"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Acharei-Kedoshim, 5759
Iyar 7, 5759
April 23, 1999
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"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, our weekly
publication, Living With Moshiach.
This week's issue focuses on, Beis Iyar, the 2nd of Iyar.
This Jewish year, 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
publication, published by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, for allowing
us to use their material.
Also, many thanks to our copy editor, Reb
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
28 Nissan, 5759
Brooklyn, New York
In the first of this week's two Torah portions, Acharei, the Torah
states: "You shall therefore keep my statutes and my laws...and live in
them." The following anecdote, about Rebbetzin Rivka, grandmother of
the previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, concerns G-d's exhortation
to "live in them."
When the Rebbetzin was a young woman, she became ill. The doctor advised
her to eat immediately upon awakening, but she did not want to eat before
saying the morning prayers. So, she awoke very early, said her morning prayers
and then ate breakfast. This regime obviously did not help her regain her
Her father-in-law, the third Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Menachem Mendel,
known as the "Tzemach Tzedek," told her: A Jew must be healthy and
strong. With respect to mitzvot, the Torah says, 'And you shall live
in them,' which means you should bring life into the mitzvot. In order
to bring life into mitzvot you must be strong. Better to eat for
the sake of praying than pray for the sake of eating."
Most human affairs can be grouped into two categories: "praying," which
encompasses the study of Torah, prayer, and the performance of all types
of mitzvot; and "eating"--things we do for ourselves, either to satisfy
an essential human need or to accommodate a desire which appears to be essential.
"Better to eat for the sake of praying than pray for the sake of
There are three patterns of "eating and praying."
A person could separate these two types of activities completely.
During Torah study, prayer or performance of mitzvot, he is completely
on a spiritual plane. One would think that worldly matters are of absolutely
no concern to him. But later, when this person is involved in material pursuits
such as business or eating, there is no semblance remaining of sanctity,
spirituality and refinement.
A second type of person really does relate "eating" with "praying." He follows
the Code of Jewish Law with scrupulous care, but is motivated by a desire
to fulfill a certain "appetite." He knows that ultimately he must answer
to a higher authority and the way to earn his reward is to obey the Master's
laws. His worship is really a deposit into an account that will pay off sometime
in the future. This is "praying for the sake of eating"-i.e., to fill a hunger,
The ideal pattern is to eat for the sake of praying--everything
must be focused toward sanctity.
If he becomes wealthy he knows that possessions alone are not life's aim.
Rather, the wealth is provided so that he can study Torah with a tranquil,
untroubled mind, so that he can perform mitzvot on a broad scale,
and so that he can give charity generously.
Even this is not enough. As a wealthy man he is in a position to influence
others. When a rich man does something, people imitate him. If the wealthy
person observes Shabbat, sends his children to a Jewish school, gives
charity generously, everyone will follow suit (even if only because they
think these are the ways they might become wealthy themselves).
This is the inner meaning of "eating" for the sake of "praying." All of our
affairs and needs related to "eating" must exist for the sake of "praying"
(which encompasses mitzvot) in order to "live in them"--to bring vitality
into Torah and mitzvot.
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
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.
The Rebbe has spoken often of how important the Land of Israel is to the
Jewish people.(1) At a gathering in 5750/1990 the Rebbe
spoke about the importance of maintaining possession of every inch of the
"Just as the Jews are G-d's chosen people, Eretz Yisrael [the Land
of Israel] is G-d's chosen land, a holy land given to the Jewish people,
those living on the land at present, and those who are presently living in
"No one is entitled to give up any portion of Eretz Yisrael to gentiles.
Maintaining possession of these lands is the only path to peace. Succumbing
to the pressure to surrender them will only invite additional pressure, weakening
the security of the Jewish people and exposing them to danger. Heaven forbid
that the government in Eretz Yisrael should consider surrendering
any portion of Eretz Yisrael that G-d has granted us."
The Rebbe's approach to Eretz Yisrael could almost be described as
that of "L'chatchila Ariber." L'chatchila Ariber means, "to begin
with, go over."
This concept was innovated by the fourth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi
Shmuel, known as the Rebbe Maharash, whose birthday is celebrated
on Sunday, Iyar 2 (April 18).
