Maybe I should call this the quote of year from Janet a girl Friday at a Brokerage: If you drive me crazy, no problem, it’s a short drive. Friends in this financial crisis please hang in there. Money comes and goes but charity money lasts even after life.
Avraham my ole Chavrutha asked me a question? If money doesn't grow on trees, why do banks have branches? I figured that only Eliyahu HaNovi could answer that one.
Seriously, Chaim David ben Chana Golda is better.
Elyasif ben Nurit IsraelNN.com) The condition of Elyasav Asban, the Jewish boy
injured in Hevron
on Tuesday by an Arab throwing a cinder block at his head is critical but stable.
He is currently
receiving anesthesia and will be undergoing a thorough
medical examination this morning.
A 9 month old baby girl with a tumor on her spine: She had having surgery at Sloan
\ Kettering. Her name is Meital Chaya Bat Atara Rachel.
Next week you will receive a better Drasha on this week’s Parsha. Yacov has escaped from Esav, he has run away followed by Esav’s son who threatened to kill Yacov. Yacov over-powers the killer and bribes him into going home with all his money saying that a poor man is as good as a dead man. Yacov then attends the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever (AYVAIR) for 14 years and then with enough divrei Kedushah under his belt goes to uncle Lavan to look for good Shidduch. Lavan tricks him and changes his wages 10 times. 11 sons are born unto Yacov while with Lavan. While Yacov is there, Lavan is blessed with sons and they convince Lavan that their sisters disserve not such a bounty. Lavan is ready to kill Yacov and Rachel steals the Teraphim. Rachel is expecting Benyamin and Yacov encounters a camp of Angels of outside of Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael on the Golan Heights near Banot Yacov Bridge. Yacov wrestles with Esav’s Angel and is injured in the Gid HaNashe. (to be continued …)
A few thoughts on the USA and Israel
Friends flying back from the States to Eretz Yisrael and finishing up last minute chores there and first minute chores here has depleted my energy. I started in the States a new 5 mile a day aerobics fat burn or 10,000 strides method on machines at the gym. In order to burn fat and not muscle I am supposed to have a heart rate for my age of 103 -110 as I watched Ehud Barak’s use of the army not to free Gilad Shalit or the people of Sderot who suffered more Kassams and Mortars today but to beat and crack sculls of frum Jews (Crystal Night all over again from the anti-religious Jews) my heart raced up to 136 beats. I took the ear phones off and looked at the Animal Planet screen which was more humane than the animals of the border police. (Notorious for handling Arabs with kit gloves and beating up Charedi and National Religious News and Sephardim they roast on the grill for fun!
I shopped a little for presents for my grandchildren and a few more white shirts for myself on sale in the States. The stores were more or less empty. The sports store had reasonable clientele but the clothing stores were down. The CD and Video store had some clients too but the malls were not what they should be. I loved the model train display. This year I watched the Macy’s Parade while flipping channels during the commercial to see the terror in Mumbai live. The terror at Chabad made the news not because of the size of the Chabad Organization but because the Rabbi was a US citizen. In the end a Jewish couple was killed in the hotel restaurant immediately by the attackers and all the Jews in Chabad house (see below). One fellow died over a Gemara. Help for the Chabadniks came too little and too late.
After the brutality today against Jews, many Jews throughout the Shomron and Yehuda attacked neighboring Arabs to inflame the whole middle-east. Barak knew how to run away at the battle of Sultam Yacov and leave Baumel, Katz and Feldman to the terrorist and Syrian forces. He knew how to helicopter away from Tzelim and flee Lebanon and abandon the South Lebanese Army to the terrorists. He forgot how to get rid of Hamas from Gaza but he knows how to crack Jewish sculls. Just wait what happens to him after 120 years. I would not want to be in his shoes then. Don’t think for a moment that Olmert and the other goons are better either.
