CONTENTS

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FEATURED ARTICLES WEEKLY COLUMNS

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THE SHLUCHIM IN THE UKRAINE ARE CARRYING ON
Mordechai Segal

THINK GEULA, LIVE 12 GEULA!
Daniella Shefi, Haifa

4 D’var Malchus 35 Parsha Thought 38 Tzivos Hashem 40 Crossroads

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PLAYERS IN 20 KEY PLAYA’S JEWISH REVIVAL
Mally Koopshik

POWER TO THE 29 MORE SHLUCHIM
Rabbi Yaakov Shmuelevitz a’’h

REBBE’S MESSAGE 32 THE WAS CLEAR: MIRACLES!
Chaim Brook

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744 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409 Tel: (718) 778-8000 Fax: (718) 778-0800 admin@beismoshiach.org www.beismoshiach.org EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: M.M. Hendel

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ENGLISH EDITOR: Boruch Merkur editor@beismoshiach.org

D’VAR MALCHUS

WHY IS HE TALKING ABOUT IT NOW?!
The topic at hand is “Come let us consider the accounting of the world,” the consideration of a man [about mortality, etc.] – whether it must come to pass, or when it must come to pass. * Part 2 of 3 of the address of Motzaei Shabbos Kodesh, Parshas Truma, 2 Adar, 5748, in the Rebbe’s home. * From Chapter Six of Rabbi Shloma Majeski’s Likkutei Mekoros (Underlined text is the compiler’s emphasis.)
Translated by Boruch Merkur

(As explained in the teachings of Lag B’Omer on the concept of “Machatzti va’ani erpa – I have wounded/ divided and I shall heal,” Rashbi removed the barrier between the inner dimension of the Torah (nistar d’Torah) and the revealed dimension of the Torah (nigla d’Torah). The same cohesion is apparent in the teachings of Chabad. That is, through the intellectual faculties – Chochma, Bina, and Daas – the inner dimension of the Torah becomes plainly accessible, palpable, in a manner of “isparnesun minei,” getting “sustenance” through it. The intent here is not only as Torah is internalized within the Chochma, Bina, and Daas of the G-dly Soul, but also within the Chochma, Bina, and Daas of

the Intellectual Soul, extending even to the Animal Soul. In this manner, Chochma, Bina, and Daas interact with all aspects of the body, extending even to physically itself, in the literal sense.) [Continuing now with the topic of the vital rule of rabbanim in the event of “come let us consider, etc.”] After the beis din tzedek is consulted, we follow the ruling delivered by the most prominent rav among them. Notwithstanding the fact that there are matters that – in concern for modesty, or for other reasons – cannot be discussed with three people, whomever they may be, in that case, Torah advises that we speak primarily with either the

greatest of the three, or [any] one of the three, and he becomes the agent to convey details of the matter to the other two. Following their deliberation, this same rav presents the answer in the name of the three Chassidishe rabbanim. Since the answer comes from a rav who is permeated with Chassidus, it is fully authoritative. It is a decision formulated from the perspective of the inner dimension of the Torah, and it is applied to real life issues (being a Torah ruling according to nigla d’Torah), including materialistic concerns, to the extent that it even has authority over amei ha’aretz [i.e., Gentiles]. (Although amei ha’aretz of their own accord have no

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connection with the inner dimension of the Torah, since in the Future Era “the occupation of the entire world will be to know G-d…for ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d’” (as Rambam concludes in Mishneh Torah), even amei ha’aretz will be occupied with “the knowledge of G-d,” in a manner reminiscent of what is said regarding Jews, “Know the L-rd of your father”). 3. Given the length of this digression, the main point may be lost; the underlying message may be obscured, etc. We shall, therefore, reiterate: The topic at hand is “Come let us consider the accounting of the world,” the consideration of a man [about mortality, etc.] – whether it must come to pass, or when it must come to pass. Or, perhaps both scenarios shall coexist, the precedence of which is seen in Moshe Rabbeinu – that even during his lifetime (and even prior to Mattan Torah, “Moshe received the Torah at Sinai”), Moshe gave over the mission of “Go wage war against Amalek” to his disciple, Yehoshua bin Nun. (Similarly regarding receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai (the principle function of Moshe Rabbeinu): “Moshe received the Torah at Sinai and (right away, as it was taking place) he entrusted it to Yehoshua.” Then, as time passed and

That is to say that in addition to the fact that we have recently been discussing fulfilling the words of the Mishna, “Assign for yourself a rav” for halachic issues, and likewise, “Salvation comes through much advice” in business matters (and for medical advice, one should, of course, ask doctors, as our Sages say on the verse, “And he shall surely heal”), the same applies (in fact, more eminently and prominently) with regard to the concept of “Come let us consider the accounting of the world”
Moshe received more and more of the Torah (“Moshe received”), Yehoshua received more and more as well (“and he entrusted it to Yehoshua”). From Yehoshua it was passed down from generation to generation until it reached Anshei K’nesses HaG’dola). [In any event, irrespective of which scenario actually unfolds] the answer is clear: We must pose our questions to three Chassidishe Rabbanim (be it to one of them or to all three at once), and the most prominent of them (or all three together) will articulate the resolution. That is to say that in addition to the fact that we have recently been discussing fulfilling the words of the Mishna, “Assign for yourself a rav” [for halachic issues], and likewise, “Salvation comes through much advice” [in business matters] (and for medical advice, one should, of course, ask doctors, as our Sages say on the verse, “And he shall surely heal”), the same applies (in fact, more eminently and prominently) with regard to the concept of “Come let us consider the accounting of the world” (although it has no connection to the above protocols): The answer is clear, in a manner that leaves no room for doubt. Namely, direction on the matter is under the auspices of three Chassidishe rabbanim. The same principle applies when we are speaking about various cities or countries. In each place, there is a vaad of Chassidishe rabbanim (with regard to the state, the neighborhood, or the entire country) – “each river flows where it will.”
(To be continued be”H)

TO BRING MOSHIACH NOW!

ADD IN ACTS OF GOODNESS & KINDNESS

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NEWS

THE SHLUCHIM IN THE UKRAINE ARE

CARRYING ON

Despite the massive demonstrations, bloodshed, and political upheavals, the shluchim in the Ukraine, particularly in Kiev, tell about the continuation of their mission along with the tension.
By Mordechai Segal

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quieted down. There is still anarchy in the streets and it is dangerous to move around since the police force hasn’t gotten back to normal function, but there are no more shootings and no more casualties.”

LOCATION OF THE CHABAD SHUL
Chabad has a major presence in the Ukraine with dozens of shluchim and their families working in numerous cities and towns and in Kiev, the capitol. The main shul, Brodsky, is located only a few blocks from the area where the demonstrations took place. R’ Moshe Asman is the rav here. Like everyone else, he is nervously following the news and he is planning what to do in the event that things get out of control. R’ Asman describes what has been going on: “The center of the demonstrations was only a few hundred meters away from the shul. We kept hearing shooting and the ambulances coming to the area. At a certain point, there was a real fear that a bloody civil war would break out. We know from our history how civil wars end, and it’s very scary. No wonder Chazal in Avos say to pray for the welfare of the government, for if not for its intimidation people would swallow one another alive. There was total chaos here and everyone did as he pleased. Now, we are finally breathing a sigh of relief and hoping that things will stabilize and the police will be back. “When this first began, the situation was really bleak. Now, people are afraid of what the future will bring. It doesn’t seem as though the two sides are interested in quieting the

he recent dramatic events in the Ukraine definitely have affected the Chabad community as well as the work being done in dozens of cities and towns. In light of the sensitive and fragile situation, we spoke to R’ Moshe Reuven Asman, shliach and rav of Kiev:

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What is it like in Kiev now? “It is quiet at the moment. This is after a week of great tension, shooting, dead, wounded and anarchy. Then, within 24 hours, everything changed from one extreme to another when the president fled Kiev and the demonstrations

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opportunity, or at least leave the city, since there is no reason to continue endangering themselves, and also because the psychological pressure and fear are no good for anyone. The Israeli embassy issued a general instruction to remain indoors and the embassy itself is operating on a limited basis. Other embassies, like the Canadian and British embassies, closed. “I, on the other hand, do not consider leaving since I am here on the Rebbe’s shlichus and rely on the meshaleiach that nothing bad will happen to me. I wrote to the Rebbe a number of times and asked for a bracha for myself and for all the Jews in the city. Boruch Hashem, I have received wonderful brachos, so I am calm.”

WEDDING MOVED TO ERETZ YISROEL
R’ Yonasan Markovitch, one of the shluchim in Kiev, was planning a big wedding for his daughter. It was going to be held in the main stadium of Kiev with the participation of public figures, Knesset members and rabbanim from all over Russia and Eretz Yisroel. The wedding date was planned long before the uprising. As the demonstrations grew, more and more people urged him to postpone the wedding for a quieter time. “Of course, we did not want to postpone the wedding. At first, we were going to stick to our plans and make the wedding in Kiev despite the tension. But after being contacted by ministers, members of Parliament and the Israeli embassy, we decided to move the wedding to Eretz Yisroel. This was after consulting with the local police that were supposed to provide security for the event. We did not want to take a chance. “It was very hard because we had to arrange the wedding all over again, within a week, but we did it and it was wonderful, Boruch Hashem.” tensions, which is why there is fear of civil war. The Ukraine has seen this before, and the price in blood was steep. “The Ukraine is going through tough times which will leave their mark for a long time to come. After a hundred demonstrators were killed, people were terrified. There were long lines at the gas stations, and people emptied the stores of food. Credit cards did not work, the banking system crashed and there were rumors that exit and entry to the city were sealed off and that there would no longer be electricity.” Where are you now? “I am at home, which is located opposite the main shul. We heard the shooting from here as well as the hooligans running loose. It was definitely dangerous, and to a certain extent it is still dangerous to walk around the streets since bands of ruffians are starting up with passersby, robbing them, and continuing on their way.” What is happening in your shul? “Until now we tried to maintain the schedule of t’fillos, despite the emergency situation. Obviously, I’m not talking about the usual activities. The learning in the yeshiva continues, the minyanim in shul did not stop, and the children continued going to school. “On Tuesday (February 18, 2014) we did not have Maariv at the shul, for the first time, because it was too dangerous and everyone was under curfew and couldn’t come. “The talmidim in yeshiva were transferred to another, safer area, and we drove home the elderly men who came to daven and learn. We cannot take chances that, G-d forbid, something will happen to anyone. But volunteers continued coming to shul in order to distribute food to the elderly and lonely who are in a very tough situation, because they cannot take care of themselves and there is no one who cares about them other than Chabad.” Are you thinking of leaving? “I recommended to all the families here that at least the women and children should leave the country at the earliest

PRIVATE SECURITY COMPANY
In a conversation that Chabad.info had with R’ Yosef Yitzchok Asman, he expressed some reservation about the fact that the demonstrators are antiSemites. “Officially, there has been no anti-Semitism in the demonstrations. This is despite the fact that the demonstrators were from Western Ukraine, an area known for anti-Semitism. When the events first began, I saw demonstrators with shirts that had anti-Semitic slogans on them. But then that stopped. The demonstrators, who want to garner worldwide support, don’t want to have themselves depicted as anti-Semites, and they only speak about justice and similar slogans. But there is no guarantee that the situation will remain as such, in the event that the demonstrators will be forcibly dispersed and they will feel put up against the wall.”

