The Parshah Story

A Parsha Story by: Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Parshat Bamidbar 5769

Posted on May 21, 2009. Filed under: A Parsha Story, a Rabbi Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Bamidbar, Jewish Customs, Jewish traditions, Parshas Bamidbar, Parshas Hashavua, Parshas Hashavuah, Parshat Bamidbar, Parshat Hashavua, Parshat Hashavuah, Rabbi Bolton Stories, Rabbi Bolton Story, Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Story by Rabbi Bolton, The Parshah Story, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, Weekly Parsha, Weekly Parshah, Weekly sedra, Weekly Sedrah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


A Parsha Story by:

Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of OhrTmimim.Org/torah

On this week’s Parsha:

Parshat Bamidbar 5769

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In this week’s Torah portion, G-d tells Moses to count the Jews and then begin the journeys in the desert.

The birth, independence, identity and existence of the Jews depended on miracles. Their origin from Abraham, the Exodus from Egypt, the receiving of the Torah and their sustenance in the desert was all totally above nature.

But in addition to this, their life in the desert and later in Israel centered around an edifice called the Holy Temple (in the desert it was portable and was called the “Mishkan”) where they were reminded of these miracles constantly and served the Creator who made them.

But the Temple service was in the hands of the Levites.

At first glance it is not so clear why each person couldn’t just do it himself? Why did there have to be a special class for serving G-d?

To understand this, here are two stories (Ma ShSiper Li HaRebbe vol. 2 pgs. 90 and 82)

The Fourth Rebbe of Chabad, Rebbe Shmuel, nicknamed the Maharash, was perhaps the most mysterious of all the chain of seven Rebbes.

On one hand he surrounded himself with pomp and riches, golden vessels, ornamented clothes and a fine carriage drawn by the most expensive horses.  But on the other, it was obvious that he was doing it all for supernal purposes.

Everyday the Rebbe would tell his driver to hitch up the horses to his magnificent carriage and take a ride into the woods.

It was inconceivable to the Rebbe’s Chassidim that the Rebbe would just go for a pleasure ride, they were sure that there must be some deep mystical practices the Rebbe did there in the woods far from the human eye. But the only one that knew, besides the Rebbe, was his driver and the Rebbe warned the driver to never tell anyone what he saw.

The driver was no fool. He knew that one word would get him fired and the pay was good. So anytime any of the Chassidim asked him anything he would simply turn and walk away.

But the curiosity of the Chassidim and their desire to learn was stronger than the driver’s opposition and they devised a plan.

I just so happened that one of them, who was friendly with the driver and had done him several favors with no thought of remuneration, had a birthday or some other occasion and had invited the driver to come.

The other Chassidim took advantage of this, bought several bottles of vodka, and made sure that anytime anyone made a ‘L’chayim’ the driver would be included.

Then, when everyone was inebriated, and the driver many-times so, each began telling personal stories until it became the driver’s turn.

He stood, cleared his throat, took another L’chayim, sat down and began to talk in a quiet voice.

“You know, you fellows have a very wonderful Rabbi! But he is also very strange. Very strange person.” Everyone was listening.

“You know, I take him everyday to the woods. Deep, deep, deep into the woods.” He paused, took another L’chayim and continued. “You know what he does? We stop in the same place every day. There is a big log there. The Rebbe sits down on this log and starts to cry. That’s right. He cries and cries like a baby. And while he’s crying, ants begin to pour out of these holes in the ground and cover his body. Big ants that bite. Until his whole body is covered. And he cries and cries!

“Then, suddenly, all at once after a few minutes, all the ants leave! He doesn’t do anything but cry and for some reason they all leave him.

“Then, the Rebbe stops his crying, returns to the carriage and we leave. But I can’t understand it! I can’t figure it out. I mean, your Rebbe has a beautiful house, nice horses, a good driver, a fine wife and children. He has a good life! What has he got to cry about?! Why is he crying? And even more I don’t understand those ants. How they know when to leave him? I mean, he doesn’t do anything to make them leave! They just all leave at once! It’s like he is their boss or something.”

The second story:

Once the Rebbe Maharash was on a long train ride and one of his Chassidim by the name of Rav Yaakov Reshel got on the train near nightfall at the city of Dvinsk to accompany him. His intention was to accompany the Rebbe for less than an hour till he went to sleep and then get off at the next stop and return to Dvinsk.

But, to his surprise, a few minutes into the ride, the Rebbe asked him to stay till the morning.

Rav Yaakov was honored by the request and couldn’t refuse. It was, in fact, a great pleasure to be with the Rebbe. But he hadn’t brought his Talit and Tefillin (prayer shawl and phylacteries Jews put on for the morning prayers).

He paid for an adjoining compartment and when the Rebbe lay down to sleep he left the Rebbe’s room and went to his. Early the next morning the Rebbe, who had woken even earlier and had already finished praying, sent a porter to call Rav Yaakov to his room. When he entered he saw that the Rebbe was sitting with eyes closed laughing.

He didn’t have a chance to sit down before the train came to a stop and a well dressed, clean shaven young man got on, asked the conductor something and then headed straight for the Rebbe’s compartment. But when he entered and saw the Rebbe sitting there, smiling with eyes closed and Rav Yaakov standing there he seemed confused and just sat down opposite the Rebbe.

The train began to move and five minutes later when they were outside of the town the Rebbe suddenly opened his eyes, stared deeply into those of the young man and said “Why do you possess a dangerous item? What have you got in your pocket? Show me!”

The young man turned pale and began to shake. He stuck his trembling hand into his pocket and pulled out…a small pistol! He handed it to the Rebbe who opened the window and threw it out into the passing bushes.

It seems that the Maskilim (Jews that wanted to uproot Judaism and replace it with more ‘modern’ ideas) had planned to assassinate the Rebbe because of all the troubles he made for them at government levels. But when the young man saw the Rebbe was not alone and then felt his holiness, he changed his mind.

The Rebbe gave his Talit and Tefillin to Rav Yaakov who left the Rebbe and the young man alone and went to his compartment to pray. When he returned the Rebbe took the Tefillin and said to his young companion “Would you like to pray?”

Suddenly, the young man began to frown and then burst out in awesome tears as he took the Tefillin. The Rebbe comforted him: “Don’t worry, one who is forced to sin is not a really a sinner”.

At the next stop the young man got off and the stop after Rav Yaakov parted from the Rebbe and also got off.

This answers our question. The reason G-d chose one particular tribe to be in charge of holy things is that there has to be someone totally separated from the world and devoted totally to G-dliness who can ‘raise’ and inspire those ‘normal’ people who are occupied with more mundane things.

Just like the Rebbe in our stories; the reason he cried and invited the ants was because he was a totally holy person: as we see that he ruled over the ants and knew what the young man was thinking. But on the other hand he suffered in order to raise and purify the world. That is why he opposed the ‘Maskilim’ and put himself into danger because his ‘job’ was to raise and purify others; as we see he did to the young ‘assassin’.

But in the future, when Moshiach changes man’s priorities, all Jews will be at the level of Levites; their only occupation will be to know and assist the entire world in Knowing the Creator (Mimonidies, M’lachim 12:5).

But it all depends on us to do just a little more, even one more good deed to bring Moshiach even one instant earlier….

Moshiach NOW!!

Copyright © 1999-2009 Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of Yeshiva Ohr T’mimim (OhrTmimim.Org/torah) in PO Box 232, K’far Chabad, 72915 Israe-l

All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction or copying of this material shall occur without prior permission.

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Parsha Story by Rabbi Tuvia Bolton for Parshat Ki Tisa (AKA: Ki Sisa) 5769

Posted on March 13, 2009. Filed under: A Parsha Story, a Rabbi Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Jewish Customs, Jewish traditions, Ki Sisa, Ki Tisa, Parshas Hashavua, Parshas Hashavuah, Parshas Ki Sisa, Parshas Ki Tisa, Parshat Hashavua, Parshat Hashavuah, Parshat Ki Tisa, Rabbi Bolton Stories, Rabbi Bolton Story, Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Story by Rabbi Bolton, The Parshah Story, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, Weekly Parsha, Weekly Parshah, Weekly sedra, Weekly Sedrah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


A Parsha Story by:

Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of OhrTmimim.Org/torah

On this week’s Parsha:

Parshat Ki Tisa (AKA: Ki Sisa) 5769

This week’s Torah portion contains the most embarrassing story ever told; the Golden Calf fiasco.

The Jewish people had just left polytheistic Egypt amidst miracles and wonders to become the ‘Chosen People’ of G-d and bring monotheism to the world: to rid the world of selfish idolatry and convey the message of G-d’s goodness and Oneness and bring blessing to all mankind.

But instead they did the opposite! Just 40 days after they saw and heard G-d tell them not to worship idols (in the Ten Commandments) …… they worshiped one and brought punishment and curses upon themselves.

But what is even more interesting is the Haftorah.

The ‘Haftorah’ is a portion, usually from the prophets, read aloud in Synagogue immediately after the regular Torah reading on Shabbat that has some connection to the Torah portion.

But this week the Haftorah seems to convey exactly the OPPOSITE message and actually encourages idolatry!

This week’s Haftorah (Kings 1:18:1) tells us of a similarly shameful episode in the history of Judaism. It was about six hundred years after Mt. Sinai in the days of the first Holy Temple when, despite the fact that all of the Jews were living in the Holy Land and holiness was everywhere, almost all the Jews worshipped an idol called ‘Baal’.

G-d sent His prophet Elijah to wake the people up…. But it didn’t work. It seems that Jews had (and still have albeit to a much lesser degree) a surprising affinity to idolatry.

Finally Elijah had no alternative then to call for a public showdown on Mount Carmel between him and the Baal worshipers. The rules were; whoever could bring fire from heaven onto his sacrifice would be the winner.

The Haftorah tells us that the prophets of Baal made an altar of stone, slaughtered upon it oxen, prayed, invoked, danced, screamed and even gashed their flesh for a few hours but…. No supernal fire.

Then came Elijah’s turn; he stepped up to his altar, turned to the people and said “How long will you waver in belief? If G-d is the L-rd worship only Him but if Baal is right then worship him!” (18:21)

He then raised his hands to heaven, called out “Answer me G-d, Answer me!” And fire burst forth from above and devoured his sacrifice together with all the stones in the massive altar he built and the people fell on their faces and yelled “G-d is all, G-d is all”

In our portion G-d and Moses tell the people don’t worship idols and here Elijah is telling everyone “If Baal is right ….. SERVE the BAAL!!”

