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BH. 7 Cheshvan 5775 31 October 2014 Number 946 Price: $6.

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The international weekly heralding the coming of Moshiach




From Lech Lecha we immediately come to Parshas VaYeira, And G-d

appeared to him. The perfection of this revelation will take place in the
true and complete redemption, regarding which it says, And your eyes
will behold your master. Indeed, it will be experienced [in this world]
as souls within bodies, in the ultimate state of health and wellbeing. The
main thing, though, is that it should take place now!
(Shabbos Parshas Lech Lecha 5752)





3 Dvar Malchus
11 Parsha Thought
21 Profile
34 Tzivos Hashem

R Shneur Chaviv

Zalman Tzorfati
18 THE


Nosson Avraham

Shneur Zalman Berger

Beis Moshiach (USPS 012-542) ISSN 1082-0272

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M.M. Hendel
Rabbi S.Y. Chazan

Boruch Merkur

2014-10-27 10:32:42 PM


Translated by Boruch Merkur

Prior to the Rebbe Rayatzs

histalkus in 5710, he emphasized
the concept of chayim nitzchiim,
eternal life. The Rebbe MHM
points out the profound
significance of the topics a Rebbe
discusses in his final sichos
delivered in this world: they serve
as instructions for how to proceed
in the wake of his histalkus. In
Chapter 7 of Likkutei Mekoros,
author Rabbi Shloma Majeski
cites further reference in the
final sichos the Rebbe delivered
regarding eternal life.
8. [] Adam HaRishon was
created on Friday, the Sixth
Day, in order that he could
immediately enter into (and be
prepared for) the [Shabbos]
meal (Sanhedrin 38a with the
commentary of Rashi). Here
Sixth Day alludes to the Sixth
Millennium, when everything
is prepared for the feast of the
Leviasan and the Shor HaBar,
a day that is entirely Shabbos
(rest), tranquility, and eternal

The discussion above

(concerning the 15th day of a
month and the 15th of Av (which

comes out this year on) the Sixth

Day, Friday) underscores the
bli gvul, the infinitude of the
true and complete redemption
(signified by a doubled term),
which is expressed by the true
perfection of all these matters
coming together as one.
Now, the full moon occurs
(on the fifteen of the month) in
virtue of being fully exposed to
the light of the sun. The ultimate
fullness, however, will be in the
Future Era, when the special
qualities of both the sun and the
moon are united: the light of the
moon shall be as the light of the
sun, etc.
Regarding the 15th of
Menachem Av: The birth
of Moshiach takes place
precisely on the moment after
the destruction of the Beis
HaMikdash, as taught in the
Midrashim of our Sages: When

the cow mooed the first time, the

Beis HaMikdash was destroyed;
when it mooed a second time,
the savior and redeemer of the
Jewish people was born. In
fact, even after the redeemer
matured and became an adult,
the destruction continued and
the exile was prolonged, lasting
an extraordinary length of time.
Here gadlus adulthood,
greatness is meant especially
in the spiritual sense, from his
shoulders and up he is higher
than the people (i.e., being
a king, all aspects of kingship
apply to him; certainly this
elevated status applies to Melech
HaMoshiach, who is both a king
and a rav). The intent of this
extended destruction and exile is
that there should be the complete
redemption with the participation
of both the Supernal and Lower
realms, as well as the two realms
as they come together as one.
All is now ready for the feast
of the Future Era. Indeed, the
perfection of the feast of the day
that is entirely Shabbos (which
Continued on page 10
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know Amos Barzilai for

nearly fifteen years, from the
first day I set foot in Ramat
Aviv. He is a tall man with
an impressive presence and great
charisma. His strong bass voice
makes it hard for him to remain
behind the scenes. Amos is the type
of fellow who immediately turns
into the hub around which events
We arranged to meet at the
end of the business day at his
company headquarters in an
office building on the outskirts
of Petach Tikva. I arrived at
the end of a target day at the
company. Dozens of employees
filled the central auditorium

and the nearby rooms. They are

required to achieve certain goals
by the end of the secular month.
The auditorium is bedecked
with balloons, music plays in
the background, and lots of
prizes and gifts are scattered
on the tables that are meant
for those employees who met
their targets. Every so often the
central computer shows that an
employee met his target which
provokes him to jump up and
down and generates applause
from the rest of the crowd.
From a large window in his
office Amos looks out over the
large auditorium. He is busy
with one meeting after another.

In between he comes out and

apologizes that our meeting is
being postponed again and again.
Although he is sitting in an
office, his presence is very much
felt. Just his being there is enough
to motivate dozens of employees
to produce just a bit more than
they thought they could. But
if you would meet Amos while
davening, at a shiur or with a
chavrusa, you would see him
sitting like a humble student and
learning with zest.
someone who was the king of
Tel Aviv nightlife, who went on
to become a businessman, and
became a baal tshuva to whom

Amos Barzilai was the king of Tel Aviv nightlife and became one of the
main supporters who built up the mosdos of the Chabad yeshiva in Ramat
Aviv and supports hundreds of other Chabad mosdos. * Barzilai speaks
for the first time in an interview with R Shneur Chaviv about giving
tzdaka, about the involvement of wealthy people in the
mosdos they support, about combining the world of
business and the world of Torah, about his special
connection to Chassidus and to the Rebbe and more.
Photos by Yehuda Segev

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Torah, tfilla, and tzdaka are
the focal points of his life; they
are why he continues to make
Speaking of Torah, tfilla
and tzdaka, tzdaka is definitely
the dominant element of the
three. Although the number of
institutions and organizations he
supports are numerous, it would
be true to say that the project that
he is signed up for with pride and
humility is the Chabad yeshiva in
Ramat Aviv which he has been
involved in since its inception.
Its his baby. It is hard to imagine
the yeshiva in Ramat Aviv without
Amos Barzilai and even harder
to imagine Barzilai without the
Amos leans his executive chair
back as far as it goes and crosses
his legs. If he would smoke, it
would be the perfect position in
which to light up a fine cigar.
We went on to have a fascinating
discussion for an hour that
seemed like ten minutes.
I think that in general,
recently, Torah is penetrating
more and more into our reality.
People are beginning to see it,
to feel it and to internalize it.
Whether its in business, the
media, on the street; in general,
the conversation of Israelis has
changed. G-dliness has entered
daily life.

You walk around Ibn
Gabirol or Dizengoff where
people fill the cafes and
entertainment halls, exactly
where does G-dliness come into
the picture. Are you telling me
people are sensing G-dliness?
Definitely. Today, people are
feeling and living G-dliness, even
on Ibn Gabirol or the Ramat

Aviv mall. They just call it by

other names. One calls it karma,
another calls it positive energy
and a third calls it cosmic love.
But all these terms say the same
thing and this is because they
dont yet know the right terms
for the feelings they have that
come from an arousal of their
G-dly soul. In my opinion, this
is also one of the most powerful
signs that the Geula is practically
Where does the average
Israeli encounter G-d?
In divine providence.
And we havent had this
We always had it, but people
did not pay attention to it.
They did not give it its proper
are beginning to talk about it.
Suddenly, it is seeping into
awareness; it is like something
you have in front of your eyes
all the time and you didnt pay
attention and suddenly, you
notice it.
Ive been thinking about
something lately. We say the
bracha each morning that
Hashem opens the eyes of the
blind. Why do we word it that
way? Are most people blind who
have had their eyes opened? Why
doesnt it simply say that He
opens our eyes?
I think that blindness is
when you dont see G-dliness
in the world, its when youve
experienced divine providence
but you dont notice it; thats
blindness. And when the Creator
leads you through a series of
events and you understand them,
when you understand what its
saying to you, when you see the
divine providence, that is the
opening of the eyes of the blind.
This opening is being felt more
and more in the Israeli public
arena wherever you turn.

The HaYom Yom talks about

the divine providence seen by
businessmen as opposed to
those who sit and learn. As
someone who lives in the Israeli
business world, do you see this
as true in the general public?
Thats precisely what Im
telling you. Take all the business
tycoons from Yitzhak Tshuva
and up or down, and you see
that all of them are going to
rabbanim. That is a phenomenon
of the past decade, that every
businessman has his rabbi.
Where do you have a rav from? A
rav used to be the exact opposite
of a businessman. Businessmen
represented the material world;
the business community looked
down upon those who study
Torah and rabbanim were
considered fools. Suddenly, a rav
has become someone to consult
with, not just someone from
whom to get a bracha. There are
many businessmen today who
do not sign on deals without the
approval of their rav. Its crazy,
and this never existed before.
G-dliness has permeated the
world and I think its one of the
signs of Geula.


Whoever goes to the yeshiva
in Ramat Aviv in the morning
will encounter the most spiritual
business club in the area. Youll
find there businessmen who dont
forgo mikva in the morning, a
minyan, and Chassidus before
davening and a shiur afterward.
One of the founders of the
spiritual morning club is Amos
swimming in the pool, sitting
in a cafe, or exercising at the
gym, you are in yeshiva every
morning, mikva, Chassidus,
davening, and a shiur. What
effect does this routine have on

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your day?
I have been davening in the
yeshiva for nineteen years now,
every morning, and as far as I
can remember I have never been
late to minyan. Its in my blood,
spirit, and soul. The Modeh Ani
every morning, mikva, davening,
friends, the shiur, the human
interactions are a part of me. Its
the backbone of my day and I
cannot do it anywhere else.
What is special about this
Its impossible to describe
a feeling. It is a G-dly
experience that I cannot explain
in words. I cannot imagine
how my life would look without
davening in the morning in
yeshiva. And its not just me;
there are others who are with me
for eighteen years in this minyan
and who feel just as I do. This
has become our life. In general,
I cannot imagine my life without
Torah and mitzvos. You cant live
without it.

A visit to the offices of Amos
companies always fascinates me.
One of the rooms is designated
as a shul which services the
employees and businessmen in
the area. Regular shiurim take
place in the conference room.
The back wall of the room
consists of a huge Torah library
rivaling the offices of the chief
Amos is not what is known
as a chareidi and yet everything
around him cries out kdusha.
There is something in this
combination of a leading,
publicly displays his Judaism and
who is constantly integrating the
spiritual and the material with a
natural charm.
Ive been in many offices

I think that
is when you dont
see G-dliness in the
world, its when
youve experienced
divine providence
when the Creator
leads you through
a series of events
and you understand
them, when you
understand what its
saying to you, when
you see the divine
providence, that is
the opening of the
eyes of the blind.

of religious businessmen and

even Lubavitchers and I dont
remember this intense kdusha.
You have an active shul here, a
Torah library, the entire office is

full of sfarim and holy objects

and yet, you are not wearing a
suit and hat. Tell me, who is
Amos Barzilai?
You see me as I appear. I
dont look like a Chassid and
not even like a chareidi but I
will tell you something. I really
try, 24/7 to maintain a stance of
shivisi Hashem lnegdi tamid
(I place G-d before me
constantly). It would
be very hard for you to
catch me when Im not
murmuring some Thillim,
saying something with Torah
content or at least thinking about
the Creator. I am wrapped up
in the Holy One blessed be He
and try to remain connected to
How do you do that in
business? Youre not sitting in
kollel how can you build up
a business and run a company
with dozens of employees?
How can you be on vacation
in Seychelles and think about
Its not complicated. I was
once positive that we enjoy the
rain, the sun, the beach, lying in
the sun and a good steak, and I
suddenly discovered that I can
enjoy spiritual things a thousand
times more. My pleasure today in
a dvar Torah, in a sicha from the
Rebbe, in a maamer Chassidus,
a daf Gemara, is far greater than
all the physical pleasure you
could offer me. So I dont work
hard for that; I just connect to
Hashem and enjoy every minute
of it.
If you enjoy it so much, why
dont you leave the business
world to sit and learn? After
all, you dont need to worry
about your mortgage
Why should I leave? If
Hashem wanted us to leave, He
would have made the entire world
into a yeshiva. The whole point is

