Beis Moshiach Magazine is powered by:



A Radically New Approach
By Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Ginsberg

Reb Mendel Futerfas, a’h, would often relate:

The well-known mashpia, R’ Shmuel Betzalel Sheftel (the Rashbatz), who taught the Rebbe Rashab and the Rebbe Rayatz, would tell the following story at farbrengens:

There was once a simple Jew who tried to observe Jewish law to the best of his ability. He was a wagon driver who rose early each morning, fed and watered his horses, greased the wheels of his wagon, and then carried his passengers and packages to distant parts until nightfall.

This was exceedingly difficult labor, for the roads in those days were unpaved. A coachman had to exert himself arduously to avoid veering off the road. He had to prevent his horses and wagon from getting mired in mud, and make sure he got his passengers and their bundles to their destination. He always made sure to eat a hearty breakfast before starting his workday to give him strength for the strenuous work ahead of him.

This simple Jew’s son was not any more learned than his father. In fact, he probably knew less. When his son was old enough, his father took him into the business. The two rose very early in the morning, fed and watered the horses, greased the wheels of the wagon, davened quickly to the best of their ability, ate breakfast, and went off to work.

One day, father and son got up early as usual, but this time the father said, “Today is the fast of the 17th of Tammuz, so we cannot eat as we usually do. We must fast until nightfall when the stars come out.”

The son was not thrilled by this information, especially since neither he nor his father knew the reason for this fast. However, he had no choice but to listen to his father.

The pair went off to work as their stomachs growled for food. Work was much harder than usual, and guiding the horses and wagon demanded more effort than ever. They veered off the road a number of times, the wagon overturned, and the bundles fell off. It was only with great difficulty that they managed to get back on the road.

The son grumbled throughout the day, complaining about his father who forced him to fast and to work so hard on an empty stomach. It was during the summer and the days were long, especially in the area in which they lived, when night fell as late as 11:00 p.m. The unfortunate lad had to fast until late at night without knowing why.

The next day, the father got up early as usual, but the son just rolled over in bed. All efforts to rouse him were to no avail, as he simply refused to budge. “I’m not interested in working so hard while fasting for so many hours!” he moaned.

When the father realized what was bothering his son, who thought he would have to fast again that day, he pushed his son and shouted, “Get up! Don’t worry about what happened yesterday. Haint iz nisht nechten (today is not yesterday)!”

* * *

When the Rashbatz would tell this story to his students, he would repeat the last line over and over, “Hert zich ain, kinderlach (listen up, children), shaint iz nisht nechten, haint iz nisht nechten!”

* * *

In the sicha of Parshas VaEira 5750 (Seifer HaSichos, Vol. 1, p. 255) the Rebbe MH”M shlita says:

On the tenth day of the “eleventh month” this year, we will have completed forty years of the Rebbe my father-in-law’s leadership as the ninth nasi (from the Baal Shem Tov). At that time, the avoda of the ninth generation will be completed...

The Moshe Rabbeinu of our generation announces... “You have camped at this mountain long enough…” All our deeds and work have already been completed, and with astounding growth, and in a manner that is apparent to all... Therefore, the Moshe Rabbeinu of our generation, the Rebbe, my father-in-law, continues in his proclamation: “Turn and travel...come and inherit the land which Hashem promised to your fathers...” [Approach] the entry into the land with the true and complete Redemption...with the coming of the special and most auspicious time for Geula, in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, etc. [This is] the very last preparation and the very last endpoint for entry into the land, with the true and complete Redemption. Each Jew must do what is dependent on him to use this auspicious time to bring the true and complete Redemption. [One should do so] by strengthening faith in the coming of Moshiach, the expectation and request and demand for his coming. Most importantly, [one should] increase in Torah and mitzvos, especially in spreading the wellsprings outward – men, women, and children, each according to his ability.”

