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Parshas Terumah “When Adar Enters, Joy Increases” | 1-8 Adar, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI FEB 16th  
Shacharis 6:50 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 5:16 pm

SHABBOS SAT FEB 17th 
Shacharis: 9:00 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 9:47 am/
Mincha 5:16 pm /Seuda Slishit Lite
Maariv/Havdalah 6:16 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT 
Kiddush Lite. Chulent (Fleishig) by Rabbi Mendy Levitin is sponsored by Rabbi Alter and Debbie Levitin. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9:00 am
Mon - Fri Shacharis 7:00 am  
Sun -Thu Mincha 5:25 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 6:15 pm/

SUNDAY BRUNCH – SUNDAY 18th FEBRUARY 10:00 AM
Featuring Holocaust survivor, Mr Steve Adler. We’re hoping particularly to educate about the Holocaust and we encourage children to come too (provided they’re supervised by a parent and able to show appropriate behavior during the talk). We greatly appreciate the assistance of the Holocaust Center for Humanity of Seattle, and particularly Julia Thompson in facilitating this. Vernon Neppe, Chair of Education at CSTL.

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

PlaySpace for Children at CSTL – Committee Meeting Thu Feb 22nd  8:00pm
The CSTL board, as well as other members, are working on creating a safe play space for our children in the parking lot behind the building. A committee has been recently established, but we are looking for others who would like to provide feedback and support for this project. This can include input, as well as donations to an already existent fund. There is a scheduled meeting for Thursday, February 22 at 8pm. If you would like to be involved or have any questions, please email Tamar Azous at tamar@azous.com. We are really excited for the opportunity to continue to enhance the resources of our Shul.

FARBRENGEN ALERT – 1 ADAR FRI FEB 15th  3:00PM
Please join us on for an Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah

TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8:15 AM SHABBOS MORNING
All are welcome to this inspiring class.

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am - Noon
This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please email 
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION  10:00 am – Noon 
Followed by Cocao and Marshmallows  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

AVOS U’BONIM SEASON FINALE MELEVAH MALKA SAT NIGHT FEB 17th  7:00 PM
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video. Grand Raffle.  Prizes. Info: 
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com. Generously sponsored

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10:00 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9:00 am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9:00 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE. For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush, 
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Seattle Kollel Presidents’ Day Learning at the Kollel Mon Feb. 19th 
www.seattlekollel.com

EZRA BESSAROTH LADIES AUXILIARY HAMENTASHEN SALE SUN FEB 18th 10:00-11:00 am
The EBLA has Prune, Poppy, and Apricot Hamentashen available now for purchase, for $12 a dozen.  After Feb 26 they will have Strawberry and Raspberry. Available Sunday, February 18 from 10-11 am at the EB social hall.  You may also place your orders by calling 206 722-5500 and arrangements will be made for a convenient pick up time.

Kolel Avot Ubanim Grand Finale Motzei Shabbos, March 3rd 7:45 pm 
with Henrik Bothe, physical comedian, at Sephardic Bikur Holim. Sponosred by Dr. Elie and Miriam Levy. More info: 
www.seattlekollel.com   

Torah Day School Carnival Sunday, Feb. 25th  1:00 - 3:00 pm
Suggested donation: $10/person. The community is invited. Location: 1625 S Columbian Way, Sea. More info: 
www.tdsseattle.org  

Jewish Overnight Summer Camp Scholarships! DEADLINE TUE MAR 6th
Camp gives children an opportunity to explore interests, make lifelong friends, and learn what Judaism means to them, while having loads of fun too! To help more children experience Jewish camp, the Federation awards need-based scholarships.. 
www.JewishInSeattle.org

Teen Israel Experience Scholarships! DEADLINE MAR 26th 
A journey to Israel is a life-changing experience for a Jewish teen. Young people who have visited our Jewish homeland return with wonderful stories about gaining a stronger Jewish identity. The Federation offers generous need-based scholarships, with support from the Samis Foundation.
www.JewishInSeattle.org

PAVE GRANTS TO Create a DIY Jewish Experience: DEADLINE FEB 23rd 
PAVE is offering grants of up to $120 to 10 recipients ages 25 to 45 to create Jewish experiences with friends and family. 
www.JewishInSeattle.org

Seattle Kollel President's Day Learning MON FEB 19th
More info: 
www.seattlekollel.com

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Jewish Prisoner Services International (JPSI)
Please help with the very important chesed of Pidyon Shevuim.  Volunteers are needed to Visiting/Teaching at Jails and Prison, Advocacy, Answering letters from inmates, Web database development and database work. info@jpsi.org and list your area of interest, please include your preferred contact information  Thank You, Matthew Perry, Secretary/Treasurer JPSI, 206-617-2367

ARC Babysitting Class Sun Mar 11, 9:00 am-4:45 pm
For kids ages 11-15 in BCMH Yavneh Youth Building. Cost: $85/BCMH Members , $95/Non-Members. Pay via Pay Pal at www.bcmhseattle.org  

Camp Yavneh 2018, June 25th - August 17th 
Registration now open for Camp Yavneh. Staff applications now available at
www.campyavnehseattle.com    

BCMH Sushi & Trivia Melavah Malka SAT FEB  24th  8:30 pm
RSVP at: 
www.bcmhseattle.org

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

Community Trip to Israel. April 29th -May 8th , 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, 
taryno@jewishinseattle.org  or (206) 774-2217.

Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Sunday, April 8, 7:00 pm,  
At Ezra Bessaroth www.EzraBessaroth.net


REBBE’S SICHO FOR TERUMAH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507788/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Terumah-2nd-Day-of-Adar-5751-1991.htm © SichosInEnglish.org 

This Shabbos falls in the beginning of the month of Adar, a month whose nature is characterized by our Sages’ statement, “When the month of Adar enters, we increase our joy.” Joy is a fundamental concept in the service of G‑d that is appropriate throughout the year as it is written, “Serve G‑d with joy.” To quote the Rambam: “The happiness with which a person should rejoice in the fulfillment of the mitzvos and the love of G‑d who commanded them is a great service.”

Since the service of G‑d must continue every moment of our lives, for “I was created only to serve my Creator,” it follows that at every moment of our lives, we must be involved in the joy mentioned above. Thus, theRama concludes his gloss to the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, “A good-hearted person is always celebrating.”

Beyond this happiness which is relevant at all times, there is an additional measure of happiness associated with the month of Adar. Indeed, that additional happiness is felt, “When the month of Adar enters,” at the very beginning of the month.

In particular, this applies on the present day which is the second of Adar, which together with the two days of Rosh Chodesh Adar represents achazakah, a three day continuum of happiness. Also, Shabbos is referred to as “the days of rejoicing.” And thus there is a unique dimension of happiness associated with the present day.

To focus on our Sages’ expression, “When the month of Adar enters, we increase our joy” in greater depth: In his commentary on the Talmud,Rashi explains the reason for our increase in happiness, “These are days of miracles for the Jewish people, Purim and Pesach.” The commentaries question why Rashi mentions Pesach. On the contrary, what connection do the miracles of Pesach share with the beginning of the month of Adar? And also, we do not find as great a stress on celebration and happiness in the month of Nissan. According to Rashi’s commentary, Nissan should also be characterized by happiness.1

Also, the expression, “increase our joy” implies that the joy is of the same nature as that experienced throughout the year, there is merely more of it. On the surface, since the joy of Adar is associated with unique miracles, it should be of a totally different kind than the joy experienced throughout the year.

The explanation of the above concepts is as follows: The celebration of Purim is associated with the renewal of our commitment to the Torah. Thus on the verse, “The Jews established and accepted,...” our Sages commented that “they now established what they had already accepted when the Torah had been given.” Although the Jewish people had willingly accepted the Torah at Mount Sinai, it was not affirmed as an intrinsic, unalterable part of their beings until the events of Purim. At the giving of Torah, “G‑d held the mountain over their heads like a tub,” forcing them to accept it, as it were. In contrast, in the era of Purim, the Jews accepted the Torah willingly.

Here we see the connection to Pesach because the ultimate intent of the exodus of Egypt was to lead to the giving of the Torah as G‑d promised Moshe, “When you take this people out of Egypt, you will serve G‑d on this mountain.”

Our Sages’ statement explaining the uniqueness of the Jews’ affirmation of the Torah on Purim is, however, problematic. The deficiency in the Jews’ acceptance of the Torah on Mount Sinai is that it was associated with miracles, that the influence of these miracles upon the Jewish people was so great, that they had no free will. Thus they were forced to accept the Torah. As Rashi emphasizes in his commentary to the above passage, however, the events of Purim were also associated with miracles. Thus, the question arises: Why are the events of Purim considered more of a willful acceptance of the Torah than the process which began with the exodus from Egypt and which was completed at Mount Sinai.

This question can be resolved within the context of the theme that the Purim miracle involves the transformation of darkness into light or to use the phraseology of the Megillah, “the month that was transformed.” The very same Achashverosh who ordered to have the Jews killed, ordered the Jews to do “what is right in their eyes.” In contrast, during the exodus from Egypt, the nature of the Egyptians was not transformed, and, on the contrary, it was necessary to wipe them out entirely through the miracles of the Red Sea.

To explain the contrast in a slightly different manner: The essence of the Pesach miracles was the revelation beyond the limits of nature. “The King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself to them and redeemed them.” Thus, it was the intensity of the revelation which nullified the opposing forces. On Purim, in contrast, the miracles were enclothed within the forces of nature and thus, the essential emphasis was on the transformation of the nature of the Jews’ setting within the world and not on the nullification of the opposing forces.

Thus these two approaches are also reflected in the Jews’ relationship with the Torah. After the exodus from Egypt, the emphasis was on receiving the revelation from Above, responding to G‑d’s prompts. In contrast, the acceptance of the Torah on Purim was characterized by an inner desire of the Jewish people, an arousal stemming from their own initiative.

The uniqueness of the miracles of Purim evokes a happiness of a different nature, a happiness which surpasses understanding, ad d’lo yoda.Happiness and miracles are interrelated for “happiness breaks through boundaries” and similarly, miracles represent a breaking through the boundaries of nature.

Although in general, all miracles represent the breaking of the boundaries of nature, in particular, there is an aspect of the Purim miracles which surpasses all other miracles in this quality. Breaking through boundaries does not represent the utter nullification of the limiting forces. Rather, it implies that a boundary exists and yet it becomes broken. Thus, since Pesach is associated with the revelation from above, its miracles involve the nullification — but not the breaking through — of nature’s boundaries. In contrast, in Purim, the boundaries of nature were not nullified. Nevertheless, although the natural setting remained in force, a miracle above nature “broke through.”

Since the miracles of Pesach represent a nullification of all the opposing forces, the redemption that follows this nullification is not as great a new development. In contrast, in regard to the miracles of Purim, even after the miracles transpired, Achashverosh remained in power. And therefore, the fact that in such a setting, Haman’s decrees were nullified and Mordechai and the Jewish people as a whole were given positions of power, reflects how the power of redemption breaks through the boundaries of exile.

For this reason, the joy — which breaks through boundaries — of Purim is greater than that of other holidays, transcending all limits, ad d’lo yoda. Since the Megillah associates the totality of the month with the Purim miracle, describing it as “the month which was transformed,” the joy of Purim affects the entire month and therefore, “When the month of Adar enters, we increase our joy.”

Rashi, however, also mentions the miracles of Pesach because the ultimate of happiness involves the appreciation of the advantages of both the miracles of Pesach and the miracles of Purim and the fusion of these two services.

The miracles of Pesach possess an advantage; they reveal a higher level of G‑dliness, a dimension which transcends nature entirely. Nevertheless, this revelation negates — and is not internalized within — the limits of our worldly existence. Thus the miracles of Purim are a necessary complement for they involve the limits of nature. Nevertheless, they also require the complement of Pesach for they are lacking the dimension which transcends nature.

To restate the concept in other terms: The miracles of Pesach represented the redemption from Egypt. However, Egypt was nullified, it was not transformed into good. In contrast, the miracles of Purim did reflect the transformation of Achashverosh. However, the redemption of Purim was not complete. Even afterwards, we remained subjects of Achashverosh.

Thus, the ultimate of redemption reflects the fusion of both Pesach and Purim, that the forces of nature be transformed and not nullified, but that the redemption be complete and not partial. This will be revealed in the Era of Redemption when “as in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders;” i.e., there will be a revelation from Above which resembles — indeed which transcends — the revelations of the exodus from Egypt. Simultaneously, that revelation will be connected with the transformation — not the nullification — of the world as reflected by the prophecy, “I will transform the nations, [making them] pure of speech.”

Based on the above, we can also resolve the problem raised originally that, our Sages’ expression “When the month of Adar enters, we increase our joy,” implies that the happiness of Adar is merely an increase, but not of a different nature, than the happiness experienced throughout the year.

The happiness of Purim which results from the miraculous breaking through the boundaries of nature [but doing so within the context of nature as explained above] is also connected with the Jews’ reaffirmation of their acceptance of the Torah on Purim. Both of the concepts share an emphasis on internalizing G‑dliness within the world. The Jews’ willful acceptance of the Torah is paralleled by the transformation of the worldly aspects of our environment.

The reaffirmation of the acceptance of the Torah on Purim must be drawn down throughout the entire year, affecting the totality of our service. Therefore, the happiness of Purim is drawn down throughout the entire year, emphasizing how Torah permeates (rather than breaks) our worldly environment.2 Thus, the happiness associated with the acceptance of the Torah is of the same nature as that of Purim. Purim, however, represents an intensification of that happiness each year.

2. There is a connection between the above concepts and this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Terumah. Parshas Terumah continues the theme of the giving of the Torah, begun in Parshas Yisro. The giving of the Torah emphasizes how the Torah is given within the context of our material world. Parshas Terumah develops this theme further, revealing how a Sanctuary for G‑d can be established within this material world, how physical entities can become a dwelling for Him.

To explain: On the opening verse of Parshas Terumah, “And you shall take an offering for Me,” our Sages comment:

There is a sale in which the one who makes the sale is sold together with the merchandise. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel, “I sold My Torah to you, it is as if I sold Myself with it.... I gave you My Torah, I cannot part from it, nor can I tell you not to take it. Wherever you go, make a dwelling for Me and I will dwell within. This is what is meant by the command, “And you shall make Me a Sanctuary.”3

Indeed, the construction of the Sanctuary represents the fulfillment of the intention of the giving of the Torah, that G‑dliness be drawn down to the world as it exists within its own context. There are two dimensions to the revelation of the giving of the Torah: the spiritual realms descend to the material and the material realms ascend to the spiritual.

Parshas Yisro represents the descent of the spiritual into the material, while the construction of the Sanctuary described in Parshas Terumahreflects how the world, as it exists within its own context, becomes a dwelling for G‑d.4 Thus, Parshas Terumah is appropriate for the month of Adar, a month which as explained above, is associated with the transformation — and not the nullification — of the framework of material existence within its own context.5

In particular, there are two dimensions to Parshas Terumah: a) The connection between Terumah and the Torah. Terumah (תרומה) can be broken up into Torah (תורה) and mem (מ), the mem alluding to the forty days in which the Torah was transmitted to Moshe. Thus, Terumah relates to the Torah as it is transmitted within this world. b) Terumah refers to the physical entities from which the Sanctuary was made, the gold, silver, brass, and the like which became a dwelling for G‑d.

These two dimensions which exist within Parshas Terumah parallel the two aspects of Purim described above. The concept of the transmission of the Torah relates to the dimension of Purim associated with the Jews’ willful reaffirmation of their commitment to the Torah. And the concept of the physical entities of the world becoming part of G‑d’s dwelling parallels the transformation of Achashverosh and the natural setting which accompanied the Purim miracle.

The ultimate expression of this process of transformation will be realized in the era of Redemption. At present, “we are servants of Achashverosh,” and our efforts of transforming our worldly environment are therefore limited. It will not be until the era of Redemption that this process will be completed in a full sense.

Similarly, although in every place and in every era, the Divine Presence dwells within the Sanctuary, in microcosm within the Jewish heart and within each particular Jewish home, nevertheless, the ultimate expression of a dwelling for G‑d will be in the era of Redemption, in the Third Beis HaMikdash, “the Sanctuary of G‑d established by Your hands.”

3. The above concepts should also be applied within our actual conduct. Thus, reflection on the above should produce: a) an increase in Torah study for as explained above, the word Terumah includes the word Torah. b) An increase in giving to tzedakah, giving our financial resources for a G‑dly purpose. Jewish law requires one to give a minimum of ten percent of one’s capital, and preferably twenty percent. At present, however, one should give without any reservations at all.6 c) Making one’s home and one’s environment, a dwelling for G‑d, a Sanctuary in microcosm. d) Influencing gentiles to observe the seven universal laws commanded to Noach and his descendants and thus, preparing for the fulfillment of the prophecy, “I will transform the nations to a clear speech.”7 e) Spreading the mitzvos of Purim through the Purim campaign. There should not be a single Jew in a far removed corner of the world who does not have the opportunity to fulfill all the Purim mitzvos.

And all the above should be carried out with joy, the increased happiness of the month of Adar, which breaks through the boundaries of the world, transcending all limitations.

These activities will enhance the wondrous nature of the present year, causing G‑d to nullify all the undesirable elements associated with Haman and his household. On the contrary, the nations of the world will — as they did to Mordechai — elevate the Jews and bring them to positions of power and influence.

These two developments, the nullification of the enemies of the Jewish people and the assistance the gentile nations will offer the Jews, represent a foretaste of the era of Redemption, when we will witness the fulfillment of the prophecies, “And I will cause the spirit of impurity to depart from the earth,” and “And all your brethren of the nations shall bring an offering for G‑d... in a pure vessel.”

May we soon no longer have to content ourselves with a foretaste for the redemption will have actually come. Thus, we will “join redemption to redemption,” and even before celebrating the redemptions of Purim and Pesach, experience the ultimate and complete redemption. May it be in the immediate future.

Parshas Mishpatim SHEKALIM – MEVARCHIM ADAR | 24 Shevat – 1 Adar, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI FEB 9th 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 5:05 pm

SHABBOS SAT FEB 10th 
Tehilim for Mevarchim Adar 7:30 am
Shacharis: 9 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 9:53 am/
Mincha 5:05 pm /Seuda Slishit Lite

Maariv/Havdalah 6:06 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush Lite. Chulent (Fleishig) by Rabbi Mendy Levitin is sponsored anonymously in the memory and merit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneersonעייה who’s yahrzeit was this week. Her empowering role as the matriarch of Lubavitch should elevate and inspire the stewardship of all Jewish women. Whether in the home, the community or the workplace, we should strive to emulate her qualities as an  ‏עובד השם.  ”Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am
Mon - Wed Shacharis 7 am  
Thu & Fri Shacharis 6:50 am /ROSH CHODESH ADAR/
Sun -Wed Mincha 5:15 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 6:15 pm/

SUNDAY BRUNCH – SUNDAY 18th FEBRUARY 10 AM
Featuring Holocaust survivor, Mr Steve Adler. We’re hoping particularly to educate about the Holocaust and we encourage children to come too (provided they’re supervised by a parent and able to show appropriate behavior during the talk). We greatly appreciate the assistance of the Holocaust Center for Humanity of Seattle, and particularly Julia Thompson in facilitating this. Vernon Neppe, Chair of Education at CSTL.

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65thStreet side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

FARBRENGEN ALERT – 25th  SHEVAT FRI FEB 9th   3PM
Please join us on for an Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah, in honor of the Yahrzeit of  Rebetzin Menucha Rochel Slonim. 
http://chabadhebron.com/chof-daled-shevat-yarzeit-of-menucha-rochel-slonim/  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menucha_Rochel_Slonim

TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8:15 AM SHABBOS MORNING
All are welcome to this inspiring class.

PAINT AND SIP – SUN FEB 11th 7:30PM
Hosted by Myriam Caro. A ChabadofSeattle.org project.  Info: 
MHerbstman@gmail.com

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am - Noon
This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please email 
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION  10 am – Noon 
Followed by Cocao and Marshmallows  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

AVOS U’BONIM MELEVAH MALKA SAT NIGHT FEB 10th 
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video. Grand Raffle.  Prizes. Info:  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com.  Generously sponsored

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush, 
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Jewish Overnight Summer Camp Scholarships! DEADLINE TUE MAR 6th
Camp gives children an opportunity to explore interests, make lifelong friends, and learn what Judaism means to them, while having loads of fun too! To help more children experience Jewish camp, the Federation awards need-based scholarships..
www.JewishInSeattle.org

Teen Israel Experience Scholarships! DEADLINE MAR 26th 
A journey to Israel is a life-changing experience for a Jewish teen. Young people who have visited our Jewish homeland return with wonderful stories about gaining a stronger Jewish identity. The Federation offers generous need-based scholarships, with support from the Samis Foundation. 
www.JewishInSeattle.org

PAVE GRANTS TO Create a DIY Jewish Experience: DEADLINE FEB 23rd 
PAVE is offering grants of up to $120 to 10 recipients ages 25 to 45 to create Jewish experiences with friends and family. 
www.JewishInSeattle.org

Seattle Kollel President's Day Learning MON FEB 19th,
More info: 
www.seattlekollel.com

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Jewish Prisoner Services International (JPSI)
Please help with the very important chesed of Pidyon Shevuim.  Volunteers are needed to Visiting/Teaching at Jails and Prison, Advocacy, Answering letters from inmates, Web database development and database work. info@jpsi.org and list your area of interest, please include your preferred contact information  Thank You, Matthew Perry, Secretary/Treasurer JPSI, 206-617-2367

Camp Yavneh 2018, June 25th - August 17th 
Registration now open for Camp Yavneh. Staff applications now available at
www.campyavnehseattle.com     

BCMH Sushi & Trivia Melavah Malka – SAT FEB 24th  8:30 pm,
RSVP at: 
www.bcmhseattle.org

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9 PM – 11 PM
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

REBBITZIN SEIGELBAUM FROM BAT AYIN RETURNS TO SEATTLE FEB 10th & 11th 
Info: 
www.EzraBessaroth.net

Mercaz Shabbaton Feb 10-11th 
With Rav Natan Greenberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Bat Ayin Yeshiva. Sponsorship available. Email: 
info@mercazseattle.org

Community Trip to Israel. April 29th -May 8th , 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.


REBBE’S SICHO FOR SHEKALIM
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507786/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Mishpatim-25th-Day-of-Shevat-5751-1991.htm  © SichosInEnglish.org

There are four special Torah readings which take place before the month of Nisan — Shekalim, Zachor, Parah and HaChodesh. Every concept in Torah contains a lesson in how we should lead our lives; the word “Torah” in fact stems from the word “lesson” (hora’ah). This is especially true for the four parshiyos, which have been singled out from the regular order of Torah readings to be repeated in this specific order. Parshas Shekalim, since it is the first of the four, has special significance among them. Its lesson is of general significance, and conveys the fundamental and primary principles which should guide our G‑dly service.

The basic idea of giving Shekalim is that of tzedakah (charity). This is particularly true today after the Beis HaMikdash has been destroyed, and the mitzvah of giving shekalim in its original form is no longer possible. Today this mitzvah is commemorated through giving a coin worth half of the standard currency (similar to the half-Shekel) to tzedakah on the Fast of Esther.

Tzedakah represents all the mitzvos, “outweighs” them all” and is called the mitzvah by the Jerusalem Talmud. In addition, tzedakah must be done constantly, for two reasons:

a) G‑d created a world order in which there is giving and receiving. This was the reason that need and want are present in the world — in order that there be the possibility of performing tzedakah and kindness.

Tzedakah, therefore, is an intrinsic part of the creation. This is reflected in the fact that a command to give tzedakah was not really necessary: it is a logical imperative, and therefore binding on all human beings. It is even part of the nature of animals, which are kind to their children and, often, even to others.

Since tzedakah is an essential feature of the nature of the world, it is present as long as the world still exists, i.e. constantly.

b) Everything G‑d gives to the world is similar to His “tzedakah.” His gracious endowment of our very life and sustenance is clear proof of His great kindness. Nevertheless, this kindness is granted middah k’neged middah — commensurate to our actions. We must therefore involve ourselves in charitable acts in order to merit His “tzedakah.” And since we are constantly dependent upon His tzedakah, our charitable acts must also be constant.

This explains the fundamental importance of Parshas Shekalim over the over three special parshiyos. It is connected with tzedakah, which is constant, and applies in all places and situations.

2. These two explanations actually correspond to two different dimensions of tzedakah. Tzedakah in the simple sense is possible only when the recipient is lacking something. However, this is only when a person gives tzedakah. There is a second type of tzedakah — G‑d’s tzedakah — which comes even when the recipient is not really lacking anything at all. Instead of merely taking one out of an impoverished state, His tzedakah could be compared to granting someone wealth.

This idea can be seen from Jewish law, which states that one must give tzedakahin proportion to one’s ability. It is well known that G‑d Himself fulfills all the mitzvos, and therefore He must give tzedakah in proportion to His limitless, unfathomable greatness. The same idea finds expression even in our performance of this mitzvah. One category of tzedakah is that of gemilus chassadim — giving an interest-free loan. Gemilus chassadim does not have the same qualifications of tzedakah which is in the form of a donation. In order for a person to be eligible to receive a donation, halachah requires that he be needy. If his total worth is 200 zuz or more, he is not permitted to receive donations; only if it is 199 (which is the numerical value of tzedakahzuz or less. Gemilus chassadim, on the other hand, can even be given to a wealthy person.

These two dimensions of tzedakah are actually interdependent, for only when the lower form (to fulfill a lack) is carried out does G‑d do His part and give a boundless blessing from Above.

The explanation of this is as follows: only in a low situation (where there is something lacking) is it necessary for G‑d to give a boundless revelation. We see this from the Talmud’s (Megillah 13b) statement that the shekalim given by the Jewish people in the generation of Haman nullified his evil decree. This must have permanent significance, for the Torah is not a history book. What lesson can we derive from the effect brought about by their shekalim?

The explanation of this is that in order to nullify the powerful evil embodied by Haman, it was necessary to have a revelation that completely transcended the order of worlds (seder hishtalshelus). When there is no such threat, a lower revelation will suffice; but the severity of the lack elicits a limitless, revealed response from G‑d. We therefore see that this level which transcends seder hishtalshelus is revealed only where there is lack. Similarly in our case: the higher dimension of tzedakah (G‑d’s response) is closely connected with the tzedakahgiven to fulfill someone’s want.

These same two dimensions of tzedakah are reflected in the two types of shekalim — that given for the communal sacrifices (terumas hamizbe’ach) and that given for the construction of the base of the Mishkan (terumas ho’adonim).The general function of sacrifices is to achieve atonement, as the verse itself says (Ex. 30:15), “to atone for your souls.” Atonement is necessary only where there is something lacking, and therefore corresponds to the first dimension of tzedakah— the level of G‑dliness commensurate with the worlds. The second type of shekalim, however, involved the construction of the Mishkan, which was constructed as the place for G‑d’s presence to be revealed. This revelation from Above — even where there is no lack per se — matches the second dimension of tzedakah, the infinite G‑dly revelation.

We can find these same two dimensions within the Mishkan itself. There are two opinions as to the primary function of the Mishkan and Beis HaMikdash. The Rambam holds that its main purpose is the offering of sacrifices, while the Ramban finds foremost importance in its role as the place for the revelation of G‑d’s presence — especially above the Aron, the Holy Ark which contained the tablets.

[Their variant conclusions reflect the varied nature of their works. The Rambamintended his Mishneh Torah purely as work of halachah, governing how peopleshould act. He therefore stressed the service performed in the Beis HaMikdash,that of the sacrifices.

The Ramban, on the other hand, was explaining the Chumash, which contains the command, “Make for Me a Mikdash so that I shall dwell among you.” He therefore stressed the G‑dly revelation (the fulfillment of the promise, “I shall dwell”) in the Mishkan. This fits particularly well with the general spirit of the Ramban’s commentary, which (as he writes in the introduction to this work) contains Kabbalah. This revelation of Pnimiyus HaTorah is closely related to the revelation of G‑dliness.]

The offering of sacrifices therefore corresponds to fulfilling a lack (atonement) and bringing a revelation commensurate with the world. The revelation of G‑d’s presence corresponds with bringing down an infinite revelation which transcends the worlds. And since the Mishkan contained both, it must also have a third level of revelation higher than both of them — a G‑dly revelation that has the power to unite the finite and infinite together.

Since everything has its source in Torah, it must contain these two dimensions of finite and infinite revelation. We find them reflected in the aspect of Torah which existed in the Mishkan, the Aron, which contained the two tablets.

We find something curious in the verses which describe the Aron (Ex. 25:10,17,21). First the Torah describes the construction of the Aron and the placing of the tablets inside. It then describes the Aron’s cover, the kapores. It then repeats the placing of the tablets as follows: “And you shall place the cover above the Aron and place in the Aron the testimonies [i.e. the Tablets] that I will give you.” This expression is most curious, since it speaks of the tablets being placed only after the Aron was covered, implying that the tablets were placed on top of the Aron rather than inside!

The Or HaChayim HaKadosh says that this alludes to the fact that the tablets represented a higher spiritual level than the kapores. From this we see the two dimensions discussed above embodied in the tablets. The tablets within the Aronrepresent the first level, that of a finite level of G‑dliness being drawn down intothe world. But there is a second dimension of Torah which is higher than the previous level. This is Torah not as it comes down to affect the world, but as it is itself united with G‑d. A similar idea is reflected in the existence of keruvim above the Aron. The two keruvim represented G‑d’s love for the Jewish people, a love which transcends even G‑d’s connection with Torah.

We find these two categories of finite and infinite within Torah even in our generation. Pnimiyus HaTorah is infinite in comparison with Nigleh; so too more recent revelations of Chassidus Chabad in comparison with earlier works in Pnimiyus HaTorah.

This can be understood in view of the Alter Rebbe’s famous parable of a king whose son became deathly ill, his only cure being to crush the most precious jewel of his crown, mix it with water and feed it to him. When he finally gave the cure, the son’s mouth was firmly closed; yet he still poured the mixture over his mouth in the hope that perhaps a single drop would enter and save his life. The same applies to the revelation of Chassidus, which is G‑d’s cure to awaken us from the darkness of exile and give us new life and energy in serving G‑d.

To analyze this further: being faint and weak alludes to two opposite traits. On the one hand it indicates a lack of life, corresponding to the first type of tzedakah— filling an emptiness. On the positive side, though, the word “weak” (chalosh)also means “lottery” (goral), which, as explained regarding Purim and Yom Kippur, represents a tremendously high revelation. Within the person, this is reflected by the fact that all his senses and faculties are hidden within him and raised to a higher internal level.

In the parable, the son swallows the cure, which becomes part of him. The same applies to Chassidus, which becomes internalized and brings an awakening and energizing of the individual. This applies in the both extremes we have been mentioning: a) It fulfills that which was lacking, and b) Brings a tremendous revelation from Above. Consequently, even someone who is “unconscious,” G‑d forbid, is awakened from his faint and proceeds to then pick up and drink all the other drops which did not find their way into him. As mentioned above, the highest revelations come to the place of need, and accomplish not only a fulfillment of that need but the greatest form of revealed good. The most complete revelation of this is the revelation of a dimension of Torah higher than both Nigleh and Pnimiyus, which will be experienced fully in the Messianic Age.

3. The practical lesson from all this is as follows: Parshas Shekalim stresses tzedakah, as does the month of Adar (which we bless this Shabbos), which contains Purim and the mitzvah of matanos l’evyonim. Every individual must therefore add in tzedakah. This applies in the physical sense, through giving money, food and drink. It also applies in the spiritual sense, through helping another person, giving advice, learning with him, etc.

The main thing, however, is the tzedakah of G‑d, which includes His revelation of Pnimiyus HaTorah, including both its study and it being brought to others. May it be G‑d’s will that the increased study of Chassidus bring us to the immediate revelation of Mashiach, then we will be able to learn the secrets of Torah directly from him, since he is both a king and a teacher (melech and rav).This is indeed part of the king’s function — to provide all the needs of his subjects.

The appointment of Melech HaMashiach has in reality already occurred, as we say in the verse (Ps. 89:21), “I have found My servant Dovid; I have anointed him with My holy oil.” All that is needed is for the people to accept him as king and for the actualization of the total unity (hiskashrus) between the king and the people — with the complete and total redemption.

Parshas Yisro THE TEN UTTERANCES | 17-24 Shevat, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI FEB 2nd  
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:54 pm

SHABBOS SAT FEB 3rd 
Shacharis: 9 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 9:58 am/
Mincha 4:54 pm /Seuda Slishit Lite

Maariv/Havdalah 5:55 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Thank you to Kiddish sponsor is Yaakov Kimelfeld, in memory of his father, Moshe ben Yaakov ZT”L, whose yahrzeit is 19th Shevat.  We will also have a delicious meat cholent, made by Rabbi Mendy Levitin. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am
Mon - Fri Shacharis 7 am 
Sun -Wed Mincha 5:05 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:55 pm/

SUNDAY BRUNCH – SUNDAY 18th FEBRUARY 10 AM
Featuring Holocaust survivor, Mr Steve Adler. We’re hoping particularly to educate about the Holocaust and we encourage children to come too (provided they’re supervised by a parent and able to show appropriate behavior during the talk). We greatly appreciate the assistance of the Holocaust Center for Humanity of Seattle, and particularly Julia Thompson in facilitating this. Vernon Neppe, Chair of Education at CSTL.

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65thStreet side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

FARBRENGEN ALERT – 17 SHEVAT FRI FEB 2nd  3PM
Please join us on for an Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah, in honor of Chof-Beis Shevat, yahrzeit of the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson. 
www.chabad.org/calendar

TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8:15 AM SHABBOS MORNING
All are welcome to this inspiring class.

PAINT AND SIP – SUN FEB 11th 7:30PM
Hosted by Myriam Caro. A ChabadofSeattle.org project.  Info: 
MHerbstman@gmail.com

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am - Noon
This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please email 
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION  10 am – Noon 
.Followed by Cocao and Marshmallows  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

PLEASE HELP US PAY FOR CSTL SECURITY
From the CSTL Board:  The membership of CSTL has spoken, and the consensus is that we wish to maintain a security presence at CSTL on Shabbat and chaggim. A four-hour shift (the minimum available) costs us $160, a total of around $10,000/year.  We are asking all families and member units to donate $100 to this fund.  To Donate:  
www.CSTLSeattle.org.

