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                         L'CHAIM - ISSUE # 768
                           Copyright (c) 2003
                 Lubavitch Youth Organization - L.Y.O.
                              Brooklyn, NY
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   Dedicated to the memory of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson N.E.
        May 9, 2003               Emor             7 Iyyar, 5763

                           All Expenses Paid

Dear Sir or Madam:

We are pleased to inform you that you have won an all expenses paid trip
to Utopia, that is, the Days of Moshiach. Certainly you've heard of the
place. Well, now's your chance to go there - on us.

That's right, we're offering a shot at this unique opportunity. We know
what you're thinking - this is too good to be true. But that's just the

Hold on a minute, right? Just who are we anyway? Fair enough. After all,
it's not every day you get offered a perfect world. We're the
Patriarchs, Matriarchs, Prophets, and Sages. We're your ancestors and
your ancestors' ancestors. Here are just a few of our testimonials:

"If your dispersed be in the utmost end of the heavens, G-d will bring
you" (Deuteronomy 30:3-5).

"I believe with perfect faith in the coming of Moshiach; though he
tarry, I will anticipate his coming." Moses Maimonides, 12th Article of

Amos: "I shall return the captivity of My people Israel..." (9:14-15).

And of course, Isaiah: "Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your
seed from the east and gather you from the west. I shall say to the
north, 'Give up,' and to the south, 'do not hold back, bring My sons
from far and My daughters from the end of the earth' " (43:5-6).

So why wait? Beat the rush! After all, no Jew will be left behind!

We can hear you now - because we've heard it before - "Ok, you've
convinced me the offer is genuine, but what are my chances of winning?
After all, the odds seem rather long - one in two or three thousand

Fair enough. You want to know when you'll win? "Moshiach can come any
day - this day if you will listen to His voice" (The Zohar). And the
great thing is, you don't even have to be worthy! Of course, it helps:
"'In its time I will hasten it' (Isaiah 60:22) - If they are worthy, 'I
will hasten it'; if not 'in its time'" (Sanhedrin 98a).

We know you're almost convinced. You're about ready to take a chance.
But first you want to know what this Redemption will be like.

Here's a little hint.

No more evil!

"The remnants of Israel will not do any wrong" (Zephaniah 3:13).

"I shall remove from the earth ... the spirit of impurity" (Zechariah

"Your people shall all be righteous, they shall inherit the land
forever" Isaiah 60:21).

Wonders and Miracles!

"As in the days of your going forth from Egypt, I will show you wonders"
(Micah 7:15).

Awareness of G-d!

"The earth shall be full of knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the
sea" (Isaiah 11:9)

"All flesh will see together that the mouth of G-d has spoken" (Isaiah

Universal Peace!

"Nation shall not lift a sword against nation, nor shall they learn war
any more" (Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3)

But to really experience Redem-ption, you'll just have to get there.

Now, what do you have to do take advantage of this amazing offer? Do
another mitzva. Add a little in good-ness and kindness. You could be the
lucky one. Your act could tip the scales!

What's the catch? Only this: You've also got to influence others to do
the same. That's it.

But hurry, this is a limited time offer. After all, "the time of your
Redemption has arrived."

This week's Torah portion, Emor, contains laws addressed particularly to
the "Kohanim," or Priestly Order.

After the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, sacrifices were
discontinued and the three daily prayer services were instituted in
their place. There are many aspects of the daily prayers that parallel
the laws in the offering of sacrifices. In addition, some of the
preliminary prayers recount the actual sacrificial procedures.

In certain prayer rites, it is customary to recite daily prior to the
morning prayers: "I hearby accept upon myself the mitzva of 'Love your
neighbor as yourself.'"  Two questions come to mind concerning this
preface to prayer: What is the connection between this precept and
prayer, to make it a fitting introduction? Second, how can one possibly
be expected to love another person just as he loves himself?

Chasidic philosophy considers all Jews as one complete body, with each
individual Jew corresponding to one of the body's organs. Some parallel
the "head," others the "body," and yet others the "feet." Anyone who has
ever experienced the pain of an ingrown toenail will be fully aware that
a pain even in the lowest part of the body can impair the functioning of
the head by causing an inability to concentrate or think clearly. This
certainly illustrates that the body, with all its organs and limbs, is a
completely integrated system.

Likewise, within the "body" of Jewry a malfunction in the "feet" can
seriously disturb the "head." We find that the greatest Jewish sages,
the most refined of people, would say Vidui, a prayer expressing remorse
for such sins as stealing, committing violent acts, etc. For although
they were far removed from such misdeeds, they felt a personal
involvement with those Jews who had transgressed, and consequently
considered themselves affected by their sins.

