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;xutv epx tkk tuv rhsbu sjuhn ;xut OF THE ALTER REBBE rv ,kjb cau, 'rbhhya ohhj wr ka hyrpv IN A LITVISHE ohhj crv ,uk gcc wahjw xups hscuYESHIVA gn 's"cj Nosson Avrohom scug tu v vba o hragf lanc /infhhr ;ktn vkgnk lurfk vfzu xupsv ,hhfhrfc ohev o hbav , ucrc lf /thb, ,urusvn THE YOUNGEST hrpx od k k u f v oharnu HAS kusd hyTHE rp ;xut DISCIPLE / o h r h s b u o h e h ,g thb, ANSWERS rbhhya o h h j w r k a u , h c k o h g h d n u b t af Menachem Ziegelboim kkufv thb,v hrpx ka kusdv ;xutc ,uzjk ykjvc hf ohaj ubt ',urusvn 1500-n r,uh THE TANYA COLLECTOR hj ohhj Shai wr /vnGefen ak ,ubccujc itf rcusn tk ,ufhrfv ,t ushc ;ykn tuv /rpx kf oaubu ',cfg,n ugcmt ohrpxvn ekj kg /,ucrv NEFESH FOR /"uka ruMESIRUS phxv ,t uk ah v zv lrfk" urnut c THE STUDY OF ZOHAR od 'sjuhnv ;xutv ,t hj tuv er tk Beis Moshiach (USPS 012-542) ISSN 1082-0272 ekj ov Y wtBen hb,wv Boruch hrpxa ohaj u,jpan hbc is published weekly, except Jewish holidays kchea thB,V OG rbhhya ohhj wr (only once in April and October) for $160.00 in khsdvk o,kufh kff ohaugu ',hcv ,hhuuvn uasue sh ,nh,j og hcrvn Crown Heights. USA $180.00. All other places for JOY ,ksdvc THE ruzgk o hxbn oOF hskhv TORAH /;xutv ,t $195.00 per year (45 issues), by Beis Moshiach, ohtmn, n o h s k h v h f r r c , n u / ; x u t v OPENED THE 744 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409. g ,hcv kgcn ,ujp tk ;xutc w r k a u , h c k o h g h d n u b t a f ov /unm FLOODGATES Periodicals postage paid at Brooklyn, NY and ,urusvn k o,nz uhn ub,ut ohrdan additional offices. Postmaster: send address Nosson Avraham changes to Beis Moshiach 744 Eastern Parkway, ; x u t c , u z j k r b h h y a o h h j vhkg vrusvn kf /,ubhhbgnvu ,usjuhnv Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409. Copyright 2013 by /;xutv ,cjrvk ,kmubn 'ohskhv ohgnua Beis Moshiach, Inc. j wr h,ut YOUR ie,n '";xSHLIACH ut tk vz 'tk" t h b , v h r p x k a k u s d v vz" 'ohhGIVE ,urusvn nk usd ekj kg /h,hcuPRESENT hapbn ekj A BIRTHDAY Beis Moshiach is not responsible for the content pv rcfYaakov ovu 'va e h,scg 'vkt Shmuelevitz 1500-n r,uh k k u f v ekjk ufRabbi and Kashruth of the advertisements. /"hbnn ?vzv kusdv ;xutk ,gdv lht hf ohaj ubt ',urusvn 'v"na, ,bac 'vba ohragf hbpk" ohhj778-8000 wr ka wahjw xupsc suEDITOR-IN-CHIEF: cgk h,kj,v ENGLISH EDITOR: i t f r c u s n t k y k j vTel: c (718) Boruch Merkur vhfhrf vkj,vc /vhfhrfv ,eM.M. kjnc Hendel infhhr Fax: (718) 778-0800 firstname.lastname@example.org 744 Eastern Parkway h r p x , f h r f k e r y g n f , s g u h n v , h h v u z hj ohhj wr /vnak ,ubccuj c email@example.com HEBREW EDITOR: oh,hgk ohtmuh ubhhv lfk ;Rabbi xubc /t h b , v Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409 S.Y. Chazan svk ,upuf, ;ykn tuv /rpx kf oawww.beismoshiach.org u b u ,sjuhnv ,htanc thb, ,uxp editorH@beismoshiach.org /xupsv ka /,ucrv ,ufhrfv ,t ushc khj,vk h,ykjv h,sucgn ekjf" lf /lruf hbt o,ut thb,v hrpx ,t ;uxtk
4 D’var Malchus 15 Parsha Thought 27 Moshiach & Geula 36 Crossroads 40 Tzivos Hashem 42 Young Chassid
20 24 28 33
OUR JOB TO GREET MOSHIACH, BECAUSE ALL SEVENTHS ARE BELOVED
Chapter 6 of Rabbi Shloma Majeski’s Likkutei Mekoros continues with further selections supporting the case that the histalkus of the Rebbe Rayatz marks the end of his life’s service in this world and the beginning of the Rebbe MH”M’s leadership, leading up to the true and complete redemption. (Bold text is the compiler’s emphasis.)
Translated and presented by Boruch Merkur
The fact that our Sages say, “All sevenths are beloved,” and not, “All that is beloved is seventh [in sequence],” indicates that this praise is mainly directed here to being seventh; the thing is cherished in virtue of being seventh. Its desirability [here referring to our generation, the seventh generation from the Alter Rebbe] does not hinge upon its choice, will, or effort in serving G-d, but just because it is seventh, attaining a special quality simply on account of its sequential position. Nevertheless, [the Torah asserts that] “All sevenths are beloved.” On this basis, Moshe [the seventh leader of the Jewish people from Avrohom Avinu] merited that the Torah was given through him [as discussed below]. My revered father in-law, the
Rebbe, (when he first arrived in America) explained that even in the concept of “sevenths are beloved” the virtue of the first is apparent, for the special quality of the seventh is solely on account of being seventh to the first. The Rebbe goes on to discuss how [in contrast] the virtue of the first [Jew], Avrohom Avinu, was on account of his own Divine service, for he served G-d with selfsacrifice. But the Rebbe does not suffice with this explanation as comprising his entire virtue, adding that (although at first glance it is not relevant to the context in which it appears) his approach to self-sacrifice was such that he did not seek it out. Indeed, this quality marks the difference between the self-sacrifice of Avrohom Avinu and that of Rebbi Akiva. Whereas Rebbi Akiva sought
out self-sacrifice – “When shall the opportunity arise that I shall fulfill [my destiny to die as a martyr]!” – the self-sacrifice of Avrohom was ancillary to his goals. That is, Avrohom Avinu knew that the main service of G-d is as described in the verse: “‘And there he called (va’yikra) in the name of G-d, Keil Olam’ – [our Sages comment] do not read ‘va’yikra’ but ‘va’yakri – he caused others to call out in the name of G-d’” [i.e., Avrohom also brought others to believe in G-d and to serve Him]. Should that objective also happen to require self-sacrifice, he was prepared for that as well. The Divine service and selfsacrifice of Avrohom Avinu reached such heights that even Moshe Rabbeinu’s meriting to serve as the conduit through which the Torah was given is on account of the fact that “sevenths are beloved,” [Moshe] being seventh from [Avrohom] the first. Indeed, G-d Alm-ghty told Moshe: Do not set foot in the place of the great (i.e., Avrohom). Now, notwithstanding the preeminence of how sevenths are treasured – albeit not by choice or Divine service but
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automatically, on account of its sequential order – it does not amount to exclusivity, described as “nifleis hi – it is wondrous [i.e., extremely rare or out of reach, only attainable by the very elite].” Rather, as explained in Tanna D’Vei Eliyahu (Ch. 9 and 25) and cited in Chassidus, all Jews – even a slave or maidservant – can achieve hashraas ruach ha’kodesh, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit of G-d. Indeed, every single Jew is obligated to ask himself, “When will my deeds approach the deeds of my Fathers – Avrohom, Yitzchok, and Yaakov?” However, one must not fool himself; he must know “to not
set foot in the place of the great.” Although being [cherished as] the seventh generation is The entire virtue of the seventh not on account of our choice is that it is seventh from the or our service – in fact, in first – he can fulfill the Divine many respects it is possible service and mission of the first that it is not in accordance [generation], the mission of “do not read ‘va’yikra’ but ‘va’yakri.’” with our will – nevertheless, “All sevenths are beloved,” That The endearment of the seventh is, we are presently in the final [generation] is because it draws moments of exile, right before down the Divine presence. the redemption, the Era of In fact, it draws down the Ikvisa D’Meshicha, and the end Ikar Sh’china, the ultimate of the Ikvisa. And the mission manifestation of the Divine service Express service presence, and it draws it downExpress with which we are charged is to Fully Computerized Fully Computerized complete the manifestation of into the lower realms [i.e., into the Sh’china – and not only the the physical world]. 331 Kingston Ave.Ave. 331 Kingston Sh’china but the Ikar Sh’china, The fulfillment of this nd Flr) Brooklyn NY 11213 (2nd(2 Flr) Brooklyn NY 11213 and specifically in the physical mission is what is required of realm. each one of us, members of the seventh generation – for Get (Seifer tickets within minutes! Getyour your tickets within minutes! HaMaamarim Basi L’Gani (5711) Vol. 1,(718) pg.(718) 30-31) “All sevenths are beloved.” Fax: 493-4444 Fax: 493-4444
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Issue 903 • �
TO DESCENDANTS OF THE ALTER REBBE
IN A LITVISHE YESHIVA
It is hard to believe but a Litvishe yeshiva in Yerushalayim has its own shliach, R’ Yitzchok Shneur Zalman Yitzchakov. There was even a Tanya shiur in the rosh yeshiva’s living room! * Presented for Yud-Tes Kislev.
By Nosson Avrohom
“The following story happened on Yud-Tes Kislev a few years ago,” said R’ Yitzchok Shneur Zalman Yitzchakov, who is active in spreading Chassidus in the Litvishe Yeshiva of Itri in Yerushalayim. “It had been a while since I had been to 770 and I decided it was time to go. Before I left, I arranged for bachurim, with whom I was in touch, to farbreng on Yud-Tes Kislev at the Chabad house in Katamon.
“After a busy week at ‘Beis Chayeinu,’ I returned home. I was told that one of the bachurim from the yeshiva was looking for me. I called him and could hear that he was very excited. This bachur is descended from the Alter Rebbe and during the farbrengen in Katamon he committed to learning Tanya with a friend from yeshiva by the name of Chaim Bitton. “When he returned home
The Tanya that was printed in Yeshivas Itri
later that night, he had an astounding dream. He felt someone touch his shoulder and when he turned around, he was shocked to see the Rebbe. He told the Rebbe that he had been learning Chassidus for a long time already and attended farbrengens. The Rebbe smiled
6 � • 19 Kislev 5774
Talmidim from the yeshiva at a farbrengen with R’ Notik and R’ MM Friedman
broadly and nodded to indicate that he knew all this. Then the Rebbe said four words, ‘What’s with Chaim Bitton?’ He was stunned. How did the Rebbe know about a commitment he had made and had not shared with anyone? “When he regained his composure, he told the Rebbe it was a commitment he made and planned on carrying out the very next morning. Then he
excitedly began telling the Rebbe again everything he did to spread Chassidus and the teachings of the Alter Rebbe, but the Rebbe stopped him and asked, ‘What’s with Chaim Bitton?’ And the dream ended.” *** That bachur is just one of dozens of bachurim who were niskarev in recent years to the Rebbe, thanks to the work of R’ Yitzchakov. Anybody who walks
into the yeshiva in recent years has to be moved. Although Itri is a Litvishe yeshiva, in many of the rooms you will see pictures of the Rebbe and even Moshiach flags. There are also many s’farim on Chassidus from Likkutei Torah to Tanya, Likkutei Sichos and D’var Malchus 5751-5752. The bookcases are full of them. Dozens attend the Tanya classes and Chassidishe farbrengens. R’ Yitzchakov grew up in a
Issue 903 • �
Lubavitcher family but was sent to Litvishe yeshivos. The roshei yeshiva liked him and he became the right hand of the rosh yeshiva of Itri, R’ Mordechai Elefant a”h (d. 2009). R’ Yitzchakov felt as many other Litvishe bachurim do, that learning Gemara is not enough for them to turn into yerei Shamayim. He looked until he found Tanya and maamarei Chassidus and they provided him with a true appreciation for his Torah study and mitzva observance. He went on to learn in the Chabad yeshiva in Tzfas and then spent a year in 770 on k’vutza. He returned to Itri following a clear answer from the Rebbe, in his work. His grandfather did much to strengthen Judaism behind the Iron Curtain (see sidebar). The image and greatness of the Rebbe is not foreign to the Yitzchakov family. In the shul that they lead, the Rebbe’s picture graces every gathering and there are numerous Chassidus shiurim. When their son was born, he was named for the Alter Rebbe but since Chabad mosdos weren’t as developed in the area at that time, he was sent to Litvishe yeshivos. He attended the Chinuch Atzmai elementary school in Raanana, and after his bar mitzva he went to Beis Shmaya in B’nei Brak and Yeshivas Chevron in Kiryat learning in Litvishe yeshivos. My father dressed like a Chassid and we had a picture of the Rebbe in the living room, but I was hearing musar talks in yeshiva. “After a few months in Yeshivas Chevron, my cousin told me about Yeshivas Itri and how wonderful it is. I decided to go there. To my parents, a Chabad yeshiva at that time was out of the question, even though I already had many Lubavitcher friends whom I knew in Raanana and through whom I began attending shiurim in Chassidus and farbrengens. I wanted to learn in the yeshiva in Tzfas but my parents did not let. “Within a short time, I had become close with the rosh yeshiva of Itri, R’ Mordechai Elefant. In yeshiva, the bachurim called me the Chabadnik of the yeshiva. I couldn’t hide it and nor I didn’t try. In my dorm room I had a picture of the Rebbe and I regularly attended the Chassidus shiurim and farbrengens in Yerushalayim. On Shabbos eve, I would walk for three hours to Yeshivas Toras Emes and stay there the entire Shabbos. “The rabbanim in yeshiva who knew about this were on my case but I did not give them any trouble. Throughout the week I was on time for learning. I entered the beis midrash at seven in the morning and left at midnight. My relationship with the rosh yeshiva also helped. “I loved him. He was a huge talmid chacham with a lightning mind. Although he was Litvish, he did not hate Chassidim. On the contrary, he had tremendous love and admiration for the Rebbe. When he realized that I was a Lubavitcher, he told me about his extensive correspondence with the Rebbe when he opened the yeshiva. It was when a group
“The world is more ready than ever to hear the Besuras HaGeula and the identity of the Goel. We can say that the only ones who are still not ready are us. We need to wake up before someone else does the work that we were given to do.”
