Printed from ChabadofLA.com

Shul Bulletin

Announcements - Pekudei

  • Click here for KYY update.
  • Click here for this week’s JEM “Here’s My Story”.
  • Monday: Special Hachnosas Kallah Carnival Extravaganza. Click here for more info.
  • Wednesday: SPECIAL SHIUR in the Halachos of Cholov Yisroel, Sending food with a siman and Tevilas Kailim. Wednesday, 3 Adar-II/March 5, in shul, 8 pm - Chavrusa learning, 8:40 - Shiur by Rabbi Raichik. 
  • Purim: Aleph Institute is looking for a few bochurim or Yungerliet to help volunteer going to visit inmates in prison and bringing them the Simcha of Purim. If you would be so kind to offer your services please contact Rabbi Yossi Stern 786-972-9146.
  • Nichum Availim: Mr. David Kaufman sitting shiva until Monday morning for the passing of his father ob"m. Address: 211 S Formosa Ave. Phone: (323) 939-0750 Email: dkaufman613@gmail.com  Davening Times: Shacharis 8 am. Mincha-Maarive 5:30 pm. Mincha on Friday 3 pm. Maarive Motzei Shabbos - Bizmano. Visiting times: 8-11 am and 4-9:30 pm. Nighttime parking restrictions were relaxed!! Hamokom Yenachem eschem Besoch Shaar Avaylay Tzion VeYerushalayim. Vehukeetzu Veranenu Shochnay Ufur vehu besochom! 

Shabbos Schedule - Pekudei

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 5:30
  • Shabbos Mevorchim Tehillim: 8:15 am
  • Followed by a Shiur Chassidus by Rabbi Shimon Raichik
  • Thillim Club: 9:00 am 
  • Last Time To Read Shema: 9:14 am
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Shacharis: 10:15 am
  • Kol Yakov Yehuda: 10:30 am
  • Mesibas Shabbos For Girls (in KYY) 3:30 pm
  • Mincha: 5:30 pm
  • Shabbos Ends: 6:33 pm
  • Molad for Chodesh Adar-II: Shabbos, 29 Adar-I/March 1, 3:10 pm and 8 Chalokim
  • Rosh Chodesh Adar-II: Sunday & Monday, March 2 & 3.

Kiddush Sponsors - Pekudei

  • Mr. & Mrs. Shimon Benarroch for the yahrtzeits of Mr. Shimon Benarroch’s father Reb Avrohom ben Reb Yosef and brother Reb Yitzchok ben Reb Avrohom ob"m. May the neshomos have an aliya.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Moshe Davidoff for the yahrtzeit of Mrs. Esther Davidoff’s grandmother Charna bas Reb Avrohom ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • The Gaboim of the Shul in honor of Shabbos Chazak. May they and the entire community be blessed with kol tuv se’ela.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Leib Lerner in honor of Zayde Lerner’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Zalmen Roth for the yahrtzeit of Mrs. Esther Roth’s father Reb Meshulam Zalman ben Reb Volf Hersh Hakohen ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya. 

Early Minyan Kiddush Sponsors - Pekudei

  • Mr. & Mrs. Moshe Anatian in honor of Mrs. Rochel Anatian’s birthday. May she have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
    Also in honor of their son Yoav’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Meir Finck for all the miracles and kindness Hashem has shown their family. May Hashem continue to shower them and the entire community with kol tuv sela.
  • The Gaboim of the Shul in honor of Shabbos Chazak. May they and the entire community be blessed with kol tuv se’ela.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Baruch Kreiman in honor of Rabbi Baruch Kreiman’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Sruly Yusevitch in honor of Rabbi Sruly Yusevitch’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.

Women's Shabbos Shiur - Pekudei

5:00 pm - At the home of: Mrs. Etty Bastomski
418 N Fuller Ave.
Speaker: Rabbi Yisroel Hecht

Mazal Tov To - Pekudei

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Moshe Leib Raigorodsky on the birth of their son. Mazal tov to the grandparents Mr. & Mrs. Shaul Raigorodsky.

Upcoming Birthdays

  • Yitzchak Menashe Stark - 1 Adar II
  • Mr. Chaim Lerner - 2 Adar II
  • Rabbi Baruch Kreiman - 3 Adar II
  • Rabbi Sruly Yusevitch - 3 Adar II
  • Sholom Dovber Winograd - 3 Adar II
  • Schneur Zalman Wagshul - 3 Adar II
  • Mr. Danny Weiss - 4 Adar II
  • Moshe Simacha Burston - 5 Adar II
  • Yoav Antian - 5 Adar II

Upcoming Anniversaries

  • Mr. & Mrs. Aryeh Leib Ehrlich - 1 Adar II
  • Mr. & Mrs. Isser Goldstein - 4 Adar II

