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Weekly Digest About Moshiach

Parshat Toldot, 5766
1 Kislev, 5766
Dec. 2, 2005

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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 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

Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe

Parshat Toldot

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 and self-betterment.


The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of Lubavitch, issued a call that "The time of our Redemption has arrived!" and "Moshiach is on his way!"

The Rebbe stressed that he is saying this as a prophecy, and asks us all to prepare ourselves for the Redemption, through increasing acts of goodness and kindness.

Let us all heed the Rebbe's call.

Reb Mordechai ben Reb Shaul

Passed away on 22 Tamuz, 5763


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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 decide.

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

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


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


The most important principle in the Torah is the protection of Jewish life.

It's more important than Shabbat, more important than holidays, even fasting on Yom Kippur.

Right now, in Israel, and everywhere, Jews must stand together in unity and do whatever possible to protect Jewish life.

The Rebbe teaches that there are ten important Mitzvot we can do to protect life. See what you can do:

1) Ahavat Yisroel: Behave with love towards another Jew.

2) Learn Torah: Join a Torah class.

3) Make sure that Jewish children get a Torah true education.

4) Affix kosher Mezuzot on all doorways of the house.

5) For men and boys over 13: Put on Tefillin every weekday.

6) Give Charity.

7) Buy Jewish holy books and learn them.

8) Light Shabbat & Yom Tov candles. A Mitzvah for women and girls.

9) Eat and drink only Kosher Food.

10) Observe the laws of Jewish Family Purity.

In addition, the Rebbe also urged every man, woman and child to Purchase a Letter in a Sefer Torah. There are several Torah scrolls being written to unite Jewish people and protect Jewish life.

Letters for children can be purchased for only $1. Send your Hebrew name and your mother's Hebrew name plus $1 to:

"Children's Sefer Torah,"
P. O. Box 8,
Kfar Chabad, 72915, Israel

or via the Internet, at: http://www.kidstorah.org


The Rebbe's slogan is: "The main thing is the deed." We therefore present from the Rebbe's talks, suggestions what we can do to complete his work of bringing the Redemption.

Awaken Your Core This Month:

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

(1 Kislev, 5752/1991)

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


Jewish Women and Girls Light Shabbat Candles

For local candle lighting times:
consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch Center.
or: 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, 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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