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featured articles WeeKlY cOluMNs

tHe ONe-MaN WeeKlY taHalucHa

Menachem Mendel Arad

WeNt PuBlic 14 tHe reBBePrOclaMatiON WitH tHe Of YecHi

Rabbi Yisroel Hershkowitz


18 eXPlOitatiON Menachem Ziegelboim 22 We BOtH dreaMt Of tHe reBBe tHat NiGHt

Nosson Avraham

4 26 31 34 38 41

Dvar Malchus Moshiach & Geula Parsha Thought Memoirs Shleimus HaAretz Viewpoint

28 tHe WOrld tO reB accOrdiNG


Beis Moshiach (USPS 012-542) ISSN 1082-0272 is published weekly, except Jewish holidays (only once in April and October) for $160.00 in Crown Heights. USA $180.00. All other places for $195.00 per year (45 issues), by Beis Moshiach, 744 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409. Periodicals postage paid at Brooklyn, NY and additional offices. Postmaster: send address changes to Beis Moshiach 744 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409. Copyright 2012 by Beis Moshiach, Inc. Beis Moshiach is not responsible for the content and Kashruth of the advertisements.

744 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409 Tel: (718) 778-8000 Fax: (718) 778-0800 admin@beismoshiach.org www.beismoshiach.org EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: M.M. Hendel HEBREW EDITOR: Rabbi S.Y. Chazan editorH@beismoshiach.org ENGLISH EDITOR: Boruch Merkur editor@beismoshiach.org

DvaR MaLcHus


Beis Moshiach presents the maamer the Rebbe MHM delivered on Yud shvat 5713, in accordance with the custom established by the Rebbe to review each year a section of the Rebbe Rayatzs maamer Basi LGani of 5710. this year we focus on the third section of the profound and foundational chassidic discourse. Part 1
Translated by Boruch Merkur


1. I have returned to My garden, My sister, My bride. On these words the Midrash (in its place) comments, to My garden to My bridal chamber, to the place where G-ds essence was [revealed] in the first days of Creation. For the essence of the Shchina, the Divine Presence, was manifest in the lower realms. The sin of the Tree of Knowledge, however, as well as the sins that followed it, caused the Shchina to depart, ascending from the lower realms upward, until It reached the seventh Firmament. Then the righteous, the tzaddikim [] drew the Divine presence back down [] until it literally reached the physicality of the earth [] as it was in the first days of Creation. [] This effect is brought about through the Divine service of iskafia dsitra achra, shunning evil. The [main] service that is performed in the Mikdash, the Holy Temple, is the service of offering sacrifices [] which is why the Mishkan was made specifically of atzei shittim, wood from Acacia trees. [That is, it shall be illustrated how the word shittim alludes to the Divine service of shunning evil or more specifically, the spirit of folly that permits and precedes evil behavior going so far as to transform this folly into something holy, shtus dkdusha.] Shittim comes from the root word, shata, which means (being) inclined (in a certain direction). The etymologically related word, shtus foolishness, shares the same meaning [i.e., an inclination towards foolishness]. That is to say that there is something that is described as the middle path. The inclination to either side, above or below,

is called shata a deviation, an inclination away (from the middle path). An upward inclination [is also called shtus] shtus dkdusha a deviation towards holiness, whereas a downward deviation is called shtus dlumas zeh an inclination towards depravity, evil. In general, the path of Torah and Mitzvos is the middle path, as Rambam writes in Hilchos Middos, the Laws of Proper Character. The inclination towards that which is above the middle path, however, is shtus dkdusha. [Although the middle path is typically sought, the path of] shtus dkdusha is necessary, particularly when extra caution is required to avoid shtus dlumas zeh, outright folly. In that case, it is specifically shtus dkdusha that is the means to attain the necessary caution. This teaching is expressed by the saying, Ahanei lei shtusei lsava the elder [sage, Rebbi Yehuda bar Rebbi Ilai] benefitted by employing shtus [to fulfill the Mitzva of bringing joy to the bride at her wedding]. Shtus dkdusha provides benefit and corrects shtus dlumas zeh, as is stated with regard to the Future Era of Redemption, Vhishka es Nachal HaShitim and He shall water the valley of Shittim, for by means of shtus dkdusha, the glory of the Alm-ghty is exalted in all the worlds.


2. Shtus dkdusha is needed to counter shtus dlumas zeh, outright folly. Indeed, it is by means of this confrontation that the glory of the Almghty is exalted in all the worlds. An analysis of the verse, ki sisteh ishto were

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his wife to go astray, sheds light on the general concept of shtus dlumas zeh. Rashi comments on this verse: she strayed from the pathways of modesty. Another verse states, And the Jewish people settled in Shittim. The Midrash says about the latter verse that Shittim is a place that causes shtus to ensue, it brings about folly, engendering the sin of licentiousness. Similarly our Sages say on the verse, ki sisteh ishto a man would not sin were it not for a ruach shtus, a spirit of folly, entering him. The reason for this [suggestion that sin is unnatural to the person, that he must first be possessed by a foreign spirit in order for him to transgress] is that it is not possible for a Jew, on his own accord, to commit any transgression. Thus, the Zohar (Zohar III 16a; see also 13b) comments on the verse, nefesh ki sechta a soul that sins upon considering this condition, the Torah and the Alm-ghty are confounded and ask, [How could there possibly be] a nefesh, a soul, that sins?! That is, this astonishment is expressed even with regard to the level of the soul called nefesh, which does not signify the essence of the neshama, the essence of the soul. In fact, of the five names of the soul, nefesh refers to its lowest dimension. The Zohar goes on to specify that the concept of sin is associated only with the nefesh, whereas the level of neshama, or even the level of ruach, has no connection with the concept of sin. Nevertheless, even if there is sin at the level of nefesh, it is said that this is confounding. Moreover, even if the transgression is strictly inadvertent indeed, the verse speaks about a sin committed bshogeg, inadvertently this too can only be on account of the spirit of shtus that enters the person. For of his own accord, the nature of every Jew is that he does not want nor can he be separated from G-dliness. The spirit of shtus, however, covers over the truth and makes it appear to the person that even when he transgresses, his Judaism remains intact. On this basis, [having been possessed, as it were, by a ruach shtus, a spirit of folly] it is possible for a Jew to transgress. But when the truth shines within him, the aspect of vemes Havaya lolam the truth of G-d is eternal, then he perceives that the result of a transgression even a Rabbinical transgression, or a minor inference of the Sages causes him to be totally separated from G-dliness, more so than klipos and sitra achra. The latter is expressed by the Alter Rebbe in Tanya (see Ch. 24, 25; Kuntres UMayan, 2nd

Shtus dkdusha is needed to counter shtus dlumas zeh, outright folly. Indeed, it is by means of this confrontation that the glory of the Alm-ghty is exalted in all the worlds.

maamer ff.): When a person transgresses G-ds will, he is more debased and lesser than impure animals, etc., which do not change their mission [i.e., their vicious nature]. Although the animal does not see [i.e., it is not consciously aware of G-ds will], its mazal sees [i.e., its spirit sees, compelling the animal to act in line with G-ds will]. Thus, these animals do not harass the [G-dfearing] person upon whom the image of the L-rd does not leave his face. Indeed, G-d has imparted to these animals a hostile spirit. However, it is stated, The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon all the beasts, etc. It is only on account of the fact that the in our image and our likeness is not seen upon the person, that animals harass him, etc. Similarly, the gentile nations, the klipos, and sitra achra do not transgress G-ds will. There deficiency is expressed, rather, in the fact that they call Him the G-d of gods, attributing to themselves as well, authority and dominion. Nevertheless, they do not rebel against G-d outright; they [show Him deference and] call Him the G-d of gods and they never transgress His will. Thus, the person who commits a sin, rebelling again G-ds will, is more despicable than the klipos and sitra achra, as well as the things that spawn from them, namely, impure animals and wild beasts. The transgressor is, therefore, told that even a gnat which consumes but does not excrete preceded you [in Creation].
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On Simchas Torah 5711, sixty-two years ago, the Rebbe spoke in a unique manner about the privilege and importance of walking to shuls and reviewing a point or idea from Chassidic teachings. * Since then, the phenomenon has grown and spread, not only on Yomim Tovim, but every Shabbos. This is not something done only by shluchim or bachurim. Many balabatim have also adopted shuls where they repeat a point from the Rebbes sicha every Shabbos. * Beis Moshiach presents some interesting stories on this topic.
By Menachem Mendel Arad

t was Simchas Torah 5711/1950, the first Tishrei that the Rebbe served as the leader of the Chabad movement. The Rebbe urged the Chassidim to go to shuls in various neighborhoods and repeat points from sichos and maamarei Chassidus. At that time, the mivtza was not yet referred to as it is today, by the term Hakhalas Khillos (holding gatherings). Although this name was first given in 5750,

the phenomenon had already begun growing over the years.

The Rebbe said many sichos regarding this request of his, to review Chassidus in shuls. It began with the Tahaluchos of the Shalosh Regalim, in which thousands of bachurim and married men visit shuls throughout New York, bring holiday joy, and review sichos

of the Rebbe. Since then, this takes place not only in New York but throughout the world with pairs of men leaving from every Chabad shul to other shuls in their area and reviewing Chassidus there. And it takes place on Shabbos too. Today we are used to it, but upon examining the mivtza when it first began, we discover that the Rebbe had to work to convince Anash to do this. You have to understand,

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explained R Itzke Gansbourg in his memoir, that what today is a given, that bachurim darshen in shuls, was out of the question fifty years ago. It would be like a three year old today asking to speak in shul. In one of the sichos, the Rebbe spoke about this topic and addressed the bachurim in particular. He said that since they are young and have the energy of youth, they should

use that energy and go to shuls. The Rebbe concluded on an astonishing note: Each of us wants to see the Rebbe, my father-in-law, so he will resolve our questions, for each of us has questions (even those who dont know they have questions), and in order to resolve them, we need to see the Rebbe. The solution for this is going to shuls on Rosh HaShana to inspire Jews,

souls in bodies, for by doing so you are fulfilling the Rebbes wishes, and through this you will merit that the Rebbe will resolve your questions in a way of a soul in a body. What follows are some stories that we hope will inspire our readers to stop off in a neighborhood shul and repeat some point or idea from Chassidus or a sicha of the Rebbe.
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R Menachem Mendel Friedman, shliach in Ohr Yehuda, has been visiting all the shuls in his city for twenty years. It was hard to get stories out of him, but this is what he finally shared with us: Even after the opening of Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in Ohr Yehuda, you still have work to do?

