LIVING WITH MOSHIACH
Weekly Digest About Moshiach
Parshat Chayei Sarah, 5767
26 Cheshvan, 5767
Nov. 17, 2006
"Let There Be Light"
The Jewish Women's Guide To Lighting Shabbat
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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 501st
issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
In this week's issue, we focus on one of the Rebbe's Mitzvah
Campaigns, the laws of Shabbat Candle Lighting (which is one
of the three special mitzvot for Jewish
Therefore, we present here "Let There Be Light -- The Jewish Women's Guide
To Lighting Shabbat Candles," and other related material about
Shabbat Candle Lighting.
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
16 Cheshvan, 5767
Los Angeles, California
1. The other two are: Mivtzah Kashrut --
The Jewish Dietary Laws, and Mivtzah
Taharat Hamishpacha -- The Jewish Laws
of Family Purity.
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 Chayei Sarah
As we read in this week's Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, after Sarah
passed away and Abraham wanted to bury her in the Cave of Machpelah, the
sons of Chet offered to give him the land for free. "A mighty prince you
are among us," they said, "in the choice of our tombs bury your dead." However,
Abraham refused their offer, and insisted on paying "the full price."
As Rashi comments, "the full price" means "its full value." Abraham
was adamant about paying the full value of the field in order to completely
dissociate it from its former owner, Efron. Had Abraham received it as a
gift, Efron would have still retained a certain claim on the land, even though
it now officially belonged to Abraham. By paying "the full price" for the
Cave of Machpelah, Abraham severed any connection it might have had to its
King David did the same thing many years later after he conquered Jerusalem.
Jerusalem had been already captured and was under his control, yet David
did not wish to receive it as a gift from Aravna. Like Abraham, David insisted
on paying "the full price" for the site, in order to possess it in the absolute
* * *
The spiritual service of every Jew is to refine and elevate his surroundings,
through learning Torah and observing mitzvot, to the point that he
becomes the true "owner" of his particular corner of the world. Just as Abraham
paid "the full price" for the field he bought from Efron, so too is it necessary
for every Jew to pay "the full price" -- to expend real effort and exertion
-- in his service of G-d.
A Jew must never say to himself, "I have been blessed with a good head and
many talents. Why should I have to work hard if everything comes to me easily?
Even my Evil Inclination isn't so powerful that it has to be fought all that
In the same way that Abraham and David refused to accept what was easy, rejected
"gifts" and insisted on paying "the full price," so too must we invest real
effort on the spiritual "labor" of Torah and mitzvot. For it is only
through hard work and a little "elbow grease" that we will truly succeed
in refining our surroundings and by extension, the entire world.
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
The following true story is adapted from a talk given by the Rebbe during
the fall of 1976.
The little Israeli girl was only five years old. One day, in school, a visitor
from Chabad told her class about lighting Shabbat candles. Although
she and her classmates were far below the age of bat mitzvah, declared
the young woman, they could nonetheless participate in this mitzvah.
When the little girl came home that Friday, and excitedly told her mother
about her new discovery, her mother replied that she knew nothing about this
whole business (she had received no Jewish education whatsoever). "Did you
ever hear of such a thing!" exclaimed the mother angrily. "A little girl
should want to do things that her own mother doesn't do, and bring new ideas
into the house!"
But we all know what young children are like. The little girl started to
cry and she pleaded with her mother. "I'm not asking you to do anything.
All I'm asking is that you should let me do it. I have a candle-holder; they
gave me one in school. I know the blessing; they also gave me a paper with
the instructions on when and how to light the candle. Please let me light
Mother gave in. "All right, do whatever you want. But stop crying, and leave
me in peace."
Our little girl was overjoyed. She put the candle on the dining room table,
lit it herself, made the blessing, and was in seventh heaven! She went around
from one member of the family to the other, warning each one of them in her
childish but serious way, that no one should touch her candle or blow it
When mother and father saw that it wasn't so terrible after all, they let
her light the candle the next Friday without any fuss. The little girl again
lit it with the same delight and enthusiasm as the first week, and her infectious
joy spread to the rest of the family.
