Shul Bulletin


  • Father & Son Learning starts this motzei shabbos 7:45-8:30 pm.
  • Save the following dates for these upcoming shul events:
    Monday Night, Nov. 8th - Rosh Chodesh Kislev Farbrengen for men.
    Motzei Shabbos, Nov. 20th - Melava Malka for men & women in honor of 14 Kislev.
    Thursday Night, Nov. 25th - Yud Tes Kislev Farbrengen for men & women.
    Motzei Shabbos, Dec. 4th - Chanuka Party for men & women.
  • Please say Tehilim for Nechomo Basya Yosefa bas Leah Freida and Shterna Soro Dono bas Minet.

Shabbos Chayei Sarah Schedule:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 5:45 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus with 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: 5:50 pm
  • Shabbos Ends: 6:48 pm
  • Father & Son Learning: 7:45 - 8:30 pm

Sholom Zochor:

Rabbi & Mrs. Yehudah Schmukler
and Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Siboni

Invite the community to a joint Sholom Zochor
at Congregation Levi Yitzchok.

Kiddush Sponsors:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Allan Stark invite everyone to a kiddush upstairs in Moshe Gantz Hall in honor of their son Menachem Mendel's Bar-Mitzvah. May he grow up to be a chossid, yirei shomayim and a lamdon.

The kiddush for the early minyan is sponsored by:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Ari Goldman in honor of their first anniversary. May they have many more happy years together.
  • Yossi Nathanson in honor of the most chassidishe lebedike farbrengen in town.

Women's Shabbos Shiur:

At the home of Mrs. Sima Zeifman
421 N Poinsettia Pl.
at 4:45 pm
Speaker: Rabbi Leib Lerner

Mazal Tov To:

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yehudah Schmukler on the birth of their son. Mazal Tov to the grandparents Rabbi & Mrs. Zalman Schmukler.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Gershon Schusterman on the birth of a grandson.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Siboni on the birth of their son.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Allan Stark on the Bar-Mitzvah of their son Menachem Mendel.

 Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Rabbi Tzvi Kravitz - 24 Cheshvan
  • Yisroel Dovid Tsikman - 24 Cheshvan
  • Mr. Eli Kagan - 27 Cheshvan
  • Mr. Simcha Kagan - 27 Cheshvan
  • Hershel Tsikman - 27 Cheshvan
  • Rabbi Sholom Ber Kesselman - 28 Cheshvan

 Upcoming Anniversaries:

