B"H. Beis Moshiach Magazine is powered by:




Why Should We Lose Out?!
By Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Ginsberg

The following story took place when Reb Mendel Futerfas, a’h, was fundraising for the Tomchei Tmimim yeshivos of the Soviet Union. The expenses at that time were great and continually increasing. To make matters worse, the government’s persecution of religious activity worsened daily, with all religious functionaries primary targets. Even so, the Tmimim learning underground in the various branches of the yeshiva had to be financially supported. They were constantly on guard lest the secret police discover their location, and they were periodically forced to flee.

In addition to the never ending mesirus nefesh required of the roshei yeshiva, mashpiim, and talmidim, there was a dire need for a substantial sum of money. They needed to buy food, even if it was only bread. They needed to pay those endangering their own lives by sheltering the boys in their homes (or the shul or basement). In many instances, money was needed for bribes in order to thwart the work of the Yevsektzia, which did all it could to fight the “Schneersohns.”

R’ Yona Cohen (may Hashem avenge his blood) was in charge of running Tomchei Tmimim in Russia. He appointed R’ Mendel as the yeshiva’s fundraiser. In addition to raising money from other people, which R’ Mendel did with mesirus nefesh and great success (relative to the conditions prevailing at the time), he also dealt in the black market, donating most of his profits to the yeshiva. He let Anash know that he gave more than he could afford so he could exhort them to do the same.

R’ Mendel lived near his friend R’ Abba Pliskin, a’h. The friendship lasted their entire lives and did not wane even when R’ Abba moved to Melbourne or when he took ill.

The two would meet a few times each day to learn as well as to formulate plans for their public responsibilities. R’ Abba was especially talented in reaching out to Jews who were unaffiliated. He inspired them with the truth of Torah and motivated them to send their children to learn Torah.

Once, very early in the morning, R’ Abba knocked at R’ Mendel’s door. R’ Mendel and his entire household were asleep. R’ Mendel arose quickly, recognizing the knock as R’ Abba’s, and realized that something serious was afoot. He rushed to the door and ushered R’ Abba in.

R’ Abba began: “In our city, there are twins learning in the yeshiva who are orphaned from their father. There is no one to support their family, and their mother wants them to leave yeshiva and go to work. We have to stop this from happening!

“We know the spiritual danger these boys would be in if they stop learning and go to the streets to look for work. They would be pulled away from Yiddishkeit, ch’v! I am asking – begging you – give this family a monthly stipend. If you give them what they would get if the boys went to work, they could continue learning at the yeshiva and remain strong spiritually.”

Despite his already tremendous financial burden, R’ Mendel immediately obligated himself to support the family. He had only one question:

“I don’t understand. Why did you come in the middle of the night? This is serious, but we could have discussed it yesterday when we met. Nothing would have happened if you would have waited until the next time we met, in a few hours.”

“You’re right,” replied R’ Abba. “I could have mentioned it yesterday or later today, but then it would be just another item on your list. I didn’t know if you would have given it the attention it deserves, whether you would have agreed to take on the additional burden. You could have justifiably told me that the needs of the many come before the needs of individuals.

“That’s why I came now. I wanted to let you know how urgent this is. I thought that this way you would take care of it properly. And indeed, I was right, as you did agree to take it on. Now the two Tmimim will be able to continue learning. I am sure that in the end, the klal will benefit from it.”

R’ Abba was not mistaken. R’ Mendel said that after a few years, he could see how his support of the family benefited the klal, too. Those boys grew up and became strong supporters of Yiddishkeit in Soviet Russia. One of them left Russia and worked secretly from the outside for the Jews who remained there. He did this according to the Rebbe’s instructions. The brother remaining in Russia fought on the front lines in the battle to guard the spark of Judaism, and was one of the leaders of the Jewish and Chassidic underground until the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party.

* * *

When “the people who were impure because of contact with the dead” came to Moshe Rabbeinu, they demanded, “Why should we lose out, not being able to offer the sacrifice to Hashem in its appointed time?” The Rebbe explains that they didn’t ask casually or indifferently. Not at all! They cried out from the depths of their hearts, showing to what extent their situation bothered them: “How is it possible?! Why should we lose out? We cannot consent to being excluded. We cannot accept being prevented from offering sacrifices with everybody else!”

It was a cry signaling that they did not feel that this issue was equal to other situations and should not be treated as such by others. It was an unceasing demand. They simply could not make peace with the situation, and this brought about a commandment from Hashem, the mitzva of Pesach Sheini. It teaches us the great principle that nothing ever is lost. We can always correct it. Even if one was impure, or far away, even when the circumstances were “lachem,” done willingly and purposely, the situation can still be corrected.

The Rebbe adds that, in truth, the circumstances prohibiting the men from sacrificing the korban Pesach were orchestrated by Hashem only in order to cause them to cry out and demand to be included. Hashem wanted this mitzva to come about through man, not as a command initiated from Above.

At that time, the complaint “Why should we lose out?”  applied to only a few people and to only one sacrifice for that year only. But the Rebbe explains that this demand applies even more now, after nearly two thousand years have passed since we were able to bring this korban. Not only have individual Jews been prevented from bringing it, but the entire Jewish people were exiled and have been unable to bring any sacrifices in the Beis HaMikdash!

After everything we have been through over the years, especially in this last generation, especially when we have been informed that everything has been completed – all is ready, there are no obstacles — and we just have to open our eyes to see the truth, yet we still don’t see it, how much more so must we cry, “Why should we lose out?!”

This question has no answer, so it cannot give us any peace. This truly incredulous situation is simply illogical and unacceptable. The only acceptable answer is the revelation of the Rebbe MH”M with the true and complete Redemption, which will enable us to bring the korbanos in the third Beis HaMikdash.

This abnormal situation exists only to arouse us to ask, “Why should we lose out?” It has to come from us, not from Above as a commandment. It has to be a heartfelt “ad masai?! and “Yechi HaMelech HaMoshiach!” Our present situation cannot be equal in our eyes to any other matter.

In these days before Lag B’Omer, when many of us are working on organizing parades under the slogan, “Together, all Jewish children!” we must do all we can to convey the message of “Why should we lose out?” “Ad masai!” and “Yechi.”

This cry from the depth of our being – “Why should we lose out?” – gives us the internal impetus to increase our work of publicizing the besuras ha’Geula, especially on Lag B’Omer. At a time like this, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and all the tzaddikim and nesiim led by the Rebbe MH”M shlita join us! Certainly this is a most auspicious time to publicize the besuras ha’Geula with the cry of “Why should we lose out?” “Ad masai!” “Moshiach Now!” and “Yechi HaMelech HaMoshiach!”


“I could have mentioned it yesterday or later today, but then it would be just another item on our list. I didn’t know if you would have given it the attention it deserves.”






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

©Copyright. No content may be reprinted without permission.