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Moshiach Shabbos In The Mountains

The Moshiach Shabbos in the Catskills on Shabbos Parshas Emor was a great success. This is the third year in a row that the Matteh HaOlami L’Havaas HaMoshiach, directed by Rabbi Shmuel Butman, organized an event of this kind. Nearly 200 families, numbering over 500 people, took part in the Shabbaton and listened to lectures on faith in the imminent Redemption.

Dozens of cars made their way early Friday morning from Crown Heights to the beautiful Paramount Hotel in Parksville NY. Those who traveled by bus, chartered by the organizers of the weekend, got a foretaste of the special Moshiach atmosphere on their way up to the hotel by viewing videos of the Rebbe.

Rabbi Mendel Zalmanov and his wife Mindy, and Dr. and Mrs. Zvi Lang, who organized the event, were on hand in the lobby to greet the many guests. In addition, Rabbi Butman welcomed the distinguished mashpiim and lecturers whom he had personally invited for Shabbos.

Complementary pamphlets on inyanei Moshiach and Geula, along with the current issue of Beis Moshiach, were distributed in the lobby. On the way to their rooms, the guests encountered video screens showing scenes from Beis Chayeinu.

After Mincha, mashpia Rabbi Shalom Charitonov spoke about the importance of speech. He gave many examples from the Rebbe’s sichos in which the Rebbe emphasizes the importance of speech, especially regarding the demand for Hashem to bring the Redemption.

After an uplifting Kabbalas Shabbos with Rabbi Shneur Zalman Baumgarten and dancing to “Yechi,” the guests entered the dining room for the Shabbos meal. R’ Menachem Friedfertig, member of the Vaad HaKahal, was the main speaker.

After the meal there were separate programs for men and women. The men farbrenged with Rabbi Charitonov, Rabbi Mordechai Chein, Rabbi Berel Lipsker, and Rabbi Yechezkel Lebovic. The women farbrenged with Mrs. Sarah Tova Best and Mrs. Yocheved Lipsker.

Despite the late night farbrengens, dozens of men arrived early Shabbos morning to listen to Rabbi Majesky’s Likkutei Torah shiur. Women in the ezras nashim enjoyed the class, which was illuminated with Chassidic stories. Rabbi Majesky pointed out that every Lubavitcher Chassid should carry out the Rebbe’s directive to publicize the Redemption so that we won’t be ashamed when the Rebbe is revealed.

After Krias ha’Torah, Rabbi Shmuel Samuels captivated his audience with a combination of miracle stories, sichos, and practical horaos. At the Shabbos lunch meal, Rabbi Yaakov Herzog compared sfiras ha’omer to proclamations intended to hasten the Redemption, such as “Ad masai” and “Yechi.” Both have to be said explicitly, and one must understand what he is saying.

Many people remained to farbreng after the meal. Rabbi Samuels related how his father came to Lubavitch. His father’s family were Satmar Chassidim, but when the Rebbe Rayatz came to America in 5690, his father took him to see the Rebbe. When they arrived at the place where the Rebbe was farbrenging, they saw the Rebbe sitting at an empty table with dozens of Chassidim drinking in his words thirstily. “When my father saw this,” said Rabbi Samuels, “he was amazed. He was used to seeing a laden table at a tish, and he never dreamed that one could sit at an empty table and listen to Torah. He was still a young boy, but he already understood that emes is to be found in Lubavitch.”

Throughout the day there were mesibos Shabbos programs for the children, with the girls under the care of Rivky Lazar and the boys supervised by Levi and Shlomo Zalmanov.

Rabbi Shlomo Majesky spoke later in the afternoon, focusing on our personal obligation to bring Redemption. “In the Purim sicha of 5747, the Rebbe stresses that each of us, with every good deed we do, can be the one to tilt the world towards the side of merit and bring the Geula. This sicha ought to reverberate in our ears and remind us that every little deed we do can bring the Geula.”

At the end of the lecture, Rabbi Butman spoke briefly. He connected the sidra with our obligation to disseminate the besuras ha’Geula. “At the beginning of the sidra it says, ‘emor...v’amarta,’ and Rashi explains, ‘to warn the adults about the children.’ The Rebbe points out three lessons in avodas Hashem we learn from the three places that the Gemara says ‘to warn the adults about the children.’

“From this sidra we learn that even when speaking about matters that are beyond the intellect, when an adult might think that it doesn’t pay to explain these deep concepts to children, the Torah tells us that we should teach these matters to our children, too.

After Rabbi Butman’s speech there was a Moshiach symposium wherein Rabbi Butman and Rabbi Majesky responded to questions from the audience. After Mincha, Rabbi Butman taught a Mishna in Pirkei Avos in depth with the Rebbe’s commentary, which was followed by the third meal and niggunim. Rabbi Charitonov reviewed a maamer by heart.

After Maariv the guests watched a video of the Rebbe, and a short while later Rabbi Butman’s weekly radio program began. “In the Gemara it says that Hashem wanted to make Chizkiyahu Moshiach,” Rabbi Butman related, “but the attribute of justice accused him of not singing shira for the miracles Hashem did for him. We must correct this, and thank Hashem, verbally and with song, for the miracles He does for us.

“The Rebbe spoke about this in his sicha of VaYeishev 5752, and he demanded that we announce and publicize the miracles we experience.” The program was transmitted directly to the radio station in New York. This year, the program was also presented live on the Internet at 770Live.com.

After Rabbi Butman’s program, everyone sat down for a Melaveh Malka, and listened to Rabbi Majesky speak about the obligation to publicize the Geula. Rabbi Majesky quoted sichos and horaos along with stories and helpful advice, based on his personal experience in publicizing the Geula.

Before leaving on Sunday, Rabbi Samuels reminded everyone that since Chaf-Ches Nissan 5751, there is no longer such thing as “just a weekday.” Each day is an auspicious time to bring Moshiach, and that is how we must relate to it.



The Melaveh Malka


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