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                         L'CHAIM - ISSUE # 1429
                           Copyright (c) 2016
                 Lubavitch Youth Organization - L.Y.O.
                              Brooklyn, NY
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   Dedicated to the memory of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson N.E.
        July 8, 2016             Korach            2 Tamuz, 5776

                            A Perfect World

Soup Kitchens. Cancer Research. Homelessness. Israel Advocacy. Seniors.

We want to fix the wrongs of the world, to abolish prejudice, to
alleviate poverty, to wipe out war, to find cures for all illness and to
give every person of any stripe or color the education they so
rightfully deserve.

At the core of our very beings, we want a perfect world and we want to
be a part of perfecting that world.

Sometimes, most of the time, we get so caught up in the rat-race of our
day-to-day lives that we forget our desire - no, our need - for a
perfect world. But the passion is always there, waiting until we
reorient ourselves, re-prioritize our lives, reestablish our true goals.

This is the essence of the thousands year old desire for Moshiach.

As physical human beings, we are a fusion of body and soul. It is not
enough for us to feel a need; we must act upon those feelings and
perform concrete actions that will bring us ever closer to our goal. And
we must use every fibre of our physical beings and even our possessions
to reach our objective:

    *) A hand giving charity,

    *) Fingers striking a match to kindle Shabbat and holiday candles,

    *) A mouth speaking respectful words,

    *) Feet walking to visit the sick or elderly,

    *) A body immersing in the "living waters" of the mikva

    *) Knees bending, so as to see eye-to-eye with a child when
    imparting an ethical teaching

    *) A stomach digesting kosher food,

    *) Money purchasing Jewish books

    *) A mind comprehending a Torah thought,

    *) Eyes noticing a mezuza on the door post,

    *) An arm and head with tefilin wrapped around them

    *) A heart feeling love for another Jew,

The Rebbe said that we are on the threshold of a perfected world, a
perfect world, the days of Moshiach. He enjoined every man, woman and
child to do everything possible to hasten the eternal era of peace,
prosperity, health, and knowledge that will commence with the

Maimondes said that every person should view the entire world as
balanced between good and evil. Each person's one good deed can tip the
scale to the side of good and bring Redemption to himself and the entire

No one knows which person or what act will tip the scale. Let's all try.

This week's Torah portion, Korach, discusses Korach's controversy with
Moses. Though bitter and unhappy that the priesthood was given to Aaron
and his sons, and that he was not appointed as the head of his family,
these reasons were not sufficient to incite Korach to war against Moses.
Korach's rebellion came about only after the incident of the spies.

Why was this the final straw? The spies' claim was that in order to
remain close to G-d it was necessary for the Jews to stay in the desert.
They did not want to enter the Land because they feared that involvement
in a physical lifestyle would be detrimental to their spirituality.
Moses corrected them on this point, saying that "action is the most
important thing." The goal is the performance of mitzvot (commandments),
which could only be accomplished in the physical world of the Land of
Israel, not the atmosphere enjoyed by the Jews in the desert.

Moses' answer is what caused Korach to openly rebel against him. Korach
certainly knew that in both Torah learning and in spiritual stature
Moses and Aaron stood head and shoulders above the rest of the
congregation. But when Korach heard from Moses that the most important
thing was not spiritual achievement but the deeds themselves, he said,
"Why do you hold yourself above us? If action is the most important
thing, then you and I and every single Jew - no matter who he may be -
perform the same mitzvot! How are you any greater than we are, that you
should be our leader?"

Thus, Korach's mistake was the same as that of the spies; both mistakes
stemmed from a faulty understanding of the true nature of things. The
spies erroneously stressed the importance of spirituality, to the
exclusion of the physical, and Korach claimed that the physical
performance of mitzvot took precedence and negated the necessity for
spiritual involvement. Both Korach and the spies failed to see that the
two aspects are important and dependent upon each other.

