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                         L'CHAIM - ISSUE # 780
                           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.
        August 1, 2003          Devarim               3 Av, 5763

                   Seeing the Building in Front of Us

When is a building finished being built? That seems like a simple
question, maybe even a foolish one. A building is finished when it's
built - when the last brick, stone, girder or whatever is put in place.
But still, how do they know where to put that brick - or any other
brick, for that matter? It's a process: The architect tells the
contractor who tells the construction crew. So as far as the architect
is concerned, the building was already built long before the

In fact, from the architect's point-of-view, the building not only began
when the previous structure was destroyed, but in a sense was completed.
In the architect's mind, the building already existed, complete,
finished, ready to use.

But it had not yet come into being. There was no physical evidence that
the building existed. Ironically, though, once the construction crew
began to tear down whatever had been on the spot of his building, the
architect already had all the evidence he needed. Since the building
existed in his mind and the process for making it real had already begun
- with the removal of what had been - then it was as if the building
already stood and it was just a matter of time.

The Talmud relates that Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah, Rabbi
Yehoshua and Rabbi Akiva once went to Jerusalem. Reaching the Temple
Mount, they saw a fox run out of the Holy of Holies. Three of them
started to cry and Rabbi Akiva laughed. They questioned each other's
actions. The three rabbis replied, "Should we not cry when foxes walk in
the place about which it is written that the stranger who approaches
will die." Akiva said, "Thus I laugh, for the prophecy of Zecharyah
depends on the prophecy of Uriah (see Isaiah 8:2). Now that I see the
prophecy of Uriah - that Zion will be a plowed field - has been
fulfilled, I know the prophecy of Zecharyah - that old men and old women
will again dwell in the streets of Jerusalem - will also be fulfilled."
His three colleagues responded, "Akiva you have comforted us, Akiva you
have comforted us."

But why? The Third Temple did not yet exist, the Jewish people were
still in exile and the fast of Tisha B'Av was still in force.

To answer, we have to understand the inner purpose and concept of a
fast. A fast day is described as "a desirable day for G-d." The
spiritual content of such a day is inherently good. In fact, it contains
such great goodness that all that stood on it before must be removed, so
that the innate goodness can be revealed.

Rabbi Akiva saw not the surface situation but the inner reality. He saw
like an architect - or perceived the plan of The Architect. Knowing that
external appearances change, shift and thus have no lasting substance,
Rabbi Akiva showed his colleagues how to look at a day like Tisha B'Av.

Of course one must fast and observe all the laws connected with the
temporarily negative nature of the day. But primarily one must see - and
thus work for - the inner purpose, the positive reality of the day. The
vision of the inner truth leads through the fast - and the teshuva and
mitzvos it engenders - to the realization of the prophecy that Moshiach
is coming imminently and that Tisha B'Av will be a day of gladness and
rejoicing - speedily in our days.

This week's Torah reading is the first portion in the book of
Deuteronomy, or Devarim in Hebrew. The Book of Devarim is also called
"Mishneh Torah," meaning "Repetition of the Torah." Moses began
reviewing the Torah with the Jewish people before his passing.

The timing of the Repetition of the Torah was especially significant for
the Jewish people in that it served to prepare them for their entry into
the Holy Land. During their years of wandering in the desert all their
needs, food, water, clothing, and shelter were miraculously provided.

Now the Jews were on the verge of leaving this place where for years
they had had no material cares, and were about to settle in a land and a
way of life which necessitated tilling, sowing , reaping, and all the
other mundane preoccupations of life. It was now that they were exposed
to the Repetition of the Torah, for they needed an additional and
special measure of spiritual re-invigoration and inspiration, so that
they would not become materialistic and debased in the material world
that lay ahead. On the contrary, the whole purpose of their coming into
the Land was to instill holiness, to elevate and make more spiritual the
material aspects of daily life - thereby transforming the material into
the spiritual through Torah, worship of G-d, performance of His Divine
precepts, giving charity and doing acts of loving kindness.

The Divine purpose of our entry into the Holy Land - to elevate the
environment and transform the material into the spiritual - is the very
same purpose that every individual Jew has in his mundane activities. As
Rabbi Shneur Zalman, founder of Chabad Chasidism, expressed it: "The
material things of Jews are spiritual; G-d gives us material things,
that we may transform them into spiritual." G-d grants the Jew parnasa -
livelihood - and he, in turn, utilizes the money for mitzva-purposes in
general and for the support of Torah-study in particular, since the
study of the Torah is equivalent to all the other mitzvot combined. In
this way we truly convert the material (money and worldly possessions)
into the spiritual.

