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Congregation Shaarei Tefilah Lubavitch SHABBOS YITRO Featuring – The Ten Utterances! 19-26 Shevat 5776

EREV SHABBOS - FRI JAN 29th 
Shacharis 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 4:46 pm

SHABBOS - SAT JAN 30th 
Shacharis 9 am /Latest Shema 10:00 am/
Mincha 4:30 pm  /Seuda Slishit Lite 
Maariv/Havdalah 5:52 pm 

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon - Fri 7 am Shacharis
Sun - Thu  Mincha/Maariv 4:50 pm /Repeat Shema after 5:47 pm

KIDDUSH SPONSORS
Kiddush Lite – No sponsor. Seuda Slishit Lite is sponsored by Moshe Cress.

CHOLIM LIST UPDATE
We are updating the Tehillim  (Refuah Shlaima, Parnasa and Shidduch) lists as of February 1st .  Please send the Hebrew names of all you would like included to kelso.sl@hotmail.com Any name not received/re-submitted by January 31st will be removed from the current list.

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.

FARBRENGEN ALERT – CHOF BEIS SHEVAT – MON 1st FEB
Rebbetzin Chaya Mushkah Schneerson (b. 1901), wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, passed away on the 22nd of Shevat of the year 5748 (1988). For more on the Rebbetzin, see link below. Chabad's annual international conference of sheluchot (woman "emissaries") is held on or near this date.

CSTL SUNDAY GUEST SPEAKER BREAKFAST Sun Jan 31ST, 21 Shevat 5776 at 10am. 
Our speaker is  Rabbi Shmuel Tennenhaus  and the topic title is  "The Ten Commandments: Special perspectives in relation to the sidra of the week, Yitro". Shmueli is a wonderful  communicator and has also a great sense of humor. He served as our CSTL Gabbai for several years, and has Rabbinical ordination apparently graduating near the top of his class, and is very knowledgeable, He is not directly involved in being  a Community Rabbi and professionally is in the start-up IT business. He lives in ourNorthend, Seattle area with his wife Rosie, son Mordechai and his young twin children. We're looking forward to that. These lectures currently serve Bagel and Lox for a light breakfast. No charge but donations to cover  costs are always appreciated and a charity box is accessible.  Thank you to those who have contributed already.

Avos U'Banim Hakhel Edition - Expansive Ice Cream Bar -This Sat Night Jan 31st 7:00 pm
Thanks to our generous sponsors this week: Esther and Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky. Last weeks raffle winner was...Zev Gitler and Beryl Emlen - Tales of Tzadikim (Thank you anonymous)! & Levi Estrin a Lego Set. NEW~Thanks to an unbelievably generous sponsor  Seforim have arrived which will be included in the raffle!!!!~NEW This Motzei Shabbat (January 31st 7:00 pm) I am so excited invite you to another night of Father and Son Learning at CSTL.We will also feature a short Living Torah video on the Big Screen.  I will provide materials in English and Hebrew.  Please feel welcome to bring your own materials if  you would prefer. Please come and join in our efforts to build our community in the spirit of Torah learning.  ~This Program was instituted in loving memory of Brandon Gribin - Rephael Chaim Ben Shmuel~ Rabbi Avi Herbstman

GLOBAL CHILDREN’S GATHERING SUN FEB 14th 2-6 PM AT CSTL
Featuring Children’s Rally – Lunch – Twin from France. Info:  Rabbi Avi Herbstmanavrahamshlomo@hotmail.com

CSTL Shabbaton by Rabbi Moshe Kletenik. Shabbat 27 Feb. 18 Adar Rishon
More to follow but please note the date.

CSTL Sunday Breakfast Series - Sunday 28th  Feb  19th  Adar 1
Featuring Rebbetzin Rivy Poupko-Kletenik

SHUL VOLUNTEER NEEDED FOR Yahrzeits, Anniversaries, Birthdays 
We spoke with a number of members recently about the need for a member to coordinate and maintain a Shul calendar. This calendar would be used for Yahrzeits, Anniversaries, and Birthdays etc. The coordinator could announce the event and look for sponsors to help raise funds for a Kiddush. Please e mail mikeweichbrodt@yahoo.com  if you interested in this important community position.

SHABBOS HOSPITALITY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
As most of you know, I've been running Hospitality since the summer. Thankfully, I've been having very good responses from community members being more than happy to open their doors to guests. We've had many visitors here in the past few months, some looking at our community as a possible place to call home and some just passing through. In an effort to not exhaust the regular people I've been asking, I'm hoping that anyone open to being contacted can please email me directly so I can put together a list of people to reach out to. In your email, please clarify your name (I don't have everyone's emails), best method of contact, and what you are interested in being contacted for: meals, hosting, or both. Thank you very much and tizkuh lemitzvot!! chanimeyer@gmail.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

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

Third Annual JEWISH RUSSIAN RETREAT – MAR 11th -13th 
At Alderbrook Resort and Spa. In Russian and English at one of the most beautiful corners of Pacific Northwest. 3 days and 2 nights filled with interesting speakers, programs for kids, tasty food. Delicious food, exiting speaker in English and Russian, Jewish Kleizmer Band. Full time kids program for all ages. 
http://www.seattlerussianjews.org/tools/events/register_cdo/eventid/4333 
Мы рады сообщить, что раввин Шломо Раскин согласился принять участие в нашем Шаббатоне. Раввин Раскин родился в 1948 в Нижнем Новгороде в потомственной семье Любавических хасидов. В 1967 приехал в Израиль а потом в1973 к Любавичскому Ребе. После женитьбы был послан в Цфат где до 1977 учился в йешивах и параллельно занимался абсорбцией иммигрантов из Советского Союза. Раввин Раскин основал и более 40 лет руководит всемирно известным учебным комплексом для свыше 700 девушек «Бейс Хана». Он переодически проводит лекции, занятия и фарбрейгены на русском и других языках. Пожелания тем лекций на шаббатоне посылайте на имэйл rabbi@shalomseattle.org.

SECURITY GUARD AT CSTL
The Board of CSTL has approved a security guard for CSTL. 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 Soulexplores 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

Motzei Shabbos Lecture with Rabbi Shaul Engelsberg Jan 30th  8:00 pm
At the BCMH Beis Midrash. Topic: "Parenting and Shabbos". For men and women.

FIRESIDE CHAT @ THE SUMMIT WITH RABBI MEYERS Mon  Feb. 1st 2:45 PM
Rabbi Meyers resumes his popular "Fireside Chat" series at the Summit. If you know Summit residents who would be interested, pass on the word!

Casino Night at BCMH, Saturday Night, Feb. 6
Must be 21 and over to attend. Cost: $36/person or $50/per couple or with a friend. RSVP in advance & get double the chips. More info: http://www.bcmhcasinonight.eventbrite.com

 Hillel UW looking for Head Chef (part time). 
More info: www.hilleluw.org or email cover letter & resume to jill@hilleluw.org

Project DVORA: Domestic Violence Outreach, Response & Advocacy
Project DVORA will create the conditions in the Jewish community to support loving, safe and respectful relationships; and build the capacity in the community to respond to domestic abuse.  Contact Brook, 206-861-3181 for latest information and programming.

"The Amazing Life and Courage of Dona Gracia Nasi: Sun Feb 28th 1:00pm-2:00pm 
Author Andrée Aelion Brooks talks about her book on Dona Gracia Nasi  “The Richest Woman in 16th Century Europe”, who built an escape network that saved hundreds of forcibly converted Jews from the Inquisition. Seattle University Vachon Gallery-Fine Arts Building.https://www.seattleu.edu/searchformeaning/tickets/  

SEPHARDIC ADVENTURE CAMP
Sephardic Adventure Camp 2016 registration is NOW OPEN!  For more information or to register, please go to our website at www.sephardicadventurecamp.org  This summer SAC will be held August 2nd - 18th at our new location, Camp Roganunda, located in the Wenatchee National Forest, just east of majestic Mt. Rainier!  Don't miss out on the fun! 

BCMH SUMMER CAMP
Special Announcement regarding BCMH Camps for Summer 2016! All divisions of BCMH camps will now be under one name Camp Yavneh with all new programs and activities to supplement the programs you already love! This will include children from pre school all the way through our new CIT program for 6th and 7th grade and our staff in high school, college and beyond! If you are in 8th-12 grade, college or older and would like to work at Camp this summer please contact Ari Hoffman at thehoffather@gmail.com Camper Registration coming soon!

Jewish Singles Event -  Finding Love and Companionship in 2016 -January 30th 8 PM
Jewish Singles Event at the Sephardic Bikur Holim Social Hall. Laurie Young will be presenting a talk on "Finding Love and Companionship in 2016." Please tell anyone who might be interested that the expected participant list includes singles ages 30 to 75.  This is the first mixer for Torah connected singles in over a year in our area. If you are single and serious about meeting a life partner, you are encouraged to attend. Laurie Young www.SeattleShadchan.com (206) 230-8885

BISTRO NIGHTS AT THE SUMMIT
The Summit has announced a new schedule of Bistro Nights for 2016.  This year there will be six different Bistros. One of them will be a Brunch on Mother's Day. Last year this was one of their most popular events.  The dates for 2016 are:  January 26th, March 22nd,May 8th Mother's Day Brunch, July 5th,September 6th, November 15th.  Bistro reservations are taken by email only.  Fine Print:  For all (evening) bistros there is a window of seating times running from 7:30pm to 8:15pm. The price for the January 26 meat dinner is $70, an all inclusive price that includes appetizer, dinner and dessert, server gratuity, and of course a wide selection of wine and beer.  Bistros sell out quickly, there is limited capacity so please reserve immediately to ensure your place.  The Summit at First Hill's kitchens and dining areas are supervised daily by Va'ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle staff. 

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 

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. MarkKligman, 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 thissummer.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  THU 9-11 PM
Parsha Learning and Discussion.  Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE, Snacks served

BCMH SUMMER CAMP
Special Announcement regarding BCMH Camps for Summer 2016! All divisions of BCMH camps will now be under one name Camp Yavneh with all new programs and activities to supplement the programs you already love! This will include children from pre school all the way through our new CIT program for 6th and 7th grade and our staff in high school, college and beyond! If you are in 8th-12 grade, college or older and would like to work at Camp this summer please contact Ari Hoffman atthehoffather@gmail.com 

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/

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


YITRO
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347347/jewish/Lekutei-Sichot-Beshalach.htm
Adapted from the Works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe | Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

As has been mentioned on several occasions, the giving of the Torah is associated with the uniting of the spiritual and physical realms. Before the giving of the Torah, there was a decree separating the physical from the spiritual as reflected by the verse,1 “The heavens are the heavens of G‑d, and the earth He gave to man.” There was no medium through which the two could be brought together.

At the giving of the Torah, this changed. The decree was nullified; G‑d began by descending to Mount Sinai, and His descent gave the Jewish people the potential, through observance of the mitzvos, to elevate material reality heavenward, and bring it into contact with the spiritual.

For this reason, the mitzvos which our Patriarchs observed before the giving of the Torah, although performed with material objects, did not have the power to infuse holiness into those objects. For in that era, there was no connection between spirituality and material entities.

The objective of the Patriarchs’ performance of mitzvos was primarily to draw G‑dliness into the spiritual realms. The bodies of each one served as “a chariot for G‑dliness.”2 To explain the analogy: The Patriarchs were totally given over to G‑dliness, to the extent that they did not regard themselves as independent entities, just as a chariot is totally given over to the will of its driver.

As they lived within this material world, their spiritual service permeated their existence. And so it was also expressed in the observance of mitzvos on this material plane. Nevertheless, the intent was not to affect the material realm. The physical activities were merely a manifestation of spiritual advancement.

For this reason, although the Patriarchs’ spiritual service involved material entities, the identity of the object used for a particular service was not important. For example, it is explained3 that by setting out staves of poplar, hazel, and plane trees before Lavan’s sheep,4 Yaakov drew down the same spiritual influences that we after the giving of the Torah draw down through the observance of the mitzvah of tefillin. Similar concepts apply with regard to the observance of other mitzvos.

The giving of the Torah began a new phase. The mitzvos we perform have the potential to infuse holiness into the physical entities with which they are performed, to the extent that the entities themselves become holy. Therefore, with regard to the overwhelming majority of mitzvos, the physical entity with which the mitzvah is performed is significant, and must have certain features that make it possible for it to be used for that purpose.5

True Transcendence

The potential for the mitzvos performed after the giving of the Torah to infuse holiness into material entities stems from a level of G‑dliness which transcends the divisions between the physical and spiritual. Because this level is truly transcendent, restricted by neither material nor spiritual limitations,6 it can make a fusion of the two realms possible.

From this, we can appreciate that the innovation brought about by the observance of mitzvos after the giving of the Torah affects not only the material plane allowing for the infusion of holiness into that level but also reflects a higher level within the mitzvos themselves. Mitzvos performed before the giving of the Torah were limited to the spiritual plane; they did not have a connection with G‑d’s essence. This is why they could not develop an internalized connection with the material world.

The mitzvos performed after the giving of the Torah, by contrast, derive their power from G‑d’s essence.7 Since He is not bound by either the physical or spiritual planes, He is able to unite the spiritual with the material.

G‑dliness Penetrating Mortal Wisdom

The above-mentioned change which accompanied the giving of the Torah is alluded to in the Ten Commandments, which include two types of mitzvos at seemingly opposite poles.8 The first commandments: “I am G‑d your L-rd,” “You shall not have any other gods before Me,”9 reflect the deepest levels of G‑d’s unity. On the other hand, this same revelation included the most elementary of commands:10 “Do not kill;… do not steal,” which invoke moral maxims understood and accepted by mankind as a whole.

The inclusion of both types of mandates in the Ten Commandments points to the fusion of the physical and the spiritual mentioned above. As indicated by theMidrash cited previously, the giving of the Torah wrought a two-fold change: the spiritual descended to the material, and the material ascended to the spiritual.

This process is reflected in the relationship between the two types of commandments mentioned above. Those involving spiritual matters: “I am G‑d…” and “You shall not have any other gods,” must descend and affect the realm of conduct that relates more directly to the commandments: “Do not kill” and “Do not steal.” Conversely, even within the observance of the mitzvosalready mandated by human wisdom, the fundamental G‑dliness which lies at their core must be felt, as reflected in the command “I am G‑d your L-rd.” These mitzvos should not be observed merely because human logic requires it, but because they were commanded by G‑d Himself.11 This commitment to G‑d’s will must be the fundamental reason for observing the prohibitions against murder, theft and the like.