People often approach me in the street, in the supermarket, or on line at the bank (and there were even times when I was out of the country) and say hello warmly as though we are old acquaintances. I dont always recognize them, but they know me from shul. To me, he might be just another person in shul, but to him, I am the rabbi who comes to shul every Shabbos. Some consider themselves my talmidim. When you review a sicha in shul, your relationship with people as the shliach becomes personal to

People often approach me in the street, in the supermarket, or on line at the bank and say hello so warmly as though we are old acquaintances. I dont always recognize them, but they know me from shul.
Although the bachurim have plenty to do, I still personally visit 12-16 shuls on regular Shabbasos (as opposed to offShabbasos for the yeshiva or Bein Hazmanim) out of the forty shuls in Ohr Yehuda. There are also shuls that I visit at night, and the bachurim go by day, or I go in the afternoon and they go in the morning. How much time do you spend in each shul? Between four to seven minutes. I say a point, connected to Moshiach of course, and then go on my way. What impact does it have? Most of the people who go to shul in Ohr Yehuda, a traditional city, know me, but I dont know most of them. I go to every shul in the city at least once a month, so I have to visit more than ten shuls every Shabbos. Thats why I have only a few minutes to speak and I dont get to know anyone except for the people in charge. But the people see me and know me.

them. It has happened that Ive asked someone for a donation, and to me, this was the first time I was meeting him. He takes out a handsome donation and it turns out that he knows about and appreciates the work that we do and he is exposed to it every week. How many people hear you say a sicha every Shabbos? There are shuls with twenty or thirty people and shuls with two hundred people. I think that on regular Shabbasos, about 2000 people hear me. On bigger Shabbasos, it would be around 3000 people. So you end up repeating the same sicha dozens of times. How do you feel about that? It doesnt get to you after a while? On the contrary! I may even repeat the same point at memorial gatherings, but when I repeat the point many times, I feel that it really gets through to

me in an especially deep way. There is a sicha of the Rebbes in which he explains the inyan of echad. The Rebbe compares the letter Dalet to a hammer that pounds and drives home and gets you to internalize something. Thats how I feel sometimes. Obviously, I try to offer some variety if I know that the bachurim are going to that shul and may have repeated that same point, but as to your question its never too often for me. Are you always welcomed with open arms? There were certain shuls that asked me not to talk about Moshiach. You have to understand that opposition to Moshiach can be quite natural, and before responding, you need to understand where theyre coming from. People are afraid of disappointment. Sometimes they feel that Moshiach is something important, but constantly talking about it is overdoing it. So I am on very good terms with the gabbaim and do as they ask, but I also explain to them, and at some point to all the people of the shul, that Moshiach is not an add-on to Torah and mitzvos; its the point of it all. As an example, I tell them that we all daven three times a day, for Your salvation we hope all day. Even after asking for this in the morning, we repeat the request in the afternoon and then again in the evening. As the Rebbe explained, we dont say, for Your salvation we hope each day, but all day. We are constantly anticipating the Geula throughout the day. Every tfilla is full of references to Moshiach and this is the reason why it is one of the thirteen principles of faith, for it is the purpose for which the world was created. When you

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explain and demonstrate that everything is based on Torah and Torah sources, and especially that you really believe it yourself, my experience has been that people accept it.


I heard the following story from the person it happened to, who wishes to remain anonymous. When I was a bachur on shlichus to the yeshiva in Ramat Aviv, I would learn with the bachurim on Shabbos before the davening. Our shlichus was mainly focused on the bachurim, but although I hadnt planned on reviewing Chassidus in shuls, the Rebbe sent someone to me who got me to do this. It was a hot and humid Thursday afternoon and I was walking from the yeshiva with another shliach by the name of Yehuda to the dormitory on Rechov Chaim Levanon. On the way, we met a nice man who asked where we were davening on Shabbos. We said we would be davening in the yeshiva as we did every day. He asked, Maybe youll come to my shul in the south of the city in order to complete a minyan? We had our shlichus in the yeshiva to do and had no interest in walking from the north of Tel Aviv to the south in that heat, so we declined. We need to be in the yeshiva, we said. But he didnt let up. There wont be a minyan without you, he begged plaintively. We advised him to look for Jews in his area, in the south or the center of the city instead of asking us to walk across town. I guess he knew what Lubavitchers are about and

within the galus of southern Tel Aviv. Without us, as he said, there would have been no minyan. At the end of Shacharis there was a Kiddush and I was asked to speak. I dont remember what I said. I just remember that when I finished, the gabbai announced, When these boys get married, I ask that they invite me to their wedding and I will give them a gift. Although I was starting to get shidduchim suggestions, the

The people who davened there were Poilish Chassidim and they hadnt started davening yet. I went over to the gabbai and told him that the Lubavitcher Rebbe had sent me to address the congregants.

their weak spots. He responded that there werent any people around on the street early in the morning. Then he presented us with a strong inducement that we couldnt refuse. He said, You can also say Divrei Torah. We dont have anyone to say Divrei Torah in shul. So the following Shabbos, we got up early. At seven oclock, after going to the mikva, we walked from the yeshiva in Ramat Aviv to the shul which I think was in the area of Rechov HaChashmal. Walking through Tel Aviv at that early hour on Shabbos was actually wonderful. The streets were practically empty of cars and there was a Shabbos feeling in the air. After about an hours walk, we arrived at the shul. There were foreign workers standing around and no Jews to be seen. We realized how right the man, who turned out to be the gabbai, was. The shul was small and old; it was a point of spiritual light

gabbais announcement made me smile. Who said I would continue going to this shul until I did a shidduch? And who said wed be in touch until the wedding? And if I invited the gabbai, whos to say he would come? And if he came, what sort of gift would he bring? It sounded like an empty promise. Well, I was in the middle of seeing someone at the time and a week later, on Thursday, I became engaged. We walked to the shul again that Shabbos. I didnt feel comfortable announcing that I had a mazal tov, but my friend felt differently. When I finished reviewing a sicha, he told the few people there that I was a chassan. They were all excited for me and showered me with brachos. The gabbai repeatedly said that he would give me a gift, as he had said he would. The next day, in the middle of learning Nigleh in yeshiva,

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He will take care of what you need from Him.


The first time the Rebbe spoke about reviewing Chassidus in shuls was Shabbos Parshas Nitzavim 5710 (From Toras Menachem 5701 p. 214): Regarding going to shuls, the way it used to be was that when they asked you where you were from, they would say, from Dokshitz, because they were afraid of saying from Lubavitch lest they be chased away. But today, we are at a time when there is no need to be fazed but one can say openly: We had and we have a big Rebbe, the Rebbe my father-in-law, and we are here on his shlichus! The truth is that it is not possible to hide the fact of being Lubavitchers. Even if youll dress as others do, with all the hiddurim (making sure the color of your socks matches the color of your tie, having a cigar in your mouth and speaking fluent English, etc.) they will identify you as Lubavitchers, so youre better off saying so from the outset. The truth is, they would not chase you out because of being a Lubavitcher for every person who has Yiras Shamayim, his words are listened to but because your external appearance does not match the pnimius, which is why they give a false reason and say they are chasing you out because you are a Lubavitcher. You need to say the truth, that you come on behalf of the Rebbe, my father-in-law, and speak with a breitkait (broadness) and dont be fazed by anyone, like the analogy (brought in Chassidus) of an exceedingly wise man to whom those who are not intelligent are not considered by him to be worth anything at all. Though you must be careful not to offend anyone and the words of the wise are heard when they are gentle, at the same time, you need to go with breitkait and not feel daunted by anyone.


In the Simchas Torah Sicha of 5711, 62 years ago, the Rebbe spoke to the bachurim who went to do hakafos in other shuls and acknowledged the difficulty in going to a strange shul and reviewing a sicha or a Chassidic concept: Although the nature of a person who goes to a strange place is not to feel as confident as in the place he comes from, this is not so for Jews. As we see that even after the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash when we were exiled from our land, Jews stand strong to fulfill Torah and mitzvos with mesirus nefesh. From this is understood as it relates to going to shuls. Although you are going to a strange place, without knowing what kind of shul it is and what kind of Jews you will meet there, there is no fear lest they be affected and influenced without being able to have an influence on them, for with the Jewish people, wherever they go, they stand firm as in their own place. And in our case, this means going to shuls with all the strength one finds in the Rebbes shul and with this strength, influencing them and being mekarev them to the Rebbe. R Itche Gansbourg was a Chassid who spoke all over town. He was a dynamic and active doer, and he was never afraid of the microphone. He always made himself heard loudly. He told about the first time he spoke: On 11 Shevat 5711, when the Rebbe officially accepted the leadership of Chabad, all of

Even if youll dress as others do, with all the hiddurim (making sure the color of your socks matches the color of your tie, having a cigar in your mouth and speaking fluent English, etc.) they will identify you as Lubavitchers, so youre better off saying so from the outset.
I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around, and to my surprise, there was the gabbai of the shul standing there with a smile. He shook my hand warmly and pressed an envelope into my hand. I had planned on giving my kalla a gift of Sifrei Halacha, written in language that was easy to understand. I had wanted to give her a sum of money so that she could buy the sfarim she liked, but I didnt have a shekel to my name. Nevertheless, I had full bitachon in Hashem. When I opened the envelope, I couldnt believe my eyes. There was exactly the amount of money I had wanted to set aside for the gift. The next day, I was able to give the gift to my kalla along with the wonderful story of bitachon. I learned that when you do what Hashem wants of you,

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Anash in Eretz Yisroel resolved to be mekusharim to him, heart and soul, and to carry out the special role of the seventh generation to bring the Shchina down to this material world and to actually bring the Geula. This is not the place to describe that year, replete with events, in detail, but I will tell a personal story that will illustrate the huge change the Rebbe wrought when he became Rebbe. It was Shabbos, Parshas Rei 5711. At the farbrengen that Shabbos, the Rebbe asked everyone to go to shuls where they lived and to tell people that the Torah and mitzvos are the cities of refuge in our days. Someone who fell short in his observance of Torah and mitzvos could be saved by observing Torah and mitzvos. The Rebbe asked that they convey this message to all Chabad centers around the world. After Shabbos, we received a message in Tel Aviv from the secretariat about what the Rebbe said. Shabbos morning, I remembered what the Rebbe had said and didnt know just what I was supposed to do. You, the reader, must understand that what today is a given, that bachurim darshen in shuls, was out of the question fifty years ago In any case, since the Rebbe said so, it had to be done. We lived on Rechov HaKishon on the border of Tel Aviv Yaffo, and I decided to try my luck in Yaffo. I began walking in the direction of the center of Yaffo. On the way, I saw a Yemenite shul but they had started davening very early. When I arrived, they had already finished davening and were starting to leave the shul. That was the case in the next shul too.

I walked about half an hour until I reached the center of Yaffo and the main Ashkenazi shul. The people who davened there were Poilish Chassidim and they hadnt started davening yet. I went over to the gabbai and told him that the Lubavitcher Rebbe had sent me to address the congregants. To my surprise, he readily agreed and I began thinking about how to deliver the first drasha in my life. In the meantime, I found out that there was to be a Kiddush after the davening and I figured I would be speaking then. That would make it easier for me because after a L chaim, its easier to speak. However, to my surprise, right after the Torah reading the gabbai went up to the bima and called upon me to speak. There were over a hundred people and I felt weak in the knees. Thinking that surely the Rebbe would help me, I went up to the bima. As I said, I had never spoke in public before, and I did not know what to say or how to say it. I began with the story of the Baal Shem Tov who, before his passing, told his disciples their path in life. To one of them, he said he should tell stories that

he witnessed with the Baal Shem Tov. I too received instructions from the Lubavitcher Rebbe to speak to you. I am not a speaker and I dont know how to speak, but I will tell you what the Rebbe said. I repeated what the Rebbe said and it seemed as though they enjoyed it, as well as the fact that when the Rebbe makes a request even a young bachur like me can speak. Since then, I made it a point to speak regularly in public and give over the Rebbes words.


