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Weekly Digest About Moshiach

Parshat Tzav, 5765
14 Adar II, 5765
March 25, 2005

Your Purim Guide - 5765

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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 414th issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.


In this week's issue, we focus on:

1) The Seventh and Ninth of Adar II.

2) The festive holiday of Purim, which begins on Thursday night, March 24.

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


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

9 Adar II, 5765
Los Angeles, California


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

Special thanks to Rabbi M. Borisute for his help.

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 Tzav

In this week's Torah portion, Tzav, we read the verse: "A perpetual fire shall always be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out." The priests in the Holy Temple were required to light a fire upon the altar in preparation for the G-dly fire which descended from Above to consume the sacrifices. Without this preparation, the G-dly fire would not come down from heaven.

The fire that descended from Above came from G-d. Thus, unlike a fire that is kindled by human beings, it was unlimited in nature. Human beings, by contrast, are finite creatures; their abilities are likewise limited. Nonetheless, the priests had to first invest their own efforts in order for the G-dly, infinite fire to descend from on high. Thus we see that the service of limited, finite creations is a necessary condition to attain a level that transcends limitation.

When a person does all he is capable of doing, G-d grants him additional powers from Above. He becomes a "perpetual fire that burns always," enabling him to transcend his natural limitations.

Every Jew possesses an inner, spiritual "Holy Temple" in which G-d's Presence dwells, as it states, "I will dwell in their midst." When a Jew invests the maximum amount of effort in kindling his spiritual flame, he merits a G-dly fire to descend from Above -- the bestowal of additional powers and an infinite abundance of blessing.

What is the spiritual fire that burns in the inner Sanctuary of every Jew? None other than the warmth and enthusiasm he feels in his service of G-d. In the spiritual sense, observing the Torah and its commandments with enthusiasm is the equivalent of lighting a fire in one's inner Sanctuary.

This vitality must extend to all three dimensions of Torah and mitzvot: the study of Torah, the service of prayer, and the performance of good deeds.

Torah: Learning Torah at fixed times is not enough if there is no enduring connection to the Torah throughout the day. Torah study must be so intense and vital to the Jew that it permeates his being and surrounds him constantly.

Prayer: A person mustn't pray by rote or simply out of habit. Indeed, the service of prayer is "the supplication for mercy and entreaty before G-d."

Good deeds: G-d's commandments are not to be performed merely to discharge our obligation. Rather, we must always endeavor to observe them in the most beautiful manner and to the best of our ability.

When a Jew does the above with enthusiasm, the fire he kindles upon his inner altar is whole. Such a person will merit that G-d's fire -- an unlimited fire -- will descend from Above, and he will see G-d's blessing in everything.


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


Zayin Adar, the Seventh day of the Hebrew month of Adar II (Friday, Mar. 18), 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 Rebbe's 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 person's 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-d's 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 this service.

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 week contains within it a special date for the American Chabad-Lubavitch community, yet possibly even more so for the American Jewish community at large.

The date is the Ninth of Adar II, (Sunday, March 20). On this day, 65 years ago, (in 5700, March 19, 1940), the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, arrived in the United States.

For all purposes, this day marks the beginning of the "dissemination of the wellsprings (of Chasidus) to the outside" in the Northern Hemisphere.

Though weakened in body -- as he was confined to a wheelchair -- he was not weakened in spirit.

After his arrival in the United States, the previous Rebbe successfully devoted himself to establishing a strong educational system here. Within two years, yeshivot in New York, Montreal, Newark, Worcester and Pittsburgh were founded. This flurry of activity, however, did not at all affect the manner in which he continued to work toward the establishment of educational organizations in other parts of the world. For, within ten years, programs were started in Paris, Safaria (Israel) and N. Africa.

Before his arrival in the United States, the previous Rebbe was told that "America is different." The customs and ways from the "old country" just wouldn't do here. The Rebbe replied in his usual indomitable manner, "America is not different!" and proceeded, throughout the rest of his life, to prove that he was right.

