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                         L'CHAIM - ISSUE # 1332
                           Copyright (c) 2014
                 Lubavitch Youth Organization - L.Y.O.
                              Brooklyn, NY
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   Dedicated to the memory of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson N.E.
        August 1, 2014          Devarim               5 Av, 5774

                            Crying for What?

            Condensed from an article by Rabbi Eliezer Wolf

Monday evening (Aug.4 through Tuesday evening Aug.5) is Tisha B'Av (9th
day of the month of Av), the anniversary of many tragedies that befell
the Jewish people throughout our history. Most significantly, our two
holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed on this date.

Tisha B'Av typically is a day of weeping. But why do we cry? What will
we cry about? What should we cry about?

The Talmud explains, "After the destruction of the Temple, many of the
'Gates to Heaven' were closed, but the Gates of Tears forever remain
open." Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk asked rhetorically, if the Gates
always remain open, why are there gates at all? He answered that the
gates block passage to false and unwarranted tears.

So what should we cry for? When we reflect on our lives, what saddens
us? For some it might be financial woes. For others, a medical issue in
the family, or the loss of a loved one. For others still, it might be
challenges like child-rearing, infertility, sour relationships,
addictions, suffering from abuse, the list goes on.

These circumstances all evoke sadness and tears, and there is certainly
nothing wrong with weeping over them. But is this why we cry on Tisha

If someone didn't have any hardship, would there still be reason to cry?
Imagine you have a perfect life, should you still cry on Tisha B'Av?

The answer is, that we cry because after all that we have, something is
still missing - not just "something," but the very essence of
"everything." Ever since the Temple was destroyed, G-d's presence is no
longer sensed in our lives and in our world. The truth of reality is
hidden from us. The very forces that created and animate our world are
obscured. And that hurts terribly, because we live in a constant state
of spiritual darkness.

G-d created our world with purpose and design. If one would be able to
view the world through the lens of its Creator, one would see a world
beautifully orchestrated, a world which continually advances towards the
direction of refinement and destiny.

The Temple stood as a home for G-d to dwell in our world. From within
the Temple's inner sanctuary, the Divine presence manifested throughout
the world. The truth of reality was apparent to all who wished to see.

But in the exile, we live behind the curtain, and we aren't privy to
this cosmic performance. We may hear sounds and movement, but we can't
discern any true context.

And this is the source of all pain and suffering. Nothing can be worse
than living life without understanding the ways of G-d.

The Maggid of Mezritch explained the state of exile as a game of
hide-and-seek; a father hides so his child will seek and find him. The
father plays this game to arouse a greater love; the more a child yearns
for his parent, the stronger his love grows. Similarly, G-d hid Himself
in the exile so that we would search for Him, and strengthen our
connection and love for Him.

But in a heart-wrenching talk (in 1979), the Lubavitcher Rebbe asked:
What if the father is hidden too well and for too long, and the child
stops searching? That is the greatest exile, a doubled-darkness.

"More than 19 centuries since the destruction, after the 'game' has gone
on for far too long," the Rebbe sobbed, "perhaps the question is no
longer on the child but rather on G-d. How could a loving father remain
hidden for so long? A father can't expect from his child more than his
capability. After so long, it becomes the father's responsibility to
'give up playing' and to reveal himself once again to his child! For how
long will this painful exile continue? Ad mosai?"

There is so much pain in the world. Soldiers die in battle; parents
tragically mourn children; people suffer terrible illness; marriages are
challenged; children suffer abuse; there is an epidemic of depression;
terror is rampant; divisiveness plagues families and communities; and
the list goes on. For this we cry, because we are pained.

But as a people, we cry for another reason as well. Because our Father
in Heaven is hidden. Because we live with confusion, doubt and
disbelief. Because we can't understand what is going on. We feel
forlorn.Ultimately, this calamity is the source for all our suffering.
When G-d is hidden, the world seems chaotic.

