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                         L'CHAIM - ISSUE # 865
                           Copyright (c) 2005
                 Lubavitch Youth Organization - L.Y.O.
                              Brooklyn, NY
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   Dedicated to the memory of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson N.E.
        April 8, 2005            Sazria         28 Adar II, 5765

                         One Shabbat, One World

Shabbat Shalom. Gut Shabbos. Let's recite the Kiddush sanctifying the
seventh day - Shabbat.

"And the heavens and the earth and all their hosts were completed."

Can we grasp with our minds, with our hearts, with all our senses, the
majesty of Creation? We've pictured the farthest regions on a computer,
telescoped the universe, viewed the vastness like a photo, and still the
galaxies of time elude us.

"And the children of Israel shall observe the Shabbat..."

We search the cosmos for an inner certitude. We are looking for forever.

"And G-d finished by the Seventh Day His work which He had done, and He
rested on the Seventh Day from all His work which He had done."

But how can G-d rest and the universe exist? For G-d continually creates
creation. And what kind of "rest" is this when the stream of life pours
forth  from the Source of life?

"...establishing the Shabbat throughout their generations as an
everlasting covenant."

The realm beyond this realm, the story after the end, the eternal of
being - to paraphrase Jacob, G-d was in this moment, and I did not know

"And G-d blessed the Seventh Day and made it holy (kadosh)..."

This business of holiness I do not understand. I know the word, and its
Hebrew, kadosh, separated. But let's face it, this lofty spirituality
just doesn't fit with working, paying bills, driving a carpool and
whatever else it takes to get through the day.

"It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for all time..."

What do we mean by a "sign"? Let's think of some signs. A smile is a
sign of affection. What we see is evidence of something we don't see.
Perhaps a sign is a symptom of an underlying cause. A yawn is a symptom
of fatigue. It signals a weariness. Are we not tired of exile?

"...for on it He rested from all His work which G-d created to

Have you ever heard the expression, "at one with..."? Perhaps herein
lies the contrast: work requires separation, a moving away, outward,
forward (at least in time). We cannot be doing and be one with. But we
do in order to be one with. We go to work in order to come home and be
one with our family.

G-d, so to speak, "goes to work" for six days to be one with His people.

"...for in six days the L-rd made the heavens and the earth..."

Oh, very nice, but what has that to do with us? Do we make the heavens
and the earth? Do we make anything? Well, yes, in six days we make a
world. It's a sign, you see, a symptom of something else, some
underlying cause.

"...and on the seventh day He ceased from work and rested."

This is the holiness, this is the rest, this is the sign: that on
Shabbat, the oneness is revealed.

And so we come back to a paraphrase of our Sages' statement: "Just one
Shabbos and we'll all be free..." Free of what? Free of exile, of
course. For, as the Talmud puts it, "If all Israel kept one Shabbat
together, Redemption would come."

Because Shabbat - Shabbos - is a sign, a sign of oneness - the Oneness
of G-d the Creator, and the oneness of G-d and the Jewish people, a
oneness of the soul. But there is yet another sign, another oneness
which must, in a sense, precede the oneness of which Shabbos - Shabbat -
is the sign.

And that is the oneness of the Jewish people themselves. Unity of the
Jews is a sign of our oneness with G-d.

And how do we transcend our differences - make a sign symptomatic of our
underlying oneness?

One Shabbat, One World.

This Friday, April 8/28 Adar II - Chabad-Lubavitch invites all Jews to
unite through "One Shabbat, One World," a campaign to celebrate the
unity of the Jewish people and to transform the world into a world of
good, peace and Redemption. Celebrate at home or at Chabad by contacting
your local Chabad rabbi or visiting

This week's Torah reading, Tazria,  focuses on the concept of ritual
purity and impurity. Our Sages explain the distinction between the
Torah's prohibitions and its laws of impurity as follows: Prohibitions
guard against evil that our minds and hearts can appreciate. The laws of
impurity, by contrast, protect against a dimension of evil which we
cannot comprehend. As the Midrash states: "It is a statute which I (G-d)
ordained, a decree that I instituted."

Although the evil associated with a prohibition can be appreciated more
readily, there is a more severe dimension associated with impurity. For
since the evil associated with impurity is not easily discerned, it is
much more difficult to guard against and to eradicate. To cite an
example, when a person eats non-kosher food, he has performed a
transgression and must repent. Nevertheless, even before he repents, he
may enter the Holy Temple and bring a sacrifice.

