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Parasha Nitzavim | ROSH haSHANA 27 Elul 5776 – 5 Tishrei 5777

EREV SHABBOS NITZAVIM, FRI SEPT 30th  
Selichos/Shacharis 6:30 am /FINAL ELUL SHOFAR!/
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 6:31 pm

SHABBOS NITZAVIM, SAT OCT 1st  
Shacharis 9:30 am (Latest Shema 10:03 am)
Mincha/Seuda Slishit 6:15 pm /PIRKEI AVOT Chapter 5 &6/
Maariv/Havdalah 7:30 pm

EREV ROSH HASHANA, SUN OCT 2nd 
Selichos/Shacharis/Hataras Nedarim 8:15 am
Mincha/Maariv/Candles – 6:27 pm

ROSH HASHANA DAY 1, MON OCT 3rd   
Shacharit/Musaf 9 am
Mincha/Tashlich 5:40 pm
Maariv/Candles after 7:22 pm /from existing flame/

ROSH HASHANA DAY 2, TUE OCT 4th  
Shacharit/Musaf 9 am
Mincha/Farbrengen 5:40 pm
Maariv/Havdala 7:20 pm

FAST OF GEDALIA, WED OCT 5th 
Fast Begins 5:38 am
Shacharit 6:50 am
Mincha  6:20 pm
Maariv/Fast Ends 7:10 pm

WEEKDAY THU OCT 6th 
Shacharis 7 am 
Mincha/Maariv 6:20 pm /Repeat Shema after 7:08 pm/

KIDDUSH SHABBOS
Kiddush is sponsored this week by Dr. Norman Share, in honor and in memory of the 19th  yahrzeit of his brother, Yonah Avraham ben Ya’acov HaCohen z”l (29th Elul).Seuda slishit is sponsored.

Mikvah Hours 
Rosh Hashanah 2016: Women's by appointment only
Yom Kippur 2016: Noon-2 pm

ROSH HASHANA IS COMING – PLEASE PAY YOUR DUES AND PLEDGES
All CSTL  Members and Friends please pay your outstanding balances prior to Rosh Hashanah. If you you don't know your balance or need to discuss payment plans please let Mike know.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

ORDER ESROGIM FROM RABBI KAVKA NOW
Order online or print a form:  http://seattleesrogim.com  Pick up is at Congregation Shaarei Tefilah-Lubavitch. There is limited availability! rabbikavka@gmail.com


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

Special Sunday Guest Lecture Series Brunch:  Oct 9th 10 am
Featuring Rabbi Sholom Ber Levitin : “Rabbi, I Can Maybe Forgive, but Do I Also Have to Forget?” Based on the Rambam from Hilchot Teshuvah and based on the AlterRebbe-Tanya Igeret HaTeshuva, Chapters One and Two. In preparation for Yom Kippur. No charge.

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – TUE EVE /not this week/
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

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

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

Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm /not this week/
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan RothmanGabbai 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.

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

CSTL YAHOO GROUP and eNEWS REMINDER
This is a reminder that the CSTL Yahoo Group and eNews is an independent listserve, moderated by Dr. Joseph Greenberg for the benefit of the listserve’s members.  The CSTL Yahoo Group is not directly affiliated with CSTL or Chabad, and the opinions expressed in the CSTL eNews, and in posts by listserve members are not necessarily similar to those of the CSTL Board or Chabad Shluchim. 
To post a message, email cstl@yahoogroups.com. The message will be distributed to the group iff approved by the moderator.  If there is an unusual delay in posting, phone Yossi directly.
To subscribe to this listserve, email 
cstl-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
To unsubscribe from this listserve, send an email to: cstl-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
To visit the CSTL listserve on the web, go to: 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cstl/ .  
To change settings online go to: 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cstl/join  (Yahoo! ID required).  
To change to a single weekly message via email:  
cstl-digest@yahoogroups.com  
Your use of Yahoo Groups is subject to: 
https://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/utos/terms/ .  


COMMUNITY NEWS

The Little Esrog Comes to Seward Park Third Place Books Sunday, October 9th 10-11 am
Rochelle Kochin will read her new children’s book The Little Esrog at Third Place Books, 5041 Wilson Ave S,  The Little Esrog is a touching tale of a modest esrog who saves the holiday for the entire village.  This book is geared for ages 3-9 but all ages are welcome to attend.

Ezra Bessaroth Dessert Reception & Book Launch Sunday, October 9, 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Benveniste Social Hall .RSVP: www.eventbrite.com /Pre-Order a book "Ezra Bessaroth: The Story of a Sephardic Congregation": www.ezrabessaroth or call Susan at (206) 722-5500.

NYHS Open House & Sukkah Party Wed, Oct 19, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, 
for ALL Middle School and High School students & families at NYHS! Dinner, live music and more! Free but please RSVP to: mrivkin@nyhs.org. More details here

The Shabbat Project "The Great Big Challah Bake" Thursday, November 10, 2016.
Join the Seattle Jewish Community & feel the power of making Challah together. Book now: seattle@theshabbosproject.com

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

HOLOCAUST CENTER FOR HUMANITY LUNCHEON THURS. OCT. 27 10:30 am-1-15 pm
At the Sheraton. https://www.holocaustcenterseattle.org/  Phone: 206-582-3000  info@HolocaustCenterSeattle.org

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


SICHO FOR SHABBOS NITZAVIM
http://www.sichos-in-english.org/books/sichos-in-english/27/22.htm © Chabad.org

When a special gathering takes place on a propitious day and in a place which has special mazal and happiness for many Jews, it carries with it a special blessing from G-d. As such, this gathering is being held in a place where Jews pray to G-d and study His Torah, in regular classes, in a manner that encourages them to daily action, thus, the the Holy One, Blessed be He, promises us, and gives us, success.

As the Torah says:

If you follow My laws and are careful to keep My commandments, I will provide you with.... (Vayikra 26:3-4)

The Torah then goes on to list the many blessings of G-d up to and including the blessing: "I will grant peace in the land" (Ibid), a peaceful life, which allows us to accept and absorb all of the other blessings of the Holy One, Blessed be He.

The verses go on and conclude: 
And lead you forth with your heads held high. (Ibid)

This is a blessing and a lesson for us. A Jew must stand proud and staunch in his Judaism. So what, if we are the smallest nation, so what, if we are in the golus (diaspora), these facts do not deter us nor weaken us; our proper behavior is not affected. Rather, it evokes a greater inner strength. Although we are small we will act with the fullest power, and in the greatest measure, with joy and glad hearts. The nations will see our pride and they will offer us respect, when they see our faith in G-d and our determination to observe the mitzvos of the Torah in our daily lives -- all the time -- not only on special days -- even on a plain weekday. This will cause them to respect us, and they will extend their helping hand to assist us, as we see happening in this country.

Many aspects of Jewish life are visible and noticeable, and when we act as we should, not only when we are in a synagogue or in school or even at home, but also when we walk in the street, the people of the world see this.

This point is most relevant to women, for the way a woman dresses is very noticeable, and when a woman dresses in a Jewish manner and when she walks in the street dressed as a Jewish woman, it is something which hits the eye.

When Jewish women dress in the manner of modesty exemplified by the first Jewish mothers: Sarah, Rivkah, Rochel and Leah, this will increase G-d's blessing for everyone and all the needs of the Jewish people will be satisfied.

For when "the Jews [should] rejoice in their Maker," by acting in the proper manner, even on a street, where there are not many Jews, then G-d adds His blessing to each of us and to all of us: "From His full, open, holy and generous hand." And the blessing is given in a way that will be revealed and seen, and in these days He will bless us with a K'sivah V'chasimah Tovah for a truly good year.

2

The theme of these days preceding Rosh Hashanah has been portrayed for us by the Alter Rebbe and further explained by the Previous Rebbe.

In the month of Elul the "King is in the field." This is the parable. There are times when the King is in His capital city and in the Royal Palace, and there are times when the King goes out to the people. But He does not go out to the people as they are in the city -- be it large or small -- rather the King goes out to the people who are in the fields -- as they stand in their secular life and work in the field.

He visits each person in the field and comes near to everyone, showing a smiling face and a friendly and happy countenance. The King gives everyone encouragement so that each person can turn to Him with his or her request and prayers and He will bestow on everyone all the sweetest and most wonderful blessings. The encouragement that we receive gives us the ability to fulfill all that we are expected to accomplish and this will bring the coming of Moshiach closer.

This is the theme of the entire month of Elul.

There is also a special lesson to be gleaned from each day in the month of Elul. Divine Providence has brought together many women and daughters of Israel in a holy place at a holy time, for the purpose of encouraging and inspiring each other and strengthening one another to improve and to increase their activities as women, mothers and wives. May it be with good health and nachas from children and family.

We are in the week of selichos. On the first day of selichos we said the "piyut," "Yours is the righteousness, O' G-d" meaning that You give us more goodness than we are worthy of. When one lives a proper Torah life and he is blessed by G-d, this is earned. But in selichos we are saying that in addition to what You normally reward for a person's Divine service, You add blessings beyond his worth -- this is tzedakah -- a "righteous kindness." In truth we need this help of G-d -- this tzedakah and thus this piyut is said every day in the selichos.

On the fifth day of selichos, today, there is another piyut: "G-d, please help us." This may also be interpreted: "G-d will help us." Thus it is a request and a promise, that when we make a decision to do the will of G-d, He will give us the strength to carry it out and we will attain great success and happiness.

There is another point that may be understood at this time in the month of Elul.

Often when we are faced with many responsibilities in life, and especially religious and moral duties, we tend to compare one mitzvah to the other, and based on some external criteria (objective or subjective) we tend to consider some acts to be more important than other acts. Ostensibly, certain responsibilities have relative importance while others just seem to carry less significance. Well, then, if these relatively unimportant activities or observances are easy to perform we do them right away, but if they are difficult, we sometimes tend to put them off. We rationalize to ourselves: "Why bother, this is really not so vital."

This approach may be pardonable when we are on our own and when the King is in His palace and sends a messenger to tell us what to do. But this conduct is inexcusable when the King is in the field, next to you! During the month of Elul the King is near every Jew, in the field. The King looks at you and says "I want you to do this!" Even if it seems to be insignificant -- you must realize how lucky you are -- what great merit (zechus) you have, the King, Himself, asked you to do something for Him. It might be a very small act -- but the King Himself came to you in the field, stood at your side and asked you to do this.

Of course, you will do it in its fullest measure with enthusiasm and pride and happiness. Because the Holy One, Blessed be He, asked you for this favor.

So, too, there is a very basic mission given to every Jewish mother. To educate her children, boys and girls, "Educate the child according to his way" (Mishlei 22:6). The earliest and most effective form of education is when the child sees the living example of the older people around him. The early education of a child does not depend on the father, or brother, or teacher. The small child learns most from the training of the mother or older sister, who also has the gentleness and softness that is so important to small children. In this respect the older sister is like the mother, for she, too, is preparing herself to be a Jewish mother.

So it is appropriate at this time, in the closing days of the month of Elul, and in the days when we say selichos, that we must be careful to carry out our responsibility, whether it appears to be important or seemingly insignificant, large or small.

And it should be done with enthusiasm, in a lively manner, with joy in the observance of all mitzvos, even those that appear to be unimportant.

The yetzer hora may interfere when the King is in His palace, but not when the King is in the field.

This is the special intention of the Selichos prayers. 

