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It Once Happened | Moshiach Matters
Once a chasid went to his Rebbe and cried, "My son is about to be drafted to serve in the Czar's army! I have been informed that the draft board this time will be comprised of people from a different town.
If a father brings a note from a doctor that his son is ill, the boy receives a three month reprieve. I will bring a note saying my son is ill. In three months, when he has to appear before the board again, it will be comprised of local people with whom I am close and they will easily exempt him."
The Rebbe listened and then said, "I understand your plan, but I think your son should appear at this hearing."
The chasid left the Rebbe's room bewildered, for his plan was completely logical. He went home and decided to continue as planned. He procured a doctor's note and appeared at the scheduled hearing. Upon entering the room he nearly fainted: it was the local board! He had no choice but to hand them the note and receive the three month grace period. But he knew that when he appeared in three months time before the board of strangers, his son would surely be taken.
The distraught father came to the Rebbe again and pleaded with the Rebbe for help. "Have pity on a poor fool. Should my innocent son suffer because he has a father such as me?" he wailed. The Rebbe thought for some time and then said, "Get your son a false passport and send him far away."
The father nodded. "But that leaves me with another big problem," he related. "When a draftee runs away, the father is fined three hundred rubles, which I don't have! They will take my small children as hostages, until I pay."
The Rebbe fell deep into thought again, then answered: "Don't worry. There is a project in the works."
The chasid was relieved. He bought a passport on the black market and sent his son off to safety. But what of the fine, he wondered. He tried to put his questions and doubts out of his mind.
Three months passed. A soldier came to his store, and handed him many official-looking papers, announcing: "Sign these and appear at the bureau in twenty-four hours."
The chasid was shaking as he entered the lawyer's office. He could not read Russian, and so he been unable to peruse the documents. The lawyer, a local Jew, studied the pages closely. Then he looked up with a smile. "Do you know that they have given you their entire file on your son? Were you to throw them into the fire, nothing would be left; it would be over."
With that, he tossed the papers into the fire, and the chasid suddenly understood his Rebbe's words which had been so unintelligible at the time: "There is a project in the works."
The Rebbe has told the world that "There is a project in the works" -- the time of the Redemption has arrived. And though, at times, it might appear that things are going in a different direction, there really is "a project in the works."
We needn't accept on blind faith that there is a "project." The Rebbe has shown us how the world is changing and moving toward the Redemption. He has pointed out examples of the fulfillment of ancient prophecies. Nor should we be discouraged by temporary setbacks, for these, too, have their precedents.
Even after we had gone out of Egypt amidst great wonders, some wanted to turn back when faced with adversity. Later, though the journey to the Holy Land had already commenced, Moses was hidden from us as he studied the most sublime aspects of G-d's Wisdom, in order to ultimately share it with the Jewish nation.
Everything in this week's Torah portion, Korach, seems to be centered around the concept of priesthood.
The portion begins with the challenge of Korach against Aaron the High Priest. It concludes with the gifts the Jewish people are obligated to give to the kohanim (priests).
Priesthood, it appears, is an important element in our service of G-d, with Korach symbolizing those negative forces that seek to impede our spiritual progress.
Kohanim are distinguished by their total devotion to G-d; indeed, the Torah tells us that "G-d is their portion."
Therefore, when a Jew gives the kohanim the special offerings enumerated in the Torah he is, in effect, making that offering to G-d.
These gifts express the willingness of every Jew to dedicate himself to the service of the Creator, according to the principle, "All the best parts belong to G-d."
A Jew must reserve for G-d only the very best of whatever he possesses -- even if this goes against his nature.
Although without the Holy Temple (may it be immediately rebuilt) we cannot fulfill these mitzvot in the literal sense, the principle of utilizing only our very best for holy purposes applies in every place and in all circumstances.
The best portion of our material and spiritual wealth (time and energy) are to be reserved for the "kohen" that exists within -- the holy Jewish soul -- to G-d and to His Torah.
"Best," as it applies to the hours of the day, is synonymous with "first."
As soon as the Jew opens his eyes in the morning he says "Modeh Ani," thanking G-d for restoring his soul. Then, before he begins his workday, he climbs the rungs of prayer and studies the Torah's Divine wisdom. Laying down this firm foundation is what guarantees the Jew success in his more mundane daily pursuits.
