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Shluchim Doing All They Can To Bring Moshiach
By Shlomo Evven-Rokeach

Beis Moshiach interviewed shluchim in order to hear how they implement “do all that you can [to bring Moshiach]” * At the same time we learn about life on shlichus, the difficulties encountered and the tremendous success


Rabbi Doron Aizenman is one shliach you can describe as having conquered the city by storm. He began his work in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 13 years ago with an after school program for Jewish children. He quickly established warm ties with dozens of families, and that same year he laid the foundation for the first class in his new school.

Since that time, his school has developed at an accelerated rate, with new classes added each year and a new wing built every few years. Today the school has 150 students. In addition, Rabbi Aizenman has a shul of 200 families, and dozens of classes and ongoing projects at his Chabad House.

As soon as Rabbi Aizenman heard the topic of the article, I noticed a certain chayus in his voice, even after a long and tiring day. “Since the directive of ‘do all that you can’ of 5751, I realized that we were going for broke.

“Until then we were somewhat apprehensive. We were afraid to go out in a big way, and we needed to be pushed and encouraged by the Rebbe. For example, on Yud Shvat 5747, a few days after we arrived here, I was sitting with my wife at some government office trying to obtain a certain document. We felt that we hadn’t accomplished anything up until that point, and what a shame it was, for we could have been at the farbrengen with the Rebbe at that time.

“We were discussing this when I suddenly caught sight of a large picture of a farbrengen with the Rebbe on the last page of the New York Times, which was on the table. We immediately understood that the Rebbe was farbrenging with us here, too — davka here!

“Since the sicha of Chaf-Ches Nissan 5751 the approach has completely changed. Instead of constantly looking to see how to circumvent obstacles while slowly moving forward, we realized that the Rebbe had given the job over to us, along with the kochos to succeed, and all that was needed was action!”

How do you implement the sicha in your daily work?

First of all, as I mentioned earlier, we saw it when we began to feel how the many obstacles and limitations, which had stood in our way, simply disappeared. Secondly, we saw it in the conduct of ordinary Jews. Since that sicha, the Rebbe, in a way, handed over the leadership from the king to the people. I see it with my children, especially with those who never saw the Rebbe, in their simple emuna and bitachon that “behold Moshiach comes.” It is clear to them that the Rebbe is Moshiach, and he will lead us to our Holy Land.

I see it also in the members of my congregation. You have someone say a dvar Torah at a farbrengen, and suddenly as he speaks you feel how you are strengthened. The words of a simple Jew, imbued with the simple faith that our generation is the generation of Geula, strengthen your own emuna.

This is what happens in the Yemos HaMoshiach, when the special qualities of simple Jews are revealed. “Do all that you can” marked our entry into this era.


When Rabbi Aizenman arrived in Myrtle Beach there was no pre-existing community. “Most of the Jewish people here are in the same line of work, so there was a certain competitive atmosphere.” The Chabad House was the first place in which they could all feel at home. It is one place that belongs to all of them, with no exceptions.

Rabbi Aizenman has succeeded in preserving that family flavor at his Chabad House. For example, he tries to preserve the congregation’s customs as much as possible. Most of the people are of Sephardic descent, which is why Rabbi Aizenman incorporates Sephardic niggunim into the davening. “Whenever it doesn’t contradict minhagei Chabad, we try to use the traditional customs of the congregation. It gives them a strong sense of home, the feeling that when they spend time with us it’s like being back home.”

When we asked Rabbi Aizenman how he publicizes Moshiach, expecting to hear about billboards, etc., he simply answered: the shul. It turns out that he doesn’t need billboards. “There is hardly a Jew in the city who is not connected in some way to the Chabad House. If two weeks go by and I don’t see someone from a certain family, I look into it. In order to prepare the city to greet Moshiach, we try to talk about it at every class and to include it in every project, so the whole city knows about it.”

How do people respond?

Thank G-d, they are very receptive. You know that Sephardim are blessed with faith in tzaddikim. When they hear that the Rebbe MH”M shlita said it [i.e., directives regarding Moshiach] himself, they accept it immediately.

A few weeks ago, Rabbi Chaim Sasson visited our community. He’s a good speaker, and when he conveyed the Rebbe’s message about the era we find ourselves in, we saw how greatly people were influenced. Right after the lecture, dozens of people purchased R’ Sasson’s book, Atta Yodati.