This Tisha B'Av let us all pray together. "Dear G-d, we can't bear any
more. You ask too much from us. It's been too long. End this exile now.
Protect our brethren in Israel. Bring the world to its intended destiny.
We need to see You more than ever. Quickly, rebuild the third and final
Temple, reveal your holy presence, and restore Israel to her former
glory, Amen."

    Rabbi Wolf is the rabbi of Beit David Highland Lakes Shul in
    Aventura Florida. He can be reached at

This week we read Devarim, the first portion in the Book of Deuteronomy.
The Book of Deuteronomy is unique; unlike the first four books of the
Torah, the Talmud relates that Moses transmitted Deuteronomy to the
Jewish people "by himself," that is, "in the spirit of prophecy."

There are many levels of prophecy, the highest of which was embodied by
Moses. Accordingly, every word that Moses uttered "by himself" was said
"in the spirit of prophecy,"; "the Divine Presence issued forth from
Moses' throat." Moses was totally and completely united with G-dliness.

The same principle applies to the innovations in Torah that have come
down to us through the ages via our Sages. The revelation that occurred
at Sinai included "everything that a scholar would later innovate; all
was given to Moses at Sinai." The words of the Talmudic Sages do not
represent their own thoughts; they are an integral part of the same
Torah that was revealed to Moses and have the same validity. The only
difference is the method of transmission, i.e., these conclusions were
arrived at through our Sages' Torah study and their extrapolation of its

Deuteronomy is also known as Mishne Torah, "the repetition of Torah."
Yet it does not merely repeat the earlier stated laws; without
Deuteronomy we would not understand how to implement many commandments
enumerated in the earlier Books.

The process of revelation is ongoing and continual. In every generation
our Torah scholars issue new directives that are just as binding upon us
as earlier ones. Failure to heed our Sages' words impairs the totality
of Torah, going beyond the narrow concerns of a given directive. Indeed,
the new directives help us observe the Torah properly; without them we
cannot keep the Torah's commandments as they must be kept.

Deuteronomy was disclosed to the generation of Jews that was about to
enter the land of Israel. No longer would they be leading a purely
spiritual existence; once in Israel, they would be actively involved in
material affairs, thereby establishing a "dwelling place for G-d in the
lower realms."

In truth, the generation of Jews that lived in the desert could have
received the Torah directly from G-d. But the generation that would be
entering Israel and adopting a more worldly life style needed to have
the Torah transmitted through Moses. Moses was the "intermediary" who
connected the Jewish people with G-dliness. In fact, it was precisely
because of their connection with the materiality that Deuteronomy had to
come through Moses.

This principle has applied throughout our history. We must never forget
that regardless of the method of transmission or how recent the
innovation, the directives of our Torah Sages are all part of the
totality of Torah that was revealed to Moses. Furthermore, it is by
observing the directives of the Moses of our own generation that we will
merit the fulfillment of destiny with the coming of Moshiach, may it be

                              Adapted from Likutei Sichot, Volume 4

                             SLICE OF LIFE
As a Conservative rabbi for 20 years I had attended my share of hospital
visits and, in more severe situations, stood with the family alongside
their loved one as he or she left this world. That is why when my father
lay in his hospital bed with hours remaining to his life I wanted my
moment with him; and indeed, I knew the importance of that moment.

It was Saturday night and the doctors said he would most likely pass
sometime the next day. The conflict was in front of me; I was to
officiate at a funeral that Sunday morning but I wanted to stay with my
father. Every rabbi knows that often he has to tend to his flock prior
to even his own family, but there is only one time when the soul leaves
the body and I had been there for others; it just felt correct and fair
that I should be there for my own beautiful father.

