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Tuesday
Apr172018

The Ultimate Combat Training Guide

Dear reader sh’yichyeh,

We are now in the weeks between Yetzias Mitzrayim and Mattan Torah. We are counting s’fira, counting down to accept the Torah anew from Hashem. When the B’nei Yisroel left Mitzrayim, the Torah tells us (Shmos 12:41): “It came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, and it came to pass in that very day, that all the Tzivos Hashem, legions of the L-rd, went out of the land of Egypt.” We see in this verse that the Jewish people received a new and unique name: “Tzivos Hashem – the army of Hashem.”

Regarding this unique name, Tzivos Hashem, the Rebbe writes (HaYom Yom 12 Nissan): “Ever since the time of the Exodus from Egypt, the Jewish people have been called Tzivos Hashem, G‑d’s army. The Jewish people are [also] called servants. The difference between servants and an army [can be explained as follows]: A servant performs work for his master on various levels — one pierces pearls, one works in other crafts, another carries out unskilled tasks. These involve considerable labor and effort, but no element of self-sacrifice.

 

“An army, by contrast, is comprised of subjects who expend toil and exertion and self-sacrifice, whether in a defensive war or an offensive one. [Soldiers] discharge their duties with utter resoluteness, unperturbed by their opponents and enemies. Their service does not depend on [their] understanding, for they follow the orders of their commanders.

“In Egypt, the souls of the Jewish people were on the lowest of levels, [due to] the harsh and bitter afflictions. Nevertheless, they did not change their names, language, or dress. On the contrary, they held their ground with the utmost tenacity, for they knew that G‑d had promised to redeem them. A person who conducts himself thus in a similar situation is a member of G‑d’s army. G‑d helps him in a way that transcends nature, but [that is vested] within nature.”

When one reads quickly through this HaYom Yom, as it is quite lengthy and is on date close to Erev Pesach, a vital point can be overlooked. While one will easily pick up the basic difference between a servant and a soldier, that one has self-sacrifice and the other does not, they may miss out the most important point: What is the source of the strength and self-sacrifice of the soldier? “They held their ground with the utmost tenacity, for they knew that G‑d had promised to redeem them.” It is this knowledge, that Hashem had promised to redeem B’nei Yisroel, and their Emuna in that promise, that enabled them and gave them the strength to stand up to the lifestyle and temptations of Mitzrayim.

This will also explain another fascinating thing connected to Tzivos Hashem that can be found in the HaYom Yom. We all know that in 5741 the Rebbe started the largest army in the world called Tzivos Hashem. It is an army of all Jewish boys and girls who are united in the mission of carrying out the orders of the Commander In Chief, Hashem, and fighting the enemy, i.e., the Yetzer Hara.

When the Rebbe founded this new army on Sukkos 5741, the Rebbe made it very clear that each child who enlists should be made aware of a few things: 1) An army is a serious matter; 2) The foremost job of a soldier is to fulfill any order that is received from the commander; 3) A soldier is not independent. He knows that if he decides not to listen to orders, even with the understanding that he will be punished, he is not just hurting himself, but he could endanger the entire unit and mission of the army; and 4) A soldier must realize that he doesn’t know the whole picture; only the commander in chief does. If a soldier decides on his own to improve the army, he might be ruining the entire objective.

In the introduction to the HaYom Yom, there is a brief biography of all the Rebbeim, including our Rebbe. It goes through the activities of the Rebbe in a year-by-year format. The entry for 5741 says that the Rebbe founded Tzivos Hashem, but there is an additional note (all reviewed and edited by the Rebbe): The Rebbe founded Tzivos Hashem “with the slogan of ‘We Want Moshiach now!`” This is also evident in the official logo of Tzivos Hashem, where those words “We want Moshiach now” are part of the logo!

Seemingly, why is it so important that this army of children is founded with the logo of “We want Moshiach now?” Based on the previously mentioned HaYom Yom it is quite clear and obvious. The whole success of the army, and the source of the strength of the soldiers, comes from “for they knew that G‑d had promised to redeem them.” When a child knows that he is fighting the war with the Yetzer Hara and he is bringing Moshiach now, as Hashem promised Moshiach will come, this will inspire and strengthen the child in his mission. One cannot expect a soldier to sacrifice if the soldier does not believe in the mission and cause that he is fighting. Bringing Moshiach is the goal and purpose of the war, and when instilled with this Emuna and Bitachon in the Geula, the soldier will stand strong against any obstacles and distractions from the mission.

I would like to add a final thought: There are often discussions among Chassidim as to why the Rebbe founded Tzivos Hashem in that year and not earlier or later. We don’t know the calculations of our Rebbe, yet there is something that gives me much chizuk, as I was born in 5741, that I would like to share: If you make the calculation, you will see that the boys born in 5741 became bar mitzva in 5754. The Rebbe knew that this new generation of Bachurim would be faced with a Nisayon, a test, that of Gimmel Tammuz etc., a test that no other generation of Bachurim ever faced. These Bachurim and girls, and those coming after, needed to be raised differently from birth. The Rebbe started Tzivos Hashem for them, thus instilling in them special kochos to have the strength and fortitude to be able to stand up and overcome this unique challenge and test.

The bottom-line message is clear: If we want ourselves, our children and our communities to stand up to this test of Galus, they need to know “that G‑d had promised to redeem them.” We need to live with and share with others the special N`vua-prophecy of the Rebbe: “Not just as a Sage and Judge, but as a Prophet, for this is certain that ‘immediate Redemption’ and instantly ‘Behold he (Moshiach) comes.’” This is the source of our strength and the most energizing factor in our final battle with the Yetzer Hara.

As the Rebbe spoke Shabbos Shmos 5751 (Besuras HaGeula Chapter 12) : “The Jewish people should therefore be encouraged and their spirits uplifted by declaring that G-d says daily, and literally, anew, that, ‘I have indeed remembered you, ‘ and that your righteous Moshiach ‘stands behind the wall’ and that ‘this one is coming. ‘ Accordingly, we should prepare ourselves to greet him by increasing our observance of Torah and Mitzvos, in consonance with the ruling of the Rambam …that through ‘one Mitzvah, one can favorably alter the balance for oneself and for the entire world, causing oneself and them salvation and deliverance. ‘”

Let us finish with the words of the Rebbe, Simchas Torah 5752, regarding the army of Tzivos Hashem (Besuras HaGeula chapter 42): According to our sages, the verse, ‘Do not touch My anointed ones (Meshichoi)’ refers to the children who study Torah.

One of the explanations of this statement (in addition to those provided by the commentators) is that the education of schoolchildren has to be in a manner that the children are completely permeated and absorbed with the ideal of Moshiach. Just by looking at a Jewish child, what should one see? - Moshiach! His entire being is “Moshiach,” i.e., the realization of “You have been shown… there is none beside Him.”

The idea is even more pronounced with respect to the school children of our generation who are called (and endorsed by Jewish leaders as) ‘Tzivos Hashem-the Army of G-d:’ The name Tzivos Hashem signifies that the children are totally devoted and subordinated to G-d, as (and even more than) the devotion of adult “soldiers” to their “general.” It follows that Jewish children of our generation, boys and girls, possess in an even more revealed measure the status of Meshichoi, i.e., G-d’s own anointed ones. This provides for the preparation and introduction that leads to the impending revelation of the general Moshiach of all Jews, with the true and complete Redemption.

And “As in the days that you left Egypt I shall you wonders:” all the ‘Tzivos Hashem departed from the Land of Egypt,’ so too the Tzivos Hashem of our generation will depart from the present exile to the true and complete Redemption.”

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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