Friday, September 7, 2007

The Rebbe "To Dispose of Any Such Absurdity"

"My conscious self cannot know, much less describe, what the Rebbe placed within me during these encounters. The incomprehensible ways he affected me; the life, inspiration, courage and commitment with which I left these brief meetings changed my life more than any human could ever expect a life to change"

-Jay Litvin

I would like to present a very unique Letter of the Rebbe written to a group of people that had a weekly Shiur in Manhattan in the early 194'0s open the attachment. (Read below a brief history behind this very special letter). Also included is an interesting picture of the Rebbe (part 80 in the series). Special thanks Rabbi Asher Lowenstein.

What follows is a rare and unpublicized letter. It was graciously provided by Rabbi Sholom Ber Shapiro, who is eager to share the incredible archive in his possession, comprising invaluable letters from the collection of his father-in-law, Rabbi Dr. Nissan Mindel, z"l, confidant and personal secretary of the Previous Rebbe and the Rebbe.

A Brief history of the Attached Letter of the Rebbe

In 1944 a doctor in Manhattan, Elchonon Cohen, hosted a weekly Shiur in his waiting room. The class would touch on various topics relating to Judaism and was taught by Alexander Cowen, a gentleman who was close to the Previous Rebbe. Among the people who would regularly attend was Dr. Nissan Mindel.

At the classes the participants would become very involved in the questions that were raised, and they would stay after the classes to discuss the matters. Dr. Mindel, too, would participate in these discussions and try to answer the questions.

When, at times, Dr. Mindel felt that he could not adequately resolve the issues raised by Mr. Cowen or the other participants, he would convey the question to the Rebbe in writing.
The following letter is the Rebbe's response to one of Dr. Mindel's inquiries.

Picture description: the Rebbe coming into 770 in the early 197'0s.

Good Shabbos and a Kesiva Vachasima Tova.

Copyright © Menachem Kirschenbaum 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Rebbe "I Want That Two and Half Million Yidden"

"I want that two and half million Yidden which never put on Tefillin to put on -as an outcome of the war, that's the most important message that I am trying to convey to Yiddin in Eretz Yisroel"

-The Rebbe

This Shabbos will mark forty years to Mivtsa Tefillin (the Tefillin campaign). The Rebbe saw the heart of his nation open wide. It was a biblical moment; an opportunity of cosmic proportions, and the Rebbe urged Jewish leaders to respond, and speak about returning to Jewish traditions and they will listen, ask them to don Tefillin and they will roll up their sleeves...The Rebbe wanted the Six Day War to be a Jewish victory. I would like to present a fascinating diary written by a Yeshiva student that went to visit an army base to put on Tefillin with soldiers during the war. Also included is interesting pictures of the Rebbe part 66. With a description.

"I had left my apartment at 10:00 a.m . I was traveling in an armored car. As we got closer and closer to the army base, which were going to put Tefillin on the IDF. Soldiers who were fighting on the front lines, I began to say Tefilat Haderech (special traveler's prayer).

I must be honest, I have said Tefilat Haderech many times before, but the feeling that I had on this trip, seeing around me, buildings blown up, deserted street,etc…especially reading the words "I should be saved from my enemies, I should return in peace", I just could not help, but pray with so much fervor as ever before!

So, why did I decide to undertake such a "risky" trip? Because that is what the Rebbe wants from us, to put Tefillin on with the soldiers on the front lines.

After a couple of hours of driving, we finally got to the base. As we got out of the car, I was holding my Tefillin and Tehilim in my hand when I cheerfully announced "who would like to put on Tefillin? Within minutes, soldiers lined up and patiently waited for their turn. Each soldier had his sleeve rolled up ready to perform this beautiful mitzvah (good deed). As each one of them approached us, they had a great smile on their face and thanked us for giving them the merit of such a grate opportunity.

Words can't describe how powerful the Shema Yisroel is for each individual soldier! I truly witnessed for the first time in my life, how deeply connected all Yidden of all walks of life, are to Hashem. The tears of joy on every soldier's face while reciting the Shema was so moving!

What really touched me the most from this whole experience was that they just performed such a beautiful mitzvah in such a natural and spontaneous way!

Their were a couple of soldiers though, that told us "We heard that the Lubavitcher Rebbe said that every Jew, especially those serving in the IDF., should put on Tefillin and in the merit of doing so, it will guard them and help them succeed in destroying their enemies" Then, they concluded "did you even have a doubt that we would not do so (another words not put on Tefillin)?!!

