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Beis Moshiach #825

Beis Moshiach #825

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Published by B. Merkur

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Published by: B. Merkur on Feb 29, 2012
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Beis Moshiach (USPS 012-542) ISSN 1082-0272is published weekly, except Jewish holidays(only once in April and October) or $160.00 inCrown Heights. USA $180.00. All other places or$195.00 per year (45 issues), by Beis Moshiach,744 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409.Periodicals postage paid at Brooklyn, NY andadditional ofces. Postmaster: send addresschanges to Beis Moshiach 744 Eastern Parkway,Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409. Copyright 2012 byBeis Moshiach, Inc.Beis Moshiach is not responsible or the contentand Kashruth o the advertisements.
FEATURED ARTICLES
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THE MODESTY ANDBITTUL THAT HIDEVERYTHING [CONT.]
11
THE REBBE AND THREESTORIES
Shneur Zalman Berger
16
ANYTHING TO HELP AFELLOW JEW
24
FROM SOUL SEARCHINGTO THE SOUL STIRRINGMUSIC OF THE ALTERREBBE
Sholom Dovber Crombie
34
IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
Sholom Dovber Crombie
16
16
6
6
24
24
CONTENTS
744 Eastern ParkwayBrooklyn, NY 11213-3409
Tel: (718) 778-8000Fax: (718) 778-0800admin@beismoshiach.orgwww.beismoshiach.org
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF:
M.M. Hendel
HEBREW EDITOR:
Rabbi S.Y. ChazaneditorH@beismoshiach.org
ENGLISH EDITOR:
Boruch Merkur
editor@beismoshiach.org
WEEKLY COLUMNS
4
D’var Malchus
14
Farbrengen
37
Parsha Thought
40
Young Chassid
 
A JEW SITS IN SHUSHANAND DECREES:MOSHIACH NOW!
Translated by Boruch Merkur
The Purim story unfolds inShushan HaBira, the capital cityof Achashverosh’s vast empire.Issuing forth from the royalpalace there, in Shushan, wereroyal edicts and decrees thatgoverned the subjects throughoutthe entire empire, “seven andtwenty and a hundred countries.”On a deeper level, ShushanHaBira symbolizes the capitalcity of the King, King of Kings, Alm-ghty G-d Himself. Now,since it is said of a Jew that “G-dstands with him,” therefore, hestands with the Divine strengthof “Shushan HaBira,” whereverhe may be. Thus, it is a Jew whoestablishes the conduct of the world’s inhabitants; it is withinhis power and capacity to ruleover and have an impact uponthe entire world, “seven andtwenty and a hundred countries.”Of course, the skeptics ask: Where is the legal precedent forthis claim in the Torah? At firstglance, this is merely a
 p’shetl
 (a loosely derived teaching)from
Seifer HaTanya
[Ch. 41, where it quotes the verse, “G-dstands with him”! What authoritygives us the right to make theclaim that a lone Jew possessesthe power to change the entire world?]The response is that it isa clear ruling in Rambam’s(purely legalistic work)
Yad HaChazaka
! There, in the Lawsof Repentance, Rambam writes:“Every person must see himself … as well as the entire worldas being half worthy and half liable … If one performs a singleMitzva, he inclines himself andthe entire world to the side of favor, bringing to himself andto the others salvation anddeliverance.”This law establishes that it is within the capacity of every singleJew to have an impact on theentire world, to the extent that hecan incline the judgment over theentire world to the side of favor, bringing about salivation anddeliverance to all. Indeed, thisruling supports the notion that wherever a Jew is to be found,he is at the level of “ShushanHaBira,” which governs theconduct throughout all “sevenand twenty and a hundredcountries.”Now, since the balance of power regarding judgment overthe entire world is in the handsof the Jewish people – by meansof their service of G-d (expressedin their action, speech, andthought) – clearly, “salvation anddeliverance” is first experienced by the individual Jew who bringsabout the favorable judgment.Since each individual mustacknowledge and proclaim,“the world was created for me”(Sanhedrin 37a), it is understoodthat when the redemption beginsto unfold in a manner of “Andyou, the Jewish people, will be gathered one by one,” theprocess starts with this Jew! At first glance, the question is begged: How does one summonsuch arrogance and self-indulgence to say that when theJewish people need to be savedfrom exile, all the Jewish peopleremain as they are for a moment while the redemption begins tounfold for this individual?! A Jew responds by saying thatthe connection of the essence of his soul with the very essence of G-d (the true Redeemer) is itself an essential bond. This bond isovertly expressed by means of Torah and Mitzvos. However,even prior to the considerationof his commitment to Torah andMitzvos, there is an essentialconnection of the soul to theessence of G-d. It is not merely a bond between two distinct things, but a unity that is “
kulo chad
entirely one” (in a manner thatis superior to the unity describedas one being a “chariot to G-d,”discussed earlier). Since a Jew and the essence of G-d are“entirely one,” a perfect union,there is absolutely nothing thatcomes between them; there is justthe Jew and the Divine essence!In this light it is readilyunderstood that the entire world was indeed created for theindividual Jew, to the extent that“G-d stands with him.” Thus, theredemption first unfolds for him.
 (From the address of Purim 5742,bilti muga)
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8 Adar 5772
D’VAR MALCHUS
 