R Yosef Yitzchok Zilberstrom is the mashpia of the Chabad community in Lud. He, together with many men from his large community, young and old, cover all the shuls of Lud and Ramle every Shabbos. They do this in an organized way so that not a single shul is excluded. R Zilberstrom told us of an extreme situation in which one of the people yelled at him because of how he referred to the Rebbe: As I always do, when I review a sicha of the Rebbe, I use all
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the usual descriptive titles (i.e. Melech HaMoshiach). One time, when I went to a shul in Ramle, someone got up and loudly said, How dare you say things like that? There was no commotion and no argument ensued, but that was a clear protest against what I said. Since I saw that it wasnt the time or place to respond, I smiled and didnt react. A few weeks later, it was my turn to speak in this shul again. I debated about whether I should go or I should ask someone else to go. If I went, should I use those same titles or should I give in for the sake of peace? When I got to the shul, I decided that since the Rebbe said, Hinei zeh, Moshiach ba, and he points with his finger and says zeh in other words, it is possible to point and show who Moshiach is I would say what I usually say. Interestingly, not only didnt that man call out, he came to me afterward and exclaimed, Thank you rabbi for explaining the significance of Chai Elul, the birthday of the two luminaries. As we continued talking, he told me that 18 Elul is his anniversary. I saw, yet again, how the Rebbe is right when he says the world is ready. A person might ask a question or not understand something; our job is to explain, but the world is definitely ready to accept his malchus willingly. We cannot be fazed. We have a mission from the Rebbe and when we speak from the heart and with all our heart, people accept it. Beis Moshiach staff about this article, he told me a story. For a few years, I reviewed a sicha of the Rebbe in a shul in Ramat Gan on a regular basis. To their credit, I was always warmly welcomed. Sometimes, I would review the sicha before the Torah reading, and sometimes afterward. Either way, they always gave me the floor. It was a pleasure to go there. It was Shabbos Chanuka when I went to the shul one week, and I discovered that they already had a guest speaker who was in the middle of speaking. Shabbos Chanuka is an especially festive Shabbos. Speakers enjoy talking about the symbolism of light, about the menorah, purity and impurity, the Maccabees versus the Yevanim, etc. I sat down and waited for the rabbi to finish talking. In the meantime, the gabbai quietly came over to me and whispered, In honor of Shabbos Chanuka, another two rabbis have asked to speak, and he motioned to another two people, whom I did not recognize from previous Shabbasos, who were sitting not far off. Oy, I thought to myself. The people wont have patience to listen to four speakers! What should I do? Should I get up and leave or stay? I can tell you that it wasnt my honor that I was concerned about, but about what the Rebbe wanted me to do. On the one hand, I thought, I am a shliach and a shliach doesnt quit. On the other hand, the people here are not talmidei chachomim, and they might enjoy hearing a good vort but nothing more, so they wont have the patience to listen. Yet can I just leave? Do I come here in my honor? The consideration that a shliach doesnt leave his post won out, but it was still a problem. I had plenty of time to think because the speakers went on and on. In the meantime, I said Thillim as per the custom on Shabbos Mevarchim and remained doubtful. When I finally got up in order to speak, the gabbai announced Rabbi Menachem is the last one for today. I couldnt help but hear a silent sigh of relief. I looked at the crowd and it was impossible not to see the weariness in their eyes. They were hungry. What did they want already? Just to be able to go home and eat. That speech was the shortest one I ever gave. I think it was all of sixty seconds in length. I repeated an idea from a sicha about how each day we add one more candle than the day before. Why then, dont we begin with eight candles? To teach us that what we did today has to be much better than yesterday and what we did today is not enough for tomorrow. A candle represents a mitzva and a Jew must always add a bit more. Just sixty seconds. That is how long those loyal to me from among the congregants still tried to be generous. Even those who realized that they were doomed to sit for another fifteen minutes were pleasantly surprised. That was the only time I was ever applauded. That goes to show how important a concise talk, which contains a complete thought and a practical lesson, is. I also learned how it is truly possible to get all that into sixty concentrated seconds. In short, the success is brevity. secret to


When I spoke with my friend R Menachem Ziegelboim of the

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Banquet sPeecH


The moving speech by Rabbi Yisroel Hershkowitz, shliach and rav in Ofakim, at the Kinus HaShluchim banquet, Motzaei Shabbos in 770.
Id like to share something personal and painful with you that I experienced about a year ago. It is something that instilled an essential point of truth, the essential point of Yechi, within me. It says about the time preceding the Geula that the hearts of fathers will be returned through the sons. Rashi explains that the hearts of the fathers will return to Hashem through their sons, since our children will draw us close to the truth. This verse was fulfilled with me too, with just a small difference in that in my case it happened with my daughter.


Shortly before the passing of my daughter, Chaya Mushka [Ed. age 23, contracted a serious infection which proved fatal], she was hospitalized in Beilinson Hospital, waiting to be operated on. About two hours before the surgery, the surgeon, who is considered the top doctor in this field in Eretz Yisroel, came into her room. He informed us that the operation was very dangerous and it could result in her death. I and my daughter, who was fully conscious, immediately exclaimed, So why do it?

He explained that without an operation, her condition was even more dangerous. My daughter said that if so, she preferred leaving the matter up to G-d. We had to inform the doctor of our decision. We did as the Rebbe advises and consulted with a doctor-friend. In critical situations such as these, the only doctor-friend who could understand the situation and be considered a friend of the family is Rabbi Elimelech Firer [Ed. a Belzer Chassid, chairman and founder of Ezra L Marpeh, matches sick people with the best hospitals, physicians and treatments available for their

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conditions, and provides a myriad of other services for the ill]. We somehow managed to reach him. After he was apprised of the situation, he said he was aware of the Rebbes instruction to consult with a doctor-friend, and as a doctor-friend he said she must have the operation. I went back to my daughter who, moments before, had said she did not want the operation and would rely on G-ds kindness, and told her what R Firer said. She said, What does the Rebbe want me to do now? I said, Chayale, the Rebbe wants you to sign the consent form. She didnt say another word. She signed the medical form and added the word bsimcha. She left this world while on the operating table, but she managed to teach us a lesson in pure truth. In the most difficult moment, she cared about one thing: What does the Rebbe want? When she knew what the

Rebbe wanted, she did it, without blinking an eye, and happily too!


After Chaya Mushka signed, I had to take care of some technical matters with the doctor. That took about ten minutes and my wife stayed with her in the meantime. When I came back, I saw that she was very calm. She waved but did not speak, like after HaMapil. She went in for the surgery in a state of utter calm. In the middle of the operation, I asked my wife, what made her so calm all of a sudden? Earlier, she was agitated about the surgery. She knew that not everybody makes it. My wife said that during those ten minutes that I was with the doctor, Chayale wanted to get out of bed. She was attached to all kinds of equipment and it was no simple matter to let her

out of bed, especially when we had delayed with the consent for the surgery and there was a time pressure. But she insisted that she had to get out of bed and so my wife helped her. She then stood there facing my wife and put her hands on her shoulders and began dancing Yechi with her, as she always did, every night, before going to sleep, quietly and in a pnimiusdike way. She danced two times around and got back into bed. After that Yechi dance, she was completely calm. She was connected to the Rebbe.

Exactly twenty years ago, right here, we stood here, thousands of shluchim, at the Kinus HaShluchim banquet 5753, and we all danced and sang Yechi.
Issue 861


Banquet sPeecH
I am not a journalist and I dont have the ability to describe events, but take a look at the last sicha the Rebbe said to the Kinus HaShluchim in order to understand what the Avodas HaShlichus is today. I was here for Shabbos Parshas Chayei Sarah 5752, and I heard the Rebbe say at the farbrengen that the main and only thing that remains for the shluchim to do is: Kabbalas Pnei Moshiach Tzidkeinu. These words of the Rebbe need to constantly reverberate in our ears. The Rebbe demands that as long as we dont have the actual Geula, and as long as we havent merited that the entire world proclaims Yechi, we have a job to do, to make it happen. In order to get the world to accept Moshiach, the shluchim need to live with it, first and foremost living with the sichos of 5751-5752 in such a way that it becomes a real part of our lives. It needs to be clear to us that this whole Yechi business is an inseparable part of Chabad Chassidus of the seventh generation and there is no way to separate things. To illustrate: Many Lubavitchers and shluchim do not know that until Purim 5736/1976, it was not Chabad practice to put on Rabbeinu Tam tfillin before marriage. Only singular individuals were told to do so earlier; otherwise, it was done in connection with ones marriage. Then, on Purim 5736, the Rebbe announced that from then on, bar mitzva boys should begin using Rabbeinu Tam tfillin. Would anybody think that it is possible to be a Lubavitcher Chassid, who learns all the sichos of the 1950s, of the 1960s, but stops before Purim 5736 and does not put on tfillin of Rabbeinu Tam after the bar mitzva?! If such a Chassid existed, then even if he was an oved who learned and davened sweetly, yet he did not put on Rabbeinu Tam tfillin because he only lived with the sichos of the first 26 years, it would be very hard to speak of such a person, who stopped in the middle of the way, as a Lubavitcher. If there was a Chassid who passed 5736 but got stuck in the Rebbes mivtzaim and would say he was living with the Rebbes first thirty years, but he did not connect to mivtzaim, could he be referred to as a member of Chabad? We wouldnt say he was completely disconnected, but a Lubavitcher Chassid of the seventh generation must be utterly devoted to the Rebbe, to all his horaos, without exception! There is no such thing as a partial Chassid. The one who establishes what Lubavitch is and what is not Lubavitch is the Rebbe himself. All this is by way of introduction, so we may understand the current situation. After the Rebbe spoke clearly in 5751-5752 saying that the Nasi HaDor is the Moshiach who will redeem the Jewish people, starting with the expression that the Rebbe used regularly, Nasi Doreinu Moshiach ShBDoreinu, and then expressions like Moshiach Menachem is his name, providing explanations about the reason why the Midrash says that Moshiach stands on the roof of the Beis HaMikdash is to allude to the Beis Rabbeinu ShBBavel which is outside Eretz Yisroel and there Moshiach stands and announces to the Jewish people: The time for your redemption has arrived ever since the Rebbe began speaking so clearly about his identity as Moshiach, it has become an inseparable part of the Lubavitch reality. If you learn all the Rebbes sichos and horaos until 5751 and stop there, you are just like the person who learned all the sichos until 5736 and stopped there and did not put on tfillin Rabbeinu Tam after bar mitzva. True, this was Chabad practice until 5736, but after 5736, putting on Rabbeinu Tam tfillin after bar mitzva became part and parcel of being a Lubavitcher. If you want to act like a Lubavitcher does, you do not wait for Rabbeinu Tam tfillin for when you get married. In the same way, belief in the Rebbe being Moshiach is an inseparable part of Chabad Chassidus, and it is impossible to be a Lubavitcher Chassid without this belief.


In the description of Eliezers shlichus, it does not say his name in the entire parsha. He is referred to as Eved Avrohom or the servant or the man, but never as Eliezer since he was utterly battul to Avrohom Avinu. His existence was solely as a servant of Avrohom, without any expression of an independent existence. The Rebbe raises a question about this, pointing out that it seems that Eliezer made a vital change in the words of his master. When Avrohom gave him the mission to go to Aram Naharayim to find a wife for Yitzchok, he concluded with the words, Hashem, the G-d of the heavens will send His angel

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before you to take a wife for my son from there. Afterward, when Eliezer is sitting with Besuel, Rivkas father, he quotes Avrohom with a significant change, Hashem will send His angel with you and make you successful. The difference between sending His angel before you and sending His angel with you is this: Eliezer is an entity onto himself and the angel is merely going with him and helping him. Sending His angel before him connotes that Eliezer is nothing at all, but the angel will go before him and arrange things so that upon his arrival, Eliezer will be successful. How could Eliezer, the faithful servant, make such a significant change in the wording? Moreover, he adds that Avrohom promised him that he would be successful, words that Avrohom never said! The Rebbe explains that Eliezer knew that Avrohom had sent the angel before him to arrange things for him. Eliezer did not have to involve himself at all. All he had to do was show up and conclude what the angel had prepared for him. But when Eliezer was sitting with the father of the intended bride, there was no reason to tell Besuel that an angel had already arranged things, for then Besuel could say that all their discussion was unnecessary. What was there to discuss if Eliezer would say that the angel had arranged it all? Besuel was not on a level to accept something like this, so Eliezer had no choice but to modify the wording to indicate that the matter wasnt closed yet; it was still possible for Besuel to say his opinion. But after all, since Eliezer was a loyal Chassid of Avrohom

At the Kinus HaShluchim 5753, in front of thousands of shluchim, the Rebbe sent a clear message: I am going out before you with the proclamation of Yechi in order to accomplish this in the world.

and was battul to him, he could not conceal the entire truth, so he hinted at it when he said that Avrohom said that the angel would make him successful. Indeed, Besuel understood and said, This matter came forth from G-d; we cannot speak to you either bad or good. In other words, on the one hand, Eliezer made sure to say things in a way that Besuel could hear them. He did not say before you but with you. On the other hand, he did not dilute Avrohoms message, but said it in other words so that even Besuel got it. At the end of that sicha, the Rebbe teaches an incredible horaa: A shliach can think that he is being asked to be moser nefesh for shlichus, without menuchas hanefesh or menuchas haguf, but he is not asked to be successful in changing other people because this is not up to him. Or as people like to say nowadays, We are required to do the work, not to rack up successes. We have to do our part, and what will be, will be. Says the Rebbe, from Eliezers shlichus we learn that the role of a shliach is to actually carry out his shlichus until the shlichus is successful. When he does the shlichus as he is supposed to, the world cannot remain as it is; the world must change. From where do we learn this? From the fact that Eliezer says to Besuel that Avrohom promised him success, that the matter was already taken care of and it could only turn out successfully.