Even more, how could such words come from the mouth of holy Elijah the prophet?? How could he suggest that Jews should worship Baal? (G-d forbid!)

To understand this here is a story. (HaGeula weekly page #446)

Rabbi Levi Vilmovski, today the manager of all the Torah institutions in the city of Migdal HaEmek has hundreds of interesting stories to tell but there is one that stands out.

It occurred some thirty years ago when he ran the Chabad House in Holon shortly after the Lubavitcher Rebbe ordered his Chassidim to go from house to house and explain how the Mezuza, besides being a commandment of G-d and a blessing, protects the home and those in it like a helmet protects a soldier.

So Rabbi Levi and his partner decided to follow the Rebbe’s orders and advertise their Chabad House at the same time by offering to check the Mezuzot on people’s houses for free.

He took young men from a local Chabad school, gave them thousands of pamphlets, told them to distribute them to every home in Holon and in a short time hundreds of responses arrived.

But one pamphlet caught his eye; it had the words ‘URGENT URGENT’ written on it in large letters and underlined twice.

Looked important.

He called the phone number written there, introduced himself and the voice on the other end said, “Chabad? Wow! Am I happy to hear from you!! Yes! I’m Ben Tzion S…. and it is very urgent. My wife is very ill and …. Well I thought that maybe the mezuzot…..”

That evening Rabbi Levi visited the home of Ben Tzion and heard a sad story. He was the owner of a successful factory in Tel Aviv but over a year and a half ago his wife came down with a severe case of depression and his life had been turned upside down.

At first he thought it would just pass but it didn’t. In fact it got to the point that she was unable to even get out of bed the entire day. He’d taken her to almost every doctor and professor whether conventional or alternative listed in the phone book but so far, except for losing his money, nothing worked. The doctors said she was too far gone.

So when he saw the pamphlet on Mezuza from the Chabad House he knew he had to give it a try.

Rabbi Levi immediately removed the Mezuza of the front door, opened it, removed the parchment and began checking the letters to see if they were whole and complete. It wasn’t hard to find what was wrong. To his shock he saw an entire word; the word “Nafshechem” ‘Your Soul’ (Deut.11:13) almost completely rubbed out!

When he showed it to Ben Tzion he almost fainted. Could it be that this had something to do with his wife’s ‘soul’? He didn’t ask questions. He bought a new mezuzah on the spot, Reb Levi put it on his door and took the rest of the mezuzot to be checked properly.

A day later Rabbi Levi called Ben Tzion and heard that his wife’s state was slightly better; she was talking a bit, but she still refused to get out of bed.

So Rabbi Levi paid him another visit and they called the office of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in New York for a blessing for his wife.

Two days later Rabbi Levi called Ben Tzion again but this time he didn’t want to talk on the phone. “Rabbi, you have to come over!” he said excitedly.

When he got to Ben Tzion’s house he couldn’t help feeling that something had changed. First of all there was the smell of food and the house seemed much tidier.

“Let me tell you what happened” Ben Tzion said excitedly as he offered the Rabbi a seat. “Yesterday morning I woke up and made myself breakfast before going to work, like I do every day. But when I came back I smelled something burning or cooking! The first thought that crossed my mind was ‘Oh no!! I must have left the fire burning from this morning! Who knows what damage has been done! Thank G-d the house didn’t burn down.’ But when I ran into the kitchen I got the surprise of my life… it was my wife!! She was cooking!! She hasn’t cooked for over a year and she was standing there cooking!

“But do you know what got her out of bed?! You know what she told me! Here, I’ll call her and let her tell you herself.”

Ben Tzion called his wife and she entered the room, said hello and thanked the Rabbi for his efforts and told him what happened. It was the first time the Rabbi had seen her, up till now she had been hidden in her room.

“It was the most amazing thing!” She said. “Yesterday I woke up feeling a little better but I was too miserable and afraid to get out of bed. I was just about to go back to sleep when suddenly this old man with a white beard appeared in my room!

“I was really surprised, but he wasn’t scary at all. He just stood next to my bed and said. ‘Get up! Get out of bed!’ For some reason I couldn’t refuse him and I got up but as soon as I did he disappeared! Since then I feel that I returned to myself! It was like I woke from a long deep sleep.”

Rabbi Vilmovski took a card out of his pocket with the Rebbe’s picture on it and showed it to her. “Oh!” She exclaimed. “That’s him! He’s the one I saw!”

Shortly thereafter they all flew to the Rebbe to thank him and to this day, thirty years later, they are still in touch and the woman’s depression has never returned.

This answers our questions.

The reason given in the Torah that the Jews bowed to the Golden Calf was that they thought that Moses was dead. (32:1 see Rashi)

Moses taught and inspired the people to be aware of and feel G-d all the time. And without Moses Jews feel only themselves ……. like sheep without a shepherd.

This false egotism is the source of idolatry, war, sickness and all bad things… including depression.

Indeed, this is the reason that in the days of Moshiach there will be none of this negativity; because Moshiach will teach the world to think about G-d (Rambam, M’lachim 12:5) even more successfully than Moses did.

And this is the point that Elijah the prophet was making. Often a person continues being an egotist and an idolater because he has good qualities as well …. like the Jews he was speaking to; they worshiped both G-d AND idolatry.

That’s why he told them to consider worshiping ONLY Baal (G-d forbid).

He knew they would never dream of denying G-d (denying G-d was almost unheard of until only the last few hundred years) but on the other hand they liked idolatry as well and their belief in G-d made them overlook this.

So Elijah told them; ‘Stop fooling yourselves! If you really think it’s okay to serve Baal and be an egotist then don’t think G-d agrees with you; your good deeds don’t lessen your mistake!

But our generation is different. Ours is the generation of Moshiach! The day is very close… even today… when we will be aware of our Creator constantly and we will awaken our true ego… our G-dly soul (as explained in the second chapter of Tanya). Then the world will be perfected with no more war, strife, hunger, pain or disease. It’s all up to us to do just one more good deed and bring….

Moshiach NOW!!

Copyright © 1999-2008 Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of Yeshiva Ohr T’mimim (OhrTmimim.Org/torah) in K’far Chabad, Israe-l

All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction or copying of this material shall occur without prior permission.

We recommend that you visit them for more info…

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

By the way, You, too, can help hasten the coming of Moshiach, by doing ONE more Mitzvah. ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

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Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Parsha Story for Parshat Terumah (AKA: T’rumah / T’ruma) 5769

Posted on February 27, 2009. Filed under: A Parsha Story, a Rabbi Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story | Torah, Jewish Customs, Jewish traditions, Parshas T’ruma, Parshas T’rumah, Parshas Terumah, Parshat Hashavua, Parshat Hashavuah, Parshat T’ruma, Parshat T’rumah, Parshat Terumah, Rabbi Bolton Stories, Rabbi Bolton Story, Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Story by Rabbi Bolton, T’ruma, T’rumah, Terumah, The Parshah Story, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, Weekly Parsha, Weekly Parshah, Weekly sedra, Weekly Sedrah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


A Parsha Story by:

Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of OhrTmimim.Org/torah

On this week’s Parsha:

Parshat Terumah (AKA: T’rumah / T’ruma) 5769

This week we begin the month of Adar; the “Month that transforms sadness to joy, mourning to festivity” (Esther 9:22). We also read this Shabbat the Torah portion “T’ruma” which explains the building of the Holy Temple.

The reason that Adar is called the ‘month’ that changes sadness to joy is because it contains the holiday of Purim; the happiest holiday in Judaism. But, seemingly this is no reason to call it the happiest MONTH.

Also the idea of a Holy Temple doesn’t seem to fit the message of Judaism that G-d is omnipresent and infinite?

G-d is everywhere! Why do we need a holy Temple?

To understand this… here is a story. (HaGeula weekly page #445)

Mrs. Nechama Dina Bernstein took her pupils for an outing.  Why not? It was one of the eight days of Chanukah when Jewish schools of all sorts take vacations and make special programs. But this outing was special. She took the girls to a local shopping center in New Jersey to light, not Chanukah candles but Jews.

It was an invention of the Lubavitcher Rebbe; to go into public places, search for uneducated/ uninspired/ unattached Jews and give them a taste of Judaism.  In this case it meant telling them about the holiday of Chanukah and its laws, customs and deeper meanings.

Mrs. Bernstein was a very responsible, precise teacher and she demanded the same from her pupils; tardiness or disorder of any sort was out of the question.

So when they agreed that the girls would split up into groups of three to cover as much area as possible and would meet back at the bus in an hour and a half it meant no later than an hour and a half!

The girls took pamphlets and Chanukah candles and set off in different direction while she took what remained and went alone to search for Jews in a different direction.

After almost an hour of successful wandering about and talking to women about the holiday she looked at her watch to see that forty minutes remained, enough for two or perhaps three more discussions.  She noticed several women and a young man sitting around the table of an outdoor restaurant and approached.

“Anyone here Jewish?” She asked the women with a smile. Two women raised their hand in good spirits and a lively conversation ensued.  She told them about the holiday, they asked questions, she answered, they replied and the conversation continued for several minutes. Meanwhile the other women, who were just saying goodbye when Mrs. Bernstein appeared, left while the young man, who obviously was not Jewish, sat and listened to the discussion.

Suddenly Mrs. Bernstein looked at her watch and exclaimed. “Oh, my goodness! We’ve been talking for forty five minutes! I must go!!! I’m already late!”

She shook hands with the women, they exchanged telephone numbers, left some of the pamphlets and candles with them and ran off to her pupils and the bus.

But she stopped. A voice inside of her was saying she shouldn’t have completely ignored the young man, ‘You should have at least asked him if he was Jewish’. But then she thought again. ‘Why, that’s foolish! I’m late! And he didn’t look at all Jewish! I’m not going back!”

But the first voice won.

She turned around, walked briskly back to the table, approached the young man who was now sitting alone and said “Excuse me but, by the way, are you Jewish?”

She never would have expected his reaction. His eyes filled with tears, he began trembling so severely that the food fell from his fork on his shirt leaving a large stain and he began to cry.

Mrs. Bernstein was confused, she apologized handed him a few napkins and apologized again.

“Why did you ask me that?!” the young man said between sniffles. “Why did you come back and ask me that!?” He said again drying his eyes and blowing his nose a few times.

“I don’t really know.” She replied. “I can’t really explain it. I just did. But why are you crying? What happened? I’m sorry. But please tell me, are you Jewish?”

“I’ll tell you.” He replied. “I don’t think you understand what a miracle just happened now.” He invited her to sit down and began to talk.

