From Darkest Times to Streams of Blessings: The Lubavitcher Rebbe – Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson - Jewish Outlook

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From Darkest Times to Streams of Blessings: The Lubavitcher Rebbe – Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson

 

Who is this Rabbi?

 

In the past few decades we have been blessed with the presence of a most powerful giant of loving kindness and wisdom, Master of Miracles, known worldwide as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a brilliant leader and innovator, a friend to all mankind. His natural genius and inspired guidance is influencing and shaping the lives of an ever increasing number of people in hundreds of thousands. He has paid special attention to the education of children, to family life, to the downtrodden, the prisoners, and especially to countless Jews disconnected from their spiritual heritage. It is from his loving support, guidance, encouragement and a certain mysterious undercurrent of miraculous interventions, that now thousands of active Lubavitch centers, schools, Yeshivos and synagogues have blossomed and stay fully active in more than 61 countries, including Russia, many European countries, Latin America, Australia, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Nepal, and of course in the United States, Canada and Israel.

 

If you have been privileged to be attuned with the spiritual strength of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, you know how life-transforming it was just to be in his presence. You know that around his influence miracles can manifest in ingenious, unexpected, and often stunning ways.

 

The Rebbe was masterful at awakening new strength and energy, hope and faith in our hearts. It would take many books to relate all the miracles that manifested from him.

 

Life Transforming Contacts

 

Having heard so much about the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Joshua and I decided to visit him during a temporary stay in New York, and we were to stand on line for a few hours to have the opportunity to contact him in person for maybe two or three seconds.

 

“I am looking for a photograph of the Rebbe with a smile on his face”, said Joshua, “have you ever found one?”

 

“I wish I had,” I responded, “he always looks very serious.”

 

“Yeah. Too serious.”

 

You see, we were rather spoiled. We were privileged to be close to Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Our friendship was lit with shining smiles and lots of chances to spend time together with many friends, learning, listening to his soul awakening melodies and songs. It was enchanting. Golden moments of heart-warming insights. Joy at every turn. And when we were filled to the brim with all this loving kindness, Reb Shlomo would fly to another town and let us integrate all this for a few months.

 

So we went to stand on line. (This certainly did not fit in Joshua’s style. He never stood in line for anything, especially not at work as a Medical Doctor.) But as he found himself there, he found the experience interesting, being in good company. And he remembered that the Rebbe himself, who was then in his eighties, was standing there for eight hours in a row, giving and making soul contact with each person ready to receive.

 

Once, someone had asked the Rebbe: “Aren’t all these long exhausting hours standing and distributing too strenuous for you?” The Rebbe answered: “Why? If you were counting your diamonds, would you be tired?”

 

Lo and behold, when Joshua’s turn came, the Rebbe glanced at him in his unique laser beam all knowing way. Then he smiled. Smiling was quite unusual for him in those days.

 

Years later, talking about this encounter now, Joshua recalls:

 

“It wasn’t a regular smile. It was a sunburst of magnificent scope, it was kind of earth shattering! I am still in awe.”

 

A few hours later, I was also waiting on line with the women, enjoying, watching the people there. I didn’t expect much to happen in this two to three second encounter with an elder Rebbe overburdened with too many requests. Yet, when my turn came to stand in front of the Rebbe, to my amazement, I was greeted with a radiant smile! Not only a smile, but an eye contact that I still remember today as a living, present, ineffable connection. It was the contact with the unfathomable depths, the vast, ancient, vital, loving power of the Heavenly Realms. It was the contact with the loving kindness of the great Chassidic masters and holy people from many previous generations. It was their glorious souls working with the Rebbe. It was their connections with the Almighty reaching out to us. It was the promise of redemption and the end of doubt and suffering for us. It was a glimpse into the times of the Messianic era.

 

Half an hour after this brief encounter, I was still shivering.

 

“You are going to recover and you will stay healthy”

 

In a hospital in Sydney, Australia, a woman was lying in bed at night, deathly ill, drifting in and out of sleep alone in a room. She had been given the wrong medication by mistake and the doctors were extremely concerned about her. Suddenly she sees someone entering through the door: A white bearded Rabbi clad in a black coat and black hat. He stands at the foot of the bed, his penetrating blue eyes focused on her, and declares:

 

“You are going to recover and you will stay healthy.”

