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Sholom Ber Crombie


4 D’var Malchus 19 Parsha Thought 22 Mivtzaim Story 38 Shleimus HaAretz 39 Moshiach & Geula 40 Crossroads


Nosson Avraham

C Ben David

Shneur Zalman Berger

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D’var Malchus

If, G-d forbid, it comes out as the opposite of a blessing, the person is plagued with doubts. But this potential outcome is forewarned by the statement, “Behold, I give…a blessing and a curse.” * With the power of hiskashrus to the Rebbe, one comes to recognize that everything that comes from Above is actually entirely good. Then, even the curses are transformed into blessings.
Translated by Boruch Merkur

The physicality of the body itself necessitates that one must contend with his animalistic nature, giving rise to the challenge of transforming the animal within into a beheima tehora, a pure or kosher animal. It says in K’hillas Yaakov that “beheima (animal)” is an acronym for “basar ha’yored min ha’shamayim – flesh that descends from the heavens,” in which case it is certainly pure, for “nothing impure descends from Heaven,” as our Sages say in Sanhedrin 59b. [Since our animalistic nature stems from a G-dly source, it can therefore be transformed into a “pure animal.”]

According to Jewish law, the kashrus of birds may not be determined strictly by simanim, characteristics common to all kosher animals of that kind. Rather, there must be a tradition, a mesora, accepting a particular species of foul as being kosher (Shulchan Aruch – Yoreh Deia 82:3, end). At first glance, after a tradition is established, one can detect which signs are required and know that the bird is kosher on his own [i.e., without relying on tradition]. The fact is, though, that we cannot rely upon our own logical deduction. We can study Shulchan Aruch and conduct ourselves in a manner that goes beyond the letter of the law, and yet [if we rely on human intellect alone we may]

still be steeped in the depths of hell. There must be a mesora, a tradition. Indeed, “mesora” also means “mesira – given over to, dedicated, devoted” and “hiskashrus – connected to, bound up with,” hiskashrus to the Rebbe. And the Rebbe is a hunter. (See Chulin 63b: “‘Ne’eman ha’tzayid lomar ‘oif zeh tahor, masar li rabbi…’” – “A hunter is believed when he says, ‘My master transmitted to me that this bird is kosher.’ Said Rebbi Yochanan: provided that he is an expert in them and their names … Does ‘master’ mean ‘a master in learning’ or ‘a master in hunting’? … it means ‘a master in hunting (rabbo tzayid)’” – cited in Rambam’s Laws of Forbidden Foods 1:15 and Tur Shulchan Aruch – Yoreh Deia 82:2). The Rebbe is a hunter occupied with saving Jewish souls. He is an expert in Jewish souls and their names, an expert in [detecting and foiling] the [seductive] advice of the Evil Inclination.

And this is the meaning of

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“Behold, I give…the blessing and the curse,” which is said by Moshe, as well as the “manifestation of Moshe in every generation”: It can be the case that one hears a bracha, a blessing, from the Rebbe and the blessing is fulfilled. In that case, the person sees that the Rebbe is indeed a Rebbe, causing the person to be mekushar, bound and devoted to the Rebbe. But if, G-d forbid, it comes out the other way, the opposite of a blessing, the person is plagued with doubts. But this outcome is forewarned by the statement, “Behold, I give…a blessing and a curse,” providing a heads-up from the outset that circumstances can also turn out to be the opposite of a blessing. The verse specifies, “I give – Anochi nosein,” indicating that just as there is a concept of “Anochi – I” Above, alluding to [the transcendent G-dly emanation called] Kesser (Likkutei Torah 34d), “Anochi mi sh’Anochi – I am as I am.” So too with regard to the soul, there is the concept of “Anochi,” referring to the Yechida [the highest dimension of the soul, which is associated with the “Moshe in every generation”]. How can a curse be given from the lofty level of “Anochi” [from Moshe Rabbeinu

himself, from the Rebbe, when “nothing impure descends from Heaven”]? It is possible that it is in order that one should suffer a lesser sentence [in this world, rather than a much more severe punishment in the World to Come]. (See Igeres HaT’shuva Ch. 12.) Another possibility is that if it is indeed manifest in this manner [as an apparent curse], then he shall come to the Rebbe – whether it is to the Ohel or by means of a pidyon, or in some other manner – and tell the Alm-ghty through the Rebbe, “I accept it upon myself.” If he should say these words, he will have fulfilled his obligation with that alone, as Rashi z”l says, “‘the blessing’ – on condition that ‘you listen.’” If the person listens and accepts it upon himself, then the case is that “He gives to you the blessing.”  It also states in Likkutei Torah of the Arizal, on the verse, “‘Let him offer his cheek to the one who smites him; let him be filled with reproach’ (Eicha 3:30), that when he “offers his cheek” to receive the blow, he is “filled with reproach” [the reproach of humbling himself by presenting his cheek to be stricken] and is exonerated thereby from the blow itself.

Or, as it is explained in Igeres HaKodesh at the end of Ch. 11, the truth is that the curses are also blessings. In fact, they are such great blessings that they can only be manifest as the opposite of blessings. That is, in order that these blessings should not be subject to the evil eye nor subject to any accusation of the Attribute of Judgment. It is also in line with what is brought in Moed Katan (9b) and elucidated in Likkutei Torah, Parshas B’Chukosai, maamer beginning with the words “B’Shivri.” And with the power of hiskashrus to the Rebbe, one comes to recognize that everything that comes from Above is actually entirely good. Then, the curses are transformed into blessings, and he clearly sees that the Rebbe is present in all the worlds, even more so than during the Rebbe’s lifetime in this world (Zohar III 71b, elucidated in Tanya – Igeres HaKodesh siman Zach, 22), the true perfection of which will be apparent soon in the complete redemption, and the Rebbe will lead us to Moshiach, amen.
(From the farbrengen of Shabbos Parshas R’ei 5710; the original Yiddish transcript was edited by the Rebbe)

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Naor Carmi found the answers to life through the pages of Likkutei Torah and today he uses his musical talents to spread the wellsprings and to bring authentic Chabad niggunim to the public, even to non-Jews. * His ensemble has performed dozens of Chabad niggunim and has produced a CD called “The Heart and the Wellspring.” * In a conversation with Beis Moshiach, Naor tells his story which began with a musical upbringing in Akko and now has him performing with the most interesting ensemble in the world of Israeli music.
By Sholom Ber Crombie

n recent years, Naor Carmi has become synonymous with Chassidic music; not the popular brand of Chassidic music but a more authentic kind, Chassidishe niggunim that are presented to the public with professional arrangements. Even the not-yet religious Israeli public is excited by Chassidishe niggunim that were composed generations ago. Although it once would have been unheard of for a Chassidic young man to stand on the Israeli stage and perform


Chabad niggunim, today it has become accepted. Since “The Heart and the Wellspring” (HaLev V’HaMaayan) project began, conducted by Naor, Chassidishe niggunim have become a genre familiar to thousands of Jews from all segments of the population. Actually, it would be true to say that this is a new genre, that of the Chassidic niggun. Naor’s story begins in Akko where he was born and grew up. “There is a musical conservatory in Akko that was started by Shmuel Kahana so that children can study music instead of hanging out on the street. The

choice then was to play music or be on the street and, fortunately for me, I was drawn to music.” From the age of 12, Naor played wind instruments. One time, when he went with his mother to the conservatory, he saw a contrabass, the largest of the string instruments. Naor pointed at it and said, “I want to play that.” Today, you will see Naor with this large instrument at his many performances, but it took him a long time to get there. “Since my childhood, I’ve played music. In the army I played in the military band; afterward, when I lived in Tel Aviv, I played in many musical groups.” Within a short time,

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Naor became a sought-after musician and he spent hours in performances with great Israeli artists.

Along with the stardom and his dizzying success, a change came from an unexpected direction. “I joined the ensemble of a very highly respected musician by the name of Meir Ariel a”h, who wasn’t religious but was a believing Jew. To him there was no glory or acclaim, but only music for music’s sake. He taught us what genuine simplicity is. At the time, we were performing for eight people. By the end of his life there were thousands flocking to his performances. He constantly spoke about Torah and other things were really marginal. All the musicians around him ended up becoming baalei t’shuva.” How did working with a musician like that get someone to do t’shuva? “We always knew there was something different about him. He did not wear a kippa but he always wore a hat, and he constantly spoke about his closeness to Judaism. He would pray every day and lived with Torah. When I attended his memorial, I went into his study and saw it full of Gemaras and chiddushim that he had written on the Torah. Apparently, he sat and learned Torah all day and that radiated to us, the musicians who worked with him. “His influence on me as a musician was enormous. He believed in people as a result of his belief in G-d, and therefore he revealed enormous talents in them. My progress with him as a musician was tremendous. It

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wasn’t because he was a great musician, but because of his belief in G-d which caused him to believe in the goodness and ability within each person. “I got my first push from him that made me understand that depth in life is not found among Indians or Aristotle but it all begins with us and nothing compares. It wasn’t a sudden major epiphany but a long process which continues till today.” Meeting Meir Ariel and realizing that there is depth within Judaism inspired Naor to leave Tel Aviv and move to yishuv Tirat Shalom, a small yishuv near Nes Tziyona. “I saw there was no point in continuing with the bohemian, I bought and began developing a positive approach to Judaism. The fact that I had begun relating differently to Judaism was already an achievement since I had been educated otherwise. I had to change my thought patterns and start thinking differently.” yeshivish as that of any yeshiva bachur. “Lots of bands and musicians came to the wedding, not all of whom were aware of the religious journey I had made. The rabbi suddenly said, ‘Naor’s yeshiva has arrived,’ and the hall filled up with bachurim from Machon Meir. My mother, who knew nothing about my t’shuva process, was completely surprised.” Of course, his mother was not the only one who was surprised, but his friends too. “At first, they were a little taken aback, but then they accepted it and were happy. The wedding was extremely joyous and they saw that there is truly another kind of joy from a pure place.” After the wedding, Naor went back to Tirat Shalom and continued furthering his musical career while also continuing his spiritual journey, but something was still missing. Without any connection to his own process, his father also began a spiritual journey and became a baal t’shuva. His father met R’ Shlomo Frank, the director of the Rabbinic Council in Akko and a shliach of the Rebbe. It was through R’ Frank that Naor encountered the world of Chabad for the first time. “R’ Frank was greatly mekarev me,” says Naor. Together with R’ Frank, he learned Chassidus for the first time and discovered the depth it contains. What attracted you to Chabad? “In Chabad, I discovered a combination of several things that were very important to me, like Ahavas Yisroel. I saw genuine love for every Jew and

“I wanted to connect to Judaism somehow, so I decided to keep Shabbos. I had a performance scheduled in Poland and as I walked the streets I thought, I am not in despair like the people I see around me. I began thinking about what differentiated me from them. Was I altogether different than them, and if so, how? I began

“He believed in people as a result of his belief in G-d, and therefore he revealed enormous talents in them.”
Tel Aviv life. It suddenly all seemed frivolous to me. I realized there was something much more powerful and I had to get more involved in it. Tirat Shalom is a fabulous Yemenite village on a hill, which is surrounded by fields and wine presses. The residents are strong believers and I learned from them what simple faith in G-d is. The neighbors talked all day about G-d and I felt that He was actually present in their lives in a significant way.” It sounds like one encounter with a believing Jew caused you to change your entire perspective. “It didn’t happen all at once; it was a long, internal journey. I began getting acquainted with Judaism on my own, at home. I would learn Jewish books that

to realize that I have something unique within me and that I had to know who I am and where I come from. I visited Auschwitz. When I was there, I decided to start keeping kosher. “I spent most Shabbasos on my own, but occasionally I would go to shul on Shabbos and take in the Shabbos atmosphere. It was a very slow process that happened step by step. I kept moving further into the world of Torah and mitzvos.” At this point, Naor met his wife-to-be. Before they married, he knew he had to learn about relationships within Judaism and he went to learn at Yeshivas Machon Meir in Yerushalayim. He related to the students there more than he thought he would and his wedding looked as

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I thought, everyone talks about Ahavas Yisroel but in Chabad they don’t just talk about it, they act on it. I saw that people were willing to forgo not only material things for another Jew, but even their spirituality. It impressed me tremendously. I saw that Ahavas Yisroel in Chabad is literally a way of life. “Aside from that, I was drawn, of course, to the depth of Chassidus. When I learned Chabad Chassidus, I felt that nothing I had encountered until then was anything like it. I was captivated by the depth of Chassidus. As soon as I heard the maamarim in Likkutei Torah from R’ Frank, it was the deepest thing I had ever learned. It was a structured approach and not just a collection of nice aphorisms. The systematic learning had a great effect on me. I had learned in Litvishe yeshivos before that, and I was familiar with the depth of Gemara learning, but in Chassidus I found an altogether different kind of depth.” Were you drawn to the intellectual aspect of Chassidus or the spiritual experience of the learning? “I related to the intellectual experience. It says, ‘a person shouldn’t learn except in a place which his heart desires,’ because every person is drawn to a different place. I simply felt that this is what my heart desires. Like with music, where you can’t explain just what you find appealing in a tune, the same is true for Torah. I felt that I connected to this learning, mainly the teachings of the Alter Rebbe. “There was also the experiential dimension. I was very moved by the whole experience of the farbrengen, where people sit together and say l’chaim and

The HaLev V’HaMaayan ensemble from right to left: Oren Tzur, Chilik Frank, Naor Carmi, and Ariel Alaev

musician Daniel Zamir. “Daniel supported me a lot. We were good friends and he was mekarev me to Chabad. Until today, I am grateful to him for the chizuk he gave me at that time.”

