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Parshat Shelach, 5762
Year of Hakhel

Sivan 27, 5762
June. 7, 2002

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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, our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.


In this week's issue we focus on:

1) The importance of Jewish children attending Torah Summer camps.

2) Chof Ches Sivan, the 28th of Sivan.


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

22 Sivan, 5762
Year of Hakhel
Brooklyn, New York

Horav Chaim Yehuda Kalman ben Horav Avrohom Yehoshua
head of the Bet-Din (Rabbinical Court) of Crown Heights,
On the occasion of his second yahrtzeit, 20 Sivan, 5762

Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe

Parshat Shelach

This week's Torah portion, Shelach, relates the story of the spies and their unwillingness to settle in the Land of Israel. As we now stand on the threshold of the messianic era, when all Jews will return to the Holy Land, it is interesting to explore that event.

The spies' reluctance to leave the familiarity of the desert, their home for forty years, stemmed from the fact that it represented a radical change in their spiritual service.

For forty years the physical needs of the Jewish people had been met miraculously -- manna from heaven, fresh water from Miriam's well, their clothing miraculously growing along with them, clouds protecting them from their enemies -- enabling the Jews to concentrate on their relationship with G-d without distractions.

Settling the Land of Israel would involve embarking on an entirely new path, intimately involved in agriculture and necessitating direct interaction with the material world. True, these activities would be Torah-guided; the people would refrain from stealing, slander, gossip, etc. And they would also fulfill the precepts of giving a tenth of their earnings to charity, etc. Nonetheless, there would remain very little time to study and pray compared to life in the desert.

Yet embarking on this new path was precisely what G-d desired. The sin of the spies, each one of whom was a righteous and upstanding Jew, was their rejection of this notion. They worried that working the soil would take away precious time from their Torah study. Rather than purify the material world through their practical mitzvot, the spies preferred to continue their G-dly service removed -- as much as possible -- from the world and its demands.

But this is not the Jewish approach. The Divine mission of the Jew is to go out into the material world and conquer it, elevating physical matter by imbuing it with spirituality; working hard to provide the physical necessities of life, while at the same time imbuing their surroundings with G-dliness and holiness. For this is what G-d really wants Jews to do. Our mission in life is to lead a normal, physical existence, while at the same time following the precepts of the Torah.

This reluctance on the part of some people was limited to the very first time the Jews were about to enter the Land of Israel. When Moshiach ushers in the Redemption, no one will be ambivalent about the new era. At that time, our return to Israel will be complete and wholehearted.

On the one hand, the Jewish people will return to an agrarian existence, symbolic of G-d's desire that we elevate the physical world through our service. Yet at the same time, the substantial labor involved in this work will be done for us by others, as the Torah states, "And strangers will arise and tend your flocks, and the children of foreigners will be your farmers and vinegrowers," enabling the Jewish people to pursue their primary role, the uninterrupted worship of G-d.

This is also alluded to in G-d's promise to bring us to "a land flowing with milk and honey." In the messianic era, the sustenance of the Jews will be as bountiful as the milk that flows by itself from the goat and the honey that drips from the date palm -- without our having to expend any effort. We will then be free to dedicate all our time to the joyful service of G-d.


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.

Adapted from a Letter of the Rebbe

To Jewish Students and School Children Everywhere

G-d Bless You All!

Greeting and Blessing:

Vacation time is approaching, to release youths and children, boys and girls, from Yeshivahs, Talmud Torahs, Day Schools, etc., for a long summer recess.

The importance of a restful vacation is obvious. However, certain aspects of vacation time should be examined carefully. Is vacation time a stoppage of study, or is it a transition from one form of activity to another?

In all living forms, there is no such thing as a stoppage of life, followed by a completely new start, for a stoppage of life is death, and cannot serve as a temporary rest period. There can be a transition from one form of activity to another, but not a cessation or stoppage.

For example: The two most vital organs in our body are the heart and the brain. The heart is the principal seat of "physical" life; the brain is the principal seat of "intellectual" life. Because the heart and the brain have supreme control of the body, they are called "the Sovereigns of the body."

