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CONTENTS

32
FEATURED ARTICLES

WEEKLY COLUMNS

3 Dvar Malchus
29 Parsha Thoughts
34 Tzivos Hashem

A LIFETIME OF
SHLICHUS

Shneur Zalman Levin

PERSUASION
10 GENTLE
S Nahari
WITH THE
14 DEALING
DEMOCRACY CRISIS

THE LAST MINUTE


20 AT
T Yankelowitz
LEGENDARY
22 THE
MASHPIA
Dov Levanon

32

THE RAMBAM
SAVED THE DAY

Sholom Dovber Crombie

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2015-03-24 12:56:03 AM

DVAR MALCHUS

NO MORE THAN
A TEST
The purpose of the test is actually that it should
be confronted and overcome. By doing so, the
concealment is pushed away and nullified and the
truth is revealed. * From Chapter Eight of Rabbi
Shloma Majeskis Likkutei Mekoros (Underlined text is
the compilers emphasis.)
Translated by Boruch Merkur

Why is it necessary to think,


speak, write, and publicize that the
Rebbe MHM is chai vkayam? What
difference does it make?
In addition to the general answer
that a true Chassid follows his
Rebbes path (and this is certainly
the Rebbes path, as evident in all the
sichos cited above) there are two
other points:
1. The Rebbes being chai
vkayam bgashmius (physically
alive) actually depends on us!
2. Only one who accepts that
the Rebbe is with us and leads us
as before, without any change, G-d
forbid, can continue to be committed
to the Rebbes directives and wishes
as before, without any change.

1. The Rebbe being chai


v kayam bgashmius depends
on us
When we have this emuna, this
mindset, and we speak this way, it
more openly brings out the reality of
the Rebbes ongoing life. Ultimately,
this faith will bring about the most
revealed sense of the Rebbes ongoing
life, visible to our eyes of flesh, when
the Rebbe will lead us out of exile.
Conversely, one who, G-d forbid,
fails to have this emuna, withholds

the Rebbe, as it were, from being here


in a fully revealed way.

THE REBBE KNOWS


OUR SECRETS
The power the Rebbe [Rayatz]
harnesses through the teachings
of Chassidus is drawn down and
imparted to us even now [after his
histalkus on Yud Shvat 5710] with
no change on his part. To us as well
there has been no change that would
give us reason to think that the
Rebbe is not with us, G-d forbid.
Rather, those who were
acquainted with the Rebbe
throughout the thirty years of his
leadership know that the Rebbe
would not abandon his Chassidim.
He would never leave them on their
own on Shabbos Parshas Zachor,
for example, when we must battle
against Amalek
The only change experienced by
us is that in the past one could have
conceived that in a private audience
with the Rebbe the Chassid may
introduce the topics of his choice
and omit that which he wishes to
conceal from the Rebbe. But now it
is clear to everyone that the Rebbe
knows our secrets as well. For in
the past the Rebbe was alive in a

physical body, but now he is beyond


the limitations of physicality; he is
entirely spiritual.
On the other hand, since
tzaddikim who have passed on are
present in all worlds more than
when they were alive, even in the
physical world of action they are
more present certainly the Rebbe
continues to lead the entire world,
his Chassidim in particular, and
arouses for them great mercy [from
On High], etc., as he did up until
now. In fact, he does so with greater
strength and fortitude.
Just as up it was always
understood by each and every one
of us that the Rebbe will lead us to
greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu, we must
have this understanding now as well.
The [reality of the] event that
took place, etc., is only to our
physical eyes; it is no more than a
test (one of the tribulations of the
birth pangs of Moshiach, which
are necessary prior to the advent of
the righteous redeemer), the entire
purpose of which is to hide and
conceal the truth.
Of course, it remains to be
understood why according to Torah
it is necessary to say Kaddish during
this period, etc.
Continued on page 12
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OBITUARY

A LIFETIME

OF SHLICHUS
The shliach who served 71 years on shlichus under the Rebbe Rayatz and
the Rebbe MHM, 66 of the years in Springfield, MA. * He built schools and
a Torah network, led the charge in the battle for the hearts and minds of
American Jewish youth, inspiring thousands to a life of Torah and Mitzvos.
* A brief sketch of the life of the American boy who turned into an old
world Chassid. * Rabbi Dovid Edelman ah.
By Shneur Zalman Levin

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Dovid Edelman ah
was born on 5 Teves
5625. His parents
were R Yechezkel
Meir and Mrs. Tova Leah Edelman.
They were G-d fearing people
though unfamiliar with the life of
Chassidim.
Inexplicably, the young Dovid
was drawn to Chabad Chassidus.
It happened when the Rebbe
Rayatz came to America in Adar of
1940 and all the papers reported
this. The Rebbes picture, which
was published in the papers, so
affected the boy that he cut it
out and hung it over his bed. He
himself could not explain why he
did this.
He
eventually
became
acquainted with the Chassid,
R Avrohom Eliyahu Axelrod, a
Lubavitcher rav in Baltimore and
an outstanding Chassid who was
already known for his outstanding
talents back when he learned in
Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in
Lubavitch as a young bachur.
When he reached age 16 as a
talmid in Yeshiva Torah Vodaas,
R Axelrod recommended that
he switch to Yeshivas Tomchei
Tmimim in Crown Heights. R
Edelman went to 770, arriving
there on Isru Chag Shavuos
5701/1941. From that point on,
his life changed from one extreme
to another. The bachurim amazed
him with their knowledge of
Nigleh and Chassidus and he
loved the atmosphere.
Even when he returned home
to Baltimore, where there was no
Chabad atmosphere, he was proud
of his Chassidic appearance. This
took much effort, as we see in a
fascinating letter that R Axelrod
wrote to his friend, the Chassid,
R Yisroel Jacobson, in Iyar
5703/1943:
As mashpia and madrich in
Tomchei Tmimim, I turn to you
in this letter to let you know that

the dear bachur withstood a


great test while here in Baltimore
for Pesach at his parents, for when
his father saw him in a beard, he
made a huge commotion and
ordered him to shave. He found
various advocates to speak to him
gently and harshly to get rid of his
beard, and he also found a posek
who said going about with a beard
is a chilul Hashem. His father
also asked me to speak to his son
to get him to remove his beard
for he is mortified by it and he is
embarrassed to go outside with
his son in a beard. Aside from the
great anguish he has from this
his father refused to let him buy
new clothes. I also had various
advocates speak to his father and
calm him so he shouldnt be so
angry at him about a beard. In
the end, against his will, he was
partially appeased about the peios
and beard and also agreed to buy
him a new suit, but he came with
a new complaint that he does not
eat and he fasts.
R Edelman spent a few years
in 770 where he absorbed the
great light of the Rebbe Rayatz,
attended farbrengens and heard
his sichos.
All his life, R Edelman
remembered the day the Rebbe,
or as he was known then as
Ramash, arrived along with
Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka for the
first time to 770. It was the end of
Sivan 5701/1941. All the yeshiva
bachurim, even the students of
the lower classes, went out to
greet him, he later recounted.
He attended the thanksgiving
farbrengen held by the Ramash
on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz.

ONE OF THE
FIRST SHLUCHIM
R Edelman had the privilege
of being one of the first shluchim.
He was a pioneer, still in the
lifetime of the Rebbe Rayatz.

After three years of learning,


it was one Friday when the Rebbe
Rayatzs secretary went down
from the Rebbes apartment
on the second floor of 770 and
approached R Edelman who
was sitting and learning in the
small zal. Were you at the mikva
today? he asked, and when he
received an affirmative answer he
said, Go upstairs for yechidus
with the Rebbe.
The Rebbe told him to go to
Bridgeport and establish Jewish
chinuch there. R Edelman, who
had no idea where Bridgeport was,


asked with kabbalas ol: Should I
go now, before Shabbos?
The Rebbe enjoyed the
question and said: A glaicher
zach (a proper thing).
R Edelman left the yechidus
and immediately went to find
someone to go along with him.
One of the Chassidim, who
was a shadar (fundraiser) for
the yeshiva and knew where
Bridgeport is, agreed to join
him for the first Shabbos. Soon,
they were both on a train to their
destination.

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Obituary
They arrived in Bridgeport a
few hours before Shabbos and
they hung up signs inviting the
children to a Mesibas Shabbos in
the local shul.
Shabbos afternoon, thirty
children showed up and R
Edelman announced the opening
of a Talmud Torah with hours in
the afternoon. The next day, the
first ten children came.
R Edelman spent nearly a year
there. Throughout this time, he
received instructions and letters
from the Rebbe. At some point he
was sent from there to Pittsburgh
to teach young students. He spent

You ought to be happy with the


tremendous privilege which is
your lot to carry out your shlichus
in holy work. As for learning, it
is when you teach Torah in a
forsaken place that you will be
more successful in your learning,
for we are promised that when
helping another spiritually his
mind and heart become refined a
thousand times over.
In Sivan 5708/1948 he
married his wife Leah Zuber,
daughter of the Chassid, R
Yaakov Yisroel (who served as
the Rebbe Rayatzs shliach in
Soviet Georgia and then as rav

When they built the new school, the members


of the hanhala spoke about getting rid of the
weeds that grew out front. One of them said they didnt
need to speak to R Edelman about this since, He never
sees the weeds. Indeed, he only saw the flowers.
nine months there and then went
to Buffalo to run the yeshiva there
which was in its infancy. He spent
three years there along with the
shliach, R Tzvi Yehuda Fogelman
ah. The two of them were very
successful in their work.
In 1948 he received orders to
move to Boston where he stayed
for about a year. Those were years
in which he worked very hard and
moved from place to place, as per
the Rebbes instructions, in order
to strengthen those places.
He was only 24 years old
when he was sent by the Rebbe
Rayatz to Springfield, MA where
he worked hard to establish the
yeshiva. He also brought two
teachers to help him with the
teaching.
He missed 770 tremendously
and at a certain point he wrote
to the Rebbe asking to be able to
return to 770 so he could continue
learning. The Rebbe wrote him:

in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1948


he immigrated to the US and
with the Rebbes influence he was
accepted as a rav in a Nusach Ari
shul in Boston).
It was a given that the couple
would build their home in
Springfield, knowing that this
time they had officially been
appointed the shluchim of the
Nasi Hador.

