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3 Dvar Malchus
5 Parsha Thought
27 News Item
34 Tzivos Hashem


Chaim Bruk

Nosson Avraham


Zalman Tzorfati

22 THE
Y Sofer


28 YOU
Menachem Ziegelboim

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M.M. Hendel
Rabbi S.Y. Chazan

Boruch Merkur

2014-12-23 8:20:08 AM


Beis Moshiach presents the maamer the
Rebbe MHM delivered on Yud Shvat 5715,
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 fifth 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 Rabba
(in its place) comments: To My garden to My
bridal chamber, to the place where My essence was
[revealed] in the first days of Creation, for the
Ikar Shchina (the essence of the Divine Presence)
was manifest then in the lower realms [in the
physical world itself]. But with the sin of the Tree
of Knowledge, which gave rise to subsequent sins,
a fundamental change took place: the Shchina
departed from the earth to the heavens.
Afterwards, when righteous people arose, they
drew down the Shchina from the heavens to the
earth through their service of G-d. This process
reached its pinnacle with Moshe Rabbeinu, [the
leader of] the seventh [generation from Avrohom
Avinu], and [as our Sages teach] all sevenths are
beloved. Moshe Rabbeinus epic accomplishment
is that he succeeded in [completing the entire
process] drawing the Shchina back down from
the first firmament of the heavens to the earth.
Similarly with regard to the Divine service of the
other tzaddikim: through their avoda, they draw
down G-dliness at the level of shochen ad marom
vkadosh, bringing the Divine presence to dwell in
the lower realms.
This G-dly revelation is achieved through the
Divine service of iskafia sitra achra, rejecting

evil, for when evil is shunned, the glory of the

Alm-ghty is manifest (istalek). Here the meaning
of istalek is that G-dliness is drawn down below
in a revealed way but in a manner described as
istalek a departure, and is manifest in all worlds
equally. Here we are speaking about the revelation
of Ohr HaSovev Kol Almin, a sublime revelation of
G-dliness. On account of its radical transcendence,
it is manifest in all worlds equally.

Now, in general, drawing down the Shchina
into the lower realms occurred primarily in the
Mishkan and the Mikdash, as it is written, Make
for Me a Sanctuary and I shall dwell among them.
[The most prominent service of G-d that took
place in the Sanctuary and the Holy Temple, the
Beis Mikdash, was the offering of sacrifices.] Now,
sacrifices entail two opposite movements: raising up
as well as drawing down [paralleling the dynamic
described above of elevating oneself spiritually, by
rejecting evil, and the resultant revelation from On
High, G-dliness being drawn down into the world].
This twofold motion is alluded to in the Torah
regarding sacrifices: Ishei, a burnt offering, a
pleasant fragrance to G-d. That is, a burnt offering
is an elevation from the earth to the heavens, [whose
spiritual counterpart is] the devotion of ones skills
and talents towards G-dliness, towards a holy end.
Doing so brings about a pleasant fragrance to G-d
a nachas ruach before Me, for I have spoken and

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Dvar Malchus
My will has been done. The nachas elicited from
On High is described as, nachut darga, drawing
down G-dliness from above to below. The same
applies to the avoda of iskafia sitra achra, shunning
evil [elevating ones animalistic tendencies]. As a
result of the avoda of shunning evil, the G-dly light
that shines in all worlds equally is drawn down,
especially to the lower realms.


Of course, in order for there to be [the] avoda
[of rejected evil], there must [first] be the existence
of evil. Evil conceals the truth [of the reality of
G-dliness], which in turn obscures the function of
the G-dly soul. The effect of removing the influence
of the G-dly soul is that it opens up the possibility
for one to err, wrongly perceiving that he maintains
his Judaism even when he transgresses G-ds will.
The forces of evil employ a ruach shtus, a spirit
of folly, to achieve this end. Once a spirit of folly
enters the person, it becomes possible for him to
commit a sin. However, by means of the avoda of
iskafia sitra achra, exerting oneself to reject evil, the
ruach shtus is removed. The result of this effort is
that the evil folly is compelled to act in accordance
with G-ds will, or it is even transformed [into a
force of good].
In the spirit of this confrontation against the
ruach shtus, the Mishkan was made from standing
planks of acacia wood, atzei shittim. Indeed the
word shittim alludes to the transformation of the
ruach shtus [insofar as it shares the same linguistic
In terms of the service of G-d, confronting the
ruach shtus is accomplished by the spiritual avoda
corresponding to offering sacrifices, korbanos.
This avoda is described in the verse, Adam ki
yakriv mikem a person who offers [a sacrifice]
from among you. That is, the main thing is that
the offering of the sacrifice must be mikem from
you, a sacrifice from all aspects of the soul of man,
as the verse continues, From the animals, from the
cattle, and from the sheep [analogous to various
aspects of the soul]. The result of this avoda is
that it brings about I shall dwell among you [the
Divine presence revealed within the Jew].


2. In order to transform shtus dlumas zeh, evil
folly, it is specifically by means of shtus dkdusha,
holy folly. Just as in the realm of evil the term shtus

folly applies to behavior that is foolish, irrational,

below reason, similarly in the realm of holiness there
is an avoda that diverges from what is rational in
that it transcends intellect; this too is called shtus.
Now, the meaning of the word shtus is hetia
a shift or inclination (as Rashi comments on
the verse, Ki sisteh (which is related to the word
shtus) ishto shifting away from the paths
of modesty). Here we see that in the context of
intellect, a shift or departure from reason is called
shtus. Stooping below intellect is evil folly,
whereas rising above intellect is shtus dkdusha,
holy folly. In the realm of holiness, even behavior
that is below intellect, stems from where the concept
exists in the essence of the soul, which transcends
the intellect, literally at the level of sight [which
cannot be disregarded even in the face of logic that
contradicts it; seeing is believing].


A discussion on the relative merit or demerit
of foolish behavior is found in the Gemara: Rebbi
Yehuda bRebbi Ilai would take a branch of myrtle
and dance before the bride [at a wedding]. Rav
Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchock would dance with three
[branches], for he would take three myrtle branches
and dance with them. Rav Zeira said: The old man
is dishonoring us. Rashi comments [on the words
of Rav Zeira] that Rav Shmuel was dishonoring
the Torah through this form of conduct, dancing
with three branches. Indeed, Rav Zeira was among
the leading Amoraim. Nevertheless, from the
perspective of the reason and intellect of holiness,
there is no place for this type of conduct; it is
the opposite of rational behavior. However, the
Gemara goes on to relate how, when Rav Shmuel
passed away, a pillar of fire separated [his burial
site from the others], for there was a pillar of fire
that distinguished Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchok
from the entire nation. Rav Zeira (the same Rav
Zeira) said: The Sages branch (shutei lsabba),
his foolishness (shtusei lsabba), and his approach
(shitasei lsabba) were to his credit. [At a wedding]
he would dance with a myrtle branch, yet the
Gemara states that his foolishness was to his
credit (shtusei lsabba); shtus dkdusha, the folly
of holiness, was to his credit. Indeed, he reached
such a height in this manner of service that a pillar
of fire stood as a sign of his distinction, an actual
revelation of G-dly light [in the physical world].
[To be continued be"H]

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By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg

Jacob has learned that his son
Joseph is alive and well. In fact,
Joseph is thriving as the Viceroy
of Egypt. Jacob experiences a
revival of his spirit and expresses
his strong desire to see Joseph
again before he dies. Jacob, to
whom the Torah refers by his
newly acquired name, Israel,
begins his journey to Egypt.
When he reaches Beer-Sheba,
Israel offers a sacrifice to the G-d
of his father, Isaac.
At that point, G-d speaks to
Israel but addresses him as Jacob:
G-d spoke to Israel in night
visions and He said:
Jacob, Jacob.
And he said, Here I am.
And he said, I am the G-d
G-d of your father, have no fear
in descending to Egypt, for I shall
establish you as a great nation
there. I shall descend with you
to Egypt, and I shall also surely
bring you up

In the verse preceding his
departure for Egypt the Torah
calls him by his original name,
Jacob. No sooner does he begin
the journey than the Torah refers
to him as Israel. However, when
G-d addresses him directly He
refers to him as Jacob. After G-d

appears and reassures him, the

Torah reverts to using his original
name Jacob, even while referring
to his children as the children of
And here two questions arise:
Why does the Torah alternate
from Jacob to Israel? And why
does G-d specifically address our
Patriarch as Jacob?
Furthermore, Rashi explains
that G-ds doubled reference
to Jacob is an expression of
His affection. There is an irony
here. In the very verse in which
G-d goes out of His way to
express love and affection for our
Patriarch, He addresses him as
Jacob, a name which contains the
word heel and connotes his lowly
status, rather than the name
Israel which contains the word
rosh-head and connotes mastery
over G-ds angels and people.
The question thus is: why,
when trying to show affection,
does G-d switch from calling him
Israel to Jacob? Wouldnt it have
expressed greater affection to
address him by the superior and
more pre-eminent name, Israel?

Another question:
Why does G-d repeat Jacobs
name specifically at this point
and in this place? We see G-d

address Abraham by double

name only after he passes the
test of the Akeida, the binding of
Isaac. Before passing that test,
G-d only addresses Abraham
by mentioning his name once.
The reason is self-evident.
When Abraham demonstrates
unflinching fidelity to G-ds will,
G-d responds with a show of
affection. Why then does G-d
repeat Jacobs name to indicate
love and affection precisely at
this moment? Jacob has not
done anything unusual yet. He is
simply traveling to Egypt to see
his son. Why does that warrant
G-ds affection and endearment?
And a fourth question:
reassurancehave no fear of
descending to Egyptit is
clear that Jacob was anxious
about going there. Why then did
this vision of G-ds reassurance
take place in Beer-Sheba, after
he had already embarked on his
journey and not at the outset?
A fifth question:
When Jacob reaches BeerSheba he brings an offering to
the G-d of his father Isaac.
Why is Isaac highlighted in his
offering? Was G-d not also his
own personal G-d? And, if he
wanted to include his father, why
not add his grandfather and state
the G-d of Abraham as well?

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Jacobs trip to see Joseph
is much more than a personal
journey by a grief-stricken father
to see a beloved son before he
passes. As poignant and powerful
a story as this is and it is a
story that can move and melt
the hearts of even the coldest of
individuals, Jacobs journey was
infinitely more. Jacob was at the
nexus between the Land of Israel
and the Diaspora. His successful
empower us to reconnect back
from the Diaspora to the Land of

holiness characteristic of Israel

and the impurity and depravity of

We experience this transition
ourselves every week. When
Shabbos ends we recite Havdala
to acknowledge the separation
between Shabbos and weekdays.
In truth, it goes far beyond a
temporal separation. The goal
of Havdala is to provide us
with a way station, a moment
of repose during the transition
from Shabbos into the weekdays.
Those precious moments connect

The goal of Havdala is to provide us with a way

station, a moment of repose during the transition
from Shabbos into the weekdays. It can be daunting, or
exhilarating, or even both, to experience this point of
balance between the disparate energies.