When did you become acquainted with Chabad niggunim? “The niggunim were part of my exposure to Chabad; it’s just that I didn’t understand the depth at that time. It was another nice aspect, nothing more. I became familiar with niggunim at farbrengens, but I did not understand the treasure they contain.” When did the change take place? “There was a farbrengen for Lubavitcher musicians, which was attended by about fifty people. That’s when the switch in my head occurred,
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Naor Carmi with his bass

sing niggunim. That spoke to me. And of course the whole getting to know the Rebbe. Each time, I would be amazed by the Rebbe’s sichos and maamarim and all his activities.” Naor moved to Yerushalayim where he met the Lubavitcher


when I understood what Chabad niggunim, and Chassidic niggunim in general, are about. I no longer had any interest in playing anything else.” Naor went to Beit Avi Chai, a cultural and social center located in Yerushalayim that holds Jewish cultural events and performances, and suggested a performance of Chassidic niggunim. “I saw the time was right for performances like that, but I didn’t know what I was getting into. I didn’t have a plan; it was all up in the air.” But the administration of Beit Avi Chai instantly liked the idea. Even before the first performance they arranged for four performances. That is how a new ensemble in Jewish agreed to come. Today, his performances at Beit Avi Chai are well-known to many. The biggest surprise came a few days after the advertising for the event, when all the tickets were bought in advance. People were really excited by the idea of a performance of Chassidic niggunim and not one seat remained for the public. “We ourselves don’t understand how it happened,” says Naor. “We weren’t a known ensemble or famous artists. Each of us was known as an individual artist but not on this level.” So what sold the idea to the public? “We brought something new, performances of authentic Chassidic niggunim, which

After the first performance, came many others. Then the invitation to the Jewish music festival in Amsterdam came. The people producing the festival are non-Jews who are interested in Jewish music. One hundred bands that play Jewish music were registered for the festival, out of which only twenty-four bands were accepted. Naor said they weren’t sure how their music would be received but after their first performance, in the quarter finals, the judges couldn’t restrain themselves and they got up and applauded. A more interesting story took place in the run up to the semifinals which took place on Friday afternoon and continued into Shabbos. They were the only ensemble comprised of religious Jews who could not participate in the finals on Shabbos. They were there at the beginning but left the hall before Shabbos so they could get back to their hotel to prepare for Shabbos. They did not know whether they would move up into the finals or not. Although the judges’ decision is usually announced at the end of the semi-finals, which took place Friday night, the director of the event personally called right before Shabbos to let them know that the judges said that they were accepted into the semifinals even though they had left early. “People had simply never heard this music before,” explains Naor. “It was inaccessible for generations, confined within the Chassidic world, and nobody knew these niggunim. There are about forty thousand Chassidic niggunim, most of which are not known. Chabad alone has nearly a thousand niggunim.

“Every person has what to contribute with his approach to spreading the wellsprings. There is no need to rely solely on the shluchim because we are all shluchim.”
music, called “The Heart and the Wellspring,” came to be. The ensemble was comprised of Naor along with the ChassidicYerushalmi Klezmer musician Chilik Frank, violinist Oren Tzur, and the accordionist virtuoso Ariel Alaev. The ensemble, which was formed for one series of performances, turned into a hit ensemble which is known, by now, as a brand name. The early days weren’t easy. When Chilik Frank answered the call from Naor with the offer that he play at Beit Avi Chai, he wasn’t enthused. He had never performed in venues like that and was more accustomed to playing in Miron on Lag B’Omer or at Chassidic weddings. But Naor persisted and Chilik finally previously had never existed. We also brought our own touch to the event and professional musicians, and we combined this with a lot of stories and Divrei Torah. It was like a big farbrengen. People said they left different than they came. They felt this was something genuine. It was a Jewish festival; artists who didn’t play at all bad, and with Divrei Torah and stories. “Some people said that as soon as they walked in it was hard to relate to the real world. They felt that this was so pure that it was difficult to go out to the big world which is full of lies. The music lifts people up to another level; when a niggun is played authentically, it has a certain power.”

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Right to left: Ariel Alaev, Chilik Frank, Oren Tzur, and Naor Carmi

Modzitz, for example, has four thousand niggunim. In Modzitz, the second Rebbe picked his successor from among his sons based on who was able to be more exact in the tune of the t’filla of Yom Kippur. But this great treasure was inaccessible for years and the world did not know Chassidic niggunim. Now people heard this music and felt it was something different.” Naor says that today there is a great interest in Jewish music. There is even a non-Jewish band from Holland called DeGoyim that plays Jewish music.

What is unique about Chabad niggunim within the world of Chassidic niggunim? “Playing a niggun is like learning Torah. You never fully plumb its full depth. You are always innovating. It’s like the daily davening where you say the same brachos and the same words every day, and each time

you relive it. You always find something new in a niggun, even though you played it again and again. As far as I’m concerned, if the audience would be willing, I’d play one niggun for an entire performance. It’s enough for me, but since people are not open to the idea, I don’t do it. “It’s the best music I know and I don’t know exactly why. It’s hard to put into words what a Chabad niggun is, but it’s different. I can’t say why and it’s hard for me to compare it to anything similar. You sense that these niggunim are coming from a very good place.” How do you see your shlichus in music? “With music, I don’t need to speak because it opens the heart of every Jew. Whatever I say afterward will be accepted because the heart was already opened.” Naor adds, “Today there also needs to be a ‘sharing of the burden’ in Chabad. Every person has what to contribute

with his approach to spreading the wellsprings. There is no need to rely solely on the shluchim because we are all shluchim. Nobody can say, ‘He does mivtzaim,’ because all of us ought to do mivtzaim. People are interested and each of us has to use what he’s got to give for the Rebbe’s mivtzaim. “We are on the threshold of Geula and we see all the prophecies coming true, but there is still plenty of darkness in the world, many new voices among us that are against Judaism. I think that Chabad’s way is to increase the light, because you don’t chase darkness away with a stick but with light. People need to get involved in spreading the light.” Do you feel that the nation is ready for Geula? “Definitely. People are coming and buying tickets for a performance of niggunim and Divrei Torah! People are paying to hear the word of Hashem; is there a greater Geula than that?”

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For three years now, those who walk the Israel National Trail (Shvil Yisrael) that extends from one end of the country to the other know the Grizi family as “Trail Angels.” They open their home dozens of times a year for hundreds of hikers walking across the country and provide full room and board. We visited Nitzan and his wife Avigayil to hear what it’s all about. That day, they had seven hikers staying with them.
By Nosson Avrohom

he Mt Miron Nature Reserve is the largest, and one of the nicest, in all of Eretz Yisroel. As you climb the mountainous ridge you see a breathtaking green vista. Due to the climate conditions, the nature lover will find rare flowers, trees and a wide diversity of wildlife. Springs of pure water are scattered about. Most of the orchids found in the country grow in this reserve. In order to protect this beautiful area and to prevent vandalizing, there are rangers whose job it is to watch over this and other nature reserves. A Lubavitcher Chassid from the nearby Chabad community in Tzfas, Nitzan Grizi, is the ranger for the Mt Miron Nature Reserve. “During a few months of the


year, primarily in the winter, there isn’t much work. I can spend hours sitting and listening to shiurim.” However, this interview was not about his work protecting the preserve, but about his special shlichus. He and his family are in the small circle of people called “Trail Angels.” Who are these Trail Angels? We asked Nitzan and his wife Avigayil when we visited their home. Their answer drove home the point that every Chassid can become a shliach of the Rebbe and spread the wellsprings outward without much effort and without even needing to leave the cocoon of his community.

Trail Angels are people who

agree to host hikers who are walking across Eretz Yisroel on the “Shvil Yisrael,” a length of 580-620 miles which takes an average of 45-60 days to complete. (According to statistics compiled in 2010, only 4 out of 10 hikers complete the entire trail). Hundreds and thousands of people take on this challenge, to traverse the “Shvil Yisrael,” which passes through villages and forests, streams and nature preserves. Along the way they need places to stop off, refresh themselves, do laundry, eat and rest. This is where the hosting families come into the picture. In modern Israeli jargon, people like these are called “HaYisraeli HaYaffeh” (fine Israeli). We call them compassionate, hospitable Jews. These people, referred to as

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angels, live in yishuvim or cities along the Shvil, starting from Kibbutz Dan in the north, near the Lebanese border, to Eilat in the south. They offer their homes to hikers for free. Some offer sleeping accommodations, some offer food and drink; the common denominator among them is that it’s all for free. Their names and addresses are on the website of the nature preserves under the heading, “Trail Angels.” To the best of our knowledge, the Grizi family of Tzfas is the only Lubavitcher family out of the dozens of families who volunteer their services. “There is another shliach, in the south, whom we heard also hosts people,” said Nitzan. He said only fanatical hikers manage

to finish the Shvil on foot, down to Eilat. “And in the south, unlike the north, there is no water and no trees. A lot of the hiking is done in exposed areas under the burning sun. Many people who start at Kibbutz Dan do not manage to complete the trail in Eilat.” Nitzan does everything in a low-key way. For example, he won’t even talk about his car gemach. He only agreed to talk about the Trail Angels, because it can encourage other Lubavitcher families to join the project. I first heard about their work when Mrs. Grizi called me and asked me to host two hiking couples for Friday night. “They will sleep in our house, but since we will be in Yerushalayim, we can’t host them for the meal,”

she explained. We happily agreed to host them. The young couples showed up on time. The men were former combat buddies, who were joined by their wives. Two of them were from kibbutzim in the Carmel area who said they had never experienced a Shabbos meal before, and they had never sat down to talk directly with religious Jews. During the meal, we got into a long and interesting discussion. They were curious about our way of life and wanted to know about the Rebbe and Chassidus. They were serious people who wanted to understand things. When they went on their way, one of them said with a smile, “We won’t tell you what we thought of you before the meal.”

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“We had no idea how pleasant it would be to spend time with people like you,” said the other. This is the way we became acquainted with this special sort of outreach that requires almost no effort, and yet is so productive. During this interview, which took place a few weeks later, we met Nitzan in his house, cooking and talking to two hikers. As we walked in, we interrupted a lively conversation with Alex, a discharged officer, who asked, “What did Chassidus innovate?” Later on, he told us that this was the first time he was talking to an ultra-Orthodox Jew. “I live in Ashdod where there are two neighborhoods of ultraOrthodox and two neighborhoods of Russian immigrants. The two groups do not mix.” kosher. He comes from a family that was not religious, but a Jew is a Jew. There is no other way to explain his great interest in keeping mitzvos. “One time, before I became a baal t’shuva, he told me that when he was young he decided to start going to shul in the city where he lived, Tel Aviv. On the way, he bought tzitzis and put them on. This inspired moment, unfortunately, did not last. “My parents built their home in kibbutz Beit HaShitta because that is where my mother is from. Despite the atheistic education she got on the kibbutz, she saw eye to eye with my father about tradition. In her academic background she has a doctorate in Judaic studies, and apparently this affected her on a deep level. “So the house I grew up in wasn’t quite religious, but there was a lot of respect for tradition and a great love for the Jewish people and Eretz Yisrael. Perhaps this is the reason I was always different from kids my age. It was clear to me from the youngest age that there is a G-d and I would even debate my friends on this. “I remember 3 Tammuz 5754. I was twelve years old and all the television news stations discussed the Rebbe. When I asked my mother who the Lubavitcher Rebbe was, she said he was the leader of the Jewish people who lived in New York and his Chassidim say he is ‘chai v’kayam’ and ‘Melech HaMoshiach.’ Although this sounds divorced from reality, I accepted it. I found it intriguing. I was always drawn to depth and I felt this is what I was looking for. “I so related to it that without really understanding what Moshiach is all about, I took a white T-shirt that I had and I wrote on it, ‘Ani Maamin B’emuna Shleima B’Bias HaMoshiach.’ I walked around the kibbutz with this shirt and when people asked me about it, I said I was waiting for the coming of Moshiach, as simple as that.”

