The Alter Rebbe once told his Chassidim that they must “live with the times.” Confused about his intent, they sought clarification and the Alter Rebbe answered them: We must derive insights from the Torah that relate to current events.

This teaching is a recurrent theme in the Rebbe’s sichos, but in the sichos contained in this volume, it was given clear exposition. As the world floundered in panic and consternation over the events in the Persian Gulf, the Rebbe Shlita served as a source of confidence and quiet optimism for people from all walks of life, from all over the world. Drawing on the depths of our Torah heritage, the Rebbe gave assurance that this would be a year when “I will show you wonders,” that miracles would transpire and, moreover, that G‑d would take pains, as it were, to reveal them to the Jewish people. Furthermore, he cited a now famous passage in the Yalkut Shimoni (Vol. II, sec. 499), which emphasizes that a crisis in the Gulf region which will cause the entire world to panic, will bring good for the Jewish people, including, the ultimate good, the coming of the Mashiach.

In addition to publishing the Rebbe’s sichos in the form of translations as is usual, Sichos In English also highlighted the points of public interest made by the Rebbe during and after this crisis in the form of essays. These essays were publicized as they appeared and afterwards, were collected into a booklet entitled “I Will Show You Wonders.” Reprinted in magazines and newspapers throughout the world and translated into several languages, these essays communicated the Rebbe’s message to hundreds of thousands of people. This booklet, reprinted in its entirety, forms the first section of the present volume.

Afterwards, the volume proceeds in its usual form, presenting the sichos delivered by the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbasos and during the week. Particularly noteworthy is the first of the sichos translated, the sichos of the Tenth of Teves and Shabbos Parshas Vayechi. In these sichos, the Rebbe gave a classic exposition of the virtues of every Jew and the legacy of self-sacrifice left by the martyrs of the Holocaust. These sichos are presented in their entirety together with all the footnotes included in the original text, so that the full power of the Rebbe’s message can be appreciated.

The volume continues, presenting the sichos of this unique period of time. In addition to the matters relating to the Gulf Crisis, these sichos touch on a variety of subjects of both contemporary and eternal interest, including the nature of miracles, the settlement of Russian immigrants in Eretz Yisrael, the importance of increasing our gifts to tzedakah, and the responsibility possessed by each Jew to carry out his shlichus in the world. The text of one of these sichos, the Address to the members of the Machne Israel Development Fund, was reviewed and edited by the Rebbe Shlita himself.

Tehillim 119:18, “Open my eyes, and I will perceive the wonders of Your Torah.” Since G‑d “looked into the Torah and created the world,” it follows that the wonders in the world at large have their source in the wonders of the Torah. And there is no more appropriate place to look for the wonders of the Torah than in the Rebbe Shlita’s sichos.

May G‑d grant us the potential to perceive these wonders. This in turn will make us more sensitive to the wonders that are transpiring in the world at large, and hasten the coming of the era when, “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.”

Sichos In English

20 Menachem Av, 5751