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3 Dvar Malchus
10 Parsha Thought
13 Story
24 Hayom Yom & Moshiach
33 Tzivos Hashem

Shmuel Tzur


Menachem Ziegelboim
16 WE
Nosson Avrohom




Menachem Ziegelboim

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M.M. Hendel
Rabbi S.Y. Chazan

Boruch Merkur

2016-11-29 10:27:21 AM


2,000 Shluchim, One Rebbe:


he blue-tapestry covered walls

colored the hall with a rich hue of
splendor; the Rebbes farbrengen
bima adorned with a large,
breathtaking photo of the Rebbe transmits
an authentic Chassidishe vibe combined
with an elegant touch.
Themusic, played by a band of highly
talented musicians, infuse attendees with
soul-stirring melodies that transport to
an older time, to another place; leading
the group is musician RYossi Cohen; to
their left stands the podium, from where
the speakers will address the esteemed
Theres an aura of suspense in the

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dimly-lit room that is enveloping all the

guests thousands of Shluchim who
by now are being comfortably seated
around the square, stylishly bedecked
Its approximately 9:30 when
the emcee, New Jersey Shliach and
Vaad Hakinus member, Rabbi
opens the Gala Banquet
with a warm Bruchim Habaim. Large
video screens project a talk of the Rebbe
blessing the Shluchim and addressing
different difficulties Shluchim face. That
was soon followed with the famous Rosh
Chodesh Kislev Video of 5753, when
the Rebbe affirms and reaffirms, indeed

RabbiYosef Carlebach

RabbiEli Dovid Borenstien

2016-11-29 10:27:22 AM

RabbiAharon Yaakov Shwei

RabbiSholom Ber Drizin

Mr.Shimon Mercer Wood

RabbiChaim Yosef Ginsburg

RabbiYosef Yeshaya Braun

the Shluchims singing Yechi
After reciting the Rebbes
Perek of Thillim and pronouncing
Yechi, led by Shliach to Bologna,
Italy, R
Eli Dovid HaKohen
Borenstien, the emcee invited the
featured speaker of the evening,
spokesperson and consul for the
Israeli Embassy in Manhattan.
Following the inspiring words
from Mr. Mercer Wood, the
emcee invited member of Badatz
RabbiAharon Yaakov Shweito
the podium.
Rabbi Shwei blessed the
Shluchim as a representative of
the host community. When one
of the Shluchim related to me,
begins R Shwei, that he comes to
the kinus to recharge his neshama
with spiritual energy, I told him
that simultaneously he imbues
the community with renewed
spiritual energy, when they see the
Shluchims Mesiras Nefesh.
After R Shwei concluded
his remarks, RabbiSholom Ber
Drizin, chassidic philanthropist
and sponsor of the kinus, gave a
short, but rousing address. The
emcee then gave him a big bracha
for success in everything and long,
healthy years.
At this time emcee Rabbi
Carlebach began listing names
of countries whose Shluchim are
winners of the $1,000 grant, to
which the audience responded

with raucous applause.

Ginsburg, Shliachto Ramat
Aviv Tel Aviv, elaborated on
our Shlichus today, what the
Rebbe wants from every one
of the Shluchim.
Followed by lively dancing
Guttman, the next course was
Next, member of Badatz,
RabbiYosef Yeshaya Braun,is
invited to speak. He reminds the
audience of the kinus opening of
5752, when the Rebbe defined
Shlichus as preparing the world
to greet Moshiach. At that time
I was in Sydney, Australia, and I
wrote to the Rebbe for a blessing
for success in our activities. The
Rebbe replied I answered them
at the farbrengen on Shabbos
Mevarchim Kislev, Azkir Al
reminded the participants that
what a Chassidishe farbrengen
can accomplish, the angel Michoel
cannot, and proceeded to mention
names of Shluchim who are in
need of a blessing.
The grand finale of the
touching and encouraging speech
by RabbiYossi Bryski, Shliach in
Phoenix, Arizona. Rabbi Bryski
recounted a story that he was
personally involved in and which
saved someones life, and how
this changed Rabbi Brsykis life as
was honored with
leading the after-blessing.
With the conclusion of
the official banquet program,
commenced, lasting into the wee
hours of the morning.

RabbiYossi Bryski

B"H. 2 Kislev 5777

25 November 2016 Number 1046
Price: $6.00 Part 2 of 3
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These radical upheavals, these tumultuous
changes, which have a direct impact on the
majority of the worlds population, are taking place
in silence and tranquility, something that has no
precedent in the entire history of mankind!
Translated by Boruch Merkur

The emphasis on the refinement
of the world as a preparation for
the Messianic Era is something
that is (not only mentioned in the
Torah portion but is) openly visible
throughout the world these days.
To preface: There are those who
are confounded by what is being
spoken about of late. Namely, that
we are presently in the Era of Ikvisa
DMeshicha, at the end of the exile.
These people ask: What is taking
place that supports this claim? The
world is carrying on as usual from
year to year! But in fact it is the
greatest wonder that they dont
consider the nature of current events
unfolding in the world, events that
are readily observable and well
covered by the media!
In the latter period (beginning
with recent years and increasing with
the passage of time), upheavals are
taking place across the globe, events
that are transforming the political
landscape from one extreme to the
other. It is only with the benevolence

of G-d that these revolutions are

silent that is to say, without war
and bloodshed, may G-d preserve
us to the extent that daily life
(commerce and the like) goes on as
usual in these places, as if everything
were operating as normal. But the
fact is that revolutions are taking
place in each of these countries on
a national level, internal upheavals
that are being negotiated through
First off there is Russia (the
country the Rebbe Rayatz, leader
of the generation, came from,
together with his students and
emissaries). The seventy-year rule
of this powerful and dreaded regime
instilled fear in all of its citizens, to
the extent that even for just criticizing
the government the consequence
would be exile to an uninhabitable
land (such as Siberia). However, the
governing party, all of a sudden, in a
very short time, underwent a radical
change (enacted by those at the top
political positions), and this change
spread to other countries of the same
Similarly regarding China, which

has in recent years undergone a

transformation in its domestic policy
as well as its foreign policy. The same
is true of India, for its longstanding
heads of state were swiftly replaced.
Likewise with regard to the upheavals
in several other countries across
the globe, including iyei hayam,
islands of the sea [these are the
Greek Islands Rashi on Yeshayahu
11:11], though there is no need to
elaborate at length about this matter,
as it has become widespread public
The fact is that we are speaking
about upheavals in nations that are
heavily populated, revolutions in
governments and regimes whose
authority extends to billions of
people across the globe, affecting the
majority of the worlds population!

The miracle is this: It is a
great wonder that people dont pay
any attention to these cataclysmic
changes, in the spirit of the verse,
Ein baal hanes makir bniso
(a person doesnt perceive the
miracle done for him). These
radical upheavals, these tumultuous
changes, which have a direct impact
on the majority of the worlds
Continued on page 9
Issue 1046

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It has been some years now already that the chinuch world
has been addressing the question of how to deal with
the problem of the Internet and Smartphone addiction.
Teachers, professional therapists and the best minds in hightech have offered various solutions. * We used to have to
deal with text messages on the old cell phones, while today,
any hand-held device can be a danger and a slippery slope
to the depths of destructive worlds. * Beis Moshiach spoke
with Rabbi Zev Crombie who has degrees in psychology
and criminology, who presents the proper approach to
addressing the problem of the Internet. * The answer to
virtual addiction. Its not what you thought.
Interview by Shmuel Tzur
Photos by Noam Dahan

he phenomenon of addiction
has taken on a more immediate
significance in our world. Social
media, WhatsApp groups, and
the easy entry into the world wide net, has
raised the issue for many people as to how
to differentiate between an addiction and
a need. Among youth and those coming of
age the problem is even more serious. With
the press of a button they can connect to
a virtual world and travel through worlds
filled with dangerous content.
Along with an array of technical
solutions that provide services to protect

us from the dangerous virtual world, a

professional approach has developed
which considers addiction as the tip of the
iceberg of the problem. Addiction to the
net is not the problem but the symptom;
the problem is what led to looking for
meaning in places that cannot provide
it. R Zev Crombie, who has served as
the director of organizations involved in
rehabilitation and chesed, has in recent
years developed a response to addiction
of any sort. In an open conversation, he
shared with us how to fight the Internet
and not just with a filter.

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We are talking about people who

outwardly seem typical, people with
families and children who daven in shul, learn
Torah, but are actually leading double lives.
They are thought of as G-d fearing Chassidim,
but inside, things are very problematic.

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How did you come to work
in this field?
For many years I worked
for Kollel Chabad and for over
twenty-five years I was involved
in Chesed organizations. In my
most recent position, I started
and ran a hospice for eleven
years, the Gravski Rehabilitation
severe cases in need of physical
rehabilitation. At a certain point,
I became aware of the problem
in the frum world that had
almost nobody dealing with,
that of various addictions. I left
my job and studied the field for
two years and got my second
degree in criminology at Haifa
University. A few months ago,
I was asked by the director of
the Kehillat HaDerech Center,
Dr. Amnon Michoel, to develop
a therapeutic framework for
the frum community for out of
control behavior.
What is meant by addiction?
When someone cannot control
his urge to surf the Internet, in an
obsessive fashion, and sometimes
what is on the screen spills over
into his life outside the Internet.
Unfortunately, the frum world is
also suffering from this problem.
Im talking about people who
outwardly seem typical, people
with families and children who
daven in shul, learn Torah, some
of whom even teach Torah, but
are actually leading double lives.
Outwardly, to all their friends,
they are thought of as G-d fearing
Chassidim, but inside, there is
real problematic behavior. These
people suffer a great deal and to
a certain extent, sometimes their
families suffer too, mainly when
their families discover there is
another side to them that they
never dreamed existed.
What spiritual answers are
there to the problem of the
virtual world?

Its a problem that people

tend to hide. The reason this
tendency is stronger in the frum
world is because one of the
strongest fuels for this problem is
guilt feelings. Usually, someone
with an Internet obsession has
an inner emptiness, an inner
lack that cannot be filled, an
insatiable void. People who you
would think are fine and who
have everything in life, feel as
though they have nothing. They
feel completely empty inside.
They feel tremendously guilty
and more than anything, they feel
a lack of self-worth.
When a person feels a lack
of self-worth, he wants to feel
good at all costs, even when this
good feeling costs him dearly,
because of course, for a frum
person to surf the Internet and
look at unacceptable things, is
something that only intensifies
his guilt feelings.
We can use, as an example,
something far simpler, emotional
eating. A person comes home
after a hard day at work and he
feels bad and he doesnt know
how to deal with the unpleasant
feelings he has. He doesnt know
what else to do and so he goes
to the refrigerator and eats cake
because it makes him feel good.
In the short term, the cake does
the job. In the long run, it will
make him feel guilty because he
will feel bad about himself, so
to console himself, he eats more
cake, and then there is an endless
cycle. That is what is happening
It is very hard to extricate
oneself from this without outside,
professional help.
What help do you offer?
A tax investigator once told
me that when he catches tax
evaders, they almost always feel
relieved even though they will
have to pay for what they did.

