Dear Rabbi Lazer,
I understand we have to believe in tzadikim however is it permited to think that the only way to connect to Hashem is thru a rebbe? Without a rebbe we can't connect to Hashem? Please advise - I'm only seeking the truth. BD, NYC
You don't need a rebbe with a multi-colored satin coat who gives out crumbs of his gefilte fish. But we all need a connection to a true tzaddik, a righteous and selfless individual who practices every letter of what he preaches.
Without connection to a real tzaddik, a person can walk around thinking he's perfect; that breeds arrogance, and therefore takes a person away from Hashem. A true tzaddik shows us what we must correct - we can't be arrogant compared to him, indeed, we see how much we have to learn and improve. Therefore, connecting to a true tzaddik brings a person to learn humility, and humility brings him much closer to Hashem. I'd hate to think where I'd be if it weren't for my own rabbi and spiritual guide, one of this generation's true tzadikim, Rav Shalom Arush, may Hashem bless him.
BD, our sages say, Aseh lecha rav - find yourself a rabbi and spiritual guide. It's not easy, so start praying for the right one immediately. I pray for your success.
Blessings always, LB