 

He spoke a few words of blessings in Hebrew and then he was gone.

 

She knew that this was not just a dream. It was too real, and besides, she immediately began to feel better. Her sense of well being continued to improve. That morning, when the doctors examined her again, they were puzzled and most relieved at the sudden change in her condition, since they had anticipated the worst.

 

The next day her anguished parents, who had flown in from out of town, were sitting in her room. Soon after, her brother, who had also flown in from another area, walked in. After warm family greetings, he looked around and announced:

 

“This is really strange. Just yesterday I had an amazing dream, and here I am now, in exactly the same room as in my dream. I saw you lying there in your bed. I felt apprehensive for I knew you were in a dangerous condition, near death. Then I saw this strange man entering your room and standing at the foot of your bed. He looked like a Rabbi. He said: ‘You are going to recover and you will stay healthy’, then he said a few words that I didn’t understand. Then I woke up. I immediately made plane reservations to come here to be with you.”

 

“So you also saw him!” exclaimed the woman in wonder. I knew this Rabbi was really there for me. I began to feel better immediately after!”

 

She and her brother exchanged more correlating details about the appearance of this mysterious person who had manifested in a vision and in a dream at exactly the same time. The parents didn’t know what to make of all this. They enquired of the medical staff to find out who was this Rabbi who had visited their daughter. No one had seen or heard of him. Visitors were not allowed in the middle of the night.

A few weeks later the woman was completely recovered. One day, as she was walking in the streets of Sydney, she saw posted in a store window, a large photograph of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, stationed in his Crown Heights center in New York.

 

She stared in shock:

“That’s him! He is the one who saved my life! I want to find out all about him!”

 

She entered the store and met with one of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s emissaries.

 

“Who is this Rabbi?” She wanted to know.

 

A life transforming presence

 

Through his unfailing, joyful, powerful example the Rebbe inspired countless souls in the blissful art of loving-kindness in action. He reached out to the world with organized, efficient, masterful pathways of kindness and faith. His love for people was boundless. His heart was inconceivably vast. Throughout his ministry he connected with many millions of people, including those who didn’t know anything about him. Being in his presence was life transforming. Ceaselessly and with all the skills of his intuitive vision and wisdom, he helped transform our world in a myriad ways. His dynamic strength and loving encouragement focused on us like the light of a laser beam, inspired us to live in the joy of serving God and man. He was a healing to our heart after the relentless nightmares of World War II and the Stalin era. He was constantly praying and intervening for our cause, for our awakening, so that we may trust in our mission as Jewish souls, strengthening it and expressing it, and consequently learning to draw forth new blessings into our lives.

 

Those who were privileged to spend the Sabbath or Holiday prayer services with him in the electrifying atmosphere of his Crown Heights Yeshiva in Brooklyn, New York, were carried to heights they had never dreamed of. The singing together was awesome, transformative, empowering. Many thousands were so uplifted that they chose to dedicate their lives to communicating this message of loving kindness and deeper wisdom to as many as they could reach. This is how thousands of schools and yeshivas are now flourishing all over the world, through countless miracles. The number of these Lubavitch centers has doubled since the Rebbe passed on in 1994.

 

The archives at the Lubavitch Center are replete with many thousands of grateful letters and testimonies relating life-saving interventions from the Almighty that had manifested through the blessings of the Rebbe. These included situations resolved when there was no hope of remedy, dreams or strong intuitive guidance at the precise timing, providential encounters in times of great need, life-saving coincidences defying all rational explanations, stunning rescues from desperate situations such as terminal diseases, and mysterious, inexplicable apparitions at split second beneficial timing. If you consult Chabad on the internet, you will find many fascinating accounts, at beismoshiach.org, or chabad.org.

 

“There is no safer place in the world than

Israel!”