If, with every shlichus, the Rebbe sends his angel before us, to the point that we are successful, then with the main shlichus, preparing the world for Kabbalas Pnei Moshiach Tzidkeinu, the Rebbe himself goes before us, preparing the world in such a way that it is impossible for us not to be successful! When the Rebbe saw that it was hard for us to instill the idea of Yechi in the world, he himself went out to the world, on the porch here in 770, and encouraged the singing of Yechi. At the Kinus HaShluchim 5753, in front of thousands of shluchim, the Rebbe sent a clear message: I am going out before you with the proclamation of Yechi in order to accomplish this in the world. Now you have to go to the world and show it what I already did. If you act with bittul towards the meshaleiach, there is no doubt regarding what the outcome will be because the angel was already sent before you and you will be successful! Since the idea of Yechi was already accomplished in the world, we the shluchim have to continue and bring it out in a revealed way. We must live with the lifeblood essence of our hearts and lives, which is Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu VRabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L olam Vaed.

Issue 861



It is ten years since the passing of the Chassid, R Zalman Levin ah of Kfar Chabad. He walked among us, but he belonged to the generation of giants, Chassidim who lived lives of mesirus nefesh. In a series of meetings, he recounted the story of his childhood in a Chassidishe home in the Soviet Union where children learned Torah and where kosher meat was secretly slaughtered. * Part 5 of 9
By Menachem Ziegelboim

s mentioned previously, I arrived in Leningrad where I hoped to remain until I turned 16, when I would no longer be of the age of compulsory education and could acquire a legal passport as a resident of the city. This would allow me to sign up for work in various places and would also solve the problem of a place to sleep, so I would no longer have to hide out in fear in the homes of different Chassidim. Next to the shul where I spent most of my time lived a Jew who ran a bakery. He was appointed by the government to supply bread to all the stores so people would have what to eat. He liked me and had me make the bread deliveries to the stores. He gave me a wagon and that is what I used to cart around the bread and distribute it according to a list of addresses he gave me. This could have gone on a for a long time except that one day,

R Yaakov Yosef Raskin, in whose house I had slept, told me that he had an excellent idea for me for lodgings and employment. It was something new he had found in a suburb near Leningrad. Next to the gentile cemetery lived an elderly couple, both in their early seventies. They needed a boy to live in their house, to help them out and bring whatever they needed. They were willing to adopt him and would provide his room and board. The old mans name was R Avrohom, but everyone called him R Avrohom the Malach (Angel) since he had a white beard that made him look angelic, but he also acted like an angel. He would run from place to place in search of another mitzva, where he could do a Jew a favor, where there might be orphans or a widow or a funeral, and searched for ways to alleviate their plight. He tried to help everyone, not taking his age and

health into consideration. R Avrohom the Malach had a golden tongue. He knew how to speak to the authorities and convince them not to abandon unfortunate and helpless Jews. He made it his business to ensure that the social service offices did not neglect the needy and took care of whoever was under their jurisdiction. Thanks to this talent of his, he made connections with government figures and they acceded to all his requests. I accepted the offer. I would sleep with the old couple and help them by day and by night too. Sometimes they needed a cup of water or tea in the middle of the night and I was their faithful helper. I was not surprised to discover a mikva in a room of their house, after all the mikvaos were shut down in Leningrad. The mikva was one of my jobs. During the day I prepared the logs, heated the mikva, changed

18 8 Teives 5773

the water, and made sure the mikva was clean. Some people noticed occasional visitors to the house and when they asked questions, they were told it was a sort of bathtub to bathe in. Very early in the morning, I would go to a nearby forest and cut trees, chop them into small logs and then load them onto the wagon which was pulled by the loyal horse that was always with me. I would bring home the wood and put them in a special oven made for them and light them. Then the pipes which brought the warm water to the mikva heated up. I had a good feeling and tremendous satisfaction from this chore; I felt I was doing holy work. Although my abode was somewhat distant from the Chassidic community, every night I would go to R Yaakov Yosef Raskins house to learn or farbreng. I would learn with his sons, R Sholom Ber and R

The old mans name was R Avrohom, but everyone called him R Avrohom the Malach (Angel) since he had a white beard that made him look angelic, but he also acted like an angel. He would run from place to place in search of another mitzva, where he could do a Jew a favor, where there might be orphans or a widow or a funeral, and searched for ways to alleviate their plight. He tried to help everyone, not taking his age and health into consideration.
in a city without papers but, as I mentioned previously, I could not return to Nevel. Because of my steady work for R Avrohom the Malach, he arranged for the authorities to issue ID papers to me as a regular worker in that area, attesting that I was adopted by his family and not a criminal, and that I made good use of my time and studied a profession (at the time, I was studying draftsmanship in a nearby industrial concern).
Issue 861

Mendel (R Dovid was in Kutais, Georgia, where he was secretly learning). I would also go to the home of R Yitzchok Raskin and learn with him. Boruch Hashem, it went smoothly and I was never caught, and my routine was one of work and learning. *** I was 16, and by law I had to have ID papers. I could obtain these papers only where my parents lived, in Nevel. It was very hard and dangerous to live


I should point out that it was no simple matter for me to get those papers. I had to bring various documents, including an affidavit from my father that he was abdicating all parental rights and I was now a free and independent person with my own identity. The name Levin was not my last name anymore either. My father had to write me this document, without which I could not receive my ID papers. For my father, it entailed mesirus nefesh to write this, since he was afraid that the moment I received my papers, I would really become independent in every respect and would forget my origins and would assimilate among the gentiles. He was terribly afraid that I would turn my back on Judaism and become a goy. He expressed his fears in letters he wrote me afterward. He would ask me, What will be with Shabbos and Yomim Tovim? How can you work without working on Shabbos? and other questions like that. After receiving my passport I was happy, since I could start working legally without fear of being arrested and questioned. I was also free to walk the streets without fear lest someone stop me and ask me if I was a resident. I was happy and relieved. I could finally ride the train without any concerns; at that time, this was a big thing. Everyone in my family was happy for me. I was working and supporting myself and learning too, and also helping my parents. That was a very good period of time in my life for me. I was fully occupied and felt enormous satisfaction and joy. In general, I was accustomed to miracles all along. When I start thinking about it, I literally tremble and

This older couple had a son who worked in a shoe factory not far from their house. One day, the managers of the factor needed a delivery man. The son suggested me for the job and I agreed.

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ask myself how I went through all that. How did I overcome all the obstacles of that time? How did I manage to work as well as to run and learn in the evenings and get my papers and even support my parents? *** This older couple had a son who worked in a shoe factory not far from their house. One day, the managers of the factor needed a delivery man. The son suggested me for the job and I agreed. This was a time when there were no trucks or mechanized three-wheeled carts that any private enterprise owned. They mostly used horses harnessed to wagons, which they used to transport merchandise to warehouses and stores. The son had two horses. With one horse he worked and the other horse he assigned to me and I helped him with the work. The factory paid for all the expenses of maintaining the animals and wagon. He had a goy help us too, but I was the one in charge of the horses and wagons. I fed and watered them and placed them in their stable at the end of the day. Throughout the day, I distributed shoes to the addresses they gave me, warehouses and stores, and I made good money. It was enough for my needs plus extra to send to my family in Nevel. Every now and then I

would send home packages of food that contained sugar, flour, oil, margarine, and other items. I knew that my family lived in dire poverty and barely had what to eat. *** Then someone informed on the couples son and said he was exploiting me, meaning that he was profiting on my account, that I was working for him and getting a minimum wage while he was making a lot of money using cheap labor. This greatly offended the communists, of course. They took me for interrogation. I said that I did not know how much I earned and exactly how much he paid me; I did not understand money matters and I only knew that these Jews helped me and took care of me, giving me food and board, and I helped them in return. I said I did not know precisely what this exploitation was about; I only knew that we benefited from one another and none of us had complaints. The interrogation was exhausting and painful. I didnt know precisely where they were going with their line of questions. They asked me about all kinds of nonsense and I was afraid to sign the paper they wanted me to sign, since I didnt know if it would incriminate me or not. I sat there at the interrogations and cried. I finally went home without signing, even though they

threatened that if I didnt sign and admit to all the accusations and tell them the truth, they would cause me big problems and put me in jail. I did not understand what they wanted from me and I wasnt just pretending, since I was convinced that the old couple was innocent and had done no harm to anyone; on the contrary, they helped whomever they could. I felt at a loss, but continued to work for them until the war broke out and the cursed Germans began fighting Russia. Not far from us were large warehouses of food that supported many residents. The Germans began bombing these food depots, one by one. Within a relatively short time, they began conquering Leningrad and morale was very low. The situation continued to deteriorate. The shoe factory was closed, since the employees did not show up to work because they had no food to eat. They were also afraid lest they be struck by bombs on their way to work. Then one evening, they stole one of the horses belonging to the couple. Apparently, they wanted to eat it. A few days later, the other horse died since there was no food for it. We found it dead in the stable. These horses had been a source of income and now they were gone.

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"The quickest way to reveal Moshiach is by learning the Torah sources about Moshiach & redemption" t"ab,wv Issue 861 grumnu ghrz, p"a 1620-1640 AM around Crown Heights & Boro Park


MiRacLe stoRY


By Nosson Avraham Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry


In the sukka of Yishai and Shulamit Ben-Rachamim on Yoseftal Street in Tzfas Canaan neighborhood, theres a place of honor on the front wall for one large picture of a tzaddik the picture of the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach. Despite the fact that they are not considered to be card-carrying members of the Chabad community, the family says that the sukka cannot be complete until they hang this picture that has been faithfully preserved for many years. One of their neighbors, R Yiftach Luzia, Chabad shliach in Machanayim, who visited the familys sukka and saw the Rebbes picture, assumed that there must be a unique story behind this family custom. He was not mistaken. For us, the Rebbe is a giant among giants, says Yishai, the head of the household, with great emotion. It would seem that their enthusiasm has not dimmed, despite the passage of time since he and his wife experienced a great miracle thanks to the fulfillment of the Rebbes bracha. We were privileged not just to receive a bracha, but also an amazing Heavenly sign. Today, we are the proud parents of two daughters, who have already

married and given us three grandchildren all in the merit of that marvelous bracha. *** Yishai was born and raised on the Galilean settlement of Yavniel, located near the holy city of Teveria. During his childhood, Chabad had not yet arrived in Yavniel. Thus, his knowledge about the Rebbe and Chabad was a bit vague, coming primarily from the newspapers. In contrast, his wife Shulamit grew up and was educated in Tzfas. She knew quite well about the Rebbe and his greatness. Even as a young girl, she was familiar with the large Chabad community that had been established in Tzfas. In 5740, we were married in a good and auspicious hour, recalled Yishai from those times. However, to our great regret, months and years passed, and we still hadnt merited having children. After four years of marriage, my wife and I began to be quite concerned that we might never become parents. This concern of ours intensified in light of the fact that we had gone to prominent doctors for fertility examinations and treatments, and the results showed little or no hope of success. The doctors were unable to give a professional diagnosis for our

situation. Everything is in proper order, they told us, and this just distressed us even more. When our accompanying physician, Dr. Blanca, said that he saw no apparent cause that he could treat with conventional medical cures, we turned to more spiritual channels. In the meantime, I began to learn about Chabad Chassidus. In the synagogue where I prayed, they would bring Chabad brochures. We heard about the spiritual salvations that took place with the Rebbes brachos, and we also wanted to write to the Rebbe and request his holy blessing. The person who helped us was Rabbi Baruch Menachem Mendel Kumer from Kiryat Chabad in Tzfas. The first time when we wrote, we were certain that the Rebbe would give us a reply within a day or two. However, this was not to be the case. Months passed, and we had not received an answer. When we wrote a second time, we still failed to get a reply. Chassidim explained to us that we have already received our bracha, but this rationalization did not satisfy us. We obtained the phone number of the Rebbes secretariat in 770, and I explained our plight to the secretary. He told me that the Rebbe chooses the time to