R’ Sasson also spoke about the Rebbe answering people today through the Igros Kodesh, among other means, and now we are flooded by requests for help writing to the Rebbe and have seen many amazing answers. People constantly ask to receive the Rebbe’s bracha, and when I traveled to 770 on Erev Yom Kippur, many asked me to mention them for a bracha in 770.

The rule is – don’t force the issue. When people feel comfortable at the Chabad House, when they feel at home, they are more receptive and more likely to accept what you tell them. The same is true for all areas of Yiddishkeit, and for sure regarding the fact that the Rebbe is the Moshiach of the generation.

Just to show you how things are accepted when you say them simply and clearly – some time ago we had an event at the shul in which the mayor was present. In my speech I spoke about the special times we find ourselves in, on the threshold of the true and complete Redemption. This so influenced the gentile mayor that he spoke about it, too.

In his speech he mentioned the fact that his name is David. He said that since Moshiach is from the house of David, he also has a connection to Moshiach!

In conclusion:

As a shaliach operating in the United States, I must stress that what I said is experienced by all the shluchim. Forty years ago, when the Rebbe sent the first shluchim to Italy, it was seen as an enormous breakthrough. The Rebbe said sicha after sicha in order to lay the groundwork. The Rebbe urged us all non-stop. Everyone felt that an awesome revolution was underway.

I receive telephone calls from dozens of young couples interested in going on shlichus to the small outlying towns here where there aren’t too many Jews, and you just know it’s going to be physically difficult, yet they aren’t daunted. They call and badger me, because they want to be the Rebbe’s emissaries.

When we hear that in private discussions the Conservative and Reform express their admiration for the Lubavitcher rabbis, we have no clearer example of “do all that you can” out in the field. The Rebbe MH”M simply gives us the strength, and all that remains to be done is to actually bring about the hisgalus now!

* * *

After we interviewed the Rebbe’s shaliach in South Carolina, we focused on another city – Des Moines, Iowa.

Two shluchim, two worlds... Unlike the former shaliach, this shaliach did not find himself in a warm traditional community.

When Rabbi Y.Y. Jacobson arrived in town, all he found was spiritual desolation. Research showed some frightening statistics: 90% of the people were intermarried! A religious person was somebody married to a Jew...

“People looked at me with anger,” recalls Rabbi Jacobson. “They realized that somebody had come who was going to remind them of their Jewishness, and that didn’t thrill them. When I look at those same people today and remember how they greeted me, it’s hard to believe we are talking about the same people.”

Rabbi Jacobson began his shlichus at the end of 5752. “Since the famous sicha of 5751, we felt that every moment was critical. We knew we had to go out on shlichus as soon as possible in order to make the most of the final moments.

“Judaism in Des Moines was almost non-existent. People knew nothing, and there was hardly anybody to talk to. The first thing we undertook was mivtza kashrus. We convinced a store owner to have a kosher department. It wasn’t hard to get kosher meat since the Rubashkin’s slaughtering house is in Iowa.

“We also reached out to the local people, and little by little our circle of mekuravim grew. I have a method – I get the phone number of a Jewish person and call and introduce myself as the local Orthodox Rabbi, and ask how he is doing.

“Apparently this simple activity shook the hearts of hundreds of Jews. The fact that the Orthodox Rabbi called his home, takes an interest in how he’s doing, and offers help wherever it’s needed, affects them very deeply. His Reform rabbi never considered doing this. This changes their entire perspective about religious Jews.”

Since then, has your work become routine?

I wish! Even after years of work, we are still operating under very difficult conditions. It turns out that the interest among gentiles is much stronger than among the Jews. My problem here is that the gentiles are interested in keeping 613 mitzvos, while the Jews just want the Sheva Mitzvos!

We had many instances in which gentiles pushed Jews into mitzva observance. I’ll give you one example. Not that long ago a young gentile woman came to our home for Shabbos. This was because of her friendship with a Jewish man. They planned to marry and the man suggested she do a quick conversion.

She came to visit us and discovered real Judaism, that being a Jew means fulfilling the mitzvos of the Torah. She said that she was unwilling to take on the yoke of Torah and mitzvos and would no longer consider marrying the Jew. She explained to him that in order to be a Jew you had to do things!

