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  • 8/15/2019 Beis Moshiach #607

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    Beis Moshiach (USPS 012-542) ISSN 1082-

    0272 is published weekly, except Jewishholidays (only once in April and October) for$140.00 in the USA and in all other places for$150.00 per year (45 issues), by BeisMoshiach, 744 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn,NY 11213-3409. Periodicals postage paid atBrooklyn, NY and additional offices.Postmaster: send address changes to BeisMoshiach 744 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn,NY 11213-3409. Copyright 2007 by BeisMoshiach, Inc.

    Beis Moshiach is not responsible for thecontent of the advertisements.

    USA744 Eastern Parkway

    Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409Tel: (718) 778-8000

    Fax: (718) [email protected]

    EDITOR-IN-CHIEF:M.M. Hendel

    ENGLISH EDITOR:Boruch Merkur

    [email protected]

    HEBREW EDITOR:Rabbi Sholom Yaakov [email protected]

    MY REB MENDELChassid | Rabbi Hillel Zaltzman

    HOW COULD G-D DESTROY THE HOLYTEMPLE?Dvar Malchus | Likkutei Sichos Vol. 29, pg. 9-17

    A DAILY DOSE OF MOSHIACHMoshiach & Geula

    THE ZEALOTThought | Rabbi Yosef Karasik

    REUNION AND RE-JEW-VENATION INERETZ YISROELFeature | S. Cohen

    YOU CANT IGNORE THE FACTSMoshiach & Geula | Rabbi Shlomo HalpernLEADER OF ALL THE NATIONSStory | Nosson Avrohom

    ONLY IN ISRAELShleimus HaAretz | Shai Gefen

    A CHASSID AND MATHEMATICIANProfile | Eli Shneuri

    TEL AVIV REVIVALProfile of Rabbi Chaim Ashkenazi | Menachem Ziegelboim

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    1. We have already discussedmany times1 that from the very firstTorah portion, BReishis, all the wayuntil the Seventeenth of Tammuz,We conclude the Torah reading with[a Haftora of] the same subjectmatter as the portions coupling like

    with like. But from then on [theHaftora goes] according to the time[of the year] and the event [that tookplace at that time] (as stated inTur2).

    Nevertheless, since all matters ofthe Torah are extremely exact, it isunderstood that the Haftorosthroughout the period beginning onthe Seventeenth of Tammuz (namely,the Haftora of The Words of

    Yermiyahu, read with the portion

    Pinchas (or Mattos), and etc.,3 The Vision (Chazon), with the portionDvarim4), which are establishedaccording to the time, also have aconnection with the Torah portionsread on the Shabbasos throughoutthat period (of the same subjectmatter as the portions, etc.), thoughthey are mainly according to thetime and the event.5

    This connection is particularlyemphasized on Shabbos Chazon. Insofar as this Shabbos

    (according to Jewish custom, which is Torah) is namedafter the Haftora Shabbos Chazon it is understoodthat this [name/Haftora] expresses the significance of the(entire) Shabbos.

    2. Among the concepts that are common to bothChazon Yeshayahu6 (The Vision of Yeshayahu) andthe Torah portion (Dvarim) are:

    The prophecy of the Haftora Chazon Yeshayahu iscomprised of words of rebuke to the Jewish people.Nevertheless, the Haftora concludes and is sealed with theconcept of redemption: I will restore your judges, etc.Tziyon shall be redeemed through justice and its penitents

    through righteousness.7Similarly, we find that the Torah portion Dvarim

    begins with words of rebuke,8 yet it concludes and issealed with the concept of the entry of the Jewish peopleinto the Land of Israel: You shall not fear them, for it isG-d, your L-rd, Who will wage war for you.9

    Since Everything goes according to the seal,10 it isunderstood that although the subject matter of theHaftora is Retribution,11 and of the Three Weeks ofRetribution, the Haftora of Chazon is the most severe,12

    HOW

    COULD G-D

    DESTROY

    THE HOLY

    TEMPLE?Likkutei Sichos Vol. 29, pg. 9-17Translated by Boruch Merkur

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    nevertheless, the main point it expresses (the conclusionand seal) is the concept of redemption: Tziyon shall beredeemed through justice and its penitents throughrighteousness.

    Since the Haftora comes as the completion and theconclusion of the portion in Torah,13 it comes out thatthe conclusion and the bottom line of the portion is the

    concept of redemption.The above discussion sheds light on the fact that in

    Likkutei Torah, which contains discourses arranged bythe Tzemach Tzedek according to the order of the Torahportions, etc.,14 there is only one discourse15 for theTorah portion Dvarim. Namely, the discourse on the

    verse, Tziyon shall be redeemed through justice and itspenitents through righteousness. (There is no discourseon a verse from the Torah portion itself.16) We may infer(as a possibility) that this is because this [verse in theHaftora] comprises the meaning of the Torah portion.

    Notwithstanding the fact that this concept (that the

    main point of the Torah portion is expressed in theHaftora, and the conclusion of the Haftora [inparticular]) is applicable to all the Torah portions, wedont find other instances among the other portions

    whereby the discourse inLikkutei Torah (on a Torahportion) is focussed solely on a verse of the Haftora,17

    and the conclusion of the Haftora in particular. We may propose that the reason why this applies

    specifically to our Torah portion is because the concept ofexile and redemption is uniquely underscored here, as will

    be discussed.

    [To be continued beH]

    NOTES:

    1 SeeLikkutei SichosVol. 9, pg. 61, where it is elucidated;Likkutei SichosVol. 18, pg. 342, among others.

    2 Orach Chayim 428 (in the name of the Psikta). Similarly inShulchan Aruch 428:8; Tosafos on Meseches Megilla 31b,

    entry beginning with the words, Rosh Chodesh; and seeRambam Laws of Prayer 13:19.

    3 Read during the Three Weeks of Retribution.

    4 So too with regard to the Seven Weeks of Consolation.

    5 SeeLikkutei SichosVol. 9 ibid in particular, as well as thefootnotes there.

    6Yeshayahu 1:1 ff.

    7 Ibid 26-27.

    8 See Sifri, Targum Unkelus, Targum Yonasan, and thecommentary of Rashi on the beginning of the Torah portionDvarim.

    9 3:22.

    10 Brachos 12a

    11 Tosafos on Megilla ibid, Tur Shulchan Aruch ibid fromthe Psikta. In Rambam ibid, with words of rebuke.

    However, according to the opinion of Rambam it is a differentorder, unlike that described in Tur Shulchan Aruch.

    12 See Tosafos ibid, end, etc. see Footnote 11 in theoriginal.

    13 To note the meaning of the term Haftora entry inEncyclopedia Talmudis, beg. See there that there were thosewho called it Eshlamta (completion), insofar as it is thecompletion of the Torah reading.

    14Wording of the title page ofLikkutei Torah, edited by theRebbe the Tzemach Tzedek.

    15 on a verse from the Torah portion or the Haftora. Even the

    second discourse there comes as a continuation to thediscourse that begins, Tziyon shall be redeemed through

    justice.

    16 See Footnote 15 in the original.

    17 See Footnote 16 in the original.

    MANAGING EDITOR WANTEDAn established publisher is seeking to hire a Managing Editor for a New York based Jewishinterest magazine. The primary responsibility is to ensure content development, design and

    layout for tightly scheduled print and online editions. The successful candidate shouldideally have at least two years experience successfully publishing or editing a substantial

    magazine or newspaper. Literary or journalistic training and/or experience is a strong asset.The magazine interprets modern life in a manner consistent with the ideals of Chabad

    including the concept and reality of Moshiach. Email your resume and portfolio in strictconfidence to [email protected]

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    20 TAMMUZ: THIS IS NO ORDINARYPLACE

    Regarding the location of theBeis HaMikdash, it is said(BReishis 28:17): How awesomeis this place! and Unkelustranslates: This is no ordinaryplace.

    The world is an ordinaryplace, as created in the TenUtterances, which are calledworldly matters.

    However, the place of the BeisHaMikdash is not an ordinaryplace, as in all the TenUtterances, it is written, AndElokim said, whereas in the placeof the Beis HaMikdash, there was arevelation of the name Havaya:Indeed, there is Havaya in thisplace (ibid., verse 16).

    (sicha from the Rebbe shlita)

    21 TAMMUZ: THE FUTURE BEISHAMIKDASH WILL ALSO BE BUILTOUT OF IRON

    The First and Second BeisHaMikdash were destroyedthrough iron, and therefore, iron isnegated in the Beis HaMikdash.

    However, in the Future BeisHaMikdash, an eternal house with no connection todestruction, there is no relevance to any concern fromthe corresponding concept of iron, since in the Futureto Come, the corresponding concept of iron will benullified.

    Thus, its construction can and must be with iron as well, in order to emphasize the elevation and wholeness in the transformation of the iron thatdestroyed the Beis HaMikdash into the iron in the

    building of the Beis HaMikdash.

    (Shabbos Parshas VaYechi 5752)

    22 TAMMUZ: ONE LARGE BEIS HAMIKDASH

    In the Future to Come, the Beis HaMikdash willbe as large as Yerushalayim in this world, since inthe rebuilt Yerushalayim in the Future to Come, allthe places of all the shuls that were in this world

    will be appended to the Beis HaMikdash(Chiddushei Agadta, Megilla 29a).

    The connecting of the shuls from throughout theworlds nations (small sanctuary) to the Future Beis

    A DAILY

    DOSE OF

    MOSHIACH

    & GEULA:20-26 TAMMUZ

    Selected daily pearls of wisdom from theRebbe MHM on Moshiach and Geula.

    Collected and arranged by Rabbi Pinchas MamanTranslated by Michoel Leib Dobry

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    HaMikdash will be in accordance with the varyingdegrees among them.

    The special shuls that have an advantage over othershulswill have precedence in its connection to theBeis HaMikdash, being literally connected to the BeisHaMikdash (touching and attached to it with noobstacle between them), and thereby all other shuls

    throughout the worlds nations will be connected tothe Beis HaMikdash.

