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Shabbos Schedule - Shemini

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 6:50 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus by Rabbi Shaya Berkowitz: 9:00 am
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Kol Yakov Yehuda: 10:15 am
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 4:00 pm in Shul
  • Mincha: 6:50 pm
  • Shabbos Ends: 7:53 pm

Announcements

  • We are setting up a web page for members to advertise their goods or services leading up to Pesach. If you want to be featured, please email us your flyer or announcement by 5:00 pm on March 30. Attachments must be in pdf or jpeg format. Note: The shul reserves the right to reject and/or modify any submission for any reason. Click here to see the page.
  • Please say tehillim for Shterna Soro Dono bas Minet (Peretz).

Kiddush Sponsors

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Meir Ashkenazi in honor of their anniversary. May they have many more happy years together.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yosef Yitzchok Mishulovin in honor of Rabbi Mishulovin’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Elozor Plotke in honor of their anniversary. May they have many more happy years together.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Mottel Polityko in honor of Mr. Polityko’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Levi Raichik in honor of their anniversary. May they have many more happy years together.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Mayer Schmukler in honor of Rabbi Schmukler’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Malka Stroll for the yahrtzeit of Mrs. Malka Stroll’s father Gedaliah Chanoch ben Pinchus ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.

The kiddush for the early minyan is sponsored by:

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yitzchok Arnold in honor of their anniversary. May they have many more happy years together.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Levi Raichik in honor of their anniversary. May they have many more happy years together.

Women's Shabbos Shiur/Farbrengen

At the home of Mrs. Tzirel Frankel - 109 S Vista St.
6:00 pm

Mazal Tov To

  • Mr. and Mrs. Chaim Burston on the birth & bris of a grandson.

 Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Mishulovin - 20 Adar II
  • Rabbi Mayer Schmukler - 20 Adar II
  • Mendel Wolowik - 20 Adar II
  • Mr. Reuven Eliyahu Horwitz - 21 Adar II
  • Mr. Mottel Polityko - 22 Adar II
  • Yakov Chaim Goldman - 24 Adar II
  • Rabbi Ezra Binyomin Schochet - 24 Adar II
  • Gedaliah Chanoch Stroll - 24 Adar II
  • Levi Yitzchok Tsikman - 24 Adar II
  • Levi Yitzchak Freeman - 26 Adar II

 Upcoming Anniversaries:

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Levi Raichik - 20 Adar II
  • Mr. & Ms. Berel Wilhelm - 21 Adar II
  • Mr. & Mrs. Elozor Plotke - 21 Adar II
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Meir Ashkenazi - 22 Adar II
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Avrohom Klyne - 22 Adar II
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yitzchok Arnold - 26 Adar II
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yisroel Bastomski - 26 Adar II

Upcoming Yahrtzeits

  • Chana bas Yeshaye (Rabbi Shaya Berkowitz’s mother) - 22 Adar II
  • Mindel bas Nachum (Dr. Sholom Fine’s mother) - 23 Adar II
  • Gedaliah Chanoch ben Pinchus (Mrs. Malka Stroll’s father) - 24 Adar II

Devar Torah -Shemini

This week’s parsha is Shemini which this year falls on the Shabbos after Purim. What is the connection between this week’s parsha and the festival of Purim?

The message Purim teaches us that a Yid is not subject to nature, that everything is from Hashem and nature is only a garment. The Megilla describes how Ester first fasted and only afterward went to seek an audience with King Achashverosh. This teaches us an important lesson about our emunah. It teaches us that not only does Hashem intervene at times through miracles, but events that occur through natural patterns also only come through Hashem. Mordecai and Ester’s political successes only came after they first aroused everyone to do teshuva and have an open connection to Hashem.

This is the meaning of the Gemara Yerushalmi which says that a Jewish farmer is; “maamin b’Chai Haolamim v’zoreah- he places his faith in the Life of the World- Hashem, and then plants his seeds”. One may ask that even those who do not place their faith in Hashem know that the laws of nature act predictably and will produce plants from seeds? The difference is that a Yid does not plant his seeds because of nature, but because Hashem says to plant and He will see to it that everything will grow.

During the first seven days of the dedication of the Mishkan, each day Moshe Rabbenu set up the Mishkan and offered Korbanos but still the Shechina did not come to rest upon it. Even on the eighth day after all was completed; the Mishkon, the Kelim, Moshe and Aaron were present, yet still no Shechina. Moshe told Aaron and his sons to bring an eigel-a calf as a burnt offering. The calf represents forgiveness for the cheit haeigel-the golden calf. A fire came from on high and consumed the offering. The Yidden saw through this that Hashem had forgiven the sin of the golden calf.

