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Wednesday
May302018

WHY ARE WE NOT GOING ALL OUT?

How did the Rebbe respond when he heard the young son of RLevkivker say the blessing for Sfiras HaOmer? * Why did the woman think that the local shluchim werestrange birds,” and what connection was there with a lack of excitement about Moshiach? * Why did the fellow refuse to accept the jelly doughnut? * A rousing speech by RBoruch Chaim Levkivker, shliach of the Rebbe and director of the Chabad House in Ramat Menachem Begin in Tzfas, at the large national gathering in honor of Yud Aleph Nissan.

Photos: Yossi Ben Shoshan

THE REBBE GIVES US LIFE

We are currently in the year of “Chaim” (68) of the Rebbe’s nesius, and we all believe that we have a Rebbe who gives life to each one of us. We sense each and every day, in every issue and in every detail, the life of the Rebbe, and how the Rebbe gives life to each of us.

Thirty years ago, I merited to be by the Rebbe with my entire family, in the Hakhel year of Tismach (5748). The Rebbe was then davening in his house, and after Pesach, I was at Maariv with the Rebbe with my young son, who was three years old. We stood quite close to the Rebbe, and I counted S’firas HaOmer with my son quietly. After the boy finished the blessing, I noticed that the Rebbe answered “amen” to the child’s blessing! The next day, the Rebbe said a sicha during a “yechidus klalis,” and the Rebbe said, “When a small child counts S’firas HaOmer and you hear him, you have to answer Amen.”

When a small child says S’firas HaOmer, the Rebbe “connects” to him, the Rebbe sees him, the Rebbe mentions it, and the Rebbe raises him up! The same applies to each one of us, the Rebbe sees us, gives us life, and lifts us up.

WHOEVER IS ALIVE IS NOT WEIRD

Chaim/life is not something that is seen by way of hanging a sign, “I am alive.” When a person is alive, you can readily see that he is alive. He does not have to tell people that he is alive, he does not have to talk about it; others simply see that he is alive. The Rebbe gives us life and he gives us the power to live. In this era in particular, the Rebbe gives us the power to live with matters of Geula, to live “Rebbe,” to live “Moshiach.”

A woman who was a member of our Chabad House, a lawyer by profession, moved from Tzfas to the center of the country. When she moved there, we connected her with the local shluchim, and boruch Hashem, she maintains a connection with them, as well as keeping in regular touch with us by telephone.

One day, she told us, “The shluchim there are a bit weird.” I could not fathom what might have sparked that comment. I asked, “In what way are they weird?” She explained, “You don’t see on them that they are alive; they don’t talk about Moshiach!”

When you “live” Moshiach, people can see that you are alive. And when you don’t talk about Moshiach, you are not alive. That is “weird,” because when you look at a Chassid of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach, you can readily see that he is alive!

AND THEY LISTENED TO MOSHE

We heard the sicha of the Rebbe that “it is necessary to publicize to all the people of the generation” that there is a prophet and a judge, and his prophecy is that “behold Moshiach comes.” After that, the Rebbe told us that “the avoda of birurim has ended,” and the only avoda that remains is to greet Moshiach, and this is the job of shlichus. We should have gone all out!

When the Rebbe tells us, “Chassidim, onward, we are going out of exile!” it is not possible for each person to remain busy with his own stuff, and his personal eidelkait. The most normal response when we hear such words is we should be “turning over the world!”

Why does the Rebbe instruct us to do the work “with lights of Tohu, but with vessels of Tikkun”? Why does the Rebbe have to say that? Because the Rebbe is expecting us to “go out of the vessels!”

How is it possible for us to be calm and not be “going out of our vessels”?

The Rebbe answers this question in a sicha. This is not a sicha from the last years; it was already said in 5717/1957! The Rebbe describes how Moshe Rabbeinu comes to the Jewish people and tells the Jewish people “pakod pokadeti” (I have remembered you), and the people believe him. But then, when Moshe Rabbeinu comes and says, “Jews, we are going to leave,” the verse tells us, “And they did not listen to Moshe.” How could this be? The Jewish people have been waiting for Moshe for so many years.

The Rebbe Rayatz says that from the time Moshe was born, the Jewish people already knew that the Redeemer of Yisroel was born, and they eagerly anticipated his growing up and redeeming them. So how is it possible that when Moshe Rabbeinu comes to redeem them, suddenly “They did not listen to Moshe”? The Rebbe explains: They heard just fine, but it did not enter their hearts. It was not absorbed.

