/ 29 Elul 5776)
The Missing Sobs of the Shofar
Although he was often asked to lead the synagogue in prayer and
was always chosen to sound the shofar on Rosh HaShana,
it wasn't enough.
Connection:Seaonal - Rosh HaShana.
#983 (s5776-55 / 23 Elul 5776)
Still Asleep at Midnight
"What's so urgent that can't keep until morning?" asked
Rabbi Shmuel Munkes.
Connection:Seaonal - Week of Selcichot before Rosh
#982 (s5776-54 / 16
Greater than Resurrection
I saw the Baal Shem Tov perform wonders, but that
ability did not interest me; I sought to see remarkable levels of
Connection:Seaonal - Chai Elul: 318th anniversary of
the birth of Israel Baal Shem Tov
#981 (s5776-53 / 9
The Oldest Living Man's Real Claim to Fame
When interviewed during the Guinness World Records ceremony at his
Haifa home, his calm response to all the attention encapsulated his
basic outlook on life.
Connection:Seaonal - September 15 (this week) plus Elul 22
Click here for an updating SUPPLEMENT
(s5776-52 / 2 Elul 5776)
Ship Shape, Boat Bye
World War I was raging in Europe, when a worried couple came to
see Rabbi Pinchas Dovid HaLevi Horowitz, the first Bostoner Rebbe,
in Boston's North End. They feared for their son's life.
Connection:Weekly Reading - being drafted for war (Deut. 20:1-9).
#979 (s5776-51 / 25
ELUL: the Month of No Visitors
One wealthy person felt so desperate, he decided he had to go to
the Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk even during Elul.
Connection:Seasonal - The climactic month of Elul begins
#978 (s5776-50 / 18
The Monetary Value of Expensive Mezuzot
His rabbi explained to him that if you spend extra effort or money
to enhance a mitzvah, "G-d will repay you."
Connection:Weekly Reading - Contains the 2nd section of
the Shma Yisrael prayer, which includes the 2nd mention of the
mitzvah of mezuzah.
#977 (s5776-49 / 11
The head of the Rabbinical Court declared that a husband shouldn't
bring guests home without permission from his wife, and vice versa.
Connection: Seasonal - Av 11-13 (Aug. 15-17, 2016),
the 29th annual Klezmer Music Festival in Tsfat
#976 (s5776-48 / 4 Menachem-Av 5776)
Once, the holy Arizal of Tsfat, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, came
to Rabbi Avraham Halevi Bruchim with grave tidings: "It
has been disclosed to me that all the years allotted to you have passed....I
see only one possibility for you to live."
Connection: Seasonal - Av 5 (this year: Aug. 8-9)
is the 444th yahrzeit of the holy Ari.
#975 (s5776-47 / 26 Tammuz 5776)
The Land of the Living
The Tzemach Tzedek remarked, "I have two and a half
chasidim,"-one of them being Rabbi Eliyahu Yosef of Drivin.
Connection: Weekly Reading - Preparing to live in the Holy
#974 (s5776-46 / 19 Tammuz 5776)
Worse Than an Apostate?
Much to the chasid's surprise, Rebbe Shlomo of Karlin laughed.
What was so funny? His clarifying explanation was even more perplexing:
Connection: Seasonal: Tammuz 22 (this year: July 28) is the
224th yahrzeit of Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin
#973 (s5776-45 / 14
Heavenly Protection from a Book and a Rabbi
The Israeli-dressed man entered the study hall of the Husyatin
chasidim in Tel Aviv, scanned the bookcases and pulled out a volume
of "Ohr HaChayim." the famous commentary on the Torah
by the 18th century sage and kabbalist, Rabbi Chayim Ben-Atar.
Connection: Seasonal: The 273rd yahrzeit of the Ohr HaChayim
is on Tammuz 15 (this year: July 21).
#972 (s5776-44 / 5 Tammuz 5776)
The Rejected Ruble
"Now remember," the Tzemach Tzedek told him, "pay
me back at the end of the term!"
Connection: Weekly Reading of Chukat (outside Israel),
where we learn that the Jews' clothes did not wear out during the
40 years, in the merit of Aharon, brother of Moshe.
#971 (s5776-43 / 28
Disney World Comes to Lubavitch
He decided to consult with a Rabbi, but before he could he 'happened'
to encounter a Chabad friend.
