Kids Stuff

By Alexander Zushe Kohn


There’s a sicha in which the Rebbe explains that just as a young child, if he discovers (or is told) which button to press, can launch a nuclear missile and affect profound changes in the world, so can a simple, individual Jew performing the right action in the right manner bring the Redemption for the entire world. The Rebbe again emphasizes the power of quality (even where quantity is lacking) in the famous sicha of ko’ach Nissan: "May it be [Hashem’s] will that there should be found among you one, two, three people who will know what to do and how to do it [i.e., to bring Moshiach]."


To be honest, even after seeing the videos of these sichos – which, without a doubt impacted me more deeply than the printed versions – the concept was still pretty far out to me (as I suspect it was to many others).


Well, Anthrax – doesn’t the very word sound grotesquely evil – has changed my perception of reality. No, don’t get me wrong, G-d forbid… What I mean to say is that here I am in the most influential city in the world, in the most powerful country in the world, and everyone is suddenly gripped with fear and insecurity –"Anthrax phobia." And with good reason. The dangerous bacterium has recently claimed the life of a Florida man, and has allegedly infected five of his co-workers. Anthrax has also been delivered by mail to various large corporations in New York City and elsewhere. At least four New Yorker have been infected by the bacteria, and a very lethal form of it has put the entire Senate into a state of emergency.


Pharmacies are suddenly being flooded with requests for counter-Anthrax antibiotics, hospitals are being inundated with people mistaking flu symptoms for Anthrax syndrome, and every powdery substance has become a chefetz chashud (suspicious object).


Coming on the heels of the Twin Towers massacre, this new scare has made an already edgy people even more edgy. Many people are beginning to feel that they are prisoners in their own country.


Which great army has brought this terror upon us? Which mighty empire is striking fear in the heart of the great American eagle?


It is neither an army nor an Empire! A network of meshugaim rather – that’s the word the Rebbe uses in the sicha of B’Chukosai, 5741, in reference to terrorists – is responsible for this highly dramatic state of affairs. When one considers how a couple of envelopes containing a powdery substance have put an entire nation on shpilkes, one is reminded, as never before, of the Rebbe’s words regarding the incredible power of even one individual.


I can’t speak for others, but as for myself, these maniacs have made me more confident than ever in my ability to bring the Geula. The above-mentioned sichos of the Rebbe have finally begun to resonate in me.


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