3

In the Torah reading of today, in the portion of Nitzavim (which also indicates the idea that we are standing before the King, as in the term "Nitzav Melech") after mentioning the different divisions of mitzvoswhich we will observe, the Torah says:

And when you return to G-d your L-rd with all your heart and soul. (Devorim 30:10)

This does not refer to the act of returning to the observance of a particular (easy) mitzvah -- but turning back your whole essence to the Eternal. Just as G-d came to you in the field, you turn to Him with all your heart and soul. Not to the messenger, but to G-d, Himself. The King is in the field and you realize that it makes no difference what aspect of Torah or mitzvos you are required to do -- it all comes from G-d -- and you turn back to the Al-mighty One, with complete joy and happy hearts.

What do we learn from the portion of Tehillim of today?

During the month of Elul we make a reckoning and accounting of our actions of the past year; we realize that we could have been better. During the year there may have been times that, for a moment, we were lost from the way of Torah, and acted in word, or thought, or deed not in accordance with Torah. Despite this, one should not despair for a moment.

In today's section of Tehillim Dovid Hamelech tells us:

If I have strayed as a lost lamb seek Your servant, for I have not forgotten Your commandments. (Tehillim 119:176)

Even a sheep which loses its way is still under the care and guidance of the trusted shepherd. Each Jew is a "lamb" and as the Jews are spread out in the diaspora among the gentiles, an individual sheep might be lost for a moment, so G-d looks for the lost sheep and finds them right away.

For every lamb remembers the commandments of G-d, even though he did not perform them properly. And although he is lost, still he is bound up with G-d, and G-d will be his salvation.

Thus even when a Jew appears to be lost he may call to mind the first verse of today's section:

O, how I have come to love Your teachings (Torah); it is my meditation all the day. (Ibid:97)

When the Jewish mother cradles her child to sleep in her arms she sings to it: "Torah is the best and sweetest thing," and when the child begins to speak and she speaks with the child, she speaks of Torah. By speaking about Torah, not only is the Torah not forgotten, but it also adds more to the education of the children in all areas of life. Even in seemingly small matters it will be evident that there is Yiddishkeit here, and G-d dwells here. The feeling of "Shabbos" fills every day, and the house becomes a true "sanctuary."

In the Sefer Hamitzvos, the section for today deals with the mitzvah of "Aliyah L'regel."

When the Bais Hamikdosh stood there was a mitzvah of going up to Yerushalayim three times a year: on Sukkos, Pesach and Shavuos. At those times each Jew had to fulfill his obligations and offer those sacrifices which he had become liable to bring during the year. Similarly he had to distribute all tithes and charities which he was obligated to give.

Now that we are in the diaspora and we wait for the redemption, we must learn from those glorious times and apply the lesson of that mitzvah in some way, to our own lives. In our own homes we must set aside special hours and times of "Aliyah L'regel" -- some moments when the home will be raised, and will feel like a Jewish home in which the Shechinah will dwell.

The mezuzah on the door reminds us of "Shema Yisroel." A Jew must not only believe, but he must also hear -- G-d is the L-rd and He is One. The word one -- Echod -- has three letters: aleph, ches, daled, the numerical equivalents are: one, eight and four. This indicates that the seven heavens and the earth (eight), and all four corners of the universe are all united and dedicated to the One G-d.

G-d helps us to dedicate this Aliyah L'regel, as we say, "Modeh Ani, -- I offer thanks," in the morning, to the living and eternal King who returned my soul, new and refreshed to give me life all day. Alive and refreshed we remember our responsibilities and good resolutions: tzedakah, chinuch of the children, or grandchildren, and all the mitzvos; we have the lesson from Aliyah L'regel -- and we, too, start each new day close to G-d; He just gave us our new soul to have a good and healthy day.

Thus we have all three aspects of Torah, prayer and good deeds, and we must do all of this zealously, especially tzedakah. And this will bring us the blessing of Kesivo vaChasimo Tovo for all and for everyone.

And this will lead to the essential blessing of the coming of Moshiach when our youth and elders, sons and daughters will go under Moshiach's leadership to our Holy Land.

At this time of the concluding year, when we make the accounting for the past and resolutions for the future, our positive activities will bring completion to Eretz Yisroel and to the Jewish people. For the fear of the Jews will fall upon those who oppose us:

All the nations of the world will realize that G-d's Name is associated with you, and they will be in awe of you.(Devorim 28:10)

They will see how we conduct ourselves and they will give us respect. And they will return the areas which belong to Eretz Yisroel, in a pleasant way. This is all connected to our Torah and mitzvos, so that we will have a complete people, complete land and Torah.

And since the coming year is a leap year, G-d gives more blessing from Rosh Hashanah.

Being in the fifth day of selichos, G-d will surely help us more than before and bless us with good health, prosperity and nachas.

So now, in addition to our prayers and Torah I will distribute dollars for "Shaliach Mitzvah" (Messengers to perform a good deed). This tzedakah, which you will give, will add happiness for the King in the field and we will follow the King into the new year.

May it be a year of blessing, redemption, Torah, teshuvah and prayer.

Ki Savo - Shabbos Selichos | 20 - 27 Elul 5776

Fri Sept 23rd – Erev Shabbos 
Shacharis: 7 am  
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 6:45 pm

Sat Sept 24th - Shabbos 
Shacharis: 9:30 am (Latest Shema 9:59 am)
Mincha 6:30 /Seuda Slishit/ PIRKEI AVOS № 3&4/
Maariv/Havdala 
7:46 pm 
FARBRENGEN at 11 pm, SELICHOT AT 1:00 AM

Weekdays / SHOFAR DAILY ALL MONTH!/3 KEPITLACH/L’DOVID HASHEM ORI/
Sunday Shacharis 9 am 
Mon- Fri 
Selichos/Shacharis 6:30 am 
Mon-Thu Mincha/Maariv 6:30 pm /Repeat Shema after 7:30 pm/

Selichot –Motzei Shabbos – Sept 24th at 1:00 am
The series of Selichot ("supplication") prayers recited in preparation for the "Days of Awe" of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur begin this Saturday night, after midnight (after the Ashkenazic custom; the Sephardic community begins on the 1st of Elul). On subsequent days, the custom is to recite the Selichot in the early morning hours, before the morning prayers, each morning up to and including Elul 29, the eve of Rosh Hashanah. www.chabad.org

KIDDUSH SHABBOS
Kiddush is sponsored this week by Gary and Lily Stute, who invite the community to join them in celebrating the birth of their daughter Tagel (Sophia Tagel) who was born on the 11th of Elul.  Her name means "she will rejoice", referring to Jerusalem at the ingathering of exiles and of the world with the coming of Moshaich.  May we merit to rejoice with her with the coming of Geulah, speedily in our day. And may Tagel grow up to a life of Torah, Chuppah, and Maasim Tovim!  Seuda slishit is sponsored.

ROSH HASHANA IS COMING – PLEASE PAY YOUR DUES AND PLEDGES
All CSTL  Members and Friends please pay your outstanding balances prior to Rosh Hashanah. If youyou don't know your balance or need to discuss payment plans please let Mike know.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

ORDER ESROGIM FROM RABBI KAVKA NOW
Order online or print a form:  http://seattleesrogim.com  
Israeli - $65         Deluxe Israeli - $85 (w/ or w/o pitum)      Yanover - $155. Set includes Esrog, Lulov, Myrtle and Willow Branches, Holder, Plastic.  Extra Aravos - $5 (2 per set)     Extra Hadassim - $10 (3 per set). S'chach - $25/bundle. Pick up is at Congregation Shaarei Tefilah-Lubavitch. There is limited availability! Please Call 206-730-2775/ To order, please order online, or print the order form, and send payment of cash or check to: Rabbi A. Kavka 4002 NE 72nd Street, Seattle, WA 98115. rabbikavka@gmail.com

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

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – TUE EVE
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

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

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

Weekly Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan RothmanGabbai 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.

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

CSTL YAHOO GROUP and eNEWS REMINDER
This is a reminder that the CSTL Yahoo Group and eNews is an independent listserve, moderated by Dr. Joseph Greenberg for the benefit of the listserve’s members.  The CSTL Yahoo Group is not directly affiliated with CSTL or Chabad, and the opinions expressed in the CSTL eNews, and in posts by listservemembers are not necessarily similar to those of the CSTL Board or Chabad Shluchim.   
To post a message, email cstl@yahoogroups.com .  The message will be distributed to the group iff approved by the moderator.  If there is an unusual delay in posting, phone Yossi directly.
To subscribe to this listserve, email 
cstl-subscribe@yahoogroups.com . 
To unsubscribe from this listserve, send an email to:    cstl-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com  
To visit the CSTL listserve on the web, go to:     
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cstl/ .  
To change settings online go to:    
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cstl/join      (Yahoo! ID required).  
To change to a single weekly message via email:  
cstl-digest@yahoogroups.com  
Your use of Yahoo Groups is subject to:    
https://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/utos/terms/ .  


 COMMUNITY NEWS

Eastside Torah Center 22nd Year Celebration SUN SEPT 25th 6:15 pm - 9:00 pm 
Renown Singer and Chazzan will perform with High Holiday songs and melodies. Check out the YouTube video of our guest Chazzan/Cantor Shulem Lemmer. Please RSVP by Tuesday, Sept 20th  www.ChabadBellevue.com

Seattle Kollel Wed Sept 28th  7:30 pm - 9:00 pm, Pre-Rosh Hashanah Leil Iyun 
Featured speakers Rabbi Shaul Engelsberg, Rabbi Ron-Ami Meyers and Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum. More info:www.seattlekollel.com  

Elementary School Kids at the Kline Galland Home – Sun Sept 25th  from 1 to 3 pm
Bring Pre-Rosh Hashana Joy to our Elders ! For more info and to RSVP – RLR63@comcast.net

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

THE MIDRASHA OPENS ITS DOORS FOR ANOTHER YEAR OF LEARNING – Sun Sept 25th 
Women of Ezra Bessaroth and of the broader community are invited to the opening shiur of this year, to take place this Sun. Sept. 18th at the home of the Meyers, 5221 S. Brandon. Rabbi Meyers will be delivering additional classes on Sun. Sept. 25 and Oct. 9th. Breakfast is at 9 am. For more information, email: midrashaofseattle@gmail.com

HOLOCAUST CENTER FOR HUMANITY LUNCHEON THURS. OCT. 27 10:30 am-1-15 pm
At the Sheraton. https://www.holocaustcenterseattle.org/  Phone: 206-582-3000  info@HolocaustCenterSeattle.org

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


 SICHO FOR SHABBOS KI SAVO
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507742/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Ki-Savo-21st-Day-of-Elul-5751-1991.htm © Chabad.org

1. This week’s Torah portion begins with a description of the mitzvah ofBikkurim, the first fruits, and then continues with the mitzvah of making the declaration associated with the giving of the tithes. Afterwards, the Torah reading returns to the general thrust of the Book of Devarim, recapitulating and reemphasizing the commitment to the Torah as a whole.

This implies a connection between the two, i.e., that the mitzvah of bikkurimreflects in microcosm the Torah as a whole. This concept can be understood with the context of the explanation of the uniqueness of the expression of thanks associated with the mitzvah of bikkurim. By giving bikkurim, a Jew reflects his awareness that the blessings which he receives emanate from G‑d. To emphasize his thankfulness for these blessings, he gives the first and the best produce of his field as an offering to G‑d. Furthermore, he makes a public statement of his thanks before G‑d in the Beis HaMikdash.

