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CONTENTS

18
FEATURED ARTICLES

WEEKLY COLUMNS

4 Dvar Malchus
13 Moshiach & Geula
16 Parsha Thought
28 Thought
38 Tzivos Hashem
40 Crossroads

THE ANGELS
ARE JEALOUS
R Yaron Tzvi

13 CHASSIDIM OF 5774
R Nadav Cohen
24

20 R BERISH Berger
Shneur Zalman
30 SANCTIFYING
THE HOLY ISLAND
Molly Kupchik

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2014-06-10 1:58:28 AM

DVAR MALCHUS

ADDING CONVERTS
IN EXILE
The Alm-ghty only exiled the Jewish people
among the Gentile nations in order to add to
them converts. Coverts alludes to and signifies
the sparks of holiness present in all aspects of
the world. * This approach of taking a foothold in
the place of our dispersal brings about fortitude
and success in our avoda. * From Chapter Six of
Rabbi Shloma Majeskis Likkutei Mekoros (Underlined text is the compilers
emphasis.)
Translated by Boruch Merkur

HOW ARE WE MORE


READY NOW THAN EVER?!
1. We have mentioned many
times recently, especially on the
last occasion, that according to
all the signs, we are presently
in the last generation of exile
and of consequence, the first
generation of redemption. The
basis for this claim is that we
have already completed all
aspects of serving G-d, and we
now stand ready for the true and
compete redemption through
Moshiach Tzidkeinu.
There are those who ask: The
redemption is dependent upon
the preparedness of the entire
world not just one person or
a few individuals, not even one
part of the world, but the entire
world. The entire world must be
ready because the redemption is
connected with and dependent
upon gathering the exiles of
the Jewish people from the four
corners of the earth, as well as

refining the gentile nations of all


the countries of the world.
In what sense people ask
is the world different now, that
it is said to be more prepared for
the redemption than the previous
generations?!

AN ACT OF TZDAKA BY
DISPERSING US AMONG
THE NATIONS
2. The answer emerges
from a discussion of the reason
underlying the Jewish peoples
long history of journeying in
exile from place to place:
Superficially, the dispersal
of the Jewish people throughout
the various countries of
the world (alienated and
dispersed among the nations)
is a descent and the greater
the dispersal, the greater the
descent. Nevertheless, our
Sages say (Psachim 87b),
The Alm-ghty did an act of

tzdaka (righteousness, charity)


by dispersing them among
the Gentile nations. The well
known (inner) interpretation
of this Talmudic adage sheds
light on the matter: Settling
in foreign lands and adopting
their customs (in a way that
is permitted by Jewish law;
for example, by speaking the
national language when handling
mundane affairs), in each
place according to its manner,
according to the qualities of
the place, as well as its national
character benefits the avoda of
the Jews of those places.
In this spirit, our Sages
say, When you go to a city,
follow its customs. In fact,
the law is (Rambams Laws of
Selling, 26:8): The foremost
rule regarding transactions is
that you follow the terminology
and customs of the people
of the locale, The national
custom is the principal rule in

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these matters. Here Rambam


refers to the national customs
of gentiles (who comprise the
majority of the inhabitants of the
Diaspora), illustrating the benefit
in utilizing their customs to serve
G-d, in the spirit of, All your
deeds should be for the sake of
Heaven, and, Know Him in
all your ways even bringing
about an increase in Torah and
Mitzvos.
In Chassidic lexicon,
interpreting the saying of our
Sages, The Alm-ghty only exiled
the Jewish people among the
Gentile nations in order to add
to them converts: Coverts
alludes to and signifies the
sparks of holiness present in
all aspects of the world. The
Alm-ghty exiled the Jewish
people to various places in
the world in order to refine,
purify, and elevate the sparks
that are situated in each place.
Thus, The Alm-ghty did an act
of tzdaka by dispersing them
among the Gentile nations, for
in this way they achieve through
their avoda the virtue of refining
the sparks of holiness present in
(the customs of) each nation and
in each place.
This then comprises the
benefit in the dispersal of Jews
throughout and their residing
in a great variety of countries
across the globe, described in
the verse (where G-d blesses

Yaakov), You shall burst forth


to the west, east, north and
south: Specifically through
the inner avoda of Jews in all
countries of the world (in each
place according to its character),
through their residing and living
in the land and conducting
themselves, in activities permitted
by Jewish law, according to
the national customs, a Jew
(taking personal initiative) can
accomplish the refinement and
purification of each and every
place according to its quality.
In this manner, each location
becomes a dwelling place for
G-d in the lower realms
lower realms in the plural
each in accordance with its
(place and its) nature. The
impact of refugees, however,
unsettled people, on the place is
not the same nor is the effect
of those who extend influencing
on a place from a distance in
comparison with the impact
of those who live there in an
established and settled way,
and are familiar with the local
customs.

SUCCESS BY FOLLOWING
THE LOCAL CUSTOMS
Moreover, this approach of
taking a foothold in the place
of our dispersal brings about
fortitude and success in our
avoda, as is plainly understood,

as follows. The reason for the


difference of custom (according
to Torah) between one country
and another is on account of the
special character of the country
(the geographical quality, as well
as the character of the people,
and the like). Thus, when we
conduct ourselves according to
the national custom, which is
in line with the character of the
particular place, it is met with
success. A Jew who lives in that
place must, therefore, conducts
himself according to the national
custom, even utilizing these
customs in his service of G-d.
In this manner, he experiences
greater success even in his
service of G-d, in accordance
with the customs of the place.
(The very fact that the
law is that we must conduct
ourselves according to the
local customs, establishes that
these customs become a Torah
recognized manner of conduct.
That is, when they in no way
contradict Jewish law, the law
itself obligates a Jew to conduct
himself in accordance with the
regional customs [at least] in
business matters.)
(From the address of Shabbos
Parshas VaYeishev, 23 Kislev,
Mevarchim HaChodesh Teives;
Seifer HaSichos 5752, pg. 114)

www.MoshiachForKids.com
Check it out!! Educational and Fun!!
Issue 929

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FEATURE

THE ANGELS

ARE JEALOUS
Under the Released Time program in New York, about
two hundred bachurim go out each week and take Jewish
children who attend public schools out of class for a funfilled Jewish program. * This makes a huge difference in
the lives of thousands of Jewish children, some of whom
become shomrei Torah and mitzvos. * R' Yaron Tzvi,
one of the counselors, tells about the organization that
was founded over seventy years ago.
By R Yaron Tzvi

very
Wednesday
afternoon, hundreds of
bachurim leave the zal in
770 and take a train or
prearranged rides and set out. They
return in the evening, usually with
a smile of personal gratification,
and go back to their Gemaras or
the maamer they were learning.
Last Sukkos, a friend invited
me to join him. When I asked
him to describe what happens, I
heard about Released Time for
the first time. He said, Once a
week, we go to public schools
throughout New York and take
interested Jewish children out of
class. We provide them with an
hour of Jewish instruction. This
program was started in 1941 by
the Rebbe Rayatz.
I was curious and decided to

join. Since then, for half a year,


I am proud to be a member in
this organization and take part
in this incredible educational
endeavor where you truly feel
that you are saving Jewish lives.
Today Im already a director of a
district and in this capacity that
deals directly with providing a
proper education for the children
I see the impact that every weekly
encounter has on the children. I
can only imagine the long-term
effects of this program on their
lives.

THE PROGRAM THAT


ANGELS ARE JEALOUS OF
The Rebbe Rayatz started
this program under the aegis
of Merkos L
Inyanei Chinuch.

A law was passed by Congress


that allowed for every child in
the public school system to be
offered an hour of religious
instruction. The Rebbe Rayatz
grabbed this opportunity and
started the Shiurei Limudei
Hadaas (Shelah) organization
which runs the Released Time
program.
In the first phase, R MM
Feldman was appointed to run it.
He started the organization and
led it until 1945. Then R Yaakov
Yehuda (JJ) Hecht took over and
led it for about fifty years, until
his passing.
Today, the Shelah offices are
located in the Hadar HaTorah
building in Crown Heights.
R Hechts son, R Sholom
Dovber currently has overall

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responsibility for the program


and the hands-on director is R
Shneur Zalman Kalman Zirkind.
***
The two hundred or so
bachurim counselors are divided
into teams and they disperse
to about eighty public schools
in the New York metropolitan
area. Jewish children who are
registered for the program (about
1000 today) are excused from
their classrooms for an hour
of Jewish studies in a nearby
Chabad house or shul.
What do they learn? The
material is usually connected
with the parsha of the week or
Jewish holidays. The children
also learn brachos before eating,
prayer, psukim, etc. The creative

counselors combine the learning


with games. At the end of every
class there are raffles for prizes.
The counselors also keep in
touch with the childrens families.
On Chanuka they visit their
students homes and over the
year they meet with the parents
now and then and strengthen
their Jewish awareness.
This program gave the
Rebbe Rayatz much nachas. At
a farbrengen on 18 Elul 5704
he said, In recent years, 3000
children joined Released Time
where they [the counselors]
spoke to them about belief in
G-d, said brachos with them, etc.
These children come from homes
that are treif, without mezuzos,
without Shabbos, and they say a

bracha, a pasuk etc. This causes


a commotion in heaven where all
the angels convene ...

ONE ON ONE
There is no question that
the program has an enormous
impact on children even though it
is only one hour a week. I have
encountered American baalei
tshuva who have told me that
their journey toward Judaism
began with this program. Jewish
parents who send their children
to public school, for whatever
reason, still want their children
to get some Jewish learning and
they register them for Released
Time.
I have called families in order
to convince them to register their
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Feature

As for it taking away from his learning time, the


Rebbe said, I want you to know that all the souls
in Gan Eden, even the soul of Moshe Rabbeinu ah, envy
you for being able to say a bracha or Shma Yisroel with
a Jewish child!
children when the children have
dropped out of the program, only
to hear that the child no longer
attends because he decided to
switch to a yeshiva. In 5773, 114
children switched to yeshivos!
Moshe Rafaelov, 22 years old,
said this program brought him to
where he is today:
The idea of my doing tshuva
and the motivation to follow
through on this is based on my
participation in the Released
Time program when I was a
kid. I grew up in a traditional
Bucharian family. In our home
we made kiddush and had a
Shabbos meal and observed
most holidays, but thats all. I did
not know much about Judaism
and did not belong to a specific
community. One time, the school
advisor at the public school I
attended in Kew Gardens Hills
recommended to my parents that
they send me to this program.
The rest is history!
When he was asked what
impressed him most about the
program he said, Mainly the
songs that they always sang there
during the tfillos, the games and
the activities. Judaism went from
a body of dry laws to something
alive, dynamic and experiential!
Abraham Michlin has a
similar story:
I come from a typical,
irreligious American family in
Brooklyn. One day, at the end of
school, I saw my mother standing
in the parking lot holding an
ad which said something about
Jewish studies every Wednesday

at the end of the public school


day. I thought, thats a great idea
for missing out on some classes.
I told my mother I wanted to join
the program. I was the only one
in my district to register and I
got classes one-on-one! A young
man came just for me to teach
me a little Judaism.
Judaism became something
alive and beautiful. When I grew
older and my family moved to
Pennsylvania, I became even
more involved in Judaism through
the shliach who taught me and
prepared me for my bar mitzva.
When I was young, my dream
was to become a professional
baseball player. Today, I myself
am active in a program that helps
Jewish children get to know their
heritage. My dream now is to be
a shliach of the Rebbe!
In many places, the program
expands to include bar mitzva
lessons at a later stage, Mivtza
Mezuza in the childrens homes,
house calls, Mivtza Dalet Minim
and giving out matza before
Pesach, giving out doughnuts and
lighting the menorah. Likewise,
many register to learn Hebrew in
Sunday school which takes place
in one of the local Chabad houses
every Sunday.

WHY IS MOSHE
RABBEINU JEALOUS OF
THE RELEASED TIME
COUNSELORS?
During
my
weekly
participation in the program,
I heard bachurim quote the

In the early years

Rebbe as saying about Released


Time that even Moshe Rabbeinu
is jealous of someone who is
involved in the program. In
preparing this article I looked
for the source for this. I spoke
to R Aharon Cousin, shliach
in London for 38 years, who
ran the Lubavitch boys school
among his many responsibilities.
R Cousin told me that when he
learned in 770 in the fifties he
was a counselor for Released
Time. There was another bachur
with him, more of a lamdan by
nature, who asked the Rebbe that

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he be excused from going.


