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From Chapter Eight of Rabbi Shloma Majeskis
Likkutei Mekoros (Underlined text is the compilers
Translated by Boruch Merkur

25. The Zohar comments on

the verse, Your nation consists
entirely of tzaddikim: one who
is circumcised is called tzaddik.
The Rebbe Maharash cites this
Zohar and teaches that also when
it says, (Cast your burden upon
G-d, and He will bear you) He
shall never allow a righteous man
to falter [in making a living], this
is said regarding all Jews, for Jews
are called tzaddikim in virtue of
being circumcised, etc. But we must
understand how it is that there are
so many Jews that are impoverished
Why isnt each and every Jew
granted an abundant livelihood?
We may answer that the verse, He
shall never allow a righteous man
to falter, does indeed refer to all
Jews, as above. Why then are there
Jews who have such serious financial
crises? It is because their bitachon,
their faith and assurance in G-d, is
not as it should be Lack of faith
interrupts the flow of livelihood.
(It is analogous to shutting off the
current of hashpaa, the Divine
energy that provides livelihood.) If
one would put his faith in G-d
he would make an ample living and
he would experience the fulfillment
of [the first part of] the verse, Cast
your burden upon G-d, and He will
bear you.
The same principle applies to
drawing down influence though the
But first to mention what I once

told an individual (a couple years

ago) that people see what they
want to see. That is, they interpret
the concept of histalkus in the literal
sense [of passing away]. They wish
to behold the great exaltedness of
the Rebbe, for whom the Lower Gan
Eden does not suffice, nor is the
Supernal Gan Eden adequate. True,
the Seventh Heaven is incredibly
sublime, but the greatness of the
Rebbe is loftier still Since the
Alm-ghty is the very essence of
goodness, and the nature of the
good is to bestow benevolence upon
others, G-d fulfills this persons wish
and shows him the exalted heights
of the Rebbe that the Rebbe
transcends even the Seventh Heaven
and this person remains below
[i.e., distant from the Rebbe]
However, the concept of
histalkus may also be understood on
the basis of what the Rebbe explains
in the maamer Basi LGani, which
was published in honor of the day
of the yahrtzait [of the Rebbes
grandmother, Rebbetzin Rivka].
Namely, histalkus is the revelation
of light at the lofty level of romemus,
exaltedness. That is, although
histalkus is romemus, something
transcendent and lofty, it is drawn
down below, as the statement of
the Zohar is explained in Igeres
HaKodesh: A tzaddik who passes
on is present in all worlds more
than when he was alive. When
one adopts this understanding of
histalkus with regard to the Rebbe,

then he is shown from On High how

the Rebbe is present in the world
below, and he sees with his mortal
eyes the influence extended to him
through the Rebbe.
This concept is reflected in
the words of the Rebbe (Rashab),
nishmaso Eden, to his son, my
revered father in-law, the Rebbe
that he called his name and said:
We shall remain whole [after our
histalkus] not only in terms of our
essence but also in terms of our
That is, the influence the Rebbe
imparts is not limited to when he is
alive as a soul in a body, when he
can be seen with mortal eyes, but
even after his histalkus, when he is
not visible in this world.
In fact, after his histalkus, the
influence that extends from the
Rebbe is even greater, since the
limitations of the body are nullified.
And although there is the wellknown saying of the Alter Rebbe
(which is explained at length by my
revered father in-law, the Rebbe)
that the Giving of the Torah did not
take place in the lower hemisphere
the Rebbes influence extends not
only to the upper hemisphere but to
the lower hemisphere, as well.
And not only in a spiritual sense,
but also materially.
(From the address of Shabbos Parshas
Eikev, Chaf Menachem-Av 5713; Toras
Menachem 5713, pg. 124-125)

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We met with R Boaz Jurkowicz, rav of the
Chabad community in Lud, for a talk about
preparing for Pesach. He spoke about doing the
preparations without stress or arguments; about
spiritual preparations for Yom Tov; about the
extra care taken on Pesach; and about the joy of
the Yom Tov.
By Mordechai Segal

rev Pesach. The ladies of

the house in the Chabad
neighborhood in Lud
are beating rugs or
cleaning windows till they sparkle.
Preparations for Yom Tov are also
underway at the home of the rav
of the Chabad community in Lud,
Rabbi Boruch Boaz Jurkowicz.
Despite the hour and time
of year, the rav was willing to
receive me for a long pre-Pesach
conversation about preparations,
chumros and hiddurim and other
timely subjects.

R Jurkowicz was born in

1952 in Montreal. His father is
R Yaakov Bentzion. He attended
yeshivos in Montreal and in 5731
he was sent by the Rebbe to
Australia (with the third group
of shluchim) where he stayed for
two years. Then he went to learn
in 770 where he was one of the
seven branches, which is how
the seven top talmidim in the
yeshiva were referred to.
Over the years, he held
various Torah positions as
befitted his talents and abilities.

After marrying in 5736, he was

appointed as rosh yeshiva of
Tomchei Tmimim in New Haven
and two years later he became
mashpia and maggid shiur in the
yeshiva in Morristown.
In 5748 he made aliya and
settled in Nachalat Har Chabad
where he served as a rosh kollel
and as rosh yeshiva in Toras
Emes. In 5751 he was chosen
by the large Chabad community
in Lud as their rav and about a
year later he was also recognized

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by the religious council of Lud as

rav of the neighborhood. , Since
then, for the last two decades he
has been wisely guiding his large
community with his trademark
smile and pleasantness, in
addition to his tremendous
knowledge of Torah and Halacha.
It was fascinating to see
how calm R Jurkowicz was
Erev Yom Tov. In the midst of
the commotion he sat relaxed
and quietly answered questions
and offered guidance. At the
same time, he received phone

multiple calls from members of

his community with halachic
The preparations for Pesach
need to have the same goal as
Pesach itself, he says. The
goal is the main thing, and the
preparations are the way to
achieve the goal. If the purpose
of the Yom Tov is the feeling of
freedom, then surely this is the
atmosphere that needs to prevail
while preparing for Yom Tov.
The preparations for Pesach are
not allowed to be done under

pressure and with quarreling for

this goes counter to the main
theme of the holiday.
Some people, because of
the pressure to get ready in time,
convey this stressful feeling to
their children. You must not
do that! Because this is how a
generation is raised that ends
up considering Pesach a burden
and a holiday of anger. Do this,
Watch out over here, Dont go
In the world of musar too,
R Yisroel Salanter warns that
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the biggest hiddur of the matzos
is to understand the woman who
kneads the dough for the matzos
and not to shed her blood for
your hiddurim.
What does Pesach have to
say to a Jew and Chassid in
There are many sichos in
which the Rebbe speaks about
Pesach being the holiday when
the Jewish nation was born. We
need to remember that we are
born anew each year at this time.
Bedikas chametz is for the
purpose of burning the evil within
us, the evil inclination which is
in our hearts. We first need to
remove the pekel that we carry so
that we can indeed be born again
and be renewed. This is the idea
of bedikas chametz, to check the
chametz in your heart. We know

avoda which begins in greater

measure the day after the first
day of Pesach, during the 49 days
of Sfiras HaOmer.
Are you saying that the
preparations for Pesach in
eradicating the chametz in
your heart is primarily in
interpersonal matters?
Yes. The Alter Rebbe in
Tanya, at the end of chapter 12,
speaks of two types of foreign
thoughts that a person might
have which he must immediately
reject. One type of thought is
that which can make a person
fall into places of impurity. The
Alter Rebbe immediately goes on
to say, and in matters between
man and his fellow, as soon as
the thought arises from his heart
to his mind with any bad feeling
or hatred, G-d forbid, or any

All of a person's spiritual avoda must be anchored

in the idea that ein od milvado, nothing exists
except for Him. Any significance that we have is derived
solely from the fact that Hashem loves us and thinks
about us.
of the great spiritual avoda of
our Rebbeim regarding bedikas
In one of the sichos, the
Rebbe says that the entire exodus
from Egypt was for the purpose
of kabbalas haTorah. The first
of the Ten Commandments is
while the last one is do not
covet. Whats the common
theme running through these
two very seemingly disparate
explains that if the Anochi is
truly internalized, then you will
be on the level in which you
will truly not covet that which
someone else has. This is the
main avoda, refining middos, an

jealousy or anger or peeve and

the like, he does not accept them
at all in his mind and will. See
how seriously the Alter Rebbe
treats it.
I think that in our generation,
the main Egypt from which
we need an Exodus is in
interpersonal matters. This is our
main galus, in which a person
cant fargin another, one speaks
against another, and there are
even instances where a person
is angry at another even though
he doesnt know him and never
spoke to him, but it was enough
that he heard lashon hara. The
Alter Rebbe screams about this
and says, to behave with ones
fellow with the trait of kindness

and extra fondness displayed

towards him, and at the end of
siman 22 of Igeres HaKodesh he
pleads, my beloved brethren and
friends please toil with all your
heart and soul to implant love of
your fellow in your heart.
How can one truly feel like
a free man when everyone has
their pekel?
This is the avoda of refining
the middos. Without it, you
cannot access the holiness of the
holiday. If you are not battel, you
are unable to receive the spiritual
influences of Pesach. This is
precisely what the scraping and
polishing for Pesach is all about.
How do you do this? All of a
persons spiritual avoda must be
anchored in the idea that ein od
milvado, nothing exists except
for Him. Any significance that
we have is derived solely from the
fact that Hashem loves us and
thinks about us. As the Rebbe
said in a number of places, the
idea of the exodus from Egypt
is the idea of bittul, with the
spiritual concept of skipping and
jumping (i.e. reaching for levels
beyond ones current spiritual
level) being a direct outgrowth
of bittul. It is only thanks to this
that we can take the leap and
move on.


What should be emphasized
when it comes to Pesach?
Pesach is the most expensive
holiday with hiddurim here and
there, and the costs for these
hiddurim present an obvious
The Alter Rebbe writes in
his Shulchan Aruch (quoting
the Gemara) that a persons
livelihood is designated on Rosh
HaShana, excluding what he

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spends for Shabbos and Yom Tov.

This is true for every Shabbos
and Yom Tov and certainly for
Pesach about which the Alter
Rebbe says that there is reason to
be mehader even in this: Even
though these five vegetables are
called maror by the Torah, still,
it is a rabbinic mitzva to look
for chazeres and even to spend
a lot of money on it, similar to
what will be explained regarding
an esrog hadar. So in being
mehader with the simanim, the
Alter Rebbe compares chazeres
to the hiddur of an esrog which
we all try to obtain and for which
we spend considerable sums.
It is part of our faith to believe
that Hashem will repay us in full.
What is a chumra?
When R Jurkowicz spoke
about Pesach food, he dwelt on
the topic of wine and said one
should be very careful. He says
that some of the wines made
today contain a high percentage
of water, sometimes even 45%
water, and in order for them to
have the flavor and color of wine,
they put in food coloring in the
form of caramel and they also
add alcohol, products which
are not used by Chabad at all on
R Jurkowicz recommends
buying the best wines, where
the percentage of actual wine is
higher, and consequently, they
do not contain additives that we
dont use.
As for grape juice, even those
who make Kiddush on it the
rest of the year, at least on the
seder night one should drink
four cups of wine. We saw that
even during the heart attack on
Shmini Atzeres 5738 the Rebbe
made Kiddush on wine and not
on grape juice.
R Jurkowicz, who runs
the Badatz Heichal Lubavitch
kashrus agency, supplies chicken

and meat to thousands of

Lubavitcher families. He told me
about the chumros and hiddurim
that the kashrus agency employs
all year round.
There is a problem with
the chickens raised in pens
because of the injections they
give them, which can make
them treif. With chickens there
is a halachic question as to
whether it is necessary to check
for a common minority, i.e.
if a thorough examination was
not conducted, just taking one
sample for every few chickens.
The halacha is that even if is
reasonable to assume that among
every 100 chickens there are at
least ten that, if you checked
them, you would find are treif,

nonetheless, if a sample check

was done and we did not find
the treif chickens, the halacha
states one in two is nullified,
and therefore, all the chickens are
assumed to be kosher.
slaughterhouses that rely on
this halachic leniency, and the
mashgiach just does a sample
check and according to the
halachic rule cited above, the
chickens are kosher.
In the shchita I supervise,
the line moves slowly and the
mashgiach opens the tzomes
ligaments) of every chicken and
checks it manually to make sure
that it is kosher, for Chassidim
take extra care with everything
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that enters their mouths.

Many ask, why be so
particular about food on Pesach
and why cant we use products
that have excellent supervision
which we use all year?
In the Alter Rebbes responsa
he quotes the Arizal as saying,
to be stringent with all the

stringencies on Pesach. The

Baal Shem Tov also instructed
to be stringent on Pesach with
all the stringencies. The Rebbe
Rashab was also very stringent
on Pesach and this was despite
his saying in one of his sichos, I
am very fearful of stringencies.
I believe you gave a hechsher
to a hotel that hosts Lubavitcher
families for Pesach. Does that
mean you approve of going to
vacation spots for this holiday
of freedom?
Going to a hotel is for those
who need it because they cannot
make Pesach at home, and this
applies only to singular families
or families of older people who
find it hard to prepare for Yom
Tov and they have nowhere to
go. There are families that made
simchas right before Pesach and
they cannot prepare for Pesach.
What should they do? They can
go to a hotel where they can
celebrate Pesach properly in a
way of hiddur and lchatchilla.
Final thoughts?
There is a sicha of the Rebbe
in which he explains that at
the seder there seem to be two
opposing elements. On the one
hand there is the time of our
freedom, and on the other hand
there is kol dichfin all who are
needy. There is also the wicked
son who is invited to sit with us

on Pesach. If Hashem took us

out of Egypt, asks the Rebbe,
why didnt He do it in such a way
that the Geula is complete?
The Rebbe explains that
Hashem took us out of Egypt
with a strong hand and in a
way of the nation fled, for the
Jewish people were not ready for
Geula. In some way, the galus
remained with us and this is why
there are still tzaros, as the world
was not yet completely rectified,
and we still have spiritual
impurity, poor people, and the
wicked son.
So why should we actually
rejoice on this Yom Tov? The
Rebbe explains that the simcha
is due to the fact that He built
for us the Beis HaBechira. In
the Hagada we refer to the Beis
HaMikdash as the House of
Chosen-ness, to emphasize that
we are celebrating the fact that
Hashem chose us in Egypt to be
His nation and this is a source
of great joy. True, we are not
standing where He would like us
to stand, but the very power we
have as the Jewish people comes
as a result of His choosing us.
This is a great simcha on the way
to the even greater simcha of the
true and complete Geula which
we will have in the month of
Nissan, as it says, In Nissan they
will ultimately be redeemed.

