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                         L'CHAIM - ISSUE # 690
                           Copyright (c) 2001
                 Lubavitch Youth Organization - L.Y.O.
                              Brooklyn, NY
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   Dedicated to the memory of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson N.E.
        October 19, 2001         Noach          2 Cheshvan, 5762

                             Good for Good

Jewish mystical teachings explain that evil has no permanence. Only good
exists eternally and every good deed endures forever.

The way to fight evil, then, is with good, with everlasting and
incessant good.

How much can you or I do to eradicate evil from the face of the earth,
to wipe out terror and eliminate violence? Realistically speaking, how
much of an impact can any one, single individual have on the entire

In the beginning of September, nearly four decades ago, the Rebbe
addressed precisely this question in a pre-High Holiday letter to Jews
around the world.

"One single individual has the capacity to bring the whole of creation
to fulfillment, as was the case with the first person, Adam....

"Our Sages teach us that the first person, Adam, was the prototype and
example for each and every individual to follow: 'For this reason was
man created as an individual in order to each you "one person equals a
whole world," ' our Sages declared in the Mishna.

"This means that every Jew, regardless of time and place and personal
status, has the fullest capacity, hence also duty, to rise and attain
the highest degree of fulfillment, and accomplsh the same for the
creation as a whole.

"This disproves the contentions of those who do not fulfill their duty
with the excuse that it is impossible to change the world; of that their
parents had not given them the necessary education and preparation; or
that the world is so huge, and one is so puny-how can one hope to
accomplish anythng?

"There were times when the aforesaid idea, namely, the ability of a
single individual to 'transform' the world, met with skepticism, and
demanded proof.

"However, precisely in our generation, we unfortunately do not have to
seek far to be convinced that one person could have such impact. We have
seen how one individual brought the world to the brink of destruction,
but for the mercies of the King of the Universe, Who ordained that 'the
earth shall stand firm; shall not fall.'

"If such is the case in the realm of evil, surely one's potential is
much greater in the realm of good. For, in truth, creation is
essentially good, and therefore more inclined toward the good than its

So what can I do to fight evil? What contribution can I make in the war
against terrorism? What is my memorial to the thousands who perished
last month and the millions before them? I can be good, and so can you.

It sometimes happens that the external appearance of a thing or event
can be in stark contradiction to its true meaning. For example, if one
happens to see a parent in the midst of disciplining his child, his
actions might seem to be an expression of cruelty. In truth, however,
the parent is motivated by love and concern for the child's welfare.

On a larger scale, an event or occurrence can take place in the world
that seems to be negative, yet ultimately derives from a positive source
and is actually beneficial. A prime example of this was the Great Flood
in the times of Noah, as described in this week's Torah portion.
Outwardly, it was a terrible phenomenon - the annihilation of every
living thing on earth. But on a deeper level the Flood signified
spiritual purification and cleansing, similar to immersion in a mikva
(ritual bath).

The Midrash relates that during the Flood the world was in a very
exalted state, much like the very beginning of creation. Completely
submerged in water, the entire world was an expression of "praise of the
Holy One, Blessed be He."

What does being underwater have to do with praising G-d? Moreover, how
does this relate to the simple, literal significance of the Flood, which
was death and destruction?

To explain:

The most salient property of water is that it covers whatever is
submerged within it. When an area is flooded, its numerous disparate
features disappear, and it acquires a uniform appearance. Nothing
protrudes from the surface; no element declares that it is different
from any other. In this sense, water is symbolic of the underlying G-dly
unity of existence.

This is also the deeper significance of immersion in a mikva: the
individual's nullification of his essential self before G-d. This was
the initial state of the world immediately following creation and also
during the Flood, when the whole world was nullified and subsumed in the
greater G-dly reality.

On the physical plane, the Flood manifested itself as devastation and
punishment. But the inner, G-dly intention was the world's purification
and spiritual elevation.

Nonetheless, G-d promised that He would never again bring a flood upon
the world, as according to Divine plan, this nullification must occur as
a result of man's service rather than come from Above. The underlying
unity of existence will be fully revealed in the Messianic era, when
"the world will be filled with G-dly knowledge as the waters cover the

                           Adapted from Volume 30 of Likutei Sichot

                             SLICE OF LIFE

                     Life with the Rich and Famous
                             by Miriam Karp

Bulgarian-born and Israeli-raised Molly Resnick moved to New York City
in 1972 to seek her fortune in the communications industry. She landed a
coveted position at NBC news as a producer of the only daily interview
show in New York "Five Minutes With &..."

