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                         L'CHAIM - ISSUE # 642
                           Copyright (c) 2000
                 Lubavitch Youth Organization - L.Y.O.
                              Brooklyn, NY
   Dedicated to the memory of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson N.E.
        November 3, 2000         Noach          5 Cheshvan, 5761

                             A Dolphin Show

                            by Naomi Zirkind

My family went on an outing to the zoo. Upon entering, we received a
pro-gram indicating the locations of various animals, special
attractions and a schedule of shows. We noted that the dolphin show was
starting soon and proceeded there.

We saw a huge tank, from the floor to ceiling. The dolphins seemed to be
swimming aimlessly, except for when they would occasionally line up and
disappear above water's surface. As the surface of the water was near
the ceiling level, we could not see what the dolphins were doing after
they jumped above the water's surface. Soon the dolphins reappeared and
resumed their apparently aimless swimming.

After watching this process repeat itself several times, we decided that
the dolphin show was not very interesting. We were disappointed in the
show, because we knew that dolphins are capable of impressive stunts. We
went upstairs to see what other attractions we might find in the

When we came upstairs, we saw doors to an auditorium. The doors were
open so we looked inside and saw a group of dolphins jumping in unison
out of the water, performing an impressive stunt. We laughed when we
realized that we had been "watching" the dolphin show from below! Of
course their movements had been meaningless and unimpressive. To our
disappointment, all the seats were filled and we were not allowed to
enter. We explored other parts of the zoo until we decided to leave.

When I reviewed the day's events, I realized that there is a profound
lesson that can be derived from my family's experience at the zoo. Our
world is comprised of two levels: the revealed world and the hidden
world. The revealed world is the way we perceive, through our limited
understanding, the events that we experience. The hidden world is the
true meaning and purpose of the events.

If we keep in mind that there is a higher level of meaning in the events
of our lives, then the events are no longer overwhelming, upsetting or
frustrating. We appreciate that there is more than the world we see. We
know that G-d is directing these events, and intends that they be for
the best, even though it is not immediately apparent.

The dolphins were doing their stunts, under the direction of one master.
However, there are two levels on which a stunt may be viewed. On the
lower level, which for quite a while seemed to be the only level, the
dolphins' movements seemed to be purposeless. My family was frustrated
and disappointed with what we saw on this level. When we went upstairs,
we realized that there was another level to the show, and that the
meaningful and interesting part of the dolphins' move-ments could be
seen only if we were viewing it from the proper perspective.

We are not always privileged to see the true meaning of the events in
our lives, just as my family arrived after the auditorium was full and
was not allowed to enter and watch the dolphin show. However, simply
knowing that there exists a higher level where events can be seen to be
good, makes them actually feel more tolerable on the lower level.

How do we, in our daily lives, gain admission to the "auditorium?" G-d
says, "Open for Me an opening the size of the eye of a needle, and I
will open for you an opening the size of an ‘oolam' - auditorium." We
need to open up within ourselves trust in G-d, enough to go straight to
the higher level of meaning because we know that that's where the true
meaning is. When G-d sees that we have opened our hearts to Him that
little bit, He will open up that auditorium for us so that we can go in
and see the real show, in comfort. Even more so, He will open up the
real "oolam" of the Third Holy Temple, may it happen speedily.

                       Reprinted from the N'Shei Chabad Newsletter.

This week we read the second portion of the Torah, Noach (Noah). In
describing the virtue of Noah the Torah states: "Noah was a righteous
and wholehearted man in his generations." Our Sages emphasize that Noah
was considered righteous in comparison to his own morally depraved era,
but not in comparison with other generations. The Zohar specifies three
generations in which, had Noah lived at that time, "he would have been
considered as nothing": the generation of Abraham, of Moses, and of

Why were these three particular generations chosen for the comparison?

With each of these generations, a new phase began in the world's
development. Abraham, the first Jew, initiated the stage in which the
Jewish people started to fulfill its Divine mission. Moses brought the
Torah to the world, which marked the beginning of the ability to
sanctify and refine physical reality. King David initiated the era of
sovereignty, the ultimate objective of which is to establish G-d as King
over the entire world.

Noah, too, lived in a time of new beginnings: the world as it exists
after the Flood. The Midrash tells us that when Noah went out of the ark
"he saw a new world," and began to establish the foundations on which to
rebuild it. Nonetheless, because Noah's service was on a very low
preliminary level, his contribution is considered "as nothing" in
comparison to the service of Abraham, Moses and David.

