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3 Dvar Malchus
17 Bitachon Bytes
23 Moshiach & Hakhel
24 Parsha Thought
32 Tzivos Hashem

Menachem Ziegelboim


10 THE

By Nosson Avrohom


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M.M. Hendel
Rabbi S.Y. Chazan

Boruch Merkur

12/31/2015 6:58:00 PM



Beis Moshiach presents the maamer the
Rebbe MHM delivered on Yud Shvat 5716, 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 sixth section
of the profound and foundational Chassidic
discourse. * Sixth instalment.
By Boruch Merkur


7. The maamer continues: The entire concept
of holiness depends on attaining a state of total bittul,
and the whole concept of avoda hinges on it. Here
we are speaking about [the role and purpose of man
in the world: to serve G-d and bring His holiness into
the world. In particular] the ultimate purpose for the
creation of man within Seider Hishtalshlus, the Natural
Order, is to make for G-d a home in the physical world.
The Rebbe explains that this mission is accomplished
though the avoda of total bittul and humility, for the
entire concept of holiness is that there should be bittul
and the eradication of ego. It is specifically this state that
is referred to (Tanya Ch. 6.) as the Realm of Holiness.
Interestingly, the general service of man is called
tfilla prayer. Tfilla was established by our Sages in
place of korbanos, sacrifices, which is one of the primary
services in the Beis HaMikdash (as discussed above). In
this sense, the general service of man is avodas hatfilla.
Thus, it is written, And to serve Him with all your
heart. Our Sages elaborate, What is service that is
with the heart? it is tfilla. Tfilla entails bittul and
humility, as the maamer goes on to discuss (later in
Section 9).
8. In this light we will understand the Gemara that
says, To begin with (i.e., at the start of the Shmoneh
Esrei prayer) one says, L-rd, open my lips. It is
like a preamble to the prayer (for which reason it is
not considered an interruption between mention of
redemption [gaal Yisroel Who has delivered the
Jewish people] and tfilla [the Shmoneh Esrei]). Why
did our Sages establish the saying of L-rd, open my
lips at the beginning of the tfilla? It seems that this
creates an unwelcome interruption, which evokes in our
Sages deliberation and then a resolution to the problem.

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At first glance wouldnt it be preferable to simply daven

the eighteen blessings without embellishment, without
the addition of the verse, L-rd, open my lips? The
fact that it was added, however, proves that this verse
pertains to the general concept of tfilla.
The explanation emerges from a parallel discussion
regarding Torah study, for prior to the bittul of tfilla
there is the concept of Torah. Indeed, all of existence
derives from Torah, as in the saying, He peered into
the Torah and created the world. The entire Seider
Hishtalshlus exists first within Torah. And since within
the Seider Hishtalshlus the avoda of man (which is the
concept of tfilla) depends entirely on bittul and selfeffacement, it is understood that the same is true of


To elaborate based on the saying in the Gemara cited
in the maamer: Torah is not to be found in the haughty
of spirit, nor in one who expands his heart over it like the
sea. The Rebbe explains that the haughty of spirit are
those who lack bittul.
Here the Rebbe does not mean to merely reject
the concept of haughtiness as the term is typically
understood, meaning arrogance, for Scripture is clear
in rejecting that very base and lowly characteristic:
G-d despises the haughty hearted; He and I [i.e.,
the arrogant person and G-d] cannot occupy the same
space. Such a person is in a state that is entirely
contrary to spirituality; this person in not in a position to
properly relate to Torah.
(To be continued beH)
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he davening had been over for a while in the

shul of R Zalman Schneersohn in the center
of Paris. Only a few people remained, some
of them looking into some volume or another.
The silence was interrupted suddenly by a conversation
that was held quietly, but in that utter stillness it was
possible to hear well. However, even if those present
had tried to follow it, they would have been unable to
understand any of it.
The two people were involved in a learned
discussion. As though a fire was burning within
them, they began pacing the shul, their eyes fixed,
their brows furrowed. A learned person would hear
topics in Shas being bandied about: Rishonim,
Acharonim, Midrashim, logical arguments and
exegetical dialectics from all over.
The first person was familiar. Although he was
only a guest in Paris who had come for a short time,
many already knew him. Upright of stature with
penetrating eyes, dressed simply but impeccably in a
short gray suit, a pinched hat, and with a short black
beard; it was Ramash, the son-in-law of the Rebbe
Rayatz, later to be his successor. He had come to
greet his mother, Rebbetzin Chana. Although he was
a guest, many Jews had gotten to know this mighty
spiritual personality. He made a deep impression on
hundreds of people within the religious community
in Paris.
Who was the other man who spoke with the
Rebbe with such genius? Who was the person who
could hold his own with the Rebbe in all areas of
It is the secret of this mystery man that is our
story here. Nobody knew his true identity aside
from the fact that he introduced himself as Chacham
Shushani and sometimes as Professor Shushani.
More than that, nobody knew anything about him.
He was of medium height and clean shaven. A few of
his acquaintances knew this, that he was proficient
in Shas and Rishonim by heart. People also spoke
about his proficiency in kabbalistic works. Strangely
enough, nobody ever saw him studying, which only
added to the riddle which was this man.
Who was Chacham Shushani to who, not for
naught, was attributed the nickname, The enigma of
the twentieth century?


Chacham Shushani, with his enormous knowledge
of Torah, was able to effortlessly quote by heart from
an array of sources from all parts of Torah. There was

The mysterious genius who

knew all of Torah was born
in Europe, immigrated to
Yerushalayim, and returned
to life in exile at a young
age. He lived a bizarre
homeless lifestyle and
chose to live under a veil of
mystery. * In 5707 he met
the Rebbe in Paris for deep
discussions in learning and
at the end of his life he
met the Rebbes secretary
and indicated that he
knew the Rebbe from up
close. * Who was this man,
Monsieur Chouchani
Chacham Shushani?
By Menachem Ziegelboim

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no question to which he did not
have an immediate answer with
a full quote and sources. People
would go to him with questions
in halacha and Judaism, in all
areas of life, and Shushani would
respond immediately.
Aside from that, he knew
many languages and had deep
knowledge of many subjects
in the humanities, philosophy
and mathematics. He read
books nonstop and with great
speed. Those who did research
on him wrote in admiration of
the talmid chacham with not
many like him, who swims like a
champion swimmer in the sea of

philosopher, Emanuel Levinas,

called him an incredible teacher
and attributed to him his ability
to unravel a topic in Gemara. He
repeatedly emphasized that his
understanding of Talmud was
only a shadow of the shadow
of what he learned from his great
teacher, Chacham Shushani.
students knew him only as
Monsieur Chouchani but that too
seems to be merely a nickname he
chose for himself. In his lifetime
he traveled between Eastern
Europe, France, the US, Eretz
Yisroel, North Africa, and South
America. A perpetual wanderer,

When he was arrested by the Gestapo he had

no documents but because he was circumcised
he was assumed to be a Jew. He managed to convince
his interrogators that he was circumcised as a Moslem.
To corroborate his story, the head mufti of France was
brought to his cell. After five hours of conversation, the
mufti demanded Shushanis release, saying he was a
Moslem holy man.
Talmud, Midrash, commentaries
of the Rishonim and Acharonim,
and secular knowledge His
knowledge pours forth like a
wellspring and his amazing
insights astonish his listeners
and he holds forth fluently in
numerous languages. If regarding
a knowledgeable person we say
he is an ilui, about someone like
this we say he is a gaon.
One of his many and famous
talmidim was Nobel Prize
winner, Elie Wiesel, who said
about him, I know that I would
not have become the man that I
am, the Jew that I am, if not for
that day when an astonishing
wanderer, who inspired unease,
told me that I understand
nothing. The Jewish-French

he dressed like a vagabond. Alone

in the world, he would stay in
peoples homes for a few days
at a time and would eat with his
hosts. He zealously guarded his
past and his origins.
And yet, wherever he visited,
he left a trail of admirers who
were stunned by his knowledge,
both Jewish and general, and
by his ability to weave them
into fascinating chiddushim.
Wiesel wrote in his memoirs that
anywhere in the world where he
spoke about Shushani, he met
people who had also met him
at some point in their lives and
were deeply impacted by him,
In S Francisco and Montreal,
in Caracas and Marseilles, when
I mentioned Shushani, a few

listeners smiled and I knew that I

had reignited the flame.
Many considered him one of
the greatest teachers of the 20th
century in the Jewish world while
simultaneously considering him
as one of the most mysterious
figures of the century; a sort of
human comet who zipped by and
excited all he met.
Until today, his date of birth
is not known, nor the country
in which he was born. Even his
real name is disputed. He was
supposedly born in Eastern
Europe. Guesses range from
Lithuania to White Russia
(Belarus). Wiesel wrote in his
memoirs that his real name was
Mordechai Rosenbaum based on
evidence he amassed.
Many others concluded that
Shushani was Hillel Perlman, a
Torah scholar mentioned in two
letters of R Avrohom Yitzchok
Kook. Shushani himself said
he learned by R Kook in Eretz
Yisroel in the beginning of the
20th century and then went to
the United States. In one of his
letters, R Kook wrote to his
friend in America, R Meir Bar
Ilan, and asked him to welcome
Hillel Perlman, describing him
glowingly for his great knowledge
and brilliance.
which supports the Hillel
Perlman theory, comes from a
Moshe Schweber who lived in
Yerushalayim. Shushani lived in
his house for a few years. When
Schweber was asked about
Shushani, he said, Mr. Shushani
had a sister who lived in New
York and her daughter-in-law
told me explicitly that his real
name was Hillel Perlman.
or Shushani, whatever his
name was, grew up in Eastern
Europe as a wonder child,
an ilui from an early age who

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knew all of Tanach and Shas by

heart. It is assumed that he had
a photographic memory and
that his brain operated like a
computer scanner. Rosenberg
and others say that from the
little they managed to extract
from Shushani himself, his father
would take him around towns in
Eastern Europe and earn money
from the feats of incredible
memory demonstrations that
he performed. It could very well
be that this was a traumatic
childhood for him and which
turned Shushani into an eternal
wanderer and someone who
could not adapt his prodigious
talents to any structural format.
Some witnesses say he was
seen in the 1920s in Morocco
and Algeria. He also lived in the
US during the 1920s.
Shushani was a poor wanderer.
His acquaintances say that he
always looked dirty and did not
have his hair cut. He always wore
the same small cap and the thick
lenses of his glasses distorted his
gaze. If you met him in the street
and did not know him you would
keep your distance. As for him,
he preferred it that way.


