The First Meshichist

Once, on a Yom Tov, when R’ Avrohom Pariz was in his hometown of Bobruisk and walking down the street, he was asked to complete a minyan for Mincha. When R’ Avrohom entered the beis midrash, he saw his friend, R’ Aryeh Leib Sheinen, sitting in tallis and t’fillin, and davening at length. R’ Avrohom saw that if they counted R’ Aryeh Leib, they had a minyan without him.

When R’ Avrohom asked why they didn’t count his friend in the minyan, they said that the bachur had been sitting there since the morning and didn’t see or hear what was going on around him, so they deemed him insane and didn’t include him in the minyan!

That’s when R’ Avrohom understood the difference between Aryeh Leib and himself - according to the baalei battim, he was still sane! R’ Avrohom would later say that this incident made him start focusing on his avoda more zealously.


This is R’ Avrohom Pariz as he is depicted in the new book, Echad Haya Avrohom, edited by his grandson, Rabbi Eliyahu Wolf. R’ Avrohom’s beautifully depicted biography offers an image of a chassid and soldier, loyal and devoted. He considered the world as naught. When do you do a cheshbon ha’nefesh? When baalei battim consider you normal! That was R’ Avrohom.

The reader is swept into a different world, the inner world of a chassid whose entire being and everything he did was focused on aggrandizing the name of the Rebbe and publicizing the greatness of the Rebbe to the world. His only desire was that every Jew should appreciate who is "hod kvod k’dushas ha’Rebbe shlita Melech HaMoshiach."

There are times when you read a book describing the life and attitudes of chassidim of yesteryear and you wonder: How would a chassid of the stature of R’ Itche der Masmid, for example, manage in our times? How would R’ Zalman Zezmer feel if he were born in the seventh generation and walked into the 770 of our day?

There’s no doubt that if R’ Avrohom were with us today, he would lead the way with the flag of pure faith.

The R’ Avrohom depicted in this book would have adapted to the 770 of our time with ease. There’s no doubt that if R’ Avrohom were with us today, he would lead the way with the flag of pure faith.

R’ Avrohom’s cry of "Rebbe" rises up from the pages of the book and pierces the heart. It cries out for hiskashrus, for putting oneself aside, for a tangible love towards our father, our shepherd. It demands of the Tamim of our day: How is it possible that there is a Jew in the world who still doesn’t know who is Moshiach? How is it possible that there is still a Jew in the world who did not write a letter to the Rebbe? How is it possible that you are still considered normal by baalei battim? Wake up!


The first part of the book is devoted to R’ Avrohom’s biography, stories woven together to form the amazing life of a great chassid. What follows are a few incidents which illustrate R’ Avrohom’s pure faith and the energy with which he publicized the Rebbe as Melech HaMoshiach.


R’ Levi Pariz relates: "Once in Nissan, my grandfather, R’ Avrohom, came to my parents’ home in Kfar Chabad and asked my mother if she had a bottle of mashkeh in the house. My mother, who was afraid that her father-in-law was going to hold a sudden farbrengen in her kosher-for-Pesach house, hesitated.

"My grandfather realized why she hesitated and calmed her by saying that he was making the farbrengen in the shul. R’ Avrohom took the bottle of mashkeh and headed for the shul.

"After Maariv, R’ Avrohom put the bottle on the table and announced the farbrengen. When the chassidim asked what the occasion was, R’ Avrohom called out: ‘Haint iz der tog vus der Melech HaMoshiach iz giboren gevoren (This is the day Moshiach was born).’

"And that’s how Kfar Chabad celebrated Yud-Alef Nissan for the first time."

(This story was first printed in Beis Moshiach, issue 305, p. 67.)


Rabbi Yosef Hartman relates: "My grandfather, R’ Avrohom, demanded three things at farbrengens:

"1) Learn chassidus, especially Likkutei Torah, Torah Ohr, and the Rebbe’s maamarim and sichos.

"2) Follow all of the Rebbe’s directives without holding back; behave with utter devotion while nullifying all personal desires.

"3) Spreading the wellsprings of chassidus among all types of people so that Moshiach will soon be revealed and redeem us. Who is Moshiach? Obviously the Lubavitcher Rebbe."


R’ Avrohom would always repeat:

"Publicize the Rebbe’s awesome greatness. Tell everybody about his tremendous bekius in all parts of Torah, tell about his worldwide leadership, tell about his ahavas Yisroel. When men, women, children, and seniors, hear about the Rebbe, they will become connected to him, they will write him letters, they will consult with him, etc. They will become mekushar to him, and then the Rebbe will be revealed as the Moshiach of our generation."

Every telegram he wrote began with "L’chvod ha’Rebbe M’Lubavitch Melech HaMoshiach."


