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Parshas Acharei Mos – Kedoshim Pesach Sheini – Lag b’Omer | 12-19 Iyar, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  APR 27th
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 7:57pm /COUNT OMER № 28/

SHABBOS SAT APR 28th  
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 9:31 am/
Mincha 7:57pm /followed by Seuda Slishit / PIRKEI AVOT CHAPTER 3
Maariv/Havdalah 9:02 pm  /COUNT OMER № 29/

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush lite this week.  Delicious meat cholent made by Rabbi Mendy Levitin. Seuda Slishit.

Weekday Services 
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon - Fri Shacharis 7 am  
Sun -Thu Mincha 8:10 pm, followed by Maariv c. 9:00 pm /COUNT OMER № 30-33/

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.

PLEASE PAY YOUR CSTL DUES AND PLEDGES
Please drop a check by shul, or pay online at 
https://cstlseattleorg.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3182565/jewish/Donate.htm 
Thank you! Sincerely, the CSTL Board

FARBRENGEN ALERT – IYAR 12 – FRI APR 27th 6 PM
Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in honor of Pesach Sheini, the 15th  of Iyar.  In front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah,

B’Yom Ashtei-Asar Yom with Rabbi Mendy Levitin – 7 PM SHABBOS AFTERNOON
“Come join in a class on the Chasidus Discourse b’Yom Ashtei-Asar Yom— Delivered by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson 11 Nissan, 5731 (1971). For Men and Women.  One of the fundamental works of the Rebbe based on the idea of Ana nasiv malka — “I will choose the king.” - Stepping Above Self by Looking Beyond the Big Picture”

TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8:45 AM SHABBOS MORNING
All are welcome to this inspiring class.

PESACH SHEINI – SAT NIGHT/SUNDAY APR 28/29 – EAT MATZO!
A year after the Exodus, G-d instructed the people of Israel to bring the Passover offering on the afternoon of Nissan 14, and to eat it that evening, roasted over the fire, together with matzah and bitter herbs, as they had done on the previous year just before they left Egypt. "There were, however, certain persons who had become ritually impure through contact with a dead body, and could not, therefore, prepare the Passover offering on that day. They approached Moses and Aaron ... and they said: '...Why should we be deprived, and not be able to present G-d's offering in its time, amongst the children of Israel?'" (Numbers 9).In response to their plea, G-d established the 14th of Iyar as a "second Passover" (pesach sheini) for anyone who was unable to bring the offering on its appointed time in the previous month. The day thus represents the "second chance" achieved by teshuvah the power of repentance and "return." In the words of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch, "The Second Passover means that it's never a 'lost case.'"
www.chabad.org/calendar

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am - Noon
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  10:30 am – Noon 
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

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

CSTL LAG b’OMER PICNIC – THU MAY 3rd 5 PM
Magnuson Park Shelter #3.  Children’s Parade with Drums.  Baloon Scultpting. Glitter Painting. Hot Dogs.   Sponsored by CSTL and Camp Gan Israel Seattle.  RSVP via SMS to 206. 730. 2775

LADIES NIGHT OUT – MAY 6th 7:30 PM
Featuring Wine, Sushi, and Rosi Levin LMFTA.  A project of Chabad of Seattle. 
mherbstman@gmail.com

 SHAVUOS AT CSTL – 1st Day of Shavous, Sun May 20th 
The community is invited to our Shavous meal following services. Enjoy a Dairy Meal with cheesecake, blintzes,  cheese, ice cream, and more! Sponsored by Rabbi Sholom Ber & Mrs. Chanie Levitin In Honor of Mrs. Levitin’s Father’s Yahrtzeit

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

REGISTER NOW FOR CAMP GAN YISROEL 5778
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2018, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime! Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/

PLEASE DO NOT DROP OFF YOUR SHAIMIS AT CSTL
Thank you for your cooperation.

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion KitzGabbai 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. Presidential Kiddush $50, Chulent $100.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Chabad of Shoreline Lag b’Omer BONFIRE THU MAY 3rd from 5 PM
1114 NE Perkins Way, Shoreline.  Featuring Kumzitz – Hot Dogs Hamburgers 
www.ShalomSeattle.org

Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller in Seattle - April 28th  & 29th 
www..ashreichemyisrael.org

New Sunday Night Series for Men & Women at Yavneh Educational Center
First two classes will be April 29 and May 6 at 7:00 pm taught by Larry Russak. Topic: "King Arthur, Ivanhoe, Robin Hood and the truth about the Jewish Exile from England" May 13, class taught by Judy Balint Topic: "Israel Up Close and Personal Part 1"June 3, class taught by Marlene Kaplan Topic: "Conversational Street Hebrew for Beginners" 
www.bcmhseattle.org

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle NWIsraelFest Apr 8 – 22
www.JewishInSeattle.org ,

Camp Yavneh 2018, June 25th - August 17th 
Registration now open for Camp Yavneh. Staff applications now available at
www.campyavnehseattle.com    

NYHS Leadership Dinner, Sun Apr 29.. 
NYHS will honor Rabbi Rob Toren with the Jack De Leon Community Leadership Award. RSVP and/or place a tribute here or contact Melissa Rivkin at 
mrivkin@nyhs.org or 206-232-5272.

NYHS Gourmet Food & Dessert Auction, Wed May 16th 
At the home of Connie Kanter. Bid and buy items from our community chefs in support of NYHS. Free and open to all!  RSVP and to donate items, please contact us at 
nyhs@nyhs.org.

Seattle Kollel Partners in Torah Part II for Women April 29-May 16, 8-9 pm,
Contact Aliza Brand at 
alizabrand94@gmail.com, (773) 663-1512. More info: www.seattlekollel.com/partners-in-torah

Mercaz Shavuoton – Fri May 18th – Mon May 21st
An Amazing Shavuot All Inclusive Retreat .·  At Camp Solomon Schecter in Olympia, WA, 1 hour and 20 minutes south of Seattle.   Excellent all night learning. Classes during the days. ·  Children’s programming. ·  Delicious food.   Spirited tefillot. ·  Comfortable accommodations with private or semi-private bathrooms. ·  Friends, fun and conversation! Hiking trails, basketball, gaga, game room, lake with sandy beach, swing set and more! Register, Sponsor and Find More Info at: 
https://mercazseattle.shulcloud.com/ Please Register By May 2nd, When Early Bird Pricing Ends


 REBBE’S SICHO FOR ACHAREI MOS - KEDOSHIM
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507762/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Acharei-Kedoshim-13th-Day-of-Iyar-5751-1991.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

1. Every moment, we should await the coming of Mashiach. Indeed, this is reflected in Torah law as our Sages state, “A person who vows not to drink wine on the day Mashiachcomes is forbidden to drink wine forever.” Therefore, it is necessary to focus our attention on what every Jew must do to bring about the coming of the redemption.

In that context, it is worthy to dwell on the name redemption, Geulah in Hebrew. This name teaches us a significant lesson: The difference between Geulah, (גאולה) and Golah (גולה, “exile”) is one letter, the Alef, which stands for G‑d, Alufo shel olam. This implies that the Jewish people’s service involves bringing G‑d, the Alef, into the exile,1 and thus, transforming the exile into redemption.

To explain the concept: Redemption does not mean that we abandon all the activities which we carry out in the exile. On the contrary, by definition, the word implies that during the exile certain activities were carried out under subjugation to other forces, and in the Era of the Redemption, we will be freed from this subjugation.

The redemption will involve freeing all the elements of existence that have been subjugated in the exile. Nothing will be lost.2 On the contrary, everything will be redeemed. Every single Jew will be redeemed. We will leave “with our youth and with our elders... with our sons and with our daughters.” And “their gold and silver will accompany them.” All the positive activities and achievements of the Jews (and also the non-Jews) in the exile will not be nullified. What will be nullified is the concealment of the world’s true inner being which is brought on by the material substance of the world and the subjugation to the rules of nature that exists at present. But all the positive aspects of the exile will remain, and indeed will be elevated.

The continued presence of our material frame of reference in the Era of Redemption is emphasized by the Rambam’s statements concerning Mashiach. He writes:

Do not presume that in the Era of Mashiach, any element of the natural order will be nullified, or that there will be innovations in the work of creation. Rather, the world will continue according to its pattern.... Our Sages taught: There will be no difference between the current age and the Era of Mashiach except [the emancipation] from our subjugation to the [gentile] kingdoms.

What, if so, will be the uniqueness of the Era of the Redemption? The entire world “will return to the true faith,” and Mashiach will “improve the entire world, [motivating] all the nations to serve G‑d together.”

This indicates that the redemption will include all the positive elements of the exile, but will add an Alef to them, i.e., it will reveal the G‑dliness which is hidden in our service at present. This is the ultimate purpose of the exile, that its inner true nature be revealed through its transformation into redemption.

A question, however, arises, why is the inclusion of the exile within the redemption so fundamental that it is alluded to in the very name of the redemption. Furthermore, as apparent from the explanation of the Rambam’s conception of the Era of the Redemption, there will be two periods and the second period will be marked by the introduction of a miraculous order of existence.3 This period will also be described as redemption (גאולה) and thus will share a connection to exile (גולה).

