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                         L'CHAIM - ISSUE # 1208
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                 Lubavitch Youth Organization - L.Y.O.
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             THE WEEKLY PUBLICATION FOR EVERY JEWISH PERSON
   Dedicated to the memory of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson N.E.
*********************************************************************
        February 10, 2012        Yisro           17 Shevat, 5772
*********************************************************************

                            It's About Time

Time. The concept of time, what constitutes a short amount of time, our
perception of a long time, how quick is quick, has been redefined thanks
to constant advances in technology.

And yet, with all of our new time saving devices, it seems that there
still isn't time for everything that we want to fit into our
action-packed, stress-filled, goal-oriented lives.

Despite the fact that there isn't time for everything, for everything
there is a Time. In fact, in the words of King Solomon (in the Book of
Ecclesiastes):

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the
heaven.

A time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck that which is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to rend, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silent, and a time to speak;

a time to love and a time to hate;

a time of war, and a time of peace."

These 22 expressions of time encompass every aspect of our lives.

Judaism has a unique concept of time. Rather than viewing time as a
linear progression, a sequence of successive moments, Jewish teachings
speak of cycles of time. As each new week begins, the cycle of creation
begins anew.

Similarly, there is a yearly cycle which includes the entire series of
changes and developments which transpire over the course of a year.
Thus, the Hebrew word for year, "shana," alludes to this concept for it
also means "repetition."

Chasidic thought teaches that every single moment can be appreciated as
including the entire continuum of time. Each instance encompasses the
entire past and future. To explain this concept: G-d created the world
from absolute nothingness. Unlike a craftsmen who fashions an article
from raw material, or a thinker who develops an idea from it potential,
G-d brought existence into being from total and absolute naught. Thus,
the first moment of existence that He created included within it every
moment that would follow.

The Baal Shem Tov teaches that creation is a continuous phenomenon. The
world has no independent existence and every moment, G-d brings into
being the totality of existence anew. Therefore, every moment includes
all previous and all subsequent moments of existence just as the first
moment of creation includes all time.

Yes, there is a time for everything, and everything has its time. But,
to be able to find time for everything, that is truly special. Perhaps,
if we look once more to the words of King Solomon, as he completes his
treatise on time in Ecclesiastes, we will find some advice: "The end of
the matter, when all is said and done: Fear G-d, and keep His
commandments; for that is the whole duty of man."

    This issue is especially dedicated to Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka
    Schneerson, whose 24th yartzeit we observe on Wednesday, 22 Shevat
    (February 15 this year). The numerical value of the Hebrew letters
    of her name matches the letters of the Hebrew word "eit" - time.

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           LIVING WITH THE REBBE  -  THE WEEKLY TORAH PORTION
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As narrated in this week's Torah portion, Yitro, something most unusual
occurred when G-d descended on Mount Sinai to give the Torah to the
Jewish people. "And all the people saw the thunders," the Torah states.
"They saw what is heard, and heard what is seen," elaborates Rabbi
Akiva.

What an amazing phenomenon (the technical term for which is known as
"synesthesia")! But why was such a great miracle necessary to accompany
the giving of the Torah? What possible benefit could be gained from
seeing what is heard and hearing what is seen?

To understand what occurred, let us examine the concepts of hearing and
seeing and the different ways in which they impart information to us. A
person acquires knowledge through having witnessed something with his
own two eyes or through hearing the information secondhand from someone
else. Yet there is a fundamental difference between the two.

Our sense of sight verifies external reality in the clearest and most
convincing manner. An individual who has actually seen something needs
no further proof - he is as convinced as he can be. Hearing something,
however, is a much less definite and absolute way to acquire knowledge,
leaving room for later doubts as to what was really heard.
(Incidentally, this is the reason behind the principle that "a witness
cannot serve as judge": a judge must be able to treat the defendant
fairly, without harboring preconceived notions; once he has already
witnessed the defendant committing a certain act he can no longer do
this.)

At the same time, our sense of sight is far more limited than our sense
of hearing. A person can only perceive physical objects through seeing,
whereas hearing enables us to understand a more abstract and spiritual
reality.

In our world, reality appears to be only that which can be seen with the
physical eye, with spiritual matters being relegated to the more
abstruse realm of hearing. What occurred at Mount Sinai was a reversal
of this order - spiritual reality was more easily perceived and
understood, and physical existence became more indistinct.