In the period prior to World
War II, R Binyamin Nachum
chacham who lived in Paris,
who was known as someone
who helped Jewish refugees
tremendously, met Shushani. R
Zilberstrom was one of the pillars
of the religious community and
that is where he met him.
the outbreak of the war, the
Consistoire the official Jewish
body that oversaw Jewish
congregations in France, began
instituting reforms in traditional
practices from generations back.

Elie Wiesel

R Binyamin Nachum was one of

those who fought against these
When these reforms took
hold among the Jews of France,
R Binyamin Nachum sought
to provide a proper Jewish
education for his older son, R
Aharon Mordechai. Chacham
Shushani was the person selected
to teach his son.
Chacham Shushani, despite
not having a home of his own
and living on odd jobs, kept
the greatest possible distance
from fraternizing with people
unless forced to do so. This
is the reason why he did not
readily accept R Binyamin
Nachums offer. But when he
was begged again and again and
was even offered lodging in his
home for an unlimited time, he
agreed. He began living with the
Zilberstroms and all his needs
were provided for.
Aharon Mordechai was only
eight years old when he began
learning with the anonymous
genius. For about a year he
taught me Gemara with Tosafos

and other commentaries and

spoke with me a lot in the
afternoon hours whenever he
was in the mood, R Aharon
Mordechai later recounted. R
Aharon Mordechai later became
an outstanding educator and was
one of the founders of Reshet
Oholei Yosef Yitzchok in Eretz
Although Chacham Shushani
lived with the Zilberstrom family,
he continued to keep his private
life a secret and nobody had an
inkling or a glimpse into what
his life was really like. He would
receive many letters in the mail
but he maintained absolute
privacy and never allowed anyone
to know what they contained.

Summer 5700/1940. The
Germans conquered large swaths
of France in a relatively short
amount of time. With the Nazi
conquest, Shushani tried to
escape to neutral Switzerland
but was caught, according to one
of the stories told about him, by
German guards and was taken to
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the Gestapo for interrogation.
He hid his Jewish identity and
claimed he was born in Alsace
and that he was a professor of
mathematics at the university
in Strasbourg. The Nazi officer
laughed at the man who looked
like a beggar but claimed to be a
professor and said, You made a
serious mistake. In civilian life, I
myself was a math professor.
Chacham Shushani offered
a deal. He would present a
mathematical riddle. If the officer
solved it, Shushani would be
executed; if he failed, he would be
released. Shushani was released

Sivan 1947.
Decades later, R Aharon
Mordechai said that Shushani
had a connection with the Rebbe
who was a prodigious scholar
like himself with whom he could
discuss various matters:
As far as I remember, the
two of them closeted themselves
together at least one time in R
Shneur Zalman Schneersohns
library or in the hall that served
as the beis midrash then (on
the third floor next to the living
quarters of R Zalman), and I
think that when they met, those
who stood outside the room

They say that he could spend hours explaining

one line of Gemara without repeating himself.
With the help of a short statement in the Gemara he would
expound on all the contemporary issues of the time.

soon after and somehow escaped

to Switzerland.
According to another version,
when he was arrested by the
Gestapo he had no documents
but because he was circumcised
he was assumed to be a Jew.
He managed to convince his
circumcised as a Moslem. To
corroborate his story, the head
mufti of France was brought
to his cell. After five hours
of conversation, the mufti
demanded Shushanis release,
saying he was a Moslem holy
After the war, Shushani
returned to France, at first to
Strasbourg and then to Paris.
Once again, he subsisted thanks
to the Jews who appreciated
his gifts and also from private
It was at this time that he met
the Rebbe who came to Paris for
a few months, from Adar until

could hear loud voices. I dont

know whether the meeting was
initiated by one or the other or
occurred providentially.
Years later, R Aharon
Shushani in Eretz Yisroel and
asked him about his impression
of the Rebbe. Shushani said that
the Rebbe was expert in Bavli and
Yerushalmi and many sciences.


Shushani traveled all his life,
in Europe, Eretz Yisroel, the US,
Uruguay, and other countries.
Until 5712, he stayed in France
and then he decided it was time
to move on. He went to Eretz
Yisroel after one of his students
arranged a forged birth certificate
for him with which he was able
to obtain a passport. In Eretz
Yisroel he mainly spent his time
on religious kibbutzim. Professor

Tzvi Bachrach, later a history

lecturer at Bar Ilan University,
met him at Kibbutz Beerot
One day, someone nobody
knew appeared and said, Give
me a room and board and I will
teach you whatever you want. He
looked unkempt, like a vagabond.
We thought he was a weirdo but
we couldnt chase him away so
we gave him some wooden shed.
After a while we said: Lets hear
what you have to teach. He gave
a Gemara shiur while correcting
a printing error in Tosafos
commentary and it was all by
heart. It was so impressive that
we decided to give him living
quarters with us.
He lived at Beerot Yitzchok
for a few months and then moved
to Kibbutz Saad in the south and
later to the kibbutzim in the Beit
Shaan valley.
Over the years, hundreds of
students and admirers gathered
round him. All who heard him
were mesmerized by his prowess
and encyclopedic knowledge in
Torah, his breadth and depth, and
he encouraged them to improve
and make progress. They say that
he could spend hours explaining
one line in the Gemara without
repeating himself. With the
help of a short statement in the
Gemara he would expound on all
the contemporary issues of the
He was considered a tough
teacher. The mythos about him
was built, among other things,
on his various obsessions. The
biggest one was his zealous
guarding of his privacy and his
identity. His students say that he
declined aliyos to the Torah so
that his real name would remain
unknown. Bachrach tells that
one time he entered Shushanis
room and saw a paper on the
floor. He innocently picked

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it up and saw lines written in

Shushanis cramped handwriting
which looked like mathematical
formulas. He grabbed the paper
out of my hand.
All his life he lived as a poor
man and yet there were rumors
that he was in possession of a
lot of money that he received as
a salary from famous people who
wanted him to teach them. This
is how, for example, his ability to
travel was explained. Elie Wiesel
thinks it was more than rumors,
One time, in France, we sat
and learned in my room when
we suddenly saw soldiers enter
the building. They had come to
check our documents but he was
frightened and ran and told me to
watch his suitcase. It was an old,
shabby suitcase. When I opened
it I saw silver and gold. I closed
it and when he returned I did not
say a word about it.
Between the years 5716 and
5717, Shushani lived in France
and in the middle of the fifties he
moved to Montevideo, Uruguay,
his final stop. He was invited
there by a former student from
France who had emigrated there.
The Rebbes secretary, R
Binyamin Klein ah, once went to
Montevideo on Merkos Shlichus
and he took the opportunity to
meet with the mystery prodigy
whom he knew had a connection
with the Rebbe.
On one of my trips to
Uruguay with a fellow shliach we
heard that there is someone by
the name of Professor Shushani
who knew the Rebbe in Europe.
We looked for him for a while and
finally found him sitting in one of
the shuls. He was wearing very
old clothes and looked neglected.
When we met him we told him
we are Chabad Chassidim.
Do you know the Rebbe, he
asked us.
Of course, we see him every

The text is by Elie Wiesel who paid for this gravestone

day, we said.
He said, You see him but
you dont know him.
Then he asked that the
Rebbe send him a big tallis and a
When we returned to New York,
we reported to the Rebbe and the
Rebbe said to fulfill his request.
After a while, I heard that after
he passed away he was buried
in that tallis sent to him by the
On Shabbos, Parshas VaEira,
26 Teves 5728, he attended
a seminar for youth in
Montevideo. Two of his
students participated too.
Friday night he collapsed,
apparently of a heart attack.
Rosenberg, says that time
was wasted looking for a
doctor. The doctor who
finally came did not have the
necessary skills, and Mr.
Shushani passed away.
Even at this stage, at the
end of his life, the riddle of
his identity was not solved.

An amazing thing occurred. In

his pocket was a note with the
phone number in Switzerland of
someone he knew. When they
called the number, they found
out that the man had died 24
hours earlier.
His secrets were taken to the
grave and he remains a mystery
in death as in his lifetime. His
real name was not even put on his
gravestone. All it says is, HaRav
VhaChacham Shushani zl. His
birth and life were shrouded in

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His audiences are fascinated by his lectures

and farbrengens and he has gained a popular
following for his classes in Chassidus. * The
story of R Itay Gabay and his work in drawing
people close to Judaism and Chassidus.
By Nosson Avrohom

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f you wanted to find R Itay

Gabay, you would probably
have a hard time finding him.
He is constantly on the move
while spreading the wellsprings in
Tel Aviv and its environs. In one
place he gives a shiur, in another he
farbrengs, in yet another he leads a
lively conversation with a group of
mekuravim, and in another place
he sits in front of a computer and
prepares an article that he will
post on the site for those who are
getting involved in Judaism. He
looks like a bearded Chassid who
has been in the world of Chassidus
for years, but the truth is that until
a decade ago R Gabays life looked
completely different.

