LIVING WITH MOSHIACH
Weekly Digest About Moshiach
Parshat Toldot, 5766
1 Kislev, 5766
Dec. 2, 2005
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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 452nd
issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
In this week's issue we focus on the new Hebrew month of Kislev.
Our sincere appreciation to L'Chaim weekly
publication, published by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, for allowing
us to use their material.
Also, many thanks to our copy editor,
Reb Mordechai Staiman of blessed
memory, for his tireless efforts.
It is our fervent hope that our learning about Moshiach and the Redemption
will hasten the coming of Moshiach, NOW!
Rabbi Yosef Y. Shagalov
Committee for the Blind
25 Cheshvan, 5766
Los Angeles, California
Our Sages stated: "Everything that happened to our Ancestors is a sign for
their children." The events of our ancestors' lives were not just a foreshadowing
of what would happen to the Jewish people throughout history, but a source
of strength and encouragement that Jews have called upon throughout the ages.
We read in this week's Torah portion, Toldot: "There was a famine
in the land." G-d appeared to Isaac and said, "Do not go to Egypt. Dwell
in the land which I will tell you of. Sojourn in this land, and I will be
with you and bless you."
When G-d commanded Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, Isaac had been
willing and he was thereafter considered by G-d to be "a perfect offering."
It was therefore inappropriate for him to leave the holy soil of Israel for
the lesser sanctity of other countries. G-d forbade him to go elsewhere despite
the famine that gripped the land.
G-d's command to Isaac contains a lesson for us, his descendants: The only
rightful place for the Jewish people is not in exile but in the Holy Land.
Jews can never be truly happy in exile, for they know that they are not where
they belong. Our perpetual hope and plea to G-d is that He bring us back
to the land of Israel, as we pray three times each day, "May our eyes behold
Your return to Zion in mercy."
Years before, in the time of Abraham, there was also a famine in Israel.
But unlike Isaac, Abraham went down to Egypt, carrying the knowledge of the
One true G-d even there. Abraham brought everyone with whom he came in contact
under the wings of the Divine Presence, drawing them nearer to their Creator.
Isaac, however, never once left the borders of Israel. And, even within Israel,
Isaac's emphasis was "inward." Isaac did not actively go out to draw people
closer to G-d. His focus was more on achieving self-perfection.
Abraham and Isaac teach us two different paths in the service of G-d:
From Abraham we derive the strength to go outward, to reach out to other
Jews. Abraham taught us how to spread the knowledge of G-d wherever we go,
to disseminate Torah throughout the world. Even a Jew whose primary concern
is Torah study and the perfection of his own path of worship must set aside
time to involve himself with others.
Isaac, on the other hand, taught us the importance of turning "inward," and
it is from him that we derive the strength to involve ourselves in Torah
study. For even a Jew whose primary focus is on worldly affairs (by means
of which he draws others closer to G-d and brings holiness into the world)
must occasionally withdraw from these concerns to devote himself to learning
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
Every year at this time we read about one of the most famous sets of twins
in history, Jacob and Esau. As any child can tell you, Jacob was the "good"
one and Esau was the "bad" one, and the two brothers never got along with
each other. But the Torah is not a history book; Torah means "teaching,"
it contains eternal lessons that are always relevant and have a direct impact
on our daily lives.
On a deeper level, Jacob and Esau represent two ways of looking at the world,
two different life styles that even modern man is forced to choose between.
Esau's attitude was "carpe diem" -- seize the day, with no thought for tomorrow.
Jacob, by contrast, lived a more elevated existence, recognizing life's spiritual
According to Chasidic philosophy, every Jew is made up of two souls: an animal
soul and a G-dly soul. Like Jacob and Esau, they too never get along, and
are in constant conflict. The animal soul is interested only in the physical;
like an animal that walks on four legs, its head is focused downward rather
than up at the sky. The only thing that matters is the here and now. The
G-dly soul, however, looks upward. Why am I here? What's the real purpose
of my life?
