"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Pekudei, 5763
3 Adar II, 5763
Mar. 7, 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 334th
issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
We'd like to hear from you. Tell us your comments, suggestions, etc. Write
to us, or E-Mail via Internet.
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
25 Adar I, 5763
Brooklyn, New York
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY DEAR GRANDPARENTS,
Reb Shmuel Pesach ben Reb Yaakov Dovid
Passed away on 3 Tishrei, 5755
Mrs. Fraidel Chedvah bas Reb Zev Wolf
On the occasion of her eighth yahrtzeit,
Shabbat Parshat Pekudei, 4 Adar II, 5763
For the past several weeks the Torah readings have dealt with the
Mishkan (Sanctuary) and its numerous vessels. The requirements were
very exacting, involving many different types of building materials and
complicated instructions on how to make the Sanctuary's various parts.
The Torah portions of Teruma and Tetzave contain G-d's detailed
command to erect the Sanctuary and fashion its components. Immediately afterward,
the portion of Vayakhel and this week's Torah portion of Pekudei,
speak of the actual building of it.
A question is asked: Why is it necessary to devote four separate Torah readings
to the subject of the Sanctuary?
Every word of the holy Torah is deliberate and precise; not one word or letter
is superfluous. If so, why does the Torah devote so much space to what seems
to be a repetition? Surely the Torah could have enumerated all the details
of the Sanctuary and then simply stated that the Jews followed them to the
letter. From this we would have understood that the Sanctuary was built according
to G-d's instructions.
However, in his commentary on the Torah (Genesis 24:42), Rashi explains
a general principle: Whenever something is particularly beloved to G-d, the
Torah goes to great length in its description, and indeed may repeat itself
several times, even if nothing new is added by the repetition.
The Sanctuary and its vessels were extremely beloved by G-d. The Sanctuary
was also especially important to the Jews, for it was the means by which
G-d's Presence rested among them, as it states, "And they will make Me a
Mikdash (Sanctuary) and I will dwell among them."
Moreover, to the Jews the Sanctuary was particularly beloved, for it testified
that G-d had forgiven them for having made the Golden Calf. That is why it
was called "the Mishkan of Testimony."
It is precisely because of its great significance, both to G-d and to the
Jewish people, that a full four Torah portions are devoted to the Sanctuary:
Teruma, Tetzave, Vayakhel and Pekudei.
The Jewish people's dedication to the Sanctuary expressed itself in their
overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to the call for donations. In fact,
they contributed so much of their personal wealth and possessions that an
order had to be given for them to cease!
In a like manner, it is not enough to be content with the simple performance
of mitzvot. Each one of G-d's commandments must be precious and dear
to us, observed with willingness and devotion, and performed with alacrity
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.
When people comment that Lubavitchers may be going a little overboard, as
it seems that every other word is about Moshiach or Redemption or the Messianic
era, our only response is that we are emulating the Rebbe.
An example (and this is not an exception, but the rule) may be found in a
talk of the Rebbe's 13 years ago (in 5750/1990) at just about this time of
year. At that time the Rebbe spoke of the 50th anniversary of the previous
Rebbe's arrival in America.
In the course of just 5 minutes the Rebbe said:
"May the completion of these 50 years of service bring about the complete
and ultimate redemption -- the eternal Redemption led by Moshiach.
"The Messianic Redemption is also connected to the present month, the month
of Adar. Adar is a month of celebration as our Sages commented,
'When Adar commences, happiness should be increased.' This happiness,
in contrast to the happiness of the other months of the year, is unlimited
in nature. Thus, we find that though the festivals of Passover,
Shavuot, and Sukkot are described as 'festivals of rejoicing,'
the court would send emissaries to ensure that the celebrations were kept
within certain limits. In contrast, the celebrations of Purim are unlimited
in nature. This relates to the Messianic Redemption, for the ultimate expression
of happiness will come in the Messianic age.
"This unbounded happiness is not restricted to Purim alone. The Megillah
describes Adar as 'the month that was transformed,' implying that
the month as a whole is one of celebration. In particular, this is true now
that eight days of the month have passed. The number "eight" shares a connection
to the Messianic Redemption.
"The present day, Tuesday, is also connected to the Messianic Redemption,
for Tuesday is associated with the repetition of the phrase, 'And G-d saw
that it was good,' interpreted by our Sages as a reference to a twofold good:
'good to the heavens' and 'good to the creatures.' This twofold service relates
to Moshiach's coming, since, as our Sages explain, all terms that are repeated
in Torah are allusions to the concept of redemption.
"A connection to the Messianic Redemption can also be found in this week's
So you see, if the Rebbe's chasidim and admirers are known to be
Moshiach-minded, it is the greatest compliment possible!
A chasid once approached the third Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem
M. Schneerson, known as the Tzemach Tzedek, with a question. "What
is the point of studying Chasidus, which deals with abstractions that
no mortal mind can fully grasp? After all, when Moshiach comes even those
who didn't study Chasidus will know G-d, as it says in Isaiah, 'For
they will all know Me.'"
The Tzemach Tzedek replied: "A person listening to a conversation
on the other side of a wall doesn't grasp everything. He only understands
the general drift. But later, when the conversation is repeated in full,
he understands everything he had heard previously. Every few moments he thinks,
'Ah! Now I understand all those connections and details!'
