News from Chabad Lubavitch of Mid Hudson Valley July 8, 2011

Chabad Lubavitch of Mid-Hudson Valley Newsletter

Friday July 8, 2011 

    Tamuz 6, 5771

 

Parshat Balak

 

Pirkai Avot chapter 5

A word from the Rabbi

logo

B’H

LETTERS OF LIGHT:

THE KABBALAH OF THE HEBREW ALPHABET (Class #4)

Tuesday July 12, at 7:30 PM at the Chabad Center, 63 Vassar Rd., Poughkeepsie
kabbalah class

kabbalah class

Please click on picture to enlarge
Dear Friends,

The Torah portion Balak relates how Balak, king of Moav, hired the prophet Bilam to curse the Jewish people. G-d, however, frustrated the king’s scheme and caused Bilam to utter praises and blessings of the Jewish people.

Among Bilam’s words of praise and blessing, we find the following: “I see him [Israel] from the peak of flintrocks, and gaze upon him from the heights; it is a nation dwelling alone, entirely dissimilar to other nations.”

What is the connection between the two parts of the verse?

In explaining the words: “I see him [Israel] from the peak of flintrocks,” Rashi comments: “I gaze upon their beginnings and their roots, and see them braced and as strong as these flintrocks and rocky heights, on account of their Patriarchs and Matriarchs.” Bilam’s statement was thus allegorical.

When something is so profound that it cannot be understood or explained directly, it becomes necessary to draw an analogy from something less profound.

Here too, Bilam found it necessary to compare the Jewish people to flintrocks, though, in truth, they are much stronger than that.

Wherein lies this great strength?

The true power of a Jew lies not in his physical might but in his spiritual prowess, particularly his power of mesirus nefesh (self sacrifice), a submission to the Divine that is so profound that he is willing to lay down his life if necessary for the realization of G-d’s will.

The soul that possesses the power of self sacrifice is referred to as “the peak of flintrocks.”

This power emanates from a Jew’s mighty, firm and immutable faith in G-d, a faith so powerful that a Jew will offer his very life in order not to renounce G-d.

Rashi thus states “I gaze upon their beginnings and their initial roots and see them braced and as strong as these flintrocks and rocky heights, on account of their Patriarchs and Matriarchs,” for the strength of

self sacrifice is passed on to all Jews from the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.

The power of self sacrifice is entirely different from the strength of mundane matter. In the physical realm, strength means that a corporeal entity exists in a powerful manner. Self sacrifice , however, presupposes the very opposite of being – the complete nullification of self.

The Alter Rebbe thus explains that the power to act with self sacrifice is a byproduct of G-d’s shining within every Jewish soul, for self sacrifice flies in the face of nature; a living creature doesn’t do things that cause its own negation.

This then is the connection between the two parts of the verse: “I see him [Israel]from the peak of flintrocks … it is a nation dwelling alone, entirely dissimilar to other nations:”

Their power of self sacrifice causes the Jewish people to be entirely alone, wholly unlike other nations.

Since the power of self sacrifice is a gift granted from Above, it is not subject to the vagaries of time and space. Thus, although other traits transmitted from generation to generation may wane with time, the power of self sacrifice that Jews receive from the Patriarchs and Matriarchs is immutable.

Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi & Mrs Yacov Borenstein
www.chabadmidhudsonvalley.com

The Rebbe
rebbe

To learn more about the Rebbe, click on the picture above.

 Candle Lighting Times

 for
 Poughkeepsie, NY   
Shabbat Candles
Friday, July 8 

Light Candles at
8:14 PM
  
Shabbat ends at
9:23 PM
Upcoming Events
Shabbat Services 

10:00 AM
followed by a delecious kiddush
Women’s Torah class:
Wednesday Mornings
Quick Links

Donate Now
Donate Now

Join Our Mailing List

Mazal Tov
chabad house
If you would like to include a Mazal Tov please call
(845) 463-5801
or e-mail: chabadmidhudsonvly@prodigy.net
Mikvah
Ask The Rabbi
You have a question?

Ask the Rabbi,
email
or call
(845) 463-5801 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Chabad Lubavitch of Mid-Hudson Valley, Dutchess county, Jewish, Mid-Hudson Valley, religion, religious services, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s