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Newsletter

Shabbos Vayetzei | 6-13 Kislev, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI NOV 24th
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:05 pm

SHABBOS SAT NOV 25th 
Shacharis: 9 am  
Mincha 4:04 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:07 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush Lite. Rabbi Mendy is making the delicious meat chulent sponsored by Rabbi Alter and Debbie Levitin. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am  
Mon- Fri 7 am 
Sun -Tue Mincha 4:10 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 4:57 pm/

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

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

FARBRENGEN ALERT –FRI NOV 24th 3:00 PM
In honor of Tes Kislev (this coming Monday), the birthday and yahrzeit of the second Lubvatcher Rebbi, Rabbi DovBer . In front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah. 

CSTL TOT PROGRAM
There will not be a Tot program (0-5) year olds this Shabbos. This program is now volunteer-led. If you are interested in volunteering from time to time, please email
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

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

AVOS U’BONIM SAT NIGHT NOV 25th 6:30pm at CSTL
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.  Refreshments.  Grand Raffle.  Prizes.  Info:  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

FARBRENGEN ALERT –MON NOV 27th 9/10 KISLEV
In honor of  Yud/Tes Kislev (this coming Monday), the birthday/yahrzeit and day of Liberation  (1862) of the second Lubvatcher Rebbi, Rabbi DovBer Venue to be announced.

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

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

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

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

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

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


COMMUNITY NEWS

Melava Malka and Tractate Shabbat Learning - Sat Nov 25th 
At Mercaz, 5240 38th Ave. NE Seattle 
www.MercazSeattle.org

EB LADIES AUXILIARY BAKING NOV 27
The EB Ladies Auxiliary WILL BE baking spinach bulemas this Monday, November  27.   As always, volunteer bakers (and packers) are welcome to join them for baking, conversation, and lunch.  
www.ezrabessaroth.net

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

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle"Connections 2018" Sun Jan28th 11 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info:
www.jewishinseattle.org

THE MEDRASHA OF SEATTLE WOMEN’S LEARNING Nov 26th 9 am 
All women of the community are invited to attend. At Rabbi Meyer’s home 5221 South Brandon.
www.ezrabessaroth.net  rabbimeyers@gmail.com

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

Chavrusa Learning Program with Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum  Sun, Nov 18th 8:50 am
At the BCMH Beis Midrash. All levels welcome. Followed by Shiur at 9:40 am.

Project DVORA Self-Care Group Mon Nov 6th to Dec 11th 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
This is a free six-week workshop for women who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. It will spotlight a different form of self-care each week, including exercise, spirituality and tender loving care during the holidays. Location will be at a secure and safe place in Seattle. Register with Project DVORA Domestic Violence Services at (206) 861-3159 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jewish Family Service Kosher Food Bank 
Please RSVP by emailing 
emagasis@jfsseattle.org , or bsindel@jfsseattle.org  before November 1st if you plan to attend, so that we can be adequately prepared. http://www.jfsseattle.org/event/kosher-food-bank-2017/?instance_id=2502

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

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


REBBE’S SICHO FOR VAYETZEI
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347331/jewish/Likkutei-Sichot-Vayeitzei.htm Adapted from (Adapted from Sichos Gimmel Cheshvan, 5721 and Sichos Lag BaOmer, 5710 Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

Yaakov is described as “the chosen one of the Patriarchs.”1 Among the unique characteristics by which Yaakov can be distinguished from the other Patriarchs is the posterity which he left. “From Avraham descended Yishmael, and from Yitzchak descended Esav;”2 i.e., their holiness did not encompass all of their children.

In particular, the Hebrew phrase translated as “descended,” ממנו יצא , literally means “he went out from him,” i.e., Yishmael and Esav withdrew their connection to Avraham and Yitzchak. With regard to Yaakov, by contrast, it is stated: “his posterity was perfect”;3 the holiness of Yaakov our Patriarch encompassed all his descendants.

It is true that with regard to Reuven, it is said:4 “He profaned his father’s couch.” Our Sages, however, state5 that this does not mean he committed a sin. “Whoever says Reuven sinned is surely speaking in error.” Reuven was defending his mother’s honor.

But the very fact that the Torah relates this incident in a manner which can be interpreted to mean that Reuven sinned indicates that with regard to his high spiritual plane, his action surely reflected a deficiency, as explained in the works of our Sages6 and in the teachings of Chassidus, beginning with the Baal Shem Tov.7 Nonetheless, Reuven received Yaakov’s entire spiritual heritage indeed, to a greater degree than his brothers, as it says:8 “greater in position and in power.” Even in his decline, he is described9 as “Yaakov’s firstborn.”

(This is a position of status, as reflected in our Sages interpretation10 of the command:11 “Honor your father and mother.” The Hebrew statement employs the word את which our Sages interpret as “including the elder brother,” i.e., the honor due one’s elder brother is an extension of the honor due one’s father. R. Chayim Vital explains12 that the primary dimension of the father’s spirit is invested in his eldest son. Thus by honoring the eldest son, one is honoring the father.)

The uniqueness of Yaakov’s posterity enables us to comprehend the statement of the Talmud:13 “The beauty of Yaakov is comparable to the beauty of Adam, the first man.” Within Adam were included all the souls of the subsequent generations. Therefore every one of his deeds affected mankind in its entirety. As such, the spiritual decline he suffered through the sin of the Tree of Knowledge brought about a decline in all subsequent generations. For this reason, there are righteous men who died “because of the counsel of the serpent,”14 i.e., the only reason they were forced to leave this world is the sin of Adam, the first man.

Similarly, Yaakov possessed “the beauty of Adam,” i.e., he also included within him the souls of all subsequent generations. As such, all his positive achievements affected his descendants as well for “a positive attribute is more powerful than the attribute of retribution.”15

Empowering His Descendants

The stories in the Torah are not merely chronicles of history, but rather lessons in our Divine service.16 This is particularly true with regard to “the deeds of the Patriarchs,” which serve as “a sign for their descendants.”17 From the above explanations, it is apparent that all the events which the Torah describes in the life of Yaakov contain even greater significance, for their ripples are felt in the souls of the entire Jewish people; they were all included in his soul.

The Torah’s narratives concerning Yaakov serve as pointers and empowerment for the souls of his descendants as they are revealed in this physical world. Indeed, the directives derived from these narratives have a greater relevance than those derived from the narratives concerning Avraham or Yitzchak.

A Mission and its Fruits

In Parshas Vayeitzei, the Torah relates that Yaakov left Beer Sheva in Eretz Yisrael to journey to Lavan’s home in Charan. As he began his journey, “he encountered the place.”18 Afterwards, the Torah relates that he arrived at Lavan’s home, where he worked for 20 years, married, and raised his family. And the parshah concludes by describing his return to Eretz Yisrael , at which time he was “met by angels of G‑d.”19

As mentioned above, all these events are relevant and serve as directives for every Jew. The mission of every Jew is to leave Eretz Yisrael , and “the tents of Shem and Ever,”20 i.e., the environment of Torah scholarship, for the intent of study is “to bring to deed.” This involves “going to Charan,” a place associated with the arousal of G‑d’s anger,21 i.e., it is necessary to go to the very hub of the world. There one will encounter Lavan the Aramite, and one’s service will involve elevating the sparks of holiness which he possesses. It is in such an environment that a Jew must establish “perfect progeny.”

If a person follows this course of action, the “journey to Charan” will not involve a genuine descent. Instead, “the man [will have] prodigious success”22 in both material and spiritual matters. And ultimately, as one returns to Eretz Yisrael, he will be “met by the angels of G‑d.”

The Zohar23 contrasts Yaakov’s departure for Charan with his departure for Eretz Yisrael , and explains: Before Yaakov went to Charan to work and raise his family, it is written: “he encountered the place.” Although he had studied much Torah in the School of Ever, it was he who journeyed to and sought out “the place,” i.e., the place where G‑dliness was revealed. Moreover, the revelation came only in a dream.

After completing his mission in Charan, he was “met by angels of G‑d,” the angels and G‑d Himself, as it were24 sought him out. And this revelation did not come in a dream, but while he was awake.

(The Midrash25 states that Yaakov was met by 600,000 angels or 1,200,000 angels. The Zohar, the inner dimension of the Torah, reveals the inner dimension of this experience, and explains that it was G‑d Himself who was revealed to him.)

Similar concepts apply with regard to every Jew. As long as he is “in Eretz Yisrael,” i.e., involved in matters of holiness, with his own concerns, he may be able to scale great heights, but he can never attain the peaks to which he can ascend after his “journey to Charan,” working with the world, drawing other Jews close to their heritage, making them Jews, as it were.

And when a person “leaves Eretz Yisrael ” to go out and work in the world and with other Jews, he is imbued with strength from above to carry out his mission. This is alluded to by the phrase, “he encountered the place.”

Afterwards, when he has accomplished his mission, through his Divine service he will draw down a higher light for the “arousal from above” that follows an “arousal from below” is superior26 and he is “met by the angels of G‑d.”

(Adapted from Sichos Gimmel Cheshvan, 5721)

Where Yaakov and Lavan Contended

The above discussion communicates the general message of the Torah reading. Nevertheless, as explained above, every event in Yaakov’s journey to Charan, and everything that happened to him there, holds lessons for us in our Divine service.27

To focus on one of these points: On the verse,28 “He slept in that place,” the Midrash comments:29“Here, he slept. But in the 14 years in which he hid [studying Torah] in the School of Ever, he did not sleep.” Alternatively, the Midrash states: “For the 20 years during which he stayed in the house of Lavan, he did not sleep.” This is reflected by the verse:30 “Sleep was snatched from my eyes.” Indeed, he did not even lie down at night.

The second interpretation is problematic. We can understand why Yaakov did not sleep while he was in the School of Ever; he was studying Torah. But why did he have to display such self-sacrifice while working for Lavan?31

Based on the above, this concept can be understood: the purpose of Yaakov’s journey to Charan and his activities there was to refine the world, to elevate the sparks of holiness that existed in Lavan’s domain. And due to his commitment to this goal, he did not sleep at all. For at all times, he had to fortify himself against the designs of Lavan, who sought to foil Yaakov’s efforts to refine his environment.

Lavan told Yaakov:32 “The daughters are my daughters; the sons are my sons; the flocks are my flocks.” What was Lavan’s contention against Yaakov? What point was Lavan making? And what argument do Lavan’s spiritual heirs offer Yaakov’s descendants?

Lavan told him: “You are an elderly Jew, and can do as you like. You’re part of the old world, anyway. Go study the Torah day and night, who cares? But the children, that’s another story! They’re part of the modern world. They’re my children. Why do you want to impair them? If you continue in your path, they will not be able to adjust to the world.

“You want to teach them Yiddishkeit. All right, but do it in a modern way, with new methods. Don’t make them into good-for-nothings.”

And similarly, when it came to the sheep, Lavan told him: “I don’t interfere in the way you study or pray, that’s your domain. But business is my realm. ‘The sheep are mine.’

“You’ve got to do things my way. If you want to make a profit, you can’t be so careful about the prohibitions against deceit, against taking away another person’s livelihood, and the like. If you follow the Torah path in business, it’s hard to make a living.”

To counter this approach, it was necessary for Yaakov to lose sleep, indeed, not even to lie down. Such self-sacrifice was necessary not only for studying in the School of Ever, but also for his family and material concerns those matters to which Lavan had a claim. That’s what Yaakov meant when he said:33 “I worked for you 14 years for your daughters, and six years for your flocks,” i.e., with painstaking labor, I made sure that everything concerning these matters was conducted according to the Torah. In this way, he refined the sparks of holiness that were in Lavan’s domain, and drew down G‑dliness into these material affairs.

The Key to Empowerment

The above also enables us to understand the continuation of the abovementioned passage from theMidrash, which states: “What did he say [during the night while guarding Lavan’s flocks]?” and responds: “The 15 psalms beginning with Shir HaMaalos in the Book of Tehillim,” as reflected in the verse:34 “Shir HaMaalos: … Let Yisrael say.” Yisrael refers to our Patriarch Yisrael.

Alternatively, the Midrash states that he would recite the entire Book of Tehillim, as it is written:35“And You, O Holy One, are enthroned upon the praises of Yisrael.” Yisrael refers to our Patriarch Yisrael. He would relate G‑d’s praises, the Book of Tehillim.

On the surface, it is difficult to understand the Midrash’s question: “What did he say?” What Yaakov did at night is obvious: he guarded Lavan’s sheep. But it is also obvious that Yaakov would not sacrifice himself to this extent merely to guard sheep. Obviously, his intent was to elevate sparks of holiness. The Midrash was asking: What empowered Yaakov to carry out this mission? How was it possible that while being involved with lowly matters such as tending Lavan’s sheep, he was able to maintain his own spiritual level and elevate the entities in Lavan’s domain as well?

And to this question, the Midrash replies that he recited:36 “Shir HaMaalos: I lift my eyes to the mountains. From where will my help come?” The Hebrew word מאין , translated as “from where” also means “from nothingness.” Both the simple and the extended meaning of the verse are relevant. The simple meaning reflects Yaakov’s realization that with his own power, there was nothing he could do. So he sought help from Above. And the extended meaning shows that he understood the way to draw down this Divine assistance through utter selflessness. He would rely only on G‑d, as the psalm continues:37 “My help is from G‑d,” and this Divine support empowered him to refine the sparks of G‑dliness that existed in Lavan’s domain.

Through his efforts, he revealed that G‑d is “the Maker of heaven and earth.” Not only is G‑d Master of the heavens, (i.e., spiritual concerns, the Torah which Yaakov studied in the School of Ever), He is also Master of the earth, the worldly concerns which Yaakov encountered in Charan (“the place which aroused G‑d’s anger”), the environment of Lavan.

Following Yaakov’s Example

The particular elements of the narrative concerning Yaakov also serve as directives for our Divine service. In our involvement with worldly matters, we must take twofold precautions:

a) Before “going to Charan,” a person must immerse himself in the study of Torah and in prayer, without any involvement in worldly concerns. Thus while Yaakov stayed in the School of Ever, he was totally absorbed in the study of Torah. And before leaving for Charan, “he encountered the place,” i.e., he made a commitment of prayer.38

b) Even when a person is “in Charan,” and “working for Lavan,” he must be involved in Divine service, through reciting Tehillim and the like.39 This is what elicits Divine assistance in carrying out the mission for which Divine Providence has sent one to Charan.

Moreover, this pattern should also be followed in a Jew’s everyday life. At the beginning of the day, before he becomes involved in his business concerns, a Jew should devote a formidable block of time to prayer and study. The first thing a Jew should do when wakes up is daven. After davenning, everyone should set aside a fixed time to study Torah.40

As explained in Likkutei Torah, Parshas Berachah (96a), the Torah studied before prayer is merely an outgrowth of the sublime Chochmah. Through the yichudim established in prayer, the revelation of the sublime Chochmah itself is drawn down into the Torah, and not merely its outgrowths.

From this statement, we can appreciate that the advantage of having prayer precede the study of Torah applies only after the giving of the Torah. From the standpoint of the Torah, it was only at the giving of the Torah that the potential was granted to draw down its essence, and not merely its ethereal dimensions (see Shir HaShirim Rabbah to Shir HaShirim 1:3). And from the standpoint of prayer, it was only at the giving of the Torah that the decree preventing the lower creations from ascending to the spiritual realms was rescinded (see Shmos Rabbah 12:3).

This was not true during the era of the Patriarchs. (See the maamar entitled Imras Havayah Tzarufah, Sefer HaMaamarim Kuntresim, Vol. I, p. 352.) At that time, Divine service could not rise above the spiritual source of the created beings. And thus in that age there was an advantage to the Patriarchs’ Torah study (and in particular, that of Yaakov, who was identified with this mode of Divine service) above their prayer. (This applies even to the study of Torah before prayer.) For their Torah study drew down at least an ethereal dimension of sublime wisdom.

On the surface, however, it would appear that the above is not true. For the Patriarchs instituted the prayer services. Indeed the prayers (even those recited after the giving of the Torah) were instituted by the Patriarchs (Berachos 26b). For this reason the prayers are given the status of a Torah statute (Taanis 28a). This is not the place to elaborate on this issue. Only after becoming satiated with prayer and study should one involve oneself with business.

Moreover, even when a person is involved in his business concerns, they should be only “the labor of your hands,”41 i.e., they should involve only our hands, the superficial dimensions of our being. One’s mind, by contrast, should be concerned with a chapter of Mishnayos, a passage of Tanya, or a verse in Tehillim.

In addition, while conducting one’s affairs in the business world, it must be obvious that one is different from other people, as it is written:42 “I [Moshe] and Your people will be distinguished from all the nations on the face of the earth.” A Jew must always stand out from his environment by virtue of his holy conduct, i.e., “Know[ing G‑d] in all your ways.”43

Growing up in Yaakov’s Footsteps

This emphasis on holiness must be especially evident in the methods by which children are educated. Education begins in the manner in which the home is run. Needless to say, one’s home should be different from the homes of the gentiles. Nevertheless, this is not sufficient, as one’s home should also be on a higher level of holiness than those of the majority of Torah-observant Jews. For in many of these homes, the prevailing attitudes resemble those of the world at large.44 Instead, it is the Torah Yiddishkeit and holiness which should permeate every dimension of the home.

This also is reflected in the conduct of the Patriarchs, and in particular in the home environment established by Yaakov. It is written:45 “And Reuven was walking during the time of the wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field.” On this verse, Rashi comments: “This reflects the praise of Yaakov’s children. Although it was harvest time, they did not steal anything and bring home wheat or barley. Instead, they took an ownerless plant that grows wild, about which no one would care.”