Picture description: The Rebbe Davening by a Children's Rally during the summer of 1976.

Good Shabbos.


Copyright © Menachem Kirschenbaum 2007

The Rebbe "Abraham Joshua Heschel is Writing Now"

"The Mets... The Yankees we were so into it. But from March 19, 1940 the day the Rebbe arrived in New York everything changed forever"

-Rabbi Y.D. Groner

I would like to present two encounters with the Rebbe from the early 1940's, the encounters are related by Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner (Melbourne Australia). And Rabbi J.J. Hecht of blessed memory. Also included is interesting pictures of the Rebbe part 67. This e-mail is dedicated to Aron Meir Shloush in honor of his Engagement.
Rabbi J.J. Hecht of blessed memory Relates:

I remember one morning I Received a phone call from the Rebbe. The Rebbe asked me "where you in the Mikvah today?" I answered yes. Then the Rebbe asked me "do you have a Gartel?" I answered yes. The Rebbe then told me "come to the office please" I came to the Rebbe's office and the Rebbe told me the following:

Professor Abraham Joshua Heschel wants to write an essay on the Bal Shem Tov, he asked the Rebbe (the Previous Rebbe) if the Rebbe can show him the Bal Shem Tov's Siddur, and more specifically the page in the siddur that has two drops of blood on it.

The Rebbe then continued and said:

"I would not go and touch this Siddur on my own, but because the Rebbe ( referring to the Previous Rebbe) told me to show it to Professor Heschel, I would like to give you the honor to see it also. The Rebbe flipped thru the pages and showed me the page with the two drops of blood on it and let me hold the Siddur to!"
Rabbi Y.D. Groner Relates:

I remember the evening the Rebbe arrived in New York; I was standing with my father about to go into Yechidus by the Frierdiker Rebbe. Rabbi Yisroel Jacobsen came out of Yechidus and he told us:

"The Rebbe told me to give over to the Bachurim Studying in 770 that everyone in the Yeshiva should go out to welcome my son in Low (the Rebbe) he knows the all of Talmud by heart, and all books on Chasidism that are printed" I remember, that was when I got an idea of who the Rebbe was"

Picture description:

The Rebbe giving Lekach by the entrance to the Succa Hoshana Rabbah 1969. (Special Thanks to Rabbi Seligson)

Good Shabbos

Copyright © Menachem Kirschenbaum 2007

"The Rebbe" Gimmel Tammuz Edition.

"I have been to many funerals in my life, but I have never seen someone cry with as much pain as the Rebbe cried for that soldier."

- Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau

The following private accounts are brief episodes which give us a fleeting glimpse of the Rebbe's relationship with Yidden and his Shluchim, as well as his yearning for the Geula. They are presented in honor of Gimmel Tammuz. Also included is interesting pictures of the Rebbe part 69. Special thanks to Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, Rabbi Avrohom Levitansky, O.B.M., and Rabbi Asher Lowenstein.

This e-mail is dedicated to my grandfather Meir Ben Avraham Pesach who passed away Gimmel Tammuz 5743.

The Rebbe—A Father

"I have been to many funerals in my life, but I have never seen someone cry with as much pain as the Rebbe cried for that soldier."

- Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau

"There was a young Lubavitch girl, about 16 or 17, who was going through a difficult phase in her life and was very emotionally distraught. The Rebbe was deeply involved in helping her. As a Kollel fellow brought in to assist, I would try to explain to her the meaning of the Rebbe's letters which she brought to me.

"In one letter, the Rebbe wrote to her that he felt the pain she was suffering. She responded to the Rebbe that she simply did not believe him, because it is not possible to feel someone else's pain.

"The Rebbe answered, 'She will grow older and hopefully merit to get married and, eventually, to have a child. She will see that, when at a young age, a child begins to teeth, which is a process that can cause a lot of pain for the child, she, as a mother, will then actually feel the child's pain. That is how I feel her pain.' The story had a good ending."

The Rebbe and his Shluchim

"The Rebbe would debrief the Shluchim for hours on end, often weeping upon hearing the reports of physical and spiritual persecution"

-The Rebbe's Shluchim to Russia

Mr. Marvin Goldschmidt, as a representative, presented the Rebbe with the key to his local Chabad House. The following dialogue ensued.

Rebbe: What is this?

Goldschmidt: The key to the Chabad house in Westwood.

Rebbe: For which door?

Goldschmidt: The front door

Rebbe: And the key is mine?

