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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 2 Av 5777


The first Lubavitch/Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, author of the Tanya and Code of Jewish Law, once remarked that a Jew must "live with the times." His son explained the meaning: A Jew must live with the Torah portion of the week - i.e., he must assimilate the lessons of the weekly Torah portion
Shabbos Above Exile
During the three-week mourning period between the 17th of Tamuz and the 9th of Av, we observe various mourning customs. The exception is on Shabbos, when it is forbidden to show signs of mourning. Even when the 9th of Av falls itself on Shabbos, we do not fast and in fact make Shabbos a bit more festive than usual to emphasize that the day is holy and not for mourning.
Chassidic teachings explain that Shabbos is the cure before the disease. It is a source of divine blessing to assuage and uproot the pain of the “three weeks.” Shabbos will ultimately heal the wounds of exile until no trace will remain.
Shabbos has this power because it is a foretaste of the future Redemption. When Moshiach comes, it will be revealed that all the negative events of exile actually served a positive purpose. Shabbos, which is above exile to begin with, brings us closer to that time of revelation.
On the Shabbos before the 9th of Av we read the Torah portion of Devarim. On the one hand it is filled with words of rebuke which highlight the negative about the Jewish people—which parallels the three-week mourning period. But the rebuke has a positive purpose—paralleling the Shabbos, which reveals the positive intent behind the suffering of exile. The rebuke shows us the path to correct ourselves and bring about the Redemption.
(The Rebbe, Likutei Sichos vol. 4)

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Teach Your Children
The Torah commands us to “teach your children,” which on a basic level refers to the obligation of a father to teach his son Torah. However, Rashi in his commentary demonstrates that students are like children, so this commandment encompasses the obligation of every teacher to teach students.
This commandment impacts both the relationship of the teacher to the students as well as the students towards the teacher. If the teacher is like their father, they are obligated to show him the same respect they show their father.
The job of a teacher is to help his students develop their intellect and provide them with the tools and principles that will enable them to learn on their own. A teacher must challenge his students by showing both sides of an issue and teaching them how to resolve contradictions.
This is why the term “v’shinantam” is used for “teaching.” It means to teach our students in an orderly way, to have the words of Torah ingrained in them so clearly that if they are asked any question they can respond coherently with no need to stammer. A teacher must not suffice with giving over the lesson once or twice, but must repeat it over and over until the students understand it well. He must show dedication and responsibility to his students no less than a father to his son.
When the prophet Elijah ascended to heaven, his student Elisha witnessed it and cried, “Father, father, the chariot of Israel and its rider.” Through the dedicated teachers of Torah we will merit the revelation of Elijah who will herald the final Redemption.
(The Rebbe, Likutei Sichot vol. 9)

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