By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman, Dean, Cheder Chabad of Monsey
We are now in the Hebrew month of Elul, just a few weeks away from Rosh Hashana and the High Holidays
– a time of reflection, introspection and taking on new resolutions with which to enhance our lives, spiritually and meaningfully.
Cheder Chabad of Monsey would like to help with a meaningful weekly Torah thought.
In this week's parshah, Ki Seitzei (Devorim [Deuteronomy] 21:10 - 25:19) we learn that a creditor is permitted to demand collateral before offering a loan, even if the debtor is impoverished. However, the Torah enjoins us not to demand an article that the debtor would require during the normal course of his day. For example, if a debtor leverages his only pillow, the creditor must return it for use during the night.
The Torah concludes with the words, "and he will bless you, and it shall be for you as an act of charity before G-d." Rashi, the primary commentary on the Torah, explains that even if the debtor will not bless you for this kind act, it will be a meritorious act before G-d.
Reb Levi of Bardichev, an early Chassidic Master, expanded upon Rashi’s idea: Some perform a kind deed because they seek the blessing or good graces of the recipient. This verse teaches us that the best way to perform a mitzvah is not for the reward, though it will inevitably come, but simply for the sake of G-d. And it shall be for you as an act of charity before G-d. We should perform this charity because G-d commanded us to, not because there is something in it for us.
This concept can be taken one step further. Charity should be given for the sake of the mitzvah alone, not even for the sake of the reward promised by G-d.
Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov was once informed of a heavenly decree that he had lost his share in the world to come, whereupon he joyfully declared that he now had the opportunity to serve G-d with no ulterior motive, not even that of heavenly reward. Soon he was informed, though, that his heavenly portion had not only been restored but had in fact been doubled.
One thing is for sure – G-d Al-Mighty will not remain in debt and will IY”H pay up with good health, Chasiddishe Nachas, and prosperity!
(Excerpts from Chabad.org - from Rabbi Lazer Gurkow)
May you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos!
If you would like to dedicate the weekly Parsha Perspective in honor or memory of a person or occasion, please contact Rabbi Shusterman at email@example.com.
Lubavitch Yeshiva of Monsey is getting ready to open its doors next week.
The board of the Yeshiva has been working tirelessly for many months to ensure that the bochurim will have everything they require both b'gashmius and b'ruchnius to have a successful and productive year.
The bochurim will benefit from the guidance and mentorship that will be provided by the Yeshiva's Menahel, Rabbi Shmuel Rothstein. Rabbi Rothstein is an accomplished educator who has a demonstrated his ability to inspire and motivate bochurim. He was a Shliach to the Monsey Yeshiva in the past and is returning with an innovative curriculum designed to help each bochur reach his potential in learning skills and Chassidishkeit.
We are also very pleased to announce that Rabbi Boruch D. Lesches, a world renown posek and the Moreh D'Asrah of Monsey's Chabad Kehilla, will be giving shiurim periodically for the bochurim in Halacha b'iyun.
The Yeshiva is accepting only a small number of bochurim for the coming zman and there are only a few slots left. Inquiries in regard to registration may be directed to Rabbi Rothstein at 443-525-4212 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chabad of Suffern is looking for bochurim that can man a Tefillin booth at a Senior Fair tomorrow from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM and for a booth at a family fun fair on September 9th all day. Please call 845-368-1889.
Over the past two years Chabad of Suffern has grown tremendously in their High Holiday Peulos with over 600 people attending services at the Crowne Plaza hotel.
With the hope that every Jew should have a place to go for High Holiday services, we mailed out 26,000 free tickets this year.
We are asking the Anash community to help us reach the Jews living in the Monsey area, by passing the tickets that we sent to your homes on to a non-observant person you may know such as neighbors, co-workers, etc.
If you have a few neighbors that you would like to give this to, you can call or email with their information and we will make sure they receive their tickets in the mail. You can also refer anyone to our newly updated High Holiday mega site at www.JewishSuffern.com/HHolidays, where you can find any information you may need regarding the High Holiday programing.