In those days there were
three types of programs that
bachurim went to for several
hours: Mesibos Shabbos with
children on Shabbos afternoon,
reviewing Chassidus Shabbos
afternoon in New York shuls, and
Released Time on Wednesday
afternoon. This bachur gave the
Rebbe three reasons to be exempt
from Released Time. 1) The
school to which he was assigned
took him a few hours to get there
and back (a train to Coney Island,

the program, and returning). He


returned at six in the evening and
missed a lot of learning. 2) He
did not know what effect he was
having on the children and what
he was contributing. 3) Going
out on Wednesday disturbed his
peace all week.
The bachur soon received an
astonishing answer. The Rebbe
referred to each of the three
reasons the bachur wrote about.
As for it taking away from his
learning time, the Rebbe said,
I want you to know that all the
souls in Gan Eden, even the soul
of Moshe Rabbeinu ah, envy
you for being able to say a bracha
or Shma Yisroel with a Jewish
child and they cannot do so!
As far as not knowing what
he was accomplishing with the
children, the Rebbe wrote, You
can never know but there is a
guarantee that efforts are not
made in vain. As for the third
reason that it disturbs the rest of
his week, the Rebbe wrote, that
is a matter of temperament,
and the Rebbe quoted the
conversation in the Gemara
between Abaya and Rava as
an example that every person
has a different temperament, a
different level of concentration,
different factors that perturb him.
This answer from the Rebbe
made me decide that I wanted
to be involved in the chinuch of
Jewish children for the rest of my
life, concluded R Cousin.

FROM THE CHURCH


TO YESHIVA
R Yitzchok Bogomilsky,
who is responsible for the
transportation
arrangements,
told the following story which
he heard from the protagonist
firsthand:
A woman by the name of
Nadia was walking on Wall Street

when a bachur doing mivtzaim


asked her if she was Jewish. He
planned on giving her Shabbos
candles if she was. Nadia was
very taken aback by the question
since just a few days earlier she
had learned she was Jewish.
Nadia grew up in Paraguay
in a Christian family that went
to church every Sunday. The
family had certain traditions that
were different than those of other
people. For example, they had
two ovens and the grandmother
would warn them not to eat
meat, but if they had to, then to
refrain from eating it with dairy.
The grandmother also told them
that even though they observed
Sunday as a holy day, they
should take into consideration
the fact that it was bad luck
to start a project on Saturday.
These traditions seemed odd
but it was explained that these
traditions were in the family for
generations.
A
week
before
Nadia
encountered the bachur, the
grandmother decided to tell them
the truth since she was afraid her
days were numbered. She came
to New York, gathered her family,
and told them that they were a
Jewish family, descendants of
Jews who were persecuted in
Poland. She said that after her
father was murdered on the street
by Nazis, she decided to conceal
her Jewish identity even from her
children and grandchildren, and
protect them from anti-Semitism.
The family was dumbfounded
by this revelation but it had not
yet caused them to make any
changes in their lives. Nadia,
one of the grandchildren, did
not consider changing any part
of her lifestyle, but she felt less
resistant when she saw the mitzva
tank that Friday and was asked
whether she was Jewish. She had
so recently discovered that she

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Feature

FROM CHAIM AND MOSHE TO CHAYA MUSHKA


R Yitzchok Bogomilsky tells of an astonishing decision of a Jewish
mother (from an irreligious family) to name her daughter for Rebbetzin
Chaya Mushka:
This happened a number of years ago when I was a recruiter at a certain
school in New York. My job was to bring the children from the public school
to a nearby Jewish school where Levi Matusof and Shmuli Newman taught
them. Then I would go back to the public school and look for Jewish parents
to convince them to register their children for the program. I eventually
became friendly with the staff and secretaries of the school.
There was a Jewish secretary there by the name of Sharon Small. It was
close to Purim when I saw her getting ready to leave the office at the end of
the day. I wished her a happy Purim and she said the same to me and then
she excitedly added, Im about to become a grandmother!
A few weeks went by and after Pesach I met her again and she told me
that her daughter had given birth to a darling baby girl. I wished her mazal
tov and tried to bring up the idea of giving her a Jewish name. For her that
was a major challenge and she asked, How do you do that? I suggested
that she name the baby for a grandmother or great-grandmother. She said
there already were girls named for the grandmothers but she really wanted
to name her for her father and her father-in-law. I asked what their names
were and said I would try to find corresponding female names. She said
her fathers name was Moshe and her father-in-laws name was Chaim. I
explained that when I found a suitable name we would have it announced at
an aliya to the Torah in the Rebbes minyan in 770.
On my way back to Crown Heights, I discussed the name with two
bachurim and they both exclaimed simultaneously, Chaya Mushka!
When we arrived in Crown Heights I forgot all about it. But by divine
providence, that evening they showed a video of the Rebbe and behind the
Rebbe was a sign with the Rebbetzins name on it. This reminded me and
I called Sharon to tell her that we had found a Jewish name for the baby. I
said that besides the similarity to her father and father-in-laws names, it
was the name of the righteous Chabad rebbetzin. She was excited to name
her granddaughter for Rebbetzin Schneersohn and we made up that the
next day, Thursday, we would announce the name at the Torah reading in
the Rebbes minyan and the grandmother and mother of the baby would
listen over the phone. And thats what we did.
The following week, I met a Jew in the school parking lot and put
tfillin on him. After a brief conversation I found out that he was Sharons
brother. He was the godfather of baby Chaya Mushka who began his role as
godfather by putting on tfillin!
was!
The truth is she would go
every Friday to this area in order
to see the tank in action. She
said that she always noticed the
warmth that the rabbis radiated
but now, for the first time, she
was given Shabbos candles and

heard some stories about Judaism


that sounded familiar to her.
Nadia did not get much
further involved in Judaism. For
a while she only took Shabbos
candles on Friday and listened
to Jewish stories. At a certain
point she asked the tank rabbis

what she could do for her


children, in terms of their Jewish
upbringing. They told her there
is a special program in New
York and if her children were in
public school they could attend a
weekly lesson in Judaism. Nadia
liked the idea and for two years
her children attended Released
Time every Wednesday. The
program with tfillos, songs
and more, had an effect on her
household and the kitchen ended
up becoming kosher and the
children transferred to Jewish
schools, thus fulfilling the Jewish
grandmothers final request.

A SHLIACH FROM HEAVEN


ON A SNOWY DAY
Yirmiyahu M, who is active in
the program, goes every week to
convince parents to register their
children for Released Time. In
order to do this he walks around
outside the school building
(because it is illegal for him to
discuss religion with parents
inside the school) and looks for
Jewish parents. Now and then he
finds parents who are interested
in registering their child and he
makes sure they fill out the form
and send it to him or hand it to
him. The form is then given to
the Released Time offices in
Crown Heights.
Another way of recruiting
children to the program is by
making evening calls to families
whose children were once in
the program and then stopped,
or new families that they heard
about one way or another.
One Wednesday afternoon
there was a snowstorm. I
wondered whether it was worth
heading out to recruit more
children that day when I assumed
it would be hard to find parents
standing outside. In the end,
I decided that since this is the
Rebbes shlichus, I had to try.

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Yirmiyahu set out and walked


around outside the school where
the parents waited in their cars
for the children coming out of
school. I went from car to car
and knocked on the windows.
When someone opened, I asked,
Are you Jewish?
I knocked on a window of
a car where two women were
sitting. After the window opened,
I asked, Are you Jewish?
The answer was yes. I began
explaining the Released Time
program. The woman sitting
behind the wheel seemed very
interested in the details and she
looked at me and said, You are a
messenger from heaven.
Ive heard many reactions,
some of them not so nice, but I
had never heard anything like
this before. Since I was on the
far side (on the pavement) and
the snow was starting to enter the
car through the open window,
I decided to cross to the other
side of the car to be closer to the
woman. The woman said she was
interested in registering her son
and wanted to come with him the
following Wednesday in order to
see how the program worked.
The next week she came with
her son and was very pleased by
what she saw. She went over to
the counselor, Shneur B and told
him how the previous Wednesday
she had been sitting in her car in
the snow and thinking, How will
I get a normal Jewish education
for my son who is in public
school? and how suddenly,
someone had knocked on her
car window and offered her the
opportunity of a Jewish education
as a service for Jewish children
who attended her sons school!
He was literally a messenger
from heaven!
The
mother
eventually
decided to transfer her son to a
Jewish school and with the help

A house call during Chanuka

INFLUENCE ON THOUSANDS AND TENS OF THOUSANDS


In a sicha that the Rebbe said Motzaei Shabbos Parshas BShalach, 11
Shevat 5731, he spoke about the great importance of the weekly hour of
Judaism for Jewish children who were not getting a Torah education:
Shelah has a designated hour for the learning of religion for children
whose parents do not send them to Jewish school, so that at least, where
they are educated, in public schools, they will learn Judaism as much as
possible. Afterward, they saw that over the years, from these students
came thousands and tens of thousands who transferred to yeshivos and
became keepers of Torah and doers of mitzvos to the full extent.
In response to someone who complained about taking bachurim out
of their regular yeshiva studies in order to register children to learn in
Reshet Oholei Yosef Yitzchok Lubavitch for the following year, the Rebbe
responded in a letter on 13 Iyar 5715:
He knows about the Wednesday hour; the idea being to teach boys
and girls who do not even know how to speak Yiddish and need to be
explained about Modeh Ani, the foundation of observing Shabbos etc.
etc. And for this work, the Rebbe my father-in-law sent talmidim and
even those who were already involved in learning Chassidus and avodas
hatfilla etc. etc., and even at a time when the number of talmidim in
Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim here was very small.
of R Saadia Engel, the chief
coordinator of the program, they
found a suitable school for him.
All this happened by knocking on
the window of a car on a snowy
day, when it wasnt clear whether
it would be possible to reach
anyone because of the weather.
This made a tremendous

impact on Yirmiyahu. Since


then, when I have a hard time
approaching parents to convince
them to register their children
for the program, I remember this
story and how it ended and it
gives me strength!

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Feature

THE STUBBORNNESS
OF A JEWISH GIRL
Another moving story that
Yirmiyahu told happened when
he was a counselor for a group of
children in Brooklyn:
A girl who was registered for
the program was very dissatisfied
that she was in public school and
not a Jewish school. She came
from an irreligious family and it
was special and moving to see her
insistence on a Jewish education.
It reached the point where she
began protesting at school and
lay on the floor under the desk,
sometimes for most of the school
day. Another time she began
crying and screaming in front
of the other children and said
she did not want to learn with
gentiles. She was the best student

in my class and even helped me a high scholastic level of secular


sometimes in controlling the studies, even in their area, and
classroom.
her daughter was so upset and
Because of her unusual wasnt that more important than
behavior and her desire to attend secular studies? I said, Her
a Jewish school, Yirmiyahu happiness will help her succeed
decided to speak to her parents. in life more than all the degrees
One Wednesday, after the in the world!
program, he went to their home
I did not know what
which was near the school in impression I had made on the
order to talk to them. The mother. The following week I
family did not seem religious or found out that the parents had
even traditional, and the mother taken their daughter out of public
said she wanted her daughter school and were in the process of
Express service
Express service
to continue at the public school switching her to a Jewish school!
Fully Computerized
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because of the high level of the It was so touching when the girl
came and handed me a note with
education.
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want my daughter to earn a good on it.
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No wonder the angels and
Moshe
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I tried to explain to her that
there were Jewish schools with the ReleasedFax: (718) 493-4444
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12 15 Sivan 5774
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MOSHIACH & GEULA

CHASSIDIM
OF 5774
What is the change in avoda required today of
a Chassid that was not expected in the times
of the Alter Rebbe? Is the avoda easier or
harder today? What does it mean to welcome
Moshiach or to live with Moshiach in our
daily avoda? How is this expressed in shlichus,
chinuch, shalom bayis etc.? * A new series
on the topic of Moshiach and Geula from a
contemporary perspective along with tools for
daily life.
By R Nadav Cohen

LIVING WITH THE TIMES


A few months ago, there was
an article in the media about a
Japanese man, Hiroo Onoda,
aged 90 who had been a soldier
in World War II. When the war
ended in 1945, they forgot to
inform him, or better put, they
informed him but he did not
believe them. He thought it was
enemy propaganda. Another 27
years went by, as he remained
in the Philippines jungle in his
uniform, until he was convinced
the war was over when his former
commanding officer visited him
there!
Every Japanese soldier was
prepared for death, but as an
intelligence officer I was ordered
to conduct guerrilla warfare

and not to die, he said in an


interview. I became an officer
and I received an order. If I could
not carry it out, I would feel
shame. I am very competitive.
It sounds funny and also a bit
odd that someone would be told
a war is over and he would insist
on continuing to fight. Lhavdil
elef alfei havdalos, about 300
years ago, the light of Chassidus
began to shine in the world.
The first Rebbe, R Yisroel
Baal Shem Tov, the founder of
Chassidus, began teaching and
guiding the Jewish people in this
new way. Hashem sent us a new
light and it was a new era. There
was a new and upwardly mobile
path in avodas Hashem.
Judaism is not only about

behaviors but about essence.


