Israel will also panic and will be confounded. The King of Aram refers to the world's superpowers for Aram is related to the word "rom" which means "uplifted". This ominous situation, however, herolds the ultimate good -- the coming of Moshiach and the final Redemption. Whatever I have done, I have done only for your sake. Why are you afraid? Have no fear; the time for your redemption has arrived!
He went on to say that no one living in the Holy Land should think of leaving at this time. On the contrary, whoever is planning to visit the Holy Land should go without fear and should let others know of his trip as well, for this will raise the confidence of the Jewish people throughout the world. The Rebbe, of course, as he always does, based his words on the Torah. In particular, he quoted the verse in Deuteronomy: "It is a land constantly under G-d's scrutiny; the eyes of G-d are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to its end. His words of encouragement and inspiration were repeated time and again on Israeli radio and in the newspapers.
And the Rebbe called on everyone to continue with their plans. More than one family asked the Rebbe if they should switch the location of upcoming weddings from Israel to New York, but the Rebbe was adamant that everything should go ahead as planned. The weddings scheduled in Israel took place amidst great rejoicing. Not because they were issued gas masks or sat in sealed rooms.
But because they heard the Rebbe's message on the radio, over and over again, saying, "Israel is the safest place in the world because the eyes of G-d are always upon it. Although there was amazingly little damage, even more miraculous was the fact that there was no loss of life directly from a SCUD. Step by step, the Rebbe is showing us how to recognize the miracles that are happening here and now.
As we watch events unfold, we can wholeheartedly say: Thank G-d for the Rebbe's foresight and vision. For the ultimate wonders are yet to come. Among other things, the Rebbe spoke about the tense situation in the Middle East and explained to the children what they could do to increase G-d's protection of the Holy Land.
Barely a week later, on June 5, the "Six-Day War" broke out. In his address, the Rebbe told the children about the lesson to be learned in connection with the state of affairs in the Holy Land.
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They are currently in a situation where G-d is protecting and bestowing His blessings and His deliverance upon them in an increased measure so that they may emerge -- and they will emerge -- from this situation with success. The Rebbe told the children that they could help by learning an extra verse of Torah, by doing another mitzvah and yet another, and not letting any opportunity slip by in the fulfillment of mitzvot.
He also encouraged the children to influence their friends and family to utilize all their opportunities to increase Torah study and mitzvah observance. As a consequence of the children's efforts, the Rebbe said that we should see the fulfillment of the assurance in the Torah portion read the previous day, "And you will dwell securely in your land In addition, on the Shabbat before the war broke out, the Rebbe launched the by-now famous " Tefillin Campaign," as a safety measure for the Jewish people in general, and Jewish soldiers in particular.
This campaign, too, is based on the Torah, for the Torah declares concerning tefillin , "And they shall fear you" -- specifically relating to the fear that is instilled in the hearts of the enemies of Israel as a result of the observance of this mitzvah and particularly upon defenders of Israel to vanquish the enemy in the course of battle. Before and during the war, every soldier -- observant and non-observant -- put on tefillin.
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And every newspaper in Israel carried the Rebbe's telegram sent just days before the war began: "To the leaders of Kfar Chabad and the Head Rabbi who are privileged to find themselves among tens of thousands of Jews in the Holy land where 'the eyes of G-d are constantly upon it' and certainly, most assuredly 'the Protector of Israel does not sleep or slumber,' 'G-d is on our right side' and G-d will guard them and all of the Jewish people from now and forever.
I am awaiting good news, good in a recognizable and revealed manner, soon. To most, it seemed like the best of times. Israel was at "peace" with Egypt and the financial situation in Israel was the best it had been for a long time. So when the Rebbe started speaking about a great danger that was threatening the Jewish people, everyone was confused.
The Rebbe quoted the verse from Psalms, "Out of the mouths of babes and infants You have established strength The Rebbe declared that this was of utmost importance and must be implemented immediately. He asked that more day-camps be opened all over the world and gatherings for children be organized everywhere.
On three separate occasions during the ensuing months the Rebbe urged there to be gatherings at the Western Wall. And in the Rebbe's annual letter of the Sixth of Tishrei , addressed to all Jews all over the world, the Rebbe added a footnote before it was published. The footnote, which seemed to come from nowhere, read: "The Metzudat David [a commentary] explains that the Jewish hand will be superior. Anyone who was more than a mere toddler at the time will never forget Yom Kippur of On the Sunday after the war began, when two chasidim asked the Rebbe what would be, the Rebbe answered, "There will be a great victory, a victory greater than was in the previous war.