From this, we can conclude that even the most transcendent revelations of the redemption are dependent on our service at present and our efforts to reveal the Alef in exile, i.e., to draw G‑dliness into this limited world. This activity is the catalyst which will lead to all the elements of the redemption.

2. The above concepts relate to an explanation of the first teaching of the chapter of Pirkei Avos which we study this Shabbos. That chapter begins: “Reflect upon three things.... Know from where you came, and to where you are going....”

On the surface, it is difficult to understand: Seemingly, the Mishnah could have begun, “Know from where you came, and to where you are going.....” Why did it mention the need to “reflect on three things”?

Herein, however, lies an allusion to a concept of much greater scope. In addition to the obvious reference to the three concepts that follow, the Mishnah teaches a person that he must have three things in mind and when he does so, he “will not come to sin.”

Generally, a person thinks about two entities, himself and G‑d, for “I was created solely to serve my Creator.” The Mishnah comes to teach us that he must be aware of a third entity, the world at large which was created by G‑d for a Jew to use in service of Him.

The ultimate intent of the creation of the world and of the descent of the Jews’ souls into the world is to fulfill G‑d’s desire for a dwelling within this world. I.e., that a Jew through his service should refine his body and his animal soul, and spread refinement in the world at large, transforming it into a dwelling for G‑d.

This is accomplished through our observance of the Torah and its mitzvos. The performance of most of the mitzvos is enclothed within material things and thus, by using these entities for the fulfillment of a mitzvah, we refine them and make them a medium for G‑dliness. The classic example is the mitzvah of tzedakah — which is described as being “equivalent to all the mitzvos.” A person takes the money which he has earned through his labor in the material world and gives it away for a spiritual purpose.

Our service within the world at large is not a matter of little consequence. Instead, it relates to the fulfillment of each person’s soul as the Alter Rebbe writes in Tanya: “And this is the ultimate [purpose] for man, his creation, and the descent of his soul into this world, to make a dwelling for G‑d in the lower worlds.”

Although a Jew’s soul is rooted in a sublime spiritual source, G‑d causes it to descend to this lowly material world to fulfill His desire and transform this world into a dwelling for Him. On the surface, causing the soul to descend into this world is the opposite of G‑d’s nature. G‑d is the ultimate of all good, and yet He is willing to cause the soul to undergo a drastic descent to this earthly realm.

This points to two concepts: a) The importance of the service of transforming this world into a dwelling for G‑d. This service brings about the revelation of G‑d’s essence which is far greater and far more significant than the service of the soul in the spiritual realms. b) This service is ultimately for the good of the soul itself. Although the soul is not in need of refinement, and its descent is to refine the world at large but not itself, by carrying out this service, the soul establishes a connection to G‑d’s essence which it could not have appreciated before its descent into this world.

This is the intent of the directive “Reflect upon three things.” A person must always keep in mind the ultimate goal of his service, that it is not only a two-way relationship between him and G‑d, but that it must encompass a third entity, the world at large. Indeed, it is through service with the world and transforming it into a vessel for G‑dliness, that the ultimate intent for one’s creation and that of the entire world, is fulfilled.4

This idea complements the concept of the interrelation of exile and redemption mentioned previously. Since the purpose is to establish a dwelling place for G‑d in the lower worlds, the redemption is not intended to negate the exile, but rather to reveal G‑dliness (the Alef) within it. The ultimate purpose is the revelation of G‑dliness within the context of this world, including those elements of the world that exist in exile, and thus to transform the entire world into a dwelling for Him.

For this reason, the coming of the redemption depends on our service in the exile. Since the intent is that G‑dliness be revealed within the world, it is necessary that the service which prepares for that revelation be of the same nature as the revelation itself, and thus have as its goal, drawing G‑dliness down into every element of worldly existence. In this manner, G‑d’s dwelling is brought about, not through revelation from above, but rather through a service connected with the nature of this limited and material world itself.

3. There is a connection between the above concepts and the Counting of the Omer. The Counting of the Omer is intended to refine and elevate our seven emotional qualities, a service which is fundamental in the present era of exile. This service is intended so that “I may be purified and sanctified with supernal holiness,” and thus to have an effect on the world at large “to draw down abundant bounty in all the worlds.”5

Since the service of Counting the Omer involves drawing G‑dliness into the world, it relates to the concept of revealing the Alef of geulah (“redemption”) in the golah (“exile”). Therefore, directly after fulfilling this mitzvah, we make the request. “May the Merciful One restore the Beis HaMikdash....”

In particular, the Sefirah associated with the present day, Malchus sheb’Netzach (kingship within victory) has a particular connection to the coming of Mashiach for the ultimate victory over the exile will come when Mashiach reveals his kingship.

* * *

4. Parshas Acharei begins by describing the service of the High Priest in the Holy of Holies. This shares a connection with the redemption. There was no concealment of the Divine Presence in the Holy of Holies and yet the High Priest confronted this revelation as a human being within a physical body. Similarly, in the Era of the Redemption, G‑dliness will be manifest throughout the world and yet the natural order will not change and we will appreciate this revelation in a state similar to our present one.

In microcosm, this service was carried out by all priests for they performed their holy service within an imperfect world, a world in which (as related in next week’s parshah, Emor) they had to be careful to separate themselves from impurity. The ultimate purity will be revealed in the Era of the Redemption (and the priests’ observing safeguards to protect themselves from impurity can be considered as a preparation for the advent that era).

The priests’ service was performed wearing the priestly garments that were to be donned, “for honor and for beauty..”6 This reflects how these two qualities, materialistic elements of our physical environment, are employed for the sake of the service of G‑d.

In a complete sense, this was reflected in the High Priest’s service for he wore eight priestly garments, wearing “the golden garments” in addition to the four garments worn by the common priests. A parallel to this concept is reflected in the idea that a High Priest is required to be wealthier than all the other priests. This is a clear indication of how his additional holiness must be reflected within the material elements of our world.

The fusion of holiness with our material framework of reference is borne out by the interpretation of the verse, “With this shall Aharon come.” The Midrash7 comments “Whenever he (Aharon) desires to enter the Holy of Holies, he may, all that is necessary is that he perform this service.”8

Since the Holy of Holies is the true place of the High Priest, i.e., this is his spiritual level, he can enter at any time. At present, because of our lack of refinement, and that of the world at large, this cannot be revealed. But in the Era of the Redemption when all negative forces will be eliminated, holiness will be drawn down into this world in a complete way, and it will be possible for the High Priest to enter the Holy of Holies whenever he desires.

This is relevant to every Jew for our entire people are “a nation of priests” and indeed as the Baal HaTurim comments on the above verse, each Jew is on the spiritual level of a High Priest.9 Thus each Jew has the potential to enter the Holy of Holies at all times. Indeed we find that in the era of the prophets, Yehoash, the heir to the throne, was hid in the loft of the Holy of Holies for six years. It was in this sacred place that he ate, drank, and slept. This was an actual expression of the concept that the real place of each Jew is the Holy of Holies.10 And, in the Era of the Redemption, this level will be revealed.

* * *

5. The above can be connected with the name of the person whose yahrzeit is commemorated today, Rav Yisrael Aryeh Leib (the Rebbe shlita’s brother). Although he is a private individual, nevertheless, each Jew is interconnected with the entire Jewish people for the entire Jewish people are allegorically described as a single body.11 Indeed, in regard to the individual mentioned above, this interconnection is further emphasized by the fact that his first name is Yisrael, the name of the Jewish people as a whole.

The name Yisrael conveys two seemingly opposite concepts: On one hand, the name Yisrael is an acronym for the Hebrew phrase meaning “There are 600,000 letters in the Torah.” This highlights the connection between the Torah and the 600,00 general souls12which make up the Jewish people; every Jewish soul has a letter of the Torah and that letter is the source for his life-force.

Also, the Torah associates the name Yisrael with the service of “striving with man and angels and prevailing.” This implies involvement with the world at large and even war with the opposing forces. Thus, this appears to convey an opposite thrust than the previous interpretation which emphasized a Jew’s connection with the Torah, a level above worldly involvement.

This difficulty can be resolved as follows: First and foremost, a Jew must realize that his life-force is derived from his letter in the Torah and therefore, all aspects of his conduct must be governed by the Torah’s directives. Simultaneously, he must also be aware that the ultimate goal of his service is not to separate himself from the world at large, but as mentioned previously, to “reflect on three things,” and carry out his service in creating a dwelling for G‑d in this lowly world.

This requires contending with “angels” — i.e., the spiritual forces which are the source for the entities in this material world as our Sages say, “every blade of grass in this world has a source in the heavens which compels it to grow” — and with “men” with Eisav and Lavan, who represent the gentile nations of this world. Despite having to deal with such an environment, a Jew is able to prevail and transform his surroundings into a dwelling for G‑d.

This implies that he does not negate the worldly environment in which he lives, but rather, that he employs it for the service of G‑d. Similarly, in his relations with gentile nations, he also influences them to recognize and serve G‑d. And through carrying out this service, the Jews themselves are given a greater potential to expand their own activities.13

The service of Yisrael should be carried out in a manner of Aryeh Leib. Aryeh means “lion,” implying that a Jew must “be as fierce as a lion to carry out the will of your Father in Heaven.” This energy must be employed in regard to holy matters, and also, as implied by the name Leib which is the Yiddish derivative of the name Aryeh, utilized in regard to matters that are of a worldly nature.

