"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Korach, 5763
Tamuz 4, 5763
July 4, 2003
The Third of Tamuz
This week's issue is sponsored
in part by:
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Dedicated to educating the public regarding the
current situation in Israel, based on Torah
sources, with special emphasis on the opinion
and teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
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"I BELIEVE WITH COMPLETE FAITH IN THE ARRIVAL OF THE MOSHIACH.
"AND THOUGH HE MAY TARRY, I SHALL WAIT EACH DAY, ANTICIPATING HIS
Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12
THIS PUBLICATION IS DEDICATED
TO THE REBBE,
RABBI MENACHEM M. SCHNEERSON
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, the 346th
issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
In this week's issue we focus on:
1) Chof Ches Sivan, the 28th day of Sivan, Shabbat Parshat
Shelach, June 28.
2) Gimel Tamuz, the 3rd day of Tamuz, Thursday, July
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
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
22 Sivan, 5763
Brooklyn, New York
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
Horav Chaim Yehuda Kalman ben Horav Avrohom Yehoshua
head of the Bet-Din (Rabbinical Court) of Crown Heights,
On the occasion of his third yahrtzeit, 20 Sivan, 5763
It states in this week's Torah portion, Korach: "And G-d said to Aaron...
All the best (chelev)...the first fruits...which they shall offer
to the L-rd, these I have given you."
Of all the offerings that were brought by the Jewish people, the
kohanim (priests), Aaron's descendants, were to be given only the
finest. These contributions consisted of all kinds of commodities and were
only of the highest quality.
Chelev , generally translated as the "best," is literally the fattiest
part of the animal. First fruits are also the most select produce. The Jewish
people offered only the best of their harvest and resources to G-d, and as
we read in our portion, G-d commanded these be given to the priests.
Maimonides writes: "The law, as it pertains to everything that is for the
sake of G-d, is that it must come from the finest and the best. For example,
when one is feeding a hungry person, he should be served the tastiest and
sweetest food on one's table. When one clothes a poor man, he should be given
the nicest garment. When one builds a house of prayer, the edifice should
be more beautiful than one's private abode, as it states, 'All the best to
Of all the commodities a person possesses -- food, clothing and shelter --
the finest and best must be dedicated to matters of holiness.
There is, however, another commodity to be dedicated to G-d, and that is
Time is extremely precious; it is therefore fitting that in addition to one's
material blessings, a person dedicate the very best portion of the day to
The morning, the beginning of one's day, is the optimal time of the 24-hour
period. In the morning, a person's mind is more at ease. He is not yet concerned
by problems that may plague him later in the day. Thus the morning is the
most appropriate time to dedicate oneself to holy matters.
The Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, explained the verse
"From the first of your dough...you shall give an offering to G-d" in the
The Hebrew word for "dough," arisa, also means a cradle or bed. From
this we learn that as soon as a person wakes up he should give an "offering"
to G-d -- an offering consisting of the first and finest portion of the day.
This is accomplished in several ways, one of which is to thank G-d immediately
upon arising by declaring "Modeh Ani -- I offer thanks to You..."
Another way is by reserving the first part of the day for prayer and Torah
The very best of whatever we possess -- food, clothing, housing and time
-- should be reserved for our Divine service. And in this manner we will
merit the fulfillment of the priestly blessing, "May the L-rd bless you and
The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of Lubavitch, issued a call that
"The time of our Redemption has arrived!" and "Moshiach is on his
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 people are apprehensive about having the Redemption arrive so suddenly.
What will come of all the businesses that they have set up, the property
and possessions they have accumulated, the friendships and the contacts that
have been established, and so on?
"They need not worry. The Redemption does not imply the annulment of the
natural order nor the loss of the good things that came into being (in the
spirit of the Torah) during the exile. Indeed, these very things will be
comprised in the Redemption, and will be elevated to a state of Redemption,
to the level of their true consummation."
(The Rebbe, 5751/1991)
* * *
In response to a reporter from CNN who asked the Rebbe what is his message
to the world: "Moshiach is ready to come, now. It is only on our part to
increase in acts of goodness and kindness."
The 28th day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (Shabbat Parshat
Shelach, June 28), is the 62nd anniversary of the arrival in the United
States of the Rebbe and Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka.
The Rebbe and the Rebbetzin were in France during the early years of World
War II. In 5701/1941, after tremendous effort on the part of the Previous
Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn -- who was already in the United
States -- the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin were able to travel to Portugal, from
where they boarded a ship to the United States.
The trip itself was quite dangerous, with the ship being stopped numerous
times en route by the Nazis.
On the 28th of Sivan 5701 (June 23 1941), the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin
arrived in New York.
The Previous Rebbe, because of ill health, was unable to greet his daughter
and son-in-law personally. Instead, he sent four of his most eminent
Chasidim to greet them.
The Previous Rebbe informed them, "I am selecting you as my representatives
to welcome my son-in-law, who is arriving tomorrow. I will reveal to you
who he is: Every night he says the Tikkun Chatzot prayer over the
destruction of the Holy Temple. He knows by heart both the entire Babylonian
and Jerusalem Talmuds with their commentaries, and Maimonides' great Mishne
Torah (code of Jewish law), and is expert in the works of Chabad philosophy.
The 28th of Sivan became established as a day of rejoicing and
thanksgiving for the rescue of the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin from the fires
that raged in Europe.
It also marks the beginning of a new era in Chabad outreach with the
establishment by the Previous Rebbe of the central Lubavitch educational
and publishing departments, which he placed under the directorship of the
May the 28th of Sivan this year be the ultimate day of rejoicing and
thanksgiving for the rescue of the Rebbe and the entire Jewish people from
these last moments of exile, may G-d send the redemption NOW!
Gimel Tamuz, 5710/1950
. . . Many seek to explain the qualities and greatness of the Chabad
Rebbes in general, and in particular the Rebbe of our generation, my
father-in-law, of blessed memory, in various areas: as a man of self-sacrifice,
of Torah genius, of lofty character, a tzaddik, of prophetic ability,
a miracle-worker, etc., etc.
These qualities are further magnified when viewed in the light of chasidic
teaching, which explains what is true Torah genius, and so on.
And yet, none of this addresses the primary quality of the Rebbe, a quality
that is not only primary in essence, but which is most important to us, his
chasidim and followers, namely the fact that he is a Nassi,
and particularly a Chabad Nassi.
A Nassi, broadly defined, is a "head of the multitudes of Israel."
He is their "head" and "mind," their source of life and vitality. Through
their attachment to him, they are bound and united with their source on high.
There are several types of Nesi'im: those who supply their constituents
with internalized nurture (penimiyut), and those whose nurture is
of a more "encompassing" nature (makif). This is further divisible
into the particulars of whether they impart the teaching of the "revealed"
part of Torah, or the esoteric part of the Torah, or both together; whether
they offer guidance in the service of G-d and the ways of chasidim;
whether they draw down material provision, and so on.
There are also Nesi'im who are channels in several of these areas
or even in all of them.
Such was the nature of the leadership of the Nesi'im of Chabad, from
the Alter Rebbe to and including my father-in-law, who embraced all these
categories and areas: they nurtured their chasidim in both the "internal"
and the "encompassing" qualities of their souls; in Torah, divine service
and good deeds; in spirit and in body. Thus, their bond with those connected
with them was in all 613 limbs and organs of their souls and bodies.
