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Adar I, 5763

60 Days of Joy and Happiness

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Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12


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We are pleased to present, to the visually impaired and the blind, the 330-332th issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.


On Shabbat Parshat Mishpatim (Sat., Feb. 1) we blessed the new Hebrew month of Adar I, and we celebrated Rosh Chodesh Adar I, on Sunday, Feb. 2, and Monday, Feb. 3.

As this year is a leap year on the Jewish calendar, an entire extra month* is added between the months of Shevat and Adar. Therefore, this week's issue focuses on a lesson we can learn from the leap year.


In this week’s issue, we also focus on:

1. Zayin Adar,** the Seventh day of the Hebrew month of Adar I, Sunday, Feb. 9, is the birthday and yahrtzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu (Moshe our teacher).

2. Purim Katan, and Shushan Purim Katan. Purim Katan (the minor Purim) is on Sunday, Feb. 16, and the day afterwards, Monday, Feb. 17, is Shushan Purim Katan.


Our sincere appreciation to L'Chaim weekly publication, published by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, for allowing us to use their material.

Also, many thanks to our copy editor, Reb Mordechai Staiman, for his tireless efforts.


It is our fervent hope that our learning about Moshiach and the Redemption will hasten the coming of Moshiach, NOW!

Rabbi Yosef Y. Shagalov,
Committee for the Blind

3 Adar I, 5763
Brooklyn, New York


*. This month is known as Adar Rishon -- Adar I, and the second Adar is known as Adar Sheini -- Adar II.

**. "In a leap year, such as our current year, there is a difference of opinion as to whether we commemorate this date in the first or second month of Adar. Since both opinions are "the words of the Living G-d" it is appropriate to commemorate the date in both months."

(The Rebbe, 7 Adar I, 5752/1992)

In honor of
Mr. & Mrs. Ephraim Daniel and Basha

On the occasion of their third wedding anniversary,
Tuesday, 2 Adar I, 5763

Adapted from the Rebbe's Letters

This year's conference, taking place in the month of Adar I, brings to mind the significance of our leap year and its relevance to our daily life. For, although our Jewish calendar year has a basic logic of its own, it, too, like everything else in Jewish life, must be related in a practical and tangible way to our personal lives and responsibilities.

The fundamental reason for adding an extra month in our leap year is, of course, the fact that the Torah requires our calendar to be based on the lunar year, which is shorter than the solar year by approximately eleven days. At the same time it requires that our festivals take place in their due season (Passover in the spring, Sukkot in the autumn, etc.). This necessitates an adjustment once in two or three years, in order to make up the deficiency of the lunar year in relation to the solar year.(1)

The lesson contained in this calendar arrangement is that a person can in one year make up for deficiencies in past years.

Furthermore, just as the leap year not only makes up the deficiency, but also provides an "advance" on the future, so must the individual from time to time not only make up what he has failed to accomplish, in the past, but also make a special and extra effort to go a step forward as a reserve for the future.(2)

In addition, the Jewish leap year has a special relevance to Jewish women, mothers and daughters. The sun and the moon were created as "the two great luminaries," but each has been given its own place and function. The moon acts as a reflector and transmitter of the sun's light. In this way it has a special quality in that it transmits the solar light and energy to those areas in nature where direct sunlight would be too intense to be beneficial.

Similarly, the Jewish wife, in many respects, must reflect and transmit the Torah way of life to the entire household, and it is in this way that she fulfills her great responsibility and privilege of being the akeret habayit -- foundation of the home.

In taking stock of your accomplishments in the past, you will find much to be gratified with, but these very accomplishments will also reveal that with a little more effort, a great deal more could have been accomplished. It is, therefore, to be hoped that you will resolve not only to make up the "deficiency," but in keeping with the spirit of the leap year, also make an advance on the future. After all, true progress cannot be limited to making up deficiencies. It is necessary to forge ahead steadily and, from time to time, to also advance by leaps and bounds.

* * *

In accordance with the teaching of the Baal Shem Tov, to the effect that every experience should serve as a lesson toward better service of G-d, the leap year serves to remind us that everyone has an opportunity to make up for any deficiency in the past, and sometimes even to accumulate a little reserve for the future, as in the case of our leap year.

Chabad Chasidus emphasizes this point in a very basic manner, since by definition Chasidus is a way of life that demands a little more effort than called for in the line of duty -- a little more dedication, a little more depth, a little more enthusiasm; and enthusiasm itself provides a breakthrough in overcoming limitations.


