Text Only

LIVING WITH MOSHIACH
Weekly Digest About Moshiach

Parshat Va'etchanan 5765
14 Menachem-Av, 5765
Aug. 19, 2005


This week's issue is sponsored in part by:
Holy Sparks - http://www.holysparks.com
Your premiere site for Jewish spirituality.
5,765 Years of the Most Amazing Jewish Wisdom
recorded in calligraphy, especially for you!
Explore your potential:
Jewish Books, Art & Wisdom For Our Time.
FREE art!


Visit TruePeace.org
Dedicated to educating the public regarding the
current situation in Israel, based on Torah
sources, with special emphasis on the opinion
and teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

A Jewish Response To Terrorism


TABLE OF CONTENTS:

NOTE:
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 ARRIVAL."

Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12

THIS PUBLICATION IS DEDICATED
TO THE REBBE,
RABBI MENACHEM M. SCHNEERSON
OF LUBAVITCH

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.

INTRODUCTION

We are pleased to present, to the visually impaired and the blind, the 429-438th issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.

*

This week's issue of Living With Moshiach is dedicated in honor of the second yahrtzeit of our dear friend and copy editor, Reb Mordechai ben Reb Shaul Staiman, who passed away, on Tuesday, 22 Tamuz, 5763 (July 22, 2003).

Reb Mordechai Staiman was a very kind person, who gave tirelessly from his time and effort for the success of our organization "Torah Publications For The Blind," and this publication "Living With Moshiach" in particular.

Reb Mordechai Staiman has been a prolific writer, editor, publicist, and copywriter for over thirty six years. His articles have appeared in many publications including, The Jewish Press, Wellsprings, The Algemeiner Journal, N'Shei Chabad, Beis Moshiach, Chabad, Country Yossi Family Magazine, and L'Chaim. He also published 5 books.

He will be dearly missed by all very much.

May his memory be a blessing for us all.

* * *

A web-site has been established in the loving memory and also featuring the works of Reb Mordechai Staiman. You can find it at: http://www.torah4blind.org/staiman

*

In this week's issue we focus on:

1) One of the most famous and colorful Chabad Chasidim, Reb Hillel Paritcher, whose yahrtzeit is on the 11th of Menachem-Av, Tuesday, Aug. 16.

2) Shabbat Nachamu.

3) Tu B'Av, the 15th day of Av, this Shabbat, Parshat Va'etchanan, Saturday, Aug. 20.

*

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,
Administrator,
Committee for the Blind

12 Menachem-Av, 5765
Los Angeles, California

THE WEEKLY TORAH PORTION
Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe

Parshat Va'etchanan

In this week's Torah portion, Va'etchanan, Moses addresses G-d: "O L-rd G-d," Moses opens his prayer, "You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand..." With these words, Moses establishes that it wasn't until his generation that G-d began to reveal His greatness in the world.

The Zohar asks how this can be possible. Many years before, it points out, there was a great tzaddik -- righteous person -- named Jacob, who was one of the three Jewish Patriarchs. In fact, Jacob is called "the chosen" of the Forefathers, and he merited to see many G-dly miracles. So how could G-d have first begun to show His greatness only in Moses' time?

The Zohar answers its own question: "That which Moses had, was had by no other human being: many thousands and tens of thousands of Jews, etc."

In Jacob's time the Jewish people was very small in number, far fewer than the several million who existed in Moses' generation. From the "seventy souls" that went down to Egypt at the beginning of the exile, by the time of the Exodus they had already multiplied to 600,000 men between the ages of 20 and 60, not counting women and children and men in other age groups.

It was not until Moses' generation, when the Jewish people had become "great" also in number, and stood together in unity and oneness, that the true "greatness" of G-d was manifested.

This contains a practical lesson for the Divine service of every Jew: Every individual, regardless of age, must do everything he can to strengthen Jewish unity and make the Jewish people more cohesive. Every person must strive to increase his love for his fellow Jew, and connect himself to as many Jews as possible.

This is one of the reasons we preface our daily prayers with the words "I hereby accept upon myself the positive commandment of 'You shall love your fellow as yourself.'" Before we ask G-d to fulfill a personal request, we identify and connect ourselves to the totality of the Jewish people.

Indeed, it is then that the "greatness" of the Jew is expressed. A single Jew is not alone, nor is a single Jewish family or Jewish community. Every Jew is connected to every other Jew, and to all Jews throughout the generations.