The Jewish community here is greatly indebted to this prophetic and visionary giant.

* * *

The Previous Rebbe announced, upon his arrival, that he was going to open the first Chabad-Lubavitch yeshivah in America. He said, "America iz nisht andersh -- America is not different [from Europe]." Just as yeshivot had dotted the European landscape for centuries, so too would they flourish here in America.

Upon hearing this, many people came to the Previous Rebbe and tried to dissuade him, citing examples of prominent rabbis who had also tried to establish yeshivot in America and had failed.

The Rebbe replied, "I did not come to America to relax, but rather, Divine Providence brought me to America to start rebuilding Judaism." He refused to go to sleep that night until he was assured that the yeshivah would open as he wished. The following day, Tomchei T'mimim Lubavitch Yeshivah in Brooklyn opened with ten students.

* * *

The Previous Rebbe wrote and spoke at great length about the process of education and the momentous task that is bestowed upon teachers.

In "The Principles of Guidance and Education," the Previous Rebbe describes the process of introspection and refinement that an educator must undergo in order to properly guide his/her students. He also explains how a teacher must carefully examine each individual pupil's character and tailor his/her teaching style to best educate the student with both love and firmness.

Contrary to the old saying that "those who can, do, and those who can't, teach," the Rebbe shows us that only a person with a truly fine, exceptional character can properly carry out the task of teaching the next generation.

The Rebbe explains that the arrival of the Previous Rebbe on our shores marked the beginning of the primary efforts to spread Chasidus and Judaism to the outer reaches of the world at large.

We should intensify our efforts to carry out the service begun on the 9th of Adar II, 5700/1940, namely, to spread the light of Torah to the entire world, until the Redemption comes and this world is revealed as G-d's dwelling.


When people comment that Lubavitchers may be going a little overboard, as it seems that every other word is about Moshiach or Redemption or the Messianic era, our only response is that we are emulating the Rebbe.

An example (and this is not an exception, but the rule) may be found in a talk of the Rebbe's 15 years ago (in 5750/1990) at just about this time of year. At that time the Rebbe spoke of the 50th anniversary of the previous Rebbe's arrival in America.

In the course of just 5 minutes the Rebbe said:

"May the completion of these 50 years of service bring about the complete and ultimate redemption -- the eternal Redemption led by Moshiach.

"The Messianic Redemption is also connected to the present month, the month of Adar. Adar is a month of celebration as our Sages commented, 'When Adar commences, happiness should be increased.' This happiness, in contrast to the happiness of the other months of the year, is unlimited in nature. Thus, we find that though the festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot are described as 'festivals of rejoicing,' the court would send emissaries to ensure that the celebrations were kept within certain limits. In contrast, the celebrations of Purim are unlimited in nature. This relates to the Messianic Redemption, for the ultimate expression of happiness will come in the Messianic age.

"This unbounded happiness is not restricted to Purim alone. The Megillah describes Adar as 'the month that was transformed,' implying that the month as a whole is one of celebration. In particular, this is true now that eight days of the month have passed. The number "eight" shares a connection to the Messianic Redemption.

"The present day, Tuesday, is also connected to the Messianic Redemption, for Tuesday is associated with the repetition of the phrase, 'And G-d saw that it was good,' interpreted by our Sages as a reference to a twofold good: 'good to the heavens' and 'good to the creatures.' This twofold service relates to Moshiach's coming, since, as our Sages explain, all terms that are repeated in Torah are allusions to the concept of redemption.

"A connection to the Messianic Redemption can also be found in this week's Torah portion..."

So you see, if the Rebbe's chasidim and admirers are known to be Moshiach-minded, it is the greatest compliment possible!


