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Weekly Digest About Moshiach

Parshat Toldot, 5765
Cheshvan 28, 5765
Nov. 12, 2004

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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 397th issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.


In this week's issue we focus on the new Hebrew month of Kislev.


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

25 Cheshvan, 5765
Los Angeles, California

In honor of
Rabbi & Mrs. Yosef Yitzchok and Gitel Rochel
On the occasion of our wedding,
Sunday, 13 Nissan, 5764

Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe

Parshat Toldot

In this week's Torah portion of Toldot, our ancestor Isaac declares, "For now G-d has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."

Commenting on the Hebrew word for "fruitful," "ufarinu," Rashi explains that it means "to increase," to spread out, and expand.

The above verse can be divided into two parts. The first half, "G-d has made room for us," refers to the strengths and abilities G-d bestows upon an individual. The second part, "we shall be fruitful in the land," refers to the obligation it implies to utilize those gifts by working to make the world a better place.

The Torah teaches, "Man is born to labor." G-d created the world in such a way that man has the potential to improve upon creation and add to it through his efforts. To the naked eye, G-dliness is hidden and concealed. However, when man acts according to G-d's will, the true underlying G-dliness of creation becomes revealed. Man becomes a "partner" with G-d in the act of creation, as it were, by uncovering the G-dly light that sustains all existence.

A question is asked: How can human beings improve on something G-d Himself created? Is man really "superior" to G-d in this respect? Of course not, as we see from the first half of the above verse, "For now G-d has made room for us." Everything ultimately originates from G-d. Were it not for the strengths and abilities He gives us, we could never accomplish anything. It is only through the merit of these Divinely-given powers that we are able to reveal G-dliness in the world and elevate creation to a higher level.

It also follows that once these powers have been granted, we are expected to make proper use of them. As we learn from the text of our holy Torah, "For now G-d has made room for us" is immediately followed by "and we shall be fruitful in the land," indicating the need for practical action.

This same concept is expressed by a verse in Psalms, "I am the L-rd your G-d, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide, and I will fill it." The first step is the G-dly influence that comes from Above, i.e., G-d taking the Jewish people out of Egypt. Only afterwards does man's service come into play, "open your mouth wide." By telling us to "open wide," G-d is exhorting us to "add" to what He has created, improving and enhancing the state of the world. We can then be assured that "I will fill it:" not only will G-d grant us the power to act, but He will also assist us in our Divine service, thereby ensuring our success.


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


Every year at this time we read about one of the most famous sets of twins in history, Jacob and Esau. As any child can tell you, Jacob was the "good" one and Esau was the "bad" one, and the two brothers never got along with each other. But the Torah is not a history book; Torah means "teaching," it contains eternal lessons that are always relevant and have a direct impact on our daily lives.

On a deeper level, Jacob and Esau represent two ways of looking at the world, two different life styles that even modern man is forced to choose between. Esau's attitude was "carpe diem" -- seize the day, with no thought for tomorrow. Jacob, by contrast, lived a more elevated existence, recognizing life's spiritual dimension.

According to Chasidic philosophy, every Jew is made up of two souls: an animal soul and a G-dly soul. Like Jacob and Esau, they too never get along, and are in constant conflict. The animal soul is interested only in the physical; like an animal that walks on four legs, its head is focused downward rather than up at the sky. The only thing that matters is the here and now. The G-dly soul, however, looks upward. Why am I here? What's the real purpose of my life?

As we learn from this week's Torah reading, the true birthright belongs to Jacob, and our function as Jews is to elevate the world by imbuing it with G-dliness. The battle will always be there, but it's a battle we can win by choosing wisely.


Kislev is a month of celebration, when we commemorate many joyous occasions. A recurring theme throughout the festivities of Kislev is freedom.

On the 10th day of Kislev, 5587/1826, the second Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Dovber (known as the Mitteler Rebbe), was released from incarceration in Czarist Russia on trumped-up charges of anti-government activities.

Decades earlier, on the 19th of Kislev in the year 5559/1798, his father, Rabbi Shneur Zalman, the founder of Chabad Chasidism, was released from imprisonment on trumped-up charges of anti-government activities. (Two years later, when Rabbi Shneur Zalman was imprisoned once again, he was also released in the month of Kislev, on the third night of Chanukah.)

On Chanukah, celebrated for eight days starting on the 25th of Kislev, we celebrate the victory of the Jewish people over their mighty Hellenic oppressors, and their subsequent freedom to follow once again in the ways of the Torah. We also celebrate the liberation of our Holy Temple, which the Hellenists had defiled and desecrated. Once the Jews cleansed and purified the Temple, it was free to be used for its holy purpose, bringing the Jewish people closer to G-d.

Torah in general, and chasidic teachings in particular, help liberate us from our personal (often self-imposed) "prisons." During the month of Kislev, then, it is appropriate to increase our study of Torah. This study will help us reflect upon how best to use the opportunities available to us because of the religious freedom that we are fortunate to enjoy today.

Let us pray that G-d speedily grant us the ultimate freedom that will come with the revelation of Moshiach. For then we will truly be free to serve G-d, in the third and final Holy Temple.


