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A Birthday Gift

This Tuesday, April 3, will mark the 110th birthday of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, on the 11th of Nissan, 5772. Generally, a birthday is considered a personal milestone to be celebrated privately with family and friends. But when we are speaking of the birthday of the Rebbe, one of the greatest Jewish leaders of our generation, it is something that affects all of us.

The Zohar explains that G-d chose certain exceptionally righteous people in every generation who would be the “pillars of the world,” a source of Divine energy and blessing in this world. In our generation, that role was fulfilled by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

In addition, the Rebbe’s impact on Jewish life was amplified by the network of emissaries, Shluchim, that he sent around the world, to bolster Jewish education and Jewish life in the most remote areas. To this day the Rebbe continues to bring the light of Torah and Judaism to every Jew, regardless of where on the planet he or she is. People who would otherwise have no connection to Judaism are learning about their roots, thanks to the campaigns and projects of the Rebbe and his Shluchim.

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The Rebbe left his mark on everyone he met. Experts in every field would leave a meeting with the Rebbe amazed at his thorough grasp of science, medicine, technology, or politics. Talmudic scholars were in awe of the depth and breadth of his Torah knowledge. And as for the average person, every one of us was touched by the Rebbe’s caring for every individual, his blessings, his wise and penetrating advice for every situation in life and every crisis, great or small.

The Rebbe’s leadership did not only extend to the Jewish people. The Rebbe was concerned for the wellbeing of all the world’s people. He was tireless in his campaigns to promote peace and kindness, and called upon the non-Jewish nations to observe the seven Noachide laws.

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According to our sages, a birthday is a day when one’s mazal, or “luck,” is strongest, and one’s actions on this day have a profound effect. The Rebbe’s birthday on the 11th of Nissan is a day of strengthened mazal not just for the Rebbe himself but for all the Jewish people. This is an opportune moment to express our thanks to G-d for granting us a leader of this caliber at such a crucial time in our history.

The best way to thank G-d is through giving the Rebbe a birthday present. The Rebbe had no use for cards or gifts—what the Rebbe asked of his chassidim, and of every Jew, was to increase in our observance of Torah and mitzvot and take on good resolutions. These resolutions, in turn, will hasten the revelation of Moshiach, when we will be reunited with the Rebbe, face to face.


 

 


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