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                         L'CHAIM - ISSUE # 1142
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             THE WEEKLY PUBLICATION FOR EVERY JEWISH PERSON
   Dedicated to the memory of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson N.E.
*********************************************************************
        October 22, 2010         Vayera        14 Cheshvan, 5771
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                          A Limitless Treasure

The disciples of the Maggid of Mezeritch had begged their master many
times to show them Elijah the Prophet. Their persistence paid off; when
a gathering of poritzim, wealthy Polish landowners, was being held, the
Maggid agreed.

The Maggid instructed his disciples to stand in a certain location and
watch the poritzim ride by. The third poritz, he informed them, would be
Elijah the Prophet. "If you are worthy," the Maggid added, "you will
even merit to hear words of Torah from his lips."

The disciples followed the Maggid's instructions. They waited in the
exact spot the Maggid had indicated. When the third poritz rode by they
hesitantly approached his carriage. True, he looked like an ordinary,
non-Jewish Polish poritz, but hadn't the Maggid declared that he Elijah
the prophet?

Addressing him in Polish, they deferentially asked if they could speak
with his lordship as they had an important matter to discuss. To their
surprise the "poritz" responded with insults and curses, after which he
rode off to join the other poritzim.

The bewildered and heartbroken disciples returned to the Maggid. They
told him that they had seen Elijah the Prophet, for they didn't doubt
for a moment that the poritz was the prophet. But when they asked to
speak with him he responded with a barrage of deprecations.

The Maggid's response was unexpected. "You deserved the treatment he
gave you! You were certain, for I gave you all the signs, that you were
standing in the very presence of Elijah the Prophet. You should have
addressed him in the Holy Tongue! You should have said, 'Bless us!'
instead of speaking to him in Polish and timidly asking the 'poritz' for
an audience. If you could still relate to him as a poritz after I told
you that he is Elijah the Prophet, you deserve what you got!"

The Torah (in Deuteronomy) states, "You are a holy people to G-d your
G-d." Every Jew is holy. Every Jew is, as the Baal Shem Tov taught, a
trove of unlimited treasures.

But it's not enough to know in our heads that a fellow Jew is holy, that
he has a wealth of goodness and G-dliness within him. It's insufficient
to believe with absolutely certainty that what the Torah and great
Jewish teachers of all generations have said about the worth of every
Jew is true.

We have to relate to our brother or sister not according to what
appearances tell us. From the beginning our entire interaction has to be
in accordance with his or her true, goodly and holy nature.

Then, surely, we will merit to see Elijah the Prophet - the harbinger of
the Messianic Era - and ask of him, "Bless us."

                          Additional Thoughts


The sigh of a Jew over the suffering of another Jew breaks all the
barriers of the Accusers, and the joy with which one rejoices in
another's happiness and blesses him, is as acceptable by G-d as the
prayer of the High Priest in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur.

Reb Elimelech of Linznsk related from the Maggid: "Do you know what they
say in Heaven? Love of a fellow Jew means loving the utterly wicked like
the perfectly saintly."

"G-d forgoes love of G-d in favor of love of the Jewish people," Rabbi
Shneur Zalman declared.

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           LIVING WITH THE REBBE  -  THE WEEKLY TORAH PORTION
*********************************************************************
This week's Torah portion, Vayeira, speaks about the greatness of our
forefather Abraham, the very first Jew. Through Abraham's service, G-d's
Name was made known throughout the world, and many people were brought
to believe in Him.

The Torah states: "And Abraham planted an eishel [literally a grove] in
Be'er Sheva, and called there in the name of G-d." The Torah
specifically mentions Abraham's planting of the eishel, as this was
considered a very great deed and a unique accomplishment.

The Midrash explains that an eishel is more than just a stand of trees
under which wayfarers may find protection from the burning sun. An
eishel is an inn, a place of lodging. Our Patriarch Abraham established
his eishel in Be'er Sheva, in the heart of the desert, to cater to
travelers in that inhospitable climate.

Did Abraham know these travelers personally? Of course not. He had no
idea who might arrive. All he knew was that these strangers would no
doubt be hungry, thirsty and tired from their trek across the desert.
His motivation was to make their journey more pleasant and less taxing.

Abraham provided his guests with all kinds of amenities, not just bread
and water to satisfy their hunger and quench their thirst. His visitors
were offered meat, fine wines, fruit and a wide array of delicacies, as
well as a place to sleep to rest from their travels.

