Mordechai Segal

4 D’var Malchus 17 Parsha Thought 38 Crossroads 42 Young Chassid

Rabbi Yaakov Shmuelevitz


Rabbi Yosef Avrohom Pizem
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In citing this Midrash – that Mordechai in his generation was on par with Moshe in his generation – the Rebbe Rayatz rules that this statement applies to himself: the Rebbe is the revealed Raaya Mehemna, the Faithful Shepherd, of all the people of the generation. * Compiled by Rabbi Shloma Majeski. (Underlined text is the compiler’s emphasis.)
Translated and presented by Boruch Merkur

At the time of Purim, all the Jewish people acted with self-sacrifice for Torah and Mitzvos (in the face of Haman’s decree). The self-sacrifice during Chanuka (at the time of the antiSemitic decrees of the GrecoPersians) was (primarily) on the part of Matisyahu and his sons, whereas at the time of Haman’s decree it was all the Jewish people. With this in mind we can explain what is stated in the Midrash – that Mordechai in his generation was on par with Moshe in his generation. Although “there is an incarnation of Moshe in every generation,” nevertheless, the Midrash says that (specifically) Mordechai in his generation was on par with Moshe in his generation.

The especial virtue of Mordechai HaYehudi is that he was a(n overt) Raaya Mehemna, a Faithful Shepherd, of all the Jewish people of his time. In this sense he was just like Moshe Raaya Mehemna, who [like a shepherd provides for his flock] channels daas, G-dly intelligence, to all the Jews of his generation. This point is also understood from the fact that the generation of Moshe is referred to as Dor Deia,* a Generation of Daas (for all the people of his time enjoyed G-dly intelligence on account of Moshe Rabbeinu). (Regarding Moshe, being a faithful shepherd of the Jewish people was manifest in his drawing down G-dly intelligence to all the people of his time. With regard to Mordechai,

however, this attribute was manifest in his revealing the power of self-sacrifice within all the Jews of his time.) In citing this Midrash – that Mordechai in his generation was on par with Moshe in his generation – the Rebbe Rayatz, who authored the maamer [that quotes this Midrash], rules that this statement applies to himself**: the Rebbe is the (revealed) Raaya Mehemna, the Faithful Shepherd, of all the people of the generation.
(Kuntres Purim-Katan 5752; maamer “V’Ata Tezaveh” 5741) NOTES: *See VaYikra Rabba 9:1; BaMidbar Rabba 9:3, where it is discussed. **Reflecting the explanation of the [unusual] wording of the Mishna (Avos 3, beg., “judgment and reckoning” (judgment and only thereafter reckoning). This teaching is brought to light by another Mishna (ibid 16): “one is punished with his knowledge and without his knowledge.” That is, after a person rules, “with his knowledge” [according to his opinion and sense of justice] in a case about someone else, he [thus] renders judgment upon himself “without his knowledge”; in accordance with his “judgment,” a “reckoning” is made as it applies to his own case. (See Likkutei Sichos Vol. 6, pg. 283, where it is discussed.)

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Yossi and Chani Goldstein arrived in Yiwu, China six years ago, in Elul 5767. Since then, the Jewish community has grown from twenty people to one hundred, spreading Judaism throughout the area and among the numerous businessmen who frequently travel there. * In a conversation with Beis Moshiach, R’ Goldstein talks about the life in China, the biggest market in the world, and chinuch on shlichus.
By Mordechai Segal

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he plane descended, and Yossi and Chani Goldstein looked out the window in excited anticipation. What caught their attention were the squares of blue that they saw all over the city. “The population here must be upper class and wealthy if they are so many private swimming pools,” they assumed. It was only when they landed that they realized that what they had seen were warehouse roofs in a city whose existence revolves around the largest market in the world. They were somewhat disappointed when they learned that Yiwu is a plain industrial city that works around the clock, but that certainly wasn’t going to deter them. Welcome to one of the most interesting cities in the world. Hundreds of thousands of businessmen from all over the world go to Yiwu every year and leave with containers packed with goods from China. A nice percentage of these businessmen are Jewish, including many religious ones. I met Yossi when he was in Beitar Ilit, spending the summer with his wife and three sons, ages 5, 3, and 1. Yossi is a dynamic though refined young man who is mekushar to the Rebbe. He attended Toras Emes in Yerushalayim and Tomchei T’mimim in Kiryat Gat. R’ Goldstein and his wife (nee Levin of Beitar) married in 5765. For two years they waited for a good shlichus offer. In 5767, R’ Mordechai Avtzon, the first shliach in the Republic of China, gave them a call. For half a year, they worked with the shliach R’ Eli Rozenberg in Guangzhou. Then, once they understood the mentality and the language a little bit, they went to a city of their own.



“Yiwu is a very small city,” said R’ Goldstein in all seriousness. “It has only three million residents. It’s hard to locate on the map and there are many people in China who have never heard of it.” To us, three million people sounds like quite a lot, but in a country whose population is the biggest in the world, with a billion three hundred million people, three million is truly puny. The market is what is unique to this city. It is the largest market in the world, where in

a factory in China will have to order at least one container, and this contains a very large quantity of merchandise. In order to enable businessmen to buy reasonable amounts without getting stuck with too much merchandise or having to spend too much money, there are these booths in Yiwu. There they can see samples from all the factories in China. So instead of having to buy a shipping container with just one type of toy, jewelry or house ware, a container can be filled

“Yiwu is a very small city,” said R’ Goldstein in all seriousness. “It has only three million residents.

one four-story building there are 60,000 booths, each of which represents a different factory. This huge mall is divided into sections for household items, jewelry, toys etc. and is meant for the small businessman who wants to make all his purchases in one place. Those who want to buy merchandise directly from

with dozens of types of things. The ones who benefit the most from this arrangement are those who own 99 cent chain stores and other similar stores. Every day, about 3000 containers leave the city. Out of the three million residents, only 150,000 of

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Westerners won’t touch.” R’ Goldstein shechts the chickens himself. As for basic food items, “We get a lot of help from the shliach in Shanghai, R’ Sholom Greenberg. Shanghai is the closest city to us that has a shliach; it’s only a four hour trip away. He imports basics from Eretz Yisroel.” The closest mikva is also in Shanghai. The restaurant serves meat because the Chinese don’t use dairy products. There is no such thing as coffee and milk. Why? Because, a Chinese proverb says, cow’s milk is for calves. “Dairy products for the children are a gift. When someone calls and asks, ‘What can I bring from Eretz Yisroel?’ we always ask for milk, chocolate or nosh.”

A Chanuka party at the Chabad house

them are the original residents. The rest are part of the staff of employees who work around the clock in the market; porters, drivers, translators, sellers, crane operators, sales staff, cleaning staff, construction workers, cooks, etc. In China, there is no concept of vacation. Work is done seven days a week. Just once a year, for the Chinese New Year, workers producing “made in China” products all year get one week off. This break actually lasts for three weeks since the trip home takes about a week each way. When this happens, the city empties out and only the original residents remain, the 150,000 of them. Back to the first time the Goldsteins saw Yiwu: “We met all the Jews who live in the city, twenty in all. A month later, in Elul, exactly six years ago, we moved there.” The small number of Jews in the community didn’t disturb them, since they knew that their main focus would be on the businessmen who fill the city. “The members of the community were very happy that someone had finally come to

Above the “Jewish floor” of the hotel are bedrooms. Jews who are guests there for Shabbos are given keys as opposed to an electronic card, so as to avoid chilul Shabbos. “We are the only Jewish community in Asia, and probably one of the few in the world, where all the Jewish services and bedrooms are in one place, with no concerns about carrying. A Jew can come to this hotel, go down a flight to the restaurant and shul and remain in the building for 24 hours. There is no reason to go out and walk from a hotel to the shul and from there to the restaurant. On Shabbos, we have at least 100 men, women and children.” Many people, who are usually not at all religiously involved, keep Shabbos or become aware of it for the first time in their lives in a Chinese city. “They are in a foreign

unite them. We began making Shabbos and Yom Tov with them and the community slowly grew. The Jews in the area heard that a community was forming in Yiwu and they moved here. Now we are a hundred people.” The young shluchim found a new but small and modest hotel in the center of town and rented an entire floor. “There is an office, a shul, a restaurant, rooms for shiurim and more.” The restaurant operates daily. About fifty Jews, on average, eat there every day, mainly in the evening after the market closes. “Not only have those who observe kashrus wanted a kosher restaurant. All the restaurants here are full of snakes and other disgusting creatures, things that

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environment all day, hearing only Chinese, and they are looking for something different. They want to disengage a bit from the daily grind and hear some Hebrew. Then they are exposed to Kiddush, niggunim, farbrengens, and the beauty of Shabbos. It is amazing to see how people change their views. There are people who come back to Yiwu and tell us that, thanks to us, they started doing something in honor of Shabbos, whether in Eretz Yisroel or wherever they live. They are not used to doing this, nor are they aware of it from home, and suddenly they see how significant it is.” The Shabbasos for tourists are also meant for the members of the community and this is what caused a major problem that nearly ruined the shliach’s relationship with some members of the community. “There was a group within the community who were not pleased by how we ran things at the Chabad house. Upon consulting with some shluchim, I made it known that no gentiles were welcome to the Shabbos meals. Any Jew who wants to come would be welcomed with open arms as long as he does not come accompanied by someone not Jewish. This is because allowing it would give a stamp of approval to the terrible act of intermarriage. I also asked that anyone who comes by car should park it away from the Chabad house. Some members of the community decided to fight me on this and they even sent letters to shluchim in the area and to rabbanim in Eretz Yisroel.” It is important to mention that he received full support from the shluchim. However, as time went on, tensions in the community rose and he did not know what to

“In general, China is the country with the least antiSemitism in the world because the government is very powerful and people know they cannot start up with it.”
That man became one of the main supporters and donors of the shluchim. “Since we arrived in Yiwu, a clear demarcation has been made between Jews and goyim and the intermarriage rate has gone down to zero. There is suddenly an awareness and understanding what the difference is between us, which wasn’t clear beforehand.” What helps a lot in preventing local couples from coming to the Chabad house is the Chinese communist law that forbids any religious activity. “A Chinese citizen is not allowed to enter the Chabad house because the government considers it missionary work. This helps us explain to Jews and Israelis that we don’t want to mess with the law.” Included in this law forbidding religious activity is Mivtza T’fillin, but the authorities turn a blind eye. R’ Goldstein says that he met with the deputy
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do. R’ Goldstein is not the type to get involved in fights and he was on the brink of despair. “The atmosphere was really bad and I couldn’t handle it.” A few days later, he flew to New York for the Kinus HaShluchim. “I arrived and said, ‘Rebbe, you are the boss. Please help me.’ I made a hachlata that was not easy but I knew the Rebbe would help me. “I returned to Yiwu and, incredibly, within a week, the head of the opposition, the one who incited the others, asked for a meeting. I showed up, very nervous, and he simply apologized. He said in front of everyone that he asked my forgiveness and that he understands that it is only with ironclad rules that we can run things here. Until today, I have no explanation for his turnabout except for the fact that the Rebbe runs the show.”


