"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Mishpatim, 5763
Shevat 28, 5763
Jan. 31, 2003
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
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, the 329th
issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
This Shabbat we bless the new Hebrew month of Adar I, and we
celebrate Rosh Chodesh Adar I, on Sunday, Feb. 2, and Monday, Feb.
3, therefore, in this week's issue we focus on Rosh Chodesh (Adar
Our sincere appreciation to L'Chaim weekly
publication, published by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, for allowing
us to use their material.
Also, many thanks to our copy editor, Reb
Staiman, for 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
26 Shevat, 5763
Brooklyn, New York
How does a person become a Jew? This week's Torah portion, Mishpatim,
indirectly touches upon this question.
Historically, the Jewish people entered into the covenant of the Torah by
performing three actions: brit mila (circumcision); immersion in a
mikvah (ritual bath); and the bringing of offerings, as it states,
"And they offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen
Ever since the Torah was given, a potential convert to Judaism had to undergo
a conversion process consisting of these three steps. After the Holy Temple
was destroyed and offerings could no longer be brought, a person became Jewish
after brit mila and immersion alone. When Moshiach is revealed and
the sacrifices are reinstated, converts will again be required to bring an
offering to the Holy Temple.
A question is raised: If, for the past 2,000 years of the exile, one of the
necessary requirements for conversion has been absent, how can converts be
considered fully Jewish?
The answer lies in the fundamental difference between the acts of brit
mila and immersion, and the act of bringing an offering. The first two
actions effect an essential change in the person and transform him into a
Jew, severing him from his past and imbuing him with a Jewish holiness. Bringing
a sacrifice, on the other hand, merely enhances his relationship with G-d,
rather than causing an essential change in his being.
As we learn from the Hebrew word for sacrifice, "korban," which implies
"closeness" and "affinity," a sacrifice is a gift to G-d that strengthens
the Jew's inner bond with his Father in Heaven. Thus, in the times of the
Holy Temple, a convert brought his offering only after he had already become
When the Holy Temple stood and the Divine Presence dwelt in a physical structure,
the special relationship between the Jewish people and G-d was openly revealed.
During the exile, however, with the physical Temple no longer in existence,
it is much more difficult for the Jew to perceive the true magnitude of his
bond with G-d. In such an atmosphere of concealment it is therefore possible
to become a Jew even without the enhancement of a sacrifice.
The fact that converts will be required to bring a sacrifice when the Third
Holy Temple is built does not mean that their conversions have been deficient
in any way. The coming of Moshiach and the building of the Temple will in
no way lessen the holiness of any Jew. Moreover, converts will be able to
partake of the various sacrifices like any other Jew, even before their own
individual offerings are brought.
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 as
a 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.
On Sunday, Feb. 2, and Monday, Feb. 3, G-d willing, we will, be celebrating
Rosh Chodesh Adar I, starting the new Hebrew month of Adar
Rosh Chodesh is celebrated as a mini-holiday, with special prayers
and finer food and clothing. Jewish women, in particular, observe Rosh
Chodesh more meticulously.
What is the reason for Jewish women's stricter celebration of Rosh
Rabbi Eliezer wrote: "When the men came to ask for their wives' gold earrings
for the Golden Calf, the women refused to hand them over. They said to their
husbands: 'We will not obey you in order to make an abomination that has
no power to save!' G-d rewarded them in this world, giving them a greater
degree of observance on Rosh Chodesh, and He rewards them in the World
to Come, giving them the power of constant renewal that characterizes [the
renewal of the moon on] Rosh Chodesh."
On a more general note, the Jewish calendar is a lunar one, and our people
are compared to the moon. Although our light is sometimes eclipsed by that
of other nations, like the moon we are always here -- both at night and by
day. Our nation's history has its share of growth and decline; like the moon
we wax and wane. But ultimately, these are just phases. For, although at
times we seem to be as unimportant or insignificant as the sliver of the
moon when it reappears, this is just a veneer.
May we sanctify the new moon this year and celebrate Rosh Chodesh Adar
I in the Holy Temple with Moshiach.
Our Sages relate that "in the merit of the righteous women, the Jews were
redeemed from Egypt." Similarly, the Sages associated subsequent redemptions
with the merit of Jewish women. The Holy Ari, Rabbi Yitzchok Luria, emphasized
that the future Redemption will follow the pattern of the Exodus, and thus
will also come as a result of the merit of the righteous women of that
From "Women as Partners in the Dynamic of Creation"
Do you have any money? No, this isn't a shake-down. But, if you have a U.S.
one dollar bill, pull it out before continuing to read this article.
Being such an integral aspect of our lives, there must be something valuable
money can teach us!
Turn to the side of the dollar bill that doesn't have the picture of George
Washington. The most conspicuous item, you will notice, is the word, "ONE."
