Where Every Jew is Family

Guess Who’s NOT Going to Prison!


After several hearings, interrogations and political pressure, the case has been closed.  Can you believe it?   It’s a miracle!

I’m speaking, of course, about the 1927 verdict of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn.  He was arrested and imprisoned for the terrible crime of  “counter-revolutionary activity” (i.e. opening Jewish schools, distributing Jewish literature and opening mikvahs).

Through a miraculous turn of events, his death sentence was commuted to exile in Kastrama on the 3rd of Tammuz, which we just celebrated yesterday.  Ten days later, even that sentence was cancelled and he was set free.

There is a Talmudic dictum that says, “Even if a sharp sword is on your neck, don’t stop praying [for salvation].” (Berachot 10a).  In fact, there are many stories throughout history where people were literally seconds away from being slaughtered in progroms, the holocaust, etc. and were spared in the blink of an eye.

This is a tremendous lesson for us.  It’s easy to believe that we should never give up hope.  That everything is in Hashem’s hands.  But to really live it and feel it is so much harder.  We must develop a real trust in G-d that helps us realize that it is He who is in control.  Sure, we have to do our part, making ourselves proper vessels for His blessings, but the main thing is the blessings, which come from Him, not us.

I would be derelict if I didn’t mention two things:

1. In addition to the beginning of the previous Rebbe’s freedom from communist Russia, yesterday was also the 22nd anniversary of the passing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.  His life was, and continues to be, a very powerful force today.  It was he who influenced Chana and I to open Chabad of Oswego and thousands of other emissaries like us.  He revolutionized the Jewish world and his legacy will endure for generations. Please go here to learn more about his life and vision.

2. There are only 4 days left to purchase raffle tickets and support the amazing work that Chana and I do in Oswego.  Please go to www.oswegoraffle.com today to help out!  Or just make a donation at www.jewishoswego.org/donate.

Have a wonderful week!
~Rabbi Yossi

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