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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

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.



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Rabbi Simon Jacobson Lecture: MOSCOW 2009 A Miracle in Our Times

Posted on February 6, 2009. Filed under: A Miracle in Our Times, Lecture of Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Lectures by Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Lectures of Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Moscow 2009, Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Rabbi Simon Jacobson Lecture, Rabbi Simon Jacobson Lectures, The Truth, Torah, True, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

Lectures of:

Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Brought to you by:

Lectures of: Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Of:

http://www.MeaningfulLife.com

This Lecture’s Subject:

MOSCOW 2009

A Miracle in Our Times

By Simon Jacobson

February 5, 2009 – Moscow, Russia

Amidst all our current global turmoil, I would like to report to you that I find myself in a city which caused much upheaval in the last century, and despite all odds and predictions is now witness to a living miracle.

I should add that this miracle touches me very personally.

With great anticipation I embarked on my journey to Moscow for this present lecture tour. You see, this city is the birthplace of my father. Indeed, Russia is the country of origin of both my parents, my grandparents and all my immediate ancestors. It is also the birthplace of my mentor, the Rebbe, and all his predecessors. It is the country which gave birth to the Chassidic movement, which has deeply shaped my life with its transformative philosophy and blueprint for contemporary life.

The largest segment of American Jews trace their roots to this country.

The list is long with both the contributions and calamities of this historic country.

With my entire upbringing shaped by Russian influences, I was quite naturally looking very much forward to finally coming to the country that is so embedded in my genes and in my nurturing.

Right off the plane I felt right at home. All the words of my childhood come pouring out. “Spasiba.” “Das vi danya.” Dobre vetcha.” “Panyimayot.” “Tochne.” “Shto.” “Pazhaleste.” “Maladetz.”

Of course, the indispensable “tak.” And some words not for print. Lest you wonder, I feel quite inept with my knowledge of this language. I know just enough to answer “nimnoshka” to the question whether “panyimyot paruski?” and definitely “nyeta gavarit.”

Yes, I feel sense of belonging here. But little did I expect the intensity of my emotional reactions. I am actually now sitting and weeping as I think about the unlikely – unlikely is grossly inadequate; it’s more of a revolutionary – transformation that has taken place within yards from where I presently sit.

For over 70 years, from the time of the Russian Revolution, a war was waged from this city and country against Jewish life. Tragically, the Communists effectively closed down synagogues, schools and all the institutions that allowed Judaism to thrive in this country for centuries. In this city thousands of Jewish Rabbis, leaders, scholars, just fine people, were shot without just cause. It was the city from where Stalin drove terror into the hearts of hundreds of millions and killed tens of millions.

And on a personal note: It was in this city in 1937, in a neighborhood called Malachavkeh, where my grandfather and namesake was arrested by the NKVD, the dreaded Soviet secret police. A few years earlier, in the same city in 1923, my grandfather merited to be one of the ten individuals, who together with the Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak took a vow to the death to do everything in their power to preserve Jewish life in that country. Most of those ten were arrested and shot. My grandfather would end up exiled in Siberia for several years and finally escape the country, physically broken though spiritually stronger (here is a video of my father describing that dark night). Most others were not so fortunate. They were either killed or died from hunger. The remaining Jews were persecuted and not easily allowed to maintain their heritage.

[Moscow was also the city which, in its Russian-style obstinacy, in the shape of bitter cold winter, froze Napoleon and later Hitler in their march forward to conquer this notoriously resilient country].

You would think that after all this there would be no remnant left of Jewish life in Moscow and Russia.

Quite the contrary.

Now I sit in Moscow and watch Jews who lived through all that terror – some of them quite elderly, many others are their children and grandchildren – and in one way or another have maintained their Judaism. Many others are reconnecting to their roots. It’s a complicated story; no one even knows how many actual Jews there are in this country. Many, many parents hid their identities from their children to protect them from the discrimination. So many others have intermarried. But one thing is for sure: The place is saturated with Jewish energy. It feels like being in a burned out building but you still can see the simmering embers that have remained burning – barely. But burning they are, and like the nature of a spark, they are flickering and beginning to burst into flames.

There is much work and hard work that still needs to be done, but what is so awesome is that the cinders have remained alive. After all this time and all the attempts to extinguish them, after two World Wars and all the upheavals in the last century, who would have thought?…

And this survival and revival is no an accident. Behind the scenes there were those in this country and outside of it that were risking their lives – with literal mesiras nefesh – to maintain the pilot flame. I will never forget my father’s description of a personal audience he had with the Rebbe, following his 1971 visit to the Soviet Union. My father delivered hundreds of letters written by Russian Jews to the Rebbe, pouring out their souls, asking for blessings and describing their challenges. Not to arouse suspicion, these letters were addressed, “Dear Father,” “Dear Uncle” and the likes. The Rebbe gently took the letters and began reading them. Within a few minutes the Rebbe was crying. My father, feeling uncomfortable remaining in the room with the Rebbe in such an intimate moment, slowly began backing out of the room. The Rebbe motioned that he remain. He stood there crouched in a corner, watching this rare sight of a holy man sobbing uncontrollably over the plight of his people.

