Chabad Lubavitch of Mid-Hudson Valley Newsletter
A word from the Rabbi
This coming Shabbat, January 15th, the 10th of Shvat, is the anniversary of passing (yahrtzeit) of the sixth Lubavitcher
Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950) of righteous memory.
The Previous Rebbe singlehandedly battled the mighty Communist Soviet Empire to keep Judaism alive in Russia. He was subsequently arrested and sentenced to death. His sentence was commuted and he arrived in the Unites States in 1940, in his words, to show that “America is not different”, and that Jewish life could thrive in America. He began the massive outreach work that was built upon and broadened to unbelievable heights by his son-in-law and successor, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneersohn.
This day also is the day on which the Rebbe ascended to the leadership of Chabad in 1951, one year after his father-in-laws passing. He changed the entire scope and direction of Jewish life in every corner of the globe.
This coming Shabbat is thus a day to take upon oneself good resolutions in Torah study and Mitzvah observance. Many thousands will be visiting the resting place of both Rebbes.
Anyone wishing to give in their Hbrew name and mother’s name for a blessing to be mentioned at the resting place of the Rebbe, can call the Rabbi @ 463-5801 or e-mail to email@example.com.
This Shabbat is also called “Shabbat Shirah” (the Shabbat of Song), as this week’s Torah portion, B’Shalach, contains the song that the Jewish People sang as they crossed the Red Sea. This song, “Az Yashir”, is said every day in our Morning Prayers, and is traditionally recited by the entire congregation together on this Shabbat.
On this Shabbat it is also customary to leave out food for the birds. We do this in appreciation for them eating up the Manna that two wicked Jews, Datan and Aviram, purposely left out on Shabbat morning so as to make a mockery of Moshe’s statement that the Manna would not fall on Shabbat (making him a liar).
If we need to show appreciation to the birds for their kindness, who are not kind by choice, how much more so must we appreciate the kindness that our fellow man, who has free choice and makes a conscious decision to do kindness, does for us. Indeed, appreciation is a fundamental of Jewish life and part of being a mentsch.
Sunday Morning – Hebrew School classes from 10:00 AM – 12:15 PM.
For information on our Hebrew School, or our curriculum or to enroll your child, please call Hindy at 463-5801 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Chabad Hebrew School will be starting a Jewish Lending Library so that children can take home Jewish books to read and be inspired by them.
We are in need of a nice bookcase to house the many books, which will be geared to children of all children.
If you can help out with setting up the books or library, or if you would like to dedicate a book in honor of a loved one, please call Hindy at 463-5801.
BLT-BAGELS, LOX AND TORAH
(and TEFILIN too!)
A round table discussion of relevant Jewish and current topics. All are welcome.
Sunday Mornings: 9:00 AM at the Chabad Center, 63 Vassar Rd
Torah & Tea
A warm, informal class taught by Hindy Borenstein that covers relevant topics from the weekly Torah portion or other timely events and issues and how they relate to our personal lives. Topics may vary.
Location: Chabad Center, 63 Vassar Rd, Poughkeepsie
Call us to let us know you are coming at 463-5801 or e-mail email@example.com
TU B’SHVAT CELEBRATION
FRUIT FOR THOUGHT-NURTURING YOUR INNER GARDEN
Join us for an inspiring Tu B’Shvat evening, featuring various dishes containing the special fruits of the land of Israel.
Date: Thursday evening, January 20.
Location: Home of Rabbi Yacov and Hindy Borenstein, 36 Pleasant Ridge Dr, P’ok.
Everyone is welcome, but kindly RSVP by calling the Rabbi or Hindy 463-5801 or e-mail
Chabad of Mid Hudson Valley offers new classes in February:
LETTERS OF LIGHT: MYSTICAL INSIGHTS INTO THE LETTERS OF THE HEBREW ALPHABET
The 22 letters of the Hebrew Alphabet are the letters in which our Holy Torah was written. They are also the building blocks G-d used to create heaven and earth.
This course will explore the mystical meaning and unique insights contained in some of these sacred letters and lessons which will provide wisdom and guidance for every aspect of our lives.
In two locations:
Four consecutive Mondays. February 7, 14, 21 and 28 at 7:30 PM
Location: office of Dr. Leon Krakower, 19 East Market St, Red Hook
Four consecutive Wednesdays. February 2, 9, 16 and 23 at 7:30 PM
Location: Chabad Center, 63 Vassar Rd., Poughkeepsie
Course instructor: Hindy Borenstein
A requested donation of $5 per class is requested. To RSVP for the course or for more information please call Chabad at 463-5801 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
5 WEEK HEBREW READING CRASH COURSE
Come learn the language of your people! Learn a language that is over 5,000 years old in 5 lessons! Impress your friends and make your kids (and yourself) proud! Learn to read and pray in Hebrew and to study the Torah in its original language. Even if you don’t know an Aleph from a Bet, this 5 week crash course will teach you how to read Hebrew comfortably.
The course will take place on 5 consecutive Tuesdays: February 1, 8, 15, 22 & March 1, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM.
Instructor: Rabbi Yacov Borenstein
Registration is required. There will be a fee to cover the cost of learning materials. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.
In this week’s Torah portion we read of the Jewish people’s exodus from Egypt and the splitting of the Red Sea.
It’s an interesting phenomenon — the splitting of the sea. Our Sages note that there is in fact more life in the sea than on dry land; “all that exists on dry land has its counterpart under water.” But there’s a basic difference between the two. Our atmosphere is transparent; when we look around us we see right through the air (except for maybe in the LA smog), and we are able to discern the myriads of entities that exist within it.
When we look at the sea, on the other hand, we see nothing at all of the treasures hidden within. “The waters cover the sea”; all that is visible to the human eye is the covering, the atmosphere, while the true reality of life underwater is completely concealed.
In many ways, our day to day life resembles the watery world of the sea. We know that there is a spiritual undercurrent to everything around us, that a Divine life force pulses throughout all of creation. But when we look through our material perception, we don’t see it. We see a physical world–an outer shell. We fail to see past the covering “waters” to the vibrant realities of life hidden underneath.
What really happened when the sea was split? Sure, it was a momentous miracle; a supernatural event of almost unparalleled proportions. But that’s not really what it was all about. The sea splitting was a moment of revelation. “A maidservant at the Red Sea saw more than the prophet Ezekiel.” It was a moment when the sea of concealment, the sea of confusion, the sea of temporal reality split, and for that moment the Jewish people perceived the mysteries that lay within. It was a sublime moment of Divine revelation, an integral part of the process of redemption leading from the Exodus through to the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai and the building of the Tabernacle.
But like everything else in the Torah, the splitting of the sea is not just a moment in history. It is alive and poignant; it is something that we can and must recreate in our own lives. We need to split the sea: We need to get beyond the outer shell of reality that often confuses us and leads us astray, and focus on the true meaning of life, on what is really important. And when we do that, it is indeed a moment of salvation. We may not have bloodthirsty ancient Egyptians at our backs, but we are in danger of being drowned at their hands. The word Mitzrayim (Egypt) relates to the word Meitzarim (boundaries or limitations). Our own perception of enslavement, our own fear of breaking out and living to our fullest potential, is indeed the Egypt of our day; it attempts to strangle us, to drown us and hold us back. Only splitting the sea and perceiving reality as it truly is allows us to escape from that self-induced shortsightedness and become who we really are.
Rabbi & Mrs Yacov Borenstein
|The New Extension to the Chabad Center|
|To view it in full scale, click on image.
If you wish to dedicate or contribute for the New Bais Chabad Center please call the Rabbi for an appointment.