Korach's argument challenged this concept.
"Is a tallit that is entirely blue required to have tzitzit?" he and his followers demanded sarcastically of Moses. "Does a house full of holy books still need a mezuza on the door post?"
If every Jew is holy by virtue of his G-dly soul, Korach claimed, the Divine Presence already rests among the Jewish people -- and it is therefore unnecessary to dedicate the "best parts" for holy purposes.
Moses' answer, however, was clear and unequivocable.
A Jew must not content himself with the innate holiness with which he is born, but must always strive to attain higher and higher levels of spirituality.
Yes, the all-blue tallit does require tzitzit, and the room full of holy books still needs the extra measure of holiness of the mezuza.
May we speedily merit the fulfillment of "all the best parts belong to G-d," with the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.
Adapted from Likutei Sichot of the Rebbe, Vol. 4
by Professor Herman Branover
On the third of Tammuz the Rebbe, giant in spirit and deed, the leader of our generation, left this physical world.
There is a concept in Judaism in general and in Chasidism in particular that when a tzadik - a righteous man, leaves this world, he gives all his chasidim -- indeed all Jews -- even greater vitality and strength to influence others by his teaching.
Moreover, now while dwelling in the higher spiritual worlds, the tzadik continues to lead and edify mankind in the ways of Torah, the ways of truth. He continues interceding for each and every Jew before the Al-mighty.
No longer restricted by physical limitations, the tzadik is spiritually even closer to us.
Transcending the restrictions of time and space, he is more accessible. Nonetheless, our loss is hard to bear. We miss every minute of any further earthly communication -- the possibility to hear with our ears and see with our eyes our beloved Rebbe.
The Rebbe is first of all a leader and teacher of Jews.
However, he always stresses that the Torah was given to Moses for all people.
Jews have the unique responsibility of fulfilling all the 613 commandments, while gentiles are obligated to obey only seven.
Not only countless Jews, but also numerous gentiles -- including heads of state, outstanding figures in the sciences and humanities, and educators -- sought his advice and guidance by visiting or corresponding with him.
I was not born into a Chasidic family.
Educated in Soviet schools, I was an atheist. When much later I learned, underground, about Torah and Judaism from Lubavitcher Chasidim, their thought and deeds fascinated me, and I joined them.
In 1972, after a very long struggle, I was permitted to leave the Soviet Union and go to Israel. Soon afterwards, I visited New York and was privileged to be received by the Rebbe.
I will never forget that late winter evening.
The moment I entered his small, modest study, he gazed on me, and I felt my heart and soul melt in the joy, love, protection, seriousness, and wisdom of his wonderful sky-blue eyes.
He started talking as if we had seen each other yesterday.
He was familiar with the most minute details of our life in Russia. He knew everything related to me and my family. He wanted to hear more about dozens of other families scattered through the vast territory of Russia. He knew the ages, names, professions, and concerns of every member of every one of these families.
Then he went on to discuss general problems of Jewish education, Torah and science issues, the latest events in Israel. Ultimately he concentrated on questions related to myself, my plans, my recent achievements in physics.
By then I had met a number of heads of state, political leaders, writers, and other reputedly great personalities. Now, listening to the Rebbe, I began to realize what true greatness is.
All those others in comparison seem to be dwarfs involved mainly with their own selves. I wondered what made the tremendous difference. Was it the Rebbe's encyclopedic knowledge of Torah as well as of the sciences, philosophy, economics, medicine, literature, and so forth?
That certainly was extraordinary but not the essence. Was it his incredible memory? Also not.
Slowly I started to realize that what made the Rebbe different from anybody else was his wisdom derived from unlimited knowledge of the eternal Torah combined with simple unconditional love for each and every Jew, with no self-interest at all.
I understood that -- unlike everyone else, who at best cares for others, but always retains a certain part of his life for himself and for personal pursuits -- the Rebbe's only "own personal interest" was the concerns of his visitor. When I looked again into his unfathomable eyes, the real answer came. He was a selfless, caring, wise father to all.
In the following years I had many more occasions to listen to the Rebbe, to seek his advice and instructions, to discover the deepest levels of Torah from his discourses. There were occasions when within a few seconds he detected mistakes in the latest research reports of my magnetohydrodynamics laboratory.
