"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Teruma, 5761
Adar 7, 5761
Mar. 2, 2001
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.
In this week's issue, we focus on:
1) Shabbat Parshat Zachor, the second of four special Torah readings
read on the Sabbaths before the month of Nissan--Shekolim, Zachor,
Parah and HaChodesh.
2) The Seventh and Ninth of Adar.
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
4 Adar, 5761
Brooklyn, New York
This week's Torah portion, Teruma, contains the commandment to fashion
a menorah for the Sanctuary. "And you shall make a menorah of pure gold."
Maimonides, one of the greatest Torah scholars of all time, drew a detailed
diagram of the menorah that greatly helps us understand what it looked like.
The diagram shows us the shape of the menorah's branches, the location of
its "flowers" and "bowls," and many other details.
Maimonides depicted the menorah's bowls (which were actually tiny cups) in
the shape of triangles. A cup is similar to a triangle as it is usually wider
on the top and narrower on the bottom.
Surprisingly, however, Maimonides drew the bowls of the menorah upside-down!
All 22 of the bowls are depicted as inverted triangles, the wider part on
the bottom and the narrower part at the top.
Thus, according to Maimonides' drawing, the bowls of the menorah were designed
as if to pour their contents out.
What does this teach us? Why were the bowls of the menorah upside-down?
In truth, the bowls are symbolic of the function of the menorah and, by
extension, the Holy Temple.
A regular menorah or candelabrum is designed to illuminate the inside of
one's home. The menorah in the Sanctuary, by contrast, was designed to illuminate
the outside. Even without the menorah the Temple was well lit. The reason
it was kindled was to illuminate the world at large and demonstrate that
G-d's presence rested upon Israel.
The windows of the Holy Temple were fashioned according to the same principle.
These unique windows were opaque from within yet transparent from without.
Unlike other windows they did not draw light inside, but carried the light
of the Holy Temple outward.
Similarly, a regular cup is designed to contain liquid. But the bowls of
the menorah were inverted, shaped like cups that pour their liquid out for
those who are thirsty!
The true purpose of the Temple (and the menorah) was to shine the light of
holiness upon the entire world, not to contain it within its walls. Both
its windows and the bowls of the menorah expressed this concept, reflecting
their primary function of imbuing the world with a holy illumination. For
the Holy Temple is the place that lights up the entire world.
From this we learn an important lesson: The light of Torah and mitzvot
must not be kept to ourselves. Rather, we must always strive to share it
with others, thereby illuminating the world at large with holiness.
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.
Adapted from a Letter of the Rebbe
Rosh Chodesh Adar II, 5738/1978
As you surely know, the special additional Torah portion, Parshat
Zachor, which is read on the Shabbat before Purim, contains
the commandments to remember what Amalek, the arch-enemy of our Jewish
people, did to our people when they were on their way to receive the Torah
at Sinai. Amalek's unprovoked and stealthy attack was calculated to
shake their belief in G-d and dampen their enthusiasm for His Torah and
Haman, a direct descendant of Amalek, was driven by hatred of the
Jews, because "their laws were different from those of any other people,"
as the Megillah states. Likewise did all subsequent Amalekites
and Hamans of all ages hate the Jews.
But "Amalek"--in a wider sense--represents all obstacles and hindrances
that a Jew encounters on his or her way to receive and observe the Torah
and mitzvot with enthusiasm and joy in the everyday life. And so
Parshat Zachor comes to remind us, and never forget, that
Amalekites exist in every generation and in every day and age, and
that we must not allow ourselves to be deterred or discouraged by any
Amalekite in any shape or form.
If the question be asked, "Why has G-d done thus?" Why should a Jew be confronted
with such trials and difficulties?
The answer is, that every Jew has been given the necessary powers to overcome
all such Amalekites, and he is expected to use them, in order to
demonstrate to himself and others that nothing will deter him, nor dampen
his fervor, in the observance of the Torah and mitzvot in accordance
with G-d's Will. And once he recognizes that whatever difficulty he encounters
is really a test of his faith in G-d, and resolves firmly to meet the challenge,
he will soon see that no Amalek of any kind is a match for the Divine
powers of the Jewish soul. Indeed, far from being insurmountable obstructions,
they turn out to be helpers and catalysts for ever greater achievements,
having been instrumental in mobilizing those inner powers that would have
otherwise remained dormant.