"One" is a very prominent concept in Judaism. A basic tenet of our faith
is that G-d is one and there is nothing but G-d in the world -- the belief
that nothing exists but G-d, or that everything exists only because of G-d
is ultimate oneness.
Interestingly enough, the word "one" is directly below another major Jewish
concept, "In G-d We Trust." The Jewish people's trust and faith in G-d has
kept us going throughout the ages. This trust, however, is not limited to
the Jewish people as a group, but encompasses our individual lives as well.
Kabbala teaches -- and the Baal Shem Tov expounds on this teaching -- that
we are never alone, G-d is always with us. Even in a person's darkest moments,
G-d is with him and we can put our trust in Him, because each person is truly
one with G-d.
The concept of the oneness of the entire universe is further reflected in
the Latin phrase in the eagle's beak, "E Pluribus Unum," meaning, "From many
you make one."
The eagle is holding arrows in one claw and what many horticulturists consider
to be an olive branch in the other claw. This suggests the time of peace
spoken about by our great prophet Isaiah when we will "beat our swords into
The number of arrowheads, the number of leaves on the olive branch, the number
of stars above the eagle's head, are all 13. Thirteen, certainly, was the
number of the original Colonies. But in addition, and perhaps not so
coincidentally, it is the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew letters in the
word echad, which means "one."
Also, the stars above the eagle's head, in the shape that has become known
as a "Jewish star" and has become a symbol of Judaism, have light emanating
from around them. The Jewish people were commanded by G-d to be "a light
to the nations."
Let's look for a moment at the other sphere across from the eagle -- the
one containing the pyramid. Two Latin phrases are in this circle. "Annuit
Coeptis," according to the Webster dictionary, means, "He [G-d] has favored
our undertaking." The second phrase, "Novus ordo seclorum," means "a new
order of the ages," which in yesterday's lingo would be "a new world order"
and in today's lingo "the Era of the Redemption."
The pyramid itself -- work of human beings -- is incomplete. It becomes complete
only when joined with the eye, symbolizing most probably G-d's all-seeing
Eye. It is only when we connect the work of our own hands with G-d and when
we acknowledge G-d's assistance in our own work that we can complete our
job. As G-d tells us, "Not through your courage nor through your strength,
but with My spirit."
Just as the eagle symbolizes the United States, the pyramid is symbolic of
a country -- though much more ancient than the USA. The pyramid is Egypt
-- the location of the Jewish people's first exile. It is from Egypt that
the first Redeemer, Moses, took us out and brought us to freedom and the
Giving of the Torah. And it is from our last place of exile -- symbolized
by the eagle -- that the call has come forth, "The time of our Redemption
has arrived. Get ready for the coming of Moshiach."
The most important principle in the Torah is the protection of Jewish life.
It's more important than Shabbat, more important than holidays, even
fasting on Yom Kippur.
Right now, in Israel, and everywhere, Jews must stand together in unity and
do whatever possible to protect Jewish life.
The Rebbe taught that there are ten important
Mitzvot we can do to protect life. See what you can do:
1) Ahavat Yisroel: Behave with love towards another Jew.
2) Learn Torah: Join a Torah class.
3) Make sure that Jewish children get a Torah true education.
4) Affix kosher Mezuzot on all doorways of the house.
5) For men and boys over 13: Put on Tefillin every weekday.
6) Give Charity.
7) Buy Jewish holy books and learn them.
8) Light Shabbat & Yom Tov candles. A Mitzvah
for women and girls.
9) Eat and drink only Kosher Food.
10) Observe the laws of Jewish Family Purity.
In addition, the Rebbe also urged every man, woman and child to Purchase
a Letter in a Sefer Torah. There are several Torah scrolls
being written to unite Jewish people and protect Jewish life.
Letters for children can be purchased for only $1. Send your Hebrew name
and your mother's Hebrew name plus $1 to:
"Children's Sefer Torah,"
P. O. Box 8,
Kfar Chabad, 72915, Israel
or via the Internet, at:
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 Renewal Gatherings
The Jewish calendar is based on the moon's cycle. The beginning of each Jewish
month is a mini-holiday and affords a perfect opportunity to make gatherings.
Serve some special foods, study about the holidays in the upcoming month,
celebrate the imminent Redemption when the Jewish people will be totally
"The renewal of the moon after its concealment is used as an analogy for
the Redemption and the complete renewal of the Jewish people 'who will in
the future be renewed as [the moon] is renewed.'"
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, Jan. 31, Erev Shabbat Parshat Mishpatim:
Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 4:53 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 1, Shabbat Parshat Mishpatim:
Blessing of the New Month, Adar I.(2)
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 5:56 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 I is on Sunday, Feb. 2, and Monday, Feb. 3.
Laws of Shabbat Candle Lighting for the Blind
Shabbat Candle Lighting Blessing
"Let There Be Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide
to Lighting Shabbat Candles.
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