We cannot separate the commandments “Do not kill” or “Do not steal” from the commandment “I am G‑d your L-rd,” and leave the observance of those which appear as moral imperatives to the dictates of human logic. Firstly, self-love can cause a person to rationalize his conduct, and interpret the violation of one of these prohibitions as a mitzvah, as implied by the verse:12 “Love covers up all transgressions.” Certainly, such a person will not be on guard against violating the finer nuances of these prohibitions. For example, embarrassing a colleague in public is an extension of murder,13 and deception is an extension of theft.

One little finger, held close to the eye, can obscure a person’s view of the entire world. Similarly, because a person is preoccupied by self-concern,14 his self-love will cover all faults, even willful transgressions.15

Moreover, even when a Jew’s mortal intellect alone would obligate him to observe the mitzvos scrupulously, the fundamental thrust of his Divine service should be to connect all his affairs, even the most simple, with G‑d’s essence. The proclamation: “I am G‑d your L-rd” must permeate every action. Even good deeds mandated by human wisdom should be imbued with G‑dliness.

Our Sages taught:16 “If, Heaven forbid,17 the Torah had not been given, we would have learnt modesty from a cat, and [the prohibition against] theft from an ant,” i.e., we could have learned the bare minimums of the moral imperatives by observing the patterns of conduct with which G‑d imbued animals. But were it not for the giving of the Torah, the spiritual import ofthesemitzvos would have been lacking; they would have been merely natural deeds. For without the giving of the Torah, it would have been impossible to connect G‑dliness with lowly material matters.

When the Torah was given, the potential was granted to unify the spiritual with the material. Accordingly, even the positive tendencies reflected in the animal kingdom must be emulated, not because they are part of nature’s pattern, but because they are permeated with the Torah’s holiness. These mitzvos must be performed in response to G‑d’s command, accepting the yoke of His Kingship.

This will “elevate the material to the spiritual.” Part of the purpose for the lightning, fire, smoke and thunder which accompanied the giving of the Torah was to impress and dissuade those individuals who by virtue of their natural tendencies might otherwise either kill or steal.

This, however, does not convey the whole reason for which the Torah was given. These phenomena were also intended to elevate these individuals and enable them to comprehend G‑dliness, introducing them to the highest form of wisdom. As the Rambam writes in the Introduction to The Guide for the Perplexed, the knowledge of G‑dly wisdom must be preceded by an awareness of all the lower forms of wisdom. This indicates that the comprehension of G‑dliness is the most elevated level of knowledge.

Similarly, these individuals are asked to comprehend the highest levels within the realm of G‑dliness itself: not only the level associated with the name E-lohim, nor even that associated with the name Havayah, but also G‑d’s essence, the level associated with the word Anochi, as will be explained.

Three Dimensions of G‑dliness

The concept mentioned above that the fusion of the material and the spiritual was made possible by the power granted the Jewish people at the giving of the Torah is alluded to in the first three words of the Ten Commandments: Anochi Havayah E-lohecha, “I am G‑d, your L-rd.”

These three names represent three levels within the revelation of G‑dliness. The name E-lohim refers to the G‑dly power invested within created beings. For within every created being is enclothed a different aspect of G‑dly power, one which is expressed according to the particular nature of that being.18 For this reason, a plural modifier is used for the name E-lohim, as it is written:19 א-להים קדושים. For the name E-lohim alludes to the fact that every created entity is infused with an aspect of G‑dliness appropriate for it. This is also reflected in the numerical equivalence of the word E-lohim (א-להים) and the word hateva(הטבע), meaning “nature.”20 For this aspect of G‑dliness is enclothed within those created beings which G‑d governs by natural law.

This is also alluded to by the possessive form used in the above verse: E-lohecha, “your G‑d.” Indeed, E-lohim is the only name of G‑d that is used with a possessive form. Since this dimension of G‑dliness undergoes a process of self-contraction to suit the levels of the various created beings, it can be appreciated by human intellect. This is the intent of the possessive form, “your G‑d,” i.e., the G‑dliness which you can appreciate.21

The name Havayah, by contrast, refers to the dimension of G‑dliness which transcends nature. This is reflected in the interpretation of the name Havayahas היה הוה ויהיה כאחד , “past, present, and future as one.”22 Within the limits of nature, the past, the present, and the future reflect different tenses. The nameHavayah, however, transcends these limits, fusing the three tenses together.

This is the difference between the faith of the Jews and the faith of the pious among the gentiles. The gentile nations are aware only of E-lohim, the G‑dliness enclothed within nature. Therefore Yosef told Pharaoh:23 “E-lohim will provide an answer regarding Pharaoh’s fortune.” This is a dimension of G‑dliness to which Pharaoh can relate. With regard to the name Havayah, by contrast, Pharaoh states:24 “Who is Havayah that I should listen to him?… I do not know Havayah. ” He has no comprehension of those levels of G‑dliness which transcend nature.

Anochi refers to G‑d’s essence, as it is said:25 “I am (Anochi) who I am; I cannot be alluded to either with a letter or a point [within a letter].” Not only is this level above the name E-lohim which is associated with the laws of nature, it is above the name Havayah, which transcends nature.

G‑d is not limited by any constraints, neither by those of nature, nor by those above nature. And for this reason, this level can fuse the natural and the transcendent.

This level was revealed within the Holy of Holies, of which it was said:26 “The place of the ark was not included in the measure.” From east to west, the Holy of Holies was 20 cubits long. And yet there were 10 cubits from the paroches(the dividing curtain) to the ark, the ark itself was 2.5 cubits long,27 and there were 10 cubits from the ark to the western wall. All the measurements of the ark had to be precise, and yet, the entire span was not effected by its length. Here we saw a fusion of finiteness and infinity.

By saying “I (Anochi) am G‑d (Havayah), your L-rd (E-lohecha),” G‑d told the Jews that at the giving of the Torah, the boundless power of Anochi was bringing about fusion between Havayah and E-lohim (i.e., between the levels of G‑dliness which transcend nature, intellectual comprehension, and indeed, the entire creation, with those levels which can be grasped by the human mind).

This is the reason for coupling those mitzvos which can be grasped by human logic, “Do not kill” and “Do not steal” with the infinitely profound mitzvos “I am G‑d” and “You shall have no other gods,” which communicate the deepest dimensions of G‑d’s unity.

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Mishpatim, 5723)

MONDAY 25th JAN IS Tu b'Shevat - the New Year for Trees

The 15th of Shevat is the New Year for Trees, known as Tu b'Shevat.

According to Biblical law, there is a seven year agricultural cycle, concluding with the Sabbatical year. When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, on years one, two, four and five of this cycle, farmers were required to separate a tenth of their produce and eat it in Jerusalem. This tithe is calledMaaser Sheni, the Second Tithe, because it is in addition to the (two percent which must be given to the Kohain, and the) ten percent which is given to the Levite. On the third and sixth years of the cycle, instead of the owners eating the Maaser Sheni in Jerusalem, they gave this second tithe to the poor, who were permitted to consume it wherever they wished.

It takes approximately four months for the rains of the new year to saturate the soil and trees, and produce fruit[On the Sabbatical year, no tithes are separated. All produce which grows during this year is ownerless and free for anyone to take.]

It was therefore of vital importance to ascertain when the new year started for produce. Our Rabbis established that a fruit which blossomed before the 15th of Shevat is produce of the previous year. If it blossomed afterwards, it is produce of the "new year." [By comparison, grains, vegetables, and legumes have the same New Year as humans, the 1st of Tishrei.] Why is this so? In the Mediterranean region, the rainy season begins with the festival of Sukkot. It takes approximately four months (from Sukkot, the 15th of Tishrei, until the 15th of Shevat) for the rains of the new year to saturate the soil and trees, and produce fruit. All fruit which blossom beforehand are a product of the rains of the previous year, and are tithed together with the crops of the previous year.

Although this day is Rosh Hashanah for trees, we attach special significance to this holiday because "Man is [compared to] the tree of the field" (Deuteronomy 20:19). Through cultivating strong roots – faith and commitment to G‑d – we produce many fruits—Torah and Mitzvot.

Observances and Customs

On this day it is customary to partake of the fruit with which the Holy Land is praised (Deuteronomy 8:8): olives, dates, grapes, figs and pomegranates. If tasting any of these fruit for the first time this season, remember to recite theShehecheyanu blessing. (A blessing recited on joyous occasions, thanking G‑d for "sustaining us and enabling us to reach this occasion." This blessing is recited before the standard "Ha'etz" blessing recited on fruit.)

Due to the festive nature of the day, we omit the Tachanun sections (petitions for forgiveness and confession) from the prayers.

SHABBOS SHIRA BESHALACH | 12-19 Shevat 5776

EREV SHABBOS - FRI JAN 22nd 
Shacharis 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 4:36 pm

SHABBOS - SAT JAN 23rd 
Shacharis 9 am /Latest Shema 10:04 am/
Mincha 4:20 pm  /Seuda Slishit Lite 
Maariv/Havdalah 5:42 pm 

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon - Fri 7 am Shacharis/
MONDAY IS TU b’SHEVAT – NEW YEAR OF TREES!/
Sun - Thu  Mincha/Maariv 4:40 pm /Repeat Shema after 5:37 pm

KIDDUSH SPONSORS
Kiddush this week is sponsored by Dr. Norman Share, in honor and in memory of the 24th yahrzeit of his mother (Ethel bat Yoseph ZT”L, 10th Shevat).  Seuda Slishit Lite is sponsored by James Packman.

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV!
Mazel Tov to Chavi and Avrami Gitler on the birth of their new daughter Shaina.  May they merit to raise her to Torah Chupa and Ma’asim Tovim! Mazel Tov to Rabbi Elie and Chaya Estrin and their families on the Upshernish of their son Menachem Mendel!

CHOLIM LIST UPDATE
We are updating the Tehillim  (Refuah Shlaima, Parnasa and Shidduch) lists as of February 1st .  Please send the Hebrew names of all you would like included to kelso.sl@hotmail.com Any name not received/re-submitted by January 31st will be removed from the current list.

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 sitewww.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

SHUL VOLUNTEER NEEDED FOR Yahrzeits, Anniversaries, Birthdays 
We spoke with a number of members recently about the need for a member to coordinate and maintain a Shul calendar. This calendar would be used for Yahrzeits, Anniversaries, and Birthdays etc. The coordinator could announce the event and look for sponsors to help raise funds for a Kiddush. Please e mailmikeweichbrodt@yahoo.com  if you interested in this important community position.

SHABBOS HOSPITALITY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
As most of you know, I've been running Hospitality since the summer. Thankfully, I've been having very good responses from community members being more than happy to open their doors to guests. We've had many visitors here in the past few months, some looking at our community as a possible place to call home and some just passing through. In an effort to not exhaust the regular people I've been asking, I'm hoping that anyone open to being contacted can please email me directly so I can put together a list of people to reach out to. In your email, please clarify your name (I don't have everyone's emails), best method of contact, and what you are interested in being contacted for: meals, hosting, or both. Thank you very much and tizkuh lemitzvot!! chanimeyer@gmail.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

Avos U'Banim Hakhel Edition - This Saturday Night Jan 23rd  7:00 pm
Last week’s raffle winner was...Beryl Emlen a soccer ball!! & Eli Bogomilsky a Comic Story Book of Chasidic Tales (Thank you anonymous!). NEW~Thanks to an unbelievably generous sponsor a new shipment of Seforimarrived which will be included in the raffle!!!!~NEW This Motzei Shabbat (January 23rd 7:00 pm) I am so excited invite you to another night of Father and Son Learning at CSTL.We will also feature a short Living Torah video on the Big Screen.  I will provide materials in English and Hebrew.  Please feel welcome to bring your own materials if  you would prefer. Please come and join in our efforts to build our community in the spirit of Torah learning. ~This Program was instituted in loving memory of Brandon Gribin - Rephael Chaim Ben Shmuel~  Rabbi Avi Herbstman  avrahamshlomo@hotmail.com

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

Third Annual JEWISH RUSSIAN RETREAT – MAR 11th -13th 
At Alderbrook Resort and Spa. In Russian and English at one of the most beautiful corners of Pacific Northwest. 3 days and 2 nights filled with interesting speakers, programs for kids, tasty food. Delicious food, exiting speaker in English and Russian, Jewish Kleizmer Band. Full time kids program for all ages. 
http://www.seattlerussianjews.org/tools/events/register_cdo/eventid/4333 
Мы рады сообщить, что раввин Шломо Раскин согласился принять участие в нашем Шаббатоне. Раввин Раскин родился в 1948 в Нижнем Новгороде в потомственной семье Любавических хасидов. В 1967 приехал в Израиль а потом в1973 к Любавичскому Ребе. После женитьбы был послан в Цфат где до 1977 учился в йешивах и параллельно занимался абсорбцией иммигрантов из Советского Союза. Раввин Раскин основал и более 40 лет руководит всемирно известным учебным комплексом для свыше 700 девушек «Бейс Хана». Он переодически проводит лекции, занятия и фарбрейгены на русском и других языках. Пожелания тем лекций на шаббатоне посылайте на имэйл rabbi@shalomseattle.org.

SECURITY GUARD AT CSTL
The Board of CSTL has approved a security guard for CSTL. 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

Mercaz Melave Malka Saturday, January 23rd from 6pm - 9pm
Sing/Eat/Socialize.  5240 38th Ave NE.

CELEBRATE FRUTICAS (TU b’SHEVAT) AT EZRA BESSAROTH! SUN JAN 24th 
Celebrate Fruticas/Tu Bishvat at Ezra Bessaroth.  EB Fruticas dinner and celebration will take place this year on Sunday, January 24.  Save the date -- more details coming soon!

Hillel UW looking for Head Chef (part time). 
More info: www.hilleluw.org or email cover letter & resume to jill@hilleluw.org

Project DVORA: Domestic Violence Outreach, Response & Advocacy
Project DVORA will create the conditions in the Jewish community to support loving, safe and respectful relationships; and build the capacity in the community to respond to domestic abuse.  Contact Brook, 206-861-3181 for latest information and programming.