Similarly, I witnessed the Rebbe give advice on a global scale.
He predicted the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and the miraculous Israeli victories of these wars.
In April 1983 when Gorbachev entered the Kremlin and the best Sovietologists didn't foresee any changes in the unshakable Soviet Communist empire, the Rebbe prophetically predicated its collapse and subsequent changes that would occur in the world.
Similarly, in the 1980s he warned the leaders of the State of Israel about the horrible threats that concessions to Arab enemies would trigger. He presented a scenario of what would happen if, G-d forbid, Israel gave in and endangered Jewish lives. Unfortunately, the tragic events of 1993-1994 in Israel follow his scenario precisely.
These are just a few examples of the special vision of the Rebbe who penetrates the elevated spiritual world and reveals things hidden from the rest of us.
The main thrust of Chabad in its 200 year history has been to accelerate the coming of the Moshiach to bring the final and total Redemption. Anticipation of the immediate coming of the Moshiach has been the foundation of Jewish faith for 2,000 years.
Rabbi Shneur Zalman, the first Chabad Rebbe, however, put special emphasis on how our deeds actively bring this goal closer, and all the subsequent Chabad Rebbes intensified this emphasis.
Our Rebbe placed Moshiach as the absolute center of all the activities of each and every Jew and of the entire Jewish people.
He repeatedly demonstrated that although, on one hand, the current world situation is intolerable, lacking any rational, earthly solution, on the other hand, the Al-mighty has performed numerous miracles for our generation (related to events in Israel, Russia, and so on).
These miracles should give us confidence that the greatest miracles of all -- the coming of the Moshiach -- is imminent.
Those of us who have repeatedly witnessed the realization of his previous prophecies should have no doubt that this most important prophecy will also materialize very soon.
There are many books presenting a fraction of the staggering stories about people whose entire lives were changed by advice given by the Rebbe or by intervention by one of his numerous emissaries. The more one learns about the Rebbe, the more one feels that he is not just a person or a leader. The Rebbe should be described as an unprecedented phenomenon.
This unique phenomenon has made all aspects of our lives and the entire world better, and its influence continues despite the sad fact that the Rebbe at this moment physically is not with us.
A final personal note:
Ever since I was first introduced to the Rebbe's teachings and even more so, ever since I was privileged to meet him personally, I have deeply felt that if this generation will be redeemed, there is only one man who has all the qualities to be the redeemer. This man is the Rebbe. My feeling and conviction grew stronger over the years, and I certainly feel the same way now. How it will happen, I do not know, but I trust that G-d has a way to do it.
As a scientist I know that it is impossible to rationalize any miracle. This is all the more true concerning the greatest miracle of all, beyond our mortal minds and beyond nature -- the miracle of the coming of the Moshiach.
Reprinted from B'Or HaTorah Volume 9
Light Shabbat Candles
Jewish women and girls the world over will be making a special effort to light candles this Shabbat eve in honor of the Rebbe.
To find out the correct time for lighting candles in your area call 1-800-SABBATH or (718) 774-3000.
The Midrash states: "If you will observe the kindling of the Shabbat lights, you will merit to see the lights of the Redemption of the Jewish people."
The Rebbe is the Head
Translated from a letter of the Rebbe
3 Tammuz, 5710
...Many are seeking an explanation of the characteristic greatness of the Chabad leaders in general, and the leader of our generation, my father-in-law, of blessed memory, in particular, in terms of the following designations:
A man of great self-sacrifice, a gaon [great Torah scholar], a baal midot [man of sterling character], a tzadik, a possessor of ruach hakodesh [divine inspiration], able to perform miracles etc. etc.
These praises gain even greater significance as they are defined by the teachings of Chasidut.
Yet in all this, the main point is absent.
Furthermore (and this is essentially the main point), the Rebbe's special greatness is by virtue of his unique relationship with us, his congregation of Chasidim, and with those who are connected to him. And this is because he is the Nasi -- the leader of Chabad.
For in general, the Nasi is called "the head of the community of Israel": in relation to them, he is their head and brain; it is through him that they derive their vitality. By cleaving to the Nasi, they connect and unite themselves with their Source above.