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R’ Yosef Yitzchok Asman

What do you consider the main concern? “Since the shul is right near the where the demonstrators congregated, we are afraid that if they demonstrate and are forcibly dispersed by the police, that they will be pushed in the direction of the shul and will vent their anger on us.” Have you spoken to the police about this? “Of course – as soon as the demonstrations began. But the police have more urgent things to take care of these days than that, and they didn’t bother to get back to us and to take care of our security. Having no choice, the community hired the services of a professional security company that placed armed guards at the doorway of the shul and around it, as well as at the entrance to the Jewish school. They also have sixty armed guards ready in the event of any emergency. “We also spoke with the Israeli embassy in order to obtain guidance. I spoke with the security chief who maintains this is a dangerous situation. Since my wife is here as a representative

R’ Moshe Asman with a delegation from the EU

“They both opened to amazing answers from which we understood that everything will be all right and there will be miracles and wonders. After seeing this, they refused to leave Kiev.”
of anarchy and civil war. In a situation like that, you cannot know who will fall victim to the bloodthirsty hooligans. Although neither side – not the police nor the demonstrators – are displaying any anti-Semitism, Jews are afraid. I have heard of inmates being released from jail and joining the demonstrators.” What does the Rebbe say? “I wrote to the Rebbe but opened to a personal answer and not an answer that pertains to the general situation. My oldest daughter and daughterin-law wrote to the Rebbe after I suggested that they leave the country with their children. They both opened to amazing answers from which we understood that everything will be all right and there will be miracles and wonders. After seeing this, they refused to leave Kiev. “In fact, we had a big miracle

of the Israeli Education Ministry, he recommended that we be ready in case she will have to be swiftly sent back to Eretz Yisroel.” R’ Yosef Yitzchok Asman was in the middle of giving a shiur in the office of some businessmen when news came of tens of thousands of people demonstrating, which turned violent with dozens of dead and hundreds of wounded. All the participants of the shiur got up and left. “Whoever was able to, bought a ticket for Eretz Yisroel. Even those who could not leave sent their wives and children out of the country.”

ANSWERS FROM THE REBBE: THERE WILL BE MIRACLES
R’ Moshe Asman affirms, “Our main concern is of a state

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connected to the leaders of the demonstrations; he told us that if there were any people who tried to take advantage of the situation to start up with us, we should report to them immediately and a unit of demonstrators would come to protect the shul.” How was Shabbos? “We were unsure what the future would bring, but we welcomed the Shabbos with the belief that we are not alone and we are being watched from Above. I thought that people wouldn’t come to shul. To my great surprise, many people came despite the danger on the streets. “Shabbos morning I woke to the sound of shooting, but I saw nothing out of the ordinary on the street. We took precautions and had a wonderful Shabbos with guests and the feeling that it was all for the good, that in this month of joy all worrisome things would be transformed to goodness and bracha.” What’s next? “The situation remains unclear. The streets are empty and the demonstrators are in control of buildings in the city. Jews always need to take care; they are a target in times of crisis.” R’ Yosef Yitzchok Asman: “We are not preparing to leave the shlichus, of course, but we are keeping a low profile in order not to stand out. Our hope and prayer is that the upheavals end quickly as the Rebbe said in a sicha about revolutions taking place in the world without almost no bloodshed.” R’ Moshe Asman: “The important thing is that the Rebbe’s shluchim remain at their posts. We continue to work until the entire world is ready for Geula.”

THE ETERNAL COVENANT
When the demonstrations first began, over a month ago, hooligans began menacing people in the streets of Kiev. Many of the demonstrators gathered in the main square. The Ukrainian government announced that they would be forcibly dispersing the demonstrators. Police were even permitted to shoot at demonstrators if necessary. The center of the city was smoky from tires set on fire. All offices and restaurants in the center of the city were closed. In the central shul, Brodsky, led by R’ Moshe Reuven Asman, they began planning in anticipation of the unfolding events. R’ Asman stepped up the security at all Jewish institutions. He hosted a special delegation of senators from the US who came to visit the shul to discuss the situation and recent violence against Jews. As a spiritual response to what was going on, three brissin were held in the shul, with the oldest among them a man of seventy! Their names are Yosef, Dovid, and Zev.

of ‘V’nahapoch Hu’ last week [the week prior to the interview]. The situation last week was bad and it did not seem as though it would change. It was not reasonable to expect the situation to quiet down after months of demonstrations. Then suddenly, all was quiet, and the situation did change.” What are the shluchim in Kiev doing for the Jews of the city? “Not much could be done in recent days. We stopped activities because it was dangerous to walk in the streets. No tourists came

to the kosher restaurant we run; everyone left. “Despite the situation, our volunteers continued going around to the homes of people who receive hot meals from us every day and brought them food and joy. Just today, my son Yosef Yitzchok brought food to a woman in the community who is celebrating her 100th birthday today. “It is interesting that among the demonstrators there were many Jews, some of whom daven in our shul. One of them even brought a mobile radio which is

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THOUGHT

THINK GEULA – LIVE GEULA!
An internal dialogue which most of us will identify with.
By Daniella Shefi, Haifa

his article is meant only for people like me, who are still not living Geula, who did not make the transition, who are still stuck in galus. “The time for your redemption has arrived!” “We need to publicize that we are the generation of Geula!” “We need to get ready!” “We need to be a vessel!” “We need to open our eyes!” “We need to live Moshiach!” “We need to draw the Geula inside!” We need, we need, we need. Very nice. So, if I understood correctly, I need to start living Geula. A clear horaa. What’s the problem? But instead of living Geula, I find myself staring off into space and scratching my head. In deep concentration I go through all my mental files and the only thing my inner computer finds is one big, burning question mark. Thank you very much.

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You cannot say I am ignoring the call of the hour. After all, it is the shlichus of our generation, is it not? This revolutionary thought goes everywhere with me. At least in a makif (peripheral/external) way. But it doesn’t quite fill me. It sometimes penetrates like a flash of lightning but then disappears. “We need to live Moshiach.” Hmmm. Where exactly do I put that? I am very busy dealing with my daily life. In this area too, there is no shortage of things I “need” to do. Every day, every moment. I barely hang in there and sometimes I almost fall. We need to draw the Geula inward? Yes. We need to be redeemed? There is no question about that. But between you and me, I don’t have that much time to think about what else “needs” to be done. My daily planner is full and I have no time for myself. When exactly should I be

redeemed – between work and mopping the floor? Or between classes and davening? Or after shopping and before cooking? Of course I am waiting for Moshiach and I have no doubt that he is coming. When? I hope today. Do I really believe he will come today? And when exactly am I waiting for him? How is this expressed? Hmmm … let’s not go there. At least I do hafatza. I convey the Besuras Ha’Geula to others, so they will also know what “needs” to be done. They also need to be redeemed. But I think that they are also very busy managing their daily tasks. Am I not sad that the Sh’china is in galus? That’s a big question for a small person like me. Doesn’t galus bother me? Obviously, it is not good. The Rebbe cried a lot over this. We have to really not want galus, but between you and me … what

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And from here we move on to the next step. To accepting the shlichus for real. In a mature, serious, inward kind of way. By internalizing the fact that this is it. This is my main avoda. This is what I am here for. This is my shlichus. The main thing, center of my life. My path and direction. Something heavenly that we don't do when we have some free time. I must do all I can do.

connection does it have to me? In the meantime, the bills need to be paid, a child’s learning difficulties need to be dealt with as does a child’s allergy, and the small apartment where we bump into something in every corner, and the difficulties in covering the Yom Tov expenses. And from where am I supposed to find the strength to daven properly? And to learn and to say Chitas … and the chaos around us, in the Knesset, the threats from Iran, Syria, Obama, illegal aliens, crime, is that not enough? Endless pressure and to think about the galus too?! My personal situation is not enough? At least in one area we are all in agreement; there are no differences of opinion here. True, it’s rare, but here – we are actually all of one mind: we all sigh like one body and one heart and say as one: “He should come already … he should be nisgaleh already … let him redeem us already.” The situation is really not that great. Wherever I look there are hardships and difficulties. Every home bears a burden. It is painful to see so much weariness on the faces of Anash. We don’t have the strength anymore. What should we do? How did we reach this situation? The Rebbe speaks of Geula with simcha and goodness of heart and we are simply tired. Where does the strength go? To

the war of survival. Another day and another day. Doing what needs to be done and collapsing at night. Most of us are busy hanging in there, in our personal galus. We work to drag a galus of 2000 years on our poor, aching backs, to the point that we do not have the time and strength to get involved in our personal Geula. That’s the role and job of Moshiach, is it not? He should do something too, ad masai?

WHERE AM I IN THE GEULA?
But the Rebbe insists, everything is ready, everything. The world. We just need to open our eyes. And we look (here and there) and don’t actually see … Geula? Really? Now? Where? And if everything is ready, what, in Heaven’s name, isn’t ready? We suffice with a question, we sigh, we take a deep breath and continue as usual. With the heavy load on our back, in the familiar routine, a path we’ve walked for thousands of years already, a galus path. With the eternal hope that one day it will happen. That it will be over and done with and we will hear the herald of Geula, may he redeem us. Then suddenly, between fighting with the bank manager

and running to the babysitter, a moment of quiet. Of contemplation. Let’s say the world is really ready, entirely. Then what is missing? The answer is very simple and really not surprising. What is still not ready? Us! Aside from a few singular individuals who perhaps are already living a life of Geula. But I am not yet one of them; I am still not ready. With all the slogans, with everything that I know, understand, believe, learn, teach, convey to others. With all that, I am still not ready. This is definitely somewhat problematic because I am the missing link, the one who connects galus to Geula, the link that needs to start living Geula. Me and you, and he and she. Us. I simply did not understand this fully. I did not see precisely how and where I come into the picture. I did not know that this is something I need to do alone. And I also did not know just what to do. My grasp of Geula was murky. I thought that somehow … on its own … and the main thing, it should happen already. How much can you wait for him? But the truth is that he came. A while ago. And not only came but even managed to do his part and to give it over to us. And he is waiting. For me. For you. For us. And I thought we were the ones who were waiting. Mistake. We are mistaken. I look around me and see that I did not remain alone in galus. Most of us (except for the few hidden special ones) are still not ready. Still not “there” yet. Still battling the darkness. Trying to see. To open their eyes. Like a baby after birth … blinking … not seeing, not comprehending. We, as Lubavitchers, “soldiers of the house of Dovid,” have

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a hard time being redeemed?! How can this be? But why not? What is so not understandable? It is really hard! I don’t remember that going out of Egypt was easy and pleasant. Did someone tell us it would be simple? 1, 2, 3 and that’s it? Who is “there” already? Who succeeded? Do we already have some Geula experts with a lot of experience? I am not talking about oratory, quotes, and knowing where things are written. I mean guides. Not just people who are strong when it comes to theory, but mainly action. Geula guides who made the transition, who passed the barrier already, who live Geula the way the Rebbe meant. If there are any such individuals, please run over and take the flag and the loudspeaker and guide us in our language. How to identify the inner, painful galus and how to get out of it. How to really live Moshiach! We need you, badly! Any help will be gratefully accepted.

TIME FOR GESTATION, TIME FOR BIRTH
It is not something that happens a lot, this final Geula. I, for one, have never seen anything like it. Maybe in a movie, about the Splitting of the Sea, with dramatic music in the background. That is somehow easier to accept, that something like this happened 3000 years ago. But today? Now? For us? We speak about an event no less dramatic which will change the entire world. We are talking about the revelation of G-d Himself, of His entering His beloved home, here in this pathetic world which has absorbed tears, pain, suffering, persecution, blood. Is this for real? Nobody is trying to pull one

over on us? We have yet to internalize it. Obviously not. An encounter with G-d? No more and no less? His revelation in the world? Don’t you think it’s kind of scary? The end of persecution, fears, suffering? A world that is entirely rectified and good? Tremendous news like this takes time until the mind gets used to it and absorbs it and slowly, we become open to a new and unfamiliar reality. It is certainly not a matter of culpability, laziness or indifference. It is simply a matter of time and “ripening.” Moshe Rabbeinu, the faithful shepherd, spent forty years in the desert with the Jewish people even though there was a much shorter route. Why was this done? Hashem gave His people time to absorb and internalize the dramatic change. Moshe led them in the desert for forty years in order to make the transition not only with their feet but with their souls. He enabled them, with love, to change their inner reality, to be freed from the habits of galus in attitude, outlook, thought, speech and action, and to be open to a new and unfamiliar dimension: an encounter with Hashem Himself and Kabbalas Ha’Torah with a p’nimius. 40 years! We cannot be faulted. Nobody can come to us with complaints about us still being “there.” We are in a historic moment that never was before and will never be again. Take note: We are the ones who are wrestling with the transition from galus to Geula, each in his and her place. We are the fabled seventh generation. When they wrote about our challenging time, they were referring to us.