Itay Gabay was born in Petach
Tikva on Erev Purim 5735 to a
typical middle class family.
My father worked for
years at a senior position in
the Finance Ministry and my
mother is a nurse at Beilinson
hospital. We did not lack for
anything monetarily. My parents
encouraged excellence but gave
us children the freedom to choose
our path. Our connection to our
Jewish traditions was expressed
primarily once a year when the
family would walk to shul for
Nila, dressed in white.
I was different than my
siblings and peers. Academics
did not interest me at all. I
was attracted to drawing. My
imagination was highly developed
and for hours I would think and
daydream. During recess I was

the clown, the one that all the

students gathered round so they
could hear a good joke. I tested
as gifted but I did not learn
I really connected to theater
and drama where I got excellent
marks, but I could not sit for
an entire day and study math
or English. In tenth grade I was
home more than in school. The
great attraction I had for drawing
came from realizing at a young
age that the world we live in
has a deeper dimension than
what is seen externally. This was
something that did not interest
other kids in my class.
I remember that when I was
a young child I began suffering
from tics. My mother did some
research and realized this is a
psychosomatic problem, not a
physical one. This confirmed
what I knew, that not everything
can be measured and seen. This
insight drew me further into
painting where I could express
imaginary and inner worlds.
His parents offered to help
him develop his art skills to a
professional level, but after some
art lessons, he became restless
and stopped going. Shortly after
that he rebelled against existing
societal norms.
I joined up with fringe youth
and together we would listen
to rock and punk rock music.
At a young age I went to work
and I spent the money I earned
hanging out on the streets of Tel
Aviv. We would be up all night
and sleep by day. At a certain
point I shaved my head. I was

People we had gotten involved in the matter

and who heard the happy ending were in shock.
The Tax Authority is very structured and things like this
just dont happen. We knew that the miracle occurred
because of the bracha we got from the Rebbe.

looking for meaning but there

was nobody to give me answers
to the many questions I had.
When he came of draft age
he was placed on a military base
near Eilat.
The many hours I spent
in the mountains of Eilat led
me to meditate and to feel how
everything is supervised from
Above. At the end of my military
service, something calmed down
within me. The key moment was
a trip we made to holy places in
Yerushalayim where I was very
impressed by Dovid HaMelechs
grave. The simplicity, the peeling
paint and the moss on the walls
spoke to my heart.

The first thing I did after
my release from the army was to
fly to India. I sought serenity. I
had a friend who was becoming
interested in Breslov Chassidus
with whom I traveled and every
morning he would get up early,
go up on the roof and put on
tfillin. I remember that I had
great respect for him doing
something he believed in. In
Varanasi I bought canvases and
paintbrushes and began painting
again after years of neglecting it.
Itay joined a group of gentiles
from Spain and Mexico who
came to India.
They were people who
traveled all their adult lives and
I found a common language
with them, but although I was
far from Torah observance, I felt
inside that there was an essential
difference between me and them.
In one encounter, a gentile
friend said, You Jews were born
with a book on your backs. He
meant the Tanach. You cant run
away from it, while we are born
without anything and can design

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our beliefs as we please.

There was truth in what
he said. It was hearing it from
a non-Jew that made me think
and realize that although I wasnt
religious now, I was Jewish, and
I could never run away from
that, no matter where I went.
For some reason, I always felt
that I represented Judaism. I was
constantly asked questions about
religion and I did not always
know the answers.
When I came back from
India I joined a group on a trip to
the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
I was looking for a place of peace
and quiet in order to create and
paint. The mountains in Morocco
served me well in that respect but
it did not last long. The Intifada
broke out and my mother called
and asked me to return home.
She was afraid of anti-Semitism
on the part of the locals where I
was. Indeed, the next day a half a
million people demonstrated and
screamed Death to Israel.

At a certain point, Itay
decided that he wanted to study
art professionally and that is
how he met the artist Yehuda
Broitman who lived in Yaffo.
At our first meeting I felt
a connection to him. Between
one lesson and the next, we
would drink green tea and talk
about deep concepts in Judaism.
I felt strongly connected; my
neshama had woken up. I felt
that this is what my soul yearned
for all those years. Later on I
realized that everything he talked
about was taken from Chabad
Now and then I borrowed
books from him which I eagerly
read. Today I know that they were
on Chassidus. One time, I heard
about his special connection
with the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He
told me that he had come out
of Russia and become close to

Chabad and visited the Rebbe but

over the years he had gone off the
derech. But after a few months I
noticed that he was starting to get
involved again with Chabad and
he became a Chassid again. I was
very close with him and under
his influence I started attending
Chassidus classes.
Itay began learning more
about Judaism at the shul of the
Admur of Bichkov which is in
Yaffo near the gallery, where he
learned in kollel and became more
committed to mitzva observance.
Later on, he attended the classes
of R Motty Gal ah in Ramat
Gan in the Dvar Malchus and
became his mushpa and mekurav.
It was then that he completed his
metamorphosis and became a
Lubavitcher Chassid.
After I attended the shiurim
on Dvar Malchus for a while, I
went to the yeshiva in Ramat Aviv
and a month later I made my first
trip to the Rebbe.
Itay loved learning Chassidus.

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R Gabay says that in their personal lives, he and his wife have seen
miracles from the Rebbe:
Before we met, my wife wrote to the Rebbe asking for a bracha for a
shidduch. She opened to an answer in the Igros Kodesh in which the Rebbe
said to say chapter 72 of Thillim to correspond to the years of the Rebbe
Rayatz and to do so until 12-13 Tammuz. She did so.
We met for the first time on the eve of 12 Tammuz in Tzfas. After our
first meeting I could see this was serious. The next day we met again and
then we met a few more times and a week later we let our families know
about our decision. That day we had a lchaim and we informed the Rebbe.
Then my wife told me about the answer from the Rebbe about saying
chapter 72 until 12-13 Tammuz.

After a year of learning in Ramat

Aviv he became engaged to
Amy. They settled in the old city
of Tzfas where he continued
painting while learning in the
yeshiva gdola.
Half a year later, I got a
phone call from a shliach in Yaffo
who invited me to help him. After
writing to the Rebbe we opened
to a positive answer and moved
to Yaffo.
Later on, R Gabay began
teaching in the Chabad House in
the Florentine neighborhood in
Tel Aviv and became a member
of the staff of the yeshiva in
Neve Tzedek where he is a
mashgiach and mashpia under
the shliach and rosh yeshiva, R
Avrohom Kali. In the evenings
he is regularly invited to various
places to give shiurim and to
farbreng. He is part of the staff
of Midreshet Pnimiyut in Ramat
Aviv and teaches at the Mimaal
Mamosh center on King George.
In addition, he is invited all over
the country to farbreng and
deliver shiurim.
His gifted oratory and his
clear exposition of Chassidus
capture the interest of his
audience, who are loath to miss
any of his classes which have
developed a positive reputation in
Tel Aviv and elsewhere.

As part of his work these

days, he is involved in individual
and couples coaching which he
learned from R Arad of Daat
My learning with R Arad
improved and raised the level of
my internalization of Chassidic
concepts and the essence of the
avoda of a Chassid with himself
and others.

Divine Providence is a
central theme of R Gabays
farbrengens. When I ask for an
example he tells me an amazing
story that he experienced on Hei
Teves a few years ago.
I love sfarim. Every year,
when Hei Teves comes around,
I agree upon a certain sum with
my wife that we will spend on
buying sfarim. Hei Teves for me
is a real holiday.
One year, I bought more
sfarim than we had planned,
which looked to make a real dent
in our budget. The next day,
a friend to whom I had given
paintings of mine to sell before
I was niskarev, told me that he
had been able to sell five pieces
of work and the money was on
its way to me. I was astounded.

I hadnt spoken to him in years

and I considered this incredible
hashgacha pratis. A year later
on Hei Teves, the same thing
happened. Once again I bought
more sfarim than I should have
and once again, I got a phone
call from Doron Pollack who had
just sold five pieces. It was like a
discovered to my dismay that
we owed a huge sum for income
tax. My wife had had a business
which since closed and she was
unaware that she owed money
and the amount had grown over
the years. I discovered this debt
completely by hashgacha pratis.
I was one of the artists who
built art displays on Rothschild
Boulevard and in order to get
paid, I had to get a form from
the Tax Authority where they
discovered this old debt.
The amount was enormous.
We tried using our connections
but nothing helped. We wrote
to the Rebbe and opened to an
astonishing answer. The Rebbe
wrote about bitachon and said
to learn Chovos HaLevavos. We
did; every day we learned a few
lines. We tried, to the best of
our ability, to be calm and have
bitachon, but it wasnt easy.
In the meantime, it was Hei
Teves again and the Tax Authority
threatened to freeze our bank
account if we did not arrange
payment. We decided that since
in any case it was going to
happen, that I would buy sfarim
before I would no longer be able
to do so. I bought a lot of sfarim
and hoped for a miracle. Unlike
the previous years, Doron did
not call to tell me he had sold five
A few days later, we called
the income tax office to find
out what was going on and
whether we could come to an

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Its hard to depict the Rebbe.

agreement that would reduce

the astronomical sum. The clerk
checked our file and informed us
that on Hei Teves a request was
submitted to cancel the debt and
our request had been accepted.
We asked for the cancellation in
writing and he sent us a letter
absolving us of our debt. We were
stunned by the turn of events.
People we had gotten
involved in the matter and who
heard the happy ending were in
shock. The Tax Authority is very
structured and things like this
just dont happen. We knew that
the miracle occurred because
of the bracha we got from the
There are many stories
of hashgacha that a person
experiences nearly every day
but a miracle like this doesnt
happen every day. This story
strengthened our emuna.
Although you painted so
many pictures, you only painted
the Rebbe once. Why is that?
In the half a year that I lived
in Tzfas I painted four paintings.
One of them was of the famous
picture of the Rebbe and the
Rebbe Rayatz, another one was
of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka and
another was just of the Rebbes
eyes. These paintings remain
incomplete while paintings of

other people I drew easily and in

a shorter amount of time, but its
hard for me to draw the Rebbe.
When I learned in Ramat
Aviv, I got permission from the
hanhala to go twice a week to
study painting in the studio of
Yehuda Broitman in Yaffo. One
time, I decided to paint the Alter
Rebbe. One of the rabbis in
yeshiva, R Schwartz, spoke to
me about the painting and said,
When you draw the Alter Rebbe,
you need yiras Shamayim, and
that really spoke to me.
Youve dedicated yourself to
being mekarev Jews to Judaism
and Chassidus. How do you get
a person to change?
Whoever works in kiruv
knows that there are no magic
words. What works with one
person does not necessarily work
with someone else. Each one
moves at his own pace.
But if you would like tips
for success, first and foremost
is being entirely there for him.
There are times you will talk with
him until three in the morning
and if he calls you need to be
available. If you are not free, do
everything you can to get back
to him when you are available.
There shouldnt be a situation in
which a mekurav is looking for
you for days. In conversations