“First of all my name is Fred (pseudonym) I was born to a Jewish mother, so that makes me Jewish, right? But my father is not Jewish. To you that probably isn’t important because I’m still a Jew but to me it meant confusion.

“My mother wasn’t at all observant, I mean she did marry a gentile, but for some reason she insisted that if they had children they would be given an orthodox Jewish education. Doesn’t make sense but my father agreed and when I was born… I became that child.

“When I was three they enrolled me in a real Jewish school and by the age of five I not only could read the Torah, I looked and acted like a religious Jew with a yarmulke, locks of hair at the sides of my head, Tzitzis, on the four corners of my garments; the whole business!

“But you can imagine what a feeling I had everyday when I went back to my totally non-religious home. And although my parents didn’t bother me about my Jewish appearance the kids in school bothered me about my home. They were just little kids and, well you know how kids can be cruel sometimes. But they mostly made fun because of my appearance. I looked exactly like my father; blond hair, blue eyes, small bobbed nose in other words like a total gentile and every once in a while even the teachers made remarks.

“Anyway, it made me confused and miserable and when my parents saw how it was ruining me they talked it over and when I got to the fifth grade they decided to move me to a normal public school.

“After the move it only took a few days till I removed all the signs of Judaism, made new friends and almost forgot the whole episode but deep in my heart I knew I was different.  What I had learned in the Jewish school stuck with me, but so did the negative experiences.

“Sometimes I even would talk to G-d and ask Him why He put me in this confusion but I didn’t get any answers; only more confusion.  So I tried to take my mind off it and just live life like everyone else.

“But once in a while I had attacks of identity and one of them was just now. When you came and asked everyone except me if they were Jewish my heart broke; all the frustration, anger and sadness came back to me.  Then, when you walked away I decided to have my final talk with G-d.  I said ‘G-d, if that lady comes back here and asks me if I’m Jewish then….. I’m Jewish. But if not….. I’m never going to think about it or talk to you about it again!’

“So if you are wondering why you came back… now you know; it was G-d answering my prayers!”

This answers our questions.

When someone decides to make a real change in life it doesn’t just mean just changing appearance, attitude or personality. These are only from the soul outward.

True change means changing oneself to reveal one’s soul and live according to the truth; according to the will of the Creator.

Like Fred when he prayed and risked being different and Mrs. Bernstein when she returned to the table and risked missing her bus. Both were interested only in one thing; what does G-d want from them. And when they made the decision it changed their lives and certainly the lives of those around them.

That is why the miracle of Purim, when the Jews refused to deny their Judaism and escape Haman’s decree of ‘Destroy all the Jews’, effected the entire month and the Holy Temple, where Jews devoted themselves totally to the Creator, effected the entire world.

Because when one makes that decision to live only according to the will of the Creator it can connects the infinite to the finite; all time and space.

This is why one of the main accomplishments of Moshiach will be to change the priorities of all the Jewish people (like it was in Purim) and build a Third Temple (like in our weekly Torah portion).

Because through these changes the entire creation; all time, space and consciousness, will be PERMANENTLY purified to reveal the TRUE oneness of G-d.

It’s all up to us, to change ourselves and do all we can to bring….

Moshiach NOW!!

Copyright © 1999-2008 Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of Yeshiva Ohr T’mimim (OhrTmimim.Org/torah) in K’far Chabad, Israe-l

All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction or copying of this material shall occur without prior permission.

We recommend that you visit them for more info…

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

By the way, You, too, can help hasten the coming of Moshiach, by doing ONE more Mitzvah. ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story Parshat Mishpatim (5769)

Posted on February 20, 2009. Filed under: A Parsha Story, a Rabbi Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Jewish Customs, Jewish traditions, Mishpatim, Parshas Mishpatim, Parshat Hashavua, Parshat Hashavuah, Parshat Mishpatim, Rabbi Bolton Stories, Rabbi Bolton Story, Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Story by Rabbi Bolton, The Parshah Story, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, Weekly Parsha, Weekly Parshah, Weekly sedra, Weekly Sedrah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


A Parsha Story by:

Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of OhrTmimim.Org/torah

On this week’s Parsha:

Parshat Mishpatim 5769

In this week’s Torah portion are found 23 positive and 30 negative commandments; fifty three deeds that G-d, the Creator of the Universe, wants the Jews to treat differently than everyone else.

Many of them deal with the law of the Eved Ivri; a Jewish Slave.  According to Judaism a Jew can sell himself or be sold as a slave to another Jew for a certain amount of time.

The Torah is a book of life, every word and certainly every commandment contains eternal and vital lessons for all time. But here seems to be an exception. This law of Eved Ivri has not been in effect for over 2,500 years.  If so what is the eternal lesson?

To understand this, here is a story (Weekly Shabbat page ‘Shmu U’tchi Nafshechem’ #487)

Bentzi (short for Ben-Tzion) was 32 years old and he hadn’t been an observant Jew most of his life, nor had his parents. He received a ‘normal’ Israeli education like all the other children but several years ago his brother began to take Judaism seriously which did something to him and he began to do the same.

So for the last few years he had been what is popularly known as a ‘Baal T’shuva’; a Jew ‘Returning’ to his hidden Jewish identity; constantly improving his actions, speech and thought to be more spiritually and positively oriented in tune to the Torah.

For instance, as the holiday of Passover approached he made it a point to learn more about its mystical content and be more enthusiastic about its laws and customs. So when his brother suggested that he buy special, hand made Matzot (Unleavened bread) from a place called Kollel Chabad in Jerusalem he immediately took a bus from his home in a town called Maale Adumim and went there.

It took him a bit of searching through the winding streets of old Jerusalem but when he arrived at the building he was in for an unpleasant surprise. There was no one in the room except one respectable-looking white-bearded Chassid but when Bentzi asked if this is where they sell Matzot the Chassid turned to him and replied, ‘Looking to buy Matzot? There aren’t any here! Sold out!’

“Sold out?” Bentzi said incredulously. “But there’s still a week before the holiday!?  How could it be?”

He thought a few seconds and asked. “Well, maybe tell me where I can buy Matzot?”

“Go to the bookstore called HaMayfitz. There is a Rabbi called Gerson Henich Cohen. He’ll sell you Matzot. But you should hurry!”

Benzi thanked the man and rushed out of the room as he yelled over his shoulder, “Have a Kosher and happy Passover!”

As he was running he couldn’t help thinking to himself that the whole thing seemed very strange. How could it be that there were no Matzot in the Matza store? Especially a week from the holiday? That means that hundreds of families would suffer! Maybe even more! Where would they get Matzot?”

Suddenly he realized that he must have taken a wrong turn, he looked around for a few seconds to figure out where he was but he didn’t exactly recognize the area. He was standing near the bottom of a steeply inclined side street that emptied into a busy main street.

He looked up to see if there was anyone around to ask directions to when suddenly he heard something rattling in the distance and what he saw made his heart skip a beat; it was a baby carriage barreling down the street in his direction from the top of the hill. It was approaching going fast and in seconds it would run into the busy street if he didn’t move fast to stop it …..  If there was a baby in that carriage it would be a sure catastrophe! For a second he froze as the sound of the carriage wheels whistled louder and louder; louder than the noise of the cars in the street behind him.  He ran as fast as possible, lunged and caught it!

He looked inside the carriage. There was a baby there! He had saved a life!

Bentzi looked up the street and saw in the distance a man and his wife looking in a store window and discussing something. He pushed the carriage up toward them and asked if it was theirs. “Why yes!” They both said in an almost in unison not understanding what he was doing and how it got in his hands. When he explained what happened they were ashamed, happy, grateful and confused at once.

Bentzi was as confused as they were, ‘Good thing that Kollel Chabad ran out of Matzot!!’ He thought to himself.

But what about his Matzot?! He had almost forgotten! He said a quick good bye, wished them a happy holiday and hurried away from the couple.

After asking a few people for directions to the ‘HaMayfitz’ book store he finally found it, entered and asked for hand-made Chabad Matzot.

“Matzot?” The owner replied “We don’t sell Matzot here. Never did. If you want to buy a good book, or maybe a pair of Tefillin or a Mezuza, yes. But Matzot, sorry! If you want Matzot go to Kollel Chabad. Kollel Chabad has Matzot.”

“But I was just there!” Bentzi tried to protest. “How could it be? They told me to come here! They said they ran out of Matzot and said I should go to HaMayfitz. This is HaMayfitz right?”

“Listen.” The man behind the counter said. “I’m glad you came here, yes, this is HaMafitz and you can come every day if you want but we don’t sell Matzot. Never did! And I don’t believe that Kollel Chabad ran out. Can’t be. Why, there’s still a week before Pesach! Any case, here we certainly don’t have any.”

Bentzi knew the way and in just ten minutes he was entering the Kollel Chabad building. This time when he entered their Matza shop someone else was standing at the counter.  “Tell me,” Bentzi said. “Have you got Matzot here? I was here a half hour ago and they told me you ran out. Are there Matzot or not?”

“Ran out of Matzot?” The man said incredulously. “Here, come here.” He motioned to Bentzi to step behind the counter then turned around, opened a door behind him and told Bentzi to have a look.  It was a room filled from floor to ceiling with large cartons of ….. Matzot! Hundreds of them! “How many cartons do you want?”

Bentzi told the story to many people since then and the usual comment is; “That Chassid who sent you from Collel Chabad must have been Elijah the Prophet. (Elijah who lived some 2700 years ago, never died and appears regularly in this world to help people.)  HaShem must have sent him to send you to save that baby.”

This answers our question.

When a Jew became an Eved Ivri he/she lost their independent will and became someone’s slave every moment of the day.

At face value this is very bad but in a deeper sense this attitude is invaluable and basic to Judaism; to be a servant of the Creator in EVERYTHING we do. Even when we would like to give up.

Even when things don’t go as we would like, or even opposite to our plans, we must never forget that G-d is the boss and we are but servants. Namely, we must do all we can to succeed but leave the results up to G-d.

Something like how Bentzi saw in our story that all his running around, taking wrong turns and ‘wasted’ energy was really for the best and without it a life might have been lost.

Similarly with us; we must be Jewish servants to the King of the Universe. Then we will see and realize that all the confusion and ‘wrong turns’ of our exile of the last 2,000 years was really for the best and soon Elijah the Prophet will announce to all of us ……..

Moshiach NOW!!

Copyright © 1999-2008 Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of Yeshiva Ohr T’mimim (OhrTmimim.Org/torah) in K’far Chabad, Israe-l

All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction or copying of this material shall occur without prior permission.