this time as a shliach. “It was hashgacha pratis that first had me learning in Litvishe yeshivos,” he says with a smile. Seifer. “I was always a Chabadnik, even before my bar mitzva. I always felt that something was missing in the chinuch that I got. Nothing is said about the neshama, the heart. Everything revolves around doing. One day, I met R’ Alon Chakshur who was on shlichus in India and had gone to visit his parents. He heard me called Shneur Zalman and wondered why my peios were tucked behind my ears. He asked me if I had any free time and when I said that I did, he opened a Tanya and we began to learn. I remember that we learned about the G-dly soul and the animal soul and I was mesmerized. It was an eye-opener to me. “The change wasn’t deep enough though and I continued
WITH THE ROSH YESHIVA, RAV ELEFANT
R’ Yitzchakov derives much satisfaction from his work, despite the many difficulties. Who wants a Lubavitcher operating in a Litvishe yeshiva?! There were those who tried and still try to impede his work, but he always looks at the cup as being half full, i.e. the bachurim who have become Chassidim and many others who are appreciative of Chassidus. The memory of his grandfather, R’ Ari Yitzchakov a”h, who was a Chassid of the Rebbe Rayatz, also inspires him
8 � • 19 Kislev 5774
of Gerrer bachurim came to the yeshiva and R’ Elefant consulted with the Rebbe about how to include them within the Litvishe framework of the yeshiva. R’ Elefant was also Hungarian with great emunas tzaddikim and he respected Jews who were yerei Shamayim. “I realized the extent of his admiration for the Rebbe during my second year in the yeshiva, when I began accompanying him on trips. “The following took place on a Motzaei Shabbos, Parshas VaYechi, when we went to Yeshivas Nachalas HaLeviim in Haifa, one of the flagship yeshivos in the Litvishe world. He gave a shiur there to three hundred talmidim. The entire shiur revolved around the topic of ‘a star goes forth from Yaakov,’ and the explanation of the Brisker Rav that in every generation there is someone who is deserving of being revealed as Moshiach, if the generation is worthy. “At the end of the shiur, one of the talmidim got up (I later found out it was the rosh yeshiva’s son) and asked: If so, then the Lubavitcher Rebbe is the Moshiach of our generation; is that whom you mean? “R’ Elefant calmly replied, ‘Do you have someone greater?’ I, who was standing on the side, was in shock. I was a Lubavitcher and he knew that, but he had never said things like that to me. On the way back, I waited for an opportunity to bring this up. When we passed by the bridge where pictures of the Rebbe were hung which said ‘Melech HaMoshiach,’ I asked him whether the things he said at the end of the shiur were meant seriously or in jest. “Instead of answering my question directly, he repeated
His talmid, R’ Yitzchok Shneur Zalman Yitzchakov
The rosh yeshiva, R’ Mordechai Elefant a”h
“I was once sitting with one of the top bachurim in the yeshiva and we spoke about Moshiach. After a while, he asked me to stop. ‘I will soon become a Meshichist,’ he said in a fright.”
with R’ Elefant, R’ Yitzchakov yearned to learn in a Chassidishe yeshiva. “I had an inexplicable desire to learn in a Chabad yeshiva, particular the one in Tzfas. I knew bachurim in Raanana who learned in Tzfas and I felt that the attribute of truth radiates from them. “After many arguments with my parents, and after sadly parting with the rosh yeshiva, I packed my bags and went to learn in the yeshiva in Tzfas. A year later, I went with shiur Gimmel to learn for a year in 770. “In 770, and in general, throughout those years when I was a Chassid but learned in Litvishe yeshivos, I felt that the
Issue 903 • �
what he said and added that in his opinion, the Rebbe has all the signs of being Moshiach. The conversation on this trip revolved around the Rebbe and his greatness. He said that he remembered his childhood in New York, when his father sent him and his brother to welcome the Rebbe Rayatz who had arrived from Europe in 1940. “Afterward, I thought about how we Chassidim struggle in confusion. Yes Gimmel Tammuz or no Gimmel Tammuz, to him there was no contradiction or problem; to him, the Rebbe was and is deserving to be Moshiach and he said this fearlessly in a Shiur Klali in front of hundreds of Litvishe talmidim.” Despite his good relationship
RAV ARI YITZCHAKOV
My grandfather a”h, R’ Ari Yitzchakov, was a Chassid through and through. He was sent to jail several times in Soviet Russia for the crime of spreading the wellsprings. He did his work together with the Chassid, R’ Simcha Gorodetzky. Unlike many other Bucharian Jews who were mekuravim, my grandfather became a full-fledged Chassid with the dress and customs. He saw the Rebbe Rayatz and became mekushar to him. He sat in jail for building a mikva. We grew up with stories of his mesirus nefesh, so despite the years spent in Litvishe yeshivos, the ways of Chassidus and the connection to the “tree of life” bonded with my soul in a natural way. Three years ago, I was in Kfar Chabad where I met someone who heard my name is Yitzchakov and that my parents came from Tashkent. Wide-eyed, he asked, “Are you the grandson of Rabbi Ari Yitzchakov?” When I said that I was, he said, “You should know that everything they tell over in your family about his mesirus nefesh is just a drop in the sea.” After my grandfather left jail the final time, not only was his spirit not broken but with the advice of his mashpia, he decided to build another mikva. He heard that in a distant city, about a thousand kilometers from Tashkent, there was a Jewish community without a mikva. He went there and met the head of the community and asked him for a list of the Jews, not necessarily the ones who showed up to daven, so that he could find someone who would agree to have a mikva built in his home. The one whose house was most suitable was someone not at all religious, a senior figure in the Russian secret service. Nevertheless, my grandfather went to see him that same day and fearlessly knocked at the door. The lady of the house smiled and surprisingly said, “I knew you would come,” and invited him in. It was at that point that my grandfather began to tremble in fear. He, who had been miraculously saved from Stalin’s agents knew how dangerous this was. He thought, surely they are following me and preparing to trap me, but he soon realized this was not the case. The husband reassured him, gave him a drink of water, and told him an incredible story.
He said that the night before his father had come to him in a dream and said that his time had come to leave the world since he did nothing for Jews and Judaism. But he pleaded to his father to pray for him. His father said, “Tomorrow, before sunset, a Jew with a beard will come to you. If you accede to his request, you will live.” That is how I knew that you were going to come. What would you like? My grandfather told him that he wanted to build a mikva in his house. The man agreed on the spot. They decided to build it in his cellar. The problem was that it did not rain in that area, so my grandfather brought ice by truck from distant Tashkent. He also brought R’ Yitzchok Zilber, a talmid chacham from Tashkent and an expert in the laws of mikva. After checking things out, he said there were still problems that needed correcting and my grandfather had to fix them and bring ice again from Tashkent. This is the grandfather in whose shadow we grew up. In 5730/1970, when many Chassidim received visas, my father remained in Tashkent until he finished his military service and only then did he join the extended family and move to Eretz Yisroel. My grandfather was a proud Jew not only in Russia but also in Eretz Yisroel. When he heard from my father and my uncle who lived in Raanana that the municipality did not want to allocate money to build a shul, he went with two busloads of Jews who fought in World War II and received medals and demonstrated with them outside the municipal building. The demonstration made a lot of waves and the money was allocated. The Tanya was later printed in this shul and it was here that Chabad’s activities took place. On Yud-Tes Kislev a few years ago, after the main farbrengen in 770, I met a friend who was talking to a Bucharian Jew. I did not know the man but I went over to them. As soon as the Bucharian Jew saw me he exclaimed, “You look just like your grandfather!” He said that every time my grandfather went to the Rebbe, he stayed in his house in Crown Heights. He also said that my grandfather had many kiruvim from the Rebbe. Every time the Rebbe walked in, my grandfather stood in utter bittul, not clapping and singing like the others, and when the Rebbe walked past him, he would stop and look at him.
10 � • 19 Kislev 5774
Talmidim of the yeshiva farbreng with R’ Zalman Landau
Rebbe was with me every step of the way. Every time I wrote to the Rebbe, I received clear answers. “In Kislev of that year, after a month full of spiritual experiences, I felt downhearted. It bothered me and I wrote to the Rebbe about how I felt. I had gone to 770 to feel and to see but there were only giluyim; I wanted etzem. “The answer I opened to in the Igros Kodesh amazed me. It said: This that you wrote me that so-and-so says he doesn’t see the hand of Hashem, he should know that the problem is with him. “I cried like a baby. The mashpia, R’ Zalman Landau was passing by and I showed him the answer. He was as amazed as I was. “When I finished the year, I asked the Rebbe where to go and the answer was to return to the yeshiva I had learned in Eretz Yisroel and I would be successful. I understood from this that the Rebbe was sending me on shlichus to Itri. The day I landed I set off for the yeshiva in Yerushalayim. The mashgiach, who saw me in the doorway,
“R’ Betzalel Kupchik farbrenged here from nine at night until six in the morning. The bachurim were ‘flying.’ They saw the truth without any airs. Here was a Jew who was moser nefesh to spread Judaism, and it made a huge impact.”
together with Eliezer Mizrachi, to annul the ‘targil ha’masriach (lit. stinking scheme, or the dirty trick),’ in which Shimon Peres and the Labor government colluded with Shas to cause the fall of the Shamir government. He said that there was great admiration for the Rebbe in his family because of his grandfather’s work. As a result, we developed a nice relationship. “One day he told me he was thinking of leaving the yeshiva for the United States where he would try his hand at business. I told him that if it were me, I would write to the Rebbe through the Igros Kodesh and ask. I explained how we write. He wasn’t enthused by the idea but he did not disparage it either. He told me that on his mother’s side he is a descendant of the Alter
was taken aback, and for good reason. He knew that I was a Lubavitcher and he knew about what I did. He tried to prevent me from coming back but the rosh yeshiva was happy to see me and accepted me warmly and lovingly.”
THE TANYA SHIUR GROWS
R’ Elefant made the young Yitzchakov his right hand man and also appointed him over his house. As his representative, he met with roshei yeshiva and g’dolei Yisroel and advanced matters that were important to the rosh yeshiva. “On one of the first days, I met a nice bachur whose name was Werdyger. He was the grandson of the former Knesset member, Avrohom Werdyger who worked on the Rebbe’s agenda
Issue 903 • �
about the commotion. I told him that I do not force any bachur to learn Chassidus, and that we see that the yiras Shamayim of every bachur who learns Chassidus grows. He heard me out and chose to ignore the uproar. “I received angry phone calls from parents who began hearing Chassidishe niggunim from their children when they went home. Bachurim began davening Nusach Ari, sleeping with tzitzis, and wearing woolen tzitzis. “My roommate was a bachur whose father was a famous alumnus of Yeshivas Ponovezh. Although he was very respectful of Chassidus, he chose to keep his distance from me. In the meantime, the yeshiva was in a tumult over the issue of Igros Kodesh. Bachurim saw miracles. There was a story that made waves in the yeshiva about a bachur from Tel Aviv who concluded a shidduch as a result of an answer from the Rebbe. The chevra saw that ‘Moshe emes, v’toraso emes,’ and convinced him to write too. I wasn’t in yeshiva that week and only heard about it afterward. He dismissed the idea but his friends urged him to write. “This bachur had been pressured by his parents to do a shidduch, but he did not think he was ready. This is what he wrote to the Rebbe. The bachurim asked him to read his request out loud so that if there would be an answer, he would not be able to say he did not get one. “He opened the volume in their presence and the answer was: A shidduch is only with the consent of the child. It was a letter that the Rebbe wrote to parents not to pressure this child. He read the letter out loud and everyone was amazed. “When I returned the next
THE REBBE SAVED MY LIFE
R’ Yitzchakov experienced a number of open miracles which he credits to his shlichus: A few years ago I had severe stomach pains and was sent to Shaarei Tzedek hospital. I was diagnosed with appendicitis and was operated on that same evening. I was released a few days later to a convalescent home. A few days after that, I felt a strong pain radiating through my entire hip to the point that I couldn’t walk and I fell. I asked a friend in the area to get me back to Shaarei Tzedek, because I was afraid of a complication following the operation. The doctors confirmed my apprehension and said that after an operation like that, there could be pain. Already on the way to the hospital I asked the Rebbe for a bracha and opened to “refua shleima.” The Rebbe wrote that in situations such as these, you need to consult with the doctors who did the operation. The doctors said I should do an ultrasound test but for some reason, I insisted on a CT scan. They finally agreed and when they saw the results they rushed me to the emergency room. “The scan showed a dangerous embolism, a blood clot covered my entire lung and if I had come to the hospital any later, my condition would have been irreversible. The doctors made it clear that it was only the quick intervention of the advanced medical scan that saved my life. I knew that the Rebbe had saved my life. By the way, during the month and a half that I was in the hospital, the shiurim and activities continued as usual, run by the bachurim themselves.” Rebbe. “When he saw the book full of letters, he said that in order to be sure the Rebbe was answering him, he wanted to open to the last page. In that letter the Rebbe wrote to a bachur from Yerushalayim that if he would listen to the Rebbe’s advice, he would stay for another year or two in the yeshiva he was learning in and this would provide him with a bracha for everything he asked for. “He read the letter and exclaimed, ‘Shneur, I can’t believe it! I’m sitting here on my bed in this room and it’s like the Rebbe is standing nearby and answering my question!’ “We arranged to learn Tanya together in the evening, in the rosh yeshiva’s living room where I was a ben-bayis and had a room. He was followed by other descendants of the Alter Rebbe. It was amazing how the Rebbe sent me there to collect sparks of the Alter Rebbe. The second talmid was Nachman Rothman of Har Nof. At one of the shiurim I learned that he too was a descendant of the Alter Rebbe. The third talmid, Yisroel Klein, was also a descendant of the Alter Rebbe. Today he is a Chabad Chassid. “The Tanya shiur, given every night in the rosh yeshiva’s living room, grew. Naturally, the other side that sees the effect of k’dusha, tried to interfere. There were people on the staff who tried to expel the Chassidic distraction from the yeshiva. They called the parents of bachurim and told them about what was going on and asked the parents and alumni to exert pressure on the rosh yeshiva. “One day, R’ Elefant asked me
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day and they told me the story, I went to his room and saw him reading the letters in that volume. He read every single letter in that volume and I remember him telling me, ‘Ruach Ha’kodesh bursts forth from this volume.’ There were many others like him. Within a few months, a few dozen more bachurim were taking part in the shiurim and farbrengens.”
