IT'S 5774 - Rosh Hashanah

 Moshiach Matters.
Once, Rabbi Shmuel (later to be known as the Rebbe Maharash - the fourth Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe) asked his father, the Tzemach Tzedek about the date for Moshiach's coming ascribed to the year 5608 (1848) and why Moshiach had not come then.

The Tzemach Tzedek replied that the book of Chasidic teachings, Likkutei Torah, had been printed that year.

The Rebbe Maharash protested, "But we need Moshiach below ten handbreadths!" (i.e., we need Moshiach literally).

The Tzemach Tzedek was also aware of the need for Moshiach in the literal sense; he simply wanted to hear this need vocalized by someone not yet on the level of nasi (leader), but still on the level of mekabel (recipient).

(Likutei Sichot, Vol. 14; pg.425)

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After Care Schedule 2014

Kabbalah Lunch N Learn. 
 
 
Jokes
 
"Serve G-d in Joy, come before Him in song"

Dear G-d,

 

Next month I will blow a ram's horn, eat a fish head, swing a chicken around my head, dress in a suit and sneakers, then wear a white robe, pray and fast for 25 hours, build and eat in a tent with a bamboo ceiling (sometimes in the rain), walk around with a palm branch and a citrus fruit, whip willow branches on the floor, eat roughly 8 lbs of meat, use 6 vacation days without leaving my neighborhood and spend almost as much time in shul as I do in my office.

 

May we all repeat this process for many years to come.

 

=========== 

 

    The Mule

 

A husband and wife drove for miles in silence after a terrible argument in which neither would budge. The husband pointed to a mule in a pasture.

 

"Relative of yours?" He asked.

 

"Yes," she replied. "By marriage."

 

 

==========

 

Charity or Ice Cream?

 

A little girl asked her mother for two dollars to give to an old lady in the park. Her mother was touched by the child's kindness and gave her the required sum.

 

"There you are my dear," said the mother. "I guess, she is too old to work?"

 

"Oh no," came the reply. "She sells ice cream."

 

=========

 

The Jewish Juror

 

A joke from that old record You Don't Have to be Jewish comes to mind:

 

The Judge rapped his gavel impatiently. It had been an arduous criminal trial, and a complicated case, involving corruption, money, and murder, and it had stretched out for months. The jury had been locked up in deliberation for days. Finally, they were ready.

 

"Foreman Feinberg?," called out the judge.

 

An old Jew, with a worn and weary look on his face, stood up at the front row of the jury.

 

"Yes?"

 

"Has the jury reached a verdict?"

 

"Yes your Honor," says Feinberg, his heavy Yiddish accent barely concealed, "the jury has made a decision."

 

"Well?" The Judge shifted restlessly.

 

Feinberg cleared his throat. "We the jury, have decided, unanimously, on all counts..."

 

The entire courtroom leaned forward, straining to listen.

 

"We have decided, that we shouldn't mix in!"

 

 

Shabbat Mevorchim
Nitzavim Vayelech
 
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Usher in the days of judgement with G-ds mercy and forgiveness.  

The main mitzva (commandment) of the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashana is to hear the blowing of the shofar. More than the apples dipped in honey, more than the beautiful prayers, more than the festival meal, we must hear the shofar blown.

 

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Following the shofar blowing, we mention several other historic soundings of the shofar. The first of these was at Mount Sinai. There, the Torah was given in the presence of an intense, constantly increasing, shofar blast.

 

Another renowned shofar blowing mentioned in our prayers is that of the "Great Shofar," which will be blown upon the arrival of Moshiach.

 

What is the connection between these two events, and why do we mention them in our prayers on Rosh Hashana?

 

The Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai was an experience that pulled people out of their previous state of existence. The G-dly revelation was so intense that "their souls flew out of their bodies"; they were taken out of their worldly boundaries and elevated to a much higher plane.

 

The Era of Moshiach will precipitate a similar restructuring of our lives, causing us to break out of the limitations of this physical world and reach to a higher level of existence. The prerequisite for this transformation is the desire to change, which must be present now, even before Moshiach has arrived.

 

This is a common thread joining the revelation at Mount Sinai with the days of Moshiach - the element of change and the improvement of the world at large. The shofar, central to both events, inspires one to abandon one's previous level in order to reach higher levels.

 

Even today, the shofar has a similar effect. We can and must achieve an inner change.

 

The time for change is now, even before the Rosh Hashana begins.

May we hear, this year, the sounding of the Great Shofar in the rebuilt Holy Temple in Jerusalem with Moshiach, NOW
==================
 
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 Warmest wishes for a sweet healthy and happy year 5774. 
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5 step plan to re-discover your pristine self.