As we learn from this week's Torah reading, the true birthright belongs to
Jacob, and our function as Jews is to elevate the world by imbuing it with
G-dliness. The battle will always be there, but it's a battle we can win
by choosing wisely.
Kislev is a month of celebration, when we commemorate many joyous
occasions. A recurring theme throughout the festivities of Kislev
On the 10th day of Kislev, 5587/1826, the second Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi
Dovber (known as the Mitteler Rebbe), was released from incarceration
in Czarist Russia on trumped-up charges of anti-government activities.
Decades earlier, on the 19th of Kislev in the year 5559/1798, his
father, Rabbi Shneur Zalman, the founder of Chabad Chasidism, was released
from imprisonment on trumped-up charges of anti-government activities. (Two
years later, when Rabbi Shneur Zalman was imprisoned once again, he was also
released in the month of Kislev, on the third night of Chanukah.)
On Chanukah, celebrated for eight days starting on the 25th of Kislev,
we celebrate the victory of the Jewish people over their mighty Hellenic
oppressors, and their subsequent freedom to follow once again in the ways
of the Torah. We also celebrate the liberation of our Holy Temple, which
the Hellenists had defiled and desecrated. Once the Jews cleansed and purified
the Temple, it was free to be used for its holy purpose, bringing the Jewish
people closer to G-d.
Torah in general, and chasidic teachings in particular, help liberate us
from our personal (often self-imposed) "prisons." During the month of
Kislev, then, it is appropriate to increase our study of Torah. This
study will help us reflect upon how best to use the opportunities available
to us because of the religious freedom that we are fortunate to enjoy today.
Let us pray that G-d speedily grant us the ultimate freedom that will come
with the revelation of Moshiach. For then we will truly be free to serve
G-d, in the third and final Holy Temple.
14 years ago, on Rosh Chodesh Kislev and the following Shabbat,
the Rebbe spoke about how "All the days of your life should be directed toward
bringing the era of Moshiach." Every waking moment of a person's life, the
Rebbe stated -- indeed, even during the time he sleeps, for he is alive then
as well -- must be devoted to this goal. This should include not only his
conscious activities (thought, speech and deed), but also his every essence.
In other words, the very core of a Jew's being must be focused on bringing
about the Final Redemption.
In this context, the Rebbe explained what it means to "breathe the air of
Moshiach." The essence of a person's life is reflected in his breathing
processes. In fact, the Hebrew word for breath, "neshima," shares
the same letters with the Hebrew word for soul, "neshama." The service
that is necessary at present, the Rebbe explained, is to connect the core
of our being to the core of Moshiach. This will ultimately awaken a pattern
of conduct that will permeate every dimension of our being.
In practical terms, this means having a concern for the fundamental existence
of every Jew, and providing our fellow Jews with the required necessities
to celebrate the holidays of the month of Kislev with happiness and
joy. Additionally, every Jew should also have the means to fulfill the custom
of giving Chanukah gelt (money) to the members of his household.
As the Rebbe concluded, these activities will bring about the advent of the
ultimate Redemption in this month, which is also called "the month of
redemption." At that time, we will merit to see not only the essence of Moshiach,
but also the revelation of Moshiach in the world at large, when Moshiach
will "perfect the entire world, [motivating all the nations] to serve G-d
together, as it is written, 'I will make the peoples pure of speech, so that
they will all call upon the name of G-d and serve Him with one purpose.'
May it happen immediately.
By Rabbi Arye Preger
It was right before Purim, 5753 (1993), when we received a phone call asking
if we could accommodate a couple from Borough Park -- Gerrer chasidim --
for Shabbat in Crown Heights. The couple with their young child arrived
Friday afternoon, but it wasn't until during the Friday night meal that we
had a chance to chat. Mr. B. told me in a whisper, "My wife does not know
that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was our shadchan [matchmaker]."
My guest continued, "A few years ago, my brother-in-law came to the Rebbe
during 'Sunday dollars.'(1) He asked the Rebbe for a blessing
for his sister, who had been married for quite a few years without being
blessed with children. The Rebbe gave him three dollars and a blessing. Exactly
nine months later triplets were born.
