LIVING WITH MOSHIACH
Weekly Digest About Moshiach
Parshat Tetzave, 5765
9 Adar I, 5765
Feb. 18, 2005
60 Days of Joy and Happiness
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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
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.
"I BELIEVE WITH COMPLETE FAITH IN THE ARRIVAL OF THE MOSHIACH.
"AND THOUGH HE MAY TARRY, I SHALL WAIT EACH DAY, ANTICIPATING HIS
Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12
THIS PUBLICATION IS DEDICATED
TO THE REBBE,
RABBI MENACHEM M. SCHNEERSON
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 406-410th
issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
In this issue, we focus on:
1) Zayin Adar,(1) the Seventh day
of the Hebrew month of Adar I, Wednesday, Feb. 16, the birthday and
yahrtzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu (Moshe our teacher).
2) As this year is a leap year on the Jewish calendar, an entire extra
month(2) is added between the months of
Shevat and Adar. Therefore, this week's issue focuses on a
lesson we can learn from the leap 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
First day of Rosh Chodesh Adar I, 5765
Los Angeles, California
1. "In a leap year, such as our current year, there is a difference of opinion
as to whether we commemorate this date in the first or second month of
Adar. Since both opinions are "the words of the Living G-d" it is
appropriate to commemorate the date in both months."
(The Rebbe, 7 Adar I, 5752/1992)
2. This month is known as Adar Rishon -- Adar I, and the second
Adar is known as Adar Sheini -- Adar II.
In honor of
Rabbi & Mrs. Yosef Yitzchok and Gitel Rochel
On the occasion of our wedding,
Sunday, 13 Nissan, 5764
This week's Torah reading, Tetzave, is the only portion in the entire
Torah following Moses' birth, in which Moses' name does not appear.
Our Sages explain that the reason for this omission was Moses' own request,
made to G-d after, the Children of Israel sinned with the Golden Calf: "And
if not (if You will not forgive them), blot me out, I pray you, from Your
book which You have written." The words of a tzadik, a holy and righteous
person, are always fulfilled, even if spoken conditionally. Thus, we find
that Moses' wish was granted in this week's Torah portion, for his name never
appears in the entire portion.
However, when we delve into the text itself, we find an interesting phenomenon:
This chapter, which specifically does not mention Moses, begins with a direct
address to the very person whose name it omits! "And you shall command
A name is of lesser importance than a person's essential nature. It is a
means of identification and a way of being known to others. But one does
not really need a name in order to live. A newborn baby exists as an independent
being from the moment it is born, and only receives its name after several
days. From this we learn that the use of the grammatical second person, "you,"
expresses an even higher level of relationship than calling a person by his
given name, which was only bestowed on him secondarily.
If such is the case, then it follows that the omission of Moses' name only
serves to underscore the very special essence of Moses, which was even higher
than the mention of his name could express.
Moses' whole life was Torah, to the extent that we refer to the Torah as
"The Five Books of Moses." But his greatness was best illustrated when the
lowest elements among the Children of Israel sinned with the Golden Calf,
explicitly expressing their desire to separate themselves from the Torah.
Yet, Moses was willing to sacrifice that which he held most dear on their
behalf. "Blot out my name from Your book," Moses pleaded with G-d, "if You
will not forgive them even this grave sin."
Moses and the Jews formed one entity, each of whose existence was dependent
upon the other. The commentator Rashi explains: "Moses is Israel, and Israel
is Moses." When even some Jews sinned, Moses suffered a spiritual blow. Even
though Moses was up on Mount Sinai when the Golden Calf was actually made,
he was still affected by the actions of the others.
It was Moses' self-sacrifice and his desire to forgo that which was most
important to him that express a unity that is beyond mere names. It is therefore
precisely the portion Tetzave, in which Moses is not mentioned, that
reveals his strength and his greatness. The willingness to sacrifice oneself
for every fellow Jew, even one who sins, is the mark of every true leader
of the Jewish People.
