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Assemblies
 
Every Thursday a whole school assembly takes place. These  assemblies typically involve a D’var Torah, a word of Torah on the weekly Torah portion, from a pupil,  a D’Var Torah The Rebbe from Rabbi Lew or a visitor and a story of the Rebbe which relates to a current theme or event or a particular festival which is happening at the time.
 
These provide a chance for all pupils in the school to gather as a community and recognise shared values and aims as well as learning the school's ethos.
Shelach - 15/6/17

We can learn so much from the Meraglim:

Did you ever feel very engrossed and involved in something? You don't want anything to disturb you or disrupt your thoughts. Suddenly you are interrupted and asked to do something else. It's very frustrating and challenging. We don't like to be pulled away from what we enjoy and feel bothered to be pulled away from it.

Chassidus explains that this is what happened with the spies. The Yidden were in the dessert, a place of no food and drink. Hashem provided us with Mann, we had Miriam's well the clouds protected us and miraculously took care of our needs. We were attached to Hashem day and night

The Meraglim were holy people, so where did they go so wrong? They saw the land and saw its good (milk and honey etc) but they wanted to remain in a life where spirituality was everything and being in the land and working with it would take us away from Hashem.

Hashem wanted us to be involved in the world not to be in a cocoon, and work with the world. We should be in the physical world and find the Elokus within it.

In life and daily routine we have moments of Davening and learning and take care of our daily needs. We work on combining both worlds, bringing the spiritual into the material. Moshiach will show us the Elokus and G-dliness that's within this  world.

How can you tell if you're dedicated to Hashem's purpose and that you have your priorities right?

When you're in the middle of the physical world you can pull yourself away and do things for Hashem. Mincha is a daily occurrence that shows this.

The Chazal tell us: be extra careful in Davening Mincha. Why Davka Mincha?

Since Eliyahu was answered at Mincha time, our prayers are most powerful and likely to be answered more at Mincha. Mincha has special power that no other Tefilla has. Why?

It's the shortest Tefilla. Why is it the most special?

It's normal for a human being to get up in the morning to daven at the start of the day, before getting involved in daily activities. It makes sense to say thank you.

At night it's the end of the whole day, wrapping up our day, and everything is  all finished; it makes sense to end by davening  Maariv.

Mincha is in the middle of the day. Hashem says stop for a minute and think of Me in the middle of it all. The hustle and bustle of the day has to be interrupted. Since we stopped everything g to daven, Hashem is more likely to fulfil our requests. We show that He is brought into our lives right smack in the middle of everything. You had to interrupt everything else to daven Mincha.

We have set time in school to daven. Don't push it off for after school - it may not happen. You have to pull yourself away from something else and you will also feel more accomplished in doing so.

 

Story of Rebbe 

This is a story which the Rebbe recounted ,to teach us to have the correct priorities.

It happened about 55 years ago. In Minnesota the shliach Rabbi Moshe Feller went to visit a professor. He had just come on shlichus and he was trying to meet leaders, in order to enhance Yiddishkeit in the community.

This professor was very secular, not observant.

They met in his office and in the middle the professor got a call. He asked to excuse himself for a couple of minutes in order to answer the call.

Rabbi Feller realisesd that he has been here longer than he'd expected, and it was now five minutes to shkia (sunset), so he took out his gartel (sash) and stands in the corner to daven.

The professor looks up, and is amazed to see the person who came to ask a favour of him, standing in the corner, shaking etc!

He asked what is this?

Rabbi Feller explained that he suddenly realised it was late and G-d comes first.

His priority was to Hashem. It took so long to get an appointment, he needed to raise awareness, as well as serious funds. But he was ready to give it all up for his relationship with Hashem. The professor was Professor Velvet Green, who went on to become fully observant, an active Chassid, together with his family. The journey began when he saw the dedication which is seen in Davening Mincha.

Behaalosecha - 8/6/17

There is always a reward for what we do. Even though we do a mitzvah because we are commanded to we are still rewarded many times over with many Brachos. At the end of the Parsha we read the story of Miriam having to be out of the camp as she had Tzoraas. The whole nation (millions of people) did not move to travel until she was ready to go. Chazal ask why we waited for Miriam? 80 years previously, when Moshe, as a baby, was put in the basket, on the Nile, Miriam waited by the bulrushes to keep an eye on what would happen with her brother. She probably didn't even wait an hour and because she cared, she was cared for and the whole community waited 168 hours (a whole week!) This is a clear, obvious lesson. How do we care for others? When we have a good word about them, help them with something or not saying a negative thing about someone or even not thinking a bad thought of someone. The Alter Rebbe writes in Tanya that if we have a bad thought we should push it away as if it is Avoda Zora. We should train ourselves to think only good things about our fellow.

Story of Rebbe 

Someone wanted to draw the Rebbe into a situation that was negative about another person. The Rebbe said of himself: "in my life I have never entertained a not good thought about a fellow Jew. I ask my Rebbe (the Friediker Rebbe) for a Bracha that I should be like that till 120 i.e my whole life. I never want to be in a position to even think not good about someone else". Sometimes we are forced to do uncomfortable things. Never should it be with personal feelings at the expense of someone. We should only have positive thoughts about others. You don't need to agree with people but never a personal negative thought on another.

Bamdibar - 25/5/17

We know the Ovos and Imahos kept the Torah. Yaakov sent his sons down to Mitzrayim  to learn Torah. What is the difference between the Torah before Matan Torah and after it?  What was achieved through the bombastic event of Matan Torah?   Chassidus says it was such a big change to the world, it will never be repeated, it was a permanent thing. What did it change in the world?

Until Matan Torah there was physical events and spiritual experiences, but they were never combined. The giving of the Torah meant that the physical world changes, by doing a Mitzvah with it. Some things actually become holy, like a mezuza, Sefer Torah etc.

On Shevuos we rededicate ourselves to learning Torah and to enhance the fulfilment of practical Mitzvos.

Story of Rebbe 

This week is 50 years since the Six Day War.

A tremendous fear gripped the whole Jewish people as the Arab countries said they would destroy Israel. They expected, even if Israel would win, many tens of thousands of deaths RL. They even sanctified a park as a cemetery to cope. Full planes left Israel, and yeshivos and cemeteries emptied out.

The Rebbe said no one should leave and reassured us that everyone was safe and there would be a big Yeshua. (English boys were there in yeshiva who stayed even though their parents were afraid, including Rabbi Ives)

Two days before the war, at the Shabbos farbrengen, the Rebbe announced that through the Mivza of Tefillin we will draw down this Yeshua. Thus began the Mivza campaigns, which are to enhance life through practical Mitzvos. The Rebbe showed leadership a) in reassuring Klal Yisroel with his prophetic words and b) showing us and inspiring us to bring down the belssings through practical Mitzvos as was the experience at Matan Torah.

We are shocked by the terrorist attack in Manchester, and the sad loss of young lives. But our response is to increase Good in the world, through practical Mitzvos. The Rebbe teaches us to overcome evil through good deeds. The Mivtzoyim. Especially Neshek, to encourage women and girls to light Shabbos candles, thus increasing Light, and bringing Moshiach closer.

Behar-Bechukosai- 18/5/17

This Parsha of Behar refers to Har Sinai. It's an an interesting combination, of mountain being pride and Sinai being humility. If it's good to be humble and low like a mountain, why wasn't Torah given in a valley?  It's important to have the right combination, a mix of pride and humility. We need Sinai humility together with Har pride.

Another place of this concept of high and low, is with Torah and Mitzvos. The Torah is Hashems wisdom, it is so high but the important thing is to do the physical mitzvah. One might think, why should I actively do the Mizvah?  I have the right feeling, the knowledge etc. What is the importance of the practical Mitzvah?

When we perform a Mitzvah it connects the highest essence with the lowest physical world. It's not enough to have the kavana and feeling, doing the Mitzvah brings the highest revelation down to earth. When we do a Mitzvah we bring a special light into the world. It is even better to do a Mitzvah without feeling than having the feeling without doing the Mitzvah.

Love for the mitzvah is good but doing it when you don't feel like it is in a way more powerful than when you have the feeling. You're doing it for Hashem rather than yourself. Obviously, both are important but this shows a commitment. You are doing something even when you're not in the mood which expresses a great depth.

Story of Rebbe 

This Shabbos is 50 years since the Rebbe’s Farbrengen two days before the Six-Day War. Three countries, Egypt, Jordan and Syria said they would invade Israel and “drive the Jews into the sear”. All had very well trained armies. Israel was worried. They were prepared to lose many people ר״ל.

In the end, there was a massive Nes and it was over in 6 days, with far fewer casualties than expected.

The Rebbe spoke ten days beforehand at the lag Be'Omer parade. He said there will definitely be a big Yeshua.

There was a couple scheduled to get married in Israel during that time. They wrote to the Rebbe about their fears and suggested to either hold the wedding in NY or to push it to a later date. The Rebbe responded don't do anything, leave it as scheduled. The Chasuna was in kfar Chabad on time, the war was already over then.

Those parents with children studying in Israel wanted to bring them home. The Rebbe said no. There's no reason. There will be a victory. And there was. It was open Nevua.

Bar MitzvahThis Shabbos will be the exact same date, Parsha and day if he week as the one 50 years ago, when the rebbe initiated Mivza Tefillin. The Rebbe said that this Mivza is out protection and will bring the success and victory for Israel. Just make the commitment to do mivtzoyim, already helps. It was unheard of to just ask people to put on Tefillin, contrary to nowadays, where at the kosel alone, they can get over a thousand people a day putting on Tefillin.

At that time, we saw tremendous Nevua from the Rebbe. It was recognised even by the non-religious people that before the war the Rebbe told us we would see miracles.

In the next few days and weeks give yourself a goal to encourage someone in Mivzoim. Either to light Shabbos candles or something from the Mivza campaigns.

Emor - 11/5/17

 

The Friediker Rebbe put a lot of emphasis on the message of Pesach Sheni and the concept that it is never too late to rectify a past failing.

There were three reasons why a person would have been unable to bring the Korbon Peasch:

·         Tumas Mes, contamination through a dead body, meaning a disconnect from their spirituality

·         someone lives too far, I.e. They are distant from Hashem

·         personal reasons. 

The message for us today, when we don't have the Beis Hamikdosh, is that of Teshuva.

Teshuva is translated as repentance. But teshuvah means much more than turning over a new leaf and achieving forgiveness for past deeds.  It means going back and making up for something you missed out on, it is redefining the past.

That's what Pesach Sheni is about, it is going back in time and correcting things at their core.

 

This Sunday is Lag Be'Omer which signifies Achdus. Since the 1950's there have been Lag Be’Omer parades uniting people together. When we join in the simcha of the Rashbi we are promised big Brachos.

We expect all pupils to attend the parade and wear school uniform.

 

Story of Rebbe 

A small boy went past the Rebbe to get a piece of Matza. When passing by the Rebbe he also asked for some for each of his family members.

When he got home and showed his parents all the Matza he had got from the Rebbe they told him off. They said that he had wasted the Rebbe's precious time. The boy felt really bad about his actions.

The next year he decided that he wouldn't ask for Matza for anyone else like he had done the previous year.

When he went past the Rebbe he almost ran past but the Rebbe stopped him and handed him a bigger piece of Matza to be shared amongst his family members.

The Rebbe showed such care and attention to each person, even the feelings of such a small boy.

Acharei-Kedoshim - 8/5/17

Story of Rebbe 

This story happened to Rabbi Katz in South Africa. He was chief chaplain for prisons and lived in Pretoria. He became close to the Rebbe and visited the Rebbe every two years for 19 Kislev, since it was summer holidays in South Africa.

During a Yechidus with the Rebbe they were discussing his work in the prisons and the Rebbe asked him whether the Jewish prisoners are allowed to light menorah. Rabbi Katz said they can keep other Mitzvos yes but not light Chanukah candles.

The Rebbe said being in prison is darkness. Imagine how much hope, feeling and direction it can give a person if they can light candles. Please do me a personal favour and see if you can organise it.

Rabbi Katz: Great I'll look into it so next year they can light.

Rebbe: What about this year?

Rabbi Katz: Rebbe, it's only 3 days until Chanukah and I'm in NY!

Rebbe: Contact them, call from my office now.

Rabbi Katz: It's 4am in South Africa now!

Rebbe: Perfect! If you call now he will see how important it is to you, and will allow it.

Rabbi Katz went to the house where he was staying, and called the secretary of the Head of Prisons prisons. He woke her up and said, please tell the head of prisons that I will be calling in 10 minutes

The Head was impressed and said, “I see it's so important that they should light, that you call me in be middle of night. I'll inform all prisons to encourage the Jewish prisoners to light. Chanukah candles.”

The next morning The Rebbe asked, “Nu?” Rabbi Katz told him “Mission accomplished” and the Rebbe smiled widely and asked to speak to him after Davening.

He went and the Rebbe requested another 'personal favour'. “Most states allow prisoners to light Chanukah candles but in NY they don't. Please call the Head and get him to grant permission.” The Rebbe told him to go to Rabbi JJ Hecht to get details. Rabbi JJ Hecht explained that it is a difficult day (24 Dec) but the Rebbe said it will happen. He called during a seasonal party and told the Head how he got permission in South Africa. Once hearing this the Head said well if they do it there, so can we, and I will send a message to all prisons to offer to light menorah.

At Mincha the Rebbe asked, Nu?, Rabbi Katz told him “Mission accomplished”. And the Rebbe gave another big smile and asked to see him after Mincha.

The Rebbe said, “I asked for a personal favour and you did it. Now I want to do a personal favour for you. What do you need?” Rabbi Katz said I have everything I need BH. The Rebbe said he has a rule, “I don't remain in debt.” Rabbi Katz told him he has a teenage son, and requested a Tanya for him. That evening he was given a Tanya for his son, bi lingual Tanya for himself, Woman Of Valour for his wife and book of Challenge for Head of Prisons as a thank you.

When he got home, he called Head of Prisons and said I want you to know the Rebbe gave me a gift for you. I'll bring when I come next time.