What can be done? We did not choose this. It was assigned to us without our being consulted. And anyway, what a privilege! We are the army of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach! In the final moments, before the advent of Geula, it is really not the time for a vacation. I have yet to see a woman relaxing with some fun activity before candle lighting Erev Shabbos... What is being asked of us already? Just to move from one dimension to another? And to forget everything we thought? To turn an entirely new page? A sort of “Lech lecha” but on a much different level. Apparently, we have much more strength than we imagined. Because doing this is like splitting the sea. It is work that requires a total inner makeover. A “v’nahapoch hu” on all levels without a single tiny corner left without

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“I can't. “I am not worthy.” “Weak.” “I don't deserve it.” “I will never have.” “I am a victim.” “They took from me.” “They did not give me.” All are expressions of an inner galus. Sadness, depression, anger, pride, nervousness, stress – galus! Fears? Confusion? Doubts? Galus.
illumination and rectification. Did we really think we would do this on the fly? True, we are midgets on giants’ soldiers who already prepared everything, but even midgets can have it hard, right? but have we really committed to this fateful shlichus? In a moment of introspection and awareness and with all our heart? True, the Rebbe gave us the shlichus, but – did we take it? And really commit ourselves to it? Did we make a firm resolution that does not allow us to wiggle out, neither left nor right, based on our mood? Are we using all of our talents and abilities for Moshiach and the Geula? And I ask myself, did I ever really tell the Rebbe: “Yes sir, you can rely on me?”

ACCEPTING THE SHLICHUS, “YES SIR!”
How reassuring to know that in the end we will succeed. Without a doubt. The Rebbe does not leave us a choice. Boruch Hashem. Perhaps we will make peace with the fact that we really have to do this. But where do we begin? Perhaps with greater understanding that there is a shlichus here. For all of us. No exceptions for … and it is impossible to dodge. There are no excuses and no exemptions. Each one is a soldier, beloved, important, and irreplaceable. And from here we move on to the next step. To accepting the shlichus for real. In a mature, serious, inward kind of way. By internalizing the fact that this is it. This is my main avoda. This is what I am here for. This is my shlichus. The main thing, center of my life. My path and direction. Something heavenly that we don’t do when we have some free time. I must do all I can do. It definitely does not always suit us. Who likes a burden? But what is the alternative? To remain in galus? That sounds obvious,

ME IN GEULA – HOW DOES IT LOOK?
What do we do? How do we do this? As always, the answer is: together. Nobody can and nobody needs to do this alone. We need to hear and see that he and she and they too are on the same page in the same script with the same challenges and difficulties. And like us, are fighting and working and expanding the vessel. We are all battling to be reborn as a new entity. What helps? To collaborate, talk, ask, take an interest, learn – the whole package. And the main thing, doing it together. “How’s it going with your personal Geula? Where are you up to in your birth process? Stuck? Progressing? Learning? Confused? Flowing? Wavering?

Exhausted? Brave and daring? Hesitant? Or jumping in the sea already? Please take me along with you!” Habit is like a spring. You can press it down for a few seconds and change its shape but the moment you let it go, boing, it reverts to its original shape. It’s not exactly encouraging. And yet it is encouraging because our original shape is Geula! Geula is a reality familiar to our neshama because the neshama was never actually in galus. Galus, after all, is the right thing in the wrong place. So Geula means to return to our true and proper place. To be with our king, “Dovid Malka Meshicha,” in our land and close to our covenantal partner, Hashem, King of kings. What’s needed is to expand the vessel. Again, how do we do this? First of all, to be open to the possibility that it is really happening. To me, you, us. And now, this minute. To introduce pictures and thoughts of Geula. To allow them to roll around our heads, to play with them, to become excited, to be changed by them. I am in Geula. How does this look when all my soul powers are fully perfected and revealed? The powers of Kesser, of the intellect, emotion, action? How do I act with the power of emuna at its peak expression? With a strong taanug/delight and ratzon/will, without interference in my avodas Hashem? How does my Ahavas Yisroel look in Geula? How does my house look? Where do I live? How will my relationship with my spouse be? How will our children be in Geula? What will happen with my bank account? Yes, yes … And also pictures of Geula as respects the housework that I am still doing alone. And

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How will my real body look? A Geula body? Which powers of mine will be revealed? Maybe we can even make salads? How will the gentiles treat us? What will they say on the news? Who will I meet?

INNER GALUS – WHAT IS THAT?
What is the state of galus? Galus is everything that is still separate from Hashem, from His will, from the truth, from that which is good. Galus is the right thing in the wrong place. Galus is disconnection. An inner galus means being disconnected from ourselves, from what we truly are. Each of us recognizes the feeling that deep within us there is the “real me.” We dream of the day when this “me” will emerge. In the meantime, there is only yearning and a feeling of missing out. A Jew in an inner galus is in the wrong place within himself. It is an illusory state. Delusions which confuse our minds and place us in a painful and not quite real “reality.” Delusions which hold our powerful soul powers in captivity. A Jew who does not recognize his true worth is an inner galus. “I can’t. “I am not worthy.” “Weak.” “I don’t deserve it.” “I will never have.” “I am a victim.” “They took from me.” “They did not give me.” All are expressions of an inner galus. Sadness, depression, anger, pride, nervousness, stress – galus! Fears? Confusion? Doubts? Galus. What, all my worries and lack of confidence and all the complications are galus?!

PICTURES AND IMAGES OF GEULA
I am in front of the Rebbe, trembling and crying in joy. I am facing the Beis HaMikdash in Yerushalayim. I see the service of the Kohanim and hear the singing of the Levites. I am going toward the Big Encounter with Hashem. In the rebuilt Yerushalayim in our beloved, complete Holy Land. We always have the time to think about what we want. That is precisely the point. In order for there to be Geula, we need to think Geula! True, the neshama is in a redemptive state but the body is like a spring, i.e. it is very easy to revert to galus thoughts, to limitations and darkness. It’s not the end of the world. That is what we are about. We fall, get up, and try again. The main thing is not to give up. The Rebbe says that in the past it was easier to believe in Geula because it was something in the future. The belief in Geula was only makif. It did not bother us to be in galus. The belief gave us direction and meaning, but did not demand drastic change. But now, hold on just one second, it’s happening now? Not in the future? Really, they are not pulling a fast one on us? Each time they said it would happen and in the end, gornisht. If it is happening now, it is happening to me too! Do I really deserve Geula? With all my shortcomings? Where am I and what exactly is fixed already ... and the spring jumps back...

depends solely on us. This is our true avoda, to identify the painful reality of galus and to draw within us the redeeming words of the Rebbe. The greatest galus is, when it comes down to it, only in our minds. Galus thoughts are those which disconnect us and all the details of our lives from Hashem. Geula comes the moment we are able to see correctly, to connect and reveal within every detail that Hashem is here. That He created whatever it might be. Runs it. Gives it life. That He is actually that very thing. The Rebbe talks Geula and we think galus. We are the first generation of Geula … Geula … Geula … the words slowly penetrate, like the first words after a long anesthetization.

AN INNER GALUS IS WHERE HASHEM IS NOT
For sure, ein od milvado – there is nothing but Him, but galus is where He and His will are still not out in the open. And it
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G-E-U-L-A ... fighting its way through heavy fog which still confuses the mind. G-E-U-L-A … like a new program trying to overtake an old broadcast on the radio. What am I doing? What am I waiting for? Been there, done that. Should I continue waiting? This has not proven to be a good choice. Maybe the time has come to do something I have not done before, jump into the sea. At least to try it. Geula is not theoretical. Someone who really knows but still does not take action, is still not “there.” As always, action is the main thing. It is still hard for me. What do I pray for? That Hashem give me the strength to survive? In my galus? That does not seem reasonable to me. My prayers also need a new “touch” of Geula! The change is really on all levels, leaving nothing behind. Including prayers. “Hashem, please, guide me on the path to my personal Geula! Please put Geula thoughts into my head, help me change my galus nature! Please redeem me, I am ready!” How? What? How do we do this? What do you do when you want a house or a new car? What do you do when your oldest is getting married and you don’t know what to do? One thing you know, you want to make a wedding. You find out. You inquire. You look things up. You live the wedding. The train to the Geula may have been a little stuck. At least for me it was. But now it is beginning to move. Most of us needed this time to “get” that now it is really in our hands. Moshiach cannot “live Moshiach” for us. It is for us to do. Along with this mission, he gave us the ability to do it. As we know, nothing stands in the way of one’s will. It is possible and success is assured. We are all in the same boat with the same difficulties and the same mission. We are all in a battle to get through the barrier and finally draw the Geula inside and start feeling the Geula. advice for this is through learning Torah in inyanei Moshiach and Geula, because with the power of Torah (G-d’s wisdom which is above the world) to change man’s nature, for even when emotionally he is still, G-d forbid, outside the idea of Geula (since he still did not exit his inner galus), through learning Torah in inyanei Geula he is raised to a level and state of Geula with the knowledge and awareness and feeling that ‘hinei zeh ba.’” (Sicha, Shabbos Balak 5751) Parshas

SO, WHAT DO WE DO?
Does anyone really know? Yes. There is one who truly knows what to do and how to do it. He is our guide for getting out of this final galus. The Rebbe, Nasi Ha’dor, Moshe of the generation, the faithful shepherd, Ohev Yisroel, advisor, prophet, judge, final redeemer, Melech HaMoshiach. What does the Rebbe tell us? That the gateway to Geula is, first of all, to actually welcome Moshiach. “And from this it is understood that the only thing that now remains in the avoda of shlichus is to actually welcome Moshiach Tzidkeinu so that he can actually fulfill his shlichus and take all the Jewish people out of galus.” (Sicha, Shabbos Parshas Chayei Sarah, Kinus HaShluchim 5752) The Rebbe knows precisely where we are now and what our true difficulties are. What did the Rebbe tell us about current circumstances? “Practically speaking … despite the ‘commotion,’ we see that there is a difficulty in instilling an awareness and feeling that we are literally at the threshold of Yemos HaMoshiach to the point of ‘living’ inyanei Moshiach and Geula … The

“We see that there is a difficulty ...” Yes. There certainly is. We, on our own, will not change our nature. We need “professional” help. Because when it comes to our feelings and our habits we are still not in Geula mode. It’s not surprising; we simply still do not know what Geula is. And if we don’t know, we learn. I know, we are all busy. But it is not a good idea to wait until we have time, because we all know that that won’t happen. Every day, learn inyanei Geula with a chavrusa for ten minutes. It’s doable. It does wonders. It’s like “Vitamin Geula,” which creates simcha and chayus and a Geula feeling. Starting a weekly shiur on inyanei Geula and Moshiach, to learn together in order to jump into the sea together – that is also possible. And most effective. And it connects us directly to the new reality: the reality of Moshiach and Geula. May we all learn Geula, talk Geula, think Geula, feel Geula and live Geula. With best wishes for a pleasant Geula. Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu, Melech HaMoshiach L ’olam Va’ed! niella770@yahoo.com

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SHLICHUS

KEY PLAYERS IN PLAYA’S JEWISH REVIVAL
Mrs. Leah Brod, shlucha in Playa del Carmen, talks about life on shlichus.
By Mally Koopshik

The new mikva in Playa

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THE BEGINNING
It all began twenty-six years ago in the religious city of Beitar Ilit. A girl was born to the Offen family, their third child. Both parents are educators and the house is always open. From a very young age she loved to go on mivtzaim. In high school she coordinated activities for the Matteh Binyamin Chabad house run by R’ Refael Solomon. “That is where I got my professional training for shlichus,” she says. In seminary in Tzfas, R’ Chitrik constantly preached shlichus. Leah began working in the Beis Chana dorm in Tzfas, one year as a madricha and the following year as a coordinator. She really enjoyed the educational aspect of her work and was certain she would continue in that direction. In all the meetings she had with her husband before their marriage they spoke about shlichus as one of their joint goals. “We knew that this is what we wanted. We said that wherever the Rebbe put us, that is where we would go.” And the Rebbe put them in Playa del Carmen three and a half years ago.