Dear Friend,

On the festival of Purim, when we all listen carefully to the reading of the Megillah and ponder upon the story it tells us, let us all remember a few important details and facts that took place in those days at this time:

There arose a Haman, who issued a decree to murder and destroy all Jews at a fixed date.

Queen Esther then calls upon Mordechai to "gather all the Jews and fast" and then she would go and plead with the King to rescind the terrible decree.

Mordechai thereupon goes and gathers tens of thousands of Jewish children and teaches them the Torah; he teaches them the procedure of offering the Omer when the Bet-Hamikdosh would be rebuilt.

All the children are so enchanted by the new spirit that Mordechai had inculcated into them, that even facing the danger of death, they exclaim: We stick with Mordechai and the Torah -- for life or death!

In that very same day the decree becomes null and void. Haman's downfall is already assured and the Jews are saved, even though they learn of it only after a number of months.

The experience of our fathers is a lesson to us all.

Let us remember that one of the chief means of frustrating the Hamans of our time, bring about their downfall and bring light and joy to our people is:


To tell them that the true and complete redemption really lies in our own hands, for as soon as we Jews return to G-d in complete repentance -- we are redeemed immediately, by our Righteous Messiah.

To tell them further, that our Holy Bet-HaMikdosh will be rebuilt soon, and we must all be worthy and prepared to serve our G-d in the Holy Sanctuary.

On the day when the Jewish children are imbued with this spirit, and are ready to exclaim -- "We remain with thee, our Torah, for life or death" -- on that very day, our Torah assures us, all the Hamans will be defeated, and all Jews will have 'light, gladness, joy and respect,' speedily in our time.

Wishing you a Happy Purim,

Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson

14 Adar II, 5765
March 24-25, 2005


Danger in Exile

Jewish morale was at an all-time low. The Temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed, the nation conquered, and for almost 70 years, had been dispersed in foreign lands. The prophesied end of Exile had not materialized, and the blight of assimilation had set in.

Just then, the enemy arose to carry out his evil plans. This time it was Haman. Descended from the Jew-hating tribe of Amalek, Haman devised his scheme to solve "the Jewish problem" once and for all, by annihilating every Jew, men, women and children, throughout the world, in a single day.

Rallying the Jews

And it almost worked. Were it not for Mordechai. A descendent of King Shaul, and advisor to King Achashverosh, Mordechai sensed the danger. Donning sackcloth and ashes, he went to the gate of the palace, crying aloud, rallying the Jews to return to Torah.

His niece, Queen Esther, called for him. He told her that she must go to the King and plead for her people. Officially in disfavor, she feared to go, but saw that she had no choice. She undertook a three-day fast of penitence, and called upon the whole Jewish people to do likewise. Then she went to the King . . .


It is a story of great courage and self-sacrifice -- first and foremost by Queen Esther and Mordechai, and ultimately by the whole Jewish nation. For throughout the duration of the whole year, not one single Jew chose to convert, even to save his life. The nation was awakened to a whole-hearted return to Torah and mitzvot, and throughout the year strengthened their faith and observance.

And in the merit of this, they were able to rise up against their enemies and destroy them, on the 13th of Adar, the very day destined for the "final solution."

The Jewish people had shown their true character. They had earned the right to leave Exile, to return to the Holy Land, and rebuild the Temple.

As it was in those days, so may it be with us today. Each year in fulfilling the special mitzvot of the Purim festival, we reaffirm our commitment to the eternal values of the Torah . . . and we share in the very same merit that redeemed the Jewish people in the days of Mordechai and Esther.

Based on the Works of the Rebbe

Remembered and Reenacted

One of the Purim mitzvot is the reading of the Megillah -- the Scroll of Esther, in which the miracle of Purim is recounted. The Talmud tells us that "whoever reads the Megillah backwards does not fulfill his obligation." Our Sages explain that "backwards" does not only mean in reverse order; it also means that whoever reads the Megillah merely as ancient history has missed the point.

