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Parshat Korach, 5759

Tamuz 4, 5759
June 18, 1999

The Third of Tamuz


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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] 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 Gimel Tamuz, the 3rd of Tamuz, Thursday, June 17.


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 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

29 Sivan, 5759
Brooklyn, New York

Adapted from a Letter of the Rebbe

Gimel Tamuz, 5710/1950

. . . Many seek to explain the qualities and greatness of the Chabad Rebbes in general, and in particular the Rebbe of our generation, my father-in-law, of blessed memory, in various areas: as a man of self-sacrifice, of Torah genius, of lofty character, a tzaddik, of prophetic ability, a miracle-worker, etc., etc.

These qualities are further magnified when viewed in the light of chasidic teaching, which explains what is true Torah genius, and so on.

And yet, none of this addresses the primary quality of the Rebbe, a quality that is not only primary in essence, but which is most important to us, his chasidim and followers, namely the fact that he is a Nassi, and particularly a Chabad Nassi.

A Nassi, broadly defined, is a "head of the multitudes of Israel." He is their "head" and "mind," their source of life and vitality. Through their attachment to him, they are bound and united with their source on high.

There are several types of Nesi'im: those who supply their constituents with internalized nurture (penimiyut), and those whose nurture is of a more "encompassing" nature (makif). This is further divisible into the particulars of whether they impart the teaching of the "revealed" part of Torah, or the esoteric part of the Torah, or both together; whether they offer guidance in the service of G-d and the ways of chasidim; whether they draw down material provision, and so on.

There are also Nesi'im who are channels in several of these areas or even in all of them.

Such was the nature of the leadership of the Nesi'im of Chabad, from the Alter Rebbe to and including my father in law, who embraced all these categories and areas: they nurtured their chasidim in both the "internal" and the "encompassing" qualities of their souls; in Torah, divine service and good deeds; in spirit and in body. Thus, their bond with those connected with them was in all 613 limbs and organs of their souls and bodies.

Each and every one of us must know--that is, dwell and implant the awareness in his or her mind--that the Rebbe is our Nassi and head: that he is the source and channel for all our material and spiritual needs, and that it is through our bond with him (and he has already instructed us in his letters how and by what means this bond is achieved)(1) that we are bound and united with our source, and the source of our source, up to our ultimate source on high.


1. "You ask how you can be bound to me when I do not know you personally...

"...The true bond is created by studying Torah. When you study my discourses, read the talks and associate with those dear to me... and you fulfill my request... in this is the bond." ("Hayom Yom"--"From Day To Day," 24 Sivan).

See also below Living With The Rebbe Today! 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.


"Some people are apprehensive about having the Redemption arrive so suddenly. What will come of all the businesses that they have set up, the property and possessions they have accumulated, the friendships and the contacts that have been established, and so on?

"They need not worry. The Redemption does not imply the annulment of the natural order nor the loss of the good things that came into being (in the spirit of the Torah) during the exile. Indeed, these very things will be comprised in the Redemption, and will be elevated to a state of Redemption, to the level of their true consummation."

(The Rebbe, 5751/1991)


The Rebbe taught that a true connection to the Rebbe comes through studying the Rebbe's teachings. Dozens of the Rebbe's works are available in English. You can log onto the Rebbe's teachings on the Internet at http://www.chabad.org. And, of course, continue to read Living With Moshiach, and share it with friends.


This date itself, while ingrained in the minds of Lubavitcher chasidim around the globe, has significance for all Jews and, indeed the entire world population.

Although we have not seen the Rebbe with our physical eyes since Gimel Tamuz five years ago, his presence in the lives of his hundreds of thousands of chasidim and millions of admirers is evident. And the Rebbe's involvement in the thousands of institutions he established, and the hundreds of institutions set up since Gimel Tamuz five years ago, is palpable.

Gimel Tamuz, Thursday, June 17, is the third day in the Hebrew month of Tamuz. The number three has much significance in Jewish teachings. Our Sages teach that the world stands on three pillars: Torah study, prayer, and acts of kindness. In addition, they teach that the tzaddik is the foundation of the entire world.

What has been the thrust of the Rebbe, the foundation of the world, in his over four decades of leadership? As is well known to our readers, since the Rebbe's acceptance of the mantle of leadership he stated clearly the purpose of our generation, the seventh generation (since the inception of Chabad Chasidism), is to bring the Redemption.

