ב”ה ליל ועש”ק פר’ תצוה, שבת זכור, שנת “שבעת” לפ”ק

Dear Alumni Sheyichyu!

Sholom U’Brocho!

Mazel Tov to Chanochie Deitch on the occasion of his engagement. Mazel Tov to Chaim Itkin on the occasion of his engagement. May they use out the special period of Yokor Mikol yokor to its’ utmost! Mazel Tov to Shmery Labkowski on the occasion of his chasuna. May the new home be built on the foundations of Torah and a chassidus, and be a keli for all brochos! Mazel Tov to Rabbi & Mrs. Bentche Butman on the birth of their daughter. Mazel Tov to Rabbi & Mrs, Michoel Chaikin on the birth of their son. Mazel Tov to Rabbi & Mrs. Hirsch Meilach Rosenfeld on the birth of their son. Mazel Tov to Rabbi & Mrs. Schneur Weingarten on the birth of their son. May they bring them up lTOveCHuMAA”T mitoch harchovo, and to be true chayolim/os! (If anyone is aware of any mazeltov’s that I omitted please let me know).

Thank you as always for the feedback, it is much appreciated.

In connection with the auspicious month of Adar that we’ve just entered, I would like to share the following:

There was a family of Iranians who were living in Eretz Yisroel, who had a daughter, by whom the doctors revealed a tumor in her brain r”l. At the time that it was discovered, it was already at a very advanced stage, and there was very little that could be done. The parents were informed that there was one very risky surgery that could be done, that had a small chance of helping her. However, the surgery itself was so dangerous that there was a 60% chance of her not surviving the surgery. On the other hand, if nothing was done she didn’t have more than a few months left.

The parents were burdened with the dilemma in making this impossible decision. A family member was connected with Lubavitch, and it was arranged that the father should get a yechidus with the Rebbe, to get the Rebbe’s advice. The yechidus took place in the month of Adar.

When he entered the Rebbe’s room, he was overwhelmed by the magnitude of his problem, and he burst into tears. The Rebbe looked at him very seriously and exclaimed: “Ir vilt areinbrengen a moroh shchoira in di daled amos in chodesh Adar??!! Ess iz doch hachodesh asher nehepach!” [(Why) are you trying to bring sadness into this room in this month of Adar? This is the month that was transformed!]

The Jew was very moved by the Rebbe’s words, and, next thing he knew, his yechidus had ended and he was outside of the Rebbe’s room. Only then did he realize, belatedly, that he had not received any answer to his question, – the reason for which he had come. He immediately approached the mazkirim and requested to be allowed to go back in. He was told, however, that that would be impossible, and that if he has further questions then he should write them in a letter. He did so, and the Rebbe immediately responded: “kvar onisi lo beyechidus” [I have already answered him during his yechidus].

The person was perplexed. It was a very interesting yechidus, undeniably, but there was no discussion of the issue facing him. He approached the secretaries again, and was told to write again, which he did, receiving the same response.

Not knowing what to do further, he returned home, and they decided – with a heavy heart – to give their consent for the operation. When the doctors opened up the girls head, they were shocked. There was no sign of the tumor! It was a miracle!

However, every operation carries a small risk that the patient will not awaken from the anesthesia, and this happened in this case. There was much worry, and the relative in NY asked the Rebbe for a brocho, after which she awoke.

The family recognized that they needed to thank the Rebbe for his brocho, and Pesach the father was in Crown Heights for this purpose. On acharon shel Pesach he was by the Rebbe’s farbrengen, and he approached the Rebbe to thank him. The Rebbe handed him a piece of matza saying “dos iz doch michla d’asvoso” [this is the bread of healing]. Then the Rebbe handed him a 2nd piece, saying “dos iz doch michla d’mihemnusa” [this is the bread of emunah]. Then the Rebbe said “when there is emuna, there is no need for refuah but the child shouldn’t have to suffer because the parent is lacking in emuna”.

Indeed, in the daled amos of the Rebbe there is no place for worry or fear. Not only because of the brochos that the Rebbe gives there, but, much more, because that is a place where the cause for the worry doesn’t exist in the first place. Just as the beis hamikdash was a place that was not governed by nature – as was reflected by the 10 constant miracles that were witnessed there – so too in the mikdash me’at, Beis Rabenu shebebavel, there is no jurisdiction to the laws of nature.

When Avrohom expressed his concern about his inability to have children, and the Eibishter reassured him, the Posuk says ויוצא אותו החוצה, – the Eibishter removed him from the governance of his stargazers, or removed him from the area of the world altogether (see Rashi there). Undoubtedly the Eibishter had the ability to fulfill the desires of Avrohom regardless of what the stars would foretell. But perhaps the message here is the same as above; – through being removed from the previous “world”, through entering a new area – a new daled amos – the previous natural limitations cease to exist automatically.

Don’t bring in moroh shchoirah here, the Rebbe demanded of the Jew, instead realize the power of this place, strengthen your emuna, and you can be genuinely b’simcha, because you will have nothing to worry about to begin with.

