LIVING WITH MOSHIACH
Weekly Digest About Moshiach
The Concluding Days of Pesach, 5767
21-22 Nissan, 5767
April 8-10, 2007
1. "Happy 105th Birthday, Rebbe"
2. Your S'firat Ha'omer Guide, 5767
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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
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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
In honor of his 105th birthday,
11 Nissan, 5767
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 520th
issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
In this issue, we focus on:
1) The Rebbe's 105th birthday.
2) The laws of S'firat Ha'omer, the counting of the Omer.
Therefore, we present here "Your S'firat Ha'omer Guide" and other
related material about counting the Omer.
3) The Concluding Days of Pesach.
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
Rosh Chodesh Nissan, 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
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
On Passover, millions of Jews throughout the world will be sitting with family
and guests around brightly lit, festive tables, eating matzah and
bitter herbs, drinking four cups of wine and reminding each other about the
miracles G-d did for the Jews.
They will be celebrating the holiday of Passover for the 3,319th time in
Every year since the exodus from Egypt, millions of Jews have never missed
a year of Passover Seder.
One of the most basic commandments of the Passover Seder is to tell
the story of going out of Egypt. In addition to this being an integral part
of the Seder night, remembering that G-d took us out of Egypt is
obligatory not only on Passover, but on every day of the year. It is a foundation
of Judaism, being the first of the Ten Commandments.
The Sages compiled the Haggadah in order to facilitate this vital
commandment. Throughout the text of the Haggadah, G-d is mentioned
continuously for the incredible miracles that He did for the Jews. In fact,
G-d did everything; he was the "star" of the Exodus.
Strangely, however, the main protagonist of the Exodus, Moses, is mentioned
only once in the entire Haggadah!
Had it not been for Moses, the Jewish people would have never left Egypt
at all. And even after they left, were it not for Moses, they would have
returned to Egypt.
While it was G-d Who wrought all of the miracles of the plagues, the splitting
of the sea, the manna and more, it was Moses who kept the Jewish people inspired.
In fact, when the Jews thought that Moses had left them at Mount Sinai, they
worshiped the Golden Calf, despite G-d's Omniscience and omnipresence.
So why isn't Moses given more credit in the Haggadah? Because it was
Moses' job to do only one thing; to interpret the miracles that G-d
wrought in a way that brought the Jews to serve G-d on their own.
It was not Moses' job to do everything, but only one thing: to connect the
Jews to G-d.
That is why, when Moses' name is mentioned in the Haggadah it is in
the verse, "They believed in G-d and in Moses His servant."
In other words, the Torah equates the belief in Moses with the belief in
G-d, because there cannot be one without the other.
The Zohar (1:253a) equates Moses with Moshiach, because Moshiach --
the final redeemer of the Jewish people, will complete the task begun by
Moses -- the first redeemer of the Jewish people.
In fact, Moshiach will bring the entire world to serve the Creator (through
His Torah) with all their talents, skills and abilities.
At that time will be fulfilled, "And they (the entire world) will believe
in G-d and Moses His servant." And, the world will be filled with peace,
prosperity and brotherhood.
(Adapted from an article by Rabbi Tuvia Bolton,
It is a custom to say daily the chapter of Psalms associated with the number
of one's years. Many also have the custom to recite daily the Rebbe's chapter.
The 11th of Nissan, Friday, March 30, marks the Rebbe's 105th birthday,
and so we begin reciting chapter 106.
This chapter continues the theme of chapter 105, praising G-d for many more
miracles not mentioned previously. Both of these chapters also speak of
redemption. However, the previous chapter spoke of the redemption from Egypt
while chapter 106 speaks of the future Redemption.
The chapter begins, "Praise the L-rd, offer praise to the L-rd for He is
good, for His kindness is everlasting." It continues, "Who can express the
mighty acts of the L-rd, who can proclaim all His praises."
According to the famed Maharal of Prague, from these two verses we
learn the very important trait of "Hakarot HaTov," showing gratitude.
The first verse encourages us to praise G-d and the second verse explains
that we must praise G-d even if we are lacking in our ability to express
G-d's praises qualitatively or quantitatively.