"The Amazing Life and Courage of Dona Gracia Nasi: Sun Feb 28th 1:00pm-2:00pm 
Author Andrée Aelion Brooks talks about her book on Dona Gracia Nasi  “The Richest Woman in 16th Century Europe”, who built an escape network that saved hundreds of forcibly converted Jews from the Inquisition. Seattle University Vachon Gallery-Fine Arts Building. https://www.seattleu.edu/searchformeaning/tickets/  

SEPHARDIC ADVENTURE CAMP
Sephardic Adventure Camp 2016 registration is NOW OPEN!  For more information or to register, please go to our website at www.sephardicadventurecamp.org  This summer SAC will be held August 2nd - 18th at our new location, Camp Roganunda, located in the Wenatchee National Forest, just east of majestic Mt. Rainier!  Don't miss out on the fun! 

BCMH SUMMER CAMP
Special Announcement regarding BCMH Camps for Summer 2016! All divisions of BCMH camps will now be under one name Camp Yavneh with all new programs and activities to supplement the programs you already love! This will include children from pre school all the way through our new CIT program for 6th and 7th grade and our staff in high school, college and beyond! If you are in 8th-12 grade, college or older and would like to work at Camp this summer please contact Ari Hoffman at thehoffather@gmail.com Camper Registration coming soon!

Jewish Singles Event -  Finding Love and Companionship in 2016 -January 30th 8 PM
Jewish Singles Event at the Sephardic Bikur Holim Social Hall. Laurie Young will be presenting a talk on "Finding Love and Companionship in 2016." Please tell anyone who might be interested that the expected participant list includes singles ages 30 to 75.  This is the first mixer for Torah connected singles in over a year in our area. If you are single and serious about meeting a life partner, you are encouraged to attend. Laurie Youngwww.SeattleShadchan.com (206) 230-8885

BISTRO NIGHTS AT THE SUMMIT
The Summit has announced a new schedule of Bistro Nights for 2016.  This year there will be six different Bistros. One of them will be a Brunch on Mother's Day. Last year this was one of their most popular events.  The dates for 2016 are:  January 26th, March 22nd,May 8th Mother's Day Brunch, July 5th,September 6th, November 15th. Bistro reservations are taken by email only.  Fine Print:  For all (evening) bistros there is a window of seating times running from 7:30pm to 8:15pm. The price for the January 26 meat dinner is $70, an all inclusive price that includes appetizer, dinner and dessert, server gratuity, and of course a wide selection of wine and beer.  Bistros sell out quickly, there is limited capacity so please reserve immediately to ensure your place.  The Summit at First Hill's kitchens and dining areas are supervised daily by Va'ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle staff. 

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 

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 thissummer.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  THU 9-11 PM
Parsha Learning and Discussion.  Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE, Snacks served

BCMH SUMMER CAMP
Special Announcement regarding BCMH Camps for Summer 2016! All divisions of BCMH camps will now be under one name Camp Yavneh with all new programs and activities to supplement the programs you already love! This will include children from pre school all the way through our new CIT program for 6th and 7th grade and our staff in high school, college and beyond! If you are in 8th-12 grade, college or older and would like to work at Camp this summer please contact Ari Hoffman at thehoffather@gmail.com 

MINYAN OHR CHADASH SHABBAT OF LEARNING WITH DR. MARK KLIGMAN JAN 29th 
Friday night dinner & lecture at Ohr Chadash:  "Music in the Tanakh and the Temple"   RSVP and pay by January 26 at minyanohrchadash.org/donate.  Childcare available during the lecture at no charge. Shabbat morning, January 30 at Ezra Bessaroth, with light Kiddush lunch & lecture.  "Makamat Live:  The melodies of Middle Eastern Jewish Music" Saturday evening, 8:00 p.m. at Ohr Chadash "From Carlebach to The Maccabeats:  Current Music Trends in the Orthodox Community and Developments in Klezmer and Sephardic Music" For more information, emailkaren@treiger.com

EB LADIES AUXILIARY BAKING SCHEDULE 
Please join us  to bake Sephardic goodies, visit with friends, and enjoy a kosher lunch prepared by Albie Amon. 
Jan 25 Make Pasteles

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/

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 howOneHappyCamper 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

ART FOR SALE BY GOLDBERG FAMILY 
We are parting with some beautiful Judaic art, and wanted to offer first to our CSTL community before listing elsewhere. Phone Tziviah at  (206) 851 1193:
1.     Michoel Muchnik Signed and Numbered Lithograph, “Bubby and Zayde”, 22 ½” x 26 ½” including frame. $180 OBO. 
2.     Michoel Muchnik Signed Ceramic Original, Pitcher and Palm Trees, 10 ½” x 11”, $499 OBO 
3.     Michel Muchnik Signed Lithograph, “Heim”, 10” x 17” framed,  $154 OBO 
4.     Jovan Obican, Signed and Numbered Lithograph, “Chuppah Wedding”, 21 ½” x 19” framed, $154 OBO. (slight discoloration on frame). 
5.     Two Brass Menorahs (7-branched) – Vintage:  $199 each or 2 for $300. Mark & Tziviah Goldberg


BESHALACH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347347/jewish/Lekutei-Sichot-Beshalach.htm
Adapted from the Works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe | Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

As the Jews left Egypt and approached the shores of the Red Sea, they were pursued by Pharaoh and his hosts. Moshe reassured them, saying:1 “Do not fear. Stand firm and see the salvation which G‑d will bring about for you today. Though you see the Egyptians today, you will never see them again. G‑d will fight for you, and you shall remain silent.”

Commenting on these verses, the Mechilta explains that standing at the edge of the sea, terrified by the advancing Egyptians, the Jews broke into four camps, each advocating a different course of action.

The first camp said: “Let us plunge into the sea,” i.e., rather than return to slavery, they preferred to drown themselves.

The second camp said: “Let us return to Egypt.” They were willing to accept the yoke of bondage again.

The third camp said: “Let us wage war against them,” hoping that they would be victorious.

The fourth camp said: “Let us cry out [to G‑d].” Rather than follow any of the above approaches, this camp advocated appealing to G‑d in prayer.

Moshe’s statement included a response to each of these four camps. “Stand firm and see the salvation which G‑d will bring about” was addressed to those who wished to throw themselves into the sea. “Though you see the Egyptians today, you will never see them again” was addressed to those who sought to return to Egypt. “G‑d will fight for you” was addressed to those who advocated war. “And you shall remain silent” was addressed to those who advocated prayer.

What was the proper course of action? G‑d told Moshe:2 “Speak to the children of Israel and have them journey forth,” proceeding further in the path leading to Mount Sinai. For the arrival of the nation at Mount Sinai was the goal of theexodus from Egypt.

It is difficult to understand: How is it possible to answer all four camps at once?3Their positions seemed diametrically opposed to each other. For example, the suggestion to return to Egypt was the direct antithesis of drowning in the sea. For those who advocated drowning in the sea were willing to sacrifice their lives and also sacrifice themselves spiritually, for suicide is forbidden4 so that they would not have to submit to the Egyptians again. And the camp which advocated war differed even more strongly. Instead of submitting themselves to slavery, they were willing to take up arms against their former masters, and actually thought they could be victorious. How much more so is such submissiveness opposed to the fourth approach, which advocates prayer.

Praying to G‑d for all one’s needs, particularly when one is in dire straits, is the core of the mitzvah of prayer.5 This is a mitzvah of great importance, for it expresses our faith in G‑d and His Omnipotence. For this reason, there are certain opinions which consider this a mitzvah of general importance so encompassing that it cannot be considered one of the 613 mitzvos of theTorah.6

It is true that the confrontation at the sea took place before the giving of the Torah, and thus before prayer was defined as a mitzvah.7 Nevertheless, the fact that it is considered a lofty mitzvah after the giving of the Torah indicates that it was also of great importance before the Jews arrived at Mount Sinai.

Given the drastic differences between these four positions, how is it possible for all of them to be addressed by one statement?

Also, it is necessary to understand the order in which the Torah mentions the rebuttals. At first glance, the Torah should first have rebutted the seemingly least developed of the approaches the submissive willingness to return to Egypt and then the increasingly more developed approaches of suicide in the ocean, waging war against the Egyptians, and prayer.

And also: Were all these approaches wrong? True, it was necessary to negate the desire to return to Egypt, for that represented the direct opposite of G‑d’s intent in the exodus. Similarly, casting oneself into the sea is undesirable, for Jews should never fall into despair.8 But the notion of doing battle with Pharaoh and his hosts appears to be constructive.9 And praying to G‑d, giving oneself over to Him, is certainly a valuable act. Seemingly, it reflects an even deeper commitment than “journeying forth,” for setting out could be interpreted as fleeing from Pharaoh, while prayer emphasizes absolute reliance on G‑d.

The Consummation of the Exodus

These questions can be resolved by deepening our appreciation of the significance of the splitting of the sea. The splitting of the sea was the final stage of the exodus from Egypt. Until then, the Jews continued to share a connection with Egypt. Even when the Jews passed Pi HaChiros (lit. “the mouth of freedom”), which according to Egyptian custom was a landmark indicating that a slave had been freed,10 they were still pursued, and so it seemed that only by fighting and defeating their former masters could they preserve their freedom.11

When was the exodus from Egypt completed? At the splitting of the Red Sea. 12For this reason the Tosefta13 requires the mention of the miracle every day, just as the exodus from Egypt must be mentioned every day. For until the splitting of the sea, our people were not truly free of Egypt.

(These historical events are paralleled by the stages within our daily Divine service. Each day, there are elements of our Divine service that correspond to the exodus from Egypt and others which correspond to the splitting of the sea.)

The fact that the splitting of the sea came after the negation of these four approaches and the fulfillment of G‑d’s command to “journey forth” is also relevant to us, as we experience the spiritual counterpart to the exodus “in each and every generation, each and every day.”14 To leave Egypt, we each must “journey forth.” In choosing to join any of the four camps, one is settling for a less-than-complete departure from spiritual exile.

An End to Concealment

With regard to the spiritual counterpart of the exodus from Egypt, we must experience both the initial departure from Egypt, and the consummation, the splitting of the Red Sea.

First, we must leave the boundaries and limitations of the animal soul. Although each of us lives in this material world, the world of kelipah, in which the wicked are more powerful than the righteous,15 every Jew must realize that evil has no dominion over him; he is not controlled by Pharaoh. On the contrary, a Jew must serve G‑d alone; “They are My servants, and not the servants of servants.”16

The yetzer hora and the animal soul, the counterparts of Pharaoh and Egypt, strive to limit the powers of the G‑dlysoul, and attempt to drain the satisfaction that comes to a Jew from his observance of the Torah and its mitzvos.17Nevertheless, a Jew proceeds with kabbalas ol, accepting G‑d’s yoke and committing himself to serving G‑d rather than Pharaoh in every aspect of his life. This is the path which takes one out of Egypt, bringing one to “the mouth of freedom.”

Nevertheless, as mentioned above, the exodus from Egypt does not represent the consummation of the process. Speaking in terms of the analogy: the escaped slave’s life is still lacking, because he finds no satisfaction in spiritual pursuits, and performs his Divine service only as an expression of kabbalas ol.18 Therefore it is possible for Pharaoh and his hosts to attempt to subjugate him again. The constraints and limitations of the yetzer hora and the animal soul and the concealment of G‑dliness brought about by the world conspire to limit and conceal the light of the G‑dlysoul.

Therefore it is necessary for our Divine service to reach a stage which parallels the splitting of the Red Sea, of which it is said:19 “He transformed the sea into dry land.” This phrase can be understood as an analogy: Just as the sea covers the sea bed, the term “sea” refers to the Divine power concealed within creation. “Dry land” refers to the revelation of this potential; that a person, through his Divine service, finds it possible to appreciate the G‑dliness present within every entity. This takes him “out of Egypt” entirely. For the world does not conceal G‑dly light for him; instead he sees G‑dliness in everything.

Between Egypt and the Sea

The attitudes of all four camps were expressed after the beginning of the exodus. As such, it is apparent that the spiritual counterpart of these approaches do not hinder the actual observance of the Torah and its mitzvos. For a Jew motivated by an approach which contradicts the Shulchan Aruch has not left Egypt at all. Nevertheless, subscribing to one of these approaches indicates that a person has not “crossed the Red Sea,” i.e., the concealment of G‑dlinessbrought about by the world still affects him. Pharaoh and his hosts daunt him, and push him to take one of the four “ways out” represented by these four camps.

In order to bring about the splitting of the Red Sea, drowning the hosts of Egypt and overcoming the final restraints and limitations of exile, it is necessary to negate the four approaches put forward by the four camps.

Parallels Within Our Divine Service

In fact, the four camps are mentioned in ascending order: The easiest approach is to plunge into the sea. Since we are living in a world in which Pharaoh and his hosts can be victorious, a person who doesn’t want to have anything to do with them at all may opt to “plunge into the sea,” to seek purification in the sea of Torah, prayer, and teshuvah.

But what about the world? And what about one’s fellow Jews? What about taking some action to end Pharaoh’s rule over the world? The “plunger” doesn’t want to face these questions. “Let someone else deal with these matters,” he retorts. “Why must [I] worry about G‑d’s hidden secrets?”20 These are G‑d’s problems; a person need not worry about saving the world; he has his own worries to deal with.

And so some Jews would rather “plunge into the sea,” cutting themselves off from the world at large. In the vernacular, such a person is called “a tzaddik in peltz, ” a tzaddik who wraps himself in a heavy winter coat to protect himself against the world’s bitter winds, reasoning that he does not have the ability to warm up the entire planet.

Yes, he concedes that he could share his heavy coat, and thus warm up another Jew, perhaps another two Jews. Indeed, he could quite conceivably warm up a corner of the world. But he’s not interested in that. His pride will not let him be concerned with such limited matters; he thinks about the world at large, and knows that he is not capable of warming it. So he retreats.

A more developed approach to Divine service is displayed by those who desire to return to Egypt. Such a person knows that “[G‑d] did not create [the world] to be a wasteland, but rather a settled environment.”21 Since we are commanded to involve ourselves in the world, we must also participate in worldly activities, as it is stated:22 “Against your will, you live.” Whether one wants to or not, one must live in the world, in the body and in the animal soul, for this is what G‑d wants.