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Kupas Rabbeinu

ubhcr ,pue

(718) 4672500

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

P.O.B. 288 Brooklyn, New York 11225

(718) 7563337

B"H Shushan Purim 5775

To all Anash and Temimim Sheyichyu
It is known that all the years the Rebbe would extend monetary assistance to MANY
families of Anash, especially in Crown Heights, who were in need of assistance for Pesach.
The Rebbe was always personally involved in all details, including reviewing the names
of recipients, and on his own would add, names to the list.
This was very dear to the Rebbe, to the extent that the Rebbe would request, and not
leave to the Ohel on Erev Roish Choidesh Nissan, till he saw all the signed checks with the
B"H Kupas Rabbeinu continues this tradition and every year sends out large amounts
of funds to the families in need, and as always in the most discreet and respectful manner,
in order that the Rebbes wish be fulfilled, and that ALL have a Chag Kosher VeSomeach
with peace of mind.
Unfortunately, in recent years the number of families in need has grown substantially.
In order for Kupas Rabbeinu to continue with this task we need your help.
We are therefore asking for your most generous assistance to Keren Moos Chitim of
Kupas Rabbeinu. This will enable us to continue helping families to have the menucha &
Simchas Yom Tov they need and deserve. The more funds we receive, the more families we
can help.
As the Rebbe said at the Farbrengen, Vayakhel-Pekudei 5750 "for one who has been
blessed should increase his gifts according to the blessing he has been given. And who ever
increases will be given additional reward. Indeed, there is no limit to this additional reward"
With blessing for a Chag HaPesach Kosher VeSomeach
In the name of Vaad Kupas Rabbeinu

Rabbi Sholom Mendel Simpson 

Rabbi Yehuda Leib Groner

P.S. 1) The traditional "Magvis Yud Shevat, Purim" can also be sent at this time, as well as all other
2) All funds should be sent to the following address only; Donations are tax deductible


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s he approaches his
90th birthday next
month, the Rebbes
power has never
been greater. With this sentence,
a New York Times reporter
described the Lubavitcher Rebbe
in a magazine article entitled, The
Oracle of Crown Heights, before 11
Nissan 5752.
Despite the painful medical
episode on Chaf-Zayin Adar
5752 and despite the fact that
a month had gone by and the
Chassidim had yet to see the
Rebbe, the preparations for YudAlef Nissan did not stop for a
Great anticipation could be
felt in Crown Heights before
the Rebbes 90th birthday. The
number of guests from Eretz
Yisroel and around the world
who had come to celebrate the
big day, continued to grow.
Those who were musically gifted
composed tunes for verses in the

91st chapter of Thillim. Spiritual

preparations were also made in
learning the Rebbes teachings
and carrying out his horaos with
renewed enthusiasm.
In Eretz Yisroel the Chassidim
invited the public to attend a
magnificent grand celebration
in Heichal Yad Eliyahu in Tel Aviv
which would be attended by the
gdolei haTorah and Chassidus
and with musical accompaniment
Avraham Fried, the Piamenta
brothers and Mona Rosenblums
Joy fixed in the heart on this
side and tears fixed in the heart
on this side. That was the feeling
everyone had in light of the great
joy of the Rebbes birthday, the
day we were given the greatest
gift of all, the day the redeemer
of the Jewish people was born.
At the same time though, it was
45 days since the darkness which
began on Chaf-Zayin AdarALEF. Along with the celebration

and joy, it was a day of prayer to

annul the darkness.

Every year, the Chassidim
bless the Rebbe on the eve of
his birthday. That year too,
despite the circumstances, this
took place. 770 was packed with
people. At the appointed time,
some of the senior Chassidim,
shluchim, stood near Gan Eden
HaTachton (the hallway outside
the Rebbes room), the door to
the Rebbes room was opened,
and R Shneur Zalman Gurary
said the bracha on behalf of
In a voice choked with
emotion he expressed their
wishes that the Rebbe be healthy
and recover and return to his
holy work. In his statement he

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included the following story: One of the talmidim of

the Maggid asked him: Chapter 90 of Thillim is full
of complaints toward Hashem, about people being
oppressed, that weve been consumed in His anger, ad
masai, etc. but there is no response from Hashem, why?
The Maggid answered: The response is at the
beginning of the next chapter, 91, Say to Hashem, my
refuge and my fortress, i.e. Hashem does help and saves
us from tzaros.
The analogue is obvious. During the 90th year some
incomprehensible things occurred, but now, with the start
of the 91st year of the Rebbe, we would, G-d willing,
merit my refuge and my fortress and the Rebbe would
become completely well.
Upon concluding the bracha, the crowd answered
amen, and all present in Beis Chayeinu along with
thousands of listeners from around the world proclaimed
Yechi three times.


Immediately afterward, R Yitzchok Hendel of
Montreal read the psak din on behalf of the rabbanim,
which said that according to halacha, the Rebbe,
according to all signs and conditions enumerated in the
Rambam in Hilchos Melachim, was fit to be defined
as bchezkas shhu Moshiach. The psak din also
established that according to Halacha, the Rebbe had to

And so may it be for us, that on the eleventh

of Adar will be completed already the matter of the
eleventh of Nissan the anointing of the Rosh
Bnei Yisroel as Melech HaMoshiach who will
come and redeem us and lead us upright to our
land, immediately.
This clear statement which was heard from the
Rebbe at the end of the farbrengen on Shabbos
Parshas Tetzaveh 5752 speaks for itself: the Rebbe
blesses and wishes his Chassidim to merit and
complete the matter of the eleventh of Nissan, the
day the Rebbe was anointed as Moshiach.
Although we did not merit the complete
hisgalus on 11 Nissan 5752, that day was certainly
a significant milestone in the Geula process. For
this day, the psak din which declared that the
Rebbe fulfilled all the conditions enumerated in
the Rambam and therefore was bchezkas shhu
Moshiach, was written and sealed anew.
In a moving ceremony, the psak din was read
before the Rebbe at the entrance to his room after
the traditional bracha of the Chassidim on 11
Nissan. In Eretz Yisroel the psak din was also
read at the main event to celebrate the 90th year
that was held in Heichal Yad Eliyahu in Tel Aviv.
Thousands of people proclaimed Yechi Adoneinu
Moreinu VRabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach Lolam
This historic gathering was the first time that
the Rebbe was identified as Moshiach in a public
forum. The events of that 11 Nissan marked the
beginning of the Shnas HaTzaddik (the year
that the Rebbe was 90 years of age) and which
continued until 5753 at which time the Chassidim
were repeatedly and publicly encouraged by the
Rebbe to accept his malchus.
This day marks the beginning of the anointment
of Rosh Bnei Yisroel as Moshiach in public, before
Jews, and also before the world. Articles were
published in the secular media and there were
radio and television reports about the Rebbe and
his followers belief that he is the Messiah.
I hope that this article which describes the
happenings of those days will awaken us and will
cause these days to be remembered and done,
to strengthen our work in the only remaining
shlichus; preparing the world to welcome the
Rebbe Moshiach Tzidkeinu and the publicizing
and disseminating of the Besuras HaGeula and
the identity of the Goel to one and all.
M. Fried

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11 Nissan


be well immediately. R Hendel

announced that at the head
of those who signed the psak
din was the gaon, R Pinchas
In conclusion, R Hendel
blessed the Rebbe with the
priestly blessing, joined by all
the Kohanim and the crowd
answered amen. The event was
powerful and moving and before
there was time for the excitement
and emotion to cool down, the
assemblage sat down to a big
farbrengen which was organized
by the gabbaim of the shul.

Thousands filled 770 during

the farbrengen to mark the
great day. The awesomeness
of the day, the huge crowd, the
seriousness of the time and the
intensity of the event, generated
an atmosphere that was entirely
R Moshe Teleshevsky recited
chapter 91 of Thillim verse by
verse and the crowd repeated it
after him. Then they opened the
Aron Kodesh and said, Shma
Koleinu with an emotional
intensity that cant be described.
Chazan Teleshevsky said a Mi
ShBeirach for the Rebbe after
which the crowd spontaneously
burst out in singing Yechi.
Then the farbrengen began.
R Moshe Kotlarsky began
with emotional words about
the great day. He described
how, on the one hand, it was

obligatory to rejoice on this day

when we merited that a neshama
descended to the world which
illuminated the entire world. On
the other hand, how could we
rejoice under the circumstances?
Then the rabbanim of
Crown Heights spoke, the
Rebbes secretaries, and other
guests. R Leibel Altein taught
a maamer. Children of Tzivos
Hashem said the 12 Psukim
and then the shliach from
London, R Nachman Sudak,
read a section of the sicha of 2
Nissan 5748 in which the Rebbe
spoke about the significance
of the pronouncement Yechi
R Shneur Zalman Gurary
spoke briefly about the situation
that we were in; R Y. Y.
Wilschansky spoke in Hebrew;
and R Dovid Raskin spoke. R
Chaim Melul spoke in French for
the many guests who had come

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During his speech, R Leibel Groner took the
opportunity to clarify the Rebbes position on activities
related to Moshiach and Geula so people would know
what it truly is:
In a letter of one of the Nshei UBnos Chabad to
the Rebbe was a report about good things that were
recently done. The writer noted that she was reporting
about these activities so as to give the Rebbe nachas
and to add to his health. In addition, she wrote that
some say that what happened [i.e. the Rebbes stroke]
was a result of activities done to hasten the Geula and
as a result of saying and asking of Hashem
that the Rebbe be revealed as Moshiach.
So she asked whether they should stop
doing so.
When I read the first part to the
Rebbe, which expressed hopes that the
additional good activities would cause
him nachas, the Rebbe nodded his head
yes, meaning that he did indeed have
nachas from it. When I finished reading
the second part of the letter, the Rebbe
did not react and I understood from this
that he was not answering this part of the
letter, but when I asked whether I should not respond
to the writer, the Rebbe shook his head no.
I asked whether I should respond and the Rebbe
nodded yes. I continued to ask: Should I tell her to stop
these activities so we merit the hastening of the Geula
and the hisgalus of the Rebbe, and the Rebbe shook his
head no. I repeated: Should I tell her to continue and
with an increase, and the Rebbe nodded yes.
This answer was on Friday. On Sunday another
letter came with similar content. I took the opportunity
and told the Rebbe that since many people were writing
about this, I wanted to inform the Rebbe that I had
already transmitted the Rebbes answer from Friday
and it had made quite a ripple. The Rebbe nodded yes
and when I asked explicitly whether Fridays answer
was also good for this letter, he nodded yes again.
There is a clear direction here we need to
continue with inyanei Moshiach and Geula with the
full shturem. We are Chassidim who believe in the
Rebbe, that the Rebbe is worthy of being the Redeemer
of Yisroel and will soon be revealed as Moshiach.
We dont need sources and proofs for what the

Rebbe said, but it is interesting that in the recent

publication of the periodical HaMaor there is a
fascinating article by the editor, R Meir Amsel, with a
number of sources and proofs about how throughout
the generations talmidim said about their teachers
that he is Moshiach and it is not at all surprising that
Lubavitcher Chassidim say this about their Rebbe.
He concludes with a Chasam Sofer in a legal
responsum that before Hashem revealed Himself to
Moshe Rabbeinu, the first redeemer, at the burning
bush and told him he would redeem the Jewish
people from Egypt, Moshe did not know that he was
the redeemer. The same will happen with the final
redeemer. Before it is revealed to him, he does not
know. He adds that in every generation
there is someone worthy of being the final
When we want to give the Rebbe
an appropriate spiritual gift for Yud-Alef
Nissan, the best thing is to strengthen the
threads that bind us to the Rebbe. That
is, increasing in all the mivtzaim including
and especially inyanei Moshiach and
Geula. Surely, with this we will hasten
the Rebbes recovery and Hashem will
strengthen all his limbs and sinews and
we will soon see the complete healing and
merit the complete Geula.
Now, on the eve of the Geula, it seems that the
samech-mem is breathing its last gasps and it was
given permission to drop a bomb so terrible that we
have no idea what happened here and why it happened,
but we need to know that this is like the concealment
against the teachings of Chassidus, and despite the
arrest (of the Alter Rebbe) it was necessary to step up
the spreading of the wellsprings.
Now too, there is no doubt that what needs to be
done is to increase the awakening in inyanei Moshiach
and Geula, an addition that is incomparably greater
to what was done until now. Surely, when we do this,
Hashem will hear our cries and listen to our requests
and we will immediately have the Geula and merit the
hisgalus of the Rebbe as Melech HaMoshiach.
We will end with what we began, that all of us
together, all those present and all of the Jewish people
bless the Rebbe and we pray to Hashem and ask that
right now, He should tell the Rebbe that the time has
come that he be revealed as Melech HaMoshiach and
lead us to Eretz Yisroel.

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11 Nissan

When the tanks reached Grand Army Plaza

in Brooklyn, they arranged themselves into
the shape of the number 90. From there, the convoy
proceeded to Flatbush Avenue and from there to the
Manhattan Bridge which they covered from end to end.
to the farbrengen from France.
At the conclusion of the official
continued to farbreng into the


In the wee hours of the night,
the streets of Crown Heights were
busy. Tanks were being readied
for the next days parade. Those
in charge set up loudspeakers on
every tank. They also hung up
signs and did whatever else had
to be done to ready the tanks for
the big day when Judaism and
mitzvos would be promoted in
full display for the Jews in the Big
The signs and decorations
were very colorful. They included
the original painting of artist
Michel Schwartz which was
completed for 11 Nissan and
whose theme is how the world

will look in Yemos HaMoshiach.

The painting is gorgeous and
includes many verses from
Tanach along with stunning
scenes of the Beis HaMikdash,
aliya lregel, and more.
On each tank was a sign
announcing which Chabad house
in the world sponsored that
tank, a sign about the Rebbes
90 years, and of course signs of
the mivtzaim and a special sign
about preparing for Moshiach.
These signs were also attached to
the roofs of the tanks for people
looking from windows of tall
buildings in Manhattan.
Leading the parade was a car
with a huge golden crown on
the roof and a big sign about the
parade (the sign said, 90 Years
Thats Just the Beginning)
and it was followed by the tanks.
Each tank prominently displayed
a particular year from 5662
to 5752. A huge crowd stood
opposite 770 to see the convoy
off with cheers and many people

watched from the rooftops. The

scene was recorded for posterity
by a helicopter from where
photos were taken of the entire
When the tanks reached
Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn,
they arranged themselves into the
shape of the number 90. From
there, the convoy proceeded to
Flatbush Avenue and from there
to the Manhattan Bridge which
they covered from end to end.
They stopped and the crews
manning the tanks got out for a
Chassidic dance. Then they drove
into Manhattan, Park Avenue and
5th and 6th Avenues.
From there, they dispersed to
90 different locations throughout
New York City for mivtzaim
that continued until sunset and
included putting on tfillin,
giving out matza, and thousands
of brochures about Pesach and
other topics.
All the major radio and
television networks covered the
tank parade and spoke about the
work of the Lubavitch movement
around the world and its leader,
the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
At the end of the day, as
in the beginning, many of the
guests gathered again for an
insiders farbrengen. As one of
the shluchim-guests put it, the
mixed feelings of great joy and
great sorrow of that 11 Nissan
could not be digested without
another farbrengen. This time it
was a relatively smaller crowd.
Among them were R Sholom Ber
Lipskar and R Moshe New.