The mefarshim explain that the sin was not that they denied Hashem chas v’Shalom. Their sin was that they sought an intermediary to work through to get their necessities addressed and not go directly to Hashem. This was their avodah zara. Until they received forgiveness for this the Shechina would not rest in the Mishkan. Only by bringing the calf were they able to achieve forgiveness. The calf was completely burnt for Hashem with no other procedure or anything in between. It was burnt in its entirety. This represents the direct bonding of the Yidden with Hashem with no one or no-thing in between. Therefore this offering brought complete forgiveness and the dwelling of Hashem’s Shechina on the Mishkan.

This is the connection to Purim. When the Yidden sincerely turned directly to Hashem and acknowledged that everything comes through him and nature is only a garment; then the great miracle of Purim occurred.

The lesson we can take from this is that we can have the parts in place. We can have a Mishkon and Kelim and curtains, and Kehuna and Tefilla and Karbonos. We can achieve spiritual intimacy and reach great heights. At the same time we can still get lost in the belief that when it comes to business affairs we need an intermediary! We can allow ourselves to over worry about worldly affairs. We need to recognize that such an approach is avodah zara! After everything is said and done and he has accomplished what he is responsible as Shulchan Aruch demands he needs to now rely only upon Hashem. If he nonetheless allows himself to become further dichotomized and fractionalized in his living, and while davening is one kind of Jew and at work (or when worried about work) another, he has set up a little eigel in his heart. What is the answer? To burn away the eigel with a complete lifestyle of “bkol darchecha d’eihu- knowing Hashem in ALL your ways” and “tamim tehiyeh im Hashem- be wholehearted with Hashem”. Realize that we are all Hashem’s children, and through living this way we allow our life and the world we are part of to become a fitting Mishkon and Mikdash for Hashem and for His Shechina to dwell.

(Based on Purim 5717- 1957)

Purim Schedule

Purim Night - Motzei Shabbos 

In Shul

  • Ma’ariv: 8:15
  • Megillah Reading 8:30

Early Minyan In Kol Yakov Yehuda:

  • Ma'ariv: 8:00
  • Megillah Reading:8:10

3rd Megillah Reading

  • 8:55 (in Kol Yakov Yehuda)

Important Message from Rabbi Duchman!!!
Due to the clock change - the Grand Purim Extravaganza Will Begin IMMEDIATELY after the Main Shul Megillah Reading

Purim Day

  • Sunrise: 6:58 am
  • 1st Minyan: 7:00 (in Shul)- Megillah: 7:30
  • 2nd Minyan: 8:00 (in Kol Yakov Yehuda) - Megillah: 8:30
  • 3rd Minyan: 8:30 (in Shul)- Megillah: 9:00
  • 4th Minyan: 9:30 (in Kol Yakov Yehuda) - Megillah: 10:00
  • 5th Minyan: 10:00 (in Shul) - Megillah: 10:30
  • Mincha: 5:00 pm
  • Sunset: 7:05 pm

For all the laws of Purim please see the "Chabad Chodesh" by clicking here

REMINDER:
Parking meters on La Brea require payment on SUNDAY!!! Check the signs!

For a printable schedule of all megillah readings in shul, click here.

Shabbos Schedule

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 6:45 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus by Rabbi Raichik: 9:00 am
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Kol Yakov Yehuda: 10:15 am
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 3:30 pm in Shul
  • Mincha: 6:45 pm
  • Shabbos Ends: 6:48 pm

Parshas Zochor
There is a Torah obligation to hear this parsha. If one does not hear it on Shabbos, hearing the reading of the Torah on Purim, before the Megillah will fulfill this obligation.

Announcements

  • For a printable schedule of all megillah readings in shul, click here.
  • Kol Yaakov Yehuda Presents... Grand PURIM Extravaganza. Click here for more info.
  • Rabbi Raichik will be taking orders for matzoh starting on Shushan Purim, Monday, March 21 until Wednesday, March 23 at 6:00 pm.
  • Please say tehillim for Shterna Soro Dono bas Minet (Peretz).

