B"H. Beis Moshiach Magazine is powered by:




Shluchim Doing All They Can To Bring Moshiach
Part 2
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

We decided to conclude this article with a shaliach familiar to most of us for the Moshiach-related products he produces, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Friedman of Ohr Yehuda.

Rabbi Friedman does one-on-one work with the people in his area. Throughout the day he circulates among stores and businesses and puts tefillin on with people, talks to them, and prepares them one by one for Moshiach. In the evening he runs from class to class!

The highlight of his week is Shabbos. With the first light of day, he begins walking from shul to shul. He enters quickly, gives a talk about the connection between the weekly sidra and Moshiach, and is barely finished before he runs off to the next shul.

After finishing his rounds of all thirteen shuls, he hurries home for a quick meal and he’s on his way to the mesibos Shabbos groups. In this way, he manages to prepare 1,000 people each Shabbos for the revelation of Melech HaMoshiach.

In publicizing Moshiach in his city, Rabbi Friedman uses the same full-scale approach. He has produced thousands of Moshiach-related products, such as clocks and flags, which he personally distributes.

How do people respond to your approach?

It’s hard to describe the enthusiasm and the glow in their eyes when they talk about Moshiach. They say, “Nu, let him come already. He should just come.”

I remember an incident that happened to me once when I was backing my car out of a parking space when I suddenly heard a loud noise and felt a big bang. I looked behind me and saw that I had accidentally hit a car.

I slowly got out of my car, prepared to get it over the head from the other driver. We stood there for a few moments, face to face, when he suddenly noticed the Baruch Ha’ba sign on the roof of my car. He smiled and said, “Nu, it’s no big deal. The main thing is that Moshiach should come already.”

People ask what the purpose is in putting so much effort into things that are only chitzoniyus (superficial), when Chabad mont pnimiyus (demands substance).

The very question demonstrates shocking ignorance when it comes to the Rebbe’s approach. After all, this is the idea of the public menora lightings and the mobile menoros, the tanks, the Lag B’Omer parades, and countless other things. These displays are noisy and “external,” and their purpose is to arouse and demonstrate Jewish pride.

Who can forget the long Hei Teives sicha of 5748, when the Rebbe spoke at length about a sign with the words Didan Natzach hanging on the wall of 770, and many other such examples, signs and other “external” items towards which the Rebbe attributed great importance.

We all remember the Rebbe’s reaction when Rabbi Butman presented to him one of the 2,000 shirts that said “Moshiach is on the Way.” The Rebbe took the shirt, saying Rabbi Butman still had another 1,999 left to distribute.

An even more blatant example is the directive to print the Seifer HaShluchim and the menora lighting album in which you see photos of menora lightings around the world. These things are chitzoniyus sh’b’chitzoniyus, but since they lead to further action, the Rebbe instructed us to do them.

In more simple terms, even if in earlier generations the emphasis was on pnimiyus, in our generation the Rebbe has consistently emphasized the need to reach out to the world on its own terms. In other words, since advertising and slogans are the means by which people are reached in our day and age, we must use these same methods! We have to grab them with chitzoniyus and draw them towards pnimiyus.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean to lessen the avoda ha’pnimis by one iota. It’s just that since the world operates in a manner of chitzoniyus, we have to take advantage of this and bring people to the utmost pnimiyus. The facts speak for themselves. Wherever you find centers of Anash and Chabad yeshivos, with men and Tmimim working energetically on all the Rebbe’s mivtzaim, as well as working on themselves in a pnimiyusdike way – these are the people who “live with Moshiach,” and who aren’t embarrassed by what the Rebbe has to say.  I recently visited 770 and saw Tmimim “living with Moshiach,” and disseminating this enthusiasm in all possible ways, keeping their sedarim in yeshiva, having farbrengens, etc.

Unfortunately, I hear these questions regarding proclamations and slogans. In the sichos of 5751 and 5752, there are quite a few lines in which the Rebbe says, “Practically speaking...announce and publicize all over...that today we can literally see with our own eyes the blessing of the true and complete Redemption.”

Don’t forget who implanted the slogans of “We Want Moshiach Now,” “Hinei, hinei Moshiach bah,” and “L’Alter L’Geula.” I find it difficult to understand how anyone could have a problem with saying “Yechi” when there is an explicit sicha of the Rebbe regarding the life that it gives to the king.