If we work on this together, we hope that no Jew in the area will be left behind and we will be zoche to bring much nachas to the Rebbe.
The Town of Ramapo has once again been ranked in the top 100 Best Places to Live in America by CNN Money Magazine.
The 2012 rankings were announced earlier this week, with Ramapo taking the 59th spot.
The magazine ranked communities nationally with populations between 50,000 and 300,000.
“It is wonderful to once again be named by Money Magazine as one of the best places to live in the United States,” said Supervisor St. Lawrence.
“With a wide range of recreational, social, and cultural programs and amenities, the Town of Ramapo has something for everyone.”
“Whether it is through our award-winning parks, state-of-the-art baseball stadium and sports facilities, countless programs for seniors and children, or our extensive open space program, we consistently strive to make the Town of Ramapo an even better place to live and raise a family,” he added. “I am particularly proud of the fact that our diverse and progressive town is one of only four communities in the entire State of New York to be listed among CNN Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live in America.”
Ramapo is not new to CNN Money Magazine’s listings.
In 2003, Ramapo was listed as the 2nd Best Town to Live in on the East Coast; in 2006, Ramapo was listed as the 49th Best Place to Live in America; and in 2010, Ramapo was listed as the 88th Best Place to Live in America.
By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman, Dean, Cheder Chabad of Monsey
We are now in the Hebrew month of Elul, just a few weeks away from Rosh Hashanah and the High Holidays – a time of reflection, introspection and taking on new resolutions with which to enhance our lives, spiritually and meaningfully.
Cheder Chabad of Monsey hopes that the weekly Torah thoughts will help to achieve those goals.
Don’t be judgmental. Unless, of course, you happen to be a judge. Then it’s your job.
This week’s Parshah, Shoftim (Devorim [Deuteronomy] 16:18–21:9), begins with the biblical command for judges to be appointed in every city and town to adjudicate and maintain a just, ordered, civil society. Interestingly, it occurs in the first week of Elul, the month in which we are to prepare in earnest for the Days of Judgment ahead, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
There are, however, some significant differences between earthly judges of flesh and blood and the heavenly judge. In the earthly court, if after a fair trial a defendant is found guilty, then there’s really not much room for clemency on the part of the judge. The law is the law and must take its course. The accused may shed rivers of tears, but no human judge can be certain if his remorse is genuine. After all, a human judge may only make a decision based on “what the eye can see.” The misdeed was seen to have been committed. The remorse, who knows? Perhaps he’s a good actor and is only acting contrite. The Supreme Judge on High, however, does know whether the accused genuinely regrets his actions or is merely putting on an act. Therefore, He alone is able to forgive. That is why in heavenly judgments, teshuvah (repentance) is effective.
The Maharal of Prague gave another reason. Only G‑d is able to judge the whole person. Every one of us has good and bad to some extent. Even those who have sinned may have many other good deeds that outweigh the bad ones. Perhaps even one good deed was of such major significance that it alone could serve as a weighty counterbalance. The point is, only G‑d knows. Only He can judge the individual in the context of his whole life and all his deeds, good and bad.
Our goal is to emulate the heavenly court. We should try to look at the totality of the person. You think he is bad, but is he all bad? Does he have no redeeming virtues? Surely, he must have some good in him as well. Look at the whole person.
A teacher once conducted an experiment. He held up a white plate and showed it to the class. In the center of the plate was a small black spot. He then asked the class to describe what they saw. One student said he saw a black spot. Another said it must be a target for shooting practice. A third suggested that the plate was dirty or damaged. Whereupon the teacher asked, “Doesn’t anyone see a white plate?”
There may have been a small black spot, but essentially it was a white plate. Why do we only see the dirt? Let us learn to find the good in others. Nobody is perfect, not even ourselves. Let’s not be so judgmental and critical.
Let’s try to see the good in others.