As for democracy, Bibi Natanyahu made it virtually impossible for Moshe Feglin to be a Knesset Member via some cockeyed primaries. This is what I came back to but will the States be much better. The terrorist want to strike with biological, chemical and perhaps cheap nuclear material as soon as possible. Somali ex-patriots might be trying to make a terror attack on the States for Jan. 20th or so: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,461865,00.html Dozens of young Somali men in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area have disappeared in recent months, causing community members and U.S. intelligence officials to fear that they are joining jihadist groups in Somalia.
From Zesha Auerbach to R’ A.L.: "My brother died at the Chabad House in Mumbai, India"
Monday, December 01, 2008
My Dear Fellow Jew,
On Wednesday night I logged onto Reuters on my Blackberry and I saw something about terrorists in Mumbai. No connection to me. Or so I thought.
The next morning the news slammed home when my chavrusa told me that his cousin is the Chabad Shaliach in Mumbai and that there was some kind of
attack and they can't seem to get him on the phone.
For the next 24 hours I, my family and everybody I know had only one thing on our minds - the fate of the Chabad Shaliach, his wife and the unknown
number of hostages inside the Chabad house.
Information was so conflicting. We tried to make sense of it all, grasping at straws, hoping against hope that somehow, somehow they would come out
alive. And we davened, hundreds of thousands of Jews, we all poured out our hearts in Tefillah in every country, city, neighborhood, yeshiva, Schul
and home. An unprecedented outpouring of Tefillah.
And then the news came that the counterattack had begun and commandos were storming the building. How we sat on edge, imaging in our mind's eye the
commandos fighting room to room through the bullets and the explosions. And while all this was going on I thought to myself. "Ribono Shel Olam, look at your amazing people. Hundreds of thousands of people gripped by fear, davening for people they never knew and from
sections of Klal Yisrael that they don't belong."
Last Thursday it didn't matter if you were Chabad, Bobov or Toldos Avrahom Yitzchok. OUR brothers were in that house and we reacted instinctively -
with the love of brother.
And so I wonder, my dear brothers and sisters: Imagine we could always be this way!
.Imagine we walked in the street and gave a smile and a Sholom Aleichem to every Jew, even if he didn't look like we did.
.Imagine there was a way we could hold onto the incredible Ahavas Yisrael that was displayed this past Thursday, that showed we are one nation!
Yes, I know. I realize it's not so simple because tragedy has a way of uniting people - but it's not impossible! Consider this:
If there wasn't Ahavas Yisrael in our hearts in the first place we wouldn't have reacted so powerfully and instinctively with nonstop Tehillim. We
wouldn't have listened to the news 20 times that day!
If we can just shake loose of the yetzer hora that pushes us to be divided. If we just took a good look in the mirror we would see that under
that tough exterior we are all really Ohevi Yisrael - lovers of Jews.
My Rav spoke about Mumbai yesterday. He quoted an excerpt from the sefer Amud HaAvodah. This is a quote from the sefer:
"It is a fact that when Yidden in one city hear that Tzaddikim in another city have been tortured and killed by gentile murderers, the Yidden in the
first city are certain to be terribly pained and anguished. Even if they had never known them. Even if they had never seen them. Their hearts ache
upon hearing of Jews killed with cruelty.
This phenomenon is rooted in the unity of the souls of the Jewish people. This is indeed a proof to the existence of this unity.
And so now the horrific truth of what happened in India has become revealed to the world. My brother died in that Chabad house as did yours -
and the immense Ahavas Yisrael that we Jews have for each other was revealed - to the world, and more importantly to ourselves!
But we must not let this event slip by like a ship in the night!
Let's each make a kabala - a personal resolution - that starting right now we and our family will take something on that shows we care about every single Jew.
Not just lip service - but a real goal. One that we write down and post in our house, tell our friends about, and monitor weekly to see how we're doing.
.Maybe we should work on the way we greet tzedakah collectors at our door - you know, put ourselves in their position of having to knock on a
How we would we like people to greet us?
