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Newsletter

Shabbos Matos-Masei | 27 Tamuz – 4 Menachem Av 5777

Fri- July 21st Erev Shabbos 
Shacharis 7 am 
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 8:38 pm

Sat July 22nd Shabbos 
Tehilim for Shabbos Mevarchim Menachem Av 8:00 am
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:20 am
Mincha  8:38 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 2/
Maariv/Havdalah 9:44 pm

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Tue –Fri Shacharis  7 am
Mon 6:50 am /Rosh Chodesh/
Sun-Thu Mincha/Maariv 8:30 pm

KIDDUSH 
The Kiddush sponsor for this week, Shabbos Matos Masay, is Frumeth Hirsh Polasky, in honor of Rabbi and Mrs. Levitin, for welcoming her to the community.  Also cholent, made by Rabbi Mendy Levitin. Seuda Slishit

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.

SHABBOS AFTERNOON PIRKEI AVOS WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8 PM
An amazing opportunity to learn Pirkei Avos with commentaries and insights.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

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.

THE NINE DAYS BEGIN SUNDAY EVENING JULY 23rd at 8:55 pm
"When Av begins, we diminish [our] rejoicing" (Talmud, Taanit 26b). On the 1st of Av, "The Three Weeks" mourning period over the destruction of the Holy Temple--which began 13 days ealier on Tammuz 17--enters an intensified stage. During "The Nine Days" from Av 1st to the Ninth of Av, a heightened degree of mourning is observed, including abstention from meat and wine, music, bathing for pleasure, and other joyous and enjoyable activities. (The particular mourning customs vary from community to community, so consult a competent Halachic authority for details). Consumption of meat and wine is permitted on Shabbat, or at a Seudat Mitzvah (obligatory festive meal celebrating the fulfillment of a mitzvah) such as a Bris (circumcision), or a "Siyum" celebrating the completion of a course of Torah study (i.e., a complete Talmudic tractate). The Lubavitcher Rebbe initiated the custom of conducting or participating in a Siyum on each of the Nine Days (even if one does not avail oneself of the dispensation to eat meat). Citing the verse (Isaiah 1:27) "Zion shall be redeemed with mishpat [Torah] and its returnees with Tzedakah," the Rebbe urged that we increase in Torah study (particularly the study of the laws of the Holy Temple) and charity during this period (www.chabad.org) Contact Rabbi Levitin with specific questions.

Camp Gan Israel Seattle Continues to Fri Aug 11th 
Campers ages 2 -12 can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Camp Gan Israel Seattle: Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th. Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime! Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at 
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/

Men’s Mikvah annual Dues are Due Annually on Elul 1st 
$440/daily, $220/weekly, $100/holiday only. Paying for one visit is not an option if you live in this community. Visitors pay $2.50 for single use. You can go to http://www.CSTLSeattle.org to make your payment online with your credit card. 


COMMUNITY NEWS

The Rhodes Memorial Committee Sunday, July 23, 7:00 pm, 
A recital of "My Life In Auschwitz & Bergen Belsen", the testimony of Lucia Capelluto as told to Lina Galasso Delfini. Sephardic Dessert following program at Ezra Bessaroth, 5217 S Brandon St. More info: 
www.ezrabessaroth.net 

"Beersheva Hadassah Salon:  How to Talk About Israel" July 23, 7:30 pm,
Presented by Dr. Mike Harris. Click here for Bio. At the home of Gail Eisenberg, 7316 Bowlyn PL S, Sea., WA 98118. How can you effectively challenge anti-Israel activists? Come and hear a veteran Israel activist who wrote the book on the subject.  Suggested Donation to Hadassah: $18. Light Refreshments will be served. RSVP by July 19th to 
Beersheva.Hadassah@gmail.com  

"The Isadore and Ruth Gibber Worldwide Tisha B'Av Event" Tue Aug 1st 
Emunah for Life, how to manage life's challenges. Info 
theseattlekollel@gmail.com
Program A: 2:45 pm at BCMH, 5145 S Morgan Street. 
Program B: 6:30 pm at SBH, 6500 52nd AVE S. 
Suggested donation: $15/Adults or $10/Students.

Seattle Kollel
Wednesdays through July 26, 8:00 pm,  "A Taste of Lomdus" More info: 
www.seattlekollel.com/a-touch-of-lomdus
Through Aug. 11, Full Day SEED Camp for boys entering 3rd grade & up, Aug. 14-18, Half Day. At the Kollel. Register at:www.seattlekollel.com/camp-seed
Through July 21, full day SEED Camp for girls entering 3rd grade & up. Register at:
www.seattlekollel.com/girls-camp-seed
Tuesday, July 25, 7:15 pm, Pre Tisha B'Av Leil Iyun at the Kollel. Guest speakers will be Rabbi Ron-Ami Meyers, Rabbi Rafi Mollot and Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum. More info:
www.seattlekollel.com
The First Annual Green Speech Campaign, A Shemiras HaLoshon Initiative. Go to www.GreenSpeechWordsMatter.com or email JewishUnity@GreenSpeechCampaign.com to join. For local info on "Green Speech" & for a local study partner or group call (206) 369-1215 or email
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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


SICHO FOR MATOS-MASEI
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507847/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Matos-Masei-28th-Day-of-Tammuz-5750-1990.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

1. The three weeks between the 17th of Tammuz and Tishah BeAv are referred to as the Three Weeks of Retribution and Bein HaMetzorim, “between the straits,” names whose connotation is not openly positive.

This presents a conceptual difficulty. The number three is generally connected with positive themes, e.g., the three Patriarchs, the three pilgrimage festivals. Similarly, our Sages associated the giving of the Torah with the number three, praising G‑d for giving, “a threefold light to a threefold people... in the third month.” Furthermore, the number three has the implications of permanence as expressed in the verse, “the threefold cord will not be snapped speedily.” Similarly, in halachic terms, the number three is connected with a chazakah, a presumption that can be assumed to continue. Accordingly, it is difficult to understand: Why is the concept of retribution and destruction, the direct opposite of holiness and permanence,1 associated with the number three?

Generally, the concept is explained as follows: The awesome descent of the Three Weeks is intended to allow for an ascent. When a person wants to reach a level which is much higher than his present rung, it is necessary for him to undergo a descent first. Similarly, for the Jews to reach the peaks of the Messianic redemption, a redemption which will not be followed by a descent, it is necessary that they first undergo the descent of exile. In this context, the Three Weeks are associated, not with exile, but rather with the Third Beis HaMikdash that will be built after this exile.

This explanation, however, is insufficient for the Three Weeks connect the aspect of descent (and not the subsequent ascent) with three. When a descent is intended for the sake of an ascent, the descent itself is not desired. Indeed, it will ultimately be nullified and all that will remain is the ascent. If so, why is three which is, as above, usually connected with permanence, associated with a dimension that has no self-contained purpose and which ultimately will be nullified?2

The question can be reinforced: Generally, the number three expresses an ascent which follows a descent. For example, in the narrative of creation, the first day, is referred to in the Torah as yom echad, “one day,” i.e., a day of oneness, to quote the Midrash, “the day that G‑d was at one with His world.” It was followed by the second day, “the day on which strife was created,” as reflected in the separation of the higher waters from the lower waters. Accordingly, the expression, “And G‑d saw that it was good,” is not mentioned in connection with the second day since division, even when necessary for the world, cannot be called “good.”

This was followed by the third day, which compensated for the division of the second day, creating peace and unifying the two opposites. For this reason, the expression, “And G‑d saw that it was good,” is repeated twice, revealing a compound goodness which qualitatively exceeds the goodness of the other days.

This is reflected by the attribute of Tiferes (“beauty,” which was expressed on the third day of creation) which unifies Chessed (“kindness,” expressed on the first day of creation) withGevurah (“might,” expressed on the second day of creation). This reveals a unity which surpasses that of the first day. On the first day, the unity existed on a level above division. Thus, there is the possibility that division will ultimately arise. In contrast, the unity of the third day is established within the context of division, bringing about a true state of unity.

The same concept is reflected in Torah where we find the concept of “a controversy for the sake of heaven,” the controversy between Hillel and Shammai. This division has its source in the division which came into being on the second day of creation and, in turn, serves as the source for subsequent differences of opinion within Torah.

A “controversy for the sake of Heaven,” is obviously not a simple matter of strife or conflict. Nevertheless, it — even the controversy between Hillel and Shammai — brought about a descent. Ultimately, however, it serves a positive function.3 The debate between a thinking process that favors leniency (since its source is the attribute of Chessed) and a thinking process which tends to severity (since its source is the attribute of Gevurah) leads to a clarification of Torah law.4 A third opinion emerges which reconciles and unifies both conflicting perspectives.5

Thus, both in the world at large and in Torah, the concept of descent and division is associated with the number two and three is associated with the ascent and unification that follows. Similarly, in regard to the Batei HaMikdashos: The first (associated with the Patriarch Avraham, and the attribute of Chessed) and the second (associated with the Patriarch, Yitzchok, and the attribute of GevurahBatei Mikdashos were destroyed, while the third Beis HaMikdash (associated with the Patriarch Yaakov and the attribute of Tiferes) will be an eternal structure. Thus the original question is reinforced: Why are these weeks which are connected with mourning, destruction, and exile associated with the number three?

This question can be resolved by developing a different understanding of the concept “a descent for the purpose of an ascent.” To explain: A Jew should be in a constant process of ascent, “always ascending higher in holiness,” “proceeding from strength to strength.” If so, what is the reason for a descent? To proceed to a higher and more elevated rung that could not otherwise be reached. To give an example from every day life, when faced with obstructions and difficulties, a person summons up inner strength that brings out greater achievements that would otherwise be impossible.

In this process of descent for the sake of ascent, there are two levels: a) a descent which is limited within the context of the natural order, b) a descent which cannot be fathomed by the rules of nature.

In the first case — which reflects the progression from two (descent) to three (ascent) — just as the descent is limited, so, too, the ascent has certain limits. In contrast, when the descent is unlimited, as in the Three Weeks, the ascent which follows is also unlimited in nature.

The first type of descent was implanted by G‑d in the natural order of the world. In contrast, the second descent is brought about by man, through his sins. Thus, in the first instance, there is a direct connection between the descent and the ascent which will follow. In contrast, when a person sins, on a revealed level, there is no apparent connection between the sin and the ascent through teshuvah which will ultimately follow. In particular, when the descent that is brought about by sin is connected with three — and thus, has the power of permanence — the ascent becomes even higher.

To rephrase the matter: The process of ascent that is brought about by descent is a natural phenomenon. Since the descent into the realm of division brings about a higher sense of oneness, the division is not genuine. On the contrary, even on the level of division, it is felt how it is temporary in nature, with no purpose in and of itself, and that it exists only to bring out the higher level of unity. When is there genuine division? When there is an approach that possesses the aspect of permanence associated with three and yet appears to be totally negative in thrust with no connection with the ascent that will follow. When unity is established in that context, then it is true and complete.

In this context, we can understand the Three Weeks. This period, brought about by our sins, reflects the lowest possible descent, a descent that would not be possible within the order of nature, and reflects the aspect of permanence associated with the number three. Thus, we see that this exile continues without end, to quote our Sages:

In the first generations, their sin was revealed and the end [of the period of retribution] was also revealed. In the later generations, their sin was not revealed and the end [of the period of retribution] was also not revealed.

Even after our Sages declared, “All the appointed times for Mashiach’s coming have passed,” the exile continues. Furthermore, on the surface, there is no way in which it is apparent how such an exile will lead to the redemption.

Nevertheless, this itself is an indication that it will lead to an ascent which is totally beyond our comprehension, that it will surpass even the peaks of holiness that were attained previously, establishing an entirely new framework of reference.

Furthermore, since this is the purpose of the descent of the Three Weeks — although it is not consciously felt — we must appreciate that the Three Weeks themselves have a positive dimension. The Three Weeks are associated with the revelation of the three powers of intellect.

In that context, the word פורעניות rendered as “retribution” can be reinterpreted in a positive context. The Zohar associates Pharaoh (whose name פרעה shares the same Hebrew root asפורעניות) “with the revelation of all the sublime lights.” Similarly, these Three Weeks can be the source for a revelation of light that transcends all limits, the light that will be revealed in the Third Beis HaMikdash.6

In this context, we can explain the connection between the Three Weeks and this particular Shabbos, the Shabbos on which the Book of Bamidbar is completed.7 The process of descent for the sake of ascent which is revealed in the Three Weeks goes beyond the limits of nature. Thus, it brings about a strengthening of the Jews in Torah, as evidenced by their calling out in powerful tones, Chazak, Chazak, Vinischazeik, (“Be strong, Be strong, May you be strengthened”).8

The concept of an immeasurable ascent which comes because of the descent into exile is also alluded to in each of the parshiyos of Matos and Masei.

The name Matos refers to a branch which has become strong and hard because it was cut off from the tree.9 There is a parallel to this in our service of G‑d. The Jewish soul as it descends into a body, particularly as it exists in exile, is, on an apparent level, cut off from its source. This brings about a hardening and strengthening process. On the surface, the hardening is negative in nature, intensifying the challenges which a Jew faces. Through confronting these challenges, however, a Jew attains added strength and power in his service of G‑d which enables him to endure the challenges of exile without being affected.

Similarly, the parshah of Masei shares a connection to the exile. Masei meaning “journeys,” in an extended sense can refer to all the journeys undergone by the Jews in their departure from Egypt (the place of boundaries and limitations) with the intent of reaching Eretz Yisraelin the Messianic era. These journeys add strength to the Jews as expressed in the exclamation,Chazak, Chazak, Vinischazeik.

Thus, the extended exile which is felt acutely in these Three Weeks should not bring a Jew to despair, but rather to an appreciation of the heights to which the exile will bring us. This realization should, in turn, bring about a strengthening of Torah and mitzvos which will lead to the Messianic redemption. This should be expressed in “spreading the wellsprings outward,” extending the influence of Torah to places which by nature have no connection to it.

In particular, this should be expressed in making siyumim, conclusions of the study of Talmudic tractates or Torah works. These siyumim should be made in every place possible. May this lead to a siyum of the exile.

Shema in the evening?” “Evening” refers to exile. Within the exile there can the recitation, i.e., the revelation, of Shema, the Oneness of G‑d and His unique connection to the Jews. This is brought about by מאימתי, which as the Maggid’s son Rav Avraham explained, can also be rendered as, “Out of awe,” i.e., the fear and awe of G‑d.

This leads to the conclusion of the Talmud: “The School of Eliyahu [i.e., the prophet Eliyahu who will announce Mashiach’s coming] taught: Whoever studies Torah laws every day is assured of life in the World to Come.”10 The study of Torah law gives a Jew control over the entire world and enables him to experience the World to Come within the context of his life in this world. This will lead to the era of the redemption.}

This must lead to the ultimate decision of Torah law, that the exile has endured for too long and the Messianic redemption must come now.11

Shabbos Pinchas | 20-27 Tamuz 5777

Fri- July 14th Erev Shabbos 
Shacharis 7 am 
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 8:45 pm

Sat July 15th  Shabbos 
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:20 am
Mincha  8:45 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 1/
Maariv/Havdalah 10:02 pm

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon  –Fri Shacharis  7 am
Sun-Thu Mincha/Maariv 8:30 pm

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Rabbi Abraham and Shprintze Kavka on the birth of a baby girl to Naomi and Levi! May they merit to raise her to Torah, Chupa, and Maasim Tovim!

KIDDUSH 
Kiddush Lite – No sponsor.  Seuda Slishit

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.

SHABBOS AFTERNOON PIRKEI AVOS WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8 PM
An amazing opportunity to learn Pirkei Avos with commentaries and insights.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

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.

THE THREE WEEKS 
We are now during the three weeks, weddings are not held; we do not play musical instruments or listen to music; we do not eat fruit which we have not yet eaten this season or wear new clothing that would require us to recite the Shehecheyanu blessing ; We do not cut our hair or shave. Consult Rabbi Levitin for details.

Camp Gan Israel Seattle Goes to Six Weeks! Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th 
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2017, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Camp Gan Israel Seattle: Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th. Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime! Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/

Men’s Mikvah annual Dues are Due Annually on Elul 1st 
$440/daily, $220/weekly, $100/holiday only. Paying for one visit is not an option if you live in this community. Visitors pay $2.50 for single use. You can go to http://www.CSTLSeattle.org to make your payment online with your credit card. 


COMMUNITY NEWS

Ezzy Bezzy BBQ Sunday, July 16,  6:30-7:30 pm
Cost: $20/person, by reservation only. 
https://ebbbq.wordpress.com/about/

The Rhodes Memorial Committee Sunday, July 23, 7:00 pm, 
A recital of "My Life In Auschwitz & Bergen Belsen", the testimony of Lucia Capelluto as told to Lina Galasso Delfini. Sephardic Dessert following program at Ezra Bessaroth, 5217 S Brandon St. More info: 
www.ezrabessaroth.net 

"Beersheva Hadassah Salon:  How to Talk About Israel" July 23, 7:30 pm,
Presented by Dr. Mike Harris. Click here for Bio. At the home of Gail Eisenberg, 7316 Bowlyn PL S, Sea., WA 98118. How can you effectively challenge anti-Israel activists? Come and hear a veteran Israel activist who wrote the book on the subject.  Suggested Donation to Hadassah: $18. Light Refreshments will be served. RSVP by July 19th to 
Beersheva.Hadassah@gmail.com  

Seattle Kollel
Wednesdays through July 26, 8:00 pm,  "A Taste of Lomdus" More info:
www.seattlekollel.com/a-touch-of-lomdus Through Aug. 11, Full Day SEED Camp for boys entering 3rd grade & up, Aug. 14-18, Half Day. At the Kollel. Register at: www.seattlekollel.com/camp-seed. Through July 21, full day SEED Camp for girls entering 3rd grade & up. Register at: www.seattlekollel.com/girls-camp-seedTuesday, July 25, 7:15 pm, Pre Tisha B'Av Leil Iyun at the Kollel. Guest speakers will be Rabbi Ron-Ami Meyers, Rabbi Rafi Mollot and Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum. More info:www.seattlekollel.com


The First Annual Green Speech Campaign, A Shemiras HaLoshon Initiative. Go to www.GreenSpeechWordsMatter.com or email JewishUnity@GreenSpeechCampaign.com to join. For local info on "Green Speech" & for a local study partner or group call (206) 369-1215 or email 
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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


SICHO FOR PINCHAS
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507845/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Pinchas-21st-Day-of-Tammuz-5750-1990.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

1. Our1 Sages relate that the world will exist in its present state for six millennia: Two thousand years of chaos, two thousand years of Torah, and two thousand years of [which include the preparation for] the Messianic era. Thus, at present, in the closing years of the sixth millennia, there is added significance to the period of Bein HaMetzorim when we commemorate the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash and look forward to the time when it will be rebuilt.

In particular, this year, there is a unique dimension to this period as emphasized by the fact that it begins and is concluded on a Tuesday [on the dates of the 17th of Tammuz and Tishah BeAv respectively].

Tuesday is singled out as the day on which the expression, “And G‑d saw that it was good,” is repeated. This shares a particular connection to the 17th of Tammuz, since 17 is the numerical equivalent of the word טוב meaning “good” in Hebrew. Thus, the period of Bein HaMetzorim begins on a day whose nature is positive. This reinforces our hope that, as the Rambam writes:

All these fast days will ultimately be nullified in the Messianic age. Furthermore, they will be transformed into festivals and days of happiness and joy.

In this context, the repetition of the expression, “And G‑d saw that it was good,” can be interpreted as referring to two types of good: a) entities whose positive nature is openly apparent; b) a good which comes from “the transformation of darkness to light and bitterness to sweetness,” as will be seen in regard to the 17th of Tammuz.

The concept of repetition is also connected to the Messianic redemption. Our Sages declared:

There are five letters which are repeated [i.e., have two forms, one for when they appear in the midst of a word and one when they appear at a word’s conclusion]. All these letters allude to the redemption. For example, the Tzadi, with it G‑d will redeem Israel in the final years of the fourth kingdom as it is written, “A man [Mashiach], Tzemach is his name. Under him, will flourish....”

The unique dimension of the 17th of Tammuz is enhanced by the Shabbos which follows since the Shabbos elevates the days of the previous week. In general, the Shabbasos of Bein HaMetzorim are above the aspect of mourning. On Shabbos, it is forbidden to carry out any of the rites of mourning associated with these days. On the contrary, these Shabbasos have to be characterized by joy and happiness; indeed, greater happiness than on other Shabbasos to negate the possibility of someone thinking that they are at all associated with sadness.2

In particular, this Shabbos reflects the positive dimensions of the Three Weeks as reflected by its date, the 21st of Tammuz. 21 is the numerical equivalent of the word אך (“only”), and alludes to the verse meaning, “It shall be only good for Israel.”3

The positive aspects of this Shabbos are further emphasized by the weekly Torah portion, Parshas Pinchas. Firstly, the very inclusion of this Torah portion in the period of Bein HaMetzorim is positive. “There is no good other than Torah.” Thus, the addition of a fourth Torah portion (besides Matos, Masei and Devarimwhich are always read during Bein HaMetzorim) is a positive point.

Furthermore, Pinchas is identified with the prophet Eliyahu who will announce the coming of Mashiach. In addition, the portion begins with G‑d’s declaration, “Behold, I grant him My covenant of peace.” This is Eliyahu’s mission, to establish peace among the Jewish people as the prophet Malachi relates, “Behold, I will send you Eliyahu, the prophet, who will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers.” This emphasis on peace will nullify the cause of the exile, unwonted hatred.4 When the exile’s cause is nullified, the exile itself will cease.

Similarly, the conclusion of the portion which describes the sacrifices offered on the Sabbath and the festivals alludes to the potential to transform the fast days into holidays and festivals.

The uniqueness of these Three Weeks is related to the Haftoros recited in this time. This period is called “the Three Weeks of Retribution” because theHaftoros of these three weeks, at least on the surface, deal with retribution. Only afterwards, follow “the Seven Weeks of Consolation” whose Haftoros mention prophecies of consolation. There is, however, a positive aspect to these Three Weeks. The numbers three and seven allude to the seven emotional powers and the three powers of intellect. From this, it appears that these Three Weeks are on a higher plane and are also the source for the positive qualities to be expressed in the weeks that follow.

In that context, the word פורעניות rendered as “retribution” can be reinterpreted in a positive context. The Zohar associates Pharaoh (whose name shares the same Hebrew root as פורעניות) “with the revelation of all the sublime lights.” Similarly, these Three Weeks can be the source for a revelation of light that transcends all limits.

This unbounded revelation is reflected in the three Torah portions which are always read during Bein HaMetzorim, the parshiyos: Matos, Masei, andDevarim. Each of these three parshiyos deal with a different dimension of the conquest, division, and inheritance of Eretz Yisrael. Furthermore, this includes not only the land of the seven nations which lived on the west side of the Jordan, but also the three nations (the Keni, Knizi, and Kadmoni5 ) whose territory began on the eastern bank of the Jordan. As explained previously,6 the tribes of Reuven and Gad desired to settle in these lands to fulfill G‑d’s promise to grant Avraham the lands of ten nations. Here, we see a fusion of the intellect and the emotions, a conquest of all ten nations alluding to control of all our ten potentials. In particular, the conquest of the lands of the Keni, Knizi, andKadmoni allude to the positive nature of these Three Weeks which reflect our three intellectual potentials.

The above is enhanced this year by the inclusion of Parshas Pinchas among the Shabbasos of Bein HaMetzorim. In particular, a positive dimension is revealed when the 17th of Tammuz falls on Tuesday. This creates an association between that day and the third aliyah of Parshas Pinchas which describes the division ofEretz Yisrael, stating:

Among these, the land will be divided....7 To a larger [tribe], you shall give a greater inheritance. To a smaller [tribe], you shall give a lesser inheritance.... Nevertheless, you must divide the land by lot.

Thus, three different approaches to the division of the land are mentioned: a) inheritance, b) a division based on the criteria of reason (“To a greater [tribe]...”), c) division by lots. It can be explained that these three different approaches are reflected in the phrase from the liturgy: “Fortunate are we! How good is our portion, how pleasant our lot, and how beautiful our heritage.” Through these three services, we hasten the division of Eretz Yisrael using these three approaches in the Messianic age. Indeed, the division of the land mentioned inParshas Pinchas can be interpreted as an allusion to that ultimate division of the land.8

The above concepts are also alluded to in the parshiyos, Matos and Masei which are read in today’s Minchah service. Parshas Masei begins, “These are the journeys of the children of Israel when they left the land of Egypt.” In Likkutei Torah, the Alter Rebbe asks: After the first journey, the Jews had already left Egypt. Why are all the journeys linked to this departure? He explains that the ultimate goal of all the 42 journeys was to leave Egypt, i.e., to transcend one’s boundaries and limitations.

Conversely, all the subsequent journeys were included within the first journey which took the Jews out of Egypt. Had the Jews merited, they would have continued directly into Eretz Yisrael, bringing about the Messianic redemption.

Nevertheless, due to the people’s sins, the redemption was delayed and they were forced to wander forty years in the desert. Similarly, this descent brought about the potential for later exiles. The ability to transform these negative elements is also alluded to in this week’s Torah reading. Parshas Matos deals with the subject of vows, including an allusion to the nullification of vows by a Sage.9 This relates to the nullification of all undesirable entities including the exile.

2. Parshas Pinchas also contains a description of the daughters of Tzelophchad’s request to inherit their father’s portion of Eretz Yisrael. The commentaries mention that their love for Eretz Yisrael came to them as a heritage from their ancestor Yosef who also displayed a great love for the Holy Land.

There is also a connection between Yosef and the 17th of Tammuz because Yosef was seventeen years when he was sold into slavery. Our Sages also connect this with the concept that seventeen is numerically equal to good. To explain:

Our Sages relate that after Yaakov’s confrontations with Lavan and Esav, he “desired to live in prosperity.” That desire was not granted immediately. Nevertheless, G‑d set into motion a series of events which led to the ultimate fulfillment of that desire. Yosef’s descent into Egypt eventually led to Yaakov living the 17 best years of his life in prosperity in Egypt. This, in turn, gave the Jews the potential to sustain the hardships of exile, and, ultimately, to transform the exile into a positive quality.

This is connected to the concept that Yaakov10 represents the entire Jewish people. Indeed, his second name, Yisrael, is the name of the people as a whole and, as explained in Tanya, his soul included the soul of each member of our people.

Each of the three Patriarchs represented a different quality in the service of G‑d: Avraham — deeds of kindness, as exemplified in his welcoming of guests; Yitzchok — prayer, as exemplified in his being chosen as a sacrifice; Yaakov — Torah study, as exemplified by his devoted attention to the study halls of Shemand Ever.

Although all these three services are of primary importance and must be fulfilled every day,11 there is a prominence granted to Torah study. Every moment of the day and night, a Jew has the obligation — and the opportunity — to study Torah; this applies even on Tishah BeAv. [Until the present year, for Mashiach will surely come beforehand.] There have been limitations against studying Torah on that day because Torah study brings happiness which is inappropriate on such an occasion. Despite these restrictions, there is an obligation to study those aspects of Torah which are permitted during the entire day.12

The fundamental connection a Jew shares with Torah is further emphasized by our Sages’ interpretation of the name Yisrael as an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning, “There are 600,000 letters in the Torah.”13

Our Sages relate that Yaakov taught all the Torah which he had studied to Yosef. Yosef, in turn, transmitted Yaakov’s influence to the entire Jewish people, granting them the potential to reach a complete level of Torah study. Indeed, Yosef related these qualities to the entire Jewish people, those who identified with them and those who, were it not for his influence, would be estranged from their Jewish roots. This is alluded to in Rachel’s association of the naming of Yosef with the prayer, “May G‑d add on to me another son.” This implies that Yosef has the potential to transform someone who is “another,” estranged from his Jewish roots, into a “son.” This quality of transformation will also be expressed in the transformation of the exile into a positive quality.

In particular, there is a greater emphasis on the above in the present generation whose Nasi is named Yosef since “the Nasi includes the entire people.” This is expressed in regard to his redemption which he interpreted as general in nature:

The Holy One, Blessed be He, did not redeem me alone... but rather, all who love our holy Torah, fulfill its mitzvos, and all those who bear the name “Jew.”

This year, the 110th anniversary of the Previous Rebbe’s birth, his connection to Yosef receives greater emphasis for that number represents the number of years of Yosef’s life. The Previous Rebbe set the example of spreading Yosef’s service, extending Torah study to all Jews, even those estranged from their Jewish roots. Indeed, he emphasized this dimension in the letter and the maamarhe released to mark the first commemoration of Yud-Beis Tammuz, stressing the importance of spreading Torah study to all Jews and highlighting the importance of public sessions of Torah study. Implicit in his words is the promise that the Messianic redemption will be brought about through these activities.

3. Yeshayahu the prophet declares, “Tzion will be redeemed through justice and those who return to through tzedakah.” The Alter Rebbe explains that justice refers to Torah study and that these two activities, Torah study and tzedakah, will bring about the Messianic redemption. In particular, this applies to the study of the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah which includes the entire oral law. The above applies to a greater extent on Shabbos, a day which should be utilized to “gather groups together in Torah study.”14 In particular, these concepts are relevant during Bein HaMetzorim.

Also of unique relevance at the present time is the study of the structure of theBeis HaMikdash as revealed in Yechezkel’s prophecies, in the Mishnah in the tractate of Middos, and in the teachings of the Rambam in Hilchos Beis HaBechirah. (To enable people to study all these texts, they have been printed in a single volume.)

Similarly, it is important to hold siyumim (gatherings celebrating the conclusion of Torah texts) during these days including the day of Tishah BeAv itself.15These directives should be publicized in every place throughout the world.

May these activities hasten the coming of the time when Bein HaMetzorim will be transformed into a period of celebration with the coming of Mashiach.16

Shabbos Balak | 13-20 Tamuz 5777

 

Fri- July 7th Erev Shabbos 
Shacharis 7 am 
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 8:50 pm

Sat July 8th  Shabbos 
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:16 am
Mincha  8:50 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 6
Maariv/Havdalah 10:03 pm

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon, Wed –Fri Shacharis  7 am
Tue – Shacharis 6:50 am /Fast of 17 Tamuz/
Sun-Thu Mincha/Maariv 8:30 pm

FAST OF 17th TAMUZ TUE JULY 11th 
Fast Begins 3:03 am
Shacharis 6:50 am
Mincha 8:30 pm
Maariv/Fast Ends 9:45 pm

KIDDUSH 
Thank you to Rabbi Levitin and Chabad of Seattle for sponsoring Kiddush in honor of Yud Beis/Yud Gimel Tamuz.  Seuda Slishit

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.

LADIES SHABBOS FARBRENGEN ALERT – YUD BEIS TAMUZ - SAT JULY 8th 5 PM
Farbrengen for women and girls in honor of Yud-Beis / Yud-Gimel Tammuz at Tziviah Goldberg's, 5 pm Shabbos Parshas Balak. 4038 NE 58th St. Bring a story or D'var Torah if you like. 

SHABBOS AFTERNOON PIRKEI AVOS WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8 PM
An amazing opportunity to learn Pirkei Avos with commentaries and insights.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

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.

Camp Gan Israel Seattle Goes to Six Weeks! Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th 
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2017, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Camp Gan Israel Seattle: Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th. Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime! Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at 
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/


COMMUNITY NEWS

Hot Wings and Cool Music with Mercaz - Sun July 9th 5pm-9pm. 
Eating together and playing music before the three weeks, bring your singing voices and an instrument! Wings, Salads, Vegetarian Option, Lemonade, BYOB.  Register at
https://mercazseattle.shulcloud.com/event/hot-wings-and-cool-music.html

Ezzy Bezzy BBQ Sunday, July 16,  6:30-7:30 pm
Cost: $20/person, by reservation only. 
https://ebbbq.wordpress.com/about/

The Rhodes Memorial Committee Sunday, July 23, 7:00 pm, 
A recital of "My Life In Auschwitz & Bergen Belsen", the testimony of Lucia Capelluto as told to Lina Galasso Delfini. Sephardic Dessert following program at Ezra Bessaroth, 5217 S Brandon St. More info: 
www.ezrabessaroth.net 

"Beersheva Hadassah Salon:  How to Talk About Israel" July 23, 7:30 pm,
Presented by Dr. Mike Harris. Click here for Bio. At the home of Gail Eisenberg, 7316 Bowlyn PL S, Sea., WA 98118. How can you effectively challenge anti-Israel activists? Come and hear a veteran Israel activist who wrote the book on the subject.  Suggested Donation to Hadassah: $18. Light Refreshments will be served. RSVP by July 19th to 
Beersheva.Hadassah@gmail.com  

Seattle Kollel
Wed through July 26, 8:00 pm,  "A Taste of Lomdus" More info: 
www.seattlekollel.com/a-touch-of-lomdus .
June 26 - Aug. 11, Full Day SEED Camp for boys entering 3rd grade & up, Aug. 14-18, Half Day. At the Kollel. Register at: 
www.seattlekollel.com/camp-seed    
June 26 - July 21, full day SEED Camp for girls entering 3rd grade & up. Register at:
www.seattlekollel.com/girls-camp-seed 

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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


SICHO FOR BALAK
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507841/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Chukas-7th-Day-of-Tammuz-5750-1990.htm  © SichosInEnglish.org

1. Yud-Beis Tammuz, in addition to being the Previous Rebbe’s day of redemption, is also his birthday. This year there is a unique dimension to this aspect because it is the 110th anniversary of his birth. The Torah associates the number 110 with Yosef who lived for 110 years, mentioning that fact in two separate verses.

