4 D’var Malchus
25 Moshiach & Geula
28 Parsha Thought
46 Crossroads
49 Tzivos Hashem

Yisroel Lapidot

Menachem Mendel Arad



Shneor Chaviv


R’ Nadav Cohen

Rocheli Dickstein

Nosson Avraham

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Rabbi S.Y. Chazan

Boruch Merkur


The advantage of the feminine aspect is
underscored by the order of the four Imahos of
the Shvatim, spelling out the acronym “barzel.”
* All together we go to our Holy Land, “a land
of wheat, barley, grape, and fig, pomegranate, a
land of olive oil and date honey,” “a land whose
stones are barzel, iron.” From Chapter Six of
Rabbi Shloma Majeski’s Likkutei Mekoros (Underlined text is the compiler’s
Translated by Boruch Merkur

10. There is a notable
advantage to our generation, an
advantage which is even more
prominent this year:
This generation is the final
generation of exile, which
itself is the first generation of
redemption, as announced and
proclaimed by my revered father
in-law, the Rebbe, leader of the
generation, the Yosef of our
generation (Yosef, of course,
being the name of the first Yosef,
who proclaimed and announced
that “The Alm-ghty shall surely
visit you and take you up from
this land to the land which He
swore to Avrohom, Yitzchok,
and Yaakov”) – that we have
completed all our deeds and
service, and all predicted dates
for the redemption have already
passed. Indeed, we have already
done t’shuva; we have completed
all the preparations, and in a
grand fashion – a “hachana
rabbasi.” Everything is ready for
the banquet of the Future Era –

4 � • 29 Sivan 5774

the Leviasan, the Shor HaBar,
and the Yayin HaMeshumar.*
The readiness for geula
is strongly apparent this year
This year is especially
connected with the end of
exile and [the advent of] the
redemption (for all the predicted
dates for the redemption have
already passed) – “Haya T’hei
Shnas Niflaos Ba – it shall be a
year with miracles in it,” “ba’kol,
mi’kol, kol.” “Miracles” here
refers to the true and complete
redemption through Moshiach
Tzidkeinu (“as in the days of
your exodus from Egypt I shall
show you wonders”). For then,
everything (“ba’kol, mi’kol,
kol”) will be in a manner of
This, however, is the main
thing: “Ba’kol, mi’kol, kol”
refers to the spiritual level of the
Avos, the Patriarchs, to whom
G-d Alm-ghty gave a “preview”
of the World to Come. The
ultimate expression of this level

of G-dliness (with regard to the
Avos of all the Jewish people,
and by extension, each and every
Jew) will be in the Future Era,
when the three Avos rise up,
together with the four Imahos,
Matriarchs (the four Imahos –
Sara, Rivka, Rochel, and Leah –
as well as the four Imahos of the
twelve Shvatim – Bilha, Rochel,
Zilpa, and Leah). In fact, [there
is a preeminence to the Imahos,
in the sense that] “Female shall
encircle male”; “the woman
of valor is the crown of her
husband.” The advantage of the
feminine aspect is underscored
by the order of the four Imahos
of the Shvatim, spelling out the
acronym “barzel.” And together
with them, all the Jewish people
throughout all the generations
– “those who dwell in the dust,
shall arise and sing.” How much
more does this apply to all the
Jewish people of our generation
(living souls in living bodies,
with no interruption at all to
life, G-d forbid), and the leader

of the generation at our head.
All together we go to our Holy
Land, “a land of wheat, barley,
grape, and fig, pomegranate, a
land of olive oil and date honey,”
“a land whose stones are barzel,
iron.” And within the Holy
Land itself, to Yerushalayim the
Holy City, and to the Third Beis
HaMikdash, where there shall be
the ultimate manifestation of the
positive aspect of “barzel.”
Therefore, the focus of this
generation, and particularly
during this year, must be on
the purpose and intent of the
redemption from the time the
exile had begun. How much
more is this the case after the
completion of our deeds and
our service throughout the
entire duration of the exile. In
fact, immediately, in the literal
sense, the true and complete
redemption shall unfold with
the eternal Beis HaMikdash in
a real and tangible way. Then

we shall see that in place of the
siege of Yerushalayim: 1) There
will be the ultimate expansion of
Yerushalayim – “Yerushalayim
shall be lifted up and inhabited in
its place” – “for it shall expand
and broaden,” even reaching
“they shall dwell in Yerushalayim
without walls,” transcended the
limit and boundary established
by a wall. That is, in the future,
Yerushalayim will extend
throughout Eretz Yisroel
(and Eretz Yisroel will extend
throughout the world). Also, 2)
the evil manifestation of “barzel
– iron,” which is connected
with the destruction of the Beis
HaMikdash, will be replaced
by the ultimate expression of
“barzel,” in the holy sense, with
the construction of the Third
Beis HaMikdash.
(From the address of Asara
B’Teives and Shabbos Parshas
VaYechi, 10 Shvat 5752; Seifer
HaSichos 5752, pg. 240-241)

*Brachos 34b, where it is discussed.
To note that the meaning of “(Yayin
Ha)Meshumar” also includes shmira
(protection) from undesirable things,
which are brought on more from
wine than from meat. Although
meat that has been concealed from
one’s oversight is forbidden, the
prohibition of this unsupervised
meat (out of the concern whether
ravens, vermin, or beasts took it and
replaced it with nonkosher meat) is
merely a chumra (a stringency taken
on as an extra precaution) (Chullin
95a, and Tosafos under the heading,
“amar,” among others sources).
However, with signs and visual
recognition it is permissible (ibid
95b; see the entry in Encyclopedia
Talmudis, where it is discussed).
Whereas the supervision of wine is
required out of the concern of yayin
nesech, caused by touch, etc.

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sources about Moshiach & redemption" • �  

Radio Moshiach & Redemption





n numerous places in his
letters and sichos, the Rebbe
Rayatz extols the importance
and special privilege of
basking in the presence of elder
Chassidim whose job it is to bestow
upon the bachurim and young men
what they received from the elders
of their generation.
For Gimmel Tammuz, the
twentieth since 5754, we looked
to see what was the approach of
the ziknei ha’chassidim right after

6 � • 29 Sivan 5774

Gimmel Tammuz. We will follow
those Chassidim and mashpiim
who raised a generation of
Chassidim. This is how we will
know how to conduct ourselves
in the final moments of galus.
“Men of truth,” “the lions of
the group,” some of whom we
knew personally and some of
whom we knew from farbrengens:
R’ Mendel, R’ Michoel, R’
Mottel, R’ Itzke, R’ Reuven, and

R’ Heishke. Chassidim who, from
the position of their advanced
years demonstrated utter bittul
and hiskashrus to the Rebbe.
They were baalei tzura (men
of form) surviving remnants
of a generation of giants who
offered up their bodies on the
altar of total self-sacrifice as
they withstood the terrible
decrees with mesirus nefesh
in order to spread Judaism in
communist Russia. These senior
Chassidim demonstrated loyalty

As Gimmel Tammuz approaches, twenty years in which we haven’t seen the Rebbe,
we wanted to know how the “lions of the group” reacted after Gimmel Tammuz 5754,
those senior Chassidim who raised a generation of thousands who were influenced
by their behavior, teachings, and guidance. * The reaction of R’ Mendel to the idea
of changing the proclamation of Yechi, the request of R’ Michoel before reciting
the bedtime Shma, the interview with R’ Itzke by Beis Moshiach in Tishrei 5755, the
p’nimius’dike cry of R’ Reuven, R’ Heishke’s farbrengens, and the response of R’ Mottel
to those who asked him, after Gimmel Tammuz, what do we do now? * Beis Moshiach
follows in the footsteps of six of the ziknei ha’chassidim of the seventh generation.
By Yisroel Lapidot

to all the Rebbe’s instructions
and mivtzaim with the same
enthusiasm as the most youthful
The Rebbe Rayatz, in the 12
Tammuz farbrengen of 5708
said that the ziknei ha’chassidim
their students and the young
Chassidim in general, and
according to the circumstances of

the times they remind them how
Chassidim act in those situations.
When we heard the news
Gimmel Tammuz twenty years
ago, nobody was ready for it. The
confused feelings and reactions
welled up spontaneously; the
emuna, bitachon, the shock, the
pain, the hope, the anticipation,
the longing, the cheshbon
ha’nefesh … and those who
were plagued with despair and

Since then, each one in his
way tries to give expression to the
Chassidishe hergesh that burns
within and to fulfill the Rebbe’s
wishes. Some study the D’var
Malchus, some find consolation
in a shiur Chassidus, some
raise the torch of the Besuras
Ha’Geula and the Goel; others
work on the ten mivtzaim, some
put a Moshiach sign in their
window or over their door.

Issue 931 • �  



Gimmel Tammuz unites every
last Chassid around the fierce
desire and cry: We want to see
our king!
Going back to 5754, 5755,
5756 … many Chassidim
sought the wisdom of the ziknei
ha’chassidim, wanting to hear
from them how to respond. Their
mushpaim yearned for guidance
about how to relate to the new
With Chassidic strength, each
of them in his way inspired his
mushpaim and Anash to continue
with the holy proclamation of
Yechi and that we have a Rebbe
and his life is eternal, and we
need to strengthen ourselves with
devotion to the Nasi Ha’dor.

Since the start of Mivtza
Moshiach, it was the famous
mashpia, R’ Mendel Futerfas,
who led the way in publicizing the
Besuras Ha’Geula and the Goel.
R’ Mendel, who was a model of
a Chassid and loyal soldier who
carried out every order he was
given, would repeatedly convey,
in his farbrengens and talks

8 � • 29 Sivan 5774

no, absolutely not! Don’t add a
word, don’t delete a word, don’t
change a word!
R’ Mendel said: Those who do
not feel and do not want to cry
out, there is no point in forcing
them; let them be. As for me, it
is clear: Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu
V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach
’olam Va’ed.
His talmid, R’ Chaim Levi
Yitzchok Ginsberg relates: When
I asked him whether it could
be publicized in his name that
people should go to the Rebbe
for Tishrei 5755, he exclaimed:
M’darf foren? M’muz foren!
(Do we need to go? We must
go!). When discussion about
the K’vutza came up and some
suggested that the length of
time be shortened, R’ Mendel
exclaimed: An entire year! Not
one minute less!


with his mushpaim, the need to
deepen one’s hiskashrus to the
Rebbe, emphasizing the necessity
of saying Yechi specifically at this
Right after Gimmel Tammuz
5754, despite his physical
infirmity, he was one of those
who loudly proclaimed Yechi.
He also continued to encourage
traveling and hiskashrus to the
When someone tried to
say that perhaps after Gimmel
Tammuz it would be fitting to
add a few words to the Yechi sign,
such as “may we immediately
merit Yechi Adoneinu,” in order
not to anger so-and-so, R’
Mendel nearly screamed: No,

We saw that same devotion
to the Rebbe by the Chassid, R’
Michoel Teitelbaum, a model
of mesirus nefesh. He was the
“Nachshon” who jumped to
carry out the Rebbe’s wishes
and founded the first yeshiva
al taharas ha’kodesh, with no
secular studies.
R’ Michoel’s approach to
inyanei Moshiach and Geula,
especially after the Rebbe
ha’malchus, and for over a year
encouraged the singing of Yechi,
was to enthusiastically publicize
the Besuras Ha’Geula and
kabbalas ha’malchus. This was
despite those who had a hard
time accepting and joining the
tremendous revolution the Rebbe
R’ Michoel was firm in his

beliefs and fought to strengthen
the pure belief in the Rebbe
and his identity as Moshiach
among the 1000+ talmidim
in his yeshiva. In his guidance
to his staff he sought to instill
this within the hearts of all the
employees and talmidim. He
instructed them to increase
the inyanei Moshiach and he
himself took drastic steps against
someone who tried to fight this.
He encouraged all Moshiach
activities done in his school.
He himself farbrenged with
the talmidim now and then and
strengthened them in the belief
that what the Rebbe said is true.
He asked every bachur to devote
a moment every night, before
saying the bedtime Shma, to
thinking about what he did to
bring about the Rebbe’s hisgalus.
when certain people opined we
should take things down a notch,
R’ Michoel insisted that the
talmidim be strengthened in the
belief that the Rebbe is Moshiach
and insisted that within the
walls of the yeshiva Yechi be
proclaimed and that it appear on
materials printed by the yeshiva.

The esteemed mashpia, R’
Mottel Kozliner, who set himself
aside completely in order to
carry out the Rebbe’s mivtzaim
and wars, showed that same
determination and commitment
within the confusion created after
Gimmel Tammuz. Many of Anash
in Nachalat Har Chabad asked
him, “What now?” R’ Mottel’s
immediate response was, “What
do we do? Now we need to sit
and farbreng.” For over a year
there was a farbrengen every
night in which they spoke about

strengthening hiskashrus to the
Rebbe and how, from the Rebbe’s
perspective nothing changed and
we need to internalize that.
R’ Mottel, who as a boy
and young married man was
dozens of times for his work on
strengthening Judaism in Soviet
Russia, consistently stoked the
fire of emuna and hiskashrus
to the Rebbe in his farbrengens
and his conduct. He personally
(gatherings) that took place after
Gimmel Tammuz and even spoke
once, which was unusual for him.
At his farbrengens, he used
stories and parables, of which
he had an enormous repertoire
and wove them into thoughts he
heard from Chassidim of previous
generations. In the yeshiva in
Nachalat Har Chabad, which he
ran following a horaa he received
from the Rebbe, he consistently
instilled in his talmidim and
mushpaim the principles of
the darkei ha’chassidus as they
were from the days of the Alter
Rebbe until our generation, in his
unique and authentic manner.
During the Moshiach seudos
in later years in Kfar Chabad he
explained the saying of Chazal

that Moshiach comes to bring
the tzaddikim back in t’shuva
in a humorous vein as follows:
Why do the tzaddikim need to
be brought back in t’shuva?
Because nearly all the baalei
t’shuva proclaim and sing Yechi,
while when it comes to the
“tzaddikim,” not all of them are
on board yet. Apparently, this
is Moshiach’s job, to get the
“tzaddikim” to behave like the
baalei t’shuva and proclaim along
with them …
After he said this the crowd
got up and began enthusiastically
singing Yechi, but a few, who
didn’t like it, tried shushing them.
R’ Mottel was very bothered by
this and he stood on the steps
near the Aron Kodesh and
began shouting: It’s one thing
if you are not holding by Yechi,
let be unto you what is yours,
but how is it that you try and
prevent and disturb others who
are singing it!? If, over the four
cups that we drink at Moshiach’s
seuda, the Rebbe Rashab said,
“this is the seudas Moshiach,”
it certainly could be said about
Yechi Adoneinu that “this is
Moshiach’s seuda,” for it is what
the Moshiach’s seuda is all about!

Issue 931 • �  



farbrenging and said: It is known
how everybody used to push to
eat the kasha of Yud-Tes Kislev,
because it was known that
whoever eats the kasha of YudTes Kislev, the kasha of the Alter
Rebbe, would not die without
doing t’shuva. A person knows
himself that with his revealed
powers he can’t be certain that
he will be found worthy and so
he tries, with all his might, at
least to hold on to the klamka
(doorknob) of Chassidus – the
doorknob of the Rebbe now is
Yechi Adoneinu! We need to
hold on to it tightly and push and
do everything in our power to
grab it and cling to it.

He was born on the day the
Rebbe Rayatz was freed and
the Rebbe Rayatz said his name
should be Yitzchok. In his youth
he was educated among the great
Chassidim who often visited his
parents’ home in Moscow, which
was located near Red Square, the
communists’ stronghold. That
was R’ Itzke Gansbourg, the
Rebbe’s soldier.

