Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Today is Chuf Zayin Adar, the 27th of Adar, the day when the Rebbe had two strokes, the first in 1992, the second in 1994. It's funny, or sad, depending on how you look at it, but neither the modern rendition of Hayom Yom, nor the book "Days in Chabad" mention it. Why is it okay to make a big deal of Gimmel (3) Tammuz, the day of the Rebbe's passing, but not today? Who knows. The point is, today is an auspicious day.
I remember when it happened originally. I was playing at the Litvin's house, which was across the street from my own, in Mequon, Wisconsin. Jay Litvin Z'L (is that really snaggy?), my friends' father, received a phone call, and suddenly announced that he was going to Lubavitch House in Milwaukee (actually, I think it's in Bayside, but no matter) to say Tehillim for the Rebbe. I remember going home soon after, not really understanding what was going on. Two and a bit years later was Gimmel Tammuz, and I recall playing in the sunroom on a Sunday morning, and my mother coming to the door, looking very sad, and telling me that the Rebbe had passed away. I felt sad, momentarily, and then thought, "Um, okay, that's terrible, but what does it have to do with me?"
It's not like I'm one of these kids who never saw the Rebbe. Though I don't remember it, I have several dollars that I received from the Rebbe. But I really don't have any memories of the Rebbe himself. What'll be in five years, when most Bochurim will have been born after Gimmel Tammuz? I don't know. Of course, Moshiach will come, so I won't have to know.
You know, it really seems like a copout to say something like that. And in truth, it is wrong. The Friedriker Rebbe would tell people to build Shuls, schools, and various other communal edifices. One puzzled Chassid once asked, "What's the point? After all, Moshiach is going to come soon, and all my hard work will be for naught." The Rebbe answered, and of course I paraphrase, that firstly, hard work never goes for naught. Secondly, everything we build now will come to Israel when Moshiach comes. And thirdly, and most importantly (I think), a person can't abdicate responsibility. You have to work, build, pray, learn, accomplish, everything that is within your capability, and also shtuff which is beyond you, because that's your mission.
Obviously, at the end of the day, times are hard. There is no one voice of Judaism anymore. While all this may be true, it's also wasteful. Feeling that "woe is me" and therefore removing ones self from the task at hand is the work design of the devil himself.

All right, enough preaching for today. The question I raised at the beginning still remains. Why exactly is 27 Adar not written up in the official histories of Chabad? Is it because the people writing the history did a miserable job? I'm just throwing the possibility out there.


Anonymous said...

we're the generation asking this question. what do we do when our memories arent enough to make us feel connected?
the answer: build a connection that doesn't require a memory to mean something.
and its possible.

Anonymous said...

I don't know who that anonymous commenter is, but great comment! Short and awesome. Thank you, whoever you are.