"About two years ago, my wife and I were having problems in our marriage.
Conditions worsened to the point that we divorced. I remained in New York
and my ex-wife moved to Israel.
"I went to the Rebbe one Sunday and asked for a blessing to find the right
match. The Rebbe gave me a blessing as well as a dollar.
"A little over a week later, soon after the Rebbe had his first stroke, the
Rebbe appeared to me in a dream and told me, 'Do not search for another wife;
return to your first one. If you have any doubts about the matter, wait until
Purim and you will have a yeshua [salvation].'
"I was a bit confused by this dream, so I discussed it with several Lubavitcher
chasidim, who advised me to wait until Purim to see what happens before I
"On Purim a rabbi from Bnei Brak in Israel contacted me and informed me that
my wife was interested in getting back together. We worked out our differences
and our family was reunited once again. Since tonight is the first anniversary
of our remarriage, I thought we should celebrate it here in Crown Heights
and be together with the Rebbe."
Not long after this occurrence I attended a wedding in Borough Park, and
I recounted the story to a group of chasidim, most of whom were Satmar. One
of the men who happened to be sitting next to me told me that when his wife
was hospitalized in Rochester, Minnesota, the only ones who came to visit
her and raise her morale were Lubavitcher chasidim. "A Rebbe who has such
emissaries as dedicated as these in such far-flung places, even without
performing miracles, is definitely worthy of redeeming the Jewish people
from this dark exile and bringing us to the Redemption," he said.
1. In the years 1986-1992, the Rebbe, every Sunday, personally distributed
to each of the thousands of visitors who came to receive his blessings a
dollar to give to charity.
The most important principle in the Torah is the protection of Jewish life.
It's more important than Shabbat, more important than holidays, even
fasting on Yom Kippur.
Right now, in Israel, and everywhere, Jews must stand together in unity and
do whatever possible to protect Jewish life.
The Rebbe teaches that there are ten important
Mitzvot we can do to protect life. See what you can do:
1) Ahavat Yisroel: Behave with love towards another Jew.
2) Learn Torah: Join a Torah class.
3) Make sure that Jewish children get a Torah true education.
4) Affix kosher Mezuzot on all doorways of the house.
5) For men and boys over 13: Put on Tefillin every weekday.
6) Give Charity.
7) Buy Jewish holy books and learn them.
8) Light Shabbat & Yom Tov candles. A Mitzvah
for women and girls.
9) Eat and drink only Kosher Food.
10) Observe the laws of Jewish Family Purity.
In addition, the Rebbe also urged every man, woman and child to Purchase
a Letter in a Sefer Torah. There are several Torah scrolls
being written to unite Jewish people and protect Jewish life.
Letters for children can be purchased for only $1. Send your Hebrew name
and your mother's Hebrew name plus $1 to:
"Children's Sefer Torah,"
P. O. Box 8,
Kfar Chabad, 72915, Israel
or via the Internet, at:
The Rebbe's slogan is: "The main thing is the deed." We therefore present
from the Rebbe's talks, suggestions what we can do to complete his work of
bringing the Redemption.
Awaken Your Core This Month:
"Awakening the core of our being must be reflected in a concern for the
fundamental existence of every Jew. This should be expressed in efforts to
provide our fellow Jews with the necessities required to celebrate the holidays
of the month of Kislev [the 'chasidic New Year' on the 19th of
Kislev and Chanukah] with happiness and joy. Similarly, they should
have the means to fulfill the custom that the Rebbes followed of giving
Chanukah gelt to the members of their household."
(1 Kislev, 5752/1991)
Simply stated, this means that as we think about our own family's holiday
celebrations this month, we should make sure to help provide for other, less
fortunate people in the greater Jewish family.
Jewish Women and Girls Light Shabbat
For local candle lighting times:
consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch Center.
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, Dec. 2, Erev Shabbat Parshat Toldot:
Rosh Chodesh Kislev.
Light Shabbat Candles,(2) by 4:11 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 3, Shabbat Parshat Toldot:
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 5:14 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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