DEALING WITH THE OPPONENTS TO THE SPREADING OF CHASSIDUS
After R’ Yitzchakov married his wife Karin, he stepped up his activities. “After receiving the Rebbe’s bracha, we decided to get going. We wanted to rent a house in the vicinity of the yeshiva. At that time there were no available caravans where the alumni and staff lived. We didn’t know what to do. The Rebbe’s brachos were clear and so we didn’t despair. If the Rebbe gave his bracha, then it would be alright. In the area was a beautiful stone building with two floors, which a wealthy Belgian Jew, a director of the yeshiva, had constructed. We did not think we had a chance of being accepted but we submitted a request. “The one who took over the running of the yeshiva after the sudden passing of R’ Elefant, was someone who was on the editorial board of a newspaper which often attacked the Rebbe and the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. This made us even more certain that our request would be denied. “I had been sure that I would get a job in the yeshiva from the rosh yeshiva, but his passing changed everything. The staff did not like what I did; those who did like what I did, kept a low
R’ Yitzchakov lighting a public menorah on the yeshiva campus next to his home
profile. But the Rebbe’s answer encouraged me; I was not a private person, but a shliach. “Amazingly, the new menahel accepted my request and we rented the house. From that point on, my work increased many times over. Our house, which was the nicest in the vicinity, turned into a Chabad house. Already in the second week of our marriage we held a farbrengen on Friday night and had a minyan in our living room in the Chabad spirit with Chabad niggunim. Twenty bachurim packed into our house on Friday night and in the morning. The t’fillos took place after we learned Chassidus. “We held farbrengens on special days in the calendar with mashpiim who were invited for the occasion. Every Friday night and Shabbos morning we had t’fillos and farbrengens, aside from the shiurim we had during the week, one-on-one. My wife worked hard to make the farbrengens inviting by preparing delectable meals. “Every year we worried that our rental contract would not be
renewed by the yeshiva’s hanhala who considered us a nuisance, but each time we were pleasantly surprised when the contract was extended. “At the yeshiva there was one man whose hatred made him crazy. One day, when I wasn’t home, he burst in and began cursing my wife who stood there stunned. A wife of another staff member, who saw him, called some other people. The man felt uncomfortable and left. “Our fear after this incident was that the menahel would not renew our contract. What actually happened was the menahel called the next day and invited us to his office to sign a new contract. “In general, every time someone on the staff turned up the heat in opposition to us, more bachurim were exposed to what we do. I heard from bachurim who went over to the staff and told them how learning Chassidus increased their yiras Shamayim, ‘And why are you fighting this?’ they asked, and did not get clear answers.”
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SPEAKING ABOUT THE GOEL
When I asked R’ Yitzchakov how to open a window on the world of Chassidus for those who were raised their whole lives to oppose the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, he did not understand the question. “Today, everyone is interested in hearing the truth, divested of any external poses. It’s not merely a nice line that we will greet Moshiach with the Tanya. It is the only cure for this generation. For someone who learned in a Litvishe yeshiva and knows their shita, it is easier to get started. In the Litvishe world you are educated to esteem the mind, but that is not necessarily the way to bring about a change in them. On the contrary, deep inside they yearn for faith, for emotion, for some heart. They want to connect to the neshama, to the Giver of the Torah. Their entire relationship with Hashem is intellectual, how many pages of Gemara did they cover, how deeply did they learn. That is how they assess a person. “There was a Sephardic bachur who joined our activities for a few weeks. One day, he asked to talk to me and he said he was sent by one of the staff members to report back to them who was in attendance, but after he saw how the bachurim’s yiras Shamayim was being fortified, he refused to be the informer who would stop the progress of these talmidim. “Later on he told me that his aunt was married to a Chabad rav and I suggested that he write to the Rebbe. He agreed and the answer he opened to was one in which the Rebbe thanked him for visiting the Chabad shul in Mea Sh’arim and said that he himself [the person writing to the Rebbe]
was connected to the teachings of Nistar. “It was amazing how on the mark this letter was, for the bachur came from a Sephardic family where the teachings of Nistar are a part of their heritage. He was excited by it and attended the farbrengens we held. Of course, he did not report back to the hanhala. He later served in the army and did Mivtza T’fillin with the irreligious soldiers on his base. “We bring mashpiim to farbreng. We had R’ Zalman Notik, R’ Chaim Nisselevitz, and R’ Zalman Landau. R’ Betzalel Kupchik farbrenged here from nine at night until six in the morning. The bachurim were ‘flying.’ They saw the truth without any airs. Here was a Jew who was moser nefesh to spread Judaism, and it made a huge impact. There was a bachur who, due to his involvement with us, was expelled from the yeshiva and went to the Mir where he started a shiur in the D’var Malchus. If you saw him on the street, he looks like any other Litvishe bachur, but the sichos of 5751-5752 burn within him.” I asked R’ Yitzchakov how publicizing the identity of Moshiach helps mekarev people to Chabad. He said, “I’ll tell you this: If you live it and believe it, people accept it. People don’t like it when you don’t talk straight. If you believe something, say it. People accept things from those who take a strong stance, especially when it is apparent that they are speaking the truth. This is not our invention; this a clear prognosis that is supported in Shas and poskim. I was once sitting with one of the top bachurim in the yeshiva and we spoke about Moshiach. After a while, he asked me to stop. ‘I will
soon become a Meshichist,’ he said in a fright. “Walk around the yeshiva and look in the rooms. You will see many pictures of the Rebbe. At the Purim party for the yeshiva’s staff and the bachurim, they all raised their cups and began to sing Yechi. Bachurim who got drunk cried: When will we already become Chabadniks? At Maariv, one of the bachurim proclaimed Yechi and everyone responded. True, it was on Purim, but we know that Purim is a time when the truth comes out. The staff was in shock. Bachurim knocked at my door at four in the morning, wanting to farbreng. “Every shliach who operates in the world outside of Chabad knows how the world is more ready than ever to hear the Besuras HaGeula and the identity of the Goel. The Rebbe transformed the world. There is a great void today. Even amongst the upper echelons people are waiting for us to show them the truth. We can say that the only ones who are still not ready are us. We need to wake up before someone else does the work that we were given to do.”
ONLY CHASSIDUS CAN DO THE JOB
The Yitzchakovs recently moved to Raanana to live near his parents after clear answers from the Rebbe. But their work with yeshiva bachurim continues. “I just finished talking with a bachur for two hours; he needed chizuk. Last week we held a farbrengen for alumni from Litvishe yeshivos in Bayit Vegan. The stories they told really moved me. The bottom line is: only Chassidus, the revelation of the luminary within Torah, will bring a Jew back to good.”
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WHAT WERE YOSEF’S BROTHERS THINKING?
By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg
The saga of Joseph and his brothers is arguably one of the most poignant stories we read in the Five Books of Moses. It is also one of the most difficult narratives to comprehend. Commentators point out how unfathomable it is for Joseph’s brothers, who are called Shivtei Kah, G-d’s tribes, to stoop so low that they tried to kill their own flesh and blood. It is no less incredible that Judah, the ancestor of King David and thus Moshiach, would “compromise” and “merely” sell him into slavery. After all, slavery is the closest thing to a living death. Indeed, in many ways slavery is a slow form of death itself. The explanation we often hear is that the 12 sons of Jacob were flawed like all other people. After all, this argument goes, weren’t they human? This explanation fails to acknowledge the high level of holiness ascribed by our Sages to each of Jacob’s sons. One does not have to ponder the matter deeply to see that the Torah would not regard them as G-dly people if their flaws involved attempted fratricide, kidnapping and slavery.
REENACTMENT OF THE JACOB – EISAV SAGA
Among the other explanations that are offered is that Joseph’s brothers thought their father
was making the same error their grandfather Yitzchak made when he favored Eisav. If it had not been for Rivka’s intervention, the Divine blessings channeled through Yitzchak would have gone to Eisav. This would have enabled Eisav to exercise control over Jacob. In the long run, this would have stymied G-d’s plan that the descendants of one who received Yitzchak’s blessing would be the ones to receive the Torah, which was the whole raison d’être of Creation. Rivka saved the day and our people’s spiritual future by having Jacob appropriate his brother’s blessings from their father. She and Jacob risked their lives to prevent the tragedy that would have occurred had the blessings gone the wrong way. Joseph’s brothers genuinely believed that if Jacob were to commit the same error and favor Joseph over them, a similar threat to the future of the world was at stake. They perceived Joseph as a materialistic and self-righteous individual, much resembling their uncle Eisav. To them, this was therefore a matter of life or death. If the legacy of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs would end because Jacob bequeathed his spirituality and mission to the wrong son, this would have disastrous repercussions. The brothers therefore felt justified in removing the threat to the world that Joseph represented. They
believed that the loss of Joseph would compel Jacob to reconsider upon whom he should shower his love, energy and blessings.
KERNEL OF TRUTH
There was a kernel of truth in equating Joseph with Eisav. However, their relationship was one of polar opposites: Joseph as antidote to Eisav’s threat of dominance over the Jewish nation. This reciprocal relationship is underscored by the juxtaposition of the recitation of Eisav’s descendants at the end of last week’s parsha with the discussion of Jacob’s special relationship with Joseph that begins this week’s parsha. Rashi comments that these themes are connected in this way to underscore Joseph’s role as the one who will neutralize the destructive power of Eisav. Joseph’s brothers were prescient about a connection between Joseph and Eisav, but they were unable to see how that would pan out. They were concerned that matters would go the other way, and that Joseph would succeed in undermining the role of the Patriarchs where Eisav had failed.
DON’T FIGHT THE REBELS
One of the lessons we can learn from their mistake is that the potential for negative energy is also the potential for the power
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This implies that the objective of the lighting of the Chanukah lights goes well beyond dispelling the darkness associated with rebelliousness. Its true goal is to transform defiance into an extraordinary and unconventional positive force.
to combat and neutralize that negative energy. When you see someone who seems to be a rebel, don’t fight that spirit of rebelliousness, but transform it into the force of opposition to rebelliousness. of when to light and retranslates the foregoing phrase in a spiritual vein, as follows: “One must kindle the light of Chanukah until it causes the legs (read: lowliest aspects of) the rebels to kalya-cease from the marketplace.” The word kalya that is translated as “cease” can also be rendered as “expired.” Chassidus explains that the ultimate goal of lighting is to enable the souls of the rebels to achieve the spiritual state of ecstatic passion for G-d, where the soul’s desire is to expire so that it can be united with G-d. In simpler language, this implies that the objective of the lighting of the Chanukah lights goes well beyond dispelling the darkness associated with rebelliousness. Its true goal is to transform defiance into an extraordinary and unconventional positive force.
THE CHANUKAH CONNECTION
This week’s parsha is always read either on the Shabbos before Chanukah or the first Shabbos of Chanukah. Many commentators have drawn parallels from the saga of Joseph and his brothers to the struggle of the Jews during the historical period that led up to the miracle of Chanukah. When the Talmud discusses the appropriate time to kindle the Chanukah lights, it speaks of lighting them when people can still be seen outside in the street. This timing is to ensure that the Menorah brings light to the public and that the miracle of Chanukah will be properly publicized. The Talmud describes the deadline for the lighting in the following manner: “Until the feet of the Tarmudites cease from the marketplace.” Rashi explains that the Tarmudites would sell their wares in the marketplace and would tarry there later than the other vendors. If we were to rearrange the Hebrew letters of Tarmud, it would spell Mored, meaning “rebel.” Chassidic literature thus reinterprets this legal requirement
What is it about Joseph that was so powerful? Joseph’s very name, which means “may he increase,” reveals some of his uniqueness. Joseph is about continuous growth; never standing in one place. A mountain climber cannot dare stay in one place. To prevent oneself from falling, one must continue to grow. This theme is associated with Chanukah’s requirement that we increase the number of lights kindled each night. The term
employed by the Talmud for this progressive increase is “mosaif,” similar to the name Joseph. Chanukah is all about embracing the Joseph ideal. Chanukah, too, was a war against the forces who attempted to adulterate the purity of the oil and light in the Bais HaMikdash. The antidote to that poison in our own day is to continually add light and not settle for the light that has already been generated. But the demands of the Joseph ideal are not satisfied by mere incremental increases. He received the name Joseph because his mother exclaimed: “May G-d increase for me another son.” When Rachel sees the soul of Joseph at his birth, she realizes that he will do much more than just fight rebelliousness. Joseph, according to the Tzemach Tzedek (the third Lubavitcher Rebbe), represents even more than just continual positive growth. Joseph is about taking the “other” and transforming him into a son. Living the Joseph ideal is the hallmark of the Messianic Age. Moshiach will not only add to the light and goodness, his role is also to transform the otherness and negativity of the world into potent positive forces.
WE DON’T WANT TO BE EXCLUDED
There is another, opposite, approach to understanding the motives of Joseph’s brothers. Rabbi Aryeh Fromer (Rosh Yeshiva of the famed Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva in Poland, martyred by the Nazis, yimach shemam) explains that they feared Jacob’s special relationship with Joseph threatened their own ability to carry on Jacob’s legacy. From past experience it was clear
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that Abraham, who fathered 8 sons, only entrusted his teachings and spiritual role to Isaac. Isaac, too, would ultimately give his blessings to one son, Jacob, making him the true heir. Eisav was pushed aside and lost his role in the Divine plan that would pave the way for the giving of the Torah. Eisav was thus expelled from the process that would lead inexorably to realization of G-d’s purpose in Creation—to make this world a dwelling place for Him. Joseph’s brothers were terrified that Jacob’s special relationship with and apparent preference for Joseph was a sign that they, like Eisav, were going to be excluded from this process. For them, spiritual alienation was worse than death. They therefore devised a scheme to prevent their apparent fate by killing Joseph first. Judah, however, argued that all they had to do to realize their objective of distancing him from their father was to ensure that Joseph would not remain loyal to his father. They would accomplish this goal by selling their brother into slavery in Egypt, a country known for its immorality and depravity. Surely, they imagined, Joseph would not be able to remain a true follower of the legacy of the Patriarchs in the spiritual cesspit that was Egypt. Once Joseph was out of the picture, physically or spiritually
speaking, Jacob would be forced to redirect his attention to his other sons.
JOSEPH AND MOSHIACH: THE CHANNELS
Obviously, Joseph’s brothers were utterly mistaken. Jacob’s affinity for Joseph was not going to be at their expense. On the contrary, Joseph was to be the conduit through which the lofty ideals of the Patriarchs would be channeled into the other brothers. Only Joseph was endowed with an uncanny ability to reach the spiritual heights and draw that spirituality down to the lowliest places.
This idea of reaching for the heights and bringing it down into our ordinary existence is one of the signal characteristics of Moshiach and the Messianic Age. Moshiach embodies the loftiest spiritual ideals, but unlike other righteous people, he serves as the ultimate leader who can relate to even the simplest and most “distant” Jew. Moreover, Moshiach, like Joseph, possesses the ability to instill the most sublime levels of G-dly light, exemplified by the Chanukah lights, into the most ordinary and even alienated, rebellious person; thereby transforming the “other” into a most sublime “son.”
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THE YOUNGEST DISCIPLE HAS THE ANSWERS
A story about the Rav HaMaggid and the Baal HaTanya, presented for the Yom Hilula of the Maggid and the Chag HaGeula of the Alter Rebbe, on 19 Kislev.