Someone born to a Jewish
mother is Jewish in essence.
He is the son of the King of
kings and this is the greatest
possible privilege. Therefore, his
avodas Hashem needs to be with
enormous simcha, joy over the
great privilege bestowed upon us
to come close to the Creator.
Today we mention the
Beshts name with reverence,
but he wasnt always graciously
accepted everywhere. There were
those who thought that they
should continue serving Hashem
the way they had until that point,
to focus mainly on reward and
punishment, the reward serving
as the motivator to do mitzvos
and the punishment serving as a

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13

2014-06-10 1:58:33 AM

MOSHIACH & GEULA


deterrent from doing aveiros.
When the Alter Rebbe
founded
Chabad
Chassidus
and established its agenda as
being about the importance
of intellectual internalization,
learning
Chassidus
with
intellectual
understanding,
and not just casting aside the
intellect but taking the intellect
and instilling emuna in it, there
were those who looked askance
at this. That is an avoda for
Admurim, for tzaddikim, they
said. Chassidim need to learn
Chassidus only occasionally;
Chassidus is something spiritual
and does not have to come
down into understanding, they
thought.
The Alter Rebbe demanded
that his Chassidim meditate and
attain feelings of love and awe of
G-d through their own efforts,

was considered a wonder and


having one was considered a
luxury; few people bought them.
As the years passed and these
phones improved and became
commonplace,
if
someone
showed up with a first generation
cell phone, which just a few years
ago was considered a novelty,
we would tell him he is not up
to date and its time to move on
(without an Internet connection
that is unfiltered, of course).
The same is true in the world
of Chassidus. Every generation
has
its
chiddushim.
The
Chassidim of the Alter Rebbe did
not learn in Tomchei Tmimim
(which was founded nearly 120
years ago), and today there hardly
exists a Chassid who did not
learn in Tomchei Tmimim. The
Chassidim of the Rebbe Rashab
(aside from a few) did not go on

From the beginning of the Rebbes nesius, he


demanded of the Chassidim that they reveal the
yechida and act in accordance with the level of yechida.
while other Chassidim relied on
their Admurim for that. They
held that it was enough to be in
the Rebbes presence in order
to receive spiritual strength
from him and that there was no
need for ones own intellectual,
meditative avoda.
Thus, in every generation,
there were things added to avodas
Hashem, and not everybody
managed to graduate to the
next level and progress with the
times.

CELL PHONES THE


SEVENTH GENERATION
We can compare this to the
technological world which is
advancing at a rapid pace. Not
many years ago a cell phone

shlichus, but in our generation,


shlichus is the ambition of every
Chabad bachur.
In our generation too, we saw
a big change and a new era, as
the Rebbe defined it at the end
of the 80s and the beginning of
the 90s, as compared to all the
years preceding it. Obviously,
as successful as we might be
in living with the sichos of the
early years, if we do not learn,
internalize and live with the most
recent sichos, especially those
of 5751-5752, it would be like
someone who uses an old cell
phone and is convinced he has a
most advanced gadget.
In the following articles we
will try and understand what
change is required of us in our
avoda, what change is demanded

today of a Chassid which was not


demanded in the time of the Alter
Rebbe. Is the avoda today easier
or harder? Is the avoda to be a
beinoni or a tzaddik? What does
it mean when we say kabbalas
pnei Moshiach Tzidkeinu or
to live with Moshiach when it
comes to our daily avoda? How
is this expressed in shlichus,
chinuch, shalom bayis?

TO REVEAL THE
ESSENCE OF THE SOUL
In Tanya (at least the first
part), the Alter Rebbe does not
speak about levels of the soul
above the hishtalshlus. So the ten
soul powers are called atzmus
umehus hanefesh (the very
essence and substance of the

14 15 Sivan 5774
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soul) while in a few maamarei


Chassidus it is explained that the
etzem hanefesh is much higher
than the soul powers.
Consequently, in Tanya the
demand is not to reveal the etzem
hanefesh but more about the
intellectual avoda of meditation
and about the intellect of the
G-dly soul versus the intellect of
the animalistic soul (chapter 16).
Let us first get the soul powers
in order. In Tanya it talks mainly
about the soul powers called
nefesh, ruach and neshama.
Nefesh is that dimension which is
expressed primarily in a persons
behavior and as Tanya puts it,
in the garments thought,
speech, and action. Ruach is
the dimension which relates to
the emotions of the heart with

the emphasis on the feelings of


love and awe of G-d which are
rooted in the sfiros of chesed
and gvura.
Neshama is the intellectual
dimension, the ChaBaD of the
nefesh with the emphasis on
bina. In our terminology: logic,
understanding,
intellectual
analysis. Above the neshama
there is the level of chaya, the
level above intellect, above
reason, similar to the power of
ratzon-will which is a powerful
force that is above the other
powers (in Chassidic terminology
it is makif), and it can also
subjugate the other powers as
Chazal say, there is nothing that
stands in the way of ratzon.
What is above chaya? What
can possibly be loftier than that,
when it is above all other kochos?
Above chaya is the yechida.
The yechida is not just another
soul power that is above the
other kochos. The yechida is the
essence of the soul and is not
in the same league as the other
powers. From the perspective of
yechida, there is nothing but
Him, nothing but G-d, and
the yechida is united with Him.
From the aspect of yechida, a
Jew does not want to separate
from G-dliness, nor can he be
separated from G-dliness, to the
point of literal self-sacrifice.
Someone who serves Hashem
only with his nefesh, focuses
primarily on doing mitzvos;
someone who serves Hashem
with his ruach, focuses on love
and awe, tfilla, and the spiritual
side of things; someone who
serves Hashem with his neshama
emphasizes the intellect, Torah
study and the like.
What about chaya? Serving
Hashem with chaya entails avoda
with mesirus nefesh, avoda that is
above the rational, the devotion
to Hashem that is not calculated,

that does not take into account


how the person will benefit.
And what is the avoda of the
yechida? This is an avoda on a
completely different level. Just
as the yechida is completely
above the other soul powers,
the same is true with its avoda
which is even above the avoda of
mesirus nefesh. The yechida is
the place where a Jew unites with
Hashem and his personal life
unites completely with G-dliness,
not only his power of action or
speech but all the kochos are
suffused with G-dliness and
Torah and mitzvos. A person like
this feels that there is nothing
but Him, and he is completely
devoted to carrying out G-ds
will.

ISNT THAT A BIT MUCH?


From the beginning of the
Rebbes nesius, he demanded of
the Chassidim that they reveal the
yechida and act in accordance
with the level of yechida.
Although in earlier generations
this was spoken of, and the Alter
Rebbe also dealt with this (not
in Tanya but in other maamarim
he demands that a Jew reveal
the yechida), in the Rebbes
teachings this is emphasized
much more than all the Rebbeim
who preceded him. Especially in
the Dvar Malchus, the sichos
reached a peak in demanding the
spreading of the wellsprings and
in the inner work of revealing the
essence of the soul.
If the demand was made, we
certainly have the ability to do it,
and we just need to understand
somewhat better what this
requires of us, what this says
about our lives and how we can
bring this down and apply it to
daily life. What are we expected
to do differently today than
before the new era?
To be continued

Issue 929

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15

2014-06-10 1:58:34 AM

PARSHA THOUGHT

SINCERELY
WANTING
MOSHIACH
By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg

THE SPIES
The saga of the newly
liberated Jewish people was
punctuated with missteps and
regression. One such pivotal
event that kept the fledgling
nation in the desert for 40 years
was the incident of the spies
recounted in this weeks parsha.
The Jews approached Moses
and demanded of him to send
spies to scout the land of Canaan
they were about to conquer.
When Moses consulted with
G-d, He did not authorize this
mission. However, He did allow
Moses to use his own discretion
in this matter. Moses acceded to
their request and sent 12 spies,
one for each tribe.
Tragically, 10 of the 12 spies
returned with a slanderous
report of the land and influenced
the entire nation to cry at the
prospect of having to leave the
security of their desert existence
to enter a land that was fraught
with great danger and that would
be impossible to conquer.
Moses unleashed a powerful
rejoinder to their complaints and
criticized them harshly. Moses
told them that they would all die
in the desert and none of those
over the age of 20 would live to

see the Promised Land.


Immediately after delivering
his sharp words of rebuke a
group of Jewsknown as the
Maapilim, had a change of heart
and offered to go up and conquer
the land. Moses urged them not
to do it for G-d was now not
with them. They did not listen to
Moses and they made an attempt
to go to the Land of Israel and
they were wiped out by the
Amalekites and Canaanites.

HEROES OR VILLAINS?
The question is asked why
they deserved such a fate. These
Maapilim appeared to be rather
courageous and dedicated to
G-d. They were committed to
reverse the rebellious rejection
of the Land of Israel by their
brethren and were willing to
put their lives on the line to
conquer the land. Wouldnt it
follow that their desire to risk
their lives constituted a powerful
form of Tshuva? Moreover, the
Jerusalem Talmud refers to them
as martyrs and Chassidim
pious ones for their desire to
go up and conquer the land
notwithstanding the great risk.
Why then was their repentance
not accepted by G-d?

The simple answer is that G-d


prefers and demands compliance
with His will over courageous
actions, even when those actions
are propelled by a desire to do
Tshuva and rectify their previous
rebelliousness.
While dying for a cause is
a sign of incredible passion for
that cause, it is not necessarily a
sign of selfless devotion to G-d.
It may actually be a senseless
act of suicide or may even
derive from a desire to perform
a heroic act as an expression of
ones ego. How does one know
if the pursuit of martyrdom is
a selfless act of devotion? One
way of determining the source of
ones martyrdom is to ascertain
whether it is consistent with
G-ds will. To die in G-ds name
when He asks us to live and to
serve Him demonstrates that
this desire, although a heroic and
passionately zealous act, does not
derive from ones total devotion
to G-d.
Hence, when Moses conveyed
G-ds message to them that they
were not to attempt going to the
Land of Israel at that time, their
challenge was to control both
their passion for the Land and
their desire to rectify their earlier
rebellion. The highest form of

16 15 Sivan 5774
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repentance for them would have


been to reluctantly remain in the
desert together with their leader
Moses and the rest of the Jewish
nation who were not destined to
see the land.

G-D SAID THAT WE


SINNED
Another answer, ascribed to
the Baal Shem Tov, is given as to
why their desire to conquer the
land was an improper decision:
If we examine the words
they used to express their
desire to repent we will find
them instructive as to their true
sentiments. They said: Were
ready to go up to the place which
G-d spoke about for we have
sinned. The original Hebrew
allows for a modified rendition:
Were ready to go up to the
place, because G-d has said
that we have sinned. In this
rendition, they did not say,
for we have sinned, rather, G-d
said that we had sinned.
Why did they emphasize that
G-d said that they had sinned?
The Baal Shem Tov answers that
by putting the onus on G-d they
were not ready to acknowledge
on their own that they did in fact
sin. To be sure, they were not
denying their guilt. Rather their
acceptance of the reality that
it was a sin was based solely on
G-d saying so not because they
recognized it on their own.
This approach to Tshuva
does not suffice. For Tshuva
in its highest form implies that
the person has fundamentally
changed. If one acknowledges
his
mistake
only
because
someone else tells him that it
was a mistake, we must conclude
that that individual has not
fundamentally changed.
For example, if a person
committed theft but never

recognized it was wrong on his


own, that individual cannot claim
to have been rehabilitated even
if he accepts the assessment of
others that it was wrong. For
Tshuva to be complete and
enduring one must take full
responsibility.
Thus, although the Maapilim
might have been motivated
to go up to conquer the land,
it was not deemed sufficient
Tshuva because they did not
independently recognize the
error of their ways.

AD MASAI
FROM THE HEART
The above approach was
echoed by the Rebbe in his
historic talk (28th of Nissan
5751) when he declared that

To get out of exile we have to


get the exile out of us.

