Parshas Vayeitzei

Yud Kislev 5767
 

Volume 3
Issue 7

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PARSHAS VAYEITZEI

"Tatty," Shimon said to his father on the way home from shul on Shabbos. "As I was following the Krias Hatorah today, I noticed that the parshah speaks a lot about Yaakov's sheep. We learn all about his work as a shepherd. First, he worked as a shepherd in order to marry Leah and Rachel, and then the payment he gets is flocks of colored and spotted sheep. Afterwards, he manages to double and triple the number of sheep he owns. And when the Torah describes all his possessions, it lists the sheep first, even though he had many other belongings by then."
Shimon's father was very pleased. "I can see you have been listening closely to the Krias Hatorah," he said. "You're right. The Torah does tell us about Yaakov and his sheep many times. And he wasn't the first shepherd, either."
"Yes," remarked Shimon. "I know. Many great Yidden were shepherds like Avraham, Yitzchak, Moshe Rabbeinu, and Dovid HaMelech. We learned that they chose to be shepherds because it's a peaceful occupation and they could spend most of their time and energy serving Hashem. Still, I'm wondering why the Torah gives us so many details about Yaakov's sheep."
"Let me explain," began Shimon's father. "Our Chachomim teach us: Ma'asei avos siman labonim, "The deeds of the fathers are a lesson for their children." We must learn from all the things our Avos did. When the Torah tells us about Yaakov's involvement with sheep, it is teaching us that there is something deeper and more meaningful here. Sheep stand for Yaakov's avoda to Hashem."
"What's so deep about sheep?" asked Shimon with a smile.
"Let's try to figure it out, Shimon," said his father. "The Hebrew word for sheep is צאן . What small Hebrew word can be found in it?"

"That's easy," answered Shimon, "the word צא , which means 'go out.' "

"When the Torah tells us about Yaakov tending his sheep, it is also telling us about the way he served Hashem. Yaakov was always reaching out to others. Instead of concentrating on developing his own service of Hashem, he reached out to others and taught them how to serve Hashem too. Reaching out shows that we are thinking of others and not of ourselves. This is the avodah of bittul; putting other people's needs before our own. This was Yaakov's way of living, and we should follow in his footsteps."

(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XV, Parshas Vayeitzei)
‘Please Tell Me What the Rebbe Said’

 

 

 

Climbing to protect, we start and end the same.
___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___

Please send your answers to connections@shluchim.org

Last weeks’ brain buster: We say this after wine, spice & candle.

Answer: ויתן לך


Congratulations to Shmuel Dubinsky, age 7 from Chicago, IL
for solving the brain buster.


 

Hey there Junior Shluchim!
How has your Kislev been so far? Busy, I’m sure! Kislev is one of my favorite months (I have lots of favorite months, but Kislev is definitely one of them). You know why? Because it has so many special and exciting days in it! Just take this week for example, we have both Yud and Yud Daled Kislev! And that is just in one week! And it just gets busier. I remember when I was in Yeshiva, Kislev was like one long farbrengen! (Actually, forget that I said that!)
Well at least it was easy to find something to write about this week. You know finding something to write about every week for my weekly column in Connections isn't easy, especially for an absent minded professor like me. You see sometimes I think up really good ideas, but then I forget them. I tried writing my ideas in a little notebook every time I had a new one, but then I lost the notebook. And even when I remember an idea it doesn't always help. One time I thought I had written a really good piece about why my favorite drink is Tropicana, but Mrs Getzel saw it before I managed to send it to the Shluchim Office, and she said it was no good. She said no one wanted to know about my favorite drink, and certainly not why I only drink it in glass cups. So there you go, you’ll never know now.
But this week I have something really special to write about - weddings. Not regular weddings like mine or your Tatty’s and Mommy’s, or Bobby’s and Zeide’s (actually my wedding wasn't so regular, but that is a whole different story for a whole different time, but all I’ll say is that it wasn't my fault that I thought the wedding was on Yud Beis Adar and not Beis like everyone else...). This week is the anniversary of the Rebbe’s wedding. And that was a really special day. So special in fact that people still talk about it today. Even the Rebbe spoke about his wedding. The Rebbe said that it is the day that connected him with the Chassidim and the Chassidim with the Rebbe. Which means that after the Rebbe became the Frierdiker Rebbe’s son-in-law, and everyone saw how special the Rebbe was, it was obvious to everyone that the Rebbe was going to be the next Rebbe.

