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Preface

Shabbos Parshas Re'eh, Shabbos Mevorchim Elul, Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5737

Kuntres Motzei Simchas Torah, 5738

Kuntres Motzei Simchas Torah 5738

Kuntres Motzei Shabbos Breishis 5738

Kuntres Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Noach 5738

Kuntres Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Lech LCho 5738

Excerpts From Kuntres Motzoei Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Chayei Sarah

Yud-Tes Kislev, 5738

The Second Day Of Chanuka, 5738

Asora BTeves (10th Of Teves), 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Kodesh, Mevorchim Shvat, Parshas VaEra, 5738

Yud Shvat, 5738

15th OF SHVAT 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Mishpatim, 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Tzav

Motzoai Shabbos Parshas Shmini And Parah, Shabbos Mevorchim Nissan, 5738

Yud-Alef Nissan, 5738

Last Day Of Pesach, 5738

Parshas Acherei Shabbos Mevorchim Iyar

Parshas Emor, 5738

Lag BOmer, 5738

Motzoei Shavuos, 5738

Graduating Class Of Beis Rivka And To
The Staff Members Of The Girls Summer Camps
On The 13th Of Sivan, 5738

Parsha Shelach Shabbos Mivorcim Tammuz

3rd OF TAMMUZ, 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Chukas, 10th Of Tammuz, 5738

Yud-Beis Tammuz, 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Balak, 17 Tammuz 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Pinchas,
Mevorchim Hachodesh Menachem Av, 5738

15th OF AV, 5738

20th OF AV, 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Mevorchim Elul, 5738

Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5738

Supplement

Notes

Sichos In English
Excerpts of Sichos delivered by The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
Vol. 1 5738


15th OF AV, 5738

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  Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Pinchas,
Mevorchim Hachodesh Menachem Av, 5738
20th OF AV, 5738  

The 15th of Av was celebrated as holiday throughout Jewish history. Among the practical directives connected with this date is the Talmuds statement From the 15th of Av onward, the nights grow longer. This extra time should be used for Torah study,391 and G-d will bless with life those who thus increase their study sessions.

The literal translation of the last phrase is G-d will add life to his life, i.e., G-ds blessing comes as an addition to (and because of) the life he already possesses. A similar concept is expressed in our sages statement G-d grants wisdom to the wise. First, the individual must achieve wisdom through his own efforts. Then, due to G-ds gift of additional wisdom, his studies will reach a level of success beyond his normal expectations.

The same concept is conveyed by another statement of the Talmud. If one says I labored and achieved, believe him. The Hebrew word used for I achieved is more literally translated as I found it. Our sages were meticulous in their choice of phraseology. The expression I found it communicates the discovery of a valuable article, acquired without much effort. Likewise, G-ds blessing allows and individual to discover new realms of awareness that are infinitely greater in comparison to the effort he invested in Torah study.392

In a similar fashion G-d adds life to life, that addition being an infinite and immeasurable blessing. As the Torah relates in the Sidra of Devarim, Moshe blessed the Jewish people May the L-rd ...multiply you a thousand times more than you are and bless you as He promised you. Concerning the seemingly extra phrase as he promised you, Rashi comments that the Jewish people protested, Moshe, you are fixing a limit to our blessings. Moshe replied, This blessing (of an increase of 1000 times) is mine, G-ds blessing will be infinite as He promised. In this case as well G-ds blessing will be boundless.

The practical point resulting from this directive is the need for each individual to increase his activity in the field of Torah study. This increase should be two-fold a) added time and increased intensity in his own Torah studies, and b) an increase in his efforts to teach Torah to others. One should endeavor to add to all areas of Torah study, but particular attention should be paid to that realm of study which is practically applicable, i.e., the Halachic rules which govern our everyday behavior.

The importance and significance of this directive is particularly emphasized this year when the Torah portion connected with Tu beAv393 contains the verse vshinantem 1vanecha you shall teach them (the words of Torah)diligently to your children.

The Talmud explains that the command vshinantem implies not only teaching, but rather such a high level of instruction to the degree that the laws of Torah are expressed with precision; the teacher is able to provide a clear and distinct answer to any of the students questions.

Furthermore, our sages interpret the phrase your children figuratively to mean your students. In his Hilchos Talmud Torah, the Alter Rebbe explains that there is a Halachic obligation requiring every learned man in Israel to teach students, including those not his children.

In a broader sense, this obligation rests on every Jew. Just as every Jew, even a poor man, is required to give Tzedakah, so each individual, regardless of his degree of knowledge, must share the knowledge he has with others.394

Following the commandment vshinantem, the Torah continues with the commands to put on tefillin and to affix mezuzos on your houses and gates. This demonstrates how Torah study leads to an increased performance of all the mitzvos (as the Talmud comments, all the mitzvos are compared to tefillin); and to the eventual affixing of a mezuzah on the doorway to a Jewish home (the true concept of a Jewish home being one in the land of Israel) and on Jewish gates (referring to the gates of the Temple395 which will be,.-rebuilt with the coming of Mashiach speedily in our days.