AVOS U’BONIM MELEVAH MALKA SAT NIGHT FEB 3rd  
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.    Grand Raffle.  Prizes.  Info:  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com.  Generously sponsored by Rabbi Elazar and Esther Bogomilsky

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush, 
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


COMMUNITY NEWS

KOSHER FOOD BANK Wed Feb 7th 5:00-6:30 pm,
Jewish Family Service's kosher food bank for the month of February. RSVP to:
emagasis@jfsseattle.org  if you plan to attend.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Jewish Prisoner Services International (JPSI)
Please help with the very important chesed of Pidyon Shevuim.  Volunteers are needed to Visiting/Teaching at Jails and Prison, Advocacy, Answering letters from inmates, Web database development and database work. info@jpsi.org and list your area of interest, please include your preferred contact information  Thank You, Matthew Perry, Secretary/Treasurer JPSI, 206-617-2367

Shiur for Women "Parsha & Prayer" Mon Feb. 5, 7:30 pm
Given by Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum, BCMH Beis Midrash.

Camp Yavneh 2018, June 25th - August 17th 
Registration now open for Camp Yavneh. Staff applications now available at
www.campyavnehseattle.com    

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9 PM – 11 PM
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

REBBITZIN SEIGELBAUM FROM BAT AYIN RETURNS TO SEATTLE FEB 10th & 11th 
Info: 
www.EzraBessaroth.net

Mercaz Shabbaton Feb 10-11th 
With Rav Natan Greenberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Bat Ayin Yeshiva. Sponsorship available. Email: 
info@mercazseattle.org

Community Trip to Israel. April 29th -May 8th , 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.


REBBE’S SICHO FOR YISRO
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507785/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Yisro-18th-Day-of-Shvat-5751-1991.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

On the verse, “And G‑d spoke all these words,” our Sages commented:

This teaches that the Holy One, blessed be He, recited the Ten Commandments in a single statement, something which is impossible for a human being to do. If so, what is meant by [the statement] of the commandments individually, “I am the L‑rd,...” “You shall have no other gods...”? He returned and explicitly mentioned each commandment in its own right.

We find the concept that G‑d recited two commandments simultaneously mentioned in two other instances in connection with the Ten Commandments: a) Our Sages relate that the first two commandments: “I am the L‑rd, Your G‑d” and “You shall have no other gods” were recited as a single commandment. b) In the first account of the Ten Commandments, it is written, “Remember the Shabbos,” and in the second account, it is written, “Observe the Shabbos.” Our Sages explain that both these commands were given as one.

The above concepts raise several questions. Firstly, since G‑d ultimately repeated each of the Ten Commandments individually, of what value was it to mention them all together? Also, every narrative in the Torah is intended to be a lesson in the service of G‑d. What lesson can we learn from G‑d’s mention of all the commandments together, something which is obviously beyond our human potential?

Furthermore, it is necessary to understand: Why after the entire Ten Commandments were recited together was this phenomenon repeated in regard to the first two commandments and then repeated again in regard to the commandments for the Shabbos?

These questions can be resolved on the basis of our Rabbis’ interpretation of the verse: “And G‑d spoke all these words, saying.” Generally, the word “saying,” laimor in Hebrew, implies a charge to relay a commandment to someone else. In this instance, however, that interpretation is not appropriate for the entire Jewish people were present. Hence, laimor is interpreted to mean “to repeat,” to repeat the words of Torah, in a manner that the words of Torah spoken by a Jew will be “G‑d’s word.” Our mouths will be merely intermediaries to communicate G‑d’s Torah.

Since the concept of G‑d’s relating all the Ten Commandments in a single statement and the concept that our Torah study is a reflection of G‑d’s word are derived from the same verse, we can assume that they are interconnected. Although it is impossible for man, with human power, to make two statements at the same time, since our study of Torah is not human speech, but G‑d’s word, we can also emulate this transcendent level.

To explain this concept in terms of our service, we must examine our Sages’ statements in regard to the Shabbos commandments: Our Sages taught:

“Remember” and “Observe” were recited in one statement. Similarly, the commandments “Those who transgress it (the Shabbos) will surely die,” and “On the Shabbos day, [offer] two lambs (whose sacrifice transgresses the Shabbos laws)” were recited in one statement. This is what is meant by the expression, “G‑d made a single statement. I heard two things.”

This quote reflects how the positive commandments — “Remember” and the offering of the Shabbos sacrifices — and the negative commandments — “Observe” and the prohibition against work — are in a essence a single matter. Both together express the holiness of the Shabbos. The fulfillment of the positive commandment and the observance of the prohibition have a single intent, increasing the holiness of the Shabbos. Therefore, the fulfillment of the positive commandment of offering the Shabbos sacrifices does not merely supersede the Shabbos prohibitions. In this instance, offering the Shabbos sacrifices — which involves performing forbidden labors — is an expression of the negative commandment as well for the goal of both the positive and negative commandments are the same.

To explain the above concept: The difference between positive commandments and negative commandments is that positive commandments involve “doing good,” performing a positive activity which draws down G‑dly light within a person’s soul and within the world at large. In contrast, the negative commandments involve “turning away from evil,” separating oneself from activities and elements which are against G‑d’s will. Our negation of these elements and activities nullifies and removes the spirit of impurity in the world at large.

Nevertheless, although the negative commandments appear to involve merely refraining from undesirable activity, they also possess a positive dimension. This can be inferred from the Maharsha’s interpretation of our Sages’ statement that Chabakuk established all the 613 commandments on a single base, “A righteous man will live by his faith.” The Maharsha explains that the multitude of mitzvosis only from the perspective of man, from G‑d’s perspective, all mitzvos share a single thrust.

The Maharsha continues, associating this concept with G‑d’s statement of the Ten Commandments in a single utterance, explaining that this reflects how He and His mitzvos are one, and that there is no multiplicity. Similarly, by coupling the mitzvah of believing in G‑d with the prohibition against other gods, all the positive and negative commandments are coupled together. This is impossible, however, for a human being limited by the constraints of material and temporal existence to emulate. Nevertheless, Chabakuk’s directive again included all the mitzvos in one single command, reflecting how even after the mitzvos are separated into positive and negative commandments, they can be unified in a single thrust.

To focus on this concept: All the commandments, even the negative commandments, are intended for a single purpose: to reveal G‑d. The manner in which the negative commandments perform this positive function does not involve carrying out a particular activity, but rather, refraining from action.

This is because their source is a higher dimension of G‑dliness which transcends the means of expression we have available. There cannot be an act which draws down this source within the world — as is the case in regard to the positive commandments — because this level cannot be comprehended. All we can do is ensure that we do not prevent the expression of these levels by transgressing these commandments and thus, creating obstacles.

Within this context, we can understand the function of the negative commandments in the Era of Redemption. All the mitzvos, both the positive and the negative commandments will still be in effect in that era for, “This Torah will never be rejected.” Yet one might ask: In that era, after “the spirit of impurity has been removed from the world,” what will be the function of the negative commandments? However, on the basis of the above, this question can be resolved. Then, we will realize the true purpose of the negative commandments, i.e., that it is not the negation of evil as at present, but rather drawing down those transcendent dimensions of G‑dliness of which we can have no positive appreciation.

At present, the negative commandments involve the nullification of undesirable elements because we live in a world where such negative elements exist. Thus, we are given commandments that involve refraining from activities so that we will not grant strength to these undesirable entities and thus hinder the revelation of G‑dliness.

After the negation of the evil, however, when “I will cause the spirit of impurity to depart from the earth,” the negative commandments will perform a higher function. Man and the world at large are capable of receiving only a limited measure of G‑dly revelation, that which is appropriate for them. A G‑dly revelation which transcends their existence can be appreciated only through the approach of negation, and this will be the role of the negative commandments in the Era of Redemption.

Thus from G‑d’s perspective, all the mitzvos both the positive and the negative commandments, have a single goal — “G‑d made a single statement” — the revelation of G‑dliness.1 However, since the intent is revelation within a world of division and this intent is accomplished through the service of man whose personality is similarly diversified, “I heard two things;” i.e., as the mitzvos are applied by man, there are differences.

With the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people, G‑d nullified the decree separating the spiritual realms from the physical. This allowed for the potential for man to realize and express the oneness of the mitzvos as they exist from G‑d’s perspective through his own service. Although by nature, man is limited and diversified, the giving of the Torah extended the opportunity of reflecting G‑d’s transcendent oneness in our approach to mitzvos.2

Man must begin by approaching the mitzvos with a recognition of the differences between the positive and the negative commandments and the differences in their intent, drawing down holiness and the negation of evil. The ultimate purpose, however, is to appreciate the Torah and mitzvos as they exist within G‑d’s perspective, that they are mediums for the revelation of G‑d’s will within the world. Thus, even the negative commandments have a positive purpose. They afford man a chance to develop a connection with G‑d, for they are also mitzvosand thus are a means of tzavsa, connection with G‑d. Indeed, they establish a connection with the higher levels of G‑dliness to which we can relate to only in this manner.

In this context, we can understand Rabbi Akiva’s statement that, when responding to the Ten Commandments, the Jews answered “Yes” to both the positive and negative commandments. At that time, the Jews saw all the commandments of having the same goal, drawing G‑dliness into the world.3

On a deeper level, although as explained above, the existence of negative commandments reflects a recognition of the limitations of the world, it can be explained that it is the negative commandments in particular that go beyond those limitations. As explained above, it is through the negative commandments that we can relate to the higher, transcendent aspects of G‑dliness. Also, the negative commandments extend a connection to Torah even to places and situations which are not fit to serve as vessels for G‑dliness. In contrast, the positive commandments are limited according to the nature of man and the world and they are capable of drawing G‑dliness only into places fit for positive activity.4

The significance of the negative commandments can be explained further through an analysis of our Sages’ statement in regard to kiddushin, the establishment of the marriage bond.5 They explain that this act “causes [a woman to be] forbidden to the entire world, as a consecrated article (hekdesh).”

The act of kiddushin is two dimensional: a) It establishes a positive connection between the groom and his bride; he acquires her as his wife; b) it causes relations between the women and other men to be forbidden.

These two dimensions are reflected in the ultimate marriage bond, the connection between G‑d and the Jewish people. There is a positive dimension, the unity between the Jews and G‑d. (This is expressed by the performance of the positive commandments.) There is also a dimension that involves prohibition. As a woman must set herself apart from other men, so too, the Jews must separate themselves from the undesirable elements in the world. (This is expressed through the observance of the negative commandments.)

The definition of kiddushin as causing a woman to be “forbidden to the entire world, as a consecrated article (hekdesh)” implies, however, that there is a positive dimension to the establishment of these prohibitions. This is reflected in the comparison to hekdesh, articles on which holiness above the nature of the world6 has been conveyed. It also implies that a bond with this holiness has been established7 and that this holiness is drawn down into the world.

It was explained above that the negative commandments draw down a level of G‑dliness that transcends the limitations of the world. For that reason, this level cannot be drawn down by a positive act, only through refraining an activity, i.e., negating our potential for action. This, however, is also a limitation.

Thus, the true infinite dimension of the Torah and its mitzvos is expressed in the fusion of the positive and negative in a single act performed by man. This is reflected in our Sages’ statement that the commandments “Those who transgress it (the Shabbos) will surely die,” and “On the Shabbos day, [offer] two lambs (whose sacrifice transgresses the Shabbos laws)” were recited in one statement. In such an instance, the fulfillment of the negative commandment is combined with a positive activity, bringing the sacrifices. Although offering the sacrifices involves the performance of activities which are otherwise forbidden on the Shabbos,8 this positive activity contributes to the holiness of the Shabbos, thus fulfilling the same purpose as the negative commandments.9

There is another positive activity which expresses the aspect of the mitzvos which transcends all limits. Our Sages declared, “Whoever studies the laws of a burnt offering (or any other mitzvah) is considered as if he brought a burnt offering (or fulfilled the mitzvah in question).” Although a person is not a priest, is not in the Beis HaMikdash (indeed, this applies even when the Beis HaMikdash is destroyed), through his study of the Torah, he can be considered as if he offered a sacrifice.

This concept also applies in regard to the negative commandments. By studying the laws of the negative commandments, one is considered to have fulfilled them; i.e., the influence produced by the negative commandments is drawn down through a positive activity, Torah study.

Indeed, the fullest expression of the unity of the mitzvos and their fundamental oneness — “G‑d made a single statement” — comes through the study of the Torah. Here, it is through the same activity, laboring in the study of the Torah, that one draws down the influence produced by both the positive and the negative commandments.10

* * *

2. There is a point of connection to the above concepts in this week’s parshah, Parshas Yisro. At the outset, in the narrative of Yisro’s joining the Jewish people, a concept is communicated which parallels the ideas explained above regarding the positive nature of the negative commandments.

The Torah relates that Yisro was “the priest of Midian,” a priest for idol worship, and quotes him as saying “Now I know that G‑d is greater than all the gods” on which our Sages commented, “There was not a single deity that Yisro had not served.” His conversion thus reflected “a transformation of darkness into light” which brought about “a revelation of G‑d in His glory in the higher realms and in the lower realms” and served as a preparation for the giving of the Torah.

The Torah was given to draw down an aspect of G‑dliness that transcends the world within the world — to use Kabbalistic terminology — to reveal the fiftieth gate of understanding. The transformation of darkness into light draws down this level, for such efforts reveal a level of light that is too great to be enclothed within this world.11

The conclusion of the parshah, the verse, “In every place where you will mention My name, I will come and bless you,” relates to the great levels attained through the study of the Torah. By using the expression “in every place,” the verse indicates that because of Torah study, “mentioning My name,” G‑d “will come and bless” even places that by nature are not fit for blessing. Even though the service of “turning away from evil” has not been completed, through the study of Torah, G‑d’s blessings can be drawn down. This is a result of the fact that when a Jew studies Torah, he is reciting “G‑d’s word,” and thus, there are no limits to its effects.

The above concepts can also be related to the parshah of the coming week, Parshas Mishpatim which we begin reading in the afternoon service. That parshah begins “And these are the judgments that you shall place before them.”

Our Sages emphasize that with the words “And these are,” the Torah connects the laws which are described in Parshas Mishpatim with the revelation at Mount Sinai. These laws are a continuation of the giving of the Torah. Although they represent the aspect of Torah that can be grasped by our intellect, it is obvious that their source is the transcendent revelation at Mount Sinai.

Also, our Sages interpret the phrase “that you shall place before them” as a charge to arrange one’s presentation of Torah concepts “as a set table, with everything prepared for a person to eat.” Although generally, a room should be cleaned before food is served, i.e., in the analog, a person should refine his conduct before attempting to advance further; nevertheless, the nature of Torah study is that, even when a person has not refined himself, he still is presented with “a set table.” Torah study gives him the potential to elevate his conduct, fusing the negation of evil and drawing down positive influence into a single activity.

This produces a directive for action. In general, Shabbos is a time when Jews should gather together for Torah study. In particular, this applies on Shabbos Parshas Yisro when we read the narrative of the giving of the Torah. Similarly, at this time, we should resolve to increase our study of the Torah and our involvement in communal study sessions. These sessions should also involve the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah as emphasized by the connection with Ma’aseh Merchavah (the mystic secrets of G‑d’s being) with the giving of the Torah.12

Study sessions of this nature should be established for every Jew, man, woman, and child, even those who are just beginning their connection with the Torah. Nevertheless, even at the beginning of one’s study, one shares a connection to the totality of the Torah. This is reflected in our Rabbis’ teaching that the kamatz alef aw which a young child first learning the alphabet studies reflects the kamatz alef aw which begins the word Anochi, the first word of the Ten Commandments and which includes within it, the entire Torah.

May our increase in the study of the Torah hasten the coming of the era when, “A new Torah will emerge from Me” in the Era of Redemption.13 Even before the Era of Redemption, the Jews will live in security. They need not fear despite the fact that the nations of the world challenge one another and the entire world is seized with panic and consternation. On the contrary, they must realize that “All that I have wrought, I have performed only for your sake” and that Mashiach will soon “stand on the roof of the Beis HaMikdash and proclaim, ‘Humble ones, the time for your redemption has come.’ ”

Parshas Beshalach – Shabbos Shira Yud Shevat - Tu b’Shevat | 10-17 Shevat, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI JAN 26th 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:43 pm

SHABBOS SAT JAN 27th 
Shacharis: 9 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 10:02 am/
Mincha 4:43 pm /Seuda Slishit Lite/Maariv/Havdalah 5:45 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
This week’s Kiddush is being sponsored by Chabad of the Pacific Northwest, in honor of the 68thYartrzeit of the previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzak Shneersohn, and the 67th Anniversary of the day when Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneerson accepted the nasiyas as Lubavitcher Rebbe. We will also have a delicious meat cholent, made by Rabbi Mendy Levitin. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am
Mon - Fri Shacharis 7 am /NO TACHANUN WED. Tu b’SHEVAT/
Sun -Wed Mincha 4:55 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:44 pm/

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Rabbi Abraham and Shprintze Kavka  on the bris of their new Grandson Dovid Zev, ben Shaina and Zaimy Kavka.  May they merit to raise him to Torah, Chupa, and Ma’asim Tovim. .

SUNDAY BRUNCH – SUNDAY 18th FEBRUARY 10 AM
Featuring Holocaust survivor, Mr Steve Adler. We’re hoping particularly to educate about the Holocaust and we encourage children to come too (provided they’re supervised by a parent and able to show appropriate behavior during the talk). We greatly appreciate the assistance of the Holocaust Center for Humanity of Seattle, and particularly Julia Thompson in facilitating this. Vernon Neppe, Chair of Education at CSTL.

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

FARBRENGEN ALERT – YUD SHEVAT FRI JAN 26th    3PM
Please join us on for an Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah, in honor of the Yud Shevat, one of the most important dates on the Chabad Calendar. 
www.chabad.org/calendar

TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8:15 AM SHABBOS MORNING
All are welcome to this inspiring class.

PAINT AND SIP – SUN FEB 11th 7:30PM
Hosted by Myriam Caro. A ChabadofSeattle.org project.  Info:  
MHerbstman@gmail.com

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am - Noon
There is no Tot Shabbat program this week (upstairs room, ages 0-5)
This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please emailelizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION  10 am – Noon
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

PLEASE HELP US PAY FOR CSTL SECURITY
From the CSTL Board:  The membership of CSTL has spoken, and the consensus is that we wish to maintain a security presence at CSTL on Shabbat and chaggim. A four-hour shift (the minimum available) costs us $160, a total of around $10,000/year.  We are asking all families and member units to donate $100 to this fund.  To Donate:  
www.CSTLSeattle.org.

AVOS U’BONIM MELEVAH MALKA SAT NIGHT JAN 27th 
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.  Melavah Malka!  Grand Raffle.  Prizes.  Info:  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com Generously sponsored by Ploni Almoni. 

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


 COMMUNITY NEWS

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle "Connections 2018" Sun Jan 28th 11 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info:
www.jewishinseattle.org

Camp Yavneh 2018, June 25th - August 17th 
Registration now open for Camp Yavneh. Staff applications now available at 
www.campyavnehseattle.com    

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9 PM – 11 PM
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

EZRA BESSAROTH BRUNCH – SUN JAN 28th 10 AM
Join NY Times Bestselling author Bruce Henderson for a delicious brunch @ EB accompanied by a fascinating discussion of his new book,  "Sons and Soldiers" Cost: $5/person.  
www.EzraBessaroth.net

FRUTICAS (TU b’SHEVAT) AT EZRA BESSAROTH – TUE JAN 30th 6 PM
Info: 
www.EzraBessaroth.net

BCMH Sisterhood Tu B'Shevat Event for Women, Jan. 28th  7:00-9:00 pm.
Cost: $20, limit of 20 participants, first come, first serve. Register at 
www.bcmhseattle.org

REBBITZIN SEIGELBAUM FROM BAT AYIN RETURNS TO SEATTLE FEB 10th & 11th 
Info: 
www.EzraBessaroth.net

Mercaz Shabbaton Feb 10-11th 
With Rav Natan Greenberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Bat Ayin Yeshiva. Sponsorship available. Email:
info@mercazseattle.org

Community Trip to Israel. April 29th -May 8th , 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.


REBBE’S SICHO FOR BESHALACH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507782/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Bo-4th-Day-of-Shvat-5751-1991.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

This week’s parshah describes several miracles of a general nature which occurred to the Jewish people after they left Egypt including the splitting of the sea and the slaughter of the Egyptians, the sweetening of the waters of Marah, the manna, the slav [the fowl with which G‑d provided the Jews], the well of water which accompanied the Jews through the desert, and the defeat of Amalek in battle.

The fact that the Torah groups all of these miracles in a single Torah portion appears to indicate that they share a connection. Nevertheless, that connection is difficult to understand. On the surface, they appear to be separate and different matters.

Another question can be asked based on Rashi’s commentary in the beginning of Parshas Yisro. There Rashiasks: What motivated Yisro to come to the Jews? And answers: The splitting of the Red Sea and the war with Amalek. Similarly, on another verse, Rashi explains that he was motivated by the miracles of the manna and the well. On the surface, why did these miracles motivate Yisro more than the Ten Plagues or the other miracles G‑d which performed in Egypt.

Also, the word Torah means “instruction.” Thus, every story the Torah relates is told to provide us with an “instruction” in our service of G‑d. What instruction can we derive from the narrative of these miracles?

The resolution to these questions depends on the understanding that the three miracles, the splitting of the Red Sea, the manna, and the war with Amalek, were of a general nature, whose significance continues for all time.

In regard to the splitting of the Red Sea: It is explained that the splitting of the Red Sea was one of the preparations necessary for the giving of the Torah, and thus continues to have ongoing relevance. For this reason, we recall the splitting of the sea in our prayers each day.

The continuous relevance of the manna is obvious from G‑d’s command to set aside one measure as “a keepsake for your [future] generations,” so that we will constantly be aware that G‑d is providing our livelihood. For this reason, the Shulchan Aruch recommends reciting the passage concerning the mannaeach day.1

Similarly, the war with Amalek is described as continuing, “from generation to generation.”2 Many authorities consider the mitzvah of remembering Amalek as obligatory upon us at all time and for this reason, it is customary to recall Amalek each day in the Six Remembrances.

The connection between these three miracles can be explained within the context of the song sang after the crossing of the Red Sea which expresses our praise of G‑d and our thanks for His saving us from the Egyptians. Nevertheless, the song also mentions the retribution visited upon the Egyptians and the death they suffered.3 On the surface, the question arises: Why is it necessary to mention the gentiles at all? Why doesn’t the song focus on the Jews alone?

The mention of the gentiles is necessary, however, because the purpose of this song is not to praise the greatness of G‑d in the spiritual realms or His love for the souls of Jewish people. Rather, the intent is to praise His power and greatness within this material world and to acknowledge His bond with the Jews as they exist, one nation among many gentile foes. Although they are “a lamb among seventy wolves,” G‑d protects them from harm and works miracles for them.

This is the setting for the revelation of how, as the song concludes, “G‑d will reign forever and ever,” how His sovereignty will be expressed throughout the world. Commenting on the above verse, the Midrashrelates: “Although You have existed for all time, Your throne was not established, nor were You made known in Your world until Your children uttered the song.” At the splitting of the Red Sea, the Divine power invested and enclothed within the world was openly revealed,4 and the potential was granted to see G‑dliness in every entity in the world. Through the Jews’ recitation of the song,5 they brought about the recognition of G‑d’s sovereignty in the world.

In order to bring about the revelation of “And G‑d will reign forever and ever” in the world at large, a person must first internalize the awareness of G‑d’s sovereignty within his own consciousness. He must realize that G‑d’s Kingship encompasses the totality of his existence, even his mundane physical realities.

This is the message of the manna, that one’s livelihood comes directly from G‑d, and from G‑d alone.6 Even when a Jew must work to earn his livelihood and other intermediaries are involved, he is being sustained by G‑d. Thus, the Rebbe Maharash would say that earning a livelihood today, in the time of exile, is “mannafrom heaven.”

A Jew is essentially above the natural limitations of the world. Even when he descends and is involved with those realities and the gentiles in his environment, he remains essentially above nature and is sustained by“manna from heaven.” [This lesson is further reinforced by the miracles of the slav and the well of water which accompanied the Jews in the desert. They are also examples of how G‑d provided for the Jews material needs in a supernatural manner.]

The realization that G‑d controls his material existence makes it possible for a Jew to internalize his awareness of G‑d’s sovereignty. Since “He placed the world within their hearts,” this awareness makes it possible for G‑d’s sovereignty to be expressed in the world at large. There are, however, impediments to the revelation of His sovereignty which must be nullified in order for that revelation to be complete. This is the purpose of the war against Amalek.

Our Sages comment, “G‑d swore that His name, nor His throne will be complete until the name of Amalek is wiped out entirely.” Thus, Amalek represents the antithesis of G‑d’s sovereignty. Since the expression of G‑d’s sovereignty is an eternally relevant concept, the negation of Amalek, who prevent that expression, is also of constant relevance.

On a personal level, the quality of Amalek refers to coldness in the service of G‑d. On the verse, “Remember what Amalek did to you...as you came forth from Egypt, how he met you on the way...,” the Midrash explains that the Hebrew korcha translated as “he met you,” could also be interpreted as “he cooled you off.” Similarly, the Rabbis have noted the numerical equivalence between Amalek (עמלק) and the word safek(ספק) meaning “doubt.”

Amalek represents the potential which raises doubts in our minds and cools off our excitement after witnessing the miracles that accompany our personal exodus from Egypt. It deadens a Jew’s sensitivity to the providence with which G‑d controls our lives.7 Therefore, for G‑d’s sovereignty to be revealed, Amalek must be nullified.

On the basis of the above, we can understand why it was the news of the miracles of the splitting of the sea and the war with Amalek that motivated Yisro to join the Jewish people and declare, “Now I know that the L‑rd is greater than all the gods.” It is, however, necessary to resolve several difficulties in regard to that quote: a) How is calling G‑d greater than other divinities praise for Him? b) Why does the Torah mention that Yisro had been an idolater? Why should it mention such an uncomplimentary piece of personal history? The Torah refrains from making uncomplimentary statements even when a non-kosher animal is concerned. Surely, this would be appropriate in regard to Yisro.

These questions can be resolved within the Rambam’s explanation of how people came to worship other divinities. The Rambam states that initially, the people conceived of these divinities as intermediaries. They understood that G‑d was the ultimate source of influence, but felt that because He was so lofty, it was not fitting that He control the mundane realities of worldly experience, and these matters, He entrusted to the sun, the stars, and other intermediaries.

Thus, their mistake was ascribing willful power to these intermediaries, believing that they had a certain measure of independent control over our experience when in truth, they are merely, “an axe in the hands of the chopper,” i.e., just as an axe is an inanimate object with no will of its own, so too, these intermediaries are controlled by G‑d alone and they have no independent power of determination.

Thus, in essence, the negation of idol worship involves, not only the nullification of the belief in idols, but a rejection of all intermediaries, an awareness that even within the context of our material existence, our fate is controlled by G‑d alone. Thus, after Yisro heard about the miracles of the splitting of the Red Sea, themanna, the well, and the war with Amalek, he came to the awareness that G‑d’s sovereignty was manifest in every element of existence, including even our mundane realities. He understood the true nature of all the forces which appear as powers in this world, that they are merely like “an axe in the hands of the chopper” and therefore, he renounced idol worship entirely.8

* * *

2. There is a connection between the above concepts and Yud Shvat, the yahrzeit of the Previous Rebbe, which was commemorated this week.9 The Previous Rebbe’s service was expressed in spreading Yiddishkeitand Chassidus throughout the world, preparing the world for the revelation of G‑d’s sovereignty.

[There is also a connection between the miracles mentioned above and the teachings of Chassidus. Torah is described as “bread” and within Torah itself, the teachings of Pnimiyus HaTorah as “bread from Heaven,”manna. Similarly, oil is used as a metaphor for Chassidus and the slav were distinguished as a uniquely succulent fowl.10 ]

The relation of the teachings of Chassidus to the revelation of G‑d’s sovereignty within the world was reflected in the Previous Rebbe’s efforts to translate the teachings of Chassidus into secular languages and his efforts to spread justice and righteousness (as expressed through the seven universal laws commanded to Noach and his descendants) among the gentiles.

The nature of the Previous Rebbe’s service is reflected in his name, Yosef Yitzchok. Yosef is associated with the concept of “increase” and Yitzchok with “laughter” and “joy.”

More particularly, Yosef refers to the service of “May G‑d add on to me another son,” i.e., transforming one who is “another,” estranged from his Jewish roots, to a “son.”11 Yitzchok is associated with the service of “Whoever hears will laugh with me,” spreading happiness and joy in a manner that “whoever hears,” i.e., even someone who does not consciously intend to hear, “will laugh with me.”

An added dimension of the Previous Rebbe’s yahrzeit is reflected by the fact that this year, it is commemorated on a Friday. Friday is set aside for the preparations for Shabbos. Similarly, this points to the fact that ours, the sixth millennia (and more particularly, the latter portion of the sixth millennia, more than three quarters of it having passed), is a preparatory stage for the seventh millennia, “the day which is all Shabbos and rest for eternity.” Indeed, it is already “Friday afternoon” and we are waiting with anticipation for “Shabbos.”

This must be associated with an increase in the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah as a foretaste and preparation for the revelation of Pnimiyus HaTorah in the Era of Redemption.

3. The above concepts also share a connection with Tu BeShvat, the Rosh HaShanah of the Trees. The trees are part of the plant kingdom called tzomeach in Hebrew. Literally, the word tzomeach means “growth,” thus also pointing to the concept of increase, continually progressing further.

On Tu BeShvat, it is customary to partake generously of fruits and in particular, the species of fruit for whichEretz Yisrael is blessed. The Torah praises Eretz Yisrael for seven species of produce. Two, wheat and barley, are grains. The other five, grapes, pomegranates, figs, olives, and dates, are fruits. The difference between grain and fruit is that grain is a staple food, necessary for the maintenance of our well-being. Fruits are delicacies, eaten for pleasure. Tu BeShvat gives us the potential to carry out our service, not only according to the very minimum necessary to maintain our existence, but rather in a manner that leads to pleasure.

Similarly, it is customary to eat carobs on Tu BeShvat. The mention of carobs relates to Rabbi Chaninah ben Dosa who would eat only “one measure of carobs” a week. Our Sages describe Rabbi Chaninah as being “trained in miracles,” i.e., miracles were an ordinary aspect of his everyday life.

The same applies for every Jew. Although we are living in a material world, in an environment with gentiles that is apparently controlled by the forces of nature, a Jew is connected with G‑d who controls nature. “The Guardian of Israel does not sleep or slumber” and protects him in a manner which transcends nature. Indeed, miracles are an ordinary element of a Jew’s life. If there is a person who does not recognize these miracles, it is only because he has his eyes closed. There can be no other explanation. If a person opens his eyes and thinks about what has happened to him, he will realize the open miracles that are shaping his life.

If this is true regarding a Jew in the world at large, how much more so does it apply to a Jew living in Eretz Yisrael, G‑d’s chosen land, of which it is written, “the eyes of G‑d are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to its end.” It is not necessary for him to open a newspaper and read how one non-Jew shot a missile at the Jews and another non-Jew — one of the pious of the nations of the world — shot another missile which intercepted it. All he has to do is look at the world around him and appreciate the miracles, miracles of a good and positive nature, which are occurring to him and to those around him.

A Jew must act maturely within the world and employ all the natural means at his disposal. His activities must, however, be suffused with bitachon, trust in G‑d that He will provide him with open and abundant good. Similarly, in regard to the Jewish people as a whole, we must proceed with confidence that G‑d will bring the ultimate and complete redemption. And thus, thankful for the miracles that He has wrought for us already and trusting that He will perform other miracles in the future, we must — particularly on Shabbos Shirah, the Shabbos of Song — recite songs of praise to Him.

The above concepts will be enhanced by the study of the maamar, Baruch Sh’Osoh Nissim (“Blessed be He who performed miracles”) which was distributed on Yud Shvat.12 The distribution of the maamar should lead to an increase in the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah. Similarly, together with the maamar, two dollars were given to be distributed to tzedakah. Our Sages relate that tzedakah is equivalent to all the mitzvos. The word mitzvah is related to the word tzavsa meaning “connection.” Thus, these gifts to tzedakah will increase the connection and bond, the Jews share with G‑d. This will lead to an increase in Torah and mitzvos in general which in turn will lead to an increase in G‑d’s blessings, including blessings of peace and prosperity.

In that vein, it is worthy to mention the custom of eating the fruits associated with Eretz Yisrael on Tu BeShvat. May the observance of this custom strengthen our connection with Eretz Yisrael and may we witness in the imminent future the fulfillment of the prophecy, “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.

Shabbos Bo | 3 – 10 Shevat, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI JAN 19th 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:32 pm

SHABBOS SAT JAN 20th 
Shacharis: 9 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 10:04 am/
Mincha 4:32 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:36 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
This week’s Kiddush is being sponsored by Rabbi Sholom Ber and Mrs. Chanie Levitin, in honor of the 7th Yahrtzeit of Rebbetzin Levitin's mother, Miriam bas Alter Mordechai ZT”L.  We will also have a delicious meat cholent, made by Rabbi Mendy Levitin. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am
Mon - Fri Shacharis 7 am 
Sun -Wed Mincha 4:45 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:34 pm/

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Rabbi Shimon and Meira Emlen on the birth of their daughter Devorah Leah!  May they merit to raise her to Torah, Chupa, and Ma’asim Tovim!

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

FARBRENGEN ALERT - YAHRZEIT OF THE BABA SALI- FRI JAN 19th    3PM
Please join us on for an Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah, in honor of the yahrzeit of Rabbi Israel Abuchatzera (1890-1984), known as "Baba Sali."  From a young age he was renowned as a sage, miracle maker and master kabbalist. In 1964 he moved to the Holy Land, eventually settling in the southern development town he made famous, Netivot. He passed away in 1984 on the 4thof Shevat. His graveside in Netivot has become a holy site visited by thousands annually.
www.chabad.org/calendar

TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8:15 AM SHABBOS MORNING
All are welcome to this inspiring class.

