Sunday, August 14, 2005

Rabbi Yitzhak Zilber's Yortzait

By the grace of G-d
Shalom uBrocha!

A year ago on Tisha beAva 5764 many Jews in the land of Yisrael and worldwide mourned the passing of Rabbi Yitzhak Zilber besides mourning the destruction of the temple .
Since I was personally inspired and influenced by books , students , audio recordings and videos of classes of this amazing tzadik in my path to teshuvah I'm including some links for you to learn about him and to learn his Torah teachings. (a site set up by his students mostly Russian language text audio video)
A movie about his life real audio Russian with English subtitles click to stream if you have a high speed connection or right click and save to watch later if you have a slower modem.
Same video in mpeg format even higher video quality but no English subtitles
Israeli news report of his passing: (Russian)
Memorial (shloishim) gathering of Rav Zilber's students video (Russian)
Rav Zilber at Torat ChaiymRav Zilber teaching at Torat Chaim Yeshivah near Moscow
Rav Zilber's Torah classes in Russian (audio mp3 format)
Rav Yitzhak Zilber's short biography in English
Toldot Yeshurun English page articles, audio, video, pictures Rav Zilber's students classes times and locations: . an audio/video site in Russian classes by Rav. Moshe Panteliat , Efim Svirski, Michoel Gittik , Chaim Cohen and Yakov Tipograph (some of the many wonderful students of Rav Yitzhok).
Birchas Yitzhak Rav Zilber's Yeshivah (Jewish Seminary) for girls and women in Moscow video:
As a side note while being from "Litvish" (non Chassidic) background Rav Zilber has had a very warm and respectful relationship with Chabad and the Rebbe King Moshiach Shlit"a for many years. I was even told a story by a friend of mine that when Rav Zilber once visited the Rebbe for yechidus the Rebbe told him "I usually "nudge" people to study Chassidus but you don't really have to do so since it's already in your heart..." (free translation)
From many of the recorded classes and books of Rav Zilber and his students that are found online it seems apparent that they do study pnimius ha'Torah - (inner meaning of Torah - Kabbalah , Mussar , Chassidus) and are able to present it at the level a beginner can understand.
With respect and blessing.
Ariel Sokolovsky
PS. May all of us learn from the wonderful example of Rav Yitzhok and many of his students in learning, teaching and observance Torah in the spirit of peace, friendship, unity and ahavas Yisroel.
PPS. The Rebbe King Moshiach Shlit"a explains that tzadikim (righteous) merit eternal life - chaim nitzchim thru their students and children continuing their holy work in this world (see here for example: Of Eternal Life in Beacons on the Talmud's Sea
Analyses of Passages From The Talmud And Issues In Halachah
Adapted From The Works of The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
)I think this surely applies Rav Yitzhok Zilber as his son haRav haGaon BenTzion Zilber Shlit"a and thousands of his students are continuing his holy work with the same spirit of love, unity and cooperation of all Jews. May their work hasten the revelation of Moshiach and final redemption speedily in our days.

Long Live our Master our Teacher and our Rebbe King Moshiach Forever and Ever!

Warning to Bush: Al-Quaeda State Forming

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Warning to Bush: Al-Quaeda State Forming

A full-page ad appeared in the New York Times with an open letter to President George Bush, calling upon him to stop pressuring Israel to withdraw from the Gaza Strip.  Prominent Chabad rabbanim and activists express their dismay that at the same time that Bush is fighting terror in Pakistan and Iraq and trying to destroy Al-Quaeda, he is helping these very same terrorist organizations establish a base for themselves in Gaza.

Continued in full article.  

The letter is signed by Rabbanim R. David Drukman; R. Gedalia Axelrod; R. Shalom Ber Volpa; R. Shmuel Butman, head of Lubavitch Youth Organization; R. Yakov Schwey, member of Badatz of Crown Heights; R. Yekutiel Rapp; R. Eliezer Gold and R. Ephraim Julius.  The Rabbanim warn Bush that by pressuring Israel to hand a victory to terror, he is endangering not only Jewish but also American lives.