And since then, the Rebbe has elucidated how we can accomplish this in a threefold campaign: through Torah study, prayer, and acts of kindness:

Our Torah study should be increased in all areas of Jewish knowledge in general, chasidic philosophy in particular, and specifically those matters found everywhere in Jewish teachings that deal with Moshiach and the Redemption.

Our prayers should be suffused with heartfelt requests of G-d to bring the Redemption, crying out, "How much longer?" and even to the point of demanding the Redemption (as explained by the Chofetz Chaim).

Lastly, through love of our fellow Jew in general and even simple acts of kindness and good deeds, we can prepare ourselves for the Redemption and hasten its inception.

May we be together with the Rebbe this year on Gimel Tamuz, not just "feeling" his presence but actually seeing the Rebbe, a soul in a physical body, leading us to the Holy Land and ushering in the complete and eternal Redemption.


According to Jewish thought, especially as elucidated in the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, nothing in this world happens by chance; everything--even the movement of a blade of grass--is governed by Divine Providence. Additionally, a tzaddik, a wholly righteous person, has Divine powers of insight and far-reaching vision that allow him to see that which is unseen or not yet visible to the untrained eye.

What can we glean from the Rebbe's very own thoughts on Gimel Tamuz?

In the book Hayom Yom (From Day To Day, which the Rebbe compiled on the instructions of his father-in-law from the teachings of the previous Rebbes), the quote the Rebbe included for Gimel Tamuz, 5703/1943, reads: "A Jewish groan that, G-d forbid, arises from physical misfortune, is also a great repentance; how much more so, then, is a groan arising from spiritual distress, a lofty and effective repentance. The groan pulls him out of the depths of evil and places him on a firm footing in the realm of good."

The Rebbe was assuring us, even then, that our groans resulting from that date, rather than paralyzing us, would ultimately point us in the right direction and inspire us to rededicate ourselves to the Rebbe's goal of bringing the revelation of Moshiach and the Redemption.

In a letter dated Gimel Tamuz, 5710/1950, five months after the passing of the Previous Rebbe, the Rebbe described what a Rebbe is.(2)

On Gimel Tamuz, 5751/1991--the last time the Rebbe spoke on that date until we are once more reunited--the Rebbe discussed two historical events that occurred on Gimel Tamuz.

The more recent event was in 5687/1927, when the Previous Rebbe was released from Soviet prison and exiled to Kostrama for three years. Before his release to internal exile he had been sentenced to death.

Thousands of years earlier, Gimel Tamuz was the day on which Joshua beseeched G-d to allow the sun to stand still in the sky so as to be able to continue the Jewish people's battle against the enemy and be victorious.

The Rebbe notes, in the talk of eight years ago, that both of these events were miracles, but miracles that occurred within the realm of nature rather than totally outside of nature. The Rebbe connects these points to an event in the weekly Torah portion of that year, which was the portion of Korach.

In Korach we read of G-d's command to Moses to take the staffs of princes of the 12 tribes, including that of Aaron the Kohen Gadol (High Priest), and to place them overnight in the Tent of Meeting. The staff that is rejuvenated, G-d informs Moses, will be the one belonging to the family that rightfully serves as priests. This miracle, G-d assures Moses, will surely end the complaints of the Jewish people against Moses and Aaron. Aaron's staff sprouted, blossomed and even bore fruit. And the staff became an eternal sign to the Jewish people of the validity of the priesthood being with Aaron and his descendants.

As we await the immediate revelation of the Rebbe, may we all sincerely attempt to implement the Rebbe's call to all men, women and children of our generation to "do everything you can to bring Moshiach in actuality!" and to fulfill our last communal mission in this pre-Redemption world, "to prepare ourselves and the entire world to greet our righteous Moshiach!"


2. See above The Rebbe Is The "Head", for an adaptation from the original Hebrew.


The Rebbe's followers, admirers, even people who have had only casual interaction with the Rebbe, are still "living with the Rebbe," following his directives, turning to him for advice, asking for his blessings.

How is this being done?

Studying the Rebbe's teachings is one of the most important and basic ways to live with the Rebbe. The Rebbe often quoted the Previous Rebbe's letters, which explain that a true connection with the Rebbe is attained only by studying the teachings of the Rebbe. The Rebbe clarified, though: "Most certainly the Rebbe is a tzaddik who bestows blessings; G-d surely fulfills his blessings to the utmost, to each and every individual, according to his need. Specifically, the Rebbe holds each person by the hand and guides him; one must only be careful not to involve his own will in the matter."

