What’s Really Going On
By Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Ginsberg


Rosh HaShana is not only the Day of Judgment, but most importantly, the day on which we crown the King of the universe and accept His sovereignty. On Rosh HaShana, we rise above the particulars of Torah and mitzvos and go directly to the King Himself.


The common theme in all our Yomim Noraim prayers is the Creation’s acceptance of Hashem’s malchus, which, according to the Divine plan, is accomplished by acceptance of Melech HaMoshiach’s sovereignty. As mentioned before, this is why it is so important to declare “Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’olam Va’ed” before the shofar is sounded and at the conclusion of Yom Kippur after “Hashem Hu HaElokim.” This custom was instituted in the Rebbe’s presence in Beis Chayeinu in 5754.


As Chassidus explains, the way to achieve hiskashrus with HaKadosh Boruch Hu is by being connected to the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach, the “connecting intermediary,” through whom we attach ourselves to the Infinite, as it states, “I stand between you and G-d, to convey to you G-d’s word.” This includes not only obeying all the Rebbe’s directives, seeking his advice and believing in his prophecies, but striving toward an essential hiskarshus with the Rebbe himself.


This brings me to the following story, which demonstrates how our whole aim in life should be to connect more and more Jews to the Rebbe. Not only should we be encouraging people to learn the Rebbe’s Torah and to fulfill his horaos, but they must also be made aware of the Rebbe’s essential being, which completely transcends all details. When the objective is to connect with the essence, all the details fall into place by themselves.


Reb Zushe Wilamovsky der Partizan was a Chassid whose entire life was devoted to connecting Jews to the Rebbe. Back in 5738, when I was a yeshiva bachur in Migdal HaEmek in Eretz Yisroel, the concept of shlichus was not as fully developed as it is today. We engaged in Mivtza T’fillin and went on Tahalucha to all the shuls in the neighborhood, but that was the scope of our activities. We saw ourselves primarily as shluchim of the Rebbe whose main function was to learn in yeshiva. It never occurred to us to establish shiurim or hold children’s gatherings on Shabbos - things that every shliach nowadays takes for granted.


There are valid explanations for our behavior. The Rebbe didn’t issue the directive to stage Lag B’Omer parades around the world until 5740, and Tzivos Hashem wasn’t established until 5741. Also, there weren’t many Chabad Houses in Eretz Yisroel at the time. Only the bigger cities like Bat Yam, Kiryat Gat, and Afula merited this distinction.


Two weeks before Yud-Tes Kislev 5738, Reb Zushe Wilamovsky suddenly showed up in the yeshiva in Migdal HaEmek. It was said that Reb Zushe would stand at the intersection in Kfar Chabad and stick out his thumb; whenever anyone stopped and asked where he was going, he would reply, “Wherever you’re going!” Whatever the driver’s destination - Tzfas, Be’ersheva, Afula, or Eilat, that’s where Reb Zushe went. He enjoyed popping in on unsuspecting shluchim, dispensing encouragement and chizuk wherever it was needed. No one ever knew if these visits were planned, as they always seemed to occur by accident.


Reb Zushe was often observed jotting notes on pieces of paper, which led people to conclude that he was the Rebbe’s spy. Whenever someone asked him what he was doing, he would invariably answer, “It’s a military secret!”


This time, however, Reb Zushe had a special message to convey. “Chevra,” he said, addressing the bachurim, “you’ve got to make a big farbrengen in Migdal HaEmek for Yud-Tes Kislev.”


There was nothing we could say or do to dissuade him. “The Rebbe wants it done, so you just have to do it.” Of course, there was no possible response to this, so we had no choice but to get to work.


Renting a hall, putting up posters and preparing a fancy seuda were out of the question; with the stipend we were receiving, even a bottle of mashkeh and some sponge cake were beyond our means. The problem was solved when Rabbi Grossman borrowed some food from the yeshiva’s kitchen.


