LIVING WITH MOSHIACH
Weekly Digest About Moshiach
Parshat Ki Tisa, 5766
17 Adar, 5766
March 17, 2006
This week's issue is sponsored in part by:
Holy Sparks -
Your premiere site for Jewish spirituality.
5,766 Years of the Most Amazing Jewish Wisdom
recorded in calligraphy, especially for you!
Explore your potential:
Jewish Books, Art & Wisdom For Our Time.
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
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 467th
issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
In this week's issue, we focus on:
1) Shabbat Parshat Parah, the third of four special Torah readings
read in the synagogue on the Sabbaths before the month of Nissan --
Shekolim, Zachor, Parah and HaChodesh.
2) As our Sages have enjoined us to begin preparing for each holiday thirty
days before the holiday begins,
Therefore, we begin in this week's issue, to focus on the upcoming 8-day
festive holiday of Pesach, which begins this year, on Wednesday night,
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
Los Angeles, California
Parshat Ki Tisa
In the Torah portion of Ki Tisa, Moses descends from Mount Sinai,
holding the Tablets containing the Ten Commandments he received from G-d.
"The Tablets were the work of G-d, and the writing was the writing of G-d,
inscribed on both their sides." Written on two magnificent stones of sapphire
were the Ten Commandments, miraculously visible from both sides. Yet they
were not to last for long. "And Moses became angry ... and he broke them
at the foot of the mountain... And G-d said to Moses, 'Hew yourself tablets
of stone like the first.'"
In connection to the Tablets, the Torah speaks of three distinct stages:
1. The original Tablets: Moses descends from Mount Sinai, where he
had spent the previous forty days and forty nights, with the Tablets in hand;
2. The breaking of the Tablets: Moses witnesses the sin of the Children
of Israel with the Golden Calf and breaks the Tablets in anger;
3. The second Tablets: The Jews repent of their sin. Moses goes back
up the mountain for an additional forty days and nights, to return with a
second set of Tablets.
The first and second sets of Tablets were not identical. The first set was
written by G-d; the second set was inscribed by Moses under G-d's direction.
Yet curiously, the second set of Tablets was superior to the first in one
important respect, as explained in chasidic philosophy.
The breaking of the Tablets and their subsequent replacement is an example
of "a descent for the sake of an ascent." Every descent, every failure, can
lead the individual to an even higher spiritual level.
According to this principle, the second set of Tablets was clearly superior
to the first, for it came after the Jews' descent into idolatry and their
ensuing return to G-d.
Symbolically, the three stages of the Tablets parallel the annals of the
Jewish people and their progression throughout history:
The first stage (the original Tablets) spans the years between the Revelation
on Mount Sinai until the destruction of the Second Holy Temple.
The second stage (the breaking of the Tablets) refers to the forced exile
of the Jews from their land and the spiritual degradation endured for almost
The third and final stage, the era on whose threshold we now stand, is the
Messianic Era, at which time the spirituality of the entire world will be
elevated to unprecedented heights, an ascent made possible only by the bitter
darkness of the exile.
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
This Shabbat, in addition to the regular Torah portion read in
shul (synagogue), Parshat Ki Tisa, we will also read the additional
Torah portion known as "Parshat Parah" (the "red heifer"). In the
days of the Holy Temple, if a person became spiritually unclean through contact
with a dead body, the ashes of the red heifer were used to remove the spiritual
impurity. As a person had to be in a state of ritual cleanliness in order
to bring the Passover offering, these laws were read publicly in the weeks
leading up to the holiday.
Although we cannot bring offerings in the literal sense at present, the spiritual
lessons they contain are timeless.
Our Sages likened mitzvot to the human body. Just as the body is composed
of 248 limbs and 365 sinews, the Torah is composed of 248 positive and 365
But the Torah is also likened to the soul. Just as the soul animates the
physical body and transforms it into a living being, so too does the Torah
enliven the practical mitzvot and illuminate them with its light.
When a Jew studies Torah and understands the deeper significance of the
commandments, his mitzvot are performed with joy and happiness, and
with a heartfelt enthusiasm.
This principle sheds light on the Talmudic statement, "He who studies the
laws of the burnt-offering is considered as if he has brought one." During
the exile, when we cannot bring sacrifices in the literal sense, our study
of the law stands in its stead. The mitzvah of bringing the sacrifice,
however, just like the human body, is limited by the boundaries of time and
space; the actual mitzvah can only be fulfilled in the proper time
and at the proper location (indeed, it is forbidden to offer sacrifices outside
But our holy Torah, just like the soul, is spiritual; it is not limited by
the restraints of time and place. Our study of the Torah's laws of offerings
is therefore relevant and appropriate in any age and in any location.
As we gradually "rev up" for the Passover season, let us remember that every
positive action we do draws nearer the day when "The spirit of uncleanliness
I will remove from the earth," with the coming of Moshiach and the Final
May it happen immediately!
Springtime happens to bring with it one of the most colorful, widely observed,
and vividly recalled Jewish holidays -- Passover. In fact, one of the three
names by which Passover is mentioned in the Bible is "the Holiday of Spring."
Our Sages enjoin us to begin preparing for each holiday thirty days before
the holiday begins. When our Sages made this suggestion, they had in mind
learning the laws pertaining to the holiday. The holiday of Purim falls thirty
days before Passover, which serves as an easy reminder of when to start
preparations. Many people use Purim, and the thirty-day guideline as a reminder
that it's time to start getting serious about cleaning the house, and getting
the chometz (leavened foods) out of the house, for Passover.
We've already passed the thirty-day mark. So, certainly, it's not too soon
to make plans for where you'll be spending the seders. Also, check
out your local supermarket or grocery store and see if they'll be stocking
the kosher-for-Passover food that have a reliable Rabbinical
supervision that you will need for the eight-day holiday. If they don't
have everything, find out who does.