In light of the above explanation, we may understand how one can love
another as oneself; for the entire Jewish people are one integrated
"body" and every Jew has a part of himself within his fellow-Jew. Hence,
in loving his fellow he is really showing affection for a part of

Likewise, a Jew with hatred in his heart for another is really hating
and rejecting a part of himself. By hating himself, the person becomes
like a maimed sacrifice which was disqualified from being offered, or a
"maimed" Priest, who was disqualified from offering sacrifices.

The connection between "Love your neighbor as yourself," and prayer
becomes clear. In order to be able to stand in prayer before G-d, whole,
not disfigured by hatred of others, we must first make a commitment to
perform the mitzva of loving one's neighbor.

       Adapted by Rabbi Y.M. Kagen o.b.m, from the teachings of the
                                                  Lubavitcher Rebbe

                             SLICE OF LIFE

                              A Secret Jew
                       By Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz

"Now I understand why my mother did not eat bread for a whole week each
spring," Basya's 70-year-old daughter told Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky,
chief rabbi of Dnepropetrovsk and one of the representatives of the
Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS in Ukraine.

But let me start at the beginning, and briefly share with you an amazing
story of Jewish return in the Former Soviet Union.

A teenage girl showed up in Rabbi Kaminetzky's office one Sunday
afternoon. Her great-grandmother was requesting that he visit her in the
tiny non-Jewish village of Pridnipropsk, nearly two-hours from

"Is your grandmother Jewish?" the rabbi asked.

"No," was the girl's straightforward reply.

"Is anyone in your family Jewish?" continued the rabbi.

"No," answered the teenager once again.

Rabbi Kaminetzky looked at his overcrowded calendar, jam-packed like the
schedules of all of his colleagues, emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
around the world, and told the girl that he would be able to visit in
two weeks.

A week later the girl returned to Rabbi Kaminetzky and begged him to
come immediately. "My great-grandmother is in her 90s and too frail to
travel. She needs to speak with you right away." Rabbi Kaminetzky made a
few phone calls to clear his schedule for the rest of the day and
accompanied the girl back to her tiny village.

Rabbi Kaminetzky entered the little home in Pridnipropsk and saw Basya,
an elderly woman in her 90s. Basya began to cry uncontrollably when she
noticed the rabbi. Eventually she calmed down and she started to speak
in broken Yiddish. "I grew up in a religious Jewish home.

During a pogrom in my hometown of Yekatrinislav (now called
Dnepropetrovsk) in 1911, I saw my parents killed before my eyes."

Basya switched to Russian, the language in which she was most
comfortable, and her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren
listened in great surprise. She recounted how kind gentile neighbors had
taken her in and cared for her on the condition that she obtain new
documents and never tell anyone that she was Jewish as they feared that
it might endanger her life.

"Until this very moment," said Basya solemnly, "no other soul in the
world knew that I was Jewish." Basya shook with emotion as she told the
rabbi that she had always hoped that the day would come when she would
be able to reveal her secret. But, at the very least, she wanted to
receive a Jewish burial.

The room was silent as Basya recalled some of her earliest memories.
"Rabbi, I remember well my childhood and all the wonderful things of
living a Jewish life. I remember the Chief Rabbi of our city and his
Rebbetzin, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson and Rebbetzin Chana."

Rabbi Kaminetzky was overwhelmed by this emotionally-charged encounter.
He listened as Basya shared more Jewish recollections and he gently
questioned her about her life since moving to this tiny gentile village.

Basya had three children, all daughters. Her daughters each had three
daughters. Rabbi Kaminetzky explained to Basya's daughters,
granddaughters and great-grandchildren that they are Jewish.

Before leaving Rabbi Kaminetzky told the family that he or some of his
colleagues would be in touch with them, so that they could be introduced
to their Jewish roots.

The very next day, the great-granddaughter returned to Rabbi
Kaminetzky's office in Dnepropetrovsk. Tearfully, she told him, "Grandma
died soon after you left her house. We need you to give her a Jewish

It was after the funeral that one of Basya's daughters told Rabbi
Kaminetzky, "Now I understand why my mother did not eat bread for a
whole week each spring and why she fasted for an entire day each

Basya's dying wish was carried out and she was buried as a Jew. During
her lifetime, she had dreamt of the day when she could reveal that she
was a Jew. But surely her innermost desire, something she dared not even
dream, was that her descendants be able to live as Jews. And that is
exactly what has happened.