PAINT AND SIP – SUN FEB 11th 7:30PM
Hosted by Myriam Caro. A ChabadofSeattle.org project.  Info:  
MHerbstman@gmail.com

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am - Noon
This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please email
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION  10 am – Noon 
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

PLEASE HELP US PAY FOR CSTL SECURITY
From the CSTL Board:  The membership of CSTL has spoken, and the consensus is that we wish to maintain a security presence at CSTL on Shabbat and chaggim. A four-hour shift (the minimum available) costs us $160, a total of around $10,000/year.  We are asking all families and member units to donate $100 to this fund.  To Donate:  
www.CSTLSeattle.org.

AVOS U’BONIM SAT NIGHT
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.  Ice Cream!  Grand Raffle.  Prizes.  Info:  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com Generously sponsored by Chavi and Avremi Gitler. 

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle "Connections 2018" Sun Jan 28th 11 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info:
www.jewishinseattle.org

Camp Yavneh 2018, June 25th - August 17th 
Registration now open for Camp Yavneh. Staff applications now available at 
www.campyavnehseattle.com    

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9 PM – 11 PM
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

EZRA BESSAROTH BRUNCH – SUN JAN 28th 10 AM
Join NY Times Bestselling author Bruce Henderson for a delicious brunch @ EB accompanied by a fascinating discussion of his new book,  "Sons and Soldiers" Cost: $5/person.  
www.EzraBessaroth.net

FRUTICAS (TU b’SHEVAT) AT EZRA BESSAROTH – TUE JAN 30th 6 PM
Info: 
www.EzraBessaroth.net

BCMH Sisterhood Tu B'Shevat Event for Women, Jan. 28th  7:00-9:00 pm.
Cost: $20, limit of 20 participants, first come, first serve. Register at 
www.bcmhseattle.org

REBBITZIN SEIGELBAUM FROM BAT AYIN RETURNS TO SEATTLE FEB 10th & 11th Info: www.EzraBessaroth.net

Mercaz Shabbaton Feb 10-11th 
With Rav Natan Greenberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Bat Ayin Yeshiva. Sponsorship available. Email:
info@mercazseattle.org

Limmud Seattle – Motzei Shabbos Jan 13th to Sun Jan 14th 
A unique experience of engaging, hands-on Torah learning in a community that celebrates Jewish diversity.
http://www.limmudseattle.org/  at the Shoreline Conference Center:18560 1st Ave NE, Shoreline, WA

Community Trip to Israel. April 29th -May 8th , 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.


 REBBE’S SICHO FOR BO
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507782/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Bo-4th-Day-of-Shvat-5751-1991.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

Parshas Bo possesses a unique dimension. The parshiyos which precede it, Shmos and Vaeira, describe the preparations for the exodus from Egypt. Parshas Beshallach which comes afterwards describes the aftermath of the exodus. The redemption itself, however, is discussed in only one parshah, Parshas Bo.

Indeed, the entire parshah revolves around the redemption. Even the beginning of the parshah (which describes the final phase of preparation for the exodus, the last three plagues) shares a direct connection to the exodus as evidenced by the demand voiced by Pharaoh’s servants that he allow the Jews to leave Egypt.

Similarly, the conclusion of the parshah is connected with the redemption as reflected in the mitzvah oftefillin which states, “And it will be a sign on your hand and a remembrance between your eyes... that G‑d took you out of Egypt with a strong hand.”

There is, however, a problematic dimension to this point. Although the entire parshah is connected with the redemption, the very name of the parshah, Bo and the verse with which it is connected, “And G‑d said to Moshe, come to Pharaoh,” point to the fact that Pharaoh still maintained his power and therefore, Moshe had to approach him. Despite the seven plagues which were inflicted upon him, Pharaoh remained unbroken. The question arises: Why is the parshah which centers on the redemption given a name which indicates Pharaoh’s power?

There is also a question regarding the mention of the mitzvah of tefillin at the conclusion of thisparshah: The passage describing the mitzvah of tefillin states, “And when it will come to pass that G‑d will bring you into the land of the Canaanites.” Based on this verse, there are some authorities who maintain that the Jews were not obligated to wear tefillin during the forty years that they journeyed through the desert. Even according to the opinions which maintain that the Jews did wear tefillinthroughout their journey, there is still a connection between tefillin and Eretz Yisrael as our Sages declared, “Fulfill this mitzvah so that you will enter the land.” Thus, tefillin are related to the ultimate and final phase in the exodus from Egypt, the entry into Eretz Yisrael.1

Since tefillin are associated with the ultimate and final phase of the redemption, the question arises: Why is this mitzvah mentioned in a parshah which describes only the preliminary stages of the redemption? Indeed, as related in Parshas Beshallach, until the miracle of the Red Sea, the Jews still considered returning to Egypt and for that reason, “G‑d did not lead them through the land of the Philistines... lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” Furthermore, it is difficult to understand why tefillin are mentioned in a parshah which begins with an indication of Pharaoh’s power.

These questions can be resolved within the context of the Zohar’s statements at the beginning ofParshas Bo. The Zohar states:

Why is it written, “Come to Pharaoh”? It should say, “Go to Pharaoh.” The word “come” indicates that since G‑d caused Moshe to enter room after room until he confronted a sublime and powerful crocodile [the symbol of Pharaoh].... Moshe was afraid of it.... When the Holy One, blessed be He, saw that Moshe was afraid... He declared, “Behold, I will confront you Pharaoh King of Egypt....” G‑d, Himself, was forced to combat him. He and no one else.

The Zohar implies that Pharaoh is the source of the forces of evil and therefore, Moshe feared him. Accordingly, G‑d did not tell him to go to Pharaoh (i.e., to go by himself). Rather, He told him “Come,” i.e., come with Me, for G‑d Himself had to negate Pharaoh’s power.2

Moshe was sent to confront Pharaoh “so that I will be able to demonstrate these miraculous signs in his midst.” The intent of the confrontation was the nullification of Pharaoh and the negation of his power. In this context, we can understand why Moshe was forced to proceed room after room inside Pharaoh’s palace. Since the intent was to break Pharaoh’s power entirely, this had to be done in the inner rooms of his palace, the place where his power was manifest in the most open manner. When his power was broken there, its expression throughout his kingdom was also nullified.3

Thus, the command to Moshe to “Come to Pharaoh” was not intended only as an intermediary phase in bringing the Jews out of Egypt. Instead, it had a purpose of its own, to break and nullify Pharaoh’s power.

The importance of the destruction of Pharaoh’s power can be understood within the context of the connection between the exile and redemption from Egypt and the acquisition of Eretz Yisrael. In the covenant Bein HaBesarim, G‑d promised Avraham that his descendants would inherit Eretz Yisrael. At the same time, however, He also told him that the Jews would undergo exile and slavery.

The rationale for the association between the two is that G‑d desires the Jewish people to earn Eretz Yisrael through their own efforts, so that it will not be given to them as “bread of shame.” The Jews are charged with the task of transforming a material land into Eretz Yisrael, making it “a land which desires to fulfill the will of its Creator,” and which shares a unique connection to the Jewish people, who are “the pupil of G‑d’s eye,” as it were.4 Therefore, “the eyes5 of G‑d are always upon it from the beginning of the year until its end.”

This generates the potential for Eretz Yisrael to “spread throughout the entire world,” and for there to be an open revelation of G‑dliness, “the glory of G‑d will be revealed and all flesh will see.” In the Era of Redemption when these prophecies will be fulfilled, it will be openly manifest how our material existence is one with G‑d’s true existence.

This was made possible by the fulfillment of the decree, “Your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not their own;” i.e., forcing the Jews to confront a material existence that has no connection with them. Furthermore, this land, the land of Egypt, will oppose the Jewish people and cause them difficulty,6 for it is “the nakedness of the land,” “the most depraved of all lands,” the lowest possible level.

This descent, however, brought out the potential for: a) the Jewish people themselves to reach an elevated level. On the verse, “And Yaakov lived in the land of Egypt,” it is explained that it was in the land of Egypt that Yaakov — and his descendants, the Jewish people — experienced true life. b) The Jews to elevate the Divine sparks enclothed in the material substance of the world. This is reflected in the Jews spoiling the Egyptians, taking from them, “golden and silver utensils and garments,” and similarly, in the eruv rav, the multitude of gentiles who left Egypt with them. c) The destruction and nullification of those aspects of worldliness which cannot be elevated. Concerning these elements of existence, it is said, “their destruction represents their purification.” Furthermore, their destruction adds power to the realm of holiness. This is reflected in our Sages’ statement, “Tzur was built only through the destruction of Jerusalem.” Conversely, the destruction of Tzur, and similarly, other centers which stand in opposition to holiness, lead to the strengthening and rebuilding of Jerusalem. This reveals the power of holiness in a manner where no opposition is possible for all opposing forces have been totally negated.7

Only after these negative factors were nullified did the Jews leave Egypt. Indeed, the destruction of these forces which opposed to holiness made it possible — had not other factors interfered — for them to proceed directly to Eretz Yisrael, the land in which the service of establishing a dwelling for G‑d in this lowly world is carried out.

Based on the above it is possible to explained why Bo was chosen as the name for the parshah which deals with the exodus from Egypt, including the ultimate stage of that exodus, the entry into Eretz Yisrael as explained in regard to the mitzvah of tefillin.

The most prominent dimension of the exodus from Egypt is, as the very name “exodus” implies, the departure from a situation that opposes holiness. This is reflected, in the most complete sense, not in the elevation of the sparks of holiness enclothed within Egypt, but in the nullification of Egypt’s power. The elevation of the sparks of holiness reveals the good which was hidden within Egypt; it does not, however, effect the very nature of Egypt itself, that dimension which stands in opposition to holiness and “causes difficulty to Israel.” For the exodus from Egypt to be complete, this negative dimension must be nullified and destroyed.

This is the intent of “Coming to Pharaoh,” to enter the innermost rooms of his palace, to confront the source of evil at its very root and to nullify it utterly. As explained above, the nullification of these negative factors grants the potential to proceed into Eretz Yisrael. Furthermore, this leads to the possibility of a positive conception of Pharaoh, the source for “the revelation of all lights,” an unbounded revelation which transcends even the limitations of holiness.

The exile in Egypt is the source of all exiles and the redemption from Egypt, the source of all redemptions. In particular, the exodus is related to the future redemption as reflected in the verse, “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.”

Indeed, the parallel between the two is further emphasized by our Sages’ explanation that, ideally, the redemption from Egypt should have been the ultimate redemption. Directly after leaving Egypt and receiving the Torah, the Jews should have entered Eretz Yisrael, never to be exiled again. For certain reasons, however, G‑d brought about a series of events that led to further exiles beginning with the exile in Babylon and concluding with the fourth and present exile, the exile of Edom, so that the Jews’ inheritance of Eretz Yisrael will come about as a result of their own efforts.8

As explained above, the emergence from exile is associated with two factors: a) the elevation of the sparks of holiness that have fallen into exile. This is accomplished through our observance of Torah andmitzvos and our service of “May all your deeds be for the sake of heaven” in which we use the material substance of the world for a spiritual intent. b) The destruction and nullification of those negative factors which cannot be elevated to holiness. For this reason, we find many prophecies describing the fall of the nations which ruled over the Jews, e.g., “Babylon has fallen and she will be broken,” “There will be a slaughter for G‑d in Batzra,” “And saviors will ascend on Mount Zion to judge the Mount of Eisav.” The only nations which will remain will be those which help and support the Jewish people, as it is written, “I will send refugees from them... and they shall bring their brethren from among the nations an offering to G‑d... upon My holy mountain Jerusalem.” At that time, “I will transform all the nations to a pure tongue, so that they will all call upon the name of G‑d, to form a single block.”9

Then, after the ultimate redemption, the service of the Jewish people will be fulfilled in a complete manner, “as the mitzvos of Your will.” Indeed, the observance of the mitzvos will be on such a high level that our present observance will be considered merely as “signs” for those mitzvos.

For this reason, the Torah associates the mitzvah of tefillin with the entry into Eretz Yisrael. Here, the intent is on the ultimate fulfillment of the mitzvah, its fulfillment in the Era of Redemption, therefore, it is associated with the entry into Eretz Yisrael, i.e., the ultimate entry into Eretz Yisrael. There, in “the palace of the king,” the Jews will establish a complete connection with G‑d through the observance of the mitzvos.10

* * *

2. It is written, “He placed the world in their hearts;” i.e., everything that transpires in the world at large depends on, and has its source, in the service performed by a Jew in his heart. A person is called “a world in microcosm” and is instructed by our Sages to realize that the world at large was created “for him.”

Thus, the above concepts relating to the redemption from exile, the destruction of the forces of exile, and the entry into Eretz Yisrael, all have parallels within our personal service of G‑d. Eretz Yisraelrefers to the realm of holiness, the observance of Torah and mitzvos where G‑dliness is openly revealed. In contrast, the Diaspora refers to mundane affairs, activities which share no intrinsic connection to holiness. On the contrary, they cause difficulty (maitzirim in Hebrew which relates to Mitzrayim, Egypt)and confusion (bilbul in Hebrew which relates to Bavel, Babylon).

Ultimately, “Eretz Yisrael will spread out to all other lands;” i.e., our service of holiness will permeate even our mundane activities and they will be performed in a manner of “May all your deeds be for the sake of Heaven” and “Know Him in all your ways.”

For this to be possible, however, there are certain aspects regarding our involvement in the world at large, e.g. the aspects of Egypt and Babylon mentioned above, that cannot be elevated and which must be broken and destroyed.

In Chassidic thought, a similar concept is described in regard to our power of desire and the selfish and materialistic orientation which characterizes it. The power of desire itself is positive and can be directed toward holiness. In contrast, its selfish and materialistic orientation is bad and must be destroyed entirely.11

We can learn how to carry out the service of nullifying evil from the command, “Come to Pharaoh.” It is necessary to confront and break the evil in its place of power. Once this process is completed, it is possible to nullify all its peripheral expressions.

Since confronting evil in its place of power may cause a Jew to become afraid, G‑d tells the spark of Moshe that exists within every Jew, not to be afraid, to come with Him to Pharaoh, that He Himself will wage war against him and negate the power of evil.

Each person has a different conception of Egypt and Babylon, i.e., the aspects of material existence which cause him difficulty and confuse him. There are some who are disturbed and confused because of a deficiency in their service of G‑d, while others are disturbed and confused because of a lack in their material affairs.12

We can be assured that these hindrances will also be nullified. The Jews are considered as G‑d’s children as it is written, “My son, My firstborn, Israel.” Parents eagerly try to fulfill their children’s desires although they recognize that what their children want is really unimportant and the child desires it only because of his limited understanding. Although he knows this to be true, a parent does not make such calculations. As soon as he sees that his child wants something, he does not try to teach him that it is not worth wanting, he tries to obtain it for his child.

Similarly, when G‑d sees that a Jew — His small child, as it were — wants something, even though the matter is of petty concern, merely a material lack, He tries to provide His child with it. Before the Jew feels a real need, G‑d “satisfies the desire of every living being.”13

Furthermore, if the above applies when a child wants something of no real consequence, surely it holds true when the child, the Jews, want something of genuine worth, indeed, of the most ultimate importance, that the Jews and the Divine Presence14 leave exile. Even if the Jews are still lacking in their service, G‑d “will redeem Israel from all his afflictions,” including the greatest affliction, the exile, and only afterwards, will “He redeem Israel from all His sins.”15

3. The above concepts are particularly relevant in our generation because Parshas Bo, is always read in connection with the Previous Rebbe’s yahrzeit.16 The Previous Rebbe’s service was, as his name Yosef implies, associated with the verse, “May G‑d add on to me another son;” transforming one who is “another,” estranged from his Jewish roots, into a “son.” Thus, the Previous Rebbe was involved in spreading Yiddishkeit and Chassidus to those Jews who (through no fault of their own, merely because they were tinokos shenishbu) were distant from Jewish practice. These efforts included the translation of Jewish texts (including works of Pnimiyus HaTorah) into other languages for those who could not understand Lashon HaKodesh (“the holy tongue”).17

Furthermore, the Previous Rebbe was also involved with gentiles — those who are “another” in a real sense — and sought to spread justice and righteousness in the world at large, strengthening people’s faith in the Creator, and thus motivating them to fulfill the seven universal commandments given to Noach and his descendants.

These efforts — both among the Jews and among the gentiles — were enhanced when the Previous Rebbe came to America.18 This gave a greater potential to elevate even the lowest aspects of existence and for these efforts to spread.

Significantly, the Previous Rebbe’s activities were carried out with the emphasis that they were preparations for the ultimate redemption. His drawing close those Jews far from Jewish practice was a preparation for the fulfillment of the prophecy, “And the L‑rd will stretch forth His hand... to His people.. [in] the islands of the sea... and gather the dispersed of Israel.” Similarly, his efforts with the gentiles were a preparation for the fulfillment of the prophecy, “Then I will transform the nations to a clear speech...”

Thus, it is appropriate to prepare for the commemoration of the Previous Rebbe’s yahrzeit by: a) increasing the study of his teachings; b) giving tzedakah to those institutions which carry out his directives and those which are named after him; c) holding farbrengens at which resolutions will be made to continue following in the path of service he outlined.

In particular, an emphasis should be made on the closeness of the ultimate redemption. To quote the Previous Rebbe, “All of you, stand prepared to greet Mashiach.” This is particularly in the present year, a year when “I will show you wonders,” and indeed, in the last weeks, we have seen open signs of the coming of the redemption.

The Yalkut Shimoni states that in the year when Mashiach will come:

Nations will challenge each other.... The King of Persia19 will challenge an Arab king.... All the nations of the world will panic and be seized by consternation.... [G‑d will tell the Jews:] “My children. Do not fear. Everything which I have wrought, I have performed only for your sake. The time for your redemption has come.”

Surely, these events will bring no harm to the Jewish people, particularly those living in Eretz Yisrael,“the land where the eyes of G‑d, your L‑rd, are always upon it, from the beginning of the year until its end.” On the contrary, Eretz Yisrael is the safest place in the world.

The gentiles will not be able to harm the Jews. Those who have suffered harm will surely be healed immediately.20 And even before the imminent coming of the redemption, “All the children of Israel will enjoy light in their dwellings.”

The knowledge of the imminence of Mashiach’s coming should inspire an increase in our observance of the Torah and its mitzvos for, as the Rambam writes, “one mitzvah can tip one’s individual balance... and that of the world at large and bring deliverance and salvation.”

May we soon no longer need any signs for Mashiach’s coming because, in the closest and most immediate future — he will come

Shabbos Vaeira – Mevarchim Shevat | 25 Teves – 3 Shevat, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI JAN 12th 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:21 pm

SHABBOS SAT JAN 13th 
Tehilim for Mevarchim Shevat – 8 am
Shacharis: 9 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 10:06 am/
Mincha 4:21 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:25 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
This week’s Kiddush is sponsored by Arkadiy and Tatyana Gertsen in honor of their granddaughter, Sarah Greenberg's Bat Mitzvah!  Sarah is the daughter of Mariana and Netanial Greenberg; granddaughter of Arkadiy and Tatyana Gertsen and Leah and Andy Hartman.  Great-granddaughter of Sofiya Gertsen, mother of Arkadiy Gertsen. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am
Mon,Tue,Thu, Fri Shacharis 7 am 
Wed Shacharis 6:50 am /ROSH CHODESH SHEVAT/
Sun -Wed Mincha 4:35 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:24 pm/

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Sarah Greenberg on her Bas Mitzvah!  Mazel Tov to Sarah’s parents Mariana and Netanial Greenberg , grandparents Arkadiy and Tatyana Gertsen and Leah and Andy Hartman, and great grandmother Sofiya Gertsen

BARUCH DAYAN EMETH
We regret to inform you of the passing of Mrs. Nechama (bas Shimon) Strauss , wife of Shmuel Leib ob”m. She is survived by her children, Shloime, Mark and Shimon and grandchildren. Shiva will be in Brooklyn, NY.
http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=48986

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

FARBRENGEN ALERT IN HONOR OF CHOVAT haLEVAVOT- FRI JAN 12th    3PM
Please join us on for an Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah, in honor of the publication of Chovat Halevavot (“Duties of the Heart”) , the classical work on Jewish ethics, authored by Rabbi Bachya ben Yosef ibn Paquda (the first "Rabbeinu Bechayei") on or before 1161, and translated into Hebrew from the original Arabic by the famed translator R. Judah ibn Tibbon in 1167. It was first published on the 25th of Tevet of the year 5319 from creation (1559).

TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8:15 AM SHABBOS MORNING
All are welcome to this inspiring class.

PAINT AND SIP – SUN FEB 11th 7:30PM
Hosted by Myriam Caro. A ChabadofSeattle.org project.  Info:  
MHerbstman@gmail.com

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am - Noon
This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please email 
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION  10 am – Noon /NOT THIS WEEK/
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

PLEASE HELP US PAY FOR CSTL SECURITY
From the CSTL Board:  The membership of CSTL has spoken, and the consensus is that we wish to maintain a security presence at CSTL on Shabbat and chaggim. A four-hour shift (the minimum available) costs us $160, a total of around $10,000/year.  We are asking all families and member units to donate $100 to this fund.  To Donate:  
www.CSTLSeattle.org.

AVOS U’BONIM SAT NIGHT /NOT THIS WEEK/
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.  Refreshments.  Grand Raffle.  Prizes.  Info:  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com Generously sponsored by James Packman,in loving memory of his father Howard Packman, Chaim ben Avigdor Tzvi Z"L whose birthday is this coming week (January 11th)

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


 COMMUNITY NEWS

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle "Connections 2018" Sun Jan 28th 11 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info:
www.jewishinseattle.org

Camp Yavneh 2018, June 25th - August 17th 
Registration now open for Camp Yavneh. Staff applications now available at
www.campyavnehseattle.com    

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9 PM – 11 PM
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

EZRA BESSAROTH BRUNCH – SUN JAN 28th 10 AM
Join NY Times Bestselling author Bruce Henderson for a delicious brunch @ EB accompanied by a fascinating discussion of his new book,  "Sons and Soldiers" Cost: $5/person.  
www.EzraBessaroth.net

FRUTICAS (TU b’SHEVAT) AT EZRA BESSAROTH – TUE JAN 30th 6 PM
Info: 
www.EzraBessaroth.net

BCMH Sisterhood Tu B'Shevat Event for Women, Jan. 28 7:00-9:00 pm.
Cost: $20, limit of 20 participants, first come, first serve. Register at 
www.bcmhseattle.org

REBBITZIN SEIGELBAUM FROM BAT AYIN RETURNS TO SEATTLE FEB 10th & 11th 
Info: 
www.EzraBessaroth.net

Mercaz Shabbaton Feb 10-11th 
With Rav Natan Greenberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Bat Ayin Yeshiva. Sponsorship available. Email:
info@mercazseattle.org

Limmud Seattle – Motzei Shabbos Jan 13th to Sun Jan 14th 
A unique experience of engaging, hands-on Torah learning in a community that celebrates Jewish diversity. 
http://www.limmudseattle.org/  at the Shoreline Conference Center:18560 1st Ave NE, Shoreline, WA

Community Trip to Israel. April 29th -May 8th , 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.


REBBE’S SICHO FOR VAEIRA
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507781/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Vaeira-26th-Day-of-Teves-5751-1991.htm  © SichosInEnglish.org

1. The 24th of Teves, the Alter Rebbe’s yahrzeit, generally falls in the week of Parshas Vaeira.Based on the principle that the festivals have a connection to the Torah portions read at that time, we can assume that there is a connection between the Alter Rebbe’s yahrzeit and Parshas Vaeira.

That connection can be seen in the second verse of the Torah reading which states, “And I revealed Myself to Avraham, to Yitzchok, and to Yaakov [the Patriarchs (Rashi)] as the Almighty G‑d.” The Hebrew word for Almighty, ש-די, is an acronym for the names Shneur שניאור, the Alter Rebbe’s name; DovBer דובער, the Maggid of Mezritch’s name; and Yisrael ישראל, the Baal Shem Tov’s name. These three Rebbeim represent the “Patriarchs” of the Chassidic movement.

The service of the Patriarchs was a preparatory stage for the giving of the Torah and the entrance intoEretz Yisrael. Indeed, G‑d redeemed the Jews because of the covenant that He had made with the Patriarchs. Similarly, the service of the “Patriarchs” of Chassidus prepares us for the Future Redemption and the revelation of Pnimiyus HaTorah which comes at that time.

To explain the above in greater depth: The Torah is eternal and its narratives are not merely accounts of past history, but rather directives which apply at all times. In particular, this applies in regard to the Patriarchs for, “the deeds of the Patriarchs are a sign to their descendants” and the Patriarchs endow their descendants, the Jews in every generation, with their immense spiritual legacy.

In this context, the relevance of the beginning of the Torah portion, “And I revealed Myself to Avraham, to Yitzchok, and to Yaakov as the Almighty G‑d, but I did not reveal My name Havayahto them,” raises a question. Since the name Havayah has been revealed — the fullest dimension of this revelation coming at the giving of the Torah — of what significance is it that the Patriarchs were not granted such a revelation?

Furthermore, it is necessary to understand: The name ש-די is associated with creation as the Talmud states, “I am He who said די (“enough”) to the world.” If so, what is unique about the revelation of the name ש-די to the Patriarchs?

This narrative raises another question. On the phrase, “but I did not reveal My name Havayah to them,” Rashi comments, “I did not let My attribute (מדה) of truth become known to them.” The use of the word middah is problematic because it also has the connotation “measure.” How can the nameHavayah which reflects an infinite dimension of G‑dliness be associated with any particularmiddah?

The concept can be explained as follows. There are two interpretations to the name ש-די: “I am He who said די (‘enough’) to the world,” and “There is די (‘enough’) within My Divine potential for every creation.”

According to the first interpretation, די refers to the world and indicates that the world will be confined within certain limits. According to the second interpretation, די refers to G‑d and points to His potential to provide His creations with all their needs.

Thus, the revelation of the name ש-די to the Patriarchs refers to the second dimension. At the time of creation, the revelation of the first dimension of ש-די established the limits of our worldly existence. By revealing Himself to the Patriarchs, G‑d brought about an influx of Divine beneficence that satisfied “every creation.”

Implied by the above is that the Patriarchs were able to reveal G‑dliness within the context of the world’s limits. The revelation they brought about, however, was also limited, only that dimension of G‑dliness which could be enclothed within the creations themselves, for until the giving of the Torah there was “a decree” separating the spiritual from the physical. “My name Havayah,” the potential to drawn down the dimension of G‑dliness which transcends the world, was not revealed to them.

At the giving of the Torah, however, G‑d nullified this decree and granted the potential for the G‑dliness which transcends creation to be revealed within the context of our limited existence. This does not mean that the revelation would nullify those limits. Instead, the intent was that the world itself would become a vessel for G‑dliness, that the infinite revelations would be internalized within it, and in this manner, the world would become “a dwelling for G‑d.”

For this to be accomplished, it was necessary that there be preparatory stages for this revelation. First the dimension of ש-די that established the world’s limitations had to be revealed and afterwards, the dimension of ש-די which brought about the revelation of G‑dliness that was able to be enclothed within the limits of creation. This refined the world and prepared it for the revelation of the giving of the Torah. Thus, even after the Torah was given, the revelation to the Patriarchs is significant for it grants the potential for our limited world to internalize the revelation of the name Havayah. This allows us to appreciate that, from an inner dimension, the revelation of the name ש-די to the Patriarchs is not an independent revelation, but rather a phase in the revelation of Havayah.

In this context, we can appreciate Rashi’s statement, “I did not let My attribute (מדה) of truth become known to them.” The intent is that the name Havayah be revealed with the context of middah(“measure”). The measure in which it is revealed, however, is “My middah,” G‑d’s infinite measure, and not the limited measure of the world itself.

To explain the above from a deeper perspective: The difference between the two sources of revelation, Havayah and ש-די, as they exist after the giving of the Torah, reflect the difference between the Torah (which is above limitation) and the world (which is limited). In particular, this contrast can be seen as a reflection of the difference between the Torah and the mitzvos. Mitzvos are also related to the limits of the world and thus have certain limitations regarding the times and places where they are to be fulfilled. In contrast, the Torah is above the limitations of the world. Therefore, the obligation for Torah study is constant, applying in all times and in all places.

Furthermore, this contrast between the Torah and its mitzvos applies only with regard to the actual performance of the mitzvos. As the mitzvos exist within the Torah itself, they like the Torah, are above the limitations of time and space. Accordingly, even though the Beis HaMikdash is destroyed, when a Jew in the Diaspora studies the laws of the sacrifices even during the night, his study is considered equivalent to the actual offering of the sacrifices.1

Similarly, as the mitzvos exist within the Torah, there is no difference between the positive commandments and the negative commandments. As they exist within the world, the positive commandments represent the performance of an activity and the negative commandments, an act of restraint. As they exist within the Torah, however, they both represent positive forces.

The manner in which the mitzvos exist within the Torah is exemplified in our Sages’ statement that when the Jews received the Torah, they answered “yes” when they were instructed to fulfill both the positive commandments and the negative commandments. This implies that one makes a commitment to the essence of the mitzvos, the connection (tzavsa) with G‑d established by themitzvos. Furthermore, the negative commandments are also appreciated as mediums to draw down holiness.

These concepts should be reflected in the existence of a Jew within this material world. He must see his 248 limbs and 365 sinews as extensions of the 248 positive commandments and the 365 negative commandments.

Based on the above, we can understand the change brought about by the giving of the Torah from a deeper perspective. The intent of the giving of the Torah was that the G‑dliness which transcends the creation should not remain above the limitations of the world, but rather should permeate those limitations as explained above. This is accomplished through the mitzvos which are, on one hand, associated with the limitations of worldly existence — for as explained above, the mitzvos are dependent on the limits of time and place — and yet are connected with the infinite potential of the Torah. This allows the spiritual source of each entity to be revealed and even those entities which appear negative to become positive forces which reveal G‑d’s will.

This is brought about by the Torah, the revelation of the name Havayah. Before the giving of the Torah, when there was a decree separating the spiritual and the physical, the world was only able to receive a revelation of G‑dliness that did not negate the limits of the world (ש-די). Thus, it was possible to say that the revelation of this level is separate from the revelation of the name Havayah.Through the revelation of the giving of the Torah which allowed the infinite G‑dliness of Havayahto permeate all aspects of existence, it was revealed that the revelation of G‑dliness within creation is also a dimension of this infinite revelation.

This relates to our Sages’ statement that the Patriarchs observed the entire Torah before it was given. In this manner, they revealed the level of ש-די within the world. The inner dimension of this revelation is the name Havayah.

Of the Patriarchs, the one most closely associated with the Torah is Yaakov.2 Thus the Torah describes him as “a simple person, a dweller of tents,” i.e., “the tents of Shem and Ever.” Similarly, we find the verse, “they will instruct Your judgments to Yaakov and Your Torah to Israel.” Thus, although more than the other Patriarchs, Yaakov was forced to confront difficulties and troubles in the world at large — the difficulties of Lavan, Eisav, Dinah, and Yosef — the Torah emphasizes how he remained on a level of completeness as it is written, “And Yaakov came to the city of Shechemcomplete.” Our Sages comment, “complete in his body, that his limp was healed; complete in his finances, that he was not lacking anything from the large present [sent Eisav], complete in his Torah, that he had not forgotten his studies in the house of Lavan.”

Yaakov remained complete even though “a man wrestled with him.” On the contrary, “he strove with an angel and with men and prevailed.” He was able to force the angel to bless him and, furthermore, the wound he suffered when wrestling with the angel healed.

This is a reflection of the connection between Yaakov and the Torah. Since the Torah is the source for all perfection, even the aspects of perfection connected with worldly matters, Yaakov who is associated with Torah confronts worldliness and remains “complete.”3

Based on the above, we can appreciate the connection between the 24th of Teves, the yahrzeit of the Alter Rebbe, and Parshas Vaeira. Of the three “Patriarchs” of the Chassidic movement, the Alter Rebbe, like the Patriarch Yaakov is associated with Torah study. This is reflected in the fact that the Alter Rebbe is referred to as “the author of the Tanya and the Shulchan Aruch.” These two texts are of fundamental importance, the Tanya being “the Written Law of Pnimiyus HaTorah” and theShulchan Aruch, a basic text of Nigleh, the revealed dimensions of Torah law.4

It can be explained that just as the revelation of G‑dliness by the Patriarchs was a preparation for the revelation of the Torah, the revelation of Pnimiyus HaTorah by the “Patriarchs of Chassidus” serves as a preparatory stage for the revelation of Pnimiyus HaTorah in the world at large in the Era of Redemption. This will be the complete revelation of the name Havayah. This revelation will permeate even the lowest dimension of worldly existence.

Just as among the Patriarchs, the fullest expression of their service was exemplified by Yaakov, similarly, among the “Patriarchs of Chassidus,” the Alter Rebbe epitomized the spreading ofPnimiyus HaTorah, revealing its teachings within a structured intellectual pattern. This transition into the realm of intellect reflects how Pnimiyus HaTorah is drawn down into the limits of the world at large.

These two concepts — the emphasis on the Torah and the efforts to draw down that Torah into the limits of the world at large — are reflected in the Alter Rebbe’s name, Shneur Zalman. Shneur relates to the words Shnei Or (“two lights”), the light of Nigleh and the light of Pnimiyus HaTorah. Zalman shares the same letters as the word l’zman (“to time”), reflecting how these lights of Torah will permeate the limits of time (and thus space) which define our material world.5 Since the Alter Rebbe fused the two dimensions of Torah, Nigleh and Pnimiyus HaTorah, together, he also had the potential to reveal Torah, the G‑dliness that transcends creation, within the creation itself.

Just as Yaakov our Patriarch was forced to confront many difficulties and tribulations, so, too, the Alter Rebbe was subjected to the difficulties of imprisonment. Nevertheless, these difficulties did not hinder his service. On the contrary, he was redeemed and his redemption increased the spreading of the wellsprings of Chassidus outward. This service was continued by the Rebbeim who followed him, each one spreading Chassidus further and thus preparing the world at large for the revelation ofPnimiyus HaTorah in the Era of Redemption.

2. The Hebrew word Avos translated as “Patriarchs” literally means “fathers.” By referring to Avraham, Yitzchok, and Yaakov as the fathers of the Jewish people, we imply that just as a father’s estate becomes the property of his children, each Jew a descendant of the Patriarchs, inherits their great spiritual legacy.

