The Time to Act | Living with the Rebbe | A Slice of Life | What's New
The Rebbe Writes | All Together | A Word from the Director | Thoughts that Count
It Once Happened | Moshiach Matters
by Rabbi Eli Pink
This Shabbat marks 25 years since Gimmel Tammuz. But despite all that is missing, the Rebbe remains our leader, and the Rebbe's mission remains unchanged. As Rabbi Adin Even Yisrael-Steinsaltz said at a gathering honoring the Rebbe, "The Rebbe did not leave a legacy. He left marching orders."
The Rebbe gave us guidance, support, love and hope. He dusted off the belief in Moshiach from the bookshelves and brought it into our everyday consciousness.
The Rebbe constantly reminded us of how events in the world - such as the liberation of Russian Jewry and the miracles of the Gulf War in 1991 - indicated that the redemption is imminent. And in the spirit of the great prophets of the Jewish people, he told us that the time for redemption has arrived. The time for human suffering has ended, and the time for G-d's goodness to be revealed is here.
The Rebbe, as he once said, has done his part to hasten Moshiach's arrival and now it is up to us. And although at times Moshiach might seem as far away as it has ever seemed, now is not the time to be lax.
Consider buying a new house. You search around until the time comes and you finally find what you have been looking for. You make an offer, counteroffer and so on - until finally you seal the deal.
But it's not finished yet. You have to notify your landlord. You have to pack; get a mover; get a mortgage, insurance; set a date for closing. You close on your dream home, you pack, the movers take your things - Mazal Tov! You can't wait to move in.
Imagine that at this point you say, "I've done enough! Sellers, real estate agents, bankers, insurance agents, lawyers, taxes, packers, movers - I've had it. We've closed and the house is mine; now I'll just wait." And you stay put and wait.
This is not the time to sit back. This is the time to act. The Rebbe has told us that the cumulative good of all the generations has brought the world to a state where its redemption is just a breath away. And somehow, in a way that we cannot fathom, the Almighty wants us - the rank-and-file - to finish the job.
Add in acts of goodness and kindness. Learn more about what the Torah says about the amazing times that are in store for us. Add in Jewish commitment, and do it with feeling. And then, as the Rebbe told CNN, "Add at least a little more, then Moshiach will come immediately.
Rabbi Pink, together with his wife Dabrushy, have been the Rebbe's emissaries in England since 2007 where they direct the educational activities at the Lubavitch Centre of Leeds.
In this week's Torah portion, Korach, we read about the rebellion of Korach and his cohorts Datan and Aviram. At one point, G-d commanded Moses "Speak to the congregation saying, 'withdraw from the dwellings of Korach, Datan and Aviram.'" Then it says "And Moses arose and went to Datan and Aviram, and all the elders of Israel followed him." It continues, "And he spoke to the congregation..."
The Torah doesn't say anything extra. Why then does it say that Moses arose, and that all the elders followed him? It could have just said that Moses went to Datan and Aviram. What moved the elders to follow him?
Rashi explains, "And Moses arose" because he thought that Datan and Aviram would show him respect, but they didn't.
This was already after G-d gave the command to separate from the rebels. At this point their fate was, so to speak, sealed. It was beyond the point of reconciliation and repentance. For that matter, going to talk to them, would be going against G-d's command, to separate from them. And even more, Moses was on a mission from G-d to warn the people to separate themselves from Korach, Datan and Aviram, it would be highly inappropriate for him to do anything before completing his mission!
Even though Datan and Aviram's fate was sealed, and even though they acted brazenly against Moses and were instigators of the rebellion, still Moses, out of his great love for every Jew, sought to find a way to save Datan and Aviram from their looming fate.
He couldn't go talk to them nor do anything that would interfere with his mission. This is why Moses arose, meaning, he used his position and stature, as king and leader of the Jewish people in the hope that it would affect Datan and Aviram to at least show respect, saving them from being swallowed by the earth.
This is also why the elders followed him, because Moses was acting in the capacity of the king, and where the king goes, so do the elders. This added to the prestige of the event, but unfortunately it still didn't have the desired affect on the conspirators.
If Moses found love in his heart to try and find ways to save these evil people, how much more so must we find ways to include and accept all Jews!
We have many brothers and sisters who were not granted a proper Jewish education, for what ever reason. We must take a page of Moses's play book and Moses's love, and seek to find ways to include these Jews as well into the life of Torah which is an everlasting life.
More than anything else, it is our love of every Jew, that is the key to bringing Moshiach, which all Jews will experience together. May he come now!
