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Parshat Acharei, 5760

Nissan 23, 5760
April 28, 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


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.


We'd like to hear from you. Tell us your comments, suggestions, etc. Write to us, or E-Mail via Internet.


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 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 Pesach, 5760
Brooklyn, New York

Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe

Parshat Acharei

In this week's Torah portion, Acharei, the Torah states: "You shall therefore keep my statutes and my laws...and live in them." The following anecdote, about Rebbetzin Rivka, grandmother of the previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, concerns G-d's exhortation to "live in them."

When the Rebbetzin was a young woman, she became ill. The doctor advised her to eat immediately upon awakening, but she did not want to eat before saying the morning prayers. So, she awoke very early, said her morning prayers and then ate breakfast. This regime obviously did not help her regain her health.

Her father-in-law, the third Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Menachem Mendel, known as the "Tzemach Tzedek," told her: A Jew must be healthy and strong. With respect to mitzvot, the Torah says, 'And you shall live in them,' which means you should bring life into the mitzvot. In order to bring life into mitzvot you must be strong. Better to eat for the sake of praying than pray for the sake of eating."

Most human affairs can be grouped into two categories: "praying," which encompasses the study of Torah, prayer, and the performance of all types of mitzvot; and "eating"--things we do for ourselves, either to satisfy an essential human need or to accommodate a desire which appears to be essential.

"Better to eat for the sake of praying than pray for the sake of eating."

There are three patterns of "eating and praying."

A person could separate these two types of activities completely. During Torah study, prayer or performance of mitzvot, he is completely on a spiritual plane. One would think that worldly matters are of absolutely no concern to him. But later, when this person is involved in material pursuits such as business or eating, there is no semblance remaining of sanctity, spirituality and refinement.

A second type of person really does relate "eating" with "praying." He follows the Code of Jewish Law with scrupulous care, but is motivated by a desire to fulfill a certain "appetite." He knows that ultimately he must answer to a higher authority and the way to earn his reward is to obey the Master's laws. His worship is really a deposit into an account that will pay off sometime in the future. This is "praying for the sake of eating"-i.e., to fill a hunger, a need.

The ideal pattern is to eat for the sake of praying--everything must be focused toward sanctity.

If he becomes wealthy he knows that possessions alone are not life's aim. Rather, the wealth is provided so that he can study Torah with a tranquil, untroubled mind, so that he can perform mitzvot on a broad scale, and so that he can give charity generously.

Even this is not enough. As a wealthy man he is in a position to influence others. When a rich man does something, people imitate him. If the wealthy person observes Shabbat, sends his children to a Jewish school, gives charity generously, everyone will follow suit (even if only because they think these are the ways they might become wealthy themselves).

This is the inner meaning of "eating" for the sake of "praying." All of our affairs and needs related to "eating" must exist for the sake of "praying" (which encompasses mitzvot) in order to "live in them"--to bring vitality into Torah and mitzvot.


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.


Reb Zalman Estulin, an elderly chasid, told this story many years ago at a chasidic gathering--a farbrengen.

Once, there were two brothers, Avraham and Shlomo, who exhibited unbelievable brotherly love. As children they never fought. They studied Torah together and eventually, after they married fine, Jewish women, they settled down in the same city.

Sad to say, the brothers got into a foolish argument as is bound to happen. Things went from bad to worse until it got to the point where as friendly and loving as the brothers had once been they now hated and abhorred each other.

Years passed in this way until the time came when Reb Avraham was going to marry off his eldest daughter. Despite the fact that they had not spoken for over a decade, Reb Avraham wanted his brother to share in his happiness.

And so, he sent Shlomo a letter of apology for all past wrongs and an invitation to the wedding. When no reply came, Avraham sent a messenger. But the messenger came back with the message that Shlomo would not even consider coming to the wedding.

The evening of the wedding arrived, and though Reb Avraham was happy, his joy was tinged with sadness in knowing that his brother would not attend the wedding.

For his part, Reb Shlomo had scheduled his evening in such a way that feelings of remorse would not get in his way of staying home. He had a huge, seven-course meal, took a long, relaxing bath, got into his pajamas and went to bed early.

The wedding on the other side of town was in full swing when the violinist, an extremely talented musician who could change people's moods through his music, noticed that Avraham's joy was not complete.

The violinist approached Avraham and asked if there was anything he could do: "My reputation will suffer if I can't make the father of the bride happy."

Avraham told the violinist that he was saddened by his brother's absence. "I will go and bring him here," the violinist offered.

And so, the violinist went to Reb Shlomo's house. He stood outside of Shlomo's bedroom window. Half asleep, Shlomo came to the window to see who was playing. He was so intrigued and entranced by the violinist's recital that he opened his door and went outside.

In this manner the violinist and Shlomo walked through the town until they reached the wedding hall.

Slowly, slowly, they approached the wedding until Reb Shlomo found himself in the middle of the dance floor at the wedding hall. He looked around and saw everybody so beautifully dressed. Then, he looked at himself and realized, with quite a bit of embarrassment, that he was hardly dressed as befits the uncle of the bride. Indeed, he was a sorry state in his pajamas!

"Brothers," Rabbi Estulin concluded, "we're all going to be there in the middle of the dance floor when Moshiach comes. Because, as our Sages teach us, the Redemption is like the consummation of the wedding ceremony between G-d and the Jewish people, which took place at the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

"The Torah and mitzvot that we do are like the clothing of our souls. It is up to us to come to the wedding dressed as befits the uncle of the bride, and not in our pajamas!"


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.

Study Ethics of the Fathers

We read one chapter of Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot) each Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, because these are the days leading up to the Giving of the Torah and Pirkei Avot contain ethics and moral exhortations to help us improve ourselves so that we are worthy of the Torah.

The Rebbe emphasized the importance of not only reciting the chapters, but also actually studying them.


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-5."


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, April 28, Erev Shabbat Parshat Acharei:

  • Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 29, Shabbat Parshat Acharei:

  • Blessing of the New Month, Iyar.(2)
  • On Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, we read Chapter 1 of Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot).
  • Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 8:35 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.

2. Rosh Chodesh Iyar is on Fri., May 5, and Sat., May 6.

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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