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Tzvi Kravitz - 24 Cheshvan

Weekly Thought - Chayei Sarah

This week’s parsha is Chayei Sarah. Everything that occurs in the world in general is b’Hasgacha Protis-by divine providence. This is incomparably more so with regard to the Torah, the will and wisdom of Hashem. This is even more evident with regard to the name of a parsha which includes the entire theme of the parsha. The Rebbe asks the following question about the name of the parsha “Chayei Sarah”. How can that be the title of the parsha when all the details within it seem to have no relation with the life of Sarah? The purchase of her burial plot, Yitzchok’s shidduch, Avraham’s second marriage, and his burial all not only do not seemingly relate to Sarah’s life, they even seem to send the opposite message.
The Rebbe explains that the way we know that a person’s life was full and complete is when what they lived for continues forward. There is a basic difference between the general approaches of Avraham and Sarah. Avraham was the father of both Yitzchok and Yishmael. Sarah’s focus was entirely on Yizchok. When a question arose if Yishmael would inherit Avraham, Sarah’s made it clear that he would not, that only Yitzchok would inherit Avraham, and Yishmael must be sent away.
When Avraham needed a plot for Sarah’s burial he approached the Bnei Cheis, and preceded his offer by saying “ger v’toshav anochi imachem- I am a stranger and a settler amongst you”. Why did Avraham use both expressions, either he is a stranger or a settler, but not both? Since Hashem promised the land to Avraham’s children and not him, then he’s a stranger that must pay. If he is already entitled to the land now then he’s a settler and why pay them? The reason is because Avraham was sending them the following message. If you will sell the plot, then I will consider myself as a stranger, as the fulfillment of the promise is for later. If however you will not sell, then I will be considered a settler and take it now without purchase by right of Hashem’s promise.  The very fact that Avraham insisted upon burying Sarah specifically in the plot of Adam and Chava, the parents of all of humanity shows Sarah’s influence. Sarah’s message that way to fulfill Hashem’s purpose in creation is through the singular undiluted identification and focus upon Yitzchak’s unique role as a Jew, is expressed in the burial of Sarah, the Mother of the Jewish people specifically in this spot, the place of Adam and Chava. This is because the essential purpose of all of humanity is carried out through the Jewish people. This was Sarah’s message, and it was that message that gave Avraham the strength to insist upon Sarah’s burial in that place. This was also the message that Avraham sent to the Bnei Ches in the way he presented himself. If they accept their role in facilitating Hashem’s purpose through the Jewish people, then they have a place, and Avraham was prepared to acknowledge that by interacting as a purchaser. If on the other hand they did not accept, then it would be as if they did not exist, and he would act as a settler.    
Later in the parsha this message is seen in the way Avraham goes about finding Yitzchak’s shidduch using his faithful servant Eliezer. Eliezer, Avraham’s closest disciple, also had a daughter of marriageable age.  When the possibility of a shidduch between them was hinted, the answer was unequivocal; “absolutely not”, “because my son is blessed and yours are the opposite”. In this episode we see that Sarah’s perspective penetrated not just to outsiders like Bnei Ches, but even within their inner circle.
When Yitzchok married Rivka, he brought her into Sarah’s tent. By her entering, he felt Sarah’s presence return. As Rashi says, as long as sarah was alive 1-the shabbos candles burned from erev shabbos to the next erev shabbos 2-a bracha was in the dough 3- a cloud was over her tent. When Sarah passed away all these miracles stopped even though Avraham surly lit the Shabbos candles. When Rivkah married Yitzchok all these miracles came back. He sensed Sarahs presence in the continuation, in the confirmation of “ma zaro b’chayim, af hu b’chayim- just as the children are alive (by following in their ways) so too they are alive”. This continuation, brought about through the shidduch made tangible and real; ‘der Mama iz dah- my Mother is vibrant in this place’.
Later, Avraham married Hagar and had more children known as ‘Bnei Ketura (another name for Hagar)’. In the end he sent all them away with gifts. His purpose in sending them away was to eliminate any dispute regarding the fact that Yitzchak was his sole inheritor. Again, we clearly see the influence of Sarah’s message.
Later, when Avraham was buried, even Yishmael admitted that Yitzchok was the inheritor! This is shown in the pasuk where Yitzchok is listed before Yishmael, and Rashi points out that he is listed before Yishmael because Yishmael did teshuva and accepted Yizchok as the rightful heir to Avraham.
All of these episodes bring out the message and influence of Sarah. Throughout the parsha we live with Sarah.
The message to us from this week’s parsha is clear. When we as parents and community members, may we all live with good long years, have impact upon our children, family and environment, and we see that in the continuation, then our life becomes a true life. When we walk down the street, whether we like it or not, we are known as ‘Lubavitchers’, and that awareness needs to impact the fashion with which we walk and interact. Just like when Yizchok married Rivka, when he saw an infusion of his Mother’s influence and ways within the running of the home, his perspective was transformed, and he found strength and comfort in that continuation. When we live our lives with the influence of the Rebbe and his ways, and we see that our children are impacted as well, and they do what they do because they are the Rebbe’s children, we experience the Rebbe’s vitality in our lives; “ma zaro b’chaim, af hu b’chaim -just as the children, (his Chassidim) are alive by living in His ways so too He is alive”
(Adapted from Likutei Sichos v. 15)

Shabbos Parshas Vayeira Schedule:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 5:52 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus with 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: 5:50 pm
  • Shabbos Ends: 6:55 pm


  • If you have not yet paid your Tishrei pledges or dues, please click here.
  • Chof Cheshvan - Birthday of the Rebbe Rashab - Farbrengen for men in Shul Thursday, Oct. 28 8:30 pm.
  • Please say Tehilim for Nechomo Basya bas Leah Freida and Shterna Soro Dono bas Minet.

Kiddush Sponsors:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Milton Goodman for the yahrtzeit of his brother Yitzchok ben Yisroel. May the neshomo have an aliya.