Rashi’ s words: “This reflects the praise of Yaakov’s children” indicates that the surrounding people did not conduct themselves in this manner. Nevertheless, Yaakov’s children knew that their conduct must be different. Every dimension of their behavior reflected the Torah’s path of holiness. Yaakov had structured his home in a manner that distinguished it from the homes around him.

There is no need to follow the prevailing modes of society. Children must know that their father and mother are different from other parents. Other women dress in clothes that do not necessarily reflect a strong commitment to tzniyus, but their mother dresses according to the highest standards oftzniyus. Other fathers do not refrain from deceiving a client in business, but their father does not attempt to deceive anyone, and instead conducts his business scrupulously.

Even when a child is very young and cannot appreciate every aspect of the Torah’s path of holiness, he will be able to sense that his home is different from all others. Such a child will not model his conduct on that of the children around him. When he sees that other children are conducting themselves improperly, he will conduct himself differently. When he sees that they take from other people’s fields, gathering not only wild, ownerless plants like mandrakes, he understands that he should not act this way; he knows these aren’t the types of friends he should have.

Such is the conduct that produces a tribe of Reuven and a tribe of Yissachar (who was born as a result of the events which ensued due to Reuven’s discovery of the mandrakes). Reuven and Yissachar were tribes which produced the heads of Jewish courts,46 and the Sages upon whose rulings the halachah is based.47

When a Jewish child is trained from the earliest ages onward to sense that he is different from other children, when he grows older, he will not seek to learn from other children his age. Instead, he goes away as Yaakov our Patriarch did and studies G‑d’s Torah. Even his ordinary speech should be comprised solely of words of Torah, as reflected in the interpretation of the command:48 “And you shall speak of them.”

In this manner, he will mature and, like Yaakov, marry and involve himself in the world at large. He will establish a family, and work to support it. Even at this time of his life, such a person will have fixed periods for Torah study every day. And when he is involved with his material concerns, he will “recite Shir HaMaalos,” showing that he relies totally on G‑d.

As a consequence, all his business affairs will be conducted according to the Torah’s guidelines.

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Vayeishev, 5711, 
and Sichos Simchas Torah, 5715)

Drawing Boundaries

We can now understand another aspect of the parshah. The conclusion of the parshah relates that Yaakov and Lavan set up a mound of stones to mark the border between them, and agreed that neither would cross this border to harm each other. They would, however, be allowed to cross for commercial reasons.49

What purpose does the mound serve?

To refine material existence, Yaakov had to go to Lavan in Charan to elevate the sparks of G‑dliness enclothed there. Nevertheless, Yaakov must know that there is a boundary separating him from Lavan. He must realize that, with the exception of this mission, he should have nothing to do with Lavan. A Jew may be involved with worldly matters, but must also separate himself from such concerns. This protects him, and enables him to proceed with confidence, knowing that dealing with Lavan will not cause his own downfall. On the contrary, it is through these activities that he will transform the world into a receptacle for G‑dliness, as reflected in the verse:50 “G‑d has taken away the cattle of your father and has given it to me.”

Reconciling the Spiritual with the Material

The power to carry out the Divine service associated with this boundary to involve oneself in worldly matters while remaining separated from worldly concerns and in this manner, to make the world a receptacle for G‑dliness comes from the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah, the Torah’s inner dimensions.51 For it is the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah which leads to the understanding that “there is nothing else apart from Him”52 ; the world’s entire existence is G‑dliness.

This also explains why our efforts to “spread the wellsprings of Chassidus outward” publicizing and disseminating the inner dimensions of the Torah will bring about Mashiach s coming.53 Mashiachwill not nullify the existence of the material world. Instead, he will show that it is a receptacle for G‑dliness. At that time, even physical flesh will openly appreciate G‑dliness, as it is written:54 “The glory of G‑d will be revealed, and together, all flesh will see that the mouth of G‑d has spoken.”

Toldos Machar Chodesh Kislev | Marcheshvan 28 – 6 Kislev, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI NOV 17th 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:11 pm

SHABBOS SAT NOV 18th 
Tehilim for Mevarchim Kislev 7:30 am
Shacharis: 9 am  
Mincha 4:11 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:12 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush Lite. Rabbi Mendy is making the delicious meat chulent sponsored by Rabbi Alter and Debbie Levitin. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am  //ROSH CHODESH KISLEV/
Mon- Fri 7 am 
Sun -Tue Mincha 4:15 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:02 pm/

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

FARBRENGEN ALERT –FRI NOV 17th 3:30 PM
In honor of Shabbos Mevarchim Kislev and the holiday of Sigd
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigd. In front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah. 

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

FARBRENGEN ALERT –SUN 1 KISLEV
In honor of the Rebbe’s recovery on 1 Kislev in 1977, when the first time since suffering a major heart attack five weeks earlier, the Rebbe left his office in 770 Eastern Parkway and returned to his home, signaling his recovery. Chassidim all over rejoiced at the good news. From that day on, the Rebbe redoubled his efforts on behalf of the Jewish nation and all of humanity, and for the dissemination of Torah and chassidism. From then on, the first of Kislev is celebrated as a day of thanksgiving and rejoicing. Venue to be announced.

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

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

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

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

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

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


COMMUNITY NEWS

Thanksgiving Day Learning at the Kollel. Thu Nov 23rd 
More info: 
www.seattlekollel.com

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

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle"Connections 2018" SunJan28th 11 am
At the Westin Hotel, Seattle.Guest speaker Susan Stamberg. To register or more info:
www.jewishinseattle.org

Community Trip to Israel April 29 - May 8, 2018
More info: www.jewishinseattle.org/Israel-trip or (206) 774-2217

ONLINE BEGINNERS' TALMUD CLASS EVERY TUESDAY
More info and registration: 
rabbimeyers@gmail.com

THE MEDRASHA OF SEATTLE WOMEN’S LEARNING Nov 17th 9 am 
All women of the community are invited to attend this Sunday's annual shiur in memory of Daniel Posner a"h. The topic: "Empathy, Sensitivity and the Acquisition of Torah". Thank you to Judy and Noam Posner for their generous Midrasha sponsorship. At Rabbi Meyer’s home 5221 South Brandon.
www.ezrabessaroth.net  rabbimeyers@gmail.com

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

Chavrusa Learning Program with Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum  Sun, Nov 18th 8:50 am
At the BCMH Beis Midrash. All levels welcome. Followed by Shiur at 9:40 am.

Project DVORA Self-Care Group Mon Nov 6th to Dec 11th 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
This is a free six-week workshop for women who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. It will spotlight a different form of self-care each week, including exercise, spirituality and tender loving care during the holidays. Location will be at a secure and safe place in Seattle. Register with Project DVORA Domestic Violence Services at (206) 861-3159 .

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

NAMI Family-to-Family Class Tue Oct 17th – Jan 9th 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) presents a free 12-week class for adult family and friends of people living with mental illness, providing support and information about serious mental illness. Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, including presentations, discussion and interactive exercises. This Family-to-Family class will also include consideration of Jewish cultural attitudes around mental illness and opportunities to discuss specific Jewish issues that arise when caring for a family member. Facilitated by Rabbi Dov Gartenberg and Steve Krom. JFS Capitol Hill Campus, 1601 16th Avenue, Seattle. RSVP to Talya Gillman or call (206) 861-8784 for more information.

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

Melava Malka and Tractate Shabbat Learning - Sat Nov 25th 
At Mercaz, 5240 38th Ave. NE Seattle 
www.MercazSeattle.org

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

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

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

Jewish Family Service Kosher Food Bank 
Please RSVP by emailing 
emagasis@jfsseattle.org , or bsindel@jfsseattle.org  before November 1st if you plan to attend, so that we can be adequately prepared. http://www.jfsseattle.org/event/kosher-food-bank-2017/?instance_id=2502

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

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


REBBE’S SICHO FOR TOLDOS
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347329/jewish/Likkutei-Sichot-Chayei-Sarah.htm Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Mevorchim Kislev, 5721
Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

On the verse:1 “And these are the chronicles of Yitzchak the son of Avraham; Avraham begat Yitzchak,” the commentaries note that one of the phrases, “Yitzchak the son of Avraham” and “Avraham begat Yitzchak,” seems redundant. Several explanations are given, among them:

a) The Talmud and Midrash state2 that the peoples of the world were gossiping that Avraham was not Yitzchak’s father. Therefore G‑d caused Yitzchak’s countenance to resemble that of Avraham, making it undeniable that it was Avraham who begat him. Not only was “Yitzchak the son of Avraham,” but everyone acknowledged that: “Avraham begat Yitzchak.”

b) The Midrash3 explains the redundance as follows: “Yitzchak the son of Avraham” indicates that Yitzchak took pride in Avraham. “Avraham begat Yitzchak” indicates that Avraham took pride in Yitzchak.

c) In Chassidus,4 it is explained that the Divine service of Avraham centered on the attributes of kindness and love, while the Divine service of Yitzchak centered on the attributes of might and fear.

More particularly, the paths of both love and fear each contain a lower and a higher level. The lower level of fear involves the fear of transgressing G‑d’s will because of the punishment one will receive for sinning. On a deeper level, it means fearing the negative consequences of sin.

The higher level of fear is the awe of G‑d’s majesty; a person is ashamed to commit a sin because of his awareness of G‑d’s majesty. On this level, one fears sin itself, for all sin is against G‑d’s will.5

Similarly, with regard to the two levels of love. The lower level, referred to as “diminutive love,” refers to the love a person feels for G‑d as a result of his personal satisfaction, either with material things or, on a more refined level, with spiritual blessings. The higher level of love, “abundant love,” refers to a love for G‑d which motivates one to fulfill His will without thought of reward, and without consideration for one’s own good.

“The deeds of the Patriarchs are a sign for their descendants.”6With the verse cited above, the Torah thus indicates that every Jew’s Divine service involves two dimensions resulting from Avraham, i.e., two levels of love, and two dimensions resulting from Yitzchak, two levels of fear.

The lower levels of love and fear are revealed before the higher levels, as reflected in our Sages’ statement:7 “A person should always involve himself in the Torah and its mitzvos for an improper intent” i.e., seeking his own benefit (the motivation for the lower levels of love and fear) “for from [Divine service] for an improper intent comes [Divine service] for the proper intent” the higher levels of love and fear.

Moreover, as explained in Chassidus,8 the order of the names in the verse alludes to the sequence in which these rungs of Divine service are usually reached. The initial level is associated with Yitzchak the lower level of fear and then one proceeds to Avraham, the lower level of love. Afterwards, Avraham is mentioned a second time, alluding to the higher level of love, and then a second mention is made of Yitzchak, alluding to the higher level of fear.

This serves as a directive for every Jew. We must serve G‑d with both love and fear.9 This is also reflected in our Sages’ statement:10“Only three are referred to as Patriarchs: Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov.” They are cosidered the ancestors of the entire Jewish people, because each imparts the attribute which is his spiritual heritage to every one of his descendants.

The 12 tribes also reflect fundamental paths in Divine service, but it is not necessary for every Jew to express each of these paths. Every Jew follows the path that characterizes the tribe from which he descends, and does not necessarily share in the Divine service of the other tribes. With regard to the Patriarchs, by contrast, every Jew must embrace the attributes passed on by each of the Patriarchs.

If a person follows only one path either love without fear, or fear without love this is not service. By nature, every person has a tendency towards either kindness or might;11 by following that one path, he is merely expressing his natural disposition. Service means going beyond one’s natural tendencies,12 and involving both emotional thrusts.

A fourth interpretation of the above verse stems from the Midrash Nealam in the Zohar,13 which states that Avraham alludes to the soul. Zohar14 explains that Sarah’s death alludes to the decomposition of the body into the four elements of existence. Thus in the verse:15 “And Sarah died in Kiryas Arba, which is Chebron, in the land of Canaan,” Sarah serves an allusion to the body, and Kiryas Arba (lit. “the village of the four”) is a reference to the four elements. While Sarah lived in “the land of Canaan,” i.e., our material world, these four elements are joined together (chibur, joining together, shares the same root as Chebron). Afterwards,16 when “Avraham rose from beside his dead,” the soul, which is above death and decomposition, ascends.}

In this context, Yitzchak stands for laughter and pleasure, which in the ultimate sense refers to the pleasure which the soul will experience in the Era of the Redemption. On this basis, we can understand the above verse: “Yitzchak, the son of Avraham” teaches us that the soul (Avraham) will merit pleasure (Yitzchak) in the Era of the Redemption. Why will the soul merit such revelations? Because “Avraham begat Yitzchak”; through its Divine service in this world, the soul has generated the pleasure which it will experience in the Era of the Redemption.

Seeking a Common Factor

As explained on a previous occasion, whenever our Sages have offered several interpretations of a verse, these varying understandings all share a point of connection. To cite an allusion to this concept: Our Sages17 interpret the word shaatnez as a conglomerate of three terms: shua (straightened, combed), tevei(spun), and nuz (woven). And they explain that because the Torah combines all three terms in one word, they share a connection. As such, according to Scriptural law,18 the prohibition against shaatnez(the combination of wool and linen) involves all three of these phases: spinning these fabrics into thread together, weaving a garment from this combined thread, and then combing it out so that its surface is flat. A person is not liable for transgressing this prohibition if he wears a garment which was made by performing only one or two of these activities. It is only when all three activities were involved in making the garment that Scriptural law holds him liable.

Thus we see that the combination of different letters in one word although each has a different meaning points to a connection between them. Similarly and to a greater extent, when considering the verse above since all four interpretations are derived from the same letters, there is surely a connection between them.

This connection can be explained by focusing on the mandate for our conduct which results from each interpretation, for indeed every narrative of the Torah provides us with lessons to be applied in our lives.19 According to Chassidus, the directive is obvious: as stated above, every person must carry out his Divine service inspired by feelings of both love and fear. And moreover, this interpretation points out the stages of progress to the desired levels of love and fear.

Similarly, from the interpretation of the Zohar, one can appreciate why the Torah tells us: “And these are the chronicles of Yitzchak the son of Avraham; Avraham begat Yitzchak.” For it is important for us to know that through Divine service, a soul can draw down pleasure, and that the pleasure which is drawn down will be revealed in the Era of the Redemption. Awareness of the reward generated by the performance of a mitzvah facilitates the mitzvah’sobservance, and infuses our Divine service with vitality.

With regard to the first two interpretations mentioned above, however, the implication for our Divine service is not as apparent. What is the relevance of the fact that Avraham’s contemporaries gossiped that Yitzchak was not Avraham’s son (and therefore G‑d caused Yitzchak’s countenance to resemble Avraham’s)? And what can we learn from the fact that Yitzchak took pride in Avraham and Avraham took pride in Yitzchak?

Beyond Nature’s Boundaries

The latter two questions can be resolved by focusing on the fact that both the interpretation offered by the Talmud and that offered by the Midrash reflect transcendent influences. According to the laws of nature, Avraham was physically incapable of fathering children.20 Moreover, even the sources of influence in the spiritual realms (the mazalos) reflected this incapacity. Thus our Sages interpret21 the verse:22 “And He took him outside,” to mean that G‑d told Avraham: “Go out from your astrological predictions.” And indeed, for Avraham to father children required that G‑d take him beyond the limits of ordinary spiritual influences.

Similarly, the fact that Avraham could take pride in Yitzchak reflects an influence which surpasses nature. For according to the natural pattern of entropy, there is an inherent motive toward spiritual decline; each successive generation descends in spiritual level. Thus our Sages comment:23 “If the men of the earlier generations were like angels, we can be considered as men.”

For Avraham to take pride in Yitzchak’s greatness is therefore unnatural. Since Yitzchak was born into a later generation, the fact that he had positive qualities which enhanced the perfection of Avraham reflects a transcendent influence. (This concept is amplified by the literal meaning of the Midrash’s words: “Avraham was crowned by Yitzchak.” For a crown makes the person who wears it appear more attractive. In the same way, Yitzchak’s spiritual qualities complemented and enhanced those possessed by Avraham.)

On this basis, we can appreciate the lesson derived from these passages. Every Jew must realize that he is not bound by the limitations of nature. And this does not apply only to spiritual matters, but to material existence as well.

Even before Yitzchak was born, Avraham had left a spiritual posterity. As our Sages comment:24 “Good deeds are the progeny of righteous men.” And this is particularly true according to the teachings of the Kabbalah,25 which explain that a marital union in the spirit of the Torah always conceives spiritual progeny.

With the birth of Yitzchak, it became manifest that, even with regard to leaving material progeny, Avraham was not bound by the limitations of nature.

The “mockers of the generation,”26 will come and say: “Sarah conceived with Avimelech,” i.e., in every era, those who counter the forces of holiness27 will come to a Jew with a complaint: “When it comes to spiritual things, you have room for accomplishment, for these matters are not controlled by the rules of nature. But when it comes to material affairs such as the fathering of actual children, this is possible only through the medium of Avimelech. You have to accept the jurisdiction of the king or the ruling authority28 of the nation, for all material influence is dependent on him. It’s true that he is only a medium, but still, he is the medium through which this influence passes.”29

G‑d works a special miracle to refute this argument. He causes Yitzchak’s countenance to resemble that of Avraham, so that it is obvious to all that “Avraham begat Yitzchak.” This proves that even a Jew’s material posterity does not come from Avimelech, but from Avraham.

And this concept is enhanced by the interpretation of the Zohar, which explains that Avraham refers to the soul. When a Jew arouses the powers of his soul and does not allow himself to be hindered by the body and his animal soul, his future even in a physical and material sense is not dependent on the laws of nature.

Even Our Material Concerns are above the Control of Natural Forces

On this basis, we can comprehend the words of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe:30

All the nations which are on the face of the earth must know that it is only our bodies which have been placed in exile, and under the dominion of other nations. Our souls have never been driven into exile, nor have they been placed under the dominion of other nations.

