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Parshat Korach, 5762
Year of Hakhel

Tamuz 4, 5762
June. 14, 2002

The Third of Tamuz

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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 Gimel Tamuz, the 3rd day of Tamuz, Thursday, June 13.


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

Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe

Parshat Korach

It states in this week's Torah portion, Korach: "And G-d said to Aaron... All the best (chelev)...the first fruits...which they shall offer to the L-rd, these I have given you."

Of all the offerings that were brought by the Jewish people, the kohanim (priests), Aaron's descendants, were to be given only the finest. These contributions consisted of all kinds of commodities and were only of the highest quality.

Chelev , generally translated as the "best," is literally the fattiest part of the animal. First fruits are also the most select produce. The Jewish people offered only the best of their harvest and resources to G-d, and as we read in our portion, G-d commanded these be given to the priests.

Maimonides writes: "The law, as it pertains to everything that is for the sake of G-d, is that it must come from the finest and the best. For example, when one is feeding a hungry person, he should be served the tastiest and sweetest food on one's table. When one clothes a poor man, he should be given the nicest garment. When one builds a house of prayer, the edifice should be more beautiful than one's private abode, as it states, 'All the best to the L-rd.'"

Of all the commodities a person possesses -- food, clothing and shelter -- the finest and best must be dedicated to matters of holiness.

There is, however, another commodity to be dedicated to G-d, and that is time.

Time is extremely precious; it is therefore fitting that in addition to one's material blessings, a person dedicate the very best portion of the day to G-d.

The morning, the beginning of one's day, is the optimal time of the 24-hour period. In the morning, a person's mind is more at ease. He is not yet concerned by problems that may plague him later in the day. Thus the morning is the most appropriate time to dedicate oneself to holy matters.

The Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, explained the verse "From the first of your dough...you shall give an offering to G-d" in the following manner:

The Hebrew word for "dough," arisa, also means a cradle or bed. From this we learn that as soon as a person wakes up he should give an "offering" to G-d -- an offering consisting of the first and finest portion of the day.

This is accomplished in several ways, one of which is to thank G-d immediately upon arising by declaring "Modeh Ani -- I offer thanks to You..." Another way is by reserving the first part of the day for prayer and Torah study.

The very best of whatever we possess -- food, clothing, housing and time -- should be reserved for our Divine service. And in this manner we will merit the fulfillment of the priestly blessing, "May the L-rd bless you and guard you...."


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

Gimel Tamuz, 5710/1950

. . . Many seek to explain the qualities and greatness of the Chabad Rebbes in general, and in particular the Rebbe of our generation, my father-in-law, of blessed memory, in various areas: as a man of self-sacrifice, of Torah genius, of lofty character, a tzaddik, of prophetic ability, a miracle-worker, etc., etc.

These qualities are further magnified when viewed in the light of chasidic teaching, which explains what is true Torah genius, and so on.

And yet, none of this addresses the primary quality of the Rebbe, a quality that is not only primary in essence, but which is most important to us, his chasidim and followers, namely the fact that he is a Nassi, and particularly a Chabad Nassi.

A Nassi, broadly defined, is a "head of the multitudes of Israel." He is their "head" and "mind," their source of life and vitality. Through their attachment to him, they are bound and united with their source on high.

There are several types of Nesi'im: those who supply their constituents with internalized nurture (penimiyut), and those whose nurture is of a more "encompassing" nature (makif). This is further divisible into the particulars of whether they impart the teaching of the "revealed" part of Torah, or the esoteric part of the Torah, or both together; whether they offer guidance in the service of G-d and the ways of chasidim; whether they draw down material provision, and so on.

There are also Nesi'im who are channels in several of these areas or even in all of them.

Such was the nature of the leadership of the Nesi'im of Chabad, from the Alter Rebbe to and including my father-in-law, who embraced all these categories and areas: they nurtured their chasidim in both the "internal" and the "encompassing" qualities of their souls; in Torah, divine service and good deeds; in spirit and in body. Thus, their bond with those connected with them was in all 613 limbs and organs of their souls and bodies.

Each and every one of us must know -- that is, dwell and implant the awareness in his or her mind -- that the Rebbe is our Nassi and head: that he is the source and channel for all our material and spiritual needs, and that it is through our bond with him (and he has already instructed us in his letters how and by what means this bond is achieved)(1) that we are bound and united with our source, and the source of our source, up to our ultimate source on high.


1. "You ask how you can be bound to me when I do not know you personally...

