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B”H. 6 Tevet 5776 – Hakhel • 18 December 2015 • Number 1000 • Price: $7.00 • Part 2 of

The international weekly heralding the coming of Moshiach




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3 D’var Malchus
7 Parsha Thought
20 Bitachon Bytes
21 Letter to the Editor
32 Moshiach & Hakhel
42 Tzivos Hashem

Boruch Merkur

10 WHY
Avrohom Reinitz

Menachem Mendel Weiss
29 FOR

Nosson Avraham

Rochele Haramati

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Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409

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Beis Moshiach (USPS 012-542) ISSN 1082-0272
is published weekly, except Jewish holidays (only
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M.M. Hendel
Rabbi S.Y. Chazan
[email protected]

Boruch Merkur
[email protected]

12/15/2015 1:01:00 AM


Beis Moshiach presents the maamer the
Rebbe MH”M delivered on Yud Shvat 5716,
in accordance with the custom established
by the Rebbe to review each year a section
of the Rebbe Rayatz’s maamer Basi L’Gani of 5710. • This year
we focus on the sixth section of the profound and foundational
Chassidic discourse. * Fifth instalment
Translated by Boruch Merkur

6. The Rebbe continues in the maamer,
explaining that the difference between the letter
Daled and Reish in terms of shape is that Daled has
a Yud on its upper right corner. The Yud signifies
the absolute bittul and self-annulment of S’firas
HaMalchus, which allows it to serve as a vessel or
receptacle, as in the saying, “An empty vessel can
contain; a full vessel cannot.”
And to further quote the maamer: “The same
principle applies [in mortal experience] to a person
receiving knowledge. In order for him to be a
vessel to contain new teachings, the true hashpaa
of the rav, he must be in a state of total bittul and
humility. It does not suffice for the student, the
talmid, to simply refrain from embracing ego and
sense of self; it is specifically when there is bittul
and the relinquishment of ego that the talmid can
truly absorb what the rav has to offer.”
The Rebbe describes in the maamer that the true
understanding of the relationship of rav and talmid,
the relationship between master and disciple, is
when the master is incomparably greater than the
disciple. Thus, it is only when the talmid is in a
state of absolute self-nullification that he is able
to fathom the teachings of the rav [because left to
regular means, the talmid is simply incapable of
comprehending it].
Now, obviously we’re not talking about the

talmid eradicating his sense of self to the point that
he is not even able to hear the words of the rav. Nor
is it enough for him to maintain self-awareness but
simply devote himself to receiving the teachings of
the rav. Rather, while the rav teaches, the talmid
must be [cognizant enough to hear the teachings of
the rav but still be] in a state of bittul, totally devoid
of self.
When listening to the lecture, the talmid must
not even be in a state of being mashpia to himself,
his mind thirsting to understand the words of the
rav, for then he will not be able to receive the rav’s
thought, which is unfathomable to the talmid. It is,
rather, specifically an “empty vessel” that contains.
Since we are talking about grasping and containing
thought that is beyond his intellectual capacity,
the talmid must be a perfectly empty vessel; there
must not even be the desire to understand and
comprehend the intellectual concepts the rav is

Of course, the talmid’s desire to learn from the
rav [in general] is something that is necessary. This
desire is fundament both with regard to the talmid
as well as the rav. For the talmid, the yearning
inspires him to attain bittul ha’metzius, nullification
of self, thereby becoming a vessel fit to receive
the teachings of the rav. Also with respect to the

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D’var Malchus
rav, being incomparably greater than the talmid,
teaching the talmid is a vast descent for him, to
such an extent that it would otherwise compel him
to not even associate with the talmid. It is only
when the rav sees in the talmid great thirst to learn
that it evokes in him the desire to reduce himself,
as it were, to bring his ideas down and to transmit
them to the talmid. In fact, this process of lowering
himself actually benefits the rav, insofar as it draws
deeper on his intellectual prowess, revealing in
him greater genius, ideas that he was not privy to
prior to then, as expressed in the saying, “from my
students [I have learned] more than all of them
[i.e., more than his colleagues and even more than
his teachers].”
Here, however, we are speaking about the
importance of desiring to learn prior to the actually
lecture is delivered. When the teaching isn’t actually
taking place, it is indeed necessary for there to be

shape. This space is the mind. But it is specifically
when the mind is an empty vessel that it is possible
for it to assimilate the teachings of the rav, who is
incomparably greater than the talmid.
In light of the above we shall understand the
reason why specifically S’firas HaMalchus “has
nothing of its own.” For at first glance it is difficult
to understand: All of the S’firos are organized
hierarchically, and the lower S’firos receive from
those that are above them. In fact, even the first
of the S’firos receives from the Infinite Light of
G-d. Thus, why is it that specifically regarding
S’firas HaMalchus it is said that “it has nothing
of its own”? The answer is that Ze’ir Anpin, and
in general all the S’firos above Malchus, receive
from the S’firos that are above them in a manner
that is causal. Cause and effect is a dynamic that
relates aspects that are comparable; they are not
of differing natures one to the other. Rather, the
effect exists latently within the
cause. Even when the effect
In fact, this process of lowering himself actually assumes
existence unto itself, the cause
benefits the rav, insofar as it draws deeper on
maintains close proximity to it.
his intellectual prowess, revealing in him greater genius, The same is true of the S’firos,
ideas that he was not privy to prior to then, as expressed which receive one from the other.
The manner of their receiving is
in the saying, “from my students [I have learned] more in close proximity. That is, the
essential quality of the S’firos is
than all of them.”
comparable or relative one to the
Also, the fact that the S’firos
receive from the Infinite Light of
yearning. Without it, it is impossible to bridge the G-d – this is by means of the Tzimtzum HaRishon
vastly distant roles of rav and talmid. But when the (the Primordial Concealment of G-dliness), which
teaching is being delivered, it is clearly observable is the total removal of G-dly revelation. The
that if the talmid maintains this passion and hashpaa to the S’firos occurs upon its return to
yearning, desiring at that moment to receive the shine forth again [in a manner that the G-dly light
teachings from the rav as he is delivering them, his is compatible with the S’firos]. Whereas the S’fira
desire distracts him from listening to and receiving of Malchus, since it is used to create the yesh,
the ideas the rav communicates to him. In order to worldly existence, which is an entirely different
receive the teachings of the rav, it is necessary to quality of being, something that is radically
have bittul and the utter relinquishment of self, not different, therefore, Malchus is the true receiver,
even perceiving the desire to learn from the rav.
the quintessential mekabel.
In this sense, Malchus embodies the principle of
“it has nothing of its own,” signified by the letter
The latter describes the proper approach to Daled, the concept of “dalus – poverty.” The bittul
being an “empty vessel,” which refers to the state of Malchus is one of “it diminished itself,” utter
of mind required to properly learn. The mind must nullification of self, by means of which it receives
be trained to take in the teachings of the rav, for from the S’firos that are above it.

in order for something [an object] to be received
and contained, the space that holds it must echo its

(To be continued be”H)

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Beis Moshiach weekly magazine presents a pathway that makes
sense, even in the face of such overwhelming darkness. Fine. If
it’s a test that Hashem is giving us in the final moments of Galus,
we will stand up to it “with this publication.”
By Boruch Merkur

The first time I gazed upon
the holy face of the Rebbe
was when the Rebbe’s picture
appeared on the front of a
national (Canadian) newspaper.
It was after the first Chaf-Zayin
Adar I 5752, but the picture
was the Rebbe’s approved-forpublicity portrait. The picture
was accompanied by a brief
write-up about the unshakable
faith of the Chassidim in
proclaiming the Rebbe as
Moshiach, irrespective of his
condition. I cut out the article
and kept it for reference. If
this expectation came to pass,
this was a historical moment, a
crossroads in history.
Like the slogan I would
later encounter at the local
Chabad House, “Be a part of
it!” I too wanted more of a part
than just following the story of
Geula unfolding; I wanted to be
caught up in all the excitement
of the Chassidim. I would make

changes and be a part of it. After
all, the Rebbe was 90 years old!
It wouldn’t be long now before
we’d all experience the pinnacle
of history, or…
The first time I actually
stood before the Rebbe was
on Gimmel Tammuz 5754,
ushered along past his office.
I didn’t bother following the
procession to Queens. To me,
if the full hisgalus wasn’t going
to be now, here, in front of
770, with so many thousands of
Chassidim packed together there,
I was back to square one, an
experiment seen through to the
end. I wandered back to yeshiva
like waking from a dream. Again
I was at a crossroads.
The very next day, my
spirits, as well as the spirits
of my fellow bachurim, were
lifted, with classes devoted to
learning publications such as
Yechi HaMelech. Soon after, the
book And He Will Redeem Us

came out, and of course there
was the staple, the bilingual Beis
Moshiach weekly magazine.
This was a pathway that made
sense, even in the face of such
overwhelming darkness. Fine. If
it’s a test that Hashem is giving
us in the final moments of Galus,
we will stand up to it “with this
The editors and contributors
of Beis Moshiach combed
through sichos and other sources
addressing this final challenge
and what message we need to
take with us to inspire us to stay
the course, and what message to
communicate to the world. All
the teachings coming out seemed
new, fresh and alive.
Then months passed, years,
Eagerly anticipating the
redemption, the advent of
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sacrifice to be a part of it – dates
back to the earliest times, even
back to the times of the Avos (as
evident in numerous sichos of
the Rebbe as well as maamarei
Chassidus, such as those found
in Torah Ohr). If we have been
decades waiting, this mission
was vital enough for the greatest
tzaddikim to pursue, thousands
of years prior to the final
moments of Exile.
When seeking inspiration
for a message for the 1000th

issue, an unbelievable milestone,
and a crossroads of sorts, this
drush caught my attention – an
ancient story of self-sacrifice to
bring Moshiach, told in Maor
VaShemesh by Rabbi Klonymos
Kalman HaLevi Epstein, disciple
of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk,
the story of Tamar at the
“And it was told to Tamar,
saying, ‘Behold, your father
in-law [Yehuda] is going up to
Timna… so she sat at pesach
einayim, at the crossroads.”
[Rashi interprets “pesach
einayim” in two ways: “At the
opening of the eyes, at the
crossroads, en route to Timna.
(Sifsei Chachomim elaborate:
“When two roads intersect and
head off this way and that, it is
necessary to open the eyes to
consider which way to go. Thus,
‘pesach einayim’ means ‘the
opening of the eyes.’”) And our
Sages derive from this verse, ‘at
the pesach of Avrohom Avinu,
for all eyes yearn to behold
him.’” (“‘The pesach of Avrohom
Avinu’ refers to the gravesite
of Avrohom Avinu, and Tamar
prayed that she would encounter
a descendant of Avrohom, in
order to bear children from his
[royal lineage]. That is what
our Sages teach in the first
chapter of Sota (daf 10) ––Sifsei
Chachomim). Maor VaShemesh
cites the second p’shat of Rashi]

“The Midrash interprets this
as, ‘at the pesach of Avrohom
Avinu, for all eyes yearn to
behold him.’ This Midrash
requires elaboration, for we do
not find [sources that speak of]
yearning to behold the ‘pesach
of Avrohom Avinu.’ However,
the following appears to be the
correct interpretation. It says in
the Midrash [also quoted in the
second p’shat of Rashi] on the
verse, ‘Tzadka mimeni – she is
correct [Tamar is correct in her
claim that I, Yehuda, her father
in-law, can identify the owner
of the collateral she possessed
––Rashi, Sifsei Chachomim];
it is from me [Yehuda, that she
conceived ––Rashi],’ that a
voice emerged from Heaven,
saying, ‘From Me, of My
Providence did these events
occur,’ meaning that there
was assistance granted from
On High to coordinate this
event, in order for the Davidic
Dynasty to emerge, as well as
the soul of Moshiach – may
it speedily be revealed. Thus,
Yehuda, Kadosh Elyon, was
enthusiastic to be a part of this
[pivotal moment in history].
“Indeed, this secret was
revealed to Tamar as well, and
she too intended to participate
in this event, to produce
Supernal Unifications in
order to bring down the soul
of Moshiach, from the quarry
from whence it was hewn and
from its root in the Supernal
“Now, the Gemara and
Midrash assert that six things
preceded the world, among
which are t’shuva [which the
author equates to Supernal
Unifications] and the soul of
Moshiach. We derive from here
that these two items are from
the same place and source
[…] [the intent of t’shuva,
Supernal Unifications, here

being] to draw down the soul of
“With regard to Avrohom,
he is seen as having selfsacrifice when he pursued the
five kings to save Lot. At first
glance it is inconceivable that
he would endanger himself
for the sake of Lot. Surely
Avrohom was aware of Lot’s
character, for Lot, ‘journeyed
from the East, from Kedem,’
which our Sages interpret to
mean that he journeyed away
from Kadmono Shel Olam, the
Primordial Master of the World.
But the truth is that Avrohom’s
self-sacrifice was on account of
the fact that he saw with ruach
ha’kodesh (Divinely inspired
vision) that the soul of Dovid
and Moshiach would stem from
Lot [through Rus, who came
from Moav].
“The above thus sheds light
on the Midrash with which
we began this discussion –
that Tamar sat at the pesach
of Avrohom Avinu. That is,
Tamar followed the path of
Avrohom Avinu, who sacrificed
his life to bring down the soul
of Moshiach into the world,
Moshiach to whom ‘all eyes
yearn to behold,’ that he should
be revealed speedily in our
days, amen.”
It is our job – readers of Beis
Moshiach and all Chassidim
of the Rebbe, who pursue the
final shlichus to bring Moshiach
Tzidkeinu in the literal sense –
to lift up our eyes and see we
are standing at the crossroads,
standing in the place and
moment when everything is being
determined, and whether or not
we will be a part of the most
important moment in history.
May we immediately behold the
Rebbe MH”M, whom “all eyes
yearn to behold,” with the true
and complete redemption – now!

