"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Matos-Masei, 5760
Tamuz 25, 5760
July 28, 2000
Dedicated to educating the public regarding the
current situation in Israel, based on Torah
sources, with special emphasis on the opinion
and teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
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.
This week's issue focuses on the upcoming Hebrew month of Menachem-Av.
It is with tremendous pain and sorrow that I dedicate this issue of Living
With Moshiach to the loving memory of Horav Chaim Yehuda Kalman Ben Horav
Avrohom Yehoshua Marlow, head of the Bet-Din (Rabbinical Court) of Crown
Heights, who passed away, on Friday Morning, 20 Sivan, 5760 (June 23, 2000)
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
22 Tamuz, 5760
Brooklyn, New York
The second of this week's two Torah portions, Masei (meaning "journeys"),
delineates the various travels of the Jews in the desert.
When the Jews left Egypt, they were beginning one long journey. Their departure
from Egypt and their travels in the desert were all so that eventually the
Jews would enter the Land of Israel. It would seem, then, that each of the
forty-two stops they made along the way between Egypt and Israel was not
really that significant. The stops presented an opportunity for the Jewish
camp, comprised of millions of people, to take care of their various needs.
Yet, each and every stop the Jews made in the desert is mentioned separately,
and each one is considered its own journey. Didn't the Jews reach the desert--and
freedom--immediately upon leaving the borders of Egypt?
In every generation, in each individual's life, there must be an exodus from
Egypt, a departure from one's own boundaries and limitations. However, simply
"leaving" Egypt is not enough. We must know that even after working on ourselves
and spiritually leaving Egypt, we are not finished. No matter what spiritual
level we have attained, we can still go further, we are still bound by our
"Egypt." We must begin a new "journey," getting stronger and stronger as
we go along.
There is a twofold lesson from these "journeys." Even when one has already
attained a high level, one must never be content with what one has already
achieved. Our whole purpose is to move in an upward spiritual direction--never
to stagnate and remain in the same place. Each day that is granted to us
by G-d should be utilized for fulfilling this mission. However, we must be
cognizant that, in relation to what is above us and what we can still achieve,
we are still in Egypt.
On the other hand, one must never despair of all there is left to achieve
and of one's lowly spiritual state. One must remember that it is possible,
through work, to leave "Egypt" immediately, with only one journey. We must
never think that our toil is in vain; with one move we can elevate ourselves
and reach the "good and wide land"--the Land of Israel.
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.
This summer, during the months of July and August, comes a very serious time
for the Jewish people, when many terrible things happened throughout history.
This period is called the "Three Weeks," or Bain HaMetzorim, which
means "Between the Straits."
What happened during this time? On the 17th of Tamuz: 1) Moses descended
from Mt. Sinai and smashed the two Tablets with the Ten Commandments when
he saw the Jews worshipping the Golden Calf; 2) The Romans breached the walls
of Jerusalem in 70 c.e.; 3) During the siege of Jerusalem the daily sacrifice
was interrupted by Nebuchadnezzer; 4) Apostomus publicly burned a Torah scroll;
and 5) An idol was erected in the courtyard of the Holy Temple. On the 9th
of Av, both the First and Second Temple were destroyed, bringing terrible
suffering upon the Jewish people.
The "Three Weeks" begin on the 17th of Tamuz (Thursday, July 20, 2000),
and continue until the 9th of Av (Thursday, August 10, 2000).
We observe some aspects of mourning: Weddings do not take place, and playing
musical instruments is prohibited, as is the buying and wearing of new garments.
In addition, we do not cut our hair.
Also, we should try to be extra kind to one another. We should give extra
charity, and learn extra Torah, and pray to G-d to end the Exile.
Jewish teachings explain that when we learn the laws of the Holy Temple,
its structure, the services and sacrifices practiced there, it is as if we
are rebuilding it.
Therefore, the Rebbe stresses that during the "Three Weeks" we should spend
time studying what the Holy Temple will be like, and to learn all about it.
See our publication: "Laws of the Holy Temple"
Also, the text of the book: "Seek Out The Welfare Of Jerusalem" [Analytical
Studies by the Rebbe, of Rambam's rulings concerning the Holy Temple], published
by Sichos in English - is available on-line at:
and is divided into a special study program.
During the Nine Days between the beginning of the Jewish month of Av and
the 9th of Av (August 2-10), mourning intensifies. We abstain from
eating meat and drinking wine except on Shabbat and for a Seudas
Mitzvah (meal associated with a mitzvah such as a bris,
or upon completing the study of a tractate of the Talmud). Lawsuits should
be postponed, pleasure trips should be avoided.