 

At the onset of the Gulf War in 1990, Saddam Hussein was threatening us with annihilation. He was strongly supported by more than two hundred million Muslims, living in huge lands surrounding our tiny country, who were cheering him on and ready for action. Aside from that, the opinion of world politics was being convincingly manipulated by the multi, multi billion dollar interests in the oil from Arab countries. Seen from an objective view, our situation looked desperate and bound for disaster. That was the very time when the Lubavitcher Rebbe announced – “There is no safer place in the world than Israel! No one needs to run away from there! You don’t need to be afraid of those scud missiles!”

 

Wasn’t this some kind of an outrageous statement? How could he know?

 

He also urged everyone to intensify their prayers and deeds of kindness. Soon after, 50 scud missiles were fired at Israel. Each one could have killed or injured hundreds, even thousands. Yet, at the end of the war it was found that from this avalanche of deadly missiles laden with 550 pounds of explosives, only one single person died (accidentally). When apartment buildings collapsed, somehow nobody happened to be there. When a main city underground gas line was hit, that line had just been turned off that very morning for repairs. When a scud fell in a courtyard next to a synagogue filled with 300 people in prayer, it just laid there without exploding! The list of miracles goes on. The Rebbe was right.

 

More details with photographs can be found about some of these stunning miracles in a small book called: “Missiles, Masks and Miracles”, published by Aish Hatorah.

 

In Loving Touch, through Time and Space

 

Another story:

 

One evening a Chassid (devoted student) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe was very upset with his Rebbe over some of his own failures. He sat down wearily on his bed. Across the room on the wall hung a large portrait of the Rebbe. The Chassid was taking off his shoes. One shoe in hand, he looked up at the portrait and on impulse he threw his shoe smack into the Rebbe’s face.

 

Several months went by. He had forgotten about that outburst of his as well as the reason for it. Some success had come his way, he felt good and he was eager to go visit his Rebbe again. He waited in line to see him, among several hundred others.

 

When his turn finally came the Rebbe looked at him, put his hand over his own cheek and said in Yiddish: “That smack did hurt!” The Chassid suddenly remembered. He turned white. The Rebbe handed him a piece of cake and gave him a blessing. The next moment, before the chassid had a chance to stammer his apologies, he was already being led forward to allow all those waiting behind to have their turn.

 

A student at the Sorbonne University

 

Many events and details about the Rebbe’s life have been recorded, such as:

 

Before World War 2, the Rebbe, in his thirties, was a student at the Sorbonne University in Paris. During the discourses of the professors, the Rebbe unfailingly had his attention focused into his own sacred books. At one point, one professor, resenting that, strode over to the Rebbe.

 

“I would like you to repeat some of what I just spoke about”, he demanded to know.

 

The Rebbe answered: “With pleasure”. And he repeated word for word what the Professor had said from the beginning of the lecture.

 

In 1940, the Gestapo was already occupying Paris. It was getting extremely dangerous to be known as a Jew. A few were able to flee to the southern part of France. One day the Rebbe returned to his hotel. He found a Gestapo officer standing in the lobby, studying the registry list of all the guests. What could the Rebbe do? He walked up to the officer and stood by, scanning the list with him!

 

“Officer, permit me to show you where my name appears on this list. Here it is: ‘Schneerson’.” Obviously a Jewish name, aside from the fact that this man standing next to the officer looked very Jewish!

 

“That’s fine – there is no problem here!” the officer answered correctly.

 

In 1940 the Rebbe managed to escape to the United States. From there, very few people know how many people he rescued with underground assistance. He never mentioned anything about the miracles God blessed him with throughout his life.

 

While studying in Europe, the Rebbe had received an engineering degree. When he settled in New York, he worked for the US navy, among countless other activities. He designed some vitally helpful features to perfect their submarines. For this he was given an annual royalty of more than $40,000 for the rest of his life. The Rebbe chose to give it all to charity. Later on he distributed it one dollar at a time to those who came to see him, so that they could have the merit of giving it (or its equivalent) to charity. This is why on many occasions over the years, many thousands of people stood in line to receive a blessing and a dollar. On holidays he distributed pieces of cake.