As the Zohar explains, the process of showing G-d's "greatness," initiated by G-d in the generation of Moses, will reach its culmination with the coming of Moshiach, who will redeem not only the Jewish people but also the entire world. At that time we will experience wonders and miracles far greater than those witnessed during the Exodus, and indeed, incomparable to anything experienced in history.

THE REBBE'S PROPHECY

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.

IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR DEAR FRIEND AND COPY EDITOR
Reb Mordechai ben Reb Shaul
Staiman

Passed away on 22 Tamuz, 5763

A DIAMOND OF A CHASID:
A Tribute to Reb Mordechai Staiman, o.b.m.

In honor of his second yahrtzeit,
Friday, 22 Tamuz, 5765 (July 29, 2005)

By Rabbi Alexander Zushe Kohn(1)

"Mordechai the Jew... sought the good of his people and spoke for the welfare of all of his seed." I can think of no more succinct description of Reb Mordechai Staiman o.b.m. than this verse from the Book of Esther. Like the legendary Mordechai of Shushan, Mordechai Staiman sought to inspire Jews with a love for their heritage and their people. That's why he wrote Niggun, a book about the power of Jewish song, and that's why he wrote Diamonds of the Rebbe, a book about famous Jewish personalities whom the Lubavitcher Rebbe inspired to greater spiritual achievement. Waiting for the Messiah tells the story of our people's yearning for the Redemption, and Secrets of the Rebbe describes how Chabad's Mesirus Nefesh activities on behalf of Russian Jewry led to the fall of the Soviet Empire. Mordechai's last masterpiece is called His Name is Aaron, and its amazing stories will warm even the iciest of hearts with the fire of Chassidism.

Mordechai saw himself as an emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in every sense of the word. Instead of using his unique writing skills to create a New York Times bestseller -- which he could have a done on a Monday afternoon -- he devoted himself to bringing the joy of Judaism and Chassidism to as many Jews as possible. In addition to his Jewish bestsellers, Mordechai sent numerous articles to many Jewish publications, copyedited all editions of the weekly Living with Moshiach digest (for the blind and visually impaired) for free, edited Chassidic Stories Made In Heaven, prepared a rough draft of a Moshiach encyclopedia, and, for a number of years, proofread L'Chaim weekly.

Mordechai once related how on the night of Yud-Tes Kislev, 5753, when the Rebbe appeared on the balcony for six consecutive hours, he and his friend, Rabbi Yosef Y. Shagalov were laboring to prepare the first "blind" Chanukah issue for the printer the next morning. The temptation to go and bask in the Rebbe's light was very powerful. But they didn't go, because Mordechai maintained the Rebbe would tell them to sacrifice their noble aspirations for the sake of another Jew -- all the more so for the sake of many Jews, some of whom would be learning about Chanukah, and about Chassidism, and about Moshiach for the first time in their lives.

"Even the Gentiles liked him," notes a close friend of the Staimans. "He would say nice things to people whom you and I would be afraid to talk to, and this generated an atmosphere of peace between the Jews on the block and their gentile neighbors."

Mordechai was forever trying to make people smile. When I first met him, a decade ago, he cracked some good humored jokes with me, and for the next ten years he didn't stop. This was especially amazing considering that Mordechai suffered his own fare share of pain, and could easily justify being miserable. I remember visiting him at home after his heart surgery. The minute I saw him, I could tell that he was in a lot of pain. He whispered that he can't really talk because he's very weak. Then he said, "One minute, I'll be right back." He went into a back room and emerged with pad and paper in hand. He then proceeded to interview me -- not without managing a few good-hearted wisecracks in-between questions -- about a subject he was planning to write about in one of his upcoming books.

So, the next time you think of Reb Mordechai Staiman, go ahead and make a Jew smile; tell a Jew a Chassidic story; sing a Jew a Niggun. And if you don't know how, let Mordechai himself do it for you. For though Mordechai will be sorely missed, "he has left us the writings," (to paraphrase the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom DovBer, at the time of his passing), which will continue to inspire Jews all over, until the last page of history has been written.

*

A web site has been established in the loving memory and also featuring the works of Reb Mordechai Staiman, o.b.m. You can find it at: http://www.torah4blind.org/staiman

_______________

1. Rabbi Alexander Zushe Kohn is the founder of the Chassidic Writing Center. He can be reached at akohn@thejnet.com, or at 718-771-7290.

