"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Vayeira, 5760
Cheshvan 19, 5760
October 29, 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.
Thank G-d that, with the current issue, our weekly publication, Living
With Moshiach, has begun its sixth year of publication.
At this time, we take the opportunity to thank our supporters, who have helped
us publish this weekly publication.
May G-d bless them, with health, happiness and success in all of their endeavors.
The Jewish year that has just begun is the year 5760 since Creation. The
Hebrew letters are Hei-Tav-Shin-Samech. 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 acrostic of its Hebrew letters. This year has been designated by the
Rebbe's followers as "Hoyo T'hei Shnas Segulah," meaning "It will
surely be an auspicious year."
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
8 Cheshvan, 5760
Brooklyn, New York
This week's Torah portion, Vayeira, speaks about the greatness of
our forefather Abraham, the very first Jew. Through Abraham's service, G-d's
Name was made known throughout the world, and many people were brought to
believe in Him.
The Torah states: "And Abraham planted an eishel [literally a grove]
in Be'er Sheva, and called there in the name of G-d." The Torah
specifically mentions Abraham's planting of the eishel, as this was
considered a very great deed and a unique accomplishment.
The Midrash explains that an eishel is more than just a stand
of trees under which wayfarers may find protection from the burning sun.
An eishel is an inn, a place of lodging. Our Patriarch Abraham established
his eishel in Be'er Sheva, in the heart of the desert, to cater
to travelers in that inhospitable climate.
Did Abraham know these travelers personally? Of course not. He had no idea
who might arrive. All he knew was that these strangers would no doubt be
hungry, thirsty and tired from their trek across the desert. His motivation
was to make their journey more pleasant and less taxing.
Abraham provided his guests with all kinds of amenities, not just bread and
water to satisfy their hunger and quench their thirst. His visitors were
offered meat, fine wines, fruit and a wide array of delicacies, as well as
a place to sleep and rest from their travels.
His visitors' spiritual needs were also taken into consideration. Next to
the inn that provided all their physical necessities, Abraham established
a sanhedrin, a court of law, so that wise men could answer the travelers'
questions and find solutions to their personal and business problems.
This same attribute of kindness and justice is the birthright of every Jew,
an inheritance from our forefather Abraham. And the Torah portion of
Vayeira teaches us how we are supposed to fulfill the mitzvah
of tzedaka (charity):
It isn't enough to provide a poor person with the basic requirements necessary
to sustain life. We must offer him more than just the bare minimum, bringing
him pleasure and enjoyment. And not only must his physical needs be met,
but we must also try to help him resolve his spiritual struggles. This applies
to every single Jew, even those we do not know personally, and constitutes
the true meaning of the commandment of tzedaka.
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.
On Shabbat Parshat Vayeira, the 20th of Cheshvan (Oct. 30), we
will be commemorating the birthday of Rabbi Sholom DovBer (5621/1860-5680/1920),
the fifth Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, known as the Rebbe Rashab.
It is said that on a person's birthday, the "spiritual source of the soul
shines powerfully." Therefore, it is important to understand what the central
point of the Rebbe Rashab's leadership was, and how it differed from
the other Chabad Rebbes.
The Rebbe explains how each of the Rebbes was characterized by a particular
dimension that reflected his individual nature.
Chabad Chasidus is characterized by the ability to make the esoteric
teachings of the Torah, which remained hidden from the majority of the Jewish
community, accessible to every single Jew. The Rebbe Rashab was able
to bring the teachings of Chabad Chasidus to an even more comprehensible
level than his predecessors.
The Rebbe Rashab's teachings put a great emphasis on summarizing subject
matter so that it could be more easily implemented into daily life. For this
he is referred to by many as the "Rambam (Maimonides) of
Chasidus," because he summarized Chasidus in the same way the
Rambam summarized the Oral Law, making it comprehensible and giving
it clear directions for every aspect of our conduct.
The lessons of the Rebbe Rashab are easily understood and are concluded
with directions for the practical application of those lessons.
