"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Vayeitzei, 5761
Kislev 11, 5761
Dec. 8, 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:
The Table of Contents contains links to the text. Click on an entry
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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 of Living With Moshiach is dedicated in honor of
the second yahrtzeit of my dear cousin, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Kazen,
founder and Director of Activities, of Chabad-Lubavitch in Cyberspace, who
passed away, at the age of 44, on Tuesday, 12 Kislev, 5759 (Dec. 1,
Wednesday, the ninth of Kislev (Dec. 6), is the birthday and
yahrtzeit of Rabbi Dov Ber, the second Rebbe of
Therefore, we present an article about his--and all the other Chabad
Rebbes'--special relationship with the Holy Land of Israel.
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
Rosh Chodesh Kislev, 5761
Brooklyn, New York
"And Yaakov (Jacob) left Beer Sheva and went toward Charan," relates the
Torah portion of Vayeitzei. When darkness fell, Yaakov had traveled
as far as Mount Moriah. Placing a stone under his head for a pillow, he lay
down and fell asleep. That night G-d revealed himself to Yaakov in a dream.
"The land on which you are lying I will give to you and your seed," G-d said,
promising Yaakov the land of Israel as the inheritance of the Jewish people
To demonstrate just how effortlessly the land would be conquered by Yaakov's
descendants, "G-d 'folded' up the entire land of Israel and placed it beneath
him, alluding to the ease with which it would be acquired," comments Rashi,
the foremost Torah commentator, citing the explanation given in the Talmud.
Generations before, a similar promise was made by G-d to Avraham (Abraham).
"Arise, walk through the land in its length and breadth, for I will give
it to you." According to the Talmud, this commandment was given to Avraham
to facilitate his descendants' subsequent conquest of Israel. Avraham's sojourn
through the land demonstrated his Divine claim on the territory and paved
the way for his descendants years later.
It is interesting to note that whereas Avraham was commanded by G-d to perform
an actual physical action ("walk through the land"), Yaakov was not. Lying
on the holy ground of Israel was sufficient for G-d to reveal Himself and
promise it to his descendants.
Furthermore, G-d "'folded' up" the land of Israel beneath Yaakov to emphasize
that not only would it be easy for the Jewish people to conquer, as already
alluded to Avraham, but its acquisition would require no more exertion than
merely lying on the ground. The land of Israel would be given over into their
hands without effort, without their having to perform any special feats or
In effect, G-d granted the Jewish people the ability to conquer the land
of Israel without having to wage war. The Jewish claim on Israel was fixed
as incontrovertible in the consciousness of all mankind forever and ever,
as Divine right.
This potential could have been achieved immediately with Joshua's conquest
had the Jewish people possessed sufficient merit. Because of the sin of the
spies, however, this merit was taken away, and the Jews were forced to fight
to acquire what would have otherwise become their possession immediately.
When Moshiach comes and ushers in the Final Redemption, this potential will
be fully realized. The land of Israel will, at long last, be secured by the
Jewish people for eternity, without their having taken the slightest overt
Even now, before the Redemption, may it occur speedily in our days, when
Jews stand firm in their Divine claim to the Holy Land, unequivocally and
unashamedly declaring their G-d-given right to Israel, all the arguments
of the Gentiles against the Jewish people are nullified, and the arrival
of Moshiach and the Redemption is thereby hastened.
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.
Wednesday, the 9th of Kislev (Dec. 6), is the birthday and
yahrtzeit of Rabbi Dov Ber (5534/1773-5588/1827), the second Rebbe
of Chabad-Lubavitch, known as the Mitteler (or "intermediate") Rebbe.
The following day, the 10th of Kislev, is the day on which the
Mitteler Rebbe was redeemed from imprisonment (in 5587/1826).
In 5576/1816, Reb Dov Ber established a settlement of Chabad chasidim
in Israel, in the holy city of Hebron. He encouraged the chasidim
already living in other parts of Israel to resettle in Hebron. In addition,
his own daughter and son-in-law moved with their family from Russia to Hebron.