Yosef’s lifespan has raised several questions. On one hand, the Talmud states that “the years of Yosef’s life was reduced,” and indeed, he did not live as long as his father or grandfather. On the other, the Midrash chooses Yosef as an example of long life, stating:

Since he worked hard to honor his father in Egypt, he merited the crown of old age... as it is written: “And Yosef saw Ephraim’s great-grandchildren.”

It can be explained that there is no contradiction between the two: Compared to his brothers and his ancestors, he did not live long. When compared to an average person, however, his life was prolonged. In addition, Yosef possessed the unique aspect of seeing the third generation of Ephraim’s descendants and Menasheh’s grandchildren(Bereishis 50:23; see The Living Torah). The Torah does not explicitly describe any other figure as being blessed with the fortune of living together with that many generations of his descendants.1

Despite this dimension, Yosef’s life was, in fact, shorter than that of his brothers and, indeed, less than 120 years. Furthermore, Yosef’s life was shorter than that of his father.2 This fact can be clarified by another concept.

It can be explained that the reason that Yosef merited to see a continuity of his descendants is a result of the fact that Yosef was the first Jew to serve as a king. With the exception of the fact that he did not sit on the throne, he fulfilled all the functions of the monarchy.3

Thus, Yosef serves as the source of monarchy for the Jewish people and we find the expressions, “the kingdom of the House of Yosef” and “the Mashiach of the House of Yosef.” Even though the ultimate dimension of monarchy is associated with the House of David, who will come from the tribe of Yehudah, that dimension will not be revealed until the Messianic age. Until then, Yosef is supreme and Yehudah receives from him.

[The ultimate expression of monarchy is seen in the crown. For this reason, the sign of whether a monarch of the House of David was fit for his position was whether the crown fit him or not. A crown, Kesser, in Hebrew, is identified with the Sefirah of that name.

There is a connection between this year’s commemoration of Yud-Beis Tammuz and the attribute of Kesser. This is the 63rd anniversary of the Previous Rebbe’s release from prison. 63 can be divided into 50 (a number identified with Kesser) and 13 which stands for the 13 Attributes of Mercy and the drawing down of their influence to the Jews who are divided into twelve tribes and the tribe of Levi.]4

The concept of prolonged years and continuity from generation to generation is integrally connected with the concept of monarchy as it is written, “Prolong the king’s life, extend his years from generation to generation.” Therefore, the Torah explicitly associates these qualities with Yosef. Nevertheless, since the ultimate aspect of monarchy will be revealed in the House of David, Yosef’s life was actually not as long as that of his brothers. Furthermore, the Zohar explains that Yosef did not live to be 147, the age to which his father Yaakov lived, because he gave 37 years of his life to King David, implying that ultimately, the Kingdom of Yosef will lead to the Kingdom of David.5

On the basis of the above, we can appreciate the unique dimension of Yud-Beis Tammuzin the present year, the 110th anniversary of the birth of the Previous Rebbe — the Yosef of our generation. Here, it is possible to see the continuity of the generations whose service he inspired, a service that will bring about a spreading of the wellsprings of Chassidus outward and thus, lead to the coming of Mashiach.

This concept can be associated with the redemption of Yud-Beis Tammuz which was of a collective nature, strengthening and encouraging Torah and Yiddishkeit, not only in the Previous Rebbe’s generation, but in the generations that follow until the present day. Indeed, we see that as a result of his redemption, the Previous Rebbe was able to reach America, “the lower half of the world.” There, he continued to spread Torah andmitzvos and transferred this mission to the coming generations who have expanded this service. This will lead to the ultimate expression of monarchy, the coming of Mashiach whose sovereignty will spread throughout the entire world.

The above concepts receive greater emphasis due to the fact that the Previous Rebbe is the sixth generation6 of the Chabad Nesi’im who spread the wellsprings of Chassidus outward, reaching the furthest reaches of the world.

Our Sages relate that there will be six millennia to the existence of the world in its present state: two thousand years of chaos, two thousand years of Torah, and two thousand years of [preparation for] the Messianic age. Thus, the sixth millennia is intended to prepare us for the seventh millennia, the age which is “all Sabbath and rest for eternity.”

* * *

3. Each year, on one’s birthday, it is customary to study the chapter of Psalms associated with the number of years of one’s life together with its commentaries. Similarly, this Psalm is recited each day throughout the year. Because of the attachment of Chassidimto the Previous Rebbe, it is proper that they study and recite the Psalm associated with his birthday.

Psalm 111 contains the verse, “He has made a remembrance of His wondrous works.” The Tzemach Tzedek comments on this verse:

Whatever G‑d does for the righteous in this world is only a “remembrance” of what He will do for them in the world to come.... Even the miracles of the exodus from Egypt are only a “remembrance” when compared to the miracles which will be in the Messianic era as implied by the verse, “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.”

The above receives even greater emphasis this year, תש"נ, “a year of miracles,” which will lead to תשנ"א, whose letters form an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning, “May this be the year of ‘I will show wonders.’ ” This is further intensified by the connection to this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Balak, which contains several allusions to the Messianic redemption. For example, the Rambam writes that the verse, “A star will shoot forth from Yaakov and a staff will arise in Israel,” is a reference to Mashiach’s coming.

The above concepts can be applied in each of our lives since each Jew has a connection to royalty as our Sages declare, “the Jews are like the sons of kings.” Similarly, the Jewish people as a whole are called Yosef and thus, particularly, our generation whoseNasi is named Yosef — and “the Nasi includes the entire generation” — share a connection to the Previous Rebbe, the Yosef of our generation.

Each Jew, within the context of his life in the physical world, receives a crown7 of kingship from G‑d. This gives him the potential to live in a manner of redemption, without being hindered by any of the obstacles of the exile. On the contrary, he rules over his environment and reveals G‑d’s sovereignty in the world.

To allow a Jew to carry on this service, G‑d grants him manifold blessings so that he can live a life of peace and prosperity — in Eretz Yisrael or in the Diaspora — and thus, further his service of Torah and mitzvos. The celebration of Yud-Beis Tammuz this year grants further potential for such service, endowing each Jew with the potential to spread this service to others, “raising up many students,” and thus establishing continuity with the generations to come.

When each Jew lives in “a manner of redemption,”8 the world will be prepared for the ultimate redemption. Then, this, the last generation of exile will become the first generation of redemption.

On a practical level, resolutions should be taken regarding the following: a) Gifts should be given to tzedakah in multiples of 110 and in multiples of 63; b) The farbrengens ofYud-Beis Tammuz should be continued and, in every place, farbrengens should be held on the 14th and 15th of Tammuz, in the hope that this will transform the 17th of Tammuz into a day of celebration, c) The campaign of public sessions of Torah study should be reinforced, d) The maamar, Asarah SheYoshim released by the Previous Rebbe in connection with Yud-Beis Tammuz should be studied, e) Psalm 111 should be studied together with its commentaries.

These activities will lead to the fulfillment of the promise, “And you shall spread westward, eastward, northward, and southward,” spreading G‑dliness throughout the world. This will lead to the coming of Mashiach. May it be in the immediate future.

* * *

4. At present, the affluence enjoyed by the Jewish community allows the possibility for Rabbis to study Torah without disruption and thus, penetrate to the depth of Torah, deriving practical halachic decisions. It must, however, be emphasized that although, from an abstract perspective, the most challenging aspect of Torah study is to deal with the application of halachah, before actually putting into practice — or advising others to put into practice — one’s decisions, it is proper to consult with a Rabbi who has experience in rendering decisions in applied halachah. Indeed, we find that in previous generations, before a Rabbi was allowed to render halachic decisions, in addition to having Semichah, “ordination,” he had to have shimush, “internship,” during which he assisted a practicing Rabbinical authority.

The influence of the practical application of halachah is evident form the following story concerning an important Rabbi (whose name will not be mentioned lest some of the particulars in the story are not accurate) who was being tested to see if he was fit for a Rabbinical position. He was asked many questions which he answered correctly with the exception of one, to which he gave an answer that contradicted the views of most other authorities. When questioned about this point, he explained, that G‑d has helped him to, as of yet, never err in regard to an actual halachic question. Apparently, the question was being asked merely from a theoretical perspective with no intent of being applied to actual behavior and therefore, his answer was lacking.

May today’s Rabbis render the halachic decision of immediate relevance: that the exile has lasted too long and may G‑d carry out their decision and bring Mashiach.

Shabbos Chukas | 6-13 Tamuz5777

Fri- June 30th Erev Shabbos 
Shacharis 7 am 
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 8:52 pm

Sat July 1st Shabbos 
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:14 am
Mincha  8:53 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 5
Maariv/Havdalah 10:01 pm

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon –Fri Shacharis  7 am
Sun-Thu Mincha/Maariv 8:30 pm

KIDDUSH 
Please join us this Shabbos for a Welcoming Kiddush! Camp Gan Israel Seattle is gearing up for a Fantastic and Fun Summer 2017.Our staff has been arriving this whole week, and we are thrilled to have this amazing staff taking care of our children. Please join us in welcoming them at the Kiddush at Shaarei Tefillah.Hoping to see you at shul.Good Shabbos,Rabbi Kavka.  Seuda Slishit

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.

SHABBOS AFTERNOON PIRKEI AVOS WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8 PM
An amazing opportunity to learn Pirkei Avos with commentaries and insights.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

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

FARBRENGEN ALERT – YUD BEIS TAMUZ - THU JULY 6th 
On the 12th of Tammuz of 1927, the sixth Lubavitcher rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, was officially granted release from his sentence of exile to Kastroma in the interior of Russia. Twenty-seven days earlier, the Rebbe had been arrested by agents of the GPU and the Yevsektzia ("Jewish Section" of the Communist Party) for his activities to preserve Judaism throughout the Soviet empire and sentenced to death, G-d forbid. International pressure forced the Soviets to commute the sentence to exile and, subsequently, to release him completely. The actual release took place on Tammuz 13, and Tammuz 12-13 is celebrated as a "festival of liberation" by the Chabad-Lubavitch community. 
www.chabad.org/calendar Venue to be announced.

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

PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILDREN
The shul board would like to remind parents that they have sole responsibility for their children at CSTL

CHAIRS AND TABLES AT SHUL are for Shul Use Only.  
PLEASE do not remove them from the building.  PLEASE return any that are out of the building.    Thank you for your help.

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.

Camp Gan Israel Seattle Goes to Six Weeks! Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th 
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2017, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Camp Gan Israel Seattle: Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th. Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime! Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/

SEPHARDIC RELIGIOUS SCHOOL
The Sephardic Religious School (SRS) is a supplementary Jewish school serving Jewish children in Pre-School through Grade 8, meet on Sundays for 2 1/2 hours and Tuesdays for an additional 1 ½ hours. SRS is housed at the Mercer Island JCC and open to all Jewish children regardless of synagogue affiliation. For more information please call Rachely Hemmat 206 992-2235 or email
srs.hebrewschool@gmail.com


COMMUNITY NEWS

Hot Wings and Cool Music Sun July 9th 5pm-9pm. 
Eating together and playing music before the three weeks, bring your singing voices and an instrument! Wings, Salads, Vegetarian Option, Lemonade, BYOB.          Register here:
https://mercazseattle.shulcloud.com/event/hot-wings-and-cool-music.html

Seattle Kollel
Wed through July 26, 8:00 pm,  "A Taste of Lomdus" More info: 
www.seattlekollel.com/a-touch-of-lomdus .
June 26 - Aug. 11, Full Day SEED Camp for boys entering 3rd grade & up, Aug. 14-18, Half Day. At the Kollel. Register at: 
www.seattlekollel.com/camp-seed    
June 26 - July 21, full day SEED Camp for girls entering 3rd grade & up. Register at:
www.seattlekollel.com/girls-camp-seed 

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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


SICHO FOR CHUKAS
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507841/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Chukas-7th-Day-of-Tammuz-5750-1990.htm  © SichosInEnglish.org

1. There is a unique dimension to Parshas Chukas which is not found in regard to any of the other parshiyos in the Book of Bamidbar. With the exception of the opening passage of the Book which was not conveyed until Rosh Chodesh Iyar of the second year after the exodus, the entire Book is written in sequential order.

Parshas Naso describes events that took place on the first of Nissan, the day when the Sanctuary was erected. Parshas Behaalos’cha also mentions commands that were given on that same day and then describes the decampment of the Jews which took place on the 20th of Iyar. The narrative of the sending of the spies described in Parshas Shelach began on the 29th of Sivan and the rebellion of Korach described in the parshah of that name took place after the 9th of Av of that year according to our tradition.

Consequently, the order of events described in Parshas Chukas surely raises questions: The portion begins with the passage of the Red Heifer which was related on the 2nd of Nissan in the second year after the exodus. Directly, afterwards it skips to the description of events which took place at the conclusion of the Jew’s forty years of wandering through the desert, the death of Miriam, the dispute at the springs of Merivah, Aharon’s death, the conquest of Sichon and Og, and ultimately, the camping of the Jews on the Jordan. From a passage which was related directly after the construction of the Sanctuary, the portion skips to the events which occurred at the conclusion of the Jews’ wandering through the desert.

Rashi explains that the narrative of Miriam’s death is joined to the passage concerning the Red Heifer to teach that “just as the sacrifices atone, the death of the righteous atone.” Thus, it can be explained that after mentioning the death of Miriam, the Torah continued with a description of the events which followed. However, since the Torah is precise in every detail, it is likely that there is a connection between all the events described in the parshah and the offering of the Red Heifer.

The above concepts can be understood in light of another problematic element in the conclusion of the parshah which discusses the conquest of the lands of Sichon and Og. The Torah mentions that Moshe sent spies to explore the land of Ya’azer. Not only did the spies carry out their mission, they actually conquered the land. Notwithstanding the positive aspect of their behavior, it raises a question: Why did they disobey the instructions that they were given?1

Furthermore, we find the first spies, whose sin caused the Jews to wander in the desert for forty years, transgressed because they made a similar mistake. Moshe instructed them to explore Eretz Yisrael in order to find out the easiest way of conquering it. The spies took an additional step, adding to the description of the land, their conclusion that the land couldn’t be conquered. Thus, the question arises: Why did these spies who apparently2 wanted to correct the behavior of the first spies emulate their example and add to the mission with which Moshe charged them?

There is another difficult point in regard to the Jews’ settling in the lands of Sichon and Og: Why did the tribes of Reuven, Gad, and half the tribe of Menasheh desire to remain in this land? On the surface, G‑d had promised the land of Canaan — the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean — to the Jews. The territories of Sichon and Og on the eastern bank of the Jordan were not included in that land3 as clearly indicated by the fact that Moshe sent messengers toSichon asking him to allow the Jews to pass through his land on their way to Eretz Yisrael. If so, why did these two and a half tribes desire to settle in these lands. Indeed, their behavior appears reminiscent of that of the spies who refused to enter Eretz Yisrael.

[The Torah relates that they explained their desire as follows: They had a lot of cattle and TransJordan was fit for cattle grazing. Nevertheless, the question remains: How could they, members of Moshe’s generation, “a generation of knowledge,” care more about their property than about entering Eretz Yisrael?]

The problematic aspect of this narrative is further emphasized by the fact that ultimately Moshe agreed to their request and allowed them to settle in these lands. The agreement he made with them — that they would serve as the vanguard of the Jews’ armies — nullified the possibility that they would cause the entire people to lose heart and refuse to enter the land. It did not resolve the fact that these tribes themselves did not settle in Eretz Yisrael.

The above difficulties can all be resolved in light of the following explanation: Since the Jewish people were all prepared to enter Eretz Yisrael, it can be assumed that they desired to correct and atone for the sin of the spies. To correct this transgression in a complete manner, it was necessary to perform an act resembling the transgression, but of a positive nature. Hence, the spies mentioned in this portion — like the original spies — altered and added to the mission on which Moshe sent them. However, their addition was of a positive rather than a negative nature, reflecting Moshe’s true desire as Rashi comments, “they were confident in the power of Moshe’s prayer to be able to fight.”

A similar concept can be explained in regard to the desire of the two and a half tribes to stay in TransJordan. Their actions were motivated by a genuine love for Eretz Yisrael and a will to atone for the sins of the generation which did not wish to enter Eretz Yisrael.

To explain: When G‑d promised Avraham that his descendants would inherit Eretz Yisrael in theBris bein haBetarim, G‑d mentioned the conquest of ten nations, the seven who dwelled in Eretz Yisrael and also the Keni, Knizi and Kadmoni (identified with Moav, Ammon, and Edom) an area stretching from “the river of Egypt until the great river, the Euphrates.” Nevertheless, Moshe only mentioned the conquest of the seven nations who dwelled in Eretz Yisrael, the conquest of Moav, Ammon, and Edom, who dwelled (at least in part) in TransJordan was forbidden, left for the Messianic age.

There was a way, however, in which the Jews were able to dwell in a portion of these lands before the Mashiach’s coming. As our Torah portion relates, Sichon conquered some of the land belonging to these nations. After conquering his lands, the Jews were able to take possession of this territory as well. Indeed, our Sages use the expression that Sichon “purified”4 these lands. Thus, these tribes’ desire to settle in this territory was motivated by a commitment to dwell in all the portions of Eretz Yisrael possible.

When understood in this context, their acts also represent a correction of the behavior of the Jews who desired to remain in the desert. Just as those Jews did not want to enter Eretz Yisraelproper, these tribes did not desire to do so. However, their intent was not to reject the land, but rather to bring about its most complete settlement, extending it to the territory of the Keni, Kniziand Kadmoni to the fullest extent possible before Mashiach’s coming.5 For these reasons, Moshe was willing to accept their proposal and allowed them to settle in these lands.

The reason why these two and a half tribes in particular desired to settle in TransJordan can be explained as follows: The tribes of Reuven and Gad possessed many sheep and therefore, sought to settle in TransJordan because it was excellent pasture land. Chassidic thought explains that pasturing sheep is a profession which requires less involvement and effort in toil and labor than agriculture and thus, affords the shepherd time for meditation and contemplation.

This also relates to the sin of the spies and the desire to correct and atone for it. The spies did not desire to enter Eretz Yisrael because they desired to remain above worldly matters. This was a mistake because G‑d’s intent is that the Jews involve themselves in the refinement of the world. Thus, the efforts of the tribes of Reuven and Gad corrected this error. These tribes composed the vanguard of the Jewish armies which conquered Eretz Yisrael, thus demonstrating their appreciation of the importance and commitment to the refinement of the world. Nevertheless, after the land was settled and that task had been undertaken, they returned to TransJordan to involve themselves in service above the day to day mundane realities.

This concept also relates to the Mitteler Rebbe’s explanation of the difference between Eretz Yisrael and the land of the Keni, Knizi and Kadmoni. The Mitteler Rebbe associates the seven nations who lived in Eretz Yisrael with our seven emotional qualities and the Keni, Knizi andKadmoni with our three intellectual potentials. At present, our service consists of refining our emotional potentials. Accordingly, we were given the land of the seven nations. In the Messianic era, we will also be able to refine and develop our intellectual potentials and therefore, we will be granted the lands of these other three nations.6

The two points are interrelated because the service of the intellect reflects a step above the work of refining our day-to-day realities. The involvement of the tribes of Reuven and Gad7 with this uplifted intellectual service had an effect on the entire Jewish people — for these tribes maintained their connection with the people as a whole — and gave the people the power to accomplish the task of refining the world.

[In particular, the fusion of the two services can be seen in the tribe of Menasheh who were divided because of Moshe’s decision. He realized that the area in TransJordan was too large to be populated only by the tribes of Reuven and Gad and ordered half the tribe of Menasheh to join them. Thus, in this instance, the fusion of the service of intellect, above the realities of the world, and the service of refining the world was reflected in a single tribe.]

These concepts are related to the Mishnah’s statements concerning the lands of Ammon and Moav (which, as explained above, correspond to the lands of the Keni and the Knizi) in regard to the laws of Shevi’is (the Sabbatical year):

What is the law regarding the lands of Ammon and Moav in Shevi’is? Rabbi Tarfon decreed that they should separate “the tithe of the poor”... so that the poor people from Eretz Yisrael could derive support from them.

In the period of the Second Beis HaMikdash, these lands did not have the sanctity of Eretz Yisrael and were not required to observe its agricultural laws. Accordingly, they could sow their fields in the Sabbatical year. Although there was reason to assume that the Sages would have required the separation of the second tithe, instead, they ordered that the “tithe of the poor” be separated so that the poor, who this year would not receive their portion from the fields of Eretz Yisrael which lay fallow, could benefit from them.

This law contains a homiletic dimension which relates to the concepts described above. Our Sages stated: “One is only poor in regard to knowledge.” The poor from Eretz Yisrael, i.e., the people who lacked knowledge living in the holy land could derive sustenance from the service of knowledge carried out in the lands of the Keni and Knizi. Based on the above, we can also understand the connection between the events mentioned at the conclusion of Parshas Chukaswith the portion of the Red Heifer mentioned at the outset. The portion of the Red Heifer was related after the construction of the Sanctuary when the Jews were on a high spiritual level (having atoned for the sin of Golden Calf as Rashi mentions). It was not until the end of the forty year period after the conquest and settlement of the land of Sichon8 which atoned for the sins of the spies, that the Jews were able to reach a similar spiritual rung.

An added dimension to the above is contributed by the name ChukasChok can also mean “engraved” as the letters of the Ten Commandments were engraved into the stone. Thus, the letters are part of the stone itself which cannot be separated from it. Similarly, after the forty years of the desert, the Jews became totally united with Eretz Yisrael until the most appropriate metaphor to describe their connection was Chukas, “engraved letters.”

This was reflected in the desire of the tribes to settle in all the lands promised Avraham in theBris bein haBetarim.9 Though the conquest of those lands could not be completed — because of the Divine command, “Do not disturb Moav,” — that command also had a positive dimension. Through it, the potential was granted for the birth of Ruth, “the mother of royalty,” the ancestor of King David and thus, the Mashiach, who will complete the conquest of Eretz Yisrael. May it be in the immediate future.

2. The above concepts are given greater emphasis by the fact that Parshas Chukas is read in the month of Tammuz, the month associated with the Previous Rebbe’s redemption on Yud-Beis-Yud-Gimmel Tammuz. All redemptions are related to the ultimate Messianic redemption. In particular, this applies to the Previous Rebbe’s redemption for he is a Nasi and, as Rashiexplains, “the Nasi includes the entire people.” This point was emphasized by the Previous Rebbe himself who wrote:10

It was not myself alone that the Holy One, blessed be He, redeemed on Yud-Beis Tammuz, but also those who love the Torah and observe its commands, and so to all those who merely bear the name “Jew.”

Thus, the redemption of the Nasi of the last generation of exile and the first generation of redemption prepares for and hastens the coming of the ultimate Messianic redemption. Indeed, it is many years since the Previous Rebbe declared, “Immediately to Teshuvah; immediately to redemption.” We have surely completed the task of “polishing the buttons” and are ready to “stand prepared to greet Mashiach.” This is connected to Parshas Chukas which relates how the Jews were prepared to enter Eretz Yisrael and indeed, as explained above, anxious for the full and ultimate conquest of the land.11

This will be intensified by the Jews’ commitment to maintaining possession of Eretz Yisrael, declaring that this is a land which G‑d has given to us. Indeed, the gentiles emphasize this themselves referring to the land as Israel, identifying the land with the true nature of a Jew, the dimension which “strove with man and god and was victorious.”

In light of the above, efforts should be made to spread the celebration of Yud-Beis-Yud-GimmelTammuz in every place throughout the world. These efforts will augment the campaign to establish public sessions of Torah study12 mentioned previously. May the resolutions for activities in connection with Yud-Beis Tammuz hasten the coming of the Messianic redemption with which it is related.13

* * *

3. It is customary to also mention a concept from the chapter of Pirkei Avos learned this Shabbos (Ch. 5). This chapter includes several listings in groupings of ten, groupings of seven, and groupings of four. There are many other numbers that have a unique Torah significance. For example, the Torah describes the Jews as being “11 days from Choreb.” There are 12 tribes and 13 Attributes of Mercy. Similarly, there are many numbers from 1 to 600,000 which have significance. Nevertheless, as explained on another occasion (See Biurim to Pirkei Avos, p. 121), the three numbers repeated in this chapter share a common quality.

On the surface, the question might be raised: Of what purpose is the mention of the number in these teachings? It can, however, be explained that the mention of the number insures that all the particulars mentioned in the teaching will be remembered.

This teaches us an important concept. Not only is a general principle important, every particular, even those which appear minute are of significance. To allow for all the particulars to be recalled, the Mishnah mentions a number at the outset.

There is a connection to the latter concept to the teaching studied as an introduction to each chapter in Pirkei Avos:

All Israel have a portion in the World to Come as it is written: “And your nation are all righteous...”

In regard to the righteous, the Talmud teaches, “The righteous hold their money dearer than their bodies” and are precise even concerning matters worth less than a penny, i.e., they endeavor to use each particular element of existence, even if it is of seemingly minimal worth, for a holy purpose. This is reflected in a halachic concept which explains that, at times, an article which is not large enough to be considered significant is given halachic importance because it is used for a mitzvah.

There is a reflection of this concept in each of our lives. We must try to relate the mission of transforming the world into a dwelling for G‑d to every aspect of our existence. If a person has a chance to perform a task associated with a mitzvah, be it great or small, he should be happy to fulfill it. We are speaking about carrying out G‑d’s will which transcends all definitions of great or small, high or low. If anything, since “G‑d desire that He have a dwelling in the lower worlds,” involvement in services that are low, including also those low in importance, are necessary to fulfill that desire.

Our Sages declared: “This world is like a marriage feast. One should grab and eat, grab and drink;” i.e., this is a world in which G‑d’s marriage to the Jews is being celebrated. There is no time to sit and take stock. Rather, one should grab every opportunity to perform a mitzvah available.

Here, we see a connection to Parshas Chukas which reflects a commitment above reason and understanding. Though rationally, one might have reasons to think that there are other things which are more important, one must act above his intellect and devote himself to G‑d’s service, involving himself in activities, which his intellect might judge as too petty. Indeed, the feeling that one needs to judge the relative importance of different services stems from one’s yetzer horawhich dresses up in a silk kapote and tries to sway a person away from doing what he has to.

A person should tell his yetzer hora: Take off your silk kapote! I know where you come from. You come from Sodom. For in Sodom, they were known to steal less than a penny’s worth.

We see a reflection of this concept in Jewish law as well. When a person who is thirsty drinks water, even if he drinks less than a penny’s worth, he recites the blessing, shehakol niheyoh bid’voro, proclaiming how the entire world was brought into existence through G‑d’s speech.

The above should not be taken as a charge to become involved merely with things of no consequence. The intent is that one should be involved in whatever service Divine Providence presents one. If it turns out to be very important, to quote next week’s chapter of Pirkei Avos, a matter which is worth “a million golden dinars, precious stones, and pearls,”14 one should definitely remain involved. Nevertheless, one should show a similar commitment even the service is “less than a penny’s worth.”

A commitment to service of this nature should not lead to pride or inflated self-esteem. On the contrary, these emotions are the very opposite of the establishment of a dwelling for G‑d in this world. In regard to a proud person, G‑d states, “He and I cannot dwell in the world.” ToChassidim, however, this point need not be stressed, because it is self-understood.

May we each fulfill the mission which G‑d grants us in the midst of affluence and may this lead to ultimate Messianic redemption. May it be in the immediate future.

Shabbos Korach | Rosh Chodesh Tamuz 29 Sivan – 6 Tamuz5777

Fri- June 23th Erev Shabbos 
Shacharis 7 am 
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 8:53 pm

Sat June 24th Shabbos /ROSH CHODESH TAMUZ
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:11 am
Mincha  8:53 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 4
Maariv/Havdalah 10:03 pm

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9 am /ROSH CHODESH TAMUZ/
Mon –Fri Shacharis  7 am
Sun-Thu Mincha/Maariv 8:30 pm

GALA GIMEL TAMUZ KIDDUSH 
Kiddush this week is sponsored by Rabbi SB Levitin and Chabad of Seattle in honor and in memory of the 23rd yahrzeit of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbi OBM.  Seuda Slishit

SHABBOS FARBRENGEN FOR WOMEN –June 24th at 5 PM
T
he women of the community are invited to Ladies' Farbrengen 5 pm Shabbos afternoon Parshas Korach, at home of Tziviah Goldberg 4038 NE 58th St, guest speaker Chana Ginsburg of Crown Heights: teacher of Chassidus, coach, and personal growth counselor.
www.Kabbalahoflife.com  .

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Yechezkel and Ora Rappoport on the occasion of the wedding of Shimona Leah and  Sadya Davidoff.  May they merit to build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel

Mazel Tov to Sarah Cohen and Chaim Siev on their engagement. Celebrate them with a L'Chaim Seudah Shlishit this Shabbat at Rabbi Avi and Rachel Rosenfeld’s home; 5240 38th Ave. NE. From 5pm to 7pm.  May they merit to build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel

Mazel Tov to Yocheved, Avi and Chaya Leeker on the birth of their son and little brother!

GIMEL TAMUZ FARBRENGEN FOR WOMEN –TUE JUNE 27th at 7:30 PM
T
he women of the community are invited to Ladies' Farbrengen  in honor of Gimel Tamuz, the23rd yahrzeit of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbi OBM.   At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, 
chanielevitin@gmail.com

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.

SHABBOS AFTERNOON PIRKEI AVOS WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8 PM
An amazing opportunity to learn Pirkei Avos with commentaries and insights.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

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

PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILDREN
The shul board would like to remind parents that they have sole responsibility for their children at CSTL

CHAIRS AND TABLES AT SHUL are for Shul Use Only.  
PLEASE do not remove them from the building.  PLEASE return any that are out of the building.    Thank you for your help.

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.

Camp Gan Israel Seattle Goes to Six Weeks! Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th 
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2017, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Camp Gan Israel Seattle: Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th. Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime! Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at 
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/


COMMUNITY NEWS

Hot Wings and Cool Music Sun July 9th 5pm-9pm. 
Eating together and playing music before the three weeks, bring your singing voices and an instrument! Wings, Salads, Vegetarian Option, Lemonade, BYOB.          Register here:
https://mercazseattle.shulcloud.com/event/hot-wings-and-cool-music.html

Full Day SEED Camp June 26 - Aug. 11
For boys entering 3rd grade & up, Aug. 14-18, Half Day. At the Kollel. Register at:
www.seattlekollel.com/camp-seedJewish 

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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


 SICHO FOR KORACH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507774/jehttp://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2518605/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Korach-23rd-Day-of-Sivan-5744-1984.htm  © SichosInEnglish.org

The Shabbos on which a month is blessed (Shabbos Mevorchim) is always situated in the preceding month. Accordingly, the Shabbos which blesses the fourth month (Tammuz) is in the third month (Sivan). That the fourth month is blessed by [a Shabbos in] the third month indicates a connection between the two months.

But is there necessarily a connection? Shabbos Mevorchim, because it blesses the coming month, must be before Rosh Chodesh of the coming month — i.e., it must be in the preceding month. In the order of the months, the third month naturally precedes the fourth. Hence the Shabbos which blesses the fourth month must be in the third month. Why, then, must we conclude that there is a connection between them?

However, the Rogatchover writes that “Everything, although seemingly having to be, was all directed and commanded by G‑d.” Thus, when two things in Torah are joined, there is a connection between them although they seemingly had to be joined. For Torah is master of the universe, and Torah cannot be limited in any way. Although we cannot grasp how it can exist in any other way, we believe with simple faith that it is so. Since these two things are joined — although they didn’t have to be — there is a connection between them.

In our case, although it seems the blessing for the fourth month must stem from the third month, it did not necessarily have to be from Torah’s perspective. The fact that it is indicates a connection between the two months.

To understand the lesson for service to G‑d we can derive from this, let us first analyze the meaning of the third month. That Sivan is the third month is not an incidental aspect, but a primary element. The Talmud (Shabbos 88a) states concerning Mattan Torah: “The threefold Torah (Chumash, Prophets, Writings) [was given] to the threefold people (Priests, Levites, Israelites) through the third born (Moshe — born after Aharon and Miriam) on the third day (of preparation) in the third month.” R. Nissim Gaon enumerates several other factors present at Mattan Torah connected with the number three.

We could perhaps posit that the element of “three” which is present in all these factors is but an incidental aspect, not to be compared with the essential quality of each factor. For example, the fact that Torah is “threefold” — Chumash, Prophets and Writings — does not seem to be the primary quality of Torah, which is that Torah is G‑d’s “nursling” and “delight.” How can the fact that it is “threefold” compare to such qualities which totally transcend the realm of numbers? Similarly, that the Jewish people are comprised of Priests, Levites and Israelites seems incidental to the essential qualities of Jews which is that their souls are “part of G‑d Above,” that they are “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” and that they are G‑d’s only son (“My son, My firstborn, Israel”).

