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New President of Argentina Javier Miley is first Chabad ruler

Javier Gerardo Miley is an Argentine politician who was recently elected President of Argentina. In addition to being an outstanding economist and versatile personality, he is a devoted Hasid of the Lubavitcher Rebbe SHLITA King Moshiach and does not hide it. I spoke with three Argentine envoys about the new president's connection to the Chabad movement and the positive momentum it has created in the country and in the world.

Only a short amount of time has passed since Javier Miley won the election and became President of Argentina. His party's victory in the elections was a big political surprise, as he won 56% of the vote. Miley is a right-wing figure who has promised sweeping economic changes to tackle Argentina's massive inflation.

Miley is an economist and former radio host with little political experience. With 95% of the votes counted and center-left candidate Sergio Massa only winning 44% of the vote, Miley won a clear victory. It is the first right-wing government after decades of left-wing rule in Argentina.

The new president, who is also the head of government, is distinguished (among other things) by his very respectful attitude towards the Jewish people in general and Judaism in particular. During his swearing-in, the President gave a speech that was seen by millions: “It is no coincidence that this inauguration takes place on the holiday of Hanukkah, the festival of light that celebrates the true essence of freedom. The War of the Maccabees is a symbol of the victory of the weak over the strong, the few over the many, light over darkness and, in general, truth over untruth. You know that I would rather tell you an inconvenient truth than lie for the sake of peace.” In this way he lit the flame of hope in forty-five million Argentine citizens.

He loves Israel so much that he has promised to move the Argentine embassy to Jerusalem, saying that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people and moving the embassy to the holy city "means to me that we recognize that." I hope and believe that many other countries will follow this example.” He stated this despite threats against him from Arab countries.

One of the surprises for Lubavitcher Hasidim in Argentina, and not only for them, was the photograph that appeared in the Argentine media of the president sitting in the meeting room of his home, where on the wall hangs a photograph of the Lubavitcher Rebbe of King Moshiach next to a menorah standing on one of the mantelpieces .

In interviews with his country's media, he speaks admiringly of the Rebbe. He even explained to millions of television viewers how the Rebbe’s conversations on Shabbat are repeated: “The Rebbe speaks on Shabbat, but on Shabbat it is forbidden to write. So how do they record? Listen to something interesting. Five Hasidim with excellent memories write down everything from memory after the Sabbath. Then the Rebbe edits it.”

In light of the tremendous political changes, we were interested in talking with the Rebbe's envoys in Argentina to learn about Miley's warm relationship with Judaism and the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

What is the relationship between Javier Miley and the Jewish community?

Rabbi Yossi Ludman, the Rebbe's emissary from Moron and the western part of the province of Buenos Aires, relates:

President Javier Miley is an economist by profession. Many years ago he taught economics at the university. Among his students there was one Jew who asked him smart questions. Miley was surprised by his questions and asked the young man: “Where do you get such wonderful ideas? And how do you know how to ask me such smart questions?” The young man replied: “Perhaps it is because I study the Talmud every morning. It improves the mind." Miley was so impressed that he decided that he also wanted to study the Talmud and learn more about Judaism. He also became interested in the teachings of Chabad Hasidism, especially fell in love with the Rebbe and asked for his blessing.

No one ever expected that Miley would win the election... Immediately after the election results were announced, Miley went to New York to thank the Rebbe. Suddenly, all the Argentine media were talking about the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Rabbi Tuvya Serber, the Rebbe's emissary from La Plata and now living in Buenos Aires, says:

I also heard a story about a student named Miley at the university. At some point, the father of a student who studied with Milei called his rabbi, Rabbi Shimon Vainish, and he began studying Torah with him. This went on for several years. I also heard that one of the rabbis who helped Milei study Torah is expected to be appointed ambassador to Israel.

Rabbi Shlomo Levi, the Rebbe's emissary from Palermo, adds some details about the president's connections with Chabad in Argentina:

Several years ago, Miley came to our Chabad House twice as a lecturer on economics. He was and is still considered one of the experts on this topic. We invited him to speak to leading sponsors who make charitable contributions to the Chabad House. Since then we have maintained friendly relations.

During his election campaign, he began to publicly say that he did not have any priest, but only a Jewish rabbi. He doesn't pay attention to the Christian Bible. He studies the TANAKH, sees the truth in the Torah and believes in G-d. In a television interview he gave, he said that he believes in one G-d. When the TV presenters didn't understand when he said "Has the Most High" in Hebrew, he explained to them that it was G-d. The culmination was his inauguration, which was seen by millions. During the ceremony, his rabbi spoke as Miley stood with tears in his eyes, expressing his deep feelings for Judaism.