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answer, and one cant get brachos by force. After he said that we would simply have to be patient, he then suggested, If you want, write a third time. Many years had now passed; nevertheless, we refused to despair and we would not lose hope. One morning, my wife woke up in a state of great excitement. She told me that she had dreamt that night about the Rebbe, and when I heard this, it almost took my breath away. I too had dreamt about the Rebbe that night! My wife said that in her dream, she saw the Rebbe in our home sitting in the living room, his face shining with a unique sparkle. She felt that the Rebbe was bestowing a sense of tranquility and hope that everything would be fine, and this period of trial would soon come to an end. In my dream, I saw the Rebbe waving his hand. We felt that there was a special meaning to all this; it was not just some coincidence. When my wife returned home from work the following day, she passed by the mailbox and was totally thunderstruck. Among the letters was one sent to us by the Rebbe. I was at work at the time when I received an urgent phone call from her. Yishai, you wont believe it. The Rebbe sent us a letter! I never felt anything like I did on that day. My wife was so overcome that she slipped on the steps on her way into the house. I asked her to wait until that evening, and we would open the letter together. What did the letter say? We didnt understand a thing. The next day, we met with Rabbi Kumer to get an explanation. The Rebbe had written as follows: I confirm receipt of his letter, including a request for

My wife told me that she had dreamt that night about the Rebbe, and when I heard this, it almost took my breath away. I too had dreamt about the Rebbe that night!
had already done all the possible examinations. He suggested that she fill a new prescription of capsules, which she should take on a daily basis, although his pessimism was quite evident. Theres no chance that youll get pregnant during the coming year, he told her. But the reality proved otherwise Within two months, the Rebbes bracha had been realized and we were given the good news. One can just imagine the tremendous joy that engulfed us at that moment. Our feelings were simply indescribable. This was a miracle above and beyond nature.
Issue 861

a bracha (pidyon nefesh), and it will be read at a befitting time at the Tziyon of my holy and revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, of righteous memory, his soul rests in the hidden treasures of Heaven, may his merit protect us. For me, these words were merely a riddle. I didnt understand what the Rebbe meant. However, Rabbi Kumer was positively ecstatic. You have the Rebbes bracha. Remove all worry from your hearts, he reassured us. And so it was. That month, my wife went back to Dr. Blanca, who saw that we


MiRacLe stoRY
When we came to Dr. Blanca to inform him that my wife was going to have a baby, he was positively stunned. He said that since he had given up on all the pills, tests, and other treatments, he had decided to follow another course. The capsules he had given my wife were only vitamins He couldnt believe that they would bring about any change in the situation. Nine months later, we welcomed the arrival of our first child, a sweet and beautiful baby girl. She had been born through a totally normal and easy birth. We gave her the name Rachel after Rachel Imeinu. Today, Rachel is married, has completed her degree in economics and business administration, and she is also the mother of three wonderful girls our granddaughters. Later, we were blessed with the birth of another daughter. They too are quite aware that without the Rebbes blessing, who knows if we ever would have been privileged to have them... Naturally, ever since then our family has given a place of honor to the Rebbe and Chabad Chassidus as a sign of ever-growing appreciation and admiration. from the rest of my hand at that moment, incredible as it may seem, I felt no unusual pain. In an attempt to stop the flow of blood from my finger, I quickly went to the faucet in the womens section to wash my hand off. I thought that this was just a minor cut that would quickly heal. I was in no panic; on the contrary, I remember that I was calm and quiet. I even laughed and smiled. Eventually, the women in shul alerted me to the seriousness of the injury I had sustained. When they noticed the large quantity of blood pouring out of my finger, they frantically called for my father. It was only then that I realized that this was not just a minor injury; my finger has been severely cut. My father didnt waste any valuable time, as there were no cell phones in those days and there was no regular phone anywhere in the shul. I remember that we went out in the street together, as my father stopped someone riding a bicycle. He explained the gravity of the situation to the young man, who immediately agreed to lend the bicycle to my father for the purpose of transporting me home as quickly as possible. As we neared our home, we saw my mother coming down the stairs with a baby carriage, on her way to shul with my younger brother. When she saw my father pedaling with me on a bicycle instead of being in shul, she realized that there was something seriously wrong. Still, my father tried to assure that everything would be all right. She got the keys to the family car and we sped to the nearest hospital the Wolfson Medical Center in Cholon. All the while en route to the emergency ward, my finger continued to bleed nonstop. Upon arrival at Wolfson, they did an x-ray and then sent me

For many years, R Sharon Goshen, an attorney by profession, thought about whether he should publicize the miracle he experienced as a young boy with the Rebbes bracha. However, when his mother recently revealed a special detail of the story that he had not known previously, he finally consented to do so, in accordance with the instructions of the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, to publicize miracles.

While he was only seven years old at the time of this story, he apparently remembers every detail with the utmost clarity. Such a traumatic experience obviously could not be forgotten so quickly, as a glance at his right pinkie immediately reminds him of those difficult days of painful medical treatment. *** The story began one Shabbos during the winter of 5744, R Sharon said as he opened his story. I was just seven years old then, and my twin brother and I joined our father, as we always did on Shabbos morning, at the HaPoel HaMizrachi synagogue in the area where we were living at the time. Sitting in shul next to our fathers for the entire davening was an absolutely impossible task for children my age to fulfill. Thus, during the minyan, my friends and I would go outside and play together near the entrance gate to the synagogue. We went on the seesaw, climbed and jumped, while we kept up a lively conversation. As we were playing, I placed the little finger of my right hand between the hinges of the gate. Not realizing this, my brother proceeded to close and open the gate, crushing my finger in the gap. While I now realize that my finger had been dislocated

24 8 Teives 5773

straight to the operating room. While the doctors did manage to stop the bleeding, they were unable to suture the finger. After a few days in the hospital, I was released home. Every few days, I went to our local health clinic for a follow-up examination with our family physician. I suffered a great deal during that period. At each visit to the health clinic, the nurse would have to change the bandage. Dead flesh would be growing underneath, and she removed it each time by applying a painful antiseptic solution. This unpleasant process repeated itself for several months. Our family doctor tried to encourage us, as he expressed his belief that the finger would eventually heal and there would be no need for an amputation something that usually occurred in a case of gangrene. One month during that summer, the family doctor went on a lengthy vacation and put another physician in charge of my case in his absence. This doctor turned out to be a highly trained specialist. He did not agree to continue the current treatment as prescribed by the first doctor, and he immediately asked to see my medical folder. After looking through the file, he asked my father when I had last had an x-ray done. The doctor was stunned to hear that we had not done any x-rays since the initial visit to the emergency room on the day I sustained the injury. Unlike today, it could then take a long time, perhaps months, to wait for an appointment to do an x-ray. The doctor used all his connections to arrange for a prompt appointment, and within a few days, I went in for an x-ray and we brought him the results.

The doctors evaluation stunned my parents; they had never dreamed things that were so serious.
Naturally, the first thing they did was to write to the Rebbe. They described everything that had happened and asked for his advice and a bracha. The Rebbes answer was: Bracha vhatzlacha. Seek the advice of a doctor acquaintance. My parents were friends with a Dr. Agassi from Ramat Gan, a prominent surgeon, and they went to see him with the x-ray pictures to seek his advice, as the Rebbe had instructed. After checking the x-rays, he immediately said that he agreed with the recent Continued on page 37
Issue 861

As he looked at the pictures, the doctors face suddenly became quite somber as he described the situation to us in very dismal terms. He said that he saw how gangrene had developed in my right little finger, and it was beginning to spread. Unless the gangrene was treated properly, it could affect the entire hand and even more. He quickly gave his diagnosis: the finger must be amputated. The doctors evaluation stunned my parents; they had never dreamed things that were so serious.


MosHiacH & GeuLa

not iF You Have access to tHe inteRnet!
By Rabbi Gershon Avtzon

Dear Reader shyichyeh:


Everybody knows that Chanuka is celebrated for eight days. It commemorates the miracle that Hashem made in the times of the second Beis HaMikdash. In the words of the Gemara (Shabbos 21b): What is the reason of Chanukah? Our

Rabbis taught: On the twentyfifth of Kislev commence the days of Chanukah, which are eight, during which a lamentation for the dead and fasting are forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all the oils therein, and when the Chashmonaim dynasty prevailed against and defeated them, they made search and found only one

cruse of oil which lay with the seal of the High Priest, but which contained sufficient oil for one days lighting only; yet a miracle was wrought therein and they lit [the lamp] therewith for eight days. The following year, these days were appointed a Festival with the recital of Hallel and thanksgiving. The simple reason that Hashem made the candles burn for 8 days is that it took 8 days to obtain fresh, natural oil to be used in the Beis HaMikdash. According to the Kabbala, however, there is a deeper meaning. Eight is the number that represents G-ds miracles that transcend nature. In the words of the Maharal: The number seven symbolizes the complete purpose of human existence, combining the spiritual level of the Sabbath with the physical effort of the week. Going beyond seven, the number eight symbolizes mans ability to transcend the limitations of physical existence. Thus, with a gematria of eight, stands for that which is on a plane above nature, i.e., the metaphysical Divine. The study of the Torah and the practice of its commandments are the ways by which Israel can strive to exalt human spirituality towards the realm above the natural.

26 8 Teives 5773

Thats why the Mitzva of Bris Mila the symbol of the supernatural connection of a Jew with Hashem is performed on the eighth day of life and why the era of Moshiach is symbolized by the number eight.

How would you like to find out that Chanuka could be extended to nine days? It would be another night to light Menorah, to eat Latkes, to receive Chanukah gelt, and to play Dreidel! Well according to some commentaries that is what will happen in the times of Yemos HaMoshiach! The Minchas Chinuch writes (Mitzva 301): Everyone knows of Yom Tov Sheini Shel Galuyos (Hebrew: ,) the extra day that Jews outside of Eretz Yisroel celebrate for each Biblical Yom Tov. Yom Tov Sheini was established as a gzeira (rabbinic law) by the rabbis of the Sanhedrin during the Second Temple period, approximately 2,000 years ago, and is observed to this day. The need for a second festival day arises from problems encountered by Jews living in the Diaspora following

the Babylonian exile. The Jewish calendar is a lunar system with months of 29 or 30 days. In Temple times, the length of the month depended on witnesses who had seen the new moon coming to the Temple in Jerusalem. Following confirmation of their evidence, a new Jewish month would be proclaimed. News of this proclamation was subsequently sent out to all Jewish communities. If no witnesses arrived, the new month was proclaimed the following day. Those communities who didnt receive word of the precise date of the beginning of the new month by the time of a festival would keep the festival for two days, to account for the eventuality of the new month not being proclaimed until the following day. In the time of exile, he continues, we do not have the Sanhedrin. Consequently, the new month is calculated mathematically and we have a calendar based on a predetermined system. However when Moshiach comes and the Sanhedrin will return, we will once again calculate the months based on the testimony

of witnesses. If so it is possible, writes the Minchas Chinuch, that communities will have to add an extra day to the holiday of Chanuka and as a result celebrate nine days of Chanuka! The Rebbe (Toras Menachem 5749 vol. 1 page 227) seems to disagree with the above: The entire foundation of the Minchas Chinuch is based on the assumption that during the era of Yemos HaMoshiach it will be possible that people living far from the Beis HaMikdash will not know when the Sanhedrin sanctified the new month. However, with the advance of technology (satellite, internet etc.) it is probable that every Jew around the world will know the very moment when the new month was established. If so we will continue to observe only eight days of Chanuka in Yemos HaMoshiach. Rabbi Avtzon is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Lubavitch Cincinnati and a well sought after speaker and lecturer. Recordings of his in-depth shiurim on Inyanei Geula uMoshiach can be accessed at http://www. ylcrecording.com.