The approach of L'chatchila Ariber teaches that if we come upon an
obstacle to a task we are involved in, or an obstacle to a mitzvah
or project or good deed which comes our way (or we pursue), we should overcome
the obstacle in the most direct manner. The Rebbe Maharash explained
that while some people propose that when confronted with an obstacle the
best route is to go around, or under it--l'chatchila ariber--from
the start, go over it.
In these auspicious days of the Rebbe Maharash's birthday and the
Shabbat following it, may our pursuit of Torah and mitzvot
be in a manner of "l'chatchila ariber." Surely this fortitude and
persistence will have its desired effect, true peace in the Land of Israel,
and throughout the entire world, with the revelation of Moshiach, NOW!
* * *
The Rebbe Maharash mentioned this concept--which has been the constant
battle cry of Lubavitch outreach workers all over the world--in reference
to one who finds himself faced with an obstacle. "The whole world says, first
try to go under or around an obstacle. If this doesn't work, then go over
it," the Rebbe Maharash noted. "But I say, 'In the first place, go
over,'" he declared.
What does it mean to go over an obstacle right away rather than trying another
method to pass an obstruction? In confronting obstacles to all good endeavors,
one should take the most ambitious and aggressive approach. One cannot remain
passive, hoping that the situation will change by itself or that the obstruction
will magically disappear. It must be approached as a challenge. And, as such,
it should be afforded one's utmost attention and energy.
In addition, when working at overcoming obstacles, we have to keep uppermost
in our mind only positive thoughts and the image of the endeavor successfully
accomplished. For this, too, will aid in our ultimate triumph and success.
1. See "EYES UPON THE LAND" - The Territorial Integrity of
Israel: A Life Threatening Concern. Based on the Public Statements and Writings
of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, Adapted by Rabbi
Eliyahu Touger (1997: Sichos in English).
See also: REBBE'S VIEWS
The first of September (1996) was the date by which everything had to be
in place. The goal was to complete the new Chabad House that would provide
a home away from home for the Jewish students of Rutgers University. The
five-million-dollar building was almost complete, ready to house two dozen
women, provide kosher meals to thousands of students a week, and serve as
the center for the vibrant Jewish life that Chabad has built at Rutgers.
But Rabbi Yosef Carlebach, director of Chabad of Middlesex/Monmouth counties
in New Jersey, hada problem. In mid-July he was still eight hundred thousand
dollars short of the money he needed to raise to complete the project and
get the building open.
By the end of August, the situation looked pretty bleak, indeed. The contractor
had walked off the job and wouldn't return unless more money was forth coming.
However, there was still a good deal of work left to do before the certificate
of occupancy could be issued, and the mortgages could be obtained.
Rabbi Carlebach had called Rabbi Leibel Groner, from the Rebbe's secretariat,
who had spoken at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Chabad House, for some
more leads. But Rabbi Groner was unable to help.
Rabbi Carlebach continued to pray at the ohel twice a week, as he
had been doing all summer. The frustration and stress of the situation were
taking its toll, as was evidenced late one Sunday afternoon when Rabbi Carlebach,
in the midst of making calls to solicit funds, fell asleep with the phone
cradled in his hand.
Moments, or maybe hours later, the shrill of the telephone jarred him awake.
It was Rabbi Groner, asking how much money was needed to complete the
mikvah in the Chabad House.
"Forty thousand dollars," was Rabbi Carlebach's response.
Rabbi Groner called back Monday morning with good news.
A New York business man might be able to help. Time was of the essence so
Rabbi Carlebach called the man, Mr. A., and offered to drive into New York,
pick him up, and bring him out to the uncompleted Chabad House. Mr. A. agreed
and Rabbi Carlebach picked him up the following afternoon. Mr. A. sat quietly
for the whole drive.
As Rabbi Carlebach showed Mr. A. around the Chabad House, he seemed to be
only mildly interested. However, when the two men entered the area designated
to be the mikvah, Mr. A. just stood there and stared. Five minutes
passed, then ten. After fifteen minutes, Rabbi Carlebach told Mr. A. that
he would be upstairs saying the afternoon prayers. When Rabbi Carlebach finished
praying, he heard Mr. A. downstairs, talking excitedly to someone on his
Later, on the way back to New York, Mr. A. explained his strange behavior
to the rabbi.