In truth, Noah's righteousness was mainly in comparison with the
wickedness of the generation of the Flood. The people of his time were
extremely corrupt in the way they dealt with each other. But
righteousness in interpersonal relations is not enough to bring the
world to its G-dly perfection. While certainly a prerequisite, it merely
allows the world to function the way it should.

For this reason Noah's service is considered "as nothing" in contrast to
that of Abraham, Moses and David. Their service went beyond  the social
realm; they  actually connected  the world  to G-dliness. Abraham
disseminated the belief in One G-d; Moses received the Torah at Mount
Sinai; and David built the infrastructure for the Holy Temple in which
the Divine Presence would rest.

Another difference: Noah's service was primarily motivated by fear; his
warning to the people of his generation was connected to the threat of
the imminent Flood. The Midrash even states that "Noah was lacking in
faith; had the water not reached his ankles, he would not have entered
the ark."

By contrast, the service of Abraham, Moses and David stemmed from a deep
and inner recognition of G-d's greatness, which enabled them to set the
"ground rules" for the world's perfection - a process that will be
completed by Moshiach, speedily in our day.

                             Adapted from Vol. 35 of Likutei Sichot

                             SLICE OF LIFE
                            MY SMALL GLIMPSE

                            Matti Weingarten

                         By Jonathan Rosenstock

I first met Matti on a hot Sunday afternoon in Monsey in July 1989. That
was the day Chavy and I had our engagement party. My future in-laws, Mr.
and Mrs. Sommer, were busy introducing me to my numerous new relatives.
Towards the middle of the afternoon, a relative casually sauntered over
to me and unceremoniously introduced himself.

"Hi!" he said, "I'm Matti Weingarten." His appearance and smile showed
an easy-going and friendly style. I took an immediate liking to this new

As I was soon to learn, Matti attended every simcha (celebration), no
matter when, no matter where. And there were, thank G-d, a lot of
simchas to attend. He happily seemed to be in all places at all times.
Whenever there was an early morning bris in Washington Heights or
Monsey, at least an hour's drive from his home, Matti would be in
attendance in his unassuming way. He didn't make a big fuss about his
presence. He just quietly came. And while I presume that he may not have
enjoyed getting up at the crack of dawn and going on those early morning
trips, he never uttered a complaint. He was always happy to be there.
And we were always thrilled when he arrived. You felt that he was truly
delighted to be participating in your simcha.

Matti was a master of deflecting attention from himself. Whenever we
would talk, he always steered the conversation away from himself.
Rather, he would ask me about my family and my job.

Similarly, when I once asked Matti why he chose not to speak at his
sons' bar mitzva celebrations, he simply stated that his brothers were
such adept speakers that the simcha would be best served with his
silence. Clearly, these were the words of a humble person. In truth,
Matti was learned and knew a lot more than most other people. We all
certainly could have gained from his words. However, he didn't want to
draw any attention to himself.

Even in times of sorrow, Matti was the same; he was always worried about
others. I remember specifically a Saturday evening, October 23, 1999,
when I went to be menachem avel (fulfill the mitzva of "comforting the
mourner") after the passing of Matti's father, Uncle Avrohom. I was
seated toward the back of the crowded room while an elderly rabbi
discussed, in Yiddish, his recollections of Uncle Avrohom. Matti gave me
a small nod, a wink of the eye, and motioned for me to sit beside him.

After I sat down, Matti began translating the conversation for me. Matti
knew I didn't understand Yiddish. When the conversation shifted to a
discussion of a sefer (Jewish holy text) that Uncle Avrohom used to
study, Matti realized that I was unfamiliar with this book. Immediately,
he asked that a copy of the book be brought to me so that I could
understand the nature of the conversation. In retrospect, Matti was the
mourner and I was supposed to be comforting him for the passing of his
father. However, Matti was not worried about himself. He was busy trying
to make sure that I felt comfortable.

Thinking back, the final time I saw Matti was on Tuesday, July 18, 2000,
in Monsey at the bris of little Shimon Liebersohn. Typically, Matti was
there early and stayed until the end. During the meal, we spoke and, as
usual, joked. Suddenly he turned to me and asked me how I was going to
get to work. "I think I have a ride for you," he offered. This was
another classic "Matti moment": he was always worrying about and helping
others. Why should my commute be his concern? But for Matti, anyone
else's concern was also his concern.