We must proclaim openly, so that all will know: When it comes to matters involving our faith, the Torah, its mitzvos, and Jewish custom, there is no [worldly] authority controlling us. And no means of compulsion will be [successfully] used against us.

The Rebbe’s statements seemingly require explanation: The soul is enclothed in a body and must observe the Torah and its mitzvoswith the material entities of this world. Since our bodies are in exile, of what avail is it that “our souls are not in exile”?

The resolution of this question depends on the concept explained above: that the arousal of the soul also affects the body and the material concerns with which it is involved, causing them as well to be above exile and the dominion of other nations.

This concept must be publicized in a manner that causes “All the nations which are on the face of the earth [to] know.” Indeed, even the “mockers of the generation” must be brought to the realization that they have no control over even the material influences which affect a Jew’s life.

The Interrelation of the Four Interpretations

On the basis of the above concepts, we can comprehend the connection shared by the interpretations mentioned in the Talmud, the Midrash, the Zohar, and Chassidus.

The Talmud, the fundamental text of Nigleh, the revealed dimensions of Torah law, interprets the verse in a way which relates to affairs as they exist in our world. On that level, there exist “the mockers of the generation,” and to refute their claims, the Torah teaches us that even a Jew’s material affairs are not bound by the limits of nature.

The Midrash (the realm of Aggadah)31 is an intermediary between the revealed dimensions of the Torah and its inner, mystic dimensions. Therefore, the Midrash speaks about the same concept that a Jew is not bound by the limitations of nature on a higher level, indicating that a Jew stands above the limitations that characterize Seder Hahishtalshelus, the chainlike progression of spiritual realms.

The fact that every subsequent generation represents a further spiritual descent reflects the natural order of spiritual existence. The Jewish people, however, are not bound by this pattern. On the contrary, “Grandchildren are the crown of the elders.”32 A crown rests above the head. For Jews, children are able to elevate their parents and grandparents. This reflects a level above the limitations of Seder HaHishtalshelus.

(This explains why the Midrash does not address itself to the assertions of the mockers and others who stem from the forces of evil. The Midrash is speaking about a level of spiritual reality at which there is no place for such assertions, and no need to respond to them.)

Chassidus places an emphasis on showing us paths to follow in our Divine service. As such, it clarifies the pattern of spiritual growth which will enable a person to rise above the limitations of nature and Seder HaHishtalshelus. When a Jew serves G‑d with two emotions, love and fear, and combines them, he alters the natural tendency of these emotions. For it is only in one’s Divine service that such a fusion is possible;33 otherwise, love and fear tend to remain separate.

When a person follows the teachings of Chassidus, and rises above his natural emotional tendencies, G‑d responds by showering the person with spiritual influence that transcends the limits of nature. This applies with regard to one’s spiritual levels (which relates to the interpretation of the Midrash) and also with regard to one’s material affairs (as reflected in the interpretation of the Talmud).

The Zohar, the mystical dimension of the Torah, shares a connection with and reveals what will take place in the Era of the Redemption. Thus it relates that through the Divine service implied by “And these are the chronicles of Yitzchak the son of Avraham; Avraham begat Yitzchak” as reflected in each of the three interpretations mentioned previously, a Jew merits the revelation of sublime pleasure.

The Ultimate Reward

In Chassidus,34 the Mishnah’s teaching:35 “The reward for a mitzvah is the mitzvah, ” is interpreted simply. The reward for a mitzvah is not an element added to the mitzvah ; it is the mitzvah itself. This dimension of the mitzvos will be revealed in the Era of the Redemption.

This amplifies the connection between the interpretation of the Zohar , which focuses on the reward we will receive for our Divine service, and the other three interpretations, which focus on the performance of that service. For “the reward for the mitzvos ” is not a separate entity, but rather “the mitzvah itself.”

The Sublime Pleasure  of the Era of the Redemption

At the naming of Yitzchak, Sarah exclaimed:36 “G‑d has created laughter for me.” Chassidus37 focuses on the fact that the name of G‑d employed by this verse is אלקים (Elokim), which refers to the Divine attribute of concealment, as alluded to in the verse:38 “As the sun and its shield, are הוי' (Havayah) and אלקים ,” i.e., the two names Havayah and Elokim are compared to the sun and its shield. Havayah, like the sun, serves as a source of energy. And Elokim resembles the shield which covers that light. For Elokim is numerically equivalent to the word HaTevah (הטבע),39 and nature conceals G‑dliness.

Nevertheless, through refining and elevating the different elements of nature that conceal G‑dliness, one fulfills the Divine intent of transforming this world into a dwelling for Him. And thus, “אלקיםhas created laughter for me”; this Divine service arouses pleasure above.

Man is created in the image of G‑d.40 Thus he possesses a body and soul which parallel Havayah and Elokim.41 The neshamahparallels the name Havayah, and the body which conceals the soul parallels the name Elokim. Here as well, it is the refinement of the body, that resembles Elokim, which arouses pleasure in the spiritual realms. For it is through these efforts that G‑d’s intent in creation is fulfilled.

Since G‑d’s intent lies in the refinement of the body, in the Era of the Redemption the body will be on a higher level than the soul. Moreover, in contrast to the present situation, in which the body receives its life-energy from the soul, in that era, the soul will derive its life-energy from the body.42

Nevertheless, since it is the soul which refines the body, the soul will also receive its reward, and in the Era of the Redemption will also partake of the sublime pleasure generated by its Divine service with the body.43

On this basis, we can appreciate the connection between the interpretation of the Zohar, which deals with the reward we will receive for our Divine service, and the other three interpretations, which focus on the Divine service itself. Our Divine service centers on the achievements of the soul within the body, lifting the body above the limitations of nature. And through this service, the soul generates pleasure which transcends the body “Avraham begat Yitzchak.”

For this service, the soul will receive a reward in the Era of the Redemption. It will partake of the sublime pleasure which it generated, as reflected in the phrase “Yitzchak the son of Avraham.”

Chayei Sarah | Marcheshvan 21-28, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI NOV 10th 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 4:20 pm

SHABBOS SAT NOV 11th 
Shacharis: 9 am  
Mincha 4:20 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 5:19 pm

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush Lite. Rabbi Mendy is making the delicious meat chulent sponsored by Rabbi Alter and Debbie Levitin. A contribution has also been made by Dr. Vernon and Liz Neppe. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon- Fri 7 am
Sun -Tue Mincha 4:20 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:08 pm/

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV!
Mazal Tov to Eli and Ilan Polack-Duban on the birth of their new son, 17th Marcheshvan! 
Mazel Tov to Gary and Lily Stute on the birth of their new son, 18th Marcheshvan.   May they merit to raise their sons to Torah, chupa, and and maasim tovim!  Bris info to follow.

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

FARBRENGEN ALERT –FRI 3:30 PM
In honor of Shimon Dershowitz’ 61st birthday, Chof Beis Marcheshvan In front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah. 

Avos Ubanim Begins This Sat. Night Nov 11th 6:30pm at CSTL
Father and son/daughter learning. Inspirational Living Torah video.  Refreshments.  Grand Raffle.  Prizes.  Info:  
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

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

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

L’CHAIM FOR LEVI FARKASH AND MINA NEW – SUN NOV 12th 7 pm
L’Chami will be at Eastside Torah Center, Redmond.  The wedding will be Tue Dec 19th at Omni Hotel 100 CNN Center N., Atlanta Georgia 1-404-659-0000. We will be honored to have you join us.  Please let us know if you can attend. Adults only please. Rabbi and Mrs. M. Farkash

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

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

Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

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

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


COMMUNITY NEWS

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

ONLINE BEGINNERS' TALMUD CLASS EVERY TUESDAY
More info and registration: 
rabbimeyers@gmail.com

THE MEDRASHA OF SEATTLE WOMEN’S LEARNING Nov 12th 9 am with BREAKFAST
All women of the community are invited to attend this Sunday's annual shiur in memory of Daniel Posner a"h. The topic: "Empathy, Sensitivity and the Acquisition of Torah". Thank you to Judy and Noam Posner for their generous Midrasha sponsorship. At Rabbi Meyer’s home 5221 South Brandon.
www.ezrabessaroth.net  rabbimeyers@gmail.com

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

Beersheva Hadassah Monday, Nov 13th 7 pm
"Pie Making and Ultrasound Marvels: at the Seattle home of Elisheva Loudon, 5245 S Morgan Street.Sue Benyowitz will tell us her story from the Pioneering Ultrasound City of Seattle to being a Pioneering Ultrasound Tech at Hadassah. Jeanne Maimon will demonstrate her apple pie making techniques. Light refreshments. $18 suggested donation.  RSVP 
beersheva.hadassah@gmail.com   

Chavrusa Learning Program with Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum  Sun, Nov 12th 8:50 am
At the BCMH Beis Midrash. All levels welcome. Followed by Shiur at 9:40 am.