The concept of expressing thanks to G‑d is one of the fundamental principles of Jewish life. Thus we begin each day with an expression of thanks, Modeh Ani,in which we gratefully acknowledge G‑d’s return of our souls. This, our first act of the day, serves as the foundation for all of our subsequent conduct which includes many blessings and expressions of thanks, for example, the blessingModim or the Grace after Meals.1

The importance of thanking G‑d is further emphasized by the Baal Shem Tov’s teaching that the creation of the world is renewed every moment. This reflects the unbounded nature of G‑d’s kindness. The comprehension of this idea should arouse an unbounded and deepfelt expression of gratitude on the part of man, for he realizes how the totality of existence is dependent on G‑d’s kindness at every moment.

The mitzvah of bikkurim is unique in that while observing it, a Jew expresses his thanks to G‑d, not only in his speech, but also in his deed. He brings his first fruits to the Beis HaMikdash and “places them down before G‑d, your L‑rd.”

This expresses how the entire earth belongs to G‑d. A Jew does not content himself with merely recognizing this concept; he demonstrates this appreciation in his deeds by giving his first fruits to G‑d and doing so in a way that, even afterwards, they remain as consecrated property. Through performing this service a Jew increases his potential to appreciate G‑d’s kindness and causes these feelings to be more deeply internalized. And thus he comes to the realization that everything that he owns in essence belongs to G‑d and that he is constantly standing “before G‑d your L‑rd.”

Bikkurim are also used as an analogy for the Jewish people. For the Jews are G‑d’s first fruits, as it were. I.e., just as the first fruits came into being before all others, so too, the existence of the Jews preceded the existence of the world at large; “The conception of the Jewish people preceded all things.” Indeed, the entire world was created for the sake of the Jewish people as our Sages commented on the word bereishis. More significantly, each and every Jew, man, woman, or child “is obligated to say, ‘The world was created for me.’ ”

Just as the first fruits were brought to the Beis HaMikdash in Jerusalem, the true place for every Jew is “before2 G‑d your L‑rd,3 “ in the Beis HaMikdash.For the essential aspect of a Jew’s existence is his soul, “an actual part of G‑d from Above;” “Israel and the Holy One, blessed be He, are all one.” In this respect, there is no difference between one Jew and another.

The above concepts affect, not only our lives in general, but every particular dimension of them. Every aspect of our existence is bikkurim to be offered to G‑d. This implies that a Jew should not conceive of his commitment to G‑d as involving only Torah study and the fulfillment of mitzvos. Instead, every aspect of his conduct, since it is the conduct of a Jew, should be permeated with holiness, should be carried out as befitting a person who is in the presence of G‑d.

Every single thought, word, or act — although it seemingly resembles other thought, words, or acts of this world — since it is performed by a Jew is in fact,bikkurim, a first fruit offering to G‑d. Since a Jew is totally at one with G‑d, every dimension of his life must contain a fundamental purpose. Each thought, word, or deed is not merely an intermediary leading to another goal, but has a self-contained purpose of its own and relates to the ultimate goal of the creation as a whole.4 Even when an action appears insignificant in nature, all the above concepts apply. Thus, to extend the analogy, such can figuratively be considered as bikkurim offered by a Jew in the Beis HaMikdash. Wherever a Jews goes, he must realize that it is “from G‑d, man’s steps are plotted out;” he comes to a place at a certain time to infuse holiness into that time and that place.5

By living his life in a manner of bikkurim, not only does a Jew thankfully acknowledge G‑d’s kindness, he causes the physical entities he offers to G‑d to become sanctified and holy. In contrast to a verbal expression of thanks to G‑d, where the created beings and G‑d remain two separate things,throughbikkurim, creations in this material world become permeated with G‑dliness. In this manner, it is revealed how the Jews are the bikkurim of the entire world, the purpose and focal point of the totality of existence.

In this manner, we can appreciate the relationship between bikkurim and the Torah and its mitzvos as a whole. Bikkurim express the purpose of the Torah and its mitzvos; they show that as a Jew exists as a soul within a body in this material world, he can be totally united with G‑d, “Israel and the Holy One, blessed be He, are all one.”

There is an additional dimension to the above concept. The description of the Jews as bikkurim also applies in regard to the Torah. As cited above, commenting on the word Bereishis, our Sages stated that the world was created for the sake of two entities that are called reishis, “first,” the Torah and the Jewish people. Moreover, our Sages comment:

Two entities preceded the existence of the world, the Torah and the Jewish people. I don’t know which [of the two] came first. Since [the Torah] states, “Speak to the children of Israel,” “Tell the children of Israel,” I would assume that the Jewish people came first.

Since the Torah is a collection of commands to the Jewish people, it follows that the Jews possess a certain prominence even over the Torah itself. This does not, however, mean that Israel’s precedence over the Torah is not at all related to the Torah. Since the Jews and the Torah are one,6 the higher level possessed by the Jewish people is also reflected within the Torah.

To explain: Jews are connected with the Torah; it is “our life and the length of our days.” Simultaneously, the Torah is associated with the Jewish people, for as mentioned above, the Torah is a collection of commandments for the Jews to observe.

Thus, the concept of the Jews’ precedence over the Torah has to be understood as a cause and effect relationship, i.e., the Torah was given for the sake of the Jewish people and therefore, a danger to a Jew’s life supersedes the observance of all the mitzvos. For the fulfillment of the Torah is impossible without the Jews. Thus for the existence of the Torah, it is necessary that there be Jews who accept and fulfill it.

In contrast, there is a possibility for the Jews to exist without the Torah, heaven forbid, as our Sages stated, “Even when a Jew sins, he remains a Jew.” Similarly, through teshuvah (which taps the essence of a Jew’s soul), it is possible for him to reach a higher level in the service of G‑d than through Torah observance.

Nevertheless, in essence, a Jew is one with the Torah. For a Jew is one with G‑d, and the Torah and G‑d are one. This oneness is reflected in theRambam’s statements that the true desire of every Jew, even one who outwardly appears to want to violate Torah law, is “to fulfill all the mitzvos and separate himself from sin.”

Normally, this essential desire is revealed by the Torah itself. I.e., through a Jew’s study of the Torah and fulfillment of its commandments, he reveals his fundamental nature. There is, nevertheless, the possibility for the essence of the Jewish soul — the level that is higher than the Torah — to be revealed without the medium of the Torah. This comes about through the service ofteshuvah.

In this context, we can understand the Zohar’s statement, “Three bonds are connected one with the other, the Holy One, blessed be He, Israel, and the Torah.” The question is frequently asked: When three entities are connected with each other, there are only two bonds (in this instance, seemingly, a bond between the Jews and the Torah and a bond between the Torah and G‑d). Why does the above-mentioned quote speak of three bonds?

Among the resolutions to this question is the explanation that there exists a direct connection between the Jews and G‑d that does not require the medium of the Torah. On the contrary, from this perspective, the Jews are higher than the Torah and connect the Torah to G‑d on a deeper level.

This implies two states of interrelationship between G‑d, the Torah, and the Jewish people. There is one level which emphasizes the Jews’ existence within the limitations of our material world. On this level, the Jews require the Torah to establish their connection with G‑d. There is, however, an essential level at which the essence of the Jew is one with the essence of G‑d. From this perspective, the Jews are above the Torah and therefore, have the potential to reveal new dimensions of Torah.7

As reflected in the potential for teshuvah, this essential connection between a Jew and his G‑dly source exists not only in the spiritual realms, but in this material world. And therefore, every Jew, even a common person who has not studied the Torah, “is obligated to say, ‘The world was created for me.’ ” Regardless of his level of personal development, he is related to the essence of G‑d and thus, he is the purpose of all existence. Thus a Jewish child who has not reached the age to study the Torah — and similarly, an adult who through no fault of his own, but because of G‑d’s All-knowing Providence, grew up without studying the Torah — represents the bikkurim of the world. He is above all things — even the Torah — and everything, including the Torah, was brought into being for his sake.

To summarize: There are two approaches in our relationship to G‑d:

a) The ordinary relationship with G‑d established through the Torah and itsmitzvos. In this context, Torah study is of primary importance, for the observance of the mitzvos is dependent on it. Therefore, we are obligated to study the Torah in every moment of our free time.

b) The relationship between the Jews and G‑d which stands above the Torah. From this perspective even when a Jew — through no fault of his own — has no obvious connection to the Torah, he shares a bond with G‑d. Furthermore, this inner bond will ultimately bring him close to the Torah.

The unique aspect of bikkurim is also expressed in the declaration recited when bringing bikkurim. In that declaration, the Jews recount G‑d’s kindness to the Jewish people from the very first stages of their existence. Although Lavandesired to destroy Yaakov and the Jews suffered persecution and oppression in Egypt, G‑d preserved the Jews, redeemed them, and brought them to Eretz Yisrael. Significantly, this took place before the giving of the Torah. Since, as explained above, the Jews are by nature G‑d’s bikkurim, even before they established a bond with G‑d through the Torah, they were granted this unique expression of Divine favor.

Based on the above, we can appreciate the inner meaning of one of thehalachic requirements of bikkurim. Our Sages relate that it is necessary to bringbikkurim in a container. The rich would bring their bikkurim in containers made of gold and silver. Therefore, the container was not considered as secondary in importance to the fruit. Accordingly, after the offering of the bikkurim, the priests would return the container to the owner. In contrast, the poor would bring theirbikkurim in wicker baskets. As such, the container was considered as secondary in importance to the fruit and therefore, sanctified together with them.

These laws can be explained as follows. The revelation of the Jews’ position as G‑d’s bikkurim requires involvement in the world, a connection with a “container.”8 In a personal sense, this refers to the service of the soul within the body. When this service is carried out with simple worldly articles, the lowest elements of this world, a higher dimension of revelation is revealed and the container, i.e., the worldly objects with which our service is carried out, become totally unified with that service to the extent that they also remain “before G‑d your L‑rd.”

Based on the above, we can understand the connection between bikkurim and the totality of the Torah and its mitzvos. As mentioned, bikkurim symbolizes the essential quality of the Jewish people which is the foundation of the entire Torah and mitzvos. Since the Jews share such an essential bond with G‑dliness, G‑d establishes a covenant with them which is expressed through the Jews’ observance of the Torah and its mitzvos.

In this context, we can understand the inner connection between bikkurim andParshas Ki Savo. Ki Savo, “when you enter,” points to the necessity for a Jew to invest himself in his activities, to appreciate that every moment of his life has the potential to reflect the ultimate purpose of existence. Through such an approach he generates the potential for his life and for his environment to become bikkurim, thanksgiving offerings to G‑d.

* * *

2. The month of Elul is a time when every Jew feels an individual closeness with G‑d. This is reflected in the allegory of the Alter Rebbe who compares G‑d’s relationship with the Jews in Elul to a king who goes out to the field to greet his people, receiving each one with a shining and smiling countenance. The king does not establish any preconditions. Instead, he accepts each of his subjects as he is. In the analogue, this reflects G‑d’s willingness to accept every Jew regardless of his spiritual level. For, as explained above, every Jew possesses a fundamental G‑dly essence and shares a bond with G‑d that transcends the connection established through the Torah and its mitzvos.

In this context, we can come to a deeper understanding of the verse for which the name Elul serves as an acronym, “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.” This verse begins with the word “I” indicating that every Jew, as he exists within the context of his own self, has the potential to devote himself in a bond of love to G‑d. Developing such an attachment will in turn evoke an expression of Divine love. And since the relationship is begun through the efforts of the Jews (“I am my Beloved’s”), they will not regard this Divine favor as “bread of shame.”

Every Jew must have these thoughts in mind as he uses the month of Elul to make an account of his service9 in the previous year and prepare his service in the new year to come. For when he realizes the full extent of the potential which he possesses, he will understand its many different possibilities for expression. This is particularly true in the present time, the final twelve days of the year. For as explained on previous occasions, each of these twelve days possesses the potential to compensate and complete the service of one of the months of the previous year and prepare for the service of one of the months in the year to come.

