Motti Wilhelm

How was he sure?

My grandfather, Rabbi Shmuel David Raichik helps a fellow traveler lay Teffilin. (Family Archive)
My grandfather, Rabbi Shmuel David Raichik helps a fellow traveler lay Teffilin. (Family Archive)

My grandfather, Rabbi Shmuel David Raichik OBM, is interred only a few yards from the resting place of the Rebbe, known as the Ohel.

His tombstone quotes him as often sharing: “Der Aibershter Vet Zicher Helfen”. God will surely help.

A devout Chassid, who dedicated hours each day to prayer and spent his life traveling across the Americas to inspire the development of Jewish life, was often sought out for advice. After sharing his thoughts, he would always conclude: ‘Der Aibershter Vet Zicher Helfen.’ God will surely help.

As a child, I would hear it from him. As an adult, I ponder: what gave him the confidence and faith?

I’ve seen the tear-soaked letter in which he was informed that his parents were murdered by the Nazis. I’ve read the telegrams he received while the students in his charge were starving for lack of food, and I studied from the Talmud he brought with him from the refugee Yeshiva in Shanghai.

Seeing all he did, what gave him the faith to share “Der Aibershter Vet Zicher Helfen” – God will surely help?

With all our people have seen, with all we are witnessing now, what gives us the confidence that “Der Aibershter Vet Zicher Helfen” – God will surely help?


The faith-filled Jew doesn’t see a world of good and evil, positive and negative. Such a Jew perceives revealed good and not-yet-revealed good, a positive which can be appreciated and one which has yet to be transformed.

There is no doubt that Hashem will help, and in the end, we will perceive how it is all good. Every part of it was good. It was not just “for the good”; it was good. Otherwise, the good Creator would not have brought it about.

Maimonides writes: “All these [commemorative] fasts will be nullified in the Messianic era and, indeed ultimately, they will be transformed into holidays and days of rejoicing and celebration”.

In 1956, the Rebbe wrote to Israel’s President Yitzchak Ben-Tzvi: “From the day I went to cheder and even before that, I began to weave in my mind an image of the future Redemption…a Redemption in such a manner that all the suffering and persecution of exile will make sense. Not only will our pain be erased, it will be transformed.”

Indeed, we can be sure “Der Aibershter Vet Zicher Helfen” God will surely help.

May we no longer need to wait. There is too much pain. We want Moshiach Now.

About the Author
Rabbi Motti Wilhelm received his diploma of Talmudic Studies from the Rabbinical College of Australia & New Zealand in 2003 and was ordained as a rabbi by the Rabbinical College of America and Israel’s former chief Rabbi Mordecha Eliyahu in 2004. He was the editor of Kovetz Ohelei Torah, a respected Journal of Talmudic essays. He lectures on Talmudic Law, Medical Ethics and a wide array of Jewish subjects and has led services in the United States, Canada, Africa and Australia. His video blog Rabbi Motti's Minute is highly popular as are his weekly emails. Rabbi Wilhelm and his wife Mimi lead Chabad SW Portland as Shluchim of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
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