He asked that settlements be built to accommodate the tremendous influx of Russian immigrants who would soon be arriving in Israel. At the time, the border of the Soviet Union was virtually sealed. It was next to impossible for Jews to leave. Yet the Rebbe announced, "It is proper for all Jews to participate in building dwellings in Jerusalem for the Jews from Russia who will soon be coming out. Those who have already been appointed to head this project should do so with great haste and energy, and this should be the main point in their lives from now on.
It is a commercial enterprise that allows highly skilled Soviet Jewish scientists and engineers to find high-level jobs. Two years later, in , the doors of the Soviet Union suddenly sprung open. Millions of Jews streamed into Israel. The housing prepared for them was barely enough! The Collapse of Communism Well before the advent of the year September through September , the Rebbe announced that the Hebrew letters whose numerical equivalent equals are an acronym for "This will be a year of miracles.
The fall of Communism happened almost overnight. No war, no revolution, no bloodshed. Never in the history of the world had an empire tumbled so quickly, so silently. The Rebbe clearly saw this event in , when he said that the victory over the "evil rulership" will be when "tens and hundreds of thousands of Jews will leave Russia.
Research in this area of alternative energy technology is carried out by a very limited number of highly trained professionals. Raised in the then Soviet Union, Professor Branover's published research had won him an international reputation in this field in the '60s. Along with his work on hydrodynamics, Professor Branover has a dynamic Jewish heart. He applied for an emigration visa to Israel, knowing that it would mark the end of his professional career in the Soviet Union.
He was dismissed from his post at the Academy of Sciences in Riga and prevented from continuing his research. During this time, he was exposed to the Torah and mitzvot by members of the Lubavitch chassidic underground. When he was finally allowed to emigrate from the Soviet Union to Israel in , he was already fully observant. After making aliyah , Professor Branover was in constant demand as a lecturer, not only in his profession.
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He was frequently invited to lecture on science and Torah. Campus audiences around the globe were extremely interested to hear an internationally renowned scientist reconcile his belief in the Torah with the supposed conflicts emerging from modern science. Towards the end of the two-month tour, Rabbi S.
My wife and I were both weary from the constant travel, but our commitment to spread Torah motivated us to agree. Among other matters, I mentioned the trip to Philadelphia. The Rebbe inquired about the details of the program and commented: 'During your stay in Philadelphia, do not forget to introduce yourself to a local professor who has an interest in your field.
I was well acquainted with the names of the American scientists involved in magneto-hydrodynamics and I knew the universities with which they were associated. I was certain that no Philadelphian was familiar with my field. On the morning of my arrival, when Rabbi S. I mentioned the Rebbe's strange remark and added that it appeared to be an error.
After many hours of searching, we were introduced to Professor Hsuan Yeh. It was a refreshing change of pace to engage in a sophisticated discussion with a person who was clearly knowledgeable in magneto-hydrodynamics. Although the program is already finalized, I will insist that your name be added to the list of lecturers. A colleague who has arrived so recently from Russia should be given the opportunity to present his thoughts. The trip had already been extended more than we would have liked.
Just before leaving, I wrote the Rebbe a report of our trip to Philadelphia, mentioning my encounter with Professor Yeh. Once again, the Rebbe made an unexpected statement. He advised me to reschedule my plans and to accept the invitation, for the convention presented an important opportunity.
Despite the need to rearrange our plans, we were acquainted enough with the Rebbe to value his advice. I called Professor Yeh, who was happy to arrange for me to deliver a lecture. I met two representatives of the Office of Naval Research in Virginia, who had read about my work, and who were prepared to finance further research. They added, 'We understand that you want to establish your laboratory in Israel, and we are willing to provide you with funds for your work there. My contract with the Office of Naval Research has been renewed six times since that original grant.
I could not have imagined at that point how valuable and far-reaching the Rebbe's advice had been. My project has just been awarded a million dollar grant by the United States government to further research and development of this energy technology. In one report, he presented a very sophisticated study built upon extensive calculations that had been prepared by computer. As he reviewed the details, the Rebbe remarked: "Two numbers here are inconsistent. It took Professor Branover's research team six months to locate it.
