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The Rebbe’s Letter


 Moshiach & Geula


Farbrengen with Rabbi Leibel Groner | Nosson Avrohom


 Thought | Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gluckowsky


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The departure from Heaven (“a
new Torah will go forth from Me”) to
come down into the world is
A DAILY DOSE OF emphasized by the revelation of “a
new Torah” through Melech
HaMoshiach. For together with the

MOSHIACH fact that “he is a great prophet,” he

will also “possess wisdom…greater
than Shlomo (“the wisest of all
men”)…and therefore, he will teach
the entire nation.”

& GEULA: In other words, the new Torah

that will be revealed through him in a
manner of prophecy will be drawn
down and clothed within even mortal
6-12 TAMMUZ (Kuntres “Torah Chadasha M’Iti Teitzei” 5751)


Selected daily pearls of wisdom from the THE INNOVATIONS OF TORAH TO THE
Collected and arranged by Rabbi Pinchas Maman Regarding the “new Torah” that
Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry cannot be revealed through an
experienced scholar who learns
according to the general principles of
Torah, except through G-d––
Melech HaMoshiach (who “possesses
wisdom…greater than Shlomo”) will explain and teach
this new Torah (according to the general principles of
Torah) in “the Great Rabbinical Court in Yerushalayim,”
in a manner appropriate to the understanding and
comprehension of the intellect of the Sanhedrin.
(Kuntres “Torah Chadasha M’Iti Teitzei” 5751)


At the coming of Moshiach, the “gola” (exile) will be
turned into “geula” (redemption) by inserting the letter
Alef into “gola.”
The letter Alef has three interpretations, indicating
three levels in the G-dly revelation that will be in the
Firstly, Alef is derived from “aluf” (chief, master). At
the Future Redemption, there will be revealed how G-d
is the Master of the World. That is, the power of the
active within the passive will be revealed, the revelation
of G-dliness within and in approximation to the world.
(Shabbos Parshas Emor 5751)

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9 TAMMUZ: THE LETTER “ALEF” DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN serve to cut short the days of man ch”v, as is written
“GOLA” (EXILE) AND “GEULA” (REDEMPTION) [B] (Yeshayahu 2:4): “And they will beat their swords into
The second interpretation: Alef derives from “ulpana” plowshares, etc.” Furthermore, the concept of the
(study), e.g., “I will teach you wisdom” (Iyov 33:33). opposite of life will be nullified, and as is written in
In the Future to Come, there will be the revelation of Midrash (Tanchuma, end of Parshas Yisro): Years are
Torah, regarding which it is said (Midrash T’hillim 90:4), shortened through the evil inclination, but in the
“Torah preceded the world two thousand years” – a Future to Come, “death will be swallowed forever, and
revelation of G-dliness that is higher than the world, yet it G-d will wipe away the tears from every face.”
has a certain value in proportion to the world, revealed (Shabbos Parshas VaYechi 5752)

specifically through the Torah that preceded the world.

(Shabbos Parshas Emor 5751)
In the Future to Come, the wonders of It is known that as a result of the
imprisonment and the redemption
Torah will be revealed, the revelation of of my revered teacher and father-
in-law, the Rebbe, on Yud-Beis –
the inner teachings of Torah, which is Yud-Gimmel Tammuz (5687), he

wondrous and distinct unto itself – the arrived in the United States, in the
lower half of the globe, where he
revelation of the Essence and Being of established his place of residence
and avoda during his last ten years
G-d, may He be blessed. in this world (until 5710).
Since all matters (and especially
matters connected to the nasi) are
10 TAMMUZ: THE LETTER “ALEF” DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN by Divine Providence, it is understood that the reason
“GOLA” (EXILE) AND “GEULA” (REDEMPTION) [C] for his arrival in the lower half of the globe…is that it
The third interpretation: Alef has the same letters as was the Divine plan that the place of his residence and
“peleh” (wonder). In the Future to Come, the wonders of his avoda (in the final years) will be in the lower half of
Torah will be revealed, the revelation of the inner the globe…
teachings of Torah, which is wondrous and distinct unto Furthermore, since this generation is the last
itself – the revelation of the Essence and Being of G-d, generation of the Exile and the first generation of the
may He be blessed. Redemption, his redemption is the final stage of
redemption, the preparation for the True and Complete
(Shabbos Parshas Emor 5751)
11 TAMMUZ: ETERNAL LIFE IN THE FUTURE TO COME (Shabbos Parshas Korach 5749)

Then (in the days of Moshiach) iron will no longer

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on the desk until the next morning

anyway. The man had no choice but
to go home.
As he prepared his seder table,
someone knocked at the door. To
his surprise there was the man for

LISTEN TO whom he had asked for the matza.

Due to certain family matters, the
person had to stay in New York for
“Now I understand what the

THE STORY – Rebbe meant when he said you

would get the matza tonight!”
The Rebbe always left over some
of the afikoman. One day in the
middle of the summer the Rebbe

EVEN A 100 told me, “There on the bottom of

the bookcase is the afikoman. Take
a piece and wrap it up.” The Rebbe
gave me an address in Bombay,
India and said I should send the

From a farbrengen with Rabbi Leibel Groner, the Rebbe’s secretary
matza by express mail. He said,
“After you send it, call the family
and tell them, since I received a
letter from them that their mother is
very sick and the doctors don’t
Prepared for publication by Nosson Avrohom know how to help her, I sent the
afikoman. When it comes, they
Why should we tell and listen to stories should give her a bit of it and since
matza is ‘food of faith’ and ‘food of
about tzaddikim? How do you instill healing,’ Hashem will surely send
her a refua shleima.”
fear of Heaven in children? Why do we I called the family in India and
told the daughter what the Rebbe
tell stories on Motzaei Shabbos? * told me to say. Two weeks later she
called and said that when they
Stories of the Rebbe. * Part 2 of 2 received the package, they gave it to
their mother and she immediately
improved. I encouraged her to
[Continued from last issue] seder.”
continue doing so and a day or two
Stories of Chassidim, all the I stood on the side and saw that
later she regained consciousness
more so, stories about the Rebbe, the man was surprised, but the
and within a short time she had
are a segula for yiras Shamayim. Rebbe repeated, “Surely you will
There was a Chassid who had to see to it that he receives the matza
Another story. A Chassid from
be with his family outside of New tonight.” The man wanted to ask
Crown Heights called me and said
York every Pesach, and every year a the Rebbe about this, but there was
he urgently needed a yechidus and
relative would ask for matza for no time. He packed the matza and
it could not be postponed. I said he
him. One year, when it was this rushed to the post office, but the
should come Thursday night, and
man’s turn, the Rebbe gave him guard said the branch was closed.
he arrived on Thursday night along
matza for himself and for that other He asked the guard to let him in
with his wife. They were in the
Chassid, and the Rebbe added the anyway since it was an urgent
Rebbe’s room for fifteen minutes
surprising instruction, “Surely you matter. The guard said that even if
and then left.
will try to see to it that he receives he let him in, there was no one to
A few days later he called and
the matza tonight for the first help him, and that it would remain

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said, “I will tell why it was urgent. “Before we went in, we and said, ‘Be well, and good news.’
My wife has been depressed for a described the situation in writing. “Why am I calling now? Tell the
few months. We tried treating her in During the yechidus, the Rebbe Rebbe that the night we returned
various ways by doctors and said, ‘You see down there, there is a from the yechidus, we saw an
psychiatrists and with different bottle of wine that I use for immediate improvement, but I
medications, but nothing helped. I Kiddush on Shabbos. There is also didn’t know whether it was
thought she might cause herself a cup which I use for Kiddush. temporary, having been in the
harm, and knew I had to see the Bring me the bottle and the cup.’ Rebbe’s presence, or whether it
Rebbe and get his advice and “I did so and placed them on the would be ongoing. After a few days,
bracha. desk. The Rebbe told me to pour I see that the Rebbe eliminated the
wine into the cup, and I filled up entire situation as though it never
the cup. Then the Rebbe told my happened.”
The Rebbe said wife, ‘Take the cup and say the The Rebbe said that sometimes
bracha out loud so I can answer he had to use “Poilisher” methods
that sometimes he amen, and then drink it.’ She said (referring to overt miracles). When
had to use the bracha, the Rebbe answered
amen, and she drank a few drops.
Dr. Seligson went to the Rebbe
Erev Pesach to get matza, the Rebbe
“Poilisher” “The Rebbe told her, ‘No, you
have to drink the entire cup. Not all
gave him a whole one and then
added some broken pieces and said
methods (referring at once; I have time. Drink a little he should grind it up and use it as
now and then some more in a few medication. It helped for a refua
to overt miracles) minutes.’ It took about fifteen shleima.
minutes until she finished the entire We saw that the Rebbe used all
to help people. cup and then the Rebbe blessed us possible ways to help people, and

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some ways were seemingly not the Out of respect for his mother, come Thursday night and I would
ways of Chabad, but in order to the bachur did not react, but when try to get them in to see the Rebbe.
help someone the Rebbe utilized she left the zal, his friends went That’s what happened, and they
these ways too. over to her and said, “We don’t went in to see the Rebbe while
There was a couple that was not understand. You sent your son to some bachurim waited outside,
Lubavitch who had a 15-year-old Lubavitch and you know that curious about how it would work
son. Instead of sending him to their someone who comes to Lubavitch out.
own type of school, they sent him becomes a Chassid. By us, the main After fifteen minutes, the parents
to 770. When he was of thing is the Rebbe. If you have came out and the mother said she
marriageable age, shidduchim reasons why the girl is not suitable, no longer opposed the shidduch.
suggestions were proposed. He tell the Rebbe. He will hear what One of the bachurim dared to ask
asked the Rebbe and the other side you have to say and maybe agree…” her, “We don’t understand. The
did as well, and they received the I know about this since they other day you slapped your son in
Rebbe’s consent to meet. At that came in right afterwards and told public and now, after fifteen
point, the bachur told his parents the whole story. This was a Tuesday minutes, you changed your mind?!”
that he had the Rebbe’s consent to and I told the bachur’s father to The mother said, “When we
meet the girl.
His parents wanted to check the
girl out and after a few days his THE REBBE’S CUSTOMS ON SHABBOS
mother said that the girl was not
Rabbi Groner shared some of the Rebbe’s customs on Shabbos
suitable. The bachur insisted, “But I
regarding eating. In the writings of the Arizal it says that we draw down
got the Rebbe’s haskama!”
more holiness during the Shabbos meals than during the t’fillos. To
The parents and bachur argued
some degree, we saw this by the Rebbe during the Shabbos meals.
about this and in the meantime, the
During the week, the Rebbe did not wash and did not eat meat or
couple met and decided they
chicken. If the Rebbe ate, it was fish. Every day, during the day, the
wanted to marry. They wrote to the
Rebbe hardly ate. After Shacharis we brought the Rebbe a cup of tea
Rebbe asking for his consent and
with cake and did the same after Mincha. The only time the Rebbe ate
bracha. The bachur added that his
a meal was in the evening.
parents opposed the shidduch but
After 5748, when the Rebbe no longer went home but remained in
they wanted to marry and they were
his room, I would bring in supper. After the Rebbe finished eating he
asking the Rebbe what to do.
would ring a bell and I would come in and clear everything away. One
The Rebbe said the shidduch
night, the Rebbe rang and I went in and saw that the Rebbe had hardly
should be in a good and auspicious
eaten any of the fish.
time. I explained that the Rama
I thought that the Rebbe hadn’t finished eating and maybe he
(commentary on the Shulchan
wanted something else, so I waited to make sure he didn’t want to eat
Aruch) paskens that when it comes
more and was busy with something else. The Rebbe asked me why I
to where to learn and who to marry,
was waiting and I said maybe the Rebbe wanted to finish something.
you do not need your parents’
The Rebbe said he had finished eating. I dared to comment, “The
Rebbe ate only a little,” and the Rebbe said, “Today I ate a lot.”
The bachur called his parents
That’s the way it was every day, but Friday night the Rebbe washed
and said, “We have the Rebbe’s
and ate more than a k’zayis of challa. He ate all the fish and soup,
consent and we are getting
meat, and fruit compote. Shabbos afternoon, when there was a
married.” The parents were furious
farbrengen after Mincha, the Rebbe did not eat the Shabbos meal.
and said they would not attend the
During the summer, when the farbrengen finished at five and sunset is
wedding, nor would any of his
at eight, sometimes the Rebbe did not go and eat.
siblings or any of the extended
When I saw this happening a few times, I called the Rebbetzin and
family and he would get no
asked whether we should prepare a meal in 770 and if the Rebbe would
financial help from them.
stay in 770 we could serve the meal there. The Rebbetzin agreed. The
A week later, the mother came
next Shabbos, when I saw that the Rebbe was staying in 770, I brought
to 770 and entered the zal (study
him the meal we had prepared. The Rebbe asked, “What’s this?” and I
hall). She went right over to her
said that it was the Rebbe’s meal. The Rebbe instructed me to leave it
son and smacked him and said,
for him and he ate, though very little, a k’zayis of challa, etc.
“You are not marrying her!”

