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Erev Rosh HaShanah, 5764

Elul 29, 5763
Sept. 26, 2003

Your Rosh HaShanah Guide
Tishrei 1-2, 5764
Sept. 27-28, 2003

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The Table of Contents contains links to the text. Click on an entry in the Table of Contents and you will move to the information selected.



Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12


Click here, to see pictures of the Rebbe
The Daily Sicha (in Real Audio) - Listen to selected excerpts of the Rebbe's Sichos
[talks] which are relevant to the particular day.


We are pleased to present, to the visually impaired and the blind, the 354-356th issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.


In this week's issue we focus on:

1) Chai Elul, the 18th of Elul, Monday, Sept. 15.

2) The laws of the upcoming High Holiday of Rosh HaShanah, which begins on Friday night, Sept. 26.

Therefore, we present here "Your Rosh HaShanah Guide,"* and other related material about Rosh HaShanah.


We take this opportunity to wish you and yours a K'Siva Vachasima Tova, a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.


Our sincere appreciation to L'Chaim weekly publication, published by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, for allowing us to use their material.

Also, many thanks to our copy editor, Reb Mordechai Staiman of blessed memory, for his tireless efforts.


It is our fervent hope that our learning about Moshiach and the Redemption will hasten the coming of Moshiach, NOW!

Rabbi Yosef Y. Shagalov,
Committee for the Blind

17 Elul, 5763
Brooklyn, New York


* Published by Outreach Publishing Corp. (http://www.outreach770.com)

In Honor Of Our Daughter
on the occasion of her birthday, 25 Elul


Dear Friend:

The month of Tishrei is very colorful. Every possible atmosphere of Jewish life finds expression in this month, in which we have Solemn Days, Fast Days, and Days of Rejoicing. It is not a coincidence that the first month of the year has "samples" of every shade and color of Jewish life, for these "samples" are intended to give us an introduction to, and practical guidance for the rest of the year. By observing the special days of Tishrei in their proper spirit, we are initiated into a truly Jewish life, in accordance with the spirit of the Torah, during the whole year following.

What can we learn from the special days of Tishrei?

a. To begin with we have Rosh HaShanah, the beginning of the New Year, the day when the first man just created proclaimed G-d's sovereignty over the whole Universe. When we are about to begin anything, we must always remember that G-d is the Creator of Heaven and Earth and the sole Ruler of the Universe, and that our action or venture must have Divine approval. This is further emphasized by --

b. The Ten Days of Repentance, which remind us that since we are the servants of the King of the Universe we must keep a check on our deeds to ensure that they comply with the wishes of the Master. However, since we are only human beings, we are liable to fail on occasion. This is why G-d gives us --

c. Yom Kippur, to impress upon us the realization that it is never too late to turn back to the right path, provided we do it sincerely, completely repenting of, and casting away, our evil habits of the past, and solemnly undertaking to mend our ways in the future. If we make this firm resolution, G-d will forgive us, and "cleanse" us completely of our sins. Difficult though this path may appear to be --

d. Sukkot helps us not to despair in our days of trial, even if we find ourselves in the minority, for G-d is our protector, as He clearly showed us by the Clouds of Glory with which He surrounded us during the forty years' wandering through the desert after the Departure from Egypt. Finally, in order to know how to lead our lives so as to comply with G-d's wishes, we have --

e. Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, for in the Torah G-d has given us Divine laws of justice and righteousness and a true guide in life; by shaping our lives accordingly we are assured of true happiness, both in this world and in the after-life. For the Torah is a "tree of life to them that take fast hold of it, and its supporters are happy."

These, briefly, are some of the main lessons of Tishrei and there can be no doubt that by following them faithfully, the New Year will be a happy one, both spiritually and materially, and the blessing that we give each other "L'Shana Tova Tikateiv V'Tichatem" [May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year] will surely be fulfilled. That is what I wish every one of you.

Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson


The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of Lubavitch, issued a call that "The time of our Redemption has arrived!" and "Moshiach is on his way!"