In addition, call your local rabbi, or Chabad-Lubavitch Center to order
shmurah matzah -- special hand-made matzah just like the Jews
used when they came out of Egypt -- at least for the two seders.
With the first crocuses starting to peep their heads up, even through the
frost, it's really time to start thinking about Passover. This year, bring
the "Holiday of Spring" into your thoughts, now.
When it comes to getting ready for Passover; teamwork is essential to do
the job right. If you consider the task of removing all traces of
chometz from your possession as an adventure, it makes it more fun
and rewarding. And when you're having fun, everyone wants to join in.
Start early enough -- traditionally we start preparing for a holiday 30 days
before the festival -- and consider cleaning according to the ABC's.
Attack the attic. Go through all of those storage spaces that accumulate
chometz during the year.
Beware of bedrooms, books and even briefcases. Even if your policy
is no food in bedrooms, crumbs wind up there. Chometz also wedges
itself in books if you eat while you read.
Clear the cabinets, chairs, car and closets of chometz. This
is a perfect time to have the carpets cleaned, too.
Deal with the drawers and desks.
Eliminate your ego. What does ego have to do with Passover and
chometz? To make a long chasidic discourse short, chometz contains
leaven and rises. Matzah doesn't have any leaven and therefore remains
flat. As we rid our physical surroundings of leaven, we should try to eradicate
our pompous, haughty and self-righteous aspects, those parts of our personality
which grow and rise.
Face the freezer and all furniture. And, if you've contemplated cleaning
your upholstery, now is the time.
Go for the garage, garbage cans and wastebaskets.
Hide the high chair. Unless you still need to use it. If so, thoroughly
scrub it, and cover the trays.
Ignore the idea to quit. You're nearly half-way through!
Joyously de-chometz the jig-saw puzzles and all other toys.
It's easy not to be happy when you have 300 pieces of Lego to clean -- all
with Cheerios meshed in. But think of all the quiet playtime these toys
encourage. And think of all the joy that the children give you when you're
playing with them -- the kids, that is, not the Lego.
Keep at the kitchen and kitchen appliances. The kitchen is "not within
the scope of this article." Ask a rabbi or rebbetzin how to do it!
Lather the luggage. Go through your suitcases and carry-on bags.
Make-over the medicine cabinet. Many non-prescription medicines contain
chometz and should be dealt with properly. If you must take medicine
during Passover, consult your rabbi (probably a nice guy who would love to
hear from you).
Nurture your needs. Take a break. Sit down with a drink and relax
for a few minutes. While you're relaxing, peruse one of the many interesting
Haggadahs available today and you'll be preparing yourself mentally
for the holiday, as well.
Overtake your office. Unless you're taking the whole week off, you
have to clean your office for Passover.
Peruse your pockets, purse and porch for chometz.
Quarantine your quarterback. Or, for that matter, anyone who goes
running through your ready-for-Passover rooms with chometz.
Ready the refrigerator. Use up all those open jars and then clean
Scrub the stroller. If you don't have one, help someone who does.
Tackle the telephone. It's probably sticky if you talk while you're
Unclutter the utility room.
Validate the vacuum cleaner by throwing out or emptying the bag after
you vacuumed the last chometz.
Wash the wall where all the cake batter splatters when you bake.
Xerox your favorite recipes which can be used for Passover since your
cookbooks are probably so full of chometz that they are unsalvageable.
Yield chometz from your yacht. Although, if you have a yacht
you're probably not doing most of the cleaning, anyway.
Zee, it wasn't zo bad after all!
The most important principle in the Torah is the protection of Jewish life.
It's more important than Shabbat, more important than holidays, even
fasting on Yom Kippur.
Right now, in Israel, and everywhere, Jews must stand together in unity and
do whatever possible to protect Jewish life.
The Rebbe teaches that there are ten important
Mitzvot we can do to protect life. See what you can do:
1) Ahavat Yisroel: Behave with love towards another Jew.
2) Learn Torah: Join a Torah class.
3) Make sure that Jewish children get a Torah true education.
4) Affix kosher Mezuzot on all doorways of the house.
5) For men and boys over 13: Put on Tefillin every weekday.
6) Give Charity.
7) Buy Jewish holy books and learn them.
8) Light Shabbat & Yom Tov candles. A Mitzvah
for women and girls.
9) Eat and drink only Kosher Food.
10) Observe the laws of Jewish Family Purity.
In addition, the Rebbe also urged every man, woman and child to Purchase
a Letter in a Sefer Torah. There are several Torah scrolls
being written to unite Jewish people and protect Jewish life.
Letters for children can be purchased for only $1. Send your Hebrew name
and your mother's Hebrew name plus $1 to:
"Children's Sefer Torah,"
P. O. Box 8,
Kfar Chabad, 72915, Israel
or via the Internet, at:
The Rebbe's slogan is: "The main thing is the deed." We therefore present
from the Rebbe's talks, suggestions what we can do to complete his work of
bringing the Redemption.
Make Others Happy:
As we are in the midst of the 30 days of happiness comprised of the month
of Adar, we should endeavor to make others happy.
The Rebbe explained, "We should proceed to spread joy and happiness in the
most literal sense, making efforts to assure that the members of one's household
and similarly, all of those with whom one comes in contact, experience great
joy. And this will lead to the ultimate joy, the coming of the Redemption.
May it take place in the immediate future."
Jewish Women and Girls Light Shabbat
For local candle lighting times:
consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch Center.
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 17, Erev Shabbat Parshat Ki Tisa:
Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 5:47 p.m.
Saturday, March 18, Shabbat Parshat Ki Tisa:
1. 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