Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Throughout history, through peace and quiet and in violence and turbulence, the Jewish people always looked to the Torah for guidance and inspiration.

In our own times, the Rebbe’s leadership through the crises of the Six-Day War, The Yom Kippur War, The Gulf War and difficult times in between, provided guidance and direction, confidence and strength, to Jews in Israel and throughout the world.


It is not enough for Israel to enjoy military advantage. Military power and prowess alone can sometimes even be counterproductive. We must learn to complement physical strength with our spiritual attachment to G-d, the ultimate Superpower, and seek His blessings for victory and peace.

The Rebbe often quoted the words of the Rambam that the world’s fate hangs in balance between good and bad, and every person has the ability through his mitzvah action to save the entire world. The positive power of a mitzvah performed by a Jew anywhere in the world transcends all boundaries, and its spiritual achievement will benefit all of us, showing physical results even in our material world.

Rather than pessimism and the resigned and self-doubting “What’s to do?” heard in times of difficulty and dilemma, the Rebbe instructed us exactly “what to do” to improve the current situation.


Children Together

On the Eve of Shavuot, 1973 (four months before the Yom Kippur War), the Rebbe issued a call for intensified efforts that each Jewish child receive a Torah education during the upcoming summer vacation.

“From the mouth of babies and infants You have established to strengthen Israel’s defenses, peace and security….” The Rebbe addressed a letter to every Jewish boy and girl, requesting that they increase their Torah study and giving of charity.

In his letter, the Rebbe added that the children’s united efforts will help “stay that enemy who brought upon us those catastrophes, and who continues to intend harming our nation until this very day….” (15 Tammuz, 1973).

The Rebbe then issued an urgent directive right after Rosh Hashanah to gather tens of thousands of children during the days of Selichos in every place, especially at the Western Wall, to recite certain verses from the Torah and Psalms and to give charity (18 Elul 1973).


Increasing Torah and Mitzvos

The Rebbe said: “Since every Jew, including small children, have received the entire Torah as an inheritance, then certainly the verse, “Barzel Unchoshes Minolechoh – As iron and copper are your door bolts” also pertains to them. Children’s mitzvos and good deeds raise the level of security in Israel so that it should be strong and solid as “iron and copper door bolts.”

When all Jews, including small children, learn Torah and do mitzvos, this raises the level of security of “iron and copper are your door bolts” for the entire Jewish people. Israel becomes sealed with locks and bolts of iron and copper, so “the enemies are unable to enter.”

G-d gathers all the Torah and mitzvos (“iron and copper”) that are performed into a special “supply-house” specifically for this purpose (as done in an army), which G-d distributes to each place as necessary. No matter where Jews may be located, they will enjoy the strong security of “door bolts of iron and copper.”


Tefillin, Sefer Torah and Tzedakah

It is vital that we constantly remember that “the Guardian of Israel Neither slumbers nor sleeps.”

When we intensify our Jewish activities, especially the tefillin campaign, about which is said, “All nations of the world will see that the Name of G-d is called upon you and they will fear you,” and the Talmud says that this means “tefillin.” It will strengthen the hand of the Jews in Israel and bring Jewish victory,

The Rebbe started the tefillin campaign just before the Six-Day War in 1967, stating very clearly that this has the spiritual ingredients for Jewish victory on the battlefield. Exactly what we need now.

The same applies to the Torah Scroll campaign that each of us sponsor and acquire a letter in a Torah scroll, and to the giving of tzedakah, which brings the Redemption closer.

Practically speaking: Every person should increase giving of charity, a portion of which should be for the sake of the Jews of the Land of Israel, and especially for the sake of the soldiers of the IDF, who work with self-sacrifice to safeguard and protect the Land of Israel and its residents. In the merit of tzedakah given for their sake, their safety is certainly increased by the “the Guardian of Israel.”


Jewish Love and Unity

Peace and harmony begin with the “great basic rule of the Torah: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love of a fellow Jew should extend even to a Jew on the other side of the world – even to someone we have never seen.

And when you have an opportunity to do someone a favor, materially or spiritually, do it freely and with a joyful heart. When there is harmony among Jews, there will be more peace and harmony in the entire world, especially in the land of Israel.

This tranquility refers not only on a spiritual level, but also to our physical existence. This is because Israel is “the land upon which the eyes of G-d are fixed, from the beginning of the year until the end of the year.” Every moment of every day throughout the year, one can see that the Land of Israel is saturated with G-dliness, so that even the non-Jewish world will clearly see this. They will therefore not only refrain from harming Israel, but on the contrary, they will help protect it from undesirable circumstances.


Joy Amid Distress

The Rebbe discussed the need to increase the level of joy, “to the greatest possible extent. By increasing the level of joy, one nullifies all that is undesirable.”

Why is there now such emphasis on joy in service of G-d? This is because our generations have suffered from an extra measure of negative influences – the effects of the darkness of the exile. etc. To nullify and counteract all the negativity, we must increase our level of joy in the Torah and mitzvos.

May all this, by all of us, bring about the great victory for our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land imminently.


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Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman is director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization. He can be reached at [email protected].