Such a person, when given a clear instruction to perform a particular good deed, will do it. But it will be “harsh labor” for him, and he’ll do it without life or feeling. He will certainly not seek to illuminate his body and his portion of the world, for he does only what is necessary to fulfill the instructions he was given.

In general, such a person is haunted by despair. He doesn’t feel capable of doing anything not with the world at large, nor even with himself. There is no way he can prevent a return to Egypt, so he will again be a slave to the material world. This is his lot. He is obligated to observe the directives of the Shulchan Aruch, but for him this is “harsh labor.” When the sun rises, he davens. When the time comes for afternoon prayers, he recites that service. He must eat, so he makes a blessing before and after. And if he meets another Jew who needs a favor, he will do the favor. All with a sigh.

When someone tells him there is a Jew nearby whom he can help with material or spiritual matters, he realizes that the commandment “Love your fellowman as yourself”23 mandates him to help the person, and so he offers assistance. But he does it without any real desire to help, and finds no satisfaction in it. For him, it is just another dreary task, another part of the hard labor he must perform. He has already lost all hope; he sees no future outside Egypt.

This approach to Divine service is painfully inadequate. Kabbalas Ol, making a commitment to serve G‑d as a servant serves a master, is the first stage in our Divine service, but it is only the first stage.24 One must then proceed with vitality and joy.

When a Jew studies Torah, and realizes that this study establishes a connection between himself and G‑d, he should become charged with vitality and energy. It should be evident to even a casual observer that his study does not stem only from kabbalas ol, but is permeated by joy.

Similar concepts apply with regard to the observance of the other mitzvos. When a person realizes that by writing on an animal hide the four Torah passages included in tefillin, he makes the hide a medium for G‑dliness, and that by donning the tefillin on his left arm and his head he carries out G‑d’s will,25 he should be overwhelmed with joy.

A Jew should feel that with every word of the Torah that he studies, and with every mitzvah which he observes, he affects the entire world.26 Every mitzvahreduces the influence of “Egypt” in the world.

But when a Jew is not possessed by this awareness, and instead is overcome by despair, regarding the Torah and its mitzvos as a burden which he must drag about day after day, without happiness or vitality, he is merely carrying out “harsh labor” in Egypt.

At a higher rung is the decision to wage war against the world. Since one is unable to bear the concealment of G‑dliness brought about by Pharaoh and his hosts, one battles against them. This is surely a more developed approach than returning to Egypt, for the warrior is not in despair. On the contrary, he feels that the forces of holiness can overcome the forces of unholiness. And so he carries out his Divine service with relentless energy. But such a person has resigned himself to imperfection, for in a war, even the winning side suffers losses.

And there’s another drawback. Every phase of Divine service has an appropriate time. When G‑d is telling the Jewish people to proceed to “serve Me on this mountain,”27 a person should not involve himself with any other matters. When a person should be concentrating on illuminating the world with the light of Torah, it is not appropriate to begin waging war against Egypt. Instead, he should be focused on “journey[ing] forth” and coming closer to receiving the Torah.

But above all, the question arises: what is the source for the warrior’s desire to fight? Did he ask G‑d or Moshe if this is the appropriate form of Divine service at this time? No, he declares war on his own, and develops strategy based on his own intellect.

Since the initiative is merely his own, it is possible that his lust for battle comes from outside the realm of holiness altogether. Perhaps his personal nature tends toward gevurah, “might,” and therefore he is bent on war.28

With regard to trying to influence another through love, the Alter Rebbe writes29that even if one does not succeed, one has not forfeited the reward generated by brotherly love. But there is no such reward for declaring a personal war.

The highest of the four approaches manifested before the splitting of the sea was the urge to pray. Prayer means developing a connection with G‑d.30 Such a person is committed to carrying out G‑d’s will. He does not desire to “plunge into the sea” by taking care of his own spiritual development and cutting himself off from the world. For he realizes that G‑d wants the world to become a dwelling for Him.

Nor does he desire “to return to Egypt,” for he is not overcome with despair. On the contrary, he has no doubts, for he realizes that G‑d’s will ultimately prevails.

And thus he does not seek to “wage war against them,” by using his own strategies and initiative. Since he is connected to G‑d, and has subordinated his will to Him entirely, he does not have any personal desires. Therefore his path of Divine service is not to try to change the natural order. Instead, he gives himself over to G‑d entirely, praying that G‑d will enable him to achieve everything which he must accomplish in the world. He asks G‑d to fulfill his requests, and elevate the world.

This represents a movement towards self-nullification, and indeed can involve the ultimate self-nullification. Still, prayer can be lacking. For at times, a person who prays may have resolved that he will not endeavor to affect change. This is not the proper path; work and initiative are necessary.

To Trust G‑d, and Yet Proceed  on One’s Own Initiative

A Jew is commanded to rise above his personal self. He must realize that nothing he accomplishes is the result of “[his] strength and the power of [his] hand,” but that it is G‑d “who gives him the power to prosper.”31

This reliance on G‑d should not, however, rob a Jew of his initiative and his urge to achieve. He must work with the potentials G‑d has given him. Just as G‑d fuses opposites, so too a Jew’s Divine service can combine opposite thrusts. He can have no sense of self, knowing it is G‑d who achieves everything, and yet simultaneously work with his own power.

These two contradictory thrusts come into play in a Jew’s efforts to earn a livelihood. On one hand, he must have simple faith that everything is granted him by G‑d, and that since all things come from G‑d, whatever he receives must be for his ultimate good. If to our material eyes it does not appear good, that proves only that it comes from a level which cannot be revealed on this earthly plane.32 Simultaneously, a Jew must manifest perfect trust (bitachon), believing without any doubt that he will receive good that can be recognized as good.

For bitachon does not mean trusting that G‑d will provide circumstances which He alone appreciates are good. Bitachon means trusting that G‑d will provide us with good that we can appreciate as good even with our limited human understanding.

We must have such faith even when, according to natural circumstances, there is no rationale for it. 33 Even then, one should trust that G‑d will surely help. For G‑d is not limited, and He has the potential to change nature.

When a person is forced to confront suffering, he should accept it with happiness,34 believing with perfect faith that this too is for his ultimate good. When, however, suffering has not come yet, even though there seems no natural way of avoiding it, one must have perfect faith that G‑d will bring him overt good, and remove the threat.

We ask both things from a Jew. This is possible because every Jew is connected with G‑d, who reconciles opposites. Such bitachon does not contradict faith. Indeed, it is one of the foundations of faith.

Similar concepts apply with regard to our Divine service. A Jew must be aware that “Everything is in the hands of heaven.”35 Even “the fear of heaven,” which our Sages say is not in the hands of heaven but rather is given over to man’s initiative, requires G‑d’s help, for we can do nothing alone.

Nevertheless, together with our trust in G‑d, individual effort and initiative are required. Since both trust and initiative stem from the G‑dly soul, which is “an actual part of G‑d,”36 these two thrusts are not contradictory. Instead, one complements the other.

Revealing the Hidden

The command G‑d gave to Moshe was: “Speak to the children of Israel and have them journey forth.” Our Divine service must involve drawing closer to Mount Sinai, and not joining one of the four camps; i.e., not withdrawing entirely from worldly involvement, not performing our Divine service in misery, not abandoning one’s mission and instead, waging war against the world, and not merely lifting up one’s hands and depending solely on G‑d.

Instead, we must be involved in illuminating the world, bringing it closer to the Torah. This approach setting forth to Mount Sinai brings about the splitting of the sea, the transformation of water into dry land.

What is implied? That the material dimensions of worldly existence should remain, but the G‑dly power contained therein should be revealed. 37 This in turn leads to the giving of the Torah,38which is a microcosm of the revelations of the Era of the Redemption,39 at which time it will be seen that this world is G‑d’s dwelling.

Responding to a Higher Source

Everything which transpires in the world is dependent on the Jewish people. When a Jew attains a particular spiritual objective within his own personality, a parallel effect is produced in the world at large.40 As such, we can appreciate that “journeying forth” involves not only a higher level of Divine service than that represented by the approaches of the four camps, but produces a more comprehensive change. “Journeying forth” brings about a parallel to the splitting of the sea within a person’s soul. The hidden G‑dliness therein is revealed, and this brings about a parallel to the splitting of the sea in the world at large.

This reflects another distinction between “journeying forth” and the approaches of the four camps. The approaches of each of the four camps stems from human wisdom, while “journeying forth” is a response to G‑d’s command. No one had thought of it until Moshe conveyed G‑d’s word. (This is reflected in theMechilta s description of four camps. If there had been a camp which desired to “journey forth,” the Midrash would have spoken about five camps.)

This also serves as a lesson for all generations, enabling us to appreciate what is truly G‑d’s will. When a Jew is introduced to a path of Divine service which runs contrary to his natural tendencies and will, and which he therefore has difficulty in accepting, it is highly probable that this is the path which G‑d desires from him. It was thus Divine Providence that caused him to hear about it.

When a path of Divine service is accepted enthusiastically and without effort, one cannot be sure if the motivation comes from the person’s G‑dly soul or his animal soul.41 When, however, one is exposed to a path of service which runs contrary to his nature, this comes as a directive from above.

Indeed, the more natural resistance a person feels to a particular path of service, the more it appears that this path has a particular connection to him. And for that reason the yetzer hora makes it difficult for him to accept this path.42

Stepping Beyond One’s Self

There is a common factor in the approaches of all four camps, and therefore the Torah links them. All four are natural responses, stemming from human intellect. All these approaches lack a complete sense of bittul, self-transcendence and commitment to G‑d’s will. Since a complete sense of bittulwas lacking, i.e., there was a deficiency in the individuals involved, the service they performed was also imperfect. They were overlooking the option of “journeying forth” as prescribed by G‑d’s will.

When a person’s conduct is characterized by bittul, and he seeks to adapt his conduct to G‑d’s will, G‑d empowers the person’s mind to appreciate that Divine will. The resulting directive will not be merely an expression of the individual’s nature; indeed, it may run contrary to that nature.

The Splitting of the Sea in Microcosm

On this basis, we can appreciate how “journeying forth” brings about a parallel to the splitting of the sea within a person’s soul. Within the inner reaches of every Jewish soul, there is bittul to G‑d’s will. Our human nature, our habits, and our thoughts conceal this. But when a person “leaves Egypt,” i.e., when he transcends his individual limitations and personal preferences, but instead commits himself to G‑d’s will, “the sea splits within his soul,” i.e., his inner self is revealed.

The microcosm then influences the macrocosm. The revelation of the G‑dliness hidden within the soul of an individual brings about a revelation of the G‑dliness hidden within the world at large “the splitting of the sea.” Indeed, this heralds the ultimate revelations, when “the glory of G‑d will be revealed, and all flesh will see together that the mouth of G‑d has spoken.”43

The Rebbe’s Message: “Journey Forth”

In most years, Yud Shvat, the anniversary of the passing of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, falls in the week of Parshas Beshallach. Everything is controlled by Divine Providence, and thus we see a connection to the theme of this Torah reading, for the Rebbe’s directives to his chassidim were permeated by the message “journey forth.”

The Rebbe demanded that we not isolate ourselves from the world, not regard observance of the Torah and its mitzvos as “harsh labor,” not become absorbed in combating negative forces, and not fulfill our obligations merely with prayer and trust in G‑d. Instead, he desired that his chassidim take the initiative in illuminating the world with G‑dliness, and fulfill this mission with energy and vitality. The aim is to bring the world closer to the revelation of the Torah’s inner secrets, which will take place in the Era of the Redemption.44

This can be achieved through the personal splitting of the sea, revealing the G‑dliness hidden within one’s soul. When a person tries, and tries again, and tries a third time, and is still unable to bring light into the world, he must realize that the fault lies in himself; he has not revealed the G‑dliness within his soul. He has not yet tapped the potentials granted to him.

Uncovering Treasures

Our souls’ potentials are revealed by the Torah. Continuing this concept, it is the Torah’s mystic secrets which reveal the hidden potentials of our souls. Therefore, in these last years, when we are approaching the coming ofMashiach, and when we must reveal the G‑dliness hidden within the world (the splitting of the sea in the macrocosm) by revealing the G‑dliness hidden within our souls (the splitting of the sea in the microcosm), there is an impetus from Above to reveal the Torah’s mystic secrets. This includes the secrets enclothed within Nigleh, the revealed dimension of Torah law.

This was accomplished through my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, who uncovered many concepts and directives of the Torah which had not been revealed previously. As explained in the maamar Basi LeGani,45 the motivating factor is that for the sake of emerging victorious in battle, one reveals treasures that have been hidden for generations. It is through revealing these treasure stores of Torah that we will reveal “the treasure store of fear of heaven” which each of us possesses.46

And with this power, we will emerge victorious in battle. The veils with which the forces of evil conceal G‑dlinesswill be torn asunder and the G‑dly power invested in creation will be revealed. As the prophet declares: “All flesh will see that the mouth of G‑d has spoken,” with the coming of Mashiach. May this take place in the near future.

(Adapted from Sichos Yud Shavat, 5722)

SHABBOS BO | 5-12 Shevat 5776

EREV SHABBOS - FRI JAN 15th 
Shacharis 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 4:26 pm

SHABBOS - SAT JAN 16th 
Shacharis 9 am /Latest Shema 10:05 am/
Mincha 4:10 pm  /Seuda Slishit Lite 
Maariv/Havdalah 5:31 pm 

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am
Mon - Fri 7 am Shacharis
Sun - Thu  Mincha/Maariv 4:35 pm /Repeat Shema after 5:27 pm

KIDDUSH SPONSORS
Kiddush is sponored this week by Ellen and Brad Spear, on the occassion of their son Benjamin's aufruf this Shabbat! Congratulations on the marriage of Ben to Victoria Cohen this Monday!  
Kiddush is also sponsored by Ivan and Liz Rothman in honor and in memory of the 17th yahrzeit of Ivan's father (Yehudah ben HaRavYehoshua Falik, 29th Tevet).Seuda Slishit Lite is sponsored by Paul and Tamar Azous.

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV!
Mazel Tov to Rabbi Shimon and Meira Emlen on the bris of their son Shneur Zalman!  May they merit to raise him to Torah, Chupa, and Maasim Tovim! 
Mazel Tov to 
Rabbi Abraham and Shprintze Kavka on the engagement of their daughter Sarale to NaftaliSampson of Los Angeles!  May they merit to build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel!  
Mazel Tov to Ellen and Brad Spear, on the marriage of Ben Spear to Victoria Cohen this Monday!  May they merit to build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel!