Now, these organs not only do not cease to operate in a living body, but they do not even undergo a radical change in their form of activity. And inasmuch as the actions of the other organs are being led by the activity of the heart and brain, it follows that the other organs of the body, though they may seem to be in a state of inactivity, as in the case of sleep, do not in reality stop working.

This is even more obvious in the case of breathing. We find that during sleep, breathing is slowed down considerably, but it never stops, for the "breath of life" must always be there.

Similarly in the case of students, boys and girls, studying our Torah, "Torat Chaim" -- The Law of Life, restful vacation does not mean interruption and stoppage of Torah and Mitzvot, G-d forbid. It means only just another way of furthering their course of study, a period during which they renew their mental abilities and increase their capacities for a more intensive study later on.

Therefore, my friends, bring light and holiness into your vacation time, by remembering always that it is the time of preparation in order to improve the quality and quantity of your studies during study-time to follow. But let it not remain so only in your thoughts and intentions; be always united with our holy Torah in your everyday actions and conduct. Let not a single day pass without the "breath of life" provided by the "Torah of Life." Let every one have appointed times for the study of Chumash, Mishnah, Talmud, and so on, each one according to his or her standard of Torah education.

At this time, I wish everyone who is resolved to use his or her vacation in this productive "living" way-much success, as well as on returning to normal study later on.

With blessing,


Graduation ceremonies are taking place all over. From kindergarten students to those receiving their doctorates, commencement ceremonies are usually a high-point of the school year.

These ceremonies are called "commencement" because, truly, the person is now beginning a new stage in his or her life.

And, as the word commencement or even graduation implies, the person is hopefully going to proceed on to a newer and higher level.

The above certainly applies to Jewish students in particular and all Jews in general. Each year we should be striving to graduate to a new and higher level of Jewish observance. Whatever level we have currently reached is adequate for today, but for tomorrow it is not enough. For, as we all must certainly know, if we stay in one place we stagnate; if we are not going up, inevitably we are going down.

For those who have not had the opportunity to graduate even from the "kindergarten" of Judaism, one must never think that it is too late to start. As we learn from one of our greatest sages and teachers, Rabbi Akiva (who did not even learn the Hebrew alphabet until the age of 40), it is never too late to start. Though long overdue, it is incumbent upon each of us to start the educational process that will undoubtedly keep us growing and reaching up, for all our days.


Summer is a great time for kids. Without the pressures of school, children have the opportunity to spend their summer vacation in enjoyable and educational pursuits. The summer schedule is particularly suitable for children to grow spiritually, by attending a day or overnight camp with a vibrant, exciting and Torah-true Jewish atmosphere.

Each year, without exception, as the summer approached, the Rebbe emphasized the importance of Jewish children attending Jewish camps. The amount that a child can learn in the summer, unencumbered by the pursuit of reading, writing and arithmetic, goes far beyond what he can accomplish at any other time of year. And, as this knowledge is being imparted in an atmosphere of fun and excitement, in an environment totally saturated with Jewish pride, it remains with a child long after the summer months are over.

It's still not too late to enroll your child in a Jewish camp. And it's certainly not too late to facilitate other children attending a Jewish camp if you do not have camp-age kids. By calling your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center, you can find out about a summer camp experience for someone you know whose benefit will last a lifetime.

By the way, adults, too, should take advantage of the more relaxed atmosphere of summer to revitalize and nourish themselves Jewishly.

Try a Jewish retreat or even just a weekly Torah class to enhance your Jewish pride and knowledge.

And may this summer be our last one in exile and our first in the Era of the Redemption.


Have you made your summer plans yet? If you're intending to go away, you might already have started packing or thinking about what you'll take along with you.

Usually, before we go anywhere -- even if it's just a day trip to the country -- we need to know what the weather is going to be like, what kind of activities we're going to be involved in and how long we'll be staying. This information makes our packing easier and the trip more pleasant.

Imagine the ordeal of packing for a surprise, mystery trip. You'd have to take your whole wardrobe along -- not knowing whether you're going to a hot or cold climate, to casual or elegant affairs, or taking walking tours or sightseeing buses.

Each and every mitzvah we do is a journey -- an excursion to self-betterment, an adventure to a heightened relationship with G-d, our fellowman, and ourselves.

Mitzvot are not many people's typical idea of a vacation, though, certainly not the kind of lazy, laid back, relaxing vacation many of us envision when we're at the height of a frenzied, hectic day.