We recommend that you visit them for more info…

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

By the way, You, too, can help hasten the coming of Moshiach, by doing ONE more Mitzvah. ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

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Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Parsha Story for Parshat Beshalach (B’shalach) 5769

Posted on February 6, 2009. Filed under: A Parsha Story, a Rabbi Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, B'shalach, Beshalach, Jewish Customs, Jewish traditions, Parshas B'shalach, Parshas Beshalach, Parshat B'shalach, Parshat Besahalach, Parshat Beshalach, Parshat Hashavua, Parshat Hashavuah, Rabbi Bolton Stories, Rabbi Bolton Story, Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Story by Rabbi Bolton, The Parshah Story, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, Weekly Parsha, Weekly Parshah, Weekly sedra, Weekly Sedrah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


A Parsha Story by:

Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of OhrTmimim.Org/torah

On this week’s Parsha:

Parshat Beshalach (B’shalach) 5769

In this Torah portion we read about the splitting of the Reed (‘red’) Sea.

Never in history was or would there be anything like it; an entire nation of several million people escaped from the most powerful army in the world by walking on dry land in the middle of a sea! And then, as soon as they got to the other side the water miraculously caved in and drowned their pursuers!

[And it’s not just history. That nation has been miraculously surviving such enemies for thousands of years and still exists today; the Jews!]

But at first glance this is not understood.

What was the purpose of these miracles at the sea? Why didn’t G-d just kill the evil Egyptians in their sleep and take the Jews quietly out. Why all the fanfare? And G-d split the sea at the last moment? (See 14:9-12) Why all the tension?!

Also this week was the tenth of Sh’vat, the day that the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak passed away and his son in law, the Seventh Rebbe, who said that this generation would be the generation of ‘Moshiach’, took over.

Is there as connection?

To understand this here is a story (Rabosainu N’si’ainu pg 186)

The sixth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch; Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak was a truly remarkable man, wise, spiritually gifted and brave. Besides being gifted in all aspects of the Torah and of secular knowledge …. he was a man of action.

In Russia he single handedly stood against the atheistic, murderous regime of Stalin by sending thousands of his followers throughout Russia to teach Torah to children at the risk (and often the cost) of their lives. And in the last ten years of his life in the U.S.A. he began the ‘outreach’ movement that has totally transformed Judaism today.

But the main driving force in his life was love; helping others and doing everything possible to alleviate suffering. And he taught his followers to do the same.

For instance when Rabbi Michel Vishedski (a neighbor of mine in K’far Chabad) escaped Russia some 50 years ago and settled in New York he did everything in his power to help Russian Jewry and he took it upon himself to visit all the orthodox synagogues in New York and see if they could help as well.

One of his meetings was with one Rabbi Rabinovitz; the head Rabbi of the Bronx. When he arrived at his synagogue he found the place empty, as most synagogues are in the early afternoon, and the Rabbi seated at a long table in a chair next to the head of the table.

Rabbi Michel shook the Rabbi’s hand, introduced himself and, supposing that the Rabbi had left the head seat vacant for him, sat in it.

“Excuse me,” Rabbi Rabinovitz said, “Please don’t sit in that chair. It’s the head seat and I always leave it vacant.”

Rabbi Vishedski apologized and stood up and when he took a different seat the Rabbi smiled, apologized himself for not warning him and said. “You’re a Lubavitcher, right? Well then, you’ll probably understand the reason I leave that seat open. It was because of a dream.”

“Really? A dream?” Rav Michel was interested and seeing his interest, Rabbi Rabinovitz, smiled and began telling him the story.

“It began almost twenty years ago, 1949. I had survived the holocaust, moved from Romania to New York, got married and began thinking about a job. I had a few ideas about how to make a living but I couldn’t make up my mind. Then someone suggested that I go see the Lubavitcher Rebbe for advice.

“I called up and I got an appointment. It was Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak, the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe and I got in to see him. He wasn’t so healthy and it wasn’t easy to understand him but after he heard my questions he said that he thought I should be a Rabbi. He was very clear about that and he said I should let him know what happened.

“Well sure enough, a while later I got this offer to be the head Rabbi here of the Bronx so I went back and asked the Rebbe if I should take it. He closed his eyes, thought for a minute and finally looked up and said.

“‘A Shul (synagogue) is a Shul. But I don’t like the Shamash (sexton-caretaker).’

Then he again closed his eyes and repeated; ‘A Shul is a Shul. But I don’t like the Shamash’.

Then he blessed me with success in the new job and asked me to return two weeks to see him again.

“So I followed his advice and took the job. But when I came back two Sundays later I found a huge crowd gathered outside his building…. For his funeral! They told me that the Rebbe had passed away on Shabbat! The Rebbe invited me to his funeral. I felt he was telling me that our contact would continue.

“Anyway, things went fine in the Shul; I got along well with everyone and the place began to become popular but I sensed something wrong. Gradually I found out what it was; the Shamash of the Shul was speaking against me. He even had himself a small following of complainers.

“At first he was quiet about it but eventually it got public and the politics threw the Synagogue and myself into turmoil. When I thought I was going crazy I decided to go the Rebbe’s son in law who had become the next Rebbe, for advice.

“I got in to see him and it was the most amazing experience in my life. As soon as I told him my problem he said; ‘My father in Law told you that a Shul is a Shul but that he didn’t like the Shamash!’

“It was simply uncanny. Remember, this was years later and I never told anyone what the Previous Rebbe said to me! Anyway he continued, told me not to worry and to just be patient and that eventually I’d catch the Shamash doing something wrong.’

“Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened! Just a few weeks later I was having trouble sleeping one night and took a walk to the Shul and who do I see also walking around outside but the president and the janitor. It seems that they also couldn’t sleep. Anyway as we got near to the Shul we noticed something strange; a few lights were on inside and someone was in there doing something. So we entered silently and what did we see? The Shamash was emptying all the charity boxes into his pocket! Needless to say he got fired the next day and my problems were over…. almost.

“Like I said our synagogue became popular and after a few years there was no where to sit. We needed to expand but there was no where to expand to, all the land around the Shul was taken. But just then the butcher next to us decided he wanted to sell us his place so he could expand elsewhere. It was a miracle!!

“And the butcher was so friendly. We came to an agreement, he gave us a great price and we shook hands, didn’t even write a bill of sale! The next week the butcher moved to a big store he bought across the street and we knocked down a wall, did a bit of remodeling and like magic our Shul became almost twice as big as it was! Everyone was happy! For a while.

“But after a few years the butcher’s new place also became small on him. He was succeeding and he wanted to expand again; to move his refrigerators to somewhere nearby and use the space for more customers. But he also had a problem finding a place to buy. Until he suddenly remembered the building he sold us and that there had been no bill of sale!

“He got a lawyer, sent us letters telling us to leave and when we tried to reason with him, took us to court and got an order of eviction. Things happened fast and we were going crazy but there was nothing we could do. Then, the night before the eviction I had a dream.

“I dreamt that I was standing in this room and at the head of this table, where I told you not to sit, was the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe with his son in law, the present Rebbe, standing next to him. The Rebbe smiled and said, ‘Why are you so worried? G-d will direct everything in the best way.’

“Then his son in law said ‘ The Rebbe told you that a Shul is a Shul. It means that once a butcher shop becomes a Shul it can’t become a butcher shop again. Don’t worry.’

“Suddenly I woke up! I looked at my watch. I was late! I was supposed to wake up an hour ago! I got dressed and ran to the Shul as fast as I could, but it was too late. There were police everywhere, all our congregants were standing in the street trying to talk to them while some ten husky fellows were carrying all the seats out of our Shul.

“But suddenly there was a big crash from the new butcher shop across the street then screams. Everyone turned to see. One of the workers came running out the door screaming ‘Call an ambulance! Get a doctor! Help!! The boss is hurt!!”

“It seems that somehow a huge chandelier that was hanging in the butcher shop came loose and fell on the owner knocking him unconscious. I ran over there and there was blood everywhere! But before the ambulance arrived he came to and limped out the door holding his bleeding head and yelling like a madman. “Put the chairs back!! Don’t evict them!! I lied!! I lied!!! They really paid for my store. I’m sorry!!”

“The ambulance took him anyway, the policeman shrugged his shoulders told the movers to return everything and that was the end of it! Just as the Rebbe said.

‘That is why I never let anyone sit in this chair.

This answers our questions. The reason G-d split the sea was to prepare the Jews for receiving the Torah and to teach them how to use it afterwards.

At Mount Sinai all the spiritual worlds ‘split’ to reveal the Creator of the Universe, just as the sea split to reveal the dry land. And so it was when the sea split; the Jews had awesome revelations of G-d! (See Rashi on Zeh Kaili 15:2).

But G-d also tested and strengthened them beforehand to ignore the pressures of the world (as symbolized by Pharaoh and his forces) by spitting the sea at the last moment; just as He did to the Rabbi in our story.

But just as Moses took the Jews from Egypt and brought them to Mt. Sinai so the mystical book ‘the Zohar’ promises that in every generation there will be a Moses, a potential Moshiach, to reveal G-dliness and take us all through the pressures, darkness, fears and doubts of this world to the true redemption, when all the Jews will be together in Israel and there will be world peace and prosperity. Just as the Rebbe did in our story.

We are now in the last minute! It all depends on us to ignore the pressures and do all we can to bring…

Moshiach NOW!!

Copyright © 1999-2008 Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of Yeshiva Ohr T’mimim (OhrTmimim.Org/torah) in K’far Chabad, Israe-l

All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction or copying of this material shall occur without prior permission.

We recommend that you visit them for more info…

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

By the way, You, too, can help hasten the coming of Moshiach, by doing ONE more Mitzvah. ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

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Rabbi Bolton Story for Parshas: Sh’mos (5769)

Posted on January 16, 2009. Filed under: 15756794, A Parsha Story, a Rabbi Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Jewish Customs, Jewish traditions, Parshas Sh’mos, Parshas Sh’mot, Parshas Shemot, Parshas Shmos, Parshas Shmot, Parshat Hashavua, Parshat Hashavuah, Parshat Shemot, Rabbi Bolton Stories, Rabbi Bolton Story, Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Sh’mos, Sh’mot, Shemot, Shmot, Story by Rabbi Bolton, The Parshah Story, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, Weekly Parsha, Weekly Parshah, Weekly sedra, Weekly Sedrah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


A Parsha Story by:

Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of OhrTmimim.Org/torah

On this week’s Parsha:

Shemot (AKA: Sh’mot / Sh’mos) 5769

This week we begin the second book of the Pentateuch; the book of Exodus (Sh’mot) where we are introduced to three concepts found only in Judaism: Exile, Redemption and most important….Moses.