Thousands of Chassidim,
shluchim and mekuravim and
regular folks completely filled
the Yad Eliyahu stadium. Dozens
of rabbanim, Admurim and

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graced the dais. The orchestra

played Chabad niggunim and
songs of Geula and Moshiach.
One by one, speakers rose
and spoke movingly about the
Rebbes leadership. They gave
him brachos for his continued
leadership for many more healthy
A colorful report was written
up along with selections from
the speeches in the Kfar Chabad
magazine. They included the
full speech of the chozer, R
Yoel Kahn, who had gone to
Eretz Yisroel especially for
this farbrengen. He spoke
enthusiastically about the role
of the Rebbe, the leader of the
seventh generation, who brings
the Shchina down to earth. At
the end of his speech he said to

continue working on inyanei

Moshiach by spreading the
Besuras HaGeula with the full
ceremoniousness (as he put it).
But the truly great moments
of the evening, the peak moments
of kabbalas hamalchus, we find
only in the publication HaGeula
HaAmitis VHaShleima, #20,
which was published on 2 Iyar.
It had this headline: A Halachic
Psak Din by dozens of rabbanim
states: The Lubavitcher Rebbe
is Bchezkas Moshiach! The
subtitle said, All conditions
enumerated in the Rambam
regarding bchezkas Moshiach
were fulfilled in the Rebbe
of Lubavitch. A crowd of
thousands proclaimed, with great
enthusiasm, three times: Yechi

In Crown Heights area: 1640/1700AM

USA phone: 718 557 7701

I will conclude this article

with a line that the reporter of
HaGeula used to end his article:
There is no doubt that we are
witnesses to the unfolding of
a fateful stage in the process
of the hisgalus of Moshiach
Tzidkeinu. We will soon witness,
with Hashems help, further
developments in this direction.

worldwide, online:

In Israel (Nechayeg Venishmah): 08-9493-770 (press 1 # / 9 # / 3 #)


vww c

Anywhere, Anytime !

jhanu vkutd hbhbg
hyuekc ohrugha
asue ,ujha


sgu okugk jhanv lkn ubcru ubrun ubhbust hjh

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A compilation of stories and short sayings
about Pesach from our Rebbeim and the great
Chassidim over the generations.
Compiled by Menachem Ziegelboim

The Rebbe Rayatz related:
In 5647/1887, R Shneur
Slonim of Yaffo was in Lubavitch
and he spoke to me in Lashon
Hakodesh. When they reached
Yachats at the seder he said to
me: The afikoman needs to be
placed between the pillows.
Then the Rebbe, my father,
said, that karim (pillows) is two
times kar (220) which adds up
to 440. Matza is alef, so together
thats emes (alef plus 440).
(Seifer HaSichos 5698 p. 260)

The Rebbe Rayatz related:
In 5647/1887, we were in
Yalta [he and his parents on

a trip for his fathers health].

We had a siddur and a Tzena
Urena, a Chumash with Yiddish
translation which had pictures. I
saw a picture of Krias Yam Suf
with big adults and little children
who were holding the hands [or
the hems] of the adults.
I asked my father: After such
a miracle, why were the little ones
He said: Its a lesson that
a katan needs to hold on to a
gadol and needs to want to be
big; otherwise, he will remain a
katan and to remain a katan has
no purpose.
My father related: When
they were little, my father and
his brother Raza were at a
stage where they did not truly
recognize the greatness of their

grandfather [the Rebbe the

Tzemach Tzedek], and their
father [the Rebbe Maharash]
took them and brought them
to the Tzemach Tzedek. The
Tzemach Tzedek was sitting on
the sofa with his head inclined
due to his weakness. When they
entered he said: Children, today
all the heavens are opened and
Hashem Himself is seen and
revealed. Then it thundered and
there was lightening.
My father said he remembered
the impression it made on him,
when he thought that the heavens
had opened (in Lubavitch,
thunder and lightning are not
typical Pesach time).
My father said that the
impression would never be
forgotten and it remained
engraved upon his essence. When

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Art by Zalman Kleiman

you want to see, you see.

(Seifer HaSichos 5798 p. 273)


At the beginning of Adar
1920, a group of Anash and
Tmimim gathered, including R
Leib Karasik, at the home of the
Rebbe Rashab on Brodsky Street
in Rostov, in order to collect the
shmura wheat from the yard. The
wheat was in the yard to dry out.
As they collected it, the Denikin
[leader of the White forces
fighting the Bolsheviks] soldiers
began shelling Rostov. Some
bombs fell on the street next to
the street where the Rebbe lived.
Everyone was terrified.
The Tmimim, who had begun
gathering the wheat, wondered

whether to continue their work

through the barrage or to flee,
each one to his lodgings and to
continue only when the bombing
stopped. They decided to ask the
Rebbe Rashab.
Three of those involved in the
work were chosen. The Rebbe
heard them describe the situation
and offered that they eat lunch
but one of the explained that
there was much work left to do.
The Rebbe said, Maybe those
who live far away should go
home using side streets. R Isaac
was embarrassed to respond
to what the Rebbe said and just
mumbled, Today there is a lot
we can do.
There was silence in the
room. They all knew it was very
dangerous to go out now to

collect the wheat. On the other

hand, time was short and there
was much work to be done. The
three waited respectfully for a
few minutes and then the Rebbe
said, There is no danger. You
can collect until evening.
When they heard this decisive
pronouncement from the Rebbe,
the three went out and told all
those involved in the work that
the Rebbe said they could collect
the wheat. The work was done
in peace and a few days later the
Denikin soldiers were expelled
from the area.


Once, at the Tzemach
Tzedeks seder, when they
did Yachats, one of the people
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Art by Zalman Kleiman

broke the middle matza and

then examined which piece was
larger so as to put it away for the
Seeing this, the Tzemach
Tzedek said, A gadol which
needs to be measured a katan is
greater than he.
(Likkutei Sippurim Perlov)


The Rebbe Rayatz related:
When they watched my father
as he drank the four cups and
ate a kzayis of matza and maror,
they were able to learn many
paths in the service of G-d.
His holy visage which
expressed great satisfaction,
along with the tear drops which
flowed freely as he ate the maror,
bespoke a loftiness above the
natural human order. Reflected

in them were all the beauty and

exaltation of transcendence of
form over matter.
(Likkutei Dibburim vol. 1)


R Meir Harlig related:
The Rebbe would take a long
time choosing the three matzos
for the keara and twice I saw the
Rebbe take one, look at it, put
it down, open another package,
and so on.
At one of the Pesach meals,
R Simpson told the Rebbe that
the bachurim were mehader on
Pesach. The Rebbe asked him: In
what way?
R Simpson said: They dont
drink milk on Pesach.
The Rebbe said: The Rebbe,

my father-in-law, drank milk on

Pesach; especially today where
its not like in Russia where
you could not replace keilim for
Pesach and it is also possible to
buy before Pesach.
Then the Rebbe asked: What
He said they dont use sugar.
The Rebbe said: That was only a
practice in Beis HaRav and not
of everyone. In my fathers home
they ate sugar, especially when
they cook it before Pesach.
At that same time, someone
commented that machine matzos
were outright chametz and the
Rebbe said: How could you say
such a thing? Thousands of G-d
fearing people eat those matzos!


At the Seudas Moshiach of
5733/1973, in the middle of the

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mekuravim or guests who were

attending the Rebbes farbrengen
for the first time.


farbrengen, during one of the

niggunim, the Rebbe took a piece
of matza, wrapped it in a paper
napkin, threw it into the crowd,
and when someone caught it the
Rebbe said: Food of healing.
He did so again and said to
the person who caught it: Food
of faith.
This was repeated five or six
times with the Rebbe sometimes
saying food of healing and
sometimes food of faith.
Afterward it was seen as
a wonder because those who
happened to catch the matza
and were told food of healing,
either they or a family member
needed a big refua and yeshua,
while those who happened
to catch the matza and were
told food of faith, needed
strengthening of emuna.
The most surprising of all was
that at least three of them were

A famous genius, someone

enormously gifted and incredibly
deep, went to Liozna and
assiduously studied Chassidus.
With his abilities, within a short
time he amassed tremendous
knowledge of Chassidus. In
his first yechidus with the Alter
Rebbe, he asked: Rebbe, what do
I lack?
The Rebbe said: You lack
nothing because you are G-d
fearing and a scholar. You just
need to extract the chametz
the ego and coarseness, and put
in matza bittul.
A vessel which was used
with yeshus (ego), in which he
thinks he is light, such as skewers
which thrust away the feet of the
Shchina for I and he cannot
reside [in one contained space]
needs libun (the kashrus
purification process through
white-hot heat). Libun is until
the sparks of the birurim fly and
are incorporated within the true


The Rebbeim held a brief first
seder (in order to finish before
midnight) and spoke at length
about the Hagada on the second
night. However, we find this in
an entry written by one of Anash
in 5714/1954:
The first night of Pesach there
was no farbrengen afterward but
at the end of the seder, when
they sang Keili Ata (which is
done as Eliyahus cup of wine is
poured back into the bottle), he
said in the name of the Rebbe
Rayatz that this niggun is a segula
for a revelation of Eliyahu and a

preparation for the Geula. Saying

this, the Rebbe motioned that
they should continue singing and
the crowd escorted him toward
his room with this niggun.
In the hallway, near his room,
the Rebbe stopped and said a few
sichos with breaks for singing
and dancing. The Rebbe was in
an emotional state the entire time
and there still echoes in my ears
what he said about the neshama
which is a part of G-d above
mamash, and he pointed toward
some people and said that this
neshama is found in your body,
and your body, and in everybody
standing here.
It is impossible to describe
the awesomeness of the manner
of speaking and emotion. We felt
how the Rebbe palpably saw the
neshama of each one of us.


In 5729/1969, after Yom
Tov was over, the Chassidim
observed a number of giluyim
from the Rebbe in connection
with the War of Attrition that was
taking place at that time in Eretz
The war was mainly an effort
on the part of the Egyptians to
weaken the desire to fight among
the Israeli soldiers. They fought
in the Sinai Peninsula and the
Suez Canal in order to arouse
opposition among the citizen
population against the continued
conquest of the Sinai. During
seventeen months of war, 721
Jews and soldiers were killed,
may Hashem avenge their blood,
while the losses of the Egyptians
amounted to thousands of
dead, the destruction of cities
on the Canal and oil refineries,
and hundreds of thousands of
refugees who streamed into
Pesach night, while reading

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Hallel in the Hagada, the Rebbe
repeated the words, lmakei
Mitzrayim bvchoreihem.
That night, the Rebbe went
home accompanied by two
bachurim from the yeshiva, as
was customary. One of them told
me that when they reached the
Rebbes house, the Rebbe turned
to them and began singing,
MMitzrayim Galtanu and
motioned with his hands to sing
louder for five minutes.
When they read the Shiras
HaYam on the seventh day of
Pesach, at the verses, dread shall
fall upon them, they saw the
Rebbe making special motions
that expressed special spiritual
channeling as related to the
situation of the Jews living in
Eretz Yisroel.


The Rebbe Rashab would
go to the river himself and
draw mayim shlanu for the
kneading of the shmura matza
that they baked for him on Erev
Pesach. Usually, at this time of
year, when the snow melted, the
streets of Lubavitch which was
a small town whose streets were
not properly paved were full
of mud. For this reason, walking
was difficult even though the
distance from his house to the
river was not great. The drawing
of the water was also not easy, for
large sections of the river were
still frozen and one had to find a
convenient place from which to
draw the water.
One year, the Rebbe was very
weak and he did not leave his
house for a long time. Someone
in the household asked Rebbetzin
Rivka, the Rebbes mother, to
tell her son not to go himself to
draw the water. Rebbetzin Rivka,
who was known as a very wise

woman, said, I cannot mix into

my sons spiritual matters, and
she did not say anything to him.
(Likkutei Sippurim p. 186)


The mashpia, R Mendel
Futerfas, related:
Bentzion Shemtov, who was
very active in spreading the
wellsprings and Judaism in Soviet
Russia on shlichus of the Rebbe
Rayatz, was once arrested (he
was arrested other times too)
for his counter-revolutionary
activity. They put him in jail along
with other political prisoners.
His cellmates were also
Jews, members of the Zionist
movement, who were arrested
for the crime of Zionist activity.
The Zionists opposed and fought
Torah and mitzvos just like the
Jewish communists, especially
knowing the Rebbe Rayatzs
opposition to their movement.
They hated the Chassidim and
did all they could to thwart their
holy work in spreading Judaism.
In the days before Pesach, R
Bentzion was afraid that he would
not be able to do the mitzva of
eating matza, and he would not
be able to eat anything on the
days when it was forbidden to eat
chametz. He tried to do what he
could to urge his family to send
him matza and provisions for
His cellmates mocked him.
A pity for the effort youre
making. In any case, it wont
work out. What do you think,
that we will allow you to eat
matza on Pesach? Let it be clear
the moment matzos arrive, if
they arrive, we will make sure
to smash and destroy them so
nothing remains.
It also seemed clear that he

could not complain to the prison

authorities and the GPU, for
their reaction was liable to be
even more evil, and if they hadnt
thought of doing this themselves,
they would buy into the idea
and do it themselves.
R Bentzion worried but still
made every effort to get his family
to send him matza. Hashem
helped and he was released from
jail before Pesach. The feeling of
freedom on this holiday which is
the Time of Our Freedom was
greater than ever before.
But he did not forget his
cellmates. As soon as he was
freed, he went to buy good food
and drink with the little money he
had (as much as could be bought
in Russia of those times), kosher
for Pesach of course, and he sent
it to his friends who were still
behind bars. Literally, repaying
evil with good.

When R Mendel Futerfas was
in a Siberian labor camp he made
great efforts to obtain matza for
Pesach. Months before Pesach he
did all he could so that the matza
would arrive on time.
His family sent him matza
far in advance of Pesach but the
Jewish communists in the camp
made sure that the matzos were
given to him only the day after
Pesach so that that year he was
unable to do the mitzva.
R Mendel was made of tough
stuff and he had his sights set on
the following year. With great
effort he hid the matzos that he
had received after Pesach and
watched over them for an entire
year, despite the danger and the
searches so that the next year
he could do the mitzva and have
what to eat.

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Chol HaMoed, the entire family sits together and
munches on matza. For dessert, you might want
to serve up a Chassidic tale. * For the holiday
that is all about telling stories.
Compiled and rewritten by Tovi Kenig


Each year the Rebbe would
leave over some matza from his
afikoman. One day, the Rebbes
secretary, R Leibel Groner, was
given an address by the Rebbe
in Bombay, India and was asked
to send a piece of the afikoman
by express mail to that address.
He was to write that it was for
a family that requested a bracha
for the mother who was sick
and the doctors had despaired.
The Rebbe asked him to contact
the family and tell them to try
to get their mother to eat from
the afikoman and since matza
is food of faith and food of
healing, Hashem would send
her a complete recovery.
R Groner sent the afikoman

to the family and conveyed the

Rebbes instruction. Two weeks
later, the daughter called and
said that they had put crumbs of
the matza into her mouth and her
condition improved significantly
right away. Within a short time,
she had fully recovered.

The Rebbes father, R Levi
Yitzchok Schneersohn, served as
rabbi in a city in southern Russia.
It was in this area that wheat
grew for the entire country. Since
he was one of the great rabbanim,
the hechsher for the grinding of
the flour for matza was under his
factories including the flour mills

and matza bakeries, they found

out that, until then, everyone
relied on the Rebbes fathers
hechsher. They knew that if they
did not obtain his hechsher that
year, nobody would buy flour
from them for Pesach. So they
called him down and asked him
whether he would also provide a
hechsher that year on the flour.
They warned him that if he
rejected some of the flour and
did not give a hechsher, as a
result of which some of the flour
would not be sold, this would be
understood to mean that he was
harming the countrys economy
and was fighting the government.
This was because the profits from
selling the flour would belong to
the government.
R Schneersohn said that if he
could ensure that the grinding of

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the wheat was in accordance with
halacha, then he would give a
hechsher that year too. But if they
did not listen to him, not only
would he not give a hechsher,
he would publicly announce
that the flour was not under his
representatives repeated their
demand that he give a hechsher
on the flour unconditionally and
not reject anything for kashrus
reasons, and warned that
otherwise he would be considered
to be fighting the government. R
Levi Yitzchok was not frightened
by what they said. He firmly
replied that he would not do
anything against the Torah. He
added that he was ready to travel
to Moscow to meet with the
president of the Soviet Union,
Kalinin, and explain to him that it
was impossible to give a hechsher
on something that wasnt kosher.
If the president would want to
punish him, so be it, but he would
not budge from his position and
would not do anything against
G-ds will.
representatives tried to threaten
and frighten him, all to no avail.
The story eventually reached the
president of the Soviet Union or
his advisors and then the order
came to follow R Levi Yitzchoks
associated with the grinding of
the wheat.
And thats how it was that
year. All the matzos that were
baked in the government bakeries
were made from flour that
was under his supervision and
hechsher. The government itself
gave him this authority.
The Rebbe publicized this
story in order to teach every Jew,
including children, that when you
stand firmly to fulfill Hashems
desire, Hashem helps you fight

against all the obstacles and in

the end you are victorious. The
claim that the gentiles interfere
is false and is a tactic of the evil
(From the sicha of 18 Nissan
5743, at a childrens rally)

children of Abraham).
The apostate was amazed by
this retort and kept quiet. All the
Jews present, and lhavdil, the
gentiles, laughed at his downfall
and were impressed by the
Tzemach Tzedeks clever answer.




