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                         L'CHAIM - ISSUE # 1295
                           Copyright (c) 2013
                 Lubavitch Youth Organization - L.Y.O.
                              Brooklyn, NY
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   Dedicated to the memory of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson N.E.
        November 8, 2013        Vayetzei          5 Kislev, 5774

                         The 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 acceded to their request.

The Maggid instructed his disciples to stand in a certain location and
watch the poritzim ride by. The third poritz they would see, he informed
them, would be Elijah the Prophet. "And 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 stood and 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 Polish poritz, but hadn't the Maggid declared that he was none
other than Elijah the prophet?

Addressing him in Polish, they deferentially asked if they could speak
with his lordship as they had a very important matter to discuss. To
their surprise the "poritz" responded by flinging sharp insults and
curses at them, after which he rode off to join the other landowners.

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

The Maggid's response was unexpected. "You rightly deserved the
treatment he gave you! You knew for 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 to him '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 the treatment you received!"

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."

Some 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. (Rabbi
Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn)

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

"G-d foregoes love of G-d in favor of love of the Jewish people." (Rabbi
Shneur Zalman)

This week's Torah portion, Vayeitze, begins with the words: "And Jacob
went out from Beer Sheba and went towards Haran."

The Torah offers two reasons for the name Beer Sheba: one is because of
the oath Abraham made in his covenant with Abimelech; the second is
because of the seventh well dug after Isaac's peace-treaty with
Abimelech. Both of these explanations indicate a condition of
tranquility for Israel. But the name Haran is the reverse, as our sages
interpreted it to indicate "the fierce anger - charan af - of the world.

There are those who wonder: G-d has given us the Torah and mitzvot
(commandments) with "a full and ample hand." Wherever we turn there is
either a positive precept for us to observe or a prohibition against
which we must guard ourselves. At the very least, shouldn't G-d have
removed all our worries in order to make it easier for us to observe the
mitzvot? In fact, we should be altogether freed of worldly concerns so
that we might spend more time in the tents of Torah, if this is what G-d
truly wants of us.

The Torah shows us Jacob's behavior, through which we can understand how
to conduct ourselves. Before Jacob was to marry, that is, to build the
House of Israel, he was told to leave Beer Sheba and the study halls of
Shem and Eber where he had learned for the past 14 years. He was to come
to Haran, a place where G-dliness and holiness were concealed.

In Haran, it was very easy to sin and very difficult to be virtuous.
Yet, it was precisely because he was steadfast when exposed to
challenges and temptation that Jacob was able to build the House of
Israel so that "his offspring were perfect"; not one of his children
straying from the Torah path.

This offers a lesson for every one of us. Part of our Divine mission
involves being exposed to temptations. To be tempted and prevail raises
man to higher levels. It is understood, though, that we are speaking of
tests and temptations which G-d places before us: it is a fundamental
belief that man has the capacity to remain steadfast in the face of all
difficulties and tests imposed upon him by Divine Providence. Man,
however, is not to subject himself to temptations as a test.

By overcoming these temptations, it is possible to build a Jewish home
which is both radiant and warm.

                   Adapted from the words of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

                             SLICE OF LIFE
While making his regular weekly rounds at a local hospital, Rabbi
Raphael Jaworowski of the Chicago Mitzvah Campaigns recently visited
with "RC," a young patient in the ICU ward. Sadly, RC lay motionless and
unconscious on the bed, covered with bandages and strapped to various
machines. Her parents sat numbly by her side, tearful, afraid and
overwrought. Meanwhile, a hospital staff member remained in silent
observation, her permanent station in the room bearing unmistakable
witness to the patient's ominously tenuous condition.

Following initial introductions, RC's father emotionally related the
precariousness of his daughter's condition. As his wife quietly sobbed,
he relayed the doctors' depressing warning that RC might never again
regain consciousness; indeed, her fragile grip on life might slip away
at any time. As RC's father repeated the deeply distressing prognosis
his voice broke and his wife's soft weeping rent the air. So palpable
was the raw emotion in the room that even the experienced nurse averted
her gaze, fidgeting uncomfortably.

As RC's parents gave vent to their emotional strain, Rabbi Jaworowski
maintained a calm and empathetic presence. After a few moments he gently
suggested that they all join together in prayer. RC's parents nodded
gratefully, taking deep breaths.