The Rebbe explains that when a Jew is helped by G-d to perform his service
in exile despite its difficulties, he has a special obligation to give thanks
In verse 44, it says, "But He regarded their affliction, when He heard their
Rina -- exaltation." The Divrei Yisrael wonders, "This is strange;
when someone is in distress, one would expect him to cry. However, it can
be explained: G-d saw when the Jewish People were in the very midst of distress,
He still heard their exultation and singing to Him, so He saved them. From
here we learn that whenever a Jew is, G-d forbid, in a difficult situation,
if he sings about his salvation which is to come, G-d will help him.
The exodus from Egypt (as well as the miracles performed in the exodus from
Egypt and the times of exile that followed), mentioned throughout chapter
106, is the preparation and strength for the future redemption. Thus, the
chapter concludes with verses that speak powerfully of the future redemption
and ends with the word "amen, halelukah" affirming that the future
redemption will be eternal.
In the Haggadah we read the words, " 'All the days of your life' including
the Era of Moshiach." Le'havi translated as "including" literally
means "to bring." Thus, this Talmudic passage, quoted in the Haggadah,
can be interpreted as a directive: All the days of your life should be permeated
by a single intention: to bring about the coming of the Era of Moshiach.
(The Previous Rebbe)
By Rae Ekman Shagalov(1)
"What's this? I don't believe it! It's not fair!"
I looked at the photo-enforced citation I had just received in the mail.
There was a photo of me sitting in the car showing I had run a red light.
"I was only one second too late and it's a $350 fine!" If I had been pulled
over by a police officer maybe I could have talked him out of it, but how
can you argue with a photo? Should I just pay it and get it over with, or
should I take a day off from work and go through all of the hassle of going
to court to try to get out of it?
I decided to go to court. A few months later I was sitting in the courtroom.
I was very nervous. I had never been to traffic court before. I wished there
was something familiar in the courtroom. Half an hour later, the judge walked
in. Uh oh, I thought, the judge looks very stern.
The judge began: "You should know that the fine on your citation is only
the beginning of what your citation will cost. There is an additional mandatory
state penalty of two to three times the fine." Oh, NO! My one second mistake
might end up costing me over $1,000!
The Deputy called up the first five cases. I was the fifth. The case before
mine was "Synagogue Chabad." What Divine Providence! Here was something familiar;
a representative of a Chabad House. Surely the Rebbe's presence was here
with his emissary. The Lubavitcher started to say, "I'm here for Synagogue
Chabad. It's an organiz--."
The judge interrupted him sternly, but with a smile: "Just answer yes or
no -- Is your name Synagogue Chabad?"
"No," the young man responded.
"Case dismissed!" said the judge. The young man's jaw dropped open in shock.
"I said your citation is dismissed," repeated the judge. "You may go." He
left and I was next.
"What do you plead," said the judge, "Guilty, not guilty or no contest?"
"Your honor, I've prepared a letter describing my circumstances. Could you
please read it?"
I handed her the following letter:
To the Honorable Judge:
I would like to ask the mercy of the court in dismissing this ticket for
the following reasons:
1. As a school librarian, I am normally a very cautious driver (even old
ladies feel safe when I drive!). As the photo shows I reached the intersection
just as the light turned red and was through the intersection only one second
past the red light. This ticket has made me much more careful to avoid entering
intersections on a yellow light.
2. Two weeks ago my dear mother died which has distressed me immensely and
I have over $9,000 in unexpected funeral expenses. As this ticket would cause
additional hardship to me, I would like to ask the mercy of the court to
dismiss this ticket.
Thank you very much for your kindness.
The judge read my letter carefully, examined the photo, then spent five minutes
carefully explaining how a camera attached to a traffic light works and why
it can never be wrong. "This citation is completely justified," she concluded.
My heart sank.
"However," the judge continued, "I have read your letter and in the interest
of justice, the court dismisses your citation. You may go."
"Hallelu Et Hash-m -- Praise G-d for He is good; His kindness lasts
forever!" I sang to myself as I left the courtroom. Then I began to wonder,
what am I supposed to learn from this?
I realized this experience had answered a spiritual question that had been
troubling me for many years. It was a question that made me tremble on Yom
Kippur, made me fear death, and sometimes even made me dread the long-awaited
Messianic Era. The question was, "How is it possible that when we will be
judged by the Heavenly Court we may escape the severe punishments that could
be completely justified by our sins?
This judge showed me that even in this world, where G-dliness is generally
concealed, kindness is "in the interest of justice." My citation was completely
justified, but because of my repentance and the intense suffering of losing
my mother so recently, the judge saw that justice could only be truly served
with an extra measure of kindness. Imagine, I thought, how much greater will
be the extra measure of kindness G-d will show us when we leave the immense
suffering we have experienced in this world by being so distant from G-d,
and arrive with our hearts filled with the tremendous repentance we will
feel in G-d's presence!