During the time of the

Tzemach Tzedek, the Russian
government tried to make
changes in Jewish education
thanks to the tactics of the
maskilim. The Russian Education
Minister convened a meeting to
discuss the matter. The Tzemach
Tzedek was the main speaker at
this meeting and he rejected all
outside interference in Jewish
education. When he was about to
leave the meeting together with
other rabbanim, a Jewish apostate
official waved a Hagada at them
and said that it proved that the
Jews had killed the originator
of Christianity and they used
Christian blood.
He read from the Hagada,
Rabbi Yehuda would give
signs: dtzach, adash, bachav
and interpreted it thus: dtzach
dam tzrichim kulchem (you
all need blood), adash al
dvar shharagtem (because you
killed), bachav ben keil chai
bashomayim (the son of the
living G-d in heaven).
The rabbanim were taken
aback by his perversion of the
true intention but the Tzemach
Tzedek immediately replied that
it came from lack of knowledge
and displayed his ignorance.
The real meaning is, dtzach
divrei tzdokim kazav (the
words of the Sadducees are
false), adash alilas dam sheker
(the blood libel is false), bachav
bnei Avrohom chalila bzos
(G-d forbid such a thing for the

It was Pesach night and in

the shul in Dobromysl there was
a commotion. Two partners,
Aharon Shmuel and Betzalel
Chaim, who owned a small liquor
factory, had forgotten to sell their
chametz! Each of them had relied
on the other one to do so and it
was only Pesach night that they
realized that the chametz had not
been sold. At first they blamed
one another for the oversight but
then they immediately went over
to the rav. The rav called over the
Dayan and after they discussed it
they paskened that the beer had
to be spilled out with no benefit
taken from it (according to
Halacha, chametz under Jewish
ownership on Pesach cannot be
enjoyed), while the utensils and
dry grains had to be locked up
until after Pesach.
But the partners were not
satisfied with this psak din and
they asked the Dayan to tell them
how to do tshuva. The Dayan felt
bad for these simple Jews and he
reassured them. As he was talking
to them, the wives of the partners
ran into the shul screaming. They
had heard what had happened
and were afraid they would be
punished by heaven. The Dayan
went up to the bima and tried to
reassure everyone. The crowd
began to disperse but Betzalel
Chaim was not sufficiently
reassured. He vowed not to have
any benefit from the factory and
not to suffice with the psak din
that said he should merely pour
out the beer. Only then did he

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feel somewhat better.

before he fell asleep,
he noticed that a fire
had broken out nearby.
He went outside and
factory was on fire.
The townspeople, who
saw that his property
was going up in flames,
pitied him and tried to
empathize with him. But
to their surprise, Betzalel
Chaim looked happy and
he danced. He felt that
the fire was a sign that
Hashem had accepted
his tshuva. When he
was sure that the factory
was burned down to the
ground he went and told
his partner.
Betzalel Chaim was
so happy that he did not
go to sleep that night.
He went to the beis midrash
where there were Jews who
were awake because of the fire.
Some of them said the fire was a
punishment from heaven for the
sin of not selling the chametz,
but Betzalel Chaim said it wasnt
a punishment but a salvation and
he said he wasnt at all worried
over the loss of his livelihood.
The next day it was discovered
that the fire had begun in one of
the gentile homes in the area and
had started due to an argument
between neighbors. Erev Pesach,
one had attacked the other and
had hit him with an iron bar and
broke his ribs. The son of the
man who was beaten avenged
his father and set the neighbors
house on fire. On the one hand,
the Jews were horrified by the
cruelty of the gentiles; on the
other hand, they were amazed by
the reaction of Betzalel Chaim.
Those who arrived at the
beis midrash that morning saw

Betzalel Chaim standing on the

platform and saying Thillim
with all the congregants. He was
the reader and his recitation of
Thillim was not with a broken
heart as someone who had
suffered a tremendous monetary
loss but as someone giving praise
and thanks to G-d.
(The Rebbe Rayatz, Seifer


was walking on the street in
Chernovitz was arrested by a
KGB agent. In his belongings
a package of matza was found.
These matzos had been baked
secretly and against Soviet law.
A crime like this generally
resulted in a sentence of hard
labor in Siberia. The porter stood
there helplessly as the policeman
tried to draw out of him the
names of the participants in the
baking and where the bakery was

located. When the porter

remained silent, not
wanting to inform on his
friends, the policeman
began dragging him to
the police station. Many
Jews gathered nearby
who shared in the pain
of their brother but they
were unable to offer him
any help.
Then the Chassid,
R Avrohom Shmuel
by and noticed what
was going on. He
immediately came to
the aid of the porter.
With unusual courage
he went over, took the
package of matzos and
said to the policeman,
These are my matzos.
The unfortunate porter
immediately grabbed the
opportunity and fled.
The astonished policeman
immediately began to interrogate
R Avrohom Shmuel. Who
are you? Where are you from?
Where is the matza bakery?
But the Chassid did not answer
any of the questions. He just
gazed at him and said fearlessly,
Let us go together to the police
station where I will expose who
you really are. In Russia of
those days, when they feared a
KGB policeman like the Angel
of Death, nobody dared to speak
to a policeman that way. The
Jews standing around were sure
the Chassid would be punished
severely for his impudence but
surprisingly, the policeman was
frightened. He left the package
of matza with the Chassid
and walked away. R Avrohom
Shmuel returned the matza to
the porter, happy that he had
saved a Jew from the clutches of
the KGB.
(Yahadus HaDmama)

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Today, more than ever, we can say with
certainty: the world is ready. All the delays, all
the obstacles, the perspective that maybe we
should change or hide things so people will
be receptive, are only in our heads. They dont
really exist. When we acknowledge that the
problem is only with us, we can find a solution.
* An essay from a seasoned Israeli journalist
published in the winter of 5772.
By Mati Tochfeld
Journalist and political commentator for Yisroel HaYom

n a Chabad shul in
Yerushalayim where most
of the worshipers are
not Chabad, they danced
enthusiastically last Simchas Torah,
together with many guests who
looked for the most joyous place
in the neighborhood to spend Yom

Tov. The atmosphere was electric

and the lchaims flowed.
The dancing lasted for hours.
Toward the end of the hakafos,
the crowd starting singing Yechi,
just like that, spontaneously. It
just seemed the right thing to do.
Who started the singing the

Lubavitchers? No! The guests!

They were the ones who felt,
even before the locals, that they
were in the Rebbes house with
everything that signifies. The
world is ready; the question is,
are we?
Today, more than ever, we

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can say with certainty: the world

is ready. All the delays, all the
obstacles, the perspective that maybe
we should change or hide things so
people will be receptive, are only in
our heads. They dont really exist.
When the Rebbe said to teach
inyanei Moshiach and Geula in
a way that would make people
intellectually receptive, he presented
the Chassidim with a serious
challengeto take abstract concepts
like Moshiach and Geula and market
them in a way that people could
relate to. Its not easy, but when we
realize that the problem lies inside of
us, we can find the solution.
A few weeks ago I was in
the midst of a politically stormy
week. As a political commentator
for Yisroel HaYom, I had to send
material to the editor at a rapid pace
and the pressure was enormous.
At some point, I sat down for a
short conversation with one of my

colleagues, a journalist who is not

at all religiously inclined. We spoke
about the pressure at work, the
demands of the bosses and the need
to meet the deadlines every day.
At some point in the conversation
I commented: In the end, Moshiach
will come.
excitedly and said: Nu, so let him
come already!
Later on, when I was sitting on
my own, I analyzed the fervor with
which he had expressed his desire
for Moshiach to come. I arrived at a
simple insight with a deep message:
This point, of looking forward to
Moshiach, is something that exists
within every Jew, and therefore, we
dont need to be afraid to approach
any Jew and tell him that Moshiach
is about to come. Its good news for
him and everyone is happy to hear
good news.
True, every person has his timing,

his circumstances in which he is

inspired to anticipate Moshiach. We
need to have the Besuras HaGeula
on the tip of our tongues so that
when the right moment arises we
can convey it directly into the heart
of the person we are encountering.

For some reason, the impression
is that those Chassidim who openly
publicize the Besuras HaGeula are
the ones who put in effort to connect
people directly to the Rebbe through
writing to him. Some people are
uncomfortable speaking about this,
especially about the possibility of
receiving answers from the Rebbe
through the Igros Kodesh.
You can certainly understand
this reticence when you are facing
a rational person. Youre afraid that
when you start talking about an
answer that he will get when he puts
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in a question at a random place
in a set of books the person will
think youre crazy. But when you
know that just like that spark of
Moshiach, every Jew has a G-dly
spark and within his neshama
there is a natural emuna, simple
faith, its easier to approach
any Jew and talk to him about
supernatural things. He will
believe much more readily than
we think he will.


The national bar exam took
place three weeks ago. Its an
extremely difficult exam. Over
half of those taking the exam
fail. The young aspiring lawyers
spend months preparing for the
exam which follows four years
of study and another year of
internship. Whoever fails, and
thats the majority of the exam
takers, will have to retake the
exam in another few months.
Needless to say, only those who
pass receive their license to
practice law.
One of those who took the
exam is a friend whom I know
through work. He is a leading
political activist in one of the
big Israeli parties. Since he
is traditional, I told him that
I wanted to pray for him and
say Thillim for his success on
the exam. He was pleased, of
course, and he reminded me that
he puts on tfillin every day and
says Thillim regularly. His wife,
he mentioned, lights Shabbos
candles every week.
It was only after we hung
up and after I realized that his
devotion to tradition was stronger
than I thought, that I decided to
ask the Rebbe for a bracha for
him through the Igros Kodesh.
At the time, I had no idea how

important this exam was for him.

The answer was quite positive
and was addressed to someone
who planned on moving and
spoke about success that comes
from spiritual fortification.
I called him to tell him what
the Rebbe wrote. I explained the
idea of Igros Kodesh and how we
use it to connect to the Rebbe. I
spoke to him about the Rebbes
eternal leadership and gave him
some personal examples that
demonstrated the efficacy of the
Igros Kodesh.
I told him my story, that when
I was in the Reserves seven years
ago, I suggested to the men in
my unit that they put on tfillin
and some of them began doing so
every day while in the Reserves.
Then my wife called in tears.
She was pregnant with our first
daughter and she said she had
taken a test and the results were
terrible, and it was highly likely
that our unborn daughter would
be seriously ill and the doctors
were even talking to her about
the possibility of aborting.
I felt helpless, especially being
in the Reserves and unable to
go home to be with my wife and
comfort her. I quickly called a
Lubavitcher friend who wrote to
the Rebbe for me. After he spent
a long time reading the answer,
he asked me, Do you do mivtza
tfillin? I said, I put tfillin on
with guys here in the Reserves.
I cant believe it, he said.
Listen to what the Rebbe writes:
In the merit of mivtza tfillin and
spreading Judaism, you will merit
a complete healing, you, your
wife, and offspring, and continue
spreading Judaism in greater
I finished telling my friend
the story by describing my
excitement and that of my wife
and my instructing my wife to
ignore everything the doctors

told her because there was no

arguing with the Rebbes bracha.
My friend was very excited.
Nu, tell me what the Rebbe
wrote to me. What did he answer
about the test?
Before that, theres another
incident I want to tell you about,
I said. It has to do with a bracha
for a friend of mine who was
about to take the medical boards.
I spent Tishrei of last year with
the Rebbe. On the Sunday
following Shabbos BReishis, the
day I left, I wrote to the Rebbe
after Shacharis for relatives and
friends. One of my friends, a
very close childhood friend, had
finished medical school in Italy
and was about to take the boards
in order to qualify for a license
from the Health Ministry. Only
those who passed the exam could
do a medical internship in Israel.
The exam was going to take place
two days later.
But thats not the whole
story. While he was studying in
Italy, which took seven years, he
met a gentile Italian girl. After
many months of being together,
they were thinking of marrying.
He had his doubts because of
pressure and pleading on the
part of his parents and friends,
but it seemed that his love for her
would win out.
In the end, he decided to
try to manage in Eretz Yisroel
without her. The problem was
that in order to practice medicine
in Eretz Yisroel he had to first
pass these boards. If he stayed in
Europe, he could start working as
a doctor immediately. I was very
nervous that his failing the exam
which was given twice a year
would result in him returning to
Europe where the girl waited for
The problem was that only
30% pass the test. Most of
those who take the test have to

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take it two or three times before

passing. I even know one doctor
who had to take it six times until
he passed. Most of those who
pass the test do so after taking a
few months course given by the
Health Ministry, but this friend
returned from Italy two months
after the course began and
couldnt make up the material in
such a short time.
I asked the Rebbe for success
on the boards for this friend, the
first time around. The answer
was clear: bracha vhatzlacha.
Three weeks later my friend got
the results. He had passed the
exam! Today he is a doctor at
Mayanei Hayeshua.
After this story, the political
activist friend of mine on the line
lost his patience. What did the
Rebbe say about my exam? he
asked. I cant take the tension. I
still did not know how important
this exam was to him.
The Rebbes letter was
lengthy. I decided to quote only
those parts that seemed relevant
in which the Rebbe wished
success in all matters. I could tell
that he didnt quite understand
the answer; it didnt speak to
him. When I saw that I was
beginning to get tied up in knots,
I said to him: I will read it to you
from the beginning. This is what
the Rebbe writes: Regarding
your buying a new apartment, it
should be with great success and
one who changes his location
changes his fortune . He
interrupted me and asked, Who
is the Rebbe writing to?
This is your answer, I said.
I cant believe it, he
Then he told me what
he hadnt told anyone else,
especially his closest relatives.
I am actually moving. Now
it was my turn to be surprised.
But thats not all. I took a

loan of three million shekels. I

committed myself to the seller
in a contract that I would give
him the money, but the bank is
delaying approval of the loan
until I pass my exams. That is my
guarantee for a stable income as
a lawyer. If I fail, theres no loan
and there goes the apartment and
the down payment.
When I heard this, I felt a
strong sense of calm, Now I
understand what the Rebbe is
saying. Let it be clear you
are about to move to a new

We cannot ignore the fact

that reality has changed before
our eyes. Its only now that we
understand things the Rebbe
said over twenty years ago. Since
5751, the Rebbe has taught
us how to deal with the world.
Today, two decades later, we can
see how the world is ready.
Jewish songs were never
heard on certain radio stations
and now they are standard fare.
Even in the darkest of places,
in the corridors of politicians,
strongholds of Zionism and