Nevertheless, since the Talmud attaches so much importance to the number “three’ in connection to the giving of the Torah, we must conclude it is a vital concept.

“Three” represents peace: When two parties are in a controversy, the third party makes peace between them, uniting them into one entity. This is the idea of the “threefold” Torah, for “the Torah was given to make peace in the world.” Thus, although there are levels in the Torah which transcend the world (“plaything”, “delight”), the ultimate purpose of Torah is to work its effect in this corporeal world — “to make peace in the world.” And through the Torah descending into the world, it is elevated to a level higher than before, when it was G‑d’s “delight” — for it is specifically through its descent that the Divine will of making this world a dwelling place for G‑d is fulfilled.

Similarly, when a Jew engages in Torah for the purpose of making “peace in the world” — he does not closet himself with the Torah apart from the world — he thereby fulfills the Divine will of making the world a fit abode for G‑dliness.

Let us draw a parable. A person’s possession of an object entails two aspects: his ownership, and his use of it. Normally his ownership is the principal element, and the use is but an external aspect which expresses his ownership. If, for some reason, a person is prevented from using the object, his ownership still remains.

If a person owns a field, for example, his use of it is limited: When sowing, he cannot reap; when reaping, he cannot sow the field. But this does not detract an iota from his ownership, for use is but an external aspect compared to the actual ownership.

The above applies to one’s ownership vis-à-vis the potential uses in the object. In regards to the actual result of that use, however, one’s ownership and therefore potential use in the future cannot effect the actual result. When one needs to reap, for example, his ownership of the field which permits him to reap in the future, has no effect on whether he can actually reap now.

Torah, too, possesses the two aspects of ownership and use. Every Jew, even a newborn, receives the whole Torah as a heritage, and therefore owns the whole Torah. Use of the Torah occurs by stages: A child first learns to recite the verse, “The Torah which Moshe commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Ya’akov”; when the child turns five years old, he learns Scripture; when ten, Mishneh; and so on, every year increasing in understanding of Torah.

These stages apply only to his use of the Torah. His ownership of it is total as soon as he is born. Seemingly, his ownership is the principal element, and the different stages of use are but external which express his ownership.

However, concerning the need to use the Torah in a certain way, one’s ownership is irrelevant; the actual use is what counts. In our case, since the purpose of Torah is to “make peace in the world,” it is not enough that one has ownership of the Torah and has the potential to use it in all ways; the main thing is to actually carry out the purpose of making peace. Thus, if for this purpose and need Torah had to descend below, and man has to lower himself to engage in worldly matters — it is not really a “descent,” for the main thing is the fulfillment of this purpose.

Thus the idea of “three” is a principal element in Mattan Torah, for the purpose of Torah is to “make peace in the world.” And that is why the number “three” present in all aspects of Mattan Torah (threefold Torah, threefold people, etc.) is not just a common element, but the principal theme which unites all of them — for the purpose of all of them is to make a dwelling place for G‑d in this world (“to make peace in the world” — the idea of “three”).

Shabbos Shelach – Mevarchim Tamuz | 22-29 Sivan 5777

Fri- June 16th Erev Shabbos 
Shacharis 7 am 
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 8:51 pm

Sat June 17th Shabbos 
Tehilim for Mevarchim Tamuz 8 am
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:10 am
Mincha  8:51 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 3
Maariv/Havdalah 10:01 pm

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9  am
Mon –Fri Shacharis  7 am
Sun-Thu Mincha/Maariv 8:30 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush this week is sponsored by Yitzchok Rothman, in honor and in memory of the 5th yahrzeit of Norman Manaster z"l  (Naftali Michael ben Baruch, 18th Sivan).   Seuda Slishit

SHABBOS FARBRENGEN FOR WOMEN – 17th June at 5:30 PM
Goldie Perry
 would like to invite the women of the community to a farbrengen in honor of her Birthday this Shabbat, Parshat Sh'lach at the home of Tziviah Goldberg.

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Yechezkel and Ora Rappoport on the occasion of Shimona Leah’s marriage to  Sadya Davidoff.  May they merit to build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel

Mazel Tov to Michoel and Ilana Levin on the birth of their granddaughter Natanella Rose to Avishag and Chaim Cowan.  May they merit to raise her to a life of Torah, chuppah, 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.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

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

PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILDREN
The shul board would like to remind parents that they have sole responsibility for their children at CSTL

CHAIRS AND TABLES AT SHUL are for Shul Use Only.  
PLEASE do not remove them from the building.  PLEASE return any that are out of the building.    Thank you for your help.

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.

Camp Gan Israel Seattle Goes to Six Weeks! Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th 
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2017, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Camp Gan Israel Seattle: Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th. Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime! Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at 
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/


COMMUNITY NEWS

CHANUKAT HABAYIT BUILDING DEDICATION: Sun June 18 at 10:30 am – noon,
Minyan Ohr Chadash community celebration of newly remodeled space! 
http://www.minyanohrchadash.org/

Hot Wings and Cool Music Sun July 9th 5pm-9pm. 
Eating together and playing music before the three weeks, bring your singing voices and an instrument! Wings, Salads, Vegetarian Option, Lemonade, BYOB.          Register here:
https://mercazseattle.shulcloud.com/event/hot-wings-and-cool-music.html

Full Day SEED Camp June 26 - Aug. 11
For boys entering 3rd grade & up, Aug. 14-18, Half Day. At the Kollel. Register at:
www.seattlekollel.com/camp-seedJewish 

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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


SICHO FOR SHELACH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507774/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Shelach-26th-Day-of-Sivan-5751-1991.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

1. On Shabbos, the entire Torah reading of the week is read, thus fusing each of the separate elements of the Torah reading into a single whole. The Shabbos day includes within it all the days of the previous week, and thus, the Shabbos reading is also all-inclusive in nature. Although each of the different readings contains an individual message, their being read together as a single parshah endows them with a point of general significance. Furthermore, in a larger sense, they share a point of connection, not only to the entire Torah reading, but to the Torah as a whole, for the entire Torah is a single indivisible entity.

In particular, this concept is relevant to Parshas Shelach, where it is obvious how all the different elements of the Torah reading are interrelated. The majority of the Torah reading is concerned with the mission of the spies and the reaction of the Jewish people on their return. Even the subsequent passages, for example, the passage concerning the wine libations and the passage concerning the separation of Challah were mentioned, directly after G‑d told Moshe that the Jews would remain in the desert for forty years, so that the people would be reassured that ultimately, they would enter Eretz Yisrael.

Similarly, the concluding passage1 mentions the mitzvah of tzitzis, a mitzvah of all-encompassing significance which reminds one of the totality of the 613 mitzvos. This further indicates the connection shared between one passage from the Torah and the Torah as a whole.

It is necessary to understand, however, why this concept — how each passage of the Torah is connected to the Torah as a whole — is expressed by Parshas Shelach. What is the connection between this concept and Parshas Shelach? Similarly, it is necessary to understand why the connection between Parshas Shelach and the time of the year when this parshah is read, the conclusion of the month of Sivan.

These concepts can be understand through an analysis of the story of the spies and, more particularly, through contrasting the narrative of the spies sent by Moshe and the narrative of the spies sent by Yehoshua which is mentioned in the Haftorah. Among the differences between these two narratives are: a) There was no direct command for Moshe to send spies. Rather, G‑d left the matter up to Moshe’s discretion as Rashi comments on the word לדעתך in the opening verse of the Torah portion. In contrast, Yehoshua was explicitly commanded to send spies. This is obvious; after the disastrous results of the mission of the spies sent by Moshe, he surely would not have sent spies unless commanded to do so by G‑d. b) In regard to the spies sent by Moshe, the Torah uses the expressions “men” and “explore.” In contrast, in regard to the spies sent by Yehoshua, “spies” and “search out,” expressions which reflect more clandestine activities, are used. c) Moshe sent twelve spies and Yehoshua sent only two. d) In regard to the spies sent by Moshe, the Torah mentions the names of the spies and specifically states that they were the leaders of the people. In contrast, the identity of the spies sent by Yehoshua is not mentioned in the narrative. e) The spies sent by Moshe were sent openly; the entire Jewish people knew of their mission. Furthermore, there was no attempt to hide their mission from the gentiles. On the contrary, rather than dividing Eretz Yisrael among all of them, each one exploring a portion, they traveled as a group, in a manner which their presence could be noticed by anyone.2 In contrast, Yehoshua “secretly sent spies,” hiding the matter from the Jewish people and surely, from the Canaanites. f) The spies sent by Moshe traversed Eretz Yisrael in its entirety. In contrast, the spies sent by Yehoshua were instructed to “see the land and Jericho,” (i.e., at the outset, their mission had a more limited scope). Furthermore, in actuality, they merely went to Rachav’s house, fled to the hills for three days, and then returned to Yehoshua. Thus, they did not explore the land as a whole, and did not even explore Jericho in its totality.

The differences between the nature of the missions of the spies sent by Moshe and those sent by Yehoshua revolve around the differences in the purpose of these missions. To explain: In general, two reasons are offered for the sending spies by the Jews: a) to prepare for conquest of Eretz Yisrael, to discover its roads and fortifications so that it would be easier to plan an attack. b) To investigate the nature of the land, to inform the people of its positive qualities so that they will be eager to settle within it.

Moshe sent the spies primarily for the second purpose. He was confident that the conquest of Eretz Yisrael would be accomplished in a miraculous manner. He did, however, desire that they explore the land in order to tell the people of its positive qualities. In contrast, in the time of Yehoshua, this was no longer necessary — for the spies sent by Moshe had already accomplished this objective. It was, however, necessary to prepare for the conquest of the land, since in Yehoshua’s time, the conquest would require actual war, and for this purpose, he sent spies to Jericho.

To explain this idea: The Jewish people asked Moshe to send spies in order to “search out the land,” i.e., to investigate how the land should be conquered. Moshe, however, did not consider that purpose significant, as he told the people, “G‑d, your L‑rd, proceeds before you. He will fight for you.” Nor was there a need to explore the roads, because the pillar of cloud led the Jewish people during the day, and the pillar of fire led them at night.

Why did he send the spies? “To explore the land.... so that they shall see what kind of land it is... Whether it is good... whether it is rich...” And therefore, he told them to bring back some of the fruit of the land, so the Jewish people would all be able to behold actual proof of the land’s positive qualities.3

In contrast, Yehoshua did not send spies for this purpose, for this intent had already been achieved by the spies sent by Moshe. In this instance, the spies were sent for the purpose of preparing for the conquest of the land. Yehoshua realized that the conquest which he would lead would not be accompanied by the miracles that would have characterized Moshe’s conquest of the land. Therefore, he felt the need for spies to investigate the nature of the defenses of the land he was setting out to conquer.

Based on these general principles, we can explain the other particular differences between the mission of the spies sent by Moshe and those sent by Yehoshua. As mentioned, there was no Divine command to send spies, for from G‑d’s perspective, there was no need for such a mission. The land would be conquered in a miraculous manner and He had already assured the people that it was a good and prosperous land.

The Jewish people, however, felt the need to send spies, and Moshe agreed since, as Rashi states in Parshas Devarim, he hoped that once he agreed wholeheartedly to their request, they would feel that he was not hiding anything from them, and would therefore, withdraw the request.

When this did not happen, Moshe presented the request to G‑d, asking whether spies should be sent to explore the land — i.e., not to search out the easiest way of conquest, but to bring back a report which would encourage the people to desire to conquer it as explained above. G‑d replied that this was left l’datechoh, to Moshe’s own discretion. G‑d did not oppose such a mission, nor did He see a real need for it. Moshe, however, as the shepherd of the Jewish people, saw the need for the people to be encouraged and therefore, consented to send the spies.

For this reason, he sent twelve spies, one for each tribe, and chose a leader of that tribe. His intent was for the spies to explore the entire land of Eretz Yisrael and to see that there was a portion appropriate for each tribe. Therefore, he sent a leader of the tribe, an individual who knew the needs of his tribe, and could tell them upon his return that there was a portion of Eretz Yisrael appropriate for them.

And it was with this intent that the spies traveled together as a group throughout Eretz Yisrael. Since the land had not been divided into tribal portions as of yet, it was impossible to send each of the spies to explore the portion to be given to his tribe. Rather, it was necessary for them all to see the entire land, and to appreciate how the land as a whole was suitable for their tribe.

This also explains why their mission was not secret. Needless to say, it was made known to the Jews, for its entire purpose was to encourage them to desire to enter Eretz Yisrael. Furthermore, it was not hidden from the Canaanites. Since it was not directed at military objectives, the spies had no reason to obscure their identity and mingle among the local people to discover whether they were afraid of the Jews or not. Similarly, they were confident that just as the conquest of Eretz Yisrael would be carried out in a miraculous manner, so too, they would be able to carry out their mission in a miraculous manner without having to be concerned with the danger of apprehension.

Yehoshua’s sending of spies, in contrast, had a clear military objective, to discover the most practical way to conquer Jericho. For this reason, he sent the spies secretly, sending two and not twelve (for thus they could hide easier). Needless to say, the mission was not publicized to the Canaanites, and even to the Jewish people, it was not made known (lest word of it leak outside).

Nor was it necessary to send the leaders of the people. Since the intent was not to convince the people at large of the land’s favorable qualities, there was no purpose in choosing leaders. (Indeed, doing so would make the mission public knowledge.) Rather, it was preferable to send individuals with military knowledge.

This also explains why the spies returned to Yehoshua without making a thorough investigation of Jericho. After Rachav told them that “the fear of you has fallen upon us. All the inhabitants of the land have melted with terror because of you... there is no courage remaining in any man,” they did not need to make any further explorations. They knew that the land could be conquered.

The above explanation also clarifies another problematic point regarding the mission of the spies sent by Moshe. Since the spies were the leaders of the Jewish people and unique individuals selected by Moshe himself. How is it possible that their mission led to such disastrous results?4

Based on the above, however, it can be explained that the spies’ mission did, in fact, accomplish its purpose. They came back and told the people that Eretz Yisrael was a land of milk and honey and brought samples of the fine fruit that it produced. Thus the Jews knew from actual experience the positive qualities possessed by the land, and afterwards — albeit unfortunately, very many years afterwards — this knowledge allowed them to enter Eretz Yisrael with happiness and joy.

Furthermore, even immediately, in a spiritual sense, there was a positive dimension to their journey for the fact that Jews on a high spiritual level traveled through Eretz Yisrael was the first stage of the ultimate conquest of Eretz Yisrael.5 Thus their mission was part of the service of elevating the lower aspects of our material world.6

The mission of the spies sent by Moshe also teaches us another lesson. A spy was sent from each tribe, because each tribe has a unique approach to the service of G‑d. For example, the service of the tribe of Yissachar centered on Torah study and that of Zevulun, on commercial activity the proceeds of which were used for tzedakah. Similarly, each other tribe had a path of service unique for it. In a correspondent manner, Eretz Yisrael is divided into twelve portions, one for each of the tribes, for the refinement of that portion of land is intrinsically related to the service of that particular tribe.7

Accordingly, it would seem more appropriate for each of the leaders to have investigated the portion of Eretz Yisrael8 appropriate for his particular tribe,9 and yet, we find that the opposite was true. All twelve spies traversed the entire land together. This emphasizes how the individual service of every Jew is interconnected with that of our people as a whole, for — as an expression of the mitzvah of ahavas Yisrael — one Jew helps another carry out his service. Furthermore, through the collective efforts of the entire Jewish people (as represented by their leaders), the refinement of the world is carried out in a more complete and more elevated manner.

* * *

2. Based on the above, we can understand the connection between Parshas Shelach and the month of Sivan, the month associated with the giving of the Torah. As mentioned, Parshas Shelach is always read towards the conclusion of the month of Sivan, and furthermore, the spies themselves began their journey on the 29th of Sivan.

The connection between the two revolves around the concept explained above, that the spies’ journey was a phase in the elevation and the refinement of the world. The refinement of the world is accomplished through the power of the Torah. Thus, the conclusion of the month of the giving of the Torah represents the extension of the Torah into the world at large and the refinement of the world that results from this activity.

The Torah is connected with the Jewish people as reflected in the fact that the name Yisrael is an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning, “There are 600,000 letters in the Torah.” Each Jewish soul has its letter in the Torah which serves as the source for its life-energy and vitality.

There are two laws concerning a Torah scroll that have significant parallels in our service of G‑d: a) Each letter in a Torah scroll must be surrounded by parchment and, b) a Torah scroll is incomplete unless it contains every single letter. From this, we can infer that each Jew has a service which is unique and specific to his particular soul, separate from that of other Jews. And, also, that the service of one Jew is incomplete until he joins together with the entire Jewish people. Similarly, there are two levels of refinement to be accomplished by the Jewish people: one that is the responsibility of each particular individual, and one to be accomplished by the people as a whole.

To explain: The concepts of oneness and division are intrinsic to the Torah and its mitzvos. The Torah is one, for it is G‑d’s wisdom and “He and His wisdom are one.” In contrast, there are 613 mitzvos. Since the mitzvos are G‑d’s directives for man’s conduct in the world at large, just as the world at large has 613 dimensions,10 so too, there are 613 different mitzvos.

More particularly, the contrast between oneness and division is reflected in the difference between Pnimiyus HaTorah (Torah’s mystic dimension) and Nigleh (the revealed teachings of Torah law). Nigleh is concerned with the refinement of the world, defining what is kosher and what is not, what is pure and what is impure. Accordingly, like the world, it is characterized by division, including the very basic division into sixty different tractates. In contrast, Pnimiyus HaTorah concerns itself with G‑d, “Know the G‑d of your father.” Hence, just as G‑d is one, this Torah discipline is characterized by oneness.

The above is also reflected within the Jewish people. From the perspective of the soul, all the Jews are united. What divides them? Their bodies, in which their souls are enclothed to carry out the service of refining the world at large. More particularly, the conscious powers of the soul (intellect and emotion) are characterized by division, and it is the essence of the soul (the revelation of which is through the service of bittul) which reflects oneness.

The journey of the spies teaches us that our efforts to refine the world do not relate only to those aspects of the Jews and the Torah which are characterized by division, but also relate to the transcendental levels that reflect G‑d’s fundamental oneness.

In particular, it can be explained that these two approaches to the service of refinement, an approach that focuses on particular divisions and an approach which is characterized by oneness, reflect the difference between the mission of the spies sent by Moshe and those sent by Yehoshua. Moshe sent twelve spies, one for each of the services which characterize the Jewish people, and he charged them with exploring the entire land, i.e., all of its different particulars.11

In contrast, the mission of the spies sent by Yehoshua was characterized by oneness. Therefore, he sent spies only to Jericho, “the padlock of Eretz Yisrael,” i.e., a city which in essence included the entire country and thus relates to the approach of oneness.

Similarly, these spies were sent in response to G‑d’s command, i.e., as an expression of the quality of bittul which brings into revelation the essence of the soul, the quality present in all Jews without distinction. The dimension of oneness associated with this mission is also reflected by each of the terms used by the verse, “two men [to] spy in secret.”

“Two,” in contrast to twelve, reflects the two fundamental thrusts — positive activity and the negation of undesirable influences — which include the totality of our service. “Men,” as opposed to leaders, indicate an emphasis, not on the greatness of the qualities possessed by the individual, but rather on the essential qualities common to all men.

“[To] spy in secret” reveals a modest approach to the service of G‑d characteristic of the quality of bittul. One does not seek personal aggrandizement or publicity.

3. The above concepts receive further emphasis in terms of our Sages’ explanation that the two spies sent by Yehoshua were Caleb and Pinchas. Why Yehoshua sent Caleb is understandable. He was the only one of the spies (other than Yehoshua himself) sent by Moshe who accomplished his mission successfully. Why, however, was Pinchas chosen? As mentioned above, Yehoshua sent these spies to prepare for the conquest of Eretz Yisrael and the Levites (Pinchas’ tribe) were to take no part in this war of conquest.

This question can be resolved within the context of our Sages’ statement that, in the Era of the Redemption, Eretz Yisrael will be divided into thirteen portions, a portion to be set aside for each of the tribes, including the tribe of Levi.

In the present era, the tribe of Levi did not receive a portion in Eretz Yisrael or a portion in the spoils of war, because — as the Rambam writes — the Levites:

Were set aside to serve G‑d, to worship Him, and to instruct others in His straight paths and righteous judgments.... Therefore, they were separated from the ways of the world and do not wage war as the other Jews do, nor do they receive an inheritance.... Rather, they are G‑d’s legion, and He, blessed be He, provides for them.

This applies in the present era, when the material nature of the world prevents a person from being both totally dedicated to G‑d and simultaneously involved with worldly affairs. In the Era of the Redemption, however, when the world will be refined and “the world will be filled with the knowledge of G‑d as the waters fill up the ocean bed,” there will be no need for the Levites to set themselves aside from worldly involvement. And hence, they too will receive a portion of Eretz Yisrael.

It can be explained that the division of Eretz Yisrael into thirteen portions is associated with the transcendent oneness which will permeate the world in the Era of the Redemption for אחד (“one”) is numerically equivalent to thirteen. This will also be reflected by the fact that G‑d Himself will be the One who divides the land in the Era of the Redemption.12

At present, the refinement of the world relates to those levels of G‑dliness which reflect the division within the world at large. In the Era of the Redemption, in contrast, we will merit the revelation of the levels of G‑dliness which transcend the divisions of the world and reflect His oneness.

This universal oneness also relates to the tribe of Levi, for that tribe possesses a general quality relating to the entire Jewish people as the Rambam writes:

Not only the tribe of Levi, but each and every man who is motivated by the generosity of his spirit to stand before G‑d and serve Him... is sanctified as holy of holies. G‑d will be his lot and inheritance forever... as for the Priests and Levites.

As a foretaste, and in preparation for, the conquest of Eretz Yisrael in the Era of the Redemption, and to emphasize the quality of oneness, Yehoshua sent Pinchas as one of his two spies.

* * *

4. The above concepts also share a connection to the concluding passage of Parshas Shelach, the passage which deals with the mitzvah of tzitzis. Tzitzis is a mitzvah of general significance as reflected by our Sages’ statement that it is “equivalent to all the mitzvos” and the verse “and you shall see it and remember all the mitzvos of G‑d.” On the surface, this is problematic; as mentioned above, mitzvos are the medium G‑d has granted us to relate to the particular elements of this world, and therefore, they are characterized by difference. If so, how can there be a mitzvah which is all-inclusive in nature?

The answer is that this in fact is the nature of all the mitzvos. The inner dimension of all the mitzvos is that they are the Torah’s commands and thus, they all convey and communicate G‑d’s Oneness. Of all the mitzvos, this is openly revealed in the mitzvah of tzitzis for the numerical equivalent of the word, together with its physical form, eight strands and five knots, reflect a connection to all 613 mitzvos.

The mitzvah of tzitzis allows this oneness to be reflected in the observance of all the mitzvos, causing even those mitzvos which reflect the division and difference prevalent in the world at large to be characterized by a spirit of oneness. This is alluded to in the expression mentioned in the passage concerning tzitzis, “so that you remember and fulfill all of My mitzvos,” i.e., this mitzvah makes one conscious that all the mitzvos are G‑d’s mitzvos, united with Him. Thus tzitzis shares a connection to the mission of the spies whose journey was characterized by oneness as explained above.

The reading of this portion should inspire us to greater activities in the sphere of ahavas Yisrael, first and foremost, thinking about how to fulfill both the material and spiritual needs of our fellow Jews.13

This should also be expressed by activities which emphasize oneness among Jews in both of the two fundamental categories which characterize the service of the Jewish people, Yissachar — those individuals who devote themselves to Torah study — and Zevulun — those involved in worldly affairs. In regard to Yissachar, the Rambam writes that it is a mitzvah for a Torah sage to “teach all the students,” i.e., to extend his teachings to as many students as possible. Similarly, in regard to Zevulun, it is possible to give a donation to tzedakah on behalf of someone else and there are some rich people — may their number increase — who give donations on behalf of each member of the Jewish people.

Within the context of activities which emphasize the unity of the Jewish people, it is also worthy to mention the campaign to study the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah. This campaign unites many Jews throughout the world in the study of a single text. Similarly, in this vein, it is important to mention the spreading of the teachings of Chassidus outward. These teachings unite the inner dimensions of the Jews with the inner dimensions of the Torah, and thus, with the inner dimensions of G‑d. And it is the spreading of these teachings which will hasten the advent of the era in which “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G‑d as the waters cover up the ocean bed.”

* * *

5. The Haftorah concludes with the verse, “G‑d gave the entire land into our hands and all the inhabitants of the land have melted [in fear] of us.” This verse should serve as a directive for us at present. We should not return to the gentiles one inch of those portions of Eretz Yisrael which G‑d has given us. And this resolve to maintain full possession of Eretz Yisrael will lead us to the era when the size of Eretz Yisrael will be increased and it will encompass the lands of 10 nations. Then it will be divided into thirteen portions, the tribe of Levi also receiving a share as mentioned above. And we will proceed to the Beis HaMikdash and offer the Thanksgiving sacrifice in thanks for our redemption from exile. May this be in the immediate future.

Shabbos Behaaloscha | 15-22 Sivan 5777

Fri- June 9th Erev Shabbos 
Shacharis 7 am 
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 8:47 pm

Sat June 10th Shabbos 
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:10 am
Mincha  8:47 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 2
Maariv/Havdalah 9:59 pm

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9  am
Mon –Fri Shacharis  7 am
Sun-Thu Mincha/Maariv 8:30 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush is sponsored this week by Adam and Ali Reiss, in honor of their son Austen's bar mitzvah!  Austen and his family are visiting us from the Miami area.  Kiddush is co-sponsored by Tova Cox, in honor and in memory of the upcoming yahrzeits of her parents Rivka bat Herschel z"l and Abraham ben Herschel z"l.  Tova also wants to say THANK YOU!! to Baila Goldschmid, Maya Kintzer , Dassi Plotke, and Rosi Marasow for their help and hard work in making CSTL's children's program a success. Seuda Slishit

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Adam and Ali Reiss on the occasion of their son Austen's bar mitzvah!  May he grow up into a life of Torah, chuppah, 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.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

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 . 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

EZRA BESSAROTH LADIES AUXILLIARY SEPHARDI FEST SUN JUNE 11th 9 am – 3 pm
Sephardi Fest will include a classic breakfast, Calle Ancha Cafe, kids' activities, live music, Mandraki Mediterranean grill, Sephardic learning, traditional Sephardic delicacies, vendors and crafts, cooking demonstrations, and special guests.

Crypto-Jews in the American Southwest Tue June 13, 10:30 am
Jews who “converted” to Catholicism in Inquisition Spain and Portugal hid their Jewish faith and went to the Americas. Prof. Annette Fromm of Florida International University will speak on what drove them to leave Judaism, what led them to the Americas, and how they are seeking to return to their ancestral heritage. Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Seattle Campus. 
www.JewishInSeattle.org

Full Day SEED Camp June 26 - Aug. 11
For boys entering 3rd grade & up, Aug. 14-18, Half Day. At the Kollel. Register at:
www.seattlekollel.com/camp-seedJewish 

Senior Safety and Security Awareness Thu June 8, 10:30 am
Jon Richeson, our local Homeland Security Department Protective Security Adviser, will speak about fraud alerts, scams targeting seniors, and best practices around cyber security and active shooter response. At Temple B'nai Torah. 
www.JewishInSeattle.org

SEATTLE KOLLEL SUNDAY TORAH 9 am – 10:15 AM
Learning for adults and for children 5th through 8th grades.

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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


SICHO FOR Behaaloscha
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507773/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Behaaloscha-19th-Day-of-Sivan-5751-1991.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

1. Parshas Behaaloscha contains an aspect that does not exist in regard to all the other parshiyos of the Torah. The two verses beginning “And it came to pass when the ark would set out...” are set aside by upside down nunnim. Our Sages explain that these verses can be considered as a separate book of the Torah. According to this reckoning, there are seven books of the Torah, i.e., the Book of Bamidbar which is divided into three books, and the other four books. Thus, this week’s Torah portion includes portions of three of the Torah’s seven books.

Several difficulties are raised by this matter: a) According to this division, the sixth book of the Torah begins, “And it came to pass that the people complained.” This unfavorable occurrence is hardly an appropriate beginning for one of the books of the Torah.1 b) Similarly, we do not find a name for this sixth book in the works of our Sages. c) There are extensive explanations regarding the significance of the division of the Torah into five books. What is the significance of the seven books? d) What is the reason that this division is made in Parshas Behaaloscha?

A key to the resolution of these difficulties can be found in the opening passage of our Torah portion which describes the Menorah, which is a symbol of Torah for “the Torah is light.” Thus, just as the Menorah had seven branches, the Torah is divided into seven books.

To explain in greater detail: On the verse, “And you shall make Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell within,” the Rabbis commented “within them,” i.e., within each and every Jew. Therefore, every element of the Sanctuary teaches us fundamental lessons regarding our service of G‑d. Surely, this applies in regard to the kindling of the Menorah.

Although there are myriad meanings for every Torah concept, the simple meaning of the concept — and that simple meaning emerges from Rashi’s commentary — produces a lesson which is relevant to each and every Jew, man, woman, and child.

Rashi interprets the word Behaaloscha, the opening phrase of this Torah portion, to mean, “to kindle until the flame rises up on its own accord.” This is relevant within the context of our service of G‑d. The candles refer to our service of Torah and mitzvos, “a mitzvah is a candle and the Torah, light” and similarly to our souls, “the candle of G‑d is the soul of man.” The light of Torah must illuminate every aspect of our lives, even our involvement with mundane affairs, and even our surrounding environment. Through the mitzvos which establish a tzavsa (“bond”) between G‑d and our material world, the world is transformed into a dwelling for G‑d, a shining Menorah which spreads G‑dly light.

This G‑dly light must be kindled “until the flame rises up on its own accord.” Although the Menorah is lit by a Jew (Aharon the Priest), the ultimate purpose is that it shine on its own accord, without the assistance of the person lighting the Menorah. Similarly, in regard to our service of G‑d, although G‑d grants a Jew the potential to carry out the service of “the light of Torah and the candle of mitzvah,” and a Jew also receives influence from Aharon the Priest who lights the candles of the souls of the Jewish people,2 the ultimate purpose is that the candle of his soul shines on its own accord. I.e., a Jew’s soul should be permeated by “the light of Torah and the candle of mitzvah” to the extent that, without any external influence, “the flame rises up on its own accord.”

In particular, each of the terms in the above phrase is significant. The word “flame” refers to the part of the candle which produces light. This reflects the service of a Jew, to light up his surrounding environment, and not merely with a small light, but with a large flame.

This flame must “rise up,” i.e., a person should not stand in one place, but rather must constantly advance further in the service of G‑d.3 In particular, the phrase “rise up” implies a unique nature of advance. Frequently, a person will proceed in his service, expanding its breadth and scope, however, he will remain on the same level. In this instance, we are speaking about a person elevating the nature of his service, rising to a higher plane.

This flame must rise up “on its own accord,” i.e., this tendency for growth and development in the spreading of Divine light must become a person’s own natural tendency. Although, initially, a person is given the potential for this service by G‑d, this service must permeate his own being until it becomes his own natural tendency.

We see this in regard to the study of the Torah (“and Torah is light”). At the outset, a person is taught to study by others. Ultimately, however, the purpose is for a person to acquire the skills necessary to allow him to study the Torah himself, and furthermore, to study in a manner in which the Torah becomes engraved in his memory and thus becomes part and parcel of his own thinking processes.4

(This is reflected in the concept that the Torah concepts that a person develops are considered “as his own,” not only does he receive from the Torah, he adds to and increases the Torah itself.)

In a larger sense, the concept of a Jew developing himself in Torah study until his “flame rises on its own accord” relates to the concept of the giving of the Torah as a whole. At the outset, the Torah was given to the Jews by G‑d (i.e., the candle was lit by others). After the Torah was given, however, “the Torah is not in the heavens,” and Torah decisions must be decided by the Jewish people. G‑d and the Heavenly court come to hear the Torah decisions rendered by the Jewish people.

A similar concept applies in regard to the observance of the mitzvos. The ultimate dimension of this service is when it becomes internalized to the extent that it becomes a person’s natural reaction, to quote our Sages, “When one reaches Modim, one bows as a spontaneous reaction.” mitzvos behiddur, in a beautiful and conscientious manner).}

Similarly, our service in the world at large which is governed by the directives, “All your deeds shall be for the sake of Heaven,” and “Know Him in all your ways,” must also be carried out in a manner in which “the flame rises up on its own accord.” Even when a person eats, sleeps, and is involved with mundane activities, he “places G‑d before him at all times,” and does so in a manner which reflects how this appreciation became part and parcel of his very being.

A similar concept applies in regard to our efforts to influence others. Our intent should be to cause their “flame to arise on its own accord.” Even after the person who influenced them has departed, the influence will remain strong and they will continue to shine with “the light of Torah” and “the candle of mitzvah,” for this is their true being.