To be sure, when Jacob left his

home to go to Egypt, his intention
was simply to see his son. The
unification of father and son is
a positive and holy endeavor in
its own right. It would be a time
of healing wounds and restoring
family unity and functionality.
However, as he approached
the southern border of Israel and
was on the verge of entering into
the Diaspora stage of his life,
Jacob was overcome with a sense
of foreboding. He realized that his
trip was of epic proportion. This
journey was going to connect him
with the future and the future
with him. This journey was the
linchpin between the Land of
Israelthe epitome of Holiness
to the Land of Egypt, the nadir
of depravity. Realization of the
daunting nature of his journey hit
him precisely when he was at the
border, alternating between the

Shabbos to the weekdays. It can

be daunting, or exhilarating, or
even both, to experience this
point of balance between the
disparate energies.
It is for this reason that
many people have the custom of
reciting a hymn after Havdala
with the refrain Do not fear,
my servant Jacob. This echoes
G-ds comforting words to Jacob
in our parsha this week except
that the hymns Jacob refers to
the weekday life of the Jew.
This explains why the Torah
alternates between the names
Jacob and Israel; these two
names express the two foregoing
states of mind, of Israel and the

Jacob, upon realizing the
enormity of the moment and

the daunting prospects of this

trip, offers a sacrifice specifically
to the G-d of his father Isaac.
Unlike Abraham and Jacob,
Isaac was never allowed to
leave the Land of Israel. He was
designated as a sacrifice and
could never be allowed to leave
the Lands holy domain. Jacob,
thus, appealed to G-d in Isaacs
name as one who is vested in the
Land of Israel, where there is no
compromising of its integrity, and
no adulteration of its sanctity.
Making an offering to the
G-d of Isaac was Jacobs way
of entreating Him to allow him
to not lose the sanctity of Israel
when he crosses the border into
the land of depravity.
G-d senses Jacobs conflict,
distress and anxiety, and so
addresses him by repeating his
name in a sign of affection.
however, what did Jacob/
Israel do to deserve the unusual
outpouring of G-dly affection?
The answer is that Jacob
wanted nothing less than the
preservation of the holiest, which
was more than enough to make
him deserve G-ds approval and
Moreover, the repetition of
Jacobs name signaled more
than just affection; it was a form
of empowerment. A double
expression, the Midrash teaches
us, is a sign of Redemption. It
conveys a message that G-d
is giving us a double measure
of power to enable us to break
through all the boundaries that
keep us confined.
We can now also understand
why He refers to him by the name
Jacob. G-d shows him that His
love will not diminish even when
Jacob has entered the Diaspora;
Jacob is his name in Galus, which
he is about to enter. On the
contrary, G-ds love, protection

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and empowerment will increase

precisely because he is a Jacob,
in exile.

We can now also understand
why, when Jacob begins his
journey, he is called Israel. At the
outset, Jacob did not recognize
his journey as a transition
between the holy and the profane.
To him, it was a joyful reunion of
father and son and the unification
of his family, with all that it
entailed. His mindset was an
Israel one. He was not troubled
by the prospect of entering Egypt
because it was not the right time
for him to meet that challenge. A
spiritual person deals with each
challenge at the appropriate time.
He or she does not go into crisis
mode until it becomes necessary.
However, once he was about
to cross the border he had to deal
with this new challenge.

G-d expressly told Jacob: I shall descend with

you to Egypt, and I shall also surely bring you
up. G-d has the same uplifting message for us.

We also live in a period of
profound transition. Only it is
the reverse of Jacobs transition,
moving us from Galus to
Redemption. But despite the
difference in direction between
these two transitions, they are
both periods of great anxiety.
And just as G-d gave Jacob the
physical and spiritual strength to
make his transition into Galus,
so too does He give us the
strength to make the transition
back home. G-d expressly told
Jacob: I shall descend with you
to Egypt, and I shall also surely
bring you up. G-d has the same

Continued from page 13


Uzi, someone who had visited
many Chabad Houses around the
world, always knew he could write to
the Rebbe and receive his blessing.
He also always knew that the day
would come when he would do it
himself. This happened when he
visited 770 for the first time. He
immediately felt at home, a feeling he
felt nowhere else, and so he decided
that here, finally, he would write to
the Rebbe.
He sat down to write a long letter
without sharing his thoughts and
what he was writing with anyone. He
put the letter into a volume of Igros
Kodesh. When he opened it, he saw

uplifting message for us.

Just as we get the power to
make the successful move from
Shabbos to the weekdays from
our practices at the conclusion
of Shabbos-Motzaei Shabbos, so
too does our experience of that
time strengthen and prepare us
to make the final move from exile
into the state of Redemption.
This includes reciting Havdala
and partaking of the Saturday
night repast known as the
Melaveh Malka-escorting the
Shabbos queen. It is also known
as the feast of King David, the
King Moshiach because of its
relationship with the days of
Moshiach. May those days be
truly imminent!

three letters which dealt with three

different problems. He was stunned
when he saw that each letter had an
answer to one of the questions that
he asked. He walked around 770 half
the day, in turmoil, telling everyone
he saw what happened.

We will end with the content
of the new brochure that invites
everyone who has a mekurav who
wants to visit 770 to contact the
address of the new Chabad House of
You meet people going to New
York on business, to visit family, or
just to vacation and you convince
them to visit 770. But you find
yourself at a loss about whom they

should contact. Who will find them

a place to sleep and eat? Who will
arrange chavrusos for them to learn
with and who will help them find
their place in the Rebbes home?
Mivtzaistim: Now theres an answer!
Beis Chabad 770 is the answer,
bgashmius and bruchnius, for your
individuals or groups, Shabbos meals
with families of Anash, places to stay
on weekdays.
Chavrusos to learn at all hours of
the day, a tour of 770, farbrengens.
For groups a video that shows
special moments with the Rebbe.
Contact: chabadof770@gmail.
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A new Chabad House. Where? In Chabad World
Headquarters, 770. The numerous visitors have
justified the founding of an organization just for
them, which arranges tours and visits for the
mekuravim who go to 770.
By Chaim Bruk

he bachurim who learn

Tmimim 770 are already
used to it. Many Jews,
from all walks of life, walk in to visit
770, cast a longing glance toward
the Rebbes bima or fervently kiss
the paroches on the Aron Kodesh.
This phenomenon becomes
more prevalent during the
summer when, all over the zal,
you can see serious Litvishe
men, excitable Jews from
and mekuravim who recently
spent time in a Chabad House
somewhere in the world. You
can watch them walk in, looking
curious, wanting explanations
about the place, and interested in
the Besuras HaGeula.
The Rebbe refers to this

in his kuntres Beis Rabbeinu

ShBBavel (Sif 8):
The avoda of hafatza of
Torah and Judaism and the
wellsprings out of Beis Rabbeinu
(770) continues to grow even
after (the last ten years of)
his [the Rebbe Rayatzs] life
in this world, more than forty
years (5710-5750), in a way
of Hashem gave you a heart to
know and eyes to see and ears to
Beis Rabbeinu (770) is that
aspect of talpiyos, the mound
(tal) that all mouths (piyos) turn
to, for more than fifty years
(5700-5750), ad olam. This is
emphasized even more when we
see an increasing number of Jews
coming to Beis Rabbeinu, brov
am hadras melech.

The dynamic Yosef Yitzchok
Tanis, who does a lot of outreach,
explained the impetus for this
Over the years, the bachurim
learning in 770 noticed that many
mekuravim walk in throughout
the day, sometimes more than
the number of people at Chabad
Houses. The bachurim began
offering guests a guided tour
which usually ends by putting on
tfillin and writing to the Rebbe.
phenomenon has doubled and
tripled, there became an urgent
need to found a mini Chabad
House that would professionally
arrange the tours and visits to

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770. It started with setting up

a place on the farbrengen bima
where you can acquire kippos,
brochures, Moshiach products,
Neshek kits and more.
The next stage was to
brochure, printed in several
languages, with information
about 770, starting with the
history of the building, its
structure, the replicas around
the world, and mainly its role in
bringing the Geula.
Lately, the idea of having
a 770 Chabad House gained
impetus and began to take form.
A website was set up on which
anyone can register for a guided
tour of 770. You can also register
for a Shabbos or even weekdays,
if necessary. Now, any shliach

or anyone who meets a mekurav

going to New York can refer him
to a place that will take care of
him during his visit to the Rebbe
in the building that speaks to the
heart of every Jew, Beis Rabbeinu
During the last Kinus
HaShluchim, a nice brochure was
given out in 770 announcing the
new project and inviting everyone
to send his mekuravim to 770,
knowing that they will enjoy a
guided tour, will have chavrusos
with whom to learn a special
booklet appropriate for them,
will participate in Chassidishe
farbrengens, and the gashmius
end of things will also be taken
care of.
The goal is for this to be
welcome news for shluchim and

others, and for the number of

visitors to the Rebbes house to
increase so they will be ready to
greet Moshiach.


The following is a collection
of stories from this past year of
people who visited 770, toured
it with one of the bachurim,
wrote to the Rebbe through the
Igros Kodesh, and received clear
answers to their problems and
queries. The stories were told
by Yosef Yitzchok Nachum who
escorted the mekuravim on their
visit to Beis Chayeinu. Heres
Binyamin was afraid to share
his doubts with anyone, nervous
lest the results of the conversation
not meet his expectations. He
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A group of visitors listening to a talk about the holiness

of 770 and its role in the Geula process

was simply afraid that he would

have to deal with the revelation
that the path he had chosen in
life was wrong. But thoughts
kept plaguing him and he finally
decided to go on vacation to
Binyamin flew to the land
of unlimited opportunity and
somehow arrived at the most
special place in the world. Yes,
one day he found himself at 770.
The sight of dozens of bearded
Chassidim filling the area aroused
his curiosity. He descended the
steps that lead to the basement
and saw that it serves as a
spacious shul. He went inside.
A hand was held out to him
and someone said, Hello, how
are you? He turned to see a
young bachur who made a nice
impression on him. The bachurs
demeanor and warm greeting
won him over immediately and
he accompanied him on a tour of
the building.
He was fascinated by what the
bachur had to say. The bachur
described how the typical red
brick Brooklyn building began
conquering the world for the
Geula. The building which up

for your family and loved ones,

said the bachur. Binyamin was
amenable to that and he sat down
to write.
After finishing his letter he
put it into a volume of Igros
Kodesh. The bachur explained
the significance of proclaiming
Yechi, which they said together,
and then they opened the book.
I dont believe it! Binyamin
exclaimed. He explained to the
bachur, The Rebbe is talking
between science and Torah. In
my job I am involved with science
and since my work raises endless
questions regarding the truth of
Torah, I was afraid to delve into
things. The Rebbe knows whats
on my mind and responded to my


Visitors have their picture taken with

the Aron Kodesh in the background
as a memento of their visit

until a few minutes ago had

looked like just another shul,
took on a completely different
significance. The many topics in
Judaism and Chassidus that came
up, which he was hearing about
for the first time, opened his eyes
and made him feel that his life
could look very different.
Then, towards the end of the
tour, the bachur suggested that
he write a letter to the Rebbe
and present his questions and
requests. Binyamin was taken
aback. He couldnt put his
questions into writing! And what
if the answers wont satisfy me?
No, he hesitated; I cant write my
questions to the Rebbe.
Then at least ask for a bracha

Uri, a young Israeli fellow,

traveled the world a lot and like
many others, had landed in
New York. He got himself an
apartment and began working
at various odd jobs. In the
afternoon-evening he visited
tourist spots and got to know the
One day, he showed up
at 770. Outside, the building
looked like other buildings in the
neighborhood, but the moment
he walked in, he felt he was in
another world. The hundreds of
people surrounding him and the
loud voices of Torah learning
made a deep impression on
him. He walked about aimlessly
among the many talmidim filling
the room and tried to arrange his
Suddenly, a nice fellow, one
of the talmidim, came over to
him. How are you? he asked
with a big smile, and took Uri
on a tour of the building. During
the tour, Uri was excited to hear

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World Epicenter of Holiness







1. Office of the Rebbe, King
2. Office of the Secretariat
3. Small Synagogue
4. Operations rooms or offices
5. The Rebbes prayer platform
6. The Rebbes farbrengen dais
7. Torah-reading platform
8. The balcony from which the
Rebbe encouraged the singing of
Yechi Adoneinu.
9. Coffee corner

that Providence had guided

him to the place where the Ikar
Shchina dwells in galus. The
bachur asked him to write to the
Rebbe. Everyone has questions,
uncertainties or doubts. Write
a letter to the Nasi Hador, the
Rebbe who cares for you and
seeks your welfare just as a father
seeks the welfare of his only son.
Uri agreed and sat down to
write. The bachur then said,
Before you write, its a good idea
to make a vessel for the bracha
and to make a good hachlata in
some area of Torah and mitzvos.
Maybe commit to putting on
tfillin on one day of the week or
to putting up a mezuza.
Uri was happy to acquiesce
and said he would start putting
on tfillin, but he did not have
money for a mezuza. The bachur
unhesitatingly took out a nice
amount of money from his pocket
and said to Uri, Buy a mezuza
with this money.
Uri wrote a letter to the
Rebbe which included his good
hachlata. Then he put his letter

10. Video of the Rebbe

11. Cornerstone laid by the Rebbe
for 770s expansion;
Womens Section: All the area in

The Beginning of Redemption - Right Here!

