4 D’var Malchus
13 Parsha Thought
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35 Profile
38 Tzivos Hashem

Nosson Avrohom


Aryeh Kirschenzaft

R’ Boruch Aharon Huss

26 Shneur Zalman Berger

Nosson Avraham

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Rabbi S.Y. Chazan

Boruch Merkur

2014-06-17 1:22:49 AM


From Chapter Six of Rabbi Shloma Majeski’s
Likkutei Mekoros (Underlined text is the
compiler’s emphasis.)
Translated by Boruch Merkur

11. […] When Yosef was
born, Yaakov was ready to return
from the house of Lavan to the
land where his father, Yitzchok,
lived, wishing to settle there in
peace. However, the entire time
the redemption was not manifest
in the physical world (illustrated
by the fact that “the tragedy of
Yosef was thrust upon him”),
the days of Yaakov’s life were
considered “few,” incomplete,
for his life was missing the main
thing (redemption).*
In fact, Yaakov shared this
sentiment with Pharaoh when
they first met. He expressed
his dissatisfaction with his life
in order that Pharaoh would
not err to think that Yaakov
and his children would suffice
with settling “in the land of
Egypt, in the finest region of
the country,” and be content
with living off “the fat of the
land,” which Pharaoh had given
them; redemption is what was
important to Yaakov. Indeed,
Yaakov’s settling in Egypt
for the duration he was there
was only for the sake of the
complete redemption. That is,
the refinement of Egypt (when
“Yaakov lived in the land of
Egypt for seventeen years”)
causes the redemption (“I shall

take you up, verily take you up”)
to be more intense, more lofty,
achieving its quintessence. Then,
it shall be that “Yaakov lived” not
just 147 years, and not just 180
years [the lifespan of Yitzchok],
but forever.
12. In terms of putting the
above message into practice:
Since this generation is the
final generation of exile, the
end of the exile, and the first
generation of redemption, it is
presently an auspicious time for
the redemption. […]
Therefore one must add
daily (as stated about the days
of Chanuka: “From here and
on one adds progressively”) in
those things that bring about
the redemption in actuality and
Among those things are:
Strengthening in the faith
and yearning for the advent of
Moshiach, to the point that one
perceives that the whole time
Moshiach Tzidkeinu has not yet
arrived in actuality and overtly,
one’s days are lacking, as in the
words of Yaakov, that even one
hundred and thirty years are
but a “few,” for the redemption
had not yet arrived (as above in
Section 11).

And the main thing is
to add in the study and the
dissemination of the inner
dimension of the Torah (as
well as Torah in general, the
quality of Yaakov**), the “oil”
of the Torah (i.e., the secrets
of the secrets of the Torah),
in a manner that illuminates
“the entrance of the doorway,
on the outside, “spreading the
wellsprings outward,” “until the
Tarmodians cease walking about
in the streets.”
(From the address of Shabbos
Parshas Mikeitz, the sixth day of
Chanuka, the first day of Rosh
Chodesh Teives; Seifer HaSichos
5752, pg. 206-207)
*Footnote 137: Although Yaakov
himself was ready for the
redemption, the concept of “ba
ba’yamim – becoming old in days/
years” is connected with the avoda
of completely refining and purifying
the world, which is affected by the
dimension of time, “days.”
**For the Jewish people are named
specifically after Yaakov [i.e.,
Yisroel] (and not after Avrohom or

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Kupas Rabbeinu

ubhcr ,pue
jhanv lkn r"unst e"f ,uthab ,j,

(718) 467-2500


P. O . B . 2 8 8 , B r o o k l y n , N e w Yo r k 11 2 2 5


(718) 756-3337

Sivan 28 - Gimmel Tammuz Magbis
B.H. Sivan 15, 577• •

To all Anash, Men and Women, G-d bless you.
We are soon approaching the very auspicious day, Gimmel Tammuz. This day comes in close
proximity with Sivan 28, the auspicious day that the Rebbe MH"M and the Rebbetzin arrived in the
United States.
Obviously, these are very opportune days, when one should again evaluate his or her
"Hiskashrus" (connection) with the Rebbe, and more important, to utilize these special days to
'strengthen' the Hiskashrus to the Rebbe.

"KUPAS RABBEINU," was established with the full consent and blessing
of the Rebbe, with its purpose and goal to make every effort that all of the
Rebbe`s activities, institutions etc. continue unchanged. By supporting
Kupas Rabbeinu, one is actually participating in many of the Rebbe's activities, and thus strengthening their Hiskashrus to the Rebbe.
With this in mind, we therefore urge each and everyone of anash, men and
women to support Kupas Rabbeinu in every possible way.
In this merit may we be "zoiche" that much before Gimmel Tammuz, the Rebbe will be revealed
as Melech Hamoshiach and redeem us from this deep and bitter Golus and lead us all to the true
and final Geulo, NOW MAMAOSH.

Rabbi S.M. Simpson
Rabbi Y.L. Groner
P.S. Please send all correspondence only to the above address.
You may also send Maimad, Keren-Hashono, Magbis etc. to Kupas Rabbeinu.
Eretz Yisroel address: KEREN KUPAS ADMU"R / P.O.B. 1247 / KIRYAT MALACHI / ISRAEL

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2014-06-17 1:22:50 AM




R’ Ariel and his wife Rochel Elias made a long journey
until they came to their shlichus among Russian
speaking Jews in Givat Shmuel. Ariel himself was born
to a non-Jewish mother and experienced anti-Semitism
because he was considered Jewish. He was a member
of street gangs but extricated himself, studied, went
on to university, and eventually found his way to Eretz
Yisroel. * Wherever he went he met Lubavitchers. It’s
no surprise then that he himself became a Lubavitcher
after converting. * A fascinating life story.
By Nosson Avrohom

“All my life I’ve felt Jewish
because my father is Jewish and
in Russia I suffered for being
‘Jewish.’ I had just one problem;
there was no way I was going to
eat matza made with the blood of
gentile children ...”
That is what I heard from R’

Ariel Elias, shliach of the Rebbe
to Russian speaking Jews in Givat
Shmuel, which is near B’nei Brak.
It goes to show to what extent
anti-Semitic propaganda has
penetrated the Soviet bloc.
R’ Elias’ life consists of sharp
peaks and valleys. He was born

to a family where the father is
Jewish and the mother is not. He
underwent a lot before discovering
his G-d and joining the Jewish
Fifteen years after making aliya
he has a beautiful Chassidishe
family. He and his wife are the

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confidants of the Jewish-Russian
community in Givat Shmuel. They
focus on two areas: on seniors and
on the many young people who
live within and outside the city.

R’ Elias was born in
Novosibirsk. “When I tell people
I was born in Siberia they ask
whether we rode horses and
whether we had electricity. The
city I was born in is actually the
scientific center of Russia, which
attracted many Jews. About a
million and a half people live
In the neighborhoods in the
center of the city lived those
families where one spouse had a
position in the communist party,
while the rest of the population
lived in the suburbs.
“The difference in status
was enormous and in these

neighborhoods a crime culture
developed, which increased with
the collapse of the communist
regime. Most of my friends
fell into crime. It began with
organizing into street gangs,
thievery, vandalism, and continued
with joining one of the local mafias
or descending into addiction to
dangerous substances.”
In hindsight, R’ Elias sees the
incredible divine providence which
saved him time after time from
falling into the clutches of crime.
“Hashem did not want me
there and so I did not fall. We
were friends; they were my pals
with whom I grew up, but they
knew that I would not join them in
these activities.”
Although he wasn’t Jewish by
the halachic definition, people
considered him Jewish because his
father is Jewish and he suffered
“I remember walking down the

street when I was a child and they
shouted, ‘Stinking Jew.’ There
were other lines they used which
today I realize were anti-Semitic
but back then I did not regard as
such. Close friends and especially
their parents would say to me,
‘The Jews are a thieving, lowly
people but you are different.’”
He finished public school with
the eighth grade like most of his
friends. He then had two choices,
to continue studying within a
dormitory set-up that prepared
people for simple professions or
one that prepared people to be
managers. Elias was the only one
in his neighborhood who joined
the program for managerial
“I spent a few years in that
dormitory and got my diploma in
robotics, while most of my friends
had dropped out of the first option
they had enrolled in and wandered
the streets idly and deteriorated
until they got involved with drugs
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and became criminals. Most of
them are no longer alive.”
At a certain point in his life
his maternal grandmother, an
ardent Christian, tried to draw
him toward Christianity. “It was
after I graduated when I left my
parents’ home to live with my

The big problem was the high
average needed in order to be
accepted and his marks, needless
to say, were not especially high.
“By divine providence, that
year they accepted whoever
wanted to be accepted and I went
back to school. I loved reading.

The Rebbe wrote that for someone who helped
the Rebbe’s mosdos the Rebbe himself sees to
it that he is provided with children, life and a livelihood,
and all in ample fashion.
grandmother. She would take me
to church on Sunday and teach
me to pray to statues before going
to sleep. Whatever I heard from
the priests and from her I tried to
pass along to my friends.”

“From a young age I was
drawn to spirituality and I
searched for the depth in
everything; I hated superficiality. I
always believed in the existence of
a Creator and at a certain point I
thought that Christianity was true.
I became an ardent Christian and
tried to get souls for the church.
This period did not last long.
When I grew older I realized that,
at best, it consisted of half-truths.”
When he finished his studies,
the security situation in the
country began to go downhill:
“There were no jobs and
many young people wandered
about aimlessly, including myself.
Crime began to escalate. It was
scary to go from neighborhood
to neighborhood even during
the daytime. The police were not
seen on the street and every day
the number of murdered and
injured grew from acts of theft and
muggings. Following the murders
of some of my friends, I decided
to go to university.”

I exchanged the boredom of the
streets for sitting from morning
till night in the university library. I
especially liked reading philosophy
books and literature in the areas of
spirituality and sociology.”
When he finished his studies
of philosophy and history, he
wanted to attend a more advanced
program for government from
where you were able to get senior
city and district government
“I took three main tests in
university, in general history,
Russian history, and a historical
term paper on a person of my
choice. I sat for days and was
tested and did well. But when
I wanted to be accepted at the
government school, they asked to
see the tests. A special committee
examined the tests and found
that although the answers were
correct and the term paper was
well constructed, there were many
typos and they rejected me.
“I decided not to argue and
quietly headed toward the door.
Then the administrator asked me
to come back. She said that they
were prepared for the uproar I
would make when I would be told
of rejection, but my quiet response
made quite an impression on
them. She decided to revoke their

decision and to accept me.”
R’ Elias put a lot of work into
his studies in the government
school while continuing to read
philosophy books and taking an
interest in spirituality. “In 5751,
communism fell and the economic
situation deteriorated drastically.
I had to leave school and help my
father who ran a store that sold
refrigerators and other electrical
Ariel did his thesis at the
university on the topic of the
French Revolution and at the end
he wrote that the world cannot
exist without a government
hierarchy and faith in a Creator of
the world.
“My friends did not like me
for coming to those conclusions,
which only heightened for me
the idea that if communism
their views were fanatical to the
opposite side.”
At this point, Elias began
to look into his origins and
discovered that his paternal
grandfather was a religious Jew
while being an ardent communist.
He lived in Poland. During World
War II he fled with other Jews to
Tashkent where he chose another
last name that was similar to those
of the local people. Since then,
he was called Elias, a Sephardic
name. “I asked my aunts and my
father what his original name was
but nobody knew.”
Crime throughout Russia
became intolerable in the mid
90’s. People did not dare to leave
the house unless they had to.
People were beaten up for no
reason and even lost their lives.
This was the case not only in
dangerous neighborhoods, for no
corner of the city was safe.
In 5759, his younger brother
lost his life. The news shook up
the family. Ariel’s father had a
severe heart attack from which

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A joyous dance at the Chabad house

he barely recovered while Ariel
himself holed himself up at home
and drowned his sorrows in

After a few weeks, Elias
decided to stop his downward
slide and look for a new life. His
agnatic aunt had made aliya a
while before and lived in Givat
Shmuel. His decision was to leave
Russia and join her.
“I thought I was Jewish and I
would go to the land of the Jews.
It was only when I got there that
I found out that I am not Jewish
because halacha says it goes after
the mother.”
Ariel attended a special
conversion ulpan in B’nei Brak
where he learned Ivrit and
about Torah and mitzvos. The
woman who ran the ulpan was a
Lubavitcher and every week she
gave out the Sichat HaShavua in
“I loved to read the column
with the Rebbe’s sicha. I was
excited by the approach and the
depth, philosophy on a high level.
What I especially liked was that
after a series of questions, the
Rebbe resolved it all with one

simple answer.”
R’ Elias also chose special
education as his field, a field that
he enjoyed while still in Russia.
He studied it at the University of
Tel Aviv.
“I won’t forget one of the
stories I read in Sichat HaShavua
during my conversion process that
touched me deeply. The story is
about a woman who went to the
Rebbe for dollars and asked him
how he did not tire from standing
there so long. The Rebbe told her,
every Jew is a diamond and when
you count diamonds, you don’t
get tired. This spoke to me and I
realized that the Rebbe looks at
Jews beyond all divisions.”
R’ Elias says he began learning
Chassidus long before he became
“I ran away from Russia
to Eretz Yisroel in order to
disconnect from a way of life that
I so disapproved of. What gave me
the answers and paved another
way for me were the teachings
of Chassidus; otherwise, I would
have found myself drawn to the
same life as I had there. I soon
put on a kippa and bought tzitzis.
I finally began to feel that I was
slaking the fierce thirst that I

Putting t’fillin on with a mekurav

always had for the truth.”
At a certain stage of the
conversion process, he received
his draft notice and was drafted
into basic training where he met a
Lubavitcher from Nahariya whom
he connected with very much. His
conversion concluded on 10 Elul
and on Rosh HaShana he was in
uniform on base.
“Before I was drafted I bought
a good shaver and planned on
using it, but the Lubavitcher
from Nahariya explained to me
the importance of a beard. By the
end of the long conversation I had
decided to leave my beard alone
and that is true till today.”
On Yom Kippur he davened in
the Chabad shul in Givat Shmuel
run by the shliach R’ Shabtai
Fisher. It was his first Yom Kippur
as a Jew, something which moved
him in a powerful way.
“I was moved in particular
by the idea that the Rebbe had
gathered me up to him. From the
moment I started the conversion
process I kept on meeting his
emissaries – in the ulpan, in the
army, and now I was going to
a Chabad house which I liked
from the very first moment and I
became a regular visitor there.”

