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Since Yidden began resettling in Eretz Yisroel, the surrounding Arab countries never accepted their presence. As the years went on, it got worse and worse. Finally, on 12 Iyar 5727 (May 22, 1967), the Egyptians closed the Suez Canal to Israeli ships and cargo, a legal act of war. The countdown to war had begun.

Two days later, in a telegram to the Vaad of Kfar Chabad, the Rebbe sent a powerful message of reassurance to the Yidden in Eretz Yisrael: “You have the Zechus to be among thousands of Yidden in Eretz Hakodesh, which “Hashem’s eyes are constantly upon.” Surely the Guardian of Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. May Hashem be at your right-hand side, and may [He] watch you, and all B’nai Yisrael Shlita, now and forever. I am anticipating good news, in a clear and revealed manner, and soon.”

Meanwhile, the situation only worsened, Egypt teamed up with Syria and Jordan. The Jews in the Holy Land were surrounded by almost half a million soldiers and thousands of tanks and planes. It was not looking good for Israel who had a very small army at the time.

Foreign embassies called on their citizens to leave for safer areas, and many Jews followed their advice. But the Rebbe was absolute in his reassurance, sending a flurry of telegrams and letters to Eretz Yisrael urging confidence. In this atmosphere of isolation and fear, at least six Israeli newspapers, from across the ideological spectrum, featured the Rebbe’s encouraging words, many carrying the same headline: The Lubavitcher Rebbe sends Letter of Encouragement. (The above paragraphs are based on "Reconnecting" from a Chassidisher Derher)

The first time that the Rebbe spoke about the situation publicly was by the Lag Ba’omer parade of that year, 5727. The Rebbe said that Hashem is watching over our brother in Israel and it is our responsibility to help by learning one more line of Torah, doing one more Mitzvah, and encouraging others to do the same.

Toras Menachem | Sichos Kodesh | Audio | Video | English

Then, on Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar, 24 Iyar, two days before the war, the Rebbe gave more specific instructions. After reiterating that fulfilling Mitzvos would elicit the Berachos of Hashem, the Rebbe added that there was a specific Mitzvah uniquely relevant to this endeavor: Tefillin.

Sichos Kodesh | Toras Menachem

Right after Shabbos, a very terse telegram was sent to Tzach in Eretz Yisrael: At today’s farbrengen (Shabbos Mivorchim Sivan), the Rebbe emphasized Menachos 35b that Tefillin cause terror, “the chieftains of Edom were startled” etc. Working in Mivtza Tefillin is relevant to every Jew, each person can help another. The Rebbe’s words that Tefillin would bring about a quick victory with minimal casualties, made waves throughout the nation. A letter from Tzach telling the Israeli soldiers about the Mivtza was printed, and with the help of the Chief Rabbinate, 100,000 copies were distributed among the soldiers within a day. Various newspapers carried the message as well, and a quick victory it was! By Beis Sivan the war was over, the Jewish nation worldwide was in a state of euphoria, it was a clear miracle!

On the second day of Shavous, only a few days after the war officially ended, the Rebbe spoke at great length about the victory, attributing it to the Tefillin campaign (Seif Mem Gimmel).

Sichos Kodesh | Toras Menachem

On the Shabbos following the war, Shabbos Parshas Behaaloscha, the Rebbe urged that Mivtza Tefillin be continued in an even stronger fashion than before, in order to channel the unprecedented spiritual awakening. (Seif Vov)

Sichos Kodesh | Toras Menachem

The Rebbe once again spoke about the power of Mivtza Tefillin, encouraging people to keep up the efforts on Shabbos Mevarchim Tammuz, Parshas Korach (End of Farbrengen)

Toras Menachem

It is without question that after the world saw the great miracles that came out of this, Yidden around the world were pulling up their sleeves and wrapping Tefillin, especially in Eretz Yisroel, where the Rebbe directed them to open a Tefillin stand by the Kosel, which managed to pull close to a million Tefillins in its first year!

The Rebbe explained in a letter why he was continuing to encourage the Mivtza, even though the war had long concluded. First of all, although the formal hostilities had ended, Eretz Yisrael’s dangerous enemies still surrounded her from all sides, their hatred unabated; and the threat from Syria had in fact grown. Following their exhilarating victory, Israelis as a whole hardly registered the continued danger, and the Rebbe wasn’t about to sound the alarm—“There is no reason to frighten B’nai Yisroel Shlita,” he explained. But it was critical, the Rebbe said, that the Jewish people keep up their efforts of defense by strengthening Torah and Mitzvos in general, and specifically with Mivtza Tefillin.