His visitors' spiritual needs were also taken into consideration. Next
to the inn that provided all their physical necessities, Abraham
established a Sanhedrin, a court of law, so that wise men could answer
the travelers' questions and find solutions to their personal and
business problems.

This same attribute of kindness and justice is the birthright of every
Jew, an inheritance from our forefather Abraham. And the Torah portion
of Vayeira teaches us how we are supposed to fulfill the commandment of
charity:

It isn't enough to provide a poor person with the basic requirements
necessary to sustain life. We must offer him more than just the bare
minimum, bringing him pleasure and enjoyment. And not only must his
physical needs be met, but we must also try to help him resolve his
spiritual struggles. This applies to every single Jew, even those we do
not know personally, and constitutes the true meaning of the commandment
of tzedaka (charity).

       Adapted from the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Likutei
                                                   Sichot, Volume 3

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                             SLICE OF LIFE
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                           Tzitzit for my Car
                           by Zalman Weinberg

I remember when I first began to wear tzitzit and a kipa daily; until
then, my having become an observant Jew was not noticeable or obvious to
others. I realized that now, I represented something; my actions would
be scrutinized in a way that they had not been previously. The
responsibility was great, but so was the opportunity.

Each day, I try to grow closer to embodying more of what I represent by
the way I dress. I know that change is a process and not an event (my
words, but the essence of what I have learned from my rabbi, friend,
brother, teacher, Chabad emissary, Yossi Blesofsky) and I hope others do
as well.

Yet, if  I thought that my tzitzit and kipa would garner comments from
people, I was surprised to note that my car has earned a much stronger
reaction. Let me explain:

A  few months ago, I ordered what the New York State DMV refers to as
"vanity plates." Henceforth, my car license plates would proclaim:
"EMUNA613." The Hebrew word "emuna" means "faith," and the number 613
refers to the number of commandments in the Torah.

I think of my license plates as my "tzitzit" for my car. The Code of
Jewish Law explains that the word "tzitzit" has the numerical equivalent
of 600 and that each of the four sets of strings has eight strands and
five knots bringing the total to 613, the number of mitzvot in the
Torah. Although I have but two license plates, the word "emuna" and the
number 613 serve to remind and inspire me, and as it turns out, others,
of the importance of performing the commandments.

And just as I recognized that with tzitzit and a kipa I represent
something to the outside world and my behavior has to be consistent with
my religious garb, the same can be said about my license plate: Now I
have to drive differently!

This is not easy as I am a native New Yorker, having been born and
raised where driving is more like a competition than a mode of
transportation. No more cutting people off, yelling at them, nor being
overly aggressive. For now, not only do I represent being a Jew out in
the world, but the driver of a car with the license plates "EMUNA613"
that represent the essential principles of Judaism.

What inspired me to get these license plates? Afterall, I'm not a rabbi!
Since the time I started wearing my tzitzit and kipa, and even before, I
often thought about a talk of the Lubavitcher Rebbe that I saw on the
Living Torah video series (chabad.org) about Jews being "lamplighters."
Our job is to light up and awaken the lamp - the soul - that is within
every Jew. But it was the Rebbe's words, his explanation, his
enthusiasm, that helped me understand the privilege and responsibility
of being a Jew at a very deep ancestral and personal level. I started
thinking bout how I, too, could be a "lamplighter."

After reading a particular essay based on a talk of the Lubavitcher
Rebbe, and after reading The Garden of Emuna by Rabbis Shalom Arush and
Lazer Brody, I envisioned ordering the "EMUNA613" license plates. I knew
that I wanted to embody the principle of faith in G-d and dedication to
His commandments in my life and that my car could become the vehicle (no
pun intended) to express this resolution.

So, ultimately, I ordered the plates as a reminder to me, like the
tzitzit, of the importance of faith in G-d in the face of life's many
difficulties and challenges. Everything comes from G-d. I know now that
all of life's challenges are an opportunity for me to grow closer to
Him. It may not feel that way (oh man, it has definitely not felt that
way at times), but I have learned to trust G-d and to truly know that
everything comes from Him and that everything is for the best.

But back to the impact of the license plates on others. There have been
many instances where people from all over the U.S. and even the world
have asked me if they could take a picture of my license plates, and
some even wanted to have me pose next to the car and the license plates.

Recently, on a holiday weekend, I had to drive my daughters the hour and
a half back to where their mother lives in New Jersey. It was a brutally
long drive with traffic all the way there and I had a nasty migraine
headache from the hot and humid weather. Oddly, several times along the
way, out of nowhere, a car would pull up alongside my car and the people
inside would wave.