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went in and explained why the shidduch was not
suitable for our son, the Rebbe said, ‘When a bachur
and girl ask me about a shidduch, before I answer them
I look in all the sifrei shidduchim up Above. When I see
that there is no obstacle, I give my consent.
“‘When they wrote me asking whether they should
meet, I checked all the s’farim and saw no obstacle to
their meeting. When I received another letter in which
your son said you opposed the match, I thought
perhaps I had missed some book where it was written
that it wasn’t a good match. I went over all the s’farim
again and didn’t see any opposition, so I gave my
“If a tzaddik can go up Above and see all the sifrei
shidduchim and tell us that he checked them and there
is no Heavenly opposition, who are we to oppose it?”
As I said earlier, with the Rebbe it’s all done
modestly and the Rebbe was very particular about this.
When the Rebbe told the couple that he goes up and
checks the sifrei shidduchim, this is highly unusual for
him. The Rebbe revealed a bit of his kochos and this
was in order to do a favor to the family so there
wouldn’t be a falling out.
In 5711 or 5712, the Rebbe appointed Rabbi
Shmuel Zalmanov and Rabbi Zalman Gurary to what
was then called the Vaad Chabad. Every Sunday they
were given instructions about certain matters and they
also reported about what had happened the week prior.
One Sunday I saw that R’ Zalman Gurary left the
Rebbe’s room shaken up. I asked him what happened
and he said, “Give me a chair before I collapse.” R’
Shmuel explained, “When we went in, before we began
speaking, the Rebbe said, ‘Today I was at the Ohel and
my father-in-law told me that since R’ Shmuel in. He went in with all his papers and pens, and after
Zalmanov and R’ Zalman Gurary would be coming and only ten minutes he came out. He told us, “I was with
I have a message to convey to them, I ask you to be the the Rebbe a week ago to write letters and when the
shliach to give them the message so that they know…’“ Rebbe finished dictating, I stood near the door and did
This was the first time that the Rebbe revealed that not leave. The Rebbe said, ‘Moshe Leib, you cannot go
he conversed with his father-in-law after the latter’s home because your wife sent in a letter and she told
passing. R’ Zalman asked the Rebbe, “And what else you not to come home without an answer. If you were
did the Rebbe say?” to which the Rebbe answered, to go home and open the door, she would be standing
what you need to know, I tell you; what you don’t need there and you would tell her that I still had not gone to
to know, I don’t have to tell you. my father-in-law and I cannot answer. But tonight –
My wife’s uncle, R’ Moshe Leib Rodstein, was the smiled the Rebbe – you can go home without any
secretary of the Rebbe Rayatz. After the Rebbe Rayatz’s problem, since I was at the Ohel today. I conveyed
passing on Yud Shvat, the Rebbe asked him whether he your wife’s question and the answer is negative, she
would be staying on as secretary, and he agreed to do should not do what she asked about doing.’”
so. Many times after the Rebbe returned from the Ohel, These were rare occasions in which the Rebbe
he would ask me to enter his room because he wanted revealed things like these. Although he seldom referred
to dictate letters. We understood that the Rebbe had to it, it certainly took place more often, as the Rebbe
received answers at the Ohel and he needed to write Rayatz said, “Every time I want to see my father (the
them. Rebbe Rashab), I see him, and every time he wants to
One night the Rebbe asked R’ Moshe Leib to come see me, he sees me.”

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It was well into the night at the

farbrengen of Motzaei Shavuos
5724. Towards the end of the
farbrengen, the Rebbe began to
speak about Russian Jewry, then still
behind the Iron Curtain, and he
opened with blessings uttered with
great emotion. When the Rebbe
concluded, he said “L’chaim.” Those
in attendance were rather sleepy, as

HISKASHRUS: they were after an intense two-day

holiday, with all its meaning and
Suddenly, the Rebbe appeared
white, trembling, as he moved his

FEEL IT AND chair from the table. He grabbed

several napkins from the table and
began to speak with tremendous
heartfelt pain: “What are the
farbrengens and all these sichos


By Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gluckowsky, Rav, Chabad Community,
worth if when someone blesses the
Jews of Russia, people don’t respond
appropriately? When we give a
bracha to Russian Jewry, this is an
auspicious time for the salvation of
Rechovot; Deputy Secretary, Chabad Rabbinical Court In Eretz HaKodesh G-d in the wink of an eye. If they
Translated By Michoel Leib Dobry would say “L’chaim” as they should,
millions of Jews would be freed from
We must use our head and feel with our Russia.” Thus, chassidim
understood that the moment of “an
heart in order to know what the Rebbe auspicious time” had been wasted.
The participants at the
wants, and this obligates us all the farbrengen were deeply shocked,
both by the Rebbe’s manner and his
more. The Rebbe doesn’t lead us by the appearance. I heard from people
who were there that this was a
hand in every detail. He leaves us room frightening sight. There were some
to set the guidelines. We have to know who started singing a niggun. It
took about a minute, a minute and a
how to move in the direction of the half, until people began to see the
Rebbe coming back to himself…
Rebbe’s position in order to know what A few days later, Rabbi Shmuel
Chefer traveled to France, as per the
the Rebbe wants. This is no simple Rebbe’s explicit instructions. After
he had completed his affairs there,
avoda. It demands that we learn he had about eighteen hours until
everything the Rebbe has said and his return flight back to Eretz
Yisroel. He asked if he could visit
contemplate upon it again and again. * the Chabad yeshiva in Brunoy,
where he wanted to meet the
Excerpts from a chassidic farbrengen. outstanding mashpia, R. Nissan
Nemenov. He traveled from Yerres
to Brunoy, and went in to speak

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with R. Nissan. to develop this type of feeling where we have to feel
R. Nissan asked what had happened with the Rebbe such matters in the way the Rebbe wants.
on Shavuos. (This was not as things are today, when We recently learned in Parshas Shlach how G-d said
everyone is constantly connected through the latest to Moshe, “Send for yourself men,” and Rashi explains,
technologies. I remember that when I learned in Brunoy, “For yourself – according to your own understanding.”
there was one telephone in the yeshiva that worked only The Rebbe asks: Why does Torah leave this matter
with great difficulty. We would be in touch with our “according to your own understanding”? It doesn’t
parents via written correspondence or we would send seem that this is a praiseworthy moment for Moshe
tape recordings of ourselves speaking.) Rabbeinu that he sent the spies on his own volition,
Rabbi Chefer began to tell R. particularly in light of the
Nissan what occurred at the damage caused as a result!
farbrengen and particularly The Rebbe explains that the
what happened at its instruction of “Send for
conclusion. He added by yourself – according to your
telling how people saw that own understanding” has
the lost opportunity had relevance to the overall
affected the Rebbe, to the subject of shlichus. When
point of harming his health. the m’shaleiach sends a
Then, he asked R. Nissan: shliach, he wants him to do
Why did the Rebbe take so things “according to your
much to heart the fact that own understanding.”
those in attendance didn’t feel The Rebbe leaves us
the auspiciousness of the room to set the guidelines –
moment? We are, after all, the broad-mindedness to
merely chassidim – and how understand for ourselves
are chassidim to know when what we are supposed to do.
there’s “an auspicious time” The Rebbe provides us with
Above? the general direction for the
R. Nissan listened, shlichus and its objective,
pondered for a moment, and but what to do on a daily
said: “If we were properly basis in every detail – he
connected to the Rebbe, we leaves that to the shliach to
should be feeling something.” do “according to [his] own
To know that this is an understanding.”
auspicious time Above – no. The Rebbe discusses in
But if you’re connected one of his sichos about one
enough, then you definitely of the shluchim sent by the
can feel something.” Rebbe Rayatz. The shliach
We can prove this point in went into the Rebbe Rayatz
the physical realm as well, and began to “nudge” him
when parents are at one end with a variety of questions
of the earth and something about his intended shlichus.
happens to their children vast He asked him questions on
distances away, they matters down to the very last
nevertheless feel that something detail: what to do, how to act,
has happened. The essential connection brings out this what to say, what not to say. Yet, while the Rebbe
feeling, even without any clear information. Rayatz responded to all his questions, he said
This is what hurt the Rebbe at this farbrengen: afterwards that this shliach acted like a spoiled only
“Where are the people who are connected to me, those child who had to be led by the hand on everything and
who are devoted to me? Why don’t they feel something anything.
of the very essence of this matter?” In contrast, we find regarding Avrohom Avinu.
This obligates all of us. When I heard this story from G-d told Avrohom Avinu to take Yitzchak to be
R. Shmuel Chefer, I said to myself that this obligates us sacrificed, “Take your son, your only son.” He didn’t

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tell him all the details – whether deal with the carrying out part, but carry out and to channel ourselves
to take a donkey or a horse, when they have no time to think about towards what the Rebbe wants. We
exactly to go out on his shlichus… the “supernal meaning”; they must use our head and feel with our
These matters He left to Avrohom simply want to do what the Rebbe heart in order to know what the
Avinu to do according to his own wants them to do. Rebbe wants, and this obligates us
understanding. “And Avrohom In 5738-9, after the heart all the more. The Rebbe doesn’t lead
rose early in the morning” – he attack, the Rebbe would farbreng us by the hand in every detail. He
decided this on his own, as with on Motzaei Shabbos through a leaves us room to set the guidelines.
all the other details. microphone. The sicha was carried We have to know how to move in
This is the whole point of a via live broadcast to Eretz the direction of the Rebbe’s position
shliach: to receive a general HaKodesh at around two or three in order to know what the Rebbe
mission with a general objective, o’clock in the morning. Once I was wants. This is no simple avoda. It
but the details to the mission – in Nachlat Har Chabad when a demands that we learn everything
how, when, and what – must be sicha broadcast took place. We the Rebbe has said and contemplate
done “according to your own went out from the farbrengen at upon it again and again.
understanding.” The shliach has to around half past seven in the One of the most important things
use his head and explore all morning. Just as we were leaving, to the Rebbe is Ahavas Yisroel, both
possibilities on how to fulfill the a “chassidishe chevraman” met his in the general and more personal
shlichus. This is what the Rebbe friend who was a “melamed” on sense. When we go through the
wants: you are given a shlichus, a his way to teach. Rebbe’s correspondence, we can see
task, and you must use your “Nu,” asked the melamed, the Ahavas Yisroel there – how the
knowledge, your common sense, “what practical instructions were Rebbe writes to every Jew, how he
and your abilities in order to carry issued at the farbrengen that I can keeps in touch with them, the honor
out the shlichus in the best tell my students?” and respect the Rebbe conveys to
possible way. The “chevraman” opened his every Jew. He writes how he
As a result, this obligates us eyes wide. “What? You weren’t at couldn’t respond earlier due to his
even more, for when we go to the broadcast? Are you normal?” many obligations…and that it’s been
fulfill the mission that the Rebbe The melamed explained with the a long time since I last heard from
gave us, as R. Nissan said, this utmost sincerity that if he would you…I was happy to hear from
depends largely upon how much have gone to the broadcast, he you… When we read what is written
we are connected to the Rebbe, would have to wake up at three there, we see the care and attention
because we must use our o’clock in the morning and go that the Rebbe gives people. It’s
knowledge to move things in the straight from there to class. simply unbelievable.
direction he wants, fulfilling the However, there is a clear halacha In our community in Rechovot,
will of the Rebbe. in Shulchan Aruch that a there’s a family where the mother
This is the meaning of the melamed must sleep well in order told me the following story: She
bracha that chassidim always wish not to get angry at his students, heard about the Rebbe somewhere,
one another at a chassidic and thus he would be doing the and she decided that he was an
farbrengen – “may we merit to go work of G-d deceitfully. The elderly Jew who was bored in life,
in the direction the Rebbe wants “chevraman” negated his words and she would write to him so he
from us.” Afterwards, however, with a scoffing “Eeeeeh.” Only wouldn’t be bored – something like
they add not only to take proper after much pleading and urging did a “pen pal.” She had no idea who
aim, but to carry out what the he agree to tell the melamed the the Rebbe was, but she understood
Rebbe wants from us. practical instructions from the that he was a wise man, and she
There are some “experts” who farbrengen. could always ask him all types of
know the inner meaning to the I stood there and listened on questions. In fact, she would write a
Rebbe’s intentions. They can tell the side, as I thought to myself: letter and she would receive a reply.
you from today until tomorrow Here’s someone who is constantly She then answered him, and the
everything that the Rebbe meant. involved with “inner meaning” Rebbe would answer back – and so
But when it comes to putting this facing someone involved with it went. She received an answer to
into practice – s’iz shvache practical execution… every letter she wrote.
maases (things don’t go so The truth of the matter is, One day, she wrote to the Rebbe
smoothly)… There are others who however, that we need both to that she wanted to start fulfilling

