Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kfar Chabad Magazine Available in Monsey

A limited number of Kfar Chabad magazines will be available at two Monsey stores, Evergreen and Rockland Kosher, starting this Friday at 10:00 AM. 
 
If there are no copies left, please call 718-778-0804

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

Who hasn't spent time lamenting their lost youth? Every day we waste is an opportunity squandered; every year that goes by without growth is a graveyard of abandoned hopes and aspirations.

The only consolation, is the recognition that it is never too late to climb off the carousel of abandon and to begin the process of self-reinvention. History's roll call of achievement is crowded with individuals who came to greatness only late in life. Read the biographies of the Rich 200 for instance; for every dot-com teenage billionaire, there are 100 others who achieved success only after a lifetime accumulating experience.

The spiritual plane is no exception. Great accomplishments can be realized no matter one's starting date. The Lubavitcher Rebbe became Rebbe just two months before his 49th birthday and proceeded to totally revolutionize the Jewish world. On a more modest basis, so many of our best and brightest scholars, teachers and exemplars worldwide only rediscovered their Jewish heritage in adulthood.

In this week's Torah portion, Lech-Lecho (Bereishis [Genesis] 12:1-17:27) we are introduced to the first Jew, our ancestor Abraham, with G-d's command to him to, "Leave your land, birthplace and father's home, to the land that I will show you" (Genesis 12:1).

These words were directed to Abraham at the age of 75, after a lifetime spent discovering G-d and propagating the religion that was to become Judaism. Interestingly, none of his previous life experiences--his self-sacrifice, his power struggles with the entrenched hierarchies of the day, or his successes to date in spreading monotheism--were deemed important enough to be worthy of mention in the Torah. It is almost as if the lifework of this major historical figure and the progenitor of our race began only then.

Herein lies the difference between Judaism and other philosophies. Most people think that to come close to G-d you must first understand Him. Spend years studying the dogmas and theologies of faith, and then, once convinced of the rectitude of your chosen path, you may embark on a lifetime of devotion.

Not Judaism, not Abraham. G-d's first directive to Abraham that is relevant to us is "Go!" "Leave!" Abraham was commanded, "Leave your past behind; set aside logic, preconceived notions, tribal affiliations, and just go wherever I direct you and do whatever I say."

Faith is fine, logic is lovely, but a Jew serves G-d, first and foremost, by actions and deeds. Mitzvot, G-d's commandments, are our way of approaching G-d. G-d chose, for whatever reason, these specific actions to complete that connection and we, by fulfilling these Mitzvos, justify our existence.

Abraham, at the age of 75, was embarking on a new campaign. From now on he would follow G-d wherever, whenever and however he was ordered.

Whatever one's age, background, or previous experiences, we, Abraham's descendants and spiritual heirs, have inherited this capacity for self-creation, as our each and every action is accomplished for no other reason than because G-d wants it so.

(Excerpts from Chabad.org - by Rabbi Elisha Greenbaum)

New Session of Avos U'Banim Starting This Motzai Shabbos

The 5775 session of Avos U'Banim will begin this Motzai Shabbos, Parshas Lech Lecha, from 8:00 to 9:00 PM (the clock is changed this Sunday) at Tzemach Tzedek.

There will be prizes, raffles and pizza and and most importantly a chance for sons to spend quality time learning with their fathers.

Anyone who would like the zchus to sponsor such a special hour of learning of so many children and  fathers, in honor or memory of a dear one, please contact Rabbi Shusterman at 917-282-3505.

Seeking Substitute Teacher

The Hebrew Academy in New City is seeking a Limudei Kodesh substitute teacher for Elementary grades for November 10 - November 21, 2014, Mon - Fri.

Must have own transportation.

Please call (845) 634-095 or email info@thehebrewacademy.org.