Now, without reservation, I eagerly await the imminent revelation of Moshiach
and am comforted by the words I discovered, after my mother's death, in a
letter that my grandfather wrote to my mother on the day I was born:
"Divine Providence... ordained that for a little while I have to be away
from you at this time. I realize, of course, these poor words of mine cannot
take the place of my being there, especially to one who from the time you
were a baby -- whether you went to a doctor or dentist, you would yell, 'Daddy,
hold my hand!' In spirit I am right there beside you and always have been
and always will be. Do you have to see the flowers when you smell perfume?
Do you have to see G-d to know there is One who watches over you in my absence?
You know He is there and so am I and it won't be long now before I shall
be with you all again."
May "it won't be long" become "now" with the actual arrival of Moshiach,
in this moment, right now!
1. In loving memory of my dear mother, Devorah Rivka bas Reb Yosef Eliezer
and her father Reb Yosef Eliezer ben Reb Moshe, who both passed away on Rosh
Chodesh Adar, 40 years apart, 5726/5766 [1966/2006].
© 2006 by Rae Ekman Shagalov. She can be reached via her
The Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS is at the forefront of
the renaissance of Jewish life currently taking place in the former Soviet
Union. Over 1,000 emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe staff the 454 JCCs
located in 454 cities throughout fifteen countries in the former Soviet
A teenage girl showed up in the office of Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky, the Rebbe's
emissary and Chief Rabbi of Dnepropetrovsk. Her great-grandmother was requesting
that he visit her in the village of Pridnipropsk, nearly two-hours away.
"Is your grandmother Jewish?" the rabbi asked. "No." "Is anyone in your family
Jewish?" continued the rabbi. "No," answered the teen once again.
Rabbi Kaminetzky looked at his overcrowded calendar and said that he would
visit in two weeks. A week later the girl returned to Rabbi Kaminetzky. "Grandma
is too frail to travel. She needs to speak with you right away." Rabbi Kaminetzky
accompanied the girl back to her tiny village.
As soon as Irina saw the rabbi, she began to cry. When she calmed down, she
started to speak in broken Yiddish. "I grew up in a religious Jewish
home. During a pogrom in my hometown of Yekatrinislav (now called Dnepropetrovsk)
in 1911, I saw my parents killed before my eyes."
Irina switched to Russian and her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren
listened as she recounted how gentile neighbors had taken her in and cared
for her. They had made only one condition: that she never tell anyone that
she was Jewish as they feared it might endanger her life.
Irina told the rabbi that she had always hoped that the day would come when
she would be able to reveal her secret. But, at the very least, she wanted
to receive a Jewish burial. Rabbi Kaminetzky spent a number of hours with
Irina. Before leaving he explained to her descendants that they, too, are
Jewish. The rabbi told the family that he or some of his colleagues would
be in touch with them, to introduce them to their Jewish roots.
The next day, the great-granddaughter returned to the rabbi's office. "Grandma
died soon after you left. We need you to give her a Jewish burial."
It was after the funeral that one of Irina's daughters told Rabbi Kaminetzky,
"Now I understand why my mother fasted for an entire day each autumn and
did not eat bread for a whole week each spring."
Today, all of Irina's children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren
know what it means to live as a Jew, thanks to the Rebbe's emissaries in
the former Soviet Union.
During(2) the days of the Omer, we eagerly
count the days from Pesach until Shavuot, looking forward to
receiving the Torah anew.
The Torah says, "And you shall count seven full weeks, from the day after
your festival, when you bring the Omer as a wave offering...." (Leviticus
What is the Omer? Why is it connected with counting these days?
Here is the answer.
In the Holy Land, barley ripens in the spring, in the month of Nissan.
In the time of the Beis HaMikdosh, the new crop could not be used
until an amount of barley, called an "Omer," was offered on the Great
Altar in the Sanctuary. This is how it took place:
Right after the first day of Pesach, on the eve of the 16th of
Nissan, prominent Torah scholars and members of the Supreme Court
(Bet-Din) would go out into a field of barley near Jerusalem that
had been prepared before Yom Tov.
All the neighboring villagers would gather to watch the ceremony.
Three men using three sickles would cut three measures of barley, which they
would put in three boxes.