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By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg

In one of the most poignant
events recorded in the Torah,
Yosef, the viceroy of Egypt,
is finally ready to divulge his
identity to his brothers.
The Torah introduces his
revelation that he is their brother
whom they sold into slavery with
the following words:
Now Yosef could not restrain
himself in the presence of all who
stood before him, so he called out,
“Remove everyone from before
me!” Thus no man remained with
him when Yosef made himself
known to his brothers. He cried
in a loud voice. Egypt heard, and
Pharaoh’s household heard.
And Yosef said to his brothers,
“I am Yosef! Is my father still
Many questions arise when
we examine this powerful
First, why did he want
everyone else to leave?
Rashi explains that Yosef
members of his household to
see how his brothers would be
Rashbam explains that Yosef
realized that he would not be able
to control his emotions in public
as he had done so successfully in

the past. The suggestion here is
that he, as a monarch, could not
allow himself to weep in public.
Ramban explains further that
Yosef did not want the Egyptians
to know that his brothers sold
him into slavery.
However, we still need to
understand why the fact that he
wanted the Egyptians to leave,
was crucial to the story.
Second, after recounting
that Yosef ordered everyone
out of his presence, why does
the Torah add, “Thus no man
remained with him when Yosef
made himself known to his
brothers.” Is it not self-evident
that his orders would be carried
out by the Egyptians? At the very
least, the Torah could have stated
succinctly, “and they all left.”
Third, if everyone departed,
how was it that Egypt and
Pharaoh’s household heard his
Fourth, why does the Torah
repeat Yosef’s name in the verse,
“Thus no man remained with
him when Yosef made himself
known to his brothers?” Why not
use the pronoun “him” and state
“…no man remained with him
when he made himself known to
his brothers.”
Every story in the Torah has
to teach us a moral lesson and

every detail is important. What
does Yosef’s revelation to his
brothers tell us?

Human beings are known
communicators. What makes us
unique in this world is not our
intelligence but our ability to
This raises an obvious
question: Animals, even birds and
plants, also communicate. While
they do not have vocal chords
they still communicate through
other means. Why then do we
describe only human beings as
It is not sufficient to answer
that our level of communication
is unique because it is far more
intelligent and sophisticated.
If that were the case, humans
should have been called sichli, an
intelligent being. After all, it’s not
communication per se that makes
us unique; it is the intelligent
aspect of our communication
skills that does.
The answer lies in the two
modes of human communication:
The first mode of speech
occurs when we are in a public
students, conversing socially or

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The Talmud says that a person without a home
is missing an aspect of his or her humanity. To
be human in the fullest sense of the word one must be
capable of shedding all inhibitions and be free to express
one’s innermost feelings. Otherwise, one’s soul is in a
virtual prison. A home is where we can be ourselves, thus
enabling us to communicate on a human level.
just chatting with friends. The
presence of an audience makes us
sensitive to what others will think
and say about our spoken words.
One who speaks, consciously or
unconsciously, tailors his words
to please his audience, and, at the
very least, no one within hearing
should be offended or turned off
by the remarks.
In effect, public forums inhibit
our ability to bear our souls and
reveal our true inner selves.
This mode of public speech
is primarily utilitarian. It gets us
what we want to get. The benefit
may be accolades we receive from
listeners or some concrete favor,
or just the pleasure of being
in a social setting. It does not,
however, reveal the true essence
of our being.
This mode of communication
not much different from the
communication skills of other
species. They too communicate
for utilitarian purposes, to
get their food, to protect their
brood or to defend themselves.
Obviously, the content of human
speech is frequently more
profound and more interesting
than that of other species, but
fundamentally it is not very
different. This is not the mode of
speech that distinguishes us from
other creatures.
There is a much deeper form
of speech which differentiates us
from all other of G-d’s creations.

It is the form of speech that has
the capacity to reveal our inner
being, our very soul. This mode
of speech is what makes us
eminently human.

The ultimate expression of
the human capacity for genuine
and unmitigated self-expression
is prayer. Prayer is sometimes
referred to as nefesh, which
means soul. This is based on the
paradigmatic prayer of Chana:
“I poured out my soul before
G-d.” Prayer, in its ideal and
unadulterated form, expresses
the innermost feelings and
aspirations that emanate from the
depths of the human soul.
The Talmud (Bava Kama 3b),
in discussing the meaning of the
word maveh, cites an opinion
that it means a human being.
To prove this assertion it cites
a verse in the Book of Isaiah
(21:12) which discusses one who
beseeches G-d for Redemption:
“Says the watchman; morning
comes, and also night; if you
beseech [tivayun], beseech.” The
word for beseeching in this verse
is etymologically related to the
word “maveh.” Thus, according
to our Sages, a human being is a
beseecher; one who prays is one
who beseeches and prays, and
more specifically, one who prays
for the Redemption.

This is precisely what we
mean when we refer to man as
a midaber-communicator. What
qualifies us to be considered
fully human? It is when we
allow the deepest sentiments
and aspirations of our soul to
come to the fore through the
medium of speech. The most
powerful expression of the soul
is channeled through the medium
of speech, not thought or action.

Humans have physical needs
that often eclipse the soul’s
desire for expression. We also
have inhibitions that cause us to
conceal our innermost feelings.
The reticence about venting our
true emotions through speech
is greatest when we are in the
company of others. This explains
why many mystics preferred
praying in seclusion. This
assisted them in getting in touch
with their true essence.
This also explains why the
Talmud says that a person
without a home is missing an
aspect of his or her humanity.
This was not intended to
shame poor people who cannot
afford a home. Rather, it is the
Talmud’s way of getting us to
appreciate what a home does
for our dignity. To be human
(midaber) in the fullest sense of
the word one must be capable of
shedding all inhibitions and be
free to express one’s innermost
feelings. Otherwise, one’s soul
is in a virtual prison. A home is
where we can be ourselves, thus
enabling us to communicate on a
human level.

We can now understand why
Yosef wanted all the Egyptians in
his court to leave.

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communicate his deepest feelings
of connection with his brothers
and reconnect with his father
as well. Yosef did not want this
communication to be on a stage,
as it would have watered down
the intensity of the experience.
He wanted his communication
to be totally human because he
would be able to bare all of his
soul’s passion.
reconciliation with his brothers
was a portent of the ultimate
Redemption when there will
be a total rapprochement
of all segments of Jewry, as
represented by the two kingdoms
of Yosef (Ephraim) and Yehudah
prophetic selection, the Haftarah.
Yosef’s words were thus more
than just prayerful. Underlying
Yosef’s cry to his brothers was his
desire for unity and Redemption.
Even as the Egyptian exile was
beginning, Yosef was laying the
groundwork for, and planting
the seeds of, the unity that is
synonymous with Redemption.
We can now understand why
asking the Egyptians to leave was
crucial to the narrative. They

represented the forces of exile.
He didn’t want his expression
of love and solidarity with his
Redemption, to be tainted in any
way by watering down his soul’s
passion for unity.
This also tells us why the
Torah adds, “Thus no man
remained with him when Yosef
made himself known to his
brothers.” Two questions we
raised above remain unanswered:
wasn’t it self-evident that the
Egyptians left after being ordered
by Yosef to do so; and why does
the Torah repeat Yosefs’ name?
Upon deeper reflection, we
realize that this was to underscore
that the Egyptians’ departure
was not just a physical change
of location; it represented a total
change of the prevailing narrative
in that room. They moved their
intrusive inhibiting presence out
of the Redemptive soul of Yosef.
With his outburst and cry, Yosef
made himself, his essence and
core, known to his brothers. He
was not just talking to them, in
his “pronoun-ian” state, this was
speaking to them in his essential
Yosef state.

another question raised above,
if everyone departed, how was it
that everyone still heard his cry?
The answer is powerful.
When one expresses his or her
innermost cry for Redemption
it reverberates throughout the
cosmos and has an impact on the
entire world. Everyone can feel
the “fallout” from the “nuclear”
explosion that is the passion for
We are living at the tail end
of the process that began with
Yosef. Seifer Yetzira, the early
work of Kabbala states, “the
end is wedged in the beginning,
and the beginning in the end.”
We must now give voice to our
deepest sentiments by crying
out to G-d, “ad masai – how
much longer?” even as we seek
unity with our fellow Jews and
reconcile and reunite with our
Father in heaven.
When we use our human
power of speech in its most
pristine and powerful form our
cries will reverberate throughout
the entire world. All nations
of the world will also clamor
for Moshiach and the final
Redemption, when true peace
will reign.

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Beis Moshiach refers to the Rebbe as Melech
HaMoshiach. Eight years ago we sat down with
the Vaad HaRuchni and asked them to explain
the importance in referring to the Rebbe with
the title “Melech HaMoshiach.” Why isn’t it
enough to say, “Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu”?
What impact does using MH”M have on the
Interview by Avrohom Reinitz
Photographs by Chaim Touitou

and acronym for Melech
HaMoshiach are used regularly
when referring to the Rebbe.
Some people wonder, why do
this over and over again? Is it
R’ Liberow: This question
is asked about identifying who
Moshiach is in general. People
say, we believe the Rebbe is
Moshiach, but why is it important
to publicize and stress it?
The answer is simple. If it
wasn’t that important, the Rebbe
MH”M would not mention it
in his sichos. If you study the
Rebbe’s sichos, you know that in
the later years, the
Rebbe began to regularly
quote the Bartenura which says,

“In every generation someone of
the seed of Yehuda is born who
is fitting to be Moshiach for the
Jewish people.”
The Rebbe also quoted the
Chasam Sofer about “One
who is fitting, because of
his righteousness, to be the
redeemer, and when the time
comes, Hashem will reveal
Himself to him and send him.”
Those who remember the
sichos of the early years know
that these quotes were not at all
typical until the later years. Since
5751, it was important to the
Rebbe to quote these lines again
and again. If it is important to
the Rebbe, then it ought to be
important to all the Chassidim.
That students identify their
teachers as Moshiach, and

even more so (as the Rebbe
notes in the sicha of TazriaMetzora 5751), that Tanaim
themselves would expound on
their name – this practice dates
back to the time of the Gemara,
as it’s brought in the tractate
Since the revelation of
Chassidus, when the concept
of Nasi HaDor became more
prominent, the identification of
the Nasi HaDor as Moshiach also
began to intensify. On Shabbos
Parshas Naso 5720/1960, the
Rebbe said that already in the
time of the Rebbe
Rayatz, they spoke about
Chassidim believing that the
Rebbe is Moshiach.
Regarding our Rebbe, first
it was hinted at, but the deeper

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we got as we progressed towards
Geula, the more open it became.
Yes, there were things that held
it back, but unlike earlier years
in which the obstacles remained
for years, since 5751, even when
there were obstacles, they didn’t
last more than a few weeks.
During this period of time
(5751), at first, when people
asked whether they should
do certain Moshiach-related
activities, some were told Yes and
some were told No. If someone
went ahead and did something
and informed the Rebbe, he
was answered, “informing me is
enough, as is obvious,” and he
was given blessings to continue.
Later on, especially after
27 Adar, even when the person
asking really wanted a negative

answer, he didn’t get one. For
example, in the big Yud Shvat
event of 5753, some people asked
the Rebbe not to go out in public
on the balcony since it would be
interpreted as his consent to the
proclamation of “Yechi.” The
Rebbe went out anyway and
publicly encouraged the singing
of “Yechi” to the world, and
millions watched it.
What does that tell us?
That the closer we get to the
hisgalus of Moshiach, his identity
becomes an integral part of the
issue. There are things that are
associated with particular times,
for example, the halachos of
Chanuka. At this time of the year
they are not apropos, but around
Chanuka time, they are! The
same is true with the halachos

of Moshiach. Until recent years,
they weren’t that practical, but
ever since the Rebbe said “the
time for your redemption has
arrived,” these are practical
The same is true with the
name of Moshiach. In the past, it
wasn’t that necessary. As we get
closer and closer to the true and
complete Redemption, it becomes
more and more important.
In Elul 5753, the Rebbe
agreed for the first time, that the
introduction to a book published
by Kehos should add the words
“Melech HaMoshiach.” Since
then, dozens of s’farim from
Kehos were published with the
Rebbe’s title as “K’vod K’dushas
Admur Melech HaMoshiach
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many times we heard the Rebbe
say, “Nasi Doreinu, Moshiach
of the generation.” The Rebbe
said this orally and in writing,
such as in the sicha of Shabbos,
Parshas VaYeitzei 5752. After
quoting the Bartenura and the
Chasam Sofer, the Rebbe added
in his handwriting: “and in our
generation, Nasi Doreinu, the
Rebbe my father-in-law.”
Since “a person must use
the wording of his teacher,”
obviously there is reason to
refer to the Rebbe as Melech
HaMoshiach. In those years, the
Rebbe also explained a few times
the quality of Moshiach that he

Once the Rebbe approved the writing of “Melech
HaMoshiach” in an official Lubavitch publication,
someone who asks why it is important is like someone
asking, after Yud Shvat 5711, after the Rebbe agreed to
the writing of “K’vod K’dushas Admur shlita” – what is
the importance in writing this about the Rebbe...
--Rabbi Zalman Liberow
Once the Rebbe approved the
writing of “Melech HaMoshiach”
asks why it is important is like
someone asking, after Yud Shvat
5711, after the Rebbe agreed to
the writing of “K’vod K’dushas
Admur shlita” – what is the
importance in writing this about
the Rebbe...
R’ Shapiro: Along with the
quotes from the Bartenura and
Chasam Sofer, the Rebbe also
mentioned a few times that
“Chassidim in each generation
believed that their Rebbe is
Moshiach, and in our generation
– the Rebbe, my father-in-law.”
In later years, the Rebbe also
used “Moshiach Tzidkeinu”
along with “Nasi Doreinu,” and

is the yechida klalis (and later he
added that Moshiach is the etzem
If you look at the sicha of
Toldos 5752, you will see that
the Rebbe speaks of a new avoda
which is derived from the fact
that the inyan of Moshiach is
etzem ha’neshama, above the
level of yechida.
is the etzem ha’neshama is
something that is relevant to
avoda, every detail of a person’s
avoda. Namely, that everything
is done “to bring to Yemos
When the whole inyan of
kabbalas ha’malchus began, I
sat at a Kinus HaShluchim with

some old-time shluchim and one
of them said: We already wrote a
k’sav hiskashrus to the Rebbe, in
5710. Why do we need to accept
his malchus again?
I answered:
First off, most of the people
sitting here around the table were
not born in 5710, and those who
were, were children. They never
signed on a k’sav hiskashrus
to the Rebbe. Secondly, since
something new regarding the
Rebbe has become revealed, the
kabbalas ha’hiskashrus that was
signed back then is not enough
for today. We need to connect
to that aspect which has been
revealed in the Rebbe now.
R’ Springer: In the kuntres
Beis Rabbeinu Sh’B’Bavel, the
Rebbe refers (footnote 58) to the
S’dei Chemed, who writes that in
every generation they searched
for who is the Moshiach and,
“in this way, it was presumed in
every generation who it was!”
The Rebbe concludes, “And all
this is obvious.”
Even in previous generations
they saw a need to look and see
who was fitting to be Moshiach
in that generation, in order
to strengthen the feeling of
anticipation and the belief in the
coming of Moshiach.
If that was the case in
previous generations, all the
more so in our generation, when
the Rebbe prophesied that this is
the generation of Redemption.
Standing moments before the
hisgalus, of course we must
publicize to one and all who
Moshiach is – “and all this is
This is especially so, when
the Rebbe mentioned, time and
again, that “the Nasi HaDor is
Moshiach of the generation,”
“he paskened on himself.”
The Rebbe himself said several
times that “Moshiach’s name is