WELCOME TOTHE MASQUERADE
By Rabbi Yisroel Harpaz
If Shakespeare thoughtEngland circa 1600 was absurd,imagine what he would havethought of Persia in 400 BCE, or,for that matter Global Civilization2012, where all the world is a wacky, crooked stage and all thepeople its drunken players.On the surface, the Megilla,the Scroll of Esther, reads likea suspenseful story of palaceintrigue that would makeShakespeare drool. It is so easyto get drawn into the drama of the storyline and the melodramaof the characters, that you couldmiss the absurdity of the wholenarrative. Every character in thestory is insane. It’s like they’reall drunk, or maybe there wassomething in the drinking water.No one is doing what they’resupposed to be doing: Vashti,the first queen mentioned in thestory, for no apparent reason,refuses to appear when the kingcalls her; Achashverosh is theking, but he can’t make a singledecision without consultinghis moronic advisors; the royalpalace guards are trying to killthe king instead of protectinghim; Haman, a power-hungrymegalomaniac gets exactly whathe wants when his is appointed toa high position, and then risks itall to take out his ire against someJew because he can’t control hisanti-Semitic twitch; the list goeson.How do we make sense of all this? The question becomesmuch more pertinent when weconsider that it’s not just about atwo thousand year old narrative –the same could be said about the world we live in today. Over thelast century or so, the course of human civilization has taken ona progressively absurd course,and the absurdity quotient seemsto be speeding up exponentially.No one is doing what they’resupposed to be doing. The CIA,charged with protecting Americansecurity, and hence world order,partners with the Taliban todefeat the Soviets in Afghanistanand essentially fund the birth of  Al Qaida and modern terrorism;Israel, which is supposed to be a guiding light unto thenations, insists on chasing itsown tail under the glare of theinternational media spotlight;universities, once considered bastions of independent freethought, are merely tools at thehands of ideologues and interestgroups; North Americans, oncethe great frontier people, havesettled into the comfortablenon-existence of the corporateDisneyland otherwise known assuburbia.The only conclusion is thatsomething much deeper isgoing on. When things makesense, then it’s easy to point tocausal factors and say that thisis happening as a result of this.But when everything is out of  whack, when people make themost absurd statements andact completely out of character,and everyone else seems to benodding and going along with itmaking, you feel like you’re theonly sane protagonist in somekind of Kafkaesque conspiracy. When the whole world seems to be in upheaval, then there’s reallyonly one way to explain it: TheMaster Puppeteer is having somefun at our expense; it’s almost likehe’s saying let’s see how much of this absurdity they’ll take beforethey look up and wonder who theheck is pulling the strings here.The Sages say that when youfind yourself in an era whereeverything seems absurd, youshould anticipate the arrival of Moshiach. Because that’s whatMoshiach is all about – liftingthe veils and revealing the trueintent behind the facade. As anera, the times of Moshiach willpresent this reality as a globalexperience. On an individuallevel, we can experience it now  by tapping into the teachings of that era, which can be found inKabbala and Chassidus. But thatrequires humility, the ability totranscend the self, which is whatthe inebriation of Purim is reallyall about – getting outside of theself.So while a lot of peopleseem to be merrily going abouttheir business, even enjoyingthe incessant absurdity of themasquerade, there are those who will seek to penetrate its darknessthrough social activism, justiceand mystical depth perception.Or you can ignore the absurdity,don your costume, and enjoy themasquerade.
 
Issue 825
 
 
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