As he handed out copies of the CMC's special prayer booklets, Rabbi
Jaworowski offered RC's father the opportunity to don tefilin. He
hesitated however, objecting that he hadn't seen a pair of tefilin since
his bar mitzvah. But the intensity of the moment soon eliminated his
qualms and melted his protestations. After briefly vacillating he raised
his head and resolutely declared that he would perform the mitzva

Wrapping the tefilin straps around the arm proudly upheld by RC's
father, Rabbi Jaworowski explained the meaning of the ritual and pointed
out its origin in the words of the Shema prayer: "And you shall bind
them as a sign upon your arm, and they will be for a reminder between
your eyes." With great feeling, the rabbi and RC's parents then stood
together before the unconscious patient and began reciting the prayer,
verse by verse.

What followed next could only be described as an open miracle. Upon
reaching the verse, "And you will bind them..." the three supplicants
and the nurse stood in silent shock and amazement as they watched the
patient slowly open her eyes and take in her surroundings. With barely
restrained excitement, RC's parents began talking to her, gushing forth
in a jumbled stream of hope, encouragement and reassurance. Momentarily
catching themselves, they asked if RC was able to understand them; if
she could squeeze her hand and wiggle her toes. The tubes protruding
from her mouth prevented RC from speaking, but she indicated her
comprehension with small head and body movements, eliciting further
squeals of delight from her parents and expressions of pleasant
astonishment from the nurse.

Upon sufficiently recovering her wits, the nurse went to update the
doctor on what had occurred. Meanwhile, RC's parents introduced her to
Rabbi Jaworowski. "This rabbi is from the Chicago Mitzvah Campaign," her
mother declared in wide-eyed wonder. "His prayer worked like a miracle!"
For a moment, RC held her gaze on the tefilin that were still
majestically adorning her father's head and arm. When she turned back to
the rabbi, her eyes seemed to glow with a warm radiance. With great
effort she deliberately and laboriously opened her mouth, and her lips
unmistakably repeated the heartfelt refrain - "Thank you...Thank you..."

                                *  *  *

Elderly, legally blind, confined to a wheelchair, and so physically
frail that she can barely perform the most basic tasks by herself, Mrs.
FK is not the kind of person you would normally expect to be living on
her own. But FK is fiercely independent and maintains an innate
suspicion of doctors and hospitals. In fact, so emphatic was FK's
aversion to medical tests, medicine and treatment of any kind, that even
after she sustained a hairline fracture in a fall, she refused to
undergo the corrective procedure that would have enabled her to walk
again. Instead, she chose to go to a nursing home, where it was
anticipated that she would remain infirm indefinitely.

After several weeks however, FK went against medical advice again,
signing herself out of the nursing home and returning home, extremely
feeble and debilitated but unwaveringly resolute to uphold her
independence. When FK's lonely, isolated and vulnerable predicament came
to the attention of the CMC, they reached out and began to develop a
relationship with her. As a result, FK began to rely on the CMC for
support, reassurance and aid. With tremendous patience, sensitivity and
care, the CMC began to make inroads into FK's resistance to medical

Progress was slow, however. Even when FK's situation at home became so
precarious that she asked Rabbi Wolf to call her on a daily basis, "just
to confirm that I am still alive," she still insisted on remaining alone
in her apartment, with no more than minimal outside help. On several
occasions, when her condition took an extreme turn for the worse, FK
agreed to go to the hospital, but only on the strict condition that she
be accompanied by Rabbi Wolf.

Even then however, she still refused to submit to medical testing ("Why
do they want so much to take my blood?") and treatment ("I don't need so
much medicine"), often returning home against medical advice only to
return again, upon the next episode of deterioration. When FK's health
condition recently experienced another steep decline, she again
instinctively resisted going to the hospital. But with her very life
teetering on the edge, she turned to the one source of help upon which
she had come to rely - the CMC. With patience and devotion Rabbi Wolf
counseled FK and accompanied her to the hospital in the middle of the
night, staying with her for hours until her comfort and care were
assured. Subsequently, the rabbi stayed in contact with FK to make sure
that she accepted appropriate medical testing and treatment, culminating
in her successful discharge to a nursing facility where she now receives
continued care.

    For more info about the amazing and multifaceted work of Chicago
    Mitzvah Campaigns visit

                               WHAT'S NEW
                               New Mikva

Chabad of Playa del Carmen, Mexico, recently opened a  beautiful mikva
for the 50 family-strong Jewish community and tourists and visitors that
come to this Mexican resort city.

