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January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Lubavitch’

The Love For The Torah

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Many inspiring stories emanate from the Lubavitch chassidic movement. One of the stories published in Di Yiddishe Heim bulle­tin describes the early years of Rav Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, known as the Tzemach Tzedek. This year marks the 146th anni­versary of his passing.

The Tzemach Tzedek was orphaned at an early age, and spent most of his childhood years in the household of his most eminent grandfather, the founder of the Lubavitch dynasty — Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi (known as the “Alter Rebbe”). Some of the discourses and talks that the Alter Rebbe fre­quently gave were open to all chassidim who cared to come and listen. However, there were times that the Alter Rebbe would call into his private room a few of his greatest followers, all of them of giant intellectual and emotive capac­ity, and teach them a “Maamar,” a Chassidic discourse of the greatest depth. On those occa­sions the Tzemach Tzedek (then 8-9 years old) was not admitted to the room, which caused him much frustration. He desperately wanted to hear every word of Torah that fell from his holy grandfather’s lips. Even though he knew that much of his grandfather’s words would be far beyond his comprehension, he hoped that he would be able to grasp at least a few words that might have meaning to him.

In Oven

One day he thought of a plan. He would conceal himself in the large empty heating oven whose wall fronted with the wall of the Alter Rebbe’s room and whose opening was in the adjoining room. By pressing his ear to the thin oven wall, he might be able to hear a few words of his grandfather’s maamar. The next time one was scheduled the Tzemach Tzedek crawled through the aperture of the oven in the adjoining room and, pushing himself far into it, pressed his ear to the wall and listened with bated breath.

Meanwhile, the gentile janitor, whose task it was to heat up the ovens on those days that the weather warranted, came to stack up the oven with pieces of wood. The young boy and future Rebbe was so intent on listening to the maamar in the next room that he was completely unaware of the wood being pushed in the oven. The oven being duly stacked with firewood, the janitor set fire to the wood, however, since the Tzemach Tzedek’s body was blocking the chimney, the proper ventilation was not attained and instead of bursting into flames, the pile of firewood emit­ted a cloud of dense smoke. The janitor tried to push the mass of smoldering firewood deeper into the oven only to find that there was something blocking its path. He withdrew the wood piece by piece and spied the small body of the Tzemach Tze­dek lying in the oven — overcome by the fumes and smoke. He hastily pulled him out of the oven and with some difficulty managed to revive him.

Later, the young lad’s grandmother, the Rebbetzin of the great Alter Rebbe, admonished her husband for not letting his own grandson satisfy his thirst for Torah. The Alter Rebbe replied that such was the true path of Jewish education — one must have mesiras nefesh — self sacrifice — for learning Torah.

Tibbi’s Roundup: ‘Asifa’ Organizers Snub Women, Lubavitch

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Happy New Week. I’m trying a topical approach to my roundup, so I went trolling for new, interesting things about Lag Ba’Omer (only a couple of days ahead), the ‘Asifa’ in Citi Field, and stam interesting Jewish tidbits. Let me know if this format works for you, I’m trying new things.

There’s a classifieds ad circulating the Israeli blogosphere which just has to be translated and shared as the most insightful sales pitch ever:

For sale, first owner! Encyclopedia Britannica, the complete set – 45 volumes! Bargain price, or to the highest bidder. I no longer need it. I got married last week – and my wife knows everything.

Is that deep, or what? And just in case you might actually be interested, since this year has seen the shutting down of the printed Britannica, the number for this wise seller is, in Israel, 03-576-9283.

Let’s blog.

LAG B’OMER, ANYONE?

Going to Meron. From Jerusalem people like myself including hundreds of thousands of Jews, are making their way to the Galilean city of Meron Wednesday night and Thursday 10th May, 2012, participating in the annual celebration of Lag Ba’Omer. Police in the quiet town situated just one mountain away from the mystical city of Tzfat are expecting half a million Jews to arrive, traveling in busses, private cars, and some even on foot.  As of 7:30pm Wednesday night, its expected for 20,000 people to have already arrived. Midnight Rabbi Inspires

First haircut & pe’ot shaping ceremonies for 3 year old boys are the highlight of Lag b’Omer for many families, as everyone gathers to help snip. Actually, everywhere in the world, Jewish boys born between Pesach and Lag b’Omer receive their first haircut and pe’ot on Lag b’Omer. Upon reaching the age of 3 (i.e., completing three years and beginning the “holy fourth” – see Lev. 19:23-25), a Jewish child begins to receive his or her official training in mitzvot. Rabbi Babs, Lech Lecha