Because the person lived so many

years feeling bad about himself,
living a false life that he knows is
false, he is happy that he finally
can start truly dealing with his
These things exact a heavy
price. There are people I
meet and even young yeshiva
bachurim, thirteen years old in
chareidi and dati-leumi yeshivos,
who spend a large part of their
lives in the other world, in the
virtual world, in a world of tuma.
And they are there because they
feel an intolerable emptiness.
One of the most significant
things in treating people who
suffer from this problem is to
teach them how to relate to other
people. There are people who
do not know how to connect.
Connections between people can
cause unpleasant feelings because
when we connect with others,
we are inevitably, occasionally,
offended. There is no escaping
that when relating to other
people. Some people, having
been offended in the past, close

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themselves off from any authentic

human relationship. They might
speak with other people but only
on a superficial level.
You are describing here a
specific personality type. If I
understood you correctly, the
addicted person is a shy or antisocial person. The bachur who
is always on the sidelines. What
about an outgoing type?
There are those who are
gregarious only superficially,
but when you uncover their true
selves you see that their external
facade is completely empty. It
is known that there are people
who are completely immersed
in these addictions. There was
a story recently about a famous
community person who fell into
severe addiction and it destroyed
his career, because although
externally he seemed successful,
nothing was real for him. He
did not believe that he was truly
successful. Today I spoke with
someone who is a gambler, who
said that he worked and was

in the army and he started a

company and had many other
successes, but his success does
not seem real to him.
If so, then it is not just
addiction to the Internet, it
seems to be a broader problem.
All addictions are symptoms
of a situation in which a person
lacks inner peace. The addicted
person is disconnected from three
things: 1) From himself addicts
dont know how to identify and
talk about emotions, and so part
of the healing process is to teach
them to identify emotions and
talk about them. In the frum
world in general, and the Litvishe
world in particular, the chinuch
is very intellectual. It does not
place much of an emphasis on
the emotions. In the Chassidic
world its a bit better because
Chassidim are more exposed to
displays of emotion in tfilla, for
example, but this is lacking in the
Litvishe world. People feel a great
2) From other people he is
not connected; he does not know

how to relate to other people.

He has relationships but they are
only technical.
3) From Hashem.
A person reading this article
who realizes he is addicted
what process does he need to
undergo beyond getting in touch
with his emotions. How long
does treatment typically take?
That depends on the severity
of his addiction. There are
relatively minor addictions that
require seeing a professional once
a week. Today support groups
for addicts are commonplace in
Eretz Yisroel.
But sometimes the situation is
worse. There are people who have
gone for therapy or to support
groups and did not solve their
problem. The solution for them
is to do more intensive therapy,
under professional auspices, like
the program I am in which has
been treating substance abuse
for twenty years, and they have
now opened a program for the
religious sector for Internet and
other addictions.
What needs to be done is
to get the person to relate to
himself. He must step out of all
his existing social structures,
disconnect from his phone and
computer, and learn how to
live in a community. Addiction
results from the inability to
properly relate to other people.
The patient comes to live in our
residential facility. The short
program is four months and the
long program is nine months.
as a completely independent
community under the supervision
of professionals, social workers
and criminologists.
So at the facility the person
is constantly exposed to other
people with the same problem.
He is not alone with the
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Correct. The first and most

important thing in therapy, and
the most painful, is for a person
to admit to himself and others
that he has a problem. I am
addicted and I cannot take care of
the problem myself. Only when
a person reaches a point where he
says he cannot treat himself, he
needs help, can recovery begin.
Because until then, what he does,
what everyone does, is play the
victim, blame the whole world
for his problem. The moment he
begins to realize that only he can
solve his problem, that it is his
responsibility, the process can
begin. And part of the process is
to be able to tell other people, I
have a problem, I am addicted to
the Internet.
Whats amazing is that he
then hears about many other
people who are also addicted,
who have the same problem.
When he hears he is not alone
with this problem and that other
people recovered from it, it
gives him enormous strength to
successfully recover too.
If a person wants to know

whether he is addicted to the

Internet or other things, how
can he tell?
When is eating food called
an addiction? The definition of
addiction is when the activity
overshadows all other activities he
does. When the activity occupies
a disproportionate amount of
time, and when it causes him
to do things that contradict his
values. When a person knows
stealing is prohibited, but he
steals, he knows it is forbidden
to lie but he lies regularly, when
he feels that his behavior is
something he wants to change
but he cannot, this is defined as
an addiction.
What can we do with our
The first and most important
thing is to talk face to face. Social
media causes people not to talk.
At least we have Shabbos which
puts a stop to the media. Its
very important to talk to children
face to face, to make the human
The second thing is that it is
very important to learn about and

talk about emotions, to express

emotions, what I feel. There
are so many people, adults and
children, who do not know how
to express their emotions. When
a person cannot express his
emotions, a void is created that
cannot be filled.
The third thing when a
parent, for example, sees his child
sitting all day on the Internet, his
instinct is to attack and blame
him. This is counterproductive
because the guiltier a person
feels, the more lacking in value
he feels, and this just spurs him
on to get external satisfaction
and good feelings. The childs
problem is that he does not
feel good inside and therefore
he looks for it outside because
when you feel good inside, you
dont need to look for it outside.
When we blame the boy or girl,
it just makes the problem bigger.
We need to understand that this
is the worst way to deal with it.
The best way is to deal with it
lovingly, compassionately.
Do you have a tip or
something that can help people
who are on their phones all day,
because someone who works all
day on the phone and there
are many like that cannot take
a break from it.
As I said, I think the most
powerful medicine for addiction
is human contact. Addiction
is a misguided substitute for
connection. A person innately has
a desire to connect. The proper
connection is with other people,
but when there isnt the proper
connection, then a substitute is
found, like people who have a
dog because they dont know how
to fill their need for connection
with human beings. Lower than
that is connecting with a phone
or the media or the Internet or
food. They are all substitutes for
human interaction.

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In the approach I studied,

addiction is more the result of a
problem in forming connections
than anything else. Connecting
to yourself, to others, and
the third relationship, with a
Higher Power, Hashem. A real
connection to Hashem is the
most significant part of recovery.
In conclusion
When it comes to treating
addiction, we can learn how to
deal with inner urges and how
to handle unpleasant thoughts.
The addict lives in his head and
he is taught how to get out of his

An Internet addict has an inner emptiness, an

inner lack that cannot be filled, an insatiable
void. People who you would think are fine and who have
everything in life, feel as though they have nothing. They
feel completely empty inside. They feel tremendously
guilty and more than anything, they feel a lack of selfworth.

head and into real life, with its

advantages and challenges. The
main thing we teach addicts is
get out of your self-absorption.
The addict lives a life in which

Continued from page 3

population, are taking place in
silence and tranquility, something
that has no precedent in the entire
history of mankind!
Typically, regime change is
accompanied by prolonged war
and bloodshed, disrupting normal
life, bringing in its wake ruin and
destruction, may G-d preserve us.
There is no need to search extensively
through the annals of the history of
previous generations for examples,
for in this very generation we have
seen the incredible destruction of the
Second World War, may such horror
never recur.
However, in recent times, even
greater upheavals are taking place,
affecting the majority of the world,
and with G-ds kindness, they are
transpiring without wars and without
bloodshed, G-d forbid, but amidst
quietude and tranquility.
Moreover, it is apparent that
these upheavals taking place in
our times are (not only concerning
human affairs but are) also in
connection with the rest of G-ds
creations: the animal, plant, and
mineral kingdoms. I am referring
here to the rash of earthquakes that
have taken place recently, in a short

all he thinks about is how to get

more and more, and in order to
get away from this, he needs to
start doing for others.

span of time, and are presently

continuing in various places in
the world (including this nation).
But with the kindness of G-d, the
number of victims has been minimal,
especially when compared to similar
events that took place earlier.


To explain the connection of the
above to the Jewish people: (For at
first glance, political upheavals that
take place across the globe (without
any direct connection to the Jewish
people) are not of interest to Jews,
whose job it is to study Torah and
fulfill Mitzvos.)
a) Recognizing the greatness
of G-d and offering praise and
expressing appreciation for His great
benevolence. For, in addition to the
greatness of G-d that is visible in
the framework of nature as it is
written, The heavens recount the
glory of G-d, etc., when I see Your
heavens, the work of Your fingers,
the moon and stars that You have
established G-ds miracles further
emphasize His greatness, in a more
pronounced way. In our case, this
applies to the radical upheavals
across the globe taking place amidst
quietude and tranquility, a miracle of

such enormity that these occurrences

are only within the power of the Almghty Himself, Who is omnipotent.
Thus, we must thank G-d for His
great kindness, for how much more
is praise and thanks incumbent upon
us for these great miracles when
even for natural conduct we must
thank Him daily. (And certainly,
involvement in Torah study and
the fulfillment of Mitzvos does not
detract at all from contemplating the
greatness of G-d, and praising and
thanking Him for His tremendous
b) An increase in faith in the
coming of Moshiach and the
anticipation of his imminent arrival,
Every day I await his arrival,
for the revolutions taking place
in the world are signs cited in the
Midrashim of our Sages, of blessed
memory, regarding the era of Ikvisa
DMeshicha, the stage immediately
preceding the redemption. Indeed,
seeing these upheavals in our times
serves as an addition confirmation
that we are presently in the final
moments of Ikvisa DMeshicha, and
immediately Moshiach Tzidkeinu
will arrive.
(From the address of Shabbos Parshas
Toldos, 4 Kislev, 5750, muga)

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By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg


It is axiomatic that every
detail of the Torah, including
its narratives, is significant and
contains a message for all times.
In the beginning of this
weeks parsha the Torah relates
that Eisav came in from the field
famished and asked Yaakov to
feed him some of the lentils that
he was cooking. Yaakov asks
for Eisavs birthright in return,
to which he readily agreed. The
Torah derides him for this: he
ate and drank; he got up and left.
Eisav despised the birthright.
The Midrash explains that
on that very day Avraham had
passed away. The lentils cooked
by Yaakov were the traditional
food served to mourners.
If Avrahams family was busy
mourning his passing, what was
Eisav doing out in the field? And
why does the Torah state that he
came in from the field exhausted?
The Midrash states that
while Yitzchak and Yaakov were
mourning the loss of Avraham,
the paragon of virtue, Eisav
was out on a crime spree. That
day, the Midrash states, Eisav
committed three major sins:
murder, violation of a betrothed
maiden and disgracing his

The 16th century commentary

Maaseh Hashem explains that
these three crimes represented
Eisavs repudiation of the
three fundamental principles
of Judaism, upon which the
Thirteen Principles of Faith
enumerated by Maimonides are


These principles are the
existence of G-d, the Divine
origin of Torah and the
immortality of the soul.
explains, can be understood as
his denial of the existence of the
immortal soul. The Torah says
as much when quoting Eisavs
rejection of the birthright, I am
going to die so why do I need
the birthright. By saying this he
expressed his belief that there was
no life beyond the physical world;
a tacit denial of the afterlife and
the immortality of his soul. The
murder he committed was the
metaphorical destruction of his
own soul. In addition, an actual
physical murder is also denial
of the humanity and soul of
the victim. Moreover, murder
separates a persons soul from his

body, but if there is no soul then

there can be no murder.
of the Thirteen Principles of
Faith does not include belief
in the immortality of the soul.
However, this belief is contained
in the principle of reward and
punishment. When we dont
see good people rewarded for
their good deeds and evil people
punished for their evil doing,
it is because G-ds reward and
punishment might be deferred
until the souls departure from
this world.


betrothed maiden metaphorically
refers to his rejection of Torah
as a Divine writ and a G-dly way
of life. This analogy is based on
the Torahs self-characterization
as a morasha, which means
inheritance but is translated by
the Talmud as morasa-betrothed.
Torah to us is more than just a
powerful teaching. It is the most
intimate aspect of our lives; we
are married to it. This intimate
relationship with Torah is based
on its Divine nature, which
connects to the Divine aspect of
our souls. Denying the Divine
dimension of Torah is tantamount
to violating the integrity of the
Torah; a betrothed maiden.