When Nitzan became of draft age, he was drafted into the Intelligence Corps. “After basic training followed by extremely difficult special training, I was attached to a field intelligence scouting unit. Another step in my journey was when I met a religious fellow where I was stationed, from the knitted kippot sector, who shared guard duty with me. We spent hours together and he taught me Pirkei Avos. I enjoyed it and I looked forward to spending guard duty with him so I could learn and hear more. “At a certain point, I took an officers’ course. We were taught in the kibbutz to go as far as we could in the army, and that was my goal. During and after the course, there were some occasions when I saw incredible hashgacha pratis. I could see that Hashem responded ‘measure for measure.’ I was already convinced that I would not be able to continue living the way I had and that one day I would do t’shuva. “During the second Lebanon war, I was on the battlefield when it hit me. That night, my thoughts gave me no rest. My heart told me: you know the truth already, so why are you continuing to sit on the fence? “I resolved that the next day I would start to put on t’fillin and wear tzitzis. I was still walking

When we sat down to talk with Nitzan, we weren’t surprised to hear that he himself is from a kibbutz, not far from Beit Shaan. We asked him to tell us about himself. “I was given a kibbutz education, just like in the stories, but my parents always had respect for Jewish traditions. I was living in conflict, because within the kibbutz I did not feel much love for tradition, but in my home I saw my father make Kiddush Friday night. My mother loves Tanach and she told us stories from the weekly parsha. “When I was in second grade, my father became sick and the doctors discovered a problem with his heart. When he recovered, he put up mezuzos in our house. That was an unusual thing to do on a kibbutz in those days. He also began keeping

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around without a kippa, but I wore tzitzis that flapped in the breeze.” After his discharge from the army, having attained the rank of captain, Nitzan was sent by the army to further his studies in the Glilot region. One Erev Shabbos, when he returned to the kibbutz, he hitched a ride. The driver happened to be a Lubavitcher bachur. When he heard that Nitzan wanted to learn Torah, he told him about a farbrengen of the shliach R’ Yitzchok Yadgar, at yishuv Gan-Ner. Nitzan attended the farbrengen and was very impressed. At the end of the farbrengen, he asked R’ Yadgar where there was a yeshiva he could attend. He was told about the yeshiva in Ramat Aviv. “I felt at home on the very first day that I went to the yeshiva. I felt that I had finally come to the place that my neshama had sought ever since I could remember. The first shiur I heard was from R’ Goldberg, who later became my brotherin-law. He taught the maamer ‘Rosh HaShana that Falls Out on Shabbos,’ and explained it beautifully. After the shiur I thought, this is the place for me. “In Ramat Aviv, I found the Truth. In yeshiva, they spoke about G-dliness, the neshama, about transforming the world into a dwelling for G-d, about refining the world in preparation for the Geula, and doing it all with warmth and enthusiasm. “As for Moshiach, as I said, it was in me from when I was a kid. It came naturally to me. In Tishrei of that year, I went to 770 where my connection with the Rebbe was finalized. You feel the Rebbe there. There is a Rebbe in the world.”

“I wanted work that involved my hands and not my head (‘yigia kapecha’). This job allows me plenty of time to myself and that’s what I wanted, to learn and make up for what I hadn’t learned in my younger years.”

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start, we wondered? “After we married, we joined the community in Tzfas and I went to work for the Israel Nature and Parks Authority as a ranger in the Mt Miron Nature Reserve. I wanted work that involved my hands and not my head (‘yigia kapecha’). This job allows me plenty of time to myself and that’s what I wanted, to learn and make up for what I hadn’t learned in my younger years. I soon became aware of the Shvil Eretz Yisrael. I met hikers, in the winter and summer, sleeping under bushes and in caves. I felt bad for them. I was told that the idea is not to go home until they finish the route, but coming to someone else’s home wouldn’t be cheating. I began inviting them to my house. “They told me about an Internet site called “Trail Angels,” which has all the names of the families that are willing to host hikers. We lived in a small home at the time, but we hosted as many as fifteen hikers there. If there is room in the heart, there is room for everything and every Jew. These hikers, who are walking with minimum food and changes of clothing, need a place with a shower, a bed and decent food, and that is what we provide.” The special thing about this is the direct encounter between a Chassidic family and irreligious youth, some of whom come from kibbutzim that are far from the path of Torah. What makes this encounter that much more powerful is that they are in tourist mode and as such they are willing to listen. Some of them go on this journey in order to meet up with different cultures within Eretz Yisroel. This is why they are far more receptive than if someone would meet them on an

Nitzan relates: On Purim, the kibbutz I grew up in has a memorial for one of the members of the kibbutz, Yotam Lotan, who was killed before the second Lebanon war while in the army. He was my youth counselor at the kibbutz, who served in the Armored Corps, a quality young man. Whenever Purim comes around, I think about him. I decided to do something that would be of benefit to his neshama and I bought some D’var Malchus booklets and gave them out to whoever wanted one. That year, I wanted a break from mivtzaim. I could have decided to go on mivtzaim, but I chose the easy way out. That day, as my fellow Lubavitchers in Tzfas were getting ready to go and visit bases and kibbutzim, I went to work. When I reached my lookout post, I put in a CD of the shiur I planned to listen to that day. The speaker began with a story about a Chassid, R’ Moshe Yitzchok of Iasi (Romania). He was given an assignment by the Alter Rebbe to spread Chassidus in his city, where the tzaddik the Apter Rav lived. At that time, the Apter Rav was opposed to the path of Chassidus of Chabad. When he heard that someone in his community was spreading the teachings of Chabad, he asked him to stop. When R’ Moshe Yitzchok did not heed his instructions, the Apter Rebbe said he would not live out the year. R’ Moshe Yitzchok then went to the Alter Rebbe in a fright. The Apter Rav was known as someone whose words came true. Upon arriving, he found out that the Alter Rebbe had passed away. He was very upset and he spoke with the Mitteler Rebbe. Together with him was another Chassid who spoke about his son-in-law who wanted to learn all the time and was not thinking about making a living. The Mitteler Rebbe told the two of them that there are two kinds of governments, a civil government and a military government. He explained the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of government, such that the judicial system of either one cannot judge the other. A politician is judged in a civil court and a soldier is judged by his commander who knows his abilities and his prior performance. To the man whose son-in-law learned, he said to leave him alone and let him continue learning. To R’ Moshe Yitzchok he said, you are a soldier of my father and nobody can judge you but him. When I heard this story, I felt that the Rebbe was conveying a message to me. Am I a soldier or a politician, I asked myself. Then I immediately told R’ Yitzchok Lifsh who organizes the Purim mivtzaim in Tzfas that I would be participating. That Mivtza Purim was especially moving. We went to an army post way up north and put t’fillin on a soldier standing in the exact place where I had stood for months during my own army service.

The Grizi family is known to the hikers of the Shvil Yisrael for

three years now as Trail Angels. They open their home dozens of times a year for hundreds of hikers who receive room and board from them. How did it all

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ordinary day in their own home. “We’ve had all kinds, young and old, religious and irreligious, people who came from nearly every part of Eretz Yisroel and even abroad.” I asked Nitzan for some interesting examples of such encounters and he obliged. “We once had a guy from Rosh HaAyin by the name of Dvir. He had been a former national Bible Contest winner. We spoke for hours. He is also an Angel of the Shvil in his hometown so we spoke about that, but also about the Rebbe and Chassidus. Over Shabbos, we went out to the porch and he said that the view was of the Kinneret, while I said it was the Golan Mountains. “He was so sure that he was right that he committed to going to the yeshiva in Ramat Aviv for three days if I was right. When we checked it out on Motzaei Shabbos, he saw he was wrong. A week later he kept his promise and went to learn in Ramat Aviv.” Nitzan had another story: “We hosted a couple that in the current vernacular are referred to as ‘spiritual,’ the type that eats healthy and are searching. They had hiked in many places of the world for two years and had decided to tour our country. When someone comes on a weekday and has the time, we recommend Eyal Reiss’ Kabbala Center in the old city. They went there and loved it. “When they came back, my wife saw the husband looking at our library for a long time, as though he was looking for something. She asked him whether she could be of help and he asked whether we had a Tanya, because R’ Reiss had quoted a line from it that had touched him. He took the Tanya

“In my work at the nature reserve, I stop my jeep near hikers and say that they need to await Moshiach’s coming because it’s happening imminently. They take me seriously and say amen. Today people feel that the only answer is Moshiach.”
about is that it’s very hard to maintain a connection. People come for a night or two and then move on. “We try to keep in touch. It’s not easy. What has been happening lately is astounding. There are some hikers who began, of their own initiative, to keep in touch. I recently got regards from one of the kibbutzim in the center of the country. Two guys who were here and enjoyed their stay decided to start a shiur at their kibbutz. They contacted the shliach in a nearby city and he comes every week to the house of one of them and they sit and learn sichos and maamarim.”

and sat with it for a few hours. Then he asked questions about faith and Judaism that showed he understood a thing or two of what he had read. “Before they left, the man said that his grandfather told him that his family descended, son after son, from a tzaddik called the ‘Defender of Israel.’ I told him that the tzaddik’s name was Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev who was a relative by marriage of the author of the Tanya, the book he had enjoyed so much, and perhaps it was no coincidence that his soul was seeking the truth.” *** One thing Nitzan feels bad

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When I asked about the lack of privacy when he has guests, Nitzan shrugs and asks: how do all of the Rebbe’s shluchim around the world manage? Mrs. Grizi says that not only isn’t it hard, but they enjoy it immensely. She was taught to live this way since she was a tot. “My parents in the Old City of Yerushalayim always had guests. They are very hospitable and are very gracious about it. That is how I was raised.” What about the fact that hosting costs money. Who pays for it all? “We bear the cost and feel that it brings us blessings. We see how, each time, the financial end of things miraculously works out. We are in the midst of the tourist season which makes our expenses grow. My wife thought she would get a certain sum as her salary and ended up getting double that amount. “Last year, after Pesach, we returned to Tzfas after visiting my in-laws in Yerushalayim. On the way, I checked my bank balance. There were 300+ shekels and that was before we paid the electric bill, property tax and rent. At first I felt stressed and wondered what we would do. A significant part of our expenses were because of the hikers and it looked as though it was going to bring us to financial ruin. “Then, when I opened the mail box the next day, there was a letter from the bank saying they wanted to pay off a CD account that I had from 5764. I was in the army at the time and I have no idea who opened a CD for me to the tune of 6000 shekels. We felt so strongly that G-d was looking out for us. We constantly witness divine providence.”

When I asked whether they write to the Rebbe, the answer was: “Of course. I want to tell you something amazing. Last year, we had an offer to go on shlichus to Dharamsala, India for Pesach. We were very interested and made the initial preparations to go. But before we got completely involved, we wrote to the Rebbe through the Igros Kodesh. The answer we opened to kept us in Eretz Yisroel. The Rebbe wrote a sharp letter to a Chassid who tried to escape from the dayto-day drudgery of his life. The Rebbe wrote him that his shlichus is in Eretz Yisroel. “We didn’t need more than that. We stayed here and hosted many guests.” *** When I asked whether they see how the world is ready for Moshiach in their work with the hikers, they responded: “We always talk about it. It’s the motto of our shlichus – to bring about the Yemos HaMoshiach. The truth is that nowadays, I don’t feel like I am telling people anything new. I just remind people. In my work at the nature reserve, I stop my jeep near hikers and say that they need to await Moshiach’s coming because it’s happening imminently. They take me seriously and say amen. Today people feel that the only answer is Moshiach. “I found the descendent of R’ Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev, that I told you about, staring at a picture of the Rebbe that hangs in our house. When I asked him if he knows who the man in the picture is, he said, ‘Of course, Melech HaMoshiach. And he

needs to come back to us again.’ “The world is more ready than ever. The topic of Geula cuts across all demographic differences. The Rebbe instilled it in the world. Even if it seems that the person you’re talking to is resistant or doesn’t understand, don’t despair because in the end he’ll understand. The truth gets through.” *** I asked the Grizis how far is the limit. After all, they have a Chassidic home and the people they invite were not raised with the same values. “You have to understand that these are quality people, either youngsters after serving in army combat units, or people with high spiritual awareness who relate to nature. People like this understand what the rules are when they enter a religious home or, at least, they ask what is allowed and what isn’t. “It has almost never happened that we found ourselves having to set boundaries, but since you asked, we have one room for boys and one for girls and we tell them the laws of yichud. *** “Our big dream is for there to be Lubavitcher “Angels” all along the Shvil Yisrael, so that tourists will hear Chassidus at every place they stop. The message we want to convey is: it’s not impossible. Some people have spacious homes and can designate a room or two. And the expenses are not great. As I said, these hikers are open to listening and this is a wonderful opportunity to share things. Whoever wants additional information is welcome to contact us and we would be delighted to provide guidance based on our experience.”

