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Publisher's Foreword

The Message of the Year 5751; Appreciating the Wonders which G-d is Revealing

Every Jew Has A Silver Lining

The Safest Place In The World

Purim Miracles Today

The Ultimate Wonders Are Yet to Come

Divine Miracles are Not Past History

I Will Show You Wonders
A reprint of public statements of the Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson,
Before and During the Gulf Crisis


Publisher's Foreword

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 The Message of the Year 5751; Appreciating the Wonders which G-d is Revealing  

I Will Show You Wonders

A reprint of public statements of the Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson,
Before and During the Gulf Crisis

Published and Copyrighted (c) by
Sichos In English
788 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, N.Y. 11213
Tel. (718) 778-5436

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, including photo-copying, without permission in writing from the copyright holder or the publisher.
ISBN 1-8814-0070-0

5763 2003


Preface to the Second Edition

A group of chassidim once came to R. Yisrael of Ruzhin, complaining of a drought that was jeopardizing their crops and their livestock. R. Yisrael led them through shaded paths in the nearby forest until he came upon a particular tree. He motioned to the chassidim to sit and began speaking: "When there was a drought in the time of the Baal Shem Tov, he would bring his chassidim to this tree. He would sing a melody and share a teaching, and rain would come.

"A generation later, when there was a drought, my greatgrandfather the Maggid of Mezritch would also bring his followers to this tree. He would tell them the story of the Baal Shem Tov and say: 'Although I no longer remember the teaching, this is the melody the Baal Shem Tov would sing.' And after he sang the melody, the rain came down.

"As for me," R. Yisrael concluded. "I know neither the melody, nor the teaching. May retelling the story bring rain."

R. Yisrael and his chassidim had barely emerged from the forest before the first thunderbursts were heard.


Many of us have difficulty reliving the past. Of course, we retain a general recollection of events, but as they fade into history, it's hard to get all the particulars right, to recall the feelings experienced then, or to visualize where we were then. But sometimes, we turn around and find ourselves in a situation that is almost identical - and then everything comes back.

Everyone who lived through the winter of 1990-1991 has memories. Throughout the world, people panicked in dread of chemical warfare, missiles hurled from thousands of miles away, and the thought of an extended and bloody military conflict. In America and in Israel, the media incited anxiety, evoking distressing images of what could be. Many public figures wavered in indecision, compounding the uneasiness of people at large.

While people worldwide were seeking direction and inspiration, one voice stood out. In the Jewish community and indeed, far beyond the Jewish community, ordinary people, religious leaders, and opinion-makers all turned to the Rebbe. He shone forth as a source of unwavering optimism. He radiated the confidence that is anchored in a trust in G-d's Providence, and the leadership and purpose that stems from the Torah's eternally relevant truth.

Recalling a passage from the Midrashic classic Yalkut Shimoni[1] that describes a crisis in the Gulf zone that will cause "nations to challenge each other," "the entire world [to] panic and be stricken with consternation," and "Israel also [to] panic and be confounded," the Rebbe pointed to the conclusion of that passage:

[G-d] will tell them: "My children, have no fear. Everything I have done, I have done only for your sake. Why are you afraid? Have no fear; the time for your redemption has arrived."
With prophetic vision, the Rebbe reassured people time and time again that Eretz Yisrael was "the safest place in the world." With a confident smile, he told Jewish soldiers in the American army that the war would be over by Purim. And to all, he radiated strength, serenity, and purpose.

As we recall those events, we look for such a voice today and - in lieu of one - find ourselves listening again to the Rebbe's words of the past. Do the Rebbe's words uttered then apply today? We are not Rebbes and there is no way we can provide that assurance. But, as R. Yisrael of Ruzhin said, in a situation of need, we can tell the story.


Moreover, many of the statements the Rebbe made then - and which are reprinted in the present booklet - share poignant relevance to our present situation. The second essay, "Every Jew has a Silver Lining," highlights the meritorious dimension and the unique spiritual potential of every member of our people. It proclaims, in terms valid now as much as then, that no one of them is deserving of harm. The third essay, "The Safest Place in the World," communicates a sturdy trust in G-d and provides a worldview that motivates one to fruitful activity without the inhibitions of worry or fear.

And the theme of wonders and miracles that pervades the entire booklet is pertinent in our times, for Divine miracles are not past history. G-d can intervene conspicuously in our lives, providing deliverance and relief in a manner beyond any expectations of mortal reason.