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There is no doubt that if
Anash would put their energy into
spreading the things mentioned
in the sichos, the world would
accept them and also believe
that the Rebbe is Moshiach.
The talmidim of the Rebbe, we
Chassidim, need to be the first to
publicize it.
R’ Lipsker: Before all the
explanations we need to say one
simple thing: it’s the truth! Since
the Rebbe is Moshiach, we have
to write it – because it’s the truth.
This question was asked back
in 5751 with the koch in kabbalas
ha’malchus of the Rebbe MH”M.
Those who opposed using the
title “Melech HaMoshiach” for
the Rebbe tried to present their
position as one that is Chassidish.
They quoted the Rebbeim as
saying that to
Chassidim, there is nothing
higher than “Rebbe.”
This view went along with
the story of the Chassid who was
asked whether his Rebbe has
ruach ha’kodesh. He said it was
none of his business. If the Rebbe
needed ruach ha’kodesh, he
certainly had it; if he didn’t need
it, he didn’t care that he didn’t.
This story expresses the idea that
to a Chassid, the Rebbe is not
measured by various qualities.
His greatest quality is that he is
To tell you the truth, at first,
I didn’t have a good answer to
this question and approach. I just
knew that if it was important to
the Rebbe to mention that the
Nasi HaDor is the Moshiach of
the generation, then there was
certainly a big inyan here.
We Chassidim had to follow
the Rebbe and use this wording
to refer to him.
However, on Shabbos Parshas
Toldos, the Rebbe began one

of the sichos with the following
words, “It is necessary to add and
correct,” and the Rebbe explained
that the level of Moshiach is not
merely the yechida klalis of the
Jewish people, because “yechida”
is one of the five names of the
neshama, and as such it is not the
actual etzem.
Moshiach is that he literally
reveals the “etzem ha’neshama.”
This is the “true inyan of
This was an enormous
chiddush. Until then, we knew
that Moshiach is the yechida
klalis and looking at it that way,

The knowledge that Moshiach is the etzem
ha’neshama is something that is relevant to
avoda, every detail of a person’s avoda. Namely, that
everything is done “to bring to Yemos HaMoshiach.”
-– Rabbi Nachman Shapiro

there was reason to say that
“Moshiach” is not greater than
“Rebbe,” because the Rebbe is
also the yechida klalis, and what
do we need beyond a Rebbe?
However, after the Rebbe
established that Moshiach is
“the etzem of the Jewish people,
which is above the aspect of
yechida,” there is obviously,
something far more special about
Moshiach. Since the Rebbe is
also Moshiach, which means he
reveals the etzem HaNeshama, it
is certainly important to mention
this repeatedly, since by doing so,
we arouse and reveal this point.
It’s interesting to note what
it says in VaYikra Rabba, “And
He called to Moshe. What
does it say earlier? The above
portion is about the Mishkan,
where it concludes, ‘as Hashem
commanded Moshe.’ An analogy

to a king who commanded his
servant and said to him: build me
a palace. On everything he built,
he wrote the name of the king.
He constructed walls and wrote
the king’s name on them. He
raised pillars and wrote on them
the king’s name. He would put
up beams and write the king’s
name on them.
“The king later entered the
palace and wherever he looked
he saw his name written. He
said: My servant gave me all this
honor, and I am inside and he is
outside?! They called to him to
“So too, when Hashem said
to Moshe: Build Me a Mishkan,
on everything he made he wrote
on it: as Hashem commanded
Moshe. Said Hashem: Moshe
gave me all of this honor and I
am inside and he is outside?!
They called to him to enter,
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When a person reads the
phrase, “the Rebbe MH”M”
again and again, it can inspire
him to behave as a Chassid of
Melech HaMoshiach.
This is along the lines of
what the Rebbe said at the end
of the sicha of VaEira 5752, “the
knowledge that the Rebbe, my
father-in-law, Nasi Doreinu, will
be entering immediately (since
‘arise and sing those who dwell in
the dust’) and look at each one of
the Chassidim and mekusharim
to examine their standing and
position, etc., inspires and affects
one to finish and complete (from
the root “shleimus,” perfect) all

After the Rebbe established that Moshiach is
“the etzem of the Jewish people, which is above
the aspect of yechida,” there is obviously, something
far more special about Moshiach [than the concept of
--Rabbi Berel Lipsker
which is why it says: ‘And He
called to Moshe.’”
The application of the analogy
is obvious!
Do you think that when
repeatedly see references to the
Rebbe MH”M, it influences
That is, does it have practical
R’ Shapiro: Thirty years ago,
we sat at a farbrengen with one
of the great mashpiim and he said
that if we really believed that the
Rebbe is Moshiach and that we
are in his Dalet amos (i.e., in his
presence), we would look entirely
different; our behavior, our
approach to the Rebbe’s issues
would be completely different. At
the time the mashpia said this, it
had a great impact on us.

our actions and avoda.”
When a Chassid relates to it
as fact that the Rebbe is Melech
HaMoshiach, and he believes in
and anticipates his hisgalus at
any moment, it affects his emuna
and anticipation for Moshiach in
It becomes more real for
him. And it affects his avoda,
so that whatever he does is with
awareness that Moshiach is about
to appear!
On a deeper level one can
say, the title Rebbe – Adoneinu
Moreinu V’Rabbeinu – is
comprised of several levels,
with each word expressing
another aspect of the Rebbe and
consequently, in the connection
of the Chassidim with the Rebbe.
“Adoneinu” expresses the

bittul of a servant to his master.
expresses two aspects of bittul of
a student to his teacher.
expresses the great bittul of
the nation to the king. This is a
greater and deeper bittul than the
bittul of a servant to his master.
However, we cannot suffice with
our living with the reality that the
Rebbe is Moshiach and that as a
result, we are battul to the Rebbe.
We have to get the world
to know that the Rebbe is
Moshiach and to be battul to him
The Rebbe spoke along these
lines in the maamer “V’Ata
Tetzaveh” – that as long as there
is a Jew for whom the G-dly
illumination does not shine forth,
the tzaddik who succeeded in
reaching the highest levels has to
be “crushed” and broken by this,
that the light of G-dliness is still
not fully revealed in the world.
So too with us, as long as
the entire world does not believe
that the Rebbe is Moshiach and
is not battul to his directives,
we are lacking in the concept of
“Rebbe,” the bittul and devotion
to the Rebbe MH”M.
In Kesser Shem Tov, in
the famous letter in which the
Baal Shem Tov describes his
encounter with Moshiach, it
says that Moshiach said to the
Baal Shem Tov that this hisgalus
will take place when “when your
identity is revealed in the world.”
That means that along with
spreading the wellsprings, the
identity of the Nasi HaDor must
be revealed in the world. This is
accomplished when we publicize
the identity of the Rebbe as
Moshiach, thus revealing him to
the world.
This should be obvious to a
Chassid. Chassidim have always
told others about the Rebbe.

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Everybody agrees that we should
publicize the Rebbe. But one
can ask: Why? What do we care
whether people know about the
Rebbe? When did the Rebbe
give us this assignment? Yet, all
Chabad Chassidim happily tell
others about the Rebbe.
The point is, in order for the
inyan of Rebbe to be experienced
by us in the fullest measure, he
has to be this way to the world.
The more we work on “revealing
his identity in the world,” and are
mekasher more and more Jews to
the Rebbe, we affect ourselves,
making ourselves more mekushar
to the Rebbe.
R’ Lipsker: Usually, when
speaking about the saying of
“Yechi,” people quote what the
Rebbe said about adding life
to the king, etc., but we can’t
forget the more basic significance
of the proclamation of “Yechi
HaMelech” – that the people
accept the king’s authority!
The same goes for writing
“Rebbe MH”M” which expresses
kabbalas ha’malchus. When a
Chassid reads or writes it and
he stops for a moment to think
about what it means, he realizes
he has to accept the Rebbe’s
malchus. Since the most basic
element of accepting the malchus
is “accept my decrees,” this
strengthens one’s resolve to fulfill
all of the Rebbe’s horaos.
R’ Springer: As was explained
here before, we are particular
about using the title “MH”M”

because we are so close to
the complete Redemption. In
other words, when a Chassid
sees the words “Rebbe Melech
HaMoshiach,” it inspires him to
think about our being in different
era than twenty years ago.
We are in an era so close
to the coming of Moshiach
that we openly write about the
Rebbe using the words “Melech
HaMoshiach”! This thought,
about our being so close to the
coming of Moshiach, definitely
inspires a Chassid to improve
his Chassidishe behavior in
avodas ha’t’filla and especially, in
spreading the Besuras HaGeula

This thought, about our being so close to the
coming of Moshiach, definitely inspires a Chassid
to improve his Chassidishe behavior in avodas ha’t’filla
and especially, in spreading the Besuras HaGeula and
preparing the world to greet Moshiach.
--Rabbi Itche Springer

and preparing the world to greet
Human nature is such that
when you are anticipating the
king and you know who it is,
your emotions are stronger
and they increase from day to
day. We see that those who are
involved in spreading the identity
of Moshiach are the ones who are
enthusiastically involved in all the

Rebbe’s inyanim: learning Nigleh
and Chassidus, avodas ha’t’filla,
and mivtzaim.
This is because when you
live with the fact that the Rebbe
is Moshiach, every passing
day makes you think: How
did another day pass and the
Rebbe is still not here?! This
is immediately translated into
action in all those things which
the Rebbe said hasten the Geula.

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Rabbi Jacob Schwei

At the recent banquet of the Kinus
HaShluchim that took place on Motzaei
Shabbos in 770, the former Broadway
star, Dudu Fisher, addressed the
shluchim. He told about the bracha
of the Rebbe Rayatz in the merit of
which his mother was born, and the
bracha and guidance of the Rebbe
which paved the way for the kiddush
Hashem Dudu made when he
appeared on Broadway
without desecrating the
Shabbos. * Also, his
feelings about 770,
who his chavrusa for
Chassidus is, and
where he wants to
appear at the next
Kinus HaShluchim.
Photographs by Chaim Touitou

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It was a winter night, 5 Shevat 5692/1932.
A Jewish woman by the name of Fraida Gisha
was in labor in Riga, Latvia. A serious problem
arose and the doctors said they had to end the
pregnancy, as otherwise, it would be a danger to
both mother and baby.
The woman said to the doctors: Wait, don’t
do anything. And to her sister standing next to
her she said, “Leah, go and pray for me in shul.”
Leah walked to the shul in the middle of the
night. The streets were dark and so was the shul
and Leah walked in the darkness, entered the
shul, and approached the Aron Kodesh. There
she poured out her heart to Hashem. She could
not restrain herself and tears streamed from her
eyes. She prayed and cried.
She suddenly felt a soft hand on her
shoulder. She turned around hastily and saw an
older woman who she assumed was the cleaning
lady of the shul.
“Why are you crying?” asked the woman.
Leah told her about her sister giving birth.
“Come with me,” said the woman. She
took her to the home of the Lubavitcher Rebbe,
R’ Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn. Leah wrote
a kvittel, said her sister had a fever and the
doctors were concerned and even wanted to end
the pregnancy.
The Rebbe’s faithful secretary, R’ Yechezkel
Feigin, gave the kvittel to the Rebbe. Five
minutes later he came out of the Rebbe’s room
and gave Leah a letter with a response for her

To Mrs. Fraida Gisha,
The response of the Rebbe to your request,
Hashem should help you so that all will be
well and so that you give birth to a healthy,
live child.
In the name of the Rebbe,
Yechezkel Feigin
With trembling hands, Leah took this letter
and returned to the hospital. As she walked in, all
the doctors came running to her and exclaimed:
We have no idea what happened here but just
half an hour ago, a normal birth began, all went
well, and a little girl was born.
Rabbosai [said Dudu Fisher], this baby girl
was my mother.
We have the original note in a safe but
everyone in the family, including me, of course,
have a photocopy of the letter with them. When
I travel the world, the letter is always in my
pocket. Anybody in the family who gives birth
takes the letter with her to the hospital.

I would like to thank you for the opportunity
you have given me to be with you in 770 for the
Shabbos of the Kinus HaShluchim. This is the
first time I’m here in 770 with such crowds.
Yesterday, when I walked in with my host, R’
Mendel Shagalov, he had to push in order to get
me in.
When I think about what happened here on
Shabbos, I’m amazed. If I had stood on line in
the bank and someone had jostled me like that,
I probably would have turned around and he

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The Rebbe Rayatz’s response to Dudu Fisher’s grandmother
as written by the secretary

“People go to the Rebbe with serious problems
of health, parnasa, and children. How can I go
and talk to the Rebbe about Broadway?”
would have gotten it from me, but
last night and this morning, when
I was in 770 and got pushed and
banged around, every push was
like a caress from the Rebbe.
With every push that made me
think that my lungs were going to
burst, I felt I was among brothers
and the feeling was that a brother
was caressing me.
The experience I had here on
Shabbos was above and beyond.
The Mishna says, “Nobody said it
is too crowded for me to sleep in
Yerushalayim,” and I say: Nobody
says the place is too crowded
in 770 for me to come on this
Shabbos, Shabbos Mevarchim of
the Kinus HaShluchim!