But the family who had already sustained their loss was counting on me
and it seemed like the logistical choice to preside at the funeral and
then rush back to the hospital, hopefully in time. As I drove to the
graveside funeral that Sunday morning I kept wondering if my father was
perhaps leaving this world at that very second and I was not there. The
clock was ticking. I arrived at the Queens, New York cemetery and found
the open grave, situated alongside the very edge of the grounds next to
the fence on Francis Lewis Boulevard. Trying not to let the mourners
realize that I was on borrowed time, I respectfully recited prayers; but
my heart and head were miles away. I didn't want to rush, but I had to
be efficient while being compassionate, as they deserved their sacred
time as well.

Perhaps I didn't notice it right away because of all that was whirling
through my mind, but just a few feet away was a tremendously large mass
of human beings in a line. All types, looks, styles and ages stood there
waiting; they were entering and exiting a small structure right there in
the cemetery.

Although I was not involved with Chabad, I realized that this place was
the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. I knew that there had been
this master rabbi of Chabad who was very special and who with great
wisdom and compassion advised everyone from the homeless to heads of
state. And now he obviously continued to draw hundreds of souls waiting
for a moment of his time.

I thought about all this while juggling the funeral Psalms and
sentences, as well as the sustained thought in my mind about wanting to
be with my father. The eulogies and interment finally concluded and
although I am usually the last one to leave, I knew what I had to do;
but something stopped me from fleeing.

I was drawn to the sight of the Rebbe's grave. When I was a teenager
growing up on Long Island, I remember our Conservative synagogue's youth
group had a field trip for a Shabbat in Brooklyn. At the time I really
didn't know much about where we went, other than we were observing the
day of rest in traditional homes and eating Sabbath foods. I remember
seeing a noisy tumultuous room of black beards and hats come to a
complete silent stand still as a white bearded man walked through an
aisle that was instantaneously created by two walls of attentive,
respectful men.

I also recall the memorable fun and interesting songs we sang that
Shabbat afternoon, "Ufaratzta," "Ain't Gonna Work on Saturday," and
"Little Bird." But why am I thinking about beards and "Ufaratzta"? I
need to run to the car, jump in and race to the hospital.

I truthfully don't remember how it happened, but I found myself in that
structure known as the Ohel where the Rebbe rests alongside his
father-in-law, the Previous Rebbe. People encircled the graves with
their pleas and supplications; perhaps they were petitioning for health
issues or business deals or brides to find grooms. My prayers for health
had concluded the night before with the knowledge of the inevitable; I
just wanted to be with my father when he passed from this world.

Even though the clock was still ticking, the sentiment of the very first
of the seven Lubavitcher Rebbes is so true. Sometimes the long road gets
you to your destination faster than the short trail, which will delay
your journey. I took the time to place my tearful request.

Upon my arrival to the hospital my family was gathered around the bed
and they all grabbed a well-deserved break from the difficult emotional
moments they were experiencing; I found myself alone in the room with my
father. Never have I witnessed such a dignified, noble, sacred exit of
one's G-dly soul from this material world. The date was Tisha B'Av, the
ninth of Av. Who could have thought that the most tragic day on the
Jewish calendar could feel a little more pain?

My father had shown me how to walk and dance on this earth and I had the
great merit and honor to learn from him how to step from this world as

I saw the Rebbe from afar when I was a teenager, and then I experienced
his compassionate blessings and warmth up close in the Ohel that very
memorable Sunday of Tisha B'Av. As a Chabad Jew today, I have continued
to form a deep relationship with this Rebbe through literally the
hundreds and hundreds of his beautiful Shluchim, emissaries, that I have
visited on my speaking tours throughout the world.

My father, may he rest in peace, I am sure is proud to know that his
grandson Adam and his granddaughter Shira are now Lubavitcher Chasidim;
and that they both lead lives of true Yiddishkeit, as they pursue the
Rebbe's directives to follow Torah and mitzvos, to conduct acts of
kindness and to endeavor to transform darkness into light.

    Dr. David Nesenoff is a world-renowned inspirational speaker and
    writer on Jewish topics including Chabad, anti-Semitism, Israel,
    Shabbat, women in Judaism, and relationships.