"As the 'gate-keeper' I was the one who decided who was to be featured
on the TV show-Menachem Begin, Henry Kissinger, President Carter, Dr.
Spock, Gregory Peck, Sofia Loren, kings, prime ministers, prima
ballerinas, the 'Who's Who' of the political, art and literary world."

Molly enjoyed her enviable position. But after years of encountering
celebrities, "it hit me that being rich and famous didn't mean you found
the key to happiness or had common sense."

Molly took a leave of absence to embark on a worldwide search for spirit
and meaning. On a jaunt to Rio she had a critical encounter with the
Chief Rabbi, the late Yerachmiel Blumenfield, who invited Molly to a
Shabbat dinner. In spite of her agnostic skepticism, Molly was persuaded
to light Shabbat candles. She became mesmerized by the beauty and
intelligence of the Rabbi's daughter Chana, who showed Molly a photo of
her obviously religious fiance, bearded and black-hatted. Molly's
response was one of incredulity. "You don't want to spend the rest of
your life being pregnant, cooking chicken soup and praying behind a
curtain. Come, I'll help you run away!" she offered the young

Chana insisted that she was happy and had freely chosen this lifestyle.
Molly found this hard to digest. "Chana picked me up the next day and I
said, 'You mean they let you go out and drive? Aren't they afraid you'll
run away?'" For three days the sophisticated producer bombarded Chana
with questions about observant Jewish life.

As a political science student Molly was enamored with the American
Constitution. "To me it was the epitome of justice and wisdom. I then
realized that the Torah, my people's 'Constitution,' was not just 200,
but thousands of years old. I had dabbled in every '-ism'-Hinduism,
Buddhism, you name it-but I knew so little about my own heritage.

"It was like falling in love. I had finally found meaning. I realized
that our world has a G-d and a purpose." Molly retuned to New York ready
to learn and grow Jewishly.

Each week she visited another observant family for Shabbat. She found
the Lubavitchers to be warm, intelligent and most accepting. Eventually,
Molly's observance grew to Shabbat, keeping kosher and dating only
Jewish men interested in marriage.

A friend arranged a shidduch (match) with the man who became her
husband. Molly smiles, "Even my mother forgave me when she found out the
religious young man I was bringing home was a Harvard doctor." Dr.
Lawrence Resnick, an expert in hypertension who is today a Professor of
Medicine at Cornell in Manhattan, was then the Lubavitcher Rebbe's
personal physical.

Molly continued her work at NBC for several years. Her new ways met with
mixed responses of cynicism and admiration. "G-d is almost a four letter
word among the self-declared intelligentsia circles. To some I'd become
a fanatic, a fundamentalist! Others praised me for the almost extinct
quality of dedication to beliefs."

As her family grew to include three children, Molly's priorities shifted
and she left NBC, devoting herself to motherhood and the less rigorous
schedule of freelancing.

Summing up the difference between her former secularism and embrace of
Judaism, Molly extols the depth, beauty and joy of getting in touch with
one's inner self-the Jewish essence. "The worldly success I once pursued
is shallow compared to the depth of Jewish living."

She finds how she defines herself has radically changed, as well. "I
used to define myself as first and foremost a woman, a journalist, an
Israeli, an American, a liberal, and a humanist. And somewhere, I was
also Jewish, but that meant little to me." Now she puts the Jewish part
first. This priority is essential to "having it all," she says.

The fiery spirit that drove Molly up the career ladder and fueled her
quest for truth has found a new outlet. Combining her journalistic savvy
with the concern of a Jewish mother, Molly now fights the indoctrination
of Palestinian children into Jew-haters.

In 1998, Molly and several friends formed M.A.T.C.K.H.-Mothers Against
Teaching Children to Kill and Hate. They use the proven combination of
media blitz and mothers, modeled after MADD, Mother's Against Drunk
Driving. "MADD is a grassroots organization that changed the laws of the
land, and our cause is no less urgent."

