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SHABBOS SHEMOS | 20-27 Tevet 5776

EREV SHABBOS - FRI JAN 1st    
Shacharis 7 am /FOLLOWED BY RAMBAM SHIUR/BREAKFAST WITH RABBI LEVITIN/
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 4:09 pm

SHABBOS - SAT JAN 2nd   
Shacharis 9 am /Latest Shema 10:05 am/
Mincha 3:55 pm  /Seuda Slishit Lite 
Maariv/Havdalah 5:14 pm 

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon - Fri 7 am Shacharis
Sun - Thu  Mincha/Maariv 4:20 pm /Repeat Shema after 5:09 pm

KIDDUSH SPONSORS
Kiddush is sponsored this week by Velvil Rosler, in honor of his birthday (14th Tevet).  We are honored that we got to celebrate his birthday with him last week, and that we will get to do so again this week!  A donation to Kiddush has been made by Shimon Dershowitzin honor of the Yartzeit of Rose Klein, mother of Charna Klein. Seuda Slishit Lite is sponsored by Adam Minkus.

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

SHUL ANNUAL FUNDRAISING DINNER JAN 18th 6:30 PM
At Hillel.  MLK Holiday Monday, January 18, 2016 from 6:30PM to 9:30PM  Join us for a Magic show and Dinner Click to Register: http://cstl2016.eventbrite.com/   To volunteer, contact MikeWeichbrodt@yahoo.com.

FARBRENGEN ALERT – CHOF DALED TEVES – TUE JAN 5th
The founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), passed away on the eve of the 24th of Tevet, at approximately 10:30 pm, shortly after reciting the Havdalah prayer marking the end of the Shabbat. The Rebbe was in the village of Peyena, fleeing Napoleon's armies, which had swept through the Rebbe's hometown of Liadi three months earlier in their advance towards Moscow. He was in his 68th year at the time of his passing, and was succeeded by his son, Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch.  Venue to be announced

RABBI LEVITIN WEEKLY CLASS:  JEWISH LAW – SUNDAYS 8-9 AM
Shulchan Aruch Hilchot Netilas Yadayim – Laws of Washing the Hands.  At CSTL.

JEWISH HISTORY WITH CHANI LEVITIN – TUESDAYS  7:30 pm
Second Temple and Onward.  At the Home of Rabbi and Mrs. Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE.  ChanieLevitin@gmail.com

Avos U'Banim Hakhel Edition will not meet this Saturday Night Jan 2nd 7:30 pm
Tell your family, Tell your friends! Thanks to the unprecedented generosity of an anonymous benefactor This week each participate will receive a  Personalized Sefer . A treasure which you will keep for life! Last time's raffle winner was...Zev Gitler -  a sizable gift certificate to Big 5 Sporting Goods. Nayim Herbstman - a sizable gift certificate to Big 5 Sporting Goods . Join us for a special evening of learning! Let us all join together in this year of Hakhel (Gathering) to strengthen our community in the spirit of Torah learning.  Learning Program will be for 1 hour.Each Session is followed by  a 'Living Torah' Video featured on the big screen & a children's prize raffle. Learning material will be provided in Hebrew or English. Please feel free to bring your own. ~This Program was instituted in loving memory of Brandon Gribin -Rephael Chaim Ben Shmuel~Info: Rabbi Avi Herbstman

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
From 10 AM at the Shaarei Tefillah Library.

FRIDAY MORNING- Chof Teves - Bagels, Lox, Shiur with Rabbi Levitin following 7 am Shacharis
Please join us for a special shiur on Friday morning Chof Teves (Jan 1st ) following 7 am Shacharis Rabbi Levitin will teach fromRambam’s Laws of Blessings, “Hilchos Brochos." Bagels and lox, and beverages will be served.

DONATIONS TO CSTL FROM IRA RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS
http://m.kiplinger.com/article/investing/T045-C001-S003-you-can-give-your-2015-ira-rmd-to-charity-now.html   On Dec 18th the President signed into law the PATH act which among other things made the Qualified Charitable Distribution provision permanent. This allows an IRA owner who is age 70 1/2 or older to exclude from gross income up to $100k in distributions made directly from the IRA to CSTL!  MikeWeichbrodt@yahoo.com 

SECURITY GUARD AT CSTL
The Board of CSTL has approved a security guard for CSTL. If you came to Shul last Shabbos you would have met our guard Arthur. I asked numerous members their thoughts and everyone liked the idea of us having a guard. A number of members even offered to help pay for the cost. If you are interested in sponsoring please  reply with the amount you would like to contribute. After we know how much the security cost will be after considering sponsors we will access a security fee to all members. MikeWeichbrodt@yahoo.com

JLI COURSE WITH RABBI BOGOMILSKY at CSTL  Wed 7.30-9PM.
What is a soul? Where does it go after it departs this world? Do Jews believe in heaven and hell? Can souls communicate with us from the afterlife? How does reincarnation work?  Journey of the Soul explores the mysteries surrounding the spiritual dimension of our existence—our destiny that continues even after we’ve shed our earth-bound body suit. www.myJLI.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan Rothman, Gabbai Kiddush, hardcastle101@hotmail.com . Please inform Ivan by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $300, co-Sponsor $150, Contributor: $50-$149.

CSTL CHILDREN’S PROGRAM
Tova  206-383-2516  Morahlala@msn.com

Member/Friend of CSTL Directory 
We would like to update our directory. Please send your current contact information to: infoCSTLSeattle@gmail.com  Please include Name, Address, Phone number(s) and Email. This information will also help our bookkeeper send statements to you electronically, so please, at the very least, include an email address.  Once the list has been compiled, we will send it out to you via email. Info: MikeWeichbrodt@yahoo.com

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


COMMUNITY NEWS

Sunday, Jan. 3, Fried Chicken Dinner at SBH, 5:30 - 7:00 pm
The SHA 8th Grade is preparing a fried chicken dinner to raise funds for its trip to Israel. No RSVP necessary. $20/person ages 12 & up; $12/person ages 5-11; $75 family rate Ages 4 & under Free. More info: www.seattlehebrewacademy.org

Jewish Federation Connections Dinner Jan 31st  11:00 am
Downtown Seattle Westin Hotel, with guest speaker, NY Times bestselling author and host of Dot Complicated, Randi Zuckerberg. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org 

Lunch and Learn: Marty Jaffee's E-Book of Sifre Devarim Wed Jan 14th 12:00-1:30,
Smith Room of the Suzzalo Library on the UW Campus.  Event is free and includes a light kosher lunch.  Link:http://jewishstudies.washington.edu/event/marty-jaffee-ebook-launch/ The Stroum Center is delighted to launch its very first e-book publication: Prof. Marty Jaffe's new translation of the fascinating Sifre Devarim, a 4th-century compilation of rabbinic oral commentaries on Deuteronomy. Jaffee's contribution uniquely captures the spoken dimension of the original text, bringing a fresh, often poetic perspective to a seminal piece of the biblical canon. Our event celebrating Prof. Jaffee's new work will feature a panel and discussion with two of Seattle's premier Jewish educators: Beth Huppin of Jewish Family Services, and Rabbi Adam Rubin of Congregation Beth Shalom. They will address how to utilize the book as a resource from the dual perspectives of teacher and student. This event is free, but advance registration is requested.

The Sabbath Morning Music of Syrian Jews in Brooklyn - Thu Jan 28th 6:30-8:00 pm, 
Thomson 101 on the UW Campus, Event is free.  http://jewishstudies.washington.edu/event/syrian-jews-in-brooklyn-how-their-sabbath-morning-music-reflects-their-arab-history-and-culture/   For hundreds of years Syrian Jewish prayer has incorporated the melodies and musical styles of Arab culture. Prof. Mark Kligman, the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music at UCLA, will discuss the Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn and the musical practices of their Sabbath morning services. His presentation will include video and audio examples. This event is part of the Stroum Center's 2015-16 series, Mixed Media: New Expressions of Identity.

Jewish Federation Summer Camp at  www.jewishinseattle.org
to learn about how OneHappyCamper and our scholarship programs can help your child get to camp this summer.Jewish overnight camp offers endless activities-singing, rock climbing, you name it. Your campers will return home confident and invigorated, sure of themselves and proud of their heritage.