                               WHAT'S NEW
                             New Emissaries

Rabbi Yosef and Bina Goldwasser will soon be arriving in Mobile, Alabama
to establish a new Chabad Center there. Mobile is the largest
municipality on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans, Louisiana, and St.
Petersburg, Florida.

Rabbi Akiva and Hannah Hall are moving to Miloxi, Mississippi, to
establish Chabad Lubavitch of Southern Mississippi. Rabbi Akiva is
originally from MIssissippi. Now that Mississippi will have permanent
emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, South Dakota is the only state in
the U.S.A. that does not yet have a permanent Chabad presence.

Rabbi Levi and Adina Tiechtel will be arriving soon in West Lafayette,
Indiana, where they will establish a new Chabad on Campus center at
Purdue University. Purdue has the fourth largest international student
population of any university in the United States.

Rabbi Pinchas and Mushky will be arriving soon in Palm Harbor, Florida,
where they be program directors at Chabad of Pinellas County serving
Jewish communities on Florida's Gulf coast.

                            THE REBBE WRITES
                          5 Kislev 5729 [1968]

Blessing and Greeting:

I duly received your letter postmarked November 20th, as well as your
previous letter.

In reply to your correspondence, and pursuant to our conversation during
your visit here, I want to reiterate that every person, in order to be
able to express himself fully and be successful in his work, must have a
certain measure of independence. This is particularly true in the case
of a person whose main activity is intellectual and spiritual,
especially in the field of research, where independence of thought and
decision is a basic condition of the scientific approach. And inasmuch
as a human being is a single entity, it is inevitable that inhibition in
one area is bound to have an effect on other areas of one's activity.

The above does not imply that a wife should completely withhold her
opinions or suggestions which she considers it her duty to express to
her husband. On the contrary, no person should withhold any idea that
can be beneficial to any Jew, not to mention when it concerns the best
interests of husband and wife, both of whom are like one entity.
Nevertheless, you ought to leave your husband a considerable measure of
independence in making final decisions. And knowing you and him, I am
certain that the proper decisions will be made.

I am gratified to note from your writing that your husband has resumed
his research in earnest, and may G-d grant that it be with much
hatzlocha [success].

As for the question of taking time out as a consultant, etc., it is my
opinion, as I mentioned in our conversation, that if this will not
interfere with his research work, it would be all right. For, as I have
emphasized, his essential work lies in the field of research, and it
should have primary attention, all the more so since there has been a
considerable interruption.

With regard to the question of stocks, my opinion is that they should
not be sold if there would be a loss, G-d forbid. Otherwise stocks
should be sold on the advice of an experienced broker at such time the
broker thinks is right for the particular stock.

Generally speaking, I have no right to withhold my general opinion that
it is not a good idea to invest in stocks the major part of one's
savings. In addition to the consideration that such an investment would
be of questionable financial prudence, there is also the factor of the
nervous strain that the stock market fluctuations cause to the investor.
Also because such a situation is completely independent of the
investor's intelligence and judgment, or at any rate, largely so.
Finally, the present day and age is full of unpredictable developments,
and the market is highly sensitive to national and international events.
In view of all this, those who ask my advice with regard to the stock
market, my usual advice is to rather forgo a percentage of dividends,
and invest in more secure and suitable investments.

I emphasize "those who ask my advice." However, since you have not asked
my advice, I will not say that you should necessarily act accordingly.
May G-d grant that whatever you decide should be with hatzlocha to enjoy
your parnosah [livelihood], and to use your earnings on good, wholesome,
and happy things, especially in the advancement in matters of
Yiddishkeit [Judaism] in general, and the Torah-true education of the
children in particular, and that you and your husband should bring them
up to a life of Torah, chuppah [marriage], and good deeds, in good
health and ample sustenance.

May G-d grant that you should have good news to report, including also
good news about having been successful in finding a suitable apartment
in a desirable neighborhood, as you mention in your letter.

