September 6, 2017
בית משיח in #1084, 15 Elul, Tomchei T'mimim, Tzivos Hashem

Presented for 15 Elul, the day Yeshivas Tomchei T’mimim was founded.

By Devorah Leah

In the zal of the yeshiva g’dola in Kfar Chabad, one of the roshei yeshiva, Rabbi Meir Gruzman, went over to a group of young bachurim and asked them whether he could send them on shlichus.

“Where?” they asked.

“To Migdal HaEmek. Rabbi Grossman, the rav of Migdal HaEmek, wants bachurim to come for a few months. You will learn there with boys that he was mekarev, and then you will return with them to learn in yeshiva in the Kfar.”

“When does he want us to come?” asked the bachurim.

“Tomorrow!” said R’ Gruzman.

“One minute,” said one of the bachurim. “By tomorrow, we will not have had time to receive an answer from the Rebbe, so how can we go?”

R’ Gruzman did not respond and walked away. A stormy debate ensued among the bachurim about whether to go before receiving the Rebbe’s answer or not.

In the end, one of the bachurim got up and said, “I am reminded of a similar story. The mashpia, R’ Mendel Futerfas, once wanted a group of bachurim to come and learn in the yeshiva in Kfar Chabad. The bachurim told him that as long as they did not receive permission from the Rebbe, they would not come. These talmidim wrote to the Rebbe, and the Rebbe answered that if they did what the hanhala of the yeshiva asked of them, they did not need his permission, and if they did not do as the hanhala wanted, then the Rebbe did not want such bachurim to be his emissaries.”

Hearing this, the bachurim decided to go to Migdal HaEmek. By the next day, the bachurim were sitting in a pathetic shack and learning enthusiastically with 25 boys.

The bachurim thought they would only be spending a few months in Migdal HaEmek. They did not know of the surprises waiting for them that year. Apparently, the Rebbe had other plans for them.

Soon after they arrived at the yeshiva, they wrote to the Rebbe about their going on shlichus for a few months to Migdal HaEmek. R’ Grossman also wrote about this to the Rebbe. The bachurim were a little concerned that their going wasn’t to the Rebbe’s liking, and they eagerly waited for the Rebbe’s response to their letter.

A few days later, R’ Grossman invited them to his house. With great excitement, he asked them to wash their hands and to say l’chaim on mashke. “You have no idea what a z’chus you have!” he said.

Seeing the questioning looks on their faces, he took an envelope out of his pocket which had the address 770, New York written on it. He carefully removed the folded letter, straightened it out, and began to read it.

In the letter, the Rebbe encouraged the bachurim to spread the light of Judaism in Migdal HaEmek. The Rebbe wrote, “Fortunate is the lot of the talmidim from Kfar Chabad who went there.” The Rebbe then went on to write to R’ Grossman in detail about how the yeshiva should be run.

The bachurim now understood why R’ Grossman was so happy and they rejoiced too. The Rebbe was very happy they had gone on this shlichus to Migdal HaEmek. They also understood that the Rebbe wanted them to stay at the new yeshiva for the year, not just for a few months. It was a big responsibility to start a yeshiva from nothing, but they worked hard to increase the number of students and to establish it as a Chabad Chassidishe yeshiva.

Some months went by and the bachurim began thinking about going on K’vutza. In those days, Israeli bachurim would go to the Rebbe for K’vutza before Pesach, learn by the Rebbe for a full year, and after Pesach of the following year, finish K’vutza.

These bachurim yearned for the moment they would be in 770, so that by Shvat already, they began talking about it and making plans. They planned on going to the yeshiva in Kfar Chabad, finding replacements for themselves in Migdal HaEmek, and then happily going off to the Rebbe.

R’ Grossman, who was at the Rebbe at the time, heard about the bachurim’s plans and was nervous about their leaving the yeshiva. He wrote about it to the Rebbe.

The Rebbe’s answer surprised them all. The Rebbe said that if the talmidim did as was demanded of them, the Rebbe was postponing their trip on K’vutza by a year. They would go to learn in 770 the following year. However, the Rebbe invited them, at his expense, to come as his guests from 11 Nissan until after Pesach, and he would pay 90% of their tickets.

The bachurim were thrilled. They danced upon hearing this wonderful news. On the one hand, the Rebbe had postponed their trip on K’vutza by a year, and they greatly desired spending a year with the Rebbe. On the other hand, to be invited by the Rebbe was something unheard of!

With renewed energy they continued their shlichus in Migdal HaEmek while looking forward to the great day when they would go to 770 and see the Rebbe.

The secretariat paid the bachurim for almost the entire cost of their tickets and at the airport, a car was waiting for them, sent by the Rebbe, to bring them to 770.

It was an uplifting Pesach which this small group of bachurim had, being the Rebbe’s personal guests. This was for their devotion to spreading Torah and Judaism as the Rebbe wanted.

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (
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