/ 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.
- Rosh HaShana.
/ 23 Elul 5776)
Still Asleep at Midnight
so urgent that can't keep until morning?" asked Rabbi Shmuel Munkes.
Connection:Seaonal - Week of Selcichot before Rosh HaShana.
#982 (s5776-54 / 16 Elul 5776)
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 sanctity.
Connection:Seaonal - Chai
Elul: 318th anniversary of the birth of Israel Baal Shem Tov
(s5776-53 / 9 Elul 5776)
The Oldest Living Man's Real Claim
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 (next week)
Click here for an updating SUPPLEMENT
/ 2 Elul 5776)
Ship Shape, Boat Bye
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).
(s5776-51 / 25 Menachem-Av 5776)
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.
- The climactic month of Elul begins this Shabbat.
(s5776-50 / 18 Menachem-Av 5776)
The Monetary Value of Expensive
His rabbi explained to him that if you spend extra effort
or money to enhance a mitzvah, "G-d will repay you."
Reading - Contains the 2nd section of the Shma Yisrael prayer, which includes
the 2nd mention of the mitzvah of mezuzah.
(s5776-49 / 11 Menachem-Av 5776)
The head of the Rabbinical Court declared that a husband shouldn't bring guests
home without permission from his wife, and vice versa.
Seasonal - Av 11-13 (Aug. 15-17, 2016), the 29th annual Klezmer
Music Festival in Tsfat
(s5776-48 / 4 Menachem-Av 5776)
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
Connection: Seasonal - Av 5 (this year: Aug.
8-9) is the 444th yahrzeit of the holy Ari.
(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 Land.
(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:
Seasonal: Tammuz 22 (this year: July 28) is the 224th yahrzeit of Rabbi Shlomo
/ 14 Tammuz 5776)
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
Connection: Seasonal: The 273rd yahrzeit of
the Ohr HaChayim is on Tammuz 15 (this year: July 21).
(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 Sivan 5776)
Disney World Comes to Lubavitch
to consult with a Rabbi, but before he could he 'happened' to encounter a Chabad
Connection: Shabbat is the 22nd anniversary of the passing
of the Lubavitcher
/ 21 Sivan 5776)
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 Sivan 5776)
Chasidic Love for the Land of Israel
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.
(s5776-40 / 8 Sivan 5776)
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.
(s5776-39 / 29 Iyar 5776)
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"
(s5776-38 / 22 Iyar 5776)
The Blessing of Thirteen
"There is no more room in the house, and we can't really afford any more
Connection: Weekly Reading of Bamidbar - census.
#965 (s5776-37 / 15 Iyar 5776)
The One-Eyed electrician at Meron
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!"
Seasonal -- Meron, Rashbi
#964 (s5776-36 / 8
A Matter of Lineage
brazenly challenged his rebbe, Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz: "My
lineage is more distinguished than yours!"
-- 190th yahrzeit of the Rofshitzer on Iyar 11.
(s5776-35 / 1 Iyar 5776)
A Critical Exchange
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 2.
(s5776-34 / 24 Nissan 5776)
Getting Away From There
parents forced me to come back from years in India for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur."
Connection: Seasonal -- Passover Leftovers
(s5776-33 / 17 Nissan 5776)
Red Wine Forever
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 surgeries."
Seasonal-114th anniversary of the birth of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on Nissan
11 (4 days before Pesach).
(s5776-32 / 10 Nissan 5776)
A Passover Seder Debate
Passover, the chasidim were upset. They could sense that the Baal Shem
Tov was not in his usual buoyant spirits.
(s5776-31 / 3 Nissan 5776)
Rebbetzin vs. Rabbi in Paris
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."
Seasonal-a week or so before Pesach.
(s5776-30 / 25 Adar B 5776)
The One honest Man
everything you did for the mitzvah itself and not for monetary compensation?"
challenged the Rebbe Rashab.
yahrzeit of Rabbi Shalom-DovBer Schneersohn on Saturday night
(s5776-29 / 18 Adar B 5776)
Signs of a Kosher Host
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.
Weekly Reading -- "Cud-chewers and Hoof-splitters"
(s5776-28 / 11 Adar B 5776)
The Blank Paper Jest
general who Catherine the Great appointed to govern over the city of Shklov was
cruel and vicious.
Connection: Seasonal -- PURIM
(s5776-27 / 4 Adar B 5776)
Ignore the Bolsheviks
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
Connection: Seasonal/Weekly Reading (added section)
-- "Remember what Amalek did to you" - May his name and all traces of
him be blotted out.
(s5776-26 / 27 Adar A 5776)
The Royal Accountant
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
Weekly Torah portion -- The "book-keeping" for the Sanctuary donations
is the theme for the entire Reading
(s5776-25 / 20 Adar A 5776)
The Unknown Rabbinical Authority
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
(s5776-24 / 13 Adar A 5776)
The Rebel Against Shabbos - A
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
/ 6 Adar A 5776)
Beware of Praising the Sick
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 rebbe.
/ 29 Shvat 5776)
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.
Weekly Reading of Trumah ("Contributions"). .
(s5776-21 / 22 Shvat 5776)
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.
(s5776-20 / 16 Shvat 5776)
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.
(s5776-19 / 8 Shvat 5776)
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."
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
Silver Nitrate Disaster
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
(s5776-17 / 23 Tevet 5776)
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 Tevet 5776)
Children in Dreams and Wheelchairs
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 of Egypt.
- the yahrzeit falls towards the end of this week..
(s5776-15 / 9 Tevet 5776)
How to Explain?
assumed that they had somehow pulled into the wrong driveway and drove around
the block. Alas, it was their address.
(s5776-14 / 3 Tevet 5776)
The USA Presidential Decision in
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
(s5776-13 / 25 Kislev 5776)
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.
(s5776-12 / 20 Kislev 5776)
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
(s5776-11 / 11 Kislev 5776)
A Swift Solution
"I mean what I say. A promise is a promise," replied the Lubavitcher
Connection: Weekly Reading -- which begins: "Yaakov
sent messengers" (to his estranged brother).
(s5776-10 / 4 Kislev 5776)
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.
(s5776-09 / 27 Mar-Cheshvan 5776)
Sixty Thousand Descendants
At his grandson's circumcision celebration, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev
recounted the following episode Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib Sassov:
Connection: Weekly Reading - "Toldot" = generations, offspring
#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.
Weekly Reading - Finding a Match
/ 13 Mar-Cheshvan 5776)
The Modern Slaughterer with an Ancient
Totally out of character, Rabbi Yehuda-Zvi of Strettin
requested a portion of juicy tender meat.
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
The Judge with an Excellent Memory
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 courtroom
[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
/ `29 Tishrei 5776)
A Jew Who Has Gratitude to a Dog
can never be trusted. The only love that is unconditional is the one from your
Connection: Weekly reading -- Living with Animals
(s5776-04 / `24 Tishrei 5776)
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 Tishrei
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.
/ 8 Tishrei 5776)
A Heaven-Inspired Torah Code
former student, now a noble, summoned the Ramban to appear before him
Connections (2): Weekly Reading--verse 32:26
is central to the story; .Seasonal--the events of the story took place on Yom
/ 3 Tishrei 5776)
Good Advice Twice
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..
Seasonal--Erev Yom Kippur
How to Live to Be 104
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.
(s5776-?? / ? Shvat 5776)
An Unusual Portrait
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."
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.