R’ Avrohom would say:

"You ought to consolidate all the schools of the Reshet into one school, all the classes into one class, all the lessons into one lesson. One teacher is enough to instill in the children that the Rebbe of Lubavitch is Melech HaMoshiach."


The gabbai and chassid, R’ Yochonon Gordon, was the one who arranged the malkus for the Rebbe on Erev Yom Kippur before Mincha. One year after malkus, R’ Yochonon said to the Rebbe, "Der Oibershter zol helfin, zol shoin zain vi R’ Avrohom zogt (Hashem should help that it should already be like R’ Avrohom says)."

The Rebbe then asked what R’ Avrohom Pariz says. R’ Yochonon answered, "At the Rosh HaShana meal in the Rebbe Rayatz’s apartment, R’ Shmuel Levitin gave R’ Avrohom the honor of being m’zamein and bentching, but R’ Avrohom refused. Afterwards, R’ Avrohom explained his refusal [to R’ Yochonon]: He would have said, ‘B’reshus Admur Melech HaMoshiach.’"

The Rebbe smiled at R’ Yochonon and said, "Amen, kein yehi ratzon."


On more than one occasion, R’ Avrohom said to me and to others, "Baruch Hashem, ich hob derlebt Moshiach’n" (Thank G-d, I’ve lived to see Moshiach).


An important part of the book is the section of letters R’ Avrohom wrote to fellow chassidim and relatives, as well as to the Rebbe. You cannot get a full picture of R’ Avrohom without reading the letters he wrote to fellow chassidim - and especially his emotional letters to the Rebbe. R Avrohom insisted that his friends and family strengthen their hiskashrus to the Rebbe, write to the Rebbe, love the Rebbe like a father, and forget their own issues "until his name is publicized throughout the entire world."


R’ Avrohom wrote in a letter that there were generations of Tanaim and Amoraim, tzaddikim who wanted the revelation of the Ohr Ein Sof baruch Hu, but Hashem remained hidden. But now, he wrote, the time has come for Atzmus Ein Sof baruch Hu to be revealed, and through whom?

"You! You know who and what you are, and the Rebbe knows even better who and what you are. Why are you sleeping?

"This means that the time has come for the revelation of Melech HaMoshiach. What is Moshiach? As the Rebbe shlita said, Moshiach is a neshama in a guf, a body that can be touched with physical hands, and can be seen and heard. The time has already come for righteousness and justice, the time has come "l’saken olam b’malchus Shakai" - and he will do it; the entire world will recognize him and accept what he says.

"A chassid is someone who must reveal that there is a Rebbe in the world, and must reveal what a Rebbe is.

"The chassid R’ Shmuel Munkes hung himself over the Rebbe’s courtyard gate. When they asked him the reason for this behavior, he gave a unique answer. He explained that over a tailor’s door hangs a sign advertising that a tailor is there, and over the shoemaker’s door hangs a sign that lets you know a shoemaker is there. On the Rebbe’s door there needs to be a chassid so that they will know that a Rebbe lives here.

"R’ Shmuel Munkes was a chassid who, from his first yechidus, worked on himself so that anything he wanted, he denied himself. When he hung himself over the gate, it wasn’t just to do it; it was a lesson. The job of a chassid is to reveal that there is a Rebbe!

"Just as there is a mitzva to reveal that there is a Creator of the world, there is a mitzva to reveal there is a Rebbe. Avrohom Avinu revealed and explained to all the Arabs that there is a Creator of the world. A chassid must reveal and explain that there was a Moshe Rabbeinu and the idea of ‘I will stand between you and Hashem.’"


"…Right before [the] wedding I met a tourist from Brooklyn. I asked him, ‘Do you know about the Lubavitcher Rebbe?’ He said he did. I asked him if he had seen him. He said, ‘Yes, a nice Rebbe.’

"I said to him, ‘He’s not just a nice Rebbe. He’s the Rebbe of the world.’

"Said the tourist, ‘Even half the world is pretty good.’

"I said, ‘No! He’s really the Moshe Rabbeinu of the generation.’

"He said, ‘Don’t be foolish ... He eats and drinks. He’s a good Jew.’

"I was really bothered that yet another person did not know who the Rebbe is.

"... When I see that they still don’t know who the Rebbe shlita is, it means, ch’v, it could continue this way for quite some time ... You certainly understand how what could happen from this pains me.

"You know, Mendel, who is to blame? Our avreichim! The handful of mekusharim… and you and I are included ... that we hide the Rebbe for ourselves, are afraid of speaking about him, to the point that we hide him even from ourselves in that we don’t think of him ..."


"... so too regarding us: When we all live in unity like one family, then that will be a great honor to our Nasi, the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach shlita.

"But, ch’v, when we are torn and estranged among ourselves, then we cast down and trample the honor of ha’kadosh shlita.