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Parsha Thought

By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg

Tz’daka is one of Judaism’s very important Mitzvos. In some ways, it is the most important of them all. The Talmud states that Tz’daka alone is equal to all the other Mitzvos. Tz’daka is singularly important because it hastens the Redemption. We are taught that Israel will not be redeemed except through tz’daka. These and other statements about tz’daka in the Talmud demonstrate its centrality in Jewish life. This unique Mitzvah is also discussed in several places in the Torah. One of them is in this week’s parsha: “If there will be a destitute person—from among one of your brothers or from one in your town—in the Land that G-d, your G-d, is giving you, you must not harden your heart or shut your hand from your destitute brother. Rather, you must repeatedly open your hand to him and give him (charity or) give him a loan—sufficient to fulfill his requirements that he is lacking.”

Rashi interprets the words

“from your destitute brother” as a warning of what will happen if you do not give tz’daka: “If you don’t give it (tz’daka) to him, your end will be that you will be a brother of a destitute person.” Rashi, presumably, was troubled by the apparently superfluous nature of the words “from your destitute brother.” The verse could have simply stated: “You must not harden your heart or shut your hand.” It would have been understood literally, as referring to a penniless person. Rashi, therefore, understands these words as foretelling the punishment for not giving tz’daka: you will become the brother of a destitute person. Rashi’s comment, however, begs the obvious question: Why would the punishment for not helping the poor be that one becomes the brother of a poor man? Why wouldn’t the punishment be impoverishment itself? Furthermore, this uncharitable person is already a brother of someone destitute, for that is how the Torah introduces the subject: “If there will be a destitute person—from among one of your brothers.”

There are at least six ways to

resolve this question: First, some commentators interpret Rashi’s words as suggesting that the tables will be turned. The punishment for not helping your brother is that he shall become rich and you will become poor and need to depend on your wealthy brother for support. A simpler, second explanation can be that the word “brother” is meant figuratively here, as a permanent companion. In this view, Rashi actually means that just as one cannot sever biological ties with a brother, so too will the miser find himself in constant companionship with poverty as retribution for the lack of compassion for his own brother. Poverty will be a permanent fixture of his life. Third, the miser’s punishment is that everyone will know that he is a brother of a destitute person, even if he attempts to cover up his insensitivity with public philanthropy. According to Jewish law—as Rashi in an earlier comment cites—we must give precedence to our own family, community, etc., before giving to others. There are individuals who are charitable but do not give to their own flesh and blood. By contrast, they are more than willing to contribute to outside causes. There are even those who give primarily — or
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Parsha Thought
even exclusively — to non-Jewish causes. Their rationale may be that this form of charitable giving will reward them with more recognition and acclaim. These selective philanthropists obviously do not want people to know that they don’t give to their own. Since they are so kind to others, they think no one will suspect that they are cruel to their own flesh and blood. The Torah therefore states that the punishment for not helping your brother is that your insensitivity to his needs will be exposed. The entire town will talk about the cruel brother who did not want to help his own kin. You will always be known as the “brother of the destitute.” The story is told of a wealthy man who was solicited to is that the “punishment” for not giving to your poor brother is that your brother will end up remaining indigent. Here we are dealing with someone who could help his brother but may feel that others should help instead. Whether those others are the Jewish community or the government, the Torah exhorts us to not rely on them; charity begins at home. And if you will not help your brother, you will forever bear the guilt of not supporting your brother in his destitution, because he will most likely remain destitute. In the end, you will have no choice but to help him. Why then did you not help him immediately, when you were made aware of his plight? Fifth, a more positive “spin” help him. Tragically, history has demonstrated that, all too often, Jews discover their commonality, shared history, destiny and indeed their shared soul, in times of tragedy or crisis. In the past, when we experienced poverty and suffering it brought us closer; we recognized our inherent unity. Now, when we prosper there is a lamentable tendency to forget that we all are truly one. Thus, the Torah’s question: why wait until you suffer the indignity of poverty to appreciate that you are brothers? Recognize this reality now and you will help usher in the age when the poor shall be no more.

There is a sixth way of understanding Rashi’s comment. According to the classic work Or HaChayim, the destitute person is an allegory for Moshiach. The Hebrew word for destitute is evyon, which means “one who desires everything.” Moshiach harbors the passionate desire to redeem the Jewish people. He cannot tolerate the lack of Redemption. He feels impoverished because he has been unable to redeem the Jewish people. From this perspective, we can reinterpret the commandment to give tz’daka to the destitute as an obligation to assist Moshiach in realizing his goal of redeeming the Jewish people. We are thus commanded to “not harden your heart or shut your hand from your destitute brother.” This can be understood to mean that we should not harden our hearts and cling to an exile mindset where we remain indifferent to

The miser’s punishment is that everyone will know that he is a brother of a destitute person, even if he attempts to cover up his insensitivity with public philanthropy.
contribute to one of the town’s charitable causes. He refused to give, using the excuse that he had a poor brother to support. A while later, that same brother came to the charity collectors and asked for their assistance. When they asked him why he needed it since he had a rich brother, he spoke the ugly truth: his brother refused to help him. The charity collectors promptly returned to the wealthy brother and demanded to know why he used his poor brother as an excuse. His reply was: “I indeed have a poor brother, and if I don’t help him, why should I contribute to your cause…” Fourth, another understanding of Rashi’s words can be put on the “punishment” by focusing on the definition of the word brother. As was noted above, it is not restricted to one’s biological brother but extends to every member of the Jewish people. There are some people who do not want to help their fellow Jew because they do not recognize the kinship that exists between all of the Jewish people. We are all brothers and sisters. There is an essential unity that binds us together regardless of our station in life or level of Jewish observance. The Torah therefore promises that ultimately you will become the brother of that destitute person; you will eventually recognize that we are all brothers and sisters and you will certainly

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Moshiach’s heartfelt desire to bring Redemption to the world. We too must cry out sincerely and passionately, “Ad MasaiHow much longer” do we have to remain in exile? Pleading for our exile to end, no matter how fervently, will not suffice. We also have to keep our hands open, i.e. do one more Mitzvah that will tip the scales in favor of Redemption. The Torah adds “from your destitute brother” to indicate, as Rashi says, that if we don’t give him tz’daka we will ultimately become a brother to the destitute person. In the context of Or HaChayim’s interpretation of the destitute person as

We should not harden our hearts and cling to an exile mindset where we remain indifferent to Moshiach’s heartfelt desire to bring Redemption to the world.

Moshiach, we can understand In the Rebbe’s historic talk of this phrase to mean that even if the 28th of Nissan 5751, he told we fail to do our part in sharing us that he had done all he could Moshiach’s passion, Moshiach do himself to bring Moshiach, will still redeem us. In the end, and now it was up to us to finish this greatest of tasks. We should we will all become his brother Express service Express service and join him in the unfolding of open our hearts (by crying out Fully FullyComputerized Computerized the Redemption. The profound “Ad Masai” with sincerity) and question is: will we grasp the open our hands, by tenaciously 331 Kingston Ave.Ave. 331 toKingston bring opportunity to have a positive searching for ways nd (2nd(2 Flr) Brooklyn NY 11213 Flr) Brooklyn NY 11213 particular role in the process or simply Redemption, with stand back and let Moshiach emphasis on the literal Mitzvah of Tz’daka. Don’t wait until later accomplish everything without Get tickets within minutes! Getyour your tickets within minutes! to join Moshiach, become his us? Fax: (718) 493-4444 Fax: (718) 493-4444 brother now!

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Dozens of young army officers partake in weekly Shabbos meals at the home of shliach Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi Ben-Ari and his wife Sima. One of them saw the revealed finger of G-d, when she wanted a special dish and promised to change her way of life if it would be served at the Shabbos table. Exactly how many miles did the quinoa travel to get from the Negev to the Ben-Aris’ house in Tzfas? A clear case of Divine Providence.
By Nosson Avraham

“Some amazing stories have come our way on these Shabbasos, as in the saying of our Sages of righteous memory, ‘Great [in importance] is the mouthful [of food given to wayfarers] that draws near those who are distant,’” Rabbi Ben-Ari noted as he began his unique narrative. “In addition to the kibbutznikim and other friends who come to our table for Shabbos meals, we also regularly host soldiers and officers from the Israel Defense Forces who come for a Shabbaton at the Ascent Institute in the Old City of Tzfas. They participate in special Jewish educational programs, sleep over in the hostel, and go for Friday night meals in the homes of local Chabad families to get a close-up experience of a real Chassidic Shabbos. “Last year, just two weeks before the High Holiday season, we hosted a large group of IDF officers. On that Friday, when we received word of their impending arrival, I was returning with my young son from a full week of traveling around the kibbutzim throughout the Negev and the Arava in southern Eretz Yisroel, where I distributed jars of honey, apples, and informational Rosh Hashanah brochures to our

he mitzvah of hachnasas orchim and the Ben-Ari family of Tzfas have been synonymous for many years. The head of the household, Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi Ben-Ari, serves as a shliach of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach on hundreds of kibbutzim from Eilat in the south to Kibbutz Dan along the slopes of Mt. Hermon. He works day and night as he visits kibbutz families, offering important spiritual advice, making birthday farbrengens for local residents, affixing mezuzos, organizing bar-mitzvah celebrations, and more. Thousands of kibbutznikim know him personally, and he has been their only significant source of information in all matters Jewish for more than twenty


Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

years. However, if you thought that after such intensive and tiring work he would seek a little rest at the end of the week, you are quite mistaken. “Shabbos is the cherry on top,” Rabbi BenAri told us with a smile. Each week, he invites dozens of guests to his home to participate in the Shabbos meals. The division of labor is quite clear. Rabbi Ben-Ari is in charge of content, telling stories and relating concepts from the weekly Torah portion. His wife Sima, a true woman of valor, prepares an abundance of tasty dishes, while the children set the table and organize the house.

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kibbutz friends. While I was tired and exhausted, there could be no compromising on the Shabbos meals, and the preparations went into high gear. “When we came home from shul that night, the table was already set as always, cups and plates spread on a white tablecloth covered with my wife’s homemade salads. The shy young female officers had arrived, and for many of them, this would be the first really authentic Shabbos they had ever experienced. “After the preliminaries, we sat down for the Shabbos meal. Everything proceeded according to our longstanding ritual of many years. Between the fish and soup courses, I retold my experiences on the kibbutzim that week with our guests, gave over a D’var Torah on the weekly parsha, and shared a few pearls of wisdom from the Rebbe’s teachings. As is customary at our Shabbos table, I then asked the guests to tell us a little something about themselves. “There were those who took the opportunity to ask questions, the standard ones that every shliach encounters regularly on his shlichus. Others fondly recalled Jewish memories from their grandparents’ home or some other Jewish experience that suddenly came back to them. “At the end of the roundtable discussion, one of the officers bashfully got up and asked to say something. ‘Look,’ she said to me directly, ‘when I leave this house, I’ll have to go and become a baalas t’shuva.’ Her declaration stunned not only me, but all her fellow officers as well. Was one Shabbos meal enough to make her want to do t’shuva? She then proceeded to explain her perplexing statement. We all listened eagerly, as our curiosity

“Look, G-d has been thinking about you since the beginning of the week. He knew that you would be our guest for Shabbos, and He also knew that you like quinoa, how important it was for your nutrition, and He especially arranged for you to have some...”
was there that an ultra-Orthodox home in Tzfas would prepare quinoa? In general, I look upon chareidim as people who like to eat a lot of bread and meat. “Just as I was about to enter the house, I said something totally ridiculous. I told the officer walking with me, ‘If I see quinoa on the table, I’ll know that it’s a sign from Heaven that I have to do t’shuva. I was so certain that there was no chance of getting any quinoa. As soon as I walked through the door, I saw a large bowl of quinoa on the table. I was stunned. My walking partner and I looked at one another. At that moment, I realized that I had received a message from the Creator.’”

had truly been aroused. “I’m a vegetarian,” she began. “However, I don’t just refrain from eating meat and fish. I also don’t eat food containing gluten due to digestive problems. Every time I eat at the home of one of my friends, I tell her in advance that if she wants me to come, these are the rules. On the army base, the cook already knows to prepare special foods for me. The truth is that the dish I like the most is quinoa. So whenever friends ask me, ‘What should we make for you? You don’t eat anything,’ I tell them, ‘Make some quinoa. It’s both delicious and easy to prepare.’ “As I was walking to your house, I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten to update my hosts about the quinoa, and I was certain that I would leave the table starving. What chance

“I was positively

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very hungry, after everyone in the house had already gone to sleep, I opened the refrigerator to find something to eat. I looked inside and saw a peculiar dish that looked rice mixed with assorted vegetables. “‘I filled a plate for myself, and found to be very tasty. The next morning, Rabbi Blau told me that the dish I had eaten was called quinoa, a healthy grain filled with natural proteins. Since it was both delicious and healthy, I helped myself to another plate. I then decided that I would ask my wife to prepare some for next Shabbos. “‘When I returned to Tzfas, I told my wife about this special dish. However, since she didn’t know what it was or how to make it, she tried to get me to forget the whole thing. Yet, I was determined to have it on our table that Shabbos. “‘I called Rabbi Blau, and he told me that one of their neighbors had made the quinoa. I got in touch with her, and she happily gave my wife the recipe for preparing this delicious and healthy dish. “‘We quickly sent our young son to the grocery store, and my wife proceeded to make quinoa for the very first time.’ “I then turned to the young soldier, sitting positively dumbfounded, and told her, ‘Look, G-d has been thinking about you since the beginning of the week. He knew that you would be our guest for Shabbos, and He also knew that you like quinoa, how important it was for your nutrition, and He especially arranged for you to have some...’ “Everyone at the table was in a state of shock. No one could fail to be overcome by this clear demonstration of Divine Providence.