.Or maybe to really daven for specific people from our Schul for their children’s’ Shidduchim or livelihood. And certainly to work on not speaking loshon hora about individuals and certainly not sections of Klal Yisrael.
Hashem thrust the Kedoshim who died in India on the stage of Jewish history for a few days last week. But their impact can last a lifetime if we act!
The last few months have seen major calamities befall the world at large. They are affecting - and could further affect - Klal Yisrael very profoundly.
Let each Jew as an individual and as a family take on one resolution - a single kabala - of Ahavas Yisrael, so that in these trying times Hashem will look down at us and see the love we have for each other. The love that proves we're a family. His family. And with that impetus may Hashem redeem His children from all the tzoros and bring us, as the one family that we are, to our home in Yerushalayim.
Let's just do it NOW! Please pass on this letter to as many people as possible so together we can keep the flame of Ahavas Yisrael burning.
With a sad but hopeful heart,
Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation
P.S. just some practical ideas.
To work on tefillah-write down a list of people you know need Shidduchim, parnasa, refuahs and keep in your Siddur.
Shmiras Haloshon needs daily learning. Sign-up for a free daily email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call in to a daily shiur 718-258-2008 ext.
5 then 1.
The Gedolim have asked of President Bush to pardon Jonathan Pollard before he leaves office in a few weeks--we should too! Call the White House between
9 am and 5 pm EST at 202-456-1111 and request the release of Jonathan Pollard!
For those confused about the Halacha of Double Dating you are not alone: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3616540,00.html
Rabbi Aviner prohibits double dating - Asked whether activity is allowed in order to observe other person in social environment, rabbi answers, 'It's out of the question, spending time with girls is prohibited.' Instead he suggests 'asking teachers, friends about person'
This came later: Rabbi permits double dating 'for marriage purposes' Ramat Gan's chief rabbi says it's okay for religious youngsters to go out in mixed groups, as long as the outing is done for purpose of marriage and 'not just for fun' http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3632513,00.html
As for my own two cents, when I was young looking for a Shidduch I went on one double date when looking for a Shidduch. It was a first date. In this case we did not compare notes. I ended up a couple months later marrying his date at the time but did not steal her from him. Being a father of married children, I do not really think a double date is a good idea even if both couples are engaged unless the two girls were classmates and the two fellows from the same Yeshiva as men talk to men and women to women. I therefore tend to hold more towards Rabbi Aviner Shlita but would not entirely forbid it.
The beggar finally learns a little humility: GM is asking for up to $18 billion to keep the company afloat and to avoid bankruptcy. In exchange, it said it would undergo sweeping reforms that include revamping union contracts and other cost-saving measures that companies typically seek in bankruptcy.
"We've responded to the questions and the requests. So let us go down and make that case," Wagoner said Wednesday morning in a parking lot across the street from his home in Birmingham, Mich. In what he said is a cost-saving measure, Wagoner decided to drive the 525 miles to D.C. rather than fly, following the public relations disaster after he, Mulally and Nardelli took private jets to the Capitol the last time they appeared before Congress. Mulally and Nardelli also made the decision to drive to D.C. this time.
Wagoner, who has a salary of $2.2 million dollars this year but agreed to slash that to just $1 in 2009, appeared comfortably dressed in jeans and a sweater. He waved goodbye after getting behind the wheel of a 2009 Chevy Malibu Hybrid before embarking on the 10-hour drive in the pre-dawn hours. Wagoner appeared upbeat and said he would do some driving but would also use the time in the car to put the finishing touches on his testimony. "It's a good chance for me to do some briefing and return some phone calls as well...on my OnStar, hands-free, by the way," said Wagoner.