With blessing,

P.S. While the letter was addressed to you, since it is in reply to your
letter, it goes without saying that you may show it to your husband, and
convey to him my best regards at the same time.

                              TODAY IS ...
                             5 Menachem Av

"Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." On this
verse from Psalms the Baal Shem Tov commented: Every permissible
physical object possesses good and evil. The material element is evil,
and the G-dly life-force that gives life to the physical is good. The
person utilizing the physical object must "turn from evil" - not desire
the physical pleasure which is in its materiality, and "do good," i.e.
he should desire to be nourished and supported by the G-dly vitality in
that object. "Seek peace and pursue it": Whoever fulfills "turn from
evil and do good" must seek and pursue means for making peace between
the physical and the G-dly life-force that vitalizes it.

                        A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR
                         Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman
This Shabbat is Shabbat Chazon. "Chazon" in Hebrew means vision. It is
called thus because of the Haftara reading on this Shabbat before Tisha
B'Av known as "Chazon Yishayahu" - the Vision of Isaiah

When you say to a human being that he or she is a person of vision, it
is a great compliment. Vision means that a person has the capability of
seeing not only what today holds, but what the future will bring. A
person of vision can never be down, he will never be broken, because he
sees not only the present but the future, as well.

There is a saying of Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev: Why is this
Shabbat called Shabbat Chazon? Because every Jew has a vision of the
Third Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple) on this Shabbat. Every Jew can see
it. But, of course, in order to do so, one needs sensitive eyes.
Nevertheless, the Beit Hamikdash is shown to us, and although our
physical eyes might not behold it, our souls, our spirit, the
metaphysical in us, see it and long for it.

This is similar to the Rebbe's encouragement to us to "open our eyes"
and see that we are literally on the threshold of the Redemption. The
Rebbe taught that everything is ready, even the table is set for the
glorious "meal" that will take place at that time. All that we need to
do is to "open our eyes" and see the true reality of what is around us.

Let us elevate ourselves from our mundane routine and envision the
greatness and glory of our people as it will be revealed speedily in our

                          THOUGHTS THAT COUNT
It was in the 40th year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the
month... (Deut. 1:3)

Moses did not rebuke the Jews until he, himself was near death,
according to Rashi. When a person is about to pass away, and is on the
border between this world and the next, his words of instruction and
reproof have a special influence. At this point, no personal prejudices
or ulterior motives can be ascribed to him.

                                                (Devarim Nechmadim)

                                *  *  *

G-d should add on to you accordingly one thousandfold (Deut. 1:11)

Why did Moses bless the Jews after rebuking them? It is told that the
"Seer" of Lublin once berated himself in very harsh terms as if he were
the most renegade sinner. Hearing this, his disciples were seized with
fear: "If our teacher is worthy of such, what is our lot?" The Seer felt
their uneasiness and remarked, "May your grandchildren be no worse than
me." So too with Moses. Having rebuked the Jews, he continued with words
of encouragement, "Even though I rebuked you, I still ask that it be
G-d's will that there be many like you in generations to come.

                                *  *  *

And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between
your brethren (Deut. 1:16)

It is only during the present era, "at that time," that it is necessary
to listen to both sides of a dispute to reach a just decision. When
Moshiach comes and ushers in the Messianic era, judgment will be
rendered through the sense of smell, as it states, "He will smell the
fear of G-d, and he will not judge after the sight of his eyes and
decide after the hearing of his ears."

                                                    (Kedushat Levi)

                            IT ONCE HAPPENED
Some 100 years before the expulsion of Jews from the countries under
Spanish rule, Spanish Jewry was divided into two major segments: those
who remained loyal to Judaism despite all the persecutions to which they
were subject, and some 250,000 "New-Christians" who had embraced the
dominant faith at least publicly.