(Excerpts from Chabad.org - from Rabbi Yossy Goldman)
The community list is being updated so that it can be mailed shortly.
If your address or phone number has changed or you have moved into the community over the last 12 months or so, please email Mrs. Chaya Kaplan at email@example.com or 845-425-8681 with the new information.
Prepare for Tishrei and the Yomim Tovim at a new morning Chassidus shiur given by Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman starting tomorrow, Monday, in the Ezras Nashim of Tzemach Tzedek.
The shiur will take place on Mondays through Fridays from 7:45 to 8:00 AM and on Sundays from 8:45 to 9:00 AM.
The shiur is being held at this time so that it bridges the two morning Shacharis minyanim and is convenient to those who want to learn after the first minyan and to those who want to prepare for their davening in the second minyan.
The shiur will be on the maamar that is printed in the weekly Dvar Malchus.
By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman, Dean, Cheder Chabad of Monsey
Two friends were walking when they saw a sign saying, "Your country needs you!"
"Hey, David," said one to the other, "what are you waiting for? It says that they need you!"
The first word of this week's Torah reading, Re'eh ("See !") (Devorim [Deuteronomy] 11:26-16:17), is
in the singular form, even though Moses was speaking to the entire Jewish nation.
The commentator Ibn Ezra (highly regarded Biblical commentator, Rabbi Avraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra (1089 -1164), passed away on Adar 1) .explains that this is so that people would realize that "he's talking to me," to each and every one of us on a personal level.
A rabbi once gave a brilliant, inspirational sermon. Afterwards, one of the congregants came over and said, "Rabbi, that was absolutely brilliant. If that doesn't get through to them, nothing will."
Get through to them? What about you, sir!
It is too easy to think that they are talking to the next person, not to me.
Throughout our lives, we are being spoken to by different people -- a spouse, a family member, a friend, an employer, a Rabbi, maybe even G-d -- trying to give us a message. It is so easy to fall into the trap of looking to the person next to us and thinking that they are the one being spoken to. Isn't it worth considering that maybe, just this one time, they're actually talking to me, and to take it to heart?
(Excerpts from Chabad.org by Rabbi Mordechai Wollenberg)
From Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman, Dean, Cheder Chabad of Monsey
In this week’s portion Eikev (Devorim [Deuteronomy] 7:12-11:25) we read the passage “…for not by bread alone does man live, but by every word which proceeds from the mouth of the Al-mighty does man live”. What role, then, does bread play in providing sustenance for man?
All of creation can be divided into four elements.
1. The first is the inanimate, the mineral, that exhibits no external indicators of life.
2. The second is the vegetable that enjoys vertical motion (through growth) but is incapable of lateral movement.
3. The third is the animal, which demonstrates its enormous life energy through both vertical and lateral movement.
4. Man towers above all. Man demonstrates signs of life not only on the outside, but also on the inside. No creature has comparable intellectual and communicative skills.
This hierarchy raises a question. Why is man sustained by that which is lower than he is? Does logic not dictate that lower life forms be sustained by higher life forms? Conversely, does the higher life form not somehow compromise its purity by receiving life energy from a lower life form?
Lower is Higher
This question forces us to reevaluate the face value of the world as it appears to us. Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism teach that the world was created not only in a system of gradually descending spiritual levels, but concurrently with a grid of “opposite extremes” relationships. Hence, that which may appear lower on the totem pole originates from a level that is in fact much higher than the origin of the next step up on that totem pole. Their lofty origins enable them to journey forth to lower and more distant states because a stronger source is capable of sending its offspring much further than a weaker source.
So it is in our world as well. The more intense light shines further and dispels greater levels of darkness. A brilliant, more accomplished teacher would be the one to deal with a student with a lower IQ.
When we view the hierarchy from this perspective, we discover that the origin of vegetation is in fact greater than that of man. Man is not sustained by the bread’s material substance, which is lower than he is, but by G-d’s energy within it, the spiritual origin of the bread. And that is what energizes man.