The Rebbe stressed that he is saying this as a prophecy, and asks us all to prepare ourselves for the Redemption, through increasing acts of goodness and kindness.

Let us all heed the Rebbe's call.

Reb Mordechai ben Reb Shaul

Passed away on 22 Tamuz, 5763

Adapted from a Letter of the Rebbe

13th of Elul, 5731/1971

To the Administration of Chabad House
Buffalo, N. Y.

I was gratified to be informed about the forthcoming dedication of a Sefer Torah [Torah Scroll] in the Chabad House, which will take place on the auspicious day of the 18th of Elul, the birthday of the founder of general Chasidus, the Baal Shem Tov, and the birthday also of the founder of Chabad Chasidus, the Alter Rebbe [Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi], author of the Tanya and Shulchan Aruch.

Needless to say, the observance of this double birthday has the central purpose that their way of life, work and teachings should continue to illuminate the daily life of each and every one of us. Both the Baal Shem Tov and the Alter Rebbe, who expanded the Chasidic teachings in a systematic way, brought the Chasidic experience to Jews of all backgrounds, made the embodiment of the three loves, love of G-d, love of the Torah and love of Israel, the cornerstone of their system, with emphasis on the fact that the said three loves are completely interlocked and integrated.

This system and way of life quickly began to spread and gain many followers, in an ever-growing measure in quantity and quality, from generation to generation to the present day, which has clearly demonstrated how viable and vital it has been for the Jewish people, for the individual as well as for Klal Yisroel [the entire Jewish people].

I have used the expression "illuminated" advisedly, since this does not necessarily mean the creation of new things, but to illuminate existing things which have not been fully appreciated, or which have been altogether overlooked. Thus, the primary contribution of Chasidus is that it illuminates the Torah and Mitzvos, and their inner aspects, Pnimius HaTorah, and shows each and every one of us the way to bring them within our personal daily experience.

The above is particularly important in relation to the young generation, who are still at the threshold of independent life and have untapped resources of energy and dedication to face any challenge, to accept the truth and nothing but the whole truth, rejecting all compromise - in their search for the genuine article.

As for the teacher and mentor, while he must do his best to help those whom he teaches and guides to make the utmost progress, he also reckons with the capacity of the students. However, since it is the task of each and every Jew to follow the Torah way of life, with dedication and inspiration, as illuminated by the teachings of Chasidus, it is clear that this task, which has been given to every Jew as a duty and privilege by G-d, the Creator and Master of the world, is within the capacity of each and everyone, since G-d does not expect the impossible.

May G-d grant that the dedication of the Sefer Torah in the Chabad House should symbolize the dedication of the Sefer Torah in each and every Jewish home in the community, and strengthen adherence of the Torah and Mitzvos in the daily life, not only on special occasions or special days, but in accordance with the well-known commandment in the Shema -- "And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and speak them, when you sit in the house or when you walk in the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up."

I send my prayerful wishes to each and every one who is associated with the work of the Chabad House, for Hatzlocho [success] in all above, and in a growing measure and, with the approach of the New Year, to be blessed with a Kesivo Vachasimo Tova [to be inscribed and sealed for good], for a good and pleasant year materially and spiritually.


Chai (the 18th day of) Elul (Monday, Sept. 15), is the "birthday" of the greater Chasidic movement and of Chabad Chasidus in particular.

On Chai Elul (5458/1698), the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the greater Chasidic movement, was born. On that date 26 years later, Achiya Hashiloni began to teach him Torah "as it is studied in Gan Eden."

On Chai Elul (5505/1745), the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, spiritual grandson of the Baal Shem Tov,(1) the founder of Chabad Chasidic philosophy and of the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty, was born.


An individual's birthday has a very special meaning for that person. The birthday of a tzaddik has deep significance for everyone who attempts to live according to the tzaddik's teachings. A tzaddik's birthday is, in some ways like the spiritual birthday of his followers.

The Baal Shem Tov and Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi dedicated their lives to teach the value of every single Jew. Ahavas Yisrael -- unconditional love of each Jew -- was at the forefront of their philosophy.