 

A Healing Embrace

 

 

This following story occurred in 1946, at the Gare d’Orli in Paris. This central train terminal was bustling with thousands of people coming and going. On one of the platforms the Rebbe waited with intense anticipation, accompanied by a group of friends. At last, a train arriving from Germany pulled in. The Rebbe scanned all the faces of the exiting passengers. An older woman appeared. The Rebbe ran over and assisted her. He took her in his arms and didn’t let go of his embrace for a full half an hour! His friends stood around them beaming with joy, and crying with emotion. This lady was the Rebbe’s mother, Rebbetzin Chanah!

 

When her beloved husband had been sentenced to 20 years in Syberian camps, she volunteered to follow him and was imprisoned there with him for many years. Miraculously, they had been released in 1945, but her husband, the Rebbe’s beloved father, weakened by years of hunger, had died on the long train ride from Siberia to Moscow.

 

In Moscow Rebbetzin Chanah remained in hiding until the Rebbe managed to have her smuggled into Poland, and from there into Germany where she was able to board a train bound for Paris. This escape had been possible only because at the end of World War II, Stalin hadn’t yet re- established his absolute control at the borders. During that short window of time, the Rebbe was able to rescue a few other people who had suffered immeasurably in jails and camps.

 

The Rebbe flew back to New York with his mother. He found her a pleasant apartment near the Lubavitch headquarters in Crown Heights and he went to visit her every day for half an hour to chat and have tea with her, not withstanding the immense pressure of his responsibilities.

 

Longing for Messianic Times

 

No wonder so many Lubavitcher followers believed the Rebbe was bringing Messianic times to our entire world. He certainly did give us a taste of those times we are all waiting for. Personally I believe the Rebbe prepared us and is now, more than ever, still strengthening us to express in our own lives those extraordinary times of loving kindness, expansion and awakening. And as this new light rises in people’s hearts, it will gather in momentum and become immensely attractive to many more millions. We all can certainly help bring the future Redemption much closer through the priviledge of our good choices.

 

The Light of understanding from Above is powerful. Like a candle’s flame, it catches on from one heart to many others. It grows exponentially. In spite of all appearances, many can sense that mankind is slowly awakening from its deep slumber. In the worlds Above and in our world, magnificent, devoted work is being engineered from behind the scenes to prevent mankind from being destroyed in tragic disasters caused through our enormously dangerous technology.

 

Lately the world has been apprehensively witnessing criminal despots boasting that they have terrifying weapons at their disposal ready to use, looking for opportunities to gain power with them and vowing to “wipe Israel off the map”. In the higher Realms, this danger was known even way before it occurred. How are we being protected? Seeing all this, many high souls have chosen to be born in our times to prevent such catastrophes. They can do this in our world through their loving connection with the Almighty One and their other gifts and talents.

 

For so long, mankind has been yearning for times of peace, justice, righteousness, safety, prosperity and harmony between people and nations.All the more so, how poignantly the Jewish people have been yearning for such times throughout the many centuries! How intensely have we been envisioning and longing for these Messianic times of universal joy, genuine kindness and deepening wisdom, times of complete health when the human spirit will expand and reveal at long last its glorious potential and genius! We are basically homesick for these times.

 

Many prophecies from different sources have predicted the arrival of these times. Many of their descriptions have already manifested recently. Many more are yet waiting to be manifested. The longing for these times is so intense that, for many of us, our inner vision of how they will manifest has become very descriptive and defined. The trouble is that everyone has their own unique vision, and these visions do not match! We quickly forget that when we try to define the plans of the Infinite One and how they will manifest, we fall short of accuracy!

 

Let’s face it, we are but at the level of kindergarteners and are not yet capable of mastering Divine higher mathematics or nuclear physics! When it comes to defining the arrival of the Messiah, there is a wise saying about it: “Those who don’t know speak up, but those who really know won’t tell.”

 

Many of us have already created Messianic moments in our lives. We have gathered together, allowing our spirit to soar, dancing, experiencing times of great rejoicing with genuine love toward each other, times of inspiration, deep learning and prayer, being aware, grateful and awed.