Once, before Professor Branover was scheduled to address a conference of Jewish scientists, the Rebbe told him: "You have an important message to communicate. Tell your colleagues that as a scholar of solar energy you encourage every Jew to emulate the sun. There are larger heavenly bodies, indeed, many that dwarf the sun in size. What is unique about the sun? It provides light and generates heat.
The 'black holes' pull everything, even the energy they emit, to themselves. So, too, a Jew must radiate ahavas Yisrael -- love for a fellow Jew. After all, if the sun was only capable of heating its own mass, who would have paid any attention to it? In the course of these activities, he has been chosen by the Rebbe for several missions. The Rebbe greeted me and informed me of his desire that I relay his forthcoming message to various persons in Russia. Betza 17a Every Shabbos also has the attribute of bringing completion and perfection to all matters of the preceding week: Vayechulu -- the heavens and the earth and all their hosts were completed.
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Bereishis This perfection attains the state of "delight" on Shabbos. Another aspect which applies to every Shabbos is conveyed in the aphorism: For the six days receive blessing from the seventh, Zohar II, p. Search this book:. Another facet of this Shabbos is that it is a Shabbos Mevorchim, when we bless the upcoming month. In this respect this Shabbos bestows its benison not only on the following days of the week, but also on all the days of the coming month.
This aspect is directly associated with today's farbrengen, as the Previous Rebbe instituted farbrengens on every Shabbos Mevorchim. There is an individual importance to Shabbos Mevorchim MarCheshvan. Today is Shabbos Bereishis which invariably follows Simchas Torah, hence this week's "Vayechulu" brings elevation to the aspects of Simchas Torah, namely the closing of the holiday season of Tishrei. Thus, there are characteristics which this Shabbos shares in common with other Shabbosim of the year, and there are aspects in which this Shabbos rises to greater heights than the average Shabbos.
What is the unique quality of Shabbos Mevorchim MarCheshvan? We have discussed the teaching of the "three shepherds. It is with this power that the Jewish people bless the other months, eleven times a year. Of course in the case of G-d's blessing there is no difference between the first time and the thousandth time, but when we pronounce a benediction -- something new is better, more exciting and stronger.
But is this really something new? Last year we also had a Shabbos Mevorchim MarCheshvan?! There is, however, a distinction. In Tanya we find: And every year there descends and radiates a new and renewed light which never yet shone So sublime a light as has never shone yet since the beginning of the world.
Iggeres Hakodesh ch. An analogy may be drawn from the subject of teshuvah. The Talmud teaches that teshuvah must be a continuous exercise: And thus his whole life is spent in repentance. Shabbos a Giving Jews the benefit of the doubt and taking into account that "Your people are all righteous," Yeshayahu we will assume that Jews do exercise continual teshuvah. And yet, we find that "The Torah already offered assurance that Israel will This second type of teshuvah must be immeasurably and incomparably higher, with the power to effectuate the quantum leap from diaspora into redemption, which will be accomplished only by generating a new supernal desire.
The Previous Rebbe explained that we are in golus because of G-d's will and we will leave the golus when G-d wills it. Thus to precipitate the exodus we must engender a new "desire" for the Holy One, Blessed be He. The ultimate liberation must reach down to the lowest depth, and must therefore emanate from the loftiest heights.
Consequently, the teshuvah which engenders that new supernal desire, must be super-powerful and, in a completely different frame of reference not at all relative from the normal service of teshuvah. This brings us back to the subject at hand. Although last year we also observed Shabbos Mevorchim MarCheshvan, this year there are new revelations, new life, new light -- and all on a higher plane.
In this context, this Shabbos Mevorchim is unique, because it is the first one in the year on which Jews bless the new month with the power of G-d's new blessing of Tishrei. This knowledge must influence our attitudes, as well as our actions, for we must "live" with the teachings of Torah. This aspect of being first is enhanced, since this Shabbos is the first Shabbos after Simchas Torah.
The blessing bestowed by G-d on the month of Tishrei is given on Shabbos Nitzavim which has the same theme as Rosh Hashanah -- standing united together to crown the King. Certain aspects of the powers of Rosh Hashanah are "hidden" during the first half of the month and are "revealed" during Sukkos, and reach the apex of revelation on Simchas Torah, the ultimate day of the festivals -- the day of supreme rejoicing. This Shabbos, which follows Simchas Torah, brings perfection to the days of the preceding week including all the aspects of Simchas Torah.