Other religions or nations may make similar claims but never in history has an entire nation been enslaved or freed or had a leader even vaguely similar to Moses.

Moses brought millions from slavery, provided their sustenance and protection for 40 years in the desert, brought them revelation of the Creator at Mount Sinai and every letter he spoke was exactly the word of G-d.

But at first glance this is not understood.

It is known that the Torah is eternal and every word and idea is vital and relevant. But here seems to be an exception.

Today there is no slavery: Jews are free, living wherever and however they want with no apparent need for redemption and certainly not for a Moses.

So what do these ideas mean to us today?

To understand this, here is a story about the first Rebbe of the Chabad Chassidim, Rebbe Shneur Zalman. (Otzar Sipurei Chabad vol. 15 pg. 59) (Who passed away on 24th of Teves which will be next week, 196 years ago)

One of the greatest humans that ever lived was Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi; the first Rebbe of the Chabad Chassidim. He was expert in all sciences, had memorized all the books of Judaism including the Kaballa and was a known healer and miracle worker.

One day a desperate looking man came knocking at the Rebbe’s door and was granted an audience. He had to wait for a day or two but finally entered and poured out his aching heart. He had no children. He and his wife had been to the greatest experts but nothing worked and now he needed the Rebbe’s blessing.

The Rebbe put his head down on his hands that were on the desk before him and after a minute looked up and said ‘If you are willing to have a son that is blind I can help you.’

The man closed his eyes, thought for only seconds and agreed.

Sure enough shortly thereafter his wife became pregnant and that very year was born a beautiful, intelligent, healthy child but… as the Rebbe had warned… completely blind.

Of course he returned to the Rebbe to thank him but several years later he returned again with a worried look on his face.

“I know that I agreed to have a son that couldn’t see but, Rebbe, after all, if you could do such a great miracle as convince G-d to give us a child with a soul and an entire, complicated body surely you can convince the Almighty to just give him two eyes.”

The Rebbe reminded him that this was the condition and that nothing could be done but the poor fellow insisted. He very politely but stubbornly insisted that the Rebbe could, should and must do another miracle.

The Rebbe refused repeatedly but after the fellow broke down weeping the Rebbe changed his tone and said, “Take your son, go to the city of Metz, look for a road that descends steeply, count seven houses and knock on the door and ask the owner if you can lodge at his house. If he agrees then put your bags down and start wandering the town. Spend as much time as possible wandering the streets till you find someone to help you.”

The next day the man packed his and his son’s bags and set off for the distant city of Metz. After a journey of several days they arrived, found the house they were looking for, got permission from the owner to stay there and, after putting their suitcases down, began wandering.

One morning as they were about to leave and asked them to sit down for a chat. “I don’t mind you staying by my house,” he said “Thank G-d, as you see I have plenty of room (the owner was obviously a wealthy man and his house was very large) but tell me, exactly what are you doing here? You’ve been here for more than a week and people tell me that you just wander the streets. Perhaps I can help?”

The visitor poured out his heart and told him why the Rebbe, Shneur Zalman, sent him.

“All the way to Metz?” The owner said. “Why that’s a journey of several days. How could he know what is in Metz? And what could there be here in Metz for you?”

They sat in silence for several minutes, shrugging their shoulders and turning up the palms of their hands in bewilderment.

Finally the owner said. “Listen, I have an idea. My wife and I took an orphan girl into our home that was a distant relative of ours. We brought her up gave her an education and everything. There is also a Yeshiva (Torah Academy) in Metz and every day they would send a boy to eat by us (In those days there were no lunch rooms and pupils would be distributed to private homes for meals). Well it so happened, this was years ago, that the gentile that worked guarding my orchards decided to quit and I offered this boy to take his place, for pay of course.

“Anyway, he took the offer but insisted that he not sleep in our house but rather we make him a small hut where he could live and guard at the same time. So the point of the story is that once, in fact it was the first night he worked here, my wife woke up in the middle of the night and saw fire burning inside his hut. But when I ran out to see what it was, the fire disappeared. And so it happened for several nights until I decided that this young fellow must have special powers. But neither I nor my wife ever mentioned it to anyone

“It wasn’t long before we decided to ask him if he was interested in marrying and if so if he would consider our orphan girl. He agreed on the condition that she would agree and that they would not live near us but rather in a concealed place in the woods and that he would bake bread and she would sell it in the market.

“She agreed to all this. They married and moved and since then they seem to be living a happy quiet life. But I’m sure that if you find their house and ask for a blessing you will get it. Probably this is the reason the Rebbe sent you here. And probably he told you to wander around because if the young man saw me escorting you he would certainly not want me to know of his powers. Now I’ll tell you where he lives.”
The Chassid took his son, found the place, knocked on the door and a young Jewish man that showed no sign of being anything but average answered and invited them in.

As soon as they entered the Chassid looked the young man in the eyes and said, half beseeching half commanding, “The Rebbe of Chabad, Rebbe Shneur Zalman, sent me. I want a blessing for my blind son.”

The young man looked with wide, unbelieving eyes and exclaimed almost in anger, “What, you mean to tell me that even here he was able to find me!? Is there no place I can hide from him!?”

Sure enough, the ‘young man’ was on of the “36 Hidden Tzaddikim” found in every generation and somehow the Rebbe knew. He blessed the boy, gave his father advice on how to cure him and in just a short time he was able to see like a normal person.

This explains our questions.

Exile and Exodus are very relevant today; just as the boy in our story was physically blind so today many of us are ‘blind’ to the Creator. We are plagued by loneliness, fear and depression; totally unaware that really we are never alone; G-d creates, provides for and protects us constantly.

This is called ‘exile’ (Golah). Our bodies are free but our souls are trapped in an intangible, meaningless present between an uncertain future and a dead past.

That is why we need Moses. Indeed, the Zohar teaches that in every generation there must be a Moses; a potential Moshiach (Messiah) like the Rebbe in our story, who will bring mankind to its senses and free us from our ‘blindness’.

This is called Redemption or ‘GeUla’.

The last Chabad Rebbe pointed out that this GeUla is much closer than we think; it just requires ADDING one letter (Alef) to Golah.

In other words; one more good deed, word or even thought can transform the entire world.

Hard to believe, but this is how Judaism began, what it is based on and what has been keeping it not just alive but vital for over 3,000 years. Miracles!

And just as G-d took us from Egypt with great miracles for SURE if we listen to the Moses of our generation, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, we will see them again!

Moshiach NOW!!

Copyright © 1999-2008 Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of OhrTmimim.Org/torah

All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction or copying of this material shall occur without prior permission.

We recommend that you visit them for more info…

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

By the way, You, too, can help hasten the coming of Moshiach, by doing ONE more Mitzvah. ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Rabbi Bolton’s Parsha Story: Parshas Vayechi 5769

Posted on January 9, 2009. Filed under: A Parsha Story, a Rabbi Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story | Torah, Jewish Customs, Jewish traditions, Parshas Hashavua, Parshas Hashavuah, Parshas Vayechi, Parshat Hashavua, Parshat Hashavuah, Parshat Vayechi, Rabbi Bolton Stories, Rabbi Bolton Story, Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Story by Rabbi Bolton, The Parshah Story, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, Weekly Parsha, Weekly Parshah, Weekly sedra, Weekly Sedrah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


A Parsha Story by:

Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of OhrTmimim.Org/torah

On this week’s Parsha:

Vayechi 5769

This week’s Torah portion tells us of the blessings that Yaakov gave to his sons shortly before he passed away

At first glance this is not understood. What exactly are blessings aren’t they just good wishes? And what do we care about blessings given some 3,500 years ago? Even more, Yaakov’s sons eventually became the 12 tribes and today we don’t even know where they are or even if these still exist!

To understand this here is a story (The Storyteller Vol. 3 Pg 177)

The city of Nikolsberg, Moravia (now Czechoslovakia) was famous for its long chain of great Rabbis reaching back almost a thousand years. Among them were the famous Maharal of Prague and the Tosfos Yom Tov but perhaps the last in the line was the great Tzadik Rebbe Shmuel Shmelka; pupil of the Chassidic master the Maggid of Mazrich (successor of the Baal Shem Tov) some 250 years ago.

Rabbi Shmelka was truly fitting for the post; he was a great Talmudic and Legal genius, his advice was impeccable and his brotherly love was seemingly without limit. Many were the nights that his eyes saw no sleep because he was involved in the problems of others and he was very proficient in the mysteries of Kabbalah.

But despite his flawless character and selfless nature he was once the center of a controversy that only miracles were able to quell.

One of the richer Jews in Nikolsberg, who we will call Groisman, was sued by one of its poorer members. The details were not passed down so it’s not clear what the suit was about nor the amount involved but what we do know is that Rabbi Shmelka, after hearing all the arguments and seeing the evidence, decided in favor of the poor man.

Groisman was boiling mad; not only had been found guilty and lost money he had been humiliated publicly by a nobody! He declared war! After all, he told himself, he didn’t become the wealthiest man in town by surrendering!

He was clever about it. First he began quietly complaining and, because he was rich, people began to listen. At first it was only his family and friends but slowly the circle began to widen. Friends spoke to their friends and their friends to their friends until within a few months the town became a cauldron of discontent.

Gradually Groisman’s claims became clear; ‘The Rabbi, he whispered to a ready audience, is one of the Chassidim who consult the Kaballah and other mystical books for their decisions. Who knows when he would claim that some angel or spirit told him to change the Torah! Indeed, this is probably the reason he found me guilty. Maybe tomorrow he’ll make up a new religion!

The tone of things became increasingly sinister until one day placards appeared on the street announcing a meeting in the great Synagogue to discuss ‘pressing issues’.

That night some one thousand men were packed into the huge auditorium and the voices began to be angrier until they finally took a vote and decided to oust the Rabbi! Groisman had succeeded!

Suddenly the voice of the old Shamash (sextant) of the Synagogue rang out from somewhere. “Wait! WAIT!! I want to talk!”

Everyone looked up to see the old fellow standing at the podium in the middle of the Synagogue open hands raised for silence.

He must have been over eighty years old and his high pitched voice rang clearly over the crowd until everyone’s curiosity was aroused. “Wait!! I want to talk!” He kept repeating until there was silence.

As far as anyone remembered he had never raised his voice or spoken more than a few quiet sentences in all the years he had been in the Synagogue. What could he want now? He cleared his throat and spoke.