 

 

We are now in the season of teshuvah, which is generally translated as repentance. This is however not an accurate, true to the Hebrew word, translation. More accurately, the word teshuvah means, to return. The very big difference is that, repentance is for someone who sinned and transgressed against G-d, while to return is applicable to everyone.  Everyone can perform this very powerful commandment, to return back to a more pristine and original state of spirituality, G-dliness and soul cleanliness.

 

The soul when it is first placed in our bodies as it descended from G-d, by its very nature, is pure light, bliss. Complete bursting life energy and clarity. Over time, dust accumulates over this spark of light and darkness, confusion, lethargy, questions and weakness settles in.

 

We are searching, and G-d makes it easy for us during this season of the High Holidays, to rediscover the light, the inner childlike carefree joy, the faith and optimism that knew no worries. For that, our sages tell us, our focus must not be on the darkness and the problems, because as the expression goes, he who lies with dogs will get up with fleas. If we think of all that's wrong, we remain attached and connected to just that.

 

To rediscover the light within, we must make every effort to get all the ways of conduct that are not      G-dlike out of our minds, lives and atmosphere, totally. Every effort must be made that our minds and lives should be surrounded and immersed in the desired goal, the awareness, the love and fear of G-d. The mindfulness that everything is good and everything will be good, because everything is G-d.

 

The great spiritual and G-dly Rabbi Zusya of Anipoli asserted that he could not attain the lofty heights of such a teshuva, therefore he broke down this journey into more manageable components. For each letter, of the Hebrew word teshuva (to return back to this pristine level of existence) is the initial of another verse in the Bible. Tamim - Be sincere with the Eternal, your G-d: Shiviti - I have set G-d before me always.  : V'ahavta - Love your fellow as yourself.  B'chol - In all your ways, know Him. Hatznei'a - Walk discreetly (in modesty) with your G-d.

 

To be sincere and whole hearted with G-d, the first step in the five step program is to put aside all the thinking and once and for all take the leap of faith. Give up all the questions and worries and put life in, His hands. Many times our minds are the biggest stumbling blocks to real progress. Free yourself of the limitations of the mind. It's about time we surrender and yield to G-d's plan whole heartedly.

 

Step #2, When someone finally realizes no one is self-made and G-d makes it rain when and where He desires, it is a lot easier to accept everything that transpires in our lives. There is a plan although many times we weren't consulted. We cease to rebel, to be angry and resist what's happening, and we can say with a full heart, "this too is for the good."

 

Step #3, The only way we can love everyone and overlook the superficial differences between one person and the other is because we have trained our mind to look and to be sensitive to what's beneath the surface. To appreciate it's not all that we see that matters, it's what is internally taking place that makes the difference.

 

Every person has a spark of G-d inside that is no less, or more important than the other. All of us have a unique purpose to complement the picture & that no one could ever replace. This thought makes us respect every individual as the other, because everyone person in the grand schemes of things is as important as the other.

 

To be continued.

Candle Lighting.

Candle Lighting time in
North Palm Beach Florida

 
 
Aug. 30, 2013
7:24 p.m.
 
Shabbat is over
8:17 p.m.

Rosh Hashanah 5774
 
Sept. 4, 2013 7:18 p.m.
Sept. 5, after 8:11 p.m.
from existing flame
Sept. 6, 7:16 p.m.
from existing flame
Shabbat over 8:09 p.m.
Sunday 
fast begins 5:50 a.m.
Fast ends 7:58 p.m.
 
Quick Fix
 Inspiration from the Lubavitcher Rebbe
 



G-ds Lawyers.  

On Rosh HashanahG-dtakes Himself to court. 

He looks down from above at this world and, as I'm sure you may realize, it doesn't always look so good.

 

G-d is within this world as well. He is found in every atom of this world. It may sound strange, but this is what is happening:  

 

He as He is above takes Himself, as He is present within this world, to trial.

 

Only the soul of Man can argue on His behalf. So we do that, as lawyers for the defense. All that is required is to awaken the G-dliness within our own souls.

 

The spark of G-d within us below connects with theInfinite Light of G-d above.  

 

 

The circuit is complete and the universe is rebooted with a fresh flow of energy for an entire year.


====================

 

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Moshiach Matters.

 

Once, Rabbi Shmuel (later to be known as the Rebbe Maharash - the fourth Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe) asked his father, the Tzemach Tzedek about the date for Moshiach's coming ascribed to the year 5608 (1848) and why Moshiach had not come then.