Once it was dark, the head of the reapers would say, "Has the sun set?"
"Yes," everyone would reply.
"Has the sun set?" he would ask again.
"Has the sun set?"
A third time they would answer, "Yes."
Then he would point to the sickle and ask three times, "Is this the sickle?"
"Is this the sickle?" -- "Yes."
"Is this the sickle?" -- "Yes."
In the same way, he would ask three times, "Is this the box?" -- "Yes."
"Is this the box?" -- "Yes."
"Is this the box?" -- "Yes."
If it was Shabbat, he would also ask three times, "Is it
This showed everybody that the mitzvah of cutting the Omer
pushes off the Shabbat.
Finally he would ask, "Shall I reap?"
"Yes," they would answer.
"Shall I reap?" -- "Yes."
"Shall I reap?" -- "Yes."
This whole ceremony was very awesome. What was it all for?
Unfortunately, there were people at that time who rebelled against the Sages.
They were called Beitusim. They tried to get people not to listen
to the teachings of the Sages.
One of their arguments was that the Omer should only be cut on a Saturday
night, after Shabbat.
In fact, in the Torah it says that the time for cutting the Omer is
"the day after Shabbat." The Beitusim said this meant the day
after Shabbat itself. But the Sages had the tradition from Mt. Sinai,
that Yom Tov is also called Shabbat, and the Omer should
be cut the day after Yom Tov!
They made a big ceremony out of it, so that it would be clear to everyone
that the Beitusim were not correct. The Omer had to be cut
the day after Yom Tov, even on Shabbat!
After the barley had been cut, it was placed in the three boxes and brought
to the Beis HaMikdosh. Since it was still green and soft, it was dried
and roasted in such a way that the fire touched every grain. Then it was
spread out in the courtyard for the wind to blow through it. Finally it was
ground up with millstones into flour.
Of the three measures (se'ah) of barley that had been reaped in the
field, only one tenth was taken for the offering. This quantity is called
This Omer was then sieved thirteen times, over and over again, until
it was fine and pure.
The next day, the barley flour was burned as an offering on the
Mizbayach, the Great Altar. Before burning it, the kohen would
wave it in every direction in honor of the One to Whom the whole world belongs.
It was as if he were saying, "Thank you, G-d, for the harvest. Thank you
for the very bread we eat."
* * *
In the Midrash it says that the Omer shows us how kind G-d
is to His people. When the Jews were in the wilderness, G-d gave every single
one of them an Omer of manna every day. Now that the Jewish
people had come into the Holy Land, all G-d asked in return was a single
Omer from the whole Jewish people. Nor did they need to bring it every
day. Once a year was enough. And barley, a poor man's grain, was all G-d
Our Sages also taught that Pesach is the time when the crops are ripening.
At this time, G-d judges the world in regard to food, particularly grain.
At such a moment G-d says to us, "Bring me an Omer of barley on
Pesach, and I will bless the grain in your fields for the whole year."
By counting these days, we remember that the world is being judged. Will
there be hunger or plenty? At this time we should return to G-d with a complete
heart, and beg Him to have mercy on us and on all His creatures, and on the
land, so that the harvest may grow as required.
Nowadays, we do not have the Beis HaMikdosh, and we cannot bring the
Omer offering, but we pray that by doing G-d's mitzvah of Counting
the Omer with joy in our hearts, we may merit His ultimate blessing,
that He should speedily restore the Beis HaMikdosh, and reestablish
His Kingship throughout the world, with the revelation of Moshiach, Now.
2. Adapted from
Times, published by Tzivos
On the second night of Pesach, we begin S'firat Ha'omer, counting
forty-nine days between Pesach and Shavuot, the day when the
Torah was given to the children of Israel. This is done every night following
the evening prayer leading up to the night before Shavuot.
We use this time to prepare ourselves to receive the Torah, just as our ancestors
did at Mt. Sinai.
Edited by Rabbi Y. K. Marlow O. B. M.
(Head of Bet-Din of Crown Heights)
We begin counting the Omer on the second night of Pesach, Tuesday,
April 3, 2007.
It is most proper to count the Omer at the beginning of the night,
immediately following the evening prayer. However, it is permissible to count
the Omer throughout the night.
If you forget to count at nightfall, but have reminded yourself before dawn,
you may count then, with the blessing.
If you forget to count at night; you can count throughout the next day
(without saying the blessing). The following evening you can count
again with the blessing.
