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Wednesday
Sep132017

BIRTHDAY DISCUSSION

By Y Schreiber

Shmuel: I get the feeling that we haven’t managed to fully reach Alon yet.

Yitzy: What do you mean? He comes to all the events, to davening and farbrengens. Compared to the rest of the regulars who come to the Chabad House, he is actually quite active!

Shmuel: I know … He always comes and is an active participant, but … How should I put it? … He is still on the “outside” of things, like nothing has stuck. We are shluchim of the Rebbe and our main job is to prepare him for Moshiach. Come, let’s think about it. Can we honestly tell the Rebbe that Alon is ready for the Geula?

Mendy: Shmuel, if I understand you correctly, you want him to be a Chassid in every respect.

Shmuel: Of course! The time has come for even Alon to be devoted to the Rebbe and to the Rebbe’s inyanim.

Yitzy: So what do you suggest? How is it possible to accomplish that?

Mendy: I think we need to pick a mivtza of the Rebbe that is unique to the Rebbe, something he won’t find in the 613 mitzvos. When we convince someone to put on T’fillin or to give Tz’daka, although these are mivtzaim of the Rebbe, to him, it’s a “regular” mitzva in the Torah.

Shmuel: What mivtza do you have in mind?

Mendy: Mivtza Yom Huledes – the Birthday Campaign. There is no mitzva to celebrate one’s birthday. On the contrary, the only time a birthday is mentioned in the Torah is in connection with Pharaoh! So this campaign is unique to Lubavitcher Chassidim. Until the Rebbe announced this campaign, nobody paid much attention to birthdays.

Yitzy: Right. I remember the day they told us that the Rebbe announced the Birthday Campaign. I was a bachur in yeshiva at the time. It was 25 Adar 5748, the birthday of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka a”h. A month after she passed away, on 22 Shevat, the Rebbe asked Chassidim worldwide to publicize that on one’s birthday one should add in Torah, T’filla, and Tz’daka.

Shmuel: The Rebbe asked everyone, men and women, and even little children, including newborns, to have a happy birthday farbrengen with their family and friends.

Yitzy: Now I’m starting to understand what Mendy is getting at … You want to suggest that we find out when Alon’s birthday is, and make him a birthday farbrengen.

Mendy: You got it Yitzy. A happy farbrengen with good hachlatos. In the sichos that were said afterward, the Rebbe gave a list of instructions to do on one’s birthday. They aren’t hard, but a birthday farbrengen can change a person!

Shmuel: That’s a wonderful idea, Mendy! I remember that the Rebbe says that a birthday is like a personal Rosh HaShana. Just like on Rosh HaShana, people commit to a hiddur mitzva for the new year, so too, on a person’s personal Rosh HaShana, i.e., his birthday, he should commit to a hiddur mitzva for his new year, until his next birthday.

Yitzy: When we find out Alon’s Hebrew birthday, we will prepare him for the big day. On the Shabbos before his birthday, we’ll give him an aliya to the Torah at the Chabad House with special singing in his honor. That will get him more excited about the whole thing.

Mendy: If his birthday falls out on a Monday or Thursday, when we read from the Torah, he will get another aliya, in addition to the one on Shabbos.

Shmuel: Right. If his birthday is on a weekday, he will need to give extra Tz’daka before Shacharis and before Mincha. If his birthday is on Shabbos, he needs to give extra Tz’daka on Erev Shabbos.

Yitzy: We will need to talk to him about davening with extra kavana on his birthday, that he should go to work a little later. I hope that will work out for him.

Mendy: Don’t forget Yitzy that he will also have T’hillim to say. The Rebbe says that if it is hard to say the entire T’hillim, to at least say one book out of the five books of T’hillim.

Shmuel: I am willing to learn his new chapter of T’hillim with him, according to his new age. On a birthday, you are supposed to learn the chapter with commentaries, and he will need help from someone who is used to the hard words.

Yitzy: Thanks Shmuel! I am willing to learn with him the extra shiurim that he should add for his birthday. The Rebbe says to add a shiur in Nigleh and in p’nimius ha’Torah. The truth is that the Rebbe says this should be in addition to the regular Chitas shiurim and Rambam, but Alon is still not learning any of that.

Mendy: Maybe it will be an opportunity to convince him to start learning Chitas and Rambam. On this birthday, it will be an addition, and this year, it will be his good hachlata in Torah and T’filla!

Shmuel: It will be hard, and we will have to help him learn the shiurim throughout the year…

Yitzy: Not so bad … It will be harder to convince him to learn a maamer by heart in order to recite at his birthday farbrengen. In his case, we can guide him to learn just part of a maamer because the Rebbe says, “all or part.” It will be hard, but we know about Alon’s strong ratzon. He can do it all.

Mendy: At the farbrengen, we will need to talk about his doing more about influencing others, in spreading Torah and the wellsprings outward, with Ahavas Yisroel. This will be a significant change for him …

Shmuel: That’s what we are looking for, aren’t we? After this farbrengen, with Hashem’s help, he will become a full-fledged Lubavitcher.

Yitzy: Amen.

Mendy: There is a part of the birthday that we cannot help him with; he will have to do it on his own.

Shmuel: What’s that?

Mendy: On a birthday, you are supposed to spend time on your own, thinking, doing t’shuva for that which needs correcting. Alon will need to think over his past year and make good resolutions for the future.

Yitzy: As far as good resolutions, we already said it can be Chitas and Rambam.

Mendy: To ensure that he actually does it, I think we should give him a present, a leather-bound Chitas and Rambam with his name in gold. Shmuel, you’re the one who came up with this idea of his making a serious change, so you write a warm inscription on our behalf, on the first page. I am sure he will be moved and inspired by the gift and will start learning Chitas and Rambam.

Shmuel: Great idea … Where will we make the farbrengen?

Yitzy: The Chabad House is the best place for a farbrengen. We need to remember to bring a new fruit so he can say a SheHechiyanu.

Mendy: We will also say SheHechiyanu because we finally decided to have a real influence on people who come to the Chabad House. This Mivtza Yom Huledes with Alon will take place with the rest of our small k’hilla too, and it will create a real change that will bring about the immediate hisgalus of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach.

Shmuel: Teikef u’miyad mamash, amen.

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