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Wednesday
Feb182015

RIDDLE IN ENGLISH

Hello everyone. My name is Levi and I live in Crown Heights. My story begins with an English lesson and it happened about twenty years ago. Note, in order to make the story more readable, I wrote it as though I’m telling it as it happened:

In the school that I attend, the spoken language is Yiddish. My parents sent me to private English lessons. Why? Because I was not born in America but in Eretz Yisroel. When I turned five my parents moved to Crown Heights. I picked up the spoken language but in order to know how to read and write I needed lessons.

“Excellent,” my teacher would say enthusiastically when I showed him that I knew the material, but I wasn’t so thrilled. I preferred spending my time studying limudei kodesh. Some time passed and I found out that there was some benefit in having learned English.

It was Shabbos, Yud Shevat, and as the Rebbe said to do – to farbreng in shuls about the Rebbe Rayatz – the boys in my class went along with bachurim learning in 770. My friend Yossi and I went with a nice fellow by the name of Berel.

It took a long time getting to the shul but we tried not to complain and acted as though the walk was easy for us. The truth is, I felt that when going on the Rebbe’s mivtzaim we get special kochos, including strength for a two hour walk.

Along the way the scenery changed. At first we walked on a busy street with stores and shopping centers. We tried to keep ourselves occupied with talking about the last farbrengens with the Rebbe in 770.

Then the stores disappeared and we reached an area that was between cities and had highways. We went up on the bridge and enjoyed looking at the ocean and the waves beneath us. We did not spend time just looking because we hoped to reach the shul as fast as we could.

After I got used to the scenery, it no longer interested me. But then suddenly, we noticed a commotion in the distance. There were voices of journalists and many people who looked important who were speaking to people who looked like them. We realized something had happened.

My curiosity nearly made me beg Berel to veer off our path a bit and get closer to what was going on, but at the last moment I decided that we were on the Rebbe’s shlichus and it wasn’t right to get involved with other things, as interesting as they might be.

“Don’t worry,” Berel said, as though reading my mind. “From the Rebbe’s shlichus we don’t lose out.” We continued walking and I suddenly noticed that we were walking on the same sidewalk where the commotion was going on, with the people who were congregating already behind us. I guess we made a little detour and went around them without my realizing it.

I looked at the large building to our left and saw something unusual. “Wait a minute Berel and Yossi, stop!” I went over to the building and saw letters engraved on it. Berel, an Israeli who did not know how to read English, had not noticed anything special, but he stopped at my request.

I read English, as I mentioned to you, and I saw that on the wall of the building there was a pasuk from Yeshaya with one of the promises of the Geula: “And they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore.”

“You won’t guess what is etched into the wall here,” I said to Berel and Yossi.

“What?” they asked curiously.

“A pasuk from the navi Yeshaya!”

“So this is the UN building,” said Berel knowledgeably.

“What’s UN?” asked Yossi.

“The UN stands for United Nations, an international organization whose headquarters are in New York, whose stated purpose is world peace.”

Berel finished answering and hurried us along. “It’s late and we need to hurry. They’re waiting for us at the shul.”

We continued walking as I kept thinking about there being a pasuk translated into English on the UN building.

The farbrengen was a great success. Berel told about the Rebbe Rayatz and about the Rebbe MH”M. We sang joyous Chabad niggunim and I guess also thanks to our young age, we got everyone involved in the joy and the singing.

After a few weeks, on Shabbos Parshas Mishpatim, I was standing at the Rebbe’s farbrengen and was surprised at what I heard. “What divine providence,” I thought. Berel’s words echoed in my ears, “From the Rebbe’s shlichus you don’t lose out.”

What happened? The Rebbe began to talk about the wall of the UN with the pasuk on it! The Rebbe said that on Wednesday, a meeting began which was attended by the president of the United States and the president of the Soviet Union-Russia. The meeting continued into Shabbos, here in New York. They made decisions about reducing the amount of nuclear weapons intended for war.

“Why did this happen?” asked the Rebbe. “Because we are already very close to the time of the Geula in which the promise of ‘and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks’ will happen. Moshiach already began to accomplish things in the world and as a result, the leaders of the superpowers were influenced to make a decision to reduce weapons; this is the start of the fulfillment of the prophecy.

“This is also the reason,” said the Rebbe, “that the meeting is taking place here in New York and not in the capitol city, Washington. New York is where Moshiach is. The allusion (hint) is so clear for on the United Nations building, in a place where every passerby can see it, is etched the pasuk, ‘and they shall beat their swords into plowshares …’”

I was so excited, as you can well imagine. The Rebbe said in the clearest possible way that Moshiach’s coming was imminent. Although I was a young boy and was not able to understand precisely what was said, I understood that it was the best possible thing that could happen.

What the Rebbe said made me very happy. I had seen that you don’t lose out by believing in what the Rebbe said. I was absolutely confident that very soon, the Rebbe’s prophecy would be fulfilled and the Geula with all the miracles and wonders would occur naturally as though we hadn’t waited such a long time for it …

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