What's your address? I want to collect the book. There is a holy man who thinks about someone miles away in a lowly mood in jail and he cares to create light to their life. If such a person tells you to do something, you don't delay. Don't push it off. He came immediately to Rabbi Katz.

Care for another, as we are all one neshama and they are part of you and part of Hashem.

Tazria-Metzora- 27/4/17

This week's Parsha talks about Tzora’as, which is caused by Loshon Hora. Lighting Shabbos candles is a Segula for Sholom Bayis and peace, the antithesis of Loshon Hora and a tikkun for it.

We all experience problems and challenges.  To others it may appear to be just a small thing etc., but it is significant to the person experiencing them. It could be a family issue, a personal issue, whatever it is. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed, and do not know how to cope with it. But in that negative, there is a strong positive, waiting for us to work it out and uncover the positive.

Tzora’as happened to people on a high spiritual level. That is why it is not around today.

Tzora’as appeared on many things; sometimes the body, the head, clothes, even a house. When it appeared on a house, the stones with Tzora’as had to be removed and if that didn't help, the entire house had to be demolished. Why does the Torah describe it in positive terms? What about a plague on one’s house, where one may have to knock down the house? Rashi says that the Emorim took treasures and buried them near the base of the houses, especially during the 40 years the Yidden were in the Midbar. When someone had to knock down their house, they discovered the treasure.

This concept applies in our daily life. We are faced with pressuring situations which are vexing and frustrating and even worrisome. We should know that if we work on it, beneath the problem lies a treasure.

The Baal Shem Tov points out that the Hebrew word, נגע, meaning plague, is an anagram for ענג delight. Every challenge is an opportunity when one channels and transforms it it becomes a treasure.  . 

 
Story of Rebbe 

There was a family with twin boys. They were very difficult especially their behaviour in school. They were wild, aggressive and nearly terrorising their classmates. The parents didn't know what to do. The parents went into Yechidus – (private audience) with the Rebbe.

The mother asked the Rebbe what to do. The children were so wild. They were at their wit’s end as to how to deal with them. The Rebbe listened to her and then asked, tell me, do you see that as an advantage or disadvantage?

She answered, in my heart I see it as an advantage, they have amazing energy.

The Rebbe said, I also see it as an advantage: if that energy and power is harnessed and channelled correctly, you'll get a lot from them. They won't be passive in life. They will be active, especially in Ruchnius.

Every problem is an opportunity. It allows us to go deeper to find the treasure to transform it into a powerful energy.

We should take the challenges of Golus and use them to build Geula.

 Today is Rosh Chodesh Iyar. Every day has a mitzvah (Sefira). It's called Chodesh Ziv - which means to shine. It should be a month that shines.  

Shmini- 24/4/17

On Pesach night towards the end of the Seder, we fill a cup for Eliyahu Hanavi. At end of the Seder we have a custom, in Lubavitch, to pour the wine back into the bottle, whilst singing Keili Ata. At the Rebbe's Seder there would be a whole Avoda in how the wine was returned to the bottle, where the Rebbe would pour the wine from one cup to another, to the bottle etc. The reason for this special ceremony is because the whole idea of Pesach is to take the powerful Kochos, the deep spirituality and bring it into a keili (vessel). With no receptacle, it gets lost. It needs something to hold it. All revelations of Pesach should be brought down practically. One can be inspired, but the inspiration should permeate through us and also be reflected in our actions in a practical way. Bringing it down and applying it into one's life. This is the lesson of Pesach. We are now at the beginning of a new term, a new opportunity be inspired through Pesach and the month of Nissan. Over Pesach we eat Matza, we ingest it and allow it to be brought down to earth. This week's Parsha, Parshas Shmini talks about kashrus. We take food into ourselves and allow it to affect out life, our body etc., we should ensure it affects us in a positive way of our generation through 1) learning 2) helping others to connect to Hashem (Mivtzoyim).
 
Story of Rebbe 
Someone was unwell and had to spend time in hospital. The Rebbe wrote to them and said that whilst in the hospital, they should see it as an opportunity to find someone who is there, upon whom they can have a positive influence and make a difference to their lives. The Rebbe went on to write that it may be the reason for the illness to start with and would speed up the recovery. The story below happened two weeks ago. A person who lives in Kansas was in Montreal before Pesach. He and his family were due to fly back on the Thursday before Pesach. The weather was very bad and when they got to the airport they were informed that their plane was cancelled until early Friday morning. Friday morning they flew, with a stopover in Detroit. When they arrived in Detroit there was an announcement that the plane to Kansas was postponed indefinitely as there was no crew. They were upset. They were travelling with little children and it was Friday, Erev Shabbos and Pesach etc. The man was walking around pushing the toddler in his buggy when he noticed someone who looked Jewish. He didn’t want to go over to him. He was tired, worried etc. and couldn’t be bothered with it all. He continued pushing the buggy around when the Jewish looking person came over to him. After a brief conversation the man left and the Chossid felt guilty as it was 11 Nissan, the Rebbe's birthday. He ran over to the man and asked if he wants to put on Tefillin. The man responded that he would love to, but would need help; it’s been many years. As they finished wrapping the Tefillin and said Shema, there was an announcement that the plane was going to leave right away. Before the man left, he turned to the person and said, I believe the whole delay was in order to facilitate this mitzvah.

This week is Shabbos Mevorchim   

Vayakel-Pikudei- 23/3/17

Today is 25 Adar. The Rebbetzin's birthday. This Shabbos is the fourth of the special Parshios. Each of these Parshios is represented by another cup of wine at the Pesach Seder. These cups of wine represent out freedom. A birthday also represents a person’s freedom and independence. The baby just born is exactly the same as it was just before birth, except, in its mothers’ womb it received oxygen from its mothers’ breathing, and grew through its mothers’ eating. Now it is independent. It has its own respiratory system, and digestive system. Pesach represents our ‘birth’, we breathe our own culture, the Torah, and we grow through it, and through that we contribute to the whole world.
 
 

Story of Rebbetzin 

The Rebbetzin went shopping and a young child helped her with her bags. To show her appreciation, the Rebbetzin gave him a bar of chocolate. He drew back as responded, "I had a chassidishe chinch and was taught that when we do a favour we don't take a reward for it" The Rebbetzin responded back, "I also had a chassidishe chinuch and I was taught that when someone gives you something you accept it gracefully, especially when it's a bar of chocolate!"

Story of Rebbe 

When Rabbi Mendel Gluckowsky was first sent to Israel, it was as a young Bochur. In time, he married and was sent by the Rebbe to settle in Rechovot. There were 18 Chabad families there at the time. Now there are over 600 Chabad families there. Years later his father in Toronto was feeling unwell he went to the hospital where they found an irregular heartbeat. They kept him in for three weeks. Finally, his brother called and said please come in. He was the only one able to as the girls were pregnant and the boy was battling pneumonia. Rabbi Glukowsky said he would go but first inform the Rebbe and ask for a Bracha. A few hours later, his brother called back. Do not come. We have an answer from the Rebbe. The Rebbe is puzzled why the family are shlepping the one sibling who would have to leave Eretz Yisroel? How can he stop all his activities in spreading Yiddishkeit and other things? Do you think this will bring a refua to your father? (He was thinking of starting some projects but was worried it would be too much for him so did not. Now he decided to do these projects in the merit his father becomes well) There was marked improvement and his father was sent home a couple days later. Being with his father would have given Rabbi Gluckowsky the chance to keep him company, make him a glass of tea, etc. The Rebbe was saying that through the vital work you are doing in Israel YOU are heling your father much more!! You are creating the channels for Hashem’s Brachos to heal your father.
 
 
There was an unfortunate terrorist attack in London yesterday. The reality is that more people die in car accidents than in terrorist attacks. However, the terrorist aims to frighten and terrorise the rest of us. The best response is to resist this, instead to do more good. Just as in the story with Rabbi Glukowsky, by each of us improving in doing what Hashem wants of us, we draw down Brachos for ourselves, our families, and friends, and for all of humankind.

 

This week is Shabbos Mevorchim   

Mishpatim- 23/2/17

This week we read from 2 Sifrei Torah. There is the regular Parsha and Parshas Shekolim. There are those that have a minyan to serve 2 different Kugels on a Shabbos when 2 Sifrei Torah are used 3 when three are used etc. 

What's the connection between kugel and Sefer Torah? When one sits down at the meal and sees 2 Kugels one remembers the sifrei Torah. 

Parshas Mishpotim talks about the laws that make sense. One can't have a society without these laws. They provide the Rules and regulations. They include laws such as what to do when someone steals, harms another person, laws of damage, etc. They come right after Matan Torah. This teaches us that The Torah isn't just on a mountain and whilst one is davening and learning. It's in life it's down to earth. 

If Mishpotim is about laws of every day why does it start with Eved Ivri (the Hebrew slave)?  It's such a rare and individualised occurrence, why does Torah start with that? 

It teaches us an important lesson: All of Torah begins with Kabolas Ol. Naaseh Venishma shows commitment, doing something even when you don't want to. Our relationship with Hashem should be one of: " I am an Eved Ivri". First we'll do it (Nasseh) then we will understand (Venushma). That comes second. 

Nasseh Venishma is found in Perek 24 Possuk 7   Nash Venishma is a 24/7 commitment. 

Story of Rebbetzin 

This story happened in the last months of her life: 

Mrs Kesselman was living in NY. She gave art lessons to earn a living. There was a local woman who came to her who was married for many years and had no children Mrs Kesselman lived above Albany bakery and one time when she was with this woman she noticed  the rebbetzins car pull up by the bakery. Mrs Kesselman pointed it out and held back as the woman went to window. She felt that if she looked down from the window she could get a Bracha from Rebbetzin. The Rebbetzin looked up at the window, making eye contact. 9 months later she had a baby who she called Chaya Mushka. Rebbe said Rebbetzin can give Brachos and this is a story that illustrates this. 

Story of Rebbe 

Rabbi Lew was walking in Stamford Hill and he met a Bobover Chossid. (Rabbi Schapiro). He runs an organisation called Kol Bonayich which helps boys who face challenges. He goes to NY periodically and usually visits the Ohel whilst there. 

He told Rabbi Lew that in the last short while he has been facing difficulties in three areas a. There is o money b. He owes a lot of money hand has big debts to pay back. 3. He is facing Aggravation from people. He was ready to give up!

He scheduled a trip to NY and went to the Ohel. Usually he goes into the Ohel via the third tent in the last  building. This time he said he's going into the building instead. As he walked into the room in the house, the video was playing a Sicha. He heard the Rebbe say, Kol Bonayich (Limudei Hashem). He felt that this time he received his Bracha before  even going into  the Rebbe. 

Yisro- 15/2/17

Wednesday is connected to the following Shabbos. It is considered Erev Shabbos. Even in the Shir Shel Yom we add the first three Pesukim of Lechu Neranena to the Tehillim.

This Shabbos is special. It is Parshas Yisro when we receive the Torah and 22 Shvat - the Rebbetzin's Yarzeit.

It is a week that shows the Power of women. When Hashem gave the Torah to the Yidden Hashem told Moshe. כה תאמר לבית יעקב ותגד לבני ישראל. So you should say (in a general way) to the women and (in a specific way) to the men. Women received it first and in a general way and the specific details to the men.

What does it mean give to the women first?  When Hashem created the world He gave the mitzva of not eating from the Eitz Hadaas to Odom first who gave it over to Chava. It wasn't kept.

This time Hashem said I'm giving it to the women first. It will be kept properly. It will be more powerful and strong and loved and cherished when the women get it first.

What does it mean generally to the women?

The Rebbe explains that Yiras Shomayim is the basis of the Torah - knowing Torah. For Torah to be part of our life there must be Ahavas Hashem, Yiras Shomayim etc. That comes first before one can keep the Torah. Women have special power in Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem.

To make a difference and help bring Moshiach is for everyone however, women's love of Hashem and Mitzvos brings in the power that goes behind the detail, which follow behind. We as women are the ones having a strong effect, which is paramount, and the biggest lesson from Matan Torah.
 
It's 29 years since Rebbetzin passed away. One didn't see her. She was very private. She didn't come to farbrengens. She would watch through a window on Lag Beomer etc but never publicly.

She was very dedicated and sensitive to others. She was able to connect to everyone.

She was a person home alone (no Children to keep her company) while the Rebbe was in 770. There was Yechidus through the night and deep caring about the world etc.- the Rebbe was only able to do this because of the Rebbetzin.

Last year 22 Shvat Rabbi Lew was at Ohel but he couldn't get in. But was at the Rebbetzins kever. He met Mrs sternberg who told him some stories. 

Stories about the Rebbe and Rebbetzin

The Rebbe was busy and the Rebbetzin gave up her life for the Rebbe and the chassidim.

A chassid told the Rebbetzin he was worried about the Rebbetzin's health and also the Rebbe's. He suggested to the Rebbetzin to ask the Rebbe, to please make a principle to have a curfew (1am) to be home with the Rebbetzin.

The Rebbetzin responded. Out of the question! It would take the Rebbe away from what the people need!  She was Moser Nefesh so the Rebbe could be there for Klal Yisroel.

General is there - Rebbe cared for everyone

Particular - Rebbetzin gave up everything for klal Yisroel.

The Rebbetzin had issue with her eyes. A chossid took her to see a Dr who said there are 2 options and she should choose between them. The chossid said to the Rebbetzin that she should write to the Rebbe and ask what to do. The Rebbetzin however, didn't want to worry the Rebbe. So the chossid spoke to the Rebbe himself who replied: I'll give you advice, but don't tell the Rebbetzin, I don't want her to worry that I know she's unwell. The Rebbe worried about the Rebbetzin. The Rebbetzin worried about her husband.

In the last few years, the Rebbe and Rebbetzin stayed in the library next to 770. The Rebbetzin came on Friday and left on motzei Shabbos. People would stand outside the library to try and catch a glimpse of the Rebbetzin. One Bochur ran to see but he ran too fast and bumped into the Rebbetzin. He didn't know what to do with himself as the Rebbetzin had gone home. He wrote an apology note signing his name at the bottom and gave it to someone who worked in the house to deliver to the Rebbetzin. When the Rebbetzin read the letter she was upset as now she knew who bumped into her and he would be embarrassed.

