Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Touch not my anointed!

The Third of Tamuz is here. Where are we?
How have we reached this sorry state of affairs in which our yeshivas and schools are still shut? How dare we come to the Rebbe shamefacedly while neglecting chinuch al taharas hakodesh, uncompromising Torah education which the Rebbe prioritized above all else? Instead, we have been compromised by complacency and deference to the capricious whims of a secular government and its policy makers...
The state has finally allowed synagogues to reopen, but no such luck for our schools and yeshivas. Rabbis and Jewish communities continue to accept this maddening decree in silence and obsequious submission.
How has Chabad Lubavitch hit such an unprecedented nadir? How have we sunk so low as to betray our holy Rebbeim and so egregiously neglect the Torah education of our children?
On this auspicious occasion of the Third of Tamuz, let’s recall the timeless words of the Previous Rebbe (Rayatz), moments before his journey to exile in Kastrama on this day in 1927: [1]

We did not depart from the Land of Israel of our own free will, nor shall we return to the Land of Israel by virtue of our own capabilities. Gd, our Father and King, has sent us into exile. He, may He be blessed, shall redeem us and gather in the dispersed from the four corners of the earth, and cause us to be led back firmly and proudly by Moshiach, our righteous Redeemer — may this occur speedily, in our times.

However, all the nations of the world must know this: Only our bodies were sent into exile and subjugated to alien rule; our souls were not given over into captivity and foreign rule.

We must proclaim openly and before all that any matter affecting the Jewish religion, Torah, and its mitzvot and customs is not subject to the coercion of others. No one can impose his belief upon us, nor coerce us to conduct ourselves contrary to our beliefs.

It is our solemn and sacred task to cry out and state with the ancient steadfastness of the Jewish people, with courage derived from thousands of years of self-sacrifice: “Touch not My anointed nor attempt to do evil to My prophets." [2]

It’s high time that all those who follow in his path – all chassidei Chabad, i.e. Anash, shluchim, and certainly Rabbonei Anash – should declare as one: “Touch not my anointed – these are tinokos shel beis rabban!” Let us all stand firm and steadfast and oppose this unlawful decree. The Torah does not kowtow to government. This is now how we have been educated by our Rebbeim. We must assert the right of each and every Jewish child to attend school, and hold our rabbis and administrators responsible for their silence and neglect.
It’s time for us to see to it that every Jewish child in our neighborhoods resume learning Torah in class with their rebbe immediately, as is their Divine right.
Gevalt! It's Gimel Tamuz! Where is our mesiras nefesh for Jewish education? Open the yeshivas now.
[1] Letter from 19 Iyar, 5688. 
[2] Jewish children are called “משיחי,” My (G-d’s) anointed, as per Shabbos ibid. According to our sages, when the verse states: “Touch not My anointed” (Divrei Hayamim I 16:22), it means “Don’t attempt to prevent Jewish children from studying Torah.” 

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