So how do you manage under these circumstances?

When the Rebbe said, “do all you can,” he didn’t just give us an order. The Rebbe also gave us the ability to work in a way of “oros d’tohu b’keilim d’tikkun.”

The main principle is to take the Rebbe’s words literally. When we try to twist the Rebbe’s words around, it’s no wonder if things look bleak, but when we believe that the Rebbe meant what he said literally, then we see those words fulfilled in the most literal sense.

When I called the governor of the state to invite him to the Torah writing ceremony, I found it hard to believe that he would accept. After all, what does a busy governor have to do with some Torah that a local rabbi is starting to write? Yet the Rebbe said “oros d’tohu b’keilim d’tikkun.” I called and asked, and he really did agree to come, and the event got enormous media coverage. You just have to move a finger and the Rebbe MH”M takes care of everything.

* * *

Right after Gimmel Tammuz, Yossi decided he had to do something drastic to wake up the entire state to prepare them for Moshiach’s coming. He learned that the written word is very powerful in Iowa because there are dozens of towns scattered about the state, and the local newspapers are what connects them.

The Jacobson family is not short on writing talent, so Yossi began to publish one of Chabad’s most successful newspapers. In the editorial of the first edition, he explained the name of the paper, The Jewish Spark, which alludes to the Rebbe’s statement that all the sparks have been elevated.

The paper appears about five times a year, full of interesting and informative articles about Yiddishkeit and Moshiach. One of the columns is devoted exclusively to the Rebbe’s sichos on Moshiach, translated into English. 4,000 copies of the paper are published and reach nearly every Jew in the state.

How do people respond to the paper? Well, think about this – about 600 people answered an ad in the paper and sent checks to help the paper financially! “Here too,” says Rabbi Jacobson, “it looks like the gentiles inspire the Jews. The hundreds of names of gentile donors that appeared in the paper woke up some Jews!”

What’s most amazing is the editorial and writing staff of the paper, some of whom do not keep kosher. 20 Jews are willing to sit up until 3:00 a.m. working hard simply because this is the Rebbe’s newspaper, and the Rebbe is chai v’kayam!

How do you publicize the identity of Moshiach?

We don’t have to publicize it at all. All the papers write it up. People are always coming and asking me whether the Rebbe is Moshiach, and how can that be. My standard answer is that it’s not that the Rebbe worked on this and managed to attain the level of Moshiach, but when you examine the sources and see the Torah’s description of Moshiach, you realize that it’s the Rebbe!

Does the message get across “b’ofen ha’miskabel?”

It seems to me that that phrase has acquired a strange significance lately. There are dozens of Jews here who didn’t want to hear anything about Yiddishkeit. To them, Shabbos observance is not a davar ha’miskabel [something they want to accept]. So what am I supposed to do? Not talk about Shabbos?!

I spoke and spoke, and today after eight years I am seeing a change, thank G-d. That is what ofen ha’miskabel means, to repeat and say things clearly and repeatedly. We are assured that our work is not in vain. We see that in the end it is accepted.

I must emphasize that this is only when it is said clearly and simply. If the shaliach himself is not so sure of what he is saying, there is no way anybody will accept it. Just imagine that you have stopped on the road to ask for directions and you hear the following, “Um, take a right at the next intersection. Um, actually it might be the one after that, or...” Obviously, you won’t be relying on this information.

If the shaliach says, “Um, I personally believe the Rebbe is Moshiach,” you can imagine how that will go over. If the shaliach considers it as some abstract kind of belief, how will the listener respond? When the shaliach answers with absolute assurance and explains that the phenomenon we call Moshiach can only be the Rebbe, we see that this is accepted.

The means of conveying the message is with an emphasis on the practical. One of the central points which characterizes our hafatza here is that Judaism is not an ancient mystical belief system, but a living Torah which requires certain daily behaviors and brings light and life into the home. The most important thing is personal example, which I must say my wife exemplifies. When mekuravim come to visit they are amazed by the sight of a truly Jewish home.

When it comes to Moshiach, this is also the main point. We explain to them that living with Moshiach and preparing for Geula requires changes in one’s personal life. Just as in Mitzrayim their shoes had to be on their feet, we also have to be prepared b’gashmiyus. When people see it from this perspective, they accept the whole idea in a much stronger way.

And is it accepted without opposition?