popular Chinese book called How to be Successful like the Jews. In general, it is the country with the least anti-Semitism in the world because the government is very powerful and people know they cannot start up with it.” He said that a decade ago, a quarrel broke out between a young Israeli and a few Arabs in a cafe somewhere in China. “The local government found out who was involved and the next day they had all citizens of the nine countries whose citizens were involved in the fight leave the district in order to renew their visa. When the foreign citizens came back to renew their visas, they were all given black stamp visas for five years [requires one to renew his visa monthly and pay a fee, as opposed to the one time fee for a normal business visa which has no time restriction]. “This is why Moslems know they cannot start up with Jews; no spitting, no cursing, not spraying anti-Semitic graffiti, and certainly no physical attacks. I sometimes meet Arabs from Syria, Iran, and Pakistan and I see the hatred in their eyes, but they are afraid to start up. Furthermore, once every two or three weeks, police reps come and check whether there are any fights between us and others. It is definitely a good feeling.” On the flip side, apropos of the police and their surveillance, Yossi said, “A senior Israeli official told me that I should beware since they are recording all my phone conversations.” So, why is China considered an ally of the Arabs and consistently opposed to Israel? Yossi said it has to do with money. “Money is their religion. Although they love us, their factories operate on petroleum and that comes from Iranian

mayor who even visited Israel. “I told him about the community, and he was interested and happy to hear about it. He promised to help, but the truth is that their hands are tied. It will look as though they are helping Jews and they are afraid of the Moslem reaction. At the same time, they respect and look away from Mivtza T’fillin that I do every day in the market.” There are times that the official hard line about religious activity is made profoundly clear. “They told me explicitly that every time we do a religious activity outside of the Chabad house, we must ask for permission first. One time, we wanted to have a Pesach Seder in a big hotel. We submitted a request to the police, but they told us that since this is a religious event, we can’t do it. “You feel that it’s a communist country at every turn. There is a policeman and a camera on every corner. At every moment, they

know where every citizen and every foreigner is.” Here is an example. Whoever enters China must report within 24 hours about where he plans to stay. One time, R’ Goldstein forgot to go to the nearest police station to report, and within a short time they were knocking on his door and they took him to prison. “The interrogator said, ‘You broke the law and one who breaks the law is punished.’ In the end, after a number of nerve-wracking hours, my wife managed to get the money and pay the fine and I was released.” R’ Goldstein emphasizes, “There is much admiration for the Jewish people. The Chinese greatly admire and love Jews, and in their history books it says that we are the wisest nation on earth. Every time I get into a taxi, they ask me who I am. When they hear that I am a Jew they say, ‘You number one; China number two.’ There is also a

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oil fields. The Arab countries support their financial interests. That explains it.”

The Goldsteins and their oldest son speak Chinese. Mendy takes lessons in Chinese and the shluchim themselves made a tremendous effort to learn the language. “Since the residents here are very simple, they do not speak English. We had two choices, to teach Hebrew to the Chinese who work for us, or to learn Chinese. We went with the second option.” However, he does not know how to read and write “because it’s really hard.” Another difficulty, one that is much harder, is the isolation. “You are in this out of the way place in China, with hardly any Jews around, definitely not a Chassidic community. It’s not easy, and that’s an understatement. I can manage, since I’m so busy, but my wife finds it very hard since most of the people on business are men. She spends her time running the restaurant and raising the children. She occasionally gives classes and works with the women who pass through, most of whom are fashion designers. “The children are homeschooled. We cannot make a preschool since most of the Jews in the community are bachelors. “There was a time when our Mendy was the only Jewish child in the city. We were the only shluchim in the world with this status,” said Yossi with a grin. “He attends the online school. Last year, he had a virtual teacher from Eretz Yisroel along with fellow students in Seoul, Shanghai, and Vietnam.”

In China, as in the world over, Jews are brought closer to a life of Torah and mitzvos thanks to the children of the shluchim. “For example, there is a woman who comes to this city on business and she always says, ‘I come to you only because of Mendy.’ Today, thank G-d, she is really involved and she committed to lighting Shabbos candles, even though she comes from an antireligious background. There is no question that the children, with their innocence and charm, contribute a lot.” Despite this, he says, “Their chinuch is the one issue that concerns us at times, but we know that they are on the Rebbe’s shoulders.” Living in Yiwu is not easy because of the haze and the smog. Thanks to the children, the Goldsteins leave the country once every three months to “air out.” “A tourist visa is only for thirty days, while a business visa is unlimited. The first time we came to China, we asked for business visas but were told, ‘You, the parents, can do business, but your children can’t, so they will have to get a tourist visa.’ You

can extend a tourist visa two times, and then we have to leave the country in order to be able to renew the visas for the children. I see this as help from Above, because this forces us to refresh ourselves once every few months. This is a city without places to take children.” The shluchim generally stay in Hong Kong or Bangkok: “For the average Jew who goes there, it’s a burden because you don’t have the Jewish amenities you have in Eretz Yisroel, but for us, it’s like a trip to Eretz Yisroel (l’havdil). There are Chassidim there, plenty of kosher food, dairy products, places to take the children, etc.” While the Goldsteins were in Eretz Yisroel, his brother Yaakov was in Yiwu. “He is able to relate to the young people and is doing great work there until we return for the holidays. As Chassidim, we believe the Rebbe will be revealed immediately and that will save us a trip there. The Jews of Yiwu will move to Eretz Yisroel together with all our brothers from the four corners of the world, with the true and complete Geula.”
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If you want to be a zealot, be zealous about yourself!
By Rabbi Yaakov Shmuelevitz Shliach, Beit Shaan

espite the fact that we find zealotry mentioned in the Torah as a praiseworthy trait, the Rebbe says that our approach is to act with Ahavas Yisroel. Someone who wants to be zealous, should be zealous regarding himself, not others. In shlichus, and in any encounter with a Jew who is not yet religious, we need to be careful not to look at the cup as being half empty. We need to seek out the good and praise the person. A long letter from the year 5715 was recently published, in which the Rebbe responds to those who complained about inviting representatives from the Zionist Israeli government to the Yud-Tes Kislev farbrengen in Kfar Chabad. The Rebbe says every Jew should be welcomed graciously. Likewise, the Rebbe pointed out how those “Zionist representatives” helped make the spread of Torah and mitzvos possible.


R’ Reuven Dunin a”h once told how he learned how to use

the trait of zealousness as the Rebbe wishes. This is the story he told: Many decades ago, there was a person in B’nei Brak who, in his influential public position, did all he could to oppose Chassidus and the ways of Chassidus. He publicly opposed Lag B’Omer parades and the Rebbe’s efforts for shleimus ha’aretz, etc. This was all written about in the newspapers and things got worse from year to year. When R’ Dunin realized that this person was committed to continuously opposing the Rebbe, he decided he would go to B’nei Brak and take action. He spent a long time planning for the big day, and as time passed, his feelings of zealousness for the Rebbe and Chassidus continued to grow. The time came when he felt it was time to make his move. Right after Shacharis, as he left his house, he noticed something in the mail box. It was a familiar envelope. A sicha had come from the Rebbe, which was the system at the time, that subscribers received the latest sicha in the mail. He opened the envelope

and began reading the sicha. The Rebbe explained at length how great Pinchas was, for he saved the Jewish people with his trait of zealousness. R’ Dunin continued reading as he stood there on the stairs, ready to head off to commit his own act of zealousness. The more he read, the greater his feeling of zealousness. After all, he was reading the Rebbe’s lengthy explanation about Pinchas’ great spiritual level. He thought how wonderful it was that just that day, as he was about to set out to take action, this sicha had arrived. It was only when he got to the end of the sicha that he read that the Rebbe said this trait of zealousness needs to be used against a person’s own bad traits and not against another Jew. Then and there, R’ Dunin understood that the Rebbe was directing him to refrain from taking any zealous measures. As a loyal soldier of the Rebbe, he went back inside. He set aside his zealousness and continued conducting himself with tremendous Ahavas Yisroel for every Jew.

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R’ Reuven Dunin with mekuravim

R’ Aharon Shiffman, shliach in Kibbutz Farod relates: “At the kibbutz, there is usually no opposition to our activities and no need for arguments. However, sometimes, a difficulty arises and you need to think about how to handle it properly. For example, before Lag B’Omer, I went with two young helpers to hang flyers about the parade. A member of the kibbutz came over and said he was the security officer and he forbade us from hanging signs. ‘In any case, all the signs will come down in a few minutes.’ He pointed at the entrance to the kibbutz and asked us to leave as soon as possible. One of the young people with me began to argue with him, ‘Who are you anyway? You’re not in charge …’ but I took the other approach. I put my arm warmly on the officer’s shoulder and said, ‘What’s your name?’ I immediately followed this with, ‘My name is Aharon and we can shake hands.’ In a calm voice I explained that we hadn’t come to make trouble. We were doing

When the Baal Shem Tov was a little boy, he had a friend named Pinchas. Yisroel and Pinchas would play together in the streets of the village. One day, they discovered a fun game with a pail and rope. There were two pails on a pulley and when one pail was up, the other pail went down the well. The children got into the two pails and played, one going up while the other went down. At a certain point, Pinchas grew tired of the game and without prior warning he got out of the pail when he was on top. This left Yisroel in the pail down below in the well, without the ability to get himself up. Yisroel called out, “Pinchas, Pinchas!” But his friend had departed. It was only later on, when a man came to draw water and he found it hard, for some reason, to bring up the pail from down below, that he saw a boy sitting in the pail. He shouted at Yisroel who went home in disgrace. Some time later, Yisroel met up with Pinchas and wanted to tell him a thing or two. “Your name is Pinchas and I want to ask you a question. At the end of the book of BaMidbar there are five parshiyos: Chukas, Balak, Pinchas, Mattos and Massei. Chukas and Balak and sometimes joined and sometimes read separately. The same is true for Mattos and Massei. How come Pinchas is never read together with another parsha?” Pinchas did not know what to say and Yisroel said, “Pinchas does not join with any parsha because it is hard to be a friend of Pinchas, he’s prickly.”

this for the kids. Lag B’Omer was coming and we were planning a fun, educational program for the children. I then asked him where he suggested we hang the flyers. With this approach, he softened right away and even

helped us put up the signs. The parade was very successful and was written up in a very flattering manner in the national kibbutz newspaper under the headline, “Kibbutz Farod – Culture and Holidays under the

Issue 897 • �  


auspices of Chabad.” Under the headline were a few lines which said, “Who organized the Lag B’Omer festivities for the children of Kibbutz Farod? Chabad Chassidim. Previously, the Chassidim also organized a Purim feast and a Pesach seder at the kibbutz. The administration of the kibbutz says these activities do not interfere ...” was seeing a psychologist, but there is a problem of discipline occasionally he would get into and respect. By focusing on extreme confrontations with the his negative qualities, you are staff. intensifying and perpetuating At this meeting, all the them. This is a mistake! This participants agreed the situation perspective will also convince was intolerable. They had given the bachur himself that he is no the bachur enough warnings and good and incorrigible. You need punishments and the time had to focus on his good qualities, come to expel him. Each one and strengthen them so they will explained how difficult it was serve as a counter-balance to all to teach in the presence of this the negative manifestations until bachur and there was not one the positive will overcome and vanquish the negative side.” advocate to speak on his behalf. Express service Express service The road wasn’t easy or quick Then the psychologist was Fully FullyComputerized Computerized given a chance to speak. He but the psychologist’s counsel accepted unanimously, said, “From everything that I was at least on a trial basis. In the 331 Kingston Ave. 331 Kingston Ave. have heard, I understand that nd nd end, the bachur did improve. Flr)Flr) Brooklyn NY 11213 (2 (2 Brooklyn NY 11213 this is a talented, diligent bachur, who works on his middos and He moved through the system, observes most rules of Chassidic married, and is a dynamic and Get tickets within minutes! Getyour your tickets within minutes! conduct. On the other hand, beloved shliach today.