Just two months after the Previous Rebbe's passing, the Rebbe wrote the following to someone: "You worry that now one cannot ask the Rebbe when he is in doubt how he should conduct himself. If you stand strong in your connection to him...and send your questions to the Rebbe's ohel [gravesite], the Rebbe will find a way to answer."

Some people fax letters to the ohel (718-723-4444), some come from near or far to go personally. Others ask one of the Rebbe's secretaries to read the letter at the ohel.

Another way people "live with the Rebbe" is by placing a letter to the Rebbe in any of the nearly 100 volumes of the Rebbe's Torah teachings or correspondence. This is, in fact, what chasidim of previous generations did when they were unable to correspond with their Rebbe in the conventional way.

There's a modern twist, though. Today we have 25 volumes of Igros Kodesh--letters written by the Rebbe to private individuals over the past 50 years. As they are letters to private individuals--and the Rebbe "custom makes" the advice to fit the soul--there are different answers to similar questions. For instance, to one person who asks the Rebbe if he should move, the Rebbe answers yes. To another person the Rebbe's answer is no.

After writing to the Rebbe, one opens the book "at random" and the advice in that letter is one's answer.(3) And we haven't heard of a case yet when one sincerely asks the Rebbe advice in this manner that there hasn't been an answer.


3. See Living With Moshiach, Vol. 135: Miracles and Mathematics.


March of Dimes. Soup Kitchens. United Way. AIDS Awareness.

We want to fix the wrongs of the world, to abolish prejudice, to alleviate poverty, to wipe out war, to find cures for all illness and to give every person of any stripe or color the education they so rightfully deserve.

At the core of our very beings, we want a perfect world and we want to be a part of perfecting that world.

Sometimes, most of the time, we get so caught up in the rat-race of our day-to-day lives that we forget our desire--no, our need-- for a perfect world. But the passion is always there, waiting until we reorient ourselves, re-prioritize our lives, reestablish our true goals.

This is the essence of the thousands-year-old desire for Moshiach.

As physical human beings, we are a fusion of body and soul. It is not enough for us to feel a need; we must act upon those feelings and perform concrete actions that will bring us ever closer to our goal. And we must use every fibber of our physical beings and even our possessions to reach our objective:

A hand giving charity,

Fingers striking a match to kindle Shabbat and holiday candles,

A mouth speaking respectful words,

Feet walking to visit the sick or elderly,

A body immersing in the "living waters" of the mikvah,

Knees bending, so as to see eye-to-eye with a child when imparting an ethical teaching,

A stomach digesting kosher food,

Money purchasing Jewish books,

A mind comprehending a Torah book,

Eyes noticing a mezuzah on the door post,

An arm and head with tefillin wound upon them,

A heart feeling love for another Jew.

The Rebbe said that we are on the threshold of a perfected world, a perfect world, the days of Moshiach. He enjoined every man, woman and child to do everything possible to hasten the eternal era of peace, prosperity, health, and knowledge that will commence with the Redemption.

Maimondes said that every person should view the entire world as balanced between good and evil. Each person's one good deed can tip the scale to the side of good and bring Redemption to himself and the entire world.

No one knows which person or what act will tip the scale. Let's all try.


by Rabbi Leibel Groner

In a European city live two brothers who are multi-millionaires. Many years ago they decided not to sign any business deal without first receiving the Rebbe's consent and blessing.

Once, they were offered the opportunity to invest $15 million and earn back $50 million within 18 months. The two brothers showed all of the paper work to their accountants and lawyers who, after scrutinizing it, said it was a sound deal.

As usual, before signing on the dotted line, the brothers called the Rebbe's office and asked for his consent and blessing. I took down all the information they gave me and then I went in to the Rebbe.

In answer, the Rebbe wrote (in Hebrew): "Don't do this deal," underlining the word "don't" twice. I called the brothers to relay the Rebbe's answer.

When I finished reading the answer, there was silence on the line. Finally, they said that apparently I hadn't given over the information to the Rebbe properly because it just wasn't possible that the Rebbe would reject such a good proposal. I repeated back to them exactly what I had told the Rebbe and they agreed that I had gotten it all down properly. Yet the Rebbe had said not to do the deal!

Years passed. A few years ago I went to speak in the city where the brothers live. One of them asked me whether I remembered the story. I told them I did and he told me the end of the story.

