"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Vayakhel, 5763
26 Adar I, 5763
Feb. 28, 2003
This week's issue is sponsored
in part by:
Mitzvahland - One Stop Judaica Shop
Dedicated to educating the public regarding the
current situation in Israel, based on Torah
sources, with special emphasis on the opinion
and teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
The Table of Contents contains links to the text. Click on an entry
in the Table of Contents and you will move to the information selected.
"I BELIEVE WITH COMPLETE FAITH IN THE ARRIVAL OF THE MOSHIACH.
"AND THOUGH HE MAY TARRY, I SHALL WAIT EACH DAY, ANTICIPATING HIS
Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12
THIS PUBLICATION IS DEDICATED
TO THE REBBE,
RABBI MENACHEM M. SCHNEERSON
Click here, to see pictures of the Rebbe
The Daily Sicha (in Real Audio)
- Listen to selected excerpts of the Rebbe's Sichos
[talks] which are relevant to the particular day.
We are pleased to present, to the visually impaired and the blind, the 333rd
issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
This Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel (Sat., March 1) we bless the
new Hebrew month of Adar II, and we celebrate Rosh Chodesh Adar
II, on Tuesday, March 4, and Wednesday, March 5.
Also, this Shabbat is Shabbat Parshat Shekolim. Parshat
Shekolim is the first of four special Torah readings read in the synagogue
on the Sabbaths before the Hebrew month of Nissan -- Shekolim,
Zachor, Parah and HaChodesh.
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
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
22 Adar I, 5763
Brooklyn, New York
In the beginning of this week's Torah portion, Vayakhel, Moshe relates
G-d's command to the Jewish people: "Six days shall work be done, and the
seventh day shall be holy, a Sabbath of rest to G-d."
In order to observe Shabbat properly, in accordance with G-d's command,
the groundwork must first be laid by the six days of the work week: "Six
days shall work be done."
Significantly, the commandment is not "Six days shall you do work." The verse
does not instruct us to toil laboriously. "Six days shall work be done" --
as if the work is being done by itself. You needn't exert undue effort or
invest too much of your energy, the Torah tells us. Rather, your work will
be accomplished with a minimal amount of exertion.
This is a special blessing that G-d has bestowed on the Jewish people. Our
Sages state, "When Israel does the work of G-d [when they serve Him properly],
their work will be done by others." Not "Six days shall you do work," but
"Six days shall work be done." Their work will already be completed.
This contains a lesson for every Jew to apply in his daily life. Yes, a Jew
is obligated to work for a living, to provide for the members of his family,
but only his most external powers and abilities should be invested toward
this end. It states in Psalms (128:2): "You shall eat the labor of your hands;
happy shall you be, and it shall be good for you." When is it good for man?
When only his "hands" are involved in his work; when his head and his heart,
his thoughts and emotions, are reserved for higher matters: the study of
Torah and the performance of mitzvot.
A Jew must never invest himself totally in his business affairs. For it is
"the blessing of G-d that makes a man rich." A person's success is not determined
by the amount of effort he puts into it. His efforts only create the vessel
through which G-d bestows blessings. Thus a Jew must reserve his intellect
and energy for spiritual matters, while his business must be viewed as if
it is taking care of itself.
Approaching work in such a manner ensures that the Shabbat will be
observed properly, that the Jew will be able to put aside his material concerns
on the day of rest. If a Jew is overly preoccupied with his livelihood during
the work week, his Shabbat will be disturbed by worry and anxiety:
How can he earn more money? What should he buy and sell? On Shabbat
he will find it difficult to disconnect from worldly matters. Thus "Six days
shall work be done" is the most appropriate preparation for "the seventh
day shall be holy."
In this manner all the days of the week will acquire a Shabbat-like
quality, and the Shabbat itself will have an increased measure of
holiness, as implied by the Torah's repetition, "Shabbat shabbaton
-- a Shabbat of rest."
The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of Lubavitch, issued a call that
"The time of our Redemption has arrived!" and "Moshiach is on his
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.