Issue 861




Stories and sayings from R Chaim Shaul Brook ah, as recorded by his close talmid, R Chaim Ashkenazi ah. THE CHOZER WHO BECAME A RAV
R Yisroel Noach the small, who was a chozer in Lubavitch, had to obtain ordination for the rabbinate in the shortest possible time. This was because his father-in-law had died and R Yisroel Noach was going to be appointed rav in his place. So he studied the material eighteen hours a day for nine months until he was awarded smicha. On the first Chag HaMatzos (i.e. Shavuos) that he went to Lubavitch after being appointed rav, after the Rebbe Rashab said Chassidus, R Yisroel Noach stood and spoke with a group of rabbanim. When the bachurim went over to hear what the former chozer was talking about, what did they hear? They heard him discussing halachic matters brought in the responsa of Acharonim.


A certain Torah scholar came to Lubavitch because they wanted to see if he was suitable as a rosh yeshiva. The scholar announced which topic his shiur would be on and the bachurim prepared questions in order to test him. When the shiur began, each of the bachurim asked his questions. Instead of answering them, he refuted each question one by one. When the bachurim expressed their surprise, for these questions were written in commentaries on the sugya, he then proceeded to explain the questions. He told them that a rosh yeshiva doesnt necessarily have to innovate and respond; his job is to teach the talmidim how to understand the question.


R Shaul Brook said to the son of a Poilishe Rebbe who learned with him in Tel Aviv, Learn Likkutei Torah, perhaps youll become a gutter yid (a Polish Admur) and then youll have what to say.


R Shaul Brook told me several times: Dont speak so fast. You might become a melamed and they wont understand you. He said that his melamed told him the same thing.


R Shaul Brook said about my great-grandfather, R Shneur Zalman Ashkenazi, that toward

28 8 Teives 5773


R Shaul once told a gabbai in one of the shuls in Rishon L Tziyon that he would be attending his shul on Shabbos in order to make an appeal for the yeshiva. But in the end, R Shaul did not show up that Shabbos. The gabbai asked him what happened. R Shaul said he had been tired and he would come the following Shabbos (R Shaul emphasized that he did not ask the gabbai for permission; he simply informed him). The following Shabbos, when he went to the shul, everybody was waiting to hear a drasha from him. Instead, R Shaul just looked at the crowd and forcefully said, Thieves, give money! The talmidim in yeshiva need to eat. And he went down from the bima and began saying a Mi ShBeirach [a blessing for each person to make a public pledge]. When he got to one of the wealthy men, he asked R Shaul, Why are we thieves? R Shaul said, Your money belongs to G-d, so why do you hold on to it?

the end of his life, it was hard for him to go to the mikva and to shul. He complained to R Shaul that he doesnt have occasion to recite Mishnayos by heart since he was cooped up in the house all day and learned from a book, and if he were able to leave the house he would be able to learn Mishnayos by heart. When they asked R Shaul upon his return from visiting the Rebbe if had seen the wonders of the United States like the tall buildings, he said that in Eretz Yisroel they had the same thing. Its just that you have to look at the building sideways, not as it is upright.

R Shaul would not wear a shirt. He would just wear a long-sleeved undershirt with tzitzis and a suit jacket. He said there was no need to wear a shirt, for the undershirt was worn to separate between the skin and the tzitzis and the jacket was worn as a sign of respect for davening, so who needed a shirt? When he traveled to the Rebbe, he arrived at the airport with a jacket minus a shirt. After he went through border control, security did not want to allow him to proceed to the boarding area since it did not look to them as though he was a real traveler to the United States, especially in those days when the trip was rare and expensive. They wanted to remove him from the terminal and someone had to intervene and testify that he was in fact traveling to the United States.

They asked the Alter Rebbe why he did not smoke a pipe. He said that in his youth, he had a friend who smoked. Once, as they learned, the pipe went out and he had to stop learning in order to clean it out. During that time, the Alter Rebbe learned seven folios of Gemara. He realized it was a waste to squander time from learning because of a pipe.


R Shaul would say to his talmidim: My job is to answer your questions about acronyms or citations in Chassidus or Tosfos instead of you having to look it up, but to understand what is being learned you need to do that yourselves.


R Shaul would say that once people started wearing

Issue 861


not like Ben Nannes.

pressed pants, they stopped performing Tikkun Chatzos, because how could you sit on the floor in pants like that? First you would have to sweep the floor. What kind of Tikkun Chatzos would follow that?


R Shaul explained the common expression in the commentaries (like the Maharsha and Maharam), the world asks, and said that one time, someone sat down and learned these words and wondered: Where is this world that asks these questions? He went out to the street and saw two people talking and he was sure they were the ones who had the question. But when he approached them he heard them discussing other things. He went to many places and did not find the world that has these questions until he went to the beis midrash and saw two talmidim learning and raising the question. He said: Ah, this is the world!


R Shaul described how his bar mitzva was celebrated. On the day of his bar mitzva, his father brought mashke and mezonos to shul and after the davening, everyone wished him mazal tov. That was the entire celebration.


R Shaul once visited R Refael Kahn and saw him drinking modern tea, i.e. in a tea bag. He said: Foleh, youve become modern?!

When R Shaul motioned to someone to daven for the amud and the person refused, he would say: It says You do not refuse a gadol, and Im a gadol. The proof is that I already have children and grandchildren, and a Katan does not have children.


R Shaul said: In Belz there lived a rav who was a big scholar. He was once asked a question in Halacha and was inclined to pasken a certain way, but since he saw that the Beer Heiteiv paskens differently, he paskened like the Beer Heiteiv. They asked him: But you are a bigger scholar than the Beer Heiteiv, so why did you pasken like him? He said: Its true that Im a bigger scholar than he is, but the Beer Heiteiv lived fifty years ago and the world was more refined then, so it was easier for him to discern the truth of Torah.


R Shaul would say: In previous generations, when they learned Gemara and reached a statement such as this Mishna is not like Ben Nannes, they would tremble for how could it be not like Ben Nannes, Oy vey. But today, when they learn how it is not like Ben Nannes, nobody cares so let it be


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30 8 Teives 5773



PaRsHa tHouGHt


Rabbi Heschel Greenberg

Before Yaacov makes his way to Egypt to be reunited with his son Yosef after so many years of painful separation, Yaacov sends his son Yehudah ahead of the entire family to the land of Goshen. Why was it necessary to send Yehudah? If Yosef was the Viceroy of Egypt, he certainly had the ability to make the necessary preparations and accommodations. Indeed, Yosef said that much, when he sent his brothers back home to bring their father. Rashi, anticipating this question, answers that Yehudah was sent to start a place of study, where the teachings of Torah would be taught. Before bringing the nucleus of the Jewish people into Egypt it was crucial that they should have a place where they could imbibe the teachings of Torah that were revealed to the Patriarchs and their children, even before the Torah was formally given at Mount Sinai.

The question, however, remains: Why did he send Yehudah, specifically, to establish this Torah academy? In Jewish classical sources, the tribe of Yisachar is credited with being the greatest source of Torah

knowledge. Even the most arcane subject as the determination of the New Moon was their specialty. Presumably, the tribe of Yisachar inherited this trait from their ancestor Yisachar. Why then didnt Yaacov send him instead of Yehudah? Other classical sources indicate that only the Levites remained faithful to the teachings of the Torah throughout the 210 years of Egyptian exile and bondage, and they were the ones who actually maintained the Yeshiva in Goshen established by Yehudah. Why then didnt Yaacov send Levi to establish the academy? What advantage did Yehudah have over all the other sons of Yaacov? The question is even more pronounced when we consider the role of Yehudah as the progenitor of royalty. Yehuda was the ancestor of King David and of a long line of kings and leaders that occupied leadership positions throughout Jewish history to this very day. And, indeed, one of Moshiachsthe ultimate leader and kingqualifications is that he descend from the Davidic line that traces itself back to Yehudah. Royalty and scholarship, while not mutually exclusive, do not necessarily complement each other. Why then the emphasis on Yehudah, the leader, being the one to establish a center of Torah



To answer this question we have to explore the various facets of Torah study, for Torah study possesses many qualities and objectives. First, Torah is our guide. The very word Torah means instruction because it instructs us how to live our daily lives in accordance with the Divine Plan for the world. Second, Torah is also Divine Wisdom. Even if there would be no direct lesson to be derived from a particular Torah thought, there is intrinsic value to studying that part of Torah. It is true that if one studies Torah as a mere intellectual or academic exercise and does not follow its dictates, his is a seriously flawed Torah study. It can be compared to the person who studies the ill effects of smoking while refusing to stop smoking, or the expert in the laws of theft who proceeds to steal. Nevertheless, Torah study, in and of itself, is an intrinsically positive and holy endeavor because it is Divine Wisdom that is absorbed into our consciousness, making us more Divine. If it fails to guide us in our lives, it is a sign that we approached Torah not as a

Issue 861


PaRsHa tHouGHt
Divine discipline, but as a mental exercise or a cultural experience. Torah, the Midrash refers to it as its royal component. The royal component of Torah is based on the verse in Proverbs (8:15): By me kings reign Torah confers royalty on those who master it, because Torah is the very source of royalty. Just as the king dictates and controls, so too, does the Torah dictate and control the way our universe exists. Torah, the Jerusalem Talmud declares, actually controls nature. When G-d created, and continues to create, the worldHe did/does so by looking into the Torah. In the words of the Zohar: He looked into the Torah and created the world Similarly, the Zohar continues, man studies the Torah and sustains the world. The Midrash describes this dynamic of Torah as the blueprint of creation. to establish a center of Torah in Egypt, rather than his other sons. It was not necessarily due to Yehudahs superior knowledge of Torah. Rather, it was due to Yehudahs status as a leader, a monarch. Yehudahs position as the symbol of royalty empowered him to elicit the royal dimension of Torah, Torahs capacity to control the natural world. As the nucleus of the Jewish nation was about to enter into Egyptian exilethe forerunner of subsequent exiles, including the one we are init was crucial that they be equipped with the power to be in control of exile conditions. If not, the exile would crush them and extinguish the hope for them to ever be liberated. To be sure, Torah was needed as a guide for them just as it has been for Jews throughout our history. It is also true that they needed Torah as a way of introducing G-dly knowledge into their minds. And those objectives would have been well servedor perhaps even better servedby Yisachar and Levi, whose tribes boasted the greatest Torah scholars and the most G-dly people. However, as they were about to enter into the state of exile, they needed a leader and teacher who personified the ideal of kingship to empower the student of Torah to be in control of nature.


There is yet another dimension to Torah study that expresses a unique and powerful feature of Torah, which is not evident in the other two dimensions: When we look at Torah from the vantage point of it being a Divine source of guidance, it presupposes that the world precedes the laws that govern our behavior. For example, if we deal with the laws of not kindling a fire on Shabbos, we presuppose that fire exists. If there were no fire in existence, we couldnt be told not to light a fire of Shabbos. Or, if there were no commerce, we could not relate to the Torahs laws of commerce. Even when we approach Torah as a transcendent Divine body of wisdom that preceded creation, one can get the impression that there are two distinct realities: the Higher reality of Torah and the lower reality of our physical existence. We can compartmentalize. When we study Torah, we are in G-ds domain and when we are in business, we are in a human and material world. However, the third dimension of Torah is that it is the very power and essence of our existence. Torah is the life force of the entire cosmos. And although Torah in its pristine spiritual state transcends the universe, G-d has unleashed the power of Torah to create and control all that exists. Torah in this context is not just a way of, and response to, life situations; it is the very source and essence of life. Regarding this aspect of

Of what significance is it to know that Torah is the blueprint of creation and that Torah has the power to affect the natural order of the world? One important lesson is that any contradiction we find between Torah and our lives is not real. How can the world conflict with its very source of existence? And any appearance of a conflict is a mirage. Torah is what dictates reality. However, G-d also allowed for reality to become clouded and eclipsed to the point where humans may perceive the reality of Torah as relegated to the realm of fantasy, and the fantasy of our galus/exile existence is viewed as reality.