By Menachem Ziegelboim
he great students of the Maggid of Mezritch were great friends and loved one another. When they found out that the son of one of them had left the way of Torah, they were all sorely distressed. Their friend’s worry was their own. They considered ways of bringing the young man back to the right path. Of course, the man’s father did all he could to bring his son back. He put in much effort, but his son’s heart was closed. Seeing this, the students of the Maggid knew they had to take a drastic step to shake the boy up, but they did not know what to do. After much thought and discussion, they decided to excommunicate him in the hopes that this would get him to repent. A cherem was an extremely serious move, something that
was seldom done. However, it seemed there was no alternative. Nevertheless, they were afraid it could cause more harm than good and could push him away from Torah and Judaism forever. So they decided to ask the Maggid what they should do and sent one of the talmidim to him. The Maggid’s face reflected the sorrow of his talmid and his brow furrowed as he thought the matter over. Finally, he looked up and quietly said, “Tonight, at midnight, I will ascend and will ask.” The talmid, who later became a leader of thousands himself, did not need to ask further. He understood that his master’s soul would ascend and he would ask the question. There could be no better response. The next day, he returned to the Maggid who said to him, “I
was told that in this matter you should consult with Zalmanu.” He was referring to the youngest of his disciples, R’ Shneur Zalman. The talmidim went to the Alter Rebbe and asked him his opinion. He thought it over and then wisely said, “When ten of you gather to place a cherem on the young man, when you say the word ‘cherem’ (enunciated with a Chaf), have in mind the word ‘kerem’ (enunciated with a Kaf, meaning vineyard), and not an actual cherem. In your hearts you should focus purity of thought on Hashem pouring over him a spirit from Above and that he should return to the vineyard of the house of Israel, and the remnant of Israel shall commit no iniquity. However, he himself should not know about this. When he thinks that a cherem is being placed on
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him, he will be frightened and repent of his corrupted ways.” The holy students liked this idea, as it would cause the youth to be shaken up but they would refrain from the terrible punishment of a cherem. They reported to the Maggid who wondered how he, the leader of the Chassidim, did not think of such a simple idea that solved the cherem problem, when he was the successor to the Baal Shem Tov and ought to know what was right for every single individual. And why had he been directed from Heaven to hear the solution from the youngest of his students? He thought that this might be a hint from Heaven that the time had come for him to transfer the leadership position to Zalmanu. That night, his soul ascended once again and he asked whether he should transfer the leadership of the Chassidim to R’ Shneur Zalman. He was told that once again, this was a question for R’ Zalmanu himself. A few hours later, R’ Shneur Zalman was called to the Maggid’s room. He stood there nervously, wondering why he had suddenly been summoned. The Maggid looked at him and told him what happened, about how he considered passing the scepter of leadership to him, but when he asked in Heaven, he was told to ask Zalmanu himself. R’ Shneur Zalman shuddered at the very thought of succeeding his Rebbe and fell in a faint. After he was roused, he said, “Rabbeinu, there is no question here at all. Of course the leadership must remain with you.” “Then why were you the one who came up with the right idea regarding the wayward youth?” asked the Maggid.
R’ Shneur Zalman shuddered at the very thought of succeeding his Rebbe and fell in a faint.
utterly true. Whereas I ...”
(I heard this from R’ MM Gluckowsky, rav of the Chabad community in Rechovot, who repeated it in the name of his father-in-law, R’ Chaim Eliyahu Mishulovin a”h who was considered a reliable source.)
Said the Alter Rebbe, “Because you are the Moshe of the generation and the Moshe of the generation is emes (true) and his teachings are emes, and on the level of truth there is no room for kuntzin (tricks) which are not
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ygnfa hn 'rbh
R’ Chaim Steiner, who has had the z’chus of binding many hundreds of editions of the Tanya, has in his home a private collection of over 1500 Tanyas. * Presented for Yud-Tes Kislev, when we start learning Tanya from the beginning once again.
lurfk u,sucgc ka ,ur
u,hcc rmut 't
-n vkgnk ka ;xutv ,t /thb
By Shai Gefen
ouh whjw tuv khsdvk uhbhhgn
uekjca kusdv ;,,av ^ y"h tu
o,fhrfu "ohdjv d
THE TANYA COLLECTOR
20 � • 19 Kislev 5774
ruphx ohthcn sjuhn ;
ipd ha :,tn
/"ohbavbout lkvn5000 c h,freditions fa thb,vof hrthe px thb, kf /e,rTanya nu ihhbgn ykjbeen vc ;xu tv have printed ,ukgna ,urus vn a h /ukin a hfulfillment ahtv ruphxv u thus far, of ,urhzjna ukt f iba hu ohsjuhn ,uadr uc the Rebbe’s instruction vn ykjthe vc v zu 'vruj t vba o hraprinted g u,ut that Tanya should be / v z v s j u h n v ; x u t v , t s jhhna wherever Jews live. ;xutv lu,n lckk cure hfv vn R’ Chaim Steiner of Nachalat ?kusdv Har Chabad works for the Chish rrugnu ause tuv thb, rpx kf" publishing o, ut lurfk h,hhouse fz hbtawhich f yrpc is ',uowned adr,v by R’ Chaim Reichman. ;,,avk ;t kusdv oekjcu 'hsh unR’ c is bookbinder ,uSteiner rusvn vn f auhv a epx iht and /vxpshas vc over a uthousand kabound vxpsvv kank nf /cyhv hceditions u,rjba of the Tanya. Over ehsmv ;xuh rcec vfrgbthe a tyears, hb,v rphe x has accumulated ush u ubch cx ussud,v ohcan rgaimpressively vgac 'ofac and vrlarge hna og ohxunusual hpsn ubtu collection 'ohbct ubrcgof k va e ,tzf vwhich xpsv /k"also vm hkh hj ka ,hbsold pe Tanyas, includes "///jufak and rare Tanyas. od tkWhen t 'ohrupwe hx a h v x p s v c e rt k went to his house rato tf look ohbac at rehhis gc 'o h r p x v k a o , f hrfc collection, which og p t k " ' r h v n c m e c x w t h b , o h x h p s n uhv includes over 1500 editions sgof sucTanya, gku cmev , t e h c s v k o h f h r m u b hhv R’kChaim Steiner with aa Tanya it was clear that this chea t hB,V OG rbhhy ohhj that wr ,t e p x k h s f v k h k v k a , u b y e v , u g a v he received from the Rebbe with wasn’t just a hobby; R’ Chaim uasue sh ,nh,j og hcrvn the Rebbe’s signature ubxpsva thb,v rpx" /rfzb tuv '",uahrsv lives and breathes each seifer. u"y 's"cj rpfc 770 ka ,hcv ,fubjc He caresses the 'r, uhc o hadrnv sj t vhmany v 'u"navolumes , zun,c w r k a some u,hck point ohghdI n decided ubtaf “At and his finger pauses some cvzc gcyun rpxv ka hrujton v sm c ratof f to start collecting the Tanyas I them 'rp xunn as vhvhe vzsays, v thb,“This v rpx one /770 has ,unsa ;xutc ,uzjk rbhhya ohhj h,story.” kche ohbye tk ohectn rjtk hbtu bound. Over the years, it became an impressive collection. At the also feel icunf His jkabfamily 1 wxn members e,ug / 3 rpx n e, ug t hb,v hrpx ka kusdv khk lan c uTanyas bfrf vzvare thba ,v ,t of /hcthe rk same time I also began collecting that the part older and /"hshhn iputof c hc rk jhome ukak hsf vxpthey svv 1 character the and 5 0 0 -editions n r , u h editions k k uthat fv were printed around the world.” ?,ur pxuthey nn thb , ,ur usvenlarge n sug ah the do all can to Tanya o h awas j the u b tfirst ', u r u s vin n collection. The try ,x bfc xpsuva thbchildren ,v od /i f" to h f What ,bhelp ac khtoo uumruand e tpit hk turns crv kout a ,uthat ks,athe vc your collection? rc usn k important ykjvc iuhchildren’s kdc ,pxub vc, fc ,ufhr tc vtr) t"abof , itf expert knowledge “The first and t most sdb f 75 1 rpxn ,tis ,j ekless h,rj c hbttheir '(vz Tanya that I have is one that I the collection no than j ohhj from wr /vthe naRebbe k ,ubc ujc h,father. frf vrut fka their ,urnk own /(t"ainitiative, b,) vbav hreceived On inc 5739 kfthey hkmtguided kct 'ohus rpxto o, ut o hbav la nc with his signature on it. That is the unique and ykn tuv /rpx kf oaubu ,t aj hbt /seditions. juhn ruphx thv vrusvn ; interesting the most precious Tanya of all /vausev to me and is the basis for the “No, it’s not a collection,” /,ucrv ,ufhrfv ,t ushc cure vhvu vxpsvv og exga sjtf" corrected R’ Chaim, “it’s part of collection that followed it.” ajunc h,htr hbta rnuk kufh hbt 'ihhbgk and home. worked isn most mt oTanya hrpxv ekdear j kto g xhmy psvksoul hcrv ka my vtr uvc vtI kp vv ,t ugcWhich hard on a large part of these you? vadrvva epx iht ratf 'ouen kfc thb, they of k " uvolume r n u t cis holy ',cf g ,is n “Each and theditions b,v rpxkand ouen v habecame bt ka ,part ufhhav u lrf me.” a source of inspiration to me, hcrva hpfu _ hrndk vbua uvan ohrmuh /"uka when ruphx ,t it amyself h vzv /"o uenk did unmgyou ihhgn v ,such t thcv :rnt especially How get aklarge Iv bound collection? and was involved in the printing thb, rpx h,htr lka ;xutc kugkgc vz h,bhjcn /uasue sh ,nh,j og y"ka, ?u,x psv5745, ouen , ,ukdk r uxta huxat j of many of them. Some of the “In It began working kfk xhxcv tuvu 'r,uhc rehv thb,v editions out, for htChish ajc ubx psv a, jt vrusv n ah 'if" in the binding department. o htc ifn rstand jtk /if n rjt k texample, ca ;xutv wsdAt b,nwfirst, ka uthe ,hcc binding '.rtv ouwas rsc c u a h c the printing of the Tanya at done
almost exclusively with Tanyas. We would also go out often to 31 | ~ | 441 wxn iuhkhd print Tanyas on a special truck belonging to the printing house. the grave of Yosef HaTzaddik in Sh’chem, while Arabs were mobbing around us and threw stones at us. We did our work
uxpIDF suv tsoldiers hb, ,urusv n 5000guard. as stood It’s ka u,to trforget uvn ekthat jf 'v f sg hard printing.” xhpsvk jhanv lkn hcrv Not only /thb,v rpx ,are t rhgthere kfc stories about the printing but also about the especially ;xutvbinding, epx tkk tu v rhsbu sjuhnduring ;xut those years when Tanyas rv ,kjb cau, 'rbhhya o hhj wr kawere hyrpv printed agfast ohhj crvat ,uk cc waclip: hjw xups hscugn 's"cj “There times we scug tuv vbwere a ohra gf lan c /ihad nfhhr to up the and ;ktspeed n vkgnk lur fk vpace fzu xup sv ,work hhfhrfc ohev o hbavat,uc rc lf in /thorder b, ,urus vn until late night to h r p x o d k k u f v o h a r n u k u s d h y r p ; x ut meet the demand. The Tanya / o h r h s b u o h e h , g t h b, that we printed at the Chanukas r b h h y a o h h j w r k a u , h c k o h g h d n u b t a f Ha’bayis of 770 in Kfar Chabad, kkufv thb,v hrpx ka kusd v ;xu tcgold ,uzjk 15 Tammuz 5746, has a y k j v c h f o h a j u b t ' , u r u s v n 1 5 0 0 n ,uh emblem of 770 on the back r of h j o h h j w r / v n a k , u b c c u j c i t f r c u s n tk the volume. This was a numbered , u f h r f v , t u s h c ; y k n t u v / r p x k f o a ubu edition and after some behind the ' , c f g , n u g c m t o h r p x v n e k j k g / , u c r scenes wrangling I received #3. v /"uka ruphxv ,t uk ah vzv lrfk" urnutc The first volume was sent to the o d 'sjuhnof v ;x utv ,t hWe j tuv er tk it Rebbe, course. bound e k j o v w t h b , w v h r p x a o h a j u , jpan hbc the night it was printed in order khsdvk o,kufh kff ohaugu ',hcv ,hhuuvn to be able to send it to the Rebbe ,ksdvc ruzgk ohxbn ohskhv /;xutv ,t immediately.” ohtmn,n ohskhv hf rrc,nu /;xutv numbered ov Are /unmg there ,hcv kother gcn ,uj p tk ;xutc editions the ,urusvnk of o ,nzTanya? uhn ub,ut ohrdan vhkg vrusvThe n kf Tanya /,ubhhbgnv u ,uswas juhnv “Yes. that / ; x u t v , c j r v k , k m u b n ' o h s k h v o hgnua printed at the Knesset, through v z " ' o h h j w r h , u t i e , n ' " ; x u t t k v z 'tk" the efforts of R’ Lipa Kurtzweil , u r u s v n n k u s d e k j k g / h , h c u h a p b n kj in 5751. I chose #751 e to e k j k u f p v r c f o v u ' v a e h , s c g ' v k correspond to the year (5751). t /"hbnn Although over the years I have vzv kusdv ;x utkTanyas, ,gdv lhtto bound ?hundreds of ' v " n a , , b a c ' v b a o h r a gf hbIpk " me, each edition is special. feel o h h j w r k a w a h j w x u p s c s u c g k h , k j,v the k’dusha. vhfhrf vkj,vc /vhfhrfv ,ekjnc infhhr “As who dealt with hrpx ,fhsomeone rfk er ygn f ,sg uhn v, hhv uz the printing from up close, Iv oh,hgk ohtmuh ubhhv lfk ;xubc /thb, can say that I have seen the ,sjuhnv ,htanc thb, ,uxpsvk ,upuf, wondrousness in the Rebbe’s /xupsv ka instruction Tanya khj,vk h,ykto jv print h,sucgthe n ek jf" everywhere. There is no question lf /lruf hbt o,ut thb,v hrpx ,t ;uxtk that the feeling /oharn u kus d ;xutk and lpv vconnection z ohbav lanc of people in given to ohpthe xub o he,ug ;u xta ko d h,kjplace ,v scc sc the ,upxTanya ub ,urusprinted vnu r,uh there, ,ubah creates ,urusvnn ghdvk h,jkmv lf /kc, hcthe jrc Rebbe uxpsuva something special. As ,t khp fvbring k vuuen hbtwellspring ratf 'h,gdv a vnk said: to the itself to the place.”/"ounhxenk ghdvku ;xutv ?;x utc l k vhva iua trv thb,v your vn In looking through h k a h a r , u h c c u a j v u i u a t r v t h b , v" collection, I see a “confidential” , b a c h c r v n h , k c e a t h b , v t u v ' ;xutc Tanya whose printing location cannot be disclosed. “Yes, there is one edition that we printed secretly at a yishuv in the south of the country in the
Issue 903 • �
vv psv kut xtk uhn svn rt, 160 kz"k sxb knv b,v hcn ah
R’ Chaim Steiner on the printing truck
vxpsvv rsbyc rbhhya ohhj wr
ka ,sv utv ncu utv vhv vhv uva udnu uva tf hcd ufc ufv /iah jnc urub hkug xn crv ,ut an vc hfc uvk hbhg sbv rec