Given the headache and traffic, I didn't think much of it at first. But
then, after I had dropped my daughters off and headed back to New York,
with my head still pounding, I decided to sing a Chasidic melody and
some Shabbat tunes to try to transform my experience.

At one point, a van got behind me and flashed his high beams, which
initially was annoying. But then I noticed what seemed to be a smiling
Chasid in the driver's seat. As we get past the tolls on the George
Washington Bridge he was still behind me. A few minutes later I heard a
car beeping its horn. It was the Chasid in the van motioning for me to
put my window down, which I did.

"Great license plate," he shouted with a smile. "Completely inspires me
to do mitzvot and know that everything comes from Hash-m (G-d)!" I
noticed that his kids in the back seat were waving and mouthing "hi" to
me. And I realized that this was why I had been in traffic, this is why
I ordered the license plates... so that they could be like tzitzit and
inspire others, or maybe just to make people smile and give them a lift
(figuratively speaking)!

So, the next time you see a 2001 silver Honda CRV with the license
plates "EMUNA613" feel free to wave and honk and I will gladly smile and
know that you are my partner in remembering what we're here for!

*********************************************************************
                               WHAT'S NEW
*********************************************************************
                             New Emissaries

Rabbi Eli and Raizel Rosenfeld are moving to Lisbon, Portugal, where
they will open the first  Chabad-Lubavitch Center in that country and
join the very active and proud Jewish community that is there. Rabbi
Arele and Chaya Matusof have arrived in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to run
the Chabad Youth Center and establish a local Friendship Circle. Four
young couples recently moved to Moscow, Russia, to serve in various
local educational institutions. Rabbi Avi and Chana Gedge and Rabbi
Eliyahu and Laya Dikshtein will be joining the Cheder Menachem school,
Rabbi Avrohom and Miriam Danisov will be joining the Mesivta, while
Rabbi Dovid and Chaya Mushka Yamposky will be joining the Achei Temimim
school.

*********************************************************************
                            THE REBBE WRITES
*********************************************************************
                        12 Cheshvan, 5711 [1950]

...With regard to your question concerning the shidduch [marriage
prospect] for your sister-in-law with a bachelor of about 35 years, I
would suggest that inquiries be made to find out why he did not marry
before, and if the reasons are such that do not affect a Jewish home, it
would be advisable for the two people to get better acquainted and
ascertain what mutual attractions they have.

I was very pleased to read in your letter that your son desires to study
for semichah [rabbinic ordination] and that the Rosh Yeshiva [dean of
the yeshiva] regards him as fitting for it. I was also glad to hear that
he devotes time to strengthening Yiddishkeit [Judaism] among the youth.
I am sure you will encourage him to continue along this course and will
help him achieve his ambition.

As to the question of a shidduch for your son, about which you write
that you are afraid to do anything in this matter, not knowing if it
would be suitable, the Torah teaches us not to rely on miracles where
things can and ought to be approached in natural ways and means.
However, while doing so it is necessary to bear in mind that these
so-called "natural" ways and means are also miracles ordained by G-d,
especially in the case of marriage, as it is said in Proverbs: An
intelligent wife is a gift from G-d. At any rate, an attempt should be
made in the usual way, and G-d will certainly lead it in such a way as
to ensure a suitable and fitting wife for your son.

As to your apology for troubling me and your question whether you can do
anything in return, this matter cannot be termed "trouble." You may have
heard the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov as to how the three loves -
love of G-d, love of Israel, and love of the Torah - are one, and a
means to "Thou shalt love G-d thy G-d" is "Thou shalt love thy friend as
thyself." There is no question of trouble here at all. May G-d grant
that every one of us, including you, do all you and every one of us can
to help others.

However, since you have offered to do something in return, and
everything is connected with Divine Providence, I am enclosing herewith
a copy of the Talk of Shabbos Bereishis. I call your attention to pars.
21 and 22, where you will find some suggestions as to what you could do
to strengthen Torah and Yiddishkeit [Judaism]. As to what this would
mean to me - I refer you to the Rambam [Maimonides] (Hilchos Teshuvah,
ch. 3;4) where he states that "Everyone should regard the world on the
basis that the good and bad deeds are equally balanced. Thus, through a
bad deed one tips the scale of the bad side, G-d forbid, and through a
good deed one tips the scale on the good side." Therefore, if you follow
the suggestions in the above-mentioned paragraphs, you will increase the
merits of the entire world, thus benefiting me also.

It would interest me to know what "fixed times" you have for the study
of the Torah in general, and no doubt for the study of Chassidus also.