President Bush was interviewed on television and presented the ridiculous position that the disengagement will help increase security for Israel.  He also said that the disengagement was only the first step in carrying out his "road-map", which includes withdrawal from all of Yesha and establishing a Palestinian state on the land. 

To listen to the interview with Bush, click here

Chabad House of Chiang Mai Flooded

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Chabad House of Chiang Mai Flooded

On Sunday Morning, Tisha B'Av, heavy rains and flash flooding hit northern Thailand, with water reaching up to one meter in some places.  Chabad of Chiang Mai, Thailand swung into action to rescue the many stranded Israeli backpackers, some of whom were left without a roof over their heads after their hotels were flooded.

The Chabad House of Chiang Mai was heavily damaged but B"H no one was hurt. The Sefer Torahs were also rescued before they could be damaged by the flood.  The Chabad House has moved its operations to the Meting Hotel, where it has set aside a special room for tefillos.  R. Chadad, shliach in Chaing Mai, reports that there is no need to worry and that they are in close contact with Jewish tourists in the city.  Rescue trains are moving people from the more heavily flooded parts of the city to dryer areas.

Shleimus Haaretz Symposium in Bklyn Hghts

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Shleimus Haaretz Symposium in Bklyn Hghts

(Report by Aliza Karp)
Thursday evening, in the Bnai Avraham Congregation in Brooklyn Heights, there was a Shlaimos HaAretz – Pikuach Nefesh Symposium, featuring Rabbi Effie Biran of the Northern Shomron. The Shul was packed and so was the hallway.  The program began with Rabbi Raskin, guiding children in responsive recitation of the 12 Posukim, just as his grandfather, Rabbi J.J. Hecht would do at the rallies in 770.

Rabbi Biran is currently traveling around North American raising awareness of the situation in the Northern Shomron, encouraging people to join the residents of the Northern Shomron in preventing the deportation and to raise funds so that the resistance movement can operate. Although the disengagement/deportation plan is scheduled to begin this week in Gush Katif – may this evil decree be annulled immediately – the Northern Shomron deportation is scheduled for a few weeks from now. Biran plans ! to be back inside the Northern Shomron at that time IYH.
(Continued in full article)

Biran explained the risks involved in taking the Jews out of the Northern Shomron, G–d forbid. He had a map of the area and showed the triangular area formed between Shechem, Tulkarem and Jenin, all known nests of terror. If the Jews would no longer be in the area, no longer monitoring the roads, these terrorist centers would have freedom to expand and thrive. This area is larger than the area of Gush Katif. It is in the heart of the nation. From the hills of the Shomron, one can see and control the lowlands below, which contain the population centers of Jews along the coast the Mediterranean. Taking the Jews out of this area is a great danger to the entire Jewish population in Eretz Yisroel.

Biran is part of the group who recently established a Chabad yeshiva in Sanur, one of the towns threatened with deportation. “The welcome the community gave us was
amazing,” he said. “The people get a lot of encouragement whe! n they see our yeshiva bochurim.”

In addition to the regular activities in a Chabad yeshiva, including Mivtzaim, the bochurim are preparing what they will do if the army really does come to move them out. The deterrence they are planning will be non-violent, but at the same time effective.

Biran said the new yeshiva needs funds for food and operating expenses, just like other yeshivos. Additionally, they also need tents, generators, flashlights, camping
equipment, fuel, water and dried food. In order to carry out a plan on day of deportation they will need two four-by-four vehicles. They are currently finishing a men’s Mikveh, which requires $2,000.

Rabbi Biran works closely with Rabbi Uriel Gurfinkel who has been an active Shliach in this area for years, and who was previously instrumental in saving Sanur from disappearing at a time when previous residents had moved away.

Despite the current dire circumstances, Rabbi Biran is very optimis! tic. He is sure that just as Hashem split the sea for Nachshon! ben Ami nadav, so do we have to keep walking straight into the water without loosing faith and Hashem will make the miracle which will save us. 