                             New Emissaries

Chabad at Arizona State University (ASU) welcomed Rabbi Mendy and Sarah
Rimler have joined the other emissaries at Chabad at ASU. There are
4,000 Jewish students at ASU.

Rabbi Chaim and Chaya Mushka Scheiman are the first, full-time
emissaries at the Hinda Institute (formerly known as the Jewish
Prisoner's Assistance Foundation) in Des Plaines Illinois. They will be
heading the re-entry and family division of the Hinda Institute and
volunteer coordinator.

Rabbi Levi and Sara Cole have been appointed program coordinators and
assistant youth directors at the Jewish Youth Network of Ontario in
Toronto, Canada.

                            THE REBBE WRITES
                    Rosh Chodesh Kislev, 5735 [1984]

Blessing and Greeting:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 20th of Cheshvan,
and enclosures, as well as your previous correspondence.

May G-d grant that all the activities about which you report should
continue with great Hatzlocho [success], and in an ever-growing measure.
And may this Hatzlocho be reflected also in the other Mitzvah campaigns,
particularly the Candle Lighting Campaign where Jewish women and girls
have a special opportunity, and therefore also a special Zechus
[privilege], to accomplish a great deal. May you and all your coworkers
carry on these activities with joy and gladness of heart.

Especially as we are now approaching the auspicious days of the 10th and
19th of Kislev, the significance of which you surely know. The Zechus of
the Alter Rebbe [Rabbi Shneur Zalman, founder of Chabad Chasidism, who
was liberated from Czarist imprisonment on the 19th of Kislev], and of
his son the Mitteler Rebbe [Rabbi Dov Ber, who was released from
imprisonment on the 10th of Kislev], for whom the above days brought
deliverance, will surely bring deliverance also to all those who follow
in their footsteps to spread the Torah and Mitzvos [commandments] with
Chasidic dedication and inspiration. May this be so also in your case,
and in a growing measure, as symbolized by the Chanukah lights which are
kindled in growing numbers from day to day.

With blessing,

                                *  *  *

                         Greeting and Blessing:

You write that you find yourself in great emotional difficulties, and
that you find no gratification in your work and do not know how to
overcome this, etc.

Such emotional upsets are fully discussed in Chassidus, and even secular
science has lately given much attention to what is called the
subconscious. A person may not consciously be aware of his true
spiritual state and what he lacks, having suppressed certain inner
drives, so that all he is aware of is a feeling of frustration and

I refer, of course, to the fact that the Jew always has an inner drive
to express his Divine Soul. Those who are in a position of influence,
have an inner urge to exercise this influence to the utmost possible
degree, to bring their fellow-Jews closer to our Torah, closer to the
tradition of their fathers and to the Jewish way of life. The fact that
one becomes superficially absorbed in some activity which only resemble
that of true Jewish education, or a religious activity which stresses
the Jewish heart and rightly so, but neglects to vigorously stress the
real essence of Judaism - the daily performance of the Mitzvah, and then
religion becomes a three day affair, or a matter of Yahrzeit and
Memorial Services, etc., such activities do not provide real
justification for the soul, and, hence the inner urge is not fulfilled.

No doubt you have heard the explanation of the Old Rebbe [Rabbi Shneur
Zalman] when he was asked by a Gentile scholar, what is the meaning of
"where art thou?" which G-d asked Adam; surely nothing is hidden from
G-d. The Old Rebbe then replied that when Adam committed the sin, he
experienced a Divine call demanding "where art thou?" Do you realize
what you have done and what you have been supposed to do?

The question "where art thou?" is always asked of every individual,
especially the Jew who has been endowed with Divine soul. It calls for
introspection and self-searching, in order to find one's self again.

It is clear from the above that it is quite unjustified to think that
you have permanently lost contact, etc. G-d does not demand the
impossible, and having set forth a program and a goal, He has
simultaneously given the full ability and capacity to fulfill them. It
is only that He wants everyone to fulfill his purpose in life out of his
own free choice, in spite of temptations and difficulties. If you will,
therefore, realize that you have it in you to overcome then you will
find yourself again and the contact that you are missing at present.

May G-d grant that you succeed.

                               WHO'S WHO
Shimon (Simon) was the son of Jacob and Leah. Together with his brother
Levi, he avenged his sister Dina's kidnapping and rape by Shechem. When
Jacob blessed his 12 sons before his passing, he cursed  Shimon's anger
but not Shimon himself. Although the territory of the tribe of Shimon
was within Judah's territory, Shimon's descendants were  scattered among
the other tribes so they would not be able to band together quickly in
anger as a unit.