/r,uhu 400 who '200 was od o gp tku 'ohe,ug r , u h c c u a j v u i u a t r v t h b , v " actually very close to binding too. Some bindings are vtnn vkgn k h , f r f o hv sg that h,fr gvkeep k it soft, some are hard, and some Chabad. Heuasked we thb, v t uv ';on xut cadded hk page. aha r,uha ;t ifa ,h h u ' t h b , h r p x ; k t o h a h n j u and secret, for obvious reasons, have pictures an fn I’m still keeping that/"l promise. For example, the Tanya that c printed hcrv h , k c eof a ?ohh,uv n ohhit ubha ah printed, ohksdc owe d had , After was ab a was atnthe gravesite moving farbrengen in his home.” Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava, one of tuv 'ohxhpsn ubhhva yrsbyxv" uasthe ue Asara sh ,Harugei nh,j o g y"ka , Malchus, has How the procedure ;xutc /n"x 5/8 + 12 ksudoes dc khdr v xh f thb,v /of a picture of the gravesite on it. printing work? tuv ovn sj t 'stn oand hbyebinding xwthb, a h hka There also rehv t his b, v the v zspecial h , b hTanya jcn “Before /n"x 6+ 4 ka ks udc khzrevery cc xpprinting suva thbwe , had of artist Boruch Nachshon of to get okay hcrva vn 'o hku sdvthe thb, v hrpfrom x ,t New od ah York. Kiryat Arba with his drawings on kfk xhxcv tuvu 'r,uhc Between and ukt ohh,bhc /t"ab,u the b"a,printing ,bac ek hj the binding we would wait to get a it. There is the Tanya that was vgmv vkug ,gf /,ukusd hfv ,urusvnv at Israel f nprinted rjt k thet c a museum ;xutv this ift otu 'tnumber; rnd ka ksometimes, sudc thb, x hpsvtook k / ia when Rechavam Zeevi was few months. kusdv thb,v vhvh vz 'vzf thb, xpsuh the director, with drawings by v hrpx ohtc ifn rjtk “Each /,edition ushn ,bhhad jcnarminimum ,uhc t h b , Boruch Nachshon.” of 100 copies and sometimes ,ufhrf ibah :ohkscv ah ,ufhrfc od" I hsee that you remember the 400 or more. I’ve bound "o ba v lk vn c h,frf a ohruhm og 200, , u f h r f ' , u a e , u f h r f ' , u f r various printings of Tanya. over 150,000 Tanyas.” thb,v kank unf /vfhrfv kg ;s ,pxu,c this one of the the sizes. tuv“I /s"consider cjk stn c ruen vhv ,ntca vragn 'tcc icTell vsuus vh about hcr iuhm c xpsuva aehc most special and beautiful things “The standard size we printed o u h v o d u ' o h b c u n o h n g y n suxc rnahh vza ,bun, ah rpxv kg ratf ',ufkn hdurv I’ve seen in my life. First of all, it’s was a pocket-sized edition, 5.8 v by x p s v v r j t k / h , j y c v ,t rSecond, nua hbt wr rhhmv ka sjuhnv thb,v ,t ah /iuhmv a horaa from the Rebbe. 12 centimeters. In my collection o d / , a d r n , u s g u u , v a h t v , h c c v hhe ,v of the kg uhruhm o g gcrt-,hren iuajb lurc of you see the excitement n I have very small Tanyas; one k h,hcc rin nuthe a hbplace, t vzv with thb,v rpxone ,t each .rt iuthzunthem xhpsvwas a thprinted b,v ,t a h /rpxv fcu 'people in Brazil and s d b f , u p h s r v h f a s j n r f z b h b t o gp wanting to press the button on og 's"hv his ct4 z by ogc r ,kvbvc kt rah are 6jcentimeters. There / " / / / u n h h , x v t k v t r b f o h s h x j v the machine. It is exciting every "iualarge jb lurc wr ka uwhich hruhm the also /the Tanyas single time and each printing ka vrusmurpv ,scug omgc smhf ,t cyhv Rebbe rfuz vdistributed ,ta vtur inhbt 5750 and different. An outsider ?vf hrfvu vxcan’t psvv ///thb,For v hrp x ka these ,uxpsv v the is 5751. now, are understand this. Maybe this is k c e k o h f h r m u h v v x p s v k f h b p k largest editions. The hfv ohrcsv sjt t uv vzv t aubv"idea was why I felt the need to collect"the ubhhv ruahtv rjtk /eruh-uhbn ruaht the ,t ah ,hatraised r /hhjcof h,printing htra ohpa huTanya ohsjuh n size Tanyas so they would all be in i vnmg vxpsvv ,ftknk ohtmuh of a Gemara. :,hba /hcrv ka asue ,truv gmck ybnktv hc /one place.” r p x n k c e k o hfjn ubhhv vfhrfk vxpsvv ohabtv ka ,ucvk,vv ,t vtur v,t v n f j e u k v h v vz ogp tk ratf 'vxpsv d,n kg .ujkk vmur sjt kf ratf 'ouenc 1 0 0 o u n h b h n v , hhv vrusvn kf /ohasuj 19 a22 h o� gp kf /v,ut • k hgKislev pvku 5774 vbufnv
home of a supposed Misnaged
“There are differences in the
Which is the oldest Tanya in your collection? “If I am not mistaken, it is a Tanya from the 26th edition that was printed in Vienna. It has no date on it, but it is estimated to be at least 170 years old. It is stamped with the name, ‘Zalman Ber Labend, Warsaw.’ Each page consists of two columns and it does not have the introduction of the compiler.” R’ Chaim insists on pointing out that to him the most important Tanya is not necessarily the oldest one, but the Tanya that he “lives” with, and there are many of those. I found a pocket edition of a Tanya in his collection from Goa, India with a blue binding that was printed in 5763. A Tanya of the “Histadrut HaKlalit – Religion Division.” A special Tanya that was printed at an air force base. A Tanya printed in the YehudaShomron-Gaza settlements and other strongholds. A Tanya of the aircraft industry and an edition from the diamond exchange. A series of Tanyas printed in Lebanon and other interesting editions. R’ Chaim took out an edition of Tanya that was printed on a ship in the Red Sea port, when the entire truck carrying the printing equipment was lifted onto the ship with a crane hoist. He also showed us a Tanya that was printed at the Kosel whose cover has a drawing of the Kosel. There is also the Tanya that was printed at the site of the terrorist attack at the Tarkomiya checkpoint in 5760, where three Lubavitcher bachurim were shot at and were miraculously saved. Do people take an interest in your collection? “There is great interest. Talmidim come up to my house to see my collection and we
explain the Rebbe’s horaa. People get excited when they hear the names of cities they know or where their families live. “Well-known book collectors have looked at the collection, mainly at the rare Tanyas. A yeshiva which was making a dinner, asked me for a rare Tanya from my collection. I’ve been offered a lot of money, but this collection doesn’t leave my house. It’s not just another collection of someone who is enthusiastic about some item or another. A large part of the collection is something I worked on with my own hands.” Do you plan on adding to your collection? “Yes. Because of my line of work, I am able to frequently add new editions. And friends who know about my collection occasionally offer me other editions. Some want to sell them, others offer me what they have because they don’t want them. I hope to obtain the vast majority of editions of Tanya. I’m in the process.” Is it a special feeling to be in a house surrounded by Tanyas? “I would describe it with the two points made by those who
,u k th eh oh ub o hkh v
“Some of the editions stand out, for example, ohmura ohabt ah 'vrhfnk ohghmna ;eun ',hcc ,uhvk ,sjuhn vauj, uz the printing at hk ohghm nu the oshc grave aha ,uruof svnYosef n rypvk ?thb,of hrpthe x og Tanya g h d v k h k a v u u e , v / o , u a r c a h a vnus ,t k a , u r n h t v h , a c , t z r h s d n h , h h v " HaTzaddik in Sh’chem, while Arabs mobbed around h b t o h h , b h c ' , u r u s n v k a k u s d v c u rk hcr _ thb,v rpxk vnfxv ub,ba ukt and threw stones at us. We did our work as IDF /soldiers l r s v g m n t c tuv thb,v rpx hf rnta ivfv chhk vsuvh stood guard. It’s hard forget that printing.” kg i, nu tanc tmnb hbt ,gf" t ,cegc , uhbjurv , updnv kfk to ,ruy ev ,bn oga rnt hkuphbtn thxuz hcru 'tjhans ,urusvn ,utn vnfc ;xutv ,t chjrvk j h a n , t r e k k t r a h u f k h t h b , v r p x /sux eh,nnf yeac ohhj wr vkdn ",upxub gave their approbation to the Tanya the Jewish people will go /ubesm /"ukxf y"h ,trek rdxvk vrunt vexgv" Tanya, R’ Yehuda HaKohen who forth to greet Moshiach. vbuc ohhj wr ';xutc kuphyvn ekjf l k n h c r v h b p , k c e k t m h v " z g c h b t said that the Tanya is the incense " “G-d willing, I will go forth to he,ugv kf kg runah oa 'sjuhn iurt ,gf " / / / h k a s j u h n v ; x u t v o g j h a n v for all spiritual plagues in Ikvisa greet o the Rebbe MH”M with my /sucfu asue ,rsvc d’Meshicha, and R’ Zushe of special collection.”
Anipoli who said that with the
The printing truck on a ship in the Red Sea
;ux ohc vbhpx hcd kgn vxpsvv rsby
vzv ekj cvk 'hka o,u ,t 'hka ohr hk oha
Anywhere, Anytime !
CHITAS INYONEI GEULA & MOSHIACH RAMBAM SHIURIM IN LIKUTEI SICHOS KODESH
LIVE SHIURIM 0NLINE
rutnc okuf kg yhcv 'uatrc ovk shbv /lhhj ;t ovn vnfku ohbp
ovhatrk uryg ohskhvn ev k wwj c c , f b o v h k g o h s j u h n o h r , f sg
,ww,j jhanu vkutd hbhbg owwcnr hyuekc ohrugha asue ,ujha
ogrzn ;uxh tk urfzu
u k j h t o h s k h v n e k j / " l k n v h j h " ,ur '"utb jhan" '"lknv hjh" hcrk ovk shbv hcrv /"wufu ubbust hjh" rutnc okuf kg yhcv 'uatrc lhhj ;t ovn vnfku ohbp
uryg ohskhvn ekj /ursj j,p kg cauh c,fb ovhkg ohsjuhn ohr,f ovhatrk hjh" hcrk ukjht ohskhvn ekj /"lknv hjh" 23 hcrv /"wIssue ufu ubb903 ust h•j� h" '"u tb jhan" '"l knv
sgu okugk jhanv lkn ubcru ubrun ubhbust hjh
ka uhtuahb ouh 'cdabu vkgb ouh u,utn _ y"pr, ukxfc s"hc _ vkutdv rus thab huume kfc 'vagn habtu ohshxj ohdduj vjna ka ,uhusguu,vc vz ouh 'kc, ouhu iumr ,gf ',urehv uh,uga ,t ohkmbnu tbkhtk ,urae,vv euzhju ,pxu,k vkudx :t"yhka r"unst e"f hrcsfu 'hhjs vcdu tabu ourh" iuakn tuv ihtuahb" kfka /ubesm jhank gdubc rntba "stn tuvu 'ubesm jhann .umhb ubah sjtu sjt uka ,ufhhav ,t vkdna h"g ,tz vkdn /"ubrusca jhanv tuva ubrus thabk
ouh /wev gsub tmh ouh ,t lkn vrh /we la ka dj h tuv
MESIRUS NEFESH FOR THE STUDY OF ZOHAR
As Yud-Tes Kislev, Rosh HaShana L’Chassidus, approaches, we present a compilation of stories about the Alter Rebbe and about the Tanya which we start learning on this day • From the notes of R’ Avrohom Weingarten a”h, l’ilui nishmas his son, R’ Matisyahu Aryeh Leib, may Hashem avenge his blood.
Edited by Y Ben Boruch
FATHER, WHAT ABOUT YOUR PROMISE?
When the Alter Rebbe fled Liadi during the war with the Napoleon, he promised his son, later to be the Mitteler Rebbe, that Napoleon would soon conquer Moscow and then he would have a downfall. He would not advance but would retreat through White Russia. On Erev Yom Kippur 5573/1812, the Alter Rebbe and his family arrived in Vladimir (which wasn’t far from Moscow) and the Alter Rebbe told his son that he would learn with him and explain a maamer on the Zohar. While the Alter Rebbe
prepared to learn and explain the Zohar, his son, who was looking out the window, saw wagons with soldiers and members of the Senate fleeing from Moscow through Vladimir. Seeing their great flight, the Mitteler Rebbe began to cry. He ran to his father and pointed at the wagons and said: What about your promise that the enemy would have his downfall as soon as he arrived in Moscow? The Alter Rebbe was wearing tallis and t’fillin and he hugged his son to calm him and said: You see that I am wearing t’fillin and will not speak falsely. I swear that Napoleon will not cross through Moscow but will soon retreat
through White Russia in order to find food, but they will not let him. Believe me that he will soon have his downfall. (As recorded in a letter of the Mitteler Rebbe to R’ M Meizlich which is printed in Beis Rebbi). Afterward, when the Mitteler Rebbe calmed down, his asked his father to learn the Zohar with him. The Alter Rebbe said no, you missed out on that. For the Zohar you should have had mesirus nefesh. Hearing this, the Mitteler Rebbe was very distressed and afterward, he said that as a result he experienced piercing pains in his side.
(R’ Moshe Dovber Rivkin)
24 � • 19 Kislev 5774
HE HAS AN ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION TOO
Once, when the Alter Rebbe was in Prague and he went to the mikva, as he went down the steps he said: There were some questions on the Noda B’ Yehuda and the Noda B’ Yehuda had answers to all of them, except for his persecuting the Baal Shem Tov. For this he had no response. When the Alter Rebbe entered the mikva, he said that the Noda B’ Yehuda had an answer to this too, for he maintained that his intentions were for the sake of Heaven.
then go from above. This is in reference to the avoda of t’shuva ilaa.
TO EACH HIS OWN
The Alter Rebbe had two types of maamarim that he would say to the Chassidim: 1 – Maamarim that were said for the younger Chassidim which were called yunge Chassidus. 2 – Maamarim that were said for the older Chassidim and the senior Chassidim which were called alte Chassidus. They would not allow the younger Chassidim to enter to hear the Chassidus of the elders, or the elders to hear the Chassidus of the young Chassidim.
THE NODA B’YEHUDA MADE CHASSIDIM OUT OF SINNERS
It is known what the Noda B’Yehuda wrote in his Responsa about saying l’sheim yichud which the Chassidim had printed in their Siddurim. He ends his response with, “About this orphaned generation I say, ‘Yesharim darchei Hashem, tzaddikim yeilchu bam, v’Chassidim yikashlu bam.” When his son printed a second edition of the book, he modified it to read as the verse says, “u’poshim yikashlu bam.” The Alter Rebbe said about this (jokingly), “What he did wasn’t good, because his father made Chassidim out of poshim (willful sinners), while he made poshim out of Chassidim! He should have left it as it was.”
(R’ Yisroel Jacobson)
and secretly entered to hear the yunge Chassidus. The Alter Rebbe had already started the maamer and while standing in the doorway, R’ Zalman managed to hear the Alter Rebbe say, “Emori means ‘one who says.’ He (the yetzer ha’ra) says ‘take a look over there,’ and he looks and makes tamei his eye.” As R’ Zalman entered the room, the Alter Rebbe said (in the middle of the maamer), “What is this? What is this? Without negel vasser?” Hearing this, R’ Zalman immediately understood and fled, but he was thrilled that at least he had heard what the Rebbe said about the klipa of Emori.