Concerning the destruction of Jerusalem it says, "Everyone who mourns for
the destruction of Jerusalem will be privileged to see its rebuilding." We
are not discussing here the obligation of the community at large, but rather
the obligation of each and every individual. Each one of us has to mourn
Jerusalem. And, although we have been promised that the Bais HaMikdosh
will be rebuilt, we are obligated to help rebuild it.
The completion of this task requires not only the participation of the community
in general, but also the participation of each individual in particular.
The Rebbe has said that, in order to aid in the rebuilding of Jerusalem and
bring Moshiach closer, every individual must increase in Torah study, prayer
and charity. An increase in charity is especially appropriate at this time,
as we are told that charity brings the final Redemption closer, and
"Zion--Jerusalem--will be redeemed through . . . tzedakah--charity."
May each and every one of us draw on that inner strength bestowed upon every
Jew that will enable us to increase in all of the above-mentioned matters,
bringing about the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the complete and final Redemption
through Moshiach, NOW!
Wednesday, August 2nd, is the first day of the Hebrew month of Av.
With the beginning of Av, the three-week mourning period over the
destruction of the Temple intensifies.
The First of Av was also the day on which Aaron, the High Priest,
Concerning his passing, the Torah tells us that "All of the House of Israel
wept for Aaron for thirty days." But for Moses, only the men wept, not the
women. Why was this? Because Aaron made peace between husband and wife, and
It is a phenomenal example of Divine Providence that Aaron, who was known
as a "pursuer of peace," passed away just on the day when, hundreds of years
later, we would be intensifying our mourning over the destruction of the
Temple. His life's work, evident even at his passing, shows us how to rectify
the reason for which the Temple was destroyed.
The Second Temple was destroyed because of causeless hatred among Jews. Hatred
and divisiveness are equal to the sins of idolatry, adultery and murder,
for which the First Temple was destroyed.
Especially at this time, we have much to learn from Aaron. We must try to
emulate his wonderful example, by doing everything in our power to bring
peace and harmony amongst our people. When this happens, we will no longer
mourn the passing of Aaron, nor the destruction of the Holy Temples, for
we will all be united, together as one, in the Third and everlasting Holy
Temple, may it be rebuilt NOW.
Our Sages have taught that the Holy Temple was destroyed because of sinat
chinam--unwarranted hatred. The rebuilding of the Holy Temple and the
correction of our past failings will be brought about through ahavat
chinam--unconditional love of our fellow Jew. What is unconditional love?
When we love the other person just because he is a Jew.
There are two sorts of love, actually, love of two different "types" of Jews.
One love is for the Jew I don't even know, and the other is for the Jew I
know. A cynical Jew once said, "If you ask me to love the Jew that's in Russia,
or the Jew that's fighting in the front lines in Israel, whom I've never
met, I have no problem. But if you're asking me to love Yankel my neighbor,
whose faults I know, now that is very, very hard."
In order to rebuild the Holy Temple, we have to have ahavat chinam
for the people we know. Though we recognize through firsthand experience
their good and bad qualities, their frailties and foibles, we must rise higher
than the differences between us. And, if we look higher or overlook altogether
what we don't like in another Jew, then the ahavat chinam will come
much more easily. For, when we look deeper, we will certainly see the other
Jew's source and essence, which, being a part of G-d Himself, are good and
May each and every one of us be permeated with true ahavat chinam
for those Jews whom we know as well as those Jews we don't know, thus helping
to rebuild the Third and eternal Holy Temple, NOW.
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 Torah Celebrations:
As a further preparation for the messianic era, to reveal the positive qualities
and joy that are latent in these Three Weeks, conclusions of Torah works
(siyyumim) should be held on each of the Nine Days (August 2-10),
"These activities will hasten the transformation of these days into days
of celebration, when with true and complete joy we shall proceed together
with Moshiach, to the Holy Land, in the true and ultimate Redemption."
The Rebbe, 18 Tamuz, 5751/1991
For a siyyum in your area, contact your local rabbi or Chabad-Lubavitch
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, July 28, Erev Shabbat Parshat Matos-Masei:
Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 7:57 p.m.
Saturday, July 29, Shabbat Parshat Matos-Masei:
Blessing of the New Month, Menachem-Av.(2)
On Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, we read Chapter 1 of
Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot).(3)
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 9:02 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 Menachem-Av is on Wednesday, August 2.
3. The weekly chapter of Pirkei Avot with the Rebbe's commentaries,
are available electronically via the Internet, by sending your subscription
request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subscribe "G-4."
Laws of Shabbat Candle
Lighting for the Blind
"Let There Be
Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide to Lighting Shabbat