In a more particular sense, there are two possible explanations of “the flame rising up on its own accord”: a) At the outset, a Jew’s body does not shine with “the light of Torah and the candle of mitzvah,” nevertheless, through work and effort, the body is trained so that the Torah and its mitzvos become the body’s natural and spontaneous reaction.

In essence, however, this is against the nature of the body. Indeed, the body has to be trained to carry out this service, and without training, would not do so. b) From a deeper perspective, this is the body’s true nature for the true being of every entity in this physical world is essential G‑dliness. From this perspective, the service of the Torah and mitzvos reveals, instead of running contrary to, the body’s true nature.

These two explanations can be considered as two phases in a sequence. At the outset, the body conceals the light of Torah and mitzvos, and therefore, our service must involve training the body’s nature. Ultimately, however, through the refinement of the body, we can reveal the essential G‑dliness present in a Jewish body.

The concept of kindling the lights “until the flame rises up on its own accord” is also relevant in regard to the effects of our service in the world at large. When a Jew performs a mitzvah with a material entity — and the performance of most mitzvos involve material entities — that entity becomes refined and elevated. Furthermore, in certain instances it becomes transformed into a holy article.

In these instances, although the holiness was conveyed upon the article through the Jews’ performance of the mitzvah, that holiness is imparted to the material entity itself, and remains even after the mitzvah has been completed. For this reason, such an object can be used for an oath and indeed, it is because the person taking the oath holds a sacred article in his hand, that the oath derives its power.5

We see this in regard to the sacrifices. Although it is necessary for a human being to consecrate a sacrifice, once the sacrifice is consecrated, it changes the nature of the material entity itself, causing it to become holy. Furthermore, this holiness can add to the person who consecrated it and bring him atonement.6

Although the material nature of the world is not [apparently] associated with holiness, G‑d gives a Jew the potential7 to transform a material entity into a holy object through his service of Torah and mitzvos and for that holiness to become an integral part of that entity itself, for “the flame to rise up on its own accord.”

This involves a fusion of opposites, bringing together the material and the spiritual. And this is accomplished by man’s actions. A parallel can be seen in the kindling of the lights in the Sanctuary. Here too, it is man’s activity which is necessary to bring the fire to the wicks. Once the wicks have been kindled, “the flame rises up on its own accord.”

The above applies, not only in regard to those matters which are obviously associated with a mitzvah, but also in regard to service in the world at large, in carrying out “all one’s deeds for the sake of Heaven” and “Knowing Him in all your ways.” Furthermore, it can — and must — be carried out, not only by adults, but also by children. This is accomplished by a child placing a chumashsiddur, and tzedakah pushka in a fixed place in his room. In this way, even when he does not use them, their very presence will remind him of their importance.

The ultimate intent is that this service of elevating the world at large involve even the lowest elements of existence, causing them to shine “on their own accord” with G‑dly light. Indeed, it is through the service with the lowest elements of existence that the transformation of the world into a dwelling for G‑d is completed. In Chassidus, this concept is explained through an analogy. When one wants to lift up an object, one places the lever below the bottom of the object and when it is lifted up, the higher portions of the object will also be raised.

In this context, we can understand a deeper dimension of the kindling of the Menorah by Aharon, the Priest. Aharon’s service involved “loving the creations and drawing them close to the Torah,” i.e., he involved himself with even those people who have no redeeming quality other than being G‑d’s creations. This represents an involvement with the lowest level of the Jewish people. Similarly, the light from the Menorah spread throughout the world, allowing even its lowest aspects to be elevated.

On the basis of the above concepts, we can resolve the questions concerning the seven books of the Torah and the fact that the sixth book begins with the passage describing the Jews’ complaints: The two numbers seven and five are of general significance. Thus, the Menorah, the symbol of the Jewish people as a whole, contain seven branches, one for each of the seven emotional qualities. Similarly, the number five is associated with the five books of the Torah which represent five categories within the Jewish people.

(The existence of these five categories is alluded to in this week’s chapter of Pirkei Avos which describes Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai as having five students. Surely, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai who was the Nasi of the Sanhedrin and who renewed the study of Torah for the Jewish people in Yavneh, possessed more than five students. However, the intent is that these five represented general categories which included all the Jewish people.8 )

Although both five and seven are of general significance, there is a difference between them. Five refers to the service with oneself and the service in the realm of holiness, while seven refers to service with others and service within the world at large. For this reason, there are five books of the Torah and Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai is described as having five students, for when describing the Jews as they study the Torah, it is necessary to speak of only five categories. Nevertheless, when considering the ultimate purpose of our service, that even the lowest elements of our existence become permeated with G‑dly light — and that is the purpose of the Torah as our Sages said, “The Torah was given solely to bring about peace in the world” — it is necessary to speak within the context of seven books.

And the sixth book — i.e., the book which follows the five levels of holiness — begins with a description of the lowest level of the Jews’ behavior, to show that through the process of teshuvah, even this level of conduct can be elevated to the point that “the flame rises up on its own accord.”9

The potential to carry out this service is derived from the fifth book and the message its two verses communicate. The first verse “And it came to pass when the ark set out, Moshe would say, ‘Arise O L‑rd and Your enemies will be dispersed,...’ ” reflects the service of refining the world at large. The second verse, “And when it came to rest, he would say, ‘Return O L‑rd, [to] the myriads and thousands of Israel,’ ” alludes to the indwelling of the Divine Presence among the Jewish people.

2. A similar concept can be derived from Parshas Shelach which we begin reading during the Minchah service. Parshas Shelach describes Moshe’s sending of spies to Eretz Yisrael. Among the questions raised by that narrative are: a) The Torah refrains from speaking negatively about all things, even a non-kosher animal. If so, why does it relate a narrative which is unfavorable in nature? b) The Haftoros chosen for the Parshiyos share the theme of the parshah. If so, why was the passage which describes the mission of the spies sent by Yehoshua chosen as the Haftorah for this Parshah? Although both passages describe stories of spies, the narrative of the Torah reading is negative in nature, while the narrative of the Haftorah is positive.

These questions can be resolved as follows: Yehoshua and Caleb declared: “The land is very, very good,” bringing out a positive dimension to the entire narrative of the spies. This was Moshe’s intent in sending them. And for this reason, Yehoshua sought to emulate Moshe’s conduct and sent spies before setting out to conquer Eretz Yisrael.10

Thus we can see the lasting dimension of the positive nature of Moshe’s activity in sending spies, how “the flame rises up on its own accord.” Even in a subsequent generation, his activity was copied.

* * *

3. Now is a time when we must light up the candles of the Jewish people in this era of exile. The cumulative legacy of all the positive activity of the previous generations is granted us, and now, all that is necessary is to kindle the flame, and make sure that it “rises up on its own accord.” Although our generation is on a lower level than the previous ones, being compared to the heel in relation to the entire body, it is our generation that has the potential to elevate the service of all the previous generations. We will be the last generation of exile, and the first generation of the Redemption, and in this way, bring redemption to all the Jews of the previous generations.

This is particularly relevant after the Previous Rebbe’s example of emulating the conduct of Aharon the Priest, “loving the creations and drawing them close to the Torah.” Through his activities, the wellsprings of Yiddishkeit and Chassidus were spread to those on the furthest peripheries of Jewish involvement.

These activities were specifically directed to hastening the coming of the ultimate redemption as the Previous Rebbe proclaimed, “Im­mediately let us turn to G‑d in teshuvah, and immediately we will be redeemed.” He also stated that all that is left is to “polish the buttons” before Mashiach’s coming. That service has already been completed. And now all we must do is “stand prepared to” greet Mashiach and to proceed “with our youth and our elders, our sons and our daughters” to Eretz Yisrael, to Jerusalem, and to the Beis HaMikdash.

4. This evening, the annual Melaveh Malkah on behalf of Colel Chabad is being held. Accordingly, we can assume that there is a point of connection between the portion of the Torah read this Shabbos and Colel Chabad.

This Torah reading describes the Menorah kindled in the Sanctuary. As mentioned in the Haftorah, that Menorah serves as a symbol for the entire Jewish people, because each Jew is candle which has the potential to illuminate the world with “the light of Torah and the candle of mitzvah.”

The Menorah contained seven branches, and yet it was made of a single block of gold. These are also symbolic factors. There are seven fundamental categories of service among the Jewish people, reflecting the seven emotional qualities (middos) attributed to G‑d. Each category of Jews reflects and reveals a different G‑dly quality. The division into these seven qualities does not, however, create separation among our people. On the contrary, there is a unique oneness which pervades and permeates our people as a whole, for we all share a single essence.

The oneness of the Menorah is also reflected in the fact that the six outer lights were pointed to the central shaft of the Menorah. In the allegory, this implies that the service of these seven different categories will be permeated by a single fundamental commitment to carry out G‑d’s inner will.

In an individual way, these concepts are also reflected in the spiritual service of each person, for each of us possess these seven qualities. They must be illuminated by the light of the essence of the soul, and in this manner, fused into a single and all-inclusive commitment to His service.

These concepts are reflected in Colel Chabad. Chabad is an acronym representing the intellectual qualities of Chochmah, Binah, and Daas which are the source for the seven emotional categories mentioned above. The name Colel which means “general quality,” refers to the unification of these seven qualities and their fusion into a single whole.

In a very real way, this describes the activities of Colel Chabad, for it is an organization which offers assistance to all Jews without distinction: material assistance, providing thou­sands with food, clothing, and other necessities, and spiritual assistance, spreading the awareness of Judaism among our people. These activities are dedicated to establishing unity and oneness among our people. In a very simple sense, when Jews see the care and attention their brethren show to them, their feelings of oneness will be aroused.

This emphasis on unity has been generated by the Rebbeim who all, beginning from the Alter Rebbe, have devoted great energies to activity on behalf of Colel Chabad. To express the concept within the context of the allegory of the Menorah mentioned above, the involvement of the Rebbeim has pointed all the seven lights, i.e., all the different forms of activity, to the central shaft of the Menorah, to a single unified commitment to G‑d’s will.

May all those who support the work of the Colel, both financially and with their efforts, realize that they are also a Colel, i.e., they do not live for themselves and they share a connection with others. And may this expression of unity — particularly as associated with tzedakah for tzedakah brings close the redemption — lead to the ultimate expression of unity which will be experienced in the Era of Redemption. May it be in the immediate future.

5. The following remarks were made by the Lubavitcher Rebbe Shlita during the farbrengen of Shabbos Parshas Behaaloscha. The Rebbe made these statements within the discussion of a subject of greater scope. Because of their relevance, we have published them under an independent heading. Nevertheless, they do not represent a complete treatment of the issues discussed and must be considered within the context of the Rebbe Shlita’s previous statements on these issues.

The day following the present Shabbos is the 20th of Sivan, a day which was established as a day of fasting because of the pogroms which took place in Poland.11

Polin as that country is called in Yiddish can be broken up into two Hebrew words Po lin, meaning “Here, we will spend the night;” i.e., it served as a haven for the Jews in the night of exile.12 This expression contains two implications:

a) that one’s stay will only be temporary. Ultimately, the Jews will leave exile, and in the era of the Redemption, come to their true place in Eretz Yisrael.

b) that during the interim while the Jews are in exile, they will be able to “spend the night” in peace and tranquility.

For many generations, this was realized in Poland. The Polish noblemen raised the Jews to prominent positions, entrusting their finances to them. The Jews, in turn, used this prosperity to bring about an increase in the service of Torah and mitzvos.

(These noblemen would call their Jewish overseers Moishkeh, a derivative of the name Moshe. This reflected a deep spiritual concept, that every Jew possesses a spark of Moshe our teacher in his soul.)

This teaches us lessons in regard to the exile as a whole:

a) that exile is associated with night - darkness and concealment. It is only a temporary state leading to the era of the Redemption.

b) that the Jews should use the prosperity offered by the exile to advance in the service of G‑d.13

Also, there is a particular lesson in regard to Poland. There is a need to provide Rabbis and community leaders who will motivate the Jews living there to turn to G‑d in Teshuvah.

Shabbos Naso 8-15 Sivan 5777

Fri- June 2nd Erev Shabbos
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 8:42 pm 

Sat June 3rd – Shabbos
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:10 am
Mincha 8:42 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 1
Maariv/Havdalah 9:53 pm 

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9 am
Mon –Fri Shacharis 7 am
Sun-Thu Mincha/Maariv 8:30 pm 

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LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim 

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
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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 . 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 

Women's Summer Musical Performance Sun June 4, 5:00 pm For Women Only at Stroum Jewish Community Center. Netzah Hernandez, Director Netzah Hernandez with special guests, Ruth Fast with her Israeli Dance Group and Sigrid Benezra with her harp. Cost: $20 Adults/$10 Children. RSVP: theSeattleKollel.com or purchase tickets at www.seattlekollel.com/women-s-summer-musical-performance . 

Full Day SEED Camp June 26 - Aug. 11 For boys entering 3rd grade & up, Aug. 14-18, Half Day. At the Kollel. Register at: www.seattlekollel.com/camp-seedJewish 

Community Night at the ballpark Tue June 6th 7:10 pm Seattle Mariners take on the Minnesota Twins! Great seats for just $20. www.JewishInSeattle.org 

EZRA BESSAROTH LADIES AUXILLIARY SEPHARDI FEST SUN JUNE 11th Sephardic Foods, childrens activities, craft booths. 

SEATTLE KOLLEL SUNDAY TORAH 9 am – 10:15 AM Learning for adults and for children 5th through 8th grades. 

Camp and Israel Scholarship Applications Available Apply for Jewish overnight camp scholarships, first-time camper grants, teen Israel scholarships. www.JewishInSeattle.org 

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation. 5240 38th Ave. NE. Snacks served 

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


SICHO FOR NASO
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2508101/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Naso-9th-Day-of-Sivan-5747-1987.htm © SichosInEnglish.org 

1. One of the main themes of Shabbos is that it effects completion and elevation in the preceding six days. This is what the Torah means when it tells us ‘Vayechulu —the heavens and the earth...were completed.’ It also infers the aspect of pleasurable satisfaction that comes along with this attainment. 

At the same time, in order to eat on Shabbos one must prepare before Shabbos. In this aspect, too, the eating on Shabbos constitutes a completion and elevation of the preparatory stages which took place during the preceding week. 

Thus, the Shabbos which follows Shavuos, has the lofty quality of serving as the day which carries the aspect of ‘The Season of the Giving of our Torah’ to its loftiest completion. The Shabbos after Matan Torah brings an incalculable uplifting, to the degree of delight. 

Although this symbiosis takes place even on the Shabbos which follows other holidays, the Gemara states that everyone agrees that the Torah was given on Shabbos, and therefore there is a special connection in this respect between Matan Torah and Shabbos. 

On the subject of ‘festivals of joy,’ Shavuos has a unique aspect of rejoicing, as manifest in the rule that one may not fast on Shavuos. The Alter Rebbe rules in Shulchan Aruch: 

It is forbidden to fast a ‘dream fast’ on the holiday of Shavuos, because it is the day on which the Torah was given and we must eat and rejoice on it to show how pleasant and acceptable this day is for the Jewish people. It differs from the other holidays and Shabbos when ‘dream fasts’ are permitted. (Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Laws of Pesach 494:18) 

This means that with the giving of the Torah more holiness had to be brought into the physical world through the very simple acts of eating and drinking which may not be suspended or substituted by fasting, and it is in effect even now in the time of the galus. This is in common with the theme of Shabbos which must be enjoyed through festive meals. 

Now, on this Shabbos which follows, completes and uplifts the preceding days of Shavuos there is, and should be, an increase in all of these matters. Since G-d only makes demands according to our ability, when a special day comes and there are greater expectations, we can be sure that G-d gives us the added powers to carry out His request and mission. 

We must therefore utilize all our powers to their fullest potential, so as not to miss any opportunity. 

In mitzvos there are practices which one is obligated to seek out to do —and those which only if the opportunity presents itself must one comply with the mitzvah. An example of this would be building a parapet on the roof of a house which must be done, only if you build a house, or, placing a mezuzah on the doorpost —only when you live in a proper house with proper doors (not a tent). 

Here, however, we speak of practices connected to Matan Torah and certainly they are vitally and centrally important in every person’s Divine service. So you must seek out every opportunity to show how good and pleasant the Torah is. 

This would be similar to the mitzvah of Tzitzis which we spoke about on Shavuos, concerning which the Rambam rules that although the law is that Tzitzis must be put on four cornered garments only when, and if, you have such garments, nevertheless: 

Every pious person...should strive to wrap himself in a garment that needs fringes in order to fulfill this mitzvah. (Laws of Tzitzis 3:11) 

Since the fringed garment encompasses the person it is analogous to the general body of Torah and mitzvos which collectively encompass the pious person. So too, just as one must strive to fulfill the mitzvah of Tzitzis, we must also strive to carry out all the aspects of the Season of the Giving of our Torah and draw them into the entire year. 

On this Shabbos after Shavuos we must make every effort to reach these lofty levels and bring out the intense pleasure of Shabbos and Matan Torah. And also to reveal G-d’s pleasure: ‘I commanded and My will was done.’ Bring it into action! 

Then we will merit the true action —through our righteous Mashiach and through the Holy One, Blessed be He — G-d will take us out of the galus ‘one by one.’ 

Then G-d’s unity will be revealed and all the world will strive to know G-d. As it says: 

For the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the sea. (Yeshayahu 11:9) 

Speedily and truly with no delays, truly, now

2. Why is it that on each holiday we explain and expound the special qualities which raise that holiday above all the others, while during the previous holiday and during the following holiday we exalt them above all the others, including the one that we just established to be the greatest? 

Similarly, when the same festival comes around each year we pronounce the special loftier qualities of the holiday when it occurs in just such a setting, as compared to other years. 

This dilemma may be dispelled if we keep in mind the Talmudic adage: ‘Of what is your father most observant?’ (Shabbos 118b) Generally speaking, each individual has a particular mitzvah (or mitzvos) which serves as his ‘gateway’ to the other mitzvos. In a like manner the particular setting of the day and date of a festival comprise the ‘gateway’ for all the rest of Torah and mitzvos. At that moment it is the loftiest of all. 

Does this sound too esoteric, too spiritual? Well, in Halachah we know the rule that sometimes in the city of Rav the Halachah was ruled according to the opinion of Rav, while in the city of Shmuel the Halachah followed Shmuel’s opinion, notwithstanding any seeming contradictions. 

We may draw an analogy from space (place) to time. At certain times certain conditions prevail which put one thing or another in a position of ascension. 

With this in mind let us approach the special quality of this Shabbos which follows Shavuos this year, in relation to its date and Torah portion. 

This year Shavuos occurred on Wednesday which put it in the second half of the week, which is called ‘before the Shabbos.’ This indicates a stronger connection between Shavuos and Shabbos than if the holiday occurred during the first half of the week which is called ‘after the Shabbos.’ 

In the diaspora, where the second day of Shavuos occurred on Thursday, there is a second connection to Shabbos because three days are seen as one (Thurs., Fri., Shabbos). This connection enhances the perfection and uplifting that Shabbos effects in Shavuos. 

What about the portion of Naso? 
The portion of Naso is always read either on the Shabbos before Shavuos or on the Shabbos following Shavuos — as is the case this year. 

What is the special relationship between Shavuos and Naso and what unique significance may be gleaned when Naso follows Shavuos? 

Naso signifies ‘raising up,’ Naso es rosh—the head must also be raised up (consequently the whole body will rise). 

When we read Naso on the Shabbos following Shavuos then the completion and perfection effected by Shabbos on Shavuos will be even more ‘uplifting.’ 

Naso’s connection to Shavuos, the Season of the Giving of Our Torah, may be understood from the Midrash which teaches that before Matan Torah there was a decree which forbade that which is above from descending and that which is below from ascending. Matan Torah changed all that, the lofty ones (elyonim) came down on the earth and the corporeal existence may now raise itself to become an object of holiness — sanctified. 

Before Matan Torah when one performed a mitzvah with some physical object the object did not become sanctified. After Matan Torah, the observance of mitzvos with physical objects — Tefillin, Mezuzah etc., — makes the objects holy. 

So, when Naso is read after Shavuos it builds on the accomplishments of Shavuos and it attains even greater heights — ultimate loftiness and perfection. 

There are other aspects of the portion of Naso which may be associated with Shavuos. 

In a previous farbrengen we compared the common factors of the Season of the Giving of Our Torah and the practice of the nezirus. Since the vows of the Nazerite bring a certain holiness to the individual, as expressed in the Torah, ‘he is holy to the L-rd,’ and as explained in Chassidus, it has a similarity to Matan Torah which initiated the principle that physical matters may be sanctified. 

In the laws of vows we learn that one may make a promise (neder) to do some good act —however, we are not able to make a vow (sh’vuah) concerning a mitzvah. For a vow is a restriction and one cannot place any restrictions on mitzvos. The Nazerite vows, however, are considered to be a neder and, consequently, there may also be a comparison to Shabbos which adds perfection and loftiness even to the Season of the Giving of Our Torah. 

Another subject covered in this week’s Torah portion is the collective sacrifices brought by the tribal princes and the inauguration of the altar which was effected through their offerings. These sacrifices signified an important aspect of communal unity and thereby have a strong connection to Matan Torah which was preceded by the united encampment of the Jewish people —‘as one man with one heart.’ 

As in all cases of unity, here, too, we have unity out of diversity, for at Matan Torah Moshe stood alone, Aharon alone, the Kohanim alone etc., and yet they all combined as one man.... Similarly, in the case of the tribal princes, each Nasibrought his offering on a different day, yet the Torah tells us that it was considered as if they all brought their sacrifices on the first and last days, together. 

Interestingly, the reacceptance of Torah that took place at the time of the Purimmiracle also came as a result of the unity of the one people, ‘young and old, children and women’ on one day. Here again we see an aspect of ascent after Matan Torah just as Shabbos perfects the Season of the Giving of Our Torah. 

Finally, at the close of today’s portion the Torah tells how Moshe would enter the Tabernacle to speak with the Holy One, Blessed be He, the classic form of Torah study between the Holy One, Blessed be He, and Moshe. Here again is a connection to the Season of the Giving of Our Torah. Just as the Torah was originally given after the unity of the Jewish people was established, so too was the daily transmission of Torah initiated following the communal sacrifices. This again reiterates the idea of Torah and unity. 

After the conclusion of the Torah reading, in the afternoon we study Pirkei Avosand here again we read in the first chapter ‘Moshe received the Torah at Sinai and transmitted it...’ to all the Jews in all the generations. Having received the Torah this week, on Shabbos we speak of carrying out, and studying the Torah and rising steadily higher. 

In practice: 
The responsibility rests on everyone to increase qualitatively and quantitatively the study of Torah to the point of increasing Torah by finding innovation and revealing new meaning. This is the individual’s personal share in Torah as we say, ‘give us our share in Torah.’ 

What about those who are unlearned and ignorant? How can they innovate in Torah. The answer is that in Torah the action is as important as the study, in fact, the study is greater only because it leads to action, and it is expressed through the action. 

Sometimes the sincere and devout practices of a simple person, when they are pursued with diligence and wholeheartedness, can serve as an example and lesson to those who are wiser and more learned. When we see small children pray fervently and piously, surely their prayers can have a tremendous, positive impact on much older and wiser adults, as we often see. The simple Jew is thus a Torah innovator! And he truly has his own share in Torah! 

Utilize the quality and perfection of the Shabbos day after Shavuos to increase the Divine service of the Season of the Giving of Our Torah, in study and revelation, to your highest ability. Take your power from Moshe who transmitted Torah to all, and as a trusted shepherd, he gave everyone according to his ability. This was the way of Moshe, of Dovid HaMelech and of the Baal Shem Tov, all associated to Shavuos and all true shepherds of Israel. 

And may G-d grant us the fulfillment of the prophecy: ‘Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust’ (Yeshayahu 26:19)— Moshe and Aharon among them. Together with Dovid king Mashiach and the Baal Shem Tov with all the Tzaddikim and Nesi’im of Israel up to and including the Previous Rebbe the Nasi of our generation — together with all the Jewish people —in the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach. When the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it were, will also return from exile, and then a new Torah will emerge...very soon and truly, now. 

3. In the sacrifices brought by the tribal princes we find that Rashi explains the reasons for certain items: 

One silver dish— The numerical value of its letters (of the letters of these two words) is 930, corresponding to the years of Adam Harishon.... The weight thereof was 130 Shekels — in allusion to the fact that when he (Adam) first raised children to maintain the world in existence he was 130 years old.... (Rashi, Bamidbar 7:19) 

Several question have been raised on this Rashi: 

A —What relationship does the age of Adam bear to the sacrifices of the tribal princes? 

B —What is unclear in the simple translation of this verse that motivates Rashi to seek meanings and allusions for the details in the verse? 

The plain meaning of these verses accounts for the listing of details so as to emphasize the great value and importance of the princely sacrifices. Because the offerings were precious they were naturally done with much care and attention. 

It is also self-evident that we cannot question the reason for any specific amount mentioned in the plain meaning of the verse. For since there had to be some number and measure given, you cannot question why one particular number was chosen. 

In Moreh Nevuchim the Rambam states this principle: 

..Why were seven rams lambs sacrificed and not eight: the same question might have been asked if there were eight, ten or twenty lambs. So long as some definite number of lambs were sacrificed. It is almost similar to the nature of a thing which can receive different forms, but actually receives one of them. We must not ask why it has this form and not another which is likewise possible, because one should have had to ask the same question if instead of its actual form the thing had any of the other possible forms. Note this and understand it. (Moreh Nevuchim 3:26) 

For this reason Rashi need not give any explanation for the sizes and measurements of the Tabernacle and its vessels. And so here we ask what forces Rashi to seek reasons and allusions for these particular details of the tribal offerings. 

Another question has been raised: Why does Rashi fail to explain why the tribe of Levi did not participate in bringing sacrifices for the inauguration of the altar? 

Assuredly the tribe of Levi was a special tribe, as the Torah itself directs us not to count them among the rest of the people, and Rashi explains: ‘The legion of the King is worthy to be numbered by itself.’ (Rashi, Bamidbar 1:49) If so, how can it be that all 12 tribes participated in the dedication of the altar and Aharon, the prince of Levi, was left out of the inauguration process. 

Rashi does not ignore this question completely, because in the beginning of Behaaloscha Rashi says: 

When Aharon saw the dedication offerings of the princes he then became uneasy in mind because neither he nor his tribe was with them in the dedication.... (Ibid. 8:2) 

So: 
1) Why does Rashi wait for the next portion, Behaaloscha, to tell us of Aharon’s emotions —he should mention it where it belongs, in the portion of Naso, 

and; 

2) Why does Rashi hush it up. He should clamor for some explanation, why indeed was Aharon excluded? 

We cannot say that Aharon was excluded because of his own fear that G-d was in some way displeased with him — because this misapprehension had been cleared up by Moshe on the first day of Nissan when he addressed the people and proclaimed that in fact the Shechinah would come to rest by virtue of Aharon’s service in the Tabernacle. Thus, we have no reason to think that Aharon should be excluded. 

The answer to this dilemma may be found in the simplicity of the verses themselves. 

The fact that the tribe of Levi was the ‘legion of the King’ does not cause us to question that they should have participated in the dedication offerings —quite to the contrary, it lends proof to the principle that they should not have joined the others. 

The theme of the dedication offerings was that the people brought gifts to the Tabernacle. Would it be appropriate that the King’s own legion give itself a gift — does the King bestow a gift on Himself? 

The gifts were brought for the use of the Mishkan, in fact, they were set aside for the use of the Levi’im and Kohanim. It would therefore be absurd for the Levi’im to bring gifts to themselves. For this reason, too, the tribe of Levi did not participate in the donations made for the Tabernacle or in the collection of the half-Shekels, which was used for the foundations of the Mishkan and for the communal sacrifices. 

An analogy may be drawn from a wedding where the groom and bride do not get involved in the preparations for the wedding. Everyone is busy preparing and doing whatever is necessary for the wedding, yet the celebrants themselves only make the marriage, give the ring, say the blessings, drink the wine, et. al. 

This was the case at my own wedding: During the wedding feast the Previous Rebbe arose from his place to circulate among the guests and distribute cups of LeChaim. When I saw this I felt that I could not remain seated while he was standing and giving out the drinks. So I rose from my seat with the intention of joining him and extending a hand to help, to hold the bottle or give out the cups, etc. The Previous Rebbe saw me and motioned to me to remain in my place. Stubbornly I tried again to rise and join him (a Jew is always stubborn) and he again motioned very clearly that I should not leave my seat. I was consequently forced to remain seated —on ‘pins and needles’ —until the Previous Rebbe returned and sat down again in his seat to resume the festive wedding meal. 

(The Rebbe smiled!) Today’s five-year-old Chumash student was certainly not at my wedding, nevertheless he saw a similar conduct at his upsherinish (first haircut) when he was three years old. 

His father, uncles and friends surrounded him, the Rav may also have been there. They all stood around him but he sat at his place. Why? Simple, he was the celebrant. 

So Rashi does not have to tell us why the tribe of Levi was not included — it is self-evident that the King’s legion are the celebrants and have no obligation to bring gifts to the dedication of the altar. 

Now, however, Aharon’s uneasy mind is surprising. After all, his tribe was excluded because of their superior standing. Why was he upset? The answer may be found when we read the final verse in Naso: 

When Moshe came into the Communion Tent to speak with [G-d] he would hear the voice.... (Bamidbar 7:89) 

Moshe’s entry into the Communion Tent evoked Aharon’s dismay. This is why Rashi does not mention it until the portion of Behaaloscha, and why Rashi does not make a big deal of the exclusion of Levi from the offerings, since it was Moshe’s Torah study with G-d that engendered a new point that caused Aharon’s chagrin to reemerge. 

The Tent of Communion served two purposes — it was the religious center of the Jewish people specifically designated for all sacrifices and associated Divine service and worship. It also served as the place where Moshe learned Torah from G-d. Aharon himself could only learn Torah from Moshe as Rashi had explained: 

Moshe used to learn the Torah from the mouth of the Almighty: Aharon entered and Moshe taught him his lesson. (Rashi, Shmos 34:32) 

This was really the cause of Aharon’s uneasy feeling. 

Aharon was not jealous of Moshe’s greatness or unique standing with regard to the Torah, for the Torah had already revealed Aharon’s standing in relation to Moshe: 

He (Aharon) will be your spokesman...he will be your superior and chief.... (Shmos 4:16 and Rashi, loc. cit.) 

Aharon was concerned that he and his tribe did not have a share in preparing the Mishkan to be a place where Torah would be taught to Moshe —by the Holy One, Blessed be He. This bothered him — for all the other princes did have a share in just this function. 

So he did not clamor for inclusion — since his exclusion was based on exclusivity, but he did feel bad. 

To assuage his feelings Rashi informs us that the Holy One, Blessed be He, told him: 

By your life! Your part is of greater importance than theirs for you will kindle and set in order the lamps. 

* * * 

The questions of the silver plate and Adam’s age may be understood when we look back to a previous Rashi: 

That day received ten crowns (was distinguished in ten different ways): it was the same day as was the first day of creation, the first day on which the princes offered etc., as it is set forth in Seder Olam. (Ibid. 7:12) 

The five-year-old Chumash student peruses the chapter of the offerings of the princes and finds nothing said of the first day of creation; he is puzzled. What is the connection? So Rashi tells us that the numerical equivalent of the two words ‘silver plate’ is equal to Adam’s years. Adam, being the goal of creation encompasses all aspects of creation. Rashi then goes on to speak of when Adam brought offspring into the world, when he was 130 years old. For the goal of creation is to guarantee the continuation of the world by bringing a new generation into the world. 

Rashi then concludes: 

Seventy Shekels — corresponding to the seventy nations that descended from Noach’s sons. (Ibid. 7:19) 

For the world would not be complete and whole without the seventy nations. 

There is however another question regarding that verse itself. What motivated Rashi to seek an explanation for the verse which simply states that on the first day the offering was brought by...? 

It would seem simple and plain to translate the verse as it is stated. 

The answer for this question is that in the previous verse we are told: 

Let them present their offerings for the altar’s dedication one prince each day. (Bamidbar 6:11) 

Now Rashi feels that it would be sufficient to simply begin the next verse by saying: ‘The one to bring his offering...was Nachshon son of Aminadav.’ It would have been self-evident that he was the one who brought his offering on the first day. The Torah did not have to state the words, ‘On the first day.’ 

So Rashi starts off without mentioning the problem by simply stating the special qualities of that first day. 

Having said that it was the first day of creation and the first day of the tribal sacrifices it becomes evident that there is a connection between the two —for that reason Rashi later brings the explanation that the numerical equivalent of the silver plate was equal to Adam’s age. 

He had mentioned that there were ten crowns given to the day, he then went on to list those two which are really relative to the details of what happened that day and he adds, ‘as is described in Seder Olam.’ 

Rashi does not deem it appropriate to quote this exposition of Seder Olam in every place where one of the ten occurrences are related in Scripture —only here, because of the superfluous ‘First day.’ He realized that the Torah wanted us to know what was so special about that day and he tells us that they represented ‘ten crowns’ for all the occurrences were of great importance, similar to ‘crowns.’ 

