Thursday, 11 May, 2017 - 1:42 pm

In the weeks and days leading up to the Six Day War in 1967 the Jewish world was in a panic. Visions of a Holocaust repeat, G-d forbid, were at the forefront of many minds, just over 20 years after the end of that unspeakable era for our people. The Israeli government was preparing parks and open spaces as potential locations for burial grounds for the expected casualties. The lone voice of hope and encouragement was the Rebbe. He declared over and over that “the Guardian of Israel does not slumber” and that a miraculous victory was on hand. He also launched the Tefillin campaign as an antidote to the threat of war, explaining that the Talmud connects the Mitzvah of Tefillin with striking fear into the heart of the enemy. You can see more about this in the following video: and read more about the Tefillin campaign here:

Since that day 50 years ago, many millions of Jewish men over Bar Mitzvah have wrapped Tefillin because of the campaign, including many who made regular commitments to wrapping Tefillin as well as hundreds of thousands who acquired their own Tefillin to use them daily. The Tefillin campaign has become the symbol of Chabad’s style of Judaism on-the-spot for people on-the-go. Whether on the streets of New York, at the Kotel, Ben-Gurion Airport, Canal St. in New Orleans, or hundreds of other spots around the globe, there is the experience of being asked by a (usually) young Chabadnik, “Excuse me sir, would you like to put on Tefillin.” Every Chabad Yeshiva student spends his Friday afternoons visiting people to put on Tefillin with them.

We are approaching the 50th anniversary of the amazing miracles of the Six Day War (you can learn more about it in the current JLI course being offered by Chabad of Metairie). Just a few days before that is the 50th anniversary of the Tefillin campaign. In honor of this milestone I am launching a personal challenge to put on Tefillin with my Jewish brothers who do not (yet) regularly wrap Tefillin every day at least 50 times between now and Shavuot (Tuesday night, May 30). I am going to keep a running log on Facebook (@MendelRivkin) using the hashtag #50Tefillin (hopefully with some photos). If you are a Jewish male over 13 and you do not yet regularly wrap Tefillin every day, please let me know if you would like to participate in the #50Tefillin campaign.

We all know that the need protection is still there. Israel still faces many security threats and challenges as do Jews around the world. Let’s do our part by getting on board at the #50Tefillin Campaign. Besides it’s a Mitzvah and there is nothing more compelling than that! Looking forward to “wrapping with my brothas.” Hit me up and let’s get it going!

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin


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