What can we do about the crisis in Eretz Yisrael? The Rebbe taught us in the response to previous wars in Eretz Yisroel that we do have the power to strengthen and protect our fellow Yidden, and that children have the greatest power of all. On Isru Chag, 90 Lubavitch Mechanchim and Mechanchos joined a webinar to hone in on what our unique Shlichus is in educating Hashem’s army during this critical time. Here are some take-aways from the webinar:
Rabbi Shmuel Lew, Shliach and Dean of Lubavitch Senior Girls School in London, England:
- The Rebbe showed us the direct connection between spirituality and physicality, between our Mitzvos and the physical world.
- We do not need to alter the Mitzvas Hayom. On a weekday it can be Mivtza Tefillin and Tachanun to help bring about Yeshuos, but in Tishrei it can be Mitzva Lulav and to davka be be’simcha. The Mitzvas Hayom, whatever it may be at the time, is the best Segulah for Eretz Yisrael.
- It is not advisable to share with students the details that will upset their equilibrium and cause anxiety.
- Children should know that simply a Bracha or another Hachlata actually makes a difference begashmius to help Yidden. They can choose one Bracha they say daily, or choose another Hachlata they connect to, and it will actually help the Yidden in Eretz Yisrael.
- We do not need to elaborate how a Mitzva can divert a missile or any of the gashmiusdike details, but rather emphasize that we are fighting b’ruchnius and our Mitzvos make an impact.
- As for reading the newspapers and the politics, and adding our opinions, the Rebbe said that it does not help anything, but a Mitzva or Kapitel of Tehillim definitely helps.
Rabbi Zalmy Kudan, Executive Director of Lamplighters Jewish Academy in Oxnard, CA:
- The children are the soldiers of Tzivos Hashem, and teachers are their commanders. It is our zchus and achrayus to guide them in this time of war.
- We don’t need to change what we are already doing, but to place extra emphasis on it. For example to dedicate our Tefillos to E”Y, make sure every child gives Tzedaka, etc.
- In addition to what we are already doing, we can also add a hosafa as appropriate – an extra minute of learning, another chazara, or more Ahavas Yisrael.
- Create a Tehillim list in the class of soldiers or other people in E”Y that classmates may be related or connected to.
- This is a good time to make a Hachlata in Inyonei Moshiach Ugeulah.
- A soldier fights b’simcha. We should add extra opportunities for Simcha such as a Niggun or dancing, and everything we do in response to the war should be with positivity. This is an opportunity to show our students what Bitachon and Simcha really look like.
- It is important not to induce guilt or anxiety in children by focusing on misbehavior, but rather to emphasize that their positive behavior is helping Eretz Yisroel.
Rabbi Kaplan, Menahel of Cheder Chabad of Monsey Boys, NY:
- The reason the soldiers are being Moser Nefesh is so that Yiddishkeit can go on! When we have Mesiras Nefesh in our Torah and Mitzvos, it strengthens them and makes their gashmiusdike Mesiras Nefesh meaningful.
- At this time, we do not disrupt our Seder of school or of Yiddishkeit, but rather make greater emphasis on how what we are doing actually helps Eretz Yisroel.
- אלה ברכב ואלה בסוסים – we as Yidden need to steer our natural response to the conflict into הקול קול יעקב, as opposed to military aspirations or aggression. Our Avoda is to strengthen our Tefilla and connection to Hashem.
- In addition to making class or school Hachlatos, older students can choose their own areas to strengthen.
- At a time like this, students may use their free time talking about the war and being involved in speculation and worry. As the nights get longer, it’s important to add in extracurriculars and ways to dedicate free time to הוספות in learning and Mitzvos for Eretz Yirael instead.
From all of the above, gleaned from the Rebbe’s directives and responses over the years, we see that investing ourselves even more in the Shlichus of Chinuch is the greatest thing that we can do to help Eretz Yisrael. Our students are their soldiers and we are their commanders. Let us remind them of the strength they have to wage this Ruchniusdiker war, not by changing what we do in school each day, but by adding to our Torah and Mitzvos even more! Through this, may we see an immediate Yeshuah in Eretz Yisrael, and go ביד רמה from this Geulah to the גאולה האמיתית והשלמה!