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Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12
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The Daily Sicha (in Real Audio) - Listen to selected excerpts of the Rebbe's Sichos [talks]
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We are pleased to present, to the visually impaired and the blind, our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
It is with tremendous pain and sorrow that I dedicate this issue of Living With Moshiach to the loving memory of my dear cousin, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Kazen, founder and Director of Activities, of Chabad-Lubavitch in Cyberspace, who passed away, at the age of 44, on Tuesday, 12 Kislev, 5759 (Dec. 1, 1998).
In this week's issue, we focus on the auspicious date of Yud Daled Kislev, the 14th day of Kislev. This year's Yud Daled Kislev marks the 70th wedding anniversary of the Rebbe and Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka.
The Jewish year that has just begun is the year 5759 since Creation. The Hebrew letters are Hei-Tav-Shin-Nun-Tes. Over a decade ago, in the year 5742, the Rebbe stated that the Hebrew letters for that year were an acronym for "This should be the year of the coming of Moshiach."
Since that time, the Rebbe has publicized a phrase describing the year according to the acronym of its Hebrew letters. This year has been designated by the Rebbe's followers as "Hoyo T'hei Shnas Niflaos Tovoh" meaning "It surely will be a good year of wondrous miracles."
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
12 Kislev, 5759
Brooklyn, New York
This week's Torah portion is Vayishlach. The 19th of the month of Kislev, which occurs this coming week,(1) is the date on which Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the first Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, and the founder of Chabad Chasidus, was liberated from prison. Known among Chasidim as the Festival of Liberation, it always falls out in close proximity to the week when Vayishlach is read. As nothing happens by chance, we must conclude that the Festival of Liberation is alluded to in Vayishlach.
The main idea of the 19th of Kislev is spreading the wellsprings of Chasidus outward. These wellsprings, the innermost part of Torah, must not remain at their source, but must flow outward and inundate even the lowest parts of the earth. Furthermore, not only must the waters of Chasidus be carried everywhere, but the wellsprings themselves must be conveyed to every single Jew, no matter where he is.
The 19th of Kislev teaches us the necessity of bringing the life-giving waters of Torah, and particularly the inner part of Torah as expounded in Chasidus, to every Jew.
The name of this week's portion, Vayishlach, means "And he sent." A shliach, an emissary (from the same root as vayishlach), is a person who is dispatched in the sender's stead; moreover, "a person's emissary is just like him." In other words, when an emissary is sent to a certain place to carry out his mission, it is the same as if the sender himself has made the journey.
This concept of "spreading the wellsprings outward" is expressed in the word "vayishlach," the name of our Torah portion. The wellsprings must not stay at their source, but must be sent ever outward to reach as many people as possible.
The concept of Vayishlach exists in every age and in every generation. G-d "sends" the soul down from the celestial spheres to be enclothed within a corporeal body, to enable the person to serve G-d within the context of the physical world. This shlichus (mission) began with Adam and Chava (Eve), and is continued by their descendants.
The phenomenon of sending emissaries has existed throughout the generations. We find that many Torah giants sent shluchim to carry out various holy missions.
The concept of shlichus was further emphasized by the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Chasidus and his spiritual "descendants," especially Rabbi Shneur Zalman and his successors; they, in turn, entrusted every Jew with the holy mission of "spreading the wellsprings outward."
In fact, the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, declared that shlichus is the unique mitzvah of our generation. Every Jew must be a shliach to spread the wellsprings of Torah and Judaism wherever he or she goes. This is the unique role of our generation.
1. On Tuesday, Dec. 8. Ed.
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.
Thursday, the 14th of Kislev (Dec. 3), is the 70th wedding anniversary of the Rebbe and Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka. Therefore we share excerpts from the diary of a yeshivah student of that time about this event:
"The good news that the marriage of the Previous Rebbe's daughter, Chaya Mushka, to the Rebbe would take place in Warsaw brought great joy to all. . . .