10 � • 29 Sivan 5774

As someone whose every
step of his busy life in askanus
demonstrated his being a Chassid
and mekushar, he displayed a
special koch in spreading the
Besuras Ha’Geula. He also
received encouragement from
the Rebbe for this. He was
most creative and came up
with original ideas of how to
publicize the Rebbe’s prophecies
to the world while using all that
modernity has to offer, and it cost
him a fortune. For example, in his
later years, he produced a high
quality video about the Rebbe’s
message to all of humanity about
the Geula.
R’ Itzke, who was drafted to
serve on the first vaad of Tzach
in 5711, displayed the same level
of obedience in 5755 too. In an
interview he gave Beis Moshiach
in Tishrei 5755 he revealed
to what extent publicizing
Moshiach’s identity burned in his
bones. Here are some excerpts:
pharmacist who knew the Rebbe
from France, whose son went
off the derech. A few years later
the son did t’shuva and began
growing a beard. His father,
who was unaccustomed to this,
wrote to the Rebbe and asked

him to convince his son to stop
because, as he put it, “you can be
religious without a beard.” The
Rebbe responded that for every
person who chooses a certain
path, in this case, one of religious
observance, there are things
which, if they are tampered
with, can ruin everything, and in
this case, could weaken his son
So too with belief in
Moshiach. Not everybody is
so intellectual as to be able to
understand all the points for
and against, but someone who
weakens, disparages, or cools off
the proclaiming of Yechi, takes
responsibility for being Amalek
who tries to cool off all matters of
Torah and mitzvos.
In general, a widespread
claim is that “it does not sound
realistic and people are likely
to think you are crazy.” We say
ha’shoreis” every Friday night.
Does it sound normal? Who are
we welcoming? And yet, we have
never heard that anyone tried to
hide the fact that we are talking
to angels with the claim that it
doesn’t sound normal. Everyone
can understand that there are
things that are supernatural and
ultimately, Moshiach too, despite
all the investment within nature,
is still an above-nature kind of
thing, “And he shall be animated
by the fear of Hashem and he
won’t judge by what he sees …”
The Rebbe said hundreds of
times that Moshiach is about to
come. When the Rebbe tells us
things it is not just a prophecy
of what will happen in the
future; the Rebbe sees it. It is
like Reuven who lives on the top
floor who warns Shimon, his
downstairs neighbor, that water
will be entering his apartment any
minute. It’s not that Reuven is a
prophet; it’s just that he sees that

his pipe burst. The same is true
for us. The Rebbe is way higher
than us and he sees what is going
on up above and he informs us
that within a short time the Geula
will reach this world too.
Suddenly, we pick which
words of the Rebbe we want
to accept and which not.
When the Rebbe said miyad
(immediately) is an acronym for
Moshe, Yehoshua, doram (their
generation) or even the name
of the Baal Shem Tov and even
the names of the Rebbe Rashab,
the Rebbe Rayatz, that’s fine,
but when there’s the addition of
“Menachem shmo,” that already
is not rational and we can’t
publicize it? That is an example
of being selective when it comes
to the Rebbe’s teachings and

R’ Reuven Dunin was a
mashpia of a different sort.
Something unique. He first
became acquainted with the
world of Chabad when he
showed up at the zal of Tomchei
T’mimim in Lud in khaki shorts.
He got a taste of Chassidus and
went to the Rebbe and became
utterly mekushar to him. The
Rebbe reciprocated his great love
and had a special relationship
with him that few Chassidim had.
In his work of being mekarev
people in Eretz Yisroel, he
attracted hundreds and even
thousands and started a new
generation of Lubavitchers and
sabras, to whom emuna in the
Rebbe was completely “normal.”
R’ Reuven shied away from
interpretations whose source was
in one’s own personal intellect.
That was the case when Mivtza
Moshiach began, and then with

greater vigor after the Rebbe
encouraged the singing of Yechi.
As a Chassid and mekushar
he knew this was the Rebbe’s
desire and he would publicize it
too, he spread the identity of
Moshiach when he spoke at
farbrengens and other times. He
wore a Moshiach flag on his lapel
and hat. He also carried around a
bag of these little flags and gave
them to whoever said he would
wear them.
He instilled the belief that
the Rebbe MH”M is chai
v’kayam at his farbrengens and
in conversations with hundreds
of his mushpaim. At one of his
farbrengens he expressed the
foundation of emuna that even
after the “obscuring” nothing has
changed. He did so in his unique
“We simply must, please
excuse me, start learning Tanya.
I hope I am mistaken but
sometimes I get the impression
that people are embarrassed to
sit with a Tanya, especially a little
one, and the first pages … When
this foundation is faulty, all kinds
of problems crop up: He says
that ‘after Gimmel Tammuz’ it

doesn’t sit well with him. Help
me understand what happened
to you? What ‘sat well’ with you
before Gimmel Tammuz? And
what ‘happened’ after Gimmel
Tammuz? Explain it in simple
terms: what happened to you that
you suddenly can’t say? What’s
all the stammering about?
“What can I say …
Sometimes, when I hear the way
they proclaim Yechi, rachmana
litzlan, you could think you were
in some lair or underground
cellar in Russia … They have
to clear their throats before …
And this can happen even in the
Rebbe’s ‘four cubits’ (770). If it’s
Yechi Adoneinu, then it’s Yechi

R’ Heishke Dubrawski did not
farbreng much with his mouth
but his written farbrengens were
famous. The Chassidic fervor
that flowed in his veins, his
fascinating memories of the lives
of Chassidim in Samarkand,
the Chassidic perspective he
portrayed, his strong hiskashrus
to the Rebbe – he bequeathed
this to thousands of people who

Issue 931 • �  


were exposed to his captivating
farbrengens that he conveyed
in his rich, colorful and lively
language, by way of his special
writing abilities.
For many years, with a
powerful and impassioned style
and with writing that exuded
great love for the Rebbe and
suffused with unique Chabad
flavor, R’ Heishke stood strong
and fought to defend the honor
of Lubavitch. Just as he couldn’t
stand the Misnagdim’s attacks
on Lubavitch, even more so,
he could not stand the internal
Lubavitch attacks on the pure
faith of Chassidim in the Rebbe
MH”M and his eternal life even
after Gimmel Tammuz.
Without any qualms and
without hesitation, with the same
inner-Chassidictruth in which he expressed
his admiration for the elder
Chassidim of the previous
generation, R’ Heishke was full
of admiration for the young
bachurim who “remembered” the
Rebbe not because they saw him
or heard him but only from what
is written and what they saw on
video. And still, they were full of
longing to hear every detail, every
movement and glance of the
“The most amazing thing,”
wrote R’ Heishke about the
generation, “is that these are
not, G-d forbid, the yearnings of
orphanhood that fill the eyes with
a glint of nostalgia. These are
longings of energized and alert
anticipation, like children who
know their father is almost there,
‘standing behind the wall.’”
In another article, exuding
love for the bachurim who come
to Beis Chayeinu despite the
“concealment” he wrote:
One day in Tishrei, and then
a second and third day, when I

12 � • 29 Sivan 5774

walked into the big zal of 770, I
blurted out unthinkingly, “Dear
father, what is going on here!” I
had never seen anything like it,
even though, over the years, I had
become used to this “Mikdash
me’at” being filled with surprises
and innovations of all sorts.
We older Jews had to remain
standing in the doorway. All the
benches and places to sit in the
beis midrash, which contain
thousands of people, were taken
over by the bachurim with refined
faces, full of chein, who came
from all over the world! Over
1000 talmidim “took over” the
“Beis Rabbeinu in Bavel” and the
sound of Torah was thunderous!
Why do they leave their
yeshivos and their warm homes
and come to 770 for Tishrei?
From where do these b’nei Torah
take the money for the many
travel expenses? From where do
they get the strength, as soon as
they arrive, after nights without
sleep from traveling, to sit with
such vitality and give themselves
over to a complicated Tosafos or
a deep topic in Chassidus – from
where? Questions …
However, when you get to
know these guests it all becomes
clear and is in line with an even
bigger chiddush:
traveling to Beis Chayeinu
for months. I’m talking about
the best of the talmidim from
the Chabad yeshivos in Eretz
Yisroel and elsewhere. For
the material expenses and the
spiritual acquisitions of the trip,
they prepared for a long time in
learning hours upon hours after
night seder, learning pages of
Gemara, Mishnayos, maamarei
Chassidus; many of these young
talmidim earned monetary prizes
for this, which they hoarded (not
to buy a computer or the like) so
they would have the wherewithal

to pay for a ticket to America!
And who knows? I heard
that their spiritual preparations
in learning and Chassidishe
davening full of heartfelt chayus
and neshama, were even more
than their efforts in acquiring the
material means. But once again
the same story: even those who
saw it with their own eyes did not
make a big deal about it.
I think that more than
their yiras Shamayim, their
diligence, what ought to arouse
our wonder is that burning
sincerity, the pure faith which
is seen in every glance of theirs,
and that feeling of certainty that
they have, 770 is still full of light
and warmth; in this place “where
Torah is made great,” the learning
and davening look altogether
different; in this “Mikdash me’at”
of Beis Rabbeinu in Bavel, the
“western light” did not, G-d
forbid, go out and from it so
many other candles, souls, are lit.
They are not involved in
philosophizing or in asking
questions. They don’t even
wallow in nostalgia about the
“good old days.” But the shining
light in their eyes testifies, like
a thousand witnesses, that they
are encountering, sensing and
delighting in the main thing, the
reason that brought them here
after such lengthy preparations.
The Rebbe, Nasi Doreinu,
Melech HaMoshiach looked at
all Jews and at every Jew, with
a special fatherly-Rebbe look;
but for the yeshiva bachurim (as
well as the girls in his schools)
he had a completely different
look, a kind of warm gaze that
transcends words. So too, by
these talmidim and talmidos
you can discern a different way
of looking at the Rebbe, one
that is filled with longing and

Kupas Rabbeinu

ubhcr ,pue
jhanv lkn r"unst e"f ,uthab ,j,

(718) 467-2500


P. O . B . 2 8 8 , B r o o k l y n , N e w Yo r k 11 2 2 5


(718) 756-3337

Sivan 28 - Gimmel Tammuz Magbis
B.H. Sivan 15, 577• •

To all Anash, Men and Women, G-d bless you.
We are soon approaching the very auspicious day, Gimmel Tammuz. This day comes in close
proximity with Sivan 28, the auspicious day that the Rebbe MH"M and the Rebbetzin arrived in the
United States.
Obviously, these are very opportune days, when one should again evaluate his or her
"Hiskashrus" (connection) with the Rebbe, and more important, to utilize these special days to
'strengthen' the Hiskashrus to the Rebbe.

"KUPAS RABBEINU," was established with the full consent and blessing
of the Rebbe, with its purpose and goal to make every effort that all of the
Rebbe`s activities, institutions etc. continue unchanged. By supporting
Kupas Rabbeinu, one is actually participating in many of the Rebbe's activities, and thus strengthening their Hiskashrus to the Rebbe.
With this in mind, we therefore urge each and everyone of anash, men and
women to support Kupas Rabbeinu in every possible way.
In this merit may we be "zoiche" that much before Gimmel Tammuz, the Rebbe will be revealed
as Melech Hamoshiach and redeem us from this deep and bitter Golus and lead us all to the true
and final Geulo, NOW MAMAOSH.

Rabbi S.M. Simpson
Rabbi Y.L. Groner
P.S. Please send all correspondence only to the above address.
You may also send Maimad, Keren-Hashono, Magbis etc. to Kupas Rabbeinu.
Eretz Yisroel address: KEREN KUPAS ADMU"R / P.O.B. 1247 / KIRYAT MALACHI / ISRAEL


14 � • 29 Sivan 5774

Erev Gimmel Tammuz, when questions arise, I
visited the mashpia, R’ Zushe Posner, one of the
veteran shluchim that the Rebbe sent to Eretz
Yisroel, to hear answers. R’ Zushe makes no
concessions to anyone and he demands living
with the Rebbe not for ourselves, but for the
By Menachem Mendel Arad


n interview with R’ Zushe
Posner is an experience.
He doesn’t just kindly
answer your questions;
he has his unique terminology
characterized by extreme bluntness
blended with pointed sarcasm.
Whether it was your question or
not, he draws you along with him
into the depths of his heart which
hurts with longing for the Rebbe.
He hopes I will succeed in using
my powers of influence and my
writing abilities to express his pain.
He referred to the exact
number of years, months,
days, and hours since Gimmel
Tammuz. What does Gimmel
Tammuz 5754 mean to him? G-d
forbid, not “tzimtzum k’pshuto,”
i.e. histalkus, for that did not

happen. “Elokus is constantly
alive.” On the other hand,
Gimmel Tammuz is happening
right now! He does not need to
imagine that this morning the
Beis HaMikdash was destroyed
in his day, he feels it in his flesh,
blood, and soul. He tries to cry
out, to farbreng, cry, shake up
whoever is willing or not willing
to listen. This concealment
cannot go on.
He cried out and still cries
out with the same words, for fifty
years already. Bachurim who
learned with him in the yeshivos
in Lud and B’nei Brak in the
60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, etc. hear
precisely the same words from
He wants people to care

about the Rebbe, that the Rebbe’s
situation should be something
we care about, that we should
understand that we are here for
the Rebbe and the Rebbe does
not need us, but he wants us;
that we put our heads into a
maamer and not just the maamer
into our heads. To him, the Rebbe
is “Rebbe” and not “G-d forbid”
some tzaddik, kadosh and tahor.
You don’t understand? That is
also an integral part of R’ Zushe’s
Lubavitcher knows that he does
not understand everything and he
does not have the answer to every
question.” What is R’ Zushe
himself? “A Lubavitcher, not a
I will confess. When I

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R’ Zushe Posner farbrenging with bachurim

They say that when Moshiach comes it will be
good for the Jews. That it needs to be good for
the Jews is true without any connection to Moshiach,
but we don’t need Moshiach in order for it to be good
for the Jews! That is not Moshiach! We need to wait for
Moshiach, pray for him to come, and do things because
that is what we need to do. Waiting for Moshiach is like
putting on t’fillin – nobody puts on t’fillin in order for it
to be good for him.

finished the interview, I went to
a close friend, a close mushpa
of R’ Zushe who spent hours at
farbrengens with him, for another
farbrengen about the topics of the
recorded farbrengen. I wanted
to make sure that I correctly
understood what R’ Zushe had
said and that I would be able to
convey it properly.

I try to ask him my opening
question: Let’s go back to
Sunday, Gimmel Tammuz 5754

16 � • 29 Sivan 5774

R’ Zushe cuts me off and
says, “Gimmel Tammuz? Which
Gimmel Tammuz? You can go
further back to Gimmel Tammuz
1927, the Chag Ha’Geula of the
Rebbe Rayatz, or further back to
the sun that stood still in Givon in
the time of Yehoshua Bin Nun.”
Really, R’ Zushe. When we
say Gimmel Tammuz today, we
all know what we mean, even
without saying it explicitly, that
we are talking about 5754.
Well, to R’ Zushe nothing is
obvious. “After so many years
[and he enumerated the years,
months and days], for someone

younger than that, Gimmel
Tammuz 5687 or Gimmel
Tammuz 5754 or Gimmel
Tammuz in Yehoshua’s times are
the same thing. And that goes for
most of the bachurim in yeshivos
my question. I personally
remember that day. Gimmel
Tammuz 5754. The news
shocked the Chassidim. You
were a mashgiach in the yeshiva
in Lud and an askan with many
connections with important
people and mekuravim to
Chabad. How did you react
within those circles – what did
you tell the bachurim and what
did you say to the mekuravim?
Instead of an answer, I get a
description of the days preceding
Gimmel Tammuz and Gimmel
Tammuz itself. “On 27 Adar
5754 there was ‘yenne’ stroke.”
Before I can go on I have to
understand R’ Zushe’s “yenne”
(lit. “that one” – colloquially
with a disbelieving tone of voice,
“as if”). To him, “The Rebbe is
not an Admur nor a Baba, not
a ‘gutter yid,’ nor a tzaddik,
kadosh or tahor. The Rebbe is
also not a ‘neshama of Atzilus’ or
a ‘new neshama.’ He’s a Rebbe!
Someone whose raison d’être
in this world is to be a channel
for Hashem. I don’t understand
Elokus; I don’t understand
Hashem, and in the same way,
I don’t understand the Rebbe
at all! What the Rebbe lets me
understand, thank you very
much. And what he doesn’t? I
don’t understand.”
At the same time, R’ Zushe
also scorns slogans bandied
about by some amongst our
ranks that can be heard in almost
the same words from him. “The
Rebbe suffers and always suffered
from us because we never really
cared about the Rebbe. The

most difficult day in the Rebbe’s
life was 22 Shvat, when the
Rebbetzin, the only person on
earth who really cared about the
Rebbe, passed away.”
My friend told me, “At many
farbrengens, R’ Zushe would
scream and cry, ‘What do people
want – to get from the Rebbe,
to get brachos, kiruvim, dollars
and even sichos and maamarim,
but what about the Rebbe? Does
anybody really care about the
R’ Zushe would say, “You
are passing by the Rebbe to get a
dollar and the Rebbe is standing
for you, for many hours. Do you
appreciate it? Say thank you –
the Rebbe suffers because of
R’ Zushe’s way of thinking is
definitely not conventional. To
him it is obvious that everything
that occurred or occurs with the
Rebbe happens only with his
consent. It is the way the Rebbe
shows us things, tries to wake us
up. He says, “The Rebbe ‘made’
the events before Rosh Chodesh
Kislev, but we did not get it.
Then he ‘did’ 27 Adar to wake
us up but we did not get it. Then
the second 27 Adar did not help,
and then the Rebbe ‘did’ Gimmel
Tammuz and that did not really
get us moving either.”
Those who remember R’
Zushe from the period before
remember that he could not
stand the wording of the Mee
Sh’Beirach for the Rebbe:
“among the rest of the sick
among the Jewish people, healing
of the soul and healing of the
body, v’nomar amen.” “And what
happened on Gimmel Tammuz?
The Rebbe became healthy?”
He asks. He did not understand
nor accept the minyanim to say
T’hillim for the Rebbe’s refua,
but with kabbalas ol, he would

get up early and join the minyan,
“So that they shouldn’t get the
wrong idea, chas v’shalom.”
To R’ Zushe there are no
categories of “Meshichist” or
“not a Meshichist.” He sees
things differently. There is
Chabad and there is Lubavitch:
a Chabadnik is someone who
has an answer for everything;
otherwise, he must get an
explanation for the burning
question: Where is the Rebbe?
It makes no difference what he
believes or what he proclaims or
does not proclaim: a Chabadnik
is a know-it-all. Now the Rebbe
is here, he will walk in to say a
understand, don’t know, but
they do what needs to be done
with kabbalas ol even if they lose

