"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Emor, 5759
Iyar 14, 5759
April 30, 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:
1) Yud Gimel Iyar, the 13th of Iyar.
2) Pesach Sheni, the 14th 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
2 Iyar, 5759
Brooklyn, New York
In this week's Torah portion, Emor, we are enjoined concerning counting
the Omer: "And you shall count for yourselves from the morrow after
the Shabbat, from the day that you brought the sheaf--omer--of
the waving; there shall be seven complete weeks."
After the Exodus from Egypt the Jews were so eager to receive the Torah that
they counted the days remaining to that great event. This was a prelude to
the precept of "Counting the Omer" which they received later at Mount
The counting of the Omer has always remained a preparation to receiving
the Torah; when the 49 days of the Omer come to an end, the festival
of Shavuot--celebrating the giving of the Torah--follows immediately.
The connection of Counting the Omer with the Giving of the Torah finds
expression in the idea that both stress the individual. Each person,
individually, must count the days of the Omer period as opposed to
the communal counting of the Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles (each 7th year
was the Sabbatical Year, each 50th year was the Jubilee Year). In the Jubilee
and Sabbatical year a number of special laws apply, and the mitzvah
of counting the 7-and 50-year cycles was performed by the Jewish Court on
behalf of all Jews. In contrast, the Omer is counted by each person
In similar fashion, the giving of the Torah was not only a communal, collective
experience; the Al-mighty addressed each and every individual separately:
"I am G-d your G-d." In Hebrew there are two ways of saying "Your G-d," the
singular and the plural. Yet, when G-d addressed the entire Jewish nation,
several million in number, the singular form was used. To each one of Israel
individually the Al-mighty gave the Torah; to each He commanded that they
study and fulfill the mitzvot. And to each He infused Divinely-granted
strength and ability to fulfill the Torah.
The lesson from this week's Torah portion and Counting the Omer is
clear: Each day counts; each Jew counts; each mitzvah counts.
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.
Thursday, Iyar 13 (April 29), is the 47th yahrtzeit of
the Rebbe's youngest brother, Rabbi Yisroel Aryeh Leib.
The following is a brief biography, written by Rabbi Shimon Silman.
Rabbi Yisroel Aryeh Leib (known affectionately as "Reb Leibel") was a Torah
scholar of the highest caliber. He was a fascinating personality, totally
devoted to the study of Chasidus, which he learned with legendary
As a young man, Reb Leibel was a member of the household of the Previous
Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, in Petersburg for several years.
He was very popular among the chasidim, who approached him with difficult
questions in Talmud and Chasidus. At that time he began studying
mathematics in the academies of Petersburg where he organized groups of Jewish
youth to learn Torah and observe mitzvot.
In the 1940s, Reb Leibel moved to Israel and married. He continued his research
of mathematics and spent long nights studying Chasidus.
In 1948 he accepted a position in the Department of Theoretical Physics of
the University of Liverpool in England. In this position he continued his
research in mathematics and theoretical physics until he passed away on 13
Iyar, 5712/1952. He is buried in Safed, Israel.
Pesach Sheni, means the "Second Passover," and is observed one month
after the first Passover.
Until the destruction of the Holy Temple, any Jew unable to bring the Passover
sacrifice on the 14th of Nissan--either because he was ritually impure,
in a distant place, was prevented by unavoidable circumstances, or even if
he intentionally did not bring it--could bring it on the 14th of Iyar.
Pesach Sheni was instituted the year after the Jews left Egypt while
they were still in the desert. Before Passover of that year, G-d again commanded
our ancestors to bring the special Pascal sacrifice. However, some of the
Jews had become ritually impure in their desert travels and thus were not
permitted to bring the offering.
They protested and posed a question to Moses and Aaron, crying: "Why are
we kept back, that we may not offer the offering of the L-rd in its appointed
season among the children of Israel?" And G-d told Moses that all those who
were unable to bring the offering on Passover could bring it one month later.
This date became known as the Second Passover.
They could have left well enough alone. After all, our Sages have taught,
"If a person intended to perform a mitzvah and circumstances prevented
him from it, it is regarded as if he had performed it!" Since they were forcibly
kept from performing the mitzvah, they were still rightfully entitled
to its reward.
But that wasn't enough for them. And due to their protest and great desire
to fulfill this mitzvah to its fullest potential, they and all future
generations were rewarded with "Pesach Sheni."
The complaint of the Jews to Moses and Aaron, "Why are we kept back..." teaches
us an important lesson in how we are to approach those mitzvot that
we currently can not perform because we are still in exile.
Why, G-d, are we kept back from offering the sacrifices in their right time?
Why are we kept back from seeing Your glory revealed?
Why are we kept back from performing each mitzvah to its optimum,
as each mitzvah is incomplete while we are in exile?
Let us also not be content with the words of our Sages, that if we desire
to perform these mitzvot it is enough. Like the Jews in the desert,
let us rally together and cry out to G-d, "Why are we kept back...bring the
true and ultimate Redemption that You promised us!"
And may G-d immediately heed our heartfelt cries as He did those of our
Friday, Iyar 14 (April 30), is Pesach Sheni, the "Second Passover."
It is customary on Pesach Sheni to eat matzah (together with
bread), in commemoration of the day.
The Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, wrote: "The theme of
Pesach Sheni is that it is never too late! It is always possible
to put things right. Even if one was ritually impure, or far away, and even
in a case when this impurity or distance was deliberate--nonetheless it can
It's never too late! We can always make up for a past misdeed, omission
or failing through sincere desire and making amends.
