#1064 (s5778-32/ 8 Iyar 5778)
Three Rebbes: the Father, the Oldest Son, the Youngest Son-in-Law
When the Gates to Heaven are open an entire week
Connection: Seasonal -- this is The Week! -- startiing the day after Sunday, Iyar 14, Pesach Sheini ("Second Passover")
#1063 (s5778-32/ 8 Iyar 5778)
His son David asked the doctors to describe to Rav Ovadia Yosef what the procedure would be like in order that he wouldn't be shocked when the pain began.
Connection: Seasonal -- month of Iyar -- The Hebrew letters of Iyar are also an anagram for "ani Hashem rofecha" - "I, G-d, am your healer."
#1062 (s5778-31/ 1 Iyar 5778)
Birth on a Sifting-Bed and an Unexpected Name
The Tzemach Tzedek stood immobile with his face to the wall during the entire time of the delivery of his son, Shmuel.
Connection: Seasonal -- 2 Iyar --Tiferet sh'b'Tiferet--is the 184th anniversary of the birth of the Rebbe Maharash.
#1061 (s5778-30/ 24 Nissan 5778)
After 32 Years!
"When I arrived at the hall for the circumcision ceremony, I was amazed to find that instead of the average attendance of 30 people, there were a good 300 people milling about."
Connection: Weekly reading (in Israel) of Tazria-Metzorah -- the opening verses are about women giving birth, either to a boy or a girl.
#1060 (s5778-29/ 17 Nissan 5778)
Now You See Him, Now You Don't
Once, during Chol HaMoed, Rabbi Gershon Kittover noticed that his brother-in-law the Baal Shem Tov was not putting on tefillin during the morning prayers.
Connection: Seasonal -- Chol HaMoed: the "Intermediate" Days of Passover and Sukkot
#1059 (s5778-28/ 10 Nissan 5778)
Meeting the Rebbe from Paris, Israel and Lakewood, NJ
"I could not appreciate my father's intensity at the Seder until he disclosed the story of my birth."
Connections (2): Seasonal -- PESACH!; and Nissan 11 is the 116th anniversary of the birthday of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
#1058 (s5778-27/ 3 Nissan 5778)
Honoring the Young
When Reb Shmelke, the son of Rebbe Moshe Leib of Sassov, was still a young man he set out to study at the feet of Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, the Apter Rebbe.
Connection: Seasonal -- Nissan 5 is the 193rd yahrzeit of the Apter Rebbe.
#1057 (s5778-26/ 25 Adar 5778)
A Swimming Tip for Life
He was a sensitive boy and often felt homesick. Also, he found the yeshiva lacking in cleanliness and he didn't like the food. All this led him to become quite depressed.
Connection: Rosh Chodesh Nissan (which falls on this Shabbat) is almost exactly in between the yahrzeits of the two Rebbes in the story.
#1056 (s5778-25/ 18 Adar 5778)
Hospitality for Man and Beast
"Honored Rabbis," he cried out to Rabbi Elimelech and Rabbi Zusha. "Why have you done this to me?"
Connection: Seasonal: Wednesday night-Thursday is the 231st yahrzeit
of the Rebbe Elimelech of Lishinsk
#1055 (s5778-24/ 11 Adar 5778)
A Unique Present for the Bride
His mother was radiant with joy, but when she opened the package, her eyes bulged in astonishment.
#1054 (s5778-23/ 4 Adar 5778)
An Unusual Death-Bed Request
Every year, on the seventh of Adar, the yahrzeit of Moses, the members of the Jewish Burial Society have a custom to fast, and at nighttime they join together for a special large meal.
Connection: Seasonal -- Seventh of Adar
#1053 (s5778-22/ 28 Shevat 5778)
The Best Hiding Place
to his dismay, his children did not follow the Torah path. They all left Israel and moved to America to get away from their father and his strict religious ways.
Connection: Weekly Torah Reading of Trumah -- Donations!
#1052 (s5778-21/ 20 Shevat 5778)
Rewards for Refusing Rewards
"In eight days, the Jews of Prague must hand over the sum of 20,000 pieces of silver to the royal treasury, or else..."
Connection: Weekly Reading of Mishpatim -- Returning lost objects
(Ex. 23:4...see also Deut. 22:1-3)
#1051 (s5778-20/ 13 Shevat 5778)
Yaakov was the only religious person on the settlement. When the others played cards in the social hall in the evenings, he would be learning in the moshav's empty shul.