I once attended a meeting of the entire staff of a Chabad school to discuss a certain bachur whose behavior was extremely problematic. He was generally a good bachur and he had a positive influence on others, but he had an emotional problem. He

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By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg

Abraham, the first of our Patriarchs, was promised by G-d in a special covenant that he would be the father of a nation. His descendants would become slaves in a foreign land, ultimately be redeemed, emerge from exile with great wealth and eventually return to their homeland. However, commentators point out that G-d’s promise that Abraham’s children would eventually be redeemed and return to their land is interrupted with another verse: “You will come to your forefathers in peace, and you will be buried in a good old age.” Why is this verse inserted in between the verses that speak of their exodus from slavery and their return to their land? One possible answer to this question is found in Rashi’s explanation that “coming to his forefathers in peace” alludes to Abraham’s father Terach and his eventual repentance for his idolatrous ways. The reference in “being buried in a good old age” is to the return of his errant son Yishmoel. What connection is there between the promise of

redemption and return from exile with Abraham’s father doing T’shuva? And why are these facts inserted in between the verses that speak of the exodus and the return to the land?

The connection between seeing family members return to the fold and Redemption is explicitly mentioned in the very last Biblical prophecy. At the end of the book of Malachi, the prophet states: “Remember you the law of Moses My servant which I commanded unto him in Chorev for all Israel, even statutes and ordinances. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of G-d. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the land with utter destruction.” In this powerful statement, the prophet shows us that there is a clear link between the return of the fathers and the children to the teachings of Moses with the stability of the land. The Land of Israel cannot tolerate a people

whose children and fathers are not united in the pursuit of the Torah. We can now understand why the Torah inserts Abraham’s seeing both his father and son return to G-d in his lifetime between the promise of Redemption and the return to the land. This was intended as a lesson for the Jewish nation in future times. G-d promises Abraham that his children will be redeemed and endowed with great wealth. However, for them to return to their land—the land that was to become the Land of Israel—the liberated Jews would have to follow the pattern established by Abraham. His influence caused his old father and his errant son to return to the path of righteousness. The Jewish people, too, must strive towards that spiritual unity to merit longevity on their land. Children must seek to influence their parents and elders while parents must strive to transmit the message of Torah to their children. For Redemption to be complete, with our permanent return to the Land, we must bridge the generation gaps that are so pronounced in our society.

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“Bridging the generation gap” can be understood figuratively, and within the reach of each of us as individuals. There are three layers to the human psyche. We have an Animal Soul that houses our yetzer ha’ra-the impulse to do evil, which is referred to as an “old and foolish king.” All children are born with an Animal Soul that gives them life and drives their struggle for self-preservation. The Animal Soul is neither good nor evil; it is totally self-centered. The child does not have a natural capacity to do good for its own sake. Rather, like an animal, it does what it must to get what it needs and desires, regardless of the needs and wants of others. The emergence of our G-dly souls occurs much later in life, at the age of Bas Mitzvah (12) for a girl and Bar Mitzvah (13) for a boy; hence the designation “old” for the Animal Soul. The “second soul” (as the Alter Rebbe characterizes it in his classic work, the Tanya, Chapter 2) is the G-dly soul. It is totally G-d centered. Its needs and wants are totally consonant with G-d’s will. There is no tinge of ego in the G-dly soul. All it wants is to be connected to G-d. The G-dly soul would be content to dwell on spiritual matters exclusively. It has no inherent interest in engaging the “old and foolish king.” However, if the G-dly soul were to keep to itself, that would defeat the purpose for its descent into the physical world. According to the Tanya, the soul enjoys a much more exalted level of love for G-d before its descent into the physical world. Why, then, would the soul be sent down

here if its love of G-d loses some of its passion and intensity? The answer is that the specific purpose of the G-dly soul is to engage with the “old and foolish king.” The G-dly soul teaches the Animal Soul to love G-d by showing that it is in its own interest to have a relationship with Him. Abraham was the personification of love for G-d. He can thus be seen as a metaphor for the G-dly soul, whose nature is to exhibit unbridled love for G-d. Abraham’s father, Terach, was an idolater. He is associated with the Animal Soul and evil impulse. Abraham’s influence over Terach portended the victory the Jewish people over their Animal Souls, which will make the process of Redemption complete. This interaction between the G-dly soul (Abraham) and the Animal Soul (Terach) is crucial for us to gain mastery over the Land.

There is a third layer to the human psyche: Our children. Metaphorically speaking, these are our thoughts, words and actions that are the product of our personalities. A person whose personality is controlled by his “old and foolish king” will think, speak and act foolishly. The “Abrahamic” personality, i.e. one whose soul is on fire with passion for G-d, will use his or her mind to think Torah, speak only words that are positive, such as words of Torah and prayer, and, arguably, most importantly, translate the lofty feelings of the G-dly soul into action through the physical performance of the Mitzvos. A person who is spiritual and

full of religious fervor, however, may think that what is solely important is the way he or she feels about G-d. Being in touch with our G-dly souls may often be seen as the desired end state; translating those feelings into action may be relegated to a secondary or tertiary status. This attitude divorces the passion of the G-dly soul (Abraham) from its “children” (Yishmoel): thoughts, words and actions. The very name Yishmoel signifies one with a high spiritual character. The name means “G-d shall listen,” implying that Yishmoel’s soul was initially in tune with G-d. Yet the Torah tells us that Yishmoel, although born miraculously and with a name that expresses a powerful bond with G-d, turned out to be a rebellious son who threatened the life of Isaac, the true heir to Abraham’s legacy. Yishmoel shows us the gap that exists between the spirituality of certain individuals and the way they translate their spirituality into action. Torah also tells us, however, that Abraham’s spirituality eventually succeeded in changing Yishmoel and brought him back into the fold. This teaches us that it is possible to remove the barrier that prevents the translation of ideals and aspirations of our G-dly soul into our daily life of action. In summary, there may be two “generation gaps” to bridge insofar as our G-dly soul is concerned. We may allow our spirituality to remain detached from engaging our senior soul partner, the Animal Soul, as was personified by Terach. One who makes this mistake may decide to lead a life of a hermit, divorced from the lower aspects of life. This, the Torah exhorts us is

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not the ideal. We must love G-d, the Mishna states, with both of our impulses, the G-dly and the animal, the yetzer tov and the yetzer ha’ra. Alternatively, some may allow a separation between their lofty feelings and their behavior, feeling content with spiritual experiences and neglecting to do the Mitzvos which they may regard as unspiritual and lacking inspiration. Abraham’s ultimate reversal of both Terach’s idolatry and Yishmoel’s rebelliousness conveys an important message to us about the ultimate goal of the Jew. The fact that this message is sandwiched between the promise of deliverance from exile and the full return to the Land suggests that the means to complete the process of Redemption from our exile is to remove the two “generational” barriers we have just described.

We are presently waiting and preparing for the imminent arrival of Moshiach and the complete Redemption. There are two erroneous popular attitudes about Redemption which we still must consider. One error is to speak about Moshiach and Redemption in terms of a severance from the past. Moshiach, it is asserted, will introduce a totally new world order that will detach us from and negate everything that we were accustomed to and valued in the past. This idea is parallel to keeping the “younger” G-dly soul from engaging with its “senior” counterpart, the Animal Soul. The Rebbe strongly dismisses this notion. Moshiach will not negate who we are. Instead, he will enhance our qualities and perfect them. Redemption does not delegitimize our past; it validates that past by showing us the true spiritual nature of our exile and past accomplishments.

Another error is to harbor an antinomian view of Moshiach, by divorcing one’s passion for Redemption from the observance of Torah and Mitzvos. Redemption becomes a totally spiritual phenomenon, relative to which practical Mitzvah observance is redundant, and ought to become obsolete, G-d forbid. This attempt to divorce the spirituality of Moshiach from his “children” is likewise based on a flawed premise. Moshiach, the Rebbe emphasized as based on the teachings of Rambam, is here to strengthen Mitzvah observance and to bring integrity and perfection to all the aspects of Judaism that were lacking because of exile conditions. Abraham’s success in uniting with his father and son represents the true ideal of Moshiach in that it enhances the past while it guarantees the continuity of the immutable teachings of the Torah.

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Radio Moshiach & Redemption

"The quickest way to reveal Moshiach is by learning the Torah Issue 897 • t"ab,wv �grumnu   sources about Moshiach & redemption" ghrz, p"a



A glimpse into the life of a lamdan and Chassid with extraordinary middos, R’ Eliezer Perlstein. * Presented to mark his passing on 8 Cheshvan 5748.
By his son-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Avrohom Pizem

espite the many years that have gone by, it is still hard to write about a man like he. Although he had reached the decade of advice-giving (as the Mishna in Avos 5 says, ben chamishim l’eitza), he was still so young in spirit. He had such vitality and youthful vigor, a chayus of holiness and Yiras Shamayim, and a Chassidish enthusiasm and holy alacrity.


My father-in-law was from one of the old time Yerushalmi families; he was born in 5696/1936. His father was R’ Naftali Tzvi Perlstein, one of the illustrious characters of Yerushalayim of old. His family can trace its lineage to R’ Yoel Sirkis, the Bach, and to R’ Yitzchok Abarbanel. He lost his mother, Esther Leah, at an early age, and his father passed away shortly after seeing him marry.