New Jewish Site: http://wejew.com/media/3108/Insights_Into_Jewish_Halacha/
Tephillin 101 for beginners and converts: http://www.aish.com/literacy/mitzvahs/Tefillin_A_Primer.asp
Jews murdered in Mumbai's Chabad House were tortured first: http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5750
From Catherine on alternative fuels: http://www.naturalnews.com/News_000442_biodiesel_fungus_cellulose.html
Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the beloved directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai, were killed during one of the worst terrorist attacks to strike India in recent memory. Jewish communities around the world reacted with shock to the loss of the couple, who were killed Thursday at their Chabad House during an apparent standoff between Indian military forces and terrorists.
Their toddler son, Moshe, managed to escape with his nanny some hours before Indian commandos stormed their building, known as the Nariman House, in the popular touristy neighborhood of Colaba. The Associated Press reported that the boy was unharmed, but was wearing blood-soaked pants.
"Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg made the ultimate sacrifice," said Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch. "As emissaries to Mumbai, Gabi and Rivky gave up the comforts of the West in order to spread Jewish pride in a corner of the world that was a frequent stop for throngs of Israeli tourists. Their Chabad House was popular among the local community, as well as with visiting businesspeople.
"For five years, they ran a synagogue and Torah classes, and helped people dealing with drug addiction and poverty," continued the statement. "Their selfless love will live on with all the people they touched. We will continue the work they started." The Holtzbergs arrived in Mumbai in 2003 to serve the small local Jewish community, visiting businesspeople and the throngs of tourists, many of them Israeli, who annually travel to the seaside city.
Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, was born in Israel and moved to the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, N.Y., with his parents when he was nine. A prodigious student, Holtzberg was a two-time champion in a competition of memorizing the Mishnah, a compendium of rabbinical enactments redacted in the second century C.E.
He studied at yeshivas in New York and Argentina, and as a rabbinical student served communities in Thailand and China under the Summer Rabbinical Visitation Program run by Merkos Lâ?TInyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch.
His 28-year-old wife, born Rivkah Rosenberg, is a native of Afula, Israel. Chayki Rosenberg described her sister as dedicated to helping Jews. She gives lots of classes for women at the Chabad House. Rosenberg told The Jerusalem Post. Friends described her as always having a positive outlook and a kind word for everyone.
Two years ago, the Holtzbergs raised funds to purchase the current location of the Chabad House, a five-story building in Mumbaiâ. Colaba market area known as Narimon House. A trained ritual circumciser and slaughterer, the rabbi also conducts weddings for local Jewish couples in addition to teaching Torah classes and visiting with tourists.
His last known phone call was to the Israeli Consulate to report that gunmen were in his house. In the middle of the conversation, the line went dead. The Holtzbergs joined the more than 125 people who were killed in the Wednesday night through Friday attacks, which saw dozens of suspected Islamic terrorists come ashore in Mumbai near the Gateway of India monument. The terrorists, carrying assault rifles and grenades, quickly fanned out to a central train station, the Chabad House and other tourist locations, including several popular hotels.
According to security services, the Chabad House was a pre-selected target. A team of 15 Chabad-Lubavitch representatives in California, New York, Washington, Israel, India and Bangkok worked the phones throughout the crisis, spending a long, sleepless night awaiting any morsel of information and working to confirm at-times conflicting reports from the field. Hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world prayed for the Holtzbergs, saying Psalms in their merit.
The local police in Mumbai and the highest reaches of the Indian government got involved, but military assault teams first concentrated their efforts on the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels, where hundreds of foreign tourists were either holed up or being held hostage. When they finally entered the Chabad House on Friday, they found that the worst had occurred. Rivky Holtzberg's parents in Israel, Rabbi Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg, were planning to travel to Mumbai to bring their now-orphaned grandson home to family.
Pakistani air strikes and a suspected suicide attack left 34 dead near the Afghan border on Wednesday, security forces said, as the US urged broader action against militants after the Mumbai terror attacks. Airstrikes in two areas of the Mohmand border region killed 30 suspected militants, a military statement said. It said the strikes were "highly successful" but provided no further details, including whether any civilians were hurt. Earlier Wednesday, police an explosion hit a convoy carrying reinforcements to Mohmand and killed three soldiers and a civilian.