Why did this happen to them? Why did they not succeed in internalizing that they are about to go out of Egypt? The Rebbe continues to explain: Hashem is actually offering a defense for the Jewish people. That they did not listen to Moshe, it is “from shortness of spirit and hard labor,” and this in turn caused “and they embittered their lives.” Their lives were bitter, so it felt like no life at all, and when life is bitter, it is hard to accept the prophecy of redemption from Moshe Rabbeinu.

How do you make it that life should not be bitter, but should be a sweet life? When you listen to Moshe! When you listen to Moshe, life is no longer bitter, but sweet and luminous!

So how does one succeed in internalizing what Moshe Rabbeinu tells us and to really live with it? The Rebbe says emphatically: It is possible! The proof is, that in the end the Jewish people did leave Egypt. Therefore, concludes the Rebbe, “He has to at least begin saying it with his mouth, ‘I believe,’ until eventually it will have an effect on his heart, such that the belief in the coming of Moshiach vet zich upleigen (will be internally settled) by him for real.”

When we say “Yechi” every day, then despite the fact that there are moments of “they did not listen to Moshe,” when we do not properly absorb and internalize the prophecy that the Rebbe is telling us, still, when you say it with your mouth it penetrates to the heart and begins to infuse us with life. And when we are alive, we will be able to cause others to be alive.

THE REBBE’S WORDS GIVE LIFE

There is a Jew who made aliya a number of years ago from the United States. He came from a Young Israel community and moved to one of the towns nears Tzfas, yishuv “Bar Yochai.” When he came, the Jewish Agency set him up with a good job, a nice salary and a company car. Concurrently, he began to build a house, and everything was going just fine.

At some point, the company that he worked for experienced a downturn, and one bright day he was let go. He sat in his house crushed and depressed, and the whole home entered into an atmosphere of depression. During that time, he also discovered a health problem, and obviously, the house was still under construction with no means to finish the job. The only option they had was to return to the United States.

Suddenly, their young daughter turned to them and said, “Our teacher told us that whenever there is a problem, you write to the Rebbe and everything works out!” The girl was a student in “Ohr Menachem Chabad” in Tzfas, and that is what she was taught. She added her own comments and said to them, “What are you worried about? Write to the Rebbe and everything will be fine!”

The parents listened and decided to do just that. They called our house, the house of the girl’s teacher, and they agreed to come and write to the Rebbe. We sat with them for hours, and we explained to them what it means to write to the Rebbe and what it means to connect to the Rebbe. After that, they wrote to the Rebbe. The Rebbe’s answer to them was to remain in Eretz Yisroel, to give tz’daka to Tomchei T’mimim, and to have classes in the study of Chassidus.

Something amazing took place in those moments. The moment that they got the answer from the Rebbe, it was possible to see in their eyes that they got a new infusion of life; they simply received joy, strength, energy! Despite the fact that at that point nothing had happened yet, as it were, but the answer of the Rebbe simply lifted them up. You could see on them that “they did listen to Moshe!”

Immediately, on that very night, he sat down to write a nice check for the yeshiva, from money that he didn’t have. In the following days they began to arrange classes in Chassidus in their area. In simple terms, they became shluchim!

Within a week, he received a job offer, and not long after, the health problem resolved itself. Concurrently, a friend of the family suddenly decided to give them a large loan, for an indefinite period of time, in order for them to finish construction on the house.

However, the main part of their story is the charge of life that they got when they saw the answer of the Rebbe! This showed clearly that when a Chassid is alive, he enlivens those around him. And this is the great privilege that we were granted, to live and to give life to those around us.

I will conclude with a brief story, but with a powerful message. Many years ago, I went for an “Evening with Chabad” on Chanuka, at Kibbutz Elifaz in the Arava region. After the lighting of the candles, we went to distribute jelly doughnuts to those who gathered. When I offered a doughnut to one of the attendees, he refused to take it. When I offered again, he said, “You think that I don’t know what you want to do to me? You want to connect me to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, with this doughnut. I know very well what you want from me.” That Jew understood that when a Chassid gives something to a Jew, it is for the purpose of connecting him to the Rebbe.

We have to live with the Rebbe in each and every detail, and we need to connect every single Jew to the Rebbe. When we live with “Yechi,” we will merit also the letter mem associated with Geula, which together spells the word “Chaim.” From here we should all go out together and greet the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach, immediately now.

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