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a dira batachtonim. That is our
job, the combining of spirituality
and the material world and the
balance between them. There
are people who need to leave
and be involved in Torah day
and night; that is their role. But
my role, as a businessman, is to
instill G-dliness in the world. And
its an enormous, indescribable
You feel that you are
fulfilling a G-dly mission where
you are?
I dont know for certain
whether it falls under the heading
of shlichus or not, but I do know
that I am doing what I should be
doing and it fills me with joy. I
feel that the reality that I live in
is far nicer than my dreams. It
fills me with delight. Around me
I see people who are running and
are not happy. People who are far
richer than me, who can really
allow themselves endless material
delights and they are not happy.
How do your employees and
business partners react to the
shul, the shiurim, to everything
that goes on here?
knows me knows that wherever
I go, any deal I get involved in,
the first thing I do is open a shul
and its always shiurim and sifrei
kodesh; its an inseparable part of
my life.
Everyone is satisfied with the
way things are. Employees come
over to me, consult with me
Many of them began saying Shma
in the morning, at night; some
come for Mincha, some come to
put on tfillin. I bought tfillin for
some employees. I dont force
anyone to do anything, but they
see that I enjoy it so much that
they want a piece of it too.




organizations have benefited

from Amos largesse, but to Amos
its not merely a matter of being
generous, its a principle that
characterizes him. Its not easy
to ask a wealthy person about
his feelings, surely not about his
donations, but the conversation
flowed and I took the opportunity
to ask.
You know that to many,
Amos Barzilai is synonymous
with tzdaka
important mitzva, one of the 613,
and each person takes it where his
heart desires. There are people
who are more magnanimous and
those who are less so.
But for you its not about
generosity; its a central theme
of your life, right?
Right, but I dont see it
as tzdaka. I dont feel that
Im doing a favor. From my
perspective, I receive abundance
from G-d and it is my obligation
to Him.
I remember lines from you
like you need to open the barrel
and empty it out from below so
G-d can fill it from above
That was then, but I am no
longer there. I started giving
tzdaka because of tithe and
you will become wealthy and
test Me, but now I do not look
forward to any reward or favors
in return. I give because it is my
privilege to give and its the most
fun thing to do. As long as there
is always what to give, its all fine.
You need to do something
with money. What do I need
for myself already? To get a
new car? I have one already. A
house? I have several. Steaks?
I ate enough. So why do people
continue to work and make
money? For pleasures. So when
you find something which is a
spiritual pleasure and it turns into
an enormous physical pleasure

how do I always say it since

the benefits are huge, I invest in
it. Just like other people invest in
other pleasures.

How emotionally involved
do you think a wealthy donor
ought to be?
A wealthy person can figure
it out if he is involved, he will
have a life. If not, he will have
so much money he wont know
what to do with it.
I dont understand.
I will explain. If you are
involved in a community then
you have a good life. Sometimes
I sit down to learn with the
shluchim, with young guys, and
I enjoy every minute of it. You
can be disconnected and make a
lot of money but you wont have
anything. You need to remember
that money is a means, not an
end. When you are connected to
a community it gives you spiritual
support and physical enjoyment.
I meant being involved
administratively. Once, in a
yechidus for wealthy people,
the Rebbe asked them to build
buildings for mosdos. The
Rebbe emphasized that they
shouldnt suffice with giving a
check but should be involved
in the building. That way,
explained the Rebbe, the rich
will build according to their
Each person needs to know
what he can contribute. Often you
can donate money but you can
donate more than money. You
can donate of your knowledge,
your talents, your connections,
your experience. It has often
happened that Ive given advice
to directors of mosdos that ended
up being worth a lot of money.
I think a wealthy person needs
to accompany the mosad and

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be emotionally involved and not

just give a check and leave. Of
course, it is important to give the
director of the mosad his space
and to remember that after all, he
is the director and not you.
When you give tzdaka, are
you interested in how the mosad
is run?
Previously I wasnt but now
I am. I am interested in how the
mosad is run and what they are
doing with the money. I dont
want to expand on this topic
from a negative stance, but today
it is important to me that the
money go to the right places and
be handled properly.

It is fascinating to watch
Amos learn Chassidus. The man
who is a lion in his office can
sit facing one of the bachurimshluchim and learn a maamer in
depth and all he does is nod. His
occasional sharp insights that he
offers now and then show that
the learning is internalized.
Chassidic wealthy man?
I dont know, but I can tell
you what it ought to be. What
ought to be is that one should be
a Chassid without the additional
title of wealth. What is a wealthy
person? I dont know. A Chassid
is someone who goes beyond the
letter of the law. Being Chassidic
suffices; if you consider yourself
a wealthy man that can confuse
What connection is there
Chassidus changes your life;
it affects your inner qualities
and it turns you into someone
else. Chassidus gives you G-dly
drive in everything, in learning,
middos, in your way of life and
in business too. When you learn

call it by
other names. One
and a third calls it
cosmic love They
dont yet know the
right terms for the
feelings they have
that come from
an arousal of their
G-dly soul. In my
opinion, this is also
one of the most
that the Geula is
practically here.

Chassidus, internalize it, and

start implementing it, you can
run with it in every aspect of
your life; it gives you tremendous
Can you say that your
business is better thanks to your
connection to Chassidus?
Absolutely. I have lots of
employees, friends, colleagues,

The shul in Amos place of work

partners, and I spend my day in

meetings. Thats what I do all
day, meet with people. Boruch
Hashem, people love to meet
with me. I see this in everyone
with whom I do business and
even more with those who dont
do business with me. I push
people, I give them chizuk, give
them drive. Its only Chassidus.
Who am I? What can I sell?
Nothing. All my meetings are just
Chassidus. Its not that we sit
down and learn maamarim in a
business meeting, but I take the
ideas and translate them into the
language of action. That is the
greatness of Chassidus that it can
provide you with motivation not
just for davening and learning
but in marketing a product and
closing deals.
You are associated with
various groups and many
rabbis. Why have you picked
As you know, I know many
types and not just superficially,
but really in depth and the path
I chose is Chabad, for many
reasons. One thing that greatly
attracted me is the independent
avoda. There is no such thing
in Chabad as going to the rabbi
and getting a bracha and you
did your part. In Chabad, if
you want to advance you must
learn. Learn Chitas, Rambam,
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Chassidus, set times for learning
Torah, set up classes in private
homes. Pick yourself up, start
something, bring in others, share,
you yourself then become the rav
who brings the bracha. This way
of avoda is one of the things that
captivated me in Chabad.
If we are talking about
Chabad then 770 is the hub.
You yourself have visited a few
How did someone once put it
770 is the engine room of the
ship. If you want to understand
the mighty force which is called
Chabad, the institution of
shlichus, the depth of Chassidus,
everything, then you need to go
to 770 where it all begins.

Amos Barzilai and Chabad of
Ramat Aviv have been intertwined
for years. Amos was one of the
founders of the yeshiva. He has
completely devoted himself to it
and has gotten his friends and
acquaintances involved. He is
one of the pillars of the yeshiva,
which in the meantime has grown

Continued from page 3

is prepared for on the Sixth
Day), in every respect, is on
account of the perfection of bli
gvul, infinity, as emphasized also
by the double term tov good
on the Sixth Day.
9. The concept of surpassing
limitation is also underscored in
the avoda of man that begins on
the 15th of Av, as our Sages say,
From then on dmosif yosif (one
surely adds): From the 15th of
Av and on, one who spends more
time in Torah study during the
longer nights and shorter days,
increases his longevity (Taanis,
end; commentary of Rashi):

and become a whole array of

mosdos: Chabad yeshiva, kollelim
and a wide array of institutions
and organizations. We tried going
back with him to the early days
when his involvement changed
the spiritual map of northern Tel
You and R Yossi Ginsburgh
have been walking hand in hand
for years. When did this begin?
I returned from abroad
after a period in which I lived
in the US. At that time, I had
already started taking an interest
in Judaism and my younger
brother Gili suggested that I
meet a young rabbi who came
to Ramat Aviv. The difference
in our ages was nearly twenty
years and he seemed like a
sweet kid but a very smart one.
I had a tremendous kinas sofrim
(jealousy of the Torah knowledge
of others) toward him. I envied
his language, his wisdom, his
middos, his behavior. By the way,
that has continued till today, but
at the time it was incredible for
me to see someone so young and
so wise.
We began learning Chassidus.

I didnt know what it was. It

drew me like bees to a flower.
In his first three to four years in
Ramat Aviv I clung to him and
didnt leave him. I was drawn to
him and said to myself that I had
to emulate him and learn from
him and even try to bypass him.
R Ginsburgh was my role model.
He fascinated me and I put all
my energy into him. I wanted to
know him and get from him as
much as possible.
Youve been through many
things in your life
I thank G-d every day. I look
back and see all the stops I made
in life. Someone else would say
that over here you went down
and over here you went through
a period that wasnt great, here
it was the pits and here was
Today, in retrospect, I
understand that every stop I
made in life was for the good. If
Hashem would ask me, I would
tell Him not to change a thing.
Today I realize that even my
downtimes were steps upward.
I learned from everything and
continue to learn every day.

All Jews are presumed to

be upstanding and people who
fulfill Mitzvos and learn Torah in
scheduled Torah study sessions,
in accordance with the rule
designated for each individual
in the Laws of Torah Study.
Thus, it is understood that the
primary and complete manner of
adding in Torah study is by going
beyond measure and limitation.
In this spirit, the Torah says
in this weeks parsha, bchol
meodecha with all your
might meod shelcha your
might, which is connected with
the meod haamiti the true

[i.e., Divine] might (bli gvul,

And this is the preparation for
the true and complete increase in
Torah study in a truly unlimited
manner [in the Future Era] A
new Torah shall emerge from
Me (as above in Section 6).
In this manner the perfection
of increases his longevity is
achieved in a manner that is
beyond measure and limitation
eternal life.
(From the address of Shabbos
Parshas VaEschanan, Shabbos
Nachamu, 16 Menachem-Av; Seifer
HaSichos 5751, pg. 744-745)

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By Rabbi Heschel Greenberg

The Talmud (Psachim 117b),
cited by Rashi, discusses the
uniqueness of Abraham even
among the other two Patriarchs,
Isaac and Jacob. We begin our
daily prayers, known as the
Shmoneh Esrei or Amida, by
mentioning all three Patriarchs:
The G-d of Abraham, the G-d of
Isaac and the G-d of Jacob. Yet
when we conclude the blessing,
we only say, Blessed are You,
G-d, the shield of Abraham.
The Talmud, commenting on
the opening verse of this weeks
parsha, discusses this discrepancy
in the following manner:
I will make of you a great
nation this is what we say:
The G-d of Abraham.

I will bless you this is
what we say: The G-d of Isaac.

And I will make your
name great this is what we
say: The G-d of Jacob.
It could be thought that we
should conclude with [a mention
of] all of them. The Torah
therefore states: And you shall be
a blessing, [to teach us that] we
conclude with you [Abraham]
and we do not conclude with all
of them [Isaac and Jacob].
This Talmudic commentary

needs clarification. Why would

Abraham feel better knowing
that he was singled out for
special mention that excluded his
beloved son Isaac and grandson
Jacob? Any loving parent and
grandparent would relish the
idea that his progeny would be
regarded as equals or even as
superior to himself.


