ACCEPTING AN INSULT LOVINGLY PROTECTS A THOUSAND JEWS – LESSON 260, LIKUTEY MOHARAN
Even many years before Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, went into exile, and sustained such intense humiliation and public shame, he gave a number of talks about Lesson 260 in Likutey Moharan, which explained the enormous spiritual impact of accepting insults lovingly.
The following extract comes from a shiur the Rav gave more than 20 years’ ago, where he described how accepting insults and humiliation with love could save the lives of thousands, and even millions, of people. Rav Berland, shlita explained that:
“The Rebbe says that in the merit of those who accept upon themselves disgrace, people are saved from getting killed.”
“It says in Likutey Moharan that when a person accepts an insult lovingly, he saves tens and hundreds of Jews from getting killed.
“To accept an insult lovingly is the same thing as a person protecting a thousand Jews.
“It says in Likutey Moharan Torah 260 that when a person lovingly accepts on himself insults and disgrace, it’s the exact same thing as when a person dies for the sanctification of Hashem’s Name. It’s the exact same thing!
“When a person lovingly accepts insults upon himself, he can save the entire Jewish people.”
“The Rebbe says that there are those tzaddikim who willingly and lovingly accept the insults that come their way, and there are those who are insulted against their will and they also sweeten the judgments, they also save tens of people. But those who accept it with LOVE, those who are looking for insults and disgrace at every moment, they are saving ALL OF AM YISRAEL, not hundreds and thousands, they are saving ALL OF AM YISRAEL.
YOU RISE UP TEN LEVELS FOR EVERY SINGLE INSULT YOU GET
“A regular person is afraid of getting insulted, because he doesn’t know that through every single insult he merits rising up ten levels. The Rebbe brings here in Torah 260 that the greatest spiritual unification is when a person accepts insults with love; it’s the same spiritual unification that’s achieved by [dying to sanctify God’s Name], but every time a person is insulted, it happens again [i.e., a person can be repeatedly insulted, but can only actually die once].
“There are many different levels, the Rebbe says: Some people don’t want to be insulted but when they are, they don’t answer back. That is also a level. But there are those who do all different kinds of tricks in order that they should be insulted.
‘WHY ARE YOU BRINGING ALL THIS MACHLOKES ON YOURSELF?!’
“The students want an explanation! They ask, “Why are you bringing all this machlokes on yourself!? It’s hard for us!” So he [the Rebbe] says, ‘It’s your life insurance! It would be harder for you to be blown up in a terrorist attack or end up missing an eye, or who knows else that would happen to you.”
“The big tzaddikim would seek different ways for people to insult them, any possible way that people should persecute them. That is how they save thousands and thousands, and cancel all of the decrees. They save the entire nation. This is why the Zohar says that the greatest thing is to die for the sanctification of Hashem’s Name.
“And the Rebbe adds that this is what happens when a person takes all of the insults upon himself and does things in order that the disgrace should only continue. Even if people are saying things about him that he never did, and they are spreading a terrible blood libel against him, he says they are right, and accepts it even more joyfully.
“The Zohar says that the tzaddikim who take it upon themselves to die for the sanctification of Hashem’s Name feel tremendous pleasure from it, as Rabbi Akiva, whose flesh was combed with iron combs, did.”
PRINT THIS TEACHING AND KEEP IT WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES
Ten years’ later, long before the slanders and libels against him began, Rav Berland again taught a class on Lesson 260 in Likutey Moharan. As some point during the class, he told one of the attendees to print the lesson on pocket-size cards and to distribute it among all the students of Shuvu Banim, “because a time will come when we will all need to fulfill this lesson and it will help if each one of you reviews it daily, so that when he is insulted and persecuted he will remember to remain silent. For he is preventing a holocaust of mass bloodshed!”
 This lesson was recorded and transcribed and is still extant.