There are several types of Nesi'im: those whose influence is in the sphere of penimiyut [inwardness], and those whose influence is in the realm of makif [surrounding].
Within these distinctions are further divisions: those whose primary effect was in the realm of the revealed Torah, or the esoteric part of the Torah, or in both together; those who taught a path in Divine service and in Chasidut; those whose influence extended into the material realm etc.
There are also those who combined several of the above attributes, or even all of them.
Chabad leaders up until the present time, from the Alter Rebbe to my father-in-law, have included all of the above characteristics and distinctions:
Their influence was both internal and external, in Torah, Divine service and good deeds, in both the spiritual and material realms. Consequently, their connection to those who belonged to them extended to all 613 limbs of the body and soul.
Each and every one of us should know, that is, he should study and fix in his mind, that the Rebbe is the Nasi and the head, it is from him and through him that everything both physical and spiritual flows, and it is through connecting oneself with him ([the Rebbe] has already indicated in his letters how to do this) that one connects and unites oneself with one's source, and the Source of Sources, ever higher and higher.
Some people still ask, "What did the Rebbe really say about Moshiach and the Redemption."
The following quotes from the Rebbe were said at public gatherings, in front of thousands of people.
Some are from transcripts of the Rebbe's talks while others are from published essays that were edited by the Rebbe after being adapted from his public talks. Featured [in the printed version] are photos of Moshiach Awareness Activities around the world throughout this past year.
... Just as until now it was clear to each one of us that the Rebbe would lead us to greet our righteous Moshiach, so should it be clear now. That which happened is only from our material point of view. It is nothing more than a trial, one of the trials of the birthpangs of Moshiach which need to occur before the arrival of the righteous Redeemer. The sole purpose of these trials is to conceal the truth.
Shabbat Teruma, 5710-1950
Since Jacob was mourned and buried as prescribed by the Torah, because it appeared to them that he died, this draws down the potential for every-one to reach the Resurrection of the Dead through the service of refining and purifying the body -- negating the body -- via its return to the dust.
Through the process of negation (which as explained, can be fulfilled through the spiritual service of "My soul will be as dust to all," in which case there is no need to actually return to dust), we come to the Resurrection of the Dead in the true and ultimate Redemption.
20 Av, 5731-1971
As such the Al-mighty's Redemption is actually brought about through His emissary, the righteous Moshiach, with all eight names attributed to him.
This includes also "His name is Menachem" in a way that "One points with his finger and exclaims, 'Behold! Here he is! Here is Menachem, our righteous Moshiach!'"
1 Av, 5749-1989
Every single Jew must perform his Divine service in a manner similar to and befitting the days of Moshiach and the subsequent era of the Resurrection of the Dead.
This is exhibited first and foremost through faith, anticipation and knowledge that supernatural events will occur in the days of Moshiach, namely, the Resurrection of the Dead.
Belief in these concepts must be with certainty, and must be as unshakably firm as the belief in the Ten Commandments.
Obviously the belief in the Resurrection of the Dead requires that same degree of certainty and anticipation. This must be emphasized so much more in our present generation, when many Messianic signs are unfolding.
These constitute a clear indication that Moshiach is already present in the world. Moreover, he is already a prominent Jewish leader, "a king from the House of David, deeply absorbed in the study of Torah," etc.
Therefore, in our present generation, great emphasis must be placed on belief in the coming of Moshiach and anything which relates to it.
Shabbat Acharei, 5746-1986
The Redemption is nothing new.
All its elements have already begun, and have already been brought down and accepted in the physical world, the level beyond which there is nothing lower. Therefore, it should be no surprise when the Redemption arrives.
Shabbat Shoftim, 5751-1991
We see in recent years how the verse "And Moses gathered the Jews" is occurring literally -- the ingathering of the exiles of Jews from all over the world, who are returning to the Holy Land.
The number of people moving to the Holy Land is incomparably greater than those of previous generations.
Shabbat Vayakhel, 5752-1992
...The suggestion is the study of Torah on the topics of Moshiach and the Redemption. For it is within the ability of Torah to transform human nature.
It is possible that one may be, heaven-forfend, "outside" and far-removed from the concept of Redemption as far as one's own perception is concerned (since he has not yet emerged from his own internal exile).
