Thursday, July 24, 2014
by Reb Gutman Locks
He did not want to put on tefillin, but he was so soft that I could pull him in anyway. He is from Brazil and had never put on tefillin before. His family moved there from Poland before he was born.
After he read the Shema in English, I showed him how to pray for his family and for the Jews in danger from the current war. He stood there praying for a very long time, and then he waited there even longer just looking at the Kotel and what was happening. When he finished he turned to me, rubbed his chest and stomach and warmly said, "It feels so good inside!"
And this is how we should all feel when we do a mitzvah. If you do not feel good, if you do not experience a warm sense of joy when you do a mitzvah, you did not pay attention. Hashem gave us His Torah to take away our burdens, not to increase them.
Shalom, Will the Mashiach return in a shemitah or a Jubilee year?
ANSWER: via Dov bar Leib
The Yovel (jubilee) year is 5776 not 5777. 5775 is a Shmittah (Sabbatical) year. Yovel years must be Motzei Shmittah (the year after Shmittah).
5776 begins the Malkhut she beMalkhut Yovel cycle since Ezra HaSofer. This makes 5776 a potential Yovel year since there are no real Yovel years since the destruction of the 2nd Temple. So we are ending the yesod that is in malkhut year of the yesod that is in malkhut Yovel cycle since Ezra HaSofer.
During the 2nd Temple, the Yovel cycle was 50 years. But after the churban bayit sheini, the Yovel cycles were 49 year cycles.
The Shmittah year begins this Rosh Hashana, Jewish year 5775 or secular year 2014.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Both Chabad and Breslev organizations have been busy compiling web sites of chassidus and writings of their Rebbe’s for download, with increasing amounts in English as well. MUCH of it is available for immediate FREE download, which is very cool!
Breslev Site: BreslovBooks
via Lma’an Yisme’u
Reb Hillel Paritcher is one of the most well-known Chabad/Lubavtich chassidim of all time, the symbol of an oived, and a hallowed gaon and tzadik. Reb Hillel was a chossid of the 2nd Lubavitcher Rebbe Mitteler Rebbe and the 3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe the Tzemach Tzedek, and was appointed by the Mitteler Rebbe as mashpia for the Yidden living in the colonies. Reb Hillel reared many young chassidim according to the ways of Chassidus, and even taught and wrote unique teachings of Chassidus, some of which are printed in the sefer "Pelach Harimon." Reb Hillel passed away on the 11th of Av, תרכ"ד.
In his later years, the Tzemach Tzedek did not say Chassidus regularly. Once, a group of new chassidim came to Lubavitch and were disappointed that the Tzemach Tzedek was not saying maamorim. They complained to the Tzemach Tzedek that they came to hear Chassidus. The Rebbe told them they should go to Reb Hillel and he would teach them Chassidus. The chassidim complained, "A kli sheini cannot cook." (A borrowed term from Hilchos Shabbos, implying that learning Chassidus from Reb Hillel would not have the same "cooking effect" as hearing it directly from the source, the Rebbe himself.) The Rebbe replied, "But it is yad soledes bo." (Another borrowed term implying that the Chassidus of Reb Hillel was still boiling hot and would have an effect.)
Reb Hillel taught them the beginning of Tanya, and he prefaced it by saying, "Tanya discusses a Beinoni and a Tzaddik. A Beinoni is one who is of this world (since he is constantly challenged by the world around him). A Tzaddik is divested from this world (he is higher than this world and it has no affect on him). A Rebbe, however, is a greater level. He is divested from this world, yet is able to be in the world at the same time (he can live an ordinary lifestyle, though in truth he is totally above it all.)"
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
via Rabbi Mordechai Lipskier
A surgeon once came to the Lubavticher Rebbe to discuss a specific surgery he was going to perform on a Jew. During their conversation the man expressed his disagreement with the Rebbe's strong views on not giving up any land in Eretz Yisroel.
The Rebbe asked, "You're an intelligent and kind person. Can you perhaps divide the surgery into ten segments, cutting open a little at a time, and only then removing the growth, that way avoiding the enormous blood loss and pain to the patient?"
The surgeon explained that the Rebbe obviously knows very little about surgery. "If I were to do that, the incisions would heal in the interim and be worthless, and the growth would continue to enlarge. The only method that works is to open the patient, notwithstanding all the blood loss, and remove the entire growth at once."