TWO AVENUES
One could perhaps add a
third dimension that was missing
in the attempts of the Maapilim
that carries a lesson for us in our
attempts at going up to conquer
the land, i.e., the Messianic Age.
When we consider the motivation
for us to want Redemption,
there are actually two sincere
motivating forces:
The first is the recognition
of the pain, suffering and the
prevalence of evil in our midst
which results from being in
Galus. The advantage of this
approach is that it can easily be
instilled within us. However,
although sincere and totally

Our cry of Ad Masai comes from our gut, because


we recognize how objectionable exile is and
we sincerely want out. We are no longer inured by the
suffocating vapors of Galus.

he had done everything in his


power to get us to demand the
Redemption. But alas, when we
shouted Ad masai we did so
only because we were told to
do it. We did it out of a sense
of obligation and not out of our
contempt for, and desperation
at being in, exile. We were not
disgusted with exile and its
negative effects on us. Thus,
our desire to ask G-d to take us
out of exile was not really our
own sincere desire based on a
conclusion that we arrived at
ourselves. If we hadnt been told
to plead with G-d and demand
an end to exile, we could have
countenanced staying in exile
much longer. This, the Rebbe
stated, was a sign that we were
still in our own internal exile.

legitimate, it is not the ultimate


reason
we
should
desire
Redemption.
The second reason we should
want and demand Redemption is
not the desire to escape the evils
of exile but the desire for the
positive spiritual experience of
the Geula. The Messianic Age is
the age when G-ds presence will
pervade the entire world bringing
the world to its intended purpose.
There can be no greater joy.
The Maapilim, in addition to
their lack of sincerity to correct
their errant ways, were also
lacking in this regard as well.
When they adamantly refused
to listen to Moses command
to them not to go up, the Torah
states that Moses and the Ark did
not go with them.
Issue 929

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PARSHA THOUGHT
Why does the Torah have to
mention that fact? Isnt it selfunderstood that they went on
their own so that Moses and the
Ark obviously did not go with
them?
The answer is that the fact
that they were willing to go on
their own to the Land of Israel
without Moses or the Ark was
proof that they did not truly
treasure going to Israel. If going
to Israel was merely getting away
from the desert experience, then
their going up would have been
adequate. However, going to
Israel has value primarily because
it is the Land where G-ds
presence is more pronounced

and revealed. How then would it


make sense to go without Moses,
the holiest Jew who channeled
G-ds presence to the Jewish
people? What logic was there in
going to the Holy Land without
the Ark, which was the very
instrument through which G-d
expressed His infinite presence?
The lesson for the present day
and age is therefore twofold:
First, we must recognize that
exile is intolerable and cry out
Ad Masai not only because we
were told to do so but because we
have internalized the message.
Our cry Ad Masai comes from
our gut, because we recognize
how objectionable exile is and

we sincerely want out. We are no


longer inured by the suffocating
vapors of Galus.
Second, we must also focus
on the positive reason for getting
out of Galus. We should sincerely
sing We want Moshiach now!
We want to be in a place and time
when G-ds presence is revealed.
Thus the Messianic Age is not
just independence and prosperity;
it is the beginning of a new era of
Divine revelation ushered in by
the Moses of our generation
Moshiach, through the medium
of the rebuilt Holy Temple that
will once again house the Holy
Ark!

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18 15 Sivan 5774
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2014-06-10 1:58:35 AM

PROFILE

R BERISH
A mashpia, a symbol of bittul, a lamdan, a Chassid, mekushar all these
descriptions apply to R Dov Berish Rosenberg, mashpia in the Chabad
community of Lud. R Berish was a unique person and only those who
were close to him knew a little about this esteemed Chassid, who lit the
way for many toward a life of Judaism and Chassidus. * Part 1 of 2
By Shneur Zalman Berger

20 15 Sivan 5774
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2014-06-10 1:58:36 AM

rom the time he arrived in


Eretz Yisroel, the Chassid
R
Berish
Rosenberg
would mark a number
of days in the calendar as special
days. On these days he would say
lchaim and was extremely joyful.
These are the days he celebrated:
the day he left the Siberian labor
camp, the day he left Soviet Russia,
the day he left Poland and was
freed of communist oppression, the
day he received a letter from the
Rebbe Rayatz telling him to move
to Eretz Yisroel, the day he left
with his family on the ship to Eretz
Yisroel, the day he and his family
arrived in Eretz Yisroel, and all of
his childrens birthdays.
The fact that he marked
these days testifies to the many
miracles that he experienced in
his life. He celebrated to express
his thanks to Hashem for all that
He did for him during the harsh
days behind the Iron Curtain
until he made aliya where he was
able to educate his children in
the ways of Torah and Chassidus
without interference.

CHILDHOOD YEARS
R Dov Berish Rosenberg,
known as R Berish, was born
in Teshin, Czechoslovakia to R
Shimon and Rivka, may Hashem
avenge their blood, on 18 Sivan
5679/1919. R Berish was born
to an illustrious family. His
paternal grandfather, R Shimon,
was a talmid-chaver of the Bnei
Yissoschor of Dinov. His mother
was a descendant of the Tosafos
Yom Tov.
R Dov Berish was the seventh
of nine children. When he was
a child a tragedy in the family
occurred. His younger brother
Moshe became critically ill and
died at the tender age of 8. His
father was inconsolable and
cried terribly. Not long after,
another child became critically

sick. His father asked his Rebbe


for a bracha and his Rebbe said,
Dont cry so much. When
you stop crying, the child will
recover.
That is what happened. The
child recovered and from then
on, his father never mentioned
his son Moshe again.
Until Berish became bar
mitzva he learned with R
Meir Teitelbaum, the rav of
Teshin and the grandson of the
Yismach Moshe of Ujhel. After
his bar mitzva he went to learn
in Yeshivas Kesser Torah in the
town of Kshaniv and in another
yeshiva in Cracow. In these
yeshivos he was nicknamed
Berish Teshiner. He studied
assiduously and his conduct was
special. He was a quiet, modest
boy, refined and was barely
known by his peers.
When he was 18 he began
learning in the Shomrei Shabbos
beis midrash in his town. At
that time, he was a Radomsker
Chassid and now and then
he would go to the Admur of
Radomsk.
R Berish did not learn in
Yeshivas
Tomchei
Tmimim
which he later regretted. R Dov
Chaskind related:
During the period when I
learned in the yeshiva in Lud,
one Shabbos I walked into the
old shul near the train station. A
farbrengen was taking place there
and I remember R Berish sitting
at the table and crying over not
having had the merit to learn in
Tomchei Tmimim. At that time
I had been thinking of leaving
the yeshiva, but when I saw this
older man sitting and crying over
not having learned in Tomchei
Tmimim, I reconsidered and
stayed in yeshiva.
R Berishs parents were
tremendously G-d fearing. His
father sewed pants for a living

R Berish (sitting) with his sons-in-law:


R Grossman, R Yaroslavsky (both standing
behind him) and R Hershkowitz (sitting next
to him)

and as he worked he reviewed


chapters of Zohar. His mother
traveled from city to city to sell
merchandise in the markets.

THE ONLY ONE


WHO REFUSED
When World War II began all
men were drafted. R Berish also
had to present himself to the draft
board, but before he did so, he
went to the Admur of Radomsk
for a bracha. The Rebbe told

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him, You will not hold a rifle! A
miracle occurred that he was not
drafted throughout the war.
His father, R Shimon, spoke
to his three sons, Shlomo,
Leibush and Berish and said,
Run for your lives! Shlomo, as
the oldest, watch over Berish

The Russian authorities did


not like the refugees assembling
on the border while the country
was in a state of war. They
announced that whoever wanted
Russian citizenship could have
it and whoever declined would
be sent to Germany. Some

IN A DITCH
WITH HIS TFILLIN

up their precious holy items in


fear for their lives, but R Berish
could not forgo his tfillin. He
snatched the tfillin back from
the soldier even though he knew
this could cost him his life. The
soldier grabbed him and threw
him and his tfillin into a ditch
along with the rest of the Jewish
items. R Berish barely managed
to extricate himself from the
ditch but he lost the tfillin.
There was a Jew there from
the city of Lodz who saw R
Berishs great mesirus nefesh for
his tfillin and his tremendous
sorrow afterward. This man
endangered himself and snuck
a pair of tfillin off the pile of
confiscated items and gave them
to Berish, to his great delight.
The next day, R Berish met
with R Tzvi Elimelech, the son
of the rav of Tomashov (one of
the great disciples of the Divrei
Chaim of Sanz) and saw that he
was very sad. When R Berish
asked him what the problem was,
he said he had lost tfillin that
were very dear to him because
they had belonged to his father.

R Berish was taken to a


Siberian labor camp. There
too, he retained his Jewish
stubbornness and did not
consume non-kosher food or
chametz on Pesach. He was
also moser nefesh for tfilla and
tfillin.
On the morning of Tisha BAv
1940, the camp guards ordered
all the Jews to sit in an open field
and wait until 2:00. Then came
a truck with armed soldiers who
cast terror upon the Jews. One
by one, the Jews filed passed the
soldiers who confiscated all their
Jewish objects: tfillin, Gemaras,
sfarim etc.
When it was R Berishs turn,
they took his tfillin which he had
guarded throughout his journeys.
The rest of the Jews hastily gave

Did you have any sign on them


proving that they were yours?
asked R Berish.
Yes, said R Tzvi Elimelech.
On the tfillin bag there were the
letters TE embroidered.
R Berish looked at the tfillin
bag he had and saw that it
belonged to R Tzvi Elimelech.
He returned them, though not
before getting a promise that he
could use them every day.
When friends asked R Berish
why he returned the tfillin when
R Tzvi Elimelech had despaired
of them and the halacha is he
did not have to return them, R
Berish said, If I deserve to have
tfillin, Hashem will give me other
tfillin.
When the man from Lodz

At that time I had been thinking of leaving the


yeshiva, but when I saw this older man sitting
and crying over not having learned in Tomchei Tmimim,
I reconsidered and stayed in yeshiva.

carefully! Berish was 20 at the


time.
The three brothers fled in the
direction of Russia. They suffered
tremendously as they traveled,
mainly from starvation, cold and
privation. Starvation had felled
countless people and the situation
was dire. Religious Jews were
forced to eat non-kosher food in
order to survive, for saving a life
supersedes all else except for the
three known sins. Despite this,
Berish refused to eat treif. His
friend, R Shlomo Zalmanowitz
said, Berish was the only one
who refused to eat treif food. His
older brother Shlomo watched
over him, as his father requested,
and he pleaded with Berish to eat,
but he refused. Shlomo asked his
friends to persuade him but he
did not listen to them either.
Shlomo died in Russia from
dysentery. Then Leibush took
responsibility for his younger
brother Berish. The two brothers
wandered from place to place and
were saved from death only with
big miracles. They finally arrived
in Lemberg (Lvov) on the PolishRussian border. Here, R Berish
met the Chassid, R Chaim Meir
Liss, who was mekarev him and
gave him his first taste of Chabad
Chassidus.

Jews opted to suffer under


the Germans rather than the
communists,
including
the
Rosenberg brothers. They signed
that they wanted to go back to
Germany. Then they discovered
that it was a ruse. The Russians
said that whoever signed to
wanting to return to Germany
was considered a traitor and
would be sent to Siberia.

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From left to right: The kalla, his daughter Shulamis, the chassan, R Yitzchok Yehuda Yaroslavsky, R Berish

found out that R Berish no


longer had the tfillin, he secretly
went to the storehouse where
Jewish items had been stored and
stole two pairs of tfillin which
he gave to R Berish. By divine
providence, they were a Rashi
pair and a Rabbeinu Tam pair. R
Berish allowed many exiled Jews
in the camp to use these tfillin.
He guarded them until he arrived
in Eretz Yisroel and considered
it a big zchus to continue using
them.
He was released from camp
on 7 Elul and three weeks
later, on Erev Rosh HaShana
5703/1942, he arrived in
Samarkand where there was a
large concentration of Jewish
refugees including many Chabad
Chassidim. He met R Chaim
Meir Liss again who continued to
teach him Chassidus.

THE WEDDING
The
war
period
was
particularly difficult. R Berish
was constantly plagued by
thoughts of what had happened
to the rest of his family who
had remained behind. In the
meantime, he began a new
chapter in life when, on 10 Kislev
5704 he became engaged to
Itta Lishner. His wife wrote the
following in her memoirs:
5704. The war began with
no salvation in sight.
One day, a Jew by the name
of Yitzchok Isaac Elbaum came
to us; he used to visit us while my
father was still alive. He began
talking to my mother about the
difficult situation and about his
plans. Mrs. Lishner, he said to
my mother, The Jewish people
is shrinking. Good bachurim
are dying of starvation, cold and

exhaustion. You have a daughter.


