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11 Nissan, 5760

"Happy Birthday, Rebbe"

Please pray for the immediate and complete recovery of
Horav Chaim Yehuda Kalman Ben Rochel Marlow Shlita,
head of the Bet-Din (Rabbinical Court) of Crown Heights


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Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12


In honor of his 98th birthday,
11 Nissan, 5760

Click here, to see pictures of the Rebbe
The Daily Sicha (in Real Audio) - Listen to selected excerpts of the Rebbe's Sichos
[talks] which are relevant to the particular day.


We are pleased to present, to the visually impaired and the blind, our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.


In this issue, we focus on the Rebbe's 98th birthday.


This Jewish year, is the year 5760 since Creation. The Hebrew letters are Hei-Tav-Shin-Samech. Over a decade ago, in the year 5742, the Rebbe stated that the Hebrew letters for that year were an acronym for "This should be the year of the coming of Moshiach."

Since that time, the Rebbe has publicized a phrase describing the year according to the acrostic of its Hebrew letters. This year has been designated by the Rebbe's followers as "Hoyo T'hei Shnas Segulah," meaning "It will surely be an auspicious year."


Our sincere appreciation to L'Chaim weekly publication, published by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, for allowing us to use their material.

Also, many thanks to our copy editor, Reb Mordechai Staiman, for his tireless efforts.


It is our fervent hope that our learning about Moshiach and the Redemption will hasten the coming of Moshiach, NOW!

Rabbi Yosef Y. Shagalov,
Committee for the Blind

2 Nissan, 5760
Brooklyn, New York


The spirit of G-d will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and might, a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of G-d. He shall be inspired with fear of G-d, and he shall not judge with the sight of his eyes nor decide according to the hearing of his ears. He shall judge the poor with righteousness and decide with equity for the humble of the earth... Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faith the girdle of his reins" (Isaiah 11:2-5).


The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of Lubavitch, issued a call that "The time of our Redemption has arrived!" and "Moshiach is on his way!"

The Rebbe stressed that he is saying this as a prophecy, and asks us all to prepare ourselves for the Redemption, through increasing acts of goodness and kindness.

Let us all heed the Rebbe's call.


Some things never change. Like matzah! Year after year, matzah always tastes the same. You'll never see a matzah box flashing the words "new and improved" or "all-new recipe." Flour and water can't taste much different from flour and water.

Change is taking place in the world around us so quickly that it's reassuring to know that there are things in our lives and in the world that are stable. They were the same yesterday as they are today and the same as they'll be tomorrow.

This consistency can be found in the Rebbe's assertion that ours is the last generation of exile and the first generation that will experience the long-awaited redemption for all humankind.

Long before the Rebbe accepted the leadership of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement 50 years ago and uttered the above words in his first public address, his thoughts were already absorbed with the idea of Moshiach and the Redemption. In a letter the Rebbe describes that even as a very young child, he envisioned the world as it would be in the Messianic Era.

The thread joining all of the Rebbe's public addresses is the drive to do another mitzvah, to study another Torah concept, to hope and pray with a little more feeling in order to hasten the Redemption.

This effort intensified when the Rebbe, with his prophetic vision, and quoting an ancient Jewish text, declared that "the time for the Redemption has arrived," a time of peace, prosperity, harmony and knowledge, a perfect world.

Day after day the Rebbe said that we are poised on the threshold of the Redemption. The Rebbe pointed to events taking place around the world, as well as technological advances, as indications of, or precursors to, the Messianic Era.

The Rebbe encouraged everyone: "Open your eyes" to the reality of the Redemption. Make the Redemption your reality.

As we celebrate on Yud Alef Nissan (Sun., April 16) the Rebbe's 98th birthday, we also celebrate this year 50 years of the Rebbe's leadership. Fifty years in Jewish tradition is a jubilee, described in the Torah by the famous words, "Proclaim liberty throughout the land."

In this fiftieth year of the Rebbe's leadership, let's strive to experience true liberty, to really open our eyes to the reality of the good and G-dly in everyone and everything around us.