"The hall was silent as the Previous Rebbe began a discourse before the wedding ceremony: 'It is well known that at the time of a wedding, the souls of the ancestors of the couple from three generations back come to bless the couple. There are times, though, that ancestors from even earlier generations come. As an invitation to our holy Rebbes and ancestors, I will say a discourse that contains within it teachings from each of them.'. . .
"Following this introduction, the Previous Rebbe began a chasidic discourse. . . . Then they went to the chupah, which was in the yeshivah's courtyard. Over 5,000 people were in the courtyard.
"The wedding feast was in one of the largest halls in Warsaw and the Previous Rebbe walked among the tables and said 'l'chaim' to everyone. He delivered a talk to the yeshivah students and then afterwards danced with the administrators and teachers of the yeshivah. The Previous Rebbe then delivered another chasidic discourse that lasted until after midnight. Only then did all of the guests begin their meal.
"Far away, in the city of Dnepropetrovsk, the Rebbe's parents, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok(2) and Rebbetzin Chana(3) Schneerson, were celebrating with the people of their city. They had been forbidden by the government to attend the wedding of their eldest son. The entire night the festivities continued in their home."
Once, on his anniversary, the Rebbe said, "This is the time that I became connected to you--the chasidim." May everyone soon experience the complete connection to the Rebbe with the commencement of the messianic era.
2. See Living With Moshiach, Vol. 137
3. See Living With Moshiach, Vol. 142
Fourteen years ago, on Shabbat Parshat Pinchas, 5744/1984, the Rebbe spoke in a relatively unusual manner about his persistence and insistence on continuously discussing the coming of Moshiach. Let me share with you translated excerpts from that talk:
"Some people wonder: How can a person appear in public, week after week, and repeatedly speak on one subject--the coming of Moshiach?
"Furthermore, that person always stresses that he is not just speaking of the concept, but of the actual coming of Moshiach, here on this physical earth, and immediately, this very day. On each occasion he instructs those gathered to sing 'May the Holy Temple be rebuilt speedily in our days,' emphasizing that 'speedily in our days' should not be understood as 'speedily, tomorrow,' but as 'speedily, today'!
"Certainly, every Jew believes that Moshiach can come at any moment--after all, 'I await his coming every day' is one of the fundamental principles of Judaism. Still, they wonder, to believe that Moshiach will come at this very moment is hardly consistent with the reality of our lives. So why does this man speak incessantly about it, on every occasion, and with such single-minded intensity, as if to force the idea into the minds of his listeners?
"Their conclusion is that all this is a nice dream, nice, but not very realistic. So what is the point of speaking so much about one's dreams?
"Chasidic philosophy explains that our current state of exile is like a dream; in a dream one's sense of perception can tolerate the most contradictory and irrational things.
"In other words, our current 'reality' is a dream, while the world of Moshiach is the true reality. In a single moment, we can all wake up from the dream of exile and open our eyes to the true reality of our existence--the perfect world of Moshiach. Everyone present in this room can immediately awaken himself from his dream, so that today, Shabbat Parshat Pinchas, 5744, before we even say the afternoon prayers, in fact this very moment, we all open our eyes and see Moshiach, in the flesh, with us, here in this room."
May the Rebbe's words of fourteen years ago, and his prophetic promise of seven years ago, that "the time of our Redemption has arrived," be fulfilled immediately.
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.
Gatherings should be held in every Jewish community, in honor of 19 Kislev--the "New Year of Chasidus" and anniversary of the liberation of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the first Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe.
Participate in as many gatherings as you can. They needn't be huge assemblies; begin with yourself (i.e., a gathering of one's own strengths and powers for good).
At these gatherings an emphasis should be placed on inspiring each other to increase in Torah, prayer and deeds of kindness.
(The Rebbe, 16 Kislev, 5752/1991)
For a Yud Tes Kislev gathering in your area, contact your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center.
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:
In the USA, call: 1-800-Lubavitch (1-800-582-2848).
Friday, Dec. 4, Erev Shabbat Parshat Vayishlach:
Saturday, Dec. 5, Shabbat Parshat Vayishlach:
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.
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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