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He was a serious bachur who studied Torah in the Tiferes Tziyon Yeshiva in B’nei Brak and then in Toras Emes in Yerushalayim. He absorbed Torah and Chassidus and stood out for his diligence, his good head, and his fine character. He was one of the close talmidim of the mashpia R’ Shaul Brook, and he spoke longingly of those inspiring farbrengens. While still a bachur, R’ Moshe Weber, the mashpia in Toras Emes with whom he was very close, chose him to be the chazan on the Yomim Nora’im in the yeshiva. This was so even though he usually picked someone who was married and had children. R’ Weber said, “I won’t find anyone better than my Lazer.” Typical is the personal story of R’ Aharon Tenenbaum of Kfar Chabad who visited Toras Emes in his youth. He was unsure of what his path in life was, and his decision to join a Chassidishe yeshiva resulted from hearing the warm davening of the bachur Eliezer Perlstein. He figured that a place where one was educated to daven in so special a manner was the place for him. Lazer was musically gifted and he knew old soulful Chabad niggunim, which he sang with great exactitude. He earned the title of “Baal Menagen.” When R’ Shmuel Zalmanov edited the Chabad Seifer HaNiggunim, he would record him and use these recordings to write down the notes of the niggunim he included in the book.

A Kinus and farbrengen in Yerushalayim with R’ Shlomo Yosef Zevin. Behind him are standing the organizers of the event, Eliezer Perlstein and Herschel Eisenbach

When R’ Shmuel Zalmanov edited the Chabad Seifer HaNiggunim, he would record him and use these recordings to write down the notes of the niggunim he included in the book.
that over the years, the rabbanim did not stop expressing their sorrow over the great loss after his passing. “He would expedite matters and problem-solve swiftly and efficiently,” they would say each time. Even when he was sick and writhing in pain, he would use his connections on behalf of those who turned to him for his help. R’ Eli Ben-Dahan, chairman of the official rabbinic court system, said about him, “He was a living encyclopedia of the Chief Rabbinate. On every subject he was the one who knew what the policy of the Chief Rabbinate was, throughout the years, and we consulted with him on everything.”

After marrying his wife Penina, he continued to learn for another five years under straitened circumstances. It was only when the financial situation

became unbearable that he had to leave learning and look for a way to support the family while establishing set times to learn Torah. An opportunity became available to him to work under the Chief Rabbinate, which consisted of R’ Herzog and R’ Nissim at the time. From that point, he filled many important roles with great devotion, holding the official title of “Assistant General Secretary of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel” and did so for about twenty-five years. He did a lot to help rabbanim and b’nei Torah. Many people, along with their k’hillos, owe him gratitude for everything he did on their behalf. R’ Mordechai Eliyahu said

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Chief Rabbis Shapiro and Eliyahu at a Sheva Brachos for Menachem Perlstein in Kislev 5748

At Kos shel Bracha, carrying his youngest child, Levi Yitzchok (now a shliach in the Ukraine)

He was great in Torah, avoda, and g’milus chassadim. Those who knew him for years and learned with him in yeshiva, or those who attended the shiurim he gave, will testify about him. Although he knew how to conceal his knowledge and downplay his scholarship, people knew he was a talmid chacham. Throughout the years, he had set times to learn Nigleh and Chassidus. He gave shiurim to balabatim in Nigleh and Chassidus. He founded the “Beis Midrash L ’T’filla u’L ’Torah – L ’Chassidus Chabad” in Kiryat Mattesdorf in Yerushalayim and served as the director of the beis midrash and the regular baal t’filla. In the shiurim that he gave, he taught the difficult tractates of Nazir, K’subos, and Yevamos in depth and with clarity. People wondered how someone who was so busy with important work in the Chief Rabbinate and

with communal work could find the time and peace of mind to swim in the sea of the Talmud and draw up pearls from the Rishonim and Acharonim and convey them so that even a child could understand.

He was a role model of chesed. If someone needed an urgent loan and approached him, he would try to fulfill the request quickly, from his own pocket and from other sources. It was all done graciously and joyously. It was only after his passing, when people came to report what they owed the family, that it turned out that whatever was known about him in his lifetime about his chesed was only a drop in the bucket. And all this was done without any fanfare, far away from the spotlight. His good friend, R’ Naftali Roth, rav of the beis midrash that he davened in, said that when my father-in-law saw that there was nobody to clean the beis midrash on Motzaei Shabbos,

he would clean the floor himself. Even when they pointed out to him that this was unfitting for any learned person, certainly not someone like himself, he ignored them since he was a humble man. R’ Roth said, “I knew him well and I think that this is not simply a case of rare humility, but something from which we can learn; to what extent one must feel a sense of responsibility. He did not try to see who was at fault and who had been remiss. All he considered was: it possible that a person would want to use the place and would be unable to do so? Then he took action and did so naturally, as though he hadn’t done anything unusual.”

During the early years of the Rebbe’s nesius, he would write to the Rebbe often and receive many letters of guidance and blessing, some of which are printed in the Igros Kodesh. After he married, he hosted farbrengens for Anash and his home was where the

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Rebbe’s sichos were printed for distribution. The sichos were typed up by his wife and copies were made with a stencil. Anash and the T’mimim grabbed them up eagerly. My father-in-law told me what pulled him in his first yechidus with the Rebbe. He said, “The way it usually works is that sincerity, emuna, and d’veikus in every detail in Kitzur Shulchan Aruch etc. is usually more manifest in childhood. Afterward, when a person becomes more knowledgeable, he differentiates between more and less serious matters, between Hiddur and L ’chat’chilla, B’dieved and Yeish Matirin. “However, in my first yechidus, I was very impressed that in the Rebbe, with all his tremendous genius that bespeaks intellectualism, there shone forth unadulterated and powerful emuna in every little detail of halacha, minhag, or maamer Chazal, with the pure faith of a school boy. That’s what’s grabbed me.” As a loyal Chassid, he was completely mekushar to the Rebbe and took part in the mivtzaim. Fifty years ago he was one of the first to “spread the wellsprings outward,” being amongst the founders of Tzeirei Agudas Chabad in Yerushalayim, along with his friend R’ Tuvia Blau and other distinguished young men. When Chief Rabbis Shapiro and Mordechai Eliyahu visited the Rebbe, the Rebbe asked them to hold public s’darim all over the country and even gave them money to fund this. I remember the exhilaration of holiness with which he attended to the fulfillment of the Rebbe’s request, and what joy one could see on his face when the rabbanim gave him

‫כאשר ביקרו אצל הרבי הרבנים הראשיים – הגאון הרב‬ ‫אברהם שפירא והגאון הרב מרדכי אליהו ז"ל – ביקשם הרבי‬ ‫ ואף‬,‫לדאוג לעריכת "ליל סדר ציבורי" לכל המעוניין בכל רחבי ארה"ק‬ ‫קודש‬-‫ באיזו חדוות‬,‫ זכורני‬.‫העביר להם סכום מכובד למימון המבצע‬ ‫ איזו עליצות שרתה על פניו כשהטילו עליו הרבנים‬,‫טיפל בבקשת הרבי‬ ‫ הוא הרגיש כי זו זכות נפלאה שנפלה בחלקו‬.‫את ארגון הפרויקט‬

R’ Eliezer Perlstein emceeing a ceremony to coronate the Chief Rabbis of Israel, R’ Shapiro and R’ Eliyahu, in the home of President Herzog

At a seuda for a Hachnasas Seifer Torah in his memory, two years after his passing. R’ Tuvia Blau is speaking. On his right is R’ Moshe Weber and on his left is R’ Naftali Roth.

this project to organize. He felt it was his good fortune that this fell into his lap. He often went to see the Rebbe and we could see the radiance on his face when he came back and told what he had seen and heard in Beis Chayeinu. This had a great influence on many others from all backgrounds. On the final Motzaei Pesach

of his life, after he silently suffered terribly throughout Chol HaMoed and the months prior and he knew he was stricken with a terminal illness, he still had youthful energy. With supreme effort he overcame his pain and tried to hide it and helped set up for Pesach etc. Despite his weakness, pain and the late hour, he joyfully went off to participate in founding a daily Rambam

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shiur, as the Rebbe said to do. For some reason, it was decided to start the shiur that night. of the weekly Yiddish publication Der Yiddishe Shtral and he did a lot to keep it going and expand it. The editor-in-chief of the publication, R’ Gedalya Segal, eulogized my father-in-law in the magazine and wrote sadly that it was a tremendous loss to the weekly and its many readers. performed various tests and said his liver was very swollen. They made us very worried and we immediately sent a fax to the Rebbe. The Rebbe circled the words “all the tests” and wrote one word: “exaggerated.” He added that the t’fillin and mezuzos should be checked and that he would mention it at the gravesite. When we received the answer, it was immediately relayed to my father in the hospital. He asked Dr. Stein, the expert and the one who had done all the tests, including X-rays and ultrasound, what he saw on the final scan. The doctor didn’t want to answer and hurried off to the elevator. My father went after him and insisted on an answer. “Why are you insisting on this?” asked the doctor. “I’ll tell you as soon as you tell me what you saw on the last scan,” said my father. The doctor finally told him that the last ultrasound showed that whatever had been said up until then in connection with the swollen liver was highly exaggerated, but that wasn’t possible, said the doctor, “Because we did all kinds of tests and scans including ultrasound and we repeatedly saw something else entirely.” “Now,” said my father, “I will tell you why I wanted to know. The Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote that it’s exaggerated!” The doctor was very moved by this, but was unwilling to concede. He was sure that some mistake had been made in the final scan. He convened all the doctors and nurses in the department and told them the story and said, “Now we will see who was right, me or the Lubavitcher Rebbe.” They all went over to my father’s bed and

My father-in-law was gifted with the ability to understand people. He was refined, patient, and wise. In his modesty, he stayed away from publicity and was outstanding in his simplicity and natural Chassidic humility. His ability to work on many fronts simultaneously and to do so determinedly and responsibly came from two basic aspects of his personality. One was that he was incredibly organized. He loved order. Two, he used every minute. There was no such thing

His childhood friends say that he did not complain about his painful situation and he accepted his suffering with pure faith that everything G-d does is for the good, for “no evil descends from on high.” He was realistic and well aware of his terminal

I remember the exhilaration of holiness with which he attended to the fulfillment of the Rebbe’s request, and what joy one could see on his face when the rabbanim gave him this project to organize.

as wasting time. Every minute of the day was utilized so that even though he did not live long, the days he lived were productive and used to their maximum. Despite his insistence to use every moment, when it came to interacting with other people he was pleasant and social and he always knew how to set people at ease and cheer them up. He knew how to provide encouragement and the fortitude to endure sorrows and pain with a sober outlook to the future, and many people asked him for advice. His friends described him as someone who stood strong, with both feet on the ground, for his wisdom, deliberateness, and straight-thinking. For many years and until his final day, he was also the manager

condition. He kept his feelings to himself, since he did not want to cause pain to his family members or to the hundreds of people who visited him. His emuna and bitachon in difficult times serve as a model to others about how to accept everything with love and justify the Heavenly judgment. He valiantly fought his illness and pushed himself to attend shul with the last of his strength.

