ULY Hosts Interactive Father Son Learning Experience

In HaYom Yom of Chof Beis Teves the Rebbe writes:

“……… It is an absolute duty for every person to spend a half hour every day thinking about the Torah-education of children, and to do everything in his power – and beyond his power – to inspire children to follow the path along which they are being guided.”

It is with this directive in mind that Fathers were invited to come join Kitah Bais, Lubavitcher Yeshiva, on Thursday morning from 10:00 – 11:00am for an interactive father – son learning experience. Fathers came to share the Chumash lesson experience by working together with their sons on the skill building worksheets that accompany each possuk. It was hard to tell who was working harder and enjoying the experience more the fathers of the talmidim?

The great turnout response provided the opportunity for fathers to get a first hand view of their son’s class, sharing the experience together.

More pictures in the Extended Article!

Vayigash: Tears to and End – A Time to Cry, A Time to Act

by Rabbi Yoseph Kahanov Shliach to Jacksonville, FL

The unmistakable echo of hulking boots pounding the pavement was enough to strike terror into the hearts of the small band of Chassidim gathered in a dimly lit basement in the Russian city of Samarkand.

The purpose of the gathering was a “Farbrengen,” a Chassidic get-together meant to encourage and inspire one another in the pursuit of spirituality and Divine service. Such gatherings were obviously utterly outlawed in communist Russia and punishable by unthinkable penalty.

As the Farbrengen lingered into the wee hours of the night the discussion was heightened and the atmosphere intense. A number of younger Chassidim were weeping bitterly as they poured out their hearts to the presiding Mashpia (spiritual mentor) regarding their deficient spiritual state.

Teachers Training Course Kicks Off

CROWN HEIGHTS [CHI] — A larger than expected group of prospective teachers attended the orientation for the Teacher Training Program which was held at Beis Eliezer Yitzchok. This launched the 5769 semester of Teacher Training Program run by the Menachem Education Foundation (M.E.F.). The M.E.F. was created in order to “raise the bar of Jewish education by professionally training teachers”

More pictures in the Extended Article!

Chabad Chanukah Fun In Denmark

COPENHAGEN, Denmark [CHI] — Chanukah began with a family Talmud Torah party for children and their parents, at the Chabad house, enjoying a myriad of Chanukah activities. On the second night of Chanukah, a grand Menorah lighting celebration was held, with the Israeli ambassador and other local dignitarie participating. Despite the high wind and cold weather, a few hundred people showed up to participate. It was covered extensively in the local media. A Chanukah celebration was also held in the legislative chamber of Copenhagen City council, which was open for the general public. For many people it was the first time inside this historic room, and definitely the first time it hosted a Chanukah celebration, including delicious food and entertainment for the children.

Some more pictures in the Extended Article!

City Will Slash That Parking Fine, if You Ask

NEW YORK, NY — In a city of markdowns, where bargains are prized, New York officials have been offering sharply reduced fines on parking tickets for almost three years and, remarkably, the deep discounts have gone largely unnoticed.

Any driver who challenges a parking ticket — in person, in writing or online — is offered a substantial, guaranteed reduction for most fines, under a program the city quietly introduced in 2005.

Time Stops At Nightlife – Girls Get Together for Illusions and a Memorable Chanukah Party

CROWN HEIGHTS [CHI] — A dazzling display of illusions highlighted Nightlife’s Chanukah event on the third night of Chanukah where Marc’s side-splitting performance included mind reading, bending silverware and controlling time on a watch. For many young ladies living in, or visiting Crown Heights, Nightlife is an oasis in time where all the pressures, struggles and even boredom are checked at the door. Forget about schoolwork or dealing with problems. Nightlife is the place to relax. Or learn. Or talk. Or play games. Or dance. Or get inspired. Or sing. Or meet people.

Shliach Visits Israelis Wounded in Denmark Shooting

ODENSE, Denmark [CHI] — Rabbi Yitzi Lowenthal Shliach to Denmark, visited the two Israelis wounded in Wednesdays shooting in a mall in Odense, about 160 km from Copenhagen. Despite shooting 5 or more shots fired, the two Israelis were only wounded in the leg and arm. The one wounded in the arm, had surgery, and will require surgery again soon. He managed to throw a chair at the shooter, thereby confusing his aim. The shooter has been apprehended by Danish police

Continued in the Extended Article

Hei Teves Farbrengen at Bais Shmuel

CROWN HEIGHTS [CHI] — Bais Shmuel held a Farbrengen in honor of Hei Teves, with Rabbi Dovid Dubov Shliach to Princeton. He farbrenged with the assembled and inspired them regarding pertinent issues. When Rabbi Dubov left, Rabbi Yossi Jacobson, Rov of the Shul took over the Farbrengen and they Farbrengened with mispalalim and other Yungerlite until late in the night.

More pictures in the Extended Article!