And in this manner, we will prepare ourselves for shnas niflaos bakol, “a year of wonders in all things” and a year of niflaos binah, “wonders which will be understood.”10

Ki Seitzei | 13 - 20 Elul 5776

Fri Sept 16th – Erev Shabbos /Wedding Anniversary of Previous Rebbe ZT”L/
Shacharis: 7 am  
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 6:59 pm

Sat Sept 17th - Shabbos 
Shacharis: 9:30 am (Latest Shema 9:56 am)
Mincha 6:45 /Seuda Slishit/ PIRKEI AVOS № 1/
Maariv/Havdala 
8:00 pm 

Weekdays
Sunday Shacharis 9 am 
Mon- Fri Shacharis 7 am
Mon-Thu Mincha/Maariv 6:50 pm /Repeat Shema after 7:45 pm/

KIDDUSH SHABBOS
Kiddush is sponsored this week by Sara Gilman.  Seuda slishit is sponsored.

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Gary and Lily Stute on their new daughter Sophie. May they merit to raise her to Torah, Chupah, and Maasim Tovim ! 

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

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

ETC Chabad Hebrew School OPEN FOR 2016-2017 REGISTRATION
Chabad Hebrew School is an exciting and innovative educational program where Hebrew reading fluency and language is of primary importance. First day is Sunday, September 11th. Sunday 9:45 am - 12:30 pm, For children K through Grade 6

Learning Benefits: B'nai Mitzvah Discover, Holiday Arts and Crafts, Kids in the Kitchen, Our Heritage in Action, Set in our Beautiful new building, Click here and register today! www.chabadbellevue.org

NEW CSTL PLAYGROUND
Recently we received a large donation from an anonymous family towards the construction of an outdoor playground. We are looking to form a committee to help plan with the design and construction. We are also looking for donations for the project. If you are interested in getting involved with our Playground project let me know. Good Shabbos, Mike Weichbrodt

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – TUE EVE
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

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

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

Weekly Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info: chanielevitin@gmail.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.

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


COMMUNITY NEWS

Eastside Torah Center 22nd Year Celebration SUN SEPT 25th 6:15 pm - 9:00 pm 
Renown Singer and Chazzan will perform with High Holiday songs and melodies. Check out the YouTube video of our guest Chazzan/Cantor Shulem Lemmer. Please RSVP by Tuesday, Sept 20th www.ChabadBellevue.com

Island Synagogue (née  Shevet Achim) Sun Sept 18, 10:30 am - 2:30 pm,
Guest speakers Dr. Keith Blevens & Valda Monroe. Topic: "The Incredible Truth Behind Growth and Transformation". More info: mark@livingjudaism.com or (206) 851-9949

Seattle Kollel Wed Sept 28th  7:30 pm - 9:00 pm, Pre-Rosh Hashanah Leil Iyun 
Featured speakers Rabbi Shaul Engelsberg, Rabbi Ron-Ami Meyers and Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum. More info: www.seattlekollel.com  

Elementary School Kids at the Kline Galland Home – Sun Sept 25th  from 1 to 3 pm
Bring Pre-Rosh Hashana Joy to our Elders ! For more info and to RSVP – RLR63@comcast.net

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

Welcome Dinner for Rabbi Yaakov & Aliza Tanenbaum Sun Sept 18th 7 pm
Welcome BCMH’s new Rabbi and his wife.  www.BCMHSeattle.org

THE MIDRASHA OPENS ITS DOORS FOR ANOTHER YEAR OF LEARNING
Women of Ezra Bessaroth and of the broader community are invited to the opening shiur of this year, to take place this Sun. Sept. 18th at the home of the Meyers, 5221 S. Brandon. Rabbi Meyers will be delivering additional classes on Sun. Sept. 25 and Oct. 9th. Breakfast is at 9 am. For more information, email: midrashaofseattle@gmail.com

RABBI ELI MANSOUR AT SEPHARDIC BIKUR CHOLIM – Mon/Tue Sept 19/20
Contact EL5020@aol.com for full schedule.

HOLOCAUST CENTER FOR HUMANITY LUNCHEON THURS. OCT. 27 10:30 am-1-15 pm
At the Sheraton. https://www.holocaustcenterseattle.org/  Phone: 206-582-3000 info@HolocaustCenterSeattle.org

Ezra Bessaroth Ladies’ Auxilliary Meat Pasteles BAKING SEPT 19th 
Albie Amon will treat all the bakers and volunteers to one of his signature lunches around noon.  Thank you Albie!  Volunteers needed for baking, and for boxing and labeling,

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


 SICHO FOR SHABBOS Ki Seitzei
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507737/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Ki-Seitzei-14th-Day-of-Elul-5751-1991.htm © Chabad.org

There is always a connection between the Torah portion read Shabbos morning and the portion read Shabbos afternoon. Nevertheless, the two portions read this week, KiSeitzei and Ki Savo appear to be opposite in nature. As the very name implies, KiSeitzei speaks of going out, while Ki Savo speaks of coming in. More particularly, KiSeitzei refers to going out to war,1 while Ki Savo speaks of entering Eretz Yisrael, settling the land, and bringing the offering of the first fruits to the Beis HaMikdash.

In a spiritual sense, Parshas Ki Seitzei refers to the soul’s descent from the spiritual worlds into the confines and limits of the body, the animal soul, and our material world. And in this sphere, the soul must carry out its service of refinement, confronting the above elements and in a manner figuratively associated with war, elevating their spiritual content. This is particularly true in the era of exile when G‑dliness is concealed and carrying out the service mentioned above involves a greater conflict.

In contrast, Parshas Ki Savo refers to service carried out amid peace of mind, serenity, and security. It refers to an era when the Jews live in Eretz Yisrael and the Beis HaMikdash is standing — the direct opposite of the situation described in Parshas Ki Seitzei.

Furthermore, in an ultimate sense, the “coming into the land” described inParshas KiSavo is a reference to the settlement of Eretz Yisrael in the Era of the Redemption. Thus Parshas Ki Seitzei refers to the service which the Jews must carry out in the present era, while Parshas Ki Savo refers to the ultimate reward to be received for that service in the Era of the Redemption.2

The seeming difficulty raised by this contrast can be resolved as follows: The service involving war and conflict must be carried out with peace of mind. And this is possible by experiencing a foretaste of the ultimate reward to be experienced in the Era of the Redemption at present.3

This idea can be explained within the context of a verse from this week’s Torah reading. In regard to a hired worker, we are commanded, “Give him his wage on that day.” The Jews can be compared to workers hired by G‑d to carry out the task of refining the world. Thus, in addition to the ultimate reward which the Jews will receive in the Era of the Redemption, as a fulfillment of the above-mentioned command, they must be given a full reward at present — a foretaste of the ultimate reward — for the service which they carry out.

The above concepts can be understood in greater depth based on Rashi’sstatementsthat Parshas Ki Seitzei describes a “voluntary war,” i.e., a war which the Jews are not commanded to wage, but wage because of the decision of the king and the Sanhedrin. This raises a question: Seemingly, the service of confronting the challenge posed by the body and one’s surrounding environment is an obligation and not something desired by the Jews. Why is such a comparison made in reference to voluntary wars?

There is also another question that results from the above concepts: Previously, it was mentioned that such service brings reward. Reward is only given, however, when someone is hired to perform an activity. Since the Jews are G‑d’s servants as it is written, “The children of Israel are My servants,”4 they are obligated to perform any service He commands. If so, why are they worthy of reward for their service?

These difficulties can be resolved by focusing on the meaning of the wordSeitzei, “go out.” A Jew’s service in the world at large involves going out from his natural place. The natural place, the source, of a Jew’s soul is in the world of Atzilus, a realm in which everything is one with G‑d. Indeed, on a deeper level, the soul’s source is on a much higher plane, for “the souls of the Jewish people preceded all entities,” and they are one with G‑d at a plane of existence that transcends the highest conception of spiritual being. “Israel and the Holy One, blessed be He, are all one.”5

On this basis, we can explain the relationship of Parshas Ki Seitzei to voluntary wars. Since the Jews are one with G‑d’s essence, all service within the limitations of this world involves “going out.” Nevertheless, our Sages’ teach us that when G‑d created the world, He “consulted with the souls of the righteous,” i.e., every Jew, for “Your nation are all righteous.” Since the Jews gave their consent for the creation of the world, their service within the world is considered voluntary in nature.

To state the concept in somewhat different terms: As the Jews exist within the world, they are obligated to carry out the service of refinement; this is the purpose for their creation. When, however, the ultimate source of the Jews’ souls is considered, the level above their “going out” to this world, this service is voluntary in nature. Indeed, it is only because of the Jews’ consent that the world exists.

And therefore, the Jews deserve a reward for their service. Since in an ultimate sense, the Jews are not required to carry out this service, for in essence they are above the limits of this world, their willingness to involve themselves in such activities causes them to be deemed worthy of receiving a reward.

To explain this on a deeper level: The soul leaves its true state, the level of oneness with G‑d, and descends to this world, because it is through this descent that it can bring about the fulfillment of G‑d’s desire for a dwelling in the lower worlds. And it is in this dwelling — and through the service of transforming darkness into light — that His essence will be revealed.

In order for the Jews’ service to be internalized within the lower worlds, their souls could not remain on the level of essential oneness and had to “go out” and descend into this material frame of reference, a setting in which they confronted “enemies” and “war.” Nevertheless, as they exist within the limits of this material world, there is still a fundamental bond with the true state of the soul. For even within this world, a Jew cannot separate himself from G‑d.

Thus the revelation of G‑dliness by the Jews within the limits of this world is a fusion of opposites:

a) Because the Jews exist as souls enclothed in bodies within this world, the ultimate revelation of G‑dliness can be internalized within the world’s limits.

b) Because the Jews are essentially one with G‑d, the G‑dliness they reveal within the world transcends the nature of world existence and is representative of G‑d’s essence.

In this context, we can understand the connection between Parshas KiSeitzeiand Parshas Ki Savo. The Jewish soul leaves its essential state of union with G‑d and “goes out” (Ki Seitzei) to descend to this world. Furthermore, it comes into (Ki Savo) the limits of the world in order to elevate the world within the context of its own perspective. And this makes the world Eretz Yisrael, i.e., a land which is a heritage of the Jewish people and its connection with Jews andYiddishkeit is openly revealed.6

Together with this service comes its reward, “The reward for a mitzvah isamitzvah,” i.e., the mitzvah itself is its greatest reward. To explain: In Tanya, after the Alter Rebbe explains that the ultimate purpose for the creation of the world is that “the Holy One, blessed be He, desired a dwelling in the lower worlds,” he continues explaining that in the Era of the Redemption and more particularly, in the Era of the Resurrection, this purpose will be fulfilled. He then states:

The ultimate state of fulfillment that will be manifest in the Era of the Redemption and in the Era of the Resurrection, i.e., the revelation of [G‑d’s]Infinite Light... in this material world, is dependent on our deeds and service throughout the era of exile.

For the cause of the reward for the mitzvah is the mitzvah itself, since by performing the mitzvah a person draws down the revelation of [G‑d’s] Infinite Light... toenclothe itself in the material substance of this world.

With this statement, the Alter Rebbe is implying that both our service and the reward for our service focus on the same activity, revealing G‑dliness in the world, transforming the world into a dwelling for G‑d.