BO- 2/2/17

This week's Parsha begins with Hashem telling Moshe to go to Paroa to ask him to release the Jews. The term used in the Torah, Bo El Paro, means come to Paro. Hashem was reminding Moshe that he is not in this on his own, Hashem is with him always. Come as in come together with me. 

This  coming Monday is Yud Shvat. The day of the Frierdiker Rebbe's Histalkus and the day the rebbe took over the Nesius. 

We all have a Mitzrayim in us that we need to break out of. The Paro (our Yetzer Hora) pressurises us constantly and we have the Koch within us to withstand this pressure if we want. Hashem put tzaddikim into this world to to guide us and help us in this mission. We have to connect. Yud Shvat is a day to reflect again on our Hiskashrus and reconnect. Hashem is there with us 'holding our hand' through the difficult and painful Golus. We can use our connectiion with the Rebbe to help is break out of our Mitzrayim and march to Geula. 

Story (not told in assembly dictated by Rabbi Lew to be shared)

The Frierdiker Rebbe left Russia in 1927. There was an 'Iron Curtain' where the USSR did not allow any information to flow out of the country or into the country. There were severe pressures on everybody in the country especially on Jews, even more so on religious Jews and especially Lubavitchers. This was because the government wanted to eradicate religion - especially the Jewish religion. The iron Curtain was so strong that when the Frierdiker Rebbe passed away on Yud Shvat 5710 (1950) even the capital city of Moscow only found out nearly  two months later


On 19 Kislev 5712, nearly  2 years later, the Chassidim in Riga first found out about it!

How did they find out? 

There was a private farbrengen and when they were gathered together one of the participants said he heard on Kol Yisroel radio that day, that the Rebbe had passed away 22 months before, and they were speaking about a new Rebbe (the Rebbe)

Instead of rejoicing, the Chassidim were crying and broken hearted.   Their whole life was inspired by their hiskashrus to the Frierdiker Rebbe. 

After an hour or two, the mood suddenly changed to the present, and they were very encouraged and consoled that we have a new Rebbe.   They began to speak about this.  The conversation led to all of them committing to try getting out of the USSR. They discussed how they would go to the Rebbe for Yechidus and what would they ask the Rebbe for?

One said, a Bracha that all Jews should come out of Russia. 

A second one said, I will ask for Moshiach. 

Third one that all our people should have parnossa. And so on. 

One Chossid, Rabbi Gorelik remained quiet. 

The others asked him: what are you going to ask the Rebbe for? 

He answered, " I should ask the Rebbe what the Rebbe should do?   I'm going to ask the Rebbe what he would like ME to do!"

Years passed and in 1969 Rabbi Gorelik got out of Russia, made Aliya and was one of the founders of Nachalat Har Chabad. 

By his first Tishrei, the Rebbe sent a ticket for him to come and   whilst there he went onto Yechidus. 

The Rebbe smiled at him and said, "I understand you want to do what I want. (he had forgotten about the farbrengen) the answer is I want you to do Avoda Besimcha."


Moral:  Our connection to the Rebbe is beyond time and space. The best way for Hiskashrus and Avodas Hashem is Simcha. 


Shemos- 19/1/17

This weeks Parsha is Shemos, which means 'the names of'. Rashi comments that these are the names and the numbers, which Hashem counts.  Just like the stars are brought in and out by Hashem and are counted by name and number. Chassidus explains how every person has a number and a name.

With numbers everyone in ONE. No one is less and no one is more. It is the essence of the soul. It is something deep and essential in your innermost soul ( עצם הנפש).

A name, on the other hand, is unique to the person. Each of us have a unique power, a special mission an individual obligation.

Moshe was brought up in the palace and went out to the people. He saw the suffering and killed the Mitzri. The next day he saw 2 people arguing. He asked, " Why are you hitting." (Even though they just raised their hands, no hitting was involved). They said, " Oh you're the troublemaker!" Moshe got scared ( וירא משה) and ran to Midyan. The Rebbe says that right after the Torah writes that Moshe was afraid, it mentions Paro heard and Moshe had to flee.

Moshe was afraid of what would happen when people would hear what he did to the Mitzri. Then the Torah says Paro heard ( וישמע פרעה). Because he worried it got back to Paro. Had he not worried, it could be Paro would not have heard about it and he would not have had to flee.

Faith and trust in Hashem is the most important. The Tzemach Tzedek said " Tract gut vet zein gut" - think good and that affects the outcome.  Even if a person isn't a tzaddik one shouldn't be afraid of anything, as we know that ultimately Hashem controls everything. We're not worried any more of the danger. We have to do what is possible bederech hateva and the result will be what Hashem, who loves us very much, wants.

Story of Rebbe 

People were afraid and wanted to leave or move locations from the north of Israel (which was more vulnerable) to the south.

The Rebbe said, " Eretz Yisroel is the safest place!"

Many scuds were shot into Eretz Yisroel and no one was killed as a direct result of the scuds.

There is a person in England who is close to Chabad who worked for the British government on computers in Downing Street. One week he walked into Downing Street with the Jewish Tribune under his arm. A colleague saw the word Jewish and said, " Oh I forgot you’re Jewish. You have my sympathies."

" Why?" He asked in surprise. His colleague responded, "It’s terrible what's going on in Israel, the scuds,  war etc.” He responded, "I'm not worried. A holy Rabbi in NY said that Israel is the safest place in the world.”

The colleague looked sympathetically at this Jew and said, " I admire your faith, but, really, how can you believe that?  At least here we have security and good intelligence. We're very safe."

They began working. One hour later, the IRA shot a mortar bomb into 10 Downing Street (while the government were in the middle of a cabinet meeting). Everyone jumped up and had to be evacuated.

His colleague turned to the Jew and apologised for having questioned his positive attitude.

He had bitachon and was focused on Nissim. He was tract gut vet zein gut.  And the outcome was positive. 


This week is Shabbos Mevorchim
It is written in the hayom yom that one who says tehillim receives brachos for himself, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren

Vayechi- 12/1/17

This week is Shabbos Chazak. The Parsha usually ends positively. Here it ends on a sad note. And it's not just another Parsha, it's the end of a whole Sefer. The last point of the Sefer is that Yosef passed away and was put in a coffin in Mitzrayim. We learn from this that Yosef is with us and gives us strength to overcome all difficulties in Golus. We find a similar idea at the beginning of the Parsha where Rashi says, Yaakov avinu Lo Mes.   There were Chachomim sitting together and some asked, how does it say Yaakov didn't die if the Torah then says that his children buried him. One of the Rabbonim pointed out to his colleagues a Possuk in Yeshaya that answers this.  The Possuk it refers to Yaakov and his Zera. The Chachomim say mah zarah bachaim af hu bachaim. A Tzaddik gives us strength. The true life of a tzaddik never stops but gets stronger and stronger as time goes on.  His children following his ways keep him alive.

Story of Rebbe 

Rabbi Motti Hasofer lives in Sydney and it would be impossible for him to fly in to NY. He gathered letters from everyone that day to put on the gravesite of a tzaddik as the Rebbe said they all connect spiritually. He felt satisfied that people had really done the Rebbe's will. His wife Devorah wanted her father, not frum at the time, to write. She begged him to send a Pan, explaining the concept of an Eis Ratzon etc. Eventually he agreed to do it, but, he asked her to write for him. He dictated:

Dear Rebbe,

Tomorrow at 4am I'm going in a fishing trip. Please give me much success.

That night R’Motti went to put panim in the cemetery.

The next morning the father went fishing with his friend.  As they reached the sea, they saw a big Italian fishing boat with 2 large nets.

They set up the rods etc. Straight away R’Motti catches a fish. Then minutes later another one, then another one. One after the other. His friend Richard, on the other hand, wasn't catching anything. |He connected his success to the letter and told him, “ Don't worry it's just because of a special blessing I asked from G-d”. Then another fish came. They switched sides still no difference. In 2 hours, he had caught a full day’s quota while his friend had caught none.

On the way back, they passed the Italian boat, which hadn't caught many fish. When they saw his boat full, they shouted out “ wow you must have special blessings from G-d”.

Early the following morning he went over to his daughter, he was shaking as he realised there IS a G-d in the world. He told over the story. He pointed out to her how amazing it was, every single fish caught had fins and scales. He said, “ if I hadn’t see it with my eyes I wouldn't believe it”. He started coming closer to Yiddishkeit. One Shabbos a couple of weeks later a few young kids in shul pointed out R’Motti saying, “ That's the man that could have asked for anything and he asked for fish”. 


If you have a chance use it for something significant.

 

Vayigash- 5/1/17

In this week's Parsha Yosef met his brothers and Yaakov his father.  He was kidnapped at 17 years old and over the last 22 years he was sold by his brothers. He was enslaved, imprisoned etc. After much suffering he is now close to 40 years old. 

He now prepares his brothers to be ready to be Moser Nefesh, to surrender their own feelings, risk their own lives for the son of Rochel (Binyamin) then he will know they were Mesaken, they corrected what they did wrong by proving they really learnt their lesson. 

They cried when they realised it was Yosef they were scared of his reaction. Yosef had to decide what this meeting up will achieve -after 22 years, a family broken and torn apart and enduring so much, besides his own suffering. Yosef said don't feel bad, see that something good came out of all this - Hashem is the one who sent me here. I had to come here to provide food for the family. You didn't send me here, Hashem did.  Let's move on. Let's see the Hashgacha Prartis and use it to make a Dira for Hashem. 

On 5 Teves 30 years ago, we experienced Didan Notzach. It was established in a secular court that the Seforim and Rebbe belong to his Chassidim. The Frierdiker Rebbe had passed away but his legacy lives on and is eternal and alive. 

We see the Power of words of the Frierdiker Rebbe which showed the library wasn't personal belongings and collections but it belonged to the whole world. 

The Rebbe came down to Mincha that day and the Chassidim were singing and joyous. The Rebbe asked for a Chumash and spoke (for the whole week the Rebbe spoke each day).  The Rebbe brought down from the Parsha how we learn about Yosef who pointed out the Hashgacha Pratis of being in Mitzrayim. How Hashem led him there. 

The other side said the library is just documents and books. The Rebbe said we have to show we are continuing and moving forward with a mission. Most Chabad houses were built in the last 30 years. We have to take the lesson from Yosef. He didn't play the blame game. Just move on.  Each interaction leads to something. 

People face challenges, make mistakes, and have distractions things don't go the way we expect. In the long run these lead to Geula. Hashem put us here we will achieve and win. 


Story of Rebbe 

The trial began 19 Kislev. It took over a year until a verdict  was issued. People presented arguments and evidence to show a non Jewish judge that the seforim were not part of a personal library but part of the whole movement. 

There were hundreds of pages of evidence and the Rebbe pointed out a document which he said was crucial. Out of thousands of pages the judges zeroed in on this letter which the Rebbe had told the lawyer was crucial. 

They wanted to involve the Rebetzin who was 84 at the time. The Rebbe agreed and they came to her home and videod her deposition. They asked her questions and at the end the lawyer asked straight out, "In your honest opinion, those books, did they belong to your father or the Chassidim?"

"They belong to the Chassidim, because my father belonged to the Chassidim!"

When watching the video, at that sentence the judge exclaimed, "Extraordinary!". A Rebbe is someone totally selfless. His whole life is his Chassidim, his followers. 

The Rebbe said this time is an Eis Ratzon, a Yom Segula. The Rebbe encouraged everyone to write letters. The Rebbe said he won't have time to read the letters. It will go straight to Hashem via the Frierdiker Rebbe. Thousands of letters poured in to the Rebbe, who took them all to the Ohel. They filled bags and bags with letters. Just on one day the Rebbe took around 15/20 big shopping bags of letters. 

Many open miracles were seen then.


We Celebrate Hey Teves through learning Torah and buying or repairing Seforim. Most of all the message is that the idea of Rebbe is beyond the physical body and its very relevant to this generation. 

Reminder that Sunday is Asara Beteves.  

Vayeitzei- 8/12/16

In referring to his life in לבן 's house יעקב chooses to use the word גרתי which has the same letters as תריג . He was saying even though I lived in the house of Lavan the trickster I kept all the Mitzvos.  Even in Golus he remained loyal to Hashem.  We learn from this that even though we are in Golus we should strive to remain loyal to Hashem.

The Gemara tells us that אברהם had both יצחק , a tzadik and Yishmael. יצחק had both יעקב a righteous person and עשו . With יעקב it says יעקב מטותו שלימה . He was the father of all the Shevatim each of them loyal to Hashem. Yes, they may have had ups and downs but they all remained Loyal to Hashem.

What is the key to יעקב 's success?

Both אברהם and יצחק raised their children in ארץ ישראל . יעקב on the other hand met and got married in Golus in Charan and most of his children were born there. 

Sometimes we ask: if Hashem wants us to follow his Will and wants me to do his Rotzon why does He put so many challenges in the way? Yaakov is the answer. We see how the Parsha starts with יעקב going away from Kedusha to a new, foreign environment and ends with יעקב coming back from Golus having built up a whole Melucha. We shouldn't allow our challenges drag us down. יעקב had challenges with his children but he worked them through and became a better person. He was able to work with his children through their challenges to become better people too.

We see this from the way he was escorted by Malachim. On his way out of אי he saw Malachim only in a spiritual vision, a dream, and he had to look for them as the possuk says ויפגע . On his way back they came to him; and physically and not in a dream.


 

There was a Bochur in yeshiva. He had a very troubled background and a difficult family situation. He was sent abroad to be away from the pressures of his life to a yeshiva where he lived with relatives. He was settled but would have preferred to be back home; even going to another yeshiva.

Another Bochur who lived in the town of the yeshiva became close to this boy and befriended him becoming a mentor. He found out that this boy didn't feel settled and wanted to go home to another yeshiva. He tried figuring out whether he should encourage him to stay or whether he should encourage him to go back to the place he was more familiar with etc. He told him to write to the Rebbe but only if he's prepared to follow whatever the Rebbe advises.

