As we conclude the last moments of 5783 and prepare for the start of the new year, Anash.org remembers the tears and the joys, the hardship and hope of a year gone by.
By Anash.org staff
The year 5783 was an impactful one across the globe, with international crises, natural disasters, wars and changes of government. But in Lubavitch, 5783 was something else entirely: Shnas Hakhel, the year for gatherings and Jewish unity.
In Crown Heights, more guests than ever arrived to spend Tishrei with the Rebbe, and 770 was more packed than ever on Rosh Hashana, where a bris and bar mitzvah added to the excitement; the Rebbe’s Ohel also saw record numbers. The crowds continued to grow for Yom Kippur and even more for Sukkos, and gatherings of all types were held, including a grand Hakhel that closed down Eastern Parkway. Similar gatherings were held in Boro Park, Los Angeles, Eretz Yisroel, and around the world.
In Russia, the war continued to wage on, and the shluchim continued with their delicate balancing act. In Florida, a flash flood caused destruction, and shluchim raced to the rescue, by foot, boat and helicopter. New Chabad yeshivos saw signs of success, and a newly-uncovered ma’ana of the Rebbe about an eruv captured the attention of Lubavitchers everywhere.
The 2022 election season caused a buzz, with the Crown Heights community and other Jewish communities throwing their weight behind Lee Zeldin for governor. Although victory was ultimately claimed by his opponent Kathy Hochul, the urgency of the election brought out record numbers of Frum voters and made the results closer than many had imagined.
Elections were held in Israel as well, with Bibi Netanyahu emerging victorious after his coalition brought in 64 seats. Unfortunately, the new government was not able to bring a stop to the terrorist attacks, and the number of victims continued to grow, even as miracles were seen at the same time.
The Kinus Hashluchim was unlike any previous one, with the highlight being the completion of 36 Sifrei Torah at the grand banquet, the largest such siyum in history. Rabbi Krinsky called to expand 770, an 88-year-old Frenchman burst into tears, the Iranian Chief Rabbi visited Crown Heights institutions, and even more ambitious projects were launched.
Los Angeles welcomed a new rov to their community, Yud Tes Kislev saw celebrations around the world, and Chanukah had Lubavitchers spreading the light with mivtzoim and parades, even if they were stuck in a snowstorm.
When a shlucha in Vilna faced jail time, her husband decried corruption and fellow shluchim rushed to her defense; frum lobbying helped stall permanent daylight savings time; physical attacks on Jewish Crown Height residents increased even more and terrorist attacks in Eretz Yisroel continued to claim many lives.
A new Anash.org feature launched, giving an inside view of the Rebbe’s library and showcasing some of its priceless treasures.
With the winter came a mini-expansion of 770, a terrifying accident, and the New York Times’ continued attacks on Frum Yidden. CTeen once again took over Times Square in an impressive display of Jewish pride, and Florida elected a new Vaad Hashluchim.
Ahead of Purim, Crown Heights rabbonim and community leaders launched an urgent campaign against underage drinking, and a post-Purim miracle amazed residents of Beitar Illit, Eretz Yisroel. The Chidon once again showcased impressive feats of learning, as hundreds of finalists competed for the highly sought-after medals.
The next milestone on the Chabad calendar is, of course, Yud Alef Nissan, which brought an impressive Mitzva Tank Parade and tributes from cities, states, and the federal government. As Pesach approached, the Israeli Mossad announced that it had foiled a terror attack on Chabad of Greece. On their home turf, however, terror kept on cropping up from within their borders and in the form of missiles fired from other countries.
The continued missile attacks on Israel led to the launch of Operation Shield and Arrow, just before Lag B’omer celebrations began in Meron, albeit in a very different fashion than previously. In Crown Heights, a grand Lag B’omer parade had thousands marching in the streets.
Shluchim from 40 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe gathered in Morocco for the first-ever Kinus Hashluchim in the country; one of the world’s oldest surviving manuscripts of the Torah fetched $38 million on auction; and a stolen sefer that had been owned by the Rebbeim was returned to its rightful place in the Rebbe’s library, followed by more books and manuscripts.
A mega Hakhel celebrated the Siyum Harambam outside 770, and a few days later wildfires in Canada painted the skies of New York a dark orange. The display of the Rambam’s original manuscripts and the publication of photos of the Rebbe’s tefillin both caused excitement to Lubavitcher bochurim and anash.
The IDF launched an anti-terror operation in Jenin to try to stem the flow of attacks. Miraculous events continued to amaze, a Chabad yeshiva announced its reopening after four years, and the Knesset took the time to honor the Rebbe even on a day when a controversial judicial reform bill was to be held.
Months of intense efforts paid off with the historic Siyum of the 8th Children’s Torah, and an achdus initiative in New York made waves. New schools continued to be added to the Chabad map, a new rov for Kingston, PA; a touching encounter in Lakewood, and an earthquake in Morocco which took 2,000-plus lives ended off the year.
May we merit to welcome Moshiach while still in these last few moments of 5783 and forever remember this year as the year that the world was transformed into a place of everlasting peace and prosperity for all.
With best wishes for a kesiva v’chasima tova to you and yours,