This phenomenon was not a special miracle wrought by G-d in honor of the
occasion, but was merely the natural outcome of His revealing Himself at
Mount Sinai. The reality of G-d's existence took center stage at that
moment in history; it was the physical world which seemed less sure of
its existence.

This entire incident lasted only a short while. Immediately after the
Revelation our perception of reality returned to its former state. The
world was not yet ready for such G-dliness to be revealed on an ongoing
basis.

But when Moshiach comes and the world reaches a state of perfection,
this is precisely what will occur. "And the glory of G-d will be
revealed, and all flesh will see" - the underlying G-dliness hidden
within physical reality will be revealed and apparent to all, until even
our physical flesh will be able to perceive this. At that time, we will
no longer require abstract proofs of G-d's existence; our belief in Him
will stem naturally from actually seeing the G-dliness around us.

               From Likutei Sichot of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Vol. 6

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                             SLICE OF LIFE
*********************************************************************
Shemi Rokeach is a Belzer Chasid who is related to the Schneerson family
through his maternal grandmother. His family had a special relationship
with Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, whose 24th yartzeit we are
commemorating with this issue of L'Chaim. The following stories were
told during an interview by Avraham Rainitz with Rabbi Rokeach.

When I was 13, my little sister was born. The birth was very difficult
and my mother nearly died. She had to go for checkups once a month to a
top doctor in New York. After her checkup, the doctor told my mother: "I
discovered something very problematic that requires an operation. Since
it is a very dangerous operation, I recommend that you wait until after
Passover so you can celebrate the holiday with your family."

As soon as she got home, my mother called the Rebbetzin to ask for the
Rebbe's blessing. The Rebbe was home and the Rebbetzin conveyed my
mother's message to him. The Rebbe told the Rebbetzin to tell my mother
to have the operation immediately and not to wait until after Passover.

My mother told the Rebbetzin that the doctor said the operation was very
risky and he was afraid she wouldn't make it, which is why he
recommended postponing it for after Passover. The Rebbetzin conveyed
this to the Rebbe and she said, "My husband says not to wait."

My mother asked, "What should I tell the doctor when he asks me why I'm
rushing to do it?" The Rebbetzin told her to tell the doctor that the
Rebbe said she should not delay.

My mother did as the Rebbe said and asked the doctor to operate
immediately. To the doctor's astonishment, she explained that the Rebbe
told her not to wait. The doctor was furious that the Rebbe mixed in to
medical matters and said, "One asks a Rebbe about religious matters but
when it comes to medical matters, you ask a doctor! Why did you ask the
Rebbe?"

My mother explained that the Rebbe is our uncle and we greatly respect
him. She asked the doctor to forgo his medical honor and do as the Rebbe
said. The doctor was not pleased, but since my mother was his private
patient he couldn't refuse and he said he would do another test before
he would operate. When the doctor returned with the results of the test,
he looked white as a ghost. "Who is this Rebbe who told you not to wait?
I must meet him. He saved your life!" The doctor could not explain how
it had happened but the second test showed that she needed an immediate
operation. "If we would have waited until Passover, you may no longer
have been alive," he said with a shudder. The operation was successful,
thank G-d.

In the 80s I traveled with my family to Israel for my brother's Bar
Mitzva. Before we went, we visited the Rebbetzin. During our visit she
said to me, "Shemi, you know that my husband has many shluchim
(emissaries) but I want to make you my shliach. When you go to Israel,
do me a favor. Go to Kfar Chabad and take pictures of what is going on
there, the houses, the institutions, the streets, and when you come back
bring me the pictures. I want to see what is happening there."

Of course I was happy to fulfill this mission and during our visit I
asked my cousin, Rabbi Nachum Schneerson (who heads Yeshivas Tchebin
now) to send me to Kfar Chabad with his driver. On our way to Kfar
Chabad the driver pointed at a picture of the Rebbe that was hanging in
his car and he asked me whether I knew who it was. I said, "Of course,
it's our uncle, the Lubavitcher Rebbe."

The driver was so excited to hear that we were related to the Rebbe that
he nearly got us into an accident! "The Rebbe saved my life!" he
exclaimed and he stopped the car on the side of the road in order to
tell the story and to calm down. "I was born in Russia," he said with a
heavy Russian accent. "When I grew up I joined a group of Zionists who
tried to get out of Russia. I was arrested by the KGB and I was
sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in Siberia. In Siberia, they had us
chop down trees and drag them to the camp.