In its day, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was the primary

locus of G-dly revelation; from there, holiness would
radiate throughout the world.
The Midrash teaches that today - while the Temple no
longer stands - the Divine Presence is in exile with the
Jewish people and can be found wherever we are. Our
sages also explain that the saintly leader, or tzaddik, who
serves as head of each generation encompasses within
himself the souls of every Jew.
770- as it is affectionately known after its address - is
the headquarters of the leader of the Jewish nation. It
has thus become the center of holiness in our time. This
is where the Divine Presence is manifest today, and it is
from here that G-dly influence spreads throughout the
In light of the above, the Rebbe sees this building (which
the Chassidim also call Beis Chayeinu, the source of
our life; where our very life resides) as a central point
from which vitality for the Jewish nation radiates to the
ends of the earth. Our sages said the world stands on
three pillars: Torah study, prayer, and benevolence. The
fact that the building functions as not only a synagogue
but also a study hall and a venue for acts of charity and
benevolence contributes to 770s function in sustaining
the world.

770: A Component of the Future Temple

It is written in the Torah that the Land of Israel is higher
than all other lands. From this perspective, America
is situated in the lower hemisphere - a symbol for
materiality. It was specifically this lowly place that
the Rebbe - and his father in law, the previous Rebbe transformed into a center of sanctity, from which light
and Torah emanate throughout the world. The reason:
when the lowest part of an object is raised up, the entire
object rises with it - in this case, the whole world.
In one of his public talks, the Rebbe spoke about the
unique qualities of 770 and made several amazing points
that shed light on the degree of the buildings holiness:
By the rules of Jewish numerology (gematria, by which
each Hebrew letter has a numerical value), the buildings
address - 770 - is equivalent to the phrase, Beis Moshiach,
Home of Messiah. Referring to the Torah teaching

into a volume of Igros Kodesh,

said Yechi, and when he opened
the volume he was thrilled to see
the answer. The Rebbe wrote
precisely regarding what he had
asked about; it was a bracha for
abundant parnasa. The bachur
read the second letter on the page
along with Uri which was about
the laws of putting up a mezuza.
Uri was surprised yet again when
he had just made the decision to
do exactly that.
Uri was moved. He saw
before his eyes that there is a
leader, that the Rebbe did not
abandon his flock. The personal
letter he had opened to from the
Rebbe left no room for doubts.
The Rebbe knew his thoughts.
Uri left 770 with a photocopy
of the pages and with the feeling
that even in our time, there is
someone who looks out for every
Jew and he will soon come and
redeem the Jewish people from

That is the balcony from

Pages of the brochure

that was printed in
several languages
with information
about 770

where the Rebbe encouraged

the singing of Yechi. The song
which hasnt stopped since began
after the Rebbe explained that
Moshiach was already given the
mission to redeem the Jewish
people and every Jew must
accept his rule and be devoted to
fulfilling his orders. His primary
order for now is to prepare
ourselves and the world to greet
They were an Israeli father
and son who were touring 770
together with Yosef Nachum.
The bachur continued with his
explanations and they moved
toward the end of the room,
intending to go upstairs to the
Rebbes room. When they were
near the stairs, the son asked, Is
there another way to get there?
Why do you ask, wondered
the bachur. Cant you go up the
Its a sad story, said the
father. The son shared the
It happened when I was in
the army. During training, in the

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middle of some physical exertion
I suddenly felt enormous pain. I
visited many doctors and none
of them helped me. I finished
my army service with dozens of
paid leave deferments and then
came here, to America. There is a
doctor here who discovered what
the problem is. I have a slipped
disk and a crack in one of my
empathetically and suggested
that he write to the Rebbe. Father
and son happily sat down to do
so. The son said, The doctors
gave surgery a fairly high chance
of success and we came here to
get the remaining percentages
You should know that my father

bracha, the operation was more

successful than anticipated and
it took much less time than they
expected. I spent some time in
rehab and tomorrow Im going
to 770 to thank the Rebbe for the
The next day, he showed up
in 770 and was happy to meet
the bachur who had helped him.
The young man told Yosef how
much the Rebbes bracha had
encouraged him during his stay
in the hospital and he gave him
back the dollar. Then he said
he wanted to write to the Rebbe
again to thank him.
As they spoke, he showed
Yosef pictures of his terrible
condition before the operation.

After writing the letter, they put it into a volume

of Igros Kodesh and the answer they opened to
was so simple and clear that they were stunned.
is not religious and I am shocked
that he brought me here!
The bachur replied, From
the Rebbe you will get 100%
chances, with Hashems help.
They wrote the letter and
added at the end that as the
vessel for the bracha the son
would put on tfillin at least on
one weekday a week. They put
the letter into a volume of Igros
Kodesh and were thrilled to see
brachos for health on the page
they opened to.
The bachur was so moved
that he took out a dollar that was
received from the Rebbe and gave
it to the son to have with him
during the operation. Then they
exchanged phone numbers and
A few months passed and
one day, the bachurs cell phone
rang. Hello Yosef, Im the one
who wrote to the Rebbe about the
operation With the Rebbes

He said, My father told me that

right after the operation, when I
woke up, I was still in a confused
state, but the first thing I asked
for was to put on tfillin. Here is
a picture of me with tfillin, but
still I have to tell you that I dont
remember it.
They continued talking and
before parting, he wrote to the
Rebbe again and informed him
that he was planning on going to
Eretz Yisroel and he asked for a
bracha. He also committed, as
the bachur suggested, to starting
every day with Modeh Ani. In
the letter that he opened to, the
Rebbe wrote about the great
holiness of Eretz Yisroel and
about proper conduct while being
Later on, the young man sent
a photocopy of the first letter to
the bachur and to the bachurs
amazement he discovered that
in the letter on the second page,

which was in Yiddish, the Rebbe

mentioned about saying Modeh
Ani every day!

His son, whom he loved, was
in a predicament and he could
not help him. All the doctors and
therapists in Beer Sheva, where
he lived, already knew his son
and not one of them had found
a solution to his problem. Since
his birth it was obvious that he
would have to deal with a life that
wasnt easy. He was born with
a certain syndrome. Although
his condition wasnt severe,
endless patience was needed,
as well as a strong will, so that
he could develop properly and
live a functional life. In his city
there were some doctors who
treat problems such as these and
his son was treated properly, but
one aspect remained as it was.
Nobody had been able to help his
son speak clearly and fluently.
He had heard that help was
available and he headed for
Beis Rabbeinu ShBBavel. The
bachur he met in 770 gave him
a tour and explained where the
Rebbe davened, where the Rebbe
farbrenged, where the Rebbes
room is, and so on. Then they sat
down together in a quiet corner
while the bachur explained how
to write to the Rebbe.
When you write to the
Rebbe, remember that you are
writing as a son to a father. Pour
out your feelings and the Rebbe,
as a compassionate father, Rosh
Bnei Yisroel, will bless you with
a happy life from Hashem. Dont
forget to write to the Rebbe that
after our conversation you know
that his role as Nasi Hador is to
take us out of galus and to rule
as Melech HaMoshiach, and
therefore you accept his malchus
and are ready to do as he says.
After writing the letter, they

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Visitors writing to the Rebbe

put it into a volume of Igros

Kodesh and the answer they
opened to was so simple and
clear that they were stunned. The
Rebbe wrote about a boy who
could not speak, that he ought
to pay attention while he spoke;
that if there was a word he could
not say, he should substitute a
different word and not persist in
trying to say that word that he
had a hard time saying.


In the good years, he made a
lot of money and was a chazan
with a career. The special
voice with which he was gifted
transmitted the feelings of his
heart so sweetly that he led many
a Jew to shed tears and to be
inspired to tshuva.
He had no family, no wife,
and no children, and his elderly
parents, who had long since
despaired of seeing their only
son starting a family of his own,
had also passed away. He was
left without any relatives, but

his success in other areas made

him forget his lack of family. He
immersed himself entirely into
the word of chazanus.
But then the wheel turned
and his parnasa began dwindling.
Those who had recently worked
with him turned their backs on
In his hardest moments, a ray
of light came his way. It was while
he was in America auditioning
for a chazanus position, and he
went into 770.
One of the bachurim learning
there saw him and suggested he
write to the Rebbe. He was happy
to do so and said he hoped the
Rebbe would help him.
After putting his letter into
a volume of Igros Kodesh at
random, the bachur read the
letter on that page. The letter said
he had to be involved in chinuch
and that is where his success
would be. The bachur suggested
that perhaps he could teach boys
to be baalei tfilla.
As they were talking, the

bachur noticed that the man he

was talking to was no longer
listening to him and was looking
intently at the second letter on
the page. He stopped him for
a moment and confirmed that
he understood the first letter.
Then he went on to finish
reading the second letter which
said: Regarding your birthday
which falls out on the upcoming
Shabbos and the letter
contained birthday customs.
The bachur asked the man
when his birthday was and the
man said excitedly, the following
Shabbos (23 Sivan, which made
it a double wonder since that was
also the birthday of the bachur!).
The man was quiet for a bit and
then he said, Thank you! Now I
understand that the Rebbe knows
my situation and is giving me
the tools and the possibilities to
deal with things properly, thus
carrying out my shlichus for
which reason I was born.

Continued on page 7
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This amazing story spread like wildfire through Anash communities
throughout Eretz Yisroel and the world. It was an incredible chain of
Divine Providence that strengthens our belief that the shepherd has not
abandoned his flock, and the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach continues to lead
his people with even greater fortitude.
By Nosson Avraham
Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

Gilo neighborhood, looked at the
Rebbes answer and tried in vain
to remember if he had ever seen
such an answer before. He had
kept the letter in a special folder
together with all the other holy
correspondences he had received
over the past twenty-nine years.
This was like a brilliant ray of
light, as he had never written to the
Rebbe about the issue that elicited
such a clear response.
This is how Rabbi Dovber
Farber from Kiryat Shmuel, son
of Rabbi Hirsch Leib Farber, the
Rebbe MHMs shliach in Gilo,
began his thrilling story. The
younger Rabbi Farber shared
his fascinating experience with
us, a few weeks after it started
making the rounds at almost
every farbrengen or Chassidic
gathering in Chabad centers
throughout Eretz Yisroel and the
world at-large.


Rabbi Dovber Farber

While we heard the details of

this amazing story on the day that
it occurred, we honored Rabbi
Farbers request and waited
until after he had fulfilled the
Rebbes instructions as brought
in the letter seek advice with
a practicing rav in his city. After
he had done so, he gave us the
rest of the story.

The story began on Monday

evening, Tes Kislev. The extended
Farber family brothers, sisters,
relatives had gathered to
celebrate the engagement of one
of the brothers. The following
day, Tuesday, Yud Kislev, was
Rabbi Dovbers birthday, and his
father, the shliach, decided for
some reason to give him a most
unique and special gift in honor
of the occasion.
The gift was a letter from
the Rebbe that the family was
privileged to receive when
Rabbi Dovber reached the
age of three. The letter had
arrived on the occasion of the
11th of Kislev 5746. I was very
excited to receive this letter.
You dont get this kind of gift
every day, Rabbi Dovber told
us with an undisguised tone of
elation. I held the letter with

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great excitement and read what

the Rebbe had written. In the
opening lines, the Rebbe brings
the standard text that every
boy receives when he turns
three years old. However, after
the Rebbes signature, there
appeared another line that left me
speechless. I read the line again
and again as I pinched myself to
make sure that my eyes werent
deceiving me.
The Rebbe had added the
following line: Regarding his
question whether he should learn
the art of becoming and working
as a professional Torah scribe
as per the advice of a practicing
rav in his city.
I showed the letter to my
wife, and when she read the last
line, she too was utterly amazed.
Just a few weeks earlier, we
sat together and thought about
how to improve our financial
situation. My work as a private
tutor at the Chabad Talmud
Torah in Kiryat Shmuel left me
a few hours available, and we
considered the possibility of
my learning to become a sofer
and writing tfillin and mezuzos
during this free time. There are
several people who know me well,
and when I asked them about this
suggestion, they strongly advised
me to enter the field.
In the meantime, we hadnt
done anything in this direction.
While we did make some
inquiries regarding where I could
learn the profession, no practical
steps had been taken as of that
moment. Then, several weeks
later, we received a crystal clear
However, this was not the
end of the story. When I showed
the letter to my father, I asked
why I had never heard that he
had thought about leaving his
shlichus in favor of becoming a
Torah scribe or at least working

as a scribe in his spare time.