Sholom Zochor

Mr. & Mrs. Mendel Roth 
Invite the community to a Sholom Zochor
at the home of R’ Zalman Roth: 136 South Highland Ave.
(Between 1st & 2nd)

Kiddush Sponsors

  • Rabbi & Rebbitzen Shimon Raichik for the ufruf of their son Yisroel Noach. May he be Zoche to build a binyan aday ad.
  • The Bastomski family for the yahrtzeit of their father Avrohom Yitzchok ben Yisroel ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Shimon Benarroch in honor of Mr. Benarroch’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Jon Engelson - in honor of Mr. Engelson’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Yaakov Ginsburg’s for the yahrtzeit of Mr. Ginsburg’s father Dov Reuven ben Dovid Helevi ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Avrohom Klyne for the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Klyne’s father Betzalel ben Chaim Shneur Zalmen ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Mottel Polityko for the yahrtzeit of Mr. Polityko's mother Chava Maryasha bas Ber ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.

The kiddush for the early minyan is sponsored by:

  • Rabbi Dovid Hoch & Rabbi Levi Raichik in honor of Purim. May we all be Zoche to experience real simcha which will carry on throughout the year.
  • Mr. Zev Oster in honor of his birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.

Women's Shabbos Shiur/Farbrengen

At the home of Mrs. Yocheved Lezak
423 N Fuller Ave
5:30 pm
Speaker: Rabbi Yisroel Hecht

Mazal Tov To

  • Mr. and Mrs. Chaim Lerner on the birth of a grandson to Rabbi and Mrs. Berel Cohen (Ohio). Mazal Tov also to the whole Lerner family.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Zalman Roth for the birth of a grandson to Mr. & Mrs. Mendel Roth.
  • Rabbi and Mrs. Yonah Mordechai Weiss on the birth of a grandson to Rabbi and Mrs. Shmuly Weiss (Montreal). Mazal Tov also to the great-grandfather R' Berel Weiss and the whole Weiss family.

Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Chaim Yehuda Leib Perl - 15 Adar II
  • Dovid Raigorodsky - 15 Adar II
  • Rabbi Leib Lerner - 16 Adar II
  • Levi (ben Yankee) Raichik - 16 Adar II
  • Meir Israeli - 17 Adar II
  • Mr. Jon Engelson - 18 Adar II
  • Mr. Zev Oster - 18 Adar II

 Upcoming Anniversaries:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Yehosuah Goldman - 16 Adar II
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Mayer Schmukler - 17 Adar II

Upcoming Yahrtzeits

  • Dov Reuven ben Dovid Helevi (Mr. Yaakov Michoel Ginsburg’s father) - 14 Adar II
  • Avrohom Yitzchok ben Yisroel Bastomski - 16 Adar II
  • Betzalel ben Chaim Shneur Zalmen (Rabbi Avrohom Klyne’s father) - 19 Adar II
  • Chava Maryasha bas Ber (Mr. Mottel Polityko’s mother) - 19 Adar II

Devar Torah - Purim

Purim is a unique Yom Tov on which the simcha is “adei lo yada-without limits”. Why is it called Purim? It is called Purim because it refers to the lottery that Haman cast to decide when to destroy the Jewish People, which in Persian is called a Pur- a lot.

1. Why is the word Purim, a Perisan word used, and not the word ‘goral’ a Hebrew word for lot which is also used in the Megilla (with the words “hu hagoral”)?
2. Every other Yom Tov is named after the victory that particular Yom Tov is celebrated for. For instance the Yom Tov of Chanuka is named because we rested (חנו) on the 25th (כה) from the battle. Or Pesach which because of the miracle of how the Yidden were passed over (pasach) by the plague of the firstborn at the time of the exodus.

The Rebbe explains that in the title “Megillas Ester” we find opposites. On one hand the primary character in the story has a name, Ester, whose meaning is hidden or concealed. On the other hand, the actual word Megilla means revealed. These are paradoxical states, hidden and concealed on one hand and revealed on the other.

In the story itself we find paradoxical behavior as well. When Mordecai found out about the decree, he dressed in sackcloth, fasted and called out in the street. That’s an appropriate response for a Rabbi but Mordecai was a minster, and for him diplomacy is usually the normal way to get things done. He should have called for a round table session to determine the reason for the recent spike in anti-Semitism. Ester decided to fast for three day and then enter into the court of Achashverosh. Why didn’t she just get dressed up to look her best up and then enter? What were they thinking? If they were expecting a miracle they should have fasted and then waited to see what would happen next. If on the other hand they had a political approach, Ester should have gotten ready with a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive or Saks Fifth Avenue and schedule an appointment at her hair dresser. Mordecai should have been wielding his political influence in the corridors of Shushan. Why this mixture of behaviors?