SMALL BUT LIVELY
“The area we work in is near the beach. On one side there are gorgeous beaches and on the other side is the jungle. Our city is comprised of a folksy population. People are relaxed, warm, and happy. Cancun, a popular tourist spot, is nearby but it’s more Americanized. Today, more and more people prefer the more natural and original simplicity of Playa, and so its popularity is growing from year to year. “It is a coastal city which is always warm. In the winter,

American and European tourists mostly young people trying their come in droves to escape the luck in business for a year, two cold. It’s a city with action, or three. parties and entertainment, and The second and main group every Israeli who goes to Central is comprised of Israeli tourists America ends or begins his tour who come all year, according here, staying in the area for two to seasons. There are couples weeks to a month. The city is very coming on their honeymoon colorful. In the past it was a small and tourists spending half a year Mexican fishing village but in in South America and ending recent years it has rapidly turned in Playa. Most of them tour into one of the most developed Central America, and Playa is a cities in the world. This is why, sometimes, the Chabad house here can look like a train station … “It is a central city from which people leave for destinations all over the area. People are constantly coming and going. Even the Jews who stay here for a while are very hard to ‘catch.’ This is because the city is busy with noisy parties, so people’s heads are in a different place. The place isn’t at all calm despite the magnificent scenery and the stunning beaches. So sometimes it can be very hard to get people to listen to you, to focus. They are in pursuit of other things.” The local community in Playa is also quite colorful, a sort of “ingathering of exiles.” The Jews come from all over the world and speak all languages. There are no locally born Jews; they’ve all come in recent years. Since everything revolves around tourism, even those who live here aren’t really steady. The residents of the city can be divided into two groups: A candle lighting kit is distributed to visitors of tourists and those who provide the Chabad house on Rosh HaShana services for them. The Chabad house target audience can be divided into destination they don’t want to three groups. The families of local miss. Older people also come people, consisting of Israelis, since it’s close to the US and Mexicans, Americans, French, young people come to have fun. The final group consists of and Russians, comprise the first group. They include wealthy Jewish tourists from the world owners of hotels, teachers and over, the US, Europe, Argentina even plumbers. The Israelis are and Brazil. They come in the winter on vacation. There are
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even Jews from Mexico City where there is a large Jewish community, who come to Playa to relax for short periods of time. The existence of a Chabad house, a mikva and a shul are reasons for them to pick this location so that they can vacation while having their spiritual and material needs easily met. They greatly appreciate what the shluchim do and help by sending equipment, Machzorim, etc. Over here, far from home, they see how necessary the work of shlichus is and they are happy and surprised to discover the Chabad house. Mivtza Kashrus is flourishing through a full range of kosher services. There is a restaurant that is open throughout the week, with a wonderful team of bachurim who take care of the many tourists who come by, materially and spiritually. “We really feel that if you exert a little effort and add light, the light continues and a local Jew will open a kosher store and other Jews want their restaurants to become kosher. Today, the Chabad house supervises the kashrus of outside businesses.” The community enjoys Jewish programming. R’ Brod gives shiurim to individuals or to small groups in accordance with their level of knowledge and language. The bachurim go on Mivtza T’fillin every day, and on Fridays they distribute Shabbos kits and challos. Kits and candle lighting times are given out before Rosh HaShana, as are menorahs for Chanukah, mishloach manos for Purim, and matzos for Pesach. The Chabad house is the place to buy all one’s Judaica needs including t’fillin and mezuzos. A side bonus is in the relationships that are fostered within the community because of their outreach. Jews who did not believe there are other Jews in the city, discovered brothers and became friends. Aside from the public outreach, the shluchim also make house calls and develop personal ties with families. There is even a “N’shei Chabad,” a group of women who get together every Rosh Chodesh. It is organized by the women who enjoy being involved. With Hashem’s help and many brachos from the Rebbe, a beautiful mikva was just inaugurated which certainly encourages the observance of this important mitzva. Activities are done with the many tourists who visit Playa. This is completely different than working with those who are there more permanently. This isn’t long-term work, consisting of slow, consistent input. Over here, people stop by for a day or two to a month. In this short period of time, the Brods try as much as possible to connect them to the Rebbe and Judaism and to arouse their G-dly spark. The highlight of their work is the Shabbos and Yom Tov meals. Tourists know about this, which is why these are their busiest times. Hundreds of tourists sit together and sing and remain to farbreng into the night. “There are times that the Shabbos tables are very colorful and exciting because there are people from all over the world. During certain seasons, dozens of Jewish tourists come from all over. They come mainly in the winter, when it’s cold in the US and Europe and it’s nice here. It is amazing to see them all sitting together at the meal with the mix of languages and styles, but everyone happy. Am Yisroel Chai. “Last Shabbos, a few dozen of us from Eretz Yisroel, Mexico, Miami, Chicago, and Czechoslovakia were sitting together. Our Jewishness and our sitting together at the Shabbos table uniting us, spoke louder than words. Many tourists are astounded by the caring they see here in the heart of every Jew, even in someone who looks far from anything Jewish. Many girls, who had no connection to religion, are exposed to a new world. Shabbos is the time to sit and talk, to listen and to get acquainted. “Every Motzaei Shabbos, dozens of tourists sit and write to the Rebbe and till today, I am

THE WORK GOES ON AND ON AND...
“The Chabad house is like a lighthouse. You just put up a sign and those in need come on their own. It is amazing to see how people are inspired when there is a small point of light. We really see a major change in the city. When we first came, three and a half years ago, there was nothing Jewish here at all. When we chose this location, we were told that there are hardly any Jews and the few that are here, aren’t interested. Today we see how the city is waking up to Judaism.” The Brods try to reach every Jew in every situation, starting with little children for whom there is a preschool in the shlucha’s home. They provide Jewish schooling for the older ones on Sunday or in the afternoon; programs before holidays; bar and bas mitzva programs, and camps during the winter and summer. “When talking numbers, the children are the smallest group we work with, but – as the Rebbe says – the impact on a small child is very powerful, so we try to invest a lot in this area.”

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Right: A huge sukka in the yard of the Chabad house. Left: A mobile sukka

in touch with some of them. This week, two girls from kibbutzim came who described themselves as ‘not knowing anything.’ The truth is that even after three and a half years on shlichus and meeting hundreds of people, I was taken aback by their abysmal lack of knowledge. At Havdala, they looked in astonishment at the ceremony and asked many questions about it.” In the work with tourists there is also the less savory aspect: “Unfortunately, many tourists get entangled with the law. It often happens that my husband is called at all hours to go and extricate tourists who ended up in jail due to a lack in communication, language, or knowledge of the mentality of the place. We also provide aid to sick tourists. The Chabad house is the tourists’ home away from home and concerned parents know we are here and call to find out about lost children or children who did not call home in a long time. My husband knows that in most cases, the fact that the children are incommunicado is because of where they are located or inattention, nothing worse. The Chabad house serves as an embassy. The Israeli embassy

contacts us for every problem and situation that requires help.” A visit to the Chabad house, even if it starts with a technical question or problem, often inspires the Jew to put on t’fillin and to make a good hachlata. The questions about the Rebbe and Moshiach open up a discussion and many people sit down and write to him. On Wednesdays there is a special program for tourists. The shliach and the men go to the Brod house for a barbecue and farbrengen while the women stay at the Chabad house with the shlucha for a workshop on hafrashas challa. This usually turns into a farbrengen about the Jewish woman and her special mitzvos. The connection with the tourists continues even when they return home. This is something that all the Chabad houses in Central America work on together since they deal with the same tourists. In Eretz Yisroel there are Shabbatons, seminars for men and women, connecting them with Chabad houses in Eretz Yisroel, and more. There are hardly any Mexicans among the people the Brods work with, as they work primarily with Israelis

and with local people who are not Mexican. However, I still wanted some Mexican flavor for the article. Leah told me that sometimes she prepares Mexican food for special community evenings. She also told me that she learned something to apply to her avodas Hashem: “I adopted a positive aspect of the Mexican mentality. Everything here is very relaxed. Manana, which means ‘tomorrow’ in Spanish, is the operative word here. Nothing is urgent. Even if there is an eightnine hour wait in line, nobody is stressed. Sometimes, this attitude interferes with the shlichus when some service is needed right away, but for the most part, Mexico teaches us to be more patient.”

CHALLENGES
It all sounds so laid-back but I soon discover that the Brod family has some real challenges to deal with. “Until recently, there was no mikva and the only option was to immerse in the sea. A year ago, salvation came with a mikva on the nearby island of Cozumel

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Massive meals for tourists at the Chabad house

(whose shluchim have helped us tremendously from the day we opened), but we did not suffice with that. Boruch Hashem, at the beginning of 5774 we inaugurated a new mikva in Playa!” As for kashrus, they feel that they are relatively better equipped than other distant places of shlichus, because in Mexico there is a big Jewish community and many hechsherim. They are in touch with rabbanim with expertise in kashrus and they know what they can and cannot buy. Many products are kosher and are available in all the stores. But not everything; there are no dairy products for now. And since the meat is not Lubavitcher sh’chita, they shecht chickens. There is no beef, but as a coastal city there is plenty of fish and they have all the basic food items. There is no nosh for the children; now and then, some nosh arrives in the food deliveries. “Now we are working on a kosher supermarket and occasionally, Bissli, Bamba, and chocolate are imported.” (When I think of the huge amount of candy and nosh that our kids are swamped with, I think that it might be worth going on shlichus

just to get them weaned off it all – MK.) Leah points out the hardest part of her shlichus, the chinuch of her children. She works as a preschool teacher for her three children and for a few other children in the community. “Lately, my daughter and son (three and four years old) began saying that they want to go to first grade because then, according to a video they watched, they will be in a classroom with many children. With Hashem’s help with Moshiach in Yerushalayim! In the meantime, their main socializing is done with tourists, and that too is not always easy because they can become attached to a certain tourist who is with us for a long time, and then she suddenly leaves.” I wonder out loud when the shluchim have any privacy. Leah says their private home is separate from the Chabad house and they moved to a spacious home where the preschool is. They go to the Chabad house in the afternoon and the work is clearly divided between times they are home and times they are out. “It is something you learn as

time goes on, that you need to provide privacy and time for the children and the home. When you respect this, other people automatically respect it too. “On Shabbos we are at the Chabad house. And since the outreach here is year round and intensive, every Shabbos we host between 100-250 people. It’s not always easy … We love it, but sometimes, once in a while, you wish for a Shabbos alone, but it hardly ever happens.” The taavos of shluchim … When we spoke about cooking in large quantities, Leah said modestly that she is always improving and apologized, “After all, I came as a young married woman without much experience. I love the kitchen and experimenting with different recipes. Day to day life doesn’t always allow for it, but before Yomim Tovim and for programs for women, I need to prepare something fancy because the community loves it. That is the time to make new things, to experiment and learn. Today it is completely different than in the beginning. I learned a lot from the community and friends.”

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THE ULTIMATE PRIVILEGE
What does the shlichus provide for you? I ask. And I am surprised by the answer. “Just this Shabbos, some tourists were sitting in the Chabad house and each one spoke about the trip that they’re taking or that they took. One bemoaned the fact that she hadn’t traveled enough. Then I was asked where I have been, whether I traveled at all. I laughed and said I barely know my own area but my traveling is of another sort, not of locations but of life, of people. “Shlichus provides you with the privilege of belonging to the Rebbe even if you are not at all on that level, even if you don’t deserve it. Shlichus has empowered me in so many ways and lets me see miracles on a daily basis. Although the Rebbe says we need to live natural, normal lives, even the natural things on shlichus are miraculous. It is an incredible privilege to be a shlucha. “As a young, newly married couple, we were briefly on shlichus in Bolivia in order to help out for Purim-Pesach. I will never forget the time when the shliach there, R’ Yotam Klein, took us shopping, which is not a simple thing in Bolivia, and told us, ‘You should know that to be a shliach of Moshiach is the highest level one can achieve in creation.’ That line stuck with me. There are hardships and sometimes you think of leaving and living a normal life in a warm Chabad community. But this line is engraved in me, to have the privilege of being on the highest level in creation, not in your merit but because you are the shliach of Moshiach! “I see my children, how they live. It is a different level and an

The shluchim’s children

altogether better way of being raised. They can be lacking things, they are not growing up in a normal environment, but I see how with the naturalness of a child they accept everyone and love and enjoy experiencing life on shlichus. “Sometimes, when I worry about the children, and my conscience bothers me about doing something at their expense and I wonder whether they will love shlichus or, G-d forbid, hate it, I take a step back. I look at them and ask myself, with everything they lack and have, are they happy? Boruch Hashem, I see that they are happy, that they are an inseparable part of the Chabad house. Once, Chaya Mushka noticed a tourist putting a camera down on the Shabbos table and she said: Put it away, Shabbos! The children can also innocently say: You need a skirt, or you need a shawl. And when they say it, people accept it.” Leah has an optimistic perspective. She doesn’t hesitate to break with convention and insists that shluchim don’t need

to suffer. “I sometimes hear what sounds like competition among shluchim about who has it hardest. The Rebbe constantly says that shlichus is for the material good of the shliach! The Rebbe doesn’t want a shliach to suffer. You need to do what it takes not to be in such a situation. When you are aware that shlichus is also for your material welfare, your perspective changes.”