* * * 

4. The Alter Rebbe writes in his Siddur that we do not say the penitential prayers, 

From Rosh Chodesh Sivan until (and including) the 12th of the month, that is five days after Shavuos, for the holiday has seven days of completion. 

From here we derive that these are auspicious days —we do not say the penitential prayers because whatever good they may effect is done automatically by virtue of the special day. Therefore, it is appropriate that during this time we should add to all the actions and Divine service of Shavuos so as to complete and perfect it in a rich manner. 

These efforts should be expended in the three pillars of Torah, prayer and acts of loving-kindness upon which the world stands, as we learned in today’s chapter of Avos. 

Clearly, Torah is appropriate, for Shavuos is the Season of the Giving of Our Torah. 

Prayer, too, is connected to Matan Torah for the declaration, ‘We will do and we will listen,’ represented a state of self-nullification which is attained in prayer. Furthermore, at the time of Matan Torah the souls of the Jewish people ‘flew away’ and had to be returned, which points to self-sacrifice, as the Baal Shem Tov teaches, this is reached in intense kavanah during prayer. 

And acts of loving kindness. About Shavuos the Torah says: 

You shall then celebrate the festival of Shavuos to your L-rd, presenting a hand-delivered offering according to the extent of the blessing that G-d your L-rd has granted you. (Devarim 16:10) 

The Torah uses the term ‘hand...offering’ and Chassidus explains that this is higher than the offerings of the heart which are dependent on the emotions of the heart —here the hand continues to distribute charity without restriction — straight from the soul. 

This must also be instilled in the youth — all three areas of Torah, prayer and good deeds — by placing a chumash, siddur and charity box in their rooms which will remind them of the mitzvah of tzedakah. 

When you place a pushkah in the room of a small child his curiosity will be awakened, especially if it has pictures on it. He will check out the pushkah and find that it has a slot; he will be more curious to know what can go into the slot. He is impatient, and you will give him a coin to put into the box and in that way you train him to give tzedakah. 

May we also have the true ‘time of completion’ during these days —of the sacrifices —and all aspects of Shavuos that we missed, because we still do not have the Bais HaMikdash, may they all appear with the coming of our righteous Mashiach and we will kindle the lights of the Menorah with the true and complete redemption, quickly and truly in our days.  

Parashat Bamidbar & Shavuot | 1 -8 Sivan 5777

Fri- May 25th Erev Shabbos – ROSH CHODESH SIVAN
Shacharis 6:50 am
Mincha/Candles 8:35 pm
Maariv and Sefira 9:32 pm /COUNT #46/

Sat May 26th – Shabbos 
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:12 am
Mincha  8:35 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 6
Maariv/Havdalah 9:45 pm /COUNT OMER #47/

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9  am, Mincha 8:40 pm, Maariv 9:35 pm /COUNT OMER #48/
Mon Shacharis  7 am, Mincha 8:40 pm, Maariv 9:36 pm /COUNT OMER #49/

Tue- May 30th Erev Shavuos
Shacharis 7 am
Mincha /Candles 8:39 pm
Maariv after 9:37 pm /ALL NIGHT LEARNING FROM 11:30 pm/

Wed May 31st – Shavuos 
Alot haShachar 2:57 am (16.1 degrees)
Sunrise 5:16 am
Shacharis: 10 am /Latest Shema 9:11 am
Mincha  8:39 pm  
Maariv/Candles and Yahrzeit Candles from existing flame after  9:50 pm

Thu June 1st  – Shavuos Day 2 
Shacharis: 9:30 am YIZKOR
Mincha  8:00 pm /FARBRENGEN
Maariv/Havdalah 9:51 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
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THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
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KIDS PROGRAM AND SHAVUOT ICE CREAM BAR WED MAY 31ST 
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SHAVUOS ALL-NIGHT LEARNING AT CSTL TUESDAY, MAY 30TH FROM 11:30 PM 
Tikkun Leil Shavuot learning begins with the reading of Rambam’s 613 Mitzvot at 11:30 pm.  Learning for Women will also start at 11:30 pm.   Learning for men will extend from 12:30 am toAlot haShachar 2:57 am.  Everyone (men and women) is welcome to attend. Please contact Dr. Neppe for more information or to sponsor refreshments.

PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILDREN
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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
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Camp Gan Israel Seattle Goes to Six Weeks! Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th 
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COMMUNITY NEWS

Memorial Day Learning at the Kollel Mon May 29th 9:45 – 11 a:30 am
Special guest speakers: Rabbi Shaul Engelsberg, Rabbi Ben Hassan & Rabbi Ron-Ami Meyers. Bagels & coffee served. More info: 
www.seattlekollel.com

Women's Summer Musical Performance Sun June 4, 5:00 pm
For Women Only at Stroum Jewish Community Center. Netzah Hernandez, Director Netzah Hernandez with special guests, Ruth Fast with her Israeli Dance Group and Sigrid Benezra with her harp. Cost: $20 Adults/$10 Children. RSVP: theSeattleKollel.com or purchase tickets at
www.seattlekollel.com/women-s-summer-musical-performance .

Full Day SEED Camp June 26 - Aug. 11
For boys entering 3rd grade & up, Aug. 14-18, Half Day. At the Kollel. Register at:
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Community Night at the ballpark Tue June 6th 7:10 pm
Seattle Mariners take on the Minnesota Twins! Great seats for just $20.  www.JewishInSeattle.org

EZRA BESSAROTH LADIES AUXILLIARY SEPHARDI FEST SUN JUNE 11th 
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SEATTLE KOLLEL SUNDAY TORAH 9 am – 10:15 AM
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Seattle Kollel Wed Apr 26 - May 24, 7-8 pm, Hebrew Crash Course
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Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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SICHO FOR BAMIDBAR
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507833/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Bamidbar-2nd-Day-of-Sivan-5750-1990.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

1. This week’s Torah portion, Parshas Bamidbar is always read before the festival of Shavuos, “the season of the giving of our Torah.” Usually, as this year, it is read on the Shabbos directly preceding Shavuos. In other years, Parshas Naso is read directly before the holiday and Parshas Bamidbar is read on the preceding week.

On the surface, Shavuos shares a more apparent connection with Naso than with BamidbarNaso means “lift up” and thus relates to the giving of the Torah which brought the Jews to a true state of elevation. G‑d “chose us from all the nations and gave us His Torah,” giving us the opportunity to establish a bond with His will and wisdom.

In contrast, Bamidbar, meaning “in the desert,” refers to a seemingly undesirable place, a barren land, unfit for human habitation.1 Why did G‑d choose to give the Torah in such a place?

One of the resolutions of this question is that Torah study requires absolute and total concentration. When a person studies Torah, nothing else should be on his mind. He must remove all worldly matters — and even any other Torah subjects2 — from his thoughts and concentrate on the subject he is studying.3

This is further emphasized by the Torah passage which describes the giving of the Torah which begins: “In the third month,... on this day, they came to the Sinai desert.” The mention of “the third month”4 underscores the relation of the Torah to the number three. Similarly, our Sages describe the Torah as “a threefold light.”

There are three elements5 to Torah study: G‑d’s giving the Torah, the Jews receiving it, and the Torah itself. The connection of the number three to the Sinai desert which, as explained above, implies that while a person is studying, there is nothing in his world but the Torah indicates that, in regard to these three elements, G‑d’s giving the Torah and its reception by the Jews are secondary, and the primary concern is the Torah itself.

The Torah is “one Torah,” a single unified entity.6 When a person studies it, he becomes totally absorbed in this unity as our Sages declared, “The Holy One, blessed be He, Israel, and the Torah are one.” In Tanya, the Alter Rebbeexplains how this unity is established. When a person studies Torah, his intellect — which is one with the person himself — becomes one with the subject matter in a “perfect unity to which there is no resemblance or comparison in physical terms, to be totally one and unified.”

[This concept is also alluded to in the name Tanya. To explain: Tanya is referred to as, “The Written Torah of Chassidus,”7 which is “the soul of the Torah.” Accordingly, the wording in the text is extremely precise just as the wording of the Written Torah is far more precise than that of the oral law. Thus, the first word of the text, which has been used by the Rebbeim as the name of the text, was surely carefully chosen.8

This raises a question because the name Tanya has no apparent connection to the goal of the text, which as the Alter Rebbe writes on the title page is “based on the verse, ‘The matter is very close to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, to accomplish it,’ to explain how it is very close....”

This difficulty can be resolved as follows: On a simple level,9 the name Tanya which means “It has been taught,” alludes to the importance of Torah study. Although Tanya will open a person up to a deeper level of service of G‑d, to love and fear of Him, its essential emphasis is on the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah, achieving a perfect unity between the wisdom of man and the wisdom of G‑d. This concept is so fundamental to the text that it was alluded to in its very name.

In this context, it is worthy to stress the importance of studying Tanya, and in particular, its opening chapters. There are those who feel that since they have studied Tanya previously, it is unnecessary for them to continue this study and would rather study other subjects in Chassidus. This is a wrong perspective. Tanya must be constantly studied, in particular, the opening chapters including the preface. (This study should come in addition to the study of Tanya within the study of Chitas.)]

The emphasis on the study of Torah to the extent that nothing else exists in one’s world but the Torah, also relates to the content of Parshas Bamidbar, which describes the census of the Jews. Rashi explains that taking this census reveals the dearness of the Jews before G‑d, “because they are dear to Him, He counts them always.”

There are 600,000 Jewish souls.10 Similarly, the Rabbis teach that the name Yisrael is an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning, “There are 600,000 letters in the Torah.”11 Nevertheless, despite this multiplicity, ultimately, both the Torah and the Jewish people are single indivisible entities. The “one people” are connected with the “one Torah” and the “one G‑d,” to the extent that “Israel, the Torah, and the Holy One, blessed be He, are all one.” This is the ultimate expression of the dearness of the Jewish people.

This relates to our Sages’ description of Sinai as the mountain from which “hatred descended to the world.” This statement can be explained as follows: It is written: “He placed the world in their hearts,” i.e., G‑d placed the future of the world in the heart of every man. The existence of the entire world depends on man. Through his service in worldly matters, “turning away from evil” and “doing good,” man has the power to correct the entire world.

Thus, when there is nothing else in a Jew’s world but Torah, he brings about a parallel situation in the world at large. All the undesirable aspects of the world are negated, or transformed into good, and it is revealed how the entire world exists only for the sake of the Torah.

May we receive the Torah with happiness and inner feeling. (This is the blessing the Previous Rebbe would give for the holiday of Shavuos.) And may we merit the age when, “a new Torah will emerge from Me,” with the coming of Mashiach.

* * *

2. The above concepts can be connected with the sixth12 chapter of Pirkei Avos, which we study this week. This chapter begins with the statement: “The Sages taught in the language of the Mishnah: ‘Blessed be He who chose you and your teachings.”‘ The word “Sages” refers to each and every Jew who is a member of “a wise and understanding nation.” These qualities are revealed through the Torah. Therefore, a Jew’s behavior must be permeated by the Torah, it being the only thing in his world.

Pirkei Avos continues:

“The tablets were the work of G‑d and the writing was the writing of G‑d, charus (‘engraved’) on the tablets.” Do not read charus, but cherus (‘freedom’). There is no free man except one who occupies himself with the study of Torah.

The Shaloh explains that when our Sages teach, “Do not read..., but...” their intention is to add a new interpretation, but not to negate the simple meaning of the verse. Thus, the teaching mentioned above reveals that the Torah is connected with both freedom and engraving.

Chassidus explains that engraved letters are unique in that they are an integral part of (and not a separate entity from) the object on which they are written. When a Jew studies Torah in a manner of “engraving,” he becomes unified entirely with the Torah he studies. His entire existence becomes Torah. This leads to true freedom; he is lifted above all worries and distraction.

This has an effect in the world at large as the chapter continues, “Whoever repeats a concept in the name of its author brings redemp­tion to the world.”13The world, which in its present state, conceals G‑dliness, will become permeated by the quality of redemption.

Thus, the world will be elevated to a state where it will be revealed that, “Everything which G‑d created in this world was created solely for His glory.” “Glory” refers to Torah as Pirkei Avos mentions beforehand, “There is no glory other than Torah.” Thus, it will be revealed that there is nothing else within the entire world, but the Torah.

The chapter concludes, “The L‑rd will reign forever and ever.” According to the Kabbalistic tradition when the letters of ועד (translated as “ever”) are transposed the word אחד, “one,” is produced, implying that the unity of “the L‑rd is our G‑d, the L‑rd is One,” will be revealed “forever and ever.” This will be revealed, not only to the Jews, but also to the nations of the world as it is written, “Then, I will transform the nations to a clear speech, that they may all call on the name of the L‑rd.”

* * *

3. Our Sages teach that the Jewish children were chosen as the guarantors of the Torah. Therefore, it is appropriate that they, even infants of a very young age,14 should be present in the synagogue to hear the reading of the Ten Commandments. This can be accomplished without great difficulty since in most communities, there are several synagogues, and often, several different times of prayer at a single synagogue. Therefore, the entire family need not attend the Torah reading together and a convenient time can be arranged so that all Jewish children can hear the Ten Commandments.

Before the Torah reading, it is proper to explain to the children how important receiving the Torah is and how they should prepare to receive it. Although G‑d gives the Torah in a generous manner, He desires that the Jews prepare themselves to receive it. This will allow them to receive the Torah in a full and complete manner.

Similarly, adults should prepare to receive the Torah by increasing their Torah study. In particular they should increase the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah (Torah’s mystic dimensions). This realm of study shares a connection with the holiday of Shavuos. To explain: Our Sages interpret the verse, “Honey and milk will be under your tongue,” as a reference to Pnimiyus HaTorah, stating, “Subjects which are as sweet as honey and milk should be ‘under your tongue,’ (i.e., not studied openly).” On Shavuos, it is customary to eat sweet milchig foods, indicating that this is a time when this realm of knowledge is given prominence.

This is also reflected by the narrative of the giving of the Torah when G‑d’s chariot,15 associated with the deeper aspects of Pnimiyus HaTorah, was revealed to every Jew. Even though ordinarily, one begins with the study of the revealed dimensions of Torah law, when the Torah was given, an exception was made and, at the very outset, even before the declaration of the Ten Commandments, G‑dliness was revealed.

The vision of G‑dliness perceived by the Jews was also comprehended intellectually. Not only did they see G‑dliness, they also internalized this vision. Thus, our Sages explained that at the giving of the Torah, the Jews “saw what was normally heard and heard what was normally seen,” implying that the revelation effected, not only the power of sight, but also the power of hearing, which is connected with the power of understanding.

Since the revelation at Mount Sinai included an emphasis on Ma’aseh Merkavah, Pnimiyus HaTorah, it is appropriate that the preparation for receiving the Torah anew should also emphasize this subject matter. This will also effect our study of Nigleh (the teachings of Torah law). Pnimiyus HaTorah is called, “the soul of Torah,” and Nigleh, its body. It is natural for the body to be drawn after the soul.

The increase in Torah study should begin this Shabbos. As mentioned several times throughout the year, on Shabbos, there should be an effort to “gather together groups to study Torah.” Surely, this applies on the Shabbos which precedes the giving of the Torah. Therefore, it is proper to utilize the remaining hours of this Shabbos to gather together Jews to study Torah communally (preferably, in a manner of “When ten people sit and study Torah...” or in even greater numbers as it is written, “Among the multitude of people is the glory of the king”). Simultaneously, these gatherings should also be used to mention all the preparations for the holiday of Shavuos.16

May the “running to the performance of a mitzvah,” the efforts to gather Jews in shul for Torah study, lead to the time when we run to greet Mashiach. Indeed, there will be no need to run, for Mashiach will come directly here to the Previous Rebbe’s shul and house of study. Then, “a great congregation will return here,” the Jewish people, together with all the elements of the world which they elevated, will come back to Eretz Yisrael, to Jerusalem, and to the Beis HaMikdash.

4. We can also derive a lesson from the day on which Shavuos is celebrated. Our Sages teach א-ת, ב-ש; i.e., on the day of Alef, the first day of Pesach, will fall Tuf, Tishah BeAv. On the day of Beis, the second day of Pesach, will fall Shin, the holiday of Shavuos.

This implies that the experience of “the season of our freedom” on Pesach will transform all the negative factors of Tishah BeAv into good, bringing about the ultimate redemption.

The association of Shavuos with the second day of Pesach is significant this year since it falls on Wednesday, “the day on which the luminaries were suspended [in the heavens].” The term “luminaries” refers primarily to the sun and the moon. They can be associated with the written law and the oral law respectively. Both these were given to Moshe on Mount Sinai. The entire oral law including even “every new concept which an experienced Sage will develop” was included in that initial revelation.

On Shavuos, may we receive the Torah anew with joy and inner feeling and may this lead to our receiving “the new Torah that will emerge from Me,” in the Messianic age. Our Sages declared, “All the appointed times for Mashiach’s coming have passed and the matter is dependent only on teshuvah.” Our Sages also teach that even a fleeting thought of teshuvah is enough for one to be considered a completely righteous man. Thus, through teshuvah we will nullify the reason for the exile, our sins, as we recite in prayer, “because of our sins we were exiled from our land.” When the reason for the exile ceases to exist, the exile itself will end and we will proceed together to greet Mashiach.

Behar – Bechukosai Yom Yerushalayim - Mevarchim Sivan | 25 Iyar – 1 Sivan 5777

Fri- May 19th Erev Shabbos
Shacharis 7 am
Mincha/Candles 8:27 pm
Maariv and Sefira 9:23 pm /COUNT #39/

Sat May 20th – Shabbos 
Tehilim for Mevarchim Sivan 8 am
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:15 am
Mincha  8:27 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 5
Maariv/Havdalah 9:36 pm /COUNT OMER #40/

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9  am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:26 pm /COUNT OMER #41/
Mon Shacharis  7 am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:27 pm /COUNT OMER #42/
Tue Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:28 pm /COUNT OMER #43/
Wed Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:30 pm /COUNT OMER #44/ Yom Yerushalayim
Thu Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:32 pm /COUNT OMER #45/
Fri Shacharis 6:50 am /ROSH CHODESH SIVAN

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush sponsor this Shabbos, May 20th ( 24th  Iyar) is Dr Norman Share ( Natan ben Ya'acov Ha Cohen) in honor and memory of the 36th Yahrzeit (20 Nisan) of beloved wife, Barbara Ruth Bat Avraham ( z"l).Seuda Slishit

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.

SHAVUOS ALL-NIGHT LEARNING AT CSTL TUESDAY, MAY 30TH 
Schedule to follow.

PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILDREN
The shul board would like to remind parents that they have sole responsibility for their children at CSTL

CHAIRS AND TABLES AT SHUL are for Shul Use Only.  
PLEASE do not remove them from the building.  PLEASE return any that are out of the building.    Thank you for your help.

DONATE TO CSTL VIA CREDIT CARD AT YOUR CONVENIENCE
Ivan now has a credit card reader for his smart phone, available at most week-day services.  We accept Visa-MasterCard-Amex-Discover, and of course Cash and Check!

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

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

Camp Gan Israel Seattle Goes to Six Weeks! Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th 
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2017, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Camp Gan Israel Seattle: Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th. Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime! Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/ DON’T MISS OUT ON THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT!

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,

miriamkitz@hotmail.com . 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

FOR WOMEN ONLY:Learn how to learn with the Feldenkrais Method®
My name is Renee Debaste and I am a Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practioner. I teach Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® class at Chabad of Snohomish County at 11:00 a.m. on the first and third Sunday of the month. Our shul is located at 18717 76th Ave W #B in Lynnwood. The class is for women only and free of charge. Please join us this Sunday, May 21st for a gentle lesson designed to reduce tension while increasing awareness and expanding ease of movement. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a mat if you have one. I have extras if you don't. For more information or to reserve a spot in the class, please contact me at 206-778-5168 or
rdebaste@gmail.com

Yom Yerushalayim Tues. evening, May 23rd 6-9 PM
Family BBQ at Ezra Bessaroth. Celebrate Jerusalem Day 5777. 
www.EzraBessaroth.Net

"Honor Our Fallen Veterans" Wed, May 24th at 6:00 pm
Join us as we help the Jewish War Veterans Assoc. place flags at the graves of Jewish Veterans in the Bikur Cholim & Sephardic Historical Cemeteries. Meet at the Bikur Cholim Cemetery, 1340 N 115th Street.. Sponsored by BCMH, Torah Day School & Chabad UW. If you need a ride or would like to co-sponsor this event, please contact Ari Hoffman.

Jewish Community Night at the ballpark Tue June 6th 7:10 pm
Seattle Mariners take on the Minnesota Twins! Great seats for just $20.  www.JewishInSeattle.org

NYHS GOURMET FOOD & DESSERT AUCTION Wed May 24th 6:30 pm - 9 pm
At the Seward Park home of Dr. Menachem and Judy Maimon,.  Free and open to all!   Join NYHS is this unique tradition. Auctioneers Simon Amiel and Leah Gladstein will entertain as you sample, bid and buy delicious hand-crafted kosher goodies from our community chefs! RSVP and/or to Donate items, contact us at nyhs@nyhs.org or call 206-551-9322.

EZRA BESSAROTH LADIES AUXILLIARY SEPHARDI FEST SUN JUNE 11th 
Sephardic Foods, childrens activities, craft booths.

SEATTLE KOLLEL SUNDAY TORAH 9 am – 10:15 AM
Learning for adults and for children 5th through 8th grades.

Seattle Kollel Wed Apr 26 - May 24, 7-8 pm, Hebrew Crash Course
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com 

Camp and Israel Scholarship Applications Available
Apply for Jewish overnight camp scholarships, first-time camper grants, teen Israel scholarships.
www.JewishInSeattle.org

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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


SICHO FOR YOM YERUSHALAYIM
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507830/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Behar-Bechukosai-24th-Day-of-Iyar-5750-1990.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

1. On this Shabbos, we bless the month of Sivan, the third month of the year, the month which contains “the season of the giving of our Torah.” Our Sages connect the giving of the Torah with the number three, “G‑d gave a threefold light to a threefold people through the third [of Amram’s children]... in the third month.”

The connection with three is further emphasized by the fact that generally, the Shabbos on which the month of Sivan is blessed falls on the Shabbos when the reading of the Book of Vayikra, the third book of the Torah, is completed. Furthermore, when that reading is concluded, we declare: chazak, chazak, vinischazeik (“Be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened”), a threefold statement, reinforcing our commitment to Torah.

The concept can be explained as follows: The Torah was given on Mount Sinai to show a person how to serve G‑d within the context of this physical world and how to conduct himself in accordance with G‑d’s will. In this manner, the person’s entire being, body and soul, will be permeated with holiness and through these activities, he will be able to refine the world around him.

To make this possible, G‑d gave the Torah in a manner which is appropriate for a human being and this material world, so that it can permeate through and encompass man and the world in a complete manner. Accordingly, since there are three divisions within man and within the world at large, the Torah is also associated with this number.

To explain: A healthy person’s behavior is balanced between thought, speech, and action. Generally, a person first thinks through a desired activity. Afterwards, he takes counsel with knowledgeable friends (speech), and then acts accordingly. There are two aspects to this concept: a) All three phases are necessary. It is not sufficient for a concept to remain on the level of thought or speech. Rather, it must be brought down to the level of deed. On the contrary, particularly, in the context of our world, “deed is most essential.” The expression of a concept in deed adds a dimension of completeness to the levels of thought and speech. b) For deed to be complete, it must be preceded by thought and speech. Otherwise, it will be rash and haphazard. When a deed is thought out and talked over with friends, it is performed with the confidence that this is the proper way to deal with the question and thus, it is performed in a more successful manner.

Indeed, there always has to be a hesitation between thought and speech and deed. There is an allusion to this concept in the Hebrew letter, Hay (v). The Hay has three lines which reflect the three potentials of thought, speech, and action. Two lines (thought and speech) are joined together. The third line (deed) is, however, separated from the previous two to indicate that one must pause and think over one’s deeds.1 Even though one is sure (on the level of thought and speech) that one is doing the proper thing, before one actually performs a deed, one must hesitate and reconsider the matter.2

Thus, it is through the exercise of these three potentials that a person reaches a level of perfection. Similarly, based on the principle that each person is “a world in microcosm,” a similar order exists in the world at large.3 Thus, there are three spiritual worlds, Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, which correspond to the three potentials, thought, speech, and action. Furthermore, each of these three realms is itself broken up into three levels: Chabad (the intellectual powers), Chagas (the primary emotions), Nehim (the emotions connected with applying a concept in deed).4

A parallel to the concepts explained above applies in this context as well: a) This world — and not the higher spiritual worlds — is the ultimate purpose of the entire creation. G‑d desired “a dwelling in the lower worlds,” in our material realm. b) Simultaneously, in this world, we must realize that this is merely the third world, that it is the lowest level, and it receives its life-energy from the realms above it. This will allow G‑dliness to be drawn down from the higher worlds into this world.

The ultimate purpose of the creation of this world, the establishment of a dwelling for G‑d, is accomplished through man’s service on the level of deed. In the spiritual worlds, the soul exists on a higher plane and expresses the qualities of thought (in Beriah) and speech (in Yetzirah). In this world, a person expresses all three potentials and, in particular, the potential of deed.

In this context, we can understand the expression that Torah, service, and deeds of kindness are the three pillars on which the world stands. The service of Torah is connected primarily with speech, service with thought, and deeds of kindness with action. Similarly, each mitzvah has three dimensions: its intent (thought), the blessing recited before its performance (speech), and the actual performance of the mitzvah (deed).

Of these three dimensions, “deed is most essential.” For example, in regard to the recitation of the Shema, a person who meditated on the Shema with full concentration, but did not actually recite the words, did not fulfill his obligation. The actual recitation of the words is what is most important. Conversely, however, the fulfillment of a mitzvah is complete only when it is associated with the intent for the mitzvah. Otherwise, it is considered as a body without a soul.

Based on the above, we can understand the connection between the giving of the Torah and the number three. As explained above, the giving of the Torah was intended to elevate the world and refine it according to G‑d’s will. Since man and the world at large possess three dimensions, it is a threefold service, encompassing thought, speech, and action, that refines and elevates a person and the entire world at large. Accordingly, the Torah has itself descended to allow for such service and has expressions on all the levels of thought, speech, and action. To emphasize this, the Torah is structured as a threefold light, the recipients of Torah were a threefold people, and the time during which the Torah was given was also associated with three, the third month.

This is associated with the conclusion of the third Book of the Torah which is usually read in connection with the Shabbos on which the month of Sivan is blessed. The Book of Vayikra contains many Torah laws (in contrast to the other four Books which also contain many sections of narrative). Most of these laws involve the sacrifices in the Beis HaMikdash. That service involves three dimensions, the intent of the sacrifice, the song recited by the Levites, and the actual sacrificial service. Alternatively, these three divisions can be seen as our prayers that take the place of the sacrifices (thought), the study of the laws of the sacrifices (speech), and the actual sacrifice (deed).

The parshiyos, Behar and Bechukosai, also share a connection to the above concepts. Both of these parshiyos, begin by mentioning — or alluding to — the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Parshas Behar begins: “And G‑d spoke to Moshe on Mount Sinai...” The commentaries explain:

Just as both the general concept and the particular applications of Shemitah(the subject of this revelation) were granted at Sinai, the entire Torah was given — both its general concepts and its particular applications — at Sinai.

Similarly, parshas Bechukosai begins with statements about the entire Torah, “If you will walk in My statutes, keep My mitzvos, and observe them”5 and concludes, “These are the mitzvos which the L‑rd commended Moshe for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.”6

2. Parshas Behar begins: “When you enter the land... the land will rest as a Shabbos unto G‑d. You shall sow your fields for six years... and in the seventh year, you shall rest.” Even though the resting of the land, the Shemitah year, is not observed until six years have past, the Torah mentions it first, indicating that this should be the goal and purpose of settling the land. The object of our efforts should not be our material activities, but rather, drawing G‑dliness into the world. The six years of agricultural work should be carried out with this intent in mind.

The phrase, “When you enter the land,” can also be interpreted metaphorically to refer to the soul’s descent into this material world and the “six years of sowing the land,” the six millennia of service to make this world a dwelling for G‑d. This service must be permeated with the intent that ultimately, “the land will rest as a Shabbos unto G‑d.”

On this basis, we can see a connection to the concepts described above. The service of deed, “sowing the land,” must be preceded by the intention of bringing about “a Shabbos unto G‑d.” When this intention permeates a person’s thought processes thoroughly, he can proceed to carry out this intent through the various activities required in preparing the world to be a dwelling for G‑d.

This pattern is reflected in our behavior each morning. The Shulchan Aruchrequires that we “meditate on before whom one is lying” (thought), recite Modeh Ani (speech), nullifying ourselves totally before G‑d. This generates the potential to carry out our service throughout the day (deed).7

3. The potential for a Jew to serve G‑d on the three planes of thought, speech, and action is derived from the fact that G‑d created the world in this fashion. This concept can be explained within the context of the opening Mishnah of the fifth chapter of Pirkei Avos:

The world was created by means of Ten [Divine] Utterances. What does this come to teach us, for indeed, it could have been created by one utterance? [It was done so] in order to bring retribution upon the wicked who destroy the world which was created by ten utterances, and to bestow ample reward upon the righteous who sustain the world which was created by ten utterances.

The commentaries question: If the world could have been created with a single utterance, what difference does it make that, in fact, G‑d created the world with ten utterances? If a person bought an article that was worth one dollar for ten dollars and then it was stolen, surely, the thief is not obligated to pay more than one dollar.

This difficulty can be resolved as follows: Though G‑d could have created the world with a single utterance, it would have been a different world. The world would have been on the level of thought, totally nullified to G‑dliness without the same concepts of limitation and differentiation that exist at present.8

G‑d’s intention, however, was not to create a spiritual world of that nature, but rather, a material world as we have before us, a world in which the creations feel their individual identities and thus, have the power of choice. In this manner, their service and self-nullification to G‑d comes about, not as an innate natural tendency, but rather as a product of their own effort.

The revelation of G‑dliness through service of this nature, the creation of a dwelling for G‑d in the lower worlds, could not be brought about through a single utterance of creation. To allow for the existence of the world in its present state, ten utterances of creation are necessary. Therefore, the wicked and the righteous deserve the full reward or punishment as befits behavior in a world brought into being through ten statements of creation.

This explanation is problematic. Since the world as it exists now could not be created through a single utterance of creation, what is the purpose of the Mishnah’s statement that, potentially, the world could have been created with a single utterance?

This question can be explained within the context of the previous concepts. As mentioned above, the thought which precedes a deed has an effect on the deed. Thus, the fact that there was a potential — and in spiritual realms, a potential is an actuality — to create the world with a single utterance,9 i.e., to bring into a being a world on a higher spiritual plane, has an effect on the world as it exists at present. Though the world was created with ten utterances to create a material environment which brings about the possibility of choice, the fact that it could have been brought into existence with a single utterance endows the world with the potential to become a dwelling for G‑d.10

To express the concept slightly differently: The potential for a dwelling for G‑d to be established within the world comes from the level of a single utterance. The expression of that potential “in the lower worlds,” that G‑d’s dwelling be established through the willful choice of creations who feel separate from Him, is made possible by the fact that, in actuality, the world was created by ten utterances.11

These concepts are reflected in the service of each individual. In the spiritual realms, the soul is united with G‑d on the level of thought. This unity generates the potential that afterwards, as the soul descends into this world, it can carry out the intent for its existence, the service of deed, transforming the world into a dwelling place for G‑d.

4. The coming days must be used in preparation for “the season of the giving of our Torah.” Each individual should resolve to increase his study of Torah — both the revealed realm of Torah law and Pnimiyus HaTorah, Torah’s mystic dimension — and fulfillment of mitzvos, stressing the interrelation of thought, speech, and deed.

In particular, based on the concept that our children are the “guarantors of the Torah,” efforts should be made to bring all Jewish children, even those of a very young age, to shul on Shavuos to hear the reading of the Ten Commandments. Even though the children may not appreciate what they hear, their presence has an influence on the source of their souls.

May these activities lead to the acceptance of the Torah with happiness and inner feeling and may we — even before the holiday of Shavuos — proceed together with Mashiach to Eretz Yisrael, to Jerusalem, and to the TempleMount.

* * *

5. This Shabbos, the International Convention of Lubavitch Women is being held. Surely, this convention will inspire good resolutions in the service of G‑d, in particular, in regard to the Convention’s theme, “All your children will be students of G‑d.” This emphasizes the importance of the efforts of Jewish women and girls to study Torah themselves and to inspire their husbands and families to Torah study as explained in the farbrengen last Shabbos. For example, when her husband or son comes home from a study session, a woman shows interest in the subject matter and discusses it.

In this context, the lesson from the verse: “When you enter the land... the land will rest as a Shabbos unto G‑d,” explained above is relevant. In setting up a Jewish home, first, the purpose of the home, that it is “a house for G‑d,” must be established. This is relevant, on a larger scale, to young couples who are first setting up their homes and, in the context of our day to day existence, to families who are already established. When the woman of the house, described as akeres habayis (which can be interpreted as “the essence of the home”), makes a decision to make Shabbos the essential element of the house, all the mundane activities of the home will be infused by that spirit.

