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An audiance with the Lubavitcher Rebbe of Blessed Memory
"Shalom, honored Rabbi,"
said Yitzchak Rabin, Ambassador of Israel to Washington.
"Blessings to all,"
answered the Rebbe to Rabin's greeting.
Rabin told the Rebbe that he
is the ambassador of Israel to Washington and that he is bringing the
greetings of the State of Israel to the Rebbe in honor of his seventieth
birthday. The Rebbe asked Mr. Rabin, "Do you not feel alone as the
representative of the land of Israel among 120 countries and peoples that
are represented in Washington?"
Rabin answered, "It is
a great honor for me to represent the State of Israel in Washington, and
even if I do feel lonely at times; first: more than half of the countries,
represented in Washington do not recognize Israel, therefore it removes
the burden of being in contact with them. With the others Israel has friendly
relationships. Israel is important to me and not what others will say
The Rebbe then asked, "However,
the United States takes in consideration what other nations say?"
Rabin: "Not necessarily
and if yes, not too much. The Russian ambassador once told me, 'you are
a small country, but you are a proud country'. Most countries are jealous
"We have to realize the
uniqueness of the Jewish nation", the Rebbe said and began to explain
the verse "A nation that will live in isolation". "Is it
by choice or by force that Israel is the people that dwell alone among
"It is by both of them;
first by the Jewish peoples own choice - that is the source of this phenomenon:
To stick to the Torah, to the faith to the tradition of the Jewish people,
which kept them under very unique circumstances for two thousand years.
Without a country, without a place where they all settle, bearing the
phenomenon of the Wandering Jew who had to move from time to time because
of the inquisition, expulsion, pogroms and with no doubt the Holocaust.
"In the case when a Jew
tries to be what he is not - he is embarrassed of being Jewish - the forces
from the outside force it on the Jew. And this, of course, is what prevented
assimilation; the negative forces helped us not to be assimilated.
"The combination of the
positive and the negative.
"Regardless of all this,
the Jewish people remain faithful to the Jewish religion, the Jewish tradition,
and succeeded to survive as no people anywhere in the world proved to
be successful in doing. They have never lost their belief, their hope
to return to Jerusalem, to the land of Israel.
"Correct, the nations
do not understand why Israel is of concern to the American Jew, because
we are a "nation who lives in solitude" and therefore we have
concern for one another. However we should not be happy with our portion,"
"The land of Israel has
great influence. The Jewish nation is different from all other nations,
and the American Jew also posses this feeling. A person has to know that
even though he is an individual, every individual is also part of a certain
community - the Jewish community worldwide," the Rebbe said
The Rebbe then began to explain
the phrase, "Blessed is the one who is happy with his portion".
"What does it mean; if somebody is happy with what he has there is
no force to drive him to achieve more and to do better. Is there any contradiction
between the saying: "blessed is the one who is happy with his portion"
and the nature of the human being to improve in every aspect of his life?
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