                        A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR
                         Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman
The 9th of Kislev (which this year occurs on Tuesday, Nov. 12 2013) is
the birthday and yartzeit of the Mitteler Rebbe, Rabbi Dov Ber of

Although he was only 54 years old at the time of his passing, it is
considered auspicious when a righteous person passes away on his
(Hebrew) birthday, in fulfillment of the verse "The number of your days
I will fulfill." As is known, Moses was 120 when he passed away on his
birthday, about which our Sages commented: "The Holy One, Blessed Be He,
fills up the years of the righteous from day to day." When a righteous
person departs this world on the same day he was born, it emphasizes
that his service of G-d was "full" and complete on the material as well
as the spiritual plane.

The following day, the 10th of Kislev, is also celebrated in Chabad
circles, as it marks the date in 1826 when the Mitteler Rebbe was
released from prison. Accused of illegally channelling funds to the Holy
Land, the Mitteler Rebbe refuted all the charges against him (proving
that all monies went directly to the poor) and demonstrated that the
documents used to implicate him had been forged. Indeed, the Mitteler
Rebbe so impressed the authorities that the informer who had slandered
him was told to "stop barking like a dog."

It is said that on the Shabbat afternoon when word came that the Rebbe
would be freed, he was in the midst of delivering a Chasidic discourse
on the verse "You are One." (The Mitteler Rebbe was permitted to deliver
Chasidic discourses to 50 of his Chasidim twice a week even while
imprisoned as his doctor had informed the authorities that this was
literally what kept him alive.)

May the Mitteler Rebbe's holiday of redemption lead to the ultimate
holiday of Redemption of the entire Jewish people, with the immediate
revelation of our Righteous Moshiach.

                          THOUGHTS THAT COUNT
Surely G-d is present in this place and I did not know it  (Gen. 28:16)

When does man feel the presence of G-d? When "I did not know it"- when
the I is ignored and the person works on negating his own ego.

                                                      (Panim Yafot)

                                *  *  *

Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Charan (Gen. 28:10)

Rabbi Pinchas said, in the name of Rabbi Abahu: Whomever a person
marries is predestined by G-d. Some people must go out to meet their
mate; others have their mate come to them. Isaac's wife, Rebecca, came
to him: "And Isaac went out to meditate in the field...and he lifted up
his eyes and saw, behold, there were camels coming. And Rebecca lifted
up her eyes, and she saw Isaac." Jacob, however, had to travel to Charan
to meet his future wives.

                                                   (Breishit Rabba)

                                *  *  *

Whatever You will give me I will give a tenth to You (Gen. 28:22)

Queen Victoria of England asked famed Jewish philanthropist Sir Moses
Montefiore the extent of his wealth. "It will take me a few days to make
an accounting," he replied. Several days later he gave her his answer.
"You insult me," the Queen replied. "Everyone knows you are worth much
more than that." "Not really," Sir Moses explained. "I consider my
wealth only that which I have given to charity. Everything else I have
is only temporary and may be confiscated or lost."

                                                   (Jewish Legends)

                                *  *  *

Every one that is not speckled and spotted...shall be counted as stolen
by me. And Laban said, Yes, would that it be according to your word
(Gen. 30:33-34)

Laban agreed to this plan readily, as he sincerely hoped to find stolen
goats among Jacob's animals. Evil people derive an inordinate pleasure
in finding fault and imaginary defects in those who are honest.

                                                     (Chatam Sofer)

                            IT ONCE HAPPENED
Once a chasid travelled to Rabbi Dov Ber (known as the Mitteler Rebbe)
with a dire problem. He was renting an inn from the local poretz
(landowner), and was about to be evicted because he was unable to pay
his debts. The poretz was unwilling to wait any longer, and the Jew was
in danger not only of losing his livelihood, but his home as well.

The chasid entered the Rebbe's room for a private audience and told him
the predicament. He requested that the Rebbe write a letter for him to a
wealthy businessman named Moshe M. This man was a personal friend of the
poretz and therefore a good potential intermediary.

The Rebbe agreed and wrote the letter for him. The chasid left in good
humor, letter in hand, sure that his situation would shortly change.
However, when he left the Rebbe and read the letter, he had a shock, for
the letter was addressed to the wrong person. Instead of being addressed
to the wealthy Moshe M., the letter was addressed to Moshe A. who was as
poor as the chasid, himself. Oy, thought the chasid, the Rebbe must have
made a mistake, for what could Moshe A. possibly do for me?

