Chof Daled Sivan 5765 Issue 39
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The Jewish people in the desert must have wondered when they saw קרח confront משה רבינו. "What's bothering קרח?" they probably asked each other. "He comes from a dignified family. He has an important position; he's a לוי, and he's wealthy and popular. People say that he even has רוח הקודש."
Why indeed did קרח challenge משה רבינו?
קרח was not a simple person, and he was not speaking selfishly. He told משה, "The entire nation is holy and ה‘ is among them. Why do you set yourself above ה‘'s congregation?"
What קרח began saying was true. Every איד is holy, and the spark of ה‘, our נשמה - "is in our midst." But then he challenged משה רבינו's position. That is where קרח went wrong.
The Jewish people need משה רבינו. We need leaders, teachers of תורה, who will show us how to live the תורה way, so that the spark of ה‘ in our neshamos can be revealed.
קרח knew this as well. He knew that the בני ישראל needed leaders. Indeed, he himself was one of the people's leaders. But he thought that it was enough for a leader to be wiser and better qualified than most people. He objected to משה רבינו being head and shoulders above anyone else.
ה‘ showed us that קרח was making a terrible mistake. The holiness of ה‘ and the תורה is way above us. To bring out that holiness within us, the Jewish people do need a משה רבינו. Only a leader who is head and shoulders above the people can make the Torah shine brightly in our lives.
The זהר teaches us that there is a spark of משה רבינו in every generation. Through the משה in every generation, ה‘ gives every איד the ability to add holiness to this world.
(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. IV, Parshas Korach)
From the Desk of Dr. Getzel,
Do I have everything I need? Let me look into my green Gan Yisroel duffel bag, and make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. Going to New York for Gimmel Tammuz is a big deal. I’ve been trying to get ready for a long time, and I’m still not ready. I have my jumbo box of Kleenex tissues, an even bigger jumbo box of Likkutei Sichos, my Living Torah DVD for the month of Tammuz, my compact, portable, fold up DVD machine, and what else? Let me see.
I made sure to pack my orange sparkly toothbrush, my matching orange sparkling pajamas, Mrs. Getzel’s banana cake, my chitas, and of-course, I can’t forget, my round- trip Amtrak train ticket (train #770) to New York. Do I have everything? Wait! I must bring my favorite, long-treasured, wrinkled picture of the Rebbe smiling and waving, I don’t go anywhere without it.
Am I ready? I better be. I think the Amtrak train #770 is leaving in just about sixty seconds, I better run. 59, 58, 57, 56, 55, 54, 53, 52…
Phew! It looks like I made it on time. I told you I believe in miracles. I better board the train. Do I have everything I need? I better get on the train first and worry later. Oh wow, it’s a really long train; it has about 15 cars, and wires attach them all to the leading car in the front, the car that has the engine and the bell. I love train bells! I hope I get a seat in the front car. Let me see, what does my ticket say? Oh shucks, I’m not in car one (I think it’s only for First Class), but I’m in car three, that’s not too bad.
Just as I settled down for a good trip and pulled out my jumbo box of Likkutei Sichos, my not-so-jumbo box of tissues, and my banana cake, a strange happened. First I heard a strange noise. Then I saw a strange man and he was doing something very strange. He was standing between cars 3 and 2 and he was trying to disconnect the wires. That is very strange and even more silly and a very lot dangerous! A little old lady, sitting in the seat right behind me and wearing a bright pink floppy hat, got up and started waving her cane and shrieking: “How dare you disconnect the wires! I’ll call the police! I’ll send you to jail for this!”
Mr. Strange politely explained that he didn’t want to follow the leading car with the bell, he wanted car 3 to go its own way. Mrs. Little Old Lady was looking very white, and her pink hat was shrinking on her very shiny little head. “You youngsters are so impossible! (Sob, sob) Don’t you see? If you disconnect the car, it won’t know where to go! Only the leader car knows where to go.”