Take one of the bachurim to
marry her and he will also help
you raise the children.
My mother answered him
in great anguish. I dont have a
piece of bread to give the children
and my daughter is barefoot.
How can I think of taking a step
like that? But he insisted and
said to her, In the merit of this
great mitzva, Hashem will help
you. Do not think of anything
except enabling the remnant of
Israel to continue to exist.
He would come every day
and talk to her until he convinced
her. So on 10 Kislev 5704 I
became engaged to Dov Berish
Rosenberg and on 18 Teves
they put up the chuppa. It was
a Friday. A chuppa was made
without a seuda and there was no
celebration.

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BECOMING LUBAVITCH

The letter in which the Rebbe Rayatz tells him to make aliya

Distinguished
Chassidim
in Samarkand attended the
wedding. The mesader kiddushin
was R Yeshaya Marinovsky and
the ksuba was written by R
Nachum Shmaryahu Sasonkin.
The wedding took place on a
Friday in order not to trouble too
many people and also because
of the starvation of those days.
There was barely anything to
serve the guests who attended the
wedding.
The next day, many guests
came for the Shabbos Sheva
brachos and they danced all
night. R Yaakov Galinsky, a
good friend of Berish (who
passed away this past January at
the age of 93 and was a famous

maggid in Yerushalayim), danced


on the table with great joy and
said badchanus.
The couple lived in her
mothers home, since her father
had died a few months earlier.
R Berish quickly stepped into
the shoes of the head of the
household. He took care to
educate and support his wifes
family.
Shortly after the wedding,
during Pesach 1944, R Berish
became sick with pneumonia; it
was a miracle that he survived.
Two months later he had a high
fever. He suffered for two months
(the doctor explained that it was
paratyphoid), but recovered from
this too.

The young couple began


getting involved with Lubavitch,
in no small part thanks to
Avremel, a Lubavitcher bachur
who introduced himself with
that name. They knew nothing
about him except for the fact that
he learned in Chabad yeshivos.
Avremel came to the house a
lot and learned Chassidus with
R Berish. Through him, they
became mekushar to the Rebbe
Rayatz even though they had
never met him and only saw his
face in a picture.
R Berish had a special
relationship with R Chaim
Zalman Kozliner (ChaZaK) who
would tell him where farbrengens
would be held. In those days,
under communist oppression,
the location of farbrengens
was kept secret, but R Chaim
Zalman knew that R Berish was
very interested in Chassidus and
so he took the chance and told
him where they were held. Their
friendship was so great that when
R Berish passed away, they did
not tell ChaZaK.
Back to the war. Most men
had been drafted at the beginning
of the war. As hostilities
increased, additional drafts were
done and whoever wasnt drafted
at the beginning of the war, was
taken to the front to dig ditches.
Many Jews avoided the army
because it was impossible to keep
mitzvos there.
One day, soldiers knocked at
the door. R Berish immediately
lay down on a bed in one of the
rooms upon which they threw
all the rags and dirty clothes
available at the time in the house.
The soldiers began searching and
felt the pile of rags on the bed
and he even felt their hands, but
they did not notice him and that
is how he was saved from the
draft. A few days later, soldiers

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came again and he hid under the


bed and was not discovered.
The bracha of the Radomsker
Rebbe was fulfilled once again
and he never served in the army.
In Nissan 1945, R Berishs
first daughter was born. Since
his father-in-law, R Sholom,
had died just two and a half years
earlier, he consulted with the
mashpia, R Nissan Nemanov
about what to name his daughter.
R Nissan told him to call her
Shulamis. R Berish listened to
this advice (she is the wife of R
Yitzchok Yehuda Yaroslavsky,
mazkir of the beis din rabbanei
Chabad).

PLEASE GIVE US TZITZIS!


The war ended at the end
of Iyar 5705. It was only at the
wars end that he found out that
his parents and other family
members had been killed.
With the end of the war, many
refugees made their way back to
the countries they came from.
Others wanted to make aliya or
to immigrate to the US, but the
first thing to do was to get out of
the Soviet Union.
Erev Shavuos 1946, R Berish
and his wife and baby boarded
the train for Poland. Throughout
his journeys, until he reached
Eretz Yisroel, he tried to stay with
the Chabad Chassidim. Avremel
hid in their compartment all the
way to Poland.
The train arrived near the
city of Vrotslav, Poland at the
beginning of Tammuz, where R
Berish and his family got off. The
family was given a small room
in the cellar of the community
building where many Jewish
refugees lived. Their second
daughter was born in that cellar,
Esther Baila (the wife of R
Yitzchok Dovid Grossman, rav
of Migdal HaEmek). Her birth

At the upsheren of his grandson, Zalman Yaroslavsky

entailed big miracles.


In those days, many Jews
returned to the places where they
lived before the war in an attempt
to find their homes and get their
property back. Some went to the
cemeteries where their family
members lay buried and others
went to locate surviving family
members.
One day, two children by
the names of Chaim and Lemel
Zilber came to R Berish and
said their parents had gone to
Prosteshov,
Czechoslovakia
where they lived before the war
and left them alone with a group
of children.
They took away our tzitzis,
but we are Jews and we want to
remain Jews! they said in tears.
Please give us tzitzis!
R Berish had two pairs (and
that was considered a lot in those
days) and he gave them one pair.
With his big heart, he decided
to adopt the two boys. From
now on, he said, you stay

with me. You will be considered


my wifes brothers. (That was
because he was too young to say
they were his children). The two
children stayed with the group
of Lubavitcher refugees which
included R Berish.
The Polish gentiles were just
as anti-Semitic after the war.
They were furious to see Jews
returning to Poland after being
sure they had been annihilated
by the Germans. They began
persecuting the Jews and caused
them many problems. One time,
when R Berish was on a local
train, they tried to throw him
off while the train was moving.
Another time, they tried to ignite
his beard.
Seeing this blatant hatred, R
Berish decided to leave Poland.
His baby daughter was just two
weeks old when the Rosenbergs
set out again. They passed the
town where R Berish had been
born, Teshin, which was partly
Polish and partly Czech. From

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there they continued to Austria


and from there to Germany.
When they arrived in Munich,
they were astonished to find the
parents of the Zilber boys. The
reunion was intensely emotional.
The boys joined their parents
and they parted ways with the
Rosenbergs.
From Munich they went to
the DP camps in Poking. Only
then, when they were far from the
reach of the cursed communists,
did Avremel tell them that his real

name was Elchanan. He was the


Chassid, R Elchanan Chonye
Reitzes.

THE REBBE RAYATZ TOLD


THEM TO MAKE ALIYA
The Rosenberg family arrived
in Poking at the end of Elul 5706.
The place consisted of long,
wooden barracks divided into
many rooms, small and big. The
Rosenberg family got a medium
sized room in which they put

two beds for their two children.


The room was crowded but they
hoped it would be temporary.
The Rosenbergs lived in
Poking for two years and two
months under the American
occupation. There was a lot of
help from UNRWA and the Joint.
Every day food and clothing were
distributed.
Chabad Chassidim set up a
yeshiva in one of the barracks
and R Berish, who always loved
immersing himself in Torah
study, sat there and learned as he
did in his youth and as he longed
to do during the war years and its
aftermath.
R Berish and his wife were
terribly upset by the fact that they
were living in camps that had
enslaved Jews and killed many
of them. So when France opened
its doors, R Berish planned on
moving there. Now that he was in
a western country and could ask
the Rebbe, he wrote a letter to
the Rebbe Rayatz and asked for a
bracha for going to France.
In the meantime, he began
preparing for the trip. Their
bundles were packed when a
letter came from the Rebbe
saying they should make aliya.
Thus, without understanding
and without thinking overly
much, wrote Mrs. Rosenberg
in her memoirs, we opened
our bundles once again and
waited for G-ds salvation as
we constantly said, Yehi ratzon
that the Beis HaMikdash be
built in our days and we merit
to be in Eretz Yisroel with the
Geula shleima with Moshiach
Tzidkeinu, amen.
The British ruled Palestine at
the time and they greatly limited
aliya, so the possibility of getting
there seemed very remote. Then
on 5 Iyar 5708/1948, the British
left Palestine and the Jews took
over. That is when R Berish

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and his wife understood what


the Rebbe meant about making
aliya. In Eretz Yisroel they would
be able to educate their children
as they wished, to Torah and
Chassidus, in the best way.
At that time, registration
began for those making aliya,
said Mrs. Rosenberg. But we
left everything to Hashem and
made no efforts to force our way
and so we were registered for the
second transport. Our family,
my mother ah with the children,
my brothers and my sister Toba
who was the mother of a baby,
were registered. My sister Feiga
who had married in Poking, and
who had a baby, remained for the
third transport.
On 10 Kislev 5708 we left
Poking for Eretz Yisroel. The

first stop was in Germany, in the


city of Geretsreid. They put us
in a small, crowded place under
supervision.
It was in the middle of the
winter and it was snowy and cold
without heat, but our spirits were
high. It was hard with the little
children; Shulamis was three and
a half, Esther two and a half, and
Rivka (born in Poking) was one
year old.
From Geretsreid we went
by truck to a train station and
took a train to the port city of
Marseilles, France. We got to
Marseilles on Friday morning.
The weather was stormy and we
could not set sail so we had to
stay there and wait several days
until the weather improved. For
some reason, they did not give us

a place to stay in Marseilles but


brought us to a large facility that
looked like a labor camp.
On 5 Teves 5709, R Berish,
his wife and three daughters
boarded the ship Moledet. On
Motzaei 10 Teves, after a long
trip in which all the children
were seasick, they could see the
lights of Haifa twinkling in the
distance. The next day, R Berish,
his wife and three little girls set
foot on holy land.
From Haifa they were
taken to an immigrant camp in
Pardes Chana. Two weeks later
a delegation of Lubavitcher
Chassidim showed up and they
took the Rosenbergs with another
ten Lubavitcher families to the
Rakevet neighborhood in Lud.
To be continued, G-d willing

ADD IN ACTS OF GOODNESS & KINDNESS

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THOUGHT

SIMPLY AND
QUIETLY
A point from the weekly Dvar Malchus for
Parshas Shlach with a relevant message
* What connection is there between
Moshes spies and Yehoshuas spies,
division and unification?
By Aryeh Kirschnzaft

s with many things, so


too with the episode
of the spies, Chassidus
emphasizes the good
and the positive. The spies were
emissaries of Moshe Rabbeinu
(already something special) and
were the leaders of their respective
tribes, anashim important
people, ksheirim, selected,
they were on a very high level and
did not want to lower themselves
to doing practical mitzvos.
Even after they were punished by
having no share in the World to
Come Chassidus explains that
this too is an advantage because
their level is higher than that of the
World to Come and the World to
Come does not provide a reward
for them.
The way Moshes spies would
look in our times would be:
shluchim of the Rebbe, select,
Chassidim, G-d fearing and
scholars. And the main thing,

carrying out Moshes wishes and


realizing his dream of uniting the
material and the spiritual.
Wonderful! Whats missing?
Despite all the fine qualities
of Moshes spies, the Jewish
people did not achieve the goal.
They still needed the avoda of
Yehoshuas spies in order to enter
the land. What was lacking in
Moshes spies?
Apparently, the main point
that Moshes spies failed to
achieve was achdus. But not
just any unity, they were lacking
a specific kind of unity. This
is what is also demanded of us
now: another sort of achdus.
Something altogether different.

TWO PATHS TO UNITY


The avoda of Moshes
spies was mainly in hischalkus
(division). They also merited to
draw down the level of unity

which is above division within


the division, but their avoda
focused mainly on division. For
Yehoshuas spies, the unity was
something that was alive and
well.
We will use an example of a
familiar enough phenomenon in
order to illustrate the two types
of unity. A Kinus Achdus is
held (this is just an example and
this idea can apply at home,
with children, a farbrengen,
an encounter, any sort of
connection) which is all about
division. You can sense it
already in the advertising. This is
usually in a guilt-inducing style,
which calls upon people to come
and unite in light of the terrible
disunity etc. At the gathering
itself, what is emphasized is
how difficult it is when we are
divided and how we must unite
despite our differences and the
difficulties. At the end of a kinus

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like this, hachlatos are made


about achdus and everyone goes
home. As some have said on
the verse, and Yisroel camped
opposite the mountain that we
need the opposite in order to
unite, i.e. when you see people
trying to increase unity it is
because there is an excess of
opposition.
Then there is a gathering
where people simply join together
and unite. The people come
to join forces as one without
consideration for any other issue,
they dont even consider what not
to think about. Attendees at such
an event dont need to be, and
cant be, pressured into coming
by emergency announcements
about divisiveness and its
consequences.
That
doesnt
speak to them, because they are
in a totally different space.