This older Bochur went to NY for his 18th birthday and was in yechidus with the Rebbe. The Rebbe would normally give a Bracha to encourage him for life etc. The Rebbe suddenly asked you know the boy you learn and talk with? I want you to go to the principal and tell him that the Rebbe said to call in that boy and tell him; I'm trying to build up this yeshiva and to attract good top quality bochurim. You are one such boy. I would really like you to stay here and help us build the yeshiva so we can attract others with special talents.

On his return He went to the principal who said I hadn’t noticed he has such special talent. But if the Rebbe said it, he must have it.

The boy stayed on and is a big Rov today.

When they were older and married etc he visited this older boy who asked if he would speak at a farbrengen in his house. He replied that he would, but that since he heard that his friend had once had a yechidus with the Rebbe about him please tell over that story. When he heard the story he was amazed at the Rebbe's direction finding the good in him; helping him to see through the challenges the good potential that is within him; and how it shaped his life.

 

Toldos - 1/12/16

Rosh Chodesh Kislev is an important date in the Chabad calendar. In Tof Shin Lamed Ches (39 years ago) on Shemini Atzeres the Rebbe became very weak and suffered a major heart attack.

The Rebbe danced the first Hakofah with his brother-in-law, the Rashag as he did every year. During the fourth Hakofah the Rebbe suddenly stopped singing. His face became a sickly white and asked that his chair be brought to him.

The Rebbe insisted that the remaining Hakofos continue, even dancing with his brother-in-law, the Rashag, for the 7 th Hakafa. After Hakofos, the Rebbe refused to eat or drink until he had made Kiddush— on wine — in the sukkah.  The Rebbe was only concerned about the Chassidim and the joy of Yom Tov which must continue.

Upon hearing of the situation on Motzei Yom Tov, Rabbi Lew and a few other Chassidim met in Lubavitch to say Tehillim, daven and figure out what action they can take in this case. They were very worried about the Rebbe.  At about 3am they received a message that the Rebbe was going to speak!  Rabbi Lew and the others divided the phone book and called other members of the community to come and hear the Rebbe speak. Doctors had set a limit of only five minutes for the Rebbe’s talk, the Rebbe continued speaking for a total of twenty minutes.  The Rebbe focused on the positive of the situation, and emphasised the benefit of being able to use a microphone and broadcast around the world so people could hear the Rebbe speak .

The Rebbe’s room was turned into a hospital room and top doctors were brought in to treat the Rebbe.

The doctors needed to take a blood test. They get the blood by putting a thin needle inside the person, and pulling out some blood using an empty tube.

The Rebbe wanted to teach Chassidim a lesson in Avodas Hashem, so he asked the doctors about this. “What makes the blood come out: The poke of the needle, or the empty tube?” The doctor answered that the poke of the needle makes the place for the blood to come out, but the empty tube is what pulls out the blood.

The Rebbe said, sometimes a Yid feels like he is empty inside, and not doing what he needs to do as a Yid. It is important to know that this is a special opportunity! Now that he is empty, he just needs to “poke” himself to do a little bit more, and he can pull chayus into himself! The Rebbe was also saying “my chair is empty now, but as a result I will make up with inward activity and return reinvigorated.”

 

For a few weeks after the heart attack, the Rebbe needed to rest in his room. It was on Rosh Chodesh Kislev that the Rebbe came out of his room and went home. Chassidim were so excited to see the Rebbe and that he was better, that they composed a special niggun and made the day into a Yom Tov! Chassidim made Hakofos and danced and sang all night. The Rebbe said that the singing and dancing contributed to his good health.  It is a day that we farbreng and think of how we can strengthen our hiskashrus to the Rebbe.

 

Tzivos Hashem, Kinus Hashluchim, Children’s and adult Sifrei Torah, Hey Teves, Limmud Rambam, Mivtza Yom Huledes, edited Maamorim, global Chabad Houses, Seven Mitzvos Campaign, Sunday dollars to name a few.

 

Vayeira- 17/11/16 - Sensitivity to the other

This week is Anti Bullying week. In Chabad – the Rebbe’s חסיד – not to be a bully? That’s a negative goal – we should strive for much more. It should be week of sensitivity to others. The Alter Rebbe put the heart of תניא into פרק לב, which teaches about Ahavas Yisroel. The heart of everything is to feel for another person – be sensitive to the other.

  וירא אליו ה' - Hashem appeared to אברהם who just had a ברית and was in pain. Hashem Himself talked to אברהם. Yet, when אברהם sees from the distance three Arabs (malachim) he ran to take care of them, his priority was to look after others.

וירא אליו - to him – it doesn’t say a name. Because when anyone displays sensitivity to others Hashem will appear to him.

If one sees an animal of a neighbour laden and buckling under the load one must help them. The Gemara asks what is the law when two animals are both not coping; which animal should one help first? If one belongs to your friend and the other to your enemy, help both but start with the enemy’s. This is to train us to overcome our negative nature and it shows both sensitivity and feeling.


 

Story of the Rebbe

A חסיד was in יחידות , he had recently come out of Russia so the Rebbe took an interest about someone whom the חסיד knew. The Rebbe asked about the person’s welfare, how he was doing etc. He also asked him whether the person puts on Tefillin. The חסיד answered “He says he puts on Tefillin”. The Rebbe stopped the חסיד and said “I am asking you to look at you r fellow with a good eye.” The tone of the חסיד implied that his friend isn’t telling the full truth. We should be sensitive when we talk about others. We should speak about others nicely and even think nicely about others even when they are not near us. Anti-Bullying Week by Chaya Mushka Year 12

This week is an important week in all schools across the country – anti bullying week. Bullying isn’t just physical. Most bullying comes in other forms, name calling, manipulation, exclusion, making fun of etc. In this week’s parsha Yishmael was bullying Yitzchok. He would taunt him, pressure him etc. Dovid HaMelech was bullied for being a red head, short and because of his questionable lineage. He became king eventually, if we encourage and like each other then each of us can be a king (or queen)!

 

We should have feelings and sensitivity towards others – even if we have to something uncomfortable to bring out the best in each other and ourselves.

 

Lech Lecha- 10/11/16 - Nachas from children is the biggest blessing

אברהםhad 10 tests, a successful life, wealth, he was a shliach with his wife and lived in Iraq, Syria, Eretz Yisroel and Mitzrayim.

Hashem told him he is wonderful and would be protected and would have a wonderful reward. However, אברהם said, “what is it worth if I have no children!”

This is a powerful sentence that all is good in life only if one has נחת from children.

Rabbi Lew was in יחידות (40+ years ago) and the Rebbe gave him a ברכה with eyes closed– part of the ברכה– “the most important of all is to have Chassidishe Nachas from children and this includes your תלמידים and תלמידות (students) and מושפעים ומושפעות (the people who you affect)”. Everyone should be blessed with children and נחת., children create that נחת for their parents, and by helping and encouraging friends you create נחת for many more people.

Noach- 3/11/16 - If you are determined, you will succeed in anything

We are now in the month of Cheshvan. Tishrei was packed full of Yomim Tovim while Cheshvan doesn’t have any. Our job is to bring the spirit of Tishrei into the month of Cheshvan and the rest of the year.
In this week’s parsha it begins saying that “ Noach was a Tzaddik in his generation” – Rashi asks the question why does it say “ in his generation”? There are 2 ways which this could be interpreted; a positive way is that he was a tzaddik even in a generation when it was hard; had he lived in the times of Avroham Avinu then he would certainly have been a tzaddik then too. Or a more negative way to view this. He was a tzaddik in comparison with his generation but had he lived in the times of Avroham Avinu then he would not have been considered a tzaddik.
Why do Chazal speak about the negative interpretation? What can we learn from it? The Rebbe explains that we can learn how to deal with our Yetzer Hara when we feel that it is too hard today to do what is right. The Yetzer Hara tells you that there are many mitzvos, that are difficult to do today; and sometimes we feel that we are in a negative environment; and sometimes your friends aren’t doing something so how can you do it, be different? Noach teaches us that if you are determined you will be able to succeed and overcome all the challenges. Noach lived through very great challenges and he was not that great, but he overcame the challenges, and he was a tzaddik. If you really want something, then nothing will stop you. Spiritually we seem to live in very hard times but if you are as determined as Noach then you will be given the koach to succeed.

Vayeilech- 6/10/16 - Inner Self

Yom Kippur is coming up and we are approaching שבת ש ו בה. This week’s parsha is Vayeilech, which contains only 30 pusukkim. However, it contains 2 mitzvahs, Hakhel and writing a Sefer Torah. Both are on the topic of Achdus. If one letter in a Sefer Torah is damaged then the whole Torah is Possul, the whole Torah is affected. Every Jew is like a letter in the Sefer Torah, we are all important and necessary. The year of Hakhel continues until Sukkos and even after then the message and Achdus still continues.

On these days the whole year is being decided and sealed, ת ש ו בה, תפלה, צדקה remove difficulties and bad parts of a גזרה and can transform our fate. In English repentance, prayer and charity are actually the opposite of the Hebrew.

Repentance – means regret, feeling bad about what was done and moving away. However, ת ש ו בה – refers to returning, moving towards – returning to our inner self, our essence, our נשמה. ת ש ו בה is for everyone, both a רשע and a צד'ק.  Even if someone thinks he is too bad, too far, did too much wrong, inside of them they have part of G-d, their essence, it was never lost just deep inside and they are returning to their inner self. 

Netzavim - 29/9/16 - Hakhel

This week is Shabbos mevorchim – however, unlike the rest of the months of the year a brocho isn’t made in shul blessing the coming month. In Hayom Yom it explains that this is because Hashem gives the brocho for this month which empowers us with the koach to bless all the other 11 months. However, Tehillim is still said and a farbrengen still takes place after davening.

The last Shabbos of the year is always Parsha Netzavim. The Baal Shem Tov comments that in the first possuk; “ אַתֶּ֨ם נִצָּבִ֤ים הַיּוֹם֙ כֻּלְּכֶ֔ם לִפְנֵ֖י ה' רָֽאשֵׁיכֶ֣ם שִׁבְטֵיכֶ֗ם זִקְנֵיכֶם֙ וְשֹׁ֣טְרֵיכֶ֔ם כֹּ֖ל אִ֥ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:” meaning “ You are all standing this day before ‘ ה , the leaders of your tribes, your elders and your officers, every man of Israel” it is talking about how all the Jews are together before Hashem just like at Rosh Hashanah when all the Jews will stand firm together. The key to the brocho from Hashem is the unity and achdus of the Jews. It acts as a guarantee for a good year.

The Friediker Rebbe explains that there is a connection between Rosh Hashana and unity. At Rosh Hashana we surrender ourselves to Hashem and accept all the teachings as He is King, I’m nothing I will do what Hashem wants. This can be compared to how, when people connect with each other and are not thinking about themselves they are one. We are now in the last few days of the year of Hakhel, where Bnei Yisroel all came together. In Mem-Ches, the last Hakhel year with the Rebbe, after the final mincha of the year the Rebbe told everyone that there still are a couple more hours, of Hakhel. For us too it isn’t too late to learn, connect or do something with other Jews to promote harmony amongst all Jews and bring us closer together.

The Rebbe spoke about how a Hakhel is also in every single person, when all elements of the body are working together and are unified under our neshama. Eruv Rosh Hashana is a time to consider how our year went and what we can improve for the next year. It is customary to write a pan or visit Kivrei Tzaddikim. Following on from davening every girl will have the opportunity to write a pan which will be taken to the Ohel. 

Shoftim - 8/9/16 - Aim High

Welcome

Today is the start of a new school year, everyone has a new slate, a new chance to achieve. To achieve depends on how we look at ourselves – we should look at ourselves as being important and capable. We are at the beginning of a new school year and also the end of Year 5776. We are preparing for the next school year 5777 – ע"ז   meaning -“strength”, and we will all see and use our strength.

The past year at LSGS has had many challenges including over the summer the painful and difficult news of hearing of the passing for Rabbi A Groner O’’H. Although we can’t understand the ways in which G-d works, when Moshiach comes we will understand. But what we can do is have achdus together. We are here for each other and with each other. May this year be a good, healthy, freilich and successful year.

Dvar Torah

This week’s parsha is Shoftim – towards the end of the parsha it says “ when you are going out to battle against your enemies. ” In Hebrew the word עַל – “above” is used. It refers to going above the enemy. The Alter Rebbe explains that life is like a battle and that the enemy is always trying to stop us achieving our goal. Our main enemy is the Yetzer Hara who wants us to give up and not change. However, life is a battle and from the beginning know that you are above, higher than your Yetzer Hara – your habits, laziness etc. You are “above” the enemy and you are empowered. By realising our strength, we can overcome any challenge.

Story

Every week at assembly a Rebbe story is told this custom started 22 years ago on Gimmel Tammuz when Rabbi Lew took on to tell a story of the Rebbe at every assembly to help girls to feel closer to the Rebbe and have stronger hishkashrus to the Rebbe.

Leibel Kaplan was brought up in England and moved to New York at 14 years old. He had a yechidus (private audience) for his birthday with the Rebbe. As is customary after his yechidus he went to a farbrengen and told over something the Rebbe had said to him. Leibel Kaplan had told the Rebbe in a letter in yechidus that he was turning 14 years old and studied in yeshivah all day. However, the first thing he does when get home is open the fridge and lift lids off pots to see what kind of food was there. He told the Rebbe that he was trying to be a Chossid and didn’t feel his actions were the right way he should be acting and he asked the Rebbe how to overcome the challenge. The Rebbe told him to imagine himself as someone who is running a whole city and therefore he can’t get so caught up looking into pots.

13 years later the Rebbe sent Leibel Kaplan to Tzfas where he ran and built up the whole city. He started preparing for this position from when he was 14 years old. One day we also will run an entire city, be it a home, a family or simply being in charge of something big. There may be challenges on the way and we have the ability to overcome them.

Regards

When Rabbi Lew was in Moscow over the summer he met with Rabbi Lazar, the Chief Rabbi of Russia, who said how special LSGS is. Rabbi Lew spoke to the staff in Moscow who sent their regards to London.