Leib (ליב) also contains the letters of the word Lev (לב) meaning “heart.” However, in addition it contains a yud which stands for our ten powers of the soul, or in an alternate spelling, two yuddim which stand for the two names of the Jewish people at large, Yaakovand Yisrael.

The date of the yahrzeit, the thirteenth of Iyar is also significant. Thirteen is numerically equivalent to echad (אחד) meaning “one.” Thus it points to the service of revealing the Oneness of G‑d in the world, a service which will culminate in the Era of the Redemption when “G‑d will be King over the entire earth and on that day He will be One and His Name, One.”

* * *

6. At present, we are at the conclusion of the exile and at any moment Mashiach will come. First of all, a response is necessary for all those who are worried when they hear a clamor that everyone is required to do what they can do to bring Mashiach: They are concerned that the entire time they spent building up business and social relationships in exile will be forfeited when the Redemption comes.

These worries can be assuaged on the basis of the concepts explained above: The redemption will not nullify the natural order as it exists at present. On the contrary, all the positive achievements of the exile will remain and indeed, will be elevated with the coming of the Redemption. Within them, will be revealed the Alef, G‑d’s Presence. This will put the focus on what the true intent of these activities is, the revelation of G‑d’s honor throughout the world.

Therefore, a person need not worry about what will become of his business activities when Mashiach comes.. On the contrary, he can rest assured that all the activities that he carried out according to the Torah’s guidelines — even those that are not directly associated with the Torah and its mitzvos — are of value. However, this also points to the importance of a person keeping the fundamental purpose of his business activity in mind, and making sure that his efforts are directed to revealing G‑d’s honor.

This also leads to another concept. A person should not think that the Redemption will be totally a spiritual matter without any connection to our activities within this world. This is not the case. On the contrary, it is through our activities in exile, that we will merit the coming of the Redemption. Within those activities must also be a fundamental stress on “Reflecting on three things,” as explained above; i.e., focusing one’s energies one elevating the world at large. In particular, this should be expressed in increasing one’s donations to tzedakah, giving of one’s physical effort and wealth to provide another person with his material needs.

We see in fact that the nature of the world encourages such activities and in that context, it is worthy to mention the discovery of jewels14 in a far removed corner of the world. These jewels will be used for “a bride’s ornaments,” to increase the merit of the Jewish people through gifts to tzedakah.

* * *

7. In connection with the redemption, we find the prophecy, “And Kingship will be the L‑rd’s.” This includes kingship, not only over the Jews, but also over the gentile nations as well. Hence, as a preparation for Mashiach’s coming, it is also important to spread the observance of the Seven universal Laws commanded to the descendants of Noach.

In this context, it is worthy to mention how the activities of the world and that of the gentile nations appear to be assisting the coming of the Redemption. In previous generations, the Jews suffered oppres­sion from the gentile nations in which they lived and in the present generation, the opposite is true. Most Jews live in countries whose gov­ernments are generous and assist them in the observance of the Torah and mitzvos, allowing them to carry out the inner service that will bring about a personal redemption which, in turn, will hasten the coming of the redemption as a whole. Surely, this is true of the country in which we are living. Furthermore, these countries are also granting assistance to Jews in the world at large, helping Jews immigrate to Eretz Yisrael.

In the last few years, we have seen this tendency spread to other nations throughout the world, even to Russia. Instead of suppressing the observance of the Torah and its mitzvosas in previous generation, they have granted religious freedom and are also allowing Jews the opportunity to emigrate to Eretz Yisrael. Furthermore, they are even assisting them in this objective. This helps prepare the way for the ultimate ingathering of the exiles in the Era of the Redemption.

Similarly, we see how the United States, the most powerful nation in the world, has dedicated its resources for the purpose of charity and education, two of the most fundamental activities necessary to create a stable environment in the world.

For this purpose, the United States has sent hundreds of its soldiers to help hungry and starving people in a far off corner of the world. Instead of using its airplanes for war, it employed them to reach those people who require such assistance. And instead of using its wealth for the benefit of its own people alone, it gave of that wealth to save the lives of unfortunate people and children. Although the people of this country had little contact with these unfortunate people previously, as soon as they heard of their suffering, they volunteered their assistance.

Similarly, in these days, the President of this country has issued Proclamations calling for an increase in education. At the very beginning of his Presidency he stated his desire to be known as “The Education President,” and at present, efforts are being made to strengthen education throughout the country.

An interrelationship exists between the fact that these steps are being taken by the United States and that the United States has been established as the most powerful nation in the world. Because the United States has dedicated itself to these goals, G‑d has granted it such power. This reveals how there is an inner process of causation operating within the world, pushing it to reveal its true G‑dly nature.

Parshas Tazriah - Metzorah | 5 -12 Iyar, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  APR 20th
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 7:48pm /COUNT OMER № 21/

SHABBOS SAT APR 21st 
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 9:38 am/
Mincha 7:48 pm /followed by Seuda Slishit / PIRKEI AVOT CHAPTER 2
Maariv/Havdalah 8:50 pm  /COUNT OMER № 22/

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Kiddush lite this week.  Yitzchok Rothman is a contributor, in honor and in memory of the 44th Yahrzeit of his mother, Bilhah bat Yitzchok Wolf ha Levi z"l ( 4th Iyar), and in honor of the 70th Yom Ha' Atzmaut!  Delicious meat cholent is sponsored by Moshe Chayon and made by Rabbi Mendy Levitin. Seuda Slishit.

Weekday Services 
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon - Fri Shacharis 7 am  
Sun -Thu Mincha 8:00 pm, followed by Maariv c. 8:45 pm /COUNT OMER № 23-27/

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.

PLEASE PAY YOUR CSTL DUES AND PLEDGES
Please drop a check by shul, or pay online at 
https://cstlseattleorg.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3182565/jewish/Donate.htm 
Thank you! Sincerely, the CSTL Board

FARBRENGEN ALERT – IYAR 5 – FRI APR 20th 6 PM
Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in honor of the 2nd of Iyar,Tiferet sh'b'tiferet - Birthday of the Rebbe MaHaRash, the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe; yahrzeit of Chasidic masters Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk and Rabbi Shmuel-Shelke of Nicholsburg. In front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah,

TORAH OHR WITH RABBI MENDY LEVITIN – 8:45 AM SHABBOS MORNING
All are welcome to this inspiring class.

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am - Noon
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 – Noon 
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

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

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

"Disaster Preparedness" workshop at CSTL, Sun Apr 22nd from 10-11 am, 
Run through the City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management. This is a great opportunity to prepare your family for any event as well as organize with your neighbors. The presentation provides an overview of the hazards that can impact Seattle, and steps that individuals and families can take to become more prepared to deal with them. This includes guidance on how to develop a disaster plan, build a disaster supply kit, and organize with your neighbors to become better prepared Please RSVP here: 
https://tinyurl.com/CSTLDisasterPrep If you are interested in co-sponsoring or helping organize this event, please email elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com 

REGISTER NOW FOR CAMP GAN YISROEL 5778
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2018, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime! Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion KitzGabbai 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. Presidential Kiddush $50, Chulent $100.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller in Seattle - April 28 & 29
www.ashreichemyisrael.org

New Sunday Night Series for Men & Women at Yavneh Educational Center
First two classes will be April 29 and May 6 at 7:00 pm taught by Larry Russak. Topic: "King Arthur, Ivanhoe, Robin Hood and the truth about the Jewish Exile from England" May 13, class taught by Judy Balint Topic: "Israel Up Close and Personal Part 1"June 3, class taught by Marlene Kaplan Topic: "Conversational Street Hebrew for Beginners"
www.bcmhseattle.org

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle NWIsraelFest Apr 8 – 22
www.JewishInSeattle.org ,

Camp Yavneh 2018, June 25th - August 17th 
Registration now open for Camp Yavneh. Staff applications now available at
www.campyavnehseattle.com    

NYHS Leadership Dinner, Sun Apr 29.. 
NYHS will honor Rabbi Rob Toren with the Jack De Leon Community Leadership Award. RSVP and/or place a tribute here or contact Melissa Rivkin at 
mrivkin@nyhs.org or 206-232-5272.

NYHS Gourmet Food & Dessert Auction, Wed May 16th 
At the home of Connie Kanter. Bid and buy items from our community chefs in support of NYHS. Free and open to all!  RSVP and to donate items, please contact us at 
nyhs@nyhs.org.

Seattle Kollel Partners in Torah Part II for Women April 29-May 16, 8-9 pm,
Contact Aliza Brand at 
alizabrand94@gmail.com, (773) 663-1512. More info: www.seattlekollel.com/partners-in-torah

Mercaz Shavuoton – Fri May 18th – Mon May 21st
An Amazing Shavuot All Inclusive Retreat .·  At Camp Solomon Schecter in Olympia, WA, 1 hour and 20 minutes south of Seattle.   Excellent all night learning. Classes during the days. ·  Children’s programming. ·  Delicious food.   Spirited tefillot. ·  Comfortable accommodations with private or semi-private bathrooms. ·  Friends, fun and conversation! Hiking trails, basketball, gaga, game room, lake with sandy beach, swing set and more! Register, Sponsor and Find More Info at: 
https://mercazseattle.shulcloud.com/ Please Register By May 2nd, When Early Bird Pricing Ends


REBBE’S SICHO FOR TAZRIAH - METZORAH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507760/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Tazria-Metzora-6th-Day-of-Iyar-5751-1991.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

 This is a time when every person is obligated to do all that depends on him to bring about the coming of Mashiach immediately for “All the appointed times for Mashiach’scoming have passed.” This is cogently true at present after the conclusion of the month of Nissan. Surely, in the immediate future, Mashiach will actually come and everyone will point to him and say, “Here look, Mashiach has actually come.”

