Holidays   Shabbat   Chabad-houses   Chassidism   Subscribe   Calendar   Links B"H
The Weekly Publication for Every Jewish Person
Archives Current Issues Home Current Issue
Years:   5752 | 5753 | 5754 | 5755 | 5756 | 5757 | 5758 | 5759 | 5760 | 5761 | 5762 | 5763 | 5764 | 5765 | 5766 | 5767 | 5768 | 5769 | 5770 | 5771 | 5772 | 5773 | 5774 | 5775 | 5776 | 5777 | 5778 | 5779 | 5780

Devarim Deutronomy

Breishis Genesis

Shemos Exodus

Vayikra Leviticus

Bamidbar Numbers

   1575: Bamidbar

1576: Nasso

1577: Beha'aloscha

1578: Sh'lach

1579: Korach

1580: Chukas

1581: Balak

1582: Pinchas

1583: Matos-Masei

Devarim Deutronomy

July 19, 2019 - 16 Tamuz, 5779

1581: Balak

Click here to Subscribe

Published and copyright © by Lubavitch Youth Organization - Brooklyn, NY
The Weekly Publication For Every Jewish Person
Dedicated to the memory of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson N.E.

  1580: Chukas1582: Pinchas  

Making Time  |  Living with the Rebbe  |  A Slice of Life  |  What's New
The Rebbe Writes  |  All Together  |  A Word from the Director  |  Thoughts that Count
It Once Happened  |  Moshiach Matters

Making Time

A time-management professional is brought into a busy corporation for a lunch-time lecture. He starts by offering a visual portrayal of how to make the most of one's time.

He fills a jar with stones until no more fit in. "Is this jar full?" he asks the audience.

All heads nod in concurrence.

The speaker takes out a sack of pebbles and begins to pour them into the jar, shaking and shifting as he pours. Half the sack is now empty and no more pebbles will enter the jar. He asks the audience again, "Is this jar full?"

A few heads vigorously nod in agreement while a number of faces express uncertainty.

The speaker lifts a bag of sand and pours it into the jar. The fine grains glide through the obstacle course of pebbles and stones. He continues to pour the sand until the jar can contain no more.

"Now is the jar full?" he asks.

Although nearly everyone is now certain that the jar is finally filled, only a few people sheepishly nod their heads.

Finally, the speaker reaches under the table and pulls out a bottle of water. He slowly pours the water into the jar. It passes over the small stones and pebbles and sand, settling in the bottom of the jar, then midway up, now at the top, and finally a few drops flow onto the table.

"Now is this jar full?" asks the speaker.

Hesitantly at first, and then more assuredly, the participants shake their heads in agreement.

"What do we learn from this little demonstration?" asks the time-management professional.

Instantly people raise their hands. The speaker calls on an enthusiastic-looking young man perched on the edge of his chair in the front row.

"We learn that no matter how full a person's schedule is, he can always squeeze more in," the young man says.

"Wrong!" bellows the speaker.

The audience is taken aback. Isn't the lesson of the stones, pebbles, sand and water obvious?

"We learn from this little exercise," the expert says, "that first we must schedule into our days that which is most essential and significant. Afterwards, we can begin to pencil in the 'important' matters. We follow that up by adding to our schedules matters of lesser importance. And only after we have incorporated all of these into our days and weeks do we fill up the rest of our time with the inconsequential matters."

This Sunday* we begin the three-week period of mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temples. The first Holy Temple was destroyed nearly 2,600 years ago. The Second Temple was destroyed nearly 2,000 years ago. And for all of these years we have been praying for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, the ingathering of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, and Moshiach.

The hope and prayers for the Redemption have always been part of the personal and collective jar of the Jewish people.

Before our jars get packed with time-wasters and energy-sappers, let's fill them with simple acts of goodness, dignified acts of kindness and the foundation stones of Torah study and mitzva observance. Let's increase in acts of goodness and kindness, in Torah study and in holy deeds, as a preparation for the era that will be utterly good, kind and holy for the Jewish people and the world.