Yet, through Torah study in the topics of Redemption, he uplifts himself to a Redemption state of mind, and begins to "live" with the concept of Redemption, amidst the realization and recognition that "Behold, here he comes!"
Shabbat Balak, 5751-1991
Although in chronological order, the advent of Moshiach will precede the Resurrection of the Dead, special individuals will nonetheless be resurrected prior to Moshiach's coming. First and foremost, the Rebbe, my father-in-law, will once again enclothe himself in a body, and return.
(In reality, it makes no difference how he comes, whether through the door, the window, or the roof...) He will then gather all the Jewish people together and proclaim, "The time has come to leave Exile. Come, let us go to our Holy Land!"
2nd day Shavuot, 5710-1950
There needs to be an increase in life, through the action of the people who proclaim "Yechi HaMelech! -- May the king live."
For the meaning of this proclamation is that the time has come for [the resurrection, regarding which it is stated] "Awake and give praise, those who rest in the dust," of the Rebbe, my father-in-law, the leader of our generation, and up to and including the wakening and giving praise of the Davidic King Moshiach!
2 Nisan, 5748-1988
True, we currently find ourselves in the extreme darkness of Exile. Yet, nonetheless, since Exile is merely a "dream" (in which contradictions can co-exist), the current situation can instantly be reversed, from one extreme to another.
This means that we emerge from this dream of Exile and arrive at the true reality, the actual Redemption!...
True, Maimonides explains that there is a natural order in the process... However this is only if the Redemption materializes in a normal manner.
If the Jews merit, and certainly in present times when the appointed time for the Redemption has long since passed we have merited, the Redemption will come instantly, above and beyond all natural limitations!
It is within the ability of every single Jew to bring the Redemption right away, not tomorrow or the day after, but quite literally today, so that at this very moment, a person opens his eyes and sees that our righteous Moshiach is present with us in this very House of Prayer and Study, in his physical body, down on earth!...
Some people argue that this in itself is difficult to appreciate. It has already been twenty years since the leader of our generation announced "Immediate Redemption" and nevertheless, he still has not come!...
This question stems from being consumed with and engulfed in the Exile frame of mind. Hence people are unable to free themselves of this "dream" of Exile and perceive that the true reality is otherwise, a state of being awake, the actual Redemption!
Shabbat Pinchas, 5744-1984
One may wonder, "What will the world say if a Jew performs his Divine service... particularly trying to speed the Redemption?
Seemingly," he argues, "in order to succeed, one must take into consideration how the world will view it."
The answer is that the world is ready and prepared! When a Jew goes about his Divine service properly, rising above all limitations and constraints, yet doing so in a way that his service can be enclothed in the vestments of nature, he will see how the world, nature, and non-Jews, are indeed aiding him in his service.
Shabbat Korach, 3 Tamuz, 5751-1991
A question has been asked with regard to the recent statements that the Redemption is coming immediately.
Some might suggest that it would not be so easy for this message to reach people and convince them. People are uncertain of how their families and the world at large will react to it.
The response is that such concerns would only be valid if the idea of Redemption was an innovation.
However, the Redemption is nothing new.
Rather, all its elements have already begun, and have already been brought down and accepted in the physical world, the level beyond which there is nothing lower. Therefore, it should be of no surprise when, immediately, the Redemption arrives.
Shabbat Shoftim, 5751-1991
We are immediately going to merit the fulfillment of the Messianic promise, "As in the days of your Exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders," with the coming of Moshiach, whose name is "Menachem," like the name of the Tzemach Tzedek -- may he come and redeem us, and lead us proudly to our land.
For inasmuch as the prophetic promise, "Awaken and sing, those who rest in the dust" will soon take place... there will then be a realization of the meaning of "Menachem--King Moshiach."
Eve of Rosh Hashana, 5744-1984
A footnote added by the Rebbe to an edited version of a talk after mentioning the third Chabad Rebbe, known as the "Tzemach Tzedek":
"His two names, 'Tzemach' and 'Tzedek' (which are the numerical equivalent of 'Menachem Mendel') are the names of King Moshiach."
12 Sivan, 5751-1991
Quotes translated by the editors of: Moshiach In Our Time
Auspicious days are preordained.
The 33rd day of the Omer, for example, was a day destined for rejoicing.