Upcoming Yahrtzeits

  • Charna bas Reb Avrohom (Mrs. Esther Davidoff’s grandmother) - 1 Adar
  • Reb Leib ben Reb Shmuel (Mr. Betzalel Fleischman’s father) - 4 Adar
  • Reb Meshulam Zalman ben Reb Volf Hersh Hakohen (Mrs. Esther Roth’s father) - 5 Adar

Devar Torah - Pekudei

Whether you play the Violin, the Cello, or the Drums, you're a part of the Orchestra

By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

This week is parshas Pikudei, the final parsha in Sefer Shemos (Shabbos Chazak) as well as parshas Shekalim. As mentioned in last weeks article, the Rebbe explained that Vayakel and Pikudei represent two different types of service of Hashem. Parshas Vayakel symbolizes the general, all encompassing purpose of the Mishkon, while parshas Pikudei highlights the importance of each individual component and enumerates them separately. Moshe Rabbenu made a detailed accounting of the money contributed, the structure, the vessels, and the vestments.

In our spiritual service, parshas Vayakel speaks to us as one community, while parshas Pekudei emphasizes the significance of the individual and how we are accountable for every thought, word and action.

In order to have a Mishkon, one place set aside as Hashem’s home, we need to build each and every vessel according to its unique specifications. So too, in order to complete the entire Jewish people, that we should be one and unified, we need everyone to have their part which is unique and special. Only then are we all complete. This is the message of parshas Pekudei.

We saw this so clearly by the Rebbe. The Rebbe is representative of all of Klal Yisroel; “HaNasi hu hakol- The Leader is the entire Jewish People”. He spoke to all of us as one, and at the same time he viewed each and every one of us, whether man, woman or child as special.  The Rebbe gave his time and effort to help each person according to his or her circumstances. We saw this in the way the Rebbe spoke to individuals by dollars, the personal messages found in Igros Kodesh as well as from the innumerable stories that we have heard.

At home with our families focusing on each family member in their special way is of utmost importance. Every child needs special time and has special needs and talents that should be addressed. In our yeshivos, high schools and seminaries we need to insure that no student gets lost in the crowd or missed in the shuffle. Each student should have a personal relationship with his or her mashpia and teacher. He or she should feel assured that they know him or her, care about his or her challenges and know that he or she has something special to offer. I was amazed while visiting our Cheder to see how the Principal said good morning to each child, by name. So too in our yeshivos, high schools and seminaries where there are hundreds of students the mashpia needs to know each one by name and have a personal relationship. It’s an absolute necessity to see to it that no student ever feels like an unknown.

When we have this approach, we build a strong foundation that allows us to successfully mandate higher standards. Then our children will grow up with what they need, to be able to best fulfill their special purpose, like each part of the Mishkon enumerated in parshas Pekudei.

Some say; whom do we think we are to think that we can do what the Rebbe wants to bring Moshiach. The yetzer hara is a shrewd lawyer with a crafty memory. When we think of fulfilling the Rebbe’s instructions, the yetzer hara chimes in with yesterday’s mistakes, or if necessary from things long forgotten, even decades ago just to undo and cool off our enthusiasm.

There is a story of someone who came to the Baal Shem Tov for help (Sefer HaSichos 5701-1941). The Baal Shem Tov was not able to help him, for whatever reason. Instead he went to the sefarim shelf and took sefer at random. It was a Gemara Bava Basra, and he just opened it, and it opened to daf 11. It says there that anyone Iyov would give money to would be blessed. The Baal Shem Tov thought that since everything is by hashgacha protis, what is the significance of us turning to this gemara? He then thought of a Jew named Shabsi Meir from Brode who has been distributing a lot of tzedaka. As his wealth grew so too did his tzedaka.  Shabsi Meir was asking Hashem to grant that there should be a real bracha for those whom he gave tzedaka. The Baal Shem Tov knew that his request had been accepted by Beis Din shel Maalah, and whomever he gave tzedaka would be helped. The Baal Shem Tov told this Jew to go to Shabsi Meir for Shabbos and on Sunday to ask for him for tzedaka and a bracha,when he would customarily distribute tzedaka to all the guests, and in this way he would be helped. He went and enjoyed a beautiful Shabbos with 20 other people at Shabsi Meir’s Shabbos table. After Shabbos he went for tzedaka and he was helped.  

Although the Baal Shem Tov would usually help everyone himself, this time he needed to send this person to Shabsi Meir for whatever reason. We see that here, he needed Reb Shabsi. So too the Rebbe needs each of to do what we can, to utilize our special abilities to continue and fulfill the Rebbe’s directives to bring Moshiach.