    (Kuntres Beis Rabbeinu ShBBavel 5752)

    23 TAMMUZ: WHO WILL BUILD THE THIRD BEISHAMIKDASH? [A] DIFFERING OPINIONS

    There is the known opinion of the Zohar (Vol. I,28:1) that the Third Beis HaMikdash will be built byG-d, the building of the Holy One, Blessed Be He.Similarly, Rashi writes (Sukka 41:1) The FutureMikdash for which we await, elaborately built, will berevealed and come from Heaven, as is said, The

    sanctuary, Hashem, which Your hands havefounded.

    On the other hand, however, we have found in [thesayings of] our Sages, of blessed memory (Talmud

    Yerushalmi, Megilla 1:11), that the Beis HaMikdashwill be built by the Jewish People. Similarly, Rambamrules (Hilchos Melachim, Ch. 11) that Moshiach will

    build the Beis HaMikdash.The reason is apparently simple, for the building of

    the Beis HaMikdash is a positive commandment asis written, And they shall make Me a sanctuary anda mitzva is something that is incumbent upon theJewish People.

    24 TAMMUZ: WHO WILL BUILD THE THIRD BEISHAMIKDASH? [B] MEDIATING BETWEEN THE TWOOPINIONS

    We therefore can find numerous commonalitiesbetween these opinions:

    The building of the Beis HaMikdash down belowwill be through man, and within this sanctuary there will descend and be manifest the spiritual sanctuaryAbove.

    Alternatively, the physical sanctuary will descendfrom Heaven, but the doors and the gates that sankinto the earth, made by the hands of man, will rise and

    be revealed and be erected in their place. Indeed, theone who erects the doors is considered as if he built it.

    Accordingly, we find that the future construction will require both concepts the concept of thebuilding of the Holy One, Blessed Be He and that itwill be made by man, Melech HaMoshiach.

    (Likkutei Sichos, Shabbos Chazon 5751)

    25 TAMMUZ: THE THIRD BEIS HAMIKDASH WILL BEBROUGHT DOWN FROM ABOVE WITH ITS FOUNDATIONSTONE

    May it be G-ds will that through the avoda tofulfill You shall place judges, etc.,in all your gates in a manner of Ishall restore your judges, etc., thisshall be fulfilled in actual deed inyour gates in Eretz Yisroel, andin your gates of the Third BeisHaMikdash, for its gates sank intothe earth.

    The children of Israel shallconstruct this building anewthrough their avoda, and together

    with this, the Beis HaMikdash itself(which is elaborately built Above)descends below from Above,together with the Holy of Holies

    and the Foundation Stone ( Even HaShsiya), fromwhich the whole world is founded.

    (Shabbos Parshas Shoftim 5751)

    26 TAMMUZ: THE THIRD BEIS HAMIKDASH THE TIMEFOR ITS REVELATION IS ALSO AT NIGHT

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of EretzYisroel: In relation to the Beis HaMikdash, we dont

    have to wait until they build it (according to theopinion of the Rambam that Moshiach builds theMikdash).

    This is because the Future Mikdash, for which weare waiting, will be revealed and will come fromHeaven elaborately built (according to the opinion ofRashi and Tosafos).

    The Rebbe shlita: And therefore, it can be revealedand come even at night, now mamash.

    (yechidus, 6 MarCheshvan 5752)

    Its construction can and must be withiron as well, in order to emphasize the

    elevation and wholeness in thetransformation of the iron that

    destroyed the Beis HaMikdash into theiron in the building of the Beis

    HaMikdash.

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    It was recently the twelfthyahrtzait of the Chassid and baalmesirus nefesh, Reb MendelFuterfas ah, on 4 Tamuz, and I

    would like to share my memories of

    this dear Chassid. His entire lifeconsisted of mesirus nefesh forevery member of Anash and otherJews as well, and even under harshinterrogation, he never denied hisassociation and connection to ourRebbeim.

    I will begin with a few anecdotesabout R Mendels mesirus nefeshduring the great flight of Anashfrom Russia in 1946-7 and abouthis period of imprisonment.

    However, this chapter will deal withmy first encounter with R Mendelafter he was released from prisonand the years following that, whenhe went to Samarkand and settledthere, as per the Rebbesinstructions, until he left Russia.

    R Mendel was one of the leadingfigures who organized the greatflight of Anash from Soviet Russia

    via the border city of Lemberg. His

    mesirus nefesh was boundless.When his wife asked him why hisconcern extended to all largefamilies (preference was given tofamilies with children) except for his

    own, he answered: If you want, Iwill send you and the children out,but I cannot leave Russia until thelast of the Chassidim leave.

    And that is what R Mendel did.He sent out his family and heremained in the lions den until hisluck ran out and he was caught bythe police.

    Those in charge of the smugglingin Lemberg were greatly helped bythe children of Anash. Since the

    askanim lived in separateapartments, in order not to arousesuspicion, they used children ascouriers to transmit secret messagesto each other. My brother-in-law, R

    Aryeh Leib Demichovsky, was justpast his bar mitzva when heconveyed a message to R Mendel.

    Before leaving, he memorized hismessage until he was sure he wouldnot forget a single detail of it, for

    every detail was vital in these secretmessages. As he approached RMendels house, he looked carefullyall around and when he saw a carsitting in front of the house acrossthe street with a man at the wheel,he assumed R Mendel was being

    watched.He decided not to go directly to

    R Mendel but to walk around theneighborhood a bit to ascertain

    whether R Mendels house wasindeed under surveillance. After

    walking round and round, hebecame certain that R Mendel wasbeing watched. He didnt knowwhat to do. He finally decided thathe had to enter, if only to inform RMendel that he was being watched.

    When he entered R Mendelsapartment, he found him preparing

    breakfast. R Mendel was verynervous since my brother-in-law wassupposed to come at eight in themorning and because of the detourshe had taken, he had come late.

    Where were you? I was veryworried about you.

    My brother-in-law, who did notwant to tell him his suspicionsimmediately, tried to avoidanswering, but R Mendelunderstood. Why are you avoidinganswering me? Did you see themfollowing me?

    My brother-in-law nodded hishead yes. R Mendel thought for amoment and said, Listen Leibke, aslong as were free, we must continueour work. When they arrest us, we

    wont have a choice, but now wemust use every moment.

    Despite the worrisomeinformation that he had justreceived, and knowing that if he was

    I asked: Are you R Mendel? He said he was and he asked: Are you the son of Avremel Zaltzman? I said that I was, and we both greeted one another. I couldnt hold back my tears and Inoticed that R Mendels eyes were also

    moist with tears. * Rabbi Hillel Zaltzman remembers the mashpia RMendel Futerfas.

    MY REB MENDEL

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    caught his life was in danger, RMendel was as cool as could be andthis amazed my brother-in-law. Heinvited my brother-in-law to joinhim for breakfast and even managedto joke around a bit. Look Leibke, Iput the potatoes in the pan, added a

    little oil, and out came this calf

    IF I WAS OUTSIDE OFRUSSIA AND THE REBBE

    IN RUSSIA, I WOULDTRAVEL TO SEE HIM

    R Mendel was caught by thepolice shortly thereafter and throwninto jail. Before he was arrested hemanaged to send a message to

    Anash which said not to worry since

    he would take all responsibility uponhimself. He also said that if theyarrested other askanim, they couldsay that he organized everything.

    In the difficult interrogations RMendel endured, the interrogatorstried to extract information about

    Anash, being well aware that RMendel knew all the details. RMendel, however, insisted he knewnothing.

    Unlike certain others who

    avoided declaring that they belongedto Lubavitch, since this was a crimein itself, R Mendel did not want to

    be disassociated for even a momentand he proudly declared that he wasa Chassid of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.In his defense, R Mendel said thathis goal in attempting to escape wassolely to be able to see the Rebbe.

    I have nothing against Russia, hesaid, and the proof is: If the Rebbe

    was in Russia and I was in another

    country, I would yearn to visitRussia to the same extent that I nowyearn to leave Russia.

    He added that all the Chassidimwho were caught in the final attemptto leave were not guilty, for he wasthe one who convinced them toleave Russia in order to meet withthe Rebbe.

    R Mendel didnt speak much

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    about the interrogations and aboutthe brutal methods the interrogatorsused in order to extractincriminating information from himabout other Chassidim. However,from the following story we canimagine how hard it was for R

    Mendel when he was in the clutchesof the KGB.

    Years after his release, when RMendel was in Samarkand, there

    were hard times once again, and I,who was already involved incommunity work, expressed myfears to him that if another wickedperson like Stalin arose, who knows

    what would be?R Mendel told me: You really

    want to know what will be? Theyll

    arrest you, interrogate you, and beatyou murderously until your blood

    sprays the wallsI was terrified by this horrifying

    description and I asked him: RMendel, is that what they did toyou?

    R Mendel avoided answering meand said: Dont ask what they did tome. Im telling you what they do.

    On one of the rare occasions thatR Mendel spoke about those

    interrogations, he said that beforethe interrogation they sat in a large

    waiting room, full of people accusedof crimes. The waiting room wasnear the interrogation room so thatthose waiting would hear the

    bloodcurdling screams and would beterrified before they even entered theroom themselves.

    Often, after they heard cries and

    screams, they suddenly heard agunshot and then absolutely silence.

    You can well imagine what wentthrough the minds of those waitingto be interrogated.

    When the interrogators realizedthey would not be able to break R

    Mendels spirit with beatings andphysical tortures, they triedpsychological tactics on him: Yourealize that after everything youvedone you deserve the death penalty.But if you agree to cooperate withus, we will reduce your punishmentto 25 years and you will stay alive.

    R Mendel responded: You knowthat I believe in G-d and I have nodoubt that if G-d wants me to die,then even if you release me now, I

    could be in a car accident and die.On the other hand, if G-d wants me

    to live, you will be unable to kill me.

    NU FUTERFAS, YOUREA LUCKY MAN!