Then on Yud Shvat 5750 (ibid., p. 269):

Every Jew of this generation will then reach the level of “After forty years, a man attains the daas (understanding) of his Rebbe,” the Rebbe, my father-in-law, the nasi ha’dor (for the nasi is everything). That is, one’s entire being and intellect are standing upon “the daas of his Rebbe…” Especially since this generation is the last generation of Galus (as mentioned above), after the refinement of all the individual [sparks] has already been completed (through “our deeds and work” throughout all the previous thousands of years), certainly, this is already the prime time for Geula (That is, unlike earlier generations, when even if the Geula had come then, there were still individual sparks that were not yet refined (on an individual basis). And that is why tzaddikim of earlier generations did not force the keitz (despite their ability to do so), even though they knew the great pain of Galus and the exile of the Divine presence, etc. — they did not force the keitz so that no sparks “would be lost.”)

The above discussion answers a question many have: In what way should this special avoda, of forty years since the hilula of my father-in-law, nasi doreinu, be expressed? The avoda must be expressed in the context of a new reality – a new reality based on a new foundation: attaining the daas of his Rebbe.

Simply put, all of the things which the baal ha’hilula demanded, including learning Torah diligently, fulfilling mitzvos in a beautiful manner, and especially disseminating Torah and Yiddishkeit and the wellsprings outward, one must begin to do on a whole new scale, in a whole new state, a nai’er shtel (a new stance). [They should not be done] according to the aspirations that existed previously (based on the understanding of the student), but according to the aspirations and scope of “the daas of his Rebbe,” nasi doreinu. [This is] whether in Torah study (especially learning the Torah of the baal ha’hilula), which must be (not only with additional understanding, but primarily) with a whole new approach and foundation. [It must be] based on the method of learning and the inner intention of the Rebbe. Conduct in accordance with the directives of the baal ha’hilula must be done in this manner.

“It is not enough to add another detail, or even another principle, even a great principle in this avoda, but there must be, “a man attains...,” one’s entire being must change and be predicated upon “the daas of his Rebbe.” Even small details must be affected. With a little contemplation, every person can find aspects he can make into a new being, which “attain the daas of his Rebbe.”

In other words, each person must become a new “mosad” (institution) — in his Torah, avoda, and gmilus chasadim — which stands on a new foundation, “the daas of his Rebbe.”

As the Rashbatz would say, “Listen children, today is not yesterday.” The Rebbe says it is not enough to add another detail, or even another general principle, even a great principle, in this avoda; rather, one’s entire metziyus must change and be predicated upon “the daas of his Rebbe.”

We are talking about an essential change, as the Rebbe MH”M says, “Not according to previous aspirations (based on the understanding of the student), but according to ‘the daas of his Rebbe,’ of nasi doreinu.” From now on, the Rebbe says, our whole stance and posture must be entirely different. We cannot be satisfied with our present spiritual level and merely add to it. “You have been sitting at this mountain long enough.” Enough of the avoda we had up until now. “Turn and travel onwards.” Make a sharp turn, and begin an entirely new avoda. “Come and inherit the land. Every Jew must do all that is incumbent upon him to use this auspicious time to bring the true and complete Redemption, literally.”


The Rebbe showed us clearly how he expressed this new approach. Every move the Rebbe made at that time had to do with Moshiach and Geula. As time passed, this became more overt. At first, the change only affected a few details, but as time passed, we progressed into a radically new era.

We also saw this when the Rebbe took over the Chabad leadership. The special avoda of the seventh generation did not start then all at once. We were eased into it, perhaps in order to get us accustomed to it. In fact, many people of the earlier generation had a very difficult time with the new avoda and did not readily accept it.

The statement about the start of a new era, “Nothing remains except one thing: for all of you to stand ready for the building of the third Beis HaMikdash,” was said in connection with Hei Teives 5747, didan natzach. The Rebbe said that there is no need to worry about this being construed as “wild talk,” for the truth must be told and one need not be affected by the world’s reaction. The Rebbe added that, regardless, the world is ready to hear this. Even when people say, “They embalmed and eulogized him,” the truth must be told according to Toras Emes (the Torah of Truth)!