The dancing lasted for hours. Toward the end of

the hakafos, the crowd starting singing Yechi,
just like that, spontaneously. It just seemed the right
thing to do. Who started the singing the Lubavitchers?
No! The guests! They were the ones who felt, even before
the locals, that they were in the Rebbe's house with
everything that signifies. The world is ready; are we?
apartment. Thats definite. If, for
this to happen, you need to pass
the exam, there is no doubt you
will pass.
He could not believe it.
In his excitement, I took the
opportunity to tell him that now
was the time to make a good
hachlata and to publicize it.
I have a hachlata, he said. I
will stop smoking on Shabbos.
I told him that I thought this
was definitely an appropriate
And theres another thing I
want, he suddenly added. In
my new office, I want there to
be a library with Chabad books
including some volumes of Igros
When the results of the exam
arrived, he was one of the few
who passed. Next month, he will
attend a ceremony in which he
will get his license.

hypocrisy, the thirst for Judaism

Recently, it has become
difficult for me to have a
conversation with a politician in
which some Jewish point does
not come up, and its not always
me who brings it up.
From day to day I see how
right the Rebbe is; under the
cloak of klipa, which sometimes,
unfortunately, is thick and coarse,
there is a spark in everyone that
is waiting to be discovered. This
spark believes in hiskashrus to
the Rebbe today, after 3 Tammuz,
and it also believes that the Geula
is imminent and the Rebbe will
come and redeem us.
This spark has no problem
receiving all the spiritual lights.
In fact, it actually yearns for us to
reach out and ignite it already!
Its up to us. So lets get to

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My Pesach


By R Shlomo Reinitz

he unforgettable Pesach
night with the Rebbe
began one day in Nissan
of 5724/1964 when R
Moshe Leib Rodstein, the secretary
of the Rebbe Rayatz and later
the Rebbes secretary, asked me,
Are you interested in working
I did not understand the
significance of his question but
when a distinguished person
asked for help, I was happy to say
yes without knowing that at that
moment I was binding myself
to Beis Rebbi and was even giving
my consent to set the table for the
Pesach meals and to be with the
Rebbe throughout all those meals
along with the senior Chassidim.
I later learned what my job
consisted of helping the cook,
setting the table in the Rebbe
Rayatzs apartment on the second
floor of 770 where Rebbetzin
Nechama Dina lived and where
the family and the guests ate the
meals, and serving during the
meals and then cleaning off the
The first Yom Tov meal I spent
in the Rebbes presence was the
seder. A few days before Pesach
I began working in the kitchen
in Rebbetzin Nechama Dinas
home. I opened eggs, checked
and dried lettuce, and grated
maror. Rebbetzin Nechama Dina

R Shlomo Reinitz in 770

was in the kitchen and she said,

You need to watch out and be
careful. You did not know the
Bubbe Rivka (the wife of the
Rebbe Maharash). She was very
particular and I want everything
here to be done as it was in her
everyone, including me, passed
by the Rebbe and received
matzos or pieces of matza for
the seder. Pesach night it was
customary that the helpers
receive matzos after Maariv from
the Rebbe. Since I had already
received matza from the Rebbe in
the afternoon, I did not go down
to take more matza.
That night, after eating the
fish, I sat at the other end of the

table. The Rebbe suddenly asked

me, Why didnt you come down
to get matzos?
Rashag repeated the question.
My brother-in-law is asking
why you did not go down to take
I did not dare answer the
Rebbe and I indirectly told
Rashag that I had already
received matza in the afternoon.
The Rebbe called me over and
took a piece of matza from his
keara and gave it to me. It was a
very unusual display of affection
because the Rebbe hardly ever
gave anyone from his matzos. I
noticed that the Rebbe took the
leftovers with him.
I saw that the Rebbe ate only
with his right hand and never
used a knife. If it was necessary
to cut something, he used a fork.
He also used a lot of salt on the
fish until they lost their taste. At
one meal, one of the people asked
him about this and the Rebbe said
that there were things that were
not meant as instructions for the
public and he did so because his
father did so.
The Rebbe ate a kzayis of
horseradish for maror but before
that he squeezed the maror to get
out the moisture.
At some point they would
open the door and only
distinguished guests were allowed

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to enter. By Shfoch Chamascha

and Hallel everyone was allowed
to enter.
The Rebbe said the Hagada
silently. At the last stage of the
Hagada, the Rebbe would start
saying it out loud with a tune
and with great concentration.
Everyone crowded in to hear the
For many years, R Yaakov
Katz of Chicago would read and
sing the Hagada. Once, when he
went down to take matza before
the seder I heard the Rebbe ask
him, Do you remember how the
shver (the Rebbe Rayatz) said the
He said he thought the Rebbe
sang it the way he [R Katz] did.
The Rebbe said that wasnt
R Katz asked, how then?
The Rebbe said, I dont
remember how, but I know that it
wasnt the way you read it.

The Rebbe sitting at the Rebbe Rayatzs table

Pesach night, after eating the fish, I sat at the

other end of the table. The Rebbe suddenly
asked me, Why didnt you come down to get matzos?
The Rebbe called me over and took a piece of matza
from his keara and gave it to me. It was a very unusual
display of affection because the Rebbe hardly ever gave
anyone from his matzos.

My Pesach


By R Zushe Gross

remember that seder until

this very day even though
over sixty years have passed
since then!

It was 5711/1951 and I was

a young boy around bar mitzva
age. My older brother Berel and
I were in Tashkent. Our mother

had died a young woman due to

the events of World War II.
At that time, my father, R
Shmuel Pruss, was not with

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us as he had fled the KGB who
were searching for him. Also,
as a released prisoner, he was
not allowed to live in big cities,
including Tashkent. He had to
hide in Samarkand and now and
then we would get regards from
At the beginning of the winter,
we two young boys set our
minds to the matter of obtaining
wine that we needed to prepare
for Pesach. We did not know
how to make wine. Obviously,
we couldnt go to the nearest
store and buy wine with a good
hechsher the way you do today.
One of Anash in Tashkent
told us what to do; buy grapes
and sugar along with a large
bottle like a jerry can. Then put
the grapes into the bottle, first
checking that there were no bugs
on the grapes but being careful
not to wash the grapes with
water, and after a certain amount
of grapes to put a layer of sugar
and then a layer of grapes and
another layer of sugar. Then
close the bottle well and allow
the fermentation process to take
We did as he said. We went
to the local market and bought
a lot of Shiraz black grapes. We
measured out grapes and sugar
and then closed the bottle and
left it in a protected, cool place.
A few hours before Pesach
our father came from Tashkent
to be with us. We knew he was
supposed to come but did not
know when. We had managed
to obtain matza that Anash, who
were still in Tashkent, had baked.
We set up the seder table
in the courtyard for it was very
warm in Tashkent at that time
of year. Of course there were
no fans or air conditioners and
so we decided to sit outside for
some relief.
I remember the atmosphere,

R Zushe Gross

a sort of freedom within all the

harsh years in Stalinist Russia.
After a festive Maariv we all sat
around the table. My father sat at
the head and my brother and I sat
on a bench on the other side. My
fathers new wife sat opposite.
My father made Kiddush using
the holiday tune and then we all
recited it too and everyone drank
the first cup while leaning.
My father used a regular glass
cup while we used small clay
cups that those in Uzbekistan use
for hot drinks.
My father suddenly said to us,
I must put my head down on the
table for a few minutes. Continue
with the seder and Ill catch
up to you. He thought that

because of the trip he had made

that day he was exhausted.
Not much time elapsed before
my older brother Berel said his
head was feeling heavy and he
too wanted to put his head down
on the table for a few minutes
and we should continue. As he
said this, I felt my head begin to
get really heavy and I felt dizzy.
I put my head down too, for a
few minutes.
Dawn was beginning to break
as we all woke up from a very
deep sleep. We looked around
us in astonishment, right and
left, up and down, and did not
understand what had happened
to us. Minutes went by before
we realized that the wine we had
made was particularly strong so
that an ordinary person couldnt
take it. We didnt know what to
do next. The leil shimurim had
passed without our having done
the mitzvos of the night.
My father recovered first. He
rushed us, and washed his hands
and quickly ate a kzayis of matza
and maror before day had fully
The next night we were well
prepared and we diluted the wine
with plenty of water so we could
drink the wine and fulfill the
mitzvos of the night properly.

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My Pesach

By Shneur Chaviv

hen the editor texted

me asking for a
special seder in my
life, the first thought I had was that
I could whip up an article like that
in a second. How many words?
I texted him back. 600/700 he
responded. No problem, Ill send
it, I wrote him.
I usually dont respond that
way because I am not a fast
writer. It has happened that Ive
gazed at the computer for an
entire night and written one line,
so to promise a column during
a week that we were having a
hachnasas Seifer Torah, a dinner,
had to clean for Pesach, and give
out food baskets, could have been
an irresponsible commitment.
However, as someone whose
last seder with his parents was
at the age of fifteen (excluding
one year when we hosted them
at a public seder in Ramat Aviv)
and had near twenty public
sdarim behind him starting
with one for new immigrants in
the outskirts of Lud, New York,
India (a local community), India
(tourists), and northern Tel Aviv,
I immediately had flashbacks that
made me think I could knock this

Shneur Chaviv

off in no time.
But then I said to myself,
one minute. If I write about the
woman who burst into tears
when the children recited the
Ma Nishtana and about the older
couple who made a proper seder
for the first time in their lives,
then I would be telling about
their special seder, not mine.
I called my source of
inspiration and told her that I
needed to write about the most
special seder of my life. She said,
Write about Srulik.

Srulik is our fourth son

out of seven. Since he was a
baby, he had a very powerful
presence. You cant miss him.
He also makes sure that nobody
overlooks him.
Some years ago, we decided
for the first time that we would
not run a public seder. We left
the work to others and instead
of that, we planned on a seder at
home to which we would invite
families who were mekuravim.
We opened an extra-long
table and had four families
present, including us. But to us,
it was all for Hila and Noam
(pseudonyms) or, more precisely,
for Noam.
Hila and Noam were a
delightful couple. She had
become a baalas tshuva a
few years earlier and lived a
fully religious life. Noam was
respected one another and had a
wonderful relationship but when
it came to Judaism, Noam just
wasnt interested. Hila did not
pressure him; she just prayed
about him at every opportunity.
So when he said yes to our
invitation, everyone was happy.

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We knew there was no second
chance to make a first impression
and we put work into every detail
so as to make the best impression
on Noam.
We poured the wine, gave out
the Hagados, and began. Now
and then, we sang familiar tunes
and we offered explanations and
short stories throughout.
Noam, who at first was sitting
quietly, began to open up a bit.
He even joined the singing a little.
Hila sat near him and her face
shone with joy. The atmosphere
at the table was terrific until

the keara by a few centimeters

and spilling wine everywhere.
At this point, my attempt to
act as though all was normal was
utterly pathetic. I panicked. I
knew I had to take action and that
the solution was lots of attention
and love, but I also knew I had to
set boundaries and I did not want
him to feel that this was the way
to gain attention and empathy. At
the same time, I could not lose
Noam and the guests and had to
continue the seder. I was stuck.
But Srulik had his own
time-frame. The time he had

But Srulik had his own time-frame. The time he

had designated for me to make a pedagogical
decision had passed and he decided to move on to the
next prank. He climbed behind the back of Noams chair
and jumped on his head

Srulik felt that the show was

being stolen from him and he
decided to take it back. It started
with some mischief. I tried to
ignore him but he reacted with
more challenging behavior. My
wife began to signal me with her
eyes, Give him attention; hes
doing that because youre not
giving him attention.
Darling Srulik, come sit near
Abba, I played it cool while I
mustered up my biggest smile as
I tried to minimize any damage
by attempting to paper over the
crisis as it occurred.
But his reaction was a shoe
which flew from one end of the
living room and landed right in
the center of the table, missing

designated for me to analyze the

situation and make a pedagogical
decision had passed, as far as he
was concerned, and he decided
to move on to the next prank.
He climbed behind the back of
Noams chair and jumped on his
head. Srulik is, boruch Hashem,
a hefty kid and although he
was not yet three it still wasnt
pleasant having him jump on
your head.
realized that Noam wasnt the
problem, I was. So he left Noam
and focused his attacks on me.
Okay, so now we uncover
the matza, I tried to continue
the program with the nonstop
attempts of the little revolutionary

to rappel off my head.

Then we got to Dayeinu. I
took the opportunity and stood
up. I lifted Srulik up on my
shoulders and we began singing
Dayeinu as I danced with him,
turning right and left, dancing
and singing for a long time as
everyone sang along and clapped.
Srulik began to smile again.
We finished dancing. I was
huffing and puffing, red in the
face and sweating. I sat back
down and tried to breathe more
evenly but Srulik remained on
my shoulders. That is how we
continued the seder with Srulik
sitting on my shoulders, viewing
everything from above, all smiles,
receiving a piece of matza now
and then until he was completely
When everyone went home
and the children were asleep, my
wife and I sat down to review the
evening. We felt that our darling
Srulik had ruined the seder.
What did Noam think now?
Where were those platitudes
about religious families with well
cared for children who behaved
and sat nicely at the table?
The next day, in the womens
section of the Chabad House,
Hila came over to my wife after
the davening. Deena, wow, it
was fantastic last night. I must
give you a big thank you, Noam
enjoyed it so much, what an
atmosphere But the thing
he doesnt stop talking about
is Srulik, how adorable, what
energy, and how calm Shneur
was, taking him on his shoulders,
how nicely they danced. Deena,
Im telling you, it was an
unforgettable evening.



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My Pesach

By Faigi Kaminker

hirty-eight years ago, like

today, we lived in Afula.
For Pesach 5736/1976
we planned to be with our
parents which is why, although
we cleaned the house, we did not
kasher the kitchen. Instead, we
packed our suitcases, shopped and
were busy with Mivtza Matza.
On Yud-Alef Nissan, a few
days before Yom Tov, the Rebbe
farbrenged. The Rebbe spoke
about Mivtza Matza along with
an astounding chiddush. He
asked that even those Jews who
were in hospitals and prisons
feel true freedom on Pesach. The
Rebbe explained that sick people
who are hospitalized are like
prisoners, and as far as actual
inmates, he asked that they be
given a feeling of freedom to the
extent possible in prison.
Who, if not the Rebbe,
shepherd of Israel, is concerned
about the freedom of criminals?
If the Rebbe requested it, we had
to see how to do it, for every
instruction such as this was
directed at us the shluchim, the
hands and feet who carried out
the shlichus of the head.

Anash, we spoke to the prison
administration of the prison near
us about the possibility of making
a seder with the inmates.
It was only Erev Pesach
morning, after burning the
commander called and said,
Permission is granted to host a
couple in the prison. They asked
for two sdarim, one for inmates
and one for the personnel and
their families. He would set
aside rooms for us to sleep in
and a clean refrigerator, a Prison
Service vehicle would come and
get us before Yom Tov. Could we
do it?
Oy! The kitchen wasnt
kashered and we had no kosher
for Pesach products in the house.
All the Pesach dishes were in
locked closets. How could we
undertake a project like this? But
if the Rebbe asked, I was ready to
do it, on one condition, that by
one in the afternoon I had fish,
chicken, eggs, lettuce, ingredients
for charoses, vegetables for soup,
matzos of course, and other basic
items so I could prepare for the

Where would I get it all from?