In this context, we can explain the manner in which G‑d fulfills the commandment, “Give him his wage on that day.” Since the performance of every mitzvah draws down the revelation of G‑dliness in the world, as soon as one performs the mitzvah, one receives the reward, the revelation of G‑dliness, immediately. Every mitzvah represents a personal redemption.

Moreover, the redemption as a whole is also within the grasp of every Jew. It is like a treasure kept locked in a chest for which the key has been given over to each individual Jew. Furthermore, each Jew has the potential to open the chest whenever he desires. For every mitzvah a Jew performs has the potential to tip his own personal balance and that of the world at large and bring about deliverance and salvation. I.e., each person has the potential to bring about the coming of the Era of the Redemption when the reward for the mitzvos, the expression of G‑dliness in this world, will be revealed.

Thus in addition to the individual redemption, the expression of G‑dliness that accompanies the fulfillment of each mitzvah, there is “the endowment of the reward to the righteous in the World to Come.” Then the reward for the service of the Jews throughout the entire duration of existence will be revealed. Furthermore, the reward for the service of the Jews in the Era of the Redemption will be revealed at that time. That service will constitute the ultimate in the observance of mitzvos and the study of the Torah. For then we will merit the revelation of “the new [dimensions of the] Torah that will emerge from Me,” the revelation of Pnimiyus HaTorah, the reasons for the mitzvos.Similarly, in that Era, the Beis HaMikdash will be rebuilt and we will be able to perform all the mitzvos including the mitzvos dependent on the holiness of Eretz Yisrael and the mitzvos associated with sacrificial offerings.

On a deeper level, not only do we receive a reward at present that reflects the ultimate reward to be received in the Era of the Redemption, even our service itself is representative of that reward. To explain: Every Jew is one with G‑d’s essence and his activity brings about the revelation of essential G‑dliness in the world. This applies even before a Jew begins his service. Indeed, this potential existed before the creation as a whole and is, in fact, the purpose for the creation.

Thus we can see a transition in phases of time. A Jew’s service does not concern the present alone. It is associated with the future, when the ultimate purpose for creation will be openly revealed, and the past, before creation, when “G‑d consulted with the souls of the righteous” concerning the creation of the world.

When a Jew is conscious of these ideas and reflects them in his conduct, it is easier for him to carry out his service in the world and thus transform the world into a dwelling for G‑d. On this basis, we can understand the connection between the parshiyos, Ki Seitzei and Ki Savo. Ki Seitzei refers to our service in going out to refine and elevate the world. This service must be permeated by the awareness of KiSavo, i.e., one must realize that one will receive a reward for this service and indeed, experience a foretaste of this reward. Furthermore, one must be conscious and reflect in one’s service the awareness that the ultimate purpose of the creation is this service. This allows the service to be carried out in an ordered and settled manner, permeated by peace and rest.

Ki Seitzei involves a state of war. A Jew must realize, however, that he is “above his enemies,”7 i.e., that there is no genuine potential for opposition in this world. Therefore, “G‑d, your L‑rd, will give them over to your hand and you will take captives.”8

Also, in a simple and literal sense, our service should be conducted amidst tranquility and prosperity, i.e., G‑d should provide every individual with all his needs. This is connected with the Rambam’s statements that the Torah’s promises of material reward are intrinsically related to the service of Torah andmitzvos itself. Simply put, when a Jew will enjoy prosperity, he will be able to devote his energies to the Torah and its mitzvos. But this will be only a foretaste of the ultimate prosperity the Jews will enjoy in the Era of the Redemption. The prosperity of that Era will result from the revelation of G‑d’s essence within this world.

* * *

2. There are several practical directives resulting from the above concepts: Firstly, we must publicize the concept that we are at the conclusion of the era associated with KiSeitzei, going out to war to refine this world, and approaching the era of KiSavo, entering Eretz Yisrael in the Era of the Redemption. Therefore, our service must focus on matters that concern the Future Redemption, the study of Torah concepts concerning Mashiach, the Redemption, and the Beis HaMikdash. Furthermore, this study must be conducted amidst peace of mind and tranquility.

Similarly, our service should be permeated with joy as a foretaste of the ultimate joy to be experienced in the Era of the Redemption when “then our mouths will be filled with joy.”

In this context, there is a connection to the Previous Rebbe’s wedding which was commemorated in the previous week, on the thirteenth of Elul,9 for wedding celebrations are among our most powerful expressions of joy. Herein there is a also connection to the Redemption which is described as the wedding between G‑d and the Jewish people.

Also, the present days are associated with the founding of Yeshivas TomcheiTemimim on the fifteenth of Elul. Therefore, focus should be placed on the activities of the Yeshivah and the efforts of its students who serve as “candles that shine,” illuminating the world with the light of Torah, both Nigleh (the revealed dimensions of Torah law) and Pnimiyus HaTorah (Torah’s mystic dimension).

On previous occasions, it was mentioned that every Jewish home should be permeated by the three services of Torah study, prayer, and deeds of kindness. In connection with the anniversary of the founding of the Yeshivah, this conception should be broadened and every Jewish home should be transformed into a microcosm of Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim. It should be filled with the study of PnimiyusHaTorah.

In connection with deeds of kindness, it is also worthy to mention that the holidays of the month of Tishrei are approaching. Our Sages taught us to study the laws of a holiday thirty days before its arrival. Similarly, efforts should be made to provide those who are lacking with their holiday needs thirty days before the holiday. In this manner, they will be able to approach the holiday with peace of mind.

And these resolutions will lead to a time when each Jew will enjoy the ultimate in peace of mind. For he will receive all his needs from G‑d’s “full, open, holy, and generous hand.” And together with the entire Jewish people, we will “come into the land... take possession of it” and bring its fruits as offerings to G‑d in the Era of the Redemption. May this take place in the immediate future.

Shoftim 6 | 13 Elul 5776

Fri Sept 9th – Erev Shabbos 
Shacharis: 7 am  
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 7:13 pm

Sat Sept 10th - Shabbos 
Shacharis: 9:30 am (Latest Shema 9:53 am)
Mincha 7:00 /Seuda Slishit/ PIRKEI AVOS № 6/
Maariv/Havdala 
8:15 pm 

Weekdays
Sunday Shacharis 9 am 
Mon- Fri Shacharis 7 am
Mon-Thu Mincha/Maariv 7:15 pm /Repeat Shema after 8:00 pm/

KIDDUSH SHABBOS
Kiddush this week is sponsored by Professor Vernon and Lis Neppe: in loving memory of the 14 Yahrzeit of Vernon's sister Annette Liebmann (Chana Faiga bat Sholem Leib z'l), in commemoration of the visit of our family from South Africa, Shoshana (Lis's sister) and Ronnie Shapiro, and Todah L'kelrelating to Vernon being awarded the 2016 Whiting Memorial Prize.
Seuda slishit is sponsored by Yossi Greenberg.

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Rabbi Avi and Meirav Herbstman on the birth of their new son.  Sunday Rosh Chodesh Elul. May they merit to raise him to Torah, Chupah, and Maasim Tovim !  Bris info to follow.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

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.

Shalom Zachor for new baby boy Herbstman 
Will be graciously hosted by the Levins after the Friday night seuda, 6222 44th Ave NE. Wacht Nacht for children at the Herbstman home Shabbos afternoon at 6:00 pm.  Possukim and treats for children, 4402 NE 65th St

ETC Chabad Hebrew School OPEN FOR 2016-2017 REGISTRATION
Chabad Hebrew School is an exciting and innovative educational program where Hebrew reading fluency and language is of primary importance. First day is Sunday, September 11th. Sunday 9:45 am - 12:30 pm, For children K through Grade 6

Learning Benefits: B'nai Mitzvah Discover, Holiday Arts and Crafts, Kids in the Kitchen, Our Heritage in Action, Set in our Beautiful new building, Click here and register today! www.chabadbellevue.org

NEW CSTL PLAYGROUND
Recently we received a large donation from an anonymous family towards the construction of an outdoor playground. We are looking to form a committee to help plan with the design and construction. We are also looking for donations for the project. If you are interested in getting involved with our Playground project let me know. Good Shabbos, Mike Weichbrodt

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – TUE EVE
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

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

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

Weekly Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan RothmanGabbai 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.

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


COMMUNITY NEWS

Sephardic Grand Bazaar Sun Sept 11th 9 am - 3 pm|
At Sephardic Bikur Holim,

Island Synagogue (née  Shevet Achim) Sun Sept 18, 10:30 am - 2:30 pm,
Guest speakers Dr. Keith Blevens & Valda Monroe. Topic: "The Incredible Truth Behind Growth and Transformation". More info: mark@livingjudaism.com or (206) 851-9949

Elementary School Kids at the Kline Galland Home – Sun Sept 25 from 1 to 3 pm
Bring Pre-Rosh Hashana Joy to our Elders ! For more info and to RSVP – RLR63@comcast.net

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

Welcome Dinner for Rabbi Yaakov & Aliza Tanenbaum Sun Sept 18th 7 pm
Welcome BCMH’s new Rabbi and his wife.  www.BCMHSeattle.org

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For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


 SICHO FOR SHABBOS SHOFTIM
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507734/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Shoftim-7th-Day-of-Elul-5751-1991.htm © Chabad.org

1. We find a parallel to the commandment in this week’s Torah reading, “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates,” in the promise of Yeshayahu, the prophet of the Redemption, “And I will return your judges as in former times, and your advisers as at the beginning.” This mode of expression is also used in the weekday prayers “Return our judges as in former times, and our advisers as at the beginning.”

According to what has been mentioned many times, and especially recently — regarding the proclamation of the previous Rebbe “Immediately to repentance (and thereby automatically) immediately to redemption”: Everything necessary for the redemption has been completed, including “polishing the buttons”; so that all that is now needed is that “all should stand ready” — and that this has also been done — to receive Mashiach immediately. Thus it is understood that we have already reached the time for the fulfillment of the promise “And I will return your judges... and your advisers,” and even more so “as at the beginning.” This has already begun, as will be explained.

In order to understand this, it is necessary to understand some differences in the language of the promise made by Yeshayahu and the commandment mentioned in our Torah portion:

a) In the commandment in our portion, the words “judges and officers” are used, whereas in the promise, only the words “Your judges” appears, and “officers” is not mentioned. However, the words “and your advisers” is added. b) What is the import of these two categories “judges” and “advisers”? c) Why is the term “as in former times,” used in connection with “judges”, and “as at the beginning” used connection with “advisers”? d) Why the use of the second person, “your” judges, “your” advisers as against the simple term “judges and advisers”?

These questions can be resolved as follows:

The difference between “judges” and “officers” is explained by Rashi to mean: Judges decide the law; and the officers of the court administer the decisions. If necessary, they strike and bind with a rod or lash until a defendant takes upon himself the decision of the judge.

According to this explanation, it is understandable why only “your judges” are mentioned in connection with the promise of redemption, and not “officers.” In the future the existence of evil at large, and the evil inclination within man, will be abolished. There will be no necessity for officers to compel the people to accept the rulings of the judges; everyone will do so of his own free will. It will only be necessary to have “judges” who will decide the law, teach Torah, and give instructions on the teachings of the Torah and its commandments to the Jews.

This idea is also hinted at in the name of the Torah portion, Shoftim (without the word shotrim, “officers”), for an entity’s name expresses its inner content.

The question, however arises: How does the name of the Torah portion,Shoftim, fit in with the commandments whose content apparently also includes “officers”? The Midrash goes further and says that if there is no officer of the court, then there is no judge. For when a court rules that a debtor has to pay his debt, if there is no officer to enforce the court’s ruling, the judge has no power to enforce his ruling.

