"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Kedoshim, 5760
Nissan 30, 5760
May 5, 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:
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.
"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 Shabbat is the second day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar, therefore
this week's issue focuses on the Hebrew month of Iyar.
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
28 Nissan, 5760
Brooklyn, New York
This week's Torah portion, Kedoshim, contains the commandment: "Sanctify
yourselves and be holy." Man is commanded to sanctify himself even within
the parameters of Torah law. Not only must he heed both positive and negative
mitzvot, but he must also sanctify himself in those areas that the
Torah has deemed permissible.
One might think that because these areas are not specifically spelled out
in the Torah, this commandment is less important than others that are explained
in great detail. But it is precisely this personal sanctification that has
the power to bring the Final Redemption closer to reality.
Although learning Torah and performing mitzvot require the individual
to subjugate, to a certain extent, his own personal desires to G-d's will,
this in no way ensures that his inner nature will be purified and refined.
But when a person, of his own accord and of his own volition, consistently
behaves in the same dignified and respectful manner, no matter what the endeavor,
it demonstrates that the Torah's holiness has penetrated his inner being
and that he is totally committed to G-d.
At the same time, this imbues one's entire life with G-dliness, not only
those areas directly involved with religious observance. A person who strives
to sanctify himself at all times, however mundane his activity, reveals the
G-dliness within all of creation and proves that no aspect of life is too
insignificant to be used in the service of G-d.
This commandment has particular meaning for us now, as we stand on the threshold
of the Final Redemption: we are the last generation of Golus (Exile)
and the first generation of the Geulah (Redemption). For one of the
main changes that will occur when Moshiach comes is the revelation of G-dliness
that will suddenly become apparent. When Moshiach comes we will realize that
G-d is indeed everywhere and that truly "there is nothing besides Him."
At the present time, holiness is manifested in a limited way. Now, it is
the physical objects we use to perform mitzvot that become imbued
with holiness and sanctity. During the Messianic Era, however, we will easily
recognize the G-dliness inherent in every detail of creation.
When Moshiach comes, G-d will be perceived as He exists--without any limitations
whatsoever. G-d's desire to establish a dwelling place for Himself "down
on earth" will be totally fulfilled and the purpose of creation realized.
Sanctifying even the most mundane aspects of our lives, therefore, not only
prepares us for the imminent Redemption, but, serves to bring Moshiach even
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 Shabbat is the second day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar;
therefore, let's consider just two of the numerous points about the unique
quality of Iyar.
Iyar, as spelled in Hebrew, is an acronym for the verse, "I, G-d,
am your Healer." Thus, this month is an auspicious time for personal and
In addition, the Rebbe stressed many times the special quality of every single
day of the month of Iyar, as each day has its own special
mitzvah of sefira, or "counting."
The first time the Jewish people counted during this period between Passover
and Shavuot was when they left Egypt and were preparing themselves
to receive the great gift of G-d's Torah at Mount Sinai. At the time they
were on a journey not only toward Mount Sinai and ultimately the Holy Land,
but they were also on their own personal journeys of self-refinement and
In future years "sefira" was connected to the counting of the
omer, a measure of barley that the Jews brought as an offering in
the Holy Temple on the second day of Passover.(1)
Even as we await the rebuilding of the Third and eternal Holy Temple, we
recite the blessing and fulfill the mitzvah of counting the
omer each evening from the second night of Passover until the eve
of Shavuot. And as we do so, we, too, travel on our own personal journeys
of self-refinement and purification, thereby drawing holiness into this world,
and preparing it for the arrival of Moshiach.
This, then, is the essence of part of the uniqueness of the month of
Iyar. Each day in this month has the mitzvah of counting (as
compared to the previous month of Nissan and the next month of
Sivan, which only have a few days with this mitzvah). And each
day is filled with the longing and preparation for the giving of the Torah.
Similarly, each day brings with it renewed introspection and the desire for
character refinement and purification.