The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of Lubavitch, issued a call that
"The time of our Redemption has arrived!" and "Moshiach is on his
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.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR DEAR FRIEND AND COPY EDITOR
Reb Mordechai ben Reb Shaul
Passed away on 22 Tamuz, 5763
Zayin Adar, the Seventh day of the Hebrew month of Adar I
(Wednesday, Feb. 16), is the birthday and yahrtzeit of Moshe
Rabbeinu (Moshe our teacher).
The Rebbe has spoken numerous times about the significance of this date in
our G-dly service. In one of the Rebbes last public addresses, on 7
Adar I, 5752/1992, the Rebbe delved further into the significance
of this date.
In a leap year, such as our current year, there is a difference of opinion
as to whether we commemorate this date in the first or second month of
Adar. Since both opinions are "the words of the Living G-d" it is
appropriate to commemorate the date in both months.
On a persons birthday, "his mazal (source of influence) shines
powerfully." If this concept applies to the birthday of any Jew, surely it
applies with regard to the birthday of a nasi (leader) of the Jewish
people. Nor is this relevant merely as an event in the past. Instead, each
year, the positive influence associated with the Seventh of Adar is
increased, reaching a level immeasurably higher than in previous years.
The birthday of a nasi affects every member of the Jewish people,
for the nasi is the source of influence through whom G-ds blessings
are drawn down for the entire people.
Seven is symbolic of a complete cycle. Thus, the Seventh of Adar should
inspire every Jew to carry out his service in a complete manner. The positive
influence of the month of Adar will facilitate the performance of
Similarly, these positive influences will hasten the coming of the Redemption.
It is of utmost importance that the Redemption come sooner, even a moment
sooner, for the Divine Presence and the Jewish people are in exile. Therefore,
it is important to hasten the coming of the Redemption; every single moment
its coming can be speeded is significant. The potential for this certainly
exists: the very next moment can be the last moment of the exile, and the
moment that follows, the first moment of Redemption.
* * *
Jewish teachings (Shemos Rabba) state that "Moshe is the first redeemer
and he is also the final redeemer." This does not mean that Moshe himself
will be the "final redeemer." For, Moshe belongs to the tribe of Levi, while
Moshiach is from the tribe of Judah.
However, many traditional sources view the redemption from Egypt as the prototype
of the Final Redemption, based on the verse in our Prophets: "As in the days
of your exodus from the land of Egypt, I will show you wonders."
In this way, Moshe -- who was the leader of the Jewish people in his generation
-- is the prototype of every Jewish leader and ultimately, of Moshiach.
Thus, for example, in Egypt, first G-d appointed the redeemer -- Moshe. He
spoke to the Children of Israel, telling them that G-d had remembered them
and that the time had come for them to leave Egypt. Only afterward did Moshe
redeem the Children of Israel and take them out of Egypt. Similarly, first
Moshiach informs us that the time of the Redemption has arrived, and only
afterward does the actual Redemption take place (Sfas Emes).
In one of his kabbalistic works, Rabbi Chaim Vital describes Moshiach as
a tzaddik, a human being born of human parents, and writes that he
will receive the soul of Moshiach that has been stored in the Garden of Eden.
Rabbi Chaim Vital then explains how this may be compared to Moshe and his
progression to self-perfection.
The Chatam Sofer, as well, describes Moshe, the first redeemer, and
then compares him to the final redeemer, "And when the time comes, G-d will
reveal Himself to him, and the spirit of Moshiach, which has been hidden
in the higher worlds until his coming, will light upon him."
This year's conference, taking place in the month of Adar I, brings
to mind the significance of our leap year and its relevance to our daily
life. For, although our Jewish calendar year has a basic logic of its own,
it, too, like everything else in Jewish life, must be related in a practical
and tangible way to our personal lives and responsibilities.
The fundamental reason for adding an extra month in our leap year is, of
course, the fact that the Torah requires our calendar to be based on the
lunar year, which is shorter than the solar year by approximately eleven
days. At the same time it requires that our festivals take place in their
due season (Passover in the spring, Sukkot in the autumn, etc.). This
necessitates an adjustment once in two or three years, in order to make up
the deficiency of the lunar year in relation to the solar
The lesson contained in this calendar arrangement is that a person can in
one year make up for deficiencies in past years.