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denigration of his birthright
parallels a denial of G-ds
existence. The reason the
firstborn enjoys a special status,
Maaseh Hashem explains, is that
all firsts are reflections of G-d,
the ultimate First Cause. Denial
of the preeminent status of the
first born is a subtle rejection of
belief in a G-d who precedes all
else and who brought all else into
This understanding of the
integrity of the firsts also
explains the different responses
G-d had to the offerings of Cain
and Abel. G-d accepted Abels
offering because he, and not
Cain, brought the firstborn
of his sheep. Cain, we might
suggest, did not ascribe any
importance to the first because
he believed, as did Plato and
Aristotle, that the world always
existed and to him G-d was not
the First. G-d, to Cain, was a
force superimposed on the world,
which needed to be placated with
a sacrifice to keep it off his back.
In his mind, there was no need
to express profound gratitude
to Him as the very Source of all
that exists. To believe that the
world is immortal independent
of G-d is, in truth, a less than
subtle rejection of G-ds mastery
and unity, and, by extension, a
rejection of G-ds Essence.

Reflection on and examination
of Midrashic and Kabbalistic
sources shows that the three
principles denied by Eisav were
already under assault, starting at
the very dawn of humanity.
The Talmud (Sanhedrin 38b)
states that Adam denied G-d.
Obviously, Adam could not have

denied G-ds existence, but his

partaking of the forbidden fruit
represented a concrete form of
denial. The Talmud states that
the serpent convinced Adam and
Eve that G-d created the world
only after He partook of the Tree
of Knowledge. In order to accept
this notion Adam had to have
believed that G-d was not the
First Existence.
Another manifestation of
Adams heresy was his attempt to
hide his nakedness from G-d. The

Torah characterizes Adam and

Eves desire for the forbidden
fruit. It uses terminology that
is strikingly close to that used
to discuss the lust and sensual
desire that causes one to engage
in illicit relations. Moreover, their
transgression and submission to
the serpent, the embodiment of
evil, injected impurity into the
human condition, which infected
Cain and caused the death of
In short, we can see that the

Their joint accomplishments were not without

some formidable challenges. On the last day that
Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov lived contemporaneously,
Eisav attempted to sabotage their joint accomplishments
by violating these three fundamental principles, whether
by actual deed or in his perverted theological mindset.

fruit of the Tree of Knowledge

stimulated him to think he could
hide from G-d. This was a denial
of G-ds omnipresence, which
is tantamount to denial of G-ds
transcendence of time and space.
Another interpretation of
Adams denial is based on the
understanding that the Tree of
Knowledge represents secular
philosophy which, when left
to its own devices, can lead a
person to reach heretical and
atheistic conclusions. Thus, even
if Adam himself did not deny
G-ds existence, he did sow the
seeds for, and introduce into
the world, a discipline which
would eventually prove to be a
significant source of denial.


was also
be traced

the Midrash states,

guilty of the sin of
relations. This may
back to the way the

three vices associated with Eisav

had their genesis with Adam.

The Kabbalists, based on
explain that the Patriarchs and
Matriarchs were the first humans
to reverse the damage caused by
Adam and Eves sin.
Avraham devoted his life to
promote belief in and awareness
of one G-d. Wherever he went he
declared that G-d is the Creator
of the world. Moreover, he also
influenced others to declare G-d
as Creator. Thousands of pagans
embraced strict Monotheism as a
result of Avrahams efforts.
Yitzchak, by allowing himself
to be a sacrifice, we are taught,
atoned for the bloodshed that
was introduced into the world
as a consequence of Adam and
Eves sin. We have seen that
bloodshed is a denial of the
immortality of the soul and the
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afterlife. Yitzchak, our Sages
teach, actually died at the Akeida
and was resurrected. This alludes
to the fact that the soul lives on
and can never be destroyed; it
can, and indeed will be, restored
to the dead in the age of the
Resurrection after the Final
brought further atonement for
the immorality associated with
Adam and Eve. As was discussed
above, forbidden relations with a
betrothed maiden is a metaphor
for undermining the divinity of
Torah. Yaakov was therefore
described as one who dwelled in
tents, a reference to the tents of
Torah study.
challenges. On the last day that
Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov
Eisav attempted to sabotage
their joint accomplishments by
violating these three fundamental
principles, whether by actual deed
or in his perverted theological
And the rest, as they say, is
Throughout the last 3,500
years, since the days of the
Patriarchs and the giving of
the Torah at Mount Sinai,
we have been laboring in our
efforts to reverse Adam and

efforts were begun by the

Patriarchs, particularly Yaakov,
in neutralizing the influence of
Eisav and his heirs.

We now stand on the
cusp of the Final Redemption
through Moshiach, when these
three cardinal sins, in all their
incarnations and nuances, will be
removed permanently.
who ushers in this glorious
age, is imbued with the most
sophisticated awareness of G-ds
presence. The prophet Isaiah
(11:2) describes Moshiach thus:
The spirit of G-d will rest upon
Moshiach will also prove
himself by demonstrating his
total dedication to the Torah and
will be the ultimate teacher of
Torah. Even Moshe will be one of
Moshiachs students of Torah.
Moshiach also distinguishes
himself by his possession
of the highest soul power,
known in Chassidic literature
as the Yechida. It the
loftiest part of the soul; it
is most intimate with G-d.
Revelation of this level leads
to unmitigated life. Moshiach
will ignite the Yechida of
every one of us, which will
lead to the Resurrection of
the Dead and eternal life.


The message for us is that
in these last moments of Galus
we must prepare for the future
Redemption by, among other
preparations, focusing on the
three primary tenets of Judaism:
the belief and awareness of G-d
as the First; our intimacy with
Torah; and third, realization that
the soul is eternal and so is its life
with the body in the Age of the
The study of Chassidus is
the direct approach to achieving
a sophisticated awareness and
understanding of these three
principles. Chassidus focuses
on making G-d a reality in our
consciousness. It is the part of
Torah through which its divinity
is fully exposed and, as the
Yechida/soul of Torah, it enables
us to reveal our own Yechida.
This is the sacred path to eternal
life, as our Sages state, that the
Resurrection will occur by G-d
feeding us the dew of Torah.

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12 2 Kislev 5777
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By Menachem Ziegelboim



We just marked the first

yahrtzait of the Chassid, R
Aharon Eliezer Ceitlin ah. He
was gifted with a certain chein
and chayus which made him easy
to love and learn from him.
publicized on Chabad news
websites, I saw that he is buried
near the Chassid, R Refael
Wilschansky ah. That reminded
me of events that transpired
twenty years ago.
It was shortly after I had
married when R Aharon Lazer
called and suggested that I write
a book about his grandfather
(R Aharon Leizer Ceitlin, may
Hashem avenge his blood) and
father (R Yehoshua Heschel
ah), two inspiring Chassidic
personalities. When I accepted
this challenge, I didnt realize
that writing such a book would
take so long. Throughout that
time, I occasionally hosted R
Aharon Lazer at my home, and
we would work on the book,
writing, deleting, and editing.
Each of these visits lasted
almost a full day and they always
turned into a sort of farbrengen
full of Chassidishe chayus that
energized my new home.

Refael Wilschansky and R
Yehoshua Heschel Ceitlin, were
exceptionally close and went
through tough times together. In
their youth, they had to flee from
place to place in order to learn
Torah and preserve the spark
of Judaism in the former Soviet
For many years, they stuck
together as they navigated their
difficult path. Their long and
winding road is impressive:
from Berditchev to Moscow,
to Tarapitch then to Kursk.
They escaped to Kutais, went
to Militopol and returned to
Kutais and fled from there to
Samarkand until they left Russia.
During the 1930s, the
situation in Russia became harder
day by day. There was starvation
and persecution by the NKVD.
Many yeshivos were shut down
and a special effort was needed
to maintain the existing yeshiva.
Many of the Chassidim who had
been involved in maintaining
the yeshiva had been arrested
or were in the cross-hairs of the
authorities and they had to hide.
At the beginning of the

government agents shut down

the Tomchei Tmimim yeshivos
in Haditch and Poltava, the
talmidim searched for places
to continue learning. Some
of them went with mesirus
nefesh to Berditchev where they
reopened a branch of the yeshiva.
Among these talmidim were
the friends, fourteen-year-old
Yehoshua Heschel Ceitlin, who
came from Mazaesk, and Refael
R Heschel later spoke about
that time:
In Sivan 5696, I went with
R Chaim Shaul Brook from
Moscow to Berditchev by train.
Before we left, he warned me to
sit at a distance from him and
not say a word to him. He also
told me to tuck my tzitzis in so
they wouldnt show. (After we
reached our destination, he told
me that he was aggravated the
entire trip because one strand
had stuck out of my pants which
could have gotten me arrested
but he was afraid to come over
and warn me.)
There was good reason for
him to worry. A few months
later, young Heschel went on
a trip. When he arrived at the
station, one of his tzitzis threads
inadvertently came out. A NKVD
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agent noticed this and pulled it
out, thus revealing all the threads.
Whats this? he demanded
to know.
Heschel was a little frightened
but kept his wits about him. I
am a Jew and this is a garment
Jews wear.
Dont tell me nonsense,
thundered the agent. Im sure
you secure a revolver with these
threads and use it to kill people.
Follow me!
Having no choice, Heschel
began walking behind the
policeman. His passport, without
which you couldnt go out on the
street, was taken from him.
The policeman said, I have a
way of proving whether you told
me the truth. There is an old Jew
who has been working here at
the station as a porter for many
years. Let us go over to him and
see whether he has these threads.
If he does, you told the truth and
will be released immediately.
But if he doesnt wear this
garment, thats the end of you!
Heschel with him over to that
Jew. Heschel was certain that
a man who worked for many
years in a train station would not
be wearing tzitzis. Only ardent
Chassidim wore tzitzis in those
crazy times.
the man to lift his shirt. The
frightened man did so and to
Heschels great surprise, he was
wearing tzitzis! A miracle, a real

Upon arriving in Berditchev,
Heschel met twelve talmidim,
some of whom learned on their
own and some of whom heard
shiurim from the maggid shiur,
the Tamim Avrohom Zelik