    After going through all theinterrogations and being sentencedto death, R Mendel was transferredfrom place to place. One of theinterrogators who was passing by

    snarled: Nu, Futerfas, youre a luckyman!

    R Mendel didnt know what hemeant and only afterwards did hefind out that before his sentence wascarried out, a telegram came fromStalin that said that those who hadnot been killed yet should be given25 years instead.

    When R Mendel arrived in thelabor camp in Siberia, the gentile

    prisoners told him that there hadbeen a man by the name of YonaKogan (the Chassid R Yona Cohen)and since he didnt eat anything, hehad died after a short time. RMendel realized that because of theSiberian cold you had to eat

    something warm in order to survive,and he resolved that just as puttingon tfillin is a daily obligation, so toohe needed to obtain a hot meal everyday in order to fulfill the mitzva ofand you shall protect your soulsand remain alive.

    He set aside a slice of bread fromevery portion of bread that he wasgiven and obtained an iron box.Every day he cooked the breadmixed with water and that was the

    hot dish he had daily. When heobtained vegetable oil, then he had a

    veritable feast. During the winter hewould take snow and melt it. Evenwhen he was very tired when hecame back from a day of hard labor,he made sure to prepare a hot dish.This helped him survive thehardships of Siberia.

    R Mendel knew that Anash werevery worried about him, and he triedto get out the word that he was

    alive. My brother-in-law, R AryehLeib Demichovsky, related that onetime a gentile came to his fathers(my father-in-law, R EfraimDemichovsky) slaughterhouse andsaid to him, as though imparting asecret: I just came from Siberiaand there was a Jewish man there

    with us by the name of MendelMendelovitz (Mendel son ofMendel). He is a distinguished manand everybody loves him. We

    arranged a special place for him topray and we all tried not to disturbhim while he prayed.

    When he heard that I was aboutto be released, he asked me: If yousee a Jew who looks like me, with a

    beard and an obvious Jewishappearance, tell him my name andask him to convey that I am welland that I am hopeful that I will be

    I have nothing against Russia, he said, and the proof is: If the Rebbe was inRussia and I was in another country, Iwould yearn to visit Russia to the sameextent that I now yearn to leave Russia.

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    released too, and they should notworry.

    Thus, even with the walls of theSoviet camp, R Mendel made sureto uplift the spirits of the ChabadChassidim who remained in Russia.

    KNOWING HIM FROMA YOUNG AGE

    My acquaintance with R Mendelbegan when I was a child, duringWorld War II, when I learned withR Zushe Der Shamash (theSexton). I remember an incidentfrom that period: R Zushe wasknown for his severe demeanor andhis students greatly feared him. Thegreat composer Rabbi Yom Tov

    Ehrlich ah, who was in Samarkandat that time, composed a song thatdepicted the lives of Chassidimthere, and he mentioned R Zushethe Melamed, who stood like ageneral and whose studentstrembled before him.

    It once happened that I didsomething displeasing to him and hehit me. Then R Mendel showed upand I looked at him like an angelfrom heaven who might rescue me

    from the melameds belt. R Mendelbegan yelling at him: What do youwant from the boy? His father is in

    jail. He is like an orphan. See howthin he is. Leave him alone!

    But R Zushe, who was elderlyand strong-willed, wasnt impressed

    by R Mendel and told him to stopinterfering with his work.

    Throughout my childhood and

    youth, R Mendel was a symbol of agenuine Chassid and a baal mesirusnefesh to me and my friends. We,

    who grew up in Samarkand afterthe war, without the presence of thegreat Chassidim who filled the cityduring the war, received our Jewish,Chassidic education through thestories that we heard from ourelders about the holy Rebbeim andabout Chassidim, such as R AsherBatumer (Sossonkin), R Nissan

    Der Geller (Neminov), R YonaCohen, and of course, R MendelFuterfas.

    We heard vivid descriptions of RMendels lengthy and sweet prayer,about his Chassidim aphorisms, andabout his wondrous acts of chesed.

    It is interesting to note that RChaim Dovber (Berke) Chein, who

    was himself a giant of a Chassidicpersonality, spoke a great deal aboutother Chassidim, and since he had

    heard a lot about R Mendel, whomhe knew personally, he would tell us

    a lot and emphasize his mesirusnefesh.

    All those Chassidim, giants of thespirit, left Russia during the greatflight of 1946-7. R Mendel was one

    of the few left behind in Russia andhe spent many years in jail. Wealways hoped that one day he would

    be released and we would be able tomeet him face to face.

    R BERKE ANDR MOSHE DEBATE

    After Anash left Russia andfollowing the great wave of arrestsof those who were caught in the last

    attempt to flee, the Chassidim whoremained in Russia were extremelyfearful. The emotional breakdownthat followed the war and the

    vacuum that was created after all theChassidic figures disappeared fromthe scene, contributed towards afeeling of great distress.

    We were young children, pre-barmitzva, but the older bachurim

    began to get a taste of mesirusnefesh to preserve their Lubavitch

    appearance. Their beards began togrow in, giving them a distinctivelyChassidic look and literally puttingtheir lives in danger. Since it wasout of the question to remove their

    beards, they tried to hide it with ascarf and when they werequestioned about the scarf, they

    would say they suffered from atoothache.

    The passing years didnt treat us

    My brother-in-law, R Aryeh LeibDemichovsky

    My father-in-law, R EfraimDemichovsky

    If you want, I will send you and the children out, but I cannot l Russia until thelast of theChassidim leave.

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    well. Black clouds began to coverthe skies of Russia. The dictatorStalin, may his name be erased,came up with the infamous DoctorsPlot. Jewish doctors who served aspersonal doctors of governmentofficials were thrown into jail and

    arrests of Jews throughout theSoviet Union became routine.

    Reliable rumors told of 40,000barracks that were prepared inSiberia to absorb the millions ofJews whom Stalin planned onexpelling after arranging a show trialof the doctors accused of plotting tokill the heads of the government.For a long period of time we lived indaily, palpable fear.

    In that bleak time it was a

    serious offense for people tocongregate, and under thesecircumstances it was impossible todream about a yeshiva or minyan. Aprivate melamed would come to ourhouse a few times a week for anhour a day, but not at a set time sothat the neighbors wouldnt noticeanything unusual.

    It was impossible to go to shul todaven and Anash tried to arrangesecret minyanim in private homes, at

    first only on holidays and then onShabbos Mevarchim too. Since wedid not have a Torah, the sidra wasread from a Chumash, just in orderto give us young boys an idea of

    what communal prayer was like.After the unexpected death of the

    tyrant Stalin, Khrushchev, who tookover, revealed the horrifying detailsof what Stalin planned to do. Thedoctors were released and manypeople arrested in the great wave of

    arrests in 1937-8 and in 1950-1,were released too.

    In the meantime, we had grownup and had become bachurim. RMoshe Nisselevitz once called meover and told me that he planned onfounding an organization that wouldgive us more energy and chayus to

    work in spreading Judaism andChassidus. At first, this organization

    was called Chaburas Ahavas Yisroel(Chai).

    In later years, when R Moshesaw in the holy Shlah about howgreat it is to bring merit to themany, he changed the name toChaburas Mizakei HaRabbim

    (Chamah).We began with underground

    activities with the encouragement ofR Moshe. We started a gemachfund to aid the needy, and tried to

    be mekarev those Jews who went offthe derech.

    Throughout all our secret workwe were witness to an ongoingdebate between R Moshe and RBerke Chein, who hid in Samarkandat that time, and was one of the

    remnants of the previous generationof spiritual giants. In hisfarbrengens, R Berke stressed that

    before working with others, you hadto invest energy and efforts in avoda

    with yourself. Only afterwards couldyou influence others.

    R Moshe opined that if wedelayed the work with others until

    we were ready, it could be too late.The other person is not at fault

    because we are not ready, he

    heatedly maintained.In 5719/1959, with the

    reduction in the level of fear of

    Stalins time, I planned a trip intothe depths of Russia on behalf of thecommunity. I planned on visiting afew cities including Chernovitz, ofcourse, where R Mendel lived afterhe was released from jail in 1956.

    Before I left, I spoke a lot with R

    Moshe about R Mendel. He told mewhat he knew about R Mendelsmesirus nefesh and he also told meabout his cleverness. I wondered

    whether I could tell R Mendel allthe details about our underground

    work in Samarkand, which in thoseyears had grown quite large.

    Peoples fear of those who hadspent time in the KGBs lair was sogreat that we could never know

    what happened to that person over

    there. Did the KGB agents manageto recruit them? I consulted with myfather ah and my brother-in-law REliyahu Mishulovin ah and bothrejected my concern out of hand.

    R Moshe Nisselevitz was alsofirm in his opinion: G-d forbid tosuspect R Mendel. We heard howhe conducted himself during theinterrogations, taking all the blame,etc. We decided to tell himeverything and to consult with him

    regarding certain things, withoutconcealing anything.

    [To be continued beH]

    R Berke Chein R Moshe Nisselevitz

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    ZEALOTRY FOR THE

    SAKE OF HEAVEN VS.SELF-SERVING

    ZEALOTRY

    Sometimes, two opposite forces such as true love from the depthsof ones heart and vicious hatred

    bring about the same practicalresult. The difference between themis only in the motivation of the act.For example, a knife can serve adoctor when he needs to amputate a

    limb in order to save a life. A knifecan also be used to maim and kill.

    Although the results are similar,there is an obvious, extremedifference between them.

    Religious fanaticism, fighting forthe Torah and taking revenge on the

    wicked, can originate in one of twoopposing sources. One personfights with all his might for the sakeof Torah, and when he sees a

    wicked person degrading the Torah,

    he rises up against him in a holywar in order to subdue him. Inextreme instances, he kills him forthe sake of Heaven, in order to savehim from continuing his sinful

    ways. We see this with Pinchas,who, when he saw the terrible thingthat Zimri ben Salu did, killed himin an act motivated by religiouszealotry. Pinchas love and fear ofHashem compelled him to put hislife aside and to fight those who

    desecrated the honor of Heaven.Some, on the other hand, use

    religious zealotry in order to hurtothers, to insult them and to shed

    blood, doing so because they takepleasure in hurting others, and not

    because of any desire to increasethe honor of Heaven. They enjoyshaming others but hide theircruelty in a guise of holiness.

