Friday, September 30, 2016

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated by Mr. Binyomin Philipson in memory of his late mother Mrs. Ellen (Elka bas Zisel) Philipson OBM

Dear Friend,
 
We are now in the Hebrew month of Elul, just a few days 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 these weekly Torah thoughts will help inspire to achieve those goals. All the students, staff and administration of Cheder Chabad of Monsey wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. May this year be the year of the full and complete redemption with the coming of our righteous Moshiach - NOW!

I call today upon heaven and earth as witnesses for you. I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. And you shall choose life, so that you and your children may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

In the Torah reading this week Nitzavim (Devorim [Deuteronomy] 29:9 -30:20), we find the above verse instructing the Jews to “choose life”. Do we really need the Torah to tell us to choose life? Which person of sound mind would choose death?

An important answer here is that the Torah is emphasizing here that one must make a conscious decision to live and not just vegetate. And I don’t mean to live it up by living life in the fast lane. To “choose life” means to choose to live a meaningful life, a life committed to values and a higher purpose. Did it make any difference at all in that I inhabited planet Earth for so many years? Will anyone really know the difference if I’m gone? Is my life productive, worthwhile?

It is told that when the fist Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, wanted to bless his Chossid and disciple Reb Yekutiel Liepler with wealth, he declined the offer, saying that he was afraid it would distract him from more spiritual pursuits. When the Rebbe then offered to bless him with longevity, Reb Yekutiel stipulated that it should not be “peasant’s years, with eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, where one neither sees nor senses G‑dliness.”

Reb Yekutiel was rather fussy, it seems. The holy Rebbe is offering him an amazing blessing, and he is making conditions! Yes, he chose life, and he chose to live a life that would be purposeful and productive, and that really would make a tangible difference. He wasn’t interested in a long life if, essentially, it would amount to an empty life.

As we stand just before Rosh Hashanah, let us resolve to choose life. Let us live lives of Torah values and noble deeds. And may we all be blessed with a good, healthy, prosperous and sweet new year.

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

The  Board of Directors, administration, teaching staff and 450 students in Cheder Chabad of Monsey, extend to  you and your family  heartfelt wishes for a 
כתיבה וחתימה טובה לשנה טובה ומתוקה בטוב הנראה והנגלה
 בגשמיות וברוחניות מתוך בריאות הגוף והנפש
A sweet, healthy and prosperous New Year תשע"ז - 5777, in every aspect, materially and spiritually.

May you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos!!


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