Today, two centuries later, we still benefit from their guidance and revelations. The date of their birth, then, is not only their birthday -- it is also our birthday.

On our birthday we take time out to reflect on our achievements of the past year and our goals for the future. It is fitting that on the birthday of these tzaddikim, we reflect on how well we have followed and benefited from them, and we make our resolutions for the New Year. We will, in their merit, be blessed with a K'Siva Vachasima Tova, a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.


One of the main teachings of the Baal Shem Tov was to always remember G-d and to thank Him frequently.

The obligation to remember G-d constantly and thank Him begins as soon as a Jew wakes up in the morning. Before he does anything else, he says "Modeh Ani -- I offer thanks to You, Living and Eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great."

The lesson of Modeh Ani, that everything we have comes from G-d and we must constantly thank Him, is connected to another important teaching of the Baal Shem Tov: G-d did not just create the world once [5763 years ago]. He constantly recreates everything anew at every moment, and gives it new life.

The purpose of this "continual creation" is to allow us to appreciate G-d's kindness. At this very moment, G-d has "taken the trouble," so to speak, to re-create each of us. When we realize that G-d is giving us life and everything we have at every moment, we will want to constantly thank Him.

The above teachings have a special connection not only to the Baal Shem Tov, but also to his birthday on the 18th of Elul. the Hebrew word "chai" -- living -- equals 18, and the 18th of Elul is called "Chai Elul," for it helps us add liveliness and enthusiasm to our appreciation of and feelings of thanks for our Creator.

May we merit, this very Chai Elul, to experience true and eternal life, as G-d intended it to be, with the complete revelation of Moshiach and the start of the Redemption.


The Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn explained, that Chai Elul introduces an element of chayut, vitality, to our Divine service during Elul, the month in which we correct and make amends for past misdeeds. In the merit of our repentance, G-d grants us a good and sweet year. By infusing our service with vitality, Chai Elul helps us do teshuvah with enthusiasm, not just by rote or out of habit.

Superficially, vitality and teshuvah may seem contradictory. Vitality is associated with joy, whereas repentance is associated with bitterness, regretting past actions and resolving to do better. Those these seem to be opposite emotions, in Elul we feel both, and at the same time!

Every mitzvah we do should be performed with joy, for by observing that mitzvah, we fulfill the will of G-d. As teshuvah is a mitzvah like any other, we experience joy for having been given the privilege.

However, Chasidus gives us another reason to be happy while doing teshuvah, by explaining how bitterness and joy can exist simultaneously.

Rabbi Shneur Zalman describes this in the Tanya as "weeping on one side of the heart, and joy on the other side." When we do teshuvah, we rage against our Evil Inclination and of failure to withstand temptation. Yet at the same time we are happy, for we know that we are becoming closer to G-d.

Chai Elul (and by extension, Chasidus) thus transforms the entire month of Elul into a labor of love and joy.


1. The Alter Rebbe, was one of the foremost disciples of the Baal Shem Tov's successor, Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritch.

Your Rosh HaShanah Guide
Tishrei 1-2, 5764
Sept. 27-28, 2003


Birthday of the World

Rosh HaShanah is the day on which G-d completed the creation of this world, by creating Adam, the original man. Adam's very first act was to proclaim the Al-mighty as King of the Universe. He called upon all creatures: "Come, let us worship, bow down, and kneel before G-d, our maker."

Each Rosh HaShanah, we too proclaim the Kingship of G-d, and reaffirm our commitment to serve Him well.

Just as on the original Rosh HaShanah, G-d created the world for the first time, so each Rosh HaShanah He reconsiders and re-evaluates the quality of our relationship with Him, and creates our world anew.

The Book of Life

On the first evening of Rosh HaShanah, after services, we exchange the traditional blessing, "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."

Our Sages explain that on Rosh HaShanah, we all stand in judgment before G-d "like a flock of sheep before the shepherd." If we are worthy, we are inscribed in the Book of Life. Ten days later, on Yom Kippur, the Book is sealed.