"...The true bond is created by studying Torah. When you study my discourses, read the talks and associate with those dear to me... and you fulfill my request... in this is the bond." ("Hayom Yom" -- "From Day To Day," 24 Sivan).

See also below Living With The Rebbe Today! Ed.


"Some people are apprehensive about having the Redemption arrive so suddenly. What will come of all the businesses that they have set up, the property and possessions they have accumulated, the friendships and the contacts that have been established, and so on?

"They need not worry. The Redemption does not imply the annulment of the natural order nor the loss of the good things that came into being (in the spirit of the Torah) during the exile. Indeed, these very things will be comprised in the Redemption, and will be elevated to a state of Redemption, to the level of their true consummation." (The Rebbe, 5751/1991)


Many people express wonder at the fact that the Rebbe's leadership is spoken of in the present tense, that the Rebbe's leadership is uninterrupted despite our inability to perceive him physically.

Jewish teachings state that G-d showed Adam, the first person, all future generations together with their great leaders. These leaders are the tzaddikim (righteous individuals) whose souls G-d, in His wisdom and kindness, sent into this world to guide the generations, caring for them both spiritually and materially and showing the Jewish people the correct path to follow. Chasidic philosophy explains that these great leaders are the mind and the heart of the body of the Jewish people.

Each generation has its own unique mission and role in the overall fulfillment of G-d's purpose in the entire creation: to create a "home" for G-d in this physical world through the revelation of Moshiach and the Redemption. In the Tanya of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, (the first Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch and the founder of Chabad Chasidic philosophy and the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty), it is explained that earlier generations are like the head, their major preoccupation being Torah study; later generations, known as the "heels of Moshiach," are more closely associated with raw action. Sincerely our generation is characterized by "Action is the main thing," as the Rebbe told us.

The Al-mighty sends each generation the leader appropriate to the task of the times. This leader comes to guide his generation in a unique direction in the fulfillment of G-d's purpose for creation commensurate with their own nature and purpose.

Let us apply these principles to our own generation. In the first official Chasidic teaching articulated by the Rebbe when he accepted the mantle of leadership, the Rebbe declared unequivocally that the unique purpose of our generation, the seventh from Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, is to fulfill the original intent of G-d's creation. This is to be achieved by drawing down G-d's presence into this mundane physical world with the complete revelation of Moshiach and the commencement of the Redemption.

The Rebbe has told us numerous times in his most recent public talks that we have finished the Divine service of exile and that our purpose now is to prepare for the Redemption. "The time of your Redemption has arrived," the Rebbe declared with prophetic vision. This is a totally different message which has never before been enunciated in the history of the Jewish people. He explained that we should involve ourselves in more good deeds, more Torah study, the enhanced fulfillment of mitzvot, as a preparation and foretaste of the Redemption. However, until the Redemption actually begins, with the rebuilding of the Third Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the ingathering of all of the Jews from the Diaspora, the ultimate fulfillment of our purpose has not been achieved.

Why the Al-mighty willed that the leadership of the Rebbe at the conclusion of the service of this generation should be in its current form will most likely remain a mystery until the completion of the process of Redemption. But what we know clearly is what the Rebbe himself has told us in no uncertain terms, that the role of our generation is to actually bring about the Redemption and to prepare ourselves and the entire world for it. Until this has been achieved, we remain in the same generation.

The Rebbe and his leadership are very much of the present and will continue until G-d has mercy on us and our mission is crowned with success.


This date itself, while ingrained in the minds of Lubavitcher chasidim around the globe, has significance for all Jews and, indeed the entire world population.

Although we have not seen the Rebbe with our physical eyes since Gimel Tamuz eight years ago, his presence in the lives of his hundreds of thousands of chasidim and millions of admirers is evident. And the Rebbe's involvement in the thousands of institutions he established, and the hundreds of institutions set up since Gimel Tamuz eight years ago, is palpable.

Gimel Tamuz, Thursday, June 13, is the third day in the Hebrew month of Tamuz. The number three has much significance in Jewish teachings. Our Sages teach that the world stands on three pillars: Torah study, prayer, and acts of kindness. In addition, they teach that the tzaddik is the foundation of the entire world.

What has been the thrust of the Rebbe, the foundation of the world, in his five decades of leadership? As is well known to our readers, since the Rebbe's acceptance of the mantle of leadership he stated clearly the purpose of our generation, the seventh generation (since the inception of Chabad Chasidism), is to bring the Redemption.