Rabbi Kaminetzky and the staff at the FJC Jewish Community Center in
Dnepropetrovsk contacted Basya's extended family. They invited them to
attend the JCC's social, cultural, religious and educational programs.
They eased their entry into Jewish life and Jewish living. Today, all of
Basya's children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren are living
Jewish lives; many have emigrated to Israel.

Basya's story is not an isolated occurrence. Every FJC representative,
each lay leader, rabbinic intern, summer or winter camp counselor,
social worker or volunteer, can share an account heard first-hand from
someone who found out that he or she is Jewish and is now reconnecting
to the Jewish people.

There are some two and one-half to three million Jews still living in
the Former Soviet Union. And there are hundreds of FJC institutions in
over 400 cities (and growing!) in fifteen countries throughout the FSU
tending to their religious, social, cultural, financial and medical

The FJC's motto, "Connecting all Jews as they are," is poignantly
illustrated by Basya's story.

           Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz is the Executive Director of the
      Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS, headquartered in
                        Moscow. Rabbi Berkowitz can be contacted at

                               WHAT'S NEW
                      Ground Breaking in Arkansas

A ground breaking took place recently for the new Chabad of Arkansas
Center in Little Rock. The first phase of the building campaign, which
will be situated on a 71/2 acres campus, will contain a synagogue,
offices and classrooms. Phase II includes a mikva, gymnasium and
swimming pool. The Center will be the permanent home of Arkansas' only
Jewish day school. Rabbi Ben Zion and Rochel Pape have moved to Little
Rock to direct the day school, which will open in its new home in the
fall. They join Rabbi Pinchas and Esther Ciment, founders and directors
of Chabad of Arkansas.

                        Huge Bar Mitzva at Wall

A massive Bar/Bat Mitzva took place recently at the Western Wall in
Jerusalem under the auspices of Collel Chabad of Israel. One thousand
boys and girls celebrated their coming of age together with thousands of
families members, friends and well-wishers.

                            THE REBBE WRITES

            Continued from the previous issue, from a freely
              translated letter dated 7 Shvat, 5706 [1946]

    3. At the time of the Resurrection [of the Dead], in which body will
    the souls that have had several incarnations arise?

There are many particulars and points of differentiation with regard to
this issue. In general, the concept can be explained as follows: The
soul (here the intent is to refer to all three levels, nefesh, ruach,
and neshamah, or merely one of them, but not merely the level of
neshamah) reincarnates (in the predominant majority of instances) to
perfect what it failed to perfect in its first descent to the body.
Since the entire Jewish people are filled with mitzvos [commandemnts]
like a pomegranate is filled with seeds, in every descent and
incarnation, certain levels of the soul are perfected. At the time of
the resurrection, every body will arise together with the level of the
soul that it perfected. To quote Shaar HaGilgulim, Introduction 4:

If during one's first lifetime,... (the body) did not merit to perfect
(the soul) entirely before it died... at the time of the Resurrection,
that body will receive only that particular portion of the soul that it
perfected during its lifetime. Therefore when the soul is reincarnated a
second time to complete its perfection... the dimensions of the soul
that were perfected in this second body... will be manifest in the
second body at the time of the resurrection. You should not raise the
question: If so, will there be some bodies that will have only a portion
of a soul and not an entire soul? For this concept should be made known:
Every portion of the soul includes within it all the other portions and
thus every element is itself an entire structure.

Nevertheless because it is part of a soul that is more encompassing, it
is only one element. To cite a parallel: all of the souls as a whole are
in fact one soul, the soul of Adam the first man, as alluded to by our
Sages' statement (Shmos Rabbah 40:3): "While Adam the first man was
lying as a lifeless entity, the Holy One, blessed be He, showed him each
and every righteous man who would descend from him. There were those
dependent on his head...." See also Tanya, chs. 2 and 37, Iggeres
HaKodesh, Epistle 7, et al.

    4. There are places where the day (and the night) are longer than 24
    hours. Note the Zohar, Vol. III, p. 10a: "There are places which are
    entirely day and there is no night there, except for a brief
    moment." How should these places conduct themselves with regard to
    the observance of the Shabbos? Is the approach that deserves primacy
    counting the hours, following the pattern of the days in another
    place, or going according to the rising and the setting of the sun?

I did not understand your question. How is it possible to observe
Shabbos according to the rising of the sun when it will not rise for
several 24-hour periods and perhaps for several months and then it will
not set for a long time? Also, what is your intent when you say that
they should follow the pattern of the days in another place? Which other
place, since - to quote the Zohar, loc. cit., - "When it is light for
these, it is dark for these. When it is day for them, it is night for
the others"?

It is obvious that in these places, it is necessary to count hours,
i.e., their days will be 24 hours long. And the beginning of Shabbos
will be the same for all places on the same longitude that share the
same horizon. It appears to me that Sefer HaBris discusses this issue.
That text, however, is presently inaccessible to me.