*) The Three Week period of mourning commences on 17 Tammuz coinciding with Shabbat this year. So the actual start of the mourning begins on Sunday.

Living with the Rebbe

In this week's Torah portion, Balak, we read about the wicked Baalam, who set out to curse the Jewish people but ended up blessing them instead.

Our Sages explain that Baalam was a "rah ayin," he had an eye for evil. Moses, on the other hand, was a "tov ayin," he had an eye for good.

A "tov ayin" is a person who can find the good in everything. Even if a person did a lot of bad things, and outwardly all one can see are the bad actions, Moses was able to find the little bit of good and highlight it. It might have meant looking into the deepest, hidden recesses of the person's heart. But Moses was able to find it and make it the focus, until it affected the person and he became good.

A "rah ayin" is the opposite. Such a person finds the bad in everything. Even if a person is completely good, Baalam was able to find the little bit of bad, lying latent in the deepest recesses of his heart, and accentuate that. He made that the focus, bringing the good person to, G-d forbid, commit a sin.

The Torah tells us this because we each have the ability to go either way. Of course, we should be like Moses but when one is exhausted or hurt, it is very easy to go the other way. When you are not at your best, you have to muster the strength to be a "tov ayin."

In any important relationship, and especially in the relationship between a husband and wife, they should always try to see the good in one another. Even and especially when the going gets tough.

What caused Baalam to bless the Jewish people?

He saw the modesty of the Jewish people, their tents were set up in a way that one tent couldn't see into another, everybody had their privacy. This is a lower or simple level of modesty, it has nothing to do with dress or mingling, it is just a couple's basic private life. And this itself moved Baalam so much that although he was wicked and a rah ayin, he nevertheless blessed the Jewish people. And how far did it move him? It had such a profound affect on him, that he prophesied the coming of Moshiach.

The lesson here is the power of the smallest amount of modesty, and as a couple, how important it is to create and establish your own little private space, and to give each other the privacy that he or she needs.

This is so important that we begin our prayers every day with the words that Baalam said when he saw the modesty of the Jewish people, "Ma Tovu, How good are your tents oh Yaakov."

The private unit of a married couple is so holy, that it is the foundation and the purity of the family, and it leads to the coming of Moshiach. May he come soon.

Adapted by Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz from the teachings of the Rebbe, Rabbi Hurwitz, who is battling ALS, and his wife Dina, are emissaries of the Rebbe in Temecula, Ca.

A Slice of Life

From the Navy to the Sea of Torah

The Jewish Learning Network, was started in November, 2005 to fill the need for a more personal, fulfilling and convenient way for Jews to connect to their heritage.

JNet provides business people, students and homemakers the opportunity to take some time out of their busy week - whether at the office at home or even on the go - to study Torah, from the weekly Torah portion to the technical intricacies of Jewish Law, the stimulating logical analysis of the Talmud to the spirituality and meaning of Chasidism and the Kabbalah.

JNet Partner Cris (Eli) George lives in Nowra, Australia. He is a retired Navy Veteran, and has been learning with JNet for six years. His hobbies including researching history and house renovations:

When I left home and went to sea at age seventeen, I knew only a little of my Jewish heritage. My parents did not encourage me and my siblings to pursue Judaism during our upbringing. At the time, my grandmother (my mother's mother) was the most recent observant Jew in our family, though she wasn't around much to discuss the topics with me. As my religious studies matured, I felt increasingly drawn to Judaism.

In 1979, I visited the Great Synagogue in Sydney, Australia (via the back door). I was looking for guidance, and asked to speak to the Rabbi. I was told to wait. I waited outside for about two hours. As the sun set, no one had come to see me. I figured that perhaps my request was not taken seriously or might have been considered trivial in the context of the Rabbi's presumably busy schedule. I rebuked myself for wasting other people's time, and went back to continue with my private studies.

