ACTION IS THE MAIN THING
(HaMa'ase Hu Hoiker)
Directives of the Rebbe MH"M
The Month of Iyar
"Igud Talmidai Hayashivos," "Beis Moshiach" 770
1) During sfira we do not say the sh'hechiyanu blessing on
a new fruit, except on Shabbos and Lag B'Omer. However, those who have the
custom to say the blessing during sfira, should certainly not be stopped,
for this is their custom. On the contrary, let them continue to make the
2) During sfira there are special abilities granted to fix one's
midos (emotional attributes) and all matters that require correction,
especially in the matter of "they did not conduct themselves with respect
one to the other," by discussing the issues at hand with others, in peace
and friendship, and actually coming to a resolution.
3) The wording is "nohagu kavod zeh la'zeh" (conduct themselves with
respect one to the other), which alludes to this becoming a minhag
(custom), emphasizing the concept of habit-forming. That is, ahavas Yisroel
should become a regular custom requiring no effort.
4) "Nohagu" is also from the root meaning "manhig" (leader).
This teaches us that everyone should become a leader in everything having
to do with ahavas and achdus Yisroel, to influence everyone
he has a connection with so that they to treat others with respect.
Those who fast Monday, Thursday, Monday after Pesach, may they be blessed,
should continue with their good custom, especially since it would be a question
of hataras nedarim (annulling a vow), and one should not annul a vow
except for some need, etc., such as weakness in one's health, ch'v.
Those who do not fast Monday, Thursday, Monday still benefit from the special
quality of these days, which are auspicious days. Therefore, these days should
be utilized to increase in all matters of Torah and mitzvos, Torah,
avoda (tefilla) and gmillus chassadim (which is the
custom during a fast), adding to what one usually does.
1) It is important to ensure that everyone knows about taking advantage of
Pesach Sheini, a day that gives us the ability to correct all matters of
avoda (Divine service) in Torah and mitzvos, including correcting
that which is lacking.
2) This power of Pesach Sheini to correct and make up for the past (in addition
to the recent past, i.e. days, weeks, months, the past year) also pertains
to one's entire past, since the time of bar mitzva.
3) …and even prior to the bar mitzva (as the Alter Rebbe writes in
his Shulchan Aruch). Indeed we find a number of stories about gedolei
Yisroel who even corrected matters that occurred before the age of
understanding, even back to the age of nursing, and the beginning of the
nursing period, and back to the moment when they arrived in this world.
4) One should also try to correct and make up for a lack in that which could
have been done in a more perfect fashion. With just a superficial glance,
certainly everyone will conclude that they could have done a number of things
better than they did.
5) This evaluation should apply to one's avoda with oneself as well
as working with others, starting with the family, and even after many years,
when one's sons and daughters are past the age of chinuch (which is
until age 24), and they themselves have children.
6) All this applies especially to teachers and counselors, mashpiim,
rabbanim, etc. with regards to their students who have already grown
up and who themselves have become educators. One can find ways to add to
and perfect the influence that should have been there in earlier years.
7) All this applies to children as well. It is easy to explain to them that
certain areas could have been better, so that on their own they will correct
and make up for it in an even greater measure, to the point of asking, "why
should we lose out?" from attaining an even greater perfection.
8) This directive about correcting and perfecting things of the past must
also (and primarily) apply to ahavas Yisroel (the love of a fellow
Jew). And it is necessary to even further increase in ahavas Yisroel and
achdus Yisroel in one's daily life.
9) Effort should be made to inspire others about this (at first) in a public
forum so that people will encourage each other regarding ahavas and
10) A special farbrengen should be held (during and around the special
days between Pesach Sheini and Lag B'Omer) wherein words of inspiration should
be spoken concerning correcting and perfecting all areas of avoda.
This, of course, should be done with simcha at a farbrengen.
Try to see to it that Lag B'Omer, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai's day of rejoicing,
is celebrated as a joyous day by all Jews wherever they may be (in the Diaspora,
and certainly in Eretz Yisroel) by arranging festivities and parades, etc.,
in which men and women (separately, with the utmost tznius, of course)
and children participate.
Especially regarding the children, the Jewish custom (which is Torah) from
long ago is that on Lag B'Omer the children study only half or a third of
the day and then go out to play. By doing this their desire to learn Torah
is increased (after Lag B'Omer, and by way of preparation, also before it)
knowing that the Rashbi represents "Toraso umnaso" (Torah study was
his sole occupation).
At the parades, the children (and the adults) should be told about the Rashbi,
etc., and they should be inspired to add in all areas of Judaism, Torah and
mitzvos, especially to learn from the ways of the Rashbi as follows:
a) Learning Torah in a way of "Toraso umnaso." Every single Jew can
do something of the sort. For example, at set times for Torah study one can
be in a frame of mind of "Toraso umnaso," when one's heart and mind
are free from the worries of making a living, etc.
b) Avoda should be in a manner of "in one bond I am bound up, in Him
I am unified..." As a result, one's avoda in the area of "permitted
things" will be in a way of "know Him in all your ways," that is, "your ways"
(optional matters, such as eating) will be "to know Him" (Hashem).
(This point can and must be explained to all Jews, men, women and even children.
Even the smallest children can also serve Hashem in a way of "know Him in
all your ways." Even though it will be in their childish ways, "educate a
child according to his way," through these ways they can come to truly "know
Him," including the ultimate knowledge of "to know Him is to be Him." In
fact, this is more readily accepted by children, as we know from the Sages'
statement, "I daven with the knowledge of a child," who knows nothing
about sfiros, the seider ha'hishtalshelus, etc., only G-d Himself,
His very essence, as the Alter Rebbe would say in his state of
dveikus, "I want nothing except You alone.")
On the other hand, this can also be explained to adults, who strive to understand
everything rationally (being a "wise and understanding nation") and with
many explanations, both his own as well as explanations received from his
teacher and his friends and from his students more than from anyone else.
A personal request: Try to add to the explanations in an appropriate manner,
starting by explaining it to yourself so that when you give it over they
will be words from your heart, which enter the heart of the listener, in
addition to quoting the author -- if you think this will assure that it will
more readily be adhered to, based on your judgement and understanding, to
the benefit of the success in action, which is the main thing.
For your comments and/or suggestions, write to:
of HaMa'ase Hu Hoiker