Publisher’s Foreword

For some people it takes a crisis to identify a genuine leader. At a time when the media were peddling panic, when many public figures were vague and vacillating, Jews from all walks of life spontaneously asked: “What does the Rebbe say?” Whether they were private citizens, Rabbinic scholars, politicians or opinion-makers, they sought the kind of direction and inspiration that would enable them to continue their lives with confidence. And for this they turned to the Rebbe. At a time like this they yearned for a taste of the Rebbe’s unflinching optimism, since the Rebbe’s belief in G‑d’s providence stands on a rockbed of Torah.

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Reminiscing over their visits at the court of R. Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritch, elder chassidim used to say: “When we were at the Maggid’s table, miracles used to roll about freely on the floor; we didn’t even bother to pick them up.”

As Purim this year came closer, more and more people around the world did choose to take the time to pick up the miracles that have been happening right under our noses. In this they were helped by the numerous statements of the Rebbe on the situation. For when the newspapers were vying with each other in publishing pictures of the horrors of chemical warfare in Iraq and Iran, and the most urgent public debate in Israel concerned the distribution of gas masks, the Rebbe gave the widest possible publicity to a now-famous passage from Yalkut Shimoni. This Midrashic passage predicts a world-shaking crisis in the Gulf zone which makes the Jewish people ask, “Where shall we go?” And this same passage proceeds to say that the Almighty will answer them: “My children, have no fear. Whatever I have done, I have done only for your sake. Why are you afraid? Have no fear: the time for your redemption has arrived!”

Interestingly, for many months in advance, Purim figured prominently in the Rebbe’s statements. For example, a delegation of elder chassidim from Kfar Chabad was surprised to hear the Rebbe tell them — on erev Sukkos — that the miracles of the forthcoming year would give rise to a festive joy that would equal even the joy of Purim. And on Thursday, 2 Shvat (17 January), only six weeks before Purim, when Baghdad was first bombarded, the political commentator of the official Kol Yisrael airwaves was not quite sure how to report the Rebbe’s smiling comment to US Army Major Yaakov Goldstein back in November ‘90, when he was on his way to the war zone, that the Gulf War would be over by Purim.

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This booklet is a chronological reprint of six essays gleaned from many records of the Rebbe’s public addresses, as published by Sichos In English in the course of the past few historic months. Each of these essays summarizes the major themes of the talks of the Rebbe Shlita during the preceding days or weeks.

1. “The Message of the Year 5751,” published 5 Kislev, 5751 (November 22, 1990), connects the events in the Gulf zone with the predictions of Yalkut Shimoni, and points out that the Hebrew letters which spell the date of the present year 5751 are an acronym for the words הי' תהא שנת אראנו נפלאות — “This will surely be a year when ‘I will show you wonders.’ ”

2. “Every Jew Has a Silver Lining,” published 24 Teves, 5751 (January 10, 1991), champions the cause of the Jewish people, highlighting the unique spiritual potential of every single Jew, and arguing that surely they are deserving of no harm.

3. “The Safest Place in the World,” published 28 Teves, 5751 (January 14, 1991), as the ultimatum to Iraq was about to expire, gave the world the Rebbe’s reasoned message of quiet optimism.

4. “Purim Miracles Today,” published 8 Adar, 5751 (February 22, 1991), six days before Purim, again connected current events with the Divinely-engineered cosmic process leading up to the ultimate Redemption.

5. “The Ultimate Wonders are Yet to Come,” published 26 Adar, 5751 (March 12, 1991), sees the recent wonders in the Gulf zone as an encouragement to the Jewish people to teach the nations of the world to acknowledge G‑d’s sovereignty.

6. “Divine Miracles are Not Past History,” published 27 Nissan, 5751 (April 11, 1991), warns that insensitive complacency in the face of visible miracles can lead to ingratitude; acknowledging them will lead to new ones.

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For some people, it takes a crisis to identify a genuine leader. Others do not have to wait so long. In either case, as the Rebbe is showing us stage by stage how to recognize the miracles that are happening here and now, we can wholeheartedly say: Thank G‑d for the foresight and the vision that are unfolding before our eyes. And, as the Rebbe enters his ninetieth year, may G‑d grant him the health and vigor to proceed from strength to strength with his clear-voiced leadership. For the ultimate wonders are yet to come.