If you forget to count for a whole day, you should still keep on counting
the days until Shavuot, but you do not say the blessing any more.
If you are in doubt whether you counted the previous night, even though you
definitely did not count during the day, you may recite the blessing when
counting on the subsequent nights.
Every night, after nightfall, after having recited the evening prayer, say
the following blessing, and then count the proper day:
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
Al Se-fi-ras Ho-omer.
Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe,
who has sanctified us with His commandments, and
commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.
Then we count the day, saying:
"Today is one day (or two days, or three days, etc.) of the
Nissan 15 - Sivan 5, 5767
April 3 - May 22, 2007
Tuesday eve., April 3 - count Omer 1.
Wednesday eve., April 4 - count Omer 2.
Thursday eve., April 5 - count Omer 3.
Friday eve., April 6 - count Omer 4.
Saturday eve., April 7 - count Omer 5.
Sunday eve., April 8 - count Omer 6.
Monday eve., April 9 - count Omer 7.
Tuesday eve., April 10 - count Omer 8.
Wednesday eve., April 11 - count Omer 9.
Thursday eve., April 12 - count Omer 10.
Friday eve., April 13 - count Omer 11.
Saturday eve., April 14 - count Omer 12.
Sunday eve., April 15 - count Omer 13.
Monday eve., April 16 - count Omer 14.
Tuesday eve., April 17 - count Omer 15.
Wednesday eve., April 18 - count Omer 16.
Thursday eve., April 19 - count Omer 17.
Friday eve., April 20 - count Omer 18.
Saturday eve., April 21 - count Omer 19.
Sunday eve., April 22 - count Omer 20.
Monday eve., April 23 - count Omer 21.
Tuesday eve., April 24 - count Omer 22.
Wednesday eve., April 25 - count Omer 23.
Thursday eve., April 26 - count Omer 24.
Friday eve., April 27 - count Omer 25.
Saturday eve., April 28 - count Omer 26.
Sunday eve., April 29 - count Omer 27.
Monday eve., April 30 - count Omer 28.
Tuesday eve., May 1 - count Omer 29.
Wednesday eve., May 2 - count Omer 30.
Thursday eve., May 3 - count Omer 31.
Friday eve., May 4 - count Omer 32.
Saturday eve., May 5 - count Omer 33.
Sunday eve., May 6 - count Omer 34.
Monday eve., May 7 - count Omer 35.
Tuesday eve., May 8 - count Omer 36.
Wednesday eve., May 9 - count Omer 37.
Thursday eve., May 10 - count Omer 38.
Friday eve., May 11 - count Omer 39.
Saturday eve., May 12 - count Omer 40.
Sunday eve., May 13 - count Omer 41.
Monday eve., May 14 - count Omer 42.
Tuesday eve., May 15 - count Omer 43.
Wednesday eve., May 16 - count Omer 44.
Thursday eve., May 17 - count Omer 45.
Friday eve., May 18 - count Omer 46.
Saturday eve., May 19 - count Omer 47.
Sunday eve., May 20 - count Omer 48.
Monday eve., May 21 - count Omer 49.
"This is my G-d and I shall glorify Him, my father's G-d and I shall exalt
The Midrash states that at the splitting of the Reed Sea, every Jew
pointed with his finger and said, "This," for there was such a prophetic
manifestation of G-dliness at that time that they were able to actually point
The Midrash also notes that the children born under Egyptian servitude
were the first to perceive and recognize the Divine manifestation.
"As in the days of your going out from Egypt, I will show wondrous things"
we read in Michah. In fact, the Divine revelation of the Messianic Redemption
will be even greater than the one in Egypt.
Furthermore, just as at the time of the Egyptian exodus it was the children
born in exile who recognized G-d first, so it will also be with Moshiach:
the children born in the harshness of this bitter exile will be the first
to recognize the Divine manifestation.
By Rabbi Berel Bell
In the account of the splitting of the Reed Sea, the Torah relates that "the
sea was transformed into dry land." We are also taught that this transformation
took place not only in this world, but in the spiritual worlds as well.
Obviously, there is neither sea nor land in the spiritual realms. What, then,
is the meaning of this statement?
See Any Fish?
We can understand this by first looking into the difference between the physical
land and sea. When one looks at the sea, one sees nothing but the water that
covers the life within it. This is not the case with the land, which has
various kinds of animals, plants, and minerals that are clearly visible to
the naked eye.
