This Shabbos (VaYakhel-P’kudei) is Shabbos Mevarchim of the month of Nissan, the month of Geula. It is also the second Shabbos Chazak of the year, a Shabbos in which we receive extra strength to be successful in our upcoming Avodas Hashem. As Chassidim, in addition to preparing for Pesach, we are also preparing for 11 Nissan, the 115th birthday of our Rebbe. Every Chassid wants to add in his Avodas Hashem and his commitment to fulfilling the directives of our holy Rebbeim.
“The terrifying news about our unfortunate brethren in Russia are unequaled in the history of the Jews. Hordes of savages and wild beasts thrust themselves on Israel and his religion. Israel is made into mockery and derision by the uncouth and by the wicked; instead of freedom of thought and toleration, a horrible inquisition was levied on them, and about three million Jews are being robbed and persecuted” * The Letter
Scenario I: My son’s bar-mitzvah Kiddush was held on Shabbos afternoon. One of the local Jews (who really only shows up to shul on Yom Kippur and for social events) videotaped the speeches (unsolicited) and emailed them to us after Shabbos along with some pictures of the event that he took on the sly. May we keep them and show them around?
In Brunoy, he was the “father of them all.” Anash and T’mimim would consult with him about their problems. They knew he had no ulterior motives or agenda. He was involved in all decisions regarding the yeshiva, and in meetings of the hanhala he was looked to as the main voice. Everyone respected R’ Yisroel Noach Blinitzky’s opinion since they knew he was a man of truth. * As a follow-up to the previous article about R’ Yisroel Noach, the following was taken from a t’shura given out at the wedding of R’ Yoel Blinitzky.
In contrast to the cold weather that night in Moscow, in the small but pleasant restaurant near the Marina Roscha shul, the atmosphere was particularly warm. Dozens of bachurim from Yeshivas Tomchei T’mimim in Ohr Yehuda sat together with their fathers and farbrenged with the yeshiva’s teachers and the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Sholom Dovber Hendel. They sang one niggun after another and then another inspirational talk, by way of preparing them for their trip to the Rebbe.
The Zohar’s statement begs the well-known question: How can it be said that women are “exempt from Mitzvos”? Women are actually obligated in the majority of the Mitzvos! * The Kos Shel Bracha of the Future Era entails the revelation of the essence of G-d, which is connected with the essence of a Jew, a Jew’s inner core which transcends Torah and Mitzvos.
The fascinating life story of Rabbi Shlomo Kabakov, mental health therapist and former photographer. * He grew up as a typical American kid in Manhattan, but his soul gave him no rest until he found what he was looking for, in Judaism. And then he discovered Chassidus, and one day, even discovered his Chabad roots.
One of the most troubling events in all of Jewish history is recorded in this week’s parsha, Ki Sisa. It is the sorry saga of the Golden Calf. In Moshe’s absence, combined with a miscalculation of the time he was supposed to have returned from Mount Sinai, the Jewish people constructed and worshipped a Golden Calf.
Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchok Schwartz a”h, known affectionately as Schwartzie, was a successful and greatly admired shliach. He became an icon to thousands of young Jews who considered him a role model. * With his colorful suspenders and shirts and unique approach, he won the hearts of thousands of Jews and drew them closer to their Father in heaven. * A portrait of a colorful shliach.
Coaching has become popular in enabling people to achieve success, but is it suitable for Chassidim? * Rabbi Mordechai Rottenstein, consultant and therapist, Rabbi Zalman Notik, mashpia, and Rebbetzin Rochel Kenig, mashpia and coach, respond to questions on this topic.