A few weeks went by. One Friday the father said that "it just somehow didn't
seem right" to have the television on with the little one walking around
the house singing Shabbat songs, and with the candle burning on the
table. While the candle was lit, he could not bring himself to turn on the
television. Some time later the telephone rang and mother did not answer
it, because the candle was still lit.
Weeks later mother surveyed the Friday night scene and decided that something
was wrong. How strange it looked to see just the single candle burning on
the table, to see her little daughter full of joy and telling everyone that
it was a holy day, etc., while she, the mother, was busy as if it were just
an ordinary day. "It just doesn't seem right! I'm going to start lighting
candles, too!" Once she started lighting candles, she could not bring herself
to turn on the oven. "After all, I have just declared in the blessing that
it is the Holy Shabbat; how can I now go ahead with making supper
-- and turn the oven on or off in violation of the Sabbath?"
No one likes cold food; so mother started to make "cholent" (the
traditional Shabbat stew allowed to cook from Friday afternoon until
Shabbat afternoon) for the midday meal. Naturally, the whole
"cholent" procedure affected the way they did things and the meals
they ate the next day, too.
Later, mother decided that since she was now lighting candles, she would
dress up in honor of the Friday night atmosphere.
And so it went on. From one thing to another. From one aspect of
Shabbat to another. From one small candle lit by one little girl following
a scene and tears; to refraining from doing work while the candle was still
burning; to the mother's beginning to light Shabbat candles; from
there to the wearing of nicer clothes in honor of Shabbat; and on
to refraining from all types of work prohibited on Shabbat.
Eventually the entire family and household became transformed. This family
has now returned completely to their tradition and heritage. All, because
of the light of one Shabbat candle!
The Jewish Women's Guide To Lighting Shabbat
LIGHT IS BORN . . . DARKNESS RECEDES
Peace descends on the Jewish home every Shabbat.
The news of the day may tell of murder and mayhem, politics and pollution,
disease and disaster -- indeed the global catalogue of human misery. For
ours is a threatening world. One in which the Jewish spirit is under constant
assault by hypocrisy, injustice and rampant immorality.
But there is a divine spark in each of us. And so, there is hope. For light
is a compelling force that will always triumph over darkness.
Fire touches wick. Flame reaches upward. Another home is bathed in peace
and holiness, in warmth and unity.
A Jewish woman has invited the Shabbat Queen into her home. The darkness
of the day's headlines recedes, exiled by the peaceful glow of candles.
It is truly a gift from on high.
All that is good, all that is holy is symbolized -- indeed realized -- in
the flickering light of the Shabbat candles:
Dedication to G-d, Torah and Mitzvot.
Triumph of good.
Unending hope and faith in ultimate good.
* * *
Tradition recounts the miracle of our Matriarch Sarah, whose Shabbat
candles burned from Friday eve to Friday eve.
Our sages tell of our Matriarch Rivkah, who lit Shabbat candles from
the tender age of three.
Two millennia ago, the Holy Zohar declared that a woman kindling her
Shabbat candles with joy in her heart brings peace on earth, long
life to her loved ones, and is blessed with children who illuminate our world
And in our generation, the Rebbe said: "Let every woman -- young girls included
-- add her holy light to illuminate the world shrouded in darkness and
* * *
Lighting Shabbat candles is the historic responsibility of every Jewish
wife and mother. But in our times their light is not enough . . .
Today we also need the holy flame of every Jewish girl in order to keep the
forces of darkness at bay.
These are times when children look beyond home and hearth, in quest of their
own identity and the desire to create a meaningful life for themselves.
Let them hold a candle all their own . . . Let them kindle a flame of their
own . . . Let them bring their aspirations in sync with the divine warmth
of the Shabbat light.
Jewish Girls! Your mothers need you. Your people need you. Your future
as Jewish women cries out for you to enter its service now.
Jewish Mothers! As soon as your daughter is old enough to recite the
blessing, teach her to kindle her own Shabbat candle. Because darkness
is all around us, and only you have the power to drive it away.
2. Adapted from the brochure published by: The Lubavitch Women's Candle
A married woman customarily lights two candles and may add an additional
one for each of her children. Single women light one candle.
