Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rabbi Levi Garelik to Farbreng for 19 Kislev

In honor of Yud Tes Kislev, Chabad of South Monsey, Bais Menachem and Tzemach Tzedek are sponsoring a community Farbrengen for men and women this Monday night, December 3, at Tzemach Tzedek (in the main Shul).

Renowned speaker Rabbi Levi Garelik will farbreng on the topic of "Yud Tes Kislev 200 Years Later - Rediscovering the Joy of Being a Chossid".

Maariv will be at 8:00 PM followed by the farbrengen.

About Rabbi Garelik:
Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Garelik was born and raised in Milan, Italy, where his parents were sent by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1958. He served as spiritual leader of Lubavitch Congregation in Boston and as a Rabbinic coordinator for OK Kosher. Currently, Rabbi Garelik serves as spiritual leader of the European Synagogue, right across the EU, in Brussels, and lectures extensively around the world.

Rabbi Garelik has edited many halachik works, including the highly acclaimed "Kitzur Dinei Tahara," and his “Guide” vol.1 (lifecycles) and “Guide” vol. 2 (Aveilus).

About Yud Tes Kislev:
On the 19th of Kislev of the year 5559 from creation (1798), Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi - a leading disciple of Rabbi DovBer of Mezeritch and the founder of Chabad Chassidism - was released from his imprisonment in the Peter-Paul fortress in Petersburg, where he was held for 53 days on charges that his teachings threatened the imperial authority of the Czar.

More than a personal liberation, this was a watershed event in the history of Chassidism heralding a new era in the revelation of the inner soul of Torah, and is celebrated to this day as "The Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism."

No Younger Children's Program This Shabbos

The younger children's program at Tzemach Tzedek will not take place this Shabbos.

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman, Dean, Cheder Chabad of Monsey

In this week's  Torah portion of Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43), the dreaded encounter between Jacob and Esau finally materializes. After decades of separation, the twin brothers, who are anything but identical, square up. Jacob, who fled the wrath of Esau 34 years earlier, is returning home with a large family and much wealth. Esau is fast approaching with four hundred desperados armed to the teeth. Will it be all out war or will they make peace? Jacob prepares for all eventualities and also sends a message to his hostile brother:"Im Lavan garti," Jacob declares, "I have sojourned with Laban."

Rashi interprets Jacob's message to mean that though he lived with a notorious trickster for more than 20 years, he "did not learn from his evil ways" and remained a righteous Jew committed to the G-dly way of life. This is indicated by the gematria (numerology) of the Hebrew word garti ("sojourned") which equals 613 -- the number of mitzvot in the Torah.

But wasn't this rather boastful of Jacob? The same man who will soon be praying for deliverance and claiming that, "kotonti" ("I have been humbled") by all G-d's kindnesses to him, now seems to be pointing proudly to his piety, telling Esau how religious he has been?

The Chofetz Chaim (Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, 1838-1933) offers a novel interpretation. He explains that Jacob's words should not be understood as a boast but rather as a lament. "I sojourned with Laban, but did not learn from his evil ways" means that Jacob is bemoaning the fact that he did not learn from the way Laban did evil. How did Laban do evil? Enthusiastically! With vim and vigor. His wicked ways were embarked on with a passion and energy, and Jacob regrets that his own good deeds were not performed as passionately as Laban's evil deeds.

Nikita Khrushchev (of United Nations shoe-banging fame) was once addressing a large public meeting in Russia during the anti-Stalinist period. He was blasting Stalin's cruel and unforgivable atrocities, when a voice in the crowd suddenly spoke up and asked, "If Stalin was such a villain, why didn't you do anything about it then?"

"Who said that?!" thundered Khrushchev. There was absolute silence in the hall. Not a sound, not a movement. People froze in fear.

"Now you understand why I didn't do anything," was Khrushchev's convincing answer.

This interesting interpretation of Jacob's lament reminds us that the voice of morality must be at least as loud as the voice of evil. Too often the voice of justice is soft and still while the voice of corruption and degeneracy is loud and bombastic.

Who will amplify the sweet, silent sound of goodness?

Let us strive to become as passionate and assertive for the cause of G-dliness and goodness as the other side is for evil and injustice. The world will be better balanced, much nicer and a lot safer.

(Excerpts from Chabad.org   - from  Rabbi Yossy Goldman)

May you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos!