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Jewish Pride

This week, on the 26th of Iyar, we mark the 40th anniversary of Israel’s amazing and miraculous victory in the six-day war.  The unexpected victory led to an outpouring of Jewish pride throughout the world.  The Jewish people, so recently victimized and decimated in the Holocaust, were shown demonstrably that “the guardian of Israel does not slumber or sleep.”

Among Chabad Chassidim, the period of the six-day war evokes two unique memories.  One is of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s constant words of encouragement, bolstering the faith of the people in their salvation.  This was at a time when most experts were predicting the direst results for the outcome of the war.

The second memory is the spiritual “weaponry” that the Rebbe utilized in this fateful battle.  During the summer of 1967, the Rebbe introduced the tefillin campaign, encouraging his Chassidim to arm themselves with prayer books and phylacteries and mingle among the soldiers, encouraging them to don tefillin for their own protection and the protection of the Jewish people.  Quoting a biblical verse, “And the nations of the world will see the name of G-d inscribed upon you, and they will fear you,” the Rebbe issued a call to the Jewish people to strengthen this mitzvah.  In this way, the tefillin campaign was born.  Since that time, it has become a common sight in public streets and airports around the world, to see a Chabad chassid with a pair of tefillin, encouraging a fellow Jew to don them and recite a blessing and prayer.

The tefillin campaign is but one example of many mitzvah campaigns that the Rebbe introduced during his years of leadership.  The Rebbe, an innovative and inspiring leader, never ceased to come up with colorful and even outrageous ideas to promote and bolster observance of Torah and mitzvoth.

The miraculous victory in the six-day war served to pave the way for the Rebbe’s emissaries and ensured the success of the mitzvah campaigns.  Infused with Jewish pride, young Jewish men and women around the world eagerly embraced the Rebbe’s message and accepted upon themselves to increase their Jewish observance.  The Rebbe, with his insight, knew the exact moment to introduce a new mitzvah campaign, when his message would be readily accepted and adopted.

The Rebbe himself explained the secret of his success:  According to the signs indicated by our sages, we are in the era immediately preceding the time of Redemption.  Therefore, there is an inner awakening among the Jewish people to become closer to G-d and fulfill his commandments.  The Rebbe simply provided the tools with which the Jewish people could express their inner yearning.

Time and again, we have seen the Rebbe foresee world events with uncanny accuracy.  The Rebbe used his gift of vision to prepare and conduct numerous projects to improve Jewish life around the world, with incredible success.  In the early ‘90’s, the Rebbe began his final and most momentous campaign.  He revealed that we have already entered the era of Moshiach, and all that is left for us is to “greet Moshiach in actuality.”  

We are sure that just as all the Rebbe’s previous predictions have been borne out, this final prophecy will speedily be fulfilled. Very soon we will merit the final Redemption of the Jewish people from exile and the rebuilding of our Holy Temple.



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