“I want to say something important.” He looked around to see that everyone was listening and continued. “Two things that I saw that I swore I would never tell but I think it’s important.”

The room was still.

“It was about ten years ago, just after we chose our Reb Shmelka. Well, I was making my rounds early in the morning before sunrise, ringing my bell and knocking on windows to wake everyone up for the Morning Prayer. When I got to the Rabbi’s house I saw the light was on in his window so I looked in. There he was sitting and learning Talmud with some wild-looking long-haired Jew with leather girdle around his waist.”

I figured it must be some traveler or something, really I thought it might be one of the ’36 hidden Holy Men (Tzaddikim) that I read about somewhere but I kept quiet.
“But when I saw him again there the next morning, standing before the Rabbi and listening to his learning I decided I’d ask. Later that day I caught the Rabbi alone in Synagogue after the prayers and asked him who the man was and the Rabbi was very surprised.

“‘What, you saw him?’ he asked a few times. Until he finally said, ‘Well if you saw him then I’ll tell you. That was Elijah the prophet (who lived some 2,700 years ago and appears regularly to the righteous) but best not to talk about it.’

The Shamash cleared his voice and continued. “Then a few days later I saw him again but this time it was really frightening.

“It was late at night and the Rabbi was standing at the door holding a candle holder with two very bright candles escorting some people from his house. When they got to the door I saw them. One was the same Elijah the Prophet but the other. Well I couldn’t believe my eyes but it was a real king with royal garments and a crown . and even carrying a royal scepter! I was petrified with fear and awe.

“The Rabbi escorted his guests out the door for a few more steps until they disappeared then he returned to his house to continue his Torah study.

“Well, I don’t know what made me do it but I waited a few minutes, said a prayer, approached the Rabbi’s door and knocked. He had been so friendly to me the time before I figured he would tell me who that king was.

“So I went in and told him that I just happened to be passing and saw what I saw and I asked my question.

“The Rabbi looked at me for a while, told me to sit down and explained.

“He said that a few weeks ago in a certain town in Poland a tragedy occurred. There, there lived a simple Jewish artisan who was obsessed with hatred for idols and idolatry. He made his living by making small dolls and toys and the third of the Ten Commandments “You shall not make for yourselves any carved idol or any image’ literally burned in his heart. In fact he spoke of it non-stop.

“One night he went crazy. He ran into town and began smashing every statue he saw including the ones in front of the Church until he was caught by a crowd and beaten and killed for his crime. It was with greatest difficulty that the Jewish community there was able to convince the gentiles that he acted alone but the whole thing was so traumatic on the elders of the community that they refused to provide for his widow from the widow’s fund.

“They argued that because the poor fellow knew very well that he would be killed for his actions he was responsible for throwing his life and his money away and she should be paid from the communal charity like all the other paupers, which meant a lot less money.

“Anyway she complained to the Rabbis of her town and when they couldn’t decide what to do, they brought the case to our Rabbi.

“That was yesterday in the day. Last night the Rabbi was sitting and pouring through books for a solution when the two visitors I mentioned visited him.

“And that king was none other than Menasha, the idolatrous son of King Hezkiahu (see Kings 2:21:19)!

“He said that since his death, over two thousand years ago, he had been reincarnated time and time again to atone for his blasphemous sins (among which was erecting an idol in the Holy Temple!) but his soul found no rest until it became incarnated in this Jewish artisan.

That explains his unexplainable hatred of idols; it was the result of Menasha’s tormented soul seeking repentance.

“And that’s why he came to Rav Shmelka; to explain to him that the artisan was neither crazy nor suicidal, rather he was sacrificing his life to destroy idolatry and sanctify G-d’s name; the only thing that would purify Menasha’s soul. Reb Shmelka didn’t tell me what he would decide but he did ask me to keep the matter quiet but I couldn’t.

Now, my friends and brothers.” The Shamash concluded. “I felt I had to tell you this so you should know what a holy Rabbi we have. I beg you not to be angry with him and I hope he won’t be angry with me for telling.” Then turning to Mr. Groisman he said, “Surely if he decided against you it was for the benefit of everyone involved including youor at least your soul.”

The group dispersed and the impeachment was canceled.

This explains our questions.

Just as the sins of King Menasha had a spiritual effect long after his life ended so the blessings of Jacob exist to this very day because blessings are much more than just good wishes. Rather they are eternal, spiritual bundles of goodness that can change the physical world for the better.

But not everyone can bless; Only someone who really has love and affection for the one being blessed.

More than anything else Yaakov truly desired Moshiach and the future redemption (see Rashi on Gen.33:14) and his blessings were designed to hasten its arrival (see Rashi 47:28). Then he would again be united with his children in the Holy Land.

Just as Menasha, perhaps the worst sinner of all time, found comfort and forgiveness so will all Jewish souls; the blessings of Jacob will take full effect. That is why Yaakov blessed his sons; because in the future when Moshiach will gather all the Jews to the holy land it will be revealed that every Jew is holy, the tribes will again be reinstated and Yaakov’s blessings will really come true.

But now it’s all up to us; we just have to do all we can to make it all real and bring

Moshiach NOW!!

Copyright © 1999-2008 Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of Yeshiva Ohr T’mimim in K’far-Chabad, Israel and their website is: OhrTmimim.Org/torah

All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction or copying of this material shall occur without prior permission.

We recommend that you visit them for more info…

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

By the way, You, too, can help hasten the coming of Moshiach, by doing ONE more Mitzvah. ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

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Rabbi Bolton’s Parsha Story: Parshas Vayigash

Posted on January 1, 2009. Filed under: A Parsha Story, a Rabbi Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story | Torah, Jewish Customs, Jewish traditions, Parshas Hashavua, Parshas Hashavuah, Parshas Vayigash, Parshat Hashavua, Parshat Hashavuah, Parshat Vayigash, Rabbi Bolton Stories, Rabbi Bolton Story, Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Story by Rabbi Bolton, The Parshah Story, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, Weekly Parsha, Weekly Parshah, Weekly sedra, Weekly Sedrah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


A Parsha Story by:

Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of OhrTmimim.Org/torah

On this week’s Parsha:

Vayigash 5769

In this week’s Torah portion we read of the re-uniting of Yosef and his brothers in Egypt.

The Torah tells us that when Yosef saw his brother Benjamin they hugged and fell on each other’s shoulders and wept.

Rashi, the foremost commentator on the Bible, explains that Yosef wept on the two Holy Temples that were to be destroyed in the land of Benjamin and Benjamin wept on the destroyed Tabernacle in Shilo in the portion of Yosef.

But at first glance this is not clear. After all, Benjamin and Yosef as the only sons of Rachel were very close. Why not just say that they wept from joy after being united! What have the Temples and Tabernacles got to do with it? And why did each one cry for the Temple of the OTHER? Why not each their own?

To understand this, here is a story (The Storyteller vol. 3 Pg 171)

Some 200 years ago in a small village in Poland lived an old, poor, simple Jew called Getzel HaMafshet (the hide remover) and his wife in a run-down hut.

Getzel had been a strong, robust fellow whose job was to strip the hides from slaughtered cattle in the slaughter house. It was difficult work and paid very little but he had been good at it, it was just about all he knew how to do and he was totally satisfied with the meager life he and his wife led. He was a quiet fellow but always had a smile on his face, a warm handshake, a word of praise for G-d and a good word for and about everyone.

He wasn’t able to really learn Torah, only to read from the Prayer Book and the Book of Psalms but he was healthy and happy.

In fact, only at the age of seventy did he begin to slow down. But gradually, as the years passed, he lessened his hours of work and his wife had to do some sewing and cooking for others to make ends meet.

Finally, when Getzel must have been close to eighty, his wife appeared before the Rabbi of the town saying that her husband felt the time had come for him to return his soul to his Father in Heaven and he wanted to ask the Rabbi something.

The Rabbi closed the book he was studying, and followed the woman to her humble dwelling.

She stepped aside respectfully to let the Rabbi open the door but when he did, and saw Getzel lying in bed a sudden look of astonishment passed over his face and he closed it, stepped back for a few seconds, then opened it again and entered.

Getzel’s pale face lit up a bit when he saw the Rabbi and he even tried to hold out his hand to shake, but he was too weak.

Getzel’s voice was barely audible. He apologized for troubling the Rabbi and explained why he did it.

“Rabbi, listen, I’m about to go and I am very troubled. I never really did much for G-d here. I was too illiterate to teach or even learn Torah. Why, I could barely read the prayers. No good deeds either. I was always working or resting and I was too poor to give charity. Heh! I don’t think I ever helped anyone! That’s why I called you.

“Now I’m going before the heavenly court and, well… I have nothing to show for the time I was here. Don’t even have a son or someone to say Kaddish (mourners prayer) for my soul either; never had children.

“That’s why I’ve troubled you Rabbi … please forgive me a thousand times. Please do me this favor! Even though, I have no money to pay, please find someone to say Kaddish for me and pray for my soul.” And he began to cry silently.

“Of-course, Getzel! I promise” answered the Rabbi. “You don’t have to cry. But listen, Getzel, listen. What you said about good deeds. Well, I don’t think you’re right. That is, I’m sure you must have done something outstandingly good; some big Mitzvah. Maybe you forgot. Think Getzel! Please try to remember. I’m sure you did something.”

Getzel slowly shook his head no and a tear ran down his cheek. “Good deed?” He whispered “No, nothing! No. Nothin’…” Suddenly he closed his eyes and was silent.

His eyes opened, looking at the Rabbi with satisfaction. “You’re right! There is something. It’s not so special… but it was …..Something!

“A long time ago, maybe fifty years, I was walking to work, to the slaughter house, when I hear a noise. I looked up and saw horses galloping full speed, pulling a carriage filled with ladies and children screaming. It was coming toward me fast, racing down the hill. The driver must have been drunk or something but it was barreling down weaving back and forth, filled with women and children all screaming and crying.

I was young and strong back then. I jumped in the middle of the road and began waving my hands to force the horses to the side. Then when the wagon was almost on me I jumped aside, grabbed on, jumped in, sat next to the driver who was completely drunk, and slowed it down. The people were all confused, almost fainting, dressed up like going to a wedding. So I drove it into the town where a wedding was just beginning, tied it to a post and went to work.”

The story took a lot of energy from Getzel, he lay back down but his eyes were bright with hope.