Talking with mekuravim

with mekuravim you need to

provide lots of love and Im not
talking about ego stroking but
that they should know that you
love them. And when you love
someone, you say the truth even
if its not pleasant.
Do you see the results of
your hard work in hafatzas
I was taught that you get
involved in hafatza and you
dont measure success. Its
hard to know what is going on
in a persons soul and when a
change will occur, but reality
shows that there are people
who have changed and become
Chassidim, and Hashem has
many emissaries.
Ill tell you something. A while
ago, I was invited by my friend,
Roi Lavi, a former member of
the Tavlinim band who became
Lubavitch, to farbreng with his
friends. The farbrengen took
place in Ramat Gan in honor
of Chai Elul. We farbrenged
into the night and I told stories
about the Chabad leaders. I felt
that I was making an impact
on the attendees, especially on
one person by the name of Shai
Cohen. Later on, he connected
with the shliach in Kfar Yona, R
Nechemia Schmerling. After a
few months, a friend sent me a
video clip in which you see Shai
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Cohen on a famous TV program
where he went up on stage
dressed like a frum person and
proclaimed Yechi.
You are known as someone
who farbrengs really well. Can
you give us some tips on how to
prepare well for a farbrengen?
Someone who farbrengs must
first fill himself with maamarei
Chassidus, sichos kodesh, and
Chassidishe stories. When you
have that, then things flow
according to the situation, the
time and the people. But there
are times when you are on your
way to farbreng more officially,
and then you must show up with
what you want to convey. Then
I prepare a story or two and the
farbrengen revolves around the
story and the message in it. The
main thing at a farbrengen is not
to be a demagogue, but to speak
to people as an equal, not from
an elevated perch. Then it is well
You need to say the truth. A
farbrengen can be more or less
successful depending on the
participants. Last 19 Kislev I
farbrenged by the shliach R Uri
Cohen in Ashkelon. The place
was on fire thanks to the work
the shliach did over many years. I
just gave the final blow.
When you are out there,
do you see a major difference
between the kiruv by Lubavitch
and the kiruv done by other
Many of them learned their
methods from Chabad. You see
rabbis from other groups who
speak ideas of Chassidus. Before
I made my own connection with
Chabad, I spent time with Breslov
and I was by Ashlag too and also
by the Sephardim. I got a taste in
many places, but inner depth on
such an all-encompassing scale
exists only in Chabad. This depth
gave me the ability to maintain

ties with my family despite my

I remember telling my mother
that I was getting involved in
Chabad and she was happy. If
youre getting into religion, she
said, then only with Chabad.
Chassidus raises you up to the
greatest heights and its in a
joyful way, not out of gvura or
Although many learned the
right approach from us, the
Rebbe lifted us even higher, to
live with the Geula. A mekurav
to Chabad doesnt get hung up
with his previous sins or with
the reward and punishment he
will get, but will be involved in
getting closer to His Creator and
being mekarev others in order to
achieve the hisgalus.
Still, how do you get
people interested specifically
in Chassidus? Isnt it easier to
connect with other groups where
the demands are less?
Ill tell you something. A year
ago, someone from my former
life contacted me, a famous
actress. She asked me to sit down
with an irreligious actor and
teach him how to act the part
of a Lubavitcher baal teshuva. It
was Sukkos 5775. She had first
consulted with people from the
non-Chabad world and when
she heard that I had become a
Chassid, she called me.
She first sent me an email
with the actors lines. I read it
and was taken aback because it
wasnt appropriate for someone
who had become frum through
Chabad. I explained to her that it
wasnt at all authentic and we had
to change the script. She agreed,
even though this script had gone
through its final draft already. For
two days I sat with the actor and
prepared him anew in the role.
The point I am trying to make
is that the head of a Chabadnik

works completely differently. I

saw that the Rebbe mentions that
the face of a Chabad Chassid
looks more refined, and, of
course, its true. The work is
harder, there is avodas hamiddos,
learning Chassidus, mivtzaim,
but the bottom line is that you
become a different person. The
change takes place on an inner
level, not superficially. After the
actress saw what I changed in the
script and how I had prepared the
actor, she said, The heads of you
Chabadnikim work differently.
To conclude, in farbrengens
and shiurim you talk openly
about the identity of Moshiach
and the anticipation for Geula.
How do people react?
There are mashpiim and
rabbanim who know how to do it
better than me, but if you ask me,
I say it the way it is.
But before speaking about
Moshiach, we need to speak
clearly about everything in life
starting and ending with Rebbe.
We get up in the morning and go
to sleep at night and the question
we ask ourselves is, what does
the Rebbe want from us. Just
today I farbrenged in Kiryat
Ono and it was the main theme
of the farbrengen. After talking
about the Rebbe, when we get
to Moshiach, its accepted more
mekuravim is learning the sichos
of the Dvar Malchus. All the
secrets are there. The words and
wording make everything clear
and they speak for themselves.
The Rebbe connects every issue
in our lives to life in a Geula
context. You dont have to keep
on thinking about how to convey
it and how to say it; you just say
what the Rebbe says and the
message gets through. Thats
been my experience.

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By Rabbi Zalman Goldberg

Toward the end of Parshas

discussion is recorded between
Yosef and some of his brothers.
Mitzrayim from interring their
father Yaakov, Yosefs brothers
were gripped by a sudden fear.
They feared that Yosef was now
going to take retribution for the
bad that his brothers had done
him nearly four decades earlier.
They reasoned that Yosef was
very nice to them for the past
seventeen years only out of
respect for their father who was
still living, and now that Yaakov
was no longer there, Yosef could
act freely and as viscously as he
wished (and Yaakov would not
be there to stop him). Based on
this fear, the sons of Bilha were
sent to Yosef to relay to him
instructions in Yaakovs name:
Please tell Yosef to forgive the
sins of his brothers that they
wronged him.
Fear not! Am I in the place
of Hashem? I can do you no
wrong if Hashem does not will
it. The proof is visible in our past
history; you sold me to Mitzrayim

with evil intent, but Hashem had

good intentions in my descent to
Mitzrayim, namely, to enable me
to sustain all our families, and
if Hashem didnt have this goal
then your evil scheme would not
have worked. Its obvious that
Hashem is all powerful, and I can
do nothing to harm you. He is
the only One who can choose to
do you good or evil.
From a Bitachon perspective,
the only fear which is permissible
(and is actually encouraged) is
fear of Hashem. Any other fear
is strongly discouraged. The
real reason why a person fears
a certain response, outcome or
unknown future occurrence is
because there is a lack of Bitachon
in Hashem. If the Bitachon in
Hashem was complete, then
confidence that Hashem will
make everything work out in the
best possible manner would be
the only idea filling ones mind.
So for the Shvatim to entertain
such a fear that Yosef would
behave vengefully, although it
may have been a well-founded
fear (because he stopped inviting
them over to dine at his table), it
reflected on a lack of Bitachon.

(This is aside from the fact that

revenge itself is also against
emuna and bitachon that Hashem
orchestrates everything.)
Interestingly, Yaakov did not
suspect Yosef of desiring revenge.
Perhaps the reason is because
Yaakov recognized Yosefs level
of Bitachon and connection to
Hashem and knew that he wasnt
capable of conducting himself in
a manner contrary to Hashems
expectations of him. This is what
Yosef reflected in his response to
his brothers, I have a firm belief
that only Hashem is in charge,
and that only Hashem has a
say in what should happen to
whom. This excludes everyone,
even I, the viceroy of Egypt (the
mightiest country in the world at
that time) from having an opinion
as to whom should be done evil.
Thus, my dear brothers, you have
nothing at all to fear.
Yosef echoed this same
message in Parshas VaYigash,
revelation of his identity to his
brothers. Do not be angry or
distressed that you sold me to
Mitzrayim, because this whole
chain of events has nothing to do
with your intentions, it was really
Hashems plan that I should
pave the way for our family in
Mitzrayim so that I should be
able to sustain you.
So the two Bitachon lessons
we learn are that fear of Hashem
is the only fear that should be
exercised, to the unequivocal
exclusion of all other fears,
and the notion that Hashem is
the sole decision maker, which
should guide our every action.
Rabbi Zalman Goldberg is a well
sought after speaker and lecturer on
Chassidic thought. His writings and
recordings on the topic of Bitachon can be
accessed at http://www.gotbitachon.com.

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Four women from Yitzhar who live out in the
Shomron with daily mesirus nefesh, share some
personal miracles they experienced recently.

Please tell us about your
connection with the Rebbe and
Esther Rosen: I lost my
mother when I was thirteen. In
the building where we lived in
Hertzliya lived a couple who
were married for a number of
years and did not have children.
The woman adopted me as her
daughter and devoted much time
and motherly warmth to me. I
would visit them often and she
was like a mother to me, to the
point that at my wedding people
went over to her to thank her for
her devotion to me.
That couple became involved
with Chabad. Her husband would

help out at the Chabad House in

Hertzliya. His name was Yisroel,
like that of the holy Baal Shem
Tov; they were a very special
couple. They were mekarev me
to Chabad and convinced me to
go to the Rebbe. I flew to New
York and met a friend who today
is a shlucha in Los Angeles. My
father would bring me the Sichat
HaShavua when they first started
giving them out and I would read
them and gain chizuk. I thought:
What wisdom there is here! What
a Rebbe a tzaddik! And I was
very drawn to it.
The trip to the Rebbe was
greatly mekarev me. I wrote
to the Rebbe a lot but did not
always receive answers. They said
I would see the answers unfold.
For example, when we moved

here, there were twenty-eight

families, all Mizrachi. We were
the only Lubavitchers. I missed
having shiurim and a like-minded
community. I wrote to the Rebbe
saying I did not know what to do
and that I had to have Chassidus
Within a short time some
Lubavitcher families moved here:
Bokchin, Sendroi, Cohen, and
others. Eli Eitan began giving
Tanya classes and they started
making farbrengens. That was
the Rebbes answer to me that I
should stay here in Yitzhar.
The year I came back from
Tishrei with the Rebbe, a friend
asked me to help her with a Lag
BOmer parade. It was mesirus
nefesh for me to go. During the
parade I shouted the psukim
with the children when someone
suddenly came over to me and
said, Are you Esther Sitkovsky?
I said, yes, and she said, The
Rebbe sent you a check! I said,
what? She said, Are you a
student? Did you spend Tishrei

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with the Rebbe?