(R’ M. D. Rivkin)
THE KLIPA OF EMORI
The Chassid R’ Zalman Zezmer, who was one of the oldtime Chassidim, yearned to hear the yunge Chassidus. He asked one of the young men to tell him when the Alter Rebbe’s emissary came to call him to come for the Chassidus for the young men. Then he would try to sneak in and listen. The young Chassid waited two weeks or so but was not called to come and hear Chassidus. Without being called and given permission, the young men were not allowed to enter. Then once, in the middle of the day, the emissary came to call him to hear Chassidus. The young man rushed to call R’ Zalman Zezmer. R’ Zalman was resting and the young man woke him up and said to hurry and come hear the maamer. In his haste, R’ Zalman forgot to wash his hands (as the Alter Rebbe paskens that if you sleep sixty nimin [lit. breaths] during the day it is better to wash three times). He rushed out right away
MOSHIACH WAS BORN ON TISHA B’AV
The Alter Rebbe once said: Moshiach was born on Tisha B’Av, for Chazal say, “A man must remember (i.e. have relations with) his wife before he sets out on a trip.” So too, in galus, when Hashem removed Himself to the higher realms there was the idea of “remembrance” and Moshiach was born, and this is very deep.
THE QUESTION THE SENIOR CHASSIDIM DID NOT ASK
R’ Shmuel Levitin said that the Chassid R’ Moshe Yitzchok of Iasi related: I heard from the Alter Rebbe that when he was in Berditchev, he saw two torches of light (a term used in Zohar to describe lofty souls) and took great pleasure from them. This was because Rebbetzin Chava’le, the wife of R’ Sholom of Prochowice (the son of R’ Avrohom the Malach and the grandson of the
OVER THE TOP
There is a saying that the Chassidim of the Alter Rebbe would say in his name: If it doesn’t go from below, you need to grab from above. Or in another version: If you can’t from below,
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Mezritcher Maggid) came with her two sons, R’ Avrohom of Prochowice who was older and R’ Yisroel of Ruzhin who was seven years old. She had come to ask him for a bracha for her two sons. The Alter Rebbe said, “The younger son asked me: When we read the first line of the Shma, we need to be moser nefesh at echad which is bittul b’metzius (complete nullification of self), so how do we go on to say V’Ahavta which implies an awareness of self? “I told him a deep answer. If all the seas were ink and all the forests quills and all people were scribes, they could not write an explanation of this in detail and this little boy understood it all!” The Alter Rebbe concluded as he turned to his Chassidim, “Shame on you! A young boy from Poland asked me a question that even the elder Chassidim did not ask!”
THE BREAK OF “BORUCH SHEIM”
A few years later, the Alter Rebbe said a maamer Chassidus on the verse, “Shir HaShirim,” which is printed in Likkutei Torah Shir HaShirim. In this maamer he states this question (that R’ Yisroel of Ruzhin asked him). (There it says: How is it possible to love with all your heart after the mesirus nefesh of echad when, regarding love, it says to love Hashem your G-d because He is your life, but mesirus nefesh is about casting your life aside which is negating your very existence to the Ohr Ein Sof blessed is He mamash; and therefore, how is it possible, after the level of bittul of mesirus nefesh of echad to have the aspect of V’Ahavta when there is someone who loves?) The Alter Rebbe then answers this question by explaining that this is the reason we insert “Boruch Sheim” between these
two verses, but we do not know whether this is the answer he gave to R’ Yisroel of Ruzhin; it seems to be a different answer. The substance of the answer is brought by the Tzemach Tzedek in Shoresh Mitzvas HaT’filla in Derech Mitzvosecha. After the explanation, he writes “and with this it seems to me that it is possible to also answer the question that I heard that one of the grandsons of the holy Maggid, the Rebbe of Rabbeinu Z”l (the Alter Rebbe), asked of Rabbeinu Z”l when he was in Berditchev... In the work Beis Rebbi (footnoted in the Rebbe’s notes and glosses on Derech Mitzvosecha) he mentions what the Tzemach Tzedek wrote, and writes that although he heard people say that it was one of these two brothers, in Berditchev he heard that in their tradition it was a different grandson of the Malach from his daughter.
TO BRING MOSHIACH NOW!
ADD IN ACTS OF GOODNESS & KINDNESS
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MOSHIACH & GEULA
MOSHIACH AND YUD-TES KISLEV
By Rabbi Gershon Avtzon
Dear Reader sh’yichyeh, Today, Friday, is the 19th of Kislev “Rosh HaShana L ’Chassidus.” I would like to start off by saying “L ’chaim!” and wishing each and every one of you לשנה טובה בלימוד החסידות ובדרכי – החסידות תבתיבו ותחתימוMay you be inscribed and sealed for a good year in the learning of Chassidus and in the ways of Chassidus! We all know that the revelation of Chassidus in the last few hundred years is very much connected with the coming of Moshiach. Chassidus really started to be revealed around the year 5500 (right before the birth of the Alter Rebbe in the year 5505). As each thousand years of history represents one of the days of creation, the year 5500 is the start of “Friday afternoon.” At that point, one must get ready for Shabbos and start tasting the delicacies of Shabbos. That is why Chassidus was revealed then, so we could begin tasting the G-dly revelations of the Torah of Moshiach and begin living with Moshiach. In the winter sichos of 5752, the Rebbe added some very interesting connections between 19 Kislev and Moshiach. Here are a few of the ideas: 1) The essence of the times of Moshiach is the complete revelation of G-dliness in this
physical world, as the Navi (Yeshaya 40:5) says:”’וְנִגְל ָה ּכ ְבֹוד ה ּדּבֵר ִ ’חּדָו ּכ ִי ּפִי ה ְ ַ – וְָראּו כ ָל ּבָׂשָר יAnd the glory of the L-rd shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see that the mouth of the L-rd spoke.” The numerical value of the name of Hashem is 26. The value of the “Hidden Parts” of Hashem name (,וד-י א- ה,או- ו,א- )הis 19! This hints to us that on the 19th of Kislev the process of the revelation of the inner dimension of Hashem to the world began. (See VaYishlach 5752, footnote 64) 2) The Rambam (Hilchos Melachim 12:5) writes: “In that era, there will be neither famine nor war, neither envy nor competition, for good will flow in abundance and all the delights will be freely available as dust. The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-d. Therefore, the Jews will be great sages and know the hidden matters, grasping the knowledge of their Creator according to the full extent of human potential, as Yeshaya (11:9) states: ‘The world will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the ocean bed.’” From this statement of the Rambam we see clearly that in the times of Moshiach everyone will be learning Chassidus. It is also interesting to note (see footnote 106 of the above-
mentioned sicha) that it was only in the year תרס”בthat the name “Rosh HaShana of Chassidus” was revealed to the world. That year was the birth of the Rebbe, the Nasi of the seventh generation, whose job it is to bring the Geula. I will finish with words of the Rebbe (Kuntres 19 Kislev 5752): “In these times – the days of Moshiach – in which we now find ourselves, we only need to open the eyes. Then we will see that the true and complete Redemption already exists, in the simple sense. All the Jewish people, ‘with our youth and our aged, etc., with our sons and our daughters,’ are prepared, in every single, last detail, ‘to approach and sit at the table,’ the table prepared with every delicacy and delight, beginning with those of the Redemption, Leviasan, Shor HaBar and Yayin HaMeshumar. Also, [the Jewish people are ready for] the most important thing, ‘to know G-d’ – ‘the world will be filled with knowledge of the L-rd as the waters cover the ocean bed.’”
Rabbi Avtzon is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Lubavitch Cincinnati and a well sought after speaker and lecturer. Recordings of his in-depth shiurim on Inyanei Geula u’Moshiach can be accessed at http://www.ylcrecording.com
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THE JOY OF TORAH OPENED THE FLOODGATES
Rabbi Zalman Bernstein and his wife Shaindy, the Rebbe’s shluchim in Cochin, India, had been waiting for several years since their wedding to be blessed with children. At a certain stage they heard about a dollar from the Rebbe that helped many couples to be blessed with “zera shel kayama.” Numerous spontaneous events took place along the way, giving them the feeling that the path to receiving the long-awaited bracha had finally been opened. A very moving miracle story.
By Nosson Avraham Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry
כe decided to tell this story out of a sense of gratitude to the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, as per his holy instructions to publicize miracles as part of the process to hasten the Redemption,” said Rabbi Zalman Bernstein, the Rebbe’s shliach in Cochin, located on the subcontinent of India. Together with his wife Shaindy, R’ Zalman recently welcomed the birth of triplets, three healthy baby boys, in a good and auspicious hour, and their joy knew no bounds. More than four years had passed since their marriage, yet throughout this time they remained faithful and confident that it was only
a matter of time before their prayers would be answered. A series of amazing Divine Providences with a clear bracha from the Rebbe via Igros Kodesh on Simchas Torah last year in Beis Chayeinu paved the way for the joyous moment they have just experienced. “The Rebbe didn’t just give us a bracha; he was there for us at every turn. We were privileged to receive an answer to each of our questions. We felt that the Rebbe was with us at every step, dealing with any and all problems leading up to the birth,” said Rabbi Bernstein in a voice filled with emotion. “While we have seen many miracles on shlichus, I can safely say that this is the first time
that we really felt how the Rebbe walks hand-in-hand with us.”
A WANDERING DOLLAR
The Bernsteins got married in the winter of 5769. From the very outset it was clear that they would be going out on shlichus to prepare another place on the globe to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu. “After our ‘first year,’ and with a bracha from the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, we made our way to India and opened a Chabad House in the city of Cochin. “Weeks and months passed, but we did not see a sign of a future addition to our family. We believed that it would come
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soon, but as time passed with no progress, we began a series of check-ups and examinations. During every visit we made to Eretz Yisroel, we arranged appointments with specialists in the field of gynecology. While there were moments of great exasperation, we remained confident that as shluchim of the Rebbe, the shepherd never abandons his flock, and it’s all just a matter of time. “Before Shavuos 5772, I heard a story from one of my friends about a chassid living in Tzfas who also went many years after his wedding without having any children. He traveled to 770 for Simchas Torah and received a dollar from a local Chassid,
given by the Rebbe for ‘zera chaya v’kayama.’ Incredibly, the Chassid from Tzfas became a father that same year. I thought about how I could obtain this dollar as a segula for children, but I didn’t know who the Chassid in Tzfas was, and I assumed that he had given the dollar back already. “I heard the name of the Chassid from Crown Heights just before boarding our flight to Beis Chayeinu for the Shavuos holiday. It turns out that he had been married for seven years without having any children, and after receiving the Rebbe’s bracha and two dollars for ‘zera chaya v’kayama’ – he and his wife were blessed with twins. Excited by this discovery, I decided to
meet him and ask for one of the dollars. “During our stay in Crown Heights we also dealt with matters pertaining to our shlichus in Cochin, and by Divine Providence, I met this Chassid – Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Spalter – on Kingston Avenue, shortly before our return to Eretz Yisroel. I told him about ourselves, our shlichus in India, our lengthy wait to be blessed with children, and then I asked him if he could lend us one of the dollars he had received from the Rebbe. “He was most impressed by the stories of great self-sacrifice required on our shlichus, and he then proceeded to tell his own story. His wife’s grandfather,
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the Chassid R’ Chaikel Chanin, had requested a bracha for them from the Rebbe on numerous occasions at dollars distribution – without receiving an explicit blessing. Then, one year on the auspicious day of Lag B’Omer, the Rebbe suddenly announced that dollars would be given out. R’ Chaikel also passed by the Rebbe, but he forgot to make a request for his grandchildren. Then, in a moment of Divine inspiration, the Rebbe turned to him and asked him if his grandchildren needed a bracha. Naturally, he immediately made a request, and the Rebbe gave him a bracha with two dollars. Their twins were born within the year. “Regrettably, while he was very touched by our situation, he said that he was on his way to the airport for a very important flight. The Rebbe’s dollar was locked away in his safe at home, but no one besides him had access to it. He added that the first dollar was still in Eretz Yisroel with the Chassid from Tzfas, and he suggested that upon my return home, I should give him his name and ask him to give me the dollar. “This was the very first thing we did once we got back to Eretz Yisroel. We contacted the Chassid in Tzfas, but he informed us that there was a long line of Chassidim ahead of us, and the dollar was making its way around several local families. I was very disappointed about this delay, and I asked him to add our name to the waiting list.” Torah is an auspicious time for unique personal salvation, as it is also the Rebbe’s day of ushpizin, I would travel to 770 and ask for the Rebbe’s bracha. Shmini Atzeres and Simchas Torah came out on Monday and Tuesday that year, and I landed in New York a few days in advance. “On the evening of Shmini Atzeres, I again met Rabbi Spalter in the streets of Crown Heights. I told him about the dollar creating tremendous miracles and wonders among Chabad families in Eretz HaKodesh, and I asked if he could possibly leave the second dollar with me. While I could see that this was not an easy thing for him to do, he eventually gave his consent and asked me to come to his house after Simchas Torah. “Between Maariv and Hakafos on the night of Shmini Atzeres, about a hundred avreichim and T’mimim came to the sukka of Rabbi Amos Cohen to hear Kiddush. Suddenly, one of the bachurim got up on a bench to make an announcement. He proclaimed that there’s a shliach from India present who has been married for three and a half years without any children, and he asked everyone to give us a bracha. They all said ‘Amen,’ and blessed us from the depths of their hearts. For the first time, I had a good feeling that this Simchas Torah would elicit the Divine blessing we had been waiting for so long. “As this bachur stood on the bench and spoke, I suddenly recalled that once when we wrote a letter to the Rebbe on this matter, there was an answer that we should ask Chassidim to bless us during a Chassidic farbrengen. Now I really felt that things were starting to develop. After Kiddush we happily walked back to 770 for Hakafos, and I gave a ‘L ’chaim’ to everyone I met that night, asking each of them to bless us with ‘zera chaya v’kayama.’ I felt that even those I had never met before were giving us their bracha with the utmost sincerity. It’s difficult to describe the sense of brotherly love I experienced that night, a true inner love that can only exist among Chassidim on the holy day of Simchas Torah. I went around that Yom tov in a state of sheer spiritual elation. “On Wednesday, Isru Chag, I was supposed to go to Rabbi Spalter’s house and ask for the Rebbe’s dollar. Before leaving 770, I met my friend and fellow shliach, Rabbi Ran Shamir, Chabad House director in Kodai Kanal, India, and we chatted for a few minutes. He’s my closest ‘neighbor’ on shlichus, and we naturally coordinate our activities with guests traveling between our two cities. As we were talking, an avreich passed near us and started speaking with Rabbi Shamir, who immediately introduced us. This Chassid, Rabbi Berel Pashtar, serves as a mashpia at the Chabad yeshiva in Brunoy, France. “The three of us began a friendly conversation, a kind of stand-up farbrengen that can only happen in 770. We told stories of the Divine Providence and the challenges we encounter on our shlichus in India, while he related his own experiences over the years in Beis Chayeinu with the Rebbe MH”M. We stood talking for three hours, paying no attention to the passing time. When I saw that it was already past midnight, I decided to postpone going to Rabbi Spalter’s house to pick up the dollar until the following day. “I had some regret over this,
MEETING CANCELLED DUE TO FARBRENGEN
“In the meantime, the Tishrei holidays of 5773 were getting closer. While we were filled with hope and anticipation, there was still no good news on the horizon. We decided that since Simchas
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as this dollar was very important to me and I didn’t want to waste this opportunity. Nevertheless, it was quite clear to me that I simply could not leave a Chassidic farbrengen in the middle.”