Gansburg, who was later replaced

by R Moshe Robinson.
The living conditions were
harsh. The NKVD continued
to pursue anything that smelled
of Judaism. As a result, the
talmidim had to be careful of
their every move. In some places,
the gabbaim did not allow them
to learn in the shuls and even
private people were afraid to let
them into their homes. The boys
had to learn in attics or in gloomy
cellars, with great mesirus nefesh.
His good friend, R Refael
Wilschansky, remembered those
days and the events that occurred
with his friend Heschel, who was
also his chavrusa:
The atmosphere in yeshiva
was special in a way that is hard
to describe. There were nine
talmidim. We would all go to the
shul at five in the morning. We
learned in the womens section
of the Litvishe shtibel. After we
went into the shul, the shamash
would lock us in and only then
did we start the shiur. Before
davening, the shamash would
come and open the shul and we
would leave and learn in pairs in
various shuls. We would convene
again for the next shiur. That is
how the yeshiva ran.
danger, not only did the learning
not weaken, it became stronger.
We began to sense that we were
being followed, especially after a
Ukrainian newspaper said there
is an underground yeshiva in
Berditchev. In case of emergency,
the shul had another door from
which we could escape.
Heschel was already fifteen
years old. According to the law, a
boy under sixteen was considered
a minor. Only sixteen and
above was considered an adult
responsible for his actions and
subject to legal penalties.
I remember Heschel sitting

and learning together with the

other bachurim, trying to forget
what was going on around
him, despite the fact that the
difficulties in those days were
enormous. At that time, we heard
the tragic news that his father
had been arrested and sent to
some unknown location and it
wasnt known what had befallen
Later, the two friends were
arrested together with a larger
group of bachurim and their
teacher, R Moshe Robinson.
They were harshly interrogated
and then sent together to a
reeducation. They were there
for several weeks until they
were extricated in a daring
secret operation by R Michoel
Teitelbaum. The story is known
and appears at length many times
in books about the heroism of
Chassidim in that generation.
Even after they were arrested
and released, the two did not
weaken and did not give up. Their
wanderings did not stop and they
continued their travels to Kutais
in Georgia where they hoped to
find respite in the local yeshiva.
But the divine orchestration of
events once again intervened.
With the invasion of the
Germans into Russia, the terrors
of war began to be felt by the
civilian population, including
the two friends. Hundreds
of thousands of civilians fled
deep into Russia, to Georgia,
Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, etc. and
the cities in these countries were
full of refugees.
when Georgia was stricken with
a famine. The famine affected
all residents, including the
Chassidic families. The yeshiva
was maintained by generous
Georgian donors, but it was
necessary to travel to collect

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the money. Traveling entailed

many dangers. These two young
bachurim, Heschel Ceitlin and
Refael Wilschansky, enlisted for
this job, despite the dangers.
Aside from the danger in
collecting and being in possession
of money, R Wilschansky later
recounted, we were of draft age
and it was dangerous to be out on
the street without identification
papers. We obtained these
papers in exchange for a lot of
money and we set out. We went
to various cities in Georgia like
Tbilisi, Kulashi and
Sukhomi and raised nice
sums for the yeshiva.
Throughout their travels to
various Georgian cities, the two
friends were close:
We were loyal friends,
very attached to each other and
Hashem helped us all the time,
said R Wilschansky.
Throughout the remainder of
the war, the two friends stayed
in Kutais where they continued
to learn and grow, despite the
great hardships from without and
within. Starvation, epidemics,
persecution, and the chaos in
the city, did not deter them from
continuing to learn and serve
After the war, they heard
that a Chassidic community
had formed in Samarkand, and
that there was a new Yeshivas
Tomchei Tmimim there. They
packed their bags and traveled
to Samarkand where they soon
became an integral part of the life
of the yeshiva.
In 5707, they left Russia with
forged passports. After many
difficult travels, they arrived with
Anash in France.
It seemed as though after all
the travails, Anash finally had
achieved a happier time because
over forty Lubavitcher couples

R Aharon Lazer Ceitlin

married in the next a year and a

half! Most of them had postponed
marriage due to fear, persecution
and starvation. Every wedding
was a joint simcha of them all.
Rivka, the daughter of R
Yehoshua Zelik Aronov, after
receiving a bracha from the
Rebbe Rayatz.
The wedding celebration took
place in a hall in Bezons (a suburb
of Paris) where Lubavitcher
refugees from Russia lived. Since
Heschel was orphaned in his
youth, he gave his good friend,
R Refael Wilschansky, the honor
of walking him down the aisle. R
Refael had married just the week

Decades passed and the
two friends became related by

At my lchaim, said his son

Yosef Yitzchok Ceitlin, R Refael
testified that R Heschel did not
change at all since he knew him
as a yeshiva bachur. He said that
his avodas Hashem remained
consistent to the same degree,
and this was forty years later.
The day before the first
yahrtzait, the wedding of R
took place. He is the son of
R Aharon Lazer of Tzfas. At
this wedding too, ancestors
from the next world certainly
came to participate in the big
simcha: his father, R Aharon
Leizer, his grandfather, R
Yehoshua Heschel, and his greatgrandfather, R Aharon Lazer.
And who knows maybe they
brought along their good friends,
including R Refael Wilschansky.

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The most moving thing of all is seeing how the
children absorb the experience of being in 770.
We thought the kids would be excited by the
plane trip and new sights, but they actually
internalized all the moments of kdusha. * R
Yechiel Kupchik relates.
By Nosson Avrohom

ur feeling was
that the Rebbe
was schlepping
us to 770, began
R Yechiel Kupchik, principal of a
Chabad elementary school in Beit
Shemesh, describing his family trip
to the Rebbe in the Hakhel year.
At the beginning of the Hakhel
year, my wife and I knew that
we were taking our family to the
Rebbe. Since both my wife and
I are employed by the Education
Ministry, we were very limited as
to possible times. Our decision
kept on getting postponed, from
month to month, and it was
already Av and we still did not
have tickets.
One day followed another.
I knew that the first thing I had
to do to get things moving was
obtain a bank loan, but work
filled all my time. The one who
called and offered a loan was
the bank! The bank officer
told me about a loan with a

generous payback plan. Since

we were already in the process of
switching to a different bank, we
told them we had gotten an offer
of a loan from the other bank.
They promised us a loan with a
better rate as a special for those
working in education.
It was astonishing. I was busy
at work and every day I got calls
from both banks, each informing
me of lower borrowing rates.
When it reached as low as it
would go, we took the loan and
designated the money toward a
trip to the Rebbe.
Then we had to arrange
visas to the US. Within two days
we had an appointment at the
consulate, which was unusually
quick. My wife went with the
children. She took her salary
receipts from the Education
Ministry and other documents
and told the official she wanted
to travel with the children to
the Lubavitcher Rebbe for the

Hakhel year. He didnt even let

her finish her sentence and told
her that the visas would arrive
at our house on Wednesday. He
wasnt even interested in looking
at any of the papers she brought.
Within half an hour she was out
of there.
On Sunday, a postman
knocked on our door and
delivered all the passports and
visas and we immediately began
looking for tickets for seven
people, two parents and five
children. The most reasonable
tickets were close to 10,000
dollars with a long stopover in
Spain or Philadelphia.
We kept nudging the travel
agent to find us cheaper tickets.
We knew we could not fly with
five children and have a ten-hour
stopover, but a direct flight at this
time of year would be so much
more expensive.
In the meantime, I attended
an educational conference in Nir
Etzyon and hoped for the best. A
day went by and the travel agent
called me with amazing news. At
one oclock that day there was a
direct flight to New York on ElAl with room for our family. The
cost? Only five thousand dollars.
I was in shock. You must decide
immediately, he said.
We didnt waste a moment.
We felt that the Rebbe was
inviting us with a direct flight

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and a relatively small expense. I

updated my wife and immediately
left Nir Etzyon for our home in
Beit Shemesh. My wife left her
parents home in Bat Yam.
At top speed, we packed our
suitcases and even managed to
load up some extra suitcases
that we were given to bring to
New York. The money we got for
taking the extra luggage covered
part of the cost of our tickets.
Although this was something
we wanted, we felt that the Rebbe
was really seeing to it that we go
to him.
providence, when we got back
home we found a letter from

the Education Ministry in our

mailbox which said that they had
decided to give my wife 3600
shekels. We hadnt even asked for
it. That was precisely the amount
we had spent on our visas.
The most moving thing of
all is seeing how the children
absorbed the experience of being
in 770. We thought the kids
would be excited by the plane
trip and new sights, but they
internalized all the moments of
kdusha. We had the zchus of
being in the Rebbes presence on
15 Av and the hilula on 20 Av.
Since then, every Motzaei
Shabbos, as we watch the video
Lirot et Malkeinu, I hear

the children talking among

themselves about whether they
were in that corner of 770 and
whether they passed through
the door the Rebbe just passed
through They ask where the
Rebbe stands and where the
people at the farbrengen sit.
After we returned home and
digested the experience, thinking
about how we went to the Rebbe
as a family, we were amazed
by how divine providence was
openly involved in every detail of
the trip. It was this that brought
us to the Rebbe. Everything went
relatively easily and even the
cost was way lower than we had

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In a letter that I wrote to the Rebbe on the last
day, I wrote: Thank you! Thank you for bestowing
the merit upon me and my family, thank you
for the hashpaos, thank you for the wonderful
hospitality for us all. Thank you for all we got
in the Hakhel year. * R Menachem Ziegelboim
Menachem Ziegelboim

was also able to go to the

Rebbe with my family for
the Shnas Hakhel. The
simcha was double for we
combined the trip with a bar mitzva
celebration for my son Dovid, and
it really was a double simcha.
A Chassidic education is
a foundation of how we want
to raise our children. Today,
after our family trip, I know
that there is no substitute for
the experiential aspect of a
Chassidishe chinuch, to go to
Beis Chayeinu and be with the
Rebbe, to walk around 770, to
touch, to smell. To absorb, to
feel deeply in ones heart and
soul the Chassidishe atmosphere
that accumulated in this place for
over seventy years.
As part of the chinuch we
provide, we speak about the
Rebbe, talk about 770, show
videos and pictures. But when

you go to 770, you reach the

tipping point, this is it!
It isnt easy to pack suitcases
for the entire family and fly to
the Rebbe. Nor is it easy to get
the money to make such a trip,
to cover the cost of tickets plus a
place to stay (Crown Heights is
not cheap). At some point there is
the sense of stepping out of your
normal everyday life and taking a
leap into space, and quite a few
preparations are needed.
The amazing thing is that
the moment we made a decision
to go, things flowed smoothly,
as though the Rebbe was
just waiting for us to make a
firm commitment. When you
withdraw a few thousand shekels
from the bank for the passports
and visas, you say to yourself,
This is just the first step. How
will I manage with the rest which
costs so much more?