"The day after I arrived, one of the prisoners, a huge Russian gentile,
came over to me and said: 'From now on, you will also do my work!' He
thought I was a timid Jew who would obey his commands, but I refused. He
began beating me and I gave him back as good as I got, even better. We
kept at it until blood ran and we were taken to the hospital. In Siberia
there was no lack of manpower and the doctors didn't exert themselves to
save us. Then a doctor came over to me and asked, 'Are you Jewish? Do
you believe in Torah and G-d?' I thought the doctor was a KGB agent who
wanted to entrap me and I refused to answer him. The doctor began
treating me devotedly and he saved my life. Every time he came to see
me, he asked whether I believed in G-d and kept mitzvot (commandments)
and I denied any connection to religion.

"When I finally recovered, the commander of the camp told me that I was
going to be transferred from forest work to office work in the hospital.
I met the doctor nearly every day and he continued to inquire about my
beliefs. After a year in the hospital, they suddenly told me that they
had received an order to release me and I was free to return home. I
joyfully walked to the train station. As I stood there at the station
waiting for the train, I saw the doctor coming in his car. He hurried
over to me and asked, 'Nu, are you going to Israel now?'

"If I wasn't sure until then that he was a KGB agent, at that point I
was convinced that he was trying to incriminate me. I denied it, of
course, and declared that I was a loyal communist and I wouldn't want to
leave Mother Russia. The doctor persisted and said, 'I know you are a
Jew and you want to go to Jerusalem.'

I continued to deny it and I said I was going to Moscow, where I planned
on living. At a certain point he took me over to a corner and said,
'Listen well. You are a Jew and that is why I helped you until now. You
should know that I put a lot of effort into healing you and I used my
connections so they would change your hard labor to office work in the
hospital. It is thanks to me that you are free today and not in another
eleven years. You surely want to know who I am and why I was so eager to
help you.'

"The doctor took a picture of a rabbi with a white beard out of his
pocket. 'This man sent me and some other people like me to various
places throughout Russia. When we see a Jew in distress, we are there to
help him. I want the best for you, which is why I say, do not remain in
Russia. Do all you can to get out of here and when you get to Israel,
find out who this man in the picture is and you should know that he
saved your life!'

"I went to my home in Moscow and submitted another request to emigrate.
A year later I received a visa and I went to Israel. Of course, as soon
as I got there I asked to see pictures of various rabbis and I
immediately identified the man in the picture. It is the Lubavitcher
Rebbe! "Now you know why I was so excited when you said that you are
related to the Rebbe, the man who saved my life."

Throughout my years in yeshiva in Philadelphia, I called the Rebbetzin
each Friday to wish her a "good Shabbos" and to find out how she was
doing. The conversation was like any conversation between grandmother
and grandchild. The Rebbetzin asked how I was, about my studies, my
friends, what I wore, just like any grandmother who is concerned about
her grandson.

Before a test the Rebbetzin would bless me with success and when I told
her about a special sale of clothing she said, "Shemi, buy good quality
clothes." The Rebbetzin wanted us to call her "Mrs. Schneerson," and if,
during the conversation, I would mistakenly say, "Good Shabbos
Rebbetzin," she would correct me immediately and say, "Shemi, my name is
'Mrs. Schneerson.' " She was very particular about this.

The Rebbetzin's passing was one of the darkest days of my life. I felt
as though my dear grandmother had died. Memories of the Rebbetzin are
still with me. My relationship with the Rebbetzin was an eternal bond
that has not waned with the passing years. Naturally, I went to be
menachem avel ("comfort the mourner") at the Rebbe's house with my
family.

My grandmother asked one of the secretaries to ask the Rebbe, "Now,
after the passing of the Rebbetzin, who will my grandson call every
Friday?" I don't remember which secretary passed the question on to the
Rebbe. The Rebbe said I should call him! From then on, I called the
Rebbe's house every Friday, and since the Rebbe did not speak on the
phone, I would speak with Reb Sholom Gansburg, and he would convey my
message to the Rebbe.

The next week, before I had begun talking to him, he would tell me what
the Rebbe had said in reaction to what I had said the week before. The
conversations were like those I had with the Rebbetzin, that of a
grandson telling his grandfather how his week went. When I went to
Jerusalem to study in Yeshivas Tchebin, which is run by my uncle, Rabbi
Boruch Shimon Schneerson, I continued to call every Friday. I once said
that it rained very strongly in Jerusalem and the following week, Rabbi
Gansburg told me in the Rebbe's name that these were gishmei bracha
(rains of blessing).

This phone connection continued until I got married. After I married I
lived in Jerusalem. A short time after I moved into my new apartment, my
mother went for "dollars." (Every Sunday the Rebbe received thousands of
people who came to ask his advice or blessing. The Rebbe gave each
person a dollar, or its equivalent, to be given to the charity of their
choice.) To her surprise, the Rebbe said to her, "Tell Shem to check his
mezuzas.

My mother explained, "It's a new apartment and new mezuzas!" The Rebbe
said, "Nevertheless, tell him to check." My mother called me and told me
what the Rebbe had said. I immediately went to a scribe in Shikun Chabad
in Jerusalem and after a brief look at the mezuza that was on the front
door, he found that the words "hishamru lachem" (guard yourselves) were
attached (thus, invalidating it)!

A short while later, in the summer of 1990, when my wife was expecting
our first child, a certain complication arose. I called my mother and
asked her to ask the Rebbe for a blessing. In the meantime, my in-laws,
who live in London, sent us a ticket to London so my wife could be
treated by the best doctors in London. When we arrived in London, I got
a phone call from my mother, who had been to the Rebbe and had told him
about the complication in the pregnancy. The Rebbe said I should check
my "Rabbeinu Tam" tefilin.

Once again, my mother was surprised since our custom is to start putting
on this special, additional set of tefilin only after we marry, so my
tefilin were relatively new. But the Rebbe repeated, "He should check
his Rabbeinu Tam tefilin."

It was late at night but I found a Lubavitcher scribe. When he heard
that this was an instruction from the Rebbe, he agreed to check the
tefilin immediately. He found flaw in the portion of "sanctify for Me
every firstborn." The connection was clear, for my wife was pregnant
with our first child. The tefilin were corrected that same night and the
next day, my wife's problem was gone!

Since my connection to the Rebbe and Rebbetzin was a familial one, after
Gimmel Tamuz my connection with Lubavitch ceased. However, the Rebbe
apparently wanted the relationship to continue and the following
incredible event took place. When my son, Menachem Zev was turning
three, my parents had to be in Florida at the time we would be
celebrating his first hair cut. The possibility of cutting his hair
early was discussed, so my parents could participate in the family
celebration.

When I visited my in-laws, I saw a volume of the Rebbe's letters (Igrot
Kodesh) there. I had heard that the Rebbe answers people through the
Igrot Kodesh and I decided to try writing to the Rebbe. Perhaps I would
get an answer. I asked whether to move up the date of my son's haircut
and I put the note randomly into the volume. When I opened it and read
the letter, I exclaimed, "Oy, gevald!"

My mother-in-law asked me what happened. I showed her the amazing answer
I had opened to. It was a letter that the Rebbe wrote to someone who
asked him about moving up the date of their three-year-old's haircut and
the Rebbe wrote, based on a letter of the Previous Rebbe, that we do not
make it earlier, and this is what I should practice too. On the same
page the Rebbe wrote to someone who had been frequently in touch, who
lately had been out of touch. The Rebbe asked him to renew the
relationship!

                              Reprinted from Beis Moshiach Magazine

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                               WHAT'S NEW
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                            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 [the Sabbath] and Yom Tov
[holidays]. 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
Commandments.

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.

                                *  *  *

                       12th of Shevat 5734 [1974]


This is to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of January 30th
with the enclosures.

In the meantime, you have surely heard what was discussed at the
farbrengen [Chasidic gathering] of Yud [the tenth of] Shevat with
particular emphasis on the need to strengthen family unity, and that one
of the first steps in this direction is to encourage the practice of
having the Friday night meal by all the family together. In this area,
as well as in regard to the other subjects discussed at the farbrengen,
Jewish mothers and daughters can accomplish a great deal, both
individually as well as, and especially, through concerted action, such
as the forthcoming Convention of the Neshei u'Bnos Chabad [Lubavitch
Women and Girls Organization] in London and the preliminary conferences,
as well as those which will follow, with a view to implementing the
decisions and projects of the Convention.

I shall be eagerly looking forward to the fruitful results, and may G-d
grant that all this will be with the utmost Hatzlocho.

P. S. Although the Convention is scheduled to begin on Tuesday night, it
is well known that the three days preceding Shabbos are called "Erev
[the eve of] Shabbos," and that Shabbos is the source of blessing for
all the days of the week, both preceding it and following it. This is
one of the reasons why we begin the Song of the Day, i.e. the special
Psalm said on each day of the week, by the declaration, "This day is the
first day in (the week of) Shabbos", which has both meanings:

 a) it is the first day of the week, and

 b) it is directly related to Shabbos (see also Ramban on Exodus 20:8,
    whose explanation along the said lines pertains also to the Halachah
    [Jewish law]).