INTELLECT IS A
COMPOUND. EMUNA IS
SINGULAR
Now that we understand,
more or less, the difference
between the approaches, the
Rebbe tells us a very interesting
fact. The difference between the
unity approaches has to do with

To conclude with a thought provoking question:


which of our children do we view as successful
the bright ones who get good grades and fulfill their
academic obligations or the ones whose success is mainly
in their behavior?

the difference between emuna


(faith) and seichel (intellect).
Moshe had ten Nsiim (tribal
leaders) to correspond to the
ten soul powers. Yehoshua sent
people described simply as
anashim without any titles,
whose kabbalas ol was their
strong point. Intellect and middos
add to the layers of complexity,
and consequently to the lack of
unity, because each person has
his intellect and his feelings.
Two are enough; yes and no.
Just tell me, do it or dont do it.
In simple Jews, Hashem Himself
is revealed without limitations. As
the Rebbe put it (see footnote 115
in the sicha), On the contrary,
in the simplicity of simple
people, the simplicity of Atzmus
is revealed. The compound
must be divested of its complexity
in order to unite with another
complex entity. The simple one,
however, simply reveals that he

is united with the simple one.


And these spies do everything
quietly, without announcing their
presence.
The greatest gathering in
history, which will take place in
the third Beis HaMikdash, will
be of the second sort. There will
be no Kinus Achdus sign and
no fiery speeches about what is
lacking because of our divisions.
All will meet, hug, and kiss one
another and dance with joy.
To conclude with a thought
provoking question: which of
our children do we view as
successful the bright ones who
get good grades and fulfill their
academic obligations or the ones
whose success is mainly in their
behavior?
Simplicity will reveal unity.
The simple ones will bring about
the hisgalus. The message of this
sicha is clear.

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SHLICHUS

SANCTIFYING
THE HOLY

ISLAND

Chagai and Mili Vertman and their children are shluchim


in Sri Lanka, an island in the Far East. The name of the
country is comprised of two words in Sanskrit: Sri
means holy and Lanka means an island. Indeed, the
shluchim are doing all they can to sanctify the island by
continuing the programs started by Rabbi Mendy and
Talia Crombie. * Mili tells us about miracles, where they
go on Chol HaMoed outings with their children, tragic
stories and insights in this fascinating interview.
By Molly Kupchik

SUBSTITUTE SHLUCHIM
Mendi and Talia Crombie
started the Chabad house in
Sri Lanka. Due to various
reasons, they are in Eretz
Yisroel temporarily and we are
filling in for them. The general
administration and finances are
their responsibility. We are here
two and a half years already.

SHLICHUS AS
A WAY OF LIFE
Even before we went to Sri
Lanka I saw myself as a shlucha.
It was thanks to the existence
of Chabad houses in the world
that I got to know Hashem, the
Rebbe, and the path of Torah and
mitzvos.

SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka is an island in
the Indian Ocean and has a
population of eighteen million
people. It is a relatively large
island, the twenty-fifth biggest
island in the world and it has
everything that appeals to
tourists: beaches studded with
palm trees, tropical forests,

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Finally, whoever plans on going on shlichus


needs to, first and foremost, make spiritual
preparations of absolute bittul to the Rebbe MHM. It is
vital that there be the awareness that shlichus is about
giving, because thats what its all about!

which is the largest and most


colorful city in the country. It is
full of shops and stalls and has
a major harbor. The country is
much like India and other third
world countries in the east, but
it is very clean and does not have
beggars in the streets. The locals
are pleasant and full of smiles.
Sri Lanka is a surfers
paradise
with
surfing
opportunities
not
available
elsewhere. Many of the tourists
are surfers who come just for
that purpose. Sri Lanka is also
known as a popular honeymoon
spot for newlyweds. Aside from
the fun activities, the country is
a center of idol worship and this
is something which, sad to say,
attracts tourists as well. 70% of
the population is Buddhist.

OUR VISITORS

aquatic sports such as boating,


surfing, swimming, kite-surfing
and scuba diving on the coast,
rice paddies and small pastoral
towns built on the banks of
lakes. There are nature preserves
with rare flowers and animals
and of course, their famous tea
plantations.
The capital is Colombo

We get all kinds of


people at the Chabad house,
of all demographics: families
with children big and small;
Israelis after the army or after
finishing their degree; surfers;
honeymooning couples, retirees
in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s
and 80s.

24/7
Our house is open 24 hours
a day. We have people who
have just landed in Sri Lanka.
They come to recover from the
flight and get information and
guidance. Or people who have
come to prepare for their trip

home (a flight that generally


departs to Eretz Yisroel in the
middle of the night). We also
serve as the place of choice of
those who eat kosher and are
shomer Shabbos because we
have a restaurant with a varied
Israeli menu. It may sound a bit
strange, but in Sri Lanka there is
no Israeli embassy, so aside from
passports, we are literally the
place to go for all material and
spiritual needs.

MY DREAM
We are raising six children.
The two oldest ones are in first
and second grade. They are
followed by two girls of preschool
age, and a one and a half year
old and a three and a half month
old baby. There is no local
community, which means we
do not have a permanent social
circle.
We need to provide them
with a learning framework
that includes a schedule, rules,
discipline, learning, everything
you would get in a school.
This is my job. This is a most
challenging job for any mother
(I think any mother who sits with
her children doing homework
can understand what its like for
me, its just that my job doesnt
end with reviewing what was
learned in class, but Im the one
who teaches the material to them:
reading, writing, math, etc.)
and I am not trained to teach
elementary school.

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Shlichus

TWO BRISSIN
We say the Rebbe does not remain in debt. I got to experience this and it
was a delight.
Mili went on to relate:
I gave birth to a son after four daughters a year and a half ago. When we
discovered I was carrying a boy, we were very excited and planned on sharing
the occasion with family and friends, especially my father-in-law (ah) who was
over 90.
We put a lot of money into this but in the end, Hashem showed us who was
running the show. My son was born on Sukkos and the bris was on Simchas
Torah. I cannot describe to you how lonely I was at that bris.
I grew up in an irreligious home, in a home that still has a hard time with every
addition to our family (out of love and concern, of course). It was important
to us that the bris take place near our parents so they could walk. Our friends
are not from the area so they did not come. My husbands family did not come
because we asked them not to drive (and older people cannot sleep and be guests
by other people).
We ended up staying in an apartment with wonderful people we did not know.
Picture it, after the flight, the expense and the effort, I was all alone.
The shul. Simchas Torah. The commotion and joy of the hakafos. The baby
cried and I cried along with him for hours, alone! Without family and friends,
after all our preparations.
Boruch Hashem, we had another son a year and two months later. With a lot
of apprehension, we decided I would give birth in Sri Lanka. Boruch Hashem,
my births are easy but this was a Geula-birth! We tend to bless people with a
quick and speedy recovery. Well, I gave birth at 11:00 pm and the next morning
I wanted to leave the hospital and go home. Immediately, and with no sign that
I had given birth a few hours before. Is there a greater Geula than that? (Yes, in
the Beis HaMikdash).
That was one gift.
Now there was the bris to think about. With who? How?
Something happened that never happened before! The Rebbe sent us two
families of shluchim from India: the Rivkin family who are shluchim in Bangalore
and the Gromach family who are shluchim in Hampi. They came to Sri Lanka
in order to renew their visas. They came right after I gave birth and remained for
two weeks. They made a camp for the children (for me that was the best gift I
could have gotten) and of course, this was all planned and arranged in heaven.
I threw myself into the Rebbes hands. I devoted myself to the shlichus and
did not leave. As for the bris, I could not have dreamed of a more joyous event.
First of all, they made sure I would be treated like a guest. They put together
the entire meal including arranging a chair for the sandak, dressing the children
(even the newborn) and photographed us all and sang niggunim with all their
heart.
And there was a minyan!
The bris was like a wedding. Before the bris was done, they even sang the
Dalet Bavos. At the end of the meal, before the bentching, they went around the
room for each person to offer their brachos (like you do at a sheva brachos when
the cup of wine is passed from person to person) and each one movingly blessed
the baby and us. I thank them and the Rebbe for not remaining in debt

If Moshiach continues
to tarry, G-d forbid, my
dream is to bring two
Chassidishe
girls
here
who are mature and have
good middos, to teach my
children, one as a teacher
and one as a preschool
mora.
The girls need to
be special with unusual
qualities: they should love
children,
have
teaching
know-how, be able to live
far from their families and
friends in a hot climate
(without air conditioning),
girls who can live with
limited privacy in an open
house, with tourists around
at all hours of the day (who
will not always be their speed
). Of course, they need to
be Chassidish, tznuos, and
on the same page as us, the
parents.

LONELINESS
The
loneliness
is
definitely a factor. We are
far from our parents, the
grandparents of our children
who are not able to be part of
their growing up. We barely
manage to update them via
pictures, which makes them
virtual grandchildren.
Another result of the
vast distance is that when
my husband lost his father
a year ago, he was not able
to part from him the way he
would have liked (a ticket is
very expensive).
My friends in Eretz
Yisroel are, boruch Hashem,
Chassidish and do not have
Internet in their homes.
Due to the cost I can only
call someone who has a
land-line and hope that the
time difference is not too
bothersome.

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Top: The shliach and his children in a Lag BOmer parade.


That particular day there were no tourists but they did not give up on a parade.
Below right: A farbrengen and latke party on Chanuka
Below left: A tourist having an aliya to the Torah

BLACK MEDICINE
Even when it comes to
health, I feel the alienation.
Consulting with a doctor here is
something that doesnt guarantee
peace of mind. I had a situation
in which I relied on a local doctor
and took iron supplements made
locally and my teeth blackened.
I had to go around like that for
a few months, and it was only
with the help of a dental hygienist
that I managed to have the color
removed. Since then, I prefer that
an Israeli doctor give his opinion
or a prescription.

SPIRITUAL DEFICIENCIES
Another thing about our
isolation is that my husband does
not have a minyan on weekdays
and even on Shabbos it is always
a big question. I also lack shiurim
and farbrengens, gatherings and
workshops.
And yet, my husband and
I cant go anywhere together
alone because who will watch the
children the tourists?! So we

are with them. We surrender our


own needs. We devote ourselves
to being always available for
their every need, and especially
try to instill in them the Besuras
HaGeula.

FOREIGN MENTALITY
Another challenge is dealing
with the locals who live in a
completely different culture; we
have communication problems
with them. We have people
working for us and once in a
while objects and food disappear
from the house. My husband tries
to calm me down by saying, Why
get so excited? They are like
monkeys who see bananas on the
tree and grab them they also
see something interesting and
The same is true for service
providers. For example, fixing
a computer, an air conditioner,
or if we need to exchange
something. There is a 50-50
chance that either they will work
on it and fool us this way, or
work on it and fool us another
way. There is no peace of mind

that enables us to rely on the


service we get.

CHINUCH UNDER GLASS


The Chabad house operates
as an open house. Guests show
up in the middle of the night too.
The restaurant operates the same
way with the cook here until four
and then my husband and I have
to serve the customers.
A big part of our hafatza
has to do with being a model of
how a Chassidishe family runs
its life, how we speak and treat
the children. When the tourists
watch us, they feel they have
learned more than in any shiur
or workshop. I recently got
the best response in the world.
A couple who was married a
year ago committed to keeping
taharas hamishpacha and this
was because the wife watched
our children and was amazed
by them. She told me that their
commitment is definitely because
of our children, children who are
raised in kdusha and tahara.