From that moment and

on, you feel that the Rebbe is
standing at the end of the road
and motioning to you with his
hand to come. He invites you to
come. He wants you to come,
you and your family. Men,
women, and children, so that
they hear and they learn, and the
Rebbe, as it were, moves aside all
difficulties and paves the way for
you like a proper host who takes
care of all his guests needs.
When we arrived at the end
of Adar II, I wrote a pidyon
nefesh and asked that this visit
go well and that we merit to be fit
receptacles for all the hashpaos.
What more could I ask for?
Our visit, which lasted two
weeks, was packed to the point
of exhaustion with ruchnius, with
Chassidishkait, hiskashrus and
gashmius. It was full in every
respect, starting with the tfillos,
with the shiurim of the bachurim,
and ending with a fridge that
was constantly full and with
children who werent bored
for even a minute. These are
seemingly minor things but on a
visit like this, even two free hours
can be hard for children (with
ramifications for the parents) but
we didnt have that.
Our stay there was a far more
valuable experience than I could
have hoped for. The children
learned to recognize places that

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for me had once been part of

everyday life, which is why I did
not pay them attention. Thanks
to them I stopped, thought and
focused. Memories came back
to me and I told them about Elul
5747, Tishrei 5748, Nissan 5751,
the end of 5752, the Kvutza
year, 5753, that continued for
me until Nissan 5756, when we
I showed the children the
different parts of 770, where the
Rebbe walked past, where the
Rebbe stood, where the Rebbe
davened, and where he sat at
farbrengens. There are stories
about the Rebbe in connection
with nearly every part of 770, and
this is the ultimate expression of
the statement of the Rebbe that
you can get even from the walls
of the place. I told them about
many experiences I had on my
visits to the Rebbe over the years,
while vividly describing to them
where the Rebbe passed through,
where the Rebbe sat, and where
he looked. Suddenly everything
took on a whole new life and
dimension, so that I myself felt
excited to talk about those days.
Every day we sat together,
my son and I, and learned for
hours together with bachurim,
whose chayus has become their
trademark. I can tell you I was no
less affected than him.
The Rebbe also arranged
the bar mitzva for us. It was
Thursday evening at the end of
Adar. We had a farbrengen for
the bachurim like every night of
Adar. There was dancing with
music that night too, but since
this was the last night of the
month of Adar, the organizers
brought more instruments and
instead of one hour of dancing,
the bachurim used the final
hours of Adar for three hours
of dancing. They lifted my son,
the bar mitzva boy, on their

shoulders, his face aglow with

Chassidic contentment.
A fancy hall? A band? A
trendy bar? Fancy chairs? An
exclusive menu? Who needs all
that when you have a farbrengen,
a keyboard and clarinet in 770.
Everything ready made with the
addition of the pure joy that only
the bachurim can provide.
At the end of a long day, when
I went to 770 to look for my son
so we could go to the airport, I
stood on the side and watched
him sitting with one of the older
bachurim and learning together. I
didnt have the heart to take him
from there, because I saw in him
a powerful embodiment of what
Dovid HaMelech said, One
thing I asked of Hashem, that
which I seek - to sit in the house
of Hashem all the days of my
life, just like that deep feeling
experienced by a bachur who has
sat in 770 for an entire year and
its hard to leave. Its hard. It was
just at the last minute, when there
was no choice, that I told him that
we need to leave. That is when I
saw, and was happy to see, how
connected he was to this place

where the seventh generation was

educated for many decades, the
place where the Rebbe infused
tons of kdusha to the multitudes.
And my son, and my entire
family, had the good sense to
hold out their hands and receive
generous portions of this unique
If that was not enough,
during the final hours before our
flight home, my wife got a closed
envelope from her sister who had
a mysterious smile on her face.
In the envelope was a dollar from
the Rebbe that my wife received
as a child in the Hakhel year of
5748 from the Rebbe. This dollar
had been lost for years and only
now was found stuck away deep
inside a drawer. This was another
sign that the Rebbe was pleased
with us, bracha vhatzlacha.
In a letter that I wrote to the
Rebbe on the last day, I wrote:
Thank you! Thank you for
bestowing the merit upon me
and my family, thank you for
the hashpaos, thank you for the
wonderful hospitality for us all.
Thank you for all we got in the
Hakhel year.
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We came to say thank you to the Rebbe.
It is healthy for body and soul to go to the
Rebbe. Its a wonderful experience for the
children and parents and the family unit.
Why should someone spend thousands of
dollars and go to a beis midrash in New
York? Are battei midrash lacking in Eretz
Yisroel? There is only one Beis Rabbeinu
ShBBavel, and it will be transported by
clouds to Yerushalayim, as promised. Until
then, we all go to the Rebbe! * Uri and
Inbal Ceitlin relate.
By Yaron Tzvi

y preparations for the

entire family to go to
the Rebbe for Hakhel
began from the first
moment I landed in Eretz Yisroel
after the previous Simchas Torah.
The date we chose to go
was Chanuka. Tickets arent as
expensive that time of year and
they are days of simcha of which
I have fond memories from my
time on Kvutza.
We had plenty of experience
dealing with the intricacies of
flying with small children. Since
we married and during the years
we were on shlichus in Moscow,
we flew often with small children
and so that wasnt new for us.
Though it turned out that no

prior experience prepared us for

that flight, but let me not get
ahead of myself.
After we renewed or got new
passports issued for everyone, we
also got visas to the US for the
entire family, thus thinking we
had finished our preparations.
We told the children every
night about how fortunate we
were to be with the Rebbe in a
Hakhel year, and they shared this
with everyone and were excited.
The problems began to crop
up a week before the flight
when our year-old son became
hand-foot-andmouth disease. His fever rose
and conventional medicine did
not work. He lost weight and

wouldnt eat anything. We were

at a loss as to what to do and
didnt know whether we would
be able to fly with him.
Two days before the flight, a
relative suggested we give him
goats milk and that worked. The
day of the flight we saw that he
was recovering. He no longer
cried but he was still very weak.
So in that condition we took him
on the bus that was arranged
by Nshei Chabad of Tzfas that
was taking a big group to 770.
Many husbands, bachurim and
relatives went to see the group of
women off before they boarded
the bus. As someone who grew
up in Tzfas, it reminded me of R
Ceitlins organized flights in the
past and the warm atmosphere
before the group set out.
The flight was supposed to
leave at one in the morning and
we left immediately after lighting
the menorah, before six. We
arrived at the airport around nine
and were first in line.
Nothing prepared us for
the drama we were about to
experience. We suddenly realized
that the visa was in my wifes old
passport, not her new one. The
clerk advised us to cancel our
tickets and buy tickets on another
flight because the gates would be
closing in two hours.
After two hours of tension
along with emuna that is hard

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to describe, the passport was

brought by my sister and her
husband. It was a miracle.
As we waited, we were
accompanied by a pair of notyet religious uncles who were
amazed by our stubbornness as
well as our emuna. Before the
flight took off, one of the uncles
wrote me: It was a pleasure to
be with you and see a Chanuka
miracle taking place. May you
arrive and return in peace and
bring light.
When we arrived in Crown
Heights, before we went to sleep,
we took the children to 770 and
together with them thanked
the Rebbe for the miracles we
had merited to be with him in a
Shnas Hakhel. The children were
very excited. Until then they had
heard about 770 and now for the
first time, they were there.
I would divide the experience
at 770 into two parts. First, the
experience we parents had. I had
been in 770 many times since
I was a young bachur. I didnt
miss a Tishrei with the Rebbe and
now I had the zchus of seeing
my children standing where I
had stood and was pushed, or
napping on a bench where I had
sometimes nodded off after an
exhausting farbrengen. These are
feelings that cannot be described
in words.
At the entrance to 770, after
all the trials and difficulties we
went through, I felt I had to say
to the Rebbe: Rebbe, we did all
we could to come here. Now we
are in your hands. Take care of
And that is how it was.
throughout the visit were
Now for the children. Their
experience was very special and
we saw the impact it had and still
has. First, during the trip itself

they sang and danced because

they were going to the Rebbe.
In 770 they were so excited.
Whenever we left 770, they
wanted to go back, as though
they felt that it was the source
of their life and they could not
be disconnected from it for even
a moment. When someone asks
them about Hakhel, to them
the question is about going to
770. The concept of Rebbe is
something that they now relate to
in a whole different way.
I dont know what they saw

and took from 770. They were

so young, but I know that when
you mention 770 to them, their
eyes light up. When I announced
that I would be going for Sukkos
this year, they cried saying they
also wanted to go. They cried
over something they themselves
experienced. They know where
they want to go.
Fortunate are we to be
Chassidim. Our yearning now is
that we merit to see the Rebbe in
Eretz Yisroel with the third Beis
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Selected Halachos from the One Minute
Halacha project
By HaRav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, Shlita,
Mara Dasra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights


One of many conveniences
of a modern kitchen is the
increasingly popular warming
drawer, which functions as a
separate unit or as part of a
cooking range. Some warming
drawers actually operate as slowcookers (raw food can be inserted
and will be ready to eat many
hours later). There are specific
issues with slow cookers that are
beyond the scope of our current
discussion; warming drawers that
are also slow cookers have their
own set of rules.
function only to keep cooked
food warm are permitted for
Shabbos usethey are not
considered muktzah (forbidden
to be handled on Shabbos)
provided that certain precautions
are taken.
Displays & Thermostats: An

electric bulb or digital display

that is triggered by opening the
warming drawer must be disabled
before Shabbos; otherwise it
cannot be used. Additionally,
opening the drawer causes the
internal temperature to drop,
thereby engaging the thermostat,
so a Shabbos user should wait
until the heating element is
running before opening the door.
Shehiyah (placing food
on the fire before Shabbos to
remain there on Shabbos):
If there is no possibility of
increasing the temperature on
Shabbos, there are no restrictions
of shehiyah in a warming drawer,
just as with a special Shabbos
hotplate. However, if the warmer
has knobs designed to raise the
temperature, the food that is
placed inside before Shabbos
must be at least kmaachol
ben drusoi (edible to robbers
minimal standards, i.e., halfcooked).* Others argue that the
warming drawer differs from

the norms of shehiyah, because

not enough heat is generated by
a warming drawer to actually
cook food, and therefore these
precautions are not necessary.
Nesinah Batchillah (placing
food to be heated on Shabbos):
Some poskim allow placing hot
food or fully cooked dry food
directly in a warming drawer (like
a hotplate) on Shabbos, though
some are machmir (stringent)
to place the food only on top of
a pan already being warmed
both in a warming drawer and a
Chazarah (returning) items
to the warming drawer: All the
usual conditions for chazarah
must be met, as well as taking
care to avoid engaging the
heating element, as discussed.
There are halachic restrictions
with placing food in the oven
(chazarah ltochah) versus on
the fire on Shabbos, but these do
not apply to a warming drawer,
since the heat merely warms the

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food. There is also no concern of

hatmanah, since there is space
between the food and the walls of
the warming drawer.
* An alternative is to cover
the stovetop with a blech
(aluminum sheet), so the fire is
not inadvertently adjusted on