Parashat Emor – Lag b’Omer | 16-25 Iyar 5777

Fri- May 12th Erev Shabbos
Shacharis 7 am
Mincha/Candles 8:18 pm
Maariv and Sefira 9:13 pm /COUNT #32/

Sat May 13th – Shabbos 
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:19 am
Mincha  8:18 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 4
Maariv/Havdalah 9:25 pm /COUNT OMER #33/

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9  am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:16 pm /COUNT OMER #34/
Mon Shacharis  7 am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:18 pm /COUNT OMER #35/
Tue Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:19 pm /COUNT OMER #36/
Wed Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:20 pm /COUNT OMER #37/
Thu Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:22 pm /COUNT OMER #38/

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush is sponsored this week by Rabbi Elazar and Mrs. Esther Bogomilsky, in honor of their son Yossi's Bar Mitzvah!  May he grow up to a life of Torah, chuppah and ma'asim tovim! Seuda Slishit

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Rabbi Elazar and Mrs. Esther Bogomilsky, and the Bogomilsky, Kornfeld, and Levitin families on Yossi's Bar Mitzvah!  Welcome to the guests who are joining us for this event!

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.

PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILDREN
The shul board would like to remind parents that they have sole responsibility for their children at CSTL

CHAIRS AND TABLES AT SHUL are for Shul Use Only.  
PLEASE do not remove them from the building.  PLEASE return any that are out of the building.    Thank you for your help.

DONATE TO CSTL VIA CREDIT CARD AT YOUR CONVENIENCE
Ivan now has a credit card reader for his smart phone, available at most week-day services.  We accept Visa-MasterCard-Amex-Discover, and of course Cash and Check!

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

CSTL Lag B'Omer BBQ – Magnuson Park Shelter № 3. Sun May 14th Noon- 2PM
Featuring $4 hot dogs!  Sandbox for Tots!  Children’s Parade! Please contact Rabbi Herbstman to volunteer and for more information 
avrahamshlomo@hotmail.com  Co-sponsored by Chabad of Seattle

Lag Ba'omer BBQ at Green Lake  SUN MAY 14th 4-6 PM

Delicious Food! Music and fun activities. Discover the significance of this special day! All food will be provided by Chabad of NW Seattle!  Info:  Rabbi Yoni LevitinChabadofballard@gmail.com 206 851 9831

Lag BaOmer Brunch! Sunday, May 14th, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM.
Chabad of Capitol Hill invites you to brunch at Seattle Hebrew Academy. Enjoy a morning with family and friends, over a delicious brunch, exciting activities and more! Create and decorate your own heart shaped cookies in honor of Mother's Day! 

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

Camp Gan Israel Seattle Goes to Six Weeks! Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th 
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2017, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Camp Gan Israel Seattle: Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th. Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime!Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at 
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/DON’T MISS OUT ON THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT!

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush, 
miriamkitz@hotmail.com . 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

Yom Yerushalayim Tues. evening, May 23rd 6-9 PM
Family BBQ at Ezra Bessaroth. Celebrate Jerusalem Day 5777. 
www.EzraBessaroth.Net

SEPHARDIC RELIGIOUS SCHOOL – SUNDAYS AND TUESDAYS
The Sephardic Religious School (SRS) is a supplementary Jewish school serving Jewish children in Pre-School through Grade 8, meet on Sundays for 2 1/2 hours and Tuesdays for an additional 1 ½ hours. SRS is housed at the MI JCC and open to all Jewish children regardless of synagogue affiliation. We provide a warm, nurturing environment and fun through activities for our students. All grades have a basic curriculum with areas of two periods: Judaic Studies and Hebrew reading Groups. Judaic Studies classes: Tefilah - Prayers and Berachot - Blessings, Chagim - Holidays / Laws and Customs and Chumash (Bible). Hebrew Reading Groups cover learning to read and write in Hebrew with Hebrew vocabulary. Preparation for Bar and Bat Mitzvah reading and projects. SRS is open to everyone and our tuition has been designed to be affordable. Call Rachely Hemmat 206 992-2235 or email
srs.hebrewschool@gmail.com

Connections-The Jewish Marriage Institute Presents "Refresh Youth Marriage"
A 10-week pre-recorded teleconference. Reserve your spot at
http://www.ConnectionsMarriageInstitute.org

"Israel-From Creation to Innovation" Tues., May 16th  6:30-8:30 pm,
Guest speaker, Alon Ben-Gurion. No charge to attend. 
www.JewishInSeattle.org 

Jewish Community Night at the ballpark Tue June 6th 7:10 pm
Seattle Mariners take on the Minnesota Twins! Great seats for just $20.  www.JewishInSeattle.org

NYHS GOURMET FOOD & DESSERT AUCTION Wed May 24th 6:30 pm - 9 pm
At the Seward Park home of Dr. Menachem and Judy Maimon,.  Free and open to all!   Join NYHS is this unique tradition. Auctioneers Simon Amiel and Leah Gladstein will entertain as you sample, bid and buy delicious hand-crafted kosher goodies from our community chefs! RSVP and/or to Donate items, contact us at nyhs@nyhs.org or call 206-551-9322.

EZRA BESSAROTH LADIES AUXILLIARY SEPHARDI FEST SUN JUNE 11th 
Sephardic Foods, childrens activities, craft booths.

SEATTLE KOLLEL SUNDAY TORAH 9 am – 10:15 AM
Learning for adults and for children 5th through 8th grades.

Seattle Kollel Wed Apr 26 - May 24, 7-8 pm, Hebrew Crash Course
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com 

Camp and Israel Scholarship Applications Available
Apply for Jewish overnight camp scholarships, first-time camper grants, teen Israel scholarships. 
www.JewishInSeattle.org

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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


SICHO FOR EMOR
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507902/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Emor-17th-Day-of-Iyar-5750-1990.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

1. This week’s Torah portion begins: “Tell the priests, the children of Aharon, and relate to them...” Our Sages, noting the apparent redundancy of the commands, “tell” and “relate,” explain that the verse is intended, “to charge the adults with [the education of] the children.”

This provokes a question: Since the education1 of children is of fundamental importance to the future of our people as our Sages declared, “If there are no kids, there will be no goats,” why is the education of our children not mentioned immediately after the giving of the Torah? Why is its mention postponed until the middle of the Book of Vayikra and, even then, it is not mentioned in the context of a matter of general relevance, but rather in regard to the laws of the priesthood?

These questions can be resolved within an explanation of the connection between the content of this Torah portion and the time of year when it is read. Parshas Emor is always read in the month of Iyar which is distinguished by its connection to the mitzvahof counting the Omer. Every day of this month is associated with this mitzvah. [The association of this mitzvah with parshas Emor is further emphasized by the fact that themitzvah of counting the Omer is related in detail in this Torah reading.]

The counting of the Omer is associated with education as emphasized by the fact that it commemorates the preparation (“education”) of the Jewish people to receive the Torah. The exodus from Egypt can be considered as the “birth” of the people and the seven weeks that followed a period of preparation as the Jews waited anxiously, counting the days until they received the Torah. Each year, this sequence is repeated, “advancing higher in holiness,” revealing deeper dimensions of the Torah, until ultimately, “a new Torah will emerge from Me,” in the Messianic age.

Chinuch, education, is not only relevant in the initial stages of one’s service. On the contrary, as a person grows and advances from level to level he must “educate” himself to prepare to reach the higher rung. This concept is alluded to in the counting of theOmer which: a) begins after Pesach, i.e., after the Jews have taken a leap forward in the service of G‑d; b) counts the days with cardinal numbers rather than ordinal ones, i.e., rather than say, “Today is the second day...,” “Today is the third day...” and the like. We say, “Today is two days to the Omer,” “Today is three days...,” indicating that each day includes within it the service of all the previous days and then, contributes a further dimension of growth itself.

The counting of the Omer is also related to the concept of Jewish unity. The “seven perfect weeks” of the Omer alludes to achieving perfection among the categories of the Jewish people alluded to by the seven branches of the Menorah which reflect our seven emotional qualities. During this period, all these seven categories must be perfected until they “shine.” (Sefirah which means “counting” also means “shining.”)

This concept is also related to the month of Iyar (אייר) whose Hebrew spelling serves as an acronym for the names Avraham, Yitzchok, Yaakov, and Rachel (אברהם, יצחק, יעקב, רחל), the four figures who have endowed their spiritual heritage to the totality of the Jewish people.2

This high level is also is also reflected in the expression our Sages use to communicate the obligation to educate our children, l’hazhir gedolim al hakatanimL’Hazhir also means “to shine,” i.e., these efforts will add shining light to the entire Jewish people, both the parents and the children and reveal their essential positive qualities.

This is also related to the name of the parshah, Emor which can also be interpreted to mean “grant praise and distinction” as in the verse: “You have granted praise and distinction to G‑d today.”3

An added dimension to the above is contributed this year by the fact that Shabbos Emorfalls on the day preceding Lag BaOmer. The 49 days of the counting of the Omer are associated with the refinement of our seven emotional characteristics. Each of these seven characteristics is included with the others and thus, each day of the Omer is connected with a specific quality. In this context, Lag BaOmer is connected with the quality, Hod she’b’hod.

In his Siddur, the Alter Rebbe explains that Hod she’b’hod concludes the counting of the fundamental emotions; the remaining qualities are external and do not relate to the essence of the emotions. Thus, counting Hod she’b’hod4 completes the primary aspects of the service of counting the Omer.

Thus, Lag BaOmer is connected with the holiday of Shavuos, the culmination of the counting of the Omer and the day which commemorates the giving of the Torah. That connection can be explained as follows: Lag BaOmer is the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai who revealed the teachings of Pnimiyus HaTorah. Furthermore, he brought about the nullification of the factors which separate between the reveal aspects of Torah (Torah law) and these teachings.

The revelation of the teachings of Pnimiyus HaTorah was the goal of the giving of the Torah as evident from the fact that, at the giving of the Torah, the entire Jewish people witnessed the revelation of G‑d’s chariot, Maaseh Merchavah. This subject is explained and clarified so that it can be understood and internalized5 in the teachings of Pnimiyus HaTorah.

In this context, the present day, the 32nd day of the Omer, is also significant. 32 is the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew word, ck, meaning “heart.” This word also shares a connection to the Torah which begins with the letter Beis and ends with the letterLamed. Similarly, its date, the 17th of Iyar is significant. 17 is numerical equivalent to the Hebrew, טוב, meaning “good.”6

Based on the above, we can understood the initial question: Why was the obligation to educate our children not mentioned directly after the giving of the Torah. As explained above, in their statement, our Sages used the word l’hazhir which means “to shine,” rather than another term meaning to educate. This implies that the goal is also to make the children who receive the education shine. Therefore, this does not apply in the initial stages of their education, but only after they have begun elevating themselves and are seeking to reach a level of completion.

To put it in other terms: The obligation to give children the basics of education is self-understood and does not require a commandment from the Torah.7 The command the Torah feels that it is necessary to relate — the obligation to educate one’s children until they shine — cannot be communicated at the outset and is mentioned only after one has begun one’s service.

There is a deeper lesson that can be derived from the words Emor and v’emartah (meaning “tell” and “and you shall relate”). Significantly, though they are separated in the verse, Rashi mentions them directly after each other to imply that they are a single concept, i.e., the efforts of the adults to educate the children is not separate from their own service, but rather, an extension of it. It is not that in addition to their own service, they also educate their children; but rather the adults and the children are united in a single service. Similarly, each one of the adults service is complete to the point that it extends beyond himself and has an influence on others as well.

Furthermore, just as the adults exert a positive influence on the children, this activity has an effect upon them causing them to “shine.” This comes about because the unity of the adults and the children draws down a light that transcends totally the differences between adults and children.

The above is reflected in the Jews’ efforts in “educating” the world (i.e., the world can be considered as a “child” when compared to the Jews who are like “adults”). The Jews must “polish” the world until it shines. This, in turn, will draw down a higher light for the Jews themselves.

There is also a mystic dimension to this concept. The word אמר, “tell,” is an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning, “fire, water, and wind,” three of the four fundamental elements of existence. The word, ואמרת contains these three letters, but also contains the letter tuf which reflects the Sefirah of Malchus which is associated with the element of earth. Emor, however, does not allude to the element of earth because earth is included in the other three elements, fire, air, and water. This can been seen from the fact that when water is boiled, a residue of earth remains.

These concepts are reflected in our behavior, “fire, water, and wind,” refer to our potentials for wisdom, understanding, and emotion. Exercise of these potentials alone is not sufficient and it is also necessary to add, “earth,” malchus, which refers to expression to others. This expression, however, is not an independent entity, but rather an extension of one’s inner qualities. Through this expression a greater and more encompassing light is generated.

There is a unique connection of the above to Lag BaOmerLag BaOmer, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s yahrzeit, is associated with the unity of the Jewish people. Thus, Rabbi Shimon is well-known for his interpretation of the verse, “How good and how sweet is it for brothers to sit together.”8 One of the most complete expressions of this unity is the establishment of oneness between adults and children, two opposites. For this reason,Lag BaOmer is celebrated by activities with Jewish children.

2. The above concepts are enhanced by a teaching of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in the fourth chapter of Pirkei Avos.9 That teaching states:

Rabbi Shimon states: There are three crowns: The crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of kingship. The crown of a good name surpasses them all.

This raises an obvious question. Why doesn’t the Mishnah mention four crowns, including “the crown of a good name”?

The concept can be explained as follows: Torah, priesthood, and royalty refer to internal qualities within an individual’s personality. The “crown of a good name” refers to one’s activities with others. Rabbi Shimon explains that “crown of a good name” is not a separate entity, but rather an extension of the other three crowns. Our work with others has to be viewed, not as a different service, but as a continuation of one’s personal efforts of refinement.

This is alluded to by the terminology used by the Mishnah. The Hebrew expression translated as “surpasses them all” literally means “ascends upon them,” i.e., when one has carried out the services of Torah, priesthood, and kingship, then sharing one’s qualities with others brings about a new crown which is higher than the other ones.

This is also connected to Rabbi Shimon’s stress on the oneness of the Jewish people as reflected in his explanation of the verse: “How good and how sweet it is for brothers to sit together.” This verse also relates to the unity between the Jews and G‑d for “brothers sitting together” can refer to G‑d and the Jews.10

The above sheds light on a statement of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai:

Come and see how dear Israel is before the Holy One, blessed be He, wherever they were exiled, the Divine Presence was exiled with them.... When they will be redeemed, the Divine Presence will accompany them.

The intent of this statement is that the unity between G‑d and the Jewish people is not for the sake of an external purpose, but rather a natural, innate bond. Accordingly, wherever Israel is found, the Divine Presence accompanies them.

In this context, it is worthy to contrast the manner in which this statement is quoted in the Talmud and in the text, Ein Yaakov. There are two primary differences: a) Ein Yaakov lists several different exiles which the Jewish people were forced to undergo, while the Talmud’s text is far more concise. b) Ein Yaakov spells the name Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai with an alef, while the Talmud omits that letter.

The differences can be explained based on the differences between the nature of the two texts. Ein Yaakov was intended for people on a low level of knowledge, while the Talmud can be studied only by those on a more advanced level. Therefore, to emphasize the oneness of G‑d with the Jewish people on all levels, the Ein Yaakov mentions all the places to which they were exiled.

It also includes a alef because the alef is the key to redemption. The only differences in the Hebrew words for “exile” (golah —גולה) and “redemption” (geulah —גאולה) is analef. The alef stands for Alufo shel Olam, G‑d, “the L‑rd of the world.” It is the revelation of G‑dliness which transforms the exile into redemption.

The lessons from parshas Emor mentioned above should motivate us to invest more energy in the unity of the Jewish people and in education, teaching young children, and also teaching adults, spreading forth the wellsprings of Chassidus, the legacy of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, outward. Similarly, efforts must be made to edu­cate gentiles and train them in the performance of their seven mitzvos.

In particular, the day of Lag BaOmer should be used to organize gatherings and parades to stress these objectives. May these parades inspire us to continue to “proceed from strength to strength.” And may we merit that in this “year of miracles,” and in preparation to the year 5751 whose Hebrew letters (תשנ"א) serve as an acronym for the phrase meaning, “May this be a year when ‘I will show you wonders’ ” (תהא שנת אראנו נפלאות), the fulfillment of the prophecies “I have found David, My servant, I have anointed him with holy oil,” which will bring about Blessed be the L‑rd forever and ever”

Parashat Acharei - Kedoshim | 9-16 Iyar 5777

Fri- May 5th Erev Shabbos
Shacharis 7 am
Mincha/Candles 8:09 pm
Maariv and Sefira 9:03 pm /COUNT #25/

Sat May 6th – Shabbos 
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:24 am /KIDDUSH Lite
Mincha  8:09 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 3
Maariv/Havdalah 9:14 pm /COUNT OMER #26/

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9  am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:06 pm /COUNT OMER #27/
Mon Shacharis  7 am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:08 pm /COUNT OMER #28/
Tue Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:09 pm /COUNT OMER #29/
Wed Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:10 pm /COUNT OMER #30/
Thu Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:30 pm, Maariv 9:12 pm /COUNT OMER #31/

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush Lite this week is contributed by Gershon Grashin, in honor  of his grandson Leo Mordechai ben Zalman's 2nd birthday!  (10th Iyar).  Seuda Slishit

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Yechezkel and Ora Rapoport on the engagement of their daughter Shimona Leah to Sadya Leib Davidoff of Los Angeles.  May they merit to build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel!

L’CHAIM for Shimona Leah Rapoport and Sadya Leib Davidoff Mon May 8th at 8 PM
Yechezkel and Ora Rapoport invite you to a L’Chaim celebrating the engagement of their daughter Shimona Leah to Sadya Leib Davidoff.  At Chabad of Shoreline, 1114 NE Perkins Way, Shoreline, WA

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.

DONATE TO CSTL VIA CREDIT CARD AT YOUR CONVENIENCE
Ivan now has a credit card reader for his smart phone, available at most week-day services.  We accept Visa-MasterCard-Amex-Discover, and of course Cash and Check!

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

CSTL Lag B'Omer BBQ – Magnuson Park Shelter № 3. Sun May 14th Noon- 2PM
Join us Sunday, May 14th 12:00-2:00 pm for our annual Lag Ba'Omer BBQ Celebration! BBQ- Hot dogs $4, Hot dog deluxe $5 Complimentary salads, fixings, chips & drinks. Children's Parade, rally & marching band, Face Painting. Sandbox for tots, playground, basketball court & field (Bring your own sports gear). To RSVP or for more information email rabbiherbstman@gmail.com

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

Camp Gan Israel Seattle Goes to Six Weeks! Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th 
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2017, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Camp Gan Israel Seattle: Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th. Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime!Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at 
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/DON’T MISS OUT ON THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT!

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,

miriamkitz@hotmail.com . 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.

THANK YOU TO JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER SEATTLE
Funding for CSTL Outreach Program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Please donate to JFGS at
https://www.jewishinseattle.org/donate    


COMMUNITY NEWS

StandWithUs Annual Community Reception Sun May 7 at 6:30 PM
At Town Hall, downtown Seattle. Tickets are still just $36. There will be a sumptuous buffet and Israeli wines. The keynote speaker is a world-recognized expert on international human rights at the UN, Anne Bayefsky. Register at 
www.StandWithUs.com/NWEvent2017Northwest@StandWithUs.com  or 206.801.0902.

Event for Jewish Singles and the entire community Sunday, May 7th, 7 pm-9 pm
with Shadchan Rochelle Frankel of LA. "Shidduchim: We're All In This Together". At the BCMH Yavneh Building.  Meet with Shadchan 7 pm, Lecture 8 pm

Connections-The Jewish Marriage Institute Presents "Refresh Youth Marriage"
A 10-week pre-recorded teleconference. Reserve your spot at 
http://www.ConnectionsMarriageInstitute.org

"Give BIG" Wed May 10th – DONATIONS MATCHED TO SEATTLE CHARITIES
Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, Jewish Family Service, Yeshiva High School, Hebrew Academy, and many other charities.  https://www.givebigseattle.org/

"Israel-From Creation to Innovation" Tues., May 16, 6:30-8:30 pm,
Guest speaker, Alon Ben-Gurion. No charge to attend. 
www.JewishInSeattle.org 

Jewish Community Night at the ballpark Tue June 6th 7:10 pm
Seattle Mariners take on the Minnesota Twins! Great seats for just $20.  www.JewishInSeattle.org

Join us at the game to cheer on the M's! RSVP today! NYHS GOURMET FOOD & DESSERT AUCTION Wed May 24th 6:30 pm - 9 pm
At the Seward Park home of Dr. Menachem and Judy Maimon,.  Free and open to all!   Join NYHS is this unique tradition. Auctioneers Simon Amiel and Leah Gladstein will entertain as you sample, bid and buy delicious hand-crafted kosher goodies from our community chefs! RSVP and/or to Donate items, contact us at nyhs@nyhs.org or call 206-551-9322.

HAMSA SUMMER FOR TEENS IN ISRAEL
Trip sponsored by the Sephardic Educational Center. The deadline is May 1st! Scholarships are available, including a generous offer by Harley and Lela Franco. For more information, contact 323-272-4574 or email info@secjerusalem.org Also, please click here:
http://sephardiceducationalcenter.org/hamsa-israel-trip/

EZRA BESSAROTH LADIES AUXILLIARY SEPHARDI FEST SUN JUNE 11th 
Sephardic Foods, childrens activities, craft booths.

SEATTLE KOLLEL SUNDAY TORAH 9 am – 10:15 AM
Learning for adults and for children 5th through 8th grades.

Seattle Kollel Wed Apr 26 - May 24, 7-8 pm, Hebrew Crash Course
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com 

Camp and Israel Scholarship Applications Available
Apply for Jewish overnight camp scholarships, first-time camper grants, teen Israel scholarships. 
www.JewishInSeattle.org

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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


SICHO FOR ACHAREI - KEDOSHIM
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2518492/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Acharei-Kedoshim-13th-Day-of-Iyar-5745-1985.htm  © SichosInEnglish.org

1. Today’s farbrengen is primarily connected to the Torah reading of Acharei and Kedoshim. The Alter Rebbe taught us to live with the times — meaning the daily Torah section — how much more so on Shabbos when we read the entire portion!

The content and theme of every portion is represented by its name, in our case: Acharei- Kedoshim.

In some years we read Acharei on one Shabbos and Kedoshim on the following Shabbos, in which case the theme and lesson of the Torah portion would be related to each week independently. When they are combined, however, additional aspects are introduced, while all the previous themes continue. As the Talmud tells us regarding human potential: “The weight which a man can raise upon his shoulder is a third of the weight he can carry” (Sotah 31a); on which Rashi comments: “... when others help to set it on his shoulder.” (Rashi, loc. cit.) Thus, the whole is equal to more than the sum of its parts, because we have all the original components plus the new aspect created by the fusion of the two parts. Just as the unity of Ahavas Yisrael creates a new, loftier condition of “All together as one,” the same is also true in the case of Torah, which is the blueprint of the world.

What is the lesson of Acharei? The word Acharei refers to something which happened after the death of Aharon’s two sons. Aharon’s sons expired because their state of intense dveikus (attachment — devotion) to G‑dliness reached the point of Kelos Hanefesh (flight of the soul) which came as a result of their yearning to be absorbed in Divinity. Thus it was “After the death of the two sons of Aharon ...” that G‑d placed the emphasis on Divine service of the soul only as it is in a body, for only then can the purpose and goal of creation be attained; to make an abode for the Shechinah in the lower worlds:

Clearly, the purpose of the hishtalshelus (downward gradation) of the worlds and their descent, degree by degree, is not for the sake of the higher worlds, because for them this is a descent from the light of His blessed countenance. But the ultimate purpose [of creation] is this lowest world ... (Tanya ch. 36)

A further point to consider is that the condition of coming after something else is normally understood to connote a diminution. At the same time however, the latter stage serves as a conduit, or gathering, for the earlier, higher level; a form of ingathering of all the forces.

This may be clearly understood in our Divine service. When the soul enlivens the body and takes on temporal existence, it is surely a descent for the soul compared to its lofty spiritual state and its former level of Divine service. Nevertheless, it is specifically through this diminution that the true purpose of existence is fulfilled, to make an abode for G‑dliness in the physical world. This is the purpose of the hishtalshelus (downward gradation) of the worlds.

This teaching applies to everyone. The average person, involved in normal material matters, might be deterred or even depressed — the goal of spirituality seems to be so far away! Therefore Acharei comes to tell us: “Don’t be depressed. It is through your actions that the purpose of creation is realized.”

But the message of Acharei is broader; it is addressed to the scholar as well. Do not assume that being on the level of “Chiefs of the tribes” dictates that your Divine service should be “intense devotion, lovely, pleasant, sweetness, etc.” (Ohr HaChayim — commentary on sons of Aharon) You too must remember that the true purpose is to create an abode in the lower world — the lowest world. For that reason were you made scholars and chiefs, to incorporate your higher potentials in simple action.

What is the lesson of Kedoshim? “Kedoshim” (Be holy) is translated to mean, “Be self restraining.” The Ramban adds that we should:

.. practice moderation even in matters which are permitted ... Just as I am Holy so be you holy. Just as I am Pure so be you pure. (Ramban, beginning of Kedoshim)

This indicates the opposite theme of Acharei. Acharei said, descend to the world and get involved. Kedoshim says, abstain from worldly enterprise and stay aloof.

When the two viewpoints come together on the Shabbos of Acharei-Kedoshim we must stop a moment to consider and to understand what we are being told. The message we garner is that the Jew really has the ability to unite these two opposites. Just as G‑d “negates any restriction,” a Jew must also be like the Creator and unite the opposite themes of Acharei and Kedoshim together.

There is a Midrash which Chassidus explains:

“You shall be Holy ...,” might be taken to imply that your holiness is to be equal to Mine, and so Scripture plainly states, “... for I the L‑rd your G‑d am Holy”; that is to say, My Holiness is superior to yours. (Midrash, Vayikra Rabbah, 24:9)

The simple meaning of this Midrash is that we cannot attain the level of G‑dly Holiness. But, Chassidus interprets the Midrash in a positive way, “... your holiness is to be equal to Mine....” We can reach the level! And for those who challenge this approach, look at the Rashi on the verse: “For I am the Eternal your G‑d; you shall therefore sanctify yourselves, for I am Holy.” (Vayikra 11:44)

Rashi: “Just as I am Holy, I who am the L‑rd your G‑d, similarly make yourselves holy below on earth, ... because I will treat you as holy above.” (Rashi, loc. cit.)

In Toras Kohanim we also find: “If you will sanctify yourselves I will consider it that you have sanctified Me.” The Jew has the potential for holiness and the ability to increase, as it were, the Sanctity of G‑d.

Now, clearly this power is bestowed by G‑d; as an extension of His Holiness. He (G‑d) “... consider(s) it that ... have sanctified Me.” The Hebrew term used is “Maaleh Ani Aleichem,” which literally may be translated to “I raise you ....” G‑d raised the Jews to a point where our actions raise G‑d’s Holiness.

There is a parallel here to the interpretation of the verse: “... you should have a desire to the work of your hands.” (Iyov 14:15) Chassidus interprets this verse as meaning that G‑d “desires the work of our hands,” i.e. that our actions in this world are pleasing to G‑d and make an abode for the Shechinah in the world. Why is this actually the case? Because we are “G‑d’s handiwork” and just as a man can raise his hands above his head, so too, G‑d raised the work of His hands — the Jewish people — to a level higher than “Rosh — head.” The result is that our mitzvah actions give satisfaction to G‑d and bring an increase in His supernal Sanctity, so to speak.

Now, since we truly have this relationship to G‑d, there is no wonder that we also have the ability to unite opposites; the themes of Acharei and Kedoshim.

These two approaches of Acharei and Kedoshim may be compared to the two levels of: “... with all your heart, with all your soul ...” and “... with all your might.”

The Divine service of Acharei requires the person to keep his composure and presence of mind, which parallels the service of “with all your heart and ... soul.” The love for G‑d which is felt in your heart and soul must pulsate in a serene and settled manner; the opposite of “... when they approached G‑d and died.”

The manner of Divine service of Kedoshim however, is to be separated from the world, and to lose one’s self in a form of sublimation from the terrestrial to ethereal. This is embodied in the words “... with all your might”; the infinite and uncontrollable love, which cannot be encompassed by the heart, and bursts out in a surge of “flight of the soul,” out of the casing of the body, in ecstatic expiration.

Chassidus associates the state of “... with all your might” to the concept of “Doing the will of the Omnipresent.” Having become disembodied and having committed self-immolation he no longer exists as a “self,” but only as a vehicle “for doing G‑d’s will,” with G‑d’s Will — power.

Thus the condition of Kedoshim is the same concept as the idea of being likened to G‑d’s Holiness, mentioned earlier. The ultimate state of self-negation can only come from the higher power of being like G‑d. By acting in a manner of “... all your might” he actually “makes (not only does) G‑d’s will” (and places himself on the level of G‑d’s Holiness).

This same distinction may be applied in viewing the different approaches of tzaddikim (righteous) and baalei teshuvah (penitents). The tzaddik serves G‑d with all his “heart and soul” while the baal teshuvah serves G‑d with “all his might.” Because he was in the place of darkness and desolation, his thirst was stronger and harsher, and he reached a more intense longing and infinite love to free his soul from its prison and fall into the bosom of his Father, to truly cleave to Him.

Acharei symbolizes the tzaddik and Kedoshim symbolizes the baal teshuvah. So the baal teshuvah comes with the power of being “like G‑d,” and thereby adds holiness, from the infinite Torah levels; loftier than measure and restriction. This is the true idea of teshuvah, which explains why: “Where penitents stand, the completely righteous cannot stand” (Rambam, Teshuvah 7:4) This power is bestowed by G‑d — similar to the ability to add holiness (to G‑d).

This brings us to a more profound ability in the level of Kedoshim — to unite the opposites. Being that the power of Kedoshim stems from “being like G‑d,” just as G‑d is “unlimited by any restrictions,” so too, the Jew has the ability to unite antagonists. Now this lofty power of the infinite must penetrate to the level of Acharei.

Thus, the revelation of the quality of Holiness in the individual engenders the Divine service beyond limitations; but a deeper and stronger revelation will arouse more G‑dlike powers so that a new ability will emerge to be able to unite the opposites — Acharei and Kedoshim together, the finite and measured, with the infinite and immeasurable.

How can we understand this concept in practical application of Torah and mitzvos? The infinite power of G‑dliness that we possess will express itself in the superrational acceptance of the yoke of Heaven or in the practice of actual self-sacrifice to do a mitzvah. Consequently, the combination of Acharei and Kedoshim means to permeate the normal observance of Torah and mitzvos with self-sacrifice.

One who is righteous and stands in the states of “love of delights” in relation to G‑d, clearly makes no sacrifice when he does the will of G‑d. On the other hand, one who is in the lowly state of “a slave prefers the common ...,” (Gittin 13a) certainly for him, the observance of Torah is a complete burden and done only with great sacrifice.

Nevertheless, we say that for everyone, accepting the yoke of Heaven must be: “... the beginning of the service and its core and root.” (Tanya chap 41) Is this the combination we are seeking? No! In the tzaddik this root remains covered at the time of doing the mitzvah because of the intensity of desire that he feels at the time. At other times the root of his service might be revealed, but then the aspect of pleasure will be suppressed.

There is, however, a case where the joining of the opposites may be effected. Normally the Rambam lists the mitzvah of sanctifying G‑d’s name as a separate commandment:

All the members of the House of Israel are commanded to sanctify the Great Name of G‑d, as it is said, “But I will be hallowed among the children of Israel.” (Vayikra 22:32, Laws of Basic Principles of Torah 5:1)

There is a mitzvah to sanctify G‑d’s name, which can be associated to a general religious responsibility, beyond any specific mitzvah.

There is, however, a level on which the sacrifice of sanctification will penetrate into specific aspects of Torah and mitzvos. The Mechilta speaks of this phenomenon in its interpretation of the following verse:

And we shall say to him, what are these wounds between your hands? Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. (Zechariah 13:6)

The Mechilta goes on:

Why are you taken out to be stoned? Because I have circumcised my son ... because I have observed Shabbos. Why are you taken out to be beheaded, because I ate matzah ... because I put on Tefillin ... because I did the will of Father in heaven.... These wounds have caused me to become beloved to my Father in heaven.” (Mechilta, Yisro 20:5)

Here now, we have a case where a specific mitzvah takes on the added aspect of being a sacrifice! To sanctify His Great Name. This is expressed in the Gemara:

.. if there is a “royal decree,” one must incur martyrdom rather than transgress even a minor precept ... Even to change one’s shoe strap.... (Sanhedrin 74 a-b)

Rashi explains that if Jews tied their shoes in a certain way, different from the gentiles, and there was a decree made against the Jews to force them to change their way, and the purpose was to subdue religious observance, than although this was only a custom, one must be ready for martyrdom.

So, normally a mitzvah is just a mitzvah, but when it is the subject of a decree against Judaism, then it exemplifies the essence of religion and one must be ready for sacrifices. Hence you have a concurrence of a normal mitzvah and supreme sacrifice. You can sanctify G‑d’s Name.