IGROS KODESH STORIES
“At every opportunity, we try to convince people to write to the Rebbe through the Igros Kodesh. Men and women write to the Rebbe and special stories abound. A tourist told me recently that her friend had been in 770 and wrote to the Rebbe. She did not understand the answer but remembered the date of the letter. After a while she was expecting a baby and she gave birth on the date that appeared in the answer. “Once, on Motzaei Simchas Torah, three girls sat down to write to the Rebbe. One of

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them did not understand how the answer she received was pertinent to her. The Rebbe had written to a young man, saying he had already spoken to him before the Yomim Tovim and why was he still not married, and he should not postpone it and should marry as soon as possible. “Suddenly, she got it. She said she knew a guy for five years already and was very uncertain about whether to marry him. She was taking a break and was traveling with friends. Now that their trip was ending, she had to make a decision. The Rebbe referred there to a problem with parents and wrote to act as was proper and then ‘as waters reflect a face’ would be fulfilled. She said that indeed, one of her concerns was her relationship with his mother. The Rebbe had given her clear instructions. “There was a young man who wanted to ‘try’ the Igros Kodesh and he asked whether to travel or not. When he looked at the page he opened to, he said he didn’t understand it and hurried on his way. However, my husband sent along a copy of the letter for him to look at on the way. He called later on and said, ‘I asked whether I should continue traveling or not, but that was merely a superficial question. I was really amazed by the answer. I am very nervous and feeling stressed and my purpose in traveling was to find some peace of mind and to free myself of the constant pressure I find myself in. I am constantly bothered by the question – how do I extricate myself from this? The Rebbe’s answer was to someone who suffered from nervous problems! The Rebbe told him to learn Tanya.’ “The young man went to the next Chabad house he came across and immediately began learning and implementing the instruction he received.” “We had many financial problems with our first Pesach here. Erev Yom Tov, after nearly everything was ready and I was going to set up the hall, a significant purchase was still missing: the disposable paper goods for hundreds of people. It needed to be bought and paid for and there was no money for it. “My husband sat down to write to the Rebbe and opened to a letter addressed to R’ Chaim HaLevi Binyamini. My husband’s name is Chaim Binyamin – HaLevi. The letter contained wishes for freedom from all challenges and disturbances, and brachos for a kosher and happy Pesach. Right afterward, three quarters of an hour before Yom Tov, someone came with $1000 cash. We immediately sent bachurim to buy all the disposables we needed. A thousand dollars from heaven. “The mikva is a miracle. A local Jew, who is a tremendous help, bought land for a mikva. However, at a certain point, the plans were set aside. Then, in the end, he kept his word and built a beautiful mikva, taking care of every detail from the foundation to the trimmings. The mikva is on the highest level of physical and halachic beauty. “The preschool is another miracle disguised in nature. As I mentioned, the Rebbe wants us to work and then the miracle follows. When I decided to open a preschool, I had money problems and so I arranged a group of ‘women on behalf of the preschool.’ I spoke to women in Mexico City and New York and I met with people, but nothing moved. “A certain wealthy woman from Mexico City kept dodging me for half a year. Once in a while I called her with a request for

DO AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE
We know that publicizing miracles hastens the Geula. Leah says, “Since most of the time we live miracles, it is hard to tell stories. There are endless stories … The Rebbe wants us to operate naturally, but in the end there are always miracles. Every step at the Chabad house is a miracle. I don’t think there is a Chabad house in the world that operates normally. Chabad house is synonymous with miracle! Every shliach who jumps into the sea of shlichus is a miracle. Someone in the community came and said we need to first become professional and official before we open up. My husband said, ‘If I waited to be professional, I would not be here today and the Chabad house would not have opened.’ “The Chabad house is a miracle within nature but sometimes there are outright miracles. I’ll give you an example. One of the serious problems here is being able to pay the electric bill which is very high. One time we did not have the money to pay it and we had no choice but to borrow money. In my experience, I saw that the Rebbe wants work. It makes no difference in what way; you make a vessel for the bracha and the money will come somehow. “That day, someone who lives here in Playa came here. He is someone who comes once a year … you mainly go to him. Anyway, he came and gave me an envelope. It contained precisely the amount of the electric bill which was not a round number! The Rebbe basically told us, ‘I am with you all the time.’

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help, but she ended up referring me to her sister. It turned out her sister is a preschool teacher in an elite school which replaces its equipment every year. They donate the previously used equipment to non-Jewish preschools that need it. Since I’ve contacted the sister, she sends me deliveries of expensive items: indoor and outdoor play equipment, chairs, tables, games to develop the mind. This is all aside from material and technical help in how to become an officially recognized school. It seemed as though I spent half a year wasting time, but then a channel opened up and endless blessing began pouring through. “The fact that there is a preschool brings children to the city, because their parents know that there is Jewish education to be had. I have seen that when making a natural vessel, the blessings come forth. The school is my project and I hope to continue developing it.” to constantly keep your finger on the pulse.” As to how to relate to the people with whom you come in contact, Leah recommends another two things. “It is important to include people; they love to take part. Also, you can’t take people’s comments personally. You are above that. You are here for them. If you did something that was the right thing, it doesn’t matter what they say. “Also, I’ve seen women who seem so distant, so disconnected and then they suddenly show an interest in tahara. There is no one who is not connected on some level. You have to reach people at the point where they are connected to Hashem and when you bolster this area, the G-dly soul will exert its influence in other areas.” Often, we don’t know the results of our work, noted Leah. She illustrated this point with the following story: “Dudi Caplan and Shlomi Peleg who run the Chabad house on Cozumel, said they have a
The entrance to the new mikva in Playa

GET OUT THERE!
I asked Leah for suggestions for shluchos who are starting out. She was happy to oblige. “You have to constantly see who your target audience is and understand what they need. Sometimes, people work without adapting to the community and then they don’t understand why they are not successful. You need to see what the locals are doing. What is the special character of the place? This is how you figure out how to operate. There are communities where people love crowds; there are others where they don’t like big gatherings and you don’t understand why. There are people who don’t like to leave home and greatly appreciate those who go to them. You have

good relationship with a Jew who lives there, but the man is willing to talk about anything but Judaism. One day, he went to the Chabad house and announced that in the summer, his family who lives in New York would be coming. His children would be in the Chabad house day camp and he made this request, “Explain to my six year old daughter how to light the Shabbos candles.’ “The shluchim were surprised and asked what happened, considering that up until then they were not permitted to say a word about Judaism. The man said that recently he had a business meeting in Playa and he was waiting in a mall. In the meantime, he looked at the Israeli girls behind the Dead Sea products displays, and saw how they interacted with customers. Then, to his surprise, he saw one of them pause, bend under her display, take out two candles and put them on her stand, light them, and say the bracha. He was flabbergasted. “Shabbos entered in the

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middle of a workday and the girl paused to light the candles and say the bracha! He decided that he wanted his daughter to be the same way. Since then, every week he calls her to remind her to light. We go around every Friday and distribute candles to Israeli workers and it was amazing to hear how a candle in Playa had an effect on a little girl in New York. Interestingly, that same week the Israeli girl left. She doesn’t even know the significance and power of what she did.” we proclaim Yechi after davening, lets people know what we believe. We make it comfortable to ask questions and for a discussion to develop. When you present things clearly and are confident, people accept it. Even people who are ostensibly very distant from Judaism accept what you have to say. “There is a former kibbutznik here. When we first got to know the family, none of them even knew what t’fillin are! The wife said to me, ‘We learned in Eretz Yisroel that the holidays are agricultural celebrations and here I am relearning what they’re about.’ It’s amazing to see how learning changes one’s whole outlook. One day she said, ‘I looked on Facebook at my friends from the kibbutz and they wrote that they found alukot (leeches) in their field and at first I thought they meant Elokut and I wondered what that is doing in their field! Then I got it …’ “Her story reminded me how Chassidus describes a situation where the first perception is Elokus – Elokus as obvious and worlds as a novelty. By the way, that woman has experienced an incredible change in perspective. For example, one day she saw in someone’s phone book that my husband’s name was written as “Rebbi Chaim” and she complained to me, ‘How do they not realize that there is a difference between Rebbi/Rebbe and Rabbi?’” I asked Leah for a message for our readers and she stated emphatically, “Go on shlichus! Everyone can be a shliach. The main thing is to take action. I am often unsure, not knowing what is appropriate, but you simply have to decide that you are going to do something. Then think exactly what you are going to do. “Boruch Hashem, the Rebbe has given us little people the privilege of being luminaries in this city for, as I said, our abilities and strength are limited. But we see on shlichus that even without doing a lot, the Rebbe makes us lighthouses and light attracts light. We have the privilege of being light and we try to do what we can. As my husband always says when we talk about ‘success in shlichus;’ success in shlichus is not a nice wish, it’s Geula. As long as we don’t have the Geula, the shlichus is lacking! So may we merit the Geula already and no longer need to be here, not us and not the other Chabad shluchim in the world, for we will all merit to join the Rebbe MH”M, the meshaleiach now!” *** Boruch Hashem, there is a lot to be done and right now we are looking for a big building for our work. The expenses are high and so, whoever is interested in being partner in this work can contact us: Chabadplaya@gmail.com Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L ’olam Va’ed

KEEPING AN EYE ON THE GOAL
Leah wants to emphasize that we cannot forget the goal: “We must constantly think – what does the Rebbe want and why am I on shlichus. It is possible to get swept up with the day’s activities and in the desire to accomplish a lot, forget what it’s all about. I must constantly ask myself: Why am I here? This leads me to the next topic, the goal. “The gateway to all aspects of shlichus is kabbalas p’nei Moshiach.” As Leah puts it, “The topic is well known around the world and we just need to be prepared to answer questions that come up due to lack of knowledge. Most of them accept what you have to say and are very interested. Moshiach comes up for discussion every Shabbos. The fact that we have a picture of the Rebbe, a Yechi sign and

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SHLICHUS

MORE POWER TO THE SHLUCHIM
By Rabbi Yaakov Shmuelevitz a’’h Shliach – Beit Shaan

I

n the HaYom Yom entry for 20 Cheshvan, the Rebbe says that each of the shluchim are given special abilities from the one who sent them, and what is expected of them is that they use these kochos properly to illuminate their place of shlichus with the light of Torah, mitzvos and Chassidus. I asked some shluchim what special kochos they use and to share some stories of the actual results.

INSTRUCTIONS IN A DREAM
A shliach from Beit Shaan had a dream. He was in 770 at Mincha with the Rebbe. Toward the end of the davening, two Chassidim went over to the Rebbe and the Rebbe spoke to them about how t’filla is supposed to be. At a certain point, the Rebbe looked directly at one of the Chassidim. The shliach (who was dreaming) realized that he knew this Chassid who was a shliach in a big city in Eretz Yisroel. The Rebbe said to him, “You need to daven in a place where they daven more slowly. You need to be careful not to talk during davening, at least for the first hour (of the davening on Shabbos). If you do so it will make a big kiddush Hashem.” End of dream.