REB HILLEL PARITCHER

Tuesday, the 11th of Menachem-Av, Aug. 16, is the yahrtzeit of one of the most famous and colorful Chabad Chasidim, Reb Hillel Paritcher.

Reb Hillel was born in 5555/1795 and was married before his bar mitzvah (!). As he was still too young to don tefillin and could only wear a tallit, he was called "Chol Hamoed" ("the Intermediate Days of a Festival," when tefillin are not worn). By age 13 he had already mastered the entire Talmud, and was fluent in Poskim [halachic adjudicators] and Kabbalah. By age 15, he was expert in the writings of the holy Arizal.

Originally a Chasid of Reb Mordechai of Chernobyl, he became a Chabad Chasid the first time he opened the Tanya. His lifelong dream was to meet the Alter Rebbe, the Tanya's author and the founder of Chabad Chasidism, but this was not to be. For years Reb Hillel trailed the Alter Rebbe across the Pale, but never caught up to him.

One time he arrived in the city where the Alter Rebbe was expected and hid under his bed. While waiting, he formulated in his mind the question on Tractate Erachin that he would ask the Alter Rebbe. When the Alter Rebbe entered the room, before Reb Hillel could even emerge from his hiding place, the Alter Rebbe said in his characteristic sing-song: "When a person has a question about Erachin [literally 'assessments'], he must assess himself first..." Reb Hillel fainted, and by the time he woke up the Alter Rebbe was gone.

It wasn't until after the Alter Rebbe passed away that Reb Hillel came to Lubavitch, where his son, Rabbi Dov Ber, the second Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, known as the Mitteler Rebbe, enjoined him to "collect materiality [funds for charity] and sow spirituality."

His most famous work, published posthumously, was Pelach HaRimon. He is buried in Kharson.

May his memory be a blessing for us all.

SHABBAT NACHAMU
Based on the Works of the Rebbe

The first Shabbat after Tisha B'Av, is known as Shabbat Nachamu, after the first word of this week's Haftorah, "nachamu nachamu ami" (Console, console yourselves, My people). It is the first of the seven "Sabbaths of Consolation."

Our Sages explain the twofold use of the word "console": "[The Jewish people] committed a twofold sin...received a twofold punishment...and are likewise comforted twofold." Elsewhere our Sages comment, "Because its mitzvot are doubled, so too are its consolations doubled."

Why this emphasis on the number two? How can a sin be twofold, anyway? Moreover, what is meant by the statement that the Torah's commandments are "doubled"?

The terms "twofold" and "double," refer to two different dimensions. Everything in a Jew's life -- the Torah and its commandants, the destruction of the Holy Temple and our consolation -- reflects this duality, for everything in the world is composed of both a physical and a spiritual component.

A Jew is a mixture of a corporeal body and spiritual soul, which together form a complete being. A Jew is considered whole when both aspects of his nature, body and soul, are working in tandem to serve G-d. Mitzvot, too, are composed of these two dimensions. Every mitzvah contains a spiritual component -- the intentions behind it, and a physical component -- the way the mitzvah is performed.

This is what our Sages referred to when stating that the Torah's mitzvot are "doubled"; similarly, the "twofold sin" committed by the Jewish people refers to the physical and spiritual aspects of their transgression.

Accordingly, the punishment that followed -- the destruction of the Holy Temple -- was both spiritual and physical. Had the destruction been limited to the physical stones of the Temple, the G-dly light and revelation it brought into the world would have continued as before. However, the Jewish people "received a twofold punishment," and were chastised with a concealment of G-dliness as well.

The Holy Temple itself reflected this duality. The Temple was a physical structure, possessing certain limited dimensions. Yet, the G-dly light with which it was illuminated was infinite in nature. Its destruction was therefore a double blow as it affected both of these aspects.

When the Holy Temple is rebuilt in the messianic era our consolation will be doubled because it will encompass both dimensions: not only will the physical structure of the Temple be restored, but its G-dly revelation will also return.

This double measure of completion will be brought about by King Moshiach, who possesses a perfect "composite soul" containing all the souls of the Jewish people, and is therefore able to bring perfection to all creation.

MOSHIACH MATTERS

"The teachings of Chasidus," someone might argue, "are indeed likened to gems and pearls, but I'm not one to chase after pearls; I'm satisfied if my clothes aren't torn."

There is an answer to this argument: "We are on the threshold of the Redemption, so we have to get ready for the coming of Moshiach, when we will be privileged to enter the marriage canopy together with the King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He. So we will need pearls, too."