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Rochel is from a Ukrainian
immigrant family that settled
in Nahariya and looked for a
good school for their daughter.
Although they were not religious,
they sent her to the Migdal Ohr
school in Migdal HaEmek. At
that time there was a Lubavitcher
principal who instilled a love and
hiskashrus for the Rebbe in her
students. By the time Rochel
graduated she was a Lubavitcher.
Her mother wanted her to study
secular subjects and registered her
at Bar Ilan University.
While at university she was
introduced to the shluchim to
Givat Shmuel and became a

“There is an apartment
complex with one hundred studio
apartments and which houses
older immigrant couples. The
building has a big parking lot,
hall, and restaurant. Before every
holiday we go there and arrange
gatherings for them and visit the
apartments and see how people
are doing.
“For example, last Purim,
during the afternoon, we did
activities with the seniors and in
the evening, after having done all
the mitzvos of the day and putting
t’fillin on them, they went home
and we began our program for
young people in the same location.
It is not easy getting the young

“When it comes to Moshiach and Geula, if you are
excited about it you can transmit it to others.”

regular guest there. Another guest
who joined them for Shabbos
meals was Ariel Elias. Shortly
thereafter the shlucha made the
“On 19 Kislev we met for the
first time and on 25 Adar, the
Rebbetzin’s birthday, we married.”
From day one it was clear to the
young couple that they were going
to devote their lives to shlichus.

R’ Elias works together with
his wife Rochel, both with the
young people as well as the
seniors. Every holiday he arranges
large scale programs, gatherings
and farbrengens. If you asked
him, the heart of his work is what
happens at the Shabbos meals
with mekuravim, in one-on-one
shiurim, and heart to heart talks.
For many Jews in Givat Shmuel
R’ Elias is the only one to turn to
regarding Jewish matters.

people together and we put a lot of
work into this.
“How we do it? We meet many
of them on the street and start
talking to them. You have to know
how to speak their language.
There is also a social network for
Russian speaking youth which
has thousands registered. You
can limit your search for those
who live in Givat Shmuel and the
vicinity. We have a mekureves
whose job is to raise awareness
about us among young people and
to encourage them to come to our
programs. Someone who comes
one time will definitely come to
more events.
“These are young people
who are very distant from Jewish
tradition and some of them even
hate religious people. With us they
can experience their Jewishness
and hear about Judaism for the
first time in their language. Many
of them have undergone bris mila
and some have even had a proper

One of R’ Elias’ most
important tools is his ability to
greet everyone, to respect others,
to say a good word, and mainly to
keep up a relationship with a smile
and genuine love. When we asked
him about his community and
mekuravim, he had a story about
how he met each one of them.
“There is a fellow whom we
met when we first started working
in Givat Shmuel. He eventually
became our right hand and helped
us tremendously. One day, he and
his wife came to our home and
said they had a dilemma. The cost
of living in Givat Shmuel is always
going up and they were thinking
of living in one of the towns in
the south of the country where
it’s cheaper. It would have been
a big loss to see them go and we
suggested that they write to the
“In the letter they opened to
the Rebbe was writing to someone
who wrote him that his home was
too small and he was looking for
something larger. The Rebbe
suggested that he not leave the city
and told him to look for something
bigger in the city where he was.
He also suggested that he speak to
Tzeirei Agudas Chabad for help.
“There is another mekurav
whom I met while on Mivtza
T’fillin. While talking to him I
realized that he came from an
established and wealthy family. We
met nearly every day and he would
put on t’fillin and we would talk
about various Jewish concepts. He
became very involved in Jewish life
and began wearing a kippa on his
own and even bought t’fillin. His
parents were not happy about his
friendship with me because they
feared a change in lifestyle. They
even tried dissuading him, but he
was determined. So the parents
were angry at me too.
“A few months went by and the
boy’s paternal grandfather died

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and the father wanted me to tell
him what to do. Throughout the
Shiva the son put t’fillin on with
his father and I became a welcome
guest in their home. With their
blessings, we even had the son
learning for a while in the yeshiva
in Ramat Aviv.”
When I asked R’ Elias what is
the best way to be mekarev Jews
from the CIS to a life of Torah and
mitzvos, he said:
“I ask myself this question
every day and even after I pass
the first phase with mekuravim,
At a Purim seuda

I still ask myself how to continue
further. In answer to your
question I think there is no
magical formula. People love a
comfortable life; that is how it is
in the western world. In order to
get a person out of his easy chair
at home and get him to take action
you have to be interesting and
intriguing. This is what we try to
“Part of the approach entails,

A few years ago there was a Russian couple who lived near us. He was
an actor in the theater and she was a righteous convert and a nurse in Tel
HaShomer hospital. They were married for ten years without children. We
became very close and when we advertised the Purim meal with the Megilla
reading one year, they were the first to be register.
A day before Purim about sixty people had registered. We planned
accordingly and ordered food from a caterer in B’nei Brak which was paid for
by a Poilishe Chassid who helps us a lot in our work.
Purim morning that couple came to visit us with a big mishloach manos.
We arranged that they would stay with us and we would go together in their
car to the place where the seuda would be. In the morning hours the man
brought me over to the hall and also helped me with the final details. From
there we went to other places and before we knew it, he had become my driver
for the day. I felt uncomfortable about this.
At the designated time I opened the doors to the hall
and saw, to my surprise, that although sixty people were
registered, 120 people had come. I immediately thought
about how I did not have enough food. I called people I
knew in B’nei Brak but all the stores were closed because
people were at their Purim meals. I called the Poilishe
Chassid who had helped me and begged him to help me
In the meantime my wife wrote to the Rebbe and
opened to an amazing answer in the Igros Kodesh. The
Rebbe wrote that for someone who helped the Rebbe’s
mosdos the Rebbe himself sees to it that he is provided
with children, life and a livelihood, and all in ample
fashion. When the Poilishe Chassid told me that the
caterer was closed and he had no way of helping me, I
asked him to speak to the caterer and tell him about this
answer from the Rebbe which I had also relayed to my
driver for the day.
The Poilishe Chassid exerted pressure on his friend
who finally agreed to take out meals from his freezer
that were meant for another event. Feeling bad about
it, I asked my friend who had spent the day driving me
around to go back to B’nei Brak and bring the additional
food. “You are blessed by the Rebbe,” I reassured him
and he, who was in the initial stages of connecting to his
roots, had no idea what I was talking about.
The food arrived in time and the Purim seuda was very successful. Nobody
knew about the drama behind the scenes.
About a month later I received two phone calls, one from this man and one
from the Poilishe Chassid. The Chassid said that his friend the caterer, who
was also the gabbai of one of the Admurim, had a yeshua with his son that
was supernatural. The son had been born to them after many years and after
helping us, the boy had recovered from his illness.
The Russian neighbor called to tell me that his wife was in her first
pregnancy after ten years of childlessness.

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as the Rebbe said, to get people to
relate to doing mitzvos. We focus
a lot on Mivtza T’fillin, Neshek,
and giving tz’daka. Creating an
atmosphere is important but we
do not forego the doing of mitzvos
and we believe this has an effect
and illuminates the G-dly soul
which is sometimes concealed.
There are no magic charms; it’s
more like the labor of ants. We
sometimes sense that a person
is getting more involved but
then he suddenly cools off. The
enticements are many and we also
need heavenly assistance.”
by asking about the Besuras
Ha’Geula and how R’ Elias goes
about promulgating it.
“There is the educational
approach which the Rebbe brings
in the HaYom Yom that if the head
is healthy then the body is too. I
know that if the issue is clear to
me and I have no doubts, then
my mekuravim will also accept it
readily. Amalek works overtime;

Moshiach is essential and this
is why Amalek invests so much
efforts. When I personally feel
doubtful or weak, I run to the
D’var Malchus and to the Rebbe’s
amazing sichos about Moshiach
and they vanish.
“Along with proclaiming Yechi,
we try to take a concept or topic
of Geula at every farbrengen
and present it to the audience.
When I talk to young people I
explain to them that Moshiach
will enable them to achieve total
self-actualization. When I speak
to older people I explain that
Moshiach will bring back relatives
who are no longer alive and will
spare them from age-related
illness. When you explain what
will happen in the Geula they look
forward to it. I have never met
anyone who was put off or had a
problem with the topic.
“One time after a lecture on
Moshiach someone got up and
asked whether these weren’t
dreams that would never happen.

I answered him with a story
that happened with one of the
shluchim in Russia. In the middle
of the seder which took place in a
former KGB auditorium he spoke
about the future geula. Someone
got up and said, ‘Thank you for
the fine meal that you provided
here tonight but leave us alone
about the Geula dreams.’ The
shliach said, ‘Look at where we
are celebrating the holiday of
freedom! Looking back, would
you have believed that this would
ever occur?’ The man had to
admit that no, he would not. The
shliach went on to explain that
this is how we will experience
the Geula. I told this story and
asked my audience whether before
it happened they would have
believed that communism would
collapse and they would make
“When it comes to Moshiach
and Geula, if you are excited about
it you can transmit it to others.”

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12 � • 22 Sivan 5774

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

Radio Moshiach & Redemption
930_bm_eng.indd 12

1620-1640 AM around Crown Heights & Boro Park

1:22:52 AM


By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg

The Jewish people’s 40
year sojourn in the desert was
ostensibly a punishment for
rebelling against the Land of Israel
in the spy saga recounted in last
week’s parsha.
Upon deeper reflection, these
40 years were crucial to the
maturation of the Jewish nation.
Every setback was actually a
lesson how to overcome the many
reverses that we would experience
in the future and enable us to
reach our final destination: the
Messianic Age.
In this week’s parsha we
learn of yet another setback: the
rebellion against Moses and Aaron
launched by their distinguished
cousin Korach. As we will see,
this rebellion provides us with
an invaluable lesson on how we
should view Torah, Moses and
Korach rebelled against Moses
and Aaron’s leadership and
coveted their position for himself.
In order to gain support, Korach
sounded like a populist leader
solely concerned with equality.
Korach thus said to Moses and
Aaron: “You’ve made yourselves
too important! For the entire
congregation are holy and G-d

is with them. So why have you
made yourselves elite over G-d’s

A question has been raised
concerning Korach’s populist
argument. Korach was an
How could he have demanded
that he should be appointed to
high positions with a straight
face? Korach’s argument was
transparently disingenuous. He
argues for total equality and yet
he wants to be in a position of
precisely did Korach have in mind
when he said, “For the entire
congregation are holy and G-d is
with them?”
Rashi explains: “All of them
heard the words from the mouth
of the A-mighty at Sinai… You
were not the only one who heard
at Sinai, ‘I am G-d your L-rd;’
The entire congregation heard.”
This too is difficult to
Korach possibly suggest that
the congregation was equal to
Moses? While everyone heard
G-d utter the first two of the Ten
Commandments, only Moses

heard the others directly from
G-d. Moreover, the Jewish people
themselves begged Moses to
transmit the other commandments
to them because they were too
frightened and overwhelmed by
G-d’s voice. How then could
anyone entertain the ludicrous
notion that they were equal to

To answer these questions
we must first understand the
difference between the first two
commandments that the entire
Jewish nation heard directly from
G-d and the other eight (as well
as the balance of the 613 Biblical
through Moses).
The first two commandments,
“I am G-d Your L-rd…” and
“Do not have any other g-ds…,”
are expansive statements. They
contain all of the commandments
and, hence, all of Judaism.
The first commandment is the
source for and the root of all the
positive commandments. The
second commandment is the
source and root of the negative
commandments. As the Alter
Rebbe explains in his classic work,
the Tanya, that when a Jew is aware
of G-d’s presence and grasps that
nothing truly exists outside of
G-d’s power and light, he or she
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cannot possibly transgress any of
the commandments because that
would be a repudiation of G-d’s
The rest of the commandments
(and all of Judaism’s laws, ethics,
are contained in the first two
commandments, just as a seed
contains the entire structure and
future of the tree which sprouts
from it.
When we compare the
commandments, those that we
heard directly from G-d, with
the other commandments that
we heard through Moses, we can
detect a qualitative difference

willing to concede that Moses’
role of explicating, detailing and
extracting their meaning was an
important function but one he
considered only of secondary
importance. Even if Moses
deserved credit for his teaching
the details, Korach argued that
he did not deserve the status of a
transcendent leader.
Korach, however, did not stop
at that. Our Sages reveal that
Korach accused Moses of making
up the laws! Korach’s astonishing
erroneous belief that the specific
laws Moses revealed were based on
Moses’ personal understanding.
Moses, to Korach, was no more

is related to the idea of division,
the way a bald spot separates two
sections of hair. It is telling that
Unkelus and Rashi both translated
the opening verse of the parsha
– “Va’yikach” as “he separated
Korach artificially separated
the first two commandments
from all the others; he denied
the fundamental linkage between
the core and the particulars.
If Moses could interpret the
Torah according to his own
understanding, Korach reasoned,
so could every Jew apply the Torah
in his or her own way. Korach
argued that G-d’s imprimatur was
only on the essence of Torah, i.e.,
the first two commandments and
not on the other eight (or the 611,
for that matter).