Consequently, the blessings of G-d bestowed upon the month of Tishrei on Shabbos Nitzavim Mevorchim Tishrei reach their absolute perfection on this Shabbos! Now do you see the enormous potency of the blessing of this Shabbos for the month of MarCheshvan?! It should be noted that Simchas Torah expresses the aspect of happiness and joy of all of the festivals in the fullest measure; all the levels of rejoicing rise from holiday to holiday to reach the peak during Simchas Torah. Similarly, the revelation of Rosh Hashanah reaches its apex on Simchas Torah.
Hence this Shabbos, which incorporates the "Vayechulu" of Simchas Torah, carries the full impact of the blessing of the Holy One, Blessed be He for the months of the year generated before Rosh Hashanah. This richness will continue into the subsequent Shabbos Mevorchim weeks of the year. Being called "Shabbos Bereishis" also conveys this concept. Just as the "rosh -- head" includes and appropriates life to all parts of the body, so too, this Shabbos is a rosh reishis , transmitting the blessing of the Holy One, Blessed be He, to all the months of the year and to all aspects of the year.
Standing in close proximity to the place where the Previous Rebbe, Nassi of our generation, spent the last ten years of his worldly life adds immeasurable strength to those forces and gives us the potential to utilize all of these forces -- and we must strive to reveal our deepest powers, not just the external powers, but the essential, inner powers.
It is not easy, but it must be effected. And it must penetrate and animate all of the internal attributes and garments of the soul, down to the "soles" of his feet. Good resolutions are very helpful in overcoming the schemes of the yetzer hora but they must be implemented instantaneously! It must be carried out immediately, in joy, and dancing and extreme rejoicing, in an immeasurable way. This is, of course, directly connected to the days of the week on which Simchas Torah, and Rosh Hashanah occurred. In all matters we must find a lesson for our Divine service.
Let us go back for a moment to the lesson we learned from the fixing of Rosh Hashanah on Monday and Tuesday, the second and third day of the week. It was explained that the combination of the ordinal numbers of second and third symbolizes the process of sweetening the attribute of gevurah severity : The number two, indicates gevurah -- severity, and three, indicates peace, the taming and reconciliation of opposition. Rosh Hashanah on Monday and Tuesday indicates the conversion of the severe might of Gevurah through the worship and service of Rosh Hashanah.
When gevurah is converted the resultant revelation of kindness and benevolence is immensely increased. Chassidus explains that gevurah, being the attribute of power and might can generate much more benevolence than chesed kindness alone. Thus, the transformation of severity releases this potential, stored up and restrained effulgence of goodness, which then radiates with immeasurable intensity. The doctor sat back. Will Aaron ever read?
I left the office, Aaron bundled protectively in my arms and sat in my car and wept. At first I truly did not believe the prognosis. I had arrived with my beautiful, alert son who was perhaps at worst a "late bloomer" and left with a profoundly handicapped child. In the months to follow, Aaron had a full battery of tests all of which came back with normal results much to the bafflement of the doctors.
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Aaron was approved for early intervention and a team of therapists began to service him in my home. When Aaron was two, I gave birth to Chana. Chana's development was precocious. She crawled on her hands and knees at 5 months old. At 10 months she was beginning to take steps holding onto furniture. The therapists who worked with Aaron told me that her development was perfect. My precocious daughter with her sunshine smile was diagnosed with the same devastating condition as Aaron.
For the next 9 months, I ran to specialists searching for answers and more importantly, searching for a cure. We found neither answer nor cure. I was exhausted both physically and emotionally. That summer, I came down with Mononucleosis and was put on bed rest. I was forced to slow down and take inventory.
I considered the possibility that I may not find a diagnosis or a cure and that perhaps that search was not a life's mission in itself. I thought and prayed and searched my heart for many hours. I arrived at the realization that perhaps G-d gave me Aaron and Chana to bring out some strength that I didn't know I possessed. I began to look at my situation not as a punishment or a stigma - something meant to destroy my family or me - but instead as a challenge, an opportunity to grow and change and perhaps reach out to others.
By the end of my summer in bed, I decided to start a support group for mothers in the community whose children had been diagnosed with disabilities and special needs. Our first meeting took place in the fall of , a group of 10 mothers reaching out of our isolation to support one another. Fifteen mothers attended the second meeting and we decided to invite fathers to the third meeting and to host a guest speaker.
