(s5773-51 / 20 Elul 5773) Give Credit Where Credit's Not Due
His wife approached him and requested that he repay the loan,
but he refused with much chutzpa.
Seasonal -- Rosh Hashana is fast approaching!
(s5773-50 / 13 Elul 5773) The Partnership Prayer
Baal Shem Tov entered the study hall, but instead of opening his prayer book
he remaining standing, lost in thought.
Seasonal -- Shabbat is Chai (18) Elul, the anniversary of the birth
of the Baal Shem Tov in 1698, his personal revelation of a heavenly teacher
in 1724, and his public revelation of the Chasidic movement in 1734.
#820 (s5773-49 / 6 Elul 5773)Doubting
the Young Rabbi
At a wedding, Rabbi Shneur Zalman
asked rhetorically, "Why is there an orchestra at the wedding?"
(2): Weekly Reading: Deut. 25:5-10; Seasonal -- the following Shabbat is Chai
(18) Elul, 268 years since the birthday of Chabad's Alter Rebbe
#819 (s5773-48 / 29 Menachem-Av
5773)To Measure a Measure
the eve of Rosh Chodesh, the Rimanover Rebbe sent his faithful attendant
and disciple, Zvi Hirsch, to all the shops in town to see whether their
weights and measures were sound.
(2): Seasonal -- Rosh Chodesh Elul is this week; Weekly Reading: Deut. 25:13-16
appear in next week's reading
(s5773-47 / 22 Menachem-Av 5773)Chicken Little
will give you the answer about King Moshiach in two months," Rabbi Yonatan
Weekly Reading: a few weeks overdue from parshat Balak
(s5773-46 / 16 Menachem-Av 5773)
Jet Stranded in Kazakhstan
Levi-Yitzchak Schneerson was the father of the Lubavitcher Rebbe of our generation.
An outstanding scholar and leading Kabbalist of ther first half of the 20th century,
he was the Chief Rabbi of Yekaterinoslav (the major Ukrainian city today called
Dniepropetrovsk) until his arrest and exile.
Seasonal -- 20th of Av (2013: Shabbat, July 26-27) is the 69th yahrzeit
of Rabbi Levi-Yitzchak.
(s5773-45 / 10 Menachem-Av 5773)
The Last Jewish Organization
all my appoitments today!" called out Rabbi J. J. Hecht to the secretary
in his Brooklyn office. "I have to go to this church in Manhattan."
Seasonal -- 15th of Av (2013: July 21-22) is 1) "Jewish Matchmaking"
Day; 2) the 23rd yahrzeit of Rabbi Hecht.
(s5773-44 / 1 Menachem-Av 5773)
A Fail-Safe Financial Plan?
his father-in-law passed away, the Yismach Moshe realized that he
would need to find some way to support his family.
Seasonal -- 5th of Av (2013: July 11-12) is the 541st yahrzeit of the holy
Ari of Tsfat.
(s5773-43/ 24 Tammuz 5773)
Towers of Gold and palaces of Diamonds
Baal Shem Tov was enjoying his Shabbat afternoon nap,
when suddenly in his sleep he emitted a mighty cry that jolted his wife from her
Weekly reading - daughters of Tzelafhad (see Rashi on 27:1)
(s5773-42 / 16 Tammuz 5773)
Rebbe and the Ohr HaChayim
"As a young man
in Jerusalem, I would go every Thursday to the grave of the "Ohr Hachayim."
However, the Mount of Olives was not a totally safe place to be. And, sure enough,...
Seasonal -- 15th of Tammuz (2013: June 23) is the 270th yahrzeit of the
holy Ohr HaChayim.
(s5773-41 / 9 Tammuz 5773)
The Chasid Who Cured
The Lubavitcher Rebbe advised him
to make a large purchase of a certain material that the fabrics dealer had never
(2): Weekly Reading - Num. 23:23; Seasonal - after only 10 days in Kostrama, on
his 47th birthday, 12 Tammuz (2013: June 20-21), that sentence too was commuted
on the condition that the Rebbe allow himself to be expelled from the country.
This day has become the occasion of major annual Chabad Chasidic celebrations.
#811 (s5773-40 / 2
A Lucky Partnership
Lubavitcher Rebbe advised him to make a large purchase of a certain material
that the fabrics dealer had never purchased before.
Seasonal - the 19th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
(s5773-39 / 27 Sivan 5773)
Miracle Denial in
Panic-stricken Pinchas begged the Nadvorner
Rebbe of Tzefat, Rabbi Aharon-Yechiel Leifer, to pray for him and his family.
Weekly Reading - Korach - the danger of quarreling.
(s5773-38 / 20 Sivan 5773)
The Chief Rabbi of
Israel and Napoleon's Throne
When Rabbi Mordechi
Eliyahu was shown the throne of Napoleon at the French National Museum, he
asked if it was for sale!
