Tuesday Israel stood silent for one minute, to commemorate those who had died this past Simchat Torah.
Jacques Lipchitz, before he died, had almost completed a sculpture for Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. It was a phoenix.
His widow, Yulla, came to the Rebbe. She wanted to complete the sculpture, but people told her that a phoenix is a non-Jewish symbol.
The Rebbe showed her a verse in the book of Job (29; 18): “I will multiply my days like the Chol.” The Rebbe told Yulla, that the Midrashic commentary relates, that the Chol is a bird which lives for a thousand years, dies, and is resurrected from its ashes. Thus, a Jewish symbol. Yulla completed the sculpture.
The Babylonians and Romans burnt the Temples. In exile, many Jews were oppressed and murdered. The Crusaders killed many, The Spanish Inquisition burned many and banished us. The Cossacks murdered. European progroms and Nazis killed millions. Israel fought numerous wars, losing many lives. And now, this past Simchat Torah, horrific tragedies.
Sixty-seven years ago, terrorists attacked the Lubavitcher village Kfar Chabad and murdered five students and their teacher. Yediot Achronot wrote, that after the Rebbe was informed, he sank into his chair. He locked his door and did not open it for three days. After three days of utter seclusion, he called his secretary and dictated his reply: Bihemshech habinyan tenacheimu. By your continued building you will be comforted. One year later, a new vocational school was completed.
And, shortly after the attack, the Rebbe sent twelve Yeshiva students to Israel, to speak and encourage.
We, the Jewish nation, will survive. We will continue building. Like the phoenix, the Jewish nation will survive and thrive, forever.
And very soon, we will greet Moshiach. It will be a time of laughter. We will be rejoined with those who had passed away. And as we dance and rejoice, we will be able to tell Moshiach, that, through everything, we remained loyal to G-d, as we rebuilt, from the ashes.
May that very joyous time come imminently.