Friday, June 25, 2010

13th Tammuz - PARSHAS BALAK

On this day the Previous Rebbe was actually freed.

It was not myself alone that the Holy One, blessed be He, redeemed on the 12th of Tammuz" wrote the Previous Rebbe, "but also those who love the Torah and observe its commandments, and so too, all those who merely bear the name ‘Jew'."

In the face of adversity, a natural impulse might be to restrict one’s sphere of activity. Instead, the Previous Rebbe expanded his activities and reached out to our entire people, impacting, producing change and influencing the future of all.

A true leader is not conscious of his individual identity; his only concern is for the people as a whole. Leadership of this kind is characterized by a unique di­mension of self-sacrifice

The re­demption of the Previous Rebbe, the head of the generation, enables every member of our people to experience redemp­tion from those forces which restrict our own observance of Torah. May this personal experience of redemption spread and spiral until we merit the ultimate Redemption. May this take place now..

This week's torah portion Balak focuses on the blessings given the Jewish people by the gentile prophet Bilaam. Balak, the king of Moab, hired Bilaam, a gentile prophet to curse the Jews. But G-d put blessings in Billam's mouth and he was forced to utter them, in stead of the curses.

Among Bilaam's prophecies is the only explicit allusion to Mashiach in the Torah: "A star shall shoot forth from Jacob."
This allusion is chosen, because Mashiach's coming will introduce new light into our existence, brightening our horizons. The star to which the verse refers is an analogy for every individual Jew. Every person is a source of positive energy, radiating light.

Chassidut explains that every person is a star, because every person contains a spark of Mashiach within his soul. There is in our souls- an element that is one with G-d. This is our personal star. And this is our spark of Mashiach.

The coming of Mashiach will initiate an era when the G-dliness which is at the core of every being will come to the surface.

May it happen now, amen!

Candle lighting time for L.A. is 7:50.

Shabbat Shalom!

Previous Rebbe arrested as a child.....

The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe R' Yosef Yitzchok would earn money for reciting Talmudic passages by heart, with this money, at age 11, he provided interest free loans to the market people.
One day he met one of his regulars, Reb Dovid the butcher, he was carrying a calf on his shoulders, a small lamb in his arms, and a basket of chickens in front of him. "I hope to G-d that I'll earn well today..."he told to the young Yosef Yitzchok. And just then a policeman smacked R Dovid across the face till blood ran down his nose. Seeing this, the young boy yelled, "Drunk! Despicable one!" and he pushed the policeman.
The policeman accused the young boy of ripping his badge off his chest and interfering with his duties and so he had him arrested. Sitting in the dark cell, the young Yosef Yitzchok was pretty frightened. But then started reviewing the words of Torah that he knew by heart.

Suddenly the young boy heard grunting sounds. He lit a match from his pocket and to his utter suprise saw a bound calf with a muzzle on his mouth lying in a corner.
After a couple of hours he was released.

Now, Reb Dovid, was accused of stealing the calf he was carrying. Someone had their calf missing and the police accused R' Dovid of being the thief therefore smacked him.
When they heard that young Y.Y. found a bound and muzzled calf lying in the jail. They investigated, and how amazed they all were to see that indeed .there was the missing slash stolen calf. The policeman himself framed R' Dovid.

"My father said to me" writes Yosef Yitzchok in his diary, "You did well to protect the dignity of an honest Jew. And if for that you suffered for a few hours, so what?"
"Now it has also been demonstrated to you," father continued, "how good it is that you are fluent in mishnayot, talmudic passages by heart. Were it not for this knowledge, in what way were you any better than - l'havdil - the calf who also sat in prison?

Father's words remain engraved on my mind and heart: continues to write Yosef Yitzchok, "Love and esteem every honest Jew, be he rich or poor in Torah. Protect the dignity of every Jew even if danger is involved. And always prepare "provisions for the way" - by learning by heart - in case of any mishap, so that no time will be wasted without study of Torah.

My father gave me ten rubles to add to my fund that I may increase my loan-granting activities."