My father gave me a
perplexed look. He didnt know
what I was talking about. He
had never considered learning to
become a sofer and working in
the field.
But thats exactly what the
Rebbe wrote to you, I replied
as I showed him the letter. My
father studied the letter and then
furrowed his brow in amazement.
He didnt recall ever considering
such a step or writing to
the Rebbe on the subject
regarding himself or anyone
else. Furthermore, he didnt even
remember seeing this mysterious
last line. A few months after the
arrival of this letter, my father
opened the Talmud Torah in
Gilo, which received many
clear answers and messages of
encouragement from the Rebbe.
Thus, any idea of becoming a
Torah scribe was never a viable
For twenty-nine years, my
parents had this letter, yet they
never recalled that the Rebbe had
written them this line.
received the letter, saw the
traditional text in honor of an
upshernish, and placed it in the
special folder together with all the
other correspondences from the
Rebbe. Then, nearly thirty years
later, I, the person regarding
whom this letter had been written
as a boy of three, incredibly found
myself considering whether I
should learn to become a Torah
scribe. Lo and behold, the Rebbe
had already answered me then,
except that the answer had been
waiting for the right moment,
and the Creator of heaven and
earth had arranged for me to
receive it just then.
Naturally, I did as the Rebbe
had instructed. I turned to the
rav of the Chabad community in

the Krayot, Rabbi Yigal Pizem,

and told him the whole story. He
proceeded to give me the name
of someone he knew personally
with whom I should learn how to
write tfillin and mezuzos.

This amazing story spread
like wildfire through Anash
communities throughout Eretz
Yisroel and the world. It was
an incredible chain of Divine
Providence that strengthens

The amazing letter

our belief that the shepherd has

not abandoned his flock, and
the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach
continues to lead his people with
even greater fortitude.
The letter from the Rebbe
had arrived at just the right time.
If my father had decided to give
me the letter as a birthday gift the
year before, its closing line would
have had no special meaning
for me. There can be no doubt
that the letter had waited for
the proper moment, concluded
Rabbi Farber in a voice filled with
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The ATO Center in Eretz HaKodesh, an official
organization established at the Rebbes explicit
instructions, has received numerous expressions
of his unique love and affection. It has brought the
teachings of Chassidus and hiskashrus to the Rebbe
to thousands of yeshiva students from all sectors.
The phenomenon of learning Chassidus within
standard religious and ultra-Orthodox communities
is not new, and its been growing stronger with each
passing year. In a recent interview with the Beis
Moshiach Magazine, ATO founder Rabbi Menachem
Perlstein discusses the Rebbes orders on a change
in course (This didnt work out with my plans), a
difficult start (I would wear out my feet a whole
day and come back with only fifty shekels), the
Rebbes support (The Rebbe bought us the first
vehicle), R Mendel Futerfas dedication (You need
self-sacrifice in spreading the wellsprings), the
expanding activities, and whether its possible to
teach Chassidus without hiskashrus to the Rebbe...
By Zalman Tzorfati
Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

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learning Chassidus in
non-Chabad yeshivos is
nothing new. We find
Chabad rabbanim, prominent
shluchim, and many Anash
members among the fruits
underground Chassidus classes
in various Chassidic, Zionist, and
Litvishe institutions. These efforts
have grown and developed over the
development of various nonprofit
to instill Chassidic teachings
within the entire ultra-Orthodox

community. Dozens of kollelim

for Chassidus study operate
each night throughout Eretz
monthly stipends to hundreds
of avreichim, many outside of
Chabad. Hundreds of regular
classes are given over in yeshivos
with thousands of bachurim, as
they drink from the pure waters
of the Chassidic wellsprings and
discover what their thirsty souls
have long been seeking.

While as we have said, this
is not a new development, there
is no doubt that the turning

point in these activities took

place twenty-six years ago with
the establishment of the ATO
Center in Eretz HaKodesh,
which had produced a flurry of
volunteer activities in an orderly
and organized manner. This
has transformed a welcome,
albeit spontaneous, educational
program into an official Chabad
institution that has received
brachos and rare expressions of
closeness from the Rebbe.
Since its founding, Merkaz
BEretz HaKodesh (its full
name The Yeshivos Students
Association Center in Eretz
Chabad activities among yeshiva

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students and has responsibility
for hundreds of classes and
bachurim from all sectors and
backgrounds. At the head of
this organization stands Rabbi
Menachem Perlstein. His son,
Rabbi Shmuel Perlstein, was
recently appointed directorgeneral, bringing greater renewal
and development on all fronts.
I got involved in this in a
manner totally beyond nature,
says ATO founder and activist
since its inception, Rabbi
Menachem Perlstein. It simply
fell on me through an order
straight from above.
His father, Rabbi Eliezer
Perlstein, of blessed memory,
was a well-known figure in
Yerushalayim. He served as the
director-general of the chief
rabbinate, a man who was closely
connected with the chief rabbis of
Eretz Yisroel. After Menachem
completed his kvutza year in
770, he went back to learn at
the Central Yeshivas Tomchei
Tmimim in Kfar Chabad with
plans to secure a position of
authority in the chief rabbinate.
Rabbi Goren really pressured
me that I should receive training
to become a local rav, recalled
Rabbi Perlstein. He told me
more than once that he wants to
see me as a local rabbi in Eretz
Yisroel. Everyone was pushing
me in this direction.


Menachem Perlstein as a local
rav, but the Rebbe Melech
HaMoshiach wanted him in the
role of a mashpia much more.
During those years, he ran an
operations center in the Kfar
Chabad yeshiva for the study of
Chassidus in other yeshivos on
behalf of ATO (Iggud Talmidei
HaYeshivos). As a senior bachur,

he had been placed in charge of

operations until his marriage,
and Rabbi Efraim Wolff financed
everything necessary to cover the
regular expenses connected with
the yeshivos classes in Chassidus.
In 5747, Rabbi Perlstein returned
from kvutza, and as someone
who had devoted considerable
effort toward this program, he
was given the responsibility of
running the headquarters.
As one of the older students
after kvutza, I administered the
staff in addition to my regular
yeshiva studies, said Rabbi
Perlstein. This continued until I
became a chassan, and according
to prevailing custom, I got
ready to transfer administrative
authority to another bachur
who would assume my position.
I prepared for my vort and
other matters pertaining to my
wedding. Then, R Mendel came
along and stirred things up.
During this time period,
Rabbi Mendel Futerfas, who
served as the mashpia of the Kfar
Chabad yeshiva, customarily
traveled to the Rebbe each year
before Tishrei, returning only
around Chanukah. In the course
of those months, R Mendel
would make a tour of the United
States for the purpose of raising
funds for the Rebbes programs.
Among R Mendels customs
toward the end of this long
journey was to return to 770 and
submit an orderly and detailed
report to the Rebbe on everything
he did and his connection to all
those activities.
In the middle of the vort,
R Mendel approached me and
said that he had written to the
Rebbe about my activities with
ATO and the shiurim held at
the various yeshivos. Rabbi
Chadakov came out and told
me in connection with ATO that
you should continue with this

after the chasuna, establishing it

as a Chabad institution in every
respect, R Mendel informed me.
This didnt work out with
my plans. However, R Mendel
didnt give me a chance to
decide. The vort took place in
the womens section of the Beis
Menachem shul in Kfar Chabad.
He got up and said to me, Just
know, Menachem, you are now
connected to the Rebbe as with a
wedding ring. The Rebbe is very
pleased with you. When I asked
my father what I should do, he
gave me a look of astonishment
and said, If this is coming from
Chadakov, then its an instruction
from the Rebbe. Therefore,
theres nothing to talk about.


With such clear orders, there
was no room for argument. A
few months later, I got married
and immediately set out to work.
In practical terms, the idea
was to establish the activities
of the yeshiva bachurim as a
full-fledged institution in every
respect. We began to expand
the scope of our Chassidus
shiurim, enlisting more yeshiva
bachurim and avreichim from
Anash to give over classes. In
the initial stage, we still benefited
from the budgetary umbrella of
Rabbi Wolff. However, not long
afterwards, R Efraim informed
us that there was no more budget
for our activities, and we now
had to stand on our feet alone.
Rabbi Perlstein soon found
himself having difficulty dealing
with this unfamiliar reality.
From a highly competent young
organizer, he had turned into
a Chabad institution director
who needed to meet budgets
and organize growing sums of
money each month. It was very
difficult for me. I was a young,

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newly married avreich with no

experience in raising such large
funds. Sometimes, I would wear
out my feet a whole day and come
back with only fifty shekels.
The one who eventually came
to young Rabbi Perlsteins rescue
was the person who had brought
him into the world of public
activities R Mendel.
R Mendel was the living
spirit of the ATO Center. The
whole subject of Tanya classes in
yeshivos was deeply embedded in
his soul, and he was the one who
kept urging and encouraging
me. When R Mendel saw how
difficult the fundraising was
for me, he went out evenings
together with me and worked
really hard. By this time, R
Mendel was getting on in years,
yet he spared no effort. Once
we came to a six-story building,
where the donor lived on the fifth
floor and the elevator was out of
order. R Mendel didnt feel well,
and going out that night required
a great deal of energy. As a result,
it didnt seem possible for him
to climb five flights of stairs. I
suggested that I go up to the fifth
floor and tell the donor that R
Mendel is downstairs waiting and
ask him to come down. R Mendel
refused. You need self-sacrifice
in spreading the wellsprings, he
replied, and we slowly climbed
the stairs together.
Rabbi Perlstein sent detailed
reports updating the Rebbe on
the shiurim, their development,
the names of the participants,
progressing in their connection
to Chassidus. The Rebbe replied
with encouraging answers and
rare expressions of joy, proving
his constant interest in the
program and expressing how
important the ATO Center and
its activities were to him. When
R Mendel returned from 770,

A farbrengen at Yeshivas Bnei Akiva

he told me that he had written

about our activities, and Rabbi
Chadakov told him: Miz zeier
tzufriden (very happy about the


Once I wrote to the Rebbe
that we wanted to buy a vehicle.
It would be extremely helpful in
our activities, and I asked for a
bracha, Rabbi Perlstein recalled
with much enthusiasm. Shortly
afterwards, I received a telephone
call from Rabbi Chadakov. We
are taking upon ourselves the
purchase of the car, the secretary
said, and he sent a check for a
very substantial amount. This is
how we bought our first vehicle.
encouragement from the Rebbe,
says Rabbi Perlstein. This also
took expression in the form of
funds actually sent to me by
Rabbi Chadakov. The Rebbe gave
instructions to provide financial
assistance for the Shabbatons
we organized in Kfar Chabad for
yeshiva students. Once we made
a very special Shabbos. It was
especially uplifting, and many of
those participating developed a

close connection to Chassidus

from that Shabbos. The next
day, I sent a detailed letter on
the activities held that Shabbos,
including the names of all the
participants. Not long after I sent
the letter, Rabbi Chadakov called
me and said, The Rebbe asks
how much it cost. I immediately
sent a second report, detailing
all the costs for that Shabbos.
Shortly afterwards, I received a
check from the Rebbe covering
the full amount.
At a certain point, Rabbi
Chadakov instructed me to fill out
a detailed income and expense
report for all special activities
outside of the regular classes
in Chassidus, e.g., seminars,
Shabbatons, etc., and I would
receive monetary reimbursement
for all such events.
The first time that we made
a raffle among those participating
in the shiurim, one of the
bachurim won, Rabbi Perlstein
recalled. This was a truly new
experience. We were all very
excited, and I decided to arrange
airline tickets for the two of us
to travel to the Rebbe. This was
a real achievement. We passed by
the Rebbe together for dollars. I
went through quickly, not daring