Mr. A. was born in Russia, and his family had moved to Israel when he was
a child. There was very little money, and Lubavitch in Israel had taken care
of the family's material and spiritual needs.
As a young man Mr. A. had come to the United States and started a business.
From the moment he had set foot in this country, he had maintained close
contact with the Rebbe. Every step he took, in his business or personal life,
he kept the Rebbe informed. When he had started his business, he had written
to the Rebbe for a blessing and had committed himself to observe the
mitzvah that requires giving one tenth of one's earnings to
tzedakah (charity). Over time his venture had been blessed with success.
A few years ago, his wife had given birth to a baby boy weighing only two
pounds, three ounces. The doctors were not certain that the baby would survive.
If he did he might never see or speak. Mr. and Mrs. A. had asked the Rebbe
for a blessing for their son. The Rebbe assured them that the baby would
develop normally, and he did.
In the past few months, however, the doctor noticed that the boy's muscles
weren't developing correctly, and that he might not walk properly. Mr. A.
went to the ohel to pray for the health of his son.
Soon afterwards, he had a puzzling, yet fascinating dream. He dreamt that
he approached the Rebbe for a blessing, and the Rebbe told him to follow
the instructions of Rabbi Groner and then to come back to the Rebbe. Rabbi
Groner told him to go and inspect a mikvah. In his dream he watched
himself go to a mikvah, and, seeing that it was still not completed,
grew more and more angry, wondering how could it be that here in America
there could be a mikvah that cannot be finished?
When Mr. A. awoke, the dream came back to him in bits and pieces. When he
recalled the dream in its entirety, he checked with his accountant and
ascertained that, in accordance with his customary charitable giving, he
had fallen behind in the amount of $40,000. Mr. A. told his brother about
the dream and that he was going to Rabbi Groner. If Rabbi Groner told him
of a mikvah that needed somewhere around $40,000 to be completed,
he would know his dream was true.
While Mr. A. was in his office, Rabbi Groner called Rabbi Carlebach. When
Rabbi Groner turned around to tell Mr. A. that the mikvah needed $40,000
to be completed, he saw Mr. A.'s face turn white.
And now, when Mr. A. arrived at the Chabad House, he was amazed to find that
the unfinished mikvah looked exactly as it had in his dream.
On Thursday Mr. A. brought Rabbi Groner the $40,000. Although it was 10:30
p.m., Rabbi Groner called Rabbi Carlebach who immediately drove into New
York to pick up the money.
The next day, Rabbi Carlebach had a meeting with the contractor and the workers
at 8:00 a.m. The meeting did not go well and the contractor got up to leave.
Rabbi Carlebach stopped him on his way out and handed him the envelope,
containing the money, from Mr. A. When the contractor realized that there
were immediate funds available, and, even moreso, after hearing the story
of the dream, he ordered his workers back to the site and before long the
work was completed. The following Friday, the city officials and the board
of health gave the building a "thumbs up." That night, hundreds of Jewish
students were able to celebrate Shabbat in the new Chabad House.
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.
Study Ethics of the Fathers
We read one chapter of Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot) each
Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, because these are the days
leading up to the Giving of the Torah and Pirkei Avot contain ethics
and moral exhortations to help us improve ourselves so that we are worthy
of the Torah.
The Rebbe emphasized the importance of not only reciting the chapters, but
also actually studying them.
The weekly chapter of Pirkei Avot with the Rebbe's commentaries, are
available electronically via the Internet, by sending your subscription request
to: firstname.lastname@example.org - Subscribe
Jewish Women and Girls Light Shabbat
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).
Times shown are for Metro NY - NJ
Friday, April 23, Erev Shabbat Parshat
Light Shabbat Candles,(2) by 7:24 p.m.
Saturday, April 24, Shabbat Parshat
On Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, we read Chapter 3 of
Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot).
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 8:28 p.m.
2. 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
"Let There Be
Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide to Lighting Shabbat Candles.