This is also forcefully brought out in the Megillah, in the example
of Mordechai the Jew, who "would not bend his knee nor bow down" before Haman.
As a result of this indomitable stance, not only was Haman's power totally
broken, but many enemies became friends, as the Megillah tells us
that "many of the peoples of the land were becoming 'Jewish,' for the fear
of Mordechai fell upon them!"
May G-d grant that each and all of you should go from strength to strength
in emulating Mordechai the Jew, advancing in all matters of Judaism, Torah
and mitzvot, with joy and gladness of heart, and may you all be blessed
with a full measure of "light, joy, gladness, and honor," both in the plain
sense as well as in the inner meaning of these terms in accordance with the
interpretation of our Sages--"Light--this is the Torah... Honor--this is
tefillin"--since the Torah and mitzvot, though a "must" for
their own sake, are the channels and vessels to receive and enjoy G-d's blessings
in all needs, materially and spiritually.
Wishing each and all of you a happy Purim, and may its inspiration be with
you every day throughout the year.
The Seventh of Adar, Friday, March 2, is the birthday and
yahrtzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu (Moshe our teacher).
The Rebbe has spoken numerous times about the significance of this date in
our G-dly service. In one of the Rebbe's last public addresses, on 7
Adar I, 5752/1992, the Rebbe delved further into the significance
of this date:
"On a person's birthday, 'his mazal (source of influence) shines
powerfully.' If this concept applies to the birthday of any Jew, surely it
applies with regard to the birthday of a nasi (leader) of the Jewish
people. Nor is this relevant merely as an event in the past. Instead, each
year, the positive influence associated with the Seventh of Adar is
increased, reaching a level immeasurably higher than in previous years.
"The birthday of a nasi affects every member of the Jewish people,
for the nasi is the source of influence through whom G-d's blessings
are drawn down for the entire people....
"This leads to a practical directive. Seven is symbolic of a complete cycle.
Thus, the Seventh of Adar should inspire every Jew to carry out his
service in a complete manner. The positive influence of the month of
Adar will facilitate the performance of this service.
"Similarly, these positive influences will hasten the coming of the Redemption.
It is of utmost importance that the Redemption come sooner, even a moment
sooner, for the Divine Presence and the Jewish people are in exile. Therefore,
it is important to hasten the coming of the Redemption; every single moment
its coming can be speeded is significant. The potential for this certainly
exists: the very next moment can be the last moment of the exile, and the
moment that follows, the first moment of Redemption."
* * *
Jewish teachings (Shemos Rabba) state that "Moshe is the first redeemer
and he is also the final redeemer." This does not mean that Moshe himself
will be the "final redeemer." For, Moshe belongs to the tribe of Levi, while
Moshiach is from the tribe of Judah.
However, many traditional sources view the redemption from Egypt as the prototype
of the Final Redemption, based on the verse in our Prophets: "As in the days
of your exodus from the land of Egypt, I will show you wonders."
In this way, Moshe--who was the leader of the Jewish people in his generation--is
the prototype of every Jewish leader and ultimately, of Moshiach.
Thus, for example, in Egypt, first G-d appointed the redeemer--Moshe. He
spoke to the Children of Israel, telling them that G-d had remembered them
and that the time had come for them to leave Egypt. Only afterward did Moshe
redeem the Children of Israel and take them out of Egypt. Similarly, first
Moshiach informs us that the time of the Redemption has arrived, and only
afterward does the actual Redemption take place (Sfas Emes).
In one of his kabbalistic works, Rabbi Chaim Vital describes Moshiach as
a tzaddik, a human being born of human parents, and writes that he
will receive the soul of Moshiach that has been stored in the Garden of Eden.
Rabbi Chaim Vital then explains how this may be compared to Moshe and his
progression to self-perfection.