Through repentance, prayer, and charity, we can sweeten the decree, and merit G-d's blessings for health, well-being, and prosperity for the coming year.


The Shofar

This year, on the second day of Rosh HaShanah, Sunday, Sept. 28, we hear during the daytime the sounding of at least the first thirty of the prescribed blasts of the shofar, the ram's horn.

The shofar, the oldest and most soulful of wind instruments, has many meanings. Among them:

* It proclaims the coronation of G-d as King of the Universe.

* It "awakens" us to repent and return to G-d.

* It reminds us of the shofar heard at Mount Sinai, when we accepted G-d's commandments for all time.

* It represents the simple, primal outcry from the depth of the soul.

* It presages the call of the Great Shofar which G-d will sound with the coming of Moshiach, who will lead us out of exile and into our Holy Land -- speedily, in our days.

Call your local synagogue, or Chabad-Lubavitch Center for the approximate time of the shofar service.


This year, on the second day of Rosh HaShanah, Sunday, Sept. 28, following the afternoon prayer, we visit a body of water or pond containing live fish and recite the Tashlich prayers, in which we "cast away" our sins.

As fish depend upon water, so do we depend upon G-d's providence. Also, a fish's eyes never close, symbolizing G-d's unceasing watchfulness over us.

Special Rosh HaShanah Foods

It is customary on Rosh HaShanah to eat foods symbolizing sweetness, blessings and abundance.

We dip the challah in honey; and afterwards, on the first night, Friday evening, Sept. 26, we eat a piece of apple dipped in honey.

After the appropriate blessing on the apple, we add: "May it be Your will to renew for us a good and sweet year." Other customs include eating the head of a fish, pomegranates and carrots.


A Return to Essence

The first ten days of Tishrei -- two days of Rosh HaShanah, the seven days following, and Yom Kippur -- are an auspicious time in which to rectify our shortcomings and draw closer to G-d. They are therefore known as the "Ten days of Teshuvah."

Teshuvah(2) -- frequently translated as repentance -- actually means returning. Judaism emphasizes that our essential nature -- the Divine spark of the soul -- is good.

True repentance is best achieved not through harsh self-condemnation, but through the realization that our deepest desire is to do good, in accordance with the will of G-d.


2. See Living With Moshiach, Vol. 215


Monday, Sept. 29, is a fast day. We neither eat nor drink, from approximately 72 minutes before sunrise until 40 minutes after sunset.(3)

It commemorates the tragic assassination of Gedaliah, a great Jewish leader during the Babylonian exile.


3. In New York City, at 7:23 p.m.

5764 / 2003

Jewish Women and Girls
Light Rosh HaShanah and Shabbat Candles

For local candle lighting times:
consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch Center, or call: (718) 774-3000.
or: http://www.candlelightingtimes.org/shabbos

For a free candle lighting kit:
contact your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center.

For a listing of the Centers in your area:
In the USA, call: 1-800-Lubavitch (1-800-582-2848).

Times shown are for Metro NY - NJ

Friday, Sept. 26, Erev Rosh HaShanah:

  • Light Shabbat & Rosh HaShanah candles,(4) by 6:30 p.m.
    Say blessings #1 & 3.
  • Eat special Rosh HaShanah foods.

Saturday, Sept. 27, Rosh HaShanah:

  • Light Rosh HaShanah candles,(5) after nightfall, after 7:28 p.m.
    Say blessings #2 & 3.

Sunday, Sept. 28, Rosh HaShanah:

  • Sounding of Shofar.
  • Tashlich prayers.
  • Rosh HaShanah ends at 7:27 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 29, Fast of Gedaliah:

  • Fast ends at 7:23 p.m.


4. Do not light after sunset.

The Shabbat and Rosh HaShanah candles must be lit 18 minutes before sunset. It is prohibited and is a desecration of the Shabbat to light the candles after sunset.

5. Do not light before the times indicated. Light only from a preexisting flame.

A preexisting flame is a flame burning continuously since the onset of Shabbat, such as a pilot light, gas or candle flame.