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Rosenfeld  /On Break till January/
Parsha Learning and Discussion.  Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE, Snacks served

Visit Jewish Morocco! April 3-10, 2016
Morocco is a land of mystery and progress, from the allure of Marrakesh to the magnificent vistas of the Atlas Mountains. The "Discover Morocco" trip is a partnership between the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee as a way to connect Jews around the world. https://www.jewishinseattle.org/

Ignition Grant Applications Online NOW
Online application forms for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle's Ignition Grants are live!  Ignition Grants provide up to $5,000 for new, pilot or one-time projects. Jewish organizations in Western Washington that are 501(c)(3) are eligible to apply.https://www.jewishinseattle.org/

KOLLEL AVOT U'BANIM MOTZEI SHABBOS at 6:30 PM 
Come together with your kids and help start the new week off right, with a delicious taste of Torah learning, topped off by nosh, raffles and fantastic prizes.@ The Seattle Kollel Saturday nights 6:30pm to 7:30pm beginning Motza'ey Shabbat Chaye Sarah November 7th, 2015. Connect with your child in the most meaningful way possible! For more information: seattlekollel@aol.com or call 206-722-8289

NYHS Gala Dinner and Auction, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016
Honoring Rabbi Bernie and Shirley Fox. Doors Open at 5:00 pm. SHERATON Seattle Hotel, 1400 6th AVE, Seattle, WA  98101    For more information please contact us: www.nyhsgala.org or 206.232.5272 or to to get involved, contact chairs Debra Rettman and Beryl Cohen at gala@nyhs.org

Mercaz - On Going Gemara (Berachot) class with Rabbi Harry Zeitlin Every Shabbat from 3pm to 4pm 
In the Beit Midrash behind Rabbi Harry's house: 6523 39th Ave. NE.  Feel free to check it out, even if you haven't learned with us before

Jewish Day School Auction & Gala March 13, 2016
Hyatt Regency, Bellevue. Honoring Jill & Chuck Friedman. Register by Feb. 19, 2016 at www.jds.org  

 Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle January 31, 2016at 11:00 am, Connections 2016
Downtown Seattle Westin Hotel, with guest speaker, NY Times bestselling author and host of Dot Complicated, Randi Zuckerberg. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org  Visit the JFGS Summer Camp page to learn about how OneHappyCamper and our scholarship programs can help your child get to camp this summer.

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


SHEMOS 
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347342/jewish/Lekutei-Sichot-Shmos.htm Adapted from the Works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe | Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

The second book of the Chumash is called Shmos, “names.” It is given this title because the first verse begins:1 VeAleh shmos bnei Yisrael, “These are the names of the children of Israel….” But since the entire book is called Shmos , we are forced to conclude that, aside from echoing its first verse, the name communicates the general theme of the book.2

In the first passage of Shmos, the names of those who descended to Egypt are listed. This raises an obvious question: These names had already been mentioned in Parshas Vayigash3 in greater detail in the description of the descent of the Jewish people to the land of Egypt. Why then are they mentioned a second time in Parshas Shmos? Moreover, even the mention of the names of Yaakov’s sons in Parshas Vayigash appears redundant. Their names had already been listed several times. If the Torah had merely said, “Yaakov and his sons descended to Egypt,” we would have known their names.

The Midrash states4 that the Torah mentions the names of the Jewish people to allude to the fact that throughout the 210 years they lived in Egypt, they did not change their names. Just as they entered Egypt bearing Jewish names, they left bearing Jewish names; they did not change their names to fit the Egyptian culture. To emphasize this point, the Torah lists their names when they enter exile, and repeats them at the beginning of the book which describes theirexodus.

This, however, does not explain why all the names of the tribes are mentioned. According to the Midrash, all that would have been necessary was to say that they did not change their names. Beginning the book with the verse: “These are the names of the children of Israel…,” and then listing the names of the individual tribes points to a deeper intention, for every word in the Torah is carefully chosen.

The Strength to Persevere

On the verse:5 “These are the names of the children of Israel…,” the Midrashcomments:6

The Jewish people are comparable to the hosts of the heavens. Here, [with regard to the Jewish people,] the word “names” is used, and with regard to the stars, the word “names” is used, as it is written:7 He counts the number of the stars; “He gives names to them all.”

And so, when the Jews descended to Egypt, the Holy One, blessed be He, counted them, and since they are compared to stars, He called them all by name, as it is written: “These are the names of the children of Israel….”

The Midrash thus emphasizes that G‑d called the Jews by name to underscore their importance. For whenever Jews enter exile, there is a possibility that they will be nullified, absorbed into the host culture. By counting them and calling them by name, G‑d insures that this will not take place.

To explain this in halachic terms: When a forbidden entity is mixed with more than 60 times its quantity of kosher food, the forbidden entity isconsideredbatul, insignificant. There is, however, a halachic principle that a davar shebiminyan, an entity which is counted, will never become batul. The very act of counting it endows it with importance. Thus no matter what its ratio with regard to kosher food, its presence is never nullified.8

A similar concept applies with regard to any object with a name. One of themitzvos of the Torah is shichachah, to abandon produce which one forgot to reap so that the poor may harvest it.9 If, however, one forgets to reap the produce of a tree with a specific name, one need not leave the produce for the poor. Since the tree has a name, it is never truly forgotten. For example, theMishnah states10 that whenever an olive tree has a specific name, the laws ofshichachah do not apply. Although it may appear that the owner of the tree has forgotten it, it has a name, and so has a permanent place in his thoughts. This represents an even greater degree of importance than a davar shebiminyan.11

Thus, before the Jews went into exile, G‑d counted them and called them by name. Although the Jews appear to have been forgotten in exile, as it is written:12 “And Zion lamented, ‘G‑d has forsaken me, and the L-rd has forgotten me,’ ” since the Jews are an important entity, as reflected by the fact that G‑d counts them and calls them by name, they will never become nullified or abandoned. For G‑d will never forget them.

For this reason, although at the outset, the Midrash compares the Jews to the hosts of heaven as a whole, the prooftext mentions the stars. For the stars possess an advantage over the sun and moon, about which it is written:13 “The moon will be humiliated and the sun ashamed.” The stars and the Jewish people for whom they serve as an analogy will shine forever.

As mentioned on several occasions,14 all the interpretations of a verse share a connection. This holds true with regard to the two views mentioned above. Calling the Jews by name made them a significant entity which can never become nullified. This in turn endowed them with the strength to persevere. They were able to endure the Egyptian exile, and emerge bearing the same names as when they descended.

In the Image of G‑d

Another concept can be derived15 from the verse: “These are the names….” The Midrash teaches:16

With regard to the wicked, it is written: “Goliyus was his name,”17 “Nevel was his name,”18 i.e., their personal names preceded the word “name.” With regard to the righteous, by contrast, it is written: “His name is Kish,”19 “His name isSaul,”20 “His name is Yishai,”21 i.e., the word “name” precedes their individual name.

The righteous resemble their Creator. For with regard to G‑d as well, it is written:22 “My Name, י-ה-ו-ה , I did not make known to them.”

A similar pattern is followed in this week’s Torah reading, which begins: “These are the names” and only afterwards states those names “ReuvenShimon,Levi….” Here too, it is demonstrated that “the righteous resemble their Creator.”

There is also a connection to the two interpretations of the Midrash mentioned previously. The Jews are described using stars as an analogy, and did not change their names because they are a nation of righteous men23 who resemble their Creator.

Only A Glimmer

The above concepts can be clarified by understanding the inner meaning of a name. The Divine light which descends to bring the world into being can be considered as G‑d’s name. To clarify the analogy: A name is merely a glimmer of the entity which it identifies. For example, there is the saying,24 “The name of the king is called upon them,” i.e., it is only the name, and not the essence of the king, by which his country is known.

A name does not relate to a person’s essence. It merely serves as a medium through which one person can establish a relationship with another. Similarly, with regard to G‑d, His name relates to the creation a realm apart from Himself. For Himself, He has no need of a name; He is holy and separate. At this level, created beings have no commonalty with Him.

Similar concepts apply with regard to the Jewish people. Jewish souls share a bond with G‑d’s essence, for they are “an actual part of G‑d.”25 Therefore other created beings cannot fully appreciate a Jewish soul.

“The righteous resemble their Creator,” and “Your nation are all righteous.” Just as only G‑d’s name, i.e., merely a glimmer of His essence, isenclothed in the world, so too, it is only a glimmer of a Jew’s soul which is enclothed in his body.26 For the body is not able to contain the soul in its entirety.

This is also alluded to in the verse, “These are the names of the children of Israel who entered the land of Egypt.” It is only “the names” a glimmer of the Jews’ souls which experienced “Egypt,” i.e., the boundaries and limitations of this material world. The soul’s essence, by contrast, does not enter exile.

The fact that the soul itself cannot be confined empowers the glimmer which is enclothed in the body to resist being affected by the concealment and veiling of G‑dliness that characterizes exile. The soul thus remains perfect despite the fact that the body in which it isenclothed has descended into exile.

An Interactive Bond

The dynamic is two-fold. That element of the soul which remains unconfined by the body empowers the glimmer enclothed in mortal flesh. Conversely, the Divine service accomplished by the “enclothed” glimmer is able to elevate the soul’s essence.

The purpose of a soul’s descent into this material realm is the ascent which such a descent makes possible. As is well known,27 this ascent is made, not only by the glimmer enclothed in the body, but also by the essence of the soul as it exists in the spiritual realms. This essence rises to a level that it could never have attained without the Divine service of the glimmer enclothed in flesh.

The reason that the glimmer, the name, of a soul can elevate its essence is because the name invokes that essence.28 Thus when we call a person by name, he responds with his entire essence. And as is well known, when a person is unconscious, one of the ways to awaken him is to whisper his Jewish name in his ear. This will arouse the essence of his soul and draw down energy to reanimate the body.

This also reflects how “the righteous resemble their Creator.” For through the Divine service of the Jewish people in this world where only a glimmer of G‑dliness shines forth satisfaction is generated for G‑d Himself. And so our Sages speak29 of G‑d: “Pleasure is aroused before Me, that I spoke and My bidding was fulfilled.”

An Individual Journey

Our Divine service in this world is to refine our bodies, our animal souls, and the portion of the world which is granted to each of us. This implies that we need not be affected by the difficulties and concealment of G‑dliness brought about by the body and the animal soul. Instead, we most forcefully devote ourselves to matters of the soul the study of Torah and the observance of mitzvos. These are goals which all Jews share.