    The other side of the coin, those

    who fight against religious zealots,can also be divided into oppositecategories:

    Some oppose religious zealotryfor good reasons. In their opinion,acts of religious zealotry cause adesecration of G-ds name,

    distances people from the Torah,and takes away from the Torahshonor and from the honor of Torahscholars. They consider the properapproach to be mekarev Jews to beone of pleasantness.

    However, there are people who,upon encountering zealots forHashem and His Torah, fightagainst them; they simply cannotstand seeing someone who takes theTorah to heart to such a degree.

    They are bothered by genuine menof truth. When the zealot directscriticism against them, they respond

    violently with a war that comessolely from the Evil Inclination andfrom lack of honor for the Torahand those who follow in its holy

    ways.Discussions about zealotry have

    stirred up the Jewish people sincethe beginning of time until this veryday:

    Does shouting and cursing toprotest Shabbos desecrators andthose who desecrate the Torah comefrom pure zealotry for Hashem andHis Torah, or is it an outlet andexcuse to insult people? Doesreligious zealotry increase the honorof Heaven and add soldiers forHashem and His Torah, or does itpush people away?

    Let us examine the types ofzealots and those who oppose them

    in order to establish when their actsare pure and good and when theyare invalid and bad. In instances

    where the Torah view is to act withzealousness, how can we explain toand convince those who fightzealotry that this is the proper way?

    We will look at Pinchas zealotryand that of Moshiach, with whichhe will conquer and save the world.

    Pinchas was a young man who tookmatters into his own hands. Whatmotivated him to risk his life when somany people, including heads of tribes

    and the Elders, did nothing to stop Zimri? * A discussion about differenttypes of zealotry and those who opposeit. * A fascinating look at the parsha ofthe week from the perspective of the

    Midrash, Kabbala, and ChabadChassidus.

    THE ZEALOTBy Rabbi Yosef Karasik, Rav district Bat Chefer-Emek Chefer

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    PINCHAS AND HISZEALOTRY

    Zimri, the Nasi of the tribe ofShimon, took a gentile woman andPinchas, in his zealousness,opposed him with mesirus nefesh

    and killed him. At first glance, youcan get the wrong impression aboutboth Pinchas and Zimri:

    Zimri was a tzaddik who led histribe of Shimon and provided fortheir needs. His love for them wasso strong that when his tribe toldhim that they were going to die

    because of the gentile women theyhad taken, he felt compassion forthem. Despite his stature, hehimself took a Midyanite woman,

    Kozbi bas Tzur (under theimpression that a child born to aJewish father and a non-Jewishmother would be Jewish) and heasked Moshe, If you say it isforbidden to marry a Midyanite

    woman, why are you married toone, the daughter of Yisro? (Inaddition to which, Moshe served asa Kohen, and a Kohen cannotmarry even a convert.)

    The one who opposed Zimri was

    not a famous person it wasntMoshe and not one of the 70Elders, nor one of the Nsiim. It

    was Pinchas, who was himselfdescended from a Midyanite woman(because his father Elozor marriedthe sister of Tzippora, Moshes

    wife, one of the daughters of Yisrothe Midyanite). He did not engagein discussion and debate; he simplykilled Zimri!

    Many Jews thought that Zimri

    was on a higher level than Pinchas.They considered Zimri to be aloving leader and Pinchas to be ayoung fanatic.

    THE TRIBESDISPARAGED HIM

    Most of the Jewish peopleopposed the murder of Zimri,saying that Pinchas zealousness

    was not genuine. They thought thatPinchas had desecrated the name ofHashem. This group was composedof two categories of individuals.

    The sinners who lived withMidyanite women opposed Pinchasfor selfish reasons. They identified

    with Zimri, who took a gentilewoman, and they feared that theytoo would be killed. However, theypresented their opposition in theguise of concern for the honor ofHeaven, supporting it with religiousreasons.

    The truth is that love for Torahwas not their motivation. Their lust,anger, and personal vendettaagainst Pinchas is what spurredthem on. Moshe did not respond to

    their complaints and many of themwere killed by the court for theirsins. Their rectification was notthrough explanations andintellectual proofs, because the EvilInclination burned within them.

    The rest of the Jewish people,those who disparaged Pinchas, didnot have personal reasons for doingso. They were not from the tribe ofShimon and were not sinners. Theiranger against Pinchas came from

    pure motivations the honor ofMoshe and the other Torah scholarsand leaders.

    They maintained that Pinchasdisparaged the leaders, for howcould one so young know thehalacha about killing a Jew who hasrelations with a non-Jew, when theman of G-d, Moshe Rabbeinu,did not tell them this halacha?Thus, they thought Pinchas act wasnot motivated by love for Hashem.

    They examined Pinchas lineageand discovered that his grandfather,his mothers father, fattened cowsand slaughtered them for idols. Theact of fattening them indicates acruel nature. Although at firstglance it seems as though he fedthem in abundance out of love forthe animals, his real intention wasto ultimately kill the fattened

    animals!This is how the tribes interpreted

    Pinchas zealousness in killingZimri, saying it stemmed from hiscruel nature which was inheritedfrom his ancestors who enjoyedkilling, and not from zealousness

    for the sake of Heaven.In fact, they went further and

    said that the nature of a cruelperson is such that he particularlyhates compassionate people. Thekinder the person, the greater hishatred for them. They interpretedthe killing of Zimri as an expressionof Pinchas hatred for someone who

    was known as a good man, a loyalleader who was good to histribesmen.

    PINCHAS SON OFELOZOR SON OF

    AHARON

    Hashem examined kidneys andthe heart, and He testifies in HisTorah that they were wrong aboutPinchas and about Zimri: Pinchasthe son of Elozor the son of

    Aharon is a man with wonderfulcharacter traits. He is the grandson

    of Aharon, who loves peace andpursues peace. Pinchas is allkindness and mercy, love ofHashem and love of people! He isnot cruel and does not rejoice atsuffering. He takes no pleasure instriking anyone. His only motivationis the honor of Heaven zealousness for Hashem!

    By taking a spear and killingZimri, Pinchas vanquished theplague. (The Zohar explains that

    Pinchas took the letter Mem fromthe word mavess (death) andadded to it the strength of Yitzchok

    Avinu, whose name is numericallyequivalent to rach, 208, to formthe word romach, a spear. Bytaking the letter Mem frommavess, the Angel of Death hadno power to kill, and the plagueceased.)

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    Furthermore, by killing Zimri,Pinchas rectified Zimri himself, asthe Noam Elimelech writes, Andhe took a romach (spear) meansthat Pinchas took the 248 limbs(the gematria of romach) of

    Zimri and rectified them and

    infused them with life, becausethe power of the holiness of

    Aharon HaKohen can be mekarevall souls and return them toholiness. (By being moser nefesh,he fulfilled all 248 mitzvos, which ishinted at in the phrase, and hetook a spear, for spear equals248, the number of positive mitzvosTiferes Shlomo, Balak.)

    Whereas Zimri, the leader of theTribe of Shimon, instead of serving

    as an example of holiness andpurity, guiding his tribe not to takeMidyanite women, succumbed tohis Evil Inclination and sinned. He

    was impudent to Moshe and he fellinto the depths of darkness of theimpurity of Midyan. (In Kabbala itis explained that the source of hissoul was a reincarnation of

    Shchem, the son of Chamor, whokidnapped Dina.)

    ONE MAN SAVED ANENTIRE NATION!

    A lone individual did somethingwith no backing by any spiritualfigure and he opposed someone

    who was a Nasi. Zimri had provedwith halachic reasoning that Moshe

    was wrong (who permitted thedaughter of Yisro to you? heasked). Zimri had 24,000 guardsfrom his tribe. So what motivatedPinchas to endanger both hisspiritual and physical lives? Bykilling Zimri he stood to be

    disqualified for the service of theKehuna, and killing a Jewish man

    who has relations with a non-Jew isnot one of the three sins for which

    we are commanded to sacrifice ourlives!

    The answer is that Pinchas didnot think it through, weighing thepros and cons, material andspiritual. He saw one thing beforehim following an explicitinstruction from Moshe. He

    nullified himself to what the leaderof the Jewish people had said andignored everything else. Since hehad heard directly from Moshe thatone who has relations with a non-Jew, zealots kill him, he stuck to itat all costs, even though he couldhave been a source of mockery toall, and even though by doing so he

    endangered his life. He rushed tocarry out the instruction withmesirus nefesh, without considering

    whether it was worth his while to doso. The main thing was to do whathis Rebbe said!

    This one deed by an individualgave great nachas to Hashem andsaved the nation!

    MOSHIACHSZEALOUSNESS

    The greatest zealot for Hashemand His Torah is Moshiach.Rambam (Laws of Kings, 11:4)says that Moshiach will compel allIsrael to follow it [the Torah] andstrengthen its breaches and fight the

    wars of Hashem. This is theultimate in religious zealotry Moshiach will compel all Jews.

    How will Moshiach accomplishthis? What are his weapons? Welearn what they are from the Rebbes

    behavior on countless occasions. Hecompelled people to do mitzvos in

    ways of pleasantness, as in theprophecy of Zecharia (11:7) that

    Hashem, the Shepherd has twosticks and two ways of conductingHimself: the stick ofchovlim, i.e.,

    with power and with punishments,and the stick ofnoam, i.e.,pleasantness, as the Ohr HaChayimHaKadosh, whose yahrtzait is 15Tamuz, says (Dvarim 11:22): toreprove with pleasantness, words oflove and affection, to turn the heartof man to straighten the crookednessof the heart.

    This is what the Rebbe taught allhis shluchim and disciplesworldwide: to compel the world tobelieve in Hashem and to compelthe Jewish people to go in the waysof Torah with the warmth ofsimcha.