THE REBBE HELPS THE


SHLIACH IN HIS WORK
Over the years, R Edelman
merited special treatment and
signs of closeness from the Rebbe
Rayatz and the Rebbe.
In the years prior to 5710,
he had yechidus numerous
times and each time he received
brachos from the Rebbe Rayatz
and guidance in his communal
work. One time he was unable
to understand what the Rebbe

Rayatz was saying to him due to


the Rebbes poor health. He went
afterward to the Rebbes sonin-law, later to be our Rebbe, to
clarify what had been said.
I will go upstairs and ask
what was said, said the Rebbe
and he added with a smile, I like
going back to clarify details about
a yechidus
When he came to 770 now
and then, Ramash would call
him into his office and ask about
the details of his shlichus. He
sometimes intervened directly in
various matters in order to help
him.
***
Immediately following the
histalkus of the Rebbe Rayatz,
R Edelman became mekushar to
the Rebbe. Following the Shiva he
would regularly contact the Rebbe
by phone and ask for his guidance
and follow his instructions. The
Rebbe was always available to
him and ready to help him run his
shlichus in Springfield.
In an interview that he gave
for the book Chassid Neeman,
R Edelman told about the early
days:
After the histalkus and until
Yud Shevat 5711, it was a bit of
a strange period of time, since
many regarded Ramash as the
Rebbe, while the Rebbe acted as
though he wasnt the Rebbe. We
dont give our hand to a Rebbe, so
before the nesius when my friends
and I returned from a trip out of
town (from shlichus or home), if
we met Ramash we would shake
his hand.
One time after the histalkus
of the Rebbe Rayatz, I had been
out of town and I was slated to
meet with the Ramash. I didnt
know what to do. To me it was
a yechidus and I knew he would
hold his hand out to me as soon as
I walked into the room. I couldnt
leave the Rebbes hand hanging

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R Edelman in front of the yeshiva

there in the air, so I asked R


Eliyahu Simpson how I should
resolve this dilemma.
R Simpson wisely advised
me, Do as I do, put your hands
behind your back and the Rebbe
will understand why. I did as he
said and indeed the Rebbe did not
hold out his hand to me.
When R Edelman went to
New York for Yud Shevat 5711,
he found out about the official
coronation that was planned and
he looked at the Chassidim in
wonder, What did you do until
now?! For immediately after the
histalkus, it was obvious to him
that the Rebbe is the leader.
Throughout the years he
received the Rebbes help and
support. There were people who
made his shlichus difficult, but
he always felt that he wasnt on
the front-lines alone. When he
encountered a dispute among the
Jews of the community and he did
not know whether to get involved
and how, he called the Rebbe and
consulted with him. The Rebbe
guided him, step by step, about
who to speak with and who to
avoid. And things worked out
well. Over time, I became used
to open miracles of the Rebbe.
R Edelman was devoted to

his shlichus with all his heart and


soul. After he opened the Jewish
school in his city, he stood on the
street with a sign that announced
the opening of the new school.
When he saw Jewish parents he
stopped them and explained to
them the importance of a Jewish
education and convinced them
to send their children to learn
Torah. This is how he got his first
students.
His son-in-law, R Yaakov
Goldstein, tells of one of the
Rebbes open miracles that
happened to him:
A fire broke out in the school
building in 5738 and destroyed
it. My father-in-law thought
maybe it was time to rebuild in
a different neighborhood, but
he was afraid to take on such a
great responsibility. He wondered
whether he should just stay where
he was.
He did not do anything
without writing to the Rebbe and
the Rebbes answer was: a new
school in a new neighborhood.
Another son-in-law of his,
my brother-in-law, R Zalman
Deitsch ah, was a tremendous
help in buying the new lot where
the new school would be built, but
then they learned that building

The first class in 1946

the water system and pipes, even


before they started on the actual
building, would cost $160,000, a
huge amount in those days.
At that point we did not know
what to do. My father-in-law
had no way of obtaining a sum
like that and the president of the
school, Mr. Jeffrey Kimball, gave
up on the idea of building a new
building. He suggested that we
sell the lot and use the money we
got for it.
My father-in-law did nothing
without asking the Rebbe,
especially in this case where the
Rebbe had been closely following
the shlichus in Springfield since
the beginning. He asked the
Rebbe whether to sell the land
and the Rebbe said not to sell it.
There was nothing to do but
wait for further developments,
as my father-in-law knew that
sooner or later things would work
out. He had seen this many times
over decades on shlichus.
Near the yeshiva property
that was an empty lot, was
another piece of land which a
local gentile bought. He wanted
to start building an underground
plumbing system before he began
the actual construction, but in
order to get a permit for this,

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Obituary
busy schedule, he would travel
great distances to attend simchos
and he brought his energy and
spirit to each community he
visited.

FROM AN AMERICAN KID


TO A CHASSID OF ONCE
UPON A TIME

R Edelman (center) at the public menorah lighting this year

he had to visit the county clerks


office to receive the necessary
work orders. The person in
charge, it turned out, was a friend
of my father-in-law. When he
heard the entire story, he told the
gentile that if he wanted a permit
for the work on his land, he had
to extend the system that he was
building to the adjoining property
that his Jewish neighbors had
bought.
That is how the Rebbes
miracle came about, with the
gentile building the water system
for the yeshiva without the shliach
having to spend a dime on it.
R Edelman once said
nostalgically and sadly, I was
present at the Rebbes first
farbrengen after he arrived in the
US, on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
5701, and at the last farbrengen
to date, on Shabbos, Parshas
VaYakhel 5752.
R Edelman also merited that
the Rebbe took a personal interest

in his family members as well. An


example of this took place at one
of his annual yechiduyos with
the Rebbe which he had with his
entire family. It was in the middle
of the winter and his two year old
daughter was home with a cold.
He entered the Rebbes room
with his wife, two older sons and
five daughters. He gave the Rebbe
a long letter with details of the
many activities he did in his city,
in the school, adult education,
etc. The Rebbe took the note but
immediately asked in surprise,
Where is saying her name.
Not surprisingly, R Edelmans
children who grew up in such
an impassioned Chassidishe
atmosphere, turned out to be
wonderful Chassidim.
R Edelman himself was a
marvelous family man. As the
father of eight children and
hundreds of descendants, he tried
to attend every family simcha.
Despite his advanced age and his

For 66 years R Edelman


stood at his post in Springfield.
He founded mosdos Chabad:
a yeshiva, a girls school,
and shiurim for adults and
youth, Tzivos Hashem clubs
for children, day camps. The
activities eventually expanded
to neighboring towns and he
brought out additional shluchim.
R Edelman led Yeshiva
Academy, one of the first Jewish
schools founded in America
after the Rebbe Rayatz arrived
in the US. When it opened, it
was during a time that American
Jewry believed that in order to be
successful, their children had to
attend public school.
It used to be that a parent
was embarrassed to send his son
or daughter to yeshiva, said
R Edelman, at an evening in
honor of the yeshiva. Today, the
attitude is altogether different and
Jews are proud to learn here.
LYA (Lubavitcher Yeshiva
Academy) became the first Jewish
day school in New England to seek
and achieve accreditation from
the New England Association of
Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
Mrs. Susan Kline, of the
Jewish Federation of Western
Massachusetts said, The school
has managed to produce many
Jews who are proud of their
Judaism.
In his final years, he was the
most senior shliach in the world
with the longest, most diverse
track record. With his tremendous
experience in chinuch, he gave

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R Edelman (second from left) at the bar mitzva of his great-grandson,


Menachem Mendel Deitsch

many lectures on the subject that


were in high demand.
His chinuch approach was
to always see and emphasize the
positive. When they built the
new school, the members of the
hanhala spoke about getting rid
of the weeds that grew out front.
One of them said they didnt need
to speak to R Edelman about this
since, He never sees the weeds.
Indeed, he only saw the flowers.
His approach was, when you
focus on the positive aspects, it
gives them the power to emerge.

R Edelmans 90 years began


as an American boy and ended as a
senior shliach of the Nasi Hador.
As one of his acquaintances put
it: R Edelman is someone you
can point at as one who Chabad
took and turned into a Chassid of
yesteryear.
Many of his friends and family
gathered for his 90th birthday
on 5 Teves, to give tribute to his
contribution to the community.
Shortly thereafter, he did not
feel well and was taken to the
hospital where he passed away

on 11 Teves. He is survived
by his wife Leah, his children
Seema Goldstein, Brooklyn;
Cyrel Deitsch, Brooklyn; Shterna
Tenenbaum, Brooklyn; Rabbi
Yisroel
Edelman,
Deerfield
Beach, Florida; Yossi Edelman,
Brooklyn;
Zlata
Mochkin,
Brooklyn;
Sheina
Ezagui,
Brooklyn;
Esther
Kosofsky,
Longmeadow,
Massachusetts;
and his grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren, many who serve
as shluchim.

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Issue 967

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STORY

GENTLE
PERSUASION
By S Nahari

Shmuel
Gruzman,
shliach to Moshava
Migdal which is near
Teveria, related:
Those who live in Eretz Yisroel
are used to the phenomenon
of yeshiva bachurim who did
not learn in Tomchei Tmimim,
touring Eretz Yisroel. Teveria and
its environs are frequently visited
by them.
A group of bachurim once
came to our area on one of these
tours. They stood outside the
shul, debating whether to go
in or not. Why was this even a
discussion? The sight of children
wearing Yechi yarmulkes is what
frightened them. Loyal to their
rosh yeshiva in Yerushalayim,
they refrained from entering a
Chabad shul when they noticed
messianic affiliations.
The bachurim asked my
children (the ones with the
problematic yarmulkes) to call me
to come out. After giving them a
typical warm Lubavitch greeting,
I heard why they didnt come in.
They had clear instructions from

their rosh yeshiva that it was


preferable to daven outside than
to enter a Meshichist shul.
I reassured them and invited
them in. Their apprehensions
slowly dissipated. I promised
them that they wouldnt see a
single Yechi sign on the walls
(though I didnt tell them that
Yechi is on the cover of the Torah
scroll).

When they saw I was being


honest with them and other
than the yarmulkes on the little
children there were no other
signs, they were more relaxed but
they still wondered whether they
were transgressing an explicit
order from their rosh yeshiva and
were doing something terrible.
I suggested they call the rav of
Teveria, R Avrohom Auerbach,
who is very much accepted by
their group too, so they would
not remain in doubt. They finally
decided that it seemed to be okay
to go in and they did so and even
sat down.
As we spoke, they questioned
me about the Rebbe, asking
why he wasnt more involved
with other gdolim known in
the Litvishe world and had no
connection with them.
As they sat with me they
noticed a video player and video
recordings. They asked to watch a
video of the Rebbe. We chose one
called Abir HaRoim, a video
that is a compilation of meetings
the Rebbe had with rabbanim and

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Jewish figures from all groups.


The encounters passed by on
the screen, one after the other,
before their astonished eyes. Hey,
theres R Simcha Elberg with the
Rebbe. You could see the respect
he had standing before the Rebbe,
and there is rosh yeshiva soand-so bringing a book he just
published to the Rebbe.
One rav after another passed
by, and rosh yeshiva after rosh
yeshiva, running the gamut of
Torah Jewry. They all brought
bikkurim to the faithful
shepherd with awe and love. The
bachurim watched this and were
amazed.
After seeing numerous people
they knew of visiting the Rebbe,
they saw Rabbi Moshe Wolfson,
a very respected person in the
Litvishe world, the mashgiach
in Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in
Brooklyn. He would regularly go
to the Rebbe for dollars.
The bachurim were astounded.
They suddenly realized that
everything they had been fed
over the years wasnt true at all!

The Rebbe listened to her request and gave her


a dollar. Then he held out another dollar and said:
This is for your husband; keep it with you. The Rebbe
then gave her a third dollar and said: This is for zera shel
kayama, in addition to the first one.

