"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei, 5761
Adar 28, 5761
March 23, 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 Shabbat Parshat HaChodesh, the forth
of four special Torah readings read in the synagogue on the Sabbaths before
the month of Nissan--Shekolim, Zachor, Parah
This Tuesday, the 25th of Adar (March 20), marks the 100th year since
the birth of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, the Rebbe's wife. On this day in 5748/1988,
in connection with her 87th birthday (about a month after her passing, on
22 Shevat), the Rebbe spoke about the significance of birthdays and
the importance of celebrating them in the traditional Jewish manner, which
will be discussed, G-d willing, in our next issue.
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, 5761
Brooklyn, New York
In the first Torah portion we read this week, Vayakel, Moses gathered
the Jews together and relayed G-d's command to build the Sanctuary, in the
second Torah portion, Pekudei, lists Moses' accounts of the precious
metals used to make the Sanctuary's vessels, and details how the offerings
were made. Finally, it relates how these actions brought G-d's Divine Presence
to rest in the Sanctuary.
Usually, when a person builds a new house, he waits until it has been completed
to fill it with furniture and implements. The dedication of the Sanctuary,
however, was done in the exact opposite manner. "And he placed the golden
altar in the Sanctuary before the veil, and he burnt upon it the incense
of spices... and he set up the court around the Sanctuary and the altar."
The Sanctuary was not yet fully erected when Moses offered the incense on
the golden altar.
The Sanctuary, G-d's dwelling place on earth, contained a holiness so great
that it existed above and beyond the laws of nature. Its sanctity (and that
of the Holy Temples that followed) is eternal, not subject to the concept
of time, and continues today, though we no longer have a physical edifice
in which to bring offerings. The unusual manner in which the Sanctuary was
erected, therefore, reflected this.
The Torah's command, "And you shall make Me a dwelling place," applied not
only to the Sanctuary, but includes the obligation to erect the Holy Temple
in Jerusalem. Moses' offering of incense on the golden altar dedicated not
only the Sanctuary that traveled with the Jews in the desert, but the Temples
that were yet to be built, including the Third Holy Temple when Moshiach
According to Jewish law, offerings may be brought even in the absence of
the Temple's physical structure if one knows the exact location of the altar.
When Moses burnt the incense, before the Sanctuary was completely built,
he caused a measure of holiness to be brought down into the world that is
not dependent on physical limitations. This holiness is eternal and exists
This holds particular relevance for our generation, the last generation of
exile before the Messianic Era. No longer may we be satisfied with the measured
norms of behavior that sufficed for previous generations; our times demand
an extra measure of self-sacrifice on our part. Our service of G-d must therefore
also breach all limitations, so that we may merit the ultimate and Final
Redemption with the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our day.
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.
51 years ago, on Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei, 5710/1950, the
Rebbe said the following:
"In the last series of Chasidic discourses that the [Previous] Rebbe wrote,
he anticipated everything and hinted at everything. [According to the
unauthenticated notes of a listener, the Rebbe said: "I search among the
subjects explained in these discourses for the answers to all the questions
"The [Previous] Rebbe says this of our present time--the final era before
the Redemption, the era in which the task of separating the sparks of G-dliness
in this world and returning them to their source comes to an end. As the
Rebbe wrote, now is the era preceding the Redemption, and the mode of spiritual
service now required is a mode of victory, with an unquestioning acceptance
of the yoke of heaven.
"In order that victory be secured in the current battle, 'secret treasures,
which have been locked away for generations,' have been squandered--i.e.,
all the teachings and episodes which the Rebbe revealed in recent times,
and which had been hidden and sealed from generation to generation, until
the generation of the Baal Shem Tov and his mentor.
"Because no one adequately took all these treasures to heart, their revelation
is a veritable squandering, all for the sake of victory."
In another of his earliest talks, the Rebbe suggests that we pour over the
latter talks of the Previous Rebbe from his final years in order to find
guidance and our orders on how to proceed.