    The approach of Musar is tocompel people to do mitzvos withthreats and with descriptions of thepunishments of Gehinom, but theapproach of Chassidus is to inspire

    people to do mitzvos with simcha.The Rebbe, the Pinchas of thegeneration, guides all members ofthe generation to the properzealousness of Moshiach, toconquer the world and illuminate it

    with the light of holiness and Torahwith the stick of pleasantness, kiruvand love, with the completeRedemption, may it be now!

    Sources: Likkutei Sichos vol. 8 among others

    Moshiach will compel all Israel tofollow it [the Torah] and strengthen itsbreaches and fight the wars of

    Hashem. This is the ultimate inreligious zealotry Moshiach will

    compel all Jews.

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    I sat with Rabbi ChaimAshkenazi in his home, in a coolroom full of sfarim, with an old-

    fashioned ceiling fan whirring. RAshkenazi is a fascinating person.He knows how to talk and how tolisten in silence. He uses thesethoughtful moments of silence a lot

    when asked interviewed about hisposition of rav in Tel Aviv.

    I recently accepted this positionand Im still learning, he explained,unlike many others who know it allas soon as they start.

    Rabbi Chaim Ashkenazi was bornin Tel Aviv sixty years ago. Hisfather was Rabbi Moshe ah, the rav

    of the Chabad community in TelAviv for 47 years, and a member ofthe hanhala of Agudas ChassideiChabad. His mother was RebbetzinDevorah ah, daughter of RabbiEliezer Karasik ah who was alsorav of the Chabad community in Tel

    Aviv and one of the people who setChabad in Eretz Yisroel on its feet.

    R Chaim learned in a ChabadTalmud Torah on Rechov HaRav

    Kook 16 in Tel Aviv, continued inYeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in Lud,in Rishon LTziyon with R ShaulBrook ah, and in Kfar Chabad. Hespent his year on Kvutza betweenPesach 5729 and Pesach 5730 andreceived smicha for rabbanus from

    Rabbi Yisroel Yitzchok Piekarski,rosh yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim-770.

    After he married, R Chaim wasappointed mashgiach in the mesivtaof Tomchei Tmimim in Lud. Twoyears after that, he was offered aposition in the yeshiva ketana, which

    was called chariftaback then. Afterthe Rebbe instructed him to find out

    whether it entailed any hasagas gvul(encroachment), R Ashkenazi

    received the Rebbes bracha.During a yechidus that his wife

    had, in which the Rebbe spoke aboutthe role in yeshiva, the Rebbe smiledand said: Your husband has smichafor rabbanus When he heardabout this, R Ashkenazi said he wasafraid that one day he would have toserve as rav.

    R Chaim Ashkenazi served asmashgiach for twenty years andguided thousands of talmidim in

    Torah and Chassidishe behavior. Inrecent years, he has been mashpia inTomchei Tmimim in Ohr Yehuda. Afew months ago, when his fatherpassed away, he took over hisfathers position as rav of theChabad community in Tel Aviv.

    You are serving as rav of thecommunity you were born into

    Yes. I grew up in thiscommunity.

    Surely you have memories of

    your childhood in the communityI was raised in the Chassidishe

    atmosphere. The community wasfocused on the shul on RechovNachalat Binyamin. The community

    wasnt just the center for Chabad inTel Aviv, but for the entire country,as Chabad was small at the time.The shul was another world, onethat breathed Chassidishkait.

    As a child, he watched the Chassidim in

    the Chabad shul in Tel Aviv, and observed their davening, their avoda,and their farbrengens suffused with old-time Chassidishkait. His grandfather

    was a rav, his father was a rav, and hesaw all this as he got up to speak when he himself became rav a few monthsago. * An interview with Rabbi Chaim Ashkenazi, rav of the Chabad community in Tel Aviv and a frequentcontributor to Beis Moshiach.

    TEL AVIV

    REVIVALBy Menachem Ziegelboim

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    Everything took place at the shul- the farbrengens, the shiurim - or atthe homes of Anash. They werealways looking for a special occasionor other reasons to go to shul.

    Whoever had some free time went toshul and sat and learned. Its what

    united the entire community. Theyfarbrenged and davened together,learned Chassidus and Nigleh,fought, made up - it all took place inshul.

    Was the emphasis on Shabbosand Yom Tovim?

    Not necessarily, although theatmosphere on Shabbos wasobviously, a lot more lively,throughout the week, whoever had

    the time would go to shul. Even aworking person would go beforeMincha and stay and learn. There

    were always reasons to stay.As a boy I heard a story from my

    mother that illustrates what theatmosphere was like back then. In

    those early days, when making alivelihood was so very difficult, mygrandmother would bake cakes andsell them to the stores. My father

    brought them to the stores to sellthem, and thats how they supportedthemselves.

    My father was a friend of theChassidim, R Moshe Dubinsky, RNachum Goldschmidt, and R Pinye

    Altheus, even though he was

    younger than them. One time, myfather was walking in the street withthe cake, on his way to one of thepastry shops, when he met R Mosheand R Nachum.

    Moshe, what are you holdingthere?

    Cake, he answered.Ah, great! We have mashke and

    you have cake, and thats a reason tofarbreng, they said. They went intothe shul with him and farbrenged forhours.

    That was the atmosphere in thosedays.

    The focal point of Chassidic lifewas, of course, the farbrengens onShabbos, which Ill never forget. I

    The topics ofconversation werenot about politics

    but about storiesof Chassidim,living with the

    Rebbe, living withMoshiach...

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    was a boy and a boy did not sit nearthe farbrengen table. Back then,children did not get near the table,not only in the physical sense butalso in the spiritual sense. Childrenknew that their place was not nearthe table but around it. (In general,

    in those days, there wasnt much ofan emphasis on childrenparticipating in farbrengens. TheRebbe is the one who emphasizedthe importance of this.)

    Nevertheless, I would try tostand behind the benches and listen.I was always on the alert to go and

    bring mashke or the chulent fromthe home of R Moshe Yaroslavskyor someone else.

    Rabbi Moshe Gurary and my

    grandfather, Rav Eliezer Karasik,were the main speakers. Before them

    was R Zalman Moshe HaYitzchaki,but I dont remember him. Therewas also the niggunim part of thefarbrengen, which was led by RNachum Goldschmidt and R Pinye

    Altheus, both of whom werewonderful baalei menagnim. Whenthey sang, it was silent and all wereunder their spell. They had theirfavorite niggunim, which were called

    R Nachums Niggun and RPinyes Niggun.

    Farbrengens took place nearlyevery Shabbos and lasted untilMincha. After Mincha there was areview of a maamer Chassidus. Theydidnt always go home Shabbosafternoon. On Shabbos Chazon, forexample, they farbrenged all day. So

    when we stayed a long time to

    farbreng on other occasions, mygrandmother and mother would ask:

    What happened? Its not ShabbosChazon today!

    At these farbrengens, therewasnt food as there is today. Therewas herring and a little cake,

    mashke, and water from the faucet.There was no soda. I remember thefirst time they brought bottles ofseltzer. There was a lot of grabbingand then they got rid of it. Soda at afarbrengen?!

    At a certain point, they beganbringing cups of tea from the bigurn in the Gerrer shtibel on thesecond floor. The first few times,they got rid of the cups of tea.Thats the way it was at farbrengens,

    without tea and without specialdrinks. However, over the years,

    little by little, there was tea, spritzbottles of seltzer, no more than that.People sat to farbreng in order tolisten, not to eat.

    Despite the lack of refreshmentsand despite the length of thefarbrengens, Anash didnt leave inthe middle of a farbrengen.Someone who had to go homesnuck out so people wouldnt notice.

    First he would send one of hischildren out with his tallis withoutpeople noticing, and then he wouldgo out to the bathroom, supposedly,and go home.

    If they caught him in the act, boywould he get it! When he returnedfor Mincha, he would lookuncomfortably around him and tryto be inconspicuous.

    Simchas Torah was the highlightof the entire year. This was the timethat they farbrenged in mygrandfathers house (and beforethat, in the home of R Shmuel

    Zalmanov), until late at night.Afterwards, they would go on

    Tahalucha to shul. They wouldsomersault and dance along the wayand stop traffic. Sometimes, they

    would take drivers out of their carsand dance with them.

    Thats how they arrived at theshul, very late at night, and would

    begin davening Maariv and AtaHoreisa. By this time, people in theother shuls had finished theirhakafos and their Yom Tov meal,and they would come to watch

    hakafos at the Chabad shul. Theshul was packed, with peoplestanding on the windows and inevery corner. And what a sight it

    was!There was real joy and they

    danced and danced and danced.There had said a lot of lchaim andthere was what to hear from them.There was no violence, not even

    verbal violence against anyone, G-dforbid. On the contrary, it brought

    out more of their pnimius, as wasalways the case with Chassidim inthose days.

    Even the taking of mashke wasdone in a special way. There wereChassidim who drank on SimchasTorah night, like R Ben-Tzion

    Weingruber ah, and there wereChassidim who drank mashke in thedaytime (and they never switchedtimes!), like R Yudel Shmotkin ahand R Nissan Eber ah. It wasnt

    drinking for the sake of drinking,chv, but a genuine Chassidicexpression of simcha.

    In general, Tel Aviv was differentin those days. It was a differentplanet than the one we are familiar

    with now. Tel Aviv was secular thenbut the secularism wasnt in thestreets; it was in the homes or on the

    beach. The streets were quiet and

    When we stayed a long time to farbreng on other occasions, my grandmother and mother would ask: What happened? Its not Shabbos Chazontoday!

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    there were few privately owned cars(especially during the time ofausterity, when every car had to beidle one day a week). Secularism

    was quiet intellectual-heresy, andnot something externally visible.

    * * *

    The Chabad community in TelAviv was led by Rav Eliezer Karasik,who was also one of the mainChabad askanim in Eretz Yisroel.On Friday night, 5 Nissan5720/1960, R Karasik had theShabbos meal at home, in the courseof which he sang many Chassidisheniggunim.