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mitzvos, and the Rebbe replied that on the other side of town, far from her like a bolt of lightning: This is
she should start by giving maaser the Chabad institutions. Some time the fourth leg! Educating our
from all money that she earned. This later, they were blessed with another children! The Rebbe didn’t say
young woman was in regular contact child, a son, but they soon learned anything about it to me then,
with a young American man. They that r”l the boy was afflicted with a because it wasn’t relevant, but he
met when he was in Eretz Yisroel serious illness. This was already promised that “the time to reveal
with a youth group, and they after Gimmel Tammuz, and the that will come.”
continued to be in touch with one mother didn’t know about the She went immediately to the
another. Now, they wanted to get possibility of writing to the Rebbe offices of our educational
married, and she was planning to today. She began to look for a institutions in Rechovot and
travel overseas to meet up with him. solution to her son’s ailment, going registered her children, and by the
However, since she customarily from rabbi to rabbi, mekubal to next day, they were already learning
never took a step in life without mekubal, but to no avail. Then, one in the Chabad Talmud Torah.
consulting the Rebbe, she proceeded of her friends brought to her Baruch Hashem, the illness
to write him a letter asking for his attention the fact that it is still completely disappeared, and today,
advice, noting in her letter that this possible to write to the Rebbe today. the child is a student in the Chabad
young Jewish man was not Torah Despite her doubts, her friend institutions in Rechovot.
observant. In his reply to this letter, urged her and she eventually This story comes to teach us that
the Rebbe wrote that while a table decided to give it a try. She wrote a the type of personal attention that
the Rebbe gave to this family, we
must give to every Jew we meet.
R. Nissan listened, pondered for a When I was a young boy, I
witnessed another such amazing
moment, and said: “If we were properly story:
About forty five years ago, my
connected to the Rebbe, we should be father organized a children’s minyan
feeling something.” To know that this is in the shul where he davened. He
would gather together all the
an auspicious time Above – no. But if youngsters in the neighborhood,
daven select portions of the t’filla
you’re connected enough, then you with them, tell them about the
weekly Torah portion, and
definitely can feel something.” afterwards, he would arrange a
Kiddush with refreshments and a
generally stands on four legs, it can letter to the Rebbe, placed it in a Among the participants in the
also stand on three legs. Therefore, volume of Igros Kodesh, and children’s minyan were two brothers
there are three absolutely essential received an answer on the subject of who lived with their mother – Chaim
legs/mitzvos that she must set as education. This merely “proved” to and Shmuel Kaplan. They were not
pre-conditions with this young man. her that there was no reality to this from a religious home, though they
If he accepts upon himself to approach, and she continued to look came to the minyan. The minyan
observe the mitzvos of Shabbos, for brachos in every conceivable had a very strong influence on them,
kashrus, and family purity, then they place. When her friend successfully and they eventually moved on to
can get married. The Rebbe convinced her to try again and write study at the Chabad yeshiva in
concluded that in connection with a letter to the Rebbe via Igros Boston. The Pesach holiday was
the fourth leg – the time to reveal Kodesh, the mother again received approaching, but it was not relevant
that will come. an answer dealing with education. for them to go home, since their
The couple married, and The Rebbe’s letter was addressed to mother’s home was not strictly
eventually came to live in Eretz an Anash member, in which the kosher, and the yeshiva arranged
Yisroel, settling in Rechovot. By that Rebbe asks why he doesn’t send his holiday hospitality for them in
time, they already had two children, children to Chabad institutions, for Crown Heights. They wrote a letter
and the mother registered them in a Anash children should learn in to the Rebbe that included all the
religious kindergarten in Rechovot Chabad institutions. Suddenly, it hit facts – where they will be for Pesach

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and why they will not be home… of the fact that they are together bereaved, etc. The Rebbe means that
The Rebbe replied that they must be with their mother for the seider we should be involved in all of them.
together with their mother for nights and the entire holiday. 3. It is possible for you to go out
Pesach, and they should speak with Why am I relating this story? To on “mivtzaim,” yet turn it into
Rabbi Shochat and my father about show the personal treatment the something technical and dry. You
kashering the house in order that Rebbe gives to each person, how he help another Jew put on t’fillin,
they can eat with their mother. cares about every Jew, making check his mezuzos, however, you
Thus, the house was kashered for certain that none are left behind – are lacking the soul of the matter –
Pesach in accordance with the not necessarily in the spiritual realm the love towards your fellow Jew.
strictest standards. alone, but in the material sense as How do we know if it’s merely
My grandfather, of blessed well – and to remember each one of something technical or not? If you
memory, was still alive at the time, them and give them his utmost don’t put on the t’fillin and that’s it,
living in Boro Park, and we went to attention. We have to learn from this rather you take an interest, maintain
him for Pesach. On Erev Pesach, we how we must give personal contact with him, make an effort for
stood in line to receive matzos from treatment to each person and to take him, think about him in every detail,
the Rebbe, who would give small a genuine interest in his life out of a help him in his material needs –
pieces of matza to each person. sense of true concern and caring. then you know that putting on
Hundreds of people were standing When the Rebbe came out with t’fillin is not merely a technical
in line. When our turn came, my the “Ahavas Yisroel” Campaign, the matter.
father also requested matza for the chassidic elders sat at a farbrengen As we have just mentioned, one
Kaplan brothers. It was accepted upstairs in the small beis midrash of of the explanations is that the proper
practice to request matza for others, “770,” and an argument ensued conduct and the Ahavas Yisroel must
and then run quickly to the post over the meaning behind this also exist amongst ourselves – on a
office to send it off. Usually, the campaign. What is the Rebbe’s personal level.
matza arrived in time for use on the innovation in this campaign? Aren’t In our community in Rechovot, I
night of the second seider. all the mitzva campaigns an customarily say a drasha on Shabbos
The Rebbe looked at my father expression of Ahavas Yisroel? Then just before the Torah reading. Before
and asked, “Are they with their I heard three opinions from the the drasha, I say “Mazel tov” and
mother for the holiday?” My father mashpiim. bless all those families in the
replied in the affirmative, adding, 1. All the mitzva campaigns community who had a simcha that
“They will be at the home of R. represent Ahavas Yisroel towards week, e.g., the birth of a child, a bar
Mendel Aronov and his family on fellow Jews, but we also have to mitzva, a wedding, etc.
the first night, and at R. Binyomin think about one another amongst Sometimes I say the name of the
Rubinoff’s on the second night. ourselves – in our own ranks. family, particularly if it’s a young
They will be home for the rest of the 2. When the Rebbe speaks about couple that recently came to live in
holiday.” Ahavas Yisroel, he is referring to the community but is still unknown
“With their mother?” the Rebbe involvement with all mitzvos in to most. Practically speaking, they
asked again. Shulchan Aruch within the realm of usually don’t come to shul on
“Yes,” my father said. “The “Love your neighbor as yourself,” Shabbos, instead traveling to their
mother will go with them for each e.g., visiting the sick, comforting the parents or in-laws. During the week,
The Rebbe turned around and
took a whole matza out of the “I immediately went into yechidus and
carton and gave it to my father.
Everyone is receiving tiny pieces,
began to give over from memory the
and they get a whole matza! names of each Anash member and his
Look what’s happening here.
Hundreds of people are standing in family. Until I came to the name of one
line, someone merely mentions the
Kaplan brothers to the Rebbe, and of my friends who had seven children,
the Rebbe twice asks, “With their
mother?” and gives a whole matza but I mentioned the names of only six of
to show his affection and approval

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Chabad chassidim on the list under
arrest. What did I do? I sat and
memorized by heart the names of all
my friends, their wives, and their
“After I succeeded in leaving the
country and came to the Rebbe
Rayatz, I immediately went into
yechidus and began to give over
from memory the names of each
Anash member and his family. So it
went with all of them, until I came
to the name of one of my friends
who had seven children, but I
mentioned the names of only six of
them – he had a four-month-old son
whose name I simply couldn’t
remember. I stood before the Rebbe,
and I tried in every way possible to
recall the child’s name. Finally, with
no alternative, I blurted, “S’geit
nisht!” (It’s not coming!)
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gluckowsky
The Rebbe Rayatz responded
with a heavy sigh. “Ay-yi-yi. Vi kumt
they’re learning in kollel, and as a story from R. Shmuel Chefer about es az men zahl fargesen dem chaver’s
result, no one knows they even exist his father-in-law, Rabbi Chaim Yosef kind’s nahmen?” (How can you
in the community. When I announce Rosenblum. When his father-in-law possibly forget the name of your
the “Mazel tovs” in such cases, most would walk back from shul to his friend’s child?)
of the community doesn’t react, home in Tel Aviv each Friday night “Ever since I heard the Rebbe
because they don’t know who I’m and meet a young child, he would Rayatz’s krechtz (groan),” Rabbi
talking about. I then add that if ask him, “What’s your name? Rosenblum continued to tell his son-
anyone wants to know who the What’s your mother’s and father’s in-law, Rabbi Chefer, “I make
family is, they can come to me after name?” R. Shmuel Chefer, who was certain to know what a child’s name
davening and I’ll point them out… It accompanying his father-in-law, is and what his parents’ names are.”
turns out that there are instances asked him with great surprise, “Why We see evidence of this on
where a young man can live in our do you take such an interest in every “mivtzaim,” when we meet a Jew
community for three years, daven child you meet? Why do you ask after a few months and call him by
with us in shul every weekday, yet him what his parents’ names are?” name, this genuinely moves and
no one bothered to find out who he His father-in-law responded with a impresses him. Every Jew has to be
is. story that happened to him: considered literally as your own
This happens in our community “When the Rebbe Rayatz left private treasure to be adored.
and most everywhere else. It’s Russia and traveled to Riga, Latvia, I Thus, when we come together,
possible sometimes to go around the was still in Russia. Over a long we must show a genuine interest in
community and not know someone. period of time, I also waited to one another. This represents the
I’m occupied with my personal receive my exit visa, until I personal treatment demanded from
matters, he’s occupied with his, and eventually was privileged to leave. us. We must relate to our fellow
neither even knows the other’s Before departing, Anash members chassidim with love and
name. Similarly, we find that yeshiva asked me to mention them and their brotherhood, as the Rebbe’s only
students can go around the yeshiva family members to the Rebbe, children, and then we will properly
for months on end, even years, and however, writing their names on a find the way to carry out what the
not know the name of a fellow piece of paper could prove extremely Rebbe wants from us.
student at his class level, as if they’re dangerous. G-d forbid, if the border L’chaim! L’chaim!
total strangers. control would catch me with a list of
I heard this matter illustrated in a names, they could place all the

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The education of children on

kibbutzim in those days smacked
of communism. We kids grew up
together in a children’s house and
we saw our parents only three
hours a day, from four o’clock in
the afternoon to seven.