The Rebbe answers that they realized that the entire decree did not spring up out of nowhere but was because the Yidden had done something wrong. They had taken part in the feast of Achashverosh. They had participated in the Persian culture and had eaten non kosher food. Both Ester and Mordecai knew that they had to first rectify the cause by doing teshuva and only then attempt to create a vessel for a natural solution. Checks need backing before they are written. Ester began with three days of fasting and teshuva and then ventured out into the palace.

The lesson for us is that we first need to attend to our relationship with Hashem. We are then free to develop a good and broad vessel to receive Hashem’s blessing for our physical needs. One may ask that since the concealment of Hashem’s presence is so pervasive that the best idea is to go directly to diplomacy. The answer is no! First and foremost we first need to strengthen our connection to Hashem, and through our connection we are able to break through the ‘hastir astir- the double concealment’ (like the meaning of the name Ester) of the non Jewish culture and language (Pur a Persian word not goral a Hebrew word) and reveal (like the word Megilla) the Anochi Hashem- Hashem Himself even beyond a name (As we find that Hashem’s name is not written in the Megilla). This is what brings the true and complete geula and salvation and the greatest simcha until adei lo yada, beyond all limitations. And then we go from the geula of Purim to the Geula of Moshiach (which will be similar to the geula from Mitzrayim) at which time the “night will shine like day” (similar to “Megillas Ester” where the concealment will become revealed) immediately. A Freilichen Purim!

(Based on Likutei Sichos v. 6)

Shabbos Parshas Vayikra Schedule

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 5:40 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus by Rabbi Raichik: 9:00 am
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Kol Yakov Yehuda: 10:15 am
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 3:30 pm in Shul
  • Mincha: 5:40 pm
  • Shabbos Ends: 6:43 pm
  • Change Clocks One Hour Ahead

Ta’anit Esther
Thursday, Adar 11/March 17

  • Fast Begins: 5:47 am
  • Machatzis HaShekel/Minchah: 6:00 pm
  • Fast Ends: 7:38 pm

Announcements

  • Kol Yaakov Yehuda Presents... Grand PURIM Extravaganza. Click here for more info.
  • “A Perfect Setting” has Shalach Manos with delivery available. Click here for more details.
  • Due to the time change the Rabbi’s Monday and Wednesday night Halacha Shiur will be right after Maariv. This week's shiur will be on Hilchos Purim.
  • The Siyum Sefer Torah in memory of Rebbetzin Sara Rochel Schochet will take place Wednesday, 10 Adar-II/March 16. Click here for more details.
  • Join the women of the Los Angeles community in welcoming Rebbetzin Raizy Rottenberg - mother of the “Zeh LaZeh” organization. Click here for more details.
  • Simcha in Adar: Ladies please join us Sunday mornings in Adar, at the home of Rebbitzin Chana Lieba Raichik: 6724 Beverly Blvd. 9:30-Tehilim,
    10:30-Learning the Mamar V'ata Tetzaveh with Mrs. Devorah Leah Ashkenazi, Followed by L'Chaim's and Dancing.
  • Please say tehillim for Shterna Soro Dono bas Minet (Peretz).

Kiddush Sponsors

  • Mr. & Mrs. Ariel Haratz in honor of the birth of their daughter Esther Nechama and the visit by Ariel's father Eliezer to see his new granddaughter. May they and their families have much nachas begashmiyus uberuchniyus.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Moshe Fishman in honor of Mr. Fishman’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.

The kiddush for the early minyan is sponsored by:

  • Yitzchok Soussana in honor of his birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Yermiyahu Abehsera in honor of his birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.