1. The lunar month is 29 or 30 days. One lunar cycle is 354 days, while one solar cycle is 365 days. An extra month is inserted 7 times in 19 years in order to allow the holidays to fall in their correct seasons. Ed.

2. At times the additional month actually makes the year longer than 354 days, thereby giving an "advance" toward the upcoming year. Ed.


The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of Lubavitch, issued a call that "The time of our Redemption has arrived!" and "Moshiach is on his way!"

The Rebbe stressed that he is saying this as a prophecy, and asks us all to prepare ourselves for the Redemption, through increasing acts of goodness and kindness.

Let us all heed the Rebbe's call.


Zayin Adar, the Seventh day of the Hebrew month of Adar I (Sunday, Feb. 9), is the birthday and yahrtzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu (Moshe our teacher).

The Rebbe has spoken numerous times about the significance of this date in our G-dly service. In one of the Rebbe’s last public addresses, on 7 Adar I, 5752/1992, the Rebbe delved further into the significance of this date.

In a leap year, such as our current year, there is a difference of opinion as to whether we commemorate this date in the first or second month of Adar. Since both opinions are "the words of the Living G-d" it is appropriate to commemorate the date in both months.

On a person’s birthday, "his mazal (source of influence) shines powerfully." If this concept applies to the birthday of any Jew, surely it applies with regard to the birthday of a nasi (leader) of the Jewish people. Nor is this relevant merely as an event in the past. Instead, each year, the positive influence associated with the Seventh of Adar is increased, reaching a level immeasurably higher than in previous years.

The birthday of a nasi affects every member of the Jewish people, for the nasi is the source of influence through whom G-d’s blessings are drawn down for the entire people.

Seven is symbolic of a complete cycle. Thus, the Seventh of Adar should inspire every Jew to carry out his service in a complete manner. The positive influence of the month of Adar will facilitate the performance of this service.

Similarly, these positive influences will hasten the coming of the Redemption. It is of utmost importance that the Redemption come sooner, even a moment sooner, for the Divine Presence and the Jewish people are in exile. Therefore, it is important to hasten the coming of the Redemption; every single moment its coming can be speeded is significant. The potential for this certainly exists: the very next moment can be the last moment of the exile, and the moment that follows, the first moment of Redemption.

* * *

Jewish teachings (Shemos Rabba) state that "Moshe is the first redeemer and he is also the final redeemer." This does not mean that Moshe himself will be the "final redeemer." For, Moshe belongs to the tribe of Levi, while Moshiach is from the tribe of Judah.

However, many traditional sources view the redemption from Egypt as the prototype of the Final Redemption, based on the verse in our Prophets: "As in the days of your exodus from the land of Egypt, I will show you wonders."

In this way, Moshe -- who was the leader of the Jewish people in his generation -- is the prototype of every Jewish leader and ultimately, of Moshiach.

Thus, for example, in Egypt, first G-d appointed the redeemer -- Moshe. He spoke to the Children of Israel, telling them that G-d had remembered them and that the time had come for them to leave Egypt. Only afterward did Moshe redeem the Children of Israel and take them out of Egypt. Similarly, first Moshiach informs us that the time of the Redemption has arrived, and only afterward does the actual Redemption take place (Sfas Emes).

In one of his kabbalistic works, Rabbi Chaim Vital describes Moshiach as a tzaddik, a human being born of human parents, and writes that he will receive the soul of Moshiach that has been stored in the Garden of Eden. Rabbi Chaim Vital then explains how this may be compared to Moshe and his progression to self-perfection.

The Chatam Sofer, as well, describes Moshe, the first redeemer, and then compares him to the final redeemer, "And when the time comes, G-d will reveal Himself to him, and the spirit of Moshiach, which has been hidden in the higher worlds until his coming, will light upon him."


In a leap year such as this year, there are two Hebrew months of Adar. Marriages, births and deaths that took place in Adar of a non-leap year are all celebrated in the second Adar.

The holiday of Purim, too, is celebrated in Adar II on the 14th of the month (this year, Tuesday, March 18). However, it is customary to recognize the 14th of Adar I (this year, Sunday, Feb. 16), as Purim Katan (the "minor" Purim). This is done by making meals of a festive nature, not delivering eulogies and not fasting.

Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe

Since this year is a leap year, we count the month of Adar twice. The holiday of Purim is celebrated in the second Adar. However, in the first Adar, we celebrate Purim Katan (the "minor" Purim).

Purim Katan is a microcosm of the larger Purim. It comes exactly 30 days before the "big" Purim and serves as an official reminder that it is time to begin preparing ourselves for the upcoming holiday. In essence, we have 30 extra days to put ourselves in the holiday spirit.