SHALOM Actually, during those three

hours I hardly saw them because
visiting hours is when the kibbutz
assigned them various jobs. So I
grew up very alone, and although

BAYIS: MORE my father and mother lived two

meters away from the children’s
house, I only knew about the
concept of parents from children’s
songs. I forgot to mention that I

IMPORTANT was also an only child!

I clearly remember myself and
my friends at age 3, sleeping on
our own in a building connected
to the fence of the kibbutz and the

By Sarit Disraeli
orchards. The shrieks of the
jackals made us shiver in our beds
in fright. There wasn’t a single
night when one of us did not
wake up, and aside from crying
together, there was no adult to
She came from a kibbutz and became comfort us.
In particular, I remember the
frum, but her husband wasn’t interested ganenet/caretaker, whose
maltreatment of the children was
in living a religious life. She wisely and well-known. Whenever I told my
mother about her she agreed with
sensitively navigated this tricky period me, but she said they could not
leave the kibbutz, and “when you
of their lives with peace, love, and get married, you will do what you
happiness. Today she helps other people like.”
The years passed and I felt
in the same situation. lonely and bitter. I always felt my
life was not what it should be. I
hated the teachers and their
When my mother told me the KIBBUTZ DAYS educational methods. Aside from
age of Dafna, her friend from the I grew up on an anti-religious crying though, I was powerless to
south, I couldn’t believe it. She kibbutz in the south of the do anything. I grew up into an
certainly doesn’t like she’s in her country. My parents were from unbelievably sensitive and
60’s. And she’s young not only in Poland and they came from vulnerable person.
her looks but in spirit! religious families, but like many As an adult I enjoyed doing the
Dafna is willing to share her others, they cast aside their opposite of what everybody else
complicated and unique life with observance when they came to was doing. I argued endlessly with
our readers, hoping it will inspire Eretz Yisroel. They wanted to everyone about everything. At my
them. realize the dream of “a free nation wedding to a moshavnik whom I
in our land.” met while in the army, I wore a

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black dress. Everybody wore white, so that was an I decided to abandon conventional medicine, which
excellent reason for me to wear something different. had disappointed me, and to study alternative
Having no choice, I built my nest in the kibbutz I medicine. Shortly after that I became a vegetarian,
hated so much. The education courses I took, as which is what helped my body heal, but what about
well as my husband’s studying, were possible only my soul?
within the kibbutz framework. So despite my dream
to leave the kibbutz, and although I had given birth A PATH OF LIGHT
to a delightful baby, I remained deep in the
One day in 5743 (1983), at one of the courses I
nightmare called the kibbutz.
was taking, I met a religious woman. She was the
As soon as I returned from the hospital after
first religious woman I got to know. At the kibbutz,
giving birth, I was supposed to place my newborn in
they constantly explained how religious people were
the infants house. Just imagine that. You come
fools and they were involved in strange, obsolete
home, you are both healthy, baruch Hashem, but
practices from the Middle Ages. “We are living in
because someone else is not exactly healthy, you
modern Israel,” they always said. “Judaism is for the
have to leave your infant in the care of strangers. Of
exile, for the past.”
course, his caretaker
I was sure we were
knows better than me
divided into the
what is best for my baby
religious and the
and makes decisions
irreligious and we had
without asking me, the
nothing in common. To
baby’s mother…
my surprise, the woman
Until we left the
began telling me about
kibbutz, the same
the great wisdom and
caretaker remained in
beauty of Judaism. Of
her position.
course, I didn’t believe
Finally the day
her. She brought me a
arrived and we packed
book on kabbala and on
and left for a yishuv, for
the first page I saw the
a house of our own. I
Seder Hishtalshelus and
was thrilled about the
the S’firos. I found it
new situation and
decided I would live as I
By Divine
pleased without anyone
Providence, just at that
telling me what to do.
time a shiur in
However, my joy was
Chassidus was started at
the yishuv where I lived.
Within a short time I
My traditional neighbor
was faced with the
urged me to attend.
reality of life. I didn’t
Like a strutting peacock with head held high, full
know how to do anything in my home. My mother
of “knowledge from the kibbutz,” and with a full
couldn’t teach me anything on the kibbutz. I didn’t
measure of snobbery, I did her a favor and went. I
know how to cook, how to raise children. Cutting a
was certain that nobody had anything to offer me,
salad and changing a diaper seemed like tasks I
definitely not dossim (a derogatory term for religious
would never master. I had had no role models.
I had decided not to work so I could be with my
The rabbi taught us a sicha of the Rebbe, and he
baby and I fell into a depression. I spent weeks in
explained it nicely. I listened and was amazed. The
bed. I couldn’t get up and I felt this wasn’t what life
language he spoke was Ivrit, but I didn’t understand
was about. I didn’t stop feeling sorry for myself.
what he said. One minute – what’s happening here?
As you would expect, my shalom bayis was
I felt the sweet sensation of a challenge that seemed
destroyed. I constantly yelled at my son and aside
beyond me. I, who was so educated in so many
from crying, I didn’t do anything to improve the
disciplines, did not understand what he was saying?!
unfortunate situation I was in.
At the end of the class my neighbor asked me
At a certain point, while I was still finding myself,
how I liked it. I arrogantly told her I didn’t think I

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would go again, but the following week I felt I had
to go.
I felt that I had to give this amazing path a As you would expect, my
chance, just as I had examined so many other
approaches. A deep voice whispered to me that my shalom bayis was destroyed.
salvation would come from this.
I constantly yelled at my son
Dafna paused and said to me, “Sarit, you don’t and aside from crying, I
know how happy I am that Chabad is what I first
encountered. I spent time looking into other didn’t do anything to
religious groups and I heard lectures and listened to
tapes, but I always felt they just weren’t it…” improve the un-fortunate
*** situation I was in.
Two weeks later, after I had attended my first
two shiurim, I made the firm decision to bring this
into my home. I felt I had to transform my home
into a Chabad home, the sooner the better! I quickly DON’T YOU WANT
changed my wardrobe. TO SEE THE REBBE?
I thanked Hashem for finally showing me the A few years after I became a baalat t’shuva, my
way, after nearly fifty years of suffering and husband surprised me by asking, “Don’t you want to
bitterness. I happily shared my new studies with my see your Rebbe?”
dear husband. But he not only did not join me in my I was momentarily stunned. When I recovered, I
happiness, but he angrily declared his opposition to said, “Of course, I’d love to,” but I wanted to go with
it all. I cried and said that ever since I could him. He smiled and said it would take years before his
remember, my life was tragic and I pleaded with him job would allow him to take off.
not to prevent me from following the path I believed Incredibly, a few days later, my husband said he
would lead me to happiness. had to travel on business to New York. I could see
After exhausting discussions, my husband gave this as nothing but Divine Providence. And that’s
his blessing to my new path, on condition that 1) I how, with him taking the initiative, we went to the
would not get him involved in it, 2) I would not dare Rebbe!
to think about covering my hair. A year went by and he asked me whether I missed
What can I tell you… I could understand the first the Rebbe. That’s how we ended up going to the
condition, but the second? Could I be a Lubavitcher Rebbe every year. When my son became bar mitzva,
without covering my hair? my husband was the one who came up with the idea
Soon after, I went to a rav to ask for advice. To of taking him to the Rebbe!
my great surprise the rav said, “Shalom bayis is Where did you send your children to school?
more important than a wig!” He instructed me to When I became religious, my youngest son was
progress slowly and not to “shatter the vessels.” six. My other children were no longer of school age.
I listened to the rav and decided to take it slowly, My attempts to put him in a Chabad school failed
in stages, until I was able, with Hashem’s help, to (see box), but there was one thing I would not forego.
turn things around. I started with attending the Every day I sat with him and taught him about the
shiurim regularly. My husband said I could cover my holidays, halachos, and the parsha. I wanted him to
hair at the shiurim and when I visited my Chabad be familiar with the traditional Jewish world, so when
friends. That was all fine, but he refused to see me the time would come when I could put him in a
that way himself. Chabad school, he wouldn’t lag behind.
At this time I began teaching and I covered my After a few years, I got my husband’s permission
hair at work. So it turned out that most of the day I and I switched my son to a Chabad school. His
looked religious, but when I went home, I had to teacher was impressed by his knowledge. After only a
take it off. This went on for five years, with me month, he integrated with his class and even caught
covering my hair and uncovering my hair, covering up with them.
and uncovering. It was very difficult. (I did a similar thing with my grandchildren, when
their parents sent them to me. I told the happy

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Children on a kibbutz (for illustration purposes) Entrance to a kibbutz (for illustration purposes)

parents about my plans and they wonderful, baruch Hashem. With he studied it all, thanks to some
agreed, and that’s how I came to my husband’s consent, my kitchen friends who came to our house.
teach them the basics of Judaism. is kosher and before Shabbos My parents, children, and
At least they wouldn’t grow up arrives he closes his office and grandchildren came for the seder
with hatred for religion, like I did. rushes to get ready. If the children and we all sang happily together.
Recently, my grandson the soldier and grandchildren come, then they So your husband is religious?
told me that till this day, he is still have a Shabbos too. My husband No. He is not religious; he lives
careful to recite Shma, which he makes Kiddush (yes, he agreed to a completely non-religious life and
learned in my home. I was thrilled do this for me) and Havdala. has no plans on changing his life.
to hear that.) Our main bookcase in the living But he helps me a lot to make it
As I said, aside from wearing a room has gradually turned into a easier for me. This is because he
wig, life was fine. Finally, after bookcase of s’farim, as little by wants to preserve our shalom
many years of anguish, my home little I remove secular books and bayis, which is something we both
had become a wonderful place to replace them with s’farim. want.
be. Whoever comes to our home Before Pesach he did not say What happened in the end
agrees that it has a special anything against my kashering the with your sheitel?
atmosphere, baruch Hashem. kitchen and he even offered to In 5748, it was nearly five years
Our shalom bayis is also study how to make a seder. Indeed without my covering my hair full
time. I decided to go to the Rebbe
again and not to return until I got
a clear bracha from him! That
year, because of the year of
mourning for the Rebbetzin, the
Rebbe davened in his home and
“dollars” were also given from his
The days went by and my visit
was almost over. Time after time I
planned on asking the Rebbe, but
then I lost my nerve. I was afraid!
On my last day there, a few
hours before my flight, I mustered
my courage and when it was my
turn I asked the Rebbe for a
bracha for a sheitel, as my
husband did not agree to it. The
Rebbe said: ask the advice of a rav