The Kiddush for the early Minyan is sponsored by:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Yossi Goldman in honor of R' Yossi's birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Rabbi Levi Raichik in honor of a special person.

Women's Shabbos Shiur/Farbrengen:

At the home of Mrs. Etty Bastomski
418 N. Fuller Ave.
at 4:45 pm
Speaker: Rabbi Levi Kramer

Mazal Tov To:

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Nochum Pinson on the birth of a granddaughter.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Nachman Kreiman on the engagement of their son Yossi to Chaya'le Sharfstein.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Reuven Solomon on the birth of a great-grandson.

Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Dr. Binyomin Kaplan - 15 Cheshvan
  • Menachem Mendel Eliyahu Goldman - 16 Cheshvan
  • Mr. Yossi Goldman - 20 Cheshvan

Upcoming Yahrtzeits:

  • Alta Elka bas Avrohom Bunim Hakohen - 16 Cheshvan
  • Gittel Leah bas R' Moshe Pelman - 19 Cheshvan

Nichum Aveilim:

Rabbi Mordechai Berger is sitting shiva for his father
R' Yerachmiel Menachem ben R' Chaim Yaakov Yisroel ob"m 
at 3485 Berkeley Rd., Cleveland Heights, OH
Phone: 216-371-9697
Hamokom Yenachem eschem Besoch Shaar Avaylay Tzion VeYerushalayim. Vehukeetzu Veranenu Shochnay Ufur vehu besochom!

Shabbos Lech Lecha Schedule:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 6:01 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus with 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: 6:00 pm
  • Shabbos Ends: 7:04 pm


  • If you have not yet paid your Tishrei pledges or dues, please click here.
  • Women: Remember to attend the women's Achdus get-together this coming Tuesday, October 19th, 11 Cheshvan, at the home of the Raichiks, 6724 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Call Shterny for more information at 323.939.5138.

Kiddush Sponsors:


  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yisroel Bastomski in honor of R' Yisroel's birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Naftoli Estulin for the yahrtzeit of his Mrs. Estulin's mother Chana Rivkah bas R' Aron. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Frank Revere in honor of their anniversary. May they have many more happy years together.
  • Mr. Joel Yachzel for the yahrtzeit of his mother Tzerel bas R' Ben Tzion. May the neshomo have an aliya. Also in honor of the marriage of his daughter Rivka to Faivel Nissan Ettedgui. May it be with much hatzlocho.


The Kiddush for the early Minyan is sponsored by:

  • Mr. Maayan Kerbel in honor of his birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Zali Munitz in honor of their son Menachem Mendel's birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.



Women's Shabbos Shiur/Farbrengen:

At the home of Mrs. Chana Weiss
411 N Martel Ave
at 5:30 pm
Speaker: Rabbi Yisroel Hecht

Mazal Tov To:

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Mendel Dubinsky on the birth of their granddaughter Chana Devorah Cotlar.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Ben Tzion Novack on the birth of their grandson.
  • Dr. & Mrs. Rav-Noy on the Bar-Mitzvah of their grandson Avrohom Rav-Noy. We also wish them tzeischem lesholom and hatzlocho rabba on their upcoming trip to Eretz Yisroel.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Zalmen Roth on the upshernish of their grandson Yehoshua Arye Levi Roth.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yerachmiel Wolowik on the Bar-Mitzvah of their son Yosef Yitzchok.
  • Mr. Joel Yachzel on marriage of his daughter Rivka to Faivel Nissan Ettedgui

 Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Mendel Berkowitz - 9 Cheshvan
  • Mr. Maayan Kerbel - 9 Cheshvan
  • Mr. David Kaufman - 11 Cheshvan
  • Ephraim Pinchas Lerner - 12 Cheshvan
  • Menachem Mendel Munitz - 12 Cheshvan
  • Rabbi Yisroel Bastomski - 13 Cheshvan
  • Shlomo Yaakov Stark - 14 Cheshvan

 Upcoming Anniversaries:

  • Mr. & Mrs Frank Revere - 11 Cheshvan
  • Mr. & Mrs. Berl Sroka - 12 Cheshvan


Upcoming Yahrtzeits

  • Chana Rivkah bas R' Aron - 11 Cheshvan
  • Shaina Baila bas R' Moshe - 11 Cheshvan
  • Tzerel bas R' Ben Tzion Yachzel - 14 Cheshvan

Nichum Aveilim:

Mrs. Chava Steinmetz is sitting shiva for her brother
R' Yechiel Tzvi ben Chananyah Yomtov Lipah ob"m
at her home 415 N Poinsettia Pl.
Hours: 12-3 pm & 7-9 pm
Hamokom Yenachem eschem Besoch Shaar Avaylay Tzion VeYerushalayim. Vehukeetzu Veranenu Shochnay Ufur vehu besochom!