G-d wants us to have both; the proper spiritual intentions and the
actual performance of the mitzva itself. Having the proper intentions
infuses the mitzva with life and vitality. We must be spiritually
connected to G-d and at the same time careful to keep all the minutest
physical details of the commandments. These two aspects of religious
observance comprise one unified whole in much the same way that human
beings are comprised of both body and soul. One without the other is not

The spies did not understand that spirituality must accompany the
physical, and Korach's sin was that he did not understand that "a mitzva
without the proper intention is like a body without a soul." The proper
spiritual connection to G-d is an integral part of our performance of

                             SLICE OF LIFE
                            Is this Correct?
                            by Yehudis Cohen

"My wife Rivky and I moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1994 as emissaries
of the Rebbe," begins Rabbi Levi Klein. Rabbi Klein is relating a story
that took place nearly a decade ago, but is as fresh in his mind today
as if it happened just this morning.

"We had been living in Memphis for 13 years. Over the course of those
year we had tried numerous times to purchase various properties to serve
as the Chabad Center. I worked on seven or eight different projects,
each one taking time, effort and money. But none of them came to

And then, a property came up that seemed to be very suitable. Some
community members were more enthusiastic than others, especially since
the location was not where they had hoped to make the Chabad Center, but
to Rabbi Klein "the 6 acre property with an 11,000 square foot building
itself was ideal."

"I was travelling to New York. Usually when I fly to New York I stop
first at the Ohel (the Rebbe's resting place) and then afterwards I go
to my parents' home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn." Rather than write a
brief note once he had arrived at the Ohel, which is what Rabbi Klein
usually does, this time he wrote a letter to the Rebbe during the long
plane ride.

"I decided to pour out my heart to the Rebbe, which was uncharacteristic
of me. I started the letter, 'It will soon be 13 years that we are in
Memphis...' I shared with the Rebbe how much time, effort and money we
had invested in building projects that had failed. I assured the Rebbe
that I was ready to do it again with this newest property. But I was
asking the Rebbe to send me a sign. I was sure that with the Rebbe's
blessing everything would fall into place and the project would come to
fruition. I closed with the question about purchasing the property, 'Is
this the correct thing?' "

After arriving at the airport in New York, Rabbi Klein took a taxi to
the Ohel. He read his letter, tore it up as is customary, and went on to
Crown Heights.

"That night, I was sitting at the dinner table in my parents' home. My
father jumped up from his seat and said suddenly, 'I have a tzetel
("note" in Yiddish) that I want to give to you.' And with that my father
ran upstairs to get the note."

Rabbi Klein's father, Rabbi Benyomin Klein of blessed memory, was a
member of the Rebbe's secretariat. "My father came down carrying a note
that he had given to the Rebbe 27 years earlier. In the note, my father
was asking the Rebbe when should be my Bar Mitzva celebration. My
birthday was 13 Tammuz which was a Friday that year." The Jewish day
starts at nightfall, so Levi would become a Bar Mitzva Thursday evening.
Typically, the Bar Mitzva celebration would be made Thursday evening,
but being that 12-13 Tammuz is the holiday of redemption of the Previous
Rebbe from Czarist imprisonment, it would be marked by the Rebbe with a
Chassidic gathering on Thursday night. So Rabbi Klein was suggesting
that they make the celebration a few days later, on Sunday evening

"My son will soon be 13 years" the note began. Rabbi Levi Klein was
stunned. This note started out almost identically to the note he had
written to the Rebbe hours earlier on the plane. Rabbi Klein read the
brief note of just a few lines and was stunned again when he saw the
question his father had posed at the end, identical to the question he
had written just a short while ago: "Is this the correct thing?"

The Rebbe's response, written on the note that Rabbi Levi Klein now held
in his hand, was a blessing. "May it take place in a good and auspicious
time, I will mention it at the tziyon (resting place of the Previous

When Rabbi Klein returned to Memphis, he began negotiations for the
property. With the Rebbe's clear blessings everything fell into place.
The property was purchased, the building was renovated, and over the
nine years it has become clear that the location is an excellent one;
Chabad has thrived and grown!