These tears were not that rare. Over the years of his leadership, the Rebbe never ceased speaking out – crying out – for the Jews trapped on the “other side of the iron curtain.” I personally witnessed the unyielding and emphatic cries of the Rebbe, always citing the Talmudic declaration that “even an iron curtain cannot separate them from their Father in heaven.” You could see in the Rebbe’s appeals the profound concern and pain that he consistently carried inside for his brethren – who were also his fellow countrymen and women – living, suffering in the Soviet Union.

This concern was not limited to feelings. Not here is the place and the time to go into the Rebbe and the Previous Rebbe’s superhuman, underground efforts to keep the Jewish flame alive through all those hard years, via a secret network of activities that span back to the 1920’s!

That defiant effort alone – to stand up against the might Soviet empire and not accept defeat – should go down in history as one of the most formidable acts of heroism. But the story doesn’t end there. These herculean efforts yielded their fruit: The flame remained burning, while the Soviet empire crumbled. Fulfilling the prescient words of the Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak to one of his Jewish captors (from the notoriously hated “yevsektzia,” the Jewish wing of Communists): When the captor sneered to the Rebbe “Rebbe, mir velen zehn ver vet oisfiren,” we shall see who will prevail, the Rebbe replied: “ye, mir velen zehn,” yes indeed, we shall see…

And now we see…

To see the renaissance of Jewish life in Moscow – after all that transpired – is quite overwhelming…

What relevance does of all of this have to us today?

On the most obvious level: This is a story of hope. Should anyone reading these lines be in despair, feel hopeless or suffering in any form and fashion – I bring you live and warm regards from a city where hope and faith have prevailed over the harshest of adversaries.

As I was speaking the other day to a group of Russian Jews – I spoke in English simultaneously being translated into Russian – I could see the tears in the eyes of several people in the audience when I thanked them for remaining standing through it all. I could see the emotions well when they heard about the Rebbe reading their letters with tears.

After witnessing this all, no one should ever be able to say that there is no hope…

As so many of us are wondering what will come of our current economic woes, of never-ending volatility in the Middle East, of each of our own personal fears and uncertainties — Moscow 2009 is a powerful reminder that we know very little about the mysteries of life cycles. Yesterday, Moscow was destroying lives, today it is building them. Yesterday, Moscow all but annihilated Jewish life and morale. Today Jewish life is thriving here.

In the center of Moscow an impressive seven-story Jewish Community Center is buzzing with activity. From classrooms, synagogues, two kosher restaurants, community rooms, sports activities, dinner halls, ballrooms, and that’s not even half of it. Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar sits unassuming in his office, overseeing KGB headquarters on one end and an empire of Jewish institutions on the other. I am looking into his eyes to see if he senses the great miracle he is part of.

But awesome moments are never recognized as they happen; only in retrospect.

Moscow today is indeed an awesome sight to behold when placed in context of Moscow in 1937.

And its lessons reverberate. With crisis brewing world over, who knows where and when the next Moscow will emerge.

—— * ——

***

Above portions were copied from Lectures of: Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Of: http://www.MeaningfulLife.com

***


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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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

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…

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

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Lecture by Rabbi Simon Jacobson: “2009: A Prediction”

Posted on January 13, 2009. Filed under: 2009 Prediction, A Prediction for 2009, Lecture of Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Lectures by Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Lectures of Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Rabbi Simon Jacobson Lecture, Rabbi Simon Jacobson Lectures, The Truth, Torah, True, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

Lectures of:

Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Brought to you by:

Lectures of: Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Of:

http://www.MeaningfulLife.com

This Lecture’s Subject:

2009: A Prediction

2009
What Will the New Year Bring? A Prediction

By Simon Jacobson

2008 was hardly the worst year in history, but it sure feels like it reading the news, blogs, commentaries and analysis of the past year. People are tentative and fearful.

The mood is generally miserable.

The outlook grim.

2008’s economic meltdown – you can check out all the historic statistics on any popular website – is nowhere close to ending. A global recession, considered by many unprecedented, has suddenly erupted, with a domino effect continuing to ripple through the world. Mumbai has shaken us all up. The Middle East is at war again, or should I say, not at war again, but an ongoing battle that never seems to end. What is even more distressing is that Israel, perhaps for the first time in all of history, refuses to acknowledge that war has been declared against it, and to act accordingly and decisively, instead of just reacting to the latest missile attacks, second-guessing itself and moving forward with so much uncertainty.

