Dear Friend,

Twenty-four years ago this week, the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—delivered what would be his final public address.

The week’s Torah portion, Vayakhel, was central to his talk. The word “vayakhel” (“and he gathered”) refers to Moses bringing the entire nation together. The Rebbe spoke of the importance of Jewish unity today and at all times. When the Jewish people stick together, no one can harm us. We are collectively strong, and our history has demonstrated time and again that no matter what our enemies scheme, we will come out stronger on the other side. That is the power of the Jewish nation. But we must be there for each other.

This year—as readers of no doubt are aware—is a year of Hakhel, commemorating the once-in-seven-years coming together of every Jew, adult and child, in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to hear the king read from the Torah. We observe this today by hosting assemblies of Jews wherever we are. The focus is Jewish unity and the enhancement of our Jewish observance. We remind ourselves that at the end of the day we have each other to depend on, and that is the key to our survival.

Praying for the day that we will once again unite in Jerusalem,

Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov,
on behalf of the Editorial Team