THE MIRACLE DOLLAR AT THE END OF THE FARBRENGEN
“Towards the end of this impromptu farbrengen, at around one o’clock, Rabbi Pashtar said that while we had never met before, he knew me quite well. How? From an article written about us in the ‘Beis Moshiach’ Magazine the year before. He said that before the Yud-Tes Kislev farbrengen, the magazine had arrived at his home. He read the article before going out to farbreng with the yeshiva students, and the farbrengen dealt primarily with stories on shlichus about the Chabad representatives in Cochin. “Rabbi Pashtar added quite casually that an avreich with no children had participated in the farbrengen, and as he (Rabbi Pashtar) customarily did on such occasions, he took a dollar out of his pocket that he had received from the Rebbe. He firmly believed that the dollars given to him by the Rebbe were not his own private property, but rather they were a source of Divine blessings that must be passed on to others in need of personal salvation. He gave a dollar to this avreich, and less than a year later, he was blessed with the birth of his first-born son. “Chills went up my spine as I heard what he said; I was in exactly the same predicament. I immediately told him about our years of waiting for children of our own. Rabbi Pashtar was deeply moved, and he took out
“Naturally, he immediately made a request, and the Rebbe gave him a bracha with two dollars. Their twins were born within the year.”
“I went around for two days in a very excited state. I felt that the channel had finally been opened, all obstacles had been removed, and now we would merit to receive the Rebbe’s bracha.”
the one dollar he had in his pocket and gave it to me. We were both amazed when we saw what was written on the dollar: ‘Received on Yud-Tes Kislev 5746’ – just after he had told us about what had happened at a Yud-Tes Kislev farbrengen. I initially felt that I lost out on receiving the Rebbe’s dollar because of this farbrengen, and here the Rebbe miraculously sends me another dollar in its place... “I believed that the Rebbe was sending me a clear sign that everything would turn out just fine. Rabbi Pashtar, a Chassidic Jew, who lived the Rebbe at every moment, explained to me that he felt how this dollar had merely been deposited with him. He suggested that I picture in my mind that the Rebbe was giving me this dollar right now, and I should request whatever I wished. Thus, when the three of us parted from one another, this is just what I did. I asked the Rebbe for a bracha that we should merit that year to become parents at long last.
A DOUBLE BRACHA
“On Friday night, after I finished saying the bedtime Krias Shma in 770, I went over to the library shelves containing volumes of Igros Kodesh and requested a bracha from the Rebbe. In fact, I was seeking some confirmation for what I was feeling in my heart. I took Vol. 11 off the shelf, and the seifer opened to pg. 162. I was dumbfounded as I read the content of the letter: As to his announcement about the condition of his wife, tichye. It would be appropriate to check the mezuzos in their home (if they haven’t been checked during the last twelve months), and check his t’fillin, and his
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wife will surely act according to the custom of kosher Jewish women to set aside [coins for tz’daka] before candle lighting each Erev Shabbos Kodesh and Erev Yom tov. May G-d Alm-ghty complete the days of her pregnancy in proper order, and she should have an easy birth to zera chaya v’kayama in the right time. “It seems that when the Rebbe gives a bracha, he does so in a very clear way – without vague hints or gematrias. I shook with great emotion as I was simply beside myself with joy. “I was absolutely certain that we would be parents by that same time next year. “With much eagerness, I waited until Motzaei Shabbos, washed my hands, made a good resolution, and wrote a lengthy correspondence to the Rebbe about everything we had gone through over the past four years. I now felt that the time had come to say what had to be said. I thanked the Rebbe for his brachos, and I asked that everything should go easily. After I had finished composing my letter, I took one of the volumes of Igros Kodesh off the library shelves and opened it. “As I started reading the Rebbe’s reply I got the feeling that I had seen this letter before... Imagine how stunned I was when I looked at the seifer, and saw that I was reading pg. 162 from Vol. 11. The Rebbe had given me the same answer in the same volume on the same page. Overwhelmed by the apparent Divine Providence, I called my wife and told her what had transpired. I felt that the Rebbe was calming us down, assuring us that everything would be all right. “Shortly after Simchas Torah, I returned to Eretz HaKodesh with great faith and confidence.” depended upon it. “In fact, when we received the t’fillin at the beginning of Kislev, we also got the news we had long been waiting for. We were simply overjoyed. Everything seemed to be falling into place. The Jewish People do indeed have a Nasi. “Throughout the months of the pregnancy, we constantly felt the Rebbe’s presence. During the fifth month, my father wrote a letter to the Rebbe for us and received an amazing answer. The Rebbe noted the fifth month, writing ‘and she surely is visiting a doctor, as is customary.’ We felt that at every stage leading up to the birth, the Rebbe was there with precise answers as if they had been written just for us. Three times during the pregnancy, we received very clear answers for an easy birth.”
THE REBBE IS WITH US – THROUGH HIS CLEAR AND ENCOURAGING ANSWERS
“I didn’t waste much valuable time upon my return to Eretz Yisroel, and I quickly went to a sofer with my t’fillin. It turned out that due to the hot and humid weather in the city of our shlichus, a problem had developed with the battim. I ordered new battim and in the meantime, we had the mezuzos checked. “While I was waiting for the new battim, I urged the sofer to finish his work as quickly as possible, as the Rebbe’s bracha
A THREE-FOLD BRACHA
“On the 21st of Elul, we saw the realization of the Rebbe MH”M’s bracha with our own eyes – at the birth of our three sons, healthy and strong,” said Rabbi Bernstein as he concluded his deeply moving story. “We have a Rebbe, and we can turn to him and see the fulfillment of his brachos. Fortunate are we to be his Chassidim.”
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32 � • 19 Kislev 5774
"The quickest way to reveal Moshiach is by learning the Torah sources about Moshiach & redemption" t"ab,wv grumnu ghrz, p"a
GIVE YOUR SHLIACH A BIRTHDAY PRESENT
By Rabbi Yaakov Shmuelevitz Shliach, Beit Shaan
ONCE A YEAR
The idea that the Rebbe promulgated, that we must feel the Geula while still in galus, can be applied practically in our dayto-day lives. One example of this is how some shluchim celebrate their birthday. I have no other way of describing it than to say “Geula’dike Gifts.” Many a shliach knows that his birthday is a once a year opportunity to be mekarev people in a special way, even those whom he doesn’t see all year long at the Chabad House or shul. This is how it works. He lets as many people as possible know that on a certain day he will be celebrating his birthday at the Chabad House. Even those who don’t usually attend the Yud-Tes Kislev, Hei Teves or Yud Shevat farbrengens show up for the shliach’s personal party. When
they all show up, he is able to discuss important matters. R’ Shimshon Tal, shliach in Hod HaSharon, invited two shluchim as guests to one of his birthday celebrations. They turned it from an ordinary birthday party into a day of good resolutions made by all the participants. The two lecturers were R’ Sagi Har Shefer, shliach in Nes Tziyona, and R’ Yosef Chaim Bolton, a personal trainer. First, R’ Har Shefer spoke. After a short, inspiring D’var Torah, he made a suggestion that the participants could not refuse, that each of them give R’ Tal a birthday present – a spiritual gift. Each one was to say what good resolution he was willing to commit to, and this was his gift to the shliach. The idea took off. Two
men said they would wear a gartel from now on when they daven. A third one committed to making a donation to the Chabad House. A fourth committed to attending another shiur, and so it continued. The party took on a spiritual and practical air, and they all got into the spirit of making good resolutions and taking on mitzvos. To illustrate how seriously this is taken: one of the men, who had committed to wearing a gartel, showed up one day at the Chabad House and began davening when he realized he wasn’t wearing a gartel. He had forgotten it at home. He was so flustered by this that he asked one of the Chassidim whether he was permitted to continue davening. It was only after he found an electrical cord which he tied around himself that he felt better and continued davening.
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“In our community in New Zealand there is a woman who is an aguna. Her husband is in New York and for twelve years he has been refusing to divorce her. Whenever I come to New York I go to his house and beg him to release his wife, but he always refuses … This year, the miracle happened and he was willing to give her a get.”
The second speaker, R’ Bolton, explained how it is possible to use the techniques of personal training in one’s service of Hashem. We don’t need to be set in our old ways; we can move forward and add to our mitzva observance. Even if until now, you thought you couldn’t, you can! Among other things, he spoke about it being hard to attend shiurim because of tiredness. He came across as both professional and sincere, and some of the participants committed and actually began showing up to shiurim at the Chabad House. All because of a birthday! After R’ Tal had already sensitively brought up the matter several times, to no avail, he devoted his weekly sermon on Friday night to the topic of respect for a shul and the need for quiet. He did not mention any names or cite personal examples. He just opened the Siddur to the end of Shmoneh Esrei and read what is written there, from the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch: “And a person should teach his young children and train them to say ‘Amen,’ and as soon as a child says Amen, he has a share in the World to Come. They must be trained to stand with awe and fear. As for those who run around in shul in play, it is better not to bring them to shul at all.” The man with the rowdy children figured out that the sermon was directed at him and he was offended. He could barely wish the rabbi a “Shabbat Shalom” at the end of the davening. R’ Tal called him after Shabbos several times, but the man did not answer the phone. It was only a few days later, in a conversation that R’ Tal managed to have with him, that the man admitted that he did not appreciate the sermon. He even said he hoped the Chabad House would “accept” him with the children. “Every week I am busy with work and the only time I have to be with the children and talk to them is on Shabbos, in shul. I look forward all week to the
davening at the Chabad House and I myself want to sit and daven. And you want me to train my children at that time?” R’ Tal explained it wasn’t a contradiction. It was great that he looked forward all week to davening on Shabbos, and it was good that he wanted to daven and wonderful that he wanted to talk to his children, but he had to find a way to do it all properly. With a lot of good will, they came to an agreement.
A STORY OF GEULA FROM NES TZIYONA
After R’ Sagi Har Shefer saw how people were willing to make commitments in the shliach’s honor, he decided to adopt this method for his own birthday, a few weeks later. He also invited mekuravim to a party. They drank l’chaim and people were encouraged to give the shliach spiritual gifts. Here are the results: The deputy mayor announced that he committed to donning t’fillin every day for the next month. Someone else, a person whom you wouldn’t guess attended the davening at the Chabad House every day, committed to wearing a gartel during davening. A young man, someone who regularly attended all the Chabad House activities, who had been told by R’ Sagi many times to start growing a beard, always said it wasn’t time for that yet. At this birthday farbrengen, as hachlatos flew around from all directions, he got up and said he had a surprise for the rabbi. From that day on, he wouldn’t touch his beard. Some men said they would commit to daven with one of the minyanim at the Chabad House.
A SHLIACH’S GOOD RESOLUTION
Surprisingly, by the end of the farbrengen there were still some participants who hadn’t come up with a good hachlata to give the shliach as a gift. It is precisely for people like these that we have R’ Shimshon Tal. He will eventually visit with each of them and tell them what hachlata is right for them. One of them is a regular worshiper at the Chabad House who attends only on Shabbos, along with his two little children. Unfortunately, he doesn’t make much of an effort to keep his children quiet. They run around, make noise and even go over to their father to talk to him in the middle of the davening.
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One decided to go to the Rebbe for the next holiday. Another one, an editor of a local paper, did not wear a kippa. This didn’t stop him from committing to buying tzitzis, which he wears every day. Others said they would show up to say T’hillim on Shabbos Mevarchim, and the list goes on.
THE GET WAS IN THE T’FILLIN BAG
Here is another story, told by a participant of a farbrengen at the Chabad House in Nes Tziyona. Nissim Levy, an Israeli who immigrated to the US, lived in Crown Heights for six years and worked as a cab driver. Nissim drove many shluchim to important meetings, to the airport, etc. (The fact that Nissim was present at the farbrengen in Nes Tziyona is also an incredible story of Hashgacha Pratis. When Nissim decided to return to Eretz Yisroel, he knew that he wanted to live in the Shfela region, Rishon L ’Tziyon, Rechovos, or someplace similar, but he was unable to find an apartment. He looked for weeks, perused all the ads in the papers, visited real estate agents, checked out possibilities in about ten cities, but did not find what he was looking for. He finally found a nice apartment in Nes Tziyona. It was only later that he discovered that he was a neighbor of R’ Sagi. He realized that the Rebbe had guided him from the worldwide Chabad headquarters to the Chabad center in Nes Tziyona. Today, he attends the davening, shiurim, and mivtzaim and even publicizes the miracles that he saw with his own eyes in 770 and on the many trips he made throughout New York). One day, the shliach in New Zealand, R’ Mendy, called him.
R’ Sagi Har Shefer
Rabbi Yosef Chaim Bolton
He knew Nissim from before and was in New York. He wanted to be driven from Crown Heights to LaGuardia airport. The shliach told him that he was flying to Chicago and from there to New Zealand. Nissim drove him and then went home. At midnight, he was awakened by the ringing of the phone. It was the shliach. “I am at the airport in Chicago and realized that I lost my bag with my tallis and t’fillin at LaGuardia airport. Please, go there and find it.” Although it was freezing and snowing outside, Nissim went back to the airport. As soon as he came to the passenger terminal, he met the janitor. Nissim asked him whether he had found a bag and the employee told him, “You are probably looking for that big bag that Jews use.” He took him to the lost and found department and gave him the bag. The shliach called again, heard the good news, and thanked Nissim for the efforts he had expended in locating his bag. Nissim went back home and got up later that morning to daven in 770. To his surprise, he met the shliach, who told
him he had postponed his trip to New Zealand and had returned to New York to get his tallis and t’fillin bag. Nissim was taken aback and asked him why it was so important to return to New York and change his itinerary in order to get his t’fillin back immediately. The shliach’s answer was completely unexpected. “In our community in New Zealand there is a woman who is an aguna. Her husband is in New York and for twelve years he has been refusing to divorce her. Whenever I come to New York, I go to his house and beg him to release his wife, but he is not interested in listening to me or anyone else who tries to convince him. “This year, the miracle happened and he was willing to give her a get. We did everything we had to do and I received the get for the woman. Since it was so important, I kept it safe in my tallis and t’fillin bag. Now do you understand why it was so important to me to return and get it? Now, I can go back to New Zealand.”
Issue 903 • �
ALL JEWS ARE THE SAME, ESPECIALLY TO A MISSILE
During the week when the United States showed a glimmer of sanity as it decided not to support the agreement designed to give carte blanche to Iran’s uranium enrichment program, voices were heard in Eretz Yisroel, of all places, calling for cooperation on the division of Yerushalayim. Furthermore, it was specifically the ultraOrthodox Knesset Members who seemed to forget that the Torah has something to say on this issue as well.