"Here, too," continued the Tzemach Tzedek, "it is true that someone
who studies Chasidus grasps only part of the subject. But when Moshiach
will teach it in the time to come, that person will be able to look back
and say, 'Ah...!'
"And not only that, but someone hearing those teachings for the second time
will understand them much more deeply than someone who will then hear them
for the first time. As the above-quoted verse says, 'For they will all know
Me, from their smallest to their greatest' -- and it is obvious that the
understanding of a young child cannot be compared to that of an adult."
Does this sound like Greek to you? If so, consider the following. Imagine
you decide to become a printer. Even before you set foot in a printing shop
you start finding out all kinds of fascinating facts about printing and presses.
You become an expert in paper and ink. You avidly read a book that describes
in detail how a four-color press works, complete with diagrams.
The big day comes when you're going to actually see a printing press. You
invite a friend to come. The friend doesn't know even a fraction of what
you do about printing, but he's a good friend so he comes.
You get into the printing plant and walk over to the biggest four-color press
in the building. After only a moment of surveying it, you point to something.
"Ah," you say excitedly, "this is where the ink goes!" An instant later you
notice a row of buttons. "Ah," you say with animation, "this is the button
you push to start the press." You walk around the machine pointing to levers,
buttons, and thing-a-ma-jigs that you recognize from your
"four-color-press-manual." And each time, you exclaim, "Ah" -- as if to say,
"I learned about it when it was all theoretical, but now I really understand."
What about your friend, though? He's probably bored since he doesn't really
know heads from tails in the printing business.
According to Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad Chasidus,
the G-dly Light we will experience in the messianic era is a result of the
quality of our performance of mitzvot and study of Torah before Moshiach's
So, a similar type of scene to the one described above in the printing shop
will repeat itself when Moshiach comes. During this long exile, we study
our manual -- the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah. We learn that every
time we do a mitzvah it strengthens our connection with G-d, but we
don't quite understand why. We read that G-d created this world -- and other
worlds -- but don't really understand how. We hear about the Holy Temple
and wonder how it will look.
When Moshiach comes, and everything is revealed for our physical eyes to
behold, we'll say, "Ah, now I see how my connection to G-d was strengthened
through performing mitzvot. Ah, now I see how G-d created the world,
and I even see the spiritual worlds that exist on non-physical planes that
Kabbalah talks about. Ah, I recognize all these different furnishings
of the Holy Temple that I learned so much about." The "Ah" will be directly
proportional to the amount of effort and study we do now, in these last few
moments before Moshiach!
by Yrachmiel Tilles*
When we Jews have a leap year we do it right: we add an additional month
seven times every nineteen years. Because the solar year outpaces the lunar
year by 11 days each year, at the end of every 19-year cycle, we achieve
convergence of the solar and lunar vectors.
There is a lot that could be said about this. I'll restrict myself to two
points: one about the "pregnant" year as the leap year is called in Hebrew,
and one about the thirteenth month.
1) Day in, day out, always rising in the east and setting in the west, the
sun is a dependable incandescent source of heat and light, even on cloudy
days. As such, the sun symbolizes the power that Jewish constancy can generate:
praying on a regular basis, whether you feel like it or not, studying Torah
every day and night without fail, celebrating Shabbat and the Festivals,
The delicate silvery moon appears nightly in a different location, and wearing
an altered shape. Its phases of New, Quarter, Half, and Full are all palpable
indicators to our bemused gaze of the moon's pulsating cycle. Thus, the moon
represents the excitement of change and innovation. Each day the Torah should
feel new, our prayers fresh, every Shabbat exciting, etc., all as
if we had never done them before.
Some Jews overbalance towards "sun style," allowing the power built up by
the regularity of their observances to beguile them into being satisfied
with dry habit. Other are "moon men," letting the excitement and high times
they occasionally achieve seduce them into ignoring the necessity for a basic
level of daily commitment and consistency. The idea, of course, is to combine
and harmonize the sun and moon forces, for we all need the positive qualities
2) Interestingly, the added thirteenth month has the same name as the twelfth
month: Adar. Thus, every "pregnant" year we have an Adar I
and an Adar II. Two full months of all that Adar implies. How
Adar, which contains the festival of Purim, is the official lucky
month of the Jewish people. It's also the official happy month -- in the
Code of Jewish Law it is written: "As soon as Adar begins,
increase in joy!"
For sixty days it is a mitzvah to be extra happy. I hope that all
our readers will take this mitzvah seriously. If you want to be
super-religious about it, you should be increasingly happy each day even
in comparison with the previous day of Adar.
May G-d help all of us to accomplish this by hastening our ultimate joy:
the revelation of Moshiach and the Final Redemption.
*. Yrachmiel Tilles is one of the founders and directors of ASCENT
Seminars in Safed, and editor of ASCENT Quarterly
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 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."
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, Mar. 7, Erev Shabbat Parshat Pekudei:
Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 5:34 p.m.
Saturday, Mar. 8, Shabbat Parshat Pekudei:
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 6:36 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.
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.
Back to "Living With Moshiach" Home Page