I concluded that the path to Judaism was not open to me - at least not while I was spending time at sea. I believed that perhaps the chain had been irrevocably broken.

In 2005, while stationed in Sydney, I met the rabbi of the Australian Defense Force's, Rabbi Yossi Segelman. Before long I was back at the Great Synagogue (which I entered through the front door), meeting with the Beit Din of Australia, with all of the documentary evidence of my heritage (which went back to 1833 when my maternal great-great grandparents Elias and Julia Moses arrived in the then new colony later called Australia). The Beit Din hearing occurred and I was deemed to be Jewish.

This was an exciting milestone for me. However, having left the navy by this time due to my age, I was back at Nowra with my family, a small town some 100 miles south of Sydney without a synagogue or minyan.

Although there is a small and caring Jewish group in Nowra, I felt slightly foreign having not been "brought up" within a Jewish environment or family. I felt the need to do some personal structured learning. This is where JNet came in. After having spent considerable time looking for online training which did not appear to satisfy my need for one-on-one learning, Yossi introduced me to JNet. The rest is history. Shortly afterward, I was introduced to Rabbi Dovi Wolf in Melbourne, who became my chavrusa.

Rabbi Dovi and I have learned almost every week since then, via telephone. I do not know how Dovi puts up with me and my often obscure questions and discussion, but I am very pleased that he does. The learning is a true material and spiritual lifeline, for me both for the present and the future.

Rabbi Wolf is incredibly understanding with his teaching. It has been most touching to receive hand-made matza from him each year that I have learned with him. And recently, he sent me two book treasures, namely the Hagada of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and also the Kol Menachem Purim Megila. The gifts are such kind gestures to help me along the way.

I should also mention that JNet's regular surveys also keep me focused and are an important part of my learning program as they require me to think about the answers to the questions. Rabbi Dovi Wolf certainly is much of an example to point out to JNet members. I am very grateful to him, and to JNet, for the learning program.

Jnet Partner Dovi Wolf is a businessman who lives in Melbourne, Australia:

I originally volunteered with JNet for the purpose of giving and sharing Torah knowledge with someone who hasn't had the same opportunities as me. It didn't take long to realize that I was gaining as much, if not more than, what I was contributing.

Eli's commitment to learning, as well as his challenging and deep questions have undoubtedly inspired me in my Torah learning and injected extra enthusiasm in my Jewish observance.

The fact that Eli started studying Torah later on in life has not deterred him from fully engaging; on the contrary, it seems to be a springboard for continual diligence in learning and spiritual growth.

Though we learn just once a week, Eli is learning on his own throughout the week, and always has plenty to contribute to our weekly Torah portion/holiday day discussions, which definitely keeps me on my toes! JNet is a great tool for someone who works, yet still wants to contribute as a shliach to help make a difference to someone else, as well as to one's self

To become a JNet partner visit

What's New

New Facility

Village Chabad, formerly known as Chabad at Stony Brook, opened the doors to its new center in East Setauket (Long Island), New York. Chabad, under the directorship of Rabbi Chaim Grossbaum and Rivkie Grossbaum, had outgrown its former location in Lake Grove. The new 13,000-square-foot Village Chabad sits on 8.8 acres of property. There are classrooms, study rooms, a sanctuary, a conference room, backyard, patio and a room that can hold 200 for events and holiday dinners.

The Edifice

The Edifice: Dating, Marriage, and an Everlasting Home is the latest release from Hasidic Archives. Written by Dovid Zaklikowski, The Edifice is a journey into the Rebbe's uplifting world of ideas and life lessons on dating, love, marriage, the Jewish wedding, children and mikva.

The Rebbe Writes

26th of Tammuz, 5721 [1961]

Greeting and Blessing:

I was pleased to receive your letter on the 18th of Tammuz, as well as the regards through the visitors from England. I trust that the visitors will also bring back with them regards from here, and share their inspiration and experience with their friends back home.