Each and every one of us must know -- that is, dwell and implant the awareness
in his or her mind -- that the Rebbe is our Nassi and head: that he
is the source and channel for all our material and spiritual needs, and that
it is through our bond with him (and he has already instructed us in his
letters how and by what means this bond is achieved)(1)
that we are bound and united with our source, and the source of our source,
up to our ultimate source on high.
1. "You ask how you can be bound to me when I do not know you personally...
"...The true bond is created by studying Torah. When you study my discourses,
read the talks and associate with those dear to me... and you fulfill my
request... in this is the bond." ("Hayom Yom" -- "From Day To Day,"
See also below Living With The Rebbe
Many people express wonder at the fact that the Rebbe's leadership
is spoken of in the present tense, that the Rebbe's leadership is uninterrupted
despite our inability to perceive him physically.
Jewish teachings state that G-d showed Adam, the first person, all future
generations together with their great leaders. These leaders are the
tzaddikim (righteous individuals) whose souls G-d, in His wisdom and
kindness, sent into this world to guide the generations, caring for them
both spiritually and materially and showing the Jewish people the correct
path to follow. Chasidic philosophy explains that these great leaders are
the mind and the heart of the body of the Jewish people.
Each generation has its own unique mission and role in the overall fulfillment
of G-d's purpose in the entire creation: to create a "home" for G-d in this
physical world through the revelation of Moshiach and the Redemption. In
the Tanya of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, (the first Rebbe of
Chabad-Lubavitch and the founder of Chabad Chasidic philosophy and the
Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty), it is explained that earlier generations are like
the head, their major preoccupation being Torah study; later generations,
known as the "heels of Moshiach," are more closely associated with raw action.
Sincerely our generation is characterized by "Action is the main thing,"
as the Rebbe told us.
The Al-mighty sends each generation the leader appropriate to the task of
the times. This leader comes to guide his generation in a unique direction
in the fulfillment of G-d's purpose for creation commensurate with their
own nature and purpose.
Let us apply these principles to our own generation. In the first official
Chasidic teaching articulated by the Rebbe when he accepted the mantle of
leadership, the Rebbe declared unequivocally that the unique purpose of our
generation, the seventh from Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, is to fulfill
the original intent of G-d's creation. This is to be achieved by drawing
down G-d's presence into this mundane physical world with the complete revelation
of Moshiach and the commencement of the Redemption.
The Rebbe has told us numerous times in his most recent public talks that
we have finished the Divine service of exile and that our purpose now is
to prepare for the Redemption. "The time of your Redemption has arrived,"
the Rebbe declared with prophetic vision. This is a totally different message
which has never before been enunciated in the history of the Jewish people.
He explained that we should involve ourselves in more good deeds, more Torah
study, the enhanced fulfillment of mitzvot, as a preparation and foretaste
of the Redemption. However, until the Redemption actually begins, with the
rebuilding of the Third Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the ingathering of all
of the Jews from the Diaspora, the ultimate fulfillment of our purpose has
not been achieved.
Why the Al-mighty willed that the leadership of the Rebbe at the conclusion
of the service of this generation should be in its current form will most
likely remain a mystery until the completion of the process of Redemption.
But what we know clearly is what the Rebbe himself has told us in no uncertain
terms, that the role of our generation is to actually bring about the Redemption
and to prepare ourselves and the entire world for it. Until this has been
achieved, we remain in the same generation.
The Rebbe and his leadership are very much of the present and will continue
until G-d has mercy on us and our mission is crowned with success.
This date itself, while ingrained in the minds of Lubavitcher chasidim
around the globe, has significance for all Jews and, indeed the entire world
Although we have not seen the Rebbe with our physical eyes since Gimel
Tamuz nine years ago, his presence in the lives of his hundreds of thousands
of chasidim and millions of admirers is evident. And the Rebbe's
involvement in the thousands of institutions he established, and the hundreds
of institutions set up since Gimel Tamuz nine years ago, is palpable.
Gimel Tamuz, Thursday, July 3, is the third day in the Hebrew
month of Tamuz. The number three has much significance in Jewish
teachings. Our Sages teach that the world stands on three pillars: Torah
study, prayer, and acts of kindness. In addition, they teach that the
tzaddik is the foundation of the entire world.
What has been the thrust of the Rebbe, the foundation of the world, in 53
years of leadership? As is well known to our readers, since the Rebbe's
acceptance of the mantle of leadership he stated clearly the purpose of
our generation, the seventh generation (since the inception of Chabad
Chasidism), is to bring the Redemption.
And since then, the Rebbe has elucidated how we can accomplish this in a
threefold campaign: through Torah study, prayer, and acts of kindness:
Our Torah study should be increased in all areas of Jewish knowledge in general,
chasidic philosophy in particular, and specifically those matters found
everywhere in Jewish teachings that deal with Moshiach and the Redemption.
Our prayers should be suffused with heartfelt requests of G-d to bring the
Redemption, crying out, "How much longer?" and even to the point of demanding
the Redemption (as explained by the Chofetz Chaim).
Lastly, through love of our fellow Jew in general and even simple acts of
kindness and good deeds, we can prepare ourselves for the Redemption and
hasten its inception.
May we be together with the Rebbe this year on Gimel Tamuz, not just
"feeling" his presence but actually seeing the Rebbe, a soul in a physical
body, leading us to the Holy Land and ushering in the complete and eternal
According to Jewish thought, especially as elucidated in the teachings of
the Baal Shem Tov, nothing in this world happens by chance; everything --
even the movement of a blade of grass -- is governed by Divine Providence.
Additionally, a tzaddik, a righteous person, has Divine powers of
insight and far-reaching vision that allow him to see that which is unseen
or not yet visible to the untrained eye.
What can we glean from the Rebbe's very own thoughts on Gimel Tamuz?
In the book Hayom Yom (From Day To Day, which the Rebbe compiled
on the instructions of his father-in-law from the teachings of the previous
Rebbes), the quote the Rebbe included for Gimel Tamuz, 5703/1943,
reads: "A Jewish groan that, G-d forbid, arises from physical misfortune,
is also a great repentance; how much more so, then, is a groan arising from
spiritual distress, a lofty and effective repentance. The groan pulls him
out of the depths of evil and places him on a firm footing in the realm of
The Rebbe was assuring us, even then, that our groans resulting from that
date, rather than paralyzing us, would ultimately point us in the right direction
and inspire us to rededicate ourselves to the Rebbe's goal of bringing the
revelation of Moshiach and the Redemption.
In a letter dated Gimel Tamuz, 5710/1950, five months after the passing
of the Previous Rebbe, the Rebbe described what a Rebbe
On Gimel Tamuz, 5751/1991 -- the last time the Rebbe spoke on that
date until we are once more reunited -- the Rebbe discussed two historical
events that occurred on Gimel Tamuz.
The more recent event was in 5687/1927, when the Previous Rebbe was released
from Soviet prison and exiled to Kostrama for three years. Before his release
to internal exile he had been sentenced to death.
Thousands of years earlier, Gimel Tamuz was the day on which Joshua
beseeched G-d to allow the sun to stand still in the sky so as to be able
to continue the Jewish people's battle against the enemy and be victorious.