The Rebbe’s table was full with people’s troubles to such an extent that we cannot even imagine. We recently saw in a JEM video how someone thanked the Rebbe for a bracha he had given him, and that, Baruch Hashem, it was fulfilled. The Rebbe thanked him and said that not everyone will get back to him and tell him about the happy ending. Once the Rebbe got a letter from a child who wrote that from now on he was going to read birkas hashachar from a siddur. The Rebbe responded that this news was; “k’mayim karim al nefesh ayeifa- like cool waters on a tired soul”. With this note this is what the young child gave to the Rebbe. So too with all of us, the Rebbe, the Moshe Rebbenu of our generation needs each and every one of us to do what we can for Hashem, we are all important.

Together we will build the Mishkon for Hashem and then we will have the revelation of the Shechina in this physical world and achieve the objective of bringing Moshiach Now.

Announcements - Vayakhel

  • Click here for KYY update.
  • Click here for this week’s JEM “Here’s My Story”.
  • Shabbos: Shabbos Morning Shiur for Men - Please join us as we continue learning the Maamor V'ata T'tzave at 118 S Orange Dr. with Rabbi Naftoli Estulin. As always, Starbucks, cheese danishes and baby sitting will be available. We hope you can attend! 
  • Sunday: Ohel Chana High School is presenting a musical drama “One Fiery Moment” - The Triumph of the Cantonist Soldiers.  The presentation will take place Sunday, 23 Adar I/February 23, 7:30 pm at the John Burroughs Middle School Theatre - 6th & McCadden Pl. Click here for more info. 
  • Tuesday: SPECIAL SHIUR in the Halachos of Cholov Yisroel, Sending food with a siman and Tevilas Kailim. Tuesday, 25 Adar-I/February 25, in shul, 8 pm - Chavrusa learning, 8:40 - Shiur by Rabbi Raichik. 
  • Purim: Aleph Institute is looking for a few bochurim or Yungerliet to help volunteer going to visit inmates in prison and bringing them the Simcha of Purim. If you would be so kind to offer your services please contact Rabbi Yossi Stern 786-972-9146. 

Shabbos Schedule - Vayakhel

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 5:24
  • Chassidus for Early Minyan with Rabbi Zalman Friedman: 8:45 am
  • Shiur Chassidus by Rabbi Raichik: 9:00 am
  • Last Time To Read Shema: 9:18 am
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 9:30 am
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Kol Yakov Yehuda: 10:15 am 
  • Mesibas Shabbos For Girls (in KYY) 3:30 pm
  • Mincha: 5:25 pm
  • Shabbos Ends: 6:27 pm

Kiddush Sponsors - Vayakhel

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Fischel Grossman for the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Fischel Grossman’s grandfather Reb Tzvi ben Reb Naftoli Elimelech ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Avrohom Klyne in honor of Rabbi Avrohom Klyne’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Shalom Ber Levine for the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shalom Ber Levine’s father Reb Aba ben Reb Yoel Halevi ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Sender Munitz for the yahrtzeit of Mrs. Gittie Munitz’s mother Leah bas Reb Yaakov ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Velvel Tsikman in honor of Rabbi Velvel Tsikman’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.

Early Minyan Kiddush Sponsors - Vayakhel

  • Mr. & Mrs. Ari Kaufman in honor of Mr. Ari Kaufman’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.

Women's Shabbos Shiur - Vayakhel

5:00 pm - At the home of: Mrs. Sima Zeifman
421 N Poinsettia Pl.
Speaker: Rabbi Levi Kramer

Mazal Tov To - Vayakhel

  • Mr. & Mrs. Efraim Lezak on the marriage of their daughter Chava to Dovid Blasberg.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Nachum Pinson on the marriage of their granddaughter Freidy Gurkow to Yehoshua Korenblit. 
  • Mr. & Mrs. Reuven Solomon on the engagement their son Sholom Ber to Carli (Chaya) Frank.

Upcoming Birthdays

  • Rabbi Avrohom Klyne - 22 Adar I
  • Rabbi Mendel Duchman - 25 Adar I
  • Mr. Ari Kaufman - 25 Adar I
  • Rabbi Velvel Tsikman - 26 Adar I

Upcoming Anniversaries

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Dovid Morris - 25 Adar I
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Shmuel Gurary - 28 Adar I

Upcoming Yahrtzeits

  • Reb Shmuel Yosef ben Reb Mordechai Tzvi (Rabbi Yakov Greenbaum’s father) - 22 Adar I
  • Chana bas Reb Yeshaye  (Rabbi Shaya Berkowitz’s mother) - 22 Adar
  • Mindel bas Reb Nachum (Dr. Sholom Fine’s mother) - 23 Adar
  • Reb Avram Shalom ben Reb Moshe (Mrs. Marsha Alperin’s husband) - 24 Adar I
  • Reb Aba ben Reb Yoel Halevi (Rabbi Shalom Ber Levine’s father) - 26 Adar
  • Reb Tzvi ben Reb Naftoli Elimelech (Rabbi Fischel Grossman’s grandfather) - 26 Adar
  • Reb Avrohom ben Reb Yosef (Mr. Shimon Benarroch’s father) - 27 Adar
  • Leah bas Reb Yaakov (Mrs. Gittie Munitz’s mother) - 28 Adar I

Devar Torah - Vayakhel

How is Every Lubavitcher Chosid a Marine? (Part 2)

By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

This year, the parshios of Vayakel and Pikudei are read separately. Vayakel and Pikudei were read separately 22 years ago in 5752-1992, also a leap year, the last Shabbos that we merited to hear Sichos from the Rebbe.

