LIVING WITH MOSHIACH
Weekly Digest About Moshiach
Parshat Lech Lecha, 5767
12 Cheshvan, 5767
Nov. 3, 2006
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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 499th
issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
We'd like to hear from you. Tell us your comments, suggestions, etc. Write
to us, or E-Mail via Internet.
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
3 Cheshvan, 5767
Los Angeles, California
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
Horav Schneur Zalman Halevi
ben Horav Yitzchok Elchonon Halevi
Passed away on 21 Tamuz, 5766
Reb Dovid Asniel ben Reb Eliyahu
Passed away on 5 Sivan - Erev Shavuot, 5765
Mrs. Devora Rivka bas Reb Yosef Eliezer
Passed away on the second day
of Rosh Chodesh Adar, 5766
AND IN HONOR OF
Mrs. Esther Shaindel bas Fraidel Chedva
Dedicated by their children
Rabbi & Mrs. Yosef Yitzchok and Gittel Rochel
Parshat Lech Lecha
In this week's Torah portion, Parshat Lech Lecha, we are told about
the births of Abraham's two sons, Ishmael and Isaac.
When G-d promised Abraham that he would have Isaac, Abraham already had a
son, Ishmael. Thus Abraham responded to G-d, "I pray that Ishmael might live
before You" -- i.e., that Ishmael would conduct himself as he should and
pursue the Divine way of life. G-d, however, replied, "No. By Isaac shall
your seed be called." From Isaac, Abraham was assured, his true joy would
There is a basic difference between Ishmael and Isaac. The birth of Ishmael
was natural, without any heavenly intervention. Isaac's birth was miraculous
for Abraham and Sarah were far advanced in age.
Another difference between Ishmael and Isaac relates to the commandment of
circumcision. Ishmael was circumcised when he was thirteen years old. At
the age of thirteen a youngster has sufficient reason to be held accountable
for his conduct and he becomes obligated to observe the mitzvot. Ishmael
thus used his reason to determine his readiness to enter the covenant with
G-d, and accepted circumcision.
Isaac was circumcised when he was eight days old. An infant that young cannot
give consent; nevertheless he was bound up with G-d at that early age. This
type of bond can never be dissolved and erased; it is eternal, as the Torah
calls it "an eternal covenant."
Isaac's supernatural and miraculous birth was in contrast to Ishmael's natural
birth. And Isaac's covenant with G-d was in a supra-rational manner as opposed
to Ishmael's covenant.
Normally a child is born and raised under the supervision of his parents,
guarded against every harm. He is educated to gain proper understanding,
which in turn leads to attachment with G-d. This was the way of Ishmael.
He was raised in the home of Abraham and received an education which made
him understand that he ought to attach himself to G-d.
This course of life, however, provides no assurances. When religious commitment
is based exclusively on reason, we cannot predict how it will be affected
by the variables of life. Thus we find with Ishmael, that as soon as his
inheritance was affected by Isaac's birth, his behavior deteriorated and
G-d commanded Abraham to listen to Sarah when she asked that Ishmael be sent
Parshat Lech Lecha teaches us that, to establish Jewish continuity,
one cannot set out with strictly natural calculations. The very existence
and purpose of the Jewish people transcends nature. A Jew's life, right from
birth, is intertwined with miracles and a disregard for the course of nature.
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
There is a saying of the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn,
quoted in the name of his father, the Rebbe Rashab:
"The first Torah portion, Parshat Bereishis, is a joyful Torah portion,
for in it, G-d created the world and all of its inhabitants.
"Parshat Noach, however, relates the Great Flood. The week in which
it is read is therefore a sad one, but it ends on a happy note with the birth
of our forefather Abraham.
"Yet the week which is truly the happiest is the one in which the Torah portion
of Parshat Lech Lecha is read. For each and every day of the week
we live with Abraham."
Why is Parshat Lech Lecha, this week's Torah reading, considered the
most joyful of the three?
Parshat Bereishis contains the narrative of Creation. This portion
relates G-d's actions, and describes how He created the world in six days.
The Torah portion tells us what G-d did, but it does not relate the deeds
of the creations themselves.
Parshat Noach, by contrast, deals primarily with the actions of mankind.