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Shlichus

One night, a monk in an orange robe


came to the Chabad house. He was a
fifty year old Jew who had lived in a monastery
over a period of thirteen years
PRIVACY
Privacy is a concept that
Ive forgotten. Boruch Hashem,
tourists do not enter the bedroom
except for a few who crossed
the line. We also ask them
not to enter the kitchen. The
house consists of two floors.
Downstairs are the shul and
living room, the kitchen and the
restaurant, the guest room, and
a bathroom. Upstairs is where
we and the children sleep. There
we also have their classrooms
and we put up additional tourists
there too. One of the concessions
we make is that if there are guests
sleeping in one of the classrooms
during class time, we do not
wake them up even if its late.
For the children its not that
great because its important that
they have a set place to learn, but
we feel that they are absorbing
the mitzva of hachnasas orchim
and ahavas Yisroel and are even
happy with guests.
I think that the balance that
we maintain is thanks to the fact
that the year is divided into four
seasons: the tourist season over
four months, a break of two
months, another peak season of
four months and again a break
of two months. But from our
perspective, the work continues
year-round, because even when it
is not the official tourist season,
you can still enjoy touring
and plenty of tourists come
throughout the year.

TZNIUS
Boruch Hashem, relatively
speaking, people are respectful

and make boundaries


for themselves. On rare
occasions, I have to ask a
girl if its okay if I bring
her something to cover
herself with (I do this
only in extreme cases).
Yesterday, a tourist came
in wearing a loose closenecked T-shirt and a
pair of ballooned harem
pants, and she apologized
profusely for not being
modest! I felt bad about
how my sensitivities had
become dulled because
I had thought she was supermodest!

SAME OLD SAME OLD


How does a shlucha become
a kitchen manager with limited
food products to work with? I
dont have much to say about
that. I think the secret lies in
creativity and the ability to
improvise (two traits that Ive
always had in abundance, boruch
Hashem).
Over here, Ive learned to
accept the idea of eating the
same food and the same menu,
something which, beforehand,
I could not consider because I
always needed variety.

LEARNING ON THE JOB


This shlichus has helped
me develop my management
abilities. Over here, you need to
take charge of quite a number
of areas at the same time and I
have no one to depend on or
rely on. Shlichus also caused me
to personally experience how

Hashem is
running the show and our plans
are a joke.

SUGGESTIONS TO
FELLOW SHLUCHOS
First, you have to learn to
look at things in perspective,
and to see how the Rebbe is
in charge. Our wishes will not
always come to fruition and we
need to remember and repeat,
This is the Rebbes ratzon!
Second, to know how to
smile, to laugh reality in the face
and to accept things as they are
and to daven a lot; a tfilla that
comes from the depths of ones
heart with personal words and
while engaged in action.
Third, to remember that
another persons gashmius is my
ruchnius and to rejoice in this!
And deep inside, to know
that there are no efforts that are
wasted; on the other hand, to
diminish ones pride and increase
ones humility and not to wait for
feedback.
Fourth, true, according to

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Chassidus, that which is hard for


me is where my avoda lies, but
at the same time, the Rebbe asks
that the shluchim be in a place
where they can see and find the
good that they get by being in
their place of shlichus. It is not
enough to think good, Im doing
a mitzva, I am doing the Rebbes
ratzon, while feeling how hard
it is and what one is giving
up. Rather, a shlucha needs to
strengthen herself by the things
she gets from her shlichus and to
rejoice and be grateful for them.
Finally, whoever plans on
going on shlichus needs to, first
and foremost, make spiritual
preparations of absolute bittul
to the Rebbe MHM. It is vital
that there be the awareness that
shlichus is about giving, because
thats what its all about!

I WAS BORN TO SHLICHUS


The parsha of shlichus,
Chayei Sarah, was the week I was
born. It tells at great length about
Eliezers efforts on Avrohoms
behalf. In 5752, the Rebbe taught
us how to behave on shlichus

based on this account. On the


one hand, a shliach is a person
with his own ideas; on the other
hand, and this is unique to
shlichus, he is subservient to the
one who sent him and needs to
obey in every respect.
How do we know what is
expected of us? What are our
guidelines? We need to learn!
A shlucha must devote time to
learning.

SRI LANKA IS READY


FOR MOSHIACH!
In conversations that occur
during Shabbos meals or any
time, we bring up the topic of
Geula and preparing to welcome
Moshiach.
On holidays that are not Yom
Tov, like Chanuka, Purim, Chol
HaMoed Pesach, we go to the
coastal towns (where the surfers
are) and reach out. People are
happy to see the Chabad house
coming to them with doughnuts,
delete minim, a Megilla, matzos,
etc. They really appreciate it.
At the Chabad house too,

there are those who very much


appreciate what we do and thank
us from the bottom of their hearts
for being here for them. We tell
them that the one to thank is the
Rebbe who gives us the koach
and it all comes from him. The
fact that there is a Chabad house
here that saves them is thanks
to him. If they insist, we tell
them that to thank us they can
put money in the pushka and
take part in our work or to add
something in their commitment
to Torah and mitzvos. We try to
give a Moshiach card to whoever
comes here.
We thank Mendi and Talia
Crombie who are constantly
fundraising which is an essential
part of any shlichus because a
shliach marches on his wallet.

MY MIRACLES
You are definitely not
looking for this type of miracle
but for me, these were real
miracles. I experienced a miracle
when, last Pesach, two bachurim
came, M Hillel and B Nachshon,
who helped up prepare and run a
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Shlichus

Right: The children of

the

ft: The children of the


shluchim on Purim Le

seder for
120 people. And a wonderful girl
named Talia Chana Gantz was
here for all of last Tishrei and
our hosting of fifty people at the
holiday meals. In both cases, they
were the ones who contacted us
and came as volunteers, paying
for their tickets and devoting
themselves to the Rebbes
shlichus. For me, they were like
angels who landed from heaven.
I thank the Rebbe for sending
them.

SOUL SERVICE PROVIDERS


Im sorry but I have no
stories of special neshamos. The
visitors who stop by are here
for a few hours to a few days
so we do not develop long-term
relationships with them. We plant
seeds and hardly ever see fruits.
The person who was here the
longest, for a few weeks, was
an eccentric who stayed in his
room most of the time and then
suddenly disappeared.
The encounters outside of
the normal group conversations
are generally not too positive. We
had a situation in which a young
man whose brain was scrambled
by drugs was here for a while
until we escorted him back home
to Eretz Yisroel.
In another situation, there

shluchim giving out Sh

eva Mitzvos cards

was a couple who spent their


honeymoon on the nearby
Maldive Islands and the woman
drowned. My husband had
to take care of her tahara and
get involved with all the family
and bureaucratic issues of
transferring the body.

dog while waiting for daybreak.


She works as a pastry cook so
while she stayed here, she made
hamantashen with the children,
an experience they all enjoyed.
She connected with my girls and
me as though she had found new
friends for life.

I HAVE A HOME
IN SRI LANKA!

THE MASK WAS REMOVED

A girl who was with us for


Purim last year recently got
in touch with me. She said
that since she visited us, she
continued touring in the Far
East and three months ago she
returned home. She wanted to
send us a package. She said that
out of all her experiences in her
nearly yearlong trip, the Chabad
house in Sri Lanka was most
special to her.
My memories of her are of
her landing in Sri Lanka as a
single girl, coming to the Chabad
house with mixed feelings of
confusion and excitement. I
remember that I shot her talking
on video and she said how proud
she was to come here, to know
she has a home (in a country
which is not a safe haven for a
single girl in the middle of the
night); a Chabad house that
would welcome her with a place
to sleep instead of lying down
on the floor of the airport like a

One night, a monk in an


orange robe came to the Chabad
house. He was a fifty year old
Jew who had lived in a monastery
over a period of thirteen years
and decided to drop the disguise
and go home. After three days,
he asked for different clothing.
He sat and learned here for a
month and committed to Chabad
practices.

SHLICHUS EVERYWHERE!
My message to readers is:
with all the difficulties, as long
as we are in galus, at least be on
shlichus. It does not mean you
need to fly far away; the point is
to live a life of giving. When you
are involved with other peoples
needs, with what he is lacking,
with what will make him happy,
with what will draw him close,
you forget what you are lacking
personally (because you can only
think about one thing at a time!).
The moment I am involved

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with another persons tzaros, I


forget my personal problems.
And its not that afterward I am
reminded, because after doing a
mitzva and helping someone else,
Hashem helps us! Its a fact and I
recommend that you try it.
The
Rebbe
says
(Hisvaaduyos 5748, vol. 2, p.
1255): The Alter Rebbe said to
someone who complained that
he lacked this and that, all that
is what you need; the time has
come to think about what you
are needed for!
And what is he needed for?
To be involved in spreading
Judaism!

CREATE YOUR OWN GEULA


A Jew is part of G-d and his

power of thought is extremely


powerful! When you lie down
to sleep, after saying HaMapil,
review (in your mind) a short
positive message (without using
the word no). For example,
I am successfully teaching
in a Chassidishe manner.
Or someone in the stage of
shidduchim should think, I
am ready for marriage! Make
it specific and think it when
you wake up and at every
opportunity, the more the better.
It is a good use of your power of
imagination and you should think
of an appropriate image to go
along with the thought. It can be
very helpful. The Rebbe says that
a good thought creates a good
reality; and the opposite is true
too. I invite everyone to try it. Be

a partner in Hashems creation


by creating reality!
With Hashems help, we
will all merit to create a reality
of Geula. Let us visualize a large
Alef which is the G-dly light
that penetrates the galus and
illuminates every corner and
every aspect of our lives. Geula!
And mainly, let us be involved
in actually doing this, instilling
Elokus in all areas of life and
in our portion of the world and
bring the Geula.
Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu
VRabbeinu,
Melech
HaMoshiach L
olam Vaed!
Contact information:
vertman@chabadsrilanka.com

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TZIVOS HASHEM

M YSTERY
DESTINATION
By D Chaim

ady knew about the trip but


In our class, we have a nice alre
it black
Im telling you, I saw
maybe, or so we hoped, the effect
routine which you should adopt.
on white!
of the surprise would get him
Every day, we review a saying
to tell us the destination before
It was Shmuli, my good
about Moshiach and Geula which
friend, who said this and got me helps us live Geula. This time anyone else knew.
curious.
After the davening we began
the teacher brought an idea from
I asked
ard our teacher who
What did you see?
a sicha on the pasuk, dorach walking tow
off his tallis. Berel,
him.
kochav mYaakov (a star goes was taking
to him, Shmuli
Next week, were going on a forth from Yaakov). I tried to you go over
le he stood behind
trip, Shmuli informed me.
listen but my head was filled with urged me, whi
over the me.
Really? How do you know? schemes how to disc
our trip.
Why me? You go first! I
destination of
I asked excitedly.
we decided to be
At the end of the lesson I retorted. Then
Dont ask, said Shmuli. I
w that days brave and we went over together.
walked past the secretaries office realized I did not kno
the rest of We saw our teacher get up and
and I glanced toward the copying Moshiach saying. And
tly a blur. A walk over to the table where the
machine. When I saw papers the lesson was mos
w the answer farbrengens are held.
coming out of it, I peeked and pity, if I wont kno
ut the saying,
I knew that this was our
saw that they were notices about to the question abo
weekly chance. If I did not go over to
I wont be entered into the
a trip next week.
get an
here raffle, I thought and immediately him now, we would not
Great! I rejoiced. W
fully answer. I quickened my steps and
decided to listen more care
are we going?
stood in such a way that he would
Shmuli. the next day.
mumbled
Uh,
od Shabbos, said
The days flew by quickly and notice me. Go
At this point, his enthusiasm
already the end of the the teacher.
lessened somewhat. Just as I it was
Uh, I had a hard time
All our efforts to find out
was about to read it, the secretary week.
e going failed. Our getting started, once I too had
we wer
asked what I wanted and I had to where
notes like said good Shabbos. I, uh ...
able to see where teacher guarded the
go, so I wasnt
the careful search Suddenly, everything I wanted
diamonds and
we are going.
d papers to say flew out of my head and
ous we did of the discarde
Shmuli and I are very curi
machine did not instead of asking about the trip
from the copying
kids. We always have to know
I said, On Monday, I did not
help.
all the details.
shul concentrate enough and I didnt
On Shabbos we met in
We must find out where we
the daily saying. Can
and decided we had to make understand
are going before everyone knows
go to I make it up and enter the raffle
a daring move. We would
... we concluded, and went back
the teacher himself and ask him! next week?
to class before the teacher found
Shmuli was standing off
He would be surprised that we
out what our plans were.

