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Thursday
Jul062017

T’FILLAS HA’DERECH ON THE ROAD TO GEULA

Dear Reader sh’yichyeh,

L’chaim! Good Yom Tov! May the Z’chus of the Baal HaGeula and Baal Yom Huledes of 12-13 Tammuz, and the ko’ach of Geula that was brought into the world, stand by all of us for all Brachos B’gashmius U’Biruchnius. May we merit the ultimate and complete Geula now!

Last week, we discussed the HaYom Yom of 12-13 Tammuz and the special significance of the 90-year anniversary since the Geula in the year 1927. In this article, I would like to touch on the HaYom Yom of 19 Tammuz.

To preface, I would like to share a story that I personally heard, and is now recorded on the “My Encounter” program from JEM, from Rabbi Moshe Feller, first Shliach to Minnesota:

“In 1968, I was invited to spend a week in the B’nei Brith camp in the Pocono Mountains. Every day I was there I davened with the boys and put T’fillin with them, as well as davening with the girls. One of the days that I was there was 12 Tammuz. That day I described the Mesiras Nefesh of the Frierdike Rebbe and the Geula of the Frierdike Rebbe. I also told them about our Rebbe and the special farbrengen, and of course described what a farbrengen is, which the Rebbe would be having that night in honor of 12 Tammuz.

“I then informed the children that I would be leaving that night, to return right afterwards, for the Rebbe’s farbrengen. One of the children looked at me and asked, ‘Rabbi, why don’t you farbreng with us for this special day?’

“How could I face the Rebbe knowing that I had the opportunity to inspire so many children, and I turned it down? I told this camper that I would forgo the farbrengen with the Rebbe and spend the night with them.

“That year, the day of 17 Tammuz came out on Shabbos, hence the fast was pushed off to Sunday the 18th of Tammuz, which was the last day of my week in B’nei Brith. I arrived in 770 in time to hear the Rebbe saying the Haftarah by Mincha and I planned to spend the next day, 19 Tammuz, in 770. The next morning, I received a message from the mazkirus, the Rebbe’s secretariat, that the Rebbe requested that I should have special Yechidus with him!

“I had already been in Mikva in the morning, so I just ran home, put on my Kapote, and returned to wait my turn anxiously. Suddenly, I was approached again and told that the Yechidus would be pushed off to later in the day because the Rebbe would be holding a surprise farbrengen at 1:00pm, something which never happened before! At that farbrengen, which lasted about an hour, the Rebbe said the Maamer ‘V’Hechezakta,’ later edited and printed in Seifer Maamarim Gimmel (page 221). At that occasion, the Rebbe explained the reason for the surprise farbrengen. Since it was 75 years from the Bar-Mitzva of the Frierdike Rebbe (1893-1968), and the year of the Bar-Mitzva the Rebbe Rashab celebrated and said Maamarim for 7 days until 19 Tammuz, that should be commemorated that with a farbrengen.

“After the farbrengen, I entered into Yechidus. As I entered, the Rebbe said, “Heyus to hust zich aingehalten fun tzu kumen du Yud-Beis Tammuz, hub ich far dir ge’endikt dem Maamer – Since you held yourself back from coming here in 12 Tammuz, I recited the Maamer for you.”

It is thus clear that 19 Tammuz is the real conclusion of 12 Tammuz.

In the HaYom Yom of 19 Tammuz, the Rebbe writes: “Among the practices of my revered father, the Rebbe [Rashab]: When traveling from home, he would recite the Prayer for Travelers every day after the morning prayers — albeit without mentioning G‑d’s Name or His sovereignty — though he might remain in a single place for several months.”

I once heard that there were many Chassidim who, even when on shlichus, would say T’fillas HaDerech every day that they were not by the Rebbe. This would be a reminder that they were not at their real home. On a deeper level, it reminds us that in general we are always on a journey, as taught by the famous story of the Mezritcher Maggid:

A middle-class visitor to the home of the Maggid of Mezritch once remarked on its meager and austere furniture. “Tell me,” the Maggid asked him gently, “why haven’t you got your furniture with you?”

“My furniture?!” the visitor replied in surprise. “But I’m only a wayfarer passing by!”

“So am I,” said the Maggid. “I, too, am only a wayfarer passing by….”

This is also a very important lesson for a Jew during these final moments before the Hisgalus of Moshiach: Baruch Hashem, most of our nation does not live in fear and we are not persecuted for being Jewish. We are permitted to proudly practice our Judaism. This is almost unprecedented in recent Jewish history. Baruch Hashem, we have Shuls and Yeshivos, and kosher food is available for all. Any Jew can learn as much Torah as he wants, in any language that he wants, without even leaving his home. This is regardless of his previous knowledge of Yiddishkait.

There are no limitations on our abilities to reach out and bring the knowledge of Hashem to the entire world. This includes the non-Jews. While in the previous generations, the Jews would not even dare think of bringing the light of Hashem through the 7 Mitzvos of B’nei Noach to the nations of the world, in our generation we see how excited the world is to receive the message and inspiration.

This is all taking place because we are on the road to the Geula. The closer we get, the stronger the taste and feeling of Geula we experience. We must be very careful not to get too settled and stop the journey at such a critical point. We must make sure that we are saying our T’fillas HaDerech every day. We must continue to learn Inyanei Geula U’Moshiach, which reminds us of our true destination and helps us avoid the terrible mistake of getting comfortable in Galus.

This is especially relevant as we approach 17 Tammuz and the Three weeks. While for most people the topic of discussion and behavior is focused on the destruction of the second Beis HaMikdash, the Rebbe taught us that we must be preparing for the third Beis HaMikdash!

This should be the general perception of the Month of Tammuz. While for millennia it was a month associated with Churban, in our generation that has been transformed. With the liberation of the Frierdike Rebbe in the month of Tammuz, we now call the entire month – as it says in the Megilla “and the month that was turned over” – the Chodesh HaGeula, the Month of redemption.

As we are on the road to Geula, we must step up our efforts to build the third Beis HaMikdash. What can we do? The Rebbe teaches us that by learning about the Beis HaMikdash (Hilchos Beis HaBechira in Rambam and Yechezkel) we are building the Beis HaMikdash! The following are the words of the Midrash (Tanchuma, Tzav), which records the response of Yechezkel when told about the measurements of the Beis HaMikdash:

“Yechezkel replied to Him: ‘Master of the Earth, why are You telling me to go and tell Israel the form of the House… They are now in exile in the land of our ene­mies. Is there anything they can do [about it]? Let them be until they return from the exile. Then, I will go and inform them.’

“G‑d answered: ‘Should the construction of My House be ignored because My children are in exile?’ G‑d declared: ‘The study of the Torah’s [design of the Beis HaMikdash] can be equated to its [actual] construc­tion. Go; tell them to study the form of the Beis HaMik­dash. As a reward for their study and their occupation with it, I will consider it as if they actually built the Beis HaMikdash.’”

As we are standing at the end of the journey towards the Geula, the learning needs to be intensified. We must study these laws in earnest, knowing that at any moment it will be practical.

In the words of the Rebbe (Balak 5751): “Since we are standing on the threshold of Redemption which will arrive imminently, it follows that the study of the Laws of building the Temple this year must be of an entirely different order. First and foremost, this study must be permeated with the certain awareness and full recognition that this study is not merely an academic exercise, but it is relevant for practical use for the very next moment. For indeed, the ‘future Sanctuary that we are anticipating has already been built and is fully developed [above and will thus imminently] be revealed and arrive from Heaven’ instantaneously!

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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