When I said yes, she said the
Rebbe wanted to help me with
the expenses of my going to him.
I was flabbergasted and went to
the Chabad House in Hertzliya
and saw a letter signed by the
Rebbe. It was before I was getting
married and the money arrived
just when I needed it.
The Rebbes smile always
reminds me to think positively. I
am reminded of Ronit, a friend
from the yishuv, who told me
how when she was twelve the
Rebbe made a motion to her with
his hand and it keeps her going
until today. The Rebbe also gives
me kochos and positive thinking
even in not such easy moments.


Hila Shamua: When I was in
high school I was very connected.
I related to the gatherings of
Chabad, to the yellow signs,
Hinei, hinei Moshiach Ba, and
I went to Chabad events.

My husband and I love

Chabad. We are connected
through R Yitzchok Ginsburgh.
I greatly relate to the idea the
Rebbe says that every Jew is a
All our views and customs
come from Chabad and Breslov
where they talk about hisbodedus
and prayer, whereas the Rebbe
takes things to the cosmic
and global level, establishing
Hashems kingship in the world,
to redeem the Shchina and bring
us closer to Hashem.


father is the rav of Kfar Yona, R
Uzi Souissa. He is on good terms
with R Nechemia Schmerling,
the shliach on the yishuv. We
grew up with the Schmerlings.
He and his wife Chani were our
friends. We were the only two
religious families in Kfar Yona
and we did the religious outreach

together, the day camps, Lag

bOmer I have a warm spot in
my heart for the shluchim and
the Rebbe. Till today, we travel
with our four children to Kfar
Yona for Chanuka and other
major holidays in order to take
part in the special atmosphere of
shlichus there. We lived in Shilo,
then in Yerushalayim, and we are
here in Yitzhar for five years now.


Rivka Schwartz: A few years
ago, Mrs. Dafna Chiyoun of
Rishon LTziyon came here to
speak. Her life story touched
me and gave me chizuk. I had
been married a number of years
and did not have children. She
suggested that I write to the
Rebbe. She took my phone
number and she later called and
said that the Rebbe responded
that everything will be fine, I just
had to be happy and not anxious.
She gave me a lot of chizuk.

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The truth is that I was
connected to Chabad way before
that. It was when my family
became religious through Chabad
in Petersburg. My father ran a
traditional club there for children
and young people. We did not
know a lot but we became much
stronger through our relationship
with the Chabad shluchim there.
In 5759 we made aliya. My
brother lives in Itamar, I live in
Yitzhar, and my parents live in
At the last shiur on family
purity that I attended they spoke
about the status of a Jew which
is above Torah, which is why
we can desecrate the Shabbos
to save a life. I was reminded
of this when my labor began on
Shabbos two weeks ago. This
idea encouraged me as I had to
travel by ambulance on Shabbos.
On the way I saw a picture of the
Rebbe and felt that the Rebbe was
accompanying me to the birth.

Please tell us of the miracle
that happened to you recently.
Hila: On 25 Elul, the day that
marks the beginning of Creation,
I was created anew! That
morning, I picked up my friend
Netta, who lives in Alon Moreh.
We both work as midwives at a
hospital in Bnei Brak. On the
way, we came to Huwara. In the
area of the old mosque stood a
group of Arabs, about a meter
and a half away from us, and
something was thrown at us.
Our car is armored against
rocks so at first I wasnt scared,
but Netta was scared and began
screaming that her back hurts. I
realized they had shot at us and
thought she was badly hurt, so I
started driving like a madwoman.
I dont remember precisely how I

managed (afterward, on cameras

that are installed in Huwara I saw
how I swerved around the cars,
trucks ) but I finally reached
the Tapuach junction where we
saw the big miracle. We saw the
holes in the car and realized what
route the bullet had taken. It had
entered from the rear door, took
a turn toward Netta who sat next
to me, and stopped in the seat
so that Netta only received a dry
blow. She had a black and blue
mark on her lower back, a few
millimeters from her spine but,
thank G-d, the bullet did not
penetrate her back.

Esther: On 4 Elul I went to
an evening of chizuk for women
in Yerushalayim. During the trip
I held a Chitas, from which I
learn every day. A military vehicle
which had been parked on the
side of the road did not see us
and went into us. Our car was
completely wrecked and we, my
husband, my daughter and I, and
a hitchhiker got out with hardly a
scratch. Those who saw the car
afterward found it hard to believe
that we got out alive. What a

Malka: I am pregnant and
my husband and I went for a
checkup in Ariel. On the way
back, I got off at the Tapuach
junction in order to get to Alon
Moreh to give a shiur. A car
came along and the driver asked
who wants to go to Yitzhar. I
knew the people in the car and
went over with the other potential
hitchhikers to hear where they
were going when suddenly,
another car, driven by a terrorist,
drove into us for the purpose of
running us over.
We stood between the car that

had stopped and the concrete

barrier, and the terrorists car
simply knocked over everyone
standing there. We were six
people at the bus stop and four
were down on the ground,
another two were further away
and were not hurt. Nobody in the
car was hurt but I was slightly
injured. The shooting started, I
did not know who was shooting,
I just remembered that the
terrorists car was stuck against
the concrete barrier and the
terrorist already had his feet out
of the car.
I got up with difficulty and
limped behind the barrier. There
was still shooting. I looked up
fearfully and saw that the ones
shooting were our soldiers,
boruch Hashem.
After the terrorist was killed,
I heard voices asking for help.
Ambulances came immediately
from yishuvim in the area and
soldiers came too. I did not know
whether I was injured or not.
In my head I kept replaying the
moments of falling on my back,
my running behind the barrier
and the joy that the shooting
was coming from us. Wow,
Im alive! I went to look for my
phone which had disappeared
when I fell. I wanted to call my
husband and tell him that I was
in a terrorist attack and was fine.
I saw the injuries of the rest
of the men and asked, Whats
happening here?
It was a terrible sight. I saw
two of the young men with their
legs smashed, one of them had
a break in his leg and the other
ones foot was crushed. I got out
lightly. I still have the bruises,
my hand isnt responding and
my balance is off, but I saw
Hashems kindness and His
divine providence. Every time I
think about what happened, I am
amazed by the magnitude of the

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miracle. I saw that even for those

who were knocked to the ground,
it was not coincidental. Each
person was directed to precisely
where to stand and what injuries
he would sustain, may Hashem
have mercy. The big miracle was
that the soldiers arrived at the
moment the terrorist attacked
and they were able to shoot at
him immediately.
Another miracle was that they
found a tourniquet for the guy
so his foot was saved. The third
one lost consciousness and his
miracle was that he fell on me
so that his injury was less severe.
At the hospital I met his mother
who thanked me for being there.
I said to her, I have to thank
you because if not for him, the
car would have gone another two
meters and I was there...
We were hospitalized on
Sunday at Beilinson and by
Monday I was allowed to leave. I
told my husband that I wanted to
visit the other injured people who
were in different departments
surgical, plastic surgery, and
intensive care. The first one I
saw, with the crushed foot, they
had been able to save his foot; the
tourniquet made a big difference.
The second one, when
we went in to see him, he did
not remember anything about
the attack, for he had lost
consciousness. We reviewed what
happened before the attack, what
he talked about on his cell phone.
His mother was moved and she
took a picture of my husband and
him together, and me and her
The third ones legs had been
saved. It took him a few days to
regain consciousness. He is still
hospitalized but, with Hashems
help, after rehab, he will be able
to walk again.
As for me, my pregnancy is
fine, my right hand was cold

in the evening. On the way I

had a feeling and I remembered
a story that my friend from the
yishuv told at an evening of
chizuk for ladies that we had
recently. It was about a woman
from Yerushalayim who was
walking down the street alone
and suddenly sensed someone
following her. She began to say,
on my right is Michoel, on my
left Gavriel and above me is
the Shchina of Keil. She didnt
stop saying this verse and the
Arab kept following her until she
arrived at a blockade manned by
soldiers. They then took the Arab
in for questioning. Why didnt
you attack her? He said he
wanted to but couldnt since two
hulking figures walked alongside

I realized they had shot at us so I started driving

like a madwoman. I dont remember precisely
how I managed but I finally reached the Tapuach junction
where we saw the big miracle. We saw the holes in the
car and realized what route the bullet had taken.

and didnt move, but from day

to day there is improvement.
Warmth and sensation are slowly
returning. I still cant use my
right hand; I use my left instead.
Im excited about my hand that
is healing; its amazing to get my
hand back as a gift. Nothing is
taken for granted.

Rivka: A month ago, when
I was in my ninth month, we
returned from a visit and tfillos
at Rochel Imeinu, and Shabbos at
my parents in Yerushalayim. We
traveled on Sunday past Huwara

her the entire time.

This story really got to me
and I also started saying this
verse when suddenly, at one of
the turns, a Molotov cocktail
was thrown at us. I saw a trail of
fire flying in the direction of my
baby daughter who was sitting in
the back. The Molotov cocktail
hit the car a few centimeters
from the gas tank and shattered
on the road. Behind us was
another Jewish car which also
miraculously got out of the area.


How are you emotionally
after an attack like that?

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Malka: Other attacks that
take place dont cause flashbacks
for me, but leave me with the
that we are still in exile. The
Shchina is in galus and like my
grandfather suffered, so too,
the Jewish people are suffering
now. However, when one of my
children falls, I can be shaken up,
and the screech of a car can bring
me back to the Tapuach Junction.
What gives me chizuk and
what puts me in a good mental
space is knowing that we are part
of the Jewish people who suffer.
It is not my personal event. The
belief that there is a reason for
this suffering really helps. As the
days pass I have become closer to
G-d than before.