Then the Rebbe’s approach became even more progressive. For example, a few weeks later, the Rebbe said for the first time, “They have already finished polishing the last buttons.” After the passing of the Rebbetzin on the 22nd of Shvat 5748, the Rebbe referred to a new era and compared it to the changes that occurred on Yud-Alef Shvat 5711, when the Rebbe officially accepted the Chabad leadership. After the Rebbetzin’s passing, the Rebbe changed certain of his established customs. There were no more weekday farbrengens. There were no more maamarim. At the Rebbe’s farbrengens, the Alter Rebbe’s niggun was not sung anymore. The explanations on Rashi and Rambam stopped. What did we hear instead? The Rebbe continually spoke about the fact that this is the “highest time,” the absolutely final endpoint for the Redemption!

Then came Yud Shvat of the fortieth year (5750), when the Rebbe spoke about a radically new approach. The Rebbe’s style changed completely. Not only did the Rebbe speak about the Geula continually and openly, but the entire farbrengen and all the sichos were focused on that one topic. In the past, the Rebbe’s farbrengen on Shabbos began with the special niggun of the year from the Rebbe’s chapter of Tehillim. This changed to beginning with the niggun of “zol shoin zein di Geula,” then “s’kumt shoin di Geula,” then, “Yechi Adoneinu.” The Rebbe would begin by speaking about the special time we found ourselves in, the threshold of Geula. Then he would mention something briefly about the weekly sidra and immediately connect it with Geula. The Rebbe would continue at length, emphasizing that we are about to find ourselves immediately in the third Beis HaMikdash before the Even HaShesiya. There would be a few words about how the date of that particular farbrengen was connected to Geula. And the Rebbe MH”M would make statements such as, “The main thing is that we are about to find ourselves already in Yerushalayim in the Holy of Holies,” and so on, throughout the farbrengen.

When people tried to repeat the sichos or write them down, they ran into great difficulties. How could they explain what the Rebbe said so briefly, in a manner similar to stream of consciousness? How could they get across the concepts so that they would be comprehensible to those who studied them, and how could they trim away some of the apparent redundancies about Moshiach and Geula?

Despite the amazing concepts in the Dvar Malchus, which were edited by the Rebbe, (and are vital and must be learned repeatedly), they still don’t convey the spirit of what the Rebbe said at the farbrengens. As the Rebbe once said to a Polish Chassid, “They say I am crazy about Moshiach — but I mean it.”

* * *

Since we find ourselves in this time, especially after Yud Shvat of the 50th year, we are obviously beginning an entirely new era. We are asked not only for an additional detail of avoda, or even a great additional principle, but for a radically new perspective. Of course, this new perspective must be reflected in all the details as well, but the main point is: “One’s entire being and all one’s concerns, in every possible way, must be dedicated to the nasi ha’dor by being consumed and permeated with fulfilling the mission of the nasi ha’dor, the final redeemer, whose main function is to actually ‘bring about  the days of Moshiach.’”

Simply put, this means to “live with Moshiach” by learning and living with the Dvar Malchus, by publicizing the besuras ha’Geula, and by unceasingly demanding the revelation of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach.


Tzaddikim of earlier generations did not force the keitz — even though they knew the great pain of Galus and the exile of the Divine presence, etc. — so that no sparks “would be lost.”





The Rebbe says it is not enough to add another detail in this avoda; rather, one’s entire metziyus must change and be predicated upon “the daas of his Rebbe.”





Since we are beginning an entirely new era, we are asked not only for an additional detail of avoda, or even a great additional principle, but for a radically new perspective.



Home | Contents | Archives | Contact Us | Subscriptions | Submissions | Classified | Advertise

©Copyright. No content may be reprinted without permission.