In this Torah portion we learn about the Great Flood, about the behavior
of the people of Noach's generation, and about the deeds of the righteous
Thus each of the first two Torah portions concerns itself with an entirely
different sphere. Parshat Bereishis revolves around G-d and G-dly
matters, whereas Parshat Noach concentrates on the more mundane affairs
of mankind. In neither of these Torah portions is the connection between
G-d and man, the higher spheres and the lower spheres, expressed.
How do Jews create that connection? By carrying out the will of G-d and
performing His mitzvot.
When Jews observe the Torah's commandments they draw nearer to G-d, binding
themselves to Him with an everlasting bond. When G-d gave His holy Torah
to the Jewish people, He thereby gave them the means to forge a connection
between the "higher worlds" -- G-d, and the "lower worlds" -- human beings.
The preparation for the giving of the Torah began with Lech Lecha,
when G-d gave Abraham the commandment to "go out" of his native land, and
Abraham obeyed. Ignoring his own personal wishes and his natural proclivities
and inclinations, Abraham set off to fulfill the will of G-d to establish
a "dwelling place" for Him in the physical world.
Thus began the wondrous connection with G-d that continues and is strengthened
with every mitzvah we perform.
This is why Parshat Lech Lecha is the most joyful of the Torah's first
three portions. The first speaks solely of the higher worlds; the second,
only about the lower. It isn't until the third portion, Lech Lecha,
that the true connection to G-d first commences.
Some people say that Avraham Avinu (Abraham our father) was the first
Lubavitcher chasid. This might sound a little (or more than a little)
self-serving. But, let us take a few moments to analyze Avraham's life; we
might find that, in fact, there is much truth in this statement.
In this week's Torah portion, Avraham is commanded by G-d to go away from
his home, leave his parents, and travel to a distant, unknown land. He always
spoke to strangers, bringing them closer to an awareness of G-d, their Creator.
Now, isn't this, actually, what Lubavitcher chasidim are doing all
over the world?
Avraham set up a huge tent in the middle of the desert. The tent had four
doors, one in each direction, so that any person passing by would always
be able to enter quickly. Doesn't that remind you of a Chabad House --
Chabad-Lubavitch outreach centers on college campuses and suburban Jewish
communities with an "open door" policy?
With Avraham as our role model and guide, let us make every effort to follow
in his footsteps, setting up our own tents, and helping others set up tents
for people to live and experience the beauty and warmth of Judaism.
Sunday (Oct. 29) is the seventh day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan.
In the times of the Holy Temple, the Jewish people traveled to Jerusalem
for the festivals of Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot, the seventh
of Cheshvan marked the end of the pilgrimage season surrounding the
festival of Sukkot, according to our Sages. During Sukkot,
the entire Jewish people were in Jerusalem. For the Jews living on the Euphrates
River, the furthest reaches of the Holy Land, their journey home took fifteen
days and thus, was concluded on the seventh of Cheshvan. It was beginning
on the seventh of Cheshvan that the prayer for rain commenced, once
all of the pilgrims were comfortably home again.
This fact, of the delay of the prayers for rain until the last pilgrims reached
their homes, is relevant to the concept of Jewish unity.
During the pilgrimage festivals, the essential unity of the Jewish people
is expressed. However, that unity applies to the essential oneness that binds
our people together, while transcending our individuality. The unity expressed
by the seventh of Cheshvan relates to Jews as individuals. Jewish
unity remains even after each Jew returns to his own home and his individual
The seventh of Cheshvan is the final stage of Jewish unity that was
begun during the month of Elul (the days of preparation for Rosh Hashanah)
and enhanced throughout all of the days of the month of Tishrei. May
we continue to work on and enhance Jewish unity in every way possible until
the ultimate revelation of total Jewish unity and the unity of G-d and the
entire world with the coming of Moshiach, NOW!
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 urges that:
Every Jewish man, woman and child should have a letter written for them in
a Sefer Torah.*
Every person should study either the Rambam's Yad Hachazakah -- Code
of Jewish Law -- or the Sefer HaMitzvos.
Concerning Moshiach, the Rebbe stated, "The time for our redemption has arrived!"
Everyone should prepare themselves for Moshiach's coming by doing random
acts of goodness and kindness, and by studying about what the future redemption
will be like. May we merit to see the fulfillment of the Rebbe's prophecy
*. 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,
or via the Internet, at:
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, Nov. 3, Erev Shabbat Parshat Lech Lecha:
Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 4:32 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 4, Shabbat Parshat Lech Lecha:
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 5:31 p.m.
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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