For the past three years, Molly had been telling people, "Today Arab
Palestinians direct their hatred against Israelis and Jews in the Middle
East, tomorrow it will be Americans right here in our own back yard."
The recent World Trade Center bombing does not set Molly up as a
prophetess. Rather, it is a natural progression of brainwashing children
to hate and kill. "People used to feel safe because terror was only
happening in the Middle East, but September 11, 2001 changed that for
all people of the world."

M.A.T.C.K.H. uses public forums and educational programs to inform the
public and lobby officials to oppose groups teaching bigotry, hatred and
murder to children. M.A.T.C.K.H. exposes the constant hate featured on
Palestinian television, in songs, and in school textbooks and summer

Molly cities a Palestinian textbook that uses anti-Semitism in its 5th
grade grammar lessons: "Define the subject and predicate in the
following sentence: 'It is the duty of every Moslem, man and woman, to
launch jihad [holy war] against the Jews.'" Another timebomb is a poem,
"The Martyr." It extols the virtue of children becoming suicide
warriors. "In Palestinian-controlled areas," explains Molly, "children
dress as suicide bombers and parade at extremist rallies. Theatrical
shows at these rallies included the blowing up of cardboard Israeli
buses and setting mock Jewish settlements on fire. Striving for peace
without changing the attitudes of children is like constructing another
floor above a termite-ridden foundation."

Molly visits schools and youth clubs around the country to encourage
children to write letters for peace that are assembled into colorful
quilts. On October 4th, during the intermediate days of the festival of
Sukkot, students displayed their quilts at a massive rally that
M.A.T.C.K.H. planned at the steps of the Capitol in Washington D.C.
under the auspices of several Congressional leaders. In preparation for
that event, Molly sent out a press release stating: "We urge President
Bush in his quest to root out terrorism to consider where the seeds of
extremist motivations are planted, and to consider those sources to be
equally as dangerous to freedom as terrorists and those who aid them."

Summing up her activism, Molly states, "The Lubavitcher Rebbe's
teachings concerning the security of the land of Israel* has greatly
influenced my involvement in M.A.T.C.K.H. I do not have illusions of
grandeur that I can solve the world's troubles. There are deeply
ingrained problems, but G-d can change the whole scenario in a second.
The least I can do is to use my G-d-given talents and skills to do my

              For more info about M.A.T.C.K.H. visit

* See "The Rebbe Writes" below

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For an insight about Moshiach call 718-MOSHIACH or (718) 953-6100, or

                            THE REBBE WRITES
              How the Rebbe Responded to Terrorist Threats

    On the 28th of Nissan, 5750 (April 1990) the Rebbe was notified that
    P.L.O. terrorists were threatening to attack various targets
    throughout the world. The following is the Rebbe's response, freely

I was notified that the P.L.O. has given instructions to all its
branches worldwide to strike at targets throughout the world, G-d

It is therefore necessary to invoke and emphasize the blessings from G-d
to all Jews in all places, in all their needs. Primarily the most needed
blessing is the miracle of the complete and perfect Redemption through
Moshiach (whom we await every day that his coming not be delayed even as
much as the blink of an eye). These blessings should be emphasized with
complete trust and confidence, as well as with joy and gladness of

We should especially fulfill the directive of the Chabad Rebbes, "Think
good and it will be good."

This means that thinking positively causes the course of events to
actually turn out good.

This information should be utilized not to scare anyone, G-d forbid, but
rather in the positive sense, to enhance the service of the Jewish
people in the study of Torah and the observance of mitzvos.

On the verse (Gen.), "The voice is the voice of Jacob," our Sages tell
us that the power of the Jewish people is with "our mouth." Through our
heartfelt prayers and Torah learning we can eliminate the plans of "the
hands of Esau," the terrible schemes of our enemies.

Thus there should be additional activities in Torah study and prayer and
in mitzvos in general.

Special emphasis should be placed on studying Torah diligently. For our
Sages explain the verse, "If you will follow my statutes" to mean that
if you will labor in Torah... "I will grant peace in the land. You will
sleep without fear."

Through Torah study we eliminate all negative things and they are even
transformed to good.