R’ Yaakov Tzvi Ben-Ari with one of his kibbutz friends

thunderstruck as I heard her story. As soon as she finished, I began to tell her and the other guests about the quinoa on the table. “‘My wife and I have been married for thirty years,’ I told them, ‘and we never had quinoa before – not on Shabbos or on weekdays. My wife didn’t even know how to make it until today.’ “Everyone listened most attentively as I continued to explain about the mysterious dish. “‘As I mentioned before, I had just returned from a week-long journey through the kibbutzim of the Negev and the Arava. I spend several hours in each kibbutz, meeting with friends, asking how they’re doing, taking an interest in what’s happening in their lives, and giving them a material and spiritual taste of the approaching Rosh HaShana holiday. My host during that entire week was Rabbi Moshe Blau, the Rebbe’s shliach in the Arava, a very dear Chassid who fulfills an amazing shlichus in the region. I felt quite at home with his family, as he and his wife bestowed their characteristic warmth and hospitality. “‘One evening when I was

“‘The stories of the Torah are truly beautiful,’ I told them. ‘However, if we just open our eyes, we can see how Alm-ghty G-d and His Divine Providence create miracles and wonders every moment of every day. You have now had an opportunity to experience this for yourselves.’” *** “I’m sure you’re interested to know what’s happening with that young officer today,” said Rabbi Ben-Ari with a chuckle, as he concluded his story. “The fact is that she hasn’t become a baalas t’shuva yet, and she still serves in the army. However, in a conversation we had about a week ago, she told me that since her visit to our home, she has been very careful about lighting Shabbos candles. “I explained to her about the importance of lighting Shabbos candles according to the teachings of Chassidus and the Rebbe’s sichos. We agreed to speak again in another few months. “I am absolutely certain that after such a clear case of Divine Providence, she will eventually find the courage and resolve to fulfill her promise.”

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I need to remain with my children – in this world
Regular people upon their passing are free from Mitzvos, but tzaddikim at the level of Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi, even after their histalkus, remain alive and can even discharge others of their obligation for Mitzvos. * Source materials compiled by Rabbi Shloma Majeski. Translations are in bold. Underlining is the author’s emphasis.
Translated and presented by Boruch Merkur

Earlier in this series, we quoted the Rebbe MH”M citing the Gemara’s description of the passing of Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi (K’suvos 103a). There he emphasizes that although Rebbi was surely ascending spiritually upon his histalkus, nevertheless, he was not abandoning the people with whom he was connected in this world. Thus, Rebbi clearly stated, “I require the presence of my children.” Moreover, he remained so interconnected with this world that he was able to discharge others of their obligation for the Mitzva of making Kiddush, which necessitates that he too remained obligated in Mitzvos. Here is the selection from K’suvos: Our Sages taught: At the time of Rebbi’s passing, he said, “I require the presence of my children.” His children approached, and he told them, “[…] a lamp should continue to be lit in its usual place, the table should be set in its usual place, and the couch should be arranged in its usual place.”

The Gemara elaborates on the phrase, “A lamp should continue to be lit in its usual place, the table should be set in its usual place, and the couch should be arranged in its usual place”: Why did Rebbi give these instructions? [After all, he was on his death bed! The reason is because] every Friday evening [after his passing], he would visit his house. [Thus, he would require the use of a lit lamp, a set table, and a couch.]* This practice, however, did not continue indefinitely, as the Gemara continues: One Friday evening, a woman neighbor came by and called out at the door. Rebbi’s maidservant told the woman, “Silence! Rebbi is sitting [here inside]. Having learned [that the word had gotten out about his posthumous appearances], Rebbi ceased visiting so as not to affront the earlier tzaddikim [who did not return to the physical world after their passing]. He feared people would say that earlier tzaddikim were not as

righteous as he, since they were not granted the right to return to their homes [after death], as Rebbi had done. ––Rashi] The Gilyon HaShas comments on the words, “Every Friday evening, he would visit his house”: And he would appear [not in shrouds but] wearing fine garments in honor of Shabbos. Rebbi would [make Kiddush and thereby] discharge others of their obligation to make Kiddush on Shabbos. Other people when deceased are free from the obligation of Mitzvos, but tzaddikim [at the level of Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi, even after their histalkus, remain a]live and discharge others of their obligation for [Mitzvos such as] Kiddush. Seifer Chassidim siman 1129. *“Rebbi’s holiness was such that death held no power over him. He was therefore able to return to this world after death (Rabbeinu Bechaya, B’Reishis 49:33). Maharsha explains that the Gemara (Sanhedrin 92a) states that the righteous are resurrected because of their k’dusha, their holiness. Since mastery over death is due to k’dusha, Rebbi, who exemplified this virtue was able to return to this world after death. He would return at the moment at which the k’dusha of this world is at its height: at the recitation of the Sabbath Kiddush, when the holiness of the Sabbath is proclaimed.” (Footnote 49 of the Artscroll Gemara’s Schottenstein edition)
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Our children will soon be going back to school. Teachers, students and parents each have expectations. Are each aware of the expectations that the others have? What should happen when expectations are not realized? * We spoke to parents, teachers and children to hear answers to these and other school-related questions.
By C Ben David

he new school year is not that far off. Soon, our children will return to school, at which time the children, their teachers and their parents will have certain expectations. The teacher walking into the classroom will expect a certain standard of behavior on the part of the students as well as involvement on the part of the parents. The parents have expectations of the school, and the children have their own expectations. What are your expectations? Rina, a first grade teacher says, “I definitely expect the children to behave properly and learn, to do their homework and review what they learned,


and to internalize the values and mitzvos that I teach. However, since these are still little children, a lot depends on their parents. I see how those children whose parents show that they care, who review the material with their children and make sure they have the supplies that they need and encourage them to learn, are children who learn well and achieve what they need to achieve. The opposite is true too. “Especially in the lower grades, parents need to keep tabs on what is being learned and to make sure that their child comes to school prepared with supplies and has done his or her homework. I also expect parents to call me occasionally to hear

an update, and not just when a problem arises.” Devora also teaches in the younger grades and she adds: “I expect parents to make sure their child goes to sleep at a reasonable hour, eats well, does her homework and keeps to a schedule. I tell the girls in my class that these things are very important for their learning. I also have to use every opportunity to remind the parents, because at this young age, a lot depends on them. Additionally, I ask the parents to work together with me because I am looking out for the welfare of their children.” R’ Moshe is a first grade teacher and he says, “Many parents, especially for those who

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have a child in school for the first time, don’t know quite what is expected of them. So at the beginning of the year, I send a letter to the parents and let them know my expectations. The main thing is to review the material that was learned and to help with homework. The more the parents put in, the more successful their children will be.” Chaya is an upper elementary school teacher. “When we’re talking about older students, there are great expectations from them. I expect them to be self-disciplined. At this age, the girls are more responsible for themselves and they need to learn properly in the classroom and to review the material at home.

Of course, this is aside from my expectation that at this age they will internalize the values that I teach. “I also have expectations of the parents. Although girls this age have their own opinions, parents have a lot of influence. Parents need to keep on top of what they are learning and how they are doing. Sometimes, they need to buy additional books or even to have their child evaluated. In such a case, parents’ involvement is a must. I sometimes have to explain to parents that they need to

“When the general attitude is one of trust and cooperation, the criticism will be constructive.”
lower their expectations of help from their children. Yes, in a large family, the older girls are expected to help, but they also have their own needs and pressure in school. Expectations that are too high at home will adversely effect how the children do in school because they don’t have time to study. Emotionally, children under pressure at home will feel frustrated.” On a different note, Chaya says, “Parents need to let their children know that they agree with the educational values and demands of the school. Parents
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who send their children to religious/Chabad schools have to fall in line with the values that are being taught there, even if they don’t quite agree with them. Obviously, this does not mean that parents cannot have their own opinion. If they differ, they should respectfully bring up their concern and iron out problems that arise, but they must convey their cooperation with and trust in the school to their children.” Sarah, an elementary school principal, says, “Parents who transmit their opposition or, in less extreme cases, their lack of empathy with the school, convey this message to their children too, and it influences them. Under these circumstances, it is very hard to expect children to accept the school’s demands. When parents undermine the cooperation, the criticism will be constructive. “If a child tells his parents about something that took place in school that was unfair, the parents need to listen to him but not say things like, ‘You’re right,’ or ‘The teacher really did not do the right thing.’ Nor should they say things that indirectly convey that message. They are best off saying that they will speak to the teacher later in the evening. “This has a number of benefits. First, the conversation will take place later on and not when emotions are running high. (In many instances, the child calms down after a while and will even say it’s okay not to call the teacher). Second, it’s proper to call at a time when the teacher is likely to be available. Third, and will talk with both of them about what happened.’). “I also know from experience that even if the child complains with tears and fury, so that it’s hard not to sympathize with him, you really need to remain objective and do the right thing. “Another important point is to speak to the teacher and not go over his or her head to the principal. In my opinion, going over a teacher’s head shows you don’t trust him or her. “Parents often send notes to the teacher instead of calling. Children usually read the note and they also pick up on the attitude that appears between the lines. Take this into consideration when you word the note. If necessary, send it in a sealed envelope. “When the general attitude is one of cooperation, parents will find the right timing and ways of conveying their displeasure about the school. Criticism that is given in the right way is more likely to be accepted in the right way. Obviously, the trust needs to be mutual. I demand this of my teachers.” How aware are the teachers of the parents’ expectations and how seriously do they take them? Moshe says: “When I write my expectations to the parents, I provide my telephone number and the hours when I can be reached. I encourage them to call with any question or comment. Parents actually do call often in order to tell me their special requests and expectations, simple things like changing a seat or comments about social situations or a child’s sensitivity. There are general requests that parents make at the beginning of the year, and then there are those who call when things come up during the

“I expect parents to make sure their child goes to sleep at a reasonable hour, eats well, does her homework and keeps to a schedule.”

school’s authority – whether directly or indirectly – the result is an undermining of the parents’ authority, since the parents are the ones who are teaching their children not to respect authority. So the first and basic requirement is cooperation and trust on the part of parents with the understanding that this is necessary for their child’s welfare, education and success in school. “It’s important to stress that trust doesn’t necessarily mean kabbalas ol and utter submission. Mistakes are definitely made on the part of the staff, and parents can express their opinion and critique on what they do. However, when the general attitude is one of trust and

very important, when parents speak to the teacher, the child should not be present. In many cases, things are said which are not appropriate for the child to hear. “It is possible that in the course of the conversation it will turn out that the complaint was not justified (‘He told you that I gave thirteen pages of homework, but the truth is that we did most of the work in class today. The problem is that he was lazy and did not do the work.’). It is also possible that the complaint was justified (‘Now I understand that your child behaved as she/he did because her friend was bothering her/him. It’s good that you told me these details. Tomorrow I

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year. I try to accommodate them as best as I can.” R’ Yosef is a teacher of the upper grades in elementary school. He explains, “Unlike first grade, where the parents speak to the teachers more often, in the upper grades you may not hear from the parents, but they definitely have expectations. This is why, at the beginning of the year, I have a meeting with the parents and I ask them to write down their expectations. In most cases, the parents write requests having to do with the material we will cover. There are also requests that have to do with other areas of education as well as social issues. There are fewer requests having to do with the specific needs of a child.” Devora clarifies at the beginning of the year what each parent’s expectations are. “I give out a paper and ask the parents to write down their expectations and any requests or special needs of which they are aware. The most common request is that I not give a lot of homework, set an academic level that is too high, or exert too much pressure. Sometimes, I have to explain to the parents that the educational requirements are appropriate to the abilities of children this age and it’s all done for their benefit. Sometimes, there are special requests that I take a child’s specific needs into account. It is very important to know about this in advance so I can handle it right.” Rina thinks it’s important to be aware of parents’ expectations, but “The level in the school that I teach is quite low. When I hand out questionnaires to the parents, I see that many of them have a hard time filling them out, because they don’t read and write in Hebrew or they have difficulty

with reading and writing altogether. So I try to hear their expectations in other ways. “I think that parents have many expectations. They often ask me for help in areas that go beyond the classroom like problems with discipline at home and problems the children have with organization. I try to listen and to help as best I can, but I sometimes explain to parents that they have to handle it themselves. When quite a few parents spoke to me about their children fighting at home, I devoted some time to the topic in class, but when it comes to more personal and specific problems, I tell the parents that’s not my department. I might offer ideas or refer them to someone else.” *** We spoke with some parents (some of whom are also teachers) to ask them what their expectations of the schools are. We heard a variety of responses and there were differences between the expectations of the fathers and those of the mothers. Avrohom, a father of five, says Ahavas Yisroel is his top priority. “There are many problems in this area among the children (among the adults too) and early intervention can help. Teachers should emphasize the importance of Ahavas Yisroel. In my children’s school, there are learning contests but I never heard that they gave out prizes to a child for acting with Ahavas Yisroel. Time and effort need to be devoted to this subject. Fights need to be dealt with, with the utmost seriousness. Most importantly, the positive needs to be emphasized. This can be done by organizing classroom gemachs, giving tz’daka every day, and managing other chesed activities.”