Project DVORA Self-Care Group Mon Nov 6th to Dec 11th 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
This is a free six-week workshop for women who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. It will spotlight a different form of self-care each week, including exercise, spirituality and tender loving care during the holidays. Location will be at a secure and safe place in Seattle. Register with Project DVORA Domestic Violence Services at (206) 861-3159 .

Kollel Avot U'Bonim Motzei Shabbos - 6:30 - 7:30 PM Starts Nov. 11
In the Seattle Kollel Beit Medrash. Boys and Girls learning Torah with their parents. Followed by great snacks and fantastic prizes! Spend some quality time with your child in a beit medrash atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else! 
https://www.seattlekollel.com/avos-u-banim

NAMI Family-to-Family Class Tue Oct 17th – Jan 9th 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) presents a free 12-week class for adult family and friends of people living with mental illness, providing support and information about serious mental illness. Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, including presentations, discussion and interactive exercises. This Family-to-Family class will also include consideration of Jewish cultural attitudes around mental illness and opportunities to discuss specific Jewish issues that arise when caring for a family member. Facilitated by Rabbi Dov Gartenberg and Steve Krom. JFS Capitol Hill Campus, 1601 16th Avenue, Seattle. RSVP to Talya Gillman or call (206) 861-8784 for more information.

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

Melava Malka and Tractate Shabbat Learning - Sat Nov 25th 
At Mercaz, 5240 38th Ave. NE Seattle 
www.MercazSeattle.org

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

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

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

Jewish Family Service Kosher Food Bank 
Please RSVP by emailing 
emagasis@jfsseattle.org , or bsindel@jfsseattle.org  before November 1st if you plan to attend, so that we can be adequately prepared. http://www.jfsseattle.org/event/kosher-food-bank-2017/?instance_id=2502

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

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


REBBE’S SICHO FOR CHAYEI SARAH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347329/jewish/Likkutei-Sichot-Chayei-Sarah.htm Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Chayei Sarah, 5722
Rabbi Eliyahu Touger © Chabad.org

Our Sages1 associate the verse:2 “And Sarah’s life was 127 years…,” with the quote:3 “G‑d knows the days of the righteous,” and explain: “Just as they are perfect, so too their years are perfect.” The Midrash continues, explaining that this concept is exemplified by Sarah, whose years were complete; there was nothing lacking to the time with which she was endowed.

The question arises: Before and after Sarah’s life, there were many righteous men and women whose “years were perfect.” Why is Sarah chosen as the paradigm?

The explanation is that the continuous Divine service of other righteous men and women was rewarded with the fulfillment of G‑d’s promise:4 “I will fill the span of your days,” i.e., they were given a long life. When years were taken from the lifetime of a righteous man,5 it indicates that that person’s Divine service was lacking. Sarah, by contrast, passed away before her time because of an external factor her soul expired when she was told of the binding of Yitzchak6 and yet “her years were perfect.” Since this is a unique phenomenon, her example is cited to illustrate this concept.

Nevertheless, since the lessons taught by the Torah are extremely precise, it is unlikely that this is the only reason the Midrashassociates this idea with Sarah. Indeed, the reason stated above that her days were full despite the fact that she died before her time does not contribute anything to our understanding. Moreover, the implication is that the concept of “complete years” shares more of a connection with Sarah than with other righteous people.

Another question arises: What is the intent in describing the righteous as “perfect”? It could not be to indicate that they are perfect in their observance of the 613 mitzvos, for this can be inferred by the very word “righteous.” This applies even when considering the simple meaning of the term; how much more so when taking into consideration the meaning as described in Tanya.7

By using the term “perfect,” the Midrash appears to be pointing to an attribute of the righteous aside from their observance of mitzvos. What is this quality?

A further point: When the Torah associates two concepts, the implication is that there is an inner link, or that one concept leads to the other. So when the Midrash says: “Just as they are perfect, so too their years are perfect,” it is hinting that the perfection of the righteous shares an inner connection with, or leads to, the perfection of their years.

This is difficult to understand. On the surface, the very fact that these individuals are righteous and have carried out their Divine service in observing the mitzvos is sufficient reason for “their days to be perfect.” (As stated above, the promise to “fill the span of your days” refers to a reward granted for continuous Divine service.) It is thus necessary to understand why the Midrashassociates the perfection of a righteous person’s years with the perfection of the righteous person himself.

The above difficulties can be resolved by referring to a comment of the Midrash on another verse in this Torah reading. On the verse,8“Avraham was old, advanced in years,” the Midrash comments:9“There are men who are old, but who are not advanced in years, and others who [appear] advanced in years, but are not old. In this instance, his age paralleled his advancement in years, and his advancement in years paralleled his age.”

The commentaries to the Midrash10 explain that there are times when a person appears elderly although he is not advanced in years, e.g., R. Elazar ben Azariah, who looked like an old man, despite the fact that he was only 18.11 And conversely, there are men who are advanced in years but who appear much younger. In Avraham’s instance, his appearance matched his chronological age.

This entire passage is somewhat problematic, because both an elderly appearance and chronological age are seemingly superficial qualities. How could they express the greatness of Avraham our Patriarch?

“Avraham possessed singular uniqueness.”12 In a world of idolaters, he was the only one who worshipped G‑d. It was he who “began to illuminate,”13 reflecting G‑dly light within the world. Avraham ushered in a new epoch in the world’s history the two millennia of Torah.14 Why then did the Torah choose to associate his greatness with chronological age and an elderly appearance? The fact that the Torah makes such an association, nevertheless, indicates that there is indeed something about the possession of these two qualities which expresses Avraham’s greatness.

The terms used by the Torah for these two qualities: זקן and בא בימים are both subject to interpretation by our Sages: זקן is interpreted15 as “one who acquired wisdom.” בא בימים is interpreted16 as meaning: “He comes with his days,” i.e., there was not a single day in which Avraham did not observe mitzvos. (This refers, of course, to the mitzvos as they existed before the giving of the Torah.)

Thus the two qualities mentioned by the Torah refer to two spiritual qualities. זקן refers to the perfection of Avraham’s soul that his soul acquired wisdom. בא בימים refers to what he accomplished that he was able to fill each day with mitzvos.

The intent is not to report merely that Avraham performed many mitzvos, but to indicate that each of his days was filled with mitzvos. Were the purpose to say only that mitzvos contributed to his personal development, it would not make any difference whether he had fulfilled these mitzvos on every one of his days, or he had performed the same number of mitzvos on one day. For with regard to his soul, we are speaking about the same amount of mitzvos. The attribute of בא בימים refers to what one has accomplished in each of one’s days. It therefore follows that each day is associated with a particular mitzvah.

In general, the difference between the Torah and its mitzvos can be explained as follows:17 The Torah is G‑d’s wisdom, an intellectual and spiritual entity. When a Jew studies the Torah, he advances and develops his soul. Mitzvos, by contrast, are enclothed in material existence. Their performance is not intended primarily for the development of the soul, but rather to illuminate the material dimensions of the world at large, and in this way transform it into a dwelling for G‑d.

Therefore, when speaking about wisdom (i.e., the Torah), our Sages use the expression: “one who has acquired wisdom,” for the intent is to say that one brings the Torah’s wisdom into one’s soul. When, however, the Torah speaks about the performance of mitzvos, it uses the expression, בא בימים , implying that the person’s energy is directed outward; through his observance of mitzvos, he refines the world. And this involves the passage of time a fundamental aspect of our material realm as indicated by the expression “advanced in years.”

There is another point alluded to by the use of an expression involving time. In contrast to material entities which remain unchanged, e.g., the heavenly bodies, the sun and the stars, which are “as strong as they were on the day they were created,”18 time involves change.

Even on the earth, there are entities that have been endowed with a measure of eternity, e.g., the Sanctuary,19 the ark and the anointing oil20 made by Moshe are eternal. At present, they are entombed, but in the Era of the Redemption, they will emerge. G‑d’s intent, however, is that a dwelling for Him be established in this material world,21 the lowest of realms. As such, the dwelling must encompass even those aspects of material existence which are affected by change. This is implied by the expression “advanced in years.”

Based on the above, we can understand the uniqueness of the fact that Avraham’s chronological age paralleled his appearance. The implication is that his personal development (זקן) was thoroughly coupled with his achievements in the world (בא בימים). These are two different and to a certain degree, opposite thrusts, and there are few who can combine them. For example, the text MaggidMeisharim22 relates that R. Yosef Karo was told that he had merited to die as a martyr, and to be burnt al Kiddush HaShem, for the Sanctification of G‑d’s Name. Afterwards, however, because of an incidental factor, he was not granted this opportunity.

Had he died a martyr’s death, he would have reached the peak of personal development (זקן), but would not have been able to compose the Shulchan Aruch, the text which serves as the guideline for Jewish law; the merit of the composition of that text would have been given to another individual. In actuality, R. YosefKaro did author the Shulchan Aruch. He thereby made a contribution to the world at large (בא בימים), but at the expense of achieving the peak of martyrdom. For himself, his personal development would have been crowned by such self-sacrifice, and indeed, having that rung withheld is considered a punishment.