In general, if one does not prepare for a holiday, it can just come and go, hardly making any impression on us at all. Lacking the proper preparation means we might not rise to the emotional and spiritual heights of which we are capable.

Let us imagine ourselves traveling on a train. The scenery outside the window is magnificent. If we, however, but blink an eye, what we just saw is gone from our sight. The same is true of each holiday. If we do not prepare properly, with not more than the blink of an eye, it has passed us by.

Purim Katan is a reminder in our calendar announcing, "Wait, Purim is going to happen. And it’s going to happen soon!"

If we use the reminder that Purim Katan gives us, and really prepare for Purim, then we will be able to live the happenings of the megilah and derive the full, rich flavor from the holiday.


Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe

As there are very few customs associated with Purim Katan and Shushan Purim Katan [this year, Monday, Feb. 17], let us take a moment to understand the significance of Shushan Purim according to Chasidus.

The celebration of this holiday was instituted in connection with the Land of Israel. Our Sages decreed that Shushan Purim be celebrated in those cities that were surrounded by walls at the time of Joshua’s conquest of the Land of Israel. In this manner, they paid respect to the Holy Land, giving its walled cities the honor given to Shushan even though they had been destroyed by the time of the Purim miracle.

However, the holiday’s name is connected with a city in the Diaspora -- the capital city of Achashveirosh, king of Persia (and thus the capital of the entire civilized world).

The use of the name Shushan expresses the completion of the Jews’ mission to refine the material environment of the world. There are several levels in the fulfillment of this task; for example, the transformation of mundane objects into articles of holiness. On a deeper level, this involves the transformation into holiness of precisely those elements which previously opposed holiness.

Shushan Purim shows how Achashveirosh’s capital city was transformed into a positive influence, indeed, an influence so great that it is connected with the celebration of Purim in the walled cities of Israel.

May we use all of the extra spiritual energy given to us on Purim Katan and Shushan Purim Katan to transform the mundane into the holy and that which opposes holiness into holiness, until the whole world is transformed into a dwelling place for G-d in the Messianic Era.


On Shabbat Parshat Mishpatim (Sat., Feb. 1) we blessed the new Hebrew month of Adar I, and we celebrated Rosh Chodesh Adar I, on Sunday, Feb. 2, and Monday, Feb. 3. As we are now in the midst of a leap year, there will be two months of Adar instead of one (Adar I and Adar II). By including the first day of Rosh Chodesh Adar I in the reckoning, we end up with 60 instead of the usual 30 of these auspicious days.

Our Sages said, "When Adar enters, we increase in our simcha -- joy and happiness." The whole month (or months, in our case) is a time in which the dynamic of transformation is emphasized. In Adar, the terrible threat that hung over the entire Jewish community in the times of Haman was transformed into the joyous holiday of Purim. Adar teaches us that darkness can be transformed into light, and bitterness into sweetness.

The name Adar has various meanings, one of which is "strong." In Adar, we experience the strength, "Adir," of G-d. The Talmud relates that during the month of Adar, Jewish mazal, usually translated as fortune or destiny, is particularly potent. The mazal of the Jew is synonymous with the higher levels of his soul, which is always intrinsically bound with the essence of G-d. During Adar we have a unique opportunity to draw down Divine energy into our lives, by doing good deeds that are imbued with joy.

In talks delivered immediately preceding and during the two months of Adar, 11 years ago, in 5752/1992, the Rebbe emphasized the importance of simcha, in transforming the darkness of exile into the light of Redemption.

The Rebbe also stressed that, being as there are two months of Adar this year, there are 60 days during which we are to increase our simcha. More importantly, in Jewish law, the quantity of 60 has the ability to nullify an undesirable influence.

Specifically, this concerns food, as we see that if a quantity of milk, for instance, has accidentally become mixed with meat, if the meat outnumbers the milk by a ratio of 1:60, the milk is nullified and we may eat the meat. This points to not only the nullification of negative forces, but their transformation into positive ones.

Similarly, explains the Rebbe, 60 days of simcha have the ability to nullify the darkness of the present exile, allowing us to actually transform the darkness into light.

* * *

Concerning the kind of things that should be done to arouse simcha, the Rebbe suggested that each person should proceed according to his level: a child, for instance, should be made happy by his parents; a wife by her husband, and visa versa.

The bottom line is that the Rebbe did not let up on encouraging an increase of simcha in all permissible manners during the two months of Adar.

