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                         L'CHAIM - ISSUE # 1157
                           Copyright (c) 2011
                 Lubavitch Youth Organization - L.Y.O.
                              Brooklyn, NY
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   Dedicated to the memory of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson N.E.
        February 4, 2011        Terumah          30 Shevat, 5771

                           Feeding the Birds

Did you ever notice what happens after you put bread outside for the
birds? Within minutes there are a dozen or more birds of various shapes
and kinds happily pecking at the pieces.

Where did the birds come from? How did they find out about the food?
Just a few seconds ago all you saw was one little sparrow eyeing you
warily! As more birds alight on your front garden to enjoy the edibles,
you hear the chirping of birds on nearby trees. If you were King
Solomon, who knew the language of all of the animals, you would
understand what they are saying. But you are not King Solomon, and you
can only guess that they are telling their friends about their find.
They are sharing the good news of finding food.

The Talmud tells us that if the Torah had not been given, we could have
learned important rules of behavior from animals. For instance, we can
learn modesty from a cat, honesty from an ant, chastity from a dove, and
good manners from a rooster. (Eiruvin 100b)

What can we learn from the common sparrow or pigeon? We can learn to
share good things and good news.

If you're in a good mood, share a smile or an energetic hello. (As the
Mishna teaches us, "Greet everyone with a pleasant face" and "Be the
first to say 'hello.' ")

When you find out about a quality kosher restaurant (or simply that
there is a kosher restaurant!) in your area, pass the information
around. Post on your facebook wall a fancy gourmet recipe that you just
found out can be made with kosher substitutions.

You heard there's a lecture, class or program at your local
Chabad-Lubavitch Center, tell a friend and go together.

After you've finished reading a great Jewish book, lend it to someone
else who will enjoy it.

Share a Shabbat dinner, a Passover Seder, some cheesecake on Shavuot.

Share your wealth, or even just the small change in your pocket: put a
few coins in a tzedaka box daily and mark happy occasions like birthdays
and anniversaries with more sizeable donations to your favorite charity.

Though "misery loves company" and "a trouble shared is halved," call
people to whom you normally complain and tell them about good news as
well - when a problem has been solved or things are going well.

And remember to increase in acts of goodness and kindness to hasten the
long-awaited era of peace, prosperity, health and knowledge - the
Messianic Era. As the Lubavitcher Rebbe said, "Moshiach is ready to
come, now. Our part is to add in acts of goodness and kindness."

And don't be worried that there's not enough to go around. The birds
never do!

This week's Torah portion, Teruma, contains the commandment to fashion a
menora for the Sanctuary. "You shall make a menora of pure gold."

Maimonides, one of the greatest Torah scholars of all time, drew a
detailed diagram of the menora which greatly helps us understand what it
looked like. The diagram shows us the shape of the menora's branches,
the location of its "flowers" and "bowls," and many other details.

Maimonides depicted the menora's bowls (which were actually cups) in the
shape of triangles. A cup is similar to a triangle as it is usually
wider on the top and narrower on the bottom.

Surprisingly, however, Maimonides drew the bowls of the menora
upside-down. All 22 of the bowls are depicted as inverted triangles, the
wider part on the bottom and the narrower part at the top.

Thus, according to Maimonides' drawing, the bowls of the menora were
designed as if to pour their contents out.

What does this teach us? Why were the bowls of the menora upside-down?

The bowls are symbolic of the function of the menora and, by extension,
the Holy Temple. A regular menora or candelabrum is designed to
illuminate the inside of one's home. The menora in the Sanctuary, by
contrast, was designed to illuminate the outside. Even without the
menora the Temple was well lit. The reason it was kindled was to
illuminate the world at large and demonstrate that G-d's Presence rested
upon Israel.

The windows of the Holy Temple were fashioned according to the same
principle. These unique windows were opaque from within yet transparent
from without. Unlike other windows they did not draw light inside, but
carried the light of the Holy Temple outward.

Similarly, a regular cup is designed to contain liquid. But the bowls of
the menora were inverted, shaped like cups that pour their liquid out
for those who are thirsty!

The true purpose of the Temple (and the menora) was to shine the light
of holiness upon the entire world, not to contain it within its walls.
Both its windows and the bowls of the menora expressed this concept,
reflecting their primary function of imbuing the world with a holy
illumination. For the Holy Temple is the place which lights up the
entire world.