[Perhaps this can shed some light on a story in the Megilla: When Mordechai heard about the terrible decree against the Jews, he ripped his clothing and donned sackcloth and ashes. When Esther heard about this, she was very shaken, and she sent fresh clothing for Mordechai to be dressed in.

There seems to be an obvious question here: It was extremely unusual for Mordechai to behave in such a manner (as we can understand from the fact that Esther was so shaken when she heard about it). Why then was the reaction of Esther to send him a new set of clothing? It was obvious that his problem did not stem from not having clothing (he didn’t put on the sackcloth because his suit was at the drycleaners). Shouldn’t she, rather, have sent to him first to inquire about the reason for his conduct (something she only seems to do after he rejects the clothing)?!

The question is even stronger. It would seem logical to assume that Esther, living as she did in the royal palace, was also privy to the news of the latest decrees (see both Rashi and Ibn Ezra on the Posuk ומרדכי ידע את כל אשר נעשה from where it is understood that Mordechai’s knowledge of the actual events was not something unique, although the midrash on the Posuk שומר מצוה לא ידע דבר רעseems to imply that Esther was in fact unaware due to her preoccupation with the mitzvah of biur chometz). Shouldn’t, then, her main focus have been on the terrible danger they were facing, rather than on Mordechai’s sackcloth?

But perhaps it can be understood in light of the above: Maybe she was saying to him: ‘Don’t focus on the negative, on the evil decree and the worry it causes you, the decree can be annulled through emunah (which is expressed by not paying attention to the fear)’.

Maybe she was saying (completely ignoring the reason for his worry, just as the Rebbe did in the above story): ‘Mordechai, it is chodesh Adar[1], the chodesh asher nehepach, this is not a time for moroh shchoirah, you must accomplish through simcha (and Mordechai was, after all, in the daled amos of the Rebbe, as Chazal tell us that Mordechai was the Moshe of his generation!’]

הימים האלו נזכרים ונעשים, – today, too, when we are in the holy place, when we are in the daled amos of the Rebbe, we can be liberated from the difficulties that result from our being governed by the laws of nature. Through strengthening our emunah, our unmitigated faith in the Oneness of Hashem, we become the recipients of His exclusive care, and protected from any natural dangers.

Our charge now, therefore, is to bring ourselves into the Rebbe’s daled amos, a place where there is no room for our moroh shchoira, where our challenges and obstacles have no existence to begin with.

How do we remove ourselves from our own world and bring ourselves into the Rebbe’s daled amos? Certainly it’s first and foremost through renewing our commitment to follow his directives. Through accepting upon ourselves unconditionally the yoke of Heaven, we detach ourselves from our own self, and place ourselves in a new “world’ and reality.

Each of us has to seek and identify the areas of conflict between the aims and agendas of our own self and the goals and objectives that the Rebbe charges us with. By putting aside the interests and intentions of our guf and nefesh habehamis, and dedicating ourselves instead to carrying out the ratzon haelyon, we are removing ourselves from being entrenched in our own world, and bringing ourselves closer to the Rebbe’s daled amos.

The Rebbe’s daled amos are, unquestionably, the daled amos of Torah and mitzvos, of Yiddishkeit and chassiddishkeit, and, specifically, of the Torah that he imparted to us. We need to use this time to strengthen our total immersion in Torah and G-dliness. And we need to all increase our involvement in learning the Rebbe’s Torah.

Not just to be able to mark off another line on our chassidishe checklist, but to actually koch zich in a maamar or sicha, delve into it, in a way that it becomes our world!

Perhaps when making a cheshbon hanefesh you discover a “growth”, some foreign matter growing in your brain – machsheves chutz – that doesn’t belong there. Whether it’s (old fashioned) machshovos zoros, or worries about “tachkis” – how to survive in the world according to the laws of nature etc., these “growths” present a serious hazard to your spiritual health.

But never fear, there is a sure cure, and you don’t even need to heal them, because you can go to a place where they never existed in the first place! As we celebrate the month of Adar, the chodesh asher nehepach, let’s take advantage of the opportunity to pot in mnore effort to ensure that we are indeed in the Rebbe’s daled amos, and thus we can indeed transform all the negative aspects in the world and in the עולם קטן זה האדם into אורה ושמחה וששון ויקר in an open and revealed way both b’gashmiyus and b’ruchniyus!!

L’chaim! May we all take advantage of the uniqueness of chodesh Adar, the chodesh asher nehepach, to transform all the negative aspects in our life into visible and revealed good, and may the Eibishter, too, take advantage of this special opportunity to finally transform the darkness of golus into infinite light and infinite simcha etc., through the immediate hisgalus of Moshiach Tzidkeinu TUMYM!!!

Rabbi Akiva Wagner

לזכות ר’ שלום מרדכי הלוי בן רבקה, לגאולה וישועה קרובה ושלימה, תומ”י ממש בטוהנוהנ”ג

[1] For those of you more scholarly who will argue that that didn’t take place in Adar, I will refer you to Rahi in Taanis 29A and the yaavatz there.