Transformation of the material to the spiritual can be achieved in other
ways also, such as through elevating and refining one's business or
professional environment by setting a personal example of Torah-guided
honesty and good conduct. Some people think that the main purpose of a
Torah education is to train Rabbis, Shochtim and other functionaries.
This is not so; the essential and main purpose of religious training is
to prepare Jewish laymen who, before going out into the world of
business, trade or profession are imbued and permeated with Torah-values
and with "Yiras Shomayim", fear of G-d. Such laymen, living within this
society of ours, elevate their entire environment by inspiring every Jew
with whom they come in contact, with love of G-d, love of Torah, and
love of one's fellow - in actual daily practice.

In all matters of sanctity one must go from strength to  strength,
constantly increasing holiness; one must strive to produce more and more
spirituality out of material things. In this way the blessing of
"Prosperity through charity" becomes realized, with G-d giving material
blessings in a growing measure, enabling us to create more, and still
more, spiritually, at a reciprocal pace from strength to strength.

                   Adapted from the works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

                             SLICE OF LIFE
                            Chabad in Action

Chabad in Action. That's one of the mottos of the Chabad Youth
Organization in Israel. "With the whole heart, to everyone," is their
by-word. Their Chabad Children of Chernobyl program, which has airlifted
over 2,000 children on 64 flights from the contaminated Chernobyl area
was established in 1990. More recently, the Chabad Terror Victims
Project is reaching out to our brethren in Israel who are suffering, on
a daily basis, from the effects of  terrorism. The following two
articles give us a glimpse of both of these important humanitarian
projects' vast work.

  Gala Wedding Celebration For Chabad Children Of Chernobyl Graduates

Congratulations to CCOC "graduates" Aryeh Slutsky and Tanya Kotashinsky,
on their marriage in Nes Ziona, Israel. Aryeh arrived in Israel on
Flight #4 and Tanya on Flight #7.

Neither bride nor the groom has any family in Israel except for the
staff of Chabad's Children of Chernobyl, who arranged and paid for the
entire wedding. Though other CCOC graduates have married, this is the
first time that two of them have married each other. When Aryeh stood to
speak he said: " I don't have a father, but Rabbi Har Tzvi (Director of
Operations) is a father to me..."

Aryeh recently completed his military service and Tanya received her
B.A. in Special Education. Since his arrival in Israel, Aryeh's home has
been the CCOC dormitory, the place where he would spend his weekends and
holidays while in the army. Though Tanya lived in university housing,
she returned "home" frequently to visit her teachers and friends on the
CCOC campus.

Attending the wedding were dozens of CCOC graduates - friends of the
bride and groom. Their bonds of warmth and friendship were evident in
their spirited dancing.

David Tessel, Chairman of CCOC's Executive Committee in New York, flew
to Israel to attend the wedding. Describing his experience he writes:

"...The wedding ceremony was elegant, brisk and beautiful... I couldn't
believe it. I had visited the CCOC campuses in the past... but now I saw
a new product: young people, living their lives, in the careers of their
choosing, flushed with the excitement of attending the marriage of their

As a partner in saving the lives of these two children and all of the
2,234 children that have been saved by CCOC, you should take much
pleasure and satisfaction in their wedding. Please join us in wishing
them all the success and fulfillment they deserve as they go forward to
build a happy, healthy home and family of their own.

      Bar Mitzva at the Western Wall for Brother of Slain Soldier

Nir Rachamim of Kiryat Malachi celebrated his bar mitzva at the Western
Wall. It was an event of mixed emotions: the joy of Nir's bar mitzva,
the grief at his missing brother, Gidi (may G-d avenge his blood), who
was killed by terrorists in Hebron.

Chabad's Terror Victims Project arranged the ceremony following
intervention by Rabbi Lipa Kurtzviel, the Rebbe's emissary in Kiryat

Nir's brother Gidi Rachamim was murdered in the bloody battle with
terrorists along the Worshipper's Way in Hebron on Friday night November
15, 2002. Gidi served as a sniper in the Border Patrol. When the battle
first began in an alleyway, many soldiers were murdered. Gidi arrived as
part of reinforcements sent to extricate his comrades from the enclosed
alleyway. Gidi entered the alleyway three times. When he realized that
the headlights of the Border Patrol jeep were illuminating the area to
the terrorists' advantage, he ran to smash the lights. At that moment he
was gunned down.

As the date of the bar mitzva approached, the loss of Gidi had sapped
the family's ability to make the arrangements.

"Who has the strength to plan and celebrate a bar mitzva in the shadow
of this tragedy?" asked the mother, once active in the community, now
withdrawn and dressed in black. "There is no longer any happiness in
this home."

