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A Father’s Basi L’Gani

A few days before Yud Shevat I was moving a cupboard that had been my grandmother’s. I had finally decided to throw it away as I could never get the drawers to open, rendering the piece relatively ‘useless.’ As I struggled to move it by myself, it somehow tipped over somewhat and, Voila! The drawers opened! Little did I know that a great gift awaited me inside one of the drawers.

The gift was a letter from my late father, Moshe Kanofsky, of blessed memory. We were approaching his first yartzeit on Tu’Bishvat. To my mind, Tu’Bishvat is the logical conclusion of the Maaamer Basi L’Gani because what do we do in Hashem’s garden in which our love with Hashem is openly revealed? We eat fruits – meaning we experience the true pleasure of the redemption. In his letter, my father expressed this connection lucidly.

My father’s letter read like this:

“To be a Lubavitcher Jew is to be a “storm within a soul of fire.” This storm is our Rebbe, this storm is our Yiddishkeit, this storm is a gift from Hashem. It gives us the power and the drive to conquer the world.

The Rebbe alone has achieved, we, as a people, have not done our part, our share. Our Rebbe has told us that only we can bring the coming of the Moshiach of Israel, the Moshiach of the world. The Rebbe’s words are sacred and must be obeyed, just as the Torah – not out of fear but out of love.

The storm within our individual souls must be mobilized to the exclusion of all else towards the historic goal of the Moshiach.

When the people around you ask, ‘What are you doing today?’ Answer them as follows. I wage war for the cause of Moshiach. Every second, every minute, every hour, every day – I wage war.

And when Moshiach will arrive, we, the congregation of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, together with all of the Jewish people, will rebuild our holy Beit Hamikdash in Yerushalayim, in Eretz Yisrael.

We cannot fail! Amen.”

My father never read Basi L’Gani. My father did not actively study Chassidus or do Chitas but his heart and his soul were alive. He understood the essence of our mission in this world and this is how he attached himself to the Rebbe.

We, the Jewish people are only about the redemption. When the Friedeker Rebbe wrote Basi L’Gani, it was the articulation of his and the Rebbe’s mission statement – our work, our struggle and our efforts are dedicated to revealing Moshiach in this world. The battle is over, the Rebbe tells us. Now we must rise up to the level of the redemption, unlock our power of unlimited joy and pleasure, shira v'zimra, and vibrate in unison, as one nation, the presence of Hashem in this world.

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