13 years ago, on Rosh Chodesh Kislev and the following Shabbat, the Rebbe spoke about how "All the days of your life should be directed toward bringing the era of Moshiach." Every waking moment of a person's life, the Rebbe stated -- indeed, even during the time he sleeps, for he is alive then as well -- must be devoted to this goal. This should include not only his conscious activities (thought, speech and deed), but also his every essence. In other words, the very core of a Jew's being must be focused on bringing about the Final Redemption.

In this context, the Rebbe explained what it means to "breathe the air of Moshiach." The essence of a person's life is reflected in his breathing processes. In fact, the Hebrew word for breath, "neshima," shares the same letters with the Hebrew word for soul, "neshama." The service that is necessary at present, the Rebbe explained, is to connect the core of our being to the core of Moshiach. This will ultimately awaken a pattern of conduct that will permeate every dimension of our being.

In practical terms, this means having a concern for the fundamental existence of every Jew, and providing our fellow Jews with the required necessities to celebrate the holidays of the month of Kislev with happiness and joy. Additionally, every Jew should also have the means to fulfill the custom of giving Chanukah gelt (money) to the members of his household.

As the Rebbe concluded, these activities will bring about the advent of the ultimate Redemption in this month, which is also called "the month of redemption." At that time, we will merit to see not only the essence of Moshiach, but also the revelation of Moshiach in the world at large, when Moshiach will "perfect the entire world, [motivating all the nations] to serve G-d together, as it is written, 'I will make the peoples pure of speech, so that they will all call upon the name of G-d and serve Him with one purpose.' "

May it happen immediately.


By Rabbi Arye Preger

It was right before Purim, 5753 (1993), when we received a phone call asking if we could accommodate a couple from Borough Park -- Gerrer chasidim -- for Shabbat in Crown Heights. The couple with their young child arrived Friday afternoon, but it wasn't until during the Friday night meal that we had a chance to chat. Mr. B. told me in a whisper, "My wife does not know that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was our shadchan [matchmaker]."

My guest continued, "A few years ago, my brother-in-law came to the Rebbe during 'Sunday dollars.'(1) He asked the Rebbe for a blessing for his sister, who had been married for quite a few years without being blessed with children. The Rebbe gave him three dollars and a blessing. Exactly nine months later triplets were born.

"About two years ago, my wife and I were having problems in our marriage. Conditions worsened to the point that we divorced. I remained in New York and my ex-wife moved to Israel.

"I went to the Rebbe one Sunday and asked for a blessing to find the right match. The Rebbe gave me a blessing as well as a dollar.

"A little over a week later, soon after the Rebbe had his first stroke, the Rebbe appeared to me in a dream and told me, 'Do not search for another wife; return to your first one. If you have any doubts about the matter, wait until Purim and you will have a yeshua [salvation].'

"I was a bit confused by this dream, so I discussed it with several Lubavitcher chasidim, who advised me to wait until Purim to see what happens before I decide.

"On Purim a rabbi from Bnei Brak in Israel contacted me and informed me that my wife was interested in getting back together. We worked out our differences and our family was reunited once again. Since tonight is the first anniversary of our remarriage, I thought we should celebrate it here in Crown Heights and be together with the Rebbe."

Not long after this occurrence I attended a wedding in Borough Park, and I recounted the story to a group of chasidim, most of whom were Satmar. One of the men who happened to be sitting next to me told me that when his wife was hospitalized in Rochester, Minnesota, the only ones who came to visit her and raise her morale were Lubavitcher chasidim. "A Rebbe who has such emissaries as dedicated as these in such far-flung places, even without performing miracles, is definitely worthy of redeeming the Jewish people from this dark exile and bringing us to the Redemption," he said.


1. In the years 1986-1992, the Rebbe, every Sunday, personally distributed to each of the thousands of visitors who came to receive his blessings a dollar to give to charity.


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 teaches 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.

Awaken Your Core This Month:

"Awakening the core of our being must be reflected in a concern for the fundamental existence of every Jew. This should be expressed in efforts to provide our fellow Jews with the necessities required to celebrate the holidays of the month of Kislev [the 'chasidic New Year' on the 19th of Kislev and Chanukah] with happiness and joy. Similarly, they should have the means to fulfill the custom that the Rebbes followed of giving Chanukah gelt to the members of their household."

(1 Kislev, 5752/1991)

Simply stated, this means that as we think about our own family's holiday celebrations this month, we should make sure to help provide for other, less fortunate people in the greater Jewish family.


Jewish Women and Girls Light 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, Nov. 12, Erev Shabbat Parshat Toldot:

  • Light Shabbat Candles,(2) 4:22 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 13, Shabbat Parshat Toldot:

  • Blessing of the New Month, Kislev.(3)
  • Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 5:24 p.m.


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

3. Rosh Chodesh Kislev is on Sunday, Nov. 14.

Laws of Shabbat Candle Lighting for the Blind

Shabbat Candle Lighting Blessing

"Let There Be Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide to Lighting Shabbat Candles.

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