Connection: Seasonal - the 3rd yahrzeit
of Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu.
(s5773-37 / 11 Sivan 5773)
When Someone Cares
this route has been your custom for many years," said the Tzemach Tzedek
of Lubavitch, "it is not advisable to diverge from it."
Weekly Reading (end)-Num. 12:13-Moshe's prayer that Miriam be healed.
#807 (s5773-36 / 3 Sivan 5773)
The Shavuot Departure of the Besht
The close followers of the Baal Shem Tov, those who might have been able
to effect changes in the decree with their prayers, he sent on missions to other
Connection: Seasonal--this Shavuot is also the 253rd
yahrzeit of the Baal Shem Tov
(s5773-35 / 26 Iyar 5773)
For years, she lived with the memory of the
promise to her from Rabbi Shlomo of Zvil.
yahrzeit of R. Shlomo of Zvil
(s5773-34 / 19 Iyar 5773)
A Rebbe's Debt to
"I will believe that you are a
Chasid if you will pay me the 20 gold coins your Rebbe owes me."
Seasonal--176th yahrzeit of R. Mottel of Chernobyl
(s5773-33 / 12 Iyar 5773)
Six Stolen Tzefat
When residents and guests arrived
at the the 200 year old Tzemach Tzedek synagogue in Tzefat, they were shocked
to discover he doors open, the window bars cut and the ark empty.
(s5773-32 / 5 Iyar 5773)
The Versatile Mezuza
we all go home to spend time with family. Tomorrow our unit is the one that will
enter deepest into Lebanon. So I go not just to spend time off but to take leave
of them and say Good Bye. Just in case
Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers
(s5773-31 / 23 Nissan 5773)
The Beard to Heaven
Shmuel Shneersohn of Lubavitch once described his visit
to Prague, and the ancient book of records of wondrous events he saw there.
Seasonal--131st anniversary of birthday of the Rebbe Maharash
(s5773-30 / 23 Nissan 5773)
The Most Desirable
Everyone eagerly pushed to the stand for
the opportunity to buy her apples.
yahrzeit of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz
(s5773-29 / 13 Nissan 5773)
An Impromptu Seder
had to get home to the Bronx, which was pretty far away, but when the Lubavitcher
Rebbe handed me matza, he asked if I could deliver some to a certain family.
Connection: Seasonal--Passover Festival
(s5773-28 / 7 Nissan 5773)
Remembering the Student
The Lubavitcher Rebbe asked
the Rachmastrivka Rebbe whether he remembered a particular student in the
underground Torah school in Nikolayev, where they all had lived three decades
Connection: Seasonal--111th anniversary of the birthday
of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
(s5773-27 / 29 Adar 5773)
The "Razo" counseled
the "Reshab" to make sure henceforth to pray looking at the words
in the Siddur prayerbook and not by heart.
Seasonal--93rd yahrzeit of the Rebbe Rashab
(s5773-26 / 22 Adar 5773)
The Coins That Cured
man spoke to the Baal Shem Tov defiantly: "Here is my bundle of coins.
Take it--let's see what you can do for my paralyzed daughter."
Weekly Reading--accurate accounting of the gold. silver, wool, etc used for constructing
(s5773-25 / 16 Adar 5773)
Rabbi Moshe Weber was diagnosed with serious heart illness, money was raised
to fly the tzadik from Jerusalem to the well-known heart specialists in South
Connection: Seasonal--13th yahrzeit of Rabbi
/ 9 Adar 5773)
"It is Purim Today! L'Chaim!"
Maggid of Koznitz approached the poverty-stricken villager: "Why didn't
you bring me Meshalach Manot"
(s5773-23 / 1 Adar 5773)
The Haunted House
ten followers of Rabbi Joel Baal-Shem did as he had instructed. Hundreds
of Jews and non-Jews crowded outside, waiting to see what would happen.
Connection: Weekly Reading--see Ex. 25:8
(s5773-22 / 24 Shevat 5773)
The Guru That Did
Not Follow Torah
After experiencing a variety of
what India was famous for--drugs, gurus, yogis, etc.--she was about to give up,
when she heard about a small secretive group that was different, secluded deep
in a forest.
Connection: Weekly Reading--Ex. 23:4
#792 (s5773-21 / 17 Shevat 5773)
Envoys of the King of England and Queen Shabbat
was mid-afternoon on a Shabbat in Bagdad, when one of Iraq's highest-ranking treasury
officials arrived with urgent haste at the office of the Chief Rabbi, Rabbi
Connection: Weekly Reading--4th of the
(s5773-20 / 10 Shevat 5773)
The Panicked Nurse
while sick, Rabbi Yosef-Yitzchak Schneersohn had the look of someone who
was not in this world altogether. His son-in-law came close to hear what he was
mumbling and realized that he was reciting by heart and with the Torah melody
the words of the Song by the Sea.
yahrzeit of the Rebbe Rayatz
(s5773-19 / 2 Shevat 5773)
I am willing to sell you all the pairs of tefilin you see here, except
for this pair."