The following is partially
based on an answer from a 20th
century Chassidic work, Ateres
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
were not just great people; they
were the very foundation of
the Jewish nation. Moreover,
they personified the most basic
traits and virtues that we, their
descendants, need to fulfill our
mission on earth.
Thus, our Sages inform us
that the three Patriarchs represent
the three pillars upon which the
world stands (Avos 1:2): Torah,
Avoda (sacrificial service or
prayer), and Gmilus Chassadim
(acts of loving kindness).
It is axiomatic that a Jew
cannot be content to strive for
one or two of these pillars. We
are required to incorporate all

three in our daily lives. A Jew is

duty-bound to study Torah each
and every day. Even one who
is heavily involved in earning a
livelihood must separate at least
some time in the morning and the
evening to study Torah. Likewise,
every Jew is obligated to pray to
G-d multiple times daily. And,
obviously, one cannot be a good
Jew without reaching out to
sustain the less fortunate in our
midst by acts of loving kindness.
It is therefore also axiomatic
in Jewish thought that we need
to invoke the names and traits of
all three Patriarchs because they
represent these three pillars, all of
which are indispensable:

Abraham personified kindness
at its best.
This explains the Talmuds
finding an allusion to Abraham
in the words I will make of
you a great nation. To create
a community and a nation one
must have and act on a profound
sense of responsibility towards
dedication to acts of kindness,
giving and sharing, a society
cannot survive. The stark
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Parsha Thought

For a community to have a miser was a novelty.

Stories were told about them because they were
so rare, and so reviled. So engrained was the desire to
give Tzdaka, that Jewish law had to place a limit. One is
obliged to give at least 10 percent of ones net income
to Tzdaka, preferably 20 percent. However, the Talmud
rules, one is not permitted to give more than 20 percent.
And even this prohibition has its loopholes. Many a
rabbinic authority has found ways to accommodate
those who wanted to give more.
contrast between Abraham and
the people of Sodom highlights
the importance of this trait: The
Sodomite people were destroyed
because a society cannot survive
unless it is based on the principle
of kindness. In the Chassidic
translation of the words of the
Psalmist (89:3): The world was
built with kindness.


Isaac is known particularly
for his role as a sacrifice, which
parallels the pillar of avoda the
sacrificial service or prayer its
This explains the Talmuds
finding an allusion to Isaac in
the words I will bless you.
Our prayers are replete with
blessings, particularly the Amida,
which comprises 18 blessings.
Our prayers are designed to
elicit G-ds blessings to the


Jacob is described in the
Torah as one who dwelled in
the tents. Rashi explains that
this is an allusion to the tents of
Torah study which he frequented.
Therefore Jacob represents the
pillar of Torah.
This explains why the Talmud

sees an allusion to Jacob in the

words, And I will make your
name great. Torah study has
the capacity to enhance ones
reputation. It is the Torah
scholars that people look up to
for guidance and inspiration.
Thus we begin our most
important prayer by invoking the
names of all three Patriarchs as a
way of establishing the necessity
to connect to G-d through all of
three approaches.


For most of Jewish history,
the Jewish nation, as a whole,
has scrupulously respected and
lived in accord with these three
pillars. Certainly there have
been many who fell short of the
mark. Moreover, even those who
have studied assiduously can
always find ways of enhancing
their learning experience. One
can either devote more time to
ones study or study with more
depth, enthusiasm and passion.
However, on balance, we, as
a people, have done quite well
in this regard. Even the simple
Jew was able to learn at his own
level and picked up much more
knowledge by osmosis.
Insofar as prayer is concerned,

Jews always prayed. In most of

our journeys through the various
exiles we had no choice. Helpless
against pogroms and massacres,
we were compelled to turn
heavenward and beseech G-d to
save us in our times of need.
The same can be said about
acts of loving kindness. There
never was a people who gave so
much Tzdaka. Rich or poor,
Jews contributed with their
souls, bodies and money. Every
community took care of its poor.
For a community to have a miser
was a novelty. Stories were told
about them because they were
so rare, and so reviled. And even
many of those misers preferred
to give Tzdaka anonymously
and suffer the indignity of
a communitys ridicule. So
engrained was the desire to give
Tzdaka, that Jewish law had to
place a limit. One is obliged to
give at least 10 percent of ones
net income to Tzdaka, preferably
20 percent. However, the Talmud
rules, one is not permitted to give
more than 20 percent. And even
this prohibition has its loopholes.
Many a rabbinic authority has
found ways to accommodate
those who wanted to give more.
In light of the above we can
comfortably recite the Biblical
praises of Israel: Who is like
Your nation Israel, one nation
on earth. Indeed, we are unique
in the way we have excelled in
these three domains that our
forefathers represent.


In effect, Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob are not just our ancient
Biblical ancestors; they are alive
within each and every one of us.
We have inherited their spiritual
traits even though it is close to
4,000 years since they inhabited
the physical world.
Thus, in the Amida prayer,

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which is designed to forge a

deeper connection between us
and G-d, we mention the three
Patriarchs equally; they are
indispensable resources and
influences in our collective and
individual lives.

A question remains. Granted,
we have excelled in all three
areas. Granted also that we
must continue to integrate Torah
study with prayer and acts of
kindness. But which of these
three is the most salient aspect
of this triad? Which one will we
need to specialize in beyond all
others to conclude our mission in
Galus? This indeed is the essence
of the Talmuds question, How
do we conclude? The question
is not just about the concluding
part of the prayer; it is about the
conclusion of history prior to the

onset of the Final Redemption.

Where should we place our
greatest emphasis in the final
days of Galus/exile?
The Talmuds unequivocal
Notwithstanding the importance
of Torah study and prayer,
Abrahams trait of kindness must
now dominate.
This conclusion about the
supremacy of kindness in the
current age is rooted in the words
of the Alter Rebbe. His classic
work, Tanya (Igeres HaKodesh
sec. 9), offers a mystical
explanation for why our primary
focus prior to the Messianic Age
must be on helping those who
have nothing of their own. Since
G-ds presence (known as the
Shchina) has descended to the
very nadir of existence (a process
which started with the destruction
of the Beis HaMikdash and has
spiraled ever downward as our

exile progressed) we too must

reach out to those who are in the
abyss. Only this can empower us
to connect to the Divine because
that precisely is where the Divine

One may take this lesson a
step further. By concluding the
Amida with Abrahams ideal of
kindness we actually reinforce
the other two pillars: Torah
study and prayer. In our day
and age one must engage in acts
of kindness to help those who
are poor in terms of their Torah
knowledge. Likewise, we must
apply kindness to prayer and
implore G-d to bring salvation
to the entire world by sending
Moshiach now. Hence, while the
focus may be on Abraham, both
Isaac and Jacob are subsumed
within Abraham.

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10:32:48 PM



Beis Moshiach sat down with R Mendy Dickstein of Moscow, R Levi

Yitzchok Cohen of Tel Tziyon, R Eren Yaakov Feldman of Elad, R Chaim
Komer of Tzfas, and R Yitzchok Scheiner of Beitar Ilit, five Lubavitcher
mechanchim.* We wanted to hear from them about what characterizes
Chabad chinuch, about what they have to contend with, about anticipating
the Geula as a motivational education tool, and more.
By Zalman Tzorfati

e spoke to teachers,
not to principals,
not to educational
not to those who lecture about
teaching. Teachers, those who are
in the classroom, who spend hours
every day with our children, who
handle the many challenges that
teachers nowadays have to deal
We mainly wanted to hear
about what characterizes Chabad
chinuch and about the tools that
Chassidus provides a teacher and

essentially different than the
typical religious education,
says R Eren Yaakov Feldman, a

longtime teacher of first grade

in the Chabad school in Elad.
Beyond instilling the importance
of learning, of halacha lMoshe
mSinai that was transmitted
from generation to generation,
hiskashrus to the Rebbe first and
Hiskashrus to the Rebbe as
an educational motivator repeats
itself often in this interview.
Whatever we teach, we try to
show where the Rebbe fits in,
what the Rebbe says about it, how
it connects to Moshiach. This is
how we constantly prepare the
children for Moshiach, says R
Chaim Komer, also a first grade
To what extent does the topic
of Moshiach and anticipating
the Geula affect a childs
A lot, says R Komer.

When you explain to a child that

Moshiach is about to come and
we need to get ready, it greatly
strengthens the child. When
a child feels and internalizes
that Moshiach is really about to
come and that he has a part in
bringing him, then it becomes a
part of him; he has a reason to
do things. It creates an emotional
connection for the child and
consequently he does things
happily and there will be less of a
need to keep after him.
From what age is it
appropriate to talk to the
children about Moshiach and
At any age, says R Komer,
and the earlier the better. I
keep track of students through
the years and I can tell you that
those who were raised from
preschool with Moshiach and
Geula, surrounded by it at home

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and in school, have grown up

differently. If you pay attention
you can see clearly in bar mitzva
age children the difference and
impact of anticipating Moshiach
on their actions and behavior. I
am talking about a completely
different chayus in learning, in
mitzva observance, in Chabad
practices, in dress, in every way.
Not a day should go by
without Geula and Moshiach,
says R Yitzchok Scheiner, a
teacher in Beitar Ilit. We start
and end the day with inyanei
Moshiach and Geula. The
children today live Moshiach.
They live the Geula. At home
too you need to instill this in
the children. Children need to
constantly live with the feeling
that hinei zeh ba. When the child
lives with the Geula, everything
looks different behavior,
davening, learning.

How do you instill emuna in

A critical principle in
education is being a role model,
says R Komer. When you
yourself are permeated and live
with this belief as something
tangible and current it affects the
children. If you as a teacher are
not feeling this way, you have a
problem, because the children
will immediately pick up on this
and will regard it the same way.

In a Chabad chinuch there
is also the important component
of Ahavas Yisroel and giving to
others, says R Levi Yitzchok
Cohen, a teacher in Tel Tziyon
near Yerushalayim. There is
also the point about bittul. We
are always telling the children to
be ambitious and move forward.