Adapted by Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz from the Rebbe's teachings, yitzihurwitz.blogspot.com. Rabbi Hurwitz, who is battling ALS, and his wife Dina, are emissaries of the Rebbe in Temecula, Ca.
A Dollar of the Rebbe
by Rabbi Menachem Kutner
Captain Ziv Shilon, a platoon commander in the IDF was leading his battalion on a routine patrol near the wall on the Gaza border, when they noticed a suspicious package. Ziv approached the package alone to investigate. The bomb detonated as soon as he touched the package. Ziv's left arm was blown off and his right arm was crushed.
After emergency treatment by the dedicated army medic, Ziv was airlifted to Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva in critical condition and the doctors valiantly fought for his life. Several days later and after many surgeries, his condition stabilized but, sadly, they were unable to reattach his left arm and his right arm seemed damaged beyond repair.
Ziv was eventually transferred to the Rehabilitation Hospital at Tel Hashomer and the doctors continued to work on saving his right arm. But Ziv's lifeless right arm was becoming a life threatening liability to the rest of his body and they recommended that it be amputated.
Ziv adamantly refused to consider this option. "As doctors you need to do your job to heal," he said. "The fact that I lost my left arm at the border, that was not in my control. Under no circumstances will I willingly consent to have my right arm amputated. I have the strength to endure any amount of surgeries and procedures you need to do to save my right hand."
They tried to explain to him that he really had no choice in the matter and the debate continued for several weeks.
As director of the Chabad Terror Victims Project in Israel, I work with the "Metzuyanei Tzahal" (wounded soldiers of the IDF) and on occasion we arrange a "trip of a lifetime" for them. They are treated to a full week of fun and sightseeing in New York City. I regularly visited Ziv during his long months of rehabilitation and was aware of the agonizing decision he was facing. I suggested he join our trip to get a break from the painful reality of the hospital and his medical decisions.
He was delighted with the idea. "This is exactly what I need right now!" he said.
The group of ten soldiers had a fabulous time in New York for a full week. Friday was designated for the spiritual part of the journey. We visited 770. Touring Crown Heights and observing the vibrant Chabad community in the heart of New York made a deep impression on them.
The next part of the trip was a visit to the Ohel. On the bus ride there, I shared with them the significance of this visit. I described how a Chasid prepares to go to the Ohel and that it is important to make a good resolution to make a "vessel" to receive the Rebbe's blessing. I then offered each one to put on tefillin before entering the Ohel.
They all sat in the large tent outside of the Ohel with a pen and paper and wrote their letters. I told them that I would wait for them in the Ohel and as they enter I will recite with each one the chapter of Psalms associated with their age.
With his prosthetic arm, Ziv wrote a letter to the Rebbe. When Ziv entered the Ohel, he told me that he is 25 years old and we said Psalm 26. As we finished, he told me that he made a mistake. "I will be turning 25 next week. Right now I am 24."
Without missing a beat I turned to Psalm 25 and recited it with him. He then read his letter and tore it with his prosthetic arm and his teeth.
On the bus ride to Manhattan, where we were to spend Shabbat, there was a very special and uplifted atmosphere. The soldiers felt the Rebbe's love for them and one of them told me that he left the heavy burden of his troubles in the Ohel. There was much singing and celebration during that ride.
I noticed that Ziv sat in the back of the bus deep in thought and was not participating in the good cheer.
That night, Ziv requested to sit next to me for Shabbat meal. At the meal, Ziv turned to me and said, "Listen, Rav Menachem. The Rebbe made me very upset."
"What happened?" I asked, surprised.
He proceeded to tell me that at the Ohel the major issue on his mind was his ongoing debate with the doctors about his right arm. As he was writing his letter he suddenly had the following thought: If the chapter of Psalms he recites in the Ohel will have three references to a hand, he will take it as a sign that his hand is salvageable. If there is no mention of "hand" he will take it as a sign that he will lose his right arm as well.
As we read Psalm 26 together, he was elated and relieved to read three references to "hand" and even the right hand! But then he realized that we said the wrong perek and as we said Psalm 25 he was saddened that he did to find any reference to hands whatsoever.
"Rav Menachem, the Rebbe's message to me is that I will lose my right arm as well..."
I sat there thunderstruck, and for a few long moments I could not even breathe.
Suddenly, I had an idea. "Tell me, Ziv. When you say that you are turning 25 next week, are you referring to your birthday on the secular calendar?"
"Do you know the Jewish date of your birth?"
"Of course. 23 Iyar."
"Ziv! Today was your real birthday! As you were standing in the Ohel your real chapter in Psalms was 26, not 25!"