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or friend. I thanked the Rebbe and
moved away and then I heard the MESIRUS NEFESH FOR CHINUCH
Rebbe add, “and may we hear When I became a baalas t’shuva, my youngest son was 6 and all my
good news.” attempts to put him into a religious/Chabad school failed.
At that moment I knew that it As I relaxed one Shabbos, I read in amazement about the mesirus
would all work out fine. I even nefesh the Jews in Russia had in not sending their children to school on
managed to buy a sheitel before I Shabbos. I thought – they, over there in atheistic Russia, dug in their
left the US! (Until then I wore a heels and had mesirus nefesh for their children’s chinuch. What about
kerchief.) me, here in Eretz Yisroel? Why couldn’t I send my son to a proper
And? school?
I landed at Ben Gurion airport I told this to my husband and to my astonishment, he immediately
wearing the sheitel and decided to agreed and he only asked, “And if Gal doesn’t agree?”
present this as the new reality. The I answered, “Since when do children make decisions about their
whole family saw it and liked it, education?” My husband offered to convince him to switch to a
except for my husband who asked Chabad school!
me to remove it. I told him it was It goes to show that when you are insistent and have deep faith, you
forbidden for any man except for can have it all!
him to see my hair uncovered and
I would not be able to leave the
house. He insisted and I stayed
home for three weeks. Although we had all the reasons in the
One day we got a phone call
from a couple who wanted to visit
world to split up our home, thank G-d,
us on Shabbos. My husband, who we didn’t do that. All the drastic
had answered the phone, asked me
if it was okay and I said it was, but changes were done with simcha and
a moment later I said, “No,
actually it’s not okay.” love.
He couldn’t figure out why, so
I told him, “Because I can’t walk
my stay a pleasant one, and it’s who are in the same situation, or
around with my hair uncovered in
really all terrific. to those who give advice to women
front of other men.”
A few years ago, when I in similar situations. Although we
My husband said, “Okay, so
celebrated my 60th birthday, they had all the reasons in the world to
cover your hair then. I have no
bought me a multi-branched split up our home, thank G-d, we
more strength for this.”
candelabra for the number of didn’t do that. All the drastic
“So tell them they can come,” I
people in our family. I was so changes were done with simcha
moved. and love. “Shalom bayis is
In the end, they couldn’t make
Despite my age, I don’t feel dependent on the woman,” and she
it, but I wore my wig and until this
old. I feel as though I’m getting with her patience, can deal with
day, I haven’t heard another word
younger. (if you see her, you’ll any situation with mutual respect.
on the subject. A bracha from the
understand – Sarit) The Rebbe’s Baruch Hashem, I have been
teachings are something unique able to help women who are in
How do you sum up your life
that seem to push me ever higher. similar circumstances, because
My health continues to improve often it is the woman who is eager
From a bitter malcontent, I
and wherever I go, I am the to become more religious and the
turned into the happiest woman in
ambassador of simcha. husband sometimes lags behind.
the world. My relationships with
I never worry. I focus on the You need to remember that
my husband and children are
Chassidic aphorism, “think good, each half of the couple has his or
excellent. The respect for parents
and it will be good.” I see how her life and there is also what they
that my dear children have cannot
true this is, over and over again, share in common. It’s not easy,
be found anywhere! Whenever they
and it’s all a result of the study of but our lives are definitely special
invite me to their home for
Chassidus. and full of challenges.
Shabbos – of their own accord –
In conclusion, I would like to
they go above and beyond to make
convey a message to those women

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attempts to not only preserve that

which still remained but also to
expand further seemed doomed
from the start.
If you reflect on the Rebbe
Rayatz’s life, his incredible bravery,
you cannot help but be overwhelmed
with awe. With mesirus nefesh, he

THE REBBE faced all the forces of evil and won.

Not only that, but he was able to get
up, time after time, after every
crushing blow, and not only begin
again but do so in an ever increasing

RAYATZ: manner.
This Chag HaGeula is not only
the day that marks the Rebbe’s
redemption from his personal
suffering at the hands of the

ABOVE Communists; it is also a Chag

HaGeula for the world. For
immediately after leaving Russia, the
Rebbe Rayatz initiated a new
process of dissemination of Torah

By Yosef Yitzchok Suissa
and mitzvos, the likes of which was
never seen before. The
circumstances were different and so
were the conditions; the tools
utilized were diverse and the target
audience had changed.
When you study the Rebbe Rayatz’s life There are some interesting
stories in the Gemara (Bava Metzia
you are amazed by his courage and 84-85) that offer some insight into
the hierarchy of the Tanaim based
unprecedented mesirus nefesh. * on their actions. By analyzing these
stories we can draw comparisons to
Presented for 12-13 Tammuz, Chag what we know about the Rebbe
HaGeula. Rayatz, the Baal Yom HaGeula:
There is a tzaddik or Torah
scholar who doesn’t have special
With the approach of Yud-Beis in many countries, widespread qualities or ancestry – Rav Chama
Tammuz, it is appropriate to study anarchy, mighty ideological says that Shlomo HaMelech was
the personality and the larger-than- revolutions, the historic referring (Mishlei 14:33) to him
life figure of the Rebbe Rayatz. He rearrangement of borders and when he said, “in the heart of the
stood as a bulwark in the hardest of populations, the sundering and discerning one lies wisdom” – this is
times for humanity in general and alliances of various countries and the Torah scholar, son of a Torah
the Jewish people in particular, living finally, the horrific Holocaust and scholar; “but within fools it will be
through an unparalleled period in the establishment of the State of publicized” – this is the Torah
world history. Israel – all this and more had a scholar, son of an ignoramus.
In that transition period between tremendous impact on the lives of Above this, there is a tzaddik
the Old Era and the New Era, with Jews around the world. with z’chus avos (the merit of his
the fateful consequences of the It seemed that nothing remained ancestors) about whom “Rabban
Industrial Revolution, both World of the old Jewish world and that no Shimon ben Gamliel said to his son,
Wars, the fall of monarchies, the force could possibly stand up to Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi, ‘My son,
shakeup of old forms of government these cataclysmic changes. Any

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don’t be upset, for he is Rebbi
Elozor ben Rebbi Shimon bar
Yochai, who is sharper in his Torah
study than you, for he is a lion the
son of a lion, and you are a lion the
son of a fox…’“
Illustrious ancestry isn’t enough
and above that is the tzaddik who in
the past became a baal t’shuva and
“in the place where baalei t’shuva
stand, even complete tzaddikim
cannot stand.” In this category were,
among others, Rebbi Yossi and Reish
Rebbi Yossi was the son of Rebbi
Elozor and the grandson of Rebbi
Shimon bar Yochai. It was Rebbi
Yehuda HaNasi who brought him
back to t’shuva by giving him to his
uncle, Rebbi Shimon bar Issi. Reish
Lakeish had led a band of bandits
and he was brought back in t’shuva
by Rebbi Yochanan. Reish Lakeish
became Rebbi Yochanan’s brother-
in-law and his sharpest and most
famous chavrusa.
However, even a tzaddik who is a
baal t’shuva cannot stand in the
presence of a tzaddik who is a baal
yisurim (suffers), even if the
suffering came upon him
involuntarily. It is told about Rebbi
Yossi the son of Rebbi Elozor that he
was a great baal t’shuva and he had
illustrious ancestry. However, when
he died and he was brought to the
cave where his father was buried, so
he could be buried near him, a snake
was in the entrance to the cave and
did not allow them to gain entry.
They asked the snake, “Snake,
snake, open your mouth and allow
the son to be next to his father,” but
the snake did not allow anyone to
pass. The people thought that this
was because his father was greater
than he, and a Heavenly voice said,
“It is not because this one is greater
than he but because this one
experienced the suffering of the cave
and that one did not experience the
suffering of the cave.”
There is a tzaddik who is a baal

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yisurim whose suffering comes upon Torah study, and despite his being a resurrect the dead with his prayer,
him involuntarily and there is a baal t’shuva, Rebbi Chiya was could not be compared to him?
tzaddik who invites yisurim upon greater than he. This was because his father was a
himself because of something that Reish Lakeish prayed, “Master of baal mesirus nefesh for the
happened. The Gemara says that the universe, did I not delve into fulfillment of Torah and mitzvos
Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi said, “yisurim Torah as he did?” A Heavenly voice during the difficult times of the
are beloved to me,” and he accepted responded, “You expounded Torah Roman decrees.
thirteen years of a certain illness and like he did, but you did not We see an amazing thing from
another seven years of another type disseminate Torah as he did.” this, that as great as a tzaddik may
of illness. Rebbi Chiya’s greatness was on be, and his ancestry, and the merits
It is told that the man in charge account of his spreading Torah and of his forbears, being a baal t’shuva,
of the numerous horses’ stables that ensuring that it would not be a baal yisurim, and one who takes
belonged to Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi forgotten. It is told that he planted action to spread Torah and ensure
was a wealthier person than the king flax and made nets out of it. He that it won’t be forgotten, he cannot
of Shevor. There were so many caught deer and fed their meat to be compared to one who has
horses in the stables that when he orphans and out of the skins he mesirus nefesh for Torah and
fed them, their neighing could be made scrolls upon which he wrote mitzvos. The very comparison elicits
heard three miles away! the five books of the Torah. a “G-d forbid, such a thing cannot
The man in charge of the stables He went from city to city and be.”
made sure to feed the horses at the taught five children the five different ***
time when Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi Chumashim, and he taught six If you read about the Rebbe
cried out in suffering from his pain, children the six orders of the Rayatz’s life, you can see to what
yet Rebbi Yehuda’s cries were louder Mishna. He would tell them, “Until I extent this giant and unique
than the neighing of thousands of return, learn with one another so individual, was cloaked in the
horses! that each of you will teach the others splendor and glory of times past,
Despite the magnitude of Rebbi the Chumash or order of the Mishna and possessed of the highest levels
Yehuda HaNassi’s pain, the Gemara that he learned from me. So they all of holiness. The Rebbe Rayatz, in his
says that the yisurim of Rebbi ended up knowing all five books of personality and life, had nearly all
Elozor, son of Rebbi Shimon, were the Torah and all of the Mishna. By the qualities mentioned above.
on a higher level. Rebbi Yehuda doing this, Rebbi Chiya ensured that Therefore, he is exceptional in every
HaNasi invited his suffering because Torah would not be forgotten from level ascribed to the tzaddikim
of something that happened – he the Jewish people. mentioned above, to the point that it
wasn’t sensitive enough about the Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi, Rebbi seems that there was no other
suffering of a calf which was being Chiya’s teacher, said about this, tzaddik who can compare to him.
taken to be slaughtered that had run “How great are the deeds of Chiya.” He had the merit of his
to Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi for When Rebbi Yishmoel b’Rebbi Yossi ancestors, of “a lion son of a lion.”
protection. Rebbi Elozor invited his heard this unusual expression, he He was a great baal yisurim (and
yisurim out of love. asked Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi in he even had the quality of “he
Despite the greatness of these surprise, “Is Rebbi Chiya even invited the yisurim,” because he
tzaddikim with the merit of great greater than you? And Rebbi Yehuda certainly could have stopped
ancestry or who were baalei t’shuva HaNasi said Yes. Rebbi Yishmoel spreading Judaism, thus preventing
or baalei yisurim, the level of a asked whether Rebbi Chiya was the persecution against him).
tzaddik who toiled to disseminate greater even than his own father, The Rebbe Rayatz’s entire goal
Torah, to ensure that it would not be Rebbi Yossi, and Rebbi Yehuda was spreading Judaism and the
forgotten, especially in a time of HaNasi said, “G-d forbid! Such a wellsprings outward, and he founded
crisis, and who saved many from sin, thing cannot be amongst the Jewish the empire which is shlichus.
is even greater! people.” But above all else, there was no
The Gemara tells about Reish The very comparison grated on baal mesirus nefesh like him, literal
Lakeish who marked the graves of Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi. Why? What mesirus nefesh, for the fulfillment of
the earlier Torah sages. When he was the greatness of Rebbi Torah and mitzvos under communist
wanted to mark the grave of Rebbi Yishmoel’s father that even the great rule, mesirus nefesh to which this
Chiya, it mysteriously disappeared. Rebbi Chiya, who made sure that day, the Chag HaGeula, serves as a
Reish Lakeish felt bad since he Torah would not be forgotten, who magnificent symbol and
realized that despite his greatness in was able to bring the Geula and commemoration.

