(s5774-55 / 20 Elul 5774)
After Midnight Guests
Rabbi Hayim Pinto had a dream in which a great rabbi complained to him, "I
sent you my grandson happy, and you sent him back to me sad."Connection:
Seasonal--Saturday night, 26th Elul (2014: Oct. 21)
is the 169th yahrzeit
of Rabbi Chaim Pinto
(s5774-54 / 13 Elul 5774)
Today vs. Yesterday
A young scholar came to Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov stating that he had
discovered a contradiction in the teachings of the sages.Connection:
Seasonal--Shabbat is the 316th anniversary of the birth of the Baal Shem Tov (and
the 269th of the Alter Rebbe of Chabad).
(s5774-53 / 6 Elul 5774)
Reb Shmuel Munkis entered the travelling preacher's room, carring with
him a long knife and a stone with which to sharpen it. Connection:
Seasonal--This is the first full week of Elul, the final month of the Jewish
/ 29 Menachem Av 5774)
Innocent and Illiterate
The family of Baba Meir [son of Baba Sali] Abuhatzira became accustomed
that anyone about to move to Israel would spend half a day in their home crying.Connection: Weekly Reading - Deut. 18:13
#873 (s5774-51 / 22 Menachem
The Present of Iron
"To his astonishment, the Skulener Rebbe in New York had personally
telephoned him in Mexico.Connection: Seasonal--32nd
yahrzeit of the Skulener Rebbe
(s5774-50 / 16 Menachem Av 5774)
An Eye for
"What won't a father do for
his daughter? I jumped out in front of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, blocking
his path. Connection: Weekly Reading: "Shma
Yisrael...an ornament between your eyes."
(s5774-49 / 10 Menachem Av 5774)
A Lost Luria
In 1943, the Nazis rounded up the town's Jewish population, the Lurias among them,
and herded them into cattle cars bound for the concentration camps in the East.
Connections (2): 1-Seasonal: the 444th
yahrzeit of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (last Friday); 2-Weekly Reading: Mezuza
(s5774-48 / 1 Menachem Av 5774)
As an officer he felt concerned
for his soldiers, so he requested that the boys in the yeshiva in Safed should
pray and study for them.. Connection: Current
Events--The Gaza War
(s5774-47 / 24 Tammuz 5774)
Gilad Shalit and
the Lubavitcher Rebbe
The day after her
son, Gilad, came home, his mother contacted her Chabad emissary friends. Connection:
Seasonal: War Again :(
(s5774-46 / 16 Tammuz 5774)
A Timely Gift
for the Sultan
The Ohr HaChayim knew
of the danger threatening his brethren and wished to avert it, so he hurried to
the palace.Connection: Seasonal--271st yahrzeit
of the Ohr HaChayim
(s5774-45 / 9 Tammuz 5774)
Two Missions Completed
chasidim were astonished when the Klausenberger Rebbe refused to allow
them to summon another doctor to treat him.Connection:
Seasonal--20th yahrzeit of the Klausenberg-Sanz Rebbe
(s5774-44 / 2 Tammuz 5774)
On the Inside
the Lubavitcher Rebbe met Rabbis Chaim-Ozer Grodinski and Boruch
Ber Kaminetz in Vilna, Lithuania.Connection:
Seasonal--20th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
(s5774-43 / 25 Sivan 5774)
Trick and Treat
Reb Hayyim to the Rebbe: "I knew that this was a test. If it were not, you
don't want to know the fury I would have unleashed here today!".Connection:
Weekly Reading--anger management.
(s5774-42 / 18 Sivan 5774)
Patient as Hillel
three o'clock in the morning he called the former Sepharadic chief rabbi, Rabbi
Mordechai Eliyahu.Connection: Seasonal--4th
yahrzeit of R.M.E. on Sunday night - Monday, Sivan 25 (June 22-23).
#863 (s5774-41 / 11 Sivan 5774)
A Quick Trip
Kaf HaChaim was always begging G-d not to ever force him to leave
the Land of Yisrael. But in the end, he had no choice.Connection:
Weekly Reading--true love of the Land
(s5774-40 / 4 Sivan 5774)
After the Baal
In the last summer of his life,the
Baal Shem Tov wrote to an intimate disciple to inform him "in utmost
secrecy" who should be his successor.Connection:
Seasonal--Shavuot is the 254th yahrzeit of the Besht
(s5774-39 / 26 Iyar 5774)
Nobody realized what a lofty level
Rabbi Shlomo Goldman of Zvhil was on until the following story happened.
Seasonal--69th yahrzeit of Rebbe Shlomke
(s5774-38 / 19 Iyar 5774)
Requirement for a Blessing
In 5664 (1904),
when Tsfat' sages learned that the venerable Rabbi Shlomo-Eliezer Alfandri
had moved to Israel, they invited him to serve as their city's chief rabbinical
Connection: Seasonal--74th yahrzeit
of Rabbi Alfandri
(s5774-37 / 12 Iyar 5774)
A Memorable Lag
"You endangered your
whole unit by abandoning your post, and you could have been killed at the same
time!" accused the IDF military court prosecutor.