The Rebbe notes, in the talk of 12 years ago, that both of these events were
miracles, but miracles that occurred within the realm of nature rather than
totally outside of nature. The Rebbe connects these points to an event in
the weekly Torah portion of that year, which was the portion of
In Parshat Korach we read of G-d's command to Moses to take the staffs
of princes of the 12 tribes, including that of Aaron the Kohen Gadol
(High Priest), and to place them overnight in the Tent of Meeting.
The staff that is rejuvenated, G-d informs Moses, will be the one belonging
to the family that rightfully serves as priests. This miracle, G-d assures
Moses, will surely end the complaints of the Jewish people against Moses
and Aaron. Aaron's staff sprouted, blossomed and even bore fruit. And the
staff became an eternal sign to the Jewish people of the validity of the
priesthood being with Aaron and his descendants.
As we await the immediate revelation of the Rebbe, may we all sincerely attempt
to implement the Rebbe's call to all men, women and children of our
generation to "do everything you can to bring Moshiach in actuality!"
and to fulfill our last communal mission in this pre-Redemption world, "to
prepare ourselves and the entire world to greet our righteous Moshiach!
2. See above The Rebbe Is The
"Head", for an adaptation from the original Hebrew.
The Rebbe's followers, admirers, even people who have had only casual interaction
with the Rebbe, are still "living with the Rebbe," following his directives,
turning to him for advice, asking for his blessings.
How is this being done?
Studying the Rebbe's teachings is one of the most important and basic ways
to live with the Rebbe. The Rebbe often quoted the Previous Rebbe's letters,
which explain that a true connection with the Rebbe is attained only by studying
the teachings of the Rebbe. The Rebbe clarified, though: "Most certainly
the Rebbe is a tzaddik who bestows blessings; G-d surely fulfills
his blessings to the utmost, to each and every individual, according to his
need. Specifically, the Rebbe holds each person by the hand and guides him;
one must only be careful not to involve his own will in the matter."
Just two months after the Previous Rebbe's passing, the Rebbe wrote the following
to someone: "You worry that now one cannot ask the Rebbe when he is in doubt
how he should conduct himself. If you stand strong in your connection to
him...and send your questions to the Rebbe's ohel [gravesite], the
Rebbe will find a way to answer."
Some people fax letters to the ohel (718-723-4444), some come from
near or far to go personally. Others ask one of the Rebbe's secretaries to
read the letter at the ohel.
Another way people "live with the Rebbe" is by placing a letter to the Rebbe
in any of the nearly 100 volumes of the Rebbe's Torah teachings or
correspondence. This is, in fact, what chasidim of previous generations
did when they were unable to correspond with their Rebbe in the conventional
There's a modern twist, though. Today we have 27 volumes of Igros Kodesh
-- letters written by the Rebbe to private individuals over the past 53 years.
As they are letters to private individuals -- and the Rebbe "custom makes"
the advice to fit the soul -- there are different answers to similar questions.
For instance, to one person who asks the Rebbe if he should move, the Rebbe
answers yes. To another person the Rebbe's answer is no.
After writing to the Rebbe, one opens the book "at random" and the advice
in that letter is one's answer.(3) And we haven't heard
of a case yet when one sincerely asks the Rebbe advice in this manner that
there hasn't been an answer.
3. See below Miracles and
by Rabbi Avraham Kotlarsky(4)
The fourth Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel (the Rebbe Maharash),
had a chasid who was a successful businessman. Before undertaking
any significant deal, he always consulted the Rebbe and followed his
One time, the chasid was offered a fabulous opportunity. If successful
-- and most certainly it would be -- he would make millions. The deal, however,
required that he invest almost his entire fortune. Before the chasid
would make such a major move, he set off to the city of Lubavitch to seek
the Rebbe's advice.
After hearing the details of the proposition the Rebbe Maharash told
him that he should not go through with the deal.
The chasid was stunned. He tried to convince the Rebbe that this was
a sound proposal; he described all of the great profits to be made, but to
no avail. The Rebbe's answer was final: NO!
A few days later, the would-be business partners came to the chasid.
When they heard that he was not interested, based upon the Rebbe's answer,
they began to laugh at him. "Certainly you didn't understand the Rebbe's
words," they told him. "And anyway, maybe there were some important details
you left out that would solicit a different answer. After all," they said,
"isn't there a saying that 'according to how you ask, that is how you're
answered'? Go back to the Rebbe and make sure to tell him all the details.
You'll see, the answer will be different this time."
Back to Lubavitch the chasid went. "Rebbe," he pleaded, "obviously
I did not explain myself well enough last time. We're talking about tremendous
sums of money. I can become rich overnight and give much tzeddakah
(charity) as well..."
The Rebbe listened patiently once again, and at the end of the presentation
his answer was simple and direct: "No. It's not worthwhile."
The chasid made his way home, thinking about all the money he could
have made, if only the Rebbe would have agreed. "The Rebbe doesn't even explain
his reasons," thought the chasid.
But his friends and family wouldn't let up. "It's forbidden to lose such
an opportunity," they cried. "Go back to the Rebbe again and certainly the
answer will be different."
In his third attempt, the chasid tried everything, even begging the
Rebbe to let him make the deal, but the Rebbe answered once again: "No."
When the chasid came home, he couldn't stand up to the pressure of
family and friends, and contrary to the Rebbe's advice, he signed the deal.
He quieted his conscience by telling himself that he would now really give
a lot of tzeddakah.
Unfortunately, things did not go well. In a short while, the chasid
lost all his money.
The chasid realized how wrong it was to not follow the Rebbe's
instruction. Full of regret, he made his way back a fourth time to see the
The chasid spent a long time in private with the Rebbe. When he came
out, he revealed only one thing the Rebbe had told him.
"There are people," said the Rebbe, "big businessmen among them, who come
to ask my advice concerning important matters. Sometimes the issues are quite
complex; matters which I have never engaged in, nor did my ancestors. So
then why do they ask me my advice, and follow my instructions and counsel?
"There are three answers, each one matching a different type of Jew who comes
"One person thinks, 'It's very simple. The Rebbe has Ruach HaKodesh
-- Divine Inspiration! The Rebbe is a G-dly man, a prophet. It is G-d's words
coming from his mouth and therefore we must follow him, no questions asked!'
"Another type," continued the Rebbe, "is a person who operates on a different
level, somewhat more down to earth. 'The Rebbe studies Torah all the time
and serves G-d with his entire being. His intellect is totally nullified
to G-d's Will. Therefore, everything he says stems from Torah and certainly
his words will be fulfilled.'
"The third type," explained the Rebbe, "says, 'The Rebbe meets so many people,
from all over the world and from all walks of life. He has acquired an incredibly
broad knowledge of worldly matters. With this knowledge and his ability to
see things from many different angles, the Rebbe sees what others cannot.
Therefore, we must listen to him.'
"Whichever group you might belong to," the Rebbe Maharash concluded,
"you should never have gone through with the deal after hearing from me not
once, not twice, but three times clearly 'no!'"
* * *
I remember the morning of Gimmel Tammuz 5754/1994, when I walked into
the Chabad House for Sunday morning services. One of the people who had come
to pray asked me, "What do we do now?"
What do we do now? The Rebbe told us that the Redemption is at the door;
that we must prepare ourselves and the whole world for the revelation of
Moshiach. It was true that even while the Rebbe was critically ill we believed
that G-d would heal the Rebbe; that the Redemption we so eagerly awaited
and anticipated would be heralded in with the revelation of the Rebbe as
Moshiach, and that he would miraculously lead us to the Holy Land.
