IF IT IS PLEASING TO THE KING, LET A D’VAR MALCHUS (ROYAL EDICT) GO FORTH
September 13, 2012
Shai Gefen in #850, Insight

One Shabbos in 5751, pamphlets called “D’var Malchus” began to appear in shuls across Eretz Yisroel. They contained sichos of the Rebbe. At first, some people opposed the title “D’var Malchus,” but the Rebbe’s unusual reaction to the kuntres proved that he was pleased. * In recent years, hundreds of D’var Malchus classes have been started in Eretz Yisroel and around the world. * Presented for Rosh HaShana, the time for Kabbalas HaMalchus.

The “D’var Malchus” has become a concept in Lubavitch, a concept that came from Daas Tachton, but was accepted by the king himself who encouraged the initiative and even granted it the official Shaar (frontispiece) of his sichos.

The high point was on 15 Iyar 5751, just four months after the D’var Malchus was first distributed, when the Rebbe came down from his room and gave out the D’var Malchus on Inyanei Moshiach and Geula to thousands of people. The excitement on this occasion, when the Rebbe personally distributed his message to thousands of Jews, was enormous. On the Rebbe’s way out of the beis midrash, he was accompanied by the singing of “Yechi” (which can be seen on video). The Rebbe encouraged this singing by waving his hand.

Since the D’var Malchus was first printed, and especially in recent years, it has become the “Order of the Day.” For thousands of Chabad Chassidim, the D’var Malchus is the “Chassidishe parsha,” which they won’t miss learning each week. More recently, numerous shiurim have been started on the D’var Malchus, especially on Thursday nights and Shabbos, in which people learn the weekly kuntres together.

HOW IT BEGAN

It was after the Rebbe’s sicha on the night of the 10th of Teves 5751, when a certain rosh yeshiva castigated the Jewish people and spoke about horrible consequences. The Rebbe, the one who loves and defends the Jewish people, said a sicha in which he spoke well of Klal Yisroel. It was a particularly painful sicha. On Shabbos Parshas VaYechi, the Rebbe continued speaking about the good qualities of the Jewish people and about the merit of the martyrs of the Holocaust (the Holocaust was a motif used by the other party to scaremonger).

People heard the special sicha and waited impatiently to see the sicha edited by the Rebbe. For years there was a notable absence of the Rebbe’s actual words reaching the wider public. The Vaad that published the sichos in Hebrew only distributed them to subscribers.

Following this sicha which the Rebbe then edited, R’ Tuvia Peles decided to distribute the D’var Malchus in a way never done before. That is how the D’var Malchus pamphlets came to be. At first, it was a photocopy of the sicha in Kfar Chabad magazine, where the Rebbe’s sichos were published weekly under the title “D’var Malchus.” The Rebbe’s encouragement and response to this distribution was a huge push to distribute it even further and wider.

With time, the booklet expanded and also contained the weekly anthology (under the name Likkutei Sichos) that the Rebbe edited, and selected letters from the Rebbe on various topics, and the broader public began to get acquainted with the Rebbe’s teachings and perspective. The chiddush was that the public was able to “live” with the new sichos that the Rebbe had just said.

At this same time, the Rebbe began to step up the anticipation for the coming of Moshiach in a way that was unprecedented. It began with the famous sicha of 28 Nissan 5751, and every Shabbos after that the Rebbe ratcheted up the level of anticipation to new heights. Thousands of people looked forward each week to the new D’var Malchus, to see the Rebbe’s latest statements regarding the Geula.

The D’var Malchus was distributed in the tens of thousands. I still remember davening in Itzkowitz’s shul in B’nei Brak when someone came and put a bundle of kuntreisim on the table. Everybody present, without exception, grabbed up the new D’var Malchus that was fresh from the printer. In religious centers in B’nei Brak and Yerushalayim, the D’var Malchus became the topic of the day.

Three months after the start of the project, when the kuntreisim were welcomed by broad segments of the public, R’ Tuvia Peles held a special kinus for those who devotedly disseminated the booklets. The kinus was held on Chol HaMoed Pesach 5751 in B’nei Brak, and he told those assembled there how much the Rebbe cared about their work and about his nonstop encouragement. The stories that came forth during the gathering were fascinating. R’ Tuvia told about a woman on a kibbutz (the D’var Malchus was distributed at kibbutzim too) who began reading a D’var Malchus and when she did not understand it and the many acronyms, she called the phone number on it. After learning it, she began making steps back towards religious observance. Today, she is a frum woman.