From this we learn an important lesson: The light of Torah and mitzvot
(commandments) must not be kept to oneself. Rather, we must always
strive to share it with others, thereby illuminating the world at large
with holiness.

                Adapted for Maayan Chai from Likutei Sichot vol. 21

                             SLICE OF LIFE
                               Going Home
                       by Rabbi Yisroel Greenberg

My youngest sister, sibling number 17 (a number whose Hebrew equivalent
spells the word "tov," meaning good), got married in Israel. The wedding
was a sight to behold: Children and grandchildren from all over the
world, together for a family event. The joy was indescribable.

Chana and I, and five of our children, stayed in Kfar Chabad, the
village established by the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Joseph Isaac
Schneersohn in 1948 as a haven for Holocaust survivors and Chasidim from

This beautiful hamlet, established by the hard work and idealism of its
first settlers who physically constructed their own homes in an empty
field, is now home to 3,000 families. Surrounded by hostile Arab
villages, their sacrifice and commitment spanned generations: Today,
children run freely in Kfar Chabad's peaceful streets. Today, young
families have an oasis amidst the hubbub of modern Israeli life in which
to live, study and pray in tranquility.

Naturally, we visited the Kotel, Jerusalem's legendary Western Wall -
the last standing remnant of the second Holy Temple. The emotional
impact of this seeming relic cannot be understated. For 2,000 years Jews
have been praying for an end to exile at the foot of the Wall. For the
Wall to be under Jewish control, under a Jewish government, with Jews
safe in their land, is a profoundly powerful thing.

Despite the fact that it was the middle of the week, the Kotel plaza was
jam-packed with Israelis, visitors from foreign countries like Russia,
Brazil and Argentina, and, of course, plenty of tourists, including
those from good ol' Texas, U.S.

Understandably, one feels a multitude of emotions upon any visit to the
Kotel, but this time, the feeling was that we are not a newborn nation -
we have been tied to this place for the past 3,000 years. From the day
King David bought this Jerusalem mountaintop from Aravna the Jebusite to
build a house for G-d - the Holy Temple that was later built by his son
Solomon  -  the Temple Mount has belonged to us and only us. Touching
the stones, writing a petition to insert into the cracks, requesting a
blessing for the family and the entire Jewish community in El Paso,
Texas, makes you fill good. It gives you the sense that Someone is
listening, that Someone cares. It is a place to pray, to ask and to
complain, because our Father in Heaven is listening - and when you come
to His home, He's there. Just knock on the door.

Touring around Jerusalem, our family learned more about the Old City. We
saw the mountains surrounding the ancient city, and the encroaching
villages of neighboring Arabs that want to swallow it up. And the
thought pops into your mind: Such a small city and everyone wants a
piece of it!

A highlight of our trip was visiting the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of
Israel, Rabbi Yonah Metzger. As the Jewish State, Israel respects
historical Judaism by including two Chief Rabbis in every government -
one for Jews of Ashkenazic, or European heritage and the other for Jews
of Sephardic, or Middle Eastern tradition. Together with a few of my
brothers, I was privileged to visit Rabbi Metzger, who welcomed us very
warmly. The Chief Rabbi was delighted to learn that 13 brothers and
sisters from the same family are emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
around the world in places he had visited. The Chief Rabbi showed much
interest in the small Jewish communities in the United States, and,
while he expressed concern about continuity, also expressed amazement at
the Rebbe's vision of securing the Jewish future.

While in Israel, we visited Jerusalem, Haifa, Meron, Bnei Brak, Lod,
Beitar Elit and Safed. Wherever we went, we felt one thing: Belonging.
We felt at home. The people are our brothers and sisters. There was a
great sense of unity.

The highways and streets in the cities are like those in the U.S. The
small towns are very crowded but people don't complain. People are happy
to be together. We ate in glatt kosher restaurants. You would think that
only the religious people would come there, but there are secular people
who specifically opt for kosher food. Everyone at the restaurant feels
like family and joins in the conversation.

When it comes time to leave Israel, you don't want to leave home. But
you have to, and you hope you are going to be back soon.