Dateline Pottsville Iowa: Hundreds family members of legal and illegal Mexican Workers, a few dozen Jews, employees fired by the local supermarkets, best-buy, K-mart, Wal-Mart and other places since the closure of Rubashkin’s plant. No job = no purchases = less need for workers. I wonder if the crime rate has risen in lieu of PETA’s great success. Some charities are trying to help these people now. Rubashkin might not have been the generation’s Tzaddik in his business practices but he was not the wicked person that PETA and other anti-Semites pointed out to be.
Iran has a 60 ship naval exercise to flex muscle against the US and British Navies in the area: http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5755
Now for M. Wolfberg's Give Thanks and Tazmanian Angel Stories.
Good Shabbos Everyone. The Torah tells us "So Yakov drew close to Yitzchok his father who felt him and said: The voice is the voice of Yakov, but the hands are the hands of Eisav." (Bereishis 27:22) The Midrash explains this powerful verse in an interesting way. The power of Yakov (who represents the Nation of Yisroel) is in its voice with prayer and Torah study, while the power of Eisav and the nations is in its physical strength. (Midrash Eicha Pesichta, Aleph,Beis) As the Prophet tells us "Fear not, O' worm of Yakov." (R.Amonon Yitzchok, Shlita, citing Yeshiyahu 41:14)
Why is Yakov - Yisroel compared to a worm? The power of a worm is in its mouth. A tiny worm can bore through the strongest wood with its mouth. So too, the strength of Yisroel is in its mouth with prayer. (Rashi and Metzudas Dovid on Yeshiyahu 41:14) The nations may be bigger and stronger than we are, but we have the power of prayer, which is much stronger than their physical power.
One of the ways we can use prayer is to help others. If we hear that someone is not well, G-d forbid or perhaps someone is looking for a marriage partner, we can help them by davening - praying for them. Sometimes, our prayer can positively affect others without us even realizing it…
Over 150 years ago in Russia there lived a Talmud scholar called Rabbi Yosef. He was an exceptionally gifted man both in mind and in humility. He know all of the Talmud -- both the Babylonian and Jerusalem versions --by heart, and was well-versed in the books of Halachah and Kabbalah as well. Now this Rabbi Yosef was considering applying for the post of rabbi in several large cities and, being a chassid of the second Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi DovBer, he traveled to Lubavitch to ask for the Rebbe's blessing and advice.
But when he informed the Rebbe of his plan, the latter wasn't so enthusiastic. Rabbi DovBer looked up at Rabbi Yosef from his desk and said solemnly: "Rabbi Yosef, if you're ever offered the opportunity of being an important Rabbi, it's better for you to be a wagon driver."
Even two days later, when he arrived home and told his wife what the Rebbe had said, he himself still hadn't exactly absorbed it. "If so", she said, "You must go down to the wagon drivers and ask their advice." "Advice on what?" he asked. "Advice on what type of carriage to buy. How much it will cost. How long it will take to learn." She answered. "Learn what?"
He just shook his head in agreement every time his wife mentioned it, and went back to studying Talmud or something else and the time passed. Then about a month later a group of distinguished looking Jews knocked at Rabbi Yosef's door and officially offered him the prestigious position of rabbi of the city Minsk. They left with the promise that the would wait a week for his reply.
As soon as they closed the door behind them, Rabbi Yosef's wife reminded him that now he had no choice other than to finally go talk to the wagon drivers.
So the next morning Rabbi Yosef put on his fur coat and high boots and made a visit to the stables. At first the drivers thought he was a customer. Then they though he was joking or crazy. But when they saw he was neither, one of the older drivers agreed to show him around, carefully pointing out how each of the many things that a wagon driver did in the course of his workday was difficult, dirty, or dangerous.