In reply, Rabbi Lipa Kurtzviel, who has known the family for years,
impressed upon the mother the need for her younger son's bar mitzva and
the simcha and upliftment it would bring to the entire family.

"But I cannot do it alone," she said. "Only if you help us."

The Rachamim family is one of the oldest families in Kiryat Malachi and
lived for many years in the Chabad neighborhood. The mother, Tzillah,
works as a housemother in the Chabad Vocational School and the father is
a carpenter

Tzillah relates that "Gidi had a very strong connection with Chabad all
his childhood. When we moved to another neighborhood, he always loved to
go back to his old neighborhood and hang out with his friends from

Neighbors and family members participated in the Bar Mitzva ceremony, as
well as representatives from Chabad's Terror Victims Project and the
school principal of the bar mitzva boy who was also Gidi's principal.

After the bar mitzva Nir and Gidi's mother said, "I now see what Chabad
is doing for me when I am in the hour of pain and anguish, how much
Chabad cares for me and attempts to help and support me. You have not
spared any effort to bring us a little joy in our time of grief".

Nir's bar mitzva was arranged as part of Chabad's Terror Victims

                               WHAT'S NEW
                          New Campus in Paris

Sinai Educational Institutes in Paris, France dedicated their third
campus, Ki Tov. The 6,500 sq. meter campus is the third Sinai campus
that educates a total of 3,500 Jewish children in greater Paris. The
opening was attended by Mrs. Chirac, wife of French President Jacques
Chirac, who addressed the assembled. Her words contained a message of
support to the development of the Jewish community, and total freedom of
activities to all Jews. The audience was also addressed by Rabbi D.
Mashash, chief Rabbi of Paris and included the participation of Jewish
community officials and government officials. The campus includes a
preschool, kindergarten, boys- and girls- elementary school, a
vocational school, computer training, and a yeshiva for advanced
rabbinic studies, and a large synagogue and social hall.

                            THE REBBE WRITES
                 Freely translated letter of the Rebbe
                             9 Menachem Av

...To conclude with matters concerning the present day [of mourning the
destruction of the Holy Temples]: Our Sages (Bava Metzia 85b; Talmud
Yerushalmi, Chagigah 1:7) state with regard to the destruction of the
First Holy Temple: Although the Jewish people had committed sins, had
they considered the Torah important, the "light of the Torah" would have
spurred them to return to the good, and the Holy Temple would not have
been destroyed. And they state (Yoma 9b) that the Second Holy Temple was
destroyed because of unwarranted hatred.

In the present era, ikvesa diMeshicha, the time when Moshiach's
approaching footsteps can be heard, we can certainly apply our Sages'
statement (Sanhedrin 97b): All the appointed times for Moshiach's coming
have passed, and the matter is dependent solely on teshuva (return) and
good deeds. It is incumbent upon each and every person to invest effort
in love of one's fellow Jew in the place where he lives and in
cherishing the Torah and its mitzvos (commandments)  with more intensity
and power.

Both of these purposes are fulfilled simultaneously when one works
toward strengthening the Torah and Yiddishkeit (Judaism) among the
broadest spectrums of our people. For there is no greater expression of
love than taking the effort, both spiritual and physical, to save one's
friend - and this term refers to every Jew, for "all Israel are friends"
- from descending to perdition because of sins and transgressions.

And there is no greater expression of the appreciation for the Torah
than explaining to everyone that it is the will and wisdom of the Holy
One, blessed be He, that it is eternal, applying in every time and
place, and that He implanted the life of - this - world in our midst
through the Torah and its mitzvos.

May G-d hurry and speedily redeem us through our righteous Moshiach.

With the blessing "Immediately to teshuva, immediately to Redemption,"

                                *  *  *

                     Thursday, 11 Menachem Av, 5703

Greetings and blessings,

We are surprised that we have not heard from you recently. We would be
happy if you would write telling us about the events affecting your
personal life and the progressive spread of Yiddishkeit in your city, as
we spoke when you visited here.

We have sent out your membership card for the Society for the Study of
Mishnayos by Heart. Certainly, you have received it by now.

We are surprised that you have not ordered the compendiums HaYom Yom and
Chanoch LaNaar that have recently been published and have been received
with great pleasure in Chassidic circles. We assume that the reason you
have not ordered them is that you were not informed about their
publication. Therefore we are sending five copies of both compendiums
for you and for your friends. If you feel that this is too large a
quantity, you may send the extra copies back on our account.