"Perhaps the same is true regarding the situation in Eretz Yisroel?" said the Rebbe. "Claiming that a gradual eradication of the terrorists is the best way to protect innocent civilians is like doing surgery a little at a time. Slow negotiations and concessions with terrorists only allow them to grow! The only method that can work is to go in and totally remove the terrorist forces, and after that the healthy tissue - i.e. the many Arabs who have no interest in terror and want only to live peaceful lives - will be spared.
The words of the Rebbe are as true today as they were then.
by Reb Gutman Locks
The Baal Shem Tov taught, whatever we see comes to teach us something. When we see evil, it may be that Hashem is showing us that evil to urge us to try to correct it. Or, He could be showing us that evil to point out that that very evil has to be in us, or we would not see it. According to this, it seems that we should look at the evil so we will know what we are supposed to do. But, "it is forbidden to gaze at the face of an evil or wicked person."[i]
There is a major problem with looking at evil. When we look at a happy infant we smile, and feel really soft. When we look at toddlers wobbling down the street, we smile as we share their joy. What we see, we feel. And this is the problem with looking at an evil person's face.
A person's face expresses that person's inner feelings. Then, when we see those expressions on his face, those feelings come to us. If we would be sensitive enough we would feel a complete stranger's desires just by seeing his face.
Also, as time goes on, the way a person most often feels, wrinkles his face accordingly. This means if you are usually negative, your face will wrinkle down. The corners of your mouth will tilt down making you look negative even when you are not feeling negative! A person who is usually happy will get wrinkles that lean up, almost like twinkles around his eyes. Even when that person is not particularly happy, he will have a happy face. Nasty feelings make nasty wrinkles. Judgmental feelings make judgmental wrinkles, and on, and on. Look in the mirror and see what feelings have wrinkled your face.
So, what are we to do? If we look at faces, we internalize their feelings. If we do not look at faces, we will not know what we are to fix. Try this. Just notice who is around you without gazing at their faces. If there is a message there, you will get it right away without having to internalize their feelings.
Then, as you go through your day, see if you can make happy, positive wrinkles in your face.
[i] Megillah, 28a
Sunday, July 20, 2014
by Reb Gutman Locks
How does our enemy know that a single kidnapped Jew is worth more than 1,000 arab terrorist prisoners? Is there any other Nation in the history of the world that would trade 1,000 murderers for one simple soldier? They laugh at us because of this. They see it to be our great weakness, but in fact, it is our greatest strength. There is no such thing as "only" one Jewish casualty. Our love for each other unites us, and causes each of us pain when any innocent Jew is harmed. We have always been one, but sometimes, sadly, it takes a tragedy to bring this out.
Friday, July 18, 2014
Now available in e-edition online, the N'shei Chabad Newsletter - Jewish Women's Magazine SUMMER edition. Everything for the religious Jewish woman and those interested in being so or learning about so is here! Torah, chassidus, Jewish stories, outreach, women's health, children, pregnancy and childbirth, Jewish children's education, halacha, here it is!
The N’shei Chabad Newsletter Jewish Women's Magazine has been inspiring Jewish women around the world for over 35 years. Each issue is packed with 100 pages of biographies, divrei Torah, profiles of Shluchim, parenting and health advice and Chabad history. N’shei Chabad Newsletter is created to inspire and educate Jewish women to live healthful, wholesome lives based on the teachings of Torah and Chassidus. Of interest to the whole family but geared to women, this magazine strives to educate, inspire, enlighten and entertain Jews on a variety of topics, including but not limited to: chasidus, chinuch (education), biographies, art, shlichus, health, housekeeping, nutrition, marriage, moral and ethical issues, and more. Our glossary enables readers with little or no Jewish education to understand and enjoy the magazine. The magazine is published 5 times a year.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
by Reb Gutman Locks
"Yacov will be happy, and Israel will rejoice"[i] The name Yacov refers to the Jewish man while he is wrestling with life's many problems, whatever they may be. When he overcomes these problems he is no longer called Yacov. At this stage he is called by his greater name, Israel. Israel is greater than Yacov, and his rejoicing is greater than Yacov's happiness. Indeed, two signs of a great person are humility, and great joy.
[i] Psalms 14:7