Moreover, every individual has a personal mission. He must refine and transform his body, his animal soul, and his portion of the world, making them a vessel for G‑dliness. Each person’s mission is unique, for everyone is entrusted with a specific type of Divine service.

To highlight the individual nature of these endeavors, the Torah mentions not only “the children of Israel,” but the particular names of Yaakov’s children. For a Jew’s name reflects the pattern through which a soul’s connection to the body is expressed. The soul itself is nameless; it is only through its connection with a body that it adopts a specific motif. Since every human body is unique, every Jewish soul adopts a unique pattern, and is thus given a name of its own. This name alludes to its particular mode of Divine service.

Through “the names of the children of Israel” outlining the Divine service required of every Jew in refining his body, animal soul, and portion of the world the purpose of the descent to Egypt is accomplished, and the soul ascends to higher peaks.

The Message in the Name Shmos

On this basis, we can understand why the entire book is referred to as Shmos , for this name expresses the theme of the entire book. The first book of the Torah, Bereishis, is referred to as “The Book of the Just,”30 because it describes the lives of the Patriarchs, who personified justice. They were on a spiritual level that precluded the possibility of exile.

Although Yaakov also descended into Egypt, he did not experience the bitter nature of the Egyptian exile. Indeed, the Midrash states31 that as long as Yosefwas alive, the Jews were not oppressed by the Egyptians. The rationale for this is that the spiritual level of the Patriarchs was above exile. And since Yosef represented “the posterity of Yaakov”32 i.e., he communicated Yaakov’s spiritual influence to lower levels as long as Yosef was alive, it was impossible for the Jews to be oppressed. Only after Yosef died, in the time of “the children of Israel” (i.e. in the era when Yaakov’s influence was not felt as palpably) did the oppression begin. At that time was initiated the Divine service implied by the verse “And these are the names of the children of Israel…,” for it is these endeavors which brought about the redemption.

Accordingly, the name Shmos relates to the general theme of the book. For it alludes to the Divine service carried out by the Jewish people in exile, emphasizing that:

a) only the name, a glimmer of the soul’s essence, descends into exile. The essence of the soul remains above exile, and endows the glimmer with power to complete its task, and

b) our mission is to involve those elements related to our names, i.e., a person’s own body, his animal soul, and his portion of the world. These endeavors lead to the “exodus from Egypt,” and allow the essence of the soul to ascend. The crowning phase of this sequence is to make “a Sanctuary” of which it is said:33 “I will dwell within.” As interpreted by Chassidus,34 this means “within each and every individual.”

Appreciating the Directives for Our Own Divine Service

As with all the narratives of the Torah, the parshah of Shmos contains a lesson relevant in every generation and place. Even in the most difficult phases of exile, a Jew must realize that he need not become intimidated, and certainly he need not despair, heaven forbid. For the essence of his soul is never in exile, and nothing can conceal it. Moreover, this essence empowers a Jew as he exists in this realm not to be daunted by the exile, and to carry out his mission to refine his body, his animal soul, and his portion of the world.

This is a mission of tremendous import, enabling the essence of the soul to ascend to a higher rung, and ultimately bringing about the indwelling of G‑d’s presence on earth as will be revealed in the ultimate Redemption. May it take place in the near future.

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Shmos, 5719)

SHABBOS VAYEHI | 13-20 Tevet 5776

EREV SHABBOS - FRI DEC 25th   
Shacharis 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 4:04 pm

SHABBOS - SAT DEC 26th  
Shacharis 9 am /Latest Shema 10:03 am/
Mincha 3:50 pm  /Seuda Slishit Lite 
Maariv/Havdalah 5:08 pm 

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon - Fri 7 am Shacharis
Sun - Thu  Mincha/Maariv 4:10 pm /Repeat Shema after 5:02 pm

KIDDUSH SPONSORS
Kiddush Lite – No sponsor.   Seuda Slishit Lite is sponsored by Mike Weichbrodt.

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

YEAR END DONATIONS – PLEASE DONATE TO CSTL
The year year is almost over and I wanted to remind you to please pay any outstanding balances to receive your tax deduction before it's too late. Also, I would like to remind you to check with your employer if they will match your donation. I was happy to find out that Morgan Stanley does match my donation to CSTL.  MikeWeichbrodt@yahoo.com

RABBI LEVITIN WEEKLY CLASS:  JEWISH LAW – SUNDAYS 8-9 AM
Shulchan Aruch Hilchot Netilas Yadayim – Laws of Washing the Hands.  At CSTL.

JEWISH HISTORY WITH CHANI LEVITIN – TUESDAYS  7:30 pm
Second Temple and Onward.  At the Home of Rabbi and Mrs. Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE.  ChanieLevitin@gmail.com

HOLD THE DATE - SHUL DINNER JAN 18th CSTL 7:30 PM
At Hillel.   To volunteer, contact Mike.

Avos U'Banim Hakhel Edition will not meet this Saturday Night December 26th
Will resume iy'H on Saturday Night January 2nd @ 7 pm

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
From 10 AM at the Shaarei Tefillah Library.

FRIDAY MORNING- Yud Gimel Teves - Bagels, Lox, Shiur with Rabbi Levitin following 7 am Shacharis
Please join us for a special shiur on Friday morning Yud Gimel Teves (12/25) following 7 am Shacharis Rabbi Levitin will teach from Rambam’s Laws of Blessings, “Hilchos Brochos." Bagels and lox, and beverages will be served.

DONATIONS TO CSTL FROM IRA RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS
http://m.kiplinger.com/article/investing/T045-C001-S003-you-can-give-your-2015-ira-rmd-to-charity-now.html   On Dec 18th the President signed into law the PATH act which among other things made the Qualified Charitable Distribution provision permanent. This allows an IRA owner who is age 70 1/2 or older to exclude from gross income up to $100k in distributions made directly from the IRA to CSTL!  MikeWeichbrodt@yahoo.com 

SECURITY GUARD AT CSTL
The Board of CSTL has approved a security guard for CSTL. If you came to Shul last Shabbos you would have met our guard Arthur. I asked numerous members their thoughts and everyone liked the idea of us having a guard. A number of members even offered to help pay for the cost. If you are interested in sponsoring please  reply with the amount you would like to contribute. After we know how much the security cost will be after considering sponsors we will access a security fee to all members. MikeWeichbrodt@yahoo.com

JLI COURSE WITH RABBI BOGOMILSKY at CSTL  Wed 7.30-9PM.
What is a soul? Where does it go after it departs this world? Do Jews believe in heaven and hell? Can souls communicate with us from the afterlife? How does reincarnation work?  Journey of the Soul explores the mysteries surrounding the spiritual dimension of our existence—our destiny that continues even after we’ve shed our earth-bound body suit.www.myJLI.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
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COMMUNITY NEWS

Lunch and Learn: Marty Jaffee's E-Book of Sifre Devarim Wed Jan 14th 12:00-1:30,
Smith Room of the Suzzalo Library on the UW Campus.  Event is free and includes a light kosher lunch.  Link:http://jewishstudies.washington.edu/event/marty-jaffee-ebook-launch/ The Stroum Center is delighted to launch its very first e-book publication: Prof. Marty Jaffe's new translation of the fascinating Sifre Devarim, a 4th-century compilation of rabbinic oral commentaries on Deuteronomy. Jaffee's contribution uniquely captures the spoken dimension of the original text, bringing a fresh, often poetic perspective to a seminal piece of the biblical canon. Our event celebrating Prof. Jaffee's new work will feature a panel and discussion with two of Seattle's premier Jewish educators: Beth Huppin of Jewish Family Services, and Rabbi Adam Rubin of Congregation Beth Shalom. They will address how to utilize the book as a resource from the dual perspectives of teacher and student. This event is free, but advance registration is requested.

The Sabbath Morning Music of Syrian Jews in Brooklyn - Thu Jan 28th 6:30-8:00 pm, 
Thomson 101 on the UW Campus, Event is free.  http://jewishstudies.washington.edu/event/syrian-jews-in-brooklyn-how-their-sabbath-morning-music-reflects-their-arab-history-and-culture/   For hundreds of years Syrian Jewish prayer has incorporated the melodies and musical styles of Arab culture. Prof. Mark Kligman, the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music at UCLA, will discuss the Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn and the musical practices of their Sabbath morning services. His presentation will include video and audio examples. This event is part of the Stroum Center's 2015-16 series, Mixed Media: New Expressions of Identity.

Sunday, Jan. 3, Fried Chicken Dinner at SBH, 5:30 - 7:00 pm
The SHA 8th Grade is preparing a fried chicken dinner to raise funds for its trip to Israel. No RSVP necessary. $20/person ages 12 & up; $12/person ages 5-11; $75 family rate Ages 4 & under Free. More info: www.seattlehebrewacademy.org

Jewish Federation Connections Dinner Jan 31st  11:00 am
Downtown Seattle Westin Hotel, with guest speaker, NY Times bestselling author and host of Dot Complicated, Randi Zuckerberg. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org 

Jewish Federation Summer Camp at  www.jewishinseattle.org
to learn about how OneHappyCamper and our scholarship programs can help your child get to camp this summer.Jewishovernight camp offers endless activities-singing, rock climbing, you name it. Your campers will return home confident and invigorated, sure of themselves and proud of their heritage.