As soon as he awoke, he called his fellow shliach and told him, “I have regards for you from the Rebbe. I saw in a dream that the Rebbe told you important things.” The shliach, of course, wanted to know what was said in the dream. When the shliach from Beit Shaan told him the details, there was a long silence on the other end of the phone. “What’s the silence about?” asked the shliach from Beit Shaan. The other shliach told him he was in shock and explained why. “A number of years ago, when we started the Chabad minyan here, there were some old-time Lubavitchers who joined us. They were not particular about coming on time to daven and sometimes they came with a towel (used for the mikva) on their shoulders. They walked among the benches, put their towel on the bima, or got into conversations with the mekuravim. They created an undesirable atmosphere in the Chabad house. Over time, the minyan dwindled until it stopped. “Some time ago, I decided to start a minyan again, but this time I was determined to be a stickler about davening on time in a serious atmosphere without

talking during the davening. Many mekuravim started coming to the Chabad house for t’fillos. I made sure to censure anyone who spoke during davening. The minyan was successful and it grew. “Another year went by and I got tired of constantly making comments and having to be on guard. Some of the people started coming late and talking and I’ve been thinking about whether to continue my efforts to keep things in order and quiet. Then you call me with this message from the Rebbe. “I consider this a clear sign from the Rebbe and I commit to seeing this through,” concluded the shliach.

ALL RISE TO RECEIVE THE REBBE’S ORDERS
R’ Levi Wilyamowsky told the following story as he heard it from R’ Moshe Naparstek who witnessed it. The story took place many decades ago, when Kfar Chabad was in its nascent years and needed constant help from government offices. In those days, the Rebbe sent dozens of letters to Anash in Eretz Yisroel

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to encourage the development of the Kfar in a speedy way. Chabad leaders of the time used their connections to get money for construction and to develop the Kfar. Letters from the Rebbe came constantly, urging more and more advancement and development of the plans to build the Kfar. At a certain point, government money was approved for these plans. All they needed to do was wait for a decision by the Solel Boneh company about when it would start construction. The matter dragged on and there seemed no end in sight to the delays. One day, people in the Kfar heard that on that very day there would be a meeting in Tel Aviv of all the directors of Solel Boneh and that is when all decisions would be made. They thought this would be their opportunity to get things moving. R’ Zushe Wilyamowsky, the “Partisan,” now entered the picture. He “ordered” R’ Moshe Naparstek to join him and together they went to Tel Aviv to the Solel Boneh building. R’ Zushe walked into the conference room in the middle of

the meeting. All were surprised to see two bearded Chassidim interrupting their meeting, but the Partisan did not stop at red. He stood in the middle of the room and loudly announced, “There is an order from the Rebbe – all rise!” Well, apparently words from the heart, along with special kochos given to a shliach of the Rebbe, enter the heart. Everybody at the meeting rose to their feet.  R’ Zushe gleefully declared that the Lubavitcher Rebbe said the construction in Kfar Chabad had to be hurried along and finished by Rosh HaShana. When he finished his announcement he added, “All can be seated.” After a few seconds of silence, the CEO of Solel Boneh asked to see the Rebbe’s order. R’ Zushe showed him the letter. On the spot, the CEO said that the building would be done before Rosh HaShana. A formal resolution was then made to this effect.

THE SHLIACH IS HERE – THE REBBE IS HERE
There are shluchim who absolutely do not want their

names used in a magazine. That is the case with the shliach who told the following story at a farbrengen that took place during Tishrei in 770: When I was in the army, some soldiers were sent on a complicated, dangerous mission deep within Egyptian territory. Due to the great importance of this mission, a very senior commander showed up and gave orders about the operation. When the operation was over, I went over to this senior commander and introduced myself as a Lubavitcher. I said to him with great confidence, “Until now you were the commander here over everyone, but now an order has come from an even higher commander, G-d, and He gave an order that t’fillin need to be put on.” The senior commander was quite surprised but immediately said he would put on t’fillin, and that afterward, he would say why he did so. As soon as he removed the t’fillin from his arm, the commander said the following: This morning, while preparing for our operation,

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I was in “the Kiryah” (IDF headquarters) in Tel Aviv where I met with military leaders. Some Lubavitchers arrived and suggested that I put on t’fillin. I asked them why the Lubavitcher Rebbe does not make aliya and they said it was because the Rebbe sent emissaries to Eretz Yisroel and a person’s emissary is like himself, so it is just like the Rebbe himself is in Eretz Yisroel. I argued with them a bit and finally said to them, “I am going to the Sinai now, deep in Egyptian territory. If there too, Chabadnikim will ask me to put on t’fillin on shlichus from the Rebbe, I will have to concede that the Rebbe is truly in Eretz Yisroel and I will put on t’fillin.” Here I am and I immediately saw you, a soldier with a full beard, and I thought: If he is a

the passersby. It just didn’t seem realistic to me. All this took a split second. I asked the Rebbe, “For all of Haifa?!” The Rebbe smiled and said, “For Anash of Haifa.” R’ Dunin began to cry more intensely and said at the farbrengen, see what a blanketyTO BELIEVE IN THE POWERS blank I am. The Rebbe told me to give it to all of Haifa and I THE REBBE GIVES US minimized the task. I diminished R’ Reuven Dunin, shliach the shlichus and caused the of the Rebbe in Haifa, told the Rebbe to say just for Anash of following story at a farbrengen Haifa. with tears in his eyes: We need to believe that the Express Expressservice service During one of my first years kochos the Rebbe gives us are Fully Computerized Fully Computerized on shlichus in Haifa, I visited the unlimited. The Rebbe writes Rebbe. When I stood on line for general letters “To All Jewish 331 Kingston Ave.Ave. 331 Kingston lekach, the Rebbe gave me a large Boys and Girls.” nd Rebbe (2ndThe Flr) Brooklyn NY 11213 (2 Flr) Brooklyn NY 11213 piece and said, “For all of Haifa.” says we need to provide a Jewish As I stood there I began to chinuch for all Jewish children. Get tickets within minutes! Getyour your tickets within minutes! picture the scene of my standing We have the ability and just need Fax: (718) 493-4444 Fax: (718) 493-4444 in the center of Haifa and giving to make use of it. Do all that you out cake from the Rebbe to all can to bring the Geula!

Chabadnik, it will be interesting to see whether he will come over to me and suggest that I put on t’fillin. As soon as you came over to me, I had to admit that the Rebbe is here and the Rebbe’s shluchim are everywhere.

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THE REBBE’S MESSAGE WAS CLEAR:

MIRACLES!
After the doctors ran some basic tests, they informed us that our infant daughter had been born with a rare disease found in one out of every five thousand people: The small intestine had not properly developed, and the child needed an immediate operation! “We’re talking about a one-week old baby,” I told the doctor. “I don’t want her operated on now!” However, the doctor was adamant. “This is a matter of life and death,” he said. “The operation must be done. There’s no alternative...”
By Chaim Brook Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

he following story comes from R’ Reuven (Ruvik) Spindler, member of the Chabad community in Montreal, Canada: Last year, on Erev Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5773, our daughter, Talia Rochel, was born in a good and auspicious hour. During those first days, my wife and I waited in the hospital as would any other happy set of parents with their newborn child, praying that they should merit bringing her to Torah, chuppa, and to good deeds. Then, over a period of three days, we realized that our daughter’s digestive system was not functioning properly. By this

T

time, we had already brought her home, as we nervously monitored her condition. A little more than a week after her birth, the baby’s stomach had hardened and become swollen, and we quickly ran with her back to the hospital.

THERE’S NO ALTERNATIVE, WE MUST OPERATE!
The doctors immediately did a biopsy, and after a lengthy series of tests, the first results came in. We were informed that according to the results, our daughter had been born with Hirschsprung’s disease, a rare ailment that afflicts only one out of every five thousand people.

The small intestine, which has a very important role in a person’s digestive system, had not developed. There was no alternative – the child needed an immediate operation! The doctor explained to us that this would be a most complicated surgical procedure. The intestines would be removed, retained outside her body for a period of one year. During the intervening time before rebuilding the digestive tract, we would have to learn to deal with this complex temporary situation. “We’re talking about a oneweek old baby,” I told the doctor. “I don’t want her operated on now!”

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Seeing miracles: Talia Rochel Spindler

However, the doctor was adamant. “This is a matter of life and death,” he said. “The operation must be done. There’s no alternative...” We responded that we needed time to consider the matter. In the meantime, they referred us to a couple who had gone through a similar situation to help us deal with the new reality and teach us how to clean out the baby artificially three times a day. We returned home, anxious and extremely concerned. The doctor asked us to give him an answer by the following day, but we were having a very difficult time making our

decision. We asked for a delay of one week, while in the meantime, we continued treating our daughter’s ailment as we had been taught in the hospital.

We went to see a Dr. Le Barch, a specialist in Montreal. He looked at all the previous test results and told us, “They did a biopsy on her, and in 99% of the cases, the results produced by the biopsy are proven accurate. In other words, there’s no room for mistakes. You have to do the operation.” I went back to my mashpia after we heard the second opinion. “If so,” he said, “that’s what you have to do...” We sought the advice of the Refua V’Chesed organization in Montreal. They told us that Dr. Le Barch is an expert specialist in such cases, and they recommended that he should do the surgery. We spoke with him, and he naturally relied on the tests made by the first doctor. While he checked the results himself during our meeting, nevertheless, I asked him to run another series of tests. He told us that there was no point in doing further tests. As a result, we decided together that we should set a date for the procedure, as it would be far easier to cancel, if necessary, as opposed to getting another appointment. “In the meantime,” the doctor said, “although I think that it’s totally unnecessary, I’ll arrange for another series of tests so you’ll be calm about it...” We set a date for the operation and went home.

A SECOND MEDICAL OPINION
I wrote to the Rebbe, asking for a bracha and advice on what we should do. I opened a volume of Igros Kodesh, but I saw no advice in connection to our situation. I asked my mashpia, and he said that in medical matters, the Rebbe always instructed people to get a second opinion from another doctor.

THE OPERATION DATE IS SET, THE REBBE GIVES A BLESSING FOR A MIRACLE
The night before the operation, we sat with tears in our eyes as we wrote to the Rebbe that we didn’t want our daughter to have this operation. As I mentioned earlier, this was no simple procedure, and the baby was only three weeks old. In

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conducted,” he declared. “Wait ten minutes.” We sat for ten minutes, which seemed to us like an eternity. We felt as if we were sitting on pins and needles… Finally, the results arrived: They were positive. Our daughter doesn’t have the disease at all. There really was no need to operate… According to the medical staff, the first doctor had made a colossal error, and they had no idea how he had reached his conclusions. “There are two possibilities,” they said. “Either he dozed off during the examination or he had mistakenly switched your daughter’s test results with someone else’s…” Later, as a result of his desire to subject a one-week old baby to an unnecessary operation, the original doctor had his license revoked in the United States and Canada for a period of six months...

The letter was all in Russian, except for a few words in Hebrew

short, we asked for a bracha that everything should work out and this nightmare should come to an end. I took Volume 28 of Igros Kodesh and opened the seifer to Letter #10,630. This was a correspondence written entirely in Russian, except for just a few words in Hebrew. It was addressed to someone named Rochel. We were immediately overcome, as our daughter’s name is Talia Rochel. As we continued reading, we couldn’t believe our eyes. The only Hebrew words in the letter flashed in front of us: “In an auspicious hour. On the Tziyon of my holy and revered fatherin-law, the Rebbe. Miracles. With a blessing for a recovery and for good news.” We jumped with excitement. ”It doesn’t matter what’s written in Russian,” we said. “The Rebbe surely wanted us to see what was

written in Hebrew...” We went to sleep, as we tried to remove all worry from our hearts and trust in the Rebbe’s bracha.

THANKS TO THE NASI
Of course, we knew that there was a third possibility – and that this was surely the correct one. It was as the Rebbe had written: “Miracles. With a blessing for a recovery and for good news…” The doctors said that the new test results showed our daughter had merely developed an allergy to the protein found in dairy products, and this is what was causing the blockage in her digestive system. They cleaned out her intestines, gave my wife a strict diet for our daughter to maintain, and thank G-d, everything has been fine since then. Thanks to Alm-ghty G-d, and thanks to the Moshe Rabbeinu of our generation, the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach!