Lag B’ Omer Picnic. The Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer is next Thursday, May 10. Since this holiday is celebrated with picnics, parades and bonfires there’s still time to grab these great picnic essentials: Fun napkins from Target, Crate and Barrel’s collapsible basket… Rita from Connecticut, Design Megillah

 

MORE ASIFA NOTES

The Internet Asifa @ CitiField. Some people expressed their frustration with the fact that women cannot attend, others blasted the rabbis for ruining the Jewish future. As I am female, I will not be able to attend the asifah (bummer, no inspiration for me), a male friend kindly offered to take his time and attend on my behalf, so hopefully, there will be more to discuss after May 20th. Tania, Thinking Jew Girl

Lubavitch not invited to “Internet” asifa. I’m sorry for doing this, for airing our “dirty laundry” here in public, and in English yet! but this charade has to stop. This week’s meeting with the Satmar Rebbe is only one example of the exclusionary tactics being used by the organizers of the Internet event. You can choose not to believe what I write here, if it makes you feel good, but I know it to be 1000% true. Many efforts were made to get the organizers to include Lubavitch in this asifa. They were all rejected. For all kinds of supposed reasons. All people involved got the run-around, and the end result was that we got the message. Even the Skulener Rebbe said it has nothing to do with him. Hirschel Zig’s Blog Mistaken Report Says Asifa at CitiField to Be Held on May 28. Matzav.com has confirmed that despite a report in the chareidi media this week indicating a change of date, the upcoming Ichud Hakehillos L’Tohar Hamachane gathering, otherwise known as the “Internet Asifa,” will be talking place on Sunday, May 20, at CitiField in Queens, as originally scheduled.

A report on the front page of the Brooklyn-based Hamodia newspaper on Monday stated that the event would be taking place on May 28. Organizers, though, tell Matzav.com that this is mistaken and that the original date, May 20, was never changed. Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter

Life Beyond Internet. On Monday, Paul Miller, a Senior Editor at a “technology-focused news publication” called The Verge, announced that he was quitting the Internet for a year. He’s switched to a “dumb” phone, and has pledged to neither use the Internet nor ask others to use it for him, if he can.

His reasons for this drastic move are informative. He hopes that “leaving the internet will make me better with my time, vastly more creative, a better friend, a better son and brother… a better Paul.” He said that he was spending an average of over twelve hours each day using some sort of device with an Internet connection, not even including his smartphone. Yaakov Menken, Cross Currents

Internet Asifa. While I often think that a stance may be valid even if I don’t agree with it, when it comes to the internet, I don’t even think the chareidi view is valid. I mean, let’s look at what happened. The internet comes out, and chareidi Rabbis decide it’s like TV. They assur it completely. Then, they see that some people need it in order to make money. Then they decide it’s still forbidden, but there are loopholes. You can show proof that you need it for work, and then you can have it – but only if the woman of the house has the password, and her husband is dependent on her to open it up. You also need a filter that meets chareidi standards. Proud MO, OrthoWatch

 

JEWS AT LARGE

Jewish leadership fails us again. The Netanyahu government keeps praising Obama and publicly smiling even though Obama keeps sticking the knife in. As a result American Jews maintain their support of Obama. Because Netanyahu doesn’t defend our right to build, they and even Israeli Jews, lose confidence in our rights. Many become ashamed of the “occupation” because our government gives the impression that criticism of us in this regard is well founded. Under these conditions we cannot win the PR battle. Ted Belman, Doc’s Talk

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Israeli Foreign Minister Visits Muslim Azerbaijan, Chabad House

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Israel marked twenty years of diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan on Sunday, with a visit to the 95% Muslim country by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who also visited the capital city’s Chabad house, according to a report by Lubavitch.com.

Azerbaijan, which borders Iran to the south, has pursued increasingly warm relations with the Jewish state, in contradiction to the will of Tehran.  In January, Azeri authorities arrested an Iranian national who allegedly plotted to kill two Israeli Chabad emissaries working at the Chabad Ohr Avner Jewish School in the capital city of Baku, including the Chief Chabad Emissary of Azerbaijan, Rabbi Shneor Segal.  The Chabad complex, “overlooking the scenic Caspian Sea”, according to Lubavitch.com, was established by philanthropist and President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the CIS and Baltic Countries, Lev Leviev, in 2010.

Rabbi Segal played in an integral role in arranging Foreign Minister Lieberman’s visit.  During his two-day stay, Lieberman met with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and other high-ranking officials, as well as Israel’s ambassador to Azerbaijan,  Michael Lotem and Israeli Consul Ron Schechter.