That question reminds me of a story with the Rebbe in which my uncle, Rabbi Gershon Ber Jacobson, was involved. A few days after Mivtza Tefillin began, my uncle received a phone call from Rabbi Chadakov asking him what the reaction of the general public was to the new campaign.

My uncle answered honestly that there were many who opposed it. As my uncle spoke, the Rebbe himself got on the line and said, “There’s an outcry? Well, now I know that it will be successful!”

Of course there are opponents, but we always had them. Recently a Misnaged who learns in the kollel here approached me and said that we were desecrating the Rebbe’s name. I smiled and said, “Since when have you been concerned about the Rebbe’s honor?”

After we finished building the mikva, a Misnaged complained to me about the mikva being a bor al gabei bor (built with the receptacle for the rain water directly over a second receptacle). I told him that we built the mikva for those who want to use it, not for those who don’t want to use it!

You must remember that any time you do something, people are divided into those who join and those who oppose, and it is the latter who give us the extra push to carry on!

* * *

Early evening in Iowa finds people relaxing after a hard day and watching the news. There’s the usual political and economic news, the weather and traffic, but suddenly there is something unusual. On the screen appears a bearded young man with the governor at his side, with a new Torah in the center that has just begun to be written. The young man articulately explains the purpose of writing the Torah, “as a preparation for our entry into the era of Redemption.”

Just as Moshe Rabbeinu wrote 13 sifrei Torah for the Jewish people before they entered the Promised Land, we too – as a preparation for the true and complete Redemption – anticipate the revelation of Moshiach with the writing of “Moshiach’s Seifer Torah.”

“A year ago,” says Rabbi Jacobson, “I decided we needed a powerful campaign to shake up the state and prepare it for Moshiach. I tried to obtain a Torah for our shul. Neighboring congregations refused to give us one, complaining that we would use it too much, so I put two and two together and decided to write a ‘Torah for Moshiach.’

“From the time I made my final decision, things began to move quickly. I had the privilege of the mayor’s participation in the past, but this time the governor joined us. Since the governor was making an appearance, naturally the media showed up and gave us great publicity. Just a few weeks ago, I was invited to speak to a few hundred gentile students who had heard about me because of the writing of the Torah.

“You can see how all we have to do is move our little finger, and then the Rebbe takes over.”

In conclusion:

There’s a line that Chassidim would say in jest – that when Moshiach comes Chassidim will become rebbes, Misnagdim will become Chassidim, and gentiles will become Misnagdim. When you look around you today, you immediately notice the truth of this maxim. People look at Chabad Chassidim as rebbes. People come to Lubavitch to receive brachos, people acknowledge that G-dliness can be found in Chabad, and people expect us to speak about these matters clearly and confidently.

The same holds true for sworn enemies of Chabad. Those who know what’s going on behind the scenes at Conservative and even Reform communities knows that all they do revolves around whatever is happening in Chabad. Whether for or against, it is always in response to what’s going on with us. The world looks at us. “Do all that you can,” is quite literal, for the Rebbe gave the job over to us.

We were interviewed by a local paper recently, and the reporter asked where in Judaism Chabad belongs. I told him that Chabad is not a branch of Judaism – Chabad is Judaism. We see how when we speak up about things clearly, they are accepted.

May we merit to publicize matters clearly; at the very least – let us not mess up. With Hashem’s help we will merit to see, this very moment, the revelation of the Rebbe MH”M shlita.

(To be continued.)



Rabbi Doron Aizenman
You have someone say a dvar Torah at a farbrengen, and suddenly as he speaks you feel how you are strengthened. The words of a simple Jew, imbued with the simple faith that our generation is the generation of Geula, strengthen your own emuna.

Farbrengen in the Chabad House of Myrtle Beach

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Jacobson
It turns out that the interest among gentiles is much stronger than among the Jews. My problem here is that the gentiles are interested in keeping 613 mitzvos, while the Jews just want the Sheva Mitzvos!





There are dozens of Jews here who didn’t want to hear anything about Yiddishkeit. To them, Shabbos observance is not a davar ha’miskabel.

So what am I supposed to do? Not talk about Shabbos?!





Recently a Misnaged approached me and said that we were desecrating the Rebbe’s name. I smiled and said, “Since when have you been concerned about the Rebbe’s honor?”


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