Text Only

Parshat Vayeitzei, 5760

Kislev 10, 5760
November 19, 1999


The Table of Contents contains links to the text. Click on an entry in the Table of Contents and you will move to the information selected.



Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12


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 of Living With Moshiach is dedicated in honor of the first yahrtzeit 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).


Thursday, the ninth of Kislev (Nov. 18), is the birthday and yahrtzeit of Rabbi Dov Ber, the second Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch.

Therefore, we present an article about his--and all the other Chabad Rebbes'--special relationship with the Holy Land of Israel.


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 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

Erev Tes Kislev, 5760
Brooklyn, New York

Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe

Parshat Vayeitzei

In this week's Torah portion, Vayeitzei, we read how Jacob left the home of his righteous father Isaac, left his studies in the yeshivah of Shem and Eber, and went to the home of the evil Laban in Charan. There he began a new chapter in his life, working as a shepherd day and night. Until then Jacob had concentrated on spiritual service, devoting himself solely to the study of Torah. In Charan, however, Jacob's focal point shifted, and he now found himself involved in more mundane tasks.

Surprisingly, it was precisely in Charan that Jacob achieved his highest level of success, as the Torah states, "And the man increased exceedingly." Jacob became very wealthy, both literally and figuratively. Moreover, it was there that Jacob married and established the Twelve Tribes, the foundation upon which the entire Jewish people would later be built.

But how is it possible that Jacob experienced his greatest success in a place as lowly as Charan? Why was it necessary for the Jewish people to establish its beginnings in such a sordid environment? (Charan is related to the Hebrew word for anger or wrath.)

A similar question can be asked about G-d's desire for a "dwelling place" in the physical world. Of all the higher celestial planes, G-d chose our lowly material world as the place where He wanted to dwell, to establish a permanent "residence."

The mitzvot of the holy Torah are practical commandments that we perform with simple, physical objects. Tefillin are made from the hide of an animal; tzitzit are made from wool; a sukkah, from planks of wood. G-d wants us to build for Him a "dwelling place down below" by using material objects in the performance of mitzvot. The lifelong service of the Jew consists of utilizing whatever he comes in contact with to erect a permanent "residence" for G-d in the lower realms.

This desire for a "dwelling place down below" will be realized completely when Moshiach comes and ushers in the Final Redemption. At that time the purpose of creation will be fulfilled, "for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the L-rd, as the waters cover the sea."

This Divine plan for creation is reflected in Jacob's establishment of the Jewish people in as abject a location as Charan, precisely against a backdrop of involvement in material affairs:

In Charan, Jacob first began to fulfill G-d's intent in the creation of the world, the establishment of a "dwelling place" in this lowest of all possible worlds. In Laban's house he succeeded in laying the groundwork for the generations of Jews who would follow, foreshadowing their Divine mission to transform the physical world into an appropriate "residence" for G-d.


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 9th of Kislev (Nov. 18), is the birthday and yahrtzeit of Rabbi Dov Ber (5534/1773-5588/1827), the second Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, known as the Mitteler (or "intermediate") Rebbe. The following day, the 10th of Kislev, is the day on which the Mitteler Rebbe was redeemed from imprisonment (in 5587/1826).

In 5576/1816, Reb Dov Ber established a settlement of Chabad chasidim in Israel, in the holy city of Hebron. He encouraged the chasidim already living in other parts of Israel to resettle in Hebron. In addition, his own daughter and son-in-law moved with their family from Russia to Hebron.

But the history of Chabad-Lubavitch's support of people, institutions and settlements in the Holy Land predates even 5576/1816. For the first Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, vigorously encouraged his followers to support the Jews in the Holy Land.

Each and every Rebbe of Chabad, up to and including the present Rebbe, has unequivocally supported the Holy Land and spoken out boldly concerning anything that might have the slightest impact on the security of the Jews there.

Our brethren in Israel know firsthand about the Rebbe's concern for them and their lives. During the Gulf War, the Rebbe's emphatic message, that "Israel is the safest place in the world, for G-d is constantly watching it," was continuously played on the radio. The hundreds of Chabad Centers that dot the Israeli landscape were deluged with callers during the Gulf War, asking, "What is the Rebbe saying now?"

Without a doubt, and everyone can be sure of this, the Rebbe's policy has not changed one iota in the past 49 years nor has it changed from that of his predecessors. Based on clear guidance from the Torah and Jewish law, the Rebbe reiterates:(1) No action can be taken that might negatively affect the safety of the Jews of the Holy Land!

In the merit of Rabbi Dov Ber, who established the first Chabad settlement in the Holy Land, may we be privileged to go together with Moshiach to the Holy Land, NOW.