Another difference between sea and land is that water creatures are, in general,
totally dependent on the water for their existence. A fish can only live
out of the water for a short time. Land creatures, however, do not need constant
contact with the land, and can therefore live in the air or elsewhere off
These two factors are in a way connected. Since a fish depends totally on
the water for its existence, it is virtually part of the water. This idea
is reflected in Jewish law regarding immersion in a mikvah. Although
the entire body being immersed must simultaneously come in contact with the
water, there is nevertheless an opinion that if one immerses in the ocean
and bumps into a fish the immersion is still valid, as the fish is considered
to be part of the water. The fact that, to our eyes, fish within the ocean
cannot be distinguished from the water further establishes this point.
The converse applies to the land. Since animals are not so dependent on the
land, they are considered separate from it. This is reflected in their
appearance: that they are clearly visible and distinct from the land.
Although we are speaking in physical terms, these concepts -- of being united
with one's life-source and of appearing to have an independent existence
-- are also applicable in the spiritual sense.
There are planes of spiritual existence, which are compared to the sea. In
these realms there is a greater measure of revealed G-dliness. The beings
in this realm feel closer to G-d, to the extent that they have no feeling
of independent existence.
Just as fish must be in the water to live, beings on this level feel that
their very existence is dependent on the G-dly spark that keeps them alive.
The only revealed existence is that of G-d, just as only the water is visible
in the sea.
On lower levels, though, G-dliness is not so revealed. There is not such
a feeling of total dependence on G-d; rather there is a feeling of self-reliance
and individuality. This corresponds to the independent nature of creatures
When "the sea was transformed into dry land," these two levels came together.
The closeness and nullification to G-d ("sea") was sensed even by the lower
worlds ("dry land").
This does not mean that after the sea was split, the spiritual effect then
followed. Since everything in the physical world derives from the spiritual,
the opposite is true. First there was the spiritual transformation, when
the lower levels were engulfed by the G-dly revelation of the "sea." Then,
in response, the physical realm experienced the splitting of the sea.
The Sea Within
Within the Jewish soul there are also deeper levels that are united with
G-d and rarely revealed ("sea") and lower levels in which the bond with G-d
is not as visible ("land").
When the Jewish people came to the Reed Sea, it did not split right away.
Only Nachshon ben Aminadav had the complete faith and self-sacrifice to jump
into the water. He was in fact almost completely under the water before it
In order to bring himself to this level of self-sacrifice, Nachshon had to
"split the sea" within himself; to reveal the inner, hidden dimensions of
his soul and bring them out into the realm of action. By accomplishing this
within himself, he effected a transformation of all the spiritual worlds
and the physical world as well. So, too, every individual has this ability
latent within, and by releasing it can effect miracles here in the physical
After the miraculous Splitting of the Reed Sea, as related in the Torah portion
that is read on the seventh day of Pesach, Moses leads the Jewish
men in singing their praises of G-d, and Miriam, the prophetess, leads the
women in their song of thanks.
The Torah tells us that the joy experienced by the women was far greater
than that of the men. "And all the women went out...with tambourines and
In fact, the Midrash relates that when the heavenly angels wanted to add
their voices to the "Song of the Splitting of the Reed Sea," G-d told them
that they must wait until the women had finished.
The exile in Egypt was much harsher for the Jewish women than for their husbands.
Of all Pharaoh's decrees against the Children of Israel, the most pitiless
was the one that broke every Jewish mother's heart: "Every son that is born
you shall throw into the river." The pain and suffering experienced by the
Jewish women was more intense than the hardships the men were forced to endure,
and when salvation came, the joy they felt was therefore greater as well.
The stories in the Torah teach us lessons that apply in all generations.
Pharaoh's decrees against the Jewish people have appeared again and again,
throughout history, in various forms. Their aim, however, has never changed.
The Egyptian Pharaoh sought to kill Jewish babies by drowning them in the
Nile; later despots sought to destroy Jewish souls in ways equally dangerous,
although not always as obvious.
In our days, when most Jews, thank G-d, live in relative safety and security,
the decrees of Pharaoh imperil the spiritual existence of the Jewish people.
"Pharaoh" rears his head in the guise of popular culture and the winds of
arbitrary and capricious conventional wisdom, which threaten to sever the
Jewish people from the eternal and timeless values of the Torah. "Pharaoh"
seeks to immerse and drown the minds of impressionable Jewish children in
the waters of whatever is, at the moment, trendy and fashionable.
