Sunday, 25 June 2017

The following is a transcript of the Rebbe's remarks given in a private meeting on Av 5, 5727 (August 12, 1967), shortly after the Six-Day War, as recalled by Rabbi Chaim Gutnick Chief Rabbi of Australia

...Three times in our generation, G‑d has granted us an opportunity for the beginning of the Redemption. But these opportunities were missed, and it is the Jewish leadership which is to blame.

Rabbi Chaim Gutnick OBM, Chief Rabbi of Australia
The first opportunity was in 1948. You know that I have a particular enthusiasm for Rashi's commentary on the Torah. Well, Rashi says regarding the waters of the Flood that, at first, G‑d brought down "rains of blessing" upon them and waited to see if they would repent; only after they failed to do so did this turn into the very opposite of "rains of blessing," G‑d forbid.

 In 1948, G‑d sent "rains of blessing." This was a time when even the Russians supported the Jewish people against the British, who had attempted to annihilate the nation of Israel. This was a time of opportunity. But the Jewish leaders stood by and debated whether or not to make mention of G‑d's name in the "Declaration of Establishment." [independence. adopted on May 14, 1948. Most of the 37 signatories opposed any mention of G‑d in the document. In the end, they compromised by including an oblique reference to "the rock of Israel" in its last paragraph].

Thus the Redemption was put off by fifty years.

The second opportunity was the Sinai Campaign [of 1956]. If the Jewish people would have believed that their salvation would come from G‑d rather than from French MIGs and British warplanes, all would have been different.

But never has there been an opportunity such as this one. This was a war won by Torah and mitzvot. There can be no doubt of this. A Jew in Moscow recited Psalms, and a Jew in Buffalo, New York, put on tefillin, and this helped the Jews defeat their enemies in the Land of Israel.

If the Jewish leaders would have utilized the opportunity to rouse the people to the observance of Torah and Mitzvot, our situation today would be entirely different. Think about it: a young man in Israel was summoned, handed an Uzi, and told: "Leave your wife and children at home and go to El-Arish to fight." In every war there are draft-dodgers; here, no Jew, not even one for whom the word "Jew" is nothing more than an appellation, refused to fight. It was a time when the entire people of Israel were in a state of "We shall do and we shall hear." When this young man fought at El-Arish, his Torah and Mitzvot fought for him. The Shechinah (Divine Presence) came down into the trenches to assist the soldier fighting on the borders of the Land of Israel.

If the Jewish leaders would have told that soldier to utilize the reserves of faith and courage that were revealed in him during the war toward a commitment to Torah and Mitzvot, with the same "We shall do and we shall hear," he, and the entire Jewish nation, would have responded, and everything would have been different. But again the leaders were silent, and the great opportunity was lost. They were too timid to tell the Jew the truth: that this is the time for a return to Torah.

The very first chapter of the first section of the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) begins not with Maimonides' "Thirteen Principles of Faith," but with the Rama's ruling that "One should not be intimidated by mockers." Why? Because when one does not fulfill this rule, one is prevented from fulfilling the entire Shulchan Aruch. Perhaps I speak too sharply, but the Jewish leadership is bankrupt. They avoid me because they know that I will demand of them to speak the truth. Their timidness to speak the truth, contrary to the rule, "One should not be intimidated by mockers," is holding back the Redemption.

Jews must be told to keep Torah and mitzvot. I initiated the tefillin campaign--this is only the beginning. My hope is that through the mitzvah of tefillin, the Jewish people will be brought closer to other Mitzvot - to keep kosher and Shabbat, and ultimately the entire Torah. My aim is that millions of additional hands should become tefillin-wearing hands.

The Jewish people will respond when spoken to about Torah and mitzvot. Not only teenagers--also forty-year-olds, people advanced and established in their lives, are ready to hear the truth, if only their leaders will speak it to them.

We still have not lost the opportunity. It's still not too late. Now it is August. If we will do our job, if the shluchim will do their job and tell the world the truth, we can bring the Redemption...

Published (in Hebrew) in Kfar Chabad Magazine, issue no. 806.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Order of the Hour: Settle all territories of the Land of Israel!

Talk by the Lubavitcher Rebbe spoken from his room, shortly after suffering a heart attack, Moitzoi Shabbat Parshat Lech Lecha 1978.

The Order of the Hour: Settle all territories of the Land of Israel!

From the verse in the portion of Lech Lecha spoken by G-d to Abraham: “to your progeny have I given this Land”, we learn that in spite of the fact that there are nations protesting the ownership of certain areas of the Land of Israel by Israel, they go even further in their objection arguing "you are robbers". Regardless, we should take no notice of any of their protestations. And more: these protests are no more than temporary and for a show-effect, because essentially and truthfully they know that the entire Land and her borders belong to the Jewish Nation.