Mrs. Little Old Lady cried so loud that a fat, roly-poly conductor came to solve the problem. The conductor sent Mr. Strange back to his seat, and borrowed some of the tissues from my jumbo tissue box and gave them to Mrs. Little old lady whose pink hat was completely flat.
Just then I heard the loud bell from the leading car. Yeah, we’re leaving! The engine is starting and taking all 15 cars with it to New York. Yippee! I’m glad car 3 is still attached! But am I ready to go?
I think I’m finally ready to travel to New York for Gimmel Tammuz. Now I know the secret. It’s like a train. The Rebbe is like a leading train leading all his Chassidim and Shluchim right up to the time of Moshiach and the Third Beis Hamikdosh. But we have to be connected. We can’t act like Mr. Strange and disconnect the wires, because if we do, we won’t know where to go, and we’ll be as sad as Mrs. Little Old Lady with the flat pink hat. I hope I’m connected. I better pull out my jumbo box of Likkutei Sichos and make sure I’m connected. After all, like we said last week, learning is one of the special features on the LeNSeR four-sight COL connecting to the Rebbe lens.
So long, I’ll meet you all very soon at the Beis Hamikdosh with Moshiach. After all, we’re all riding the same train and we all follow the same leading car. So bon voyage, I’ll see you there.
שבת after מנחה
My name is Shaya Liberow and I am on Shlichus in Barranquilla, Colombia.
In this article I would like to tell you about something that happened this past Pesach .
About 100 people were at our Seder in Chabad House. Some were people from our community , and some were Israeli back-packers. In the middle of Maggid we had a power failure. (In Barranquilla, it is something that happens often.) It was dark for a while, and because we could not read from the Haggadah, everyone was singing. Suddenly, the lights turned on again and we continued the Seder. When I went to open the door for Eliyohu Hanavi , I saw that the whole neighborhood was dark except for our Chabad House.
Hashem wanted that we, the Rebbe’s shluchim should have a nice Seder. He made sure we had light when no one else had any, making for us a special Pesach miracle.
”ואם בריאה יברא ה‘ ופצתה האדמה את פיה ובלעה אתם ואת כל אשר להם וירדו חיים שאלה“ (ט“ז ל‘)
"But if ה‘ will create a new thing, and the earth open its mouth and swallow them and everything that belongs to them, and they go down in the pit alive." (16:30)
QUESTION: Why did משה wish such a strange death upon קרח and his followers?
ANSWER: משה loved all the בני ישראל, including קרח and his followers. These people were doing a big עבירה, because by arguing with משה they were going against what ה‘ wanted.
Had they died immediately, they would have left this world without
and they would thus have lost their share in
Therefore, he davenned that they descend alive to the pit, hoping
that while still alive, they would regret their
In fact, according to an opinion in the
and his followers do indeed have a share in
שלשה שאכלו על שלחן אחד ולא אמרו עליו דברי תורה
In משנה ב‘, when it says that two people who sit together should say דברי תורה it talks in the present tense ‘שנים שיושבין’ - ‘two who are sitting’. But in thisמשנה , it says ‘שלשה שאכלו’ - ‘three who ate’, in the past tense.
two people are sitting together and not eating, they should say
or at least talk about matters that are connected to
But when people are sitting together and eating, the
say that they shouldn’t talk in case a bone would
go down the windpipe instead of the food pipe. However, when they
have finished eating, they should say some
making the table they ate at become
When World War II started, the רבי and רביצין were living in France. When theרבי פריערדיקער reached America he immediately started to make efforts to bring the רבי and רביצין to safety too. In 5701/1941—after the Nazis had already invaded France—the רבי and the רביצין were able to travel to Portugal which was neutral during the war. Once they were in Portugal they boarded a ship to the United States.
The trip itself was quite dangerous, with the ship being stopped many times by the Nazis.
On the 28th of Sivan 5701 (June 23 1941), the רבי and the רביצין arrived in New York.
