This week we are observing the day of Yud Shevat, which is the yahrzeit of the previous Rebbe and the beginning of the nesius, leadership, of the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe.
When the Rebbe assumed the leadership of Chabad in 1950, the world was in shambles. It was just a few short years after the Holocaust. The Jewish community was devastated and broken.
At that time, there were two general categories among the Jews: those who were religious and traditional, and those who were not, or better said, not yet.
The Rebbe launched a grand Master Plan on two fronts: namely, to rebuild the Jewish community and to prepare the world for the coming of Moshiach, which are essentially one and the same goal.
Few at that time realized the grand Master Plan that the Rebbe initiated. It included sending his shluchim, emissaries, to different countries and different cities all over the world, and building bridges between all Jews.
The Rebbe reached out to the Jew who was far and forsaken. The Rebbe reached out to him through his messengers throughout the world. To the Jew who was at the moment not yet Shabbos observant or to the Jew who did not yet put on tefillin every day. The Rebbe encouraged Chabad chassidim to open their homes to everyone, without exception.
There were those who opposed the Rebbe’s point of view. “How can we invite ‘them’ to our table, with their Nehru jackets and long hair? They’re going to ruin our children. First and foremost, we have to take care of our own children. And inviting ‘them’ to our tables can have a detrimental influence on our family.”
The Rebbe did not make that calculation. The Rebbe’s approach is to invite each and every single Jew. Bring him or her to your Shabbos meal and show them firsthand the beauty of Shabbos. There’s nothing like experiencing kiddush and being served a Shabbos meal with gefilte fish and everything that comes with it – the songs and the spirit. For Jewish women and girls there is nothing like the experience of actually lighting Shabbos candles and enjoy the sanctity and serenity. Nothing can substitute for the real thing.
And as much as some initially criticized the Rebbe’s ways, they later realized that the Rebbe was as correct as can be. Not only did they stop their criticism, but they emulated the Rebbe – the greatest form of compliment. They copied exactly what the Rebbe started.
Today, Baruch Hashem, the whole world embraces and accepts the Rebbe’s approach of reaching out to every single Jew, however far, and bringing him back. Baruch Hashem, the Rebbe’s success is legendary. It’s beyond anyone’s expectations. Chabad-Lubavitch institutions now make up more than 30 percent of all shuls in the United States. And they’re growing by leaps and bounds from day to day.
To people who told the Rebbe about good news, the Rebbe would often say, “Don’t be satisfied.”
The question is, why not be satisfied? He did something nice. He built a Chabad house for $2 million; what is going to happen if he will be satisfied for a few moments?
But the Rebbe’s goal is to prepare the world and to bring Moshiach. So, if you are a person who can build a Chabad House for $2 million and you aren’t going to be satisfied, you will go on to build another one or do more things of great magnitude and you will bring the world closer to the coming of Moshiach.
The Rebbe’s message is: “Do not be satisfied.” How can one be satisfied? We’re still in golus! As long as we’re still in golus, we cannot be satisfied. And, therefore, we have to do everything we can to prepare ourselves and the world for the coming of Moshiach.
This is the Rebbe’s goal. And this is the goal that the Rebbe will accomplish. Speedily, friends, in our very own days.