May we complete our personal and national counting in the Holy Temple with
* * *
Counting the omer teaches us that every day counts. It reminds us
that each hour, each minute, should be filled with words, thoughts and deeds
of which we can be proud. And, too, that we are held accountable for every
precious second of life with which our Creator has blessed us.
"But, hold on a minute!" one might silently shout. "I'm just finding out
about this now. I've already missed out on making the past 20 days (or 20
years) count. What can I do to rectify the situation?"
The answer to this heartfelt cry lies in the uniqueness of the month of
Iyar and the mitzvah with which it is intertwined. Each day
holds a separate mitzvah, a unique opportunity, a particular mission.
True, you might have passed up prior chances, but today's and tomorrow's
minutes and hours are still available for you to fill with meaningful moments.
And by making our days count from now on, we can, in truth, rectify that
which we were missing in the past.
1. See The Story of the Omer, printed in
Moshiach, Your S'firat Ha'omer Guide, 5760
The Rebbe has spoken often of how important the Land of Israel is to the
Jewish people.(2) At a gathering in 5750/1990 the Rebbe
spoke about the importance of maintaining possession of every inch of the
"Just as the Jews are G-d's chosen people, Eretz Yisrael [the Land
of Israel] is G-d's chosen land, a holy land given to the Jewish people,
those living on the land at present, and those who are presently living in
"No one is entitled to give up any portion of Eretz Yisrael to gentiles.
Maintaining possession of these lands is the only path to peace. Succumbing
to the pressure to surrender them will only invite additional pressure, weakening
the security of the Jewish people and exposing them to danger. Heaven forbid
that the government in Eretz Yisrael should consider surrendering
any portion of Eretz Yisrael that G-d has granted us."
The Rebbe's approach to Eretz Yisrael could almost be described as
that of "L'chatchila Ariber." L'chatchila Ariber means, "to begin
with, go over."
This concept was innovated by the fourth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi
Shmuel, known as the Rebbe Maharash, whose birthday is celebrated
on Sunday, Iyar 2 (May 7).
The approach of L'chatchila Ariber teaches that if we come upon an
obstacle to a task we are involved in, or an obstacle to a mitzvah
or project or good deed which comes our way (or we pursue), we should overcome
the obstacle in the most direct manner. The Rebbe Maharash explained
that while some people propose that when confronted with an obstacle the
best route is to go around, or under it--l'chatchila ariber--from
the start, go over it.
In these auspicious days of the Rebbe Maharash's birthday and the
Shabbat following it, may our pursuit of Torah and mitzvot
be in a manner of "l'chatchila ariber." Surely this fortitude and
persistence will have its desired effect, true peace in the Land of Israel,
and throughout the entire world, with the revelation of Moshiach, NOW!
* * *
The Rebbe Maharash mentioned this concept--which has been the constant
battle cry of Lubavitch outreach workers all over the world--in reference
to one who finds himself faced with an obstacle. "The whole world says, first
try to go under or around an obstacle. If this doesn't work, then go over
it," the Rebbe Maharash noted. "But I say, 'In the first place, go
over,'" he declared.
What does it mean to go over an obstacle right away rather than trying another
method to pass an obstruction? In confronting obstacles to all good endeavors,
one should take the most ambitious and aggressive approach. One cannot remain
passive, hoping that the situation will change by itself or that the obstruction
will magically disappear. It must be approached as a challenge. And, as such,
it should be afforded one's utmost attention and energy.
In addition, when working at overcoming obstacles, we have to keep uppermost
in our mind only positive thoughts and the image of the endeavor successfully
accomplished. For this, too, will aid in our ultimate triumph and success.
2. 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).
See also: REBBE'S VIEWS
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: email@example.com - Subscribe
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, May 5, Erev Shabbat Parshat Kedoshim:
First day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar.
Light Shabbat Candles,(3) by 7:37 p.m.
Saturday, May 6, Shabbat Parshat Kedoshim:
Second day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar.
On Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, we read Chapter 2 of
Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot).
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 8:43 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
"Let There Be
Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide to Lighting Shabbat