My brother-in-law Menachem Perlstein told the following story in Sippurim al HaRebbe M’Lubavitch: When my father was in Hadassah hospital in Yerushalayim, the doctors

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the doctor declared, “In all the previous tests we saw that the liver is very swollen. We felt it even as we manually manipulated the area. Now we will see whether it was indeed exaggerated.” The doctor pressed down on the area and suddenly turned pale and said, “What’s going on here? It feels like that of any normal person! The Rebbe was right!” “However,” said the doctor, “there is a difference between me and the Rebbe. I said what I said after seeing the patient and examining him, while he sits in New York and from there, he declares what the situation is better than I did!” The t’fillin and mezuzos were given in to be checked and they were all found to be pasul. We immediately changed them and my father took my t’fillin and davened with them. A few weeks later we sent another fax to the Rebbe about additional complications that had arisen. The Rebbe wrote again to check the t’fillin and that he would mention it at the gravesite. We gave in my t’fillin, which my father had been using, to check. It turned out that both pairs were pasul. I should mention that the t’fillin had been written by various sofrim. Then my father used my younger brother’s t’fillin. He was about to celebrate his bar mitzva. A few weeks went by and we sent another fax and once again the answer was to check the t’fillin, I will mention it at the gravesite. We gave my brother’s t’fillin in to be checked and both sets were pasul. Needless to say, the t’fillin were written by upstanding sofrim in Eretz Yisroel and this was highly unusual.

On the day he passed away, which was Shabbos Parshas Lech Lecha, 8 Cheshvan 5748, he davened Shacharis and Musaf while wearing his tallis in bed. He recited the T’hillim for the day and later in the afternoon his neshama left him. He was purified by his suffering and went to a world that is all good, everlasting Shabbos and peace. Although no flyers were put up, and as is the custom in

Yerushalayim he was buried that night, thousands attended his funeral including rabbanim, roshei yeshiva and public figures as well as numerous Chabad Chassidim. Thousands wept as R’ Mordechai Eliyahu and the dayan R’ Chaim Yehuda Rabinowitz said moving parting words, as he was beloved to all. He is survived by righteous descendants who are on the Rebbe’s shlichus in Eretz Yisroel and abroad.

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A father and son talk about their spiritual journeys.
By Menachem Mendel Arad


iftach Luziya teaches in Yeshivas Chanoch L’Naar in Tzfas and is a shliach to Kibbutz Machanayim. His father Yair

Luziya lives on a yishuv, Tel Mond, and works as a salesman for the Shaniv Company. I met them together at the parents’ house. It wasn’t

easy getting them to sit down together. It was only when I said, “I want to interview you, a father and son who were niskarev to the Rebbe MH”M,” that they agreed.

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The kiruv process began with the father, Yair. It was fifteen years ago and the Luziya family had started building a house in Tel Mond. In the meantime, during construction, they moved to Kfar Saba, where Yiftach went to school. What connection did they have to Judaism?

“We were as far as east is from west,” said Yair. “Any connection was coincidental. We made Kiddush, but that was the only thing.” Divine Providence guided them and they landed in a neighborhood with many religious Jews. “That left us feeling different and strange. On Shabbos, they all went to shul and the atmosphere was definitely religious. In order not to feel out of place, I went to shul too. I would hold the Siddur upside down, on purpose. That was so someone would pay attention to me and come over, but it didn’t help. Nobody noticed.” Yair tried this little game each Shabbos in a different shul. For some reason, he did not consider changing the script. Or maybe he figured, if they don’t notice me, that’s a sign that I’m not important and there is no reason for me to go to shul. He planned on visiting all ten shuls in the area. One by one, he was able to mark them off, so that afterward he would be able to sit at home and feel virtuous. On the eighth Shabbos, he went to a Moroccan shul. “Someone noticed me, came over, and began talking to me. I started attending t’fillos there.” In the meantime, Yiftach, who was 14, saw his father going to shul. “I thought it was weird. At first, I didn’t think it was significant, but then he slowly became more religious. I remember getting up one Chol HaMoed morning and getting ready to go to school and seeing my father coming back from shul, holding his tallis and t’fillin. “My parents definitely did not teach me to disdain religion or religious people. After all, we

grew up in the shadow of our Sephardic grandparents, a Syrian grandfather on my father’s side, who was in some way connected to tradition, and my mother’s father, from the Yemenite side, who regularly went to shul.” But like all the boys who prided themselves on “my grandfather was a rabbi,” he says, “Personally, I did not like going to shul. I did not understand a thing. I was bored there.”

Hashgacha intervened and Yiftach began going to shul. Was it in order to feel “big” like Abba? I asked, but Yiftach said: “I was 15, after all. My relationship with my father wasn’t one of admiration, and that’s an understatement.” So what motivated him to go to shul as a fun-loving adolescent? “I felt that I had it good. I was very popular among my friends. My parents were financially well-established and whatever I wanted, I got. I began to compete in the Israeli national karate rankings and moved through the ranks and was very successful in a relatively short amount of time. I knew that I had friends whose parents struggled financially and whose lives weren’t all that great. I felt that, aside from thanking my parents, I also had to thank Someone else.” Yes, I know it’s hard to believe that a 15 year old can think that way. So he explained. “While my friends were sitting in front of the computer or playing soccer, I put all my energy into karate. By nature, a child always seeks out what he wants. He looks for what he is lacking,
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“It didn’t bother me. Usually, in a religious or traditional family, they are excited when a child has an aliya l’Torah, reads T’hillim out loud, or the like. But it didn’t mean anything to me. I can even say I was a bit annoyed. I was nervous that my wife would say that I pulled Yiftach toward mitzva observance.” In the meantime, Yair’s interest in mitzva observance grew. “A friend of mine invited me to attend the classes given by R’ Mutty Alon. I went and this really enabled me to progress in my knowledge and involvement in mitzvos. “We had a neighbor who worked for Kol Yisroel. He heard that I was attending R’ Alon’s classes and he asked me to put a microphone next to him so I could broadcast his shiur on the radio. There were people who treated me with respect when they thought I was from the radio.” That is how Yair became active in spreading Torah on the radio, even before he became a Chabadnik.

“I remember feeling that his shouting was coming along with a lot of pain and love. My parents’ concern could be heard in every word, but what could I do?”
and doesn’t acknowledge what he has. My parents registered me for karate when I was eight. It gave me a mature attitude toward life, got me to focus on a goal, to strive for excellence, and even to look at children’s games and those involved with them, from an elevated perch.” How did that get you to want to say thank you? “The guys in my training class were mature. There were 25 year olds, combat veterans and even Special Forces guys. They, who had just started, often came over to me for me to teach them. Being in the presence of mettlesome warriors matured me a lot. Instead of feeling ‘on top of the world,’ I thought, ‘Wow, I need to say thank you for everything I have.’ I found myself imbued with the mindset of a mature young man, which I did not see among my younger friends.” Yiftach began walking to shul every Shabbos. When the children gathered to say T’hillim, he would sit with them and say T’hillim. “I had no plans on becoming a baal t’shuva. It was just a small degree of interest and minimal connection to the Creator. I gradually began putting on t’fillin and to daven.” R’ Yair, what did you think of your son’s religious interest at this point?

With his classmates in the early stages of his spiritual journey

The connection with Chabad began in an amusing way. Although they lived near the Chabad house in Kfar Saba, they weren’t aware of its existence. At first they looked for “JudaismLite.” “Maybe the Rebbe wanted us to connect to him in Tel Mond,” said Yair as he described his initial contact with Chabad. “On the first Shabbos after we returned to Tel Mond, we woke up late. We went to shul, where they were already finished. Someone saw us and said sarcastically, ‘All’s well,

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just go to Chabad. Over there, no matter when you show up, you’ll be on time.’” They went, and loved it. The shliach R’ Amram Shatal looked on in astonishment at the 16 year old who davened with such intensity. He was mekarev the boy, who found a friend in the shliach’s son, Asaf (today a teacher in the Chabad yeshiva in Givat Olga). Yiftach gradually began wearing tzitzis and davening three times a day, while continuing to attend high school in Kfar Saba and his strenuous karate workouts. “If you saw me on the street, you would not know I was religious. I wore a visor cap, my tzitzis were underneath my clothing, and I would put t’fillin on before school.” His father though, was furious; oh boy was he furious at Chabad. When he tries to explain it, now that he’s a Chabad Chassid, he is apologetic and soft-spoken. It’s hard to believe that he was really angry. His son decided to save him and me from the awkwardness of it all and told me why he was father was so upset, not only at the shliach but at Chabad in general. “I was way out of line, I know, but what could I do?” began Yiftach. His father began telling the “easier” part of the story. “One day, we got a phone call from his school with a serious complaint. Our dear son was absent nearly the entire year because he went off to learn Gemara. When I dropped him off at school, he wouldn’t go inside for the first class, but went to the library to daven. They recommended that we take him for treatment and said that the school psychologist

Yiftach with his friends on a desert hike

At a martial arts course

recommended this!” Yiftach had a mischievous look on his face when he said, “I would go to the school library where it was quiet early in the morning, and I would daven. One morning, the library was closed and I went to the computer room where I thought it would be quiet. While I was in the middle of Shmoneh Esrei, a class came into the room. They sat down and were in shock at the sight of me. They had no idea how religious

I had become. The teacher came over to me shouting, ‘Aren’t you ashamed? Don’t you see there’s a class going on here?’ “I closed my eyes and hid my face in my Siddur and continued swaying and praying.” “Can you imagine how I felt when I heard this?” asked Yair. “Someone took my son from under my nose and destroyed him! We never had behavior problems with Yiftach. He was always a good boy.” Yiftach shifted uncomfortably at this praise. “A good boy? Nu, I was definitely a lively kid, even a little mischievous, but for the most part I walked the straight and narrow. “When my father came home, he yelled at me. ‘Do you want to ruin your life? What did you find among these Chabadnikim?’ I remember feeling that his shouting was coming along with a lot of pain and love. My parents’ concern could be heard in every word, but what could I do? I felt a deep attachment to the Rebbe. The stories about the Rebbe led me to see him as the epitome of truth in this world and

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Their relationship, which was tense, became much more stable and loving than the period before Yiftach ever got involved.
I sought the truth. I wanted to be a Chassid of the Rebbe even though I did not understand a lot, but I did know that I wanted to be connected to the Rebbe.” This kind of talk, which Yair himself says today about himself, infuriated him back then. He forbade his son from going to the Chabad house so they wouldn’t “brainwash” him. All of Yiftach’s explanations were rejected. Stunned by the recommendation that he send his son for psychological counseling, a recommendation that he considered eminently justified, Yair bounded into his car towards the Chabad house where he met Rabbi Shatal. “This is what you teach my son?” he roared. “To disdain his studies at school? To oppose his parents’ education? To break their hearts?” R’ Shatal invited Yair to sit down and explain what was disturbing him. He had seen the boy come with his father to shul and knew that the boy’s mitzva observance greatly pleased his father. He tried to reason with Yair, but Yair was not receptive. Once he forbade Yiftach from going to the Chabad house, Yiftach began going with his father to the Sephardic shul, but he would find excuses to visit the Chabad house like “Oy, they don’t have a minyan. I’m going to do a mitzva and complete the minyan.” “I was operating on an emotional high, which is

common to fresh baalei t’shuva. These were deep emotions that were working their way through my insides. I would go to shul but would often skip class, go to the Chabad house or a nearby park and sit and learn Gemara. I even had a t’fillin stand in school that I would run during recess. I gradually became the Chabadnik of the school.” The principal was adamantly opposed to religious activity within the school, but that didn’t help her. The students themselves asked Yiftach to help them put on t’fillin. Here is the interesting epilogue to the t’fillin standoff. About a year ago, Yiftach was invited by the Chabad house of Kfar Saba to do a one-man show. When he finished his performance, he asked whether anybody in the audience attended that school. A boy raised his hand, and when he asked whether the principal still opposed putting

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on t’fillin in school, the boy said definitely not. In fact, the t’fillin stand has been promoted to a room designated for t’fillos where students can put on t’fillin and daven in peace.

