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Ki Teitzei-Never Forget

Friday, 20 August, 2021 - 8:30 am

 Ki Teitzei-Never Forget

NY City Candle lighting 7:28 PM     Shabbat ends 8:28 PM
For worldwide times on the web go to  www.chabadgn.com/Candles  and adjust the location.


Shalom and Bracha!

    May Hashem bless and protect the Jewish people in the land of Israel and throughout the world and bless you, your entire family and all those who are dear to you with a healthy, happy, successful, joyous, fulfilling and prosperous New Year and may we see the redemption through the coming of Moshiach immediately!

  The first verse in the portion begins “When you will go out to war upon your enemies and Hashem your G-d will place them in your hand. The usage of the term “upon” rather than with or against is unusual. As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we seek to better ourselves and overcome our internal enemies. It is important to realize that all of the claims that our negative side presents have no validity or meaning and no status of equality with our noble goals. Thus we are above our enemies (upon) rather than equal (with). Further, Hashem is fully behind us and so our enemy is totally outgunned. In a deeper sense, all of our challenges come from above in order that we overcome them. By remembering the divine purpose of our enemies, we have strength to overcome them.

  Further in the portion the Torah teaches that when a camp goes forth upon your enemy you must avoid all evil and your camp must be holy. The camp against our enemy alludes to our efforts to share Judaism with our estranged brethren and bring them closer to their heritage. One might think that success will come through lowering our standards. The Torah teaches just the opposite, we need to intensify our own Judaism to succeed with others.

  In this week’s portion, Ki Teitzei, the Torah commands us to remember three things: the story of Miriam, that we were slaves in Egypt, and the story of Amalek. As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, the very concept of remembering has a special importance, as do each of the three specific remembrances.

   The Musaf prayer of Rosh Hashanah is unique in that we say three special blessings rather than a single blessing as said every Shabbat and holiday. The middle of these three blessings is Zichronot (remembrances), in which we request that Hashem remember His covenant with the Jewish people and remember us in a positive light. We affect this through our remembering Hashem. The Rambam writes in Hilchot Teshuva (3:4) “Although the blowing of the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah is a divine decree, there is a hidden meaning: Sleepers! Awake from your slumber and return in Teshuvah and remember your creator! This refers to those who forget the truth through distraction throughout the year.” When we remember who we are and our role in the purpose of Creation, we return to Hashem and to the ways of the Torah. We remember to fulfill our good resolutions of the past and make even better ones for the future.

  The Torah commands us to remember when Miriam was punished with leprosy for rebuking Moshe. Although her intent was good, her reproach lacked the necessary respect. This is a critical lesson as we approach Rosh Hashanah. Concern for each other is the pillar of our people. As such, while we seek to improve ourselves, we must also encourage others to become closer to Hashem. However, it is imperative that when we encourage others, we do so in a respectful manner. If not, we may distance the person rather than bringing them closer and commit a grave sin rather than an act of good.

  The remembrance of the Egyptian slavery is mentioned twice, once concerning the prohibition of taking a widow’s garment as security for a loan (24; 18), and once concerning the commandments to leave various parts of the harvest for the poor (24; 22). The underlying theme in both is to remember and internalize that everything in the world belongs to Hashem and we must both share our possessions and use them respectfully towards others. As we seek to correct our ways, we are hindered by our love for our possessions. The remembrance that everything belongs to Hashem allows us to overcome this nature. Further, the remembrance that we were slaves teaches us to fulfill all commandments of compassion with empathy. This exemplifies Ahavat Yisrael, loving your fellow Jew as yourself. The remembrance of the Redemption from Egypt strengthens our resolve and confidence that Hashem will help us in our personal Exodus from our own negativity and empower us beyond our personal capabilities.

  Amalek is the first nation to have attacked the Jewish people and the Torah commands that we erase their memory. In describing Amalek, the Torah uses the words “Asher Karcha Baderech,” which means “who cooled you on the path.” By attacking the Jewish people after the Exodus, they cooled their enthusiasm. Each evil nation represents a negative trait within us. As we approach Rosh Hashanah, just as we begin to take real steps to improve ourselves, our Amalek comes to us and says wait! Take it easy! What’s the rush? You’ve been on the wrong path for so long and you’ve been just fine! Cool down! The Torah enjoins us to eradicate these thoughts and replace the chilliness within us with fire. The Rebbe notes that the word Karcha is related to the word Mikreh, coincidence. Amalek wants us to view the world and the occurrences of our lives as coincidences, destroying our faith and our fervor. When we remember the hand of Hashem in everything, we defeat our private Amalek.

The final war against Amalek will be in the times of Moshiach. May we merit his coming immediately!

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Biggs

In merit of Jack Beyda and the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah.
May the inner light of Torah guide him to be a shining star amongst his people.

 The eve of Rosh Hashanah is September 6th, ushering in the New Year and a month of
wonderful holidays. Many families need financial help to celebrate the holidays properly.
Please donate generously to the Chabad holiday fund at the address below or contact me at [email protected] to donate by credit card.

This coming Thursday is Chai Elul


The Rebbe Rayatz relates that there are two versions of a traditional Chassidic aphorism:
"Chai Elul breathes vitality into Elul," and "Chai Elul breathes vitality into the service of
'I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine.


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