But even these lived a life of isolation and fear. They were cut off
from those of their Jewish brethren who had remained Jews. They were
likewise afraid to maintain contact with each other lest they be
suspected of harboring an attachment to their Jewish past.

Neither were they absorbed among the "Old Christians," who continued to
hate them and to spy on them day and night, in order to hand them over
to the church for judgment over the sin of relapsing from their new

Those Jews were called "marranos" by the Old Christians. The word
"marranos" means pigs. That is to say, that they were regarded as
growing fat from the labor of others, and as people from whom others
could derive no benefit other than through their death, when their flesh
could be eaten.

The Jews who had remained Jews publicly, were faced only with the threat
of expulsion, whereas the Marranos were faced by the penalty of being
burned alive publicly for the sin of disloyalty to Christianity.

The marranos were constantly spied upon. At times the accusations
against them were truthful. At other times, their enemies fabricated
lying accusations against them in order to acquire their wealth and

Eighteen years before the expulsion, Torquemada, the most brutal among
the Catholic priests, set up the Inquisition; a special tribunal to
impose penalties upon those discovered to have been disloyal to the

Ostensibly, the activities of the Inquisition were related to all
Christians. In reality, it was the "heresy" of the Marranos which was
the major concern of the Inquisition.

Upwards of 30,000 of the marranos were condemned to death by the
Inquisition and they were burned alive. Other tens of thousands were
condemned to physical torture more horrible than death. Most of these
sanctified the Name of G-d in death.

The repeated confessions of the tortured that they had remained loyal to
the Torah and Judaism, infuriated the inquisitors and their agents, and
caused them to persecute the Marranos ever more relentlessly.

The repeated confessions also provided the inquisitors with further
arguments in their efforts to prevail upon King Ferdinand to issue an
expulsion edict against all the remaining Jews. For "as long as Jews
would continue to live in Spain, they would continue to influence their
brothers, the 'New Christians' to adhere to the faith of their fathers."

Writes Don Yitzchak Abarbanel in his commentary to Jeremiah: "When the
King of Spain decreed expulsion against all the Jews in his kingdom, the
date of expulsion was set at the end of three months from the day when
the decree was proclaimed. It turned out that the day set for the
departure of the Jews from Spain was the ninth of Av ['Tisha B'Av']. But
the king did not know the character of the day when he issued his edict.
It was as if he had been led from Above to fix this time."

The exiles went forth on the road in groups. Groups of various sizes
preceded the great departure on the ninth of Av, and left during the
three week period between the 17th of Tammuz and the ninth of Av. And
although these days are days of mourning and weeping over the
destruction of the Sanctuary and the land of Israel, and music is
forbidden during these days, nevertheless the Sages of the generation
issued permission to the exiles to march to the music of orchestras.

The musicians were to march at the head of the exiles and were to play
on instruments in order to strengthen the spirit of the people, and to
infuse in them hope and trust in G-d.

They uttered thanksgiving and thanks to their Creator over having
withstood the test and not having submitted to conversion, and over
their having achieved the merit of sanctifying G-d's Name by their
departure from Spain.

It also was the aim of the Rabbis in permitting the playing of
instruments at the time, to teach the people that we never weep over
departure from exile; that we weep only over our departure from

           Reprinted from The Book of Our Heritage by Rabbi Eliyahu
                            Kitov, published by Feldheim Publishers

                            MOSHIACH MATTERS
When one considers the truthfulness and majesty of what was once there
upon the Temple Mount, how can one look at the pathetic, crumbling
segment of a haphazardly reconstructed retaining wall that remains and
feel inspired? Then I came to appreciate that it is not the Wall that
makes the sanctity of the place. It is the energy of the people who come
here, the precious souls of all colors who merge together in the fading
twilight and become one, embracing the oneness and each other, if even
for a brief momentary taste of what could be, of what must be.

                                  (Izzy Greenberg, Exodus Magazine)

               END OF TEXT - L'CHAIM 1332 - Devarim 5774

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