Matti gave the impression of being just a regular person, never making a
show of his special qualities or publicizing his benevolent acts.
However, those who knew him realized that he quietly dedicated himself
to looking after others and never worrying about himself. In the
process, he attained a profound level of holiness that we can barely

Matti was truly a tzadik. Yet, his time on this earth was so short. I
thank G-d for bestowing upon me the privilege of having known Matti. My
time with him has always been special and will forever be cherished in
the future. I will try to learn from his great example and emulate the
beautiful life he led.

             Ed.'s note: It was with utter shock that the Lubavitch
         community in Crown Heights learned of the passing of Matti
       Weingarten, a devoted father of eight children, beloved son,
     brother and husband, on the day after Rosh Hashana, the victim
                    of a violent and senseless attack in Manhattan.

                               WHAT'S NEW
                     53rd Flight and Three Weddings

Twenty-two boys and girls arrived recently in Israel from Gomel, one of
the contaminated cities in the Chernobyl area, under the auspices of
Chabad's Children of Chernobyl. This was the 53rd flight, bringing the
total number of children evacuated to 1,998. In Israel, they receive top
medical attention to try and reverse or still the effects of the Nuclear
Disaster which took place over a decade ago. They are housed, treated
and schooled at the CCOC center in Kfar Chabad until they are able to
rejoin their parents.

Another milestone for CCOC was the marriage this past summer of three of
the youngsters, now adults, whom the organization brought to Israel.
Chabad's Children of Chernobyl financed their weddings as well as helped
them set up their homes. Two of the weddings took palce in Israel and
one in Kiev. Find out more at

                            THE REBBE WRITES

27th of Teveth, 5721 [1961]
Greeting and Blessing:

I received your letter and enclosures.

It is explained in many places in Chasidus, beginning with the Tanya,
about the negative aspects of all forms of sadness, depression,
despondency, etc. It is also clear from experience that these attitudes
belong to the bag of tricks of the Yetzer Hora [evil inclination] in
order to distract the Jew from serving G-d. To achieve this end the
Yetzer Hora sometimes even clothes itself in the mantle of piety.

The true test, however, is what the results are, whether these attitudes
actually bring about an improvement in, and a fuller measure of Torah
and Mitzvos, or the reverse. This should be easy to determine.

On the other hand we have been assured that "He who is determined to
purify himself receives Divine help." The road to purity and holiness,
however, is one that should be trodden step by step, and by gradual and
steady advancement.

Needless to say, the idea of your continuing at the Yeshivah for some
time is the right one. As for the question how and what to write to your
parents, I suggest that you consult with Rabbi Joseph Wineberg, who
knows them personally, and who could give you some useful suggestions.

Hoping to hear good news from you in all above,

With blessing,

                                *  *  *

                     5th of Cheshvan, 5742  [1981]

I am in receipt of your letter, postdated Oct. 22nd, which I read with
due attention.

Seeing the high regard and warm sentiments that you have for the work of
our Lubavitch representatives in your area, I am confident that this is
translated into concrete actions in helping and being personally
involved in the work of spreading and strengthening Yiddishkeit in your

With all due respect, I must take exception to your stating that you are
"not a religious person, but for the past 13 years my life path has on
several occasions been intertwined with the Lubavitch movement," etc.
The basis for my objection is the fact that since Mattan Torah, each and
every Jew has become a member of what G-d termed "A kingdom of Kohanim
[priests] (G-d's servants) and a holy nation." And although everyone has
been given the freedom of action to live up to this fully or otherwise,
there are matters in which a person has no choice, as we see also in the
physical aspects, such as a person being unable to change the color of
his eyes, the type of his blood, etc. Similarly, although a person is
free to act and conduct himself as he chooses, one cannot change one's
essence, which, in the case of a Jew, is rooted in the fact that one is
a member of the "holy nation," as mentioned above.

It follows that a Jew can function properly and fully only when he, or
she, lives within his or her element, namely Torah and Mitzvoth
Yiddishkeit, which to the Jew is what water is to a fish. To be sure, a
fish may sometimes jump out of its element, the water, but it is not its
normal way of life to live on land, except that in the case of a fish,
the conse-quences are almost immediate, whereas in the case of a Jew,
G-d desires that he should freely choose the path of Torah and Mitzvoth,
without fear or coercion. Therefore, the consequences are not immediate,
for G-d, in His infinite mercy, gives the Jew the opportunity to return
to his Source out of his own volition, but when a Jew is determined so
to do, the Torah assures us that he receives aid from On High, and finds
his way very much easier than anticipated.