But the history of Chabad-Lubavitch's support of people, institutions
and settlements in the Holy Land predates even 5576/1816. For the first
Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, vigorously
encouraged his followers to support the Jews in the Holy Land.
Each and every Rebbe of Chabad, up to and including the present Rebbe,
has unequivocally supported the Holy Land and spoken out boldly concerning
anything that might have the slightest impact on the security of the Jews
Our brethren in Israel know firsthand about the Rebbe's concern for them
and their lives. During the Gulf War, the Rebbe's emphatic message, that
"Israel is the safest place in the world, for G-d is constantly watching
it," was continuously played on the radio. The hundreds of Chabad
Centers that dot the Israeli landscape were deluged with callers during the
Gulf War, asking, "What is the Rebbe saying now?"
Without a doubt, and everyone can be sure of this, the Rebbe's policy has
not changed one iota in the past 50 years nor has it changed from that of
his predecessors. Based on clear guidance from the Torah and Jewish law,
the Rebbe reiterates:(1) No action can be taken that might
negatively affect the safety of the Jews of the Holy Land!
In the merit of Rabbi Dov Ber, who established the first Chabad settlement
in the Holy Land, may we be privileged to go together with Moshiach to the
Holy Land, NOW.
* * *
About the Mitteler Rebbe it was said that he was so immersed in
Chasidus that "if his finger would have been cut, it would have bled
Chasidus instead of blood!"
When the Mitteler Rebbe was arrested by the Czarist government (in
5587/1826) on trumped-up charges of anti-government activities (he was later
released on the 10th of Kislev of that year), even the governmental
doctor, who was a prominent specialist, acknowledged that Chasidus
was the Mitteler Rebbe's very essence and life. The doctor told the
Russian authorities that they must allow the Mitteler Rebbe to give
talks on Chasidus to his chasidim, explaining, "Just as you
provide food for prisoners to ensure their existence, so, too, must you allow
him to teach Chasidus. His very life depends on it."
The authorities saw that this was true when, while imprisoned, the
Mitteler Rebbe's health waned. They agreed to let fifty
chasidim enter his prison room twice weekly to listen to a chasidic
But the Mitteler Rebbe was not only concerned about the spiritual
life of his fellow Jews, he also worked to better their situation materially
as well. He encouraged thousands of Jews, both his chasidim and others,
to settle on the land as farmers so that they would not have to be at the
mercy of the anti-Semitic landowners or peasants. In 5575/1815 he established
twenty-two Jewish farm settlements on land near the town of Cherson, which
he had convinced the government to give for this purpose. Many of his
chasidim, however, were reluctant to move so far away from their Rebbe.
Thus, the Mitteler Rebbe promised to go to the trouble of travelling
to them so he could teach Chasidus to them there.
The Rebbe spoke numerous times of the importance of celebrating the 9th and
10th of Kislev in a fitting manner, with gatherings that will foster
brotherhood and lead to good resolutions.
May such gatherings this year be in Jerusalem, with the Rebbe and all of
his predecessors presiding.
For a Tes/Yud Kislev gathering in your area, contact your local
1. 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.
Awaken Your Core This Month:
"Awakening the core of our being must be reflected in a concern for the
fundamental existence of every Jew. This should be expressed in efforts to
provide our fellow Jews with the necessities required to celebrate the holidays
of the month of Kislev [the 'chasidic New Year' on the 19th of
Kislev and Chanukah] with happiness and joy. Similarly, they should
have the means to fulfill the custom that the Rebbes followed of giving
Chanukah gelt to the members of their household."
(1 Kislev, 5752/1991)
Simply stated, this means that as we think about our own family's holiday
celebrations this month, we should make sure to help provide for other, less
fortunate people in the greater Jewish family.
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, Dec. 8, Erev Shabbat Parshat Vayeitzei:
Light Shabbat Candles,(2) by 4:10 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 9, Shabbat Parshat Vayeitzei:
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 5:15 p.m.
2. 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