Joining the event shortly after landing in NY from Eretz Yisroel, the recently released Administration Detainee, Saadia Hershkop made a surprise appearance and received a hearty applause as he took the stage to tell of his experiences.

While a rabbinical student in yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel and having completed one level of ordination in Kashrus, this thin, lanky boy with peyos behind his ears, who just turned 18, fascinated the audience as he recounted his tale of prisoner of conscience and prisoner in Zion. In many ways Saadia is a refusnik. He refuses to accept the fact that Jews should be forced to disconnect from their homeland and from the homes of their heritage.

Saadia told of the many stories of his participation in non-violent protests against the disengagement, and his equally many encounters with the p! olice, in which he was approached with enticements to become an informant for the Shabak, Jewish department, in no uncertain terms. “We can arrange for you to go to Gush Katif,” they told Saadia. “We will even take you there.”

“What made you change your mind?” asked Saadia.

“We’ll take good care of you and you will take good care of us,” they answered.

“No way,” said Saadia. “I will never participate in a scheme that will ultimately bring about spilling Jewish blood G-d forbid.” Saadia told his interrogators “Take off your uniform, turn in your badge and get out of this dirty business.” He got one of the officers to put on Tefilin.

Saadia was arrested Sunday at the Kfar Chabad Yeshiva by the secret police. He was not charged with any crime or wrongdoing. He was placed in administrative detention
due to suspicion that he would harm the disengagement. Saadia was in the same jail as the notorious arch terrorist Marwan Barghutti.

After a! few days in jail, Saadia was given the choice of returning to! his hom e in Crown Heights, New York, or to sit out the summer in jail. He decided to take the advice of his lawyers and to honor his worried mother, by returning to the States.

Far from being a Jewish terrorist, Saadia seemed to the crowd as being nothing less than a Jewish hero. “I would have been glad to spend a few months in jail because it energizes the kids into being more active in the disengagement. It would have been a Zechus, a privilege. I would have been like our forefathers who had to make sacrifices and sat in jail for the Jewish people while fighting similar evil decrees.”  

Saadia had only been on the ground in New York for a number of hours before he showed up at the gathering and he was already inspiring people to take legal and non-violent action to stop the disengagement. But he did let the people know that no matter how careful one tries to be, the law enforcement agencies can arrest you even when there is no hard – or even soft – eviden! ce worthy of grounds for arrest.

“There are hundreds are children younger than me sitting in jail for virtually nothing,” said Saadia, “just for being at a demonstration. Now these kids cannot be with their families, they cannot do what kids usually do. I am lucky to be an American citizen and to be deported. This is not just a settler’s problem, it is a problem of every single Jew.”

Saadia asked that everything should be done to stop the expulsion of the Jewish people from their homes and their houses given as a reward to the terrorists. Even if it means standing in the hot humid sun and missing hours of work. 

Saadia’s sister Chaya shares her brother's strong feelings, “I feel like people do not care enough,” she said. “You feel it more when it is your own family. And this is how Jews in Eretz Yisroel feel every day.”

As the event drew to a close and people were lingering to discuss their responses to the presentations, Mrs. Edith Bloch ! said, “It is impossible to sit still and do nothing. We all ha! ve to do something. ‘Lo Alecha HaMelacha Ligmor.’ We may not be obligated to finish the task, Hashem will do that, but we have to start it. I am going to start writing to newspapers.”

Elisheva Devorah bas Chava Naomi from London was very moved by hearing Saadia, “Hearing a young boy who arrived today from prison was absolutely mind-blowing. I was very moved and proud to see what strength Yidden can have and what they can accomplish.”

Sara Yusevitch summed up the evening, “It was very important for us to hear. Once we know the seriousness of the situation we will be motivated to do all we can.”