After several hours he returned home with a full report to his wife and a conclusion: a wagon and horse cost much more than they could afford, and that was the end of it. "Yosef!" said his wife emphatically. "Are you a chassid or not? The Rebbe wants you to be a wagon driver. I‘ll sell my jewelry and our silver Shabbat candle sticks, and we'll buy a horse and a wagon." The next day they sold the jewelry, found a driver to teach him the ropes and even bought a wagon and a pair of horses.
Two months later Rabbi Yosef was one of the town's drivers. He accepted his new job with as much joy as he could muster. He took good care of his horses and his carriage, and the other drivers always helped him and tried to give him the easiest trips. He also tried to keep himself as holy as possible. While he was driving he would recite the Talmud he knew by heart, and he never began working until he had devoted one hour to the morning prayer, but nevertheless his heart was broken inside him.
One cold winter morning, as he was feeding his horses and getting the wagon ready for the day's work, a rich-looking, gentile businessman entered the stables and asked him if he was willing to take him to Petersburg. "That's a two-day journey", answered Rabbi Yosef. "I'll gladly take you, but I'm telling you now that I don't begin at the crack of dawn, like the other drivers. I am a Jew that believes in G-d and every morning I must pray for one hour." "Fine, fine,"
The businessman replied. "Maybe on the second day I'll get another driver. The main thing is that I set out immediately. All my baggage is here and I want to leave as soon as possible." Rabbi Yosef wasted no time hitching up the horses and in fifteen minutes they were on their way. "Oy," thought Rabbi Yosef to himself as he was driving some lonely road far from town, "What will become of me? All day I have to look at the backside of these horses. What will become of me?"
That night they stopped at an inn. Before they retired the businessman paid him for the day's journey, saying something about finding another driver that would leave early. They shook hands and the innkeeper showed them to their rooms. Rabbi Yosef woke, as was his custom, at midnight, washed his hands and began to recite the midnight prayer mourning the destruction of the Holy Temple. His heart was broken enough as it was, and when he began thinking of the terrible exile of the Jews the pain was too much to bear, he poured out his emotion into the words of the prayers. When he finished, he opened the volume of Talmud he always took along on his trips and began studying.
At daybreak, he put on his tefillin and prayed the morning prayer. He had just put away tefillin back after praying, and was about to sit down and have something to eat, when suddenly the door opened and there stood his passenger. His clothes were disordered as though he hadn't slept all night and it was clear that he had been weeping. "I want to … put on …. your tefillin," he said as he burst into uncontrollable tears and fell to one knee. "Oh please forgive me!" He wailed "My G-d, please, forgive me!"
He collapsed on the floor with his face in his hands and his entire body shaking with heart-rending sobs. The astounded Rabbi Yosef watched with his mouth open in disbelief. He had never seen anything like this in his life! When the man had calmed down he explained: he was a Jew, but his lifestyle was exactly the opposite.
The night before, he was about to go to sleep when he heard through the wall the midnight prayers of Rabbi Yosef. At first he paid no attention, and then he got angry because it was disturbing him; but then, slowly it woke up something inside of him. He remembered that when he was a boy his father used to pray like that. He now had long forgotten his youth but Rabbi Yosef's prayers changed all that. He decided firmly that he wanted to return to his true self -- he wanted to be a Jew again. Two days later they were standing before the Rebbe. Rabbi Yosef was informed that he had fulfilled the purpose of his strange career. For the wagon driver's passenger, the Rebbe wrote a treatise called Pokeach Ivrim to guide him on his journey back to Judaism, which is still learned to this very day. Good Shabbos Everyone
Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week’s parsha Vayeitzeh we read about how, on the way to Charan, Yakov Avinu stopped to rest for the night. As he slept, Yakov dreamt that he saw a ladder. The famous dream of the ladder contains some of the most inspirational spiritual lessons of the entire Torah. The verse tells us that Yakov “dreamt, and behold! A ladder was set on the earth and its top reached towards the heavens...” (Bereishis 28:12)
The Sages teach us that the ladder symbolizes the position of a Jew in this world. Although we stand on the ground like the base of the ladder, we strive to reach up to the heavens, like the top of the ladder in the dream. As the verse states, "A ladder was set on the earth and its top reached towards the heavens..." The following story told in the first person illustrates the amazing climb of a few Jews in this world.