What now? Who will lead us on? Was the Rebbe wrong? Is the Redemption, after
all, a beautiful dream to take place in another time, another place, but
not in this "real" world of sorrow and pain?
Some people see in the Rebbe a great charismatic leader. Others see a Torah
genius. Others emphasize the Rebbe's knack for finding the right button to
push in the hearts of his followers, his admirers, or any stranger who approached
him at Sunday dollars.(5) Others speak of the Rebbe's
organizational skills and his foresight that has put him light-years ahead
of prevailing thought.
The final word is that the Rebbe is a G-dly man. The Rebbe is not "us-plus,"
so to speak, a person who is merely more brilliant, more sensitive,
more insightful, more spiritual, and capable of leadership
than we. Rather, his teachings and personal life reveal him to be carved
from a different substance altogether. His every word -- carefully chosen
and full of meaning; his every move -- calculated, corresponding to Divine
Emanations in a world concealed from our sight; someone transplanted from
another world, to bring light to a darkened world, to lead the final generation
of exile to Redemption.
The Rebbe is revealed to each person as he perceives the Rebbe. Like the
three types of Jews who came to the Rebbe Maharash, every individual
relates to the Rebbe on a different level.
Not once, not twice, nor three times, but literally hundreds of times --
publicly and privately, in writing and verbally -- the Rebbe has told all
Jews of this generation what we must do in these last moments before the
"Do everything you can to bring Moshiach, here and now." (28 Nissan,
"...Publicize to all people that we have merited that G-d has chosen and
appointed an individual incomparably greater than all other people in this
generation as the judge, adviser and prophet of the generation to give
instructions and advice in both the Divine service and daily activities of
all Jews ... up to and including the main prophecy, "Redemption is imminent"
and "Moshiach is coming." (Shabbat Shoftim, 5751/1991)
"All the service that was expected of the Jewish people in exile has been
completed and perfected and we are now ready to receive Moshiach ... Moshiach
not only exists, but is also revealed. All that remains is for us to receive
and greet Moshiach in actual fact." (Shabbat Vayeira,
"Every sheliach [emissary of the Rebbe] must prepare himself and all
the Jews of his neighborhood, city, etc., to greet Moshiach through explaining
the concept of Moshiach, as discussed in the Written and Oral Torah, in a
way that each and every individual can relate to .... Since this is the necessary
service of the time, it is self-understood that this is incumbent upon every
single Jew, without any exception." (Shabbat Chayei Sarah,
The Rebbe has told us to learn more about Moshiach and the Redemption; to
start "living with Moshiach" by increasing our acts of kindness and
mitzvot; to share this message with others.
Whatever group we belong to, regardless of how we define ourselves and at
what level of faith we may operate, we should listen to the Rebbe.
There is no question that all that the Rebbe said will be fulfilled. There
is no question that what the Rebbe said is not open now to reinterpretation.
There is no question that we will see the Redemption very soon unfold before
our eyes, precisely as the Rebbe said. There is no question what we must
do now, for everything the Rebbe has said to us, all of the directions that
he has given to this generation, must continue on and with greater strength,
with more vigor and vitality.
We are the generation of the Redemption. And we will make it happen. Let
us commit ourselves to fulfilling the Rebbe's directives, and then we will
be able to see the realization of the Rebbe's most important prophecy, the
revelation of Moshiach in the true and complete Redemption.
4. Executive Director, Chabad Lubavitch of Rockland, NY.
5. 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.
There has always been one central theme in all of the Rebbe's talks: the
Throughout the years, the Rebbe suggested various projects to hasten the
coming of Moshiach and to prepare for that eternal era of peace and tranquility.
But, upon declaring that "the time of your Redemption has arrived" in 5751/1991,
the Rebbe repeatedly stressed a number of practical activities to prepare
ourselves and the world for Moshiach.
One activity is to increase in Torah study about Moshiach and the Redemption.
Concerning this the Rebbe said, "Since Moshiach is about to come, a final
effort is required that will bring Moshiach. Every individual -- man, woman
and child -- should increase his Torah study in subjects that concern the
Redemption. This applies to the Written Torah and the Oral Torah -- in the
Talmud, Midrashim as well as (and especially) in the mystical dimension
of the Torah, beginning with the Zohar and particularly in
Chasidus... This study is a foretaste and preparation for the study
of the Torah of Moshiach... An increase in Torah study in these areas is
the 'direct way' to bring about the revelation and coming of Moshiach in
Another activity to prepare for Moshiach is to upgrade one's observance of
mitzvot (commandments) particularly charity. Said the Rebbe, "One
should likewise upgrade one's meticulous observance of the mitzvot,
particularly the mitzvah of tzeddakah (charity) which 'brings
the Redemption near.' It would be well to make one's increased contributions
with the intent that it hasten the Redemption. This intention in itself becomes
part of one's study of subjects connected with the Redemption -- for this
is a tangible study of the teaching of our Sages, 'Great is charity, for
it brings the Redemption near.' "
Surely, by implementing these suggestions we will imminently see the realization
of the Jewish people's prayers throughout the millenia, the coming of Moshiach,
Is the so-called "Moshiach Campaign" a Lubavitch invention? At a gathering
on Shavuot 5745/1985, the Rebbe spoke about people's perception of
the desire for Moshiach as an "innovation" of Lubavitch. The Rebbe said (freely
"Someone wrote to me recently that he met a religious Jew ... [who] asked,
'Why do Lubavitchers cry out and proclaim, "Moshiach now!" '
"The person who wrote the letter wasn't sure what to answer the other Jew
and therefore was writing to me for an answer.
"It is mind-boggling that the letter-writer didn't know what to answer the
other Jew! But to answer the question:
"Belief in Moshiach and awaiting his coming -- 'I believe in the coming of
Moshiach... I wait every day that he should come' -- is one of the 13 fundamental
principles of the Jewish faith as enumerated by Maimonides.
"Every Jew requests in each of the three daily weekday services, 'Speedily
cause the scion of David Your servant to flourish... for we hope for Your
salvation every day.' And each day, including Shabbat and holidays,
in the three prayer services, we beg, 'May our eyes behold Your return to
Zion in mercy!'
"After all of this, there are those who say that the request that we go out
of exile to the Redemption -- 'Moshiach now,' -- is a 'novel' idea of Lubavitch!"
The Rebbe quoted a verse from Psalms, "As the deer longs for the springs
of water, so does my soul call out in thirst for You G-d." The Rebbe explained
that this verse emphasizes our great pain over the exile and our desire and
longing for the Redemption. This desire is not just that we want "Moshiach
now," but much more: In the same way a person who hasn't had water for a
long time thirsts for it in order to revive his soul, so should our thirst
for the Redemption affect our lives literally.
May our cry of "Moshiach now!" be filled with a true thirst for the Redemption
that will reunite us with the Rebbe and bring the Redemption NOW!
"I ask that they not act foolishly and add their own explanations and
interpretations to my words, e.g., that I really meant such and such, etc.
. . I say what I mean."
The Rebbe, 21 Menachem Av, 5744/1984
Some people still ask, "What did the Rebbe really say about Moshiach
and the Redemption." The following quotes from the Rebbe were said at public
gatherings, in front of thousands of people. Some are from transcripts of
the Rebbe's talks while others are from published essays that were edited
by the Rebbe after being adapted from his public talks.
"Just as until now it was clear to each one of us that the Rebbe would lead
us to greet our righteous Moshiach, so should it be clear now. That which
happened is only from our material point of view. It is nothing more than
a trial, one of the trials of the birthpangs of Moshiach that need to occur
before the arrival of the righteous Redeemer. The sole purpose of these trials
is to conceal the truth."
Shabbat Teruma, 5710/1950
"Since Jacob was mourned and buried as prescribed by the Torah, because it
appeared to them that he died, this draws down the potential for every
one to reach the Resurrection of the Dead through the service of refining
and purifying the body -- negating the body -- via its return to the dust.
Through the process of negation (which, as explained, can be fulfilled through
the spiritual service of 'My soul will be as dust to all,' in which case
there is no need to actually return to dust), we come to the Resurrection
of the Dead in the true and ultimate Redemption."
"As such the Al-mighty's Redemption is actually brought about through His
emissary, the righteous Moshiach, with all eight names attributed to him.
This includes also 'His name is Menachem' in a way that 'One points with
his finger and exclaims, 'Behold! Here he is! Here is Menachem, our righteous
1 Menachem Av, 5749/1989
"Every single Jew must perform his Divine service in a manner similar to
and befitting the days of Moshiach and the subsequent era of the Resurrection
of the Dead. This is exhibited first and foremost through faith, anticipation
and knowledge that supernatural events will occur in the days of Moshiach,
namely, the Resurrection of the Dead. Belief in these concepts must be with
certainty, and must be as unshakably firm as the belief in the Ten Commandments.
"Obviously the belief in the Resurrection of the Dead requires that same
degree of certainty and anticipation. This must be emphasized so much more
in our present generation, when many messianic signs are unfolding. These
constitute a clear indication that Moshiach is already present in the world.
Moreover, he is already a prominent Jewish leader, 'a king from the House
of David, deeply absorbed in the study of Torah,' etc.
"Therefore, in our present generation, great emphasis must be placed on the
belief in the coming of Moshiach and anything that relates to it."
Shabbat Acharei, 5746/1986
"We see in recent years how the verse 'And Moses gathered the Jews' is occurring
literally -- the ingathering of the exiles of Jews from all over the world,
who are returning to the Holy Land. The number of people moving to the Holy
Land is incomparably greater than those of previous generations."
Shabbat Vayakhel, 5752/1992
". . . The suggestion is the study of Torah on the topics of Moshiach and
the Redemption. For it is within the ability of Torah to transform human
nature. It is possible that one may be, heaven forfend, 'outside' and far
removed from the concept of Redemption as far as one's own perception is
concerned (as he has not yet emerged from his own internal exile). Yet, through
Torah study in the topics of Redemption, he uplifts himself to a Redemption
state of mind, and begins to 'live' with the concept of Redemption, amidst
the realization and recognition that 'Behold, here he comes!'"
Shabbat Balak, 5751/1991
"Although in chronological order, the advent of Moshiach will precede the
Resurrection of the Dead, special individuals will nonetheless be resurrected
prior to Moshiach's coming. First and foremost, the Rebbe, my father-in-law,
will once again enclothe himself in a body, and return. (In reality, it makes
no difference how he comes, whether through the door, the window, or the
roof....) He will then gather all the Jewish people together and proclaim,
'The time has come to leave Exile. Come, let us go to our Holy Land!'"
2nd day of Shavuot, 5710/1950
"There needs to be an increase in life, through the action of the people
who proclaim 'Yechi HaMelech! -- May the king live.' For the
meaning of this proclamation is that the time has come for [the resurrection,
regarding which it is stated] 'Awake and give praise, those who rest in the
dust,' of the Rebbe, my father-in-law, the leader of our generation, and
up to and including the wakening and giving praise of the Davidic King Moshiach!"
2 Nissan, 5748/1988
"True, we currently find ourselves in the extreme darkness of Exile. Yet,
nonetheless, since Exile is merely a 'dream' (in which contradictions can
co-exist), the current situation can instantly be reversed, from one extreme
to another. This means that we emerge from this dream of Exile and arrive
at the true reality, the actual Redemption!. . .
"True, Maimonides explains that there is a natural order in the process .
. . However this is only if the Redemption materializes in a normal manner.
If the Jews merit, and certainly in present times when the appointed time
for the Redemption has long since passed, we have merited that the Redemption
will come instantly, above and beyond all natural limitations!
"It is within the ability of every single Jew to bring the Redemption right
away, not tomorrow or the day after, but quite literally today, so that at
this very moment, a person opens his eyes and sees that our righteous Moshiach
is present with us in this very House of Prayer and Study, in his physical
body, down on earth!. . .
"Some people argue that this in itself is difficult to appreciate. It has
already been many years since the leader of our generation announced 'Immediate
Redemption' and nevertheless, he still has not come!. . .
"This question stems from being consumed with and engulfed in the Exile frame
of mind. Hence people are unable to free themselves of this 'dream' of Exile
and perceive that the true reality is otherwise, a state of being awake,
the actual Redemption!"
Shabbat Pinchas, 5744/1984
"One may wonder, 'What will the world say if a Jew performs his Divine service
. . . particularly trying to speed the Redemption? Seemingly,' he argues,
'in order to succeed, one must take into consideration how the world will
view it.' The answer is that the world is ready and prepared! When a Jew
goes about his Divine service properly, rising above all limitations and
constraints, yet doing so in a way that his service can be enclothed in the
vestments of nature, he will see how the world, nature, and non-Jews are
indeed aiding him in his service."
Shabbat Korach, 3 Tamuz, 5751/1991
"A question has been asked with regard to the recent statements that the
Redemption is coming immediately. Some might suggest that it would not be
so easy for this message to reach people and convince them. People are uncertain
of how their families and the world at large will react to it. The response
is that such concerns would only be valid if the idea of Redemption was an
innovation. However, the Redemption is nothing new. Rather, all its elements
have already begun, and have already been brought down and accepted in the
physical world, the level beyond which there is nothing lower. Therefore,
it should be of no surprise when, immediately, the Redemption arrives."
Shabbat Shoftim, 5751/1991
"We are immediately going to merit the fulfillment of the messianic promise,
'As in the days of your Exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders,' with
the coming of Moshiach, whose name is 'Menachem,' like the name of the
Tzemach Tzedek -- may he come and redeem us, and lead us proudly to
our land. For inasmuch as the prophetic promise, 'Awaken and sing, those
who rest in the dust' will soon take place . . . there will then be a realization
of the meaning of 'Menachem -- King Moshiach.'"
Eve of Rosh HaShanah, 5744/1984
A footnote added by the Rebbe to an edited version of a talk after mentioning
the third Chabad Rebbe, known as the Tzemach Tzedek:
"His two names, Tzemach and Tzedek (which are the numerical
equivalent of 'Menachem Mendel') are the names of King Moshiach."
12 Sivan, 5751/1991
We have seen, beyond a doubt, that the Rebbe, a true shepherd, continues
to guide and direct in areas both large and small. In the nine years since
the Third of Tamuz, many people have written to the Rebbe. After
"randomly" inserting the letter into one of the many volumes of the Rebbe's
letters ("Igros Kodesh"), they have read the letters on that page
and found their answer -- often startlingly to the point.
Kfar Chabad is a quiet village located near Tel Aviv, comprised of
Lubavitcher chasidim. Stories of miracles of the Rebbe are not a new
phenomenon to Kfar Chabad's residents. But in 5758/1998 a miracle
took place there that not only deeply affected every resident of the
Kfar, but made headlines all over Israel.
Mrs. Shaindy Schechter, a lifelong resident of the Kfar, woke up one
morning feeling ill. As the day wore on she became increasingly weak and
had a severe headache. She visited her doctor who instructed her to check
into the hospital. For three days she lay in the hospital, drifting in and
out of consciousness. The doctors determined that she was suffering from
a severe virus.
When she finally regained consciousness, a doctor asked if she could see
him. "If you turn on the lights, I'll be able to see you," she told him.
But the lights were on; the virus had made her blind.
The doctors explained to her that a virus was attacking the nerve that controlled
her sight, and there was a possibility that she would remain blind permanently.
They did not know of a cure.
As she listened to the doctor's ominous prognosis, a voice screamed inside
her head: "I will see! I will see!" She would not accept the condition.
As the days went by, she began to see dark and light and some shadows; she
had regained 25% of her vision. She was sent home as the doctors said there
was nothing more they could do for her.
When Shaindy got home, she and her husband composed a letter to the Rebbe
for a blessing for her condition. They randomly opened one of the many volumes
of Igros Kodesh.
The letter that they had opened to contained the blessing, "and G-d will
light up his eyes." After hearing these words, Shaindy felt strengthened.
She was absolutely certain that she would see someday soon. She was confident
that the Rebbe's blessing would be fulfilled, and each day she told her children
that today could be the day.
Shaindy exuded such confidence in the Rebbe's blessing that her husband bought
a huge bottle of vodka in anticipation of the celebration they would hold
with family and friends when her eyesight returned.
In the Igros Kodesh it also said that one must make a vessel to receive
G-d's blessing. So Shaindy visited a neurologist a number of times. The
neurologist was not optimistic, but was not entirely discouraging either.
Shaindy told the doctor of her blessing from the Rebbe and her belief in
its fulfillment. The doctor refused to make any promises, but told Shaindy
that she was welcome to continue hoping.
Shaindy visited the doctor on Wednesday, May 6, and was told her vision might
improve slowly, but it would take one to two years, perhaps longer. Even
then, it might never fully return.
The doctor's prognosis didn't upset Shaindy. When her husband inquired about
the examination, she told him what the doctor had said, but added that it
made no difference to her because she had the Rebbe's blessing.
The following Friday afternoon there was a knock at the Schechter's door.
Shaindy opened the door, and asked who it was. A woman responded, "It doesn't
matter who I am. I just came to give you a dollar that the Rebbe gave to
a friend for me when I was very ill. At the time, the doctors told me only
a miracle could cure me. When the Rebbe gave the dollar, he said, 'For a
miraculous recovery above nature.' I hope this dollar will help you."
As the mysterious woman was about to leave, Shaindy asked her, "How can I
return this to you if you don't tell me your name?" The woman replied that
she would return to take it from her.
Shaindy immediately gave charity as the Rebbe instructed people to redeem
the dollars intended for charity in this manner. She recited Psalm 97,
corresponding to the Rebbe's 97th year. She held the dollar to her heart
then put it in her bedroom.
On Shabbat morning Shaindy was sitting with her baby when suddenly
she felt chills through her body. She looked up and saw the clock on the
wall. It was 11:40 a.m. Perhaps she was having the same dream she had dreamt
each night since her illness, that she could see again. Then she realized
that she could see her baby in her arms.
"I can see!" she cried and called her eldest daughter. At that moment she
felt the Rebbe's presence very strongly. She felt extreme joy and she begged
G-d "to open our eyes so we can see the Rebbe and to end this exile."
Then Shaindy sent her daughter to shul to call her husband. Rabbi
Schechter soon ran back to shul with the bottle of vodka they had
purchased for this day. (Parts of Kfar Chabad are enclosed in a way
that permits carrying on Shabbat.) As a crowd gathered, he told of
his wife's miraculous cure. Soon people from all over Kfar Chabad
had gathered to thank G-d for fulfilling the Rebbe's blessing. The women
gathered in Shaindy's home to hear the story straight from her.
At the close of Shabbat, reporters from the Israeli media converged
on Kfar Chabad and Sunday's headlines told the story of how the Rebbe's
blessing had restored Shaindy's eyesight.
On Monday afternoon when the phone rang in the Schechter home, a woman's
voice asked, "Shaindy, do you know who I am?"
Shaindy recognized the voice as that of the woman who had brought her the
Rebbe's dollar. The woman explained that she was sending a messenger to pick
up the dollar. She was giving the messenger a "password" that Shaindy should
ask for before handing over the dollar. When the messenger arrived she assured
Shaindy that she herself did not know the identity of the woman but that
she is "a simple woman like you and me."
May we merit to achieve Shaindy's level of faith in the Rebbe and his prophecy
that "The time of the Redemption has arrived" and "Behold, Moshiach is coming,
and is already here."
* * *
Many might be inclined to brush off these episodes as mere chance or coincidence.
As a professor of mathematics whose specialty is probability, Dr. Yaakov
Reich(6) is well qualified to discuss the statistical
probability of thousands of people receiving answers in this manner.
"Fundamentally, what is happening here is that you have thousands of people
who are independently doing this 'experiment,' known in mathematics as
independent trials. The probability in independent trials is multiplied each
time an additional trial is performed. For instance, if the probability of
my trial coming up with the desired response is 50%, and the probability
of your trial coming up with the desired response is 50%, then the probability
of both of us coming up with the desired response is 25%," explains Dr. Reich.
"Thus, if all of the letters any one person could have gotten that relate
to their particular question is compared to the total number of letters,
this kind of probability is less than 5%, even less than 1%. But let's be
very conservative and say that one could somehow relate every tenth letter
to his or her question. If there are thousands of people writing letters
to the Rebbe to ask for his guidance and blessings, and only 50% get answers,
the probability on such a large scale is extremely remote. And, of course,
much more than 50% of the people who write to the Rebbe receive answers in
this manner. One simply cannot attest this to a matter of interpretation
anymore. Also, as happens often, specific details of the question such as
a date, place or name appear in the answer. This reduces the probability
of a chance many times.
"We constantly hear of answers to specific questions, as has happened in
our family(7) in a most incredible way. These responses
are not random and cannot be attributed to chance. One can only conclude
that the Rebbe is truly here with us.
"I would like to emphasize that the mathematical explanation given above,
far from being a proof of the miraculous nature of the Rebbe's answers, is
rather an illustration -- for mathematics, though the most abstract field
in science, is finite and limited and therefore in essence cannot prove G-d
Who is unlimited and infinite."
On a non-statistical note, Dr. Yaakov Reich comments, "Looking back through
Jewish history, there were times when selected, righteous individuals were
able to receive guidance by opening a Bible or other holy book. Now an amazing
phenomenon is happening. The Rebbe is accessible to everyone, anywhere, anytime.
And the Rebbe answers immediately." In today's day of immediate gratification,
an immediate answer is especially appreciated.