Announcements:

Welcome to Year 7 and other new girls in the school

Change of school timings and core routines

Shelach- 30/6/16

D’Var Torah: Rochel F

Dvar Torah

Last week I spent Shabbos in The Netherlands in Utrevht where there are many more bikes than cars. I was picked up from the airport and taken to the Shliach’s house, about 1 hour away. Over Shabbos 25 people came for meals and it was the first time there was a minyan for the whole davening allowing the Torah to be read. The Shliach’s wife was a teacher at LSGS 33 years ago and reminisced about her time there. The driver didn’t attend any of the meals over Shabbos so Rabbi Lew asked the Shliach why. He responded that the driver wasn’t Jewish but was one of many non-Jewish people in The Netherlands who love Jews and Israel, and offer their help to the Shliach so driving 2 hours to and from the airport was seen to the man as a great honour. The example of the shliach and shlucha inspires even non-Jews, though their work is amongst Jews, who admire them and love them. The shluchim shared stories about different people not knowing they were Jewish until much later in life, or approaching the Rabbi in the supermarket etc.

Here are people who live with G-d and carry out what the Rebbe wants, and are helping to bring Moshiach.

Some ignorant people say that going to the Ohel or writing a Pan is like writing to a dead person Chas V’Shalom. The answer to them can be found in this week’s sedra. Moshe sent a leader from each of the 12 tribes to Israel.  In the Torah it says and he came to Hebron ” not “they” as you may expect. Rashi explains that “he” is referring to Calev who went by himself to go and daven at the gravesite of the patriachs, to ask that he shouldn’t be sucked in by the others. Therefore, it can be said that even in the times of the Chumash, before the Yidden entered Israel they already went to daven by the gravesites of Tzaddikim.

Every single pupil in LSGS was born after Gimmel Tammuz. However, their relationship with the Rebbe is much deeper than it used to be. The Rebbe is much more accessible now, though it is up to each of us to use the opportunities. Although one can’t see the Rebbe physically; spiritually you can, though seeing the Rebbe’s hopes, vision and teachings. In many ways he is more accessible today.

Story of the Rebbe

Rabbi Epstein – Chicago

Rabbi Epstein was in a restaurant waiting for his company to be ready to leave when he was approached by a frum looking many who clearly wasn’t Lubavitch. The man asked if he was Lubavitch immediately Rabbi Epstein thought that maybe the man was going to criticise, on something familiar. However, he answered, “Yes and I am proud of it.” The man then said I have a Rebbe story and went on to relay the following story:

I am a Litvish Jew and was in Ponovezh Yeshivah in Bnei Brak., I got married, went into business, was successful and all areas of my life were going well. I had a chavrusah who I would learn with daily. One day the FBI began phoning me, then visiting, then investigating and this went on for weeks and weeks. It took a toll on my health, my business, my family life. I didn’t know why I was being investigated and didn’t know what to do. I stopped learning with my chavrusah. One day I saw my chavrusah and said to him that I was going to go to Queens to see a lawyer. My chavrusah suggested that I go to the Ohel while I am anyways in Queens. I told him that we were not Lubavitch, why would I go to the Ohel? But my chavrusah said that he has heard many people have had miracles from going. I decided on my way to the lawyer I would pay a visit to the Ohel. When I entered I saw a friend of mine who I had been at Yeshivah with and asked him what he was doing there, he responded that he was “hedging his bets” and asked what I was doing there. I was doing the same thing. I davened at the Ohel, asked for a brocha and then went to my lawyer and relayed what was going on. He decided that he would call the FBI and try and find out why they were after him. They said that they weren’t after me, but were actually looking for someone else for things. Since he’d done business with him they thought that we were connected. After learning that they weren’t connected I was never contacted again from the FBI and everything in my life became successful again. It happened because of the Rebbe’s brocha.

Announcement:

Amazingly since last week’s breakout for the Gimmel Tammuz campaign 81 letters in the Children’s Sefer Torah have been sold. The 2 girls who have sold the most are Mushka R Year 7 and Batya K Year 8. We should continue to keep up the good work and try and sell at least 82 by next week!

Behaalosecha - 23/6/16

D’Var Torah: Rochel F

Every Friday night we light Shabbos candles. We strike a match, hold it against the wick for a few seconds and then see the flame almost disappearing before it reappears bright and bold.

This week’s Torah portion Behaalosecha can be translated as lighting the light it can also translate to lift it up. Rashi says that going up fulfils the mitzvah, when the flame is going up alone being only powered by the fuel. It can be said that the flame becomes independent and isn’t needing to be attached to the original fire the entire time. Sometimes it may take many attempts until the flame is independent but eventually it does it. The analogy can be used when doing a mitzvah, learning something or being a parent. It can sometimes take numerous times for a message to sink in and for someone to do something themselves but our job is to keep working, learning or teaching until the person is strong enough to not forget it.

Story of the Rebbe

There is a shliach in a suburb of Chicago who had a new gentleman who started to regularly attend his Chabad House. After a few weeks the shliach decided to approach the man and ask him how he found the Chabad House. The man told him that he was a businessman who works in the main city of Chicago. Every Friday bochurim would come to his office as mivtzoyim and ask the businessman to put on tefillin. Every week the man would decline, he told them he has no time, that hes busy and after a few weeks he screamed at them to stop coming. However, the bochurim did continue to leave a leaflet in his letter box. The businessman every week simply took it and threw it in the bin. A few months later he became ill and went to a Dr who told him he was very seriously ill and would need an operation. A date for surgery was arranged. The businessman wasn’t feeling so well so wasn’t going to work. However, he went to pick up all of his post and found the bochurim had still been dropping off their leaflets. He picked one up and read it, in it was a letter from the Rebbe saying to someone that he shouldn’t rely on one Doctor, he should seek a second opinion. The businessman thought it was good advice and decided to go to another specialist who said the surgery wasn’t necessary, and he could treat him without any operations. Shortly after this the businessman became better. The next Friday the businessman heard the bochurim dropping the leaflet through his door and ran to the door. The bochurim started to run away fearing that the businessman was going to shout at them again but he asked them to come back. He told them he wanted to put on tefillin. He then asked them what else he can do and where the nearest Chabad House was to his house. That is how he ended up in this shliach’s Chabad house and has now begun to embark on his journey to Yiddishkeit.

 

In life we have to do things again and again until the menorah inside us is lit.

Today is the referendum about whether we should be in or out of the EU. We need to as Jews think which way will allow us to do and bring more mitzvahs. Our job is to be lamplighters, light our Neshama and those around us. Even if we can’t always see the effect straight away. 

Announcement

Mika – Gimmel Tammuz campaign to encourage girls to get people who don’t already have a letter in the Sefer Torah

Naso - 16/6/16

D’Var Torah: Estie A

This week is a very special week, it is just a few days after Shavous and it is written that these days and the entire month of Sivan are special, that we can absorb the Koach from being given the Torah. The date on Shabbos will be 12 Sivan which is the date until which the sacrifices can be given.

When the Jewish people received the Torah they said “Naaseh V'nishma” – they were ready to receive G-d’s words. They heard it and then understood what to do.

You can have a group of people all doing the same Mitzvah but everyone has their own way of doing it. We aren’t computers, we are human beings and that means we have our own experiences. We ourselves can experience doing the mitzvah differently on different days. Some days a mitzvah can be more meaningful to us than other days and this feeling can be reflected in how we do the mitzvah.

This week is the longest sedra in the whole Torah. There are 176 Psukim. However, 70 psukim are the same words repeated. It talks about each tribe and the special Korbanas they donated. Each tribe brought an identical donation so why when the Torah is so careful with how many words it uses would it chose to repeat itself 12 times over. The whole thing could have been said in a couple of lines. However, the reason is that although each of the 12 tribes brought the same thing they had a different Kavana, everyone has a different experience.

When we do a mitzvah we should try and put ourselves into it.

 

Story of the Rebbe

1000’s of people would pack tightly into 770 to hear the Rebbe farbreng. There wasn’t any pushing but there was intense pressure and squeezing. Behind the Rebbe sat elder Chassidim, visiting Rabbis and the Rebbe’s secretaries. There were 1000’s of people listening to every word. Where were the children? They were allowed to be right near the Rebbe. Many of them sat under the table. The Rebbe loved having them near to him. He also enjoyed their presence when he would daven. They would listen to the sicha but wouldn’t necessarily be able to follow, they would get bored and play around quietly under the table.

Rabbi Engel who taught in a school in Crown Heights loved hearing the children talk in the playground about what they did at the farbrengen. Sometimes they would undo the Rebbe’s shoes but before the end of the farbrengen they would re-tie them.

At the end of a farbrengen the Chassidim would sing niggunim, one Shabbos they started to sign niggunim, 1, 2, 3, again and again for about 20 minutes. Nobody was sure what had happened. The next day in school Rabbi Engel heard the boys talking as usual. They said that one of the children under the table had decided to untie their laces and the Rebbe’s and tie the two together. When the niggunim started he tried to undo the laces but he couldn’t. finally, an older person saw what was going on and sent a bochur to sort it out. Only after the laces were correctly tied did the farbrengen end.

 What we can learn: The Rebbe was sensitive to the feelings of that child. He waited for the incident to be sorted without embarrassing anyone. We too should try and emulate this. 

Bechukosai - 2/6/16

D’Var Torah: Musia B

Story first – which also connects to sedrah

The Rebbe was asked his advice for all different questions on various problems and often gave the advice that people should see a Doctor, or a specialist in the field, however he would also advise people to check their mezuzahs, their tefillin or to increase their level of kashrus.

Seeing a doctor or a specialist makes sense for medical issues but to check their mezuzahs seems more like a religious answer. However, the Rebbe gives these answers as ultimately it’ll help the material problem.  The Rebbe shows us how the spiritual and physical worlds are interconnected. What you do in one effects the other.

Over 55 years ago there was a man in Montreal who contracted Rheumatic Fever. It was very serious and he was bedridden and couldn’t walk. He wrote to the Rebbe. In the reply the Rebbe said that the man should check his mezuzahs. It was discovered that the mezuzah on his bedroom door was a beautiful mezuzah but there were 2 words which were cut in half,  “ uv-lech-t'cha va-de-rech” – “when you walk”.

Another story is of a person who was in hospital and wrote to the Rebbe. The Rebbe may have intended to respond – check your mezuzahs however, the typed text read check your mezonus. The letter had the Rebbe’s signature, so the family also checked out what the hospital was serving and it turned out they were giving non-kosher food.

Currently in school Mezuzahs are being checked at the request of some girls in school. Girls can also encourage their parents to check their Mezuzahs at home as well as tefillin.

In this week’s parsha the first words are

3. If you follow My statutes and observe My commandments and perform them,

 

אִם־בְּחֻקֹּתַ֖י בחוקותי תֵּלֵ֑כוּ וְאֶת־מִצְו‍ֹתַ֣י תִּשְׁמְר֔וּ וַֽעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָֽם:

4. I will give your rains in their time, the Land will yield its produce, and the tree of the field will give forth its fruit.

 

וְנָֽתַתִּ֥י גִשְׁמֵיכֶ֖ם בְּעִתָּ֑ם וְנָֽתְנָ֤ה הָאָ֨רֶץ֙ יְבוּלָ֔הּ וְעֵ֥ץ הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה יִתֵּ֥ן פִּרְיֽוֹ:

 

G-d is saying that He will give brochas if you keep the Torah. The spiritual and material world are one.

When Moshiach comes we will see the two working together in harmony.

Last week was Lag B’Omer where the Rashbi teaches us that going deeper into the Torah world is like going deeper into the physical world. At the Lag B’Omer parade last week it was a huge Kiddush Hashem and the Rashbi says anyone who rejoices on my day will receive special brochas.

Announcements

·          Mrs Freeman praised the girls for all their hard work during OFSTED and informed the girls of the GOOD judgement which was received. A special thanks to Rashi, Michal, Chayale and Sorale for helping with all the hallways the day the school received the phone call.

·          We should continue to say tehillim for Yehudis Sara Tushna bas Nechoma Dina our fellow pupil who had successful surgery this week. Anyone wishing to visit Yehudis should be in touch with her mother first and not stay for longer than 15 mins.

·          Pirkei Avos – a campaign was launched to try and learn 770 Mishnayis by Gimmel Tammuz.

Emor - 19/5/16 From above to below, below to above

We think of what we have and what we don’t have. In Emor – Parshas Hamoadim – it talks about the different Yomim Tovim. It also talks about the Omer and counting the days between Pesach and Shavous. Pesach is all about G-d coming to us and being revealed. He gave us 7 weeks to improve – 7 x 7 – a little bit every day. Instead of being disappointed at what we don’t have it is a time to think about what we have, what G-d has given to us and how we can give by improving ourselves further.

The UJIA went to the Rebbe at the end of the meeting one of the members asked the Rebbe how can one become the perfect Chossid. The Rebbe responded that anyone that gets up in the morning and asks themselves how they can improve today, how they can be a better person. Then he is proud to call them his Chossid.

Emor is all about improving slowly and steadily.

Story of the Rebbe as told by Rabbi Alpern from Brazil

In a year of Hakhel Rabbi Halpern decided to take a group from Brazil to NY to see the Rebbe. The group was a mixture of religious and non-religious Jews numbering 23 altogether. One person in the group was a non-observant Dr who worked with a team. He told his team he was going to NY and would be away for a few days. An older Dr asked the younger one why he was going to NY. He told him he is going to see a Rabbi and pray at his resting place. The older Dr probed him to find out which Rabbi although the younger Dr didn’t see the relevance, the older Dr wasn’t even Jewish. However, when he said he was going to the Lubavitch Rebbe the older Dr told him he knew him and had met him! In 1989 a religious Jew needed surgery but before the procedure asked the Rebbe. The Rebbe said that by Purim the surgery won’t even be necessary. The patient asked the Dr how urgent the surgery was and was told it is ok to wait. They waited and by Purim the problem had disappeared. The Dr was so impressed that he went to NY and met the Rebbe, he also recevived a dollar and a brocha that he should continue to heal people. The younger Dr was so taken with the story that when he went to NY he began being more observant. It is like the Omer – grabbing G-d’s opportunity to change your life.