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Rosenfeld  /On Break till January/
Parsha Learning and Discussion.  Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE, Snacks served

Seatte Kollel Winter SEED Program Dec. 28 - Jan. 1,
More info: seattlekollel@aol.com or (206) 722-8289

Visit Jewish Morocco! April 3-10, 2016
Morocco is a land of mystery and progress, from the allure of Marrakesh to the magnificent vistas of the Atlas Mountains. The "Discover Morocco" trip is a partnership between the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee as a way to connect Jews around the world. https://www.jewishinseattle.org/

Ignition Grant Applications Online NOW
Online application forms for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle's Ignition Grants are live!  Ignition Grants provide up to $5,000 for new, pilot or one-time projects. Jewish organizations in Western Washington that are 501(c)(3) are eligible to apply. https://www.jewishinseattle.org/

KOLLEL AVOT U'BANIM MOTZEI SHABBOS at 6:30 PM 
Come together with your kids and help start the new week off right, with a delicious taste of Torah learning, topped off by nosh, raffles and fantastic prizes.@ The Seattle Kollel Saturday nights 6:30pm to 7:30pm beginning Motza'ey Shabbat ChayeSarah November 7th, 2015. Connect with your child in the most meaningful way possible! For more information: seattlekollel@aol.com or call 206-722-8289

NYHS Gala Dinner and Auction, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016
Honoring Rabbi Bernie and Shirley Fox. Doors Open at 5:00 pm. SHERATON Seattle Hotel, 1400 6th AVE, Seattle, WA 98101    For more information please contact us: www.nyhsgala.org or 206.232.5272 or to to get involved, contact chairs Debra Rettman and Beryl Cohen at gala@nyhs.org

Mercaz - On Going Gemara (Berachot) class with Rabbi Harry Zeitlin Every Shabbat from 3pm to 4pm 
In the Beit Midrash behind Rabbi Harry's house: 6523 39th Ave. NE.  Feel free to check it out, even if you haven't learned with us before

Jewish Day School Auction & Gala March 13, 2016
Hyatt Regency, Bellevue. Honoring Jill & Chuck Friedman. Register by Feb. 19, 2016 at www.jds.org  

 Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle January 31, 2016at 11:00 am, Connections 2016
Downtown Seattle Westin Hotel, with guest speaker, NY Times bestselling author and host of Dot Complicated, Randi Zuckerberg. More info: www.jewishinseattle.org  Visit the JFGS Summer Camp page to learn about how OneHappyCamper and our scholarship programs can help your child get to camp this summer.

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VAYEHI 
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347338/jewish/Lekutei-Sichot-Vayechi.htm
Adapted from the Works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe | Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger | © Chabad.org

The conclusion of Parshas Vayechi relates that Yosef communicated the message of redemption to the Jewish people, telling them:1 “G-d will surely remember you, and will bring you out of this land.” This shows that not only was Yosef the cause of the descent to Egypt, he was also the initiator of the exodus.Yaakov and his sons came to Egypt because of Yosef, and it was he who gave the promise and the sign for the redemption.2 Moreover, this sign was more than a mere symbol; it empowered the Jews3 to proceed until the time when “[G-d]… will bring you out of this land.”

The connection between Yosef and the Egyptian exile and exodus can be explained by noting the unique quality Yosef possessed. Indeed, with regard to certain matters, Yosef possessed an advantage not only in relation to his brothers, but also in relation to Yaakov, his father.

Because Yosef possessed this spiritual advantage,4 he was granted a higher position with regard to material matters, serving as a ruler, and Yaakov and Yosef’s brothers bowed down to him, as he had foreseen. The brothers bowed to Yosef several times,5 and Yaakov bowed to him once, as the beginning of this week’s Torah reading states:6 “And Yisrael bowed down from the head of the bed.”

Everything which takes place on the material plane has its source in the spiritual realms. This is particularly true with regard to the events which occurred to the Patriarchs and Yaakov’s sons, whose entire lives focused on spiritual truth. As the Alter Rebbe writes in Tanya:7 “A tzaddik s life is not physical life, but rather spiritual life, [as expressed in] faith, awe [of G-d], and love [of Him].” As such, everything which happened to Yaakov and his sons had a spiritual source. Thus their bowing down to Yosef stemmed from the fact that he operated at a higher spiritual level than they.

Yosef’s Uniqueness

Chassidus describes Yosef’s advantage. The Patriarchs and Yaakov’s sons were shepherds, living apart from the pressures of material concerns so that they would not interfere with their Divine service. Yosef, by contrast, served as a viceroy, a task which involved many time-consuming activities. Moreover, he held this office in Egypt, a land described as “the nakedness of the earth.”8Nevertheless, this did not prevent Yosef from clinging to G-d in a perfect bond.

This explains why “Yosef recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.”9 Yosef’s brothers could not conceive that Yosef HaTzaddik could possibly be the viceroy of Egypt. According to their conception of Divine service, involvement in worldly affairs and closeness to G-d were mutually exclusive. Thus the phrase “they did not recognize him,” can be interpreted to mean that they had no appreciation of the lofty level at which Yosef functioned.

On this basis, we can also appreciate the interpretation of the verse:10 “This is the posterity of Yaakov. Yosef…,” It is Yosef who draws the spiritual influence of Yaakov into the lower realms. Yaakov functioned in the realm of Atzilus. Yosef transferred this influence to the worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah, and more specifically into our material world.

Yosef was the one able to accomplish this, because with regard to this task, he was on a higher spiritual level than Yaakov. For this reason, he was able to communicate with the lower levels, as it is said:11 “It is that which is on the highest levels which can descend to the lowest levels.”

The above does not represent a contradiction to the fact that12 “Only three [AvrahamYitzchak, and Yaakov] are referred to as forefathers.” For each of the forefathers endows every one of the Jewish people with a particular G-dlyquality. Avraham endowed the attribute of Chesed (kindness); Yitzchak,Gevurah (might); and Yaakov, Tiferes (beauty), which relates to the attribute of mercy.

Yosef, by contrast, did not draw down any new influence. He represented “the posterity of Yaakov,” and served to bring Yaakov’s spiritual influence into our world. Yaakov was “the chosen of the Patriarchs,”13 for the quality he personified, Tiferes, reflects the middle vector which mediates between Chesedand Gevurah and includes them both.

But Yaakov’s lofty potential, acting alone, could not be revealed in this lowly world. Such revelation required Yosef, for in this regard he was on an even higher spiritual rung.

The Parallel Between the Divine Service of the Patriarchs and Yosef on the one hand  and the Three Pilgrimage Holidays and Shemini Atzeres on the other

On this basis, we can understand the statement of the Zohar14 that the three pilgrimage festivals correspond to the three Patriarchs. Pesach corresponds to Avraham, who gave the command:15 “Knead [a dough] and make cakes [ofmatzah].” Shavuos corresponds to Yitzchak, for Shavuos commemorates the Giving of the Torah, associated with the call of the shofar,16 which shares a connection with the ram of Yitzchak.17 And Sukkos corresponds to Yaakov, of whom it is said:18 “And he made sukkos (‘booths’) for his herds.” This is the first time the word sukkos is mentioned in the Torah.

Shemini Atzeres corresponds to Yosef,19 “the posterity of Yaakov,” just as Shemini Atzeres is a continuation of the holiday of Sukkos.

With regard to Shemini Atzeres, we find a contradiction. On the one hand, it is considered a festival in its own right.20 As such, we recite the blessingShehechiyanu on Shemini Atzeres, in contrast to the seventh day of Pesach, when this blessing is not recited, for the seventh day of Pesach is not a separate holiday. And yet the very name Shemini Atzeres, lit. “the assembly of the eighth day,” implies that it is a continuation of the holiday of Sukkos.

The explanation is that the connection between Shemini Atzeres and Sukkos parallels that between Yosef and Yaakov. Yosef is an extension of Yaakov; his contribution represents the transmission of Yaakov’s influence into the lower realms. The ability to transmit this influence, however, is something which Yaakov himself does not possess. Similarly with regard to Shemini Atzeres, this holiday internalizes all the influence of the holiday of Sukkos, which in turn includes the influence of Pesach and Shavuos, as the attributes of Yaakov include the attributes of Avraham and Yitzchak.

To explain: The holiday of Sukkos represents an encompassing light (or makkif, in Chassidic terminology), just as a sukkah encompasses the people who dwell within. Shemini Atzeres makes it possible to internalize the influences of Sukkos. This is implied by the name Atzeres, which means “gathering in,” collecting and concentrating.21 The fact that Shemini Atzeres makes it possible for these influences to be internalized indicates that in itself it possesses a more powerful potential. This more powerful potential permits revelations which transcend nature (and which otherwise could only be drawn into the world in an encompassing manner) to be internalized within the framework of worldly existence.

Moreover, there is another significant distinction between Shemini Atzeres and Sukkos. On Sukkos, 70 bulls would be sacrificed, corresponding to the 70 nations of the world.22 Since the influence of Sukkos is drawn down in an encompassing manner, it was possible for the gentile nations to benefit from it. Therefore 70 bulls were sacrificed to refine the 70 nations.