For many years I was a
chazan, just like my grandfather
wanted me to be… One day, I
was traveling in London and I
saw the musical Les Miserables
and as I sat there, I thought, I
can do that.
When the musical arrived
in Eretz Yisroel, I went to

audition and was given the lead
role of Jean Valjean. During
the performance, the British
producer Cameron Mackintosh
came over to me and said: Dudu,
after you finish performing here
in Israel, I want you to perform
on Broadway.
Broadway is the ultimate
when it comes to the theater
and when I heard his offer I was
thrilled. I couldn’t believe it. I,
Dudu Fisher of Petach Tikva,
would appear on Broadway?
Then I told him: I don’t think
that will be possible.
Mackintosh asked me: Why
I explained that I am a
religious Jew and cannot work on
Friday night and Saturday.
At first, he did not understand
what the problem was when it
was just performing on the stage,
but after I explained that it was
out of the question, he said he
would look into what could be
A few months later I got
a phone call from him, telling
me triumphantly that he had
managed to arrange that all the

performances would take place
only on weekdays.
After we arranged a date for
my trip to Broadway, I told all
the entertainment media and the
news was on the front pages of
the Israeli newspapers.
Two months passed and
there was another call from
Mackintosh. This time, he had
bad news. Dudu, he said, there’s
a problem. All the professional
organizations are against me and
are unwilling to change the dates
to weekdays only. I am fighting
them all and as of now, I am not
I was so very disappointed,
especially when my trip had
been announced in the papers. It
would be really embarrassing for
me now…
The journalists began making
fun of me and began calling and
asking sarcastically: Nu, how is
Broadway? You’ve gotten back
from there already?
I was on the verge of a
breakdown. My mother, who saw
how I was starting to sink into
the abyss, said to me: Dudu, you
need to go to the Rebbe.
At first I said to her: People
go to the Rebbe with serious
problems of health, parnasa, and
children. I should go to talk to
the Rebbe about Broadway?
But my mother urged me
and we began looking into the
possibility of going to the Rebbe.
I called my brother-in-law, Avi
Albrecht, and asked him: How do
I get to see the Rebbe?
Avi told me that lately they
were arranging circumcisions for
babies from Russia and whoever
paid the cost of a bris got to be
the sandek and then he was taken
to the Rebbe for a bracha.
That sounded good to me and
I flew to New York. They brought
me to a small house where the

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bris was supposed to take place. I
sat in the living room and waited
for them to bring the baby.
After a few minutes, the door
opened and a giant of a man
stood there. He walked in, looked
at me in surprise, and I asked:
Excuse me, where is the baby?
He did not understand my
question: You are waiting for a
baby? I am the baby!
I won’t weary you with
the details but after I regained
consciousness from my faint, I
told the rabbis organizing the
ceremony: I won’t be holding this
They reassured me and said I
only had to place my hands under
his head during the bris.
After the bris, we walked
“circumcised baby,” to the
I thought I would need to
explain my situation to the
Rebbe but to my surprise, he
immediately understood the
issue. He looked straight at

me and said: Hold strong with
Yiddishkait and everything will be
The Rebbe’s look was so
powerful. I looked at the Rebbe’s
eyes and felt calm. I felt certain
that everything really would be
fine. I resolved to stand strong on
my principles and not perform on
Two months later I got a
phone call from Mackintosh
who told me that he had won the
fight on my behalf, and I could
perform on Broadway without
It was an open miracle
because until I got this job
without Shabbos and Yom Tov
performances, there was no such
thing. And afterward, until today,
there has been nothing like it. I
auditioned for many more shows
and always, the moment it came
to Shabbos observance, it fell
It’s not an easy test because I
could be way more famous and

much richer, with many more
opportunities in life, but those
words of the Rebbe, “Hold strong
with Yiddishkait,” continue to
strengthen me all the time.

Lately, I’ve become more
involved in the teachings of
Chassidus. I have an excellent
chavrusa, R’ Yossi Ginsburgh,
rav of the Chabad community
in Ramat Aviv. I learn with him
twice a week. It’s an unusual
spiritual experience to really get
into the depth of the topics. I also
learn the daily Tanya summary
with my wife which is sent to us
by R’ Amir Kahana.
I hope that at the next Kinus
I can appear before all the
shluchim at one giant Kinus in
Shluchim, you have enormous
powers. You can transform the
world. Go on the offensive in the
streets and the marketplaces and
bring the Geula, immediately,


vww c

Anywhere, Anytime !

jhanu vkutd hbhbg
hyuekc ohrugha
asue ,ujha


sgu okugk jhanv lkn ubcru ubrun ubhbust hjh

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By Rabbi Zalman Goldberg


aspects for upkeep
of Bitachon is that it
should be active in a
person’s reality constantly. Even
during challenging times, the
same focused Bitachon mindset
and easy-going mood should be
It can happen that one will
begin to work on strengthening
his Bitachon in Hashem during
a time which is not especially
challenging for him, during
which it will be noticeable that
the level of simcha in his life has
risen. Then, it could happen that
his Bitachon may be threatened
by perceived difficulties and his
bitachon and simcha will be put
to the test. For such a situation
we are reminded of the famous
teaching of the Baal Shem Tov
on the pasuk .‫ שויתי ה’ לנגדי תמיד‬In
a literal sense this means that
“I place Hashem before me
constantly.” The Baal Shem Tov
explains that ‫ שויתי‬also means
‫ השתוות‬which connotes equality,
in the sense that to all ‘times’ and
to all situations a person should
react equally, always in a balanced
manner. The way to accomplish
this is by realizing that (as the
pasuk concludes) “Hashem is
opposite me constantly.” When
one is opposite a king, no matter

what is happening, one’s reaction
will be a disciplined one.
When the Rebbe Rashab
suggested a shidduch for
Reb Yisroel Noach HaGadol
(Bilinitzky), the girl’s family
wanted to know more about the
prospective groom. The Rebbe
Rashab answered their inquiry by
saying, “Even when he is alone in
his room he fears Hashem.1” His
yiras Shamayim was an invariable
experience, and not just a show
for the public eye.
How does the average person
maintain Bitachon equilibrium at
all times, even at a weak moment
or while experiencing hardship?
We can look at Yosef and
learn from his example. Yosef
was the one who sustained his
extended family during the days
of famine2.
This was not just material
sustenance, but spiritual too3.
As we see in the pasuk, ‫נוהג כצאן‬
‫יוסף‬, that Dovid HaMelech refers
to all the Yidden at all times as
Yosef. This is because he sustains
all Yidden and enables them to
come out of sticky situations
looking great.
How is that? Yosef himself
had a lot of experience with
being in tough circumstances and
ending up on top. After being

sold into slavery as a teenager,
enduring the abuse of his buyers,
being resold into slavery in Egypt
and then thrown into jail, he
still held onto his Torah study
and his connection to Hashem.
His extreme experiences were
unparalleled by any of our
forefathers. He is therefore the
appropriate one to transmit to
others the power of being able
to overcome all obstacles and
becoming the king over the
So when our Bitachon is
tested, we should remember
and contemplate that Yosef was
also in a galus and he not only
survived the galus, he thrived. We
too can harness this energy with
which Yosef sustains us and put
it to work to our advantage, that
there should never be a situation
which will eclipse our Bitachon in
Rabbi Zalman Goldberg is
a well sought after speaker and
lecturer on Chassidic thought. His
writings and recordings on the
topic of Bitachon can be accessed
at http://www.gotbitachon.com.
.29 '‫) ישראל נח הגדול ע‬1
‫ וראה רש''י ומצו''ד תהילים‬,‫ יב‬,‫) ויגש מז‬2
.‫ ב‬,‫פ‬
.‫ ואילך‬252 '‫) לקו''ש חכ''ה ע‬3
.‫) עיי''ש סעיף ו' ואילך‬4

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WEEK, FOR 1000
Dear Beis Moshiach editors:
Putting out any weekly
publication is not an easy task.
There is so much coordination
that needs to be done and so
many deadlines to meet. The
constant pressure of putting out
a quality publication is very big.
I am not even talking about the
immense financial strain that a
publication creates. How much
more so, when you are putting
out a publication of Chassidus
and Yiras Shamayim, where
so much attention is needed to
make sure that every article and
picture meets the publication’s
divine objectives. Multiply that
intensity and responsibility to the
nth power, when we are talking
about the “Shofar of Melech
HaMoshiach,” the publication
that proudly carries the Rebbe’s
message of Emuna and Geula.

Yet, week after week, for 1000
consecutive issues (!), you have
stood strong in your mission. You
did not let any outside pressure
distract you from the goal you
set out to accomplish – the world
transforming goal that Chassidim
continue to live with the Rebbe
and that 770 – the real Beis
Moshiach – feel like home. You
have helped raise an amazing
Chassidim born after Gimmel
Tammuz that have complete faith
in the immediate revelation of the
Rebbe. I am certain that, if not for
the Beis Moshiach magazine, the
face of Lubavitcher Chassidim,
and by automatic extension, the
entire world, would look very
different than it does today!
My main Shlichus is to
educate the Rebbe’s children,
the Talmidei HaT’mimim. I

In Crown Heights area: 1640/1700AM

have merited to direct Yeshivas
Lubavitch Cincinnati, a Yeshiva
focused on Emuna and Kabbalas
Ol in all words and directives of
our holy Rebbeim. Every week
there is a simcha in Yeshiva when
the new editions of Beis Moshiach
arrive. The bachurim all read and
are inspired by the sichos, articles
and stories that shine with
Emuna and Yiras Shamayim. The
same is true in my own home. It
is an integral part of the chinuch
of this generation.
I want to thank you all and
give you a Bracha to go from
strength to strength and you
should already publish the
greatest news, the hisgalus of the
Rebbe NOW!
Rabbi Gershon Avtzon
Cincinnati, Ohio

worldwide, online: www.RadioMoshiach.org

USA NEW phone: 347 990 1136


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ei Teves has become
the “Chag HaS’farim.”
full of Chassidim,
bachurim, women and children,
who buy books for their homes
and libraries. All sorts of books are
purchased: maamarim and sichos,
analytic works as well as Chassidic
storybooks for adults and children.
Lubavitcher authors in order
to get a glimpse into the world
of Chabad books, to hear what
goes on behind the writer’s desk,
about sales, and about their
perspectives on the market for
Readers of Beis Moshiach
are familiar with two of the three
writers we spoke to:
R’ Shneur Zalman Berger
is a regular contributor to Beis
Moshiach. He devotes all his
time to writing biographies about
Chassidim and doing Chabad
historical research. His books,
as well as his terrific series of
articles, have delighted thousands
of readers.
Ziegelboim is an editor of Beis
Moshiach and he has written and
published dozens of books. Some
of the books contain classic
Chassidic tales while others are
Chabad historical stories that are
presented in a fascinating way.

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On Hei Teves, thousands of Chabad Chassidim will descend on
bookstores to mark the holiday of the s’farim. * We spoke with
three Lubavitcher authors about the world of Chabad s’farim
and how it stands out from the rest of the market for Jewish
By Menachem Mendel Weiss

He previously started and edited
the brochure HaGeula M’anyein
V’achshavi and has edited dozens
of booklets and pamphlets.
R’ Levi Yitzchok Groner has
written and published Chassidic
stories for children which he
compiled from sichos. He has
raised the bar within the genre
of Chassidic stories for children.
He has also compiled, edited, and
published the teachings of the
Rebbe on shleimus ha’aretz.

Tell us about when you got
started in the writing field.
MZ: The first story I did was
in Kfar Chabad magazine. It was
about the Rebbe Rashab and was
published for Chof Cheshvan
5751, 130 years after his birth. At
the time, I was a bachur learning
in Kiryat Gat and the editor, R’
Aharon Dov Halperin, accepted
the story.
Actually, before that I wrote
some poems. I submitted one to
Hamodia and it was rejected. I
received a response from one of
the editors that a poem is harder
to write than prose and I should
start with “regular” writing,
which I did. I later appreciated
his professional advice and I
have said the same thing to other
aspiring writers who began with

SZB: It was the end of the
winter 5758 when, at the request
of my friend R’ Menachem
Ziegelboim, I documented the
lives of a number of Chassidim
who were killed or who died
in the Soviet Union and whose
stories had not yet been told.
The work was part of a future
book that R’ Ziegelboim wanted
to produce called, Chayolim
Almonim (Anonymous Soldiers).
The book was never published,
but as part of my work, I wrote
about R’ Shmuel Menachem
Klein, my wife’s grandfather.
The chapters were published as a
series in Beis Moshiach.
Tell us about your first book
– when did you get the idea for
it and how much time elapsed
between when the idea first
germinated and actually writing
the book?
LG: My first book was
published while I was still a
yeshiva bachur. I was involved
in publishing the compilations
of pilpulim of my yeshiva. The
mashpia, R’ Yosef Yitzchok
Gansbourg, who saw my passion
for this kind of work, urged
me and my friend, R’ Moshe
Krishevsky, to compile what
the Rebbe said about shleimus
In less than two months,

with most of the work done bein
ha’z’manim, the first edition of
Karati V’Ein Oneh was published,
containing more than 800 pages.
Two years later a new edition
was published in two beautiful
MZ: My first book was
was published in 5761. It was
a collection of stories I had
written that had been previously
published in various publications.
It was two volumes and contained
dozens of stories about Chassidic
moments of both despair and
encouragement while writing
your books. Please share some
with us.
SZB: When I discover
important, fascinating material
that has not been published yet,
that is a special moment for me.
Over the years I have written
many biographies and each
time the question arises whether
the subject of the book was
interesting enough that his life
should be documented. There
isn’t always a clear answer.
When I edited the biography
of R’ Zushe Wilyamowsky, the
Partisan, I found a letter in his
archives that he wrote to the
Rebbe in which he asked for a
bracha to write a book about

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his life as a partisan and the
development of Chabad in Eretz
Yisroel. On the one hand, he said
that due to lack of time it would
be quite difficult to write a book.
On the other hand, he proffered
the assessment that it would be
of benefit to the public. I did not
find a response from the Rebbe
in his archives and I suppose
no answer was received and
therefore he shelved the idea.
There is also the feeling
of missing out when family
members or close friends of
the subject of the book, who
commissioned the book, pass
on before the book is published.
That happened to me a few

There was one particularly
difficult time which occurred
after I finished editing the book
Gut Yom Tov. I sent it to the
graphic artist and it turned out
that significant cuts had to be
made either in the beautiful
pictures or in the text. “The page
cannot contain both,” said the
graphics person. To delete half
the picture?! How could I? And
to cut the text? That is out of the
MZ: It often happens that
the book is published under time
constraints in order to get it out
for a certain date, and the book is
published too late. Or sometimes
difficulties arise from various,

“You cannot make a living just from writing. You
either write as a labor of love or you don’t write.
If you write to make money, it’s a pity for the time and
effort you put in and also a pity on the money of those
who buy what you write.”
times but I especially remember
it in connection with preparing
the book Eved Avrohom Anochi
about R’ Eliezer Karasik. On
22 Shvat 5765 I interviewed his
daughter, Rebbetzin Devorah
along with her husband, R’
Moshe Ashkenazi. Four months
passed away suddenly and right
afterward, her son died as well
and then other family members.
They, who helped so much in
preparing the book, did not get to
see it published.
LG: There are many difficult
moments of tension during the
process of producing a book, for
example, when three days before
Hei Teves the book is still at the
printer. However, it is exciting to
see Lubavitcher children leaving
the bookstore, one after the
other, on Hei Teves, with “my”

unexpected directions, like the
photography or cover illustration
that came out far different than
what we wanted. I’m talking
about the outside of the book,
how it will look on display.
I’ve sometimes been forced to
For comparison’s sake, how
much time did your first book
take versus your latest book?
MZ: There is no set amount of
time to write a book. It depends
on the type of book and many
other factors. I usually work on
several books simultaneously.
When a certain book is set aside
for a while, and then I feel that
the time is right, I’ll go back to it
and work hard and finish it. So a
book, from beginning to end, can
take years.
LG: My first book was done
in a focused, consistent way and

it took half a year. The books that
followed were worked on here
and there so it is impossible to
say how long they took.