The Rebbe explained that the Torah portions of Vayakel and Pikudei represent two different types of service of Hashem. Parshas Vayakel symbolizes the general, all encompassing aspect of Yiddishkeit, the Mishkon in general, while Pikudei enumerates each item individually. In Vayakel, Moshe Rabbenu sums up the total of all the contributions to the building of the Mishkon as a whole while in Pikudei they are broken down into separate units and counted individually.

Reading Vayakel alone, without Pikudei places greater emphasis on the importance of unity in general, and the unity of Hashem and of Israel, that we can and must bring to our lives and into the world. It is only when we gather together in unity that we are then able to build a Mishkon for Hashem.

This is true in our private lives and our life in the home as well. We need to make a Mishkon out of our life by using our mind and heart, our thought speech and action, our hands and feet, all together as one in the service of Hashem.  We also need to gather our families together. On Yud Shevat 5734-1974, the Rebbe spoke about how in today’s families each person has a different school and a different shul, and how important it is that on Shabbos we should gather around the Shabbos table.  By gathering together, Vayakel, as one unit, as one family, each person gets the strength to complete his or her purpose in the days ahead.

This is also true in our yeshivos and community. Sure there are many different levels, like the different parts of the Mashkon in parshas Pikudei, but we are all part of a greater unit that encompasses all of us, so that together we are one Mishkon for Hashem, as explained in parshas Vayakel.

When we are all together, this helps us as individuals to do our part in an even greater measure. Last week we mentioned that every Jew is a Ben and a Bas Melech, and how this is reflected in the way that we eat and sleep and dress. In Chabad we are also like the Marines, with a unique mission and responsibility to the world at large. So too within our community, there are many different types of people; there are shluchim, mechanchim, those in charge of mosdos, businessmen and baalei batim. Not everyone is a shliach, a teacher, or is running a mosad. A bachur needs to feel that yeshiva gives him the strength to be a good chassidishe yid and baal habayis if that is what he will be. If he is educated to understand that he plays a crucial role in completing the entire Mishkon, then, when he becomes a baal habayis he will follow through. He will see the tremendous value and importance he has in making this world into a dwelling place for Hashem when he has a full beard, learns chassidus, goes on mivtzoyim and is mikarev his acquaintances. Although he is not officially listed in Merkos, the Rebbe has made all of us shluchim, and when each of us takes the concept of shlichus on our own into our lives we complete the Mishkan, and then there is; V’shachanti b’socham.

We have seen that getting into shlichus has become more difficult, some wait for years to find a proper shlichus. It is vital that we stress this in our homes and in our yeshivos that everyone is a shliach, that there are many ways to complete the shlichus, and they are all valid and necessary to complete the Mishkon. Yes, some are going away on shlichus both near and far; but others are building good, strong chassidishe homes that support shluchim.  Shluchim get inspired by what Baali Batim are able to accomplish in inyanei shlichus as well. This is because of the connections and situations Baalei Batim get into because of their parnassa enable them to reach people that a shliach cannot get to. We see that the Rebbe even took childen and made them into Tzivos Hashem and demanded from them to inspire other children, all because they have unique part, that cannot get done without them.

Once we are all one, then we inspire each other. The talmid is inspired by the mashpiah, and the mashpiah is inspired by the talmid, as it says; “U’talmidai yoser m’kulam-I gained the most from my students”. Parents inspire their children, and parents get inspiration from their children, as it says; “Yafe koach haben mikoach a’av- the power of the child can be more beautiful than the father.

When my group of bachurim went on shlichus to Australia in 5731-1971 the Rebbe spoke about our departure on Shabbos parshas Achrei-Kedoshim. The Rebbe said that bachurim are making a halicha b’ain aroch, a journey of incomparable distance. He then spoke about how a Jew is a mahalech, how he never stands still, he is constantly on the move.  The Rebbe then said that seeing this great journey brings the parents nachas from their children. Also, the mashpiim get nachas seeing the bachurim they were michanech come to this stage. It even inspires the mishaleiach, (the Rebbe) the one who sends them. The inspiration comes from seeing this incomparable leap and brings them to do so as well in their own service of Hashem. As a Rav, there are times that I have to speak with families on a personal basis. When they talk, things come out about their lives that express such an emunah peshuta, such a pure faith that I become very moved and inspired.