Yehuda also emphasizes Ahavas Yisroel and he says that it should be combined with the learning. He adds that emunas tzaddikim should be stressed with Chassidishe stories; creating a Chassidishe atmosphere and arranging special activities now and then is also important. Yosef, who is a father as well as a teacher, says he wants the school to have a Chassidishe atmosphere. Another expectation of his, and that of many fathers, is a high level of learning and enrichment in various areas. Mothers, on the other hand, who were interviewed for this article, hardly ever referred to the learning. They spoke primarily in terms of sensitivity in dealing with social and educational issues. “My main expectation as a mother is that they treat the child in a personal way and understand his needs,” said Rochel, a mother

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of six, most of who are in school. “When it comes to the learning, I don’t have special requests. I feel that the teachers do their jobs as they should. As long as there are no problems like excessive pressure or a low level of learning, I don’t see any reason to mix in. But it is very important to me to know that my children are getting personal attention, that the teachers understand them as individuals and not as just another student in the classroom. “Here’s an example. My oldest daughter is very talented, but for a long time I felt that she wasn’t using her talents in the classroom. It was only after I spoke about this to the teacher that she started giving her enrichment work that was excellent for her. Another one of my daughters was having a hard time with math and the teacher gave her easier work to do which helped her. Sometimes, the special needs have to do with friends and feelings and it’s important that the teacher deal with this. “I know that it’s not easy for a teacher to handle the curriculum as well as to provide every one of the thirty children with personal attention, and yet it’s important that they be aware that each child is a world unto himself. As a mother, the personal relationship with the children takes priority over the material that they learn. “I expect teachers to call me if necessary, when a problem crops up or to point out good things. That is part of giving individual attention.” Chaya, a mother and teacher, adds, “As mothers, we don’t always have enough information about a significant part of our children’s lives, that of their time in the classroom. It’s important to me to know to know about the social, emotional, and academic situation of my children. I would really like to get this information from the teachers. I think that aside from unusual situations which they report about, most of the information is standard and doesn’t reflect a teacher’s attention to the child. “As a teacher, I know how hard it can be for teachers to look after students during recess. Teachers are busy and it’s hard to find the time for personal interactions, but I would really like for the hanhala of the school to find ways of dividing jobs among the teachers so that there are people whose job it is to handle social, emotional, and personal matters.” Sarah says her main expectation is “That the children go off to school happily. When children are happy and relaxed, they are able to learn properly.” She thinks that in order for children to be happy to go to school, the teachers need to show they understand. A teacher needs to be attuned to the needs and feelings of the students. Some children need more attention, some need less academic rigor. When a teacher tries to understand and be attentive, the child feels comfortable in school and will want to comply with its demands. Naomi, mother of a large family, says that teachers usually are willing to work with a child and to fulfill parental expectations. “But sometimes I feel that my son or daughter is not getting the personal attention he or she needs. When this happens, I call the teachers and bring it to their attention. In most cases, they take me seriously. A teacher stands in front of 20-30 students, and sometimes, unless the parent gets involved, the teacher won’t give enough attention to a child. It’s not because they’re no good, chalila, but because they have so much to do. When the teacher knows that there are parents who care, they will usually give the child more attention. “For example, my eight year old is very quiet. She told me a few times about classmates who insulted her. I felt that the teacher knew about this but didn’t do anything, maybe because my daughter is so quiet and doesn’t complain. I spoke to the teacher without my child knowing about it, and the next day she told me that her teacher had dealt with the situation. In general, I expect teachers to treat each child in a personal manner, but sometimes parents need to make the teachers aware of their children’s needs.” What are children’s expectations in the classroom? Most of the children said they hoped they would have a good teacher. When asked what a good teacher is, there were differences in their answers, though generally the children’s expectations were close to that of their mothers, i.e. about being understanding and warm. 10 year old Chani: “A good teacher is one who doesn’t punish and doesn’t get angry over every little thing. When a child disturbed in class, the teacher I had this year spoke to her and wasn’t quick to punish.” Rivky, who is in Chani’s class, defined a good teacher as “someone who treats the students nicely and understands them.” For example, when girls fight, she speaks to them and helps them make peace. 11 year old Rocheli hopes that she will have a teacher who is thoughtful, socially aware and not quick to anger. “This year we

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had a short-tempered teacher, and I hope that my next teacher won’t be that way.” 9 year old Yossi hopes that his recent teacher will continue to teach him next year. “He is a good teacher; he explains things patiently and he doesn’t get irritated like my brother’s teacher.” 11 year old Shmulik says: “A good teacher is a teacher who listens to the children and understands them, and is patient with each one.” Aside from a “good teacher,” children have many requests and expectations: Rocheli wants school to start later because it’s hard for her to get up early. She’s willing to make up the time at the end of the day. Devori wants more gym and computers. Rivky wants art at least three times a week. She says she would also like more friends. To Chani it is very important that she sit next to her friend. She also wants longer recess, a bigger school yard and for the lessons to be more interesting. Shmulik also wants interesting lessons, while Yossi has a modest request, that they put playground equipment in the yard. To the children, these requests are very important, even if we don’t think they’re so important. We need to understand where they are coming from. It’s complicated. Parents, teachers and children each have their own expectations. And sometimes, they are mutually exclusive. Sometimes, the requests of one seem outlandish to the other. What should be done about this? Chaya says, “In order not to set up situations in which expectations are not in sync, it’s

important to create awareness about the others’ expectations. The way this is done will vary depending on the age and circumstances, but if at the beginning of the year each one informs the other about their expectations, they are more likely to be met.” Rina says, “It’s important that each side explain their expectations to the other side. When there is open communication, you have a chance to respond when you think the expectations are not reasonable or when it is hard to

the school – and again, this does not mean that they blindly accept everything – meaning there is cooperation and knowledge that the system to which you are entrusting your dear children truly seeks his benefit, then there will be effective and honest communication. In the event that problems crop up, I speak to parents and try to achieve communication, trust and cooperation.” Chaya says, “It’s important to tell children that their teacher is interested in hearing their expectations and fulfilling them.

“I know that it’s not easy for a teacher to handle the curriculum as well as to provide every one of the thirty children with personal attention, and yet it’s important that they be aware that each child is a world unto himself.”

fulfill them. Matters should be ironed out early so as to preempt unpleasant situations.” Sarah adds, “It’s important for there to be communication between parents and the school. When there are trust and cooperation, you can speak openly and directly when expectations are not met and look for solutions.” In Sarah’s experience, “Problems having to do with not meeting expectations arise when there is a lack of mutual trust.” Sometimes, parents are busy with work and they think that only the school is responsible for the chinuch of their children. There are parents with unreasonable expectations, and parents who have justifiable complaints but they present them in not a nice way at all. This happens due to lack of trust. When parents trust

Obviously, many of their requests cannot be carried out, but it is a good thing to hear them out. It can be through a classroom ‘Suggestion Box,’ where children can put in requests, such as who they would like to be seated next to (with the teacher emphasizing that not all requests can be fulfilled). There can also be sessions for dealing with social issues, devoted now and then to raising topics that the children bring up. As a high school teacher, I find it particularly important to hear the girls out. I find that they cooperate more that way. With my children, I see that even at young ages it’s necessary for them to express their wishes and to feel that the teacher is trying to accede to them, when possible. This makes the children feel good about school, which leads to greater success in their learning.”
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Rabbi Yehuda Tzvi Fogelman a”h spent 70 years on shlichus, 67 of them in Worcester, Massachusetts. * R’ Fogelman was a combination of greatness in learning, success in hafatza, and hiskashrus. * He was one of the few remaining Chassidim who remembered the Rebbe Rayatz’s arrival in America.
By Shneur Zalman Berger


Tzvi Hershel Fogelman, senior shliach, recently passed away at the age of 91. He was a Chassid and mekushar to the Rebbeim, and served as their emissary for close to seventy years in Worcester, Massachusetts. He founded a network of Chabad mosdos and a Chabad community that is comprised of a yeshiva, a school for girls, and six Chabad houses in the area. R’ Fogelman was recognized as a Torah authority as well, and was asked to serve on the temporary rabbinic council formed during the trying times after 27 Adar that included representatives of Chabad battei

din in Eretz Yisroel, Crown Heights, and other places. He was a gaon in learning as well as a gaon in action, a gaon in Chassidus and a gaon in hiskashrus. All these blended seamlessly in his multifaceted personality. It behooves us to follow in the ways of this Chassid who, from his days as a bachur until his final day, worked with mesirus nefesh to transform his place of shlichus into a flourishing Chassidic enclave.

A few years ago, upon my request, R’ Fogelman sent me

a brief letter of reminiscences. He told how he and his friends, young American bachurim who had been “turned on” to Chabad, spent time with elder Chassidim in the United States. These young Americans heard Chassidus and absorbed an authentic Chassidic education from those Chassidim who had learned in Tomchei T’mimim in Lubavitch under the leadership of the Rebbe Rashab. This is what R’ Fogelman wrote in his letter: “From 5699/1939, when we were drawn close to Chassidus, we would visit R’ Eliyahu Simpson’s house now and then. R’ Avrohom Pariz also lived there with his family, and this house was the only Chassidishe

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house where we farbrenged. The most impressive thing about his [R’ Simpson’s] character was that although he was one of the great Chassidim of the time, nothing about him stood out. His behavior and speech were in a manner of utter simplicity.” R’ Eliyahu Simpson and R’ Avrohom Pariz made quite a Chassidishe impression on the young Hershel Fogelman. In those days, the financial situation in the host’s house was far from rosy, and R’ Pariz was a steady guest. Nevertheless, these two Chassidim did not allow the financial situation to effect the amount of time they devoted to the youngsters who were just warming up to Chassidus. They

sat and learned Chassidus and farbrenged with them. They included R’ Fogelman, R’ Yosef Goldstein, and R’ Eliyahu Chaim Carlebach. “In 5699 I was learning in Torah Vodaas. My friends were R’ Berel Baumgarten and R’ Avrohom Hecht. On 8 Kislev I heard them talking privately about a farbrengen. I asked them what it was about and whether I could join. They said that if I wanted to come, I should go to the second floor of the beis midrash and speak to R’ Mordechai Altein to get his permission. I did so. R’ Mordechai told me I could go, but I should change my hat to something more respectable. “I went to the farbrengen

which took place in R’ Yisrael Jacobson’s house in Brownsville. Already there were R’ Shmuel Levitin, R’ Eliyahu Simpson, R’ Berel Chaskind, R’ Avrohom Pariz, R’ Yochanan Gordon, R’ Avrohom Ziskind, and other young bachurim who learned in Torah Vodaas and Yeshivas R’ Chaim Berlin. The farbrengen was in honor of 9 Kislev, the birthday and yahrtzait of the Mitteler Rebbe. R’ Levitin was the main speaker and he focused on the Rebbe Rayatz and his mesirus nefesh. “After that, I attended farbrengens and Tanya classes that took place on Motzaei Shabbos in R’ Jacobson’s house.”

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bottle. It was only later on that we heard about the miracles that the Rebbe experienced in getting out of Warsaw, escorted by German soldiers via Berlin until he arrived in Riga. “I heard that the Chassid, R’ Yehoshua Isaac Baruch of Kovna said to the Rebbe, when he heard that the Rebbe was going to America, ‘Rebbe, you are going so far and there is an ocean that separates us!’ The Rebbe replied, ‘The ocean doesn’t separate us; it connects us.’” A few months later, the Rebbe Rayatz arrived in New York and took up residence in a hotel. During this period, R’ Hershel and his friends would attend farbrengens that took place at the hotel as he recounted, “Nearly every Shabbos there was a farbrengen and we all went from Williamsburg, Brownsville, Boro Park and Bensonhurst.”

