Showing posts from January, 2020

Diffusion of the Rebbe

This week is a big week for Chabad.  Wednesday marks 70 years since the Rebbe became Rebbe.  Many people wonder why we're celebrating the day on which the Rebbe took over leadership of Chabad if he passed away 26 years ago.  People also wonder why Chabad hasn't appointed a new Rebbe. The simple answer to the second question is because his shoes can't be filled.  There's a deeper answer though, which answers the first question too. Even before officially becoming Rebbe, he would give the honor of officiating weddings with certain conditions.  About 12 years into his leadership, he officially stopped, due to lack of time.  At the same time, he encouraged people to have their wedding ceremony outside of his office, would listen in on occasion, and assured couples that this was "the same" as him performing the wedding.  About 20 years later, he stopped giving private audiences (yechidus), again because of time constraints, but started giving out dollars on Su

Faith vs. Trust by Rabbi Wagner

R’ Shmuel Strashun, the ReSHaSH, was a talmid chochom as well as a man of means, who is known for his commentary on gemoro. He lived in Vilna, where he spent his time studying Torah and giving shiurim, while his wife ran their business ventures which were very successful. Once, he had a debate with R’ Yisroel Salanter, who was his contemporary. The argued about bitachon, and, specifically, whether one may have bitachon about something that is not a necessity but merely a luxury. The ReSHaSH argued that if something is needed, then you are justified in trusting in Hashem to provide you with it. But if you don’t need something, then what basis can you possibly have to expect, let alone be certain, that Hashem will give it to you. R’ Yisroel Salanter, however, disagreed. He insisted that if you trust in Hashem, He will come through for you, and there are no limitations on what you may have bitochon for. They each tried to support their position, but were unable to reach a resolutio

A thought on Politics

I can feel already that 2020 is going to be a major year for Chabad of Temecula.  We're making progress on the property and hope to have more to share in around a month, but be sure that lots is happening behind the scenes.  2020 will also be an election year, and if we don't have enough politics in our lives already, we can look forward to much more this year.  Chabad stays out of politics.  Not that we don't have personal opinions or that the issues aren't important, but so many other good organizations are involved in politics and our work transcends political issues or parties. Many religious organizations are heavily involved in politics, precisely because the issues are so important.  People invoke "Jewish values" "Christian values" or any other religious or moral value into the conversation to argue why their political views are correct.  What are these "Jewish or other values" that are being attributed to their political party?  If