We have a friend who met Miley at the beginning of the year, when the polls showed that he was unlikely to win the election. He was in sixth or seventh place among the candidates. He asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe for a blessing and, after returning to Argentina, he said everywhere, including in television interviews, that he was grateful to the Rebbe for the blessings he had received. He said that he saw the Rebbe as the personification of a true leader and Torah sage. When I met him, he told me how much the idea of ​​the Rebbe touched him, and that was very important.

When he spoke to the national media, he said, “The Rebbe’s personality has a huge influence on me.”

Two months passed, and miraculously he began to rapidly gain popularity in the polls. There were only two candidates left who had a better chance than him of winning the presidential election. At one point, he spent two Saturdays in the home of wealthy Lubavitcher Hasidim in Miami and enjoyed the Shabbat atmosphere of meals and nigunim.

After his election, he attended the lighting of the central menorah on the sixth night of Hanukkah at the Chabad House, which is led by the Rebbe's emissary, Rabbi Tzvi Grunblatt. Miley gave everyone a real surprise when he arrived at the event holding a book with a photograph of the Rebbe.

During the event, which was broadcast on all channels in the country, the new president said that it was no coincidence that he became president during Hanukkah, because it happened by the will of G-d. Just as the unclean then submitted to the clean, so today the unclean submit to the clean. These words evoked a lot of positive emotions.

Do many envoys to Argentina expect to receive help from the President?

Rabbi Ludman:

He just became president. I believe and express the hope that he will help Jewish educational institutions in general and especially Chabad Houses. Without a doubt, he is our true friend. The fact that he attends Chabad events accompanied by the envoys of the Shlita Rebbe is a great sanctification of the name of the Almighty.


Miley gives Zelensky a chanukkiah


Miley's swearing-in took place on the third night of Hanukkah. President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky attended the ceremony. Miley, a non-Jew, gave Zelensky, a Jew, a menorah. On this occasion, he said that the secret of victory does not depend on the number of soldiers, but on the strength that you receive from Above. So he definitely has a strong belief in Hashem and has a very warm relationship with Judaism.

Do his statements about Judaism have an impact on citizens?

Rabbi Ludman:

Listen to this story. The day after he took the oath of office as president, I was walking down the street when a non-Jew approached me with the question: “Who is the Lubavitcher Rebbe?” You have to understand that in my area they don't know anything about Judaism, much less what a Rebbe is, but thanks to what Miley said, more and more non-Jews are becoming interested in Judaism and who the one called "Lubavitch" is. Rebbe."

I explained to him who the Lubavitcher Rebbe is and what he gives to the world. When I finished, he asked me, “But he’s not the Messiah, right? I explained why the Rebbe is Moshiach, who will come and make the world better, more stable and generally kinder. When I finished, he said, “Wow, then it turns out he really is the Messiah.”

Rav Serber:

We see that Miley is a smart non-Jew who understands the benefits of being a friend of a positive community like Israel and the United States. I'm not sure that we expect anything to change here for the Jewish community in particular, but there is no doubt that there will be warm, very friendly relations between the new Argentine government and the Israeli government, and that is good for us.

The fact that Argentina's future ambassador to Israel is a rabbi speaks volumes about how the president views the local Jewish community. No previous Argentine president spoke about G-d during his inauguration, about Hanukkah and the Maccabees. He definitely understands the idea; he talks about light and darkness, good and evil. He conveys a very powerful message to the citizens of Argentina that Judaism is light, not as anti-Semites try to portray it. When in a country like ours they see that we Jews strive for light and not darkness, it certainly helps the Jewish community.”

I believe that he will fulfill his promises, including moving the Argentine embassy to Jerusalem, thereby recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

Rav Levi:

Unlike his predecessors, I believe he will deliver on his promises. As we see now, it looks like he is not afraid of threats from Arab countries if he dares to support Israel. Of course, we place our hopes not in him, but in G‑d, but we are seeing a great spiritual awakening even among the not yet observant Jews. How proud they are to be Jewish when their friends ask them, “What is the Torah?” and “What is G-d?” Now all such Jews will study what the Torah is so that they can answer their pagan friends.

How is it that the new president is associated with the Hasidic teachings of Chabad and the Rebbe?

Rabbi Ludman: “I think this is the influence of the Chabad rabbis with whom he is close.”