The Gemara states, Lo
shehemidu dineihem al din
destroyed only because they
acted in accordance with the
letter of the Torah and did not
go beyond it). The concept of
going lifnim meshuras hadin
(beyond the minimum required
of us by Torah law) is rooted in
Torah. According to some early
authorities it is to be counted
among the 613 mitzvos.
hadin in money matters entails
paying out in a situation where
the defendant is not obligated
to according to the strict
interpretation of the law. This
is illustrated in the Gemara
concerning Rabba Bar Bar
Channa, one of the Amoraim
(sages of the Talmud) who paid
workers for carrying his load
even though they broke his barrel
in the process, for the sake of
lmaan telech bderech tovim
(so that you may go in the way of
the good and upright).
Lifnim meshuras hadin would
also be returning a lost object
even when the finder is not
obligated by halacha to return it.
In certain cases* halacha grants
homeowners the freedom to use
their property at their discretion,
even if the usage might indirectly
damage a neighbors property;
but a person who acts lifnim

meshuras hadin would refrain

from doing so.
Some poskim say that a Beis
Din (Jewish court of law) may
compel a litigant to pay another,
even if the judges ruled lifnim
strictly according to Torah law.
Others state that forcephysical
punishmentmay not be used in
such a case, but other methods
of coercion may be employed.
There is even more reason for the
Beis Din to rule lifnim meshuras
hadin if the plaintiff is poor
and the defendant is an adam
chashuv (an important person)
or a community entity.


new issues pertaining to both
the letter and the spirit of
Jewish law arise, with little or
no halachic precedent. The
topic of human cloning is one
such burning issue; as with any
prospective innovation, it would
have to be categorized either as
a mitzvah (whether obligatory
or voluntary), an aveira (and
therefore forbidden), completely
neutral, or as something to be
The Meiri (13th century
mentions the possibility of
chachmei hateva (scientists)
creating an entity shelo mizivug
hamin (not a result of a normal
relationship). The existence of
such a being, he states, would
not be halachically prohibited;
as a product of science, it
would not be considered kishuf
(witchcraft)which would be
expressly forbidden by the Torah.
In modern scientific terms,
cloning a human being would
entail producing a person using
the DNA of another person,
resulting in something akin to

an identical twin. Aside from the

question of ethics, what would
the halachic implications be?
At this point in time this is all
theory. If human cloning were
to become a reality, there are
many halachic questions that
would arise: To what extent is a
human clone a person? May he
be counted in a minyan (quorum
for prayer)? Were a clone to be
murdered, would the killer be
deemed to have slain a human
There is discussion among
poskim whether a creature
created through Seifer Yetzira
such as a golemis considered
human. We can extrapolate that if
a human/spiritual being of Seifer
Yetzira can be considered human,
a human clone would certainly
be considered to be so. A clone
could therefore be counted in a
minyan and considered human in
the case of murder.
Another question that arises
concerning a clone is their
lineage: Does a clone have a
mother and father or other
familial relationships? If yes, who
would be considered the parents?
Parentage is crucial in many
instances in halachaKohanim,
for example, have special laws
in general, and specifically
pertaining to marriage; one is
not considered a Kohen unless
his father is (or was) a Kohen.
Additionally, there are laws
regarding forbidden relationships
(such as marrying siblings) to
take into account for all Jews.
One historical precedent in this
situation might be the creation
of Chava, Adam Harishons
wife, who was made by Hashem
from her husbands rib. Adam
was not considered Chavas
parent or twin, so the cell donor
arguably would not be considered
Continued on page 26
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By Rabbi Gershon Avtzon

Dear Reader shyichyeh,

This Shabbos is Parshas
Toldos. The word Toldos
means children. There is nothing
more important to parents than
the health, growth and success of
their children. Having Yiddishe
and Chassidishe nachas is the
biggest bracha a parent wishes
for. Chazal tell us, A person
is envious of everyone with the
exception of his child or student
(a spiritual child). Why we are
we not jealous of our children
and students even though they
might be cleverer or more
talented than we are?
Jealousy can be felt only
towards a stranger whom we view
as competition. The stronger
someone on the opposite team
becomes, the more threatened we
feel. But children and students
are on our own team because
we have invested in them, cared
for them, and monitored and
nurtured their development. They
matter to us and are an integral
part of our lives; they are not
our competition. Their success
is important to us, and their
achievements bring us pleasure

and happiness.
Raising Chassidishe children
is not easy and nothing is
guaranteed. This is especially true
in todays borderless, technologyfocused society where the winds
of secular culture are blowing so
strongly in our faces and those
of our children. Combined with
the temporary concealment of
Moshiach, it is a very daunting
I once heard the following
story: There was a very
Chassidishe father whose son had
temporarily gone off the derech.
The father went into Yechidus
with the Rebbe. He wept bitterly
about this very painful personal
situation. While he was crying, he
said the following, In America
there is an expression that the
apple doesnt fall far from the
tree. If this is the case, cried
the father, then if my son is lax
in his Torah and Mitzvos, there
must be a deep issue in me as
The Rebbe listened to him
with compassion and answered
very strongly: While it is true
that the apple doesnt fall far from

the tree, that is true only when

there are no winds blowing at the
time. When there are very strong
winds blowing, it is possible that
the apple can stray very far from
the original tree.
The Rebbe writes in HaYom
Yom, 22 Teves: My father
proclaimed at a farbrengen: Just
as wearing tfillin every day is a
mitzva commanded by the Torah
to every individual regardless of
his standing in Torah, whether
deeply learned or simple, so too
is it an absolute duty for every
person to spend a half hour every
day thinking about the Torah
education of children, and to do
everything in his power and
beyond his power to inspire
children to follow the path along
which they are being guided.
HaYom Yom, the very first
Seifer of our Rebbe, not only
admonishes us regarding the
importance of focusing on the
education of our children, but
also provides words of guidance.
We will quote three different
selections from the HaYom Yom,
and then we will discuss them.
1) Torah study every day is
crucial to life itself. This applies
not only to the soul of the one
studying but also to the souls
of his family. For then (through

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Torah study), the atmosphere

of the home becomes an
atmosphere of Torah and piety.
(4 Cheshvan)
2) Studying a parsha of
Chumash with Rashi every day
(Sunday until Sheini, Monday
until Shlishi, etc.), saying
Thillim every day and the entire
Thillim on Shabbos Mevarchim
be scrupulous about all of
these. It is crucial for you, for
your children and your childrens
children. (25 Shvat)
3) The greatest guaranteed
assurance (of Divine assistance)
for all Jewish parents in need of
special help and deliverance for
their children is through their
support of those who study
Torah. (9 Tammuz)
When we read the abovementioned selections from the
HaYom Yom, it becomes very
clear. There is no magic pill that
can bring success. Raising our
children to Yiras Shamayim and
Chassidishkait will demand much
Siyata DShmaya and much
avoda on the part of the parents.
Chazal tell us (Pirkei Avos
1:2): Shimon the Righteous
was among the last surviving
members of the Great Assembly.
He would say: The world stands
on three things: Torah, the service
of Gd, and deeds of kindness.
The Rebbe is teaching us
that for our avoda with our
Toldos, our children, we need
to be active in all of the abovementioned three things, Torah
(learning Torah every day), avoda
(following the directives of the
Rebbeim and saying the Thillim)
(supporting Torah institutions).
To be successful, we need to work
on all three columns so that our
children have a strong and sturdy
foundation on which to grow. If
one of the columns is missing, it
is like a three-legged table that is

missing a leg. In such a situation,

the entire table becomes wobbly
and shaky and does not lend any
As we get closer to Geula,
the Rebbe has opened for us a
new channel through which to
keep our children focused and
undistracted by the temptations
that are so openly available
around them. This special
channel is focusing our children
on learning about the Beis
HaMikdash and on the imminent
Geula. When any person,
including any child, understands
that the Geula is imminent and
it is in our hands to bring the

explained this clearly is the Sicha

of VaEschanan 5751. It was at a
farbrengen in the summer, when
Pirkei Avos is learned, and it was
right after the Rebbe revealed
to us (Tazria-Mtzora 5751)
that the direct path to bringing
the Geula is by learning about
Moshiach and Geula. The Rebbe
learned a tremendous lesson
from the first Mishna of the
Pirkei Avos (Chapter 3) of that
An additional lesson and
directive concerning Redemption
can be derived also from the
beginning of the third chapter
of Pirkei Avos: Look at three

While it is true that the apple doesnt fall far

from the tree, that is true only when there are
no winds blowing at the time. When there are hurricane
winds blowing, it is possible that the apple can stray very
far from the tree.

Geula, he begins to see the world

through the lenses of the Geula.
There is a well-known lesson
that Chassidim learn from the
koshering process. We are not
allowed to eat blood, so we salt all
chicken and meat. The question
is asked: If the salt opens the
meat and brings out the blood,
what is stopping the blood from
withdrawing back inside? The
halachic answer is that while
one is giving out, he does not
absorb. The same is true in our
case: While a person, including
a child, is focused on bringing
out G-dliness from within the
world, for he realizes that the
true dwelling place for Hashem
is in this physical world, then he
will be not be distracted by and
absorb the physical temptations
of the world.
The Rebbe expressed and

The term three things,
standing alone, can be a
Redemption and the third Holy
Temple, a threefold Redemption
and a threefold Holy Temple,
because they comprise the virtues
of both the first Redemption
and the second, the first Temple
and the second. Furthermore,
the twosome features will be
combined as one.
implies gazing intently, by deeply
reflecting and contemplating
matters concerning the third
Redemption and the third Beis
HaMikdash (three things),
anticipation and exceptional
yearning, I anticipate his coming
every day, implying that he will
come every day, this day, literally.

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How much more so, now that
we stand on the threshold of
Redemption, that the gazing at
these three matters is increased
and done with more vigor.
The suggestion can be made
that ones reflection on matters of
the third Redemption and third
Holy Temple (three matters)
has the capacity to effect
completeness to all of our efforts
within the three pillars the
three modes of expression, Torah,
service (prayer) and lovingkindness whose fulfillment is
through the three garments of the
soul, thought, speech and action.
When ones thoughts are directed
towards the three redemptions,
unbounded and therefore beyond
division. Without the limits and

boundaries which delineate and

divide, one attains perfection in
all of the three modes.
In footnote 18, the Rebbe
adds how this approach will keep
people from straying from the
path of Hashem. In a similar
vein, with regard to keeping from
evil, one is precluded from evil as
a matter of course, without a need
to actively engage in negating
evil, as the Mishneh continues:
And you will not come to the
hands of sin. The expression
and you will not come implies
that it will not take effort. The
usage of the term hands of sin,
implies further that even matters
that are not inherently sinful
but could lead to sin (such as
satisfying permissible desires) are
automatically dismissed because

of ones reflection on matters of

Redemption. This is analogous
to the way things will be in
the Messianic Era. It is as the
Rambam rules (in the end and
seal of his work Mishneh Torah)
that in that time ... all delights
will be as abundant as the dust of
the earth. His choice of the word
dust implies that it will have no
significance to us, inasmuch as
all of the preoccupation of the
world will be exclusively to know

Continued from page 23

obligation to add extra to the

scale. This practice is derived
from the positive mitzvah in
Parshas Ki Seitzei: Even shlaimah
vtzedek yihiyeh lachem, which
Chazal interpret to mean,
lo (be extra-scrupulous from
your own, and give him [the
customer] more). The merchant
is obligated to give the customer
extra by adding a small amount
of the product or deducting a few
cents from the price.
Today we use electronic scales
for these types of transactions,
which round off the numbers
is not considered having false
scales and cheating the customer,
because hiskimu alav bnei
hamedinah (all citizens agreed
to it); these scales are universally
acceptedby customers, too.

melamed zchus (defend the

practice) for those who are lax
in adding extra in a transaction:
perhaps it doesnt apply in the
current day and age, when people
are mochel (forgive) each other
the small change. Alternatively,
this obligation applied before
digital scales were introduced
when scales could not be relied
upon to be totally accurateand
the seller had to add some of the
product to avoid inadvertently

a halachic parent or twin to their

All these halachic issues would
be even more complicated if a
human were to be cloned from
a combination of many peoples
cells or from a dead body. Poskim
would have to address all these
issues were human cloning to
become a reality.