The Chatam Sofer, as well, describes Moshe, the first redeemer, and
then compares him to the final redeemer, "And when the time comes, G-d will
reveal Himself to him, and the spirit of Moshiach, which has been hidden
in the higher worlds until his coming, will light upon him."
The story of Moses taking the Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt
is well known, but long before he emerged as the redeemer of the Jewish people
his life was full of wonders and miracles.
Times were bitter for the Jews. Their favored status as Joseph's people had
long ago been replaced by the degradation of a harsh and cruel slavery. Pharaoh's
star-gazers had foreseen the birth of a baby boy who would one day lead the
Jewish slaves to freedom, but would die because of water. Pharaoh would forestall
that possibility by ordering the death by drowning of every boy born to the
Jews. He would make sure the Jews would never leave Egypt.
Jewish women refused to despair. They beautified themselves and went out
to the fields where their husbands labored in the burning sun. "Do not despair,
do not give up hope," they would tell their husbands. "G-d will not forget
us forever." They gave birth in secret, hiding the babies as long as possible.
Yocheved and Miriam, popular midwives, were commanded to kill the babies,
but what could they do, they dissembled, "The Jewish women give birth quickly,
before we can even get to them."
Soon, it was Yocheved's turn to hide her precious little boy. For a few months
she succeeded, but she knew the attempt was futile. The Egyptians had spies
everywhere. When there was the slightest suspicion, they would bring an Egyptian
baby into the Jewish house and pinch it to make it cry. It was impossible
to quiet the Jewish baby who would wail in response. Then the soldiers would
seize the child from his helpless parents and toss him into the Nile.
Yocheved had an idea. In a desperate attempt to save her son's life, she
set him afloat in a little reed basket, which she lovingly prepared to withstand
the waters of the Nile.
"Go and watch your brother, and see what will happen to him," she instructed
Miriam. Obediently, she stood on the banks of the Nile where she watched
her beloved brother's fate unfold.
Batya, Pharaoh's daughter, had just come down to the river to bathe and,
startled by a baby's cry coming from the direction of some reeds, she sent
her servant girl to fetch the semi-hidden basket.
When she opened it, a bright light emanated from the child's face and he
peered at her with a mature intelligence. She knew it must be a Hebrew child,
but she couldn't bear the thought of this beautiful boy being killed.
"Go, bring me a wet-nurse," she commanded, but when the Egyptian woman arrived,
the starving baby refused to drink. At that point Miriam saw her chance.
"If you wish, I will bring a nurse from the Hebrew women," she offered, and
without a moment's pause, Batya agreed.
And so, G-d's plan unfolded in unexpected ways. Yocheved was not only able
to bring up her beloved child in her own home, but she had the explicit
permission of Pharaoh's daughter--she was even paid for her "services."
* * *
Moses was a beautiful child--radiant, intelligent, the favored child on whom
the princess lavished her love and attention.
One day, the young child was brought to a royal banquet--the first time he
witnessed such a gala event. Everyone assembled sparkled in all their finery.
Suddenly, baby Moses reached out his little hand and seized, of all things,
the king's golden crown. And what's more, he set the glittering symbol of
kingship on his own tiny head! The shocked gasps were audible throughout
the great hall. The king's advisors saw that this act boded ill for the monarchy.
"Put the child to death before he grows up and seizes your throne!" they
said. But then one other voice was heard, that of Jethro, the Priest of Midian,
a highly respected sage and great magician.
"Your majesty, it is a known fact that every child will reach out for a
glittering object. Why should you assume that this child is intelligent enough
to discern the great meaning of your majesty's crown. Why should you take
away your daughter's beloved child if this is just a childish whim? I suggest
that you put him to the test: Put before him a piece of burning coal and
your crown. See which he will grab. If he reaches for the coal, which is
shinier than the golden crown, you will know he has no understanding of his
Jethro's advice seemed sensible enough, and a burning coal was brought and
put in front of the child. Moses, however, was not a child like all others;
he knowingly extended his hand toward the crown. Suddenly his hand moved,
pushed by an angel, and he seized the coal and put it into his mouth. He
screamed in pain, and Batya's heart jumped--Moses was hurt, but he would
live. The proof was incontrovertible, the child simply liked glittering objects.