In this month which is characterized by destruction - may it speedily in
our days be transformed into happiness and joy - we must all remember
the reason for the destruction of the land (in the time of the First
Holy Temple): because the people despised the Torah (Bava Metzia 85b)
and in the time of the Second Holy Temple, because of unwarranted hatred
(Yoma 9b).

This recollection should evoke a firm desire to do everything possible
in expressing unrestrained love, without any ulterior motive. (See HaYom
Yom, entry 15 Kislev, which quotes the statements of Rabbi Shneur Zalman
- the author of the Tanya and the Shulchan Aruch - concerning this
issue. In particular, this applies with regard to activities which
strengthen the adoration of the Torah, showing that it is G-d's wisdom,
and inspiring people to the fear of heaven.

With the blessing "Immediately to teshuva, immediately to Redemption,"

       From I Will Write it In Their Hearts, translated by Rabbi E.
                             Touger, published by Sichos In English

                            RAMBAM THIS WEEK
4 Av, 5763 - August 2, 2003

Prohibition 269: It is forbidden to ignore a lost item

This mitzva is based on the verse (Deut. 22:3) "You may not hide
yourself." We are not allowed to ignore a lost article that we find.

Positive Mitzva 204: Returning a Lost Article

This mitzva is based on the verse (Ex. 23:4) "You shall surely bring it
back to him"

The Torah commands us to try to find the owner of a lost article and
return it to him.

                        A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR
                         Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman
This Shabbat is very special. We read from the Torah the portion of
Devarim, and we read the Haftorah describing the prophet Isaiah's vision
of the the Third Holy Temple. Because of the content of the Haftorah,
this Shabbat is known as "Shabbat Chazon," the Shabbat of the Vision.

There is a saying of Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev that on Shabbat
Chazon every Jew envisions the Third Holy Temple. Although our physical
eyes might not behold it, our souls, our spirit, the metaphysical in us,
sees the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and longs for it.

The portion of Devarim is also connected to our longing for the Holy
Temple and the Holy Land. It reviews the forty years of wandering in the
desert which were drawing to a close.  Moses assembles the children of
Israel to speak his last words of guidance to them before his passing.
All thoughts of that vast multitude of people are centered on one
thing... entering the Holy Land.

In the land of Israel, every grain of sand is vital, not even one
centimeter is expendable. The entire land is referred to as "the land of
Israel" regardless of who occupied which part at what time. It never
became the Land of Babylonia, or Syria, or Greece, or Rome; despite the
fact that these empires ruled the land albeit temporarily. Its identity
as the Land of Israel is eternal, inalienable, immutable.

Other nations call it the "Holy Land" only because the Torah declares it
to be so. Though we have been far from our soil for many centuries,
still we refer to it as our land.

Exile is not only physical or geographical - "outside the Land."  Exile
may take place even in the Land of Israel.  It takes place when the
Jewish inhabitants do not see that this is a special Land -  a "Land
that the eyes of G-d are on from the beginning of the year to the end of
the year" (Deuteronomy 11:12).   When one regards this land simply as a
country somewhere south of Lebanon, west of Jordan, and northeast of
Egypt - this is indeed exile.

May Tisha B'Av this year be turned into a true day of rejoicing with the
commencement of the Redemption, a return of all of the Jewish people to
the Holy Land and the rebuilding of the Third Holy Temple.

                          THOUGHTS THAT COUNT
These are the words that Moses spoke to all the Jews (Deut. 1:1)

When Moses spoke to the Jews he allowed himself several words of rebuke
with regard to their conduct during the travels in the desert.  However,
only when speaking to the Jews did he rebuke them. When Moses spoke to
G-d on behalf of the people, he was a pure advocate.  This is a true
lesson for every Jewish leader.

                                (Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev)

                                *  *  *

Hear the causes between your brethren and judge honestly between each
person (Deut. 1:16)

"Hear" - he who hears and feels the great love of the Creator for each
Jew, and how precious each Jew is above - he will behave in a manner of
"between your brethren" - getting along well with people and
appreciating each Jew. Another explanation: If you truly want to hear
and feel this love of fellow Jews, you should relate to people in a
manner of "between your brethren" - you must be sociable and civil with
your fellow Jews.

                                                    (Baal Shem Tov)

                                *  *  *

Moses began to explain the law (Deut. 1:5)

Moses explained the law in all seventy languages. Why did he have to go
to all this trouble? Because G-d knew that one day the Jews would be
scattered about the face of the earth and would be mingled among the
other nations. By explaining the Torah in all languages, G-d insured
that in every land and among each people there would be a spark of

                                                  (Chidushei HaRim)

                                *  *  *

You have tarried long enough on this mountain - turn and take your
journey (Deut. 1:6)

G-d told the Jews that they had spent long enough at Mount Sinai, it was
time to move on. A person is not permitted to enclose himself in the
Tent of Torah and be satisfied with working only on himself. He must go
out to places far from established Jewish centers and bring the light of
Torah there, also.