53 years ago, on Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei, 5710/1950, the
Rebbe said the following:
"In the last series of Chasidic discourses that the [Previous] Rebbe wrote,
he anticipated everything and hinted at everything. [According to the
unauthenticated notes of a listener, the Rebbe said: "I search among the
subjects explained in these discourses for the answers to all the questions
"The [Previous] Rebbe says this of our present time -- the final era before
the Redemption, the era in which the task of separating the sparks of G-dliness
in this world and returning them to their source comes to an end. As the
Rebbe wrote, now is the era preceding the Redemption, and the mode of spiritual
service now required is a mode of victory, with an unquestioning acceptance
of the yoke of heaven.
"In order that victory be secured in the current battle, 'secret treasures,
which have been locked away for generations,' have been squandered -- i.e.,
all the teachings and episodes which the Rebbe revealed in recent times,
and which had been hidden and sealed from generation to generation, until
the generation of the Baal Shem Tov and his mentor.
"Because no one adequately took all these treasures to heart, their revelation
is a veritable squandering, all for the sake of victory."
In another of his earliest talks, the Rebbe suggests that we pour over the
latter talks of the Previous Rebbe from his final years in order to find
guidance and our orders on how to proceed.
Jewish teachings explain that when a great Sage makes a statement about another
great teacher he is, in reality, saying the same about himself. Thus, we
must take the Rebbe's advice and pour over his most recent teachings, those
from the years of 5750, 5751 and 5752 (1990-1992). In these most recent talks,
the Rebbe's declaration that "The time of our Redemption has arrived," shows
clearly that we have entered a new stage in the pre-Redemption era. And the
Rebbe's instructions to publicize this and other statements and messages
are also contained in these talks.
May we very soon no longer have to review the Rebbe's talks, but hear Torah
from the Rebbe himself.
This Shabbat, in addition to the regular Torah portions read in
shul, Parshat Vayakhel, we will also read Parshat
Shekolim, the Torah portion in which G-d commands Moshe to take a census
of the Jewish people by collecting a half-shekel from each one.
The Rebbe explains that a census emphasizes the unique importance of each
individual while at the same time reminding us that every Jew's existence
is bound to that of his fellow man.
The concept of "loving your fellow man" is further emphasized by the fact
that every Jew, no matter how rich or how poor, was required to give the
exact same amount of money, a half-shekel.
Moreover, the half-shekolim that were collected were used to bring
communal offerings on behalf of the entire Jewish people. And although we
are in exile we can still fulfill the mitzvah of half-shekel
by carrying out the custom of giving three half-dollars to charity before
These gifts will hasten the Redemption, for then "Moshe will gather," i.e.,
Moshe, "the first redeemer and ultimate redeemer," will gather every single
Jew and proceed to Israel, to Jerusalem, to the Third Holy Temple.
Though we do not yet have the Third Holy Temple to which we could bring communal
sacrifices, these mitzvot apply equally today. For, the Torah is infinite,
not limited to time and place. While the physical Sanctuary was destroyed,
the spiritual aspects of the service in the Temple are still carried out
today through learning Torah and doing mitzvot.
When a Jew makes a contribution toward a sacred cause, it is immediately
matched by a corresponding kindness from G-d to him. Sincere human effort
is met halfway by Divine Grace, thus a goal that may at first seem unattainable
to a person can actually be reached, because his goodness evokes a corresponding
May our good deeds combined with G-d's benevolence finally bring us to attain
our ultimate goal, the coming of Moshiach.
On Tuesday, March 4, and Wednesday, March 5, G-d willing, we will, be celebrating
Rosh Chodesh Adar II, starting the new Hebrew month of Adar
Rosh Chodesh is celebrated as a mini-holiday, with special prayers
and finer food and clothing. Jewish women, in particular, observe Rosh
Chodesh more meticulously.
What is the reason for Jewish women's stricter celebration of Rosh
Rabbi Eliezer wrote: "When the men came to ask for their wives' gold earrings
for the Golden Calf, the women refused to hand them over. They said to their
husbands: 'We will not obey you in order to make an abomination that has
no power to save!' G-d rewarded them in this world, giving them a greater
degree of observance on Rosh Chodesh, and He rewards them in the World
to Come, giving them the power of constant renewal that characterizes [the
renewal of the moon on] Rosh Chodesh."
On a more general note, the Jewish calendar is a lunar one, and our people
are compared to the moon. Although our light is sometimes eclipsed by that
of other nations, like the moon we are always here -- both at night and by
day. Our nation's history has its share of growth and decline; like the moon
we wax and wane. But ultimately, these are just phases. For, although at
times we seem to be as unimportant or insignificant as the sliver of the
moon when it reappears, this is just a veneer.
