"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Ki Tisa, 5760
19 Adar I, 5760
Feb. 25, 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.
We'd like to hear from you. Tell us your comments, suggestions, etc. Write
to us, or E-Mail via Internet.
The Jewish year that has recently 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
14 Adar I, 5760
Brooklyn, New York
Parshat Ki Tisa
In the Torah portion of Ki Tisa, Moses descends from Mount Sinai,
holding the Tablets containing the Ten Commandments he received from G-d.
"The Tablets were the work of G-d, and the writing was the writing of G-d,
inscribed on both their sides." Written on two magnificent stones of sapphire
were the Ten Commandments, miraculously visible from both sides. Yet they
were not to last for long. "And Moses became angry ... and he broke them
at the foot of the mountain... And G-d said to Moses, 'Hew yourself tablets
of stone like the first.'"
In connection to the Tablets, the Torah speaks of three distinct stages:
1. The original Tablets: Moses descends from Mount Sinai, where he
had spent the previous forty days and forty nights, with the Tablets in hand;
2. The breaking of the Tablets: Moses witnesses the sin of the Children
of Israel with the Golden Calf and breaks the Tablets in anger;
3. The second Tablets: The Jews repent of their sin. Moses goes back
up the mountain for an additional forty days and nights, to return with a
second set of Tablets.
The first and second sets of Tablets were not identical. The first set was
written by G-d; the second set was inscribed by Moses under G-d's direction.
Yet curiously, the second set of Tablets was superior to the first in one
important respect, as explained in chasidic philosophy.
The breaking of the Tablets and their subsequent replacement is an example
of "a descent for the sake of an ascent." Every descent, every failure, can
lead the individual to an even higher spiritual level.
According to this principle, the second set of Tablets was clearly superior
to the first, for it came after the Jews' descent into idolatry and their
ensuing return to G-d.
Symbolically, the three stages of the Tablets parallel the annals of the
Jewish people and their progression throughout history:
The first stage (the original Tablets) spans the years between the Revelation
on Mount Sinai until the destruction of the Second Holy Temple.
The second stage (the breaking of the Tablets) refers to the forced exile
of the Jews from their land and the spiritual degradation endured for almost
The third and final stage, the era on whose threshold we now stand, is the
Messianic Era, at which time the spirituality of the entire world will be
elevated to unprecedented heights, an ascent made possible only by the bitter
darkness of the exile.
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.
by Yrachmiel Tilles*
When we Jews have a leap year we do it right: we add an additional month
seven times every nineteen years. Because the solar year outpaces the lunar
year by 11 days each year, at the end of every 19-year cycle, we achieve
convergence of the solar and lunar vectors.
There is a lot that could be said about this. I'll restrict myself to two
points: one about the "pregnant" year as the leap year is called in Hebrew,
and one about the thirteenth month.
1) Day in, day out, always rising in the east and setting in the west, the
sun is a dependable incandescent source of heat and light, even on cloudy
days. As such, the sun symbolizes the power that Jewish constancy can generate:
praying on a regular basis, whether you feel like it or not, studying Torah
every day and night without fail, celebrating Shabbat and the Festivals,
The delicate silvery moon appears nightly in a different location, and wearing
an altered shape. Its phases of New, Quarter, Half, and Full are all palpable
indicators to our bemused gaze of the moon's pulsating cycle. Thus, the moon
represents the excitement of change and innovation. Each day the Torah should
feel new, our prayers fresh, every Shabbat exciting, etc., all as
if we had never done them before.
Some Jews overbalance towards "sun style," allowing the power built up by
the regularity of their observances to beguile them into being satisfied
with dry habit. Other are "moon men," letting the excitement and high times
they occasionally achieve seduce them into ignoring the necessity for a basic
level of daily commitment and consistency. The idea, of course, is to combine
and harmonize the sun and moon forces, for we all need the positive qualities
2) Interestingly, the added thirteenth month has the same name as the twelfth
month: Adar. Thus, every "pregnant" year we have an Adar I
and an Adar II. Two full months of all that Adar implies. How
Adar, which contains the festival of Purim, is the official lucky
month of the Jewish people. It's also the official happy month - in the Code
of Jewish Law it is written: "As soon as Adar begins, increase
For sixty days it is a mitzvah to be extra happy. I hope that all
our readers will take this mitzvah seriously. If you want to be
super-religious about it, you should be increasingly happy each day even
in comparison with the previous day of Adar.