(The Rebbe)

TU B'AV
Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe

This Shabbat, Parshat Va'etchanan, Saturday, August 20, is Tu B'Av, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Av.

"There were no greater festivals in Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur," the Mishnah tells us. What is so special about the 15th of Av that it is singled out together with Yom Kippur from all the other festivals?

A number of special events throughout Jewish history took place on the 15th of Av. They were:

1) The tribe of Benjamin was permitted once again to marry the remainder of the Jewish people;

2) The Generation of the Desert ceased to die; they had previously been condemned to perish in the desert because of the sin of the spies;

3) Hoshea Ben Elah removed the blockades that the rebel Jeroboam had set up to prevent the Jews from going to Jerusalem for the festivals;

4) The cutting of the wood for the Holy Altar was completed;

5) Permission was granted by the Romans to bury the slain of Betar.

These five events in themselves do not seem adequate enough reason to make the 15th of Av a festival greater than any other. There is another, all-encompassing reason.

There is another occasion of note in the month of Av, the ninth. Tisha B'Av is the day when the two Holy Temples were destroyed, signaling the start of the long and terrible exile we are still enduring -- tragedies which were the result of the Jews' transgressions. Tisha B'Av is the nadir of Jewish physical and spiritual life.

But these tragedies are not without purpose. "Descent is for the purpose of ascent," and the deeper the descent, correspondingly greater will be the ascent that follows. It is specifically after the awesome decline of Tisha B'Av that we can reach the loftiest heights, heights that would otherwise be inaccessible.

The five festive events on the 15th of Av, then, are the counterpart to the five tragic events of Tisha B'Av. The 15th of Av transforms the evil of Tisha B'Av to the greatest good -- "there were no greater festivals in Israel than the 15th of Av." The ultimate goal of the tragedies of the month of Av is that they should be transformed into a greater good -- the supreme festival of the 15th of Av.

Emphasizing Love

The Second Holy Temple was destroyed because of causeless hatred between Jews. The events of the 15th of Av, which are the counterpart to Tisha B'Av, all express the concept of ahavat Yisrael -- love of a Jew.

"The tribe of Benjamin were permitted once again to marry the remainder of the Jewish people" is obviously an expression of ahavat Yisrael. Indeed, the very announcement that all Jewry was now united and allowed to come together is reason enough for a festival.

"Permission was granted by the Romans to bury the slain of Betar" and "The Generation of the Desert ceased to die" likewise emphasize the love of Jews -- G-d's love, which was expressed in these acts of kindness to His people.

"Hoshea Ben Elah removed the blockades that the rebel Jeroboam had set up to prevent the Jews from going to Jerusalem for the festivals" allowed the Ten Tribes of the kingdom of Israel to unite with the other Two Tribes when they went to Jerusalem; again, the idea of unity and ahavat Yisrael.

The wood they finished cutting on the 15th was necessary for the offering of the sacrifices on the altar. And the altar, say our Sages, "removes and feeds, makes beloved, atones"; "removes" means "removes evil decrees from Israel," and "makes beloved" means "makes beloved to their Father" -- again, the idea of fostering love.

Charm And Beauty

In addition to the above reasons enumerated by the Talmud for the importance of the 15th of Av -- all of which we have seen are associated with ahavat Yisrael -- the Mishnah itself gives a reason: "For on these days, the daughters of Jerusalem . . . came out and danced in the vineyards, saying, 'Young man, lift up your eyes and see what you are choosing for yourself. Do not set your eyes on beauty, but set your eyes on good family. Charm is deceptive and beauty is naught; a G-d-fearing woman is the one to be praised....'"

The Talmud elaborates on this theme, and explains that "the daughters of Jerusalem went out [dressed] in borrowed white garments, so as not to embarrass those who had none." This is clearly the idea of ahavat Yisrael.

The common theme behind all the reasons for the 15th of Av, then, is ahavat Yisrael, the practice of which eradicates the cause of the exile, and therefore automatically the exile itself.

INCREASE IN TORAH STUDY

- I -

On this Shabbat, Parshat Va'etchanan, Saturday, August 20, we will, G-d willing, celebrate the festive day of Tu B'Av. On the 15th of Av the days begin to get shorter.

In times gone by, the onset of evening meant that the workday was over. Our Sages, therefore, encourage us to use the longer evenings for increased study of Jewish subjects.