I just cannot understand how people can say things that are absolutely the opposite of the Rebbe’s own approach! This approach was simple and clear throughout the Rebbe’s nesius. The Lag B’Omer parades with signs, reciting the 12 Pesukim, Moshiach slogans, colorful tanks, billboards, and all other external trappings. All of a sudden people are questioning where all this came from?

I once heard a story about a woman who lived on a kibbutz, and at a certain point in her, life as a result of something that happened to her, she decided to take on a mitzva. She figured that the most appropriate mitzva for her would be lighting Shabbos candles, but she didn’t know if she was allowed to do so since she wasn’t observant.

As she mulled this over, she caught sight of a sign on a passing car which said, “Kol isha u’bat, madlika neirot Shabbat” (All Jewish women and girls light Shabbos candles). She was relieved and began observing this mitzva. One thing led to another until she became fully observant. This all came about because of a sign.

I know of a teacher who works in a Chabad Talmud Torah in Yerushalayim who came to Chabad and Yiddishkeit through a Moshiach sign hanging on a yeshiva there.

This is not just for shluchim, but for everyone who calls himself a Lubavitcher. Just about everybody who wears a “Yechi yarmulka can tell you about incidents when people stopped them and discussed what was written on the yarmulka. The result is that there are people who know a few more sichos of the Rebbe on the topic of Moshiach, not to mention those instances in which these discussions led to radical life changes!

I think it is all quite clear, and I find it most shocking that we have to spend time talking about the obvious.

What about publicizing the fact that the Rebbe is Moshiach?

It’s surprising that we have to elaborate on that too, since we all saw how the Rebbe encouraged this for over a year, and any activist can tell you that this is the only way to truly prepare your city for Moshiach!

Just imagine if somebody came over to you and told you to prepare for someone’s coming, and not just any kind of preparation, but a complete makeover! Could you possibly do this without his explaining to you exactly who you are preparing for? Do you think you could possibly approach someone on the street and successfully convince him to prepare to receive the authority of some abstract Messianic being without clarifying who and what Moshiach is?

In the sicha of VaYeira 5752, the Rebbe said: “Since it is the case that we have (not only the existence of Moshiach, but also) the revelation of Moshiach, now we need only greet Moshiach in actuality.” In other words, since we have the revelation of Moshiach, we can greet him. Logic says: How can you arrange a proper welcoming for a stranger? How can we prepare? Who is it that I am preparing for?

The Rebbe stresses: “We have (not only the existence of Moshiach, but also) the revelation of Moshiach,” and this is why greeting Moshiach” is possible! Otherwise, who are we preparing for?

Then when we get to kabbalas ha’malchus and the declaration of “Yechi HaMelech,” the question becomes even more ridiculous. How can you coronate someone whose identity you don’t know? Whose kingdom must we accept? What is the significance of Mivtza Moshiach? Is it a mivtza of obscurity?

The fact is, though, that the Rebbe never said we should publicize the fact that he is Moshiach.

I just learned a sicha regarding Mattan Torah in which the Rebbe discusses an obvious question. The main point of Mattan Torah is Torah study, yet the Aseres HaDibros (Ten Commandments) don’t even mention Torah study. How is it that at the giving of the Torah, Hashem didn’t even mention Torah study?

The answer, says the Rebbe, is that Mattan Torah is synonymous with Torah study. That is all they did there, so there was no need for a special directive. The same applies to us, for why should the Rebbe give us a special directive about publicizing Moshiach’s identity, when all the Rebbe did when he made appearances in 5753 and 5754 was to publicize Moshiach’s identity?

Some people say that this publicity causes harm to Lubavitch.

Many of us recall how what the Rebbe said twenty years ago about the future of Chevron and Yerushalayim were received. Quite a few Chassidim were embarrassed to publicize what the Rebbe had said, for they feared a chillul k’vod Lubavitch. What the Rebbe said seemed farfetched to them, and the Chassidim simply had “compassion for the Rebbe’s honor.”

Former Knesset member Geula Cohen told me that after a private audience with the Rebbe in which the Rebbe told her the government’s plans and how things would develop if they didn’t cease the talks entirely, she was embarrassed to repeat what the Rebbe had told her! It just seemed unrealistic. Despite the fact that time after time the Rebbe demanded that this be publicized, and people didn’t doubt the truth of what they heard since the Rebbe said it explicitly, in order to preserve the dignity of Lubavitch, people kept quiet.

The same thing happened with the topic of “Who is a Jew,” and other topics, when today, all of a sudden, people are beginning to concede how right the Rebbe was, but at the time, for the sake of preserving the honor of Lubavitch... Boruch Hashem, we weren’t afraid for the honor of Lubavitch when it came to “We Want Moshiach Now.”