On Shemini Atzeres, by contrast, only one bull and one ram were offered, pointing to the singular bond between G-d and the Jewish people, as theMidrash comments:23 “This is for you alone, and not for any strangers with you.” Although the influence revealed on Sukkos has already been drawn down into this world, on Shemini Atzeres it is drawn down in such a manner that no “strangers” can receive any benefit from it. A parallel to this can be seen in the Divine service of Yosef, who despite his involvement in Egyptian society, “the nakedness of the land,” was able to cling to G-d in a perfect bond.

The Significance of the Number Eight

There is another factor which reflects the connection between Yosef and Shemini Atzeres. One of the reasons the holiday is given the name Shemini Atzeres although it is “a festival in its own right” is to emphasize the significance of the number eight. For eight reflects a light that transcends the limits of the natural order, going beyond the limits of Seder HaHishtalshelus, the chainlike progression of spiritual worlds.24

The natural order is structured in sets of seven; the number eight reflects a light that transcends these limits. This light is revealed on Shemini Atzeres. And because Shemini Atzeres is associated with a transcendent light that is not confined by any limits whatsoever, it can allow for the internalization of the spiritual influences which are so lofty that they can be revealed on Sukkos only in an encompassing manner.

We find a similar concept with regard to the mitzvah of circumcision, which is carried out on the eighth day of a child’s life. Circumcision activates the level associated with the number eight. This in turn makes it possible to draw down the highest levels of holiness those which transcend the world (in Kabbalisticterminology, the level of Kesser25 which transcends Seder HaHishtalshelus) connecting them with the limb described as “yesod, the end of the torso.”26

Through the mitzvah of circumcision, our physical flesh is refined and brought into an eternal bond with G-d. The level of eight which shines on Shemini Atzeres is associated with Yosef, who is described as “the tzaddik, the yesod of the world.”27

At the Vortex of the Dynamic of Redemption

On this basis, we can appreciate the connection between the Yosef and the events in Egypt. The intent of the descent into and exodus from Egypt was to gather the wealth of Egypt, i.e., to refine the sparks of holiness which were enclothed in that land.28 When the Jews completed this task, redemption came.

On this basis, we can understand our Sages’ statement29 that the redemption from the Egyptian exile came about through the merit of the blood of circumcision and the blood of the Paschal sacrifice. For the intent of the mitzvahof circumcision is to elevate the lowest levels,30 the organ which is identified with “Yesod, the end of the torso.”

The potential to descend to the lowest levels and elevate the sparks of holiness found there comes from Yosef HaTzaddik. So the Egyptian exile came about because of Yosef, and he was the one who communicated the message of redemption. For he was the one who endowed the Jewish people with the strength to carry out the purpose of the exile, completing the task of refinement, and in this way preparing for the redemption.

A Parallel to Yosef HaTzaddikin our Days

On several occasions,31 my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, would explain that on Sukkos, together with the seven Ushpizen mentioned by the Zohar , Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov,… come the seven Chassidic ushpizen: the Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid of Mezeritch, the Alter Rebbe, the Mitteler Rebbe,theTzemach Tzedek, the Rebbe Maharash, and Rebbe Rashab. On each of the seven nights of Sukkos, one of these Chassidic leaders comes as the honored guest of the day. Since my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, was the successor of these seven nesi’im, it can be understood that he comes on the eighth day, Shemini Atzeres.

This is also indicated by the Rebbe’s first name, Yosef,32 for as our Sages explain,33 a person’s name influences his destiny. This is particularly true since the Rebbe’s name was selected by tzaddikim, the nesi’im of the Jewish people.

As mentioned above, Yosef HaTzaddik is associated with Shemini Atzeres. The Divine service of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, paralleled that of YosefHaTzaddik.34 For he was able to translate all the lofty spiritual truths communicated by the previous Rebbeim into terms that could be understood by those on the lowest spiritual levels.

This was reflected in the Rebbe’s efforts to disseminate the teachings ofChassidus, not only in LashonHaKodesh, our holy tongue, and in Yiddish, but in many other languages. For his Divine service involved spreading G-dliness everywhere, even on the lowest levels.

Thus the Divine service of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, encompassed two extremes. On the one hand, he invested all his energies in spreading the deepest teachings of Chassidus. Simultaneously, he invested the same degree of vitality in spreading the very basics of Jewish practice, e.g., teaching Jewish children the alef-beis, encouraging Jews to observe the Shabboskashrusandtaharas hamishpachah.

Not only did he involve himself in these activities, he charged his chassidim to follow his example, for “the body follows the head.”35 He encouraged them to involve themselves in spreading proper Jewish education and the observance of the mitzvos, while at the same time engrossing themselves in the study ofChassidus. (For this purpose, the Rebbe wrote and published the deepestmaamarim and texts of Chassidic teachings.)

This parallels the conduct of Yosef HaTzaddik, who involved himself with very lowly activities such as keeping account books and providing food for the Egyptians. Simultaneously, he was united with G-d in a complete and perfect bond.

In the Cities’ Hub

The above concepts were further reflected in the fact that the Rebbe lived in large cities, as Yosef HaTzaddik lived in the metropolis of Egypt, despite the fact that “living in a large city is difficult,”36 All the previous Rebbeim had lived in small villages Liozna, Liadi, and Lubavitch. It is true that because of their involvement on behalf of the Jewish community, and for the welfare of certain individuals, they traveled to large cities, both in Russia and outside it, but these were temporary visits. Their permanent dwellings, by contrast, were in small cities.

Moreover, even when the Rebbe Rashab moved from Lubavitch to Rostov, a large city, Rostov was at that time cut off from the world. Furthermore, within Rostov itself, the Rebbe Rashab choose to live in the suburbs, outside the cityper se.

My revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, by contrast, was involved with many different journeys from the beginning of his nesius on. He settled in the large cities of Moscow, Peterburg (then called Leningrad), Riga and Warsaw. As the Rebbe himself remarked:37 “Lubavitch has undergone 10 exiles.” This pattern continued until the Rebbe settled in New York.

In all of these large cities, the Rebbe was involved in disseminating the deep teachings of Chassidus, and simultaneously spreading the fundamental observance of Judaism. This follows the pattern established byYosefHaTzaddik , who was united in a perfect bond with G-d while functioning as viceroy of Egypt and directing the economy of that land.

An Elevated Trust

Because Yosef functioned on a higher spiritual plane than his brothers and even the Patriarchs the Divine light which transcends material existence, the level of sovev kol almin, was revealed for him he was required to conduct himself on a plane that transcends the natural order.

This explains38 why Yosef HaTzaddik was punished for asking Pharaoh’s butler to mention him to Pharaoh.39 He should have had perfect faith and trust that G-d would redeem him from prison. Because of his lack of trust, he was forced to remain in prison for another two years.

On the surface, the question arises: What was Yosef’s sin? It is well known that a person must create a vehicle within the natural order through which G-d’s blessing can be expressed, and that this is not a contradiction to complete trust in G-d.

To cite a parallel: With regard to earning one’s livelihood, it is written:40 “And G-d will bless you in all that you do.” In Chassidus it is explained41 that although the source for our success is G-d’s blessing, man must still “do,” i.e., create a vehicle within the natural order through which G-d’s blessings can be expressed. Afterwards, he should trust that G-d will send His blessings through this vehicle.

We see this pattern reflected in the conduct of the Patriarchs. Yaakov feared his confrontation with Esav, lest “he smite me, mothers and children alike.”42 What did he do? He prayed and trusted in G-d, but at the same time he created vehicles for salvation within the natural order, sending pres ents to Esav and preparing for war.

Why then was Yosef punished for trying to make a natural vehicle to facilitate his release from prison?

The answer is that a person on Yosef’s spiritual rung united with G-dliness on the level of sovev kol almin , which transcends creation does not to have to rely on natural vehicles or preparations. A higher level of trust is demanded from such a person, one not at all bound by natural limits. With regard to such a level of trust, it is written:43 “It is better to rely on G-d [the level of sovev kol almin] than to trust in man [the level of memale kolalmin].”

Unfettered by Nature

Similarly, my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe manifested conduct which transcends the natural order. He broke through all the veiling and concealment of G-dliness which characterizes the natural order, revealing G-dliness in an overt manner, more so than any of the Rebbeim who preceded him.

This is reflected by his continued positive activities despite the fact that he was held imprisoned several times,44 in conditions far more severe than those experienced by the previous Rebbeim. Indeed, he was actually sentenced to death. (When the Alter Rebbe was arrested, there was a danger of such a sentence, but it was never actually issued.)

Moreover, those who arrested the Rebbe and tortured him were Jews, who possessed the power of free choice. As it were, G-d had no control over their conduct, as implied by our Sages’ statement:45 “Everything is in the hands of Heaven except the fear of Heaven.” And so, with regard to matters involving the fear of Heaven, and the observance of the Torah and its mitzvos, G-d surrenders His control to the Jewish people entirely. They can choose their own course of behavior.

The responsibility of free choice enables us to understand Reuven’s motive in telling his brothers:46 “Throw him into the pit… let us not lay a hand on him.” Our Sages state47 that the pit was filled with snakes and scorpions. If so, why was throwing Yosef into it better than killing him themselves? According to Torah law,48 a person who falls into a pit filled with snakes and scorpions is considered dead. So powerful is this assumption that if witnesses testify that a man has been thrown into such a pit, his wife is allowed to marry another man. Therefore throwing Yosef into the pit was no different than killing him outright.