The Rebbe was the leader of the


Jewish people! They saw it with
their own eyes, it wasnt hearsay,
it wasnt like I had to work to
convince them. What they saw
was the truth and seeing the truth
they felt they had been fooled by
those who had taught them.
The bachurim remained in our
area for a week in the course of
which they came to the shul many
times. I have no doubt that they
returned to their yeshivos with a
message of truth. This is the way,
without arguing, just with Ahavas
Yisroel and focusing on the facts.
When you show the truth in a
pleasant way, it is effective!
***
Another story goes like this.
In Boro Park I met someone and

since I look like a Lubavitcher


and Lubavitch was in the media
headlines at that time, he wanted
to know about my level of belief
in the Rebbe as Moshiach. I
confessed quite proudly that I
belonged to those who believe the
Rebbe is Moshiach and Im not
ashamed to say so.
Fine, he said. You think
you know your Rebbe? You and
your fellow Chassidim dont know
your Rebbe at all! Ill explain
I grew up in Crown Heights,
not among Lubavitchers. My
oldest daughter married a Litvishe
fellow. A reasonable amount of
time passed and they still hadnt
been blessed with children. They
started looking into various
things that would help them but it
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Story
was all in vain.
Seeing the years go by
without good news, I suggested a
daring idea to my son-in-law, that
he go to the Rebbe for dollars on
Sunday and ask for a bracha.
My son-in-law was not
interested. In fact, he was
shocked by the very suggestion
and adamantly refused.
Another year went by and
it hurt me to see them in this
situation and I wanted to help. I
urged my son-in-law to go to the
Rebbe but he did not want to hurt
his reputation. I understood him
but the matter was too important
to consider his prestige and
honor, so I suggested that he go
quietly, without telling anyone.
The couple finally agreed to
go to 770 on a Sunday. My sonin-law passed by the Rebbe and
did not ask for anything, but his
wife, my daughter, asked for a
bracha. The Rebbe gave a dollar
for her, a dollar for him, and
another dollar for the child.
Another year passed in which
Continued from page 3
The purpose of the test
is actually that it should be
confronted and overcome.
By doing so, the concealment
is pushed away and nullified
and the truth is revealed (as
discussed in the teachings of
Chassidus).
Therefore, by means of
strengthening in hiskashrus,
connecting with the Rebbe,
by studying his teachings and
actually fulfilling his directives
(both with regard to his
directives to the public as well
as and particularly with regard
to the instructions he said face
to face to individuals in private
audiences) we will immediately
merit (since we are presently

nothing happened. My daughter


wanted to go back to the Rebbe
and ask for another bracha. She
asked her husband to go again
and wasnt prepared for his
angry reaction: No way! He had
been persuaded to go once and
nothing had resulted so he had
no interest whatsoever in going
again. Furthermore, he wanted to
give her the dollar he had gotten
a year before from the Rebbe and
which he had kept all this time.
He had no need for a dollar from
the Lubavitcher Rebbe!
My daughter felt otherwise
and the next Sunday she went to
the Rebbe for another dollar and
a bracha. She believed that in the
merit of the Rebbe her hearts
greatest desire would be granted.
Another dollar could only bring
additional bracha and hasten the
fulfillment of the bracha.
The line was moving along
and in another minute she would
be standing before the Rebbe.
All the unpleasantness with her
husband and his views were

forgotten as she stood there.


The Rebbe listened to her
request and gave her a dollar.
Then he held out another dollar
and said: This is for your husband;
keep it with you. The Rebbe then
gave her a third dollar and said:
This is for zera shel kayama, in
addition to the first one.
She had no time to think
and found herself pushed along.
Now you see how you dont know
who your Rebbe is, but we in our
family merited a miracle and open
prophecy.
R Gruzman concluded his
story:
This is not the first miracle
story that readers of Beis
Moshiach are reading and you
probably guessed that the woman
gave birth to twins.
The conclusion: Ashreinu that
we merited to be the children and
mekusharim of the Rebbe MHM
and may we merit to give him
nachas, with achdus and love,
and merit the immediate hisgalus.

in the Era of the Footsteps of


Moshiach) to meet up with the
Rebbe and see each other with
physical eyes, and the Rebbe will
lead us to the redemption.

but spiritual life (Tanya Igeres


HaKodesh siman 27).
From this it is understood
that with regard to the Rebbe,
there is no distinction between
his previous status and his
current status.
Even now, the Rebbe is with
us physically.
The Rebbe said: Hiskashrus,
bonding with me, is through
the study of my Chassidic
maamarim, and fulfilling my
requests regarding the saying of
Thillim, and the like.
The Rebbe advice about how
to connect with him is still in full
force.

(From the address of Shabbos


Parshas Truma, Parshas Zachor;
Toras Menachem 5710, pg. 16)

A DOCTOR IS INCAPABLE
OF UNDERSTANDING THE
LIFE OF A REBBE
The Rebbes doctor said that
his proficiency in medicine bears
no relevance when dealing with
a Rebbe; as a doctor he is simply
incapable of understanding the
physical life of a Rebbe.
The truth is that the Rebbes
life is spiritual life: The life
of a tzaddik is not physical life

(From the address of 10 Adar,


Siyum HaShloshim, 5710; Toras
Menachem 5710, pg. 17)

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Kupas Rabbeinu

ubhcr ,pue

Lubavitch
(718) 4672500

jhanv lkn r"unst e"f ,uthab ,j,


P.O.B. 288 Brooklyn, New York 11225

(718) 7563337

B"H Shushan Purim 5775

MOOS CHITTIM
To all Anash and Temimim Sheyichyu
It is known that all the years the Rebbe would extend monetary assistance to MANY
families of Anash, especially in Crown Heights, who were in need of assistance for Pesach.
The Rebbe was always personally involved in all details, including reviewing the names
of recipients, and on his own would add, names to the list.
This was very dear to the Rebbe, to the extent that the Rebbe would request, and not
leave to the Ohel on Erev Roish Choidesh Nissan, till he saw all the signed checks with the
envelopes.
B"H Kupas Rabbeinu continues this tradition and every year sends out large amounts
of funds to the families in need, and as always in the most discreet and respectful manner,
in order that the Rebbes wish be fulfilled, and that ALL have a Chag Kosher VeSomeach
with peace of mind.
Unfortunately, in recent years the number of families in need has grown substantially.
In order for Kupas Rabbeinu to continue with this task we need your help.
We are therefore asking for your most generous assistance to Keren Moos Chitim of
Kupas Rabbeinu. This will enable us to continue helping families to have the menucha &
Simchas Yom Tov they need and deserve. The more funds we receive, the more families we
can help.
As the Rebbe said at the Farbrengen, Vayakhel-Pekudei 5750 "for one who has been
blessed should increase his gifts according to the blessing he has been given. And who ever
increases will be given additional reward. Indeed, there is no limit to this additional reward"
With blessing for a Chag HaPesach Kosher VeSomeach
In the name of Vaad Kupas Rabbeinu

Rabbi Sholom Mendel Simpson 

Rabbi Yehuda Leib Groner

P.S. 1) The traditional "Magvis Yud Shevat, Purim" can also be sent at this time, as well as all other
Magvios.
2) All funds should be sent to the following address only; Donations are tax deductible
KUPAS RABBEINU, P.O. Box 288, BROOKLYN, N.Y. 11225

In Eretz haKodesh: KEREN KUPAS ADMU"R, P.O. Box 1247, KIRYAT MALACHI ISRAEL

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CHINUCH

DEALING WITH THE

DEMOCRACY

CRISIS
How do you prevent an adolescent from reaching a crisis point? What
are the conditions and reasons that create a divide between parents and
children? How can we protect our children from the danger of democracy
that has destroyed all preexisting standards and when the way of the
Torah is that parents and grandparents are the authorities? Transcribed
from a lecture to parents and educators by veteran mechanech, R
Nachman Yosef Twersky. * Part 1

ost of the time, when


parents provide their
child with a feeling of
security, so he feels
good and secure at home, they
have the best guarantee that their
child wont reach the crisis point.
There are many conditions
and reasons that can cause a child
to feel insecure at home. When
he is on the receiving end of
unrestrained criticism or even just
thoughtless comments, this leads
to many problems that sometimes

cause a split to be created between


parents and their children.
I will first talk about how
this works in chinuch and how
careful a person must be at home
so as not to fall into those types
of speech patterns. Then we will
focus on the Rebbes approach to
chinuch which is not the worlds
approach, just like the crises of
the world are not Chabads crises
and just like our children are not
like the children in the rest of
the world. As Chassidim of the

Rebbe, we were given special


abilities and we walk on a firm
and strong bridge.
In previous generations, the
problem of chinuch was not
widespread. In normal times,
children went in the ways that
gave their parents nachas. It
was natural for a parent to be
mechanech his child and for his
children to go in his ways. They
didnt have chinuch problems on
the scale that we have today and
therefore, education professionals

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were not needed and were nonexistent.


In
modern
times,
the
phenomenon
of
democracy
has entered the world and
has destroyed all the formerly
accepted standards and has
brought in secularism. It used
to be, according to Torah,
that parents and grandparents
were the authorities, ask your
father and he will tell you, your
elders and they will say to you.
The secularist view is that we,
the younger generation, are
progressive, while grandpa is old
and doesnt understand todays
day and age. Its out with the old
and in with the new. And this is
where all the problems began;
advances made in technology have
only exacerbated the problem.
The question is, we as parents
today, who live with the reality and
the challenges, what can we do?
How can we, despite everything,
protect our children from crises?

The first thing to know is


that there needs to be mutual
understanding between parents
and children. On the one hand,
parents need to remember that
they are the authorities at home
who educate their children and
teach them how to behave. At
the same time, special attention
has to be given to establish the
credibility of the parents parents
need to respect one another,
and when a word from Father is
respected at home, then the child
feels and understands that there
is an authority that needs to be
obeyed. On the other hand, a
child needs to feel loved. Its not
enough to say it. He needs to see
and experience it.

PROBLEMS BEGIN WHEN


THE CHILD FEELS BAD
In Thillim it says, as arrows
in the hand of the warrior, so too
are the youth. The period we are

talking about (ages 14-16) is an


age and stage which shapes the
personality of the child. A bachur
of this age is not relaxed; he is
very turbulent and this is why,
particularly at this age, we need
to be very careful with him.
It is reasonable to assume
that you wont find a twenty
year old going off the derech or
changing his way of life. There
are instances, but they are few.
Most of the changes that take
place are between the ages of 13
and 18-19, the time that a child
is transitioning to adulthood.
During this time period, he may
not be interested in hearing
from others but wants to attain
knowledge and understanding.
This is the time to help him build
himself up.
Id like to emphasize one
fundamental thing a child who
is happy at home and in school
does not fall! He may have some
declines, but in general, a child
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Chinuch
whos feeling good is a happy
child who will continue going
in the way of Torah and mitzvos
as he is taught. The problems
begin when a child does not feel
good; it makes no difference
what the reason is. He is bitter or
thinks he is, so as soon as some
change in life occurs, the phase
of adolescence, the bitterness
takes on greater significance and
therein lies the danger.
In order to prevent this,
you first have to have a warm,
friendly relationship with him; he
needs to be close to his parents.
Parents have to see to it that the
child is content and its their
responsibility to see to it that
materially and spiritually hes in
a good place. Not just to tell him
that they seek his welfare but to
do everything possible so that it is
actually good for him.
For example, there are those
who have time for strangers but
when a phone call comes in from a
child they push him off for another
half an hour. It is possible that
this phone conversation is very
important and the conversation
with the stranger can be pushed
off. When a Jewish parent is aware
that his childs chinuch is the
most important thing in life, then
he will act altogether differently.
That being the case, we parents
need to influence our child in
the best possible way, not to just
give him orders like in the army,
because otherwise hell grow up
to do as he pleases. In order to
build up the personality of a child
you need patience and peace of
mind, a pleasant demeanor, to
speak in a friendly way with him
and give him personal attention,
not yelling, orders, screaming.
I once spoke with a father
who has fifteen children and
who told me that several times a
year he takes each child out to
a restaurant to give him quality

time and personal attention.


This can provide all of us
with food for thought as to how
the connection with our child
needs to be. All the more so when
you know that a child is lacking
something, that he needs to be
taken out by himself and listened
to. With some good food the
conversation goes differently,
the child thinks differently and it
leads to feelings of closeness. The
child will feel close to his parents
and he wont fall even when
facing challenges.
I know a family where the
father is extremely busy, he even
works at night, but this home is
still built on respect for the father,
in an exaggerated way. They do
precisely as it says in Shulchan
Aruch in the laws of respect for
parents. When the father walks in,
the children stand up. His chair is
off limits. When he comes home,
the children give him respect.
I know the father personally
and he is a plain person, but the
admiration and respect of his
children toward him has resulted
in all of his children growing up
to be frum, Chassidishe people.
A child who has respect for his
father wont do things that go
against his fathers wishes. His
feelings are naturally drawn
toward the way he was educated
at home.
As mentioned in the previous
talk, the Friday night meal is a
foundation for chinuch in the
home. When there is a beautiful
and delicious meal and people
sit around the table and enjoy
it together, this is the biggest
protection.
Sometimes parents think,
But we arent angels. All the
chinuch talk is nice, but were
human beings
I want to tell you a secret;
your child knows youre not an
angel. And you dont have to be

an angel to merit good children.


