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The Sun Did Not Set

The upcoming Tuesday, the 3rd of Tamuz, marks a significant day for Chabad chassidim, particularly since 1994. In that year, the Rebbe's physical presence seemed to leave this world.

When it happened, the Jewish world held its breath. Everyone knew of the astounding breadth of the Rebbe's leadership. What would happen now? What would happen to the vast network of Chabad centers, to the thousands of chassidim and hundreds of thousands of Jews who relied on the Rebbe's guidance and blessings?

Even more so, what would happen to the faith of the chassidim in the Rebbe's message, which they had promulgated far and wide, about the imminence of Moshiach? How would the chassidim react, now that their hopes had been dashed?

*

Days passed, then weeks and months, and the question intensified. The movement did not crumble; rather, the vast, dynamic organization continued to grow and thrive. How could it survive without a leader? Nobody had filled the Rebbe’s shoes, because  nobody could. But there was no need--because the Rebbe is still with us.

Chabad chassidim displayed an uncompromising loyalty to the Rebbe and his teachings, particularly his final promise, that we are the last generation of exile and the first of Redemption.

True, their hopes had been dashed. It never occurred to chassidim that they would live through an era that they would be unable to see the Rebbe, or hear his voice. They never thought their relationship with the Rebbe would express itself solely through praying in his synagogue, reading his teachings, listening to tapes and videos. But together with the longing, which only intensifies with time, there is a strong faith that the life and soul of Chassidus--the life and soul of the Rebbe--is still with us. The Rebbe's life is his teachings, his emissaries who continue to carry out his mission, the thousands of Jews worldwide who live with his inspiration.

In the past 15 years, Chabad chassidus has doubled and tripled--a phenomenon that is unheard of for a leaderless organization. Anyone who thought otherwise has been proven wrong. Chabad chassidus is alive; the Rebbe is alive within us.

*

Thousands of years ago, in the year 2488 from creation, the world also held its breath on the 3rd of Tamuz. The Jews were fighting against Canaan, and Joshua bin Nun held up sun in order to prevent the enemies from escaping into the dark of night. On that day, the longest day in history, it was demonstrated that nature does not stand in the way of a Jewish leader. The tzadik decreed, and the sun obeyed.

Generations later, on the same date, that phenomenon occurred again. The sun did not set! The Rebbe continues to shine, to lead, and very soon, with the coming of Moshiach, his leadership will become obvious to all.
 

 


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