After they had received the Rebbe's answer, they asked their lawyers and accountants to go over the contract again. After scrutinizing it once more they said they saw nothing wrong and that they could only anticipate huge profits.

The two brothers faced a difficult test. Some friends told them to invest and, 18 months later when they had earned the $50 million, they would give a tenth to the Rebbe who would no doubt thank them for not listening to him this one time.

They decided to do what they always did--to go ahead only if they had the Rebbe's blessing. To everyone's amazement the deal was called off.

Three weeks later they understood how far-reaching the Rebbe's vision is. The person who had presented them with a "sure" deal was arrested by Interpol for fraud. All the papers he had shown them were counterfeit documents.

The two brothers concluded their story excitedly: "See what a miracle happened here! The Rebbe sits in New York, and from there he sees what none of the experts over here could see!"

I told them that they were mistaken. The miracle was that they decided to listen to the Rebbe even when logic dictated the opposite. They did this with simple faith in the words of the Moses of our generation, with faith that is above reason and logic. This is true faith in the words of the Rebbe!

To illustrate how the Rebbe is here with us as before, let me share with you just two stories:

A shaliach, an emissary of the Rebbe, was faced with a dilemma. One of his primary supporters was involved in some activities which were disturbing the spiritual well-being of his city. When the shaliach came to New York, he went to the Ohel and asked the Rebbe if he should weather out the situation, or distance himself from this man.

Later that day, when the shaliach phoned his office, he was surprised to hear a strange voice answer the phone. "Is this the Chabad House?" he asked. "No," a woman replied. It turned out that he had dialed a wrong number and had reached the daughter-in-law of the very supporter! He had never phoned her before and didn't even have her number. She told him how highly her father-in-law regarded him. The shaliach had his answer, to maintain connection with the man.

Another story is about a New York family. One daughter was studying in a women's seminary not far from New York. The other daughter, who was graduating high school that year and would be attending seminary in the fall, didn't want to study in the same school as her sister. She wanted to go to school in Melbourne or Sydney, Australia, or in Israel. The father didn't know how to advise his daughter.

The girl imagined herself standing before the Rebbe, asking him for his advice. She then took a volume of the Rebbe's letters and randomly opened it up. On the page she opened to was a letter that the Rebbe had written to a certain girl. It said: "In response to your letter regarding where you should continue your studies, it is not fitting for you to go to a place far from your parents; but try to go to a place close to home." The girl had her answer right away.

This year Gimel Tamuz is unique in that it takes place in the jubilee year of the Rebbe's leadership. Concerning the jubilee year, the Torah says, "And you shall sanctify the fiftieth year." This verse expresses the essence of the fiftieth year; the fiftieth year is holy. This year, then, is a time to rise above the mundane.

Chasidus explains that during the jubilee year, an infinite G-dly light is drawn down. Throughout the 49 previous years the G-dly light was limited, but in the fiftieth year the holiness is infinite.

In this fiftieth year of the Rebbe's leadership we are given special, unlimited abilities. We have always had the ability to fulfill the Rebbe's directives, but this year we have an unlimited light with which we can overcome all obstacles. This year nothing can stop us from carrying out the Rebbe's most fervent desire: to bring the final Redemption!

How can we do this? Let me illustrate with a personal story. One time I wasn't feeling well, but I went to the office as usual. When I entered the Rebbe's room, the Rebbe asked me whether I had gone to the doctor. I said that if the Rebbe said so, I would go to the doctor. When I got back, the Rebbe asked me what had happened. I told the Rebbe that the doctor had examined me and had given me a certain medicine.

The Rebbe said: "You should know that the medicine wasn't meant to sit on the shelf so that you could go over to it three times a day and bow before it and tell it that you hold it in great esteem. The medicine is meant to be used, and you have to actually take it three times a day, and that's how you will get better."

The Rebbe compared it to the miracle of the Chanukah oil. When the Hasmonians found the sealed jar of oil, they could have sent it to a museum, as was fitting for such as unusual find. But they chose to be smart and use it; and in the merit of their using it, they merited the miracle.

We also have a medicine. We are given special G-dly abilities in the fiftieth year. We cannot leave them "on the shelf," content that we know they exist and are giving them the proper respect! We have to actually use these abilities and dedicate the fiftieth year to fulfilling the Rebbe's instructions!

The Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi writes, that we will go from our personal redemption to the collective redemption. When each of us strengthens our faith in the Rebbe's words that "Moshiach is coming," and "the time of the Redemption has arrived" we can more easily prepare for Moshiach.

