Adapted from Hayom Yom 17 Iyar and 2 Elul: “The children of Israel are called “the desired land” (Malachi 3:12), for like the land, they possess numerous precious resources embedded within them.
The Baal Shem Tov said, “I want to make Israel yield the kind of produce which the Almighty’s ‘land of desire’ is capable of yielding.”
Beginning in the late eighties, every Sunday, the Rebbe would stand for many hours in the small entrance hall at 770 Eastern Parkway and receive thousands of people from all walks of life, who sought his blessing and counsel. He would bless and encourage them all, and give each one a dollar bill to in turn give to charity, effectively making each one an “emissary of a mitzvah”. Around the world this phenomenon came to be known simply as “dollars”.
The song recounts a beautiful exchange between the Rebbe and an elderly woman who, while in line for her turn to receive a dollar, wondered how the Rebbe was able to stand untiringly for so many hours on his feet.
Employing the teaching of the Baal Shem Tov, the Rebbe said, “Every Jew is a diamond and you do not get tired when you’re counting diamonds.”
“Words are the pen of the heart, music is the pen of the soul.” Nikolaev, the city where the Rebbe was born and raised in early childhood, was renowned for it’s lively spirit and Chassidic melodies. Niggun was later to become an integral part of the Rebbe’s leadership. From Farbrengens to Childrens’ Rallies, from Holiday celebrations to entering and exiting the Shul for services, Niggun was integral to them all.
The Rebbe would often quote the Rebbe Maharash (1834-1882) who would say: “The world says, if you can’t go around (an obstacle), go over the top, and I say, L’catchila Ariber, go straight “over the top” from the outset.”
This “over the top” attitude was prevalent in the way the Rebbe would encourage and exhort people to transcend limitations that may otherwise deem as insurmountable. The song begins with the story of Tashlich in 1953, and how the Rebbe himself led by example and took it “over the top”.
Prayer of the Proud
DEDICATED BY NASHI AND DEBBY KAGEN IN MEMORY OF SARA GITTEL KAGAN A’H A TRUE LOVER OF JEWISH MUSIC."
The year was 1929, and Russian Jewry was under the tyrannical power of the Communists, who outlawed any public display of religious observance.
In her memoirs, the Rebbe’s mother, Rebbetzin Chana, recalled how she accompanied the Rebbe, then age 27, on what turned out to be his final departure from Russia. He was then engaged to be married to the Previous Rebbe’s youngest daughter, Chaya Mushka.
As morning broke on their overnight train ride, the Rebbe, at great personal risk, proceeded in full view of the Russian passengers, to pray the morning prayers while donning his Teffilin.
“The Prayer of the Proud” is the story of what ensued on that train, and the powerful message of Jewish pride it conveys.
DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE TAMIM RABBI ARIEL RAV-NOY A”H BY HIS LOVING PARENTS SHALTIEL ZE’V AND VARGAS FAIGY BLUMA RAV-NOY
In the late 1960’s the Rebbe launched the Mitzvah Campaign. Starting with Teffilin, and thereafter Shabbat candles, the campaign grew to ten mitzvahs.
Chassidim all over the world were mobilized into action. It was the mitzvah campaign that sparked the now famous Mitzvah Tanks, first in the streets of New York City, and then the world over.
The Rebbe believed in the inherent value of a single Mitzvah performed by a Jew, inasmuch as it creates an eternal bond with G-d, and that invariably one Mitzvah leads to another.
For many Jews these street encounters with a young Chassidic boy or girl offering them to do a Mitzvah, became watershed moments in their lives, and reminded them of their Jewishness. Many have found that singular Mitzvah experience to be life changing, as one Mitzvah led to another, effectuating a new and more purposeful Jewish lifestyle.
As enemies amassed their armies, with the stated goal of wiping her off the map, Israel and the Jewish world were thrust into gloom and despair, a lone voice of reassurance emerged as the Rebbe promised great miracles and issued a call for all male soldiers in the IDF and Jewish men the world over to wrap Teffilin, citing the verse: “And when the nations see the name of G-d upon you, they will fear you.”
That Teffilin elicits the fear and respect of the nations, is something the Rebbe knew well from his own personal experience on the Riga bound train, as recounted in “The Prayer of the Proud.”
IN MEMORY OF RABBI YAACOV NOACH KRANZ OBM A PIONEERING SHLIACH DEDICATED BY DINA AND MENACHEM KRANZ AND FAMILY.