Rivka: Thinking about what
could have been I experienced
some terrors, but we see how
Hashem watches and protects
and we are strengthened by our


Hila: I saw in a tangible way
the kindnesses of Hashem. We
felt we had received out lives
as a gift. Netta told me that the
whole way from Alon Moreh,
the tune from the piyut of R
Amnon went through her head,
Who by water, who by fire...
She wondered why she was
thinking about things like that.
I felt that Hashem chose me to
live. On Rosh HaShana there is
a question about our continued
existence. The feeling that you

had a bullet coming your way, it

either hits or not, there is no in
between, no room for flexibility.
It cuts between the worlds, it
puts you either here or there, it is
so precise. The bullet could stop
or get stuck anywhere, in the
back, in me, or anywhere. Every
morning we say the bracha,
who chose us ... Hashem
chooses our existence here, it
intensifies the feeling of shlichus.
It is a very uplifting feeling of
purpose, although it also inspires
fear suddenly the World to
Come is so close There are
traumatic ramifications to a
certain extent. The yetzer hara
comes and says, Maybe you
sinned, maybe you are not good
enough and Hashem doesnt
want you... But despite this, it
does give a good feeling. It gives
you a truer perspective for this
world, the fact that people live
their lives as if it is an obvious
reality, you see that its not to
be taken for granted. Everyone
is asleep and Hashem let me
wake up for a moment. He let
me know who gives me life, he
let me know that the entire world
hangs on nothingness, and he let
me know that every second of life
is from this koach that Hashem
chose you at this moment. This
experience gives me the feeling
that we arent here for no reason.
An attack like that could have
happened to anyone and the fact
that Hashem chose me gives me
a sense of communal mission
a sort of communal sacrifice.
That all the suffering and fear I
went through I need to transform
into something public to sanctify
Hashems name, so that all the

Jewish people know that we

are all here for a purpose and
mission. There is nobody here for
no reason. I am happy to convey
this understanding further, and
even though I bless everyone with
readily apparent good, we still
have to recognize that the word
nisayon/test is from the same
root as the word neis/banner
and is meant to raise us up high
above our everyday slumber.
I also tell myself that if I
had prayed, maybe it wouldnt
have happened. I could have
done something to prevent it.
When something happens, you
are automatically connected to
Hashem, so why do you need
something like this to happen to
get you back to Him? You cannot
be disconnected from Hashem in
this world. Tfilla is also from the
root meaning judgment. Why did
this happen? At that time, I felt
I had not done enough with the
avoda of Elul and I was swiftly
sent back to the source, to the
root. A person cannot forget his
origin, from where he came to
this world.
Goodness that is apparent
and revealed means life with
the reality of G-dliness and
absolute clarity. Sometimes we
dont bother because if were
comfortable, why exert myself to
serve Hashem? Obviously, this is
a mistake. What is Geula? Geula
means knowing that everything
about me, everything I go
through, it is all from Hashem.
That is on the personal level. On
the macro level, it is Moshiach
who connects the Jewish people
to Hashem and the knowledge of
our purpose in this world.



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OF 10
By Rabbi Gershon Avtzon

Dear Reader shyichyeh,

This week was the fast day
of the tenth of Teves. On that
day, in the year 3336 from
Creation (425 BCE), the armies
of the Babylonian emperor
Nevuchadnetzar laid siege to
Yerushalayim. Later, the city
walls were breached, and on 9 Av
of that year the Beis HaMikdash
was destroyed. The Jewish people
were exiled to Babylonia for 70
While for many, those in the
northern hemisphere, it is the
shortest fast of the year (as it is in
middle of the winter with an early
sundown), the Beis Yosef writes
that it has a unique stringency:
It is the only fast day that if
calendrically possible we would
fast on Shabbos, just like Yom
Kippur! This is besides the fact
that they are both on the tenth of
the month based on a Pasuk in
Yechezkel (24:2): Son of man,
write for yourself the name of the
day, this very day (;)
the king of Babylon has besieged
Jerusalem on this very day. We
see that the Navi uses the same
term that the Torah
uses for Yom Kippur.
On 10 Teves 5748, a Hakhel
year, the Rebbe spoke a Sicha
after Mincha and connected
many of the aspects of the fast of
10 Teves to the general theme of

Regarding a fast day, the

Rambam (Hilchos Taanis 4:1)
writes: On each and every day
of the ... fasts , we pray in the
[following] manner. The ark
is taken out to the street of the
city, and all the people gather
together... The Navi (Yeshaya
57:13) says: When you cry out,
let your collections save you
and the Midrash (beginning
of Parshas VaYeishev) explains
that this Pasuk is referring to
gatherings that inspire us to do
Also in that sicha the Rebbe
discusses how the number ten
is a full and all-encompassing
number. It is a total of all the
it. In short, it is a number of
unity. This fast is on the tenth
day of the tenth month! This is
supposed to awaken in us the
idea that we must use this day to
receive the koach to unite with
all of the Jewish people. This is
the idea of the Pasuk of Hakhel
(Dvarim 31:12): Assemble the
people, the men, the women, and
the children, and your stranger
in your cities, in order that they
hear, and in order that they learn
and fear the Lord, your God, and
they will observe to do all the
words of this Torah.
We mentioned earlier, that
one of the connections between
Asara BTeives and Yom Kippur

is the fact that they both have

the words used in
relation to them. In chassidus, the
word refers to the essence
of the Yid. That, understanding
that we are all connected at
our essence, is the secret of
attaining true Jewish unity. While
externally we are all different,
and therefore one may feel that
they cant unite with another Yid,
when one focuses on the
then it all comes together.
We will finish with the
words of the Rambam (end
of Hilchos Taanis) : All these
[commemorative] fasts will be
nullified in the Messianic era
and, indeed ultimately, they will
be transformed into holidays and
days of rejoicing and celebration,
as [Zechariah 8:19] states: Thus
declares the Lord of Hosts, The
fast of the fourth [month], the
fast of the fifth [month], the
fast of the seventh [month], and
the fast of the tenth [month]
will be [times of] happiness and
celebration and festivals for the
House of Judah. And they shall
love truth and peace.
Rabbi Avtzon is the Rosh
Yeshiva of Yeshivas Lubavitch
Cincinnati and a well sought
after speaker and lecturer.
Recordings of his in-depth
shiurim on Inyanei Geula
uMoshiach can be accessed at

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By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg


As Yaakov lay dying, he
gathered all of his sons to his
bedside and blessed them. In
truth, three of his sons, Reuven,
Shimon and Levi, were actually
censured for their temperament.
Rueven was criticized for his
impulsiveness and Shimon and
Levi for their anger.
In his critical remarks to
Shimon and Levi, Yaakov stated:
Into their design, may
my soul not enter! With their
congregation, do not unite, O my
What did Yaakov have in mind
with these cryptic words?
Rashi explains that the phrase,
Into their design, may my soul
not enter refers to a future
incident in the days of Moshe.
Zimri, a descendant and leader
of the tribe of Shimon, consorted
with a Midianite princess and
brought calamity to his tribe and
to the Jewish people. Yaakov
requested that his name not be
mentioned with regard to that
matter, thus it was stated, Zimri
son of Salu, leader of a fathers
house of Simeonites. It did not

write son of Yaakov.

Similarly, Rashi explains
that in the phrase, With their
congregation, do not unite, O
my honor! Yaakov was alluding
to Korachs rebellion against
Moshe. Korachs genealogy is
described thus: Korach son of
Yitzhar son of Kehos, son of
Levi It does not say, son of

Several questions come to
First, why did Yaakov feel
compelled to criticize his sons
at precisely the moment when
he gathered them to give his
blessings? True, in the end,
Rashi states, he included all
of his sons in all his blessings.
One might further observe that
by reprimanding them for their
imperfections, Yaakov attempted
to remove whatever blockages
there may have been for his sons
to be receptive to his blessings.
However, the question still
remains, why did he wait for the
last moments of his life to remove
their imperfections?

Second, why was he so

concerned with tracing their
names back to him? Would
anyone have imputed to him the
sins of his descendants?
Third, why was he only
concerned with the sins of these
two tribes? They were not the
only ones to sin.
Fourth, these two sinners can
indeed, indirectly, be traced back
to Yaakov, inasmuch as they are
traced back to Shimon and Levi,
respectively. Doesnt everyone
know that Shimon and Levi were
sons of Yaakov?


The key to answering these
questions is to first address
another question: Why was
Yaakov more concerned about
having his name somehow
associated with the sins of his
progenies than were Avraham
and Yitzchak? Yishmoel is
frequently mentioned as the son
of Avraham notwithstanding his
deviation from Avrahams way of
life. Eisav was even more corrupt
and yet Yitzchak allowed Eisav
to be identified with him. Why
was Yaakov so sensitive about his
reprehensible descendants that he

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chose to distance himself from

them in his parting moments
from them?
The answer lies in the spiritual
differences between Avraham,
Yitzchak and Yaakov.
Chassidic thought explains
personification of the Divine
attribute of chesed-kindness
and love. Yitzchak, on the other
hand, was the embodiment of the
trait of gvura-strength, which
incorporates awe, judgment
and discipline. These traits
manifested themselves in the way
Avraham and Yitzchak served
G-d and the way they dealt with
others. Avraham served G-d with
love; Yitzchak with awe; Avraham
Yitzchak turned inward and
introspective. Avraham showered
hospitality and love; Yitzchak
demanded high standards.
attribute of tiferes-beauty or
harmony, itself the synthesis
of chesed and gvura. Yaakov
grandfathers traits of chesed
and gvura and transformed
them into a piece of art of many
colors. Indeed, Chassidic thought
explains that when you combine
kindness with judgment the
result is rachamim-compassion
another trait associated with
tiferes. The reason why it is called
beauty is precisely that it is a
blend of two distinct colors. It
takes many colors to produce a
truly exquisitely piece of art. The
most beautiful music is produced
through a symphony.