                                                   (Likutei Sichot)

                            IT ONCE HAPPENED
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses all stood before G-d when they were told
about the destruction of the First Holy Temple.

"Why have I been singled out from among all the people, that I have come
to this shame and humiliation? Why have You exiled my children, and why
have You delivered them into the hands of evil robbers, who killed them
with all manner of horrible deaths? You have laid waste to the place
where I brought my sons as a sacrifice."

G-d replied: "They sinned, transgressing the entire Torah and the
message of the entire alef-bet."

Abraham then said: "Master of the World, who shall bear testimony
against the Jews, that they have transgressed?"

"Let the Torah come and testify," said G-d.

The Torah came and wanted to bear witness. Avraham said to her: "My
beloved daughter, are you not ashamed before my children? Remember the
day that you were given; how G-d carried you to all of the nations, and
none wanted to accept you, until my children came to Mt. Sinai and heard
you. And today you want to offer testimony against them, during their

The Torah was too ashamed to bear witness.

G-d said, "Let the 22 letters of the alef-bet come forward."

The letters came forward, wishing to testify. The alef was first. But
Avraham told her, "Remember the day when G-d gave the Torah and began
with an alef - Anochi - I. None of the others nations wished to accept
you except the Jews. And now you want to witness against them?"

The alef slinked back in shame. But the bet came forward. Avraham said
to her, "My daughter, remember the Torah which begins with bet -
b'reishit - In the beginning. No one but the Jews would accept her and
you wish to bring testimony against them?"

When the other letters saw this, they all remained silent and none would
come forward.

Then Abraham said to G-d, "In my hundredth year You gave me a son. When
he was 37 years old You commanded me to bring him as a sacrifice and I
bound him! Won't You remember this and have pity on my children?"

Then Isaac spoke to G-d, "When my father brought me, upon your command,
as an offering, I willingly let myself be bound. I stretched out my neck
to be slaughtered. Will you not have pity on my children for my sake?"

Jacob, too, spoke to G-d, saying, "For twenty years I worked for Laban
so that I could leave him with my children and my wives. And when I left
Laban I was met by my brother Esau who wished to kill my entire family.
I risked my very life for them and bore much suffering because of them.
Will You not have pity on them?"

Finally, Moses approached G-d. "Was I not a faithful shepherd over
Israel for forty years, leading them in the desert? And when the time
came for them to enter the Holy Land, You commanded that I die in the
desert and not lead them there. Yet, I did not complain. You expect me
to watch them go into exile?"

Then Moses called to Jeremiah the prophet, who stood together with him
and the Patriarchs. "Come with me. I will take them out of exile."

When, by the rivers of Babylon, the people saw Moses together with
Jeremiah, they rejoiced. "Look, Moses has risen from the grave to redeem
us from our captors!"

But just then, a heavenly voice rang out, "It is a decree from Me and
can be no other way."

Moses wept as he spoke to the people and said, "My beloved children, I
cannot take you out for it has been decreed by the Master and only He
can redeem you."

Then Rachel, our mother, came before G-d and said, "Your servant, Jacob,
loved me dearly and worked for my father for seven years on my behalf.
But my father wanted to trick him and give my older sister, Leah, to him
instead. I heard of this and told Jacob. And I gave him a sign to that
he would know which sister they were giving him.

"But I took pity on my sister and did not wish her to be humiliated. So
I taught her the signs and even spoke for her so that Jacob would not
recognize her voice. And I was not jealous.

"Master of the World! I am but flesh and blood and I was not jealous of
my sister. You are merciful, G-d. Why are you 'jealous' that Israel
served idols? And because of this, you have exiled my children and the
enemy has killed all that they wanted."

Immediately G-d took pity on her and said, "Rachel, for your sake I will
return your children to the land of Israel."

About this it says, "A voice is heard on high, lamentations and bitter
weeping, Rachel weeps and it is said: 'Refrain your voice from weeping
and your eyes from tears for there is reward for your labor... and there
is hope for your end, and the sons shall return to their boundary.

                            MOSHIACH MATTERS
The Prophet Zecharia prophecizes concerning Tish B'Av, the day on which
we mourn the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples: "The fast
day of the fifth month (Tisha B'Av) will yet become for the household of
Israel a day of rejoicing and of happiness."

                                                    (Zecharia 8:19)

                END OF TEXT - L'CHAIM 780 - Devarim 5763

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