For our children, it was their first trip to Israel, but hopefully, only
the first of many. Now back in El Paso, when we pray three times a day,
"May our eyes see the return of G-d to Zion" our children now know where
Zion is.

May we all merit seeing the return of the entire Jewish nation to the
Land of Israel, together with Moshiach, Amen.

    Rabbi and Mrs. Greenberg founded and direct Chabad of El Paso,

                               WHAT'S NEW
                             I keep Kosher

What are the rules of keeping kosher? Starting in their toy kitchen at
home, a sister is eager to show her little brother all he needs to know.
This newest release from HaChai Publishers is written by Tami Raubvogel
and Rebecca Schwartz and illustrated by Tova Katzmonth. With special
laminated pages.

                          Along A Winding Path

With all of life's struggles weighing us down, we often veer off the
path, if only slightly. Through introspection and teshuva (return) we
can get back on track. Along a Winding Path is the newest title of the
"Chabad Treasure Chest" series, a project of Sichos In English. Based on
a Chasidic Discourse delivered by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1952, the
book is incredibly applicable to modern-day struggles. Translated by
Rabbis Eliyahu Touger and Sholom B. Weinberg.

                            THE REBBE WRITES
                       15th of Iyar, 5724 [1964]

I received your letter of the 7th of Iyar, and thank you very much for
the good news about the various activities. May G-d grant that the
activities should be continued in a growing measure, and with joy and
gladness of heart in particular as we spoke a number of times, when you
were here. I trust that not only do you remember this, but that you are
constantly endeavoring to materialize this in the daily life.

With regard to fasting, about which I told you once that it is not
advisable to take upon oneself extra fasts in addition to those which
are already in the calendar, this is based on the words of the Alter
Rebbe [Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad Chasidism]. One
of the reasons which he mentions in this connection is that the
generations have weakened, and are no longer fit to have extra fasts.
Obviously, my suggestion to you, therefore, is valid even now. The
would-be resolution to undertake a fast should be changed to a
resolution to serve G-d with an extra measure of joy, and to endeavor to
spread good influence in the environment in this direction.

As requested, I will remember those mentioned in your letter in prayer,
and may G-d grant that you should have good news to report.

With blessing,

P.S. With regard to the concluding lines in your letter, in which you
write that you feel badly because you do not know anything in
Yiddishkeit [Judaism], this attitude and feeling, is of course, quite
unwarranted. Moreover, you should remember that it is one of the tactics
of the yetzer hora [evil inclination] to plant discouragement in one's
mind. In your case, there is no basis for it, inasmuch as G-d had helped
you to study a certain period of time in the Lubavitch Yeshiva, and
there is no doubt that you succeeded in absorbing a great deal of

                                *  *  *

                       17th of Iyar, 5719 [1959]

I received your letter of Friday, the 7th of Iyar, in which you ask my
advice how to deal with Mr.-

Generally speaking, it would be advisable to discuss the matter with the
doctor, and perhaps it is possible to find a doctor that had occasion to
examine him. I also wrote a letter to -, which he may have shown to you.
It would be well to find an opportunity, of course without him knowing
that I suggested it to you, to emphasize to him again that the normal
way for a person to make progress is to advance step by step, rather
than expect of himself radical changes all at once. Even if the progress
seems slow, this is the way of progress in his circumstance. Besides,
there are different times during the year which are appropriate for
different purposes: there are times for joy, and times for serious
reflection, and remorse, and teshuvah [repentance]. Therefore he should,
at this time, postpone any effort at repentance, which does not mean
that he has to completely abandon the idea, but only to postpone it
until the appropriate time for teshuvah. But in the meantime he should
try to make progress in the learning and observance of the Torah, step
by step, with complete peace of mind.

Another important point for him to remember is never to entertain any
thought of despair that any sin could not be corrected or forgiven. For
G-d is the Essence of goodness and of mercy and never rejects teshuvah,
which is carried out at the proper time and in the proper way. He should
therefore have absolute faith in G-d, and the stronger his faith will
be, the sooner he will find peace of mind.

Above all, as already mentioned, all thought and discussions about
repentance, etc. should be postponed for the proper time, and it is best
to avoid such topics and discussions altogether, and whenever anything
like that comes up, it should be discussed in a way that would not
excite or upset his nerves. May G-d bless you with success.

