The tefillin campaign is known to have originated in 5727 following the Six-Day War. What many don’t know is that a campaign for soldiers to lay tefillin was promoted by the Rebbe decades before then.
By Anash.org staff
The tefillin campaign is known to have originated in 5727 following the Six Day War. What many don’t know is that a campaign for soldiers to lay tefillin was promoted by the Rebbe decades before then.
In a letter addressed to Jewish servicemen during WWII, the Rebbe highlights laying tefillin as a protection for the soldiers. The letter was written by the Rebbe in Lashon Kodesh to be translated to English and sent with a pamphlet with Shema and prakim of Tehillim selected by the Frierdiker Rebbe.
In the letter, the Rebbe quotes the Frierdiker Rebbe on the significance of tefillin for the soldiers and how it will help bring them home in peace.
We share with you the full text of the letter in English:
Erev Rosh HaShanah, 5704
Greetings and blessings,
We are sending you a small pamphlet [containing] a digest of a talk [given by] my revered father-in-law, the Lubavitcher Rebbe shlita, words of encouragement which arouse trust in G‑d. Included are also the first passage of the Shema and several chapters of Tehillim which the Rebbe shlita selected [for soldiers] to recite on specific occasions, as stated in the pamphlet. We are certain that you will read [the pamphlet] frequently and from it derive powerful faith, strength of heart, love for your fellow man, and closeness to your faith and to the Torah and its mitzvos.
I would also like to quote several words which the Rebbe shlita said at a large assembly:
“It is a great mitzvah and a sacred obligation for everyone to publicize the following words and relate them to every one of our Jewish [brethren] serving in the army, navy, or air force.
“Our Sages state: ‘Everyone who puts on tefillin will live a long life.’
“Brethren serving in the army! Be careful to put on tefillin every weekday.
“If it is impossible for a soldier to put on tefillin in the morning, he may put them on in the afternoon, as long as it is before sunset.
“This is the mystic medium through which G‑d will bring you back to your homes in peace.
“Be careful in your observance of the mitzvos and, in particular, in your observance of this mitzvah; encourage all of your friends to do the same.”
As the new year approaches, we wish you a good and sweet year, one in which speedily “wickedness will be annihilated in smoke,” the new year and its blessings will begin, and you will return to your homes healthy and uninjured, having distinguished yourselves as Jews and as Americans. May we all, together with our brethren, the entire Jewish people, merit the ultimate Redemption to be led by Moshiach, speedily in our days.
May you be inscribed for a good year!
Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Chairman of the Executive Committee