We, however, live in a “benevolent kingdom”; we are not hampered in our observance of Torah and there are certainly no life-threatening decrees! Do we lose the quality of sacrifice?

The answer is no. At least not in the figurative sense. Mesirus nefesh — martyrdom — may also be understood as mesirus haratzon — dedicating his will and devoting his desire. This is the real sacrifice — nullify your will in front of G‑d’s will.

Along these lines let us explain the concept for Jews in the lands of democracy and comfort. You study Chassidic philosophy and you intellectualize the true esoteric intention and purpose of Tefillin: the drawing of three levels of “mind” and four levels of “intellect,” in the Supernal Man and the nether man, the straps drawing down the radiance. You absorb these elaborate thoughts and meditate on them in your mind to the point that you are involved and motivated and enthused. You have found the inner pleasure of the mitzvah. But ... when you come to put on the Tefillin, having just concluded this satisfying mental exercise, you remember that the act of the mitzvah must be done because of accepting the yoke of Heaven and giving over your will and desire to G‑d. You do the mitzvah because it is the command and will of G‑d “... who has sanctified us with His commandments etc....” At this junction, you have the opportunity to try to be holy, to separate yourself from your well-developed understanding and pleasure, and to do the mitzvah only because of the command of G‑d. Now you have a real connection with the Will of Hashem. You have now united the opposites, the pleasure and the sacrifice; by accepting the yoke they both shine at once!

Here too, the average Jew, who has not yet studied the Chassidic insights into Tefillin, must also say the blessing, “... who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us ...” And he, too, has both aspects. Therefore a young boy or girl who does a mitzvah and says the blessing before he or she does the mitzvah also has all these benefits. For this is the fusion of Acharei and Kedoshim to infuse the orderly observance of mitzvos — Acharei — with the enthusiasm of self-sacrifice and the martyrdom of self-immolation — Kedoshim.

In our goal to spread the teachings of Chassidus there must also be the blending of contradictions. For the “wellspring” is at the loftiest level, “outside” is the lowest level — yet the “wellsprings” must go “outside” and spread the teachings. To accomplish this one must be in the state of “Ufaratzta,” beyond restrictions, then he can spread the wellsprings. This also breaks the restrictions of the galus and it brings the true and complete redemption through or righteous Mashiach, speedily and truly in our days — “immediately they are redeemed.”

Parashat Tazria-Metzorah | 2-9 Iyar 5777

Fri- Apr 28th Erev Shabbos
Shacharis 7 am
Mincha/Candles 7:59 pm
Maariv and Sefira 8:52 pm /COUNT #18/

Sat Apr 29th – Shabbos 
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:30 pm
Mincha  7:59 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT/Pirkei Avot Chapter 2
Maariv/Havdalah 9:04 pm /COUNT OMER #19/

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9  am, Mincha 8:15 pm, Maariv 8:55 pm /COUNT OMER #20/
Mon Shacharis  7 am, Mincha 8:15 pm, Maariv 8:57 pm /COUNT OMER #21/
Tue Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:15 pm, Maariv 8:58 pm /COUNT OMER #22/
Wed Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:15 pm, Maariv 9:00 pm /COUNT OMER #23/
Thu Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:15 pm, Maariv 9:01 pm /COUNT OMER #24/

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush is sponsored this week by our esteemed President, Yitzchok Rothman, in honor and in memory of the 43rd yahrzeit of his mother Bilhah bat Yitzchok Wolf haLevi Z”L(4 Iyar).  Kiddush is co-sponsored by Rabbi and Mrs SB Levitin, in honor of the birthday of the Rebbe Maharash, Beis Iyar. Seuda Slishit

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.

DONATE TO CSTL VIA CREDIT CARD AT YOUR CONVENIENCE
Ivan now has a credit card reader for his smart phone, available at most week-day services.  We accept Visa-MasterCard-Amex-Discover, and of course Cash and Check!

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

CSTL's annual Lag B'Omer BBQ event Sun May 14th 
Please contact Yitzchok (hardcastle101@hotmail.com) if you can help with CSTL' s Lag B'Omer BBQ!

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

Camp Gan Israel Seattle Goes to Six Weeks! Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th 
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2017, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Camp Gan Israel Seattle: Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th. Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime!Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at 
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/ DON’T MISS OUT ON THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT!

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion Kitz Gabbai Kiddush,

miriamkitz@hotmail.com . 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.

THANK YOU TO JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER SEATTLE
Funding for CSTL Outreach Program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Please donate to JFGS at 
https://www.jewishinseattle.org/donate


COMMUNITY NEWS

Yom haZikaron Commemoration and Yom haAtzmaut Tefila MON MAY 1st
At Minyan Ohr Chadash.  Mincha 7:30 pm /Program 7:45 pm. Cosponsored by Ohr Chadash, Sephardic Bikur Cholim, Ezra Besaroth, NYHS and SHA

BCMH Men's Club Holocaust Memorial Breakfast SUN APR 30th 9 am
Sponsored by the Wolf Family 
www.BCMHSeattle.org

StandWithUs Annual Community Reception Sun May 7 at 6:30 PM
At Town Hall, downtown Seattle. Tickets are still just $36. There will be a sumptuous buffet and Israeli wines. The keynote speaker is a world-recognized expert on international human rights at the UN, Anne Bayefsky. Register at 
www.StandWithUs.com/NWEvent2017Northwest@StandWithUs.com  or 206.801.0902.

Event for Jewish Singles and the entire community Sunday, May 7th, 7 pm-9 pm
with Shadchan Rochelle Frankel of LA. "Shidduchim: We're All In This Together". At the BCMH Yavneh Building.  Meet with Shadchan 7 pm, Lecture 8 pm

NYHS GOURMET FOOD & DESSERT AUCTION Wed May 24th 6:30 pm - 9 pm
At the Seward Park home of Dr. Menachem and Judy Maimon,.  Free and open to all!   Join NYHS is this unique tradition. Auctioneers Simon Amiel and Leah Gladstein will entertain as you sample, bid and buy delicious hand-crafted kosher goodies from our community chefs! RSVP and/or to Donate items, contact us at nyhs@nyhs.org or call 206-551-9322.

HAMSA SUMMER FOR TEENS IN ISRAEL
Trip sponsored by the Sephardic Educational Center. The deadline is May 1st! Scholarships are available, including a generous offer by Harley and Lela Franco. For more information, contact 323-272-4574 or email info@secjerusalem.org Also, please click here:
http://sephardiceducationalcenter.org/hamsa-israel-trip/

LEARN INTERMEDIATE MODERN HEBREW MONDAYS STARTING MAY 1st 8 pm
Must know how to read Hebrew but do not need to be able to converse freely. In this course you will increase your vocabulary, conversational ability and reading fluency. $80 a person for the series. See 
https://mercazseattle.shulcloud.com/event/intermediate-hebrew.html  for more information or to register. Please register by April 24th. Class dates will be: May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 28th and June 5th, 12th and 19th.

EZRA BESSAROTH LADIES AUXILLIARY SEPHARDI FEST SUN JUNE 11th 
Sephardic Foods, childrens activities, craft booths.

SEATTLE KOLLEL SUNDAY TORAH 9 am – 10:15 AM
Learning for adults and for children 5th through 8th grades.

Seattle Kollel Wed Apr 26 - May 24, 7-8 pm, Hebrew Crash Course
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com 

Camp and Israel Scholarship Applications Available
Apply for Jewish overnight camp scholarships, first-time camper grants, teen Israel scholarships. 
www.JewishInSeattle.org

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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


THE REBBE MAHARASH
http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/626953/jewish/Rabbi-Shmuel-of-Lubavitch.htm © Chabad.org

The fourth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, known by the acronym "Maharash," was born in the town of Lubavitch (White Russia) on the 2nd of the Jewish month of Iyar in the year 5594 (1834).

Rabbi Shmuel was the youngest of seven sons born to Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, the third Chabad Rebbe, known as the "Tzemach Tzedek," and Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka. 

At an early age Rabbi Shmuel excelled in his studies; by the age of seven he was proficient in large sections of the Talmud along with the commentaries. Rabbi Menachem Mendel would regularly administer tests his son’s class, and grant monetary prizes to those who excelled. With that money Rabbi Shmuel would purchase books of Torah study.

When Rabbi Shmuel reached the age of twenty-one, his father requested of him to become involved in communal activism. His first task was to attend a conference called by the Russian government to discuss the publication of Jewish textbooks with German translation for use in the instruction of Jewish children. From that point on, Rabbi Shmuel continued his communal activism on behalf of a variety of Jewish causes. 

Leadership

A Scroll of Esther handwritten by Rabbi Shmuel (courtesy of Agudas Chassidei Chabad Lubavitch Library)

Rabbi Shmuel’s elder brothers were famed Torah scholars, well-known for their vast Torah knowledge. Rabbi Shmuel, on the other hand, chose to assume a low profile; his piety and scholarship went unnoticed by most.  Read more »

A year before his passing, Rabbi Menachem Mendel requested that Rabbi Shmuel publicly deliver discourses in Chabad philosophy – though he was only thirty-two years of age – a practice normally reserved for Chabad Rebbes. Rabbi Menachem Mendel instructed his followers to “listen to him [Rabbi Shmuel] as you listen to me.”

Although Rabbi Shmuel was the youngest son, he was chosen to succeed his father as "Rebbe" and leader of Chabad in the movement's capital, Lubavitch. (Four of his brothers established branches of the Chabad dynasty in other towns in White Russia and Ukraine).

In addition to mentoring and teaching his disciples and penning many discourses on Chassidic teachings and philosophy, Rabbi Shmuel – despite his frail health – traveled extensively throughout Europe, meeting with government and business leaders and lobbying them to exert pressure on the Czarist regime to halt its instigation of pogroms against its Jewish citizens.  Read more »

His fluency in languages such as Latin, French and Russian assisted him in these selfless ventures.

Teachings

Today, Rabbi Shmuel is perhaps most known for his saying (known in Yiddish as “lechatchilah ariber”): “The world says: If you can't go under [an obstacle], leap over; I say: In the first place, go over!”

Many of Rabbi Shmuel’s writings have been published by Kehot, the Lubavitch Publications House. Over twenty volumes of his works have thus far been published and additional volumes are being prepared for publication.

Some short teachings by Rabbi Shmuel were recorded by his grandson Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the sixth Chabad Rebbe. 

Several melodies are also attributed to Rabbi Shmuel. 

Rabbi Shmuel, who throughout his life suffered from many ailments, passed away at the young age of 48, on the 13th of the Hebrew month of Tishrei in the year 5643 (1882). He is buried alongside his father in the city of Lubavitch.

Rabbi Shmuel was succeeded by his second son, Rabbi Shalom Dovber of Lubavitch.

Parashat Shemini – Mevarchim Iyar | 25 Nissan – 2 Iyar 5777

Fri- Apr 21st Erev Shabbos
Shacharis 7 am
Mincha/Candles 7:50 pm
Maariv and Sefira 8:41 pm /COUNT #11/

Sat Apr 22nd   – Shabbos 
Tehilim for Mevarchim Iyar – 8 am
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:38 pm
Mincha  7:50 pm /SEUDA SLISHIT
Maariv/Havdalah 8:54 pm /COUNT OMER #12/

Weekdays
Sun Shacharis: 9  am, Mincha 8:00 pm, Maariv 8:44 pm /COUNT OMER #13
Mon Shacharis  7 am, Mincha 8:00 pm, Maariv 8:46 pm /COUNT OMER #14
Tue Shacharis 7 am, Mincha 8:00 pm, Maariv 8:47 pm /COUNT OMER #15
Wed Shacharis 6:50 am, Mincha 8:00 pm, Maariv 8:49 pm ROSH CHODESH/COUNT OMER #16
Thu Shacharis 6:50 an, Mincha 8:00 pm, Maariv 8:51 pm ROSH CHODESH /COUNT OMER #17

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush Lite – No sponsor.  Seuda Slishit

BARUCH DAYAN EMETH
We regret to inform you of the passing of Yosef Grobman ZT”L. May the Lord comfort the family amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem

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 
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DVAR TORAH FOR SHEMINI
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2518328/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Shemini-26th-Day-of-Nissan-5743-1983.htm | A free translation from a talk of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson ZT”L © SichosInEnglish.org

1. We can draw lessons from three aspects of this Shabbos: It is Shabbos Mevarchim; more particularly, it is Shabbos Mevarchim Iyar; and because everything happens by Divine Providence, there is an additional lesson to be derived from the parshah read this Shabbos — Shemini.

In greater clarification: The Baal Shem Tov taught that nothing in this world is coincidence; everything happens by Divine Providence. This applies to even such things as minerals, plants and animals, and certainly to humans. Within the category of humans, Divine Providence is emphasized most strongly regarding Jews, and concerning Jews, it is most evident in matters of Torah and mitzvos. For although everything happens by Divine Providence, there are different degrees — to the extent that Torah tells us that G‑d says, “I will surely hide My face on that day.” That is, not only do we not see Divine Providence, but G‑d actively hides Himself. Thus, there are differing degrees in Divine Providence, commensurate to the importance of the subject — the more important it is, the greater and more revealed the Divine Providence. The highest level is, “the eye of the L‑rd is directed towards those who fear Him” — the highest level of Divine Providence (“G‑d’s eyes”) is directed towards the righteous (“those who fear Him”).

Although G‑d sees everything with a single glance, there can still be different degrees in Divine Providence. An example of this is man himself, who has various limbs. The essential life-force of a man is equal in all limbs. Nevertheless, there are differences in how that life-form is revealed in the limbs. The life-force in the brain, heart, and liver, for example, is stronger than in the nails, which if cut, do not hurt at all.

So, too, in the case of Divine Providence: On the one hand, it works through one glance (similar to the essential life-force in which there are no differences). Simultaneously, there are differences in the degree of Divine Providence (similar to the differences in how the life-force is revealed in the limbs), ranging from complete concealment (“I will surely hide My face”) to complete revelation (“the eye of the L‑rd is directed towards those who fear Him”).

In our case, Shabbos Mevarchim is a holy matter, pertaining to Torah and mitzvos: the mitzvah of sanctifying the month, and the custom of Shabbos Mevarchim — and “a Jewish custom is Torah.” Thus Divine Providence in the highest degree is associated with Shabbos Mevarchim, and we can therefore derive a lesson from the parshah read then.

The lesson from Shabbos Mevarchim (in general, relevant to all months): Shabbos Mevarchim is always in the preceding month, and thus the blessing given on Shabbos Mevarchim to the following Rosh Chodesh is said on the preceding month. The reason is simple: A blessing means we wish to effect something in a certain way — and this obviously applies only before the thing has materialized. Thus we bless Rosh Chodesh (and the entire month) before Rosh Chodesh — and therefore Shabbos Mevarchim must be in the preceding month.

A “month” in Hebrew is chodesh, which is cognate to the word chidush, meaning new. Although a month seems to be a repetition of the previous thirty day cycle, it is really something new — its service is carried out in an infinitely loftier manner, making it a new thing. If this higher service would not be infinitely loftier, it would not be completely new, but only an addition to the past. When it is infinitely higher, it is completely separated from previous service, and becomes a new thing.

An example of this is Torah study: One method of study is to repeat and relearn that which was studied previously. Although through each repetition one gains a loftier level and new insights, it is not new, for the loftier level is not infinitely greater: the new insights are in the same topic and same method of learning as before. A loftier method of learning is to increase in one’s study in an infinitely higher manner — in a new manner. Simultaneously, this new learning affects previous study, elevating it to the new level.

This is why R. Zeira, so that he could learn Talmud Yerushalmi, first fasted to forget Talmud Bavli. He did not fast to forget his actual knowledge (for it is forbidden to forget one’s learning), but to forget the method of study peculiar to the Talmud Bavli. The methods of study of the Bavli and Yerushalmi are complete opposites. Bavli’s is dialectic, whereas the Yerushalmi gets straight to the heart of the matter. Thus, to change from the Bavli’s method to the Yerushalmi’s, R. Zeira first had to fast to forget the method of study of the Talmud Bavli. Not only did he not forget the actual knowledge of the Bavli, but the study of the Bavli was now elevated — he could now learn it in a manner infinitely loftier than before, in a direct manner, not through dialectics.

To return to our point: a “month,” although seemingly but a repetition of the previous 30 days, is a completely new thing — for its service is performed in an infinitely loftier manner than the previous month’s service. The lesson from a month, then, is that service of Torah and mitzvos must always be in a new manner — infinitely loftier than before.

Because this requires much effort, Shabbos Mevarchim, which precedes the new month, serves as the proper preparation to such service. The lesson from Shabbos Mevarchim in general, then, is that a Jew must make the proper preparations for the infinitely higher service of the new month.

2. Although the common theme of all months is the element of newness — infinitely loftier service — that service must still be commensurate to the individual nature of each month. Thus there are differences in the preparation to each month — Shabbos Mevarchim. In our case, the service of Shabbos Mevarchim Iyar must be consonant to the particular service of the month of Iyar.

It is very hard to understand, however, how the service of Iyar can be infinitely loftier than that of the preceding month, Nissan. Nissan is the “month of redemption,” meaning a person is redeemed from the limits of nature. How then can we prepare on Shabbos Mevarchim Iyar for an infinitely loftier new service? Is not Nissan, “the month of redemption,” the ultimate?

Iyar, in Hebrew, is an acrostic for the words, “I am the L‑rd your healer.” The difference between G‑d healing and a human healer (doctor) is simple: A doctor heals the sickness that a person already has. G‑d, however, says, “All the sicknesses which I placed in Egypt I will not put on you, for I am the L‑rd your healer.” That is, G‑d’s healing is that He does not allow sickness to develop in the first place. In man’s spiritual service to G‑d, this corresponds to the idea of, “No sin shall befall the righteous.”

Now we can understand the different services of Nissan and Iyar. The service of Nissan is in the manner of redemption — Jews were in exile, and they were redeemed from it. Even when a person sins (exile), he can redeem himself from this undesirable state of affairs. The service of Iyar is in the manner of, “I am the L‑rd your healer” — it is not possible that a person in the first place does anything wrong (and that therefore he should need redemption).

Thus the service of Iyar is loftier than that of Nissan, and therefore even after Nissan, a person must go yet higher — the service of Iyar.

The lesson, then, from Shabbos Mevarchim Iyar is that we must prepare for the service of Iyar — to reach a level where sin is not even possible. Through this we reach an added distinction, special to Iyar — the only month in which every day we have the mitzvah of Sefiras HaOmer.

Sefiras HaOmer is also associated with our previous explanation that a “month” is the idea of newness — that although it seems to be but a repetition, it is really an infinitely higher level. Sefiras HaOmer has two aspects: 1) All the days of Sefirah are one, and therefore if one forgot to count one day, he cannot continue to count with a berachah. 2) Simultaneously, each day is separate, and therefore we make a blessing each day, not one blessing for the entire Sefirah.

Thus, although today, for example, is the tenth day of Sefirah, and we have already fulfilled the mitzvah of Sefirah for ten days, we still make a blessing for the eleventh time. For each day of the Sefirah sees an infinitely higher increase in sanctity, thereby making it a new thing — which deserves its own blessing.

Through our speaking of Sefiras HaOmer may we speedily merit the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach, when we will fulfill the mitzvah of Sefiras HaOmer from the Torah, not just from our Sages as we do today. Then we will also have the Giving of the Torah in a new manner — “A new Torah will go forth from Me.”

* * *

3. As mentioned previously, there is also a lesson to be derived from the parshah read today — parshas Shemini. Although there are many lessons to be learned from parshas Shemini, we must first and foremost derive a lesson from the name “Shemini” itself, which means “eighth.” The Baal Shem Tov taught that the Hebrew name of a thing reflects its concept, and thus the idea represented by “Shemini” represents the entire parshah.

Everything in this world exists in a spiritual fashion, including man’s service to G‑d. Indeed, the reverse is true: Because they exist spiritually, in man’s service, they exist also physically. This is true of numbers also. The number seven, for example, symbolizes and is associated with the seven days of the week — “For six days G‑d made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He ceased and rested.” After the seventh day, a new week begins — the first day, second day, etc. until Shabbos. The seventh day, Shabbos, is the end of a week. Thus, although hundreds of thousands of days have passed since creation, the day after Shabbos is still called the first day, and not the eighth day. For the purpose of the days of a week is that they are a preparation for Shabbos, and therefore the day after Shabbos is the first day of preparation for the coming Shabbos.

Parenthetically, even a simple Jew knows this. Previously, in Europe, a Jew knew unquestionably that the livelihood G‑d granted him throughout the week was so that he could celebrate Shabbos properly. In those days, it was unheard of that a Jew should work hard the entire week only to increase his bank account, to buy a car with a chauffeur, to buy a house with many rooms, or to purchase an extensive wardrobe — even when he can’t wear so many clothes!

A Jew doesn’t need all these things. He works hard to get them only because he envies another person. Our Sages said: “Envy, desire, and honor take a person out of the world” — they take a person out of Judaism and bring him into the world of America! These people call it wealth; it is really a sickness. A Jew should have no association with the “world of America,” for “You have chosen us from all the nations.” Certainly a Jew who has been in Tomchei Temimim — for even one moment — can have no real association with such a world. Once in Tomchei Temimim, a person is always associated with it, for “sanctity does not move from its place” — willingly or unwillingly. It gives him no peace. He, however, thinks he has but a headache, and therefore the doctor prescribes aspirin to soothe him. He suffers from an American malady, therefore he must be given an American cure. In truth, however, he has a “headache” because he is so involved in material pursuits!

To return to our point: Even a simple Jew knows that the number seven symbolizes the seven days of the week, associated with the world — “For six days G‑d created the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He ceased and rested.” The number eight, therefore, symbolizes that which transcends the seven days of a week, that which is above the world which was created in seven days.

The lesson from this in man’s service to G‑d: Service on Shabbos is different and loftier than on weekdays. On Shabbos a Jew does not have to rush to work, and therefore he says his prayers with greater concentration, etc. Although he fulfills all matters of Torah and mitzvos on weekdays too, it cannot be compared to Shabbos when he is not distracted by his business. On Shabbos every Jew is a “king” in his house, and therefore his mind is free to engage in Torah and mitzvos with greater concentration.

“Shemini — Eighth” teaches that even after the lofty service of Shabbos, service must be loftier yet — transcending the world which is associated with the seven days of the week. In plain terms: After the lofty level of his service on Shabbos, a Jew does not descend, G‑d forbid, from his level to begin the week anew, but instead ascends to a level loftier even than Shabbos — the level of Shemini.

This lesson is specifically derived from Shemini — eighth, and not from eight. “Eight” means there are eight things present — seven and an extra one. “Eighth” means there is one thing, but it is the eighth: it comes after the preceding seven, and stands alone (unlike “eight” which means the other seven are present also). “Shemini,” then, represents a level that is unassociated with the preceding seven weekdays — it transcends the world.

This does not mean a Jew should wait until after Shabbos to perform the service represented by “Shemini,” to wait until a special day of the level of “Shemini.” The parshah is not called “Yom HaShemini,” “The eighth day,” but rather just “eighth,” teaching us that a special day is not needed to reach this level (transcending the world). The level of Shemini can be on Shabbos itself, and even on weekdays.

In greater clarification: “Shemini,” we have said, is the idea of transcending the world. This is puzzling. The purpose of a Jew is to make this world a dwelling place for G‑d. It seems, then, that “eight” (which includes the world — seven days of creation plus one more) represents this idea better than does “eighth” (which excludes the world, the seven previous days).

However, although “eighth” is an entity for itself (unlike eight), the very fact that the “eighth” follows the seven indicates there is some connection between them. The difference between “eight” and “eighth” is that in the former, the seven remain the same as before, and one more has been added, making eight. In the latter, the seven are elevated to the level of the eighth; they cease to be seven, and become part of the eighth. Thus there are two aspects to Shemini: The eighth as a separate entity; and as the other seven are encompassed by it.

When, therefore, we say Shemini transcends the world, we mean the world exists, but its existence is elevated to the level of Shemini — to the extent that the world assumes a new existence.

An example: In the future, our Sages tell us, people will not need to eat or drink, but their physical bodies will be nourished directly from the soul (unlike now, when the body receives nourishment from the soul through physical food). Although the body will then also be physical, it will be elevated to the level that its nourishment will be spiritual. This happened once before: When the Jews left Egypt, they ate Manna — “bread from the heaven.”

This, then, is the distinction given to Shabbos Mevarchim Iyar by parshas Shemini. One may think that because Shabbos Mevarchim Iyar occurs every year, there is nothing new to it this year. Parshas Shemini teaches that the service of Shabbos Mevarchim Iyar must be in the manner of “Shemini” — transcending the world, in a new manner.

May it be G‑d’s will that from parshas Shemini we merit very quickly the harp of Mashiach, which will be “a harp of eight strings,” in the third Bais HaMikdash, in the true and complete redemption.

* * *

4. Rashi, the commentator par excellence on Scripture, always explains anything difficult in the plain meaning of the verse (or else says, “I do not know”). Simultaneously, Rashi does not make any comment that is not associated with the plain meaning. In today’s parshah, Shemini, there is both a difficulty which Rashi does not explain, and something which Rashi does explain which does not seem to be necessary to understand the plain meaning.

The end of parshas Shemini (11:41-47) talks of the prohibition to eat “sherotzim” — small, creeping animals (e.g. snakes, insects, etc). Scripture repeats this prohibition a number of times in different ways: “Every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth is detestable and shall not be eaten (11:41)”; “Of all creeping things that creep upon the earth you shall not eat (11:42)”; “Do not make yourself detestable with any creeping thing that creeps, and do not defile yourselves with any creeping thing that moves upon the earth (11:44).” Rashi, on the words (11:44) “Do not defile yourselves,” comments: “By transgressing many prohibitive commandments regarding them; and for [the transgression of] every prohibitive command, stripes [is given].”

In the same parshah, we have previously learned that there are many types of animals which are prohibited to eat: unclean animals, unclean wild beasts, unclean fish and fowl. Rashi tells us that the prohibition to eat sherotzim is repeated many times, and that there are therefore many prohibitive commandments regarding the eating of a sheretz. A simple question arises: Why are sherotzim more severe than other forbidden animals, to the extent that the prohibition — and the accompanying punishment (stripes) — is repeated so many times (which is not the case in other forbidden animals)?

The question is even more puzzling in the light of Rashi’s comment at the beginning of this section. On the verse (11:2) “This is the living thing which you may eat,” Rashi comments: “‘This is the living thing’ — it denotes ‘life.’ Because Israel is attached to G‑d and are worthy of being alive, He therefore separated them from uncleanliness, and decreed upon them commandments....” Rashi further comments, “‘This is the living thing’ — This teaches that Moshe held the animal and showed it to Israel, [saying]: ‘This you may eat, and this you shall not eat; This you may eat, etc.’ Also of the creatures of the water he held each species and showed it to them. Similarly with fowl [it is stated]: ‘And these you shall detest among the fowls.’ And similarly with creeping animals [it is stated]: ‘And this shall be unclean to you.’”

We see that Rashi emphasizes the common theme among all living things that are forbidden to eat — that from all of them “He separated them [Israel] from uncleanliness.” If so, the above question is reinforced. Why are sherotzim more severe than other animals?

Another difficulty: At the conclusion of this section Scripture states (11:45): “For I am the L‑rd who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” Rashi explains that, “Everywhere it is written, ‘I have brought out,’ and here it is written ‘brought up.’ [In reference to this] it was taught at the school of R. Yishmael: [G‑d said:] ‘If I had brought up Israel from Egypt only for the reason that they do not defile themselves with sherotzim as do other nations, it would be sufficient for them, and it is an elevation for them;’ this is the meaning of, ‘I brought you up.’”

The same question arises: Why does G‑d say that, “if I had brought up Israel only for the reason that they do not defile themselves with sherotzim ... it would be sufficient ...”? Why is this said specifically concerning sherotzim and not other animals?

Further, why does Rashi emphasize that it would be sufficient that, “they do not defile themselves with sherotzim as other nations.” What difference does it make, in the plain meaning of Scripture, how other nations conduct themselves? The difference between Jews and other nations is not just in eating sherotzim, but in every facet of life. Why, then, does Rashi make this point regarding sherotzim specifically?

The source for Rashi’s interpretation is the Talmud. (Baba Metzia 61b) There, however, it does not mention anything about the conduct of other nations, and it also gives the reason why sherotzim is specifically severe. It states: “Why did the Torah write, ‘who brings you up?’ [The reason is] as the school of R. Yishmael taught, that G‑d said, ‘If I brought up Israel from Egypt only for the reason that they should not defile themselves with sherotzim, it would be sufficient.’ But, he objected, is their reward [for abstaining from sherotzim] greater than [the reward for obeying the commandments concerning] interest, tzitzis, and weight? He answered, although their reward is no greater, it is more loathsome to eat them.”

Thus we see the Talmud gives a reason for the severity of eating sherotzim — because it is more loathsome than other things. Why then does Rashi change his interpretation from the Talmud, in that 1) He adds the words, “as do other nations” — although it is seemingly unnecessary for the plain meaning; 2) He deletes the reason for the severity regarding sherotzim?

Another questions: Rashi only mentions the author of a particular interpretation if there is a difficulty in the plain meaning which is resolved through knowing the author. In our case, what difficulty is there that Rashi need tell us the author of this interpretation — the school of R. Yishmael?

The explanation:

Rashi need not explain the reason for the particular severity in the case of sherotzim, for it is self-understood from Scripture itself. “Sherotzim,” Rashi explains (11:41), “are things which are ‘low, short-legged, which seem, only to creep.’” That is, sherotzim are creeping things which are very low to the ground. When Scripture enumerates the different categories of sherotzim, it says (11:42): “Whatever goes upon the belly,” upon which Rashi notes, “This is a snake, and the term ‘belly’ denotes ‘bending,’ for it goes bent and prostrated on its belly.”

Scripture could have simply said “snake” and not “whatever goes upon the belly.” But it does not do so because it wants to emphasize that sherotzim are things which are low, moving on their belly.

In parshas Bereishis, we learn that because the snake caused Adam and Chavah to sin, it was punished — “You are cursed of all the animals and from all the beasts of the field.” Its punishment was, “On your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat; and Rashi explains that, “it had legs and they were cut off.”

The severity of this punishment is that going on the belly indicates how lowly and unworthy the snake is of all animals. All of it is in the dust, whereas other animals, which go on feet, are above the ground. Moreover, all other animals eat grass or meat, whereas the snake eats only dust, the lowest thing. The fact that it is connected with the ground shows how despicable it is.

Since we thus already know how degraded sherotzim are — creeping things which are low on the ground similar to a snake — Rashi need not explain why the prohibition to eat sherotzim is more severe than other unclean animals.

But all is not clear: Since sherotzim are so disgusting, how are other nations allowed to eat them? Moreover, earth itself has many good qualities — all plants grow from the earth, and it is used for building purposes, etc. Why then are sherotzim so severely forbidden to Jews?

Rashi alludes to the answer by adding the words that Jews do not defile themselves with sherotzim “as do other nations,” and by telling us the author of this interpretation — the school of R. Yishmael. The Mishnah (Nega’im 2:1) states: “R. Yishmael says: The children of Israel (may I be an atonement for them), are like boxwood: neither black nor white but of an intermediate shade.” R. Yishmael is stressing the greatness of Jews that they are not black.

Earth, dust, is black. Since Jews are not black, they are far removed from “dust.” Therefore, sherotzim, which are close to the dust, are especially repugnant to Jews — which is not the case with “other nations.”

In greater clarification: R. Yishmael was speaking in regard to the laws of leprosy — what color of leprosy is unclean on what color skin (i.e. a color on a white skinned person has a different law than on a dark-skinned person). Leprosy is a punishment for wrong behavior, thus indicating a low spiritual state. The Rambam (Laws of Leprosy, 16:10) writes that first “the walls of the person’s house are affected ... if he remains wicked ... the vessels of his house change ... if he remains wicked ... his clothes change ... if he remains wicked ... his skin changes and becomes leprous.” Thus leprosy on the skin indicates a very low spiritual state.

R. Yishmael tells us the distinction of Jews: Although a Jew is on such a low spiritual plane that his skin is leprous, nevertheless, “May I be on an atonement for them” (an expression of love), and they are not black.

So too in our case: After the Torah talks of the prohibition of eating unclean foods, it emphasizes Jews’ greatness that “they do not defile themselves with sherotzim as do other nations.” Even a Jew who is so low that he eats forbidden foods, does not defile himself with sherotzim — because they are so repugnant, close to the dust.

Rashi’s interpretation is based on the words of the “school of R. Yishmael.” Thus, in addition to the above connection with R. Yishmael himself, there must also be a connection to the school of R. Yishmael.

The Talmud (Berachos 32a) states: “‘G‑d said, I have forgiven (the Jews for the sin of the golden calf) according to your (Moshe’s) word’: The school of R. Yishmael taught: ‘according to your words’ — the nations of the world will in the future say ‘happy is the disciple whose master agrees with him.’” The Maharshaexplains that G‑d forgave Israel for worshiping the golden calf and did not destroy them, so that the gentile nations would not say He destroyed them because He was unable to bring them into the Holy Land. This argument had been advanced by Moshe, and G‑d agreed with him and refrained from destroying the Jews. This is what the school of R. Yishmael said, that in the future the gentile nations will say, “Happy is the disciple (Moshe) whose Master (G‑d) agrees with him.” We see from this that it is important to G‑d (so to speak) that the gentile nations should also recognize the greatness of Jews.