If I thought that that was the extent of the strife between father and son, I was wrong. What happened next threatened to undermine the peace of the home, along with the entire kiruv process. Yiftach was learning more and more about Judaism, and his being torn between school and his desire to be the Rebbe’s Chassid gave him no rest. One Shabbos, when his parents were abroad, Yiftach asked his friend Asaf Shatal, the shliach’s son, to lend him a hat and suit. “I wanted to look and feel like a religious person,” Yiftach said with a smile. “This was the joy of my life. I was sick and tired of a life of compromise. I wanted to be in yeshiva and to serve Hashem with joy, without difficulties. “Yes, I was naïve. I thought that if I switched to a yeshiva there would be no challenges. The truth is, that is when the challenges began.” Although he was in the middle of eleventh grade, close to graduating, and even more importantly close to receiving his black belt in karate, his dream of a decade, he decided to drop it all and go to yeshiva. What made you “commit suicide,” as far as the world you were coming from saw it? “I thought: Moshiach will come and where will he find me – in school or yeshiva? It was clear to me that this was it; the Rebbe was coming and I wanted

to be his soldier and to learn in his yeshiva.” Yair sat quietly, letting his son continue his story. He knew what Yiftach was about to relate. His love for his son is too great to “replay” this part of the story, which nearly caused a rupture between them. “One day, I told my parents that I wanted to spend Shabbos with a friend in Kfar Saba. Of course, they said fine. However, I went to the yeshiva in Tzfas and had a fantastic time. I met Asaf’s roommates, Shima’le Pizem,

Meir Trager, and Moshe Abad. I wanted to be a Tamim like them. When I returned home and my parents asked me how Shabbos was, I said, ‘Fine, Boruch Hashem.’ “But two weeks later, when my father met the father of the friend with whom I had supposedly spent Shabbos, he discovered that I hadn’t been there. Both Yair and Yiftach take a deep breath and Yiftach continued. “My father hit the roof. ‘Tell

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me, that’s what they teach you there – to lie? To lie to your parents? Tell me, what are you doing? Do you want your mother to have a heart attack? Tell me, what are you lacking? Was there something you asked for that you did not get? We paid for a course at Wingate [Israel’s National Center for Physical Education and Sport], you were registered for karate classes and you are about to go compete abroad; you studied theater and even communications, what are you lacking? Why are you destroying your life, and with the religious folk no less?’ “I couldn’t respond, but my father wasn’t looking for an answer anyway and he went on. ‘Listen well. Today, we are going to have a serious talk with your mother and finally put an end to all this.’ “I did not know what to do. I knew I had done something that wasn’t right, but I also knew that what I wanted to do was a lot more than all right. I didn’t have the ability to explain it, and forget about convincing them. I prayed. “The conversation with my mother was less confrontational, but a lot harder. She said she wanted me to graduate high school, complete the karate training, go to the army, and ‘Then you can do what you want, but don’t throw away everything you’ve put in, until now.’ “When I wasn’t convinced, my mother drew out her trump card. ‘If you finish your studies and go to the army, I’ll buy you a new jeep. I’ll take out loans, but you’ll get the jeep.’ That was every boy’s dream, but I responded quietly and seriously, ‘Ima, that life is false. I won’t live that way. I won’t be marrying someone from the secular world, and I want children who are

Chabadnikim! You are trying to win me over with material things, but I’m telling you the truth. It doesn’t speak to me. I seek spirituality, holiness, Torah, the Rebbe. That is what I want.’ “My mother began to cry. That broke my heart, but I decided to remain firm; I would progress in my mitzva observance while always being joyous. I would constantly show them how happy I was with what I was doing. It later turned out that this decision was one of the reasons that got my father to become a Lubavitcher himself.” When I asked Yair whether, indeed, this decision brought him to mitzva observance, he nodded and said, “The main thing that convinced me was seeing how

serious and decisive Yiftach was about the path he had chosen. I could see he was genuine. It wasn’t only that his goal was to arrive at the truth, but even the path to get there was truthful, honest, and decisive.” Yiftach took this opportunity to share his life experience for the benefit of those in similar circumstances. “It is hard to be mekarev family. The truth is, I was not mekarev my father to Judaism or to the Rebbe. The Rebbe himself was mekarev him. Furthermore, most of his process of getting close to Chabad happened when I was on K’vutza and on shlichus to Sri Lanka. I wasn’t living at home during the time of his own personal journey and maybe it

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was better that way … “But when I was at home, at a time when, considering the circumstances, there ought to have been lots of tension and explosion between myself and my parents, I constantly reminded myself: Yiftach, your parents did not change; they remained the same. You are the one who changed from the way you were raised. It is not your job to change your parents or the home but to show how you are adjusting to the situation and not how you are changing the situation to meet your needs.” The shared insights of father and son, who together navigated successfully the many potential pitfalls on life’s twisted roads, serve as the basis for harmonious family life with the mother/wife not having changed, and his sisters also remaining as they were before. “On the other hand,” said Yiftach with a smile. “My mother and sisters went to India and the other people on the trip told them, ‘Let’s go to Bayit HaYehudi [an outreach program in India],’ but they said, ‘Why

Bayit HaYehudi? Forget about superficial packaging. A real Shabbos is done in a real place – at a Chabad house!’”

Yair’s continued involvement with Chabad was slow but steady. It began with a visit to the yeshiva in Tzfas, “in order to see where my son is, where he sleeps, and who his friends are.” He remembers that visit very well: “I went into the rosh yeshiva R’ Wilschansky’s office without any show of respect, and I began criticizing the situation in the dormitory and the dining room. R’ Wilschansky, in his great wisdom, let me talk and let it all out. He empathized with me and said, ‘I consider Yiftach like my own son. I understand you perfectly. I care about him tremendously, as well as the hundreds of other students here. I care about both the material and the spiritual situation, and we are doing all we can so they will be satisfied and happy, both materially and spiritually. As far as I know, Yiftach is very happy

here.’” Yiftach picks up the narrative, “This led the way to inviting my father to pay a visit not just for the purpose of criticizing but to actually get a feel for the place, and he ended up coming to spend Shabbos with me in yeshiva.” The time they spent together did them both good. Their relationship, which was tense, became much more stable and loving than the period before Yiftach ever got involved. Later on, when Yiftach went on K’vutza, his father missed him and went to see him. He greatly enjoyed his visit to 770. When he returned to Eretz Yisroel, even though he still did not look like a Chassid, it was clear to him that he was a Chassid of the Rebbe. With his wife’s consent, the kitchen was koshered. When the happy parents led their son to the chuppa, Yair was wearing a hat and suit and had a beard. Since then? “Working on middos and working on deserving to be called a Chassid of the Rebbe are daily tasks,” say both of them, in nearly the same words.
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Anywhere, Anytime !

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A Chabad girls’ written forum discussion


fter the Chaf-Chef Nissan assembly this year, we were fully into living with Moshiach at home for two days. It was really intense. On the third day, after a festive supper in honor of Moshiach and anticipating his coming that very night, I woke up and discovered that I was still in the old familiar galus. I thought: What is the point of all this? We wake up and he still hasn’t come, we go through our daily routine and yet we also need to continue with the anticipation in an active, sincere way. He will come today! I can’t do this anymore. It is an intolerable tension with repeated disappointments; it’s a continuous state of readiness within a life of the usual stresses and daily routine. One cannot remain sane like this. Ad Masai! My mother reminded me of the anticipation felt in 57515754 which she still remembers, which pulled me even further into despair. Who would have believed that more than twenty years would go by and we would still be saying, maybe today... After this entire monologue,

my younger sister wanted to hug me. What could I tell her when I hugged her back? “You know, he’s coming today?” “Who?” “Moshiach! He did not come at night, so today he will come! Let us get dressed up so we will be ready, okay?” Then the niggling thought returns, will he come? Will he not come? Ad Masai! *** How would you respond to this sincere girl? How can we live Moshiach in an intense, real way, while not getting used to reality as it is and not despairing and not going crazy?

instructions. So instead of being preoccupied with your feelings and focusing all your energy on anticipation, simply get up and do something and actually bring the Geula. T. Wasserman New York

Obviously, the best solution is for the Rebbe to show up already! In the meantime, I think the right approach is to focus on the Rebbe’s horaa that “all details in the avoda of shlichus need to be permeated with this point, how it all leads to kabbalas p’nei Moshiach.” That refers not necessarily to the big things alone, but to instill Moshiach within daily life. Take for example the terrific booklet written by R’ Zalman Notik, Choshvim Geula (Thinking Geula), where he shows how to take the things that we do in any case and instill Moshiach within them. It is a much deeper avoda and will not cause spiritual downfalls. Good luck! Tamari K

You write mainly what you feel. In my humble opinion, the point is not what I feel but what did I do? All the anguish needs to be channeled into action. When the Rebbe cried out, he gave practical

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I read what she wrote and I think she is right. It is very hard. When I think along those lines I tell myself: The Rebbe himself said that the delay is not at all understandable, so who are we to attempt to explain it? The Rebbe told us these things when he knew what would happen. He spoke sadly (28 Nissan), and in a spirit of strength, forcefulness, simcha, and hope (in the rest of the sichos), so that means that he knew we would handle it. How? I don’t know, but the Rebbe knows. Yechi HaMelech! Rochelle

happen already. What greater role model do we have for feeling and yearning for Geula (“even before I began attending school”), while yet feeling the sorrow of the galus of every Jew. This is what gives us the strength to withstand it. If we were only able to live this way for five years, the Rebbe would not have told us so far in advance. Crazy About Moshiach