Moshiach will restore the integrity of Torah.
Torah will not be viewed as a fragmented work
of differing levels of importance. Moshiach will instill the
recognition that all segments and dimensions of Torah—
This analysis might account
despite their outward “garb”—derive from one Divine
for the unusual expression Korach
communication at Sinai.
used when he referred to the fact
between them. The first two
commandments are all inclusive,
containing infinite information.
The other commandments appear
to be limited to their specific role
and objective.
Korach thus viewed the role
of Moses as necessary but not
fundamental. To him, all Jews
share the core of Judaism and
attachment to G-d equally. G-d’s
fundamental commandments (“I
am G-d Your L-rd…” and “Do
not have any other g-ds…”) were
heard by all Jews equally. In that
regard they were equal to Moses.
In Korach’s estimation, Moses
and the rest of the congregation
were essentially the same—they
all shared the essence of Torah,
which is one and inseparable from
G-d’s essence. To be sure, he was

qualified to extrapolate from the
common source than anyone else,
and, indeed, in some instances
he felt that Moses distorted the

Korach erred egregiously in
this matter. Not only is the core
of Judaism derived from G-d
and revealed at Sinai, but every
minute detail of the Torah—from
the basic laws to the most minute
nuances—were given by G-d at
Sinai. Moses was endowed with
the ability to touch the core of the
Torah and G-d’s essence; G-d also
empowered him to translate the
details of the core and essence.
Korach was a divider. Indeed,
the very name Korach, which is
cognate to the word for baldness,

that all the Jews heard the Torah
from the “mouth of the G’vuraA-mighty.” Why refer to G-d as
“the G’vura” as opposed to the
more common names for G-d
mentioned in the Torah?
In light of Korach’s desire
to separate the core of Torah
from its details, we can begin to
understand why he chose this
name. G’vura is associated with
G-d’s ability to separate the upper
waters from the lower waters
on the second day of Creation.
Korach appropriated this attribute
and misapplied it to his Torah
dispute with Moses.
Korach accepted the idea
that great intellects have a right
and obligation to interpret the
Torah, to flesh out the particulars
implied by its general statements
and inner core. Korach, however,
felt that no one could claim

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that his interpretation was more
authoritative than any other
intellect’s interpretation. To put
it baldly, Korach challenged the
Divine truth of Moses’ teachings.
Korach was swallowed by the
earth in punishment for asserting
his belief. The punishment
was “measure for measure.”
Just as Korach tried to “bury”
the truth of Moses’ Divinely
directed transmission of the
commandments, so too was he
buried alive. His body was thus
“separated” from the rest of

According to the Talmud,
Korach and his cohorts have
to Moses and now repeatedly
declare from their place of
punishment that “Moses is true
and his teachings are true.”
Truth can be recognized by its
consistency. Korach alleged that
Moses’ explication of the Torah
was inconsistent with G-d’s
essential wisdom. The emphasis
of his confession is therefore that,
in fact, there is no separation
between Moses’ teachings and the
G-dly truth of Torah.

various “Korachs” have tried to
separate the rabbinical laws from
their Biblical counterpart. This
is despite the fact that the Torah
itself authorizes the rabbis to
transmit, interpret and legislate.
As a consequence, their teachings
are no less Divine than those of
Moses. To be sure, there can be
differences between rabbinic law
and Biblical law. For example,
when there is doubt concerning
a Biblical prohibition, the rabbis
have ruled that one must follow the
stricter interpretation. In the case
of doubt concerning a rabbinic
prohibition, by contrast, one may
take the more lenient position.
However, these differences were
anticipated by the Torah itself.
obsession with separation extends
to those who seek to separate the
inner mystical dimension of Torah
from the external legal teachings.

One of the qualities ascribed
to Moshiach in T’hillim is emestruth. Moshiach epitomizes truth
because, like Moses before him,
he does not recognize a dichotomy
between the Biblical and rabbinical

or between the esoteric and the
exoteric. Moshiach, Maimonides
writes, will restore the integrity of
Torah. This suggests that Torah
will not be viewed as a fragmented
work of differing levels of
importance. Moshiach will instill
the recognition that all segments
and dimensions of Torah—despite
their outward “garb”—derive
from one Divine communication
at Sinai.
More specifically, Moshiach
will reveal the essence of Torah
as has never been revealed before,
and establish for all time that
there is no separation between
the essence of Torah and the
particulars. Indeed, the Rebbe, in
a historic essay (On the Essence of
Chassidus), explains that the test
to determine if we are connected
to the essence of Torah is the
degree to which it extends to and
is manifested in the particulars.
The Rebbe explains that we
must prepare for this Messianic
phenomenon by bringing the
teachings of Chassidus (which
are a foretaste of the esoteric and
essential teachings that will be
revealed by Moshiach) to the most
remote of places. This includes
taking the lofty spiritual teachings
of Chassidus and translating them
into a meticulous observance of all
of the commandments.

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How can we overcome jealousy, anxiety
and other worldly distractions that
threaten to derail us? There is a way
to do it, and even an “express lane.” It
pays to stop a moment and get in touch
with the yechida that operates within us
and the electronic circuits it creates, in
order to develop a complete redemptive
operating system.
By R’ Nadav Cohen


t the beginning of the
Rebbe’s nesius, the
Rebbe demanded avoda
avoda of mesirus nefesh, of the
yechida of the nefesh, which is
above reason. It entails devotion
to others while forgoing one’s
own career. Chassidim responded
to this call and the institution of
shlichus has grown continuously.
Many ask, how is it that
Chabad Chassidim are so
successful in shlichus when they
are “regular” people? Where
did all that talent come from
that is needed in order to lead a
The answer is simple – the
success is thanks to hiskashrus
to the Rebbe. Hiskashrus to
the Rebbe is that which helps
a Chassid arouse the aspect
of yechida within him. It is
what helps a Chassid behave
as the yechida demands, to
be completely devoted to the

Rebbe’s shlichus.

In Yemos HaMoshiach, the
yechida will be out in the open;
the essence of every aspect of
nature will be revealed. Today,
the world and nature conceal
G-dliness and the purpose of
creation is not revealed. This
is why problems of hatred,
jealousy and competition crop up
repeatedly. The body hides the
neshama; a person feels his ego
instead of the G-dly truth that
there is nothing but G-d.
When Moshiach will be
revealed he will reveal this
aspect of the yechida within
everyone, and in one instant all
of reality will change. Everyone’s
perspective of reality will change.
Suddenly, he will understand
what is truly important and
what isn’t. Suddenly, he will

understand the purpose of
creation and what his role is in
the world.
The yechida, the essence of
the soul, is constantly united
with G-d and clearly sees that
the entire world is only a coverup, and all the difficulties are
only tests. When a person reveals
the yechida he sees how all the
matters of the world not only do
not interfere with his shlichus but
are there to raise him up. And
when he is elevated he will reach
a state in which he sees how the
matters of this world help him.

The yechida is the spark of
Moshiach within every one of us
and Moshiach is the aspect of the
“general yechida” which reveals
the force of mesirus nefesh
within us, who we truly are.
Moshiach is the one who arouses
the yechida within us.
He reveals within us the
infinite hidden powers of the
soul. He reveals the yechida
within us, thus giving us the
ability to overcome the obstacles
we encounter in daily life and on
When Moshiach is revealed,
he will instantly reveal the
yechida within all the Jews of
the world and all of us will begin
living according to the desire of
the yechida. Not only that, but
he will arouse the yechida of

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the world, thus revealing Hashem’s
desire, showing how all matters of
this world are part of His desire,
since “everything He created, He
created only for His glory.”
Even today, in the final moments
before the Geula, we can arouse the
yechida within us and attain our
personal Geula through hiskashrus
to the Rebbe MH”M, the general
yechida of the Jewish people.
The battle with the animal
soul is a daily battle. We can allow
ourselves to be dragged into it and
be followers, but we also have the
ability to take the lead. By revealing
the spark within us, by remembering
that we have a yechida, whose entire
essence is hiskashrus to Hashem,
we can approach the battle from an
entirely different direction. In order
to attain this we need to open our
eyes and make a change in the way
we look at the world; we need to
wear yechida glasses.

just learning and talking about it
already changes our approach.
For example, someone who loses
his wallet outside the house panics.
As he looks for it, he is worried he
won’t find it. But when someone
misplaces his wallet at home, he
knows that it is somewhere within
reach and it is only a matter of time
before he finds it. So his searching
for it is conducted in a more relaxed
frame of mind.
When we know that we have the
yechida within us, even if we haven’t
revealed it yet, and even if we do not
sense it, it affects our behavior. We
know it’s there and it’s just a matter
of time before it is revealed.


When it comes to anticipating
the Geula, when we know that the
Geula is already here, and it is only
a matter of time until it is revealed
as such, we don’t need to be tense.
Obviously though, we need to do all
we can to make it happen, but the
way we go about it is different.
The amazing thing is that today
even an ordinary person who has yet
to reveal his yechida can start to live
with the Geula. For example, when
a person is facing a test, like a very
profitable business deal but one that
entails desecration of the Shabbos,
G-d forbid, he has two options but
he finds it hard to pick the right
one. It is hard for him to forgo the
profit. If the yechida was revealed
at this fateful moment, there would
be no question whatsoever, for the
yechida is not willing to part from
Hashem for any money in the world.
But since the yechida is concealed,
he can utilize the “express lane” in
order to remind himself that he has a

Let’s look at a practical example
from mivtzaim. Before the revelation
of the yechida, it is possible to have
all kinds of thoughts before going
on mivtzaim such as: how to go
about it, how to begin, how much
to invest, or thoughts about what
people will say. Because mivtzaim
are hard to do!
But when we approach mivtzaim
from the aspect of the yechida, the
aspect of Moshiach, nothing matters
except for “the ultimate Oneness.”
Consequently, all those questions
vanish since the only thing that
matters is fulfilling Hashem’s will.

The revelation of the yechida
is indeed a high level, and this is
why it seems remote and almost
unattainable. But the Rebbe taught
us that it pertains to each of us.
Even if we have not yet revealed it,

yechida. He reminds himself that he
has an inner point which is unwilling
to disengage from Hashem. By
doing this, he can decide to act as he
would if he actually felt the yechida
and thus, withstand the test.
What should he do when he does
not feel the yechida at a time that
he is about to make an important
decision? He must stop for a
moment and remember that there
is a yechida (even if he does not feel
it) and firmly decide that he will act
as the yechida would. This is how
he arouses the spark of Moshiach
within him and begins to march
toward his personal (as well as the
collective) Geula.

In order to attain this we need to change the
way we look at the world; we need to wear
yechida glasses.

The story is told of a Chassid
who wanted to go somewhere and
he asked his mashpia about it. The
mashpia tried to dissuade him by
explaining how it wasn’t appropriate,
but to no avail. He finally suggested
the following: write what you want
to do to the Rebbe and ask for his
consent and blessings.
The Chassid began to write but
when he thought about what the
Rebbe would think when he read it,
he couldn’t write. He was suddenly
reminded how the Rebbe, the
“general yechida,” looks at the world
and he realized that what he wanted
to do was simply inappropriate.
When we are connected to the
Rebbe and set ourselves aside, we
are certainly acting in accordance
with the yechida, with the spark of
Moshiach within us.

