Tiferes shebeTiferes, Birthdate of the Rebbe Maharash
On this day, [in 5702/1942,] a scribe began to write
the sefer Torah for the welcoming of Mashiach.
May this take place speedily, and in our lifetime, Amen!

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The Sages use the expression, “He saw the deed and recalled the [relevant] law.”3

In the year 5658 (1898), my father set out for Kiev, Berditchev and Zhitomir, on matters of public concern. A great sum of money was required; the Jews of Russia were already exhausted; and most of the Jews of Berditchev were chassidim of Boyan or Tchortkov. Rabbi […]4 asked my father to visit those towns and wrote them letters. My father traveled there, but also for certain other reasons. He visited Mezhibuzh,5 Hanipoli (at the resting place of the Maggid), Haditch and Niezhin.6 All the details of that trip are recorded in my notes, but here I only want to speak of the nucleus of the subject.

When my father was in Mezhibuzh, in the room of the Baal Shem Tov, someone found a tablecloth. When we came home, my father kept a piece of it for himself and gave me a piece.

In that room there was an extremely old retired shammes called R. Tuvia Leib, who was now a yoshev. He had heard from his grandfather, who had been in Mezhibuzh at the time of the Baal Shem Tov, that the local townsmen once asked the tzaddik to intercede and to revoke the Heavenly decree that had brought an epidemic on the town. He answered that he could not help. They pleaded: “Rebbe, you help other people – and you can’t help your own townsfolk?!”

The Baal Shem Tov thereupon told them to commission a scribe to begin writing a sefer Torah, and added: “It is written [in the Siddur], ‘May the service of Your people Yisrael always [find favor].’ This implies that there are two possibilities: either reciting Chumash and Tehillim by heart, or writing a sefer Torah. Both those modes of Yisrael’s service find favor in the eyes of the Holy One, blessed be He. So let a sefer Torah be written.” And R. Tzvi Hirsch the sofer promptly wrote two parchment sheets for the new sefer Torah.7

[Hearing this, my father wanted to have an aliyah at the reading of that scroll.] However, it was not one of the days on which the Torah is publicly read,8 so even though there had been a plan to leave town in the evening, it was decided to remain until the following day, and my father was then called to the reading of that sefer Torah.9 On that occasion he said: “The level of [rare and sublime perception of Elokus called] mochin degadlus itself comprises many levels, many more than fifteen.”10

[The Rebbe Rayatz concluded:] When Jews are in need of Divine mercy, a sefer Torah is written. In addition, [there is also a need for11 ] reciting Chumash and Tehillim by heart – wherever that is permissible,12 and that will constitute a service of Yisrael that always finds favor.

May G‑d grant that this should be a healthy summer, an easy summer, and […], and that we soon be found worthy of welcoming our Righteous Mashiach, speedily and in our own days, in a spirit of lovingkindness and Divine mercy!