And since then, the Rebbe has elucidated how we can accomplish this in a threefold campaign: through Torah study, prayer, and acts of kindness:

Our Torah study should be increased in all areas of Jewish knowledge in general, chasidic philosophy in particular, and specifically those matters found everywhere in Jewish teachings that deal with Moshiach and the Redemption.

Our prayers should be suffused with heartfelt requests of G-d to bring the Redemption, crying out, "How much longer?" and even to the point of demanding the Redemption (as explained by the Chofetz Chaim).

Lastly, through love of our fellow Jew in general and even simple acts of kindness and good deeds, we can prepare ourselves for the Redemption and hasten its inception.

May we be together with the Rebbe this year on Gimel Tamuz, not just "feeling" his presence but actually seeing the Rebbe, a soul in a physical body, leading us to the Holy Land and ushering in the complete and eternal Redemption.


According to Jewish thought, especially as elucidated in the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, nothing in this world happens by chance; everything -- even the movement of a blade of grass -- is governed by Divine Providence. Additionally, a tzaddik, a righteous person, has Divine powers of insight and far-reaching vision that allow him to see that which is unseen or not yet visible to the untrained eye.

What can we glean from the Rebbe's very own thoughts on Gimel Tamuz?

In the book Hayom Yom (From Day To Day, which the Rebbe compiled on the instructions of his father-in-law from the teachings of the previous Rebbes), the quote the Rebbe included for Gimel Tamuz, 5703/1943, reads: "A Jewish groan that, G-d forbid, arises from physical misfortune, is also a great repentance; how much more so, then, is a groan arising from spiritual distress, a lofty and effective repentance. The groan pulls him out of the depths of evil and places him on a firm footing in the realm of good."

The Rebbe was assuring us, even then, that our groans resulting from that date, rather than paralyzing us, would ultimately point us in the right direction and inspire us to rededicate ourselves to the Rebbe's goal of bringing the revelation of Moshiach and the Redemption.

In a letter dated Gimel Tamuz, 5710/1950, five months after the passing of the Previous Rebbe, the Rebbe described what a Rebbe is.(2)

On Gimel Tamuz, 5751/1991 -- the last time the Rebbe spoke on that date until we are once more reunited -- the Rebbe discussed two historical events that occurred on Gimel Tamuz.

The more recent event was in 5687/1927, when the Previous Rebbe was released from Soviet prison and exiled to Kostrama for three years. Before his release to internal exile he had been sentenced to death.

Thousands of years earlier, Gimel Tamuz was the day on which Joshua beseeched G-d to allow the sun to stand still in the sky so as to be able to continue the Jewish people's battle against the enemy and be victorious.

The Rebbe notes, in the talk of eleven years ago, that both of these events were miracles, but miracles that occurred within the realm of nature rather than totally outside of nature. The Rebbe connects these points to an event in the weekly Torah portion of that year, which was the portion of Korach.

In Parshat Korach we read of G-d's command to Moses to take the staffs of princes of the 12 tribes, including that of Aaron the Kohen Gadol (High Priest), and to place them overnight in the Tent of Meeting. The staff that is rejuvenated, G-d informs Moses, will be the one belonging to the family that rightfully serves as priests. This miracle, G-d assures Moses, will surely end the complaints of the Jewish people against Moses and Aaron. Aaron's staff sprouted, blossomed and even bore fruit. And the staff became an eternal sign to the Jewish people of the validity of the priesthood being with Aaron and his descendants.

As we await the immediate revelation of the Rebbe, may we all sincerely attempt to implement the Rebbe's call to all men, women and children of our generation to "do everything you can to bring Moshiach in actuality!" and to fulfill our last communal mission in this pre-Redemption world, "to prepare ourselves and the entire world to greet our righteous Moshiach!"


2. See above The Rebbe Is The "Head", for an adaptation from the original Hebrew.


The Rebbe's followers, admirers, even people who have had only casual interaction with the Rebbe, are still "living with the Rebbe," following his directives, turning to him for advice, asking for his blessings.

How is this being done?

Studying the Rebbe's teachings is one of the most important and basic ways to live with the Rebbe. The Rebbe often quoted the Previous Rebbe's letters, which explain that a true connection with the Rebbe is attained only by studying the teachings of the Rebbe. The Rebbe clarified, though: "Most certainly the Rebbe is a tzaddik who bestows blessings; G-d surely fulfills his blessings to the utmost, to each and every individual, according to his need. Specifically, the Rebbe holds each person by the hand and guides him; one must only be careful not to involve his own will in the matter."