Connection: Shabbat is the 22nd anniversary of the passing
#970 (s5776-42 / 21
The Ninety-Year-Old's Father's Tallit
When he saw this he was astounded. Never having encountered anything
like this before, he was afraid to continue.
Connection: Weekly Reading of Shelach (outside Israel)
-- concludes with the mitzvah of attaching tzitzis (intricately woven
strings) to the corners of one's four-cornered garments.
#969 (s5776-41 / 14
Chasidic Love for the Land of Israel
At the expense of great travail and even life itself, many chasidic
rebbes sought to support the Holy Land.
Connection: Weekly Reading of Shelach (Israel) -- the
love of The Land and its opposite.
#968 (s5776-40 / 8
Simple Sincere Singers of Psalms
The greatest disciples of the Baal Shem Tov, outstanding
in purity and Torah scholarship, could not fathom their master's fondness
for uneducated Jews, even if they were pious.
Connection: Seasonal -- This week began with the Festival
of SHAVUOT. Besides its biblical significances, it is also the yahrzeit
of the Baal Shem Tov and of King David, author/compiler
of the Book of Psalms.
#967 (s5776-39 / 29
A Scroll and a Menorah for Adelaide
"The Qantas Airline pilot looked at me, looked at the precious
Torah in my hands, and gave me a big grin."
Connection: Seasonal -- Shavuot, festival of "Giving
of the Torah"
#966 (s5776-38 / 22
The Blessing of Thirteen
"There is no more room in the house, and we can't really afford
any more children."
Connection: Weekly Reading of Bamidbar - census.
#965 (s5776-37 / 15
The One-Eyed electrician at Meron
When the man from the Israel Electric Company stepped back from
the tomb marker of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, someone suddenly
grabbed his arm and astonished him by saying, "Praise G-d! My
prayers are answered. Rabbi Shimon sent you to me!"
Connection: Seasonal -- Meron, Rashbi
#964 (s5776-36 / 8 Iyar 5776)
A Matter of Lineage
A chasid brazenly challenged his rebbe, Rabbi Naftali
of Ropshitz: "My lineage is more distinguished than yours!"
Connection: Seasonal -- 190th yahrzeit of the Rofshitzer on
#963 (s5776-35 / 1
A Critical Exchange
Having lost all his money, he turned to Reb Shmuel-Shmelke of
Nicholsburg to write a letter of introduction for him,
Connection: Seasonal -- 238th yahrzeit of Reb Shmelke on Iyar
#962 (s5776-34 / 24
Getting Away From There
"My parents forced me to come back from years in India for Rosh
Hashana and Yom Kippur."
Connection: Seasonal -- Passover Leftovers
#961 (s5776-33 / 17
Red Wine Forever
"The accident happened on Tisha B'Av, 1982....I had only one
good eye. I had to close my practice since I couldn't schedule any
Connection: Seasonal-114th anniversary of the birth of the
Lubavitcher Rebbe on Nissan 11 (4 days before Pesach).
#960 (s5776-32 / 10
A Passover Seder Debate
One Passover, the chasidim were upset. They could sense that the
Baal Shem Tov was not in his usual buoyant spirits.
Connection: Seasonal-Passover Seder.
#959 (s5776-31 / 3
Rebbetzin vs. Rabbi in Paris
"As a young boy with a healthy sense of curiosity, I wanted
to know why Rabbi Shneur-Zalman Schneerson had called for my
father at this late hour."
Connection: Seasonal-a week or so before Pesach.
#958 (s5776-30 / 25
Adar B 5776)
The One honest Man
"Was everything you did for the mitzvah itself and not for monetary
compensation?" challenged the Rebbe Rashab.
Connection: Seasonal-96th yahrzeit of Rabbi Shalom-DovBer
Schneersohn on Saturday night
#957 (s5776-29 / 18
Adar B 5776)
Signs of a Kosher Host
Two Chassidim whose rebbe had passed away traveled to visit Rabbi
Meir of Premishlan in order to decide whether or not to choose
him as their new rebbe.
Connection: Weekly Reading -- "Cud-chewers and Hoof-splitters"
#956 (s5776-28 / 11
Adar B 5776)
The Blank Paper Jest
The general who Catherine the Great appointed to govern over the
city of Shklov was cruel and vicious.