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to say anything to the Rebbe.
However, when the bachurs turn
came, the Rebbe smiled broadly
and gave him a lengthy bracha.
For me, this was the Rebbes way
of expressing his satisfaction and
approval for our work.
In general, during that
period, we received brachos and
instructions from the Rebbe every
step of the way. Once I submitted
a report to the Rebbe that many
bachurim from various yeshivos,
who travel to give over classes,
refuse to accept reimbursement
for their travel expenses, paying
instead out of their own pockets.
The Rebbe immediately replied
that I must pay even those who
refuse to accept payment in order
not to give the animal soul the
slightest excuse to interfere in the
came to the ATO Center dealt
specifically with the Tfillin
Campaign. As part of our
activities, we would send out a bus
every Friday filled with bachurim
who went out on mivtzaim
throughout Tel Aviv. With the
passage of time, I started getting
requests from Jews who wanted
us to buy them a pair of tfillin.
While some of them understood
that you have to pay for tfillin,
others expected to get a pair of
tfillin as a gift from Chabad.
I asked the Rebbe if it would be
appropriate to buy tfillin as a
gift for those requesting. The
Rebbes answer was not long in
coming. He rejected the idea of
giving out tfillin for nothing. The
Rebbe suggested selling them at
a substantial discount, but not
to give them for free in order to
preserve the tfillins value in the
eyes of those receiving them.
Towards the end of the
sighed and told me sadly that
someone who apparently knew

about the existence of a sizable

quantity of the Rebbes answers
and instructions went into the
yeshivas ATO offices in Kfar
Chabad, borrowed all the
letters without permission, and
has yet to return them. This is
something that pains me very
much to this day, he says.

Your work is very complex.
Do you occasionally encounter
Of course. When we got
started, we began with a class
in Chassidus at a large Litvishe
yeshiva in Beer Yaakov. This
was a story of real success.
The number of participants
almost came to a minyan of the
yeshivas very best students. In
an underground-style class, thats
quite a lot. Everything was kept
totally quiet and we progressed
quite nicely while slipping under
radar. Then one day, the class
was discovered and the whole
program came crashing down.
I was very dejected by this,
and then R Mendel told me a
story from the times when he
serving in a Siberian work camp.
We were searching for gold,
he recalled, and we had to dig
through the frozen ground.
We dug and dug, day after day,
until we came upon a hair-sized
vein of gold. We dug more and
suddenly discovered a large gold
mass. We were positively ecstatic.
We kept digging each day, but
as time passed, we didnt reveal
anything more. Then one day,
we again found a small lump of
gold. The idea is that we never
stopped digging. Sometimes we
found something, but most of
the time we didnt. Our job is
to dig. Sometimes we find, and
sometimes we dont. The main
thing is to keep digging.

How does the process work?

How do you start a class in
Chassidus at a given yeshiva?
It varies a great deal from
place to place. There are yeshivos
where everything has to be in an
absolute underground style, there
are yeshivos that dont grant
permission while turning a blind
eye to our activities, and there
are also yeshivos where they give
official approval for classes in
Chassidus during hours outside
the yeshiva schedule.
someone in the yeshiva ready to
cooperate. This can be a bachur
who once had a connection with
Chabad or has a Chabad relative,
and hes ready to help us.
Through this contact, we build
the Chassidus class. While there
are times when we come through
a member of the staff, in any case,
we must operate according to the
prevailing conditions. There are
places where the isolation is so
great that there can be several
classes in the same yeshiva, yet
none of them know about the
existence of the others.
People have been speaking a
lot lately about the whole issue
of studying Chassidus in other
communities. Do you identify a
growing and developing trend?
Absolutely. This consistent
trend has been growing and
developing already for years.
As the Redemption gets ever
closer, theres an increase in the
desire to learn Chassidus. We
are swamped with requests from
yeshivos of all kinds national
religious, pre-army prep schools,
Did you say Litvishe? Are
you sure?
Yes, although theyre far
less in number and conducted
in absolute secrecy. Regrettably,
theres still a great deal of

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pressure, even forms of violence,

stemming from the Litvishe
community toward the idea
of teaching Chassidus in nonChabad
even here the project has
Litvishe students come to me
anonymously and ask that I send
sfarim on Chassidus to their
homes. There are many avreichim
from the Litvishe community who
keep such sfarim on their private
bookshelves. You simply have to
take down the barriers and you
can reveal a tremendous thirst
and desire to learn Chassidus.
Last Shabbos BReishis,
I was in Miron. The mashpia,
Rabbi Zalman Gopin, was in
the middle of a farbrengen, and
I stood by the side and listened.
Behind me were two students
from a Litvishe yeshiva, and
they asked me about the whole
concept of a farbrengen.
Look, I told them, you
have two options: One, you can
push your way in and ask the
mashpia yourselves. Two, you can
read an amazing maamer from
the HaTamim journal, explaining
the concept of a farbrengen with
tremendous clarity. They chose
the latter option and asked where
they could read the maamer. I
said that I could them get a copy
if they would contact me after
Shabbos. I gave them my name
and explained how they could
reach me. We parted from one
another, but I didnt hear back
from them.
A couple of weeks ago, when
I was in Bnei Brak, I met one
of them. He apologized for not
calling, but he had forgotten my
name and didnt know how to get
in touch with me. I asked him if
he still was interested in reading
the maamer from the HaTamim
journal, and he said yes most
emphatically. We set a time to

A farbrengen at a Chassidic yeshiva

meet and he came with his friend.

We learned the maamer together
for several hours, and they left
in a state of sheer enthrallment.
They asked us to arrange a
chavrusa for them to learn
Chassidus on a regular basis.
Rabbi Eliyahu Yakobovitch,
a relative of Rabbi Yosef Shalom
Elyashiv ah, told me that the rav
had a set of Likkutei Sichos in his
home and he would periodically
learn from it.
I also heard from a Litvak
who got closer to Chabad that
he once asked one of the more
prominent leaders within the
learning Tanya. The rav told him,
Dahs iz a gleiche zach (this is a
good thing), however, he asked
him not to publicize it in his


I want to ask you something
theres a certain feeling among
those following this trend
that the entire subject of
studying Chassidus in different
without any hiskashrus to the
Rebbe. It seems that theres
a tremendous enthusiasm for

the intellectual aspect to

Chassidic philosophy, perhaps
even for the Avoda. However,
on many occasions, theres also
a sense of detachment from
any connection to the Rebbe.
Can there really be Chassidus
without a Rebbe?
Absolutely not. We chart
everything in the direction of the
Rebbe. This is a basic part of the
learning process. We explain to
everyone that there is a leader and
head of the generation. Losing
the connection to the leader is
similar to losing connection to
the brain. This represents a most
unhealthy condition. To avoid a
state of spiritual sickness, to be
healthy Jews, our connection to
the head must be vigorous and
The whole concept of
Chassidus is to connect with the
Creator, and this connection is
channeled through the Rebbe,
the leader of the generation,
the Moshe Rabbeinu of the
generation. There is no Chassidus
without a Rebbe. Chassidus
detached from any hiskashrus
to the Rebbe is Chassidus that
severs you from the Creator. This
is totally contrary to the whole
concept of Chassidus. Thats not
Chassidus at all.
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The full story of the arrest of the Rebbe Maharashs son-in-law and brother-inlaw of the Rebbe Rashab, R Moshe Horenstein, the victory in the court case
and the Didan Natzach celebration. * Presented for Hei Teves, Didan Natzach
By Y Sofer


R Moshe Horenstein, sonin-law of the Rebbe Maharash
and brother-in-law of the Rebbe
Rashab, had a factory for sawing
beams and boards near the train
station in the town of Yelnya.
At the beginning of Cheshvan
5662/1901, a fire broke out
at his factory, and the factory
and his storehouse of boards
went up in flames. His factory
was not insured and so the loss
fell entirely upon him. But that
wasnt the full extent of his woes.

Near his factory and storehouses

were also the storehouses of one
of the noblemen in the district
who was a fervent anti-Semite.
He was a close friend of the great
anti-Semite and Russian lawyer
Shmakov who was known for his
hatred for Jews.
Although no harm was done
to the noblemans storehouses
by the fire, he and his friend the
lawyer libeled R Horenstein
and said that he purposely set
his storehouses on fire so that
would also burn down. And
this was despite the fact that R

Horensteins storehouses were

uninsured and there was no
reason to suspect that he would
set the fire himself which caused
him so much damage. Logic does
not sway those who hate.


Together with this libel they
added another libel about Jews
who lived outside the Pale of
Settlement. At that time in Russia
there was a law which forbade
Jews from living in big cities.
Only those who received special
permission were allowed to live in

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these cities. At that time, dozens

of Jews were caught who had
procured illegal documentation
and were put in jail.
The hateful Shmakov used
this to construct a libelous
accusation against R Horenstein
in particular, saying that from
the incident with Horenstein we
see the danger we are placed in
by Jews who live outside the Pale
of Settlement. By order of the
Smolensk prosecutor (Shmakovs
friend), R Horenstein was
taken to prison and all the offers
of bond to bail him out were

When the Rebbe Rashab
heard about this (that they
included the calumny about the
Jews who lived outside the Pale

along with the libel about burning

down his factory) he commented,
This is an allusion to the
wonders of Divine Providence.
This would show that they only
sought pretexts against the
Jews and this proved that the
accusation against those who
were arrested for living outside
the Pale was also only a result of


When the Rebbe Rashab
found out about the arrest of
his brother-in-law and of the
Jews who lived outside the Pale,
he immediately got involved.
Besides sending his son, later
to be the Rebbe Rayatz, in the
middle of Cheshvan 5662 to
work on it, he himself went at the
beginning of Kislev to Moscow

where he stayed for over two

weeks. After much effort which
was crowned with success, all the
Jews who were outside the Pale of
Settlement were released.
While he was in Moscow,
on 16 Kislev, the Rebbe Rashab
wrote the special Yud-Tes Kislev
letter (see Beis Moshiach issue
952). But his brother-in-law
was still in jail because the
interrogator in the town of Yelnya
made things difficult and dragged
out the investigation in order to
make him suffer.
For this reason, the Rebbe
Rashab went to Petersburg where
he also stayed for more than
two weeks and he returned to
Lubavitch on 7 Teves.

Throughout this time, the
family tried not to let Rebbetzin

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Rivka (the Rebbe Maharashs
wife) know that her son-inlaw was in prison. In one of his
letters, the Rebbe Rashab referred
to his mother not knowing as a
supernal kindness.


Despite the Rebbe Rashabs
intervention, the interrogation
in Yelnya dragged on and
Horenstein was in jail. This
greatly distressed the Rebbe
Rashab to the point that even
upon his return from Petersburg
he did not receive people for
yechidus for two weeks, and for
four to five Shabbasos he did not
say Maamarei Chassidus.
As for his anguish, the Rebbe
Rashab himself wrote:
Regarding my brother-in-law,
as of now there is nothing new.
The anguish is inestimable and
it is extremely perturbing (and
for this reason I have not written
to you in a while since we are
very preoccupied with this and it
perturbs the mind and the heart).
The interrogator (in the town
of Yelnya) is now on vacation
replaced him. We hope that
this interrogator will not be as
obsessed in this matter.
We hope to G-d that He will
help us in the merit of the holy
Rebbeim and he will be released
In another letter he wrote:
After the Yomim Tovim I
have been surrounded by many
and powerful distractions with
much distress which do not
allow me spiritual or physical rest
because of the sordid affair that
my brother-in-law is in. For this
I had to spend over a month in
Moscow and Petersburg and as
of now, there is no news. May

Hashem have mercy on us and

soon take us from constraints to
expansiveness in the merit of our
holy ancestors.


Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka,
the wife of R Horenstein and
daughter of the Rebbe Maharash,
was the driving force in the
efforts to get her husband out
of jail. In one of his letters, the
Rebbe Rashab described her
energetic efforts and the anguish
and suffering she and her
husband endured:
What can I tell you? Our pain
and anguish is beyond description
and we never even envisaged
such suffering. It is four months
now that (my brother-in-law, R
Moshe Horenstein) is sitting in
jail and suffering from the cold
until my sister (Rebbetzin Chaya
Mushka, R Horensteins wife)
worked to get his room heated...
It is three weeks now that he
has had no liquids. He does not
drink tea from their urn and milk
was sent to him without any seal
and he did not drink it and he is
generally very weak and cannot
eat and drink.
Throughout this time, my
sister does not rest and is always
traveling; she is the activist in
this entire matter, going and
pleading before all the big and
small ministers and they speak as
they please which is very hard to
listen to, especially for a refined
soul like her.
And the Rebbe Rashab ended
with a prayer:
Please Hashem, have mercy
on us in the merit of our holy
ancestors, Your faithful servants
who went before You and were
Moser Nefesh for the holiness
of Your name. Please remember

their merit for their descendants

who follow them, to save them
from the mouths of lions. May
You hear the sound of crying
and store our tears and save us
from the wicked and redeem my
brother-in-law with a complete
redemption soon.

The investigation continued
to drag on until the middle of
Adar I when it was finally over,
but even then, they still did not
free R Horenstein. The Rebbe
Rashab tells about this in one of
his letters:
We hope that in these days
the investigator will complete his
investigation, but what will be
after that we do not know. The
interrogator says they will still
not release him, but we hope to
Hashem that he can be taken out
on bail. May Hashem have mercy
and help so we can do this.
My mechutan (R Zalman
Horenstein, father of R Moshe)
was in Smolensk last week and
he is involved in this. We are
considering giving over this
matter to the lawyer Plevako in
In another letter, the Rebbe
Rashab describes the lengthiness
of the investigation:
Regarding my brother-inlaw, as of now the investigation
is not finished even though
the head prosecutor from
Moscow wrote five letters to the
prosecutor in Smolensk that they
should hurry and finish it. The
prosecutor in Smolensk ordered
the interrogator to do so but the
order was given weakly in such a
way that he can do as he pleases.
This is because of the wickedness
of the prosecutor (of Smolensk)
who wants to drag this out
for evil intentions: 1) in the
meantime he sits in jail, and 2)

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he does not want the trial to take

place in March because in Yelnya
the regional court sits in session
only twice a year, in March and
prosecutor of the Supreme Court
is on our side, but the prosecutor
in Smolensk is incensed and
doing much evil. May Hashem
break his pride and lower him to
the dust.
We hope that still and all
the investigation will end soon,
G-d willing, but what will be
afterward? The prosecutor in
Smolensk says they will not set
him free until they receive an
explicit order from the chief
prosecutor of the Supreme Court
in Moscow, and who knows
whether he will agree to it.
General Azmidov, who knows
our family well from here, says
he will have him released on his
personal bond and he promised
to do all he can for our benefit.
And the court clerk is working on
our behalf, but in the meantime
he has not had an effect on the
prosecutor and Hashem knows
what will be with this.

ended in the middle of Adar I,
but R Horenstein was still not
released (until the middle of Adar
II). The Rebbe tells about this:
Regarding my brother-inlaw, the investigation ended but
he refuses to release any copies
which are needed in order to
refute them with Hashems
help. My brother-in-law also
demanded from the interrogator
that he call upon some of his
witnesses to testify face to face,
but he doesnt want this.
R Zalman (his father) is in
Yelnya now with the lawyer and

R Moshe Horenstein

they are working to get a copy of

the investigation. When they get
it, they will go to Moscow to try
to see that no formal charges are
filed. May Hashem help us in the
merit of our holy ancestors that
this case be absolutely nullified
soon, amen, may it be His will.


On Motzaei Shabbos 21 Adar
II, the Rebbe announced the
imminent release of his brotherin-law:
I thank Hashem for the
release of my brother-in-law,
whose case was brought up in
court last Wednesday and they
decided to let him out on bail
for 1000 rubles. The money was
given to the court on Thursday,
but the court in Smolensk does
not believe and does not rely
on the telegram and they were
involved with this yesterday in
Smolensk, and I do not know
whether the court house (in
Smolensk) sent a telegram to
asking for confirmation of the
telegram or they are waiting for
the arrival of papers.
From the entire case and all
the testimony there is no shred

of an accusation against my
brother-in-law. Only one witness
testified negatively but that is
not such a significant thing. We
do not know details about how
it was in Moscow at the court
house. In any case, the trial will
be in September. May Hashem
redeem him with a complete
redemption in the merit of our
holy ancestors.
On 23 Adar II the Rebbe
Rashab announced that R
Horenstein was already freed:
My brother-in-law, thank
G-d, was freed on bail of 1000
silver rubles. The amount of
bail shows that it is not a major
issue and truthfully, in the
investigation there is nothing that
shows any guilt on his part and it
is only wickedness which caused
them not to dismiss this entirely.
Thank G-d they released him,
and tomorrow he will be coming
here (to Lubavitch), G-d willing.
From these letters it appears
that R Horenstein was released
between 21 and 23 Adar II.

As mentioned above, the trial
was postponed until September
which fell in Tishrei 5663, at
which time the regional court
held session in Yelnya.
The results of the trial were
not known to us until recent
years when Beis Moshiach (issue
342) published the sicha of the
Rebbe Rashab, delivered at the
celebration of the geula of R
Moshe Horenstein in which it
describes how they celebrated
the Didan Natzach on Motzaei
Shabbos Parshas Noach, the
second day of Rosh Chodesh
Cheshvan 5663.
The celebration took place
on Motzaei Shabbos in the
home of the Rebbe Rashab
where, at that same time, there

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was a gathering in honor of the
Talmud Torah of the town of
Lubavitch. But due to the great
joy a small meal was held for
over fifty people. The Tmimim
were not allowed to participate;
only five talmidim who could sing
were allowed to join, in order to
sing Chassidic niggunim. They
niggunim and everyone enjoyed
it very much and expressed their
approval; especially one Chassid,
R Shmuel Michel Treinin of
Petersburg, who was so moved
by the whole scene that he was
completely overcome.
During the celebration, there
was plenty of drinking and they
all danced and sang. The Rebbe
Rayatz relates:
I danced a lot more than
my strength allowed and from
the sheer volume of drink, the
mixing of drinks and especially
all the dancing, the combination
of all of the above caused me
to regurgitate quite a bit and I
immediately felt better. And it was
Divine Providence and a timely
thing, because a short while later
my father began to speak and I
was able to listen attentively to
his holy words even though my
head was spinning and I did not
know what was going on around
me. I still managed to hold myself
together to listen with my mind.


At first the Rebbe Rashab
said: Lchaim, to life, essential
life in the way in which life
truly expresses essence as
is understood and will be
understood, G-d willing. This is
what I wish for myself and I hope
that it will surely be this, without
any doubt.
Then the Rebbe Rashab said
that he wanted to purchase a

dance and the money for the

dance would go toward Kupas
Bachurim (which was founded
in 5662) and the Rebbe gave ten
silver rubles and danced with
his brother-in-law, R Moshe
Horenstein, the baal simcha.
Then the Chassid R Shmuel
Michel Treinin bought a dance
and asked the Rebbe how
much he should give for it. The
Rebbe told him: This is the rule
it never went lower than ten
(according to what Chazal say
in the tractate Sukka that the
Shchina never went lower than
ten tfachim). So he gave ten
silver rubles for the dance. The
Chassid R Menachem Mendel
Gurary and the Rebbe Rayatz
also purchased a dance, each
paying ten silver rubles.

Then the Rebbe Rashab asked
his son: Why dont you take
anything (to say lchaim)?
The Rebbe Rayatz (who had
already drunk a lot) replied:
Because Im not given any.
The Rebbe Rashab poured
mashke for his son, but some of
the people there told him that his
son had already vomited a lot.
The Rebbe said to them: I know
whom Im dealing with.
The Rebbe Rashab said to his
brother-in-law, R Horenstein:
There are dolts who think that
he (the Rebbe Rayatz) is drunk
and drunk even when he is sober.
Nu, is he drunk? Show them!
They dont want to understand,
just to say, and to say what ought
not to be said. Continue singing,
continue singing.


saying deep sichos. Some of the

sichos were transcribed by the
Rebbe Rayatz at the end of which
he wrote to be continued, but
apparently he did not continue
transcribing the sichos.
In the middle of one of the
sichos, one of the people burped
and yawned. The Rebbe spoke to
him very sharply:
Tell him that you are already
not shayach to anything true,
just sweet things, you will die
without doing tshuva! I would
say you should wish to die before
Moshiach comes, then at least
you can rise at the Resurrection
of the Dead!

In the middle of talking, the
Rebbe stopped and said: Listen
Yidden to what is being said to
you. You know good and well that
I do not always speak and I do
not always tell stories. In general,
I am not a big talker. I can sit at a
gathering for a long time and not
speak. But now is an auspicious
time and therefore I ask you to
listen for your own good and to
absorb things internally. These
are very pertinent matters!
He concluded:
Tomchei Tmimim, come here
and listen to what is pertinent
for you to listen to. Within your
limitations you need to feel the
infinite, just watch over the finite
and then automatically the infinite
will truly shine forth within you,
and you should absorb everything
that is possible to absorb from
the infinite of what Chassidus is
able to affect and that it should
truly accomplish this within you!
When the Rebbe finished
this sicha, all the Tmimim and

Then the Rebbe Rashab began

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A new project has been
launched by an innovative sofer
to give people an affordable way
to honor loved ones by securing
an aliya and help the Rebbes
shluchim and struggling Chabad
Houses in all corners of the globe.
While the Seifer Torah is the
most central holy object in any
Chabad House, unfortunately
many shluchim dont have the
means to purchase one for their
congregation. Without a Seifer
Torah, the shluchim either must
borrow one on a limited basis or
go without a serious problem
for any Chabad House trying
to maintain a daily or weekly
minyan. Rabbi Yankel Meislin
is starting a new fundraising
initiative to benefit Chabad
Houses throughout the world by
offering a raffle for a Seifer Torah
written according to the Alter
Rebbes ksav.
The raffle for an Alter Rebbe
Seifer Torah is a win-win for
everyone, said Rabbi Shneur
Zalman Gafni, former head of
Yeshivas Ohr Tmimim in Kfar
Chabad and currently mashpia
and maggid shiur at the Tzemach
Tzedek Synagogue in the Holy
City of Tzfas. The fundraiser
helps shluchim obtain a Seifer
Torah for their community while
offering their supporters an
innovative way to honor their
loved ones.

People can join this initiative
by donating $180 for an aliya in

the Seifer Torah to memorialize a

loved one or celebrate a simcha.
Thirty percent of the proceeds
will go directly to support the
Chabad House oftheir choice.
All supporters will receive a
certificate noting their specific
To determine the winner, a
raffle will be conducted by Rabbi
Mordechai Bistritzky, rav of the
Chabad community in Tzfas.
After Rabbi Meislin completes
the writing of the Seifer Torah, a
siyum Seifer Torah will be held at
the winning Chabad House at no
additional cost.