Also, additional prayers should be said. Keeping with the spirit of
"thinking positive" it would be advisable to recite daily an extra three
chapters of Psalms. One of these three chapters should be the final
chapter of Psalms (ch. 150) which concludes with the verse, "Let every
being that has a soul praise G-d." This means that every man, woman and
child praises and gives thanks to G-d for His benevolence, and for the
blessings and good fortune that He bestows upon us and will continue to
bestow upon us.

It would also be appropriate to add in the giving of charity.

Although "fasting" is out of place (especially in the context of
"thinking positive") this does not contradict the giving of charity to
redeem a fast.

It would be appropriate to give charity in the amount of two meals, and
even better in the amount of three meals. This charity should preferably
go to support people who learn Torah or institutions involved in
disseminating Torah.

Certainly these directives will be publicized in all Jewish communities,
to all Jews, men, women and children.

Emphasis must be placed however, to be very cautious not to scare
anyone, G-d forbid. Rather, the purpose is to inspire everyone to
enhance their Torah study and mitzvah observance, with true bitachon,
complete trust and confidence, with joy and a glad heart.

The main thing is that the resolutions regarding the above should hasten
and quicken the concept of "think good and it will be good" in actuality
starting from the ultimate good-the complete and perfect Redemption
through Moshiach.

                            RAMBAM THIS WEEK
2 Marcheshvan 5762

Positive mitzva 245: the law of buying and selling

By this injunction we are commanded concerning the law of buying and
selling, i.e., the procedure by which a sale is to be effected between
the vendor and the vendee. It is derived from the Torah's words (Lev.
25:14): "And if you sell something to your neighbor, or buy something
from your neighbor's hand, etc."

                        A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR
                         Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman
Because of the publication schedule of L'Chaim, this is the first chance
we have to share our thoughts with our readers after the tragic,
earth-shaking events of the terrorist attack on America, and in essence,
all people, on September 11.

I would like to share with our readers the announcement that I was able
to deliver on New York radio following the bombing:

"This is a tragic time for New York, for the United States and for the
entire world.

"Our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families.

"This is a time to be strong and to strengthen each other.

"Let us unite in doing an extra mitzva, an extra good deed each day, in
honor of those who perished.

"As the Lubavitcher Rebbe teaches us, a mitzva, a good deed, is the
perfect vehicle for all divine blessings.

"Let us also unite in prayer in beseeching Alm-ghty G-d for the great
Redemption, and a world without violence and without madness, without
terrorism and without grief, without pain and without sorrow, a world of
peace, brotherhood and harmony between nation and nation and between man
and man."

One of the fundamentals of Jewish belief is the belief that in the
Messianic Era all those who have perished will be resurrected. We are
waiting! Surely we all feel how close we are to that time, when we will
all be reunited with our loved ones. As the Rebbe said, the world is
ready, we are ready. May it take place immediately.

                          THOUGHTS THAT COUNT
And Noah walked with G-d (Gen. 6:9)

Noah himself was a G-d-fearing man, but he did not reprove other people
or encourage them to improve their behavior. For that reason he is
termed "perfect in his generation": He was not disliked by his fellow
man, as no one really cared how he conducted his personal life -
provided he did not make any unpleasant demands on them.

                                                      (Ketav Sofer)

                                *  *  *

And the earth was corrupted before G-d (Gen. 6:11)

Only in G-d's eyes was the earth "corrupted," whereas mankind considered
the world to be pleasant and good. The members of Noah's generation were
perfectly satisfied with the rules they had established to govern their

                                               (Rabbi Avraham Saba)

                                *  *  *

Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean (Gen. 7:8)

According to the Talmud, the Torah uses an extra eight letters to
describe the non-kosher animals in this manner, rather than portray them
negatively as "unclean" or treif. Elsewhere in the Torah, however, such
as those verses enumerating which animals we are allowed or forbidden to
eat, they are clearly defined as "unclean." The difference is that when
it comes to a matter of Jewish law, fancy language is inappropriate. The
law must be stated definitively and unequivocally: "This you may do, and
this you may not do."


                                *  *  *

And they went to Noah into the ark...of all flesh where there is the
breath of life (Gen. 7:15)

The G-dly revelation that was manifested in the ark had a profound
effect on all the animals, causing them to live together amicably and
harmoniously for an entire year. Thus the conditions in the ark were the
prototype and forerunner of the Messianic era, when according to many
commentators, the Biblical prophecy of "and the wolf shall live with the
lamb" will be fulfilled in the literal sense.