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A point from the weekly D’var Malchus for Parshas Shlach with a relevant
message. * Why didn’t the almonds blossom without flowers, why didn’t
Yehoshua allow the hail of stones to finish the job, and why didn’t the
Rebbe Rayatz go free on Gimmel Tammuz?
By Aryeh Kirschenzaft

Little Gershom was very upset
that the fathers of some of his
friends were involved in a terrible
dispute. Last night he was unable
to sleep until his mother promised
him that Moshe would win. This
afternoon he heatedly explained
to all his friends what his mother
told him before he went to sleep:
“Moshe is a man of G-d and he
says what Hashem tells him and
does not say anything on his own.
Whoever argues with him will
certainly lose in the end.”
Ever since the earth opened
up there had been many
developments: the story with

the fire pans, the covering of the
altar, the great plague and Aharon
ending it. Gershom curiously
followed the events for he did not
want to miss a single detail. He
wanted to know, to understand,
and of course, to update his
Today, his mother explained
to him that Hashem told Moshe
that each tribe would write its
name on a stick. On the stick of
their tribe, it would say “Aharon.”
The stick of the chosen tribe
would miraculously flower and
that would finally end the dispute.
Gershom already knew whose
stick would blossom.
In the morning all the Jewish

people came and Gershom met
many of his friends. Moshe took
out all the sticks and they all saw
how the stick that had “Aharon”
written on it had blossomed. The
flowering of the stick did not
excite Gershom as much as the
way it had blossomed. His father
explained that the almonds grew
in stages, just like they grow on
a tree. The rate of its growth was
slow; they grew slowly during the
Hashem did it this way and his
father explained, “The miracle
comes from Hashem who is above
the world. The selection of Aharon
also comes from above; this is

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what Hashem decided and that’s
that. But since Hashem wants His
decision, which transcends the
world, to penetrate into the reality
of the world, the miracle of the
almonds also unfolded in a way
that is consistent with the nature
of this world.”
“So, if I understood correctly,
that means that there will no
longer be a dispute and Aharon
and his sons will be the priests
forevermore,” said Gershom.
“Exactly,” said his father, and
he added, “Not only won’t there
be any dispute, but from now
on, there can no longer be the
possibility of a dispute.”

A unit of soldiers marched
toward the battle. Yehoyada, a
warrior since his youth and known
to be fearless, marched silently
alongside his fellow soldiers. The
sudden mobilization and especially
the effort of the previous night had
taken their toll. Yehoyada knew his
fellow soldiers were as exhausted
as he was, but he made the effort
to look alert so as not to weaken
the others.
That’s that, we have passed
Gilgal. The sun has risen and the
war will soon begin, he thought.
He suddenly felt a slap on his

shoulder, “Yehoyada, my brother,
where are you? Wake up from
your reverie; now is not the time
for that, we are already at war.”
Yehoyada musters the last of
his strength and does all he can
to strike at the enemy. He runs,
gasping for breath up the hill
of Beis Choron, with his hand
seeming to move on its own and
many bodies falling to the right
and left of him. The enemy flees
in all directions but his arms
hurt and his feet falter. The
sun continues to move toward
sunset. The soldiers forget their
exhaustion but in their heart of
hearts they wish for a big miracle
to instantly end this difficult
Then it happened. Large
hailstones began falling on the
enemy like rain. Yehoyada and
his friends stopped and looked
upward in astonishment. “It’s
a miracle!” they said excitedly.
“Hashem is fighting on our
behalf and killing our enemies.”
They spontaneously broke into a
joyous dance which released their
The celebration did not last
long. The rain of stones stopped
and word spread quickly in the
camp: Yehoshua commanded
us not to rest but to continue
fighting! Along with the order
came the information that
Yehoshua had stopped the sun
in order to enable the battle to
Yehoyada was wiped out. He
hadn’t eaten in nineteen hours.
How long could he continue
fighting without a break? But
what most concerned him and
gave him no rest was the question:
What is happening now? Miracle
or no miracle? Is Hashem helping
us or not? Why did Hashem stop
the hail of stones and not finish off
the enemy? As for Yehoshua, the
Nasi Ha’dor, if he can do wonders

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Moshiach & Geula
on the scale of stopping the sun,
why didn’t he continue the deadly
Yehoyada and his comrades
continued fighting. They had
no dissident thoughts against
Yehoshua, G-d forbid. They could
tell that the battle was ending with
a complete victory.
Yehoyada suddenly “got it.” Of
course, Yehoshua could continue
the hail of stones, but that was
not the point. Hashem wants us
to achieve the victory on our own.
“If I could run over to Yehoshua
now and ask him why we need to
fight” – thought Yehoyada – he
would answer me something along
the lines of, “You need help?
You’ll get it! And if you need the
sun, I will stop it for you, but you
should know that the G-dly desire
is that you should accomplish it.
Do all that you can and you will be
Yehoyada doesn’t become
takes a deep breath, and begins
running quickly. He feels younger
than ever. His submissiveness
to Yehoshua’s order infuses him
with a feeling of satisfaction and
calm. With every passing moment
Yehoyada realizes he is in the
midst of a historic event. The
miracle of stopping the sun would
be inscribed in the history of the
Jewish people. Not just the story,
but the lesson too.
Jewish children in future
generations would be taught
this story and would understand
that if, in the midst of battle,
questions arise and things are not
understood, they would have to
remember that Hashem and the
Nasi Ha’dor are always with us. If
it looks like a retreat, that is only
because the Nasi did his part and
gave us the ability to take over.
That’s how it works.

Fishel felt that the world had
crashed around him. Since Purim
he had sensed that something
big was going to happen but he
preferred to think it would not
happen that soon. He reviewed in
his mind the farbrengen that had
taken place on Purim of that year
and immediately felt goose bumps
throughout his body.
Every Chassid who was
present at that farbrengen would
never forget that frightening sight
when the Rebbe Rayatz stood
up, opened his shirt, exposed his
heart, and thumped with his fist
over his heart. Then he cried out
to the Chassidim, telling them
to throw themselves into the fire
rather than send their children
to the communist public school.
Everyone saw the “guests” in the
room who transcribed every word.
The Rebbe clearly alluded to
severe developments and said he
took this upon himself.
Since that farbrengen, Fishel
lived under constant tension for
he knew it was just a matter of
time. Now, with the news about
the arrest of the Rebbe, Fishel
was beside himself with anguish.
He felt dizzy and barely ate. He
said a great deal of T’hillim with
copious tears and hoped to hear
good news.
After a few days the real
situation came to light. Rumor
had it that the Rebbe had been
sentenced to death. Fishel’s heart
began to beat wildly when he
remembered what the Rebbe had
said to his mother at the Purim
farbrengen, moments before he
fainted – “I am doing nothing on
my own; I asked Father [i.e. the
Rebbe Rashab who had passed
away some time before].” Fishel
also remembered what the Rebbe
said, “When you see the body
burning, have no mercy... protect

the head.”
Until he got word of the
Rebbe’s release, each passing
day seemed like a year to Fishel.
He will remember that Gimmel
Tammuz forever. He went, as
he did every morning, to the
little shtibel and was told by his
good friend Pinye that the Rebbe
had been saved from the death
Yes, the Rebbe had been saved!
Fishel breathed a sigh of relief.
He felt as though he was reborn.
The Rebbe was alive! What more
did he need in life … He ran home
and sang a joyous niggun.
Within minutes, he had
returned to the shtibel with an
open bottle. He was drunk with
joy even without mashke. In
happy moments like that the
body fades into insignificance.
In the dim light Fishel noticed
that Pinye was giving him an
odd, perhaps a pitying, look. He
grabbed Pinye with both hands
and began dancing with him.
“Listen, listen a minute, you have
to understand something.” Pinye
tried communicating with Fishel
but was unsuccessful.
After many minutes of dancing,
Fishel stopped to rest. Pinye tried
to take this opportunity. He knew
that in his great joy his friend had
not fully absorbed the news. Now
he had a difficult task. How could
he convey the message to Fishel?
Pinye put his right hand on
Fishel’s left shoulder. He looked
him in the eye and began talking
in measured tones, taking care
with his every word and assessing
whether he was being understood.
“My dear Fishel, our joy is not
complete. The Rebbe was saved
from the death sentence but he is
still not free ...”
Fishel felt the walls beginning
to swirl around him. Pinye
immediately grabbed him and had
him lie down on a long bench near

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the pushkas. Silence fell in the
little shtibel as they looked at one
another and waited for someone
to say something.
Fishel’s voice broke the silence
with a mighty shout. “Solovki?
Ten years? Oy, Rebbe! Hashem,
we want the Rebbe with us! If You
made this big miracle, that the
accursed Russians not attempt to
take the Rebbe’s life, why don’t
You make a complete Geula so
that we can see the Rebbe? Rebbe,
oy Rebbe!”
returned home. On the way, he
concluded that the miracle of the
death sentence being commuted
would certainly be followed by
other miracles until the Rebbe
was completely free. What still
bothered him was why it worked
out this way, that Hashem did a
miracle in stages. Fishel would ask
his most difficult questions to his
wife, Tzippa Bracha, who always
knew what to answer.
In the morning, after Fishel’s
outburst, when he had come to
take the bottle of mashke, Tzippa
Bracha had gone to shul to hear
the news for herself. She had
heard her husband’s outcry and
had a ready answer.
Listen Fishel, the avoda of
a Jew is to create a situation in
which the tachton (the lower
reality) is a vessel for that which
transcends nature. The more the
world is a vessel for G-dliness,
the more the miracle becomes
revealed within it. We are waiting
for a miracle and want it all to
happen instantly. The truth is that
the miracle is already here and we
just need to reveal it. The Rebbe
can be freed in an instant but he
wants his release to come from the
tachton, from below. When the
Russians themselves tell the Rebbe
that he is free to go, that will be
an indication that G-dliness has
penetrated the world. Don’t

worry Fishel, the Rebbe will be
victorious. The day will come
when all of Russia will collapse.
This is just the beginning.
In the merit of the righteous
women. Fishel spent the weeks
to come with feelings of emuna,
bitachon and simcha. Later on,
they heard that the sentence had
been changed to three years of
exile in Kostroma and then, the
Rebbe was fully released on 12
Tammuz and he left on the 13th.

Gimmel Tammuz is not just a
date on the calendar. Every time in
life that we feel that it’s hard, it’s a
sign of a “changing of the guard,”
between “upper” and “lower.”
Obviously, this can only take place
after that which is above nature
begins the process and provides
the necessary kick-start. And if
it’s very difficult, that’s a sign that
the kick-start was that much more
If the almonds had blossomed
without flowers, if Yehoshua
had allowed the rain of stones to
continue, if the Rebbe Rayatz had
gone free on Gimmel Tammuz,
we would not be in the seventh
generation now. The world
is refined and is made into a
dwelling for G-d by the G-dliness
descending and penetrating it.
That’s why flowers were needed,
and a war, and a sentence of exile.
So that the world internalizes
the change in stages and plays a
collaborative role along with the
revelation of G-dliness.
The leaders throughout the
generations conveyed the same
message to us: Do you want to
experience revelation? Reveal
your own inner selves! The stick
miraculously blossomed in the
natural order. Yehoshua provides

the miraculous impetus and has
the nation finish the battle. The
Rebbe Rayatz shows us how he
raised himself above nature while
operating within the natural
order, and ultimately revealed how
nature is not at all in opposition.
We are the last link in the chain
of generations. The Rebbe MH”M
says in a sicha that the inyan of
Gimmel Tammuz repeats itself
each year. It repeats, but each
time in a more advanced form.
This time, the push from above
is that much stronger and what
is expected of us is that much
more demanding. Thousands of
Gimmel Tammuz have passed over
the years. We are experiencing the
final Gimmel Tammuz with the
Geula that follows being the true
and complete Geula.
Let us learn the D’var Malchus
for Korach and we will relate
properly to what happens. The
Nasi Ha’dor did his part, he
gave and gives us the kochos. He
brought the world to a point where
we can finish the job. Now it is up
to us. Our job is to do all that we
can to achieve the complete Geula.
Gimmel Tammuz is not a time
for doubts. Gimmel Tammuz is
THE opportunity to internalize
the idea that now it is in our
hands. To refresh the natural
love of a Chassid for his Rebbe,
to arouse the longing to see our
king, and to show that the waters
of galus can never extinguish the
love, and the rivers of time will not
wash it away.
The main thing is to live every
moment with the feeling that
hinei zeh, the Rebbe MH”M, will
be revealed in all his majesty and
with the sweetest smile in the
world he will take all the Jewish
people directly to the third Beis
V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach
L’olam Va’ed!

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A compilation of stories about the Rebbe that
R’ Boruch Aharon Huss, of Anash of Montreal,
wrote as he heard them from reliable sources,
mostly from the protagonist himself.
The following story was told
by R’ Moshe Habosha of New
York who drove a taxi. He would
often drive someone by the name
of Mr. Gold and one day he
noticed that Mr. Gold was very
sad. R’ Moshe asked him what was
troubling him. Mr. Gold deflected
his question saying, how can you
help me anyway …
After being pressed and Mr.
Gold realizing that R’ Moshe
really sought to be of help, he told
him that his son wanted to marry

a gentile and he was very upset.
R’ Moshe said: There is a
tzaddik who performs miracles,
the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Why don’t
you talk to him?
Mr. Gold accepted this advice
and called the office. He asked
for an immediate appointment
since the matter was urgent;
the wedding date was fast
The secretary arranged for
an early appointment. When Mr.
Gold entered the Rebbe’s room,
he told the Rebbe about the
impending calamity and the Rebbe
said he wanted to meet his son.

