by Yosef Rubin
There is a wheel that turns in the world
Talmud, Shabbat 151b
In August of 1940 the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak
of Lubavitch, wrote the following letter to Mr. Harry Hirsh,
Chief-Editor of the newspaper Das Yiddeshe Licht (The
Jewish Light). The newspaper had gone bankrupt, leaving Mr.
Hirsh in a state of depression close to despair.
The Giant Wheel of Vienna
In Vienna in the garden of the city there are many wondrous
things. Amongst them there is the Riesenrad, the
Giant Ferris Wheel, a landmark of the Austrian Capital. Its
silhouette rises to the sky and is seen from afar, so the
wheel is a special attraction for everybody coming to Vienna.
No one can properly claim to have been to Vienna unless he
had ridden on the Riesenrad. High above the ground
on the sides of the wheel, are attached cabins, which have
glass walls providing the rider a panoramic view. As the wheel
begins to rotate the attached cabins turn too. At its pinnacle
height, it offers a magnificent view of the whole city and
the landscape beyond. In this manner - as the wheel turns
with the cabins going up and down - the Giant Wheel whirls
away giving riders a wonderful view of this fine city.
The Wheel of Life
Our Rabbis say, There is a wheel that turns in the
world. The wheel of life turns, and along go the cabins
with their passengers, up and down throughout the experiences
of life. The nature of man is such that when he is in on the
top of the wheel, he is in good spirits - he is happy and
good-hearted. But in truth he is only a fool for feeling so,
for his cabin is attached to a wheel that is constantly turning.
One whose cabin is on the bottom and is crying about his plight
is also a fool, for his cabin is permanently attached to a
wheel that is turning. With G-ds help the good day will
come and his cabin too will reach the top.
The truth is we must strengthen our belief, hope and trust.
Together with this we must do all we can as opposed to sitting
with folded hands, crying about our past. With the help of
G-d I see your work coming to fruition for the good of the
community; strengthening Judaism and spreading Torah with
awe of heaven; which I live for - it enlivens my soul.
With these words, the Previous Rebbe inspired Mr. Hirsh to
continue pursuing his career. A month later he became editor
of a prominent Anglo-Yiddish newspaper that bolstered Jewish
spirits throughout the Holocaust period. Under the pen name
A. Levitt, he used his talents in a more positive venue. With
the Rebbes encouragement and support, he wrote a book
on Genesis that inspired many to return to their roots.
The book proved the existence of G-d, Divine Providence, and
the Torahs eternal truth.
The Cosmic Wheel
The analogy of the wheel is applicable to our personal lives
and also, on a more cosmic level, to all of history. In 1982
on Parshat Haazinu which is read this week, the
Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn elucidated on this theme:
In these days when
one sees the redoubled darkness of exile in our times it is
clear that we find ourselves in the last days of exile. Since
the darkness is at its lowest ebb and it is not possible to
get any lower, the time of the Redemption will surely begin
now. This is understood from the analogy of a turning
wheel. When one is in the middle of the wheel, it is
possible to go up or down, however, when one is on the lowest
point of the wheel whichever direction it turns you will ascend.
Since we have hit rock bottom it is now time to go upwards.
 Tbe book was called "The Bible
Unauthorized" which the Rebbe reviewed at the behest of
the previous Rebbe. The author uses a pen name A.H. Moose.
His Hebrew name was Aaron Halevi Hirsch - A is for Aaron,
H is for Halevi and Moose is "Hirsh" in Yiddish
. The book is described as follows: "A scientific treatise
proving - by the account of the creation of the world and
of man, and from other parts of the Old Testament, herein
for the first time scientifically and correctly translated
- that the true Bible is completely unknown to the world
at large; and that its praise by devotees and abuse by opponents
have both always mirrored the Bible most distortedly" Imprint
New York [Rainbow Pub. Co.] 1942.
 Hisvadus Kodesh, Parshat Haazinu, 5743 pp
103, September 25 1982.