As Moshe Rabbenu said; “Shesh meos raglei ha’am asher anochi b’kirbo, that the 600,000 of us, the ‘raglei ha’am’ are the feet of Moshe Rabbenu. And just as the feet are able to take the head to places the head cannot go, so too should we merit to bring Moshe Rabbbenu, the first and final redeemer down here into this world, Now!

Announcements - Ki Tisa

  • Click here for KYY update.
  • Click here for this week’s JEM “Here’s My Story”.
  • New Shabbos Morning Shiur for Men: Please join us Shabbos morning from 8:30-9:30 at the home of Shalom Rubashkin 118 S Orange Dr. for Starbucks, cheese danishes and babysitting while we learn a Maamor Chassidus with the world renowned Mashpia Rabbi Naftoli Estulin. 
  • Ohel Chana High School is presenting a musical drama “One Fiery Moment” - The Triumph of the Cantonist Soldiers.  The presentation will take place Sunday, 23 Adar I/February 23, 7:30 pm at the John Burroughs Middle School Theatre - 6th & McCadden Pl. Click here for more info. 

Shabbos Schedule - Ki Tisa

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 5:18
  • Chassidus for Early Minyan with Rabbi Zalman Friedman: 8:45 am
  • Shiur Chassidus by Rabbi Raichik: 9:00 am
  • Last Time To Read Shema: 9:22 am
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 9:30 am
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Kol Yakov Yehuda: 10:15 am 
  • Mesibas Shabbos For Girls (in KYY) 3:30 pm
  • Mincha: 5:15 pm
  • Shabbos Ends: 6:21 pm

2 Sholom Zochor's

Meir & Simi Rivkin
Invite the community to a Sholom Zochor
At the Klyne's: 184 N Orange Dr.

Alti & Dini Burston
Invite the community to a Sholom Zochor
At 127 S Detroit St. 

Kiddush Sponsors - Ki Tisa

  • Mr. & Mrs. Shimon Benarroch for the yahrtzeit of Mr. Shimon Benarroch’s mother Rochel bas Reb Moshe Esther ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Reuven Horwitz in honor of Mr. Reuven Horwitz’s birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlocho begashmiyus ubruchniyus.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Marton Leaderman for the yahrtzeit of Dr. Margalit Leaderman’s mother Golda bas Reb Yosef ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yosef Wolowik in honor of their anniversary. May they have many more happy years together.

Early Minyan Kiddush Sponsors - Ki Tisa

  • Mr. & Mrs. Mitch Reichman for the yahrtzeit of Mr. Mitch Reichman’s grandmother Rochel bas Reb Meir ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.

Shabbos Kalla

 Chava Lezak
Invites all women to her Shabbos Kalla
4:45 pm at 423 N Fuller Ave.

Mazal Tov To - Ki Tisa

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Meir Rivkin on the birth of their son. Mazal tov to the grandparents Rabbi & Mrs. Avrohom Klyne.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yosef Shagalov on the birth of their grandson (to Levi and Chaya Sara Ceitlin). 
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Chaim Burston on the birth of their grandson (to Alti & Dini Burston). 

Upcoming Birthdays

  • Rabbi Meir Rivkin - 16 Adar I
  • Aryeh Leib Hoch - 17 Adar I
  • Mr. Reuven Horwitz - 21 Adar I

Upcoming Anniversaries

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yosef Wolowik - 15 Adar I
  • Mr. & Mrs. Mendel-Hilel Ganzburg - 19 Adar I

Upcoming Yahrtzeits

  • Reb Zalmen Leib ben Reb Yaakov Yitzchok (Rabbi Naftoli Estulin’s father) - 15 Adar I
  • Rochel bas Reb Moshe Esther (Mr. Shimon Benarroch’s mother) - 15 Adar I
  • Reb Zev ben Reb Ezriel (Mr. Gary Apfel’s father) - 16 Adar I
  • Reb Shlomo Zalman ben Reb Shmuel Nata (Mr. Moshe Kaszirer’s father) - 17 Adar
  • Golda bas Reb Yosef (Dr. Margalit Leaderman’s mother) - 18 Adar
  • Chava Maryasha bas Reb Ber (Mr. Mottel Polityko’s mother) - 19 Adar
  • Rochel bas Reb Meir (Mr. Mitch Reichman’s grandmother) - 21 Adar

Devar Torah - Ki Tisa

A Lubavitcher Chosid is a Marine!

By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

Last week we spoke about how Chassidus stresses the need for hiskafya in our avoda, meaning that we must control our desires even the ones that are permitted. The laws of nedarim relate to hiskafya.  Why does one make a vow? Because sometimes we feel that we cannot control ourselves. Chassidus explains that once we give in to desires that are permitted – then we may lose control, chas v’shalom, of our desires that arenot permitted. Since this may lead to negative things we make a vow to control ourselves.  But, according to Torah it’s better not to make a vow.  The reason is because it’s better to take control in the first place with the permissible; then there would be no need for vows.