Can we go back to the days
preceding Gimmel Tammuz?
In the Jerusalem Post it said

the Rebbe had a stroke. I was in
close contact with the American
embassy at the time. A few days
after 27 Adar, the then consul
general called me, a gentile by the
name of Mitchell, and he asked,
“Zushe, when can I meet with
you?” When I went to see him,
he asked me, “So, tell me, what’s
happening tomorrow?” He was
referring to the Rebbe’s medical
I interrupted and said,
“Tomorrow the Rebbe will give
out dollars.” He gave me a
phone number and told me, “If
something happens, call me, even
in the middle of the night, and
within two hours there will be a
full staff here who will give visas
to whoever wants them.”
Gimmel Tammuz was on a
Sunday and I found out at 8:15
what had been publicized on
the beepers in Crown Heights.
Mitchell had already left that job.
I had some phone numbers of
other consular employees and I
left a message for the consul. This
was an off day at the American
embassy, being Sunday, and the
embassy is closed. The thought

Issue 931 • �  


of opening on a Sunday is worse
than having a bank open on Yom
Kippur is to us. In any case, the
consul told me that at 12, the
consulate would be open and
whoever wanted one would get a
I didn’t fly to New York. I
immediately went to the Tzach
office after I heard that they were
arranging a charter flight and I
informed them that the embassy
was open for the Chassidim. On
the way, on the radio, I heard
them interviewing someone from
Crown Heights who was already
explaining what would be with
By the way [R’ Zushe said
with great sorrow], that same
day, Gimmel Tammuz 5754,
stationery with the Agudas
Chassidei Chabad logo on it
was changed from “under the
leadership of C”K Admur” to
wording indicating... I don’t
know which is worse, that this
stationery was prepared before
Gimmel Tammuz or that on that
very day, someone had the time
and presence of mind to produce
the newly revised stationery.
“To R’ Zushe,” said my
friend, “the subject of chai
v’kayam is clear as day. But he
deliberately uses shocking words,
words which a Chassid would not
utter. The reality is so horrifying
and even worse is that it does not
shake us up! So he uses terms
that everyone shudders to hear.”
When the bachurim and
people from the community and
those you were in contact with
from outside the community
turned to you, what did you tell
I didn’t explain anything; I
had nothing to say.
It’s bizarre how Chabadnikim
know everything. They have an
explanation for everything. I

18 � • 29 Sivan 5774

have explanations for nothing!
I don’t belong to Chabad but to
Lubavitch. In Chabad, everything
is black and white. They have
an explanation for everything.
I know how to say that I don’t
And still, what did you tell
the bachurim?
I could not tell anyone what
to think or to feel. What are the
choices? There are two options,
either something happened just
like Yud Shvat – I was in 770
then. They sent me to Brownsville
to tell about the histalkus. That
is where most of the Chabad
Chassidim lived at that time. I
knew Chassidim who were there
on Beis Nissan (the day the
Rebbe Rashab passed away) who
knew Chassidim who were there
on 13 Tishrei 5643 (the day the
Rebbe Maharash passed away),
and I can tell you and guide you
in what needs to be done. That is
the problem with Chabad.
Or, Gimmel Tammuz is unlike
Yud Shvat, Beis Nissan and 13
Tishrei. Then, I have a problem.
Gimmel Tammuz is the personal
problem of every one of us. I
don’t know, I don’t understand,
but it’s not the Rebbe’s problem!
The Rebbe has no problem; I
have a problem with the situation,
I don’t know what happened.
I often ask people, “tzimtzum
k’pshuto or not k’pshuto?” In
Chassidus it explains that the
Hashem made in the Ohr Ein Sof
so there would be room for worlds
is not meant literally. There was
not, chalila, an actual removal
of the light, just a tzimtzum in
the illumination of the light. I
get many sorts of answers, even
in the form of insulting plays
on words. But they are afraid to
say that which appears in Tanya,
that it is tzimtzum which is not
k’pshuto. Why? Because then I

will ask, “and what happened on
Gimmel Tammuz?” and they will
have to say, “I don’t know,” and
a Chabadnik who was raised on
chochma, bina, daas cannot say,
“I don’t know.”

However you want to put
it, isn’t it clear that today,
when we don’t see the Rebbe,
our longing is greater? And
everyone, without exception,
even those called “Meshichist,”
who want the Rebbe to be
revealed and even someone who
is not called a “Meshichist”
and wants the Geula so we will
be able to see the Rebbe, truly
wants Moshiach, truly wants
Moshiach to come and to be
able to see the Rebbe?
R’ Zushe, as always, restates
the issue in far more pointed
I maintain that there is a
widespread and painful mistake in
connection with Moshiach. There
is a saying that is attributed to the
Alter Rebbe: “The Moshiach that
the world wants won’t come and
the Moshiach who will come we
are not waiting for!”
They say that when Moshiach
comes it will be good for the
Jews. That it needs to be good
for the Jews is true without any
connection to Moshiach, but we
don’t need Moshiach in order for
it to be good for the Jews! That
is not Moshiach! We need to wait
for Moshiach, pray for him to
come, and do things because that
is what we need to do. Waiting
for Moshiach is like putting on
t’fillin – nobody puts on t’fillin in
order for it to be good for him.
I heard an unusual story a
few years ago. One year, the
Rebbe said a maamer “Ha’Ba’im
Yashreish Yaakov.” The maamer

was about the Jewish people
having a problem, that in galus
it is hard to serve Hashem
because of the exigencies of
galus, but when Jews know that
in the future it will be good,
this knowledge gives them the
strength to contend with the
problems of galus.
In 5750 they wanted to submit
the maamer for editing. R’ Yoel
Kahn prepared the maamer and
R’ Leibel Groner submitted it to
the Rebbe. The Rebbe looked at
the maamer and said, “This is the
opposite of the simple meaning.”
When R’ Groner conveyed this
answer to R’ Yoel, he was taken
aback, “But it is what the Rebbe
said!” and he wanted the maamer
to be submitted for editing again
and to ask the Rebbe what to
The second time, the Rebbe
put the maamer on the desk and
gave a bang on the desk and said,
“Hashem has to make it good for
the Jews now!”
It has to be good for Jews
without any connection to
Moshiach and we do not need
to wait for Moshiach in order
that it will be good for us; that is
not Moshiach. We need to want
Moshiach because the Rebbe
wants Moshiach, because that
is what is needed, because the
world was created for Moshiach.
R’ Posner reverts to sarcasm:
Today, we don’t need the
Rebbe. What do we need the
Rebbe for? Boruch Hashem,
we are doing fine. We have
770, Igros, each person has
the address where he feels he is
connecting with the Rebbe. He
sends a letter, he gets or doesn’t
get an answer, but the bracha
is on the way. We made a Baba
out of the Rebbe, someone who
dispenses brachos.
You may be right but the fact

is that through the brachos the
Rebbe gives, many people are
drawn close to him. Look at it
like an educational method,
giving a child a candy so he
will learn and in the end, from
the “lo lishma” will come the
The problem is that the
candies have become the main
thing. The candies/brachos need
to be the means by which we
bring the child, in age or level, to
the goal. But it’s not the purpose;
it’s the means, and for some
reason this has become part of
our way of talking, that the Rebbe
is miracles and wonders.
I once heard a shliach say that
we are the Rebbe’s hands and
feet. The Rebbe does not need
us. He wants us. True, there
is no king without people, but
we have proven that we can be
Chassidim without a Rebbe. All
these years, months, and days we
are “alive.” We always knew that
there is no king without people
but now we have proven that we
can be Chassidim without the
Aside from your mekuravim
through your communal work,

you have an in-house Chabad
community in Lud, and many
people remember you from
yeshiva and look at you as a
mashpia. How do you stoke
the fire of Chassidishe emuna,
of hiskashrus to the Rebbe
at farbrengens and private
You need to think about the
Rebbe, talk about the Rebbe, and
do what the Rebbe says. That is
the only way to be mekushar.
I “live” with the Chassidim of
previous generations whom my
father knew and “live” with the
stories about them like R’ Berel
Kurenitzer, R’ Chatshe Feigin, R’
Yehuda Eber, R’ Yehoshua Isaac
Baruch and other Chassidim.
I can cry just by telling a story
about R’ Berel Kurenitzer.
There is something I do
not use but the young people
do – videos of the Rebbe.
Look at the Rebbe, listen to
the Rebbe’s recordings, speak
about the Rebbe. The everyday
conversation needs to be about
the Rebbe.
I “know” R’ Berel Kurenitzer,
I live with the stories about him,
but if I would see him on the
street or hear his voice, I would
not know it is him. You, when
you will see the Rebbe, will
immediately recognize him. You
will know it is the Rebbe whether
he has a black beard or a white
one. The only thing which,
unfortunately, will be a barrier
between the youth and the Rebbe
is the language. The Rebbe will
speak Yiddish and the youth
won’t understand it.
I was in 770 and I said to
the bachurim, “Learn Yiddish,
the Rebbe will be nisgaleh
immediately and you won’t
understand him.” So a smart
aleck said, “The Rebbe will speak
in Lashon Ha’kodesh.”
To be continued

Issue 931 • �  



A point from the weekly D’var Malchus
with a relevant message. * Which is
preferable – a weekly routine or living a
life of novelty?
By Aryeh Kirschnzaft

HaMoshiach, hello to Mommy
and to everyone, how are you?
Boruch Hashem, how are you
Tatty? What do you have there in
those bags?
I did some shopping. Bread,
eggs, milk, a few other things.
It could sound different than
HaMoshiach, HELLO everyone!
Hello to Mommy, hello to Mendy
the Chassid and hello to Yossi the
Chassid, and hello to my children,
the sweetest in the world! Do you
know what I bought for you? I
was in the store and thought of
what you needed and I bought
you bread and I bought you eggs
and milk too, and other good and
tasty things. When you eat, with
Hashem’s help you will grow and
be Chassidim, yerei Shamayim,
and lamdanim.
Walking into the house from
the store is just an example.

20 � • 29 Sivan 5774

These two ways can apply to all
situations. Another example,
after the children go to sleep:
Good, time for a cup of coffee.
What will we talk about today…
Or an improved version: I
made you a cup of coffee, it’s so
nice to sit together and talk.
A week, a month. A week
represents the world in its
relatively complete state, the way
Hashem created it. A month,
chodesh in Hebrew, from the
root chadash, something new,
represents the newness that we
add to the world through our
In this week’s D’var Malchus,
the Rebbe brings numerous
Torah and mitzvos, levels of
and more. This idea needs to
permeate all aspects of life down
to the smallest details.
Do we do things dryly,
technically – “week-like,” or do
we do them with freshness and

Even something so routine
like walking into the house,
which you do every day and
several times a day, can be an
though this is the first time
you came home from the store
and brought surprises for the
children. If we live with newness
and discover it in everything,
the chocolates and games to
accomplish it. It can definitely
be even when we only have bread
and milk in our bag. It’s not the
items in the grocery bags that
create the newness; we create the
newness with the right feeling.
A cup of coffee after the
children go to sleep can be a
“weekly” type of cup and then the
only thing within the coffee that
can wake us up is the caffeine. Or
it can be a “monthly” type of cup
of coffee which will really wake
us up and take us back to when
everything was new and fresh.
How are we supposed to act,
in a “weekly” or a “monthly”
manner? As in every D’var
Malchus, this time too, the
answer is both. The chiddush
(no pun intended) here is that
the connection needs to be
complete, i.e. that the week
and month become integrated

into one seamless whole. All
of existence is in a manner of
chiddush, the simplest and most
ordinary things are constantly
being renewed. That is how we
will actually perceive reality in the
Geula. And now is the time to get
used to it.
You call someone and he
answers in a “weekly” sort of
manner. “Hi, how are you,
what’s new ...” The voice on
the other end sounds happy and
asks how he can help you. Then
there is the call with, “HI!” The
tone gives you the feeling that his
next line is going to be, you’ve
won a million dollars … that’s a
Nature and miracle are week
and month. Nature is the usual
while miracles create newness

The chiddush here is that the connection needs
to be complete, i.e. that the week and month
become integrated into one seamless whole.

in nature. When you live a life renewal. In our generation we
of constant newness, even the need to learn the teachings of
miracles which occur around us the Nasi Ha’dor and these days,
become matter-of-fact (the point those teachings which were given
here is not to become indifferent most recently. That is how we are
to miracles, G-d forbid; a miracle renewed!
should get us excited every time).
When a Jew lives in such a
The novelty becomes routine to manner, he grows accustomed
us, our new normal.
to service
Express service a miraculous existence.
Express living
In Torah too there are week When a “week” meets a “month”
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the “month”
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Issue 931 • �  




he sight of a minyan of
moshavniks sitting around
a young man and heatedly
discussing the meaning of
the Rambam’s “compel all Israel,”
would not be unusual if you knew
R’ Meir Wilschansky and his work
at Moshav Amuka.
For several years now, R’
Meir Wilschansky, teacher and
mashpia in the Chabad yeshiva
in Tzfas, has been reaching out
to Jews in the small moshav of
Amuka, which is famous because

22 � • 29 Sivan 5774

it is near the burial place of the
Tanna, Rabbi Yonasan ben Uziel.
The highlight of his activities is
definitely his shiur.
“The shiur is on Tanya
and parsha, but it is always
connected to Geula. Sometimes
we learn a sicha of the Rebbe that
connects the parsha to Geula and
sometimes we simply learn an
inyan in Geula directly from the
Rambam or other s’farim.”
Aside from the shiur in
Amuka, R’ Wilschansky is well

known for his wonderful shiurim
on inyanei Moshiach and Geula
that he regularly gives among
Anash and to others. We spoke
to him about learning inyanei
Moshiach and Geula, about
hafatza among various types of
people and about the impact of
the learning on mekuravim.
Chassidus is slickly packaged
as courses on psychology
according to Kabbala. How
do you just drop the topic

Experience shows
that the topic of
Geula and Moshiach
fascinates people.
Why isn’t learning
Tanya, parsha,
Gemara or halacha
enough? You can be
a big believer but
without learning,
the emuna remains
makif. * Why, in
order to “live” and
“see” Geula, must
we know and learn
who Moshiach is?
* Beis Moshiach
speaks with R’ Meir
Wilschansky who
talks passionately
about giving shiurim
on Moshiach and
By Shneor Chaviv

of Moshiach and Geula on
people’s heads?
First, those who market
their shiurim in an interesting
way can do the same thing for
inyanei Moshiach and Geula.
Second, and most importantly,
from my experience I see that the
topic of Moshiach and Geula is
something that people are always
interested in.
How do you explain this?
Simply. You see that it is
something that attracts everyone,

sometimes even more than
parsha. It’s because people talk
about it all the time, and not just
in Chabad. There is no group or
sector that does not believe and
talk about Geula as something
imminent. But many people don’t
really know what Geula is and
what it entails. People are very
curious about it and this draws
them to classes.
Furthermore, we are living
in a time of instability, whether
economically, because of Israeli
leadership, or world events.
People are looking to hear a clear
message. When they learn about
Moshiach and the period of
Geula, they find the stability they
are looking for.
Why is it important to
learn these topics, why isn’t
Tanya and parsha enough and
if possible, some Gemara or
In general, the Rebbe talks
about learning inyanei Moshiach
and Geula in three places:
Parshas Tazria-Metzora 5751,
Balak 5751, and VaYeitzei – YudTes Kislev 5752. If we examine
these sichos we will see that each
time the Rebbe speaks about
another aspect of learning.
In Tazria-Metzora the Rebbe
says that in order to merit the
coming of Moshiach the most
direct way and the easiest and
quickest way of all the ways
of Torah is by learning inyanei
Moshiach and Geula. In other
words, it’s a segula which hastens
the Geula.
In Balak, the Rebbe does not
mention learning as a segula to
hasten the Geula but in order
to live with Geula right now.
We want to live in a Geula state
now and in order to do this we
need to learn a lot. The learning
engenders a chayus and the
ability to “live Moshiach.”
Then, in VaYeitzei, the Rebbe

talks about a much higher level.
The Rebbe says that the Geula
is already a reality in the world
and we just need to open our
eyes in order to see it. How do
we open our eyes? Through
learning p’nimius ha’Torah and
specifically, inyanei Moshiach
and Geula. Learning p’nimius
ha’Torah on the subject of Geula
gets us to open our eyes.
It is interesting that in these
three ways the Rebbe also
provides us with direction in
what to learn. In Tazria-Metzora,
the Rebbe talks in general about
learning inyanei Moshiach and
Geula as they appear throughout
Torah and especially in the
maamarim and sichos of our
In Balak, where the Rebbe
talks about learning as a means
to living Moshiach, the Rebbe
emphasizes that the meditating
upon inyanei Moshiach and
Geula needs to be “in order to
know and be aware that we are
already standing at the entrance
to the Yemos HaMoshiach … as
in all the details that were said
above.” This is about learning
the Rebbe’s sichos of the last year
in which the Rebbe talks about
our time as the entranceway to
Yemos HaMoshiach.
In VaYeitzei, the job is to open
our eyes. So the Rebbe talks
there about learning p’nimius
ha’Torah, including learning
inyanei Geula, the part of Torah
that shows us the inner workings
of things. This is in order to teach
us to adopt a Geula perspective
to reality which outwardly looks
like galus but inwardly, we are
already living Geula.
Beyond the segula properties
which you just mentioned, does
and Geula have an influence
in drawing a person to avodas
Hashem, to Torah and mitzvos?

Issue 931 • �  


I think that every shliach
who works with mekuravim can
say that there is a big difference
between a mekurav who learns
and one who doesn’t. A mekurav
starts really changing only when
he starts learning Torah. As long
as the connection remains on
the level of mivtzaim and doing
mitzvos here and there, it stays
on a makif level. When a person
learns, the learning penetrates his
understanding and it influences
his way of thinking, his feelings,
and ultimately his actions. Then
it’s his. It comes from inside of
The same is true for inyanei
Moshiach and Geula. We can talk
about Moshiach, believe he needs
to come any minute, and cry out
slogans, but as the Rebbe said, it
has no effect. It’s not that he does
not believe. He is a big believer
and he is even willing to be moser
nefesh for this belief. But as it
is explained in Chassidus about
the emuna of the thief who prays
even as he is about to steal, a Jew
is willing to be moser nefesh for
his emuna while in daily life it is
not a sure thing that his emuna
will be expressed. The same is
true for the belief in Moshiach.
We are big believers, but without
learning the belief remains on the
level of makif.
When a person learns inyanei
Geula all that emuna permeates
him. It becomes a part of him. He
identifies with it. He understands
it and can explain it to others.
It enters him with a p’nimius. It
also permeates his intellect, his
emotions and from there straight
to action.

I taught a group of Anash and
at the end of the shiur some of
them came over to me and said,
“Now we understand for the first
time what we are proclaiming,
teaching and claiming all these
years. It was as though until now
we heard about it and now for
the first time we see it. We see it
in a structured way, firmly based
on the sources in Chazal.”
There is another advantage
in learning. Time passes and the
yetzer ha’ra does its thing and
often people say, for twenty years
you’ve been telling us that he is
coming today. Even a strong
believer can get tired of this.
But when you learn and see that
it’s all firmly grounded, it is all
written in s’farim in great detail,
this knowledge helps you go on
and strengthen the faith in the
Besuras Ha’Geula.
Moshiach and Geula have to
include the belief that the Rebbe
is Moshiach?
I will divide my answer into
two parts. As I mentioned, the
Rebbe delineates three main
levels in belief in the coming
of Moshiach: to anticipate, to
live and to see, i.e. to anticipate
the Geula in a general way
which includes demanding and
requesting, living Geula, and
seeing Geula.
In order to attain the first
level of general anticipation of
the Geula, it is enough to learn
general things about Geula, but
in order to attain the level of
living it and more, seeing it, you
need something tangible. You
need to know and learn who

Moshiach is.
Another point is that when
we learn inyanei Moshiach with
people in a comprehensive way, it
often happens that they conclude
who Moshiach is on their own.
Even if they don’t, after they
learn it is much easier to explain
it. Those who try to publicize
the identity of Moshiach without
properly teaching the material
set themselves up for a hard job.
After someone learns it at length
and in detail, he himself can
conclude who it is.
If I want to start a shiur on
inyanei Moshiach and Geula,
what would you recommend we
It all depends on who the
audience is and what level of
learning they are on. There are
people who need points of chizuk
and emuna which can be done
through sichos of 5751-2, and
there are those with whom you
can develop more complicated
topics in the Rambam and
Chazal. What’s important is
giving as much background as
you can and constructing the
shiur in a structured way. People
love hearing things built up, in
one logical step after another.
It is relevant to everyone.
Everyone can teach to the extent
of his abilities and beyond that he
can arrange a shiur, invite a rav
or lecturer. I think that everyone,
including talmidim in yeshivos,
need to be involved with this.
Everyone must learn these topics
in depth. Even someone who
thinks he’s an expert and knows
it all can always broaden his
knowledge and understanding.


24 � • 29 Sivan 5774


By Rabbi Gershon Avtzon

As everyone is preparing
themselves for Gimmel Tammuz
5774, I want to bring an
enigmatic Midrash to your
The Midrash (B’Reishis Rabba
85:1) – regarding Mechiras Yosef
– says the following: “In Parshas
VaYeishev, everyone is busy. The
brothers were busy selling Yosef;
Yosef, Reuven and Yaakov were
busy fasting; Yehuda was 
looking for a wife after his first
wife died. 
Hashem was also
busy. He was busy creating the
light of Moshiach (‘oro shel
“Hashem made sure that
the soul of Moshiach would be
created even 
before the exile in
Egypt began. Hashem therefore
made sure that 
Yehudah and
Tamar had children before
Yaakov and the brothers went
down to Egypt.”
Why am I bringing this
Midrash to your attention?
We are seeing a lot of amazing
things being done in honor of
Gimmel Tammuz – 20 years –
“Everyone is busy” to quote the
Midrash. Many chassidim are
learning the Torah of the Rebbe.
Many unity events highlighting
the activities of the Rebbe are
being organized. There have even
been 3 new biographies written

about the Rebbe that have already
sold thousands of copies.
They are all wonderful things
and Yasher Ko’ach to all those
that take part in these activities.
Yet, we must not forget 
“The Rebbe is also busy.” What
did the Rebbe busy himself with
right before 10 Shvat 5730 (20
years from 10 Shvat 5710)?
One thing: Completing the seifer
Torah of Moshiach!
Dear Fellow Chassidim!
On 11 Nissan 5662, The
B’Reishis of the “Seifer Torah
of Melech HaMoshiach” started
to be “written” in this world.
The Neshama of the Rebbe was
born and the process of Yetzias
Mitzrayim began.
On 10 Shvat 5711, the
Rebbe officially assumed the
Nesius and made the mission
statement very clear: “It is
this that is 
demanded  each
and every one of us of the
generation –
– and
‘all those that are seventh are
cherished.’ Although the 
that we are in the seventh
generation is not the result of
choosing and our own
our own 
service, and indeed in certain
ways perhaps contrary  our
will, nevertheless ‘all those who
are seventh are cherished.’ We are
now very near the approaching
footsteps of Moshiach, indeed,

conclusion of this
we are at the 
period, and our spiritual task is to
complete the process of drawing
down the Sh’china – moreover,
the essence of the 
Sh’china –
within specifically our lowly
During the years of 57515752, the Rebbe kept telling us
– even to the extent of Nevua
– that “Hinei Zeh Moshiach
Ba” and that we must prepare
ourselves and the world around
us for the coming of Moshiach.
Just as the Frierdike Rebbe
encouraged Chassidim to prepare
for Moshiach by getting people
to have a letter in the “Torah
of Moshiach,” our Rebbe told
us clearly and unequivocally
that the “Direct Path” to bring
Moshiach is by getting all Yidden
involved in learning the Torah
of Moshiach – i.e. the parts of
Torah that discuss the concepts
of Moshiach!
This has to be our focus
now. We must be focused
on “finishing” the Torah of
Moshiach. We need people to
know that the Rebbe is a “living/
accessible” person today that
they can turn to for Brachos
and guidance. Everyone must
know that not only is the Rebbe’s
vision and mission of bringing
Moshiach relevant, we are about
Continued on page 31

Issue 931 • �  



It is hard for us to leave our personal
zone and give of ourselves to others, to
fulfill the Rebbe’s ratzon and to carry out
Hashem’s mission in the world. We stick
to topics of interest to us as though they
are the entire world, instead of freeing
ourselves and moving forward. That is
how it goes when we see only ourselves.
By R’ Nadav Cohen

A man walking at night on a
high mountain suddenly slipped
and was heading toward the
abyss. He panicked and only at
the last second did he manage
to grab on to a branch that stuck
out of the mountainside. He held
on with all his might but had
no way of climbing up; yet he
certainly could not go down.
He turned to Hashem and
pleaded for help. To his great
surprise, a voice responded, “I
am here for you. I am going to
save you. Just let go of the branch
and you will be saved.”
This was a terrible dilemma.
The branch was saving him. He
was terribly frightened to let go
of it. And yet, G-d said that He
would save him. What should he

26 � • 29 Sivan 5774

What would you do – believe
and let go of the branch or
continue to hold on because of
your innate desire to survive?
From this anecdote we can
learn a lesson in avodas Hashem
on a number of levels. On the
first level, we ask Hashem to save
us, we ask Him to help us get
out of our personal limitations.
He says fine, just free yourselves
of your animalistic soul, stop
listening to it and I will take you
out of your limitations.
On a deeper level, even a
person who has already gone out
of the constraints of his animal
soul (Mitzrayim of klipa) can
still be constrained by his G-dly
soul (Mitzrayim of k’dusha). He
learns Torah and does mitzvos,
but he is still self-absorbed. He
is occupied with his personal

battle and does not see those
around him. They tell him, “Go
out of yourself, release your
grip on your branch, stop seeing
yourself as the center, there are
other people in the world, don’t
remove yourself from the group,
you are part of the Jewish people
and when you do mitzvos you
should think about all the rest of
the Jews.”
There is an even deeper
explanation. Even a person who
goes out of himself, who leaves
his personal war and helps
others, thus stopping to see
himself as separate from the rest
of the people, still has an ego
which motivates him. He seeks
to profit (it is just that the profit
is through helping others). The
deeper message is, stop serving
Hashem for yourself. Start
serving Hashem for Hashem!
Don’t do mitzvos in order to
slake your own thirst. Do them in
order to give nachas to Hashem.
Don’t seek to draw G-dliness
down to yourself. Seek to make a
dira for Hashem.
Enough already with holding
on to galus and being afraid to
jump to the next stage. We are
on the threshold of Geula and
we can move forward, start living
Moshiach and start living as in
the Geula.

In Yemos HaMoshiach we
will attain the level of tzaddikim,
be finally rid of the yetzer ha’ra,
openly feel the G-dly soul, and
merit the revelation of the yechida
and live G-dliness. We will sense
in a real way all the wondrous
things we learn in Chassidus,
how “there is nothing but Him,”
how every Jew is a part of G-d
above and beloved to Hashem
like an only child born to parents
in their old age.
One of the differences
between the avoda of tzaddikim
and the avoda of beinonim is
that the beinoni works with
himself, he wages a constant
battle between his G-dly soul and
his animal soul and he is busy
with himself, in controlling his
thoughts, speech and actions.
The tzaddik, in contrast, no
longer fights, although he does
not rest for a moment either.
He is busy with helping others.
Tzaddikim guide those who still
have not reached that level. From
the perspective of the yechida, a
person does not seek to satisfy
his personal desires; he is
completely devoted to the desires
of Hashem.
In our generation, the
generation of Geula, we can
see how the Rebbe, the yechida
klalis, reveals the yechida in
the Chassidim and raises up
all the Chassidim (and not just
Chassidim) to the world of the
tzaddikim. The entire conceptual
world of Chassidim in the seventh
generation is the conceptual
world of tzaddikim, for the main
avoda in our generation is the
avoda of shlichus and the goal we
all have is to bring the Geula.
In previous generations, the
Rebbeim had few shluchim. Even
then, they were unusual people,
the greatest of the Chassidim.

But in our generation, every Jew
is a shliach and thousands of
Chassidim have gone or are going
on shlichus. Even those who are
not 24/7 shluchim, participate in
mivtzaim and live with the idea of
Seemingly, going on shlichus
pertains only to special people.
An ordinary person is busy with
his personal battles between
his G-dly soul and animal soul
and is not fit to go out and help
others. The ordinary person
worries about his personal Torah
progress and he does mitzvos in
order to build up his Olam Haba.

desire for a dira ba’tachtonim.

The apex of this new avoda
and our ability to jump ahead is
the Rebbe’s instruction of “kol
yemei chayecha” (all the days of
your life) – to bring to Yemos
HaMoshiach. One can, G-d
forbid, hear this instruction and
find it oppressive and think that
it comes at the expense of other
things one wanted to do, but of
course it means just the opposite.
This horaa is for us and

In the meantime, dawn broke and he discovers,
to his amazement, that there is no abyss beneath
him at all! He is only centimeters above the ground.

But the Rebbe changed the
rules. Each of us can go on
shlichus; each of us must go
on shlichus. Daily conversation
among Chassidim is about
shlichus. To all of them it is
obvious that they must go out
and help other Jews, putting
themselves aside on behalf of
someone else. Thousands of
Chassidim left fine communities
for all corners of the globe and
built beautiful communities. They
are literally doing the work of
tzaddikim in living for others and
not for themselves.
To all of them it is also clear
that shlichus is not for their own
personal success or honor. They
go on the Rebbe’s shlichus in
order to give the Rebbe nachas.
Shlichus is for the purpose of
make a dwelling place here for
Hashem and preparing the world
for Moshiach.
We are not the center; the
focus is not our personal egos.
The goal is doing Hashem’s will;
the goal is to fulfill Hashem’s

for our good. In order to live
Geula we need to stop thinking
about ourselves. There has to
be another goal. We need to
be connected to truly doing
Hashem’s will, not for selfserving reasons, but doing that
which is true because it is true.
When a Jew sets himself aside
and devotes himself to bringing
Moshiach, he starts to live like
tzaddikim who fulfill mitzvos
in order to provide nachas to
Hashem. He begins to feel what
the Yemos HaMoshiach are, at
which time we will all live as
That Jew was still hanging
there and grasping that branch
sticking out of the mountain,
deliberating whether to let go
or not. In the meantime, dawn
broke and he discovers, to his
amazement, that there is no
abyss beneath him at all! He
is only centimeters above the
ground. His fear of letting go was
unnecessary and baseless.