To be sure, in this context, it is necessary to clarify:

    1. With regard to matters that are dependent on day and night, e.g.,
    the times for prayer, in which places does one begin reckoning
    according to the clock and not according to seasonal hours? [I.e.,
    an hour is considered one-twelfth of the time from sunrise to
    sunset.] For example, in a place where the day is only one hour
    long, it is not logical to assume that it will be sufficient to fast
    only one hour for the fast of 10 Teves.

    2. At the North Pole and the South Pole, it is not appropriate to
    speak of longitude. How should one conduct oneself there?

Clarification is necessary regarding these matters. This is not the
place for discussion of the issue.

With the blessing "Immediately to teshuvah [repentance]; immediately to
                                          Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
                                                 Executive Director

                            RAMBAM THIS WEEK
13 Iyar, 5763 - May 15, 2003

Positive Mitzva 118: Misusing Something that has been Declared Holy

This mitzva is based on the verse (Lev. 5:16) "And he shall make
restitution for that which he has done wrong with the holy thing"

Anything which has been designated for use in the Holy Temple is
considered holy and cannot be used for any other purpose.

For example, if a person set aside money to be donated to the Beit
HaMikdash, he must use it for that purpose. If he makes use of the money
in any other manner, he must pay back the money originally promised plus
a fine. This fine is one-fifth of that new total.

                        A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR
                         Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman
There's a concept in America called the "count down." It's reserved only
for great events such as when a space mission takes off. The countdown
shows the significance of the event and is usually prefaced by something
like, "And the Countdown begins."

Counting shows that the event you're expecting is very important to you.
You count because you "just can't wait."

Jews, too, have a countdown. But ours is a little different. Forty-nine
days are left, forty-eight days are left, forty-seven days are
left...thirty-two days are left....The Jews made a similar  countdown
when they were expecting the greatest event in history - the revelation
of G-d, Himself, on Mount Sinai - and they "just couldn't wait" for that
great moment.

To this day, we continue to count, as the Jews of old did. We count the
"omer" between Pesach and Shavuot. Each and every year, we, too, are
expecting the greatest event in history - the Giving of the Torah on
Mount Sinai.

Each individual is obligated to do his own counting. This indicates that
he, too, is capable, in his own way, of reaching the spiritual heights
of our ancestors, the spiritual heights which they achieved during the
"countdown" for the revelation of G-d.

By the same merit, and by the merit of our counting, the Alm-ghty will
reward us with "countless" blessings for health and happiness in all our

                          THOUGHTS THAT COUNT
When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap the corner of the
field or the gleaning of the harvest. Leave them for the poor.... (Lev.

Rabbi Abdimi asked, "Why did Scripture choose to place this law in the
middle of the section dealing with the festivals? To teach us that
whoever leaves the 'corners' and 'gleanings' for the poor, it is as if
he built the Holy Temple and presented his [festival] offereings there.

                                *  *  *

And you shall not profane My holy name (Lev. 22:32)

The opposite of profaning G-d's name is the sanctification of G-d's
name. When a Jew performs a mitzva (commandment) with devotion, and with
pure intent, he is sanctifying G-d's name. When a Jew behaves in such a
manner that only good things are heard about him, that too is a
sanctification of G-d's name. However, the opposite is also true.


                                *  *  *

In the manner that he has caused a defect in someone, so shall it be
done to him (Lev. 24:20)

If one finds a defect or something lacking in his fellow man, this is a
sign that "so shall it be done to him" - that he himself is the one that
has the defect. "He who charges others, charges them with his own

                                                  (Kometz HaMincha)

                                *  *  *

And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Shabbat, from
the day that you brought the Omer of the waving; seven complete weeks
shall they be. (Lev 23:15)

This verse discusses the laws concerning Sefirat HaOmer - the counting
of the Omer which takes place between Passover and Shavuot. Rashi
explains that "from the day after the Shabbat" refers to the day after
the festival, i.e. the second day of Passover. He further explains that
the word "complete" teaches us that one begins to count from the evening
(the second night of Passover) or else the weeks are not truly complete.

                                *  *  *

The word "u'sefartem - and you shall count" is from the same root as the
words "sapphire" and "bright" as if to say, "Work on 'yourselves' until
you are shiny and bright."

                                           (The Maggid of Mezritch)

                            IT ONCE HAPPENED
A fierce looking man ran out of the house, his eyes burning with
murderous rage at the coach full of Jews. In his hand he carried a
revolver. At his heels, his favorite pet, a massive black dog, yelped
and snapped at the carriage.