But we stress that this ambition

in learning is not so I will be the
greatest in Torah, to be a tzaddik
or a big and famous rav, or for
any other personal reason. It is
with the understanding that this
is what Hashem wants in the
world, that I learn Torah and do
mitzvos. Being that this is the
case, I need to do so in the best
way possible.
How do you explain to third
graders about bittul?
We dont tell children to
have bittul, says R Cohen.
This is not a yeshiva for older
boys in which a mashpia sits with
the bachurim and explains the
difference between bittul hayesh
and bittul bmetzius. When I
say that we teach about bittul, I
mean that we teach about the
idea that you are not at the top of
the ladder of priorities; Hashem
is. You are not doing things for

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2014-10-27 10:32:49 PM

yourself, but for Him.
We convey this mainly
through stories. Many stories
bring out this point, like the story
in the Kovetz Michtavim at the
end of the Thillim about the Baal
Shem Tov being greatly mekarev
simple Jews who read Thillim
fervently in the beis midrash.
Once, his talmidim complained
about the special treatment he
gave them. The Baal Shem Tov
told them to hold hands and he
showed them a vision of the
enormous pleasure generated
in heaven by the recitation of
Thillim of these simple folk.
I read this story every year
to my students and I recommend
to everyone that they read this
story. Besides bringing out the
importance of saying Thillim,
it brings out this point, that to
Hashem, the effort and intention
are considered, not just scholastic
achievement. This encourages
weak students and shows them
that any progress they make is
important. It also provides the
strong students with a healthy


Stories are a vital element in
Chabad chinuch.
The Rebbe Rayatz repeated
what he heard from his father
who heard it from his father etc.
that the Alter Rebbe said that
when they heard teachings from
the Maggid that was Oral Torah,
and when they heard a story, that
was the Written Torah, says
R Feldman. Stories are very
important stories from the
Torah, from Tanach, stories of
the Tanaim and Amoraim, stories
of gdolei Yisroel throughout
the generations, stories of the
Rebbeim. I tell a Chassidic story
every day to the children. They

R Eren Feldman

R Chaim Komer

dont go home until they hear the

daily story.
The goal of stories is, first
of all, the lesson in them, says
R Feldman, but thats not all.
It is supremely important for
a Chassidic child to grow up
with knowledge of the lives and
activities of the Rebbeim, the
dates pertaining to their lives and
those of their families.
The Rebbe Rayatz wrote the
Shalsheles HaYachas (Lineage
and Biographical Outline about
the Rebbeim) and had it printed
at the beginning of the HaYom
Yom for a reason. Chassidim
need to be knowledgeable in the
history of the royal family, i.e.
our Rebbeim, their families, and
their activities.
meet Lubavitcher young men
from Chassidic homes who dont
know the birthdays and the days
of passing of the Rebbeim. If
you consider yourself a Chabad
Chassid, you need to at least
know the main dates.
generally do very well with
this, says R Feldman, at least
regarding the special dates. They
prepare the children so that there
is no child going into first grade
from a Chabad preschool who
is not fully aware of the major
Chassidic holidays.

There is also supreme

importance to Chabad customs
and various subtleties, says R
Feldman. For example, saying
Thillim on Shabbos Mevarchim
is a practice that we treat as an
absolute obligation. Although we
are first grade, we place a great
emphasis on this in class. Every
Shabbos Mevarchim, one of the
items on the paper we send home
is how many chapters of Thillim
did the child read on Shabbos.
Or, for example, saying
Modeh Ani with hands together
and head bowed or Chabad
customs related to Pesach that
we place a serious emphasis on.
These are things through which
we strengthen their hiskashrus to
the Rebbe.


Getting back to the topic we
started with, hiskashrus to the
Rebbe as a motivator for success
in chinuch, all the teachers
agreed on this.
Whatever we teach, we train
the children to look at things
from the Rebbes perspective,
says R Menachem Mendel
Dickstein, a teacher in Moscow.
We were interested in hearing
about chinuch in a special place
like the Chabad community in
For the most part, it is like
any other yeshiva, but of course

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2014-10-27 10:32:50 PM

R Levi Yitzchok Cohen

there are things that are unique

to our location. For example, the
connection with the students and
parents is stronger since even
after school, the students and
parents and the teacher see one
another in shul. Likewise, the
students have hardly any social
life outside of the friends from
When it comes to hiskashrus
to the Rebbe, naturally when
children grow up on foreign soil
they know that their parents are
devoting their lives to the Rebbes
shlichus and the connection
is stronger. This is why, with
us, everything is immediately
connected to what would
the Rebbe have done in this
situation, and what can I do to
give the Rebbe nachas?
Chabad schools are willing
to take all kinds of students.
How do you instill a Chabad
atmosphere and hiskashrus to
the Rebbe in a classroom when
you have students from all
kinds of backgrounds?
In my classroom there are
all kinds of kids, says R Cohen
from Tel Tziyon. I always talk
about the Rebbe, but I dont do
it in a way that will offend any
student or the rabbi of his group.
The best way is through telling
stories. Tell a lot of stories about
the Rebbe and the message will
get through. In our class, the
children know that we respect all

R Yitzchok Scheiner

R Mendy Dickstein

When I say that we teach about bittul, I mean

that we teach about the idea that you are not at
the top of the ladder of priorities; Hashem is. You are not
doing things for yourself, but for Him.

types of Jews and it is absolutely

forbidden to speak disparagingly
about other groups.
Besides teaching first grade,
R Komer is a guide for groups
of students who come on trips
to Tzfas. He meets thousands of
students from all backgrounds.
There is a direct connection
between the childs socialeconomic situation and their
behavior, he says. What you
can see clearly in groups from
Chabad schools is a willingness
on the part of the teachers to
invest a lot, out of a sense of
shlichus, so that they minimize
these gaps and bring even those
students from weak backgrounds
to high levels.

Modern technology presents
challenges today to Judaism
in general and a Chassidishe
chinuch in particular. In other
sectors, they placed a ban on
all new technology. How does
Chabad chinuch deal with this

I dont think there is any

allowance to own a Smartphone,
says R Komer, certainly not for
a mechanech. That is my opinion
and I have not found a single rav
who allows it. There is no other
option; we need to stand strong
on this issue. True, the Rebbe
said to make use of technology,
but I think technology crossed a
certain line in that it is found in
everyones pocket.
In class I talk very carefully
about it since many parents have
these gadgets, but if they ask me,
I take a strong position on the
In Moscow, most of the
children have a computer at
home which is connected to the
Internet, says R Dickstein.
The shluchim need the Internet
for their work and for most kids
this is the only way they can
connect with the outside world,
with family and friends. At the
same time, we definitely demand
that they use a proper filter and
that parents supervise the sites
that the children have access to.
Continued on page 20
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A meeting between an elderly Belzer Chassid from Bnei Brak and the Rebbe
led the Belzer to make two special requests. The Rebbe replied to each of them
with psukim from the Book of Psalms. Just before he moved on, the Rebbe
added another pasuk, which turned out years later to be an amazing prophecy!
By Nosson Avraham
Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

ach year during the

hundreds of families,
many of whom are
Chassidim from Bnei Brak
and Yerushalayim, come to
rent apartments in the Chabad
community of the Holy City
of Tzfas. We see a variety of
new faces in the neighborhood
streets, playgrounds, shuls, and
supermarkets people who come
to relax and enjoy the unique
atmosphere of this mystical city.
Among the visitors are also
some familiar faces we recognize
from year to year. One of them
is R Menachem Mendel Falk
from Bnei Brak, a learned
Torah scholar known to all
local community members, who
arrives in Tzfas every summer to
daven and farbreng in the central
Chabad synagogue.
R Mendel is a type of Jew
who is easily liked by all those
around him. During the Nine

Days between Rosh Chodesh Av

and Tisha BAv, when community
members customarily complete
the study of a tractate of Gemara,
he too chose to participate and
make a siyum. As he began,
he asked if he could share an
amazing story about the Rebbe
Melech HaMoshiach with the
While this story began
in 5750, it ended in a most
miraculous fashion just a few
hours earlier, when he visited
the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar
Yochai in Miron with his family
and fulfilled his traditional
custom of reciting the entire
Book of Psalms.


My maternal grandfather
was Rabbi Meilech (Elimelech)
Fried. After his immigration to

Eretz Yisroel, he established his

residence in the city of Torah
and Chassidus Bnei Brak. I
was privileged to have a special
grandfather. He was a very gentle
and sensitive man who devoted
his entire life to Torah study and
scrupulously made certain not
to cause the slightest anguish to
any of his fellow Jews. He was
a living example straight out of
Chassidic storybooks, a Jew who
inwardly and outwardly cleaved
to the path of Torah and mitzvos
as illustrated in the teachings of
the holy Baal Shem Tov.
His friends and neighbors
in the Belzer community of Bnei
Brak simply called him Tzaddik.
I loved him very much and he
reciprocated that love towards
me. I learned a great deal from
him and I became ever closer
to him as my Torah knowledge
grew. In 5750, nearly a quarter
of a century ago, my grandfather
had to accompany his wife

18 7 Cheshvan 5775
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2014-10-27 10:32:50 PM

Dollars distribution with the Rebbe. Illustration.

on a flight from Eretz Yisroel

to New York City for some
complex medical treatment from
specialists located in the great
American metropolis.
By this time, they were
no longer young. Despite my
grandfathers youthful spirit and
cheerful temperament, he had
celebrated his ninetieth birthday
only a few months earlier.
Upon their arrival in New
York, my grandparents went to
the home of their daughter and
son-in-law, Satmar Chassidim
living in Brooklyns Williamsburg
completed her urgent medical
treatment, they still had a few
days left to spend in New York.
Suddenly, I was surprised to
receive a phone call from my
grandfather. I was even more
astonished when I realized that
he couldnt hear me properly
because he wasnt holding the

receiver up to his ear. Thats how

detached he was from worldly
After he asked about me and
the children, he made a gentle
request as was his nature for
my assistance. He wanted to take
advantage of his presence in New
York to arrange a meeting with
the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
Why couldnt he enlist the
help of his son-in-law, who had
given him such tremendous
hospitality and provided for all his
material needs during his stay?
Apparently, this was because
his son-in-law belonged to the
Satmar community, which was
seriously at odds with Lubavitch
at the time. I was happy to help
my grandfather and wasted no
time. I called my brother-in-law,
a Chassid from another sect in
Borough Park, and he quickly
got in touch with my grandfather
to set a time to pick him up and
take him to Crown Heights.

My brother-in-law explained
to my grandfather that if he
wanted to meet the Lubavitcher
Rebbe, there was one day during
the week when this was possible
Sunday at dollars distribution.
morning came, he brought him to
770, and after a long wait in line
(considering his advanced years),
he found himself standing before
the Rebbe.


I only heard the details of
the encounter a few days later,
when my grandfather returned to
Eretz Yisroel. As he stood before
the Rebbe and received a dollar,
his first request was for a bracha
to merit a long life. The Rebbe
smiled and quoted from the last
pasuk in Chapter 91 of Psalms: I
will satisfy him with long life, and
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2014-10-27 10:32:51 PM

show him My deliverance.
My grandfather stood there
positively dumbfounded. As is
customary among many Chassidim,
he would recite his personal chapter
of Thillim each morning. Since he
was in the ninety-first year of his
life, my grandfather read Chapter
91, and in his bracha, the Rebbe
had just quoted a verse from that
psalm. He told me that he felt that
the Rebbe knew exactly how old he
was, although he hadnt made any
mention of his age or even alluded
to the matter.
After this incredible bracha,
my grandfather realized that he
was standing before a true man
of G-d, and he decided to ask for
another bracha. While longevity
is a tremendous blessing, it often
happens that people live long lives
but their weakening health becomes
a burden for their families. My
grandfather turned to the Rebbe
and requested a bracha for a good,
peaceful, and fulfilling life.
The Rebbe again replied with a
quote from Thillim. In his response,
the Rebbe quoted a pasuk from
Chapter 92: They shall be fruitful
even in old age; they shall be full of
sap and freshness. It was as if he
was saying, You have nothing to
worry about. You will continue to
live and say more Thillim. Before
my grandfather parted from the
Rebbe, he heard one more verse
from Thillim, Chapter 103: Your

youth shall renew itself like an eagle.

grandfather had tremendous respect
for the Rebbe before meeting him.
However, after this exchange, his
appreciation for the Lubavitcher
Rebbe intensified.
My grandfather would always
emphasize the first pasuk he heard
from the Rebbe, stressing how the
Rebbe knew how old he was, even
though he had said nothing to him
about his age.