Jewish teachings explain that when a great Sage makes a statement about another
great teacher he is, in reality, saying the same about himself. Thus, we
must take the Rebbe's advice and pour over his most recent teachings, those
from the years of 5750, 5751 and 5752 (1990-1992). In these most recent talks,
the Rebbe's declaration that "The time of our Redemption has arrived," shows
clearly that we have entered a new stage in the pre-Redemption era. And the
Rebbe's instructions to publicize this and other statements and messages
are also contained in these talks.
May we very soon no longer have to review the Rebbe's talks, but hear Torah
from the Rebbe himself.
This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevorchim, the Shabbat before
the new Jewish month. Literally translated, it means a Shabbat in
which we bless the upcoming Jewish month. This Shabbat Mevorchim is
special because it is the Shabbat before the month of Nissan,
which is often referred to as "the month of Redemption."
On the surface, calling Nissan the month of Redemption is explained
by the fact that Nissan is the month in which we celebrate
Passover,(1) the holiday that commemorates the Jews' redemption
from Egyptian slavery. But the month of Nissan is also connected to
the Final Redemption, as our Sages say, "In Nissan, our people were
redeemed, and in Nissan, they will be redeemed in the future."
This Shabbat represents the transition from the month of Adar
to the month of Nissan. Both months contain within them commemorations
of miraculous events. In Adar we celebrate the downfall of Haman and
the victory of the Jewish people, and in Nissan we celebrate our freedom
The difference between the events is that the miracles of Purim occurred
within the natural order of the world, while the miracles of Passover transcended
the natural order. The story of Purim can be traced through a natural sequence
of events. But by cloaking miracles in the natural order of the world, we
are actually elevating the natural order.
That is our true purpose on this earth, to elevate the physical to the spiritual
and have G-dliness revealed on this plane.
Another concept that the two months have in common is redemption. Adar
celebrates redemption from Haman's wicked decree, and Nissan celebrates
the redemption from Egypt. Shabbat is also a kind of redemption, a
weekly redemption from mundane cares and worries to a place of light, joy,
song and Torah-study.
May all of these redemption's be stepping-stones to our complete, final,
and ultimate Redemption, the coming of Moshiach.
1. This year, Passover begins on Saturday night, April 7.
This Shabbat is one of the four special Shabbats preceding
the Yom Tov of Pesach. It is called Shabbat Parshat
HaChodesh. We read a special Torah portion from the book of Exodus which
states: "This month shall be the head month for you. It shall be the first
month of the year."
Shabbat Parshat HaChodesh always falls either on the Sabbath when
we bless the month of Nissan or on the first day of Nissan
The month of Nissan is special in that it is a month of miracles--not
the everyday miracles of human existence, or hidden miracles such as those
that took place on Purim. But, rather, Nissan contains revealed miracles
that are higher than nature itself.
With the command that the month of Nissan, a month of revealed miracles,
be designated as the first and "head" of the months, the Torah emphasizes
that in all the months of the year, whether we see open miracles, miracles
in the cloak of natural events, unusual success or a seemingly unchangeable
cycle of nature, we must realize that G-d is the Creator of the Universe,
the sole Master of the world, who directs and cares about even the smallest
detail of the world and each individual person.
If each and everyone of us would sit down for only a brief few moments and
pay close attention to what has happened to us personally, we will detect
minor and major miracles that happen in our personal lives.
Many times we are just too busy to stop for a moment and take stock of what
has happened. But we shouldn't pass it off as another "natural" happening.
It is a miracle of G-d, whether it has occurred in the month of miracles,
or in an average day.
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 in the midst of the 30 days of happiness comprised of the month
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 23, Erev Shabbat Parshat
Light Shabbat Candles,(2) by 5:51 p.m.
Saturday, March 24, Shabbat Parshat
Blessing of the New Month, Nissan.(3)
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 6:53 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.
3. Rosh Chodesh Nissan is on Sunday, March 25.
Laws of Shabbat Candle
Lighting for the Blind
"Let There Be
Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide to Lighting Shabbat Candles.