Issue 931 • �  



By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg

At the end of the Jewish
people’s journey in the desert
we read that Moses and Aaron
were not destined to take the
Jewish nation into the Promised
Land with their people. The
reason for this denial is stated
in this week’s parsha, Chukas,
in a rather ambiguous fashion.
Despite the Torah’s devoting a
large section to this story, the real
cause of G-d’s “anger” with the
two greatest leaders is not really
clear. Indeed, Or HaChayim cites
10 different explanations for this
matter! If one single explanation
were obvious there would be no
need to search for other reasons.
One may suggest that the Torah
was deliberately vague about the
“sin” so that we should never
impute any real transgression to
these holy people. Otherwise,
it would be difficult to resist the
“temptation” to diminish these
spiritual titans by viewing them
as ordinary humans.
One can discern two reasons
why people might want to

28 � • 29 Sivan 5774

humanize even the greatest
tzaddikim. One simple reason
is that we wish to preserve our
own self-esteem. If Moses and
other greats could transgress
without it detracting from our
high regard for them, then we too
can sustain our own self-respect
notwithstanding our many alltoo-human flaws.
In truth, this rationale hardly
justifies our ascribing outright
transgressions to people who
were so close to G-d, so totally
devoid of egos and self-interests
and whose entire beings were
devoted to G-d and His people.
When one studies Chassidus,
one discovers that a true
tzaddik neither transgresses nor
harbors a desire to go astray.
The perfect tzaddikim—such as
the Patriarch Abraham—have
completely transformed their evil
impulses into holy impulses. How
can we then suggest that they
consciously rebelled against G-d
or even were negligent in their
responsibilities to G-d?
Moreover, the Midrash uses
the metaphor of a “chariot” to

describe the Patriarchs dedication
to G-d’s will. Just as a vehicle can
only go in the direction toward
which its driver steers, so too
the Patriarchs had conditioned
their bodies to “automatically”
act consonant with G-d’s will.
How can we then say that people
of this caliber were guilty of sins,
let alone to be openly rebellious
towards G-d?

Chassidic thought teaches
that true tzaddikim have risen
above sin. Nevertheless they too
are “human” in that G-d causes
them to experience temporary
lapses. In order for one to truly
grow and advance spiritually
one must falter and experience a
setback from which one can leap
to an exponentially higher level.
This is the underlying sentiment
in Proverbs when it states:
“For a tzaddik falls seven times
and rises up again.” While the
tzaddik’s fall is not, G-d forbid,
intentional or due to neglect, it is
nevertheless, a diminution of his
spiritual stature. The stumbling
tzaddik feels an emptiness which,
in turn, ignites an intense passion
for G-d and the Torah.
When a person sins, he or

she is distanced from G-d and
it creates a spiritual vacuum.
Likewise the tzaddik, in a
period of G-d induced decline,
experiences an inner sense of
emptiness. In this respect, the
tzaddik shares an experience
of “sin” with all others which
enables him or her to relate to
and empathize with those who
stand on a much lower plane of
The void created by sin and
the consequent distancing from
G-d is the deeper meaning of the
term Chilul Hashem. This term
is translated as “desecration of
G-d’s name.” However, a more
literal rendition of the term chilul
is a void. Transgressions create
that void. In truth, even before
one transgresses, the world
we inhabit already conceals its
G-dly essence from us. The
Hebrew word for world, olam,
is closely related to helem, which
one transgresses it increases
the world’s degree of helem.
Whatever spiritual energy that
enters the world thereafter is lost;
it “drains out” through the “hole”
one creates as a result of sinning.
This dynamic is true both for
tzaddikim and the less spiritually
advanced. It sets back G-d’s
desire to be fully revealed in this
physical world.
Moses experienced a spiritual
decline when he got angry
(Maimonides’ interpretation of
Moses’ “sin”) and struck the
of Moses’ “sin”). Although it
wasn’t a deliberate or conscious
attempt to subvert G-d’s desire
that he speak softly to the rock, it
nevertheless stimulated a spiritual
vacuum within him. It is in our
parsha this week that G-d tells
Moses that he would not enter
the Promised Land because he
didn’t sanctify G-d’s name. The
Hebrew term Kiddush HashemIssue 931 • �  



Books have been written recently that tell
of his incredible brilliance, love, leadership,
compassion, wisdom, etc. Even so-called self-professed
“outsiders” have described the Rebbe as the most
influential rabbi in modern times. However, there
are also those who try to “humanize” the Rebbe by
deemphasizing his spirituality, his closeness to G-d, his
prophetic predictions, the many miracles, etc., to make
him more accessible to the common person… While we
can understand the basis for this misguided effort now,
we should appreciate its fallacy; there is no need to
minimize those lofty aspects of the Rebbe. We must not
be afraid to look up to the true giants of Torah and allow
their greatness to inspire and influence us.
Sanctification of G-d’s name is
the opposite of Chilul Hashemdesecration of G-d’s name.
Hence, if chilul implies a void,
kiddush implies filling in that
void so that G-d’s holiness is not
lost to the world.

understanding of the terms
chilul and Kiddush respectively
as a void and a filling in of the
void provides a rationale for our
recitation of the Kaddish prayer
upon the loss of a loved one.
When a person passes away,
the soul—a part of G-d—
departs from this physical
world and leaves a gaping hole
behind. G-dly energy and light
that heretofore illuminated the
world of even the lowliest Jew
has gone missing. That vacuum
must be filled in by the recitation
of Kaddish, which extols G-d’s
greatness and reintroduces the
G-dly light that was withdrawn
with the passing of that soul.

30 � • 29 Sivan 5774

As stated above, there is
another psychological reason
why many try to humanize the
tzaddik. We will often feel that
it is too difficult to emulate one
who is so spiritual, G-dly and
other worldly. We need human,
down-to-earth role models, with
all their flaws and foibles, with
whom we can easily identify, to
To address this concern
Chassidic literature furnishes two
First, while it is indeed hard to
imagine that the average person
could attain the spiritual heights
of the Patriarchs, Moses and
contemporary spiritual giants
such as our Rebbe, we can and
must emulate their actions. Thus,
the Midrash declares: “Each and
every person can say, ‘when will
my actions reach the actions of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’” The
Rebbe explains: While it may not
be possible to achieve the same
spiritual level as the Patriarchs
with whom G-d communicated

freely and frequently, we can
reach, or at least touch, their level
of action (the Hebrew word used
here “ya’gi’u” can mean either
reach or touch).
Ben Zoma (Avos 4:1) tells
us: “Who is a wise person? One
who learns from every person.”
Simply put, this means there is
something we can learn even
from those who are inferior
to us. The Rebbe added an
interpretation that conveys a
complementary lesson: We must
also be able to learn from the
most spiritual of people who are
superior to us. We should never
say, “That person is too holy for
Second, Tanya teaches us
that we inherited spiritual traits
of kindness and compassion
from our Patriarchs. Moreover,
every Jew has the capacity to
give his or her life to remain true
to his or her belief in one G-d.
Jews of all stripes and levels of
observance or lack of observance
have tragically demonstrated this
fact over the ages: we inherited
that trait of self-sacrifice from
our Patriarchs, and it is deeply
embedded in our souls.
Similarly, each and every
Jewish soul possesses a spark of
Moses’ soul. He bequeathed his
knowledge of G-d to every Jew,
which gives us the potential to
generate feelings of awe and
reverence for G-d.
The Baal Shem Tov, cited by
Me’or Einayim of Rabbi Nochum
of Chernobyl, taught that every
Jew also possesses a spark
of Moshiach. It is this spark,
referred to as the Yechida, the
essence of the soul, that, when
ignited, enables us to reveal the
soul of Moshiach. As the Rebbe
taught us, when we declare
the words “Yechi HaMelech—
May the King live” in reference
to Moshiach, as well as other

expressions of our heartfelt plea
for Moshiach and Redemption,
such as Ad Masai, we empower
Moshiach to usher in the
Messianic Age.

Gimmel Tammuz. Since this
day, 20 years ago, our physical
ability to see and hear the Rebbe
has been obstructed. Many have
attempted to describe the Rebbe
and his accomplishments by
putting pen to paper. Books have
been written recently that tell of
his incredible brilliance, love,
leadership, compassion, wisdom,
etc. Even so-called self-professed
“outsiders” (in truth there is no
such thing; to the Rebbe every
Jew is an insider) have described
the Rebbe as the most influential

Continued from page 25
to make it happen!
[I digress for an important
point: As someone who deals
with young Bachurim daily, I
can tell you that the only real
way to deal with the Nisyonos of
today is a Bachur knowing that
“Yesh Rebbe B’Yisroel!” If the
Rebbe belongs only to his father
etc., then he is not motivated to
sacrifice his pleasures for that

rabbi in modern times. However,
there are also those who try
to “humanize” the Rebbe by
deemphasizing his spirituality, his
closeness to G-d, his prophetic
predictions, the many miracles,
etc., to make him more accessible
to the common person.
While we can understand
the basis for this misguided
effort now, we should appreciate
its fallacy; there is no need to
minimize those lofty aspects of
the Rebbe. We must not be afraid
to look up to the true giants of
Torah and allow their greatness
to inspire and influence us.

misconception may have a
kernel of truth in it. The Rebbe,
notwithstanding his position of

mission. It is when the Talmidim
know and realize that the Rebbe
did not forsake them, rather
continues to guide and advise
etc., that they become receptive
to living their lives in accordance
with the Rebbe’s vision.] 
Please make Moshiach – at
least part of – your agenda! May
– even before – this Gimmel
Tammuz be known as “Gimmel
Tammuz HaGadol” when the
Rebbe will be revealed – with

transcendent spirituality, was/
is equally present in and related
with our “lowly” world. The
Rebbe empathizes with each and
every person on his or her own
level. In the span of a few hours,
the Rebbe could advise a Torah
Sage, Prime Minister, scientist,
business person and a host of
“simple” people. The Rebbe’s
lofty, loving soul penetrated the
hearts and minds of every person.
This paradoxical quality,
other-worldly, human and G-dly,
can be attained by every Jew. To
do so requires only that we must
seek to rise to higher spiritual
levels without losing sight of the
need to relate and empathize with
people at all levels.

all his glory – and lead us to
Yerushalayim with all Yidden,
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.

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Issue 931 • �  




The story of a young wife who was taken from
her sheltered environment straight into the
world of Chabad. * She tells us of her rocky
engagement, the crisis during sheva brachos,
and the joy in hiskashrus to the Rebbe.
By Rocheli Dickstein
Photographs by Meir Alfasi and Yossi Ben Shoshan

In the heart of Yerushalayim,
Sh’arim, a little baby girl was
born. It would seem that the
readership of Beis Moshiach
would never hear of her, but
Hashem had other plans for this
baby, the granddaughter of Rabbi
Shmuel Yaakov Kahn, the Admur
of Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok.
Before we meet her, we
need to get acquainted with

32 � • 29 Sivan 5774

the environment in which Mrs.
Genendi Schneebalg grew up:
“My grandfather is the Admur
of Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok and
my father is a Satmar Chassid.
Satmar of today is different
than it used to be, and my father
identifies with the segment of
the community that remains
loyal to the late Reb Yoilish. The
significance is that he conducts
himself like Satmar of yesteryear
and his Rebbe continues to be
Reb Yoilish.
“From four o’clock in the

morning, my father sits and
learns all day, permeating the
house with a Torah atmosphere.
My mother instilled us with pride
in our father being a ben Torah.
In general, my parents are willing
to sacrifice a lot for Torah and
their example is a guiding light
for all their children.
“In Satmar we speak only
Yiddish as a matter of principle.
I myself did not speak Ivrit until I
married. I knew Ivrit but did not
like the language, so I just didn’t
use it. In Satmar, girls do not

Issue 931 • �  


look inside a Chumash until they
marry, which makes learning the
daily Chitas hard for me. The
reason for that is to prevent girls
from being exposed to certain
stories in the Torah. In general,
nowhere do girls learn as much
as they do in Chabad. Our school
schedule was from 8:30 – 1:00
and our curriculum included
learning halacha, T’hillim, the
wonders of the Creator, and
lessons on the Jewish home in the
upper grades.
“After school, we help out
at home. There was a time that
there was a chesed organization
which girls volunteered for, but I
don’t know if it still exists.
“There is what to admire in
the community I grew up in. For
one thing, I internalized the value
of tznius. And thanks to the fact

this only to show how remarkable
the story of our shidduch was.”

“My husband, R’ Yisroel
Sholom, is a grandson of the
Admur of Kretchnif of Rechovot.
He began taking an interest in
Chabad as a bachur. His father
would often take him to the
Chabad shul in Rechovot and
that is how he became acquainted
with this world, unlike myself.
Although there is a Chabad shul
near my parents’ home, it did
not interest me at all. The social
network in Mea Sh’arim is very
restricted and the only things I
knew about Chabad were Lag
b’Omer parades and a few other
things with not a particularly
positive slant.

“My father looked for the best for each of us.
Everybody checks out a shidduch but my father
Checks Them Out. I emphasize this only to show how
remarkable the story of our shidduch was.”

that in school the emphasis was
on learning practical halachos for
everyday life such as the laws of
Shabbos and brachos, I left with
clear halachic knowledge.
“I am the fourth daughter
in my family. I became engaged
when I was 18 and a half. In
Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok people
marry even younger, but my
father looks for special bachurim.
of Admurim marry only the
Even within this limited pool of
candidates, there are those who
are more special and those less
so. My father looked for the best
for each of us. Everybody checks
out a shidduch but my father
Checks Them Out. I emphasize

34 � • 29 Sivan 5774

“As I said, he knew a bit
more and began to become
began in earnest at the time that
he learned in Yeshivas Tchebin
in Yerushalayim. That is where
he began learning Chassidus,
to write to the Rebbe, to attend
farbrengens, and to become a
Chassid in an open way. He even
arranged a Tanya shiur for his
friends and urged them to write
to the Rebbe. All this caused
people to start talking about him
being a Chabadnik, even though
he was just starting out. His
rosh yeshiva told my mother-inlaw in no uncertain terms that if
people asked him about her son,
he would say he is a mekurav to

shidduchim offers were made, all
of them with granddaughters of
famous Admurim. My motherin-law said that the first one to
give a positive response would be
the one they pursued. In Chabad,
the process is different, but in
these circles, the significance of
a positive answer on the part of
the parents means the shidduch
is ready to be finalized. A day and
time are picked and the father
of the girl meets the prospective
groom while, somewhere else, the
mother of the bachur meets the
prospective bride. This meeting
takes about an hour.
“If the parents are favorably
impressed, they all meet in one
place and the boy and girl meet
for twenty minutes, and then
they make a l’chaim. There are
exceptions, of course, when the
couple meets for an hour or they
meet twice, but that is highly
unusual. This is probably why the
research done in advance is very
“The three other shidduch
prospects heard that the bachur
is a Chabadnik and although
they agreed to this, which is
quite remarkable, they did not
rush to conclude the shidduch.
My father, on the other hand,
spoke with just two people. The
information he received from
them was very good but they
did not reveal to him the young
man’s interest in Chabad. On
Motzaei Shabbos, he gave a
positive answer and we met on
“I was 18 and a half and he
was 17 and a half. Of course,
at our meeting Chabad did not
come up at all, and the shidduch
was concluded. From the time a
shidduch is concluded until the
wedding we wait a year. During
this period of time, the chassan
and kalla do not meet and do not
speak to one another.”