May G-d help all of us to accomplish this by hastening our ultimate joy:
the revelation of Moshiach and the Final Redemption.
*. Yrachmiel Tilles is one of the founders and directors of ASCENT
Seminars in Safed, and editor of ASCENT Quarterly.
A chasid once approached the third Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem
M. Schneerson, known as the Tzemach Tzedek, with a question. "What
is the point of studying Chasidus, which deals with abstractions that
no mortal mind can fully grasp? After all, when Moshiach comes even those
who didn't study Chasidus will know G-d, as it says in Isaiah, 'For
they will all know Me.'"
The Tzemach Tzedek replied: "A person listening to a conversation
on the other side of a wall doesn't grasp everything. He only understands
the general drift. But later, when the conversation is repeated in full,
he understands everything he had heard previously. Every few moments he thinks,
'Ah! Now I understand all those connections and details!'
"Here, too," continued the Tzemach Tzedek, "it is true that someone
who studies Chasidus grasps only part of the subject. But when Moshiach
will teach it in the time to come, that person will be able to look back
and say, 'Ah...!'
"And not only that, but someone hearing those teachings for the second time
will understand them much more deeply than someone who will then hear them
for the first time. As the above-quoted verse says, 'For they will all know
Me, from their smallest to their greatest'--and it is obvious that the
understanding of a young child cannot be compared to that of an adult."
Does this sound like Greek to you? If so, consider the following. Imagine
you decide to become a printer. Even before you set foot in a printing shop
you start finding out all kinds of fascinating facts about printing and presses.
You become an expert in paper and ink. You avidly read a book that describes
in detail how a four-color press works, complete with diagrams.
The big day comes when you're going to actually see a printing press. You
invite a friend to come. The friend doesn't know even a fraction of what
you do about printing, but he's a good friend so he comes.
You get into the printing plant and walk over to the biggest four-color press
in the building. After only a moment of surveying it, you point to something.
"Ah," you say excitedly, "this is where the ink goes!" An instant later you
notice a row of buttons. "Ah," you say with animation, "this is the button
you push to start the press." You walk around the machine pointing to levers,
buttons, and thing-a-ma-jigs that you recognize from your
"four-color-press-manual." And each time, you exclaim, "Ah"--as if to say,
"I learned about it when it was all theoretical, but now I really understand."
What about your friend, though? He's probably bored since he doesn't really
know heads from tails in the printing business.
According to Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad Chasidus,
the G-dly Light we will experience in the messianic era is a result of the
quality of our performance of mitzvot and study of Torah before Moshiach's
So, a similar type of scene to the one described above in the printing shop
will repeat itself when Moshiach comes. During this long exile, we study
our manual--the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah. We learn that every
time we do a mitzvah it strengthens our connection with G-d, but we
don't quite understand why. We read that G-d created this world--and other
worlds--but don't really understand how. We hear about the Holy Temple and
wonder how it will look.
When Moshiach comes, and everything is revealed for our physical eyes to
behold, we'll say, "Ah, now I see how my connection to G-d was strengthened
through performing mitzvot. Ah, now I see how G-d created the world,
and I even see the spiritual worlds that exist on non-physical planes that
Kabbalah talks about. Ah, I recognize all these different furnishings
of the Holy Temple that I learned so much about." The "Ah" will be directly
proportional to the amount of effort and study we do now, in these last few
moments before Moshiach!
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.
Make Others Happy:
As we are now in the 60 days of happiness comprised of the two months of
Adar, we should endeavor to make others happy.
The Rebbe explained, "We should proceed to spread joy and happiness in the
most literal sense, making efforts to assure that the members of one's household
and similarly, all of those with whom one comes in contact, experience great
joy. And this will lead to the ultimate joy, the coming of the Redemption.
May it take place in the immediate future."
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, Feb. 25, Erev Shabbat Parshat Ki Tisa:
Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 5:23 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 26, Shabbat Parshat Ki Tisa:
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 6:25 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.