                                *  *  *

                        by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger

Rabbi Avraham Gluck was a successful English lighting contractor with
interests in many European countries. He was also a dedicated follower
of the Rebbe. At a private audience, the Rebbe told him that every Jew
is like a light bulb, waiting for another Jew to help him glow. His
mission, the Rebbe emphasized, was to spread spiritual light as well as
electric light throughout the continent. Rabbi Gluck dedicated himself
to this purpose with self-sacrifice and as result there are Chabad
Houses in Hungary, Germany, and Spain.

Once Rabbi Gluck found himself confronted by a particular difficulty.
His natural reaction was to consult the Rebbe, and the Rebbe responded
with a letter offering blessing and advice.

In addition to his business acumen, Rabbi Gluck was also a devoted
father. He kept up a steady correspondence with his son Herschel who at
the time was studying in France. One of the points he sought to share
with him was an understanding of the Rebbe-chassid relationship and he
wanted to show his son the letter the Rebbe had sent him.

He did not feel comfortable sending the Rebbe's letter by ordinary mail,
so when a French yeshivah student appeared in England, he asked him to
hand-deliver the letter to his son.

The yeshiva student agreed and took the letter. But as it happens, he
did not have the opportunity to deliver the letter immediately. It was
put aside, placed in a book and then forgotten.

Almost 20 years later, and about six years after Rabbi Gluck's passing,
his son was troubled by the same difficulty. As a dedicated chassid,
despite the fact that it is more than five years after the Rebbe's
passing, he too wrote a letter to the Rebbe.

About that time, a French chassid was putting the books in his study in
order. While doing so, he noticed a letter inserted between the pages.

On his next trip to England, he somewhat sheepishly made his way to the
home of Rabbi Gluck's son. He knew of Rabbi Gluck's passing, but felt
that his son would appreciate having the letter the Rebbe had sent his

He apologized profusely and gave Rabbi Gluck's son the letter. Rabbi
Gluck's son accepted his apologies and thanked him. He then curiously
opened the letter the Rebbe had sent his father. There was a blessing
and advice that served as a most appropriate response to the letter he
had so recently written.

There is no way we can fail to appreciate the working of G-d's hand, in
this narrative. And one can only be amazed at how the Rebbe "answers"
those who seek to connect to him.

After the passing of his father-in-law, the Previous Rebbe, the Rebbe
urged the chassidim to continue writing to the Previous Rebbe as they
had done before. "Don't worry," the Rebbe assured them, "the Previous
Rebbe will find a way to answer."

                               WHAT'S NEW
                              Published by
                      Lubavitch Youth Organization
                 1408 President St, Brooklyn, NY, 11213
                           phone 718 778 6000

                   Chairman		Rabbi Dovid Raskin A.H.
                     Director		Rabbi Shmuel Butman
                 Program director	Rabbi Kasriel Kastel
                   Secretary		Rabbi Moshe P. Goldman
                  Administrator		Rabbi Shlomo Friedman
                 Associate Editor		Dovid Y. B. Kaufmann
              Chairman Editorial Comm.	Rabbi Nissen Mangel
                        Rebbe photo		S. Roumani

        L'Chaim contains words from sacred literature. Please do
                         not deface or discard.

              All contents  2014 by L.Y.O. ISSN 1050 0480

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                            THE REBBE WRITES
                         2 Tammuz, 5727 [1967]

Your letter reached me with some delay. In the meantime I was pleased to
see your husband at the farbrengen [chasidic gathering] here.

As for the subject matter of your letter, you surely know that the Torah
tells us that the conquest of the promised Holy Land was to take place
by stages. The same applies, in a deeper sense, to the personal conquest
of the self.

In other words, when it comes to personal advancement in matters of
Yiddishkeit [Judaism], the best method is sometimes precisely in the way
of a gradual conquest, step by step, and stage by stage, rather than by
means of a drastic change.