The Weekly Sedra – Parshas Vayigash

by Rabbi Shalom Goldberg

The Rebbe says:

1. Towards the end of this week’s Torah portion the Torah tells us that Yakov Avinu (Jacob our forefather) traveled down to Egypt to see his son Yoseph Hatzadik (Joseph the righteous one).

The Torah tells us that before Yakov Avinu went down to Egypt he sent his son Yehuda ahead of him to set up a Yeshiva (a Jewish institution for Torah study) there first because Yakov Avinu did not want to go to a land that did not have a Yeshiva ready.

2. The Rebbe now stresses how important it was for Yakov Avinu to have a Yeshiva ready for him in Egypt:

The fact that Yakov Avinu did not want to go down to Egypt unless there was a Yeshiva there ready for him is especially significant because Hashem (G-d) had already promised Yakov Avinu that He would go down to Egypt with him. In other words, even though Hashem had told Yakov Avinu that He would be with him in Egypt, Yakov Avinu did not rely on this alone and he still needed to set up a Yeshiva there before he even got there.

Young Chevra Members Attended Memorial Event

LOS ANGELES, CA [CHI] — Tuesday, December 30th, 8:00pm, over one hundred young Lubavitchers throughout Southern California came together at the Loews S. Monica Hotel to commemorate the 30th day following the untimely deaths of Rabbi Gabrielle and Rivka Holtzberg; the Chabad emissaries who were killed during the Mumbai terror attacks.

Op-Ed: Bayis Molei Seforim

By Yonason Gordon

Illustration Photo – A baby playing next to a bookshelf full of Seforim

Much is being said about the state of book buying and learning. But if we are going to discuss seforim, we should really look back to Hei Teves—the victory of the seforim. Put simply, the message the Rebbe conveyed at that time was that we should do more:

“In recent years great and wonderful things in the area of spreading Yiddishkeit have been accomplished … If so, the question is raised, why was it necessary that in this era and in this area there should be a problem?”

Neshei U’bnos Chabad – iNow, The World is Ready!

For more than 40 hours, we held our breaths. Who could breathe, who could function, with our very own ‒ Jews, Lubavitchers, shluchim ‒ hostage?

Sifrei kodesh bullet ridden; a Chabad House full of blood and bodies. We all davened, pleading with Hashem, each in our own way . . . and then we heard the terrible fatal news.

The shock, the pain, the tears we cried, the denials we threw up to Hashem. But it’s easy to forget, distracted by the very normalcy of our lives.

Thousands at Florida Chanukah Festival

by Reuven Arazi

HALLANDALE, FL [CHI] — A record breaking crowd of 12,0000 men, women and children participated in the 29th annual South Florida Chassidic Chanukah Festival, at Gulfstream Park and Casino in Hallandale Beach.

The evening was dedicated to Rabbi and Mrs Gavriel Holzberg and the victims of the Mumbai Massacre. Star performances were put on by child prodigy Ethan Bortnick and Avraham Fried. Greetings to the Festival were sent by President Bush and Governor Crist. Proclamations were issued by Broward County, and the cities of Hollywood and Hallandale.The Proclamations called for 107 days to increase in goodness and kindness, from December 20th till 11 Nissan.

More pictures in the Extended Article!

Zoglobek Negotiating to Purchase Agriprocessors

POSTVILLE, IA [VIN] — The general director and one of the owners of Zoglobek company, Eli Zoglobek, is presently negotiating to purchase the Agriprocessors meat plant owned by the Rubashkin family, which supplies 60% of the American kosher meat market, and has a $400 million annual turnover. This is according to Israeli Hebrew Newspaper Sha’ah Tovah.

Video of the Day! – L’Chaim!

This weeks Living Torah, titled “L’Chaim” (Volume 57, Episode 225)

Living Torah is a member supported project Become a member today at LivingTorah.org

Also available with Hebrew, French, Russian and Spanish subtitles in the Extended Article.

Mayanot Birthright Trips Continue Despite Operations in Gaza

Tim Townsend – St Louis Post-Dispatch

JERUSALEM, Israel — Lindenwood University senior Ben Joseph Woods landed in Israel two weeks ago expecting, in his words, “to bop around the country and visit friends.” What he didn’t expect was to be caught in the middle of renewed violence between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas militants in Gaza.

Editorial: And The Living Shall Take Heart . . .

By Rabbi Yehuda (Yudel) Krinsky from Lubavitch.com

Thursday marked the shloshim, or the 30-day mourning period following the murders of Rabbi Gabi and Rivka Holtzberg. Within the world of Chabad-Lubavitch, the day will be thoughtfully marked with prayers, tzedaka and mitzvahs.

The tragedy in Mumbai made international headlines and was followed by millions. But for the immediate families of the victims, it is a devastatingly personal, private calamity. While the rest of us move on as move on we must, Gabi’s and Rivka’s parents and siblings, and those of the other victims, will need to negotiate their grief and loss in the privacy of their own hearts. G-d alone can heal their great sorrow, but they will be with us in our daily thoughts, our prayers, and our actions.