Reuven’s conduct can, however, be explained as follows: The brothers maintained that Yosef was worthy of capital punishment.49 Reuven, however, argued that they should not execute this sentence themselves; since they were granted free choice, it is possible that they could make a mistake. “Why kill him ourselves?” argued Reuven. “Let us leave his judgment in G-d’s hands. It is possible that a miracle will occur.50 If he is not deserving of death, the snakes and scorpions will not kill him, for they do not have free choice.”51

The Torah prescribes that according to natural law, when a person falls into a pit of snakes and scorpions, one may assume that he has been killed. We even accept this as evidence that he is dead with regard to granting a woman permission to remarry, because we follow the principle of ×¨×•×‘ , acting on the more likely probability.52

With regard to granting a woman permission to remarry, this principle is followed with restrictions. Even if the probability of a man surviving is minimal, his wife is not permitted to remarry.53 As long as what is required to save the person is something other than an actual miracle,54 i.e., a contravention of natural law, and not necessarily what people at large refer to as a miracle (such as those events for which our Sages have instituted an obligation to recite a blessing),55 the woman is not granted permission to remarry.

Nevertheless, even when an actual miracle is required to save a person, there is a possibility that he will be saved. Nonetheless, when determining halachahtoday, we do not consider that possibility because we follow the principle of acting on the more likely probability.

The above principle did not apply with regard to Yosef, because according to many authorities, Yosef’s brothers were considered as bnei Noach,56 (i.e., they were not bound by the laws which governed the Jewish people after the giving of the Torah), and the principle of following the more likely probability does not apply with regard to bnei Noach.57

The Power to Greet Mashiach

With regard to the future redemption, it is written:58 “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders,” establishing a parallel between the two redemptions. Accordingly, like the Jews in Egypt, our Divine service in these final stages of the exile is to elevate the remaining sparks of holiness which have fallen to very low levels.

We derive the potential to reach these levels from the Rebbe, the leader of our generation. For the Rebbe’sDivine service was characterized by the principle: “It is that which is on the highest levels which can descend to the lowest levels.”

This is also what is demanded of us in our Divine service, for “the body follows the head.” Our Divine service involves taking the deepest spiritual truths, the mystical secrets of the Torah, and disseminating them to the ends of the earth, following the directive given to the Baal Shem Tov by Mashiach:59 “When your wellsprings spread outward….”

Through these efforts, even the lowest sparks of holiness will be elevated, and this will bring about Mashiach s coming, here in this world. May this take place in the immediate future.

(Adapted from Sichos Rosh Chodesh Kislev, 5712; 
Sichos Acharon Shel Pesach, 5721)

SHABBOS VAYIGASH | 6-13 Tevet 5776

EREV SHABBOS - FRI DEC 18th   
Shacharis 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 4:00 pm

SHABBOS - SAT DEC 19th  
Shacharis 9 am /Latest Shema 9:59 am/
Mincha 3:45 pm  /Seuda Slishit Lite 
Maariv/Havdalah 5:05 pm 

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon, Wed - Fri 7 am Shacharis
TUE 6:50 am Shacharis /FAST OF 10th TEVET/
Sun-Mon,Wed-Thu  Mincha/Maariv 4:00 pm /Repeat Shema after 4:56 pm

FAST OF 10th TEVET – TUE DEC 22nd
Fast Begins 6:13 am.
Shacharis 6:50 am
Mincha 3:45 pm
Maariv/Fast Ends 4:56 pm

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YEAR END DONATIONS – PLEASE DONATE TO CSTL
The year year is almost over and I wanted to remind you to please pay any outstanding balances to receive your tax deduction before it's too late. Also, I would like to remind you to check with your employer if they will match your donation. I was happy to find out that Morgan Stanley does match my donation to CSTL. MikeWeichbrodt@yahoo.com

RABBI LEVITIN WEEKLY CLASS:  JEWISH LAW – SUNDAYS 8-9 AM
Shulchan Aruch Hilchot Netilas Yadayim – Laws of Washing the Hands.  At CSTL.

JEWISH HISTORY WITH CHANI LEVITIN – TUESDAYS  7:30 pm
Second Temple and Onward.  At the Home of Rabbi and Mrs. Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE. ChanieLevitin@gmail.com

Sunday Speaker at CSTL:  Rabbi Cheski Edelman -  Dec 20th from 10 am to 11:30 am
Title:  The Accidental Treasure.  A light Bagel and Lox breakfast will be served,

HOLD THE DATE - SHUL DINNER JAN 18th CSTL 7:30 PM
At Hillel.  To volunteer, contact Mike.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
From 10 AM at the Shaarei Tefillah Library.

JLI COURSE WITH RABBI BOGOMILSKY at CSTL Wed 7.30-9PM.
What is a soul? Where does it go after it departs this world? Do Jews believe in heaven and hell? Can souls communicate with us from the afterlife? How does reincarnation work?  Journey of the Soul explores the mysteries surrounding the spiritual dimension of our existence—our destiny that continues even after we’ve shed our earth-bound body suit. www.myJLI.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan Rothman, Gabbai Kiddush,hardcastle101@hotmail.com . Please inform Ivan by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $300, co-Sponsor $150, Contributor: $50-$149.

CSTL CHILDREN’S PROGRAM
Tova  206-383-2516  Morahlala@msn.com

Member/Friend of CSTL Directory 
We would like to update our directory. Please send your current contact information to:
infoCSTLSeattle@gmail.com  Please include Name, Address, Phone number(s) and Email. This information will also help our bookkeeper send statements to you electronically, so please, at the very least, include an email address.  Once the list has been compiled, we will send it out to you via email. Info:MikeWeichbrodt@yahoo.com

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


COMMUNITY NEWS

NCSY "Help the Homeless" - Sun., Dec. 19, 6:30 - 9:30 pm
For kids 5 - 13 in the BCMH Yavneh Building. A Pajama & Movie Night FUNdraiser. Cost: $10 + a pair of socks or $25 for a family of 3 or more + a pair of socks each. More info: www.seattlencsy.com 

NCSY Star Wars movie and dinner! Thu, Dec. 24, 
Arc Lodge Cinema, Columbia City, 4816 Rainier AVE S. Spend the evening with the new Doors open at 5:30 pm. Grab your hot dog/ hamburger and fries on the way into the theater and enjoy! Open to all Jewish kids, teens and parents of the Greater Seattle Community. (All children under the age of 12 must be supervised. This is not a drop off event for those children). $18 (Includes Dinner) for adults $15 (Includes dinner) for Children (under 12) and Seniors. Limited tickets available for just the movie without dinner. This event is expected to sell out quickly and will be first come first serve.http://www.eventbrite.com/e/star-wars-the-force-awakens-with-ncsy-tickets-19827664077?aff=efbevent

Latkepalooza Thu Dec 24th 9 pm to 2 am
This legendary bash is back and better than ever! Jconnect is bringing you the largest Jewish party of the year with awesome drinks and music all night long.  www.JewishInSeattle.org

Melave Malka – Sat Dec 19th 5:30pm - 8:30pm
At the Home of Rabbi Avi and Rachel Rosenfeld. 5240 38th Ave. NE.  Food, Drink, Music, Torah. Children welcome for singing and a movie.

Melava Malka with Rabbi Tani Prero Dec 19, 9:00 pm
Ashreichem Yisrael welcomes one of the founding members of the pastoral suburb of Mevo Horon, Israel. For men and women

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Rosenfeld  /On Break till January/
Parsha Learning and Discussion.  Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE, Snacks served

Torah Day School 10th Annual Dinner –Sun Dec 20
Esteemed honorees, Ezra and Aliza Genauer. Cocktails and Dinner, 5:30 pm. Cost: $100. RSVP to:www.tdsseattle.org   

 Seatte Kollel Winter SEED Program Dec. 28 - Jan. 1,
More info: seattlekollel@aol.com or (206) 722-8289

Visit Jewish Morocco! April 3-10, 2016
Morocco is a land of mystery and progress, from the allure of Marrakesh to the magnificent vistas of the Atlas Mountains. The "Discover Morocco" trip is a partnership between the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee as a way to connect Jews around the world. https://www.jewishinseattle.org/

Ignition Grant Applications Online NOW
Online application forms for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle's Ignition Grants are live!  Ignition Grants provide up to $5,000 for new, pilot or one-time projects. Jewish organizations in Western Washington that are 501(c)(3) are eligible to apply. https://www.jewishinseattle.org/

KOLLEL AVOT U'BANIM MOTZEI SHABBOS at 6:30 PM 
Come together with your kids and help start the new week off right, with a delicious taste of Torah learning, topped off by nosh, raffles and fantastic prizes.@ The Seattle Kollel Saturday nights 6:30pm to 7:30pm beginning Motza'ey Shabbat Chaye Sarah November 7th, 2015. Connect with your child in the most meaningful way possible! For more information: seattlekollel@aol.com or call 206-722-8289

NYHS Gala Dinner and Auction, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016
Honoring Rabbi Bernie and Shirley Fox. Doors Open at 5:00 pm. SHERATON Seattle Hotel, 1400 6th AVE, Seattle, WA  98101    For more information please contact us: www.nyhsgala.org or 206.232.5272 or to to get involved, contact chairs Debra Rettman and Beryl Cohen at gala@nyhs.org

Mercaz - On Going Gemara (Berachot) class with Rabbi Harry Zeitlin Every Shabbat from 3pm to 4pm 
In the Beit Midrash behind Rabbi Harry's house: 6523 39th Ave. NE.  Feel free to check it out, even if you haven't learned with us before

Jewish Day School Auction & Gala March 13, 2016
Hyatt Regency, Bellevue. Honoring Jill & Chuck Friedman. Register by Feb. 19, 2016 at www.jds.org 

 Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle January 31, 2016at 11:00 am, Connections 2016
Downtown Seattle Westin Hotel, with guest speaker, NY Times bestselling author and host of Dot Complicated, Randi Zuckerberg. More info: 
www.jewishinseattle.org  Visit the JFGS Summer Camp page to learn about how OneHappyCamper and our scholarship programs can help your child get to camp this summer.