“I guess I saved their lives Rabbi. But, how did you know? I mean, if you hadn’t forced me…. I don’t know how I remembered! How did you know? “

The Rabbi leaned forward and said. “My dear Getzel, did you notice that when I first came in to your room I was so surprised I closed the door again? I was surprised because I saw something. You know what I saw Getzel?

“Well, over your head was a Menorah burning! It was glowing with a brilliant shine! I knew you must have done something special. My dear Getzel, you are a Tzaddik!! I knew it when I saw that light. And now I know what it is.

“Do you hear me Getzel?” The Rabbi continued softly, the Mishnah in Sanhedrin says that anyone who saves even one person has merit as though he saved the entire world and you saved many worlds many times over!! If you ask me Getzel, in heaven you have nothing to worry about!”

Getzel was nodding his head and smiling at the Rabbi in wide-eyed astonishment with tears of joy and gratitude.

“Now I have a favor to ask of you.” The Rabbi continued. “When you get to heaven, if you are able to, I want you to let me know how the heavenly court dealt with you. And regarding the saying of Kaddish, I promise to have it taken care of.”

That evening Getzel passed away and the next day was buried among the righteous of the community. Three days later he appeared to the Rabbi in a dream and said.

“Rabbi, hello! I made a promise to you and now I am permitted to fulfill it. I came to tell you that when I appeared before the Heavenly Court a huge scale was placed before me. In the cup on its right side, to my surprise, were stacked up quite a few good deeds and it made me feel good. But then on the left side they started piling all my wrongdoings and I was really scared. They were so many, a lot more than the good ones, that it got closer and closer to the ground. The Judge raised his gavel and was about to bring it down but then just as sentence was about to be pronounced, a wagon drawn by a pair of horses came dashing out of nowhere and landed on the right side of the scale!

“Not just the wagon! The horses, the mud on the wagon wheels and, of course, all the ladies and children in the wagon including the drunken driver! It reversed the whole thing. Suddenly the scale tilted in my favor and a host of bright angels jumped aboard the wagon to weigh it down totally. Then a voice came from Heaven saying ‘Open the Gates of Righteousness for the Tzaddikim!’ and the gates of heaven opened. But before I entered I was told I had to first fulfill my promise to you.

“Now I must go, but please tell everyone that what seems to be small, even one good deed, in the physical world can tip all the scales here.”

This answers our questions.

There is no reason to cry or get emotional about one’s own problems. These demand immediate action, not crying. Like when Getzel in our story saw the wagon, he knew that he had to act fast and not think or cry.

But if we see problems of others that are out of our control and there is nothing we can DO to solve or correct… then we must at least cry, pray and hope that they will do all they can to fix it.

That is why Yosef and Benjamin wept for the Temples; because Yosef and Benjamin were not just individual people with private problems. Their lives touched at the essence of man and the purpose of all mankind. And there is nothing more essential to mankind than the Holy Temples where the Creator was revealed in His creation.

Therefore each wept for the other’s destruction because each knew that it was the most they could do; in the end each person has to correct his/her own faults and selfish attitudes that cause destruction and exile; others can only cry and feel for them. (Something like the Rabbi did for Getzel in our story).

This is a very important lesson to us. We must fix ourselves up in every way possible; eliminate hatred, worry, jealousy, negativity and selfishness…. the real causes of our problems and of the terrible exile we’re in.
But we must also cry, pray and feel for others when we can’t actively help.

Then, in the merit of brotherly love we can look forward to the building of the Third Temple, the gathering of all the Jews in Jerusalem and true world peace, blessing and joy with…

Moshiach NOW!!

Copyright © 1999-2008 Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of Yeshiva Ohr T’mimim in K’far-Chabad, Israel and their website is: OhrTmimim.Org/torah

All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction or copying of this material shall occur without prior permission.

We recommend that you visit them for more info…

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

By the way, You, too, can help hasten the coming of Moshiach, by doing ONE more Mitzvah. ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***


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Rabbi Bolton’s Parsha Story: Parshas Miketz / Mikeitz (for 5769)

Posted on December 26, 2008. Filed under: A Parsha Story, a Rabbi Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Happy Channukah, Jewish Customs, Jewish traditions, Miketz, Parshas Mikeitz, Parshas Miketz, Parshat Hashavua, Parshat Hashavuah, Parshat Mikeitz, Rabbi Bolton Stories, Rabbi Bolton Story, Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, Story by Rabbi Bolton, The Parshah Story, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, Weekly Parsha, Weekly Parshah, Weekly sedra, Weekly Sedrah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


A Parsha Story by:

Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of OhrTmimim.Org/torah

On this week’s Parsha:

Mikeitz – 5769

This week’s Torah section tells the story of a truly unfortunate Jew by the name of Josef who became the ruler of Egypt, and eventually the entire world, because he knew how to interpret dreams.

The Bible is supposed to teach about Judaism and how it is the best religion. Why pick a hero that was hated by his brothers, enslaved in Egypt imprisoned for life and saved only by his dream reading abilities? What is the Torah trying to tell us? What is so great about interpreting dreams?

Also, this Shabbat we are still in the holiday of Chanukah. Is there any connection?

To understand this here is a story (The Storyteller vol. 1 pg. 271).

World War Two was a tragedy for all mankind, but especially for European Jewry. Millions were killed for no reason except that they were Jews and millions more suffered terribly.

One of those in the last category was Hershel. The story doesn’t state his last name but it really isn’t important (I once heard it said that all the six million Jews that were killed were really the same Jew).

Hershel was a religious Jew, born and raised in Czechoslovakia and educated in the finest Torah Academies. When the Germans conquered his country in late 1939 he was one of the ‘lucky’ ones to be sent to a working camp and not to a concentration camp to be exterminated.

Hershel was a good worker; he took orders, cared about the other workers and even kept their morale up… so the Nazis didn’t kill him. But what really kept him alive were his Tefillin. (Phylacteries).

As soon as he was taken into captivity he made a firm resolution that no matter what he would keep his Tefillin and put them on every day that he possibly could.

At first he tried to keep it a secret and put them on when and where no one would notice him but when it became known to the other prisoners they also expressed a desire to do the commandment. Eventually it got the point that they would line up every morning; each prisoner taking no more than one minute to put on Tefillin and say a short prayer. They even bribed one of the guards by giving him parts of their precious rations so that he would tell them when a raid or a search was coming so they could hide them.

So it continued for several years; miracles after miracles.

Once Hershel had to hide them in the snow behind the bunker and it took several hours of the combined efforts of several prisoners to find them.

Another time he had a feeling to take them with him for work. Usually after everyone had put them on he would hide them before everyone was herded out to work. But one morning Hershel had a crazy feeling that he should take the Tefillin with him to his work assignment although they were bulky and hard to conceal. But in the end it proved to be a blessing.

The Germans announced at the end of that day that they weren’t returning to the barracks and decided to keep the Jews in the same place for the next six months! Were it not for his premonition no one in the group would have put on Tefillin for a half a year!

From then on, even when they were forced to dig trenches under enemy fire, Hershel kept his Tefillin in his pockets. He was sure that as long as he had them he would outlive his tormentors and he was right.

In 1943 the Germans began lose the war and to retreat and it was in this time of disorder somewhere in the Carpathian Mountains that he and ten others decided to make a break.
One night hundreds of prisoners slipped off into the thick forests (it seems that everyone got the same idea at once) and tried to disappear.

The Nazis, despite the fact that they themselves were fleeing for their lives from the Russian forces, sent out special squads to search and destroy the Jewish escapees. Some were apprehended and killed but Hershel and his friends somehow managed to hew out a deep underground bunker where they hid from the Nazis over six months daring to venture outside only under the cover of darkness. But miraculously some of the nearby villagers had mercy on them and provided them food and they were able to survive.

They had many close calls. Once a patrol passed over their heads and a German dog even entered the narrow tunnel that was their entrance. But for some unexplainable reason the dog turned back without even barking and they were saved. The war was still raging; many areas were still under the German occupation and the holocaust was still going full steam but it was clear that it was only a matter of time.

Eventually even the Germans had to withdraw from the area and Hershel and friends were able to leave their hiding place and move to Romania which had been in the hands of the Red Army since August of 1944.

Hershel joined one of the many Jewish rescue groups there and was given the task, along with several other young men, of going to outlaying towns and villages in search of Jewish children and bring them to Bucharest.

He threw himself into the job heart and soul but will never forget one incident that saved his life.

It happened when he together with a friend were bringing a group of homeless children they had found, by train back to Bucharest. The train had left Debretzin and was speeding towards Grossvardein when he suddenly felt the need to get some fresh air. He stood in the open area between the two cars when the train turned a sharp curve. Hershel was standing on the open platform of the train clutching his small valise in which he kept his Tefillin when the train swerved, then suddenly lurched forward and caught him by surprise. He lost his balance and grabbed a piece of metal at the last moment to keep him from falling. But the valise flew out of his hands and went rolling down a hill and away from the train!

Hershel was horrified. All thorough the war he had guarded his Tefillin at the risk of his life and now he had lost them!

He immediately ran back into the train car and told his friend the horrible news; he decided to get off at the next station and walk back to search for his Tefillin.

His friend tried to dissuade him, to convince him how foolish it was; it would mean days of walking. He even begged him not to risk his life by wandering alone… but to no avail.

Suddenly the train screeched to a halt; a red signal light flashed on the tracks indicating that something was wrong and Hershel took the opportunity to jump off the train and run back to search for his Tefillin.

A few hours later he spotted his little valise in the distance, thanked G-d, rushed to it, picked it up and hugged it with delight.

Meanwhile the train had resumed its journey and he realized that he had to get to Grossvardein as fast as possible. There was no chance that he could catch up with the children but at least he could catch a train there that would take him to Bucharest.

Hershel walked as fast as he could hoping to catch a train in the next town to Grossvardein but to his dismay he discovered that the trains had stopped and he had no choice than to walk the entire distance by foot to Grossvardein a distance of some three days!!

But three days later when he arrived in Grossvardien and bought a ticket to Bucharest he was in for another surprise. As he was about to board the train someone grabbed his arm to stop him; he turned to see a friend; one of the group that had escaped from the Nazis with him.

“Hershel!” he said in amazement, “I don’t believe you are still here! It’s a miracle!! Listen, don’t go to Bucharest! It is a miracle that you are still alive!”

It seems that the Communists had taken control of Bucharest with a heavy hand and had arrested everyone that looked ‘counterrevolutionary’ or, in other words, religious. Thousands had been rounded up for ‘correction’ and Russian agents were waiting of him near his hotel room to arrest him as soon as he arrived.

