Wednesday, December 7, 2011

N'shei Chabad Yud Tes Kislev Farbrengen

Nshei Chabad of Rockland will be having a Yud Tes Kislev Farbrengen with Rabbi Mendel Lerman, Rav of the Beis Levi Yitzchak shul in Crown Heights, this Tuesday evening, December 13th at 8:00 PM at Tzemach Tzedek.

Rabbi Lerman, whose shul is affectionately called “Chabad of Crown Heights,” is renowned as an inspired and inspiring Chosid whose chayus, warmth and legendary open home have changed the lives of many. Come, farbreng and connect on the eve of Rosh Hashana LaChassidus!  

Suggested donation is $10. Sponsor is $36.

For more information, please call Tovah at 845-354-6173 or Daliah at 845-689-9028.

R' Zalman Goldstein Endorses Nadler Modular

Rabbi Lesches Inspires Melbourne


Rabbi Boruch Dov Lesches currently serves as the rabbi of the Chabad community in Monsey (New York).

During a recent visit to Melbourne, Rabbi Lesches devoted much of his time inspiring the students through his Shiurim and Farbrengens.

Rabbi Lesches delivered two Tanya Shiurim to all of the students. Additionally, in honour of the hundredth anniversary of the Chassidic work Hemshech Ayin Beis, Rabbi Lesches presented two advanced Shiurim to the Shluchim, explaining the history and methodology of Hemshech Ayin Beis, and the significance of this work to Chabad. Rabbi Lesches also provided an in-depth analysis of the respective viewpoints of the Ramak and the Arizal regarding the Kabbalistic concept of Tzimtzum.

Rabbi Lesches also led a Farbrengen for some of the students, emphasizing the importance of using one’s gifts to assist and inspire one’s fellows, and about properly utilizing one’s time at Yeshivah as a foundation for life.

Farbrengen Moment 

When Rabbi Lesches was a student at the Yeshivah in Kfar Chabad, another (non-Chabad) Israeli Yeshivah extended the daily learning schedule until 11:00pm, instead of the typical 9:30pm. The students at Kfar Chabad were always on the lookout for ways to improve, and they wanted to incorporate this idea at their Yeshivah.

The students presented their plan to their Mashgiach, Reb Yankel Katz. The students emphasized that their proposal was feasible, since many of the students were in any case already studying until 11:00pm, on a voluntary basis. Rabbi Katz responded that he would consult with the Rebbe.

The students did not anticipate any opposition on the part of the Rebbe, and as far as they were concerned, the deal was as good as done. In his next Yechidus, Rabbi Katz informed the Rebbe of the students’ proposal. The Rebbe immediately rejected it, explaining that he wanted a Bochur to have free time in order that he should be able to learn, not because he has to, but rather, because he wants to…

Tanya Shiur Moment

The seminal philosophical work of Chabad Chassidus is commonly referred to by its opening word, Tanya, despite its formal titles of Likkutei Amarim and Sefer Shel Beinonim. One explanation for this is that the word Tanya has the same Hebrew letters as the word Eysan, an allusion to the essence of the soul. Through learning Tanya, one ignites and reveals the very essence of one’s soul.

Rabbi Lesches illustrated this point with a story he heard from his own Rosh Yeshivah in Kfar Chabad, Rabbi Eliezer Palczynski. Reb Leizer, as he was affectionately known, was an alumnus of the Slabodka, Mir and Brisk Yeshivos, and a protégé of such giants as the Rogatchover Gaon, the Ohr Sameach and the Brisker Rav. He escaped Europe during the holocaust, and he settled in Israel, eventually marrying the daughter of the legendary Rabbi Aryeh Levin. Although Reb Leizer did not have a Chassidic background, nor did he identify himself as a Chabad Chossid, he nevertheless regarded Chabad Chassidus with the greatest esteem.

Reb Leizer recounted an incident which occurred when the Russian government had exiled him to a forced labour camp in remote Siberia. After spending some time there, he began to take note of one of his fellow inmates, an unassuming and quiet Chabad Chosid, who spent every spare moment occupied with words of Torah and prayer.

One bitterly cold evening, the inmates were warming themselves around the fireplace when a passing Jewish wagoner burst into the room, in order to get some respite from the cold. The wagoner introduced himself as a prisoner who was based in a city several days journey away, and whose primary occupation was transporting goods for the government. In the course of the conversation, the wagoner announced a Mazal Tov; the Russian government had allowed his wife to join him in exile, and he had been blessed with a healthy baby boy. All of a sudden, the quiet Chabad Chossid became uncharacteristically animated. He jumped up and asked, “What about a Bris?” The wagoner responded, “A Bris? In Siberia? Where would I find a Mohel? Besides, I am on a government job, and there is no way I can return home in time for the eighth day!” The Chossid responded, “No problem! I am a Mohel, and I have my knife with me! Just give me directions!” With a shining light in his eyes, the Chossid readied himself for the journey.

At that point, Reb Leizer intervened. He approached the Chossid and said, “I don’t understand how you could even contemplate taking such a great risk? You are surely aware of the terrible punishment that awaits any prisoner who leaves his camp without permission. You will likely be caught on your way out of the camp, during your journey, or at the very least, on the way back! Besides, you could die from exposure to the cold – especially if you lose your way, or get caught in a snowstorm. Even if you return alive, the commander will no doubt notice your absence and punish you severely. And, all this for the possibility that you might be able to perform the Bris on the eighth day – if you are not delayed! It is clear that Torah law does not require you to take so many risks in such a situation.”

As Reb Leizer wrapped up his Halachic and practical arguments, he had the distinct feeling that he was talking to the wall. The Chossid was preparing to go! Sure enough, the Chossid was nowhere to be seen the next day.

Nearly a week passed before he returned, hungry and fatigued, but invigorated with joy. He happily told Reb Leizer that he had managed to arrive on the eighth day, shortly before sunset, and performed the Bris in the nick of time. Soon enough, the Chossid was summoned before the commander of the camp. The commander demanded to know where he had been, but the Chossid remained silent. The commander knew the Chossid to be a quiet individual, so he assumed that the Chossid was just too meek to explain himself. The commander said, “Alright, I imagine that you probably became ill, and you were too faint to attend roll call. But, next time you are sick, make sure to inform me.” With that, he dismissed the Chossid. Reb Leizer concluded, “I could never figure out from where this Chabad Chossid got the inner strength to literally sacrifice his life – with such joy – for the sake of a Mitzvah, when he was not required to!”

The Yeshivah students listening to Reb Leizer’s story were not as puzzled. They knew that the very essence of this Chossid’s soul had been set alight by the flames of Chassidus, and his one desire was to connect with G-dliness, in any way possible.

Seeking Visitors for Woman in Local Prison

There is currently a Jewish woman sitting in jail in New City. She has no family or friends here and is in desperate need of visitors.

Visiting is allowed on Mondays and Fridays between 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM and on Wednesdays between 8:30 AM and 10:00 AM.

If you are able to visit and do this important Mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel, please call Roizy at 845-425-6219.