I know all three of you and
know that you are very busy.
When do you have time to write
a book?
MZ: Along with writing books
and editing, I am also involved in
publishing and that is in addition
to my work as a member of the
editing staff of Beis Moshiach, an
impressive weekly publication. I
also do personal coaching, write
articles for various publications,
and do spots on radio programs.
There is also quality time
spent with my family which I
won’t forgo. With all that, I
still feel that I am not filling my
time properly. When you really
want it, there is enough time for
SZB: My work is divided
Moshiach and writing books
which require historical research.
It is hard to sit with a stopwatch
and set a fixed amount of time
for writing a page/chapter/book.
Being invested in the process
is important and sometimes an
entire chapter is easily written
and sometimes, to understand or
research one line requires days of
work. In the past, when a book
was getting close to the printing
stage, there were nights I hardly
LG: There is no time! This
is also the reason why I don’t
publish a lot of books despite the
dozens of ideas that I have. The
only time I can work on books
is in the evening after a day of
work. Since writing a book for
me is a labor of love and not due
to outside pressures I always find
windows of time for it.

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Do you think that anyone
with an idea should sit down
and write? What advice do you
have for someone who has an
idea for a book?
SZB: Today, everyone has a
keyboard and can write whatever
he wants. In order to write a
book, you need an important
topic, something interesting not
only to you but to the readers.
The simplest tip is, consult with
a few experts in the specific field
your intended book deals with.
Also, if you are thinking
of becoming an author, it
is important to differentiate
between a historical anthology
and a history book. In order to
write a history book, the author
must understand the era, the
place, and the people described
in the book, and “translate”
unfamiliar concepts so that they
are appealing to the readers. But
that’s not enough. A writer must
have as his overarching goal to
innovate, to bring fascinating
documents and material that
shed a new light on the subject.
MZ: Writing is a profession.
Not everybody knows how to
write although everyone has
access to a computer, as my
friend R’ Berger said. Especially
today, when publishing has
become more accessible to the
broader public, a person who
loves to write and knows how
to do so professionally should
certainly be urged to write.
publishers want to at least cover
their investment, you need to
examine the market to see if
there is a demand for the book.
Second, don’t despair. Believe in
what you’re doing and go with
it, till the end! Third, aside from
the need for proofreading, do
not publish a book until another
three or four experienced people
read through it and give you

their opinion. A final tip: make
sure the book is authentic and
a quality production. The days
have passed when every book
was grabbed up. The market
today is discriminating and is
flooded with endless books.
maintains that you cannot make
a living from writing books.
What do you think?
LG: You need to differentiate
between a writer who publishes
and someone who is just a writer.
A writer who is also a
publisher is someone who
employs writers, illustrators,
proofreaders, and editors who do
all the foundational work while

he is the “editor in chief.” He
does not need to put his time into
writing; rather, he spreads the
work among many writers. With
this method you can publish
many books but they are not
“your” books; they are merely
books that you published. With
this kind of work you can make
a living because you can publish
many books in a relatively short
span of time.
Most Chabad writers write
books themselves and the only
services they receive from
“subcontractors” are graphics,
when necessary – illustrations
and color design. They usually

own money into printing and
advertising. They use Lubavitcher
distributors for the distribution
which frees them up for more
writing. With this approach, you
need to invest large amounts of
money into printing, graphics
and advertising, but the profit
margins are larger. If the writer
has a number of titles that are
not hot sellers, he can still make
some money from them but
definitely not enough to make a
There is an alternative system
in which the writer writes for a
publisher and receives a onetime sum for his work. That has
an advantage in that he does not
need to invest a cent upfront,
but the downside is that none
of the future profits are his.
MZ: You cannot make a
living just from writing. I agree
fully with the analysis of my
friend, Levi Groner. You either
write as a labor of love or you
don’t write. If you write to make
money, it’s a pity for the time
and effort you put in and also a
pity on the money of those who
buy what you write.
SZB: A best-seller is definitely
a good source of income but
it all depends on mazal. There
aren’t all that many best-sellers
and someone who writes for a
living needs to work hard to earn
I imagine that every writer
feels that his books are “musthaves” for our community,
and yet, I’d like to hear from
you what you think makes
your books special. What did
you provide that did not exist
SZB: Boruch Hashem, I
have been successful in bringing
to light many teachings of our
Rebbeim, Chassidic personalities,
and Chassidic historical events

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that were not known to the
general public until I wrote
about them. Also unique about
my books is that each historical
subject connected to the theme of
the book is given comprehensive
treatment. I work hard to
get authentic testimony and
documents that are new and
important, even if it requires a
supreme effort.
For example, while preparing
the book Noda B’Shearim (about
R’ Chaim Na’eh), I decided to
speak to people who were close to
him within the three arenas that

especially stories of the n’siim
whose entire raison d’être was to
lead their flocks, and when a nasi
tells a story, it is surely something
which pertains to all of the
Chassidim. The 160 stories that
appear in this series are of this
lofty caliber, i.e. stories of the
Furthermore, nearly every
story has a lesson in avodas
Hashem which the Rebbe himself
derived from the story. The
scope of the sales of this series
shows to what extent Anash have
welcomed it.

“I suggest that on Hei Teves you go over to the
bookstands that proliferate in honor of the day,
or the events that are done through the schools, and
see how excited the children are when they look over
the selection of new books, smell the fragrance of the
fresh pages, and have a hard time deciding what to buy
among the treasures lying before them. That tells you
he operated: Chabad, the Eida
HaChareidis, and Agudath Israel.
I had to interview old rabbanim
and askanim like R’ Menachem
Porush of Agudath Israel, R’
Shmuel Elozor Halperin, a
senior Chabad Chassid, and R’
Shlomo Pappenheim of the Eida
HaChareidis. In each area that
he worked I found important
documents that were never seen
LG: The uniqueness of the
series of books, Ma She’siper Lee
ha’Rebbe is twofold:
It’s enough that I quote the
Alter Rebbe, “Hearing a story
from the Rebbe is the Written
Torah.” In one of the Rebbe’s
sichos he talks about the positive
qualities of stories of Chassidim,

The book Gut Yom Tov with
its colorful illustrations has
provided Chabad children with a
vast amount of knowledge about
Chabad holidays. In some cases,
the same is true for their parents.
The book, which was published
two years ago, was welcomed
enthusiastically. Many people
have told me that, thanks to
the book, for the first time they
know the details about the arrest
and redemption of 12 Tammuz,
about the Chag Ha’Geula of 10
Kislev, or the story of the Rebbe’s
acceptance of the nesius on 10
Shvat. The book made them
aware, for the first time, of many
of the details.
As for the uniqueness of
Karati V’Ein Oneh, I don’t have
to tell you. I’ll just say that it

generated a tremendous public
awareness of what the Rebbe said
about shleimus ha’aretz.
MZ: You can divide my
books into three categories:
Chassidishe storytelling, stories
that document Lubavitch history,
and biographies.
The storytelling, with which
I started out with, presents
the events and wonders that
happened in the lives of great
Chassidim in an interesting way
that brings the personalities to
In recent years I’ve moved
more into writing documentaries
that deal primarily with the
history of Lubavitch. I saw
that the younger generation
doesn’t really know the history
of Chassidus and Chassidim,
even the main events. This is the
reason that I published Istalak
Yekara, which documents the
stories of the passing of the
Rebbeim since the Baal Shem
Tov. It’s not just about describing
the actual histalkus, but deals
with foundational events in the
history of Chassidus in which the
torch of leadership was passed to
a new generation. These stories
have rich content with hundreds
of details that are important to
In the religious world,
when someone writes, the
book is meant for as broad an
audience as possible while a
Chabad writer works for the
same amount of time on a book
whose content is of interest to
a much smaller audience. Is
it still financially worthwhile?
Isn’t the frum market much
larger than the Chabad market?
MZ: Yes, the general market
is bigger than the Chabad
market, but the Chabad market
is enormous and the potential
it contains – as far as books
that are not in the category of

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bestsellers – is comparable to
the general market. The Rebbe
taught us Chassidim to love
books. Hei Teves, which everyone
calls the Chag HaS’farim, is one
of many examples of that. There
is no Chabad House without
a bookcase with a range of
interesting books.
LG: The frum market is
flooded by hundreds of titles,
with only the successful ones
being sold in large quantities.
The unsuccessful books or
successful books that were not
advertised adequately enough
can easily get stuck and have
only a few hundred sold. In
Chabad, the market is not
flooded by too many children’s
books and there is still room for
more. A quality book which is
well advertised can sell several
thousand copies. On the other
hand, even a very successful
book marketed exclusively to
Anash will never sell as many
copies as its counterpart in the
general frum market, and this
will be reflected in the original
Ziegelboim said, in the Chabad
market there is greater awareness
about buying books, especially
because of Hei Teves and the
associated book fairs that only
grow from year to year. It’s also
easier to advertise and distribute
books to the Chabad market
because it is a more targeted
Do you think that Chabad
literature can break through to
the “chutza” to other sectors of
the frum world?
LG: You can do that with
almost every Chabad book.
Proof is the historic book fair
at Binyanei HaUma where over
200,000 books were sold, with
most purchasers who are not
Chabad buying Chabad books,

some of them on deep topics.
But I can tell you that the big
distributors in the frum world
will refuse to distribute Chabad
books and not because of political
reasons, but for economic ones.
MZ: I disagree with R’ Levi
Groner and can say that at least
some major bookstores boycott
Chabad books on principle. I’ve
experienced this myself.

As to your question,
if you’re talking about primary
Chabad texts, then they have
already spread forth to every
Chassidic home and even many
non-Chassidic homes. As for
Chassidic stories, they have also
entered other people’s homes,
here and there, though there is
definitely room for much more.
Maybe we need to give the
general frum world a “taste” of
the wealth of Chabad literature
whether through gifts for bar
mitzvahs, events, or even as part
of mivtzaim. I have no doubt that
a book with Chassidic literature
will make an impression on
someone in the family and help
draw them close to Chassidus, if
not today then tomorrow or the
day after.
SZB: Not every Chabad
book can, from a marketing
standpoint, go “outward.” But
if the book has content that also
suits the “chutza,” after the writer
adjusts the style, then there is a

chance it will make more sales
on the “outside.” For example,
my book Noda B’Shearim, about
R’ Chaim Na’eh, has a lot of
material connected to general
religious issues and the style
is suitable to the general frum
public so the book is available in
stores in religious areas.
At the same time, those who
like Chabad literature generally
will make a special trip to
purchase their Chabad books in
Chabad stores, although (from
a hafatza perspective) that is
clearly not enough.
In the world at large
there are foundations and
organizations that provide
funding for literature. There
are those who say that academic
institutions should help fund
academic research based on
Torah views exclusively. Does
the lack of funding adversely
affect the quality of the research
and writing?
LG: If only there was a
Chabad entity like that, it would
encourage people to write
and publish new books. When
a writer writes a book and
publishes it on his own, he does
not draw a salary for that. His
salary will come out of future
profits. So he tries to cut costs
where he can.
SZB: In order to do research
while writing a book, you have
to put in a lot and obviously, if
research institutes or donors will
help, then the documentation of
Chabad history would be able to
reach a whole new level.
MZ: I don’t see it as realistic
for research institutes to help
publish religious or Chabad
works, but I think that there is
definitely room to encourage
publishing through dedications,
donations, and other means.
After all, Chabad literature,
even the stories, is something

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of supreme value and can
even perhaps be called holy. If
someone helps support this it’s a
big z’chus.
Today, with all kinds of
gadgets, some think that people
are buying far fewer books in
print and are opting for more
online reading or even visual
material. Even in Chassidic
homes you see children fixated
on the screen for hours with
educational CD’s.
Do you think that people
still want books? Do you think
that the world of books we
grew up in is still attractive to
children and young people?
SZB: It’s a little hard to say
that someone who loves books
will forgo buying a biography
and surf for another hour of his
day. What is true is that there
are those people who will buy
a history book in order to have
it for reference, and the huge
online databases do make
that superfluous. Still, boruch
Hashem, Chabad is growing
along with the demand, and that
fills the gaps.
LG: I think that visual media
is always more attractive than a
book and there’s no question that
it “takes a bite” out of the book
market. So we must try to make
books an attractive product that
children will find appealing. A lot
Continued from page 31
However, I never got involved
in the arguments that arose
periodically, as there was always
a warm place in my heart for

“Many years passed, and I
totally forgot about this meeting.
However, when I really needed

depends on parents, and most
parents I know do not allow their
children to be glued to the screen
for long periods of time. They
greatly limit viewing time. Most
parents also greatly encourage
their children to read books.
Unfortunately though, I’ve
spoken to some parents who,
when asked whether their
children have the book Gut Yom
Tov, said, “I’d rather buy videos
for my children.”