As already mentioned, you need not hesitate in writing to me at any
time, but you must be patient if my reply is delayed because of pressure
of work.

I hope to hear good news from you.

*********************************************************************
                            WHAT'S IN A NAME
*********************************************************************
TZVI is from the Hebrew meaning "deer, gazelle."  Hirsh is the Yiddish
for "deer," and the two names, Tzvi Hirsh, are often given together

TALYA, spelled with the Hebrew letter "hei" at the end is from the
Hebrew meaning "dew of G-d."  Ending with an "alef," it is from the
Aramaic, meaning "lamb."

*********************************************************************
                        A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR
                         Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman
*********************************************************************
Next Thursday (October 28), is the 20th of Cheshvan, the birthday of
Rabbi Shalom Dovber, the fifth Chabad leader known by his initials as
the Rebbe Rashab.

In the summer of 1960 the Lubavitcher Rebbe visited Camp Gan Israel in
upstate New York, during which he related a little-known story about the
Rebbe Rashab. It seems that one time the Rebbe Rashab had left Lubavitch
in Russia and traveled to Vienna, to be treated by doctors. While in
Vienna, the Rebbe had suddenly announced that he wished to visit a
certain village 100 kilometers away. Before he left, he went to a store
and purchased several articles of clothing, and various other items.

When the Rebbe Rashab arrived in the town he sought out the home of a
widow and her two daughters. He gave her the things he had bought and
some money, and told her it was to help her marry off her daughters. In
fact, the widow had been too poor to do so.

In the Rebbe's words: "Just think about it: In a far-off town 100
kilometers from Vienna, the Rebbe found an opportunity to bring G-d
nachas. In truth, the Rebbe had made the lengthy trip solely for that
purpose. And he himself went to the store to make the purchases, just so
a poor bride could get married.

"This, then, is the lesson to be learned: Regardless of where we are, we
must always look for a good deed to perform. For we will certainly find
one, and thereby bring pleasure to G-d."

May we merit this year to celebrate the Rebbe Rashab's birthday together
with him and with all the great tzadikim of all generations, led by our
Righteous Moshiach.

*********************************************************************
                          THOUGHTS THAT COUNT
*********************************************************************
And he sat at the opening of the tent in the heat of the day (Gen. 18:1)

This is the mark of the truly righteous individual, who always sees
himself "at the opening," i.e., the very beginning, along the path of
righteousness. Considering himself still "outside" and far from
spiritual perfection, he worries that his deeds haven't accomplished
much...

                                              (Toldot Yaakov Yosef)

                                *  *  *


And they said, So do as you have said (Gen. 18:5)

The way of the righteous is to say little, yet do much. The angels knew
that Abraham was a tzadik (righteous), and that he would go out of his
way - above and beyond what he had already offered - to make them feel
at ease. They therefore asked him to "do as he had said" with regard to
their comfort, and no more.

                                                      (Torat Moshe)

                                *  *  *


For I know him...that he will do justice and judgment (Gen. 18:19)

What is the connection between justice and judgment? Whenever G-d gives
a person an abundance of blessings, he must ask himself: Do I really
deserve so much goodness? Why me and not someone else? This
"self-judgment" will then prompt him to give tzedaka (charity) in a
generous and unstinting manner.

                                                 (Sefer HaMaamarim)

*********************************************************************
                            IT ONCE HAPPENED
*********************************************************************
One day, Reb Shraga Faitel Levin was learning with Reb Shmuel Berhzin,
the local shochet, in the shul (synagogue) of Nevel, when the shochet's
son suddenly arrived, searching for his father. Reb Shmuel's son was a
wealthy butcher who lived in a different town.

"I'm just passing through," his son explained. "The Rebbe Rashab (Rabbi
Sholom Dovber, the fifth Chabad Rebbe) is close by at his place of
vacation and I am on my way to visit him."

"Wonderful!" exclaimed Reb Shmuel. "I wish I could also go!"

His son did not miss a beat. "I will buy you a ticket," he said.

Reb Faitel promptly seized the opportunity to express his overwhelming
desire to see the Rebbe, and to his pleasant surprise, the young man
bought him a ticket as well. The group set out on their journey.

The Rebbe Rashab was staying at a resort location not far from the Black
Sea. The trio reached the closest port on Friday morning. It was a
few-mile walk to the village where the Rebbe was staying, with other
small villages in between.

Before they began their walk, they decided to immerse in the Black Sea.
Reb Faitel and the shochet immediately emerged from the water, but the
son continued to swim around for quite a while. When he finished
swimming, he rejoined the others to walk to the Rebbe's home.

