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Tuesday
Jun132017

NO ONE IS EXCUSED

Dear Reader sh’yichyeh,

This Shabbos, Parshas Shlach, is Shabbos Mevarchim Chodesh Tammuz. We all know that “On Shabbos Mevarchim, the members of the Chassidic brotherhood should rise early in the morning and gather in the synagogue to recite the entire Book of T’hillim. Following that, for about an hour, they should study a maamer of Chassidus that everyone can understand, and then [begin the morning] prayers. The farbrengen [held in honor of Shabbos Mevarchim] should be scheduled to suit the conditions of the place in which they live — and may they enjoy success there, both materially and spiritually.” (HaYom Yom 26 Kislev)

Let’s continue our own farbrengen we started two weeks ago. We have been focusing on Hiskashrus, as a preparation for 28 Sivan-Gimmel Tammuz.

As Chassidim, we all know what we want. We want the Hisgalus of the Rebbe. We want the concealment of Galus to end so the truth of Hashem and His Torah will be revealed in the entire world for eternity. Yet, as much as it is important to focus on what we want, it is more important to focus on what is wanted from us. The Rebbe writes (HaYom Yom 5 Tammuz):

“Once, in the course of a yechidus, the Alter Rebbe questioned one of his foremost and closest Chassidim about his personal situation. The Chassid lamented that he had lost all his possessions. The Alter Rebbe answered him: You are needed to illuminate your environment with Torah and avoda of the heart (davening). Livelihood and what you need – this Gd must provide for you. You do what you must, and Gd will do what He must.”

In the original letter of the Frierdike Rebbe (Igros Kodesh Vol. 2 pg. 541), which is the source of this HaYom Yom and was written to a Chassid to encourage him to get involved in spreading Chassidus in a public way, the Frierdike Rebbe quotes more of the Alter Rebbe’s answer: “You are saying all that you want and need – you need to pay debts, you need to marry off your children, need money for expenses – but what is needed from you, you make no mention.”

“‘You are needed’ — to illuminate your surroundings by studying Torah and by serving Gd with your heart [in prayer]. As for your ‘livelihood and the things that you need’ — this Gd must give you. Do what you must and Gd will do what He must.”

What is demanded from us? The Rebbe has made that crystal clear (Kinus HaShluchim 5752): “The most recent innovation in the work of shlichus is: to receive our righteous Moshiach in the true and complete Redemption. Indeed, the preparation for the coming of our righteous Moshiach is the most all-encompassing aspect of Judaism and includes all the other points and details of the work of shlichus… 

“From the international convention must come and be brought good resolutions such that every shliach must prepare himself and prepare all Jews in his place and city, etc. to greet our righteous Moshiach. This should be done through his explanation of the concept of Moshiach, as explained in the Written Torah and the Oral Torah, in a way that it will be received by everyone according to his intellect and understanding. This includes in particular learning the subject of Moshiach and Redemption, and specifically in a manner of Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge. And since this is the Divine service of the time, it’s understood this applies to every Jew without any exception whatsoever.”

As this is our Shlichus, it must permeate every aspect of our being. It can’t just be something that we do. It must become something that we are and every aspect of our lives is permeated with what is demanded and needed from us. As the Rebbe writes (HaYom Yom 8 Iyar):

“[Halachically,] a shliach (agent) is as one with the person who empowers him. In this vein, the Sages observe that [in the Torah] an angel is actually called by Gd’s Name when he serves as His agent. How much more does this apply to souls, for [when fulfilling Gd’s will] they attain this [identification] to an even higher degree.

“Chassidim are the agents of the Rebbe — the Alter Rebbe. When we act, we are bound [to him]. Then, every dimension of one’s being is bound [to the Rebbe]: one walks like a chassid, eats like a chassid, and sleeps like a chassid.”

As mentioned, this special Shlichus is for everyone; “it›s understood this applies to every Jew without any exception whatsoever” in whatever official capacity (business, teaching, e-commerce, etc.) one serves. Every Chassid needs to keep in mind that “in the early period of his leadership the Alter Rebbe taught: ‘The footsteps of man are directed by Gd.’ When a Jew comes to a particular place it is for an (inner Divine) intent and purpose, to perform a mitzva, whether a mitzva between man and Gd or a mitzva between man and his fellow-man. A Jew is Gd’s shliach. Wherever a messenger (shliach) may be, he represents the power of the meshaleiach, the one who sent him. The superior quality that souls possess, higher than the angels (who are also “messengers”), is that souls are messengers by virtue of Torah.” (HaYom Yom 10 Tammuz)

We all need to be active participants in this final Shlichus. As the Rebbe explicitly says (Shmini 5751): Simply put: All Jews, men, women and even children, have the responsibility to increase their efforts to bring our righteous Moshiach in actual reality!

Therefore it’s obvious there’s no place for relying on others or imposing the work on someone else instead of doing it one’s self, but this is the task of every man and woman; everyone must themselves do their job, “to serve my Maker” (for the sake of which “I was created”), and certainly one has the ability (since “I do not ask except according to their ability”.

It is a special privilege that comes with special personal rewards, to be able to connect others with Hashem and the Rebbe and get them involved in getting the world ready for Moshiach. In 1942, a group of Yeshiva students in Yeshivas Tomchei T’mimim in Montreal were given the responsibility of teaching Chassidus to the local community. They wrote to the Frierdike Rebbe that they felt that this would take away from their personal growth in learning Torah.

The Frierdike Rebbe wrote a long letter (Igros Kodesh vol. 6 pg. 91) extolling the virtues of teaching others and connecting them to Torah and Chassidus. He writes that not only will this not take away from their personal learning, it will only open up and refine their minds and thereby enhance their learning. In the middle of the letter, the Frierdike Rebbe writes the following (HaYom Yom 8 Tammuz):

“We observe that Gd cherished Avraham mainly because ‘he commands his children and his household.’ Now, the word here translated as ‘commands’ (yetzaveh) can also mean ‘connect.’ [This implies that] all of Avraham’s prodigious endeavors in the face of his trials pale in comparison to his efforts in commanding and connecting others by making them, too, meritorious.”

On Shabbos Mevarchim of Chodesh Tammuz, each Chassid needs to ask himself the honest question: What real effect am I having on my surroundings in order to get it ready for Moshiach? We need to constantly remember (HaYom Yom 30 Adar 1 – which is also a quote from the previously mentioned letter of the Frierdike Rebbe): “My father said: A chassid creates an environment. If he does not, he had better check his own baggage carefully, to see whether his own affairs are in order. The very fact that he fails to create an environment should make him as broken as a splinter. He must demand of himself: What am I doing in this world?

As the Rebbe writes in the introduction to the HaYom Yom: “At this time, when the world is quaking, when the entire world is shuddering with the birth pangs of Moshiach, and Gd has set the walls of exile afire…, every Jew — man and woman, old and young — is obligated to ask himself: ‘What have I done and what am I doing to ease the birth pangs of Moshiach and merit the ultimate Redemption that will come about through Moshiach?’”

 

Rabbi Avtzon is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Lubavitch Cincinnati and a well sought after speaker and lecturer. Recordings of his in-depth shiurim on Inyanei Geula u’Moshiach can be accessed at http://www.ylcrecording.com

 

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