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                               WHO'S WHO
*********************************************************************
                                 Rachel

Rachel, the wife of Rabbi Akiva, was the daughter of the wealthy Kalba
ben Savua. Her father disowned her when she married Akiva, then an
unlearned shepherd. Rachel saw potential greatness in Akiva and
encouraged him to leave home and devote himself to Torah. Her
self-sacrifice for her husband's Torah learning is legendary. When Akiva
returned home after 24 years he attributed his achievements as well as
those of his 24,000 students to Rachel, as recorded in the Talmud.

*********************************************************************
                        A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR
                         Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman
*********************************************************************
This coming Wednesday is 22 Shevat (corresponding to February 15 this
year). It is the twenty-fourth yartzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka
Schneerson, of blessed memory, wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and
daughter of the Previous Rebbe.

Born in the Russian village of Babinovitch (a small shtetl near
Lubavitch) in 1901, she played an integral role in both her father's and
husband's affairs throughout her life. And yet, she deliberately chose
to function out of the limelight. Extremely modest, royal in bearing and
above all kindly, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka was the embodiment of Jewish
womanhood and an exceptional role model for Jewish women and girls.

One year, on the anniversary of her passing, the Rebbe spoke about the
special mission all Jewish woman have been entrusted with. The function
of every Jew - man, woman and child - is to "make a dwelling place for
G-d" on earth. But the goal of the Jewish woman is to take this one step
further, and adorn G-d's abode on the physical plane so that it is
"lovely" and appointed with "fine furnishings."

In particular, the Jewish woman fulfills her role of "spiritual
decorator" through the three special mitzvot G-d has given her to
implement in her private home: maintaining the kashrut of her kitchen,
keeping the laws of Family Purity, and lighting candles on Shabbat on
Yom Tov, together with her daughters. (The Rebbe specified that young
girls should light first, so that their mothers can assist them if
necessary.)

The Rebbe also called on women to renew their commitment to the Jewish
education of their children, from the earliest age on. When a Jewish
mother sings a lullaby to her baby about how the Torah is "the best, the
sweetest, and the most beautiful" thing in the world, it instills a deep
love and appreciation for Torah that lasts a lifetime.

The main point during these last few moments of exile, the Rebbe
emphasized, is to recognize the great merit and power Jewish women and
girls have to bring about the Final Redemption, may it happen at once.

*********************************************************************
                          THOUGHTS THAT COUNT
*********************************************************************
Yitro...offered a burnt-offering and sacrifices to G-d, and Aaron came
with all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law
(Ex. 18:12)

Why was Yitro the one to host the festive meal? Why didn't Aaron and the
elders prepare the meal and invite Yitro, their guest, to partake? Yitro
had sought Moses out in the middle of the desert because of his desire
to become a Jew. As is customary, after his brit, Yitro made a festive
meal to celebrate. Aaron and the elders came to participate in the happy
event.

                                                        (Our Sages)

                                *  *  *


You shall not take the Name of the L-rd your G-d in vain (Ex. 20:7)

Do not assume the Name of the L-rd your G-d in a false manner. It is
wrong to try to appear more righteous or G-d-fearing than others simply
because one possesses the truth...

                                                      (Ohr HaChaim)

                                *  *  *


Honor your father and your mother (Ex. 20:12)

Our Sages said: There are three partners in the creation of a person -
the father, the mother, and the Holy One, Blessed be He. When a person
honors his parents, G-d considers the act as if He is being honored. The
reverse holds true when a person causes his parents heartache.

                                                (Talmud, Kiddushin)

*********************************************************************
                            MOSHIACH MATTERS
*********************************************************************
"Say to the House of Jacob and tell the Children of Israel." (Ex. 19:3)
Our Sages explain that the "House of Jacob" refers to the women and the
"Children of Israel" to the men. When G-d gave the Torah, He told Moses
to first approach the women and only after the men. As the Exodus from
Egypt occurred by virtue of that generation's righteous women, when G-d
gave the Torah the women were given preference. The final Redemption
will also be by virtue of the righteous women, as the Midrash says: "All
generations are redeemed by virtue of their generation's righteous
women." Thus the women will be first to receive the teachings of
Moshiach.

                                       (Sichot Kodesh, Yitro, 5749)

*********************************************************************
                END OF TEXT - L'CHAIM 1208 - Yisro 5772
*********************************************************************

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