Chai’s Rabbi Metzger Pays $40 Million for Midtown Building Shared with Lubavitch

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

The NY Post reported that Rabbi Joshua Metzger has signed a contract to pay $40 million for the 12-story, 60,000-square-foot building at 509 Fifth Ave., in the middle of the block between East 42nd and 43rd streets, which is occupied by Metzger’s nonprofit Chai Foundation and Chabad Lubavitch of Midtown.

According to the Post, the signing will put a stop to several law suits which have been filed with the NY Supreme Court over the purchase of 509 Fifth.

Lubavitch Replicate Another Major Edifice

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Chabad.org reports that a new replica of Jerusalem’s Western Wall was unveiled last Thursday by Israeli Public Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein and El Al CEO Eliezer Shkedi, at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, N.Y..

So, after moving the Rebbe’s home at 770 Eastern Parkway to Israel, Lubavitch now moves the Kotel to America. My advice to you is, fasten the bolts and beams in your house, or one morning you’ll wake up to discover Lubavitch has moved you to a new continent…

The massive replica serves as the centerpiece of the museum’s new 6,000-square-foot fourth-floor exhibit, “A Voyage Through Jewish History.” Visitors will be invited to write their prayers on a note and insert it into the wall just like in Jerusalem; the notes will then be flown to Israel via El Al and placed in the actual Western Wall. The exhibit will officially open on April 1.

Westport to Lubavitch: Hands Off the Three Bears

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

When you think of Lubavitch and Bears, you’re more likely to come up with Dov Ber than that illustrious trio renowned for that infamous Goldilocks incident. But this time you’d be wrong, the bears in questions are the Three Bears Restaurant, a Westport, Connecticut landmark since the early 1900s, which closed in 2009 after filing for bankruptcy.

According to Westport Now, Chabad Lubavitch of Westport moved into the town’s shuttered Three Bears restaurant in early January and was subsequently issued a town cease-and-desist order. Chabad has submitted a special permit and site plan application to the local Planning Zoning Department.

Lubavitch submitted the application Feb. 22, a day before the deadline, allowing the congregation to continue conducting religious education classes at the site, at 333 Wilton Road.

The matter is scheduled to go before the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) on April 12.

India to Expel Lubavitchers for Espionage – or Maybe Just a Farbrengen

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

UPDATE: A spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Office said that after contacting local police it turns out there was no basis to the claims against Rabbi and Mrs. Bernstein. Rabbi Bernstein himself told Israel Today that he hoped “this was not a case of anti-Semitism. From rumors I heard I understand that this began with a complaint from one of the neighbors. For now, I have not been arrested or questioned. Clearly these are baseless accusations.” His wife added: “What’s happening here is a funny joke.”

An Israeli couple, members of the Lubavitch movement, who came to the city of Fort Kochi, in Southern India, in 2010, will be deported for “suspicious activities.”

Shneor Zalman and Yaffa Bernstein came to India on a multiple-entry visa and rented a house on Rose Street, Fort Kochi, for 50,000 rupees a month, far higher than the market rate. Their willingness to pay exorbitant rent caught the attention of local police.

“A monthly rent of 50,000 rupees is disproportionately high, even in Fort Kochi,” said a police source. “This is one of the main factors that made us suspicious.”

An intelligence officer told the Times of India that “Central intelligence got an alert about a covert operation being carried out by suspected Israeli agents after the terror attacks in which south Mumbai’s Chabad House came under attack and six Jews, including a Rabbi and his pregnant wife, were killed. A communication was sent to all states and it was our wing in Kerala that traced this couple at Fort Kochi.”

Indian agencies will question two suspected Israeli agents before they are deported. “We have traced the couple’s financial transactions. Preliminary investigations suggest similar Israelis are camping in various parts of the country,” an official said.

But a cursory examination of the facts at hand suggests that the Bernsteins were engaged in nothing more subversive than Lubavitch “farbrengen” get-together. Indeed, In their report, the state intelligence department said a group of people turned up at the couple’s rented house regularly and held meetings.

“These meetings lasted for hours in the night. They were under close surveillance”.

Zalman and Yaffa Bernstein were handed the deportation order last Monday, after undercover police officers, who had tracked them for a year, questioned them and filed a report.

Shneor Zalman, born 1984, and Yaffa, born 1988, entered India on multiple-entry visas.

Fort Kochi is a major tourist attraction for Jewish travelers, situated near the Mattancherry neighborhood, where Jews set up their first trading outpost centuries ago and built the country’s oldest synagogue in 1568.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-news/india-to-expel-lubavitchers-for-espionage-or-maybe-just-a-farbrengen/2012/02/07/

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