Women's Shabbos Shiur/Farbrengen

At the home of Mrs. Ronit Fallas
465 N Fuller Ave
5:00 pm
Speaker: Mrs. Chana Rochel Schusterman

Mazal Tov To

  • Ephraim Piperno on his engagement to Djorah Ouaknin. The Lechaim will iy"h be this Sunday, March 10, 7:30 pm at Beis Menachem (Pico area) 9126 Pico Blvd.
  • Mrs. Bracha Finkelstein on the marriage of her daughter Meira to Aryeh Leib Ehrlich.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Gershon Schusterman on the birth & Bris of their grandson Yosef Yitzchok (Indianapolis, IN)

 Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Mr. Allan Stark - 7 Adar II
  • Mr. Moshe Fishman - 9 Adar II
  • Menachem Mendel Freeman - 9 Adar II
  • Rabbi Chaim Avrahom Mentz - 12 Adar II
  • Rabbi Menachem Mendel Pinson - 12 Adar II

Upcoming Anniversaries:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Reuven Eliyahu Horwitz - 9 Adar II
  • Mr. & Mrs. Yosef Yitzchok Mishulovin - 11 Adar II
  • Mr. & Mrs. Zechariah Davidson - 12 Adar II

Upcoming Yahrtzeits

  • Moshe ben Nachum Dov (Mr. Zechariah Davidson’s father) - 6 Adar
  • Sara Rochel bas Mordechai Shlomo (Rabbi Ezra Binyomin Schochet’s wife) - 10 Adar
  • Mordechai ben Abraham (Mrs. Ester Gutierrez’s grandfather) - 11 Adar
  • Yitzchok Dovber ben Shlomo (Mrs. Raizy Schmukler’s father) - 12 Adar II

Shabbos Schedule

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 5:34 pm
  • Shabbos Mevorchim Tehillim: 8:15 am
  • Tehillim Club: 9:00 am
  • Followed by a Shiur Chassidus by Rabbi Raichik
  • Shacharis: 10:15 am
  • Kol Yakov Yehuda: 10:30 am
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 3:30 pm in Shul
  • Mincha: 5:35 pm
  • Shabbos Ends: 6:37 pm
  • Molad of Chodesh Adar Sheini: Shabbos, 29 Adar-I, March 5, 12:00 am + 7 Chalakim
  • Rosh Chodesh Adar Sheini:Sunday & Monday March 6-7

Announcements

  • Simcha in Adar: Ladies please join us Sunday mornings in Adar, at the home of Rebbitzin Chana Lieba Raichik: 6724 Beverly Blvd. 9:30-Tehilim,
    10:30-Learning the Mamar V'ata Tetzaveh with Mrs. Devorah Leah Ashkenazi, Followed by L'Chaim's and Dancing. 
  • The Rosh Chodesh gathering in memory of Rebbetzin Sara Rochel Schochet will take place this Tuesday evening, 2 Adar-II /March 8th. Click here for more details.
  • The Siyum Sefer Torah in memory of Rebbetzin Sara Rochel Schochet will take place Wednesday, 10 Adar-II/March 16. Click here for more details.
  • Please say tehillim for Shterna Soro Dono bas Minet (Peretz).

Kiddush Sponsors

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Leib Lerner in honor of his father R' Chaim Lerners's birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Sender Munitz for the yahrtzeit of Mrs. Munitz's mother Leah bas Yaakov ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.

Sholom Zochor

Rabbi & Mrs. Schneur Schneerson
Invite the community to a Sholom Zochor
at the home of the grandparents
Rabbi & Mrs. Yossi Schneerson
364 N Fuller Ave.

Shabbos Kallah

 Meira Finkelstein
Invites all women to her Shabbos Kallah
at 418 N. Fuller Ave.
4:30 pm

Mazal Tov To

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Simcha Frankel for the marriage of their daughter Mushky to Sruly Karasik.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Nootie Gross for the marriage of their son Aaron to Yehudis New.
  • Rabbi and Mrs. Mayan Kerbel on their marriage.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yossi Schneerson on the birth of TWIN grandchildren.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Dovid Hoch on the upshernish of their son Ari. Mazal tov to the grandparents Rabbi & Mrs. Mendel Goldman.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Ariel Haratz on the birth of their daughter.

 Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Yitzchak Menashe Stark - 1 Adar II
  • Mr. Chaim Lerner - 2 Adar II
  • Yoav Antian - 5 Adar II
  • Daniel Yacov Weiss - 5 Adar II
  • Moshe Simcha Burston - 5 Adar II

Devar Torah

While looking at the division of the shiur Tanya for this year beginning with Yud Tes Kislev we notice an anomaly. Throughout the week, while each day the shiur Tanya is a just few lines, on Shabbos it’s an entire perek. This unusual division shows us that the Rebbe wants Shabbos to be dedicated to learning Chassidus. While learning Chassidus one must consider the fact that the Rabbeim were not just speaking to their generation, but to those that follow, including our generation as well. The Rebbe explains in the introduction to Tanya that the Alter Rebbe is speaking to anyone who opens up a Tanya to learn. Therefore, as we learn the Tanya we realize and identify with the fact that the Alter Rebbe is speaking to me directly and personally. This enables the Rebbe’s words to penetrate. For this kind of study it takes time to enter; one cannot simply “run off” the words quickly. On Shabbos, after learning such a shiur, then beginning to daven with it, it comes alive. This is because it is with the awareness that it is speaking to me and I am speaking to Hashem. This is my connection to Hashem…it’s not just words. This is the reason why Chassidim dedicate their Shabbos to davening.