We must hearken to the Rebbe's words and utilize simcha, especially during these months, to transform darkness into light, sadness into joy, and pain and tears into rejoicing with Moshiach in the Final Redemption; and we will very soon experience the ultimate transformation of history, when our exile will be irrevocably changed into redemption, with the coming of our Righteous Moshiach.

May it take place, as the Rebbe so fervently prayed, teichef umiyad mamash -- immediately, literally, NOW!


At a chasidic gathering nearly 20 years ago, the Rebbe told the following story:

One of the tzaddikim of Poland, when still a little boy, asked his father for an apple. His father, however, refused to give it to him.

The enterprising youngster proceeded to recite a blessing over the apple: "Baruch atah...borei pri haetz -- Blessed are You... Who created fruit of the trees!"

The father could not possibly allow the blessing to have been recited in vain. And so, he promptly handed the youngster the apple.

The Rebbe used this story to illustrate the following point:

In our situation today, if the Jewish people begin now to rejoice in the Redemption, out of absolute trust that G-d will speedily send us Moshiach, this joy in itself will (as it were) compel our Father in heaven to fulfill His children's wish and to redeem them from exile.

Needless to say, the Rebbe was not suggesting the use of mystical incantations or the like to "force" the premature advent of the end of the exile. "We are simply speaking of serving G-d with exuberant joy," the Rebbe explained.

The month of Adar I brings with it not only the injunction to increase in joy, but with every command we are also given the power and energy to fulfill that command.

So, right from the start of the month, let us increase in our happiness, do mitzvot with more enthusiasm, and rejoice NOW in the imminent Redemption.

* * *

What benefit does joy bring us?

Chasidic teachings use the example of two individuals who are wrestling, to teach us the advantage of joy.

When two individuals are wrestling with each other, each striving to throw the other, if one is lazy and sluggish he will easily be defeated and thrown, even though he may be stronger than his opponent. Similarly, when we are trying to correct our bad habits or encourage spiritual growth, etc., it is impossible to accomplish any of these goals with a heavy heart or sluggishness, which originates in sadness. Rather, we are most successful at "overthrowing" our character flaws when we use alacrity that is derived from joy.

The third Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, known as the Tzemach Tzedek, received a letter from one of his followers, complaining that it was difficult for him to be "joyous." The Tzemach Tzedek's advice to him was that he think only positive and happy thoughts, that he be careful not to speak of sad or depressing matters, and to behave as if his heart was full of joy. "Ultimately," concluded the Tzemach Tzedek, "this will be the reality."

As we enter the first month of Adar, a month when we are enjoined to increase our joy over and above our regular mitzvot to "serve G-d with joy" and "to be joyous constantly," may we celebrate the greatest joy of all, the revelation of Moshiach and the ingathering of all Jews to our Holy Land, NOW!


The most important principle in the Torah is the protection of Jewish life.

It's more important than Shabbat, more important than holidays, even fasting on Yom Kippur.

Right now, in Israel, and everywhere, Jews must stand together in unity and do whatever possible to protect Jewish life.

The Rebbe taught that there are ten important Mitzvot we can do to protect life. See what you can do:

1) Ahavat Yisroel: Behave with love towards another Jew.

2) Learn Torah: Join a Torah class.

3) Make sure that Jewish children get a Torah true education.

4) Affix kosher Mezuzot on all doorways of the house.

5) For men and boys over 13: Put on Tefillin every weekday.

6) Give Charity.

7) Buy Jewish holy books and learn them.

8) Light Shabbat & Yom Tov candles. A Mitzvah for women and girls.

9) Eat and drink only Kosher Food.

10) Observe the laws of Jewish Family Purity.

In addition, the Rebbe also urged every man, woman and child to Purchase a Letter in a Sefer Torah. There are several Torah scrolls being written to unite Jewish people and protect Jewish life.

Letters for children can be purchased for only $1. Send your Hebrew name and your mother's Hebrew name plus $1 to:

"Children's Sefer Torah,"
P. O. Box 8,
Kfar Chabad, 72915, Israel

or via the Internet, at: http://www.kidstorah.org


The Rebbe's slogan is: "The main thing is the deed." We therefore present from the Rebbe's talks suggestions what we can do to complete his work of bringing the Redemption.

Make Others Happy:

As we are now in the 60 days of happiness comprised of the two months of Adar, we should endeavor to make others happy.

The Rebbe explained, "We should proceed to spread joy and happiness in the most literal sense, making efforts to assure that the members of one's household and similarly, all of those with whom one comes in contact, experience great joy. And this will lead to the ultimate joy, the coming of the Redemption. May it take place in the immediate future."

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