After lighting the candles, recite:


Bo-ruch A-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ho-olom
A-sher Ki-de-sho-nu Be-mitz-vo-sov Ve-tzi-vo-nu
Le-had-lik Ner Shel Sha-bos V-shel Yom Ha-zi-ko-ron.


Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe,
who has sanctified us with His commandments,
and commanded us to kindle the light of
Shabbat and the Day of Remembrance.


Bo-ruch A-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ho-olom
A-sher Ki-de-sho-nu Be-mitz-vo-sov Ve-tzi-vo-nu
Le-had-lik Ner Shel Yom Ha-zi-ko-ron.


Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe,
who has sanctified us with His commandments,
and commanded us to kindle the light of the
Day of Remembrance.


Bo-ruch A-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ho-olom
She-heche-yo-nu Ve-ki-ye-mo-nu Ve-higi-o-nu
Liz-man Ha-zeh.


Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe,
who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us
to reach this occasion.


Honey Cake

Traditionally served on Rosh HaShanah and Erev Yom Kippur, symbolic of our wishes for a sweet year.

3 eggs
1 pound honey (1-1/3 cups)
1-1/3 cups sugar
1 cup strong coffee
2 tsps. baking powder
3 tbsps. margarine
1 tsp. baking soda
4 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" pan.

Beat eggs and honey together. Add sugar and mix again. Mix coffee with baking powder, and then add with margarine to the egg mixture. Add baking soda, flour, cinnamon and beat together well.

Bake in greased 9" x 13" pan at 325 degrees for 55 minutes to an hour.

Traditional Challah

For an unusually smooth taste and texture to enhance your Shabbat and High Holiday / Festival meals.

5 pounds flour
2 ounces fresh yeast & 1 package dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1-1/2 sticks margarine
2-1/3 cups boiling water
2 tbsps. salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs


1 egg, beaten
Poppy seeds

Dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water, in a small bowl, until it bubbles. In a large bowl, place margarine and pour boiling water over it and stir until margarine is melted. Add salt and sugar. Let cool for a few minutes and beat in eggs. Add the bubbling yeast. Gradually add flour.

Knead for 10 minutes. If dough is too moist add a little more flour.

When ready to rise, smear top of dough with oil, cover and let rise 1 hour.

When the dough has risen, while still covered, separate -- tear off -- a small portion of dough known as 'challah' from the whole dough. Make the blessing:

Bo-ruch A-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ho-olom
A-sher Ki-de-sho-nu Be-mitz-vo-sov Ve-tzi-vo-nu
Le-haf-rish Cha-loh.


Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe,
who has sanctified us with His commandments,
and commanded us to separate challah.

This piece of dough is put in the oven to bake away until it is inedible.

Shape and let rise another hour. Brush with beaten egg to glaze. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Bake at 350 degrees, 1 hour for large challahs, 1/2 hour for smaller challahs and rolls.


"Our Father, Our King -- Avinu Malkeinu." The theme of G-d as Parent and Ruler dominates Rosh HaShanah.

The Baal Shem Tov taught that the love G-d has for each one of us is analogous to and surpasses the love a father has for an only child born in his old age.

Rosh HaShanah is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve. Thus, it corresponds to the rebirth of humanity and we reestablish our relationship as children of G-d on these days.

The sounding of the shofar is connected to this central motif of Rosh HaShanah, that of G-d as our Divine Parent. To better understand this we look to another parable of the Baal Shem Tov: An errant prince, an only son, traveled far from the palace. After many years had passed, the prince yearned to be reunited with his father, the king. However, by the time he returned to his native land, he had forgotten his mother tongue. From deep within his soul a cry emerged, a cry that -- no matter how estranged the child -- a father could understand. This fervent, broken-hearted plea of "Father, it is I, your only son, help me!" broke through the barriers separating father and son more eloquently than any words the prince might have uttered. At this moment, the king embraced the errant son.