Mr. Gold was sure that the
Rebbe planned on dissuading his
son from marrying the woman
and he swiftly arranged an urgent
appointment for yechidus together
with his son.
To Mr. Gold’s great surprise,
the Rebbe did not try anything of
the kind. He only made a “strange
request.” “If you are feeling warm,
ask her (the fiancée) for a cup of
The young man readily
agreed to do this while his father
was furious with R’ Moshe for
referring him to the Rebbe. “I
wasted my time on these two
meetings. They were useless!”
R’ Moshe calmed replied,
“Wait and see; it will all work
About a week before the
wedding there was a party that the
engaged couple attended. During

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was younger, that someone who
transgresses becomes a chariot for
The holy words of the Baal
HaTanya kept reverberating in his
mind and in his heart a war was
waged between the Tanya and the
pleasures of this world in which he
was immersed. In the end, Tanya
won and today he is a Chassidishe
man with a fine Chassidishe


the party the groom felt warm and
he remembered what the Rebbe
had told him and asked his bride
for a cup of water.
She opened a bottle of soda
and it fizzed all over the place
and since she wasn’t careful, it
spritzed her in her face and got all
over her. She was mad and began
to scream at him, saying, “You
dirty Jew ...”
The young man, who had
thought that a gentile’s hatred
for Jews was something from the
previous century and not for our
modern day and age, was shocked
to behold her spontaneous antiSemitism and of course, the
wedding was called off.

I heard the following story
from R’ Sholom Leib Eisenbach
who heard it from the protagonist:

A bachur from a Chassidishe
home went off the derech. His
father, who went to the Rebbe,
asked for a bracha for his son
and the Rebbe said: I have already
broken the ice in him.
The father was happy to hear
these encouraging words and left
the Rebbe’s room feeling hopeful.
A few days went by and he
received a phone call from the
mashgiach in the yeshiva in Kfar
Chabad who told him that his son
had come to him and pleaded,
with tears, to be allowed back into
the yeshiva. The boy was learning
and davening like a baal t’shuva.
Afterward, the son said that
while his father was in yechidus,
he was somewhere (not a good
place) when suddenly, the words
from Tanya chapter 6 began
to ring in his ears. They were
words he had learned when he

I heard the following story
from Vizhnitzer Chassidim as
they heard it from their Rebbe, the
Admur, R’ Yisroel.
The Admur once went to visit
a Jew in Los Angeles who was
not a Lubavitcher and mentioned
that he was planning on visiting
the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The man
asked him: Aren’t you afraid to
appear before the Rebbe? When
the Rebbe looks at you, he knows
everything about you!
The Admur asked: How do
you know that?
The man said that he once had
heart trouble and he had to be in
the hospital. Although he was not
a Lubavitcher Chassid, he knew
the Rebbe’s address and he wrote
him a letter asking for a bracha.
While in the hospital he was
overcome by temptation and he
made up with a gentile nurse to
elope with her on Shabbos. Erev
Shabbos, while he was still resting
in bed, the nurse came in and
woke him up in a fright. When he
asked why she was waking him
up she said that a rabbi from New
York had called and insisted it was
an emergency and he could not
leave a message.
He went to the phone and it
was R’ Chadakov on the line who
said: The Rebbe said you should
go home immediately, before

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During the party the groom felt warm and he
remembered what the Rebbe had told him and
asked his gentile bride for a cup of water.

The man, who had other plans,
began arguing with R’ Chadakov,
giving him all sorts of excuses.
R’ Chadakov said: Don’t play
with fire. When the Rebbe says
something, you need to obey!
The man tried another angle:
It’s almost Shabbos. If I leave now
I might get home after Shabbos
begins …
He suddenly heard the Rebbe
pick up the phone in his office
and say to R’ Chadakov: Tell him
it’s my responsibility; he should go
and not delay.
When he realized that the
Rebbe knew exactly what he
planned to do, he gave up and
went home. On the way, he caught
himself, like someone waking up
from a bad dream, and he began
to cry and do t’shuva.
This is the story the Vizhnitzer
Rebbe heard.

I heard from R’ Yosef Shimon
Berezki, a Breslover Chassid who
lives in Montreal:
When his wife gave birth to
one of their children, she was in
great danger and was miraculously
saved. When she was pregnant
again he mentioned her name to
the Rebbe.
The Rebbe treated them
unusually warmly and asked to
be informed when she went to the
hospital, and after she had given
birth. They were most surprised
by the Rebbe’s involvement.
While they were in the hospital
a nurse asked him whether there
are prophets nowadays. R’ Yosef

Shimon wondered why she was
asking and she immediately
explained. She was in the process
of doing t’shuva and since she
had begun keeping Shabbos she
wondered whether she should
leave her job at the hospital since
it entailed Shabbos desecration.
She wanted to ask the Rebbe
and although she had other
questions, she decided to ask just
this one question about Shabbos.
Based on the answer she would
receive she would decide whether
to ask the rest of her questions.
Within a short time she
received a detailed answer from
the Rebbe which said that since it
was a Jewish hospital, according
to halacha she was allowed to
do any melacha for Jews that
had a medical purpose and she
should just be careful not to do
unnecessary melacha. The Rebbe
also wrote that if she could find
another nurse to take her place
and she could find another job, she
could consider that. In general,
since she was in the process of
t’shuva, she needed to be careful
not to take drastic steps because
this could be harmful.
She liked the Rebbe’s detailed
response but was absolutely
flabbergasted when she saw, after
this answer, some additional
paragraphs with detailed answers
to the questions she had thought
of asking but did not ask!

Another heavenly story that
I heard from R’ Yosef Shimon
One of his sons was already
older and not married. One night

he dreamed that he had yechidus
with the Rebbe: he, his wife, and
the bachur, and the Rebbe blessed
him and his wife.
When he woke up he could not
remember what the Rebbe said in
the dream. He only remembered
that the Rebbe said to the bachur,
“You will be a chassan within five
That morning, even though
there was nothing new on the
shidduch horizon, he said to his
wife, “Mazal tov! In another five
weeks our son will be a chassan.”
And that is what happened, five
weeks later he became engaged.
The dream was on 6 Teves 5771
and on 15 Shevat the bachur
became a chassan.

I heard the following story
from R’ Yosef Minkowitz:
When R’ Yosef was a student in
770 a crazy person hung around
there who said he was Moshiach.
The man was not religious but
he decided he was Moshiach and
he wrote an entire booklet about
this with proofs. Of course, the
bachurim had a good time with
him …
yechidus. He arranged an
appointment and after waiting
three months he told the Rebbe
his fantasies. The Rebbe looked
at his booklet and said: When the
Rambam enumerates the signs
for Moshiach he writes: “Toils in
Torah and is involved in mitzvos”
– so you should start putting
on t’fillin. Another sign in the
Rambam is “and he will compel all
Jews to follow it [the Torah] and
strengthen its breaches” – so you
should convince your neighbors
and friends to do so.
The man left the Rebbe happily
and said: I was by the Rebbe and

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he agrees with me. From that point
on he put on t’fillin every day.

The following story happened
to me:
A few years ago I was in a bad
accident when my car collided
with a bus. I lost consciousness
and when I awoke I was in the
hospital and had no recollection
of what had occurred and how I
had gotten to the hospital. I was
disoriented and I was very afraid
that this sensation would not go
When my son came to my
hospital room I asked him to
look for my glasses and yarmulke
that flew off in the accident. He
looked in the bag they brought
with me to the hospital and found
a photocopy of a letter from the
Rebbe from the Igros Kodesh
volume 4, letter #955.
The letter said that everything
Hashem does is for the good and
everyone can understand this
rationally since Hashem is the
essence of goodness and only
He can do everything and He
loves every Jew etc. It’s just that
we need to bring this down from
our intellects to our emotions
and feel that everything is good
and then we will be shown the
good openly. It is hard, but it is
easier for someone who grew up
among Chassidim or someone
who married with Chassidim and
set up his home in the ways of
When I read the letter, this
strengthened me very much and
I literally saw it as a revelation
of G-dliness. Boruch Hashem, I
miraculously emerged from the
accident without any harm done.
At the time I could not recall how
I happened to have the letter in my
pocket. It was only later on that I
remembered that I had once seen

it in shul on the table and I put it
in my pocket. I had not looked at
it again until the right time came.

I heard the following story
from both R’ Meshulam Tzvi
Jacobowitz and R’ Binyamin Klein:
R’ Shlomo Zalman Katz, rav
of the Toldos Aharon beis midrash
in Williamsburg, the son-in-law
of the previous Toldos Aharon
Rebbe, would often write to the
Rebbe. One time he wrote but did
not receive a response. He figured
it was just one of those times that
the Rebbe did not respond as it
was known that the Rebbe did not
always respond.
Thirty years went by, with
Gimmel Tammuz in between,
and the Rebbe’s secretary, R’
Binyamin Klein, found a letter in
the Rebbe’s office that the Rebbe
had written to R’ Katz. R’ Klein
contacted his friend, R’ Meshulam
Tzvi Jacobowitz who lives in
Williamsburg next to R’ Katz’s
home, and asked him to deliver
the letter.
R’ Meshulam took the letter
and called R’ Katz but he wasn’t
home and the letter remained with
R’ Meshulam. Two months later,
R’ Klein asked him whether he had
delivered the letter and he said he
hadn’t, because he wasn’t home.
R’ Klein asked him to at least
call R’ Katz in Eretz Yisroel and
convey to him the contents of the
R’ Meshulam found out where
he could reach R’ Katz, and in the
meantime he found out that R’
Katz had just had a heart attack
in Eretz Yisroel. He called him
and told him what the letter said.
It was a seemingly typical letter
but at the end, the Rebbe blessed
him with a complete recovery and
included seven dollars for tz’daka.

The interesting thing is that
when the Rebbe wrote the letter,
R’ Katz was healthy and had only
two children, but by the time he
heard about the letter he needed a
bracha for a refua shleima and he
had seven children.

I heard the following story
from the shliach in Cape Coral in
Florida, R’ Y.Y. Labkowski:
A world famous cardiologist
once called him and said he had
s’farim he did not need which he
wanted to donate to the Chabad
house. When they met the doctor
said that he had some connection
to Chabad and he had once
received a dollar from the Rebbe
and the Rebbe told him that he
would become famous. This came
true but he was upset since he lost
the dollar.
As they spoke, the shliach
looked through one of the s’farim
the man had brought him and
found the dollar from the Rebbe in
it. The doctor began to cry, he was
so overcome, and he said that he
felt the Rebbe had just sent him a
opportunity and asked him to put
on t’fillin which he agreed to do.
From then on, he began putting
on t’fillin and attending shiurim.
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R’ Berish was the image of a Chassid and a man of
warmth, good to heaven and good to his fellow.
While he himself was particular about his learning
and his conduct to an extreme, he treated others
with openness and great warmth and had a smile
for everyone. * About the Chassid, R’ Dov Berish
Rosenberg a”h who was a model of a Chassid. *
2nd and final chapter.
By Shneur Zalman Berger

After the Rosenberg family
arrived in Eretz Yisroel they lived
briefly in an immigrant camp in
Pardes Chana. They then moved
to Lud near the train station where
Lubavitcher Chassidim formed the
first Chabad k’hilla in the city.
The financial situation at the
time was unbearable. The place
where their home was located was
not connected to electricity or
water. There was no decent work
to be had. At first R’ Berish worked
cleaning the streets of Lud, but
was fired after two weeks. Then he
found even harder work, loading
and unloading cinder blocks. This
was hard labor which caused him
to become sick and he was forced
to quit.
There was no money in the
house for food so the family picked
oranges and sabras (prickly pears)
that grew in the neighborhood.
As time passed, the neighborhood

filled up and there was plenty
of work in his mother-in-law’s
grocery store. They decided they
needed to distribute milk to the
houses. R’ Berish took this job.
This was very hard work. Every
day he loaded three canisters onto
a wagon, each one containing
thirty liters of milk. He would then
have to drag the wagon with the
heavy canisters of milk from house
to house. He worked at this job
for five years until the birth of his
daughter, Nechama.
On the day she was born he
got a job at the central post office
of Lud. The house was connected
to the electric grid and the
Rosenberg family’s mazal began to
As the years went by he was
promoted at work until he became
the manager of the Lud branch.
His fellow employees admired
and loved him. He worked there
for thirty years until he reached
retirement age.

