There was a buzz in the air at Chabad of Melbourne CBD this Tuesday: the Stropkover Rebbe would be addressing heimishe city professionals. Some eager attendees took off work or travelled from Caulfield to be present.
Rabbi Dovid Leib Shmerling introduced the Stropkover Rebbe, noting the long-standing close ties between Stropkov and Lubavitch over the last century and that the present Stropkover Rebbe is a graduate of the Chabad Yeshivah of Lod.
The Stropkover Rebbe’s addressed a peculiarity in the Parsha. Rashi says that one should only be ‘mochiach’ immediately prior to his death. Isn’t it sometimes a mitzvah to rebuke? The Stropkover answered that yes rebuke is sometimes a necessity; but ‘Moshiach’ also means to prove. At the end of Moshe’s life, with the benefit of hindsight , Moshe could demonstrate that the path of Hashem and Torah are the right path and the good path. And Moshe’s words were not only addressed the generation of the Midbar. rather, Moshe was speaking to ‘kol Yisroel’ meaning all Jews of all generation, for a Tzadik’s voice is eternal.
The Stropkover Rebbe also passionately discussed how lucky we are to have such a close loving relationship with Hashem, to the extent that we address Hashem in the second person, “baruch ata'” rather than the reverential third person.
Commenting on the situation in Eretz Yisorel, the Stropkover Rebbe encouraged the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Mezuza campaign and commented that we write ‘Shin Daled Yud’ on the visible side of the Mezuza. This stands for both Shomer Dalsos Yisroel, which alludes to Hashem’s care for Bnei Yisroel and Shomea Divrei Hashem which alludes to Bnai Yisroel’s dedication to Hashem.
Fascinated by a long article on the Stropkov- Lubavitch connection, the Stropkover Rebbe prolonged his visit to read much of the article and refused to leave without a copy of the five pages.
Attendees left inspired and with thanks to Rabbi Chaim Herzog the Shaliach for arranging this special event.