"In the Rebbe’s holy letter to me he writes: ‘You should know that the one responsible for all inyanei Chabad is hu shlita, and all intermediaries, whether the ziknei ha’chassidim, the young chassidim, or the lamdanim, are all as nothing. The responsibility is solely on him, shlita, himself.’"


"... kinder, ‘Banim atem l’Hashem Elokeichem.’ Father in Heaven, we are Your children, and we want You and Your servant, the Rebbe shlita. We don’t need others and we don’t want others. Reveal before all so that all will recognize that he - the Rebbe shlita - is the Moshiach that we all, and all the Jewish people, are waiting for, b’chesed u’v’rachamim, speedily mamash amen, kein yehi ratzon."


R’ Avrohom printed and distributed leaflets proclaiming that the Rebbe is Moshiach. When the secretariat found out about it, he received a telegram from them ordering him to stop distributing his proclamation and send them the remaining ones. Regarding this he wrote in a letter:

"Listen Yisroel’ik. The Rebbe shlita must be publicized from one end of the world to the other. We have the ability, and the responsibility for this rests solely on us.

"We have the kochos for it. We must be totally involved with all sorts of stratagems. Nobody should say, ‘What can I do?’ And no one should say: ‘I’ll wait for the Rebbe shlita to command me.’

"Two thirteen-year-old children killed an entire city, Sh’chem, and this came from the emuna u’bitachon on the ‘zakein’ (Yaakov) that nothing bad would result, because the zakein would protect them. It should be the same with us: bitachon v’emuna tehora in the Rebbe shlita that he will protect us, both above and below, from all evil.

"We must do and do, but not out of personal considerations such as the Rebbe shlita giving us a pat on the cheek, or because someone else says we’re doing something good. Or the other way around - that we’ll be made fun of or we’ll have bizyonos for doing it, etc. Both consequences have to mean the same to us.

"The main thing is action, and if afterwards they’ll tell us to stop, we must obey instantly. We have to carry out the not-doing with the same oneg as the actual doing.

"Listen Yisroel’ik. If you say it’s too high a level for you, [you should know that] it’s not. This thought comes from the tricks of the yetzer!

"What I say now is just for you and our avreichim: You were given [in the past] and are given now, today, mamash unlimited kochos. Take advantage of it. Rise a bit above the ‘I’ Leave the ‘I’ aside a bit, and then you will see [that you have] elevated kochos.

"Be well. Begin with action and seek something to do and then you will find the way. Just don’t sleep, [and act] seriously."


R’ Avrohom’s letters to the Rebbe are full of love, yearning, and a strong desire to see the king in his glory. In his letters, R’ Avrohom beseeches "l’orer rachamim rabim al kvod k’dushas Admur shlita Melech HaMoshiach." Here are some excerpts:

*To arouse great mercy from the true source of mercy and kindness so that Hashem will have mercy and grant us unwarranted kindness so that we - every one of Anash and all Israel - recognize and see that Kvod K’dushas Admur Menachem Mendel ben Chana shlita is Melech HaMoshiach. We will devote ourselves and cling to him with all our heart and soul and might until we become literally one with him, shlita. The entire world will fall before him and he will gather our outcasts from the four corners of the world and lead us upright to our Holy Land, may it be built and established b’karov, karov mamash, with kindness and mercy. Amen, kein yehi ratzon.

*Please arouse great mercy from the true source of mercy and kindness that Hashem, may He be blessed, grant us unwarranted kindness, to us and all Israel, that He have mercy on his anointed one, Kvod K’dushas Admur Menachem Mendel ben Chana shlita, that he be in good health, and his name made great from one end of the world to the other. May Hashem send him great treasures of gashmius so that he can realize all his desires and succeed with great success wherever he turns. May Hashem fulfill the requests of his heart in all details, b’gashmius u’b’ruchnius together.

Each and every one of Anash, yichyu, and of all Israel should recognize and see that he is Melech HaMoshiach. It should be easy for him to subdue us so that we are humbled before him. We should be a kli pnimi, and become literally one with him, shlita. The entire nation should fall before him. All the Jews in Russia should leave soon from the straits to expansiveness. He will lead us upright, and all Israel, to our Holy Land, may it be built and established b’karov karov mamash with kindness and mercy. Amen, kein yehi ratzon.

On Tisha B’Av 5728 (1968) R’ Avrohom went to the Meoras HaMachpela to ask our holy Avos to daven for the Rebbe. An overly curious chassid standing nearby took a look at the pa’n that R’ Avrohom left at the kvarim. He saw that R’ Avrohom had asked them to arouse great mercy on "Kvod K’dushas Admur Melech HaMoshiach Menachem Mendel ben Chana, shlita."