Suddenly, the son dropped to the ground and lay there motionless. All
his father's efforts to arouse him were to no avail; the young man was
unconscious. Reb Faitel helped the distraught father carry his son to
the nearest Jewish home, and as the son lay immobile in bed, their hosts
ran out to fetch the closest doctor.

When the doctor finally arrived, he examined the patient. "I can't
understand what happened," the father explained. "We were just swimming
in the Black Sea and my son was healthy. When we continued walking, he
collapsed to the ground, and he's been lying like that ever since."

The doctor looked at them in astonishment. "The Black Sea?" he repeated.
"You swam in that water?"

"We didn't stay too long," the shochet said. "My son was there longer
than us. He probably swam for a few minutes."

"A few minutes!" the doctor shook his head in dismay. "I'm sorry, but
there is little I can do. That water is contaminated and prolonged
contact has always proved fatal. Your son is in a coma, far beyond human
help!"

The doctor packed his bag, and ignoring their protests, headed out the
door. The shochet turned to Reb Faitel in desperation. "Only the Rebbe
can help us," he said. "We must go straight to him!"

They left the invalid in the house and continued walking to the resort,
arriving at the Rebbe Rashab's residence on Friday night at midnight.
When they arrived, the shochet immediately asked the assistant of the
Rebbe Rashab to grant him a private audience, but he was refused.

"The Rebbe is not seeing anyone now," explained the assistant. "However,
if you really must speak with the Rebbe, wait outside his room, because
the Rebbe always goes from one room to the next between three and four
in the morning. Then you will be able to ask him whatever you want."

The shochet and Reb Faitel waited outside the Rebbe's room for hours.
Suddenly, at 3:30 a.m., the door opened and the Rebbe came out.

"What do you want?" the Rebbe asked.

Reb Shmuel burst into tears and quickly related what had occurred. When
he finished, the Rebbe made a dismissive gesture with his hand. "He will
be here for Havdala (the ceremony marking the end of Shabbat on Saturday
night)," he said. With that, the Rebbe went to a different room.

The pair looked at one another in amazement: Reb Shmuel's son was
stretched out in bed, practically lifeless, and yet the Rebbe expected
him to walk five miles to the resort in time for Havdala! However, being
true Chasidim, they did not question the Rebbe's words. In fact, the
shochet was so overjoyed by the Rebbe's words that he decided to stay
there until after Shabbat, for if the Rebbe promised his son would
recuperate, then returning to the village would be a futile waste of
time.

A little while later, back in the village, the young man suddenly awoke
to find strangers looking at him. "What am I doing here?" he said.
"Where is my father?" The son tried to get up, but fell back, exhausted
by the effort.

"Watch yourself!" said the woman of the house. "You are very ill and the
doctor said you will die soon! Don't move or you might make it worse!"

The family tried all they could to get him to stay in bed, but he
resisted. "What do you mean?" he said indignantly. "I came here to see
the Rebbe, not to stay in bed!"

Gradually, he mustered enough strength to sit up. Then he stood up and
walked around. After eating something, he left the house, against the
strong exhortations of his hosts to remain and gather his strength. When
he arrived at the house of the Rebbe Rashab, he opened the door to find
the Rebbe standing at the table with the cup of wine in his hand, just
ready to begin Havdala. He had arrived in time.

Decades later, one of Reb Faitel's sons related this story to his
children. "This story," he observed, "illustrates the incredible faith
of the Chasidim. This man had left his son on a deathbed with the doctor
saying there was no hope for him, yet when the Rebbe said he would be
fine, the Chasid did not return to check to see if the son had returned
to heath. The Rebbe had spoken; his word was enough!"

               by E. Lesches, reprinted from Beis Moshiach Magazine

*********************************************************************
                            MOSHIACH MATTERS
*********************************************************************
During the seven days of festivities following the wedding of Rabbi
Sholom Dovber (to become known as the Rebbe Rashab, fifth Chabad Rebbe),
the Chasidim celebrated with indescribable joy. On one of those days,
his father the Rebbe Maharash sat at his window and watched them dancing
in the garden in dozens of circles.

Turning to the two chasidim who stood next to him, he said: "See, my
children, how chasidim are glad in the joy of a mitzva (commandment).
This is how Jews will dance in the streets when Moshiach comes!"

                                                (Likkutei Dibburim)

*********************************************************************
                END OF TEXT - L'CHAIM 1142 - Vayera 5771
*********************************************************************

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