In addition to the mitzvah in
Parshas Kdoshim, Moznei tzedek
vaifas tzedek yihiyeh lachem
(You shall have true scales, true
weights, a true eiphah) as well
as the lav (Torah prohibition)
of Lo saasu avel bamishpat,
bamidah, bamishkal uvamesurah
(Do not commit a perversion of
justice with measures, weights,
or liquid measures [by using
false weights]), a merchant or
storeowner has the additional

But what about being scrupulous

regarding the added responsibility
of tzaddeik mishelechah? Some

Rabbi Avtzon is the Rosh Yeshiva

of Yeshivas Lubavitch Cincinnati and a
well sought after speaker and lecturer.
Recordings of his in-depth shiurim
on Inyanei Geula uMoshiach can be
accessed at http://www.ylcrecording.

Other poskim maintain, however,

that this practice instituted by
Chazal stands today, as always.
A storekeeper who is a yerei
Shamayim (G-d-fearing person),
they say, should be sure to tip
the scale in the customers favor.
One Minute Halacha is a succinct
daily presentation on practical Halacha
in video, audio, and text formats, and can
be accessed by phone at 718.989.9599,
by email,, or by
WhatsApp 347.456.5665.

26 2 Kislev 5777
1046_bm_eng.indd 26

2016-11-29 10:27:33 AM


For decades, the gaon Rav Yisroel Grossman
ah was the rosh yeshiva in yeshivos Tomchei
Tmimim, at first in Lud, then in Kfar Chabad and
Migdal HaEmek. He merited to have thousands
of talmidim. * R Grossman had yechidus twice
and was encouraged by the Rebbe to publish his
sfarim. * He was a model of a man of Torah, man
of halacha, a refined Chassid, and an outstanding
man of chesed who helped many. * The special
bond between R Grossman and the Rebbe and
By Shneur Zalman Berger

abbi Yisroel Grossman

was one of the
dayanim in Eretz Yisroel.
His connection with Chabad
and the Rebbe was special.
He highly regarded the
Rebbe who sent him
the Chabad yeshivos in
Lud, Kfar Chabad, and
Migdal HaEmek where
he served as rosh yeshiva.
With the help of his oldest
son, R Bentzion, who
became a Chabad Chassid,
Beis Moshiach managed to
uncover some of the wide
ranging connections of R
Grossman with Chabad and the

Issue 1046

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2016-11-29 10:27:34 AM



R Grossman was born in
Yerushalayim on 5 Cheshvan
5683/1922. In his youth he
learned in the yeshiva of the gaon
R Tzvi Dushinsky who later
became the av beis din of the
Eidah HaChareidis. R Dushinsky
cherished him and predicted
that he would grow to greatness.
Then he went to learn in Yeshivas
Kamenitz by the gaon R Moshe
Bernstein. R Grossman was one
of the first talmidim in the yeshiva
and was the rosh yeshivas right
hand man.
He was an ardent Karliner
Chassid and was close to his
Rebbe, the Admur, R Avrohom
Elimelech Perlow of Karlin.
When the Admur came to visit
Eretz Yisroel in 5699 and saw
the young, Chassidishe bachur,
he was amazed by his abilities
and diligence and quoted a verse
and applied to him, Yisroel asher
becha espaar (Yisroel, in whom
I will be glorified).
Before he married he was
tested on all of Shas by the av beis
din of the Eidah HaChareidis, R
Reuven Bengis. He married Gitta
Perel, the daughter of R Yosef
Gutfarb. His rebbetzin stood by
his side all his days in his work
in teaching Torah, educating a
generation of talmidim.
His diligence in Torah study
already gave him the title of a
lamdan of stature in his youth.
This is why, when he was a
young man of twenty he had a
regular learning session with
the Admur R Shlomo of Zhvil.
In 1948, when he was just 25,
the Karliner Admur appointed
him as rosh yeshiva of Karlin in
During the years he served as
rosh yeshiva in Karlin he learned
in the yeshiva during the day and
learned with great Torah scholars
at night.

R Yisroel Grossman in his youth


During the years after
the War of Independence, R
Grossman worked exceedingly
hard to buttress Judaism and he
was occasionally a go-between
for gdolei Yisroel.
In 5712, when Eretz Yisroel
was in an uproar over the issue
of drafting girls into the army, R
Grossman led the battle against
drafting girls and even sat in jail
for this.
At the same time, he fought
to save the Yaldei Teheran and
children from Yemen from antireligious, heretical education, and
was one of the founders of Peilei
HaMachane HaToranis (which
later became Yad LAchim) along
with R Sholom Ber Lifschitz,
director of Yad LAchim.
One of his first attempts at
outreach was in Rosh HaAyin,
as his son R Yitzchok Dovid
My father traveled by van to
Rosh HaAyin where he informed
the Yemenite immigrants that
whoever wanted a place for his

son to learn Torah, and whoever

wanted his son to be given food
and clothes, should come with
him. Within a short time, he
had thirty children in the van
whom he brought to our home in
Battei Warsaw, a little apartment
with two small rooms where
our large family lived. Despite
the neighbors complaints that
the immigrant children carried
contagious diseases, my father
was not fazed and he took care of
all their needs.
Together with R Zushe
Wilyamowsky, known as the
Partisan, and R Sholom Dovber
Lifschitz, he attracted the
immigrant children to Torah
schools, mainly Yeshivas Tomchei
Tmimim in Lud. When the
hanhala said they did not have
money to buy beds, R Grossman
and R Lifschitz procured dozens
of beds and linen so that the
children would be accepted in the
followed, he continued his war
against the government regarding
the children from Yemen and the
Yaldei Teheran. He demanded
that those children whose parents
raised them according to the holy
Torah should continue receiving
a Torah education. But the
government, as is known, wanted
to send them to irreligious
schools. R Grossmans outcry
Minister Ben Gurions rest
and he offered an agreement
to R Grossman. He would
get a certain percentage of the
immigrant children in exchange
for his silence on the education
of the immigrant children. It was
a question of pikuach nefesh
and R Grossman did not know
whether to accept the offer. He
wrote to the Rebbe about this.
In a letter dated 12 Adar
II 1957, the Rebbe completely

28 2 Kislev 5777
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2016-11-29 10:27:34 AM

negated the proposed agreement.

The Rebbe wrote very decisively
that he should not agree to the
offer. At the end of the letter, the
Rebbe urged him about the study
of Chassidus in the yeshiva that
he headed, saying that nowadays,
explanations needs to be taught
just as Nigleh of Torah is taught.
During the years that he
was involved in a vast range
of communal activities, he
continued heading the Karlin
yeshiva, while being immersed in
Torah study. His son R Bentzion
recalls that his father barely
allowed himself to eat something
before he went to yeshiva. My
father was very particular about
time and was never late to yeshiva
or to anything he was invited to. I
remember, as a child, before my
father left for yeshiva, he would
eat for a few minutes and then
run to yeshiva.

After ten years of being rosh

When R Isser Yehuda Unterman visited Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in Lud. From right to
left: R Pinye Altheus, one of the directors of Agudas Chassidei Chabad in Eretz Yisroel,
R Yisroel Grossman, and R Unterman, rav of Tel Aviv and later Chief Rabbi of Israel

yeshiva in Karlin, he was offered

the position of rosh yeshiva of
Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in
Lud to replace R Boruch Shimon
accepted, and the directors of the
yeshiva in Lud sent the offer to
the Rebbe who agreed to it.
Before he took the job, R
Grossman gave a Gemara shiur
in the presence of the menahalim,
R Efraim Wolf and R Avrohom
Drizin, as well as the mashpia of
the yeshiva, R Shlomo Chaim
Kesselman, and other members
of the staff. The shiur was
successful and he was accepted
as rosh yeshiva.
R Grossman worked as both
rosh yeshiva and mashgiach,
throwing all his energy and
efforts into establishing the
yeshiva, instilling the students
with the spirit of Torah study
with a Chassidishe enthusiasm.
The hanhala was very satisfied
with his outstanding work and
reported to the Rebbe.

A short while after his

appointment, his impact on
the talmidim could already be
felt. The Rebbe wrote to him
about this in a letter dated the
beginning of Tammuz 5718,
and said he was pleased that R
Grossman would be working in
Tomchei Tmimim, founded and
run by the Rebbe Rashab and
his son, the Rebbe Rayatz. The
Rebbe said he was especially
pleased to hear about his effect
on the talmidim.
R Grossman worked day and
night to raise the level of learning
in the yeshiva. Whenever he was
in the yeshiva he sat in the zal
even though the hanhala said he
could sit in his office and prepare
his shiurim there. Instead of
that, he prepared his shiurim
late at night, and during the day
he invested all his energy in the
talmidim. At first, he spent all
week in Lud where he lived in a
little shack and only went home
to Yerushalayim for Shabbos.
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Chassidim who are surprised
when they hear that a Karliner
Chassid headed Yeshivas Tomchei
Tmimim for many years. His
son, R Bentzion, who himself
became a Chabad Chassid, has
this to say:
comfortable with the situation,
being an ardent Karliner Chassid
and being the head of a Chabad
yeshiva. He thought that some
of the talmidim had a hard time
learning from him because of

change because of his job.

R Bentzion Grossman visited
his father several times at the
yeshiva in Lud when he was a
child, and he remembers the
shack with the Jewish Agency
bed, which his father slept on all
My father was a tall man and
the small Agency bed wasnt long
enough for him. In addition, the
noise from the train station near
the yeshiva made it hard for him
to sleep, but he did not complain.
Instead, he personally worked
with the students from Yemen,
giving them a lot of attention so

On Erev Rosh HaShana, as wagons would

arrive in Lubavitch, one wagon would leave for
Koidinov. This aroused bad feelings among the talmidim
and the Rebbe Rashab heard about it. He said, I love a
Chassid who is not a shmatte, meaning, there are people
who constantly change due to peer pressure, like a
shmatte, while this maggid shiur, a Koidinov Chassid, did
not think he had to change because of his job.

this. He kept this to himself

until one day, when he poured
out his heart to the mashpia, R
Kesselman. By way of answering
him, R Kesselman told him
that in Tomchei Tmimim in
the town of Lubavitch there
was a maggid shiur who was
a Koidinov Chassid. On Erev
Rosh HaShana, as wagons would
arrive in Lubavitch, one wagon
would leave for Koidinov. This
aroused bad feelings among the
talmidim and the Rebbe Rashab
heard about it. He said, I love
a Chassid who is not a shmatte,
meaning, there are people who
constantly change due to peer
pressure, like a shmatte, while
this maggid shiur, a Koidinov
Chassid, did not think he had to

they would remain in yeshiva.