Casually coming into contact with an impure substance can change an
individual's personal state and isolate him from holiness. For example,
were a person to touch a dead lizard, he would be forbidden to enter the
Holy Temple or partake of a sacrifice.

Moreover, just as ritual purity is a quality which cannot be grasped by
our mortal intellect, it affects the levels of our souls that transcend
reason and understanding. It has an effect on the dimensions of our
being that are connected to G-d above the level of logical thought.

At present, the entire Jewish people is ritually impure, for throughout
the ages, since the destruction of the Holy Temple, it has been
impossible to maintain a state of ritual purity. For example, one of the
fundamental sources of impurity is contact with a human corpse. To
restore a person to a state of purity after such contact, a priest must
sprinkle water mixed with the ashes of a red heifer upon an impure
person. Since the destruction of the Temple, these ashes have not been
available and therefore our entire people are impure.

This will be one of the first achievements of Moshiach after rebuilding
the Holy Temple - to restore our people to a state of purity. When that
is accomplished, our relationship with G-d will be lifted to an entirely
different level.

      From Keeping in Touch published by Sichos In English, adapted
         by Rabbi E. Touger from the works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

                             SLICE OF LIFE
                      Two Stories for One Shabbat
                            by Ralph Schofer

Adaptability and flexibility, coupled with adherence to the principles
of Torah, are what sustained the Jewish people over thousands of years
and will continue to perpetuate the Jewish people to eternity. This
adaptability and flexibility has been demonstrated over 3,800 years by
specific remnants of the Jewish people who have lived in a multitude of
locations around the world. Witness the variations in foods, cooking
styles, names, dress, customs and habitat of Jewish people across the

About 20 years ago, I was working on technology dissemination for the
National Institute of Standards and Technology at Loyola University in
New Orleans. I heard the Dean of Research state in a discussion with one
of his colleagues that there are few organizations in the world more
flexible than the Jews: this characteristic is what allows them to
continue to survive in a changing world.

These characteristics were demonstrated at Chabad of Bethesda, Maryland
on a Friday evening this winter. Shabbat services were scheduled  to be
followed by a Shabbat dinner honoring Gabbai Marshall Foster.  Shortly
before the service was to begin, an electric power transmission pole
serving an entire square block caught fire after being hit by a car. The
fire department found it necessary to cut off electric power serving
Chabad's building. This caused every electrically powered device to
cease functioning. There was no lighting in the building for the service
or even in the courtyard. Everything stopped, including the electric

Nightfall was rapidly approaching and there would be no ambient light
available at the windows.

This "minor" problem had absolutely no impact on the program planned by
Rabbi Bentzion and Zlata Geisinsky.  In the short few minutes before
Shabbat, flashlights were illuminated, candles and sternos were lit, and
the davening was commenced as planned, followed by kiddush, hamotzie and

The delicious meal was kept hot and served by candlelight to about 50
worshippers. Thus, a flexible and adaptable Chabad Rabbi and his wife
turned a potentially disastrous power interruption into a delightful
candlelight Shabbat with presentation of the full planned program.  This
dinner and service by candlelight was similar to Shabbat dinners during
the first hundred years of the Lubavitcher movement. Everyone arrived
home safely with memories of a delightful and inspiring greeting of the
Shabbat. Chabad of Bethesda is a living organization because it is
dynamic, flexible and adaptable.

                                *  *  *

                             by Yehuda Amar

For many years, Rabbi Zushe Silberstein of Chabad Chabanel, Montreal,
would bring a busload of people bi-monthly to spend Shabbat with the
Lubavitcher Rebbe in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

During public gatherings on Shabbat afternoon, the Rebbe encouraged the
group to use the visits to strengthen themselves in the observance of
Torah and mitzvot, as well as making them emissaries to share with
others what they had gained from their experience in Crown Heights.

One Friday when Rabbi Silberstein gave the Rebbe's secretary a list of
the Shabbaton participants, the Rebbe responded with appreciation for
the group's visit and wrote that he would surely be notified, as soon as
possible, the concrete increases in good deeds resulting from the

Thenceforth, it became a highlight of the program on Saturday night
(after Shabbat) for each participant to write down a specific mitzva in
which they planned to increase their observance. They would then hand
the note to the Rebbe on Sunday during the Rebbes' distribution of
dollars for charity.

