Photo Credit: Jewish Press

With the help of G-d, we will soon be celebrating the Siyum HaRambam HaOlami, the International Rambam Celebration, on Wednesday evening, 9 Nissan (April 17) at 7:00 p.m. in front of Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway. The police will close off Eastern Parkway for the occasion.

In past years, this event drew a crowd of about 15,000 people. We hope this year’s attendance will be even greater, as it is one day before Yud Alef Nissan, and the Rebbe’s birthday is the very next night. So we’re sure that everyone will be outside 770 celebrating the Rebbe’s birthday together with the Siyum HaRambam that is so dear to the Rebbe.


The siyum this year has a special distinction in that it marks 40 years since the Rebbe launched this takanah in Nissan of 5744 (1984). We are culminating 40 years of learning the Rambam daily, whether three chapters, one chapter or Sefer HaMitzvos.

This year, in honor of Yud Alef Nissan coinciding with 40 years of Rambam study, we will distribute to each participants a special, newly-minted coin with the inscription “Vayehi b’Arboim Shana, commemorating the 40 years of the Rebbe’s takanah.

Every participant will receive this matbei’a shel eish, a coin of fire, representing the fire of the Rambam and the fire of the Rebbe. Ure’isem oso uz’chartem – whenever one sees the coin, he or she will remember what the coin stands for; the daily learning of Rambam. Whether it’s three chapters, one chapter, or Sefer HaMitzvos, one is participating in the Rebbe’s takanah.

Bnei Yisrael throughout the world have followed this takanah for 40 years. The ben chamesh leMikra (a child who learned Chumash) knows that 40 is mentioned in the Torah regarding the 40 years the Jews spent in the midbar – the desert. At the conclusion of those 40 years, Moshe Rabbeinu said to the Jewish people: “Almighty G-d has not given you a heart to know… and eyes to see… and ears to hear… until this day.”

Based on this, the Gemara in Avoda Zarah (5b) says that until 40 years, “lo ko’eim inish adaito d’rabbei,” a person cannot really come to understand the very significance of the words of his Rebbe until forty years have passed.

The ben chamesh leMikra knows that following the forty years in the midbar, the next stop was “el eretz tovah urechavah” –we went in to Eretz Yisrael.

The exile of Mitzrayim is indicative of all subsequent exiles. (“Kimei Tzeis’cha Mei’Eretz Mitzrayim Ar’enu Nifla’os – As in the days when we went out of Mitzrayim, I will show you wonders,” says the prophet in Micah. After 40 years of learning Rambam, our next stop is “Eretz Tovah Urechavah,” which for us means the coming of Moshiach, with the Geulah Ha’amitis Vehashleimah, the true and complete Redemption.

This is in concert with all the activities of the Rebbe, who told us many times that his activities are designed for one thing, to put an end to the Golus and to bring about the Geulah. The Rebbe’s campaign of daily Rambam study is designed to bring Moshiach closer through the unprecedented unity of Torah, with all Jews learning the very same halachos each day. If a Jew in South Africa and a Jew in Australia meet, they will be able to discuss the same Torah topic.

There is no other Torah book that encompasses the entire Torah as the Rambam does, not even the Mishna. The Rambam includes all areas of halacha, even those only relevant in the times of Moshiach, and is truly representative of “kol haTorah kulah” – all parts of the Torah.

So, friends, please remember to be there on 9 Nissan (April 17), Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. in front of 770. Together with thousands of fellow Jews, you will participate in the siyum and the grand birthday celebration of the Rebbe, along with receiving a special Rambam coin and all the brachos that the Rebbe bestows upon each person, gezunterheit un freilicherheit.

May every single Jew throughout the world be blessed with everything that they need, and with a kosher and freilechen Pesach. And through the great unity of Rambam study, may we merit to the greatest simcha of the true and complete Redemption with the coming of Moshiach, NOW.


Previous articleThe IDF – A Torah-True Calling
Next articleDear Dr. Yael
Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman is director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization. He can be reached at [email protected].