2. The command vshinantem is prefaced by the obligation to love the L-rd your G-d, with all your heart, etc., and also by the Shema, the fundamental declaration of Jewish faith.

Love of G-d (and also internalization of faith) can be achieved through the service of prayer. Therefore, just as the obligation you shall love the L-rd precedes the command vshinantem, so the study of Torah should be preceded by prayer (and even before that by a declaration of faith in G-d). This pattern is carried out by a Jew in his daily behavior. The Jew begins his day with Modeh Ani, a statement of his belief in G-d. Then he proceeds to prayer, and from prayer to study, and afterwards he conducts his daily activities (which should center around the fulfillment of the mitzvos).

This pattern loot only describes a Jews daily activities, but also serves as a model for the Jews activity throughout the entire span of his life. He is born with belief. In his childhood he is motivated to feel an attraction to Torah and mitzvos. Then he is taught what to do (which involves Torah), and then, finally, he performs mitzvos.

Likewise, this same pattern is enacted on a larger scale in the general development of the Jewish nation. Abraham was the first believer. He established the faith in one G-d and transmitted it as an inheritance to his children. Likewise, he built an altar (fulfilling the aspect of prayer) and then commanded (taught Torah) his descendants to perform deeds of justice and charity (the fulfillment of the mitzvos).

Similarly, an individuals process of return to Torah observance generally follows this same motif. The goal is to bring the person to perform mitzvos (and in that way begin a self-reinforcing process in which one mitzvah follows another). In bringing a person to the performance of mitzvos, the first stage is generally the arousal of the individuals essential point of faith in G-d. Then, an effort is made to develop an emotional connection between him and his Jewish heritage (the goal of prayer). Following this, he receives explanation and instructions concerning the obligations of Torah (Torah study), and then he begins his actual performance of mitzvos.

The above pattern is also related to the month of Av396 which centers around the destruction of the Temple, the deepest point of Golus. To overcome the effects of Golus, the Jew needs Emunah, faith, in G-d. That faith is internalized through prayer. Prayer serves as a medium to connect a Jew to the very source of his soul a level of spirituality which entirely transcends the realm of Golus and Chorban. When that connection is established, then, as the Previous Rebbe remarks, When you are connected above you dont fall below. The feelings of fear and resignation stimulated by Golus are thereby overcome.

Then the service of ending the Golus, that of Zion will be redeemed through judgment (Torah study) and its captives through Tzedakah (a term which is not only particular but at times is used to refer to all the mitzvos), can be enthusiastically carried out.

3. The necessity of prayer as a preface to Torah study is related to the request made on Yud-Alef beAv that all Jewish children should each have their own Siddur and Tzedakah pushkah. In this way, they can also participate in the service of Zion will be redeemed through judgment (referring to Torah study a Siddur contains selections from both the oral and written Torah) and its captives through Tzedakah.

Seemingly, if the intent is for the children to learn Torah, a Chumash (or another text of that nature) should be preferable. Even though the Siddur does contain certain passages of the Torah, the prophets, the Mishnah and the Gemara, its primary function is to serve as a guide to prayer.

However, the above-mentioned principle (that Torah study should be preceded by prayer) illuminates the importance of a Siddur in Torah study. Furthermore, the blessings made before Torah study are not found in a Chumash,397 but rather in a Siddur.

The commentaries explain that the blessings before Torah study are of fundamental importance. One is not allowed to study Torah until he has recited the blessings. Certain commentaries say that the blessings are considered as a preparation and addition to Torah study. Others maintain that they are considered part of Torah study itself, and if they are lacking, something is lacking in the actual Torah study.

Therefore, since it is necessary to inculcate in a child an awareness of the full power of Torah, it is important to stress the Siddur as a source of Torah knowledge. The Siddur contains the blessings of the Torah, and directly after, selections from the Chumash and the Talmud. After such a preparation, the child will continue his Torah study in other texts.

4. The importance of prayer is similarly expressed in the portion of the week. The Baal Shem Tov explained that an objects name describes its life force and fundamental character. The name of this weeks portion, Vaeschanan, has many interpretations, each one conveying a different lesson.

The simple meaning of Vaeschanan is to pray.398Moshe Rabbeinu prayed to G-d for permission to cross the Jordan and see Israel. Hashem denied him entrance to Israel, but, from the heights of Mt. Nebo, showed him the entire land. Commentaries on the Torah explain that Moshe Rabbeinus all-encompassing scan of the Land of Israel had a spiritual effect on the lands ensuing history.

Chassidic thought explains Moshes prayer in a deeper perspective. Moshe wanted to bring every Jew up to the level of seeing, i.e., enable each individual to feel G-dliness in an open and evident manner. Though this prayer was totally fulfilled in only a few select cases, it was partially fulfilled in relation to every Jew. Each Jew possesses a level in his soul in which G-dliness is openly revealed.

May it be G-ds Will that not only the Chassidic interpretation, but also the simple interpretation of Moshes prayer, be fulfilled in the near future. May every Jew merit to enter the land of Israel and fulfill the mitzvos there.399


  Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Pinchas,
Mevorchim Hachodesh Menachem Av, 5738
20th OF AV, 5738  
  
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