stimulus and response . . . is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
Loyal Freudian ridiculed him and his lectures shunned. In incredible emotional turmoil he had decided to give up and move to his sister in Australia.He had been sitting and drafting his immigration papers, when he was disturbed by an unexpected visitor, Margaret Chajes.

Margaret was a little taken back by the cross emblazoned on the wall, (Frankl second wife was a devout Catholic) and perhaps wondered why she was sent to Dr Frankl with a brief message from the Rebbe, who had been described in the Press as ultra Orthodox.

Her message was simple, "Rabbi Schneerson, known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, sent a message for you: Remain strong! Continue your work with complete resolve. Don't give up. Ultimately you will prevail."

Frankl was astonished. He decided not to emigrate and his work did prevail. His ideas would influence writers from Scot Peck's "Road Less Traveled" to Steven Covey's "Seven Habits."

Many years later, at age 90, Frankl recalled the message from Rabbi Schneerson.
"Ah... of course! Can I ever forget it? The Rabbi came to my aid during a very difficult time in my life. I owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude!"

How in the world did this Rebbe know about his situation? And why should this chassidic rebbe care about him or the perpetuation of his philosophy? asked Jacob Biderman.

Indeed why?

Viktor and Elly Frankl’s biographer, Haddon Klingberg, wrote:
"...after his death I asked Elly if he actually made these prayers every day. 'Absolutely. He never missed a day. Every morning for more than fifty years. But nobody knew this.' As they traveled the globe Viktor took the phylacteries with them, and everywhere, every morning, he prayed. He uttered memorized words of Jewish prayers and Psalms...
"(After Viktor died I saw his phylacteries for the first time. Elly had placed them in the little cubicle with his few simple possessions...)"
Indeed, Frankl's non-Jewish son-in-law confirmed this fact to me: "My father-in-law would close himself off in a room every day for a little while. Once I opened the door and saw him with black boxes on his head and hand. He was annoyed about my intruding on his privacy. When he was taken to the hospital, however, his practice of putting on tefillin became public."
What inspired the Rebbe with a vision that went beyond strict Jewish orthodoxy to a Jewish man who had married ‘out.’

The Rebbe wrote (free translation):

…I would like to take this opportunity to add another point, that the medical condition of ..... proves (if proof is needed in this area) the awesome power of faith – especially when applied and expressed in practical action, community work, observance of mitzvot, etc. – to fortify a person’s emotional tranquility minimizing and even elimination of inner conflicts, as well as complaints one may have to his surroundings, etc.
This is in spite the theory that faith and religion demand the discipline to restrain and suppress natural instincts and drives, and is, therefore, generally undesirable, and particularly in the case of a person who requires treatment for emotional issues.
I particularly took interest in the writing of Dr. Frankl (from Vienna in this matter. To my surprise, however, his approach has apparently not been appropriately disseminated and appreciated. Although one can find numerous reasons as to why his ideas are not widely accepted – including the fact that is related to the personal lifestyle exemplified by the treating doctor – nevertheless, the question still remains…
When was the letter written?
June 19, 1969, or in the Jewish calendar the 3rd Tammuz, 5729.
(Adapted from The Rebbe and Viktor Frankl)
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