These concepts, the imminence of Mashiach’s coming and every Jew’s responsibility to act to bring that coming closer are connected to this week’s Torah reading, Tazria-Metzora.

To explain: Parshas Tazria begins with the mention of a woman giving birth to a son. This is an allusion to the coming of the future redemption which is often described using the metaphor of birth. In particular, the birth of a son can be interpreted as a reference to the strength and permanence that will characterize the ultimate redemption, for this redemption will not be followed by an exile.1 In this context, the woman is an allusion to the Jewish people whose service will ultimately bear fruit in the advent of the Era of Redemption.

Parshas Metzora also shares a connection to Mashiach’s coming. Our Sages teach: What is Mashiach’s name? “The leper of the School of Rebbi” as implied by the prophecy, “He has borne our sicknesses and endured our afflictions.” Mashiach will sit among the lepers and be a leper himself.2

(Based on the above, we can appreciate the derivation of the name of the parshah from the verse, “This is the law applying to the leper on his day of purification.” Although the commonly accepted name of the parshah is Metzora, “the leper,” in some communities, it is referred to as Parshas Taharah, “the portion of purification.” Based on the above, we can appreciate both names as applying to the Mashiach; Metzora, refers to him as he exists within exile, and Taharah, refers to his state after he reveals himself and redeems the Jewish people.)

To explain the above concept: Commenting on the verse, “When a man will have a blemish on his skin,” the Alter Rebbe explains that Adom (the Hebrew term used for “man”) refers to a person who is completely developed in all aspects of his personality. Therefore, the blemish is only on his skin,3 i.e., it affects only the lower and more superficial elements of his being which have not been refined as of yet.

The Alter Rebbe continues, explaining that leprous blemishes are “Sublime matters. They are not impure until they are determined to be so by a priest.... Until then, they are not impure, but rather sublime lights.”4

These two explanations of leprous blemishes — that reflect the superficial aspects of one’s being that have not yet been refined and that they are a reflection of sublime G‑dly lights — are interrelated. Because they are a reflection of such sublime lights, even when there is a descent and nurture is derived by undesirable forces, the effects are only superficial.

In this context, we can appreciate the purification of a leper’s blemishes in a different context: The purification process does not represent the introduction of a new quality, but rather the revelation of the inner, true dimension possessed by these blemishes, their existence as sublime lights. This is reflected by the phrase, “on the day of one’s purification.” This implies that the purification from leprosy is connected with “day,” i.e., with revelation, revealing the inner nature of these sublime lights.

To focus on this concept: It is precisely the sublime nature of these Divine lights that allows for the derivation of nurture by undesirable forces. These lights are too powerful to be enclothed within vessels and therefore, there is the possibility for descent.5

When these powerful lights shine to vessels which cannot enclothe them, they cause the vessels to feel a yearning to rise above their immediate situation and to become included within the light of G‑d. This state is described as ratzu. This allows for the possibility for nurture to be derived by the external forces because there is no downward influence of holiness directed toward worldly involvement. To give an example of this on the personal level: After a person feels tremendously inspired in prayer, the energy he feels may be expressed in anger directed at another person.

What is necessary? To develop equilibrium with such feelings of ratzu, it is necessary to put a stress on shuv, involvement in the world. This is characterized by bittul. The yearning for G‑dliness has an element of yesh, self-concern, for in any love relationship, the person expressing love feels his personal identity. Conversely, in the approach of shuv, one must be like a subject who is totally overwhelmed when in the presence of his master and who feels no self-importance whatsoever.

This bittul will find expression in various efforts to draw Divine light downward, thus fulfilling G‑d’s desire for a dwelling within the lower worlds. Thus, this thrust of shuv has the potential to draw down the “sublime lights” that are too transcendent to be enclothed in vessels to be revealed within this world.

The fusion of these two tendencies of ratzu and shuv comes about through the revelation of a light that transcends both qualities. This is reflected in the quality of Tiferes (beauty) which has the power to create a synthesis between Chessed (kindness) and Gevurah(might), because within it, is revealed a light which utterly transcendent in nature..

This process is reflected in the description of the purification of a leper as toras hametzora,“the law of the leper.” Seemingly, the verse should have stated taharas hametzora, “the purification process for the leper.” Why does it use the word toras? To indicate that, in a spiritual sense, the purification of a leper comes about through the Torah.

Torah study requires bittul, as implied by fusion of the phrases in our prayers, “My soul will be as dust to all. Open my heart in Your Torah.” It is Bittul that makes one an appropriate recipient for the Torah.

The Torah is associated with the attribute of Tiferes as our Sages declared, “Tiferes is the giving of the Torah.” Thus, the Torah has the potential to unite the two thrusts of ratzu and shuv and hence, cause the sublime lights to be drawn down and revealed within the vessels of this world.6 This revelation, in turn, prevents the external forces from deriving nurture.

Based on the above, we can consider leprosy an analogy for exile and the purification from this impurity as an analogy for the redemption. Exile is characterized by the concealment of G‑dly light. This darkness, however, has its source in sublime lights which are too transcendent to be revealed within this material world. Since the source of this darkness is so high, it affects only the lower and more superficial elements of our existence.

This conception also leads to another idea: Our efforts to refine the world in the time of exile do not involve the introduction of a totally new idea, but rather the revelation of the true nature of the exile itself. Therefore, the exile need not be nullified entirely, but rather transformed into redemption.

This concept is revealed in the relationship between the Hebrew words for exile and redemption, golah (גולה) and geulah (גאולה). The difference between these two words is one letter, the Alef, which stands for G‑d, Alufo Shel Olam (“L‑rd of the world”). Through our service in the present era, we can reveal the sublime G‑dly lights that are not revealed in the time of exile.

In particular, this is brought about through service that is characterized by bittul and mesirus nefesh. These qualities bring the yechidah of the Jewish soul into expression and thus, lead to the expression of the Divine level of Yochid (“One”) which brings about the fusion of ratzu and shuv and thus causes the sublime Divine lights to be revealed within the vessels of this world.

Based on the above explanation, we can understand the sequence in the two portions that are read this week. As a preface to the concept of leprosy described in both parshiyos, the Torah speaks of a woman giving birth which is an analogy of how our service at present can lead to the redemption. In continuation, the Torah reading mentions leprosy the exile, for in truth the exile relates to sublime G‑dly heights which ultimately will be revealed in this world in the Era of the Redemption.

Afterwards, Parshas Metzora whose very name alludes to exile begins with the description of the leper’s purification process, the revelation of the true nature of the exile.7 This is further emphasized by the fact that Mashiach is called a leper and is described by our Sages as living among lepers.

This teaches us that Mashiach also exists in the world in the midst of the exile.8 He is also in exile and he waits anxiously to become revealed and to proceed to redeem the Jewish people.

* * *

2. This week, we study the second chapter of Pirkei Avos. The first teaching of that chapter states:

Rebbi said: Which is the right path that a man (adom) should choose for himself? That which is honorable (tiferes) to himself and brings him honor (tiferes) from man.

There are several difficulties which are raised by this teaching: a) The very question “Which is the right path?” is problematic. Can there be a right path other than the path of the Torah and its mitzvos. b) Why does the Mishnah use the term adom which, as mentioned above, refers to a person whose service of G‑d is complete? c) What is the connection between this statement and its author, Rebbi? And why does the Mishnah refer to him in this manner and not by name, Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi?

These questions can be answered within the context of the concepts explained above regarding Mashiach’s coming: In Rebbi’s generation, his colleagues said: “If Mashiach is among those alive today, he is surely our holy teacher [i.e., Rebbi] for he suffers physical afflictions and is the epitome of piety.” Therefore, Rebbi speaks about an adom, a person who like himself has reached a perfect level of fulfillment and therefore has to elevate only the superficial elements of his being and yet suffers the pains of exile.

It must be emphasized that, at present, since we — as the final generation of the exile — have already completed all elements of service demanded of us by G‑d, every Jew in this generation is on the level of adom.

And the question is: Since we have completed everything demanded of us, “What is the right — i.e., the most direct and most effective — path” to bring about the actual coming of Mashiach?

The answer brings out the advantage of the quality of Tiferes, which, as explained above, has the ability to fuse together the two thrusts of ratzu and shuv. Conduct in this manner has the potential to hasten the coming of Mashiach for Mashiach will serve two functions, king (as he is called Melech HaMashiach) and teacher (for he will teach the Torah to the entire people), which represents a similar fusion of two opposite tendencies.

To explain: Our relationship to a king depends on the quality of Kabbalas Ol, i.e., a person goes beyond himself and nullifies himself to the king’s authority. In contrast, teaching implies the establishment of an internal bond.9 Thus, the fusion of these two qualities parallels drawing down transcendent G‑dly light into revelation within our limited world.

