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Weekly Digest About Moshiach

Parshat Ki Tisa, 5766
17 Adar, 5766
March 17, 2006

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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 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, April 12.


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

Purim, 5766
Los Angeles, California

Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe

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 2,000 years.

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 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


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 negative commandments.

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 the Temple).

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 Redemption.

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 it well.

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 eating.

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: 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.

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 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, 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.

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