Dr. Reich concludes: "As the Rambam explains, the occurrence of myriad
of miracles 'while the world continues to operate in the usual manner' is
a fundamental innovation of the messianic era, where the miracles will be
the domain of everyone, not just a select few. As the Rebbe said in 5752/1992,
'Especially in these days, the days of Moshiach in which we find ourselves,
all that is necessary is that we open our eyes.'"
6. Dr. Yaakov Reich, a highly regarded university professor in the field
of mathematics, who has published several articles in distinguished academic
journals, seems an unusual person to talk of miracles. But Dr. Reich, who
is also a chasid, cherishes his ongoing relationship with the Rebbe,
which impacts not only his spiritual life, but also his day-to-day decisions.
7. See Living
With Moshiach, Vol. 67 Miracles and Mathematics.
by Rabbi Bentzion Grossman
To those who live in Jerusalem, Rabbi Eliezer Chaim Streicher is a familiar
figure. Rabbi Streicher is known for his unwavering trust that G-d will come
to his assistance when he is in need. Many stories are told about the salvation
that came to him in the nick of time.
As a young man, Reb Eliezer Chaim learned in a yeshivah, where he
devoted himself to Torah study day and night. After he was married he began
to search for a job, but could not find a suitable position.
After consulting with several friends, they all told him that it was easier
to make a living in the United States, he decided to move to New York. The
young couple relocated to the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, and Reb Eliezer
Chaim found a job without difficulty.
However, with every passing day, Reb Eliezer Chaim found that he had less
time to devote to his beloved Torah studies and spiritual pursuits.
It became obvious to Reb Eliezer Chaim that he had to make a decision about
where his life was going. He was hesitant to leave his job and return to
full-time Torah study. And yet...
With these thoughts going through his mind, Reb Eliezer Chaim went to pray
in a small shul that he did not usually frequent. He came across a
book that spoke about the importance of trusting in G-d. A person who has
trust, the author wrote, can be assured that G-d will never abandon him wherever
The book made a strong impression on Reb Eliezer Chaim, and he decided that
from that day on he would rely on the beneficence of G-d. With his wife's
approval, he left his job and began to study Torah full-time in a
kollel -- a yeshivah for married men.
His faith and trust in G-d, that the Al-mighty would provide him with his
livelihood from another source, was unshakable.
A few years passed and the Streichers decided to return to Israel where Reb
Eliezer Chaim would continue to devote his life to Torah study. Indeed, G-d
took care of the Streichers. Several friends helped them out and within a
short time of their return to Israel the couple was settled in a furnished
apartment in one of the religious neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
Years passed. Reb Eliezer Chaim found that he missed the insights and guidance
of the Rosh HaKollel, dean of the kollel, in New York. He decided
that he would travel to New York for a short while to see him. Again, G-d
provided Reb Eliezer Chaim with the necessary airfare in the merit of his
Before leaving, however, Reb Eliezer Chaim consulted with his wife, in accordance
with the Talmud's instruction to obtain one's wife's permission before embarking
on a journey. She agreed, but on one condition: that he buys clothing for
their children when he was in Borough Park. They sat down and figured out
how much it would cost: $600 would cover everything. Of course, Reb Eliezer
Chaim had not a penny in his pocket when he set off, but he agreed to his
wife's condition; G-d would somehow provide.
Weeks passed, during which Reb Eliezer Chaim was happily and dilligently
studying in his former kollel in New York. In a few more days he was
scheduled to return to Israel; the clothing for his children had been completely
On the last day of his visit he suddenly recalled the promise he had made
to his wife. There were only a few hours left before he would have to take
a taxi to the airport. But what could he do? He still had no money; even
if he had, he would have been hard pressed to fit a shopping spree in. Reb
Eliezer Chaim put his trust in G-d and continued to learn.
Then the door to the study hall opened suddenly and Reb Eliezer Chaim looked
up from his book. At that hour the study hall was empty, except for the man
who was rapidly walking toward Reb Eliezer Chaim.
The stranger was smiling; from the way he was dressed it was obvious that
he was a Lubavitcher chasid. The man came over and placed his arm
on Reb Eliezer Chaim's shoulder. Reb Eliezer Chaim greeted him warmly and
asked, "What can I do for you?"
"The Lubavitcher Rebbe gave me this envelope and told me to deliver it to
the person I would find sitting and learning in this study hall." The man
handed Reb Eliezer Chaim the envelope and left.
When Reb Eliezer Chaim opened the envelope a small cry escaped his lips.
Inside was exactly $600.
Needless to say, Reb Eliezer Chaim made it to the airport on time, his suitcases
bulging with the clothing for his children that his wife had indicated.
Years later, Reb Eliezer Chaim was still shocked by what had occurred. "Why
are you so surprised?" I asked him when he told me the story. "Hadn't you
seen with your own eyes time and time again how G-d came to your assistance
whenever it was necessary?"
"Never mind that G-d knew about my problem and came to my aid," Reb Eliezer
Chaim replied. "That I can understand. But how did the Lubavitcher Rebbe
by Yehudis Cohen
Speak to Mr. David Mintz, CEO and founder of Tofutti Brands, Inc. and you
know that you are talking to one who is connected to the Rebbe, heart and
When asked about the Rebbe's involvement and guidance during the early years
of creating Tofutti, Mr. Mintz takes the question very seriously. He closes
his office door so as not to be interrupted. This is very important to him.
The Rebbe is very important to him.
Recalling that first yechidut, Mr. Mintz begins, "I was all of 23
years old then, but I was already successful as a furrier. I was making good
money and giving a lot of tzeddakah (charity). During that first
yechidut, the Rebbe told me things about my life that no one else
in the whole world knew.
"I couldn't look at the Rebbe's face. His eyes were like looking directly
into the sun. The way the Rebbe spoke to me, I was mesmerized. When I left
the Rebbe's room, I was transformed. I waited anxiously to be able to meet
with the Rebbe again.
"My second yechidut came a few months later. This time, too, I was
captivated by the Rebbe, but the feeling was even stronger than the first
time. I began to correspond with the Rebbe and ask his advice regarding business
and personal matters."
The bottom dropped out of the fur business and Mr. Mintz got involved in
the food industry. He bought a small grocery store in the Catskill Mountains
and decided to serve fresh Jewish delicacies. His immediate success encouraged
him to branch out. Eventually, his success brought him to Manhattan where
he operated a restaurant called "Mintz's Buffet."
The people who dined in the restaurant liked good food and excellent desserts.
When Mr. Mintz heard about tofu in the early 1970s he began experimenting
with it and incorporating it into his dishes as a dairy substitute, causing
some of his patrons to accuse him of foregoing the kosher laws by mixing
milk and meat in his kosher restaurant. Eventually he began making desserts
with tofu as well, but he just couldn't lick the non-dairy frozen dessert
problem as it did not have a pleasant consistency once frozen.
"Whenever I asked the Rebbe for advice, he always answered me and I always
did what he said. Everything the Rebbe advised me about was always so right
and I became very successful. The Rebbe gave me the 'blueprint' of how to
run my business and I followed it meticulously."