To resolve this, we must say that the object of having officers is not an independent purpose, but only to help the judges. If a judge cannot enforce his ruling, the officers, who have the “rod and the lash” are there to force a recalcitrant debtor to accept the ruling of the judge. Hence, the Torah portion is called only Shoftim. And for this same reason, the appointment of officers is not counted as an individual mitzvah in the reckoning of 613 mitzvos, but is included as part of the mitzvah to appoint judges — namely, because the purpose of having officers is only part of the duties of judges. It is not, however, an absolute necessity, for the law can be carried out voluntary, without coercion as will take place in the Era of the Redemption.1

We can now understand the reason why in the prophetic promise, the words “your advisers” was added to “your judges.” In the Era of the Redemption, the Jews will reach a state of perfection that will cause them to carry out the rulings of the judges without the need for officers. And this will come about, because in addition to “judges,” there will be “advisers.”

The simple difference between a judge and an adviser is that a judge is not to be compared to the one who is being judged, he is on a far higher plane. He has a greater knowledge and understanding of the laws, and accordingly the litigants feel subordination in his presence. (This is necessary so that they will accept the verdict even if it is not to their liking.)

In contrast, an adviser is what his name implies — he gives good advice. This indicates that the adviser is more or less on the same level as the person he advises. Indeed, the adviser speaks to him, not from above to below, as with a decree, but as a good friend who speaks to him on a basis of equality. He gives him good advice on how to behave, advice that his listener can understand and accept with a feeling that his advice will benefit him.

We can apply similar concepts to explain the difference between the terms “your judges” and “your advisers” used in the prophetic promise mentioned above: Each one contains an advantage over the other. The advantage of the adviser is that he is more readily accepted by the advised. His counsel penetrates the inner being of the advised, because the latter accepts that this is good advice for him.

In contrast, the advantage of the judge, is that although his ruling comes as a command, because he is on a much higher plane than the judged, this in itself is a plus. The judge has the power given by the Torah to make these rulings (which is a far greater power than that of the adviser, who is on the same level as his listener). Indeed, the nature of his rulings force the person to accept them (whereas with advice one has a choice to accept it or not).

In other words: whereas with a judge the main stress is on the status of the judge, with the adviser, the main stress is on communication to the person receiving the advice.

In general, man’s service of G‑d should be characterized by both these thrusts. It must include service through his own ability, “an awakening from below,” and influence he receives from above, “an awakening from above.”

In greater detail, there are two types of influence from above itself: the influence which is granted according to the level of the person and therefore can become part of his inner being, and the influence which comes from a level which transcends the level of the person himself.

Similarly, these two dimensions are reflected in the motivators to the service of G‑d which come from Jews themselves: “your judges”, whose task is (to teach) Torah, the word of G‑d — give influence from a higher level than the person, and “your advisers” whose help can become part of one’s inner self, in a way which makes him feel that it is for his own good.

Based on the above, we can understand why the connection between, “your judges” and the expression “in former times,” and “your advisers” to “at the beginning.” The difference between “in former times,” and “at the beginning” is such: “In former times” alludes to a state of primeval existence, before the start of the matter, whilst “at the beginning” refers to the actual beginning of the matter.

Since the work of a judge reflects the issuing of dictates which comes as an order from above without taking into account the readiness of the recipient to receive them, there is consequently a gap (in quality, and therefore in time) between the pronouncement of the judge and its actual fulfillment. Because, after the ruling has been given, the judge has to start a new process — the acceptance of his ruling and its fulfillment by the defendant — the term “in former times” is used.

In contrast, the adviser’s efforts focus on the recipient and is given with the thought of him in mind, that he be ready to accept the advice. Thus the actual giving of the advice shows that the process of communication has already started. The advice itself only reveals what is already there and shows how this advice is for his good. This also applies in time — as immediately following the giving of the advice, there begins the process of its fulfillment. For this reason, the term “your advisers” employs the second person: emphasizes that it stresses that the advice belongs to you. Furthermore, through the efforts of “your advisers,” the judges will become “your judges,” their rulings, which of themselves are on a higher level than that of the litigants, will be accepted by them and internalized like advice.

This relates to the commandment of our Torah reading, “You shall appoint judges... in all your gates.” The gate of a city is the opening through which one enters the city. This means that the appointment of judges (and officers — when they are needed) should be in the manner of “you should appoint in all your gates” (second person) that the rulings of the judges — who themselves may be aloof and separate — should be accepted by the Jews, and should become part of “you” and even more so “in all your gates,” i.e., internalized within the people.2

We can now understand why after Mashiach comes, there will be no need for “officers.” The judges and the advisers will be to perfection — both the laws and rulings of the Torah which come with “your judges” together with the influence from above, as well as the good advice which comes through “your advisers” who allow this to be internalized into man’s inner being. Through these two methods, a Jew will be completely permeated with Torah, mitzvos, and G‑dliness so that “officers,” representing force and compulsion, will no longer be necessary in order to carry out G‑d’s word.

Through “your judges” alone, the rulings of the Torah that a Jew accepts as a duty, because of a command and decree; the inner service which permeates his understanding and his feelings, which comes through “your advisers” is missing. Consequently, there remains room for the possibilities of the existence of a different and even opposite force within his inner being. Conversely, “advisers” alone are insufficient, for the power of the Torah and the infinite help which comes through the ruling of the judge is missing. Thus, it is through the fusion of both influences, that a complete level of service can be reached.

As a catalyst for the fulfillment of this prophecy, even before the Redemption, a Jew must perform a service according to his capabilities, that reflects — and makes him a receptacle for — the revelations of the Era of Mashiach.3 This means our service now should be on two motivating forces: a) that of “judges” — fulfilling the rulings of the Torah as a duty, and b) that of “advisers” — that the rulings of the Torah should be accepted by his inner self as good advice.

This is achieved through Jews of every generation obeying the “judges” and “advisers” of their generation. For the halachic authorities explain, that “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates (cities)” is a basic and fundamental principle in all places, even in the Diaspora, and in all times, even in the present era, as is written in our Torah portion, “And you shall come... to the judge who will be in those days and you shall inquire and they shall declare to you the sentence of the judgment. And you shall do according to what they shall declare to you.” Moreover, “the judge who will be in your days” shall be reckoned in every generation as “Shmuel in his generation” and even as “Moshe Rabbeinu in his generation.”

There must also be the influence of “advisers.” Thus it is desirable that in addition to a judge’s judicial knowledge, one can “enjoy his advice and wisdom.” Alternatively, in addition to the judge and Rabbi who gives halachic rulings in that generation, there are also people who give advice (who should be accepted on the basis of our Sages’ directive, “make for yourself a teacher”).

2. An illustration of the difference between the two functions mentioned above can be found in the contrast between the words of the Torah, and the words of prophecy, (both of which are mentioned in the Torah portion Shoftim).

Torah transcends the world, for it is the wisdom and will of G‑d. Thus in the same way that one cannot grasp the being of G‑d in any way, the real essence of the Torah is above our comprehension.4 Therefore the manner in which the Torah is conveyed to this world is mainly through commandments and rulings from above.

In contrast, prophecy — even though it is the word of G‑d, “the spirit of G‑d spoke to me” — is the revelation of G‑dliness to man. “He revealed His secrets to His servants, the prophets”, according to their limits5 that it should be absorbed in the knowledge and mind of the prophet. A prophet becomes as one with the prophecy communicated to him and the vision of prophecy becomes clothed in his minds and understanding and also in his thoughts and speech, as it is written “The spirit of G‑d spoke in me, and His word is on my tongue.”

Moreover, prophecy is intended to be revealed through speech. The very Hebrew term for prophecy, nevuah implies that it is a subject proclaimed and announced to the people as in the term nivs’fosayim, (“the expression of the lips”). In contrast, Torah which can remain in one’s thoughts. Also the import of prophecy has connection with the events of the world. To quote the Rambam,“A prophet is only there to inform us of what is going to happen in the future in the world.”6

Thus, the Torah and prophecy reflect the difference between “your judges” and “your advisers.” The task of the judge is to rule on the laws of the Torah, which is done by way of command and decree. The adviser gives his advice “clothed” in language acceptable to the advised, which he can understand as does a prophet.

There is a commandment to obey “your judges” at all times, as it is written in our Torah portion “And you shall come... to the judge who will be in those days.” Similarly, there is a commandment to obey the prophets, as it is written separately in the Torah portion (18:15) “G‑d will set up for you a prophet from your midst, from your brothers, like me, and you shall hearken to him.”

In this context, the Rambam explains “one of the fundamentals of the religion is to know that G‑d sends His prophecies through people.” Since the Rambamprefaces the commandment to heed a prophet with the concept that prophecy is one of “the fundamentals of the religion,” we can understand that this affects Jews in all generations. Our Sages tell us “that from the time the later prophets,Chaggai, Zechariaand Malachi died, the Holy Spirit departed from Israel.” Nevertheless, the word “departed” does not mean that it was abolished completely. The spirit of prophecy did not cease, but rather ascended to a higher plane. Indeed, even after the era of the later prophets, the spirit of prophecy permeated very many people. (This can also be understood from the fact that, in the Mishneh Torah, the Rambam does not mention the cessation of prophecy, nor that the spirit of prophecy can flourish only in a specific time.)

Indeed, in his Iggeres Taimon, the Rambam writes that “as a preparatory step for Mashiach’s coming... prophecy will return to Israel.” This can be understood in connection with the explanations above. To prepare us to be able to receive the revelations of the Era of the Redemption, we must experience through prophecy, a foretaste of the “advice” that will be communicated in that era.

It is therefore important for later generations to know that it is “one of the fundaments of [our] faith to know that G‑d sends His prophecies through people.” Always, in all generations, the revelation of prophecy is possible. Moreover, this will include even a level of prophecy which is akin to the prophecy of Moshe as implied by the verse, “I will set up for them from their brothers like you.” Moshe’s level is the zenith of prophecy, as the Rambamexplains at length. Nevertheless, it is not exclusive to him, but reflected to others as well.

This enables us to comprehend why the Rambam deals with the prophecy of Moshe at such length, explaining that it reflects a higher level of prophecy than experienced by all other prophets. On the surface, this is merely a historical fact. Of what purpose is there in discussing it in a book of law for the Jewish people of later generations. And if this only refers to the time after Mashiachhas come, when Moshe will arise, the people will see Moshe’s uniqueness themselves. Of what purpose is there to mention this ruling now?

The explanation is that in all generations, even before the Resurrection of the Dead, it is necessary to know that Torah law prescribes that G‑d sends His prophecies through men, that the verse, “I will set up a prophet... like you (Moshe)” applies in every generation. Every prophet is a continuation of the prophecy of Moshe and his Torah (except that in regard to revelation, there are different levels as the Rambam explains). In our generation, these concepts were personified by the leader of the generation, the Previous Rebbe.

We can now understand the uniqueness of the time in which we are living, an age when all the service required of us has been completed, to borrow an expression of the Previous Rebbe, “the buttons have been polished,” and we are in the final seconds before the Ultimate Redemption.

From the time when the Torah commanded “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates,” the fact that the Redemption did not come then served as a proof that the Jews had not completed the service required of them. Traces of our sins remained, and hence “because of our sins, we were exiled from our land.” Hence, in addition to judges, we still required “officers” to enforce obedience of the decisions the judges rendered.