This week is the 32nd chapter (“Lev” = 32 which means “the Heart”) of Tanya. Each day is just a few lines. The Rebbe wants us to meditate on the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel. The Rebbe wants us to consider how much we think of our fellow Jew. The last Shabbos before the stroke was parshas Shekalim. The Sicha discussed that the mitzvah is to give a ½ shekel is because every Yid is only a half, and only together another Yid is he able to become whole.

That year, as this year, was a leap year in which we were learning the 32nd chapter of Tanya throughout parshas Vayakel-Pekudei. The connection between the 32nd chapter of Tanya and parshas Vayakel is seen in how Moshe Rabbenu gathered us together to unite us as one community. The Mishkon needed to be one unit not just a thousand different pieces. Everyone donated different items but they were all used for a singular purpose. So too in parshas Pekudei after all the pieces were prepared and ready, they needed to be erected and constituted into a singular entity. Hashem guided Moshe Rabbenu, the only one who was able to bind it all together as one. This is the unique power of a Rebbe to bind everyone together as one.

The Alter Rebbe in the 32nd chapter of Tanya gives us the tools we need to have Ahavas Yisroel. A Rebbe and a Chosid are two halves. In the Rebbe’s last edited maamar for now was VeAtah Tetzaveh. It discusses the concept of bringing oil to Moshe, which emphasizes that a Yid has the ability to bring koach-energy and elevation to Moshe Rabbenu! He is the head and we are the feet. We are one unit. Even now after so many years, our entire being is that we are united with Moshe Rabbenu and He is united with us.

There is an Hayom Yom that says that there was a time when the Rav was alone, and his students were alone. The revelation of Chassidus brought about a paradigm shift that brought out into the open the essential unity between the Rebbe and Chassidim. We are able to feel this unity by learning Chassidus and doing as the Rebbe instructs. Chassidus is not just a subject to learn or to teach, rather the Rebbe means me personally. If I am personally involved, then those few lines penetrate.

There is a story that illustrates how the Rebbe’s Ahavas Yisroel is well understood by a simple Yid. My brother Yossie O.B.M. went on Merkaz Shlichus in 1976. This was soon after the raid and rescue in Entebbe. At that time the Rebbe spoke about the importance of Mitzvas Mezuzah. Yossie together with Yossie Gerlitzky Y.L.T., went to the Far East, something unheard of at that time. Rabbi Mendel ShemTov agreed to pay for all of their expenses. They visited Japan, India, Iran and Thailand.

One Friday they visited the Israeli Ambassador to Japan in Kobe. After putting on Tefillin with him and putting up a Mezuzah on his door they approached another Yid in the office to put on Tefillin as well. He answered that they would have to hear his story first. This Yid said that after the Six Day War he met a Chabad Chossid at the Kotel who asked him to put on Tefillin. He answered him that he is a “medini- a nationalistic Jew and was there in honor of that and not to put on Tefillin. Many years later as he was in Midtown Manhattan walking down 5th Avenue another Chabad Chossid approached him asked him to come inside his truck and put on Tefillin.  He answered; “If I was at the Kotel after the Six Day War and was approached by a Chabad Chossid and was asked to put on Tefillin, and refused to do so, don’t tell me that now, so many years later that I, a nationalistic Jew will put on Tefillin here in your truck in Midtown Manhattan!” The man went on to tell how some time later he was visiting the Liberty Bell when once again he met a Chabad Chossid who asked him to put on Tefillin. He similarly refused him as well. He then looked at both of them and said; “If the Lubavitcher Rebbe thinks of me to send two Rabbinical Students 10,000 miles away to put on Tefillin with me, could I say no to the Rebbe? Come, let’s put on Tefillin”. This Yid felt the Rebbe’s care for him in Japan. This is the Ahavas Yisroel of the Rebbe, then and now. L’Chaiyim and Good Shabbos.

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