At some point on Saturday night, participants would often share why they
had chosen to increase in a particular mitzva. On one of these
occasions, Max D., a Montreal businessman, shared his story:

"I immigrated to Montreal from Israel a number of years ago. I landed a
job in a Jewish printing and mailing company. I learned the ropes and
eventually opened my own business with my brother. We started out
modestly. Thank G-d the business grew and we presently employ about 200

"I got to know Rabbi Silberstein as well as other Chabad Rabbis and have
become one of the printers for Chabad publications in Montreal. One day
Rabbi Silberstein ran into my office, invited me to put on tefilin and
then started to discuss the next job.

" 'Max,' he said, "I need 26,000 copies of this 64 page magazine by
Tuesday morning.' There was no point in arguing with Rabbi Silberstein
that it was already Thursday noon because he and I knew that we would do
the job. Just before leaving, the rabbi reminded me, 'Do not print it on
Shabbat!!!' At that point in my life I had stopped going to work on
Shabbat but was not observing it 100%.

"That Saturday afternoon I was driving my wife downtown to go shopping.
I wanted to stop in the office for just ONE second to check on an
important matter. After a half hour of waiting in the car my wife came
into the shop.

" 'We have a major problem,' I told her frantically. 'Our computerized
collating machine in excellent working order is not working. Neither the
foreman or the engineer can figure out the problem.

"My wife looked at the machine and suddenly shrieked, 'Don't you see
what's on the machine? Look, the Rebbe is staring at you from the cover
of the Chabad magazine!'

"Stunned, I instructed all the employees to go home and told the foreman
and the engineer to come back after nightfall. After Shabbat, my wife,
my brother, the engineer, the foreman and I returned to the plant. We
watched the machine start without any problems whatsoever! Since then, I
took upon myself to increase in my observance of Shabbat.

"So," concluded  Max, "tomorrow we will receive from the Rebbe a dollar
and a blessing. The Rebbe will be looking at us directly, not through
the cover of a magazine. The Rebbe gives us the direction and strength
to fulfill our mission, lets give him our promise that we will continue
to increase in mitzvot until we bring the final Redemption."

                               WHAT'S NEW
                             New Emissaries

Rabbi Nochi and Chani Katsenelenbogen have established Chabad of Owings
Mills and Reisterstown, suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland.

                              New Centers

Two new centers were established under the auspices of the Federation of
Jewish Communities of the CIS in the Lugansk region of eastern Ukraine.
One center is in the Pervomaisk neighborhood and the other is in the
Popasnenski neighborhood. These new communities have brought the number
of centers in the Lugansk Region to a total of ten.

                    Tanya Printed in Hills of Hebron

The Chabad House of Kiryat Arba and Hebron printed the Tanya, the basic
book of Chabad Chasidic philosophy, in the Hills of Hebron in the
Nagahot settlement, slated to be evacuated by the Israeli goverment this

                            THE REBBE WRITES
                       2nd of Shevat, 5740 [1980]

Your letter of Jan. 14th, with the enclosure, reached me with some
delay. In it you write about the forthcoming opening of your new
business on the 14th of September. May G-d grant that it should be with
Hatzlocho [success].

Although you do not mention it, I am certain that the business will be
conducted in strict observance of Shabbos and Yom Tov. For, if this is a
"must" in the conduct of the home, it is no less imperative that the
parnosso [livelihood] should be a Kosher one, in accordance with G-d's
Will, which also insures that the income will be spent on good and
healthy and happy things both materially and spiritually.

There is also a timely significance in the date of the opening, which is
in the week of Shabbos Shiro (Beshalach) followed by Parshas [the Torah
portion of] Yisro, the Shabbos of Mattan Torah [when we read about the
Giving of the Torah]. In the first, the role of the Jewish woman is
emphasized by the song of Miriam, which is followed up by the song of
Devorah in the Haftorah, while in the second, we find the commandment
"Remember the Shabbos day to keep it holy" as one of the Ten

Receipt is enclosed for your Tzedoko [charity], and may it additionally
stand you and yours in good stead, particularly that you and your
husband should have true Yiddish Nachas [Jewish pleasure] from your
children, in good health and ample sustenance.

Hoping to hear good news from you in all above,

P.S. It would be well that you should keep in your business place a
Tzedoko Pushka [charity box], into which you as well as your customers
could put in a coin, which will further widen the channels to receive
G-d's blessings in all needs.