The final section of the book has letters from the Rebbe to R’ Avrohom which testify to the special relationship the Rebbe had with his devoted chassid. One of these special letters was written on 9 Shevat 5711, one day before the Rebbe formally accepted the nesius. The Rebbe added the following words in his own handwriting:

"R’ Avrohom, m’darf tzurik arupbrengen dem Rebbe’n, azoi iz tzu shver - sai far mir, sar far aich, un ver hut hanaa derfun?" (R’ Avrohom, we have to bring the Rebbe back - it’s hard like this, both for me and for you, and who takes pleasure in it?)

The Proclamations
When people said, "See how the Rebbe rejected you!" he simply said, "Fortunate is the chassid that the Rebbe knows he can slap on the cheek, and woe to the chassid who can only take caresses..."

R’ Avrohom’s kol korei (call to action) is discussed at length in the book. R’ Avrohom’s connection to the Rebbe was unique, not just in its depth but also in content. Beginning in the early years of the Rebbe’s leadership, R’ Avrohom began each of his letters to the Rebbe with the words "Kvod K’dushas Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach shlita." This is how he spoke of the Rebbe at every farbrengen in which he was a participant. He said it with such utter bitachon that you couldn’t argue with him.

R’ Avrohom explained his view. Until Yud Shevat 5711, the Rebbe refused to accept the leadership until all of Anash in Eretz Yisroel and around the world sent him kisvei hiskashrus, at which point the Rebbe agreed to accept leadership. The same approach applied to the Rebbe’s revelation as Moshiach. R’ Avrohom believed that the revelation had to come as an arousal from below - when the Jewish people in general, and Anash in particular would demand that the Rebbe reveal himself as Moshiach.

In an interview with Beis Moshiach cited in the book, R’ Yosef Hartman relates:

"In the middle of Sivan 5725, I was visiting my father-in-law in Petach Tikva. My grandfather (R’ Avrohom) asked me to go with him to the printer to get packages. I didn’t know what it was all about, but of course, I accompanied him to the printer, who was on a street near Bar Kochva. He asked me to carry some packages wrapped in brown paper to his home.

On the way, he told me that he had printed thousands of leaflets announcing that Moshiach is the Lubavitcher Rebbe, with his name spelled out in full. He explained to me, "The Rebbe strongly refused to accept the Chabad leadership from 5710 until 10 Shevat 5711. Only after most of Anash around the world sent michtavei hiskashrus in which they expressed their full bittul and hiskashrus nafshis to him did he agree to accept. It will be the same way with Moshiach." R’ Avrohom maintained that it had to come from us. If Anash asked for it and demanded that the Rebbe be revealed as Moshiach, he would do so.

He happily went off to the printer with tremendous enthusiasm and reverence.

On Friday, 18 Sivan 5725, R’ Avrohom gave thousands of leaflets to his good friend, R’ Yisroel Kook, z’l, who was the driver for Yeshivas Tomchei T’mimim, and who devoted himself to Mivtza T’fillin in Tel Aviv. R’ Yisroel distributed the leaflets at the old Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv. On an Erev Shabbos there were thousands of people there from all over the country.

In the meantime, some of Anash who lived in Kfar Chabad and worked in Tel Aviv got these leaflets and immediately informed the mara d’asra, R’ Shneur Zalman Garelik, zt’l, about it. Everybody argued if it was permissible and necessary to give out these leaflets. It was most lively...

On Monday 21 Sivan, R’ Avrohom’s leaflet was printed in Davar (the paper of Mapai of the Labor Party), and the commotion in Kfar Chabad grew. Apparently the Rebbe’s secretaries were informed about the leaflets. On Thursday of that week, R’ Avrohom received a telegram from the secretaries to stop distributing the leaflets and to send the remaining ones to them.

R’ Avrohom told this to me as he looked at me with his dark eyes which burned with the fire of faith, and said sorrowfully, "Er vil nisht (the Rebbe doesn’t want it). Perhaps the time isn’t ripe."

As a loyal soldier and chassid who was utterly submissive to the Rebbe, he humbly carried out the Rebbe’s order. When people said, "See how the Rebbe rejected you!" he simply said, "Fortunate is the chassid that the Rebbe knows he can slap on the cheek, and woe to the chassid who can only take caresses..."

R’ Avrohom was not allowed to distribute his leaflets, but he continued to say and declare at every opportunity, "The Lubavitcher Rebbe is HaMelech HaMoshiach." People did not understand him. Many shook their heads in disapproval, but he ignored them. At meetings of teachers of the Reshet, at the Chabad shul in Petach Tikva, at family simchos and every event, he repeated time and again that the true redeemer of the Jewish people is the Lubavitcher Rebbe.


"The Rebbe strongly refused to accept the Chabad leadership from 5710 until 10 Shevat 5711. Only after most of Anash around the world sent michtavei hiskashrus in which they expressed their full bittul and hiskashrus nafshis to him did he agree to accept. It will be the same way with Moshiach."



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