That is why Rashi explains that the Jews “do not defile themselves with sherotzim as do other nations.” This distinction of Jews is recognized by all, even the gentile nations — who see that they eat sherotzim, while Jews do not defile themselves by eating them.

Shabbos Chol haMoed Pesach | 18- 25 Nissan 5777

Fri- Apr 14th   Erev Shabbos Chol haMoed Pesach
Shacharis 7 am
Mincha/Candles 7:39 pm
Maariv and Sefira 8:31 pm /COUNT #4/

Sat Apr 15th  – Shabbos Pesach
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Latest Shema 9:44 pm
Mincha  7:40 pm 
Maariv/Havdalah 8:42 pm /COUNT OMER #5/

Sun Apr 16th – Erev Shevi’i Shel Pesach
Shacharis: 9  am
Mincha/Candles  7:42 pm 
Maariv 8:34 pm /COUNT OMER #6/
It is customary to remain awake on the eve of the Seventh of Passover (i.e., tonight) and spend the entire night in Torah study and joyous celebration of the great miracle of the splitting of the sea. (
www.chabad.org)

Mon Apr 17th – Shevi’i Shel Pesach
Shacharis: 9:30 a.m.
Mincha 7 PM /Special Time - FOLLOWED BY KINUS TORAH/
Candles & Yartzeit Candles after 8:44 pm from existing flame
Maariv 8:35 /COUNT OMER #7/

Tue Apr 18th  – Acharon Shel Pesach
Shacharis: 9:30 a.m /YIZKOR/
Mincha  6:45 pm followed by MOSHIACH SEUDA
Maariv/Havdalah 8:46 pm /COUNT OMER #8/
Chametz repurchased 9:15 pm

MOSHIACH SEUDA Tue Apr 18th  6:45 pm
Featuring words of Torah, 4 cups of wine, and shmura matzo (BYOB & Matza!) Shul will provide only some sweet wine, matzo, and Mellons.  Please keep all food in the social hall and supervise children. 
http://www.moshiachcampaign.com/media/pdf/529/xWCv5297556.pdf

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.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

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 NOT THIS Tue 7:30 pm
At Rebbetzin Levitin’s home, 6519 49th Ave NE.  For more info, chanielevitin@gmail.com

Camp Gan Israel Seattle Goes to Six Weeks! Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th 
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2017, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Camp Gan Israel Seattle: Mon Jul 3rd to Fri Aug 11th. Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime! Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at 
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KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
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sgdersho@gmail.com . Please inform Sarah by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.

THANK YOU TO JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER SEATTLE
Funding for CSTL Outreach Program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Please donate to JFGS at 
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COMMUNITY NEWS

BCMH Men's Club Holocaust Memorial Breakfast SUN APR 30th 9 am
Sponsored by the Wolf Family 
www.BCMHSeattle.org

HAMSA SUMMER FOR TEENS IN ISRAEL
Trip sponsored by the Sephardic Educational Center. The deadline is May 1st! Scholarships are available, including a generous offer by Harley and Lela Franco. For more information, contact 323-272-4574 or email info@secjerusalem.org Also, please click here:
http://sephardiceducationalcenter.org/hamsa-israel-trip/

YOM haSHOA – HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY – SUN APR 23rd 6 pm – 9 pm
At Ezra Bessaroth. Mincha/Maariv Services, Remembrance Program, Divrei Torah

Yom haZikaron Commemoration and Yom haAtzmaut Tefila MON MAY 1st
At Minyan Ohr Chadash.  Mincha 7:30 pm /Program 7:45 pm. Cosponsored by Ohr Chadash, Sephardic Bikur Cholim, Ezra Besaroth, NYHS and SHA

LEARN INTERMEDIATE MODERN HEBREW MONDAYS STARTING MAY 1st 8 pm
Must know how to read Hebrew but do not need to be able to converse freely. In this course you will increase your vocabulary, conversational ability and reading fluency. $80 a person for the series. See 
https://mercazseattle.shulcloud.com/event/intermediate-hebrew.html  for more information or to register. Please register by April 24th. Class dates will be: May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 28th and June 5th, 12th and 19th.

EZRA BESSAROTH LADIES AUXILLIARY SEPHARDI FEST SUN JUNE 11th 
Sephardic Foods, childrens activities, craft booths.

SEATTLE KOLLEL SUNDAY TORAH 9 am – 10:15 AM
Learning for adults and for children 5th through 8th grades.

Seattle Kollel Wed Apr 26 - May 24, 7-8 pm, Hebrew Crash Course
rabbiavrohomdavid@gmail.com 

Camp and Israel Scholarship Applications Available
Apply for Jewish overnight camp scholarships, first-time camper grants, teen Israel scholarships.
www.JewishInSeattle.org

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

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


DVAR TORAH FOR SHABBOS CHOL haMOED PESACH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/3195352/jewish/Shabbos-Chol-HaMoed-Pesach-5700-1940-Lakewood-2.htm | From the talks of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch; translated by Uri Kaploun © SichosInEnglish.org

15. Without Kid Gloves. People often say, “Don’t ask the doctor: ask the patient.” In terms of Chassidus and chassidim, the doctor and the patient correspond to Rebbe and chassid. A patient’s illness can be serious, mild, or slight, but even a slight illness cannot be ignored. The Rebbe is the doctor. And the popular advice to ask the patient and not the doctor has been relevant – and is still relevant – in the spiritual lifestyle of chassidim.

At farbrengens, even exceptionally outstanding chassidim, both maskilim1 and baalei avodah, used to reprimand each other outspokenly, without kid gloves, to the point that the listener squirmed in pain.2 This was often the case with several celebrated chassidim – R. Aizik Homiler,3 R. Pesach Malastovker,4 R. Betzalel Ozoritcher,5 and R. Hillel Paritcher6 – and their respective Rebbeim did not tolerate that practice.

Nevertheless, though the attitude of the Rebbeim to such pungent talk was known among chassidim, they used to comment, “Don’t ask the doctor: ask the patient….”

It is no doubt superfluous to point out that the sharp words exchanged by those elder chassidim sprang from brotherly love and profound mutual respect.

16. Fruit of a Farbrengen. In days gone by, a chassidisher farbrengen was a Chassidus-chassidisher farbrengen. The discussion centered seriously on the spiritual ambiance that surrounds [the formal texts of] Chassidus.7 For example, those present would analyze a chassidisher teaching260 in search of its inner meaning, and would discuss what can be learned from a chassidisher anecdote. Such farbrengens positioned chassidim in a cleaner atmosphere and on a higher spiritual level. When people went home from a farbrengen in those days, perhaps they were not more pious, but they were wiser, more refined, and more elevated. The atmosphere itself was cleansing.

Nowadays, however, because of the state of Torah observance and education and Yiddishkeit in the last twenty-five years, chassidishe farbrengens have turned into farbrengens whose function is to fortify the simple observance of Yiddishkeit. The topics are family purity, the observance of Shabbos, the need to establish fixed study sessions, and other basic requirements of Torah and mitzvos.

This kind of talk – and action – is obviously not only permissible but essential. However, on no account must it be allowed to replace a spiritually-oriented Chassidus-chassidisher farbrengen.

Chassidim must distinguish between two different kinds of farbrengens: (a) the kind of farbrengen that furthers the practical observance of Yiddishkeit in general and the cause of education in particular; (b) a Chassidus-chassidisher farbrengen that gives full and explicit expression to the authentic chassidisher spirit.

Every endeavor in avodah – whether in the area of seichel (intellectual activity), or middos,263 or thought or speech or action – must have a bechein, a concluding resolve that will produce a tangible outcome.8 The bechein is the very essence of that endeavor, and by making a firm resolve one must give it practical expression that corresponds to the nature of the endeavor that produced it. True, becheins vary considerably. The bechein that grows out of avodah in the area of seichel is different from the bechein that grows out of avodah in the area of middos; likewise, the bechein that grows out of avodah in the area of thought is different from the bechein that grows out of avodah in the area of speech or action. That said, all becheins share one characteristic – they must result in a bepo’al, a practical reality.9

At first glance one might well ask, What is the difference between a bechein and a bepo’al?

After all, it would seem that they are one and the same: the bechein of seichel is the bepo’al of seichel, and the bepo’al of seichel is the bechein. The same would seem to apply in the areas of middos or thought or speech or action. What, then, is the difference between a bechein and a bepo’al?

Chassidus teaches that there is a substantial difference between them. A bechein is natural, for in every thing G‑d implanted a bechein, which is its offspring. A bepo’al is artificial, for G‑d endowed every created being with a potential for a po’al, a potential for practical expression, which enables that created being to transform a bechein into a po’al.

As stated above, a bechein is the offspring of that created entity. Thus, the bechein of seichel is the middah which is the offspring that is born of that seichel. The ability of seichel to produce a middah that resembles it is one of the natural attributes with which G‑d endowed it. The resultant po’al vitalizes and sustains the offspring.

The same principle applies to the bechein and the po’al in relation to the middos, and in relation to the soul’s three “garments,” that is, its three means of expression – thought, speech and action. Thus, the bechein of middos is thought, the bechein of thought is speech, and the bechein of speech is action. Thus all becheins, including action, must have a po’al.

The po’al of the middos-bechein is that one’s thought processes should be orderly, and not too wide-ranging. The po’al of the thought-bechein is that it should find expression in sensitive and animated speech; the po’al of the speech-bechein is that the resultant action should be done with vibrant devotion.

bechein without a po’al is like sowing seed in vain, like bearing aborted children. It is one of the most harmful dangers that Chassidus is wary of, and warns chassidim to steer clear of.

There exist wrong-headed ovdim who imagine that if a middah is born as the result of their meditation on a G‑dly concept, this in itself a positive achievement. Such a person imagines that the fact that his meditation gave rise to offspring proves that his meditation was alive and that its offspring is viable. Not so, my dear brother! If there isn’t a tangible po’al in all of the above-listed stages of po’al, up to and including the exuberant enjoyment of an actual action, the seed was sown in vain and the offspring is stillborn.

True, the bechein is the very essence of the entity, but the bepoa’l is the soul of the bechein. It is the light of truth within all the becheins. To a certain extent, moreover, the exuberant delight that one experiences when finally carrying out the tangible activity confirms that the meditation that led to it rested on solid foundations.

It was stated above that the difference between bechein and bepo’al is that the bechein is natural, being the handiwork of G‑d, while thebepo’al is artificial, the work of mortals. The potential to carry out the po’al is natural, the handiwork of G‑d, but the po’al itself is the work of mortals. That has to be done by the man himself.

In both kinds of farbrengen, both the outward-oriented kind of chassidisherfarbrengen and the Chassidus-chassidisher farbrengen, have abechein. Quite often, whether it has a broad spectrum or a narrow focus, it is a warm bechein. However, the exuberant delight in the resultant po’al is often missing – and that means that the birth was stillborn. And that in turn means that the seed sown at the farbrengen was sown in vain.

Chassidus therefore warns chassidim of the danger of a bechein without a po’al.

17. Antidote to Dilution. A Chassidus-chassidisher farbrengen ought to be overflowing with [the values of] the authentic, age-old, unchanging, maskil-avodah chassid – the chassid whom the Alter Rebbe created, and whom our Rebbeim, each in his generation, nourished with Torah teachings and with directives in the paths of avodah.

Chassidus hasn’t changed and chassidim haven’t changed. It’s only that over the generations, the teachings and principles of Chassidus have been enriched and clarified by explanations that have enabled even those of lesser intellectual ability to grasp them. Chassidus and chassidim haven’t changed – but in the course of time, especially in the last thirty years, for various reasons Chassidus and chassidim have become diluted. Their essence is present, but too much diluted. Nevertheless, Chassidus and chassidim haven’t changed. We still have the age-old essential chassid, albeit diluted.

In the physical realm, we know that if one wants to rid a liquid or food of its superfluous water, one can’t simply pour it out, because then part of the liquid or food will be wasted. There are two opposite techniques: either to heat it to boiling point or to freeze it.

The superfluous water in Chassidus and chassidim needs to be heated to boiling point either by means of an evocative niggun that expresses the yearning of the soul and through a dance that expresses the soul’s cleaving to its source, or by means of a coldly cerebral exposition of one of the profound concepts in the teachings of Chassidus.

This should be the solid basis of a Chassidus-chassidisher farbrengen – to serve as a fiery furnace that will boil out the dilution of Chassidus and chassidim, or as an ice-box that will freeze the dilution out of existence.

18. A central theme at aChassidus-chassidisher farbrengen should be avodah shebalev, explaining not only that it is an obligation, but explaining also how one ought to engage in it. It is true that my father, the Rebbe, published a Kuntreis HaTefillah,10 but what is written there has to be integrated into one’s life: one has to learn – and teach oneself – how to go about davenen. Elder chassidim who received traditions from earlier elder chassidim should teach younger chassidim how to daven, and they for their part should be open to learn from them.

19. Goals for a Lifetime. A Chassidus-chassidisher farbrengen is a boundless heritage. A good farbrengen brings a person sooner or later to the loftiest levels, both in his comprehension of Chassidus, and in his avodah and sensitivity to Elokus.

[To summarize: On this theme, of spiritual elevation, R. Yehoshua ben Leviteaches in Pirkei Avos:11 “Whoever engages in the study of the Torah becomes elevated, as it is written,12 ‘From Matanah they came to Nachaliel, and from Nachaliel they came to Bamos.’ “ At the level of pshat, this verse simply names three of the stations in the course of our forefathers’ wanderings in the wilderness. However, R. Yehoshua ben Levi arrives at his above teaching by understanding these names at the non-literal level of interpretation known as derush. Thus, the name Matanah (lit., “a gift”) suggests “the gift of Torah”; the name Nachaliel implies that “my heritage is G‑d”; and the name Bamos means “high places.”

[The Rebbe Rayatz now takes this teaching one step further and, at the mystical level of interpretation known as sod, perceives a further subtext in these names. In the paragraphs below that begin “Chassidus understands…,” that subtext tracks stages in a person’s avodah of beirurim, as he refines and elevates his material environment by releasing the Divine sparks hidden within it.

[The above-quoted verse is preceded by the words, “and from the midbar (‘the wilderness’) they went to Matanah.”13 In Chassidus, the term midbar is a code word for the raw energy of the unprocessed Divine “sparks” from the World of Tohu that are embedded in our material world. More broadly, the term midbar here includes various stages that are alluded to in these verses by the placenames – Bamos, Gai, and Yeshimon (lit., “the wasteland”).]

Chassidus understands the sequence, “and from the midbar (‘the wilderness’) they went to Matanah, and from Matanah they came to Nachaliel,” in its characteristic style. Chassidus teaches that even the ability to attain the highest spiritual levels (“Bamos”) is granted to a person only as a gift (“Matanah”). That gift, called “Nachaliel” (which implies that “my heritage is G‑d”), is the privilege of “beholding the pleasantness of G‑d”14 and “delighting in G‑d.”15

The phrase that follows “from Nachaliel they came to Bamos”277 is, “and from Bamos they came to the valley (Gai).”16 In the terms of Chassidus, this means that the avodah of the individual who has already reached the lofty level called “Nachaliel” comprises two sides, whose codenames are “Bamos” and “Gai.” “Bamos” stands for the Divine sparks (nitzotzos) of the World of Tohu that have fallen into material entities, and “Gai” stands for the Torah and mitzvos of the World of Tikkun that are vested in material entities. In terms of the above individual’s spiritual tasks, his combination of “Bamos” and “Gai” thus implies [the ideal balance in avodah]: oros deTohu bekeilim deTikkun – the lights of Tohu in the vessels of Tikkun.17

The phrase that follows “and from Bamos they came to the valley (Gai)” is, “which is in the field of Moav, at the peak of Pisgah.”281 [Moav is an alien region, outside the Holy Land. In the Kabbalah, “the field of Moav” is thus a codename for kelipas nogah which, being a kelipah, masks kedushah, but it is the kind of kelipah that is redeemable by virtue of the holy spark within it.] The last-quoted phrase is thus saying: Although all material entities are under the dominion of kelipas nogah, in fact they are at the peak of the summit. (As Rashiexplains, the placename Pisgah means “the summit.”) Material entities are at the loftiest of all lofty levels.

[At this point, using the code language of the Kabbalah, the Rebbe goes on to say that it was G‑d’s Will, and His delight18 (“if one may express oneself in such terms”), which is hidden in His very Essence, to bring into being a material world. It is only the Divine ayin that sustains the existence of that material yesh, making it outwardly appearas the Essence of G‑d, “Whose existence stems from His Essence.”19 And by means of the beirur of the material yesh, as mandated by the Torah and its mitzvos, the lights of Tohu are brought to the rectified state of Tikkun. That ultimate stage is alluded to in the final phrase of the above-quoted verse281 which says that the peak of Pisgah “overlooks the wasteland.”

[Taming and redeeming the intense lights of Tohu, which fulfill their role by descending into the material world,]20 is the positive starting point for the realization of G‑d’s essential Will, by means of the avodah of the souls of the Jewish people in their Torah study and in their fulfillment of the mitzvos. They thereby carry out G‑d’s ultimate desire – that “the peak of Pisgah” should “overlook the wasteland.”

* * *

What sparks that positive starting point? – A Chassidus-chassidisher farbrengen that is conducted within the same framework that regulated the authentic vintage chassidim of bygone years.

20. A Paradoxical Descent.Chabad Chassidus uses clear terms to explain every subject, and that includes its explanation of a soul’s descent into a body.

A soul waits five thousand and several hundred years until it is finally privileged to be sent down to the earthly world and to be vested in a physical body.

The Zohar21 teaches that “every single soul stood in its own form before the Holy King.” The latter term (Malka Kaddisha) signifies Z’eir Anpin of the World of Atzilus, where the souls are located. As is well known, Z’eir Anpin of the World of Atzilus is still [“high” enough to be] reckoned among the infinite worlds. So since a soul is located in that infinite world of Z’eir Anpin of Atzilus, it is obvious that its avodah, in loving G‑d and standing in awe of Him, is lofty indeed. Yet even though it is in that sublime state, it waits for years on end for the privilege of being sent down to This World below and being vested in a body. From this alone we can appreciate the value of a soul’s descent into a body. We can grasp what serious weight is attached to that descent, in anticipation of the mighty ascent that will result from its attainments in the body in particular and in the lowly world at large.

21. More Fool than Chassid. At one of the cheerful farbrengens during the seven-day celebration of our engagement22 in the summer of 5656 (1896), my father said LeChaim and asked: “What’s going to be with ‘delighting in G‑d’?280 Until when is it being postponed? If someone’s a foolish [i.e., a self-deluding] chassid, he’s pushing it off until after his 120 years in This World. He’s pinning his hopes on one of two possibilities: (a) ‘At midnight the Holy One, blessed be He, comes and delights in the company of the tzaddikim in Gan Eden’;23 or (b) “[In the World to Come,] the tzaddikim will sit, with crowns on their heads, and will bask in the radiance of the Divine Presence.’24

“But he’s a foolish chassid – and a chassid and a fool just don’t make a good match.25 A fool can’t be a chassid, and a chassid most certainly can’t be a fool.26

“However, whoever pushes off ‘delighting in G‑d’ until after his 120 years is for sure a foolish chassid. He’s nevertheless a chassid, because he would like to experience ‘delighting in G‑d,’ whereas a misnaged knows nothing about that concept. What a misnaged does know about is delighting in himself: he pictures how the Holy One, blessed be He, derives delight from his chiddushei Torah, from his original contributions to Torah scholarship. As to delighting in G‑d, only chassidim know about that. But if a chassid pushes off ‘delighting in G‑d’ until after his 120 years, he’s a fool. And in a foolish chassid, a chassid shoteh, the fool is bigger than the chassid….”

22. Neither Foolish nor Wild. At the table on Shabbos Parshas Terumah in the year 5651 (1891), my father related: In the year 5550 (1790), when the Mitteler Rebbe was 16 years old, or a year later, when he was 17 years old, the [Alter] Rebbe entrusted him with the study program and guidance of the young married fulltime scholars who studied27 in the Alter Rebbe’s precincts in Liozna. At that time he said that the first step in chassidic education is to ensure that chassidim will not be fools, because foolishness (shtus) is an iron obstruction to a life of Chassidus.

To this my father added that the word shoteh has two meanings: (a) a fool, plainly and simply; (b) wild, untamed. And neither of these can partner with Chassidus and chassidim.

23. R. Aizik recalls the Alter Rebbe. My father shared the following recollection at the table on Shabbos Parshas Vayigash in the year 5655 (1894): “My father28 once told me that among chassidim, chochmah (canny perception)29 is inborn. He went on to say that R. David Tzvi Chein (the Radatz),30 who together with R. Yehoshua Dubruskin31 was visiting Lubavitch at the time, related that he had once traveled to Homil after Sukkos. He intended to spend several months in the company of the tzaddik R. Yitzchak Aizik,268 together with the fifteen or so single and married scholars who were studying there full time.

“That year Yud-Tes Kislev fell on a Friday, and in R. Aizel’s shul32 before Kabbalas Shabbos a table had been set with mashke and refreshments. After davenen, R. Aizel recited Kiddush with the festive melody of Simchas Torahover a goblet of very strong mashke and urged all those present to recite Kiddush. He then said that he was about to present us with a gift: he would tell us what the Alter Rebbe had said at the first festive meal held in thanksgiving for Yud-Tes Kislev, in the year 5562 (1801).”33

[From this point to the end of sec. 23 on p. 106 below, the speaker is R. Aizik Homiler.]

As far back as Tishrei, the inner circle of chassidim sensed that on the forthcoming Yud-Tes Kislev there would be fresh news. What the news would be, no one knew, but they felt that there was news in the air.

On Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah the [Alter] Rebbe was outstandingly joyful. In the various brief talks that he addressed to his sons and to a select group of elder chassidim, he said34 that for various spiritual reasons he had not accepted the suggestion of his chassidim that Yud-Tes Kislev, the date of his liberation, be instituted as an occasion to be publicly celebrated by a joyful festive meal. He went on to say that he himself had not yet held a thanksgiving meal which, according to the laws of the Torah, ought to be held; moreover, it is classified as a seudas mitzvah, a festive meal held in honor of a mitzvah. The mitzvah of this seudah, he added, is ahavas Yisrael, the obligation to love a fellow Jew, and “my grandfather”35 taught that for this mitzvah one must be prepared to undergo even mesirus nefesh, self-sacrifice.

At the festive meal on Simchas Torah, the Alter Rebbe shared a lengthy halachic pilpul36 with his brother, Maharil,37 as to what obligation applies to a person who belongs to one of the four specified categories of people who are commanded to express their gratitude appropriately,38 yet did not do so when the obligation first fell due.

From these discussions the elder chassidim gathered that on the approaching Yud-Tes Kislev there would be news: the Rebbe was sure to give the order for a festive thanksgiving meal, and he would no doubt participate in it personally.

Early in Kislev, we young chassidim from Homil, Bobruisk and nearby townships put together enough money to hire a wagon and buy a dozen pairs of fur-lined boots.39 We then hit the road by foot, except for an occasional brief rest on Azriel’s sleigh. On the way, especially at Rogatchov, Bichov and Shklov, we were joined by more people, who hired another two wagons. By the time we reached Liadi, on Thursday of Parshas Vayishlach, there were eighty of us.40

That Shabbos, in the course of which the Rebbe delivered three maamarim, no less, was one of the happiest Shabbosos that the chassidim had ever enjoyed.

After Minchah on Friday, before Kabbalas Shabbos, in the beis midrash that stood in the little courtyard, the Rebbe delivered the first maamar. It began with the words Vayishlach Yaakov and it appears in Torah Or. The passage beginning Vayashuvu hamalachim and the passage beginning Vayomer Yaakov are both part of the same maamar.

The Rebbe delivered the second maamar in the same beis midrash very early on Shabbos morning, about two hours before daybreak. He began it with the possuk, Vayomer Yehoshua…, be’eiver hanahar, though in Torah Or it begins with the words, Vayakam balaylah. The third maamar, which began Vayikach min haba beyado minchah l’Eisav achiv, was delivered in the same place, after Minchah on Shabbos.

The local zitzers and we guests repeated all three maamarim over and over, until we memorized them with their precise wording.

On Sunday and Monday, streams of chassidim from near and far began to converge on Liadi – from Bayev, Tatarsk, Chotemsk, Chaslavitch, Amtchislav, Klimovitch, Pahar, Potchip, Dubrovna, Orsha, Krupke, Talatshin, Borisov, Babinovitch, Dobromisl, Lubavitch, Rudnia and Liozna, as well as from a whole group of towns and townships in the Vitebsk-Polotsk Province.

On Tuesday, Yud-Tes Kislev, all those people davened in the beis midrash that stood in the little courtyard, in the beis midrash that stood in the big courtyard, and in all the local batei midrash – and all those places were packed.

The local Jewish townsfolk of Liadi announced that they would provide all of those out-of-town visitors with meals, free of charge, throughout that week and until after Shabbos. And that is exactly what they did: they lovingly demonstrated the characteristically Jewish instinct for hospitality.

It is noteworthy that their non-Jewish townsmen also took a share in the hospitality. Scores of them opened their homes for the visitors who were left without a place to sleep in the Jewish homes.

An exceptional degree of hospitality was displayed by the estate manager of Archduke Lubomirsky – the Jew-loving Yan Tchemerinsky. He notified the Jewish community of Liadi that every day they would receive from his estate 75 pud41 of rye flour from which they could bake bread, three cows and a number of calves from which they could prepare kosher meat, and a number of sleighs loaded with hay and oats for the visitors’ horses.

It was announced that after an early Minchah, everyone should assemble in the big courtyard in front of the beis midrash, and there the Rebbe would deliver a maamar of Chassidus.

The courtyard and the summer pavilion were packed tight. In the middle of the beis midrash stood the big bimah, on which there was a long table. A chassid nicknamed “the hoarse R. Shmuel Elye” on account of his lion’s voice called for quiet: the Rebbe was about to appear. When R. Shmuel Elye roared his Shaa! your knees would quake.

Immediately a band of burly and broad-shouldered young men appeared, and spearheaded their way like two threads as they burst through the huge and tightly-packed beis midrash. Within two minutes they had cleared a wide path leading from the front door to the bimah, making room for the impending entry of the Rebbe and his sons and brothers.

When the Rebbe first appeared at the entrance, we were overwhelmed by a reverent and awesome dread. In that state we heard his voice as he sang the well-known melody that accompanies the words, Tze’enah u’re’enah.

The Rebbe was accompanied by his brother the Maharil at his right and by his brother R. Mordechai42 at his left. In the second row there was his brother R. Moshe,43 accompanied by the two well-known elder chassidim. The third row comprised his sons – the Rebbe44 and R. Chaim Avraham45 to the right, and R. Moshe46 to the left. After them walked the Rebbe.47

As the [Alter] Rebbe approached the steps leading up to the bimah, he sang the familiar melody that accompanies the words, Keili Atah veodeka, Elokai, aromemeka.

The Rebbe took his seat at the table on the bimah and all those who accompanied him did likewise. As he sang, an inner fire flared, and the surrounding stillness aroused awe within us. He then delivered a maamar that began with the possuk, Padah beshalom nafshi. (It appears in Torah Or with a different opening phrase, Vayeiavek ish imo.) As soon as it ended, a chassidisher lead singer48 called R. Naftali Senner started a jolly niggun, and the “hoarse” announcer invited everyone to join in, in an orderly manner.

A table had been set in the Rebbe’s yechidus-beis-midrash, ready for a festive thanksgiving meal. There the Rebbe was joined only by his brothers and sons, as well as a select few privileged elder chassidim. After long entreaties the Rebbe’s son, R. Moshe, later agreed to share with a few of us the talks that had been delivered at the table. What we then heard we kept in utter secrecy, for that was his condition. [R. Aizil Homil added:] I will relay to you only one teaching, because it is relevant to the avodah of all chassidim.

The Rebbe had said: “I have a tradition from my zeide [that is, the Baal Shem Tov] that foolishness (not just a spirit of folly but the kind of foolishness that people describe as not clever), and sadness, and a [misplaced] feeling of self-worth are considered by chassidim as aveiros deOraysa.49 Conversely, chochmah (the acute perception that people call canny), and simchah that comes from finding whatever is good and cheerful in everything, and zerizus bimesinus (doing one’s avodah with calm swiftness) are considered by chassidim to be mitzvos deOraysa.50

24. The Source of Simchah. On Pesach in the year 5674 (1814) my parents and I were in Wiesbaden.51

At the seudah of Shvi’i shel Pesach52 my father recalled that at the seudah of Shvi’i shel Pesach in 5635 (1875), my grandfather the Rebbe Maharash had said: “The Baal Shem Tov said that Shvi’i shel Pesach is the source of simchah. Shemini Atzeres is the time of simchah and Shvi’i shel Pesach isthe source of simchah.”

25. A Pnimi and an Atzmi. There is a well-known principle that not every atzmi is a pnimi and not every pnimi is an atzmi.53 Being a pnimi enables one to become an atzmi. It is true that with a pnimi, a concept that he has meditated upon becomes part of him,54 but that does not mean that he has already become an atzmi.

26. To Mirror the Reality Above. It is completely understandable that to be described as an atzmi one does not have to mirror – in This World below – that which is Above. However, it is absolutely certain that a person who – in This World below – does mirror that which is Above is in fact an atzmi.

27. The Alter Rebbe’s Right Hand. On Yud-Tes Kislev, 5663 (1902), my father said: “In every aspect of his life, the [Alter] Rebbe – in This World below – mirrored that which is Above. When he moved his holy hand from one place to another, it certainly mirrored a revelation that was taking place Above at that moment in the attribute of Chessed, which is embodied in G‑d’s Right Hand,55in the World of Atzilus.”

28. The Joyful Approach to Avodah. On Shvi’i shel Pesach, 5664 (1904), at 3:00 AM, my father entered my room.56 At that time I was studying the middle of chapter 50 of Shaar HaEmunah, where the Mitteler Rebbe explains that the beirur by which the G‑dly soul sifts and refines [and uncovers the good that is latent in] the animal soul is an instance of the beirur by which the Divine Name מ"ה, whose gematria is אדם(“man”), sifts and refines [and uncovers the good that is latent in] the Divine Name ב"ן, whose gematria is בהמה (“animal”). The Mitteler Rebbe describes this process by the analogy of cooking: by the heat of a fire, the good and the bad in the food are separated, and the good is revealed.

My father took a seat and asked me: “What is a chassidisher yungerman studying on Shvi’i shel Pesach?”

On my table there was also a copy of [the Mitteler Rebbe’s] Derech Chayim,57so my father asked if I had been studying it. I answered that as part of my daily study schedule, I regularly learned a brief extract from one of its chapters in preparation for saying the Kerias Shema Before Retiring at Night.

My father commented: “It is true that the chassidic understanding of the phrase, ‘How good is a thing in its fit season!’58 includes all the classic teachings on avodah, and especially Iggeres HaTeshuvah and Derech Chayim. Nevertheless, there are times when one ought to arouse kav hasimchah, the joyful approach to avodah – especially on Shvi’i shel Pesach, which is the very source of simchah.”

29. Shemini Atzeres. [This section records a teaching which the Rebbe Rashab heard from the Rebbe Maharash at a yechidus in the year 5636 (1876). Its starting point is the Midrash that speaks of G‑d’s culminating celebration with His people alone on Shemini Atzeres, after animal sacrifices corresponding to all the seventy nations have been offered in the course of the preceding days of Sukkos. The Midrash likens that contrast to the private celebration which a mortal king, after having hosted all of his citizens for seven days, shares only with his dearest friend.59 The Rebbe Maharash then proceeds to expound that passage and relate it to the above-mentioned task of elevating one’s animal soul. He also discusses the intimate link between the yechidah, the innermost nucleus of the soul, with Atzmus, the very Essence of Elokus. The entire mystical exposition is expressed in a series of esoteric allusions to Kabbalistic code words that defy translation.]

30. Wordless Communication. Throughout that visit my father was in an elated frame of mind, and his holy joy was evident in every motion.

As he spoke, he discussed the distinctions between various modes of revelation – revelation by means of ruach hakodesh, by a revelation of Eliyahu [HaNavi], by being impregnated with the neshamah of a [departed] tzaddik, by beholding a [departed] tzaddik in a nighttime vision, and by beholding a [departed] tzaddik when awake. From that discussion I came to understand matters that I cannot speak of, even by allusion.

Now, 36 years later, as I leaf through the notes that I made soon after, I have hundreds of proofs that what I then understood was indeed exactly right.

31. Rebbe to Rebbe. [Here the Rebbe Rashab related the teaching of the Rebbe Maharash (in sec. 29 above) to sec. 50 and 51 of the Mitteler Rebbe’s Derech Chayim, which the Rebbe Rayatz had been studying at the time.]

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