If the child knows that in general,
his parents try to respect one
another, his father and mother are
genuinely concerned about him,
thats whats most important to
him. When this is the atmosphere
in the house, the problems more
or less fall by the wayside.

WHAT IS THE PARENTS


ROLE AND WHAT IS
HASHEMS ROLE?
As in every area of life, you
can look from the Chassidic
perspective and see how the Rebbe
views the chinuch of children.
I was in Lakewood a few years
ago at a bar mitzva and the bar
mitzva boys father came over to
me and asked me to say a few
words. I stood up and shared the
Rebbes educational approach.
When I finished, a few people
came over to me and said this was
the first time they were hearing
anything like this. I saw how we
have the koach of the Rebbe and
that this impacts everyone.
Why are we busy all day and
dont have time to be mechanech
our children? We are worried
about parnasa and the health
of our children, about their
weddings, the mortgage and
the like, and they occupy our
thinking. When we are told that
we also have to be mechanech our
children and daven, we wonder
how we could possibly have time
for all this!
In one of the farbrengens
in 5743, the Rebbe presented a
great foundation of chinuch that
solves the problem of our time if
it is followed:
Chazal say that there are
three partners in the creation of
man, his father, his mother, and
Hashem who provides the soul.
Said the Rebbe, in a partnership
all parties need to invest. This

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means that we are raising our


children together, just like a
partner who puts his share into
the business. What is our role as
parents-partners?
Says the Rebbe, after Hashem
placed the G-dly part within our
children, we need to see to it that
their neshamos shine openly.
It should be apparent that they
belong to and you are to Me a
kingdom of priests and a holy
nation.
With this idea the Rebbe solves
all the problems. What is our role
in chinuch? To make sure that a
child openly feels his neshama,
that he feels Jewish pride I am a
Jew! This is the parents job. How
is this done? With Torah and
mitzvos.
What is Hashems role?
Sustaining our children, providing
for their material needs, their
health, etc.
When parents do their part, by
educating to Torah and mitzvos,
then Hashem does His part.

WHAT BROUGHT THE


BACHUR BACK?
One of the problems that
adolescent children have is that
they feel Judaism is constricting
and they want freedom. Why do
they feel this way? Because they
dont value being Jewish, the
most basic thing which was once
instilled in the simplest way, that
I am a Jew the appreciation of
being the son of the King.
It says, Educate a child in his
way and when he grows older he
wont veer from it. The Rebbe
asks, does that mean he will also
remain like a child? Rather, a
child has to be instilled with the
idea that Anochi I, who has
written Myself into the Torah,
am Hashem Elokecha your
strength and your life. Our chayus
is Hashem. When a Jew learns

Torah he becomes one with G-d


and then even when he grows old,
he wont veer from it. Because
when you educate a child with
this koach, so that he knows that
through learning Torah and doing
mitzvos he becomes connected
with Hashem, and he is shown the
value of a Jew, then even when he
grows old he wont go away from
it and will remain this way for the
rest of his life.
Someone told me about a
bachur who belongs to one of
the khillos in Williamsburg who
went off the derech in an extreme
way, more than anyone else his
age who dropped out. He went
to a Chabad house because he
was thrown out of his house.
What does a child want to eat
on Shabbos? Chulent. This was

When a bachur wonders, who am I, where am I,


he loses his whole zest for life and his stability,
and he also loses his feeling for learning, his chayus in
davening. If he is given the chanoch lnaar al pi darko,
the fundamental root message that he is connected to
Hashem, then his essence will emerge and he wont falter.

something that apparently he


couldnt do without, even after
going off the derech. Every
Shabbos he would go to the
Chabad house, say some foolish,
heretical things, and eat chulent.
One of the people at the
Chabad house offered to learn
Tanya with him. At first the boy
tried to get out of it by saying
he doesnt believe, but the man
insisted and said, I think you do
believe, and why are you afraid
to learn Tanya? Prove to me that
you dont believe. This shows that
you do believe! If you learn Tanya
with me and afterward you say
you dont believe, Ill believe you.

Some time later, they began to


learn the first chapter of Tanya.
After completing the chapter,
he said he doesnt believe. Then
he came again and they learned
the second chapter and he said
he does not believe. So too with
chapter three. When they reached
the middle of chapter four, the
boy burst into tears.
The man asked him why he
was crying and after calming
down, the boy said, Im crying
because I wonder why my
teachers did not teach me what it
says here. What does it say? That
a Jew who learns Torah becomes
one with Hashem. When I was a
boy in school, they taught an ox
that gores a cow and the teacher

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Chinuch
told me to put my finger on the
place. I wondered, how will this
help me make a living? I dont
have the head to learn this. I
dont have an ox or a cow and it is
unlikely that I ever will. Why do I
need to learn this? But the teacher
forced me to put my finger on the
place and learn and there were
also punishments for the lack of
interest that I displayed until I
finally dropped out.
He concluded: If I had known
that when I learn Torah I am one
with Hashem, why would I care
if I have an ox and cow or not?
The main thing is to unite with
Hashem. This is what bothers me,
why didnt they teach me that?
Since then, the young man
has slowly begun to return.
This is what is called planting
deep roots. Educate a child
according to his way, instill
his essence, the essence of his
neshama. And then, when he
grows old, he wont turn away
from it.
I had a student, a very difficult
child, who did all kinds of things
to disrupt the class. He had a good
head which worked overtime in
thinking up mischief at which he
wouldnt be caught. He made me
a lot of problems.
I called him over after a class
in which he was very disruptive
and we spoke. I knew that if I
started with rebuke, it would just
cause damage. I spoke to him
in a restrained and benevolent
manner. I did not punish him
the entire year since I knew it
wouldnt help.
When he didnt behave,
he would say to me, Rabbi
Twersky, give me a knas (fine).
I would say, You are an excellent
student so I wont give you a
knas. I had to exercise quite a
bit of restraint considering his
atrocious behavior. I happened to
see his father while I was on line

in a store and I felt I had to talk to


him about his son, for I knew that
a child like this, with his stormy
temperament, was likely to go off
the derech.
As we spoke, the father said
to me: It says in the Gemara
about Dovid HaMelech that
when he entered the bathhouse
he felt terrible for he was without
clothing and without mitzvos.
He wasnt comforted until he
remembered the bris mila in his
flesh. The father asked me, what
does this story mean? Why does
the Gemara tell it to us? What
message is there in it for every
Jew?
There is a deep lesson here
that pertains to chinuch. Every
person has clothing, as it says in
Tanya, garments of the soul. Every
child has clothing. The child is
tamim (innocent and sincere)
and tmimus (innocence and
sincerity) is his clothing. You can
sell him things and hell buy it all
in innocence. When he matures,
you cant sell him just anything
since he is more responsible and
serious.
There is the time when the
childs clothing, his innocence, is
removed but he does not yet have
seriousness and maturity. This is
a dangerous time. He is not yet
responsible for his actions and he
can reach the lowest of places and
he doesnt even care. They say
everyone goes through this, but
the question is how long does it
last. Some go through it in a very
short time and some take much
longer.
The father said to me: My son
is in this for a year already and
still hasnt emerged and any little
thing can topple him. This is what
Dovid HaMelech meant when he
said there is one thing that can
serve us, the bris in our flesh. We
are connected to Hashem. When a
bachur wonders, who am I, where

am I, he loses his whole zest for


life and his stability, and he also
loses his feeling for learning, his
chayus in davening. If he is given
the chanoch lnaar al pi darko,
the fundamental root message
that he is connected to Hashem,
then his essence will emerge and
this is what strengthens him.
There is a well-known story
about the holy Baal Shem Tov
that he once had a fall in [G-dly]
intellect. What did he do? He
reviewed the letters of the alefbeis. He connected to Hashem
with the essence of Torah,
without understanding and grasp,
just connecting with the essence.
He reviewed it again and again
and after a while he got back
to himself. By a tzaddik there is
sometimes the idea of a tzaddik
falls seven times and rises, in
order to raise up the generation,
as it says regarding Avrohom that
Avrohom descended to Egypt in
order for there to be the and he
went up, an aliya after the yerida.
There are certain times when
a person needs to realize that
he has to simply hang on just
through being connected to
Hashems essence and not as a
talmid chacham or for any other
reason.
If I am a Jew just because of
external things that are subject
to changing variables and not
because this is the path of truth,
then anything can topple me.
A friend told me that he knew a
young man who as a bachur had
learned in a yeshiva in Bnei Brak
and had really killed himself in
the tent of Torah. Then he got
married and did everything he
was supposed to do. He moved
to Yerushalayim but did not find
a suitable kollel so he found a
chavrusa and they sat at home
and learned. His wife had a
government job and one day she
noticed visits to Internet sites that

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Three months after the wedding he had had taken


off his yarmulke and had given her a divorce. He
has descended into the depths and is now wandering
in the worst of places. What caused all this to happen?
Apparently, everything he had put into his learning had
been for his reputation and for a good shidduch. When
a Jew knows that with his learning he connects with
Hashem, the results are altogether different. He was
missing the primary message, the chanoch lnaar.

were inappropriate. She didnt


know whether it was her husband
or his chavrusa. This was a month
or two after their wedding. She
asked a gadol whether she could
install a hidden camera.
To her great sorrow, she saw
that it was indeed her husband
who, whenever she went to work,
went to all sorts of undesirable
sites. She went to a number of
gdolim who told her to leave the
marriage. Her husband said he
had discovered a new world and

three months after the wedding


he had had taken off his yarmulke
and given her a divorce. He has
descended into the depths and is
now wandering in the worst of
places. What caused all this to
happen? Apparently, everything
he had put into his learning had
been for his reputation and for
a good shidduch. When a Jew
knows that with his learning he
connects with Hashem, the results
are altogether different. He was
missing the primary message, the

chanoch lnaar.
It is critical that every Jew
who learns Torah, which can
even be Gemara with Rashi and
not necessarily R Akiva Eiger
or other complex commentaries,
knows that he is connecting with
Hashem. Obviously, one should
learn more and more, but the basis
is the knowledge that with any
Torah learned and mitzva done,
one is bonding with Hashem.
To be continued

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Issue 967

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STORY

AT THE

LAST

MINUTE
By T Yankelowitz

Lubavitcher Chassid was


making a simcha. He
went to look for a hall
that would meet all his
needs. After much research he
went to a certain hall in a hotel in
Netanya.
After looking it over and long
discussions, the Chassid and the
hotel owner sat down to finalize
the details. As the contract was
being signed, the hotel owner
opened his wallet for something
and something familiar could be
seen in it, a picture of the Rebbe.
The Chassid expressed his
surprise and curiosity.
What
connection did the hotel owner
have with the Rebbe? Was it the
natural connection that every
Jew has, the Rebbe being the
comprehensive soul of the
generation or was there a more
personal reason?
He asked the hotel owner who

was happy to share his story:


I was born and raised in
Tunisia where I lived for many
years.
As a businessman, I
supported the work of the shliach,
R Nissan Pinson. I donated as
much as I could and admired him
and Chabad in general.
Then something happened to
change my mind about Chabad,
and not for the positive. I heard
that a Jew from our town had
asked the Rebbe whether to
make aliya and the answer was
negative. I concluded from this
that the Rebbe was anti-Zionist.
I could not make peace with
the fact that I was supporting
the institutions of someone who
was anti-Zionist. I decided to
immediately stop supporting R
Pinsons institutions. I love Eretz
Yisroel and there was no way that
I would support institutions that
were anti-Zionist.

