Feeling a bit empty as the years wore on without the Rebbe leading us in a revealed way, a Crown Heights mother accompanied her children to a rally in front of 770 on Gimmel Tammuz, and had a sudden realization.
Approaching Gimmel Tammuz, I took note of the many posts, emails, flyers, and Whatsapp messages that announced farbrengens, shiurim, podcasts, broadcasts, daily messages, initiatives, and more. However, amidst the plethora of materials and happenings that were almost seemed to be bombarding me on all sides, I felt at a bit of a loss. This feeling only heightened as, to the flicker of the beeswax candle casting a glow on my darkened kitchen and hallway, I prepared my children’s clothing on Monday night—white shirts, Shabbos pants, “Rosh Chodesh/Chol Hamoed” dresses. I watched my husband don his kapote in the morning and wondered why so festive?
After a morning of fulfilling many of the takanos included in the Rebbe’s letter regarding Yud Shevat, two lit candles illuminated our Shabbos table as our family sat down to a farbrengen lunch. Though my husband shared some thoughts, it was my eight-year-old daughter who neatly put it all in perspective: “It’s just like when Tatty’s out of town for a few days. We miss him very much and wish he could be home with us but we know that he is where he is for a good reason. He is working really hard so that we can have everything we need. So really he is taking care of us the whole time—which means he’s not far at all. But we wish that money would just come down from the sky so that he wouldn’t have to be away anymore.” Forget all the podcasts and broadcasts—this is where it’s at!
At 1:00 p.m., my children and I took our seats at the Tzivos Hashem rally in front of 770. Though I have attended many of the Tzivos Hashem rallies of recent years with my children and students, and today’s program was similar to that of the others, there was a feeling in the air that just took it up a notch. I tried to put my finger on it but couldn’t quite place it.
Then, as Rabbis Chaim Fogelman, Eli Marcus, and Benny Friedman began singing “Oy Rebbe,” I suddenly found myself wiping my eyes. I was immediately drawn back to Nun Gimmel and Nun Daled and felt those emotions so strongly. I looked around and noticed counselors putting their arms around their campers and swaying to the music, with both the former and the latter wearing the blank faces that come along with hearing an unfamiliar song. Oy Rebbe, we need you indeed….
But soon, Rabbi Shimmy Weinbaum (of The Faithful Shepherd fame) took to the podium once more to close up the rally. In his infectiously positive and empowering manner, he passionately expressed that it is the children, the chayolei Tzivos Hashem, who will bring Moshiach. And with the unprecedented number of missions being completed by chayolim each day, it’s about time! Yes, it’s gonna be the little kinderlach—who, while never having seen the Rebbe b’guf gashmi, elevated today’s rally with their temimus and chayus—who will make Moshiach come.
Then, Rabbi Weinbaum called upon the singers to lead the crowd in Sheyiboneh. As Benny Friedman sang the introductory piece, I noticed the vibrant twinkles in the eyes of the children around me, their hands at the ready in the clapping position. Within moments, they were on their feet, jumping and joyously singing about the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdash. Never mind Nun Gimmel and Nun Daled—Moshiach’s coming!