Guest Speaker: Mrs A Lew from Zichron Menachem spoke to the girls about the charity and informed the girls they have raised over £300 so far. She told them their money helps Cancer patients with schooling, wigs, camp etc. it is a fun place where they can be comfortable. Girls were told how they can donate hair in zechus of Yehudis.

Kedushim- 12/5/16

It’s been a sad week and has had a happy aspect. Tragedy, unexpected loss of Rabbi Muller, left us with questions and groping for answers to cope. It’s painful and the questions keep coming. Even after answers come there will be other questions. That is the way we grow. It was comforting to see how everyone supported each other. There was a real Achdus feeling for the other.

This week’s Parshah is Kedoshim – all about holiness.  You would expect it to talk about sitting alone away from the world but the Torah tells us right away about interpersonal relationships and that is true kedusha There is a famous pussok - - care and love for another like yourself.

The spiritual and physical worlds have to be in harmony. One is spiritual, but in a physical body. If the spiritual prevails we are all One, and can truly love our fellow as ourself. We went through a very sad event but it is encouraging to see the solidarity amongst the LSGS family.

 

Story of the Rebbe

Child with rare genetic disease. He had a stroke at 1 years old – he had the best medical attention and received medications etc. Recently in the past few weeks, the insurance company afraid it won’t be able to continue paying up for the treatment. Parents very distressed. If insurance payments stop, they cannot afford the cost of the medicines and treatment.

Rabbi Samuels (the father of the child) went to daven at the Ohel. Inside the Ohel, before he left – he received a phone call from the insurance company that they had reconsidered and will pay. He burst out crying and told the woman on the phone that they have no money and he is now at the Ohel. The woman burst out crying with feeling too. This is a perfect example of - other’s pain is painful to you.

This can only happen when the perspective is right – spiritually we are all one and our feelings for others are like one part of the body, feeling for the other – it’s the same person.

There is a story that Hillel was asked to teach the whole Torah on one foot. He answered – love your fellow as yourself, that is the whole Torah – how is this? It is only possible if you lift yourself up to that perspective and see the global picture.

Achrei- 5/5/16

This is the third and final term in school and it is a chance to improve and lift up everything that you wanted to do this year.

This Shabbos is Shabbos Mevorchim, the first Shabbos after Pesach, the first Shabbos of the year where we will start saying Pirkei Avos and also Parsha Achrei which talks about Yom Kippur, Kashrus and permissible marriages.

There are 6 weeks between Pesach and Shavous and there are 6 Shabbosim. Pirkei Avos is preparation for Matan Torah (receiving the Torah), it helps you to improve your middos (character traits).

The beginning for Pirkei Avos talks about how Moshe received from Har Sinai the Torah. However, if Pirkei Avos is helping us to prepare for Matan Torah then why is Matan Torah right at the beginning of Pirkei Avos? You would expect it to be at the end!

The Rebbe says that we should remember what Pesach is about – freedom, and freedom means being in control of yourself, being free of your Yetzer Hara.

The Jewish people were taken out of Egypt to serve G-d and receive the Torah.

Moshe received the Torah at the beginning of Pirkei Avos we receive the Torah to enhance our lives. 

Story of the Rebbe  

The Rebbe would only eat Matzah on Pesach that was baked on Erev Pesach after Chatzos. Some of the Rebbeim would personally go to the bakery and supervise the process. The Rebbe didn’t go but participated by drawing the water, Mayim Shelonu.

The day leading up to Pesach, the Rebbe would come outside to the front of 770 to draw mayim shelonu. While the Rebbe rinsed the jugs and filled them up with water, the chassidim sang Keili Atah.

One time, 52 years ago, Rabbi Simpson asked the Rebbe, “What day should we bake the Matzah?” The Rebbe said “Tuesday”. Rabbi Simpson, a Rov in Boro park was busy that day and asked if the day could be changed to Monday. Therefore, on Sunday night the Rebbe drew Mayim Shelanu, Sunday night was also Yechidus night. Before the people began to enter the Rebbe’s room, Rabbi Hadakov went in to the Rebbe. The Rebbe asked Rabbi Hadakov what is happening with the Mayim Shelanu to which Rabbi Hadakov replied it has been taken to the factory in Manhattan. After being asked a second time, when there was a break for Maariv, Rabbi Hadakov made a mental note when he was to return to his office he would check what is happening with the Mayim Shelanu as the Rebbe had never asked on previous years about the Mayim Shelanu. As he entered his office the phone rang and a bochur was crying. He told Rabbi Hadakov that the jug of Mayim Shelanu had smashed. Rabbi Hadakov didn’t know what to do so he asked the Rebbe.

The Rebbe simply smiled and said don’t be sad about what happened we can do it on Tuesday.

The Rebbe had Ruach Hakodesh to only ask that one year about the Mayim Shelanu. But this story also shows how the Rebbe cared and his sensitivity about the bochur being upset.

Someone shouldn’t be upset because of me – this is the message from the Rebbe and also in essence what Pirkei Avos is about.


Announcements:

  • Today is the mayoral elections. The Rebbe said that we should vote that your voice has to be known. The Rebbe also said that if elections are such an important thing then they must have something to do with serving G-d. G-d elected us to be His ambassadors to bring spirituality into our day to day lives.
  • Forms for the Hospital Kosher Meals Walk can be obtained from the school office.  
 
Ahavas Yisroel - 12/4/16

Own your own self. Freedom and simcha together.

In this short sedra it speaks about children, bris and tzaras – a ruchnius illness which no longer effects people.

The Rebbe gave over how in Germa that speaking Loshon Hara about another person kills 3 people – the person who speaks Loshon Hara, the person who hears and also the person being spoken about.

The one who speaks s/he is sinning. The one who hears is even worse, because if there was noone to listen then the first person couldn’t speak. But why does it kill the person who is spoken about? Loshon Hara is something that true, and the person’s negative aspects one that kills them. The Rebbe explained that a person may have some bad quality but if it is submerged and hidden, it will become weak and atrophy and even disappear. When someone talks about it, they bring it into the open and they make it harder so they are to blame. On the positive level, look for the good in others and speak about that. This will give you credit for bringing the good quality into the open.

This Shabbos is Rosh Chodesh Nissan

Pesach is coming and the Yom Tov of Pesach is made up of 2 words. Pe – mouth and sach – talking. The mouth talks. Pesach is the Yom Tov where we can correct our words and give words of praise to G-d and Torah.

 
Story of the Rebbe  

Mrs Druk lived in Eretz Yisroel after she got married she became closer to Lubavitch. She had a few children but her neighbour had none. Every time she had another child she had mixed emotions. She was happy but also felt pain for her neighbour. She decided to go to NY and ask the Rebbe for a brocha for her friend to have a child. She also wanted another child herself since her youngest was already 8 years old and to ask for a brocha for her father who was unwell.

She arrived in NY on Friday. She spent the whole Shabbos practising in Yiddish what she would say on Sunday. She was briefed not to take the Rebbe’s time that she should say very little if anything and just receive a brocha. Therefore, she decided not to ask for a brocha for her father or herself but she was adamant to get a brocha for her friend since that was the whole purpose of the trip.

She decided she would only ask for a brocha for her friend who was childless for 19 years. However, when she got to the Rebbe she was given 3 dollars, one for herself, one for her husband and one when the first child will be born.

The woman was confused and spoke to Rabbi Groner, who was there, telling him that she came only for her friend. The Rebbe then gave the woman 4 dollars, for each of her children and 1 dollar for her friend the Rebbe gave it to her while pointing 2 fingers together and told Mrs Druk that her friend will have a child and so would she.

In the next year Mrs Druk had a baby and her friend had twin girls both of whom are now married and mothers themselves.


Do for your friend and you will be helped first. Caring for others is very important. You should think how to say good things or don’t say anything at all.

Announcement :

This term the class with the best attendance was - Year 11

Shmini- 30/3/16
Our Sedra Shmini talks of the events of Rosh Chodesh Nissan speaks about the beginning of the Mishkan and it’s avodah. It is a day filled with simcha. However, on this same day Aharon’s 2 sons died. This is a tragedy. The two events contrast each other dramatically.
Last week was Purim, a joyous filled day in the Jewish calendar. However, it was also a tragic day with the passing of the father of pupils from our school.
In the parsha it says that the 2 sons pass away on a happy day and Aharon’s response was silence. He was rewarded for this silence.
Aharon realized that the 2 worlds are connected, this world and the next, once we pass on. He realized that people helping each other have a connection and there is an interconnection between the 2 worlds.
When Aharon heard that his sons had passed on he knew that at some point later on he may understand but we can’t immediately understand G-d’s ways.
There are 4 types of things in the world and they each have a different level of nefesh; they have a different amount of life force. The 4 categories that all creations fall into are inanimate ( Domeim), plants ( Tzomayach), animals ( Chai) and humans ( Medaber). If you do something to a human or an animal or a plant then you change them, you have an effect which you can see. Stones are inanimate. If you do something to them they don’t change. In avodah things can take years to understand but our avodah to G-d continues with the same effort and chayus.
All the tehillim that was said was not for nothing CVS it had a lot of power. It was able to help us and also the niftar. Dr’s gave a 36-hour prognosis however Rabbi Gorman went on to live another 10 days. Nobody is here forever but it is a mitzvah to live another minute, another hour, another day. When the Neshama arrives at G-d it doesn’t take with it all of its worldly possessions it takes Torah, mitzvahs, Teffilohs and we can all be assured that about 1000 times of saying kapitalach of tehillim went up with him, 80 years’ worth of Shabbos Mevorchim tehillim. 
 
Story of the Rebbe  
A business man in America who had a number of Jewish employees received visits from Lubavitch bochurim every Friday, the employees would put on tefillin and hear a D’var Torah. The bochur suggested that the owner meet the Rebbe. He agreed and went on Chol Hamoed Sukkos. When he reached the Rebbe he said “I don’t need any blessings, I am healthy, I have enough money to live comfortably and I have lots of nachas from my family. Give my brocha to this boy (the bochur).” The Rebbe smiled and gave the boy a brocha but told the business man that he should get the commission. 
 
You do something selfless to help others. What does another person need and how can I provide it? That is a way of getting a brocha and commission.
We know that by doing mitzvahs Moshiach will come quicker to this world and we should continue to improve ourselves and help others, add just a little bit more to quicken the coming of Moshiach. 
Vayikra- Sacrifice draws one close to Gd - 17/3/16
A one word D'var Torah on Vayikra is the word which means "And He called". Gd is calling us, a calling of love, a calling of expectation, what is wanted and also what is needed. To  be closer to Gd He expects us to bring a korban, we have to give from ourselves, from inside, we should go out of our comfort zone. Doing that brings us closer to Gd. 
 
Purim is a day of fun and simcha. It is also seen as a day when you can achieve great things and receive brochas like on Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur we become close by not eating - not being worldly while Purim we have fun but this doesn't break down the holiness. It is taking the gashmius and using it in a holy way.
 
Story of the Rebbe  
Last week a wedding took place.
The boy: grew up with his mother in a town where the mother helped a lot in the Chabad House and they became very involved. The mother begged the shliach to ensure that her son grows up to be a frum, chassid. The shliach took it on and paid for his education all the way through to getting married.
The girl: a couple from a different down couldn't have children, Dr's said she would never have children. Over the years they got brochas from the Rebbe but still years past and they didn't have a child. A shliach took the husband to NY for Simchas Torah. On the way when the Rebbe goes to and from Hakofos that is the ideal time to make urgent requests from the Rebbe as these requests have led to tremendous miracles. The shliach told the man to make sure he gets a place by the table near the path to get an assurance - a promise that they would have a child that year. The Rebbe said amen as he passed and that year they had a daughter who last week got married. 
Golus is compared to pregnancy and geula is compared to birth. We have brochas and promises that Moshiach is coming - naturally it doesn't look like it but it is happening. 
 
Announcement:
Mivtzoyim prizes Devorah Leah (Yr12) and Chana (Yr10)
Punctuality prizes:
Shany and Esty Yr7
Chidon winners will be announced later today
Pikudei- Precision and Punctuality - 9/3/16
A one word D'var Torah on Pekudei is its meaning - account. In this week's portion it gives an account of who gave what to the Mishkan. Moshe Rabbeinu gave an exact and precise account of who gave what items, gold, silver, copper, to the Mishkan and what they were used for.
In a sicha the Rebbe says that the sefer of Shemos is like the journey of life. At the beginning is it like the Neshama going down into the body when the Yidden went down to Mitzrayim. The next part contains all the miracles which happen while the Yidden leave Mitzrayim and this is the main part of our life journey. This is then followed by Matan Torah and building the Mishkan which can be compared to how in our life we have many different struggles but how we should be involved in the physical world but use it for holy - a Mishkan. Pekudei the last portion in the sefer is an account of what has been done it also reminds us that life is important - every stage of it which had a precise purpose.
Today is Eruv Rosh Chodesh - the end of the month. It is also called Yom Kippur Katan and it is customary to make a Cheshbon Nefesh of the month and similarly at the end of each week and every night at Krias Shema - an account of all the things which happened. How did today go? How can I make tomorrow better? Keep a cheshbon and remember that you are important. 
 