Thus, we must look at every Jew as an heir to the Patriarchs and realize how, “His nation are a part of G‑d; Yaakov is the cord of His inheritance.” Similarly, every Jew is called Yisrael, one who “strove with an angel and with men and prevailed.” Because of a Jew’s essence, each Jew, regardless of his present situation, even as he exists in the darkness of exile in this material world, can “strive with an angel and with men and prevail.”

Furthermore, every Jew, regardless of his present situation, inherits the entire Torah as it is written, “The Torah which Moshe commanded us is the inheritance of the congregation of Yaakov.” Since each Jew is a member of “the congregation of Yaakov,” he is an heir to the Torah. An heir receives his inheritance regardless of his personal standing. Similarly, each Jew receives the entire Torah as his inheritance.6

This is what we must perceive when we look at another Jew. If these positive qualities are not perceived, we must understand that they are being obscured by the darkness of exile, and it is necessary to search further. If one sees undesirable qualities, one must realize that the other person is, to quote the Baal Shem Tov, only a mirror and those undesirable qualities are in fact one’s own. The appreciation of the positive qualities of each Jew are emphasized by the teachings of the “Patriarchs of Chassidus.” Thus, the Baal Shem Tov taught that G‑d loves each Jew as dearly as parents love an only son.

The awareness of these concepts should inspire greater ahavas Yisrael. In this context, we see a unique emphasis in the teachings of the Alter Rebbe who devoted an entire chapter, Chapter 32,7 to the subject of ahavas Yisrael. Furthermore, in the first draft of the Tanya, the Alter Rebbe did not include Chapter 32. This implies that the content of the chapters 31 and 33 themselves could be understood without such an addition. Thus, the fact that such an addition was made highlights its importance and reflects that the lesson of Chapter 32 is of fundamental significance.8

In this context, we can appreciate the significance of the fact that Rosh Chodesh Shvat is celebrated on Wednesday, “the day on which the luminaries were suspended in the heavens.” The word “luminaries” is plural, referring to both the sun, “the great luminary,” and the moon, “the small luminary.”

This provides every Jew with a twofold lesson in his service of G‑d. Firstly, he must appreciate that he is a “luminary,” that he can and he must, shine forth and provide others with light. Secondly, the mention of the two luminaries, the sun and the moon, teaches one that he must be both a great luminary and a small luminary.

Being a “great luminary” implies that a person realizes that he possesses important potentials which he wants to use in a contributory fashion. (Needless to say, for his contributions to be received, it is necessary for him to give in a generous and positive manner.)

Being a “small luminary” implies that a person must appreciate and radiate to others that other individuals can contribute to him as our Sages comment, “Who is a wise man? One who learns from every person.” As a small luminary, one reflects the positive virtues that others possess.

A person must know how to express both these dimensions in his life and must have the sensitivity to appreciate which quality is demanded at each particular time.

The above statements concerning the positive qualities of each Jew are particularly appropriate regarding the present generation, the heirs to the legacy of holiness left by the martyrs of the previous generation. We are “a brand saved from the fire,” a clear example of how, despite awesome challenges, “Yaakov came to the city of Shechem complete.”9

One must realize how much G‑d loves the Jewish people as a whole and each individual Jew in particular as we recite in our prayers, “With eternal love, You have loved us.” In particular, the present era, is a time when this love is expressed. It resembles the month of Elul, a time when “the King is in the field” and receives everyone with a pleasant countenance and shows everyone a smiling countenance. Now is a time when we can approach G‑d with our requests and He will grant them.

Particularly, after the Holocaust, G‑d owes the Jewish people, as it were, to make up for the horrors which the Jewish people suffered10 and to bring them blessing, including leading them to teshuvahwhich will speed the coming of the Future Redemption. The Jews — each individual and the people as a whole — will be blessed with open and apparent good and only with good.

If this is true at all times and particularly in our generation, it has special relevance at present when, “nations are challenging each other.” G‑d gives the Jews a special promise that “all that I have performed I have performed for your sake.” Throughout the world, we are promised, “The Guardian of Israel does not slumber or sleep.” In particular, this applies in Eretz Yisrael, where “the eyes of G‑d, your L‑rd are always upon it from the beginning of the year until its end.”

3. The verse “And Yaakov came to the city of Shechem complete,” provides us with a practically applicable lesson. At first, Yaakov feared a war over Shechem. Nevertheless, when all the nations around him massed to attack him, he put on armor and conquered Shechem “with his sword and bow.”

To apply this in present terms, all the nations around Eretz Yisrael attacked her and the Jews were forced to “put on armor” and they conquered Shechem and the areas of Judah and Samaria with “a sword and a bow.” After G‑d has given these lands back to the Jewish people, it is absolutely forbidden to return them; doing so would endanger the lives of millions of Jews. Rather they should be settled by the Jewish people.

With unique Hashgachah Protis, at this time, hundreds of thousands of Jews are arriving in Eretz Yisrael from Russia. They should be given the opportunity to settle in these lands in peace and security. In this manner, through teshuvah, these Jews will be able to correct and make up for the seventy years they were prevented from observing Torah and mitzvos.11

* * *

4. In connection with the yahrzeit of the Alter Rebbe, it is proper to increase our study of his works, establishing fixed times to study the Tanya and his Shulchan Aruch, together with the explanation of these works in the texts of the Rebbeim who followed him. This applies to everyone, both men and women, for women are also required to study the laws governing those mitzvos in which they are obligated and also the teachings of Chassidus, for they enable us to fulfill the mitzvos of the love and fear of G‑d which women are also obligated to fulfill.

(In this context, it is worthy to mention the efforts of my mother who was known for her ability to copy carefully Chassidic texts to enable them to be circulated throughout the Chassidic community.)

The study of the works of the Rebbeim is facilitated by the fact that at present, there are a multitude of texts of Chassidus and the explanations of the Rebbeim in Nigleh which are being printed. Furthermore, even many of the texts which were previously printed using the characters of Rashiscript, are now being reprinted using square letters.

May the printing of these Chassidic texts hasten the coming of the era when no single Jew will remain in exile and rather, we will proceed “with our youth and with our elders, with our sons and with our daughters,” to the ultimate redemption.12 May it be in the immediate future.

Shabbos Shemos | 18-25 Teves, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI JAN 5th 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:14 pm

SHABBOS SAT JAN 6th 
Shacharis: 9 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 10:06 am/
Mincha 4:14 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:19 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush  Lite – No sponsor.  Meat cholent sponsored by Ploni Almoni.  The delicious cholent will be made by Rabbi Mendy Levitin.  Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am
Mon- Fri Shacharis 7 am 
Sun -Wed Mincha 4:25 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:14 pm/

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

FARBRENGEN ALERT IN HONOR OF RAMBAM’S YAHRZEIT - FRI JAN 5th    3PM
Please join us on for an Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah, in honor of the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Moses Maimonides, the Rambam, 20 Tevet.

FARBRENGEN ALERT CHOF DALED TEVES - THU JAN 11th    YAHRZEIT OF THE ALTER REBBE
Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Laidi ZT”L, the first Rebbe of Chabad.   Venue to be announced.

TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8:15 AM SHABBOS MORNING
All are welcome to this inspiring class.

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am - Noon
This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please email 
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION  10 am – Noon
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

PLEASE HELP US PAY FOR CSTL SECURITY
From the CSTL Board:  The membership of CSTL has spoken, and the consensus is that we wish to maintain a security presence at CSTL on Shabbat and chaggim. A four-hour shift (the minimum available) costs us $160, a total of around $10,000/year.  We are asking all families and member units to donate $100 to this fund.  To Donate:  
www.CSTLSeattle.org.

AVOS U’BONIM SAT NIGHT JAN 6th 6:30pm at CSTL
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video. Refreshments.  Grand Raffle. Prizes. Info: 
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com Generously sponsored by James Packman, in loving memory of his father Howard Packman, Chaim ben Avigdor Tzvi Z"L whose birthday is this coming week (January 11th)

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle "Connections 2018" Sun Jan 28th 11 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info:
www.jewishinseattle.org

NYHS is offering the ISEE Sun Jan 7th 
Independent School Entrance Exam for prospective students who are applying to NYHS, a required exam. More info: 
admissions@nyhs.org  or (206) 232-5272 ext. 515.

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9 PM – 11 PM
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

EZRA BESSAROTH BRUNCH – SUN JAN 28th 10 AM
Join NY Times Bestselling author Bruce Henderson for a delicious brunch @ EB accompanied by a fascinating discussion of his new book,  "Sons and Soldiers" Cost: $5/person. 
www.EzraBessaroth.net

FRUTICAS (TU b’SHEVAT) AT EZRA BESSAROTH – TUE JAN 30th 6 PM
Info: 
www.EzraBessaroth.net

REBBITZIN SEIGELBAUM FROM BAT AYIN RETURNS TO SEATTLE FEB 10th & 11th 
Info: 
www.EzraBessaroth.net

Mercaz Shabbaton Feb 10-11th 
With Rav Natan Greenberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Bat Ayin Yeshiva. Sponsorship available. Email:
info@mercazseattle.org

Limmud Seattle – Motzei Shabbos Jan 13th to Sun Jan 14th 
A unique experience of engaging, hands-on Torah learning in a community that celebrates Jewish diversity. 
http://www.limmudseattle.org/  at the Shoreline Conference Center:18560 1st Ave NE, Shoreline, WA

Community Trip to Israel. April 29th -May 8th , 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.


 REBBE’S SICHO FOR SHEMOS
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507780/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Shmos-19th-Day-of-Teves-5751-1991.htm  © SichosInEnglish.org

This week’s Torah reading begins, “These are the names of the children of Yisrael coming into Egypt with Yaakov. They came with their households.” This verse raises several questions: a) Why does the verse use the present tense, “coming”? The descent of the Jews had taken place hundreds of years beforehand and seemingly, the past tense would be more appropriate. Indeed, in Parshas Vayigash,where the Jews’ descent into Egypt is first described, the verse states, “And Yaakov and all his descendants came into Egypt.” b) What is the significance of the mention of both names, Yaakov and Yisrael, in our verse? c) Parshas Vayigash mentions “Yaakov and his sons coming into Egypt.” In contrast, our Torah portion mentions “the children of Yisrael coming into Egypt with Yaakov.”

These questions can be resolved within the context of the Midrash’s interpretation of this verse. TheMidrash states:

Did they enter [Egypt] that day? Behold many days passed from the time they had entered Egypt. Nevertheless, as long as Yosef was alive, they were not burdened by the Egyptians. When Yosef died, the Egyptians imposed burdens upon them. Therefore, the verse describes them as “coming into Egypt.” It was as if they first entered Egypt that day.

Since “the Torah is eternal,” this teaching must also contain a lesson relevant to the present. It is, however, difficult to appreciate that lesson. On the contrary, we are in the last days of the exile. “All the appointed times for Mashiach’s coming have passed and the matter depends on teshuvah alone.” Furthermore, we have already carried out the service of teshuvah and have, to quote the Previous Rebbe, “polished the buttons,” and are prepared to greet Mashiach. What relevance therefore, does the concept of coming into exile today have for us?

To explain: There is a difference between the Book of Shmos and the Book of Bereishis. The Book ofBereishis is described as “the Book of the Just,” i.e., it relates the stories of the Patriarchs who were just. In contrast, Shmos begins the chronicles of their descendants, the narrative of the Jewish people as a communal entity. Bereishis is a necessary preliminary to such a narrative for the lives of the Patriarchs grant us the potential to carry out all the mitzvos mentioned in the later books.

This concept is based on the transition brought about by the giving of the Torah. The Midrash relates that before the giving of the Torah, spirituality was totally separate from our material existence. When the Torah was given, however, the potential was granted to infuse holiness into the material substance of the world (revelation from above) and also elevate that material substance, transforming it into a sacred object.

The service of the Patriarchs, however, was necessary to bring about such a transition. This was accomplished by their complete self-nullification to G‑dliness to the extent that they are described as G‑d’s “chariot.” This implies that even as they existed within this material world, they were a “chariot,” [i.e., an intermediary which transfers an entity from one place to another,] for G‑d as He is manifest in the spiritual realms,1 to be revealed within this material world. This granted the potential for their descendants, the Jewish people, to draw down G‑dliness through the observance of the Torah and its mitzvos.2

There is, however, an advantage to our observance of the Torah and its mitzvos over the service of the Patriarchs. The Patriarch’s service was preparatory in nature, granting the potential for drawing holiness into this material world. The actual service of drawing down holiness, the establishment of a dwelling for G‑d in this material world, is accomplished through the observance of the Torah and itsmitzvos. This observance brings G‑dliness into this world in an open and manifest manner.

The beginning of the service of the Jewish people in actually drawing G‑dliness into this world is reflected in the verse, “These are the names of the children of Yisrael coming into Egypt with Yaakov. They came with their households.”

The Jewish people descended to Egypt to draw G‑dliness into the lowest levels of material existence. To emphasize their potential to carry out this service, they are described as “the children of Yisrael.” Yisrael was “the chosen of the Patriarchs,” and his spiritual qualities were passed on to his descendants.

To explain: Yaakov was given the name Yisrael because he “strove with angels and men and prevailed.” Similarly the name Yisrael (ישראל) contains the letters of the words li rosh (לי ראש) “a head for Me,” i.e., the Jews are a head for G‑d, as it were. Indeed, the Jews are above the level of G‑d’s “head,” for a Jewish soul is “an actual part of G‑d from above,” one with G‑d’s very essence.

Thus, the level of Yisrael stands above all connection to Egypt (מצרים), the boundaries and limitations (מיצרים) of worldly existence. Surely, it is above the concept of exile, in which the ruling authorities causes difficulty (מצירות) to the Jews. Since Yisrael has the power to “strive with angels and men and prevail” and is “a head for Me” as it were, this level cannot be contained within any limits and surely, is not subject to exile.

Who can descend to Egypt? “The descendants (i.e., the extension) of Yisrael.” Similarly, Yaakov which refers to a lower level than Yisrael, the aspect in the Jewish soul which descends to and permeates the heel (עקב)3 can enter Egypt.

Based on the above, we can explain the difference between the Torah’s expressions in our Torah portion and in Parshas VayigashParshas Vayigash describes the Jews’ descent to Egypt, the boundaries and limitations of worldly existence. They were not, however, enslaved or in exile per se.Therefore, the Torah relates that Yaakov went down to Egypt. Our Torah portion, in contrast, describes “the children of Yisrael... coming... with Yaakov,” this implies a lower level.

Although the children of Yisrael are on a lower level than Yisrael himself and thus can descend into exile, nevertheless, because they are the “children of Yisrael,” they are full heirs to the legacy left them by the Patriarchs. Therefore, the descent into Egypt cannot affect them in a negative way. On the contrary, they have the potential to refine and elevate Egypt, taking from it all the sparks of G‑dliness invested in it, leaving it like “a silo without any grain.”

Based on the above, we can understand why the Jews are described as “coming into Egypt,” in the present tense. Despite the many years which they had been in Egypt, on any — every — given day, it could be considered as if they had entered Egypt that very day. Since the Jews inherit all the qualities of the Patriarchs, including those of Yaakov, i.e., the potential to “strive with angels and men and prevail,” they are, in essence, above the exile. Thus, their existence within the exile is a new development, a present happening.

This infinite potential bequeathed by the Patriarchs to their descendants gives them the opportunity to accomplish the purpose of the exile, to draw G‑dliness into the world and establish a dwelling for G‑d. When a Jew is aware of the infinite potential that he possesses and thus feels that his existence within the exile is a new development, he becomes aware of the purpose of the exile and this enables him to accomplish this purpose. Thus each moment the Jews are in exile is not a continuation of the previous years of exile, but a new moment, in which our service should be fulfilled with new energy, with the hope of redemption in the near future.

This is reflected in each person’s individual service each day for “in each and every generation (and as the Alter Rebbe adds, in each and every day), a person is obligated to see himself as if he is leaving Egypt (that day).” This is reflected in the service of,

redeeming the G‑dly soul from the imprisonment of the body to be included in union with the light of the Ein Sof through the service of Torah and mitzvos... and in particular through the yoke of G‑d’s kingdom in Kerias Shema.... This is [comparable to] the exodus from Egypt. For this reason, it was ordained to mention the exodus from Egypt in the recitation of the Shema.

The potential to experience an exodus from Egypt every day also includes the awareness that each moment, the entry into exile is a new and present happening. Since yesterday, a Jew left Egypt, i.e., went beyond his personal limitations, the fact that today he also finds himself within limitations — even though those limitations could be considered as transcendent when compared to his situation of the previous day — is a new entry into exile.

Each morning, when a person wakes up, he is “a new creation,” and G‑d has returned his soul, “an actual part of G‑d,” to him. Thus, his nature is above all connection to the limitations of the body. It is as if “today he entered into Egypt.” And the awareness of this concept will inspire him to carry out his service of refining the body with new and increased power. Since, in essence, he is above the exile, even when he is found within the exile, it does not limit him. Although he has spent years in Egypt, i.e., in the personal sense, years confined by the body and the animal soul, since his soul is “an actual part of G‑d,” he is fundamentally above the exile.4

The concept that, at every moment, the Jews are entering exile anew because essentially, they are above the exile, is also reflected in the events described subsequently in our Torah portion. When G‑d told Moshe to collect the elders of the Jewish people, Moshe protested that they would not believe him. Our Sages explained that Moshe:

spoke improperly at that time. The Holy One, blessed be He, told him, “They will listen to your voice,” and he protested, “They will not believe me.” [G‑d told Moshe:] “They are believers and the descendants of believers.”

The Maharsha explains that Moshe’s error came from his underestimation of the impact of the sign which G‑d had given him to convey to the Jewish people. Since both Yaakov and Yosef had told the Jewish people that a repetition of the word Pakod would be a sign of the redemption, as soon as Moshe would give them this sign, they would respond to him.

It is easy to understand the source for Moshe’s error. Moshe knew that the Jews had been in exile for many years and felt that even when they heard the sign which they had been promised, they would not respond quickly. It would be difficult for them to actually feel that the time for their redemption had come. G‑d told Moshe that he did not appreciate the nature of the Jews; they are “believers and the descendants of believers.” This is their essential nature and therefore, they will never consider exile as the norm. On the contrary, it is as if “today they entered Egypt.” Therefore, as soon as Moshe would communicate the sign, they would believe that their redemption was imminent.

This concept is also reflected in the conclusion of the Torah reading which relates that, after Moshe delivered G‑d’s message to Pharaoh, Pharaoh responded by increasing the severity of his oppression. When this transpired, Moshe protested to G‑d, “O L‑rd, why have You harmed Your people.... From the time, I came to speak to Pharaoh in Your name... You have not saved Your people.”

G‑d responded by telling Moshe, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh...,” promising Moshe that the redemption would come immediately. From the very opposite extreme, the most severe moments of slavery, G‑d redeemed the Jews. Why did this come about? Because the Jews are the children of Avraham, Yitzchok, and Yaakov. Since they are the descendants of the Patriarchs, they are totally above exile and, therefore, G‑d will redeem them immediately.

The unique nature of the Jews is further emphasized by the conclusion of the Haftorah: “Yaakov will no longer be ashamed... when he sees his children, the work of My hands in his midst, that they sanctify My name.” Even though the Jews are in exile, Yaakov has no reason to be ashamed with his descendants. G‑d testifies that each one of them is “the work of My hands” and that they “sanctify My name.”

* * *

2. The above concepts provide us with a lesson relevant to our present situation. Although the Jews have been in exile for 2000 years, a Jew is, in essence, above exile. On the contrary, each moment in which a Jew finds himself in exile is a totally new development, against his nature. At every moment, he is filled with trust and faith that G‑d’s promise of the Future Redemption will be fulfilled in the near future. This is particularly true since the Previous Rebbe told us to prepare ourselves to greet Mashiach and now, forty years after his passing, we have been granted the “knowing heart, eyes to see, and ears to hear” to appreciate his teachings. Furthermore, this is a year when “I will show you wonders.”

Therefore, now is a time when we must encourage the Jewish people by telling them how near we are to Mashiach’s coming, how “he is standing behind our wall, peeking through the lattice.” We must prepare ourselves to greet Mashiach by increasing our observance of the Torah and its mitzvos and then, as the Rambam states,5 “With one mitzvah, one can tip his personal balance and that of the entire world to the side of merit and bring deliverance and salvation.” Surely, a contrary approach is out of the question, to break the Jews’ spirit by threatening them with Divine retribution, heaven forbid.

We must learn from the example of Moshe. When Moshe described the Jews as lacking in virtues,6G‑d asked him, “ ’What is that in your hand?’ And he answered, ‘A staff.’ ” Rashi explains that G‑d was intimating to Moshe, “You are worthy to have been beaten for speaking unfavorably about My children.” Similarly, the signs Moshe was given, his staff turning into a snake7 and his hand turning leprous are interpreted as reflecting G‑d’s displeasure with Moshe’s statements about the Jews.

Why does the Torah relate these matters to us? As a lesson; to teach us how careful we must be not to speak unfavorably about our fellow Jews.8 The above occurred before the giving of the Torah. Even then, G‑d punished Moshe for speaking unfavorably about the Jews and told him that they are all “believers and the descendants of believers.” Surely, this applies after the giving of the Torah when the Jews were selected as G‑d’s chosen people, “a nation of priests and a holy people.” How much more so does it apply since in the thousands of years after the giving of the Torah, the Jews have sanctified G‑d’s name through their observance of the Torah and its mitzvos, including their recitation of theShema.9

Since the Jewish people today are heirs to this great legacy of holiness — for the positive effects of themitzvos our people have performed are eternal, while, in contrast, the negative effects of undesirable conduct are temporary and will be erased — it is impossible to appreciate the great merit possessed by the Jewish people today. Heaven forbid that someone should speak unfavorably about a fellow Jew, one of G‑d’s children.

The fact that a Jew’s conduct does not reflect these positive qualities does not detract from their existence. Thus the Rambam rules that every Jew, even one who protests the contrary, “wants to be part of the Jewish people and desires to fulfill all the mitzvos and separate himself from sin, and it is only his Evil Inclination which forces him [to do otherwise].” Particularly, in our days, a Jew whose performance of the commandments of the Torah is imperfect must be judged leniently according to the principle of tinok shenishba, (meaning one who was deprived of a childhood environment conducive to Torah observance). Conversely, if despite the pressures of his environment, he fulfills any mitzvah — and, “even the least worthy member of our people possesses as many mitzvos as a pomegranate possesses seeds” — he and his deeds will surely be cherished in the Heavenly Court. Indeed, G‑d takes pride in every Jew as it is written, “Your people are all righteous..., They are the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, in which I take pride.”

If anything, our complaints and demands should be directed toward G‑d, demanding as Moshe did, “O L‑rd, why have You harmed Your people.... You have not saved Your people.” Similarly, we find that Gideon demanded of G‑d, “If G‑d is with us, why has all this befallen us? Where are all His miracles of which our fathers have told us?” G‑d responded to his demand positively, telling him, “Go in this your strength [— in the strength of your positive statements about the Jews —] and you will deliver Israel.” Surely, after all the suffering which our people have endured in exile, particularly, after the suffering of the last generation, it is proper that we cry out to G‑d over the length of the exile, and our demands will hasten the coming of the redemption.

There are those who maintain that the approach of chastising harshly and threatening with Divine retribution has a source, that it reflects the approach of mussar and that of the preachers of the previous generations. Furthermore, they explain, we find the Books of the Prophets full with harsh rebuke and threats of retribution.

There are several replies to such attempts at self-justification: Firstly, during the last several generations, the approach of Chassidus has spread throughout the entire Jewish community. This approach which stresses the fundamental positive qualities which each Jew possesses has been demonstrated to be more effective in drawing Jews closer to G‑dliness and particularly, in drawing close the tinokos shenishba of the present generation.

Furthermore, even according to the approach of mussar itself, there are several faults with such an approach. Mussar requires several prerequisites; among them:

Ahavas Yisrael

It is written, “Listen my son to the mussar of your father,” and “The one who loves [his son] gives himmussar early.” These quotes imply that mussar depends on a father-son relationship. Because a father loves his son with an essential love, he reproves him [and punishes him from time to time]. Nevertheless, the manner in which he does clearly indicates that he loves him with an all-encompassing love.

Similarly, in regard to the mitzvah of rebuking a colleague, the rebukes must be filled with ahavas Yisrael, for loving a fellow Jew is “a great general principle within the Torah,” and indeed, “the entire Torah.”10 This love must be felt by the person receiving the reprove. He must sense that it is being given because the other person loves him.

Humility

A person who gives mussar to others should not try to lift himself above them. Instead, he must try to establish a commonalty with the people he is reproving. It must be obvious that he is making his statements only because he feels pain for the low level of the people and not as a way of raising himself up. Furthermore, he must include himself in the reproof, finding at least in a refined way, similar faults in his own conduct and attempting to correct them. When his listeners see that he is reproving himself as well, his words will evoke a far greater response.

Furthermore, one should have in mind the Baal Shem Tov’s teaching that when a person sees a fault in a colleague, he must realize that his colleague is merely a mirror for him to recognize failings in his own conduct. Therefore, before he criticizes a colleague, he should correct his own faults as our Sages commented, “Correct yourself, and then correct others.”

Thus, when a person reproves others without mentioning any faults in his own conduct or in that of the people surrounding him, and threatens them with severe retribution, without at all indicating that their transgressions cause him pain, and without doing anything to reach out to them in a loving manner and encourage them to observe the Torah and its mitzvos, he cannot say that he is perpetuating the tradition of mussar.

In regard to the reproofs found in the works of prophets: a) The prophets’ words were not their own personal statements, but rather, “the word of G‑d.” When, however, a person makes his own statements, he must speak with mercy and kindness. b) Even in regard to the prophets, we find the prophets being rebuked for making unfavorable statements about the Jews. Although their statements were made with Ruach HaKodesh (Divine inspiration), since they were unfavorable to the Jews, G‑d did not desire them. How much more so is it improper for a person to choose11 to make such statements on his own.12

What is required of us at present is to emphasize the virtues of every Jew and to spread love and unity among the Jewish people. This will nullify the reason for the exile, unwonted hatred. And when the cause is nullified the result will also disappear and we will merit the coming of the redemption when, as it is stated in the Haftorah, “Those lost in the land of Ashur and those dispersed in the land of Egypt will come and bow to G‑d in [His] holy mountain in Jerusalem.”

 

Shabbos Vayechi | 11-18 Teves, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI DEC 29th 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:07 pm

SHABBOS SAT DEC 30th 
Shacharis: 9 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 10:04 am/
Mincha 4:07 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:12 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush  Lite – No sponsor.  Meat cholent sponsored by Paul and Tamar Azous.  The delious cholent will be made by Rabbi Mendy Levitin.  Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am
Mon- Fri Shacharis 7 am 
Sun -Wed Mincha 4:15 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:07 pm/

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

FARBRENGEN ALERT – PURIM MEZHIBUZ - FRI DEC 29th   3PM
Please join us on for an Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah, in honor of “Purim Mezhibuz” On 11/12 Tevet 5408 (1647) the Jews of Mezhibuzh were saved from pogroms of the Cossacks during Gezeirot Tach V'Tat, thanks to a Jew named Mordechai (his wife's name was Esther). Henceforth, it was established as "Purim Mezhibuzh." The Ohev Yisrael of Apt, zt"l, who later in his life lived in Mezhibuzh, would not recite Tachanun on this date. Some chassidim have a custom not to say Tachanun today. 
https://www.chazaq.org/?section=articles&categoryId=51&articleId=317 

TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8:15 AM SHABBOS MORNING
All are welcome to this inspiring class.

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am - Noon
This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please email 
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION  10 am – Noon
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

PLEASE HELP US PAY FOR CSTL SECURITY
From the CSTL Board:  The membership of CSTL has spoken, and the consensus is that we wish to maintain a security presence at CSTL on Shabbat and chaggim. A four-hour shift (the minimum available) costs us $160, a total of around $10,000/year.  We are asking all families and member units to donate $100 to this fund.  To Donate: 
www.CSTLSeattle.org

AVOS U’BONIM SAT NIGHT DEC 30th 6:30pm at CSTL
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.  Refreshments.  Grand Raffle.  Prizes.  Info:  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com Generously sponsored by Shuky & Chani Meyer

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle"Connections 2018" Sunday Jan 28th 11:00 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info: 
www.jewishinseattle.org

NYHS is offering the ISEE Sun Jan 7th 
Independent School Entrance Exam for prospective students who are applying to NYHS, a required exam. More info: 
admissions@nyhs.org  or (206) 232-5272 ext. 515.

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9 PM – 11 PM
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

Mercaz Shabbaton Feb 10-11th 
With Rav Natan Greenberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Bat Ayin Yeshiva. Sponsorship available. Email:
info@mercazseattle.org

Limmud Seattle – Motzei Shabbos Jan 13th to Sun Jan 14th 
A unique experience of engaging, hands-on Torah learning in a community that celebrates Jewish diversity. 
http://www.limmudseattle.org/  at the Shoreline Conference Center:18560 1st Ave NE, Shoreline, WA

Community Trip to Israel. April 29th -May 8th , 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.


REBBE’S SICHO FOR VAYECHI
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2508121/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Vayechi-16th-Day-of-Teves-5747-1987.htm  © SichosInEnglish.org

1. This Shabbos is Shabbos Chazak, the Shabbos on which the reading of the Book of Bereishis is being concluded. At the conclusion of the Torah reading, it is customary to pronounce “Chazak, Chazak, V’nischazaik” — “Be Strong, be strong, may we be strengthened.” Thus, the conclusion of one of the books of the Torah adds strength to all matters of Jewish concern. It also contributes to strength in the world at large since “The Holy One, blessed be He, looked into the Torah and created the world; a person looks into the Torah and maintains the world.”

Since the proclamation “Chazak, Chazak...” comes at the conclusion of the Torah reading, it follows that it shares a connection with the subject which immediately precedes it, Yosef’s death and entombment in Egypt.

This raises a question: Why was this the passage chosen to conclude the Book of Bereishis? How does it “strengthen” the Jewish people in their service of G‑d? On the surface, it represents a descent and undesirable event. Previously, the Torah portion had related Yaakov’s statements:

Do not bury me in Egypt. [When] I lie with my fathers...bury me in their burying place...in the Cave in the field of Machpelah.

In Yaakov’s statements, there are two points: the advantage of being buried in Eretz Yisrael and in the Cave of Machpelah and the desire to avoid being buried in Egypt, a land with an extremely low spiritual level.

Yosef, in contrast, did not (at the outset) merit to be taken to Eretz Yisrael (let alone the Cave of Machpelah) and was entombed in Egypt with the intent (at least on the part of the Egyptians) that his remains be kept in Egypt for a prolonged period.1

It can be explained that from the Jews’ perspective, the entombment of Yosef had a positive dimension. It endowed the Jews with the strength and personal fortitude necessary to endure the exile. Yosef was the ruler of Egypt, as Pharaoh told him, “Without you, no one will left a hand or a foot in all the land of Egypt.” During this time, he was the source of sustenance for the Jews. Thus, they were able to internalize the concept that even while in exile, no one can disturb them. Yosef’s entombment continued this influence even after his death.2

This concept is relevant at present, for the exile in Egypt is the source for all the subsequent exiles of the Jewish people. Hence, the lesson associated with Yosef’s entombment is relevant to all the others exiles which the Jews had to endure including the present exile. Indeed, the connection to the present exile is greater as emphasized by the fact that the leader of our generation, the Previous Rebbe, is also named Yosef.3 His service, which involved “spreading the wellsprings of Chassidus and Yiddishkeit outward,” translating the Torah into “seventy languages,” also paralleled the service of Yosef. The latter, as explained in Chassidus, is connected with Rachel’s prayer, “May G‑d add to me another son.” This is interpreted to mean that Yosef’s service involves transforming the “others” — those alienated and estranged from Yiddishkeit into “sons.” Indeed, these “sons” are on a higher level than those who naturally follow the service of “sons”4 as our Sages declared, “In the place of Baalei Teshuvah, complete Tzaddikim cannot stand.”

2. The Previous Rebbe stated that we are in the final days of exile and that all that is necessary is to “polish the buttons” and stand prepared to greet Mashiach. Since more than forty years of “polishing the buttons” have passed, it is clear that any obstacle or difficulty which a Jew encounters in Yiddishkeit is only a challenge. The Hebrew word for challenge, נסיון (nisaon), also has the connotationנס (nais), elevation, lifting the person totally above his previous level.

We see this concept expressed in regard to Avraham who confronted ten different challenges. Even before confronting these challenges, Avraham was on an elevated spiritual plane. Certainly, this applies after he successfully completed the previous trials. Because G‑d desired that he reach an even higher level, He, therefore, gave him further trials.

The same applies in the present generation. We are living in an era which follows all the trials which the Jews have undergone in the previous generations. Similarly, it is after the trials undergone by the Previous Rebbe in Russia, the leader of our generation, trials which he overcame with the ultimate of courage, allowing him and all of his books to emerge from there.5 If so, the only reason G‑d subjects us to trials is because He wants to lift us to an even higher realm.

There is a further dimension to this concept. A challenge only appears as a challenge. In truth, it is an entity that has no genuine substance and exists only to lift us to a higher level. When a Jew shows that he is not at all effected by the challenge and continues his service as if the challenge did not exist, the truth is revealed. He sees how the challenge, in truth, does not exist — except for the elevation which it brings the Jew.

We see this concept exemplified in the story of Avraham who, on his way to the binding of Yitzchok, was confronted with a great river. Without a second thought, Avraham proceeded onward through the river. When the water reached his neck, he prayed to G‑d that he be able to continue his journey and immediately, the river dried up.

Although the river appeared to be great and powerful, it had no real substance and as soon as Avraham showed that he was not at all effected by it, the truth was revealed, resulting in a further elevation in Avraham’s spiritual level. (Vayikra Rabbah 24:3)

This relates to the story in the Midrash which explains that after a plague had effected a spring, the Jews went out and shouted “Didan Notzach,” a blood stain appeared on the water and the plague disappeared. This shows that the plague was ultimately intended to bring about a more powerful spreading of the waters of the spring.