    After the Shabbos meal, he toldhis grandson, Chaim Ashkenazi(who lived in his house from the ageof 11, when his father sent him fromBrazil in order to learn in Eretz

    Yisroel), Now you have vacationand we can learn Gemara together.

    After finishing Shnayim MikraVEchad Targum, he went to bed.He had a heart attack in the middleof the night.

    A doctor who lived in theneighborhood was called and he

    gave R Karasik a strong injection,but it didnt help. Towards morning,R Karasik passed away. Out of theentire extended family, only hiseleven-year-old grandson Chaim waspresent, almost as if DivineProvidence was indicating that he

    would one day take the mantle ofleadership.

    The Rebbe said the rabbinicposition should be passed on to hisson-in-law, Rabbi Moshe Ashkenazi.

    When your father accepted therabbanus, did he institutechanges?

    When my father took on theposition, the community was

    beginning to disintegrate. The younggeneration left Tel Aviv and scattered

    to Kfar Chabad, Bnei Brak, RamatGan and Petach Tikva. They saidthey had nothing to do in Tel Aviv.In those days, the Rebbe said that aChabad neighborhood should be

    built in Tel Aviv, but Anash didntinternalize the message.

    They began to look into it, butthe area that the municipality agreedto set aside was in the dunes nearTel Boruch, far from the center of

    the city, and nobody wanted to livethere. Later on, the Ramat Avivneighborhood was built there, whichtoday is an exclusive area north ofTel Aviv, where there is a beautifulChabad community led by Rabbi

    Yossi Ginsburgh.

    In any case, when my fatherarrived, the school was shrinkingand he held on to it with his teeth,so to say, for a long time, on hisown account. At a certain point, heleft his work in the diamondexchange and became a melamed.

    The same with the shul. Myfather and Rabbi Sholom DovberButman strengthened thecommunity with all their might.More than once, people said: Lets

    close up shop. What are we hangingon to the shul for? Its fate is sealed.

    But my father refused. R SholomDovber Butman, the mashpia of theshul, tended it with endless devotionfrom both the material and spiritualaspects. As time passed, the benches

    began to fill up again. Rabbi BoazSegal was one of the first of theyoung guard of the worshippers inthe shul. Baruch Hashem, in recentyears new faces have been appearing

    of people who have become baaleitshuva thanks to the shluchim whoare all over the city. Some comeregularly and some comeoccasionally, but we hope that theshul will experience a revival.

    My father did not make arevolution per se; he was not thetype, but he preserved what he had.It would not have taken much forthe shul with its beautiful past to beclosed for good, but my father, in

    his quiet way, with his incrediblepatience, preserved what there was.

    What happened to thecommunity under your fathersleadership?

    The shul was like a naturepreserve of authentic Chassidishkait.Every Shabbos there were tfillosand farbrengens. Whoever came tothe Chabad shul could not stop help

    but remember the farbrengens that

    Three generations of rabbanim:Rabbi Eliezer Karasik (sitting),

    with his son-in-law, Rabbi MosheAshkenazi and grandchildren

    (from left to right), R Mordechai,R Notke ah, R Chaim

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    took place every Shabbos. Today aswell, we look for a reason tofarbreng and we always find one.Sometimes the farbrengen goes lateinto the night. We speak aboutChassidus, tell Chassidishe stories,stories of the Rebbeim. Its a taanug

    (spiritual pleasure). People say theyhavent found another corner of Tel

    Aviv like this one. Theres no doubtthat the place is saturated.

    The topics of conversation werenot about politics but about storiesof Chassidim, living with the Rebbe,living with Moshiach, and all thisthanks to my father, who madeefforts to preserve the character ofthe shul.

    My father was always particular

    about sitting until the end of thefarbrengen, even though it lastedmany hours and it was hard for him.In his later years, when he couldntsit for many hours, thegrandchildren bought him areclining chair which they brought tothe womens section. Since womenalso sat at the farbrengen until late,my father would wait until they leftand then he would go to the

    womens section, where he rested

    until Mincha.* * *

    After R Moshe Ashkenazi passedaway on 23 Teives of this year, hisson R Chaim was appointed rav ofthe community. Under the presentconditions, it was not anappointment that brought him honorand acclaim, but R Chaim

    Ashkenazi is fulfilling his fatherswish:

    On a number of occasions, myfather said he wanted someone fromthe family to continue the rabbinictradition in the community, said RChaim. In the final years, R Chaimstayed with his father every Shabbos.My father said to me, You startedand you are fitting, so continue.

    When you got up to speak whenyou accepted the position, youprobably saw before your eyes,

    your father and grandfather, yourpredecessors, and those illustriousChassidic figures and the vibrantChassidic life of the past

    Yes, it was very emotional as wellas very surprising. Who am I to takeon this position? I feel like a little

    boy putting on his fathers big shoes,taking his hat and umbrella and

    saying, I am like Abba. Who am Ito fill the place of my father andgrandfather? Who am I that Ishould serve as rav in a place which

    was the birthplace of Chabad inEretz Yisroel? But this is what myfather wanted.

    Your father instructed you?

    My father tried not to tell uswhat to do so we wouldnttransgress in Kibbud Av. He wouldalways phrase it as a suggestion andnever gave orders. Sometimes, whenhe would tell us something, he

    would hurry and call us upafterwards and emphasize that it wasonly a suggestion and not aninstruction.

    [To be continued beH]

    Installing Rabbi Chaim Ashkenazi as ravof the Nachalat Binyamin Shul in Tel Aviv

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    Permit me to begin withsomething of a personal confession:Something changed within me sinceGimmel Tammuz 5754, and beforeour devoted readers move on to thenext article, I have to explain: Since

    then, I have stopped reading theweekly magazine that defines itselftoday as the weekly magazine forChabad chassidim in EretzHaKodesh. What the reasons arefor this whether it was me who

    changed or perhaps its themagazine that has changed is animportant subject for discussion, butnot in this forum.

    As a result of this decision, whileI apparently lost out on several

    articles, interviews, and reports thathave created a storm in the Chabadworld, nevertheless, it doesntappear to me that were talkingabout too heavy a price. In anyevent, when there was somethingreally important, there was alwayssomeone who brought the matter tomy attention, thus enabling me torespond whenever the need arose.

    It is specifically for this reasonthat I was stunned to see the

    heading of an article publicized inthe aforementioned periodical,entitled A Chassid Does Not HideFrom Uncomfortable Instructions.This appeared to me as if it should

    be the title to an article in theBeisMoshiach Magazine, and therefore, Ibegan to read it eagerly. Then, Icame to the paragraph where theauthor establishes, It is essential tohave a direct and proper approach

    Id like to make a practical suggestion:Gather together all of the Rebbes

    answers and responses known to us in

    connection with the subject of Moshiach and the Redemption from both sides, every answer publicized in thepast (prior to Gimmel Tammuz 5754) orwith proven credibility, without ignoring a single instruction, sicha, or action, and bring them to light without

    commentary. Who is prepared toaccept the challenge?

    YOU CANT

    IGNORE THE

    FACTSBy Rabbi Shlomo HalpernTranslated By Michoel Leib Dobry

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    when were talking about the wordsof the Rebbe. We are chassidim, andthe most precious thing to us is togo in the direction of the Rebbesholy viewpoint. We do not havepositions dictated to us in advance.If we reach the conclusion that it is

    the will of the Rebbe that we shoulddo such and such, this must be ouroutlook and our aspiration. Theauthor continues by expressing hisastonishment: How is it possiblethat in a public discussion amongchassidim, they totally ignore acomplete series of answers andinstructions simply because itcontradicts the position thatsomeone holds, as if theyre saying,Dont confuse me with facts.

    I was beside myself with joy, asthis represented the very reason why

    Beis Moshiachwas founded. Are wenow no longer needed?

    In fact, the author had chosen tomake his readers aware of oneparticular instruction that had beenpersonally brought to his attention.

    G-d forbid, if we should ignore thisinstruction, and G-d willing, we willdiscuss it at some point. However, inorder that we should not findourselves merely repeating the wordsof others, we will bring here a fewmore instructions, which even this

    person surely is not trying to ignore.(They appeared in this very samemagazine more than thirteen yearsago.) Furthermore, the fact thatsince then they totally ignore acomplete series of answers andinstructions is certainly not simply

    because it contradicts the positionthat someone holds. Lets attempthere to correct this distortion.

    Rabbi Shalom Dovber HaLeviWolpo yes, the one from the

    farbrengen at the start of 5745,which became one of thefoundations of the chassidicoutlook brought into the RebbeMHM unbound pages from hisseifer Yechi HaMelech HaMoshiach,to which the Rebbe referred eventhen. On the 19th of MarCheshvan

    5752, the Rebbe replied, It wasreceived, many thanks. It isenclosed with this [note] to bepublished and exchanged for abound one and thank you inadvance. May it be with successand for good tidings.

    (NOTE: Were talking about thepublishing of a seifer publicized anddistributed even in non-Chabadcircles, publicity in every respect,and see the type of positive andencouragement-filled response Rabbi

    Wolpo received!)If the answer to Rabbi Wolpo is

    to be categorized as a response to aprivate individual, there are dozensof positive answers that groups ofChabad women and Anash members

    throughout the world received inresponse to reports of the signing ofpetitions on kabbalas hamalchus(acceptance of the Rebbessovereignty) and they are definitelyalong the lines of generalinstructions.

    Chabad women were privileged

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    to receive the most encouraginganswers about their activities forkabbalas hamalchus, etc. In thepreparations for their kinus, duringthe kinus itself, and even afterwards,they merited to have the RebbeMHM issue clear answers and

    references, including on the matterof acceptance of the Rebbessovereignty as Melech HaMoshiach.In this article, we are focusing onlyupon instructions, and therefore, we

    will mention here just the RebbeMHMs instruction to the Chabad

    women of London: And surelythey will be in touch with NsheiChabad here to know about theircelebration here recently thecelebration where they accepted and

    signed on kabbalas hamalchus!As mentioned earlier, there are so

    many answers of this type, a smallquote from one of them causes atremendous injustice in presentingthe case. Nevertheless, we will relyupon the readers to find thoseanswers that have been publicized inthe past, including recently inBeis

    Moshiach and elsewhere. Here, wewill bring only one such answer.