In 5657/1897 the Rebbe Rashab established a yeshivah, Tomchei
Tmimim, and he was personally involved in every aspect of it, designing
the curriculum, and asking for a detailed progress report on each student.
He strove to raise both their standard of learning and their standard of
behavior. It was a great honor to be accepted into the yeshivah, and
its students were highly respected by the community.
The Rebbe Rashab published many of his teachings, which deal with
improving one's character, how to prepare for prayer and the importance of
prayer, and of studying Chasidus.
May we all benefit from his teachings.
* * *
In the year before the Rebbe Rashab was born in 5621/1860, his mother,
Rebbetzin Rivka, had two dreams in which his birth was foretold. In
her own words:
"On 10 Kislev, 5620/1859, I saw my mother [Rebbetzin Shaina]
and my grandfather [the Mitteler Rebbe] in a dream. My mother was
smiling as she said, 'Rivka, you and your husband should write a sefer
Torah' (Torah Scroll). Then my grandfather said, 'And you will have a
fine son. Don't forget to name him after me.' To which my mother added, 'Rivkah,
do you hear what my father is telling you?' At that point I woke up."
Rebbetzin Rivka kept her dream a secret. A few days later, her
father-in-law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel (the third Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, known
as the Tzemach Tzedek), made a cryptic comment to her about "a good
dream that should surely be fulfilled."
On the night of the 19th of Kislev, Rebbetzin Rivka had another
dream. This time, her mother and grandfather were accompanied by another
elderly man,... who said, "Amen, may it be G-d's will." Then her mother
said, "Grandfather, bless her," and the elderly man gave her a blessing,
to which her grandfather and mother answered "Amen." Rebbetzin
Rivka also said "Amen" in a loud voice, which woke her up.
When Rebbetzin Rivka related both dreams to her husband, the Rebbe
Maharash, he insisted that the sefer Torah be written on the highest
grade of parchment, made from the skins of kosher animals that were ritually
The Torah scroll was completed on the 13th of Cheshvan. When
Rebbetzin Rivka brought the mantle (outside Torah cover) she
had embroidered for the sefer Torah to her father-in-law, the Tzemach
Tzedek, he said, "Mazal tov, and may G-d fulfill the blessing
that was given to you by my father-in-law [the Mitteler Rebbe] and
my grandfather [the Alter Rebbe]."
Rabbi Shalom Dovber was born a week later.
* * *
There is a beautiful story concerning the Rebbe Rashab, illustrating
the high esteem in which he held every Jew.
One of the Rebbe Rashab's followers, Reb Monye Monissohn, was a wealthy
gem dealer. Once, when they were sitting together, the Rebbe spoke very highly
about some simple, unlearned Jews.
"Why do you make such a fuss about them?" Reb Monye asked the Rebbe.
"Each one of them has many special and noble qualities," explained the Rebbe.
"I can't see any of these qualities," said Reb Monye.
The Rebbe remained silent. A while later, he asked Reb Monye if he had brought
his package of diamonds with him. Indeed, Reb Monye had brought the diamonds,
but asked the Rebbe if he could display them later, when they could be seen
to their best advantage.
Later, Reb Monye took the Rebbe into a different room and arranged the diamonds
for him to see. Reb Monye pointed to one gem in particular, extolling its
beautiful color and quality.
"I can't see anything special in it," the Rebbe said.
"That is because you have to be a "maven" to know how to look at
diamonds!" explained Reb Monye.
"Every Jew, too, is something beautiful and extra-ordinary," the Rebbe said.
"But you have to be a "maven" to know how to look at him."
About the coming of Moshiach, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (the first Rebbe
of Chabad-Lubavitch), said that it will be written up in the newspapers.
That is just an expression. The actual meaning is that every single Jew will
be ready for the coming of Moshiach exactly as if it were written in the
newspaper that Moshiach is already on the way!
("Torat Sholom" of the Rebbe Rashab)
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, Oct. 29, Erev Shabbat Parshat Vayeira:
Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 5:39 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 30, Shabbat Parshat Vayeira:
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 6:39 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.