Even people who had never learned the Rebbe’s teachings started taking an interest. R’ Avrohom Ben Shimon, one of the people who distributed the D’var Malchus spoke about a large group of religious Jews in B’nei Brak who, since the printing of the D’var Malchus, began becoming attached to the Rebbe. They couldn’t miss a week without learning it.

The impact of the D’var Malchus was apparent everywhere. Even in a negative sense, the impact was apparent. This was seen in the fact that the opponents, in their newspaper, would quote entire segments from the D’var Malchus in order to prove that the Rebbe really said about himself that he is Moshiach.

R’ Peles began using nicer graphics and he would highlight key paragraphs so that even those who didn’t read through the entire sicha would see the salient points.

R’ Peles said he received detailed instructions from the Rebbe on every aspect of the printing of the D’var Malchus as well as continuous encouragement. A number of weeks after the D’var Malchus was a fact on the ground, the Rebbe – in a most unusual move – granted permission that the frontispiece of his s’farim be used for these kuntreisim too. Since then, the D’var Malchus has been disseminated as part of the official body of the Rebbe’s teachings.

When R’ Peles passed by the Rebbe for dollars, he was tremendously encouraged to continue his work. Sometimes the Rebbe gave him an extra dollar, “for the D’var Malchus.” On 11 Tammuz 5751, the Rebbe gave him an extra dollar and said, “Tremendous success for the D’var Malchus.” Then on 9 Nissan 5751: “For all the printing.” On 12 Shevat 5751, “Print all the good things over there.” On 15 Sivan 5751, the Rebbe went to the Ohel while holding the latest D’var Malchus.

The pinnacle was when the Rebbe indicated that he wanted to distribute a collection of his sichos on Moshiach and Geula in the format of the D’var Malchus as it was published in Eretz Yisroel. When the Rebbe was asked about printing it in the format of the traditional sichos published by the Vaad L’Hafatzos Sichos, the Rebbe insisted on distributing it with name “D’var Malchus” and having it published in the same color as the one in Eretz Yisroel.

Chassidim didn’t need to have a developed Chassidic sense in order to appreciate the significance of those sichos called D’var Malchus. From the perspective of many years later, when we see that those sichos were the first announcements of the Geula to the world, they take on even greater significance. The D’var Malchus became an inseparable part of the lives of thousands of Chassidim who want to “live with the times.” Then, it turned out that these were the finial sichos we received as of now, in galus, which makes them even more powerful as the Rebbe himself said, “If only Anash, especially the T’mimim, would closely examine what the Rebbe, my father-in-law said … even in his sichos and especially those of 5710 and the year before that.” (Igros Kodesh, volume 4, p. 24) There is no doubt that one can apply to the sichos of the D’var Malchus what the Rebbe said in the sicha of VaYakhel-P’kudei 5710, “In the last hemshech that the Rebbe [Rayatz] wrote, he clarified everything and also hinted to everything” … “The answers to all questions that people ask me – I look for in what was explained in those maamarim.”

No wonder then that Chassidim focus on these sichos, appreciating that in these sichos the Rebbe clarified everything and even hinted to everything, and gave answers to all questions. All those involved in these kuntreisim maintain that they feel that hiskashrus nowadays to the Rebbe and chayus in his inyanim result from learning the weekly D’var Malchus.

In recent years, shiurim on the D’var Malchus have become widespread. Today, there is hardly a k’hilla of Anash in Eretz Yisroel and the world that doesn’t have a shiur in this.

AFTER CHAF-ZAYIN 
ADAR 5752

After 27 Adar 5752, the D’var Malchus was no longer distributed until 5755. This bothered the mashpia, R’ Chaim Levi Yitzchok Ginsberg, who felt that the last sichos of the Rebbe should be distributed. He related to Beis Moshiach what happened:

“It was Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5755 and a group of bachurim in the yeshiva in Kfar Chabad decided that something had to be done to renew the distribution of the weekly D’var Malchus. Late at night, they decided that things could not go on like this. ‘The Rebbe gave each of us the responsibility to do all that we can!’ It was decided to continue publishing and distributing the D’var Malchus, those sichos from 5751-5752, so they would be learned again and again and people would ‘live with Moshiach,’ and most importantly, people would constantly remember what the Rebbe said.”

They set aside all the questions about how it would get done, who would do it, and where they would find the money. Who could think about petty things when speaking about something as momentous as the D’var Malchus of the king himself?