 

We can recognize and honor the good and beneficial aspects in all that is unfolding around us in our world. We can trust that the Creator knows what He is doing. Why should we doubt His credentials? We can trust that He will continue manifesting His wonders and revelations in His own way through the willing participation of many people. We can detect so many signs of a great awakening: A New Light is arising in the hearts of many millions all over the world. Stronger than ever, there is an eagerness among most people to decipher the mysteries hiding behind our physical world, and this longing is mostly coming from love, from a desire for personal integrity, higher awareness, strength, courage, understanding and healing.

 

The Power of Intervention

 

Our Masters of saintliness have taught us that great holy souls have the power of intervention even after they leave this world. Their true self is intensely alive and more present for us than ever. Any time we ask for their help in connecting with Divine guidance and assistance, there is an answer available. They love us much more than we can imagine and they stay connected with us, beyond our boundaries of space and time, beyond the borders between our physical and higher realities.

 

They continually seek for ways to reach out to us, despite our thick barriers of fear, doubt and mental restlessness. It takes great effort to pierce through those layers of resistances and anger. Our very act of asking makes us receptive and soon we are able to feel their presence bringing comfort and understanding. They are delighted when they can influence our state of awareness, when they can strengthen and guide us. Their whole being is of love; they eagerly respond to those who seek their assistance.

 

There are extreme situations when we are too despondent or frightened to even think of asking for help. In those situations, Holy Masters may inspire someone else with a receptive mind to come rescue us in some way or another. At other times, we may also be privileged with the opportunity to save others from despair or despondency. We can do this through our willingness to listen patiently to their challenges, with an attitude of respect, acceptance, kindness and patient help. We can ask them the kind of questions and suggestions that help them focus on their own inner resources and potential.

 

The Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged us to know that as we humbly ask for Divine guidance, we will receive the clarity and help from on High to express the wisdom and strength that is needed to help others.

 

Mysterious Guidance Available now

 

During his 40 years of leadership, the Rebbe answered many thousands of personal letters that were mailed, faxed, and e-mailed to his office in New York, from all over the world. Shortly before his passing, the Rebbe had urged those close to him to have these letters made known and available. They were all collected into 24 volumes and organized according to their dates of being written. These letters are offering a rich variety of the Rebbe’s advice on education, relationships, medical inquires , spiritual and personal direction. Referred to as the Igros Kodesh’ (holy letters), they revealed the Rebbe’s attitudes and insights into the many personal questions addressed to him.

 

More people who needed answers to their urgent questions began to write letters to the Rebbe, stating their request. Then they asked for guidance from God. Then they looked into one of those volumes of letters and opened a page at random. To their amazement they often found that the volume they picked somehow opened to the page giving an answer pertaining to their situation!

 

I had heard about this from a friend, but I wondered if it would work for me. “Maybe I could also be misled? Maybe I’d try to fit in my own interpretation.” One day, on my way to the Western Wall, I visited for a few minutes the gift shop of my friend Nicole, a dedicated Chabad lady, in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. She had a few of those precious volumes with her published in French. Finding me particularly vexed by a situation that seemed to have no solution, she suggested I consult with one of her books of ‘Igros Kodesh’. I considered: “What do I have to lose? Maybe I’ll feel foolish. But I already feel foolish with my unanswered questions. Besides, if I don’t get the right answers in these books I can just disregard them.” Since I had a lot of questions, I wrote six of them on a list.

 

I asked for guidance, opened the book, and placed my list into it. I was in a hurry, so I quickly scanned the letter on the page I had chosen randomly. I was amazed! This was one of my most needed answers! I continued this procedure another 5 times. To my amazement each place I found except for one, gave me a powerful and pertinent answer! What reassuring relief it was to know I had a way to deal with the situation and be helpful.

 

I have heard many testimonies about these amazing answers. These can save us years of wasted time in therapy!

