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Shouldn't the most worthy person -- not necessarily the son -- become the next Rebbe?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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Priesthood, royalty and high priesthood are just a few of the distinctions that are passed from parent to child.

Maimonides writes (Laws of Kings 1:7) "Not only royalty [is passed on from father to son], but all leadership and appointed positions are an inheritance to his son and grandson for perpetuity. Provided that the son is G-d fearing like his father."


In addition, holy people have the ability to attain for their children lofty souls (see Tanya ch. 2).


Although a son-in-law does not naturally inherit any position from his father-in-law, it is logical that a Tzaddik would choose a worthy, holy person to marry his daughter. Therefore in the absence of a son (or sometimes even if there is a son), the son-in-law will very often assume the mantle of leadership.


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Tzaddik
(fem. Tzidkanit; pl. Tzaddikim). A saint, or righteous person.
Maimonides
Moses son of Maimon, born in Spain in 1135, died in Egypt in 1204. Noted philosopher and authority on Jewish law. Also was an accomplished physician and was the personal doctor for members of the Egyptian royalty. Interred in Tiberius, Israel.
Tanya
Foundation text of Chabad chassidism. Authored by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the Chabad movement, and first published in 1796. Considered to be the "Bible" of Chassidism.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.