The histalkut -- day of passing from this physical world to a higher plane of existence -- of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, one of Rabbi Akiva's foremost disciples, was on Lag B'Omer.
Before his passing he told his students to rejoice on the day of his passing, for this signifies that his mission in this physical world has been completed.
His students rejoiced on the day of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's histalkut, as per their Rebbe's command. And every year thereafter, up until the present time, we celebrate on Lag B'Omer.
Years earlier, a plague that had ravaged Rabbi Akiva's 22,000 students, ceased on Lag B'Omer.
This occurred because as this day would ultimately be a day of lofty rejoicing it was improper even in advance of the event for there to be death and sadness.
What of the third of Tammuz?
In the times of Joshua, disciple and successor of Moses, the third of Tammuz was the day when the sun stood still in the sky over Gibeon, poised between heaven and earth, as Joshua and his army fought a mighty battle against the enemies of the young Jewish nation.
The third of Tammuz was also the exact date when the Previous Rebbe's [Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok of Lubavitch] sentence was changed from life in prison to exile in Kostrama.
Against all odds, the Previous Rebbe was freed even from internal exile 10 days later on the 12th of Tammuz.
Once, at a gathering on the third of Tammuz, the Rebbe explained that in truth, the third of Tammuz should be a day of great rejoicing, a day of even greater rejoicing than the 12th of Tammuz.
(Chasidim and Jews the world over celebrate the 12th of Tammuz in honor of the Previous Rebbe's total freedom).
The Rebbe said: "It would appear that from several aspects there is more reason to celebrate on the third of Tammuz than on the twelfth and thirteenth.... Accordingly, it seems to me that chasidim should celebrate the third of Tammuz as well."
As we approach the first anniversary of the third of Tammuz, the pain has not lessened; the wound is still fresh. But there is no room for despair. For, as each moment of pain passes we are one moment closer to the Redemption. We are one moment closer to seeing in a revealed manner the true essence of the third of Tammuz. We are one moment closer to being reunited with the Rebbe, and he will redeem us.
And Korach, the son of Yitzhar... took (Bamidbar 38:1)
How can it be that an entire Torah portion derives its name from a wicked man who never repented of his misdeeds?
Do not our Sages warn against even mentioning the name of an evil person?
One must therefore conclude that Korach possessed a positive quality from which we can learn and emulate.
In fact, Korach's intense passion to serve as high priest stemmed from his desire to draw as close to G-d as is humanly possible, an aspiration which in itself is pure.
Furthermore, it is said that in the Messianic Era, the Levites (of which Korach was one) will ascend to the level of kohanim.
Korach's error was that he wished to hasten the Redemption and enjoy its pleasures before it actually occurred, ignoring G-d's overall plan for mankind. His underlying motivation was, however, worthy of emulation.
Korach, the son of Yitzhar, the son of Kehot, the son of Levi (Bamidbar 38:1)
A distinguished lineage is meaningful only when it brings a person to feel humbled in the face of his illustrious ancestors.
Unfortunately, however, it sometimes has the opposite effect, resulting in baseless pride and arrogance. Korach is a prime example of the latter; too much self-esteem allowed him to rebel against Moses.
(Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz)
Rabbi Shimon said: There are three crowns the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of kingship; but the crown of a good name surpasses them all (Ethics of the Fathers, 4:13)
Why isn't "the crown of a good name" a fourth crown?
A person may have a good reputation, but it may, in fact, be undeserved.
"The crown of a good name" only acquires meaning after the first three qualities (which refer to actual character traits) have been attained. It is therefore not counted as a "crown" in its own right, for alone it signifies nothing.
We have seen, beyond a doubt, that the Rebbe, a true shepherd, continues to guide and direct in areas both large and small.
In the year since the third of Tammuz, many people have written to the Rebbe.
After "randomly" inserting the letter into one of the many volumes of the Rebbe's letters ("Igros Kodesh"), they have read the letters on that page and found their answer -- often startlingly to the point.
Mrs. C. Goldstein had written several letters to the Rebbe on various subjects, one of which was that bedtime in their lively household was difficult, especially for one son who did not fall asleep until very late at night.
She inserted her letter randomly into volume 17 of the Rebbe's letters. Then she opened to where her letter lay (page 245).