 

The Exam

 

Gabriel was a student at the Sorbonne University in Paris. He was experiencing torment as he was preparing for his final exams for his law degree. Having taken unsecured loans for his education he was desperate to pass. This test determined a fate of fame and fortune or poverty and indebtedness. He was desperate enough to seek help from Moshe, a Chabad Shaliach. Moshe, putting his arm on Gabriel’s shoulder encouraged him to put his trust in the Almighty. That did not seem to help. So Moshe suggested that Gabriel write a letter to the Rebbe spelling out his troubles, place it in a volume of the ‘holy letters’ and pray for an answer. The young man was ready for any divine intervention he could find. He followed the instructions exactly. Upon opening the book he was overjoyed. This letter he had opened to was congratulating someone on success with their exam! Gabriel threw himself into his final studies and all his exams with a new confidence.

 

The day came to receive the report sheets stating the final results of the examinations: He eagerly opened it to be hit with the dreaded words: “FAILED!!”

 

Like a madman Gabriel ran back to Moshe.

 

“Your holy letters are a joke! I shouldn’t have believed such superstitions. I don’t understand it! Or maybe I didn’t pray enough? Maybe I did something wrong?”

 

He was devastated. His deep debt from all his years of studying law loomed before him like a mountain.

 

Through the fog of his thoughts he heard Moshe: “Trust that whatever happens, happens for a blessing. There are no mistakes. Trust in the Almighty One. I suggest that you ask the Rebbe again. Write him a letter, pour out your heart to him and trust that the Almighty will help.”

 

Gabriel, against all the clamors of his rational mind, wrote another letter to the Rebbe. Then, closing his eyes in meditation, he opened a book of ‘Holy Letters’. It read: “You have been told that you failed your exams. Don’t accept that answer. Consult with your Professor and insist that he review your writings.” Gabriel stared at those words. He had never considered that the fault of his failure might not be his! This letter had been written years ago to someone in the same situation as Gabriel’s!

 

Rushing to his Professor, Gabriel insisted he review the exam papers again. “There must be some mistake.” The professor refused. – “I have studied your sheets – good work – but some important points are sorely missing – sorry.” The professor walked away leaving Gabriel frozen in his place.

 

Over the next few days Gabriel stalked the professor using all the powers of persuasion that he had intended to employ as an attorney of excellence. Finally the professor reluctantly agreed to at least look. To his surprise he discovered that among the many pages of Gabriel’s written tests, two of them had been accidentally stuck together! This explained the missing important points. Gabriel received his passing grades and more than that, his trust in God’s guidance through the Rebbe’s help became an inner strength that stays with him for life.

 

Overcoming enormous challenges

The Rebbe’s life is an awesome, epic story of endurance, faith, genius and triumph from the most cruel, dark times under the reign of Stalin’s persecutions and Hitler’s holocaust, all the way to a magnificent, exuberant flow of blessings and miracles that continue to illuminate the lives of millions world wide.

 

From his residence in New York, the Rebbe prayed for the release of the Jewish prisoners charged for practicing their faith and sent to life threatening labor in freezing camps in Siberia. Through underground networking he was able to wrangle many prisoners out of Stalin’s clutches. Before 1940, he was also able to smuggle out of Russia his most beloved, heroic, revered, saintly father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson, who had emerged from Stalin’s jails half paralyzed from the beatings he had endured. The Rebbe asked him to resume his leadership position in New York. People knew the power of the blessings of Rav Yosef Yitzchok.

 

In 1946, when the Rebbe took office after his father-in-law, Rav Yosef Yitzchok, passed away, he faced other challenges which seemed insurmountable. The generation of Jews post holocaust had become increasingly alienated from their spiritual heritage. This was due to the social pressures, the temptations, the mindset and expectations of the fifties and sixties.

 

An all-pervasive materialistic and pseudo “scientific” mentality was permeating most of the belief systems and culture of the majority: the schools and universities, the worlds of medicine, psychology, philosophy, business, technology and all scientific expertise. Any spiritual or mystical experience was defined as a hallucination or a dream, and relegated to the domain of psychiatry. Of course most psychiatrists in those days didn’t have a clue of what soul and spirit meant and it was too embarrassing to admit that they didn’t know. Therefore it was assumed and taught that soul and spirit were just a creation of the imagination to help us cope with our challenges. This explanation was also very convenient, for it meant one didn’t need to believe in and follow certain standards of integrity and codes of behavior that have been handed down to mankind through the Torah.