                                                (Hitva'aduyot 5743)

                            IT ONCE HAPPENED
Reb Gavriel was a simple, honest shopkeeper living in the town of
Vitebsk. He and his wife of 25 years had no children and their financial
situation was not the best, but they never complained. They lived pious
lives and always contributed generously whenever their Rebbe, Rabbi
Shneur Zalman (founder of Chabad Chasidism), asked for donations for any
of the numerous charities he supported. Over the years, Reb Gavriel's
financial situation deteriorated, but no sigh escaped his lips and he
kept the matter to himself.

A large sum of money was once needed to ransom a number of Jews from
debtor's prison. Rabbi Shneur Zalman told Reb Gavriel the amount he
hoped Reb Gavriel would contribute. When Reb Gavriel mentioned the sum
to his wife, she immediately noticed his unhappiness. After some
prodding, Reb Gavriel revealed that business had taken a turn for the
worse. In fact, it was so bad that they were penniless and could not
possibly come up with the money the Rebbe had requested.

His wife chided him softly, "Haven't you told me many times the Rebbe's
words that one should always trust in G-d, and should always be joyful?
G-d will help, and enable us to contribute the amount the Rebbe expects
of us!"

She then quietly collected all of her jewelry and valuables. She went
into town and sold them, triumphantly bringing the money to her husband.
"Here is the entire amount the Rebbe asked for," she told him happily.

Reb Gavriel immediately set out for the Rebbe's home in Liozna. Upon
being called into the Rebbe's room, he placed the sack of money on the
Rebbe's table.  The Rebbe asked him to open the sack to count the money,
which he did. Both Rabbi Shneur Zalman and Reb Gavriel were surprised to
see that the coins shone as if they had been newly minted.

The Rebbe contemplated the coins, then said, "The contributions to the
Sanctuary in the [Sinai] desert included gold, silver and copper.  But
the only metal that shone was the copper from the mirrors of the women.
This was formed into the laver and its pedestal ... Tell me, where did
this money come from?"

Reb Gavriel finally revealed to the Rebbe that for the past ten years
his business had been suffering. He explained that his wife had sold all
of her jewelry to raise the money the Rebbe had requested.

The Rebbe meditated for some time, then said:  "Your harsh trials are
over. May G-d grant you and your wife sons and daughters and long life
to see the children of your children; may G-d grant you over and again
prosperity wherever you turn, and favor in the eyes of all those who see
you. Close your shop and start dealing in precious gems."

Reb Gavriel hastened home to Vitebsk and brought his wife the good news
of the Rebbe's blessing.  And, of course, he asked her why the coins

"I polished each coin lovingly," she explained, "until they glistened
and sparkled like stars in the sky."  She wanted to do this special
mitzva in the most beautiful manner possible. "In my heart I beseached
G-d that by virtue of that," she continued, "our fortunes would start
sparkling, too!"

Reb Gavriel closed his shop and began dealing in gems.  With G-d's help,
the local nobles and squires soon became his regular customers.  His
clientele grew from day to day. And within a year from when he had
travelled to Rabbi Shneur Zalman to turn over the sparkling coins from
his wife, she gave birth to a son.

Reb Gavriel soon became known by the nickname "Gavriel Nosei Chein" (the
Likeable). He and his wife continued in their simple, pious ways, giving
charity even more generously than before. They were respected by all who
knew them and were successful at whatever they attempted.

                            MOSHIACH MATTERS
Said the prophet Hosea (3:4-5): "The children of Israel shall sit many
days without king and without prince, and without sacrifice...
Thereafter, the children of Israel shall return and ask for G-d, their
G-d, and for David their king, and they shall be in fear before G-d and
(hope) for His goodness in the end of days." "Ask for G-d" refers to the
restoration of the Kingdom of Heaven; "Daivd their king" refers to the
restoration of the Kingdom of the House of David, through Moshiach;
"fear before G-d.... His goodness" - the restoration of the Holy Temple.
For Israel will not see the redemption  until they shall return and ask
for these!

                                                   (Midrash Shmuel)

                 END OF TEXT - L'CHAIM 690 - Noach 5762

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