Goldschmidt: Yes!

Rebbe: If so, I say that the door should be open 24 hours-a-day to men, women and children, and this should burst forth to the north, south, east and west!

The Rebbe and Moshiach

"Increasingly through the years, the Rebbe's emphasis was on Moshiach.... The Rebbe wanted to do something that was far more reaching than any revolution."

-Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

In 1992 an eye doctor came to check the Rebbe's eyes. Interested to take advantage of the rare opportunity to approach the Rebbe, he asked the Rebbe when he was done, "If so many good things are being done all over the world, why isn't Moshiach here yet?"

"You know what?" the Rebbe replied, "I have the same question! I don't know why Moshiach is not here yet. But at the same time, I have to say that something must be done."

The Rebbe added, "Although we have accomplished so much, it seems that, somehow, there is a little more that can be done. And this is why I don't let my Chassidim sleep, and I'm constantly urging them to do a little bit more than what they have done until now…"

Good Shabbos.

Copyright © M.Kirschenbaum 2007

"I Remember Sitting and Writing a Letter to the Rebbe"

"I don't know if I will ever be able to share my experiences with the Rebbe...Because I will never have enough words to describe how much he looked after me and guided me, every step of my life"

- Mrs. Chaya Kahan

Mrs. Chaya Kahan had a very unique relationship with the Rebbe. The following encounter I would like to present is when her Daughter Rivka who was six years old, wrote a very heartfelt letter to the Rebbe. Whereupon she received an moving response. Also included is an interesting picture of the Rebbe (part 70).

Mrs. Chaya Kahan relates:

"I remember sitting down and writing a letter to the Rebbe. My daughter Rivka was then six years old when she asked me, 'mommy what are you writing?'

I replied "I am writing a letter to the Rebbe in need of His advice in regards to a specific matter that I am having."

My daughter then continued and asked "Mommy Will the Rebbe answer you?" I told her "yes." Rivka then asked "can I write a letter to the Rebbe also?" I told her "yes."

My daughter then sat down and began to write the following:

"Dear Rebbe, I like you very much."

~Chasia Rivka Kahan,

Two weeks later to my excitement, an envelope came in the mail addressed to "Miss Chasia Rivka Kahan." I then called my daughter over, where then we began to read the letter together:

Miss. Chasia Rivka Kahan,

Blessings and Greetings,

I was pleased to receive your letter, and thank you very much for letting me know how you feel.

I am therefore sure that you conduct yourself in a way that is fitting for a Jewish girl, the daughter of Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and Leah, the mothers of our people, about whom you have surely heard about.

With Blessing.

(The Rebbe's signature)

picture Description: Yud Shevat 5723

Good Shabbos.

Copyright © Menachem Kirschenbaum 2007

The Rebbe "Take her Address And Phone Number"

" The Lubavitcher Rebbe is of the Great Leaders in our times...Before I travel now to Washington to meet with The President (Jimmy Carter), I feel it's very important for me to come to the Rebbe, and to receive His blessing."

-Menachem Begin (Former Prime Minister of Israel)

I would like to present a very unique Shlichus in which Rebbe sent former Prime Minster Menachem Begin to France, to help a Jewish Girl who was in midst of a very difficult time with her Judaism. Also included is an interesting picture of the Rebbe. (Part 72) Special thanks Rabbi Binyomin Klein from the Rebbe's secretaries, as well as to Rabbi Asher Lowenstein.

Menachem Begin visited the Rebbe many times prior to becoming Prime Minister. I remember towards the end of one of his private audiences:

"The Rebbe asked him: Can I ask you to do a favor for me?

Begin: Definitely!

The Rebbe: "I received a letter from the mother and father of a Jewish girl from France. They describe how their daughter wants to get married to a non-Jewish guy. They wrote in the letter that they tried to do everything in their power to hold up the marriage; but nothing helped. So, they are asking me now for my help to see what I can do.

"I think," said the Rebbe, "that a person like you, with the standing that you have, should speak to her. Especially because you speak French also, it will have a very great effect on the girl."

Menachem Begin listened to the Rebbe's request and accepted upon himself to do the Shlichus. The Rebbe gave him the girl's address and her phone number in France. The Rebbe told Begin that he wants to pay for all of the expenses involved with traveling there.

He traveled to France and met with the girl. He spoke his heart on why it's so important to marry a Jew. In the end, she broke it off. Today she lives in Jerusalem with a beautiful family.

Good Shabbos.