May we sanctify the new moon this year and celebrate Rosh Chodesh Adar
II in the Holy Temple with Moshiach.
Our Sages relate that "in the merit of the righteous women, the Jews were
redeemed from Egypt." Similarly, the Sages associated subsequent redemptions
with the merit of Jewish women. The Holy Ari, Rabbi Yitzchok Luria, emphasized
that the future Redemption will follow the pattern of the Exodus, and thus
will also come as a result of the merit of the righteous women of that
From "Women as Partners in the Dynamic of Creation"
This Sat., Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel, the 27th of Adar I, marks
the beginning of the month of March.
Hey, wait a minute. In a Jewish publication, shouldn't we reserve our discussions
for Jewish months and not secular months?
A famous teachings of the Baal Shem Tov is that from everything a person
sees or hears -- whether in the realm of holiness or the seemingly secular
-- he can learn a lesson in his G-dly service.
So, what can we learn from March?
Most of us know the saying, "March comes in like a lion and goes out like
a lamb." And the juxtaposition of the lion and the lamb brings to mind a
time of world-peace. So powerful is this image of lion and lamb connoting
world-peace that a grass-roots group of parents who promote non-violent toys
for children call themselves the Lion and the Lamb.
In truth, when our prophets speak of the ultimate world peace in the Messianic
Era, they state, "The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will
lie down with the kid..." The prophet continues, "...And the lion will eat
straw as the ox."
One might ask, "Is this allegorical, or will animals that were previously
adversaries actually co-exist peacefully?" That's a good question! (Every
sincere question is a good question, actually.)
According to the opinions of many of our great Sages, these prophecies should
be taken literally. Nachmanides documents this stand profusely, although
he maintains that their fulfillment will not necessitate great changes in
Creation because, "Initially when the world was created, prior to the sin
of Adam, animals were not predatory. Only after Adam's sin did their natures
Similarly, Rabbi Dovid Kimchi, the Radak declares that animals were
not originally predators, as G-d created only one male and one female of
each species. If either one would have been killed, the species would have
However, there are other great Sages whose opinions differ. No less a giant
than Maimonides declares: "Do not presume that in the days of Moshiach the
nature of the world will change, or there will be innovations in the work
of Creation. Rather, the world will continue according to its pattern."
How are we to understand Maimonides' words, knowing that he established as
one of the 13 principles of Judaism the belief in the resurrection of the
dead, an act that is certainly a change in the nature of the world?
The Rebbe explains that there are two stages to the Messianic Era. In the
first stage, "the coming of Moshiach," everything will go according to its
natural pattern. In the second stage, the actual Redemption, we will experience
supernatural and miraculous occurrences.
However, it is possible, according to the Rebbe, that we could by-pass the
first stage and go straight to the miracles -- if we are meritorious.
Differing opinions aside, whichever way it's going to happen, let it just
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:
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 Renewal Gatherings
The Jewish calendar is based on the moon's cycle. The beginning of each Jewish
month is a mini-holiday and affords a perfect opportunity to make gatherings.
Serve some special foods, study about the holidays in the upcoming month,
celebrate the imminent Redemption when the Jewish people will be totally
"The renewal of the moon after its concealment is used as an analogy for
the Redemption and the complete renewal of the Jewish people 'who will in
the future be renewed as [the moon] is renewed.'"
Jewish Women and Girls Light Shabbat
For local candle lighting times:
consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch Center, or call: (718) 774-3000.
For a free candle lighting kit:
contact your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center.
For a listing of the Centers in your area:
In the USA, call: 1-800-Lubavitch (1-800-582-2848).
Times shown are for Metro NY - NJ
Friday, Feb. 28, Erev Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel:
Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 5:26 p.m.
Saturday, March 1, Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel:
Blessing of the New Month, Adar II.(2)
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 6:28 p.m.
1. The Shabbat candles must be lit 18 minutes before
sunset. It is prohibited and is a desecration of the Shabbat
to light the candles after sunset.
2. Rosh Chodesh Adar II is on Tuesday, March 4, and Wednesday, March
Laws of Shabbat Candle Lighting for the Blind
Shabbat Candle Lighting Blessing
"Let There Be Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide
to Lighting Shabbat Candles.
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