May we use the abilities given us in this fiftieth year, and may we merit the revelation of Moshiach and the Rebbe taking us out of exile, NOW!


The following is taken from the personal diary of a chasid, written during the first years of the Rebbe's leadership.

There was a Jew who had a daughter who was terribly ill and was hospitalized. The doctors had given up hope and said she had only a few days left to live. The father did not know what a "rebbe" is, but his wife told him to go to rabbis and rebbes to ask them to save their daughter.

The father went to some rebbes and promised them large sums of money if they would promise him his daughter would recover. But they all refused to make such a promise.

In the meantime, the daughter's condition worsened and the father was at his wit's end. He then met a Lubavitcher chasid who told him to go to the Rebbe. That evening the father went to 770. He entered the secretaries' office and asked Rabbi Chadakov to allow him to see the Rebbe. Rabbi Chadakov said he would have to ask the Rebbe. The Rebbe answered that he should come the next morning at ten o'clock.

Throughout the night the father was convinced that his daughter was dying or already dead. So certain was he that he was afraid to call the hospital to see how she was doing.

At ten the next day, the man went to the Rebbe. The Rebbe told him, "Your daughter is still alive. In heaven they delayed her judgment until now. Now it all depends upon you."

The father said he would give the Rebbe any sum of money so that his daughter would be saved.

The Rebbe told him: "That is not what I meant. I meant that you should put on tefillin every day, and then your daughter will recover."

The father agreed of course, and also decided to observe Shabbat, and his daughter suddenly and miraculously recovered.

* * *

At a gathering during Sukkot, the Rebbe said incredible things about the Previous Rebbe. Among other things, he said that those chasidim who maintain that the Previous Rebbe continues to live--continue to receive from the Previous Rebbe in material and spiritual matters.

* * *

In the winter, Reb Avrohom Sykens was found in the street badly wounded. He was taken unconscious to the hospital, and he lay in a coma for three days. The doctors despaired, saying there was no hope.

One of the yeshivah students called the Rebbe's office and asked that they tell the Rebbe about the situation and ask for a blessing.

The Rebbe said they should whisper in Reb Avrohom's ear that they had told the Rebbe what had happened, and they should whisper the Rebbe's name and his father's name.

The student did so immediately, and Reb Avrohom suddenly opened his eyes and recognized the people standing around him. The doctors were astounded and said it was entirely unnatural.

* * *

At a gathering, someone asked the Rebbe for a blessing that his brother would be able to leave Russia, "a blessing like so-and-so had received."

The Rebbe said: "The truth is that giving a blessing is something connected with the individual's soul. (Therefore it makes no sense to ask to receive a blessing like someone else's.)"

* * *

A certain chasid had a very unhappy second marriage and he always said that the reason was that he had badgered the Previous Rebbe until he received his consent for the match. At a gathering, the Rebbe said to him: "G-d should help you understand that when it concerns a Rebbe, there is no such thing as his being forced. If the Rebbe agreed, it is because he wanted to."

* * *

Someone wrote a letter to the Rebbe in the month of Adar [when we are enjoined to be especially joyous], asking for a blessing for someone who was seriously ill, and for whom they had already despaired.

The Rebbe answered: "It's surprising that we talk and talk and when it comes to action, everybody thinks that it doesn't apply to them.

"The saying and directive of the Rebbes has been quoted many times: 'Tracht gut vet zein gut' ('Think positively and it will be good'), which conversely illustrates the problem with negative thoughts.

"Despite the fact that we are in the month of Adar, when we are commanded to increase in joy, he is steeped in despair.

"And we will conclude with...: 'Tracht gut vet zein gut' in a visible and revealed way.'"

The end of the story was that the sick person suddenly became better, to the surprise of all the doctors.


Jewish Women and Girls Light Shabbat Candles

For local candle lighting times:
consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch Center, or call: (718) 774-3000.
or: http://www.knowledgengineers.com/Havienu/html/vestibule/hebcal.html

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, June 18, Erev Shabbat Parshat Korach:

  • Light Shabbat Candles,(4) by 8:10 p.m.

Saturday, June 19, Shabbat Parshat Korach:

  • On Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, we read Chapter 4 of Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot).(5)
  • Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 9:21 p.m.


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.

5. The weekly chapter of Pirkei Avot with the Rebbe's commentaries, are available electronically via the Internet, by sending your subscription request to: listserv@chabad.org - Subscribe "G-4."

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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