                            WHAT'S IN A NAME
FREIDA is Yiddish, meaning, "joy." Freida, daughter of Reb Shneur Zalman
(founder of Chabad Chasidut), was known as a very scholarly woman. The
pet form of Freida is Freidel or Freidy. There are various other
spellings in English.

FISHEL is Yiddish, meaning, "fish." It is a derivative of the Hebrew
Efraim, which means "fruitful" or "prolific," like a fish.

                        A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR
                         Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman
As this year is a leap year in the Jewish calendar, there are two months
of Adar, known as Adar I and Adar II (or Adar Rishon and Adar Sheini).
This Shabbat is Rosh Chodesh Adar I.

Our Sages have taught that, just as when the month of Av begins (the
month in which we commemorate the destruction of the Holy Temples in
Jerusalem) we lessen our joy, so, too, when the month of Adar begins, we
increase our simcha - joy and happiness.

In Lubavitcher Rebbe emphasized the importance of simcha in turning the
darkness of exile into the light of Redemption.

The Rebbe also stressed that in a leap year, when there are two months
of Adar, there are 60 days during which we are to increase our simcha.
More importantly, in Jewish law, the quantity of 60 has the ability to
nullify an undesirable presence.

(Typically, this concerns the kosher status of food, as we see that if a
quantity of milk, for instance, has accidentally become mixed with meat,
if the meat outnumbers the milk by a ratio of 1:60, the milk is
nullified and we may eat the meat.)

Similarly, explains the Rebbe, 60 days of simcha have the ability to
nullify the darkness of the present exile, allowing us to actually turn
the darkness into light.

Concerning the kind of things that should be done to arouse simcha, the
Rebbe suggested that each person should proceed according to his level:
a child, for instance, should be made happy by his parents; a wife by
her husband, and visa versa. The bottom line, my friends, is that the
Rebbe did not let up on encouraging an increase of simcha in all
permissible manners during the entire month.

If we hearken to the Rebbe's words and utilize simcha, especially during
this month, to turn darkness into light, sadness into joy, and pain and
tears, we will soon be rejoicing with Moshiach in the Final Redemption.

                          THOUGHTS THAT COUNT
And they shall take for Me an offering (Ex. 25:2)

The word "offering" has two meanings: something set aside for a special
purpose and that which is picked up and raised. An offering made to G-d
achieves both of these objectives. Setting aside one's money to do a
mitzva (commandment) elevates the actual physical object that is bought
with that money, transforming the material into holiness, as it says in
Tanya: "G-d gives man materiality in order to transform it into

                                                   (Likutei Sichot)

                                *  *  *

They shall make Me a sanctuary, and I will dwell in their midst (Ex.

According to Maimonides, this positive commandment refers not only to
the erection of the Sanctuary, but the building of the First, Second and
Third Holy Temples as well. When Moshiach comes and the Third Holy
Temple is established, the original Sanctuary built by Moses will also
be revealed, for a special connection exists between the two. Just as
the Sanctuary was built in the desert, by an individual who himself
never set foot in the Holy Land, so will the Third Holy Temple reflect
the good deeds we have performed and our service of G-d throughout the
present exile.

                                                  (Peninei Hageula)

                                *  *  *

It is taught in the name of Rabbi Tarfon: How great is the significance
of human labor [and practical action]! [From the above verse we see] G-d
did not cause his Divine Presence to rest in the Sanctuary until Israel
had performed the tasks connected to its erection.

                                               (Avot D'Rabbi Natan)

                            IT ONCE HAPPENED
During the period of Roman hegemony in the land of Israel, the great
sage Rabbi Abahu was the leader of his generation. He was greatly
honored, not only by his fellow Jews, but by the Roman rulers, including
the emperor himself.

Rabbi Abahu was a valued advisor and often the invited guest of the
Roman emperor. Whenever he would enter the royal palace, singers would
be stationed at the entrance to sing his praises. Rabbi Abahu was fluent
in Latin, Greek and many other languages spoken in the huge Roman

Rabbi Abahu had every reason to hold himself in high regard, but, in
fact, he is remembered for his extreme humility. A very handsome and
wealthy man, he was so self-effacing that it is written that it was hard
to find his like, even in that generation of tremendous Torah giants and
righteous individuals. A number of instances are noted in the Talmud
which illustrate his remarkable traits.