Needless to say the joyous atmosphere in the room reached a new height and we celebrated the clear blessing Ziv merited to receive from the Rebbe.
On Tuesday, as we were touring the city, Ziv started to feel sensation in his right arm. He ran over to me and excitedly showed me how he was able to curl his fingers!
"I can't believe it! This is the first time I have feeling in my arm since the terrorist attack!"
Upon returning to Israel, the doctors were shocked at the miraculous development and intensified their efforts to restore full functionality to his right arm.
On the eve of Chanuka, Ziv had a surgery. That night, when I visited him at the hospital to light Chanuka menora, I lit the shamash and handed it to Ziv. In front of our eyes, the miracle occured. Ziv lifted his right arm, held the shamash in his hand and lit the first candle on the menora.
Reprinted with permission from A Chassidisher Derher, derher.org
Positivity Bias offers practical wisdom for positive living based on the example and teachings of the Rebbe. In the book, Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson weaves together hundreds of stories, letters, anecdotes, and vignettes, bringing out the Rebbe's message in a way that any reader can understand and relate to. In Positivity Bias, we learn that life is essentially good; that positive perception is accessible to all; and that positive living is a matter of choice, not circumstance. Published by chabad.org
One by One
One By One, features 66 specially selected personal stories of encounters with the Rebbe from the acclaimed weekly Here's My Story Series. Read vividly diverse stories of guidance, perspective and encouragement. Experience the essence of the Rebbe's soul-to-soul leadership. Enrich your life with the Rebbe's practical guidance and transformative inspiration. JEMedia.org
Continued from the previous issue, from a letter dated 21st of Menachem Av, 5728 
This is what he [Rambam] states (Par. 4):
And when a king of the House of David will arise, dedicated to the study of the Torah and observance of the Mitzvos [commandments] like his father David, according to the Torah Shebiksav [Written Torah] and Shebeal-Peh [Oral Torah], and he will compel all the Jewish people to walk in it and strengthen its fences, and he will fight the wars of G-d, he is assumed to be the Moshiach. (Note that this is not yet a certain sign of the Geulo [Redemption], for all this can still take place in a state of Golus [exile]. However) If he did so and has succeeded (in the above matters, namely having won all battles and impelled all the Jewish people to study the Torah and to mend its fences, we are still not sure and require a further sign, namely), and built the Beis Hamikdosh [Holy Temple] in its place (clearly in the holy city of Jerusalem, indicating that there would be a large Jewish population in that city, yet we are still not certain of the end of the Golus, so a further factor must be fulfilled, namely), and he gathers in the dispersed ones of Israel - then he is certainly the Moshiach.
Surely no further commentaries are necessary.
I will only add a further significant point, namely that this ruling and Din [legislation] of the Rambam is not contested by any Posek [Rabbinic authority]. Even the author of the Shulchan Aruch [Code of Jewish Law], who has written a commentary on the Rambam, including this very chapter, the well known Kesef Mishneh has nothing to question here, accepting it fully, nor are there any other Poskim to differ.
To be sure there are various homilies and references and allusions to the period of the Geulo in the Aggadah and Midrash, etc., but these are homilies, and do not affect the practical Halachah [Jewish law]. Even in the Halachah we find at first certain differences of opinion on different matters, in the Mishna and Gemoroh, but once the final decision and Psak Din [legal ruling] is arrived at, it is valid for all without question.
It is clear from the above Psak Din of the Rambam that before there can be a Kibbutz Golyos [ingathering of exiles] and the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdosh in its place, there has to be a full and complete return to the Torah and Mitzvos while Jews are still in the Golus, and it is this that is the prelude and preparation for the Geulo.
I am aware of the fact that there are many individuals who wish to rely on this or that saying of our Sages, in the Tractate Sanhedrin or in the Yerushalmi and the like, in order to base upon it their view, but I have always marveled at the inconsistency of these individuals in regard to their entire approach. For surely the Rambam knew just as well those sayings of the Sages in the Sanhedrin or Yerushalmi, etc., and understood them at least as well as the individuals quoting them. The inconsistency is in the fact that these very individuals consider every word and expression of the Rambam's elsewhere as most meticulous, and study it with awesome reverence. Yet when it comes to this simple and straightforward Psak Din of the Rambam, they simply ignored it altogether.
The reason I have written at some length in reply to your letter (though this length is overly brief in comparison with the subject matter), is that it is simply painful to contemplate how misplaced the concern is of some well-meaning individuals.