Of course there are certain situations and matters where a drastic
change may be necessary, but by and large steady progress is usually
steadier than progress by fits and starts.

In light of the above, and in regard to the matter which you mentioned,
it is possible that you may be pushing a little too hard. It is perhaps
advisable that inasmuch as you have expressed your opinion, and it was
not accepted, it is better to leave it alone until such time as the
other party will himself come to the same conclusion. I trust that this
will come to pass sooner than you anticipate.

I trust that you have begun your summer vacation in a suitable way, and
may G-d grant that the vacation will generate new strength and power to
be able to carry on all good activities with increased vigor.

Above all, I reiterate the central point, namely that you and your
husband should together bring up your children in good health and
happiness, materially and spiritually.

We have now entered the particularly auspicious month, the month of
Tammuz, with the anniversary of the liberation of my father-in-law of
saintly memory, the history of which is undoubtedly familiar to you.

This anniversary is not something which affected only the personal fate
of my father-in-law of saintly memory, but was of far-reaching
consequences for Russian Jewry and world Jewry as a whole.

Indeed, my father-in-law of saintly memory, referring to his miraculous
geula [redemption], wrote explicitly to that effect, saying, "It was not
me personally that G-d had saved, but it was a salvation for Yiddishkeit
in general."

The anniversary therefore is an occasion for celebration and inspiration
for each and every one of us every year at this time.

When it comes to personal advancement in matters of Judaism, the best
method is sometimes precisely in the way of a gradual conquest, step by
step, and stage by stage...

But this year is particularly significant inasmuch as it will mark the
fortieth anniversary. As our Sages explained, the completion of forty
years provides special understanding, appreciation and insight into the
mind and personality of one's teacher.

I trust you will suitably observe this coming anniversary on the 12-
13th of Tammuz, and derive lasting inspiration from it.

The obvious lesson which we must draw from it is this:

If a Jew can accomplish so much for Yiddishkeit single-handedly, despite
overwhelming odds and obstacles, how much must each and everyone one of
us try to do our share, being fortunate in living under infinitely
better circumstances, with complete freedom of action to strengthen and
spread Torah-Yiddishkeit.

With regards to the whole family and with the blessing of Chag HaGeula
[holiday of liberation],

                              ALL TOGETHER
We stand in the year of Hakhel which causes an elevation (ariber) in all
of Israel, the men women and children, until the very infants, are all
elevated by the ingathering of the exiles together, which has an affect
on the very place where they gather (even at the time that the physical
Temple is not yet standing), that the place should be a holy place [holy
means above time and space, unified with G-d]..."

                                            (The Rebbe, 13 Tishrei)

                        A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR
                         Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman
A Rebbe is a comprehensive soul, a soul that is connected to and
understands every other soul. In the book Hayom Yom, compiled by the
Rebbe from the teachings of the previous Rebbes, it says that when the
Rebbe - the comprehensive soul - prays and there is an ascent of his
soul on high, at that very moment he connects with every single Jew in
the generation.

In Jewish law the needs of the community, supersede the needs of the
individual. Thus, an individual must be willing to sacrifice for the
community. How much more so does this apply to the Rebbe, a
comprehensive soul. And even though the "private life" of the Rebbe is
minimal, even though his needs are minimal, the needs of the community,
of the world community, supersede the Rebbe's minimal needs.

On the third of Tammuz, 1958, the Rebbe stated about the Previous Rebbe:
"In the case of a spiritual leader and shepherd of Israel, his entire
raison d'etre is to promote the welfare of his contemporaries and to
guide them. (His 'private' affairs are incomparably less important to
him.) ...

"We don't understand why the Rebbe's physical life had to end, but it is
the needs of the community that dictated it. In the case of a
comprehensive soul, his private affairs are also relevant to all

What are the needs of the Rebbe? "I need my children [disciples]." These
were the words with which Rabbi Yehuda the Prince left his children and
disciples. These are the words which the Rebbe expounded upon after the
passing of the Previous Rebbe. These are the Rebbe's needs.