I read your letter and thanks for sharing; it brings tears to my eyes. How long can we wait? … A friend from another Chassidic group told me sincerely that Chabad is a joke to many other Chassidic groups. She said this in connection with tznius in Chabad, but I felt it was connected with everything that Chabad represents. This is Chassidus? Where is the Yiras Shamayim? Where is the davening? Where is Moshiach? It was an uncomfortable feeling that calls for cheshbon ha’nefesh. But you can’t argue with the truth. The Alter Rebbe, in

It seems that the writer is afraid of going crazy, but the Rebbe said, “They say I am crazy about Moshiach, but I mean it with an emes.” There is nothing wrong with being crazy about Moshiach. If we screamed and demanded it sincerely, it would

his introduction to the Shaar HaYichud V’Ha’Emuna, which is called Chinuch Katan, speaks about a person in a state of katnus mochin (small-mindedness) in matters of Avodas Hashem. He needs to go back to the basics upon which his faith is built. Even in this state of hester panim (G-dly concealment), we need to remember the firm foundations that our emuna is built on, i.e. the clear prophecies that the Rebbe stated publicly, those that came true already and those that are taking place in our day (like the instability of the Egyptian regime); the tradition of the Chabad Rebbeim that Moshiach will be from Beis Rebbi, etc. things that you certainly know better than I do. After igniting our emuna, we go back to the Rebbe’s demand of us that we await Moshiach every day. If we have a down moment, the problem is in the mind controlling the heart, because sadness and despair come from the yetzer ha’ra, because “strength and joy are in His place!” In my opinion, there is a

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Moshiach & Geula

There is nothing wrong with being crazy about falling. Moshiach.
the fact that we are about to have the hisgalus, on the other side. We need to strengthen one another with love. I once read a sicha of the Rebbe in Volume 1 that talks about our generation having to fulfill Torah and mitzvos specifically with love, from a life with all material good, and from there to forgo it all and to want G-d alone. This is our generation. With blessings for Moshiach now, and the Jews had light and simcha! Ariella

Aliza Tziyon

difference between knowing he is likely to come at any moment, because the time has come and the world is ready, and thinking he is coming this minute and then, when seeing that he doesn’t, to feel let down. The Rebbe said the Geula is already here and we just need to open our eyes. It is something that needs to be done and perhaps not everyone is ready to open their eyes and to open the door and draw the Geula inside. Maybe people need to be “vessels” for the Geula, for otherwise it will be hard to take … maybe that is why we are waiting? We are living in the process of Geula. Those who live in Eretz Yisroel feel how the prophecies are coming true (how the Arab world is warring against us on the one hand, and self-destructing on the other hand, while making itself repulsive to the world at large as it says in the holy Zohar). The many miracles have become routine. So we see the Geula happening, but the galus is still terrible. The generation is immersed in materialism, a pauper riding a donkey … and there are divorces, sickness, drugs, confusion, avoda zara of all sorts, and all kinds of horrible things. Behind all these words are people in pain who are suffering. It hurts terribly. Ad Masai! I thought maybe this is like a spiritual Holocaust, and we are truly drowning. How far must we go before we are redeemed? Maybe this is the emotional state that we need to live with, a painful cry from one side of the heart, along with a great joy over

R’ Dov Tevardovitz says that it is hardest to be happy on Sukkos and Pesach, because then it is a mitzva from the Torah to rejoice and not to be sad at all. According to this, someone who has drawn the Geula into her life as you have, if you keep at it, will bring the Geula for all. It is the counsel of the Primordial Serpent to despair! Look at the results – where have these thoughts gotten you? Bring the Geula with action and simcha, Fruma A

The requirement here is for opposites to coexist. In my opinion, it is impossible to ask of children. To support my point, see the sicha of 28 Sivan 5751 in the middle of Ois 10 where it says, “Obviously, even when a child nowadays says he looks forward and asks for Moshiach, this is a real chiddush in Torah.” Then you have the seeming opposite in Ois 12, “He needs, as it were, to come on to the fact for a Jew agree, and furthermore, for him to want and proclaim that not only ‘the time for your redemption has arrived,’ but we already have the Geula.” The differences are blatant. The child’s role is to say and sing, “We Want Moshiach Now,” happily and with emuna. The adult role is to agree, want and proclaim. The child anticipates and asks, and the adult already needs to be revealing the Geula. This, in my humble opinion, needs to be the mode of behavior in the home, without attaining peaks of anticipation and then

There is a horaa from the Rebbe to publicize the imminent Geula, so I suggest that every time you feel despondent, that you read the following lines. The Rambam writes in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah, Chapter 7, “It is a principle of our religion to know that G-d grants prophecy to human beings,” and about the mitzva to listen to the navi. So we need to know that even now, before the Geula, there is the existence of prophecy as a foretaste and beginning of the prophecy we will have after the Geula. Furthermore, “A prophet whom another prophet testified, saying he is a prophet, as is the case with Nasi Doreinu and continues with the generation that follows him through his students etc. he is b’chezkas navi (has the halachic presumption of being a prophet).” “One is forbidden to wonder about his prophecy lest it not be true and it is forbidden to test him

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excessively etc. (10:5) as it says, “Do not test Hashem your G-d … because Hashem is among them” (excerpts from the sicha of Shoftim 5751). Strengthening your emuna in the fulfillment of the prophecy that must take place and that our generation is the generation of Geula and “Hinei Hinei Moshiach Ba,” will push aside all the negative feelings from the “other side” that fights so strongly against someone like you, because you are likely to bring an end to its role in the world. May we merit it already very soon! Shaina G New York

the despair that wafts from your letter is a red light. In such a state you can end up harming not only your emuna in Moshiach, but also other essential things). Chani Levy

I came across a sicha that fits with what you wrote, “My mother reminded me of the anticipation felt in 5751-5754 which she still remembers, which pulled me even further into despair. Who would have believed that more twenty years would go by and we would still be saying, maybe today.” “This that Jews think that the galus is reality and Geula is a dream and when they say, ‘Hinei, Hinei Moshiach ba,’ that is a dream too, it is not in contradiction to emuna, because they believe in the coming of Moshiach. It is just that the emuna remains in a superficial way for them and does not penetrate deeply, so the Geula seems like a dream to them. “…. This is not the opposite of Torah because the Torah itself says, ‘we were like dreamers,’ i.e. according to Torah galus is a dream, to the point that the feeling in the dream of galus is that Geula is a dream and galus is reality. No wonder that talk of the Geula surprises them. “So too it is with all the questions that exist in galus about the Geula. For example, the Baal HaGeula said decades ago ‘L ’Alter l’Geula.’ The question arises, how is it that it did not happen, and till today he [Moshiach] still has not come? We need to know that all the questions and doubts that we have come because of the dream of galus. From the aspect of galus we need proofs, explanations and reasoning.

“… This explains why we constantly talk and harp that ‘Hinei, Hinei Moshiach Ba,’ because this is true reality and not a dream! If he, G-d forbid, does not come by tomorrow or today, by Mincha, he will be spoken of again until they nudge so much, both here and up above, as it were, that they actually bring Moshiach.” (Sicha Pinchas 5744) I have nothing to add. C. M. Kfar Chabad

1) We fulfill our role and demand Moshiach, but we need to remember that we are not in charge. “We were not willingly exiled and we won’t willingly ...” We have no authority to decide, based on our feeling, when the scales will be tipped over; the most we can do is hasten the Geula that Hashem will bring to us when He so chooses. 2) In the Igros Kodesh (vol. 6, p. 150) it says, “I was shocked to read in your letter that you write about the despair that is burrowing in your heart, which is the opposite of our holy Torah.” So if you look at your state of mind as something contrary to Torah, it will soon pass. What will be left for you to do is farbreng. 3) This is not a chiddush. The Geula does not need to come because the Geula is here, and we just need to open our eyes. You move back and forth, looking at things as you ought to look at them, and then withdrawing, but that does not change the reality and the task of looking properly. Good luck! Noa Weiss Ramat HaGolan

I am reminded of a story about R’ Akiva who laughed while everyone cried, when they saw a fox exiting the Holy of Holies. It all depends on your perspective. Remember the clock belonging to the Chozeh that chimed merrily because we are another moment closer to the Geula? You surely know the mashal about the check lost in a pile of garbage. As you get closer to the bottom you don’t despair; rather, you feel that in another moment you will find what you’re looking for. We are so close to the Geula; be happy! But you are not the one to give Hashem a deadline. Why? Because it passed long ago. I think this is not what the Rebbe wants. Moshiach is the gateway to all things, but the Rebbe does not want us to merely stand and caress the gate; he wants us to bring all aspects of shlichus through it: actions, speech, thoughts. The Geula needs to be expressed in all ways, not just in heightened anticipation. (Aside from this,

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A few weeks ago, the people of Eretz Yisroel commemorated forty years since the colossal catastrophe of the Yom Kippur War. Then, as today, there was a prime minister who relied too much on the United States. The day before the outbreak of hostilities, she rejected a call for a pre-emptive strike. The day after the war began, she declared that “if we face a similar situation again, we must strike pre-emptively and not wait.”
By Sholom Ber Crombie Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry


ast week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu traveled to the United States to address the United Nations General Assembly. His objective was to achieve greater legitimacy before the world in one final effort to turn the Iranian nuclear threat into a world problem, not merely a danger to Eretz Yisroel. As this article goes to print, it doesn’t appear that those efforts will create any significant changes. Iran is presently making giant strides in its progress towards developing a nuclear bomb. According to some defense experts, it already has the bomb and the Iranians are merely dealing with the construction of a missile to carry it. The window of opportunity for the military option is rapidly closing. Just one year ago, the prime minister stood on the UN dais and presented his diagram of the Iranian bomb with the red line. Nothing has been done

since. Neither the economic sanctions nor the diplomatic channel has slowed down Iran’s nuclear program. The most troubling aspect to the Iranian question is the fact that the prime minister of Israel has transformed reliance upon the world community into a fundamental working premise. A few weeks ago, the people of Eretz Yisroel commemorated forty years since the terrible calamity of the Yom Kippur War. Then, as today, there was a prime minister who relied too much on the United States. The day before the outbreak of hostilities, she rejected a call for a pre-emptive strike to destroy the enemy’s military effectiveness. The day after the war began she declared that “if we face a similar situation again, we must strike pre-emptively and not wait.” Yet, it seems that the incumbent prime minister hasn’t learned much from history. Every

time we were convinced that the world at-large would stand up for us and not allow another senseless carnage – we were proven wrong. Anyone who lives in Eretz Yisroel knows this to be true. Virtually on a daily basis, we experience the madness of the security situation here. We have already gotten used to living under the threat of terrorism on the one hand, and with the constant defamation in the world press on the other. They regularly portray us as a cruel and oppressive people, when in fact we are the victims. The world has no shame nor does it show any pity. It continues to take a one-sided view of the situation, even after thousands have been murdered in terrorist attacks, striking young and old without mercy. Apparently, it will continue to brand us as the guilty ones, even while Iran continues its mad arms race towards nuclear capability.