(s5774-36 / 5 Iyar 5774)
A Palestinian Journey
from Jail to Yeshiva
Early release from
jail meant return into the areas of the Palestinian Authority--where many would
seek to kill him for his connections with Jews and Israelis.
/ 28 Nisan 5774)
A Rebbe's Sweat
am dismissing you as of today," said Rabbi shmuel schneersohn of Lubavitch.
"Please go home, and I will send you your wages there every week."
Seasonal-132nd yahrzeit of the Rebbe Maharash
(s5774-34 / 22 Nisan 5774)
The Secret Recipient
rich man's countenance changed suddenly. He became very still. He quietly asked
the Divrei Chayim to speak with him privately.
1) Weekly reading-acting in a loving manner towards your fellow Jew (Lev. 19:18).
2) Seasonal-138th yahrzeit of the Divrei Chayim.
(s5774-33 / 13 Nisan 5774)
"Our numerous encounters with
hundreds of Jews residing in that part of the Far East remains etched in my heart."
Seasonal -- PESACH FESTIVAL
(s5774-32 / 7 Nisan 5774)
"The Rebbe kept zeroing
in on Japan and how this was the right place for me. He even made a comparison
to the Peace Corps of President Kennedy."
Seasonal -- 11 Nissan is the 112th anniversary of the birth of Rabbi M. M.
Schneersohn, the Lubavitcher Rebbe of our generation.
(s5774-31 / 29 Adar Sheini 5774)
Once, while in Petersburg for business,
he heard that the Rebbe Rashab was then in town, staying in a hotel.
Seasonal -- 2 Nissan is the 94th yahrzeit of Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneersohn
#852 (s5774-30 / 22 Adar Sheini
The Pre-empted Circumciser
eager was Rabbi Mordechai of Lechovitch to perform the mitzvah of circumcision
that he never once declined an invitation to act as mohel.
Weekly Reading (beginning) -- Circumcision on the eighth day
/ 16 Adar Sheini 5774)
The Strict Butcher
vs. the Lenient Rebbe
The Baal Shem Tov
heard a heavenly voice: "Remove the kosher slaughterer of Kamenka from his
Connection: Weekly Reading
Between the creature that may be eaten and the creature that
may not be eaten."
(s5774-28 / 8 Adar Sheini 5774)
In their desparate plight, they
decided to send a messenger to Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, the Holy Ari of Tsfat.
Connection: Seasonal - PURIM!
#849 (s5774-27 / 1 Adar Sheini
To Save a Drowning Man
Baal Shem Tov explained great length the meaning of the verse in
Psalms 107, "Those who go down to the sea in ships and do work in raging
Connection: Weekly Reading--the
sacrifices (yes, I know, the Thanksgiving sacrifice is in Tzav, not Vayikra; but
next week has to be a Purim story).
(s5774-26 / 24 Adar Rishon 5774)
Some said that Berel Zlodowitz had
built the very institution whose charity now housed and fed him.
None that I can think of, other than a continuation of the smoking theme from
(s5774-25 / 17 Adar Rishon 5774)
Shabbat in Meah Shearim
Only on Shabbat she
couldn't stop smoking her cigarettes; she had no trouble the rest of the week!
Weekly Reading--Ex. 35:3
(s5774-24 / 10 Adar Rishon 5774)
General and Elijah "the Prophet"
air force pilot is cruelly punished. His crime? Giving bar mitzvah lessons.
Weekly Reading--Haftorah (Eliyahu HaNavi / Elijah the Prophet)
#845(s5774-23 / 3 Adar Rishon
A Pricey Pinch of Snuff
Only in unusual cases would the Baal Shem Tov instruct
him to increase his charity allotment.
Weekly Reading (end) Ex. Ch. 30:1-10 - the Incense Altar
(s5774-22 / 26 Shevat 5774)
The King, the Jews,
This may read like a tale from several
centuries ago, but the reality is that this episode took place recently, in early
(s5774-21 / 19 Shevat 5774)Two is Better Than
"You have to choose between me and
the synagogue. If you go to the synagogue tonight, don't come back home!"
Seasonal--26th yahrzeit of the Rebbetzin Chaya-Musya
(s5774-20 / 12 Shevat 5774)Esrog Jam on Tu b'Shvat
In the shul of the Rebbe Shlom'ke of Zevhil,
the tables overflowed with trays and baskets filled with every species of fruit
imaginable, in a spectacular variety of colors that challenged the ability of
the eye to assimilate.
(s5774-19 / 5 Shevat 5774)Laws of Promising
The rabbi went again to the Rebbe Rayatz. "He
does not let me live," he appealed to the Rebbe."
Seasonal--Shabbat, Yud Shefat (2014: Shabbat, Jan11), is the 64th yartzeit of
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe.
#840 (s5774-18 / 27 Tevet 5774)Jewish
Weightlifting in Haifa
"Those who go on
Lubavitch outreach regularly know this type a mile away. You could see
the angry eyes and the way he was getting ready to curse us out."