Nevertheless, after the great amount of service throughout the generations, we are obviously very much nearer to the Redemption. Surely this has been enhanced by the revelation of PnimiyusHaTorah, beginning from the AriZal’sdeclaration that “it is a mitzvah to reveal this wisdom,” and particularly through the service of the Rebbeim in spreading forth the wellsprings of Chassidus.Theseleaders are the individuals through whom “prophecy will return to Israel.” They are the prophets of our generation, “like me (Moshe),” i.e., they are “the spark of Moshe that exists in every generation.”

They are “your judges.” This reflects to their function as nesi’im. This term related to the word hisnasus, “uplifted,” reflects how they are elevated above the people.7 In this capacity, they serve as the teachers of the Torah to the people. Similarly, they serve as “your advisors,” giving counsel in connection with our Torah service, and also giving advice in worldly matters, which is the function of the prophets.

This is particularly expressed through the revelation of the teachings ofChassidus through the Chabad approach which allows one to comprehend Torah’s mystic secrets within the conceptual framework of ordinary human intellect. This serves as a foretaste of the revelation of the inner meanings of Torah in the Era of the Redemption which will in turn prepare our people for that era.

All this has been greatly increased in our generation — when “the spreading of your wellsprings outward” has been completed, reaching a level that can be comprehended by a person who is extremely remote and having been extended to all corners of the earth. This includes the translation of the teaching of Chassidus into many languages (e.g., Russian) at the request of the Previous Rebbe and the printing of the Tanya — the written law of Chassidus — in Braille for those who unfortunately cannot see.

In this context, the knowledge that all the service required of us has been completed provides us with a heightened understanding of the lesson we must take from Parshas Shoftim. Each person has to recognize himself, and publicize among his widest circle of influence, that we need to accept upon ourselves the rulings and advice of “the judges” and “the advisers” of our generation. In general, this refers to all Rabbis, for “Our Rabbis are our kings,” and in particular, this refers to the leader of our generation — the judge, adviser and prophet of our generation.

When a person has the merits and individual perfection required of a prophet, and he performs signs and wonders — as we saw and see continually in the fulfillment of the blessings of the leader of our generation, the Previous Rebbe — “we do not believe in him only because of the sign [he performed]..., but because of the commandment which Moshe gave in the Torah.”

Furthermore, “A prophet about whom another prophet testifies that he is a prophet (as is the case with the Previous Rebbe, and is continued in the next generation through his disciples), he is accepted as a prophet and requires no investigation.” He has to be obeyed immediately “even before he performs a sign.” “It is forbidden to disparage or criticize his prophecy saying that it is perhaps not true.” There is a specific negative commandment forbidding us to test a prophet more than necessary. After it has become known that he is a prophet, the people should believe in him, and they should not disparage or criticize him. Their belief should not be in the prophet as an individual, but as a messenger charged with communicating the words of G‑d.

This concept has to be publicized to everyone in this generation. It must be made known that we have merited that G‑d has chosen and appointed a person who of himself is far greater than the people of his generation, to serve as a judge, adviser, and prophet to the generation. He will grant rulings and advice in connection with the service of the Jews and indeed, of all the people of this generation, in all matters of the Torah and its mitzvos, and in their general day to day behavior, allowing them to “know Him in all your ways,” so that “all your actions should be for the sake of Heaven.” Surely, this includes the fundamental prophecy “To Redemption immediately,” for “Behold Mashiach is coming.”

This, the acceptance and fulfillment of the rulings of the “judges” and the “advisers” of our generation begins the process of the fulfillment of the prayer “Return our judges as at first, and our advisers as at the beginning” which will be realized in a full sense with the true and complete Redemption.

On this basis, we can answer the questions being asked lately: Why is there is so much talk about the Redemption coming immediately? How will the family react, and what will the world say? To which the answer is that if the idea of Redemption was something novel, there might be cause for the question. This is not the case; everything connected with the Redemption began a long time ago and has long been accepted in this world. Hence, there should be no wonderment and surprise when the Redemption does actually come.

On a practical level, the injunction of “You shall appoint judges at all your gates,” must be applied on several different levels. Firstly, “the gates” can be interpreted as referring to the seven gates of man: the two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and mouth. They should act according to the dictates of the Torah. On this level, the “judges” refer to the intellectual attributes of the G‑dly soul and the “advisers,” the emotional attributes. Thus every element of the life of a Jew has to be permeated and led by the G‑dly power of his soul.

This concept should be extended and every man and woman should serve as a “judge” and an “adviser” in their household and family, insuring that it run according to the teachings and advice of the Torah. And to extend the concept even further, the whole world should follow the directives of the “judge” and the “adviser” of the generation, the “prophet I will set up for them, like you (Moshe),” the leader of the generation.”

We are now at the end of the year, in the month of Elul, which is the month of reckoning for the past year and the month of preparation for the next year; and in this month itself, the first seven days have passed, from Sunday untilShabbos, which include all the days of the year passed and to come.

It is therefore an even more fitting time to make a true reckoning, and to undertake appropriate preparations for the next year in connection with the service described above. And this will bring each member of the Jewish people and the entire Jewish people as a whole, a kesivah vachasimah tovah, an inscription and the sealing of that inscription for a good and sweet year materially and spiritually.8 Included in this will be the fulfillment of the prophecy, “And I will return your judges as in former times, and your advisers as at the beginning,” with the return of our people to Eretz Yisrael and to the Beis HaMikdash. May this take place in the immediate future.

Re’eh | Rosh Chodesh Elul 30 Menachem Av – 6 Elul 5776

Fri Sept 2nd – Erev Shabbos 
Shacharis: 7 am  
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 7:28 pm

Sat Sept 3rd   - Shabbos Rosh Chodesh
Shacharis: 9:30 am (Latest Shema 9:49 am)
Mincha 7:10 /Seuda Slishit / PIRKEI AVOS № 5/
Maariv/Havdala 
8:30 pm 

Weekdays
Sunday Shacharis 9 am /2nd Day Rosh Chodesh Elul/
Mon- Fri Shacharis 7 am
Mon-Thu Mincha/Maariv 7:30 pm /Repeat Shema after 8:14 pm/

KIDDUSH SHABBOS
Kiddush this week for Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Elul has two co-sponsors. Drs. Elizabeth and MartinFrasch are co-sponsoring in honor of the birth of their daughter Liora Yael on 6th Av.  May she grow up into a life of Torah, chuppah, and and ma'asim tovim!  Kiddush is also co-sponsored by Rabbi and Mrs. Levitin, in commemoration of the occasion of their 47th wedding anniversary (5th Elul)!  The entire CSTL community wishes them Mazal Tov and wants to express our hope that we are allowed the honor of sharing many more simchas with them!  
Seuda slishit is sponsored by Mike Weichbrodt.

FARBRENEN ALERT – ROSH CHODESH ELUL – MALAVA MALKA – SAT 9:30 pm
Please join us for a farbrengen in honor of Rosh Chodesh Elul.  At the home of Rabbi Shimon and Meira Emlen, 7527 40th Ave NE..


LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

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

SHABBOS ROSH CHODESH ELUL - L'David Hashem Ori
Beginning this shabbos, the psalm L'David Hashem Ori (Psalm 27) is recited at the end of the morning and afternoon prayers. This special addition is recited throughout the month of Elul and the High Holiday season, until Hoshanah Rabbah (Tishrei 21) -- a total of 50 days. www.chabad.org/calendar

ELUL OBSERVENCES – COME TO SHUL DAILY TO HEAR THE SHOFAR !
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionally a time of introspection and stocktaking -- a time to review one's deeds and spiritual progress over the past year and prepare for the upcoming "Days of Awe" of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. As the month of Divine Mercy and Forgiveness (see "Today in Jewish History" for Elul 1) it is a most opportune time for teshuvah ("return" to G-d), prayer, charity, and increased Ahavat Yisrael (love for a fellow Jew) in the quest for self-improvement and coming closer to G-d. Chassidic master Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi likens the month of Elul to a time when "the king is in the field" and, in contrast to when he is in the royal palace, "everyone who so desires is permitted to meet him, and he receives them all with a cheerful countenance and shows a smiling face to them all."
Specific Elul customs include the 
daily sounding of the shofar (ram's horn) as a call to repentance. The Baal Shem Tov instituted the custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms).
Elul is also the time to have one's tefillin and mezuzahs checked by an accredited scribe to ensure that they are in good condition and fit for use.
From the beginning of Elul and throughout the High Holiday season, we include the blessing "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year" (Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim) in letters and greetings to one another.

SUNDAY MORNING BRUNCH WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – SUN  SEPT 4th 10 am
Our next Sunday morning special guest lecture at CSTL will be Sunday in 2 weeks on  4 September  2016 at 10am to 11.30 (1 Elul 5776) . Please save the date and please do not organize competitive parties and other events at the same time. I know it's the Labor Day Weekend, but we've gone through many options to find a date. It's also Rosh Chodesh Elul so very special. Our next honored speaker will be Rabbi Mendy Levitin who will talk on the topic of The Month of Elul.  Rabbi Mendy has been with us from Israel this past year, and is a wonderful communicator and very knowledgeable. Mendy and his wife Leah lived inYerushalayim for over 18 years, and they have six wonderful children (k"eh). Please join us for a Bagel and Lox breakfast before after Shacharit (at 10am) 10.15am promptly our lecture beginsEducation Chair – Dr. Vernon Neppe

NEW CSTL PLAYGROUND
Recently we received a large donation from an anonymous family towards the construction of an outdoor playground. We are looking to form a committee to help plan with the design and construction. We are also looking for donations for the project. If you are interested in getting involved with our Playground project let me know. Good Shabbos, Mike Weichbrodt

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – TUE EVE
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

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

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

Weekly Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan RothmanGabbai 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.

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


COMMUNITY NEWS

Sephardic Grand Bazaar Sun Sept 11th 9 am - 3 pm|
At Sephardic Bikur Holim,

Elementary School Kids at the Kline Galland Home – Sun Sept 25 from 1 to 3 pm
Bring Pre-Rosh Hashana Joy to our Elders ! For more info and to RSVP – RLR63@comcast.net

BCMH Annual Hakadosh BBQ Mon, Sep. 5th 
Featuring "Willie's Taste of Soul". Full BBQ, Beer Garden, Community Cookoff, Bounce House, Video Game Truck, entertainment and more. Register by August 28 and get the Earlybird Discount on admission for the whole family. Register & pre-order at: www.bcmhseattle.org or https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hakadosh-bbq-tickets-26810210060  

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

Welcome Dinner for Rabbi Yaakov & Aliza Tanenbaum Sun Sept 18th 7 pm
Welcome BCMH’s new Rabbi and his wife.  www.BCMHSeattle.org

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


 SICHO FOR THE SHABBOS RE’EH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507733/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Reeh-1st-Day-of-Rosh-Chodesh-Elul-5751-1991.htm  © Chabad.org

1. Parshas Re’eh is always read at a time associated with the month of Elul, either on the Shabbos on which the month of Elul is blessed or on Rosh Chodesh Elul as in the present year.

On the surface, Elul and Re’eh appear to represent two opposite thrusts. Elul is an acronym for the Hebrew words “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine,” and thus represents the service performed by a Jew on his own initiative. And it is such service which awakens a revelation from Above.

In contrast, Parshas Re’eh begins with the verse, “Behold, I am giving before you today the blessing...” Thus it relates to the pattern of revelation from Above. Indeed, each of the words of this verse emphasize that approach:

“Behold” — seeing, implies the establishment of a deep and powerful connection. Thus our Sages state, “hearing does not resemble seeing,” and they forbid a witness as acting as a judge. Once someone has seen a misdeed committed, he will never be able to conceive of a redeeming virtue for a defendant. In contrast, when a person is told about an event, he is allowed to serve as a judge and indeed, all trials depend on listening to such testimony.