Throughout Jewish history, the two roles of the monarch and the eminent Torah Sage were vested in two different people. The king or leader was not necessarily the greatest Torah Sage and, conversely, the greatest Torah Sage was not necessarily someone who yielded great power. Two notable


We can now understand why Yaacov sent Yehudah, specifically,

32 8 Tevet 5773

exceptions were Moses and Joshua, who were both kings and the preeminent Torah teachers of their generations and of generations to follow. The reason for these two exceptions is that Moses and Joshuas role was not restricted to teaching the people Torah to help guide them. They were also charged with the responsibility to instill in the people the power of mastery over their lives and their environmentthe royal dimension of Torah. Moses was the leader whose function it was to liberate the Jewish nation, and Joshua was the one who would lead them into the conquest of the Land of Israel, the land which exemplifies complete Torah mastery over the mundane. These two leaders, therefore, had to possess the regal power of Torah, not just

Torah confers royalty on those who master it, because Torah is the very source of royalty. Just as the king dictates and controls, so too, does the Torah dictate and control the way our universe exists.
complete mastery over nature. As Moses before him, Moshiach is the ultimate monarch and Torah personality. It isnt just that he is multi-talentedbeing a leader and a scholar; his knowledge of Torah is intertwined and permeated with the trait of MOSHIACH: THE ULTIMATE royalty. Moshiachs Torah has the Express service Express service to inspire and endow us capacity LEADER FullyComputerized Computerized Fully with the royal dimension of Torah The Jewish belief in Moshiach that will reveal the true nature of 331 Kingston 331 Kingston Ave. and Redemption is that Moshiach realitya world that conforms to Ave. nd nd Flr) In the will usher in the Messianic the dictates of the(2 (2 Flr) Brooklyn NY 11213 Torah.Brooklyn NY 11213 Age. Why does it have to come Messianic Age we will experience through Moshiach? Get your tickets within harmony between the Get your complete minutes! tickets within minutes! One answer is that to end the Torah and the physical (718) 493-4444 Fax: (718) Fax: world. 493-4444 state of exile, once and for all, it requires a force that possesses its spiritual and moral authority. One cannot be freed from slavery and exile without the royal power of Torah. And one can certainly not conquer a land and transform it into the Holy Land without that aspect of Torah.

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Issue 861




R Zalman continues with his big dreams for the yeshiva even in the face of low enrollment and community apathy. * the Rebbe decides in favor of R Zalmans position and assures those involved that positive changes are coming. * From the life of R Yehoshua shneur Zalman serebryanski ah.
Prepared for publication by Avrohom Rainitz


On 13 Kislev 5714, R Zalman wrote a long letter to the Rebbe about the many hardships involved in running a mosad and mainly about the apathy among Anash. Four years had gone by since the yeshiva in Shepparton had been founded and it still had not managed to get on its feet. During the summer, nearly twenty talmidim learned there, but the rest of the year there were barely ten. Naturally, this made Anash feel dispirited. The plight of the Lubavitch yeshiva stood out even more in light of the great success of other communities. During these four years, the Hungarian community, which consisted of 100 families, managed to build a mikva, organize a shchitakashrus system, found a Talmud Torah, and had even brought a

rav who had opened a school and a yeshiva. The rav they had brought left, but they immediately brought another rav. They had no need to send their children to the Lubavitch yeshiva. The Mizrachi community, which numbered 500 families and was the largest Jewish community in Melbourne, sent their children to Mt. Scopus. This school, despite being founded by the committee of the Jewish community which was comprised of representatives from all parties, was run in the spirit of Mizrachi. This was because the principal was R Avrohom Feiglin, who identified with the Mizrachi movement. Since the Lubavitch community numbered only six families, they had little chance of founding mosdos on their own. They had to receive help from members of other communities.

In the early years, there were many askanim from outside the Chabad community who were willing to help the yeshiva, for they understood its importance. However, once the other communities built schools, those askanims feeling for the Chabad yeshiva waned. R Zalman, who was in charge of money matters, sensed the coldness on the part of the askanim, even those who were members of the yeshivas committee. They did not say they would stop helping, but they did not help much. Their apathy was particularly felt when he spoke to them about the major expense of buying a building for the yeshiva. R Zalmans dream was to buy a large, equipped building, hire good teachers for secular studies, and open an elementary school that held itself to high standard which would then attract talmidim to learn in the yeshiva. When he discussed these plans with the committee they were openly skeptical, and when he began talking to them about the money that was needed, they told him they did not believe his plans stood a chance and they were not willing to invest their money in such a risky venture. They said a small building should be bought, without going

34 8 Teives 5773

into debt, and when student enrollment warranted it they could move to a new building. The Feiglin family also supported this approach. They told R Zalman that since in the previous four years, the yeshiva did not have more than twenty students, if he bought a big building, the Jews of Melbourne would look at it askance and nobody would be willing to continue supporting an entity that wasted public funds. R Zalman wrote all this to the Rebbe and concluded that maybe the others were right. R Moshe Zalman Feiglin was also feeling down over the state of the yeshiva, and when R Zalman asked him to redouble his efforts for the yeshiva, R Moshe Zalman said that if the Rebbe said they should buy a big building, he would defer to the Rebbe. So R Zalman asked the Rebbe to tell them what to do.

But all of Anash here are preoccupied with parnasa and everyone is brokenhearted over his material and spiritual state. If we considered that, then there would be no hope, G-d forbid; on the contrary, we need to strengthen ourselves even more with establishing times for Torah and farbrengens.
In this same letter, the Rebbe expressed his surprise about not receiving a report about the Yud-Tes Kislev farbrengen in Melbourne. Upon receiving this letter, R Zalman responded in a letter dated Rosh Chodesh Shevat in which he expressed his view that the most suitable among Anash to hold the position of mashpia and to be in charge of arranging farbrengens was R Betzalel Wilschansky, because he is the elder and he saw a lot, and because of his inner character. As proof to his assertion that R Betzalel could farbreng, R Zalman wrote that when they received a telegram from the Rebbe about holding a proper farbrengen, R Betzalel farbrenged on Rosh Chodesh Teves and it was a special Chassidishe farbrengen. R Zalman went on to say that it was possible that R Betzalel would claim that making a livelihood and his poor health did not enable him to farbreng, but all of Anash here are preoccupied with parnasa and everyone is brokenhearted over his material and spiritual state. If we considered that, then there would be no hope, G-d forbid; on the contrary, we need to strengthen ourselves even more with establishing times for Torah and farbrengens. R Zalman concluded his letter with a description of Chassidic life in the tiny community in Melbourne of those days: As of now, R Betzalel, his sonin-law R Dovid [Perlov], his son R Chaim Dovber, R Abba [Pliskin], and R Nachum Zalman [Gurewitz] and I live in close proximity, and every Shabbos we learn Chassidus before davening. On Shabbos Mevarchim we gather to recite Thillim and daven in a special minyan, followed by a Kiddush and farbrengen. R Betzalel has begun farbrenging with us, and on Shabbos Mevarchim Shevat we spoke about learning regularly on Thursday nights too.


Ten days after R Zalman sent the letter about the future of the yeshiva, the Rebbe sent a letter to R Asher Abramson of Sydney in which he urged him again to work on behalf of the yeshiva in Melbourne with all your abilities and beyond your abilities. In his letter, the Rebbe informed R Abramson that in the near future there would be favorable changes for the yeshiva, which is why they needed to muster all forces on its behalf.


R Zalman reacted to the Rebbes instruction to purchase a large building with great joy. He had always maintained that if there are no kids, there will be no older goats, and that the only road to success for the yeshiva would be if they opened an elementary school in a stateof-the-art building. The Rebbes brachos that he showered upon them also boosted R Zalmans morale. However, faith in the Rebbes brachos was one thing; the dismal financial situation was another thing. The yeshiva coffers did not contain enough money to buy a large building and some of the members of the vaad, who were not Lubavitchers, were not convinced by the Rebbes letter and did not agree to fork over large sums of money.


The Rebbe sent a letter to R Zalman three weeks later. It said he should go lchatchilla aribber and buy a big building and concluded with wonderful brachos.

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In a letter that R Zalman sent the Rebbe on Rosh Chodesh Shevat, he reported that he had consulted with R Betzalel and asked him to explain the Rebbes letter, especially the point where it said I am convinced that if you just make the effort in the right way, you will surely have success in this too. R Betzalel said, wrote R Zalman, that in his opinion, the meaning is to make every possible effort. However, he continued, we did all that we can and we continue to do so now too, i.e. we spoke with askanim and asked for their help. I wrote to R Abramson asking him to come and discuss an appeal, and as of now, we have accomplished nothing. R Abramson has slackened, and although he promised to come, he said not at this time. The askanim here lack the feeling and resoluteness to properly arrange a yeshiva. In this situation, being in a cut off land, far from the Rebbe, without a [Chassidic] environment and with nothing to pride ourselves on as far as our inner kochos, we have only the desire to work with utter devotion to the cause, and the Rebbe does not send us someone capable from the US to arrange things, not even for a designated time, we must have Hashem help us with outstanding success. For then surely, all will be as it should be: Anash will unite to work as needed without considering personal situations, R Abramson and R Sholom will also be inspired to devote themselves to the cause, and we would have help from the rest of our Jewish brethren, and then our efforts would bear fruits, with Hashems help. The style and tone of my letter may not be appropriate and I beg forgiveness if I have written improperly, but since matters are so complicated, so that there is no beginning or end because every corner is lacking and requires fixing and there is no one to properly help out not materially and not spiritually it has become exceedingly constricting, so constricting that I cannot even write about any detail in particular. I only hope that this matter that pertains to the Rebbe will surely, with Hashems help, ultimately succeed, and Hashem will have mercy and help us so that from the beginning of the month of Shevat, the month of the hilula, success will shine its face upon us in general and on the askanus for the yeshiva in particular. May Hashem have mercy to reveal His Divine Providence so the yeshiva will grow and increase with good talmidim and the Name of Heaven will be sanctified. and the need to open a yeshiva. Although he had no prior acquaintance with Chabad Chassidim, he made nice donations towards the yeshivas expenses. R Zalman, who wanted to get him more involved in the yeshiva, invited him to one of the meetings of the vaad and even suggested that he become a member of the yeshiva vaad. Mr. Gutwirth declined, preferring to remain an outside donor. In the winter of 5714, Mr. Gutwirth told R Zalman that he was going to New York. He planned on having yechidus with the Rebbe and would give regards from Anash in Melbourne. In those days, this was no small matter for the Rebbe to receive regards from his Chassidim in distant Melbourne, and Anash wanted to farbreng with him before he left. However, since they found out about his trip right before he left, they did not have a chance to meet with him. R Zalman wrote to the Rebbe on behalf of Anash that they wished to send greetings with Mr. Gutwirth. R Zalman wanted to take the opportunity of the upcoming yechidus, and in a letter that he sent the Rebbe on Rosh Chodesh Teves he wrote briefly about Mr. Gutwirth and concluded, If he would understand the necessity of a mosad like this in this country and would take an interest and become closely involved in our work, this would definitely, with Hashems help, be a great benefit to the yeshiva. For our main difficulty is only regarding this that there is no one who feels the lowliness of the state of chinuch in Australia. They are satisfied with this terrible situation, and consequently we have no support. If we had, at


Over the years, R Zalman developed special ties with certain distinguished members of the Melbourne Jewish community who donated considerable sums to the yeshiva. One of them was Mr. Gutwirth, a big diamond merchant who was the grandson of the renowned Talmudic scholar Gutwirth from Antwerp. His grandfather corresponded with the Rogatchover Gaon, and in a yechidus that R Zalman had with the Rebbe, the Rebbe asked him about the family connection with this gaon. Since Mr. Gutwirth came from a family where Torah study was a supreme value, he understood the importance of

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the very least, three distinguished balabatim who were devoted to establishing a complete mosad chinuch like our yeshiva, it would all become much easier, with Hashems help. When Mr. Gutwirth returned from the Rebbe, he brought regards to Anash. He also brought twenty dollars from the Rebbe, as participation in the next Chassidishe farbrengen. *** Another friend of the yeshiva was Mr. Aryeh Neuman. He was a wealthy askan, a member of the Adas Yisroel community of

Hungarians, yet a loyal friend of the Chabad Chassidim. R Zalman connected him with the Rebbe too, and guided him in writing to the Rebbe about his business matters and asking for a bracha. In R Zalmans letter to the Rebbe on 26 Adar I 5714, he mentioned Mr. Aryeh Neumans great qualities, how he helped them buy a building for the yeshiva. Likewise, R Zalman reported that when he heard that every year Chabad Chassidim in Melbourne sent money to support the elder Chassidim (In those days it was R Yisroel Noach

Blinitzky and R Shmaryahu Sossonkin. After their passing the Chassidim continued supporting their children, R Aharon Yosef Blinitzky and R Asher Sossonkin), Mr. Neuman joined this important mitzva and made a big donation towards this cause. Over time, Mr. Neuman helped tremendously in buying the new building as will be described. In 5716, Mr. Neuman and his wife were killed in an aviation accident. They were survived by an only daughter who lives in London.