Since a challenge has no real substance, no time should be wasted talking about the challenge itself. On the contrary, doing so confuses a person and stimulates his Yetzer Hora. What should be talked about and what is most important is the elevation that results from the challenge. In this context, the greater potential which is presently granted to spread Chassidus. In simple terms, this means the study of Chassidus (which, needless to say, follows the study of Nigleh). When a Chassidic text or discourse is printed, each person should feel personally motivated to study it. He should feel that the text or discourse was printed for himself alone.

There is a special emphasis on the above this year, a Shemitah year, which shares a special connection to the concept of Torah study. The Shemitah year allows the farmers who are not allowed to do any agricultural work the opportunity to devote their time to Torah study.6

The above should be carried out in the spirit of Chanukah; i.e., light should be placed at the entrance to one’s house facing outward. The candles will never be nullified. On the contrary, the light will continually be increased.

As a practical directive, efforts should be made to establish Chabad Houses, i.e., places for Torah study, prayer, and deeds of kindness. Similarly, each person should transform his home or room into a center for these activities.

Also, as mentioned previously,7 each individual, men, women, and children, should prepare himself for three tests to see whether his preparation for Yud Shevat is adequate, one on the 20th of Teves (the Rambam’s Yahrzeit), one on Rosh Chodesh Shevat (associated with the beginning of Moshe’s recitation of the Book of Devarim), and one on Yud Shevat itself. This concept is relevant to each and every Jew and efforts must be made to publicize it in the fullest manner possible.

May these activities lead to the redemption of the Jewish people, the central theme of the Book of Shemos which we are about to begin. The description of the redemption of our people from Egypt also contains allusions to the ultimate Messianic redemption. May it be speedily in our days.

Shabbos Vayigash – Hey Teves/Didan Notzach | 4-11 Teves, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI DEC 22nd 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:02 pm

SHABBOS SAT DEC 23rd 
Shacharis: 9 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 10:02 am/
Mincha 4:02 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:07 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush  Lite – No sponsor.  Meat cholent sponsored by Paul and Tamar Azous.  The delious cholent is made by Rabbi Mendy Levitin.  Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am
Mon-Wed, Fri Shacharis 7 am 
Thu Shacharis 6:50  am /FAST OF 10 TEVES/
Sun -Wed Mincha 4:10 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 4:54 pm/
Thu Mincha 4 pm /FAST OF 10 TEVES/

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to the Farkash, Levitin, Kornfeld, and New families on the marriage of Mina New to Levi Farkash. May they merit to build a bayis ne’eman b’yisroel.

FAST OF TEN TEVES – THU DEC 28th
Fast Begins 6:16 am (16.1 degrees)
Shacharis 6:50 am
Mincha 4 pm
Fast Ends 5:01 pm (5.95 degrees)

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

FARBRENGEN ALERT – DIDAN NOTZACH - FRI DEC 22nd  3PM
Please join us on for an Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah. Tevet 5 (“Didan Notzach”) is celebrated as a day of rejoicing in the Chabad-Lubavitch community. On this date in 1987, U.S. Federal Court issued a decision in favor of Agudas Chassidei Chabad ("Union of Chabad Chassidim") regarding the ownership of the priceless library of the 6th Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn. The ruling was based on the idea that a Rebbe is not a private individual but a communal figure synonymous with the body of Chassidim. The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak's son-in-law and successor) urged that the occasion be marked with time devoted to study from Torah books ("sefarim") as well as the acquisition of new Torah books.” 
www.Chabad.org/calendar

SUNDAY FUNDAY AT CSTL – SUN DEC 24th FAMILY ACTIVITIES 2-5 PM
Baking, arts & crafts, science activities and more for your entire family, organized by the CGI counselors. Free and fun for kids and adults! Sponsored by Camp Gan Israel with support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

SUNDAY FUNDAY AT CSTL – SUN DEC 24th FAMILY DINNER 5-6 PM
Meat and veggie burgers. Hot dogs, vegetarian beans, and etc. Registration required:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf87yjUV14D8U1_JlEQV0IUNKK3YZDcmyL66OcYPbxTrAKVTQ/viewform

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am - Noon
This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please email 
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION 10:00 am – Noon
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

AVOS U’BONIM SAT NIGHT DEC 23rd  6:30pm at CSTL
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.  Refreshments.  Grand Raffle.  Prizes.  Info:  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com Generously sponsored by Shuky & Chani Meyer

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Camp CGI Seattle is gearing up for an Amazing Fun Winter Break Week.
Ages: 18mo – 12 years. Dec 25th  – Dec 29th. Age appropriate activities are being planned by our amazing Program Director Chana Greenblatt. It will be, yi”h, an action packed week to remember… Trips, Sports, Games, Art projects and lots of Laughter and Fun! The best part - some of the fabulous counselors are coming back!  GIVE YOURSELF A “BREAK” AND YOUR CHILD AN “OPPORTUNITY”. To sign up, 
www.campganisraelseattle.org Questions? Call or text Rabbi Kavka 206-730-2764

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Seattle Kollel "Winter Seed Camp". Dec. 25th-29th,  
To sign up or for more info: 
www.seattlekollel.com

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle"Connections 2018" Sun Jan 28th 11 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info:
www.jewishinseattle.org

NYHS is offering the ISEE Sun Jan 7th 
Independent School Entrance Exam for prospective students who are applying to NYHS, a required exam. More info: 
admissions@nyhs.org  or (206) 232-5272 ext. 515.

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9 PM – 11 PM
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

Mercaz Shabbaton Feb 10-11
With Rav Natan Greenberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Bat Ayin Yeshiva. Sponsorship available. Email:
info@mercazseattle.org

Kollel Avot U'Bonim Motzei Shabbos - 6:30 - 7:30 PM 
In the Seattle Kollel Beit Medrash. Boys and Girls learning Torah with their parents. Followed by great snacks and fantastic prizes! Spend some quality time with your child in a beit medrash atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else! 
https://www.seattlekollel.com/avos-u-banim

Limmud Seattle – Motzei Shabbos Jan 13th to Sun Jan 14th 
A unique experience of engaging, hands-on Torah learning in a community that celebrates Jewish diversity. 
http://www.limmudseattle.org/  at the Shoreline Conference Center:18560 1st Ave NE, Shoreline, WA

Seattle Kollel Mishna Yomit
Info: 
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com  or (206) 369-1215.

Torah Day School Annual Dinner Sun Dec 17th 5:30 pm
At the Westin Hotel, 1900 5th Ave., Sea. This year's honorees are Dr. Elie & Miriam Levy. More info:
www.tdsseattle.org  

Community Trip to Israel. April 29-May 8, 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.


REBBE’S SICHO FOR DIDAN NOTZACH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2508115/jewish/In-Those-Days-In-Our-Times-Didan-Notzach-5th-Day-of-Teves-5747-1987.htm  © SichosInEnglish.org

On the 5th of Teves 5747, the verdict in the case of the Previous Rebbe’s library was handed down and great rejoicing enveloped Chassidim all over the world.

After Minchah on that day the Rebbe Shlita, spoke about the lesson we must learn from the suffering and the pain of undesirable phenomena.

We must increase those areas which were under attack, and we must expand our work of spreading Yiddishkeit and Torah and the wellsprings of Chassidus.

Learn Torah, Live With Torah

The Previous Rebbe transmitted a teaching of the Alter Rebbe to us, that “We must live with the times.” This was expounded by the Mitteler Rebbe, who as the mentor of the younger Chassidim of the Alter Rebbe, explained that in this aphorism the Alter Rebbe was referring to the Torah portion of the week and the study section of that specific day of the week. The daily Torah portion should be learned in a way that we can live with its message.

Being Tuesday, today’s study portion of Vayigash will have the added quality of the double blessing “Ki-Tov” (that it was good), which the Gemara tells us indicates “good to heaven and good to man.” This of course does not mean that part of the day shall be devoted to “heaven” and another part to “man,” rather, that every moment, and each action, speech and thought of the day — should have both aspects — goodness for heaven and goodness for man.

Yosef’s Odyssey — A Mission From G‑d

In the first verse of today’s portion Yosef assured his brothers:

Now it is not you who sent me here but G‑d (Elokim). (Bereishis 45:8)

Yosef wanted them to know that although his descent to Egypt had caused him much suffering, he nevertheless realized that his being in Egypt was a mission of G‑d. From this explanation we learn that when a Jew is in an unfavorable situation, even after extricating himself from that painful condition, he must explain to others, and certainly to himself, that the troublesome state was not a mere coincidence, and most importantly, it was not something caused by man! He should also not carry with him the bad memories of the suffering he endured.

The story of Yosef took place before Matan Torah (the giving of Torah). How much more so, after the Torah was given to the Jewish people, when we realize how the Jewish people and Torah are one entity, we certainly must realize that nothing happens by accident:

Yisrael, (the Jewish People) Torah and the Holy One, Blessed be He, are one. (Zohar III, 73a)

Now, if in the story of Yosef he relates that: “It is not you who sent me here but G‑d (Elokim),” then, we, too, must realize now, that when a Jew finds himself in any condition — good or bad — he must recognize that he has been given a mission to fulfill — and not one delineated by man, but by G‑d.

The mission and the conditions may appear in a benevolent way or in a malevolent form. Although sometimes the situation may be such that it appears to be clothed in the framework of a “judgment,” as we see in the story of Yosef where Scripture used the term “Elokim,” which alludes to the aspect of judgment, nevertheless, the result was all for the good. We garner from this that every Jewmust realize his/her mission and must increase his/her actions in the world with clear knowledge, as G‑d’s Shaliach — emissary — in the world.

But Why Suffering?

You may wonder that this same development could have been effected by G‑d in a revealed and a merciful way (with the name “Havayah” which alludes to mercy)? However, here it had to go through the garment of Elokim — severity! Because it stems from an aspect that is sequestered, it adds another level of descent, and ultimately it will attain a greater degree of elevation.

Every Jew must know, that no matter where he is and no matter what condition he is in, he has a Shlichus — a mission — which may be clothed in a situation that hides and conceals. Nevertheless, it is still clear that it must come into action. Thus, the Torah tells us that every Jew is a Shaliach of G‑d (as He stands beyond revelation in the state of concealment and withdrawal, symbolized by the name Elokim), and the agent must reveal G‑dliness and cause the Shechinah to find a resting place by fulfilling his mission.

Every Step Is Guided

The previous Rebbe explained the teaching of the Baal Shem Tov, on the verse: “Man’s footsteps are guided by G‑d” (Tehillim 37:23). That no matter where a person goes, he must cause the Name of G‑d to be revealed in the world. As the Torah tells us:

And go to the site that G‑d will choose to give a habitation to His Name. (Devarim 26:2)

Wherever you go it is by Divine Providence and you must make there a habitation for G‑d’s Name, as in the Tabernacle and Holy Temple.

You must start by making your own home a place for the Shechinah to dwell, and then go out to the outside of your doorways, as we just learned from the holiday of Chanukah.

Today is still blessed from the past Shabbos which was Chanukah. From Chanukah we learn that we must propagate G‑dliness outside our doors, and that we must increase our good efforts from day to day. Also, the lights of Chanukah must illuminate the street, “Until the feet of the Tarmodoians have ceased” (Shabbos 21b).

Convert Evil, Increase Holiness

Chassidus explains the term “Tarmodoians” as the forces which oppose G‑dliness. When they cease to exist they are converted and uplifted, causing an increase in G‑dliness.

All of the aspects of Chanukah are related to oil, which symbolically alludes to the esoteric teachings of Torah — but just as oil spreads through and permeates an object, so, too, the esoteric teachings of Torah descends, infuses and spreads tothe outside — by spreading the inner teachings of Chassidus in this way all aspects increase.

In dealing with our responsibility to increase our efforts, how do we know where the special emphasis must be placed? For this we have the advice: “From my enemies I am wiser” (Tehillim 119:98).

In the story of the liberation of the Alter Rebbe from Czarist incarceration we were told that based on the charges brought against him, he later learned where, and in what areas, it was necessary to increase his efforts.

Having grasped this principle he was then able to receive the directive which he heard from the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid, while still in prison, that after being released he would have to work harder at spreading the philosophical teachings of the esoteric knowledge of Chassidus, in a manner of continual increases, much more than before.

In recent years great and wonderful things in the area of spreading Yiddishkeit have been accomplished, especially since the Previous Rebbe came to this country. The spreading of the wellsprings of Yiddishkeit and Chassidus is so widespread that even the aleph-bais of Yiddishkeit has become permeated and united with the source of living waters of G‑dliness. If so, the question is raised, why was it necessary that in this era and in this area there should be a problem situation similar to the case of “Yosef was sent to Egypt, etc.?!” Up until this time so much has been accomplished. The Previous Rebbe himself gave witness to this fact for he said:

Stand together ready...to receive the blessing of the Eternal....

and,

“You need only to polish the buttons!”

However, we must say that the reason for the problems was only to bring a greater level of ascent. The only reason for the troubling and uncertain situation, was to accomplish greater things many times over, in the area of spreading Yiddishkeit.

“To Whom Does This Belong?”

To reach the greater heights there had to be opposition presented in the guise of an attack! What was said? That Agudas Chassidei Chabad are not active; and we are not using the manuscripts and studying the books and the words of the living G‑d; and that the activities of spreading Yiddishkeit to the outside are not being done. These arguments were presented to provide a basis upon which the question could be posed, “To whom do these things belong?”

Really nothing was lacking but the “polishing of the buttons.” Remember, buttons only connect the sides of the garment — the right and left sides would be apart without the buttons. The buttons unify the two halves. (By Jewish custom right is placed over left.) The right helps the left and together they protect the body. But the buttons had only to be polished. Why all these problems?

The answer is that we must do even more! We must be filled with great joy which bursts all limitations and nullifies all restrictions and measure. This joy must infuse our action and influence all that we do.

At the close of today’s Chumash portion we read that:

The spirit of their father Yaakov was then revived. (Bereishis 45:27)

How was he revived? When he learned of Yosef’s words and of his condition — as we see in the verses and in Rashi’s commentary — of Yosef’s enduring faith and devotion to G‑d, he was revived. Even though Yosef was in Egypt and was involved in running the country — in matters dealing with the mundane and the gentile nations of the world — nevertheless, he remained faithful. This phenomenon was new for Yaakov — for the Divine service of the Patriarchs had been to tend the flocks, where they would isolate themselves in their devotion to the Holy One, Blessed be He. Yosef, too, had originally tended sheep in Canaan. But now, Yosef’s approach to Divine service was different. As viceroy — and even in the home of Potiphar where he was involved in all the matters of the Egyptian household — he had to be involved in the mundane and the profane of Egypt and yet this did not affect his absolute unity and self-abnegation before G‑d.

Chassidus explains that the Patriarchs’ approach to Divine service was to be removed from worldly matters and to be devoted to G‑d — but Yosef had to deal with the restrictions of Egypt in spiritual and even mundane matters — even there Yosef accomplished a great spiritual fortitude, that he stood in absolute unity with G‑d. So much so, that the Torah tells us:

These are the chronicles of Yaakov: Yosef.... (Bereishis 37:2)

Yosef, The Essence of Yaakov

Specifically in Yosef was the essence of Yaakov revealed, Yaakov who was the “chosen one” of the Patriarchs.

This greatness of Yosef was connected with the wagons Yosef sent to Yaakov. Why does the Torah say that Yosef sent the wagons when actually Pharaoh had sent them? Rashi explains that Yosef sent the wagons to hint to Yaakov about the laws of “the calf which is decapitated in the valley” (see Devarim 21:4). [They had studied that topic just before Yosef left his father.]

Our sages explain that the details, connected with the investigation of the unsolved murder which involved the decapitated calf, lead to the ultimate discovery of the culprit (see Midrash Aggadah: Bachya). It also leads to a condition that “the people will hear about it and they will fear” (Devarim 17:13). Thus, when we study this subject everything becomes revealed and everyone will learn to be careful, not to follow the path which might lead to a case of “a victim in the field.”

Generally speaking Eisav is a “man of the field.” When there are Jews who for some reason find themselves in the “distant fields,” there is a possibility that Eisav will seek ways of trickery to bring about the opposite of:

Only you, the ones who remained attached to G‑d your L‑rd are all alive today. (Devarim 4:4)

In other words the forces of evil try to cause the “victim in the field.”

So the Alter Rebbe says that every Jew cannot and does not want to be separated from G‑dliness — and the Rambam likewise rules that when a Jew says “I want” to follow the ruling of Torah, it is his true, inner desire which is revealed. And even when one is far away in a field he is really close.

Here we see that Yosef, the Nasi of our generation, provides us with the “wagons” to protect us from the perils of the field and thereby he gives us the power to convert the field into a “house,” a dwelling place for G‑dliness. He then gives every Jew a mission which will lead to the state of:

The spirit of their father Yaakov was then revived.

Yaakov Lives! Because We Live!

For the Gemara had stated about Yaakov:

Yaakov our Patriarch is not dead...was it then for naught that he was bewailed and embalmed and buried?... As his seed will be alive, so he too will be alive. (Taanis 5b)

So when we learn in the Chumash that the spirit of Yaakov was revived we must understand that this depends on his children; if they are alive so is he! When each of us is alive, tied to the living Torah and its mitzvos, of which it says: “You shall truly live by keeping them” (Vayikra 18:5), then the spirit of Yaakov comes alive. When his progeny are alive with Torah and mitzvos, and as messengers of G‑d make a dwelling place in the lower words, then he has all the power of the Infinite and he lives.

Deny the power of the evil, even in the field, and become a messenger of G‑d, and transform every other Jew outside of your house to be a Shaliach!

Start with making your own home a place where Torah is increased; so, too, increase prayer and also all mitzvos, starting with tzedakah — good deeds.

Your Home — A Chabad House

Starting from this Tuesday, and with these verses of Torah, make your own home a Chabad House — and then influence all the Jews in the field, likewise. The nations of the world recognize the power of Yosef the ruler of Mitzrayim, and this will influence their observance of the Seven Noachide Laws.

This will speed the coming of the resurrection when we will see the rejuvenation of Yaakov and the resurrection of Yosef, the Nasi of our generation. “Arise and sing all who dwell in the dust” (Yeshayahu 26:19); Yaakov and Yosef. We will go with glad hearts to our Holy Land as it will be expanded to include the land of the Keni, Kenizi and Kadmoni, as “G‑d will expand the borders.”

Then we will have the complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach — youth and elders, sons and daughters — a great company — together with the greatness of the perfect Torah and mitzvos and the great gifts given to us by G‑d, starting with “children, life and abundant sustenance.” Including also great studyand great action at the time of “the heels of Mashiach.” Each person will accomplish great things in Torah and mitzvos and in all areas for the sake of heaven.

Do More Today!

Simply put, today, do more tzedakah, give money to the poor and also help Jews in every way. Disseminate these words; start today this mission of spreading Torah and good deeds in an ever-increasing way — down to earth — to complete the ultimate goal and that which is temporarily negative will reach the true and ultimate perfection, to create a dwelling place for G‑d in the lower worlds, in the last moments of galus. This goodness must be increased — with joy and glad hearts — soon and in our days — may this all be in reality and may the reward be greater than the pain, as a true find — the coming of Mashiach — in our time Amen, so may it be!

Shabbos Miketz – Chanukah – Mevarchim Tevet | 27 Kislev – 3 Teves, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI DEC 15th 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 3:59 pm /LIGHT CHANUKAH BEFORE SHABBOS/

SHABBOS SAT DEC 16th
Tehilim for Mevarchim Tevet 7:40 am
Shacharis: 9 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 9:58 am/
Mincha 3:59 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:04 pm /LIGHT CHANUKAH AFTER HAVDALAH/

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Thank you to Yossi and Rachel Greenberg for sponsoring kiddush in honor of Ari’s graduation from college! Mazel Tov! Also, in honor of the yahrzeit of Yossi’s father, Yizchok Pesach Shimshon ben Avraham ZT”L. We will also have a delicious meat cholent, made by Rabbi Mendy Levitin, sponsored by Paul and Tamar Azous!  Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am
Mon-Tu Shacharis 6:50 am /ROSH CHODESH
Wed- Fri Shacharis 7 am 
Sun -Tue Mincha 4:10 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 4:54 pm/

BARUCH DAYAN EMETH
We are saddened to announce the passing of Shmuel Kotliar 's mother, Sofiya Kotlyar - Shaina bat Shmuel Mordechai ZT”L , 12/13/17, the first day of Chanukah. May Shmuel and his father be comforted with all the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

LEARN TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – SHABBOS 8:15 am
An opportunity for inspiration with Rabbi Mendy Levitin, every Shabbos!  This week we will learn the Hassidic perspective on dreams.

FARBRENGEN ALERT - CHOF ZAYIN KISLEV - FRI DEC 15th 3PM
Please join us on for an Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah, in honor of “Chof  Zayin Kislev” Two years after his arrest and liberation in 1798, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (founder of Chabad) was arrested a second time; again, the charges were that his teachings undermined the imperial authority of the Czar. His second incarceration was less severe than the first; yet Chassidim mark the anniversary of his release on the third day of Chanukah with farbrengens (Chassidic gatherings) and the study of his teachings.
www.Chabad.org/calendar

OLIVE PRESS SUN DEC 17th 1:30 – 2:30 PM
At NE Branch Library, corner of 35th Ave NE and NE 68th Street.  Featuring Rabbi Emlen!

CSTL CHANUKAH PARTY – SUN DEC 17th 5 PM
At Island Crust Café, 7525 SE 24th , Mercer Island.  Live Music!  Grand Menorah Lighting!  Live Music!  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

CSTL TOT PROGRAM
This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please email 
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION //NOT THIS WEEK
There will be no children's program this Shabbat

AVOS U’BONIM SAT NIGHT //NOT THIS WEEK
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.  Refreshments.  Grand Raffle.  Prizes. Info: 
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com 

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Camp CGI Seattle is gearing up for an Amazing Fun Winter Break Week.
Ages: 18mo – 12 years. Dec 25th – Dec 29th. Age appropriate activities are being planned by our amazing Program Director Chana Greenblatt. It will be, yi”h, an action packed week to remember… Trips, Sports, Games, Art projects and lots of Laughter and Fun! The best part - some of the fabulous counselors are coming back!  GIVE YOURSELF A “BREAK” AND YOUR CHILD AN “OPPORTUNITY”. To sign up, 
www.campganisraelseattle.org Questions ? Call or text Rabbi Kavka 206-730-2764

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Mercaz Chanukah Party Melava Malka Sat Dec 16th 6-10 pm
Kid's light up dance party with lights, glow sticks, and disco lights, followed by a Chanukah movie. Adults bring your poker faces and grab a seat at the table for our Annual Poker Tournament! There will be a $18 buy in, half the proceeds go to Mercaz and the winner will keep the other half.  Fries, onion rings, doughnuts, latkes, applesauce, veggies, fruit, adult and non adult beverages. Info and to volunteer : Sarah Dershowitz at 
sgdersho@gmail.com 

BISTRO NIGHT AT THE SUMMIT TUE DEC 19th 
Seatings are available from 7:40-8:15 pm, cost is $70, which includes appetizer, dinner, dessert, server gratuity, and of course a wide selection of wine and beer.   Some of the featured menu choices include a rib eye steak and frites, house-made red curry with fresh true cod, a hearty chicken ramen, and a lamb agradolce (aka sweet & sour) as entrees.  Bistro Night at The Summit is a chance to savor kosher cuisine (supervised by Va'ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle staff) in an elegant atmosphere. Reserve today 
chrise@summitatfirsthill.org . 

Hachnasat Sefer Torah Sunday, Dec 17th 9:00-10:30 am
Celebrate with Minyan Ohr Chadash. Program donated by Martin Selig in memory of his parents, Laura & Manfred Selig. More info: 
www.minyanohrchadash.org  

Seattle Kollel "Winter Seed Camp". Dec. 25th-29th,  
To sign up or for more info: 
www.seattlekollel.com

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle"Connections 2018" Sun Jan 28th 11 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info:
www.jewishinseattle.org

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9 PM – 11 PM
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

Kollel Avot U'Bonim Motzei Shabbos - 6:30 - 7:30 PM 
In the Seattle Kollel Beit Medrash. Boys and Girls learning Torah with their parents. Followed by great snacks and fantastic prizes! Spend some quality time with your child in a beit medrash atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else! 
https://www.seattlekollel.com/avos-u-banim

Limmud Seattle – Motzei Shabbos Jan 13th to Sun Jan 14th 
A unique experience of engaging, hands-on Torah learning in a community that celebrates Jewish diversity. 
http://www.limmudseattle.org/  at the Shoreline Conference Center:18560 1st Ave NE, Shoreline, WA

JFS Community Mental Health Response 101 Course  Jan 11th 6:15pm-8pm. 
Register with Talya Gillman at education@jfsseattle.org or 206-861-8784.

NAMI Family-to-Family Class Tue through Jan 9th 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) presents a free 12-week class for adult family and friends of people living with mental illness, providing support and information about serious mental illness. JFS Capitol Hill Campus, 1601 16th Avenue, Seattle. RSVP to Talya Gillman or call (206) 861-8784 for more information.

Seattle Kollel Mishna Yomit
Info: 
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com  or (206) 369-1215.

Torah Day School Annual Dinner Sun Dec 17th 5:30 pm
At the Westin Hotel, 1900 5th Ave., Sea. This year's honorees are Dr. Elie & Miriam Levy. More info:
www.tdsseattle.org  

Community Trip to Israel. April 29-May 8, 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


REBBE’S SICHO FOR MIKETZ
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347336/jewish/Likkutei-Sichot-Mikeitz.htm Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Vayeishev, 5720 by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

In the beginning of Parshas Mikeitz, the Torah elaborates on the story of Pharaoh’s dreams, relating that he dreamt of cows and ears of grain. Afterwards, the Torah relates Yosef’s interpretation of these dreams, that they refer to years of plenty and years of famine.

One might ask: Why does the Torah describe Pharaoh’s dreams at such length? What is important for us is the outcome that Yosef informed Pharaoh of the upcoming years of plenty and years of famine, and for this reason was appointed viceroy of Egypt. What difference does it make to us whether this happened as a result of a dream or through some other medium? Even if it is necessary for the Torah to teach us that it was as a result of Pharaoh’s dreams that Yosef became viceroy, this message could have been conveyed in a far more condensed form. Seemingly, it would have been sufficient to say that no one else could interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, and that Yosef told him there would be seven years of plenty and seven years of famine.

Why are the particulars of a gentile’s dream important to us?

The answer is that the Torah tells us that Pharaoh was informed about the future through a dream, in continuation and as a consequence of Yosef receiving information concerning his own future through a dream.

To explain: Yosef the tzaddik was a comprehensive soul. His mission was to draw down the totality of Yaakov’s spiritual influence into this world.1 Yosef was “the tzaddik, the foundation of the earth,”2 and he thus served as the medium through which was conveyed all the Divine influence to be dispersed throughout the world. Since spiritual truths were revealed to him through a dream, this became the pattern for the world at large. And so when information had to be conveyed to Pharaoh, the ruler of the entire world,3 it was conveyed through a dream.

This provides us with a lesson in our Divine service. When a Jew is challenged by base attitudes and desires, he must realize that they stem only from himself. We do not have to follow the lead of the world at large, nor should we adopt the view that in order to observe the Torah and its mitzvos, we must adapt ourselves to our environment.

The opposite is true. The existence of the world depends on the Jewish people. It is because a Jew has adopted a particular attitude or has a particular desire that these attitudes and desires exist in the world at large. It is only that the world at large does not appreciate that these motivations have their source in the Jewish people. (This lack of awareness stems from the concealment which lies at the heart of worldly existence. Indeed, the Hebrew for world עולם shares the same root as the word העלם , meaning “concealment.”4)

This concealment makes it appear to a Jew that these “lower” desires and attitudes exist independent of him, and draw him toward them. The truth is, however, that they have their source in the Jew himself. And when a Jew exchanges his undesirable attitudes and desires for good ones, similar changes will be effected in the world at large.

Moreover, even when it is impossible to say that the challenges a Jew confronts stem from his own character because he is not at all tainted by such attitudes or desires, not even in more refined sense these influences exist because of him. For the entire creation was brought into being for the sake of the Jewish people.5

Why do these influences exist? To present a challenge for him to overcome. When a Jew summons up the inner strength to remain immune, it will be revealed that the challenge was fundamentally in his own mind. For the status of the world at large is dependent on a Jew establishing himself forthrightly, taking his own concerns in hand.

What Yosef Sees in His Dreams, and What Pharaoh Sees

Although Pharaoh’s dreams thus have their source in Yosef’s dreams, they are of a fundamentally different nature. Yosef’s dreams reflect the realm of holiness, and Pharaoh’s the realm of kelipah. This is indicated by certain fundamental differences between them.6

a) Yosef’s dreams begin with work: “We were in the field binding together sheaves.”7Pharaoh’s dreams, by contrast, do not involve any activity on his part.

To explain: G‑d is the ultimate perfection; He is the purpose of His own existence. Similarly, a Jewish soul is “an actual part of G‑d,”8 and therefore its existence has a self-contained purpose; it is not an intermediary for anything else. As such, the influence imparted in the realm of holiness is granted to the Jews by G‑d in the most complete and rewarding manner.

And therefore work is necessary. Otherwise, the influence received would be “bread of shame,”9 and would not reflect the ultimate good.

In the realm of kelipah, things are different. Kelipah has no self-contained purpose; it exists only to serve another entity. As such, the Divine influence it receives need not be conveyed in a perfect manner. And therefore influence is granted unearned,10 for the recipient is not an entity of genuine worth.

b) Yosef’s dreams follow the pattern of “Always ascend higher with regard to holy matters.”11In the first dream, he begins with ears of grain separate and distinct entities which are then bound together into sheaves, i.e., division gives way to unity. And this pattern leads to the second dream, which proceeds to the celestial plane, speaking about the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Even in the most material sense, this reflects an upward progression. Sheaves are more valuable than individual stalks of grain, and gems whose lustre is derived from the stars12 are far more valuable than sheaves.

The dreams of Pharaoh, by contrast, follow a downward trend. The first dream concerns cows, members of the animal kingdom, and the second concerns ears of grain, plants, which are on a lower level. Moreover, the order of the dreams should logically have been the reverse, first the ears of grain, and then the cows. For the condition of cows whether they are “healthy” or “lean” depends on whether the ears of grain (their food) are full or thin. Nevertheless, since the general pattern of the realm of kelipah is characterized by descent, the order was reversed.

Furthermore, even within each dream the pattern is one of decline. First Pharaoh saw healthy cows, and then lean ones. First he saw “full, good” ears of grain, and then “thin, scorched” ones. And the downward trend continued, as the healthy cows and grain were swallowed up by the lean ones.

This pattern was also reflected in the interpretation of the dreams. First came the years of plenty, and afterwards the years of famine a famine so great that “because of that famine, there will be no way of telling that there was once plenty.”13

(The fact that the famine would in turn be followed by years of plenty was not revealed to Pharaoh because this plenty did not come because of him. The plenty which the land was granted later came as a result of Yaakov’s blessings.14)

Growth Orientation

This reflects the difference between the realm of holiness and the realm of kelipah. The realm of holiness is characterized by eternality, and unchanging permanence. There are variations, but these reflect a tendency toward growth: “Always ascend higher with regard to holy matters,” and “They shall go from strength to strength.”15 Since these variations involve growth, they are not considered changes.

(We find from time to time that a Jew may actually undergo a descent. Moreover, this pattern is rooted in the Jew’s spiritual source. Knesses Yisrael which is identified with the Sefirah of Malchus , also follows a pattern of fluctuation, sometimes ascending, sometimes descending.16 Nevertheless, in an ultimate sense, these fluctuations cannot be seen as changes. In the personal sphere, even on the material plane, the true desire of a Jew remains always to fulfill the Torah and its mitzvos,17 and to advance in holiness. At all times, even at a time of sin, a Jew remains faithful to Him.18

Similarly, with regard to the Sefirah of Malchus, the intent of all the descents is for ascent, and more particularly, for the ultimate ascent “the day which is all Shabbos and rest for life everlasting.”19 Since “wherever a person’s desire is, there he himself is to be found,”20 all the stages of descent are, when taking an inward glance, not phases of change, but rather part of the pattern of rest i.e., the absence of change to which our desire and intent is directed.)

Kelipah, by contrast, is characterized by change and decline. The reason is because kelipahdoes not have a self-contained purpose for its existence. The entire reason for its being is to present a person with a challenge, and thus spur him to summon up deeper resources of holiness. The more steadfast a person remains, the less he needs external challenges to push him forward. Thus the existence of kelipah becomes weaker, following the pattern which our Sages outlined: “When one ascends, the other descends.”21

This difference in reflected in the fact that the bulls offered during the festival of Sukkos, which parallel the 70 nations of the world,22 are reduced in number each day,23 while holiness follows a pattern of continual increase, as indicated by the number of Chanukahcandles we light every night.

Reaping What One Sows

The second point that a Jew’s achievements come through work is also of fundamental importance. There are times when a person thinks he will receive certain blessings without any labor on his part. He must know that this approach comes from his animal soul, which stems from kelipah, since only kelipah can receive influence without work. And he must understand that any blessings which he does receive in this manner will like everything that has its source in kelipah follow a pattern of decline, and ultimately disappear.24

When, by contrast, a person dedicates himself to serious work, he will merit fulfillment of the promise25 “You labored and you discovered.” He will achieve success far out of proportion to the amount of effort invested. And this will inspire continued growth, following the pattern: “Always ascend higher with regard to holy matters.”

Shabbos Vayeshev – Chanukah | 20-27 Kislev, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI DEC 8th 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 3:59 pm

SHABBOS SAT DEC 9th  
Shacharis: 9 am / Gala Bar-mitzvah Kiddush Lunch/
Mincha 4:01 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:03 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Yoav Gortzak and Maya Rodrig
, invite the entire community to join them for a Gala  Kiddush Lunch in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Edan.  We will also have a delicious meat cholent, made by Rabbi Mendy Levitin!.  Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am  
Mon- Fri 7 am 
Sun -Tue Mincha 4:05 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 4:54 pm/

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Yoav Gortzak and Maya Rodrig on the Bar Mitzvah of their son Edan. Mazel Tov to Edan, his brother Amit and grandparents, Ernest Gortzak, Haim and Naomi Rodrig!

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

LEARN TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – SHABBOS 8:15 am
An opportunity for inspiration with Rabbi Mendy Levitin, every Shabbos!  This week we will learn the Hassidic perspective on dreams.