As far as using the term “shlita” after the Rebbe’s name, how else would you expect us to publicize it? Would somebody write all sorts of false expressions simply because it is more convenient, and for the sake of preserving the honor of Lubavitch? This is especially absurd in light of the fact that the Rebbe established quite clearly in a number of sichos that there is no such as thing as the nasi ha’dor experiencing the opposite of life!

An example of this is the well-known sicha of Parshas Bo 5752 in which the Rebbe says, “The chiddush [novelty] of our generation, the ninth generation, relative to all the preceding generations, also relative to the generation immediately preceding it (the eighth) is that the Geula did not actually come in the previous generations...there was a histalkus of the neshama from the guf...which is unlike our generation, the final generation of Galus and the first generation of Geula.”

Another example is in the well-known sicha (Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 26, Sh’mos) in which the Rebbe explains that every generation must have a living nasi ha’dor!

When we have such clear statements edited by the Rebbe himself, how can one even consider using terminology regarding the Rebbe that is the opposite of fact, the opposite of truth, and the opposite of what the Rebbe said — with a veneer of “protecting the honor of Lubavitch,” no less!

This was always the difference between a Chassid and a Misnaged, for if a Chassid had a problem understanding the Gemara he saw it as his problem, whereas the Misnaged would see it as a problem with the Gemara. If the reality seems to contradict what the Rebbe said, then as Chassidim we immediately acknowledge that the problem lies with us and our understanding and not, ch’v, with the Rebbe!

Regarding the essence of the complaint, on a daily basis we see that when you speak strongly and confidently, it is accepted. Any shaliach can attest to this. Just as people are ready to accept many things from the shaliach which contradict reality as they knew it up until then, the same applies to Moshiach. The question is only on the shaliach...

* * *

“The significance of ‘do all that you can,’” says Rabbi Friedman, “is just what it says! When you print an invitation to a bar mitzva, wedding, or any other event, it is an opportunity that obligates us to publicize Moshiach. If we produce something like this without publicizing Moshiach, then it is an opportunity wasted.

“That is the simple meaning of ‘do all that you can.’ Whenever we have the opportunity to publicize and thereby bring Moshiach, we must take advantage of it – in print, in speech, in any form at all. With a little thought you can connect every conversation, every telephone call and encounter, to Moshiach.

“That was the idea behind the clock that says ‘Today at __o’clock we will greet Moshiach.’ Every glance at the clock reminds us of Moshiach. The same goes for the plate that says, ‘I am still hungry for the seudas ha’Geula,’ and for all the other products.

“Every speech can be connected to Moshiach, and not just by concluding with it. A speech at a wedding can be connected to the true joy we will have only after Moshiach comes, and mention can also be made about the marriage between Hashem and the Jewish people. At a bar mitzva you can talk about the greatest bar mitzva celebration of all, which will take place when Moshiach comes, when all the Jewish people will take on all the mitzvos which weren’t observed up until now.

“With a little effort, you can do this with any conversation. For example, a few days ago I visited a hospital. I saw a religious Jew looking around for a minyan for Maariv, who looked upset when he didn’t find one. I went over to him and said that the whole point of tefilla is as a replacement for korbanos, so if you’re upset about not finding a minyan you would be better off being upset about the real thing we lack – the Beis HaMikdash!”

How would you like to conclude?

In our work of hafatza we often encounter people with complaints. “Nu,” they ask us, “when is the Moshiach you promised us coming already?” Even if at first it may seem insulting, after briefly thinking about what they said, it turns out they are 100% right! “What did happen to the Moshiach the Rebbe promised us?”

When we have this question we must raise our eyes to Heaven and direct our question to Hashem: What happened to the Moshiach you promised us? Ad masai?!

With this approach we are assured that, “The only thing being waited for is to hear a Jew crying out yet another cry, with another request and demand – ad mosai ! By doing so he brings Moshiach Tzidkeinu to this very shul right now, and he will take all the Jews here along with all the Jewish people to our Holy Land, to Yerushalayim the holy city, to the holy mountain, and to the third Beis HaMikdash.”



Rabbi M.M. Friedman
“Since advertising and slogans are the means by which people are reached in our day and age, we must use these same methods! We have to grab them with chitzoniyus and draw them towards pnimiyus.”





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

©Copyright. No content may be reprinted without permission.