This rousing song is a tribute to the Rebbe’s Shluchim - emissaries. Spread across the globe in cities and towns big and small, through them Chabad is a globally recognized “brand” providing an open door, a warm welcome, and unconditional acceptance of every Jew.
His relentless call for Jewish activism in the form of a wide range of initiatives that changed the landscape of Jewish life the world over, was invariably, punctuated with a charge to act “Mit a Shturem” - “with a storm” - to storm the world. A chossid of the Rebbe must be bold, fearless and unintimidated by the world. He must be enthusiastic, joyous and feel responsible to change the world for the better.
In his inaugural address on the 10th of Shvat, 5751 (January 17th, 1951) whereupon the Rebbe formally accepted the leadership of Chabad Lubavitch, he delivered an original Maamer, a Chassidic Mystical discourse. Entitled “Basi L’gani” - I’ve Come to My Garden, it was based on a verse from the Song of Songs in which the Divine Presence is described as returning to “the garden” an euphemism for Earth, from where it was banished after the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and further banished by six sinful generations. Abraham began the process of returning the Divine Presence to Earth, and his efforts were consummated seven generations later by Moses who built the Sanctuary, an earthly abode for G-d.
The Rebbe, the seventh leader in the dynasty of Chabad Rebbes, presented the agenda of our generation as completing the mission undertaken by his six predecessors; to disseminate the “wellsprings of Torah” as elucidated through Chabad philosophy, and thus prepare the world for its ultimate redemption, thereby effectuating the permanent return of the Shechinah back to the garden.
Invoking the image of a picture of the Rebbe waving goodbye as he left to go to the Mikvah prior to praying at the Ohel, (the resting place of his predecessor) on the 27th of Adar 1992. Later that day, the Rebbe suffered a massive stroke in the midst of his supplications of behalf of the people of Israel. This heart stirring ballad expresses the yearnings of a Chassid as he reminisces the times he spent with Rebbe.
He struggles with the pain and void of the Rebbe’s physical absence, and how to carry on living. Yet, there is a part of him that soldiers on, that finds solace at the Ohel – (now the Rebbe’s resting place as well) and he continues to be inspired by the image of the Rebbe: his hand distributing charity, pouring blessed wine, and enthusiastically waving as he sings at the Farbrengen, urging the Chassid to reach higher, further and deeper.
DEDICATED BY RABBI SHOLOM MENDEL AND MRS. SUSIE KLUWGANT
When the Rebbe would hold “Yechidus”- private audiences, he would meet with people three nights a week, into the wee hours of the morning.
In the latter years of his life, when the Rebbe worked and lived out of his office at 770, one was able to observe that the light in his room was rarely switched off. To the Chossid, entering the Rebbe’s room was akin to being transported to the Garden of Eden – a place of purity, holiness and innocence. An encounter with the Rebbe left one with a heightened sense of purpose and empowerment.
In this room, the Rebbe “prescribed remedies” for the spiritually challenged, and guided world leaders to pursue the path of true peace and justice.
He did not however attempt to coerce individuals into a particular way of thinking. Yehuda Avner, then the Israeli ambassador to the UN, once asked the Rebbe at the end of a meeting, whether he thought the Rebbe had “lit his fire” to see things a certain way, “No, I haven’t lit your fire,” the Rebbe responded, “but I’ve given you the match.”
The Rebbe’s physical passing occurred on the 3rd of Tammuz, 5754 (June 12, 1994), a date of unique historical significance.
As recorded in the book of Joshua, it was on the 3rd of Tammuz when Joshua, leading the Jewish army in the initial conquest of the land of Israel against the Giboanites, prayed to G-d to delay the sunset, giving his men additional time to defeat the enemy.
The third of Tammuz is thus recorded in the Torah as “the day the sun did not set.” This biographical song is appropriately entitled “The Sun Has Not Set” in recognition of the Rebbe’s continued influence and impact on the lives of people all over the world.
It traces the Rebbe’s youth, marriage, and transition from Europe to the United States, and the mission he undertook to revitalize Jewish life in the wake of the Holocaust.
In his inaugural address on Yud Shvat, 1951, the Rebbe said that the local custom in America is for those who assume leadership positions to issue a “statement”. My statement, he proceeded to say, is, “There are three loves; love of G-d, love of Torah, and love of the Jewish people”.
The Zohar teaches, that they are like three strands of a rope that are intertwined. To completely love one, is to love them all. Our mission is to inspire our fellow Jews to have complete love in their hearts for G-d , Torah, and each other. The key to all three loves begins with loving each other.