MZ: I suggest that on
Hei Teves you go over to the
bookstands that proliferate in
honor of the day, or the events
that are done through the
schools, and see how excited the
children are when they look over
the selection of new books, smell
the fragrance of the fresh pages,
and have a hard time deciding

help – the Lubavitcher Rebbe
came to my aid.”
“It brought back at once
memories of that visit, when I
saw him with my own eyes,” said
Rabbi Elmakis, as he concluded
his fascinating story.
“Another interesting point:
When I arrived back at the
apartment, I saw that someone
had placed a picture of the
Lubavitcher Rebbe there. I was
flabbergasted. When I asked my

what to buy among the treasures
lying before them. That tells you
Tell me honestly, I’m sure
there’s a conflict between the
desire to be interesting and
exciting and sticking to the
facts. How do you navigate
LG: Stories of the Rebbe and
stories of the Chabad holidays
are definitely interesting and
exciting in and of themselves.
But in any case, we need to
remember what the Rebbe often
said, that stories of tzaddikim
must be transmitted accurately.
MZ: The books that I wrote
and published in the last decade
are written in lush language and
gripping style, yet they are still
a reliable testimony of Chabad
history. At the same time, I stick
closely to the sources (whoever
wants to can check and compare
with the sources listed at the end
of every story, which is why I put
the sources there). I do rewrite
the story in a colorful manner
but stick to the source, so I
retain both advantages. I can add
minor details to the story to give
it background and color without
affecting the story itself. And
when the story comes from the
Rebbeim, I am even more careful.

friends who had brought the
picture, they mistakenly thought
that I was upset about it and said
that it must have come from a
Lubavitcher shochet who had
stayed there the night before.
They thought that this was some
coincidence, but I know well that
this was no isolated incident.
For the Rebbe, there are no
coincidences – everything comes
from G-d.”

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“It was common in this country for thugs to
kidnap in exchange for ransom. Acts of coldblooded murder by violent cartels were routine
occurrences. Who knew what my fate would be?”
By Nosson Avraham
Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

saved my life, plain and simple.”
With these words, Rabbi Eitan
Elmakis, rav of the Sephardic
chareidi community in Yerucham
began his tale. While this amazing
story of personal salvation took
place about eighteen years ago,
the clear emotion in his voice
showed that the experience still
‘lives’ within him.
It wasn’t easy to get hold
of Rabbi Elmakis. He’s a wellknown
throughout the southern region

of Eretz Yisroel, working on
kashrus supervision. He devotes
most of his time to spreading
Yiddishkait among the residents
of his city, alongside the members
of his own community in need of
his daily assistance.
Several times during the
year, Rabbi Elmakis makes his
way overseas to strengthen Jews
living in communities throughout
the Diaspora. Recently, after
returning to Eretz Yisroel from
overseas, he shared with us the
following story. “This miracle of

salvation closed several circles
for me,” he noted with much
enthusiasm. “I realized later that
the Rebbe had foreseen all this
several years earlier when I stood
before him as a young man at
dollars distribution.”

rabbinical position in Yerucham,
I made my living as a schochet.
Over the years, I worked as a
shochet for several prominent
kashrus certifications, and as
part of a team of shochtim and
mashgichim, I would travel
to countries throughout Latin
America to slaughter livestock.
place during my last visit to
a slaughterhouse in a remote
village in Mexico.
Mexico City, we already had an
apartment waiting for us in the
area where the Jewish community
was located, and every week or
two, we would board a domestic
flight to a slaughterhouse at a
village in one of the less inhabited
areas. After a full day of working
to prepare kosher meat, we
would take a return flight back
to our apartment in Mexico
City, arriving that night. During
the interim, we got acquainted
with the local community, and I
made a weekly Torah class for its
“On one occasion, I finished
my sh’chita work early and I
wanted to catch a flight back
to Mexico City in time to give
my class in the community
synagogue. There was usually an
organized ride for the kashrus
staff from the slaughterhouse to
a makeshift airstrip for the flight,
however, since my job was done
and the rest of the group had
to prepare for the next stage,
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I asked if I could leave that day
and not wait until tomorrow.
“I went to the manager and
asked him if he could get me
a taxi that would take me to
the airport. At first, he tried
to dissuade me. ‘Stay here
and travel back with everyone
else early in the morning,’ he
suggested. However, I was very
stubborn, and when I agreed to
pay for the taxi out of my own
pocket, he gave his consent. A
rickety old car serving as a taxi
came to the slaughterhouse. I got
into the front seat and asked the
driver to take me to the airport.
“The ride to the airport
should have lasted no more
than twenty-five minutes. I had
previously taken this journey on
countless occasions. As a result,
it was surprising when I realized
that we had been traveling for
half an hour, but the airport was
nowhere in sight. There had been
no traffic jams or potholes along
the way, the roads were clear and
the ride was fast and smooth.
Yet, for some reason, I didn’t
recognize the scenery I had been
used to seeing on past trips to
the airfield. The familiar rows of
houses and green fields had been
replaced by forest trees on each
side of the highway.
“I turned to the driver and
asked him in Spanish how much
longer it would take before we
reached the airport. The Indian
driver looked at me angrily,
and instead of answering my
question, he told me firmly
to close the car windows. I
thought I was dreaming, yet I
understood Spanish well enough
to realize that he was trying to
avoid giving me an answer. As
I pondered over what this all
meant, the driver muttered under
his thick mustache, ‘Fasten your
seatbelt.’ I realized that there was
something terribly wrong.

“Precious time was slipping
away, and I noticed that the
car was detouring off the main
thoroughfare, climbing along
narrow and winding roads in
thickly forested areas. Mobile
phones were a rare commodity
back then. I tried to think
positively, but the developing
situation cut deep into my belief
system. My heart began to pound
and I felt my pulse racing. When
I asked him where we were going,
his response was: Shut up!
“At a certain point, I glanced
at the compartment in the
driver’s door and noticed a gun
there. I now understood that I
was realizing the greatest fear of
anyone traveling through Mexico
– a kidnapping. I regretted
my stubborn decision to travel
before everyone else: ‘What was
so urgent that I couldn’t leave
with the rest of the group?’
I was angry with myself, and
I started to say T’hillim. The
driver remained deafeningly
quiet throughout, never looking
once in my direction. He focused
his attention entirely upon the
winding roads before him. I was
“Finally, after another few
minutes, I decided that I had
to do something. I figured that
the man wanted my money. A
monthly salary for these people
was one hundred dollars, and I
had seven times that in my wallet.
I thought that I could make a deal
with him, offering to give him all
my money if he would just take
me to the airfield. It seemed that
my generous proposal merely
amused the driver. ‘I’ll take that
from you as well,’ he replied. If
I still had doubts about his cruel
intentions, everything now was
quite clear.
“Words could not describe
my feeling of dread. I could
envision my family and all the

events I had gone through in
my life passing before my eyes.
During those critical minutes,
the holy words of T’hillim passed
my lips ceaselessly. I realized
that the man wanted to do great
harm to me. It was common in
this country for thugs to kidnap
in exchange for ransom. Acts of
cold-blooded murder by violent
cartels were routine occurrences.
Who knew what my fate would
“Then, I made a daring move.
Only G-d Himself knows where
I drew the strength and courage
to do it. ‘I won’t go like a lamb
to the slaughter,’ I thought to
“Surreptitiously, I stuck my
hand inside my case where I
kept my sh’chita knives, recently
sharpened and used to slaughter
cattle. By Divine Providence,
the compartment for one of
the knives was open. This was
already a revealed miracle, as
I never left them open. With a
quick motion unnoticed by the
unsuspecting driver, I pulled out
the knife and placed it against his
“‘This knife is very sharp,’ I
said. ‘You picked me up from a
slaughterhouse where this knife
had been used to kill cows. If you
don’t want to meet a similar fate,
stop the car – here and now!’
“I didn’t know how he would
react, and I warned him not to
touch his gun. I saw that he was
frightened, and I knew that I had
to act fast without wasting any
valuable time. All I needed was
for another vehicle to pass by
and that would be the end of me.
Divine Providence struck again,
and I found a rope in the car.
Laying the man on his stomach,
I tightly bound his hands. After
I finished tying him up, I moved
him to the side of the road.
“Moving quickly, I got into

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the car and sped away from the
area. I drove and drove without
knowing for certain where I was
heading. While I was completely
unfamiliar with the roads, I did
know that I had to get to the
airfield as fast as possible to
catch my flight to Mexico City.
I knew that there was no rule of
law in these parts and I feared for
my life.
“Every minute seemed like
an eternity, and the drive kept
getting longer as if it would never
end. At this point, I realized that
I had to pull over along the side
of the road. I stopped the car, put
my head down on the steering
wheel, and began to sob. The
fear and tension of those past few
hours had given me all the signs.
I made several vows that I would
fulfill if I got out of this alive. I
asked the Creator to help me; a
Jew on his way to giving a Torah
class should not have his life in
“I remember how my heart
was filled with despair. I was
beside myself.
“At that very moment,
the unbelievable happened. I
envisioned something before my
eyes that made my heart tremble.
To this day, when I remember
that sight, my entire body shakes
with emotion, even though I’ve
already told this story dozens,
perhaps even hundreds, of times.
I saw the Lubavitcher Rebbe in
all his glory standing before me
with a broad smile on his lips,
just as he regularly appears in
various well-known pictures. The
Rebbe gestured for me to make a
right turn, and then he suddenly
“I shook my head and
snapped my fingers in stunned
“‘Did I just imagine this or
was it real?’ I asked myself.
However, I had no time to think

about it. I started the car up
again and turned right. From
that moment on, I started driving
smoothly and calmly; I felt that
there was someone watching
over me at every step. I traveled
along unfamiliar highways with
complete confidence as if I had
driven along them for many
years. As the journey continued,
I soon began to see recognizable
landscapes. Not long afterwards,
approaching the entrance to the
airport terminal. I parked the
car, and to my great relief, I was
able to board the plane without
delay. The plane took off shortly
thereafter en route to Mexico
“Of course, I never returned
to that slaughterhouse, and I
have no idea what happened
to that driver. When I finally
arrived back at the sh’chita staff’s
apartment in Mexico City, I had
time to collect my thoughts, as I
recalled my marvelous visit with
the Lubavitcher Rebbe ten and
a-half years earlier.
I went to school in southern
Eretz Yisroel and was educated
according to the principle of
emunas tzaddikim. While I
received a fervently devout
Litvishe education, I also became

a partner with my neighborhood
friends in ‘Chabad Mobile
Centers’ activities that took place
in our community. As a boy,
I loved the Chabadnikim very
much and was happy whenever
they came. They always radiated
such great joy and faith to me.
“One year, the mitzvah tank
activists who came each week
on outreach activities announced
that they would be making a raffle
for an airline ticket to the Rebbe
among those youngsters who
participated in their programs.
Needless to say, I was most
happy to take part in the raffle.
After all, back in those days,
who had the money to travel to
New York? Seeing the Rebbe
during such a trip would merely
be an added bonus. Imagine how
happy I felt when they informed
me that I had won the raffle. I
was overjoyed. After receiving
my parents’ consent, all the flight
arrangements were made for me,
and the organizers made certain
that a member of the Chabad
Chassidic community would be
at the airport to greet me.
“I spent two weeks in Crown
Heights, while my host family
took care of all my needs. I went
to 770 several times, and before
my return trip to Eretz Yisroel,
I was privileged to pass by the
Rebbe for dollars distribution.
My escort introduced me to the
Rebbe as the winner of a raffle
among children participating
in ‘Chabad Mobile Centers’
activities. The Rebbe blessed me
in Yiddish: ‘You should merit to
provide for the Jewish People and
to spread Yiddishkait.’ The visit
to see the Rebbe left a powerful
impression upon me. Yet, as I
noted, my parents sent me to
Litvishe learning institutions,
where I often heard those who
opposed the Chabad approach.
Continued on page 28
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By Rabbi Gershon Avtzon

Dear Reader sh’yichyeh,
This week we celebrate the
special victory of Hey Teves, the
day that – in the year 5747 – the
federal court ruled that all the
s’farim that were taken from the
library of the Rebbe should be
returned. The next year – Year of
Hakhel 5748 – the day of 5 Teves
fell out on Shabbos. Chassidim
were unsure if the Rebbe wanted
the day to be marked with a
celebration or not.
Right before Shabbos, a few
Bachurim hung up a big sign
in 770 that read, “Hey Teves –
Didan Natzach.” The Chassidim
held their breath for the Rebbe’s
reaction. By the Farbrengen that
Shabbos, the Rebbe quoted the
Gemara (Shabbos 21b) regarding
the holiday of Chanuka that
“L’shana Acheres Kavum – at the
first anniversary of the miracle is

when it became a holiday.”
At that Farbrengen the
Rebbe spoke extensively about
the lessons that we need to take
from the holiday of Hey Teves.
The main lesson is to acquire
and learn new s’farim. This, says
the Rebbe, is the true victory of
the books. The more they are
used and learned, the bigger the
The Rebbe (Seifer HaSichos
5748 Vol. 1 pg. 188) then went
on to connect this to Hakhel.
The Rebbe quotes the Rambam
regarding Hakhel: It is a positive
commandment to gather together
the entire Jewish people – men,
women, and children... so that
they hear passages from the
Torah that encourage them to
perform mitzvos and strengthen
them in the true faith, as D’varim
31:10-12 states: “At the end of

The Rebbe told us numerous times that the
difference between Gola and Geula is the letter
“Aleph.” In Hebrew, the number 1000 is “Aleph.” As we
reach this special milestone of 1000 (Aleph) issues of
Beis Moshiach, this should be the final action to change
Gola to Geula!

a seven-year period, at the time
of the Sabbatical year on the
Sukkos holiday when all Israel
come to appear... gather the
nation, the men, the women, the
children, and your stranger in
your gates....”
At that special farbrengen
the Rebbe also spoke about
making a “big deal” about “big
number anniversaries” – like
500 years from the birth of the
Beis Yosef and 850 years from
the birth of the Rambam etc. –
as this encourages people to get
This is especially appropriate,
as this article is written for the
1000th (!) edition of the Beis
on one hand, we scream Ad
Mosai!?!, that we are waiting
redemption, led by the Rebbe
MH”M, it is also a time to reflect
and get others involved in the
purpose and goal of this special
weekly publication.
After 3 Tammuz 5754, the
world thought that the pure
Emuna of Chassidim would fade
and that we would adapt to the
“new reality” of exile and give up
on our faith in the clear words

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and prophecy of the Rebbe about
the imminence of Moshiach
and that the direct path to bring
Moshiach is by learning about
How shocked they are, that
over 22 years later (!) we, adas
chassidim, are stronger and
more determined than ever! One
of the reasons and tools that we
have is the persistent staff of Beis
Moshiach magazine. Week after
week, they toil to put together
a magazine that is filled with

Emuna and Hiskashrus. It fills
the homes of the subscribers
with light and purity. The
staff deserves a tremendous
Yasher Ko’ach and you – dear
subscribers – deserve the
recognition that you deserve for
supporting this crucial and vital
A small vort: The Rebbe
told us numerous times that the
difference between Gola and
Geula is the letter “Aleph.” In
Hebrew, the number 1000 is

“Aleph.” As we reach this special
milestone of 1000 (Aleph) issues
of Beis Moshiach, this should be
the final action to change Gola to
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.

surprised and afterward, he asked
the Rebbetzin: If the Rebbe knew
the day before that he would be
farbrenging, why wasn’t this
announced in advance? With
advance notice it is much easier
to prepare the room and inform
The Rebbetzin answered:
My husband loves a shturem
announced at the last moment,
we are filled with great joy and
excitement and the chayus at the
farbrengen is much greater.