THE PRE-OP BEGINS...
The following morning, we arrived at the hospital with our suitcases packed with clothes for a week, as we went to organize the room we had been assigned. They took the baby and began the routine process of preparing her for the operation. They proceeded to clean out the digestive tract, while the anesthetist started connecting our daughter to the oxygen in the final pre-op stage. Suddenly, the surgeon ran into the operating room and cried, “Stop! Stop!” The surgical team was stunned. “What do you mean, ‘Stop’? There’s no need to operate?” “I’m waiting for a lab report on another series of tests we

34 � • 5 Adar II 5774

PARSHA THOUGHT

OPEN THE DOORS OF YOUR SANCTUARY!
By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg

DISPUTE BETWEEN RASHI AND TOSAFOS
One of the offerings in the Temple, discussed in this week’s parsha, is the Shlamim-Peace Offering. These sacrifices were offered in the Temple courtyard, where the Altar was situated. One of the requirements for this type of offering was first to open the doors of the Sanctuary. There is a dispute between Rashi and Tosafos (French Sages who lived between the 12th and 14th centuries) whether this requirement applies to sacrifices other than a peace offering. According to Rashi it does not. But according to the Tosafists it applies to all sacrifices. Although we do not have the Beis HaMikdash or the offering of sacrifices in the present day and age (even as we pray incessantly for it to be restored), every detail of Torah must provide us with insight into our own service to G-d. We therefore have to understand: (a) Why does the Temple Sanctuary door have to be open before one brings the Peace Offering? (b) Why does Rashi maintain

that it only applies to the Peace Offering? What is unique about the Peace Offering? (c) Why do the Tosafists disagree with Rashi on this matter and extend the requirement of opening the doors of the Sanctuary to all sacrifices?

THE PEACE OFFERING DYNAMIC
To answer these questions we must first understand the dynamic of a Peace Offering. It was so labeled because it was divided into three parts. One part of it was offered to G-d on the Altar. Another part was given to the Kohanim-Priests to consume, and the third part was eaten by the person whose sacrifice it was. The fact that G-d, the Kohen and the owner each had a share in this offering was a symbol of peace and harmony. However, peace and harmony are achievable only when the doors of the Sanctuary are open. This means that peace must be informed by our inner Sanctuary. If peace were to come from external influences, such as from the philosophical, political and social arenas, it would be flawed because that kind of peace is

artificial and specious. Peace is G-d’s domain. One of the names associated with G-d is Shalom. One of our daily prayers is Sim Shalom, in which we ask G-d to bring Shalom. We also refer to G-d as the “One who makes peace in the heavens” and we then petition Him to “make peace upon us and upon all of Israel.” One could ask: why do we have to ask G-d to bring Shalom? Shouldn’t two people involved in a squabble find ways of resolving their differences without G-d intervening? Furthermore, by referring to G-d’s celestial peace-making venture with the angels as a rationale for His making peace down here it suggests that if He can make peace above He can certainly make peace below. Why would we think that it is easier to make peace below?

HEAVENLY PEACE
The answer is that while it is indeed permissible to make every and any effort at procuring peace through whichever legal means are available to us, the only type of peace that is genuine and enduring is one based on the ultimate truth that emerges from the Holiest place on Earth—the Beis HaMikdash. To elaborate:

Issue 918 • �  

35

MIRACLE STORY

One of the salient differences between angels and humans is that angels are mono-directional. They are programmed beings and without capacity to emote in ways other than their monolithic nature. Humans were created as complex, multi-dimensional creatures. Even if one trait is dominant, other and even opposing traits can be found close to the surface.
When there is division between two parties, especially when the division runs deep, the ability that human institutions and techniques possess to bring peace involves glossing over the differences or even the use of deception. In modern times we refer to these approaches as diplomacy. In the long run diplomacy proves ineffective because the two parties’ differences flare up again, inasmuch as they were not really resolved, or the deception is ultimately exposed and the divisions become deeper than ever. To secure true and enduring peace we must be exposed to the inner sanctum of our hearts and soul, which is connected to G-d. The overarching power of the Divine is capable of making peace even in the heavens, where the differences between the two archangels Michael and Gabriel are apparently irreconcilable. The archangel Michael stands for pure unmitigated kindness and love whereas the archangel Gabriel represents the trait of unadulterated judgment. Only G-d can fuse these two disparate forces into one amalgam, dedicated to the One G-d. If G-d can fuse the two diametrically opposite traits of the archangels Michael and Gabriel, then there can be no doubt that He can unify two people whose differences are not so profound. One of the salient differences between angels and humans is that angels are mono-directional. They are programmed beings and without capacity to emote in ways other than their monolithic nature. Humans were created as complex, multi-dimensional creatures. Even if one trait is dominant, other and even opposing traits can be found close to the surface. Thus, if G-d can create a peace that allows diametrically opposite angelic creatures to be at peace with each other in G-d’s overarching presence, He can certainly bring disparate people together. Humans already have commonality in terms of their external personalities. G-d’s presence in our lives helps us to find that commonality. Moreover, and more importantly, when we are in touch with the inner sanctum of our soul we discover that there is truly one source and one Father to all of us. As explained in Tanya in Chapter 32 (32 is the numerical equivalent of the word lev-heart and thus this chapter has been called the “heart of the Tanya” with its emphasis on Ahavas Yisroel—the Love for one’s fellow Jew), when we allow our spiritual dimension to dominate, it leads to fulfillment of the Mitzvah to “love your fellow as yourself.” This is so, as from the vantage point of our

soul we come to realize that the other is yourself. We can now understand why, according to Rashi, this requirement of opening the doors of the Sanctuary is restricted to the Peace Offering. Such an offering is prompted by a daunting challenge and we desperately need the assistance that comes from our inner sanctum. As stated, Rashi does not consider this a requirement for an Ola-burnt offering, which must be burnt on the Altar. Neither the Kohen nor the one who brought the offering partakes of it; it is to be totally consumed on the fire of the Altar. The Ola sacrifice consequently expresses one’s total devotion to G-d; totally spiritual, consumed with the fire and passion for G-d. The individual who offers an Ola needs no reminder of the G-dly element in the sacrifice. One does not need to open the door to the inner sanctum because the energy that comes from within is already evident in the person’s surrender of his or her entire being to G-d, exclusively.

BALANCING BETWEEN ADVANCING AND RETREATING
Tosafos, however, extends this requirement to all other sacrifices. In his view, even though a person may exhibit unmitigated passion for G-d, there is a lingering concern that there might be a hidden agenda. It might even be a spiritual ego trip, wherein the Ola personality becomes a holier-than-thou individual, who disdains the more well-rounded, down-to-earth Shlamim personalities. Alternatively, the passion that drives this Ola personality

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can go too far, as was the tragic case with Nadav and Avihu, Aaron’s sons who brought an unauthorized offering and died as a result. Or HaChayim and Chassidic literature explain that their sin was one of too much passion and no desire to engage the physical world. When people are driven to that extreme, by allowing the passion of their souls to ignite and consume any desire to remain in the physical world, it is a sign that they lack respect for G-d’s agenda. G-d’s desire for human beings, as opposed to the angels, is for them to stir up as much spiritual passion as is needed to pull themselves above the morass of materialism. But G-d does not desire that they remain above terrestrial matters. They must retreat back down into the “real” world, engage it, affect it and, ultimately, transform it. Being able to go only in one direction is the hallmark of angels. Humans must learn to change direction when the need arises. We need to go in both directions daily. When we pray we let go of the physical world; when we finish praying we retreat back into the world by first engaging our minds in the study of Torah. Equipped with the values and inspiration of both prayer and study we take on the challenge of changing the world. To facilitate combining the opposites inherent in the Ola offering, the Tosafists therefore

maintain we must also be in touch with our inner sanctum.

THE SHLAMIM CHALLENGE TODAY
As we stand on the threshold of the Final Redemption, the Shlamim challenge of combining opposites has become more pronounced. Never before have we seen so much fragmentation and division in the world. While in these momentous times before the imminent final Redemption, empires have crumbled and there is much less conflict between major powers, we are witness to greater divisions within countries, communities and even families. In order to create the Shlamim-offering, which brings unity among G-d, ourselves and our fellow Jew —and by extension peace for the entire world—we must open the door to the inner sanctum of the Sanctuary. Translated into practical terms, we must search beneath the surface of ourselves and the other and recognize our inherent unity. One of the tools to accomplish that goal is the teachings of

Chassidus, the inner dimension of Torah, which connects us to the inner layer of Torah and our own personalities. Within the teachings of Chassidus, the discourses of the Rebbe stand out for their clarity, depth and their focus on Moshiach and the ultimate Redemption. Indeed, since everything is hinted in the Torah, the Hebrew word Shlamim contains within it the initials of the Rebbe’s name and the name of his father. More than any Jewish leader, the Rebbe has advanced the cause of Shlamim by bringing peace between G-d and Israel and between one Jew and another and has prepared us for Moshiach and the ultimate Redemption!

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"The quickest way to reveal Moshiach is by learning the Torah Issue 918 • � grumnu  sources about Moshiach & redemption" t"ab,wv ghrz, p"a

37

TZIVOS HASHEM

A DISGUISE AND THE BESURAS HA’GEULA
A story for Purim
By Nechama Bar

R’ Chaim Yehoshua Pshemish, one of the communal workers in the city of Raisha, counted the coins he had. Then he sighed. “I need much more money to redeem the family. Ai … Where will I get the rest of the money from?” R’ Chaim Yehoshua had taken this lofty task upon himself, to help redeem captives. An unfortunate family who lived in the city for a long time was unable to pay their rent and was cruelly sent to jail. Despite his efforts to raise the money to set them free, he was still missing a large part of it. He went to the home of R’ Chona Halberstam, the greatgrandson of the tzaddik R’ Chaim of Sanz, to ask his advice. R’ Chona welcomed him graciously. “How can I help you?” he asked. R’ Chaim Yehoshua told him the situation. “I did all I could and beyond. I went from house to house and raised money, but I still need much more.” The Rebbe smiled and then said the most surprising thing. “Purim is coming. I suggest that you dress up as an Admur. I will give you the gartel that belonged to R’ Chaim of Sanz and his walking stick, and the shtraimel he wore on Shabbos and Yom Tov. These items are very precious to me, but I will

lend them to you for the sake of pidyon shvuyim (redeeming captives). R’ Chaim listened closely, still not understanding what the point of this was. The Rebbe continued, “We will publicize that on Purim you will be giving brachos. People will come to give you pidyonos with sums of money for tz’daka. With Hashem’s help, all will be well.” R’ Chaim meekly asked, “Is the Rebbe serious about this?” “Yes, yes, every word.” R’ Chaim Yehoshua found this exceedingly strange. What did this have to do with being a Rebbe? But the Rebbe had told him and he wanted to complete this mitzva of pidyon shvuyim. To his great astonishment, the word got out and many people filled the house in order to ask for his bracha. The pages of pidyonos along with a pile of money continued to grow. At the end of Purim, he took off the precious costume and sat down to count the money. How thrilled he was when he saw that he had the money he needed! He joyfully ran to R’ Chona’s house to tell him that his advice had worked. The Rebbe’s face shone and he was silent for some time. The members of the household

watched him and waited for him to say something. The Rebbe emerged from his thoughts and said, “Just as you merited telling me the news about the pidyon shvuyim, I bless you that you also merit to announce the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, may it be soon.” *** Years went by and war overtook the world. Poland was cut in two parts with one part conquered by the Germans and the other part under Russian control. The situation in Russia was unbearable. Thousands of Jews were sent to frozen Siberia and forced to work under backbreaking conditions. But despite the tremendous hardships, compared to their brethren back in conquered Poland, their lot was far better. News about the horrors taking place in Poland, with trainloads of Jews being taken to extermination camps, trickled in. R’ Chaim Yehoshua, like thousands of other Jews, was exiled to Siberia where he did hard labor in sub-human conditions. What kept him going was a special person, an old man whose name he did not even know. The old man was a scholar and he chose R’ Chaim Yehoshua as his study partner to learn Torah. They spent hours together learning Torah and Chassidus and telling one another Chassidic tales, encouraging one another with emuna and bitachon.