That’s exactly how the yetzer hara works. The yetzer hara doesn’t generally start by telling us to do things, which are prohibited.  It usually starts with things that are permissible, until we get caught into its web and fall chas v’Shalom into things that are prohibited.  There’s a side to us that says; be like everyone else.  Why be so square.  Don’t be so particular in what you wear or what you eat.  Why be so stringent. Enjoy life!  Do whatever makes you feel good and if something is hard for you – find a heter that makes it permissible.

This is not new. All of this originates from the nachash (snake), which seduced Adam and Chava. The snake that told her it’s all right for her to eat what she wants. We deal with this same nachash in different forms; it tells us to enjoy ourselves, to find a heter, go to college, get a good education, become a mentsh, be like everyone else. It’s just like being a drug addict. At first he takes over the counter drugs. Then he moves on to prescription drugs to numb the pain. Finally he gets into illegal hard drugs, which could chas v’Shalom lead to an overdose.

I heard from an acquaintance how someone told him that he eats at a certain schwarma restaurant but he would like the restaurant to have a better hechsher.  So my acquaintance asks him – so why do you eat there?! The person answered; “This place makes the BEST schwarma in town!!”  This is an example how we lose ourselves to our desires because we first need the schwarma, and only after hope to get a good hechsher!

There’s a din in Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, Siman 81 that says if someone eats or drinks cholov akum, it is m’tamtem halev, it stuffs the heart (spiritually).  Therefore if we eat non-cholov yisroel, our hearts become numb, and we lose feeling for yiddishkeit chas v’shalom.  That’s why in Shulchan Aruch it says that a child should not have a non-Jewish nursemaid.   There is also a halacha that if a women had to eat something that is not kosher, because of her health, she should wait till the food is digested, before nursing, so the baby should not nurse from that non-kosher food; because it can harm the baby later in life.  Even things that we don’t have to be machmir for with regard to children can still harm them when they become an adult. Therefore, Chassidim were very careful of what they brought into the house to eat or what they were reading and learning.  All of this affects the children.

There was a kashrus symposium in our city with the OU, Kehillah and RCC.  Rabbi Teichman said there is a halacha that discusses what happens when Beis Din Hagadol in Yerushayim paskened that a certain type of fat is permitted to eat and then later retracted and fobade it because it was a mistake.  Although people relied on the Beis Din, in certain cases each individual would have to bring a Korban Chattas, even though he relied on Beis Din, because it’s his responsibility to make sure that what he eats is kosher.  That means that if you  thought you were eating something kosher and found out it wasn’t, You need to ask forgiveness and get a kaporah –  (besides the organization). It’s the responsibility of the consumer who eats it.

That’s why Chassidim are always careful with what they eat or see physically.  It can affect us spiritually.

In the non- Chassidic world, they call non- Cholov Yisroel - “Cholov Stam”.  We, as Lubavitcher Chassidim know that there is no concept of Cholov Stam. There are people that say; “If everyone else can have it, so can I!”  But, if I’m a Lubavitcher Chassid and I know that the Rebbe did not accept that heter – then how can I accept it? You can find in the Rebbe’s Sichos and letters that Cholov Akum is m’tamtem the lev (heart), but still many ask why it that Chabad needs to have a higher standard.  Why do we need to feel deprived? 

Rabbi Gershon Schusterman told a story of Mr. Rubinson who came to 770 and spoke to the bochurim and explained that Lubavitch Chassidim are likes the Marines not like regular people. To understand this we need to remember that this year is a leap year like the year of 1927 when the Previous Rebbe gave over the Maamer on Purim Katan.  The Previous Rebbe demanded mesiras nefesh. He was worried about Klal Yisroel and he was like a general fighting for Yiddishkeit and we are like the Marines fighting with Mesiras Nefesh.  The same thing happened when the Previous Rebbe came to America.  The Rebbe sent shluchim all over America to take care of every Jew.  Now we have shluchim all over the world, in Cambodia , Vietnam, China,  India, Australia, Morocco.  Why are they there? They are the Marines out in the battlefield with mesiras nefesh. 

Six weeks after my mother and father were married they were sent to Los Angeles.  Los Angeles was not the same then as it is now.  But the Rebbeim sent out the Chassidim like soldiers.  To be able to accomplish this, a Marine needs to act differently than everyone else. The Lubavitcher yeshivas are like West Point, the training ground for the marines.  They have to be on a higher level than everyone else.  A Marine has a different education than a regular citizen. Every Jewish child needs to be educated that he or she is a Ben and a Bas Melech.  Everything is by divine providence. We see this from The Queen of England.  She asked her family to be more modest.  Our children are royalty.  We need to ingrain in our children the message that they are the princes and princesses.  If this feeling is instilled they will want to be modest in the way they act.  They will act with higher standards. As Lubavitchers we have to remember that we are the Marines, and therefore there is an even higher standard for us.