In Avraham’s instance, there was no such dichotomy. His personal development and his achievements in the world were perfectly coupled. It is therefore appropriate that the Midrash singles out Avraham as the one who began to illuminate the world with G‑dly light.

The above also enables us to understand the statement of our Sages that Avraham’s Divine service began “the two millennia of Torah.” As reflected in the expression,23 “The deeds of the Patriarchs are a sign for their descendants,” the Divine service of the Patriarchs, and particularly of Avraham, the first Jew, began the preparations for the giving of the Torah.

The giving of the Torah brought about a fusion between the material and the spiritual realms. To quote the illustration given by the Midrash:24

To what can the matter be likened? To a king who made a decree: the inhabitants of Rome will not descend to Syria, and the inhabitants of Syria will not ascend to Rome.

In a similar way, when G‑d created the world, He decreed:25 “The heavens are the heavens of G‑d, and earth He has granted to man.” When He desired to give the Torah, He nullified this initial decree, saying the lower realms will ascend to the higher realms, and the higher realms will descend to the lower realms.

The giving of the Torah made it possible for spirituality to be fused with material existence through the observance of the mitzvos. The preparations for this fusion began with the Divine service of Avraham our Patriarch, for this fusion was reflected in his efforts. This is illustrated by the coupling of his efforts toward personal development (זקן) with his achievements in the world at large (בא בימים).

The righteous men who existed before Avraham, in the two millennia of Tohu (the term means “void,” for these 2,000 years did not share any connection to the giving of the Torah) lacked this drive towards fusion. Their Divine service encompassed either personal development or efforts within the world; there was no fusion of the two.

This reflects the spiritual climate of the era of Tohu. As explained in Chassidus,26 the emotional attributes of Tohu were each revealed independently, without any interrelation. As such, each attribute did not allow for the expression of any other.

To apply these concepts in terms of our Divine service: There were righteous men whose service focused only on personal development (זקן). To cite an example from a later period, consider Ben Azzai, who did not marry, saying “My soul firmly desires the Torah.”27 He devoted himself to Torah study without having anything to do with worldly matters.

Similarly, before Avraham’s time, there were others who devoted themselves solely to efforts with others (בא בימים) 28 without seeking personal development. Avraham was the first to fuse both thrusts.

To emphasize this, the Midrash highlights the fact that Avraham possessed both qualities. It’s true that others, e.g., Yehoshua and David, as cited in the Midrash, also possessed both qualities, but Avraham was the first.

This was the beginning of the two millennia of Torah. For the purpose of the Torah is to unify different and even opposite tendencies, as the Rambam states:29 “In its entirety, the Torah was given to establish peace within the world.” And peace implies the coordination and fusion of opposing tendencies, thrusts which require that peace be established between them.

Like all the narratives of the Torah, the narrative which relates that Avraham was “Old, advanced in years,” serves as a directive for our Divine service.30 There are some individuals who continuously pursue worldly achievement, without showing any concern for their own development. Others devote their energies to furthering their own spiritual development.

This is a never-ending process. For the further a person proceeds in his spiritual development, the more he realizes the endlessness of his journey and the need to proceed onward. “As one increases knowledge, one increases pain,”31 i.e., the pain of knowing that there is an untouched frontier ahead. And as one advances, one desires to advance even further, as reflected in our Sages’ statement:32 “Whoever possesses 100 desires 200.” Involved in his desire for personal growth, such a person may forget about spreading light to his surroundings.

Avraham’s fusion of these qualities teaches us that every Jew must endeavor to achieve both זקן and בא בימים , and establish harmony between the two. For as mentioned previously, the Torah is characterized by unity, harmony, and peace.

Although there is a need for effort along both paths, Chassidusplaces greater emphasis on בא בימים , the drive to refine the world at large. This can be explained based on the chassidic interpretation33 of our Sages’ statement:34 “One hour of teshuvahand good deeds in this world is better than all the life of the World to Come.”

The World to Come reflects the pleasure which man, a created being, will experience from the revelation of G‑dliness. Our Divine service of teshuvah and good deeds, by contrast, brings G‑d pleasure. This Divine pleasure is incomparably greater than the pleasure experienced by man, for in no way can a created being and his pleasure be equated with the Creator and His pleasure. As such, the teshuvah and good deeds we perform in this world surpass the pleasure we will experience in the World to Come.

In a similar vein, the Divine service associated with the quality of זקן , i.e., a person’s own development, cannot be compared with the service associated with בא בימים , illuminating the world at large. For it is the latter service which fulfills G‑d’s intent in creation, establishing a dwelling for Him in this world. And this brings Him pleasure.

For this reason, the Rebbeim always highlighted the importance of carrying out G‑d’s intention in creation, by expressing that intent in the lowest levels of existence material entities that are subject to time and change.

The Divine service which transforms this world into a dwelling for G‑d is more relevant in the present age a time of darkness and concealment than ever before. This is particularly true here in America, where attention is so focused on material things. Moreover, this desire for material things is subject to the vicissitudes of change. For example, every day one needs a different wardrobe35 ; otherwise a person feels that he or she is lacking. It is particularly in such an environment that it is necessary to transform these material entities, which are in constant flux, into a dwelling for He of whom it is said:36 “I G‑d have not changed.”

The Divine service associated with בא בימים is relevant, not only with regard to one’s efforts in the world at large, but with regard to one’s own self. Every Jew has certain mitzvos which he observes continually and habitually. For one person, it will be the mitzvah of charity which he will be more accustomed to fulfilling. For another, it will be the punctilious recitation of the Shema , and for a third, it will be still another mitzvah. Every person has, however, certain mitzvos which he does not observe with such regularity. On the contrary, his observance of these mitzvos fluctuates from time to time, and he must apply more effort to observe them.

The person might thus think: Why should I put effort into matters that will not become ingrained in my character easily? It seems more profitable to invest energy in those matters which will be perpetuated. Moreover, the fact that the observance of certain mitzvos comes more naturally to him, and are not subject to change, indicates (apparently, and perhaps in truth), that they share a deeper connection to his soul, the fundamental Jewish spark which is above change. As such, one might conclude that it would be preferable to enhance those energies which are more closely related to this essence.

In this context, Avraham’s service of בא בימים teaches each of us the importance of having our Divine service encompass matters which are subject to change, for it is through such service that G‑d’s desire for a dwelling in the lower realms is accomplished.

As explained in the writings of the AriZal, and in Chassidus,37 every soul has a particular mitzvah, and a mission to achieve certain goals, which lead to the fulfillment of its purpose in descending into this world. The fact that difficulties arise with regard to certain matters indicates that the essence of one’s mission involves these matters. Since this is the fundamental duty with which the person is charged, the yetzer hora (evil inclination) presents the greatest challenges to hinder its fulfillment.38

As such it is demanded of every Jew that he or she not despair should certain dimensions of the Torah and its mitzvos not be thoroughly ingrained within their nature, or if from time to time their observance becomes weaker. Indeed, even if, heaven forbid, one begins to doubt the fundamentals of one’s faith, one should not lose hope. On the contrary, one should concentrate one’s Divine service precisely in those areas where fluctuation is felt. When one does this, one’s efforts will surely be reinforced with help from above.

On the above basis, we can comprehend the wording of our Sages’ statement: “Just as they are perfect, so too, their years are perfect,” and also comprehend the advantage which this attribute of perfection contributes to a righteous person.

Even a person whose Divine service centers on one vector alone can be described as righteous, as mentioned previously with regard to the righteous men who lived during the two millennia of Tohu. Perfection, by contrast, implies that a person’s Divine service is multi-faceted; that it is perfect in both thrusts of Divine service, following the example by which Avraham initiated the two millennia of Torah.

Because “they the righteous are perfect…, their years are perfect.” Just as in their own Divine service they unify two opposite tendencies, so too, “their years are perfect,” the years (i.e., the changes40 they undergo) are perfect. They are able to manifest their spiritual perfection even in matters which are subject to change, making them also perfect.

For this reason, our Sages described Sarah at the time of her death as “perfect.” For it was Avraham and Sarah who began the preparations for the giving of the Torah; they blazed the path towards unity and synthesis which brought opposite thrusts together.

This concept also relates to the explanation given previously, that Sarah’s years are described as perfect, despite the fact that she died before her time. Although “her soul expired” at the time of the akeidah, “her years were perfect.” This reflects a fusion of two opposite thrusts. The expiration of a person’s soul reflects a desire to rise above the limits of this world. This runs contrary to the thrust of בא בימים , involvement in the world, and relates more to the thrust of זקן , seeking one’s own personal development. Therefore the Midrash underscores the fact that despite the strength of this thrust, “her years were perfect,” i.e., she also possessed the advantage of בא בימים.