Furthermore, just as the leap year not only makes up the deficiency, but
also provides an "advance" on the future, so must the individual from time
to time not only make up what he has failed to accomplish, in the past, but
also make a special and extra effort to go a step forward as a reserve for
In addition, the Jewish leap year has a special relevance to Jewish women,
mothers and daughters. The sun and the moon were created as "the two great
luminaries," but each has been given its own place and function. The moon
acts as a reflector and transmitter of the sun's light. In this way it has
a special quality in that it transmits the solar light and energy to those
areas in nature where direct sunlight would be too intense to be beneficial.
Similarly, the Jewish wife, in many respects, must reflect and transmit the
Torah way of life to the entire household, and it is in this way that she
fulfills her great responsibility and privilege of being the akeret
habayit -- foundation of the home.
In taking stock of your accomplishments in the past, you will find much to
be gratified with, but these very accomplishments will also reveal that with
a little more effort, a great deal more could have been accomplished. It
is, therefore, to be hoped that you will resolve not only to make up the
"deficiency," but in keeping with the spirit of the leap year, also make
an advance on the future. After all, true progress cannot be limited to making
up deficiencies. It is necessary to forge ahead steadily and, from time to
time, to also advance by leaps and bounds.
* * *
In accordance with the teaching of the Baal Shem Tov, to the effect that
every experience should serve as a lesson toward better service of G-d, the
leap year serves to remind us that everyone has an opportunity to make up
for any deficiency in the past, and sometimes even to accumulate a little
reserve for the future, as in the case of our leap year.
Chabad Chasidus emphasizes this point in a very basic manner, since
by definition Chasidus is a way of life that demands a little more
effort than called for in the line of duty -- a little more dedication, a
little more depth, a little more enthusiasm; and enthusiasm itself provides
a breakthrough in overcoming limitations.
3. The lunar month is 29 or 30 days. One lunar cycle is 354 days, while one
solar cycle is 365 days. An extra month is inserted 7 times in 19 years in
order to allow the holidays to fall in their correct seasons.
4. At times the additional month actually makes the year longer than 354
days, thereby giving an "advance" toward the upcoming year. Ed.
As we are now in the midst of a leap year, there are two months of
Adar instead of one (Adar I and Adar II). By including
the first day of Rosh Chodesh Adar I in the reckoning, we end up with
60 instead of the usual 30 of these auspicious days.
Our Sages said, "When Adar enters, we increase in our simcha
-- joy and happiness." The whole month (or months, in our case) is a time
in which the dynamic of transformation is emphasized. In Adar, the
terrible threat that hung over the entire Jewish community in the times of
Haman was transformed into the joyous holiday of Purim. Adar teaches
us that darkness can be transformed into light, and bitterness into sweetness.
The name Adar has various meanings, one of which is "strong." In
Adar, we experience the strength, "Adir," of G-d. The Talmud
relates that during the month of Adar, Jewish mazal, usually
translated as fortune or destiny, is particularly potent. The mazal
of the Jew is synonymous with the higher levels of his soul, which is always
intrinsically bound with the essence of G-d. During Adar we have a
unique opportunity to draw down Divine energy into our lives, by doing good
deeds that are imbued with joy.
In talks delivered immediately preceding and during the two months of
Adar, 13 years ago, in 5752/1992, the Rebbe emphasized the importance
of simcha, in transforming the darkness of exile into the light of
The Rebbe also stressed that, being as there are two months of Adar
this year, there are 60 days during which we are to increase our
simcha. More importantly, in Jewish law, the quantity of 60 has the
ability to nullify an undesirable influence.
Specifically, this concerns food, as we see that if a quantity of milk, for
instance, has accidentally become mixed with meat, if the meat outnumbers
the milk by a ratio of 1:60, the milk is nullified and we may eat the meat.
This points to not only the nullification of negative forces, but their
transformation into positive ones.
Similarly, explains the Rebbe, 60 days of simcha have the ability
to nullify the darkness of the present exile, allowing us to actually transform
the darkness into light.