This new vision, together with an additional mitzvah, will surely bring the ultimate change to the entire world, the change from exile to Redemption, with the revelation of Moshiach, NOW!


On Sunday, 11 Nissan (April 16), we celebrate the Rebbe's 98th birthday. It is customary to recite daily the chapter in Psalms corresponding to one's years. Chasidic tradition encourages that one recite daily the Psalm of the Rebbe as well. Thus, Jews the world over will begin reciting Psalm 99 on Sunday, 11 Nissan, in the Rebbe's honor.


The Psalm speaks of the "wars of Gog and Magog" that will take place during the time preceding the final Redemption. It begins, "When the L-rd will be [revealed as] King, the nations will tremble; the earth will quake before Him Who is enthroned upon the kruvim." The commentator Radak explains that after this cataclysmic war, G-d will establish the earth on the foundations of justice, and even the earth itself will exult.

The Psalm continues on the theme of justice, stating, "Mighty is the King Who loves justice, You have established uprightness; You have made [the laws of] justice and righteousness in Jacob." The commentary Metzudat David clarifies this verse, saying that the Torah is uprightness, the Torah's rulings are justice, and by living according to what is contained within the Torah a person becomes righteous. All of these were given to the children of Jacob (the Jewish people) and are G-d's "work."

There are two ways a person can ask for things from G-d: a) with justice, for the person is deserving because of his conduct, and b) asking for G-d's charity and righteousness. Chasidus explains that even when a person is deserving, he should set aside his ego and ask for G-d's charity and kindness (righteousness). For, while justice is limited and meted out according to one's actions, G-d's kindness is unlimited.

As we celebrate the Rebbe's 98th birthday, may we set aside our egos and ask G-d to immediately bring the revelation of Moshiach and the eternal era of peace, prosperity and knowledge. Surely after nearly 2,000 years of exile we deserve that the Redemption commence immediately and we need not wait for G-d's kindness; Divine justice demands that Moshiach be revealed NOW. Amen.


World leaders, statesmen, great rabbis, artists, business leaders: the roster of well-known personalities who interacted with the Rebbe is a veritable Who's Who. To some the Rebbe corresponded in writing, others came to the Rebbe for a private audience, still others received the Rebbe's blessing and advice at a brief encounter on Sundays when the Rebbe distributed dollars to be given to charity.

In honor of Yud Alef Nissan, the 98th birthday of the Rebbe, we present our readers with a few glimpses into these interactions.

The following quotes from the Rebbe are culled from a variety of sources; there is a tremendous variance in style which we hope will not be distracting to the reader:


Herbert Weiner
(Author, Nine A Half Mystics)

From an article by Mr. Weiner

Q: Is a Rebbe a human being like the rest of us, or something else?

A: We are, of course, all of us flesh and blood and I am not responsible for all the stories in your heart. But yes, a Rebbe can have special insight, see things and know things beyond the comprehension of most people.

Q: What about the Rebbe's blessing?

A: It is possible for the tzaddik, the Rebbe, to awaken powers slumbering within a man. It is possible to bring himself into contact with a higher level of powers outside his own soul.

* * *

Mr. Ardadiusz Rybicki
(President of the Council for Polish-Jewish
Relations, Republic of Poland)

From a letter dated 15th of Cheshvan, 5752 [1991]

This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter in which you express deep sorrow about the terrible anti-Semitic incident that took place last month in front of the synagogue in Warsaw; that the perpetrators were captured and will be prosecuted, and that the behavior was condemned by President Walesa, etc. You also express the hope that, in the future, intolerance and prejudice will disappear from the Polish people and that you are working towards this end.

Apropos of the above I would like to add that last month, in beginning of Tishrei, we ushered in the current Jewish Year, 5752, with the celebration of Rosh HaShanah, the anniversary of the creation of the first man, Adam. Our Sages of the Talmud explain why the creation of man differed from the creation of other living species and why, among other things, man was created as a single individual, unlike other living creatures created in pairs.