The tiny Anash community
was geographically scattered
although otherwise united. We
were ein mishpacha. It made
no difference where my husband
got the things from; we knew
that each of the women would
contribute from her supply so we
could do this special shlichus of
the Rebbe.
Our parents who received
last minute notice of our absence
were not thrilled. As Poilishe
Chassidim they did not see why
we had to be the ones to do
this. They had already prepared
everything for us and it really
wasnt proper. It wasnt pleasant
having to withstand the pressure.
Quite a bit after zero hour,
my husband came home laden
with Pesach ingredients. We
immediately rolled up our sleeves
and got to work.
I dont recall another Erev
Pesach as special as that one. We
hadnt known how quickly you
can kasher a kitchen when every
minute counts. Within a very
short time the fish was clean and
sliced and in the pot; the chicken

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was cooking and so were the

rest of the basic ingredients, i.e.
potatoes and more potatoes.
The official car of the Prison
Service arrived and we loaded the
pots that had just been taken off
the fire, along with all the other
things we needed for the baby,
a suitcase, siddurim, Hagados,
matzos, wine, bedding. We felt a
little like the Jews leaving Egypt
with their ninety donkeys each.
Minutes before Yom Tov
began is when we arrived at the
prison. We were welcomed by
the guard and were assigned a
warden who escorted us to the
guest rooms which turned
out to be the offices of the
commander and his deputy
where folding beds had been
placed and where one room
had the promised refrigerator.
The offices were located in a
building separate and far from
where the inmates were housed.
The senior warden filled us in on
what would be happening. For
obvious reasons, women cannot
walk around near the inmates.
So, you (he said to me) will
remain here in this building for
the holiday and cannot leave. You

can walk around freely with the

baby in the hallways but thats it.
A guard will watch the building
24 hours during your stay here.
As for the seder, of course you
wont be able to attend it. We
are sorry but those are the rules.
Chag Sameiach and if you need
something, you can knock on the
door and ask the guard.
He waited for us to unload
everything and escorted my
husband and brother-in-law to
the dining room where the seder
for the inmates would take place.
I was taken aback but being
time to light candles did not
allow me to think about the
bizarre situation I had landed in.
I decided to daven and instead
of waiting for the men to return,
I began setting up a seder for
myself and the baby.
What usually takes hours at
a festive table, took maybe half
an hour with the bed serving as
the table (I had no choice but
to recline) including singing all
the traditional songs. I ended up
dozing off, feeling dizzy from the
four cups and exhaustion. It was
a Leil Shimurim with the Shomer

Yisroel as well as my personal

shomer who stood downstairs
near the door.
Many hours passed and then I
heard joyous voices in the room,
the men folk were about to make
the third seder of the evening,
this time with a Shulchan Aruch
that included warm fish and cold
soup. I, who had already fulfilled
my obligations of the mitzvos of
the evening, half listened to their
Kiddush and went back to sleep.
Early in the morning, the men
went to daven with the inmates
while I remained in the building,
strolling back and forth with
the baby carriage. A sand storm
began which prevented me from
getting some fresh air through
the windows. Back to a short
meal. The men used the rest of
the day to speak to inmates and
staff while I spent Yom Tov in an
empty building by myself.
I was locked in but I felt the
freedom that the Rebbe wished
for every Jew. I had free choice
and I overcame everything in
order to do what the Rebbe
wanted. It was all worth it. I
deeply felt the Ashreinu.

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By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg


One of the significant aspects
of the Seder is the emphasis
we place on questions, and
specifically, the Four Questions.
The four specific questions
are introduced with a general
one, the Ma Nishtana question:
Why is this night different from
all other nights?
The Rebbe Rashab (the
5th Lubavitcher Rebbe, whose
75th yahrtzait occurred two
weeks ago, on the 2nd of
Nissan) follows a tradition of
commentators who view the four
questions as four answers to a
single, overarching question.
The original question, the way
the Rebbe Rashab interprets it,
is restated as: why is this period
of Galus-exile different from all
preceding periods of exile?
What follows is an inquiry
into a modern modification of
that question and is directed to
finding a novel understanding of
the four answers.
Rather than focusing on our
exile in its entiretystretching
from the destruction of the
Second Temple to the present
let us focus on the paradoxical
period we are in right now.
The Rebbe (whose 113th
birthday we celebrated this week

on the 11th of Nissan) told us that

we are living in Messianic times;
Moshiach is already here. The
feast associated with Messianic
times has been set right in front
of us. We have but to open our
eyes and see it. All we need do is
welcome Moshiach into our lives.
The Rebbe pointed to 5750 and
5751 (corresponding roughly to
1990-1991) as years of miracles
and great wonders. The many
miracles during the Gulf War and
the astonishing peaceful collapse
of the former Evil Empire, the
Soviet Union, pointed to our
entry into a new age and invited
us to savor Redemption. In the
Rebbes own words: we have
witnessed the beginning and a
taste of Moshiachs effects on the

However, after all of these
seismic shifts in the geo-political
situation and incredible miracles
in Israel, we now find ourselves
apparently in a lull.
To be sure, miracles have
not ceased. But since the 3rd of
Tammuz of the year 5794 (1994)
we can no longer see and hear
the Rebbe. Israels very existence
is now being called into question
by its neighbors with more

ferocity than ever before. Even

friendly countries are putting
extraordinary pressure on Israel
to sacrifice its own security. So
many tragic losses have occurred
in the Jewish community and
beyond; most recently, and may
it be the last time such a horror
assails us, the devastating loss of
7 children in a fire last week. We
are forced to conclude that we
are in the period the Midrash and
Rashi call nichseh-[temporary]


And so the Ma Nishtana
question can be rephrased for
this moment in time as: Why
is this period of concealment
different from all other periods of
exile that preceded it?
The question does not
beg for a description of what
is happening or why it is
happeningthe former is quite
evident and the latter only G-d
can answer. Rather, the import
of the question is, how best do
we respond to this version of
night? What do we need to do
differently from past efforts to
bring about the Redemption?
And here too, we are not looking
unknown remedies to our Galus

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Parsha Thought
conditions. We just want to
know which Torah approaches,
within so many possible diverse
and legitimate ones, should we
emphasize now.


The first answer is: In all
other nights (read: periods of
Galus) we did not dip even once;
this night (phase of Galus) we
dip twice.
To understand the significance
of the double dipping we must

revolutionary things until they

became mainstream and then he
inspired us to dip again.
More specifically, in his
historic talk of the 28th of
Nissan 5751 the Rebbe spoke
of our mission: to introduce
the sublime light of the world
of Tohu into the ample vessels
of Tikkun. The world of Tohu,
Kabbala teaches us, is a spiritual
realm where G-dly light is too
powerful for vessels to contain it.
The world of Tikkun is a world
in which the light is sufficiently
attenuated so that it can fill

Those whose behavior is structured and therefore

limited must dip (a term in Hebrew which
also means to nullify oneself) by breaking out of their
pattern. And, conversely, those whose approach is nonconformist, zealous and revolutionary must also dip by
transforming their approach. They must learn to allow
their energy to be internalized and made acceptable to
the world. This double dipping requires that we change
the light of Tikkun into the light of Tohu and change
the vessels of Tohu into the vessels of Tikkun without
compromising either the energy of Tohu or the vessels
of Tikkun.
first review the reason for dipping
at the Seder. The dipping, we are
told, is to do things differently
and change the narrative. This
will pique the childs curiosity
and will invite more questions.
The child is the Moshiach
innocence covered up within us
and sandwiched in Messianic
energy that we now experience
in the period of nichsehconcealment.
We do unusual things because
it reveals the differences within
us; those elements that make us
different and unique.
The Rebbe taught us to do

the vessels. Our objective, the

Rebbe stated, is to introduce the
powerful energy of Tohu into
the consciousness of our limited
world of Tikkun.
This Kabbalistic formula can
be restated simply as we should
do revolutionarily radical things
(within the context of Judaism, of
course) and make them normal.
The Rebbe was preparing us
for this concealment period,
thus he emphasized the need for
double dipping.
Those whose behavior is
structured and therefore limited
must dip (a term in Hebrew
which also means to nullify

oneself) by breaking out of

their pattern. And, conversely,
non-conformist, zealous and
revolutionary must also dip
by transforming their approach.
They must learn to allow their
energy to be internalized and
made acceptable to the world.
This double dipping requires that
we do two things: a) change the
light of Tikkun into the light of
Tohu, and b) change the vessels
of Tohu into the vessels of Tikkun
without compromising either the
energy of Tohu or the vessels of

The second answer to the
Ma Nishtana question is: In all
other nights (read: Galus) we eat
Chametz and Matza, this night
(this phase of Galus) we eat only
Chametz and Matza are
symbols of ego and humility,
respectively. In other periods of
exile we pursued a two pronged
approach to fulfilling our
mission. We focused on our own
self-development by stroking our
egos, as symbolized by Chametz,
even as we were aware of our role
as G-ds emissaries charged with
bringing the world to its intended
goalthe Messianic Age, when
the world will be filled with G-ds
presence. When we focus only on
our own spiritual needs that is
like eating Chametz, symbolizing
the ego, but when we have our
eyes on the greater goal, we are
in a Matza state because we have
abandoned all personal agendas.
In another historic talk,
the Rebbe spoke of how we
concluded various missions in
the past, leaving us with a single
mission: to prepare ourselves and
the entire world for Moshiach.
The Rebbe added that this means
all of the multifarious things

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that we did and must continue

to do, are permeated with the
overarching theme of Moshiach.
Now we must be only Matza!
Even our need to enhance our
own spiritual lives becomes
enmeshed with and subsumed in
the quest to fulfill G-ds desire
for a world of Redemption.
We can no longer afford to be
sidetracked and follow tangents
into different areas that might be
divorced from attaining the goal.
On a long journey, the farther
we are from our destination the
more freedom we have to take a
detour to visit the sights on the
way. However, as we approach
our destination we must begin to
focus exclusively on how to reach
the goal.

The third answer to the Ma
Nishtana question is: In all
other nights (Galus) we ate all
types of greens, this night (phase
of Galus) we eat bitter herbs.
In the past, no matter how
difficult Galus was, there were
times when we derived some
satisfaction from our growth
(eat greens); today we are
shattered, wanting Redemption
for the world so badly that we
are crushed every day Moshiach
In the last discourse the

Rebbe distributed to us (entitled

VAta Tetzaveh) he clarified
how exile is more crushing
today than it was even when we
suffered from active persecution.
Put in simple terms, the greater
our expectations and the closer
we get to the goal, the greater
the yearning for it and the utter
frustration and bitterness we
experience from not having
reached it yet.


The fourth answer to the Ma
Nishtana question is: In all other
nights (Galus) we ate sitting or
reclining; this night (Galus) all of
us eat reclining.
As we know from reading the
Hagada every year, reclining is a
sign of freedom and Redemption.
In all other periods we
could compartmentalize our
relationship with Galus and
Geula; now we must be obsessed
with Geula.
Because we were so far from
realizing our most heartfelt
plea bring Moshiach now!
we had to find ways of coping
with and surviving Galus. So
while we set aside times and
opportunities to express our
desire for Redemption, we were
able to focus on Galus conditions
and exigencies. By contrast, in
this interim concealment period

of Galus all of us recline. No

matter ones level of knowledge
and practice of Judaism (and
we can all grow) we have
to be fixated on the future
Redemption. And while the third
answer spoke to the bitterness
we presently feel towards Galus,
that bitterness must not lead us
to depression, G-d forbid. Rather
it must stimulate our singular
focus on the future. Sadness
and depression have no room in
Jewish life today and certainly
not while crossing over from
Galus into Geula.
There is another crucial
message in the fourth answer.
Reclining together at the same
Seder table also conveys the
idea of Jewish unity. In the past,
unity was not as crucial as it is
today. Now we all need to be
sitting comfortably at the same
table even if we disagree about
everything else related to the path
to Redemption, among other
issues. We must recognize that
we are all brothers and sisters,
sitting as a family at our Father
in Heavens table. That itself is
a Moshiach phenomenon, which
will hasten the full revelation
of Moshiach and the true and
complete Redemption. May it be
this year in Jerusalem!
A Kosher and Happy Pesach!

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Naava Karmon has many miracle stories to share
as well as her journey from Moldavia, working
in the high-tech arena and becoming a baalas
tshuva through Arachim, and finally becoming a
shlucha of the Rebbe.
By Rochele Haramati

programmer and more.
This was the third year
in a row that she went to 770 for
Chanuka to draw renewed chayus
and strength for her personal
shlichus. Every year she brings
along one of her daughters and
provides her with a powerful
spiritual experience. I met her
on the flight to Beis Chayeinu
and added her to the list of
fascinating women who ought to
be interviewed.

Naava says:
Its great to go to the Rebbe
every year and its very hard to
leave. You feel the Rebbe in 770
where he is definitely to be found,
even though he is not seen. I
joined a group of women which
was organized by Nshei Chabad
of Tzfas, led by Rebbetzin
Rochel Hendel. They get better
every year, from the material
perspective and especially from

the spiritual end of things.

The farbrengens and shiurim I
attended had the best lecturers.
The highlight was a symposium
on Moshiach and Geula with R
Zalman Liberow of Flatbush and
R Hendel. Pointed questions
were asked which everyone
thinks but most dont dare ask.
The answers were solid and I am
sure that for most of the women,
they were satisfying.

I was born in Moldova
in Beltsy. I made aliya from
Kishinev when I was 21. In
Kishinev I studied computers
and worked for Apple. I became
a baalas tshuva through Arachim
and learned in a Litvishe school,
Beis Yaakov, in Yerushalayim.
I had a job and wanted to get
married, but for some reason
shidduchim were not working
out. I was on the verge of despair
when my husband was suggested.
After meeting four times over a
week, we decided to marry. We

informed our parents that on

Motzaei Shabbos the parents
would meet. They nearly fainted;
they hadnt known anything
was going on. Two months later
we were married and boruch
Hashem, we are very happy.


We became baalei tshuva
through Arachim and after we
married we moved to Gedera.
My husband wanted to learn
Torah and a group of Litvishe
people had opened a kollel there.
He tried getting someone there
to learn with him but since they
wanted to do their own learning,
they had no time to learn with
someone who needed help and
explanations. When he asked
his contact person in Arachim,
a Slonimer Chassid, what to do,
he told him to find Chabad in
Gedera. That is how we got to R
Binyamin Karniel.
My husband arranged to
learn with him and after a while
became very interested in Chabad

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Chassidus. When R Karniel

traveled to the Rebbe he asked
whether I wanted to write to the
Rebbe for a bracha. I wrote to the
Rebbe and asked that we become
Chabadnikim, that we move
to a place with an organized
community, and that my brother
start putting on tfillin.
All my requests were granted
one by one within a short time. I
was amazed that I was answered
so quickly. This happened in
5756, not long after Gimmel
Since we lived in the same
courtyard as my in-laws it wasnt
possible to sell the house to
strangers. My father-in-law came
up with an idea that we sell the
house to his daughter and then
we could buy an apartment in
Rechovot. Thats what we did.
We bought a huge apartment
compared to the matchbox
we had in Gedera. We slowly
became involved in the Chabad
community of Rechovot.
My husband started learning
with R Mendy Amar and I
learned with his wife Maya. We
began attending farbrengens,
shiurim, etc. and were hosted by
families and became part of the
community. Our girls attended
Chabad preschools. I forgot
to mention that my brother
suddenly started putting on
tfillin for no apparent reason.
Thanks to Maya, I began
covering my hair with a wig
(when my husband became a baal
tshuva they told him that his wife
could not be expected to wear a
wig all the time. When R Mendy
Amar showed him sichos from
the Rebbe about the importance
of covering the hair with a wig
the opposition disappeared).
All along the way, with
amazing answers in the Igros
Kodesh and incidents of divine
providence, we see how the

Nes Karmon, Naavas husband, in the entrance to their home

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Rebbe takes care of all his
Chassidim and is always thinking
of them.
One day, I began suffering
from headaches and dizziness.
At that time, I read a story about
an answer from the Rebbe to
a woman whose baby in the
womb was in a breech position,
which said she should check
the mezuzos. The mezuza on
her back door was upside-down
and when they fixed it, the baby
turned over!
I put two and two together
and decided to see what was

asked: Is your husband all right?