For thousands of years the Jewish people have wandered in exile. At times, we even seem to have lost our means of communicating with our Father. We are very much like the proverbial prince, who when facing his father the king could only cry. We are in pain not only because our self-created barriers separate us from G-d. But also because even when we wish to return we encounter all sorts of seemingly insurmountable obstacles born of the national and spiritual exile of our people.

The shofar represents the wordless cry of the only child within each of us. Chosen because of its simplicity, it symbolizes the incorruptible nature of the soul connected to the essence of G-d, Himself. Transcending the conventional modes of communication, the shofar's shattering wail arouses in us an awareness of the most powerful bond uniting Father and child. No matter how far we may feel we've strayed throughout the year, no matter how muted or inadequate our ability to communicate with G-d, the shofar of Rosh HaShanah enables us to reconnect in a more fundamental and powerful way than previously envisioned.

The Great Shofar, sounded by G-d signaling the messianic age, will pierce all barriers and penetrate beneath the surface of our very beings. When G-d sounds the Great Shofar we will be able to express, completely and openly, the fundamental child/parent relationship we intrinsically have with G-d. The shofar of Redemption will usher in a time when the love between G-d and the Jewish people -- concealed throughout our trial-ridden exile -- will be fully revealed.

May we all be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year. But even before the New Year may we all find ourselves in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem with the revelation of our righteous Moshiach, and he will redeem us.


Once, when the Baal Shem Tov was about 20, he traveled with some members of his inner circle of secret tzaddikim, and they arrived at the city of Brod. As was his custom, he went directly to the market place and began to talk to the simple, common Jews. Soon he was surrounded by an enthralled circle of people, listening eagerly to his tales of great rabbis and their ways and customs.

As he was speaking, he noticed a certain Jew, a porter by trade, passing through the market place with a heavy load on his shoulders. His appearance was quite miserable. His clothes were torn, he was wearing wooden shoes, his face was wrinkled and covered with sweat. But the Baal Shem Tov saw something that others could not see, that above the man's head shone a pillar of pure, bright light!

"Hershel, carry your burden in good health," some of the assembled people called to him. Some added in a mocking tone, "Go in good health, Hershel Goat." Hershel the porter answered all with a kind expression on his face, "May you be blessed," and continued on his way.

The Baal Shem Tov thought that this Hershel surely must be a great tzaddik who did not want to reveal himself. However, none of the Baal Shem Tov's circle of secret tzaddikim had ever heard of him.

The Baal Shem Tov found out that Hershel was a widower, whose wife had passed away ten years before. He had two sons, who studied at a local yeshiva. He made a good living, but spent most of his income to feed his four goats. Everyone assumed that he must really love goat's milk. That is how he received the nickname "Hershel Goat."

Over the next few days, the Baal Shem Tov watched Hershel's activities, but could find nothing extraordinary. He earnestly longed to discover the man's secret. The Baal Shem Tov decided to fast for three consecutive days and nights, during which he prayed, begged G-d to help him uncover Hershel's secret.

On the afternoon of the third day, as he was leaving the synagogue after prayers, he met Hershel. "Reb Hershel," he appealed to him, "I would very much love a glass of warm goat's milk. I have heard that one may buy some from you."

"Come with me," he replied with a radiant face. "I will pour you a cup of fresh milk. However, I will accept no money from you, for I too would like to fulfill the mitzvah of hospitality."

They walked to the outskirts of the city. The houses there were very old, their roofs sagging almost to the ground. In one such hovel lived Hershel.

When he opened the door, he was greeted by the happy bleating of his goats, who rushed over and began to lick his hands. He took a pan and milked the goats, strained the milk, poured a cup of the warm fresh milk and handed it to his guest, the Baal Shem Tov. Hershel then told him his life story.

He spoke about his wife, of blessed memory, a woman of great kindness who dedicated herself especially to the mitzvah of ministering to the sick. "There was no sick person whom she did not assist; for each one she would get all possible help. She also helped poor women who had given birth.

"After she passed away, ten years ago, she appeared to me in my dream," he continued. "She told me how wonderful it was in the World of Truth, and how great is the merit of doing a kind deed for a Jew. When her soul ascended on High to the Heavenly Court, she was happy to recognize many people whom she knew. These were all the people whom she had helped and supported during their illnesses. They had all come to bear witness to her goodness and to plead her cause.