Weekly Thought - Lech Lecha

This week’s Torah portion tells about three different mizbachos-alters that Avraham Avinu constructed and made offerings upon during his travels. The first mizbeach was built when Hashem appeared to him and told him that he would have children and they would inherit the land. The second mizbeach was built in the city Ai when Avraham Avinu foresaw the sin of Achan, the loss of life there and the capturing of the city. The third was built on his way back from Mitzrayim in the city of Chevron.

Rashi gives reasons for the mizbachos which he quotes from the Medrash. The first was to show gratitude toward Hashem for the news of his children and their inheritance of the land. The second was to arouse compassion for his children who stumbled in the sin of Achan. The Medrash brings a reason for the third mizbeach but Rashi does not quote it for the third mizbeach. What is the reason Rashi omits the third reason?

In general, what purpose does the Torah fulfill in relating the stories of the Avos? The reason is because “maaseh Avos siman l’Banim”, their stories serve as a sign to meditate upon, which relate to future events that are to befall future generations. Even more the stories are actually the cause of those future events. For example, when there was a hunger in Eretz Yisroel, Avharam went to Mitzrayim with Sarah. He was afraid for his own life and not Sarah, because her life was not in danger. After this episode Avraham left with wealth. So too it was in the future generations when the Jewish people went to Mitzrayim the second time, the decrees primarily involved the men and not the women and they left with great wealth.

The Gemorah says that a mizbeach serves four puposes. It is “mayzin”, it provides sustenance to the world; it is “meyziach”, it pushes away unwanted decrees; it is “mikaper”, it brings forgiveness; it is “michavev”, it endears the Yidden to Hashem. They are really three not four because “mayziach”, pushes away decrees and “mikaper” brings atonement, are very similar in that they both push away things that are not positive.

These terms parallel the different types of karbonos. The term “mayzin” relates to shlamim offerings in that they bring sustenance to the Kohanim and their owners. The term “mikaper (mayziach)” relates to chatas and asham offerings as they atone (and through forgiveness pushes away all unwanted decrees. The term “michavev” relates to olah offerings in they bring endearment between Yidden and Hashem.

The three mizbachos also represent that which will be accomplished for Avraham’s children in the future. By being promised their life and receiving the land they will have sustenance (which relates to the term “mayzin” and the shlamim offering). When Yidden will be effected by the sin Achan when they try to capture Ai they will receive forgiveness (which relates to the term “mikaper” and the chatas offering). The city of Chevron represents connection “chibur”. The offering in Chevron represents the true service of a Yid to Hashem. This is a service that has no ulterior motive, rather solely motivated by love of Hashem, to honor Hashem alone (which relates to the term “michavev” and the olah offering). For this reason Rashi did not provide a reason for this mizbeach because it was for no other purpose just for the honor of hashem.

The three mizbachos represent the three Batei Mikdashos. Each of the three Batei Mikdashos had a thematic relation to each of the terms of the mizbeach. As explained in Chassidus the first Beis HaMikdash of Shlomo HaMelech was most closely associated with the avodah of tzadikim. This relates to the term “mayzin-sustenance”. Though the avodah of the Torah and Mitzvos the world is fed. The second Beis HaMikdash is most associated with the service of Baalei Teshuva which began after seventy years of galus. This relates to the term “mikaper-atonement (and “mayziach”- pushes away decrees) The decree of exile was finish and the Yidden received their atonement. The third Beis HaMikdash will have gilui elokus a revelation of G-dliness on the highest possible level. This relates to the term “michavev-endearment”. It is in this Beis HaMikdash that we will see the full and complete chibur-connection to Hashem. Chevron was the place where Dovid HaMelech was anointed as King and served his first seven years of kingship. This is the reason the Medrash gives for Avraham’s construction of the mizbeach in Chevron. Dovid HaMeleach’s kingship will be complete and everlasting when Moshiach comes bimhera beyameinu.