The exile is often referred to as "night" and the Redemption, as "dawn." Though we are certainly in the last few moments of the long night of exile, it sometimes seems like the "night" is getting longer rather than shorter. Thus, the above teaching of our Sages is certainly appropriate.

Maimonides explains that in the era of the Redemption, the sole occupation of the whole world will be to know G-d. The Rebbe suggested, therefore, that as a preparation for that time, we increase in our studies wherever possible. In addition, just 13 years ago, the Rebbe expressed the following thoughts on studying matters specifically concerning Moshiach and the Redemption:

"Since Moshiach is about to come, a final effort is required that will bring him. Every man, woman and child should increase his/her Torah study in subjects that concern the Redemption.... One should likewise upgrade one's meticulous observance of mitzvot, particularly charity, 'which brings the Redemption near.'

"It would be proper for one to connect his additional charity with his additional study of subjects connected with the Redemption, by giving charity with the intent that it hasten the Redemption. This intention in itself becomes part of learning subjects connected with the Redemption -- for this is a real and tangible study of the teaching of our Sages: 'Great is charity for it brings the Redemption near.'

"The above-described study is not only a spiritual means of securing the speedy advent of Moshiach; it is a way of beginning to live one's life in the mood of Moshiach and the Redemption by having one's mind permeated with an understanding of the concepts of Moshiach and Redemption. From the mind, these concepts will then find their way into the emotions. Ultimately, they will find expression in one's actual conduct -- in thought, word and deed -- in a way befitting this unique era when we stand on the threshold of the Redemption."

- II -

It states in the Talmud that starting from the Fifteenth of Av, a Jew should increase the time he devotes to nighttime Torah study. As a reward for our additional learning, G-d extends our lives and grants us additional years.

Our Sages explained that the Fifteenth of Av is the date on which the nights begin to be slightly longer and the days shorter. Generally speaking, the daylight hours are reserved for work; at night, people have more free time to spend as they please. The shorter the day, the more hours are left over at night -- and nighttime is especially conducive to learning Torah.

The length of the days and nights on earth is a variable; it changes in accordance with the movement of the sun. The days grow shorter and the nights longer on the Fifteenth of Av when the sun's orbit begins to change.

The Talmud, however, provides us with the true reason for this planetary phenomenon: to enable the Jew to spend more time learning Torah! For the sake of the Jew, G-d alters the course of the sun in the sky, a cosmological change of fantastic proportions!

How important it must be to G-d that we increase our study of His Torah, to the point that He moves heaven and earth on our behalf!

Consider the immense size of the earth, and the sun, which is about 170 times as large. Ponder the sun's tremendous power and energy, and the vast treasures that are hidden in the depths of the earth. How many billions of people populate our planet? How many animals, plants and inanimate objects? Just try to estimate the volume of water that covers the earth, or the number of stones and rocks that form its crust. In comparison with G-d, of course, all these things are insignificant.

When we are mindful that the entire universe is orchestrated by G-d for our sake, we will learn His Torah with eagerness and enthusiasm, and express it in actual deed.

IT'S ALL IN THE PLANNING

You find the recipe, read it over, and scan your pantry to make sure you have all of the ingredients you'll need. Then you glance at your watch to see if there's enough time to complete the baking project.

You've done the preliminary preparations. Now it's time to gather the mixing bowl, measuring spoons and cups and other supplies and start the actual process of creating a culinary delight.

But, imagine baking a cake without those preliminary preparations. You take out the mixer, spatula, measuring spoons and cup. You start reading the recipe. One by one you add the ingredients.

Oh no! There's only one egg left in the carton and you need three. What can you substitute? You decide to borrow eggs from a neighbor and hope that the half-mixed batter with the baking powder already added will survive.

When you're finished, you get ready to spoon the batter into the cupcake tins.

Oops! There aren't any cupcake liners. Scrap the idea of cupcakes; you'll make a cake instead. You look at your watch skeptically, knowing that cakes require more baking time than cupcakes.

If you've been there and done that, you certainly know that a little bit of preparation and thoughtful planning can save time and aggravation in the long run.

There is a Jewish custom to wish each other in correspondence and in conversations: "Ktiva vachatima tova" -- may you be written and sealed for a good year -- starting from the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month Av (this Saturday).

You may well be wondering, "Isn't the 15th of Av a little early to start preparing for Rosh HaShanah? After all, it's over 6 weeks until the New Year!"