The Purim story is directly relevant to our contemporary world. As the Megillah itself tells us, that when we celebrate Purim each year, the miraculous events of Purim are "remembered and reenacted" in our lives.

Haman, Then and Now

One does not have to look far to find Haman's modern-day heirs. Now, as then, there are evil schemers who seek to scapegoat the Jewish people and -- Heaven forfend -- to erase us from the face of the earth. Each time they rise up to destroy us, their schemes are foiled by the miraculous Hand of G-d.

The most striking example in recent times was the Persian Gulf War that ended victoriously on Purim, 5751/1991.

From Redemption to Redemption

Throughout our history, we have seen miracles. Despite centuries upon centuries of persecution, we have survived and flourished, by the Grace of G-d.

Yet we have remained in exile for nearly 2,000 years, hoping and praying for the final and complete Redemption -- the Redemption that will end suffering and exile forever. May the observance of Purim be a precursor to the coming of Moshiach, our Righteous Redeemer, whose imminent arrival will bring about a better life for all the nations of the world.


Every generation has its Mordechai. In our generation, the Rebbe has taught some deep things about joy and Purim. Have a taste:

1. Explosive Joy

Joy is an overflowing, an explosion. Something enters a person's life for which he could never be prepared and his previously tidy self erupts in song, dance and joy.

Approach the Divine with a calculated mind and there is no window for joy. Embrace the infinite beyond mind and let joy surprise you.

2. G-d with the Oppressed

Visit the prisoners and bring them some happiness. Even if they are guilty. Even if, in your eyes, they deserve whatever misery they have. Bring them joy.

G-d is always with the oppressed. Even if the oppressor is righteous and the oppressed is wicked, our sages tell us,G-d is with the oppressed.

3. Fear of Joy

People are afraid of joy. They are afraid they'll get out of hand and lose control.

These people haven't experienced real joy -- the joy that comes from doing something G-dly and beautiful with all your heart. The fact is, there is nothing that will lift you higher. Where there is that joy, the Divine Presence can enter. Where there is that joy, there are no pits to fall into, and all obstacles evaporate into thin air.

4. Joy Unleashed

There are many kinds of barriers: Those from within and those from without. Barriers between people. Barriers that prevent you from doing good things. Barriers of your own mind and your own hesitations. There are the barriers that exist simply because you are a limited being. Joy breaks through all barriers.

5. The Highest

True happiness is the highest form of self-sacrifice. There, in that state, there is no sense of self -- not even awareness that you are happy. True happiness is somewhere beyond "knowing." Beyond self. All the more so when you bring joy to others.


Purim is the festival that commemorates the breathtaking victory over the murderous designs of Haman. Observed on the fourteenth of Adar II, this joyous festival reveals the hidden Hand of G-d in the events of man.

It is a day to be celebrated by the entire family -- not only adults and boys and girls past bar/bas mitzvah, but youngsters too should be encouraged to fulfill the mitzvot of Purim.

Listen to the Megillah

To relive the miraculous events of Purim, we listen to the reading of the Megillah (the Scroll of Esther) on Thursday night, March 24, and again on Friday, March 25, during the daytime.

When Haman's name is mentioned, we twirl graggers and stamp our feet to "drown out" his evil name. Tell the children Purim is the only time when it's a mitzvah to make noise!

Send Gifts of Food

On Purim we emphasize the importance of Jewish unity and friendship by sending gifts of food to friends. Send a gift of at least two kinds of ready-to-eat foods (for example, pastry, fruit, beverage), to at least one friend on Friday, March 25, during the daytime.

It is proper that men send to men and women to women. Sending these gifts should be done through a third party.

Children, in addition to sending their own gifts of food, make enthusiastic messengers.

Give Gifts to the Needy

Concern for the needy is a year-round responsibility for the Jew. On Purim, particularly, it is a special mitzvah to remember the poor. Give charity to at least two, but preferably more, needy individuals on Friday, March 25, during the daytime.