Rav Serber:

I think there are two main reasons. Firstly, for spiritual reasons. After all, who, if not us, knows best that the Rebbe is the King Moshiach and the head of the generation. When a person begins to study Judaism without prejudice, he comes to the conclusion that the Rebbe is Moshiach and the head of the people of Israel. It may take time for him to realize this, but this is the conclusion he will come to.

Everything indicates that Miley understands this, because he came from a “pure” place with a sincere desire to know and study Judaism and the teachings of Hasidism.

The second reason is more technical. The Rebbe's envoys here set themselves the task of building a relationship with him and introducing him to Chabad Hasidism.

Do you think Miley's election as president represents a fundamental change in Argentina, with millions of people voting for a right-wing candidate after years of left-wing rule?

Rabbi Ludman:

Yes! We have been here for years under leftist governments that deceived and robbed the people. They brought the country to the lowest level. People began to understand what was happening, to despise them and elected Miley as president. His speeches and the messages he conveys come from the heart and touch the hearts of voters. It is clear that he did not come to deceive voters, like previous politicians, but to really change something.

At the same time, we are not entirely sure that he will be able to carry out much of what he has planned, but I hope that, due to the blessing he received from the Rebbe, he will be able to do what he strives to do for the well-being of the country and improving this terrible economic situation.

Rav Serber:

It is said: “The heart of kings [and ministers] is in the hands of the Most High.” Whatever path the leaders choose, everything is in the hands of G‑d. I don’t know how everything will turn out.

The new president came from the right side, which is something we're not used to here in politics, and we're trying to open people's eyes to see which side is right.

It should be noted that many citizens voted for Miley not out of love for him, but out of dislike for the previous Socialist Party regime. People realized that they had not come to help the people, but to rob them. As a sign of protest, they elected Miley as the new president...

In conversation with these three emissaries of the SHLITA Rebbe in Argentina, we took the opportunity to gain insight into the presence of Chabad throughout this large South American country.

Rav Serber:

Whichever way you look at the situation, you will see that things are going very hard here, both economically and spiritually. However, Chabad Houses in Argentina continue to flourish. Recently a new school building was built in Buenos Aires. This shows how hard Chabad of Argentina is working to improve the spiritual condition of this country. The envoys devote themselves entirely to this work, both within the Chabad community and in Jewish Argentina as a whole.

There are also programs for non-Jews, to whom we teach about the seven universal laws for non-Jews.

Rav Levi:

There are more than 120 envoys working in Argentina. There is huge success here. There is a youth center in our Chabad House. There is Chabad on campus and a mitzvah tank that travels to many cities throughout Argentina. It also provides enormous assistance to those in need.

How do you spread the ideas of Liberation and Moshiach in Argentina?

Rabbi Ludman:

All the messengers here are working for the most important goal - to bring Moshiach. Of course, everyone works on this in their own way. Regarding the study of the ideas of Moshiach and Liberation, today there are more than ten holy Jewish books on this topic in Spanish, which were translated and published by Rav Moshe Blumenfeld. We are all trying to spread the message of Geula to all the Jews of Argentina.

Rav Serber:

I think this topic is not as strong as in Israel or in the US, but we try to bring it up and talk about it and its importance.

What message did you personally take away from Javier Miley's rise to the presidency of Argentina?

Rabbi Ludman:

Time and time again we see how right the Rebbe was when he said that the service of sampling sparks is over and now all that remains is to welcome Moshiach. The Rebbe spoke about France, that it was ready for Liberation, and I think that now we see that Argentina is even more ready for Liberation. A president was elected here who not only loves Chabad, but is a Hasidic Rebbe! He writes to the Rebbe, and a photograph of the Rebbe proudly hangs in his office.

Rav Serber:

From my point of view, a huge light was able to defeat the darkness. As part of my role as the Rebbe's emissary, I work with non-Jews and try to persuade them to accept the seven universal laws for all humanity in order to hasten the coming of Liberation.

When a new president who is not Jewish speaks proudly about justice and righteousness, the importance of making light overcome darkness, and emphasizes how much light Judaism brings to the world, it really is a big push to get the word out. peace message and bring us even closer to complete Liberation.

Rav Levi:

I hope that this will increase the light of Chabad for both non-Jews and Jews. This is certainly a special opportunity for us to strengthen the fulfillment of the mitzvot in order to prepare all of Argentina to meet the Lubavitcher Rebbe SHLITA King Moshiach, and immediately.