By Sholom Ber Crombie Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry
hat would have happened if the United States of America hadn’t decided at the last minute to reject the proposed agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran? What would the government of Israel have done? Would it have accepted the established fact of
a nuclear Iran? Let’s put the question another way: Is there someone so naïve to think that America will protect the residents of Eretz HaKodesh when its own government is abandoning them? Last week’s headlines opened with the media storm surrounding the proposed agreement between
the United States and Iran. According to the proposal, economic sanctions against the Iranians would be lifted in return for assurances that its uranium development program would be used for solely peaceful purposes. This agreement was about the most pathetic thing that could possibly happen here. The result
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would have been considerable funds flowing to this radical Islamic regime, along with an uninterrupted supply of weapons for the nuclear arms race. This was meant to be the final nail in the coffin burying the rationality of the Obama-Kerry association, which has sought to turn the Middle East into their own world vision of a little “neighborhood of make believe.” This time, at least we’re hearing a clear position on the Israeli side. Once again, we see proof that when the leaders in Eretz Yisroel take an unyielding stance, they succeed in awakening what little sanity the Americans have left. The Obama regime was shocked by the firm reaction of the government of Israel, and at the last moment, the Americans refused to sign this ridiculous agreement with Iran. In essence, this represents a classic example of the U.S.Israeli relationship, although no one seemed to notice it at the time. The United States wanted to follow this suicidal path with full force, but the Israelis’ welldefined and unambiguously stated opinion has changed the Americans’ tune. Instead of capitulating to the Iranians and their radical leaders, the U.S. now demands a halt to their nuclear arms program. This is not the first time that America has tried to straighten out regional disputes in the Middle East by offering unpredictable cosmetic solutions, lasting only a few days and putting Eretz Yisroel’s security into a tailspin. The difference this time was not the Americans, but the Israelis. Now, let’s imagine what would happen if other issues regarding U.S.-Israeli relations followed the same course. For example, take the most pressing issue: the nature of the relations
between successive Israeli governments and the PLO terror organization. What would have been so terrible if the government of Israel had proclaimed that it is unwilling to negotiate with those who call for its destruction – just as it said on the Iranian issue?
interests. We can’t be sitting on the sidelines with arms folded, or worse – negotiating with those who call for our destruction. The only difference between Iran and the ‘Palestinian’ Authority is the legitimacy factor. While Iran suffers from
The missiles fired from those settlements that Litzman help to uproot make no distinction between knitted kippot and black yarmulkes. For them, a Jew is a Jew is a Jew. AMERICAN INTERESTS
The commonly accepted view in Eretz Yisroel is that the Israeli establishment needs the Americans, and therefore, it is forbidden ch”v to anger them, lest they pull the plug on military assistance to the Israel Defense Forces. The truth is that while the U.S. assistance is very important, it is primarily a matter of American interests. In numerous discussions with Israeli policymakers and other government officials, the Rebbe asked them to change their perception of the Americans as people who are doing the Israelis a favor by maintaining Eretz Yisroel as its closest ally in the Middle East. The Rebbe explained logically that above all, this is a matter of America’s vital interests. This was the message conveyed time and time again to anyone prepared to listen. These simple facts are now being stated openly even by Israeli politicians, who have begun to understand that Eretz Yisroel is the sole island of rationality in the region. For the Americans, we are a kind of embassy for them. However, they need to see us leading the march and fighting for our own
being justifiably delegitimized – the product of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s worldwide efforts over a period of several years, the ‘Palestinian’ Authority enjoys a full measure of legitimacy – thanks in part to the same prime minister. However, apart from that distinction, both of these two entities are calling for our annihilation and don’t recognize our right to exist in our own homeland. Perhaps after we have succeeded in slightly altering America’s stance toward the Iranian regime, the Israeli leadership will now take that extra step and declare unequivocally: We are not prepared to negotiate with a-n-y-o-n-e who calls for our destruction. That also includes nice moderate Arabs like Abu Mazen (may his name be erased), who only plan terrorist attacks and kill Jews moderately, although they haven’t developed a real nuclear bomb.
IT SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE
With the nuclear talks in Geneva and the return of some Israeli sanity in the background, it was very embarrassing to see
Issue 903 • �
the headlines on the agreement signed last week between the left-wing parties and the ultraOrthodox factions on the latter’s support for the dismantling of more Jewish settlements in exchange for left-wing approval of budget allocations for Torah institutions. The headlines “Induction For Peace” were meant to be a warning sign to the right-wing leaders that the time had come for them to pay for betraying the chareidim. The According to media reports, the opposition factions have forged an agreement between the “ultra-Orthodox” parties and the left-wing factions, leading to the establishment of a leftist-chareidi covenant to stop the wave of anti-religious legislation currently churning out of the Knesset. In return, the ultra-Orthodox will oppose government policy in Yehuda and Shomron, and support far-reaching diplomatic agreements r”l. It is reported these two groups – the arrogant coalition parties and the embittered opposition parties –listen to the command of the Torah. As the Rebbe explained time after time, we’re talking about a security matter that any clear-headed individual can understand. The Torah states a simple Halacha in Shulchan Aruch, Sec. 329: When Gentiles are besieging a Jewish city – even over straw and stubble – this is a situation of pikuach nefesh, period. This gives us the strength to not negotiate with anyone who calls for our destruction, and surely not to talk about concessions on Yerushalayim. It’s a pity that Knesset Member Litzman managed to forget so quickly about the missiles that fell just last year on the Gerer Chassidic community in Ashdod. The missiles fired from those settlements that Litzman help to uproot make no distinction between knitted kippot and black yarmulkes. For them, a Jew is a Jew is a Jew. In the face of the prime minister’s disgraceful submissions and the weak policy of opposition leaders, there can only be one answer: We must state the position of Torah proudly and without compromise, and we must declare to the world that the Torah has the best blueprint for peace and security in “the land [that] Hashem, your G-d, seeks out; the eyes of Hashem, your G-d, are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.” (Dedicated to the new soldier in Hashem’s Army, Eyal HaKohen ben Ester Nechama Dina Hoffman, born in Beersheva, City of the Forefathers, on the 4th of Kislev 5774.)
Just as the prime minister gets confused between murderers wearing ties and murderers wearing keffiyehs, similarly, the ultra-Orthodox party leaders fail to understand that the same Torah that commands “you shall meditate therein day and night” forbids the relinquishing of territory in Eretz Yisroel.
wheels are turning, and this time it’s the settlers who are in panic over possible retribution from the ultra-Orthodox factions. The story of Yosef and his brothers has come to haunt us once again. The truth is that these headlines should come as no surprise. The attempt to portray this shift by the ultraOrthodox factions as a “sharp turn to the left” is far from the reality. Heading the chareidi parties today are two politicians who had previously been fullfledged partners in uprooting settlements and giving away territory. Aryeh Deri concocted the Rabin government that gave us the Oslo Accords, and Yaakov Litzman smiled all the way to the Dead Sea to help the Sharon government implement the Gush Katif expulsion. They haven’t turned left; they’ve stood still in their usual places.
that Shas MK Ariel Attias even declared that his party would not oppose territorial compromises in Yerushalayim.
CLEAVE TO THE TORAH
On these two issues – American military assistance and the chareidi-leftist alliance – we face the same central point: A clear adherence to Torah is the only true way to keep a Jew from getting confused by the prevailing situation. Just as the prime minister gets confused between murderers wearing ties and murderers wearing keffiyehs, similarly, the ultra-Orthodox party leaders fail to understand that the same Torah that commands “you shall meditate therein day and night” forbids the relinquishing of territory in Eretz Yisroel. It is recommended that
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IN BUBBY’S WASHING MACHINE
By Yisroelik Fried
“L ’Shana Tova in the learning of Chassidus and the ways of Chassidus may you be written and inscribed!” said my grandfather heartily as I walked into the living room. The truth is, after what the machine showed me the previous week, I was looking forward all week to my visit today at my grandfather’s house. “It looks as though you can’t wait,” said my grandfather, reading my thoughts. He led me right over to the washing machine. This time, Bubby joined us, standing on the side. “Zaidy, told me that you really enjoyed the machine,” she said, while serving me the cookies she made. “A washing machine that shows events of the past is not something you see every day,” I said, and we all laughed. “Do you want to press the button?” my grandfather asked. Before he had finished his sentence, I had already stuck out my finger and pressed the button. “Isru Chag Sukkos
5559” said the letters in the window of the machine. A few seconds went by and the town of Liadi appeared. Here and there were Chassidim dismantling their sukkos. Others were taking their bags and returning home after spending Tishrei with the Rebbe. Suddenly, without prior warning, a black wagon harnessed to two horses disturbed the tranquil scene. Where were they heading? To the home of the Alter Rebbe. The Alter Rebbe could be seen coming out of his house, accompanied by two soldiers and then getting on to the wagon. “After repeated slander on the part of the Misnagdim to the government,” explained my grandfather, “that the Alter Rebbe was sending money to the Turkish government, which was the enemy of the Russians at the time, he was taken to prison. “The real reason for his imprisonment had to do with a Heavenly accusation against
the Alter Rebbe about his spreading Chassidus. On the last day of his imprisonment, he was visited by his teachers, the Baal Shem Tov and the Mezritcher Maggid. They told him about the Heavenly accusation that landed him in jail. “The Alter Rebbe asked them if he should stop spreading Chassidus when he was freed. They told him, ‘Since you began, do not stop. On the contrary, spread it more than before.’” The machine shook. The letters “Yud-Tes Kislev 5559” appeared on the screen. The streets of Liadi were full of dancing Chassidim. The news had quickly spread. After fifty-three days of worrying and prayers for the Rebbe, the Alter Rebbe was freed. Now he was in the home of the Chassid, R’ Mordechai of Liepli. The Chassidim’s joy was boundless, and until today we celebrate the 19th of Kislev as “Rosh HaShana of Chassidus.”
In the generation of the Alter Rebbe, the Chassidim wanted to write a Megillas Yud-Tes Kislev and had even prepared a version. The Alter Rebbe did not accept the Megilla. He said the story of the Arrest and Liberation did not need to be written in a Megilla since it was engraved in the heart of every Jew.
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IMPORTANT DATES IN THE ARREST AND GEULA
4 Sivan 5558 – The slander was submitted against the Alter Rebbe. Shavuos 5558 – An additional slanderous report was submitted to the government. 29 Elul 5558 – The governor of Lithuania recommended taking the Alter Rebbe for interrogation. Isru Chag Sukkos 5559 – The Alter Rebbe was taken to prison. Yud-Tes Kislev 5559 – “And with the recitation of ‘Pada b’shalom nafshi’ I went out in peace with the G-d of peace.” After 53 days in prison, the Alter Rebbe was released and the Chassidim rejoiced. This day was established for generations to come as Rosh HaShana for Chassidus.
At the end of the life of the informer, Avigdor ben Chaim, he became a drunkard. He would go around at the Chassidishe farbrengens on Yud-Tes Kislev and ask for mashke and say, “I deserve it because the Chag HaGeula is thanks to me.”
When the Alter Rebbe was arrested, he said a messenger should be sent to R’ Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev so R’ Levi Yitzchok would pray for him. The messenger forgot the Alter Rebbe’s mother’s name. When he arrived in Berditchev and told R’ Levi Yitzchok what the Alter Rebbe said, R’ Levi Yitzchok opened a Chumash. On the page he opened to, it said the pasuk, “And Yaakov saw there was shever in Mitzrayim.” He said, “Shever are the letters of Shneur ben Rivka,” and he prayed for him.
The Chag HaGeula is also celebrated on the 20th of Kislev. After the Alter Rebbe was released, he asked to be taken to the home of R’ Mordechai of Leipli. In the building that R’ Mordechai lived, there also lived a big Misnaged. By mistake, the Alter Rebbe was taken to the Misnaged’s home. It was only after three hours of disparaging remarks against Chassidim and Chassidus that the mistake was discovered and the Alter Rebbe was taken to the home of R’ Mordechai. He later said that the three hours in the Misnaged’s house were harder for him than the fifty-three days in jail. This is why we celebrate the Alter Rebbe’s leaving the Misnaged’s house on Chaf Kislev.
The Rebbe MH”M says that on Yud-Tes Kislev every Chassid ought to participate in three farbrengens.
Issue 903 • �
THE HUMOR CORNER
“Before Rabba would start to teach his students, he would tell them a funny story.” – Shabbos 30b A father called up his son’s teacher. “Hello, Rabbi Rosen speaking.” “Rabbi Rosen, my son Yossale was very sad when he got home from school today. He got a zero on his Chumash test.” “That’s because he handed in a blank sheet of paper.” “So? You couldn’t even give him any points for neatness?”
UNCLE SHOLOM’S ADVICE:
These days, kids are eating too milk. much sugar and sweets. So here • are some tips for eating healthy! Avoid eating • Eat more fruit! I sugary cereal recommend fruit bars, fruit roll- for breakfast. Have a healthy ups and candy apples. breakfast! I recommend a well• Eat more veggies! I balanced breakfast of pancakes, recommend French fries, carrot waffles, croissants, cheese borekas and corn muffins. Wash it all kugel and pumpkin bread. down with cocoa! • If you have a craving for • When you make tea or sweets, get sweets that contain something healthy. For instance, coffee, don’t put too much sugar if you have a craving for brownies, in. If you put twelve spoonfuls have brownies with walnuts in of sugar in, I recommend cutting them. If you have a craving for down to only eight or nine. cookies, have cookies with raisins Always remember: You must in them, etc. eat healthy to have a productive • When going for pizza, day. If you don’t eat healthy, don’t get soda with it! Get a you’ll most likely not have a healthy drink. Like [chocolate] productive day. So, eat healthy! missions, and mostly top secret this is the kind of thing it can lead ones. Often, the rescues that Sky to.” Captain Avremelwitz and I do are “Well, I am jealous of you frum ruchnius in nature; for example, Yidden!” said the Yid. “For you often we must reach out to a know so much Torah, and I don’t!” Yid, who deems himself far from “That is the one thing that it is Yiddishkait. actually good to be jealous about,” In reality, no Yid is ever far said Sky Captain Avremelwitz, from Yiddishkait, as Chassidus “the Torah learning, of another. explains. And when we let that Yid However, always remember: If know how close he is indeed with you want to learn Torah, nothing Hashem, then he is most inspired, can stand in your way. You could indeed, and returns to the path of become frum, and learn lots of Torah and mitzvos. Torah, and keep all the mitzvos! Lots of times, Yidden come over Every Jew has a share in the Torah to us to ask us questions in Torah. and mitzvos.” This week, we came upon a “You know,” said the Yid. “I not-yet-frum Yid who said to us, “I recently ran into a walking, talking don’t understand Yosef’s brothers book called Solly the Seifer – and – they sold him into slavery! How he told me the same thing. As a could they do that?” matter of fact, he offered to be my Sky Captain Avremelwitz chavrusa!” answered, “It all has to do with B’suros Tovos, jealousy. This is why being jealous Your Friend, Adi of another is a big aveira. Because
ADVENTURES OF ADI
Shalom U’v’racha! I just wanted to clear up some confusion, between me and Solly the Seifer. You see, people have been coming up to me, Adi, and saying, “Hi Solly!” But I am not Solly the Seifer; I am Adi, junior assistant of Sky Captain Avremelwitz! I think some people have confused the two of us, since we both share an article here on this page in Beis Moshiach. One week it’s Solly the Seifer, the next week it’s me, etc. Solly the Seifer is a walking, talking book who lives in Green City and does a lot of mivtzaim. He also goes running around telling children about the Chassidic Adventure Classics he’s read lately. But not me. I, Adi, am most busy, going on important missions around the world – mostly rescue
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