Prior to the program, a reporter from the NY Daily News came to interview Rabbi Biran, together with the spiritual leader of Bnai Avraham, Rabbi Ari Raskin. An article about the event is expected to appear in the NY Daily News, Brooklyn
section, on Monday, IYH.

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חדשות חב"ד

הכנסת ספר התורה הרביעי של ילדי ישראל

Shehechiyanu V'Kiymanu V'higianu Lezman Hazeh.  The entire Jewish people is invited to participate in the Hachnasas Sefer Torah of the 4th Children's Sefer Torah to unite all Jewish children, which was written upon the directive of the Rebbe.  The simcha will take place on Thursday, 20 Menachem Av, at 3:00 PM at the Kotel Hamaaravi.   Chassidic singer R. Mendy Gerufi will perform at the event,.

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חדשות חב"ד

תמונת היום

כמידי שנה נמסרו גם השנה שיעורים בחסידות (בדברים במותרים) בליל תשעה באב, ליד שריד בית מקדשינו. השיעור נמסר על ידי הרב יחיאל עמר.
תמונות נוספות מרחבת הכותל אמש, ב'כתבה המלאה'.
חלק מהצילומים מאת: ישראל ברדוגו

עם שחר, מקורבים בקריאת התורה.

Sharon Against Disengagement

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Sharon Against Disengagement

Click here to watch a video of Ariel Sharon of several years ago, speaking about the dangers of pullout from Gaza.

Arutz 7 Publicizes the Rebbe's Opinion

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Arutz 7 Publicizes the Rebbe's Opinion

The Arutz-7 website has put up the new Shleimus Haaretz video produced by  the International Campaign to Save the Nation and the Land, which shows the Rebbe's words on Shleimus Haaretz.  Thousands of copies of the video are being distributed by the Rebbe's shluchim, members of Anash and Shleimus Haaretz activists. 

To watch the video, click here.

Chabad Delegation Visits Shefaram

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Chabad Delegation Visits Shefaram

Delegation in conversation with a resident
Yesterday, a delegation of Chabad Chassidim arrived in the Arab village of Shefaram to share the Rebbe's message on the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach.  The visit was arranged by the Noachide Druze Mr. Nazia Abdallah, a strong anti-disengagement activist, whose son Timor recently served 35 days in military detention for refusing to participate in expelling Jews from their homes.  The delegation was headed by R. Yeshaya Hertzel, Rav of Natzeret Illit, and R. Boaz Kelly, head of the 7 for 70 organization, dedicated to teaching the 7 Noachide laws to the nations of the world.

The visit began in the office of mayor Arsan Yassin, who received the delegation with great respect and spoke of the honor the group was giving his city by visiting.  The mayor of Shefaram was one of the first Arab community leaders to sign on a declaration calling on Arab residents to observe the seven Noachide laws, which were given by G-d to Moses at Mount Sinai on behalf of all the nations.  The observance of these mitzvos by all nations of the world will bring true peace and justice to the Universe. The text of the declaration  hangs in an honored spot in the mayor's office. 
Continued with more pictures in full article.

R. Hertzel clearly explained the Seven Noachide Laws, particularly the prohibitions against murder and theft.  Regarding the prohibition of theft, the Rebbe MH"M said:  "It is better for the nations of the world not to have any control over Israel."  In other words, if they take control of parts of Israel, they are stealing the land from the Jews and are thus in violation of one of the Seven Noachide Laws.

The mayor accompanied the delegation to pay a visit to the mourners, where R. Hertzel and R. Kelly spoke to all assembled about the seven Noachide Laws and the prophecy of the Rebbe MH"M that the redemption is at hand. 

The delegation was accompanied by police who ensured its safety.  Overall, the visitors were received cordially and with great respect by both the townspeople and the mourners.  There is no doubt that the visit contributed considerably to calming tensions in the village and preventing further violence.
Police escort
Nazid Abdallah meets the delegation at the entrance to Shefaram
R. Hertzel speaks to Shefaram residents

Disengagement in 5765? article updated with more insight click here to read.

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