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understand why we came here


became miserable. Relatives and
to the side and I could see
today.
friends no longer talked to one
the frustrated look on his face. I
Now I understood what my
another. The fighting and hurtful
could read his mind, Thats it;
nt when he spoke to
words grew worse from day to teacher mea
we wont know before everyone
me in shul. The teacher winked
day.
else.
at me and said, On the pasuk,
The leader of the village, who
her said, Fine, you
hav mYaakov there
The teac
restore peace, came dorach koc
up and I think you wanted to
can make it
are two explanations. According
up with an idea. He spoke to the
the museum ...
explanation, the pasuk is
will do so at
st and asked him to to one
dering village arti
about Moshiach. According to
What?! I asked, won
draw a huge scenic picture. When
the second explanation, the pasuk
if I had heard correctly.
the artist completed his work, the
Jew. The Rebbe
Oh, nothing, said the village leader tore the picture into is about every
explains that both explanations
teacher, as though regretting he many pieces.
are correct because within every
had said anything. I meant to say
What are you doing? Jew there is a spark, a small part,
you will have a chance to make up screamed the shocked artist. But
of the neshama of Moshiach.
for it.
the village leader reassured him
So in order to bring
The teacher sat down and that he knew what he was doing.
every Jew must
I rushed over to Shmuli to The next day, every home in the Moshiach,
spark of Moshiach
celebrate the success of our village received a piece of the uncover the
himself, to think about
before
within
mission. At least we know
picture with an invitation to come
and what he has
ybody else that we are going on a certain day to the village what this means
ever
In this way, all the sparks
to do.
to a museum, I said.
center in order to try and put
us will unite and
ed, But we still each piece in its proper place. The within all of
Shmuli add
about the actual coming of
bring
dont know which museum ...
village leader thought that this
ech HaMoshiach.
ked symbolic act would restore peace the Rebbe, Mel
Its okay, I said as I win
To ensure that not even one piece
gers.
him, to find out one detail and unity among the villa
at
will be missing, unlike this puzzle
The guide paused and Moishy, we see here, we will try to reveal
along with our classmates.
ntion to
On Sunday, the students in who always paid atte
the spark of Moshiach within us
note that said the small details, spoke up.
our class got the
and live with Moshiach at every
a museum the One minute, I see that a piece
we were going to
moment, so we will be ready to
the oldest puzzle is missing in the center of the welcome Moshiach.
next day, to see
in the world. The only ones who picture.
observation,
good
Yes,
were not surprised were Shmuli
prior knowledge said the guide.
and me, but our
did not take away from our Nearly all the
anticipation of the trip.
villagers fit their
we piece
the
of
Time passed quickly and
getting off the bus near picture into place,
were
the museum. We walked inside, but one villager
following the guide who greeted lost his piece.
us, and we saw the huge puzzle He searched but
made up of pieces in various could not find it
shapes that had been put together and the picture
be
not
could
to form a beautiful scene.
The story behind this puzzle completed.
D e a r
is very interesting, began the
said
in a distant students,
guide. Somewhere
village whose their teacher. If
valley is a pretty
residents lived in peace. Then you remember the
one day, a quarrel began and the Geula saying we
people were divided into a number learned recently,
certainly
of factions. Life in the village you

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CROSSROADS

TORAH STUDY IS IN
DANGER AND WHERE
REALLY IS THE MONEY?
The preface to the Oslo Expense Report states:
With this amount [933 billion shekels], it would
have been possible to guarantee the current
income levels for 3,500,000 Arabs over a
period of fifty years in exchange for their willing
emigration. Reducing the Arab population and
isolating the countrys enemies would enable
Eretz Yisroel to impose its sovereignty over the
entire territory of Yehuda, Shomron, and Gaza,
settling these areas and making them flourish,
instead of turning them into terrorist weapon
stockpiles that threaten the daily lives of the
citizens of Eretz Yisroel.
By Sholom Ber Crombie
Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

1.
Last week in Eretz Yisroel
began with two major news
events. The first was the decision
by the High Court of Justice
to cancel National Insurance
Institute guaranteed income
allowances for kollel students.
The second was the visit by
the Pope, with the bareheaded
president and prime minister
of Israel breathlessly following
him at every step. It would
seem that these two events are

vastly different in nature, but


in truth, they are both symbolic
of the same purpose: While
Israeli leaders continue to give
royal homage to those waging
war against Am Yisroel, they
persecute the scholars of our
Holy Torah, which G-d gave
us as a means of ensuring the
everlasting stature of the Jewish
People.
Pope Francis recent trip to
Eretz Yisroel was no different
than those of his predecessors.

Many years ago, the Rebbe


was already crying out against
meetings between the chief
rabbis of Eretz Yisroel and
leaders of the church making
these Jewish leaders accessories
to avoda zara or actual idol
worshippers.
With
great
anguish, the Rebbe explained
that such meetings symbolize
more than anything else bowing
before the Gentiles without any
semblance of Jewish pride. The
Moslems, the Buddhists, even
non-Catholic Christians dont
try to meet with the Pope, the
Rebbe said. Yet, the chief rabbis
of Eretz Yisroel, those who are
supposed to represent the Jewish
People, always seem willing to do
anything to have such a meeting.
It would be one thing if they did
this as private individuals, but
they actually thought that they
were representing the Jewish
People. It never crossed their
mind for a moment that they
could do anything less.
Thus, at the welcoming
ceremony for the supreme pontiff,
the unbelievable happened. The
chief rabbi of Eretz Yisroel stood
up and made a passionate speech
about the freedom of religion
that exists in the Holy Land
Indeed, the Israeli government
provides freedom of religion for
all of the dangerous missionary
cults in operation here, freedom
of religion for Moslems to incite

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their worshippers from their


mosques to murder Jews rl, but
G-d forbid, there must be no
freedom of religion for Torahobservant Jews.

2.
Another line of evil was
crossed last week against Torah
scholars in Eretz Yisroel. The
Israeli High Court of Justice, an
institution founded to protect
the weak and oppressed, issued
a precedent-setting decision,
cancelling the longstanding state
allocated guaranteed income
allowances for kollel students.
While this only amounts to a few
hundred shekels per avreich, this
was money that helped them buy
bread and milk for their children
and make it through the month
financially. We can safely say
that these paltry sums are not
the reason why the state budget
is in deficit. Only a relatively
small number of Torah scholars
receive this allowance. These are
avreichim who truly devote their
entire lives to the study of Torah,
choosing the ideal of spiritual
life over making a material
living. In a sizable majority of
these families, the wife works
as the main provider, while the
husband/avreich brings home
only a few hundred shekels from
his Torah study, in addition to the
monthly stipend he receives from
kollel.
Exactly how many of these
families
are
there
today?
According to data currently
available, we find that Israels
Central Bureau of Statistics,
which had previously publicized
annual reports stating that most
chareidim dont work, had been
consistently
misleading
the
public. According to this false
information,
only
forty-five
percent of the ultra-Orthodox
sector works. However, it fails

At the welcoming ceremony for the supreme


pontiff, the unbelievable happened. The chief
rabbi of Eretz Yisroel made a passionate speech about
the freedom of religion that exists in the Holy Land

to include tens of thousands of


baalei tshuva who are not defined
as chareidim in the bureau
surveys, since they dont meet the
bureau standards for the ultraOrthodox profile. In addition,
there are at least fifteen thousand
chareidim who entered the labor
force straight from the world of
academics. Yet, the Bureau of
Statistics doesnt count them
either, because according to its
questionnaire, classification as a
chareidi is determined by ones
last place of study. Therefore, if
this was a college or a university,
the person is not considered
ultra-Orthodox.
Based
on
recent
data
publicized on the Dossim
website, it turns out that most
ultra-Orthodox work full-time
to make a living, and their Torah
learning is done as a supplement
in an alternate location. As a
comparative study, they report
that only eighty-five percent of
the secular community works,
and the numbers dont appear
to be very different than those
coming from the ultra-Orthodox
community.
Nevertheless, the High Court
of Justice was unwilling to allow a
small group of Talmudic scholars
devote themselves to their
studies, and therefore, it snatched
away the bread from the mouths
of their children in order to stick
it to those who learn Torah. It
refused to consider the simple
fact that no kollel student is
going to stop learning Torah and
join the work force just because
his government allowance was
cut off. Yet, from the learned

justices standpoint, there was


one important triumph: We took
money from the chareidim.

3.
And where is the money? For
years, weve been used to hearing
that the chareidim are the ones
who have been stealing from the
state coffers, and they are the sole
cause for the countrys financial
woes. Now, we suddenly discover
that what the ultra-Orthodox get
from the national budget doesnt
even scratch the surface. If thats
the case, then where did all the
money go?
In a report publicized by the
Likud Partys Manhigut Yehudit
(Jewish Leadership) faction, the
vast financial dimensions of the
Oslo process and its cost to
the Israeli economy over the past
twenty years were revealed for
the first time. According to the
report, it comes to 933 billion
shekels and thats not all.
What
this
means
is
that according to the most
conservative estimates, the Oslo
Accords and the idea of dividing
Eretz Yisroel have cost nearly
a trillion shekels(!) and the
expenses continue to mount as
time passes. This astronomical
sum stunned the staff of
researchers who prepared this
report, as they originally believed
that the amount was far lower.
The preface to the report
states: With this amount [933
billion shekels], it would have
been possible to guarantee
the current income levels for
3,500,000 Arabs over a period of
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CROSSROADS
fifty years in exchange for their
willing emigration. Reducing the
Arab population and isolating
the countrys enemies would
enable Eretz Yisroel to impose
its sovereignty over the entire
territory of Yehuda, Shomron,
and Gaza, settling these areas
and making them flourish,
instead of turning them into
terrorist weapon stockpiles that
threaten the daily lives of the
citizens of Eretz Yisroel.
Furthermore, we havent
even begun to discuss the
billions of shekels allocated in
the state budget each year for
entertainment, culture, television,
theatre, and more. Heres just
one example: Last week, the
Municipality of Yerushalayim
authorized an allocation of
seventy thousand shekels for
an alternative Tikkun Leil
Shavuos event at the BINA
Secular Yeshiva. This is a
tremendous amount of money
for a one-night program! Did any
chareidi institution ever get such
a large chunk of city funds? Were
Chabad houses also privileged
to receive such sums for their
regular activities or financing
holiday events?

4.
Its a great pity that Israeli
leaders have failed to internalize
the findings of this stinging report
on the economic damage caused
by the Oslo Accords. Instead,
theyve been too busy looking
for money in the yeshivos or the
settlements. However, whats
far more painful is to see how
two political parties that should
be working together against this
madness are instead fighting
one another.
The same Bayit Yehudi Party
chairman, who has been an
active partner in the national
atmosphere of incitement against

the ultra-Orthodox community


and taking the last scrap of
bread from Torah scholars, acts
with sheer intransigence. Yet,
why does an ultra-Orthodox
party,
such
as
Yahadut
HaTorah, demonstrate the same
blockheadedness? Last week, a
grossly exaggerated investigative
report was issued against the
Jewish settlement of Avichayil.
Although it has already received
infrastructure connections and
paved highways at a cost of
millions of shekels, its official
status
remains
incomplete.
Its residents are full-fledged
citizens of Israel, they serve in
the IDF, pay their taxes, work
for a living, and thank G-d
theyre not even chareidim.
The only problem is that due
to political considerations, the
Minister of Defense has still not
given his official approval to
their settlement. Does this mean
that because of some politicalbureaucratic glitch, these people
will be denied the right to travel
along the highway to a yishuv
that the state built?
However,
the
medias
hypocrisy is not surprising.
What did come as a surprise was
when one of the ultra-Orthodox
Knesset Members, known for
raising the banner in the struggle
to preserve the world of Torah,
came out before the
cameras as soon as the
report was released
to announce that he
will expose the state
budget allocations to
the settlements and
put a stop to them.
You would think that
this was the only threat
to Torah scholars.
In his defense,
this MK will naturally
claim that such is
the way of politics.
He makes threats

against those who shoot arrows


of hatred at him, as a possible
means of convincing the latter
to come to his senses and stop
causing incitement against the
ultra-Orthodox sector. But does
such a claim justify fighting
against Torah-observant Jews,
our brothers faithfully protecting
Eretz Yisroel with their very lives
in devotion to the same Torah
that he represents? Is it possible
to wage war for one Torah value
while tearing down another at the
same time? Are all such methods
appropriate in the achievement of
political objectives?
Its most regrettable that
politics manages to disrupt the
proper order. Instead of fighting
together for the same goal, the
Torah-observant community in
Eretz Yisroel finds itself divided.
Some join the anti-chareidi
forces in order to goad the ultraOrthodox, while others join
the left-wingers as a means of
exacting their revenge upon the
religious nationalists.
And what about the Torah?
Perhaps the time has come
at last to act according to the
Torah, according to Shulchan
Aruch, and not according to the
passing whims that change with
the partners in the governing
coalition.

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