Instead of each and every Jew, young and old, man and woman, dedicating themselves wholeheartedly to reduce and eventually do away with the causes which brought about the Golus, namely "Mipnei chatoenu - because of our sins we have been exiled from our land," and what these "sins" are is clearly spelled out in the Shulchan Aruch - there are many Jews, undoubtedly with good intentions, who use all their energy and influence to find all sorts of means and ways of human invention to bring about the end of the Golus.
This is doubly painful for, firstly, it is simply a deception of Jews to believe that there can be any other way of Geulo than that which G-d had specified, and secondly, while engaged in other ways and means in futile effort to end the Golus, they cannot engage fully in the true battle against the Golus in terms of the Psak Din of the Rambam.
May G-d grant that each and all of us in the midst of all Israel, should be inspired with true Heavenly inspiration to walk in the way of the Torah and to mend its fences, for it is this that will prepare the way for Moshiach to implement all the conditions necessary to bring about the truly full and complete Geulo.
ZALMAN is the Yiddish form of the name Solomon - "Shlomo" in Hebrew. Shlomo is from the word meaning "peace."
ZISSE means "sweet" in Yiddish. Varient forms of the name are Zissel, Zissy and Sosha.
Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman
In the end of the summer of 1990, clearly and unmistakably, the Lubavitcher Rebbe announced that "The time for your Redemption has arrived." The Rebbe explained that this statement should be disseminated throughout the world. The world was now ready for the Redemption.
What role are we to play? The Rebbe stated this clearly, as well. Our primary task, he said, is to study and teach about Moshiach, to live with the idea of Moshiach, to make essential changes in our way of looking at life, and to publicize the prophecy that Redemption was imminent, and that everyone should be actively preparing to greet Moshiach.
The Rebbe's most recent talks consistently communicated the news that the time of the Redemption has arrived and that every individual can and must play an active role in hastening the Redemption. One of the ways this can be done, the Rebbe explained, is by permeating our lives with the awareness of the imminent Redemption.
By attending classes at your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center, by listening to Torah classes on the internet or over the phone, by studying and reading the Rebbe's published talks and essays (available in many languages), you will connect to the Rebbe and everything he personifies.
As we approach Gimmel Tammuz, we know that as each moment passes, we are one moment closer to seeing in a revealed manner that, to quote the Rebbe, "Moshiach is coming," and "he has already come." We are one moment closer to recognizing that "the world is ready for Moshiach" and that "the time of the Redemption has arrived." We are one moment closer to being reunited with the Rebbe, and "he will redeem us."
Korach, the son of Yitzhar, the son of Kehot, the son of Levi, took a bold step, together with Datan and Aviram...and Ohn son of Pelet, the offspring of Reuben (Num 16:1)
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 arrogance. Korach is a prime example of the latter; too much self-esteem allowed him to rebel against Moses.
Ohn was one of Korach's 250 followers in his insurrection against Moses. Yet when the Torah lists those who were punished, Ohn's name is omitted. Why? Ohn was saved by his righteous wife. When she learned of her husband's intentions she persuaded him that it was wrong to go against Moses. However Ohn had already promised Korach he would join him. What did his wife do? She gave him a meal and strong wine, causing him to fall asleep. When Korach and his group came looking for him, she sat in front of her tent, immodestly uncovered her hair and began to comb it. Korach and his followers would not approach her. Because of his virtuous wife, Ohn's life was spared.
Moses became very angry (Num. 16:15)
The commentator Rashi translates the above as: "He was very upset." Even when Moses was attacked by two trouble-makers he was upset rather than angry. Chasidim relate that the third Rebbe of Chabad, the Tzemach Tzedek, was extremely careful not to become angry. On one occasion he was nearly provoked to anger. He asked for the Code of Jewish Law, noting that the Talmud compares anger to idolatry. He explained, "I am close to an offence similar to idolatry, I will see first if my anger is permitted according to Torah." By the time he had examined the question there was no more need for an answer.
by Shlomo Schwartz (Schwartzie) o.b.m
In my late teen years, I was at a crossroads. I had completed the first semester of my freshman year at Yeshiva University. I had made many friends who weren't so religious, and I was on the fence about how religious I would become.
I would hang out in Greenwich Village in the pre-hippie days, riding the subways at all hours of the night. Members of the counterculture movement then were called beatniks. They would play the bongo drums and recite poetry. That whole group was quite friendly.
About once a month, I went to Brooklyn to spend time with the happy and colorful Lubavitcher Chasidim. They were even happier than the beatniks. I would hear the Rebbe's Shabbat talk at the farbrengen, a joyous gathering of Chasidism that lasted all afternoon. I was going back and forth for a year between the Village and Crown Heights.