 The Tzemach Tzedek replied that the book of Chasidic teachings, Likkutei Torah, had been printed that year.

The Rebbe Maharash protested, "But we need Moshiach below ten handbreadths!" (i.e., we need Moshiach literally).  

 

The Tzemach Tzedek was also aware of the need for Moshiach in the literal sense;  

 

he simply wanted to hear this need vocalized by someone not yet on the level of nasi (leader), but still on the level of mekabel (recipient).

 

(Likutei Sichot, Vol. 14; pg.425)
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And it shall come to pass ("vehaya"), when all these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse (Deut. 30:1)

 

Our Rabbis explain that the word "vehaya" is an expression of joy.  

 

A Jew must always strive to serve G-d joyfully, regardless of whether he encounters blessing in life or (G-d forbid) the opposite.  

 

As our Sages declared, "A person is obligated to bless G-d for [apparent] evil in the same way he blesses Him for good."

 

(Ohr HaChaim)
)

 

 
 
Living with the Rebbe.
The Rebbe writes,

Coming year a leap year, G-d is close to everyone NOW!!! 


Freely translated and adapted

 

6th of Tishrei, 5736 [1975]

To the Sons and Daughters of Our People Israel, Everywhere

G-d bless you all!

 

Greeting and Blessing:

 

...We will briefly dwell here on a point which distinguishes this year's Rosh Hashanah from others, namely, that this year Rosh Hashanah is the "head" of a Leap Year. And herein, too, a further distinction:

 

Not all Leap Years in our Hebrew Calendar are the same. This year has the distinction of having the maximum number of days that any Leap Year can have - 385 days.

 

On a previous occasion, it has been pointed out at some length that the purpose of a Leap Year in our Torah-Calendar is to make up for the "deficiency" in the days of previous years, in order to bring into harmony the Lunar year with the seasons of the year (determined by the Solar year), though the annual seasons are also, of course, determined by the Creator, as Torah declares: "(The seasons of) sowing and reaping, cold and heat, summer and winter, shall not cease."

 

Moreover, not only does the Leap Month make up the deficiency of the past, but it also gives an "advance" on the future.

 

This year, as noted above, the Leap Year is of maximum dimension.

 

It is a well-known principle that all that we see or find in the realm of matter, in the physical world around us, are replicas of the spiritual counterparts in the sublime Supernal Worlds from which they descended. The same is especially true also in this case.

 

The order of having to make good and equalize the number of days, in the plain sense, in the material world, is due to the fact that this is the order in the spiritual realm, where "each day has its task to perform." This is also the special instruction for us in respect of the task each has to accomplish in the areas of "Man unto toil is born," "All your actions should be for the sake of Heaven," and "Know Him in all your ways"

 

...In light of the above it is clear that the preparations and service expected of a Jew for the new year-in the days before Rosh Hashanah, particularly during the days of Selichos [penitence]; on Rosh Hashanah itself; and during the Ten Days of Teshuvah (Repentance), especially on the Holiest Day (Yom Kippur) - have to be on the order of the Leap Year: To make good those aspects of the service where there has been a deficiency in the past year, and bring perfection into the other areas, indeed even to the extent of an "advance" on the future.

 

And all this should be carried out in the fullest, maximum measure.

 

Moreover, as has often been emphasized - since G-d requests and expects a Jew to do a certain task, it is certain that He has provided him with all the necessary capacities and means to carry it out in actual fact, and, furthermore, to do it with joy and gladness of heart, and all matters of Divine service should be carried out.

 

Our Sages of blessed memory say that the Ten Days of Teshuvah [from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur] are the time referred to in the verse, "Seek G-d when He is found, call on Him when He is near." This "nearness" is described as the "near-ness of the Source of Light to its spark."

 

And comes after the auspicious days of the month of Elul, when the "King is in the field" and shows a gracious countenance to all who come out to meet Him.

 

May G-d, the Source of Light and Source of Blessing, indeed be gracious to everyone, man and woman, and bless them with Hatzlocho [success] to carry out the said service in the best, maximum way, thereby carrying out in the fullest measure the realization of the ideal for which we pray in our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur prayers: "And reign, Thou alone, O G-d, our G-d, over all Thy creatures..." by acclaiming Him as Our G-d, in response to His request, "Make Me King over you," and involving also all creation, thus bringing about His Kingship over all and everywhere,

 

So that He will, also in a revealed manner, "work relief in the midst of the earth,"

 

Especially in light of the continuation of the said prayer that "...on Mount Zion, the abode of Thy Glory, and in Jerusalem, Thy Holy City,"

 

Which are always the "abode of His Glory and Holy City", also in the present days of the Golus -

 

G-d's reign be revealed, in the true Re-demption through our Righteous Moshiach,

 

With esteem and blessing for Chasimo uGmar Chasimo Toivo Leshono Toivo uMesuko (may you be sealed and have a final sealing for a good sweet year)

 

It Once Happened.