FARBRENGEN ALERT - CHOF KISLEV - FRI DEC 8th 3PM
Please join us on for an Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah, in honor of “Chof Kislev” The Rosh Hashanah ("new year") of Chassidism, marking the liberation of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi and the subsequent blossoming of Chabad Chassidism, Kislev 19-20. (The Rebbe was released from prison on the 19th, but his full freedom was only obtained late in the evening -- Kislev 20 on the Jewish Calendar.) The two days are celebrated with farbrengens (Chassidic gatherings) and an increased commitment to the ways and teachings of Chassidism. Tachnun (supplication) and similar prayers are omitted.
www.Chabad.org/calendar

CSTL CHANUKAH PARTY – SUN DEC 17th 5 PM
At Island Crust Café, 7525 SE 24th , Mercer Island.  Live Music!  Grand Menorah Lighting!  Live Music!  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

CSTL TOT PROGRAM // NOT THIS WEEK
T
his program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please emailelizabeth.roth08@gmail.com
There will be no children's program this Shabbat 

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION //NOT THIS WEEK
There will be no children's program this Shabbat

LADIES NIGHT OUT – SUN DEC 10th 7:30 pm
Featuring a TED talk by Karen Yalovsky.  Also featuring Henna with Marave. Wine, and Cheese will be served.  At the home of Tova Cox, 5055 Pulman Ave NE.  Sponsored by Jewish Womens Circle, a Chabad of Seattle project.  Reservations
mherbstman@gmail.com.  $10 couvert. 

AVOS U’BONIM SAT NIGHT DEC 9th   6:30pm at CSTL
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.  Refreshments.  Grand Raffle.  Prizes.  Info: 
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com Generously sponsored by Shuky & Chani Meyer

OLIVE OIL DEMONSTATION AT MMSC SUN DEC 10th10:45am
The workshop demonstrates, with the help of participants, the process the Maccabees used to refine Olive Oil for the Menorah in the Chanukah story. Participants sort and hand-press fresh olives in an old fashioned olive press made of wood and cast iron, then decant the olive juice with a modern centrifuge to quickly extract the pure olive oil - authentic "Shemen Zayit Zach. Light refreshments will be served. 
8420 Seattle, WA 98103

CHANUKAH First Candle Tue Dec 12th 4:18 pm
Public Lighting Shoreline City Hall 6 pm
Capitol Hill Latke Cookoff, 318 18th  Ave NE,  7:15 pm

CHANUKA Second Candle Wed Dec 13th 4:18 pm
Public Lighting

CHANUKAH Third Candle Thu Dec 14th 4:18 pm
Seniors Chanukah Party - University House Wallingford 4400 Stone Way N at 4:15 pm

CHANUKAH Sixth Candle Sun Dec 17th 4:19 pm
Public Menorah Lighting - Cal Anderson Park 5:30 PM · 
Menorah Lighting /Party- 357 N 77th Street Seattle, WA 98103 5-7 pm

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Camp CGI Seattle is gearing up for an Amazing Fun Winter Break Week.
Ages: 18mo – 12 years. Dec 25th  – Dec 29th.  Age appropriate activities are being planned by our amazing Program Director Chana Greenblatt. It will be, yi”h, an action packed week to remember… Trips, Sports, Games, Art projects and lots of Laughter and Fun! The best part - some of the fabulous counselors are coming back!  GIVE YOURSELF A “BREAK” AND YOUR CHILD AN “OPPORTUNITY”. To sign up, 
www.campganisraelseattle.org Questions ? Call or text Rabbi Kavka 206-730-2764

PARENTAL GUIDANCE 
Parents are responsible for their children.  Please keep our shul clean.  Please don’t borrow items from the shul without the President’s permission.  Kesiva v”Chasima Tova.

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush, 
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


 COMMUNITY NEWS

Mercaz Chanukah Party Melava Malka Sat Dec 16th 6-10 pm
Kid's light up dance party with lights, glow sticks, and disco lights, followed by a Chanukah movie. Adults bring your poker faces and grab a seat at the table for our Annual Poker Tournament! There will be a $18 buy in, half the proceeds go to Mercaz and the winner will keep the other half.  Fries, onion rings, doughnuts, latkes, applesauce, veggies, fruit, adult and non adult beverages. Info and to volunteer : Sarah Dershowitz at 
sgdersho@gmail.com 

BISTRO NIGHT AT THE SUMMIT TUE DEC 19th 
Seatings are available from 7:40-8:15 pm, cost is $70, which includes appetizer, dinner, dessert, server gratuity, and of course a wide selection of wine and beer.   Some of the featured menu choices include a rib eye steak and frites, house-made red curry with fresh true cod, a hearty chicken ramen, and a lamb agradolce (aka sweet & sour) as entrees.  Bistro Night at The Summit is a chance to savor kosher cuisine (supervised by Va'ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle staff) in an elegant atmosphere. Reserve today
chrise@summitatfirsthill.org . 

Hachnasat Sefer Torah Sunday, Dec 17th 9:00-10:30 am
Celebrate with Minyan Ohr Chadash. Program donated by Martin Selig in memory of his parents, Laura & Manfred Selig. More info:
www.minyanohrchadash.org  

Seattle Kollel "Winter Seed Camp". Dec. 25th-29th,  
To sign up or for more info: 
www.seattlekollel.com

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle"Connections 2018" Sun Jan 28th 11 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info: 
www.jewishinseattle.org

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9pm - 11pm
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

Chavrusa Learning Program with Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum  Sun, Dec 3rd  8:50 am
At the BCMH Beis Midrash. All levels welcome. Followed by Shiur at 9:40 am.

Kollel Avot U'Bonim Motzei Shabbos - 6:30 - 7:30 PM 
In the Seattle Kollel Beit Medrash. Boys and Girls learning Torah with their parents. Followed by great snacks and fantastic prizes! Spend some quality time with your child in a beit medrash atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else! 
https://www.seattlekollel.com/avos-u-banim

Limmud Seattle – Motzei Shabbos Jan 13th to Sun Jan 14th 
A unique experience of engaging, hands-on Torah learning in a community that celebrates Jewish diversity. 
http://www.limmudseattle.org/  at the Shoreline Conference Center:18560 1st Ave NE, Shoreline, WA

JFS Community Mental Health Response 101 Course  Jan 11th6:15pm-8pm. 
Register with TalyaGillman at education@jfsseattle.org or 206-861-8784.

NAMI Family-to-Family Class Tue through Jan 9th 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) presents a free 12-week class for adult family and friends of people living with mental illness, providing support and information about serious mental illness. JFS Capitol Hill Campus, 1601 16th Avenue, Seattle. RSVP to Talya Gillman or call (206) 861-8784 for more information.

Seattle Kollel Mishna Yomit
Info: 
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com  or (206) 369-1215.

Torah Day School Annual Dinner Sun Dec 17th 5:30 pm
At the Westin Hotel, 1900 5th Ave., Sea. This year's honorees are Dr. Elie & Miriam Levy. More info: 
www.tdsseattle.org  

Chanukah Party with Fried Food, Poker, Kids Movie and Dancing – Sat Dec 16th 
At Mercaz, 5240 38th Ave. NE Seattle 
www.MercazSeattle.org

Community Trip to Israel. April 29-May 8, 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


REBBE’S SICHO FOR VAYESHEV
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347334/jewish/Likkutei-Sichot-Vayeishev.htm  Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Vayeishev, 5720 by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

The beginning of this week’s Torah reading relates Yosef’s two dreams. The meaning of the two dreams is the same. They both allude to the fact the Yosef would be granted dominion over his brothers, and that they would bow down to him. (The second dream has one addition: “the sun and the moon,” Yaakovand Bilhah, will also bow to him.)

Later, in Parshas Mikeitz, the Torah relates that Pharaoh also had two dreams. In this instance as well, both dreams had the same meaning. With regard to Pharaoh’s dreams, however, the Torah tells us why the dreams were repeated, to show that the events alluded to were imminent.1 With regard to the repetition of Yosef’s dreams, by contrast, the Torah does not give an explanation.

This implies for the addition that Yaakov and Bilhah will also bow down to him is not a significant enough factor; indeed it could have been alluded to in the first dream that the two dreams, although sharing the same general meaning, reflect two different concepts.

We must thus endeavor to understand the significance of these two dreams, and the lesson they hold for us. Their relevance is heightened by the teaching:2“The deeds of the Patriarchs are a sign to their descendants.” For although Yosef is not considered to be one of the Patriarchs, the events which occurred to him relate to all of us, because his Divine service is a direct extension of that of Yaakov. As implied by the verse,3 “This is the posterity of Yaakov. Yosef…,” it is Yosef who draws down the spiritual influence of Yaakov into the worlds ofBeriahYetzirah, and Asiyah, and into our material world.

A Jew’s Dreams Differ From those of a Gentile

The difference between Yosef’s two dreams can be explained as follows: the first concerned material objects; he and his brothers were binding sheaves in the field.4 The second dream involved the sun, moon, and stars5 objects in the heavenly sphere.

Pharaoh’s dreams, by contrast, both concerned worldly matters. One involved ears of corn (i.e., plants), and the other cows (the animal kingdom). Pharaoh did not, however, have any conception of the heavenly realm. Moreover, even with regard to worldly matters, his dreams followed a downward trend;6 first he dreamt about the cows and afterwards about the ears of corn.7 Yosef, by contrast, followed the pattern: “Always ascend higher with regard to holy matters.”8 Thus he first dreamt about material matters, and then about heavenly matters.

This points to a larger difference between Jews and non-Jews. Even while a Jew is involved with material concerns, he is living on two planes simultaneously. Not only is he involved with this physical world, he shares a connection to the spiritual truth of the World to Come.

My revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, once expressed this concept as follows: When he was arrested in 5687, one of the Russian officers threatened him with a revolver. The Rebbe answered him: “Only those who have many gods and one world will be frightened by such an article. A person who has one G‑d and two worlds is not frightened at all.”9

The Rebbe was not speaking of living first in this world and then in the World to Come. Instead, he meant that while living in this material world, a Jew shares a connection with the spiritual realms.

This connection follows a pattern of ascent as alluded to in the verse:10 “A ladder was standing on the earth, and its top reached into the heavens.” The “ladder” of a Jew’s Divine service has its roots in lowly, material concerns, and yet reaches “into the heavens,” to the highest spiritual planes.

Fusing the Material and the Spiritual

All the details of the stories related in the Torah are significant, and each provides us with a directive in our Divine service.11 Accordingly, the fact that Yosef had two dreams, one concerning material matters and another concerning heavenly matters, yet both bearing the same message teaches every Jew to fuse both of his worlds the material and the spiritual into a single entity. Not only should a Jew’s material concerns not hinder his Divine service, they should complement that service. Indeed, the material should become one with the spiritual.12

Although the Zohar states:13 “The strength of the body is the weakness of the soul,” this does not necessarily contradict the above. For the Zohar refers, not to the body’s physical health, but to the strength of its desires, and the fervor of its longing for material things. With regard to the actual health of the body, by contrast, the Rambam writes:14 “Maintaining a healthy and sound body is among the paths of G‑d.”

To explain: All material concerns eating, drinking, and our other activities should be for the sake of the spiritual, in order to serve G‑d. This thrust is a natural tendency in the makeup of every Jew, even simple people, as reflected in the following story.15

When they were young children, the Rebbe Rashab and his brother RebZalman Aharon were arguing about the difference between Jews and non-Jews. To provide them with an answer, their father, the Rebbe Maharash called his attendant Reb Ben Tzion, a simple Jew with little Torah scholarship.

“Ben Tzion, did you eat today,” the Rebbe asked him.

“Yes.”

“Did you eat well?”

“What do mean ‘well?’ Thank G‑d, I’m satisfied.”

“Why did you eat?”

“In order to live.”

“And why do you live?”

“To be a Jew, and to do what G‑d wants,” the attendant answered, sighing slightly.

Afterwards, the Rebbe Maharash told his children: “Do you see? A Jew’s inherent nature is to eat in order to live. And he lives in order to be a Jew and do what G‑d wants. And he gives a sigh because he feels that in truth he is not living according to these values in a complete sense.”

Moreover, since a Jew’s desire and intent is that all of his material concerns be connected with the spiritual, they are indeed considered as such. As the Baal Shem Tov would say:16 “Wherever a person’s desire is, there he himself is to be found.”

To Reap, One Must Sow

The above applies to the general concept conveyed by Yosef’s dreams. Moreover, the particular details of the dreams also convey lessons. The first dream begins with Yosef and his brothers binding sheaves of grain in the field. This is an important factor. Yosef’s dreams begin with work, in contrast to the dreams of Pharaoh, which did not involve any activity on his part.

This reflects one of the fundamental differences between the realm of holiness and the realm of kelipah, evil. G‑dly influence is granted to kelipah without Divine service being required. Thus on the phrase:17 “which we ate in Egypt without charge,” our Sages comment:18 “without mitzvos,” i.e., in Egypt, in the realm of kelipah, material well-being is dispersed without Divine service. In the realm of holiness, by contrast, nothing is unearned; on the contrary, this would be considered “bread of shame.”19 All Divine influence is earned by effort.

This lesson, the importance of work, accompanies a Jew as he advances up the ladder of Divine service, beginning with worldly matters, and proceeding to include the spiritual.

Three Themes in Our Divine Service

What constitutes a Jew’s work? Binding together sheaves. Every stalk of grain is a separate entity, growing in its own place. Man’s service involves joining together these distinct entities into larger composites, sheaves.20

Where is this activity carried out? “In the field,” an analogy for our material world. A Jew’s soul descends into this world, the field, which is characterized by separation.21 It is the realm of kelipah, as reflected by the description ofEsav22 as “a man of the field.”

As the soul descends into this world, it becomes enclothed in the body and the animal soul. The latter are characterized by an awareness of self, and of one’s distinction from others. The soul’s task “in the field” is to nullify this sense of self and separation engendered by the animal soul, and to bring together all its potentials in the service of G‑d.

This cannot be done unless “your sheaves… bowed down to my sheaf”; the brothers must bow down and negate themselves before Yosef HaTzaddik.

To explain: The entire Jewish people can be described using the analogy of a large body.23 In the human body, there are three organs, the brain, the heart, and the liver, which control the functioning of the whole,24 and all the other organs must allow themselves to be controlled by these three. More particularly, this applies with regard to the brain. Only when the body is controlled by these three organs, and in particular by the brain, is it healthy.

Similar concepts apply with regard to the Jewish people. It is not sufficient for a person to carry out the service of “binding together sheaves in the field,” nullifying the influence of the body and the animal soul and uniting them in them service of G‑d. Even after a person himself becomes “a sheaf,” i.e., an element of this service, he must negate himself before the “sheaf” of YosefHaTzaddik, the Rebbe, the leader of the generation, the head of the Jewish people.25 The leader gives directives for the entire Jewish people and controls their functioning, as a head controls the function of all the body’s limbs and organs.26

Indeed, even the success of the mission of “binding together sheaves,” is dependent on “bow[ing] down to [Yosef’s] sheaf,” making a commitment to thetzaddik of the generation. For a Jew’s ability to carry out his mission in “the field,” our material world, stems from the inner commitment of his soul to Yosef HaTzaddik.27 In practice, however, a Jew’s Divine service must ascend step by step. Thus he must first carry out the task of “binding together sheaves,” and afterwards, he negates his sheaf, i.e., his spiritual achievements, to the leader of the generation.

On the Spiritual Plane

All three stages of Divine service are carried out “in the field,” i.e., within the context of material existence (relating to the first of Yosef’s dreams). The intent, however, is to ultimately transcend the limits of the body and the animal soul. This refers to the concept of spending “all of one’s days inteshuvah,”28 as explained in Likkutei Torah.29

The inner dimension of teshuvah is for “the soul [to] return to G‑d who granted it,”30 i.e., establishing the same level of connection as the soul experienced before being enclothed in a body. This does not mean death leaving the body and the animal soul but rather that the body, while remaining a part of the material world, will no longer veil G‑dliness. This is the purpose of the descent of the soul into this material plane; that while enclothed in the body, it will unite with G‑d on the same level as before its descent.

This is alluded to by Yosef’s second dream, which speaks only of heavenly matters. He has already left the field, i.e., he has risen above material concerns. Therefore, in this dream, there is no mention of the task of binding sheaves, establishing unity among discrete entities, for this work has already been accomplished. On this level, the task involves spiritual service alone, enabling “the soul [to] return to G‑d who granted it.”

Nevertheless, even on this advanced level, the task of negating one’s spiritual self-image to the leader of the generation is still relevant. The 11 stars (the level which one has reached) bow down to Yosef. This emphasizes that the commitment to Yosef is not required merely “in the field.” One might think since that realm is characterized by separation, such a commitment is necessary to prevent the strengthening of the forces of evil, but that when one is involved only with spiritual matters, there is no need for such a commitment. Therefore the Torah tells us that 11 stars individuals involved in the highest spiritual service bowed in utter self-nullification to Yosef HaTzaddik.

Crowning Efforts

We can summarize the lessons taught by Yosef’s dreams as follows. First and foremost, work is necessary. Effort and labor are the rungs of the ladder by which a Jew can ascend and establish a connection with G‑d. Although Jews are “sons of kings,”31 and indeed, “kings”32 themselves, this does not mean they need not expend effort. On the contrary, as explained above, all the influence received in the realm of holiness comes through work. Nevertheless, since we are speaking about “kings,” every small effort is counted as if it were strenuous labor. And in return, G‑d will grant “the feasts of Shlomo at the height of his reign,” and even more.33 But still, effort is required.

We are promised, however, “If you labor, you will find,”34 i.e., you will attain accomplishments that you could not have expected previously, as a discovered object is not anticipated. Indeed, the attainments will be far out of proportion to one’s efforts, lifting one to the highest spiritual rungs.

The second directive is that, regardless of one’s level of Divine service, all of one’s efforts should be accompanied by a commitment of self-nullification to the leader of the generation.

And when a person “nullifies his own will,” G‑d “will nullify the wills of others before your will.”35 The term “others” is plural, referring to the concealment of G‑d in this material world, which allows for the mistaken conception that there are two sources of influence, heaven forbid. As our Sages state36 with regard to the plural form used in the statement, “Let us make man:” “One who desires to err may err.”

When a person rises above this frame of reference and nullifies his will, he becomes a fit vessel to receive the influence from Yosef, the tzaddik who is the foundation of the world.37

 

Shabbos Vayishlach – Yud Tes Kislev | 14-21 Kislev, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI DEC 1st 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:01 pm

SHABBOS SAT DEC 2nd 
Shacharis: 9 am
Mincha 4:01 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:04 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush Lite. Rabbi Mendy is making the delicious meat chulent sponsored by Paul and Tamar Azous. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am  
Mon- Fri 7 am 
Sun -Tue Mincha 4:05 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 4:54 pm/

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to the Levitin and Kornfeld Families on the Bar Mitzvah of Rabbi Kornfeld’s grandson.  Mazel Tov to Anita & Larry Altose on their new granddaughter, born this week to Amalia & Michah Markowitz in Giv'at Ze'ev. Mazel Tov to Carol & Jerry Strassman on the birth of a granddaughter, Ahava Leah (Amanda Lily) born to Aaron & Ariella Strassman.

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

LEARN TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – SHABBOS 8:15 am
An opportunity for inspiration with Rabbi Mendy Levitin, every Shabbos!

FARBRENGEN ALERT - YUD DALED KISLEV - FRI DEC 1st at 3PM
Please join us on Friday Dec 1st  at 3 PM for an Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah, in honor of “Yud Daled Kislev”, the marriage of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson ZT”L to Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneersohn (14th of Kislev, 1928).  Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka was the middle daughter of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), the sixth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch.  On the 14th of Kislev of 1953, at a farbrengen (Chassidic gathering) marking his 25th wedding anniversary, the Rebbe said to his Chassidim: "This is the day that bound me to you, and you to me."

CSTL CHANUKAH PARTY – SUN DEC 17th 5 PM
At Island Crust Café, 7525 SE 24th , Mercer Island.  Live Music!  Grand Menorah Lighting!  Live Music!  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

CSTL TOT PROGRAM
This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please email 
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION 10 am
Children of Kindergarten age and up. In the Social Hall

AVOS U’BONIM SAT NIGHT DEC 2nd  6:30pm at CSTL
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.  Refreshments.  Grand Raffle.  Prizes.  Info:  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

FARBRENGEN ALERT –THU DEC 7th 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." Farbrengen at Chabad Jewish Russian Center, 1114 NE Perkins Way, Shoreline, WA 98155.  Additional parking is available two blocks west on Perkins Way at Shoreline Cooperative Preschool 816 NE 190th St, Shoreline, WA 98155

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Camp CGI Seattle is gearing up for an Amazing Fun Winter Break Week.
Ages: 18mo – 12 years. Dec 25th  – Dec 29th. Age appropriate activities are being planned by our amazing Program Director Chana Greenblatt. It will be, yi”h, an action packed week to remember… Trips, Sports, Games, Art projects and lots of Laughter and Fun! The best part - some of the fabulous counselors are coming back!  GIVE YOURSELF A “BREAK” AND YOUR CHILD AN “OPPORTUNITY”. To sign up, 
www.campganisraelseattle.org Questions ? Call or text Rabbi Kavka 206-730-2764

PARENTAL GUIDANCE 
Parents are responsible for their children.  Please keep our shul clean.  Please don’t borrow items from the shul without the President’s permission.  Kesiva v”Chasima Tova.

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Seattle Kollel Pre Chanukah Leil Iyun" Tues., Dec. 5th, 7:30-9:00 pm
www.seattlekollel.com

Seattle Kollel "Winter Seed Camp". Dec. 25th-29th,  
To sign up or for more info: 
www.seattlekollel.com

EB LADIES AUXILIARY BAKING MON DEC 4th 
The EB Ladies Auxiliary will be baking biscochos and panderas .As always, volunteer bakers (and packers) are welcome to join them for baking, conversation, and lunch.  
www.ezrabessaroth.net

Discover NYHS: Parlor Meeting for Prospective Parents: Dec 4th 7 PM
Join NYHS For a Q & A with NYHS Administrators & Current Students at 7 PM on Monday, at the home of David & Sigrid Benezra. Rsvp at admissions@nyhs.org or call 206-232-5272.

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle"Connections 2018" Sun Jan 28th 11 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info:
www.jewishinseattle.org

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9pm - 11pm
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

Chavrusa Learning Program with Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum  Sun, Dec 3rd  8:50 am
At the BCMH Beis Midrash. All levels welcome. Followed by Shiur at 9:40 am.

Kollel Avot U'Bonim Motzei Shabbos - 6:30 - 7:30 PM 
In the Seattle Kollel Beit Medrash. Boys and Girls learning Torah with their parents. Followed by great snacks and fantastic prizes! Spend some quality time with your child in a beit medrash atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else! 
https://www.seattlekollel.com/avos-u-banim

NAMI Family-to-Family Class Tue through Jan 9th 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) presents a free 12-week class for adult family and friends of people living with mental illness, providing support and information about serious mental illness. JFS Capitol Hill Campus, 1601 16th Avenue, Seattle. RSVP to Talya Gillman or call (206) 861-8784 for more information.

Seattle Kollel Mishna Yomit
Info: 
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com  or (206) 369-1215.

Seattle Hebrew Academy Annual Gala Brunch  Sun Dec 3rd 11:30 am
At Block 41 in Belltown. This year's honorees are Heather & Joel Jacobson.
http://seattlehebrewacademy.org

Torah Day School Annual Dinner Sun Dec 17th 5:30 pm
At the Westin Hotel, 1900 5th Ave., Sea. This year's honorees are Dr. Elie & Miriam Levy. More info:
www.tdsseattle.org  

Chanukah Party with Fried Food, Poker, Kids Movie and Dancing – Sat Dec 16th 
At Mercaz, 5240 38th Ave. NE Seattle 
www.MercazSeattle.org

Jewish Family Service Kosher Food Bank Wed Dec. 6th 5-6:30pm
Please RSVP by emailing 
emagasis@jfsseattle.org , or bsindel@jfsseattle.org  if you plan to attend, so that we can be adequately prepared. http://www.jfsseattle.org/event/kosher-food-bank-2017/?instance_id=2502

Community Trip to Israel. April 29-May 8, 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


REBBE’S SICHO FOR VAYISHLACH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347332/jewish/Likkutei-Sichot-Vayishlach.htm  Adapted from Sichos Yud Shvat, 5718 by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

Our Sages1 compare the verse:2 “Your name will no longer be Yaakov. Instead, your name will be Yisrael,” with the verse,3 “Your name will no longer be Avram,” and state that a person who refers to Avraham by the name Avram commits a transgression.4 In contrast, a person who refers to Yaakov by that name, rather than by the name Yisrael, does not transgress.

What is the difference? Our Sages explain that from the time G‑dgave Avraham his new name, the Torah refers to him with that name alone. With regard to Yaakov, by contrast, even after G‑d gave him the name Yisrael, the Torah still refers to him as Yaakov.

What is the rationale for this distinction? Why does the Torah still refer to Yaakov by that name even after he was given the name Yisrael?

In Chassidus,5 it is explained that the names Yaakov and Yisrael reflect two different approaches to Divine service. Every Jew must possess both traits, for there are times when a Jew must carry out his Divine service in the path reflected by the name Yaakov, while at other times, his Divine service must reflect the path of Yisrael. Although Yisrael implies a higher level, at certain times, and in certain situations, the Divine service of Yaakov is necessary.

Yaakov’s Deception, Yisrael’s Mastery

The difference between the approaches of Yaakov and Yisrael can be described as follows: The name Yaakov indicates that the blessings from Yitzchak are acquired through deception and trickery.6 Through cleverness, Yaakov was able to snatch Yitzchak’s blessings from Esav. Yisrael, by contrast, reflects a higher rung. For Yisrael, there is no need to secure blessings by craftiness. Instead, they are granted him: “as befitting a ruler, in a revealed manner.”

“The deeds of the Patriarchs are a sign for their descendants,”7providing us with guidance in our own Divine service. “[The meaning of] a verse never departs from its simple interpretation.”8Thus the blessings given by Yitzchak9 “The dew of the heavens and the fat of the earth” refer to material prosperity. To receive these blessings, Yaakov and Rivkah were willing to take risks and employ deception. For example, Yaakov had to wear the clothes of Nimrod,10 the one who “with his kingship, caused the entire world to rebel against [G‑d].”11 What was the purpose of these tactics? To elevate the sparks of G‑dliness which are contained in material entities.

This serves as a lesson for us. A Jew must approach eating, drinking, and other material activities with a certain measure of craft and deception.12 How does a person perpetrate a fraud? He does not reveal his true intent. He begins by appearing to follow the path which his opponent desires, but at a particular point, he changes course and does what he desires, although it is against his opponent’s wishes.

This is the way a Jew should approach material activities. On the surface, he like everyone else is involved in material activities; he eats, drinks, and deals in business. But he engages in these activities “for the sake of heaven.”13 He wears “Esav’s clothes,” but carries out all his material activities with a sense of inner purpose: to elevate the sparks of G‑dliness contained in the material entities.

The Divine service of Yisrael involves a different approach. The blessings for prosperity granted him by Yitzchak are conferred upon him “as befitting a ruler, in a revealed manner.” He does not have to conceal the G‑dly goal of his material involvement. For material concerns do not create a conflict for him; for him, there is no concealment of their G‑dly source. To cite an example, by simply eating a Shabbos meal,14 a Jew is performing a mitzvah. This is different from the task of refinement which he performs during the week. During the week, he eats for the sake of heaven, i.e., with “deception.” For a Jew is practicing “deception” every time he performs a physical activity for a spiritual purpose. On Shabbos, the physical activity of eating itself reflects holiness.

This concept is alluded to by the name Yisrael, which was granted to Yaakov because: “You strove with angels15 and men and prevailed.”16 The terms “angels” and “men” refer to the different challenges we face in our Divine service, for both involve the concealment of G‑dly influence. “Angels” refer to the 70 spiritual archangels who serve as channels through which the Divine influence that maintains material existence passes.17 This process veils G‑dliness.

An even greater process of concealment is brought about by “men” coarse individuals who ridicule Jews for seeking to observe the Torah and its mitzvos.18 As is painfully obvious, it is more difficult to overcome human obstacles than those which are brought about through spiritual beings, i.e., the inherent veiling of G‑dliness involved in the creation of material existence. For this reason, the entire Shulchan Aruch begins by stating: “Do not be embarrassed by those who scoff.” This is the foundation of our Divine service to break through the forces which conceal G‑dliness.

The advantage alluded to by the name Yisrael the ability to “strive with angels and men and prevail” is that Yisrael is able to see through the concealment perpetrated by both angels and men. Not only do these forces not contend with him, they consent to the blessings he receives.19 Not only does Yisrael defeat the archangel of Esav, but that angel blesses him, in keeping with the dictum:20“His enemies will establish peace with him.” This includes the greatest enemy, “the primeval serpent,” the source of all sin and conflict. Not only will this force not present any opposition, it will “establish peace,” and offer assistance.

When Struggle is No Longer Necessary

The distinction between the levels of Yaakov and Yisrael can be clarified based on the maamar in Likkutei Torah,21 which interprets the verse:22 “[G‑d] does not look at wrongdoing within Yaakov, nor does He see vice23 within Yisrael.” On the level of Yaakov, there is no “wrongdoing;” there is , however, “vice.” Indeed, a struggle is necessary so that no wrongdoing ensues, for on Yaakov’s level, the veiling and concealment of G‑dliness present a challenge which must be overcome. Therefore Yaakov is given the title “My servant,”24 for his Divine service of refining the animal soul involves labor and toil. (There is, however, no “wrongdoing,” for Yaakov summons up inner strength, and overcomes the yetzer hora.)

With regard to Yisrael, by contrast, there is no “vice.” There is no need to contend with the yetzer hora. Yisrael has already “strive[n] with angels and men and prevailed.” The verb uses the past tense, indicating that the struggles are behind him. He has already nullified all the veils concealing G‑dliness.

Therefore, the Divine service of Yisrael does not involve a struggle with forces opposed to holiness. Instead, his efforts are dedicated solely to reaching higher and higher within the domain of holiness, “go[ing] from strength to strength.”25

Two Maxims

The Previous Rebbe related26 that the Tzemach Tzedek was once sitting with chassidim at a farbrengen. Suddenly he jumped onto the table and exclaimed: “[Our Sages’ statement:] ‘What difference does it make if you kill it entirely or kill it partially?’ can be applied to the yetzer hora…. It is, however, necessary to kill it partially.”

As the farbrengen unfolded and led to dancing, the Tzemach Tzedek continued: “When one kills the yetzer hora as it is written,27‘My heart is slain within me” one’s life takes on a new cast.”

The two maxims of the Tzemach Tzedek reflect the different levels of Yaakov and Yisrael. On the level of Yaakov, it is necessary to wage war against the yetzer hora, “killing it, [at least] partially”; life is filled with strife. On the level of Yisrael, by contrast, the yetzer hora has already been slain, and existence takes on a new visage; it becomes a life of satisfaction and pleasure.

Two Levels of Spiritual Light

The two levels of Yaakov and Yisrael and the paths of Divine service associated with each reflect two rungs within the G‑dly soul. The Hebrew letters of the name Yaakov, יעקב , can be divided as י' עקב , i.e., only the eikev, the heel, the lowest level of the yud, the soul, shines within the person. As such, it is possible for the body and the animal soul to conceal the light of the Divine soul, and thus conflict ensues.

The name Yisraelישראל , by contrast, can be divided into the words לי ראש , “the head for Me.”28 The “head” of the soul shines within him. Accordingly, there is no need for war; “You [have] strive[n] with angels and men and prevailed.”

In general, the name Yisrael describes the righteous, while the name Yaakov relates to beinonim “intermediate men,” which is “the attribute of all men.”29 More particularly, within the Divine service of the ordinary man, the name Yaakov refers to our efforts during the week, while the name Yisrael refers to our devotion on Shabbos.

Moreover, within the Divine service of the righteous themselves, there is a rung of observance associated with Yisrael and a rung in proportion to their level of righteousness associated with Yaakov. Indeed, this is obvious from the Talmudic passage quoted at the outset, which states that even after Yaakov our Patriarch was given the name Yisrael, he was still sometimes called Yaakov.

Since every Jew, both beinonim and righteous men, relate to the level of Yaakov, the Torah still refers to him by that name even after he has been renamed Yisrael. The name Yaakov remains, because even afterwards, his Divine service must bear a relationship to that level.

An Assurance of Victory

As mentioned above, the Torah states: “[G‑d] does not look at wrongdoing within Yaakov.” The verse does not exclude “vice,” however, for vice indeed exists at Yaakov’s level. The level of Yaakov involves a struggle with the yetzer hora that requires strenuous effort, and involves danger. Nevertheless, Yaakov has the inner strength to succeed in this struggle and remain free of “wrongdoing.” For every Jew is “the branch of My planting, the work of My hands in which to take pride.”30 He is “an actual part of G‑d.”31 As such, just as it is impossible for anyone to overcome G‑d, it is impossible for anyone to exert any authority over a Jew’s soul, if he resists. For a Jew always has the inner strength to be victorious. Indeed, he has been assured that he will ultimately prevail, as it is stated:32 “No one will remain estranged from You.” And we have been promised:33 “All of Israel has a portion in the World to Come.”

This promise (like all concepts in the Torah) affects our Divine service at present. The assurance that we will be victorious in the struggle should infuse us with strength and happiness. This strength and happiness will, in turn, hasten the victory. As my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, said:34 “A soldier… proceeds with a happy melody, although he goes to a place of danger…. It is his approach in happiness which enables him to be victorious.”

Happiness, Instead of Fear

Based on the above, we can appreciate the implication of the liturgical hymn sung at the Melaveh Malkah meal on Saturday night35 : “Do not fear, Yaakov My servant.” As explained in Likkutei Torah, on Shabbos the Jewish people are on the level of Yisrael. There is no need for strenuous efforts to refine the world’s material substance.

As the Shabbos departs, however, Jews make the transition to the level of “Yaakov My servant,” and prepare to resume their mission of refining material entities in the weekdays which follow. Therefore they are assured: “Do not fear, Yaakov My servant.”

A Jew is promised that there is no need to fear this transition. On the contrary, he is empowered to proceed in his Divine service with happiness and satisfaction. This in turn will hasten the completion of the task, and the coming of the era in which we will receive “generous recompense for our efforts”36 “the era which is all Shabbos and rest for life everlasting.”