When we delve more deeply
into these three attributes, chesed,
gvura and tiferes we discover that
there is far more power inherent

in Yaakovs trait of tiferes. Chesed

and gvura turn out to be doubleedged swords while tiferes is pure
and pristine.
Chesed and love, Avrahams
attributes, and likewise Yitzchaks
attribute of gvura, while positive
and holy when they were
manifested through Avraham
and Yitzchak, can actually be
the source of negativity as they
emerge from their source.
To cite a few examples:
Exaggerated kindness to a
child or student can often lead to
an atmosphere of permissiveness.
Giving alcohol to an alcoholic
who pleads for it may outwardly
come across as an act of kindness
but it is just as negative an act as
assaulting that person.
The emotion of love, which
motivates acts of kindness, can
also lead to immoral behavior.
Indeed, the Talmud states that
incest is referred to in the Torah
as chesed. This is explained in
the Talmud by referring to Cain
and Abels incestuous marriage
to their twin sisters through
which they populated the world;
an act ultimately forbidden and
regarded as deeply immoral and
a heinous crime. Hence, the
Talmud says, we can understand
what the Psalmist means when
he stated The world was created
with chesed!
necessarily situational. There are
times when it is considered to
be one of the most exalted and
cherished aspects of the human
personality and at other times it
can mark the nadir of depravity.
The same is true for the
attribute of gvura with which
Yitzchak is identified. Harshness
and judgment are great when
attenuated and capable of
refining the one who is being
disciplined. But unmoderated
it can also lead to anger and

unmitigated violence.
Thus, our Sages underscore
that Yishmoel departed from
Avraham and Eisav departed
personified the chesed and love
of Avraham but in its degenerate
form and Eisav was an extension
of Yitzchaks gvura as he sank
into violence. While they inherited
their fathers characteristics of
chesed and gvura, respectively,
they channeled them into the
realm of evil.
Yaakovs trait of tiferes, by
contrast, could not degenerate
into evil. When a trait is so
nuanced and balanced it leaves
no room for degeneration. Gvura
limits the excessive potential
of chesed and, conversely,
chesed suppresses the explosive
potential of gvura. Tiferes is
thus an incorruptible trait.
Nothing truly evil or untoward
can come out of tiferes. While
evil can be committed by people
notwithstanding their relationship
to a tiferes personality it is not
because of the tiferes personality
but in spite of that person.
Thus the difference between
the evil people who descended
from Avraham and Yitzchak and
those evil people who emerged
from Yaakov is that in the former
case it was their traits of chesed
and gvura that went awry
whereas in the latter instance, it
was because they strayed from
the tiferes ideals of Yaakov.


We can now understand the
statement in the Talmud that
Yaakov did not actually die.
What this means on a spiritual
level is that while the traits of
chesed and gvura can experience
degradation and degeneration
death in the conceptual sense
Yaakovs trait of tiferes always
remains intact.
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Yaakovs trait of tiferes, by contrast, could not

degenerate into evil. When a trait is so nuanced
and balanced it leaves no room for degeneration. Gvura
limits the excessive potential of chesed and, conversely,
chesed suppresses the explosive potential of gvura.
Tiferes is thus an incorruptible trait. Nothing truly evil
or untoward can come out of tiferes. While evil can be
committed by people notwithstanding their relationship
to a tiferes personality it is not because of the tiferes
personality but in spite of that person.
association made by the Torah
of Yaakov with truth. Truth in its
truest form is the integrity and
durability of a thought, deed or
concept. Yaakov personified this
consistency and indeed found
We can now resolve all of the
questions raised above.
The reason Yaakov was so
concerned with his progenys evil
conduct that he did not want his
name associated with them is that
he wanted to demonstrate that
fidelity to the well balanced trait
of tiferes does not lead to that evil
behavior. Avraham and Yitzchak,
by contrast, could not make
that case, because, as explained
above, their traits can become the
double-edged swords that lead to
immorality and violence.
That people would know
that he was their ancestor
did not trouble Yaakov. What

troubled him is that people would

conflate their sins with Yaakovs
impeccable ideal of tiferes, as if
tiferes was just as vulnerable to
distortion as the other traits.
We can now also understand
why he was only concerned
with the sins of these two tribes.
The sins of Shimon dealt with
immorality, the trait of chesed
going awry, while the sin of
Korach, who was associated
with division and conflict was a
manifestation of errant gvura.
Yaakov wanted it to be crystal
clear that their deviations had
nothing to do with tiferes.

We can now also understand
why he waited until the last
moment to criticize his sons.
The Torah tells us that

In Crown Heights area: 1640/1700AM

sons was related to the future

coming of Moshiach. All of
the symptoms of exile, which
brought physical and spiritual
death and destruction to the
world, stem from the corruption
of chesed and gvura. This is
reflected in the twin threats to
our existence of persecution and
the enticement of assimilation.
These are dramatic examples
of how chesed and gvura have
descended so low. The spiritual
powers of Avraham and Yitzchak
have been perverted into tools of
demonstrate that, at precisely
the moment they thought he
was about to die, in truth he was
going to live on; there would be
no deterioration or devolution of
his power of synthesis. Instead,
it will lead to Redemption. He
therefore emphasized that the
negative behavior that emerged
from these sons were aberrations
and not related to him. Yaakovs
message to his sons and to us all
is that his approach would lead to
Redemption and the negation of
death in all of its forms.
This analysis sheds light
on the Rebbes instruction to
us to study Torah as a way of
preparing ourselves for the Final
Redemption; it is because Torah
is tiferes, the synthesis of chesed
and gvura. The Rebbe added
particular emphasis on study of
the Torah subjects of Moshiach
and Redemption. By studying

worldwide, online: www.RadioMoshiach.org

USA NEW phone: 347 990 1136

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28 13 Tevet 5776 - Hakhel
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abbi Shaya Aharon Lee of Beitar Ilit,

member of the local Anash community,
is one of the older baalei tshuva who
found his way back to his Jewish
roots, thanks to the Chabad outreach activities
in England. He grew up in a home that observed
minimal kashrus standards, received a leftistCommunist education, and Judaism was absolutely
the last thing on his mind. He later enrolled at the
University of Manchester, where he was accepted
to the Department of Physics, seemingly reaching
the pinnacle of his academic aspirations. Yet, it was
specifically there, where in 5733 (1973), his pintele
yid began to spark.
During a relatively short time span, several
things occurred that led me to conduct a much
deeper examination of Yiddishkait, he recalled.
One of the things that led him to look even deeper into his personal opinions was when his Gentile friends who had worshipped the Communist
idol began associating with the Arab students on
campus, despite the fact that the Arabs were obviously responsible for the outbreak of hostilities
during the recent Yom Kippur War. I realized
that although scientists know how to connect
things and can explain what happens when they
are connected, they dont understand why things
I had a professor, a devout Christian, who
strengthened me in what I was thinking. When
you learn physics, he told me, you realize how
much we really dont understand about the Creation and that it is much greater than we are. I
developed a connection with the Rebbes shliach
in Manchester. I also participated in a Shabbos
on Judaism with Dr. Yitzchak Block of London,
Ontario, and Rabbi Shmuel Lew. They amazed
me with their approach, making substantive arguments that were music to my ears. As time
passed, my knowledge of Judaism grew deeper

Rabbi Shaya Aharon Lee of Beitar Ilit experienced a most aweinspiring miracle after receiving a puzzling bracha from the Rebbe
during a private audience at the end of Tishrei 5739. As I went
through the yechidus in my mind, I recalled those moments when the
Rebbe was immersed in his thoughts, speaking to himself as it were.
I realized that the Rebbe was in another world, and he did what he
did in order to nullify the Heavenly decree that hung over me.
By Nosson Avraham, Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

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until I finally decided to abandon
my academic studies in favor of a
.life of Torah and mitzvos
All this was merely a warm-up
for the unique story that Rabbi
Lee experienced in 5739, due
to the Rebbes bracha during an
amazing yechidus at the end of
Tishrei. During the yechidus,
the Rebbe said something to me
that I didnt understand. The
Rebbe didnt just make a puzzling statement; he even gave a
specific timeframe that year.
I believed that if the Rebbe said
these things, they must have
some significance

I came to 770 for the first
time in my life in Elul 5738.
Tishrei that year was very special
indeed. When there was simcha,
it was true and genuine, of a kind
that I had never experienced before. When there was a need for
serious conduct, it was most intense, inner, and sincere. I felt
that all this was causing a unique
reawakening within me. When
Tishrei came to an end, I joined
the many guests in making an appointment for yechidus with the
Rebbe. I was requested to keep
my questions to a minimum, in
order not to take up the Rebbes
time and create delays for others
.waiting in line
Around this time, I had a
certain personal problem. I consulted with the shliach in London, Rabbi Nachman Sudak, and
asked him if I should raise the issue before the Rebbe. He replied
that in his opinion, the Rebbe
doesnt answer questions of this
type. Nevertheless, I decided that
I would ask the Rebbe about it.
As the yechidus began, the Rebbe
made reference to this personal
amazing when the yechidus start-

ed: The Rebbe received my kvittel, but he didnt look at me. Instead, he looked down at the table
and began to speak. The Rebbe
spoke, but I didnt understand a
single thing he was saying. But it
wasnt just the language barrier;
I felt as if the Rebbe was some.where else
I tried to listen carefully
and understand if the Rebbe was
speaking Yiddish, English, or
some other language I knew, but
I couldnt understand a thing. I
realized that the Rebbe was simply on some other spiritual plane.
After a long interval, the Rebbe
began to speak in plain English,
and I understood every word.
The Rebbe gave a clear response
to all my questions. Before departing, he made a somewhat

obscure statement: May all your

journeys during this year be
successful. I had no idea what
.this meant
I left the Rebbes room, puz
zled and confused. I didnt ask
for a bracha to make any trips,
and Im generally not a big traveler. What exactly did the Rebbe
At first, I thought that maybe
the Rebbe was referring to journeys in connection with shidduchim. But the nature of the
bracha was still quite mystifying,
particularly since the Rebbe spec.ified a time during this year
A few days after that yechi
dus, I left 770 to fly to England
and visit my parents, and from
there I headed for Kfar Chabad to

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learn in Yeshivas Ohr Tmimim.