* * *
Concerning the kind of things that should be done to arouse simcha,
the Rebbe suggested that each person should proceed according to his level:
a child, for instance, should be made happy by his parents; a wife by her
husband, and visa versa.
The bottom line is that the Rebbe did not let up on encouraging an increase
of simcha in all permissible manners during the two months of
We must hearken to the Rebbe's words and utilize simcha, especially
during these months, to transform darkness into light, sadness into joy,
and pain and tears into rejoicing with Moshiach in the Final Redemption;
and we will very soon experience the ultimate transformation of history,
when our exile will be irrevocably changed into redemption, with the coming
of our Righteous Moshiach.
May it take place, as the Rebbe so fervently prayed, teichef umiyad
mamash -- immediately, literally, NOW!
At a chasidic gathering nearly 20 years ago, the Rebbe told the following
One of the tzaddikim of Poland, when still a little boy, asked his
father for an apple. His father, however, refused to give it to him.
The enterprising youngster proceeded to recite a blessing over the apple:
"Baruch atah...borei pri haetz -- Blessed are You... Who created fruit
of the trees!"
The father could not possibly allow the blessing to have been recited in
vain. And so, he promptly handed the youngster the apple.
The Rebbe used this story to illustrate the following point:
In our situation today, if the Jewish people begin now to rejoice in the
Redemption, out of absolute trust that G-d will speedily send us Moshiach,
this joy in itself will (as it were) compel our Father in heaven to fulfill
His children's wish and to redeem them from exile.
Needless to say, the Rebbe was not suggesting the use of mystical incantations
or the like to "force" the premature advent of the end of the exile. "We
are simply speaking of serving G-d with exuberant joy," the Rebbe explained.
The month of Adar I brings with it not only the injunction to increase
in joy, but with every command we are also given the power and energy to
fulfill that command.
So, right from the start of the month, let us increase in our happiness,
do mitzvot with more enthusiasm, and rejoice NOW in the imminent
* * *
What benefit does joy bring us?
Chasidic teachings use the example of two individuals who are wrestling,
to teach us the advantage of joy.
When two individuals are wrestling with each other, each striving to throw
the other, if one is lazy and sluggish he will easily be defeated and thrown,
even though he may be stronger than his opponent. Similarly, when we are
trying to correct our bad habits or encourage spiritual growth, etc., it
is impossible to accomplish any of these goals with a heavy heart or
sluggishness, which originates in sadness. Rather, we are most successful
at "overthrowing" our character flaws when we use alacrity that is derived
The third Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, known as
the Tzemach Tzedek, received a letter from one of his followers,
complaining that it was difficult for him to be "joyous." The Tzemach
Tzedek's advice to him was that he think only positive and happy thoughts,
that he be careful not to speak of sad or depressing matters, and to behave
as if his heart was full of joy. "Ultimately," concluded the Tzemach
Tzedek, "this will be the reality."
As we are already in the first month of Adar, a month when we are
enjoined to increase our joy over and above our regular mitzvot to
"serve G-d with joy" and "to be joyous constantly," may we celebrate the
greatest joy of all, the revelation of Moshiach and the ingathering of all
Jews to our Holy Land, NOW!
The story of Moses taking the Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt
is well known, but long before he emerged as the redeemer of the Jewish people
his life was full of wonders and miracles.
Times were bitter for the Jews. Their favored status as Joseph's people had
long ago been replaced by the degradation of a harsh and cruel slavery. Pharaoh's
star-gazers had foreseen the birth of a baby boy who would one day lead the
Jewish slaves to freedom, but would die because of water. Pharaoh would forestall
that possibility by ordering the death by drowning of every boy born to the
Jews. He would make sure the Jews would never leave Egypt.
Jewish women refused to despair. They beautified themselves and went out
to the fields where their husbands labored in the burning sun. "Do not despair,
do not give up hope," they would tell their husbands. "G-d will not forget
us forever." They gave birth in secret, hiding the babies as long as possible.