Shabbos Vayetzei | 6-13 Kislev, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI NOV 24th
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:05 pm

SHABBOS SAT NOV 25th 
Shacharis: 9 am  
Mincha 4:04 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:07 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush Lite. Rabbi Mendy is making the delicious meat chulent sponsored by Rabbi Alter and Debbie Levitin. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am  
Mon- Fri 7 am 
Sun -Tue Mincha 4:10 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 4:57 pm/

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -Eruv is up
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

LEARN TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – SHABBOS 8:15 am
An opportunity for inspiration with Rabbi Mendy Levitin, every Shabbos!

FARBRENGEN ALERT –FRI NOV 24th 3:00 PM
In honor of Tes Kislev (this coming Monday), the birthday and yahrzeit of the second Lubvatcher Rebbi, Rabbi DovBer . In front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah. 

CSTL TOT PROGRAM
There will not be a Tot program (0-5) year olds this Shabbos. This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please email
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION 10 am
Children of Kindergarten age and up. In the Social Hall

AVOS U’BONIM SAT NIGHT NOV 25th 6:30pm at CSTL
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.  Refreshments.  Grand Raffle.  Prizes.  Info:  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

FARBRENGEN ALERT –MON NOV 27th 9/10 KISLEV
In honor of  Yud/Tes Kislev (this coming Monday), the birthday/yahrzeit and day of Liberation  (1862) of the second Lubvatcher Rebbi, Rabbi DovBer Venue to be announced.

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Camp CGI Seattle is gearing up for an Amazing Fun Winter Break Week.
Ages: 18mo – 12 years. Dec 25th  – Dec 29th.  Age appropriate activities are being planned by our amazing Program Director Chana Greenblatt. It will be, yi”h, an action packed week to remember… Trips, Sports, Games, Art projects and lots of Laughter and Fun! The best part - some of the fabulous counselors are coming back!  GIVE YOURSELF A “BREAK” AND YOUR CHILD AN “OPPORTUNITY”To sign up, 
www.campganisraelseattle.org Questions ? Call or text Rabbi Kavka 206-730-2764

PARENTAL GUIDANCE 
Parents are responsible for their children.  Please keep our shul clean.  Please don’t borrow items from the shul without the President’s permission.  Kesiva v”Chasima Tova.

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Melava Malka and Tractate Shabbat Learning - Sat Nov 25th 
At Mercaz, 5240 38th Ave. NE Seattle 
www.MercazSeattle.org

EB LADIES AUXILIARY BAKING NOV 27
The EB Ladies Auxiliary WILL BE baking spinach bulemas this Monday, November  27.   As always, volunteer bakers (and packers) are welcome to join them for baking, conversation, and lunch.  
www.ezrabessaroth.net

Discover NYHS: Parlor Meeting for Prospective Parents: Dec 4th 7 PM
Join NYHS For a Q & A with NYHS Administrators & Current Students at 7 PM on Monday, at the home of David & Sigrid Benezra. Rsvp at admissions@nyhs.org or call 206-232-5272.

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle"Connections 2018" Sun Jan28th 11 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info:
www.jewishinseattle.org

THE MEDRASHA OF SEATTLE WOMEN’S LEARNING Nov 26th 9 am 
All women of the community are invited to attend. At Rabbi Meyer’s home 5221 South Brandon.
www.ezrabessaroth.net  rabbimeyers@gmail.com

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9pm - 11pm
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

Chavrusa Learning Program with Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum  Sun, Nov 18th 8:50 am
At the BCMH Beis Midrash. All levels welcome. Followed by Shiur at 9:40 am.

Project DVORA Self-Care Group Mon Nov 6th to Dec 11th 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
This is a free six-week workshop for women who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. It will spotlight a different form of self-care each week, including exercise, spirituality and tender loving care during the holidays. Location will be at a secure and safe place in Seattle. Register with Project DVORA Domestic Violence Services at (206) 861-3159 .

Kollel Avot U'Bonim Motzei Shabbos - 6:30 - 7:30 PM 
In the Seattle Kollel Beit Medrash. Boys and Girls learning Torah with their parents. Followed by great snacks and fantastic prizes! Spend some quality time with your child in a beit medrash atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else! 
https://www.seattlekollel.com/avos-u-banim

NAMI Family-to-Family Class Tue through Jan 9th 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) presents a free 12-week class for adult family and friends of people living with mental illness, providing support and information about serious mental illness. JFS Capitol Hill Campus, 1601 16th Avenue, Seattle. RSVP to Talya Gillman or call (206) 861-8784 for more information.

Seattle Kollel Mishna Yomit
Info: 
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com  or (206) 369-1215.

Seattle Hebrew Academy Annual Gala Brunch  Sun Dec 3rd 11:30 am
At Block 41 in Belltown. This year's honorees are Heather & Joel Jacobson.
http://seattlehebrewacademy.org

Torah Day School Anual Dinner Sun Dec 17th 5:30 pm
At the Westin Hotel, 1900 5th Ave., Sea. This year's honorees are Dr. Elie & Miriam Levy. More info:
www.tdsseattle.org  

Chanukah Party with Fried Food, Poker, Kids Movie and Dancing – Sat Dec 16th 
At Mercaz, 5240 38th Ave. NE Seattle 
www.MercazSeattle.org

Jewish Family Service Kosher Food Bank 
Please RSVP by emailing 
emagasis@jfsseattle.org , or bsindel@jfsseattle.org  before November 1st if you plan to attend, so that we can be adequately prepared. http://www.jfsseattle.org/event/kosher-food-bank-2017/?instance_id=2502

Community Trip to Israel. April 29-May 8, 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


REBBE’S SICHO FOR VAYETZEI
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347331/jewish/Likkutei-Sichot-Vayeitzei.htm Adapted from (Adapted from Sichos Gimmel Cheshvan, 5721 and Sichos Lag BaOmer, 5710 Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

Yaakov is described as “the chosen one of the Patriarchs.”1 Among the unique characteristics by which Yaakov can be distinguished from the other Patriarchs is the posterity which he left. “From Avraham descended Yishmael, and from Yitzchak descended Esav;”2 i.e., their holiness did not encompass all of their children.

In particular, the Hebrew phrase translated as “descended,” ממנו יצא , literally means “he went out from him,” i.e., Yishmael and Esav withdrew their connection to Avraham and Yitzchak. With regard to Yaakov, by contrast, it is stated: “his posterity was perfect”;3 the holiness of Yaakov our Patriarch encompassed all his descendants.

It is true that with regard to Reuven, it is said:4 “He profaned his father’s couch.” Our Sages, however, state5 that this does not mean he committed a sin. “Whoever says Reuven sinned is surely speaking in error.” Reuven was defending his mother’s honor.

But the very fact that the Torah relates this incident in a manner which can be interpreted to mean that Reuven sinned indicates that with regard to his high spiritual plane, his action surely reflected a deficiency, as explained in the works of our Sages6 and in the teachings of Chassidus, beginning with the Baal Shem Tov.7 Nonetheless, Reuven received Yaakov’s entire spiritual heritage indeed, to a greater degree than his brothers, as it says:8 “greater in position and in power.” Even in his decline, he is described9 as “Yaakov’s firstborn.”

(This is a position of status, as reflected in our Sages interpretation10 of the command:11 “Honor your father and mother.” The Hebrew statement employs the word את which our Sages interpret as “including the elder brother,” i.e., the honor due one’s elder brother is an extension of the honor due one’s father. R. Chayim Vital explains12 that the primary dimension of the father’s spirit is invested in his eldest son. Thus by honoring the eldest son, one is honoring the father.)

The uniqueness of Yaakov’s posterity enables us to comprehend the statement of the Talmud:13 “The beauty of Yaakov is comparable to the beauty of Adam, the first man.” Within Adam were included all the souls of the subsequent generations. Therefore every one of his deeds affected mankind in its entirety. As such, the spiritual decline he suffered through the sin of the Tree of Knowledge brought about a decline in all subsequent generations. For this reason, there are righteous men who died “because of the counsel of the serpent,”14 i.e., the only reason they were forced to leave this world is the sin of Adam, the first man.

Similarly, Yaakov possessed “the beauty of Adam,” i.e., he also included within him the souls of all subsequent generations. As such, all his positive achievements affected his descendants as well for “a positive attribute is more powerful than the attribute of retribution.”15

Empowering His Descendants

The stories in the Torah are not merely chronicles of history, but rather lessons in our Divine service.16 This is particularly true with regard to “the deeds of the Patriarchs,” which serve as “a sign for their descendants.”17 From the above explanations, it is apparent that all the events which the Torah describes in the life of Yaakov contain even greater significance, for their ripples are felt in the souls of the entire Jewish people; they were all included in his soul.

The Torah’s narratives concerning Yaakov serve as pointers and empowerment for the souls of his descendants as they are revealed in this physical world. Indeed, the directives derived from these narratives have a greater relevance than those derived from the narratives concerning Avraham or Yitzchak.

A Mission and its Fruits

In Parshas Vayeitzei, the Torah relates that Yaakov left Beer Sheva in Eretz Yisrael to journey to Lavan’s home in Charan. As he began his journey, “he encountered the place.”18 Afterwards, the Torah relates that he arrived at Lavan’s home, where he worked for 20 years, married, and raised his family. And the parshah concludes by describing his return to Eretz Yisrael , at which time he was “met by angels of G‑d.”19

As mentioned above, all these events are relevant and serve as directives for every Jew. The mission of every Jew is to leave Eretz Yisrael , and “the tents of Shem and Ever,”20 i.e., the environment of Torah scholarship, for the intent of study is “to bring to deed.” This involves “going to Charan,” a place associated with the arousal of G‑d’s anger,21 i.e., it is necessary to go to the very hub of the world. There one will encounter Lavan the Aramite, and one’s service will involve elevating the sparks of holiness which he possesses. It is in such an environment that a Jew must establish “perfect progeny.”

If a person follows this course of action, the “journey to Charan” will not involve a genuine descent. Instead, “the man [will have] prodigious success”22 in both material and spiritual matters. And ultimately, as one returns to Eretz Yisrael, he will be “met by the angels of G‑d.”

The Zohar23 contrasts Yaakov’s departure for Charan with his departure for Eretz Yisrael , and explains: Before Yaakov went to Charan to work and raise his family, it is written: “he encountered the place.” Although he had studied much Torah in the School of Ever, it was he who journeyed to and sought out “the place,” i.e., the place where G‑dliness was revealed. Moreover, the revelation came only in a dream.

After completing his mission in Charan, he was “met by angels of G‑d,” the angels and G‑d Himself, as it were24 sought him out. And this revelation did not come in a dream, but while he was awake.

(The Midrash25 states that Yaakov was met by 600,000 angels or 1,200,000 angels. The Zohar, the inner dimension of the Torah, reveals the inner dimension of this experience, and explains that it was G‑d Himself who was revealed to him.)

Similar concepts apply with regard to every Jew. As long as he is “in Eretz Yisrael,” i.e., involved in matters of holiness, with his own concerns, he may be able to scale great heights, but he can never attain the peaks to which he can ascend after his “journey to Charan,” working with the world, drawing other Jews close to their heritage, making them Jews, as it were.

And when a person “leaves Eretz Yisrael ” to go out and work in the world and with other Jews, he is imbued with strength from above to carry out his mission. This is alluded to by the phrase, “he encountered the place.”

Afterwards, when he has accomplished his mission, through his Divine service he will draw down a higher light for the “arousal from above” that follows an “arousal from below” is superior26 and he is “met by the angels of G‑d.”

(Adapted from Sichos Gimmel Cheshvan, 5721)

Where Yaakov and Lavan Contended

The above discussion communicates the general message of the Torah reading. Nevertheless, as explained above, every event in Yaakov’s journey to Charan, and everything that happened to him there, holds lessons for us in our Divine service.27

To focus on one of these points: On the verse,28 “He slept in that place,” the Midrash comments:29“Here, he slept. But in the 14 years in which he hid [studying Torah] in the School of Ever, he did not sleep.” Alternatively, the Midrash states: “For the 20 years during which he stayed in the house of Lavan, he did not sleep.” This is reflected by the verse:30 “Sleep was snatched from my eyes.” Indeed, he did not even lie down at night.

The second interpretation is problematic. We can understand why Yaakov did not sleep while he was in the School of Ever; he was studying Torah. But why did he have to display such self-sacrifice while working for Lavan?31

Based on the above, this concept can be understood: the purpose of Yaakov’s journey to Charan and his activities there was to refine the world, to elevate the sparks of holiness that existed in Lavan’s domain. And due to his commitment to this goal, he did not sleep at all. For at all times, he had to fortify himself against the designs of Lavan, who sought to foil Yaakov’s efforts to refine his environment.

Lavan told Yaakov:32 “The daughters are my daughters; the sons are my sons; the flocks are my flocks.” What was Lavan’s contention against Yaakov? What point was Lavan making? And what argument do Lavan’s spiritual heirs offer Yaakov’s descendants?

Lavan told him: “You are an elderly Jew, and can do as you like. You’re part of the old world, anyway. Go study the Torah day and night, who cares? But the children, that’s another story! They’re part of the modern world. They’re my children. Why do you want to impair them? If you continue in your path, they will not be able to adjust to the world.

“You want to teach them Yiddishkeit. All right, but do it in a modern way, with new methods. Don’t make them into good-for-nothings.”

And similarly, when it came to the sheep, Lavan told him: “I don’t interfere in the way you study or pray, that’s your domain. But business is my realm. ‘The sheep are mine.’

“You’ve got to do things my way. If you want to make a profit, you can’t be so careful about the prohibitions against deceit, against taking away another person’s livelihood, and the like. If you follow the Torah path in business, it’s hard to make a living.”

To counter this approach, it was necessary for Yaakov to lose sleep, indeed, not even to lie down. Such self-sacrifice was necessary not only for studying in the School of Ever, but also for his family and material concerns those matters to which Lavan had a claim. That’s what Yaakov meant when he said:33 “I worked for you 14 years for your daughters, and six years for your flocks,” i.e., with painstaking labor, I made sure that everything concerning these matters was conducted according to the Torah. In this way, he refined the sparks of holiness that were in Lavan’s domain, and drew down G‑dliness into these material affairs.

The Key to Empowerment

The above also enables us to understand the continuation of the abovementioned passage from theMidrash, which states: “What did he say [during the night while guarding Lavan’s flocks]?” and responds: “The 15 psalms beginning with Shir HaMaalos in the Book of Tehillim,” as reflected in the verse:34 “Shir HaMaalos: … Let Yisrael say.” Yisrael refers to our Patriarch Yisrael.

Alternatively, the Midrash states that he would recite the entire Book of Tehillim, as it is written:35“And You, O Holy One, are enthroned upon the praises of Yisrael.” Yisrael refers to our Patriarch Yisrael. He would relate G‑d’s praises, the Book of Tehillim.

On the surface, it is difficult to understand the Midrash’s question: “What did he say?” What Yaakov did at night is obvious: he guarded Lavan’s sheep. But it is also obvious that Yaakov would not sacrifice himself to this extent merely to guard sheep. Obviously, his intent was to elevate sparks of holiness. The Midrash was asking: What empowered Yaakov to carry out this mission? How was it possible that while being involved with lowly matters such as tending Lavan’s sheep, he was able to maintain his own spiritual level and elevate the entities in Lavan’s domain as well?

And to this question, the Midrash replies that he recited:36 “Shir HaMaalos: I lift my eyes to the mountains. From where will my help come?” The Hebrew word מאין , translated as “from where” also means “from nothingness.” Both the simple and the extended meaning of the verse are relevant. The simple meaning reflects Yaakov’s realization that with his own power, there was nothing he could do. So he sought help from Above. And the extended meaning shows that he understood the way to draw down this Divine assistance through utter selflessness. He would rely only on G‑d, as the psalm continues:37 “My help is from G‑d,” and this Divine support empowered him to refine the sparks of G‑dliness that existed in Lavan’s domain.

Through his efforts, he revealed that G‑d is “the Maker of heaven and earth.” Not only is G‑d Master of the heavens, (i.e., spiritual concerns, the Torah which Yaakov studied in the School of Ever), He is also Master of the earth, the worldly concerns which Yaakov encountered in Charan (“the place which aroused G‑d’s anger”), the environment of Lavan.

Following Yaakov’s Example

The particular elements of the narrative concerning Yaakov also serve as directives for our Divine service. In our involvement with worldly matters, we must take twofold precautions:

a) Before “going to Charan,” a person must immerse himself in the study of Torah and in prayer, without any involvement in worldly concerns. Thus while Yaakov stayed in the School of Ever, he was totally absorbed in the study of Torah. And before leaving for Charan, “he encountered the place,” i.e., he made a commitment of prayer.38

b) Even when a person is “in Charan,” and “working for Lavan,” he must be involved in Divine service, through reciting Tehillim and the like.39 This is what elicits Divine assistance in carrying out the mission for which Divine Providence has sent one to Charan.

Moreover, this pattern should also be followed in a Jew’s everyday life. At the beginning of the day, before he becomes involved in his business concerns, a Jew should devote a formidable block of time to prayer and study. The first thing a Jew should do when wakes up is daven. After davenning, everyone should set aside a fixed time to study Torah.40

As explained in Likkutei Torah, Parshas Berachah (96a), the Torah studied before prayer is merely an outgrowth of the sublime Chochmah. Through the yichudim established in prayer, the revelation of the sublime Chochmah itself is drawn down into the Torah, and not merely its outgrowths.

From this statement, we can appreciate that the advantage of having prayer precede the study of Torah applies only after the giving of the Torah. From the standpoint of the Torah, it was only at the giving of the Torah that the potential was granted to draw down its essence, and not merely its ethereal dimensions (see Shir HaShirim Rabbah to Shir HaShirim 1:3). And from the standpoint of prayer, it was only at the giving of the Torah that the decree preventing the lower creations from ascending to the spiritual realms was rescinded (see Shmos Rabbah 12:3).

This was not true during the era of the Patriarchs. (See the maamar entitled Imras Havayah Tzarufah, Sefer HaMaamarim Kuntresim, Vol. I, p. 352.) At that time, Divine service could not rise above the spiritual source of the created beings. And thus in that age there was an advantage to the Patriarchs’ Torah study (and in particular, that of Yaakov, who was identified with this mode of Divine service) above their prayer. (This applies even to the study of Torah before prayer.) For their Torah study drew down at least an ethereal dimension of sublime wisdom.

On the surface, however, it would appear that the above is not true. For the Patriarchs instituted the prayer services. Indeed the prayers (even those recited after the giving of the Torah) were instituted by the Patriarchs (Berachos 26b). For this reason the prayers are given the status of a Torah statute (Taanis 28a). This is not the place to elaborate on this issue. Only after becoming satiated with prayer and study should one involve oneself with business.

Moreover, even when a person is involved in his business concerns, they should be only “the labor of your hands,”41 i.e., they should involve only our hands, the superficial dimensions of our being. One’s mind, by contrast, should be concerned with a chapter of Mishnayos, a passage of Tanya, or a verse in Tehillim.

In addition, while conducting one’s affairs in the business world, it must be obvious that one is different from other people, as it is written:42 “I [Moshe] and Your people will be distinguished from all the nations on the face of the earth.” A Jew must always stand out from his environment by virtue of his holy conduct, i.e., “Know[ing G‑d] in all your ways.”43

Growing up in Yaakov’s Footsteps

This emphasis on holiness must be especially evident in the methods by which children are educated. Education begins in the manner in which the home is run. Needless to say, one’s home should be different from the homes of the gentiles. Nevertheless, this is not sufficient, as one’s home should also be on a higher level of holiness than those of the majority of Torah-observant Jews. For in many of these homes, the prevailing attitudes resemble those of the world at large.44 Instead, it is the Torah Yiddishkeit and holiness which should permeate every dimension of the home.

This also is reflected in the conduct of the Patriarchs, and in particular in the home environment established by Yaakov. It is written:45 “And Reuven was walking during the time of the wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field.” On this verse, Rashi comments: “This reflects the praise of Yaakov’s children. Although it was harvest time, they did not steal anything and bring home wheat or barley. Instead, they took an ownerless plant that grows wild, about which no one would care.”

Rashi’ s words: “This reflects the praise of Yaakov’s children” indicates that the surrounding people did not conduct themselves in this manner. Nevertheless, Yaakov’s children knew that their conduct must be different. Every dimension of their behavior reflected the Torah’s path of holiness. Yaakov had structured his home in a manner that distinguished it from the homes around him.

There is no need to follow the prevailing modes of society. Children must know that their father and mother are different from other parents. Other women dress in clothes that do not necessarily reflect a strong commitment to tzniyus, but their mother dresses according to the highest standards oftzniyus. Other fathers do not refrain from deceiving a client in business, but their father does not attempt to deceive anyone, and instead conducts his business scrupulously.

Even when a child is very young and cannot appreciate every aspect of the Torah’s path of holiness, he will be able to sense that his home is different from all others. Such a child will not model his conduct on that of the children around him. When he sees that other children are conducting themselves improperly, he will conduct himself differently. When he sees that they take from other people’s fields, gathering not only wild, ownerless plants like mandrakes, he understands that he should not act this way; he knows these aren’t the types of friends he should have.

Such is the conduct that produces a tribe of Reuven and a tribe of Yissachar (who was born as a result of the events which ensued due to Reuven’s discovery of the mandrakes). Reuven and Yissachar were tribes which produced the heads of Jewish courts,46 and the Sages upon whose rulings the halachah is based.47

When a Jewish child is trained from the earliest ages onward to sense that he is different from other children, when he grows older, he will not seek to learn from other children his age. Instead, he goes away as Yaakov our Patriarch did and studies G‑d’s Torah. Even his ordinary speech should be comprised solely of words of Torah, as reflected in the interpretation of the command:48 “And you shall speak of them.”

In this manner, he will mature and, like Yaakov, marry and involve himself in the world at large. He will establish a family, and work to support it. Even at this time of his life, such a person will have fixed periods for Torah study every day. And when he is involved with his material concerns, he will “recite Shir HaMaalos,” showing that he relies totally on G‑d.

As a consequence, all his business affairs will be conducted according to the Torah’s guidelines.

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Vayeishev, 5711, 
and Sichos Simchas Torah, 5715)

Drawing Boundaries

We can now understand another aspect of the parshah. The conclusion of the parshah relates that Yaakov and Lavan set up a mound of stones to mark the border between them, and agreed that neither would cross this border to harm each other. They would, however, be allowed to cross for commercial reasons.49

What purpose does the mound serve?

To refine material existence, Yaakov had to go to Lavan in Charan to elevate the sparks of G‑dliness enclothed there. Nevertheless, Yaakov must know that there is a boundary separating him from Lavan. He must realize that, with the exception of this mission, he should have nothing to do with Lavan. A Jew may be involved with worldly matters, but must also separate himself from such concerns. This protects him, and enables him to proceed with confidence, knowing that dealing with Lavan will not cause his own downfall. On the contrary, it is through these activities that he will transform the world into a receptacle for G‑dliness, as reflected in the verse:50 “G‑d has taken away the cattle of your father and has given it to me.”

Reconciling the Spiritual with the Material

The power to carry out the Divine service associated with this boundary to involve oneself in worldly matters while remaining separated from worldly concerns and in this manner, to make the world a receptacle for G‑dliness comes from the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah, the Torah’s inner dimensions.51 For it is the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah which leads to the understanding that “there is nothing else apart from Him”52 ; the world’s entire existence is G‑dliness.

This also explains why our efforts to “spread the wellsprings of Chassidus outward” publicizing and disseminating the inner dimensions of the Torah will bring about Mashiach s coming.53 Mashiachwill not nullify the existence of the material world. Instead, he will show that it is a receptacle for G‑dliness. At that time, even physical flesh will openly appreciate G‑dliness, as it is written:54 “The glory of G‑d will be revealed, and together, all flesh will see that the mouth of G‑d has spoken.”

Toldos Machar Chodesh Kislev | Marcheshvan 28 – 6 Kislev, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI NOV 17th 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:11 pm

SHABBOS SAT NOV 18th 
Tehilim for Mevarchim Kislev 7:30 am
Shacharis: 9 am  
Mincha 4:11 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:12 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush Lite. Rabbi Mendy is making the delicious meat chulent sponsored by Rabbi Alter and Debbie Levitin. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am  //ROSH CHODESH KISLEV/
Mon- Fri 7 am 
Sun -Tue Mincha 4:15 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:02 pm/

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

FARBRENGEN ALERT –FRI NOV 17th 3:30 PM
In honor of Shabbos Mevarchim Kislev and the holiday of Sigd
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigd. In front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah. 

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION 10 am
Children of Kindergarten age and up. In the Social Hall

FARBRENGEN ALERT –SUN 1 KISLEV
In honor of the Rebbe’s recovery on 1 Kislev in 1977, when the first time since suffering a major heart attack five weeks earlier, the Rebbe left his office in 770 Eastern Parkway and returned to his home, signaling his recovery. Chassidim all over rejoiced at the good news. From that day on, the Rebbe redoubled his efforts on behalf of the Jewish nation and all of humanity, and for the dissemination of Torah and chassidism. From then on, the first of Kislev is celebrated as a day of thanksgiving and rejoicing. Venue to be announced.

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Camp CGI Seattle is gearing up for an Amazing Fun Winter Break Week.
Ages: 18mo – 12 years. Dec 25th  – Dec 29th.  Age appropriate activities are being planned by our amazing Program Director Chana Greenblatt. It will be, yi”h, an action packed week to remember… Trips, Sports, Games, Art projects and lots of Laughter and Fun! The best part - some of the fabulous counselors are coming back!  GIVE YOURSELF A “BREAK” AND YOUR CHILD AN “OPPORTUNITY”To sign up, 
www.campganisraelseattle.org Questions ? Call or text Rabbi Kavka 206-730-2764

PARENTAL GUIDANCE 
Parents are responsible for their children.  Please keep our shul clean.  Please don’t borrow items from the shul without the President’s permission.  Kesiva v”Chasima Tova.

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Thanksgiving Day Learning at the Kollel. Thu Nov 23rd 
More info: 
www.seattlekollel.com

Discover NYHS: Parlor Meeting for Prospective Parents: Dec 4th 7 PM
Join NYHS For a Q & A with NYHS Administrators & Current Students at 7 PM on Monday, at the home of David & Sigrid Benezra. Rsvp at admissions@nyhs.org or call 206-232-5272.

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle"Connections 2018" SunJan28th 11 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info:
www.jewishinseattle.org

Community Trip to Israel April 29 - May 8, 2018
More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/Israel-trip or (206) 774-2217

ONLINE BEGINNERS' TALMUD CLASS EVERY TUESDAY
More info and registration: 
rabbimeyers@gmail.com

THE MEDRASHA OF SEATTLE WOMEN’S LEARNING Nov 17th 9 am 
All women of the community are invited to attend this Sunday's annual shiur in memory of Daniel Posner a"h. The topic: "Empathy, Sensitivity and the Acquisition of Torah". Thank you to Judy and Noam Posner for their generous Midrasha sponsorship. At Rabbi Meyer’s home 5221 South Brandon.
www.ezrabessaroth.net  rabbimeyers@gmail.com

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9pm - 11pm
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

Chavrusa Learning Program with Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum  Sun, Nov 18th 8:50 am
At the BCMH Beis Midrash. All levels welcome. Followed by Shiur at 9:40 am.

Project DVORA Self-Care Group Mon Nov 6th to Dec 11th 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
This is a free six-week workshop for women who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. It will spotlight a different form of self-care each week, including exercise, spirituality and tender loving care during the holidays. Location will be at a secure and safe place in Seattle. Register with Project DVORA Domestic Violence Services at (206) 861-3159 .

Kollel Avot U'Bonim Motzei Shabbos - 6:30 - 7:30 PM 
In the Seattle Kollel Beit Medrash. Boys and Girls learning Torah with their parents. Followed by great snacks and fantastic prizes! Spend some quality time with your child in a beit medrash atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else! 
https://www.seattlekollel.com/avos-u-banim

NAMI Family-to-Family Class Tue Oct 17th – Jan 9th 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) presents a free 12-week class for adult family and friends of people living with mental illness, providing support and information about serious mental illness. Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, including presentations, discussion and interactive exercises. This Family-to-Family class will also include consideration of Jewish cultural attitudes around mental illness and opportunities to discuss specific Jewish issues that arise when caring for a family member. Facilitated by Rabbi Dov Gartenberg and Steve Krom. JFS Capitol Hill Campus, 1601 16th Avenue, Seattle. RSVP to Talya Gillman or call (206) 861-8784 for more information.

Seattle Kollel Mishna Yomit
Info: 
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com  or (206) 369-1215.

Melava Malka and Tractate Shabbat Learning - Sat Nov 25th 
At Mercaz, 5240 38th Ave. NE Seattle 
www.MercazSeattle.org

Seattle Hebrew Academy Annual Gala Brunch  Sun Dec 3rd 11:30 am
At Block 41 in Belltown. This year's honorees are Heather & Joel Jacobson.
http://seattlehebrewacademy.org

Torah Day School Anual Dinner Sun Dec 17th 5:30 pm
At the Westin Hotel, 1900 5th Ave., Sea. This year's honorees are Dr. Elie & Miriam Levy. More info:
www.tdsseattle.org  

Chanukah Party with Fried Food, Poker, Kids Movie and Dancing – Sat Dec 16th 
At Mercaz, 5240 38th Ave. NE Seattle 
www.MercazSeattle.org

Jewish Family Service Kosher Food Bank 
Please RSVP by emailing 
emagasis@jfsseattle.org , or bsindel@jfsseattle.org  before November 1st if you plan to attend, so that we can be adequately prepared. http://www.jfsseattle.org/event/kosher-food-bank-2017/?instance_id=2502

Community Trip to Israel. April 29-May 8, 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


REBBE’S SICHO FOR TOLDOS
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347329/jewish/Likkutei-Sichot-Chayei-Sarah.htm Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Mevorchim Kislev, 5721
Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

On the verse:1 “And these are the chronicles of Yitzchak the son of Avraham; Avraham begat Yitzchak,” the commentaries note that one of the phrases, “Yitzchak the son of Avraham” and “Avraham begat Yitzchak,” seems redundant. Several explanations are given, among them:

a) The Talmud and Midrash state2 that the peoples of the world were gossiping that Avraham was not Yitzchak’s father. Therefore G‑d caused Yitzchak’s countenance to resemble that of Avraham, making it undeniable that it was Avraham who begat him. Not only was “Yitzchak the son of Avraham,” but everyone acknowledged that: “Avraham begat Yitzchak.”

b) The Midrash3 explains the redundance as follows: “Yitzchak the son of Avraham” indicates that Yitzchak took pride in Avraham. “Avraham begat Yitzchak” indicates that Avraham took pride in Yitzchak.

c) In Chassidus,4 it is explained that the Divine service of Avraham centered on the attributes of kindness and love, while the Divine service of Yitzchak centered on the attributes of might and fear.

More particularly, the paths of both love and fear each contain a lower and a higher level. The lower level of fear involves the fear of transgressing G‑d’s will because of the punishment one will receive for sinning. On a deeper level, it means fearing the negative consequences of sin.

The higher level of fear is the awe of G‑d’s majesty; a person is ashamed to commit a sin because of his awareness of G‑d’s majesty. On this level, one fears sin itself, for all sin is against G‑d’s will.5

Similarly, with regard to the two levels of love. The lower level, referred to as “diminutive love,” refers to the love a person feels for G‑d as a result of his personal satisfaction, either with material things or, on a more refined level, with spiritual blessings. The higher level of love, “abundant love,” refers to a love for G‑d which motivates one to fulfill His will without thought of reward, and without consideration for one’s own good.

“The deeds of the Patriarchs are a sign for their descendants.”6With the verse cited above, the Torah thus indicates that every Jew’s Divine service involves two dimensions resulting from Avraham, i.e., two levels of love, and two dimensions resulting from Yitzchak, two levels of fear.

The lower levels of love and fear are revealed before the higher levels, as reflected in our Sages’ statement:7 “A person should always involve himself in the Torah and its mitzvos for an improper intent” i.e., seeking his own benefit (the motivation for the lower levels of love and fear) “for from [Divine service] for an improper intent comes [Divine service] for the proper intent” the higher levels of love and fear.

Moreover, as explained in Chassidus,8 the order of the names in the verse alludes to the sequence in which these rungs of Divine service are usually reached. The initial level is associated with Yitzchak the lower level of fear and then one proceeds to Avraham, the lower level of love. Afterwards, Avraham is mentioned a second time, alluding to the higher level of love, and then a second mention is made of Yitzchak, alluding to the higher level of fear.

This serves as a directive for every Jew. We must serve G‑d with both love and fear.9 This is also reflected in our Sages’ statement:10“Only three are referred to as Patriarchs: Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov.” They are cosidered the ancestors of the entire Jewish people, because each imparts the attribute which is his spiritual heritage to every one of his descendants.

The 12 tribes also reflect fundamental paths in Divine service, but it is not necessary for every Jew to express each of these paths. Every Jew follows the path that characterizes the tribe from which he descends, and does not necessarily share in the Divine service of the other tribes. With regard to the Patriarchs, by contrast, every Jew must embrace the attributes passed on by each of the Patriarchs.

If a person follows only one path either love without fear, or fear without love this is not service. By nature, every person has a tendency towards either kindness or might;11 by following that one path, he is merely expressing his natural disposition. Service means going beyond one’s natural tendencies,12 and involving both emotional thrusts.

A fourth interpretation of the above verse stems from the Midrash Nealam in the Zohar,13 which states that Avraham alludes to the soul. Zohar14 explains that Sarah’s death alludes to the decomposition of the body into the four elements of existence. Thus in the verse:15 “And Sarah died in Kiryas Arba, which is Chebron, in the land of Canaan,” Sarah serves an allusion to the body, and Kiryas Arba (lit. “the village of the four”) is a reference to the four elements. While Sarah lived in “the land of Canaan,” i.e., our material world, these four elements are joined together (chibur, joining together, shares the same root as Chebron). Afterwards,16 when “Avraham rose from beside his dead,” the soul, which is above death and decomposition, ascends.}

In this context, Yitzchak stands for laughter and pleasure, which in the ultimate sense refers to the pleasure which the soul will experience in the Era of the Redemption. On this basis, we can understand the above verse: “Yitzchak, the son of Avraham” teaches us that the soul (Avraham) will merit pleasure (Yitzchak) in the Era of the Redemption. Why will the soul merit such revelations? Because “Avraham begat Yitzchak”; through its Divine service in this world, the soul has generated the pleasure which it will experience in the Era of the Redemption.