                                *  *  *

                         27 Shevat, 5721 [1961]

I received your letter of the 20th of Shevat, in which you bring to my
attention the problem of a certain businessman in your community, who is
generally an observant Jew, but is involved in a business which makes it
difficult for him to observe Shabbos, but now a suggestion was made to
him to enter another field in which he could avoid the desecration of

It is clear to the unbiased mind, and even to plain common sense, that
the Almighty, Who is the Giver of the Torah and mitzvos [commandments],
is also the Creator and Master of the world, Whose benevolent Providence
extends to everyone individually.

Therefore, when G-d commanded us to live in the way of the Torah and
mitzvos, He has also given us the ability to live accordingly under all
circum-stances, and He has given us also the power to overcome any
obstacles. It is only a matter of will and determination on the part of
every Jew, since, potentially, he has the fullest capacity to live up to
the will and the commandments of G-d, the Creator and Master of the

It is also obvious that this is the only way for a Jew to be truly
happy, materially and spiritually. It is only because G-d is infinitely
merciful and patient that He does not immediately impose the
consequences of any breach of His commandments, in order to permit the
individual to mend his ways.

It is also equally obvious that no lasting good can come from breaking
G-d's laws, especially such a fundamental law as Shabbos observance, for
the important thing is not how much money a person earns, but that he
should be able to spend it in good health and on happy things, which are
entirely in the hands of G-d.

In view of the above, it is quite clear what the attitude of the
businessman in question should be, even if there were no other immediate
business propositions. For it is necessary, without delay, to give up
the kind of business which interferes with Shabbos observance, with the
full confidence that He who feeds and sustains three billion people and
all living things will also be able to take care of the individual and
his family and provide him with a source of parnosa [livelihood] which
should not be in conflict with the Will of G-d.

I trust you will convey the above to the gentleman in question, as well
as to others who might be in a similar position.

                            RAMBAM THIS WEEK
2 Nisan, 5765 - April 11, 2005

Positive Mitzvah 107: Impurity of coming in contact with a Dead Body

This mitzva is based on the verse (Num. 19:11) "He that touches the dead
body of any man shall be unclean." Contact with a dead body makes a
person impure. G-d defined certain situations as impure. Persons or
items coming in contact with impurity may also be considered impure and
they must go through a process of purification. The Torah commands us to
regard certain things and situations as being impure. There are many
detailed laws applying to each stage of impurity. The Torah teaches us
the procedures of purification for the different types of impurity.

                        A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR
                         Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman
Have you started getting ready for Passover yet? Afterall, in two weeks
from this Saturday night, the festival of Passover begins.

In the Mishna, two different opinions of our Sages are stated as to how
much before Passover one must begin one's preparations for the holiday.

According to one opinion, we study and inquire about the laws of
Passover a full 30 days before the holiday. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel
says that one begins two weeks before the holiday."

Although the halacha (Jewish legal ruling) was decided according to the
former opinion, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel's view is also significant as
our Sages teach, "These and these are the words of the living G-d."

So, if you'll just be starting your Passover preparations this Saturday
night (after a joyous celebration of Shabbat with family and friends as
part of the One Shabbat-One World campaign) you're not late.

Interestingly, it is actually possible to fulfill both opinions. To
explain: One should start preparing by reviewing the laws of Passover 30
days before the holiday. As the holiday approaches, however, one should
reassess one's situation and increase both the quality and the quantity
of one's preparations.

Just as we must make an effort to prepare for Passover, we must also
make efforts to provide others with their Passover needs, giving "maot
chittim," the special charity associated with Passover. Here too, even
if one gave 30 days before Passover, as the Passover holiday grows
nearer, one must reassess and increase his donations.

As G-d sees the extent of one's generosity, He will provide one with
more blessings. A person who gives without reservations and limitations,
will likewise receive Divine blessings that know no bounds.

                          THOUGHTS THAT COUNT
And on the eighth day shall he be circumcised (Lev. 12:3)

The Midrash says: "How great is the Sabbath day, that a baby is not
circumcised until he has passed one Shabbat." A circumcision (brit mila)
is performed on the eighth day of the baby's life, insuring that he will
have passed at least one Shabbat. The Shabbat itself makes the child
holy, and prepares him for the holiness of the mitzva of brit mila.

                                                    (Yalkut Yehuda)

                                *  *  *

At a brit mila we say, "Just as he has entered into the Covenant so may
he enter into Torah, into marriage and into good deeds." It is a Chabad
Chasidic custom to make an advance payment on the tuition fees for the
child's Jewish education at this time.