What is the reason for such a difference? When hearing, one approaches a concept step by step, gathering all the particulars. This resembles an ascent upward. In contrast, when seeing, one is brought into direct contact with an event as a totality at once. Only afterwards, does one focus attention on the particulars. This reflects the approach of revelation from Above.

“I” — refers to G‑d’s essence as it is reflected in an uplifted and magnified manner. This can be seen in the contrast between the words Ani and Anochi.Although both mean “I,” Anochi communicates a greater sense of pride and personal magnitude as obvious from Shmuel’s statement, “I (Anochi) am the seer.”1

“Am giving” clearly implies a gift from Above and furthermore, as our Sages comment, “Whoever gives, gives generously.”

“Before you,” lifnaichem (לפניכם) in Hebrew, relates to the word פנימיות (“inner dimension”). This emphasizes the approach of revelation from Above, we begin by focusing on our inner being and then proceed to the external dimensions. (In contrast, the process of ascent would involve the opposite approach, proceeding from the externals to the internals.)

“Today” reflects the concepts of light and revelation, for the day is the time of light. It also is associated with a dimension of eternality, as our Sages state, “Whenever the word ‘today’ is used, [the influence] is eternal and forever.” And this is possible because it involves a revelation from Above which does not take into consideration the nature of the recipient.

“Blessing” clearly refers to an extension of influence from Above. And furthermore, the blessings referred to in this verse are of the highest nature as reflected in the continuation of the verse which mentions the opposite of blessing. We see this concept expressed in a Talmudic narrative which explains that Rabbi Shimon sent his son, Rabbi Eliezar, to receive a blessing from two Sages. They made statements which appeared to be curses and which caused Rabbi Eliezar much distress until he returned to his father who explained that these statements were in fact blessings. It was only because that their source was so high that outwardly they appeared as curses. This relates to the service of baalei teshuvah who have the potential to transform matters which appear negative in nature into positive influences. This, the transformation of darkness into light, represents a higher dimension of good.

This reinforces the contrast between the month of Elul which focuses on the service of ascent upward on one’s initiative and Parshas Re’eh where the emphasis is placed on revelation from Above.

It is possible to resolve this difficulty by explaining that since Elul is the month of stocktaking for the entire year — and the time in which we can correct any deficiencies in either of these services, it includes both thrusts of service carried out by the Jews throughout the year; the service of ascent upward and revelation from Above.2

These two services are reflected in the two days of Rosh Chodesh Elul. The first day, the thirtieth day of the month of Av, is associated with the service of revelation from Above.3 This concept is given additional emphasis this year, because the first day of Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbos, a day of revelation. The fundamental dimension of the day is spiritual service, prayer and Torahstudy. And this spirituality is extended even into the material realm and thus our Shabbos pleasure includes eating and drinking.

In contrast, the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul focuses on the service of elevating our material world, and doing so on our own initiative. This is emphasized by the fact that it falls on Sunday, because Sunday is the beginning of the week, the first of the days in which man goes out to involve himself in the world, and in doing so, elevates and refines the world at large.

In this context, it can be explained that Parshas Re’eh is involved with only a certain dimension of the service of Elul, the stocktaking of the service of revelation from Above. It is, however, a more comprehensive approach to find a connection between Parshas Re’eh and the month of Elul as a whole. Indeed, since as mentioned previously, the fundamental aspect of the month of Elul is service on one’s own initiative, it is proper that a connection be established between the Torah reading and this service.4

This connection can be established by focusing on the advantages of these two services and on the interrelation between them. The service of “I am my Beloved’s” possesses an advantage over the service of “my Beloved is mine,” namely that the service is accomplished on man’s own initiative. It possesses, however, a limitation for since man is limited, such service can reach only those levels of G‑dlinesswhich relate to the limitations of man and not to the infinite dimensions of G‑dliness.

In contrast, the service of “my Beloved is mine,” reflects a revelation of G‑d as He is, unlimited and unbounded, to man. Nevertheless, since this comes about as a revelation from Above, it is not appreciated by man. Quite the contrary, it is regarded as “bread of shame.” Therefore, there is a need for the fusion of both these services and this is reflected in the name Elul. In this manner, even service carried out by man on his own initiative will have an unbounded dimension.

* * *

2. More particularly, the fusion of these two thrusts is expressed through the five services identified with the five verses from the Tanach for which the name Elul serves as an acronym:

Prayer — אני לדודי ודודי לי “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.” For it is through prayer that the love relationship with G‑d is intensified.

Torah study — אנה לדיו ושמתי לך “It chance to happen and I set aside for you a place.” This verse describes the Cities of Refuge and thus refers to Torah study for “the words of Torah provide refuge.”

Deeds of kindness — איש לרעהו ומתנות לאביונים. In this verse, the concept of deeds of kindness is clearly expressed.

Teshuvah — ומל ה' את לבבך ואת זרעך “And G‑d your L‑rd will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants.” For the service of teshuvah is primarily the inner service of changing one’s inner self, the feelings of one’s heart.

Redemption — ויאמרו לאמר אשירה לה'. (In this phrase, to arrive at the name Elul the order of the words must be rearranged.) This phrase is taken from the Song of Redemption sung at the Red Sea.

The first three services are identified with the three pillars of man’s service. These services must be permeated by the service of teshuvah and by the service of redemption and thus they will be endowed with a boundless quality that surpasses the limits of man and of the world at large. Thus man’s service on his own initiative, “I am my Beloved’s,” has the potential to reflect, not only his human characteristics, but the unlimited nature of his G‑dly soul. The soul, in essence, is one with G‑d’s essence as the Zohar states, “Israel and the Holy One, Blessed be He, are all one.”

On the basis of the above, we can resolve the difficulty mentioned at the outset, the seeming contradiction between the approaches of Elul and Parshas Re’eh.For Elul puts an emphasis not only on the service of man on his own initiative, but that this service should be carried out in an unlimited manner, in a manner that reflects how he is one with G‑d. This is the intent of Parshas Re’eh, that there be an open and revealed expression of the essential G‑dly potential every Jew possesses as a preface to his service of G‑d.

This theme is expressed at the beginning of the Torah reading which relates how we are shown how our connection with Anochi, G‑d’s essence, is internalized within us (see the interpretation of the verse at the beginning of the first section). Similarly, the Torah reading concludes with the mention of SheminiAtzeres, the holiday when “Israel and the king are alone.”

The concept that man’s service on his own initiative should be carried out in a manner that surpasses our limitations receives greater emphasis when Rosh Chodesh Elul falls on Shabbos. Shabbos elevates the state of every Jew above his ordinary weekday level. He is on a different plane; he is a ShabbasdikkerYid. Thus when Rosh Chodesh Elul falls on Shabbos, the nature of a Jew’s service throughout the month to come is affected and endowed with a Shabbos-like quality.

In particular, there are times when as this year, the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul falls on Shabbos and other months when the second day of Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbos. There is an advantage to the present month because when the first day of Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbos, this endows the second day with a Shabbos-like quality as well.

The manner in which the quality of Shabbos dominates Rosh Chodesh is reflected in our prayers, where the Shabbos prayers are recited and the concept of Rosh Chodesh is merely added; the Grace after Meals, where Shabbos is mentioned before Rosh Chodesh; and in Kiddush and the blessings after the Haftorah where Rosh Chodesh is not mentioned at all.5 This further emphasizes the Shabbos-like quality of the day.

On a deeper level, the precedence of Shabbos over Rosh Chodesh can be explained as follows: Shabbos existed from the beginning of creation and indeed, our Sages relate that Shabbos preceded creation.6 In contrast, it was not until “the Holy One, blessed be He, chose His world” that “He establishedRasheiChadashim.”7

Thus the fact that the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul falls on Shabbos indicates that the service of “I am my Beloved’s” must be infused with a quality of transcendence that is entirely above the limits of the creation. And this is particularly emphasized by the Torah reading which begins “Behold, I am granting you...” which as explained above indicates how the blessing fromAnochi, “G‑d’s essence,” becomes internalized within man’s consciousness and enhances his service within the limits of his worldly environment.

* * *

3. In truth, the potential for service of G‑d without any limitations will only be possible in the Era of Redemption. This level of service stems from theyechidah, the essence of the Jewish soul. Mashiach represents the yechidah of the entire Jewish people. Hence, his coming allows each Jew to reveal hisyechidah, the spark of Mashiach in his soul. This will introduce this limitless quality into the service of the people as a whole.

Mashiach’s coming is imminent. For our Sages declared, “All the appointed times for Mashiach’s coming have passed,” and it is one of the fundamental principles of our faith to “wait for his coming every day.” In particular, however, the above is relevant in the present year, a year when “I will show you wonders.” And we have seen wonders, miracles that have brought redemption to many individuals and indeed, redemption to thousands of people, especially to Jews in Russia. Many have been granted permission to leave that country and even those who have remained have been granted the rights to observe Torah and mitzvos and to live their lives as Jews.

Furthermore, in these very days, a greater wonder has taken place. A International Convention of Shluchim has been held in Russia, with sittings inLubavitch, in Alma Atta [the site of the grave of the Rebbe Shlita’s father], and in Moscow, the capital city of that country. There resolutions were taken to spread Yiddishkeit and Chassidus in Russia and throughout the world.

Despite these wonders, when we reach the month of Elul, must take stock and ask: Is it possible that eleven months of this year have passed and Mashiachhas not come! The sum total of the stocktaking is AdMaasei, “Until when must we remain in exile.”

To connect the above with Parshas Re’eh: It is not enough that we believe thatMashiach will come, we want to actually see his coming. And the present occasion is a uniquely appropriate time for his coming. Firstly, it is Shabbos which is “a microcosm of the World to Come.” Furthermore, this is the third of the seven Shabbasos of Consolation and thus shares a connection to the ThirdBeis HaMikdash.

Also, since today is the thirtieth day of the month of Av, it represents the sum total of that month. Av is connected with the Redemption for the month is referred to as Menachem Av and our Sages state that Menachem is the name of the Mashiach. The connection is further emphasized by our Sages’ statement that:

A lion (Nebuchadnetzar) came in the month whose sign is a lion and destroyedArie-l (“the lion of G‑d,” the Beis HaMikdash), so that a lion (G‑d) would come in the month whose sign is a lion and rebuild Ariel.

And on Parshas Re’eh, we can — as mentioned above — demand that G‑d bring the Redemption in a manner that allows it to be openly seen.8 And this is particularly true since these statements are being made at a Chassidicfarbrengen. A farbrengen has the power to draw down Divine blessing. And this is particularly true when the farbrengen is attended by many people and is being held in the shul, house of study, and house of good deeds, of the Previous Rebbe. May this farbrengen have the power of drawing down the ultimate blessing, the coming of Mashiach.

To conclude with directives for action: Efforts should be made to publicize the five services connected with the month of Elul. In particular, emphasis should be placed on the service of Redemption, and this should influence all the other services. I.e., the totality of one’s service to G‑d should be infused with a dimension of infinity that comes about from anxious anticipation of the Redemption.

This anticipation should be so powerful that one actually considers the Redemption a reality. And when his happens, one should share this feeling with others, telling them that we can actually see the coming of the ultimate Redemption.

Furthermore, even a person who has not fully internalized the conception of the Redemption in his own mind should make efforts to spread this concept to others, beginning with his own family and circle of acquaintances. Why should one’s own failure to internalize these concepts cause others to be denied this knowledge?

And ultimately talking about the Redemption will precipitate its coming. And it will cause it to come immediately. Indeed, the potential exists for Mashiach to come this very Shabbos.

 

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