Written by Matisyahu Abarbanel
This Shabbos is Gimmel Tammuz, the day the Rebbe told us it is to be celebrated every single year as a Festival of Redemption, commemorating the beginning of the redemption of the Previous Rebbe from prison. Yet to say his concealment from our physical sight three short years later left mass confusion, debate and even R’L anger or hatred towards one another would be a resounding understatement. Always so quick to incite strife and opposition, our soon to be forever nullified yetzers’ quickly seized the opportunity to wedge a chasm between us; and one would expect nothing less from “the clever one” who knows exactly where to park himself.
Yet this wasn’t the first time our Rebbe’s actions resulted in mass frantic amongst us. 24 years ago on Koach (28th) Nisan, 5751 (1991) the Rebbe rattled our cages when he announced that he has done all he has been empowered to do to bring Moshiach and is thus giving the task over to us, his representatives here in Olam Hazeh. With unequivocal marching orders, we were instructed to do all that we can to bring Moshiach with the power and use of the highest and holiest levels of Divine light and energy channeled through the “reality” of the physical and materialistic world that we live in; one which is the apex of distance from and concealment of the true knowledge of our Creator. And now as we once again come face to face with our final test and draw nearer and deeper to the auspicious day of Gimmel Tammuz, it is hard to ignore the two-ton elephant in the room. What is going on?
While the magnitude of the depth and breadth of the Hashgaca Pratis of Gimmel Tammuz falling on Parshahs Korach is beyond the scope of this piece, the Rebbe chose to emphasize two main points in the final teachings and instructions he left us with on this parsha prior to his ridiculously long and inexplicable concealment. The first being that Hashem prefers to conceal miracles within the natural order, and the second being the relationship between the words Korach and Chukat, both being of the same letters, other than the tav of Chukat being interchanged with the reish of Korach. We learn from our sages that Korach was at a very high level and was a well-respected scholar and through prophecy he envisioned that in the times of the future redemption, his status of being a Levi would elevate to that of a Kohen. Thus, his true intention was good, to connect to the highest level of G-dliness attainable in the here and now. Yet he erre d by breaking the law (Chukat), passed on to the Jewish People by the leader that G-d chose for them, Moshe Rabbianu. And that is the difference between the reish of Korach and the tav of Chukat. The two lines that make up the letter reish symbolizes Korach’s G-dly intentions and words, but they are missing the ikar ingredient of this world, miaisa-actual work, reflected by the 3rd line that makes up the tav.
G-d, through his leader and prophet Moshe, relayed to the Jewish People His desire for the mitzvas and Torah learning of the Yidden throughout the past thousands of years to be the building blocks for G-d’s house here below. Similar to the instructions that G-d gave to the Rebbe to give over to us, moving the Rebbe (Kaviocal) into the background and his Chassidim and all of the Jewish People into the foreground. G-d wants us to merit doing all we can to bring Moshiach by putting the final mezuzah on the door in these last moments before the Full and Final Redemption.
Today, more than ever, the Rebbe MHM’s words ring with urgency as we are currently experiencing what could arguably be the nadir of humanity, as the value of human life, which has become so worthless, R”L, that it is being randomly taken, in cold blooded murder, in the hundreds and thousands, on a daily basis across the world, due to the baseless hatred of skin color, belief or the sake of just doing so. Surely there couldn’t be a bigger affront to G-d than to murdering a human being that He created. If G-d cared enough about every individual to create us with unique fingerprints and retinas, how much more so does He care about our well-being and lives?
The question we need to honestly ask ourselves is if we are as passionate, dedicated and resolved enough to fight for truth, justice and peace as badly as our enemies fight for the opposite? We must look inside and inquire as to if we are truly fulfilling our mission as being ambassadors of light to the world to the best of our abilities? For those of us that are, Baruch Hashem the Rebbe’s message is being lived at full capacity by some of us. But, for the rest of us who still haven’t tapped into our full potential, there are couple things, which can be certain about. First, we truly have the Rebbe MHM’s power to flip the world completely over for good. Second, when we are fully occupied and engaged with doing all in our power to bring Moshiach, surely we haven’t the time nor energy to waste on contemplating, discussing or meddling into the business of who is or isn’t doing “What the Rebbe wants.”
So while the debate on the current status of the Rebbe should be thrown away with yesterday’s newspaper, the real and more pressing question we need to be asking ourselves this Gimmel Tammuz isn’t whether or not the Rebbe is alive; but if we are? May this Gimmel Tammuz truly be a day of the Full and Final Redemption for all Am Yisrael. We want Moshiach Now!