As soon as a young girl can grasp the idea of Shabbat and can recite
the blessing (approximately 3 years old) her mother should provide her with
a candlestick and teach her to kindle the Shabbat lights.
The child should light before her mother in case she needs assistance.
It is customary to put a few coins in a 'pushka' (charity box) before
The correct time to light the Shabbat candles is 18 minutes before
sunset every Friday. Young girls should light just prior to this time.
Edited by Rabbi Y. K. Marlow(3) O. B. M.
A blind woman who lives alone should light her Shabbat candle(s) with
If she is married to a non-visually impaired person, her husband should
light the Shabbat candles with the blessing.
If she is eating and lighting in the company of others who are non-visually
impaired, and they lit the Shabbat candles, she should light her own
Shabbat candle(s), but without the blessing.
(If at all possible, she should not be the last one to light the
Shabbat candle(s), so that she could be absolved by the latter's
3. Head of Bet-Din (Rabbinical Court) of Crown Heights.
Just as candles are lit in honor of Shabbat, so are they lit in honor
of the festivals.
Various blessings are recited on the different festivals. (See our
"Festival/Holiday Guides" published before every Festival/Holiday, for the
When lighting after the onset of a festival, a preexisting flame must be
used to light the candles, as it is prohibited to create a new fire by striking
a match or lighter, etc. However, it is permissible to use, or transfer live,
from a flame burning continuously since the onset of the festival -- such
as a pilot light, gas or candle flame.
First light the candles. Then spread your hands out around the candles, drawing
your hands inward in a circular motion three times to indicate the acceptance
of the sanctity of Shabbat. You then cover your eyes and recite the
Bo-ruch A-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ho-olom
A-sher Ki-de-sho-nu Be-mitz-vo-sov Ve-tzi-vo-nu
Le-had-lik Ner Shel Sha-bos Ko-desh.
Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us
with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the light of the holy
Uncover your eyes and behold the Shabbat lights.
The time of lighting is considered especially propitious for praying to G-d
for health and happiness. The prayer is readily acceptable because it is
offered during the performance of this great mitzvah of lighting
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.
Eight plus ten plus five is 23. Add to that 40, 6, 300, 100 and 1 and you
have the number 470. But 470 isn't just the sum of a random set of numbers.
In Hebrew, each letter has a numerical value. And the numbers listed above
are the numerical values of the Hebrew letters that spell the name of Rebbetzin
Chaya Mushka, the Rebbe's wife.
One of the very first activities initiated in memory of the Rebbetzin was
"Project 470," a division of the Lubavitch Women's Organization Candle Lighting
Campaign. Esther Sternberg, coordinator of the campaign since its inception
at the Rebbe's behest in 1974, tells about the background of Project 470.
"We had scheduled our annual fund-raising event for the 26th of Shevat
that year (5748/1988). We sent the invitation to the Rebbe and received the
Rebbe's blessing. When the Rebbetzin passed away just days before the event,
which meant that it would take place during the shivah (the week of
mourning), we thought to postpone it. But, as we had already received the
Rebbe's blessing we decided to go ahead.
"At the evening itself," remembers Mrs. Sternberg, "we announced that we
were establishing a special fund in the Rebbetzin's memory that would be
devoted exclusively to publicizing, through newspaper and radio ads, the
special mitzvah of Shabbat candles."
At that point, the project did not yet have a name. It was through a comment
made by the Rebbe that this far-reaching project received its name. Explains
Mrs. Sternberg, "Right after the Rebbe got up from shivah, we were
told that the Rebbe wanted to see my father (Rabbi Shneur Zalman Gurary,
O.B.M.) and me. My father and I were both with the Rebbetzin in her last
moments, and we thought that maybe the Rebbe wanted to ask us some questions.
When we arrived in the Rebbe's office he was holding the invitation to our
evening. Someone had informed the Rebbe about the fund. The Rebbe wanted
to give $470 'al shem hanifteres' -- in the name of the departed --
and another dollar that the project should be a success."