In answer, the upcoming Jewish month of Elul, which begins in just a little over two weeks, is the month when we prepare ourselves spiritually for Rosh HaShanah and the entire year to follow. By the middle of the current month, the month preceding Elul, we need to prepare ourselves for Elul! From the fifteenth day of Av we do the preliminary preparations and beginning in Elul we do the actual preparations for the new year.

So, far from being way too early, now is a good time to begin making sure we have all of the right ingredients for the new year!

When Jewish people bless each other (for the upcoming year), it is an expression of "ahavat Yisrael" -- love and concern of one Jew for another. When wishing another person well is done with warmth and sincerity, out of a deep feeling of love, it is an even stronger demonstration of the mitzvah to "love one's neighbor as oneself."

And the love and concern for another Jew expressed in our wishes for a "Ktiva vachatima tova" hasten the realization of G-d's blessings for the coming year.

To get the "recipe" just right for the coming year, plan ahead. If we start now with preliminary preparations, we'll be surprised at how smoothly and efficiently we'll be able to approach the New Year.

LET'S BE READY!

Reb Zalman Estulin, of blessed memory, told this story many years ago at a chasidic gathering -- a farbrengen.

Once, there were two brothers, Avraham and Shlomo, who exhibited unbelievable brotherly love. As children they never fought. They studied Torah together and eventually, after they married fine, Jewish women, they settled down in the same city.

Sad to say, the brothers got into a foolish argument as is bound to happen. Things went from bad to worse until it got to the point where as friendly and loving as the brothers had once been they now hated and abhorred each other.

Years passed in this way until the time came when Reb Avraham was going to marry off his eldest daughter. Despite the fact that they had not spoken for over a decade, Reb Avraham wanted his brother to share in his happiness.

And so, he sent Shlomo a letter of apology for all past wrongs and an invitation to the wedding. When no reply came, Avraham sent a messenger. But the messenger came back with the message that Shlomo would not even consider coming to the wedding.

The evening of the wedding arrived, and though Reb Avraham was happy, his joy was tinged with sadness in knowing that his brother would not attend the wedding.

For his part, Reb Shlomo had scheduled his evening in such a way that feelings of remorse would not get in his way of staying home. He had a huge, seven-course meal, took a long, relaxing bath, got into his pajamas and went to bed early.

The wedding on the other side of town was in full swing when the violinist, an extremely talented musician who could change people's moods through his music, noticed that Avraham's joy was not complete.

The violinist approached Avraham and asked if there was anything he could do: "My reputation will suffer if I can't make the father of the bride happy."

Avraham told the violinist that he was saddened by his brother's absence. "I will go and bring him here," the violinist offered.

And so, the violinist went to Reb Shlomo's house. He stood outside of Shlomo's bedroom window. Half asleep, Shlomo came to the window to see who was playing. He was so intrigued and entranced by the violinist's recital that he opened his door and went outside.

In this manner the violinist and Shlomo walked through the town until they reached the wedding hall.

Slowly, slowly, they approached the wedding until Reb Shlomo found himself in the middle of the dance floor at the wedding hall. He looked around and saw everybody so beautifully dressed. Then, he looked at himself and realized, with quite a bit of embarrassment, that he was hardly dressed as befits the uncle of the bride. Indeed, he was a sorry state in his pajamas!

"Brothers," Rabbi Estulin concluded, "we're all going to be there in the middle of the dance floor when Moshiach comes. Because, as our Sages teach us, the Redemption is like the consummation of the wedding ceremony between G-d and the Jewish people, which took place at the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

"The Torah and mitzvot that we do are like the clothing of our souls. It is up to us to come to the wedding dressed as befits the uncle of the bride, and not in our pajamas!"  

TIME FOR UNITY;
TIME FOR STRENGTH!

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 WEEKLY SHABBAT CALENDAR

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:
http://www.candlelightingtimes.org/general/shluchim.html.
In the USA, call: 1-800-Lubavitch (1-800-582-2848).

Times shown are for Metro NY - NJ

Friday, Aug. 19, Erev Shabbat Parshat Va'etchanan:

  • Light Shabbat Candles,(2) by 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 20, Shabbat Parshat Va'etchanan:

  • Shabbat Nachamu - see above.
  • Tu B'Av - see above.
  • On Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, we read Chapter 3 of Pirkei Avot -- Ethics of the Fathers.
  • Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 8:31 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.


Back to "Living With Moshiach" Home Page