We made a deal with the gabbaim of the Beit Knesset Rambam, and they agreed to let us hold the farbrengen there. The following Shabbos we visited almost all the shuls in Migdal HaEmek, explained the significance of the Festival of Redemption, and invited everyone to attend. Innocent and lacking in experience, we expected a relatively large crowd to take us up on the invitation.


Finally, the long-awaited evening arrived. We were all very excited as we davened Maariv and set off for the great event.


We knew that something was wrong as soon as we walked in, when we were informed that they needed us to complete a minyan. The huge crowd we anticipated consisted of eight old men who were perfectly willing to listen to us for five minutes, but no longer.


We were terribly disappointed. We couldn’t believe that after so much work, the only people we had succeeded in attracting were eight impatient oldsters waiting to daven before going home to sleep.


Nonetheless, it was still Yud-Tes Kislev, and farbrenging was the order of the day. We put on a brave face, poured some mashkeh into little cups and told stories about the Alter Rebbe’s arrest and liberation. We sang niggunim and even danced with the old men, who reluctantly agreed to stay another hour. By the time we went back to the yeshiva, we were devastated. The whole incident was regarded as a debacle.


Two years passed and we completely forgot about the event. Finally, it was our turn to spend a year with the Rebbe in 770 as part of the k’vutza.


One day we were sitting and learning, when the door to 770 opened and in walked one of the old men who had attended our miniscule Yud-Tes Kislev farbrengen in Migdal HaEmek. We greeted him like a long-lost friend, catching up on old news and patting each other on the back. “By the way,” someone asked him, “what exactly are you doing here?”


“Well, I’ll tell you,” the old man replied. “Do you remember that farbrengen two years ago in the Rambam Shul in Migdal HaEmek?”


“Sure,” we said, somewhat sheepishly. In truth, how could we have forgotten? The bitter taste of the experience was still in our mouths…


“You should know that it’s in the merit of that farbrengen that I am here,” he went on. “I figured that if I had so much fun at a little farbrengen and found it so interesting, I just had to come and see the Rebbe for myself…”


My friends and I were dumbfounded. Again the Rebbe had found his own way to get through to someone.


The point is: you think you know when a peula is successful and when it isn’t, but you have no idea what’s really going on. You may think your efforts have failed, but it’s only an illusion. The Rebbe knows exactly how to operate and when the time is ripe; all you have to do is keep doing what you’re doing, and continue to be the channel for bringing the Rebbe to all corners of the world.


As explained in Chassidus, all the inyanim that were concealed on Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur become revealed on the Day of our Rejoicing, Sukkos and Simchas Torah. Accordingly, there is no more appropriate time to rise above our individual concerns and strive to “touch” the King Himself.


From Tishrei, the letters of which spell “reishis,” we derive the strength to connect ourselves to the “rosh,” the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach. At this time, we must renew our dedication to bringing every Jew to the Rebbe and bringing the Rebbe to every single Jew. Moreover, as the Rebbe has emphasized, we also have a responsibility to all members of our generation, non-Jews included, to foster awareness and observance of the Seven Noachide Laws and bring gentiles to accept the Rebbe’s sovereignty.


How are we to do this? By any and all means: studying the Rebbe’s sichos, through the Rebbe’s Igros Kodesh, videos, etc. There are many methods and gimmicks that are kosher that we can use to achieve our ultimate objective: “to perfect the world under the sovereignty of the Alm-ghty.”


The Rebbe has also commanded us to publicize the modern-day miracles that are happening all around us, as a means of hastening Moshiach’s revelation. When a person experiences a miracle through the Rebbe shlita, there is no need to prove to him that the Rebbe is chai v’kayam, already having an effect on the world and standing ready to redeem us at any minute in the true and complete Redemption. May it happen immediately.


“Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’olam Va’ed!”


Renting a hall, putting up posters and preparing a fancy seuda were out of the question; with the stipend we were receiving, even a bottle of mashkeh and some sponge cake were beyond our means...




You think you know when a peula is successful and when it isn’t, but you have no idea what’s really going on. You may think your efforts have failed, but it’s only an illusion.





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