With blessing,

                            RAMBAM THIS WEEK
6 Marcheshvan 5761

Prohibition 252: wronging a convert to Judaism by speech

By this prohibition we are forbidden to wrong a righteous proselyte with
our words. It is contained in the Torah's words (Ex. 22:20) "You shall
not wrong a stranger" and (Lev. 19:33) "You shall not do him wrong." [It
is explained that one is forbidden to say, "Yesterday you worshipped
idols, and now you have come under the wings of the Diving Presence."]

                        A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR
There was once a train that had to travel over a steep mountain. The
locomotive that pulled the cars strained and groaned with the effort.
"How wonderful it would be," the engineer thought to himself, "if the
engine didn't have to drag all those heavy cars. Then I could reach my
destination in record time." At that moment the cable connecting the
locomotive to the rest of the convoy snapped, and the engineer's wish
came true. He arrived at the stationhouse well ahead of schedule.

Excitedly, the engineer told the stationmaster how the locomotive had
traveled much faster by itself. But much to his surprise, his boss was
not pleased. "You fool!" the stationmaster replied. "Who cares if the
engine reaches the stationhouse? The whole purpose of the locomotive is
to bring the train to its destination. Without the cars behind it,
there's no point to the whole trip."

The "locomotive" in the story is the month of Tishrei; the "cars" of the
train are the 11 other months of the year.

We are now in the month of Marcheshvan, the only month on the Jewish
calendar that is devoid of holidays. The spiritual exultation of Rosh
Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah and Shemini Atzeret are
behind us, and the year to come - like train tracks stretching out to
the horizon - looms ahead.

As we return to "reality," our challenge now is to incorporate the
warmth and spiritual elevation of the holidays into our regular
day-to-day existence. Will the "locomotive" stay attached to the "cars"
and lead them in the right direction, or will all the positive emotions
we experienced - the deep faith in G-d that was aroused, the feelings of
Jewish unity and love for our fellow Jews - remain disassociated from
our daily lives?

By channeling our resolve into practical action (perhaps taking on an
additional mitzva: putting on tefilin, eating kosher, being more careful
in Shabbat observance, etc.), the month of Tishrei will propel us
forward and upward. For in truth, being Jewish is a 365-day-a-year

                          THOUGHTS THAT COUNT
And take to you of all food that is eaten...and it shall be for food for
you, and for them (Gen. 6:21)

When a righteous person consumes food, the food fulfills its purpose in
creation, becomes spiritually elevated, and "justifies" its existence.
G-d therefore told Noah, "It shall be food for you, and for them [i.e.,
spiritual sustenance for the various foods themselves]."

                                                   (Tiferet Shlomo)

G-d said to Noah, "Come you and all your house into the ark" (Gen. 7:1)

The Zohar explains that the name Noah ("Noach" in Hebrew), from the root
meaning to rest, is an allusion to Shabbat, which is also derived from
the Hebrew word meaning cessation of work. Moreover, in the same way
that the ark was the means by which Noah and his family were saved from
the Flood, so too is the holy Shabbat the "lifesaver" that rescues the
Jew from drowning in the world's deluge...

                                                      (Avnei Eizel)

Noah went in, and his sons...because of the waters of the Flood (Gen.

As Rashi comments, "Even Noah was of little faith; he believed and did
not believe that the Flood would come, and did not enter the ark until
the waters forced him." When a person trusts in G-d that something will
happen, his faith actually helps it occur that much sooner; in fact, the
speed with which it happens is in direct proportion to the magnitude of
his faith. Thus Noah didn't want to believe "too much" in the Flood, for
fear that his faith would bring it on sooner rather than later.

                                                    (Oheiv Yisrael)

                            IT ONCE HAPPENED
There was once a Jew named Shmuel who lived in a small European town. A
scholar of Torah and upright of character, he was also clever and
competent. When the governor of the district heard about his abilities
he appointed him his business manager, and grew to trust him implicitly.

Along with his other responsibilities Shmuel was entrusted with the keys
to the treasury. The governor had no compunctions about this, as he knew
he could rely on the honest Jew. Shmuel, for his part, proved to be more
than worthy of the governor's trust. He exercised his duties faithfully.

