BH, 6 Nissan, 5782

Holy Proclamation

On the 11th of Nissan this year, the Jewish world will mark 120 years since the birth of the holy Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory.

His great soul, which descended to earth on Erev Shabbat (Friday), 11 Nissan, 5662, was destined to revolutionize the Jewish world. His greatness was recognizable already from his youth. After assuming leadership of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, he began—with tremendous love—to strengthen the Jewish nation, which was crushed and moaning after the Holocaust. He fought valiantly against assimilation and sent rabbis and leaders to all corners of the earth to strengthen the identity of every Jew. His series of initiatives and programs are continued by the thousands of dedicated emissaries who heed his call.

Just recently, we saw the heroic self-sacrifice of the holy emissaries in Ukraine, the birthplace of the Rebbe. Under the terror of shelling and rocket fire, they risked their lives to continue their work.

The merit of the holy Torah of the Rebbe—to whom every secret was revealed, and who dedicated his days and nights studying and teaching—enabled him to innovate in the revealed and esoteric parts of Torah, to pave new pathways in understanding Rashi’s commentary on the Torah and to reveal new depths in Maimonides’s Mishnah Torah. With the power of the Torah, he touched the breadth of the Jewish people. He proudly proclaimed the Torah’s views and stood up to protect the wholeness of the Jewish nation, the Torah and the Holy Land.

The Rebbe, of righteous memory, constantly encouraged the rabbis—community leaders and mentors—to expand their circles of influence and bring all of the Jewish people under the Divine Presence.

The Rebbe believed in the power of the individual, in the importance of their actions and their impact on the entire world, in accordance with the teaching of Maimonides:1 “If he performs one mitzvah, he tips his balance and that of the entire world to the side of merit and brings deliverance and salvation to himself and others.” He called to enrich the education of the younger generation with belief in G‑d, to install the values of the Torah as the bedrock of humanity’s justice, morals and ethics. In the wake of this call, the world marks the 11th day of Nissan as “Education and Sharing Day,” when teachers and educators are called to impart to the next generation the value of a moral lifestyle, positive character traits, and the will to increase goodness and holiness.

The holiday of Passover is also called “the holiday of education.” This is the time when everyone invests into their close family, leading the Seder and imparting the Jewish heritage by fulfilling the mitzvah of “telling your son.” Part of our tradition is to go out and find the “lost” son, the fifth son who doesn’t appear in the Haggadah. Invite him to the Seder and draw him with “cords of love.” Bring him closer to the service of G‑d on this coming Passover, and it will continue throughout the year. Let everyone take upon themselves to ensure that this Passover, another Jew will join our Seder tables, one who without our embrace and invitation wouldn’t come. May their souls shine with the light of Torah and mitzvot in the merit of the Rebbe, the lover and defender of Israel, who dedicated his life to every Jew, wherever they may be.

We lovingly call on everyone, on this special date, to strengthen and increase the honor of Heaven; for everyone to dedicate time to contemplate his great legacy; to delve into the study of his rich Torah; and to do more mitzvot following his ways.

With blessings for a happy and kosher Passover, signed:

Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, chief rabbi of Israel

Rabbi David Lau, chief rabbi of Israel

Rabbi Chaim Shimon Gad Elituv, member of the Chief Rabbinate Council

Rabbi Yitzchak Peretz, rabbi of Ra’anana, member of the Chief Rabbinate Council

Rabbi Ratzon Arusi, rabbi of Kiryat Ono, member of the Chief Rabbinate Council

Rabbi Yaakov Roza, member of the Chief Rabbinate Council

Rabbi Yitzchak Ralbag, member of the Chief Rabbinate Council

Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman, rabbi of Migdal Haemek, member of the Chief Rabbinate Council

Rabbi Eliezer Simcha Weiss, member of the Chief Rabbinate Council

Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, Rosh Yeshivah, Merkaz Harav; member of the Chief Rabbinate Council

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, rabbi of Safed, member of the Chief Rabbinate Council

Rabbi Yehudah Deri, rabbi of Beersheva, member of the Chief Rabbinate Council

Rabbi Eyal Karim, chief rabbi of the IDF, member of the Chief Rabbinate Council

Rabbi Yitzchak Levy, rabbi of Nesher, member of the Chief Rabbinate Council

A related news article about the proclamation can be read here.