    There were differences of

    opinions within the Nshei ChabadOrganization in Yerushalayimregarding making a kinus with theobjective ofkabbalas hamalchusthrough signatures, etc. A proposal

    was made that the two sides submittheir arguments to the Rebbetogether on two separate slips ofpaper.

    When these two slips werebrought before the Rebbe, he tookthe first one, which included the

    proposal of collecting signatures,and responded, And it should bein a good and an auspicious hour.I will mention it at the Tziyon.

    Afterwards, the Rebbe perused thesecond slip (which included theargument that the petition proposalcan drive people away) for a fewseconds. He then asked for the firstslip again, placed it on top of the

    second one, and after a bit moreperusing, took the second slip (thenegative one), placed it on the side,and again gave the first slip to thesecretary with the instructions,Give them the response (asmentioned above).

    WHO DID THE REBBEINSTRUCT NOT TO

    SPEAK ABOUTMOSHIACH?

    As we have promised, we are notignoring other instructions, and forthe benefit of our readers who dontgraze in strange pastures, we will

    bring the instruction received andpublicized by R. Menachem Mendel

    HaLevi Brod. In brief, the story goesas follows:

    One day leading up to Yud Shvat5753, Rabbi Brod was invited toappear on a television program andrespond to the activities of a groupof Chabad women who wereapproaching passers-by and gettingthem to sign petitions for theacceptance of the sovereignty of theRebbe as Melech HaMoshiach. Atfirst, Rabbi Brod refused to appear,

    but when he understood that thereport was already an establishedfact, he decided to come on theprogram and explain how studentsand chassidim perceived their rabbito be Melech HaMoshiach, as isknown and taught throughout theTalmud and by Torah giants in everygeneration. Regarding Rabbi Brodsinitial decision not to make anycomments, the Rebbe issued aresponse: And he should also

    continue [as such] in the future.As matters progressed and RabbiBrod appeared to give his preparedexplanation, the Rebbe wrote,Doesnt he understand that whenhe starts to speak, they will makehim continue even more?

    I dont understand whatcommentary we have to buildaround this answer. Why dont we

    just accept it according to its simplemeaning? The Rebbe didnt wantRabbi Brod to respond in the mediaon the subject of publicizing theidentity of Melech HaMoshiach, andeven explained the reason why.

    Whats so hard to understand? Did

    the Rebbe instruct him to take actionagainst the publicity, as he doesnow?

    While we have no need forinferior explanations, in any event,anyone who happens to hear thisperson being interviewed in themedia or appear at various functions(except for his articles as no onedisputes his flair for writing prepared lectures and Torah classes,or anywhere else where he is allowed

    to prepare his words, as is knownwith others in the field) inconnection with the identity ofMelech HaMoshiach, exposed in thecontent of what he says and themanner in which he presents them,

    will readily understand, even withinhis limited intellect, the instructionsof And he should also continue inthe future. We must feel only deepregret that this distinguished writerdidnt obey this order, and instead

    commented on the subject of thepublicity over Melech HaMoshiachsidentity. Perhaps this was hisintention when he said that it isforbidden to ignore instructions,even when they are uncomfortable.It indeed makes you mostuncomfortable to know that you areprevented from responding on sucha burning issue. Its even lesscomfortable to understand that you

    violated this instruction on more

    than a few occasions, and not just in5753, when you were carriedaway by your approach, but even tothis day. In any event, yasher koachfor publicizing the Rebbes answers.

    Well remember and remind anyonewho is being stifled on the subject ofMelech HaMoshiachs identity.

    However, to claim that from nowon, this answer obligates all those

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    dozens of people who receivedinstructions, answers, and approvalon publicizing the identity of MelechHaMoshiach thats already a verylong path that contradicts everythingthat we know, since answers toprivate individuals do not obligate

    the general public. However,something that is done publicly, asin our discussion, such asencouraging the singing of Yechi

    before thousands of people,including media representatives fromall over the world this is what isrelevant to all of us.

    IF YOU REALLY WERECARRIED AWAY THEN

    RESIGN!

    To pursue this point further, it isimpossible not to relate to theimpudent claim regarding thequestion, Why werent we stringentin holding the line back in 5753?

    as if to say, We got carried awaythen, and crossed certain red linesthat should not have been crossed.First of all, if you got carried awayand regret it, then who gave you theauthority to speak in the name ofall of us? Getting to the heart ofthe matter, I was happy to hear

    where the Rebbe was during thetime we got carried away. Did heactually oppose all these activities, or

    did he approve them and encouragethe singing and proclaiming ofYechi, as we noted? Isnt it theheight of audacity to suggest thatthings were done against the RebbeMHMs will for a period of over ayear with his knowledge and

    approval? What are we coming to?Did the Chabad rabbanim in

    Crown Heights, in Eretz Yisroel, andthe world at-large who established(leading up to Yud Shvat 5753) thatit is the desire of the Rebbe thatpeople proclaim Yechi Adoneinu,do so without knowing the Rebbesopinion on the matter? How muchmore distortion can we endure?

    All the expressions of faithpublicized everywhere includingon the front page of theKfarChabad Magazine, numerousmaamarim, etc., when one of itsleading advocates was none otherthan the chozer himself, was allthis contrary to the Rebbesopinion? How is it even possible to

    make such a claim, and to put it inwriting no less?

    There are those who attributethis to the fact that even the chozeradmitted that we made a mistake,and here the child asks the question:If the Rebbe MHM says sichos,give instructions, etc., in a mannerthat everyone, even someone meantto give them over and publicizethem, understands in a certain way,

    should we be expected to giveserious consideration to any reactionmade the day after Gimmel Tammuz5754? I was very close then to theauthor of the aforementioned article,and everyone knew what his moodand emotional state was when he

    wrote it. It can alter the simplestunderstanding, which is based on

    what we have seen and with the fullknowledge of the Rebbe.

    If Rabbi Brod would really believewhat he writes, then he and all thephilosophers, headed by thechozer, the editor of his magazine,and almost all the Chabad rabbanimshould immediately resign from theirpositions. This is because were nottalking about being carried away

    here, but publicizing an opinion,which according to them, is againstthe Rebbes viewpoint. How can it bethat someone who failed so badlyshould be allowed to continue at hispost, and he should be the one tocorrect that which he distorted?This is far worse than Mr. Olmertsclaim that he must remain in office,

    because he mistakenly trusted thearmy chief of staff. And who did youtrust?

    However, everyone knows thetruth the publicity on the identityof the Rebbe as Melech HaMoshiach

    was made with the knowledge,approval, and encouragement of theRebbe himself. Anyone who claimsotherwise is, at the very least,rejecting the facts, or worse,distorting them. As for anyone whoclaims that there is a need to changecourse after Gimmel Tammuz, itsnot within my power to determine

    what he can say, but why does hehave to distort the words andopinions of the Rebbe MHM? Lethim simply say that since thecircumstances have changed, he nowis of the opinion that we have to actdifferently. Are his arguments soflawed that he has to distort thefacts?

    Answers to private individuals do not obligate the general public. However, something that is done publicly, as inour discussion, such as encouraging the singing of Yechi before thousands ofpeople, including media representativesfrom all over the world this is what is

    relevant to all of us.

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    LETS BE HONEST

    Getting back to what wediscussed at the beginning, when Isaw the title A Chassid Does NotHide From UncomfortableInstructions, I thought to myself:How can there possibly beinstructions that someone findsuncomfortable? Are we all notobligated by every instruction, anddo them joyfully? How can anyinstruction be considereduncomfortable? Then Iunderstood: Even if there areinstructions that you obviously dontcarry out for a variety of reasons, itis forbidden to hide this fact, inorder that at least others will knowthat what you say is in contradictionto an explicit instruction, and they

    wont make the same mistake.Therefore, when you publicize in

    the weekly magazine, which theRebbe removed (in his letter for its500th issue, winter 5752) from itstitle the words Weekly Magazinefor Chabad Chassidim in EretzHaKodesh, you must publicize thisso that everyone will know the typeof establishment you write for, andthey wont erroneously think theRebbe considered you to be the

    person in charge of the opinions ofChabad Chassidim in EretzHaKodesh (and the time will cometo respond to several moreomissions from that letter). Thus,

    when the Rebbe MHM nullifies thewhole concept of Chabad

    spokesman, you must publicize thisso that everyone will know that

    when you say something, you aremerely stating your own personal

    views.

    PRACTICAL ADVICE

    In conclusion, Id like to make apractical suggestion: Gather togetherall of the Rebbes answers andresponses known to us in connection

    with the subject of Moshiach and theRedemption from both sides,

    every answer publicized in the past(prior to Gimmel Tammuz 5754) or

    with proven credibility, withoutignoring a single instruction, sicha,or action, and bring them to light

    without commentary. Who isprepared to accept the challenge?

    The main thing is that we shouldall fulfill the instructions of theRebbe MHM down to the letter,and carry out the only remainingshlichus preparing ourselves andthe world to greet MoshiachTzidkeinu with the proclamationencouraged by the Rebbe MHMhimself:

    Yechi Adoneinu MoreinuVRabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach

    Lolam Vaed!

    When the Rebbe MHM nullifies thewhole concept of Chabad spokesman,you must publicize this so that everyonewill know that when you say something,

    you are merely stating your ownpersonal views.

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    Hundreds of people take parteach year in the Yud-Alef Nissanfarbrengen that Moshiach activistsaround Paris organize, led by Rabbi

    Dovid Turgeman. Last year, the dateof the Rebbes birthday fell out at atime when French schools were on

    vacation, which increased thenumber of participants.

    Last year, there was aninteresting guest speaker, a Frenchgentile from Bordeaux. He washolding a little girl and he said abouther, She belongs to the Rebbe ofLubavitch!