Read Israel Harel’s article in Haaretz, Israel Blinked First.

What will happen in the coming year? Will the new United States President change things, or will we have just more of the same? How many more foreclosures, bankruptcies, failed companies and financial institutions can we look forward to in 2009? What new revelations and corruptions will emerge? Will our economic systems fail completely or will they rebound? Are we headed toward better times or worse ones?

The questions are many.

Answers few, if any.

Predicting what the new year will bring can seem quite presumptuous, if not outright folly. Yet, I will venture to do so anyway. No, I don’t have a crystal ball. I have something far better.

Read on.

By looking back we can see ahead. The greatest guide for the future is the past. We cannot predict the coming year’s events. But we can learn from those before us who have seen and experienced far worse than we will ever see, and rose above it. What is the secret of the resilience and power of heroic people who endured and thrived despite great suffering?

One of the most remarkable and overlooked stories of history was the transcendent ability of Torah scholars to produce an enormous volume of literature despite the harshest circumstances surrounding them.

Throughout the Early and Middle Ages, with Jewish persecution at its heights, sages like Rashi, Ramban, Rabbeinu Tam, Rashbam, the Tosafists and so many others – literally hundreds of scholars – wrote thousands of pages, containing the most brilliant and eloquent commentary you will ever read. And no where in their writings will you find complaints, bitterness, depression or demoralization. Pogroms, the crusades, persecutions, expulsions, inquisitions were ravaging Europe. But as much as you analyze their words, you will not uncover an iota of the tragic and difficult events taking place around them!

Quite the contrary. Page after page is filled with inspiration, uplifting words, enormous strength and powerful insights.

Usually, you would expect to find some mention or reference in a book to the personal challenges of the author. Often authors bare their souls and their life traumas in their writings. But even when they don’t, with a bit of deconstruction and analysis, we can uncover the author’s personal traumas. Indeed, entire studies today are dedicated to show us how to recognize in an author’s words his abusive father and dysfunctional mother, every grievance against society can be seen in his pages.

When it comes to our Torah sages, you find none of the sort. No fear, no tentativeness, nothing in their writings reflects the most trying challenges of their times! And what is even more amazing is that this is not an isolated case. Literally every scholar and sage, from the time of Moses, through all the ages, left us with a legacy of writings that reflect a higher world, not at all scarred or touched by the horrible events of the world below.

Where did they have the composure, the presence of mind, to focus and produce such clarity? How were they able to not be overcome by doubts and fears for themselves and their families welfare?

Take Joseph in this week’s Torah portion: Despite his travails – sold by his own brothers into slavery, 22 years torn away from his beloved father, orphaned from his mother Rachel – you would think that he would have retained some bitterness. In fact, when Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers, instead of fury and revenge, despite his great suffering, Joseph ends up calming his mortified brothers: “Do not feel guilty,” he tells them, “for it is not you who sent me here, but G-d,” in order to save lives!

(See this article).

Simply remarkable.

A powerful lesson for all history.

Where did Joseph find such strength of character, such power, to not allow his circumstances to shape his life, and instead he shaped his circumstances?

Was Joseph – and all the Middle Age sages – out of touch?

Hardly. They were keenly aware and sensitive to the welfare of their own children. Yet, they still were able to rise above the fray.

How?

The answer lies in a powerful expression: “az men iz tzugebunden oiben, falt men nischt unten.” When you are bound above, you don’t fall below.

This is the secret of transcendence: the ability to not be defined by the events around us; the recognition that we are products of our own perceptions, and we write the script of our own destinies.

Worship man-made devices below, and your life will be determined by your attitude. Connect to the sublime above, and you will be able to rise above the immediate events and move forward with fortitude and optimism.

If you feel that mortals – or money – control the forces of your life, then you have delivered your own verdict: You will be subject to these forces, with all their unpredictability.

If however, like Joseph, you recognize that the circumstances of your life are driven by a higher hand, and nothing, absolutely nothing that humans do can control your destiny, then you have freed yourself from the behavior of others, and can ride through the challenges and even discover how they have empowered you to “save lives.”

The very question – “What will be?” “What will happen?” – is our undoing. If you feel that things “happen” to you, or that you “find yourself” in a predicament or situation, then you have relinquished control, and surrendered your destiny to the “things” that you empower.

The secret to success in the new year is to not empower the weak forces that drive fear into our hearts. But to empower your own soul; to recognize that you have within yourself all the necessary strength to fulfill your life’s mission. To realize that things don’t happen to you; you make things happen. You don’t “find yourself” in situations; you place yourself in them.

We cannot control the events to come. But we can certainly control whether and how we will be influenced by them. Good ships are not those that can stop the storms or tame the waves; they are the ones that ride the swells, confident in their own ability to know when to thrust forward and when to slow down.