They are a different kind of vacation, however, a kind of vacation you can go on every day of your life, every minute of your day. Because who doesn't want to take a vacation where you can visit new sights, reconnect to your past, carve out for yourself a place in history, experience something eternal.

One of the greatest things about vacation via Torah and mitzvot is that because of the diversity of each mitzvah, you can experience the whole spectrum of vacations each and every day that you do different mitzvot.

Relax by communicating with G-d (praying in the vernacular), putting on tefillin, lighting Shabbat candles. Bathe in the vast sea of Torah that is available through attending classes, reading books, or listening to pre-taped lessons in the privacy of your home. Be dazzled by the bright lights of the Infinite Light (Ohr Ein Sof) when you contemplate G-d's greatness and the purposefulness of the world and its every creation. Wine and dine at sumptuous banquets on Shabbat and holidays. Exercise your conscience and workout on your self-control by fulfilling the mitzvot between one person and another: not being jealous; loving your fellowman; judging everyone favorably; honoring your parents. The list goes on.

But, what kind of packing should you do for a vacation of mitzvot? The rule of thumb that the better you've packed the more you'll enjoy your vacation applies to mitzvot as well. Ask questions! Find out why, when, and how to do each mitzvah. Learn the significance and the inner meaning behind the customs. Pack in all of the knowledge you can as you go along.

But, don't hesitate to do a mitzvah just because you think you might not be properly prepared. After all, would you pass up a surprise, mystery trip just because preparing is a hassle or you didn't have a chance to pack?

Enjoy your vacation!


The 28th of the Hebrew month of Sivan (Shabbat Parshat Shelach, June 8), is the 61st anniversary of the arrival in the United States of the Rebbe and Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka.

The Rebbe and the Rebbetzin were in France during the early years of World War II. In 5701/1941, after tremendous effort on the part of the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn -- who was already in the United States -- the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin were able to travel to Portugal, from where they boarded a ship to the United States.

The trip itself was quite dangerous, with the ship being stopped numerous times en route by the Nazis.

On the 28th of Sivan 5701 (June 23 1941), the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin arrived in New York.

The Previous Rebbe, because of ill health, was unable to greet his daughter and son-in-law personally. Instead, he sent four of his most eminent Chasidim to greet them.

The Previous Rebbe informed them, "I am selecting you as my representatives to welcome my son-in-law, who is arriving tomorrow. I will reveal to you who he is: Every night he says the Tikkun Chatzot prayer over the destruction of the Holy Temple. He knows by heart both the entire Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds with their commentaries, and Maimonides' great Mishne Torah (code of Jewish law), and is expert in the works of Chabad philosophy. . .!"

The 28th of Sivan became established as a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving for the rescue of the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin from the fires that raged in Europe.

It also marks the beginning of a new era in Chabad outreach with the establishment by the Previous Rebbe of the central Lubavitch educational and publishing departments, which he placed under the directorship of the Rebbe.

May the 28th of Sivan this year be the ultimate day of rejoicing and thanksgiving for the rescue of the Rebbe and the entire Jewish people from these last moments of exile, may G-d send the redemption NOW!


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.

Study Ethics of the Fathers

We read one chapter of Pirkei Avot -- Ethics of the Fathers -- each Shabbat following the afternoon prayer. Pirkei Avot contain ethics and moral exhortations.

Many have the custom to continue reading these chapters throughout the summer months until Rosh HaShanah; summer is a time when people are prone to become more lax in their Jewish observances.

The Rebbe emphasized the importance of not only reciting the chapters, but also actually studying them.


Jewish Women and Girls Light Shabbat Candles

For local candle lighting times:
consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch Center, or call: (718) 774-3000.
or: http://www.candlelightingtimes.org/shabbos

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, June 7, Erev Shabbat Parshat Shelach:

  • Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 8:05 p.m.

Saturday, June 8, Shabbat Parshat Shelach:

  • Blessing of the New Month, Tamuz.(2)
  • On Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, we read Chapter 3 of Pirkei Avot -- Ethics of the Fathers.
  • Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 9:15 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 Tamuz is on Monday, June 10, and Tuesday, June 11.

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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