Story of the Rebbe  
A shliach in Israel - Shabsi Frankl was walking back to his Chaabd House when he saw a wallet so full of money it was bursting. He picked it up and looked for an identification card. Inside was an ID card and a driving licence. The shliach recognized that the last name was the same as someone he knew from the district. So decided to call the person to ask if he was related to the person whose wallet he found. The man, a photographer, was shocked when he heard the shliach on the other end of the phone. The shliach was unsure why but continued to tell the man that he had found a wallet full of cash and wanted to do the mitzvah of hashavas aveida returning a lost object and since the name on the ID card was the same as his he wondered if they were related. The man responded that he didn't know him and he had to go. 15 minutes later the man called back saying,
"I was the photographer at a chasna which had a Mitzvah Tantz which only ended at 4am. On my way home I decided to talk to Gd. I told Him how I was looking for direction in my life and came to the conclusion that I want to be closer to the Rebbe and to Chabad. I asked Gd that if He agrees this is the right thing then He should show me a sign. If you the Chabad Shliach Shabi Frankl call me today then that will be the sign. You then called me a few hours later".
Note: The owner of the wallet was found and it was returned to him
 
Announcement:
Punctuality prizes:
Bluma Yr8
Devoiri Yr9
Chayale Yr 12
Vayakhel - Hakhel - Unifying Everyone - 3/3/16
A one word D'var Torah on Vayakhel especially this year of Hakhel is that Moshe gathered all the Jews with and through himself to teach them about building the Mishkan. It had to happen with everyone together - and each person had to pull himself together - unite all his components. Everything should be in harmony - aligned. Men aspects - go out and conquer, women aspects - nurturing part and the child in you.
Every person altogether all as one.Rabbi Mendel Futerfas told a story of a very rich man who was well respected who called his 2 sons in and told them - this is all my wealth and my work you should be able to build up your own name through your own actions. He gave them a lot of money and they both went away.
Son number 1 invested and was very successful and he became very wealthy.
Son number 2 lost all of his money and he decided he would work and earn money and live with his family a happy life, not wealthy. They slowly drifted apart, each living his own life. One day their father came to visit. He decided to stay in the poor brother's house. The rich brother heard his father was coming to town and ran to visit him. The father opens the door coldly and denies being his father. The sons says he can prove he is the son. When asked how he pointed to his brother and said "Are you his father?" The answer was "yes". He responded saying then you are my father as he is my brother. The father questioned him saying if he is your brother then the father is the father. The Moshul is our relationship with Gd. We're all diverse and different etc. but when we're close to each other (when the brother is a brother) we can treat Gd as our Father.
 
Chof Hei Adar - Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka's birthday
Then Rebbetzin wasn't born in a leap year but the Rebbe went to the Ohel on both days. We start saying the new kapital, together with the olde one for both months.
  
Story of the Rebbetzin  
Machon Chana asked permission to go to the Rebbetzin on Purim. The Rebbetzin let 4 girls come to represent everyone. They made a card and brought a gift with them. The Rebbetzin thanked them for the dish and said that the card with everyone's signature is very special. The girls then introduced themselves and as requested by the Rebbetzin said something about themselves. The person introducing them pointed to each one and said - she is from here, there etc and then pointed to one and said in Yiddish זי איז אן אונזערע -  "this is our own". The Rebbetzin responded they are all our own Lubavitch girls.
 
Announcement:
Shabbos Mevorchim Tehillim:
Tishrei - Beili Yr9
Cheshvan - Yehudis Yr9
Kislev - Chana Yr 12
Teves - Ita Yr8 
Shevat - Esther Miriam Yr12
Adar א - Channi Yr9
This week is Shabbos Mevorchim and Tehillim will take place in the regular places.
Ki Sisa- Long term affects of our actions - 25/2/16
There is a minchag that a few days before a couple gets married they don't see each other and they have an accompaniment wherever they go. A girl was getting married and her sister was her shomer, her guard. The sister said to her sister on the day of her wedding, she saw the purity and beauty of her sister's spiritual state at this stage of her life and she felt envious of it. She felt she could never acquire this exact state because of her previous actions. However, there is always a second chance to do things again in a pure way.
 
In the Torah for the last two weeks it has been talking about the Mishkan and also in the next two we talk about it again. However, in this week's parsha we see the Eigel Hazohar - how G-d wants to destroy the people and start again with Moshe. Moshe is so adamant that G-d forgives the Yidden or take his name out of the Torah. (heart of the whole sefer - Chapter 32, possuk 32) G-d said He'll give a punishment slowly over time until Moshiach comes. At Mt Sinai everyone received a special spiritual crown, a certain glory that was taken away. We have second chances where we receive brochas from G-d but the shine, the crown, the halo isn't there it is different. It isn't the same purity. The spiritual quality is hard to retrieve.
 
Story of the Rebbe - Sensitivity 
The following story happened with a well known Rav in Israel. He wrote a letter to the Rebbe and in the response was a sicha (talk of the Rebbe, edited with footnotes etc). He was very happy but had tears in his eyes. His son asked why tears? He said it is feelings of emotions for the Rebbe's sensitivity.
Years before his daughter had gone out with a boy but it didn't work out. The boy was getting married that week and had dedicated the sicha to his wedding. He had seen this sicha in shul with the dedication. The Rebbe sent the sicha but without the dedication on the back was so he shouldn't feel emotional about it. If there is still feelings towards the boy.
 
Announcement:
This motzei Shabbos there will be a melava malka with Mrs Molly Resnik at 8:15pm, for Years 9-12.  
Tetzaveh - Developing feelings/commitment - 18/2/16
Recently at a shiur about Teffillah a women said that when she prays she finds it hard to focus and concentrate. The Rebbe advises in a letter that a person should always daven with the Siddur open even when they have their eyes closed or you know it by heart. The Rebbe also recommends giving Tzedukah before davening.
 
In the Torah this week we read about the Cohen Gadol and what he wore, The first 2 items are the Efod and the Choshen. The Efod was an apron with shoulder straps which had 2 shoham stones on top and each stone was inscribed with the names of the 12 tribes. The Choshen hung by a chain and had 12 different stones with each of the 12 tribes inscribed on them. Why were the names written twice?
In serving Hashem there are many stages. Times when you are not feeling so inspired or feel like doing it. But you do, you force yourself to do the action, Iskafia, and that leads to the level of Ishapacha, doing it for the right reason, because you want to. These 2 items which were worn were there to represent these levels. Efod on the shoulders (a burden) - Iskafya and Choshen in front (frontal, excited)- inner feelings of excitement Ishapcha. 
 
Story of the Rebbe
At the N'Shei Chabad Mid Winter Convention in Detroit there was a massive blizzard and women couldn't get back home as flights were suspended. They wrote to the Rebbe about how nice the Convention was but the women now couldn't get home. The Rebbe responded that the fact they can't get home means that something wasn't complete. They went on mivtzoyim and the airlines opened shortly after.
 
Mrs Lew was at a late stage of pregnancy and the Dr wanted to do a procedure however, the Rebbe said don't fight with the Dr but the procedure won't be necessary. In hospital have a positive affect on the Drs and staff. Thank Gd everything went smoothly and there was a positive outcome.
 
Both stories have the same thread - sometimes something is blocking b'ruchnius that needs to be unblocked for a positive outcome. In life one has to have both. Commitment even though one doesn't want to do when then leads to Ishapacha, turning evil into good; so with davening - just by saying the words it will eventually leads to enthusiasm .
 
Well done to all girls who received an attendance certificate!  
Terumah - Give and you will get - 11/2/16
A 1 word D'var Torah on this week’s parsha is it's name Terumah - Donation. Pushkah (small)The word used in the Torah to describe the giving of a donation is וְיִקְחוּ - meaning, "You should TAKE". Why is this word used? When one gives to another person you gain more than you give (you're taking). If one takes what doesn't belong to them - you're losing, you won't gain from that taking, that is the negative side. Someone who takes will not feel comfortable their whole life.
Positive is giving is receiving more than you give. Not just physical objects - words of encouragement, a smile, help etc - can make someone's day.
Relating positively to others you will gain personally.
 
Story of the Rebbe
A couple were married for a few years and had no children. They wanted a brocha from the Rebbe so traveled to NY. They had a Yechidus but didn't hear the Rebbe specify a brocha for children. When it was over the wife reminded the husband to ask and the Rebbe said, "I gave you, now I will give you another". A year later they had twins.
A few years later they wanted more children so went again to have a Yechidus, again they didn't hear the brocha and asked for children. The Rebbe said "I gave you, not now but in a letter." They checked their correspondence and 2 years before the Rebbe had given them a brocha. 9 months later they had another child.
 
Reminder about internet safety week -review of SMART Rules
 
Well done to all girls who received a mivtzoyim certificate!  
Mishpatim - 4/2/16
A 1 letter D'var Torah on this week’s parsha is the letter Vov - and. The Vov is connecting this week's and last week's parsha. Last week the Yidden received the Torah at Mount Sinai this week's parsha talks about the laws. The Vov is a connection and a reminder that everything done in life has a connection with Mount Sinai.
Beshalach - Hishkashrus - being connected to the Rebbe - 21/1/16
In this week’s parsha it talks about Krias Yam Suf. Krias Yam Suf was the conclusion of Yetzias Mitzrayim.

Geographically the Yidden didn’t need to go through the Yam Suf, it was an arc, not crossing, but G-d wanted them to. The Rebbe asks then why did G-d want them too.

The answer is as follows that Krias Yam Suf was a necessary prerequisite before Matan Torah. The purpose of Matan Torah was to show inner G-dliness. Krias Yam Suf allowed the sea to expose the dry land. The sea has a whole universe of its own. There are plants, mountains, valleys, animals; everything on dry land can be found in the sea. Although the sea covers it, it is alive nonetheless. G-d changed the sea to dry land, all that which is hidden became revealed and this was essential before Matan Torah. Every person also has a revealed and hidden part to them.

Today is Yud Alef Shevat, in the year 1951 the Rebbe said his first Maamor as Rebbe.

“Believe in G-d and Moshe his servant” – if you believe in Moshe then you will have a connection to G-d. The same applies with having a connection to a Tzaddik, i.e. the Rebbe. Having a connection to the Rebbe is a connection to G-d.

Like the sea, the Neshama also has revealed and hidden parts. There are 5 levels to the Neshama. The highest is called Yechida where it connects to G-d. This deepest level is revealed through having a deeper connection to a Tzaddik. 

The Rebbe is like the head. You can connect by learning – belief and Hishkashrus. You will then experience a deeper level of your Neshama, your deeper self.  

Story of the Rebbe

There was a Chossid from Russia who had a teenage son who was not heading in the right direction. The father decided to go and visist the Rebbe and asked him what should he do about his son, the way he is acting and behaving and also how to deal with the tension between the two of them. The Rebbe replied “Tell your son that I think about him more than he thinks about me.” This one line is an important message. It says that the Rebbe thinks about you, Davens for you and does what he can. You should think about him. It is a reciprocal relationship. Thinking about the Rebbe will bring out inner self.

Va'eira - G-d will appear if you prepare yourself properly - 7/1/16
Chof Daled Teves was the Yartzeit of the Alter Rebbe. His name Shneur Zalman mean 2 lights which will illuminate the world. One light will be the revealed Torah - Shulchan Aurch explaining all Torah Laws. The other will be the light of the secret part of the Torah - Tanya. The Alter Rebbe's Yartzeit always falls out around Parsha Va'eira where Moshe complains to G-d - why did you send me to Pharoh and now make life harder for us. G-d replied I appeared to the Avos but the revelation at Mount Sinai will be like never before.
The Alter Rebbe said said Va'eira can mean I appeared AND I will appear. G-d sent revelations in the past and will appear - we will have the strength of revelations to be with G-d and see the revelation of G-d that will uplift our life and help us see Moshiach.
 
 
 
Story of the Rebbe
A young man called Dovid who became close to Chabad and was now working and living in Georgia, USA, recently got engaged. He told his fiancee that before they embark on such a journey that he wants to get a Brocha from the Rebbe.

dovid from georgia.jpg

So they went to the Ohel and found it to be a very moving experience. After finishing they saw a video from a Farbrengen Yud Shevat 1972 with the men singing. The Rebbe was looking for a man called Dovid from Georgia. The Rebbe asked this Dovid from Soviet Union to sing a song sung in Georgia. He started to sing "Kol sason v’kol simcha,
Kol chatan, v’kol kallah" a song sung at Jewish weddings.
 
Dovid was so taken by this he felt that he had received a personal Brocha from the Rebbe.
 
The message for us to be a Keili, a vessel for the Brochas, prepare yourself and the Revelations will come.
Vayigash - Finding Positive in Crisis - 17/12/15
In the Parsha we find Yehuda does Teshuva when  he is ready to risk his and his brothers' lives to save Binyomin, a son of Rochel. When they find out it is Yosef - they hadn't recognised him and they felt so bad. Yosef told them don't feel bad, Hashem sent me here to be here for you, now you are looked after.
 
Reframing - find the positive in each story.
 
Hei Teves
A family member in the Rebbe's family had financial difficulties and took rare books from the Rebbe's library to sell for money - it was taken to court and on Hei Teves the judge gave a verdict that the books belong to the Rebbe. It was more: They denied that Lubavitch is forever, that it is a living movement. The Rebbetzin claimed, "the books belonged to the Chassidim because her father belonged to the Chassidim". The Rebbe encouraged everyone to do more so nobody can claim that it isn't a living movement. The celebration should be with books - buy or fix up books in honour of the days. It is a day to ask for whatever you want. People were given amazing brochas on this day - it's an auspicious time. 
The small museum at the library of Agudas Chasidei Chabad in New York houses historical documents, personal books and manuscripts belonging to the series of Lubavitcher Rebbes, as well as original paintings of the Rebbes. A new rotating exhibit displays a selection of memorabilia belonging to their families. 
Story of the Rebbe
A man disappeared, after around 15 years the police told his wife that they had discovered a body matching his description and were going to verify it through forensic testing.
When the Rebbe said ask whatever you need she wrote to the Rebbe and said - I just want to know yes or no whether my husband is alive or dead. He was found alive very soon afterwards and they were reunited.
 
Well done to the following  girls for having 100% attendance this term:
Year 7 : Chaya Mushka and Daniella
Year 9 : Henna Shaina, Menucha, Rochelle
Year 11 : Michal
 
Miketz- Make a Difference in Someone's Life - 10/12/15
Why do we celebrate 8 days of Chanukah? The first day wasn't a miracle as they had oil then. However, the fact that they lit the menorah and didn't wait until the produced more oil. This is a lesson for life, don't push things off instead go full steam ahead.
 
Chanukah
The Hellenists didn't want to destroy the Torah. They wanted to take holiness out of the Torah. They were into beauty in buildings, music, art, bodies etc. They didn't create destruction. They kept the building but wanted it to be Greek Culture. The whole war was a fight to keep spirituality. The Jews had to take the holiness the pure oil. The Rebbe spoke that inside a person is pure. Their essence can't be destroyed they just have to shine it to the outside. Another person should see that holiness is there. Instead of the outside world affecting the inside of us - wanting us to act and dress like the rest of the world - our essence should shine out and someone else can benefit from it too. 
 