When R Pinson heard that I


was stopping my contributions, he
wanted to know why. I explained
to him that I was disappointed
with the Rebbes extreme position
regarding aliya and therefore
wanted no part in supporting his
institutions.
R Pinson tried to calm me
down. He explained that the
Rebbe should not be accused of
being opposed to Eretz Yisroel,
G-d forbid. He suggested: Why
dont I go to the Rebbe myself,
have yechidus, and speak to him
directly about it?
His suggestion was reasonable
and I was happy to comply. I
flew to the US to find out what
the Rebbes view and position is
on aliya.
I had yechidus and presented
my position to the Rebbe with
all due respect. I was in for a
surprise. The Rebbe told me

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that if I wanted to move to Eretz


Yisroel, I should do so happily and
he even blessed me for making
such a move. The Rebbe asked
about my plans, what did I think
I would do there? How would I
make a living?
I told the Rebbe my plans for
financial stability in Eretz Yisroel.
I said I was planning on becoming
business partners with some
people and I was also considering
going into the hotel business. I
wanted to build a new hotel from
the ground up.
As to the first idea, the Rebbe
offered his opinion that I should
not join a partnership. As for
the second idea, the Rebbe was
decisive and said hotels, yes; but
construction, no. I should buy a
hotel, not build a new one.
I left the Rebbes room for the
street with mixed feelings. On the
one hand, now it was 100% clear
to me that the Rebbe had nothing

As for hotels,
here
too
I
thought I knew it
all. Every hotel that I
bought was successful
and every hotel that I
built was unsuccessful
and I only had losses.

against Eretz Yisroel. He had


given me his bracha to make aliya
and be successful.
But as far as his business
advice, I wasnt so pleased. What
did a Rebbe know of business?
Matters of holiness, Eretz Yisroel,
there he was the expert for that
was his field and I accepted his
view. But business? What could
he understand of business? In

this area, I was the knowledgeable


one and I would do as I saw fit
without taking the Rebbes view
into account, as great as he was.
***
I followed through on my
plans and moved to Eretz Yisroel.
After the initial settling in, I
pursued the second half of my
aliya process, establishing myself
financially.
I continued with my plan of
becoming partners with local
businessmen. We had taken care
of most of the details beforehand
and now we were at the stage of
signing a contract. Remember,
this was the partnership that
the Rebbe was opposed to, but I
have a business sense and I know
better
We were sitting with the
documents and were about to
sign them.
The businessman
sitting next to me blurted out a
few words to one of his assistants,
words that could barely be heard,
but I heard them and was on the
alert. Something began to smell
not altogether kosher. When I
asked him what he meant by what
he said a moment earlier, he was
momentarily confused.
Then
I knew that I had been about to
fall prey to something unkosher.
Yes, me the know-it-all when it
came to business. I knew and the
Rebbe didnt know
Boruch Hashem, I was saved
from a big loss. The Rebbe tried
to prevent any aggravation but
I wasnt smart enough to listen.
But boruch Hashem, his bracha
stood by me at the last moment.
As for hotels, here too I
thought I knew it all. Every hotel
that I bought was successful
and every hotel that I built was
unsuccessful and I only had losses.
Its interesting that the hotels that
I bought are so profitable that
they cover the losses of the other
hotels!
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PROFILE

THE

LEGENDARY
MASHPIA
By Dov Levanon

he mashpia, R Chaim
Alter Nissan Shimon
Simchovitz, who was
known as R Alter
Simchovitz, was born to Yitzchok
and Chaya Miriam, a family that
was descended from the Vilna
Gaon. He was born in Pochep
in Belarus at the beginning of
5650/1889. His fathers uncle was
R Yitzchok Elchonon Spektor,
renowned posek and leader of
Lithuanian Jewry.
In his youth, he learned in the
Chabad yeshiva in Pochep led
by R Yehoshua Nosson Gnessin
(Tzvi Notte). In Cheshvan 5665
he was accepted in Tomchei
Tmimim in Lubavitch. Around the
year 5668 he was sent to Tomchei
Tmimim in Horodyszcze where
he learned by R Shlomo Zalman
Havlin who later became his
father-in-law. He was known as
one of the ovdim in the yeshiva
and he davened at length.
In 5672 he was sent with
some other talmidim and the
mashpia R Havlin to Chevron,
where they founded Yeshivas
Toras Emes Chevron. The trip

was given particular attention by


the Rebbe Rashab who went out,
leading the way, with the hanhala
of the yeshiva and its students, to
escort the travelers. At the end
of that year, R Alter returned to
Lubavitch where he stayed until
5677. During these years he
served as a chozer for the Rebbe
Rashab.
In 5676 he became engaged
to Rivka Havlin. After they
married he moved to Shchedrin

where he was appointed as


mashpia in Yeshivas Tomchei
Tmimim there. After the passing
of the Rebbe Rashab on 2 Nissan
5680/1920, R Alter went to
Rostov.
In the summer of 5681, he
was sent by the Rebbe Rayatz
to serve as mashpia in Tomchei
Tmimim in Warsaw. In a letter
to his father-in-law, R Havlin,
the Rebbe Rayatz wrote that he
had been asked to send a man
of expertise there, and therefore
he sent his son-in-law. R Alter
arrived there for Pesach 1921
and many came to the yeshiva to
hear his shiurim in Chassidus. On
his way there, he had to smuggle
across the border into Poland
through a thick forest. Due to the
bitter cold his foot froze and he
was taken to a hospital in Vilna
where they had to amputate the
sole of his foot.
Because of the crowded living
conditions in Warsaw, R Alter
became sick with tuberculosis.
The Rebbe Rayatz told him
to go to Eretz Yisroel and
settle in Yerushalayim. While

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Yeshivas Toras Emes in Beit Romano in Chevron

in Yerushalayim, his wife died


young.
In the 12 years that he served
as mashpia and went with the
yeshiva in its wanderings between
Givat Shaul and the Bucharim
neighborhood, he also served
as a member of the hanhala and
fought so that the hanhala would
precisely carry out the Rebbes
instructions. In 1936 he was
appointed by the Rebbe Rayatz
as mashpia klali of Yerushalayim
and then, after the passing of R
Havlin, as the menahel ruchni of
the yeshiva.
He died young on 7 Nissan
5699, leaving a detailed spiritual
will with precise instructions
about his funeral and who could
carry his body and who could
not. He left three children and
the Rebbe took a great interest in
their welfare.
He had many talmidim in
Toras Emes including: R Moshe
Ashkenazi, R Yisroel Tzvi Heber,
R Moshe Weber, R Efraim Wolf,
R Dovid Chanzin, R Avrohom
Hersh Cohen, R Dovber Ludmir

(a distinguished Boyaner Chassid)


and R Boruch Pariz. Notes,
comments and sources that were
written by him in the margins
of his Tanya were published by
Heichal Besht after being edited
by R Yitzchok Wilhelm. Notes
that he wrote on the margins of
his Shulchan Aruch HaRav are in
the archives of the Chabad library.

HELPLESS WITHOUT
THE REBBE
When I went to Toras Emes
in its first year, in Chevron, at
the end of 5672, I did not see
R Alter Simchovitz, said R
Shimon Glitzenstein. R Alter
felt that he had been cut off from
the great cedar in Lubavitch, as
though he had been distanced,
even for a brief time, from the
source of life, and after being
in Chevron for a relatively short
time, he planned on leaving the
yeshiva and returning to his
source in Lubavitch. However, he
left behind an impression. He was
known to all as Alter Pocheper.
His name was mentioned with

awe and they spoke in praise of


him, of his good qualities, his
outstanding abilities as a maskil
and deep thinker in Chassidus,
about his straight thinking and
quick grasp.

WHEN THE REBBE SAYS


The night of Yud-Tes Kislev
5673, the Rebbe Rayatz, who
was then the acting dean of the
yeshiva, arranged a farbrengen in
his home for special individuals.
At this farbrengen the Rebbe was
very happy and he took a lot of
mashke and he asked the older
bachurim to take mashke too.
During the seuda, R Shilem
Kuratin was inebriated, and he
said to the Rebbe, Since this is
a Chassidishe gathering, we need
to say Chassidus! He asked the
Rebbe to say Chassidus. The
Rebbe said, Nu, of course. Say
Chassidus. R Shilem said he
could not. The Rebbe turned
to Alter Simchovitz and said,
Nu, Alter, review the Shabbos
maamer. R Alter who also
wanted to hear a maamer from the
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Profile

PLEADING FOR MERCY


R Alters marriage to the daughter of the mashpia, R Shlomo Zalman
Havlin took place Erev Shabbos Parshas Truma 5675/1915. Due to lack of
time on Friday, no wedding meal was made.
On Shabbos, after I davened with my friends in the walled house
(where the talmidim of the shiurim, those who were younger, would
daven), related R Yehuda Chitrik in his Reshimos Dvarim, I went to the
small zal to see the Rebbe Rashab and his son. I arrived when the Rebbe
finished the birchos Haftora.
I walked into the other room where there were those who davened at
length and I saw R Alter Simchovitz standing in the middle of Nishmas.
His father-in-law walked in and said to him, Have mercy! I invited people
to a kiddush in honor of the wedding! R Alter responded tunefully and with
dveikus, mi yidmeh lach umi yishveh lach

The Rebbe enumerated the qualities with which


you are gifted but I cannot reveal them to you,
because ultimately you are also a human being.
Rebbe said he did not remember
the maamer. Nu, say a different
maamer, said the Rebbe. R Alter
said, I forgot everything.
Everything? All of it?
wondered the Rebbe.
R Alter, who was also
inebriated, said, I remember
one thing. The Rebbe once said,
Alter, take some mashke ...
The Rebbe Rayatz looked
annoyed. You should know
Alter, that when my father speaks
with Jews, he speaks nefesh to
nefesh, ruach to ruach, neshama
to neshama, chaya to chaya,
yechida to yechida.