Connection: Seasonal -- PURIM
#955 (s5776-27 / 4
Adar B 5776)
Ignore the Bolsheviks
They heard the voice of Rabbi Sholom-Dovber Schneersohn of Lubavitch:
"The Bolsheviks are in the city. I cannot exist together with
them. But for the sake of Purim, we'll forget them; go buy plenty
of vodka and let there be light for the Jews!"
Connection: Seasonal/Weekly Reading (added section) -- "Remember
what Amalek did to you" - May his name and all traces of him
be blotted out.
#954 (s5776-26 / 27
Adar A 5776)
The Royal Accountant
The third partner in the business of importing feathers and hides
from Russia and Galicia was the son of Rabbi Sar-Shalom, the first
Rebbe of Belz
Connection: Weekly Torah portion -- The "book-keeping"
for the Sanctuary donations is the theme for the entire Reading
#953 (s5776-25 / 20
Adar A 5776)
The Unknown Rabbinical Authority
When the wife of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach passed away
after 54 years of marriage, he was heard to utter the most remarkable
words at her funeral.
Connection: Seasonal-21st yahrzeit of R. Shlomo-Zalman
#952 (s5776-24 / 13 Adar A 5776)
The Rebel Against Shabbos - A Modern Tale
One Shabbos, he decided to teach those impudent Ultra Orthodox a
lesson. He drove his car down Meah Shearim Street "like a Roman
charioteer," as he described it...
Connection: Weekly Reading-the opening verses speak of the
prohibition against doing certain forms of work on the Shabbat.
#951 (s5776-23 / 6
Adar A 5776)
Beware of Praising the Sick
Amazed at the explanation of his young son, Rabbi Avraham Borenstein,
the Sochatchover Rebbe-to-be, the father repeated it to his Rebbe
when he was next in Kotsk.
Connection: Seasonal-106th yahrzeit of the Avnei Nezer
/ 29 Shvat 5776)
In November 1938, the Chief Rabbi of London, Rabbi Yechezkel Abramski,
embarked on a frantic campaign to secure funding to ensure that every
kindertransport child would be placed in a proper Jewish environment.
Connection: Weekly Reading of Trumah ("Contributions").
#949 (s5776-21 / 22
Activating Sources of Income
There were very few people from whom Rabbi Menachem Mendel of
Kotsk ever agreed to accept money.
Connection: Seasonal - the 157th yahrzeit of the Kotzker falls
on Monday of this week.
#948 (s5776-20 / 16
The Junior Draftsman
"One day I applied for a job at a huge woodworking factory
that produced furniture and other items for the government. Because
it was wartime, the factory was open seven days a week. "
Connection: Weekly Reading--Shabbat is the 4th of the 10 Commandments.
#947 (s5776-19 / 8
An Unusual Portrait
"We are Sephardi Jews of rich ancestry, yet we had a picture
hanging on our wall of a bearded Ashkenazi man in a black hat, a suit,
and a tie."
Connection: Seaaonal -- Yud Shvat (Tuesday night-Wednesday)
is the 66th yahrzeit of the Rebbe Rayatz.(and the date one
year later his son-in-law officially accepted the role of successor).
#946 (s5776-18 / 1 Shvat 5776)
Silver Nitrate Disaster
The doctor took a more personal interest in Daniel's treatment,
suggesting more spiritual, Jewish channels of healing
Connection: Weekly Reading - Concludes with the first two
mentions of tefilin in the Torah
#945 (s5776-17 / 23
The Strongman of Shklov
The opponents of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Chabad plotted to
throw stones at him as he departed their city.
Connection: Seasonal - the 204th yahrzeit of Rabbi Shneur
Zalman falls on Monday night - Tuesday of this week
#944 (s5776-16 / 16
Children in Dreams and Wheelchairs
Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira was an accomplished scholar and
kabbalist who performed many miracles in 19th century Morocco. His
tomb in Egypt is an official antiquity site protected by the government
Connection: Seasonal - the yahrzeit falls towards the end
of this week..
#943 (s5776-15 / 9
How to Explain?
They assumed that they had somehow pulled into the wrong driveway
and drove around the block. Alas, it was their address.
Connection: Seasonal--end of December.
#942 (s5776-14 / 3
The USA Presidential Decision in 1948
President Truman said to Rabbi Shlomo Lorincz, "I am glad of
the opportunity to explain to you why I recognized the State of Israel."