Moses, the great redeemer of the Jewish people, was raised in the king's
palace, tutored in the ways of royalty and even bounced on his would-be
murderer's own knee, until the time arrived for him to begin his mission.
Next week contains within it a special date for the American Chabad-Lubavitch
community, yet possibly even more so for the American Jewish community at
The date is the Ninth of Adar, (Sunday, March 4). On this day, 61
years ago, (in 5700, March 19, 1940), the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok
Schneersohn, arrived in the United States.
For all purposes, this day marks the beginning of the "dissemination of the
wellsprings (of Chasidus) to the outside" in the Northern Hemisphere.
Though weakened in body--as he was confined to a wheelchair--he was not weakened
After his arrival in the United States, the previous Rebbe successfully devoted
himself to establishing a strong educational system here. Within two years,
yeshivot in New York, Montreal, Newark, Worcester and Pittsburgh were
founded. This flurry of activity, however, did not at all affect the manner
in which he continued to work toward the establishment of educational
organizations in other parts of the world. For, within ten years, programs
were started in Paris, Safaria (Israel) and N. Africa.
Before his arrival in the United States, the previous Rebbe was told that
"America is different." The customs and ways from the "old country" just
wouldn't do here. The Rebbe replied in his usual indomitable manner, "America
is not different!" and proceeded, throughout the rest of his life, to prove
that he was right.
The Jewish community here is greatly indebted to this prophetic and visionary
* * *
The Previous Rebbe announced, upon his arrival, that he was going to open
the first Chabad-Lubavitch yeshivah in America. He said, "America
iz nisht andersh--America is not different [from Europe]." Just as
yeshivot had dotted the European landscape for centuries, so too would
they flourish here in America.
Upon hearing this, many people came to the Previous Rebbe and tried to dissuade
him, citing examples of prominent rabbis who had also tried to establish
yeshivot in America and had failed.
The Rebbe replied, "I did not come to America to relax, but rather, Divine
Providence brought me to America to start rebuilding Judaism." He refused
to go to sleep that night until he was assured that the yeshivah would
open as he wished. The following day, Tomchei T'mimim Lubavitch
Yeshivah in Brooklyn opened with ten students.
* * *
The Previous Rebbe wrote and spoke at great length about the process of education
and the momentous task that is bestowed upon teachers.
In "The Principles of Guidance and Education," the Previous Rebbe describes
the process of introspection and refinement that an educator must undergo
in order to properly guide his/her students. He also explains how a teacher
must carefully examine each individual pupil's character and tailor his/her
teaching style to best educate the student with both love and firmness.
Contrary to the old saying that "those who can, do, and those who can't,
teach," the Rebbe shows us that only a person with a truly fine, exceptional
character can properly carry out the task of teaching the next generation.
The Rebbe explains that the arrival of the Previous Rebbe on our shores marked
the beginning of the primary efforts to spread Chasidus and Judaism
to the outer reaches of the world at large.
We should intensify our efforts to carry out the service begun on the 9th
of Adar II, 5700/1940, namely, to spread the light of Torah to the
entire world, until the Redemption comes and this world is revealed as G-d's
This Thursday 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.
The Rebbe has called on every Jew to observe the mitzvot of Purim:
hearing the Megillah read, giving charity, eating a festive meal,
sending gifts of food to friends and reciting the V'Al HaNissim prayer.
In addition, the Rebbe asked that everyone take part in spreading the awareness
of the mitzvot of Purim. "There should not be a single Jew in a far-off
corner of the world who does not have the opportunity to fulfill all the
mitzvot of Purim."
Since this year Purim ends right before the Shabbat, on Friday, March
9, in the afternoon, we are especially careful to avoid any violations of
the sanctity of the Shabbat.
The Purim festive meal is eaten in the morning--so that we will have a hearty
appetite for the traditional Friday evening Shabbat meal. The other
mitzvot of Purim are completed early enough on Friday afternoon to
allow for the proper preparation for the Shabbat.
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 2, Erev Shabbat Parshat Teruma:
Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 5:29 p.m.
Saturday, March 3, Shabbat Parshat Teruma:
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.