Just two months after the Previous Rebbe's passing, the Rebbe wrote the following to someone: "You worry that now one cannot ask the Rebbe when he is in doubt how he should conduct himself. If you stand strong in your connection to him...and send your questions to the Rebbe's ohel [gravesite], the Rebbe will find a way to answer."

Some people fax letters to the ohel (718-723-4444), some come from near or far to go personally. Others ask one of the Rebbe's secretaries to read the letter at the ohel.

Another way people "live with the Rebbe" is by placing a letter to the Rebbe in any of the nearly 100 volumes of the Rebbe's Torah teachings or correspondence. This is, in fact, what chasidim of previous generations did when they were unable to correspond with their Rebbe in the conventional way.

There's a modern twist, though. Today we have 26 volumes of Igros Kodesh -- letters written by the Rebbe to private individuals over the past 52 years. As they are letters to private individuals -- and the Rebbe "custom makes" the advice to fit the soul -- there are different answers to similar questions. For instance, to one person who asks the Rebbe if he should move, the Rebbe answers yes. To another person the Rebbe's answer is no.

After writing to the Rebbe, one opens the book "at random" and the advice in that letter is one's answer.(3) And we haven't heard of a case yet when one sincerely asks the Rebbe advice in this manner that there hasn't been an answer.


3. See Living With Moshiach, Vol. 135: Miracles and Mathematics.


By Rabbi Yossi Paltiel(4)

Gimel Tamuz, the third day of the Hebrew month of Tamuz, is a day of reflection for all those whose lives have been touched by the Rebbe. Upon contemplating the Rebbe -- the depth and breadth of his knowledge, his inventiveness, his piety, etc. -- what shines above all else is that he is a Rebbe, a leader. He is an individual whose entire existence is defined by his service to others: his people and ultimately the whole world.

* * *

We live in an age where leadership has no essential meaning. Leaders are people who have been chosen by us, who do as we say and advocate for us based on our vision.

We shun the traditional notion of a leader -- of one person knowing better than everybody else and dictating his "superior" wisdom to the populace, imposing his will and his ideas on the people.

Part of our aversion to this kind of leader is from our inherent distrust. It also stems from our belief that there are no real leaders who are in fact head and shoulders above everybody else, yet are truly concerned for the population, putting others before themselves.

For this reason we actually celebrate the failures and frailties of our leaders. It keeps things "honest."

Yet in truth, we thirst for true leadership, for people who stand for something and have real principle… people who are not afraid to go against the tide, to challenge popular beliefs and to actually create new trends. We yearn for leaders who inspire us to reevaluate what is considered "normal" and "acceptable" and "mainstream."

When we contemplate the Rebbe, we experience true leadership.

Leadership: The kind of leadership for which we Westerners have an inherent ambivalence. We are threatened by it. We question if this kind of leader takes away our freedom.

But then we discover that what the Rebbe says, we feel. What the Rebbe asserts, we agree with. What the Rebbe states is right and principled and true, we embrace. And we can't get enough of it for it is truly refreshing.

The Rebbe doesn't compromise our free will, he helps us exercise it. And whenever he senses us falling back into the circular whirlpool of modern equivocation he is right there to keep us going on the linear course that is truly in our best interest.

It has been said that what makes the Rebbe unique is that rather than get us to believe in him, he believes in us and he makes us believe in ourselves.

Above all else, the Rebbe and his leadership represent deed. We live in a world of action. Thus, we must define spirituality with actions. In this world, all good intentions and deep spiritual experiences must be translated into practical action. An inspiration that doesn't manifest itself in deed is far less significant and real than an uninspired deed.

Every person is aware of the special corner in his soul that is his point of spirituality -- kindness and righteousness. Some of us visit there more frequently than others. Many of us are unsettled by this dimension in ourselves that seems to lurk beneath the surface of our everyday lives. But we all must give this spark of innate spirituality expression through deed.

A little (or a lot) of charity, a prayer, a mitzvah (commandment) -- these are concrete physical acts that give expression to our spiritual selves. They are also the ultimate tests of the integrity of our spirituality.

Our spirituality does not require massive acts to prove that it is authentic. The little things, simple deeds, are also appreciated. Do one mitzvah if that is all you can offer at this moment. For one good deed will eventually inspire many more good deeds.

Ultimately, all our deeds will add up to a great many acts of goodness and kindness that will collectively transform the world to a good, kind and principled reality -- a Messianic World!

The vision and direction of the Rebbe moves forward. Let us follow the Rebbe's lead and move forward until the coming of Moshiach.


4. Rabbi Paltiel is a renowned exponent of Chasidic philosophy. He is a senior lecturer in Yeshivat Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch as well as Machon Chana Women's Yeshivah and Beit Midrash L'Nashim.