Hershel grasped his friend’s hand and said gratefully, “Thank G-d that my valise fell out of the train and that I went back for it! Otherwise I would be a dead man!”

His friend thought Hershel had gone mad. What could his valise have to do with this? But when Hershel took him aside and explained what happened, his friend remained silent for a few moments and hesitantly said,

“Hershel, I haven’t put on Tefillin today, can I put on yours?”

Hershel gave him his Tefillin and left him for a few minutes to pray on his own, but when he returned he noticed that his friend’s eyes were still wet from tears.

“I must tell you the truth” His friend said in a very serious tone. “Since the Nazis killed my family and sent me to the camp I stopped putting on Tefillin. The Germans took everything I had away! Everything… I thought even my Jewish soul! Since then I gave up! I said I’d never put on again. But now I heard your story I decided that not acting Jewish would be like giving in to them… to Hitler! Hershel, I’m not going to do that! From now on you can be sure I will never again miss putting on Tefillin!”

This answers our questions.

Sometimes the only way to reveal the truth is under pressure. This is the story of Josef and the story of Chanukah: only in times of difficulty is the true innerness of the soul revealed. Just as only when the olive is crushed, does pure oil come-out.

In other words it comes to teach us that the future is not determined by the past. If Josef, the Maccabees or Hershel in our story would have thought about the terrible situation they were in and how they got there the world would have remained terrible.

If we want to really make a positive change in the world (and that is what the Jews were chosen for; to make the world a blessed, happy, meaningful place) we have to concentrate only on doing what is true in the present as we saw in our story and look at the past only as a dream that must be interpreted positively.

As King David said regarding the arrival of Moshiach who will bring the entire world to be aware of G-d and return all the Jews to the Holy Land, “We will realize that (during the exile) we were like dreamers.” (Psalm 126:1)

Then G-d will show us miracles as he did to Hershel, to the Maccabees in Chanukah and to Josef in our Torah portion.

As the prophet says (Micah 7:15) “As it was when you left Egypt; G-d will show you miracles”

It all depends on us to do, say or even think positively NOW and G-d will do the rest and send…

Moshiach NOW!!

Copyright © 1999-2008 Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of Yeshiva Ohr T’mimim in K’far-Chabad, Israel and their website is: OhrTmimim.Org/torah

All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction or copying of this material shall occur without prior permission.

We recommend that you visit them for more info…

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

By the way, You, too, can help hasten the coming of Moshiach, by doing ONE more Mitzvah. ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Channukah Story by Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of Ohr Ha T’mimim

Posted on December 24, 2008. Filed under: 2nd Night of Channukah, 3rd Night of Channukah, A Channukah Story, a Rabbi Bolton Story, a Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, blessing for lighting the menorah, Blessings for Lighting the Menorah, Blessings for the Menorah, Channukah, Channukah lights, Channukah Menorah, First Night of Channukah, Happy Channukah - How To light the Menorah, how to light a menorah, How to Light the Menorah, Jewish Customs, Jewish traditions, left to right, Lighting Left to Right, Menorah Lighting Blessings, Menorah Lighting Blessings | Blessings for Lighting the, Parshas Vayeitzei, Parshas Vayetze, Placing Candles Right to Left, Rabbi Bolton Stories, Rabbi Bolton Story, Rabbi Tuvia Bolton Story, right to left, Shamash, Shamash Above the Rest, Shamash in the Middle, Story by Rabbi Bolton, The Parshah Story, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


A Parsha Story by:

Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of OhrTmimim.Org/torah

Channukah Story:

Chanukah – 5765

This week’s section always coincides with the holiday of Chanukah.

‘Mikaitz’ means ‘At the end’ and refers to the end of Joseph’s imprisonment. But it also hints at Moshiach and the raising of the dead.

In fact, so do Yosef’s release and Chanukah.

First of all; all of them, Moshiach, Yosef’s release and Chanukah are miracles without precedence and totally above nature, but they affect the entire world.

Yosef’s miraculous rise from prison to become ruler of the entire world is like Moshiach who will elevate the Jews from exile, spiritually rule the world and eventually raise the dead.

Chanukah, with its amazing victory and discovery of one vial of pure oil that lit for eight days is like ‘Moshiach’ (which means ‘anointed with oil’) who will defeat the enemies of Judaism and illuminate the world with the ‘oil’ (deepest secrets) of the Torah (See Rashi on Song of Songs 1:2).

[The essence of the Torah is likened to oil because it floats ‘above’ even the spiritual while simultaneously permeating the entire creation; as oil floats above all liquids and permeates all solids.]

And the number eight hints at revelation above nature (above the seven days of creation) that will accompany Moshiach. The harp of Moshiach will have eight strings. Moshiach will bring the circumcision of our hearts and circumcision is connected to the number eight.

But what does all this mean to us?

The story of Chanukah occurred over 2,000 years ago and that of Yosef some 2,000 years before that!

And even if they can be connected to Moshiach, so what?

Moshiach will happen when G-d wants it to.

What has it all got to do with us?

To understand all this here is a story:

In 1927 the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn was imprisoned by Stalin’s police and sentenced to death as the arch enemy of communism.

But like Yosef in this week’s Torah section, he was also miraculously exiled, then released, to become the leading force in world Judaism.

He moved from Russia to Riga, Latvia in 1928 then again in 1940 to Brooklyn N.Y. where he began what became today’s outreach T’shuva movement that is saving the world.

But what pained him most was that he was forced to leave his Chassidim behind at the mercy of Stalin’s deadly and viciously anti-Semitic police network. There was literally no way they could cross the Iron Curtain between the U.S.S.R. and the rest of the world to see him.

But there are always miracles.

In the year 1945 in the city of Somerkand (in the communist satellite country Bukhara not far from Iran) a large group of Chabad Chassidim were celebrating Simchat-Torah (the eight and most joyous day in the holiday of Succot) with a Chassidic ‘Farbrengen’.

A farbrengen is a VERY informal Chabad Chassidic gathering around a table with much vodka, deep soul-stirring speeches, stories and singing.

But in Somerkand, although it was far from the center of Russia, there was still ample reason to worry; the sword of death was waiting in every corner. Informers, secret police, and soldiers were everywhere and Chabad Chassidim were officially public enemy number one.

Nevertheless, tonight these Chassidim didn’t worry. They only cared about one thing… seeing the Rebbe again.

The Rebbe was like their Moses!

Jews without the Rebbe become selfish; without joy, without brotherly love; obsessed with reward and punishment. Look what happened at Mount-Sinai when the Jews thought Moses wasn’t going to come back. They turned to idolatry and worshiped the Golden Calf, just forty days after they heard G-d Himself forbid it!!

But there were other topics as well. The Chassidim talked about loving G-d, about serving G-d, about learning Torah. They brought interesting stories to drive their points home and sang deep Chassidic songs to open their minds and inflame their hearts.

But a few didn’t want to sit. In fact one of most respected Chassidim, Reb Nisson Neminov, stood up and began dancing! It was Simchat-Torah! A few Chassidim stood up and began with him. Dancing with the Torah and dancing for redemption, for freedom, for the Rebbe!! The Moses of our generation – the Moshiach of our generation!!

Then someone pounded on the table and most of the Chassidim sat back down for some more serious talk.

But Reb Nisson didn’t. He took a few chairs put them in a row, sat on one and announced joyously “Who wants to take the train to the Rebbe!? Choo Chooooo!! We’re going to the Rebbe ‘ChooCHOOOO!”

The other Chassidim didn’t catch his spirit. In fact this foolishness and noise annoyed them and they tried to tell him so; to get him to quiet him down and back to the table but it didn’t work.

“Come! ChOO CHOOOO!” Reb Nissan called out as he pushed the chairs around the room. “Who wants to go to the Rebbe!!”

But the Rebbe was thousands of miles away and they were hopelessly locked in Russia. How could this nonsense possibly help? They didn’t even want to think about it, it made them sad. They were deeply involved in their Farbrengen and he was disturbing.

“Come and join me!” yelled Reb Nisson. “Don’t you want to see the Rebbe? We have to do all we can, no matter how crazy! Choo ChOOOO!!”

A few of the Chassidim were wild enough to join ‘the Rebbe train’ and also stood up and began pushing the chairs around the room yelling “Choo Choo, we’re going to the Rebbe!!” while the others just tried to ignore the nonsense.

But a few months later an interesting thing happened.

A small escape route opened from Lemburg to Warsaw by taking a train with forged Polish passports. It was very dangerous, expensive and very erratic. Some departures were arranged and announced only moments beforehand and many Jews got caught, sent back, lost all their money and even got severely punished.

So needless to say, few were willing to take the chance even if they had the funds for the trip, and not everyone that traveled actually made it to freedom.

But, lo and behold, ALL the Chassidim that participated in Reb Nemeoff’s crazy ‘Rebbe Train’ made it out! Each and every one of them! And actually got to see the Rebbe!! While those who were ‘normal’ were not as fortunate.

This is the lesson of Yosef and of Chanukah to us.

Although things seem to be dark and impossible we must always try to get on the ‘train’ of optimism and that very optimism will open the door to Divine assistance. Just as Yosef never lost hope of leaving prison and the Maccabees were optimistic in the face of impossible odds.

And without their optimism there certainly would have been no miraculous results.

The only catch is that there must be a worthy and a true goal: Yosef believed his dreams would be fulfilled and the Maccabees believed that G-d did not want a ‘normal’ Jewish race.

[The Greeks didn’t destroy the Temple or even spill out the oil of the Menorah. They even supported Torah learning and the observance of the commandments. Their goal was not to destroy Judaism but to normalize it; that it should be spiritual like all the other religions but NOT G-dly. They didn’t want crazy Jews like Yosef, the Maccabees or those on Reb Nisson’s Train].

And our goal is the most true, worthy and optimistic of all; bringing Moshiach.

Moshiach will, like Yosef, change the entire world and like the Maccabees defeat all the enemies of truth. He will teach all mankind to know the Creator, bring peace, health and prosperity to the entire world, put an end to all suffering and eventually even raise the dead. Heaven on earth.

But it all depends on us.

The only way to make it all happen is to learn from Yosef and the Maccabees: in the language of Chassidut; “Sh’toot D’Kedusha”.

We must be ‘crazy’ about Moshiach; learn about Moshiach, teach about Moshiach and do all we can to bring Moshiach one instant earlier.

Only then will we bring the true END of darkness and fill the world with the light of…

Moshiach NOW!!

Copyright © 1999-2008 Rabbi Tuvia Bolton of OhrTmimim.Org/torah

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