 

Stories of miracles were dismissed as ‘bubba meises’ (grandmother’s tales) or simply denied. It was considered, in most ‘cultured’ circles, to be incorrect and out of taste to mention any spiritual experience, or even just the name of the Almighty. Anyone doing this was likely to be suspected as being ‘weird’ and ‘out of touch’. It was a time of dark ignorance and arrogant denial of all that was beyond reach of rational explanation. Today we are still slowly emerging out of those dark years which have robbed us of the peace, joy and wisdom that spiritual awareness can bring to us. We have a lot of blessed catching up to do.

 

You may have wondered: “How was it possible that indoctrinations such as communism or of the Nazi party were accepted with such fervent belief? How could have millions embraced and held on these ideals? Basically I believe this was caused by a general rebellion against the fundamental principles of Godly behavior. Laws of morality, generosity and sexual purity were seen as a nuisance and an imposition. They had been handed down in a heavy, dogmatic, unappealing way in many ways of guilt and fear.”

 

Only through a conscious connection with our true identity as the children of the same Almighty Creator, can mankind be saved from tragedies. To love God with all our heart, all our soul and with all our resources, and to love and care for our fellow men as well as for ourselves is the foundation for any decent, thriving and expanding civilization.

 

 

The Rebbe’s challenge was enormous. The whole way of life and thinking in those times made it extremely difficult for the Jewish people to remain faithful to the exacting discipline and many rules of religious observance. Also the grim horror of the Holocaust was still vividly imprinted in Jewish hearts and minds with the big question: “Why did the Almighty allow this to happen to us? How can we still trust God after all of this? Perhaps even our faith was just an illusion? We might as well pretend we are just like anybody else around us. Above all we need to survive and make a living.”

 

Fortunately the Rebbe had his own way of teaching, infusing new enthusiasm and appreciation for the healing pathways of Judaism. With his immense compassion, he recognized and saw the essential beauty of every soul with its Divine spark. Through this, many came to realize the blessing it is to live as a disciplined and wise people devoted to Jewish religious observance in serving the Creator.

 

Great changes and a new dawn

 

Like all the great Masters who came before us, when facing the inscrutable Creator of this staggering universe, we stand in utmost awe. There is so much more to discover and absorb. We have no way of estimating the power of prayer and how this power can change our world. One of the teachings handed down to us through the legacy of the Kabbalists is that the survival of mankind is supported by 36 extraordinary people who are powerful, pure channels for the light, blessings and protection from the Supreme One. They allow these blessings to be anchored in our world, in spite of all the darkness created by mankind. They keep our world safe from self destruction.

 

These people are unknown, hiding behind the appearance of a very ordinary, humble life.

 

How can one decipher the mysterious pathways of the Supreme Divine plan? When we will realize how our lives are sustained and held in safety through time, through the unfailing devotion, wisdom, and unconditional love of powerful great souls, we will be overwhelmed with wonder and gratitude.

 

Great changes are happening now. Never before has there been such a widespread spiritual search, especially among many youths, a quest for higher sources of information and a yearning to experience true reality, true meaning in our lives.

 

Here in Israel, spiritual growth is exploding and blossoming more than ever, in spite of all hindrances.

 

Negativity is being so conspicuously displayed over our news media, creating much insecurity, worry and fear. The real truth is, our destinies are safely held in the hands of a much greater Power than any of those towering forces of destruction.

 

Supporting women and children

 

“Messianic times will be here soon on the great merit of women!” The Rebbe declared on several occasions. He honored women for being good mothers, for being the foundation of spiritual inspiration in the home and for preserving its sanctity. He actively encouraged them to teach and take charge of schools, evening classes, conferences and outreach activities. He gave special attention to children, giving rallies for them in gatherings too large to fit into any building, but spilling out into the neighborhood squares and streets. He exerted great energy into the creation of hundreds of Jewish schools which would teach Jewish values,with enthusiasm about celebrating them. He ardently advocated a moment of silence for prayer in the public school systems, a law that unfortunately was not passed.