The threat is not all that different from the one faced in Egypt, because
Jews cannot exist for long without their faith in G-d and the study of Torah.
Jewish children need a solid Jewish education to ensure the continuation
of our people.
Today, just as in Egypt, the main responsibility -- to safeguard our greatest
national treasure, our children, from negative influences -- lies with the
Jewish mother. Jewish women have, throughout the generations, been granted
the power to set the proper tone in the home and make it a place where their
children will flourish and grow up to be good Jews.
In this way Jewish women will see true satisfaction from their children and
merit to sing G-d's praises at the Final Redemption, speedily in our days.
Pesach is eight days long. The last two days of Pesach are
also Yom Tov.
The seventh day of Pesach commemorates the miracle of the "Splitting
of the Reed Sea," which completed the Redemption from Egypt.
On the eighth day of Pesach, Yizkor is recited after the Torah
Late afternoon, eat a Special Pesach Meal -- Moshiach's Seudah,
Pesach ends after nightfall on Tuesday, April 10. The actual
time is indicated on the Pesach Calendar, See below.
Wait one hour before eating chometz to allow
time for the rabbi to buy it back for you.
Until that time no chometz should be bought or
The Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Chassidism, instituted the custom of eating
a special third meal on the last day of Pesach late in the afternoon,
after Minchah, complete with matzah and wine.
This meal is known as the "Festive Meal of Moshiach," or Moshiach's
Seudah, for on this day the radiance of Moshiach is openly revealed.
Also, it is intended to deepen our awareness of the imminence of the final
On this day, he said, one can actually feel the approach of Moshiach.
"Behold," says the verse in Song of Songs, "he is standing behind
our wall, watching through the windows, peering through the crevices . .
Beginning in the year 5666/1906, it became customary in Lubavitch for the
students of the Lubavitcher yeshivah to eat their Pesach meals
together in the study hall. That year, the fifth Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe,
Rabbi Sholom Dov Ber, known as the Rebbe Rashab, joined the students
for the third festive meal of the last day of Pesach, and directed
that each of them be given four cups of wine.
The Rebbe once commented, that this was obviously intended to become an annual
Moshiach's Seudah was instituted on the eighth day of Pesach,
as the number eight is connected to the Redemption (being one more than seven
-- symbolic of the natural order) and the Haftorah read on the eighth
day of Pesach contains many of the Messianic prophecies.
One might ask, what is the point of eating an actual, physical meal that
relates to the subject of Moshiach? This festive meal causes the image and
the feeling of the future Redemption to penetrate not only all the faculties
of a person's soul, including his capacity for action, but his physical body
as well -- by means of the physical food that becomes part of his very flesh
and blood. Partaking of this festive meal is intended to draw down the radiance
of Moshiach into every aspect of one's daily life throughout the year.
This simply means -- as an anticipatory echo of how the world will appear
after the Redemption -- that holiness should permeate all of a person's
activities, including his physical activities, to the point that he is prepared
to sacrifice the innermost core of his soul. This is the yechida within
his soul, the element of Moshiach in his soul.
The Rebbe once explained, "The four cups of wine on the Seder night
are the cups of Moses our teacher; the four cups of wine at Seudat
Moshiach on the last day of Pesach are the cups of our righteous
* * *
Hundreds of Chabad-Lubavitch Centers around the world will be hosting the
traditional, mystical Moshiach's Seudah, on the last day of
To find out about a Moshiach's Seudah near you, call your local
Jewish Women and Girls Light Yom Tov
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:
Times shown are for Metro NY - NJ
Sunday, April 8:
Light Yom Tov Candles,(3) by 7:10 p.m.
Say blessing #1.
Monday, April 9:
Light Yom Tov Candles,(4) after nightfall, after
Say blessing #1.
Tuesday, April 10:
Yizkor memorial prayers.
Late afternoon, eat a Special Pesach Meal -- Moshiach's Seudah,
Pesach ends after nightfall, after 8:12 p.m.
Wait one hour before eating chometz to allow
time for the Rabbi to buy it back for you.
Until that time no chometz should be bought or
3. If lighting after sunset, light only from a preexisting flame.
A preexisting flame is a flame burning continuously since the onset of the
festival, such as a pilot light, gas or candle flame.
4. Do not light before the time indicated. Light only from
a preexisting flame.
After lighting the candles, recite:
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 Yom Tov.
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 Yom Tov light.
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:
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