One of the reasons, our Sages declare, is that it was G-d's design that the human race, all humans everywhere and at all times, should know that each and all descend from the one and the same single progenitor, a fully developed human being created in the image of G-d, so that no human being could claim superior ancestral origin; hence would also find it easier to cultivate a real feeling of kinship in all interhuman relationships.

* * *

Vice President Walter F. Mondale

From a letter dated 29 Shevat, 5739
[February 26, 1979]

Education, in general, should not be limited to the acquisition of knowledge and preparation for a career, or, in common parlance, "to make a better living!" We must think in terms of a "better life," not only for the individual, but also for society as a whole. The educational system must, therefore, pay more attention, indeed, the main attention, to the building of character, with emphasis on moral and ethical values.

The skepticism on the part of those who, at present, oppose the Administration's educational program (of which you make mention in your remarks) is, I believe, in large measure due to the shortcomings of the educational system in this country, which leaves much to be desired in the way of achieving its most basic objectives for a better society. In a country, such as ours, so richly blessed with democracy, freedom of opportunity, and material resources, one would expect that such anti-moral and anti-social phenomena as juvenile delinquency, vandalism, lack of respect for law and order, etc., would have been radically reduced, to the point of ceasing to be a problem. Hence, it is not surprising that many feel frustrated and apathetic.

I submit, therefore, that the Administration's resolve to restructure the federal education role-- long overdue--would be well served if it were coupled with greater emphasis on the objective of improving the quality of education in terms of moral and ethical values and character building that should be reflected in the actual everyday life of our young and growing generation.

* * *

Rabbi Zev Segal
(past President of the Rabbinical
Council of America)

From Kfar Chabad Magazine

I recall an incident when an El Al plane was hijacked to Algeria. General Ariel Sharon was scheduled to be on that plane, and he canceled his trip when told by the Rebbe not to travel. When I later met with the Rebbe, I told him of the rumors, curious to ascertain their validity. The Rebbe did not acknowledge that he kept Sharon from going. He said, "Sharon came to say good-bye to me before he went to Israel and I said to him, 'Don't go.'" And Sharon didn't go.

So I asked the next question: "If you knew that the plane would be hijacked, why only save Sharon when you could have saved everyone else?"

The Rebbe responded with incredulity, "Do you think that I saw a plane being hijacked? He came to say good-bye and all I did was say, 'Don't go.' "

On one of my travels (to this day I don't know how the Rebbe discovered where I was going), I was called to 770 and the Rebbe asked me to do something in that particular country. I came back and gave the Rebbe a report that this was not an easy task for me. It was rather very difficult.

The Rebbe looked at me and said, "HaRav Segal, since when did you make a contract with the Al-mighty for an easy life?" This among many, many things has become a guide for my own life, especially during the past few years.

* * *

Shoshana Cardin
(former Chairman United Israel Appeal, National Vice
Chair United Jewish Appeal, Soviet Jewry Activist)

From Conversations with the Rebbe,
interviews by Chaim Dalfin

The Rebbe asked me a few things about what I was doing with Soviet Jewry and encouraged me; He said, "You have a great deal of work to do. You are doing a very good job and you must continue. We have to do everything we can, it is very important. Be strong and continue." Then we discussed a few other issues about Soviet Jewry, because that was the beginning of Soviet Jews being able to come to the United States (which they hadn't legitimately been able to do before), and going to Israel.

My second visit to the Rebbe was after the Crown Heights pogrom of Aug. 1991. I went together with Abe Foxman and Malcolm Hoenlin. I wanted to see the Rebbe and I wanted him to know that we have a relationship and we care. We may disagree on many things, but at the core, we are Jews, we are part of the Jewish people. He thanked me for coming and then he said something very interesting. "You think your work is done? You haven't finished. You have even more work ahead of you." This was after the peak of Soviet immigration. I asked what he meant and he said, "You will see, you will have greater challenges that will come up for you, so you must remain in the positions you're in, and keep working. Don't think that you can sit back and rest."