Story of the Rebbe
A non-Lubavitch Rav went to the Rebbe. He wanted to move with his family to Israel. The Rebbe told the man that if he goes then his community will lose out so he stayed.
2 years later he went to the Rebbe again and the Rebbe asked him about prisoners. Are they able to keep the different Jewish holidays. The Rav told him that they can keep Pesach but not Chanukah. The Rebbe answered that a person in jail 
prison.jpg
r egrets the wrong - he is in darkness.  
The Rav heard and said "when I return after after Chanukah I will work on it for next year."
Rebbe: What about this year?
Rav: But Chanukah is in 3 days!
Rebbe: Call the office and ask to speak to the Chief of Prisons
Rav: It is 5am in South Africa
Rebbe: So he'll understand the importance of this. Call now!
The Rav went to the secretary and told him he was afraid to call so early so called 10mins later. The officer was impressed when he received the call telling the Rav it must be important if he is calling so early. He granted permission.
The next day when the Rebbe saw the Rav he asked what happened. The Rav told him he was successful. After davening the Rebbe said he had another favour to ask. In the USA 1 state doesn't allow prisoners to light Menorah. Please call the Head of Prisons in NY and ask them to allow it. The Rebbe suggested asking Rabbi JJ Hecht who told the  Chanukah Banner (200x200) Rav he has been trying for years. The Rav called on 24th Dec during a seasonal party and told the Head of Prisons that he just got permission for South Africa to light. Once hearing this the Head said well if they do it so can we.  The Rebbe asked the Rav if he had success when hearing he did he asked the Rav what he can do for him. The Rav  told him BH I have everything I need. The Rebbe said he doesn't like to owe anything. The Rebbe gave him a Tanya for his son who didn't one, one for himself, Return to Roots for his wife and Challenge for the Head of Prisons. When the Rav returned to South Africa he called the Head of Prisons to tell him that he has a gift from the Rebbe for him and he will give it next week. The Head of Prisons said he isn't waiting he is going to drive (2 hour journey) over straight away. If the Rebbe in NY cares enough to make you call at 5am to help someone then I too won't push something off.
 
The message for us is don't push something off - do it right away just like the oil in the Chanukah menorah.
 
Vayeishev - Using material and physical things for sake of spirituality - 3/12/15
There is a common thread between this week's Torah portion and Yud-Tes Kislev. The 12 shevatim were shepherds - an occupation that would keep them away from the world and connected to Hashem. Yosef was a slave in a different culture, different morals, different ethics he even was sent to jail. Then he became King. This was a big challenge as he was in a world with a foreign environment but in each place he was successful with what he did. He was connected with the world he was in but also with Yaakov and Yiddishkeit.
 
Story of Chabad Chassidus
The Alter Rebbe was also successful in his life. He didn't run away from the worlds - the hardships - but took each situation, the imprisonment, war with Napolean etc. He stayed connected with G-dliness.
We must be the same - out in the world but staying connected with Hashem - ALWAYS.
  
Story of the Rebbe
In 1958 a young boy had a camera, took pictures and sold them. He was in the hallway of 770 and the Rebbe came out. The young boy took a picture of the Rebbe and went into shul. The Rebbe came back into the shul and said "You think that is what it means to be Chassidim? To take pictures?" The Rebbe turned to the boy's principal and said "Confiscate the camera and give the boy a test. If he does well then he can have the camera back". The boy did well on the test and got his camera back.
 
You can have a camera but use it for correct things. Learn and do what one is supposed to and use the physical world to come closer to Hashem.
Vayishlach - Our Ongoing Connection with those in the Spiritual World - 26/11/15
In this week's Torah portion Yaakov is returning home and at night he is alone and an angel wrestles with him. He wins and from then on is called Yisroel.
The Mitteler Rebbe asks where was Yaakov's familt that he was alone? Were they with him or on the other side with Eisav?
The Rebbe suggests - it's so precious to engage and elevate the world. They were with Eisav and Yaakov was alone.
Since Gimmel  Tammuz - we're alone - we don't see the Rebbe! The Rebbe is on the other side wrestling and fighting for us, we are NEVER ALONE!
 
Yud Daled Kislev
Today is Yud Daled Kislev - the day that the Rebbe and Rebbetzin got married. The Rebbe's parents couldn't attend the wedding so they made their own celebration. It is known as "A Tale of 3 Cities", Dnepepetrosk, Riga and Warsaw. Taking the first letter from each of these places forms the Hebrew word, DOR - Generation. This wedding will affect generations. Our Rebbe joined the Friedeker Rebbe's family. Once he became Rebbe there was another generation affected and after Gimmel Tammuz another generation was also affected. We may not see the Rebbe physically but it affects us - just like the Rebbe's parents didn't see his wedding in Warsaw but everyone was still affected.
 

Story of the Rebbe

Every year at the Kinnus there is a resource fair on Motzei Shabbos. A shliach missed most of the Fair since he had a speaking engagement earlier.

However, when he arrived he met someone there. He asked the vendor, "Nu, what type of Chossid are you?"

"Skver" he answered.

The shliach then asked "What's up in Skver?"

To what he responded "I'll tell you what's up in Lubavitch!" The Shliach was intrigued and listened to the vendor continue, "I was having difficulties in my life and read in a Sefer to go to the Kever of a Tzddik for 40 days. So everyday I go to the Ohel. On Shabbos I drive early on Friday and then go home and come again after Shabbos."

"Where do you live?"

"I live in New Square! It's a 4 hour journey round trip plus the time I spend at the Ohel."

"Where is the previous Skverer Rebbe buried?"

"In New Square"

"Where is the current Rebbe? Are you close to him"

"Yes we talk often and he advises me"

A few days after starting he had seen a miracle and the problem disappeared. However, he is continuing the 40 days. The Shliach had more questions "Why do you go to the Ohel? Why do you make such a shlep?" 

"I told you I will tell you what is happening in Lubavitch"

You have a Rebbe - The Rebbe's affect is still here and even more now than before.

 

Vayetzei - Anti Bullying Week - 19/11/15
We find a very important lesson in this week's Torah portion– possibly the biggest lesson in the whole Torah on Sensitivity and respect towards others. Rachel should have married Yaakov. He worked for 7 years to marry her. Afraid that her father would trick him into marrying Leah, Yaakov arranged signs with Rachel.  When Rachel saw that her father was preparing Leah to go the Chuppa instead, she shared the signs with her sister. She didn’t think of the implications of this act. She wouldn’t be married to Yaakov. She wouldn’t give birth to the Shevatim.  She may have to marry Esav instead. She only thought of the humiliation her sister would face.

We are beginning a new cycle of Rambam. It’s an opportunity to study every Mitzvah of the Torah over a year and join with thousands of others doing it at the same time.

We start off our morning prayers with Hareini Mekabel – behold I take upon myself the Mitzvah of Ahavas Yisrael.

The previous Rebbe had the opportunity to ask one question of his father before his Bar Mitzvah. He wanted to know why this statement is put as an introduction to our prayers each day. When Hashem sees us give of ourselves to others before we start our day, He will be willing to give us what we need and want.

These are all example of positive Ahavas Yisroel

Story of the Rebbe

There was a 12 year old boy who looked different and was bullied in school.  His mother wrote to the Rebbe who advised the mother to contact the school to deal with it.  She wrote back to the Rebbe after a week or so that she had been in touch with the school who hadn’t done anything about it. The Rebbe asked Rabbi Chadakov to call the school to take action immediately or he would have to approach the school himself.

That year on Shabbos 9 Kislev the Rebbe did not make a farbrengen, something that everyone expected.  Everyone thought the Rebbe would farbreng instead on Sunday but there was no farbrengen either.  It was pointed out that on Shabos the boy had his Bar Mitzvah Kiddush and Sunday night was the party for the boy for his family and friends.  The Rebbe did not want to spoil or reduce his Simcha.  It was more important to show sensitivity to his feelings than farbreng on this important day.

ABA Week 2015 webpage 

A pupil from Year 12, Esther, spoke about bullying, its affect and methods to help one cope.

Toldos - One Must Speak Respectfully, The Power of Speech - 12/11/15
Today is Rosh Chodesh Kislev, the first day of the month of Kislev. It is the day the Rebbe was healed and is a Yom Tov.  Rebbe.pngWe still celebrate even though we have passed Gimmel Tammuz since the leadership after Rosh Chodesh Kislev was a preparation for afterwards. It is a Yom Tov as the Rebbe being healed is a worldwide celebration since the Rebbe is a worldwide Rebbe. The Rebbe shows us how to reach our innermost capabilities.
 
A Survivor came to America and attended the Mir Yeshiva. He got engaged and wanted to go to the Rebbe for a Brocha. His friends told him - don't go to the Rebbe as he will tell you to learn Tanya and you will have to because he is a Tzaddik and one has to follow the request of a Rebbe.
Nonetheless, he went to Yechidus during which the Rebbe told him, Your whole life before you get married is a preparation for marriage and under the Chuppah, wedding canopy, is a preparation for the rest of your life, including that of your children and grandchildren. 
The Rebbe then added, Everyday he should learn Mussar.
 
When he came back to Yeshiva all his friends said, "Nu, what happened, you were told to learn Tanya, right?" "Actually, the Rebbe told me to study Mussar." His friends were impressed - "wow," they said, "That's a real leader!"
  
In this week's Torah portion we learn about the life of Yitzchok. He gave a brocha to Yaacov, because "his eyes were too dim to see". Three reasons are given by Rashi to why his vision was weak:
  1. Smoke damage - the smoke of the wives of Esav who would burn incense in idol worship
  2. Damage from the Akeidah - angels weeping 
  3. G-d took away Yitzchok's vision - so that he shouldn't see that Esav was wicked
Why should his eyes become blind? Can't G-d just tell Yitzchok that Esav is wicked? To avoid Lashan Hara, speaking derogatorily about someone else.
The message for us is the importance of speaking nicely and positively. 
Vayeira - Influencing Others Indirectly - 29/10/15
Leadership is a global picture - looking after everyone and every aspect.
  
In this week's Torah portion we learn we can be a positive living example to others. Even indirectly, Lot, saw Angels and invited them into his home. Commentaries say Lot learnt this from Avraham. S'dom was a selfish wicked place. Lot had Mesiris Nefesh, self sacrifice, by bringing these guests into his home; he endangered his life by hosting them. In the end the Angels saved his life as it was out of character for him to have guests.
This shows us we can find and learn good from everyone. It also shows the power of indirect influence. 
 
A young girl spent a Shabbos with Rabbi Moshe Gutnick and his family. The girl was refined and was fascinated by the peace of Shabbos, she was amazed that after the hustle and bustle before licht benshen came a calm and relaxed environment.
After her visit she wrote a thank you letter, at the end of the letter she said P.S. please can you send me the recipe for the strawberry ice cream.
Rabbi Gutnick sent the letter to the Rebbe who responded and included a P.S. of his own saying " make sure you send her the recipe"!
The Rebbe cared for everything; spiritual growth and even the tiny details of physical.
 
Special Announcements:
Thank you to two Dugma Chayas - Role Models - for being special emissaries of school, Ita and Devorah Leah!  
Lech-Lecha - Recognise and Respect the individuality of a person - 22/10/15
In this week's Torah portion it is written 3 times that Avraham built an Alter. The 3 times are 3 levels of a relationship with G-d.
1. Give of yourself to G-d - Thank you for the good
2. The relationship itself - for no reason
3.  Repair - mistakes and atone
This is mirrored in the relationship with people.
 
When 4 young men all studying together wrote to the Rebbe separately but asked about the same experience they were sharing the Rebbe replied to each with a different answer. Here we can see that the Rebbe could see each person's individual needs.
Noach - Tolerance - 15/10/15
At the beginning of Parsha Noach it talks about people who were wiped out by the Flood. The end of the Sedra is about the Tower of Bavel, all co-operated and to fight against G-d. They were scattered all over the world but NOT wiped out. 
Rashi says that Sins against G-d are more tolerable than sins against fellows.
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Racism is against Torah.
There are righteous people amongst all groups, who could help to overcome hatred in the world. 
Bereishis - New Start, New Opportunity - 8/10/15
Shabbos Bereishis gives us the chance - as a train is leaving - to utilize all opportunities and inspirations - pack them in and unpack them at different moments of the rest of the year. We to should utilize each minute we have so we have baggage to unpack for the year.
 
Whatever our challenges we should look at a new day and try uplifting ourselves with newness.
 
4 words:
  • Achievement - do your best effort!
  • Confidence - believe in yourself
  • Tolerance - be patient, understanding and accepting of differences
  • Community - school is a group of people with shared aims and goals
Vayelech - Interpersonal Relationships, Togetherness - 17/9/15
Following Shmittah, the seventh year in the seven-year agricultural cycle, when the land is left to lie fallow, is the time we are now in. It is a time of resuming work after a year off. In ancient Israel in the month of Tishrei on the 2nd day of Sukkos all of the Jewish people would gather together in the Holy Temple and the King would read parts of the Torah to inspire the people. This is called Hakhel.
 
We feel an extra special connection since this year is Hakhel - gathering people together - starting from within yourself, your talents, feelings, relationships etc. Pull them together and become one dedicated person to serve G-d.
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Hakhel is a gathering of bringing together of yourself and all people and all communities.
Nitzavim - Malchut - Royalty - 10/9/15
When going to a palace you build yourself up that you are going there. However, once you are there you don't necessarily get to speak to the Queen or stand next to her. We are close but still far away. 
L'havdil - it may look this way with us and G-d but in the month of Elul it's an opportunity to speak to G-d, our King.
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Yesterday the Queen became the longest serving monarch. When a teacher went to the USA and saw the Rebbe with other school. The Rebbe asked if she had visited schools in the USA. He also asked what was the difference between school in the UK and those in the USA. The Rebbe went on to explain that the difference is in England children have more Derech Eretz, more respect, politeness and thoughtful and civilized behaviour. The Rebbe said that monarchy gives understanding to control, order and hierarchy. 
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