Weekly Reading--Its ending (Ex. 13:1-10,11-16) consists of two of the four paragraphs
written on parchment inside the tefillin boxes.
(s5774-17 / 20 Tevet 5774)Masters of Song
Once, when Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi passed
through Shklov, local scholars who opposed Chasidism visited him and asked many
Seasonal--201st yahrzeit of Rabbi Shneur Zalman. (Plus, in two weeks is "Shabbat
of Song" so keep this one around!)
(s5774-16 / 13 Tevet 5774)Take for Yourself
Two Chabad Chasidim declared, "It is impossible
to be without a Rebbe!" They decided to travel to Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin
with the intention of accepting him as their Rebbe.
Weekly Reading-Ex. 3:13-14, quoted in the story.
(s5774-15 / 6 Tevet 5774)Eighteen Equals Life
Spring of 1944 brought the terror of the Nazi horror
to Northern Transylvania.
Seasonal-This Friday is the Fast of the Tenth of Tevet, which has become also
the date to say Kaddish for those martyrs of the Holocaust (and all the others
through the centuries) whose date of death is unknown.
(s5774-14 / 28 Kislev 5774)Arrested Again
A few years after his first arrest, the old charges
were revived and Rabbi Shneur Zalman, the Alter Rebbe of Chabad, was arrested
a second time.
(s5774-13 / 23 Kislev 5774)The Light in the Window
"You must cross the river in the winter when it
is frozen. When you reach the other side of the river you'll be entering no-man's
(s5774-12 / 15 Kislev 5774)Five Times More
After leading a stirring chasidic melody, the Lubavitcher
Rebbe began reading the notes, telling each person how much to add.
Seasonal-Yud-Tes Kislev is Thursday night-Friday, Nov. 21-22.
#833 (s5774-11 / 8 Kislev 5774)A
Difference Between Angels
The Devrei Chaim
of Sanz gave the poor man a letter of recommendation to a wealthy Torah scholar
whom he counted among his chasidim.
Weekly reading--as quoted in the story.
(s5774-10 / 1 Kislev 5774)No Loans
Although not Chabad, he received nearly 100 letters from the
Lubavitcher Rebbe! - the envy of many Chabad chasidim.
Weekly reading--wedding expenses (see Midrash Rabba on Gen 29:22, for how the
clause order in the verse indicates that Laban forced the guests to pay, and how
he went about it.)
#831 (s5774-9 / 24 Cheshvan
5774)Outed by an Eleven-Year-old
"Help! My Mother Is Under the Influence of Missionaries,"wrote
a desperate 11-year-old boy to Yad L'Achim.
You won't catch it until you read the last sentence of the story!
#830 (s5774-08 / 17 Cheshvan 5774)A
Present for a Bride
"I asked the Lubavitcher
Rebbe for advice about where to look for rabbinical work, now that I was getting
Weekly Reading - engagement/wedding presents
(s5774-07 / 10 Cheshvan 5774)Missing a Penny
Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl told the merchant
that his going early to buy merchandise from the farmers before praying is illogical.
Weekly Reading-Last week's Torah Reading - Gen. 13:8-13 (income vs. faith)
#828 (s5774-06 / 3 Cheshvan
5774)The Asset for Austria
Rebbe was forty years old, he was arrested on false charges of having ordered
the execution of an informer.
Seasonal - the 163rd yahrzeit of the "Holy Rhizhiner".
#827 (s5774-05 / 26 Tishrei
5774) From Benedictine Monk to Rebbe's Assistant
For three years, Aharon Calderon was a monk at a Catholic
monastery, living an austere existence of contemplation and introspection.
Weekly Reading - The Laws of Benei Noah.
(s5774-04 / 18 Tishrei 5774) Repercussions of
Wine and Dance
Simchat Torah with the Wife
of the Baal Shem Tov and his Daughter.
Seasonal -- SIMCHAT TORAH
(s5774-03 / 11 Tishrei 5774) The Darkest
Busiest Sukkah in Jerusalem
One Sukkot day
in pre1948 Jerusalem, Chief Rabbi Shlomo-David Kahane agreed to explain
in his crowded sukkah hut the reason for his strange custom.
Seasonal -- SUKKOT
(s5774-02 / 7 Tishrei 5774) The Knock Before
"Please! Amshinover Rebbe,"
begged the desparate couple; "ask the priest, who respects you greatly, to
delay until after Yom Kippur."
Seasonal -- YOM KIPPUR
(s5774-01 / Erev Rosh Hashana 5774) The Mistress
of the Blessings Staff
The salvations that
Rebbetzin Miriam Chaya Sochaveh of Shatz, daughter of Rebbe Meir of
Primishlan, effected were substantial even in comparison with those of the
more famous wonder workers of the generation.
Seasonal -- ROSH HASHANA
(s5774-56 / 27 Elul 5774)
Spear-Fishing in Oceania
"We are maybe
150 Jewish people on this island. It has been a long time since we have had a
rabbi." Connection: Seasonal--ROSH