As requested, I will remember all those mentioned in your letter, in prayer, when visiting the holy resting place of my father-in-law of saintly memory, and may G-d grant that you will have good news to report.

I trust it is unnecessary to emphasize to you, and that you will also convey it to the others, that the daily life in accordance with the Torah and mitzvos is the channel and vessel to receive G-d's blessing in all one's needs.

As we are now in the midst of the Three Weeks, and our Sages said that Jerusalem was destroyed only because the education of young children was disrupted in it ( [Tractate] Shabbos 119b), this is the time to increase all activities designed to make amends for, and offset the failings of the past, namely, activities for kosher Jewish education.

Hoping to hear good news from you,

With blessing,

26 of Tammuz, 5743 [1983]

Greeting and Blessing:

I received your correspondence.

In general, I have already expressed my opinion on the matters about which you wrote, and will again remember you in prayer for the fulfillment of your heart's desires for good.

Now that we are in the period of the Three Weeks, commemorating the sad events which led to the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh and the dispersement of our people, we are reminded that every one of us has to do all in one's power to minimize and eventually eliminate the cause that brought about the Destruction and Exile. The only cause of it is clearly spelled out in our Mussaf Prayer: "Because of our sins we have been exiled from our land." If alienation from the Jewish way of life, the way of the Torah and Mitzvos has been the cause of the Golus, every one of us must work all the harder to bring Jews closer to the Torah and Mitzvos. Thus, every effort in this direction brings all the nearer the appearance of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, who will usher in the true and complete Geulah. May it come speedily in our days.

With blessing,

Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av, 5743 [1983]
Dr. - M.D.,

Greeting and Blessing:

I received your letter of the 19th of Tammuz, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness in writing to me in detail about our esteemed mutual friend. No doubt you have already heard from your patient, who has kept in touch with me.

I am most gratified to note the personal attention and concern you have shown towards your patient. There is certainly no need to emphasize to you how important it is for the patient - also therapeutically - to know that his doctor is taking a special interest in him. This is all the more important in a case of a sensitive person, and especially as our mutual friend is truly an outstanding person who lives by the Torah, and particularly, by the Great Principle of the Torah V'Ohavto L'Re'acho Komocho [the commandment to love one's fellow Jew as one loves oneself].

The above, incidentally, is particularly timely in connection with the present days of the Three Weeks, which remind all Jews to make a special effort to counteract, and eventually eliminate, the cause which gave rise to the sad events which these days commemorate, and hasten the day when these sad days will be transformed into days of gladness and rejoicing.

Wishing you Hatzlocho [success] with this patient and all your patients, and in all your affairs.

With blessing,

All Together

YERUCHAM means "may he be compassionate." Yerucham was the father of Elkana, grandfather of the prophet Samuel (I Samuel 1:1)

YEMIMA was the daughter of Job (Job 42:14). The name might possibly come from the Aramaic for "dove." The spelling in English would be Jemima.

A Word from the Director

Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman

This Shabbat is the 17th of Tammuz, the beginning of a Three Week period when we mourn the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples in Jerusalem. Usually on 17 Tammuz (and 9 Av, the last day of the Three Weeks) we fast. But this year, both of these dates occur on Shabbat, so the fast - and all signs of mourning - are pushed off until Sunday.

The Rebbe addressed the idea of the 17th of Tammuz occurring on Shabbat in a public gathering one year.

"What is the inner purpose of the 17th of Tammuz? - to be converted to a day of joy and gladness. Maimonides says it clearly:

" 'All the fast days mentioned above are destined to be abolished in the time of the Moshiach, indeed they are destined to be turned into festive days, days of rejoicing and gladness in accordance with the verse ... "the fast of the fourth month ... shall become times of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts." '

"Now this theme is clearly stressed when the 17th of Tammuz falls on Shabbat. In this setting the fast day is postponed and the negative aspect of the day is nullified. For on Shabbat there may be no sadness. Such an occurrence is a sampling of the time of Moshiach, when these days will be converted to holidays.