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CURITIBA By BenZion Sasson

Entrance to the
new shul in the
Chabad House

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Twenty-five years have passed since towards the shliach, upon hearing
what he had in mind, began to
Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchak (Fitche) scream, “How can you dare to
think of such a thing, in a city full
Dubrawsky and his wife arrived in of gentiles?” The shliach was not
put off, “Our forefathers built
Curitiba, deep in the heart of Brazil. sukkos in Egypt and in Russia, and

The first steps were smooth, but then now we will build one in Brazil.”
After some research, he came to
things became extremely difficult. the conclusion that the only option
was the apartment building where
However, Rabbi and Mrs. Dubrawsky he lived. Near the window of the
washing machine room there was
didn’t give up, and with great patience an empty asphalt area. He
requested permission from the
and stubbornness succeeded in creating building committee, and after

a revolution in the local Jewish receiving the go-ahead, he began

to build the sukka. However, the
community. * The story of a young only way to reach the sukka was
through the window of the
couple in a faraway city, known as “the washing machine room. This
required stepping on a stool and
most progressive city in the world.” * then onto the washing machine, in
order to climb out the window and
Part 2 of 2 enter the sukka…
The holiday arrived. A
torrential rain, indigenous to
HOLIDAY SEASON some interesting situations in the
early years of the Chabad House. Brazil, was pouring down outside.
Like every Chabad House The shlucha remained indoors with
around the world, R’ Dubrawski In anticipation of his first
Sukkos in the city, the shliach her children, as her husband went
works to convey the positive out to the sukka with a group of
messages of each holy day to the began looking for a suitable place
to build a sukka. The problem was guests that he brought home from
Jews of Curitiba. Circumstances shul. The sight of the group was
and some of the unique that the shul did not have place for
it. One of the Jews friendly especially heartening, considering
characteristics of the city led to what they would have to go
through to get to and sit in the
Seeing the emotion on the faces
of the guests, as they recited the
“SheHechiyanu” blessing for
sitting in the sukka for the first
time in their lives, brought the
shlucha to tears. “Only then did I
actually begin to understand the
concept that I had learned so
much about over the years, of what
a ‘Jewish soul’ means.”
Another incident, no less
interesting, occurred one year on
Chanuka. The story actually begins
a few years earlier. Every Shabbos,
R’ Dubrawski would pass a certain
church on his way to the
Mr. Jaime (Chaim) Lerner carrying the Seifer Torah on parade to the new shul

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community shul. Each time he Chanuka season is generally a time Throughout the early years, the
passed, the priest would be waiting of heavy rainfall. This fact placed a Chabad House operated out of the
outside and would call out a lot of pressure on the organizers, apartment of the shluchim, which
greeting. The shliach couldn’t help already in the very first year of the moved three times. At a certain
but wonder why he had to go public lightings. Due to his point, he decided that it was time
through that seemingly strange concern, the shliach asked the to move to a suitable building that
“experience” each and every Rebbe for a bracha that it not rain would house the wide range of
Shabbos. And then Chanuka came on the event. activities. When the Rebbe
along. He decided that year that it What is truly amazing is that, announced the year 5749 as a
was time to arrange a public “This has turned into a regular “year of building” it gave him the
menora lighting. First, he spoke to miracle,” says R’ Dubrawski. push, but a short conversation with
a Jew that owned a huge shopping “Starting in 1986, when we began some of his mekuravim from the
mall. Understandably, the fellow the public menora lightings, until community, made him realize that
refused. His next stop was the this day, each and every year, a such a move would undermine the
Mayor’s office, who agreed to the few minutes before lighting, the current situation in the
idea, but said it was necessary to rain stops and starts again a short community, which was not a good
approach the Commissioner of while after the event concludes!” idea at the time.
Parks, as such an activity would *** Since he realized that moving
fall under his jurisdiction. Years passed, and the shluchim to a larger building in another area
R’ Dubrawski, wanting to saw success in establishing was not the solution, he turned to
successfully pull off the acquisition connections with the community, his friend and supporter, the
of a permit to hold the event in a directly or indirectly. The Rabbi of former president of the shul.
public place, sat down and the community left to move to S. Together, they drew up a list of
prepared a short script for his talk Paolo, and the community began local Jews whom they planned on
with the Parks Commissioner. searching for a new Rabbi. approaching to ask for 20,000
After preparing, he arrived at the Although many already saw Rabbi dollars apiece for the purchase of a
offices of the Parks Commission. Dubrawski as the right man for the suitable building. What appeared
When he entered the office of the job, there were still many who to be nothing more than a fantasy,
Commissioner, he was stunned to were opposed. This was primarily quickly began to take shape, and
see that it was none other than his because the previous Rabbi within four months, the necessary
“good friend,” the priest, in charge officiated at many conversions that sum was raised and an impressive
of all the public parks in Curitiba. were not halachically correct, and building was purchased for the
The shliach began his little this would lead to problems with a Chabad House.
speech, and to his amazement, the Chabad rabbi. The success of the outreach
priest cut him off and said, “Do it activities continued to grow, and
wherever you think is best.”
That was the beginning of the
public menora lightings in
Curitiba. In recent years, the
municipal government of Curitiba
erects the giant menora in the
city’s main plaza, and stores the
menora year-round in a municipal
warehouse. The city also funds the
cost of the stage and sound system
for the event. “All it takes is one
phone call as a reminder, and
everything is set up and ready,”
says the shliach with a huge smile
on his face.
Another interesting miracle in
connection with Chanuka, takes
place on a yearly basis. The
View of the new shul

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involved in money matters.
A few years later, another
setback took place, which actually
turned out to be a blessing in
disguise. In 5756/1996, the
community leaders took notice of
the fact that the Chabad outreach
work was growing by leaps and
bounds as it attracted more and
more people. This disturbed them
and they decided to bring a “rabbi”
to the community, who would offer
some “balance.” As they hoped,
the new rabbi revived “tradition.”
He brought back the microphones
and took down the mechitza,
which forced the shliach to leave
Expo of Jewish life built by R’ Dubrawski
the shul once again and forced him
to try to open a place of his own.
It started with Kabbalas
Shabbos, when a group of young
people making huge strides in
Yiddishkait, asked the shliach to
arrange for new and improved
services. Shortly after, a regular
minyan began on Shabbos
mornings as well. The shliach and
his wife began building a proper
Chabad community with many
people who expressed an interest
in authentic Judaism.
The events held by the Chabad
House in the following years,
served to elevate the status of
Chabad amongst the local Jews
Chabad House pre-school in the early years even more. One historical event
was the wedding of their eldest
after only a few months, they had tremendous “upsurge” in many daughter. It might seem that it
to knock down one of the walls to area connected to the Chabad would have been far easier for
expand the capacity of the House. He really started to see the them to hold the wedding in
building. Over time, another wall fruits of success, after working Crown Heights, the groom’s
was broken, and another, as the tirelessly for twelve years in hometown, but that is not the
place expanded at a rapid pace, Curitiba. route they chose. They decided to
which made the shliach realize that After ten years of plenty, in make a proper kosher and
he would soon have to undergo a which the central Chabad House in Chassidic wedding in Curitiba,
serious expansion of the recently S. Paolo, under the leadership of seeing to it that the wedding be in
purchased building. Rabbi Alpern, funded all the high style in order to convey to the
expenses of the Chabad House, the locals that it is possible to hold a
THE GIMMEL TAMMUZ funding was cut off and he found proper Jewish wedding even in a
himself facing the daunting task of remote place like Curitiba.
REVOLUTION fundraising. At the beginning, it A huge semi-trailer filled with
A fascinating fact recounted by was hard to explain to the locals, delicacies arrived from S. Paolo.
R’ Dubrawski, is that since who were used to the free services, Rabbis and shluchim, friends and
Gimmel Tammuz, he has felt a that now the shliach had to get

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mekuravim, converged on the city to establish a Kollel, a Jewish of a Chabad School, and voted on
to participate in the wedding that school, and other learning a number of resolutions to
became the talk of the town, and programs. eradicate the problem. R’
made a great Kiddush Hashem and Today, only a few months after Dubrawski, however, says, “I
Kiddush Shem Lubavitch. their arrival, the two have fully believe that the local community
It turns out that it wasn’t just integrated into the local school will close down soon.”
the wedding that served to bring community. However, R’ The space in the Chabad House
Jews closer to authentic Judaism, Dubrawski feels that this is has become too constricting to
but even the Sheva Brachos. On insufficient and is currently house all the various activities, and
one of the nights, they were searching for two additional in recent months, the shluchim
missing a “new face” in order to couples to strengthen the Kollel have begun searching for a suitable
recite the blessings, and Andre and the community. building, but to no avail. After they
Segal, one of the mekuravim, The arrival of the new shluchim had pretty much given up hope,
brought a friend of his, who came has infused new energy into the they were hit with a surprise from
not suspecting that this would be community around the Chabad an unexpected quarter. The owner
his first step towards a Jewish life. House. Already following Rosh of the villa adjoining the Chabad
This first step led to further steps, HaShana, a new preschool opened House announced that he was
until he ended up marrying a in the Chabad House for the moving out of his home. The
Jewish woman, and now his children of the shluchim and the unexpected news was received with
daughter attends the Chabad locals. The success of the great excitement, and one of the
preschool. preschool succeeded in arousing congregants pledged to donate the
Over the years, they also the ire of the community leaders, rent for an entire year. And so, a
managed to inaugurate a new to the point that at a meeting two few days later, the Kollel began
mikva in the building of the months ago of the local Jewish operating in the new building. The
Chabad House, which was built organizations, they addressed the wall between the Chabad House
with the help of Jacques Frishman issue of the danger to the local yard and the yard around the villa
and another donor, and this event “Jewish school” due to the opening was taken down, and within a
also helped raised the status of the
Chabad community in the city.
BUILDING A Rabbi Dubrawski recounts: Six years ago, I was approached by a
COMMUNITY brother and sister in their fifties. They began the conversation by
In recent years, the wave of stating that they were not Jewish. In the course of the conversation,
returnees in the city has grown, they informed me that their mother was in the hospital and was at
and many moved away because the death’s door. They went on to tell me that their mother had told them
city could not provide for their that before she leaves the world, she wanted to let them in on the fact
newfound religious needs. The that she is a Jewess, and she explained to them the chain of events that
shliach tried valiantly to convince led her to forgetting her Jewishness. “Now, our mother wants to see a
his mekuravim to stay. Some of Rabbi, therefore, we came to you to ask you to please come with us to
them responded that if a serious visit her. It is very important to her, and to us as well.”
religious community was Of course, I acquiesced to their request, and I went with them to
established, they would consider the hospital. When I arrived at the woman’s room, I encountered an
remaining. R’ Dubrawski realized elderly woman in a bed surrounded by many beeping machines, which
that he had no other option, and were barely keeping her alive. I wanted to verify that she was in fact
he decided to open a Kollel to Jewish, after fifty years of denial. I approached her bed and whispered
serve as the basis for a vibrant into her ear, “Shma Yisroel,” and she finished the rest of the verse, as
Jewish community. well as the portion of “V’Ahavta.” A few minutes later, she passed on
Towards this end, he brought from this world.
out two new shluchim to the city, I took the opportunity to explain to her children that according to
his sons-in-law, Rabbi Menachem all indications they are also Jewish, but they didn’t want to hear
Mendel Labkowski and Rabbi anything about it. Perhaps, someday, they will find their way back, but
Menachem Mendel Stolik. The two at least, the mother died in repentance…
arrived this past Tishrei, in order

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of those he approaches, agreeing
to put on t’fillin.
A few months back, the
community held a special event,
and the new president of the
community announced in the name
of the new “rabbi” that Chabad
could come to the event, but they
could not put t’fillin on with the
attendees. The story got out to the
members of the community and to
Rabbis M.M. Labkowski Rabbi Labkowski giving a Torah class
the local press, and it caused a
and M.M. Stolik
firestorm of controversy as people
expressed amazement as to how a
short time, the villa turned into an participate in a regular minyan.
Jewish rabbi doesn’t allow religious
integral part of the Curitiba Since then, it has gained traction,
activities to be done with the local
Chabad House “complex.” and due to the tragic occurrence,
Jewish community.
Today, twenty five years after there is now a steady weekday
A while after the story broke
the founding of the Chabad House Shacharis minyan in the Chabad
there was a large public meeting in
in the shliach’s apartment, the new House.
which the shliach also participated.
Chabad House now functions as a They just recently completed
At one point during the meeting,
shul and a full service Jewish the building of the new shul within
he turned to the rabbi and said,
center. Every morning, there is a the Chabad House, which will
“Chabad put t’fillin on Jews in
large respectable minyan. The replace the small room that was
Communist Russia and at the
Shacharis minyan began a little used until now. The new shul is
frontlines of all of Israel’s wars, in
over two years ago, when one of beautifully built with many seats.
order to benefit those who might
the mekuravim lost his father, The Chanukas HaBayis, along with
find it difficult to do otherwise.
which necessitated that he a Hachnasas Seifer Torah and
People have gone to extremes and
celebration of 25 years in Curitiba,
done so much for the sake of
They decided to is scheduled for the upcoming
month of Elul.
t’fillin, and you want to say that
from now on it will not be
make a proper “The success of Chabad here is
to such an extent that everyone
possible?” Many of the locals
publicly decried the behavior of the
kosher and here knows that if Chabad
“rabbi,” and the past Lag B’Omer,
undertakes something it will be
Chassidic wedding done right,” one of the
most of the community celebrated
with the Chabad House.
congregants says to me. “Today,
in Curitiba, seeing the former president of the
How do you infuse the locals
with matters of Moshiach and
to it that the community is a regular at the
Chabad House, which shows just
In every class and lecture, I
wedding be in high how far they have come after years
of hard work.”
explain how current developments,
whether in the field of technology
style in order to However, the opponents of the
or medicine, or the explosion of
Chabad House are busily at work
convey to the locals and not resting on their laurels. A
the internet, are all part of the
process of the coming of
recent example that became the
that it is possible to talk of the town a few months ago
Moshiach. I like to show people
through current events that
hold a proper took place at one of the perennial
community events. The shliach had
Moshiach is already here. The
Rebbe explains that in the first
Jewish wedding long turned these events into an
opportunity for a large scale t’fillin
stage it is not necessary for there
to be outright miracles, but that it
even in a remote campaign. The fact that he
can all happen in a natural way,
personally knows every person
place like Curitiba. there leads to about ninety percent
and we will see the G-dliness in