* * *

3. The above concepts can be associated with the present month, the month of Iyar. In contrast to the month of Nissan which is associated with redemption and revelation from above, Iyar represents man’s contribution, the advantage achieved through service on this plane. Thus, the relationship between these two months also relates to the concept of drawing down transcendent G‑dly light into revelation within our limited world.

The fusion between these two months is established through the second of Iyar, Tiferes sheb’Tiferes, the birthday of the Rebbe Maharash.10 This allows for the revelations associated with Nissan, the month of redemption to be drawn into the world through our service.

Iyar (אייר) is an acronym for the names, Avraham, Yitzchok, Yaakov, and Rachel. The three Patriarchs represent the three vectors of the Sefiros and Rachel represents the vessels which receive this Divine light. Thus, this constitutes a further parallel to the concept described above.

Rachel is also remembered for her mourning over the Jewish people having been sent to exile. G‑d promises her that “there will be a reward for your efforts,” and that ultimately, “the children will return to their borders,” i.e., the redemption will come.

4. There is also a connection between the above concepts and the Sefirah which was counted last night, Malchus sheb’Tiferes (kingship within beauty). In general, the Counting of the Omer is intended to refine our souls (“May it rectify our nefeshruach, and neshamah) and the world at large (“May abundant influence be bestowed upon all the worlds”). Ultimately, it will also bring about the redemption as reflected in the prayer “May the Merciful One restore the Beis HaMikdash.”

This year, there is a unique dimension to the Counting of the Omer, because Pesach was celebrated on Shabbos. Therefore, each week, the Counting of the Omer begins Saturday night and concludes on Shabbos. Thus, each week Shabbos is associated with the Sefirahof Malchus as manifest within each of the Sefiros (e.g., Malchus sheb’Chesed, Malchus sheb’Gevurah, etc.). There is an interrelationship between the two concepts. Shabbos reflects in microcosm, “the era which will be all Shabbos and rest for eternity,” the Era of the Redemption. Similarly, in this era, we will see the ultimate expression of Malchus; Mashiach will restore the Jewish monarchy. Through his activities, G‑d’s Kingship will be established throughout the world, “And G‑d will be king over the entire earth.”

Our Sages state: “The king’s word can uproot a mountain.” Even the strongest elements of existence, mountains, cannot oppose a king. To explain this concept on a deeper level: It is impossible for any person or entity in a country to oppose a king. The life-energy of the entire nation derives from the king and no entity can stand in opposition to its own source. Similarly, in regard to the ultimate kingship, the sovereignty of Mashiach. Mashiach is the essence of all existence as our Sages state, “The world was created solely... for Mashiach.” Therefore, there can be no real opposition to the revelation of Mashiach and the redemption. On the contrary, the redemption will reveal the genuine existence of every entity within the world.

At this farbrengen, the Rebbe Shlita called for active efforts to bring about the coming of Mashiach by: a) increasing our study of Torah, and in particular, studying about the redemption and Mashiach, and b) enhancing our performance of mitzvos behiddur, in a beautiful and conscientious manner, and in particular, increasing our gifts to tzedakah.

 

Parshas Shemini Machar Chodesh Iyar | 28 Nisan-5 Iyar, 5778

EREV SHABBOS  APR 13th   
Shacharis 7 am
Candles/Mincha/Maariv 7:38pm /COUNT OMER № 14/

SHABBOS SAT MAR 24th 
Tehiliim for Mevarchim Iyar  8 am
Shacharis: 9:30 am /Sof Zman Krias Shema 9:45 am/
Mincha 7:38 pm /followed by Seuda Slishit / PIRKEI AVOT CHAPTER 1
Maariv/Havdalah 8:39 pm  /COUNT OMER № 15/

KIDDUSH AND SEUDA SLISHIT
Gala Bar Mitzvah Kiddush Lunch is sponsored by Mike and Lesley Weichbrodt in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of their son Ya’akov. Mazel Tov! Seuda Slishit.

Weekday Services 
Sun Shacharis: 9 am /ROSH CHODESH IYAR
Mon Sharcharis 6:50 am /ROSH CHODESH IYAR
Tue- Fri Shacharis 7 am  
Sun -Thu Mincha 7:50 pm, followed by Maariv c. 8:35 pm /COUNT OMER № 16-20/

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.

PLEASE PAY YOUR CSTL DUES AND PLEDGES
Please help CSTL make our April mortgage payment! You can drop a check by shul, or pay online at 
https://cstlseattleorg.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3182565/jewish/Donate.htm 
Thank you! Sincerely, the CSTL Board

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV!
Mazel Tov to Mike and Lesley Weichbrodt, and grandparents Heinz and Karen Weichbrodt, Sally Weichbrodt, and James and Virginia Rogers OB”M on the Bar Mitzvah of their son Ya’akov.  May he grow to a life of Torah, Chupah, and Maasim Toviml!

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV!
Mazel Tov to Yechezkel and Ora Rapoport on the birth of their new granddaughter to Rabbi Sadya and Shimona Davidoff..  May they raise her to Torah, Chupah, and Maasim Toviml!

FARBRENGEN ALERT – NISAN 29 – FRI APR 12th 6 PM
Erev-Shabbos Farbrengen in honor of the birth of Chaya Davidoff.  In front of the CSTL Men’s Mikvah,

TORAH OHR WITH RABBI ALTER LEVITIN – 8:45 AM SHABBOS MORNING
All are welcome to this inspiring class.

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am - Noon
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 – Noon 
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

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

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

REGISTER NOW FOR CAMP GAN YISROEL 5778
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2018, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime! Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion KitzGabbai 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. Presidential Kiddush $50, Chulent $100.


COMMUNITY NEWS

BCMH Men's Club Holocaust Memorial Breakfast Sun., Apr 15th 10:00 am
In the BCMH Volotin Social Hall. Sponsored by the family of Mel Wolf z"l. 

Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel Independence Day – Wed Apr 18th 7:30 pm
At Minyan Ohr Chadash. 
www.minyanohrchadash.org

Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel Independence Day – Thu Apr 19th 6:00 pm,  
At Ezra Bessaroth.  Info: 
www.EzraBessaroth.net

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle NWIsraelFest Apr 8 – 22
www.JewishInSeattle.org ,

Ap"Disaster Preparedness" workshop at CSTL, Sun Apr 22nd from 10-11 am, 
Run through the City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management. This is a great opportunity to prepare your family for any event as well as organize with your neighbors. The presentation provides an overview of the hazards that can impact Seattle, and steps that individuals and families can take to become more prepared to deal with them. This includes guidance on how to develop a disaster plan, build a disaster supply kit, and organize with your neighbors to become better prepared Please RSVP here:
https://tinyurl.com/CSTLDisasterPrep If you are interested in co-sponsoring or helping organize this event, please emailelizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

BCMH Chavrusa Learning Program, Sunday, April 15, 8:50 am
Given by Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum, BCMH Beis Midrash. Shiur to follow at 9:40 am.

Camp Yavneh 2018, June 25th - August 17th 
Registration now open for Camp Yavneh. Staff applications now available at
www.campyavnehseattle.com    

NYHS Leadership Dinner, Sun Apr 29.. 
NYHS will honor Rabbi Rob Toren with the Jack De Leon Community Leadership Award. RSVP and/or place a tribute here or contact Melissa Rivkin at 
mrivkin@nyhs.org or 206-232-5272.

NYHS Gourmet Food & Dessert Auction, Wed May 16th 
At the home of Connie Kanter. Bid and buy items from our community chefs in support of NYHS. Free and open to all!  RSVP and to donate items, please contact us at 
nyhs@nyhs.org.

Seattle Kollel Partners in Torah Part II for Women April 29-May 16, 8-9 pm,
Contact Aliza Brand at 
alizabrand94@gmail.com, (773) 663-1512. More info: www.seattlekollel.com/partners-in-torah


REBBE’S SICHO FOR SHEMINI
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2507758/jewish/Shabbos-Parshas-Shemini-29th-Day-of-Nissan-5751-1991.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

On this Shabbos, we have read from Parshas Shemini for the eighth time. (This includes the readings on the Shabbos afternoons and on Mondays and Thursdays.) There is a common saying, Shemini Shemoneh Shemainoh, “When Parshas Shemini is read eight times, it will be a plentiful year” in both spiritual and material matters.

This enhances the unique nature of this year which is a year when “I will show you wonders,” i.e., a year filled with manifest Divine miracles which will serve as a preparation for the miracles that will accompany the Future Redemption when “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.” This is particularly true in the present month, the month of Nissan, a month associated with miracles of a truly wondrous nature.

There are several other unique factors associated with this Shabbos: a) It is the first Shabbos after the holiday of Pesach and thus it is on this Shabbos that we begin reading Pirkei Avos. b) It is the last Shabbos of the month of Nissan, and indeed, the day before Rosh Chodesh Iyar. c) Today also concludes as week of the Counting of the Omer. As mentioned,1 this year there is an added dimension of perfection within the Counting of the Omer, because each week, the week of the Omer begins on Saturday night and concludes on Shabbos.

These factors are all interconnected, and similarly, share a connection with the unique and wondrous dimension of the present year, a year when “I will show you wonders.”