Connections (2): Weekly Reading--contains
two of the four Torah sections inscribed in tefillin (see 7th aliya); Seasonal--213th
yahrzeit of the Rebbe Zushya
(s5773-18 / 24 Tevet 5773)
The Magnificent Sundial
non-Jewish professor scoffed at the solution the teenaged Jew had given.
Seasonal--200th (!) yahrzeit of the Baal Tanya, Rabbi Shneur Zalman
/ 18 Tevet 5773)
Just One Shabbat Meal
others of the group who had to walk up a steep hill, I was directed to a location
in the charming Old City of Tsfat right around the corner from the Ascent complex.
The family greeted me with warm, smiling faces.
Reading--Exodus 2:1 with Rashi's explanation
(s5773-16 / 11 Tevet 5773)
The chess prodigy was
known a descendant of the rabbinic genius, Rabbi Yonasan Eibshitz, who descended
from the great Kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria, the Arizal of Tsfat.
#786 (s5773-15 / 4 Tevet 5773)
Leaving London Late
Yidele Horowitz, the Dzikover Rebbe, who rarely spoke, motioned that the group
of chassidim should again wait a little longer for his blessing.
Seasonal-this happened 24 years ago on 13 Tevet/Dec 21, 1988.
(s5773-14 / 26 Kislev 5773)
There was one young man in the circle of seats who was obviously
not Jewish....I was relieved that I would not seem ill-mannered if I didn't hand
him a Chanukah kit.
/ 20 Kislev 5773)
He shouted for his servants to bring clubs and whips to beat the
tavern keeper....The news of this tragedy reached Rabbi Moshe-Leib Sassover.
Weekly Reading--- thrown in the pit-dungeon
(s5773-12 / 12 Kislev 5773)
by Esau's Angel
"This army officer, who despises
Jews and does everything he can to torment us, is about to become our mayor. It
will be disastrous for us. Only you can help us, Rebbe." [Baal Shem
Connection: Weekly Reading--Gen. 32:25
#782 (s5773-11 / 5 Kislev 5773)
"No Farbrengen? Why Not?"
attendant gave one final look at the Lubavitcher Rebbe, then announced,
"Mincha at 4." The chasidim groaned in disappointment.
Seasonal--Anniversary of birth and of liberation and of death of
2nd Lubavitcher Rebbe
(s5773-10 / 27 Mar-Cheshvan 5773)
Normally Rabbi Yisroel of
Chortkov never looked at the money given to him. This time, however, the Rebbe
took the money which the assimilated Jew had sent and put it in his breast pocket.
Connection: Weekly Reading (2)--Rashi's comments on 26:12
/ 20 Mar-Cheshvan 5773)
The Red-head, the Beer
and the Amen
I stopped mid-song, looked up, and
mentally snapped a picture.
Connection: Weekly Reading--Matchmaking
#779 (s5773-08 / 13 Mar-Cheshvan
The CEO Who Cared
News featured a special report which reviewed his altruistic decision
Weekly Reading--exactly opposite to the business practices in Sodom.
(s5773-07 / 7 Mar-Cheshvan 5773)
When a few of his chasidim
were going to Vilna, the Baal Shem Tov asked them to invite the former
tailor to Mezibuz.
Connection: Weekly Reading--verse 12:2
#777 (s5773-06 / 1 Mar-Cheshvan
Rabbinical Life in Montana
sight of a rabbi dressed in Chassidic garb caught the attention of a non-Jewish
police officer who was guarding the State Capitol in Helena, Montana.
Weekly Reading (2)--animals, language
(s5773-05 / 24 Tishrei 5773)
Substitute Prayer Belt
In memory of this miracle,
Rabbi Eliyahu Hakohen of Izmir entitled the next book he wrote, Eizer
Eliyahu ["The Helper of Eliyahu"].
Weekly Readings (2)--serpents this week and a specific verse next week.
#775 (s5773-04 / 17 Tishrei
The Real Roof
promise you G-d had pleasure in your desire to beautify the mitzva of Sukka."
/ 8 Tishrei 5773)
From Prayer to Forgiveness
Mendel Futerfas was imprisoned in the Soviet Union
on the night of Kol Nidrei, and had to observe the entire Yom Kippur
within the walls of his cell.
Connection: Seasonal: Yom
/ 4 Tishrei 5773)
Alone in the Forest
Alexander Rebbe thought his end was near, whereupon his son embraced him
and swore that no harm would befall him.
week's reading of Vayelech - verses 31:17-18.
(s5773-01 / 27 Elul 5772)
The Prayerbook of
Written on cigarette paper in a Siberian
Connection: Seasonal: Rosh Hashana