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


VAYIGASH 
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347336/jewish/Lekutei-Sichot-Mikeitz.htm
Adapted from the Works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe  | Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger | 
© Chabad.org

When Yosef revealed his identity to his brothers, he told them:1

G-d has sent me ahead of you to secure a remnant for you on the earth, and to grant life for you with great deliverance. And now, it was not you who sent me here, but G-d. And He has had me appointed…. a ruler throughout the land of Egypt.

Yosef informed his brothers that he had been brought to Egypt for a Divine purpose: so that Yaakov and his family could endure the famine. And he continued by telling them to inform Yaakov his father that “G-d has made [him] a lord over all of Egypt,”2 and to “come down to me, do not delay.”

This sequence indicates that the descent of Yaakov and his family into the Egyptian exile depended on Yosef’s position as ruler of the land. Yosef was not merely informing his family that the Divine Providence which had guided him was also the cause of their move to Egypt. He was hinting at the fact that by making him ruler over Egypt, G-d had made it possible for the purpose of the Egyptian exile to be fulfilled. And therefore Yaakov should not hesitate, and should descend to that land quickly.

The Wealth of Egypt

From this, the following insight is apparent. In the covenant Beyn Habetarim ,3G-d told Avraham that his “descendants will be foreigners in a land that is not theirs for 400 years. They will be enslaved and oppressed… and afterwards, they will depart with great wealth.”4 The promise that the Jews would “leave with great wealth” was not given merely to afford some comfort during the oppression they suffered; it related to the very purpose of the exile.

As proof, one of the reasons given5 for the plague of darkness was that it enabled the Jews to inspect the homes of the Egyptians, and see where their valuables were kept. Afterwards, this enabled the Jews to fulfill G-d’s command6 that “A man ask of his friend, and a woman of her friend, silver and golden utensils,” so that they could fulfill the promise, “Afterwards, they will depart with great wealth.” This was:

So that the righteous man (Avraham) would not say: “[The promise,] ‘They will be enslaved and oppressed,’ was fulfilled. But [the promise,] ‘And afterwards, they will depart with great wealth,’ was not fulfilled.”7

On the surface, there is a difficulty. When in slavery, and in particular, in as difficult and bitter a slavery as was the Egyptian exile, anyone would be willing to forego wealth in order to regain their freedom. Indeed, the Talmud relates8that when G-d told the Jews to ask the Egyptians for their valuables, the Jews answered: “May it be that we ourselves leave.” And the Talmud illustrates this concept with an analogy of a prisoner who is told: “We will free you tomorrow and give you a lot of money.” To which the prisoner responds: “Don’t give me anything, but free me today !”

Since this is the natural human response, why did G-d hold the Jews in exile so that He could fulfill the promise of great wealth? And furthermore, it is difficult to understand the Midrash s statements, “So that the righteous man would not say….” Wouldn’t Avraham our Patriarch have been willing to forego the promise of wealth, so that his descendants could leave exile earlier?

These questions force us to conclude that gathering the wealth of Egypt was one of the purposes of the Egyptian exile. Unless this gathering was complete, the intent of the exile would not have been fulfilled.9

To enable this objective to be achieved, it was necessary for Yosef to become ruler, and for him to gather all the wealth of the other lands, as it is written:10“And Yosef gathered all the silver,” and our Sages comment:11 “All the silver and gold in the world.” This made it possible for the Jews to “depart with great wealth.”

Spiritual Wealth

The descent into Egypt was thus intended to refine and elevate the sparks of G-dliness that existed in that country. Through their many years of labor, the Jews were able to refine and cull the sparks of holiness enclothed in the land’s material substance. And when they left Egypt, they elevated these sparks of G-dliness to their source.

This process is alluded to in the verse:12 “A great multitude ascended with them.” For as explained in Chassidus,13 the Hebrew word for “great,” רב is numerically equivalent to 202. 202 of the 288 sparks of holiness that fell with the collapse of the realm of Tohu had been enclothed in the material substance of Egypt. These sparks were enclothed in the “great wealth” which the Jews took with them when they left.

This leads to a larger concept. As the Baal Shem Tov taught, a Jew’s material possessions are of spiritual importance. It is in this vein that he interpreted14our Sages’ statement:15 “The Torah shows consideration for the wealth of the Jewish people.” A Jew’s property is very dear, the Baal Shem Tov explained, for in it are enclothed sparks of holiness which the Jew must elevate to their source.

For this reason, on the eve of his confrontation with Esav, Yaakov left his family and went back to his previous camp to find “small containers” which had been forgotten.16 For these containers held sparks of holiness that he was destined to elevate.

And this was the motive for G-d’s command17 for “a woman to borrow from her neighbor… articles of silver and gold and garments.” For these articles and garments contained sparks of holiness which the Jews were destined to refine and elevate.

Shaping Destiny

Achieving this goal is to the benefit of the Jewish people. For this reason, Avraham our patriarch was willing to allow his descendants to linger in exile in order to gather Egypt’s wealth. He realized that this endeavor was for their own good.

To explain: Every spark of holiness is destined to be refined by a particular soul, and conversely, every soul has certain sparks of holiness which it is destined to refine, for these souls and these sparks share an inherent connection to each other.

This is the inner meaning of our Sages’ statement:18 “A person will never take a portion designated for a colleague.” This is true with regard to physical matters, because of the spiritual dynamic described previously. The spiritual profit the Divine sparks enclothed in the material property is destined to be elevated by only one person. For every soul has certain sparks of G-dliness it must elevate; the fate of these sparks is tied to a particular soul because of that soul’s nature.

My revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, once explained at length19 that with Divine Providence, G-d structures the events of the natural world to enable a Jew to encounter the sparks he is to refine. As long as the person does not elevate the sparks destined for him, they remain in exile. And since the sparks connected with a person’s soul are found in exile, the soul itself is in exile.

Moreover, the refinement of these sparks of holiness involves the essence of a person’s soul. Since “an essence cannot be divided,” any portion of it, however small, encompasses the whole. As the Baal Shem Tov said:20 “with regard to the essence, if you grasp a portion of it, you are attached to it in its entirety.” Thus when even a few of the sparks related to the essence of a person’s soul remain in exile, the essence of that soul is also in exile.

For this reason, taking the “great wealth” of Egypt was important, not only for the world at large, but for every individual Jew. For by elevating the sparks of holiness present within that land, they were able to have their souls released from exile there.

The ultimate fulfillment of every created being is to accomplish the will of its Creator. This is the purpose of its creation.21 Since it is G-d’s will that all the sparks of holiness in Egypt be elevated, doing so represents the greatest possible good for each individual, for it brings the most complete level of fulfillment.

Purpose Within Exile

Since Egypt is the prototype of all subsequent exiles,22 the concept explained above provides guidelines for us in this final exile. The intent of exile is not merely to punish us for our sins. Instead, the ultimate purpose is the elevation of sparks of holiness. In this vein, Chassidus23 offers an extended interpretation of our Sages’ statement:24 “The Holy One, blessed be He, exiled the Jews among the nations only so that converts would join them,” explaining that “converts” also refer to the sparks of holiness within material entities.

Hence we must also follow the pattern that “A woman should borrow from her neighbor and she who lives in her home.” “A woman” is an analogy for the soul,25 which is commanded by G-d to be concerned with another objective besides leaving exile. It must “borrow… articles of silver and gold,” taking with it the sparks of holiness which are found within the body, the animal soul, and one’s portion in the world.

Continuing the analogy, a “neighbor” refers to material concerns which we deal with from time to time (like a neighbor whom we do not necessarily meet everyday). “She who lives in her home” refers to material matters which are constantly before us (and which one must relate to as frequently as to a person with whom one shares a dwelling).

G-d’s command is that we must take out of exile not only those sparks of holiness with which we are constantly in contact, but also those which we encounter less often. (The fact that a person encounters the vessel containing such sparks is no accident. On the contrary, the meeting was pre-arranged by Divine Providence for there is “One who controls this edifice”26 with the intent that the person refine these entities and elevate them to their source.)

From these material concerns should be fashioned “articles of silver and gold.” Silver refers to love, and gold to fear.27 One’s efforts to refine one’s environment should enhance and be encompassed by one’s Divine service of love and fear.

No Room for Nearsightedness

There are those who protest: “Why must I be concerned with exile? I want nothing to do with it. I am willing to forego the ‘great wealth.’ And I am even willing to forego the spiritual fulfillment which refining the exiled sparks of holiness would bring my soul. What I don’t want is to have to struggle against the two-fold darkness of exile, and concern myself with material matters. I would rather sequester myself in a world of Torah study and prayer.”