To focus first on the expression “When Parshas Shemini is read eight times, it will be a plentiful year” in greater depth: On the surface, the question arises: Shemainoh — “plentiful” shares the same root as the word Shemini itself. If so, why is it that only when Shemini is read eight times (Shemoneh) will it be a plentiful year? Surely, Shemoneh, the eight times we read from the portion, contributes an added influence, but seemingly the reading of Shemini itself should be sufficient to bring about the influence of Shemainoh.

To explain: Shemini refers to the eighth day of the dedication of the Sanctuary, the day when the Divine Presence came to rest among the Jewish people. The potential for this is related to Shemini, “the eighth day.” The natural order is structured in cycles of seven,2thus corresponding to the seven Divine attributes described as middos. In contrast, eight is associated with the Divine light which transcends the natural order.

Thus, the service performed during the first seven days of the dedication of the Sanctuary was associated with the G‑dliness that manifests itself within the natural order. Hence, it was not sufficient to bring about the revelation of the Divine Presence. On the eighth day, this transcendent aspect of G‑dliness was revealed and came to rest within the Jewish people.

This represents the connection between eight and plenty. Eight refers to a beneficence that transcends the limits of the world and thus brings about plenty.

The ultimate intent, however, is that the light which transcends the natural order permeate that limited realm as well and come into revelation within the world itself, and furthermore, that the world as it exists within its own context, appreciate this revelation. This represents a fusion of two opposites, the revelation of transcendent G‑dliness within a world of limitation.

In particular, this concept is revealed in Moshe’s blessing to the Jewish people, “May the Divine Presence rest in the work of your hands;” i.e., the work of the Jew’s hands, their limited service, will become a vehicle for the revelation of G‑d’s infinite properties. From the Sanctuary, the revelation of this quality will spread throughout the world at large.

In an open and manifest manner, this fusion of the finite and the infinite was revealed in the ark.3 Although the ark had a specific width, two and half cubits, when the entire span of the Sanctuary was measured, “the space of the ark was not included in the measure.”

These concepts must be reflected in the service of each individual Jew. There are certain aspects of our service that are associated with boundaries and limitations and others that transcend limitation. Each reflects a particular positive quality. The service within the context of limitation is appropriate to our human personalities and, as such, makes it possible for them to internalize the revelation of G‑dliness.

The service that transcends revelation establishes a connection to those dimensions of G‑dliness which are also unlimited. Thus the ultimate state of service is the fusion of both these qualities, thus establishing a connection with G‑d’s infinite dimension, and simultaneously, allowing for that connection to be internalized with the limited sphere of our personalities and our material world.

Based on the above, we can explain why it is the influence of Shemoneh (“eight”) and not that of Shemini (“the eighth day”) which makes this year “plentiful” (Shemainoh). The difference “the eighth” and “eight” is that “the eighth” refers to a level distinct and separate from the levels which precede it. In contrast, eight refers to a sequence in which not only the number eight, but also the seven numbers which precede it are also counted.

As mentioned previously, eight refers to a transcendent dimension of G‑dliness. Thus, Shemini refers to this transcen­dent dimension as it stands in and of itself, above our material world. In contrast, Shemoneh indicates a bond between this infinity quality and the natural order which is structured in seven, the transcendent G‑dliness investing and manifesting itself within the limits of our world.

For this reason, the reading of Parshas Shemini alone does not bring about plenty for it refers to a level above the limits of our world. When, however, as in the present year, that portion is read is read eight times, this infinite quality is reflected within the nature of our world, bringing about plenty.

There is a further concept implied: The means in which the eighth quality, the transcendent dimension described above, is revealed is through the service with the seven limited qualities which precede it (one reaches eight after counting seven). When one completes the service within the context of limitation, one becomes capable of receiving higher revelations, including qualities which transcend revelation.

To refer to the example of the revelation of infinity mentioned above, that the place of the ark was not included in the measure of the Sanctuary’s span: When was it possible for this infinite quality to be revealed? When first the ark was fashioned according to its precise measure. Were it not to have been completed according to its precise instructions, the Divine Presence would not have rested upon it.4

Similarly, in regard to the reading of Parshas Shemini, the unique dimension expressed this year comes when we read from Parshas Shemini eight times: The first reading reveals the transcendent quality associated with Shemini, the second reading, a reinforcement of this quality, the third reading a chazakah5 which reveals a dimension of strength and permanence. The fourth reading is associated with the four legs of the Divine chariot which give it stability and balance, the fifth reading with “the fifth to Pharaoh,” which is interpreted by the Zohar as referring to a level where “all lights are revealed.” The sixth reading is associated with a repetition of the chazakah mentioned above, and also the completion of the world which was created in six days. The seventh reading is connected with Shabbos which infuses the dimension of rest into the world. And as mentioned above it is the eighth reading which fuses the infinite dimension of G‑dliness with the limitations of our material world.

* * *

2. The potential for the revelation of this transcendent quality within the limits of our material world is generated by Moshe and his prayer “May the pleasantness of G‑d be upon you,” which is interpreted to mean “May the Divine Presence rest in the work of your hands.”

In his own person, Moshe represents the fusion of finiteness and infinity and therefore, he has the potential to serve as “a medium which connects,” and thus bring infinite G‑dliness into revelation within our material world.6

This concept is reflected in the opening Mishnah of the first chapter of Pirkei Avos (which we begin reading this week), “Moshe received the Torah from Sinai and gave it over....” “G‑d and the Torah are one” and it is through the Torah that the Divine Presence rests among the Jewish people. Similarly, it is through the Torah that a Jew has the potential to reveal the transcendent level of G‑dliness within the world at large.

The expression “Moshe received the Torah from Sinai” is also significant, revealing the source for Moshe’s potential. Seemingly, the Mishnah should have said “Moshe received the Torah from G‑d.” Why does it mention Sinai? To teach us that just as Mount Sinai was chosen for the giving of the Torah because it was lower than all mountains, it is humility and bittul which make a person a fit recipient for the Torah. Moshe was the epitome of these qualities being “more humble than any man on the face of the earth.” Therefore, he was the one who received the Torah, and it was he who served as the medium for the revelation of transcendent G‑dliness within our limited world.

To elaborate on the conception of Moshe as representing the fusion of limitation and the levels of G‑dliness that transcend limitation: The name Moshe in Hebrew (van) can be interpreted as an acronym for the names, Moshe, Shammai, and Hillel, who represent the three vectors of Divine influence. Hillel represents the right vector which is characterized by the quality of Chessed (kindness) and thus the School of Hillel is renown for its lenient approach to Torah law. Shammai represents the left vector which is characterized by the quality of Gevurah (might) and thus the School of Shammai is renown for its stringent approach to Torah law. Moshe represents the middle vector which is associated with the quality of Tiferes (beauty) and which possesses an infinite dimension that can unite and harmonize the other two approaches.

The fusion of Chessed and Gevurah can be interpreted as a fusion of limitation and above limitation. Gevurah is associated with the process of contraction and the establishment of limitations. In contrast, Chessed represents influence from above which transcends the limits of the recipients.

Moshe’s potential to bring about this fusion of opposites comes from the fact that Moshe was “drawn out from the water,” i.e., the source for his soul was levels of Divine light that are too transcendent to be openly revealed within this world.7 Even as Moshe was “drawn out from the water,” and existed within this limited world, he possessed a connection to his transcendent source.

Moshe reflected the ultimate of bittul. Therefore, he was able to reveal the advantage possessed by the service of each of the two vectors and unite them together. This in turn brought about the revelation of the Divine Presence within the world.

Moshe endows the potential to carry out his service to every Jew, for every Jew possesses a spark of Moshe in his soul. Furthermore, this quality affects their service within the world at large. We see this pattern reflected at the construction of the Sanctuary. Moshe recited the prayer, “May the Divine Presence rest in the work of your hands,” and the Divine Presence was revealed. This caused the Jews “to offer praise and to fall on their faces,”8i.e., to express complete and utter bittul.

From Moshe’s generation, this potential was transferred from to all subsequent generations, granting them the potential to emulate Moshe’s acceptance of the Torah from Sinai, and thus establish a complete bond of unity with the G‑d through Torah study.

* * *

3. There is also a connection to the completion of the second week of the Counting of the Omer. The first week of the Omer is associated with the quality of Chessed (“kindness”) which characterizes the right vector. The second week is associated with Gevurah (“might”) which characterizes the left vector. Thus, these two weeks parallel the qualities represented by the Schools of Shammai and Hillel mentioned above.

Also, the counting of Malchus sheb’Gevurah (Kingship within might) on the present day is associated with the ultimate expression of kingship, the revelation of “And G‑d will rule forever and ever,” in the ultimate redemption when “the sovereignty will be the L‑rd’s.” Furthermore, this revelation will be overpowering in nature as appropriate for the attribute of might.

Although might is often associated with tzimtzum, the process of Divine self-limitation which brought about the existence of this material world, it also is associated with a powerful revelation of Divine power. Thus, the Resurrection of the Dead is associated with this quality. Furthermore, this overpowering revelation, the revelation of the redemption, will draw G‑dliness into even the aspects of the world that are characterized by concealment.9Since the revelation will permeate even these levels, there will be no further opportunity for exile. It will be a redemption that will not be followed by exile.

* * *

4. Today is also the day before Rosh Chodesh when we read the Haftorah which begins, “And Yonason told him (David), ‘Tomorrow is the new moon. And you will be brought to mind, because your place will be empty.’ ” The Hebrew words for “brought to mind” and “be empty” share the same root (sep).