We can extend this idea to an interpersonal level as well. This concept provides a very important insight about that simple Jew in the synagogue who might not display much wit or wisdom and is viewed by the congregants as a simpleton, not commanding necessarily a particular measure of honor or respect. However, he might just be one in possession a soul far loftier and potent in origin; able to accomplish so much more with his deed and prayer than many others in the community, as so many a story of our Tzaddikim have shown.
Morah Chani Cohen has one spot available for the upcoming school year.
Morah Chani your child, who is three by December, will flourish
and grow with individual attention, a fun and multi sensory
curriculum, learn the aleph beis, weekly parsha, yomim tovim and
chassidishe yomim tovim, numbers, brochos, music and movement and much
If you are interested please call Chani at 845-406-3229 for more
Rabbi Zalmen Leib Markowitz farbrenged at Lubavitch Day Camp of Monsey today in honor of Chof Menachem Av.
Av 20 is the yahtzeit of the Rebbe's father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson (1878-1944), in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan. Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was Chief Rabbi of Yekaterinoslav (currently Dnepropetrovsk), and was arrested and exiled to Kazakhstan by the Stalinist regime as a result of his work to preserve Jewish life in the Soviet Union.
Cett Hebrew School in Fair Lawn, NJ is looking to hire teachers for Sunday school starting in September. Fair Lawn is a half hour drive form Monsey. Competitive pay, and good working conditions.
Qualifications: At least two years classroom experience. Motivated to teach children and sensitive to their needs. At least three references.
Looking to hire:
•Preschool teacher, must be fluent in English and Russian
•1st-2nd grade teacher
•Judaic teacher for grades 3 - 6
•Reading Hebrew teacher for grades 3 - 6
•Conversational Hebrew for grades 3 - 6
•Jewish History Teacher for grades 3 - 6
•Art teacher for all grades
By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman, Dean, Cheder Chabad of Monsey
Think about the Ten Commandments (reviewed in this week’s Torah portion Va’Eschanan – Devorim (Deuteronomy) 3:23-7:11).
"I am the L-rd Your G‑d." Good beginning. Sets the tone; serious, weighty stuff. Could have left it at that, but He chose to give a bit of background bio. "I am the L-rd Your G‑d, who took you out of Egypt."
"Who took us out of Egypt"? Talk about sweating the small details! What about "who created the Heaven and Earth"? Surely, on a scale of G‑d's accomplishments, stage-managing the Exodus doesn't even approach His role as designer and creator of the universe!
It is far easier to do it right the first time than to clean up the mess caused when doing it wrong. In anything we do – whether raising a child, painting a masterpiece, or filling in a tax return – we aim for perfection. We all know that small flaws tend to spiral quickly, and wherever possible are best avoided in advance.
Sometimes we get lucky; we get in, get it done and get out. Luxury! Often, we're not so fortunate. The kid's a few years old, and, help, he's beginning to sound like you. The painting is out of proportion. And you can already imagine the "please explain" letter from the tax office. A quitter throws up his hands, blames the spouse, the art teacher, or the accountant and walks off in disgust. A winner sticks to the task, works through the problem, and does whatever it takes to succeed.
The Torah is G‑d's message to humanity. In it He speaks to all of us, for all time. When G‑d created the world, it was the equivalent of getting it right the first time. He designed the system, He brought it into being, and then He rested in satisfaction of a job well done. Were that His message at Sinai, "I Created the Heaven and the Earth," would it not have seemed as if G‑d was giving us no scope for error; "be like Me, get it right, or else…"?
Egypt was different; a bad land, a bad situation, a bad time. G‑d led us out of the chaos and evil and helped us get our lives back on track. By representing Himself as "The G‑d who took you out of Egypt," He is giving us the courage to survive the inevitable bad times. He's telling us that no matter how bad life gets, wherever you may fall, get back on your horse and ride off into the sunset of success that awaits just over the horizon.
(Excerpts from Chabad.org by Rabbi Elisha Greenbaum )