In my visits with several
Chabad Houses, recalled Rabbi
Meislin, I noticed that many
had enough people for a minyan
but had no Seifer Torah. This
situation pained me; the Torah
is the most central object for
any shul. As a sofer, I wanted to
figure out a way to help shluchim
who dont have enough financial
backing to afford a Seifer Torah.
The shluchim are very dear to
the Rebbe, and I wanted to be
able to help them. In the maamer
Lhavin Inyan Ksivas Seifer
(Yud Shvat 5730), the
Rebbe notes that all elements of
life are elevated by the Torah. The
ink is prepared from inanimate
and vegetative ingredients, the
parchment comes from animal
skin, and the Torah is read four
times a week by a human being.

Thus, we see that writing a Seifer

Torah can elevate all forms of
life. With G-ds help, in addition
to all of our avoda, this should
be the last of what is needed to
bring about the hisgalus of the
Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach,
immediately, mamash, now!
Rabbi Gafni: I know Yankel
Meislin very well and his work
is exact to specifications of the
Alter Rebbe ksav. I have always
found Yankel extremely reliable
and honest in all of his business
To enter this raffle, send a
two-month postdated check
made out to Yankel Meislin at
the following address: 3281
Shore Road, Oceanside, NY
11572. Print and fill out the
form to indicate: your contact
House you wish to enter into
the raffle, the person honored
andthe occasion recognized.


Originally from Oceanside,
New York, Yankel Meislin
is a certified sofer from the
prestigious Vaad Hamisheret
Stam of Bnei Brak. Currently
living in the Holy City of Tzfas,
Yankel is learning for his
rabbinical ordination in Tzfas
Ohel Moshe Kollel, located in the
citys Canaan neighborhood.
For more information, you
can send an e-mail to Rabbi
Meislin at btbh770@gmail.com
or call 972-50-684-5770.

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Veteran teachers of Chassidus share their tips and advice about how
to give a successful Chassidus shiur and how to handle the difficulty in
conveying deep information to different types of audiences.
By Menachem Ziegelboim


R Yeshaya Goldberg
teacher in Tomchei Tmimim in Ramat Aviv

R Yeshaya Goldberg not only

gives standard Chassidus classes
in yeshiva, but also gives a one
minute (more or less) shiur in
Chassidus via Smartphone to tens
of thousands of people every day.
With this shiur he briefly conveys
a Chassidic idea based on the
Rebbes teachings.
R Goldberg has this to say
from his vast experience:
The first important tip, in my
opinion, has to do with preparing
the shiur. The one giving the
shiur needs to pick a specific

point which the shiur will focus

on. He needs to have one or
two points, not more, and this
is what he will be conveying and
numerous details and related
concepts. The many details can
easily confuse the listeners who
will lose their way. When there
are numerous details it can
confuse not only the listeners
but also the one giving the shiur
So I recommend choosing a
specific point when you prepare
the shiur and plan on having
those attending the shiur leaving
with it and taking it home with

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them. Some people want to add

more and more topics or details
based on the premise that if
there is a shiur and there are
participants, then one ought to
convey as much as possible: the
parsha, something about the
holiday, a Chassidic idea, etc.
This is a mistake.
Of course, during a shiur you
can expand and develop the idea
but it needs to revolve around the
point you originally chose. You
can add ideas, stories, parables
and insights, but they should all
serve the central idea that you
want to convey.
How do you establish this
As I said, at the preparation
stage, when you review the
maamer or the chapter of Tanya
or the text you want to teach,
you need to learn it well and pick
a point which you decide you
want people to take with them.
It can even be presented as the
introduction to your class, Today
we will talk about how we get the
mind to control our emotions. It
is important for you to be clear
on what your point will be.
When there is a focal point, it
can help the one giving the shiur
deal with people on different
levels. Usually, simple people get
confused with more details but
when there is a point, they are
able to stick to it. And if you also
have people on higher levels of
intellectual understanding in the
shiur, it is important that they too

understand what the topic is that

you wish to convey. Of course,
for them you can explain and
develop it more.
I follow this principle in my
daily message that is conveyed
by Smartphone, even though
sometimes the brevity is at the
expense of depth.
I think we see this in the
Rebbes teachings too, in his
sichos and maamarim, in
which there can sometimes be
the deepest points but, by the
Rebbe, each of these points
appears in a sentence or two
that express it in relatively
simple terms. True, the Rebbe
also goes on at length, but the
verbosity comes after a concise
summation of the key point as in
the expression, and the Nekuda
(point) of the explanation in
this is, and only then comes the
stage where the Rebbe begins
to explain, expand and develop
that which he presented earlier.
Everyone should adopt this in the
Chassidus shiurim that they give.
Everyone ought to commit to
giving a shiur, for people today
need and want Chassidus. There
are many places today where you
can get tips and ideas for give
shiurim in an effective way. You
can also learn how to do this as
part of a structured course; the
main thing is that by now we
should have a taste of the Geula
when the earth will be full of
knowledge of G-d like waters
cover the sea.

are all kinds of people who want

to learn Chassidus.
Some people construct a
shiur based on a certain sicha.
They take a sicha, learn it well,
and convey it as is, albeit in
their own words. The truth is
that a sicha consists of many
details; each person can take a
different aspect of the sicha and
derive chayus and geshmak from
it. When I give a shiur on a sicha
of the Rebbe on the parsha, I
look for a sicha that I personally
connect with and find the point
which excites me. When I
connect to the point, there is a
good chance that I will be able to
get other people to connect to it
Most of the time, unless its
a learned audience, I dont learn
inside with them. In the shiurim
that I give, I see that people really
connect to the story of the parsha
and so I always begin with the
story of the parsha or the section
that I will be discussing, and only
afterward do I start developing
the point in the parsha and try
to teach it with the special depth
that the Rebbe provides.
It is very important not to
stick to the structure of the sicha.
There are sichos in which the
Rebbe begins with a series of
questions and he attacks the
idea from all sides, but people


R Roi Tor
shliach in Emek HaMaayanot

R Roi Tor gives ten shiurim a

week, in Chassidus, Tanya, sichos
on the parsha, and of course
Inyanei Moshiach and Geula. He

has a variety of audiences, from

men learning in an evening kollel
in Beit Shaan to kibbutznikim
who are not yet observant. There

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generally dont keep track of it
all, all the more so when you
present a possible answer and
the refutation of that answer until
arriving at the final conclusion.
It pays to stick with a strong
question or two that are downto-earth and interesting, to
briefly state the explanation and
the idea, and only then can you
expound on the deeper message,
which is the part that really
speaks to people and grabs hold
of them.
As always, the Rebbe ends his
sichos with action is the main
thing. So its important to give
people a practical point to hold
on to and to leave with; not that
they leave just with a nice vort or
In any group study of the
Rebbes sichos, you can always
take the conclusion and bring it
into the realm of the inner work

that we all must deal with in daily

life, whether in chinuch, shalom
bayis, positive thinking, changing
ones middos etc.
As opposed to teaching a
sicha, when I teach Tanya I learn
and teach out of the text. It is
hard to teach Tanya to people
who are not observant, to convey
that if they transgress the Torah
then they are connected to the
three impure klipos and in this
spiritual state they are worse
than an impure animal. Its very
important to prepare well and
to convey things properly. It is
certainly easier to teach Tanya to
religious people who live with and
are aware of the various nuances.
A religious audience of people
involved in their Yiddishkait
will almost certainly find Tanya
amazing, and it has an incredible
effect on them.


By R Nadav Cohen
lecturer and author of GPS for the Soul

speaker to the Chabad House,
we advertised, we provided
refreshments, we set up nicely,
and many people showed up.
There were new faces as well as
old ones we hadnt seen in a long
time. The lecture was successful;
everyone nodded and seemed
to enjoy it. And when we asked
participants how it was, they all
reacted warmly and positively.
But, when we got together
after the lecture and began
asking, So what did the speaker
say, what was the point, what
was the message? suddenly
the answers were vaguer. It was
interesting, it was great, but what
was the topic? It was spiritual, it
was mystical, yeah, but what was

the point?
The point? Uh, I dont
We have all experienced the
situation in which we give a shiur
and from the questions at the end

we discover that people did not

understand it at all.
When we set out to give a
successful shiur to mekuravim, to
people whose Torah knowledge
is not extensive and who are not
used to learning in a yeshiva style
format, we need to prepare for
this. This requires both quality
and quantity time.
In Chassidus it is explained in
many places that the preparation
is no less important than the
concept itself, and when the
preparation is done right, it has a
powerful effect on what follows.
When the vessel is constructed
properly, the light is drawn into
Preparation Also Needs
Before preparing a shiur, we
need to learn the material we
want to teach. The lecturer must
know the material very well. For
example, when you want to teach
a sicha, you need to learn and
understand it inside-out, to look
up the footnotes, understand
what the Rebbe is quoting and
what the Rebbe is innovating,
understand the question and the
answers that the Rebbe suggests
and refutes, understand the gist
of the explanation and, obviously,
the final answer. You need to be
proficient in the material in such
a way that you can teach the sicha
without it having to be in front of
you from beginning to end, or
even starting from the end and
working back to the beginning...
If you are able to get into
the sicha at the beginning of the
week, a few days before the shiur,
great. This way, you can live
with the sicha; think about it
when you have free time. Try to
really delve into what the Rebbe
is trying to tell us, to fulfill the
Rebbes horaa, both the practical
and the spiritual horaa, how to
look at and relate to the world. To

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seek where we can connect the

message to our daily lives, where
the ideas of the sicha pertain to
chinuch, shalom bayis, work, the
Chabad House, and even driving
down the highway and standing
in line at the bank. Chassidus
permeates every aspect of life and
we need to uncover where it can
be found on every single level.
After the material is well
established in your head, you
need to start thinking about how
to convey it. At this stage, you
need to step outside of your own
garments, to get out of the way
you understand and relate to the
sicha, and start trying to step into
the garments of the mekabel,
to think of him and how he can
understand the sicha and from
what angle he will relate to it.
Hashem explains to Moshe how
to teach and how not to teach.
On the verse, and these are
the laws which you shall place
before them, Rashi explains,
Hashem said to Moshe: Do
not think to say that I will teach
them the Halacha two or three
times until they know it well,
as it was taught, but I will not
trouble myself to enable them

to understand the reasons for

the matter and its explanation.
This is why it says like a set table
before them, ready for anyone to
Hashem warns Moshe, dont
think that you will review the
material until they know it by
heart and youll save yourself
the bother of preparing a lesson.
Prepare a shiur like a set table
before the person about to eat.
How do you prepare a meal
for guests?
When you prepare a meal
for guests, you dont simply buy
meat, vegetables, spices and eggs
and put it all out on the table.
You first cut it up, clean it, cook
it, season it, and serve it in an
appetizing way. It is all to enable
your guest to eat easily and
comfortably. This is precisely the
way a teacher needs to prepare
the material that will be taught
so it will be the right amount
for the student, with spices
stories, examples, parables
and conveyed in an interesting
manner which leaves a good
taste in the mouth and the desire
to learn more. Its all so that the
student will be able to understand
the material being learned.