At that time, it was customary for the sages to address the masses with
the aid of an interpreter. Rabbi Abahu would speak in a terse,
abbreviated Hebrew, and his interpreter would expound on the ideas in
great detail, simplifying them so that the thoughts were accessible to

One day Rabbi Abahu's wife and the wife of the interpreter had an
argument. In the heat of the angry exchange the interpreter's wife
blurted out, "What does my husband need your husband for?! He's just as
great a scholar any day, and he is perfectly capable of teaching Torah
without your husband's paltry contribution!"

Rabbi Abahu's wife was shocked and deeply insulted, for her husband was
known as one of the outstanding sages of the age. Not wanting to argue
further, she walked away without replying, but she was seething inside.

That night Abahu noticed that his wife was not her usual self.

"What is wrong?" he asked her. She told him the whole story of her
encounter with the interpreter's wife, sure he would be upset at the
woman's rude and coarse remarks. Perhaps he might even want to hire a
different interpreter.

"Is that a reason to be so upset?" he asked her. "And even if she was
speaking the truth, her husband and I both have the same goal. We are
both teaching, not for our own honor, but for the honor of Heaven."
Rabbi Abahu was so great that his own personal honor had no meaning to

Once, it was necessary to choose a new Rosh Yeshiva (spiritual leader
and chief instructor of the Torah academy) for the great yeshiva in

On account of his great scholarship and remarkable personal qualities,
the Sages wanted to appoint Rabbi Abahu but he refused the honor,
suggesting instead Rabbi Aba, a poverty-stricken sage who lived in the
city of Acre.

Rabbi Abahu hoped that with the appointment to the honored position of
Rosh Yeshiva, the poor rabbi's financial hardships would be lifted. In
making his recommendation Rabbi Abahu said, "Rabbi Aba is the most
humble man I know. Why, when I see how he conducts himself, I cannot
even compare to such a man!"

It happened once that Rabbi Abahu and another great scholar, Rabbi Chiya
bar Aba, were visiting the same town. Every evening they would meet to
learn and discuss Torah thoughts, and afterward Rabbi Chiya would walk
Rabbi Abahu home, as an indication of respect. That Shabbat they decided
to deliver their discourses at different study halls.

Rabbi Abahu spoke about Aggada, the stories of the Torah, while his
colleague spoke about Jewish law. Many people attended both lectures,
but when they heard that Rabbi Abahu was speaking about Aggada, they
left Rabbi Chiya and swarmed to hear Rabbi Abahu. When Rabbi Chiya
realized what had happened, he was crestfallen.

Word of Rabbi Chiya's reaction reached Rabbi Abahu and he at once set
out to the lodging of his colleague. "The people came to my lecture only
for one reason, and I will illustrate it with a story," began Rabbi

"Once, two peddlers came to the same town. One was selling precious
stones, while the other was selling all sorts of household miscellany.
The second man had so many customers he couldn't keep up with the
demand, while the man selling the precious stones sold nothing. Was it
because his wares were unworthy? No, the deficiency was entirely on the
part of the customers. Not only did they lack the money to purchase
jewels, they didn't even have an understanding of the value of gems.
Common household items were all they knew about.

"You and I have come to a town where there are very few learned people.
The majority find it easier to listen to the stories of the Aggada
(without even realizing that they understand very little of them). So,
you see, it isn't that they prefer my discourse to that of my learned
colleague, they just find the topic more compatible with their
unsophisticated level of understanding."

After Rabbi Abahu spoke to him in this consoling manner, Rabbi Chiya
felt somewhat better, but Rabbi Abahu sensed that he remained
unconvinced. As a further indication of his esteem, Rabbi Abahu changed
the usual order and accompanied Rabbi Chiya to his residence, to show
the great honor in which he held him.

                            MOSHIACH MATTERS
No part of the Sanctuary in the desert (mishkan) was thrown away. Five
hundred years after the Sanctuary was built in the desert, King Solomon
built the Holy Temple. Vessels and parts of the Sanctuary that could be
used in the Holy Temple were used. The beams, poles, and silver sockets
were set aside, to be used in the days of Moshiach, when G-d's presence
will once again rest upon them.

                                                        (Kil Yakar)

               END OF TEXT - L'CHAIM 1157 - Terumah 5771

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