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 sitewww.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

SHUL ANNUAL FUNDRAISING DINNER JAN 18th 6:30 PM AT HILLEL
Please join us for a fun night filled with magic! The evening will start at 6:30 with open bar and appetizers while the incredible G.G. Green strolls around and performs magic. He will take the stage at 7:30 for a live magic show you won't want to miss! A delicious beef brisket dinner will be served following the performance at 8:00. We will also have a "split-the-pot" raffle! First Prize is 1/2 the amount collected up to $500. Second Prize is $100. Tickets are $10 each and can be ordered on the event registration website. You may also purchase them at the door with cash or check. Please register no later than January 15th, as seats are limited. Looking forward to seeing you there! Click to Register:  http://cstl2016.eventbrite.com/   To volunteer, contactMikeWeichbrodt@yahoo.com.

SHUL VOLUNTEER NEEDED FOR Yahrzeits, Anniversaries, Birthdays 
We spoke with a number of members recently about the need for a member to coordinate and maintain a Shul calendar. This calendar would be used for Yahrzeits, Anniversaries, and Birthdays etc. The coordinator could announce the event and look for sponsors to help raise funds for a Kiddush. Please e mailmikeweichbrodt@yahoo.com  if you interested in this important community position.

SHABBOS HOSPITALITY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
As most of you know, I've been running Hospitality since the summer. Thankfully, I've been having very good responses from community members being more than happy to open their doors to guests. We've had many visitors here in the past few months, some looking at our community as a possible place to call home and some just passing through. In an effort to not exhaust the regular people I've been asking, I'm hoping that anyone open to being contacted can please email me directly so I can put together a list of people to reach out to. In your email, please clarify your name (I don't have everyone's emails), best method of contact, and what you are interested in being contacted for: meals, hosting, or both. Thank you very much and tizkuh lemitzvot!!chanimeyer@gmail.com

Upshernish of Menachem Mendel Estrin – TUE JAN 19th  from 5-7PM
Please join our family as we celebrate the Upshernish of our son Menachem Mendel The festivities will take place at Chabad UW 5200 21st Ave NE, and will include desserts, light (dairy) dinner, children's craft and rally. Please follow this link to see the full invitation and to RSVP. http://evite.me/SQmqUvmTQE We look forward to celebrating with you, and may we only share simchos! Rabbi Elie and Chaya Estrinrabbi@chabaduw.org

RABBI LEVITIN WEEKLY CLASS:  JEWISH LAW – SUNDAYS 8-9 AM /NOT THIS WEEK/
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 - This Saturday Night Jan 16th 7:00 pm
Last weeks raffle winner was...Benny Meyer a blues Harmonica and Music book (Thank you James!) & Yossi Bogomilsky a Comic Story Book of Chasidic Tales (Thank you anonymous!). Thanks to an unbelievably generous sponsor each week will feature a Sefer that will be included in the raffle!!!! This Motzei Shabbat (January 16th 7:00 pm) I am so excited invite you to another night of Father and Son Learning at CSTL.Wewill also feature a short Living Torah video on the Big Screen. I will provide materials in English and Hebrew.  Please feel welcome to bring your own materials if  you would prefer. Please come and join in our efforts to build our community in the spirit of Torah learning. ~This Program was instituted in loving memory of Brandon Gribin - Rephael Chaim Ben Shmuel~

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

SECURITY GUARD AT CSTL
The Board of CSTL has approved a security guard for CSTL. 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

SEPHARDIC ADVENTURE CAMP
Sephardic Adventure Camp 2016 registration is NOW OPEN!  For more information or to register, please go to our website at www.sephardicadventurecamp.org  This summer SAC will be held August 2nd - 18th at our new location, Camp Roganunda, located in the Wenatchee National Forest, just east of majestic Mt. Rainier! Don't miss out on the fun! 

BCMH SUMMER CAMP
Special Announcement regarding BCMH Camps for Summer 2016! All divisions of BCMH camps will now be under one name Camp Yavneh with all new programs and activities to supplement the programs you already love! This will include children from pre school all the way through our new CIT program for 6th and 7th grade and our staff in high school, college and beyond! If you are in 8th-12 grade, college or older and would like to work at Camp this summer please contact Ari Hoffman at thehoffather@gmail.com Camper Registration coming soon!

BISTRO NIGHTS AT THE SUMMIT
The Summit has announced a new schedule of Bistro Nights for 2016.  This year there will be six different Bistros. One of them will be a Brunch on Mother's Day. Last year this was one of their most popular events. The dates for 2016 are:  January 26th, March 22nd,May 8th Mother's Day Brunch, July 5th,September 6th, November 15th.  Bistro reservations are taken by email only.  Fine Print:  For all (evening) bistros there is a window of seating times running from 7:30pm to 8:15pm. The price for the January 26 meat dinner is $70, anall inclusive price that includes appetizer, dinner and dessert, server gratuity, and of course a wide selection of wine and beer.  Bistros sell out quickly, there is limited capacity so please reserve immediately to ensure your place.  The Summit at First Hill's kitchens and dining areas are supervised daily by Va'ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle staff.

CELEBRATE FRUTICAS (TU b’SHEVAT) AT EZRA BESSAROTH! SUN JAN 24th 
Celebrate Fruticas/Tu Bishvat at Ezra Bessaroth.  EB Fruticas dinner and celebration will take place this year on Sunday, January 24.  Save the date -- more details coming soon!

Mercaz Melave Malka Saturday, January 23rd from 6pm - 9pm
Sing/Eat/Socialize

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 

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 thissummer.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  THU 9-11 PM
Parsha Learning and Discussion.  Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE, Snacks served

BCMH SUMMER CAMP
Special Announcement regarding BCMH Camps for Summer 2016! All divisions of BCMH camps will now be under one name Camp Yavneh with all new programs and activities to supplement the programs you already love! This will include children from pre school all the way through our new CIT program for 6th and 7th grade and our staff in high school, college and beyond! If you are in 8th-12 grade, college or older and would like to work at Camp this summer please contact Ari Hoffman at thehoffather@gmail.com 

MINYAN OHR CHADASH SHABBAT OF LEARNING WITH DR. MARK KLIGMAN JAN 29th 
Friday night dinner & lecture at Ohr Chadash:  "Music in the Tanakh and the Temple"   RSVP and pay by January 26 at minyanohrchadash.org/donate.  Childcare available during the lecture at no charge. Shabbat morning, January 30 at Ezra Bessaroth, with light Kiddush lunch & lecture.  "Makamat Live:  The melodies of Middle Eastern Jewish Music" Saturday evening, 8:00 p.m. at Ohr Chadash "From Carlebach to TheMaccabeats:  Current Music Trends in the Orthodox Community and Developments in Klezmer and Sephardic Music" For more information, email karen@treiger.com

EB LADIES AUXILIARY BAKING SCHEDULE 
Please join us  to bake Sephardic goodies, visit with friends, and enjoy a kosher lunch prepared by Albie Amon. 
Jan 11 Panderas & Travados
Jan 18 Rolls, Hamantashen  Prepare Gomo for Pasteles
Jan 25 Make Pasteles

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/

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

ART FOR SALE BY GOLDBERG FAMILY 
We are parting with some beautiful Judaic art, and wanted to offer first to our CSTL community before listing elsewhere. Phone Tziviah at  (206) 851 1193:
1.     Michoel Muchnik Signed and Numbered Lithograph, “Bubby and Zayde”, 22 ½” x 26 ½” including frame. $180 OBO. 
2.     Michoel Muchnik Signed Ceramic Original, Pitcher and Palm Trees, 10 ½” x 11”, $499 OBO 
3.     Michel Muchnik Signed Lithograph, “Heim”, 10” x 17” framed,  $154 OBO 
4.     Jovan Obican, Signed and Numbered Lithograph, “Chuppah Wedding”, 21 ½” x 19” framed, $154 OBO. (slight discoloration on frame). 
5.     Two Brass Menorahs (7-branched) – Vintage:  $199 each or 2 for $300. Mark & Tziviah Goldberg


BO
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347344/jewish/Lekutei-Sichot-Vaeira.htm
Adapted from the Works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe | Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

When Moshe Rabbeinu delivered G‑d’s message concerning the Plague of the Firstborn to Pharaoh, he also told him when the plague would take place at midnight. Nevertheless, lest Pharaoh’s astrologers err and not realize the exact time and then say that Moshe’s promise was not fulfilled Moshe told them the plague would take place: “Around midnight.”1

On the surface, it is difficult to comprehend: Why was it necessary to inform Pharaoh of the time at which the Plague of the Firstborn would begin? Moshe could have said as had been his practice with the other plagues simply that G‑d would bring this plague, without saying when.

The fact that Moshe did mention the time when the Plague of the Firstborn would occur thus indicates that this plague has a unique connection to the hour of midnight so much so that Moshe had to tell Pharaoh when it would take place. (And it was only because of the presence of Pharaoh’s astrologers, Moshe refrained from emphasizing the exact time of the plague.)

The reason for this connection can be explained by highlighting the nature of the Plague of the Firstborn and its differences from the other plagues. This final visitation is distinguished by two factors:

a) In contrast to the earlier plagues, it was necessary for the Jews to mark their doorposts and lintels with the blood of the circumcision and the blood of the Paschal sacrifice.2 This was to prevent the plague from harming the Jews.

b) G‑d ordered the Jews: “No man shall go out of the entrance of his house until the morning.”3 The Jews were required to remain at home throughout the night, for the agent of destruction had been given license to devastate; it would not differentiate between the righteous and the wicked.4 Had the Jews gone out, they too could have been harmed.

The latter point is somewhat problematic. Seemingly, “the agent of destruction was given license to devastate” with regard to the other plagues as well, and yet the Jews did not require any special protection. Why was the Plague of the Firstborn unique in this regard, and why was it necessary for the Jews to both remain at home and make a sign with the blood of the circumcision and the Paschal sacrifice?

When the Agent of Destruction Is Given License

The difference between the Plague of the Firstborn and the other plagues can be explained as follows: With regard to the other plagues, it cannot be truly said that “the agent of destruction was given license to devastate.” Most of the plagues affected only the financial resources of the Egyptians, or their comfort. Moreover, even when a plague such as the plague of wild animals brought death as well as financial loss, unlimited license was not granted to “the agent of destruction.” There was always a constraint to the destruction wrought.

For example, all the earlier plagues involved a specific agent of destruction,5such as frogs, lice, or the like, and this agent was given permission to harm or kill Egyptians only according to its natural tendency. Thus there was not unlimited destruction.6

With regard to the final plague, however, the Egyptian firstborn were slain without restraint. Since “the agent of destruction was given license to devastate,” it was necessary for the Jews to take steps to protect themselves, lest they also be harmed.

A deeper distinction can be made between the final plague and the nine earlier ones. The intent of the earlier plagues was primarily not to punish the Egyptians, but to generate an awareness of G‑d’s presence, as it is written:7“So that you can tell… how I performed miraculous signs among them, and you will know that I am G‑d.” Similarly, it is written: “Through this, you will know that I am G‑d,”8 “So that you know that I am G‑d,”9 and “So that you will know that there is none like Me.”10 Therefore there was no need for the plagues to affect the Jews, for the Jews already possessed an awareness of G‑d.11

But the Plague of the Firstborn was different in this regard. In the nine other plagues, few people actually perished; the vast majority could thus still come to an awareness of G‑dliness. With the Plague of the Firstborn, however, the intent was that the firstborn die, and not that their appreciation of G‑d’s power should be enhanced.

Since the intent of this plague was punishment, the attribute of judgment might have argued: “How different are these (the Jews) from these (the Egyptian firstborn)?” For the Jews in Egypt had also sunk to evil conduct,12 as theMidrash states:13 “These are worshipers of idols and these are worshipers of idols.” And so it is possible that “the agent of destruction” the extension of the attribute of judgment would not differentiate between Egyptian and Jew.

Yes, it is written:14 “I will pass through Egypt… I will smite every firstborn…. I will perform acts of judgment…. I am G‑d.” And from this verse, our Sages conclude15 that G‑d Himself was the one who smote the Egyptians, as we say:16 “I and not an angel… I and no other.”

But this does not discount the influence of “the agent of destruction.” That agent was also present, and could make accusations against the Jewish people.17Therefore it was necessary for the Jews to take protective measures.

These measures involved: a) not going out of their homes. Since the agent of destruction was given license to destroy throughout the land of Egypt, if a Jew went outside, no distinction would be made. With regard to this, everyone Jews and Egyptians were alike. A sign would not help. The only alternative was to stay inside.

b) Placing a sign on their homes. G‑d promised:18 “I will pass over you,” i.e., the agent of destruction was not to be given license in these places, and so a distinction could be made between the Jews and the Egyptians.

Where the Twains Meet

Yet a question remains: Since there was a certain legitimacy in the complaint of the attribute of judgment, why did the sign the Jews placed on their doors protect them?

The resolution of this difficulty depends on the realization that the Plague of the Firstborn had its source in a level of G‑dliness above the limits of the spiritual cosmos (Seder HaHishtalshelus); it was wrought by G‑d in His glory and His essence. Since this level transcends the attribute of judgment, it does not leave any place for accusations. Rational arguments can affect only those levels ofSeder HaHishtalshelus that are limited in nature. The levels of G‑dliness that transcend the Seder HaHishtalshelus the levels which were the source for the Plague of the Firstborn are entirely beyond reason, and will not be affected by such “rational” accusations.

This also explains why the Plague of the Firstborn took place at midnight. For the levels of G‑dliness that transcend the limits of Seder HaHishtalshelus are revealed at midnight.

To explain: During the first half of the night, the attribute of gevurah (might) is revealed. This is reflected in the fact that as the night proceeds, the darkness increases. During the second half of the night, the attribute of chesed(kindness) is revealed, as reflected in the fact that as the night continues, signs of light appear and increase.