                                                        (Hayom Yom)

                                *  *  *

When a woman conceives and gives birth... (Lev. 12:2)

This Torah portion is immediately preceded by the words "to distinguish
between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be
eaten and the beast that may not be eaten," to teach that keeping kosher
has a direct effect upon the spirituality of future generations.


                            IT ONCE HAPPENED
In 1831, the year of the Polish uprising, Polish patriots organized a
rebellion against their Russian overlords.

In a small town near Kovno, there lived a Jewish innkeeper. The
innkeeper, whom we'll call Joseph, was well known as an honest,
G-d-fearing Jew and members of the Polish nobility frequently visited
his inn for good food and wine.

One late Friday afternoon, a Russian General arrived in town with his
troops. The General had heard about the reputation of the local Jewish
innkeeper, and sent his aide to him.

The aide found the inn but it was closed; the sun had already set. The
aide went around to the private entrance and knocked on the door.  The
innkeeper, dressed in his Shabbat clothes, welcomed the aide into his

"The General sent me to buy some of your best wine," the aide said,
taking out a roll of money.

"I am sorry indeed," Joseph replied. "We are now celebrating the Sabbath
and I do not do any business on this holy day."

Nothing the aide said would change the mind of the loyal Jew, and he
therefore returned to the General empty-handed.

The General flew into a rage and immediately sent two soldiers to warn
the innkeeper to sell him some wine.

Some time later, the soldiers returned to the thirsty general - without

"Why didn't you bring me wine?" the general roared.

"The Jew said he could not sell any wine to anybody on his Sabbath.
However, he sent the key to his wine cellar, and suggested that perhaps
the General might wish to help himself to any of the wine as his guest!"
the soldiers reported.

"What a queer Jew that is!" the general thought. "He would not sell me a
bottle of wine because of the Sabbath, but he is prepared to give away
all his wine." The general set out to meet the Jew in person.

When the general entered Joseph's house, the Shabbat atmosphere was
everywhere. The table was covered with tasty dishes and the candles
shone brightly. Joseph and his family were all dressed in their Sabbath
clothes and their faces were all aglow with delight. In fact, the Jewish
home and all of its inhabitants looked as if they were entertaining a
royal guest. And perhaps they were, for the Sabbath is referred to in
Jewish teachings as the "Shabbat Queen."

The general, who had burst into the house with the intention of teaching
this Jew a lesson, felt his anger melt away and very politely asked him
why he refused to sell him wine. "Don't you know that refusing to sell
provisions to the army in times of war is a tantamount to rebellion?"

"Your Highness," said Joseph, "to keep the Sabbath day holy is one of
the Ten Commandments given to us by G-d, the Supreme King of Kings. His
command we must obey before any command by human kings and princes.
However, we shall indeed consider it a great honor if you would join us
as our Sabbath guests."

The general accepted the offer and was greatly impressed with Joseph and
his family. At the end of a wonderful evening, he warmly shook hands
with his host and departed in a happy mood.

Several years later, Joseph was falsely accused of taking part in a new
Polish conspiracy to overthrow the Russians and drive them out of
Poland. He was arrested and thrown in jail.

One day, as Joseph sat in his prison cell reciting Psalms, the heavy
door of his cell opened and a high official appeared. The official was
the Chief Inspector of the prisons and was on a routine check-up of the
prison. When the Inspector approached Joseph's cell, he gazed at him,
and then exclaimed, "Why, this is my good friend, Joseph the innkeeper.
Good Heavens, what are you doing here?"

Joseph looked up in astonishment and realized that this Inspector was
none other than the General whom he had entertained in his house that
Friday night so long ago!

The general, now Chief Inspector, vouched for the innocence of the
Jewish innkeeper and assured the investigating committee that he had
nothing to do with the conspiracy.

The Chief Inspector's words had a great influence and Joseph was
immediately sent home free. "How did this miracle take place?" his wife
asked in astonishment and delight.

"The Queen intervened in my behalf," Joseph said.

"What Queen?" his wife asked.

"The Sabbath Queen, of course," replied Joseph.

                            MOSHIACH MATTERS
Every Shabbat (Sabbath) is a microcosm of "the era that is all Shabbat
and rest for eternity" and the thee Shabbat meals are a reflection of
the feast to be served on that day.

                                            (The Lubavitcher Rebbe)

                END OF TEXT - L'CHAIM 865 - Sazria 5765

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