"All this teaches the Jew that if he can put himself in the condition of 'Shabbat' and rise above the limitations, then he can convert the negative days to holidays. ...The Jew has the ability to rise to the condition of Shabbat and nullify the negative aspects of the 17th of Tammuz.

"What about the Jew who says that he can't fix the whole world? We say to him, make yourself - only yourself - like a Shabbat, and when one Jew and another, and then another reaches the condition of Shabbat the exile will turn to Redemption.

"May these days be transformed to days of gladness and joy and festivals... and may we see the redemption of the entire world!"

Thoughts that Count

And G-d opened the mouth of the donkey (Num. 22:28)

"Don't think too highly of yourself for being a prophet," G-d was rebuking Bilaam. "Look, even a donkey can speak if I so decree. Like the donkey, the only reason you have been granted prophecy is that it will ultimately bring benefit to the Jewish people."

(Kli Yakar)

Who can count the dust of Jacob (Num. 23:10)

Why are Jews likened to the dust of the earth? As the Baal Shem Tov explained, in the same way that the earth contains vast underground treasures and natural resources, so too does every Jew contain an immeasurable wealth of faith, love and awe of G-d - if only one digs deep enough...

(Keter Shem Tov, Hosafot)

He has not beheld any wrong in Jacob (Num. 23:21)

Whenever a Jew does a mitzva, he creates a "good" angel; whenever he transgresses, a "bad" angel is formed. Commented Rabbi Zushe of Anipoli: "Never have I seen a complete, unblemished angel that was created by the sin of a believing Jew. These 'bad' angels are always missing a limb: this one its head, that one an arm. For as soon as the Jew sighs in remorse, it cripples the accusing angels and maims them..."

(Otzar HaChasidut)

You shall see but the utmost part of them, and shall not see them all (Num. 23:13)

It is only if one looks at a "part" of a Jew, a small detail of his make-up, that one might notice any flaws; if he is considered as a whole, no defects will be visible.

(Ohel Torah)

It Once Happened

During the time that the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem there lived a poor farmer in the far northern Galilee. His house stood on a small rocky plot sparsely dotted with olive trees. Every day he went out to his little field and worked the ground, but despite his efforts, nothing seemed to grow in the poor soil.

One evening, after a hard and disappointing day's work he turned to his wife and said, "I have no luck here. I will travel to the south and work on a large farm. If G-d grants me success I will return and buy a larger field, an orchard, and even a flock of sheep. While I am gone our sons will tend our fields here."

The man walked to the south where he got a job on the estate of a rich man. His new employer was very pleased with his work, for he was competent and loyal. The farmer worked hard and found his employer to be a fair man. He stayed on for several years, all the time dreaming of the day he would come home and establish his own large farm.

It was nearing Rosh Hashana. After three years of hard labor in the fields, the man prepared for his triumphant return home. He approached his employer: "I have worked well for you these years and now I wish to go home. Please give me my wages so that I may return to my family."

But to his surprise, the rich man replied, "I'm sorry, but I have no money now and I can't pay you."

The laborer thought to himself, "How could it be possible that such a wealthy man not be able to pay me?" But he held his tongue and replied only, "Then, pay me in produce and I will be able to sell it."

But his employer answered, "I haven't any produce, either."

"Then give me a field and I will sell it." But this suggestion received the same reply, "I do not have any fields to give you."

"Then I will take my pay in cattle."

"I'm sorry, but I have no cattle to give," answered the rich man.

"Then I will accept payment in blankets and pillows. Such items are very useful in the Galilee where it is cold."

But the rich man replied, "I have no bed linens either."

Finally the laborer ceased his requests and started off for home empty-handed, his heart heavy with disappointment. And yet, he couldn't feel anger against his employer, for through the years of his employment he had been well treated. He knew that his employer wasn't a swindler or an evil man. If he hadn't been able to pay him, there must be some reason. And with that generous thought, he made the long journey home.