By the next Shabbos, VaYeitzei 5755, the first booklet of the newly revised D’var Malchus was on tables in shuls in Chabad communities. The response was enthusiastic and people spontaneously sat down to learn “Toraso shel Moshiach.” That is how the shiurim that continue today got started in many places.

As for money:

“The first 1000 sichos were printed in Kfar Chabad by R’ Sholom Feldman and the folding and stapling was done by the bachurim. In the weeks that followed, Nimrod Chafetz and Danny Shabi contributed money towards the printing.

“Within a short time, requests came in for more copies and the operation grew and grew until tens of thousands of copies were printed and sent, every week, to hundreds of places around the country, with 1000 in Yerushalayim and 1000 in B’nei Brak. For Yud Shevat 5755, Nimrod and Danny printed 75,000 copies and had them widely distributed.”

In the meantime, money was a big problem. R’ Ginsberg saw that he couldn’t continue the project, since the burden of money weighed heavily on him. One time, he even gave money he had set aside for workers in his home to the D’var Malchus.

“I knew that I couldn’t think too much about it lest the Satan interfere with what had to be done. So I quickly gave the money to the bachurim before I would have a chance to change my mind. But my conscience bothered me. How could I do this? And what would I do in another few days when I would have to pay the workers?

“I sat down to learn my shiur in Likkutei Sichos, Volume 16 Sicha 3 for Parshas B’Shalach. In this sicha, the Rebbe speaks about the Mann, the ‘bread from the Heavens,’ which instilled complete bitachon in Hashem. There was also the quote from the Midrash that says someone who has what to eat today and wonders what he will eat tomorrow is lacking in faith. Even when someone does things in the normal way, making keilim B’derech HaTeva, he still needs to believe that his parnasa is primarily ‘bread from the Heavens.’

“In footnote 35 he quotes the Ohr Ha’Torah of the Tzemach Tzedek who says, ‘The truth is that a person should not worry at all about tomorrow and his parnasa …’ I felt this was an answer and that the Rebbe was taking me by the hand.

“On the day that I had to pay the workers, I received money from work I did months earlier that I had nearly forgotten about and it came just at the right time. The same thing happened in the weeks to come. When money was needed to pay someone or other, the money always came at the right time. It was only thanks to this that we were able to continue printing the sichos for a long time.”

Why did you print the D’var Malchus with the current date rather than the original date when the sicha was said?

We opened to an answer from the Rebbe based on which we decided that the current year should be used, so that whoever learned the sicha would relate to it as something new. As the Rebbe said, these sichos hint to everything, to all questions that we have, even now.

Speaking of answers from the Rebbe, a bachur who was involved in distributing the D’var Malchus thought perhaps this was not something he should be doing when the main occupation of a bachur in Tomchei T’mimim is learning and not askanus. He decided to ask the Rebbe and the answer he opened to said: Surely the avoda of hafatzas ha’maayanos applies to young bachurim; and to the contrary, due to the passion of youth, this avoda is required even more of them.

***

At a certain point, R’ Avrohom Ben Shimon took on the huge expenses of printing the D’var Malchus. Slowly, a routine was established and each week different donors pay to dedicate the weekly D’var Malchus.

Some people wonder why the emphasis is on the sichos of the last two years when there are nearly forty volumes of Likkutei Sichos, fifty volumes of Sichos Kodesh, dozens of volumes of Hisvaaduyos – all of which contain Torah on the parsha and the time of the year, in addition to dozens of volumes of maamarim.

R’ Ginsberg:

We said already that the Rebbe indicated that everything is contained and hinted at in the latter sichos. The D’var Malchus has an additional advantage in that a chassid can “live with Moshiach” with them, more than with any other sicha, and the Rebbe said that “living with Moshiach” is the avoda now.

When you learn these sichos, you see that all the chiddushim in the D’var Malchus are a taste and a preview of the teachings of Moshiach. In the sichos of the latter years, the Rebbe spoke of lofty matters that explain the entire parsha in a way we did not hear from the Rebbe before. The Rebbe inserted so much spiritual intensity into the D’var Malchus so that we would be able to stand strong now, without compromising. Many of those who regularly learn the D’var Malchus say that it puts them into a Moshiach mindset.

R’ Zimroni Tzik:

The Rebbe revealed the D’var Malchus so that we would delve into it more and more until his hisgalus. A Chassid needs to “live” with the D’var Malchus, though it also serves as a reminder as to how long it has been since this revelation of the D’var Malchus came down to us. This ought to spur us on to doing what we can to bring about the hisgalus, at which point we will have a “new Torah.”