Connection: Weekly Reading of Yitro -- Shabbat observance is
the 4th of The Ten Commandments, which are read publically in all synagogues
this Shabbat. (And if his crops included wheat or barley, then there is also
a hint to the festival of Tu b'Shvat that is celebrated in the middle
of this week.)
#1050 (s5778-19/ 6 Shevat 5778)
Struck By Lightning
The Rebbe Rayatz requested to be met at the station by "a fine Jew," but not a Chabad chasid as that woulkd likely cause chaos.
Connection: Seasonal -- Friday is the 68th yahrzeit of Rabbi
Yosef-Yitzchak Shneersohn, the sixth Lubvitcher Rebbe.
#1049 (s5778-18/ 28 Tevet 5778)
The Medical Convoy
"The last yime I was here I was confined to a wheelchair; now I'm standing on my own two healthy feet!"
Connection: Seasonal -- Shabbat is the 34th yahrzeit/hilula of
Rabbi Yisrael ("Baba Sali") Abehatzeira
#1048 (s5778-17/ 21 Tevet 5778)
Brooklyn to France: Israel's Prime Minister on a Religious Mission
Upon his return, PM Menachem Begin remarked to one of the religious Knesset members, "Listen to what happened to me in America!"
Connection: Weekly Torah Reading of Va'eira, 2nd of three Readings
about the exile in Egypt. The sages teach that our merit before G-d to save
us was we did not change our Jewish names or clothing styles and we adhered
to the Jewish marriage laws.
#1047 (s5778-16/ 14 Tevet 5778)
Returning home, the rabbi foound his wife in tears, for she had heard about his visit to the stables.
Connections (2): Weekly Torah Reading -- "The Egyptians enslaved
the Jews with harsh labor to break them" (Ex. 1:13-14). Midrash: "They
made the males do female labors and the women do male labors" -- i.e. strange,
demeaning, inappropriate work. Seasonal: next week is the yahrzeit of Rabbi
Shneur Zalman, the first Chabad Rebbe.
#1046 (s5778-15/ 7 Tevet 5778)
Not a Simple Request
The desperate woman beseeched her Bnei Brak cousin, 'I know you are not chasidic at all, but please, when you are in NY, approach the Lubavitcher Rebbe on my behalf."
Connection: Weekly Torah Reading -- the Yissascher-Zevulin arrangement.
(Gen. 49:13 with Rashi's explanation)
#1045 (s5778-14/ 1 Tevet 5778)
Nazi Prisoner # 7-4-1-6
Jerry gasped. Yehuda responded curtly: "Surely you've seen concentration camp numbers on other survivors before."
#1044 (s5778-13/ 23 Kislev 5778)
The Patient Menorah
The Chanukah menorah stood prepared but unlit, even though it was past 10:00 at night.
Connection: Chanukah: Dec. 12-20
#1043 (s5778-12/16 Kislev 5778)
The Book that Solved and Saved
"Celebrate your people's New Year holiday," suggested my non-Jewish fiancee. "Go to synagogue, I'll show you where one is."
Connection: Thursday, Yud-Tet Kislev--the anniversary of the printing of the Tanya, the primary text of Chabad Chasidut, in 1796; the date of the liberation from prison of its author two years after; and the 246th yahrzeit of the Maggid of Mezritch, the second leader of the Chasidic movement and the Rebbe of Rabbi Shneur Zalman--falls this week on Wednesday night-Thursday.
#1042 (s5778-11/ 9 Kislev 5778)
No Place Like Home
After the Mittler Rebbe passed away on the 9th of the Jewish month of Kislev,1827, his son-in-law the Tzemach Tzedek refused to accept the mantle to become the third Chabad Rebbe.
Connection: Tuesday, Yud Kislev is the 190th yahrzeit (and simultaneously the 244th anniversary of his birth!) of Rabbi DovBer, the 2nd Rebbe of Chabad.
#1041 (s5778-10/ 2 Kislev 5778)
Connecting the Dots
She had been told that her only hope was a bone marrow transplant, for which the best chance is a close blood relative, but Mrs. Levy had none alive.
Connection: Weekly Reading of Vayetzei: "you are my bone and flesh" (Gen. 29:14")