The Order of the Hour: Settle all territories of the Land of Israel!
But in order for the Jewish People to bring this to the surface it is necessary is for us to follow in the footsteps of our Patriarch Abraham as he was instructed: “Arise and traverse the length and breadth of the Land”, that we inhabit all of the territories of the Land of Israel, specifically disputed areas.   

Taking full possession must be exactly as performed by Abraham our Patriarch (“the actions of our fathers set a precedent for their progeny”). When traversing the Land of Israel he built ‘an altar unto G-d’. Similarly we need to build in all of those locations a house of Torah-learning and a Mikva for purification. 

Thereby everyone will openly see the fulfillment of the verse “to your progeny have I given this Land”, and recognized even by nations of the world. Should nations rage and spend their time focusing on Israel for a short while, we need to know the truth - that nations themselves also know the truth, as the verse in Psalms concludes - their protestations are 'empty' - for appearance sake only.  

But in order to expose the truth which the nations known only too well in their hearts of hearts, Jewish people must state with truthful conviction that the entire Land belongs to us.

In order not to cause G-d forbid international pressure it is imperative not conduct ourselves in a strange manner inhabiting no more than some locations because this shows that we our taking into account arguments of those protesters! Furthermore, there is absolutely no sense or logic to make a distinction between settling some locations as opposed to settling the entire border and all of the territories, because the same international fury and preoccupation with Israel would exist either way and to the same degree! 

Should Israel take a truthful stand, difficulties will cease, as G-d states “And I have given (written in the past tense) to you this Land” - it has already been given! The main point is to take appropriate action (not mere talk), by placing facts on the ground and actually inhabiting the Land. 

There is no need for grandiose announcements, and certainly no room for self-pride - ‘that it was our strength and forces which brought us this enrichment’ because, not only is this untrue, but can cause harm. We must proceed as emissaries so greatly empowered by G-d, that there will be no opposition.

Should the government of Israel adopt this policy, not only will nations not protest, (and most certainly be no casualties - no Jew will be killed or even injured G-d forbid, but to the contrary: “All nations will sing unto G-d, all peoples will praise Him because G-d’s overwhelming kindness shields us” (Psalms 117), nations will assist us in all of our need because the Jewish people are still in exile, still prior to the final Redemption.

Not inhabiting the territories runs against normal thinking!              

To our incredulity and great pain, to this very day the territories have not yet been inhabited even though that this policy runs contrary to normal straight thinking, and bringing relentless pressure!

By living in the darkness of mental exile, Israel remains fearful and submissive even to “the rustling of leaves” of a non-Jew; every normal thinking person knows full well that this is no more than “the rustling of leaves”. In reality, exile has power only over the body of a Jew, as is well known: only bodies entered the exile; our souls never did enter into the exile. Yet, there step forward from amidst the Jewish people a small number of individuals  who attempt to drag souls down into the exile that they also be subservient to the gentiles. 

Whatever has taken place till now - one does not cry over the past. But going forward, May it be the Will of G-d that a Spirit from above will envelope even this small group, that not only should they not interfere, but will assist the Jewish nation to settle all of territories of the Land of Israel; not to delay to a later date but carry this forth immediately “in one moment, within the span of one single day” - because this policy will yield success. 

By specifically by taking this path, does G-d state: “and I will give peace upon the Land and you will lie down and none will be afraid”; all blessings enumerated in the Torah (Bechukotai) will culminate in G-d's assurance “and I will lead you upright”. 

May it be the Will of G-d that whilst still in the last days of exile, G-d leads every Jew, both those outside of, and those within the land of Israel, to stand upright and with Jewish pride.  

Two hand written notes by the Lubavitcher Rebbe given out for publication

Subsequent to the previous talk, two hand written notes were given out by the Rebbe with further explanatory points of the ability and urgency to widely inhabit the territories. The two notes were combined as follows and put out for publication in the newspapers.

1. The [international] outcry and pressure which took place following the establishment of five townships would never have gained such force had the government established townships along the entire length of the border.

2. Absolute proof is as follows. The building of atomic weapon facilities in the Holy Land was internationally well know (including Washington, Moscow, and the capital cities of Arab nations), and now exist, expanding from time to time over the years. Initially the world community wanted to prevent and put a stop to this by applying pressure on Israel. However when Israel immediately responded with absolute firmness that they will continue all of these activities, the international community’s pressure was reduced to a just an official protest stating that this is unacceptable, and therewith the pressure came to an end.  

Furthermore countries who had previously protested in unison actually contribute towards the building of those power plants in many ways, this continuing now for many of years. 

With regard to building of the territories, the incredulity is, and to my great pain, has to date not been carried forward with the required urgency and greatest of speed. And more, the fact is that this can go ahead absolutely within the legality of law, that, at this time can realistically be achieved in one single day should the decision be made, the order given for immediately implementation, requiring no more that two people - the Prime Minister and the official responsible for country planning!

