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Wednesday
Jul222015

TRUE AHAVAS YISROEL

Dear Reader sh’yichyeh,

In the Sicha of Matos-Massei 5751, the Rebbe makes the fol­lowing statement about Ahavas Yisroel:

The connection between Ahavas Yisroel and the future Re­demption can be emphasized yet again, not only because the negation of exile comes through the negation of the cause of exile (which comes through the op­posite of Ahavas Yisroel)… The emphasis on Ahavas Yisroel an­ticipates the beginning of the true and complete Redemption, which is connected with the point of uni­ty above any division.

In other words, there are two reasons for having Ahavas Yisroel: Firstly, to rectify the problem that caused the exile, and second, to begin adjusting to the life of the future - the life of Moshiach - where there will be no war, jealou­sy and hatred. The Rebbe wants us to have Ahavas Yisroel primar­ily for the second reason.

What is the practical differ­ence between the two motives to have Ahavas Yisroel?

If the impetus to have ahavas Yisroel is fixing the reason for Galus, then in reality it is not true Ahavas Yisroel. You have a prob­lem (galus) and the panacea to your problem is Ahavas Yisroel, so in essence it is all about you. That kind of Ahavas Yisroel is selfish;

it’s not really because you love the other. The second way of Ahavas Yisroel however - when one is liv­ing Geula and sees the Yechida in every Yid - the love is uncondi­tional; it is all about the fact that the other person has a Neshama.

The difference is also felt by the other person. There is a fa­mous story about a bachur who went on Mivtzaim and asked someone to put on T’fillin and the person refused. R’ Mendel Futer- fas then asked the same person to put on T’fillin and the person agreed. The first bachur asked the person why he agreed to put on T’fillin with R’ Mendel but not with him.

The man replied, “When you asked me, I didn’t feel that you really cared if I put on T’fillin, rather I felt that you were try­ing to get the biggest number of people to put on T’fillin. When R’ Mendel asked me to put on T’fillin, I felt that he really cared that I should put in T’fillin, so I agreed.”

This echoes a very similar statement that the Rebbe made a few weeks earlier (Balak 5751 in middle of ois 9) in regard to learn­ing about the Beis HaMikdash in the three weeks: “The learning should not just be because you feel the feelings of mourning of the destruction, and therefore the need to fix the void of, the second Beis HaMikdash. Rather - (even if the Beis HaMikdash was never destroyed) because you are antici­pating the greatness of the third Beis HaMikdash!”

This is a very important theme and message about the whole concept of Geula: Geula is not a “problem solver!” The reason we should want Moshiach is not be­cause we have problems. Even when we have all that we need, we know that this is not the optimal life, as “Sh’chinta B’galusa,” we are away from our natural home of Yerushalayim, and when Moshiach comes the truth of creation and the creator will be revealed!

We need to be forward thinking and that comes through living with the future in our actions. In the words of the Rebbe: “We should ‘live with the time’ of the Messianic Era. This can be attained when one’s intellect is filled with the comprehension of the Torah concepts of Moshiach and Redemption. This intellectual awareness then extends to and permeates one’s emotions, and then translates into thought, speech and action consistent with this very auspicious period of time when we stand on the threshold of Redemption and we are able to point with our finger ‘Behold he (he King Moshiach) has come.’”

This theme is also expressed in the special Chabad custom during the nine days (and in 5751, the Rebbe encouraged it to continue till 15 Av!) to make a daily Siyum. While many communities hear Siyumim in the nine days, they do it to enable them to eat meat. The Chabad custom is to hear Siyumim and refrain from eating meat at the same time.

The Rebbe does not want Torah (siyumim) to be a “problem solver” for our physical desires of eating meat in the summer, but rather, because we want to connect and rejoice with Hashem through his Torah. Being that we want to make a “siyum” end  of Galus, and we want to show Hashem that we are anticipating the “Torah Chadasha” of Moshiach, we continue the Siyumim through 15 Av!

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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