Devar Torah - Korach

Thursday, 7 July, 2016 - 7:00 pm

Unanimously Passing the Referendum on Galus!
By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

This Shabbos is Gimmel Tammuz. It's been many years since we've seen the Rebbe in the physical sense; each one of us has his or her personal and unique way of reflecting on this day, gaining strength and focus and increasing our connection with the Rebbe.

In general, when we speak about the Rebbe's leadership we see two extremes. On one hand we see how the Rebbe gave his time and energy openly and generously to each and every person without judgment. On the other hand we see the Rebbe's unwavering mandate for all Chabad Chassidim to strive for the highest standards in Torah, Avodah and Gemilus Chasadim. If things were not done the way they should be we would certainly hear about it. One year the Rebbe stopped editing and printing Likutei Sichos because he did not feel they were being taken seriously. With regard to Minhagei Chabad the Rebbe was also clear and resolute. Even though there are many other beautiful minhagim, the Rebbe was clear that for Chabad Chassidim only Minhagei Chabad are appropriate. Also with regard to some legitimate leniencies in Halacha the Rebbe recognized and respected them for others while stating that for Chabad Chassidim there was no room for compromise.

The Rebbe opened his hands and heart to everyone. Once David Chase asked the Rebbe what the Rebbe would like for his birthday. The Rebbe answered that a present for him would be if he would put on Tefillin every day.

Gimmel Tammuz is a special opportunity to think about reaching higher standards in thought and speech and action and to increase our efforts to educate our children. At the same time we think about reaching out and being m’karev others that may have little if any noticeable standards.

When questions arise we have the Sichos and Letters of the Rebbe. If we still need more we have older Chassidim to speak with who corresponded with the Rebbe directly. We don't just look into a Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, although it's very important too, we also raise the bar by checking our standards and living according to the Rebbe's directives. 

Rabbi Y Kalmanson told a story at a Shiur given this last Monday in preparation for Gimmel Tammuz in Shul.  When the Rebbe came out with the mivtza of Tefillin back in the 1960's two bachurim went to Nice France and managed to put Tefillin on100 people. The problem with Nice is that its not the most tznius place, it's close to the ocean, but nonetheless they managed to put on Tefillin with 100 people. When they wrote into the Rebbe about their accomplishment they received a reply in the form of a question; "Who gave permission?" The message was twofold; you should reach out to others but never let down your guard. Always keep your standards high and your priorities straight.

Many think and feel that times have changed. The recent referendum in England, which concluded with the British exercising their right to withdraw from the European Union, known as Brexit, teaches us as Chabad Chassidim an important and essential lesson. The English people have told the EU that they will not define them nor dictate how England will be now and into the future. They have taken back their purpose and declared that they alone will define the English people. Brussels will no longer tell them how to live. This reminds us how important and essential it is for us to never allow our message and our purpose to become diluted or controlled by outside influences. Our constitution is the Torah and our Rabbeim are who we listen to and who guidance we follow. We are not defined by social convention and economic pressure.

We do not feel that being who we are separates us from the world or makes us out of touch with others; quite the opposite, when we stand on our principals and live the way we should we are a light to others and the world at large. By following our constitution, with the light and inspiration of Chassidus that the Rebbeim gave us, we stand firm in the declaration of the Previous Rebbe on Gimmel Tammuz 5687-1927 that only our physical bodies are in Galus but our Neshamos never went into Galus. With that strength we convert the Galus to Geula and reveal Moshiach Now!

A Good Shabbos!

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