The governor's assistant business manager, however, was a vicious
anti-Semite. Shmuel's success, and the esteem in which he was held, were
almost too much for him to bear. His greatest desire was for the
governor to get rid of the Jew and appoint him in his stead.

Then one day, it seemed as if his fantasy was about to be fulfilled...

The governor had just returned from an extended trip, and was throwing a
party for his friends to celebrate his return. Before leaving, the
governor had appointed Shmuel in charge of his household.

In the middle of the festivities, during which the wine flowed like
water, the governor decided to impress his guests by showing off his
wealth. One his most priceless possessions was an extremely large and
rare diamond, whose value was beyond estimation. The governor had never
displayed it in public, but the party seemed like the perfect
opportunity to do so.

Shmuel, as manager of the estate, was asked to retrieve the jewel from
the treasury. A few minutes later he returned holding a tiny golden box,
encrusted with precious gems and diamonds. Everyone gathered around the
governor to see this special sight.

With an extravagant gesture the governor opened the box, but was stunned
to find it was empty! The diamond had evidently been stolen.

After the initial shock had worn off, all of the guests began to look at
Shmuel with suspicion. Everyone knew him as an honest fellow, but what
other explanation could there be? Who else had access to the treasury?

The governor turned to Shmuel and said delicately, "For many years you
have worked for me faithfully. But sometimes, a person may give in to
temptation. If you return the diamond, I give you my word that nothing
bad will happen to you."

"G-d forbid!" Shmuel cried as his face paled. Pain and disgrace were
visible in his eyes. "In my whole life I've never touched anything that
didn't belong to me, and I certainly didn't take your diamond."

The crowd was silent. The Jewish manager's words sounded sincere, but
unfortunately, all the evidence pointed to his guilt.

Then Shmuel had an idea. "If you give me a chance to prove myself," he
said, "I will show you who the real thief is."

After asking the assembled guests to remain in the hall, Shmuel rushed
off to his house. He returned, clutching a black rooster under his arm.

Everyone's curiosity was aroused by the odd spectacle. "Esteemed
guests," Shmuel announced in a loud voice, "this rooster is not your
ordinary, run of the mill bird. In fact, it has a special ability to
detect thieves! When an honest man touches this rooster, it does not
react. But if a thief dares to pet it, it immediately ruffles its
feathers and crows at the top of its lungs. Pay attention - it will now
reveal the person who stole the governor's diamond."

Shmuel chose five guests at random and asked them to pet the wonderful
bird. The guests did as they were asked, but the rooster remained

A wave of laughter rippled through the hall. What an impudent Jew! It
wasn't bad enough that he had stolen the diamond; now he was making fun
of them as well!

Shmuel, however, appeared unconcerned. "Wait! The test is not yet over,"
he called out. The five men who had petted the bird were then asked to
raise the hand that had touched it. Five hands shot up in the air. Four
palms were as black as coal, but the fifth - the one that belonged to
the assistant manager - was white.

"Here's your thief!" Shmuel announced, pointing to the assistant
manager. "He is responsible for the robbery." Everyone stared at the
man, who was trembling with the fright of discovery. Without a word in
self-defense, the assistant manager then admitted to stealing the

When the governor asked Shmuel to reveal the rooster's secret, he burst
out laughing. "There really isn't anything special about this rooster,"
the Jew explained. "The only thing I did was to rub soot into its
feathers before I brought it here. I figured that an innocent person
wouldn't hesitate to pet it, whereas the guilty party would only make
believe he was touching it. And indeed, my assumption was correct..."

After apologizing profusely the governor gave Shmuel a warm hug, and
announced that he was giving him a promotion. And the assistant manager
was thrown into jail, where he remained for the rest of his life.

                            MOSHIACH MATTERS
The Jewish people's collective Divine Service over the course of the
generations, required during the exile to bring the complete Redemption,
has been concluded and perfected. There is absolutely no explanation or
reason  for the delay of the Redemption. Therefore, even if an
individual's Divine service is lacking, this is a personal matter that
certainly needs to be corrected and completed. But this does not
diminish, G-d forbid, the completion and perfection of "our actions and
service" of the Jewish people as a whole, who stand ready for the
Redemption. (The Rebbe, 4 Cheshvan, 5752-1991)

                 END OF TEXT - L'CHAIM 642 - Noach 5761

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