Cheshvan and on 11 Nissan my
husband went to the Rebbe. This
trip was widely spoken about in
the street, for not only was he a
Chabadnik, he was a veritable
Meshichist! People discussed it
on the streets where he lived, but
only little drops penetrated our
enclave of Mea Sh’arim. At first,
my father did not believe what
he heard, but as time went on he
began to realize that something
was amiss.
“It was two months before the
wedding and we were busy with
the preparations. I, a young kalla,
saw my father pacing restlessly.
He did not tell me what happened
and why he was so tense, but I
had a feeling it had to do with my
“I remember that I spoke with
a friend and told her that I would
be very happy if my chassan
became a Satmar Chassid, my
father’s Chassidus. She snorted
and said if he became another
type of Chassid he would become
a Chabad Chassid. I was shaken
up by this.
“I reported this to my father
and he dismissed my concerns,
saying, ‘The chassan learns a
bit of Chassidus, it’s nothing
serious and there is no reason to
get excited.’ Apparently, since he
saw I was apprehensive and knew
of my lack of fondness toward
Chabad, he decided not to tell me
what he had been hearing.
“Still, as a parent, he had to
check out the rumors and debunk
them. He sent someone to the
chassan’s family to ask whether
the rumors were true. They
said yes, and if we wanted to
break the shidduch, they would
understand and would not be
angry. But breaking the shidduch
was problematic. That would
make me a second-rate shidduch

choice. Aside from that, so many
preparations for the wedding had
been made and my father did not
want to do this to me.
“He went to all kinds of rabbis
and consulted with them. They
all told him: With Chabad there
is only one door. An entrance.
There is no exit. Hope that he
only got a little interested.
“My father did not know
what to do. On the one hand, a
Lubavitcher son-in-law would
be embarrassing. But should he
make his daughter a second-rate
choice and have her sit home
until she became old and gray?
“He decided to send someone
to the chassan himself. The
messenger conveyed to him that
the parents of the kalla were
willing to go through with the
shidduch on condition that he left
Chabad. My husband wrote to the
Rebbe and the Rebbe’s answer
was, ‘the hand of the Chassidim
will be uppermost.’ Encouraged
by this response, he said he was
not willing to drop anything. The
shadchan said, ‘Pick, either the
kalla or the Rebbe.’ My husband
said, ‘I pick the Rebbe.’
“Additionally, he asked that
it be communicated to the kalla
that it would be very hard for

him to drop the shidduch at this
stage but, if he left the Rebbe, it
would be easier for him now but
he wouldn’t have a life. So he
preferred the present difficulty,
knowing that he was choosing
life. Life without the Rebbe is not
“My father did not know
how to relate to this answer. He
decided to make some conditions
that would keep the shidduch
on track if the chassan agreed
to them. Some of the conditions
were not to go on mivtzaim, not
to send his children to Chabad
schools, and of course, not to
debate me about Chabad. The
purpose of these conditions was
for outsiders not to know that
he is Lubavitch, because my
husband continues to wear his
traditional clothing.
“My husband responded that
he does not make a move without
approval from his mashpia,
and he provided his mashpia’s
number. My father nearly had
a heart attack. A mashpia is
something unique to Chabad;
there is no such thing elsewhere.
“He had to call the mashpia
but was very afraid that, from
this conversation, he himself
would turn into a Chabadnik!

Issue 931 • �  


I will explain why. My father
was a bachur at the time that
R’ Wechter of Kiryat Malachi
became involved in Chabad. After
R’ Wechter left Satmar, they
poisoned the Satmar bachurim
against Chabad so they would
not leave and join Chabad too.
They told them that in Chabad
they have answers for everything
and so it was forbidden to talk to
them. This is also why my father
was very embarrassed by having a
Lubavitcher son-in-law.
“In the meantime, I realized
something had happened, but
I did not know what, since my
parents did not tell me. I could
see the tension in the house, my
worried father and my mother
crying. Whenever I asked what
was going on, they told me,
‘Nothing happened, just pray.’

in my father. He stood there
and did not want to discuss
it. He knew that I was very
curious and if he told me that
the chassan is Lubavitch, after
we married I would start looking
into what Chabad is all about.
As I said, one of the conditions
was for my husband not to get
into arguments with me about
Chabad, and my husband agreed
to that, since the Rebbe himself
says not to debate. So my father
thought that if I did not know, I
wouldn’t discuss it since there
would be no reason to discuss
such a remote topic, and life
would be normal and fine. All he
wanted was to wrap me, so to
say, in a soft, sweet cover so that
the new home would not become
embroiled in quarrels.
“But there he stood facing me

“The shadchan said, ‘Pick, either the kalla or the
Rebbe.’ My husband said, ‘I pick the Rebbe.’”

“One day, I passed by their
bedroom and heard my father
say, ‘Yes, after the shidduch they
kept saying he is not in yeshiva.’
This line confirmed a suspicion I
had for a while, that my chassan
had gone off the derech, leaving
Judaism. This was two weeks
before the wedding. I went to my
bed and sobbed.
“In the meantime, the door to
my parents’ room opened and my
father got ready to go to Mincha
while my mother, who had come
into my room, saw me crying and
asked what happened. I told her I
did not want to get married. She
said, ‘Don’t say that,’ meaning,
don’t talk about things that are
the opposite of good. ‘If you tell
me what I need to know, I won’t
say that which shouldn’t be said,’
I replied.
“My mother quickly called

36 � • 29 Sivan 5774

and I demanded to know what
was going on. He asked for two
days to think it over and I said,
‘You are not going out to Mincha
before you tell me.’ He thought
for a moment and then said, ‘He
is a Chabadnik.’ I let out a sigh
of relief and said, ‘That’s all? As
far as I’m concerned, he can be
a Breslover Chassid too, the main
thing is that he’s a Yid.’
“‘No, you don’t understand,’
said my mother. ‘He really
belongs to Chabad.’ I did not
understand the difference and my
parents were not eager to explain.
My mother said that Chabad puts
t’fillin on with people in the street,
may Hashem protect us. That
sounded fine to me. It was so far
from whatever I had conjured
up in my imagination. My father
warned me not to start acting like
him under any circumstances,
and our conversation ended.”

“A different time, my father
told me that in shidduchim, with
the first child a person thinks,
I’m making the shidduch and
Hashem helps. With the second
child, a person thinks, Hashem
and I do it together. With the
third child, a person thinks,
Hashem does it and I help. When
you get to the fourth child, it’s
clear that Hashem does it all.
I am the fourth child … My
father looked at the whole thing
in a positive light and said, ‘This
was simply your shidduch and
from heaven they did not let me
do anything, not even to make
inquiries properly. This is divine
providence at its best.’
“The wedding was very
joyous and then we began real
life together. On the third day
of sheva brachos, my husband
quoted the Rebbe several times.
Each time he did so, I quickly
switched the subject because
that is what I had been told to
do. But then my husband said
that in Chassidus it explains
how important a woman is, for
she is the mainstay of the home
and must be highly respected.
I listened and thought, hmmm,
this Chassidus is interesting …
The next time he mentioned
the Rebbe, without intending
anything and only having the
desire to meet him halfway, I
asked, ‘When did he pass away?’
I asked this innocently for at
that moment, I did not even
remember that some think he is
alive. My husband just looked at
me and said, ‘The Rebbe Melech
HaMoshiach is chai v’kayam.’
“I thought my world had been
destroyed. I, a young kalla during
sheva brachos, was living under
the same roof as a crazy person!
He just managed to tell me that
everything is based on halacha
and the Rambam, and then my

brother came to take him to
Mincha. I also stood up to daven
and I cried uncontrollably. That
was a Mincha that I davened
with the most kavana I ever had
in my life. I hadn’t even davened
Mincha like this on the day of
my wedding. I felt that before
I married I had my parents at
my side who could protect and
defend me, but now I had no one
but Hashem. I told Him – if this
is the right path, then open my
eyes and do so quickly. But if this
is not the right path, then open
his eyes, because I cannot go on
like this.
“I heard the door open. I
wiped my tears and took three
steps back to end Shmoneh
Esrei. At that moment I suddenly
felt an attraction toward Chabad.
Up until then, Chabad had not
interested me in the slightest.
Now, I suddenly wanted to hear
all about it. I felt a tremendous
thirst to know and know and
know. My husband told this story
at a farbrengen and people said
that maybe I had felt the yechida
of the nefesh. I don’t know
what it was. I only know that I
suddenly felt an interest and an
attraction toward Chabad that
was really unnatural.
“My husband was smart
enough not to ask what had
caused the change between my
attitude toward Chabad in recent
days to the slew of questions I
now had. He suggested that we
start learning Chassidus together
so that the house would be based
on Torah and Chassidus. As we
learned, I saw that it was not so
terrible. Despite everything, my
husband still wore the traditional
garb and I also realized that he
wasn’t in Chabad for money or
for honor, as they had told me.
I slowly relaxed and began to
understand that this is the right
path. My husband got me used to
the fact that the Rebbe is always

seeing and hearing each of us and
I accepted that most naturally.”

“Now the problem that
remained was everyone else.
I knew how my parents and
friends viewed Chabad and I
was ashamed to be a part of this.
But Hashem gives strength for
this too. The more Chassidus I
learn, the more I connect to the
Rebbe and through this deep
connection, all the difficulties
“The first time I went to a
farbrengen, I began to see the
p’nimius of the women and girls
in Chabad. People think that
what pushes outsiders away
is the topic of Moshiach chai
v’kayam. This is not true. What
turns frum people off and even
makes a chillul Lubavitch is the
way people look. When I talk to
my friends about Chabad being
the right derech, they say, ‘How
can the women dress that way?’
In Satmar, they talk a lot about
tznius. It’s the ikar of a woman.

“At first, I did not know what
to say. But I recently learned
the topic of the wife of Potifar.
The Rebbe says that where
there is more holiness (Yosef
HaTzaddik) the yetzer ha’ra
(the wife of Potifar) tries to
grab onto the garments. After
learning this sicha, I understood
why tznius is such a challenge.
And yet, since the midda tova is
far greater, when a Lubavitcher
woman is dressed modestly, it
makes a tremendously positive
impression on everyone. I heard
a distinguished rebbetzin talk
enthusiastically about a modest
Lubavitcher woman. She called
her, ‘a unique breed in Chabad.’
“At that farbrengen I saw
such p’nimius by the Lubavitcher
women and girls. On another
occasion, my husband was invited
to farbreng at a Shabbaton for
the Achos HaT’mimim. It was
a fantastic atmosphere and I
was so excited by the girls. They
used every extra minute to learn
Chassidus. They got up early
Continued on page 45

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“The first time I saw the Rebbe my whole body
began to tremble. I felt that I was standing
before a king.” Rabbi Mordechai Siev is a very
dynamic personality. He has met thousands of
Jews over the years who have turned their lives
around after meeting with him. With a humorous
smile, he combines his own life story with some
fascinating stories about the countless Jewish
souls he has encountered.
By Nosson Avraham; Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

38 � • 29 Sivan 5774


ne winter night, a
came into the Ascent
Institute of Tzfas. The
two were tourists who had come
from faraway South Africa on a
tour of Eretz Yisroel. The Ascent
staff quickly noticed something
rather strange. While the mother
was dressed as a Torah observant
woman, her young son was dressed
like a secular Jew. He spoke
scornfully and acted with total
Realizing that they had
a complex situation on their
hands, the front office knew
exactly where to send them. The
person they needed was Rabbi
Mordechai Siev. While Ascent
has numerous staff members, if
there’s anyone who has proven
that he can deal with interesting
types and “hard nuts to crack,”
it’s Rabbi Mordechai Siev,
known to everyone as “Big Mo.”
Rabbi Siev was called from
his office and after he greeted
the young man they sat down for
a discussion that lasted several
hours. Rabbi Siev’s office at
Ascent is the most lively and
colorful room at the institute. It
has a large sofa previously graced
by professors, philosophers, and
other deep thinkers, along with
simple Jews, young and old, from
all over the world. Everyone feels
surrounded by immense love,
alongside bottles of mashke and
pictures of baseball stars.
The young man sat in this
office with Rabbi Siev and he
proceeded to pour his heart out.
His life had not been an easy one.
It turned out that his father had
abandoned him and his mother
just before his bar-mitzvah, and
he had been angry at the whole
world, especially G-d, ever
since. The wounds inflicted by
his father’s desertion had never
healed, but when he found Rabbi

Siev’s attentive ear, his anger
began to cool. “While the mother
initially spoke with us about
accommodations for one day,
they eventually stayed for three
weeks,” R’ Mordechai said with a
playful smile.
We recently met with Rabbi
Siev at his home in the heart of
Tzfas’ Old City, and conducted
an interview with him that lasted
well into the night. Anyone
acquainted with him knows that
he is a person with a magnetic
personality. Although he is in
his fifties, he is characterized
by a youthful quality. He is a
warm and kindhearted Chassid
filled with tremendous Ahavas
Yisroel and considerable Torah
knowledge, and these always find
their way into the hearts of his
fellow Jews.
Rabbi Siev joined the Ascent
staff in 5747, and he has met with
thousands of Jews, paving the
way for many of them to begin
the spiritual journey to reawaken
their pintele yid. We asked him
about his activities and we came
away with a marvelous narrative
about a young American Jew
who became exposed to the
light of Yiddishkait with the
help of the Rebbe’s shluchim.
He subsequently vowed that he
would repay the favor by helping
other young Jews. His life
story has been filled with many
fascinating twists and turns.

Mordechai Siev was raised
in Woodbury, Long Island, in
a family that was somewhat
distant from Torah and mitzvah
observance. “My mother, a
teacher, came from a Jewish
family that had been religiously
unaffiliated. My father a”h, a
professional accountant, was
born in Brooklyn, and was a

descendant from a Yerushalmi
family.” While his parents were
very traditional, he was not so
The Siev family kept some
of the basic Jewish holiday
traditions, such as making
Kiddush. They would also
periodically visit the local
Conservative synagogue.
“Most of my friends were
Jewish, and when they celebrated
their bar-mitzvah, I decided that
I wanted to have one as well.

Mordechai Siev in the early days

In an amazing case of Divine
Providence, the Conservative
‘temple’ burned down a few
months before my bar-mitzvah,
and the ‘minyan’ moved to the
events hall of the Orthodox
school. Among the conditions for
renting the hall was arranging for
separate seating. I would walk
an hour to the shul and back,
while accompanying my paternal
grandmother, who was Torah
observant. Thus, it could be said
that I celebrated an Orthodox
bar-mitzvah,” said Rabbi Siev.
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“When they came back a few hours later the
young man said: ‘Rabbi, I never saw a pool like
that before. As soon as I got in and felt the cold water, I
experienced a real spiritual elevation.’”
Just like any other normal
American boy, he invested
long hours and days in playing
football, hockey, and other
sports. However, as he grew
older, he gave up his sports
dream. Since he was only an
average student, he enrolled in a
small college in upstate New York
to study business administration.
“There was a great deal of antiSemitism at this college. Since
most of the students were not
from the New York City area,
they didn’t have much contact
with Jews. They expressed their
anti-Jewish sentiments without
restraint while the Jewish
students suffered quietly.”
When Mordechai and his
friends came to the college they
decided to put a stop to this, once
and for all. “One day, we went to
the room of one of these antiSemitic bands and threatened
them in no uncertain terms. From
that moment on the rules of the
games changed – the punishment
would fit the crime. Jews would
no longer be subject to their
humiliating tactics. I headed a
group of Jewish students and we
would go around wearing ‘Star
of David’ chains and other Jewish
symbols – and the harassment
ceased. This was quite ironic, as I
didn’t know much about Judaism
besides for my being a member of
the Jewish People.”

At a certain stage, when
Mordechai felt that he had
completed his studies at this
college, he and some other friends
enrolled in the State University of

40 � • 29 Sivan 5774

New York at Buffalo, where he
discovered Chabad activities for
the first time. “I saw a sign on
campus with the words ‘Chabad
house.’ I asked my roommate,
who was also Jewish, about the
meaning of this sign. He told
me that this was a place where
they hold Jewish activities run
by two young Orthodox rabbis
– Rabbi Nosson Gurary and
Rabbi Heschel Greenberg. One
Shabbos I decided to go and see
for myself what they had to offer.
encounter with this rabbinical
duo. Since I hadn’t been raised
in Brooklyn, I had never met
such distinguished looking Jews.
I knew very little about observant
Jews, apart from the fact that
they mumble some ancient text
and drink a cup of wine once a
week. The first meeting took
place on Shabbos, when I came
in during the Friday evening
prayer service. The z’miros and
the overall atmosphere instilled in
me a wonderful feeling of calm.
The Chabad house was located
in a small and modest room
filled with a group of happy and
smiling young students.”
Until that moment, Mordechai
had thought that there was no
unique depth to Judaism, and
Jews were a people like anyone
else – Italians, for example.
“Before eating the Shabbos
meal together, they asked us to
do Netilas Yadayim and explained
its meaning. I became a regular
weekly guest at the Chabad
house. I learned something new
every time and my curiosity grew
more and more intense. After

the seuda I would join another
group of students for an informal
farbrengen with Dr. Dovid
Lazerson, a college educated baal
t’shuva who had come back to his
Jewish roots via the shluchim. We
learned from him about Ahavas
Yisroel. He would bring anyone
and everyone into his home.”
The connection with Rabbi
Gurary grew stronger each
Shabbos and their meetings
started to take place much more
“I took part in the Torah
on his outreach activities at
the university. Anyone familiar
with him knows that he’s a real
‘L’chat’chilla Aribber’ Jew and
this is the secret of his success.
I would go with him through
the student dormitories, meeting
Jews and speaking with them
earnestly about their Judaism.
During my first summer break
the shluchim organized a
‘summer yeshiva’ program, and I
took part as well.”
At the end of the summer
yeshiva, Mordechai put on a
yarmulke for the first time in his
life. However, he had a dilemma
what to do when he got home. In
the end, he put it in his pocket!
“My parents had already noticed
that I was not the same young
man they had sent to college.
For his part, my father said that
there are many kinds of religious
After the summer break
Mordechai returned for his third
and final year of college studies
at SUNY-Buffalo. Meanwhile, he
had gone into a spiritual decline.
“Of all people, it was specifically
a non-Jewish student who got
me back on track. During a
lengthy discussion, I told her
that I was becoming more and
more interested in the traditions

of my forefathers. She reasoned
that the best thing I could do
was to follow my conscience,
not what people tell me to do,
and observing ancient traditions
is always a good thing. It was
quite a paradox that gentiles were
encouraging me to get closer to
the traditions of my people.”