Yocheved and Miriam, popular midwives, were commanded to kill the babies,
but what could they do, they dissembled, "The Jewish women give birth quickly,
before we can even get to them."
Soon, it was Yocheved's turn to hide her precious little boy. For a few months
she succeeded, but she knew the attempt was futile. The Egyptians had spies
everywhere. When there was the slightest suspicion, they would bring an Egyptian
baby into the Jewish house and pinch it to make it cry. It was impossible
to quiet the Jewish baby who would wail in response. Then the soldiers would
seize the child from his helpless parents and toss him into the Nile.
Yocheved had an idea. In a desperate attempt to save her son's life, she
set him afloat in a little reed basket, which she lovingly prepared to withstand
the waters of the Nile.
"Go and watch your brother, and see what will happen to him," she instructed
Miriam. Obediently, she stood on the banks of the Nile where she watched
her beloved brother's fate unfold.
Batya, Pharaoh's daughter, had just come down to the river to bathe and,
startled by a baby's cry coming from the direction of some reeds, she sent
her servant girl to fetch the semi-hidden basket.
When she opened it, a bright light emanated from the child's face and he
peered at her with a mature intelligence. She knew it must be a Hebrew child,
but she couldn't bear the thought of this beautiful boy being killed.
"Go, bring me a wet-nurse," she commanded, but when the Egyptian woman arrived,
the starving baby refused to drink. At that point Miriam saw her chance.
"If you wish, I will bring a nurse from the Hebrew women," she offered, and
without a moment's pause, Batya agreed.
And so, G-d's plan unfolded in unexpected ways. Yocheved was not only able
to bring up her beloved child in her own home, but she had the explicit
permission of Pharaoh's daughter -- she was even paid for her "services."
* * *
Moses was a beautiful child -- radiant, intelligent, the favored child on
whom the princess lavished her love and attention.
One day, the young child was brought to a royal banquet -- the first time
he witnessed such a gala event. Everyone assembled sparkled in all their
finery. Suddenly, baby Moses reached out his little hand and seized, of all
things, the king's golden crown. And what's more, he set the glittering symbol
of kingship on his own tiny head! The shocked gasps were audible throughout
the great hall. The king's advisors saw that this act boded ill for the monarchy.
"Put the child to death before he grows up and seizes your throne!" they
said. But then one other voice was heard, that of Jethro, the Priest of Midian,
a highly respected sage and great magician.
"Your majesty, it is a known fact that every child will reach out for a
glittering object. Why should you assume that this child is intelligent enough
to discern the great meaning of your majesty's crown. Why should you take
away your daughter's beloved child if this is just a childish whim? I suggest
that you put him to the test: Put before him a piece of burning coal and
your crown. See which he will grab. If he reaches for the coal, which is
shinier than the golden crown, you will know he has no understanding of his
Jethro's advice seemed sensible enough, and a burning coal was brought and
put in front of the child. Moses, however, was not a child like all others;
he knowingly extended his hand toward the crown. Suddenly his hand moved,
pushed by an angel, and he seized the coal and put it into his mouth. He
screamed in pain, and Batya's heart jumped -- Moses was hurt, but he would
live. The proof was incontrovertible, the child simply liked glittering objects.
Moses, the great redeemer of the Jewish people, was raised in the king's
palace, tutored in the ways of royalty and even bounced on his would-be
murderer's own knee, until the time arrived for him to begin his mission.
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:
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.
Make Others Happy:
As we are now in the 60 days of happiness comprised of the two months of
Adar, we should endeavor to make others happy.
The Rebbe explained, "We should proceed to spread joy and happiness in the
most literal sense, making efforts to assure that the members of one's household
and similarly, all of those with whom one comes in contact, experience great
joy. And this will lead to the ultimate joy, the coming of the Redemption.
May it take place in the immediate future."
Jewish Women and Girls Light Shabbat
For local candle lighting times:
consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch Center, or call: (718) 774-3000.
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, Feb. 18, Erev Shabbat Parshat Tetzave:
Light Shabbat Candles,(5) 5:17 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 19, Shabbat Parshat Tetzave:
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 6:19 p.m.
5. 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.
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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