Friday, 8 July 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - Tehillim Reminder

This weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is prepared as a thank you to Hashem for answers to tefillos for some on our Tehillim list.

There are so many incredible stories regarding the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel ben Levi Yitzhak (April 5, 1902 OS (some documents state the Rebbe was born in 1895) – June 12, 1994 NS). His life from birth till his Petira and beyond is filled with one story after another that makes one realise there is far more to the life of a rebbe and the connection of Tzaddikim to Am Yisrael.

This week contained a day many refer to just as Gimmel Tamuz, the Yartzeit of Rebbe Menachem Mendel ben Levi Yitzhak and so it is fitting to share a story.

Rav Zelilg Slonim was the director of Kollel Chabad for many years. At one stage he would spend his winters in America. Before every Pesach he would visit the Rebbe for a blessing and would receive Matzos to distribute to various rabbanim and individuals according to a list provided by the Rebbe. Among the names on the list was usually the name of the Tzaddik Rav Aryeh Levin.

One year, the Rebbe gave the matzos to distribute as usual, but when Rav Slonim looked at the list he noticed that Rav Aryeh Levin's name was missing from the list. Rav Slonim was surprised and mentioned to the Rebbe that Rav Aryeh Levin's name was not on the list. The Rebbe, in his modesty obliged and added the matzos for Rav Aryeh Levine. When Rav Slonim returned to Yerushalayim just prior to Pesach, he was amazed to discover that Rav Aryeh (March 22, 1885 - March 28, 1969) had returned his soul to Hashem a few days earlier.

Then he realised the far seeing vision of the Rebbe and understood why Rav Aryeh Levin was not on the list for matzos that year, he would no longer be requiring it. (From Rosh Bnei Yisrael by N.T. Gotleib)

The Rebbe was very firm about the importance of appropriate Chinuch (Jewish education) for our children. Here is a letter the Rebbe wrote to someone regarding what language is most appropriate to teach our children. The Rebbe answers:

 "You ask which language to use in teaching the children Talmud Torah.

In my opinion, the emphasis should be on educating the children to be G-d fearing, on loving to learn Hashem's Torah and performing His mitzvos. If a particular language will affect the child's Yiras Shamayim (fear of Heaven), that is wonderful. Of course, in the middle of the school year, it is not proper to change the studies from one language to another.

If the parents desire a certain language, suggest to them that, based on a majority vote that is the language that will be used in the classroom.

The parents mention the great importance of learning in Yiddish. True, however they fail to realize that the responsibility of teaching children to speak Yiddish is theirs and not the school's!

Most importantly, I was informed of the misconduct of the children on days when there is not school. They are acting without menschlikheit. It is most relevant for the parents to alter their "Yiddish" campaign and to place the emphasis upon saying simple blessings, davening, respecting teachers, parents and grandparents and upon basic decent behaviour towards people.  (Yagdil Torah (Israel) Volume 12 p 16 )

The names for this week are to be found on 

Wishing everyone a very good and restful Shabbos.


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