To her amazement, the Rebbe's letter -- freely translated -- said: "That which you wrote, about your son who sleeps very lightly, so that it is as if he is up all night: There is reason to say that perhaps there is a lack in nutrition, and when that lack is compensated for, there will be a strengthening of his bones and nerves so that he will be able to sleep more peacefully. But, it is necessary to also check the mezuza on his bedroom door and also to be particular in the kashrut of the food and drinks you give to him because through all of this his situation will improve....."
Chaim A., who was experiencing protracted difficulties establishing his profession, and was very depressed about it, decided to write to the Rebbe for a blessing for a new job possibility.
On the page where his letter was placed there was a letter in which the Rebbe wrote to someone about making a living, saying that when one puts the proper energy into it, he will certainly have success, and that even if someone has experienced failure ninety-nine times, he can still succeed the hundredth time, and in great measure.
Gavriel Cohen's sixth birthday was on Shabbat.
That morning, his mother had mentally composed a letter to the Rebbe about something that was troubling her. She opened the Igros Kodesh and the words, "I received your letter in which you informed me about your birthday" jumped out at her.
She remembered that she had not written to the Rebbe to ask for a blessing for Gavriel's birthday. She continued reading the letter and was astounded to find the Rebbe refer to the "hachlata" (good resolution) Gavriel had taken on in honor of his birthday.
Gavriel had decided he would follow along, word-by-word, when learning Torah and praying. After blessing the birthday boy for a successful year of learning, the Rebbe's letter had suggested that a good way to make sure his learning went well was to follow along word-by-word!
When Gavriel's father came home from shul, Gavriel excitedly told his father, "The Rebbe is happy with my hachlata." And on Sunday, when he came home from yeshiva, Gavriel smiled and said, "It was much easier to follow along today since I have the Rebbe's blessing!"
Dr. Eric and Jody Elef live in Cleveland with their growing family.
As with her previous pregnancies, Jody was past her due-date. On Monday, during the intermediate days of Passover, Jody had a doctor's appointment.
Her obstetrician told her that she had a few options: she could come in the following day and be induced or she could come in a week later and be induced then.
If she chose not to be induced the following day, she would have to come in for a non-stress test on Thursday.
There was a possibility that after the non-stress test they would decide to induce her and then that would mean being in the hospital over the last days of Yom Tov.
Jody and Eric weighed the possibilities and then decided to do what they have always done in this situation: they asked the Rebbe.
Eric went to the home of Rabbi Sholom Ber Chaiken, the rav of the Lubavitch community in Cleveland, and composed a letter to the Rebbe. Eric placed it in the Igros Kodesh and then read the letter on the page he had opened to.
The letter was addressed to someone who was in the process of publishing the works of one of the previous Rebbes.
"What's taking so long, get it done already," the Rebbe was urging the person. Jody remembers being totally shocked at this answer. Each time she had asked the Rebbe during previous pregnancies he had always told them to wait it out. They went to the hospital on Tuesday and Jody was induced.
"Things were going so slowly," Jody recalls, "and I knew that if I didn't deliver within 24 hours I would probably have a c- section. Eric and I hoped we had done the right thing."
Finally things picked up and the delivery went just fine.
But as soon as the baby had been delivered the umbilical chord instantly swelled up and then exploded!
The doctor tried to keep a calm look on his face but Jody could see that he was shaken up. He told them it was an umbilical aneurism.
Eric and my father-in-law, who is also a doctor, did a medical search on umbilical aneurisms. They only found one case. The aneurism had been detected through a sonogram and the mother was monitored weekly via ultrasound. One week the ultrasound showed that the aneurism had exploded and the baby hadn't survived. The condition is so dangerous that as soon as the baby's lungs are strong enough they deliver it, even if it is many weeks early. Jody and Eric named their new, healthy, baby boy Menachem Mendel and at his bris, Eric told everyone the story of his miraculous birth."
"Do not be amazed by the fact that Moshiach will be one of those who arise in the Resurrection [of the Dead]. For this possibility was already considered by our Sages in Gemara Sanhedrin: Said Rav Asi, 'If he is among the living he is like Rabbeinu HaKadosh. If he is among the dead, he is like Daniel Ish Chamudot.'"
(Yeshuot Meshicho p. 104)