Work to R’ Berish was solely
in order to support his family. He
never thought about how to make
more money. He did not waste his
time. When he sat at the service
window to serve the customers he
used every free moment to learn.
One day, a resident of another
city who did not know him walked
into his branch. He saw the sign
“Post Office” and walked in.
When he saw R’ Berish immersed
in his learning he walked out. R’
Berish called out to him, “What
do you need?” The man replied,
“I thought it’s a synagogue here,
while I am looking for a post
He was particular about
tznius and protecting his eyes
from forbidden sights. Every
day he went to work by bicycle
with his head down so as not to

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R’ Berish with his son Shimon in the Poking refugee camp in Germany

see undesirable sights. All the
employees knew that when he
received money from a woman he
put a handkerchief on his hand.
During work hours he learned
and was mekarev others to
Judaism as Ovadia Sigman, one of
the postal employees, related:
“I worked with him for many
years. He was a tzaddik and
humble. When he received his
salary he never looked at the pay
stub. I was born in Iraq where
there was no Jewish school. When
I came here I knew nothing about
Judaism. I did not even know
about lighting Chanuka lights.
Thanks to him I began putting
t’fillin on every morning. Every
day he would come to check my
hands to see if they had t’fillin
marks and he did this with a smile
and a lot of heartfelt warmth.”
Pinchas Cohen, also a postal
employee, said that he and his
family became baalei t’shuva

thanks to R’ Berish. Thanks to
him, all the postal employees wore
kippot and put t’fillin on every
day. There was a pair of t’fillin
which he brought to the branch,
and every day the employees
would use them.
When the Rebbe announced
the Torah scroll for Jewish
children, he registered the children
of the postal workers for a letter.
He arranged minyanim and on
Sukkos he enabled the employees
to do the mitzva of the dalet
minim. On Purim he would give
out mishloach manos and he gave
out shmura matza before Pesach.
Before going to 770 he collected
letters to the Rebbe from all of
Over the years he urged and
encouraged the postal employees
to keep mitzvos. He would also
provide help and encouragement
in their material matters and
concerns. When a fellow worker

slacked off on the job and had
to write an apology letter to the
manager, R’ Berish would help
him word it. He also helped them
with loans.
He did his work at the post
office with great dedication
and was awarded a prize as an
outstanding employee.
After many years as a clerk
he was appointed manager of
another branch. The employees
at the central branch were upset
and said he had to manage the
central branch, not some other
branch. R’ Berish, as always, said
to them, “Where they send me
is where I need to be. What, do
I need honor? Headaches? At
that branch I’ll be able to learn
in peace.” That was R’ Berish.
He did not consider the higher
salary or advancement, but how he
would be able to devote his time to
After hours of work he
was busy with mivtzaim. The
residents in Shikun Chabad in
Lud remember him always on his
bicycle going to a shiur or going
to put t’fillin on with one of his
mekuravim. R’ Berish hardly
spoke about his activities.
He always saw fit to greet
others first. His son, R’ Shimon
“I met someone from the
Neve Zayis neighborhood in Lud.
He asked me whether I was R’
Rosenberg’s son since I look just
like him. ‘Every morning, your
father passed my house on his
bicycle and said good morning
with such a shining face. I waited
every morning for his greeting
because I felt that my entire day
was blessed thanks to him. In the
afternoons I determined the exact
time of his return trip and would
cross to the other side of the street
in order to get his greeting.’”

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At his job at the post office an incident occurred in which R’ Berish cleverly
saved a letter that came from Russia from a Chassid who was sent there by the
Rebbe. The letter was addressed to the Rebbe but the postal workers nearly
sent it back to Russia. R’ Notke Barkahan described what happened:
“This took place in the 60’s. I was sent to check out the state of Judaism
in Georgia. At the end of the shlichus, which was full of adventures, I returned
to Riga. On my way there I passed through Odessa where I wrote a detailed
report to the Rebbe. In those days communication with Israel was still possible
while writing letters to the US was a serious crime. That is why I wrote the
letter and sent it via R’ Efraim Wolf.
“In my report I described Judaism in Georgia in detail. I knew that if the
letter fell into the wrong hands I would be in danger. I knew that the letter
had to be written anonymously so that nobody would know that I wrote it.
After much thought I wrote on the envelope that the letter had been sent from
Odessa and used a fictitious address. I was also very careful how I addressed
it and instead of using Ephraim’s name I wrote: To my brother Menasheh Zev,
Rechov Ploni, Number Almoni, Lud, Israel. I deliberately stressed the words
Ploni and Almoni.
“Afterward, I learned that the letter had arrived at the central post office
in Lud. The postal workers did not know what to do with it since it did not
have a name and there was no address aside from Ploni and number Almoni.
R’ Berish Rosenberg, who was working in the branch at that time, said that a
letter from Russia should not be sent back. He took the envelope and tried to
figure out what it meant. In the end, he got it. My brother Menasheh had to be
Efraim. And Zev in Yiddish is Wolf, so he knew it was meant for Efraim Wolf.
The letter made it to the right person and from there it was forwarded to the

R’ Berish wanted to be a sofer
and he asked the Rebbe about this.
The answer was: “The matter is
most proper and for a number
of reasons.” He started learning
safrus and wrote his first t’fillin for
the son of R’ Aharon Offen, for his
bar mitzva. To R’ Berish, fear of
heaven preceded everything which
is why he wrote the t’fillin with
holiness and in purity. Whenever
he reached the name of G-d he
immersed in a mikva.
R’ Berish heard a story about
an eighty year old man who was
found sobbing bitterly. He found
out that the t’fillin he had worn
since his bar mitzva were not
kosher from the start, which meant
he had never done the mitzva

of t’fillin. R’ Berish thought, if I
heard this story now, when I have
just begun the work of safrus, this
is a sign from heaven that I don’t
need to be a sofer.
What would he do with the
t’fillin he had already written? He
went to one of the famous scribes
in Yerushalayim and ordered
parshiyos of t’fillin from him.
Then he asked R’ Offen to return
the parshiyos of the t’fillin he had
written and in exchange, gave him
the mehudar t’fillin he had bought.
But what would he do with the
Rebbe’s response that he should
be a sofer? He fulfilled this by
occasionally making corrections in
Torah scrolls in the Chabad shul in
Lud, work he did until the end of
his life.

The Rosenberg home was
open to all guests, invited or not.
He brought them all home and
those he did not bring, came on
their own. Everybody knew this
and when someone came to the
neighborhood who needed a place
to sleep, he was sent to R’ Berish’s
His son, R’ Yosef Yitzchok,
remembers the guests who slept in
his room. At night he would cover
his head with a blanket because he
was afraid of them. Sometimes,
the children slept on the floor of
their parents’ room, when their
beds were occupied by sleeping
When the yeshiva Tomchei
T’mimim was first starting out
in Lud, the talmidim slept in his
home until his daughters grew
older. Then the hanhala of the
yeshiva was forced to open a
proper dormitory.

R’ Berish learned diligently.
In his house he had many s’farim
which he went through from
beginning to end. While he ate he
had a seifer in front of him. On
a weekday it would be the Toldos
Yaakov Yosef, on Friday nights
he always perused the Noam
Elimelech and on Shabbos day it
was Tiferes Shlomo. In later years,
when they started putting out the
Rebbe’s sichos every week, he
would read sichos at the Shabbos
Every year he completed
numerous tractates, aside from
his regular shiurim in Daf Yomi,
and he acquired a tremendous
knowledge of Shas. His sonin-law R’ Yitzchok Yehuda
Yaroslavsky said:
Shabbos, Parshas Emor, I spoke

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with someone about matters
written in the Haftora for Emor
which are mentioned in Shas
and contradict one another. On
Motzaei Shabbos I met with my
father-in-law and asked him about
it. He quoted all the sources in
Shas with their precise location.
He did this matter-of-factly and
modestly, saying, ‘I think that
topic is brought on page such
and such.’ I looked up the places
he said and all the sources were
accurate. This was also the case
several times when I looked for
a maamer Chazal. When I asked
him, he immediately told me the
source. He was expert in much of
the Midrash too, sifrei Chassidus,
and more.
“In general, he was an
outstanding baal halacha. When
the topic was about the laws of
Shabbos and eruvin, he always
displayed expert knowledge. He
once told me that he learned the
laws of mikvaos in depth with all
the Rishonim together with a rav
that rules on halachic issues. This
was the reason he would assist R’
Meilich Kaplan in filling up the
mikva in Lud.”

R’ Berish was a model Chassid
with all that connotes. As a
rule, matters of this world were
insignificant to him. To him,
the main things were t’filla with
kavana, learning and spreading
the wellsprings, as his motherin-law, Perel Lishner said, “Put a
fatted turkey or dry bread in front
of Berish – it was all the same to
He was knowledgeable not
only in learning but also in stories
of Chassidim, most of which he
heard from R’ Yisroel Neveler/
Levin. These stories were the
guiding lights for the Chassidic
conduct which characterized him.

R’ Berish in a typical pose. He is blessing his son Shimon, the chassan, in the yichud room.

R’ Berish was very particular about tznius. One Tishrei, a family from
Nachalas Har Chabad went to the Rebbe. The father submitted a note to the
Rebbe asking from what age should his daughters wear long socks and long
sleeves and for how long could little girls wear pants. The Rebbe’s answer was,
there is a man here from Lud, R’ Berish Rosenberg. Ask him what to do.
R’ Berish did not have his daughters wear pants from the age of three and
from the age of five he was particular about long sleeves and socks.
His daughter Esther Grossman relates:
“Tznius was the first order of importance to my father. We were the only
ones in Lud who wore long socks even before we went to school. They all said
about us: they will be rebbetzins. Their prediction came true.”
R’ Berish was particular not only about others but about himself. When he
worked as a milkman, giving out milk to women, he would not look at them.
He would pour the milk until sometimes it spilled.
R’ Berish fasted often. He
kept his fasting to himself so that
even his wife did not know. It
was only many years later that
she discovered it. R’ Berish would
not eat supper and would always
suffice with mezonos. However,
when he would wash his hands to
eat bread in the evening his wife
knew that he would be fasting the
next day.
His daughter Esther relates:
“My father would get up early,
at 4:30. He said the brachos

slowly. Till today, it rings in my
After he said the morning
brachos he would sit and learn
Chassidus and daven with
d’veikus, slowly and with a special
niggun. On Shabbos he would
cover his face with his tallis.
When he would glance over at his
children to see whether they were
davening properly, they would
notice that his eyes were red from
These behaviors and his
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On Rosh HaShana during the t’kios R’ Berish would cry bitterly until the
women in the women’s section would start to cry. He was the makree (lit. one
who calls out, i.e. what sound to blow next – Chabad custom is to just point in
the Machzor and not actually say T’kia etc.) and he stood next to R’ Aryeh Leib
Lipsker who blew the shofar.
On Motzaei Yom Kippur he was very joyous and while everyone rushed to
eat, he remained in shul and continued to dance.
On Sukkos he would build the shul sukka himself despite his age and
despite being considered a distinguished Chassid. He also took care of
the s’chach. Every night he would participate in a Simchas Beis HaShoeiva
farbrengen that lasted until morning, as the Rebbe said.
Nobody could remain indifferent when seeing R’ Berish dancing on
Simchas Torah. He would fire everyone up. Even in his later years he would
dance like a young person. When they all tired, he continued dancing. R’ Dovid
Ta’izi said that he knows baalei t’shuva who were “turned on” to Judaism by R’
Berish dancing on Simchas Torah.
R’ Berish organized everything for the big Yud-Tes Kislev farbrengen. He
rode his bicycle from house to house and asked every woman to cook for the
seuda. He also made sure that the people living in Nir Tzvi, near Lud (where
he helped maintain the minyan on Shabbos) would attend the big farbrengen.
For Pesach he would prepare water from Erev Pesach for all seven days of
the holiday. When he got up to Nishmas in the Hagada, he would cry bitterly.
His son-in-law, R’ Yaroslavsky, described his Shavuos:
The first year after I married I spent Shavuos in Lud and they davened
Shacharis at dawn where they davened quickly because they were tired. I
was most impressed to see my father-in-law davening slowly. He waited until
after the Torah reading and then continued davening for a long time, even
after everyone else had left the shul. After davening he went home and made
kiddush. He rested for two hours and then got up and continued learning all
day. He said that at Mattan Torah we need to use the day for learning.
unique personality are what led
the residents of Shikun Chabad
in Lud to accept him as their
mashpia. Many people consulted
with him about all sorts of things,
material and spiritual, and at
farbrengens he would speak
and farbreng although he would
customarily speak briefly.
Another role he took on was
as the gabbai of the Chabad shul
in Lud. He did this job too, with
his usual seriousness, as he did
the rest of his jobs. He always
made certain that everything was
in order. He would go to the shul
early on Shabbos and Yom Tov
in order to straighten everything

out. He considered himself more
of a shamash of the shul than the
From the many anecdotes
told about his gabbaus we
chose to relate one incident
that demonstrates his wisdom
combined with his characteristic
Ahavas Yisroel.
There were some local
residents who regularly davened
at this shul. One Shabbos, some
of them wanted to put one over on
a certain fellow who was a driver
for a living and they said that the
fifth aliya is for “wagon drivers.”
R’ Berish did not know about this
conversation, and for some reason

called the man up for the fifth
The man was greatly offended.
He said to R’ Berish, “I am a
‘wagon driver’ but it is insulting to
specifically give me this aliya.”
R’ Berish quickly figured out
what had happened and he said,
“G-d forbid, it’s the opposite.
This aliya is considered the most
honorable. Rabbanim get this
aliya. See what happens over
subsequent Shabbasos.”
And from then on, R’ Berish
only called up rabbanim and
distinguished people for the fifth

On 8 Sivan 5734/1974, after
the wedding of a Lubavitcher
in Yerushalayim, some Chabad
Chassidim went home in a taxi
together. At the Beit Shemesh
junction, the taxi veered off the
road and turned over. Four people
lost their lives in that accident:
R’ Shneur Zalman Garelik – the
elderly rav of Kfar Chabad, R’
Yeshaya Weiss of Lud, R’ Yechiel
Meir Yehuda Goldberg – R’
Berish’s son-in-law, the husband
of his daughter Shifra, and
Nechama Rosenberg, R’ Berish’s
R’ Berish had also attended
this wedding and he arrived at
the scene in another car. Together
with others, he helped remove the
injured without knowing that he
was also evacuating his daughter
and son-in-law. The latter two
were critically injured and died
shortly afterward.
When he arrived at the Shaarei
Tzedek hospital in Yerushalayim
he found out the bitter truth. The
family’s grief was double, for the
daughter who was a kalla and for
their son-in-law. Those who went
to console the family during the
Shiva could not find what to say in

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light of such a tragedy. R’ Berish
rose above the terrible sorrow and
it was he who consoled those who
came, with words of emuna and
bitachon in Hashem.
transcended his feelings and acted
as he did every Shabbos, with
simcha and shining countenance,
as his son-in-law, R’ Yaroslavsky,
“On Shabbos he put on his
Shabbos clothing and you could
see that he had expelled mourning
from his heart. He also told his
family that it was forbidden to
mourn on Shabbos. I myself got
up several times from the Shabbos
meal because I could not go on
… And he sat and sang Shabbos
z’miros as he did every Shabbos.
You could not see any mourning
on him whatsoever.
“After the Shiva, when they
returned from the cemetery, the
first thing he did was go to the
mikva saying, ‘I did not go to the
mikva for a week.’”
From then on he gave a shiur in
Chassidus every night in Yeshivas
Tomchei T’mimim in Lud, l’ilui
nishmas his daughter Nechama.
He began delivering the shiur at
the end of Av 5734 but stopped
after a year. The bachurim went to
his house and pleaded with him to
continue, but he refused.