At midnight, these opposite tendencies are fused. This is possible because the levels of G‑dlinessthat transcend the limits of Seder HaHishtalshelus are revealed at midnight. For as is well known, the fusion of two opposites is possible only through an influence which is above the limits of both.19

In other words: At the time of the Plague of the Firstborn, G‑d’s essential love for the Jewish people was revealed a love that transcends all reason and logic. And when this love is revealed, even if logic can demand: “How different are these (the Jews) from these (the Egyptian firstborn)?” and “Is not EsavYaakov’s brother?”20 implying that they are the same, G‑d replies: “I love Yaakov and hate Esav.”21 He loves the Jewish people, for they are His children, as it is written:22 “You are children to G‑d, your L-rd.” And a father’s love for his children is an essential bond which cannot be challenged by logic or complaint.

By telling Pharaoh that the Plague of the Firstborn would take place at midnight, Moshe Rabbeinu was alluding to the fact that there would be a revelation transcending the limits of Seder HaHishtalshelus. Had this concept not been communicated, Pharaoh and his wizards would not have believed that a plague whose intent was to destroy evil would not affect the Jews, for the two people’s level of conduct was similar. Therefore Moshe informed him that a transcendent light would be revealed and that this transcendent light would reveal the Jews’ essential link with G‑d.

Signs of Inner Love

Although the essential bond between G‑d and the Jewish people would be revealed, it was still necessary for the Jews to place signs on their doorposts. This can be explained as follows: All the influence with which G‑d endows us is drawn down to the earthly realm through our Divine service. Even those revelations which transcend the limits of Seder HaHishtalshelus are dependent on such service. Although G‑d’s essential love is by definition perfect at all times, and thus not dependent on our Divine service, our Divine service is still required in order that such love can be revealed and incorporated within this earthly realm.

The Divine service that draws down transcendent love must resemble that love, i.e., it must also transcend reason, going beyond the limits of our conscious powers. This is why the signs which the Jews placed on their homes on the night of the Plague of the Firstborn the blood of the circumcision and the blood of the Paschal sacrifice reflect a connection with G‑d that transcends logic.

To explain: the mitzvah of circumcision reflects such a bond because it is established with a Jewish child at the age of eight days, before he gains control of his intellectual faculties.23 Similarly, the mitzvah of bringing the Paschal offering required mesirus nefesh, self-sacrifice that transcends logic. For sheep were worshipped by the Egyptians. The Jews held the animals for four days to attract the Egyptian’s attention, and when asked, they told the Egyptians that they were going to sacrifice the animals for G‑d. This required actual mesirusnefesh.

By manifesting mesirus nefesh in this manner, the Jews brought about the expression of G‑d’s essential love for the Jewish people, a love which also transcends reason. This love was expressed through the revelations at midnight.

Realizing a Potential

Based on the above, we can reconcile an apparent contradiction in the words of our Sages regarding the merit by which our ancestors were judged worthy of leaving Egypt. In one source, our Sages say24 that “It was in the merit of their faith that our ancestors were redeemed.” The fact that the Jews believed in Moshe’s promise of redemption, as it is written:25 “And the people believed; they accepted [Moshe’s promise] that G‑d had taken notice of His people,” enabled that promise to be realized.

In another source,26 it is explained that the Jews were redeemed in the merit of the blood of the circumcision and the blood of the Paschal sacrifice. This is alluded to in the verse:27 “Through your blood (plural), you will live.”

These sources are not contradictory, for the merits they mention faith, the circumcision, and the Paschal sacrifice share a common factor. All reflect a level of Divine service that transcends logic. In general, faith begins where reason ends. This applies particularly with regard to the faith in the redemption from Egypt. According to the rules of nature, it was impossible for even one slave to leave the country,28 let alone 600,000. And yet the Jews believed in Moshe’s promise.

They were a broken people, crushed by harsh labor and torn by the grief they suffered from Pharaoh’s decree mandating the death of their young sons. For it is a natural tendency for a person to give up everything he has so that his children will be saved. Despite these difficulties, and the power of the Egyptian regime, the Jews believed in Moshe’s promise that G‑d would redeem them from exile.

And this simple faith which transcended reason called forth G‑d’s essential love, which also transcends all limits. According to reason, it might have been impossible to refute the argument of the attribute of judgment: “How are these different from these?”

For G‑d’s essential love for the Jews to cause a change within the context ofSeder HaHishtalshelus, and more particularly, in order for it to bring about their actual redemption, it was necessary for the Jews to manifest a similar pattern in their Divine service. They had to show how their essential connection with G‑d is revealed within the context of their conscious powers, and to manifest this in actual deed. This was accomplished through the mitzvos of the Paschal sacrifice and the circumcision, for the Jews thereby expressed in deed a connection to G‑d which transcends reason.

Defining the Moment of Midnight

On the verse,29 “And at midnight, G‑d slew every firstborn in Egypt,” we find two opinions in the Mechilta. One states that it was “the Creator” who divided the night, while the other states that the night was divided by “He who knows His moments and His hours.” The Radbaz30 explains that both expressions refer to G‑d, but highlight different attributes of His Being. The first places the emphasis on G‑d as Creator. Since He brought the night into being, it was possible for Him to halt the revolution of the heavenly sphere, and in this manner divide the night into two halves.

The second opinion maintains that such an unnatural division is unnecessary. Although a human being cannot distinguish the exact moment of midnight, “He who knows His moments and His hours” can. And at that moment, G‑d smote the firstborn.

But what is the underlying distinction between these two opinions? And according to the first opinion, why did G‑d perform the special miracle of dividing the night?

Transcendence Within the Natural Order

The two opinions can be explained as follows: As stated previously, the Plague of the Firstborn stemmed from a level of G‑dliness which transcended Seder HaHishtalshelus.

How was this transcendent revelation expressed on the earthly plane? According to the first opinion, the transcendental nature of this revelation was reflected on the earthly plane as well. Since nature and time are unable to contain such a transcendent light, G‑d halted the revolution of the heavenly sphere, negating the ordinary patterns of time and nature.

According to the second opinion, it was not necessary to nullify nature. Instead, the influence which transcended Seder HaHishtalshelus permeated the patterns of nature in a way which parallels the miracle of Purim. Elevating nature in this manner does more than reveal G‑d’s transcendence. It shows how nature itself can become a vessel for the Divine light which transcends it.

With regard to differences of opinion among our Sages, it is said:31 “These and these are the words of the living G‑d.” Accordingly, it is necessary to say that both descriptions of the revelation at midnight are appropriate. On one hand, the Divine light which transcends SederHaHishtalshelus was enclothed within the natural order (as reflected by the expression “He who knows His moments and His hours”). Simultaneously, this transcendent influence was overtly revealed (as reflected by the expression “the Creator”).

This unique revelation was made possible because the Plague of the Firstborn was the last of the Ten Plagues, and the beginning of the exodus. The ultimate purpose of the exodus of Egypt was the giving of the Torah, as it is written:32“When you lead the people out of Egypt, you will serve G‑d on this mountain.” And the intent of the giving of the Torah is the fusion of the G‑dliness which transcends the natural order with the natural order itself. Therefore both sources of influence mentioned above “He who knows His moments and His hours” and “the Creator” were associated with the Plague of the Firstborn, so that the fusion of the spiritual and the physical would be openly revealed.

We also see this pattern with regard to the exodus from Egypt as a whole. On one hand, the country was not nullified entirely; even after the exodus, it remained a nation of influence. Nevertheless, at the time when Egypt was at the height of its power, when not even one slave could escape, 600,000 men plus many women and children marched proudly out.33 This reflects a revelation of G‑dlinesswhich transcends nature, yet occurs within the natural pattern of the world.

To Permeate the Lowest Realms with the Highest Potentials

As mentioned above, the revelations which transcend Seder HaHishtalsheluswere drawn down through the circumcision and the Paschal sacrifice. Since the revelation at midnight fused the higher and lower planes in an overt manner, we must say that it was necessary for the Divine service of faith and mesirus nefesh that was expressed through these two mitzvos to follow a similar pattern. These transcendent spiritual potentials were intended to permeate the people’s consciousness, affecting even their lowest potentials.34 This had a parallel effect in the spiritual realm, causing the revelation which transcendsSeder HaHishtalshelus to permeate the natural order.

The Divine service associated with the mitzvah of circumcision is, as explained elsewhere,35 intended to establish an eternal, transcendent bond with G‑d in our actual flesh, and more particularly in the organ associated with Yesod, the end of the torso.”36

This same motif was fulfilled in a more encompassing manner by the Divine service associated with the Paschal sacrifice. For the Paschal sacrifice involved a lamb, a material entity outside the human sphere altogether; even further removed than “the end of the torso.” Moreover, the Egyptians worshipped the lamb. This was the entity which the Jews employed as a means of expressing their mesirus nefesh.

This concept also relates to a distinction between the Paschal sacrifice and other sacrificial offerings.37 The entire intent of the Paschal sacrifice is that it be eaten. With regard to all other offerings, by contrast, partaking of the sacrifice is an additional mitzvah.

Eating is one of the activities in which “a human resembles an animal.”38 The purpose of the Paschal sacrifice was to express on this lowly plane a level of faith and mesirus nefesh which transcends reason and logic.

True Freedom

As mentioned on several occasions,39 true freedom requires not only that the soul be free from the restraints generated by the body and the animal soul, but that the body and the animal soul themselves be free. And on a broader scale, freedom implies that one’s environment, even those aspects which conceal G‑dliness, should be affected by the revelation of the soul.

The initial step leading to true freedom of the soul, the body, the animal soul, and one’s environment is the revelation brought about by faith, for faith reveals the soul. This faith is then expressed in the mitzvah of circumcision (which involves the organ associated with yesod, the end of the torso”) and in the Paschal sacrifice, which involved offering an entity beyond the human sphere, part of our environment. 40

The power to descend and affect inferior levels of existence comes from a very high plane. Accordingly, we can appreciate that the power of the mitzvah of circumcision which reveals G‑dliness within our physical flesh, even within the organ associated with yesod, the end of the torso” is very great. And the power of the Paschal sacrifice is even greater, for it draws G‑dlinessinto a realm outside the human sphere.

This facilitates the attainment of true freedom. For as long as one has not taken the “great wealth” 41 of Egypt out of exile by refining one’s environment, one has not entirely left exile, and one’s experience of freedom is lacking.

Thus we find that circumcision served as a preparatory step for the Paschal sacrifice. As the Midrash relates,42 when the Jews wanted to partake of the Paschal sacrifice offered by Moshe, Moshe told them that first they must circumcise themselves. For a preparatory step implies action at a level lower than the objective for which the preparations are made.

Anticipating the Ultimate Exodus

It is written:43 “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show [you] wonders,” indicating that the future Redemption will follow the pattern of the exodus from Egypt. The exodus from Egypt came about in the merit of the Jews’ faith, and because of the expression of that faith at the lowest levels encompassing the lowest levels within an individual’s personality (circumcision), and even entities entirely outside the human sphere (eating the Paschal sacrifice).

Similarly, the future Redemption will also come in the merit of faith. Despite the overwhelming concealment of G‑dliness in the present exile, it is possible to arouse our people’s simple faith in the coming of Mashiach

. For “he is waiting behind our wall”;44 Mashiach is already here, he is merely hiding behind the wall.

The intent is that this faith should not remain merely an encompassing potential, but that it should permeate one’s intellect and emotions. Moreover, it should be transmitted even to one’s lowest potentials (circumcision).

This is accomplished through studying the teachings of Chabad Chassidus45and comprehending them thoroughly. This draws the power of faith into the intellect, internalizing it, and enabling it to affect all our other potentials, causing a change in one’s emotional characteristics.46

Afterwards, these wellsprings spread, extending into one’s environment (the Paschal sacrifice). And as the wellsprings continue to be dispersed, as promised by Mashiach, we will proceed to the dawning of the Redemption. May it be in the immediate future.

(Adapted from Sichos Acharon Shel Pesach, 5721 and 5722) 

SHABBOS VA'ERA | MEVARCHIM SHEVAT

EREV SHABBOS - FRI JAN 8th 
Shacharis 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 4:17 pm

SHABBOS - SAT JAN 9th 
Tehilim for Mevarchim Shevat 7:30 am
Shacharis 9 am /Latest Shema 10:06 am/
Mincha 4:00 pm  /Seuda Slishit Lite 
Maariv/Havdalah 5:22 pm 

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am
Mon 7 am /ROSH CHODESH SHEVAT/ not early due to late sunrise
Tue - Fri 7 am Shacharis
Sun - Thu  Mincha/Maariv 4:30 pm /Repeat Shema after 5:17 pm

KIDDUSH SPONSORS
Kiddush is sponsored by Dr Vernon and Lis Neppe in honor of the newly engaged couple  Ilana Greenberg and DavidKintzer.  May they enjoy great happiness and success together and enjoy their spiritual progression. Seuda Slishit Lite is sponsored by Rabbi Shmuel Goldberg.

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV!
Mazel Tov to Rabbi Shimon and Meira Emlen on the birth of their new son, born 26 Tevet!  May they merit to raise him to Torah, Chupa, and Maasim Tovim!

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

ENGAGEMENT PARTY FOR Ilana Greenberg and David Kintzer – SUN JAN 10th from 2 to 4 PM
The entire community is invited to the engagement party for our dear children Ilana Greenberg and David Kintzer .  The party is being held at the Kintzer's home located at 6011 37th Ave. NE. in Seattle.  May they build a bait ne'eman b'yisrael! Hope to see you there, The Greenberg and Kintzer families. PS- Ilana and David are registered at myregistry.com

SHUL ANNUAL FUNDRAISING DINNER JAN 18th 6:30 PM AT HILLEL
Please join us for a fun night filled with magic! The evening will start at 6:30 with open bar and appetizers while the incredible G.G. Green strolls around and performs magic. He will take the stage at 7:30 for a live magic show you won't want to miss! A delicious beef brisket dinner will be served following the performance at 8:00. We will also have a "split-the-pot" raffle! First Prize is 1/2 the amount collected up to $500. Second Prize is $100. Tickets are $10 each and can be ordered on the event registration website. You may also purchase them at the door with cash or check. Please register no later than January 15th, as seats are limited. Looking forward to seeing you there! Click to Register:  http://cstl2016.eventbrite.com/   To volunteer, contact MikeWeichbrodt@yahoo.com.

