"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Vayakhel, 5760
26 Adar I, 5760
March 3, 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 Parshat Shekolim. Parshat
Shekolim is the first of four special Torah readings read on the Sabbaths
before the month of Nissan -- Shekolim, Zachor, Parah and
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
23 Adar I, 5760
Brooklyn, New York
In the beginning of this week's Torah portion, Vayakhel, Moshe relates
G-d's command to the Jewish people: "Six days shall work be done, and the
seventh day shall be holy, a Sabbath of rest to G-d."
In order to observe Shabbat properly, in accordance with G-d's command,
the groundwork must first be laid by the six days of the work week: "Six
days shall work be done."
Significantly, the commandment is not "Six days shall you do work." The verse
does not instruct us to toil laboriously. "Six days shall work be done"--as
if the work is being done by itself. You needn't exert undue effort or invest
too much of your energy, the Torah tells us. Rather, your work will be
accomplished with a minimal amount of exertion.
This is a special blessing that G-d has bestowed on the Jewish people. Our
Sages state, "When Israel does the work of G-d [when they serve Him properly],
their work will be done by others." Not "Six days shall you do work," but
"Six days shall work be done." Their work will already be completed.
This contains a lesson for every Jew to apply in his daily life. Yes, a Jew
is obligated to work for a living, to provide for the members of his family,
but only his most external powers and abilities should be invested toward
this end. It states in Psalms (128:2): "You shall eat the labor of your hands;
happy shall you be, and it shall be good for you." When is it good for man?
When only his "hands" are involved in his work; when his head and his heart,
his thoughts and emotions, are reserved for higher matters: the study of
Torah and the performance of mitzvot.
A Jew must never invest himself totally in his business affairs. For it is
"the blessing of G-d that makes a man rich." A person's success is not determined
by the amount of effort he puts into it. His efforts only create the vessel
through which G-d bestows blessings. Thus a Jew must reserve his intellect
and energy for spiritual matters, while his business must be viewed as if
it is taking care of itself.
Approaching work in such a manner ensures that the Shabbat will be
observed properly, that the Jew will be able to put aside his material concerns
on the day of rest. If a Jew is overly preoccupied with his livelihood during
the work week, his Shabbat will be disturbed by worry and anxiety:
How can he earn more money? What should he buy and sell? On Shabbat
he will find it difficult to disconnect from worldly matters. Thus "Six days
shall work be done" is the most appropriate preparation for "the seventh
day shall be holy."
In this manner all the days of the week will acquire a Shabbat-like
quality, and the Shabbat itself will have an increased measure of
holiness, as implied by the Torah's repetition, "Shabbat shabbaton--a
Shabbat of rest."
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, in addition to the regular Torah portions read in
shul, we will also read Parshat Shekolim, the Torah portion
in which G-d commands Moshe to take a census of the Jewish people by collecting
a half-shekel from each one.
The Rebbe explains that a census emphasizes the unique importance of each
individual while at the same time reminding us that every Jew's existence
is bound to that of his fellow man.
The concept of "loving your fellow man" is further emphasized by the fact
that every Jew, no matter how rich or how poor, was required to give the
exact same amount of money, a half-shekel.
Moreover, the half-shekolim that were collected were used to bring
communal offerings on behalf of the entire Jewish people. And although we
are in exile we can still fulfill the mitzvah of half-shekel
by carrying out the custom of giving three half-dollars to charity before
These gifts will hasten the Redemption, for then "Moshe will gather," i.e.,
Moshe, "the first redeemer and ultimate redeemer," will gather every single
Jew and proceed to Israel, to Jerusalem, to the Third Holy Temple.
Though we do not yet have the Third Holy Temple to which we could bring communal
sacrifices, these mitzvot apply equally today. For, the Torah is infinite,
not limited to time and place. While the physical Sanctuary was destroyed,
the spiritual aspects of the service in the Temple are still carried out
today through learning Torah and doing mitzvot.
When a Jew makes a contribution toward a sacred cause, it is immediately
matched by a corresponding kindness from G-d to him. Sincere human effort
is met halfway by Divine Grace, thus a goal that may at first seem unattainable
to a person can actually be reached, because his goodness evokes a corresponding
May our good deeds combined with G-d's benevolence finally bring us to attain
our ultimate goal, the coming of Moshiach.
This Wednesday marks the beginning of the month of March.
Hey, wait a minute. In a Jewish publication, shouldn't we reserve our discussions
for Jewish months and not secular months?
A famous teachings of the Baal Shem Tov is that from everything a person
sees or hears--whether in the realm of holiness or the seemingly secular--he
can learn a lesson in his G-dly service.
So, what can we learn from March?
Most of us know the saying, "March comes in like a lion and goes out like
a lamb." And the juxtaposition of the lion and the lamb brings to mind a
time of world-peace. So powerful is this image of lion and lamb connoting
world-peace that a grass-roots group of parents who promote non-violent toys
for children call themselves the Lion and the Lamb.
In truth, when our prophets speak of the ultimate world peace in the Messianic
Era, they state, "The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will
lie down with the kid..." The prophet continues, "...And the lion will eat
straw as the ox."
One might ask, "Is this allegorical, or will animals that were previously
adversaries actually co-exist peacefully?" That's a good question! (Every
sincere question is a good question, actually.)
According to the opinions of many of our great Sages, these prophecies should
be taken literally. Nachmanides documents this stand profusely, although
he maintains that their fulfillment will not necessitate great changes in
Creation because, "Initially when the world was created, prior to the sin
of Adam, animals were not predatory. Only after Adam's sin did their natures
Similarly, Rabbi Dovid Kimchi, the Radak declares that animals were
not originally predators, as G-d created only one male and one female of
each species. If either one would have been killed, the species would have
However, there are other great Sages whose opinions differ. No less a giant
than Maimonides declares: "Do not presume that in the days of Moshiach the
nature of the world will change, or there will be innovations in the work
of Creation. Rather, the world will continue according to its pattern."
How are we to understand Maimonides' words, knowing that he established as
one of the 13 principles of Judaism the belief in the resurrection of the
dead, an act that is certainly a change in the nature of the world?
The Rebbe explains that there are two stages to the Messianic Era. In the
first stage, "the coming of Moshiach," everything will go according to its
natural pattern. In the second stage, the actual Redemption, we will experience
supernatural and miraculous occurrences.
However, it is possible, according to the Rebbe, that we could by-pass the
first stage and go straight to the miracles--if we are meritorious.
Differing opinions aside, whichever way it's going to happen, let it just
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, March 3, Erev Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel:
Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 5:31 p.m.
Saturday, March 4, Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel:
Blessing of the New Month, Adar II.(2)
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 6:32 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 Adar II is on Tuesday, March 7, and Wednesday, March.
Laws of Shabbat Candle
Lighting for the Blind
"Let There Be
Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide to Lighting Shabbat Candles.