He once showed someone a
horrifying picture of himself from
the labor camp in which his head
is bare and he has no beard. He
said, “I will enter Gan Eden with
this picture.”
On 11 Tammuz 5744, his
father’s birthday, he told his
household, “It says in s’farim that
when a person reaches the age of
his forebears he needs to prepare
for the day of death.”

with him to Eretz Yisroel to give
it out to his family. Upon arriving
home, he opened the paper in
which it had been wrapped and
saw it had rotted and could not be


At a sheva brachos

His father was murdered by
the Nazis when he was 65 and five
months and R’ Berish died at the
identical age, 65 and five months.
That day, 11 Tammuz, was
a special day for him. He held a
seuda and said Mishnayos with
special enthusiasm. He showed
pictures of his parents to whoever
entered the house, pictures he
otherwise never took out.
On Simchas Torah 5745,
the last in his life, he was at the
Rebbe. When the Rebbe passed
by him with a Torah on his
way to hakafos, he wished the
Rebbe, “May you merit to live yet
another year.” The Rebbe usually
responded in kind but this time, he
was silent. R’ Berish immediately
said, “Oy, that’s that.”
That month, odd things
happened to him. The wine from
the kos shel bracha of the Rebbe
spilled, and he lost the lekach that
the Rebbe gave him Erev Yom
Kippur. When his mechutan, R’
Moshe Yaroslavsky heard about
this, he gave him from the special
challa he received from the Rebbe
for his hospitality. R’ Berish was
very happy and brought the challa

It seems R’ Berish sensed what
would occur. On his final day, his
conduct was unusual. It was a
Friday, the 10th of Shevat, 5745.
He paid all his debts down to the
last penny, whether it was money
for maamud or in places where he
had bought on credit.
That day, he went to the post
office and told everyone, “I came
to say goodbye.” Before retiring
he had left a pair of t’fillin at the
post office so that employees
could continue to use them. On
this last visit he asked, “Do you
put on t’fillin? They should not
remain orphaned,” he warned.
After davening Mincha, he
taught the maamer Basi L’Gani
in the Beis Aryeh shul, as is
customary on Yud Shevat. After
Kabbalas Shabbos he went home,
ate the Shabbos meal, and sat and
learned until almost midnight. He
learned his shiurim of Daf Yomi,
Rambam ( – he always learned
the next day’s shiur at night),
his daily shiur in Yerushalmi,
and more. He even learned
with his granddaughter, Miriam
Grossman, about Shabbos Shira
and feeding the birds on Shabbos
according to the Rebbe’s sicha.
When he finished learning
he prepared negel vasser next
to his bed and went to sleep. He
suddenly felt unwell. He asked his
wife for a cup of water and to call
an ambulance. He passed away
before the ambulance arrived. He
was called to the heavenly yeshiva
on Motzaei Yud Shevat, the day
that the Rebbe Rayatz passed
away and the Rebbe accepted the
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“My wife had gone in for yechidus hoping to
receive one very important blessing. She gave
several people the opportunity to pass her in
line, and she ended up being one of the last
people privileged to go before the Rebbe. As
she stood before the Rebbe’s penetrating look,
she felt his great love for all his Chassidim…”
By Nosson Avraham
Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry


he Tilles family is a
“charter member” of the
Chabad community in
the Holy City of Tzfas.
With the express instructions of the
Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, they
left Crown Heights and established
their residence in the city of
Kabbalah in the Upper Galilee.
The head of the family, Rabbi
Yerachmiel Tilles, is one of the
founding directors of the Ascent
Institute. A warmhearted Chassid
with a perpetual smile on his

lips, he is well known throughout
Eretz Yisroel and the world atlarge for his uncanny ability to tell
Chassidic stories from generations
Rabbi Tilles and his wife,
Shulamis, have two sons: Yehuda
Shmuel and Yosef Yitzchak
Eliyahu. They were born after
the couple had been married
for approximately ten years and
only after they were privileged to
receive a very special bracha from
the Rebbe. The story of their sons’

birth is most unique and moving.

“Four years after we had
immigrated to Eretz Yisroel and
settled in Tzfas we still hadn’t
been blessed with children. In
5740 we were on a visit to New
York and we were privileged to
have a yechidus with the Rebbe.
Before going in we wrote a kvittel
with a list of requests we wanted
to make, a considerable portion
of which dealt with our desire
for a bracha to increase the size

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of our family. This was not our
only private audience with the
Rebbe. We had been privileged to
enter the Rebbe’s inner chamber
shortly before our wedding, and
it was a very special and unique
“During the yechidus the
Rebbe’s face shone, and he gave
us an abundance of brachos.
Every subject raised in our letter
merited his special attention,
save one – having children. The
Rebbe totally ignored our plea
to receive a bracha for children.
When we left Gan Eden HaElyon
I chose to look at the glass as half
full: I was extremely pleased by
all the brachos we had received.
However, my wife, who had been
anticipating the main bracha,
was distraught, and she regretted
the fact that she hadn’t asked the
Rebbe expressly for this bracha
while in his presence.
“Later, we recalled that
there was one bracha that the
Rebbe repeated three times
during the yechidus. On several
issues the Rebbe had mentioned
that ‘everything should be in

complete health.’ We were already
well established in the ways of
Lubavitcher Chassidim, and we
knew that if the Rebbe chooses the
unusual step of noting something
three times it isn’t for naught.
“Six months later the Rebbe’s
words became quite clear. The
yechidus had taken place during
the month of Tishrei. A few days
before Pesach, on the tenth of
Nissan, we were driving from
Netanya to Tzfas. Shortly after
passing Karmiel, I lost control of
the car, which flipped over several
times before eventually landing
along the side of the highway.
Those brief moments were terribly
frightening. As we lay there in the
upturned car, we were certain that
our time in this world had come to
an end.
“The car was completely
totaled. I’ll never forget those
terrifying moments. However,
the power of life is stronger
than all else, and after the initial
shock wore off, we managed to
get out of the overturned car
unassisted. Incredibly, we had
escaped this harrowing experience

uninjured without even a scratch.
When we looked at the wrecked
automobile and then at ourselves
we immediately realized that we
had been saved by a tremendous
miracle. In a case of amazing
Divine Providence, among the
drivers in the chain of cars that
had stopped due to the accident
was the owner of the produce
store in Tzfas’ Kiryat Chabad
apartment complex. He drove
us back to Tzfas, stunned by the
extent of this incredible miracle.
“Everyone who saw the
condition of the car was
flabbergasted by how we had
emerged unscathed. Several hours
later when we were back at home
we remembered what the Rebbe
told us in yechidus: ‘Everything
should be in complete health.’
Now all the pieces in the puzzle

“Just before Yud-Tes Kislev
5742, my wife decided to fly alone
to New York for a visit to 770.
The ‘private audiences’ with the
Rebbe had stopped and people
began meeting with the Rebbe in

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Before R’ Yerachmiel Tilles began his association with Chabad Chassidim,
his father had called him Rachmiel, not Yerachmiel. “Prior to my involvement
in Yiddishkait I wasn’t particularly interested in the matter because I had a
non-Jewish nickname. When I later asked people about it, they told me
that they were certain it was short for my full name. However, my father
stated with conviction that he had named me after his father, my paternal
grandfather. The issue always arose whenever I was called up for an aliya to
the Torah or when I was asked to sign my name in Hebrew.
“At a certain point I decided to write a letter to the Rebbe on the matter.
After receiving no reply I wrote a second time – without affixing my signature
and asking him what my real name was. The Rebbe responded with a letter,
noting that my name is Yerachmiel – and that’s what I’ve been called ever
since. Five years later, I traveled to Chicago to visit my aunt, my father’s
sister, who was ninety-five years old at the time, and she told me the exact
location of her parents’ graves.
“I was surprised to hear that they were buried in Brooklyn, and I decided
to visit their gravesites for the first time in my life. Accompanied by my elder
son Yehuda, named after my father, we arrived at the cemetery and found
the graves after a relatively brief search. Lo and behold, my grandfather’s
tombstone bore the name Yerachmiel – just as the Rebbe had written.”
organized groups.
“My wife went in as part of a
group of English speakers. After
the Rebbe gave them a general
blessing, they each passed by
him to receive a more personal
bracha. Shulamis had gone in for
yechidus hoping to receive one
very important blessing. She gave
several people the opportunity
to pass her in line and she ended
up being one of the last people

privileged to go before the Rebbe.
In a clear voice, she requested a
bracha for children.
“As she stood before the
Rebbe’s penetrating look, she felt
his great love for all his Chassidim.
She felt in her heart that if this is
how the Rebbe shows his love,
who knows how great G-d’s love
is for the Jewish People. The
Rebbe said ‘Amen’ to her request,
and she left the holy room filled

with joy and happiness.
“When she returned to
Eretz Yisroel she told me about
everything that had happened in
the yechidus. We were confident
that the Rebbe’s bracha would be
fulfilled quickly – and so it was.
“Our prayers were answered
just a year and a half later, when
we were blessed with the birth of
our first son – Yehuda Shmuel, in
the tenth year of our marriage.
“Five years later, we had a very
strong desire for another child. We
sent the Rebbe numerous letters
in request of a bracha for more
children, but we received no reply.
Then one day, to our great joy, we
were informed that an addition to
our family was imminent. Several
months later, we were blessed
with the birth of our second son
– Yosef Yitzchak Eliyahu. This
brings us to the most amazing part
of the story: Shortly after the bris
in Tzfas we received a letter from
the Rebbe’s secretariat. They were
writing to apologize because they
had only recently found a letter
that the Rebbe had written to us
about nine months earlier on a
certain date, however, they were
only sending it to us now. The
date on the letter was the mikveh



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From the life of R’ Yehoshua Shneur
Zalman Serebryanski a”h
Prepared for publication by Avrohom Rainitz

Shortly after the chanukas
ha’bayis for the Chabad school
for boys, they began to discuss
starting a similar school for girls.
R’ Zalman himself, who had
asked the Rebbe Rayatz about
chinuch for his daughter, did
as the Rebbe said: It would be
worthwhile for your daughter
to learn the language of the
country but in a limited way, as
we see the necessity in this.
But some of Anash sent their
daughters to public school so
it was urgent that they start a
program for girls.
In those days they had not
yet realized the importance of
educating girls. The widespread
view among many families was
that it was not necessary to
formally teach them Judaism;
they could learn on their own by
seeing what was done at home.
This perspective, which was
correct a hundred years earlier,
proved bankrupt with the spread
of the Haskala movement and
when girls began attending public
school. It became necessary to
balance this negative influence
with formal Jewish studies.
Some Lubavitcher families
realized they had to look out for
their daughters’ ruchnius and
since R’ Zalman was already
involved in founding a school for
boys, they asked him to arrange
classes for girls. At this point it

did not occur to them to start a
school for girls; all they wanted
was occasional shiurim.