Should an inquiry become necessary with a meeting of the entire government and various committees of the Knesset the following day, after having been firmly established, the winds of protest will die down, especially when all will see the tremendous enthusiasm of the decisive majority of all the Jewish People both from within the Holy Land and also outside of Israel when informed that the territories have been inhabited.

However, this must be done absolutely without clamor or publicity. 

The very existence of Esau is for the success of Jacob

Talk by the Rebbe spoken from his room one week later, shortly after suffering a heart attack, Moitzoi Shabbat Parshat Chayei Sarah 1978.

The very existence of Esau (the nations) is for the success of Jacob (the Jewish People)

The very existence of Esau (which in a spiritual sense represents life's difficulties) is solely that Jacob carry forth and fulfill his life’s purpose.

The complete Jewish Nation returning to the complete Land of Israel, by and with the arrival our righteous Moshiach.
It is mandatory that the Jewish People settle all of the territories of the Land of Israel as did Abraham our Patriarch, the role model for his descendants. The verse states “And he (Abraham) built an altar to G-d” - that throughout these areas Abraham build places of Torah and prayer, and also Mikvaot for purity. 

By inhabiting all of the territories this will bring nations of the world to contribute to this success and they themselves will have a feeling stemming from their own souls that their role is to contribute to the success of Jacob.

This will be the imminent preparation for the ingathering of all the sons and daughters of Israel - the complete Jewish Nation returning to the complete Land of Israel, by and with the arrival our righteous Moshiach. “G-d will expand your borders“ that the complete Land of Israel will attain her full breadth by the additional lands of the Kenite, K’nizite and Kadmonite nations east of the Jordan river. 

Friday, 16 June 2017

Subsequent to giving charity to the Land of Israel, the Mitteler Rebbe purchased a piece of real estate in Hebron

Since we are now on the 9th Kislev after mid-day we are already connected to 10th Kislev. The connection is a two-fold one. Each day is the eve of the next day [especially the eve of Shabbos after mid-day] and also that today [Shabbos] we begin to read the portion in Torah of the following week.

Citadel of King David
The Redemption [freedom from Russian imprisonment] of the Mitteler Rebbe [second Lubavitcher Rebbe] is in many ways comparable to that of his father the Alter Rebbe [Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of the Chabad dynasty]. 

Similar life incidents of our patriarch Yaakov took place in the life of his son Yosef.  In a same vein, similar incidents of the Alter Rebbe took place in the life of his son the Mitteler Rebbe. Regarding the Redemption of the Alter Rebbe, he himself writes that at the moment he uttered the words of Psalms ‘He [G-d] redeemed my soul’ he was told of his impending freedom [which took place on 19th day of Kislev]; the same was true of the Mitteler Rebbe. When he uttered the very same words of Psalms ‘He redeemed my soul’, was he released from prison [on 10th day of Kislev]. It is self understood that 10th day in Kislev is similar to 19th Kislev. 

The Alter Rebbe writes that the charity which he gave for the Land of Israel was the Mitzvah which stood by him. That is, by virtue of the charity which he sent to the Jewish People then living in Eretz Israel [did the healing [freedom] precede his torment [imprisonment]. 

Many years before his imprisonment he had distributed this charity, which ultimately brought about his Redemption. Similarly, the Mitteler Rebbe [the second Rebbe of Lubavitch] also was occupied several years earlier with giving charity to Eretz Israel and its merit stood him in good stead. There were those who informed against him to the Russian government. Although the accusations were lies, nevertheless there had to be an element of truth in their words since lies alone can have no standing. He was accused of sending great sums of money to the Turks for their war effort against Russia. In fact, he was sending money, but not to the amounts attributed to him, and certainly not for that purpose, but rather for charity to Eretz Israel. 

The merit of this Tzedaka stood him in good stead in that he was ultimately redeemed. The writings and service of G-d of the Alter Rebbe [the father] were points of Chassidic wisdom whilst Chassidic writings and the service of the Mitteler Rebbe were an expansion of those points of his father’s wisdom. This being the case, it appears that his life was no more than a continuation of his father’s – as in our example of the charity they both gave to the Holy Land. However, there actually was an innovation in the Mitteler Rebbe’s life previously non-existent in the life of the Alter Rebbe – his father. 

We are referring to the actual acquisition made by the Mitteler Rebbe of an estate in Hebron! Such a purchase was made neither by the Baal Shem Tov, nor by the Maggid [of Mezritch], and also not by the Alter Rebbe, but was an absolute innovation of the Mitteler Rebbe; as he wrote in his letter that he has purchased an estate in Hebron. [This was consequent to his delving into the mystical Torah insights pertaining to Hebron, whereupon he actually purchased a piece of real estate there]. 

                                                           Public gathering Parshas Vayeitze 1969