SHUL VOLUNTEER NEEDED FOR Yahrzeits, Anniversaries, Birthdays 
We spoke with a number of members recently about the need for a member to coordinate and maintain a Shul calendar. This calendar would be used for Yahrzeits, Anniversaries, and Birthdays etc. The coordinator could announce the event and look for sponsors to help raise funds for a Kiddush. Please e mail mikeweichbrodt@yahoo.com  if you interested in this important community position.

SHABBOS HOSPITALITY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
As most of you know, I've been running Hospitality since the summer. Thankfully, I've been having very good responses from community members being more than happy to open their doors to guests. We've had many visitors here in the past few months, some looking at our community as a possible place to call home and some just passing through. In an effort to not exhaust the regular people I've been asking, I'm hoping that anyone open to being contacted can please email me directly so I can put together a list of people to reach out to. In your email, please clarify your name (I don't have everyone's emails), best method of contact, and what you are interested in being contacted for: meals, hosting, or both. Thank you very much and tizkuhlemitzvot!! chanimeyer@gmail.com

Upshernish of Menachem Mendel Estrin – TUE JAN 19th  from 5-7PM
Please join our family as we celebrate the Upshernish of our son Menachem Mendel The festivities will take place at Chabad UW 5200 21st Ave NE, and will include desserts, light (dairy) dinner, children's craft and rally. Please follow this link to see the full invitation and to RSVP. http://evite.me/SQmqUvmTQE We look forward to celebrating with you, and may we only share simchos! Rabbi Elie and Chaya Estrin rabbi@chabaduw.org

RABBI LEVITIN WEEKLY CLASS:  JEWISH LAW – SUNDAYS 8-9 AM /NOT THIS WEEK/
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 - Saturday Night Jan 9th 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.

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. 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
No older children's program this Shabbos.   There WILL be one for the younger children still upstairs.   Good Shabbos.    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

BISTRO NIGHTS AT THE SUMMIT
The Summit has announced a new schedule of Bistro Nights for 2016.  This year there will be six different Bistros. One of them will be a Brunch on Mother's Day. Last year this was one of their most popular events.  The dates for 2016 are:  January 26th, March 22nd,May 8th Mother's Day Brunch, July 5th,September 6th, November 15th.  Bistro reservations are taken by email only.  Fine Print:  For all (evening) bistros there is a window of seating times running from 7:30pm to 8:15pm. The price for the January 26 meat dinner is $70, an all inclusive price that includes appetizer, dinner and dessert, server gratuity, and of course a wide selection of wine and beer.  Bistros sell out quickly, there is limited capacity so please reserve immediately to ensure your place.  The Summit at First Hill's kitchens and dining areas are supervised daily by Va'ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle staff.

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle Breakfast – TUE JAN 12th 8:00 - 9:00 am
Free breakfast with Phillip Rosenfeld, President of the Jewish Community of Japan, at the Federation Office, 2031 Third Avenue, Sea. Space is limited. RSVP to: http://jfgs-jcctokyo.eventbrite.com

Mercaz Class on Torah, Education and Community Sunday, January 10th at 7:30pm
With Special Guest Teacher Rabbi Avi Orlow from The Foundation for Jewish Camp  at the Home of Elizabeth Davis and Rob Jacobs: 4018 NE 110th St; park on 110th and walk up their long driveway to their lovely house. RSVP's are helpful but not essential. www.mercazseattle.org Spread the work.  Rabbi Orlow is a wonderful teacher, not to be missed!  Check this out: ttps://avikatzorlow.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/making-mensches-periodic-table.pdf •           $5 per person donation suggested.

CELEBRATE FRUTICAS (TU b’SHEVAT) AT EZRA BESSAROTH! SUN JAN 24th 
Celebrate Fruticas/Tu Bishvat at Ezra Bessaroth.  EB Fruticas dinner and celebration will take place this year on Sunday, January 24.  Save the date -- more details coming soon!

Mercaz Melave Malka Saturday, January 23rd from 6pm - 9pm
Sing/Eat/Socialize

SBH MELAVE MALKA JAN 9th 7:30 PM & SPECIAL MIDRASHA CLASS Jan 10th 9:15 am
Melavah Malka for Men and Women with Rabbi Grunstein at the home of Moshe and Sherry Feuer.  Women are also invited to hear Rabbi Grunstein at Sunday morning's Midrasha program, with breakfast at 9:15 followed by the 9:30 am talk, "Putting it on the Agenda: Raising Jewish Kids in 2016." The Sunday morning session is graciously sponsored by Esther and Menachem Jones on the occasion of their daughter Tzippy's first birthday!

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.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  THU 9-11 PM
Parsha Learning and Discussion.  Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE, Snacks served

BCMH SUMMER CAMP
Special Announcement regarding BCMH Camps for Summer 2016! All divisions of BCMH camps will now be under one name Camp Yavneh with all new programs and activities to supplement the programs you already love! This will include children from pre school all the way through our new CIT program for 6th and 7th grade and our staff in high school, college and beyond! If you are in 8th-12 grade, college or older and would like to work at Camp this summer please contact Ari Hoffman at thehoffather@gmail.com 

MINYAN OHR CHADASH SHABBAT OF LEARNING WITH DR. MARK KLIGMAN JAN 29th 
Friday night dinner & lecture at Ohr Chadash:  "Music in the Tanakh and the Temple"   RSVP and pay by January 26 at minyanohrchadash.org/donate.  Childcare available during the lecture at no charge. Shabbat morning, January 30 at EzraBessaroth, with light Kiddush lunch & lecture.  "Makamat Live:  The melodies of Middle Eastern Jewish Music" Saturday evening, 8:00 p.m. at Ohr Chadash "From Carlebach to The Maccabeats:  Current Music Trends in the Orthodox Community and Developments in Klezmer and Sephardic Music" For more information, email karen@treiger.com

EB LADIES AUXILIARY BAKING SCHEDULE 
Please join us  to bake Sephardic goodies, visit with friends, and enjoy a kosher lunch prepared by Albie Amon. 
Jan 11 Panderas & Travados
Jan 18 Rolls, Hamantashen  Prepare Gomo for Pasteles
Jan 25 Make Pasteles

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 DebraRettman 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 OneHappyCamperand 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


 VA’AERA 
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347344/jewish/Lekutei-Sichot-Vaeira.htm
Adapted from the Works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe | Translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

The conclusion of the previous portion, Parshas Shmos, relates MosheRabbeinu s complaint:1 “G‑d, why do You mistreat Your people?” Moshe was perplexed: How could preparations for the Redemption from Egypt lead to further mistreatment of the Jews? After all, the Redemption was a process which was entirely good,2 the mission was carried out by Moshe, of whom it is said:3 “And she saw that he was good,” and the one who ordered the mission was G‑d Himself.

G‑d in His glory4 was the agent of the Jews’ redemption. Since they had sunk to the 49th level of impurity,5 they could not have been redeemed by any agent within the natural order, for this would have enabled the attribute of strict justice to oppose the redemption. Instead, it was G‑d Himself who had to redeem them.6

So the motivating forces were surely of the utmost good, as alluded to in the Kabbalistic expression:7 “There is no left [vector] in [the realm of] Atik. ” Since the mission itself, the person sent to fulfill it, and the One who sent him all represent the ultimate good, how is it possible that the mission should have negative consequences?

To this question, G‑d answers (as related in the beginning of this week’s Torahreading):8 “I am G‑d (י-ה-ו-ה) …. I revealed Myself to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Yaakov…, but I did not make known My name י-ה-ו-ה to them. And I established My covenant with them….”

G‑d told Moshe that Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov also faced many challenges, yet they had not questioned G‑d’s ways. Indeed, the Midrash9quotes G‑d as saying: “It is a shame that those who have departed no longer exist.”

This narrative raises several questions:

a) Why in fact did Moshe question G‑d? Moshe was on a higher spiritual level than the Patriarchs. He was the seventh in the line of tzaddikim that arose after Avraham, and as our Sages state:10 “All sevenths are cherished.” If the Patriarchs did not ask questions of G‑d, why did Moshe?

b) Since G‑d’s answer highlighted the virtue possessed by the Patriarchs that they had unquestioning faith why did He use the name Yaakov, and not the name Yisrael? The name Yisrael reflects a higher spiritual level than the name Yaakov.11

c) All the stories in the Torah are intended to serve as instruction for every Jew.12 This is particularly so concerning this story. For the Torah generally refrains from making unfavorable statements, even with regard to animals.13Surely this principle should be applied with regard to man who is singled out from all other created beings! And how much more so does it apply with regard to Moshe Rabbeinu , who was singled out from the entire Jewish people.

Since the narrative casts Moshe Rabbeinu in an unfavorable light, we are forced to say that it is included in the Torah only because of the importance of the lesson it teaches that Jews in every generation are expected to emulate the unquestioning faith shown by the Patriarchs.

It is, however, very difficult to understand how every Jew, particularly those living in ikvesa diMeshicha the present generation, when Mashiach s approaching footsteps can be heard possesses the potential to choose either the path of the Patriarchs or the path of Moshe Rabbeinu. It is true, as our Sages say,14 that in every generation there are individuals who resemble Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, and Moshe. But this applies to a select few. The Torah, by contrast, was given to every Jew, and “speaks about the situation that applies by and large,”15 serving as a source of guidance, not merely for the spiritual elite, but for the ordinary man and woman. How can we expect an ordinary Jew not to follow the “lowly” path of Moshe, but instead emulate the example shown by our Patriarchs?

The Personification of Spiritual Qualities

The difference between Moshe and our Patriarchs can be explained as follows: Moshe Rabbeinu is identified with the level of chochmah, Divine wisdom, which in turn is associated with bittul, selflessness, as Moshe said of himself:16V’ananchu mah, “And what are we?,” i.e., he was identified with the level ofmah, which is characteristic of those at the rung of chochmah. For this reason, Moshe served as the medium through which the Torah, G‑d’s wisdom, was given to the world. The Divine service of the Patriarchs, when compared to that of Moshe, was associated with middos, the emotions.

Avraham’s Divine service centered on kindness and love. He served G‑d with love, as reflected in the verse,17 “Avraham who loved Me.” And similarly in regard to his relations with his fellow man, he was a fountain of kindness in both the material and spiritual sense.

Yitzchak’s Divine service, by contrast, was characterized by the vector of might (gevurah) and fear, as indicated by the phrase:18 “The Dread of Yitzchak.” And because Yitzchak served G‑d through fear and awe, he could not tolerate even a trace of evil in his environment. For this reason, he became blind, unable to witness the incense being offered by Esav’s idolatrous Canaanite wives.19

Yaakov’s Divine service displayed the vector of tiferes, beauty, which is identified with rachamim, mercy. These attributes combine kindness and might. Reflecting this fusion, Yaakov said of himself: “The G‑d of my father[s], the G‑d of Avraham, and the Dread of Yitzchak, was with me.” For Yaakov fused the attributes of Avraham and Yitzchak.

This synergetic blend enabled him to manifest perfection in his personal affairs. And thus it is said of him:20 “His bed was perfect,” i.e., his progeny were unflawed. For Divine service which fuses two opposing emotional attributes empowers one to overcome all the difficulties and challenges which life presents. These include the challenges of wealth and prosperity (chesed) , as Yaakov experienced at Lavan’s household, at which time it was said of him:21“And the man prospered prodigiously.” And they also include the challenges of difficulty and aggravation (stemming from gevurah) with which he was confronted when Esav marched against him at the head of 400 armed men. Despite these different challenges, Yaakov emerged unblemished, as the commentators mention in their interpretation of the verse:22 “And Yaakov came to the city of Shechem safely (shaleim).”

Balanced, yet Distinct

The identification of our Patriarchs with the emotional qualities mentioned above is not meant to imply that they were not involved in Torah study. On the contrary, our Sages say23 “The Holy One, blessed be He, designated two kidneys for Avraham, and they were like two sages, endowing him with understanding and counsel, and teaching him the wisdom [of the Torah].” And our Sages said:24 “Throughout the lifetime of our Patriarchs, their [attendance at a] yeshivah did not cease. Avraham our Patriarch was elderly, and attended a yeshivah … Yitzchak, our Patriarch…, Yaakov, our Patriarch…,” reflecting the connection of each Patriarch with diligent study.

Conversely, Moshe Rabbeinu, although associated with the intellect, also displayed an emotional commitment to Divine service and to his fellow men. This was reflected in the vector of chesed, as indicated by the verse:25 “And [Moshe] went out to his brethren and saw their affliction”; showing care and empathy with their plight. And he also manifested the quality of gevurah, as it is written:26 “And he said to the wicked one, ‘Why are you beating your brother?’ ” When he saw two Jews in conflict, he firmly rebuked the one who had lifted his hand against the other.

Nevertheless, although both our Patriarchs and Moshe manifested the full range of human intellectual and emotional attributes, each had their own fundamental thrust. Moshe’s fundamental thrust was chochmah. He was the one who conveyed the Torah to the Jewish people, and indeed, his commitment to the Torah was so great that it is identified with him, as it is written:27 “Remember the Torah of Moshe, My servant.”

The fundamental thrust of our Patriarchs, by contrast, was emotional, as reflected in the description of Avraham as one “who loved Me.” Each of the Patriarchs endowed every one of the Jews who descended from them with the attributes that distinguished their own Divine service.28

Every Person Has His Mission

The association of our Patriarchs with emotions, and Moshe with the quality ofchochmah enables us to understand why Moshe, who was on a higher plane than the Patriarchs asked: “G‑d, why do You mistreat Your people?”, while the Patriarchs followed G‑d with unquestioning faith.

To explain: Moshe was on a higher spiritual level than the Patriarchs. The mission with which he was charged, however, required reason and intellect, and therefore he asked questions. For intellect naturally seeks to understand everything with which it comes in contact. When an intellectual encounters something that appears to defy explanation, he has difficulty in continuing with his mission.

Moshe’s question did not reflect a lack of faith. Instead, Moshe asked so that he would be able to continue his life’s mission: disseminating G‑d’s wisdom.

Preparing for Change

In response to Moshe’s question, the Torah relates: “And G‑d spoke to Moshe, and He said to him: ‘I am G‑d (י-ה-ו-ה Havayah)…. I revealed Myself to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Yaakov…, but I did not make known My Nameי-ה-ו-ה to them.”