I wrote an eight-page letter to the Rebbe on why I should drop out of YU, abandon my father's anti-Chasidic opinions and go to the Chabad yeshiva.
The Rebbe answered, "Everything depends on your father's consent." Knowing that my father would not consent, I went to the Lubavitcher teachers and asked them what to do. They said I should listen to the Rebbe and ask my father, and the Rebbe would do his part. When I went home to Atlantic City to address my father on this explosive topic, my father gave me his consent!
Only after my father's consent did I mention my letter to the Rebbe and his reply. My father said to my mother, "I hold of this Rebbe very much," and then walked out of the room. I asked my mother to explain what had just happened. My mother told me, "You father was very upset that he was losing his son to the Chasidim and wrote a letter to your Rebbe. He explained in his letter to the Rebbe, complaining of his son's current circumstance, and was very distraught, especially since he did not like or agree with the Chasidic viewpoint." My father was very impressed, upon hearing from me that the Rebbe had told me that everything depended on my father's consent. This was an answer to me, and was also an answer to my father' letter, and it caused my father to change his mind.
A week after I enrolled at the Chabad yeshiva, one of my best friends from Talmudic Academy, Mark Lustman, was gravely injured in an automobile accident and was in a coma. My new Chasidic classmates' solution? Go see the Rebbe.
I was still working out where I belonged. Basically, I had given Chabad a two-week probation. If it did it for me spiritually in two weeks, I'd stay. If not, I would go with what I was used to, hanging out in Greenwich Village.
My Chabad friends said, "Tomorrow is a farbrengen. At the farbrengen, you'll ask the Rebbe for a blessing."
The next day, an hour and a half into the gathering, a line formed to the Rebbe's left, and people would come to ask him personally for a blessing, for whatever they needed. I was fourth in line, ready to ask the Rebbe for a blessing. This would be my first time speaking to the Rebbe.
"Avram Maishe ben Chana Ruchel, he's in a coma at the hospital, he's my best friend, and I need a blessing." The Rebbe looked at me like he didn't understand me.
I thought for a moment, Maybe he doesn't understand English. This was becoming really difficult. Finally, the Rebbe said to me, "About whom are you speaking?" In perfect English, flawless English. Heavy accent, but grammatically correct, so the good news is he understood English. The bad news is that he didn't seem to understand me.
I didn't know what to say to that. So I just said again Lustman's Hebrew name, "Avram Maishe ben Chana Ruchel." The Rebbe looked down, away from me, when I said the second time, "Avram Maishe ben Chana Ruchel." The Rebbe was looking down at the table, and then the Rebbe looked up and said, "Lustman from Baltimore."
That's talent. I mean, come on. I couldn't believe it. Somebody sitting right in front of me could do miracles today?
But there it was: Lustman, the family name, and Baltimore, where he was from. That's how I knew him since before his bar mitzva, so that's how the Rebbe related to it. I was thinking Lustman from Baltimore, and the Rebbe pulled that out.
And it seemed to me like he said, "Listen, don't give me two weeks' probation. You're here to stay forever. You're done. Over. Bye. That's it. Are you up for it?" and I was. I knew I was going to be there indefinitely.
But there's more to this story.
Two years later, I said to my friend, "Listen Lustman, you were in a coma and you almost died. The Rebbe gave you a blessing. Now you're walking around with no residual effect and you're going to school to be a dentist like you wanted. So come thank the Rebbe."
Later that year, there was a farbrengen, and I brought Lustman. I took him over to the Rebbe. I said to the Rebbe, "This is Avram Maishe ben Chana Ruchel. He was badly hurt in a car accident and you gave him a blessing, and he wanted to thank you."
The Rebbe looked at him and he looked at me, and smiled and said, "Lustman from Baltimore." Pow. He zapped me again. The Rebbe was on everyone's personal wavelength.
Excerpted with permission from "I Love When That Happens." Available on amazon.com
The geula (redemption) of one individual, in particular the redemption of the Previous Rebbe, parallels and serves as a preparation for the Messianic Redemption. In this case the connection is obvious - the Messianic Redemption depends on spreading Chasidic teachings. The Previous Rebbe was the leader and prime-mover of that cause. The commutation of his sentence on Gimmel Tammuz granted life not only to him, but to spreading Chasidut and Torah as a whole. May the blessings of the Previous Rebbe come to fruition, including the greatest blessing of all, the coming of Moshiach!
(The Rebbe on Shabbat Korach, 3 Tammuz, 1977)