Animatedly, Mrs. Sternberg describes the rest of the audience with the Rebbe:
"The Rebbe gave many, many blessings for the Candle Lighting Campaign and
said that anyone who inspires others to light Shabbat candles, as
well as those who begin to light Shabbat candles, 'yair mazalon'
-- their fortune will shine. The Rebbe showered blessings on anyone who would
The main undertaking of Project 470 has been a classified ad on the front
page of the New York Times every Friday, reminding Jewish women and
girls to light Shabbat candles. The ad includes the correct time for
candle lighting that week in New York City as well as the computerized telephone
system that gives the candle lighting time for any location in the United
States, including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. This classified ad has
run consecutively for 16 years.
Mrs. Sternberg notes that she constantly receives calls for candle lighting
times around the world, which is not surprising, as the front page of the
New York Times is duplicated in all foreign editions as well. A system
to allow callers to receive computerized information for the entire world
is currently being created for Project 470.
Although there are hundreds of stories connected to the Candle Lighting Campaign
in general, Mrs. Sternberg retells one unique incident: "Exactly 28 years
ago, I was going to Israel. I saw many Jewish college students who were also
on their way to Israel in the El Al area at the airport. Always eager to
encourage more Jewish girls and women to light Shabbat candles, I
approached the young women and asked them if they light Shabbat candles.
They all answered affirmatively. They were very proud and excitedly told
me about their interaction with Chabad on their college campuses around the
country. I was elated by their positive responses."
Continues Mrs. Sternberg: "In those days the El Al security system included
booths that were electronically monitored. As I was planning on going to
a few European countries after Israel to talk about the Candle Lighting Campaign,
I had an entire suitcase full of candlesticks with me. I was afraid the metal
detectors would be set off by the candlesticks, so when I was about to enter
the cubicle, I told the security guard in Hebrew, 'I'm afraid to go in.'
He told me not to be afraid. He saw I was in a very good mood and commented
on it. 'You can't imagine how happy I am,' I told the officer, truly exuberant
over my conversations with the college students and my trip to Israel.
"'So, Madam, maybe you have neshek?' the officer asked me with a twinkle
in his eyes. I was sure that he had seen me talking with the students and
had seen me pull out some candlesticks from my suitcase." In Israel, the
Candle Lighting Campaign is well known as Mivtza Neshek.
Neshek, which literally means 'weapons' is an acronym for Neirot
Shabbat Kodesh -- Holy Shabbat Candles. "We consider
'Neshek' as one of the 'weapons' in the Rebbe's war against assimilation
"I said proudly, 'Of course I have Neshek, a whole suitcase full!'
Instantly an alarm was sounded and within seconds five police came running
to the little cubicle to arrest me."
With a chuckle, Mrs. Sternberg remembers, "I opened the suitcase and showed
them what was inside. 'I am talking about a different kind of Neshek
altogether,' I told them innocently."
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:
The Rebbe's slogan is: "The main thing is the deed." We therefore present
from the Rebbe's talks, suggestions of what we can do to complete his work
of bringing the Redemption.
Encourage the Kids!
Do the doorposts of your children's rooms have mezuzahs on them? If
they do, point them out to the children and encourage them to kiss or touch
the mezuzah cover as they go in and out of the room. If not, purchase
a hand-written mezuzah scroll from a reliable Judaica store or your
local Chabad-Lubavitch Center. You can even let the child choose his or her
own mezuzah cover.
The Rebbe explained, "We see that children have a unique attraction to a
mezuzah, and kiss it eagerly several times a day. From the
mezuzah, one goes from one's house to the world at large as the
Rambam writes, 'Whenever one enters or departs, one will confront
the unity of G-d's name.'"
(18th of Cheshvan, 5752/1991)
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. 17, Erev Shabbat Parshat Chayei
Light Shabbat Candles,(4) by 4:19 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 18, Shabbat Parshat Chayei Sarah:
Blessing of the New Month, Kislev.(5)
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 5:19 p.m.
4. 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.
5. Rosh Chodesh Kislev is on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and Wednesday, Nov.
May the Shabbat candles, of the millions of
Jewish women and girls around the world,
illuminate our way, until we very soon see
the fulfillment of G-d's promise (as it is written
in the Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni, Beha'alotecha)):
"If you will observe the kindling of the Shabbat lights,
you will merit to see the lights of the redemption
of the Jewish people," speedily in our days, NOW!
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