So every year, on Yud Daled Kislev we make a farbrengen. It is one of those red-letter days on our calendar. Especially if you have one of the Chinuch Yaldei Hashluchim Calendars. Actually on the CYH Calendar it is a dark blue box day, but it is the same idea. By the way, did you see my picture in the calendar? No? That must be because I forget to send it in. I do get forgetful at times. Anyway, like I was saying, Yud Daled Kislev is a chance for Chassidim to farbreng, to celebrate the fact that the Rebbe became connected to us, and to make sure that we stay connected to the Rebbe. And of course, just be happy that we are Chassidim and that we have a Rebbe!

Stay tuned next week for a report on Yud Tes Kislev from the city of Petersburg, Russia!

Dr. Getzel

 


bigelman

Chaya Bigelman, age 8
Tucson, Arizona

My name is Chaya Bigelman. I am on shlichus in Tucson AZ. I am 8 years old, and my birthday is chof-aleph Teves. Here people speak English but at home we speak Hebrew. I am the oldest of 5 and I have 4 sisters. The weather here is very hot in the summer, and it is warm in the winter. Tucson is a desert surrounded by a lot of mountains. A lot of people come here for the winter because it is warm in the winter. I am Home-Schooled, I go on the "Online School".
 I have a lot of friends that I made on the Shluchim Kids Forum and from Arizona Winter Camp, and also from the Home School Phone School and Online School.
I like to read books, color, paint, do art projects and play with my sisters. I like to have guests for Shabbos, and we have guests that used to be not frum and now, after coming to us and learning with my father they are frum and they come with their frum families.
My sisters and I like when my Mommy makes the women circle events because after we get to have all the left-over cakes.
This summer my father took me to Crown Heights for Gimmel Tamuz by myself and we stayed at my friends house. I got to go to the Jewish Children’s Museum, and to a restaurant (here they are no kosher restaurants) and I can`t wait to go there again.

 

pocket_calendar

י' כסלו


In תקפ“ז (1826), the מיטעלער רבי was arrested. He was accused that his teachings threatened the authority of the Czar, but he managed to convince the judges that this wasn’t true and he was released. The date of his release, י‘ כסלו , is celebrated by חסידים as a ‘חג הגאולה ’. We don’t say תחנון , we make farbrengens and we learn some of the מיטעלער רבי ’s חסידות.

י"ד כסלו

On י“ד כסלו תרפ“ט (1928), the Rebbe married חי‘ה מושקא  רביציןSchneersohn, the daughter of the פריערדיקער רבי . The חתונה was held in Warsaw, Poland, at the Lubavitcher Yeshivah, תומכי תמימים .

The Rebbe’s parents, ר‘ לוי יצחק and רביצין חנה were not able to travel to the חתונה so they organised a סעודה in their home in Yekatrinoslav. They invited many of the אידן that lived in the city. In ר‘ לוי יצחק ’s house, the joy and dancing lasted the whole night long.

On י“ד כסלו תשי“ג (1953), at a farbrengen for his 25th wedding anniversary, the Rebbe said to the חסידים :

 דאס איז דער טאג וואס האט פארבונדען מיר מיט אייך און אייך מיט מיר
 “This is the day that connected me to you, and you to me.”



moshiach

ונתן לי לחם לאכל ובגד ללבש....והיה ה‘ לי לאלקים

In this week’s פרשה , יעקב says ה‘ “gives me food to eat and clothes to wear...and ה‘ will be my G-d”.
At the חתונה of the daughter of the מיטעלער רבי to the son of the מגיד of Chernobyl, ר‘ מרדכי , the two מחותנים went around to all the guests to give them לחיים . ר‘ מרדכי would first wish the guests לחיים and then give an added ברכה for הצלחה in רוחניות and גשמיות .

On the other hand, his מחותן , the מיטעלער רבי , wished his guests לחיים with the additional ברכה for הצלחה in גשמיות and רוחניות (the opposite order) according to the מנהג חב“ד .

When ר‘ מרדכי of Chernobyl asked him about this, the מיטעלער רבי answered that we learn this from יעקב אבינו , who asked for food and clothing before he expressed his devotion to ה‘ . Therefore, we also give a ברכה for גשמיות before a ברכה for רוחניות .

ר‘ מרדכי however, would not let the matter rest. "Do you think", he replied, "that the גשמיות of יעקב אבינו was like ours!?"

The מיטעלער רבי replied, “And do you think the רוחניות of יעקב אבינו was like ours!?"

 

 

did_you_know

ופרצת ימה וקדמה וצפנה ונגבה

In פרשת ויצא , during יעקב ’s dream with the ladder, ה‘ tells him “ופרצת ימה וקדמה וצפנה ונגבה ” - “And you shall spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south.”