The mitzvah is best fulfilled by giving directly to the needy. If, however, you cannot find poor people, place at least several coins into pushkas (charity boxes). Even small children should fulfill this mitzvah.

Eat the Festive Meal

As on all festivals, we celebrate Purim with a special festive meal on Friday, March 25, during the morning, when family and friends gather together to rejoice in the Purim spirit.


Since this year Purim ends right before the Shabbat, on Friday, March 25, in the afternoon, we are especially careful to avoid any violations of the sanctity of the Shabbat.

The Purim festive meal is eaten in the morning -- so that we will have a hearty appetite for the traditional Friday evening Shabbat meal. The other mitzvot of Purim are completed early enough on Friday afternoon to allow for the proper preparation for the Shabbat.


The Fast of Esther

To commemorate the day of prayer and fasting that the Jews held before their victory, we fast on the day before Purim, on Thursday March 24, from approximately 72 minutes before sunrise until 40 minutes after sunset.(1)


1. In New York City, the fast ends at 6:51 p.m.

Machatzit Hashekel

It is a tradition to give 3 half-dollar coins to charity to commemorate the half-shekel given by each Jew in the time of the Holy Temple.

This mitzvah, usually performed in the synagogue, should be done on Thursday, March 24, or Friday, March 25, according to your custom.

Special Prayers

On Purim we recite the V'Al HaNissim liturgy in the Amidah (Silent Prayer) for evening, morning and afternoon, as well as in the Grace After Meals.

In the morning service there is a special reading from the Torah Scroll in the synagogue.


Hamentaschen, a traditional Purim delight, is a three-cornered pastry filled with mohn (poppy seed) or other sweet filling.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 tsps. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 lbs. mohn filling

Cream sugar, oil and margarine. Add eggs and juice and mix well. Blend with dry ingredients and roll into a ball. Divide into four parts. Roll out each piece very thin (approximately 1/8 inch) on a floured board. With the rim of a cup or glass (depending on desired size), cut into the dough to make circles. Place 1/2 to 2/3 teaspoon of filling in the middle of each circle.

To shape into triangle, lift up right and left sides, leaving the bottom side down, and bring both sides to meet at center, above the filling. Lift bottom side up to center to meet other two sides.

Preheat oven to 350o. Brush dough with beaten egg before baking. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350o for approximately 20 minutes.

Yields 4 dozen Hamentaschen.


Purim is such a great holiday.

Children and adults alike love to celebrate Purim with the exciting and unusual mitzvot and customs of the day. Dressing up, eating hamentaschen for dessert at the Purim meal (do you like prune, poppy seed, raspberry or apricot?), twirling the gragger at Haman's name in the Megillah, and giving shalach manot -- food gifts to friends. These are the reasons why the young of age and the young at heart look forward to Purim each year.

Did you ever stop to think what the Purim mitzvot and customs have in common? Let's take off the masks, open up the shalach manot, look inside the Megillah -- peel the layers off of everything -- and see the common denominator intrinsic to all of them.

When someone is dressed up in a costume or mask, his identity is concealed. Rich or poor, smart or average, pretty or homely, we no longer perceive the physical, economic, or intellectual differences that often separate us. Yes, one costume is expensive, another more original, and there are hundreds of Queen Esthers. But it's obvious that these are just externals. They aren't the person inside the costume. On a very basic level, when we dress up on Purim our superficial differences are, for the moment, concealed.

The Megillah, that exciting story recounting the triumph of right over might, good over evil, and the Jews' faith in G-d over the vile schemes of Haman, is also a lesson in Jewish equality and unity. For, it was only once the Jews united, that they were saved from Haman's plan of total annihilation. Men, women and children, scholars and shoe cobblers, peasants and the Queen all fasted and prayed as one for three days and nights to avert the evil decree. And because they united, because each one felt equally responsible and able to effect a change, their prayers and penitence were accepted.