A FARBRENGEN THAT
LASTED SEVERAL DAYS
R Eliezer Karasik described
an unforgettable farbrengen with
the bachurim who returned from
Chevron:
I recall, it was in 5675 (when
the four bachurim returned from
Chevron-Lubavitch) and they got
together to farbreng with the head

mashpia of Tomchei Tmimim,


Rashag (R Shmuel Gronem
Esterman) on 9 Kislev in a hostel
on Petersburg Street, which is a
small side street in Lubavitch.
Why was it called Petersburg? I
dont know. But I think that since
the city Petersburg is surrounded
by rivers and this street in
Lubavitch was full of water and
mud, perhaps this is why it was
called Petersburg.
The way it worked was that
all the talmidim would just sit and
take in the words of the mashpia
and sometimes they posed a
question or comment, but never
more than that because they were
too busy absorbing. And when the
mashpia went home, the group
would disperse.
But this time that I refer to,
present were also the bachurim
who returned from Chevron.
After two years of learning there,
they had returned to Lubavitch.
After hours of sitting together
with Rashag, he was tired and
left. We stayed with those who

returned from Chevron: R Alter


Pocheper (R Alter Simchovitz),
R Yechezkel Feigin, R Hilka
Paritcher, and Nacheh Lapicher
(my brother, Menachem Bentzion
Karasik).
At this farbrengen, even
though Rashag had left, the group
did not disband and the ones who
remained [to lead the farbrengen]
were only those guests who
returned from Chevron. This
was unusual for the talmidim,
for nearly all of them were
totally nullified to the point of
being as nothing before him [the
mashpia, Rashag] and certainly
not to be mashpia themselves.
However, this time they did not
disperse, perhaps because of the
sentiment that those who came
from Chevron were on a higher
level and closer to the truth.
The atmosphere warmed up and
everyone wanted to connect with
them and bask in their light. Or
maybe it was because those who
came from Chevron felt that
there were still some things they
were lacking and they wanted to
correct them and when nobody
else is available etc. In any case,
they were the ones who remained
to continue the farbrengen.
This farbrengen continued
for several days without stop.
The main mashpia was R Alter
Pocheper along with R Hillel
Paritcher and R Yechezkel Feigin.
Obviously, they switched off.
When one was tired and went to
sleep, the other was awake and so
on. And the talmidim/audience
would also trade places.
Nearly all the people at the
farbrengen sat in this sort of
smelting pot, and anybody who
was at all receptive was moved
from his regular [spiritual] place
or [spiritual] state in a forward
direction. Until today, I cant
forget that farbrengen. The crying
from cheshbon hanefesh that

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each one made, the regret over


the past and the commitment to
adhere to this designated path
was an exercise in group study
and they spoke like to a close
friend with purity of heart.

OUR REBBEIM SPEAK IN


PRAISE OF HIM
R Alter enjoyed the full trust
shown to him by the Rebbeim who
always spoke highly of him. On
one occasion, when they wanted
to employ R Alter as a cashier in
a well-known business in Russia,
the Rebbe Rashab commented,
It is not Alters role to count
money, but to count pages in
Likkutei Torah.
Once, at a festive Yud-Tes
Kislev meal, the Rebbe Rashab
stressed, Alter is mine. One
of the bachurim asked, and Im
not yours? The Rebbe said,
Yes, correct, you are also mine,
however Alter is mine ...
In a letter written by R
Yechezkel Feigin, Hyd, he said to
R Alter, The Rebbe enumerated
the qualities with which you are
gifted and I cannot reveal them to
you, because ultimately you are
also a human being.
While still a bachur in
Tomchei Tmimim, in 5673,
when the Rebbe Rayatz traveled
to the health springs and he did
not want to miss the maamarim
said by his father, he asked one of
the chozrim, R Eliyahu Simpson,
to write him the content of the
maamer every week. He added,
And you and my friend, R Alter,
should do this.
When the Rebbe Rayatz
farbrenged in Yeshivas Toras
Emes, he said to the bachurim,
In truth it would be proper to
farbreng in detail, but probably
the mashpia and menahel, R
Alter, farbrengs with you often
so the fundamental principles are
known.

FROM A CEREAL
BUSINESSMAN TO A
MASHPIA
At the end of 5680, the
yeshiva moved from Kremenchug
to Rostov. The menahel was the
Rebbes son-in-law, Rashag (R
Shmaryahu Gurary) and his
assistant was R Yitzchok Goldin.
Starvation was rampant and
the menahalims concern was
finding bread for the students.
The mashgichim and roshei
yeshiva were bachurim since it
wasnt possible to pay a salary
to a married man with which
he could support a family. R
Alter was already married and R
Goldin asked the Rebbe to take
him as mashpia. He said that if
there will be a Tomchei Tmimim,
then Hashem would help with
the expenses. The mashpia of
Chassidus is the internal man of
Tomchei Tmimim. Without him,
what advantage did the yeshiva
have? But Rashag maintained
that it was impossible to take on
such an expense at such a time.
R Yitzchok Goldin, who was
in charge of raising money, told
Rashag with a smile, You dont
know from financial hardship
(as he grew up in a wealthy
family), so you wont know
from this hardship either. The
Rebbe smiled and said, I agree
with Yitzchok. Take Alter and
Hashem will grant you success.
R Goldin did not delay but ran
to the marketplace where R
Alter worked selling cereal. (R
Leibel Cohen and R Shmaryahu
Sasonkin said that in Rostov they
saw him standing with a samovar
selling tea so he could make
some money. Apparently, he did
not disdain any work as long as
he could support his wife and
daughters.)
Seeing R Alter in such a state
could make your heart melt. He
was my mashgiach and mashpia

R Shlomo Zalman Havlin menahel

The Rebbe Rashab


once
commented,
It is not Alters role to count
money, but to count pages in
Likkutei Torah.

in Shchedrin, a wise man with a


good heart and in the parlance of
Tomchei Tmimim, an oveid and
maskil. Every personal matter of
every bachur in Tomchei Tmimim
was a soul matter to him. And
here was R Alter standing in
the marketplace. This is what
R Yitzchok Goldin wrote in his
memoirs.
When R Alter heard that the
Rebbe Rayatz agreed to the idea
and when R Yitzchok promised
to pay his salary, which meant
bread for his children, he turned
over the bowl of cereal and
happily went to the yeshiva. When

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Profile

THE TWO DAYS WHICH DID NOT HELP


R Alter once related:
I once prepared for yechidus and R Itche der Masmid also prepared
during those same days for yechidus. In the end, I saw that R Yitzchok did
not go in for yechidus on the designated day. When he was asked about this,
he said he decided to wait another day or two and prepare even more.
When I heard this, I decided it was a good idea and I would also wait a
day or two before having yechidus. In the end, the waiting helped R Itche
for in that day or two that he delayed the yechidus he reached an even more
elevated state while I I should have gone in to the Rebbe right away before
I got myself into an even worse spiritual state.

When R Alter had to get to yeshiva at nine in


the morning, he would step over the threshold
just as the bell rang at 9:00. When I had to be in yeshiva
at nine in the morning, I would come five minutes before
nine.

he entered the zal and stood


in the place designated for the
mashgiach, there was great joy in
the zal.

STREET SWEEPER
Shavuos 5691/1921 is when
the oifruf (aliya lTorah) of the
Rebbe
Rayatzs
son-in-law,
Rashag, took place. After the
davening there was a kiddush in
the home of the chassans father,
R Menachem Mendel Gurary,
and the Rebbe farbrenged there.
During the farbrengen the
Rebbe strongly demanded avoda,
avoda in general and avodas
hatfilla in particular. The
Chassid, R Tzvi Gurary asked:
The Rebbe demands avoda at a
time like this? When Alter sweeps
the streets, the Rebbe demands
avoda? (R Alter had to work at
various demeaning jobs at that
time to support his family.)
The Rebbe said: R Akiva
and his colleagues were so great,
men of enormous mesirus nefesh
compared to us. If we, of this

generation of small minds and


small hearts, had to be in their
generation among those great
men, We would also manage
somehow to push through. If
Hashem brought R Akiva and
his colleagues down to this world
now, they would manage. But
Hashem did not do so and brought
us with small minds and heads
and small hearts down to this
world now, which is an indication
that we have the abilities. Hashem
does not come with unreasonable
demands of His creatures.

TORAS EMES
R Alter was considered one
of the pillars of the hanhala of the
yeshiva Toras Emes, already in his
first years there. By 5688, about
a year after he went to serve as
mashpia in the yeshiva, the Rebbe
Rayatz put him in charge of
running the yeshiva for a period
of time after his father-in-law
R Havlin and R Moshe Dov
(Berel) Rivkin went to the US to
fundraise for the yeshiva.

Every step he made in running


the yeshiva revolved around
this question: What would give
the Rebbe nachas. The Rebbe
guided and encouraged him the
entire time in how and what to
do so as to overcome the hurdles.
His father-in-law in America
also wrote to the hanhala of the
yeshiva asking that they listen to
his son-in-law.
At the end of 5688, R Alter
went to Riga to be with the Rebbe
Rayatz for Tishrei 5689. An
honored guest came to the Rebbe
for the Days of Awe, R Alter
Simchovitz, wrote R Yechezkel
Feigin in a letter to his friend,
R Yisroel Jacobson. While he
was in Riga, it was pretty much
decided that he would remain in
Warsaw where he would continue
to run Tomchei Tmimim as
before. On 14 Kislev, he attended
the wedding of the Rebbe and
Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka and
there he was told by the Rebbe
Rayatz to give out mashke, in his
name, to all the talmidim of the
yeshiva. The night before too,
during the chassans meal, he
was the one who said who would
enter the yeshiva hall and who
would not.
In Shvat 5689, following
requests of his family, it was
decided that he would return to
serve as mashpia in Toras Emes
in Yerushalayim. That year, he
met with the Rebbe again when
the Rebbe visited Eretz Yisroel
and went to Yeshivas Toras Emes.
When the Rebbe went with the
bachurim to the Mt. of Olives,
R Alter made sure that each bus
would have a bottle of mashke.
On the trip to Chevron, the Rebbe
told R Alter to be one of those
who took pidyonos nefesh from
the masses of people who came to
see the Rebbe.
R
Shimon
Glitzenstein
described an authentic Chassidic

26 5 Nissan 5775
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mashpia in Yerushalayim in those


days:
R Alter was gifted with an
exceedingly powerful ability to
impart of his spirit onto others.
His fiery speech, his quick
movements, his penetrating gaze.
This image of a Lubavitcher
mashpia stunned me a bit when
I first met him; a personality
that inspired admiration. He was
modest and always tried to remain
in the shadows. His praying was
seemingly without enthusiasm or
none that was apparent, but those
who knew him knew that in his
heart burned a holy flame and all
his movements were for the sake
of heaven.
R Alter accepted the running
of Toras Emes in Yerushalayim
and before very long, one could
see the strong impression made
upon the students by their teacher
and menahel. He opened a door
for them into the world of G-dly
teachings and developed their
hearts to understand, to listen and
to be devoted with all their might
to learning Chassidus and going
in the ways of these teachings.
We can justifiably say that R Alter
gave life to dry bones. He instilled
in the precious children of Zion
the fresh infusion of the teachings
of Chabad. He is to be credited
for the popularity of Chabad
learning in the Holy Land.
The Rebbe sent many
instructions through him that
pertained to Chabad activity
in Eretz Yisroel. For example,
when the Rebbe wanted to obtain
immigration certificates for some
students in Tomchei Tmimim, the
Rebbe told R Alter to be the one
in touch with the Chief Rabbi, R
Herzog. When the Rebbe wanted
to start a global Chevra Thillim
whose headquarters would be in
Eretz Yisroel, he told R Alter to
find someone to run the chevra.
R Alter was also involved in the

R Dovid Chanzin

running of Kollel Chabad during


the years when the Rebbe wanted
to replace the old administration,
and more.
The Rebbe treated him in
a very special manner. When
R D. M. Rabinowitz wrote to
the Rebbe that doctors advised
him to move to Yerushalayim,
the Rebbe told him to be of
assistance to my good friend,
one of the outstanding talmidei
haTmimim, R Alter Simchovitz,
regarding matters of the yeshiva,
material and spiritual. Toward
the end of his life, the Rebbe
wrote, I enjoyed hearing that the
situation of Yeshivas Toras Emes
has improved spiritually as a result
of the work and agitation of my
good friend R Alter Simchovitz.
May Hashem strengthen him and
fortify him and make great and
powerful the Torah and avoda in
the ways of Chassidus.