The lesson we can learn from the aforementioned is that we need to have a connection with the kingship of Dovid HaMelech even in and throughout the galus. Our teshuva and avodas Hashem of Torah and Mitzvos needs to be inspired with the knowledge that the highest and most complete revelation of Hashem’s presence will only occur with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu. This knowledge inspires our entire service to Hashem with a lust for the geula haamitis vehashleima!

(Based on Lekutei Sichos v. 30)


  • The Shul thanks the Rov, the organizers and all community members for such a chassidishe Tishrei with emese freilechkeit and simcha. May Hashem bentch everyone with a good and sweet year. Special thanks to Rabbi Levi Raichik, Mr. Meilech Weiss and the entire kitchen crew.
  • Thank you Rabbi Mendel Duchman for organizing all the Kol Yakov Yehuda programs.
  • Thank you Rabbi Simcha Frankel for organizing the Shabbos Mevorchim Tehillim Club.
  • As per the hachloto on Simchas Torah there is a new shiur for men in halacha, Mondays and Wednesdays 8:00-9:00 pm in shul - given by Rabbi Raichik.
    For a list of all our community shiurim click here.
  • Interested in learning to read a Haftorah? Rabbi Gershon Schusterman is offering just such a class. If you want to participate please email him. The class will begin in two weeks (the week of October 17th).

Shabbos Schedule:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 6:10 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus with 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: 6:10 pm
  • Shabbos Ends: 7:13 pm

Sholom Zochor & Bris:

Rabbi & Mrs. Yossi Pinson
Invite the community to the Sholom Zochor of their son
at Bais Menachem, in the Kiddush Room upstairs
(entrance on Poinsettia Pl)
The Bris will IY”H be Shabbos afternoon at 5:00 pm,
at their home, 332½ N Sycamore Ave.

Kiddush Sponsors:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Moshe Fishman for the yahrtzeit of Mrs. Fishman's father R' Tuvya Velvel ben R' Meir. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Together With:
    Rabbi & Mrs. Boruch Leib Braude
    in honor of R' Boruch's birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.


The Kiddush for the early Minyan is sponsored by:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Moshe Antian in honor of R' Moshe's birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Zali Munitz in honor of their anniversary. May they have many more happy years together.


Mazal Tov To

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yossi Pinson on the birth of their son. Mazal tov to the grandparents Rabbi & Mrs. Levi Raichik.

 Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Rabbi Boruch Leib Braude - 1 Cheshvan
  • Mr. Moshe Antian - 2 Cheshvan
  • Mr. Ben Tzion Novack - 3 Cheshvan
  • Rabbi Elozor Fisch - 5 Cheshvan


  • Rabbi & Mrs. Zali Munitz - 27 Tishrei
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Mordechai Katz - 1 Cheshvan

Upcoming Yahrtzeits:

  • R' Moshe ben R'Chayim Zev Benton - 7 Cheshvan

Weekly Thought - By Rabbi Shimon Raichik - Noach

This week’s parsha relates the story of how Noach built the teiva, the flood, and how the world was saved. How does this story which occurred so long ago, relate to our lives today thousands of years later? The Alter Rebbe in Torah Ohr explains that the raging waters symbolize the challenges of making a livelihood (tirdos haparnassa). Making a living is a flood of demands which require our attention day and night. This is not a punishment for all that needs rectification in our lives, for that could occur in an instant, not over a prolonged period of time. This flood, the Alter Rebbe explains is more analogous to the purifying waters of the Mikveh. Noach returned to a whole new and pure world after the flood. Similarly, we find this in our lives as well. The challenges of parnassa are not intended to break us (chas v’shalom), rather to awaken a sense of bitul to Hashem within our neshama. When we realize and accept that Hashem is behind everything and guiding every aspect of our lives, and creation in general, we can “float” calmly over the ups and downs of life’s daily vicissitudes. In order to float, we need to build a teiva.
What is our teiva? The Baal Shem Tov explains that our teiva are the teivos; letters and words of the Torah and Tefilla. Go into the davening and bring light, the awareness that Hashem is “michadesh b’tuvo b’kol yom maaseh breishis”; “Hashem in His infinite goodness constantly renews the entire work of creation. When we have difficulties in life we realize that Hashem is in control, He’s ‘running the ship’! This realization gives us the ability to ‘float’ and not be affected by the external environment. We do not infuse just ourselves, but our entire family and home as well. A home surrounded and infused with the warmth of the Torah and Chassidishkeit saves us from the raging waters of all types of worldly concern.
On the 27th of Marcheshvan Hashem commanded Noach “tzei min hateiva”; “leave the teiva” Why did Noach need a commandment? In his circumstances, having spent so long with all the animals and responsibilities, one would think that at the very first opportunity he would have packed his bags and run for his life!
The Rebbe explains that there was a unique condition, a special atmosphere, within the teiva which was similar to that which will be when Moshiach comes. Inside the teiva there were many small rooms housing all the animals, but the atmosphere was calm. The wolf and the sheep were living together in peace like in the times of Moshiach. Noach didn’t want to leave. Why should he want to return to the world he escaped? A world filled with endless challenges. For this reason Hashem made a specific command “tzei min hateiva”! The reason is because Hashem did not save Noach to remain locked up in his own holy and blissful world removed from all else. Hashem wanted Noach to go out of the teiva and rebuild the world and thereby fulfill the purpose of creation.
What additional practice can we learn from Noach entering and leaving the teiva in our service of Hashem? There are times that we feel ‘flooded’, like we are sinking. The best thing to do is to go into a shul and daven. It will protect you and enable you to float back to the top, to make a truly warm Chassidishe home. It begins with Modei Ani, a recognition that the Aibishter is King and we are under His supervision. All of this enriches and edifies our lives, to the point that we are able to “tzei min ha teiva”. We are able to go out into the world and make it a place for Hashem. We have the strength to look into our surroundings and see another person who needs our help and help them.
Once, a person came to the Maggid for advice. He told the Maggid that his mind is flooded, and that it is to the point that he cannot control his thoughts. The Maggid sent him to one of his talmidim. When he arrived the gates were locked. He looked around the house, and saw a light. He knocked and knocked but there was no answer. With no other alternative he bundled himself in what he had and slept in a corner somewhere. The next morning when the owner left for shul he almost tripped over him. Looking upon him and seeing him half frozen he brought him inside his home which was very warm. He placed him by the fire, rubbed him down and gave him a hot tea. Then he placed more logs on the fire, closed the all the shutters and windows firmly then left to go daven. As much as this visitor appreciated the hospitality, still, he was upset about his previous night’s experience. After about a week he told his host that the Maggid sent him to learn how to control his thoughts. Spontaneously his host replied; “I taught you that the first night you arrived”. The guest, no longer able to control his emotion retorted “What do you mean? You terribly mistreated me; I could have frozen to death!” The Host said; “I taught you an important lesson; that you always have the control to keep out whomever you want, it’s up to you and you alone”. Then the guest asked; “When you left for shul, the house was already warm, why did you add even more wood to the fire”. He answered; “It is my responsibility to keep this house warm always, even in my absence.” “But why did you need to be so careful to secure the windows and shutters” the guest asked. He replied; “To protect this home from fleas and insects searching for water from entering through the small cracks and crevices that can bother and eventually erode the quality of this house”. These details also relate to our responsibilities toward our homes. We need to keep out any negative influences from entering in the first place. That is within our power to do and we have the choice. We not only need to effuse our homes with true Chassidishe warmth, but we need to do so to such an extent that even when we are not physically there, that warmth is felt throughout the house. Even when it is difficult, and little things, like fleas, try to get through in the form of small compromises and relaxing of our sensibilities, we need to always remember that proper chinuch includes ‘shuttering ourselves’ even in times of spiritual drought so as not to compromise the integrity of our homes. Then we can “tzei min hateiva” leave our homes with confidence, and embark on the journey of ‘Yaakov halach l’darcho’. Let us take strength from the lessons of parshas Noach to overcome all challenges and build and maintain our homes and transform the world around us, thereby fulfilling the purpose of creation by making them a dwelling place for Hashem’s presence.
(Adapted from Likutei Sichos)

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