The chasid turned around and went right back to the Rebbe's residence
and said to the Rebbe's attendant, "I must go back in to speak with the
Rebbe. He gave me the letter, but he made a mistake in it, and I need
him to change it."

"I'm sorry," replied the gabbai (sexton). "You cannot see the Rebbe
again so soon. There are many others waiting to be received."

"But, you don't understand," the chasid protested. "This is a matter of
the greatest importance, and it can't wait, even a day. I won't take
much of his time. The Rebbe just has to change a few words. You see, he
addressed it to the wrong person."

The conversation was overheard by the Rebbe's son, who turned and
commented, "A Rebbe doesn't make mistakes."

Seeing he wasn't going to get anywhere with the gabbai, the chasid
turned and left, meditating on the words he had just heard, "A Rebbe
doesn't make mistakes." He took this to heart and resolved to go the
next day to see Moshe A. and give him the Rebbe's letter.

When he arrived at Moshe A.'s humble cottage he told him about his
audience with the Rebbe and showed him the letter. Moshe A. was
confounded by the request that he intercede. "I would be very glad to
help you, but what can I possibly do? I have nothing whatsoever to do
with the poretz." But the chasid, who had become convinced that the
Rebbe must have had something in mind, was persistent. Finally, Moshe A.
agreed, although, one couldn't say that he knew what he was agreeing to
do. He arranged to set out the following morning to visit the poretz and
try to help his fellow chasid, as it seemed that the Rebbe had requested
him to do.

In the middle of the night there was a pounding on the door. Moshe A.
roused himself and went to the door. "Who is there?" he asked.

"Open, please, it is I, the count," came the reply. Moshe A. opened the
door, and to his astonishment, there stood the poretz, the very man he
planned to visit the following day, soaked and shivering with cold.

"Please, come in Your Honor," he said, and within an hour the poretz had
changed into dry clothing, eaten and drunk, and was feeling back to
himself. He explained that he loved hunting, and that that evening he
was deep in the forest when he had been caught in an unexpected storm.
This house had been the first one he had encountered when he left the
forest, and that is how he came to be the grateful guest of Moshe A.

Now, Moshe A. saw the Divine Providence in the unusual situation, and
when they all went to bed for the night, he retired in a state of high
anticipation as to how events would play themselves out. The next
morning the poretz arose fit as before and readied himself to go home.
Turning to his host, he said, "I am very grateful for everything you
have done for me, and I would like to repay your kindness. What can I do
for you."

Moshe A. answered, "Please, Sir, just having had the honor of helping
you is all the payment I need."

The poretz wouldn't take no for an answer, and repeated his request to
repay the Jew. When the offer was made a third time, Moshe spoke up:
"Sir, I have a brother who rents one of the inns on Your Honor's
property. Due to financial hardships of the past few years, he has been
unable to pay his rent, and he is due to lose his lease on the inn.
Might I ask Your Honor to reconsider his case?"

The poretz was immediately receptive to the request. "My friend, you are
such a good fellow, I am sure that your brother is just like you. I will
not only renew his lease, but I will also forgive his past rent. And you
know, it is very lucky that you are speaking to me about it today. Why,
I was planning to give the lease to the relative of a good friend of
mine. My friend Moshe M. spoke to me recently about his relative that
needed a position, and tomorrow I was planning to take care of the

Later, when the two chasidim met, they discussed the workings of Divine
Providence as foreseen by the Mitteler Rebbe. For had the letter been
addressed to the "right" rather than the "wrong" Moshe, the situation
would have come to a very different and unhappy end for the chasid. They
saw that indeed, "A Rebbe doesn't make a mistake."

                            MOSHIACH MATTERS
When Jacob finally left Charan to return to Israel, he was a rich man
with many possessions, though he had arrived there with neither silver,
gold, nor cattle. Although at first glance it appears that Jacob's
living amongst the idolators of Charan was a step backward, it was in
this merit that he acquired his great wealth and established his family.
So too, is it with this final exile. Although the trials and
tribulations have been many, when Moshiach comes and brings the Final
Redemption, we will first realize the great advantage and good that came
from it.

                                            (The Lubavitcher Rebbe)

               END OF TEXT - L'CHAIM 1295 - Vayetzei 5774

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