MENAHEL RUCHNI OF
YESHIVAS TORAS EMES
Upon the passing of R Havlin,

R Yisroel Tzvi Heber

a vacuum was left in the hanhala of


the yeshiva. The Rebbe appointed
R Havlins son-in-law, R Alter
Simchovitz, as the menahel
ruchni of the yeshiva and he also
was to have a say regarding the
material needs of the yeshiva. The
appointment came together with
a letter of consolation that was
sent to the widow of R Havlin
and his children.
R Alter, who until then was
utterly devoted to the yeshiva,
continued to work devotedly for
its sake. Despite all the mighty
obstacles in his way, he did all
he could for the continuation of
the yeshiva both materially and in
improving the spiritual-Chassidic
state of the talmidim. R Alter was
like a father to the students and
his Chassidic influence caused a
major change in many students
who had come to taste of the
wellsprings of Chassidus. Thanks
to him, many of them became
Chassidim.
R Alter was the dominant
Chassidic personality in Toras

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Profile
Emes at that time. When the
Rebbe told R Eliezer Karasik
to start a yeshiva in Tel Aviv, he
sent the letter to R Alter so he
would advise him how to start
the yeshiva and overcome the
material and spiritual difficulties.
The Rebbe Rayatz wrote a
letter at the beginning of the
winter of 5698 to R Boruch Pariz
when he went to learn in Toras
Emes which shows R Alters
place in the yeshiva:
My
great
friend
and
representative, R Alter, menahel
of Yeshivas Toras Emes, informs
me that you have entered Yeshivas
Toras Emes and surely you will
devote yourself to the guidance
of the above to fulfill all of his
instructions to the fullest.
Indeed,
the
relationship
between R Boruch and the
mashpia, R Alter, was very
special. After about half a year,
when R Boruch went home to
Petach Tikva for the intersession
break, R Alter wrote him a letter
with encouragement to act as a
talmid of a Chabad yeshiva:
The difference should be
apparent between you and your
previous friends who you have
encountered back home, who
have not yet merited to taste from
the Tree of Life and the study
of Chassidus. If no difference is
apparent between you and your
friends, you should contemplate
that fact itself, for a great light like
this [the teachings of Chassidus
mentioned at the beginning of the
letter] did not make an impression
on you I only ask whether
you fulfilled the command
of the Rebbe in every detail,
without any rationalizations.
Simply to do what he said in
reviewing Chassidus, speaking
with the tinokos shel beis rabban
(schoolchildren), yeshiva youth,
or those that are suited for it to
explain that the light of Torah is

THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN THEM
R Alter was known to
be very punctual. R Chaim
Shaul Brook once said: See
the difference between me
and R Alter. When R Alter
had to get to yeshiva at nine
in the morning, he would step
over the threshold just as the
bell rang at 9:00. When I had
to be in yeshiva at nine in the
morning, I would come five
minutes before nine.

the true life of the soul.


Further in the letter he notes
that he wants to correspond with
the dear talmid, Simcha Bunim,
referring to Simcha Bunim Heber
who also lived in Petach Tikva,
and he asked him to show the
letter to his friend, for everything
he wrote was meant for both of
them.
R Yisroel Tzvi Heber learned
in Yeshivas Torah VYira in
Yerushalayim at that time. On
Purim 5698/1938, he attended R
Alters farbrengen which inspired
him to switch to Toras Emes, as
he related in his memoirs:
After we celebrated Purim in
Torah VYira, I went with some
friends to the farbrengen of R
Alter Simchovitz in Toras Emes. I
stood next to my brother Simcha
Bunim and R Alter immediately
recognized me and said to my
brother, You need to be mekarev
him, which made a great
impression on me. Then I saw
what the difference is between
the simcha in Torah VYira and
the simcha of Chassidim. I was
there until late and the farbrengen
still was not over. Afterward, they
told me that R Alter got up and
continued to dance for hours
more.

The impression made upon


R Yisroel Tzvi motivated him to
show up, at his own initiative, at the
beginning of the next zman the
beginning of Iyar 5698 to learn
in Toras Emes. He also brought
along a friend, R Avrohom Hirsh
Cohen, who had been learning in
Yeshivas Dushinsky. R Yisroel
Tzvi and his brother convinced
him to listen to a Tanya shiur
given by the mashpia, R Alter.
R Avrohom Hirsh soon became
a Chabad Chassid. These two
friends, R Yisroel Tzvi Heber
and R Avrohom Hirsh Cohen
became Chabad Chassidim and
mekusharim to the Rebbeim and
their many descendants follow in
the ways of Chassidus.
Another of R Alters famous
talmidim was R Dovid Chanzin,
who later served as rav of the
Chabad community in Petach
Tikva and Av Beis Din Rabbanei
Chabad in Eretz Yisroel. R
Chanzin, although coming from a
Chassidic home, had not learned
in Chassidic yeshivos. R Kook
had been involved in providing
the young genius with a legal
certificate allowing him entry
to Eretz Yisroel and R Chanzin
then learned in Merkaz HaRav.
After the passing of his father,
the young man was drawn to
his memories of Chassidic life
in his fathers house and he
began visiting Toras Emes. He
attracted the attention of R Alter
who learned Derech Mitzvosecha
with him. After that he continued
learning maamarei Chassidus on
his own with R Alters guidance.
We can see how connected
the talmidim were to him from
Boruch Pariz who hung a picture
of the mashpia in his house and
lit a yahrtzait candle for him each
year.

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PARSHA THOUGHT

HOW CAN WE
BRING THE
SACRIFICES
TODAY?
By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg

THE FIVE OFFERINGS

TORAH AND INTIMACY

The Biblical book of Leviticus


(VaYikra) is devoted to the laws
of the various offerings in the Bais
HaMikdash. This weeks parsha,
Tzav, speaks of the Ola Mincha,
Chatas, Asham and Shlamim
offerings, among others.
When the Torah introduces
these five offerings, it introduces
each of them with the identical
words: This is the law (Toras)
of the... followed by either:
Ola-Burnt Offering; MinchaMeal
Offering;
ChatasSin Offering; Asham-Guilt
Offering; or Shlamim-Peace
Offering.
The Talmud and Midrash
derive from these introductory
phrases that when one studies the
laws concerning these offerings,
the Torah regards it as if one had
actually brought them to the Bais
HaMikdash.
The question has been asked,
why the Torah needed to make this
introductory lesson separately for
each of the five offerings in this
weeks parsha? Why the need
for five separate but identical
lessons?

Upon deeper analysis we can


see that each one of these offerings
pose a different challenge for us
to be able to replace them with
Torah study.
The Ola offering was unique
because it was burnt on the
Altar in its entirety. This offering
alludes metaphorically to people
whose passion for G-d is total.
No part of their personality is
held back from their devotion to
G-d.
How does Torah study, a
cerebral exercise, take the place
of unbridled passion for G-d?
A simple yet profound
explanation can be offered:
Torah is G-ds expression of
love for us. It is through the Torah
that we have become betrothed
to G-d, as it were. A well-known
Biblical phrase concerning the
Torah alludes to this: The Torah
Moses commanded us as an
inheritance to the assembly of
Jacob. The word for inheritance
in Hebrew is morasha, which
the Talmud says can also be
rendered meurasa-betrothed. No
other nation, the Talmud rules,

may study Torah the way we do


because to do so would violate the
law against adultery!
To be sure, the nations of the
world are encouraged to study the
teachings of the Torah that relate
to the observance of their Seven
Noachide Commandments. But,
G-d vouchsafed Torah as a lifepartner to the Jewish people
exclusively.
The passion that one expressed
through the all-encompassing Ola
offering can be replaced now by
the all-embracing manifestation
of love and intimacy one
experiences with G-ds Torah.

TORAH: ELICITS THE SOUL


The Mincha offering too
possessed its own uniqueness. It
is by far the least extravagant of
the offerings and one might think
it was, therefore, also the least
significant.
In truth, the opposite is true.
When the Torah introduced the
Mincha offering in last weeks
Parsha it said, When a Nefeshperson-soul offers a Minchameal-offering Rashi cites the
Talmuds discussion as to why
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PARSHA THOUGHT
the Torah introduces the Mincha
with the word nefesh, which
also means soul. The answer is:
Whose custom is it to bring a
Mincha? A poor person. Says
the Holy One, Blessed is He, I
regard it as if he has brought his
own soul.
When a person who might
be poor, in the sense of a lack
of sophistication, intellectual
or spiritual prowess, makes a

offering would arises when it is


studied as a poor mans offering,
with humility. Consider what
we say at the end of the Amida
prayer: Let my soul be as dust
for all, which is then followed by
open my heart to Your Torah.
When we study Torah with a poor
persons sincerity and humility
we offer our very soul to G-d, not
just our external faculties.

By introducing the Mincha offering with the


words This is the Torah of the Torah instructs
us that the value of Torah study is measured not by the
quantity but by the effort put into it When we study
Torah with a poor persons sincerity and humility we
offer our very soul to G-d, not just our external faculties.

seemingly nominal gesture to


get closer to G-d, He regards it
as if they had given everything.
Precisely because this individual
is so bereft of high qualities, his
or her insignificant gesture is
indeed more profound than that
of the spiritual sophisticate who
brings the Ola, totally consumed
with a passion for G-d in every
fiber of his being.
While the sophisticated person
brings the totality of his or her
knowledge, emotions and actions
to the worship of G-d, the simple
Jew brings his or her soul!
By introducing the Mincha
offering with the words This
is the Torah of the Torah
instructs us that the value of
Torah study is measured not by
the quantity but by the effort
put into it. As the Talmud puts
it: Whether one does a lot or
a little; as long as his heart is
directed towards Heaven.
The power of Torah study
to achieve that which a Mincha

TORAH: SPICES THE


ANIMAL SOUL
The Chatas-Sin-Offering is
likewise unique. While the offering
was not entirely consumed on the
Altar like the Ola, it possessed
another salient feature:
The Sin-Offering atoned
for certain serious breaches of
the Torah. However, it was only
offered for the unintentional
violation of these prohibitions.
Why would a person who
transgresses unwittingly be in
need of atonement?
Chassidus explains that the
unwitting commission of a sin is
a sign that ones animal nature
is still untamed, causing one to
gravitate towards transgression
without even realizing it. If our
Animal Souls were refined and
receptive to our G-dly souls, with
whom they share occupancy of
our bodies, we would never be
prone to an unintentional sin. It
is said of a Tzaddik that he or she
is protected from doing even an

unintentional sin. In one respect,


the inadvertent transgression
is even more serious than an
occasional lapse into committing
an intentional sin.
For example, one might
lose his temper for which one
must certainly atone by seeking
forgiveness. Contrast that with
a person who loses sensitivity to
anothers needs and behaves in a
way that causes pain and anguish
without even realizing it. The
latter situation is more egregious
for two reasons.
First, it is a sign that ones
Animal Soul is simply out of
touch with decency and civility.
Second, when a person
commits a crime with malice and
forethought, he or she is aware
that it is a crime. As a result
there is a strong chance that he
or she will seek ways to make
amends. Not so those who dont
even realize that they have done
something wrong.
The objective of offering an
animal as a form of atonement was
symbolically to bring sensitivity to
the Animal Soul.
By introducing the section
concerning the Sin Offering with
the words, This is the Torah of
the Torah suggests that study
of its teachings regarding this
sacrifice is a suitable substitute
for refining the Animal Soul.
This is consonant with the
Talmuds statement that Torah
can spice ones Yetzer Hara-Evil
Impulse. The spicing metaphor
implies that our Animal Soul,
which houses the Yetzer Hara,
does not have to be eliminated;
instead, it has to be refined and
edified.