Copyright © M.Kirschenbaum 2007.

Rebbetzin Chana "You know that Tonight is Yud Aleph Nissan?"

"All of the Chassidim where in total awe from the tremendous respect that the Rebbe had towards his mother during his visit in Paris....He would visit her twice a day"

-Rabbi Nachum Yakobovitch

This year marks 60 years to the Rebbe's historical visit to Paris. The purpose of the Rebbe's trip was to bring his mother Rebbetzin Chana (which he did not see for twenty two years) to the US. I would like to present a beautiful episode with the Rebbe and his mother that occurred during the Rebbe's stay in Paris. Also included is an interesting picture of the Rebbe. (Part 73 in the series). Special thanks to Rabbi Nachum Yakobovitch for sharing this episode.

"One of the more unique memories I remember from the Rebbe's visit to Paris in 1947, was the evening of Yud Aleph Nissin. We were sitting in the home of Rabbi Zalmen Schneerson, and the

Rebbe's mother Rebbetzin Chana, came into the living room and asked us: Rebbetzin Chana: "You know that tonight is Yud Aleph Nissan?" (We didn't know of any significance of the date at that time).

The Rebbetzin continued: "Yud Aleph Nissan is my son's [the Rebbe's] birthday. Ask him to farbrengen!" So the group of Elder Chassidim (who were in Paris at the time) complying with the request They approached the Rebbe, and asked if he can farbrengen. The Rebbe replied: (with a smile) "A Vade a Glaiche Zach" (literally Translated "defiantly it's a good thing"). I remember very vaguely what the Rebbe spoke about by that that farbrengen, but, there are two episodes, that stayed with me. One of the them was:

"The Rebbe spoke about the picture of him and the Frierdiker (Previous) Rebbe playing Chess. the Rebbe explained that The picture was taken at a time that the doctors of The Frierdiker Rebbe advised him to get more rest (for health reasons) They advised the Frierdiker Rebbe that he should weigh his responsibilities and moreover, he should spend his time working with things that will free more time because of his health. So The Frierdiker Rebbe, complying with the doctor's request, decided to play chess.

And he asked me to play with him. After the first game the Frierdiker Rebbe felt that I didn't play properly, so we played a second game and the Rebbe concluded: "I was victorious."

Good Shabbos.

Copyright © Menachem Kirschenbaum 2007

The Rebbe Asked Me "Why didn't You go Upstairs?"

"Whenever I had difficulties in learning I would go to the Rebbe's office and ask the Rebbe to explain me what I didn't understand. his answers to me were always short and to the Point"

-Rabbi Peretz Hecht

I would like to present a very interesting conversation that a student had with the Rebbe in the study Hall upstairs in 770 in the early 1940's. Also included is in an interesting picture of the Rebbe. (Part 76 in the series).

"I remember sitting and learning one day in 770, as we where learning a Bachur came into the study hall and told us that Rabbi Gurary (the Rebbe's brother in law) had come to 770 with group of donors that supported the central Lubavitch Yeshiva at the time. The reason for their coming was that The Previous Rebbe was going to deliver a special talk to them on the importance Jewish education.

As we where sitting in the study hall a student came down stairs with great excitement and told us that the door of The Previous Rebbe's room is slightly open. Immediately all of the Bachurim went upstairs to try to listen to this special talk. My study partner and I decided that we weren't going upstairs and try to listen in rather we went on and continued learning.To our surprise the Rebbe (then known as the Ramah's) entered the study hall, he approached us and asked: "Where are all the Bachurim?" We replied: "The Bachurim went upstairs because The Previous Rebbe is delivering a special talk to a group of donors and the door is opened; they went to try to here the talk." Then the Rebbe asked me: "Why didn't you go upstairs?

"I replied to the Rebbe:

"As a disciple of the (Previous) Rebbe it's a bit difficult for me to fulfill even half of what the Rebbe wants, so why should run to go here more? Let me try to fulfill what's being demanded from me already". Following my words the Rebbe smiled and told me:

"There are times that the "arum" (the environment or surroundings) of Chassidus affects the teachings Chassidus."

I.e. To hear a story or to go listen to a Yechidus participating in a farbrengen gives a Chossid the ability to properly fulfill what Chassidus demands in learning and practical Avodah.

Picture description: the Rebbe distributing dollars on a Sunday. (Special thanks to a reader of the e-mails for sending it)

Good Shabbos.

Copyright © M.Kirschenbaum 2007

Answers Regarding Shlichus - 1955

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