"After she told me how much every favor that is done for a fellow Jew is appreciated in Heaven, she suggested that I do charitable work. 'You are a simple Jew,' she said. 'You don't know how to learn Torah. Busy yourself with charity and good deeds, and especially help the sick, the poor, and women who have given birth. But you must do all this in a way that no one will know.'

"I decided to do what my wife had said: I saved every penny and bought four goats. I feed them fine food so that they will produce rich and nutritious milk. This milk I distribute to the sick and poor, to children and mothers, and G-d, Who heals all flesh, helps that the milk cures those who are sick.

"I have been doing this for many years," Hershel finished his story. "For myself, I get by with very little, and I dedicate most of my money to the maintenance of the goats and for doing good deeds."

Hershel told his guest that last night his wife had appeared to him in a dream and revealed to him that the next day he would meet a poor Jew who would request a glass of milk. "Invite him to your home and tell him about your deeds," said his wife. "Through him you will receive many blessings."

Now the Baal Shem Tov realized that because of the pure, sincere deeds of Hershel, and his goodness of heart, devotion and love of fellow Jews, he was privileged to receive the "crown of light" that accompanied him wherever he went. He joined the circle of secret tzaddikim who taught him Torah step by step. But even when he became very learned in Torah and accomplished in his studies, he didn't stop taking care of the sick and poor.

He eventually passed away unrecognized, solitary and lonely, aged about one hundred years old. But in Heaven he received a glorious welcome. The soul of the Baal Shem Tov, accompanied by the souls of the secret tzaddikim, and the souls of all the people whom he had helped, all came to greet the soul of the holy man once known in Brod as "Hershel Goat."


The most important principle in the Torah is the protection of Jewish life.

It's more important than Shabbat, more important than holidays, even fasting on Yom Kippur.

Right now, in Israel, and everywhere, Jews must stand together in unity and do whatever possible to protect Jewish life.

The Rebbe taught that there are ten important Mitzvot we can do to protect life. See what you can do:

1) Ahavat Yisroel: Behave with love towards another Jew.

2) Learn Torah: Join a Torah class.

3) Make sure that Jewish children get a Torah true education.

4) Affix kosher Mezuzot on all doorways of the house.

5) For men and boys over 13: Put on Tefillin every weekday.

6) Give Charity.

7) Buy Jewish holy books and learn them.

8) Light Shabbat & Yom Tov candles. A Mitzvah for women and girls.

9) Eat and drink only Kosher Food.

10) Observe the laws of Jewish Family Purity.

In addition, the Rebbe also urged every man, woman and child to Purchase a Letter in a Sefer Torah. There are several Torah scrolls being written to unite Jewish people and protect Jewish life.

Letters for children can be purchased for only $1. Send your Hebrew name and your mother's Hebrew name plus $1 to:

"Children's Sefer Torah,"
P. O. Box 8,
Kfar Chabad, 72915, Israel

or via the Internet, at: http://www.kidstorah.org


The Rebbe's slogan is: "The main thing is the deed." We therefore present from the Rebbe's talks, suggestions what we can do to complete his work of bringing the Redemption.

Preparations for the High Holidays:

"Our Sages state that thirty days before a holiday, we should learn the laws pertaining to it. It is already less then thirty days before the holidays of Tishrei begin and in this context, it is necessary to mention the importance of providing Jews with their holiday needs so that they will be able to celebrate Rosh HaShanah and the holidays that follow in the manner stated in the Bible, 'Eat sumptuous foods and drink sweet beverages and send portions to those who do not have them prepared." '

The Rebbe, Elul, 5750/1990


...May the Festivals of Tishrei Bring
Blessings for You and All Your Loved
Ones, for a Good and Sweet Year,
Spiritually and Materially,
and Bring for All of Us
the Greatest of All Blessings,
the Final Redemption
Through Our Righteous Moshiach.

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