I said, not at all. He said, the
parshiyos of the tfillin are full
of letters touching each other.
It took me all night to fix it!
He fixed the problems and my
husband gradually recovered. We
have many other stories with the
Igros Kodesh.

After five years, R Karniel
asked us to return to Gedera to
strengthen the community there.
I wrote to the Rebbe and asked

I read a story about a woman whose baby in the

womb was in a breech position and when she
wrote to the Rebbe the response was that she should
check the mezuzos. The mezuza on her back door was
upside-down and when they fixed it, the baby turned

going on with the mezuzos in our

apartment. 90% of the mezuzos
were upside-down! I turned over
the ones I was able to do and
when my husband came that
evening I asked him to check the
mezuza at the entrance. Even
though he was very tired he had
pity on me and did so and my
headaches and dizziness stopped.
After that, we bought a volume of
Igros Kodesh.
One year, my husband
was very sick with infectious
mononucleosis and was coughing
and vomiting. This was after he
bought new tfillin. I wrote to
the Rebbe and opened to a letter
which said that regarding his
health, he should check his tfillin
and make sure they are kosher.
Although the tfillin were new,
my husband gave them to be
checked to R Yeres of Lud. The
next day, the sofer called and

for a bracha for the move and

asked what about chinuch for my
children, a babysitter, shopping,
a khilla, etc. I opened to two
letters. In the first letter the
Rebbe appointed us to influence
others to keep Torah and mitzvos
and to be Chassidim. In the
second letter there was one line
in Hebrew: You do your part and
Hashem will do His.
R M. M. Gluckowsky told
us to stay in his Rechovot
community for one more year. A
year later he blessed my husband
with success in his shlichus in
Gedera. Before we moved, we
asked the Rebbe for two things,
a son (we only had daughters
until then) and a dollar from the
When I became pregnant,
I wrote to the Rebbe and the
Rebbes answer said that just
as they brought him into the

covenant of Avrohom Avinu,

so too would he merit to raise
him to Torah, chuppa, and good
deeds. Thus we knew the babys
surprise took place one day when
my daughters babysitter said to
me: You are such a good person
and I really like you, so I want to
give you a dollar from the Rebbe.
She had lived in the US and
for a number of years she had
gone to the Rebbe on Sunday and
received a dollar from him, so she
had accumulated many dollars
and had decided to give me one
of them. I was very excited and
moved by how the Rebbe fulfilled
my request and put it into her
heart to give one to me.
I was ready to give birth
but it was extremely difficult.
I asked whether I should take
something to speed things up
and the Rebbes answer was:
One doesnt urge speed except
to those who do things quickly.
I took this literally even though
the context was about a shul.
Boruch Hashem, it helped and
our baby was born on Acharon
shel Pesach, 20 Nissan. He was
jaundiced and the Rebbe wrote
about a bris on time.
We moved with this baby to
Gedera. We sold our apartment
in Rechovot with incredible divine
providence. When we decided to
sell it, we debated about whether
we should advertise it or not.
As we discussed this, someone
knocked at our door and said:
Youre selling the apartment,
We were stunned. How did
you know? He had seen a sign
on another house and had come
to us by mistake and ended
up buying our apartment after
renting it for a year.

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In the meantime, we lived in
a rented apartment in Gedera but
didnt know where to go from
there. The Rebbe wrote the same
letter to me and my husband
that we need to build a house
in the new neighborhood from
the ground up, and this will be a
victory for the Alter Rebbe.
We went to a neighborhood
that was in the construction
stage. The contractor had gone
bankrupt and decided he would
sell the last two lots cheap. We
bought our lots for $77,000
(100x770). We wrote to the
Rebbe about the laying of the
cornerstone and the answer was
from 1 Adar with a bracha for
the laying of a cornerstone of a
shul, precisely on the date we
were laying our cornerstone. It
was all replete with miracles and
We wanted to do the
construction with bricks since it
was cheaper and quicker. When
we went to the contractor, whose
mothers name is Schneersohn,
my husband thought we should
make it to look like 770. A very
talented architect made some
sketches and also completed
construction, the permits, etc.
We ended up building a regular
building with a facade that looks
like 770.
We had to leave the apartment
we were in, but our house was
still under construction. We had
no choice but to move in without
windows and stairs
That Shabbos, a building
supervisor passed by and when
he saw us he asked whether we
had the permits to move in. Since
we didnt, we were called down
to court. We asked the Rebbe
about this and the Rebbe wrote
that we need to make a Chanukas
Habayis for the shul that was

Activities with children

just built. We made a very joyous

farbrengen and the next day the
judge asked my husband why
we entered the building without
permits. My husband said we had
no choice and the judge said he
was dismissing the complaint; we
should just obtain the permits as
quickly as possible.


My father lives with us. The
room he sleeps in is a replica of
the Rebbes room in the original
770, the first room on the left.
He always laughed at us for
having so many pictures of the
One morning my father got
up and asked me for a picture
of Dadoshka (Grandpa), which
is how he referred to the Rebbe.
My husband asked him why he
wanted it.
The Rebbe had come to him
in a dream which was actually a
long yechidus in which he was
asked, How is it that when you
lived in Russia you had so many
pictures while here, in my house,
you dont have a picture of me?
My father replied, This is my
daughters house which she built
with her husband.

The Rebbe said, Right, but

this is my room and I have many
buildings like this in the world.
Needless to say, since then,
he has a picture of the Rebbe in
his room. The Rebbe went on to
ask him about his parents and he
told the Rebbe how the Nazis had
expelled them from where they
lived. The Rebbe said, Yes, I also
hate the Nazis.
Then my father asked the
Rebbe why he did not go to
Eretz Yisroel and the Rebbe said
it was G-ds will. Finally, the
Rebbe asked him, Do you want
a bracha or a dollar? My father
said that just standing there in
front of the Rebbe was the biggest
bracha. The Rebbe said, You
are an emese Yid (their entire
conversation was in Yiddish).
Since having that dream,
my fathers emuna has become
stronger. For example, at first
he was opposed to Havdala but
after we explained how it brings
blessings into the home he
eagerly awaits Motzaei Shabbos
and is particular about making
Havdala, much to our delight.
And now he is growing a beard.
My father suffered from a
serious degenerative disease
whose end, according to natural
prognostications, is not good.
He could barely open his eyes. I
wrote to the Rebbe and the Rebbe
said to check the tfillin. It turned
out that the order of parshiyos
was incorrect. For seven years he
had been putting on pasul tfillin.
R Yeres sold him a fine pair of
tfillin and boruch Hashem, his
eyes opened and no vestige of his
illness remains.

When I was 14, I knew what
field I would go into. In the 80s,

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when I was still in Kishinev,
I greatly enjoyed computer
animation which I studied. I
became acquainted with Apple
computers and I still work in this
I worked for Kodak and SAP
in Raanana. At Kodak I arranged
menorah lightings on Chanuka
and gave out brochures about
Judaism and Chassidus. Five
years later I was at a crossroads
with three job opportunities.
The Rebbe wrote that there is
a field that is not yet plowed
for spreading the wellsprings,
and when I got there, indeed
there was. I went to work there
and started with Rosh Chodesh
A short time later I became
very sick and I knew already to
check the mezuzos. I took the
mezuza of my room at work to
be checked and the sofer said it
was never intended to be kosher.
I went to the human resources
department and told them: You
gave me a pasul mezuza and
now Im sick from it and cant
work. I bet all the mezuzos in the
building are pasul.
They took this seriously and
checked the kashrus of all the
mezuzos and changed them
over a period of a few months.
This was a building of 12 floors
with fifty rooms on each floor.
Whenever I felt embarrassed I
Continued from page 43
This kapitel teaches us that
we must be like Nachshon, we
must have complete faith in the
promise and prophecy of our
Rebbe about the imminent arrival
of Moshiach and be ready to
jump into the sea to make it
Our Rebbe has given us clear
The Rebbe has told us (Kinus

said to myself: You are a shlucha

of the Rebbe and have nothing to
be ashamed about!
I worked there for two intense
years. I would travel every day
to work for 3 hours, there and
back. It wasnt easy and when
I couldnt take it anymore I
decided to leave.
When I left, they wrote me a
very moving letter about how the
outreach I did inspired them to
Judaism and connecting with the
Before I left, the Rebbe
arranged work for me from home
in computer programming. I
work on apps for Smartphones
and Apple products; the company
my husband and I started is
called Moshiach Times. It deals
with managing and developing
projects for Apple and Android
products and we mostly get jobs
through word of mouth. We are
also involved in a global Sheva
Mitzvos Bnei Noach project,
and we always try to encourage
and sign up as many gentiles as
possible to commit to observe
their mitzvos.

In Rechovot there is a Chassid
who prints Tanyas everywhere in
the hopes that each printing is
the last one in the merit of which
Moshiach will come. He called

HaShluchim 5752) that the

singular Shlichus of our time is
to get the world ready to greet
The Rebbe told us that
the direct path to bringing
Moshiach is through learning
ourselves and teaching others
about Moshiach. The job,
privilege, and obligation to bring
Moshiach is in our hands! Let us
follow the example and direction

and said, We heard you have

a house with a 770 facade, but
theyve already printed a Tanya in
We said, Yes, but not in the
new Gedera.
So the Tanya was printed in
our house and there is an edition
called Gedera HaChadasha.
Another victory for the Alter
Rebbe as the Rebbe already said.
We have a Tanya shiur going
on in Gedera for nearly twelve
years which is now given by R
Meor Cohen. There is also a
shiur in Dvar Malchus given by
R Meir Arad of Rechovot. We
arrange activities for the holidays
for new immigrants from Russia
and also contribute toward the
activities done with them. They
have a class on Judaism and the
plan is to make chuppos for older
couples who are hosted by us on
the holidays. For them, attention
is extremely important.
The Tzivos Hashem club is
very active and successful here,
organized by my daughters,
and it goes well beyond just
organizing the davening of
Kabbalas Shabbos in shul. A
branch of Tzivos Hashem for
boys will open soon. In the merit
of all these activities we await the
revelation of the Beis HaMikdash
in the original 770 from where it
will go to Yerushalayim.

set by Nachshon ben Aminadav,

and show our commitment in
tangible actions and we will
thereby merit to spend this Pesach
in the third Beis HaMikdash,
with the revelation of the Rebbe
Melech HaMoshiach now!
Rabbi Avtzon is the Rosh Yeshiva
of Yeshivas Lubavitch Cincinnati and a
well sought after speaker and lecturer.
Recordings of his in-depth shiurim
on Inyanei Geula uMoshiach can be
accessed at

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By Rabbi Gershon Avtzon

Dear Fellow Chassidim shyichyu,

This Shabbos is Shabbos
HaGadol, the Shabbos before 11
Nissan and Chag HaPesach. These
two Yomim Tovim complement
each other. Chazal tell us that
Pesach not only marks the liberation
from Mitzrayim but also marks
the beginning of the process of the
final Geula. The process of geula
will ultimately culminate through
the avoda of Melech HaMoshiach,
whose birthday is 11 Nissan.
Bhashgacha Pratis, the new
Kapitel of the Rebbe (114) speaks
about the miracles of Yetzias
Mitzrayim. Furthermore, this chapter
is a part of the Hallelwhich this
year is Hallel (numerical value 65)
years of the Rebbes leadership
which we say by the seder and on
Kapitel 114 is short and sweet.
It goes as follows: When Israel left
Egypt, the house of Jacob [left] a
people of a strange tongue, Yehudah
became His holy nation, Israel His
dominion. The sea saw and fled;
the Jordan turned backward. The
mountains danced like rams, hills
like young sheep. What frightens
you, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan,
that you turn backward? You
mountains, that you dance like rams;
you hills, like young sheep? From
before the Master, Who created the
earth, from before the God of Jacob,

Who transforms the rock into a pond

of water, the flint into a fountain of
At first glance, this chapter is a
chapter of continuous thanks for the
miracles of leaving Mitzrayim and
the word Yehuda in the second
verse is a reference to the entire
Jewish nation, not just the tribe of
Yehuda. Yet, in the heading of this
Kapitel (there is a whole discussion
about the origins of these headings,
which are universally accepted
and printed in many Thillims) it
says cryptically that this Kapitel is
teaching us why the tribe of Yehuda
merited that kings should come out
of them.
This is quite difficult to
understand as seemingly the kapitel
is not even talking about the tribe
of Yehuda, but is rather talking
about the Jewish people as a whole?
Furthermore, where in this Kapital
is there any indication of the merits
of the tribe of Yehuda? This enigma
can be answered by looking to the
commentaries who explain why
specifically in the kapitel which
speaks about the miracles at the
splitting of the sea the Jewish people
are called Yehuda. This is because
the entire splitting of the sea came
about through Nachshon Ben
Aminadav from the tribe of Yehuda.
Nachshon was a fifth-generation
descendant of Yehudah, son of

Yaacov. It is written that as the

Jewish people fled Egypt they faced
before them the impassable Sea
and behind them was the pursuing
Egyptian army. Terrified, they turned
on Moshe and cried, Why did you
bring us here to perish?
Rabbi Yehuda says: When the
Israelites stood at the sea one said:
I dont want to go down to the sea
first. Another said: I dont want
to go down first either. While they
were standing there, and while
Moshe was praying to God to
save them, Nachshon the son of
Aminadav jumped up, went down
and fell into the waves. Talmud
Bavli, Sota 36a), Mechilta (Parshas
BShalach). In that merit, the tribe
of Yehuda merited to kingship.
Put simply, the reason why the
entire Jewish nation is called by
the nomenclature Yehuda in the
Rebbes new kapitel is the same
reason why the tribe of Yehuda
merited the Jewish monarchy,
namely, because it was the tribe of
Yehuda who was instrumental in
actualizing the geula.
Dear Chassidim!
This is a tremendous lesson
for us. We are all looking to merit
kingship the revelation of Melech
HaMoshiach. Yet we ask ourselves,
in what merit will this happen?
Continued on page 42
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By Menachem Ziegelboim

A group of Chabad Chassidim
from the city of Telenesht (a city
in Bessarabia [now Moldova]
in Eastern Europe) made its
way to Lubavitch in order to see
the third Rebbe, the Tzemach
Tzedek. It was a long journey in
those days, from their homes to
the capitol of Chabad Chassidus.
They wanted to spend Pesach
with the Rebbe and had left home
a few days after Chanuka.
They had bought an old horse
and wagon on which they loaded
their baggage. Since they did not
have much money, the wagon
was average size and could not
seat all of them. Some of them
sat on the wagon while others
walked alongside it and every so
often they switched places. It was
a slow pace but they were very
excited to be going to Lubavitch!
The journey wasnt easy in the
wintertime with the rain turning
the ground to mud and the snows
covering the roads, and yet, they
were ecstatic to be making this
They arrived in Lubavitch

shortly before Pesach and

joyously made their way through
the pathways of the Chassidic
As Pesach approached, they
decided that being far from
ordinary guests, unlike the local
residents and not like the guests
who came more frequently, they
wanted to spend the seder with
the Rebbe, this holy night with
wondrous revelations.
The guests planned it all out.
They did their preparations early
and after Maariv they hurried
to where they were staying and
made a quick seder, reminiscent
of the haste of the exodus. Then
they all hurried to the Rebbes
They had not expected to find
the Rebbes personal assistant
approach to the door.
We would like to enter and
join the Rebbe for the seder,
they said. Some added, We are
not ordinary guests. We spent
months walking here, hundreds
of miles, in order to be with the

