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Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12
Click here, to see pictures of the Rebbe
We are pleased to present, to the visually impaired and the blind, the 102nd issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
Passover is less then 30 days away. To help you prepare, this week's issue focuses on 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, 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
9 Adar II, 5757
Brooklyn, New York
In this week's Torah portion, Tzav, we read the verse: "A perpetual fire shall always be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out." The priests in the Holy Temple were required to light a fire upon the altar in preparation for the G-dly fire which descended from Above to consume the sacrifices. Without this preparation, the G-dly fire would not come down from heaven.
The fire that descended from Above came from G-d. Thus, unlike a fire that is kindled by human beings, it was unlimited in nature. Human beings, by contrast, are finite creatures; their abilities are likewise limited. Nonetheless, the priests had to first invest their own efforts in order for the G-dly, infinite fire to descend from on high. Thus we see that the service of limited, finite creations is a necessary condition to attain a level that transcends limitation.
When a person does all he is capable of doing, G-d grants him additional powers from Above. He becomes a "perpetual fire that burns always," enabling him to transcend his natural limitations.
Every Jew possesses an inner, spiritual "Holy Temple" in which G-d's Presence dwells, as it states, "I will dwell in their midst." When a Jew invests the maximum amount of effort in kindling his spiritual flame, he merits a G-dly fire to descend from Above--the bestowal of additional powers and an infinite abundance of blessing.
What is the spiritual fire that burns in the inner Sanctuary of every Jew? None other than the warmth and enthusiasm he feels in his service of G-d. In the spiritual sense, observing the Torah and its commandments with enthusiasm is the equivalent of lighting a fire in one's inner Sanctuary.
This vitality must extend to all three dimensions of Torah and mitzvot: the study of Torah, the service of prayer, and the performance of good deeds.
Torah: Learning Torah at fixed times is not enough if there is no enduring connection to the Torah throughout the day. Torah study must be so intense and vital to the Jew that it permeates his being and surrounds him constantly.
Prayer: A person mustn't pray by rote or simply out of habit. Indeed, the service of prayer is "the supplication for mercy and entreaty before G-d."
Good deeds: G-d's commandments are not to be performed merely to discharge our obligation. Rather, we must always endeavor to observe them in the most beautiful manner and to the best of our ability.
When a Jew does the above with enthusiasm, the fire he kindles upon his inner altar is whole. Such a person will merit that G-d's fire--an unlimited fire--will descend from Above, and he will see G-d's blessing in everything.
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.
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 Rebbe's slogan is: "The main thing is the deed." Hence, we present suggestions from the Rebbe's talks of what we can do to complete the Rebbe's work of bringing the Redemption.
"Purim is thirty days before Passover. As Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi writes in his Code of Jewish Law, thirty days before Passover, we should begin studying the laws of the holiday.
"Similarly, since the celebration of the Passover holiday involves many expenses, it is proper that efforts be made to provide everyone who lacks with their Passover needs.
"Although there are organizations involved with these activities throughout the entire year, there must be an increase in these efforts in connection with the Passover holidays, providing them with both food and clothing so that they can celebrate the holiday in an ample manner, as befits 'free people.'"
(The Rebbe, 16 Adar, 5751)
JEWISH WOMEN AND GIRLS LIGHT SHABBAT CANDLES
* For local candle lighting times, consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch
Center, or call: (718) 774-3000.
* For a free candle lighting kit, contact your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center.
* For a listing of the Centers in your area, call: 1-800-Lubavitch (1-800-582-2848).
Friday, Mar. 28, Erev Shabbat Parshat Tzav:
Saturday, Mar. 29, Shabbat Parshat Tzav:
*. 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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