The רבי פריערדיקער was not well and was unable to greet his son-in-law and daughter personally. Instead, he sent four of his most important חסידים to greet them.
Theרבי פריערדיקער told them: "I am choosing you as my שלוחים to welcome my son-in-law, who is arriving tomorrow. Let me tell you who he is: Every night he says תיקון חצות over the destruction of the בית המקדש. He knows by heart both the entire תלמוד בבלי and ירושלמי with their commentaries and רמב“ם’s משנה תורה and is expert in the works of חב“ד חסידות. . .!"
Since then, the 28th of Sivan had become a day of שמחה and thanks to ה‘ for the rescue of the רבי and the רביצין from the hands of the Nazis in Europe.
It also marks the beginning of a new period inחב“ד outreach when the רבי פריערדיקער set upמחנה ישראל, קה“ת and מרכז לעניני חינוך. All these מוסדות were run by the רבי when he came to America.
In the town of Berdichev everyone was talking about the latest news. A very rich man had passed away but nobody was very sad because the man had been a miser and hadn’t shared his riches with anyone.
The Chevra Kadisha wanted to charge his family a lot of money to bury him but the family were very upset and they asked the רב of the town - who was none other than the צדיק, ר‘ לוי יצחק of Berditchev- what to do. When they came before him, they were surprised to see how sad he looked. Not only did ר‘ לוי יצחק say that the family was right but he also promised to come to the levaye.
Of course, when the townspeople heard that ר‘ לוי יצחק would be coming to the levaye, they all came too. Needless to say, everyone was very curious why this miser was getting so much respect and after the levaye was over, they asked the רב why he had come to the levaye. “No one knew him like I did”, he replied. “Everyone thought he was a miser but I know what he was really like because of three דין תורה’s that I judged.
“The first case was with a wine merchant. He was an agent for all the other merchants in the town. They would give him money to buy wine and they would pay him a commission. One time, just as he was about to buy the wine, he realized that the money was missing. He was so upset, especially because it wasn’t his money, that he fainted right there, in the middle of the street. Suddenly, a man stepped forward and announced that he found the money. The merchant felt better right away.
“Not long after, another man came and said that he really found the money but he had listened to his יצר הרע and hadn’t return it. When he heard that someone had pretended to find it, he felt really bad and wanted to repay the generous man but the man refused to accept it. They came to me to judge the דין תורה and I decided that the first man - whose levaye we just went to - did not have to accept the money.
“The second time I met him was a similar case. A poor man decided to go and try to make some money working in a far-away town. His wife asked him where she should get money for food, clothes and everything else she would need while he was away. He told her that she could go to a certain rich man every week and ask him for payment. This, of course, wasn’t true but the poor lady didn’t know that. When she innocently came to the rich man, he realized what was happening and generously gave her money every week for many months.
“When the husband came home, ב“הhaving made some money, he wanted to repay the rich man - our ‘miser’ - who refused to accept the money. Again they came to me to judge the דין תורה, and again I decided that the rich man could keep his מצוה.
“The third story was when a very wealthy man who had gone bankrupt came to the rich man for a loan. ‘Who will be your guarantor? Who will pay me back if you can’t?’ the rich man asked.
“‘My only guarantor is ה‘,’ he replied. The rich man was happy with that and said that ה‘ is a guarantor that he could trust.
When the day arrived that the man was supposed to pay his loan, he didn’t appear. Several months later he did come, begging forgiveness. ‘You don’t owe me anything. Your Guarantor was very honest, and He paid me back very well.’
“Again they came to me for a דין תורה and again I decided that the rich man did not have to accept any money.
“So you see,”
ר‘ לוי יצחק said
to the townspeople, “you were wrong about the rich man who passed away. He
was no miser. On the contrary, he was a great and special
on the highest level possible - giving in secret, without anybody knowing and
saying how great he is. Just like he stood in my
he is now standing in front of the
בית דין של מעלה
accompanied by his
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