of all, a statement from royalty."
Let us then open with one of the Rebbe's teachings.
On this day, the first day of the week of Parshas Korach, six years ago, in the year 5704 , my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], entered this beis midrash in honor of the celebration that marked the completion of the study of the Mishnayos from memory, that had been organized by Machne Israel.
With reference to that siyum of the Mishnayos, the Rebbe [Rayatz] quoted the Rebbe Maharash as follows:
"The Mishnayos conclude with Seder Taharos [which deals with ritual purity]; Seder Taharos concludes with Tractate Uktzin [which deals in this context with the stems of various fruits and the like]; and Tractate Uktzin concludes with a discussion of honeycomb.
"Through a study of Mishnayos one arrives at the highest levels of purity -- but even then one should remember that good fruits too can have a prickly stem, which needs to be tempered until it becomes as sweet as honey. And even then, one must keep in mind that if one remains statically and complacently sweet, one cannot qualify as an acceptable offering on G-d's altar. As it is written,v'chol d'vash lo sakrivu." [The phrase ordinarily means, "You shall not present any honey as an offering to G-d." On the non-literal level of derush, however, it is here understood to mean:] "That which is all honey cannot be presented as an offering to G-d...."
In the course of this sichah,
83 the Rebbe [Rayatz] spoke of the work of Machne Israel and Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch.
The Rebbe [Rayatz] headed and administered the many projects of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch until the histalkus, and after the histalkus will continue to do so. He chose me to implement them, which involves endeavoring to cover the considerable expenses. Since the histalkus the work of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch has somewhat slowed down; there are insufficient funds to cover its running expenses, and that is why this meeting was called.
I do not intend to make an appeal, but to point out that a solution must be sought to rectify this situation.
It must be clear to everyone that the work of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch, both in areas that are well-known as well as in areas that cannot be made public, has to continue with full force. It goes without saying that there can be no thought or possibility of its weakening or being disrupted, G-d forbid, which would be the opposite of what the Rebbe [Rayatz] intended and wanted.
Hence, if the current situation continues, where I have no choice but to be personally involved in all aspects of the work, I shall have to set aside other tasks. It is therefore proposed that an individual or a committee be chosen for the task of dealing with the above essentials, vigorously and enthusiastically.
In the above-mentioned sichah, by the way, the Rebbe [Rayatz] commented on an American failing: "People become quickly enthused, but quickly lose their ardor." In our subject, then, an effort will be needed to preserve the initial ardor.
[At this point the Rebbe asked whether any of those present had an alternative suggestion, but no record has been preserved of what was then said.]
[At the end of the meeting the Rebbe said:] Just as we opened, we should likewise conclude by citing a royal teaching, a teaching of the Rebbe [Rayatz].
When one examines the above sichah -- and the same applies to very many other sichos -- one observes that it was the custom of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], at almost every farbrengen, to mention all of the Rebbeim: the Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid [of Mezritch], the Alter Rebbe, the Mitteler Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, the Rebbe Maharash, and the Rebbe Rashab. And now we have to mention as well my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz]....
[The Rebbe wept, and then said:] I confidently rely on the power of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], for the successful operation of Machne Yisrael and Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch -- as may clearly be seen with regard to the activities undertaken on behalf of the children of [North] Africa -- with ever-increasing intensity and vigor.
- (Back to text) The forum for this sichah was a meeting of the Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch -- the educational and publishing arm of Lubavitch founded by the Rebbe Rayatz in 1942 -- which the Rebbe convened on Sunday of the week of Parshas Korach, 26 Sivan, 5710 , in the beis midrash on the ground floor of "770". The above account of the Rebbe's words is taken from the unauthenticated notes made by one of those present. Regarding the critical financial situation which occasioned this meeting, see Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe, Vol. III, p. 323, and footnotes there.
- (Back to text) In the original Heb., pos'chin bidvar malchus. See Vol. I of the present work, p. 58, footnote 192.
- (Back to text) An organization founded by the Rebbe Rayatz in 1941 to fortify the study and practice of Yiddishkeit.
- (Back to text) Sefer HaSichos 5704 , p. 151.
- (Back to text) In the pungent Yid. original, shtendik zis: a zisinker.
- (Back to text) Vayikra 2:11.
- (Back to text) P. 147.
- (Back to text) In the last weeks before his passing, the Rebbe Rayatz established an extensive network of educational institutions for the Sephardi communities of North Africa.