 

The power of positive words

The Rebbe always emphasized the need for positive attitudes. “Think good and things will be good”, he would often recommend. He only spoke in positive terms. His words were so empowering, they were followed and manifested with joy and faith.

 

His entire life was an extraordinary testimony to the value of that belief. He urged the entire Jewish people and the world at large to believe that Messianic times are at hand. He was adamant about it, with utmost conviction that we are approaching these times and that we only need to prepare ourselves for it with prayer, soulful study of the sacred wisdom of the Torah, uplifting each other, being generous with charity and increasing our deeds of kindness and care.

 

The Rebbe knew that together we are working toward the fulfillment of a plan designed by an infinite wisdom. He knew that our lives are not in vain, no matter what happens, no matter what our mistakes might be. He knew our soul’s potential keeps unfolding through time.

 

The Rebbe’s own life story, that rose from the very darkest times of persecution, total loss and tragedyto the powerful transforming influence his presence has created in the world, is a convincing example of what can happen even in just a few years when we connect with the loving kindness of the Eternal One. Millions of his brethren in Europe and in Russia were being murdered in evil ways, yet he steadfastly and passionately worked in bringing more and more goodness and joy into our world.

Some people fear that Messianic times will arrive only after a cataclysmic world war that will ravage our world. They believe in predictions from different sources, from many centuries past. But the Rebbe, with his vision inspired from on High, has assured us that these predictions have already come to pass during World War II. Certainly what happened during that war fit very well with those predictions, as they were described. It is now over, thanks to countless miracles.

 

 

Now is a time of awakening. We are witnessing changes happening in our world at a dizzying and exhilarating pace. We can sense the suffering of the past and what mankind learned from it is gradually transforming our world, making room for greater freedom and a more compassionate attitude. There is a shift into a new belief and willingness to grow. Our purpose is to be successful and we can do this though joy, instead of through suffering.

 

News Reports

 

The media can be an enormous power of accurate information, or of doubt, confusion and fear. It penetrates into most every home and to every corner of the world. Have you ever wondered why the media, anywhere in the world, tends to keep their audience in a state of fear and uncertainty? As a rule, most political leaders in power use the media to keep their people subdued with a sense of helplessness and despondency. Television entertains, distracting viewers from what is happening globally. Watching news commentary gives people a certain sense of control. After all, they agreed to disagree with what was happening.

 

In spite of all this there is a growing demand for internal and world peace. Usually these proponents have a gentle approach, while those on a power hungry, manipulative, destructive way of life, are very loud, assertive and threatening.

 

All of these voices warning us of danger and future calamities can become very oppressive. We are bombarded with these messages over our media urging despair about the future of mankind.

 

We can receive greater peace and clarity when we remember that the ways of goodness, kindness and holiness are generally discreet, silent, unassuming, simple, modest and secretive, just like the ways of the Master of the Universe. His guidance is heard in the “still, small voice.” Since our Creator is still silently holding the Universe in His hands, we can also assume that our own quiet ways of kindness, wisdom, joy and integrity can also channel some of the enormous power that protects, preserves and renews life in this world.

 

Each one of us can make a difference! We can all join together and increase the Light of messianic times. We can open our hearts and minds to the blessings of strength, well being and wisdom from Above. Blessings are waiting to manifest through us and through our many acts of compassion, friendship, care and loving service, through our trust in and our love of the One who sustains life at every moment.

 

from the book: Masters and Miracles – By Liliane Ritchie

 


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Daily Torah Quote

Joke of the day

poor man came to the house of an elderly couple. Unfortunately they had nothing in the house to give him except an old piece of fish “from before the time of Noah’s Ark and the flood.” Out of desperation, they served him this fish and the next thing they knew he had to be rushed to the hospital. The elderly couple, of course, accompanied him to the hospital but, unfortunately, watched him die in front of their eyes.

At the funeral the elderly woman was crying uncontrollably and her husband was having a hard time trying to console her. She was hysterically screaming, “The fish killed him, the fish killed him.”

The husband who couldn’t stand to see his wife in such a state comforted her and said, “My darling, it’s really not that bad. We had the merit of fulfilling three good deeds: Welcoming guests, visiting the sick, and escorting the deceased!”


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