When 60 parents showed up, we all felt the electricity in the room. The phone in my kitchen rang continuously as parents called seeking information, advice and comfort. Soon a computer and a fax machine were added.
Sichos In English Volume 28
My kitchen became even cozier when I added a file cabinet and a couch. Today, TAFKID provides support, information, advocacy and referrals of doctors, programs and services to more than 1, families. Through meetings, lectures and events families come together sharing, crying, laughing and supporting one another.
Obtaining support is critical as being the parents of a special child can prove to be a daunting task in a society which measures value and success in terms of achievement and productivity. Most parents dream of their children growing up to strive for excellence, whether it be academics, sports or other talents. When a child is diagnosed at birth or later on with a lifelong disability, parents suddenly feel the pain of the loss of all their dreams and aspirations they had for their child. For many of us, it means no science fairs, no lead roles in the school play and no ball games.
Instead of inline skates, I buy orthotic braces for my ten-year-old son. Instead of soccer practice, there is physical therapy so that he may one day be able to walk a block without sitting down 6 or 7 times. There is no need for college funds and unless a great miracle occurs, I may never see my daughter stand under the chupa. Aaron and Chana and other children with special needs may never be the best at anything except for always being the best they can be. However, that in and of itself is more than most of us will ever accomplish in a lifetime.
They reach their potential 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Special children teach us to slow down and realize that which is priceless, the value of a step, a word, a smile and even a tear. My daughter has 30 words in her vocabulary. Her words include: Shabbos, kiddush, tzitzis, thank you, I love you, Mommy, come home. She has never spoken ill of another person, she has never hurt someone with her words. My son is always smiling. It takes so little to make him happy - a smile, a hug, singing and dancing together.
It is this realization, looking for the excellence from within, that is the basis of the concept of TAFKID - a Hebrew word meaning "mission" or "purpose. With regard to ritual slaughter: All opinions agree that Scriptural law requires an animal to be ritually slaughtered for its meat to be permitted.
With regard to fowl, there is a difference of opinion among the Sages, and the halachah is that ritual slaughter is required. With regard to fish, there is no need for ritual slaughter; gathering them is sufficient. The spiritual significance of these concepts is explained in several sources in Chassidic philosophy, and is also alluded to in Nigleh, the teachings of Torah law. Our Sages state that the Hebrew word which communicates the commandment for ritual slaughter connotes also "and he drew it after him," i. This concept is also reflected in another term for slaughter used by our Sages n'tilas neshama, "taking the soul," i.
On this new level, it can be transformed into flesh and blood for a human being and can provide him with energy for his Divine service, instead of leading to a spiritual decline, heaven forbid. Animals were created from dust. They cannot lift themselves from the ground at all independently; they must be lifted up by others. Using this as an analogy to our Divine service, the analog would be the body and the animal soul [ 1 ] , to which can be applied the verses: "A man is born like a wild ass," and "The inclination of man's heart is evil from his youth.
Therefore, according to all opinions, an animal requires ritual slaughter, i. This task - refining the body and the animal soul - is the mission of the soul and the purpose for its descent into this world. For the soul itself requires no improvement; the sole purpose of its descent is to improve and elevate the body. Fowl were created from mud on the waters, i. They also have the potential to fly, but must return to the earth, because they become tired after flying. The parallel in our Divine service is the intellectual soul, which serves as an intermediary between the animal soul and the G-dly soul.
The intellectual soul can conceive of G-dliness. Nevertheless, its essence is mortal intellect as prompted by the G-dly soul which is enclothed within it.
As such, there is a difference of opinion as to whether the spiritual service associated with] ritual slaughter is necessary. The final ruling is that slaughter is required. Fish are always found in their source of nurture; as soon as they depart, they die. The spiritual parallel is the G-dly soul, which at all times, even when a person sins, remains faithful to Him. It remains connected to its source of life, the ultimate Life.
This enables us to appreciate the severity of a sin. Since a person is connected to his G-dly source at all times, sinning can be compared to a person who takes the head of the king and submerges it in a latrine. Because of this ongoing connection, with regard to fish, there is no need for the spiritual service associated with ritual slaughter. There is, however, a need for fish to be gathered. For the enclothement in the body and the involvement with the task of refinement may lead to fragmentation of the G-dly soul's energies in its worldly tasks.
Therefore, they must be gathered together and collected.
Related Sichos In English: Volume 28 - Tishrei-MarCheshvan, 5746
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