Not to minimize the challenges of our times, but we can hardly call 2008 the worst year in history. By looking back to far worse years we can learn how to proceed. And how much of our troubles are actually psychological? Imagine, if a critical mass would have a change of attitude, and learn from our predecessors how to “bind” ourselves to that which is “above.”

But for now, before we address the critical mass, let us look at ourselves.

No, we do not know what the new year will bring. But I will make confident prediction: Your attitude will define your year.

No matter what happens this year, whatever up and downs will be coming our way, your destiny will be shaped by your attitudes; you will experience exactly what you allow yourself to experience: You will either be dragged down by the gravitational pull of the earth that you worship, or you will be lifted on the wings of your soul that you believe in.

~~~~~~~~

***

Above portions were copied from Lectures of: Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Of: http://www.MeaningfulLife.com

***

We recommend that you visit them for more info and many many many many other articles on any and all subject you could think of…

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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 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

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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The Parshah in a Nutshell: Parshas Vayigash

Posted on January 1, 2009. Filed under: Happy Channukah, Jewish Customs, Jewish traditions, Parshas Hashavua, Parshas Hashavuah, Parshas Vayigash, Parshat Hashavua, Parshat Hashavuah, Parshat Vayigash, The Parsha in a Nutshell, The Parshah in a Nutshell, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, Weekly Parsha, Weekly Parshah, Weekly sedra, Weekly Sedrah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

The Parshah in a Nutshell

(A Summary of the Parsha)

Brought to you by:

Chabad.org

On this week’s Parsha:

Vayigash

Genesis 44:18-47:27

Judah approaches Joseph to plead for the release of Benjamin, offering himself as a slave to the Egyptian ruler in Benjamin‘s stead. Upon witnessing his brothers’ loyalty to one another, Joseph reveals his identity to them. “I am Joseph,” he declares. “Is my father still alive?”

The brothers are overcome by shame and remorse, but Joseph comforts them. “It was not you who sent me here,” he says to them, “but G-d. It has all been ordained from Above to save us, and the entire region, from famine.”

The brothers rush back to Canaan with the news. Jacob comes to Egypt with his sons and their families — seventy souls in all — and is reunited with his beloved son after 22 years. On his way to Egypt he receives the Divine promise: “Fear not to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation. I will go down with you into Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again.”

Joseph gathers the wealth of Egypt by selling food and seed during the famine. Pharaoh gives Jacob‘s family the fertile county of Goshen to settle, and the children of Israel prosper in their Egyptian exile.



*** Above portions were copied from Chabad.org ***

We recommend that you visit them for more info…

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*** 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

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!!! ***

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Parsha in a Nutshell – Parshas Miketz / Mikeitz

Posted on December 26, 2008. Filed under: 15041578, A Parsha Story, Happy Channukah, Jewish Customs, Jewish traditions, Miketz, Parshas Mikeitz, Parshas Miketz, Parshat Hashavua, Parshat Hashavuah, Parshat Mikeitz, The Parsha in a Nutshell, The Parshah in a Nutshell, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, Weekly Parsha, Weekly Parshah, Weekly sedra, Weekly Sedrah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

The Parshah in a Nutshell

(A Summary of the Parsha Story)

Brought to you by:

Chabad.org

On this week’s Parsha:

Miketz (AKA: Mikeitz)

Genesis 41:1-44:17

The Parshah in a Nutshell

Miketz

Genesis 41:1-44:17

Joseph‘s imprisonment finally ends when Pharaoh dreams of seven fat cows that are swallowed up by seven lean cows, and of seven fat ears of grain swallowed by seven lean ears. Joseph interprets the dreams to mean that seven years of plenty will be followed by seven years of hunger, and advises Pharaoh to store grain during the plentiful years. Pharaoh appoints Joseph governor of Egypt. Joseph marries Asenat, daughter of Potiphar, and they have two sons, Menasseh and Ephraim.

Famine spreads throughout the region, and food can be obtained only in Egypt. Ten of Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to purchase grain; the youngest, Benjamin, stays home, for Jacob fears for his safety. Joseph recognizes his brothers, but they do not recognize him; he accuses them of being spies, insists that they bring Benjamin to prove that they are who they say they are, and imprisons Shimon as a hostage. Later, they discover that the money they paid for their provisions has been mysteriously returned to them.

Jacob agrees to send Benjamin only after Judah assumes personal and eternal responsibility for him. This time Joseph receives them kindly, releases Shimon, and invites them to an eventful dinner at his home. But then he plants his silver goblet, purportedly imbued with magic powers, in Benjamin’s sack. When the brothers set out for home the next morning they are pursued, searched, and arrested when the goblet is discovered. Joseph offers to set them free and retain only Benjamin as his slave.



*** Above portions were copied from Chabad.org ***

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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