This relationship is reflected in the pattern leading to the shining of the new moon. First the moon becomes concealed to the point where it does not shine at all and it is this concealment (“your place will be empty”) that leads to a renewal of the moon’s shining (“you will be brought to mind”).10

Similarly, the concealment of exile is the preparation for the shining of the redemption which is connected with King David’s descendant, the Mashiach. Also, the root sep is associated with redemption for it was the sign that Yaakov and Yosef gave the Jewish people that the redemption would come (פקוד יפקודBereishis 50:24-25. Thus, it also shares a connection to the ultimate redemption, for “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.”

5. All the above emphasizes how the ultimate redemption should come immediately, particularly in this present year, a year when “I will show you wonders.” Even though we are in the darkness of exile, that very fact, the fact that our place at G‑d’s table in the Beis HaMikdash is empty, should cause G‑d to bring us to mind and devote His attention to redeeming us.

Furthermore, our service carried out within the darkness and concealment of the exile has the potential to bring about the redemption. This pattern parallels our Sages’ comment, “Whoever observes the Torah in a state of poverty will ultimately merit to observe it in a state of wealth.” Through service in the poverty of exile, we will merit to serve G‑d with the wealth of the redemption.

The intent is not, heaven forbid, that we must carry out our service in actual poverty. Whatever was necessary on that account was fulfilled in the previous generations. Instead, as our Sages explained that the true sense of poverty is a lack of knowledge, and we are lacking the ultimate knowledge that will be revealed in the Era of Redemption. In a material sense, however, we have been granted wealth, and we can study Torah and observe its mitzvos in prosperity. Moreover, we have also been granted a glimmer of the spiritual wealth of the Era of Redemption as reflected in the printing of many Torah texts that were unavailable until now.

Therefore it is incumbent on every Jew to work to bring the ultimate redemption. A person cannot complain: “I’m limited in my capacities and, furthermore, must devote much of my time to physical activities within this world. I barely have enough energy to carry out a service which is limited in scope. Surely, I’m unable to carry out a service as great as bringing Mashiach.”

Even such a person must be brought to realize that Mashiach’s coming is dependent on the Jews’ service and on every Jew’s service. And if Mashiach has not come as of yet, this is a clear indication that his coming depends on the service of our generation. Through our service within the limitations and the concealment of this exile, we can tap great energies which have the potential to bring about the redemption. Moreover, the Rambam writes that with every single mitzvah that a Jew performs, he has the potential “to bring about salvation for himself and for the entire world.”

Each Jew has been given the power to carry out this service, and to do so in a perfect manner. Not only can he help another person in their efforts, but rather he can carry out this service himself and thus become a full partner with G‑d in the work of creation.

Each Jew’s soul is “a part of G‑d from above,” and thus his service has the potential to have untold effects. This is particularly true in the present year, a year when “I will show you wonders.” “I” refers to G‑d and when G‑d shows wonders, everything is revealed. We see miracles which transcend the natural order and miracles that are enclothed within the natural order as we have seen in the last months, beginning with the month of Adar.

This pattern continued in the month of Nissan, a month associated with miracles of a truly miraculous nature and will surely continue in the month of Iyar whose name serves as an acronym for the names, Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, and Rachel who represented the four “legs” of the Heavenly Chariot; alternatively, for the Hebrew words of the verse, “I am G‑d, your healer.”11 In particular, this is heightened by the reading from Parshas Shemini eight times, for eight shares an intrinsic relationship with the Era of Redemption.

The power for us to carry out this service is generated by the extension of Moshe in our generation, the Previous Rebbe. In particular, the potential is revealed here in this building which served the Previous Rebbe — and continues to serve — as a place of prayer, a place of study, and a place of deeds of kindness. From here, influence will spread throughout the world, even to those corners of the world which are furthest removed — both geographically and ideologically — from this place and it will be revealed how “My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations.”

This will be realized in the Era of Redemption, after the ingathering of the exiles. Indeed, we are already seeing a reflection of this in the ingathering of the exiles we have seen in the last years, which allowed many Jews from Russia to emigrate to Eretz Yisrael. In previous years, there were obstacles and quotas impeding such emigration, but now, they are being given permission to leave without any hindrances. This is surely one of the revelations of a transcendent nature which will come in the end of the era of exile.

To conclude in simple terms: Every Jew, man, woman, and child has an individual responsibility to add to his service with the intent of bring about the actual coming of Mashiach. One should not try to shift the burden of responsibility to others. Rather, each person should recognize his individual responsibil­ity.

This service must involve an increase in the study of the Torah, both Nigleh and Pnimiyus HaTorah and an increase in the performance of mitzvos behiddur, i.e., in a beautiful and conscientious manner. In particular, this should involve attention to the custom of studying Pirkei Avos Shabbos afternoon between the holidays of Pesach and Shavuos and throughout the entire summer.

In addition to making such increases oneself, one should also influence others to make similar increases. And all of this should be suffused with yearning for and expectation of Mashiach’s coming.

May our resolutions to involve ourselves in these activities be successful and bring about the coming of the ultimate redemption when “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.”

Shevii Shel Pesach | 20-28 Nissan, 5778

Erev Shevi’i Shel Pesach, Thu Apr 5th 
Shacharis: 7  am
Mincha/Candles  7:27 pm /ERUV TAVSHILIN/
Maariv 8:17 pm /COUNT OMER #6/
 It is customary to remain awake on the eve of the Seventh of Passover (i.e., tonight) and spend the entire night in Torah study and joyous celebration of the great miracle of the splitting of the sea. (
www.chabad.org)

Shevi’i Shel Pesach, Fri Apr 6th 
Shacharis: 9:30 a.m.
Mincha 6:30 PM /Special Time - FOLLOWED BY KINUS TORAH/
Candles & Yartzeit Candles after 8:30 pm from existing flame
Maariv 8:18 /COUNT OMER #7/

Shabbos/Acharon Shel Pesach, Sat Apr 7th 
Shacharis: 9:30 a.m /YIZKOR/
Mincha  6:30 pm followed by MOSHIACH SEUDA
Maariv/Havdalah 8:28 pm /COUNT OMER #8/
Chametz repurchased 9:00 pm

Weekday Services Sun – Thu
Shacharis Sun 9 am
Shacharis Mon-Fri 7 am
Mincha Sun – Thu 7:40 pm
Maariv and Sefira Sun-Thu ≅8:27 pm /COUNT #9-13/

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.

PLEASE PAY YOUR CSTL DUES AND PLEDGES
Take time out from your busy cleaning schedule to please pay your dues and pledges to CSTL! Your payments will be greatly appreciated, especially in light of our need to make our April mortgage payment! You can drop a check by shul, or pay online at 
https://cstlseattleorg.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3182565/jewish/Donate.htm and Thank you! Wishing you a Happy and Kosher Pesach! Sincerely, the CSTL Board

SAVE THE DATE – SHABBOS SHEMINI – APR 14th 
The Weichbrodt family invites you to join them in the celebration of Jacob’s Bar Mitzvah.  Shabbos Shemini, Apr 14th at CSTL Mazel Tov Mazel Tov!

CSTL TOT PROGRAM 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
There will be babysitting for Tot Groups (ages 0-5) over Pesach from 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM on both days of Yom Tom, April 6 and 7. Children 2 or under should be accompanied by an adult. Please check in on children who are not potty trained. There will be some snacks and water provided, but please bring other kosher for pesach snacks and drinks for your children. Info: Liz Roth-Jacobovitz: 
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

CSTL JUNIOR CONGREGATION  10 am – Noon /NOT DURING PESACH/
RabbiHerbstman@gmail.com

WOMEN’S SUNDAY TEHILLIM AT CSTL – 10 AM /NOT DURING PESACH/
In the library.  Come say a prayer for those in need. 

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Regular Sundays 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

REGISTER NOW FOR CAMP GAN YISROEL 5778
Campers ages 2 -12 are excited about Gan Izzy 2018, especially since we’ve added a sixth week! For six fabulous weeks, your child can enjoy everything summer has to offer: swimming, crafts, sports, days at the beach, excursions to museums, roller skating, berry picking, and more, all in a loving, safe, Jewish environment. What could be better?! Campers from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed, and given lots of love and attention from our enthusiastic group of specially recruited and trained counselors—some of whom are CGIS alumni themselves.  Fun that lasts a summer...memories that last a lifetime! Register now for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 weeks at
http://www.campganisraelseattle.org/

PLEASE DO NOT DROP OFF YOUR SHAIMIS AT CSTL
Thank you for your cooperation.

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Marion KitzGabbai 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. Presidential Kiddush $50, Chulent $100.


COMMUNITY NEWS

"Disaster Preparedness" Workshop Sun Apr 22nd 
Run through the City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management.A great opportunity to prepare your family for any event as well as organize with your neighbors. If you are interested in co-sponsoring or helping organize this program, please email Liz Roth-Jacobovitz:
elizabeth.roth08@gmail.com

Camp Yavneh 2018, June 25th - August 17th 
Registration now open for Camp Yavneh. Staff applications now available at
www.campyavnehseattle.com    

Community Trip to Israel. Apr 29th -May 8th 
"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.

Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Sun Apr 8th 7:00 pm,  
At Ezra Bessaroth 
www.EzraBessaroth.net


SICHO FOR ACHARON SHEL PESACH
http://www.sie.org/templates/sie/article_cdo/aid/2419964/jewish/Moshiachs-Seudah.htm © SichosInEnglish.org

Acharon Shel Pesach, the last day of Pesach, has a special connection to the coming of Moshiach and is celebrated accordingly, by partaking of Moshiach’s seudah.

The last day of Pesach is celebrated by eating a special, festive banquet called Moshiach’s seudah,1 a custom initiated by the Baal Shem Tov..2 The connection between the last day of Pesach and Moshiach is explained by the Tzemach Tzedek:3 “The last day of Pesach is the conclusion of that which began on the first night of Pesach. The first night of Pesach is our festival commemorating our redemption from Egypt by the Holy One, Blessed be He. It was the first redemption, carried out through Moshe Rabbeinu, who was the first redeemer; it was the beginning. The last day of Pesach is our festival commemorating the final redemption, when the Holy One, Blessed be He, will redeem us from the last exile through our righteous Moshiach, who is the final redeemer. The first day of Pesach is Moshe Rabbeinu’s festival; the last day of Pesach is Moshiach’s festival.”

Pesach is the festival which celebrates freedom. The first day celebrates the redemption from the first exile; the last day celebrates the future redemption from the final exile. The two are intimately connected, the beginning and end of one process,4 with G‑d in the future redemption showing wonders “as in the days of your exodus from Egypt..”5

Gatherer of all the camps

That Moshiach’s festival is celebrated specifically on the last day of Pesach is not merely because Moshiach will redeem us from the last exile. Being last has a significance beyond mere numerical order, for that which is last performs a unique function. When the Jews journeyed in the desert after leaving Egypt, they marched in a specific order, divided into four camps. The last to march was the camp of Don, which is described by Torah as “ma’asaf l’chol hamachanos” — “gatherer of all the camps.”6 Rashi explains this as meaning that “The tribe of Don...would journey last, and whoever would lose anything, it would restore it to him.”

The concept of “gatherer of all the camps” — restoring lost property and making sure that nothing is missing — may be applied to various situations.. The Baal Shem Tov, for example, taught7 that just as the Jews in the desert made forty-two journeys before they reached their final destination, Eretz Yisroel, so there are forty-two journeys in each Jew’s individual life. The birth of a person corresponds to the initial journey when the Jews left the land of Egypt,8 and at each stage of life a Jew is somewhere in the middle of one of the forty-two journeys he must experience before he enters the next world.9

Not only a person’s entire life, but also every individual service to G‑d has various stages or “journeys.” In particular, the conclusion of a specific service acts as the “gatherer of all the camps” — to make sure that nothing is missing from that service. Pesach, it was noted earlier, is associated with the concept of redemption, and our service on Pesach is correspondingly directed towards hastening the arrival of the final redemption. But even if service on Pesach was deficient, if opportunities were missed, not all is lost: the last day of Pesach acts as “gatherer of all the camps” for the entire festival. Just as the tribe of Don restored lost articles to their owners, so the last day of Pesach provides a Jew with the opportunity to rectify omissions in the service of Pesach, and thereby regain what is rightfully his.

Because Pesach is associated with the redemption through Moshiach and the last day of Pesach is the finish to and completion of Pesach, the last day of Pesach accordingly emphasizes the coming of Moshiach.

Last generation of exile

We can go further. The notion of “gatherer of all the camps” applies not only to each individual Jew’s life and service, but also to Jewry in general. The forty-two journeys between leaving Egypt and entering Eretz Yisroel took place in the desert, the “wilderness of the nations,”10 which is an allusion to the period of exile when Jews sojourn amongst the nations of the earth.11 The forty-two journeys in the desert served as the means wherewith Jews left the limitations of Egypt.12 Thus all the journeys undertaken until the Jews actually entered Eretz Yisroel may be viewed as part of the exodus from Egypt. So too with the journeys in the exile: until Jews merit the final redemption, they are still journeying to reach Eretz Yisroel. In every generation, Jews are somewhere in the middle of one of those forty-two journeys.

As in the journeys in the desert, there is a “gatherer of all the camps” in the generations-long journey of Jews to the Messianic Era. Our present generation is that of “the footsteps of Moshiach,” the last generation of exile. It is the “gatherer of all the camps” of all generations of Jews.

That this generation of exile is the “gatherer of all the camps” of all generations is not just because it is the last. Exile is not just punishment for sin.13 The mission of Jews is to elevate and refine this corporeal world, to reveal G‑dliness and to transform the physical into a dwelling place for G‑d. Dispersed throughout the world in exile, Jews have been given the opportunity and the means to carry out this mission in all parts of the world.

This has been the Jews’ task throughout their history. “Gatherer of all the camps” in this context means that if any portion of that task is missing, it now can be rectified.14 Thus the era of “gatherer of all the camps” is the era when the world will have been fully refined and G‑dliness revealed: the Era of Moshiach.

It is for this reason that it is our generation which is that of “the footsteps of Moshiach” and “gatherer of all the camps.” For the service of Jews throughout the generations has been all but completed, and only the finishing touches — “gatherer of all the camps” — is needed. We stand ready and prepared to greet Moshiach.

Moshiach, of course, could have come in previous generations. The Talmud, for example, relates15 that at the destruction of the Beis HaMikdosh, a cow lowed twice. The first time meant that the Beis HaMikdosh was destroyed; the second time meant that Moshiach was born. In other words, the potential Moshiach was born immediately after the destruction and had the Jews merited it then, he would have been the actual Moshiach.

Although Moshiach could have come in previous generations, the future redemption nevertheless has a greater connection to our generation — just as the idea of Moshiach is emphasized on the last day of Pesach although the whole of Pesach is associated with the future redemption. For both are the concept of “gatherer of all the camps” and we accordingly celebrate Moshiach’s seudah specifically on the last day of Pesach.

Eighth day of circumcision

There is still more to the connection between the last day of Pesach and Moshiach.. The prophet Yechezkel describes the exodus from Egypt — which took place on the first day of Pesach — as the birth of the Jewish nation.16 The last day of Pesach, the eighth day, is therefore the day of the circumcision, which is “the beginning of the entry of the holy soul.”17 Moshiach is the yechidah18 — the most sublime level of the soul — of the Jewish people. Until the body of Jewry has undergone circumcision it is not whole; its holy soul is missing. Moreover, the Alter Rebbe writes, the highest level of circumcision will take place in the future, when “The L‑rd will circumcise your heart.”19

The Haftorah read on the last day of Pesach is also connected with the Messianic Era. It states:20 “The wolf will lie down with the lamb...He will raise a banner for the return...the earth will be full of the knowledge of the L‑rd.” All of these verses refer to the Messianic Era.

Thus the relationship between the last day of Pesach and Moshiach. But why do we mark this relationship by eating a meal?

Belief in Moshiach is a cardinal tenet of the Jewish faith, enshrined as one of Rambam’sthirteen principles of belief:21 “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of Moshiach; and although he may tarry, I will wait for him every day that he shall come.” But abstract belief is not enough. Our intellectual awareness must be translated into concrete action — by eating of Moshiach’s seudah. Moreover, the food from Moshiach’s seudah becomes part of our flesh and blood, and our faith in, and yearning for Moshiach permeates not just the soul’s faculties but also the physical body.

Chassidus brings Moshiach

Moshiach’s seudah was initiated by the Baal Shem Tov, and there is good reason why it was by him specifically. In a famous letter to his brother in law, R. Gershon of Kitov, the Baal Shem Tov tells of the time he experienced an elevation of the soul to the highest spheres. When he came to the abode of Moshiach, he asked, “When will the Master come?” to which Moshiach replied, “When your wellsprings shall spread forth to the outside.”22 In other words, it is the Baal Shem Tov’s teachings — Chassidus — which will bring Moshiach, and it is therefore particularly appropriate that it was the Baal Shem Tov who initiated Moshiach’s seudah on the last day of Pesach.

In the time of the Baal Shem Tov, the principal element of the seudah was matzah. The Rebbe Rashab, fifth Rebbe of Chabad, added the custom of drinking four cups of wine.23Matzah is poor man’s bread, flat and tasteless. Wine, in contrast, not only possesses taste, but induces joy and delight, to the extent that our Sages say, “Shirah (song) is said only over wine.”24 Chabad Chassidus conveys the concepts of Chassidus, first propounded by the Baal Shem Tov, in an intellectual framework, enabling them to be understood by a person’s Chochmah (wisdom), Binah (knowledge), and Da’as (understanding) — ChaBaD. And when a person understands something — in this case the concepts of Chassidus — he enjoys it that much more. Chabad, in other words, introduced “taste” and “delight” into Chassidic doctrines, which until then were accepted primarily on faith alone.25

The four cups of wine also allude to the Messianic Age, for which the dissemination of Chassidus — especially Chabad Chassidus — is the preparation.26 The four cups symbolize:

— the four expression of redemption.27

— the four cups of retribution G‑d will force the nations of the world to drink.27

— the four cups of comfort G‑d will bestow upon the Jews.27

— the four letters of G‑d’s Name which will be revealed.28

— the four general levels of repentance.29

Sichah, Acharon Shel Pesach, 5742

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