That’s the way it will be
when Moshiach comes. We all
try to add in mitzvos and good
deeds and hiddur mitzva, so that
Moshiach comes. We don’t see
that it works. We wait and wait
and it doesn’t happen. We need
to remember that the Rebbe loves
a commotion! In one moment the
entire world will be in an uproar
and everyone will know, all the
phones, all the networks …
Moshiach came! We know it will
happen. The Rebbe will conquer
the world in a huge storm.

Continued from page 41

This year, I heard a story
about a bachur who served as
an aide in the Rebbe’s home.
Once, during a special time in the
Chabad calendar, the Rebbetzin
told him that the Rebbe would
farbreng the following day. He
went to 770 and, sure enough, at
the last moment, they announced
that the Rebbe would farbreng.
There was such great joy that
they began calling people to come
and quickly prepared the room.

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Rebbetzin Sima Ashkenazi, wife of R’ Mordechai
Shmuel Ashkenazi a”h, came to the Rebbe for
Tishrei this year, after a hiatus of 47 years.
Throughout those years she stayed with her
husband who could not, as the rav of Kfar
Chabad, travel at that time. * In this insightful
interview, she shares her amazement of the
chayus and hiskashrus of the young girls and
shares stories from her earlier Tishrei with the
By Rochele Haramati

Many women were happy
to see and hear that you were
at the Rebbe this Tishrei. How
many years was it since your
last trip?
It was 47 years. When my
husband, R’ Mordechai, accepted
the rabbanus in Kfar Chabad,
they all told him that he had to
go to the Rebbe for Tishrei but he
said that in his opinion he needed
to stay with the community for
yomim tovim. The best time
to go to the Rebbe was for
Shavuos, and that is what he

did. When he went to the Rebbe
for Shavuos, the Rebbe said a
special sicha, “this is the way it
was in Lubavitch; the rabbanim,
the morei tzedek, would go to
the Rebbe for Shavuos because
on the other yomim tovim they
needed to remain with their
k’hilla.” This is why they jokingly
referred to Shavuos as the “chag
So we had an instruction from
the Rebbe to spend yom tov with
the community and the Rebbe
said, “Otherwise, you can’t

pasken halacha the rest of the
year, if you were not at the Rebbe
in Lubavitch for the holiday of
Mattan Torah.” My husband
understood from this that he was
doing the right thing and that he
had a horaa to go to the Rebbe
every year for Shavuos, and since
then, all the rabbanim would go
for Shavuos.
Throughout the years, I went
to the Rebbe many times, on all
sorts of occasions, but not for
yom tov. But this year I received
an invitation from the Rebbe to

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come. A few days before Rosh
HaShana, I opened a volume of
Igros Kodesh in order to ask for
a bracha for someone and the
Rebbe wrote, “Regarding your
visit here for Tishrei, if it won’t
take away from your work in the
mosad [apparently referring to
Beis Rivka] it is a good idea and
you should make plans to travel.”
These words of the Rebbe
greatly inspired me but I
remembered that I did not have a
visa yet and so how would I go?
You usually need to wait a month

for an appointment to apply for
a visa, but I got an appointment
at the consulate for the day
after Rosh HaShana, 3 Tishrei,
Tzom Gedalya; it was a miracle!
The clerk asked me where I was
going. I said, Lubavitch. And
where will you stay, she asked. I
answered, Lubavitch. She said,
“fine,” and added that since
during the week of Yom Kippur
they did not have enough work
days, my passport would be ready
the next day with the visa. That
was miraculous!

Since you hadn’t been to the
Rebbe for Tishrei in decades,
how was Tishrei this year, as
compared to years ago?
What’s special about this
year is that it’s a Shnas Hakhel.
The Rebbe wants us all to unify
this year. The theme of the
year is achdus, and in order
to emphasize this, the Rebbe
changed from his minhag on
Sukkos. Our minhag during

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Hallel in other years is to hold
the lulav the entire time and only
to take the esrog for the shaking.
That is what the Rebbe Rayatz
did and the Rebbe followed suit.
In 5748 the Rebbe held all four
minim together. Why did he
change? The Rebbe said this is
the idea of the Year of Hakhel,
that everyone, all four categories
of Jews, unites. The four minim
correspond to the four letters
of Hashem’s name. When we
are united Hashem’s name is
also united and then we have a
drawing down from G-d’s infinite
light, “bless us, our Father, all as
The best segula for bringing
Moshiach is to be united. We
do all kinds of things to bring
Moshiach, but this is something
the Rebbe said explicitly, that
achdus among the Chassidim
will bring Moshiach. We need
to work on this. It makes no
difference that we have all kinds
of opinions. It’s legitimate for
different people to have different
views, “just as their faces are
not the same, so too their views
are dissimilar.” The Rebbe will
come, immediately, and tell us
just how to think and what to
do. In the meantime, we need

to give each other space. We
must stop the fighting and look
for that which unites us and not
that which separates us. We must
focus on the commonalities, not
the differences. The main thing
is that there should be achdus.
That is the message of this year
of Hakhel.”
Please share some moving
moments you experienced this
The amazing thing is that
I saw the connection and
consistency between what once
was and what we have now. The
joy, the dancing, the singing, the
t’fillos, and the farbrengen on
Motzaei Simchas Torah, wow!
The bachurim and young men
of today did not merit to see the
Rebbe and it’s amazing how they
sense what the Rebbe truly wants
from us, how everything was run,
how everything was wonderfully
The fact that I was moved
and that I cried is no wonder for
I remember the good old days,
but that the girls cried… I can’t
put into words how moving it
was! It was clear that the Rebbe
sat there and ran the farbrengen.
That is not something that could

“In my first yechidus the Rebbe asked me: What
about the yiras Shamayim of the women and
girls of the Kfar? At that time I wasn’t the wife of a rav.
I was a young woman from the Kfar, 21 years old, and I
hadn’t dreamed about rabbanus. I did not think I could
state an opinion about anyone’s yiras Shamayim and so I
remained silent. The Rebbe began explaining to me that
the touchstone for yiras Shamayim is tznius and tahara.
The Rebbe told me that when I got back to the Kfar, I
should divide the Kfar into sections and we should study
these topics in groups that got together in people’s

naturally be!
During the 48 hours of
Simchas Torah in the zal
downstairs, the dancing did not
stop; there were people coming
and going on Tahalucha and they
did not stop dancing with the
sifrei Torah.
In the afternoon they had to
straighten up the room for the
farbrengen. They used to empty
the zal of people before the
farbrengen and then they would
arrange the tables and prepare
the Ches of the farbrengen and
the pyramids. Now you don’t
see that happening. There was
a group that prepared the tables
and pyramids while others
danced. It was all wonderfully
organized and done so nicely. We
kept our places so I was there all
that time. The farbrengen was
at six. They began singing soul
stirring niggunim; if the neshama
remained inside, it was a miracle!
We truly felt k’los ha’nefesh. It
cannot be explained in words.
The lights went out in the
middle of the farbrengen, due
to some mishap, and we stood
in the dark. The girls leaned on
the windows which creaked from
their weight. They just wanted
to see and see some more. I
was very afraid and I told the
girls, “Watch out! Don’t lean on
the glass.” But there was such
a strong desire to see and hear.
They sang all the niggunim.
Some of them were niggunei
d’veikus and some were niggunei
simcha. Everyone participated.
The darkness did not bother
anyone. Then the light came back
on partially. They danced on the
pyramids. What the Rebbe said
about it being possible to collect
simcha from the Simchas Beis
HaShoeiva and the hakafos in
pails, is exactly what happened

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You could see that same
intensity at the Simchas Beis
HaShoeiva. Every night they
danced from nightfall until six in
the morning. Two nights it rained
and the bachurim took off their
jackets and didn’t stop dancing!
Litvaks and Poilishe Chassidim
with shtreimlach, spodiks, and
white socks, came with plastic
bags and raincoats and danced
with them. It was really nice to
There were also those who,
as of now, are still distant, who
at first stood on the sidelines, far
from the circles, but they slowly
approached and were warmly
embraced. They raised their
hands and you could sense their
cry, “Hashem, save us! Draw us
We saw how much they
yearned to be a part of this
amazing atmosphere. I saw what

the Rebbe said that the street will
dance. Even the street kids were
so fixed on the goal and danced
for hours. There is no describing
what this did for their souls. The
fact that they were drawn into the
circle… We don’t know what it
accomplished, how their G-dly
soul was woken up...
We saw the Rebbe’s wishes
being realized. Nobody looked
askance at the late hour, at the
rain, at the tiredness… They
carried on because the Rebbe
said to do so. It is heartwarming
in a way that cannot be
explained. Nothing changed! We
see how Lubavitch lives! We are
withstanding such a difficult test,
with so much pain, because we
want to see the Rebbe! But we
see that nothing changed, things
are stronger than ever.

To what extent do you think
that going to the Rebbe fortifies
the belief and anticipation of
Moshiach for the girls?

There is no question that
it provides chizuk. They were
uplifting days in the women’s
section too. The girls conduct
fashion. They come early in the
morning to get a place and they
sit and learn in pairs. Each one
wants to see and be part of the
amazing atmosphere there. The
moving t’fillos, the niggunim
whose power one cannot explain,
all this uplifts the soul to great
heights. You cannot find such
prayers anywhere else in the
How can you explain
the difference between our
generation in which so many
go to the Rebbe and earlier
generations when only the men
We are close to the Geula
and now we see the power of
the woman revealed. “In the
merit of the righteous women
our ancestors were redeemed
from Egypt.” And in our merit
everyone will be redeemed now!

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I longed to ask the Rebbe
for a bracha and felt
despondent when my husband
passed by and did not ask for me.
He turned his face back toward the
stacked crates and then the Rebbe
called him and said, “Take for your
rebbetzin.” The secretary gave
him another cup and the Rebbe
poured and he left. He was sure I
was home asleep. When I saw my
husband going out, I went out too
and I cried so much. I had heard
the Rebbe and felt how the Rebbe
knew my deepest wish and had
especially sent me kos shel bracha.

Women are moser nefesh. In
Tishrei they barely slept and ate;
none of them thought about their
physical needs, it was all for the
sake of heaven. To be elevated
more and more, to learn and be
strengthened. In all the women’s
sections, the girls were constantly
material, the learning schedules,
the shiurim, the farbrengens, one
continuous sequence of holiness,
not being involved in anything
else at all, no taking trips
and wasting time. Constantly
running. Where? To the life of
the World to Come, to k’dusha
and more k’dusha.
Hoshana Raba – where do
we find such a thing where girls
sit, from one in the morning, and
say the entire book of T’hillim?
Here, they all came and said the
entire T’hillim. Their heads are
constantly immersed in G-dly
matters; nobody thinks about
other things, just about k’dusha.

Seeing this in our generation is
When I was here 47 years
ago, we were only four women
from Kfar Chabad. Plane tickets
then were so expensive, they were
half a year’s salary, and so people
were not able to go.
Since we are closer than ever
to the Geula, the women in our
generation must be involved.
Who instills k’dusha in the
children? The woman, the akeres
ha’bayis, she runs the house and
therefore, she must be closer
to all the present day sources of
Chassidic energy. We see how
the girls are drawn to come and
grow, to work hard to earn a
ticket. Nobody told them to do
this and they don’t have to come,
but they want to come and grow
and ultimately, to see the Rebbe.
So they do all they can possibly
do – hiddur mitzva, t’filla with
kavana, amazing things which
I saw for myself throughout

the time I spent in 770. It adds
so much chayus, seeing how
Lubavitch is alive and well and
growing from day to day. It’s no
surprise that so many outside
Lubavitch, including the Litvish,
want to learn Chassidus. When
we are saturated with it, it bursts
forth and enlightens all Jews and
they all want a part in it too.