My story starts many years before my own birth. My father grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, an avowed Communist and atheist. In 1949, when he was expelled from Egypt for illegal political activities, he moved to Israel, became an officer in the army and met my mother. Together they became members of a non-religious kibbutz.
In 1954 they moved to Tasmania, Australia. The small Jewish community in Tasmania was totally assimilated. The president of the community approached my father and requested of him that since he was the only Jew in the community who knew Hebrew, would he please lead the services in the synagogue?
Needless to say, my father was taken totally by surprise. "Are you absolutely crazy?" he asked. "I am an atheist. I know nothing about religion or G-d, nor do I believe in any of it!" Nevertheless, to his own amazement, the community won him over, and my father took on the job of leading the services. My father's belief in Communism had already been severely shaken years before when it became clear to him that the Communist "show" trials in Czechoslovakia were a sham.
As a result, he and my mother started looking into Judaism and their feelings towards G-dliness gradually grew. They began to be attracted to the Torah and mitzvos and wished to abide by at least some of them. My mother remembered some of the laws of Shabbat and kashrus from her parents' home, so they kept whatever they could and thirsted for more. Yet this was not enough.
Each day they prayed their own private prayers to G-d, that He should somehow send them some kind of information about Judaism. My mother, in particular, became convinced that since every generation in Jewish history always had a leader, anointed by G-d, to lead the Jewish people, there must be a leader assigned to lead and help the Jews of this generation, too. At that point she felt an urgency, and from the depth of her being cried out: "G-d! If there is a leader of this generation who has the absolute responsibility to help every Jew, then I demand of him, from this remote corner of the world, to reach out to us and help us, too!"
Soon after this, Rabbi Chaim Gutnick, a Lubavitcher rabbi from Melbourne, Australia, unexpectedly received a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, telling him to go to Tasmania. Although he had no idea why he was going, Rabbi Gutnick organized a visit to Tasmania.
The moment he arrived in Tasmania, he was accosted by my parents who triumphantly announced to him: "Rabbi! You are the answer to our prayers! We have begged G-d to send us some information about how to be Jewish, and finally you are here. You must come to our house immediately and show us the ways of a Jew."
So Rabbi Gutnick helped them and came back the following year as well. The Rebbe had literally stretched out his hand to a small island in distant Australia to answer the call of two lone Jews. This was the beginning of my parents' way up the eternal ladder of Judaism and their eternal attachment to the Rebbe.
Later, it was my parents' turn to be the envoys of the Rebbe to save a Jewish soul. One day, out of the blue, my father received an invitation to go for nine months to Malaysia, a Muslim country with no Jewish community. He wrote to the Rebbe, who advised him to accept.
During a private audience with the Rebbe, the Rebbe later told my parents that they were going to Malaysia on a mission to save Jewish souls. For the entire time that they were in Malaysia, however, they did not meet any Jews! They did meet a Buddhist monk called Mahinda. Mahinda greatly admired the teachings of the Jews.
One day, after they returned home to Sydney, Australia, my parents were contacted by a young Jewish woman from England. She told them that she had gone to Malaysia to search for spiritual truth and had wanted to study Budkhism with Mahinda. Mahinda asked her, "Why are you seeking truth in Budkhism? You can find all the truth you need in your own faith," and he sent her to my parents. The Rebbe's mission was successful: a Jewish soul was saved through their trip to Malaysia. The young woman is now married, and an active member of the Lubavitch community in Sydney!" Good Shabbos Everyone.
M.Wolfberg's story not mine is sponsored by: In memory of Shosha Malka bas Avrohom 21 Cheshvan Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi
Have a wonderful peaceful and healthy Shabbos,