He returned home in time to spend Rosh Hashana with his family. Fall and winter passed and soon it was spring. The poor farmer resumed working in his small field. One day he looked up to see a caravan approaching. There were three donkeys all heavily laden with goods. As they neared, the man recognized his former employer as the driver who was leading the procession. He ran to greet him. The wealthy landlord dismounted from the donkey. "Everything that I have brought is for you." The first donkey carried fresh fruits and raisins; the second, oil and wine; while the third carried cakes and sweets for the family.

The landlord then took out of his cloak a bag of gold coins which he gave to his former employee, who was speechless with wonder.

"The food and drink which I give you are a gift, but the gold is what I owe you for your years of honest labor. Please, tell me the truth, what did you think when you asked for your wages and I said I couldn't pay you?"

The farmer replied, "I must admit that I couldn't understand it. Then I thought that maybe you had invested all your money in some merchandise and had no available cash."

"Then what did you think when you requested that I pay you in produce and I again said that I couldn't do that?"

"I thought that perhaps you had not yet tithed your fields."

"And what about when you asked for a field?"

"I thought that perhaps you had rented out your fields to a tenant farmer and that they were not yet available for your use."

"And what about when I refused to give you cattle?"

"I assumed that you had lent them out to someone."

"And when you finally asked for blankets and pillows?"

"I could only think that you had vowed to consecrate all your possessions to the Holy Temple and had nothing left to give me."

"All that you have said is true! I was so angered by my son's stubbornness that I vowed to give all my possessions to the Holy Temple instead of to him. But then I regretted my vow and asked the rabbis to annul it. As soon as this was done I came here to bring you your wages. The other things I bring as a token of my thanks. I bless you that G-d always judge you as favorably as you have judged me."

Moshiach Matters

According to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel what G-d has done (Num. 23:23) It is from this verse that Maimonides derived that prophecy would return to the Jewish people. Bilaam's prophecy was uttered in the year 2488 after the creation of the world; accordingly, the ability to prophesize would be restored to the Jews 2488 years later. This corresponds to the year 4976 (785 years ago or 1216), the era of Rabbi Shmuel the Prophet, followed by Rabbi Eleazar Baal HaRokeach, Nachmanides, the Ravad, Rabbi Ezra the Prophet, Rabbi Yehuda the Chasid and others; indeed, prophecy flourished in the generation of the Baal Shem Tov and his disciples. In our generation, the Rebbe has prophesied that the time of our Redemption has arrived.

(Peninei HaGeula)

  1580: Chukas1582: Pinchas  
Years:   5752 | 5753 | 5754 | 5755 | 5756 | 5757 | 5758 | 5759 | 5760 | 5761 | 5762 | 5763 | 5764 | 5765 | 5766 | 5767 | 5768 | 5769 | 5770 | 5771 | 5772 | 5773 | 5774 | 5775 | 5776 | 5777 | 5778 | 5779 | 5780

  • Daily Lessons
  • Weekly Texts & Audio
  • Candle-Lighting times

    613 Commandments
  • 248 Positive
  • 365 Negative

  • BlackBerry
  • iPhone / iPod Touch
  • Java Phones
  • Palm Pilot
  • Palm Pre
  • Pocket PC
  • P800/P900
  • Moshiach
  • Resurrection
  • For children - part 1
  • For children - part 2

  • Jewish Women
  • Holiday guides
  • About Holidays
  • The Hebrew Alphabet
  • Hebrew/English Calendar
  • Glossary

  • by SIE
  • About
  • Chabad
  • The Baal Shem Tov
  • The Alter Rebbe
  • The Rebbe Maharash
  • The Previous Rebbe
  • The Rebbe
  • Mitzvah Campaign

    Children's Corner
  • Rabbi Riddle
  • Rebbetzin Riddle
  • Tzivos Hashem

  • © Copyright 1988-2009
    All Rights Reserved
    L'Chaim Weekly