In a letter that he sent the
Rebbe on 2 Nissan 5715, R’
Zalman wrote about the request
of Anash and said there was a
teacher who could give these
lessons, Mrs. Broner, a religious
woman who had graduated Beis
Yaakov in Germany. In his letter
R’ Zalman expressed doubt as to
whether he should get involved in
something new before the boys’
school was running smoothly.
He also pointed out that since
there was only one building, the
only way to immediately start
lessons for girls would be to have
them study in one of the rooms of
the Talmud Torah. The question
was whether it was befitting to
start the girls’ learning in this
immediately in a letter dated 11
Nissan and said that learning in
the same building was out of the
question, but it was surprising
that they could not find another
place since surely the number of
girls, for now, willing to learn in
an institution like this, was not

Despite his busyness with the
boys’ school, R’ Zalman began
working on the girls’ project.
In a letter dated 7 Iyar 5715, he
reported to the Rebbe that he had
spoken about it to R’ Abba Pliskin
whose only daughter (now Rivka
Vishedsky of Crown Heights)
had become of school age. R’
Abba invited Anash to a meeting
on the subject.
In the next letters that he
wrote there are a few mentions
of this subject. At the end of a
letter from 10 Av, R’ Zalman
reported to the Rebbe that he
met with Mrs. Hertz and Mrs.
Broner. This meeting with Mrs.
Hertz was the first in a series of
meetings that led to the founding
of Beth Rivkah which was led by
Mrs. Hertz, as will be described
at length.
R’ Zalman received a letter
from the secretariat affirming
the receipt of his letter and in
the Rebbe’s handwriting it said:
Waiting for good news.
At the end of the Rebbe’s letter
from 13 Elul, parts of which were
quoted in previous installments,
the Rebbe also referred to the
meeting with Mrs. Hertz and
wrote: I was pleased by what
you wrote that you are being
mekarev Mrs. Hertz, and surely,
ultimately, her talents will be
made use of in the vineyard of
Chabad in a desirable manner.
May Hashem grant success.
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responsibilities with the boys’
school, R’ Zalman could not
remain indifferent to the demand
of Anash and he began organizing
shiurim for girls. In accordance
with the Rebbe’s response that
the girls not learn in the same
building as the boys, he arranged
two shiurim in private homes,
one shiur in the home of the
teacher, Mrs. Broner, and one
shiur in R’ Nachum Zalman
Gurewitz’s home. Since these
were little girls, whose parents
did not allow them to travel on
public transportation, there was
no choice but to have a shiur in
two locations so that it would be
within walking distance from the
girls’ homes.
These shiurim took place
in the afternoon, after public
This was a novelty
because until then programs like
this were for boys only, usually
before their bar mitzva, in order
to teach them the Haftora. The
Jews of Melbourne had a hard
time digesting the new idea and
although the classes were opened
after Sukkos, three months later,
on 15 Teves, R’ Zalman reported
that in the two classes there were
only eight girls.
conversations with members
of the vaad he learned that they
did not understand the need for
girls to learn Torah. If he would
call for an official meeting and
propose that they start a school
for girls, a majority would vote
against it. This is why he decided
to pay for the lessons himself and
not from the yeshiva coffers.
On 15 Teves R’ Zalman
reported this to the Rebbe and
wrote that when the number of
students grew and the members
of the vaad would see that there

was a need for a girls’ school,
then he would raise the idea for
The vaad would
decide whether to open a school
for girls under the auspices of the
existing institution or to start a
separate institutional entity with
a separate administration.

In the meantime, R’ Zalman
heard that Mrs. Hertz had
opened a preschool in her
house and that she intended on
expanding it into a school in the
years to come. Mrs. Hertz had
attended Beis Yaakov in Germany
and was considered a superlative
Furthermore, she
had a leadership demeanor
and outstanding administrative
abilities. R’ Zalman, who knew of
her talents, thought this woman
should run the school. However,
due to the very fact that she
was opinionated and a woman
of principle, he was afraid she
would be unwilling to see eye to
eye with the Chabad approach
and this would lead to arguments.
R’ Zalman decided to offer her
a job as supervisor of the secular
studies in the boys’ school. This
way, he thought, he could see her
abilities from up close and would
be able to slowly familiarize her
with Chabad ideas.
She accepted the job at the
end of Cheshvan 5716 and began
At that meeting, they
discussed in general terms the
idea of opening a girls’ school
and Mrs. Hertz told of her plans
to open a school the following
year. However, from the tone of
the conversation it was apparent
that she understood that running
a school was something very
complicated and she would not
be able to do it alone. R’ Zalman
did not speak at length about a
girls’ school; he waited for the

right time.
That opportunity did not
take long to arise. One night of
Chanuka the school arranged an
evening to mark the conclusion
of the first year of school.
The special program and the
fascinating speeches made an
excellent impression on the
participants and on Mrs. Hertz.
At the end of the evening Mrs.
Hertz told R’ Zalman that the
time had come to discuss a girls’
school. She said that she planned
on opening a school in her home
for the coming school year
and was interested in coming
to an agreement regarding
collaboration with the yeshiva.
R’ Zalman wanted to report to
the Rebbe before speaking to her
and so he said they had to discuss
the matter with the appropriate
He therefore
suggested they meet in a week,
when her preschool would close
for summer vacation and she
would have free time.
In a letter that R’ Zalman sent
on 6 Teves, he wrote, “On the
one hand, we need to use this
opportunity in which an expert
principal and dynamic teacher is
willing to work for Chabad. In
Melbourne you can’t find anyone
like this, and it also enables us to
open a school for girls without
additional expenses of buying
or renting a building. On the
other hand, we need to be very
careful in clarifying and deciding
on the conditions, because Mrs.
Hertz, although known for her
good qualities in Judaism and
her knowledge, etc. is German
born and is strong-willed and
especially when the school is
in her house. So it is possible
that if, over time, she doesn’t
like something, she would stop
working for us and come to
terms with someone else.”

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A week passed and after
meeting with Mrs. Hertz, R’
Zalman realized that the road to
opening a girls’ school was long
indeed. Mrs. Hertz came to the
meeting with her friends who
were also graduates of the Beis
Yaakov in Germany, with similar
worldviews, and who supported
her. They made it clear they
had not dropped their dream of
opening a private school that
would be run in her home and
under her exclusive responsibility,
and their purpose of meeting
with R’ Zalman was to come to
an arrangement with the yeshiva
to help with registration. Since
representatives of the yeshiva
spoke with Jewish families and
convinced them to send their
boys to religious schools, they
could also talk about sending
their daughters to Mrs. Hertz’s
school. In exchange, she was
willing to arrange a special
curriculum in the spirit of
Chabad for those girls who came
upon the recommendation of the
R’ Zalman immediately said
this was not acceptable to him
because the yeshiva planned on
opening a Chabad girls’ division.
His counteroffer was that Mrs.
Hertz open the school in her
home, but it should all be run
under the auspices of Chabad.
She would receive a salary from
the yeshiva and even rental
money for the use of her home.
Mrs. Hertz and her friends
discussed his offer and said they
were afraid to be dependent on
the views of others, and they
preferred to earn less from
the school while being solely
responsible for the running of the
school. At the end of the meeting
they said they were not rejecting
his idea outright and maybe they

The Hertz home in Melbourne, Glen Eira Rd
– this is where Beth Rivkah of Melbourne first opened.

would eventually agree to it.
R’ Zalman reported to
the Rebbe on 15 Teves and
concluded with the hope that
after Mrs. Hertz began working
for the yeshiva in running the
secular studies program, she
would get to see those involved
and see that it was all for the
sake of heaven without personal
agendas and that would make
it easier for her to accept the
authority of the yeshiva and run
the school under their aegis.

The Rebbe responded quickly
to R’ Zalman’s last letter and
said there was no room for
consideration to open a school
not under the auspices of Chabad
with the faint hope that with time
the school would end up being
run by Chabad. Lubavitch should
open up a school for girls and be
the balabatim (bosses) over it,
albeit while giving whoever might
actually run it the latitude to
operate freely without pressure,
obviously, if this was not in
opposition to Lubavitch and in
the spirit of Chabad.

The Rebbe also said there was
no point in Chabad opening a
school not under their name and
using someone else’s building
with the faint hope that the
person would have a change of
heart and give the school over to
Lubavitch. And if there was no
room in the yeshiva itself, a place
should be found nearby to enable
the administration to oversee
both. The Rebbe also pointed
out the need to be careful not to
push anyone away, certainly not
someone who was a capable force
in chinuch and administration.
R’ Zalman understood from
this that the Rebbe was absolutely
opposed to any partnership
whether in the administration or
curriculum. Since Mrs. Hertz
insisted on retaining certain areas
of authority, R’ Zalman wrote
to the Rebbe that for the time
being he was shelving the idea,
especially when a new school
year was about to begin in the
boys’ school and energy had to
be invested to arrange everything.
R’ Zalman emphasized that since
the Rebbe wanted a school to
open for girls, he would work to
move the project forward at the
first possible opportunity.
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By Nechama Bar
The young shliach perused
the phone book, his finger
moving from name to name
as he looked for obviously
Jewish names. Katz, Horowitz,
Cohen, Moses … Slowly, his
paper filled with names and
The shliach had arrived in
town just the day before. How
should he start to work in a
place so big where he knew
no one? That is why he was
collecting Jewish names. Then
he would conduct house calls
and, with Hashem’s help, he
would get moving.
The Katz family. That is
what it said on the fancy
wooden door. The shliach
knocked, feeling somewhat
nervous. After all, you can
never know how a family will
respond to a stranger, an
odd looking one at that, who
wants to talk to them.
The door opened and there
was a tall man wearing a nice
business suit. On the opposite
wall was a large picture of the
Rebbe. You couldn’t miss it!
The shliach’s eyes widened

in astonishment. He had not
expected such a nice surprise.
He pointed at the picture and
said, “How is that you have
this picture in your home, if I
may ask?”
Mr. Katz smiled and invited
the shliach inside. They sat
down on comfortable leather
couches in the living room
and Mr. Katz told him the
businessman. In the course
of my work I fly often from
country to country. I was on
one of these routine flights
and did not imagine that it
would prove to be extremely
significant in my life. Next
to me sat an older Jew who
turned out to be a friendly
seatmate. We chatted as we
tried to pass the time. As we
spoke the man took pictures
out of his wallet. ‘These are
my grandchildren. This is
Eyal, see what a sweet boy
he is? He just recently started
walking. And this is his older
sister, Adi, bli ayin ha’ra, so
delightful, full of energy. And

this is Yaakov, my youngest
grandchild, he is three months
old …’
, describing his nachas
in glowing terms. ‘So, do
you have pictures of your
children?’ he asked.
“‘I wish …’ I said. ‘I don’t
have any children.’
“‘Oy, I’m sorry. I did not
mean to make you feel bad.
But it’s good this came up. You
are flying to New York and
there is a big tzaddik there,
the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Go
to him and ask for a bracha.
Many people were helped by
“The truth is, I was
skeptical. How could a rabbi
help me when he surely knew
s had been
The best doctor
unable to help us! But the
man insisted and he had
many miracle stories to tell
me. He used all his powers
of persuasion. I listened to
him politely and nodded my
head, but I had no intentions
of going to see him. I am a

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and he had a suggestion. ‘In
half an hour the Rebbe will be
coming out for Mincha. Wait
for him near his room and tell
him your problem.’
“I was thrilled with this
suggestion and waited near
the room. When the Rebbe
emerged I felt a tremor
throughout my body. The
words I planned to say flew
out of mind. The Rebbe smiled
at me and invited me into his
room. He asked, ‘How can I
help you?’
“I told the Rebbe that we
had no children and had gone
to many doctors but nobody
could help us.
“‘So what would you like
from me? If the doctors didn’t
help you, do you believe that
I can help you?’ asked the
“My emuna was suddenly
strengthened and I firmly
said, ‘Rebbe, if I did not
“That voice finally won out believe in you, I would not
and I drove to 770. I walked here!’
“The Rebbe smiled and
in and asked to see the Rebbe.
The secretary asked me for said, ‘If so, buy a good
my name and address and pair of t’fillin and
looked in his appointment put them on every
book and said, ‘You can see day. Fulfill what it
says, “And you shall
the Rebbe in three months.’
“‘What?! I have just four bind them as a sign
hours until my flight takes off. on your arm and
they will be totafos
I must see him now!’
en your eyes,”
“‘I am sorry, but the line is betwe
and then it will be
very long,’ he said, ending the
fulfilled in you
that which
“I left feeling frustrated
What it
l a t e r
would I do now? Did I come
in that
here for nothing? A yeshiva
bachur came over to me. He
“And you
had heard our conversation

rational person and I did
not believe in supernatural
“The plane landed and we
went our separate ways. I got
involved with business matters
and completely forgot our
conversation. A few days later
I finished my work and drove
back to the airpor t to catch
my flight home to Canada.
“‘The flight to Canada has
been delayed for five hours,’
I heard over the loudspeaker.
‘Oh no,’ I sighed. What would I
do for five hours? The thought
occurred to me that I should
take a taxi and go see the
Rebbe, but I immediately
dismissed it. ‘I have never
visited rabbis before. Why
should a rabbi be able to help
“But a voice inside me did
not let up, ‘What do you have
to lose? You have five hours –

shall teach them to your
“I left the Rebbe’s room
in an emotional turmoil.
I felt that the Rebbe was
carrying me on his shoulders
and taking care of me like a
good father. I sensed what
a real leader is. I hurried to
carry out what the Rebbe
said. I went to the secretary
and asked for help in buying
t’fillin. I was given a phone
number and an address and
without delay, I went there
and bought t’fillin.
“Since then, I put t’fillin on
every weekday. Even on the
busiest days, I put on t’fillin.”
Mr. Katz paused and the
curious shliach wanted to
know what the end of the
story was. “So? Was the
bracha fulfilled? Do you have
Instead of responding, Mr.
Katz called the names of his
children and asked them to
come into the living room. Six
adorable children came in.

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