There has always been one central theme in all of the Rebbe's talks: the Redemption.

Throughout the years, the Rebbe suggested various projects to hasten the coming of Moshiach and to prepare for that eternal era of peace and tranquility. But, upon declaring that "the time of your Redemption has arrived" in 5751/1991, the Rebbe repeatedly stressed a number of practical activities to prepare ourselves and the world for Moshiach.

One activity is to increase in Torah study about Moshiach and the Redemption. Concerning this the Rebbe said, "Since Moshiach is about to come, a final effort is required that will bring Moshiach. Every individual -- man, woman and child -- should increase his Torah study in subjects that concern the Redemption. This applies to the Written Torah and the Oral Torah -- in the Talmud, Midrashim as well as (and especially) in the mystical dimension of the Torah, beginning with the Zohar and particularly in Chasidus... This study is a foretaste and preparation for the study of the Torah of Moshiach... An increase in Torah study in these areas is the 'direct way' to bring about the revelation and coming of Moshiach in reality."

Another activity to prepare for Moshiach is to upgrade one's observance of mitzvot (commandments) particularly charity. Said the Rebbe, "One should likewise upgrade one's meticulous observance of the mitzvot, particularly the mitzvah of tzedakah (charity) which 'brings the Redemption near.' It would be well to make one's increased contributions with the intent that it hasten the Redemption. This intention in itself becomes part of one's study of subjects connected with the Redemption -- for this is a tangible study of the teaching of our Sages, 'Great is charity, for it brings the Redemption near.' "

Surely, by implementing these suggestions -- particularly in this auspicious year of Hakhel and 100 years since the Rebbe's birth -- we will imminently see the realization of the Jewish people's prayers throughout the millenia, the coming of Moshiach, NOW!


Is the so-called "Moshiach Campaign" a Lubavitch invention? At a gathering on Shavuot 5745/1985, the Rebbe spoke about people's perception of the desire for Moshiach as an "innovation" of Lubavitch. The Rebbe said (freely translated):

"Someone wrote to me recently that he met a religious Jew who doesn't 'hold' from Lubavitch (not that the Jew has any idea what Lubavitch is, he just knows that he doesn't 'hold' from Lubavitch) and asked, 'Why do Lubavitchers cry out and proclaim, "Moshiach now!" '

"The person who wrote the letter wasn't sure what to answer the other Jew and therefore was writing to me for an answer.

"It is mind-boggling that the letter-writer didn't know what to answer the other Jew! But to answer the question:

"Belief in Moshiach and awaiting his coming -- 'I believe in the coming of Moshiach... I wait every day that he should come' -- is one of the 13 fundamental principles of the Jewish faith as enumerated by Maimonides.

"Every Jew requests in each of the three daily weekday services, 'Speedily cause the scion of David Your servant to flourish... for we hope for Your salvation every day.' And each day, including Shabbat and holidays, in the three prayer services, we beg, 'May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in mercy!'

"After all of this, there are those who say that the request that we go out of exile to the Redemption -- 'Moshiach now,' -- is a 'novel' idea of Lubavitch!"

The Rebbe quoted a verse from Psalms, "As the deer longs for the springs of water, so does my soul call out in thirst for You G-d." The Rebbe explained that this verse emphasizes our great pain over the exile and our desire and longing for the Redemption. This desire is not just that we want "Moshiach now," but much more: In the same way a person who hasn't had water for a long time thirsts for it in order to revive his soul, so should our thirst for the Redemption affect our lives literally.

May our cry of "Moshiach now!" be filled with a true thirst for the Redemption that will reunite us with the Rebbe and bring 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.

Enroll your child in a Torah Summer Camp

The Rebbe spoke many times about the unique learning opportunity for Jewish children afforded by the months of summer vacation. Without the pressures of tests, homework, etc., children enrolled in camps permeated with a Torah atmosphere eagerly learn about their heritage and are instilled with pride in being Jewish. Creative methods are used to make Judaism come alive. The soul is nourished as the body and mind are strengthened through sports, crafts, etc.

If you don't have camp-age children, help sponsor a child in a Torah camp. Call your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center for more information.


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 14, Erev Shabbat Parshat Korach:

  • Light Shabbat Candles,(5) by 8:09 p.m.

Saturday, June 15, Shabbat Parshat Korach:

  • On Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, we read Chapter 4 of Pirkei Avot -- Ethics of the Fathers.
  • Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 9:19 p.m.


5. 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.

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