Continued from page 17

teachers treat the subject in our

classroom. What we do is use these
things to strengthen the educational
and Chassidic aspect of chinuch
through experiential means. Or
when we watch videos of the Rebbe,
of davening, farbrengens associated
with special days, etc. we explain to
the children what they are seeing,
especially if we were there and saw
and experienced it ourselves.
There are also parents who
need to bring all kinds of technology

We dont chase the darkness

away with a stick; we turn on a
light, and a little light dispels a lot
of darkness, says R Scheiner.
Maybe a wiser course would be to
include the children in a discussion
about how they think they can use
these gadgets for holy purposes. At
the same time, we dont need to put
ourselves into danger.
The question is how we as


My grandfather lived for
another twelve years after that
encounter, and as the Rebbe had
blessed him, they were good years
and he lived them like a young
man. Until his very last day on this
earth, he conducted himself with
tremendous vigor, far beyond his
years. He would go out each day to
shul, recalled things in great detail,
knew all his grandchildren and
great-grandchildren. It was a literal
fulfillment of the Rebbes bracha:
Your youth shall renew itself like
an eagle. His spirit was like that of
someone half his age.
This past summer, twelve years
after his passing, I was sitting at the
holy gravesite of Rabbi Shimon bar
Yochai and reading Thillim. When
I came to Chapter 103 and read the
pasuk Your youth shall renew itself

like an eagle, I inexplicably stopped

something I had never done before
when reading this verse. Whether
it was because I was relaxing on
vacation or due to the holiness
of the Rashbis tomb, I suddenly
remembered that this was the pasuk
that my grandfather had heard from
the Lubavitcher Rebbe when they
met at Sunday dollars.
For some strange reason, I
looked at the number of the chapter,
and then it suddenly hit me. Chapter
103 is the last kapitel that my
grandfather recited in this world on
a daily basis, when he reached the
ripe old age of one hundred and
two. In other words, there could
be no explanation except that the
Lubavitcher Rebbe not only knew
when my grandfather was born, he
also prophesized when he would
pass away.
This discovery amazed me.
Chills went up my spine. After I
had calmed down a little from this
stunning revelation, I called several
family members to tell them about it.
Everyone was dumbfounded. When
I returned that evening to Kiryat
Chabad in Tzfas, I went into the
Heichal Levi Yitzchak Synagogue
and requested permission to speak
after Maariv before the congregants.
It was clear to me that I had to begin
with this amazing story, an integral
part of which only became known to
me a few hours earlier.

into their homes for their work.

Obviously, they know that: 1) their
children dont need free access; it
is only in their presence or with the
supervision of an older person who
is familiar with these things and
knows which things the children can
be allowed to see and which not; 2)
when children, for whatever reason,
have access to technology, they need
to make certain that it will be used
solely for Chassidishe things.

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From the life of R Yehoshua Shneur
Zalman Serebryanski ah
Prepared for publication by Avrohom Rainitz

A few days after his meeting

with R Dovid on Shabbos
a telegram was delivered to R
Zalman from the Rebbe with a
response to his question about
opening a school in Mrs. Hertzs
house. It said, Since there is no
room in the yeshiva, they should
start Beis Rivka somewhere else,
with blessing.
Right after Shabbos, R
Zalman informed R Shmuel
Betzalel Altheus about the
telegram and went with him to
the Hertz home. They told Mrs.
Hertz that they wanted to finalize
on the last offer they had made
her, about the preschool and
school being run from her home
albeit under the direction of the
yeshiva, with Mrs. Hertz being
devoted solely to Beis Rivka.
After a brief discussion, they
concluded that she would give
her answer the next day, 26 Elul,
at 3:30.
Sunday morning, R Zalman
hurried to R Dovid Feiglins
home and updated him. He
emphasized that the haste was in
order to fulfill the Rebbes wishes.
He also said that he wanted to get
ads into the papers that would be

coming out for Rosh HaShana

which would be in four days. The
ads would announce the opening
of a Chabad girls school which
would be opening immediately
after Rosh HaShana.
R Dovid Feiglin was caught
up in R Zalmans enthusiasm
and agreed to attend an urgent
meeting at 5:15. The other
members of the committee
were also informed of the
developments and confirmed
their attendance at the meeting.
At 3:30, R Zalman and R
Shmuel Betzalel went to the
Hertz home. To their delight,
Mrs. Hertz agreed to all their
terms and R Zalman negotiated
her salary. From there, R Zalman
went to the yeshiva office where
the members of the vaad were
already convened and they
concluded the final details for the
opening of the school.
That same day, the vaad took
out an ad in the Jewish papers in
Melbourne, which said that right
after Rosh HaShana, the name
of the school in the Hertz home
would change to Beis Rivka
under the auspices of Lubavitch
and girls could register for the
first grade. They also announced

in the papers that registration

had begun for first, second, and
third grade for the following year
which, in Australia, begins in
The next day, R Zalman sent
a telegram to the Rebbe about
the opening of the school and
two days later, on Erev Rosh
HaShana, R Zalman wrote a
long letter about the opening of
the school with all the details. He
was happy to say that thanks to
the decision to open the school
in the Hertz house, the school
was able to open that much
more quickly. If they had waited
until classrooms would have
been made ready in the yeshiva
building, they would only have
been able to open a few months
later, at the beginning of the
school year. During the interim
months, the possibility existed
that Mizrachi would have spoken
to Mrs. Hertz and finalized with
her about transferring the school
to their party and Chabad might
have lost both the school and an
excellent principal.
In his letter, R Zalman
providence in that R Moshe
Zalman Feiglin went to the Rebbe
with his son and daughter-inlaw. That visit was so inspiring
to them that they suggested
and demanded hurrying up the
opening of a girls school. When
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On his visit to the US, R Dovid had met with

senior members of Mizrachi who tried to cool
off his ardor for Chabad. They made it sound like
Chabad fights Mizrachi. When R Zalman heard this
from him, he made it clear that although Lubavitch is in
no way Zionistic, it has no ties with any party, neither
for nor against. He stressed that Chabad Chassidim
cherish every Jew and are supportive of every good
venture when it is done to strengthen Judaism.

the suggestion came from the

Feiglin family who were heads of
Mizrachi, all possible obstacles
that could have arisen had the
suggestion come from Chabad
Chassidim fell away.
R Zalman also reported to the
Rebbe about the conversations
he had with R Dovid regarding
relations between Lubavitch and
Mizrachi. It seemed that on his
visit to the US, R Dovid had met
with senior members of Mizrachi
who tried to cool off his ardor for
Chabad. They made it sound like
Chabad fights Mizrachi. When
R Zalman heard this from him,
he made it clear that although
Lubavitch is in no way Zionistic, it
has no ties with any party, neither
for nor against. He stressed that
Chabad Chassidim cherish every
Jew and are supportive of every
good venture when it is done to
strengthen Judaism.
After R Dovid was swayed to
the truth of these assertions and
admitted to R Zalman that in fact,
Chabad Chassidim kept far from
any disputes, R Zalman asked
him sadly: Why do your friends,
of Mizrachi, speak against the
Lubavitch yeshiva? If they want
to open their own yeshiva, they
should open one. But why speak
against the yeshiva whose only
purpose is to educate an upright
generation and draw everyone
close in friendship and love?

R Zalman finished his report

with his personal impression of
R Dovid Feiglin: Although he is a
fervent Mizrachi supporter, he is
a pnimi and he has an inner point
of truth, especially now after being
by the Rebbe. With Hashems help
he can be a big help to the mosdos
if he doesnt cool off. For this we
need Hashems mercy and help.
It is amazing to read the end
of R Zalmans letter that after
all the mighty efforts he made to
carry out the Rebbes wishes and
to open the girls school right
after Rosh HaShana, he still was
not satisfied with himself and
was bothered by the thought
that if he was more mekushar he
would have found a way to more
completely fulfill the Rebbes
wishes by opening the school in
the yeshiva building which was the
Rebbes initial request. He asked
for guidance in this and similar
situations since all he wanted was
to do what the Rebbe desired, and
sometimes he did not understand
the Rebbe properly.
After Rosh HaShana, R
Zalman received two letters
which the Rebbe sent before Rosh
HaShana, one with blessings for
the new year written during the
days of Slichos, and one with
a response to the letters and
Before Sukkos, he received

a response from the Rebbe

about his letter from Erev Rosh
HaShana in which the Rebbe
reassured him that he did the right
thing in opening the school not in
the yeshiva building. The Rebbe
said that although at first he had
written that Beis Rivka should
start out in the yeshiva, those
who described the yard and the
house were not accurate. Based
on information that the Rebbe
just received, this arrangement
would allow for mixing of boys
and girls which is altogether
undesirable (in addition to which,
this arrangement would require
postponing the opening which
was out of the question). The
Rebbe concluded with: Obviously,
this did not negate thinking
about a suitable building of their
own near the yeshiva as opposed
to learning in a house that they
rented. Surely he would use the
days of Tishrei for yeshiva matters
and blessings for outstanding
success and a chasima and a
gmar chasima tova.
R Moshe Zalman Feiglin
also received a long letter from
the Rebbe in which the Rebbe
expressed his gladness at the good
news about the opening of the
school and enclosed money as his
participation in the founding of
the Chabad school in Australia.
The Rebbe said this was even
though he was sure money
wasnt lacking in Australia. The
Rebbe wrote that since the holy
Torah tells us that Hashem does
not remain in debt, surely this
would bring increased blessing
and success to those who were
involved and those at the top in
particular. The Rebbe concluded
the letter with blessings for the
new year and for the entire family,
especially for Dovid and his wife
who were also taking part in
founding the school, and with
blessings for health, long life, and
true nachas, i.e. Yiddishe nachas.

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By Rabbi Yaakov Shmuelevitz ah, Former shliach in Beit Shaan

n the sicha for Parshas Ki

Sisa 5752, the Rebbe says
as a practical directive that
every Jew is given the ability
to accomplish all things from
beginning to end and everything
in between. In this column, I will
share stories about people who
made the long, incredible path
from one extreme to another.

Some years ago, I was in the
middle of a sicha with the people
at my Chabad House, between
Mincha and Kabbalas Shabbos,
when in walked a young man, a
former member of a kibbutz. To
my surprise, he was wearing a
sirtuk and hat. In a completely
undisciplined move, I stopped
my talk, dropping the topic I had
been talking about, and began
wondering out loud about this
miracle that had just come to
I explained that although
these were merely items of
clothing, external details, they

inner change, a new way of life
that people call becoming a baal
tshuva. I asked my congregants,
many of whom grew up in
religious homes, how many times
in life we made or could make
such sweeping changes that were
comparable to a fellow from a
kibbutz cutting off long hair and
growing a Chassidic beard, and
switching the earrings for a flag
in the lapel of his sirtuk and a
Chassidic hat.
Dont we all need to make a
change in life? Are we perfect?
Halevai a beinoni! But we usually
remain the same. Perhaps we add
a half an hour here and there
for a shiur, we do a favor and
read a segment of a sicha at the
Shabbos table, but where is the
total transformation? Where is
the going-from-one-extreme-toanother as the Rebbe tells us we
are capable of doing?

He gets up every morning at

4:30, and puts on the familiar

yarmulke decorated with Yechi,
puts his helmet over that, then
puts on gloves and a warm jacket
and gets on his bicycle to ride
to work in the industrial area of
the kibbutzim, a twenty minute
ride from Beit Shaan. Yotam is
a mashgiach who supervises the
kashrus in a fish factory and he is
responsible for the sorting area.
He oversees dozens of employees
(most of them Arabs) who sort
through thousands of fish a
day and send them all over the
Make no mistake about
it, although his feet are on
the ground, his head reaches
(nearly) to the sky. With his eyes,
he supervises the fish on the
conveyor belt, but in his head fly
maamarei Chassidus and quotes
from Kabbala which, at the end
of the day, will be put into words
and will be publicized as articles
the likes of which only Yotam can
Yotams life is not easy. He
situations at home and at work.