Rebbe. Who knows if we will be

able to be with the Rebbe again
in our lifetime, so we ask, with all
our heart, to be allowed in.
The assistant understood
them but did not budge. He
explained that such a large
crowd could not be allowed to
enter, especially since the Rebbe,
despite his age and weakness,
had toiled that day in baking
the matzos. Therefore, it was
doubtful that he would make a
lengthy seder.
Still, the guests pleaded that
he have compassion and let them
in. But the gatekeeper refused.
I have an idea for you, he
finally said. Go to the Rebbes
sons house, to R Yehuda Leib,
and maybe you will be able to
convince him to say a maamer
Chassidus for you.
The guests saw they would
be unable to get past him and so
they agreed to seek perhaps half
of what they wanted. They went
to the home of Maharil. A full
moon shone peacefully overhead.
It shone as it did thousands of

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years earlier on the night the

Jewish people left Egypt.
Maharil, R Yehuda Leib
Schneersohn, the second son
of the Tzemach Tzedek, was
a beloved grandson of the
Mitteler Rebbe who leaned on
him when he said Chassidus.
He therefore lovingly called him
my shtender. In the lifetime
of his father he already behaved
in Rebbishe ways and after his
fathers passing he opened a
Chassidic court in the town of
Kopust which attracted many
They showed up at Maharils
house only to find another
Here too they begged him and
reasons to be allowed to enter
until he finally suggested that
they come inside and wait for
further word.
Maharil is resting now, for
about an hour and a half, as he
does every night. When he gets
up, maybe he will accede to
your request to say a maamer
Chassidus especially in your
They didnt have much choice
and so they waited in the room
next to Maharils room. Through
the cracks they saw how he read
the first section of the Shma and
then napped on the pillows on
which he had reclined earlier at
the seder.
Exactly an hour and a half
passed and R Yehuda Leib
woke up. He washed his hands,
said the morning brachos even
though it was still night. Then
the assistant told him about
the group of guests, Chassidim
who had come a long way, and
wanted to hear a maamer on
this holy night. R Yehuda Leib
agreed to let the Chassidim enter
his room. As for their request
to hear a maamer Chassidus,

which they deserved more

than the other guests who had
come to Lubavitch for Pesach, he
apologized and said that the time
wasnt right to say Chassidus.
The faces of the Chassidim
fell. Maharil was deep in thought
and a deep silence filled the
Suddenly, he looked up and
said, Although it is not the time
to say Chassidus, if you want
I will tell you a miracle of my
father, the Rebbe, a story that I
witnessed last winter.
The guests were thrilled and
were appeased by hearing a story
from a firsthand source.
Maharil was quiet for several
minutes and then he began.

One month last winter, I
begged my father to let me be
secretly present when he received
people for yechidus. I wanted
to see how my father conducts
himself at the time when a
Chassid bonds with his Rebbe
with his nefesh, ruach, neshama,
chaya and yechida. To my great
joy, my father agreed and allowed

me to enter his room at the time

designated for him to receive
Anash. I hid behind a curtain.
Anash entered, one after
another, and presented their
requests and questions to the
Rebbe on a vast array of subjects,
spiritual and material. My father
responded to each one according
to what he asked and the root of
his soul.
At one point the door opened
and in walked a tall young man,
powerfully built and dressed
in the uniform of the czars
army. He introduced himself
as a soldier in the army, one
of the Jewish boys who had
been kidnapped to serve the
czar for many years (known as
cantonists). He and his Jewish
friends suffered terribly in the
army for wanting to maintain
their Jewish identity.
Neither my friends nor I
have given up, said the soldier
to my father. But now it has
come time for us to go to the
front lines. I ask the Rebbes
permission and for his bracha for
me to escape from my unit and
do so successfully. The soldiers
fear was apparent.
My father cast compassionate
eyes upon him and said, No.
Return to your unit and Hashem
will protect you from anything
untoward and will help you
leave the army a free man. You
will merit long life and will see
children and grandchildren kdas
Moshe vYisroel.
The soldier hadnt dreamed
of receiving such a blessing, a
bracha for health, long life, to be
saved from the blazing carnage
of the front, to find his shidduch
and even to see upstanding
children and grandchildren. Who
would have believed?
Nevertheless, the soldier did
not seem fully at ease and he
continued to stand there, erect as
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soldiers are wont to do.
Just to escape from my unit
to come here I was absent a
few days and my commander
can have my head for that,
he worried. Furthermore, my
commander is wicked and a
sworn anti-Semite.
My fathers kind gaze did not
waver from him for a moment. I
promise that nothing will happen
to you and all will work out well.
My father reassured him, Go
back to your unit and it will be
The soldier nodded slightly
and began to leave the room
when my fathers voice stopped
I have a request to make of
you. Please fulfill it.
The soldier stood up straight
and nodded his consent.
The Tzemach Tzedek went
on to say, I am sure that your
commander will release you
and the other Jewish soldiers to
celebrate the first days of Pesach
in Shklov. Surely you will go to
the shul there to pray on Yom
Tov. After the davening, surely
one of the householders will
invite you to the seder and even
offer that you stay and sleep in
his home.
I request of you that you
not sleep in his house but that
you go to sleep in the green beis
midrash, one of the well-known
battei midrash in the town.
Do that on both nights of the
sdarim. Then return to your unit
and join them. On the last days
of Pesach, surely you will have
reached the town of Mohilev and
will receive permission again to
join your brethren for Yom Tov.
Then you will go to shul and
surely one of the householders
will invite you for the Yom Tov
meal and to sleep there. After the
meal, decline to sleep there and
go to sleep at the hekdesh (public

lodging for wayfarers).

The soldier nodded. He
nervously returned to his
unit and immediately saw the
fulfillment of the Rebbes words.
The commander gave him a
murderous look but accepted
his excuse for his absence in that
he wanted to see relatives in a
nearby city.

The tired soldiers finished the
first leg of their long journey and
arrived in Shklov on Erev Pesach,
hours before Yom Tov. The
soldiers submitted their request
and their commander gave them
two days leave.
The soldiers rushed to wash
and change their clothes for Yom
Tov and then they all walked to
the beis midrash for the holiday
After the davening the
householders approached the
soldiers and invited them to
their homes. One of them hosted
the soldier who had been to the
The soldier eagerly awaited
developments for he knew that
it wasnt for naught that the
Rebbe had given him detailed
instructions. To his dismay, even
before the seder ended, he was
overcome by a deep sleep due to
his exhaustion. He had journeyed
far that day and the rain had not
helped matters.
When he finally opened his
eyes he saw that the candles had
long since extinguished and the
members of the household had
gone to sleep. He was at the table
He remembered what the
Tzemach Tzedek had told him
and he sprang up and wanted to
leave for the local beis midrash.
The host, who had slept fitfully,
jumped up. He was afraid lest

the guest had stolen something

which would explain why he was
leaving at this hour. The soldier,
who realized what the host was
thinking, emptied his pockets
and showed the host that he
hadnt taken anything. It was just
that he wanted to sleep in the beis
midrash and not in the house of
his hosts.
It was dark in the beis
midrash when he entered it. Only
the faint light from the ner tamid
dispelled a little of the darkness
while casting shadows on the
walls. The soldier sighed in relief
as he took off his shoes and lay
down to sleep in a corner.
He suddenly heard a heavy
sigh from somewhere in the beis
midrash. The soldier jumped
up. He hadnt figured that there
would be someone else in the beis
midrash at that hour. He quickly
went over to the source of the
sound and in the shadows he saw
a man on one of the benches. He
looked at him closely and figured
he must be one of the beggars
who regularly slept there.
Why are you sighing? asked
the soldier.
The beggar waved his hand
in a dismissive motion. Ach, a
strong soldier like you, how will
it help if I tell you? Go to sleep.
From his voice, it sounded as
though the beggar was an older
man and someone who suffered
and was beaten down. The
soldier went back to his place to
try and sleep but the old beggars
moans moved him. He got up
once again and went over to the
old man and begged him to tell
him why he was moaning. It was
only after he pleaded with him
that the man agreed to tell his
My name is Efraim. All
my life I supported myself
with tailoring and I was a man
of means. After many years

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of marriage I was suddenly

widowed. Some time later, a
match was suggested for me. We
met and married soon after.
We lived peacefully for
several weeks and then one day,
a band of gypsies came to town.
My wife became friends with one
of them, by the name of Voshka,
and this was behind my back.
Once, when I wasnt home,
the two of them took all my
money and fled. If that wasnt
enough, my creditors evicted
me from my home and land in
exchange for what I owed them
and now I remain without a wife,
without money or a home. I dont
have a penny to my name and
this is because of my wicked wife
and the wicked Voshka.
The soldier felt terrible for
him. He began to console the
old beggar and finally offered the
following. Since I move with
my unit from city to city, I have
occasion to be in many towns and
villages. If you describe your wife
and the gypsy to me, perhaps I
will recognize them in one of the
places I happen to be and I can
be of help to you.
The beggar emitted another
sigh and said the chances were
very small. The soldier repeatedly
asked him until finally the old
man described the pair and gave
other clear identifying signs.

Right after the first two
days of Yom Tov, the soldiers
continued on their way. On the
eve of Shvii shel Pesach they
arrived in Mohilev on the banks
of the Dnieper River.
This time too, the commander
allowed the Jewish soldiers two
days off for the holiday upon
their request. Once again, after
the davening, the householders
invited the soldiers to their

The Jewish soldiers in the czars army praying in shul

homes. Our soldier was also

invited to one of the homes for
the holiday meal.
After the meal, he went to the
hekdesh to sleep as the Rebbe
told him to do. He quickly fell
Late at night he was woken
up in a fright by a loud noise. He
sprang up and saw a group of
people talking among themselves
in loud, coarse tones. He had
nearly gone back to bed when one
of the men caught his attention.
He thought that he looked like
the gypsy described by the old
man he had met in Shklov. His
suspicions were strengthened
when he saw the man go over to
a woman who was sitting off to
the side and exchange some light
words with her. He realized that
she was the beggars young wife
who had robbed him and run
Now the soldier understood
precisely why the Rebbe had sent
him to sleep in the beis midrash
and in the local hekdesh, and not
in the home of his hosts. He had
to take action.

In the early morning he

rushed over to the house of the
rav and woke him up. He asked
his pardon for waking him up so
early and told him the course of
The rav believed him and
accompanied the soldier to the
home of the police chief and told
him the story. The police chief,
who had great respect for the rav,
sent a pair of policemen to arrest
the couple of thieves. The two
were soon behind bars.
Right after Pesach, the rav
sent for the beggar from Shklov
who hurried to Mohilev where
he identified the woman and the
gypsy. After a mutual agreement
the old man gave his wife a
divorce and all his money was
returned to him down to the last
In the days before Pesach,
concluded Maharil, the soldier
returned here and had yechidus.
He excitedly said, Rebbe! You sit
here and see what is going on in
the entire world!

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By Nechama Bar

The doctors grim face did

not bode good tidings. He
cleared his throat and said, A
tumor was found in your head
and your condition is quite
Nosson Greenberg felt the
blood rush from his face. He
cast a pleading look at the
The doctor continued, The
only thing I can recommend is
surgery but the chances of
success are low. The doctor
prognosis without withho
Nosson did not despair. He
went from doctor to doctor,
but they all said the same thing.
At the time that this story
took place, over thirty years
ago, medicine did not have
much to combat this terrible
disease. When Nosson saw that
the doctors themselves were
pessimistic, he also began to feel
Nosson is not a Lubavitcher
Chassid but in his youth he

attended a Chabad yeshiva.

When he finished yeshiva, his
connection to Chabad also
ended. Fortunately for him, his
brother, who lives in Montreal,
is close with the Chabad
community. When his brother
heard the news he knew what
to do. I will ask the Lubavitcher
Rebbe for a bracha.
Nosson did not pin his
hopes on that, but did not
stop his brother from doing
so. His brother got the medical
documents together and sent
them to the Rebbe with one
of the Chassidim, along with
a letter with a request for a
The Rebbes response was:
Do the operation.
His devoted brother spoke
to Rabbi Twersky who had
connections with the best
doctors in the US. Follow what
the Rebbe told you and do the
operation, he advised.
R Twersky got personally
involved and made efforts to
find the best doctors for the

operation. Before the surgery

to the
Thillim in his minyan on the
day of the operation for the
success of the operation and
a refua shleima. The Rebbes
response was: I will mention it
at the gravesite [of the Previous
Rebbe] on the day of the
Nosson was very nervous
about the operation. As the days
passed and the time approached
he grew more fearful. The night
before the operation he lay in
the hospital bed. The hospital
was quiet except for the ticking
of machines heard in the
background. Nosson could not
sleep as worrisome thoughts
swirled through his mind.
The chances of success are
low ... he heard the doctors
voices in his mind. He thought of
people who had not successfully
come out of surgery. His heart
began to beat more strongly

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they not consider doing what he

and he felt that he couldnt was not possible. What
he had done the time before.
breathe. No! He couldnt have suggested to him
The complicated operation
come Erev Pesach
the operation!
took hours. When it was over,
Rebbe gave out
Without thinking, he quickly
the doctors came out with
should take some
detached himself from the
a smile on their faces. The
is food of healing
machines, got out of bed, and
Nosson loved the idea and operation
began pacing the hospital
Tov, successful
corridors. His heart raced as so, a few hours before Yom
on a anticipated
he imagined that someone had he and his brother stood
to only that
noticed him and was chasing long line waiting eagerly
recovered and regained his
after him. But he continued
stopped strength.
walking quickly, opened the their turn, the Rebbe
Its a medical miracle, said
door of the department, and
doctors. We did not think
soon found himself outside
recover from such a
serious illness.
Rebbe handed
A short time later
Nosson returned
to normal life. He
at home where he
collapsed on the couch
in exhaustion. Then
he breathed a sigh
of relief. He knew he
before, which was
irrational but he just
didnt have the courage
to see the Rebbe
to go through with the
The next morning,
line to
entered his room, they
were shocked to find
it was his turn, he
his bed empty. After
stood rooted to his
some research they
it to Nosson. Nosson was very place, finding it hard to utter a
discovered what had happened.
excited as he felt infused with word and hard to move on. The
They were furious. They had
renewed strength.
people in charge tried to urge
done so much for him and this
Nosson, him forward but the Rebbe
is what he did in return?!
This is food of healing. Place motioned to them to let him
A few days later, when
it as Levi (i.e. as the middle be. The Rebbe looked at him
Nosson had recovered from his
matza in the keara). Just as warmly and it was apparent
fright, he called R Twersky. He
the matza is complete, so too, that the Rebbe recognized him.
first apologized for what he did
you should have a complete
and then asked R Twersky to
additional dollars
reschedule the operation for
Nosson left 770 feeling like a them to him. Nosson was
right after
new man. Now he felt ready to thrilled. It was obvious to him
Nossons brother decided
have the operation. He was sure why it was four one for each
that the best way to help his
that everything would be fine.
of his children. The Rebbe then
brother would be to bring
said, May you never again
him to the Rebbe. He tried to
need to be on the receiving end
operation, he was lying
arrange an appointment for
of miracles and wonders that
in the hospital. This
yechidus (a personal meeting),
were done here for you.
was relatively calm and
but at that busy time it

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