R’ Avrohom Ben Shimon:

Each time you learn the D’var Malchus again, you see a side to it that you did not see before. The more you learn it, the more chiddushim you find.

I must tell you a story that happened with my grandfather R’ Mansour Ben Shimon z”l, who was a big mekubal in Yerushalayim. When he was in the hospital, the grandchildren would sit and say Divrei Torah to him, as per his request. I was there once and I decided to read from the D’var Malchus of 22 Shevat 5752. I saw my grandfather close his eyes and he looked asleep. I stopped reading and he opened his eyes and said I should continue. I continued and again, he closed his eyes. I stopped and he said, “Don’t stop. You don’t even know what you’re reading.”

From the time the D’var Malchus was published, he would take it with him to shul on a regular basis.

R’ Sholom Yaakov Chazan:

It was mentioned before that the Rebbe said, “If only Anash, especially the T’mimim, would closely examine the words of the Rebbe, my father-in-law … even in his sichos and especially those of 5710 and the year before that.” In the sicha of Shabbos Shuva 5724 the Rebbe said that in the maamarim of the Rebbe Rayatz of the year he passed away (and not just in the hemshech of Basi L’Gani) are hinted a number of wondrous things, starting with the maamarim of Rosh HaShana where the Rebbe Rayatz issued his ruling as to the order of all the Roshei HaShana of all the years until the coming of Moshiach.

It should be noted that the Rebbe Rayatz did not say the maamarim that year; these were maamarim that were said many years earlier and were published that year!

In the latter years, we saw a number of changes in the dissemination of the Rebbe’s teachings. Throughout the years, the Rebbe edited only the likut of the parsha (under the name Likkutei Sichos), while in latter years the Rebbe edited most of the sichos that were said at farbrengens and they were published shortly after the farbrengen and are known today as D’var Malchus. The Rebbe even edited maamarim and had them published for Yomim Tovim and special occasions.

Following what the Rebbe said, there needs to be a “koch” in all three areas: in the sichos of the D’var Malchus, in the maamarim that the Rebbe had published in the latter years, especially in 5752, and the Likkutei Sichos that the Rebbe edited each week in the years 5751-5752. Indeed, we see amazing things in the Likkutim of the last years where the Rebbe refers to the events of those years and their ramifications, such as the Gulf War (Shmos-VaEira 5751), Yaakov Avinu did not die (VaYechi 5751), the special quality of Beis Rabbeinu in Bavel (Truma 5752), and a number of Likkutim on Inyanei Moshiach and Geula. There are also amazing things in the last likut, VaYakhel 5752.

There is no question that we should have special regard for the sichos in the D’var Malchus, with their open promises and prophecies for this era of Yemos HaMoshiach. We see, in fact, that these sichos provide bitachon and hope during these difficult times.

***

Over a decade ago, a team of bachurim and young men set to work collecting the source material cited in the Rebbe’s hundreds of footnotes, thus aiding the understanding of the sichos. Another initiative involved printing the D’var Malchus without the use of acronyms and with punctuation, and publishing the D’var Malchus as a separate book.

Technology has been harnessed in the service of the D’var Malchus. One website to check out is dvarmalchus.org, where it says their publication, includes a maamer and an unedited sicha from the Rebbe, a sicha from Likkutei Sichos, the daily study portions for Tanya, HaYom Yom, and Rambam, a portion of the teachings of each of the Rebbeim, a page of Gemara for daily study, explanations for Pirkei Avos, two chapters of Nach, and weekly Torah portion, Rashi’s commentary and Targum Unkelus. Each week, over 70,000 copies are printed and are sent to hundreds of cities on five continents.

There is also http://www.moshiach.net/blind/hebrew/dm-index.htm.

Credit must be given to R’ Yitzchok Fine for his devotion to disseminating Chassidus in general and the D’var Malchus in particular.

Many people who have become close to the Rebbe in recent years say that the sichos of the D’var Malchus is what contributed to their hiskashrus to the Rebbe. The shliach in Alon Shvut, R’ Yitzchok Cohen, says that his father-in-law who lives in Maaleh Adumim and was distant from Chabad became connected to the Rebbe because of learning these sichos.

There are scores of shiurim in D’var Malchus in Chabad houses, in shuls on Shabbos, as well as classes for women. As R’ Zimroni Tzik put it, “Every time we learn the D’var Malchus, we discover new points; things we did not notice before, become illuminated.”

May we merit greeting the new year with the full revelation and coronation of the king, when we will receive the newest D’var Malchus containing the Torah of Moshiach, “a new Torah will go forth from Me.”

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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