Upon my arrival, I asked the rosh
yeshiva, Rabbi Shneur Zalman
Gafni, what the Rebbe meant. He
inquired about what I had written in my kvittel and what the
Rebbes exact words were, and he
eventually said that he too had no
idea. Apparently, youll have to
understand this yourself during
.the year, he told me

It was only that summer that

I finally realized what the Rebbe
had meant with his amazing fore.sight
It was a bright summer day
when I traveled with a friend
by train from Kfar Chabad to
Yerushalayim. We got off at
Ramleh, and then we waited for
about an hour until the train to
Yerushalayim arrived. We boarded the train and enjoyed the glorious view of the Jerusalem hills
from our window. We passed the
time by reviewing the Rebbes
sichos, and everything seemed
.quite calm and tranquil
But it all changed in an in
stant. When we were about to
pull into the Yerushalayim railway
station, near the Malcha neighborhood, there was suddenly a
powerful explosion that shook
the railroad car. About a minute
later, thick smoke began to billow
from the car. The train came to a
halt, and after a few minutes, we
realized the extent of the miracle
we had just experienced. Terrorists had placed an explosive
charge on the railroad tracks, and
it went off right under our car.
Yet, incredible as it may seem,
the only thing that exploded was
the igniter, designed to set off the
powerful charge that would have
shattered our railroad car. Thank
G-d, the terrorists plot failed,
and the whole country was talking about the great miracle that

.saved the passengers

As we disembarked the train
without a scratch, I suddenly remembered what the Rebbe had
said to me at the end of that yechidus: May all your journeys
during this year be successful.
As I went through the yechidus
in my mind, I recalled those moments when the Rebbe was immersed in his thoughts, speaking
to himself as it were. I realized
that the Rebbe was in another
world, and he did what he did in
order to nullify the Heavenly de.cree that hung over me
The Rebbe said this year
and thats exactly when the miracle took place during that year
.of 5739
As mentioned above, Rabbi
Shaya Aharon Lee is an integral
part of the magnificent community in Beitar Ilit, headed by
Rabbi Asher Lemil HaKohen. He
makes his parnasa working for
a hi-tech company that provides
electronic services for missile
However, he doesnt deal just
with material matters. In his own
home, he established and gives
over a longstanding shiur on the
Laws of Shabbos, according to
the halachic rulings of the Alter
Rebbe. Many people participate
in this class each week. I feel
that the Rebbe saved my life,
said Rabbi Lee, as he concluded
.his amazing story

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1001_bm_eng.indd 31
Rabbi Jacob Schwei



By D Chaim

A deafening noise broke

the silence. Mendy who had
been sleeping peacefully in
his bed opened his eyes in a
fright. Without thinking twice
he put his hands together and
mumbled, Modeh Ani.
What could that noise be?
he wondered anxiously.
Oy vei, it must be a missile
from Iran. I must get to the
sealed room immediately. It can
be very dangerous!
He glanced at his brother
Yossi who was fast asleep and
realized that he would not
be getting up before the clock
showed 6:45.
What should I do? Everyone
is asleep. It seems as though
nobody else heard the siren. I
must save them. Our lives might
be in danger!
washed his hands and then got
out of bed. Without realizing
it, his right foot caught on the
edge of the basin of water and
before he could blink, the basin
had turned over and the floor
was full of water.
Oy, of all times for this to

happen! There is no time for

this. Any minute now a missile
can land!
He put on his slippers and
then, still half asleep, he went
to look for the sealed room.
reason, he did not remember
that there was a bomb shelter
under the building that all the
neighbors shared.
Mendy thought, What will
happen if a missile lands near
through his mind. He closed his
eyes in an attempt to stop the
tears that threatened to burst
forth, but he finally couldnt
help himself. He felt first one
drop squeeze out and trickle
down his cheek and that was
followed by another teardrop
and another.
Mendy opened his eyes
and what he saw woke him
up completely. He saw Yossi
holding the cup he had gotten
at the Camp Shabbos and

slowly sprinkling drops of water

on him. Mendy, youre not
waking up today! Its late and
I figured this is the only way I
can get you up.
What? It was only a
Mendy looked around and
the remaining water on the
floor after he had dried it
early in the morning reminded
him of when he had spilled his
negel vasser. Then it really did
happen! I guess that at some
point, after I did not find the
sealed room, I fell back asleep.

After he quickly got ready,

Mendy rushed to school. At the
ten oclock recess, he asked his
good friend Moishy whether he
heard a siren in the middle of
the night. No, I didnt, said
In the evening, when he
returned home, his mother
welcomed him with a smile
and after he put his briefcase
away, he told her what had
happened at night. I guess the
siren I heard in my dream was
so realistic that when I woke
up I was sure we had to go

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to the sealed room and I did

not notice that the siren had
Mendy, I think you heard
reactor and youre a little
worried and maybe a bit
frightened, and that is why you
had a dream about a siren.
Yes! How did you know?
wondered Mendy. I heard that
in Iran they built a place from
where they can send dangerous
missiles toward us in Eretz
Yisroel. Isnt that scary?
I want to tell you about
something that happened about
twenty years ago, said his
mother. Then you decide if it is
something to be afraid of.
Back then, the leader of
Iraq was a wicked man by the
name of Saddam Hussein. A
neighboring country to Iraq,
called Kuwait, had vast natural
resources of oil which is why it is
a wealthy country. Saddam, who
wanted that oil, invaded Kuwait
with his army and conquered it.
When the nations of the world,
led by America, threatened
that if he doesnt leave Kuwait
they would attack him, he
threatened them back and said
he would send missiles at Eretz
terrified? trembled Mendy.
The entire world was in an
uproar, continued his mother,
because Saddam was crazy and
cruel and could have irresponsibly
used dangerous weapons that
could have destroyed the world.
We here in Eretz Yisroel were
very frightened and considered
leaving. Then came the Rebbes
announcement that there is
nothing to be scared of and that
miracles and wonders would
take place.

The Rebbe also publicized the

Midrash from Yalkut Shimoni
which I will read to you. The
year that Melech HaMoshiach
is revealed, the nations of the
world will antagonize each other.
The king of Persia antagonizes
the King of Arabia with war. The
King of Arabia goes to Edom for
advice And all the nations of
the world begin to panic and are
afraid, and Israel too is afraid
and Hashem then says to them
Do not fear, for everything that
I have done is for your benefit
Your time of redemption is
HaMoshiach comes he stands
on the roof of the
y o u r

redemption has arrived. Yes,

the Midrash that was written
many years ago already described
in detail what happened twenty
years ago, events that are
indications of the Geula. And at
that time, the Rebbe wanted
everyone to know that the time
for Geula had come.
So we were not at all afraid
when the Gulf War began and
although 39 missiles landed in
Eretz Yisroel, nobody was killed
and we knew that these events
herald the imminent Geula.
Thank you Mommy, said
Mendy. Thats it; Im not going
to be afraid anymore. Now I
know that even if I hear an
actual siren it will only remind
me to be joyfully ready

Issue 1001

1001_bm_eng.indd 33


12/22/2015 7:40:00 AM


On Thursday evening, a festive,
celebratory dinner took place in the Eshel
Ballroom to mark publishing the 1,000th
issue of the Beis Moshiach magazine. The
premier Chabad Magazine is published
weekly, with the mission of harolding
the imminent Geula, and breathing
Chasidishe life into thousands of Chabad
homes all across the globe

On Thursday evening, a
festive, celebratory dinner took
place in the Eshel Ballroom to
mark publishing the 1,000th
issue of the Beis Moshiach
magazine. The premier Chabad
Magazine is published weekly,
with the mission of harolding the
imminent Geulah, and breathing
Chasidishe life into thousands
of Chabad homes all across the
The exclusive event was
attended by supporters and
alongside magazine staff, writers,
and editors. Also invited were
heads of local institutions and
community activists.
Rabbi Shalom Yaakov Chazan,
Beis Moshiach editor and board
member at Otzar Hachasidim,
opened the dinner with words of
blessing, then inviting member of
the magazines spiritual advisory
board Rabbi Shloma Mejesky,
Director of Machon Chana, to
read the Rebbes letter sent to

a Chabad publication in Brazil

marking their 100th issue. Rabbi
Shalom Ber Lipsker, also a
spiritual advisory board member,
followed, reciting the Rebbes
kapital of Tehillim.
The first speaker, member
of the Crown Heights Beis
Din Rabbi Aharon Yaakov
Shwei, praised the magazines
importance and positive affect,
assuring that no doubt it gives
the Rebbe much Nachas. He
expounded upon the phrase
Oskim btzorchei tzibur be
Emuna those who toil
for the publics needs with
emuna also as faith, explaining
it to mean Beis Moshaichs
exuding and saturating its
readers with faith.
Fellow Beis Din member
Rabbi Yosef Yeshaya Braun
connected the magazine with the
court case of the Seforim, which
the Rebbe stated was about
his leadership, not merely the

Seforim, and likewise, said that

Beis Moshiach runs much deeper
than being merely another
Chabad magazine.
Special guest Rabbi Yehuda
Leib Groner, the Rebbes
Mazkir, elaborated on the
great importance and impact
that strengthening the belief
in the Geulah and Moshiachs
imminence has, and wished
success and continued blessings
for those who partake in that
noble endeavor.
NY State Senetor Jesse
Hamilton then took the podium,
entrancing the audience with
stories from his youth. As a
Crown Heights boy-turnedresident for five decades, he
vividly recalls his impression of
activism, he remarked on his
recently tour of Israel. While
provided the opportunity, Jesse
decried the egregious Iran
Deal and pledged unconditional

34 13 Tevet 5776 - Hakhel

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12/22/2015 7:40:00 AM

Rabbi Shalom Yaakov Chazan

Rabbi Shloma Mejesky

Rabbi Aharon Yaakov Shwei

Rabbi Yosef Yeshaya Braun

NY State Senetor Jesse Hamilton

Rabbi Boruch Merkur

Rabbi Yehuda Leib Groner

Rabbi M.M. Hakohen Hendel

support for Israels safety and

right to self-defense.
Moshiach and Chairman of the
International Chabad Center
to Greet Moshiach Rabbi
Menachem Mendel Hakohen

Hendel pointed to the magazines

mission and proclaimed its
obvious inference that so long
that Moshiach has yet to come,
Beis Moshiach will not have been
a success.
Rabbi Hendel related some of
the countless Brachos the Rebbe

has poured into the magazine,

while simultaneously demanding
incessant and uncompromising
dedication, to expand and
improve until the magazine
will have succeeded with the
coming of Moshiach speedily
now, Amen!

Issue 1001

1001_bm_eng.indd 5


12/31/2015 6:58:07 PM