During Mordechai’s junior
year in college he was appointed
vice-president of the SUNY
Buffalo Jewish Student Union. In
this role he worked to intensify
the level of Jewish identity and
instill fear in anti-Semites, both
on and off campus. With the
passage of time, he had become
very close to his Jewish roots.
One of the final stages in this
process was when Rabbi Metzger
from Crown Heights came to
spend Shabbos at the university.
“He spoke in very convincing
terms about Yiddishkait, and this
proved to be a major factor that
led me to make the commitment
to begin keeping Shabbos,
kashrus, and putting on t’fillin.
I felt that the Torah was the
true path in life, not just some
historical legacy. I decided that
the moment had come to stop
sitting on the fence.”
Mordechai Siev became Rabbi
Nosson Gurary’s right-hand
man. “Shortly before Sukkos, it
was decided that SUNY-Buffalo
would have a sukka. Up until
then the university administration
had prohibited Rabbi Gurary
from building a sukka. We went
to the office of the dean and met
with a woman there. It turned out
that the dean who had rejected
the sukka construction every
year was on sabbatical, and the
woman was serving as interim
campus director. Rabbi Gurary

Top: A tour of the Old City. Bottom: A farbrengen with Ascent guests

explained to her that the grand
rabbi of the Jews had requested
that the university also have
a sukka, and she granted her
consent without hesitation. We
finished building the sukka just a
few minutes before Yom Tov.”
In Kislev 5736, Mordechai’s
third year at SUNY-Buffalo,
Rabbi Gurary organized a trip
for students to Crown Heights
to meet with the Rebbe. “He
brought us to 770 and pushed
us inside. The first time I saw the
Rebbe was when he was sitting
on his chair, and everyone was
passionately singing a Chassidic

niggun. My whole body began to
tremble. I felt that I was standing
before a king.”
By the time Mordechai
completed his undergraduate
studies, he was a full-fledged
Chassid who had already made
several visits to see the Rebbe.
“During a visit to Eretz Yisroel,
I went to study at Yeshivas ‘Ohr
T’mimim,’ but I didn’t feel
that it was for me at that stage.
When I returned to the United
States I began learning in the
baal t’shuva program at the
Rabbinical College of America
in Morristown, New Jersey. This

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“When I was a student in Yeshivas Tiferes Bachurim in Morristown, I would go
out with my friends each Friday for Mivtzas T’fillin in northern New Jersey. My job
was to drive the minivan to take all the T’mimim out on mivtzaim. After finishing
our route, we would often continue straight to Crown Heights to spend Shabbos in
770 with the Rebbe. One Friday during the winter of 5741, it started snowing very
heavily during the morning hours. I told the guys that we had to leave early, since
we didn’t want to get stuck along the way and risk not arriving at 770 in time.
“We hurried through our usual mivtzaim routes, but as the snowfall got heavier
and heavier, the police started closing roads. I quickly began driving toward
Brooklyn, hoping that the bridge would remain open. However, these hopes soon
proved false, as we saw the looming traffic jam with a large force of New York City
police officers closing off the bridge. When we realized that we wouldn’t make it to
Brooklyn in time, we tried to head back to Morristown. Unfortunately, the roads
to New Jersey were also blocked and huge traffic jams clogged every route we tried
to take.
“When we saw that we had only five minutes until Shabbos, we parked the
vehicle at an intersection, left all our belongings inside, and started walking toward
the city of Livingston. While we knew that there was a shliach in the city, we didn’t
know exactly where he lived. We started looking for houses with mezuzos. We
came up to the first house and knocked on the door, but the woman who saw us
through the peephole said that she didn’t have any money for a contribution and
refused to open the door. The same thing happened at the second house. At the
third house, a Jew opened the door and cheerfully welcomed us.
“He told us that today was his father’s yahrtzait, adding that he had been
particular to say ‘Kaddish’ in a minyan he led every year. This year, however, he
had been worried that the inclement weather would prevent him from continuing
the annual tradition. He prayed to G-d for help, and we walked in... He warmly
accepted us as his guests, and after we davened Mincha and Maariv together in his
home, he showed us how to get to the shliach’s house, where we spent the rest of
“This is the first part of our amazing story. The second part took place seven
years ago, when I traveled to the United States to sit Shiva for my father a”h. While
I had been planning on spending Shabbos in Crown Heights, a raging snowstorm
left me and my family on Long Island. In any event, I did what I could to arrange
for a minyan. That Friday I asked the local shliach in Huntington, Long Island,
Rabbi Asher Vaisfiche, what he could do. He promised that he would try and find
me a minyan, but due to the poor weather, he could only find two Jews, making
us a total of four. At a certain point, it sadly became clear to me that I wouldn’t be
able to say Kaddish.
“Suddenly, just an hour before Shabbos, Rabbi Vaisfiche received a call from
several bachurim who had been on their way from 770 to their mivtzaim route
when they got stuck due to the snowstorm. They asked if they could spend the
Shabbos with him... When he asked them how many they were, they replied, ‘Six
bachurim...’ He happily invited them to come, and it was only when they arrived at
the Chabad house that they realized how an incredible case of Divine Providence
had left exactly six of them stranded on Long Island.
“The shliach told me that this was the first time since he came out on shlichus
that he also had a minyan for T’hillim, as it was Shabbos Mevarchim. Yet, I
remembered well how in my youth I too had been involved in a very similar story...”

42 � • 29 Sivan 5774

was during Elul 5738.
The whole atmosphere
of the month of Divine
Mercy and Slichos with
all the maamarim, sichos,
and farbrengens in the
yeshiva was a source
of tremendous spiritual
pleasure that transformed
me into a true Chassid of
the Rebbe.”
5739, the bracha for the
T’mimim. “While they told
us to prepare ourselves,
nothing in the world could
have prepared us for this
lofty ritual, as the Rebbe
like a father to his sons.
Throughout that Tishrei,
I couldn’t understand how
the Rebbe managed to
function virtually without
a break.”

In 5740, Mordechai
married his first wife,
Chana a”h, and with the
Rebbe’s bracha, they set
out for Philadelphia to
serve on shlichus at the
University of Pennsylvania.
Toward the end of these
received an offer to go on
shlichus to work with the
Ascent Institute of Tzfas,
where he had served as
a counselor during his
journey to Eretz Yisroel
five years earlier. Rabbi
that he must receive the
Motzaei Shavuos, I stood
in the long line to receive
Kos Shel Bracha from the
Rebbe’s hand. However,

I didn’t know how to ask him
about the shlichus in the shortest
way possible, and thereby not to
take up too much of the Rebbe’s
valuable time.
“A friend of mine standing
with me at that moment told me,
‘Request a bracha for shlichus in
Tzfas, and the Rebbe will already
know who you are and where you
have been. If the Rebbe blesses
you – you’re on your way.’ This
is exactly what I did. As I stood
before the Rebbe, I repeated
those three words. The Rebbe
replied, ‘Bracha V’hatzlacha,’
and I moved on. Suddenly, I
heard that they were calling me
back. Filled with fear and anxiety,
I returned, and the Rebbe gave
me a bottle of mashke and said
to me: ‘When you arrive in
Tzfas, make a farbrengen with
this bottle.’ I was so excited that
I was unable to drive back to
Philadelphia. One of the Penn
students who came with me did
the driving instead.”
Not long afterwards, the Siev
family left Philadelphia and made
its way to Tzfas. Upon his arrival,
R’ Mordechai immediately joined
the Ascent staff, while his wife
joined the faculty of the Ohr
Menachem Chabad school for
girls. Over the twenty-seven
years since then, Rabbi Siev has
continued his shlichus as one of
the senior members of the Ascent
• What is the secret to
your success in spreading the
wellsprings of Chassidus?
“It’s all a matter of adhering
to the Rebbe’s instructions and
guidance. We give every Jew,
without exception, the same level
of respect and consideration – no
matter how he looks, how much
money he has, how old he is,
or what he has gone through in
life. I really enjoy helping people,
down to the last detail. When

“The Rebbe gave me a bottle of mashke and said to me:
‘When you arrive in Tzfas, make a farbrengen with this bottle.’”

we host guests at Ascent, while I
may look like a rabbinical figure,
I have no problem with getting
them a toothbrush, or even
pillows and blankets.
“A few months ago, a young
bride came to Ascent and invited
me to the happiest day of her life.
Since she looked like a girl from
a Lubavitcher home, I couldn’t
understand what connection I
had with her. She then told me
that several years earlier, during
a very confusing time in her life,
she came to Ascent, and I had
spent many long hours listening
to her troubles. It was our
demonstration of concern that
brought her back to the fold and
now she was about to get married
according to the law of Moshe
and Yisroel.”
Rabbi Siev maintains contact
with hundreds and thousands
of Jews who have come his way.
When I asked him for some
unique stories, he explained that
each time a Jew gets closer to his
Creator it’s a moving story of its
own. However, R’ Mordechai
agreed to tell us a few stories:
“In 5755, a couple of

They had been traveling through
Greece with their non-Jewish
friends, when they decided to
change their itinerary and make a
short trip to Eretz Yisroel.
“While they were visiting
Yerushalayim, they met someone
(to this day, I don’t know who
this was) who told them about
‘Big Mo’ in Tzfas. When they
came into Ascent, they asked to
meet me. We sat together and
chatted, and I discovered that
they knew absolutely nothing
about Judaism. We started talking
about sports, and I connected it
to Jewish topics. This twosome
originally thought that they
would hang around at Ascent for
a few days, but they ended up
staying for three months.
“On Chai Elul we gathered
for a farbrengen and I told them
that they had to make some
good practical resolutions. One
of them promised that he would
marry a Jewish girl, while the
other said that he would refrain
from eating non-kosher meat.
For these guys, these were very
heavy decisions. A few years
passed after they left Ascent and
I received a wedding invitation

Issue 931 • �  



This year, however, he had been worried that
the inclement weather would prevent him from
having a minyan for Kaddish. He prayed to G-d for help,
and we walked in...
in the mail: The student who
had promised that he would only
marry a Jewish girl was getting
married in New York. Since the
date of the wedding was close
to the International Shluchim
Conference, the timing worked
out just right for me to attend,
and I did. It was most surprising
to see that this wedding, held
in Manhattan, was conducted
according to the law of Moshe
and Yisroel.
“A year later, I received
another invitation from the
second young man, and when I
arrived at his wedding, I was even
more surprised. He had become
completely Torah observant.
We remain in contact with one
another to this day, and he sends
his children to learn in Orthodox
R’ Mordechai then told us
another fascinating Ascent story:
“One Shabbos, as I was making
a farbrengen, a young man
and woman came in and asked
if there was a swimming pool
in town. Naturally, I couldn’t
direct them to a swimming pool
on Shabbos, but it also wouldn’t
be proper to send them away
empty-handed. Therefore, I sent
them in the direction of the Ari’s
Mikveh... When they came back
a few hours later, the young
man said: ‘Rabbi, I never saw a
pool like that before. As soon as
I got in and felt the cold water,
I experienced a real spiritual
“Two years later, I went
into 770 to daven Mincha. At
the conclusion of the minyan,
a young man wearing a proper

44 � • 29 Sivan 5774

Chassidic hat and suit came up to
me and asked if I recognized him.
When I failed to remember him, I
asked him to tell me who he was.
The young man then reminded
me that I had sent him to the
Ari’s Mikveh. Deeply moved by
this revelation, we went outside
together, when a young modestly
dressed woman approached us. It
turned out that the two followed
a process of t’shuva together and
then each went his/her separate
way. Now, they are just a few
weeks away from their wedding,
scheduled to take place in Crown

Rabbi Siev is an endless
source of moving stories and we
asked him to give us one more at
the conclusion of our interview.
“During Chanukah 5748, just
as I was beginning my work at
Ascent, a group of young Jewish
college students from the Hebrew
University overseas program
They were just starting their
life journey, each one with his
own dream. One wanted to be
a Reform rabbi, another wanted
to be a Conservative rabbi, one a
chazzan, another a teacher, etc.
“I listened to their dreams,
and in the brief time I had with
them, I tried to infuse them with
some words from the Torah of
Truth. One of the high points of
their tour was going to the Ari’s
Mikveh, but when we got there,
no one wanted to go in. I then
remembered when I went to the
mikveh for the first time in my
life together with my mentor,

Rabbi Gurary. Without saying a
word, he got undressed and went
in. I decided here that I would
do the same, so in the manner of
Nachshon, I took the plunge and
everyone followed me.
“The rest of the story is no
less amazing. Some years later,
I traveled to Los Angeles. I went
into a music store, where I met
an Orthodox Jew who greeted
me with great enthusiasm. ‘Do
you remember me?’ he asked.
I did remember him and I was
quite stunned. He told me about
his friend who wanted to be a
teacher, and how he too had
become Orthodox. However,
this friend did not neglect his
dream, as he became a melamed
in a cheider in Boston. When I
asked about the one who wanted
to a chazzan, he told me with a
smile that he had also become
a baal t’shuva, and he too had
fulfilled his dream as a chazzan
in an Orthodox shul in Boston.
Yet, he had no knowledge about
what had happened to the fourth
member of the group.
“A few years ago, after I had
already forgotten the whole
episode, I set out on a fundraising
trip for Ascent. As I was waiting
at the Lod Airport terminal, I saw
a chareidi man running toward
me. He gave me a warm embrace
without saying who he was.
As he started telling me where
we had previously met, I felt a
lump in my throat. This was the
fourth young man, the one who
wanted to become a Conservative
‘rabbi’. Instead, he did t’shuva,
completed his rabbinical studies
in Yerushalayim, and was then
on his way to New York for his
wedding, preparing to establish
a home based on Torah and
• As someone who has
been involved in outreach work
for so many years, are there

different approaches to do doing
outreach from what existed
thirty years ago?
“The technological media
makes people crazy. In the past, I
would sit with a Jew and talk with
him for hours while his mind was
totally free to listen. Today, I try
to summarize the message in as
short a manner as possible. You
can see hundreds of people sitting
on a train or a bus, and instead of
talking among themselves, each
person is immersed in his own
electronic device. This presents
us with a very complicated
challenge. In any event, one thing
that hasn’t changed is the Jewish
soul thirsting to hear the inner
depth of Torah.”
• What about the subject
of Moshiach, which the Rebbe
calls “the only remaining
“I speak clearly with people
about how the Rebbe is ‘the
leader of the generation,’
the ‘Moshe Rabbeinu’ of the
generation, and the only Jewish
leader who cares for every Jew,
no matter who he/she is. In my

Continued from page 37
in the morning to learn before
davening. There was a girl there
who had what to improve when
it came to tznius, but the minute
she opened her siddur to the
Birkas HaMazon, I couldn’t take
my eyes off of her. What a special
bentching that was.”

“We really see how it is Yemos
opened an evening kollel for
Poilishe Chassidim like us. In
Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok there
are another three who became
Lubavitch and many others

Rabbi Mordechai Siev in his office

opinion, we need to explain the
concept properly and give them a
clear picture of what it all means.
As a result, intelligent people
will eventually draw their own
“With regard to publicizing
about Moshiach, it largely
depends upon the person
with whom you are speaking
and what he knows about the
subject. Throughout the years
of my shlichus, I have always

spoken to people as individuals,
not using one approach for
everyone. I know some Jews
who are incredibly inspired
when they learn Chapter 32 of
Tanya. Others are deeply moved
by Chapter 2 of Tanya, ‘Basi
L’Gani,’ or ‘Shaar HaYichud
V’HaEmuna.’ The same thing
goes for ‘Moshiach’ – I speak
with each person according to
his/her own spiritual ‘vessels.’”

are learning Chassidus. Not
only is there no location in the
world untouched by the Rebbe’s
teachings, but people from all
groups and backgrounds write to
the Rebbe.
“My husband gets many
phone calls, even from nonChassidim, asking him to write
to the Rebbe on their behalf. For
example, someone from a famous
family in Mea Sh’arim called
him before Pesach. His financial
situation was bleak and he was
embarrassed to tell his family.
He wanted to ask the Rebbe
what to do. The Rebbe’s answer
was to help Tomchei T’mimim.
For a Chassid, this is easy; for
this person, it entailed mesirus

nefesh. Nevertheless, he made a
donation to one of the Chabad
“After Pesach, he called my
husband back, this time with a
request to write a letter thanking
the Rebbe along with other
requests. In some unexpected
way he had gotten a sum of
money. The amount of money
was so large that he said it was
years since he had celebrated
Pesach with such abundance.
“We see how the Rebbe makes
certain to have a representative
in every location so that, in the
moment of the hisgalus, no Jew
will remain behind. The world is
ready for the hisgalus.”