The above concepts share a special connection to this year, as reflected by the fact that this Torah portion is read on the Shabbosduring which the month of Kislev is blessed. Kislev is the third month, the month in which Pnimiyus HaTorah, the inner dimension of the Torah, is revealed.41 Pnimiyus HaTorah represents the ultimate fusion of opposite thrusts, as the Zohar states:42 “There (in Pnimiyus HaTorah), there are no questions which stem from the side of evil, nor any differences of opinion which stem from the spirit of impurity.” On the contrary, this approach is characterized by peace and synthesis.

 

 

Vayeira | Marcheshvan 14-21, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  FRI NOV 2nd 
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 5:29 pm

SHABBOS SAT NOV 3rd
Shacharis: 9 am  
Mincha 5:29 pm
Maariv/Havdalah 6:28 pm /CLOCKS FALL BACK ONE HOUR SATURDAY NIGHT/

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush is sponsored by Arkadiy and Tatyana Gertsen, in memory of her beloved mother, Sara bas Shifra and beloved sister, Emma bas Sara Rabbi Mendy is making the delicious meat chulent sponsored by Rabbi Alter and Debbie Levitin.  Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon- Fri 7 am
Sun -Tue Mincha 4:30 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:17 pm/

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

FARBRENGEN ALERT –FRI 5 PM
In memory of Jack (Yaakov) Macalis ZT”L.  In front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah. 

FARBRENGEN ALERT – CHOF CHESHVAN – THU NOV 9th 
In honor of the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab. Venue TBD.
WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

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

ONE WEEK WINTER GAN ISRAEL CAMP
For info 
RabbiKavka@gmail.com

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

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

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


COMMUNITY NEWS

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

ONLINE BEGINNERS' TALMUD CLASS EVERY TUESDAY
More info and registration: 
rabbimeyers@gmail.com

Lomdus with Class at the Kollel Every Wed at 8:00 PM
A well aged whiskey.  A fine cigar.  The scent of rich mahogany. Some things just exude class. The Seattle Lomdus* Society understands this, which is why we're offering our classiest class yet:Lomdus with Class. Rabbi Akiva O'Connor and Rabbi Bentzion Brand would like to invite you to enjoy our signature Lomdus, for another breathtaking season. Keep it classy. //*Lomdus is an analytical style of Torah study, popular in the Yeshiva system. It's focus is to contrast opposing views in the Gemara and Poskim, thereby exposing the deeper understandings of their concepts. Lomdus is often considered the most enjoyable form of Torah study.

THE MEDRASHA OF SEATTLE WOMEN’S LEARNING Nov 5th 9 am
Theological Issues of Sefer Bereshit. At Rabbi Meyer’s home 5221 South Brandon.
www.ezrabessaroth.net  rabbimeyers@gmail.com

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

Beersheva Hadassah Monday, Nov 13th 7 pm
"Pie Making and Ultrasound Marvels: at the Seattle home of Elisheva Loudon, 5245 S Morgan Street.Sue Benyowitz will tell us her story from the Pioneering Ultrasound City of Seattle to being a Pioneering Ultrasound Tech at Hadassah. Jeanne Maimon will demonstrate her apple pie making techniques. Light refreshments. $18 suggested donation.  RSVP 
beersheva.hadassah@gmail.com   

Chavrusa Learning Program with Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum  Sun, Nov 5th 8:50 am
At the BCMH Beis Midrash. All levels welcome. Followed by Shiur at 9:40 am.

Project DVORA Self-Care Group Mon Nov 6th to Dec 11th 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
This is a free six-week workshop for women who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. It will spotlight a different form of self-care each week, including exercise, spirituality and tender loving care during the holidays. Location will be at a secure and safe place in Seattle. Register with Project DVORA Domestic Violence Services at (206) 861-3159 .

BCMH Annual Dinner Nov 12th 
D
inner honorees are Richard & Rena Berger. BCMH Young Leadership Award recipient is Tamar Jacobson. RSVP & submit Journal Ads at www.bcmhseattle.org or for more info:
https://bcmhdinner2017.eventbrite.com

Kollel Avot U'Bonim Motzei Shabbos - 6:30 - 7:30 PM Starts Nov. 11
In the Seattle Kollel Beit Medrash. Boys and Girls learning Torah with their parents. Followed by great snacks and fantastic prizes! Spend some quality time with your child in a beit medrash atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else! 
https://www.seattlekollel.com/avos-u-banim

NAMI Family-to-Family Class Tue Oct 17th – Jan 9th 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) presents a free 12-week class for adult family and friends of people living with mental illness, providing support and information about serious mental illness. Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, including presentations, discussion and interactive exercises. This Family-to-Family class will also include consideration of Jewish cultural attitudes around mental illness and opportunities to discuss specific Jewish issues that arise when caring for a family member. Facilitated by Rabbi Dov Gartenberg and Steve Krom. JFS Capitol Hill Campus, 1601 16th Avenue, Seattle. RSVP to Talya Gillman or call (206) 861-8784 for more information.

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

Northwest Yeshiva High School Admission Exam – Sun Nov 5th 
A required ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) for prospective students who are applying to NYHS. More info: 
admissions@nyhs.org  or (206) 232-5272, ext. 515.

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

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

Jewish Family Service Kosher Food Bank 
Please RSVP by emailing 
emagasis@jfsseattle.org , or bsindel@jfsseattle.org  before November 1st if you plan to attend, so that we can be adequately prepared. http://www.jfsseattle.org/event/kosher-food-bank-2017/?instance_id=2502

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

GIVE US 23 DAYS  AND WE WILL GIVE YOU A SIYUM! Sun through Thu 8 pm
Tractate Makkos at The SEATTLE KOLLEL will feature a fast-paced Gemara shiur, focused on helping you make a siyum in LESS THAN A MONTH! With Daf Yomi studying Tractate Makkos, there’s no better time to start! 
https://www.seattlekollel.com/daf-yom-makkos.  Starts Nov 7th

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


REBBE’S SICHO FOR VAYEIRA
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2347987/jewish/Chassidic-Dimension-Volume-2-Vayeira-Chof-Cheshvan.htm Based on Likkutei Sichos , Vol. V, pp. 86-90. adapted by Rabbi Sholom B. Wineberg © Chabad.org

When Rabbi Sholom Ber of Lubavitch was four or five years old, his mother escorted him to see his grandfather, the Tzemach Tzedek , on the Shabbos of the Torah portion Vayeira , in order for him to receive his grandfather’s birthday blessing.

Upon entering his grandfather’s room the child began to cry. When his grandfather asked him why he was crying, he answered that he had learned in Cheder that G‑d appeared to Avraham. He was crying because he could not understand why G‑d appeared to Avraham but does not appear to us.

The Tzemach Tzedek responded: “When a Jew at the age of 99 decides that he should circumcise himself, he is deserving that G‑d should appear to him.”

The lesson of the Tzemach Tzedek ’s statement is that even a person who has engaged unremittingly in divine service for 99 years — as did Avraham — must also circumcise himself, i.e., he must take precautionary measures to guard against the coverings and concealments of the corporeal world and seek to remove them.

There is an additional factor involved: Adam was given six mitzvos, Noach received a seventh, and Avraham was given the mitzvahof circumcision. Since this mitzvah began with Avraham, it can be understood that it applied to him in particular.

Thus, Avraham’s decision at the age of 99 to circumcise himself not only involved a refinement in his manner of service, but made him realize that even after all those years he was still lacking something vital. Moreover, from this time on all his deeds would be accomplished in a higher manner.

This is in line with the comment of our Sages on the verse, “and be unblemished,”1 that G‑d told Avraham that as long as he was uncircumcised he was considered blemished.2 It is obvious that the difference between being blemished and unblemished applied to all aspects of Avraham, and not only to his “blemished” organ.

One of the meanings of “All the events that transpired with the Patriarchs serve as a sign to their progeny” is that the conduct of the Patriarchs in their performance of mitzvos paved the way and provided the fortitude for the Jewish people to perform the mitzvosafter the Torah was given.

In order that the mitzvos performed by the Patriarchs be connected with those performed by the Jewish people after the Torah was given, there had to be at least one mitzvah that was similar to those performed by their children. This was the mitzvah of circumcision.

As opposed to Avraham’s performance of other mitzvos , this mitzvah was commanded by G‑d. Therefore the sanctity of the mitzvah remained in the physical object with which it was performed, similar to the sanctity remaining in objects with which mitzvos are performed subsequent to the giving of the Torah.

The commandment of circumcision was thus the one mitzvah that connected all the mitzvos performed by the Patriarchs with the mitzvos performed by their progeny after the Torah was given. It was specifically this mitzvah that made it possible for the mitzvosperformed by the Patriarchs to provide fortitude to their children.

Accordingly, it is to be understood that Avraham’s decision to circumcise himself after 99 years of spiritual service involved much more than the realization that he was missing something vital, and that from now on all his actions would be whole and unblemished.

For it also involved the realization that all his previous actions were lacking; it was necessary that he circumcise himself so as to transform all his previous mitzvos as well, making them complete and unblemished.

There is a lesson here: A person must know that no matter how great he may be, he has yet to perform that degree of service which will render all his previous labors whole and complete.

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