38 � • 5 Adar II 5774

‫יח‬ ַ‫שׁ‬ ִ‫מּ‬ ָ‫שׁ‬ ֶ ָ ‫ַשּׂר ל‬ ֵ ‫לב‬ ְ ‫ָאתי‬ ִ ‫ "בּ‬:‫ֵשׁיב‬ ִ ‫ָב ה‬ ‫הסּ‬ ַ ‫ ְו‬,‫ָה‬ ‫ֶכדּ‬ ְ ‫הנּ‬ ַ ‫ָה‬ ‫אל‬ ֲ‫שׁ‬ ָ "?‫ֶה‬ ‫ָפ‬ ‫י‬ ‫ָה‬ ‫ִיע‬ ‫הגּ‬ ִ ‫כּי‬ ִ .‫גיִּים‬ ִ ‫ִי‬ ‫חג‬ ֲ‫ו‬ ַ ‫ָפים‬ ִ ‫ָדים י‬ ִ ‫בּג‬ ְ ‫שׁי‬ ִ‫ב‬ ְ‫ל‬ ִ ‫קוּמי‬ ִ ,‫ַתּ‬ ְ ‫ַם א‬ ‫ ְוג‬,‫ע‬ ַ ‫ִי‬ ‫הגּ‬ ִ ‫ָר‬ ‫כּב‬ ְ "...‫ָה‬ ‫אלּ‬ ֻ‫גּ‬ ְ‫ה‬ ַ ‫ֵת‬ ‫ע‬
One day, when they finished learning together, the old man made a request of R’ Chaim Yehoshua. “Dear R’ Chaim, I am old and it is doubtful whether I will leave this bitter galus. I providentially met you, who are an upright and G-d fearing man. I want to ask you something.” R’ Chaim listened with curiosity mixed with apprehension and the old man continued. “I have a box with very precious s’farim. Most of them I inherited from my holy father and some I bought for a lot of money. You will certainly survive and leave here. I would like you to take these s’farim. When the time comes, you will know what to do with them.” R’ Chaim nodded and his heart pounded. Such an important mission was being given to him. He thought, if only I merit getting out of this vale of tears, even if it is just to fulfill the request of the old man... A few days later, the old man breathed his last and the box of holy s’farim remained with R’ Chaim. *** 5704/1944 Five years had passed since the old man had died and the war was over. R’ Chaim was able to leave Russia for the United States with the box in his possession. “The merit of the tzaddik from Raisha who blessed me that I will announce the Geula and the request of the old man that I take his s’farim out of exile are what stood by me, so I was able to leave Europe with great miracles and wonders.” He believed this with all his heart. R’ Chaim Yehoshua settled down and built his life anew. Now and then, he opened the box with holy awe, examined the s’farim, and then replaced them. The years went by, and he became a grandfather and then a greatgrandfather. Often, his family members asked him for details of his life during and before the war. He usually told the story about dressing up like an Admur for the sake of pidyon shvuyim. He always added the bracha of the Rebbe, “That you merit announcing the coming of Moshiach.” R’ Chaim Yehoshua believed that announced the acronym for each year. 79 part of •the 869 ‘‫מס‬ ‫גיליון‬ he would merit this *** bracha too. R’ Chaim Yehoshua became In 5742/1982, R’ Chaim 368.indd Yehoshua felt that3 the time had quite old and felt that his end come for him to give some of was approaching. One day, the s’farim to the right people. his granddaughter Mira’le was He asked his son to remove sitting next to him and she asked, certain s’farim from the box and “Zeide, when Moshiach comes, then said, “Give these s’farim you will announce his coming?” as a gift to the Lubavitcher R’ Chaim Yehoshua replied, Rebbe. In these s’farim, much is “When the time comes, I will tell written about Inyanei Geula and you.” Moshiach. In one of the s’farim, *** there is a hint to this year, 5742 – R’ Chaim passed away in Tihei Shnas Bi’as Moshiach (may 5748. Some years later, in this be the year of the coming of Adar 5752, Mira’le saw her Moshiach). I want the Rebbe to grandfather in a dream. He was see it.” dressed in clothes that glowed. The son carried out his “Zeide, why are you dressed father’s wishes. A short time so beautifully?” she asked. later, the Rebbe spoke at a Her grandfather said, “I farbrengen about the acronym came to tell you that Moshiach for that year, Tihei Shnas Bee’as already came and you too should Moshiach. He added a source for get up and wear festive clothing this, saying, “A certain wise man because the time of the Geula has brought this to my attention.” arrived.” From that year on, the Rebbe
Issue 918 • �  

,‫ָשׁישׁ‬ ִ ‫היּ‬ ַ ‫ל‬ ‫ָה‬ ‫רוּסי‬ ְ ‫מ‬ ֵ ‫את‬ ‫שׁל‬ ֶ ‫ְכוּתוֹ‬ ‫"ז‬

39

CROSSROADS

THE MYTH
By Sholom Ber Crombie Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

OF THE DEMOGRAPHIC THREAT
The real number of Arabs living beyond the Green Line is 1,400,000. According to the Interior Ministry’s population registry, 385,000 Jews live in Yehuda and Shomron, including another 300,000 in East Jerusalem. In other words, the number of Jews living in the “territories” is already about half the size of the Palestinian population. The growth spurt in the Jewish settlements is staggering. During the second intifada, only 190,000 Jews lived in Yehuda and Shomron. That shows a doubling in population size within a decade.

he Knesset recently welcomed Mr. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, as its honored guest. When he was invited to deliver a speech in German before the Israeli Parliament, Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin immediately announced that he is boycotting the event. “It is not appropriate that the language used to send millions of Jews to the camps should be heard in the Knesset,” said Feiglin. Feiglin apparently understands what most of his parliamentary colleagues do not. When the President of the European Parliament makes an anti-Semitic speech from the Knesset rostrum, it is the most blatant trampling of this body’s last remnant of Jewish pride.

T

In making an observation after the fact, we find that it wasn’t just the language, but the content that hasn’t changed. This was an anti-Semitic diatribe under the guise of protecting the human rights of Arabs. The European Parliament that automatically votes against Eretz Yisroel at every opportunity has no right to preach to us about the value of human rights. If human rights really were a top priority concern of Mr. Schulz’s, he should have used the opportunity to cry out against the murderers – and not against the murdered. The legislative body that allows terrorists such as Ahmed Tibi and Mohammed Barakeh to join its ranks is the same one that assiduously crushes all that is holy in Israel. This is the legislature

that passed – democratically, of course – the wretched proposal on expelling Jews from Yamit and destroying the settlement there; the same legislature that passed the expulsion from Gush Katif; the same legislature that has breached the wall of Judaism, establishing that a Jew is even someone who went through a non-halachic conversion. And now, this same legislative body has become a platform for antiSemitic speeches in German, attacking the victims instead of the aggressors.

THE REBBE: TEAR DOWN THE KNESSET
On the 7th of Nissan 5741, after the signing of the Camp David Accords, the Rebbe said

40 � • 5 Adar II 5774

that there must be “And he shall tear down the house” – tearing down the Knesset and establishing a new one in its place. “Those same people who want to give away portions of Eretz Yisroel – regarding which it is said ‘I give you for a heritage’ – sit in the Knesset. Therefore, there must be ‘And he shall tear down the house!” said the Rebbe. “The current Knesset is not the true house, as in this house sit Communists, Moslems, and Christians – to the point that there are those who want to hand over all of Eretz Yisroel! They cry out that everything is appropriate for peace, even giving the whole country away. “Throughout the history of the Jewish People, there has never been a situation in which Jews actually proposed doing something so dreadful as giving away portions of Eretz Yisroel that belong to them – into the hands of the Gentiles! While Jews have gone through much suffering throughout the generations, there has never been suffering such as what has occurred since Camp David!” At the beginning of that sicha, the Rebbe explained that the dangerous proposals on giving away land are not only contrary to Jewish law, they are totally illogical: “Relinquishing territory from Eretz Yisroel is not only against halacha, it also contradicts simple logic, even the intellect and emotions of the animal soul. No normal human being willingly jumps into a fire or lets someone cut his throat; giving away parts of Eretz Yisroel is like jumping into a fire.” The actions of the current Knesset are also against all logic. Why would a country let its accusers stand before its national legislature and smear it with false

charges? People have claimed throughout the years that the state of Israel is “the first flowerings of our redemption” as an aftermath to the tragedies of the Holocaust. Thus, the destruction of European Jewry became the sole basis for their claim to Eretz Yisroel. Zionism had been founded entirely upon the principle that the Jewish People live in their homeland in order to prevent another Holocaust r”l. A representative of the German people standing at the Knesset rostrum and making an anti-Semitic speech in German is proof of how the Zionist movement is coming to an end.

THE THREAT NO LONGER EXISTS
The political left keeps trying to frighten us by declaring that if we don’t reach an agreement with the Arabs, the demographic threat will consume us. Yes, the same left-wing that continues to encourage control over Tel Aviv by work émigrés from Mauritania and the Sudan is scaring us with the demographic threat. Recently, there has been a grassroots campaign to encourage Netanyahu in his efforts to achieve a diplomatic agreement. “If there will be no agreement, there will be no Jewish state here,” the lefties claim. However, the facts prove an entirely different reality. Historians studying the demographic issue, such as Yoram Ettinger and Dr. Guy Bechor, have discovered that the demography in Eretz Yisroel is working specifically to our advantage. The findings show that even women who currently are not Torah observant are having more children than Arab

women. If Arab leaders once said that they would defeat us through the higher Arab birth rate, today, this threat has been removed and there is no longer a need to worry about it. The Jewish family unit continues to blossom – in all sectors, ultra-Orthodox, religious, and secular – while the Arab family is gradually shrinking. Even Arab emigration from Eretz Yisroel to countries such as the United States, France, and other European nations is growing. Several years ago, the nationalist camp claimed that we have to create a Ministry of Emigration Affairs and throw them out of the country. There were also those who demanded that we do this by coercion, and the Rebbe himself even suggested giving them “a few liras” and a one-way ticket to a neighboring Arab country. However, the public at-large – and especially its leaders – didn’t want to hear of it. Instead, they virtually begged them to stay – in order ch”v not to leave a bad impression before the world. As for those Arabs who did leave, even they received personal requests from Jewish settler leaders to come back and live in Eretz HaKodesh. The popular slogan “Sorry We Won” was a living testimony to the conduct of those who didn’t want the facts to confuse them under any circumstances, or else we might end up with a Jewish state here. In a recent article with Dr. Guy Bechor, he explained why the demographic threat is no longer a factor: “No one knows how many Arabs live in the territories liberated in 1967, as the Palestinians misleadingly inflate their statistical information (including those who emigrated

Issue 918 • �  

41

MIRACLE STORY
twenty years ago, while residents of East Jerusalem are counted twice – by both Palestinian and Israeli authorities). However, in October 2012, local elections were held in the Palestinian Authority (without Gaza and Yerushalayim), and the number of eligible voters – eighteen years of age and older – was 515,000. If you add a similar number of young people, we come to a little more than a million people. Adding East Jerusalem, about 1,400,000 is the real number. “And what is the number of Jews in this same territory? About seven hundred thousand. According to the Interior Ministry’s population registry, 385,000 Jews live in Yehuda and Shomron, including another 300,000 in East Jerusalem (meaning that the Jewish and Arab populations are practically equal for the first time). In other words, the number of Jews living in the territories is already about half the size of the Palestinian population for the same region. The growth spurt in the Jewish settlements is staggering. During the second intifada, only 190,000 Jews lived in Yehuda and Shomron. That shows a doubling in population size within a decade.” living beyond the Green Line. It turns out that the Arabs aren’t all that happy about living in highrise apartment buildings with elevators. They aren’t buying houses in the town’s new and growing residential projects. By the way, this city is being built on land used for yishuvim, causing serious harm to the settlement communities. However, none of this seems to bother those who have designated the area for the Palestinians, and they show no concern for the damage done to the Jewish population. In the meantime, the city has apparently become an integral part of Israel’s sovereign territory and is being populated specifically by Jews. For their part, the Arabs are leaving the region, as they aren’t thrilled about living in a modern city. As a result, ‘Rawabi’ may soon be transformed into the newest Jewish city of Yehuda and Shomron.

WILL ‘RAWABI’ BECOME A JEWISH CITY?
The truth is that even the Arabs understand that the best option for them is found outside of Eretz Yisroel. Those who want to be “people of the big wide world” find an excellent place for themselves in countries such as France and the United States, while those prefer to continue living in an Arab culture go to one of the twenty-three Arab states. The best proof of this is Rawabi, the first Arab city established in Yehuda and Shomron, designed to be a future home of the Arab population

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