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nature. path to every aspect of Jewish life. The few hours remaining before
Three months ago, we once However, it is equally important my flight back to S. Paolo I put to
again held a “medicine and after the initial contact to maintain use observing the work of the
Judaism” seminar. During the an ongoing connection and to Chabad House in action. The sight
lectures, it was mentioned that in guide them to progressively higher of the children playing in the
the future we will be able to restart levels of learning, and to go along playground set up in the yard; the
a heart with an ordinary battery. with them as they progress. morning session of the Kollel men;
Things like that help people see the The work in Curitiba is far intense conversations between the
idea in a different light, to start from finished. Even now, after shliach and some of the
believing that Moshiach is many successes and positive community members; and the
something real and imminent. results, we are looking to the heartwarming sight of the morning
After 25 years, what has future with the hope and prayer minyan that I heard so much
changed about you and the that in the remaining moments about; all of these appeared to me
environment? before the complete revelation of as small parts of a complete jigsaw
I feel that the city has really Moshiach, we will be able to build puzzle of life on shlichus. A
changed. The local Jews have a growing and vibrant community, shlichus carried out with inner
altered their outlook on Judaism in with which to greet Moshiach. fortitude and mesiras nefesh,
general, and Chabad in particular. Now, it has progressed beyond the which it appears will yet transform
Today, they all feel connected to dream stage and is a tangible the “most progressive city in the
the Rebbe. Prior to Gimmel vision. world” into a city of vibrant Jewish
Tammuz, there was a time that *** life until the ultimate revelation of
every person who traveled to New the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach.
York, even those that were not
involved directly with us, made it
their business to make time to be “FATHER, PLEASE DON’T
at the distribution of dollars by the COME TO ME IN A DREAM”
One of the many souls that came close to Judaism through the work
I look around me today and see
of the shluchim is Andrei Segal, a young man who was very far from
the Rebbe’s words about the innate
anything Jewish, although his aunt and uncle had become religious over
beauty of the Jewish soul come to
the years.
life. The fact that young people
One day, his father, Sergei, fell ill due to heart problems. Andre
flock to us to learn about Judaism
came to visit him before he was due to undergo a serious operation. He
is an expression of that soul. It is
told his father, “I know that your brother started to become religious
an indication that Moshiach is
when he began saying Kaddish after the passing of your father, my
about to come. People who lived
grandfather. A similar thing happened with your sister after the passing
through the Holocaust and lost
of your mother, my grandmother. I sincerely hope that you will live, but
their entire families who were
if G-d forbid, something happens to you, I am asking you not to visit
killed sanctifying Hashem’s name,
me in a dream to ask me to say Kaddish after you…”
often have a problem dealing with
The father underwent a successful operation, and after a long
Yiddishkait during the rest of the
hospital stay, he returned home in good health. However, the son
year. However, when it comes Yom
Andrei ended up becoming a full-fledged Chabad Chassid. It began
Kippur, they come to shul and like
when as part of his work for the local television network, he broke his
all the others cry out “Hashem Hu
leg. R’ Dubrawski would visit him regularly in the hospital and offer to
HaElokim,” and to me that is a
put on t’fillin.
display of the greatness of the
At the beginning, he resisted, but over time he softened up and
Jewish soul.
began putting on t’fillin and slowly progressing in his Judaism. Over the
What is your main emphasis
years, he ended up doing a complete t’shuva. Today, he is married to a
in the work of shlichus?
baalas t’shuva from S. Paolo, and they have children, one of whom is
Torah classes are the most
named Chana for the Rebbe’s mother.
effective means to penetrate the
This is just one story amongst many of how an entire extended
hearts and souls of every person.
family, with the help of the shluchim of the Rebbe, made the return to
Everything starts with a class in
full Jewish life and observance.
Torah, which is the most direct

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that Chabad Chassidim say that

their Rebbe is alive?
R’ Nachum answered: There are
so many people about whom it is
said “they are called ‘dead’
(referring to the Talmudic dictum,
‘the wicked in their lifetimes are
called dead’) yet they write ‘shlita’
after their names, and nobody is
bothered by this. If there is
someone about whom it is said that
he is alive, why are people
Rabbi Auerbach smiled and
said: You’re right!
R’ Nachum gave a clever answer

THE REBBE but is it really the case that the

Rebbe is only “called” chai? Some
will answer yes, and some will say
Anyone unfamiliar with the

By Rabbi Chaim Ashkenazi
Rebbe’s teachings, or even if they
are familiar and think that the
Rebbe only spoke metaphorically,
will say Yes. However, someone
permeated with the belief that the
Rebbe’s teachings and guidance are
Why do we insist that the Rebbe is pure truth, and certainly they are
literally true, will answer
alive? What did the Rebbe say about unequivocally: “chai” is not just a
description or Chassidishe hergesh
this? designed to prevent people from
depression; it’s the reality.
In other words, understanding
THE REBBE SAID IT ALL Yet, although quite a few years
have passed since Gimmel the Rebbe’s reality today is
I heard that when the former dependent, in great measure, on
chief rabbi, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Tammuz, Chabad Chassidim
continue to go out on the Rebbe’s one’s knowledge and
Lau, attended a Chabad dinner in understanding of what the Rebbe
South America, someone asked him shlichus, to light the Jewish spark
and be mekarev Jews to their said.
what he thought about I was present during a
Lubavitchers who believe the Rebbe Father in heaven. They do it only
because the Rebbe said so. conversation between a Gerrer
is chai v’kayam. Chassid and a Misnaged. The
Rabbi Lau responded with a So tell me – who is chai
v’kayam, your rosh yeshiva or the Misnaged said: Look at the
question: Tell me the truth, how Lubavitchers. What foolishness
would you react if your rosh Lubavitcher Rebbe?
they say about their Rebbe
yeshiva asked you to move with ***
regarding Moshiach and about his
your family to Shanghai, China just A similar story was told to me being here physically.
for a year or two. Would you by R’ Nachum Rabinowitz of Anash The Gerrer Chassid said: You
agree? Surely you admit that you in Yerushalayim. One time, when should know that they don’t say
would find all the excuses and he met with Rabbi Shlomo Zalman anything on their own. It’s all
reasons in the world not to do what Auerbach (the famous posek) z”l, written, either in the Torah or in
he asked. R’ Auerbach asked him: How is it Toras Chassidus. You don’t have to

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accept it, but you can’t say it’s does not have to be a Rebbe who is Gimmel Tammuz is not normal.
nonsense and that they made it up. here b’gashmius, he’s a liar. It says And a Lubavitcher who says that
In another conversation, this so in the Rebbe’s sichos, in black on Gimmel Tammuz what
time between a Chabad Chassid and white. I don’t have to accept it happened is what appears to have
and his cousin who is a Poilishe because I’m not a Chabad Chassid, happened – is also not normal!
Chassid, the cousin said: I learned but to say that he never said it,
the sichos of your Rebbe and I’m that’s an outright lie! WHAT CHANGED?
telling you that if a Chabadnik says I heard the following from a
If non-Lubavitchers understand
that the Rebbe did not say he is Poilisher Chassid: A Lubavitcher
this, what happened to us? Every
Moshiach, or if he says that there who says that nothing happened on
Chabad Chassid around the world
openly proclaimed that the Rebbe is
Melech HaMoshiach L’olam Va’ed
until Gimmel Tammuz 5754, or at
least until 27 Adar I 5752. They
announced it unanimously, not
because they all convened in one
place and made the decision to do
so, but because it was obvious that
this is what the Rebbe was saying
in his sichos and there was no
other way to understand them.
Furthermore, the Rebbe did all
he could to ensure we understood
him, and he knew how his
Chassidim and mekusharim
understood him. Leading the
believers were the “elite” of Chabad
Chassidim, from the head chozrim
on down. Everybody believed it.
Suddenly, after 27 Adar 5752
and even more so, after 27 Adar II
5754, and even more so, after
Gimmel Tammuz 5754, some
people decided that we don’t
understand what the Rebbe said
and wrote. Their excuse is that
what we can see is stronger than all
the sichos, and this is a Yud Shvat,
Beis Nissan, 13 Tishrei, 9 Kislev,
and 24 Teives, once again.
As for those who think that
Gimmel Tammuz is a Yom Hilula,
there are different views about the
current situation:
Some people are of the opinion
that from Gimmel Tammuz and on,
there is no Nasi HaDor. Some
think that the Rebbe is the Nasi
HaDor, and say (based on chapter
27 of Igeres HaKodesh in Tanya),
that he is here “more than in his
lifetime” (though it is not clear why
this would be the case with regard

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to the Rebbe and not the Rebbeim taken on Shabbos to a town with a driver, and who knows what other
who preceded him, back until midwife. The rav told the wagon things they will reinterpret!
Moshe Rabbeinu). driver to harness the horses and In the best case they say about
There are others who say that take her. The wagon driver said he themselves – “we erred, it’s
the Rebbe is not only here “more couldn’t harness the horses without nonsense, it will cause a
than in his lifetime” spiritually, but a cigarette. The rav did not allow it desecration of Torah and mitzvos,
is also connected to the physical and the argument continued until and whoever says it is not
world, unlike the other n’siim. the woman in labor was in danger. Chabad.”
According to this view, 770 is a The rav said to the wagon This approach is something to
place to gather for t’fillos and driver that he should take a cry over, because the far-reaching
farbrengens because holiness does cigarette, the main thing being to consequences are staggering.
not move from its place. They are harness the horses and save the A chareidi newspaper editor
convinced that this approach is woman’s life! The wagon driver who is known for his hatred of
normal and nice, and this is the concluded, who knows what other Chassidim in general and Chabad
proper way to educate the next things are allowed to be done on Chassidim in particular, and
generation, and whoever doesn’t Shabbos, but the rabbis just don’t especially the Rebbe MH”M, said:
think so is not Chabad. These are tell us… What do you want from me and the
the same people who previously The ignorant wagon driver did paper I represent when before
maintained that whoever doesn’t not know that the halacha does not Gimmel Tammuz I wrote that
think the Rebbe is Melech change according to the rav’s you’re not normal and are heretics
HaMoshiach L’olam Va’ed is not whims. He did not understand that and now, you yourselves write the
Chabad… it wasn’t the p’sak halacha that same thing! The difference is that I
Beforehand, they understood changed but the situation (without wrote it about most of you – while
what the Rebbe said one way, and getting into a discussion about you say it applies to those you call
now, they understand what the whether the p’sak was correct or a “fringe element.”
Rebbe said another way. If not). He thought that the rabbis As for us, we are strong in our
someone would come along and are concealing other leniencies emuna because we rely on what the
say – like that Misnaged who had a from us. At a later point, he might Rebbe said, and he taught us (see
dream – that he saw G-d’s funeral, think that if the rabbis don’t tell us Likkutei Sichos, vol. 26, first sicha)
Heaven forbid, would they also say what else is permissible, he will that regarding Moshe it says, “His
that until now, they understood the decide on his own! day of birth atones for his day of
idea of “I am Hashem, I do not The same is true here. There is death.”
change,” in a way that means a a principle that every Chabad Atonement connotes cleansing.
change is not possible, but now Chassid believed in firmly, because In other words, the birthday wipes
they understand it differently? the Rebbe, the “faithful shepherd,” clean the deficiency that could be
instilled/instills it within us. the result of the day of death. What
THE WAGON DRIVER’S Suddenly, people come and say does this mean?
that the Rebbe didn’t mean to The removal from the plane of
UNDERSTANDING guarantee anything; he said it, gashmius which takes place on the
In a certain town there was a rather, as a request and a prayer. day of death cannot happen to the
woman in labor who needed to be They are just like that wagon Nasi HaDor, because from the time
of birth – from the moment the
I learned the sichos of your Rebbe and wondrous being called “Moshe
Emes” is born – this deficiency is
I’m telling you that if a Chabadnik says impossible. Indeed, it may not be
the same body, but he must be in a
that the Rebbe did not say he is body.