Seeking a Common Factor

As explained on a previous occasion, whenever our Sages have offered several interpretations of a verse, these varying understandings all share a point of connection. To cite an allusion to this concept: Our Sages17 interpret the word shaatnez as a conglomerate of three terms: shua (straightened, combed), tevei(spun), and nuz (woven). And they explain that because the Torah combines all three terms in one word, they share a connection. As such, according to Scriptural law,18 the prohibition against shaatnez(the combination of wool and linen) involves all three of these phases: spinning these fabrics into thread together, weaving a garment from this combined thread, and then combing it out so that its surface is flat. A person is not liable for transgressing this prohibition if he wears a garment which was made by performing only one or two of these activities. It is only when all three activities were involved in making the garment that Scriptural law holds him liable.

Thus we see that the combination of different letters in one word although each has a different meaning points to a connection between them. Similarly and to a greater extent, when considering the verse above since all four interpretations are derived from the same letters, there is surely a connection between them.

This connection can be explained by focusing on the mandate for our conduct which results from each interpretation, for indeed every narrative of the Torah provides us with lessons to be applied in our lives.19 According to Chassidus, the directive is obvious: as stated above, every person must carry out his Divine service inspired by feelings of both love and fear. And moreover, this interpretation points out the stages of progress to the desired levels of love and fear.

Similarly, from the interpretation of the Zohar, one can appreciate why the Torah tells us: “And these are the chronicles of Yitzchak the son of Avraham; Avraham begat Yitzchak.” For it is important for us to know that through Divine service, a soul can draw down pleasure, and that the pleasure which is drawn down will be revealed in the Era of the Redemption. Awareness of the reward generated by the performance of a mitzvah facilitates the mitzvah’sobservance, and infuses our Divine service with vitality.

With regard to the first two interpretations mentioned above, however, the implication for our Divine service is not as apparent. What is the relevance of the fact that Avraham’s contemporaries gossiped that Yitzchak was not Avraham’s son (and therefore G‑d caused Yitzchak’s countenance to resemble Avraham’s)? And what can we learn from the fact that Yitzchak took pride in Avraham and Avraham took pride in Yitzchak?

Beyond Nature’s Boundaries

The latter two questions can be resolved by focusing on the fact that both the interpretation offered by the Talmud and that offered by the Midrash reflect transcendent influences. According to the laws of nature, Avraham was physically incapable of fathering children.20 Moreover, even the sources of influence in the spiritual realms (the mazalos) reflected this incapacity. Thus our Sages interpret21 the verse:22 “And He took him outside,” to mean that G‑d told Avraham: “Go out from your astrological predictions.” And indeed, for Avraham to father children required that G‑d take him beyond the limits of ordinary spiritual influences.

Similarly, the fact that Avraham could take pride in Yitzchak reflects an influence which surpasses nature. For according to the natural pattern of entropy, there is an inherent motive toward spiritual decline; each successive generation descends in spiritual level. Thus our Sages comment:23 “If the men of the earlier generations were like angels, we can be considered as men.”

For Avraham to take pride in Yitzchak’s greatness is therefore unnatural. Since Yitzchak was born into a later generation, the fact that he had positive qualities which enhanced the perfection of Avraham reflects a transcendent influence. (This concept is amplified by the literal meaning of the Midrash’s words: “Avraham was crowned by Yitzchak.” For a crown makes the person who wears it appear more attractive. In the same way, Yitzchak’s spiritual qualities complemented and enhanced those possessed by Avraham.)

On this basis, we can appreciate the lesson derived from these passages. Every Jew must realize that he is not bound by the limitations of nature. And this does not apply only to spiritual matters, but to material existence as well.

Even before Yitzchak was born, Avraham had left a spiritual posterity. As our Sages comment:24 “Good deeds are the progeny of righteous men.” And this is particularly true according to the teachings of the Kabbalah,25 which explain that a marital union in the spirit of the Torah always conceives spiritual progeny.

With the birth of Yitzchak, it became manifest that, even with regard to leaving material progeny, Avraham was not bound by the limitations of nature.

The “mockers of the generation,”26 will come and say: “Sarah conceived with Avimelech,” i.e., in every era, those who counter the forces of holiness27 will come to a Jew with a complaint: “When it comes to spiritual things, you have room for accomplishment, for these matters are not controlled by the rules of nature. But when it comes to material affairs such as the fathering of actual children, this is possible only through the medium of Avimelech. You have to accept the jurisdiction of the king or the ruling authority28 of the nation, for all material influence is dependent on him. It’s true that he is only a medium, but still, he is the medium through which this influence passes.”29

G‑d works a special miracle to refute this argument. He causes Yitzchak’s countenance to resemble that of Avraham, so that it is obvious to all that “Avraham begat Yitzchak.” This proves that even a Jew’s material posterity does not come from Avimelech, but from Avraham.

And this concept is enhanced by the interpretation of the Zohar, which explains that Avraham refers to the soul. When a Jew arouses the powers of his soul and does not allow himself to be hindered by the body and his animal soul, his future even in a physical and material sense is not dependent on the laws of nature.

Even Our Material Concerns are above the Control of Natural Forces

On this basis, we can comprehend the words of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe:30

All the nations which are on the face of the earth must know that it is only our bodies which have been placed in exile, and under the dominion of other nations. Our souls have never been driven into exile, nor have they been placed under the dominion of other nations.

We must proclaim openly, so that all will know: When it comes to matters involving our faith, the Torah, its mitzvos, and Jewish custom, there is no [worldly] authority controlling us. And no means of compulsion will be [successfully] used against us.

The Rebbe’s statements seemingly require explanation: The soul is enclothed in a body and must observe the Torah and its mitzvoswith the material entities of this world. Since our bodies are in exile, of what avail is it that “our souls are not in exile”?

The resolution of this question depends on the concept explained above: that the arousal of the soul also affects the body and the material concerns with which it is involved, causing them as well to be above exile and the dominion of other nations.

This concept must be publicized in a manner that causes “All the nations which are on the face of the earth [to] know.” Indeed, even the “mockers of the generation” must be brought to the realization that they have no control over even the material influences which affect a Jew’s life.

The Interrelation of the Four Interpretations

On the basis of the above concepts, we can comprehend the connection shared by the interpretations mentioned in the Talmud, the Midrash, the Zohar, and Chassidus.

The Talmud, the fundamental text of Nigleh, the revealed dimensions of Torah law, interprets the verse in a way which relates to affairs as they exist in our world. On that level, there exist “the mockers of the generation,” and to refute their claims, the Torah teaches us that even a Jew’s material affairs are not bound by the limits of nature.

The Midrash (the realm of Aggadah)31 is an intermediary between the revealed dimensions of the Torah and its inner, mystic dimensions. Therefore, the Midrash speaks about the same concept that a Jew is not bound by the limitations of nature on a higher level, indicating that a Jew stands above the limitations that characterize Seder Hahishtalshelus, the chainlike progression of spiritual realms.

The fact that every subsequent generation represents a further spiritual descent reflects the natural order of spiritual existence. The Jewish people, however, are not bound by this pattern. On the contrary, “Grandchildren are the crown of the elders.”32 A crown rests above the head. For Jews, children are able to elevate their parents and grandparents. This reflects a level above the limitations of Seder HaHishtalshelus.

(This explains why the Midrash does not address itself to the assertions of the mockers and others who stem from the forces of evil. The Midrash is speaking about a level of spiritual reality at which there is no place for such assertions, and no need to respond to them.)

Chassidus places an emphasis on showing us paths to follow in our Divine service. As such, it clarifies the pattern of spiritual growth which will enable a person to rise above the limitations of nature and Seder HaHishtalshelus. When a Jew serves G‑d with two emotions, love and fear, and combines them, he alters the natural tendency of these emotions. For it is only in one’s Divine service that such a fusion is possible;33 otherwise, love and fear tend to remain separate.

When a person follows the teachings of Chassidus, and rises above his natural emotional tendencies, G‑d responds by showering the person with spiritual influence that transcends the limits of nature. This applies with regard to one’s spiritual levels (which relates to the interpretation of the Midrash) and also with regard to one’s material affairs (as reflected in the interpretation of the Talmud).

The Zohar, the mystical dimension of the Torah, shares a connection with and reveals what will take place in the Era of the Redemption. Thus it relates that through the Divine service implied by “And these are the chronicles of Yitzchak the son of Avraham; Avraham begat Yitzchak” as reflected in each of the three interpretations mentioned previously, a Jew merits the revelation of sublime pleasure.

The Ultimate Reward

In Chassidus,34 the Mishnah’s teaching:35 “The reward for a mitzvah is the mitzvah, ” is interpreted simply. The reward for a mitzvah is not an element added to the mitzvah ; it is the mitzvah itself. This dimension of the mitzvos will be revealed in the Era of the Redemption.

This amplifies the connection between the interpretation of the Zohar , which focuses on the reward we will receive for our Divine service, and the other three interpretations, which focus on the performance of that service. For “the reward for the mitzvos ” is not a separate entity, but rather “the mitzvah itself.”

The Sublime Pleasure  of the Era of the Redemption

At the naming of Yitzchak, Sarah exclaimed:36 “G‑d has created laughter for me.” Chassidus37 focuses on the fact that the name of G‑d employed by this verse is אלקים (Elokim), which refers to the Divine attribute of concealment, as alluded to in the verse:38 “As the sun and its shield, are הוי' (Havayah) and אלקים ,” i.e., the two names Havayah and Elokim are compared to the sun and its shield. Havayah, like the sun, serves as a source of energy. And Elokim resembles the shield which covers that light. For Elokim is numerically equivalent to the word HaTevah (הטבע),39 and nature conceals G‑dliness.

Nevertheless, through refining and elevating the different elements of nature that conceal G‑dliness, one fulfills the Divine intent of transforming this world into a dwelling for Him. And thus, “אלקיםhas created laughter for me”; this Divine service arouses pleasure above.

Man is created in the image of G‑d.40 Thus he possesses a body and soul which parallel Havayah and Elokim.41 The neshamahparallels the name Havayah, and the body which conceals the soul parallels the name Elokim. Here as well, it is the refinement of the body, that resembles Elokim, which arouses pleasure in the spiritual realms. For it is through these efforts that G‑d’s intent in creation is fulfilled.

Since G‑d’s intent lies in the refinement of the body, in the Era of the Redemption the body will be on a higher level than the soul. Moreover, in contrast to the present situation, in which the body receives its life-energy from the soul, in that era, the soul will derive its life-energy from the body.42

Nevertheless, since it is the soul which refines the body, the soul will also receive its reward, and in the Era of the Redemption will also partake of the sublime pleasure generated by its Divine service with the body.43

On this basis, we can appreciate the connection between the interpretation of the Zohar, which deals with the reward we will receive for our Divine service, and the other three interpretations, which focus on the Divine service itself. Our Divine service centers on the achievements of the soul within the body, lifting the body above the limitations of nature. And through this service, the soul generates pleasure which transcends the body “Avraham begat Yitzchak.”

For this service, the soul will receive a reward in the Era of the Redemption. It will partake of the sublime pleasure which it generated, as reflected in the phrase “Yitzchak the son of Avraham.”

Chayei Sarah | Marcheshvan 21-28, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI NOV 10th 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:20 pm

SHABBOS SAT NOV 11th 
Shacharis: 9 am  
Mincha 4:20 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:19 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush Lite. Rabbi Mendy is making the delicious meat chulent sponsored by Rabbi Alter and Debbie Levitin. A contribution has also been made by Dr. Vernon and Liz Neppe. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon- Fri 7 am
Sun -Tue Mincha 4:20 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:08 pm/

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV!
Mazal Tov to Eli and Ilan Polack-Duban on the birth of their new son, 17th Marcheshvan! 
Mazel Tov to Gary and Lily Stute on the birth of their new son, 18th Marcheshvan.   May they merit to raise their sons to Torah, chupa, and and maasim tovim!  Bris info to follow.

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

FARBRENGEN ALERT –FRI 3:30 PM
In honor of Shimon Dershowitz’ 61st birthday, Chof Beis Marcheshvan In front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah. 

Avos Ubanim Begins This Sat. Night Nov 11th 6:30pm at CSTL
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.  Refreshments.  Grand Raffle.  Prizes.  Info:  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Camp CGI Seattle is gearing up for an Amazing Fun Winter Break Week.
Ages: 18mo – 12 years. Dec 25th  – Dec 29th.  Age appropriate activities are being planned by our amazing Program Director Chana Greenblatt. It will be, yi”h, an action packed week to remember… Trips, Sports, Games, Art projects and lots of Laughter and Fun! The best part - some of the fabulous counselors are coming back!  GIVE YOURSELF A “BREAK” AND YOUR CHILD AN “OPPORTUNITY”. To sign up, 
www.campganisraelseattle.org Questions ? Call or text Rabbi Kavka 206-730-2764

L’CHAIM FOR LEVI FARKASH AND MINA NEW – SUN NOV 12th 7 pm
L’Chami will be at Eastside Torah Center, Redmond.  The wedding will be Tue Dec 19th at Omni Hotel 100 CNN Center N., Atlanta Georgia 1-404-659-0000. We will be honored to have you join us.  Please let us know if you can attend. Adults only please. Rabbi and Mrs. M. Farkash

PARENTAL GUIDANCE 
Parents are responsible for their children.  Please keep our shul clean.  Please don’t borrow items from the shul without the President’s permission.  Kesiva v”Chasima Tova.

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis

Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Weekly History Class for Women with Chanie Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . Contact Marion to sponsor a Kiddush for a BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or YAHRZEIT. Please inform Marion by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Discover NYHS: Parlor Meeting for Prospective Parents: Dec 4th 7 PM
Join NYHS For a Q & A with NYHS Administrators & Current Students at 7 PM on Monday, at the home of David & Sigrid Benezra. Rsvp at admissions@nyhs.org or call 206-232-5272.

ONLINE BEGINNERS' TALMUD CLASS EVERY TUESDAY
More info and registration: 
rabbimeyers@gmail.com

THE MEDRASHA OF SEATTLE WOMEN’S LEARNING Nov 12th 9 am with BREAKFAST
All women of the community are invited to attend this Sunday's annual shiur in memory of Daniel Posner a"h. The topic: "Empathy, Sensitivity and the Acquisition of Torah". Thank you to Judy and Noam Posner for their generous Midrasha sponsorship. At Rabbi Meyer’s home 5221 South Brandon.
www.ezrabessaroth.net  rabbimeyers@gmail.com

Weekly Mishmar Parsha Learning Thu 9pm - 11pm
With Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld - 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks and Good Conversation. Bring your questions on the parsha for discussion.

Beersheva Hadassah Monday, Nov 13th 7 pm
"Pie Making and Ultrasound Marvels: at the Seattle home of Elisheva Loudon, 5245 S Morgan Street.Sue Benyowitz will tell us her story from the Pioneering Ultrasound City of Seattle to being a Pioneering Ultrasound Tech at Hadassah. Jeanne Maimon will demonstrate her apple pie making techniques. Light refreshments. $18 suggested donation.  RSVP 
beersheva.hadassah@gmail.com   

Chavrusa Learning Program with Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum  Sun, Nov 12th 8:50 am
At the BCMH Beis Midrash. All levels welcome. Followed by Shiur at 9:40 am.

Project DVORA Self-Care Group Mon Nov 6th to Dec 11th 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
This is a free six-week workshop for women who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. It will spotlight a different form of self-care each week, including exercise, spirituality and tender loving care during the holidays. Location will be at a secure and safe place in Seattle. Register with Project DVORA Domestic Violence Services at (206) 861-3159 .

Kollel Avot U'Bonim Motzei Shabbos - 6:30 - 7:30 PM Starts Nov. 11
In the Seattle Kollel Beit Medrash. Boys and Girls learning Torah with their parents. Followed by great snacks and fantastic prizes! Spend some quality time with your child in a beit medrash atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else! 
https://www.seattlekollel.com/avos-u-banim

NAMI Family-to-Family Class Tue Oct 17th – Jan 9th 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) presents a free 12-week class for adult family and friends of people living with mental illness, providing support and information about serious mental illness. Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, including presentations, discussion and interactive exercises. This Family-to-Family class will also include consideration of Jewish cultural attitudes around mental illness and opportunities to discuss specific Jewish issues that arise when caring for a family member. Facilitated by Rabbi Dov Gartenberg and Steve Krom. JFS Capitol Hill Campus, 1601 16th Avenue, Seattle. RSVP to Talya Gillman or call (206) 861-8784 for more information.

Seattle Kollel Mishna Yomit
Info: 
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com  or (206) 369-1215.

Melava Malka and Tractate Shabbat Learning - Sat Nov 25th 
At Mercaz, 5240 38th Ave. NE Seattle 
www.MercazSeattle.org

Seattle Hebrew Academy Annual Gala Brunch  Sun Dec 3rd 11:30 am
At Block 41 in Belltown. This year's honorees are Heather & Joel Jacobson.
http://seattlehebrewacademy.org

Torah Day School Anual Dinner Sun Dec 17th 5:30 pm
At the Westin Hotel, 1900 5th Ave., Sea. This year's honorees are Dr. Elie & Miriam Levy. More info:
www.tdsseattle.org  

Chanukah Party with Fried Food, Poker, Kids Movie and Dancing – Sat Dec 16th 
At Mercaz, 5240 38th Ave. NE Seattle 
www.MercazSeattle.org

Jewish Family Service Kosher Food Bank 
Please RSVP by emailing 
emagasis@jfsseattle.org , or bsindel@jfsseattle.org  before November 1st if you plan to attend, so that we can be adequately prepared. http://www.jfsseattle.org/event/kosher-food-bank-2017/?instance_id=2502

Community Trip to Israel. April 29-May 8, 2018, 
"Creative Israel: Exploring Israeli Innovation through Technology, Ecology, and the Arts". An optional 3-day pre-trip is available. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/israel-trip, taryno@jewishinseattle.org or (206) 774-2217.

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


REBBE’S SICHO FOR CHAYEI SARAH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347329/jewish/Likkutei-Sichot-Chayei-Sarah.htm Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Chayei Sarah, 5722
Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

Our Sages1 associate the verse:2 “And Sarah’s life was 127 years…,” with the quote:3 “G‑d knows the days of the righteous,” and explain: “Just as they are perfect, so too their years are perfect.” The Midrash continues, explaining that this concept is exemplified by Sarah, whose years were complete; there was nothing lacking to the time with which she was endowed.

The question arises: Before and after Sarah’s life, there were many righteous men and women whose “years were perfect.” Why is Sarah chosen as the paradigm?

The explanation is that the continuous Divine service of other righteous men and women was rewarded with the fulfillment of G‑d’s promise:4 “I will fill the span of your days,” i.e., they were given a long life. When years were taken from the lifetime of a righteous man,5 it indicates that that person’s Divine service was lacking. Sarah, by contrast, passed away before her time because of an external factor her soul expired when she was told of the binding of Yitzchak6 and yet “her years were perfect.” Since this is a unique phenomenon, her example is cited to illustrate this concept.

Nevertheless, since the lessons taught by the Torah are extremely precise, it is unlikely that this is the only reason the Midrashassociates this idea with Sarah. Indeed, the reason stated above that her days were full despite the fact that she died before her time does not contribute anything to our understanding. Moreover, the implication is that the concept of “complete years” shares more of a connection with Sarah than with other righteous people.

Another question arises: What is the intent in describing the righteous as “perfect”? It could not be to indicate that they are perfect in their observance of the 613 mitzvos, for this can be inferred by the very word “righteous.” This applies even when considering the simple meaning of the term; how much more so when taking into consideration the meaning as described in Tanya.7

By using the term “perfect,” the Midrash appears to be pointing to an attribute of the righteous aside from their observance of mitzvos. What is this quality?

A further point: When the Torah associates two concepts, the implication is that there is an inner link, or that one concept leads to the other. So when the Midrash says: “Just as they are perfect, so too their years are perfect,” it is hinting that the perfection of the righteous shares an inner connection with, or leads to, the perfection of their years.

This is difficult to understand. On the surface, the very fact that these individuals are righteous and have carried out their Divine service in observing the mitzvos is sufficient reason for “their days to be perfect.” (As stated above, the promise to “fill the span of your days” refers to a reward granted for continuous Divine service.) It is thus necessary to understand why the Midrashassociates the perfection of a righteous person’s years with the perfection of the righteous person himself.

The above difficulties can be resolved by referring to a comment of the Midrash on another verse in this Torah reading. On the verse,8“Avraham was old, advanced in years,” the Midrash comments:9“There are men who are old, but who are not advanced in years, and others who [appear] advanced in years, but are not old. In this instance, his age paralleled his advancement in years, and his advancement in years paralleled his age.”

The commentaries to the Midrash10 explain that there are times when a person appears elderly although he is not advanced in years, e.g., R. Elazar ben Azariah, who looked like an old man, despite the fact that he was only 18.11 And conversely, there are men who are advanced in years but who appear much younger. In Avraham’s instance, his appearance matched his chronological age.

This entire passage is somewhat problematic, because both an elderly appearance and chronological age are seemingly superficial qualities. How could they express the greatness of Avraham our Patriarch?

“Avraham possessed singular uniqueness.”12 In a world of idolaters, he was the only one who worshipped G‑d. It was he who “began to illuminate,”13 reflecting G‑dly light within the world. Avraham ushered in a new epoch in the world’s history the two millennia of Torah.14 Why then did the Torah choose to associate his greatness with chronological age and an elderly appearance? The fact that the Torah makes such an association, nevertheless, indicates that there is indeed something about the possession of these two qualities which expresses Avraham’s greatness.

The terms used by the Torah for these two qualities: זקן and בא בימים are both subject to interpretation by our Sages: זקן is interpreted15 as “one who acquired wisdom.” בא בימים is interpreted16 as meaning: “He comes with his days,” i.e., there was not a single day in which Avraham did not observe mitzvos. (This refers, of course, to the mitzvos as they existed before the giving of the Torah.)

Thus the two qualities mentioned by the Torah refer to two spiritual qualities. זקן refers to the perfection of Avraham’s soul that his soul acquired wisdom. בא בימים refers to what he accomplished that he was able to fill each day with mitzvos.

The intent is not to report merely that Avraham performed many mitzvos, but to indicate that each of his days was filled with mitzvos. Were the purpose to say only that mitzvos contributed to his personal development, it would not make any difference whether he had fulfilled these mitzvos on every one of his days, or he had performed the same number of mitzvos on one day. For with regard to his soul, we are speaking about the same amount of mitzvos. The attribute of בא בימים refers to what one has accomplished in each of one’s days. It therefore follows that each day is associated with a particular mitzvah.

In general, the difference between the Torah and its mitzvos can be explained as follows:17 The Torah is G‑d’s wisdom, an intellectual and spiritual entity. When a Jew studies the Torah, he advances and develops his soul. Mitzvos, by contrast, are enclothed in material existence. Their performance is not intended primarily for the development of the soul, but rather to illuminate the material dimensions of the world at large, and in this way transform it into a dwelling for G‑d.

Therefore, when speaking about wisdom (i.e., the Torah), our Sages use the expression: “one who has acquired wisdom,” for the intent is to say that one brings the Torah’s wisdom into one’s soul. When, however, the Torah speaks about the performance of mitzvos, it uses the expression, בא בימים , implying that the person’s energy is directed outward; through his observance of mitzvos, he refines the world. And this involves the passage of time a fundamental aspect of our material realm as indicated by the expression “advanced in years.”

There is another point alluded to by the use of an expression involving time. In contrast to material entities which remain unchanged, e.g., the heavenly bodies, the sun and the stars, which are “as strong as they were on the day they were created,”18 time involves change.

Even on the earth, there are entities that have been endowed with a measure of eternity, e.g., the Sanctuary,19 the ark and the anointing oil20 made by Moshe are eternal. At present, they are entombed, but in the Era of the Redemption, they will emerge. G‑d’s intent, however, is that a dwelling for Him be established in this material world,21 the lowest of realms. As such, the dwelling must encompass even those aspects of material existence which are affected by change. This is implied by the expression “advanced in years.”

Based on the above, we can understand the uniqueness of the fact that Avraham’s chronological age paralleled his appearance. The implication is that his personal development (זקן) was thoroughly coupled with his achievements in the world (בא בימים). These are two different and to a certain degree, opposite thrusts, and there are few who can combine them. For example, the text MaggidMeisharim22 relates that R. Yosef Karo was told that he had merited to die as a martyr, and to be burnt al Kiddush HaShem, for the Sanctification of G‑d’s Name. Afterwards, however, because of an incidental factor, he was not granted this opportunity.

Had he died a martyr’s death, he would have reached the peak of personal development (זקן), but would not have been able to compose the Shulchan Aruch, the text which serves as the guideline for Jewish law; the merit of the composition of that text would have been given to another individual. In actuality, R. YosefKaro did author the Shulchan Aruch. He thereby made a contribution to the world at large (בא בימים), but at the expense of achieving the peak of martyrdom. For himself, his personal development would have been crowned by such self-sacrifice, and indeed, having that rung withheld is considered a punishment.

In Avraham’s instance, there was no such dichotomy. His personal development and his achievements in the world were perfectly coupled. It is therefore appropriate that the Midrash singles out Avraham as the one who began to illuminate the world with G‑dly light.

The above also enables us to understand the statement of our Sages that Avraham’s Divine service began “the two millennia of Torah.” As reflected in the expression,23 “The deeds of the Patriarchs are a sign for their descendants,” the Divine service of the Patriarchs, and particularly of Avraham, the first Jew, began the preparations for the giving of the Torah.

The giving of the Torah brought about a fusion between the material and the spiritual realms. To quote the illustration given by the Midrash:24

To what can the matter be likened? To a king who made a decree: the inhabitants of Rome will not descend to Syria, and the inhabitants of Syria will not ascend to Rome.

In a similar way, when G‑d created the world, He decreed:25 “The heavens are the heavens of G‑d, and earth He has granted to man.” When He desired to give the Torah, He nullified this initial decree, saying the lower realms will ascend to the higher realms, and the higher realms will descend to the lower realms.

The giving of the Torah made it possible for spirituality to be fused with material existence through the observance of the mitzvos. The preparations for this fusion began with the Divine service of Avraham our Patriarch, for this fusion was reflected in his efforts. This is illustrated by the coupling of his efforts toward personal development (זקן) with his achievements in the world at large (בא בימים).

The righteous men who existed before Avraham, in the two millennia of Tohu (the term means “void,” for these 2,000 years did not share any connection to the giving of the Torah) lacked this drive towards fusion. Their Divine service encompassed either personal development or efforts within the world; there was no fusion of the two.

This reflects the spiritual climate of the era of Tohu. As explained in Chassidus,26 the emotional attributes of Tohu were each revealed independently, without any interrelation. As such, each attribute did not allow for the expression of any other.

To apply these concepts in terms of our Divine service: There were righteous men whose service focused only on personal development (זקן). To cite an example from a later period, consider Ben Azzai, who did not marry, saying “My soul firmly desires the Torah.”27 He devoted himself to Torah study without having anything to do with worldly matters.

Similarly, before Avraham’s time, there were others who devoted themselves solely to efforts with others (בא בימים) 28 without seeking personal development. Avraham was the first to fuse both thrusts.

To emphasize this, the Midrash highlights the fact that Avraham possessed both qualities. It’s true that others, e.g., Yehoshua and David, as cited in the Midrash, also possessed both qualities, but Avraham was the first.

This was the beginning of the two millennia of Torah. For the purpose of the Torah is to unify different and even opposite tendencies, as the Rambam states:29 “In its entirety, the Torah was given to establish peace within the world.” And peace implies the coordination and fusion of opposing tendencies, thrusts which require that peace be established between them.

Like all the narratives of the Torah, the narrative which relates that Avraham was “Old, advanced in years,” serves as a directive for our Divine service.30 There are some individuals who continuously pursue worldly achievement, without showing any concern for their own development. Others devote their energies to furthering their own spiritual development.

This is a never-ending process. For the further a person proceeds in his spiritual development, the more he realizes the endlessness of his journey and the need to proceed onward. “As one increases knowledge, one increases pain,”31 i.e., the pain of knowing that there is an untouched frontier ahead. And as one advances, one desires to advance even further, as reflected in our Sages’ statement:32 “Whoever possesses 100 desires 200.” Involved in his desire for personal growth, such a person may forget about spreading light to his surroundings.

Avraham’s fusion of these qualities teaches us that every Jew must endeavor to achieve both זקן and בא בימים , and establish harmony between the two. For as mentioned previously, the Torah is characterized by unity, harmony, and peace.

Although there is a need for effort along both paths, Chassidusplaces greater emphasis on בא בימים , the drive to refine the world at large. This can be explained based on the chassidic interpretation33 of our Sages’ statement:34 “One hour of teshuvahand good deeds in this world is better than all the life of the World to Come.”

The World to Come reflects the pleasure which man, a created being, will experience from the revelation of G‑dliness. Our Divine service of teshuvah and good deeds, by contrast, brings G‑d pleasure. This Divine pleasure is incomparably greater than the pleasure experienced by man, for in no way can a created being and his pleasure be equated with the Creator and His pleasure. As such, the teshuvah and good deeds we perform in this world surpass the pleasure we will experience in the World to Come.

In a similar vein, the Divine service associated with the quality of זקן , i.e., a person’s own development, cannot be compared with the service associated with בא בימים , illuminating the world at large. For it is the latter service which fulfills G‑d’s intent in creation, establishing a dwelling for Him in this world. And this brings Him pleasure.

For this reason, the Rebbeim always highlighted the importance of carrying out G‑d’s intention in creation, by expressing that intent in the lowest levels of existence material entities that are subject to time and change.

The Divine service which transforms this world into a dwelling for G‑d is more relevant in the present age a time of darkness and concealment than ever before. This is particularly true here in America, where attention is so focused on material things. Moreover, this desire for material things is subject to the vicissitudes of change. For example, every day one needs a different wardrobe35 ; otherwise a person feels that he or she is lacking. It is particularly in such an environment that it is necessary to transform these material entities, which are in constant flux, into a dwelling for He of whom it is said:36 “I G‑d have not changed.”

The Divine service associated with בא בימים is relevant, not only with regard to one’s efforts in the world at large, but with regard to one’s own self. Every Jew has certain mitzvos which he observes continually and habitually. For one person, it will be the mitzvah of charity which he will be more accustomed to fulfilling. For another, it will be the punctilious recitation of the Shema , and for a third, it will be still another mitzvah. Every person has, however, certain mitzvos which he does not observe with such regularity. On the contrary, his observance of these mitzvos fluctuates from time to time, and he must apply more effort to observe them.

The person might thus think: Why should I put effort into matters that will not become ingrained in my character easily? It seems more profitable to invest energy in those matters which will be perpetuated. Moreover, the fact that the observance of certain mitzvos comes more naturally to him, and are not subject to change, indicates (apparently, and perhaps in truth), that they share a deeper connection to his soul, the fundamental Jewish spark which is above change. As such, one might conclude that it would be preferable to enhance those energies which are more closely related to this essence.

In this context, Avraham’s service of בא בימים teaches each of us the importance of having our Divine service encompass matters which are subject to change, for it is through such service that G‑d’s desire for a dwelling in the lower realms is accomplished.

As explained in the writings of the AriZal, and in Chassidus,37 every soul has a particular mitzvah, and a mission to achieve certain goals, which lead to the fulfillment of its purpose in descending into this world. The fact that difficulties arise with regard to certain matters indicates that the essence of one’s mission involves these matters. Since this is the fundamental duty with which the person is charged, the yetzer hora (evil inclination) presents the greatest challenges to hinder its fulfillment.38

As such it is demanded of every Jew that he or she not despair should certain dimensions of the Torah and its mitzvos not be thoroughly ingrained within their nature, or if from time to time their observance becomes weaker. Indeed, even if, heaven forbid, one begins to doubt the fundamentals of one’s faith, one should not lose hope. On the contrary, one should concentrate one’s Divine service precisely in those areas where fluctuation is felt. When one does this, one’s efforts will surely be reinforced with help from above.

On the above basis, we can comprehend the wording of our Sages’ statement: “Just as they are perfect, so too, their years are perfect,” and also comprehend the advantage which this attribute of perfection contributes to a righteous person.

Even a person whose Divine service centers on one vector alone can be described as righteous, as mentioned previously with regard to the righteous men who lived during the two millennia of Tohu. Perfection, by contrast, implies that a person’s Divine service is multi-faceted; that it is perfect in both thrusts of Divine service, following the example by which Avraham initiated the two millennia of Torah.

Because “they the righteous are perfect…, their years are perfect.” Just as in their own Divine service they unify two opposite tendencies, so too, “their years are perfect,” the years (i.e., the changes40 they undergo) are perfect. They are able to manifest their spiritual perfection even in matters which are subject to change, making them also perfect.

For this reason, our Sages described Sarah at the time of her death as “perfect.” For it was Avraham and Sarah who began the preparations for the giving of the Torah; they blazed the path towards unity and synthesis which brought opposite thrusts together.

This concept also relates to the explanation given previously, that Sarah’s years are described as perfect, despite the fact that she died before her time. Although “her soul expired” at the time of the akeidah, “her years were perfect.” This reflects a fusion of two opposite thrusts. The expiration of a person’s soul reflects a desire to rise above the limits of this world. This runs contrary to the thrust of בא בימים , involvement in the world, and relates more to the thrust of זקן , seeking one’s own personal development. Therefore the Midrash underscores the fact that despite the strength of this thrust, “her years were perfect,” i.e., she also possessed the advantage of בא בימים.

The above concepts share a special connection to this year, as reflected by the fact that this Torah portion is read on the Shabbosduring which the month of Kislev is blessed. Kislev is the third month, the month in which Pnimiyus HaTorah, the inner dimension of the Torah, is revealed.41 Pnimiyus HaTorah represents the ultimate fusion of opposite thrusts, as the Zohar states:42 “There (in Pnimiyus HaTorah), there are no questions which stem from the side of evil, nor any differences of opinion which stem from the spirit of impurity.” On the contrary, this approach is characterized by peace and synthesis.

 

 

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