My father, aside from
giving general shiurim to all the
talmidim, also gave shiurim to
some of the classes and talked a
lot in learning with the bachurim
to keep them sharp. At first, my
father thought it would be an
easy job but he quickly saw that
the yeshiva had outstanding
talmidim for whom he had to
prepare shiurim on a high level.

R Grossman was rosh yeshiva
in Lud for about five years
and then, after a short break,
was appointed rosh yeshiva

of Tomchei Tmimim in Kfar

Chabad where he worked for
twenty years.
During the 70s, his son R
Yitzchok Dovid opened a middle
school yeshiva for young baalei
tshuva, which eventually fed into
a high school. When the boys
were old enough for beis midrash
(yeshiva gdola), R Yisroel
Grossman suggested that instead
of opening a yeshiva in Migdal
HaEmek, they should bring
bachurim from Yeshivas Tomchei
Tmimim in Kfar Chabad to
Migdal HaEmek for two months.
During this time, the bachurim
would be mekarev the boys from
the yeshiva to the derech of
Chabad and then they could go to
the yeshiva in Kfar Chabad.
A group of bachurim from
Kfar Chabad went to Migdal
HaEmek for two months. Then
R Yitzchok Dovid wanted to
turn his yeshiva (for young boys
and older boys) into a Chabad
yeshiva, but the Rebbe said that if
he would not commit to standing
up against those who would
oppose him, he shouldnt do it.
In his answer, the Rebbe said
that his father, R Yisroel, should
give shiurim in the yeshiva four
or five times a week. With this
response, R Yitzchok Dovid
informed the Rebbes office that
he committed to standing up
to any opposition. R Yisroel
started giving shiurim on Sunday
through Wednesday.
These bachurim from Kfar
Chabad, who were to serve as
shluchim in the yeshiva, went
to the Rebbe at his expense for
Nissan 5738 and had special
kiruvim from the Rebbe and even
an extraordinary yechidus in the
course of which the Rebbe told
them that when they returned
to Eretz Yisroel, they should
go to the Kosel with R Yisroel
Grossman, which they did.

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published thirteen sfarim, some
of them shiurim that he said in
the yeshivos where he worked.
In other sfarim he focused on
clarifying halachic issues relating
to money matters. R Grossman
learned and taught but never
considered publishing sfarim.
As he put it, In those days,
only geonei hador published
sfarim, why would I? But the
Rebbe thought otherwise. When
he had yechidus, the Rebbe told
him to publish sfarim. When
he asked on what topic to write,
the Rebbe told him to collect his
shiurim that he said in yeshiva.
That is how a series of shiurim
on tractates in Shas came to
be published with the Rebbe
continuing to encourage him.
His son R Yitzchok Dovid
relates that several times, when
he was at the Rebbe, the Rebbe
expressed interest about the
continued publishing of his
fathers sfarim.
R Yisroel said a number of
times that he credits the Rebbe
for his publishing sfarim, for
encouraging and urging him to
do so.

Along with his work in
Karlin and Chabad yeshivos,
R Grossman was very involved
in dinei mamonus (financial
legal disputes) such as laws of
neighbors, brokerage, rentals,
inheritances, etc. For many
years he was a dayan in a beis
din for monetary cases in Petach
Tikva and Yerushalayim and
he acquired a worldwide stellar
reputation for his halachic

His chiddushim and psakim

in dinei Choshen Mishpat
are considered guiding lights
for dayanim in battei din for
monetary cases and are in regular
use by those who decide such
cases. R Tuvia Weiss, av beis din
of the Eidah HaChareidis, said
when eulogizing R Grossman
that for decades he was regularly
assisted by R Grossmans
translated the complicated laws
of Choshen Mishpat into actual
cases that apply in our times.
His expertise in monetary law
led many to his door so he could
serve as an arbitrage consultant
in complicated disputes. Even
when he was weak in his later
years, many went to him for his


He greatly esteemed the
Rebbe. In his drashos he
commented several times, saying
the Rebbe is the tzaddik and gaon
of the generation. He sent many
letters to the Rebbe over the years
and regularly told about open
miracles he experienced. His son
R Bentzion relates:
My father, with his great
admiration for the Rebbe and
Chabad, once said, Although I
am a Karliner Chassid, based on
the open miracles I experienced
with the Rebbe, its a wonder
that I am not yet an official
Lubavitcher Chassid.
He had two private audiences
with the Rebbe. Another time he
passed by for dollars and received
seven, with the Rebbe telling
him that each dollar was for a
different title of his: Rosh Yeshiva
in Tomchei Tmimim, Rosh
Yeshiva in Karlin, Dayan, author
of sfarim, etc.

Crowds at his funeral

His visits to the Rebbe

the Rebbe and at the Siyum
HaRambam in 5750 he said,
When we see the Rebbe, his
enormous work which is in a
manner of the tzaddik sprouts
forth like a palm, and on the
other hand the scope of his
maamarim and sichos for which
I have no words to describe, in
the manner of a cedar grows
in Lebanon, we can see his
tremendous greatness. I apply to
the Rebbe the verse that says, as
a nursemaid carries the nursling,
he bears all the material and
spiritual worries.
R Grossman submitted divrei
Torah to Torah books that were
published in the Rebbes honor
in 5749 and for the Rebbes
ninetieth birthday. He also
attended Chabad events such as
the meeting to amend the Law of
Mihu Yehudi, the siyum of Sifrei
Torah LYaldei Yisroel, siyumei
Rambam, central farbrengens,
etc. He also signed the
proclamations of gdolei Yisroel
on the subject of amending Mihu

Issue 1046

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2016-11-29 10:27:34 AM



R Yisroel Grossman was
a man of Torah, a man of
halacha, a refined Chassid, and
an outstanding man of chesed
who helped many. His son R
Bentzion relates that many went
to his fathers house for advice
and help.
He wrote thousands of
recommendations for the needy.
He put his entire neshama
into writing recommendations
for those down and out or
for mosdos with numerous
talmidim. He imagined how
the wealthy man reading the
recommendation would react
and wrote it persuasively to pull

at the heartstrings. So that each

recommendation would look
important, he wrote with big,
nice letters. In later years he
even bothered to laminate the
recommendation so it wouldnt
be ruined.
He became weak in his later
years and had to reduce his many
activities in the public sphere.
He therefore increased his study
of Shas. His family says that in
his last decade he finished Shas
every year.
On Motzaei Shabbos Parshas
Ki Sisa 5767 he was taken to
the hospital. A few hours later, a
prayer gathering was held at the
Kosel to daven for him. In the

days that followed his condition

deteriorated. Despite this, his
concern was to help others. He
spoke to his family about the
importance of saving Jewish lives
and the importance of being
mekarev Jews to their Father in
heaven. One of the last things he
said was, The most important
thing in heaven is doing a favor
for a Jew.
He passed away on 23 Adar.
Many attended his funeral
including Admurim, rabbanim,
and roshei yeshivos of all
segments of the Jewish world. Of
course there were also Chabad
rabbanim and talmidim from
Chabad yeshivos from Migdal
HaEmek and Kfar Chabad.

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2016-11-29 10:27:35 AM


By Yechiel Sofer

We met in shul, as usual,

in the afternoon. In the
winter, when the sun sets so
early, Mincha and Maariv are
davened soon after the end
of the school day. Right after
school, we rush home to put
down our briefcases and from
there we go to shul for Mincha
and Maariv.
We meet there every day
at the neighborhood shul, me
Dovy, and other classmates
who live in the area, Yossi, Eli,
Sruli, Moishy, and other boys.
The truth is that although
Yossi lives nearby, most of the
time he does not daven with
us because he davens in his
fathers shul. His father is the
rav in a non-Chabad shul. But
aside from him, they all usually
Today I met Moishy at the
entrance to the shul, near the
sink. A minute later, I noticed
Sruli and Eli, right under the
Its Forbidden to Talk During
Davening sign. A minyan
began to form and we hurried
to say korbanos so we could

join it.
A moment before R Dovid
the gabbai, who volunteered to
be the chazan, began Ashrei, I
noticed that Sruli was eyeing
a tall man with a gray beard
who stood near him. It is not
polite to stare at someone, but
when I glanced over I saw what
had drawn Srulis attention.
The gray-bearded man held
a pushka in his left hand and
a half shekel coin in his right
hand. There is nothing odd
about that; many people give
tzdaka before every tfilla.
What was strange was his face.
His forehead was creased and
he closed his eyes as though
thinking about something.
What is there to think
about before giving tzdaka,
whispered Sruli. Its just half
a shekel ...
I did not manage to
respond because R Dovid had
begun Ashrei. By the beginning
of Kaddish, the gray-bearded
man had already put the coin
in the tzdaka box.

When davening, I try to use

a siddur. Its a good resolution
that I made in camp this year.
Like the Rebbe davens, without
looking out of the siddur. So I
didnt really look at the pushka
or at the strange things going
on around it.
It was only at the end of the
davening, after proclaiming
Yechi, that I noticed something
peculiar. This time, it was
someone we know, R Moshe.
Hes a smiley, nice man who
works in a vegetable store
not far from yeshiva. He was
standing next to the box,
looking at it, deep in thought,
as though there was something
fascinating about the typical,
yellow box. There are several of
them in shul.
I ignored it. I am not the
type to take an interest in
what people are thinking
before they donate a few cents,
but Sruli soon told Shloimy
and Moishy about it.
What a strange pushka
that is, he commented.
Before people put money in

Issue 1046

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2016-11-29 10:27:35 AM

Tzivos Hashem

the rabbi said, When you give paper was pasted on
it, they think a lot.
with the intention to pushka
Shloimy and Moishy looked tzdaka
hasten the Geula, this intention that the
in the direction of the pushka
itself is part of learning inyanei the shiur.
and once again, we saw this
That was it! Whoever went
Moshiach and Geula, the
unusual sight. This time, it was
to the pushka, saw the
our teacher who picked up the
the note and before putting in a
pushka. He smiled to himself,
coin stopped to think about
thought a bit, and then put a
the line, Great is tzdaka
coin in the slot.
which hastens the Geula.
By this time, it had become
Sruli took a coin out of
a real mystery. There are
his pocket, got change
many interesting tzdaka
and gave each of us a
coin. Then each of
We even heard about
us in turn took
pushkas that play a
tune or display a
read the note,
blinking light when
thought for a
you put in a coin,
moment, and
then put in the
the donor to
We suddenly
meditate before
putting in a
our class were
strange looks.
They did not
we could
ask him about
it. Our teacher
were doing.
learning with
a mekurav,
ten minutes
earlier, before
couldnt ask
we discovered
him either.
that it is good
We went
to think about
the Geula when
Moshe, hoping that
giving tzdaka.
he could solve the riddle. But
Now it was our
R Moshe was in the middle
turn to explain it to
of giving a shiur on Moshiach
them, how by putting
and Geula, so we couldnt ask
We looked at
in a coin you get both the
him. The mystery only became one another excitedly. This was
mitzva of tzdaka and Torah
greater as whoever went over the answer!
study and the main thing
to the pushka stopped for a
We all leaped forward to speeding up the Geula!
moment before putting in a
the pushka. Shloimy won the
race and grabbed it first. We
We sat on the shul benches were not mistaken. A white
and listened to the shiur. Then

34 2 Kislev 5777
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2016-11-29 10:27:37 AM