What does the Rebbe "need his children" for? To actualize the

We can accomplish this through fulfilling the Rebbe's directives:
studying about Moshiach and the Redemption; increasing in acts of
goodness and kindness; living with the daily reality of Moshiach;
sharing this information with others.

And soon, as the Rebbe said, we will "merit to see and be together with
the Rebbe... and he will redeem us."

                          THOUGHTS THAT COUNT
The Torah portion of Korach

How is it possible that a portion of the Torah is named after a sinner
as great as Korach? The Torah wants to emphasize that we can learn
something constructive even from Korach's bitter controversy. Just as
Korach wanted to be a High Priest, every Jew should similarly desire to
draw near to G-d.

                                                   (Likutei Sichot)

                                *  *  *

And Korach took [a bold step]...together with Datan and Aviram...and
Ohn, the son of Pelet (Num. 16:1)

The Torah criticizes Datan and Aviram more than any other participants
in Korach's rebellion as they mixed into a controversy that was none of
their business. They weren't firstborn sons who might have resented
having the priesthood taken away from them, nor were they even from the
tribe of Levi. The priesthood was none of their concern.

                                                   (Machane Belula)

                                *  *  *

And Moses sent to call Datan and Aviram (Num. 16:12)

It states in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 106): "From this we learn that one
should not 'hold on' to controversy." Even if several attempts to make
peace have been made without success, it is forbidden to throw up one's
hands and assume that nothing more can be done. Rather, one must
continue one's efforts until peace is attained. Thus despite the fact
that Moses had already spoken to Datan and Aviram several times, he
attempted one more time to dissuade them.

                                          (Rabbi Yitzchak of Vorky)

                                *  *  *

And you shall give there of the heave-offering of the L-rd to Aaron the
Priest (Num. 18:28)

If, as we read in the Torah, Aaron the Priest passed away in the desert
before entering the Land of Israel, how would the Jews be able to
fulfill this commandment? Rather, this is an allusion to a time after
the Resurrection of the Dead, when Aaron will again be alive and able to
receive his due.

                                                  (Peninei HaGeula)

                            IT ONCE HAPPENED
In 1980, Russia was still under tyrannical Soviet rule. In spite of all
the persecution, a religious awakening began among the Jews of the
Soviet Union.

A special envoy of  the Lubavitcher Rebbe arrived in the Soviet Union.
He was surprised by the extreme devotion of the younger generation,
which, despite the persecutions, had ignited the ember of Judaism. At
the end of his visit, he told Dr. Yitzhak Kogan, one of the Chabad
underground activists, that he would report back to the Rebbe what he
had witnessed  and ask him to especially bless Rabbi Yitzhak Kogan.

He was surprised to hear Rabbi Yitzhak ask that, instead of this, Rabbi
Menachem Mendel should bless Yosef Mendelevich., a Prisoner of Zion who
had been in prison already for ten years. Yosef had been arrested  in
the Leningrad Airport  together with his friends for attempting to
hijack a Soviet plan and flee to Israel.

"He has been on a hunger strike for 55 days, demanding to give him back
the Chumash (Bible) and Siddur (prayerbook) they confiscated from him,"
said Yitzhak Kogan - "his physical condition is very bad. Please ask the
Rebbe to pray for his immediate release from the prison."

The Rebbe's prayer was answered, and within a few months  Yosef was
flown to Israel. On a stopover in Vienna they brought the redeemed
prisoner  to the Israel Embassy in Austria.

"What is your first request," the ambassador asked him.

"I need  a set of Tefillin to put on before sunset."

The Ambassador looked at his embassy staff members - Which of them would
have Tefillin?