Moshiach, or if he says that there does MOSHE RABBEINU DID

not have to be a Rebbe who is here NOT DIE – THIS IS
b’gashmius, he’s a liar. The Rebbe explains in this

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It’s now, when the believers are not American bar mitzva boy, the
Rebbe asked him whether he
popular and people make fun, that we played baseball and which team he
rooted for. The boy said that in
have to be the professional players on the last game he watched, his
team lost.
the field and not abandon our job. The Rebbe asked the boy what
he did about the loss and the boy
said: I got up and left the field. I
sicha (vol. 26) the reason why As many questions as you may didn’t even wait until the end of
only Moshe and Yaakov, who are have on this sicha, they cannot the game.
referred to as emes, meaning divert us from the unequivocal “Did the baseball players leave
eternal, are said not to have died. declaration that we are not too?” asked the Rebbe.
The truth of Yaakov Avinu and Breslov-style Chassidim; Nasi They can’t leave, even if
Moshe Rabbeinu is not only ‘not HaDor means “lo meis.” they’re not doing well, explained
falsehood,’ as is so with regard to The debate needs to be over the boy patiently, because they are
all tzaddikim, but who are not how to understand “lo meis,” as it professionals and have to try and
eternal physically. All the other is meant literally. This discussion win until the last minute of the
tzaddikim are eternal as far as is similar to that in every maamer game!
their neshamos, and “even more Chassidus and Chassidishe You too, said the Rebbe, are
than in their lifetime,” but with farbrengen about the fact that the beginning now to participate on
Yaakov and Moshe, it is truth like world is not a metzius. Hashem’s “team.” Try to be a
the Torah is true; it endures, in a That the world is not a metzius professional and not just a fan!
physical sense, forever. is a given. Once we’ve established ***
The Nasi HaDor is not in the that, we can discuss this non- The Rebbe’s message to the
category of “even more than in existence: is it not a metzius bar mitzva boy is quite relevant to
their lifetime,” as great as that is, because it is imaginary, or is it a our present situation. It’s no big
for he is here b’gashmius. One of metzius but nevertheless it has no deal to be a fan and to cheer
the proofs that the Rebbe brings significance at all, or perhaps when your team is winning. It
for this is that just as the Mishkan even higher degrees of wasn’t a great achievement to
is physically eternal, because it is nullification. spread the Besuras HaGeula in
the handiwork of Moshe, all the Despite the discussion that the the days preceding Chaf-Zayin
more so is Moshe himself eternal! world is not a metzius is a fact, Adar, when everybody was certain
This is why only regarding Yaakov and a Chassid needs to work on that Moshiach was about to come
and Moshe, who are “emes,” does himself from moment to moment and that his sworn fans would be
it say “he did not die.” It is highly and t’filla to t’filla and farbrengen in the front row to greet him.
recommended that you study the to farbrengen and yechidus to It’s now, when the believers
sicha in detail. yechidus – to absorb the concept are not popular and people make
After learning this sicha, can of the world’s non-existence. fun, that we have to be the
we treat Gimmel Tammuz like Yud So too with the Rebbe. The professional players on the field
Shvat? Of course we are not Rebbe declared that Moshe and not abandon our job. Even if
happy with the situation when we Rabbeinu lo meis, so the Rebbe we don’t see our king, let us
cannot see the Rebbe, but what MH”M lo meis, and we must get continue to spread the message
should we do on this day? Should it into our minds and hearts that that the Rebbe is Moshiach and he
we do what is done on all the days the day of his birth (Yud-Alef is chai v’kayam, and we are
marking the passing of the Nissan) atones for the day of anticipating his immediate
Rebbeim and say that nevertheless, death, “atones” meaning revelation (not that we are
the Rebbe is the Nasi HaDor? cleansing. waiting for him to return).
This is the opposite of what the May we soon see the “lo meis”
Rebbe says, the same Rebbe who FANS OR b’gashmius, with the true and
is the only expert who can say
what a Nasi HaDor is, for the
PROFESSIONALS? complete Redemption now!
Rebbe says “lo meis.” In a yechidus with an (Said at a Chassidishe farbrengen)

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but they lack suitable chavrusos.”

I pushed him off again and
again, hoping to enjoy more time in
770. I didn’t see myself working in
a place like India. I considered it
out of the question, but after my
friend kept telling me how urgent it
was and after thinking of the
bachurim waiting for us, I came to
the conclusion that I couldn’t say
no. I figured a yeshiva framework
suited me.

DECIDE WHO After receiving a positive answer

from the Rebbe in the Igros
Kodesh, I planned on leaving after
Shavuos. Before Yom Tov we had
already arranged the final details

YOU ARE and after Yom Tov we were ready

to go.
After an exhausting, sleepless,
two-day trip, we arrived at our
destination. When we walked in,

By Eli Shneuri
we saw that the place was
operating like an ordinary Chabad
House. There was no yeshiva! After
a brief nap, when we tried to
understand what was going on, our
disappointment grew when – in
A series of Hashgacha Pratis incidents answer to our question, “Where
are the bachurim?” – we were told
leads two T’mimim to a pizza store in that that was our job.
This wasn’t part of our plan; the
Dramsala, India, in their search for shliach’s answer was a bombshell.
We decided to go out and see if we
young Jews. One by one, they gathered could round up some guys.
After a few minutes of walking,
to escape the torrential rains of we entered a pizza store and met
monsoon season that suddenly began to three Israeli tourists. They had
never put on t’fillin and their
fall. Judaism consisted of the fact that
they were Jewish.
“When we were kids,” they
It has become a tradition. Many their spiritual refuge. said, with a mischievous glint in
bachurim who finish learning on This is the story of Noam Elias, their eyes, “we tried to make
K’vutza in 770, remain to learn for who is active today in the Chabad ourselves a bar mitzva outside of
a few more years while receiving house in Kiryat Ono. Noam relates: the kibbutz with a ceremony that
offers of shlichus in India. India After an extended stay in 770, included an aliya la’Torah, etc., but
has lately become an area of one of my friends begged me to our parents found out about it and
intensive Chabad outreach. The join him on shlichus in a village in stopped us.”
bachurim who go there have rich, India, on a Himalayan peak They grew up hating religion
unusual experiences. They are overlooking the city of Dramsala. and religious people. And now, it
witnesses to stories of neshamos “Open a yeshiva in Dramsala,” he became clear that they were not
from another world, the world of said. “There are already Israeli interested in continuing the
wandering Jews who consider India bachurim and baalei t’shuva there,

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conversation with the religious had to do mitzvos, including middle-aged Israeli kibbutznik. He
people who happened to meet them lighting candles every Friday. said he was a dentist and five years
in a pizza store in India. One day there was an article in earlier he had come to India
In the course of our the newspaper about the Jewish searching for something. Since
conversation it suddenly began to outreach in Dramsala and his then he had been taking courses in
pour. It looked like a monsoon, a mother became aware of Chabad’s a kind of ritual drumming involving
powerful rainfall that can last for work in India. She advised her son idols, r”l.
hours and sometimes for days. to travel to Dramsala. “When you “You enter another world,” he
They couldn’t leave, so we got into see people who look like the men in tried explaining to us. “At first,” he
a serious conversation. They said this article, talk to them and tell said sort of apologetically, “I didn’t
they were studying with a certain them that you are Jewish. They will say their prayers. But after a while
cult in a Tibetan monastery in the be happy to help you.” I said to myself, I don’t believe in it
area. His excitement was contagious anyway, so what do I care if I say
In the course of our long talk, and he put on t’fillin as he cried. It it. So that’s what I do.”
they were surprised to see that was then that I realized the After we spoke to him for a
religious people were able to listen magnitude of our shlichus here, to while, we suggested that he put on
and make jokes. We explained that be mekarev these lost Jews to their t’fillin. He refused, as we expected,
the world’s religions are based on Father in heaven. and he said that it’s been 28 years
the Torah and they are all cheap Before we could digest all this, since he had last put on t’fillin.
imitations. They seemed interested and two minutes after the Indian I motioned to Mendele, my
in what we had to say. Jew had finished his impassioned friend, that he should take out the
Before they left, we gave them prayer, another Jew walked in, a t’fillin. And then, with the element
the address of the Chabad house. It
was still raining but they left. The
next day, they actually dropped in
to the Chabad house to say hello
and we took the opportunity and
gave them each an aliya to
celebrate their bar mitzvas.
While we waited in the pizza
store for the downpour to stop, an
English Jew walked in. He said that
at home in England he put on
t’fillin regularly, but some friends
told him that while traveling he did
not have to put on t’fillin. Naturally
we told him that that is not true
and said men are obligated to put
on t’fillin daily – even away from
While he was putting on t’fillin,
someone walked into the store who
looked Indian. He gave us a long
look and then asked, somewhat
hesitantly, “Are you Jews?” When
we said Yes, he happily said, “Me “In the morning you’re with them, and
He said he lived a few hours in the evening you’re with us? Decide
trip away from Dramsala. At some
point he realized that his mother lit who you are with, who you are praying
candles every Friday. When he
questioned her about this, she told
to!” They spoke quickly and with
him they were Jewish and that Jews undisguised rage.

#'1 + - 1 & '  ! & 'PPRB 

of surprise and without asking him,
I rolled up the guy’s sleeve and
“We tried to make ourselves a bar
began putting the t’fillin on him. I
didn’t care that it was done this
mitzva outside of the kibbutz with a
way, the main thing being that he ceremony that included an aliya
put on t’fillin. Maybe the light of
the mitzva would penetrate his la’Torah, etc., but our parents found out
He realized that we had about it and stopped us.”
spiritually-religiously kidnapped
him and he yelled in self-defense.
what they were saying amongst reddened eyes, he renewed his
“Don’t put t’fillin on me!” He
themselves, but I felt there was connection with G-d.
protested but he didn’t actively
danger here. At that point, the Indians left.
fend me off.
“I am praying,” he said softly. Apparently these were his “friends”
Suddenly, I saw his eyes darting
“Then what are you doing from the cult of drummers.
about the room, right and left, up
here?” they screamed at him I knew that we had been
and down. “I’m not saying any
angrily. “In the morning you’re participants in a G-dly mission and
prayer,” he announced. “Not Shma
with them, and in the evening had connected with a lost soul. You
Yisroel either.”
you’re with us? Decide who you could see the chain of instances of
“No problem,” we told him.
are with, who you are praying to?” “Divine Providence” that directs
“You don’t have to say anything.”
They spoke quickly and with each neshama to its Source.
He suddenly became terrified.
undisguised rage. That Shabbos was Parshas
“Quick!” he hissed. We could see
The Israeli mustered the Pinchas, which is his name. We
how a battle was being waged
courage and in an emotional invited Pinchas to the Chabad
within him between the forces of
though steady voice he said in house and parted. He actually
evil and the forces of holiness. It
English, while pointing came on Shabbos and participated
was clear to me that we were part
heavenward, “I’m with Him. He is in the t’fillos, in high spirits.
of a story of a hidden neshama. I
my G-d!” We had the merit of bringing a
tried to accommodate him and do
Then he turned to me and said, few Israelis to the Chabad house to
things quickly.
“Now start over again and do it a yeshiva-type program. Many of
Then, seemingly out of
properly and show me exactly what them have, by now, married and set
nowhere, three Indians appeared.
I ought to say.” And there, while up Jewish homes and some are
“What are you doing?” they
wearing t’fillin, with moist and even on shlichus.
shouted at him. I didn’t understand


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