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At home are three little ones
who visit doctors now and then.
His wife still hasnt caught up
with the quick pace of Yotams
spiritual advancement and there
is a lot of work that needs to be
done to bridge their differences.
Yotam knows we have the ability
to accomplish everything from
beginning to end and everything
in between. Therefore, even when
an Arab employee threatened
him with a knife and said he
would attack all the Jews, Yotam
simply submitted a report to the
manager; by the afternoon he
had returned to his computer
and continued typing his deep
Yotam was born and raised
on an irreligious kibbutz. After
the army he went to India and
visited ashrams. He told me that
he registered for a ten day course
of meditation at one of these
places. The guides explained that
we dont bow to the idol but only
to what it represents Although
most of the participants left the
course in the middle, Yotam was
determined to complete it. He
waited for the enlightenment
that would supposedly be his at
the end of the course. He came
to realize that he had to find
enlightenment, but it wouldnt
happen in India, among idols.
Yotam returned to Eretz
Yisroel where a friend from
Teveria referred him to Arachims
seminar. He went from there
to Machon Meir, then to R
Yitzchok Arads Yeshivat Daat.
He discovered Chassidus and
immediately began implementing
its practices.
In the yard at the kibbutz,
he built a pit for his morning
immersion, and at the kibbutz
clubhouse he organized davening,
farbrengens, and shiurim for the
other young people of the kibbutz
and surrounding area. Along

with studying computers, art

and more, he mastered Halacha,
Gemara, and Chassidus. As
I mentioned, in his free time,
Yotam writes deep articles based
on Chassidus and Kabbala.
From one extreme to another.


R Shaul Elituv, today a
Chabad rosh yeshiva in Kfar
Sitrin, was on shlichus in
Argentina between 5748 and
5762. His shlichus was cut short
(exchanged) because of a change
in the regime and the economic
downfall, but the fruits of that
shlichus flourish to this day and
are producing new fruits.
Take Ari Sandman, a young
Argentinean from a very wealthy
family that owns a chain of stores
and factories, as an example. His
connection with Chabad began
thanks to his sister who became
a baalas tshuva, married and
has a Chassidic home. That is
how the entire family developed
a connection with Judaism. Ari
arrived at the Chabad Yeshiva in
Argentina for the first time with
hair down his back and sporting
a number of earrings. What
interested him was music, music
and more music. He had the CDs
of all the musicians in the world.
He did not lack for money and
nearly every day he bought more
CDs that had just come out.
Once he entered the yeshiva, he
was immediately befriended by all
the staff and bachurim-shluchim
who arranged chavrusos with
Thanks to the yeshivas
concentrated efforts, Ari made
quick progress, perhaps too
quick. Within a few days he
had cut his hair and was soon
wearing a hat and suit. He was
not satisfied until he flew to the

Rebbe for Yud Shvat 5749 and

returned with dozens of sifrei
Chassidus that he bought.
His way down was as fast as
his way up. Ari began moving
away from this new path until one
evening he went to the yeshiva,
approached R Elituv, and said he
wanted to donate all his sfarim
to the yeshiva and his two pairs
of tfillin because he wouldnt be
using them anymore anyway.
R Elituv tried to reach a
compromise with him. He was
willing to hold his sfarim for him
until he wanted them back, but
he refused to take the tfillin. Ari
insisted on leaving everything in
the yeshiva. As a last resort, R
Elituv invited him to his home for
a talk. Ari brought along a friend
for the talk which lasted all night.
The blessed results are apparent
till today on the two friends, their
families and (yes, you are reading
correctly) on hundreds, perhaps
thousands of their mushpaim and


During that conversation
they had, Ari explained that it
was all over for him. R Elituv
spoke with him and his friend,
trying every avenue of persuasion
that he could think of, but got
nowhere. He finally managed to
extract a commitment from Ari
that he would do one Chassidic
practice and keep it; it would be
his only connection to Judaism.
Ari agreed to continue giving
maamad money every month
which R Elituv would send to the
Once a month, Ari would
bring him $10. R Elituv would
add him to the list of Chassidim
who had given maamad money
and send the money to the Rebbe.
To understand where Ari was
at, R Elituv said that one day, Ari

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Anash and bachurim in Argentina learning together

showed up in an emotional state.

He said that the previous Yom
Kippur he had been on a flight
when the plane suddenly began
shaking and it seemed it would
drop into the ocean any second.
It was terrifying, and he decided
never to fly on Yom Kippur again.
In the same breath, Ari said it
was hard to bring the $10 every
month so he would give R Elituv
$120 for the year.
R Elituv explained that this
was not possible. I cannot
accept money for the year.
Theres no such thing. You need
to come every month. Period.
This is how he maintained the
connection with the young man.
Ari was appointed by his father
to run one of the familys stores.
He worked there from morning
to night. R Elituv would visit him
in the store now and then and
put tfillin on with him. Ari met
a Jewish girl who would visit the
Chabad House occasionally and
listen to shiurim. She influenced
her boyfriend to attend one of the

classes and he began taking an

interest in Judaism and Chassidus
once again. This time, R Elituv
made sure that Ari took it slow.
Ari eventually married the girl
and established a fine, religious
home in Eretz Yisroel.
Today, Ari is a sofer who is
known both for his beautiful
writing and his fear of Heaven.
R Landau of Bnei Brak is one
of his customers who orders
mezuzos from him.

Asher Schvetz was Aris friend
(in the previous story) and he too
grew up in Argentina without
much of a connection to Judaism.
His hobby was drumming and
bands, which led him to become
a chazan in a conservative
congregation in Buenos Aires.
One day, he showed up at
R Elituvs Chabad House and
said he wanted help learning

Hebrew. He was preparing to

study at Hebrew University
in Yerushalayim and wanted
to prepare by improving his
command of the language. R
Elituv said he was happy to help
him, that he had talmidim in the
yeshiva who would be happy to
help him, and he had a special
method for learning Hebrew
studying from a Chumash.
The fellow showed up every
day at the Chabad Yeshiva to
learn Hebrew. He was smart
and sensitive and realized that
it wasnt appropriate to show
up at the yeshiva with earrings.
He adjusted to the atmosphere
and the bachurim taught him
Hebrew from the Chumash.
Under the direction of R Elituv,
the lessons took place right
before the Tanya class and Asher
remained for part of it.
He wasnt embarrassed to
ask pointed questions when
something seemed odd to him.
He sometimes debated R Elituv
and others. Ultimately, Asher

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strengthened his connection with
the yeshiva, with the Rebbe, and
with Chassidus.
At the yeshiva, Asher met his
friend Ari and other young people
who were interested in Judaism.
Today they are all Chassidim and
some of them are shluchim in
Argentina and other countries.
Asher went through a hard
time. His parents opposed him,
his friends mocked him, but the
Rebbe gave him lots of kochos.
When his parents saw that he
was serious, they were very
concerned. His mother realized
that when he would marry, his
wedding would be different than
what they were used to. She
wasted no time and asked to see
what a Chassidic wedding looked
like. She attended a community
wedding where everyone danced
and rejoiced while she sat and
wept. She didnt like it and she
intensified her opposition to her
sons new path.
One day, Asher came to write
a letter to the Rebbe in which he

his activities, and is beloved by

G-d and man.


To conclude R Elituvs
stories, I should mention that
back in 5744, when he was on
Kvutza by the Rebbe, he merited
great displays of closeness from
the Rebbe. He has dozens of
responses to questions he asked
and many responses during
farbrengens to issues that he
raised in the Kovtzei Haaros of
the bachurim and Anash.
One day, he submitted a note
with a question to the Rebbe.
How is it that in Birkas HaMazon
we ask, May we find grace and
good understanding in the eyes
of G-d and man? Why should
we find grace in the eyes of man?
Intend it for the sake of Heaven,
in order to have an influence on
them in Torah and mitzvos.
It seems as though the
Rebbes bracha was fulfilled with
R Shaul Elituv and his students;

It was quite a long road, but at every station

a shliach of the Rebbe amazingly appeared to
escort her to the next station.

asked for a rectification for all

the sins he ever did. The Rebbe
told him to be particular about
tzitzis. He went to learn in the
Chabad Yeshiva for a while and
then learned and received smicha
in 770.
Asher got married and went
on shlichus in Argentina. Today,
he is known as Rav Asher
Schvetz, one of the successful
shluchim in Argentina. He runs a
network of Chabad mosdos with
sixty employees; he put up some
buildings, is connected with big
philanthropists who help expand

all of them are successful in their

shlichus in the eyes of G-d and


Twenty-five years ago, a
young Israeli soldier walked into
the Chabad House in Beit Shaan
and wanted to buy a Tanya. Back
then, our Chabad house was
in a building next to the Bekaa
Highway. I figured that she may
have just happened to pass by
on the main highway, saw the
Chabad House sign, and came

in. It was only years later that I

found out what a long journey
it was for this woman, from her
childhood until today, when she
is an outstanding teacher and
mashpia. It was quite a long road,
but at every station a shliach of
the Rebbe amazingly appeared to
escort her to the next station.
Her first stop was in her
childhood on a tiny moshav in
the Beit Shaan valley. Once every
two weeks, a Chabad tank visited
the moshav, drove through
the roads of the moshav (two
and a half roads) while playing
Chassidic music, and stopped in
the center of the moshav. The
driver gathered the children,
told them a Chassidic story,
and taught them about tzdaka,
psukim, Shabbos candles, and
Till today, she remembers the
orange pushka and the booklets
with the stories of tzaddikim that
were given out on the tank. Even
now, she tells her little children
stories from back then. That
was her first acquaintance with
shluchim of the Rebbe and with
the hafatza of Chabad.
Her second stop was in the
army. She served on a huge base
in the south of the country. She
was shocked and disappointed
by the secular and liberal
atmosphere there. She looked for
a spiritual refuge, a point of light
somewhere in the army and the
big base.
It was Erev Purim and she
heard that at the end of the fast
there would be a Megilla reading
at the shul on base. She was the
only woman in the womens
section of the shul and this stood
out, of course; one lone soldier
from the entire base who came to
hear the Megilla.
arranged the Megilla reading
was an army reservist and he

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wondered about this lone soldier

who didnt look religious. She
related, Afterward, he was
waiting for me outside the shul
and he was the next shliach. He
advised me to go to Kfar Chabad
where we would write a letter to
the Rebbe about my mothers
eye operation. In retrospect,
we realized that thanks to the
Rebbes bracha, my mothers
eyesight was saved for fifteen
years in contrast to the doctors
prognostications. In Kfar Chabad
they told me about the Chabad
house in Beit Shaan, and so
I went there in order to buy a
Tanya and to be connected to the
My next stop was with my
wedding and my moving to
Yakneam. Over there, we were
adopted by the shliach, Noam
Dekel. He provided us with
all our religious and Chassidic
needs. Thus, wherever we went
we found loyal shluchim who
were mekarev us, taught us, and
dedicated endless time to us.
She underwent a slow,
process. Slowly, her husband

joined her. They registered their

children in Chabad schools and
their home became a Chassidic
one. She was still in a war
between her past secular life and
her present Chassidic one. In the
house everything was kosher, but
when going out to work it wasnt
all that clear. It took years before
she left the house with a head
covering and proper clothing.
was a battle.
Now, she
is a teacher
and mashpia
She knows
that it is all
who looked
out for her
and sent his
shluchim to
stages of her
y e a r s