There are many more letters from that time period where the Rebbe encouraged people to get involved in Mivtza Tefillin.

[Here is a link to Igros Kodesh Vol. 25 of the year 5728, with the help of the Foreward you will be able to find many letters where the Rebbe discussed Mivtza Tefillin]

In a sicha on Vov Tishrei 5728, a few months after the Mivtza was launched, the Rebbe said that he had been approached with the following “question, demand and complaint”: Being that Mivtza Tefillin was being done for safety, which women need just as much as men, what role can women play in the Mivtza? The Rebbe then went on to explain a women’s role in the Mivtza. (Seif Lamed Alef)

Sichos Kodesh | Toras Menachem | Audio | Yoman

Mivtza Tefillin became the theme of the year, with countless letters and Sichos mentioning the Mivtza, the Michtiv Kloli of Yud Alef Nissan 5728 was entirely focused on the Mivtza of Tefillin and its connection to Yetzias Mitzrayim.

Michtov Kloli: English | Hebrew | Yiddish

On Chanukah of 5729, the Rebbe, reiterated his call to world Jewry to intensify the campaign to observe the Mitzvah of Tefillin. The Rebbe’s call was warmly received by Jews everywhere. Since then, the many thousands of the Rebbe's followers and admirers have been visiting Jewish communities and individuals worldwide; encouraging and enabling them to put on Tefillin.

Toras Menachem

On Lag Ba’omer 5730, exactly three years since the Rebbe first spoke of the situation in Eretz Yisroel and Mivtza Tefillin, by the Lag Ba’omer parade in front of thousands of children and adults the Rebbe took the opportunity to strengthen Mivtza Tefillin.

Sichos Kodesh | Toras Menachem | Audio | Video

There are many more Sichos on the topic of Mivtza Tefillin, not all of them were able to be linked here.


The response to Mivtza Tefillin was fast and frenzied. On one side, there were hundreds of Rabbonim and public figures who supported the Mivtza at every opportunity, and, even more importantly, the hundreds of thousands of Yidden who put on tefillin. But there were, of course, those who came up with all types of questions, complaints, and problems; ranging from Halachic style questions like, "How can a person put on tefillin without a Guf Noki (clean body)?" to belligerent complaints such as, "Lubavitch is only doing it for the publicity!" Some, who were more friendly, wrote these questions into the Rebbe privately. Others spoke against the Mivtza in public arenas and wrote against it in newspapers. The Rebbe’s Sichos from that period deal with this subject quite extensively, and his basic approach would be repeated in the ensuing years on various issues, and is something with which every Chossid should be familiar. (excerpt from "Reconnecting" – The Rebbe's launch of Mivtza Teffilin. - A Chassidisher Derher)

For a detailed overview on the Rebbe’s responses in English Click here (Page 17)

One famous compilation of answers was edited by the Rebbe and published in Lekutei Sichos vol. 6 p. 271. (Shulchan Menachem - A compilation of the Rebbe’s answers on the questions raised on Mivtza Tefillin - Chelek Alef - Page 110)

The first time the Rebbe addressed the concerns was the second Farbrengen of Shabbos Bereishis 5728.

Toras Menachem | Sichas Kodesh

The Rebbe continued the discussion over the next few weeks. On Shabbos Parshas Toldos the Rebbe spoke about someone who spoke out in public against Mivtza Tefillin.

Toras Menachem (Begining)

The following week on Shabbos Parshas Vayishlach the Rebbe, while discussing the oppositions, brought a story of somebody who was inspired not to eat Treif after putting on Tefillin.

Toras menachem P. 289 | Sichos Kodesh

Many more times throughout the years, as Mivtza Tefillin grew, the Rebbe addressed different concerns that came up, one such time was Yud Alef Nissan 5743.

Toras Menachem P. 1210 | Audio | English | Video


Kovetz Tefillin from Vaad Talmidei Hatmim, with a detailed account of the Mivtza launch, Sichos, and much more.

Mainos from the Rebbe on Mivtza Tefillin

Tefillin Q&A  

English Books to Read Online from Sichos In English

Yalkut Bar Mitzvah - An Anthology of Laws and Customs of a Bar Mitzvah in the Chabad Tradition

Isa B'Midrash Tehillim - The official Ma’amar (discourse) recited first by the fifth Chabad Rebbe and since then by all Chabad boys on the occasion of their Bar Mitzvah

When Silence is a Sin - The Obligation to Protest and The Obligation to Settle the Entire Land of Israel

For a list of Books in English and Hebrew to purchase click  here