Suddenly there stepped forward Rabbi Israel Singer, the then director of
the World Jewish Congress. "Very interesting," said Singer. "After
hearing about the release of Mendelevich I was supposed to fly out to
welcome him. Before that, I contacted the Lubavitcher Rebbe and asked
him, what I should take for the freed Yosef?"

"Take him Tefillin," said the Rebbe.

"And here are the Tefillin I have brought you on the orders of the
Rebbe." So, for the first time in his life, Yosef put on the Tefillin.

After he arrived in Israel, the Tefillin disappeared. Yosef was

Decades later, Avraham Yitzchak Rahamim Mendelevich - one of Yosef's
sons, a student at the Carmiel Hesder Yeshiva, had been called up to
serve in the IDF a year and eight months previously in an Armored Corps
battalion.. The commanders thought that he was ideal officer material,
and pressed him to continue to serve. But Avraham Yitzchak had other
ideas. "I am going back to the yeshiva."

The day he was due to be released from the IDF, Operation Protective
Edge began, and Avraham Yitzchak was sent to fight in Gaza. On the eve
of the Three Weeks of mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple,
the Tefillin which the Rebbe had ordered to be given to Yosef
Mendelevich, were found. The moment Yosef Mendelevich received the
Tefillin back, he began to think how to get them to Avraham Yitzhak and
give him special protection. However, it was not possible to send the
Tefillin to the battle area. G-d turns good intentions into deeds, and
Yosef hoped that, thanks to all these things, the Tefillin would begin
to perform their mission.

Contact with Avraham Yitzchak was very difficult. Avraham Yitzchak would
contact his parents on the unit commander's phone. His mother asked her
son to observe all the safety regulations and his father asked him to
read Psalms every day.

In the neighborhood where Avraham Yitzchak's battalion was located,
fierce battles were taking place. The terrorists were using anti-tank
missiles as well as snipers and attacks from the tunnels. All of the
Jewish People prayed for the success of the soldiers and their safe

Two weeks later, there was a powerful flash of light in the tank,
followed by the sound of a huge explosion. The tank filled with smoke.

Avraham Yitzchak relates that his ears were deafened by the explosion.
He didn't know whether he had been wounded  and what had happened to his
companions.  A minute later he heard the commander shouting: "Are you
all alive?" They were all alive. They received the order to return fire
and they scored a direct hit.

Remembers Avraham Yitzchak, "There was a ceasefire, and we retreated to
a safe position to rest. The commander gave us permission to leave the
tank. We had spent 48 hours inside it; it was very hot, we were
exhausted. But I remained in the tank. I had promised Father that I
would read Psalms every day and I had not yet read the Psalms for
Monday. Because I didn't go out, my fellow crew members also remained
inside the tank.

"We were hidden in an olive grove, but we were spotted. They shot at us,
apparently with an anti-tank missile; the missile struck the rear of the
tank. At first, they thought that we had all been hit."

When the crew emerged from the tank, Avraham Yitzchak examined where
they would have been standing had they gone out for the rest period. All
the equipment was burnt. The missile had passed one meter from that spot
and would have hit them had they been there.

At the thanksgiving meal that took place when he returned to his
parents' home in Jerusalem, Avraham Yitzhak told about the miracle that
had happened to him thanks to the Guardian of Israel, and thanks to the
Psalms of King David. Then his father, Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich, stood up
and told everyone about the Tefillin that the Rebbe had sent him 33
years previously, and how he believed the Tefilin helped guard Avraham

                            MOSHIACH MATTERS
Simply put, it must be proclaimed and publicized everywhere, using words
from the heart, that G-d tells every single Jew (through His servants
the prophets) 'Look! I am placing before you a blessing!' and that
literally today we will see the blessing of the true and complete
Redemption with our physical eyes... Even a person who has not fully
internalized the concept of the Redemption in his own mind should make
efforts to spread this concept to others, beginning with his own family
and circle of acquaintances."

                              (The Rebbe, Shabbat Re'ei, 5751-1991)

                END OF TEXT - L'CHAIM 1429 - Korach 5776

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