    The crowd was amazed,

    especially since the residents ofmaterialistic Bordeaux are typically

    very distant from matters ofspirituality and faith. After hearingthe mans fascinating story, thecrowd danced around the room toYechi for quite some time.

    Rabbi Sholom Bar Sheshes ofKfar Chabad was at the farbrengenand he relates the story.

    * * *

    Id like to preface the story witha few words about one of the mostinteresting shluchim in France,Rabbi Dovid Turgeman. He is the

    shliach in Aubervilliers in northernParis, but his activities affect all ofFrance. He just doesnt relax when itcomes to spreading Judaism and theBesuras HaGeula, spending daysand nights being mekarev Jews fromall backgrounds to their religion ingeneral and the Rebbe in particular.

    During his years on shlichus, RTurgeman has been the catalyst inthe transformation of many Jews toChassidim. If you are there in 770

    when he brings a group ofmekuravim, you will surely get aglimpse of the depths of emuna andhiskashrus that he has implanted

    within them.In recent years, in accordance

    with the Rebbes sichos to work withthe non-Jewish nations of the world,R Turgeman designed billboards in

    Arabic with the message of theSeven Noachide Laws, and had then

    displayed in Moslem neighborhoodsthroughout France. The project cost

    tens of thousands of Euros, but thiswas not a deterrent.R Turgeman feels that the work

    with non-Jews to convince them tocommit to the Seven Noachide Lawsis extremely important, and hedecided to do even more to publicizethe universal code of morality. Heconstructed an impressive website

    which includes numerous miraclestories of the Rebbe. He invitesthose who commit to keeping the

    Seven Noachide Laws to ask theRebbe for counsel and a blessing.The following story began one

    day three years ago, when RTurgeman read an email from agentile who lives in Bordeaux by thename of Pascal. Pascal said he wasmarried for many years but still didnot have children. He and his wifeyearned for children and had spentplenty of money and had visited topdoctors in their quest. They had

    tried various medical approaches butall to no avail.When Pascal concluded that the

    medical world was unable to helpthem, neither modern Westernmedicine nor alternative medicine,he sought help through otheravenues. He went to all sorts ofmystics and idol worshippers whomade promises to no avail. Althoughhe was disappointed time and time

    This is the story of a double miracle

    that the Rebbe did among non-Jews who committed to observing the SevenNoachide Laws and to publicize them totheir friends.

    LEADER OF ALL

    THE NATIONSBy Nosson Avrohom

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    again, he searched for any possiblyuseful lead on the Internet.

    One day, he stumbled upon RTurgemans Seven Noachide Laws

    website. What attracted him to thissite over others was the fact that hecould ask for blessings. In his email

    he described his plight and quotedthe pessimistic views of the doctors.

    R Turgeman called him up andexplained to him about the Rebbe,how all blessings in the world arechanneled through him, and not onlyfor members of the Jewish nation.He promised to put Pascals requestin a volume of the Rebbes letters onone condition that he commit to

    observing the Seven Noachide Lawsand spreading them among hisfriends. R Turgeman assured him,If you do what I ask, I am positivethat the Rebbe will bless you. Whenthe miracle takes place, take a videoof you and your child and send it to

    me.Pascal was taken aback by what

    R Turgeman had to say. He hadnever met someone so self-assured not in the world of mysticism nor inthe medical world. He wasimpressed, and he agreed to committo observing the Seven NoachideLaws, which he heard about for thefirst time from R Turgeman.

    Yet, he was later to relate, in hisheart of hearts he did not completely

    believe that the blessing of someman would resolve his problem whenthe doctors all said he should forgetabout having a child of his own. Hekept his doubts to himself but his

    reservations did not prevent himfrom zealously observing theNoachide Laws.

    Months passed and the doctorsconfirmed that his wife wasexpecting a child. She subsequentlygave birth to a healthy girl in anatural birth with no complications.Pascal knew unequivocally who wasto thank for the birth of hisdaughter. A few hours after the

    birth, he ran home and called R

    Turgeman. He shouted the news,We had a girl and its all thanks tothe Rebbe and to you for telling usabout him!

    A month later he carried out thesecond part of his promise and made

    videotapes of himself and hisdaughter with his wife standing

    behind him as he excitedly relatedthe chain of events that led to the

    blessing and the birth of his child.R Turgeman smiled as he

    watched the video when he noticed ahuge picture of the Rebbe hangingon the wall behind the threesome.Pascal had bought it in a Judaicastore. I want to warmly thank theLubavitcher Rebbe and RabbiTurgeman, who connected me tohim. We continue to disseminate theSeven Noachide Laws and telleverybody about the miracle.

    But the story does not end here.The non-Jew took his obligation to

    publicize the Laws seriously.Whenever he met people he told hisstory and asked people to commit tothe Seven Noachide Laws.

    One evening, a couple fromSwitzerland came to visit them

    whom they hadnt seen in a longtime. After they exchanged friendlygreetings, Pascal told his Swissfriend about the miracle of hisdaughter who was born thanks to

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    the blessing of a famous Jewishrabbi, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Healso explained what he had heardabout the Geula.

    The Swiss friend and his wifewere taken aback by the faith oftheir friends. They did not

    remember them as big believers andthere they were telling them amiracle story. On their way home,the couple discussed their friendsradical change, finding it very

    bizarre that they had begun tobelieve in a rabbi.

    Two weeks went by and oneafternoon, the Swiss woman had asevere heart attack. Her husbandimmediately called an ambulanceand during the ride to the hospital

    she had another heart attack, worsethan the first one. The doctors, who

    worked to save her life, told theterrified husband that he shouldprepare for the worst. It is highlyunlikely that she will survive, theysaid.

    Hearing the doctors direpredictions, he despaired until heremembered what his friend had toldhim, as strange as it seemed. Hefigured it couldnt hurt to call him,

    so he ran to his car from where hecalled his French friend. His friendtold him that there was one way toobtain the Rebbes bracha. Committo observing the Seven NoachideLaws and spread this among yourfriends and when the miracle occurs,publicize it. It was word for word

    what he had heard from RTurgeman.

    The Swiss fellow agreed to theconditions, the main thing is that

    she recovers! he said tearfully.After hanging up, he wondered,

    What happened to me that Ivebegun believing in rabbis? Butsince he had promised, he kept hiscommitment and began to talk aboutthe Laws to those who came to visithim.

    A few days went by in which hiswife lay there unconscious, hangingbetween life and death, and he hung

    between hope and despair.A week later she began to awake

    and recover. Another two weekslater she was released from thehospital. The Swiss man called hisFrench friend again and exultantlyexclaimed, The Lubavitcher Rebbedid a miracle for me too and my

    wife is better!They also bought a large picture

    of the Rebbe and hung it up in theirliving room. When people come inand ask me who it is, we tell themabout the big miracle that the rabbiof the Jews did for us.

    Rabbi Dovid Turgeman davening in 770

    The baby born thanks to the Rebbes blessing

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    Reuniting. Seeing old faces ofthe remote past. Its healing a bond

    which had been severed andsometimes even lost. But all at oncethat vision of the past returns, andthose lost sparks come to life onceagain. We are reconnected.Reunited. Reborn. Rejuvenated.That dormant layer of our selvescomes out of hibernation. Oldmemories. New perspectives.Renewed commitment.

    This past June was a time of

    reconnection and reunion. WhenRabbi Manis Friedman arrived inEretz Yisroel, many of the earlyalumnae of Bais Chana of Minnesota from as far back as thirty yearsago were reconnected andreunited with their first sparks in

    Yiddishkait. Old memories. Newperspectives. Renewed commitment.Those lost sparks came back to lifeagain.

    Your first teacher always holds aspecial place in your heart, began

    Chaya Gross of Yerushalayim,because that teacher is the one

    whos changed the course of yourlife. For me, Rabbi Friedman was my

    very first teacher in Yiddishkait, andit will always stay that way in mymind. Every time I see him, I feelthis great sense of gratitude that mylife was moved in this direction. He

    was a messenger of the Rebbe, andhe helped point me in the directionof Yiddishkait, the Rebbe, andHashem.

    Yet how did this change ofcourse actually begin?

    I first came to Bais Chanatwenty nine years ago in December1980, Chaya continued. It waspretty amazing how I got there. Iflew to Washington, D.C. for the

    winter convention of the JewishStudents Network, and RabbiFriedman was one of the guestspeakers. However, I missed it!

    When I got together with my friendsafter the class, they did not stoptalking about it, so I contacted theChabad House to find out how Icould speak with him. They told mehe was on his way back toMinnesota, but if I wanted they

    would sponsor a ticket to Minnesotato learn in Bais Chana for two days.I said well, if you really mean it,then so do I, and I was on the next

    REUNION AND

    RE-JEW-VENATION

    IN ERETZ YISROELBy S. Cohen

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    plane. I ended up staying nearly twowhole weeks, which changed thecourse of my life.

    Twenty-nine years later, Chayarecently opened up the first English-Speaking Chabad Center for Womenin Jerusalem. Chaya believes that

    when the alumnae joined his classes,it was reverting back to a specialmoment of truth.

    Danya Boksenboim of Tzfas feltsimilar.

    When I joined RabbiFriedmans classes in Tzfas, it waslike returning home to a beautifulmemory that was a frozen momentin time. I sat there and felt I washealed just by listening to thoseclasses and seeing my first teacher.

    In 1985, Danya was the famoussinger Diana Marcovitz. She sang inCanada, New York, and Los

    Angeles, and produced severalalbums, but Yiddishkait was just noton the agenda.

    When my father died, I still hadno interest in religion, but my

    brother dragged me to theConservative synagogue while he

    was saying Kaddish. I became moreinterested and wanted to know

    more. At the same time, I receivedthe new Bob Dylan album, and Inoticed he thanked some RabbiManis Friedman on it. I wanted toknow who this Rabbi was, and whyBob was thanking him. From theShul experience, I came to theChabad Hous