IN THOSE DAYS – IN THIS TIME
February 24, 2016
Sholom Ber Crombie in #1010, 3 Tammuz, Perspective

I remember that day more than any other day from my childhood. I was a little second grader. During recess I liked sitting near the booth of the school guard, located near the entrance to the school. During that particular recess the radio was blasting and its noise carried into the horizon under the summer sun that beat down too strongly. Then came the 10:00 news and the newsreader announced sadly that “The Lubavitcher Rebbe …”

In my innocence, I pitied him. He said something that just could not be true. Obviously, he received incorrect information; how foolish he would feel when he discovered the mistake.

Later on that day, we children put on our Shabbos clothes and prepared for the Geula. Even when days passed it was clear that it was happening momentarily. Perhaps it was the innocence of a child, or perhaps the feeling of that time came from something more powerful. I remember that one day I had the thought: What fun it was for my older brother who celebrated his bar mitzva in a nice hall. I won’t have a celebration like that. My bar mitzva will surely take place in the Beis HaMikdash.

Since that day, Gimmel Tammuz 5754, we have spent 21 plus years waiting for this moment. 21 years that we are trying to preserve that feeling of a small child, that understanding that this is the reality, that the Rebbe MH”M will be revealed immediately, that the Rebbe is chai v’kayam.

Since then we’ve grown up, married and gone on shlichus. That inner child is no longer what he once was. Today we proclaim Yechi in anticipation and with emuna and say, “I pray according to the intent of the small child” - to feel that same innocence of “I await him every day that he should come,” every single day, literally. To get up every morning with the certain knowledge that this is the last day in galus and the first day of Geula. No shtick, no tricks.

***

Throughout these years there is one moment a week when the Rebbe looks at us from the cover of the new magazine, the smile of Melech HaMoshiach and another headline of Beis Moshiach. Another issue that brings us the fire of emuna even if we aren’t quite there yet. Even if we are preoccupied with the bank balance and what we owe the grocer and our other involvements. For one moment something stops us, Beis Moshiach magazine. A magazine that reminds us of those days – in this time.

At Beis Moshiach we are not in the news business. Nobody chases after scoops. None of us runs to photograph the next news item. Here we really have the feeling that the only news item we all want to write about is the hisgalus of the Rebbe MH”M. Every article is examined and the question asked: What would the Rebbe say about this? Is this an article that we could submit to the Rebbe proudly?

A few years ago I felt I had had enough of writing for the magazine, especially on the topic of shleimus ha’aretz. It is hard to put yourself out there every week anew. It is hard to remain interesting in a weekly column which is all about bringing the Rebbe’s heartfelt cry on this very painful subject.

With heavy heart I informed the editors that I was no longer going to write the weekly column. That night, before the bedtime Shma, I opened a volume of Igros Kodesh to read a letter of the Rebbe. The Rebbe wrote, “I was sorry to hear that you stopped writing for the periodical.” I got the message and went back to writing for the magazine.

***

Today, in hindsight, we can understand Beis Moshiach’s contribution in the fateful battles for shleimus ha’aretz. How would Chabad’s fight against the expulsion have looked if Beis Moshiach had not provided an atmosphere of support to the fight and made the fight against the expulsion a top priority? How would the activities of the Matteh Olami have looked if not for Beis Moshiach who exposed the public to the existence of the Matteh and its gatherings? How would the voices of Chabad Chassidim who were moser nefesh in Gush Katif and northern Shomron be heard without Beis Moshiach, which was the only one to bring authentic voices from the front lines and made sure that the voices of Chabad would be heard?

When I ask a prominent personality to be interviewed for Chabad’s magazine, they all know right away, “You’re from Beis Moshiach?” Because today, even the heads of Yesha know about the magazine which loudly proclaims the cry of the Rebbe.

Over the 21 years since Beis Moshiach began to appear it has been a faithful voice for the Besuras Ha’Geula, for emuna and anticipation, along with the Rebbe’s cry “and he will fight the wars of Hashem and be victorious.” Every week it brings to us, the readers and writers, the feeling that the Rebbe asked us to live; that there is just one topic that is important now, to bring Moshiach.

I think it is the only publication whose directors look forward to the day it will close down, when we achieve our goal of the true and complete Geula.

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