 Exchanging a life rich in meaning 
for an empty existence. 
NOW is the time -- in YOUR heart. 

The month of Elul was drawing to a close. Everyone was getting ready for Yom Tov, and the "scent" of the High Holidays was already in the air. The marketplace was overflowing with all kinds of merchandise and produce, including the special fruits that are traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashana like pomegranates.

 

The Jewish section of town was bustling with activity as homes were swept from top to bottom and new clothes were fitted and sewn. At the same time it was serious business, as residents prepared themselves spiritually for the coming year. More attention was paid to praying with a minyan, refraining from gossip and in general, improving behavior.

 

Inside the Baal Shem Tov's study hall the final preparations before Rosh Hashana were also underway. Prayers were recited with increased devotion, and all thoughts were focused on returning to G-d in repentance.

 

One evening, a few days before Rosh Hashana, the Baal Shem Tov's disciples were getting ready to pray the evening service. All that was missing was the Baal Shem Tov himself, who had yet to arrive. At precisely the appointed hour the Baal Shem Tov entered the study hall, but instead of opening his prayer book he remaining standing, lost in thought.

 

Of course, no one dared mention that it was time to pray. The minutes ticked by and still the Baal Shem Tov seemed distracted, as if he were in another world. His holy face was suffused with intense emotion. However, the Baal Shem Tov's students were already used to such things.

 

When the Baal Shem Tov suddenly roused himself almost an hour later and opened his prayer book, his countenance was virtually shining with joy. That evening, the Baal Shem Tov prayed with unusual intensity and longing. It was obvious that something of very great magnitude had occurred.

 

After the service the Baal Shem Tov explained: "Not very far from here," he began, "lives a Jew who grew up in a traditional Jewish home. But as he grew older, he began to associate with the local peasants. Slowly he abandoned the Jewish path till he was virtually indistinguishable from the gentiles and completely estranged from his roots.

 

"Many years passed. The man left the province where he was born and went to live in a totally non-Jewish environment. As time passed, he forgot everything about the Jewish way of life, its prayers and its customs. Before he knew it 30 years had elapsed.

 

"Tonight," the Baal Shem Tov revealed, "this Jew happened to be visiting a Jewish town on business. As soon as he entered the village he could sense the commotion, and this aroused his curiosity. When he asked a passer-by what was going on the man answered, 'Everyone is getting ready for a holiday we call Rosh Hashana. According to Jewish tradition, it is the day on which man was created and the whole world is judged.'

 

"For some reason this explanation struck a chord in the heart of the assimilated Jew. Maybe it was the exclusionary 'we' that emphasized the huge chasm that separated him from his brethren, or perhaps the mere mention of the Day of Judgment. In any event, the man's soul was inexplicably awakened, and he was flooded with memories of his childhood.

 

"As he wandered through the marketplace he was suddenly stricken by the horrifying realization that he had exchanged a life rich in meaning for an empty existence. At that moment he looked up, and was surprised to find himself standing outside the main synagogue. By then it was almost dark, and people were arriving to pray the evening service.

 

"The man was seized by an overwhelming desire to join them, but he was also embarrassed by his non-Jewish appearance. In the end the urge to pray won out, and he went into the women's section and hid behind the curtain.

 

"As the cantor chanted the words 'And He atones for sin...' a shudder passed through the man's body. How he wished to pray, but the words were long forgotten. Tears streamed down his cheeks. When the last congregant had gone home he couldn't bear it any longer and burst out crying. 'Master of the universe!' he wept. 'I know there is no greater sinner than I, but I also know that You are merciful and full of loving-kindness. Heavenly Father, forgive me my transgressions and I will sin no more. I wish to return to You and live as a Jew. Please accept my prayer and do not turn me away!'

 

"The man's heartfelt repentance caused a great commotion in the celestial realms," the Baal Shem Tov explained, "and his prayer ascended to the very Throne of Glory. In fact, it was so powerful that it brought along with it many other prayers that had been waiting hundreds of years to ascend.

 

"When I sensed what was going on in the man's heart," the Baal Shem Tov concluded, "I decided to wait for him to pray so I could join him. Tonight's service was delayed so we could merit to pray with a true penitent..."

 


Warmest wishes for a Sweet healthy and happy year 5774.   

 

Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui

Chabad Center Palm Beach 

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