Connection: Weekly Reading - Pharaoh appreciated Yosef so
he helped his people
#941 (s5776-13 / 25
A Timely Invitation
Most of us know the importance of simply closing the door on missionaries
the very first time they appear at our homes.
Connection: Seasonal: CHANUKAH
#940 (s5776-12 / 20
The Sadigorer Rebbe suffered more in prison from his coarse
Ukrainian cellmate than he did from any physical pain.
Connection: Weekly Reading (Yosef in Egypt) and Yud-Tet Kislev
(the founder of Chabad, in Russia) - a tzadik in prison.
#939 (s5776-11 / 11
A Swift Solution
"I mean what I say. A promise is a promise," replied the
Connection: Weekly Reading -- which begins: "Yaakov sent
messengers" (to his estranged brother).
#938 (s5776-10 / 4
Sold into Slavery
The local rabbis decided to consult Rabbi Yaakov-Shimshon of
Shepetovka about the woman whose husband, according to the account
of his friend, had passed away in a distant land.
Connection: Weekly Reading -- Gen. 31:38-40--exposed to elements
while guarding the flock.
#937 (s5776-09 / 27
Sixty Thousand Descendants
At his grandson's circumcision celebration, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak
of Berditchev recounted the following episode Rabbi Moshe Yehuda
Connection: Weekly Reading - "Toldot" = generations,
#936 (s5776-08 / 20
The First Match
He told Rabbi Moshe-Zvi of Sevran about the difficulties he
was having finding a wife. Because he was a poor Torah scholar and
a widow, no one would offer him a match.
Connection: Weekly Reading - Finding a Match
#935 (s5776-07 / 13
The Modern Slaughterer with an Ancient Knife
Totally out of character, Rabbi Yehuda-Zvi of Strettin requested
a portion of juicy tender meat.
Connection: [Midrash on] weekly reading 1) Gen. 18:7 with
Rashi----The patriarch Avraham slaughtered three calves, one for each
of his three guests. 2) Gen. 22:6,10-the knife of Abraham..
#934 (s5776-06 /
6 Mar-Cheshvan 5776)
The Judge with an Excellent Memory
His father blamed the Rosh Yeshivah and filed charges against him
of brainwashing his 18-year-old son and of engineering his flight
from home.The trial aroused great interest, and took place in a packed
Connection: [Midrash on] weekly reading--Terach abandoned
the ways of his holy ancestors, and Avraham turned from the ways of
his father, Terach, and cleaved to the One G-d.
#933 (s5776-05 / `29
A Jew Who Has Gratitude to a Dog
"Humans can never be trusted. The only love that is unconditional
is the one from your pet."
Connection: Weekly reading -- Living with Animals (Noah's
#932 (s5776-04 /
`24 Tishrei 5776)
After both men had finished speaking, Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin
bent down and put his ear to the ground.
Connection: Weekly reading -- Gen. 3:19
#931 (s5776-03 / ``14
Two Rickety Sukkahs
As winds howl outside, the fatherreassures his family that the holiday
candles will not blow out and the sukkah will remain standing.
Connection: Seasonal--festival of Sukkot
/ 8 Tishrei 5776)
A Heaven-Inspired Torah Code
His former student, now a noble, summoned the Ramban to appear
on Yom Kippur!
Connections (2): Weekly Reading--verse 32:26 is central to
the story; .Seasonal--the events of the story took place on Yom Kippur
/ 3 Tishrei 5776)
Good Advice Twice
For the last twelve years of the life, the Tchebiner Rav's
health seriously declined, and he was instructed by his doctors to
take a rest every afternoon..
Connection: Seasonal--Erev Yom Kippur
How to Live to Be 104
At age 104, David Schleifer doesn't look a bit older than 72, the
age of his son, the sole survivor of five children.
Connection: Weekly Reading -- fuflfilling the commandments,
avoiding speaking evil of others.
#9?? (s5776-?? / ? Shvat 5776)
An Unusual Portrait
"We Sephardim typically decorate our walls with portraits of
Sephardi tzadikim - usually arrayed in turbans and robes - but in
our house we had a picture of an Ashkenazi man in a black hat, a suit,
and a tie."
Connection: Seasonal-we are between Tammuz 3, the yahrzeit
of the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, and Tammuz 12, the birthday
and Liberation Day of his predecessor, the Rebbe Rayatz.