Continued from page 25 diagnosis. However, he also mentioned other possibilities regarding the operation. He debated whether he should only remove the fingers upper joint and hope that the remaining joints would heal properly, or if he should just amputate the entire finger to avoid any further complications that could possibly develop later, requiring additional surgery. Each finger has three joints, and the gangrene was situated between the upper and middle joints. Any doctor would say that the preferred course would be amputating the entire finger, thereby removing all the gangrene with far greater certainty. However, for some reason, he didnt approve of this option. He eventually decided to take the risk, and he ordered the removal of the fingers upper joint only. No other doctor would take such a chance, Dr.

Agassi explained. He simply would have amputated the entire finger. The operation took place at Assaf HaRofe Hospital in Tzrifin, near Kfar Chabad, and Dr. Agassi himself was the surgeon. After I had recovered from the operation, the doctor entered my room and asked me if I was feeling any pain. I told him that I wasnt. What happened afterwards I dont remember, but my mother reminded me about it this past Shabbos, and I decided to tell this story as a result. The doctor asked me to take my right palm and strike it on the table. After I did as he requested, he asked me if I had felt any pain. I again told him that I hadnt. He looked at me and my parents totally stunned and elated, and then he said: Look, Im not a religious Jew, but what happened here is an absolute miracle, something that totally contradicts all medical

principles. I dont know what great merits you have, but theres always a lot of intense discomfort after such an operation, the type that can only be relieved through taking painkillers... In the end, the risk that the doctor took in amputating only the upper joint of my finger proved to be correct. The differing opinion of our family physician and all prevailing laws of medicine had called for the removal of all three joints the entire finger, said R Sharon as he concluded his story. Thirty years have passed since then. Everything has completely healed, and the missing portion of the finger goes virtually unnoticed. I dont even want to think what would have happened if my parents hadnt received the Rebbes advice to consult with a doctor acquaintance...

Issue 861


sHLeiMus HaaRetZ

Translation by Rabbi Binyomin Schlanger

On the verse which states And the Children of Israel travelled from the wells of the sons of Yaakov to Moser, Rashi comments that after the great victory of the Jewish People over the King of Arad, beset suddenly with fear of further war, they retreated eight journeys. This is difficult to comprehend. Why were they in shock and why did they flee? The answer is that they were convinced by their evil inclination, a master craftsman concealing his intent in supposedly G-d-fearing words: Certainly you conquered the King of Arad, but there is reason to fear further warfare. You may well be conquered because you must not rely on miracles. This was precisely repeated after the Sinai War (1956). Israel, in trepidation of Egypt, felt they must submit to Egypts demands. Israel forces retreated in return for assurances of peace and rights to free access through the Suez Canal. President Nasser of Egypt violated this promise. In exchange for that offering of peace Israels reason for retreat Egypt prepared for war! Once again, shortly before the outbreak of the Six Day War, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran preparing their military for war. Many argued that Israel should not initiate war but find a peaceful solution instead. With G-ds mercy, Israel opened the attack, disregarding world opinion. The entire world saw the miraculous victory. After the Six Day War, the view not to retreat from the territories took precedence. The fact is that whenever Israel took the initiative when faced with war, the number of dead was minimal. On the other hand, in Jerusalem where it was decided NOT to attack, the number killed was much greater. Yet now, regardless of having seen the victory of the Six Day War through no fear of or demonstrations of subservience to the Arabs, for three years now Israel is begging the Arabs to take back the conquered territories! Initially, President Nasser was convinced that Israel was setting a trap, never thinking that Israel would return conquered, natural security borders. But after years of entreaties he began to understand that Israel really does want them to take back the territories. I must expose the truth: They have decided to give away the

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Old City of Jerusalem! In order to sweeten the pill they have presented the recommendation to the President of Egypt that Jerusalem will belong to the Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Even according to those that consider that this is the way to make peace, this textual order is unfathomable: Christians, Muslims and Jews. Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish People not only from a halachic perspective. History documents without contradiction that King David established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. One thousand years later, history saw the arrival of Christians and Arabs. Why in the text of compromise did they end with the word Jews? Where is the limit to the abasement of Jewish pride? And this is not final. They want to relinquish Hebron! It is a shame and disgrace that in Israel there should be a law to which all government ministers put their

signature clearly implying that Jewish People have no right to dwell in Hebron and near the Cave of Machpela. This law was joyfully handed to the City Head of Hebron, whose family members murdered Jews in Hebron in the riots of 1929. Have they murdered and gained the right to inherit? (Spoken at a public gathering Shabbos Parshas Eikev 1970)


It was for the representatives of Israel to present the argument that they are unable to cede the lands of Yehudah and the Shomron (these are of no interest to Egypt). The Torah explicitly forbids this (Do not cede any part of Israel to the nations).

Primarily the territories of Yehuda and the Shomron are border lands, serving to protect Eretz Israel. Had they argued this forcefully they would certainly have succeeded in their quest. Jerusalem stands as a proof. The President of Egypt demanded Jerusalem with the exact fortitude with which he demanded other issues. When he was told in no uncertain terms: NO, he fell into agreement. As they stood their ground on Jerusalem they could have stood with fortitude regarding The West Bank. But since they faltered they were unsuccessful in holding on. This was well known to all those who were in the know of the diplomatic issues at hand, in addition to the information which filtered through from behind closed doors. After this failure some consider that since we have signed, it is as if the territories are given and cannot be retrieved.
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sHLeiMus HaaRetZ

Why in the text of compromise did they end with the word Jews? Where is the limit to the abasement of Jewish pride?
But note: this is not yet a fait accompli. In fact the matter has not even begun. Initially they need to talk through the subject in question down to the finest details. At that stage the decision to regret and annul will become the issue. Of course, this is not a matter of which we can speak publicly. I say with full responsibility: It is forbidden to relinquish any part of the West Bank according to Jewish Law because this is life threatening! The United States needs to see that they have dealings with men who know how to take a powerful stand; a stand of Jewish Law, a Torah stand of the Torah of Truth. The Torah of Life states since this is life-threatening, it is forbidden to open the borders even to the extent of the small finger because this will open up the entire land before them. As was seen previously, when they argued forcefully, their demands were accepted. This is the view of all the military. They can once again call a meeting and ask them about the situation purely from a military perspective and then come to a conclusion. All the military will state in one unified voice that to cede territories will create a life-threatening situation to all of the Jewish inhabitants of the Holy Land, may it never happen. Therefore it is impossible to concede Yehuda and the Shomron. This argument will be accepted even now: Egypt is not desperate. The West Bank is irrelevant to her. The United States will not permit the parties to leave Camp David without some sort of signature of a breakthrough to peace between Egypt and Israel. When the US will see that in no way will they relinquish Yehuda and Shomron, they will exert their influence that Israel and Egypt sign some statement of peace to prevent war. (As is known there cannot be war without Egypt being involved.) In order for this to take place, in the few hours they are there, they must stand strong and clearly declare the view of the military. They need not say this is written in the Shulchan Aruch, but rather the unified voice of the military.
(From a public farbrengen Motzaei Shabbos 1979)


The government of Israel has created, with its very own hands, the demographic problem by not expelling the Arabs who were warring with us through the Six-Day War, leaving the Arabs in their locations. So let the government not come now and wave (what in truth is their own failure) a demographic problem to explain away why they, as they claim, need to withdraw from the territories and not annex these to the State of Israel. Indeed, I will admit that their (the large Arab population) dwelling in the State can create a great problem, but what is the better alternative? Is it better

that that this area becomes an independent Palestinian state or a Jordanian state in which there are one and a half million Arabs within shooting distance who will war with every town and village in the Land? Is it not better that those very same million Arabs would be subject to controlled supervision of the State within her borders, even with all the problems to which this gives rise? It is shameful that those representatives of Israel are totally afraid to mention in their political dealings that our right to the Land comes from G-ds Promise. Note that we see many young Arabs who are not ashamed of their faith. When they demand what they consider are their rights to the Land, they bring religious reasoning. They express themselves therewith that they will not compromise the holy lands. Only in our circles are there those who are ashamed. You have already tried all the formulas (expressions for Israels rights to the Land) and have seen the (tragic) results. And nevertheless you are afraid to try the most effective way (of international persuasion).
(From an interview with Mr. Shmuel Katz, 1978) Dear Reader, Please take a few moments to copy, paste, and email this sicha to 10 friends, asking your friends in turn to email the same to 10 further friends, ad infinitum. Thereby you will be taking a strong and active part in the Rebbes battle to protect the lives of millions of Jewish people whose lives are so endangered. This is, as the Rambam writes, Milchemes Hashem, and we will see it through to the final Nitzachon! Please go to http:// beismoshiachmagazine.org/true-peace/ where you will find the current sicha.

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By Rabbi Yisroel Harpaz

he power of electricity is one of the most mysterious, hidden forces of nature. We cant fully explain where it comes from, but we are undoubtedly aware of its power. We cannot perceive it with any of our five senses, but we know it exists through its causation and effects. Electricity as we know it today was first documented by the Italian physician and physicist Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) in 1771, when he concluded that electrical currents caused muscles to contract. The power of electricity was first harnessed by the voltaic cell, essentially the worlds first battery, invented by Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) in 1800. Galvani discovered the quality of electric energy to galvanize. Volta developed the ability to capture the energy for practical use as volts. In one of the more mindboggling coincidences of history, during the same period a different type of electric storm was brewing in Eastern Europe: The discovery and development of Chassidic thought (a.k.a., Jewish mysticism), the hidden inner dimension of the Torah. Chassidic thought was first unveiled by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760). These profoundly spiritual teachings

On both scientific and spiritual frontiers, the subsequent advances created a new reality, and the world would never be the same.

were later harnessed into a comprehensive and methodical philosophical system by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (the Alter Rebbe, who was born in 1745 the same year as Volta). In 1798, the Alter Rebbe was imprisoned and accused of treason, both earthly and heavenly. He was eventually exonerated and released on the 19th of Kislev. The period that followed the Alter Rebbes release coinciding with development of the voltaic cell and the first commercial and industrial applications of electricity that made it a ubiquitous part of modern life also marked an explosive new era in the revelation and dissemination of Chassidic teachings. On both scientific and spiritual frontiers, the subsequent advances created a new reality, and the world would never be the same. But beyond the curious historical confluence of events, the substances of these two advances also bear a striking

similarity. Electricity, despite being a powerful force, remains hidden. Yes despite being hidden, it is the force that most effectively illuminates the darkness, not to mention powering the myriads of technological wonders that contribute to the advanced standard of living we currently enjoy. Chassidic thought operates under the very same principles. It is hidden, concealed beneath the veneer of the revealed dimension of Torah, dealing with subjects so elusive and abstract that no other school of thought dares approach them. Yet, at the same time, it is this hidden, mystical wisdom and the way of life it engenders the way it illuminates what the world is really all about and empowers the individual to seize the opportunity to be part of that purpose that enable us to overcome the dullness of material life and infuse physical existence with meaning.
Reprinted with permission from Exodus Magazine

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