R Shimshon Goldstein
shliach in Pushkar, India

R Shimi Goldstein gives

a shiur in Tanya for the many
Israeli tourists who visit the
Chabad House every day. Thanks
to his shiurim, many people have
committed to a life of Torah and
mitzvos, with dozens of them
having established Chassidic
homes. And it all began with
shiurim that he gave.
Apparently, the secret to his
success is not necessarily the

shiurim, as he himself relates:

Every evening, at seven
oclock, we have a Tanya class.
Some of the people come to the
Chabad House to eat, some come
because they feel connected to
the place, some come because a
friend schlepped them; each one
has his reason. Many of them
join the shiur.
My shiur is only a means to
an end. There are usually about
twenty people in a shiur, out of
which I notice one or two for
whom the subject really speaks
to their soul, and who are truly
receptive to the deep ideas of
The main work begins after
the shiur, in getting the one or
two who are really interested to
learn one-on-one with me. I think
there is nothing like a chavrusa.
A person can attend a shiur
for twenty years in Chassidus
or Tanya and nothing changes
for him. Ive met shluchim who
wonder, How do you manage
to change the lives of so many
people when we have people
sitting at shiurim for years and
nothing moves?
My first tip then is to know
that a shiur is important and that
it is the elixir of life, which
provides strength and spiritual
fortitude. Every Jew must learn
Torah and its important to have
more and more of it. That being
said, if you want to be mekarev
someone to a life of Torah and
mitzvos, pay attention during the
shiur to see who is connecting
to what youre saying, and who
has the potential to be drawn in
further. It is with those people
that I arrange chavrusa study.
There are times that I have eight
chavrusas a day.
Even when Ive found two or
three in a shiur who relate to the
depth of what is being taught, I
have learned not to study with

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the two or three together, but
to have separate chavrusas with
each of them. Being a chavrusa
means to farbreng with him on
his level and in his language. The
connection is stronger and he is
with you. This is aside from the
fact that he understands you and
lives with you, while in a shiur
its in a makif way. A chavrusa is
another world altogether than a
general shiur.
Another tip we learn from
the Rebbe that every time he
taught us a sicha, he began with
a series of questions that aroused
our interest. Its a good idea to
begin every shiur with a powerful
question to generate interest and
get people thinking. For example,
on the introductory page of
Tanya which I am presently
learning with a certain fellow
who is a follower of a well-known
idolatrous figure there is the
verse, Because the matter is
very close to you in your mouth
and in your heart to do it. You
can read this and go further or
you can develop it with a tough
question: Moshe Rabbeinu gave
us 613 mitzvos and each one has
a myriad of details. The Torah is
as broad and deep as the ocean,
so how could Moshe, at the end
of his life, tell us that Torah is
so close to us when it is huge
and so inaccessible? Is it really
close? We can say that Torah is
truer, more important, or even
pure, but close? This question is
meaningful to anyone who has

any connection whatsoever to

In general, to properly teach
Tanya, you first need to learn
it well (this applies not just to
Tanya, but to any topic). When
I came to Pushkar, I thought
I knew Tanya; after all, I say it
every day in Chitas. But that is
bare-bones and it is usually read
relatively quickly. In Chabad
yeshivos, learning Tanya is done
in the daily Chitas or in a half
hour shiur in the morning in
high schools when eyes are not
yet open very wide (I would be
happy to hear that things have
changed recently and that Tanya
has become more developed in
If you want to teach Tanya in
a serious way, you need to learn
it with all the main explanations,
as much as possible. Then you
take the chapter and turn it into
a defined topic. Your audience
has no understanding of the
words and concepts of Tanya;
its a foreign language to them.
True, you should preserve the
wording of the Alter Rebbe and
I am particular about reading
from the Tanya, but you also
need to turn the concept into a
clear topic so that a person will
understand what it is the Alter
Rebbe wants from him here, in
this chapter. Each chapter needs
to be a topic unto itself and you
need to transmit it the way you
speak with a friend.


R Boruch Wilhelm
shliach in Nahariya

R Wilhelm gives several

shiurim over the course of a week,
mostly on Tanya. He gives a shiur
in front of a large kollel, to a
group of businessmen, and a shiur
in the Chabad shul which is very

popular and attracts nearly 70-80

There are a number of
important points for whoever
wants to be successful in giving
a shiur. These points are simple

but important.
Every shiur that you give,
even if you have given hundreds
of shiurim in your life, has to be
treated like it is your first and
only shiur. All your attention
needs to be focused on the shiur
you want to give. You need to put
serious preparation time into it,
to know precisely what you want
to say. Preparing for the shiur
means knowing ahead of time
who your intended audience will
be, so you dont say deep things
to a simpler crowd and you wont
say simple things to an intelligent
You cant suffice merely with
what is written, but need to
add a lot with stories, ideas and
insights. When you take the shiur
seriously, your audience senses
this and they will want to come
back to hear more.
Another important point is
that the shiur needs to be said
with a lot of enthusiasm. Dont
be content with what it says in
the text; put feeling into it. This
gives life to the shiur. No less
than the content of the shiur, the
emotions and neshama that you
put into it connect the audience
to the shiur and to the messages
you want to convey. In order to
put in neshama, conveying the
material needs to be done with
passion and enthusiasm, with all
your neshama.
If its a serious shiur with
Torah content, its a good idea to
bring source sheets so that people
can look at the material on the
page. This should certainly be
done for a shiur with complicated
content. Its a good idea to
bring other topics that relate to
the shiur but are not written in
the text in order to expand the
audiences knowledge and enrich
them. When the sources are in
front of them, they relate to the
material more. There is another

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advantage in that they can take

the source sheets home and
be reminded of the content of
the shiur, because people dont
always remember the subject that
they learned from one week to
the next.
The bonus in preparing source
sheets is that you indirectly let
your audience know that you
came to the shiur well prepared.
This will get them to treat the
whole thing more seriously.
The call of the hour is for all
of Anash and the Tmimim to
go out and find a place where
they can establish new shiurim
or expand on an existing shiur,
because people are seeking

Pnimius HaTorah which goes

straight into Pnimius Hanefesh
and uplifts the neshama.
(Said at a Yom Iyun at the Chabad
yeshiva in Tzfas)


R Moshe Blumberger
R Moshe Blumberger gives
shiurim in Chassidus, Likkutei
Sichos, and Tanya in various
yeshivos and has acquired a
lot of experience in giving over
Chassidus to Bnei HaYeshivos.
I learn Chassidus with people
who never learned Chassidus.
Many of them are learning a sicha
of the Rebbe for the first time in
their lives. They may have heard
of the Rebbes brilliance but were
not exposed to his teachings. I
am talking primarily about those
who are not Chassidic.
In recent years there is more
of an openness and interest in
Chassidus. It is easier today
to teach Chassidus than it was
previously. It is not unheard of
today to offer to learn Chassidus
with people and for them to
There is a basic difficulty in

teaching Chassidus to people who

never learned Chassidus before.
Chassidus has a language of its
own, not to mention unfamiliar
concepts. So if you want to teach
Chassidus, you need to prepare
properly so as to know how to
convey things clearly and bring
it all into their world so they can
relate to it.
If you want to be mekarev
someone to Chassidic teachings,
you can start by teaching the
Rebbes sichos. You can take a
sicha that deals with a Rashi or
Rambam, Torah subjects that
Litvishe types will appreciate, and
then in the next stage, you can
move on to the inner dimension
of the Torah; the sweetness that
Chassidus imparts to every topic
including the Nigleh sichos.
There are some who will come
with complaints about Chassidus

and about the Rebbe but it is

always preferable to focus on
the content of the sicha. The
light in Torah will chase away
the questions, for the Rebbes
teachings not only illuminate but
also bring joy, and I say this from
Another important tip for
success in giving shiurim in
Chassidus: a Chassid is someone
who represents a certain image
that people are really looking at
and checking out. When you are
mekarev someone to Chassidus,
he is looking at you. If he is not
sure that you are really a Chassid
of the Rebbe in a way that every
word of the Rebbe is part of your
neshama and your emuna, he will
not accept things from you and
wont follow you.
This is also true about the
belief that the Rebbe is Moshiach
and is chai vkayam. If they dont
sense that you are comfortable
with your belief 100%, they
will find it hard to accept even
a regular Rashi sicha from
you. They want to be convinced
that you fully believe in what
you are saying, and when you
teach Chassidus the implication
is that this is Chassidus that
is connected to the Rebbe, so
you need to be fully in line with
everything that is associated with
the Rebbe.

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By D Chaim

Old R Yaakov lives near our

school. R Yaakov is a sweet, old
man who loves us dearly. But
it wasnt always like this. There
were times that R Yaakov was
a regular grumbling visitor to
our principals office.
He had a hard time with the
sounds of our running around
and our playing which he could
hear during our recess. The
shouting and even the talking
disturbed him and he did not
stop complaining about it. My
life is no life, he once hissed at
the principal who was trying to
calm him down.
Over the years we would
hear an exchange like this:
Rude children like you, how
dare you disturb the peace of
an old man? Naturally, that
would be old R Yaakov who
was disturbed by the sounds of
our playing, for the umpteenth
So what should we do,
not play? innocently asked a
sweaty redheaded kid.
No, dont play. When I was
your age I just sat and learned,
he said.
Fine, said the boy and
dropped the ball he was holding.
But only for a second, until R
Yaakovs window was closed.
Then the ball was quickly
retrieved and he continued to

Today we no longer hear

things like that. We stopped
over a period of a few weeks:
Children, listen! I have
something important to tell
Unlike other times, this time
old R Yaakovs voice sounded
much calmer and we went over
to hear what he had to say.
I noticed that you dont
always play under my window
so I dont hear your voices
continuously. I would like to hear
you regularly and so I decided
to pay each child who regularly
plays near my window, one
shekel per day. What do you
willing, said
one among us.
Me too, me too, we all
exclaimed. Someone was put
in charge of writing down the
names and at the end of every
week we received our salary for
our loud games. We were happy
and I guess R Yaakov was too.
Two weeks passed and once
again, old R Yaakovs head
appeared at the window.
I would like to tell you
something important, he said.
We stopped our game and
curiously waited to hear what
he had to say.

I am very sorry, but its

hard for me to continue paying
a shekel per child every day, so I
am reducing the amount to half
a shekel a day.
Some of us were unhappy
with this and said they were
dropping out, but most of us
stayed. Another two weeks
passed in which we got half a
shekel a day, but then R Yaakov
said he was so sorry but it was
hard for him to pay us and he
had to reduce the payments
even further.
That was already insulting.
We all decided we were not
willing to play under his window
for such a small sum. From then
on, the noise under R Yaakovs
and he was able to rest without
being disturbed.
You are probably amused by
what old R Yaakov did to stop
the noise. We thought that from
then on, R Yaakovs life would
be tranquil, but no. Surprisingly,
he remained as he was before;
true, the noise no longer
bothered him, but we couldnt
tell on him that anything had
You are probably wondering
why. I was also very surprised.
I decided to find out. I was
afraid that something else had
happened to disturb him and
if so, we needed to come to his

34 4 Teives 5775
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2014-12-23 8:20:32 AM

My concern grew when

I went shopping in the local
grocery belonging to Shimke
and I heard old Yaakov say
to one of the neighbors, The
situation is very hard and not
good at all. I decided to visit R
Yaakov at home.
I left the house and walked
quickly on the road that leads
to the yeshiva building. I soon
came to the door of the house
where R Yaakov lived. I knocked
nervously and then heard a
voice call out, Yes, its open,
you can come in.
If the door is open, thats
a good sign, I thought, but I
didnt know for sure. I walked
in and R Yaakov invited me to
sit down.
What brings you here
today? he asked after offering
me something to eat and drink.
I cleared my throat and
wondered what to
say, that I came to
check things out?
I see that youre
a bit shy, so I will
tell you something
interesting from the
parsha and then you
will tell me why you
came here.
When Yaakov Avinu saw
Pharaoh, Pharaoh asked him,
How old are you? and Yaakov
answered that he was 130
years old, and few and bad
were the years of my life.
exclaimed old Yaakov. At

that time, 130 years were

considered a long life. Why did
Yaakov Avinu say they were few
and bad? Nu, what do you say,
you young talmid chacham?
I remained silent and R
Yaakov continued. The answer
is that Yaakov Avinu yearned
for the Geula. He wanted the
galus to have ended already. So
even if he lived many years and
even though many good things
happened, he felt that it was
all lacking, because the Geula,
which he constantly yearned for
and is the purpose of creation,
still had not happened.
Do you understand why
I am not satisfied with the
noise under my window having
stopped? What is it worth if the
Geula is delayed, eh?

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I tried to digest what

I had just heard and in an
instant, I got it. I understood
why old Yaakov always seemed
dissatisfied. The mystery was
So, why did you come to
visit me? old Yaakov said,
interrupting my thoughts.
In order to learn this
important lesson, I said, while
thinking that there was still one
thing I did not understand. How
did Yaakov know why I came to
I decided to just let it go,
because something else was
far more important which I
anticipate all the time.

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Issue 953

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2014-12-23 8:20:11 AM