Spending Tishrei with the
Rebbe has to make an impact. It
is impossible to land. The plane
lands but we don’t land. The
fire is so powerful and ignites us
from within. It must accompany
the person afterward, the days
before Tishrei are not like the
days that follow it; we made a
Hakhel gathering for girls and
women too, we talk about it
as much as we can so that the
impressions will be passed along

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and even girls who weren’t there
will benefit. At a shiur for women
that I gave recently, women said,
“We did not feel the holidays
when they happened, but now we
feel them!” When you hear what
happened at the Rebbe, it warms
your heart.
We must continue doing
mitzvos and think, regarding
every mitzva, how the Rebbe
wants us to fulfill it, continue
davening and saying T’hillim like
we davened there, with kavana
and chayus. We cannot forget
that we were at the Rebbe and just
return to humdrum life! We need
to continue with all the hiddurim
and the good intentions, to share
with every Jew what we got there
and pass the gifts forward.
Is there a specific message
which we should take from a
Shnas Hakhel?
Why did everyone gather
together when we had a king? In

order to see Hashem and in order
to increase their yiras Shamayim.
This is what is demanded of us
women. In my first yechidus, in
Tishrei 5729/1968, the Rebbe
asked me: What about the yiras
Shamayim of the women and
girls of the Kfar? At that time
I wasn’t the wife of a rav. I
was a young woman from the
Kfar, 21 years old, and I hadn’t
dreamed about rabbanus. I was
involved in chinuch and in the
administration of N’shei Chabad
in Kfar Chabad, but I was not
at all a leader. I did not think I
could state an opinion about
anyone’s yiras Shamayim and so
I remained silent.
The Rebbe began explaining
to me that the touchstone for
yiras Shamayim is tznius and
tahara. The Rebbe told me that
when I got back to the Kfar,
I should divide the Kfar into
sections and we should study
these topics in groups that got

together in people’s homes. We
did that. And from the Kfar it
expanded to the whole country
and to the rest of the world.
Old and young all learned and
were strengthened. Now too in
Hakhel, we need to strengthen
tznius because we need to
increase our yiras Shamayim.
famous story about the first
proclamation of Yechi and the
encouragement you got for it
from the Rebbe.
That proclamation of Yechi
took place on Motzaei 28 Teves
5752, the birthday of Rebbetzin
Chana, which fell out that year
on Shabbos. At the time the
Rebbe said that what remained
was only to be mekabel p’nei
Motzaei Shabbos we had a
Melaveh Malka for women to be
mekabel p’nei Moshiach. I was
in Crown Heights at the time
because my son had become
a chassan and although I was
supposed to run the Melaveh
Malka in Kfar Chabad, when
I heard that the shidduch was
progressing, I made the trip.
It was a big event with the
women sitting downstairs in the
zal and the girls in the Ezras
Nashim. The men gathered in
various places and heard the
broadcast which was conveyed
to them and to 119 places
around the world. It was very
exciting! They set the tables
with “shor ha’bor” and “yayin
ha’meshumar” and “livyasan.”
They brought huge fish, special
meat and wine. There were
special speakers. The first one to
speak was R’ Chaim Gutnick a”h
who spoke about Rochel Imeinu
who cried and Hashem said to
her, “there is a reward for what
you did.” He said to us, “Women,
you know how to cry. Cry, pray,
say T’hillim, ask for Moshiach

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to come. This is your power.”
Everyone took a T’hillim and
cried and asked from the depths
of their hearts. It was a moment
I will never forget all my life.
Then the emcee said they
had sent a note to the Rebbe
and asked him to come. The
Rebbe was in his room, his chair
was ready on the platform and
there was such excitement that
I cannot describe. We felt that
if the Rebbe came, that would
mean the hisgalus of Moshiach!
The hopes of all the generations
would be realized now! It was
such a heightened moment
and we all waited while reciting
T’hillim, but the Rebbe did not
come. The emcee said that the
Rebbe was not coming and
maybe he would come later and
in the meantime we would wait
and continue with the program.
Then I said to those sitting
next to me, “What program?
Did we come for a program? We
came to be mekabel Moshiach!
We don’t want a program. We’ve
had enough speeches and want
Moshiach!” They said to me, “Go
up on the stage and say that.” I
said, “I wasn’t invited to speak
and I’m not going up there!” In
the end, they spoke to the emcee
who called me up.
I went up and said, “What
hasn’t been done in recent weeks
so that Moshiach comes? Each
of us committed to an increase
in Torah and mitzvos; women
went on mivtzaim, were mekarev
Jews, turned over worlds, just so
we would be worthy of Moshiach
coming. We all know the story
from the time of the Rebbe
Rashab when there was an evil
decree and the g’dolei Yisroel
convened and tried to have the
decree annulled. They tried but
failed. The Rebbe Rashab cried
and R’ Chaim Soloveitchik, who
was a gaon and the rav of Brisk,

said to him, ‘Admur of Lubavitch,
why are you crying?’ The
Rebbe said, ‘Because we were
unsuccessful in having the decree
canceled.’ R’ Chaim Brisker said,
‘But we did all we could do...’
The Rebbe responded, ‘But we
were unsuccessful!’ That is why
the Rebbe cried.”
I continued, “We did all we
could do in recent weeks and we
want to be mekabel Moshiach.”
I then took a T’hillim and said
the Rebbe’s chapter, chapter
90, verse by verse, and all the
women recited it after me. When
I finished, I had to go down the
steps, as after all, I wasn’t part
of the program. Suddenly, I felt
such a desire to cry out Yechi.
I couldn’t restrain myself, I so
wanted Moshiach to come. It
wasn’t accepted at that time to
proclaim Yechi and I knew that
I would be doing something that

might ch”v upset the Rebbe but
I had to do it. I felt as though
I was going to fall and faint. I
held onto the lectern and looked
down. I couldn’t look at the
crowd. And from the depths of
my heart I called out, “Yechi
Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu
...” I saw how the crowd rose and
all cried out together with me. I
proclaimed Yechi three times. It
was not just a proclamation; it
was a cry from the heart! We did
all we could do and we want and
plead that the Rebbe be revealed.
I said, “Now, now, now!” I went
down from the platform and felt
terrible. I was afraid the Rebbe
would be most unhappy with me.
What did I do?!
I went home; I could not
remain for the rest of the
The next day, I was supposed

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and the Rebbe looked into my
eyes and gave me a bracha the
likes of which I waited for, for
years! I realized I had done the
right thing and learned that you
need to cry out “Yechi” from
the depths of your heart, and
Hashem will hear our prayers
and bring Moshiach.


to go to the Rebbe with the
chassan and kalla and ask for a
bracha, but I felt terrible. I told
my son to arrange to pass by
the Rebbe for dollars as late as
possible. I could not calm down.
At five in the afternoon I went to
the Rebbe.
I did not know that they had
already informed the Rebbe about
everything that happened and
that in response, the Rebbe wrote
to R’ Chaim Boruch Halberstam,
the one who arranged the global
broadcast, “Thank you for the
nachas you caused and cause.”
Chabad women in London also
wanted to make a Melaveh Malka
and they asked the Rebbe what
to do. The Rebbe told them to
consult with the Chabad women
in New York. That meant that
the Rebbe approved of what
occurred but I did not know
this yet. I approached the Rebbe

When I was here for Tishrei
47 years ago, on the second day
of Sukkos, the Rebbe would
farbreng in the sukka. The wall
of the sukka was up against
the right outside wall of 770.
Women could not see or hear
the farbrengen. Still, a group of
us women thought perhaps we
could manage to see or hear.
We entered 770 and went to
the room adjacent to the sukka,
the Otzar HaS’farim (library
room) of the yeshiva. The
window was reinforced glass
and the bachurim had knocked
in nails before yom tov so that
the window could not be opened.
We could not see nor hear.
What could we do? The women
who were with me gave up and
left. I was saddened by this and
thought, I waited so many years
to come to the Rebbe and now
the Rebbe is farbrenging and I
can’t see?
I saw a crack in the window
on top and thought, it will soon
be after yom tov and I will try
to remove the glass over there.
When I was allowed to, I got up
on the windowsill and managed
to remove that millimeter. When
the Rebbe spoke, I put my ear
there and when he finished,
I looked through and I was
Toward morning, the Rebbe
gave out kos shel bracha and I

suddenly felt that I wanted to
ask for a bracha and for kos shel
bracha. I knew this was not a
rational thought and I certainly
wasn’t going to go to the sukka
to ask. There was a long line for
kos shel bracha. People came
from other neighborhoods. The
line was so long that some went
with one cup and some went with
two cups, for someone else, but
did not say for whom they were
taking wine.
I knew that it would be like
Motzaei Rosh HaShana when my
husband received kos shel bracha
from which he drank a little and
then gave some to me and the
children. I thought, I hope he
asks on my behalf, but I knew
that was nonsense. You did not
bother the Rebbe, you did not
waste his time.
I longed to ask the Rebbe for
a bracha and felt despondent
when my husband passed by and
did not ask for me. He turned
his face back toward the stacked
crates in order to go down (for
you don’t turn your back to the
Rebbe) and then the Rebbe called
him and said, “Take for your
rebbetzin.” How would he take
when he did not have another
cup? The secretary immediately
gave him another cup and the
Rebbe poured and he went down
and left. He was sure I was home
When I saw my husband going
out, I went out too and I cried
so much. I had heard the Rebbe
and felt how the Rebbe knew my
deepest wish and had especially
sent me kos shel bracha. My
husband asked me in amazement,
what are you doing here? I told
him, I was here all along. I saw
and heard everything. It was an
extraordinary experience which
cannot be described in words.
Continued on page 33
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By Nechama Bar

Hei Teves 5747. The joyous
news quickly spread – Didan
Natzach! We were victorious!
The judge ruled that the s’farim
belong to Agudas Chassidei
Chabad, the Rebbe and the
s’farim belong to the Chassidim!
The streets of Crown Heights
were full of people dancing.
The next day the Rebbe
said a special sicha and asked
the Chassidim to write letters
which he would bring to the
gravesite of his father-in-law,
the Rebbe Rayatz. The Rebbe
said that people who lived far
away should place the letters
on the grave of a tzaddik.
The letters started pouring
in. That same day the Rebbe
went to the Ohel and in the
car were more than ten sacks
packed with letters from people
all over the world.
All this is by way of
introduction to a special story
that happened that day in
Sydney, Australia.
R’ Mordechai Hasofer went
home and excitedly told his
wife what the Rebbe said. It
was clearly an auspicious time,
an opportunity that could

not be missed. They decided to
gather the entire family and
within a few minutes all the
children were sitting around
the table in the dining room
and were writing their letters.
The parents were moved to see
their children’s sincerity and
seriousness. They did not just
ask for games and nosh; they
had really important things to
ask for.
the family
tell everyone we can what the
Rebbe said.”
Indeed, R’ Mordechai went
out to urge people to write
letters. Some said, “Eh, I’m not
Lubavitch...” but he did not give
up. He put a piece of paper in
their hands and said, “It can’t
hurt,” and convinced them to
write their requests.
In the meantime, at home,
Devora, his wife, began making
phone calls to relatives, friends,
and acquaintances, to let them
know of this opportunity of
writing to the Rebbe. They
were all happy to hear about

it. That is, all of them except
for her father, Peter, who
was not religious. Peter was a
very warm person and had a
good feeling toward religious
matters but he did not observe
anything. It wasn’t something
you could discuss with him. His
father had fled Europe when
the Holocaust began and almost
his entire family had perished.
His parents were bitter about
the Holocaust and left Torah
and mitzvos. That is how Peter
was raised.
Devorah became a baalas
teshuva and a faithful Chassida
of the Rebbe. Her father was not
upset by this; on the contrary,
he derived much nachas from
her and her family.
“Dad, what do you care?
Just write to the Rebbe, even
a short letter. Something …
it’s a special opportunity and a
shame to miss out. Write all the
requests you have...”
But Peter was firm in his
refusal. “Please leave me alone
about this. You can do as you
please but don’t force me to do
things I don’t want to do.”
But Devorah would not

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and my
relent. “You know what Dad, in the boat at one end,
the other
don’t write. I will write for you. friend, Richard, sat on
to sea and
Tell me your requests and I will end. We headed out
got to work. I sent down the
write them.”
fishing line and brought up a
Her father agreed to that
big, fat fish. I had never caught
and said: Tomorrow morning I
anything like it before. Richard
am going out to fish. I want a
put his line in but got nothing.
blessing for my fishing.
Dropping my fishing line in
Devorah was so disappointed.
once again, I brought up a big
That is what he requested? But
fish, something special, and
she could not press him anymore.
Richard again got nothing. This
She put the letter on the pile and
repeated itself over and over.
put them all into a bag which
I brought up great fish and
contained many letters. Since
Richard got nothing. At first
they could not get the package to
we joked about it, but when
the Rebbe in time, they decided
it happened again and again,
to put it on a grave of a tzaddik
Richard seemed upset. We tried
as the Rebbe had said to do.
to trade places in the boat but
After sunset, R’ Mordechai
nothing changed. I caught large
took the big package of letters fish while Richard did not catch
and went to the cemetery with even one small one.
his brother Menachem. It was
I suddenly remembered the
dark and not a living creature
letter you had written for me
could be seen in the area. It was a
to the Rebbe. I got goosebumps
bit scary as they walked around
the cemetery with the help of a
frightened. Fear of G-d.
flashlight. After some searching,
it was like G-d had announ
they found the grave they were
Himself to me: Here I am, within
looking for, the grave of Rabbi
Asher Abramson, who was a
But after a few moments I
great Chassid, an Av Beis Din,
and to cool
and a well-known and esteemed tried to calm myself
s I had
rav. They placed the letters on off the
his grave and then returned felt. But
home, happy and in good spirits. sign.
time was an Italian ship. I saw
At six in the morning, the
At first
asleep. it heading toward us.
Suddenly, they heard banging at
we saw
the door. R’ Mordechai jumped
out of bed in a fright. Who
was knocking so early in the
morning? At the door, to his
great surprise, he saw his fatherin-law, Peter. Peter looked
They went into the house and
sat in the kitchen over a cup of
tea and cookies, and Peter told
his incredible story:
As I told you Devorah, I
planned on going fishing with a
friend early in the morning. This
is what I do every week. I sat

tell us something. When they
came close enough, the captain
shouted, “How did you manage
to catch so many fish? Do you
have a direct line to G-d? We
have been trying for hours
without any success.”
I suddenly realized how
unusual this was. For forty years
I have been fishing and never had
such success. Within two hours I
had brought up fish that usually
take at least four or five hours
to catch. It had to be the Rebbe’s
extraordinary story
and Mordechai went
the catch for themselves. To their
amazement, all the fish were
kosher. Peter gave them some
fish for Shabbos and distributed
the remainder of the fish to his
friends as he told them that
there is a Rebbe, a prophet in
A few Shabbasos later, Peter
told his daughter that he saw
Lubavitcher children pointing
at him and saying, “There’s the
man who could ask for whatever
he wanted and he only asked to
be able to catch a lot of fish...”

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