"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Tazria, 5760
Nissan 2, 5760
April 7, 2000
Please pray for the immediate and complete recovery of
Horav Chaim Yehuda Kalman Ben Rochel Marlow Shlita,
head of the Bet-Din (Rabbinical Court) of Crown Heights
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
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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.
In this week's issue, we focus on Rabbi Sholom Dov Ber, the fifth Rebbe of
Chabad-Lubavitch, whose Yahrtzeit is on Beis Nissan, the second
day of Nissan (Friday, April 7).
This Jewish year, 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
29 Adar II, 5760
Brooklyn, New York
In the beginning of this week's Torah portion, Tazria, the Torah states:
"If a woman conceived seed, and bore a male child." According to the Ohr
HaChaim's commentary, this verse alludes to the Jewish people and their
Final Redemption with Moshiach. "A woman" is symbolic of the Congregation
of Israel; "conceived seed" alludes to the Jews' service of mitzvot
and good deeds; "and bore a male child" refers to the ultimate result of
this process--the birth of the messianic era.
The Final Redemption is referred to as "male" as an expression of its strength,
for after Moshiach redeems the world there will be no possibility of further
exiles, and the messianic age will last forever. This same concept is expressed
in a midrashic reference to the tenth and final song that will be sung by
the Jewish people with Moshiach. The tenth song is called "shir,"
the masculine form, whereas the nine songs that have already been sung are
termed "shirah," the feminine form.
In order to understand why the Jewish nation is symbolically a woman we need
to examine the Hebrew word for woman. Eve was called isha ("woman")
"because out of man ("ish") was this one taken." The word isha
therefore expresses the woman's relationship with her husband, and reflects
her innate desire to reunite with him.
Similarly, in the spiritual sense, G-d is "male," whereas the Jewish people
is "female." Just as Eve was created from Adam, so too is every Jew's soul
"taken" from within G-d himself, being a "veritable piece of G-d Above."
Accordingly, every Jew's innate desire is to reunite with G-d, the source
of his being. Material wealth and physical pleasures can never satisfy the
Jew's longing for G-d; neither can spiritual delights totally satiate this
yearning. Consciously or not, throughout his life the Jew seeks this union
with G-d; it is the driving force of his existence.
To continue the metaphor of the "seed," this innate desire to unite with
G-d must be sown precisely in the ground, finding expression in practical
mitzvah observance. A seed planted in the air will never sprout; good
intentions and positive feelings toward Judaism alone will never yield the
desired results. Only through actual Torah study and the observance of
mitzvot does the Jew cultivate the "seed" and allow it to grow.
Of course, the underlying objective of the Jew's service in the world is
its ultimate "germination"--the messianic era. Translating one's positive
feelings into action--doing one more mitzvah, performing one more
good deed for a fellow Jew--is what will bring the revelation of Moshiach
and the redemption of the entire world.
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.
Friday, Beis (the second day of) Nissan (April 7), is the
Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Sholom Dov Ber (1860-1920), the fifth Rebbe of
Chabad-Lubavitch, known as the Rebbe Rashab.
The Rebbe Rashab lived in the town of Lubavitch in White Russia, which had
been the center of the Chabad movement. However, in 1915 the Rebbe and his
chasidim were forced to leave the town of Lubavitch as the battles
of World War I were approaching. They settled in the town of Rostov, which
seemed to be a safe distance from the fighting. But in 1920, the Communists
tightened their control over Rostov. This, however, did not discourage the
Rebbe Rashab from continuing with his work of inspiring and encouraging his
fellow Jews in all areas of Torah and mitzvot.
Only hours before his passing, the Rebbe Rashab told his chasidim,
"I am going to heaven, but my writings I am leaving with you." Although he
wouldn't be physically present, the chasidim could connect to him
through his teachings.
A scant perusal of the Rebbe Rashab's writings brings to light the following
"A single act is better than a thousand groans. Our G-d lives, and Torah
and mitzvot are eternal; quit the groaning and work hard in actual
spiritual work, and G-d will be gracious to you."
"Cherish criticism, for it will place you on the true heights."
"When Moshiach will come, then we will really long for the days of exile.
Then we will truly feel distress at our having neglected our avoda
(spiritual work); then will we indeed feel the deep pain caused by our lack
of avoda. These days of exile are the days of avoda, to prepare
ourselves for the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our time, amen."