Now, on to those delicious hamentaschen of varying fillings and recipes. Some say they are meant to remind us of Haman's hat or his ears. But they are also symbolic of that which is hidden within. G-d's Hand, so to speak, was hidden during the whole Purim episode -- the incidents that led up to Esther being crowned queen, Mordechai overhearing the palace guards' plot to kill Achashverosh, etc., seemed quite natural. But they were -- like everything in life -- Divine Providence, G-d's way of putting together an intricate puzzle.

Just as the filling is concealed in the hamentaschen and the Divine was hidden during the Purim epoch of Jewish history, the Divine within each one of us is hidden -- very often to others and often even to ourselves. The Divine within each of us is our soul -- the actual part of G-d that gives us life. And though it is intangible, though its existence is often concealed, the soul is the great equalizer of all of us. For, though one Jew might do more mitzvot than another, or have a more comprehensive Jewish education, or be kinder or gentler, the essence of our souls and their source are the same -- an actual part of G-d.

Lastly, we have the shalach manot, those delightful packages of goodies. They range from a sandwich bag with raisins, cookies and a drink to a three-foot-high wicker basket filled with aged-wine and elegant treats. There are numerous differences in packaging, price and products, but, once again, all shalach manot have one thing in common: they foster unity. Unity not just because we feel good when we give and when we receive. But unity also because we customarily give the shalach manot through a messenger -- we involve another person in the mitzvah. When giving the shalach manot we connect not only with the person to whom we are giving, but to a third person as well. And the messenger can be anyone -- young or old, friend or stranger, male or female.

This Purim in particular is a special time to participate in the mitzvot of Purim or to enhance our observance of them. For, as the Rebbe explained, the Redemption is imminent and each act of kindness, every deed, any additional mitzvah, helps us better prepare ourselves for that era which is unfolding before our very eyes.


The Jews of Persia celebrated their victory over Haman and their other enemies on Adar 14. The Jews of the capital city of Shushan -- a walled city -- however, had a longer battle, waging war on the 13th and 14th of Adar. They therefore celebrated on the 15th.

To honor the Land of Israel, our Sages ordained that any city in Israel that had been surrounded by a wall -- like Shushan -- during the times of Joshua would also celebrate Purim on Adar 15. Thus, the 15th of Adar II became known as Shushan Purim.

Jerusalem is the only city in Israel where Purim is celebrated on Adar 15.


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.

Celebrate Purim:

The Rebbe has called on every Jew to observe the mitzvot of Purim: hearing the Megillah read, giving charity, eating a festive meal, sending gifts of food to friends and reciting the V'Al HaNissim prayer.

In addition, the Rebbe asked that everyone take part in spreading the awareness of the mitzvot of Purim. "There should not be a single Jew in a far-off corner of the world who does not have the opportunity to fulfill all the mitzvot of Purim."


Please Note:

Since this year Purim ends right before the Shabbat, on Friday, March 25, in the afternoon, we are especially careful to avoid any violations of the sanctity of the Shabbat.

The Purim festive meal is eaten in the morning -- so that we will have a hearty appetite for the traditional Friday evening Shabbat meal. The other mitzvot of Purim are completed early enough on Friday afternoon to allow for the proper preparation for the Shabbat.


May this Most Joyous of Jewish Festivals
Bring Joy to You and All Your Loved Ones...

May the Miracle of Purim be Reenacted
in Your Life, Your Family's Life
and in All Our Lives...

And May We Rejoice Together
in the Culmination of the Miracle of Purim --
the Imminent Arrival of Moshiach,
and a Better World for All Humankind.


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, March 25, Erev Shabbat Parshat Tzav:

  • Purim.
  • Light Shabbat Candles,(2) by 5:55 p.m.

Saturday, March 26, Shabbat Parshat Tzav:

  • Shushan Purim.
  • Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 6:57 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.

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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