It's never too late! What an inspiring and optimistic thought! There's
always a chance to improve, to become better, to learn and do.
This is truly a motto worth memorizing (and hanging on the refrigerator).
Rather than muttering about yourself or another person, "You can't teach
an old dog new tricks," realize that it's never too late.
You didn't put on tefillin yesterday? Today's a new day and it's never
You didn't light candles for Shabbat last Friday night? Do it this
week; it's never too late.
You never went to Hebrew school, so you can't read Hebrew? Enroll in an adult
education course; it's never too late.
You never knew that Judaism had so much to offer? Now that you know, do something
about it, because it's never too late!
by Rabbi Bentzion Grossman
To those who live in Jerusalem, Rabbi Eliezer Chaim Streicher is a familiar
figure. Rabbi Streicher is known for his unwavering trust that G-d will come
to his assistance when he is in need. Many stories are told about the salvation
that came to him in the nick of time.
As a young man, Reb Eliezer Chaim learned in a yeshivah, where he
devoted himself to Torah study day and night. After he was married he began
to search for a job, but could not find a suitable position.
After consulting with several friends, they all told him that it was easier
to make a living in the United States, he decided to move to New York. The
young couple relocated to the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, and Reb Eliezer
Chaim found a job without difficulty.
However, with every passing day, Reb Eliezer Chaim found that he had less
time to devote to his beloved Torah studies and spiritual pursuits.
It became obvious to Reb Eliezer Chaim that he had to make a decision about
where his life was going. He was hesitant to leave his job and return to
full-time Torah study. And yet...
With these thoughts going through his mind, Reb Eliezer Chaim went to pray
in a small shul that he did not usually frequent. He came across a
book that spoke about the importance of trusting in G-d. A person who has
trust, the author wrote, can be assured that G-d will never abandon him wherever
The book made a strong impression on Reb Eliezer Chaim, and he decided that
from that day on he would rely on the beneficence of G-d. With his wife's
approval, he left his job and began to study Torah full-time in a
kollel--a yeshivah for married men.
He faith and trust in G-d, that the Al-mighty would provide him with his
livelihood from another source, was unshakable.
A few years passed and the Streichers decided to return to Israel where Reb
Eliezer Chaim would continue to devote his life to Torah study. Indeed, G-d
took care of the Streichers. Several friends helped them out and within a
short time of their return to Israel the couple was settled in a furnished
apartment in one of the religious neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
Years passed. Reb Eliezer Chaim found that he missed the insights and guidance
of the Rosh HaKollel, dean of the kollel, in New York. He decided
that he would travel to New York for a short while to see him. Again, G-d
provided Reb Eliezer Chaim with the necessary airfare in the merit of his
Before leaving, however, Reb Eliezer Chaim consulted with his wife, in accordance
with the Talmud's instruction to obtain one's wife's permission before embarking
on a journey. She agreed, but on one condition: that he buys clothing for
their children when he was in Borough Park. They sat down and figured out
how much it would cost: $600 would cover everything. Of course, Reb Eliezer
Chaim had not a penny in his pocket when he set off, but he agreed to his
wife's condition; G-d would somehow provide.
Weeks passed, during which Reb Eliezer Chaim was happily and dilligently
studying in his former kollel in New York. In a few more days he was
scheduled to return to Israel; the clothing for his children had been completely
On the last day of his visit he suddenly recalled the promise he had made
to his wife. There were only a few hours left before he would have to take
a taxi to the airport. But what could he do? He still had no money; even
if he had, he would have been hard pressed to fit a shopping spree in. Reb
Eliezer Chaim put his trust in G-d and continued to learn.
Then the door to the study hall opened suddenly and Reb Eliezer Chaim looked
up from his book. At that hour the study hall was empty, except for the man
who was rapidly walking toward Reb Eliezer Chaim.
The stranger was smiling; from the way he was dressed it was obvious that
he was a Lubavitcher chasid. The man came over and placed his arm
on Reb Eliezer Chaim's shoulder. Reb Eliezer Chaim greeted him warmly and
asked, "What can I do for you?"
"The Lubavitcher Rebbe gave me this envelope and told me to deliver it to
the person I would find sitting and learning in this study hall." The man
handed Reb Eliezer Chaim the envelope and left.
When Reb Eliezer Chaim opened the envelope a small cry escaped his lips.
Inside was exactly $600.
Needless to say, Reb Eliezer Chaim made it to the airport on time, his suitcases
bulging with the clothing for his children that his wife had indicated.
Years later, Reb Eliezer Chaim was still shocked by what had occurred. "Why
are you so surprised?" I asked him when he told me the story. "Hadn't you
seen with your own eyes time and time again how G-d came to your assistance
whenever it was necessary?"
"Never mind that G-d knew about my problem and came to my aid," Reb Eliezer
Chaim replied. "That I can understand. But how did the Lubavitcher Rebbe
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.
Enroll your child in a Torah Summer Camp
The Rebbe spoke many times about the unique learning opportunity for Jewish
children afforded by the months of summer vacation. Without the pressures
of tests, homework, etc., children enrolled in camps permeated with a Torah
atmosphere eagerly learn about their heritage and are instilled with pride
in being Jewish. Creative methods are used to make Judaism come alive. The
soul is nourished as the body and mind are strengthened through sports, crafts,
If you don't have camp-age children, help sponsor a child in a Torah camp.
Call your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center for more information.
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 30, Erev Shabbat Parshat Emor:
Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 7:31 p.m.
Saturday, May 1, Shabbat Parshat Emor:
On Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, we read Chapter 4 of
Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot).
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 8:36 p.m.
1. 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.