* * *

Mr. David Tuvia Chase

From Kfar Chabad Magazine

Once when I was in a private audience very late at night, the Rebbe was very alert, but I was very exhausted. I apologized to the Rebbe for being tired. What the Rebbe told me reached deep into me, no matter how tired I was. "Let us use a motor as an example of human nature. If not used, it can rust and die, but while in use, it must not be overheated. So too, man must always try to work and keep busy, for without work comes laziness and break down. A person must recognize his capabilities, and use them to their fullest. But never ask of yourself more than you can. Just be yourself."

* * *

President George Bush

From a letter of the Rebbe dated
13th of Nissan, 5750 [1990]

Your kind tribute to the Lubavitch movement, which I am privileged to head, is a message of encouragement to me and to our members in the USA and abroad. Of course, a large measure of whatever has been achieved is due to the happy circumstances that when my predecessor, my father-in-law the Rebbe of saintly memory, transplanted the movement's headquarters on these blessed shores (in 1940), it found fertile soil and a conducive climate to thrive and grow consistently, from strength to strength.

Your personal and presidential support of "Education Day, USA," reflects your awareness that education is the first and foremost vehicle of fostering the most basic and inexhaustible national resource. This, as mentioned earlier, is truly a source of encouragement to all who work for the betterment of life at home and for humankind at large.

* * *

Gabriel Erem
(Publisher, Lifestyles Magazine)

From an encounter at "Sunday Dollars"(*)
as it appeared in Lifestyles

"If I may ask you a simple question, Rebbe: On the occasion of your 90th birthday, what is your message to the world?"

The Rebbe answered: "The Hebrew letter that is numerically equivalent to 90 is tzaddik, which literally translates as 'righteous.' The clear and obvious directive to every Jew is that each and every one of us is to aspire to become a 'true tzaddik,' to become truly and wholly righteous. Moreover, that we do so for many years to come, 'until 120.'"

I then asked: "What is your message to the general world, not just the Jewish world, but the whole world?"

The Rebbe answered: "The message is essentially the same--that all mankind attain righteousness through observing the Seven Noachide Laws. These laws are incumbent upon all mankind, explains Maimonides, because G-d so commanded when He gave the Torah at Sinai. At that time the entire world became obligated to fulfill all seven of the Noachide laws, along with the commandment of tzedaka, charity.

"I trust this will suffice, for an entire book can be written upon this theme."


*. In the years 1986-1992, the Rebbe, every Sunday, personally distributed to each of the thousands of visitors who came to receive his blessings a dollar to give to charity.

* * *

The Skulener Rebbe, zt"l
Rabbi Eliezer Zushe Portugal

From a private audience on 20 Shevat, 5724 [1964],
translated from
Shemen Sasson Mei'Chaveirecha
by Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Volpe

The Skulener Rebbe: There is so much suffering, individual as well as communal suffering, and then there is the situation in our Holy Land. We need salvation and consolation.

The Rebbe: The greatest suffering is the Shechinah (Divine Presence) being in exile. It is close to 2,000 years now that the Shechinah and the Jewish people have been in exile. Ad Mosai--how much longer?

The Skulener Rebbe: The Rebbe is the tzaddik of the generation, and "what a tzaddik decrees, G-d fulfills."

The Rebbe: What I think and do, G-d knows. Perhaps you will rule that Moshiach must come!

The Skulener Rebbe: Moshiach should come, and then there will be an end to all the suffering, individual as well as communal.

The Rebbe: The suffering must cease immediately, even if it was decreed that we must remain another moment in exile. You who merited to save so many Jewish children of those days, brands rescued from the fire, you have the power up above to bring Moshiach already.

The Skulener Rebbe: Who are we and what are we compared to the Rebbe?

The Rebbe: That is misplaced humility. Nevertheless, I will do what is dependent upon me and you will do what is dependent upon you.

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