This פסוק is hinting to the time of משיח when, we are told, ארץ ישראל will extend over all the countries of the world. This means that the whole world will become as holy as the land of ארץ ישראל and the land of ארץ ישראל itself will become as holy as the city of ירושלים .

This פסוק also teaches us something about our עבודה for now. It teaches us that we have to serve ה‘ in a way of ‘ופרצת ’ - that is without any limits, in the way of, as it says in שמע :

ואהבת את ה‘ אלקיך.....בכל מאודך ’ - ‘You shall love ה‘ ...with all your might.’

And this is how we will bring closer the coming of משיח !

(Adapted from ‘Living with Moshiach’)

 

 


 

This is a description of the celebration held by ר לוי יצחק and רביצין חנה on the occasion of the חתונה of the Rebbe and רביצין חיה מושקא . This description was written by  רביצין חנה .

The חתן and כלה were not with us, for the חתונה was to take place in Warsaw. We strongly wished to make a celebration of our own on the day of the חתונה , but we had no place in which to do it. The Communists had been fighting very strongly against frumkeit that year, and although there were still a few shuls open in Yekatrinoslav, all activity in the frum community had stopped.

To rent a hall for such an occasion in those unfriendly times was unthinkable. In addition, the government had taken over most of our apartment. We were allowed to use only three rooms, most of it had been given over to other people, who became our new neighbors.

In those days, groups of people still came to our home to learn חסידות and to join in farbrengens on ימים טובים . Our next-door neighbor, an engineer, wasn’t happy about the activities that took place in our home and he would lock himself in his rooms to make sure that he wasn’t connected to us in any way. However, when he heard from someone else that we were trying to arrange something for the occasion of the חתונה , he broke through the outer wall that separated his apartment from ours in order to create a passageway between the two. He then removed all his furniture and allowed us to use his entire house for as long as we needed. This is how we got a big enough space in which to hold our celebration, despite having been forced to give the largest room of our own apartment to our new neighbors.

Now that we had a ’hall’, we sent out invitations. The occasion gave a chance for the people of the town to show their appreciation and respect for my husband, the רב .  Remember, this was a time when it was forbidden to have any connection with a religious leader and if someone was found ‘guilty’ of doing so, they could lose their job. It was a time when a Rabbi was afraid to appear in public!

Due to the situation, we were expecting less than thirty guests. Instead, about three hundred came! Among them were close relatives, representatives of the general Jewish community and of the shuls and a large number of doctors and judges.

In addition, telegrams wishing us מזל טוב were pouring in by the hundreds. Special permission was given for two days enabling us to receive telegrams in Hebrew, a language whose use was completely forbidden. Also an order was given that day that all telegrams for the Schneerson family concerning the חתונה would not be censored, so that they could be delivered quickly.

I don’t know how to describe in words the atmosphere in our house that evening. Everyone shared our sorrow that we couldn’t participate in the חתונה of our son, our eldest child. You could sense that there would be no possibility in the immediate future for us to see our son.

For a long time, ר‘ לוי יצחק danced with his father-in-law and his brother. All eyes were on the dancers and not a single person was able to hold back his tears.

As the sun rose, people left, each one going to work. Everyone had been very much affected by the whole occasion and the atmosphere there, that no one was thinking about the heavy price he might have to pay for having joined in the שמחה .

As the guests were leaving, two of them approached me: Dr ברוך Motzkin and a lawyer who was a grandson of the famous ר‘ יצחק אלחנן . They said to me, “What a night! How unique! We will never be able to forget this extraordinary gathering nor the amazing spiritual power of this man (ר‘ לוי יצחק ).”

In a conversation, once she had come to America, רביצין חנה recalled several details about the celebration in Yekatrinoslav which she hadn’t written down.

The well-known חסיד , ר‘ מיכאל Dvorkin played on his violin the famous ניגון of the אלטער רבי . ר‘ זלמן Wilenkin, who had been one of the first teachers of the Rebbe as a child, danced on top of a table, shouting, “אני זכיתי ” (“I had the זכות ” - of having been the teacher of such a person).

The leading members of ר‘ לוי יצחק ’s קהילה brought a gift for the celebration: an enormous cake with the names of all the members of the קהילה written on it.

That night, ר‘ לוי יצחק sent a telegram of 105 words to his son in Warsaw. The רביצין said: “The tablecloth that covered the table where my husband sat to write the telegram was soaked with his tears.”

(Adapted from ‘A Mother in Israel’ and ‘A Day to Recall, A Day to Remember’)

 

See the printable version of Connections for incredible fun pages!


Last Week’s Winners:

Level 1:
Shlomie Liberow, age 10 from Grand Rapids, MI

Level 2:
Mendel age 9 & Mushka, age 8 Labkowski from London, England

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