For nearly a decade, Mr. Mintz experimented with tofu. At the end of the
day, he would tell everyone at work, "It's tofu time." Workers would join
him in the kitchen, trying different ingredients mixed with tofu to make
"A pivotal moment in my business career came when the building housing our
restaurant was purchased. I found a new, ideal location. I wrote to the Rebbe
and immediately received the answer, 'Absolutely not.' I was shocked. The
Rebbe continued, 'What you should do instead is to continue doing your
experiments with your tofu projects.' I can't deny that I enjoyed experimenting
with tofu, sometimes until 1-2-3 o'clock in the morning. But to make that
"The Rebbe warned me that the beginning would be difficult but that eventually
I would overcome the difficulties. 'You will be successful and your products
will be sold all over, even abroad.' I was amazed at what the Rebbe said
to me but I listened. I rented a place in Brooklyn and started working day
and night. My family and business associates thought I was crazy. When months
passed and I was still no closer to my goal, they told me to go back to what
I know, restaurants. I ignored them because this is what the Rebbe said I
"I began to draw on my savings in order to continue my experiments. I continued
to write to the Rebbe asking for brachot (blessings) for success.
The Rebbe would answer me, 'You must have faith. With faith you can accomplish
miracles.' The Rebbe gave me the energy and the mental capacity to go on
even though I was continuously failing. The Rebbe also told me many times
to give tzeddakah generously.
"I rented space in an ice cream plant. After a few months they told me, 'Even
though you are paying rent, we can't let you continue. You are wasting your
time and money.' I begged them to give me one last chance. I wrote to the
Rebbe again. 'You will be successful,' the Rebbe blessed me. And I was! We
went into production and finally marketed it. Tofutti was big news. It was
picked up by major TV networks and newspapers. People wanted to know more
about this religious Jew who had invented a new kind of healthy, reduced
calorie, low-cholesterol frozen dessert."
In the midst of all of the excitement, one incident from about 10 years ago
stands out in Mr. Mintz's mind. "When the company that was distributing Tofutti
saw how popular it was, they were afraid it would affect sales of their own
product. So they started to play around with orders for Tofutti. I decided
to leave them and they made things difficult. Things were very rough. I wrote
to the Rebbe, 'I need a blessing, a miracle, all the help the Rebbe can give
me.' The Rebbe answered that by supporting my local Chabad House I would
be making a channel for all the blessings I needed. By giving charity you
create a receptacle and G-d can send a blessing into your receptacle. The
more you help the local Chabad House, the more you will succeed."
Mr. Mintz immediately increased his donations to Lubavitch of the Palisades.
"As soon as I started helping more, I got an order from Brazil and then Mexico.
The Rebbe's secret to success is to give charity above and beyond what you
think you should, with your whole heart."
Rabbi Mordechai Shain, director of Lubavitch of the Palisades, speaks warmly
about David Mintz, the president of the congregation. "Mr. Mintz has been
actively involved with our work since its inception. The Rebbe had told Mr.
Mintz one Sunday when he went to receive a dollar and blessings that a Chabad
House would soon be opening in his neighborhood and that Mr. Mintz should
help out. I knew nothing of this conversation when I approached Mr. Mintz
some time later, to move to Tenafly, New Jersey and open Lubavitch of the
Palisades. The Rebbe told him many times that he is a partner with the Rebbe
in the Rebbe's work; he is a partner with Chabad."
Mr. Mintz takes his partnership with the Chabad House as seriously as he
takes his business. Says Rabbi Shain, "We make decisions together. He has
a heart of gold but he's not a pushover. He has strong business acumen. He
has been at the forefront of our growth, our beautiful center and our recently
completed million dollar mikvah."
Says Mr. Mintz, "Once, when I thanked the Rebbe for all of his blessings,
he told me, 'You don't have to thank me because we are partners.' The Rebbe
gave me a special blessing, 'You should never have any daigas, worries.
It could be that once in a while you may have a question or a doubt. If that
happens, study a portion of the Torah and then you won't have any more doubts.
You will be very successful and sell products to the point that you will
have difficulty keeping records of all the products you sell.' Thank G-d
the company keeps growing; thank G-d I don't have any daigas.
"When people who are having a hard time in business because of the economy
or have lost their jobs ask me for advice, I tell them the following: Here
is my business strategy. It's very simple and it's guaranteed if you follow
it. Give charity with your whole heart and more than you can afford. Nowhere
in the Torah except concerning the mitzvah (commandment) of
tzeddakah does G-d tell us we can test Him. I told that to a man in
our shul who was down on his luck. A little while later he came into
shul and started hugging and kissing me. 'I started giving charity
even before I could afford to, with my whole heart, until it hurt. I got
a call from a big company and it was my break,' he told me.
G-d willing and with the Rebbe's brachot, Mr. Mintz will continue
to delight people with his non-dairy tofu products and inspire them with
his faith in G-d and the Rebbe until the coming of Moshiach, and even after!
The most important principle in the Torah is the protection of Jewish life.
It's more important than Shabbat, more important than holidays, even
fasting on Yom Kippur.
Right now, in Israel, and everywhere, Jews must stand together in unity and
do whatever possible to protect Jewish life.
The Rebbe taught that there are ten important
Mitzvot we can do to protect life. See what you can do:
1) Ahavat Yisroel: Behave with love towards another Jew.
2) Learn Torah: Join a Torah class.
3) Make sure that Jewish children get a Torah true education.
4) Affix kosher Mezuzot on all doorways of the house.
5) For men and boys over 13: Put on Tefillin every weekday.
6) Give Charity.
7) Buy Jewish holy books and learn them.
8) Light Shabbat & Yom Tov candles. A Mitzvah
for women and girls.
9) Eat and drink only Kosher Food.
10) Observe the laws of Jewish Family Purity.
In addition, the Rebbe also urged every man, woman and child to Purchase
a Letter in a Sefer Torah. There are several Torah scrolls
being written to unite Jewish people and protect Jewish life.
Letters for children can be purchased for only $1. Send your Hebrew name
and your mother's Hebrew name plus $1 to:
"Children's Sefer Torah,"
P. O. Box 8,
Kfar Chabad, 72915, Israel
or via the Internet, at:
The Rebbe's slogan is: "The main thing is the deed." We therefore present
from the Rebbe's talks, suggestions what we can do to complete his work of
bringing the Redemption.
Study Ethics of the Fathers
We read one chapter of Pirkei Avot -- Ethics of the Fathers -- each
Shabbat following the afternoon prayer. Pirkei Avot contain
ethics and moral exhortations.
Many have the custom to continue reading these chapters throughout the summer
months until Rosh HaShanah; summer is a time when people are prone
to become more lax in their Jewish observances.
The Rebbe emphasized the importance of not only reciting the chapters, but
also actually studying them.
Jewish Women and Girls Light Shabbat
For local candle lighting times:
consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch Center, or call: (718) 774-3000.
For a free candle lighting kit:
contact your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center.
For a listing of the Centers in your area:
In the USA, call: 1-800-Lubavitch (1-800-582-2848).
Times shown are for Metro NY - NJ
Friday, July 4, Erev Shabbat Parshat Korach:
Light Shabbat Candles,(8) by 8:11 p.m.
Saturday, July 5, Shabbat Parshat Korach:
On Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, we read Chapter 4 of
Pirkei Avot -- Ethics of the Fathers.
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 9:21 p.m.
8. The Shabbat candles must be lit 18 minutes before
sunset. It is prohibited and is a desecration of the Shabbat
to light the candles after sunset.
Laws of Shabbat Candle Lighting for the Blind
Shabbat Candle Lighting Blessing
"Let There Be Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide
to Lighting Shabbat Candles.
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