Over fifty years ago, next to the sign announcing the new home of Yeshivas Achei T’mimim

R’ Fogelman related: This happened after 3 Tammuz. Mr. T. called my house and said that his mother was in a hospital in our city. The doctors found whatever they found and after additional tests they decided there was nothing they could do. I wasn’t home and my wife, who heard this, took a volume of Igros Kodesh and put a pidyon nefesh among the pages. When she opened it, it was a page with a letter that was written to a family with a critically ill family member. The Rebbe wrote them to say T’hillim 103 and 104. My wife took a T’hillim and said those chapters and cried. Mr. T. called back to report that he had taken his mother to another hospital in Boston where they did more tests and found nothing wrong! Boruch Hashem, the woman is doing fine and comes to shul every Shabbos.

Upon the Rebbe’s arrival in the United States, he founded Yeshivas Tomchei T’mimim. Hershel wanted to leave his yeshiva and switch to the new Chabad yeshiva but he was accepted only after he had yechidus with the Rebbe, as he related in detail: “Yeshivas Tomchei T’mimim in the US was founded immediately following Purim 5700, a week after the Rebbe’s arrival in the US. I had yechidus on 20 Iyar and I said I wanted to learn in Tomchei T’mimim, because until then I had been learning in Torah Vodaas. However, [in this yechidus] it did not work out. “After Shavuos, the mashpia, R’ Jacobson told us that the Rebbe wants to meet with each of us who was learning Chassidus with R’ Avrohom Pariz. When

A few months passed since he had first become acquainted with Chassidus and World War II had begun. The Chassidim that he knew were worried about the Lubavitch communities under Nazi occupation. They were most concerned about the Rebbe Rayatz who lived in Otvotzk. The Rebbe was miraculously rescued and arrived safely in Riga. R’ Fogelman described the reaction of the Chassidim in New York: “We were learning with R’ Avrohom Pariz in a shul in

Williamsburg. It was 5 Teves 5700. Suddenly, a door banged open and my friend R’ Berel Baumgarten came in and shouted, ‘The Rebbe was freed from Warsaw and is in Riga!’ We all shouted and danced and sang. Only R’ Avrohom sat there motionless and we could see how touched he was by the news. “Then R’ Berel told us that there would be a farbrengen in R’ Jacobson’s house. Of course, we went there immediately and the simcha that night is hard to describe. Mashke flowed amidst singing and joy and amazing camaraderie. R’ Levitin made whistling sounds with an empty

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I entered for yechidus, the Rebbe said to me, ‘You said that you want to learn in Tomchei T’mimim,’ and he said, ‘Nu?’ I said I would register for Tomchei T’mimim. There were six of us who learned Chassidus with R’ Pariz and we all had yechidus that night. To three of us he spoke about Tomchei T’mimim and to the other three he did not mention it. I was one of those he mentioned it to. Boruch Hashem, we began learning in the yeshiva that was located in the Oneg Shabbos shul in East Flatbush where we learned until 19 Kislev 5701. Only then did we go to 770, after the Rebbe said he wanted to hear the sound of Torah.” R’ Fogelman remembered the day the Rebbe and Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka arrived in the United States, after being saved from the conflagration in Europe: “The Rebbe, Nasi Doreinu, arrived in the US on 28 Sivan 5701. The first farbrengen with him was in the beis midrash upstairs in 770. There were about two minyanim of Anash and talmidim. The Rebbe walked in with a Siddur in his hand and went to his place. He made a powerful impression on everyone present. He spoke at length about ‘four who need to thank’ and what they are in spiritual terms. In between inyanim they sang niggunim and there was a bit of an argument about the niggun of R’ Michel of Zlotchov. The Rebbe sang it a little differently than how it was sung previously. “In the middle of the farbrengen, he said that they say about American bachurim that they are knowledgeable in Likkutei Dibburim and he began to test us and we knew it, more or less. The farbrengen began at nine in the evening and ended at

At his wedding in 5707. From right to left: R’ Fogelman, the Rebbe (hiding his face from the camera), R’ Shmuel Levitin, the secretary – R’ Rodstein

three in the morning.” Those weren’t the only times R’ Hershel had yechidus with the Rebbe Rayatz. He sometimes had to wait months, but each time he had yechidus, it was a special day for him. He said that when the secretary R’ Simpson gave the okay for him to go into yechidus, it was apparent that he was pleased that he could allow a bachur to go in.

like a royal table. I stood behind R’ Yisrael Jacobson and they were reciting Hallel HaGadol. “Suddenly, we heard the Rebbe Rayatz raise his voice and say loudly, ‘L’makkeh Melachim g’dolim; ki l’olam chasdo.’ R’ Jacobson said to me, ‘There will be news soon.’ Indeed, within the month, Hitler [April 30] died and Roosevelt died [April 12].”

In his reminiscences, R’ Hershel told about what the Rebbe Rayatz said on Pesach 5705, shortly before the fall of Hitler, may his name be erased. He wrote in his diary: “Pesach. We [the T’mimim] went for the second seder as we did all the years after we finished making our own at home. Although we arrived at one in the morning, they were still in the middle. We waited at the entrance to the dining room. Next to the table sat the Chassidim and the Rebbe, Nasi Doreinu, sat to the left of the Rebbe Rayatz. It looked, literally,

As a young man, he began working in the field of chinuch. In the summer of 5702/1942, “Chadrei Torah T’mimim Lubavitch” was founded. This was an after public school learning program. R’ Fogelman, a yeshiva bachur at the time, opened a branch in Williamsburg with thirteen students. He learned with them for a year and then went to Worcester to expand the yeshiva there. The yeshiva in Worcester had been started shortly before he arrived and when he came, he continued to expand it as he related: “In 5702, my dear friend

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Worcester, he married Rochele Magnes. The wedding took place in New York and the Rebbe MH”M participated at the reception and was the officiating rabbi. During the reception, the Rebbe sat next to the chassan who began saying the maamer. After he finished the first os, the people present interrupted him by singing as was customary in those days. The Rebbe motioned in surprise as to why they were stopping him. The Rebbe was given the honor of all seven brachos at the chuppa. When the chassan and kalla left the yichud room, the Rebbe gave the chassan a gift – a $9 check.

R’ Fogelman made a number of trips to the Soviet Union in order to encourage his brethren languishing there. In his memoirs he tells about the visits he made in 5729 and 5742. In 5742, he went to Russia and was able to bring back an important manuscript. The Rebbe referred to this publicly as R’ Fogelman related: “When I was in Russia I found hanachos written by R’ Hillel of Paritch on maamarim of the Tzemach Tzedek from the year 5599 etc. They were in the shul in Leningrad in the office of the rabbi. There was also a short maamer that the Tzemach Tzedek said when they brought a Torah scroll to the shul of his uncle, R’ Chaim Avrohom, the son of the Alter Rebbe. “When I returned to New York, I gave it to R’ Groner for him to give to the Rebbe. That was a Friday, and on Shabbos, Parshas D’varim, toward the end of the farbrengen, the Rebbe motioned to me that I should say l’chaim on a full cup. Then he spoke about the manuscript in terms of pidyon shvuyim (releasing captives) and said that since the next day they would be completing one of the Sifrei Torah of Yeshivas Tomchei T’mimim, he suggested that they print this maamer to distribute to the participants. And they did.” R’ Moshe Yitzchok Hecht and I joined together in shlichus. I was learning at the time in Tomchei T’mimim and during the summer I helped him found Achei T’mimim in Worcester. R’ Moshe Yitzchok came at the end of the summer on shlichus from the Rebbe Rayatz to run the yeshiva. This was two days before Rosh HaShana. The hanhala [of the yeshiva] asked me to stay until after the Yomim Tovim to help out and then to return to my learning. “Throughout that Tishrei, we worked together day and night. On Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 5703 we received a letter from the Rebbe Rayatz full of encouragement, guidance and deep content, which greatly inspired us.” Shortly thereafter, he returned to his studies in Tomchei T’mimim in New York, but at the end of that year, in Av 5703, he was sent to found Yeshivas Tomchei T’mimim in Buffalo. The founding meeting took place on 23 Av. After a few months, the number of students grew and the yeshiva procured a new building. As the yeshiva expanded, the rabbanim and members of the yeshiva’s committee asked the Rebbe Rayatz to send an assistant for R’ Fogelman. While in Buffalo, R’ Fogelman received a number of letters from the Rebbe Rayatz with words of blessing and encouragement as well as specific instructions for his work. In one letter, the Rebbe wrote that he was happy to hear about the Mesibos Shabbos and told him to do all he could about chinuch, strengthening Judaism, and public shiurim. With all that, the Rebbe wrote him explicitly that his main job is the yeshiva. In Av 5706, R’ Fogelman received instructions to leave Buffalo, despite the success there, and to go and run the yeshiva in Worcester. Although he had already done so much in Buffalo, he left it all to go and live in Worcester where he had worked several years earlier. He remained there for the next sixtyseven years as the Rebbe’s shliach, until his passing in Tammuz. In 5707, about a year after beginning his shlichus in

Life on shlichus wasn’t always simple, and sometimes problems cropped up that impeded the development of his work. R’ Fogelman told of an interesting miracle that took place shortly after the passing of the Rebbe Rayatz. At that early point, it was already clear to him to whom to direct difficult questions. At that time, he lived far from the shul. Some of the members of the community had suggested to him that he move to a shulowned vacant apartment near the shul. R’ Fogelman asked the Rebbe who said that was fine, but then opposition arose on the part of some members of the community since R’ Fogelman was a “Lubavitcher.” A special meeting was convened in which a majority voted that the Chabad rabbi should in fact get the apartment. The meeting took place on Motzaei Shabbos, and on Sunday, R’ Fogelman called to inform the Rebbe that he had been approved for the apartment. The Rebbe told him to go to the

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apartment immediately and begin living there before the opposition took steps to prevent him from living there. The phone call ended, and one of his friends told him that indeed someone was planning on entering the apartment before him. R’ Fogelman hurried, as the Rebbe had advised him, and moved in. “It was open ruach ha’kodesh,” said R’ Fogelman about the Rebbe, even before the Rebbe had officially accepted the nesius.

Even when R’ Fogelman was offered other rabbinic positions, he refused to accept them and wouldn’t even ask the Rebbe about it, because he felt certain that the Rebbe would not take him away from a shlichus that the Rebbe Rayatz gave him. In this location, far from any Chassidic center, he spread Judaism but missed having a Chassidishe atmosphere. He derived much encouragement from R’ Simpson’s visits. R’ Simpson was a shadar (fundraiser) and occasionally visited his city: “He came once a year in order to raise Maamad. On these visits he would farbreng with the balabatim and he did so without a commotion. He spoke from the heart and when you do that, the words enter the heart.” R’ Fogelman summed up those visits, “The great impression he made on these visits reverberated for a long time afterward.” In 5718, R’ Fogelman began building a building for Achei T’mimim in Worcester. He brought some members of his community to the Rebbe and had yechidus together with them.

In his younger years at a children’s program in Worcester

They presented the plans for the new building. The Rebbe glanced at the plans and immediately realized that the large hall would also be a beis midrash and a shul. He asked, “Where is the dining room?” The Rebbe pointed out other important things and all present were amazed to see how the Rebbe instantly understood the blueprints and made pertinent comments concerning the construction. A dinner was planned to raise money for the building, but before the event the meteorologists predicted a downpour which would result in poor attendance. R’ Fogelman called the Rebbe’s office and asked the secretary to inform the Rebbe of this development. Shortly before the dinner, he received a telegram with the Rebbe’s signature which said, “Think positively and it will be good.” After an answer like that, obviously it didn’t rain and the dinner was a success. Construction took two years and was completed in 5720. The building consisted of a large hall and five rooms. R’ Fogelman traveled to the Rebbe and as always, he gave a bottle of mashke at the farbrengen. He

said it was for the building, and he described the hall, rooms, kitchen and offices. The Rebbe said, “I don’t consider that an expansion.” The bottle was given to the Rebbe who poured l’chaim and gave a bracha of “l’chaim v’hatzlacha.” R’ Fogelman returned to Worcester and added another wing to the building with five additional rooms. The new project was a big success. *** R’ Fogelman passed away on 2 Tammuz after a long illness and is survived by his wife and children: Bassie Levin (Worcester, Mass.); Rabbi Menachem Mendel Fogelman (Worcester, Mass.); Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Fogelman (Natick, Mass.); Rabbi Shmuel Binyomin (Mushi) Fogelman (Los Angeles, Calif.): Sheva Liberow (Worcester, Mass.); Rabbi Mordechai (Mutty) Fogelman (Crown Heights, N.Y.); and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His oldest son, Rabbi Chaim Yosef Fogelman of New York, passed away 12 years ago.