Once we understand this we can educate the next generation and bring about the Geula Sheleima.

Announcements - Tezaveh

  • Click here for KYY update.
  • Click here for this week’s JEM “Here’s My Story”.
  • 3rd Shiur in the Halachos of Pas Yisroel and Bishul Yisroel: Tuesday, 11 Adar-I/February 11, in shul, 8 pm - Chavrusa learning, 8:40 - Shiur by Rabbi Raichik.
  • Ohel Chana High School is presenting a musical drama “One Fiery Moment” - The Triumph of the Cantonist Soldiers.  The presentation will take place Sunday, 23 Adar I/February 23, 7:30 pm at the John Burroughs Middle School Theatre - 6th & McCadden Pl. Click here for more info. 
  • Nichum Availim: Mr. Efraim Lezak is sitting shiva until Sunday morning for the passing of his mother. Friday Mincha - 2:30 pm, Sunday Shachris - 8:00 am. Phone: (323) 782-0763. Email: efraim@completioncorp.com. Hamokom Yenachem eschem Besoch Shaar Avaylay Tzion VeYerushalayim. Vehukeetzu Veranenu Shochnay Ufur vehe besochom!

Shabbos Schedule - Tezaveh

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 5:11
  • Chassidus for Early Minyan with Rabbi Zalman Friedman: 8:45 am
  • Shiur Chassidus by Rabbi Raichik: 9:00 am
  • Last Time To Read Shema: 9:25 am
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 9:30 am
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Kol Yakov Yehuda: 10:15 am 
  • Mesibas Shabbos For Girls (in KYY) 3:30 pm
  • Mincha: 5:10 pm
  • Shabbos Ends: 6:14 pm

Kiddush Sponsors - Tezaveh

  • Mr. & Mrs. Milton Goodman for the yahrtzeit of Mrs. Frances Goodman’s mother Tzivya bas Reb Moshe Hersh Rochel ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Reuven Horwitz in honor of their anniversary. May they have many more happy years together.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Shalom Ber Levine for the yahrtzeit of Mrs. Tova Levine’s mother Hinda Ettel bas Reb Yakov ob"m. May the neshomo have an aliya.

Women's Shabbos Shiur - Tezaveh

4:45 pm - At the home of: Mrs. Miriam Feiner
305 S McCadden Pl.
Speaker: Mrs. Miriam Gross
In honor of Mrs. Feiner's birthday
& The LA Shiduch Network 

Mazal Tov To - Tezaveh

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Chaim Burston on the birth of their granddaughter (Yossi and Frumie Goodman).
  • Dr. & Mrs. Ze'ev Rav-Noy on the birth of their grandson (to Ariel & Miriam Rav-Noy). 
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yerachmiel Wolowik on the birth of their first grandson (to Zalman and Mushka Korf).

Upcoming Anniversaries

  • Mr. & Mrs. Reuven Horwitz - 12 Adar-I 

Upcoming Yahrtzeits

  • Chaya bas Reb Aharon (Mr. Mottel Polityko’s grandmother) - 8 Adar
  • Reb Chaim ben Reb Yehoshua Zelig Halevi (Mr. Joel Yachzel’s father) - 8 Adar
  • Rebitzen Sara Rochel bas Reb Mordechai Shlomo’s Schochet -10 Adar
  • Hinda Ettel bas Reb Yakov (Mrs. Tova Levine’s mother) - 12 Adar I 
  • Reb Mordechai ben Reb Abraham (Mrs. Ester Gutierrez’s grandfather) - 11 Adar II
  • Harav Yitzchok Dovber ben Reb Shlomo (Rabbi Schneur Zalman Schmukler’s stepfather) - 12 Adar
  • Reb Dov Reuven ben Reb Dovid Helevi (Mr. Yankel Ginsburg’s father) - 14 Adar

Devar Torah - Tezaveh

The Portrait of a Chosid

By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

Once, after one of his stays in Mezrich, as the Alter Rebbe was leaving the Maggid of Mezrich, Reb Avraham the son of the Mezricher Maggid was accompanying him and he said to the wagon driver to “whip the horses.”  There are two versions of what he said.  Either to whip the horse so the horse knows he is a horse or that the horse becomes “ois ferd”! (The horse should stop being a horse.)  When the Alter Rebbe heard this he turned back saying that he needs to go back to the Maggid to learn this avodah.