One of the passengers approached the angry householder, who drew his gun
and began to shoot at the coach. The gun clicked - but no bullets
emerged. Again and again he pulled the trigger, but nothing happened.

Just then, a calm, holy face appeared at the window of the carriage.
With a fascinated stare, the angry man lowered the gun and pulled the
trigger. A bullet spewed forth and struck the black dog, killing it

At the holy passenger's request, one of the travelers approached the
householder. "Sir, we are Chasidim traveling with the holy Rabbi Levi
Yitzchak of Berditchev," he stammered. "It is time for our evening
prayers and we would like to ask your kind permission to pray in your

"The Holy Rabbi of Berditchev? Why yes, of course, you have my
permission," said the man, as if in a dream. With that, he turned and
strode into his house without a backward glance at his beloved dog.

The servants and friends were puzzled. They expected to enjoy the
massacre of the Jews - these Jews who seemed not to know or care that no
Jew dared step onto this property since the owner's murderous reputation
had become known. The disciples of Reb Levi Yitzchak were perplexed,
too. Why had their Rebbe asked them to accompany him to this unknown
place, leaving Berditchev very early, traveling quickly and stopping
only once along the way to say Psalms? The homeowner himself was also
confused. "I know the gun was in perfect order, and yet it would not
shoot when I pointed at the carriage. It must be the power of that holy
Rabbi," he muttered to his friends.

News of the arrival of Reb Levi Yitzchak and the estate owner's seeming
change of heart reached the Jews living nearby. They began gathering at
the estate to see Reb Levi Yitzchak and to pray with him. Many non-Jews
also joined the gathering since Reb Levi Yitzchak's holiness was known
by the entire countryside.

Reb Levi Yitzchak led the evening prayers himself. Before saying the
opening words, "And He is merciful, He forgives sin, and will not
destroy. He turns back His anger many times and does not arouse his
wrath," the Rebbe began to sing a moving melody. It was sad and poignant
and had a haunting effect on all who listened. It turned everyone's
thoughts to their own private world, contemplating past regrets and the
evil and folly of a person's actions. Each heart was full of despair and
bitter regret. The disciples understood the melody to depict the
suffering of the pure and holy soul, forced to leave the beautiful
heavens, and come to this evil, false world.

But just as the notes seemed to fade into the very abyss of doom, the
Rebbe raised his voice in a triumphant call of hope and salvation. The
words, "Oh G-d, save. The King will answer us on the day we call," were
sung in a joyful tune, stirring everyone to confidence and hope. But,
before the Rebbe had sung the last of the sad notes, the host cried out
hysterically and fell to the ground in a faint.

Everyone was mystified by the events. The Chasidim now understood that
the purpose of the journey had to do with their host. But what were the
redeeming qualities of this Jew-hater that he merited the special
attention of Reb Levi Yitzchak?

A few hours later, the Chasidim saw the host emerge, his eyes red and
his face tear-stained. In broken Yiddish, the host stammered, "I am a
Jew. I, too, am a Jew." In wonder, they listened to his story:

"I was born in Germany to Jewish parents. As a young man I joined the
Kaiser's army. The higher I rose in rank, the looser my ties to Judaism
became. By the time I was a personal guard of the Kaiser, I had totally
disassociated myself from Judaism. Finally, I became a Jew-hater and
relished every opportunity I had to persecute Jews.

"Now, with you and your Rebbe here, I remember that I am a Jew. I want
to be a Jew again. Please, I beg of you, ask your holy Rebbe to teach me
how to be a Jew again!"

The next morning, prayers were lead with a festive atmosphere. The host
joined the Jewish villagers. He borrowed a talit (prayer shawl) and
tefilin and asked to be shown how to use them. After prayers, he was
closeted with the Rebbe for several hours, their conversation remaining
a secret. The Rebbe warned his Chasidim never to breathe a word about
this journey.

A short time later, the former Kaiser's guard sold his estate and
disappeared. Around the same time, a stranger came to live and study in
Berditchev. He became a close disciple of Reb Levi Yitzchak and the
father of one of the finest Jewish families.

                            MOSHIACH MATTERS
The Prophet Isaiah states,  "Indeed I will create a new heaven and a new
earth" (Isaiah 65).  At the time of the Redemption G-d will create a new
world, so to speak. This will be as easy for G-d as it is for us to
change our clothing, as it says in Psalms (102:27): "As one changes a
garment so will You change the world, as it is written "They will perish
but You will endure; all of them will wear out like a garment; as a
garment You will change them and they will pass on."


                 END OF TEXT - L'CHAIM 768 - Emor 5763

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