In Crown Heights area: 1640/1700AM

USA phone: 718 557 7701

ago, she spoke at the Kinus

HaShluchos in Eretz Yisroel
and excited everyone with her
fascinating lifes story, inspiring
everyone to recognize how the
Rebbe guides each of us through
the winding pathways of life,
enabling us to truly transform
ourselves from one extreme to
the other.

worldwide, online: www.RadioMoshiach.org

In Israel (Nechayeg Venishmah): 08-9493-770 (press 1 # / 9 # / 3 #)

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Not many Jews living there now know that
Malachovka is a place that was once infused
with Chassidic spirit, mixed with the blood
and tears of Chassidim. Malachovka, a suburb
of Moscow, is where the Rebbe Rayatz went
after his incarceration. * The Chabad history
of Malachovka along with gripping stories of
mesirus nefesh.
By Shneur Zalman Berger


After the Rebbe Rayatzs
release from exile on 12 Tammuz
5687/1927, he returned to his
home in Leningrad. A short
while later, the Yevsektzia began
to rethink his release. In the
(which was anything but), there
was a critical article against the
Rebbe demanding that he be
arrested again. This was written
at the instigation of the head of

the GPU in Leningrad who was

opposed to the Rebbes release.
The Rebbe moved temporarily
to Malachovka, a suburb of
Moscow, which was used as a
vacation spot in the summer. This
suburb is about an hours drive
from Moscow. All year round
it was populated by locals who
rented out rooms to vacationers
in the summer.
Malachovka for six weeks. These
were tense days as the Rebbe
knew he was being followed.

This is why the Chassidim were

forbidden to visit the Rebbe who
was there with only the Rebbetzin
and their youngest daughter, as
well as the Chassid R Yaakov
Hashem avenge his blood, who
served as his secretary.
Knowing that the secret police
were following him, the Rebbe
sent no letters. Urgent letters
were sent under a pseudonym
and they were written in code,
like the letter that the secretary
sent to R Yisroel Jacobson in

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A lake in Malachovka that was used

by the Chassidim as a mikva

America, asking him to do all he

could so that the Rebbe could
quickly leave the Soviet Union.
Because he is really, G-d
forbid, in the same situation that
he was in before his confinement
and cannot work at all. And his
health is quite weak, and he had
to go to R Refael HaKohen [i.e.
Malachovka where R Refael
(Fole) Kahn lived] because
he cannot be in his place
[Leningrad] and surely, if you
knew how dangerous it is you
would work very diligently ...
The fear was so great that
the Rebbe even refused to accept
mail directly and Chassidim
received letters for him and gave
them to him.
Aside from the Rebbetzin
and the Rebbes daughter
and the secretary, there were
also Chassidim who lived in
Malachovka, like R Shneur
Pinsky who was at the Rebbes
service during those weeks.
One of his jobs was to watch
the milking and bring the Rebbe
chalav Yisroel.

Communal building years ago

Beautiful building today in Malachovka

A street in Malachovka today

Building from the past

Despite these hardships, the bachurim were

happy with their lot since the spiritual state of
the yeshiva was incomparably better there than in the
branches of the yeshiva in other cities.

Malachovka as part of his galus:
I spent eighteen and a half
days in prison, ten days in galus
Kostroma, and six weeks in galus
Malachovka, the only place where
I could reside, he wrote after he
left the Soviet Union.
A few days before Rosh
Malachovka and went to Rostov
to his father the Rebbe Rashabs
grave. From there he returned
home to Leningrad where he
stayed until after Simchas Torah.
Then he left the Soviet Union.

A number of years later, a
group of Chassidim settled in

Malachovka who wanted to be

away from the big cities where
it was more dangerous. They
hoped that in this quiet, out of
sight place, life would be easier.
In 5692/1932, a Chabad shul
opened in Malachovka with the
mesirus nefesh of a Jew named
Esterman. Esterman endangered
himself by going to the
authorities and demanding a shul
in Malachovka. The authorities
refused and he decided to do it
anyway. The shul was founded
in a shed on his property. For
this crime, he was taken to be
executed. Despite this, the shul
was not closed and continues to
exist till this day.
Many of the great Chassidim
found refuge in Malachovka.
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The Rebbe Rayatz leaving the train station

Chassidim who lived there were

R Shmuel Levitin, R Moshe Leib
Ginsberg (the Rebbe Maharashs
son-in-law), R Shmuel Leib
Paritcher (Levin) who was a
chozer by the Rebbe Rashab, R
Avrohom Maiyor (Drizin), one
of the menahalim of Yeshivas
Tomchei Tmimim, the mashpia
R Shlomo Chaim Kesselman, R
Nissan Nemenov, R Yehoshua
Nimotin, R Chaim Zalman
Kozliner, and others.
Not surprisingly, when these
lions of the group ended up
in one place, they breathed
Chassidic life into it tfillos in
a Chassidishe minyan, shiurim in
Chassidus, farbrengens on special
days, chadarim for the boys,
and more. Word about the place
spread and Chassidim would visit
from all over the Soviet Union,
including R Chonye Morosow,
may Hashem avenge his blood.
They went to Moscow in order to
try and obtain emigration papers,
and until they received them (or
were refused) they would wait
in Malachovka so as not to be
caught on the streets of Moscow
without permission to be there.

Malachovka flourished there in

the 1930s.


Malachovka that operated for
two years. The various branches
in the Soviet Union were closed
down and the talmidim were
expelled and the maggidei shiur
were arrested and exiled.
After the yeshiva in Georgia
was shut down in 1933, a group
of bachurim went to learn in
Malachovka. Talmidim from
the branch in Kiev also went to
Malachovka when the yeshiva in
Kiev was closed.
The talmidim were not
allowed to live in Moscow and
within a hundred kilometers
distance of Moscow without a
permit. This they could obtain
only after proving they had a
job in Moscow. Some of the
talmidim also had to show an
exemption from the army which
was impossible.
The Chassidim and bachurim
had different ways around these

restrictions. Some of them

registered in a village or town
more than a hundred kilometers
away from Moscow while
continuing to live in Malachovka.
This was dangerous, lest they get
The learning took place
in shul where the bachurim
assiduously learned Nigleh and
Chassidus while ignoring the
surveillance, the persecution, and
the difficult financial situation.
The wives of Chassidim cooked
for them or the menahalim of the
yeshiva took care of it. Some of
the talmidim slept on benches in
the shul.
Despite these hardships,
the bachurim were happy with
their lot since the spiritual state
of the yeshiva was incomparably
better there than in the branches
of the yeshiva in other cities. This
was because of the Chassidic
atmosphere in Malachovka.
The late Chassid and shliach,
R Shlomo Matusof, spoke
nostalgically about the spiritual
plenty in the yeshiva:
Two mashpiim, R Nissan
Nemenov and R Shlomo
Chaim Kesselman, regularly
learned Chassidus with us
Rebbe Rashab). All the great
Chassidim and Anash attended
the Chassidishe farbrengens.
Mi yitneinu kyarchei kedem
(a verse expressing the wish to
return to the days of yesteryear).
Occasionally, we would
review maamarim, long ones
too, by heart on Shabbos with
the participation of the great
Chassidim. There was a bit of
a connection with the Rebbe
Rayatz who was in Warsaw,
and now and then we would
somehow and personal letters as
circumstances allowed. I merited
this too, thank G-d.

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R Yaakov Moskolik (Zuravitzer) Hyd

R Avrohom Drizin (Maiyor)

R Shlomo Matusof

For us, to a certain extent

this was a time of growth and
becoming firmly established on a
Chassidic foundation.
Among the talmidim who
learned in Malachovka were: R
Meir Itkin, R Alexander Ziskind
Bunin, R Yisroel Israelite
(Yisraeli), R Yechiel Michel
Piekarski, and R Avrohom
Kievman. In a letter that R
Kievman wrote to the Rebbe,
he said he wanted to stay in this
yeshiva, because in Malachovka
there are a lot of farbrengens
and there are Chassidim who
are Torah scholars who can be
asked questions in learning.
At the end of his letter he tells
of a disadvantage, that he
has no place to live, but this
disadvantage did not prevent
him from continuing to learn and
participate in farbrengens.
More about the glory days of
the yeshiva is told in the memoirs
of R Yisroel Yehuda Levin:
We learned there for a while
I moved to Iliyanka (another
suburb near Malachovka) where
there was a house where R Meir
Avtzon and R Meir Zarchi were,

and we learned there. At night,

we would go to Malachovka to
the mashpia, R Shlomo Chaim
Kesselman of Polotzk, and he
learned Hemshech Eter (5670)
with us.
I ended up going to the
shul in Malachovka and sleeping
there. R Refael Kahn of Nevel
learned with us. The talmidim
were: myself, R Meir Zarchi,
R Shlomo Matusof, R Michel
Koznitzov, R Chaim Lipa Levin,
R Avrohom Yehoshua Kuratin,
for a little while R Michoel
Teitelbaum, R Yosef Vilenkin,
R Dovber Gorewitz, Herschel
Cohen (the son of R Folya), R
Binyamin Levitin, R Avrohom
Kievman, R Mendel Morosow,
and others.
There were regulars and
some who came temporarily. R
Chonye Morosow once learned
a maamer with us and R Pinchas
Schreiber (Rakshiker) learned
Hemshech Samech-Vav (5666)
with us. This went on until the
winter of 5695, Boruch Hashem,
with success in learning Nigleh
and Chassidus and farbrengens.
It was a holiday for Anash

and the Tmimim in Malachovka

when, for 12 Tammuz 5693,
a letter came from the Rebbe
Rayatz along with a maamer,
Nosata LYirecha. In the letter,
the inyan the Rebbe explains in
the maamer is expounded upon.
In the farbrengen which took
place afterward and was attended
by all of Anash and the bachurim,
they all sat together and learned
the maamer, read the letter, and
the bachurim said many lchaims.
It was an apt expression of the
great joy felt over receiving a
maamer and a letter from the
Rebbe Rayatz.


One of the sources of funding
for the yeshiva came from
the Joint. The directors of the
yeshiva presented the talmidim as
modern and highly educated. R
Shlomo Matusof elaborates:
A representative of the Joint
would visit Moscow occasionally.
When Dr. Rosen showed up
they had to present to him the
products of the secret yeshiva
and what a yeshiva bachur is.