Before the giving of the Torah,29 G‑d’s name E-lohim had been revealed in the world, but not His name Havayah. At the giving of the Torah and, in an extended sense, at Moshe’s announcement of the Redemption which led to the giving of the Torah the name Havayah was revealed, as it is written: “I amHavayah. ”

The name E-lohim relates to the Divine light enclothed within the world,30 as reflected in the numerical equivalence between the word E-lohim (א-לוהים) and the word hateva (הטבע), meaning “nature.”31

The name E-lohim places limits on every entity, and in doing so allows for a distinction to be made between it and other entities. Since this makes multiplicity possible, the name E-lohim itself employs a plural form, as it is written:32 א-לוהים קדושים. For the name E-lohim relates to and indeed is thesource of the multi-faceted nature of our material existence.

The name Havayah, by contrast, reflects a level of G‑dliness which transcends limitation and division. And thus one of the interpretations of the name י-ה-ו-הis33 היה הוה ויהיה כאחד , “the past, present, and the future as one,” referring to a light which transcends temporal existence.

This light was first revealed at the giving of the Torah. At that time, G‑d nullified the decree separating the higher spiritual realms from this lowly material world.34 Applying this concept with regard to the inner world of the soul, the nullification of this decree makes it possible to unite intellect and emotion.

This is the inner meaning of G‑d’s reply to Moshe. He told him that at that time, moments before the Redemption which would come in the merit of and in preparation for the giving of the Torah,35 even a person whose mission centers on wisdom and reason should temper these potentials with natural emotion, and continue with unquestioning faith.

This also explains why G‑d refers to Yaakov by that name, rather than Yisrael. G‑d was demanding that Moshe, the personification of wisdom, temper his approach with emotion. And an emotional response to G‑d reflects kabbalas ol, the acceptance of His yoke, a mode of Divine service associated with Yaakov. The nameYisrael (ישראל), by contrast, is identified with a higher level, as reflected by the fact that it can be broken into the words לי ראש , “a head for me.”36 Yaakov (יעקב) can be divided into י'עקב , implying that the י which represents G‑d is drawn down into the עקב, “the heel.”37

On a personal level, this fusion of higher and lower levels is expressed when the “wise head” displays kabbalas ol, unconditional acceptance, the mode of Divine service associated with the feet.

Activity Versus Abstraction

Emotion has another fundamental advantage over intellect. This was implied when G‑d told Moshe Rabbeinu, the personification of wisdom, to don the mantle of emotion.

Every power of the incarnate soul has a specific limb or organ which is appropriate for it. Thus the functioning of the primary organs, the brain and the heart, enables us to understand the powers of intellect and emotion which areenclothed within them.

Both the brain and the heart influence all the organs of the body. There is, however, an enormous difference in the way they function. “The heart disperses [life energy] to all organs,”38 and there is normally nothing which prevents this life-energy from spreading.

This does not apply with regard to the brain. Although the brain is the most prominent of the three organs which control the body,39 its influence on the other organs of the body is restrained. Between the brain and the body is the neck, which is far narrower than the head and the body. In Kabbalisticterminology, this is referred to as meitzarhagaron.40 In a manner which parallels this physical phenomenon, the influence which the head transmits to the heart is constricted; from the heart, this influence is then disseminated to the other organs.

Parallels exist with regard to the powers of intellect and emotion. Emotion leads to deed, e.g., love motivates one to “do good,” while fear compels one to “turn away from evil.”41 Intellect, by contrast, inspires a person to become one with the subject he studies. Thus, although a person understands the way in which he should conduct himself, intellect alone does not push him toward actual deed. On the contrary, the tendency of intellect is toward abstraction. Indeed, the pleasure that results from the mind’s connection with a concept can actually prevent a person from applying the concept.42 To cite an example, when asked why he did not marry, Ben Azzaianswered:43 “What shall I do? My soul yearns for the Torah.” Although he was aware of the importance the Torah places on marriage and family life, the pleasure he experienced in studying the Torah prevented him from setting up a home.

Warning against this tendency, our Sages taught:44 “Whoever says, ‘For me, there is nothing aside from the Torah’ will not possess even the Torah.”

Since intellect has a natural tendency toward abstraction, it is possible that a person who studies the Torah can become satisfied with this endeavor alone. Therefore it is necessary for our Sages to emphasize the importance of deeds of kindness. Torah scholars must labor against their nature and involve themselves in actual deeds.

Why the Title “Patriarchs”?

The tendency of emotion to lead to action enables us to understand why Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov are given the title “Patriarchs,” as our Sages commented:45 “There are only three who are called Patriarchs.” For “Patriarchs” are by definition those individuals who generate a posterity.

There are two expressions of this concept: a) Our Patriarchs’ emotions motivated them to perform good deeds, as our Sages commented:46 “The posterity of the righteous are good deeds”; and b) they extended themselves and were involved with others. This relates to the simple meaning of the term Patriarch one who establishes an ongoing line of children and grandchildren.

Posterity, the Essence of Our Patriarch’s Contribution

In the light of the above, we can also resolve a difficulty in Rashi s commentary on the beginning of the Torah reading. On the verse “I revealed Myself to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Yaakov…,” Rashi cites the words “I revealed Myself,” and adds “to the Patriarchs.” This is seemingly unnecessary; everyone knows that Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov are the Patriarchs of the Jewish people.

Other commentators explain that Rashi is merely restating the first portion of the verse in a condensed form, setting the stage for his commentary on the remainder of the passage: “[through the medium of] the name י-ה-ו-ה , but I did not make known My name י-ה-ו-ה to them.” This, however, is insufficient. For if this was Rashi s intent, he could have used merely the final words of the verse, without mentioning the initial words at all.

The need for an explanation is heightened in light of the emphasis placed on every word and every letter in Rashi s commentary by the Sheloh, the Alter Rebbe, and the Rebbeim who succeeded him.

It is possible to explain as follows: Rashi is highlighting the fact that the preeminent quality of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov is that they are Patriarchs. Each one has a unique personal prominence in his path of Divine service: Avraham in kindness, Yitzchak in might, and Yaakov in beauty. Following these paths, each developed their own attribute to perfection. Nevertheless, this was not their fundamental positive virtue. Their fundamental virtue was that they were Patriarchs, progenitors of our nation and heritage.

This is indicated by the verse concerning Avraham:47 “I have distinguished him, so that he will command his sons and his household.” G‑d showed special love for Avraham. Why? “Because he will instruct his children and the members of his household to follow the path of G‑d.” The emphasis is on perpetuating the Jewish tradition as a whole, and not on conveying the Patriarch’s particular quality.

Although the word “Patriarchs” is not mentioned explicitly at the beginning of this Torah reading, Rashi highlights this concept, and calls attention to it. For the fundamental quality that characterizes Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov who are also identified with the emotions is that they are Patriarchs, i.e., they begat a posterity.

Descent and Ascent

G‑d’s demand of Moshe that he temper his mission of wisdom and reason with natural emotion has two dimensions: a) that he should not ask questions, but instead proceed with kabbalas ol, as explained above; and b) that he should extend himself downward to other people. Indeed, we find that after the giving of the Torah, Moshe concerned himself with worldly matters far more than the Patriarchs had done, although the Patriarchs are identified with emotions, which (when compared to intellect) are characterized by such an outward thrust.

For this reason, the Patriarchs were shepherds, and lived to a certain extent removed from worldly concerns. Moshe, by contrast, translated the Torah into 70 languages,48 demonstrating his involvement with the entire world. And with regard to the Jewish people, he to borrow the Torah’s wording49 carried them in his bosom like a nursemaid carries an infant.

Here also we see a parallel to a Midrash mentioned with regard to the giving of the Torah. The Midrash states that after the giving of the Torah, “the higher realms descended to the lower realms, and the lower realms ascended to the higher realms.” To relate this to the personal realm:

a) Within our personalities, “the higher realms” refer to the potential of intellect, which has a tendency to favor abstract concepts and surge upward. “Descending to the lower realms” refers to the intellect’s involvement in “lowly” matters actual deeds.

b) With regard to the “ascent” of the lower realms A foot is the lowest limb of the body, and obeys the instructions it receives from the head without question. For our minds, container of the highest of our potentials, to adopt this approach and proceed with kabbalas ol, without asking questions, reflects how the “lowly” tendency has “ascended” and has been embraced by “the higher realms.”

Establishing Unity

Based on the above, we can appreciate the message this narrative conveys to every Jew.

There are many categories of Jew, from “your heads, [the leaders] of your tribes” to “your hewers of wood and drawers of water.”50 It is demanded of the “heads” to descend and involve themselves with other Jews, even “hewers of wood, and drawers of water.”

And those on the lower levels are charged with “ascending upward” by studying Torah not only Nigleh, the revealed body of Torah law, but also pnimiyus haTorah, the Torah’s mystic truths. Moreover, they are charged toobservemitzvos on an ever-higher plane, behiddur, in a beautiful and conscientious manner.

In this context, the phrase “all the fat [should be offered] to G‑d”51 can be interpreted as a directive for every Jew.52 The “fat” refers to what is choice and desirable in a personal sense, one’s prime potentials. These must be “offered to G‑d,” and dedicated to His service, thus elevating one’s study of Torah and observance of mitzvos to a higher rung.

Developing this concept further, the “heads,” a term which by and large refers to students of Torah, are enjoined to fuse the higher realms and the lower realms within their own personalities. They must involve themselves with the world at large by having their intellect follow the approach of kabbalas ol, as explained above.

The ability to join the highest and lowest ends of the spectrum was granted every Jew through a vision which G‑d revealed to Moshe Rabbeinu. Our Sages interpret the phrase:53 “until the last sea,” as meaning “until the last day.” G‑d showed Moshe all the generations of the Jewish people until the coming of theMashiach.

As is well known,54 with his gaze, a tzaddik empowers those upon whom he looks. By gazing upon the Jews of all the forthcoming generations, including those of the generation of ikvesa diMeshicha, Moshe empowered them to fuse the higher and lower potentials.

This fusing of intellect and emotion hastens the manifestation of the four expressions of redemption mentioned later in the Torah portion. And then we will leave all boundaries and limitations,55 witnessing the fulfillment of the promise:56 “I will bring you to the Land,” “as in the days of your exodus from Egypt,”57 led by Mashiach in the near future.

The Torah in Translation

The above concept shares a connection with the upcoming date, Rosh Chodesh Shvat,58 concerning which it is said:59 “In the eleventh month, on the first of the month… Moshe began to explain this Torah.” Our Sages relate that on that day, Moshe translated the entire Torah into 70 languages.

Why was this necessary? At that time, all the Jews spoke Lashon HaKodesh, the Hebrew of the Torah. Although they were going to conquer the 31 kings living in Canaan, they had been commanded:60 “Do not allow a soul to live.” So why was it necessary for Moshe to translate the Torah?

And if it was necessary for the Torah to be translated, why was Moshe the one charged with the task? Seemingly, this job could have been accomplished by another. Every moment of Moshe’s time was precious, especially on Rosh Chodesh, a day which is considered above ordinary work days61 to the extent that some and particularly women62 do not perform any work at all on Rosh Chodesh.63 Why then was it Moshe who had to translate the Torah?

These questions can be resolved as follows: Before the generation of the Tower of Babel, all mankind spoke LashonHaKodesh.64 After the sin of the Tower, discord and division arose; “one person did not understand another’s speech.”65

This represents the direct opposite of the oneness which permeates the realm of holiness, where there is “one G‑d,” and “one nation,” the Jews. Moreover, through “one Torah,” this “one nation” draws down G‑d’s oneness into the material world. The generation of the Tower of Babel rebelled against G‑d’s oneness, bringing division and separation into the world. And from them originated the 70 different languages.66

By translating the Torah into those 70 languages, Moshe drew down the oneness of Lashon HaKodesh into a realm characterized by separation. The translation of “the one Torah” made it possible to appreciate “the one G‑d,” even in the framework of the 70 languages of the world symbols of separation and isolation.67

This translation could be performed only by Moshe Rabbeinu for the following two reasons:

a) It is dependent on the fusion of the higher and lower realms mentioned previously, this fusion being brought about by the giving of the Torah. Accordingly, G‑d demanded of Moshe Rabbeinu that he also manifest the Divine service associated with the Patriarchs, thus reflecting a fusion of the intellect and the emotions. Therefore it was Moshe, who represented the highest level of wisdom, who had to “descend” and translate the Torah.

b) It was Moshe alone who could draw down the oneness of G‑d into a realm characterized by separation; no other person was capable of this. For to descend to the lowest levels, a person must be on the highest.68

To illustrate this with an analogy: When it is necessary to explain a concept to an average student, the task will be within the ability of an ordinary teacher. But only a very great teacher can explain a profound concept to a student with little knowledge. An ordinary teacher who makes the attempt will be forced to admit that the concept’s depth finds no echo in his words. Similarly, it is MosheRabbeinu alone who was capable of translating LashonHaKodesh into the 70 languages, a realm characterized by darkness and separation.69

From Rosh ChodeshShvat to YudShvat

The term Rosh Chodesh is used for the first of the month because of the analogy implied. Rosh Chodesh means “the head of the month.” Just as a person’s head directs the life energy of all his body’s limbs, so too, RoshChodesh subsumes all the coming days of the month.

Included in these days is Yud Shvat, the yahrzeit of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe. Based on the above, we can appreciate a connection between Rosh Chodesh Shvat and Yud Shvat.

Moshe Rabbeinu, the first nasi of the Jewish people, translated the Torah fromLashon HaKodesh into 70 languages. “The extension of Moshe in every generation,”70 the nasi of our generation, my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, involved himself in the deepest dimension of Nigleh, the revealed aspects of Torah law, and in pnimiyus haTorah, the Torah’s mystic secrets. Moreover, he had these concepts translated into foreign languages, making them accessible even to assimilated Jews.

The Rebbe also emphasized that his example should be emulated by his chassidim. On one hand, they should labor to comprehend the deepest concepts in Nigleh and pnimiyus haTorah. Simultaneously, instead of choosing isolation in enclaves of spiritual observance, they should involve themselves in their surroundings.

The merit of this course of behavior, which combines two opposite tendencies, will serve as a catalyst to take us out of exile. “All the exiles are called Egypt,”71for both Mitzrayim (Hebrew for Egypt) and exile are associated with limitation. This will lead to our entry into Eretz Yisrael, led by Mashiach. May this take place in the near future.

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Va’eira, Rosh Chodesh Shvat, 5722) 

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