May we witness a resolution of the present Gulf conflict that surpasses our greatest hopes. And may that positive outcome initiate a benevolent cycle of events, until, as the aforementioned passage from Yalkut Shimoni predicts, "Mashiach will stand on the roof of the Beis HaMikdash and proclaim, 'Humble ones, the time for your redemption has arrived.'"

24 Teves, 5763 [2002]

Publisher's Foreword

For some people it takes a crisis to identify a genuine leader. At a time when the media were peddling panic, when many public figures were vague and vacillating, Jews from all walks of life spontaneously asked: "What does the Rebbe say?" Whether they were private citizens, Rabbinic scholars, politicians or opinion-makers, they sought the kind of direction and inspiration that would enable them to continue their lives with confidence. And for this they turned to the Rebbe. At a time like this they yearned for a taste of the Rebbe's unflinching optimism, since the Rebbe's belief in G-d's providence stands on a rockbed of Torah.


Reminiscing over their visits at the court of R. Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritch, elder chassidim used to say: "When we were at the Maggid's table, miracles used to roll about freely on the floor; we didn't even bother to pick them up."

As Purim this year came closer, more and more people around the world did choose to take the time to pick up the miracles that have been happening right under our noses. In this they were helped by the numerous statements of the Rebbe on the situation. For when the newspapers were vying with each other in publishing pictures of the horrors of chemical warfare in Iraq and Iran, and the most urgent public debate in Israel concerned the distribution of gas masks, the Rebbe gave the widest possible publicity to a now-famous passage from Yalkut Shimoni. This Midrashic passage predicts a world-shaking crisis in the Gulf zone which makes the Jewish people ask, "Where shall we go?" And this same passage proceeds to say that the Almighty will answer them: "My children, have no fear. Whatever I have done, I have done only for your sake. Why are you afraid? Have no fear: the time for your redemption has arrived!"

Interestingly, for many months in advance, Purim figured prominently in the Rebbe's statements. For example, a delegation of elder chassidim from Kfar Chabad was surprised to hear the Rebbe tell them - on erev Sukkos - that the miracles of the forthcoming year would give rise to a festive joy that would equal even the joy of Purim. And on Thursday, 2 Shvat (17 January), only six weeks before Purim, when Baghdad was first bombarded, the political commentator of the official Kol Yisrael airwaves was not quite sure how to report the Rebbe's smiling comment to US Army Major Yaakov Goldstein back in November '90, when he was on his way to the war zone, that the Gulf War would be over by Purim.


This booklet is a chronological reprint of six essays gleaned from many records of the Rebbe's public addresses, as published by Sichos In English in the course of the past few historic months. Each of these essays summarizes the major themes of the talks of the Rebbe during the preceding days or weeks.

  1. "The Message of the Year 5751," published 5 Kislev, 5751 (November 22, 1990), connects the events in the Gulf zone with the predictions of Yalkut Shimoni, and points out that the Hebrew letters which spell the date of the present year 5751 are an acronym for the words Hoyo Teheh Shnas Ar'enu Nifla'os - "This will surely be a year when 'I will show you wonders.' "

  2. "Every Jew Has a Silver Lining," published 24 Teves, 5751 (January 10, 1991), champions the cause of the Jewish people, highlighting the unique spiritual potential of every single Jew, and arguing that surely they are deserving of no harm.

  3. "The Safest Place in the World," published 28 Teves, 5751 (January 14, 1991), as the ultimatum to Iraq was about to expire, gave the world the Rebbe's reasoned message of quiet optimism.

  4. "Purim Miracles Today," published 8 Adar, 5751 (February 22, 1991), six days before Purim, again connected current events with the Divinely-engineered cosmic process leading up to the ultimate Redemption.

  5. "The Ultimate Wonders are Yet to Come," published 26 Adar, 5751 (March 12, 1991), sees the recent wonders in the Gulf zone as an encouragement to the Jewish people to teach the nations of the world to acknowledge G-d's sovereignty.

  6. "Divine Miracles are Not Past History," published 27 Nissan, 5751 (April 11, 1991), warns that insensitive complacency in the face of visible miracles can lead to ingratitude; acknowledging them will lead to new ones.


For some people, it takes a crisis to identify a genuine leader. Others do not have to wait so long. In either case, as the Rebbe is showing us stage by stage how to recognize the miracles that are happening here and now, we can wholeheartedly say: Thank G-d for the foresight and the vision that are unfolding before our eyes. And, as the Rebbe enters his ninetieth year, may G-d grant him the health and vigor to proceed from strength to strength with his clear-voiced leadership. For the ultimate wonders are yet to come.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) Vol. 2, sec. 499, interpreting Yeshayahu 60:1.


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