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They chose me as an example.
R Mendel Garelik dressed me in
new and modern clothes, from
head to toe. A stylish suit, a shirt
and tie, tan shoes, etc. (Perhaps
it suited me like a golden ring
in the ear etc. but what can you
do). He taught me what to say
and how to speak politely with a
person like this. He gave me the
address of the hotel.
I arrived at the grand hotel,
one of the few in Moscow. I
introduced myself. They already
knew about me and brought me
into a room full of tall flowers
like fragrant trees. Dr. Rosen
welcomed me respectfully and
spoke to me about this and that.
It seemed I had found favor in
his eyes and I left.
They told me afterward
that the visit was successful. I
returned to my sackcloth and
fasting and took off my beautiful
clothes and went back to my
usual attire, a yeshiva bachur like

Jewish life was quiet at first,
but after a while, the police began
to cause problems. Every so often
the police would come and arrest
the bachurim. A short while later
they would release them after
they had them sign that they
would immediately leave the
One of those talmidim was
R Yisroel Yehuda Levin. At the
beginning of the summer of
5694/1934, he wrote a coded
letter to the Rebbe Rayatz in
which he told of the difficulty in
obtaining a pass, a residency
permit for Moscow:
I worked in Kiev and now
I work here. In a city that is
a hundred parsaos (Talmudic
era measurement of distance,

code for kilometers Ed.) from

Moscow I received a pass for
three months, and after three
months they extended it for
another three months. After that
it needs to be changed to one
for three years, and some work
needs to be done and I have no
job to show them. May Hashem
have pity and help me so they
give me a pass for three years.
He went on to relate:
One night, the police came
to the house where we stayed
and arrested me and R Avrohom
Kievman because we were
not registered to live within a
hundred kilometers of Moscow.
After a few days they took us to
some room and had us sign that
if they found us again, we would
be sent away for two years. They
released us but we could no
longer stay in that house.
After Pesach, R Levin went
back to sleeping in the shul along
with Shimshon Charitonov. This
went on until he was arrested
again one night in the summer of
1935. Then he had to leave the
place permanently.
During the summer of 1935
the surveillance increased. It was
apparent that the evil ones had
decided to call a halt to Chassidic
life in Malachovka. The police
decided not to ignore them
anymore. Chassidim, who had
moved to Malachovka in order
to avoid the secret police, began
to feel them breathing down their
arrested and sent to exile. The
yeshiva was closed and the
Chassidim were very fearful,
since up until then there were
hardly any arrests and now
there was a wave of arrests. At
a certain time of the night, the
police would go to the homes of
many Chassidim and arrest all
of them simultaneously so the

others wouldnt have a chance to

Schneersohns, along with
other things, such as helping
a synagogue, learning Torah
with children, etc. A lot of
incriminating evidence had been
gathered against the Chassidim,
and when no evidence was
available the interrogators would
make up a file and force the
arrestee to sign a confession to
various crimes. The sentences
at that time were very harsh
extended jail sentences, exile, and
even execution.
The troubles began with the
arrival of Dovid Itche the moser
(informer) to Malachovka at
the beginning of the summer.
Dovid Itche was a talmid of
Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in
Lubavitch. When the yeshiva was
closed, the connection between
him and his fellow students was
severed. After some years, he
appeared in Malachovka with a
beard and speaking as Chassidim
do. He seemed pleased to see
that there were still bachurim
learning Nigleh and Chassidus.
He became friendly with the
bachurim and when he saw that
some talmidim learned out of one
bichel (booklet) he joyously told
them that he had some copies of
Hemshech 5666 and promised to
send them the copies soon. They
all trusted him. It was only after
a few years that they realized
that he was a despicable moser
who had entrapped Chassidim
in various towns in the Soviet
Union including Malachovka.
This informer told the secret
police that in Malachovka there
was flourishing Chassidic life.
Thanks to him, they began
surveilling many of the people.
Two young boys were arrested
from Chassidic families. The

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interrogators laid a trap for them

and without their realizing the
ramifications they said the names
of the Chassidim who lived in
One night, the angels of
destruction knocked at the house
of R Zalman Alpert who was
known as Zalman Kurenitzer. He
opened the door and immediately
was asked, Are you Zalman
He replied, I am Zalman
The policemen were not
convinced and took him with
them to the council building
of Malachovka. As he sat there
waiting to be interrogated, he
heard one of the interrogators
reading a list of Chassidim and
asking the policemen to arrest
them. Among the Chassidim
were R Shmuel Leib Paritcher,
R Shlomo Chaim Plotzker
Maiyor, and others.
R Zalman was shaken to the
core. He realized that the jig was
up for the Chabad Chassidim of
Malachovka. He jumped up and
began shouting, What do you
want from me? I am not Zalman
Kurenitzer, I am Zalman Alpert!
Leave me alone!
The interrogators, seeing his
confidence and also wondering
whether they had a mistake by
arresting him, let him go. R
Zalman lost no time. He rushed
to tell his family that he was
released and immediately ran
to the homes of the Chassidim
whose names he had heard and
told them that they had to escape.
Thanks to his courage and
ingenuity many Chassidim were
saved from arrest.
Chassidim were saved, the rest of
the Chassidim had to hide until
the fury had passed.

R Zalman was shaken to the core. He realized

that the jig was up for the Chabad Chassidim of

This wave of arrests ended
miraculously. But in Elul of
that same year, the secret police
managed to lay their hands on
some Chassidim in Malachovka.
Others were miraculously able to
sneak out from under the noses
of the police. Among those who
escaped were R Avrohom Drizin
who ran the network of Tomchei
Tmimim yeshivos and was the
number-one-wanted man. The
police did not give up on him
so easily and began aggressively
pursuing him. Time after time
he was saved miraculously from
those angels of destruction.
arrested in Elul: R Yaakov
Moskolik, R Meir Avtzon, R
Abba Levin, R Yitzchok Goldin,
Shlomo Matusof, R Chaim
Elozor Garelik and his son
The remaining Chassidim in
Malachovka were thrown into
confusion by these arrests. The
yeshiva was immediately closed
and many Chassidim went
underground, while others fled to
other cities where they hoped to
find places to hide. Many families
were left without a husband/
father and this led to serious
financial problems. All this was
in addition to the great fear and
concern for the relatives who had
been arrested or who had hidden.
The seven who were arrested
were taken to police headquarters
in Moscow, Lubyanka, where
they were interrogated and
tortured for weeks. Then they
were transferred to Butyrka

prison where they awaited

their sentence. A few months
later they were all found guilty
for belonging to Drizins
organization. After the reading
of the guilty verdict they were
put into one cell. After months of
suffering and apprehension, they
realized that the evil ones had not
managed to catch all the great
Chassidim of Malachovka and
only the seven of them had been
After years of suffering
in exile, all except R Yaakov
He died in exile, may Hashem
avenge his blood.


World War II, the Chassidim
in Malachovka fled from the
front which was approaching
them. Only the Chassid R
Eliezer Pinsky continued living
there even though the Germans
shelled the city and the environs
unceasingly. He remained, with
mesirus nefesh, to look after an
old, sick, childless man who due
to illness was not able to flee. The
man died in 1942 and R Pinsky
had him buried in the cemetery
in Malachovka which entailed
great mesirus nefesh. Shortly
afterward, R Pinsky became sick
with pneumonia, and he died in
Malachovka and was also buried
After the war, a few Chassidim
returned to Malachovka. Most of
the Chassidim had left Russia via
Poland and a few remained in
Tashkent and Samarkand.

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By Nechama Bar

It was Shavuos, and the

Yeshiva in Lud were eating
the Yom Tov meal. Suddenly,
they could see a small car out
the window that was driving
quickly, which stopped near the
yeshiva building. Out of the car
sprang a man in a sirtuk and
hat, a Lubavitcher. Many pairs
of eyes stared at him from the
windows. Who was driving in
a car on Yom Tov and why?
Something very serious must
have occurred!
was called out of the dining
room. He accompanied the
driver, entered the car and
within minutes the car had
disappeared down the street, to
the astonishment of all.
What indeed did happen?
Who took the bachur in the car
on Yom Tov?
It was the bachurs uncle. We
will call the bachur Moshe. For
a while, Moshe had not been
feeling well. At first, he thought
it was a typical flu or something
of the sort. But when the pain

Throughout that difficult

time in which Moshe was
sick and was being treated,
they watched the video
again and again on a screen
near his bedside.
did not stop, the family doctor
sent him for tests.
In the middle of Yom Tov,
the hospital made contact
with the parents and informed
them, Your son is very sick
with a disease that has spread
throughout his body. There is no
treatment for him here in this
country. You need to take him
abroad to a hospital with top
doctors. Every hour is critical
and can affect his condition.
After consulting with a rav,
it was decided that since it was
pikuach nefesh (entailed danger
to life), the bachur had to be
flown on Yom Tov. This is why

the uncle had taken a car to

the yeshiva, in order to bring
him directly to the airpor t.
When the family arrived
abroad, doctors took Moshe
for a series of lengthy and
exhausting tests. When they
had finished, the doctor held
a meeting with the parents in
his office. From his face, it did
not look as though he had good
news to relate.
The doctor cleared his throat
and adjusted his glasses in the
attempt to postpone what
he had to say for a few more
According to the tests
we just did there is nothing
we can do. In my opinion, it
would be better not to do any
treatment. It would be a pity
to cause the boy unnecessary
suffering when it is hardly
likely that the treatment will
help. I recommend that in the
short time remaining to him,
that you ask him what he
wants to do and you try and
fulfill his dreams. Pamper him,
travel with him, and try to

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make whatever time he has strong faith from? his parent
remaining to him as
their eyes.
The parents faces turned
in surprise.
pale and they couldnt utter a Moshe asked
when our
word. They had not realized the Dont you
situation was that dire. When family went
they could finally talk, they dollars?
An old memory suddenly
asked, Is his condition so bad
that youre saying we should resurfaced. It was a Sunday,
give up? in the hopes that the and
doctor would say something daughters, and Moshe stood
on line to receive a dollar for
tzdaka from the Rebbe. The
The doctor nodded
father went first. He held
said, I recommend not
Moshe who was four years old
it, but the decision is up
at the time. The Rebbe gave a
of course. The doctor indicat
dollar to the father and son,
that he had finished and
then to the mother, the first
could leave.
daughter, the second, and the
The parents left the doctors
third. The family began moving
office in great distress. They did
forward when, suddenly, the
not know what to do. Should
Rebbe called the daughter who
they have their son undergo
was standing nearby and gave
painful treatment or forget
her another dollar.
about it?
Give this dollar when you
Moshe could see that his
light candles, requested the
parents were in turmoil and he
asked, Tell me what the doctor
After her, the Rebbe called
the second daughter
They looked at each other
back and
as though wondering whether
to tell him or not, but Moshe
insisted that he know what his
condition was. He was no longer
a little boy, and they couldnt
conceal vital information from
to come back
and gave her
The situation is not good.
another dollar
The doctor recommends that
we do nothing; it would be a
pity to suffer needlessly, he said
said his mother as she burst
into tears.
the Rebbe
To his parents surprise, a l s o
Moshe was not at all frightened c a l l e d
by the bleak prediction of the for the
doctors. He firmly said, I want l i t t l e
to undergo the treatment, and b o y ,
I am confident that I will be M o s h e ,
Where do you get such him a dollar.

Rebbe, hes a boy and

doesnt need to light candles,
said the father. Still, the Rebbe
gave another dollar to Moshe
and said, Give this dollar to
your wife for candle lighting.
Moshe, who was only four,
remembered that encounter
with the Rebbe and the
instruction the Rebbe had given
Abba, Ima, dont cry and
dont fret. I have to be healthy.
I still havent carried out the
Rebbes instruction. I have the
dollar and am waiting to do
as the Rebbe told me. I need to
get married and give the dollar
to my wife. I must live and get
married so I can do what the
Rebbe told me to do!
Moshes parents burst into
tears once again. These words
echoed in their minds and
strengthened their faith. They
decided that Moshe would be
treated and, with Hashems
help, would be cured!
His parents located the video
that was taken when they had
been to the Rebbe for dollars.
Throughout that difficult
time in which Moshe
was sick and was being
treated, they watched
the video again and
again on a screen near
his bedside.
Needless to say,
Moshe overcame
his illness and
recov ered.
able to fulfill
to bring the
dollar to its

Issue 946

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2014-10-27 10:32:43 PM