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Shleimus Ha’Aretz

The following is a translation of a private yechidus that Mr. Shmuel Katz had with the Rebbe in 1978. The words of the Rebbe could not be more relevant than for the present time in which the Israeli Government has indicated its intentions to hold a referendum on a “two-state solution” r”l.
Translated by Rabbi Binyomin Schlanger


have my concerns regarding those who wish to solve the disagreement on the retreat through a referendum of the people. In the wording [of the question posed], hidden danger has been embedded if they were to ask the people as follows: “Are you prepared to relinquish territory in return for peace?” This is an act of deliberate deception, because in this slyly worded question they have already injected half of the response they wish to elicit, as if by relinquishing land this will achieve peace. If this issue is already going for a public referendum, it should be conditional upon wording along these lines:

“Is it worthwhile to endanger the lives of every single home in Israel, bringing in its wake danger of impending war, Israel left without petroleum, without safe borders, with the enemy close to our main population centers, in return for the signature on paper of Sadat, at a time when it is clear today that Egypt has already reneged four times on their signature, and it is clear [and here the Rebbe wrote words of prophecy – translator] that Sadat has not got long to live and will not rule Egypt indefinitely. Furthermore, he has no influence whatsoever over the Arabs in Yehuda and in the Shomron. And more, it is clear that the Arabs of

Yehuda and Shomron announce openly that their intention is to murder and kill all Jews living in Israel. It is further clear that even if there is a small group of them who are committed to peace, other groups will not agree. So now the question posed is as follows: If, given all of the above, is it worthwhile to bring about mortal danger to life and to return the territories in return for a piece of paper that not one individual feels obligated to abide by?” Dear reader, Please take a few moments each week to copy, paste, and email this sicha to 10 friends, asking your friends in turn to email the same to 10 further friends, ad infinitum. Thereby you will be taking a strong and active part in the Rebbe’s battle to protect the lives of millions of Jewish people whose lives are so endangered. This is, as the Rambam writes, Milchemes Hashem, and we will see it through to the final Nitzachon!  Please go to http://beismoshiach. org/true-peace/ where you will find the current sicha.

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Radio Moshiach & Redemption

"The quickest way to reveal Moshiach is by learning the Torah sources about Moshiach & redemption" t"ab,wv grumnu ghrz, p"a


By Rabbi Gershon Avtzon

Dear Reader sh’yichyeh: The sixth Perek of Pirkei Avos, the chapter that we are learning this week, begins: “The sages expounded in the Mishna (blessed language of the  is He who chose them and their would learning): Rabbi Meir  say: Whoever studies Torah for Torah’s sake alone, merits many things; not only that, but [the creation of] the entire world is worthwhile for him alone. He is called friend, beloved, lover of  G-d, lover of humanity, rejoicer of G-d, rejoicer of humanity. The Torah enclothes him with humility and awe; makes him fit to be righteous, pious, correct and faithful; distances him from sin and brings him close to merit. From him, people enjoy counsel and wisdom, understanding and power, 8:14): as is stated (Proverbs  ‘Mine are counsel and wisdom, I am understanding, mine is power.” The Torah grants him sovereignty, dominion, and jurisprudence. The Torah’s secrets are revealed to him, and he becomes as an ever-increasing wellspring and as an unceasing river. He becomes modest, patient and forgiving of insults. The Torah uplifts him and makes him greater than all creations.’” 

The Rebbe asks: 1) From the introduction “The sages expounded in the language of the  Mishna,” it is evident that what follows is not a Mishna, rather a “Braisa,” which was compiled after the completion of the Mishna. If so, why was it added to a tractate of Mishna? 2) Rabbi Meir begins the chapter by saying “Whoever studies Torah for Torah’s sake alone, merits many things” and then enumerates what they are. Seemingly, R’ Meir could have simply enumerated those “things” without the ostensibly superfluous words “many things.” As every word in the Mishna is punctilious, the extra words “many things” must be referring to some reward beyond the explicit items tallied in the Mishna. What is R’ Meir referring to with the words “many things”? The Rebbe (Sicha Balak 5751) explains: In general, a “Braisa” is considered inferior to a Mishna. Hence the name “Braisa,” which in Aramaic means “outside” i.e. it is not given the same level of deference as a Mishna. Yet, Rabbi Meir teaches us that the Braisos too are part of Torah.

This is an important lesson for us in the time of exile. We know that in comparison to the Torah of Moshiach, our Torah learning is trifling. This is emphasized in the Midrash (Koheles 11:8) “The Torah of this world is inanity compared to the Torah of Moshiach.” When one contemplates upon that Midrash, he may easily get discouraged. To combat that, Rabbi Meir teaches us that even the “Braisa – outside” is part of the Mishna! That is also the reason why Rabbi Meir adds the seemingly superfluous, “Whoever studies Torah for Torah’s sake alone, merits many things.” The message that Rabbi Meir is conveying is that the way to merit the unlimited Torah of Moshiach – “many things,” is by learning Torah properly, Lishma, in the time of exile.  Rabbi Avtzon is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Lubavitch Cincinnati and a well sought after speaker and lecturer. Recordings of his in-depth shiurim on Inyanei Geula u’Moshiach can be accessed at

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Since the Gush Katif expulsion, the political left in Eretz Yisroel has cried out for a strong Likud prime minister who will succeed in reenacting the crimes of his predecessor, Ariel Sharon. One prominent leftist wrote last week that “Prime Minister Netanyahu is the only person today who can achieve the idea of two states.” He added that Netanyahu has in fact already accepted the concept of partitioning Eretz Yisroel…
By Sholom Ber Crombie Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

This coming week, the prime minister will pass the final hurdle prior to the new round of diplomatic negotiations: Knesset approval of the state budget which includes harsh economic sanctions against the weakest sectors of the population. The budget is the main reason why the Labor Party and the ultraOrthodox have been attacking the government since its inception. However, once the budget has been passed, they will be free to support any diplomatic initiative Netanyahu puts forth in negotiations. Since the Gush Katif expulsion, the political left in Eretz Yisroel has cried out for a strong Likud prime minister who will succeed in reenacting the crimes of his predecessor, Ariel Sharon. One prominent leftist wrote last week that “Prime Minister Netanyahu is the only person today who can achieve the idea of two states.” He added that Netanyahu has already accepted the concept of partitioning Eretz Yisroel... If that isn’t wretched enough, the very person who was voted in on the premise that he would block this kind of dangerous proposal—Bayit Yehudi Party chairman Naftali Bennett— agreed to bring this plan before

he date chosen to renew negotiations with our “Palestinian” enemies was a most symbolic one. In the same week when the Jewish People were commemorating eight years since the destruction of the Jewish communities of Gush Katif and the northern Shomron, the prime minister – who played a major role in the disengagement as finance minister – chose to make an official declaration of a new round of talks. Who knows where it will lead? It’s a bit hard to understand what a short memory our people have. On the 18th of Menachem Av 5765, the last of the Gush Katif settlers were driven out. The residents of the northern Shomron were also exiled during that week. Tens of thousands of


people mark the days between the 12th and the 18th of Menachem Av each year as the anniversary of the expulsion. For many of them, they represents days of personal mourning for their destroyed community and family life, their severe loss of income and livelihood, and a constant reminder of their inability to resume a normal existence. Now, exactly eight years later, the prime minister has again proclaimed his eagerness to commit the sin of expelling Jews from their homes. Once again, a prime minister wishes to endanger the security of the People of Israel and hand over even more territory to the terrorists. It’s as if nothing has happened here in the years since the tragedy of Gush Katif.

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the voters in a referendum. According to Bennett, there is apparently no problem with driving out Jews and giving away territory – if that’s what the people want… He merely demands that the process be carried out in a democratic manner – and that’s all. Last week, the Cabinet member in charge of the negotiations, Justice Minister Tzippi Livni, declared that the members of the security Cabinet are unanimous in their support for a renewal of talks with the terrorists. Such a statement without a single Cabinet member issuing a denial means that even the one government minister who should oppose any future expulsions is actually a partner in the process. As for the chareidim, they’re standing in a neutral corner, waiting for Netanyahu to present his diplomatic initiative. After the Bayit Yehudi leaders fought against them for six months at every available opportunity, including passage of legislation on compulsory military service and support for huge reductions in budget allocations for the ultra-Orthodox sector, they’re preparing to exact their vengeance against the “knitted kippa” community.

The Rebbe long ago called them “Canaanite slaves,” and the situation has only deteriorated since then.
expense of the forces in orange. The Bayit Yehudi people were the ones to engage in shameless warfare against the chareidim since last winter’s election campaign. Consequently, why should they now expect the ultra-Orthodox to stand at their side when the prime minister is expected to propose a new policy for uprooting settlements? Under the direction of “the Jewish Home” (an absurd name for this party), all protective roadblocks have been removed. The reforms in religious services have brought down the final barrier against breaches in the wall of halachic conversion. The partnership with Finance Minister Yair Lapid and the Yesh Atid Party has pulverized the yeshiva world. The Bayit Yehudi parliamentary faction has given its ardent support to the forced military conscription of yeshiva students and the closing of ultraOrthodox learning programs. Its faction leader also served as chairman of the Knesset committee that drafted the legislation on army service. Its representatives continue to attack ultra-Orthodox education, as if it’s their responsibility to educate the children of Meia Sh’arim. They have been instrumental in approving unprecedented policies compelling ultra-Orthodox schools to include secular studies in their curriculum. The Cabinet member from this party in charge of the religious affairs ministry is the one responsible for putting an end to Jewish plots in military cemeteries. There will be no more Jewish burials for those who risked their lives al kiddush Hashem! And we haven’t even begun to talk about the recognition of the Reform and Conservative movements and the opening of the Western Wall square in Yerushalayim to prayers by Reform women. With such an appallingly long list, it’s no wonder that the ultraOrthodox sector is extremely angry with the Bayit Yehudi Party and its leaders. The Rebbe long ago called them “Canaanite slaves,” and the situation has only become worse since then. Nevertheless, we have always wanted to believe that when the territorial integrity of Eretz Yisroel is at serious risk, they will rise up and stop Netanyahu’s bulldozing tactics. We now realize that they have betrayed the cause of shleimus ha’aretz as well. The Bayit Yehudi chairman has declared only that he opposes a return to the borders prior to June 1967. We can thereby deduce how he conveniently leaves the door open just a crack. In short, while he opposes a return to the pre-1967 borders, another diplomatic agreement is something else entirely.

As the year began, Bennett and his brethren stabbed the ultra-Orthodox community in the heart by joining forces with its worst enemies. It appears that the chareidi politicians are about to make their own “swing around the circle” in coming weeks at the

We never really expected much from the ultra-Orthodox politicians. Most of them never stand behind the name of their party – “Yahadut HaTorah.” After joining Sharon’s government on the eve of the withdrawal from Gush Katif and the northern Shomron, they got the message. Last year, its two Degel HaTorah members, Moshe Gafni and

Issue 890 • �  


Uri Maklev, voted in favor of dismantling the Givat HaUlpana settler outpost. These are the same MKs who supported the High Court of Justice, while the political right-wing was trying to restrain its judicial activism. They hoped that the day would come when the learned judges would show them greater kindness and demonstrate support for the ultra-Orthodox sector – a totally baseless aspiration. The chareidi politicians have always explained their left-wing agenda with the argument that it’s forbidden to provoke the Gentiles. Even the wretched vote by these chareidi MKs against Givat HaUlpana was justified in this manner. In a sicha from the 24th of Teves 5738, the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, said: “[This is] unlike those who claim that it’s forbidden to have any weapons, and it’s forbidden to speak vigorously since ‘Don’t provoke the little Gentile.’ This is not a matter of provocation, because when you’re talking about Eretz Yisroel and its borders, and about the defense of many times sixty myriad of Jews located in Eretz HaKodesh, we must stand with proper resolve. “...We want to save Jews from Gentiles, and since ‘you are the least of all the peoples,’ we need help from Alm-ghty G-d. But why do we need to take weapons and desecrate the Shabbos – we should say T’hillim, learn Torah, not go out on Shabbos with weapons of war!? “However, the Shulchan Aruch rules that in such a case, Alm-ghty G-d wants that ‘they must go out against them with weapons of war and desecrate the Shabbos,’ since Alm-ghty G-d wants them to make a garment by natural means. “We must say T’hillim and learn Torah, arduously involved in ‘the voice is the voice of Yaakov,’ and know that Almghty G-d runs the entire world. Afterwards, however, we have to take weapons of war and stand along the border, since this is a matter of saving Jewish lives.”

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