* * *

About the Mitteler Rebbe it was said that he was so immersed in Chasidus that "if his finger would have been cut, it would have bled Chasidus instead of blood!"

When the Mitteler Rebbe was arrested by the Czarist government (in 5587/1826) on trumped-up charges of anti-government activities (he was later released on the 10th of Kislev of that year), even the governmental doctor, who was a prominent specialist, acknowledged that Chasidus was the Mitteler Rebbe's very essence and life. The doctor told the Russian authorities that they must allow the Mitteler Rebbe to give talks on Chasidus to his chasidim, explaining, "Just as you provide food for prisoners to ensure their existence, so, too, must you allow him to teach Chasidus. His very life depends on it."

The authorities saw that this was true when, while imprisoned, the Mitteler Rebbe's health waned. They agreed to let fifty chasidim enter his prison room twice weekly to listen to a chasidic discourse.

But the Mitteler Rebbe was not only concerned about the spiritual life of his fellow Jews, he also worked to better their situation materially as well. He encouraged thousands of Jews, both his chasidim and others, to settle on the land as farmers so that they would not have to be at the mercy of the anti-Semitic landowners or peasants. In 5575/1815 he established twenty-two Jewish farm settlements on land near the town of Cherson, which he had convinced the government to give for this purpose. Many of his chasidim, however, were reluctant to move so far away from their Rebbe. Thus, the Mitteler Rebbe promised to go to the trouble of travelling to them so he could teach Chasidus to them there.

The Rebbe spoke numerous times of the importance of celebrating the 9th and 10th of Kislev in a fitting manner, with gatherings that will foster brotherhood and lead to good resolutions.

May such gatherings this year be in Jerusalem, with the Rebbe and all of his predecessors presiding.


For a Tes/Yud Kislev gathering in your area, contact your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center.


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). http://www.truepeace.org/book.html

See also: REBBE'S VIEWS http://www.truepeace.org/rebbeview.html


by Mrs. Yehudis Engel(2)

Dr. E. Goldstock, the founder and director of an organization which helps children with special needs and their parents, had to come up with $15,000 within 10 days or the organization was in danger of folding. Understandably, for the work he was accomplishing, this would have been a great tragedy. Dr. Goldstock was at a total loss as to how he could come up with such a sum during that time.

He decided to write to the Rebbe for his assistance. Dr. Goldstock wrote a letter to the Rebbe and placed it randomly in one of the volumes of Igros Kodesh (letters of the Rebbe). He had not realized that the volume into which he had placed the letter was actually that of the Previous Rebbe. Nevertheless, when he opened the book to where he had inserted his letter, he found a reply written in English from the Previous Rebbe to a doctor. The letter stated that the Previous Rebbe had received his letter and is aware of the financial difficulties he is having, and therefore is sending a check to help him out.

The following day, Dr. Goldstock received a letter from a foundation from which he had tried unsuccessfuly to get assistance for over a year. The letter contained a check for $5,000.

Dr. Goldstock's wife, advised him to "strike while the iron is hot." She urged him to do everything in his power to get the $10,000 balance needed as they were obviously seeing positive results from the Rebbe's blessing.

A week went by but, no matter what he tried, Dr. Goldstock met with no success. With one day left until the deadline, the situation seemed hopeless.

It was Friday afternoon, the last day before the money had to be in, when a stranger walked into Dr. Goldstock's office. The man asked for Dr. Goldstock and the doctor identified himself. The stranger, whom Dr. Goldstock had never seen before or since, handed him a bulging envelope saying, "This is for you." With that, the man left.

Dr. Goldstock opened the envelope. To his amazement, it contained 100 hundred dollar bills!


2. Adapted from her weekly newsletter "Miracles in our Time."


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.

Awaken Your Core This Month:

"Awakening the core of our being must be reflected in a concern for the fundamental existence of every Jew. This should be expressed in efforts to provide our fellow Jews with the necessities required to celebrate the holidays of the month of Kislev [the 'chasidic New Year' on the 19th of Kislev and Chanukah] with happiness and joy. Similarly, they should have the means to fulfill the custom that the Rebbes followed of giving Chanukah gelt to the members of their household."

(1 Kislev, 5752/1991)

Simply stated, this means that as we think about our own family's holiday celebrations this month, we should make sure to help provide for other, less fortunate people in the greater Jewish family.


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.chabad.org/shabbos

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, Nov. 19, Erev Shabbat Parshat Vayeitzei:

  • Light Shabbat Candles,(3) by 4:18 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 20, Shabbat Parshat Vayeitzei:

  • Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 5:20 p.m.


3. 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.

Back to "Living With Moshiach" Home Page