Another story…

One time the Rebbe Rashab was going away from Lubavitch and in the same carriage was another Jew who asked the question;  how do we know that Malachim exist if we have never seen them nor has our fathers ever seen one?  The Rebbe answered by explaining the fact that right now we are traveling for a certain purpose.  There are three thoughts involved: 1- Our thoughts - We know the purpose of our trip is to reach our destination and we will accomplish what we need to; 2- The wagon driver’s thoughts – His concern is about bringing parnassa to his family through this trip; 3- The horses thoughts –There will probably be more hay to eat in the new destination.  Just because the horse considers that this is the purpose of his trip, this does not mean the entire purpose of the trip is actually for the horse’s food!  So too, there is a neshama that came to this destination in a wagon (the body) and an animal soul that we need to feed.  If the animal soul only thinks about food this does not mean the neshama has no other purpose. The reason why we don’t feel the spiritual purpose is because all day we are thinking about hay (our physicality).

Nowadays many people say that they don’t feel that Chassidus penetrates them.  They can’t tap into it.  They feel it doesn’t speak to them.  One of the reasons is because we do not change our behavior.  As mentioned before; we are born with an animal soul, a wild horse that needs to be saddled by bending ourselves. As chassidus explains, we should not give in to everything our body wants.  When the body wants something, even if it has the best hechsher, we need to control ourselves so that everything should be for the purpose of serving Hashem. 

As the story goes; once there was a farbrengen and there was no farbeisin to be found.  The chossid, the  Rashbatz , had a goat.  They shechted the goat and prepared it for farbeisin.  In the morning, his wife came running in a panic that someone stole their goat.  He calmed her and exclaimed “Yesterday the goat said meh, meh, today the goat is saying Shema Yisroel”  This illustrates what Chassidus explains; that we need to elevate the food by using it to serve Hashem and thus elevating everything around us, so the food becomes like a Korban on  the Mizbeach. To do this we need to be in control and change our habits, to bend ourselves and not have everything we see and want.  If we don’t use control we become addicts to our desires and become like horses!  Just as people use diets so that they shouldn’t lose control, so too, our  animal soul needs a spiritual diet – iskafya- bending ourselves – whipping our horses – not to give in to our desires.

As a bochur I heard Reb Nissan Nemanov express himself about the concept of Iskafya.  He said, if we let ourselves loose b’gashmius (with physicality) it ruins what we gain in the spiritual levels that we are striving for.  He once went to his grandsons bar mitzvah and couldn’t understand why after a whole meal they still need to serve ice cream to satisfy the animal soul! The point is to whip the horse to help the G-dly soul serve Hashem.

That is the point of the Rebbe Rashab’s story when focus is on hay then we may lose sight of what purpose  the neshama has here in this world.

So when someone says chassidus doesn’t talk to me, I don’t feel it affects me, and then like, it’s because we are so lost in our world of gashmius.  The focus is on what I need. Like the story of the Alter Rebbe when a chassid came and expressed to the Alter Rebbe how he needs this and that.  The Alter Rebbe said “What you need I hear but the purpose of what you are needed for, I do not hear!

We need to ask ourselves; what is our purpose?!  To fulfill our purpose we must control our animal soul and its desires!

Many years ago, I was by a cousins wedding and was speaking to a distant relative about what Shabbos was like by the Rebbe. I described how the Farbrengens would start at 1:30 and would go till 20 minutes after shkia, when we would daven Mincha with the Rebbe. After 25 minutes we would daven Maariv with the Rebbe and only then would we go home and eat our Seudas Shabbos for Melave Malke (We would be yoitze Kiddush before the farbrengen with Mezonos or wash on something.).   My cousin replied; “What about Shalosh Seudos?”  Why doesn’t the Rebbe start davening earlier on Shabbos so that the Farbrengen can start earlier and there will be time to eat Shalos Seudos?  I didn’t want to tell him that many people were yoizte seudas Shabbos with a few kichelach and a coffee, if they were lucky. Yes, Seudas Shabbos is very important – but the focus of Shabbos is not only the food. We focus on the Kedusha, the learning and the davening.  Yes, the importance of Shabbos is also expressed by eating special foods; but that is not the main thing! When I grew up I saw my father coming home at two, three, or even four o’clock on Shabbos afternoon.  He made sure to have some fish and chicken but he was eating it because it was a mitzvah not because he enjoyed it so much.

Once we lose control, we get involved in things and we don’t even realize that there is anything wrong with them.  We ask, where in halacha does it say that it’s wrong?  This past Sunday was the Super Bowl.  The whole world goes crazy.  A Jew that realizes that his mission in life is to serve Hashem and make this world a place for Hashem, should realize that it’s not his place to go with his family and kids to a Super Bowl party where there is a big screen playing and lots of kosher wings and beer!  Does this fit in the realm of Torah and Mitzvos?  Are we letting our wild horse run around?  Reb Nissan has told us that what we gain in the Torah we can lose in our excitement for these gashmiusdike things.  The kids see that the Super Bowl is our excitement and what we are interested in. Then all the energy that the teachers put in to teach the children excitement for yiddishikeit gets hampered.  After that we wonder why doesn’t Chassidus penetrate.

Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.