TORAH: SHEDDING LIGHT


ON OUR INNER SELVES
The Asham-Guilt Offering
takes the lesson of the Torahs

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refinement of the Animal Soul


a step further. The Asham
was brought by a person who
wasnt sure if he had actually
transgressed. The Rebbe explains
(Likkutei Sichos Volume 3 p.
946) that, in a certain sense,
this persons Animal Soul is so
desensitized that he or she isnt
even aware of sinning. This
phenomenon points to a much
more deeply rooted spiritual and
moral problem. It takes a most
powerful spiritual drill to reach
into the deepest recesses of the
Animal Soul and get to the root of
the problem.
The Asham gave the person
bringing
the
offering
the
resources to extricate his Animal
Soul from its trapped state and
lead it to a state of closeness to
G-d, alongside his G-dly soul.
Proper
Torah
study,
specifically the study of the laws of
the Asham, serves as a substitute
because it too can reach deep into
the inner layers of the Animal
Soul and cause its refinement.
Torah is called the light which can
expose things that were previously
concealed. Torah shines a light on
our inner personality, exposes
our Animal Souls insensitivity
and then serves as the medicine
or spice to refine and transform
it.

TORAH: THE
SOURCE OF PEACE
The Shlamim-Peace Offering
is so called because it was
shared. A part of it was given
to G-d and consumed on the
Altar, a second part was given
to the Kohen, and a third part
of it was enjoyed by its owner.
It represents a threefold peace:
Peace between us and G-d, peace
between one Jew and another and
peace between body and soul.
We can easily understand
how Torah study can serve as
a substitute for bringing the
Shlamim:
Proverbs describes Torah as
the source of peace: Its ways are
pleasant ways, and all its paths
are peace. Moreover, our Sages
declared: Torah was given to
make peace in the world. Kabbala
teaches that Torah corresponds
to the attribute of tiferes, beauty
and harmony. It is a synthesis
of chesed-kindness and gvurajudgment; fire and water.

GALUS: ALL OF THE ABOVE


In short: Torah study is the
ultimate experience of intimacy
with G-d (Ola); reveals the inner
soul of the Jew (Mincha); has
the capacity to heal and spice the

Animal Soul (Chatas); can expose


and shed light on the most deeply
rooted flaws of the Animal Soul
(Asham) and brings peace on all
levels (Shlamim).
Torah is thus the most fitting
medium by which we may
rectify the symptoms of Galus,
which is marked by a lack of the
passion and intimacy generated
through the Ola. Galus makes it
difficult to express our inner soul
(Mincha), and our Animal Souls
are desensitized to their utmost
(Chatas). We are often not even
aware of the darkness in which
we live (Asham). We certainly
need the power of the Shlamim
to rectify the lack of peace in all
three areas.
The straightforward way to
get ourselves out of Galus, as the
Rebbe exhorted us on so many
occasions, is to study Torah,
specifically the parts that deal with
Moshiach and Redemption. This
is the easiest way for us to bring
Moshiach, whose Torah teachings
will obviate the need for any of the
above-mentioned sacrifices. As
our Sages state: In the Messianic
Age all sacrifices will cease except
for the Thanksgiving offering
(also discussed in this weeks
parsha), to express our gratitude
for the imminent Redemption.

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STORY

THE RAMBAM
SAVED THE DAY
By Sholom Dovber Crombie

his story took place before


the Peace in Galilee War.
R Mordechai Baron, a
resident of Kfar Chabad,
was called to serve in the Reserves.
On the appointed day, he reported
to the base from where he went
together with his buddies to one of
the bases near the front.
Upon arriving there, R
Mordechai took out his tfillin and
began helping many soldiers do
the mitzva. He took advantage of
the long waiting time the soldiers
had to offer them the opportunity
to do a mitzva.
After some time, he came
across an older soldier who
politely but firmly refused to
put on tfillin. Usually, when R
Mordechai was turned down, he
would just move on to the next
soldier after wishing the person a
good day, but this time, for some
reason, he decided to talk to him.
He began explaining the meaning
of the mitzva but the soldier
continued to refuse.
A group of soldiers had
congregated and they listened in
on the discussion between the
two of them, curious as to how
things would turn out. Some of
them mixed in, some begged the
soldier to put on the tfillin while
others encouraged him to stand
by his principles and refuse.

R Mordechai Baron by the Rebbe

After more discussion, the


soldier asked sardonically, If I
put on tfillin, how will I benefit?
What do you want? asked
R Mordechai.
If you give me two Rambam
bills (they were old, 1000 shekel
bills, that had the likeness of the
Rambam on them), Ill agree to
do it. The soldier was confident
that he wouldnt be willing to pay
that much money.
R Mordechai did not hesitate
and on the spot he took out two
Rambam bills and offered them
to the soldier if he carried out
his part of the deal. The soldier
was flabbergasted for he hadnt

dreamed that his offer would be


accepted, but oddly enough, he
still refused to put on tfillin.
Now the soldiers standing
around changed their tune, even
those who had supported his
refusal earlier. They told him
that he had to keep his word and
honor the commitment he had
made. The soldier found himself
in the center of a commotion.
The discomfort in the
situation as well as the repeated
importuning on the part of the
soldiers tipped the scale and he
finally agreed to put on tfillin.
As he did so, one could see that
he was very moved. He said the

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R Mordechai
did

not

hesitate and on the


spot he took out two
Rambam

bills

and

offered them to the


soldier if he carried
out his part of the deal.
The Rambam bill that R Mordechai received from the Rebbe

brachos with the utmost sincerity


while emphasizing the words. He
stood there, wearing the tfillin,
for quite some time, reading the
words of the Shma word by word.
His emotional response surprised
everyone.
After he removed the tfillin,
R Mordechai gave him the two
bills and they parted ways. Some
of the soldiers who were there,
who saw how important it was to
R Mordechai that someone do a
mitzva, also rolled up their sleeves
and put on tfillin.
R Menachem Wolpo, shliach
from Netanya, was there too and
saw what happened. He asked R
Mordechai to share the mitzva
with him and gave him one

Rambam bill in exchange.


***
When his reserve duty was
over, R Mordechai returned
home and nearly forgot this story.
Some years later, he noticed a
letter from 770 in his mailbox.
He was taken aback since he had
never sent a letter to the Rebbe.
He assumed that it was a mistake
and that the letter was meant for
the neighbors, but there was his
name on the envelope.
When he opened the envelope,
his heart stopped. In the envelope
were two Rambam bills. Why on
earth had this been sent to him?
It was only after a long time
and after wracking his brains
to come up with an answer that

he suddenly remembered the


incident five years earlier when he
was in the army.
R Mordechai felt that the
Rebbe wanted to pay him for his
mivtzaim expenses. He saw how
the Rebbe knows what is going
on even on the other side of the
world and he wanted to pay for
the nachas R Mordechai had
given him.
R Mordechai looked into
the matter and determined that
nobody had reported the story
to the Rebbe. Even R Wolpo
who had witnessed the story was
dumbfounded when he heard
about the bills that the Rebbe
had sent him, for he too had not
reported about it to the Rebbe.

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TZIVOS HASHEM

CHANGING
PLANS
By Nechama Bar

Friday night. 770 in Kfar


Chabad. A group of Chassidim
were farbrenging, eating a little
from the refreshments and
drinking lchaim. They blessed
one another with all their
hearts and sang moving and
joyous songs. They sat there
until late, not noticing the
passage of time.
New people join nearly every
week mekuravim, baalei
tshuva and others who come to
be warmed by the atmosphere
of 770, the Rebbes home in
Eretz Yisroel.
At these farbrengens, many
miracle stories are told. The
following story was told at one
of these special farbrengens.

***
Ezra, a young dynamic
person who lives in Ramat
Gan, wears a knitted kippa.
He appeared in 770 in Kfar
Chabad at one of these Friday
night farbrengens. Although
he looked different than the
Chassidim sitting there, he
fit in well with the unifying
atmosphere at the farbrengen.
He drank lchaim, blessed and
was blessed, and you could see
he was deciding whether to
speak or not.
Some of the Chassidim
noticed this and sensed there

was an interesting story waiting


to be told.
Come on Ezra, tell us.
Someone tapped him on the
shoulder and said, It is very
important to publicize miracles.
It hastens the Geula.
Ezra was convinced and
began his story:
I am a successful computer
technician. I am not yet
married and I am very busy
with my work. I have many
customers and they are very
happy with me, thank G-d.
In recent years, Ive become
more committed to Torah
and mitzvos and I have even
drawn other people along with
me. I go to shiurim and drag
along some friends. Everything
was fine and good but I felt I
was missing something, that I
wasnt realizing my potential
here, so I decided to leave the
country.
I gave a lot of thought about
where to go and consulted
with friends. I decided to go
to Australia. Since Im in the
computer field, I figured I
wouldnt have a problem finding
a good job and making a lot of
money there.
Everything was ready a
visa, a date of departure, and
I had already told friends I was

leaving. I had almost started


packing when one chance
friend
a
with
encounter
hing.
changed everyt
It was just a stroll I took one
evening. I saw a good friend of
mine heading my way by the
name of Avri.
Ezra, how are you? Hows
work? We havent seen one
another in a long time.
Thank G-d, great, work is
fine, the customers are happy,
but I have plans for a new
and much better future.
Avri looked puzzled and I
filled him in.
In a few days Im flying to
Australia on an open ticket.
Really? Whats not good
about right here? Why do you
think youll be happier there?
I did not go into detail since
I didnt think it was necessary.
I had made up my mind and
wasnt going to change it.
Listen, said Avri. I have
a small request to make of
you before you make such a
significant move. Write to the
Rebbe through the Igros Kodesh
and seek his counsel and ask for
a bracha. Believe me, you wont
be disappointed.
The truth is, I had heard
some miracle stories of the

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happened
that
Rebbe
through the Igros Kodesh, but I
hadnt expected to hear about
this from Avri.
What connection do you
have with the Igros Kodesh? I
couldnt help but ask, and Avri
went on to tell me a miracle he
had personally experienced.
My mother was very sick.
The doctors gave up on her.
By divine providence, I found
out about the Igros Kodesh
and we asked the Rebbe for
a bracha. You can probably
guess the end of the story. My
mother miraculously recovered!
Since then, I tell everyone not
to make a significant move
without writing to the Rebbe
and asking for his bracha, said

Avri.
I wasnt convinced, but for
some reason I decided to give
it a try, maybe because I didnt
think it would change my mind.
Upon Avris recommendation,
the next day I went to R Dovid
Ushki, director of the Chabad

house in Ramat Aviv, and we


wrote a letter together. He
explained to me that I needed
to commit to doing what the
Rebbe said. I hesitated but
finally agreed.
the
making
After
I
ations,
prepar
appropriate
it
put
and
wrote out my plans
into a volume of Igros Kodesh. I
was amazed by the answer on
the page; it was like nothing
I had expected. I copied the
answer and here it is, word for
word: Your question regarding
moving from I dont see it at
all. Since Hashem has given you
the privilege of being in a place
where you can be effective in
truth, in matters of Judaism in
general and matters connected
with Chassidus in particular,
it is not at all understandable
why you are thinking of moving
and looking in other countries.
I found it hard to utter a
word. I looked at R Ushki and
he too, did not say a thing. He
just smiled broadly, happy I had

opened to a clear answer.


I think this is quite clear,
he finally said. So youll stay?
I nodded and stammered,
Uh yeah, of course, I Ill
stay here.
I left his house in a turmoil.
On the one hand, it was hard
for me to change all my plans
at the last minute, to cancel
my ticket and all my exciting
plans. On the other hand, I was
happy. I felt that there was
someone guiding me in the best
possible way. The Rebbe said I
had a mission to accomplish
with friends and that I had to
continue to influence them and
indeed, I try. I also committed
to a certain hiddur in mitzvos
as a gift for the Rebbe.

***
Ezra finished his story and
the Chassidim spontaneously
burst into the singing of
Yechi, for the Rebbe is chai
vkayam.

Issue 967

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