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It’s no coincidence that the kidnapping of three Jewish high school boys
took place near Chevron and all rescue efforts are presently focused on
this area. The one who handed Chevron to the terrorist organizations
was the incumbent prime minister who ran into their waiting arms during
his first term in office and presented them with the Holy City of our
Forefathers in the ‘Chevron-Wye Plantation’ agreements. Now he has the
opportunity to rectify his blunder. The IDF operation underway in Chevron
must become the trigger for reconquering the city and reinstituting
military control over its entire territory.
By Sholom Ber Crombie
Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

Even before we start looking
for the guilty parties responsible
for the kidnapping of three
yeshiva students in Gush Etzion –
and there definitely are – we first
have to reflect on the marvelous
unity and exceptional solidarity
that has encompassed the Jewish
People since the incident became
public knowledge two weeks ago.
There’s no other nation like Am
Yisroel that can recall within an
instant how it’s actually one body,
one people, with one destiny.
immediately reminded us of the
true proportions by which we
are living today. Until a couple

46 � • 29 Sivan 5774

of weeks ago, everyone was
preoccupied with the battles
of left vs. right, chareidi vs.
national religious. Yet, in a
heartbeat, we have once again
become one people. During its
most difficult hours, the People
of Israel manage to rise above
petty concerns and suddenly all
divisions seem insignificant in
nature. It’s true that not all Jews
share the same sense of dread
over this calamity. There can
be no doubt that Telmon and
Gush Etzion have experienced
the fear in recent days over the
kidnapping far more intensely
than the residents of Tel Aviv. Yet,
in the final analysis, we have once
again revealed that we are one

people with one eternal destiny
connecting us in a firm and
unbreakable bond.
Two weeks ago, we saw the
tremendous power of the Jewish
People, and above all, the strength
of the kidnapped boys’ families.
This time, contrary to other
cases, the families didn’t make an
immediate call to the government
to release terrorists, nor did they
blame the government for its
weakness. Instead, they conveyed
a message of great strength to the
entire Jewish People, calling upon
them not to be dispirited and
not to surrender to terrorism.
In this story, they are the ones
who are giving strength to the
government, as it conducts this

military operation and wages war
against terrorism with resolute

In any case, we also cannot
avoid the accusations being
leveled against those who never
drew the proper conclusions
and asked themselves why they
are paving the way to the next
kidnapping. This includes Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
who only a few weeks ago
removed a moderate and limited
proposal from the legislative
agenda that would have slowed
down the mad rush on the issue
of releasing terrorists.
In the end, the proposed
law turned out to be one big
“bluff.” Although the outside
world saw this as an attempt to
pass legislation preventing future
terrorist releases, in practical
terms, the proposal’s maximum
potential was to give high court
justices the authority to rule that
a certain terrorist could not be
released in any possible prisoner
exchanges. However, the prime
minister even tried to torpedo
this watered-down idea, when
the state attorney general rejected
the proposal due to a “question
of its legality.” Yitzchak Rabin
once said that terrorism must be
fought without the Israeli High
Court of Justice and without
the ‘B’tselem’ human rights
organization. This still hasn’t
Instead of passing a clear
law imposing a death sentence
on terrorists, as they do in the
United States where capital
punishment is a part of the
criminal justice system, Israeli
policymakers stammer in the
face of the terrorists and their
hunger strikes. But worst of all,
successive Israeli governments

murderers wholesale, enabling
the terrorist organizations to
keep dreaming about the next
abduction. After all, they know
that for every kidnapping, they
are rewarded with hundreds of
freed terrorists – if not more –
without paying any price.
If anyone is responsible for
this latest act of terrorism, it’s
those who have been showing
weakness to the Arabs for years,
pushing for another deal on
releasing terrorists, as if it would
bring peace to Israel and prevent
war with these vile killers. Just
this past year, another “phase” of
terrorist releases took place as a
gift to the “Palestinian Authority”

who ran into their waiting arms
during his first term of office and
presented them with the Holy
City of our Forefathers through
the ‘Chevron-Wye Plantation’
Now, he has the opportunity
to correct the situation. The
IDF operation underway in
Chevron must become the trigger
for reconquering the city and
reinstituting military control
over its entire territory. If we
were in full control of Chevron
now instead of abandoning it to
the enemy, we could operate an
intelligence corps on such a level
that we could locate these boys
immediately, without the need

Anyone who thinks that diplomatic agreements
or submitting to the terrorists will bring us the
long-awaited peace in the Middle East is delusional. The
only way to restore security to the residents of Eretz
Yisroel is to remind the terrorists that it just doesn’t pay
for them to tangle with us.

for agreeing to renew diplomatic
negotiations with the Netanyahu
government. Hundreds of Arab
murderers were released, and
no one bothered to ask himself
what kind of support and
encouragement this action gives
to the terror organizations.

The kidnapping of these three
yeshiva students provides an
excellent opportunity for us to
come to our senses and remind
the terrorists who’s the boss in
Eretz Yisroel. It’s no coincidence
that this incident took place near
Chevron, and all rescue efforts
are presently focused on this area.
The one who handed Chevron to
the terrorist organizations was
the incumbent prime minister,

to send thousands of soldiers to
make a house-to-house search
for the terrorists’ lair.
As the residents of Eretz
Yisroel now clamor for effective
government action, they don’t
have to settle just for cutting
off water and electricity in the
Gaza Strip until these boys are
released. Instead, they should
demand a return of the security
situation that prevailed before
the “Oslo” process began. This is
the time to renounce the concept
of “the new Middle East” and
its nightmarish vision of peace
by abolishing, once and for all,
the fictional entity known as the
“Palestinian Authority.” Since
we are the ones who collect the
tax money for their coffers, what
would happen if we gave them
municipal control, similar to
Issue 931 • �  


what exists in any normal Israeli city,
with their own mayor but without
any national sovereignty?
The Arabs have long ago ceased
to honor the Oslo Accords, and
even the coordinated security
arrangements in existence to this day
are expected to end due to the unity
pact between the PA and Hamas.
Only the government of Israel,
past and present, has continued to
fulfill its international obligations
to this farce, despite the Arabs’
persistent and blatant violations of
these agreements. We now have a
golden opportunity to establish clear
rules and teach the other side that
it simply doesn’t pay for them to
abduct Jewish children.

Those who said that the
previous government of Israel is
more responsible than anyone else
for this kidnapping are absolutely
right. After the government didn’t
want to make an official freeze on
building in Yehuda and Shomron
for political reasons, it opted instead
to release terrorists. Those who
made this arrangement on freeing
murderers instead of freezing
settlement construction committed
a terrible sin against the Jewish
People. Regrettably, the settlement
freeze wasn’t really lifted, as proven
in the recent campaign by Yesha
Council leaders. They claimed
that there is actually a quiet freeze
in Yehuda and Shomron while
hundreds of terrorists were released,
providing a tremendous source
of encouragement to the terror
There’s no need to search for
guilty parties, as the facts clearly
show that every time the government
of Israel degrades itself, the terrorists
stand tall and take action. It
happened with the murder of Shelly
Dadon Hy”d in Migdal HaEmek, it
happened with the murder of Tomer
Chazan Hy”d in Bat Yam, and again

48 � • 29 Sivan 5774

with the murder of Evyatar Borovsky
Hy”d at Tapuach Junction – while we
acted with restraint. We have become
accustomed to Arabs killing Jews in
Eretz Yisroel as routine occurrences.
The terror organizations have never
been made to pay a price for their
brutal activities, as they continue
shedding more and more Jewish
During the last two years we
have repeatedly heard reports of a
third intifada on the horizon. While
the state-run media has hardly
mentioned the terrorist incidents
that continually take place in Yehuda
and Shomron, the lives of local
residents have become more and
more perilous. The recent abduction
of these three boys is merely the
straw that broke the camel’s back.
Since the kidnapping, the Israeli
media has been trying to claim that
this incident was the direct result
of hitchhiking, and the controversy
swirling around the hitchhiking
issue has become the central point
of discussion on the media agenda.
It’s only a pity that all those arguing
about hitchhiking have forgotten that
more than a thousand Jews have been
killed over the past twenty years in
terrorist attacks – not by hitchhiking.
Shelly Dadon was murdered on her
way to a job interview in Migdal
HaEmek, Tomer Chazan was
murdered by his Arab co-worker
in a Bat Yam restaurant. Terrorism
has never distinguished between
venues for their acts of violence; the
terrorists believe that anyplace can
be designated as a suitable location
– even the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv,
the Maxim Restaurant in Haifa, and
the Machane Yehuda marketplace
in Yerushalayim. Therefore, those
who steer the public debate to the
issue of hitchhiking seem to forget
that terrorism has always existed in
Eretz Yisroel and it is not the result
of people taking rides with strangers.
It is the direct result of our display of
weakness towards these violent and
murderous groups.

The Jewish People are a very
strong people who reveal their inner
strength during the hardest of times.
We discovered last week how strong
and united our people really are.
We must channel this strength into
an unequivocal demand from the
government to put an end to this
vicious bloodletting, once and for all.
The Arabs have always been trying
to kill us. Terrorism wasn’t born in
1967, as the left-wing would have
us imagine. The Tarpat pogroms
took place eighty-five years ago,
long before the “occupation” began.
Anyone who thinks that diplomatic
agreements or submitting to the
terrorists will bring us the longawaited peace in the Middle East is
delusional. The only way to restore
security to the residents of Eretz
Yisroel is to remind the terrorists that
it just doesn’t pay for them to tangle
with us. We know how to protect
our citizens with all the required
weapons of war, and anyone who
wishes to harm us will quickly find
out that Jewish blood is not cheap.
Just a few weeks ago, the United
States Government made its own
prisoner swap, slightly different
from the deal made in Eretz Yisroel
to secure freedom for Corporal
Gilad Shalit. While this deal also
involved the release of a soldier held
in captivity for five years, only five
terrorists were freed, as opposed
to more than a thousand. Yet, even
this prisoner exchange aroused
harsh criticism against the Obama
Administration from across the
political spectrum. Americans had
no qualms about asking how its
commander-in-chief could agree
to submit to terrorism by releasing
five of Al Qaeda’s deadliest killers
in exchange for one soldier who had
gone AWOL and deserted his unit.
In this affair, the government of
Israel can learn from America how
to relate uncompromisingly to terror



By D Chaim
“I’m so glad you came!”
shouted a redheaded boy.
“Yeah, we were waiting for
you,” said another boy. Then
the one on the side, the tallest
of them all, called out, “Let’s
go! One, two, three ...”
That was the sight that I saw
as I walked on the edge of the
park. What was I doing all alone
in the park in this unfamiliar

My father joined the staff
of shluchim at the Chabad
house nearby and is responsible
for this neighborhood. Many
families who are not yet
religious live here. Right away,
on our first Shabbos living
here, I went out on mivtzaim
as befits a real shliach. I passed
by the Chabad house where
I got the nosh and then went
to run a Mesibas Shabbos in
the neighborhood park. On
the previous two Shabbasos,
everything went well. The
children enjoyed it and so did
I. But this time, something
happened …
I hadn’t realized what
the kids around me were
planning and before I
knew it, the bags of
nosh were grabbed
out of my hands.

Each of the boys surrounding
me had grabbed one bag and
before I could chase after them
they had run in three different
directions. It was both sad and
funny at the same time. Funny
because one child remained
standing there helplessly at
the sound of laughter from the
three mischievous children, and
sad because the child was me.
I stood there in the park
with fifteen children around
me, waiting to recite the 12
p’sukim and get their nosh, but
I was at a loss as to what to
do. The children who had taken
the bags were almost my age.
I looked at them and although
I did not see malice in their
laughing eyes, I found it hard
to find a way to get them to
give up their game and give me
back the bags.
Although I realized that
they hadn’t thought much
before they did what they
did, I felt really helpless. I was
embarrassed in front of the
other children and maybe even
a little fearful of what else they
could do. I just walked away.
I left the nosh with them and
sought refuge in my room in

Issue 931 • �  


Tzivos Hashem
those who seemed troublesome you is similar to the situati
we are all in now.
becoming your helpers.”
a person can think that
I love my grandfather’s
the limitations of the world
stories and I was curious to
interfere with his activities
hear this one. He closed his eyes
to bring the Geula. And if the
for a moment, as though trying
world doesn’t understand, then
to recall the details of the story,
maybe we have to reckon with
and then he said:
the opinion of the world.
“We were living in Russia
“But the Rebbe says it’s just
then. It was in the period after
the opposite. When a person
the communist government
collapsed. It still wasn’t easy
impressed by
without being
to openly keep mitzvos. On
cha the world, he will see
Shavuos, we went on Tahalu
only does not
the world not
to nearby shuls as we sang,
a interfere but it actually helps
when suddenly we noticed
him in his work. So go tell
gathering of gentiles from afar.
the children in the park about
They were standing in the
the coming of Moshiach very
middle of the pavement.”
soon. See to it that they all get
“Did they do anything to excited and say the p’sukim to
you?” I asked curiously and be ready to welcome him. That
nervously at the same time.
is how your problem will solve
“Listen patiently and you’ll itself.”
hear,” said my grandfather
reassuringly and continued. “A
d to go back to the
and I decide
few of the people among us
park. I got there and gathered
were afraid and wanted to stop
the children. They were all
singing so we wouldn’t stand
curious to see how I would get
out so much. But I decided not
back the nosh but I ignored that
to display any signs of fear. We
and began the Mesibas Shabbos.
continued singing loudly and
I confidently explained to all of
when we reached where they
them that we need to prepare
were, they moved aside and
to welcome Moshiach and that
respectfully let us pass. Some of
we would start by reciting the
them even clapped.
twelve p’sukim.
“Do you understand? It all
I suddenly noticed that the
depends on you. If you display
three boys who had grabbed
weakness and lack of confidence
the bags were coming closer
in your ability to succeed, it can
and joining us. After I finished
cause others to try and bother
telling them what the Geula
you, but if you are confident
is, they got up and returned
and believe in yourself and
the bags, apologized, and even
act l’chat’chilla aribber, then
offered their help in giving it
you will see those who seemed
your out.
“If you display weakness and troublesome
“We are sorry. We did
lack of confidence in your ability helpers.”
we did it.
to succeed, it can cause others
paused not think before
also want to be ready for
to try and bother you, but
and looked at me as though
you are confident and believe to check to see whether I had the Geula,” they said in
in yourself and act l’chat’chilla followed what he said. Then he serious
aribber, then you will see continued, “What happened to

my new house. I went as fast
as I could before they would
notice the tears that threatened
to flow.
our guests that Shabbos. They
wanted to see our new home
in the neighborhood that from
now on would be our place of
shlichus. My grandfather is
a Chassidishe man, a talmid
chacham. His white beard
gives him an especially noble
appearance. In addition to
all his fine qualities, he also
has a way of knowing when
something out of the usual
happens. I used to think that all
grandfathers get this ability as
soon as their first grandchild is
born, but I finally came to the
conclusion that my grandfather
is special.
The “good Shabbos” that
I blurted out before I entered
the room made him a little
suspicious. Before very long
he knocked at the door to my
room. “Berele,” I heard his
soft voice on the other side of
the door. “Can I come in?” I
got out of bed against my will
and opened the door for my
grandfather as I forced a smile.
After my grandfather made
himself comfor table on the
chair in the corner of the room,
I told him what happened
at the park. He nodded
understandingly and said, “So
you felt like a sheep among
seventy wolves? That reminds
me of a story that happened to
me about twenty years ago.”

50 � • 29 Sivan 5774

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