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A nuclear reactor in Iran – a danger to the security of Eretz Yisroel.

The world is not the problem. It has always been against us. As Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin said last week, “The idea that we could rely upon the world fell by the wayside some seventy years ago during the Second World War, when thousands of Jews were being transported to the crematoriums every day, and the world remained silent.” The world hasn’t changed.

“The idea that we could rely upon the world fell by the wayside some seventy years ago during the Second World War, when thousands of Jews were being transported to the crematoriums every day, and the world remained silent.”
The Iranian problem had been placed on the table over a decade ago. The prime minister of Israel at the time was Ariel Sharon, who was busy destroying Jewish settlements and driving their residents out of their homes. Iran’s atomic program seemed to be nothing more than a temporary phase that would pass with time. However, as the years passed, the issue became more critical. The nuclear facility in Bushar began developing uranium, and as Cabinet Minister Naftali Bennett said, it isn’t for making popcorn. Yet, the People of Israel are still frightened. Just

We can now say that yet another ideology has lost its legitimacy: Zionism. Zionist leaders persistently maintain that the state of Israel was founded to make certain that we should never again be led as lambs to the slaughter. In the past, they explained, the Jew meekly stood alone against the world, unable to do a thing. Today, however, we finally have our own powerful

armed forces to protect us against any potential enemy. In brief, this is the Zionist principle by which millions of Jewish children have been educated for the past sixtyfive years. In recent days, this ideal has crumbled into oblivion. We do have a strong and effective military, but as the old saying goes, “It’s easier to take the Jew out of exile than to take the exile out of the Jew.” According to official Israeli policy, there’s no IDF and there’s no military option. Nothing exists as long as there’s no permission from Big Brother in Washington and the family of nations as a whole.

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as they were on the eve of the Yom Kippur War, so they are today. Very few people know what the Rebbe said in yechidus forty years ago to the late Yitzchak Rabin, during their first private meeting together. Mr. Rabin kept the nature of his discussion with the Rebbe confidential for the remainder of his life. There’s only one detail that would be appropriate to reveal: The Rebbe told Mr. Rabin that the state of Israel fights against the concept of being “a nation that will dwell alone, and will not be reckoned among the nations”. The future prime minister was very annoyed by this statement, which he considered to be a terrible insult. The Rebbe’s words apply today no less than they did forty years ago. Once again, Moishke the Jew prostrates before the Gentile paritz in order that he should let him live. Instead of the Jewish pride in being “a nation that will dwell alone,” Israeli prime ministers try to join the family of nations at any price, even if the lives of millions of Jews are r”l placed in jeopardy along the way. In a sicha delivered shortly after the Yom Kippur War (Shabbos Parshas Toldos 5734), the Rebbe said that “the Americans already thought that they wouldn’t be troubled anymore with Eretz Yisroel,” meaning that they were certain that the war would result in the annihilation of the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel and the end of sovereignty for the Jewish state. The Rebbe explained that the only thing bothering the United States was the possibility of a Soviet takeover in the region. If we take a closer look at what was happening then, we find much similarity to the situation prevailing today. The Americans aren’t lifting a finger to advance serious measures that will pose a credible threat to the Iranian regime and put a halt to its nuclear program. The President of the United States is merely trying to curry favor with the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as if they are the class hot shots, while he is some “nerdy kid” trying to lickspittle to them. Obama is acting like a starstruck little boy who is blind to the great danger facing millions of Jews living in Eretz HaKodesh. What’s most incredible is the conduct of the prime minister. How can Netanyahu continue to rely upon Obama, after seeing that the American president understands nothing about what’s happening in the Middle East and fails to stand behind his public statements? This is the same Obama who promised to attack Syria (another terror state), then backed down when the Nobel Peace Prize laureate realized that it would not be politically correct. This is the same Obama who brought the “Moslem Brotherhood” to power in Egypt, while failing to understand that they were actually the representatives of radical Islam. The same Obama who quickly authorized the use of military force against Libya, where the issue was over Saudi Arabian oil, didn’t lift a finger to stop the bloodshed of hundreds and thousands of Syrian citizens during the last two years.

Here’s a glance at some risibly paradoxical news items reported during Chol HaMoed Sukkos: 1. Hundreds of IDF soldiers risked their lives in the streets of the Arab casbah in Chevron, in an attempt to capture the terrorist sniper who murdered Staff Sgt. Major Gal (Gavriel) Kobi, may G-d avenge his blood. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon declared that the state of Israel will apprehend the killers and bring every terrorist to justice. The army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, promised the bereaved family that the Israel Defense Forces will do everything possible to catch this murderer and make him pay for his crime. 2. In Yerushalayim, negotiations continue on yet another release of terrorists convicted of acts of murder against Jews, as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian Authority.

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Avremy hurried to leave the house. “Tomorrow night there will be a shiur and I need to hang up flyers so people will know about it,” he thought, “especially when the one giving the shiur this week is none other than Mendy who is coming from the yeshiva in Tzfas just in order to be able to give this weekly D’var Malchus shiur to the children of Tzivos Hashem.” The weekly shiur in the D’var Malchus began about half a year ago, after Pesach, but now, after everyone had returned from Tishrei with the Rebbe, no doubt it would look completely different. Avremy bought more refreshments than he usually did. He set up the benches in a corner of the shul and called Mendy to confirm that he would be coming on time. Mendy arrived within fifteen minutes. The children were already seated and eagerly awaiting the shiur. “Yechi HaMelech HaMoshiach! Hello everyone!” began Mendy. “When I agreed to come and give this D’var Malchus shiur, I immediately sat down to learn the sicha again, so I would be well prepared. After learning the sicha for a while, it occurred to me that when starting a new year of learning the D’var Malchus, it would be a good idea to explain why it’s so important to learn these sichos in particular. After all, there are many other sichos of the Rebbe which are also essential. So why do we make a big deal of these particular sichos known as the D’var Malchus? “Before we begin to learn the sicha, I decided to tell you a mashal that I heard from my father: In a country somewhere, there lived a mighty king. The king had numerous servants and fabulous wealth. He had a huge, impressive looking palace where he and his royal family lived. “One day, the king decided the time had come to build a new palace, a much nicer palace than the one he was living in. “He also made another decision, one that had all the people of the kingdom filled with excitement. The king wanted the new palace that he was building to also be the private home of everybody in his kingdom. It would be a house for all of them to live in. “In order for ordinary people who lived in simple houses to be able to live in a magnificent palace, they had to know what life in a palace is like. The king assigned special people to teach the populace how to behave and live in the king’s palace. In addition, the king also published books and articles in which he explained in detail how to live in a splendid palace. “The king said that by way of preparing to live in the royal palace, before they even got inside, the people had to start getting used to living as one lives in a palace.” Before Mendy could explain the nimshal, Chaim’ke jumped up and said, “I got it! Before the Geula, the Rebbe wants us to live a Geula life, a life that is fitting for the time and place we are living in, when the Geula will arrive momentarily.” “Very good,” said Mendy with a smile, and then he immediately continued. “That is precisely the point. In order to be able to live that kind of life, we need to learn the sichos of the D’var Malchus. In these sichos, the Rebbe teaches us how to do it, how to live Geula. In these sichos, the Rebbe guides us in how one needs to be in this era we are living in, at the entranceway to Yemos HaMoshiach.” Onwards soldiers! The new school year is an excellent time to begin learning the D’var Malchus. If you haven’t started yet, it’s never too late. You can always jump on the bandwagon! See you at the Beis HaMikdash at the biggest-ever D’var Malchus shiur, which will be the teachings of Moshiach after his complete hisgalus, “Torah chadasha mei’iti teitzei.”

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D.J. Granovetter
“Before Rabba would start to teach his students, he would tell them a funny story.” – Shabbos 30b Two neighbors, Chani and Faigy, were chatting over tea. “This morning I did a mitzvah,” said Chani. “I feel really good about it.” “Oh, really? What did you do?” “I gave a schnorer twenty dollars.” “Hum,” said Faigy. “I’ve always thought it’s not the best thing to give money to a schnorer; there are so many good tz’daka causes to give to instead. What did your husband say about it?” “Oh, it was dandy by him. He said ‘Thanks!’”

Let’s face it: When you don’t get up on time in the morning, you feel mighty lousy. But when you do get up on time, you feel mighty drowsy. This seems to be a lose-lose situation, does it not? Ah, but if you want it to be, it can be a win-win situation. In fact, if you follow my helpful tips here for waking up on time, it can be easy as pie! Then you can make it on time for your minyan for Shacharis and for all kinds of other good things. • Dance a hora before bed; the exercise will make you more tired, and you’ll fall asleep faster, and sleep better, and wake up on time! • Set an alarm clock that makes a pleasant sound in the morning, or perhaps good music – not that jarring noise that makes you want to throw it out the window! • Either way, don’t throw your alarm clock out the window (even if you want to see time fly!). It might hit someone on the head. • Be happy to be awake and alive! You’ve been given another day to live – to do mitzvos. This will inspire you to rise and shine already and go do them – after all, sleeping ain’t no mitzvah! • Have something yummy for breakfast; then even your nefesh ha’bahamis, your animal soul, will feel like getting up! But always remember, even with these tips, the best way to get up in the morning is to be “Strong like a lion,” as we learn in the beginning of the Shulchan Aruch. Send that Yetzer Hara flying right out of the ball park!


Shalom U’v’racha! Had a pretty adventuresome week as usual, Baruch Hashem. Sky Captain Avremelwitz and I were on a top secret mission overseas; but Sky Captain Avremelwitz’s fighter plane broke down, in the middle of the desert! We had to make our way

across the desert on foot, and we could only trust in Hashem that we’d come upon a source of water and food. That was when we came upon a tent, and who should come out but a frum Jew, with a beard longer than Sky Captain Avremelwitz’s. His name was Avraham! He told us that just like Avraham Avinu, he feeds travelers in this desert and then teaches them about Hashem. He and his wife (I’m not sure if her name was Sarah; she stayed inside the tent) prepared for us a tasty meal. Avraham asked us if we’d like

to learn about Hashem. We were surprised; but we already know about Hashem.... We can always learn about Hashem, Avraham explained, even if we’re already frum! We sat down together, and learned some Chassidus, before we continued on. This is certainly something we should always remember, isn’t it? We must never be satisfied with what we already know; we must strive to learn more, always! B’suros Tovos, Your Friend, Adi

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