Such a person must know:

a) If he does not complete the task assigned him, his soul remains in exile. Moreover, his hope of sequestering himself in Torah study and prayer can be realized only with regard to his revealed powers of intellect and emotion. The essence of his soul, however, will remain in exile together with the sparks of holiness which he was to have elevated. For the fact that one’s revealed powers are involved only with holiness gives no indication about the state of the soul’s essence.28

When a person gives this even a little thought, he will be motivated to shoulder the portion of the task of refinement allotted to him, for “A person will give everything he has for the sake of his soul.” How much more so does this apply when the essence of the soul is involved!

b) Even were a person able to leave exile himself and attain high peaks of spirituality without participating in the task of refinement, of what value would these peaks be? And how can they be considered as “peaks of spirituality” if they are attained by resisting G-d’s will? For He and His will are one.

This is one of the lessons to be learned from the exile and the exodus from Egypt. Our Divine service must involve our worldly environment, refining the sparks of holiness that exist within exile. And then “they will empty Egypt,”29leaving it “like a silo devoid of grain and a net devoid of fish,”30 elevating all the good which exists within our environment and taking it with us as we go to greetMashiach here, in this material world. May it be in the immediate future.

(Adapted from Sichos Acharon Shel Pesach, 5721) 

SHABBOS VAYESHEV - Mevarchim Tevet

EREV SHABBOS - FRI DEC 4th   
Shacharis 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 4:00 pm

SHABBOS - SAT DEC 5th  
Tehilim for Mevarchim Tevet 7:30 am
Shacharis 9 am /Latest Shema 9:49 am/
Mincha 3:45 pm  /Seuda Slishit Lite 
Maariv/Havdalah 5:03 pm  /Begin v’tein tal umatar in every Amida/

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon - Fri 7 am Shacharis
Sun-Thu  Mincha/Maariv 4:00 pm /Repeat Shema after 4:54 pm

KIDDUSH SPONSORS
Kiddush lite – no sponsor. Seuda Slishit Lite is sponsored by Gavriel Plotke

Prayer for Rain – Starts Motzei Shabbos 5 Dec at Maariv
Insert the request for rain, “v’tein tal umatar,” in the amida starting Saturday night at evening prayers.  This continues until Pesach

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.

CLOTHING DONATIONS FROM PROPERTY LEFT AT CSTL – CHANUKAH DEC 6th 
Please collect any clothing items you may have left at CSTL before Chanukah.  Items still at shul on Dec 6th will be donated to charity

Greater Seattle CHABAD Menorah Lighting Events 
Sun Dec 6th at7:30 pm -  Pacific Tower 2000 1st Ave (Downtown Seattle)
Sun Dec 6th at 4:00pm - Shoreline City Hall
Sun Dec 6th at 4:30pm - corner of Crockett St & Queen Anne Ave (Queen Anne)
Sun Dec 6th at 5:30pm – South Mercer Island QFC 
Mon Dec 7th 4:30pm  - Westlake Center (Downtown Seattle)
Tues Dec 8th at 6:00pm - Bergen Place Park – 5420 22nd Ave NW (Ballard)
Wed Dec 9th at 5:30pm - University Village
Wed Dec 9th at 5:00pm - UW Red Square
Thu Dec10th at 4:30 pm - Northgate Mall
Thu Dec 10th at 5:30pm  - North Mercer Island QFC

Sunday Speaker at CSTL:  Rabbi Cheski Edelman - 20th Dec from 10 am to 11:30 am
Title:  The Accidental Treasure.  A light Bagel and Lox breakfast will be served,

HOLD THE DATE - SHUL DINNER JAN 18th CSTL 7:30 PM
At Hillel.   To volunteer, contact Mike.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
From 10 AM at the Shaarei Tefillah Library.

JLI COURSE WITH RABBI BOGOMILSKY at CSTL  Wed 7.30-9PM.
What is a soul? Where does it go after it departs this world? Do Jews believe in heaven and hell? Can souls communicate with us from the afterlife? How does reincarnation work?  Journey of the Soul explores the mysteries surrounding the spiritual dimension of our existence—our destiny that continues even after we’ve shed our earth-bound body suit. 
www.myJLI.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan Rothman, Gabbai Kiddush, 
hardcastle101@hotmail.com . Please inform Ivan by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $300, co-Sponsor $150, Contributor: $50-$149.

CSTL CHILDREN’S PROGRAM
Tova  206-383-2516  
Morahlala@msn.com

Member/Friend of CSTL Directory 
We would like to update our directory. Please send your current contact information to: 
infoCSTLSeattle@gmail.com  Please include Name, Address, Phone number(s) and Email. This information will also help our bookkeeper send statements to you electronically, so please, at the very least, include an email address.  Once the list has been compiled, we will send it out to you via email. Info: MikeWeichbrodt@yahoo.com

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


COMMUNITY NEWS

INTERNATIONAL LADINO DAY at the University of Washington's Kane Hall SUN DEC 6th 4pm
Please join the Sephardic Studies Program and the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies for an educational and entertaining afternoon in celebration of Sephardic language and culture. The event will be followed by a kosher reception featuring Sephardic delicacies as well as a festive Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony. This event is free and open to the public. More information about International Ladino Day is available at 
http://jewishstudies.washington.edu/sephardic-studies/celebrate-ladino-day-on-dec-6/

StandWithUs Northwest at Shevat Achim - Sat Dec 5th at 7:30 PM 
This free event is open to the full Seattle community.  No food or beverages will be served.  Please RSVP to Northwest@StandWithUs.com

MIDRASHA RETURNS WITH SPECIAL PRE-HANUKKAH SHIUR
Women of the community are welcome to join the Midrasha of Seattle Women's Institute of Torah Studies this coming Sunday, Dec. 6, for breakfast at 9:15 am, followed by a special Hanukkah shiur in memory of Mrs. Dorothy Barash, mother of Mrs. Sarah Gortler. The breakfast and class takes place at the Meyers home, 5221 S. Brandon St.

Ezra Bessaroth LADIES BAKING AGAIN DECEMBER 7
Borecas will be baked!  Helpers are welcome, and as always, a delicious kosher lunch will be served to the volunteers.

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Rosenfeld  Thur 9pm - 11pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion.  Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE, Snacks served

Learn/Celebrate/Appreciate: Tzfat artist and teacher Sheva Chaya  Thu Dec 11th at 8pm
Check out her web-site: 
http://www.shevachaya.com/ Beautiful and affordable glass art and prints for sale. www.mercazseattle.org

KOLLEL AVOT U'BANIM RETURNS – MOTZEI SHABBOS at 6:30 PM 
Come together with your kids and help start the new week off right, with a delicious taste of Torah learning, topped off by nosh, raffles and fantastic prizes.@ The Seattle Kollel Saturday nights 6:30pm to 7:30pm beginning Motza'ey Shabbat ChayeSarah November 7th, 2015. Connect with your child in the most meaningful way possible! For more information: seattlekollel@aol.com or call 206-722-8289

Stroum Jewish Community Monday, December 7, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, 
The Big Chanukah Show at Stroum Jewish Community Center, MI.The Seattle Community is invited to a free musical variety show with the Shalom Klezmer Band featuring Chava Mirel, Hazzan Isaac Azose, and other local Jewish artists. Seattle Rabbi James Mirel, show organizer, will lead the lighting of the Chanukah candles and Kenny Alhadeff will spearhead an appeal for MAZON "A Jewish Response to Hunger." More info: jamesmirel@earthlink.net or 206-234-7600.JEWISH TRANSCRIPT REPLACED BY FREE ONLY JEWISH IN SEATTLE
http://online.fliphtml5.com/nxcu/wavq/#p=1

Mercaz - On Going Gemara (Berachot) class with Rabbi Harry Zeitlin Every Shabbat from 3pm to 4pm 
In the Beit Midrash behind Rabbi Harry's house: 6523 39th Ave. NE.  Feel free to check it out, even if you haven't learned with us before

Learn/Celebrate/Appreciate Tzfat artist and teacher Sheva Chaya - Thu Dec 11th 8pm
Chanukah Torah and Inspiration Beautiful and affordable glass art and prints for sale.    At the home of Dr. Jane Becker and Jason Kintzer.  6011 37th Ave NE http://www.shevachaya.com/

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


SHABBOS  VAYESHEV 
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347334/jewish/Lekutei-Sichot-Vayeishev.htm
Adapted from the Works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe | Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger | © Chabad.org

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

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

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

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

A Jew’s Dreams Differ From those of a Gentile

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fusing the Material and the Spiritual

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes.”

“Did you eat well?”

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

“Why did you eat?”

“In order to live.”

“And why do you live?”

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

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

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

To Reap, One Must Sow

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

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

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

Three Themes in Our Divine Service

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

Where is this activity carried out? “In the field,” an analogy for our material world. A Jew’s soul descends into this world, the field, which is characterized by separation.21 It is the realm of kelipah, as reflected by the description of Esav22as “a man of the field.”

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

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

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

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

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

On the Spiritual Plane

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

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

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

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

Crowning Efforts

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

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

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

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

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

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Vayeishev, 5720)

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