"And this is the main thing in these last moments before Moshiach, that we
don't go according to our intellect and our reasoning. Rather, we should
fulfill Torah and mitzvot above and beyond what reason dictates."
"The avoda of serving G-d according to Chasidus comprises all
kinds of levels... the level of 'corpse' does not need much elaboration;
but, thank G-d, there is also 'revival of the dead' in spiritual work. A
corpse is cold; there is nothing as frigid as natural intellect, human intellect.
When one's natural intelligence comprehends a G-dly concept, and the emotions
latent in intellect are enthused and moved by the pleasure-within-intellect--that
is true revival of the dead."
May we immediately merit the Final Redemption, when all righteous Jews (and
all Jews are considered righteous!) will be resurrected with the Revival
of the Dead.
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."
Once a chasid went to his Rebbe and cried, "My son is about
to be drafted to serve in the Czar's army! I have been informed that the
draft board this time will be comprised of people from a different town.
If a father brings a note from a doctor that his son is ill, the boy receives
a three-month reprieve. I will bring a note saying my son is ill. In three
months, when he has to appear before the board again, it will be comprised
of local people with whom I am close and they will easily exempt him."
The Rebbe listened and then said, "I understand your plan, but I think your
son should appear at this hearing."
The chasid left the Rebbe's room bewildered, for his plan was completely
logical. He went home and decided to continue as planned. He procured a doctor's
note and appeared at the scheduled hearing. Upon entering the room he nearly
fainted: it was the local board! He had no choice but to hand them the note
and receive the three-month grace period. But he knew that when he appeared
in three months time before the board of strangers, his son would surely
The distraught father came to the Rebbe again and pleaded with the Rebbe
for help. "Have pity on a poor fool. Should my innocent son suffer because
he has a father such as me?" he wailed. The Rebbe thought for some time and
then said, "Get your son a false passport and send him far away."
The father nodded. "But that leaves me with another big problem," he related.
"When a draftee runs away, the father is fined three hundred rubles, which
I don't have! They will take my small children as hostages, until I pay."
The Rebbe fell deep into thought again, then answered: "Don't worry. There
is a project in the works."
The chasid was relieved. He bought a passport on the black market
and sent his son off to safety. But what of the fine? He wondered. He tried
to put his questions and doubts out of his mind.
Three months passed. A soldier came to his store, and handed him many
official-looking papers, announcing: "Sign these and appear at the bureau
in twenty-four hours."
The chasid was shaking as he entered the lawyer's office. He could
not read Russian, and so he was unable to read the documents. The lawyer,
a local Jew, studied the pages closely. Then he looked up with a smile. "Do
you know that they have given you their entire file on your son? Were you
to throw it into the fire, nothing would be left; it would be over." With
that, he tossed the papers into the fire, and the chasid suddenly
understood his Rebbe's words, which had been so unintelligible at the time:
"There is a project in the works."
* * *
The Rebbe has told the world that "There is a project in the works"--the
time of the Redemption has arrived. And though, at times, it might appear
that things are going in a different direction, there really is "a project
in the works."
We needn't accept on blind faith that there is a "project." The Rebbe has
shown us how the world is changing and moving toward the Redemption. He has
pointed out examples of the fulfillment of ancient prophecies. Nor should
we be discouraged by temporary setbacks, for these, too, have their precedents:
Even after we had gone out of Egypt amidst great wonders, some wanted to
turn back when faced with adversity. Later, though the journey to the Holy
Land had already commenced, Moses was hidden from us as he studied the most
sublime aspects of G-d's Wisdom, in order to ultimately share it with the
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.
"Purim is thirty days before Passover.(1) As Rabbi Shneur
Zalman of Liadi writes in his Code of Jewish Law, thirty days before Passover,
we should begin studying the laws of the holiday.
"Similarly, since the celebration of the Passover holiday involves many expenses,
it is proper that efforts be made to provide everyone who lacks with their
"Although there are organizations involved with these activities throughout
the entire year, there must be an increase in these efforts in connection
with the Passover holidays, providing them with both food and clothing so
that they can celebrate the holiday in an ample manner, as befits 'free people.'"
(The Rebbe, 16 Adar, 5751)
1. This year, Passover begins on Wednesday night, April 19.
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
* Daylight Saving Time *
Friday, April 7, Erev Shabbat Parshat Tazria:
Light Shabbat Candles,(2) by 7:08 p.m.
Saturday, April 8, Shabbat Parshat Tazria:
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 8:11 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.