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Chabad of Uptown and personal diary updates! Please comment on our posts, we would love to hear from you!

3 reasons to Shabbat! | Wed. Guest Speaker

There are three reasons to Shabbos this week!

  1. Keeping Shabbos guards our brethern in Israel from harm.
  2. We complete the book of Bamidbar for a Shabbos Chazak
  3. It is Shabbos Mevarchim, blessing the new Month of Av. 

This Monday we will have our monthly Rosh Chodesh minyan and breakfast sponsored by the Melnik family, for the month of Av at 6:45 am. Let us know if we can count on you for a minyan.

It also begins the "Nine Days Period". It says "When Av begins, we diminish [our] rejoicing" (Talmud, Taanit 26b). On the 1st of Av, " The Three Weeks" mourning period over the destruction of the Holy Temple--which began 13 days earlier on Tammuz 17--enters an intensified stage. During "The Nine Days" from Av 1st to the Ninth of Av, a heightened degree of mourning is observed, including abstention from meat and wine, music, bathing for pleasure, and other joyous and enjoyable activities. (The particular mourning customs vary from community to community, so consult a competent Halachic authority for details).

Consumption of meat and wine is permitted on Shabbat, or at a Seudat Mitzvah(obligatory festive meal celebrating the fulfillment of a mitzvah) such as a Bris (circumcision), or a "Siyum" celebrating the completion of a course of Torah study (i.e., a complete Talmudic tractate). The Lubavitcher Rebbe initiated the custom of conducting or participating in a Siyum on each of the Nine Days (even if one does not avail oneself of the dispensation to eat meat).

Citing the verse (Isaiah 1:27) "Zion shall be redeemed with mishpat [Torah] and its returnees with Tzedakah," the Rebbe urged that we increase in Torah study (particularly the study of the laws of the Holy Temple) and charity during this period. Links: When and (How) to be

This Wednesday's young professionals dinner, class & social we will have a guest speaker Manya Lazaroff of Chabad in College Station. Topic: Does it matter what I think? - Morality of thought, speech & action.

Next week is also First Friday, August 1, is also August "First Fridays" - Holiest Happy Hour!!

  • Mazel tov to Layn & Beatrice Chess on the birth of baby girl!
  • Mazel tov Ori & Sara Getz on the birth of a baby boy!
  • Mazel tov Chanie for a niece born to her sister Raizy & Rabbi Mendel Rubin or Albany, NY! 

PARSHA: Leadership at a Time of Crisis

In Judaism, leadership is not a luxury but a necessity. Ours is a small and intensely vulnerable people. Inspired, we rise to greatness. Uninspired, we fall. more...


A New Jersey Rabbi’s Visit to Israel Moves a Community to Action 
When Rabbi Moshe Gourarie, co-director of Chabad of Toms River, N.J., with his wife, Chanie, invited community members to a special Shabbat dinner last Friday to hear about his recent trip in Israel, he hadn’t planned on it being more than a briefing. What happened next, is inspiring. more...

Shabbos Mevarchim, Chazak Parshas Maasei



Friday, July 25
Services at 7:30 pm
Candle Lighting at 8:02 pm

Shabbos, July 26
Shabbos Mevarchim Tehillim at 8:30 am 
Services at 10 am
Followed by Shabbos Mevarchim Chazak Kiddush & Farbrengen
Mincha at 8:00 pm
Maariv, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 8:58 pm
Living Torah

Have a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Follow us on FacebookTwitter & YouTube @youngchabad!

Reality TV show about (my) Chabad family


A few months ago, we were approached by a producer from major reality TV network, TLC, to do a reality TV show on Rabbi Chaim (and perhaps our family) to highlight the subculture of America, Chassidim in Texas, as a comedy. Unbeknownst to me, for a while, they have been following us on social media, YouTube, etc. and found us to be the right fit for them.

Although it could have a major impact on the perception of Chabad, chassidim, Jewish people and religion, making it more accessible etc, and getting the approval and blessings from significant chassidim personalities, after much contemplation and consultation, we decided against it.

Besides for the obvious concerns about editorial rights, we did not want to subject ourselves and our family to be the subject of entertainment. Not that we shirk the public light, we do that every day. But, the shallow world of Hollywood today, especially in reality TV, puts people's private lives out in the open about things that are best kept private.

Rabbi Moishe Gourarie Chabad Toms River Israel SoldierHashem tells us in the Torah, "And you shall be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation". The sages compare this to a nation of princes. Of course, princes live a public life, but, private lives belong in the home and not beamed into the world's living rooms.

There is no place on Earth where the priestly nation is more tied to, than the Land of Israel. We have witnessed open miracles in the past 10 days. Not only the miracle of the iron dome, but, the minimal bodily harm that the rockets have had, and the ability to spot and stop potential terrorist infiltration by land, tunnel and sea, is truly Hashem's eyes watching over us, "from the beginning of the year, until the end of the year". As we speak the IDF is making a bold incursion into Gaza. May Hashem protect them, the holy soldiers of the IDF, and the entire people of Israel, from all harm.

Engage and speak up for the right for Israel to defend itself to your friends, associates and on social media. Contact your congressman and telling him how much you appreciate the congress support of Israel and helping fund Iron Dome.

But, today is my (Rabbi Chaim's) Jewish birthday, and I urgently appeal for your help. The appeal for your help is to realize that we need to use not only the hand of the military alone, but, the voice of Jacob - the Priestly & Princely house of Israel. We should raise our voices in prayer of Tehillim, and add in the performance of mitzvos. Specifically to perform, enhance or promote the mitzvos that protect the land of Israel: TefillinMezuzah and a letter in the Torah.

I spoke today to my good friend and yeshivah study partner for many years, Rabbi Moshe Gourarie of Chabad of Toms River, NJ. He happened to be in Israel (for the first time) this week and he used his personal trip to Israel to visit and make a difference to victims and IDF soldiers with the Chabad’s Terror Victims Project. He told me first hand how much the soldiers appreciate the Tefillin, fully aware on what it offers for their protection. So, if the soldiers of the IDF would be joining me in writing this appeal, I am pretty sure that they would ask you to do the same.

Do it for my birthday. Do it for the soldiers. Do it now.

Mazal tov to Ilan & Julliette Melnik and the entire Melnik family on the birth of a baby boy!

Thank you to young professionals community of Chabad of Uptown for your generous donation in honor of Rabbi Chaim's birthday

Shabbos Parshas Matos

Friday, July 18
Services at 7:30 pm
Candle Lighting at 8:05 pm

Shabbos, July 19
Chassidus at 9 am
Services at 10 am
Followed by Shabbos Kiddush
Mincha at 8:05 pm
Ethics of our Fathers, Ch. 1
Maariv, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 9:02 pm
Living Torah

Have a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Follow us on FacebookTwitter & YouTube @youngchabad!

Israel: What can we do in Houston?

Screenshot 2014-07-10 at 7.26.18 PM.pngBlood has been spilled, rockets are flying over Tel Aviv, 40,000 reservists have been called up.... the situation seems helpless and hopeless. What can we do? What can we do HERE in Houston? A mitzvah, a G-dly deed, has the power to reach deep into the core of our being—where we are all one, and the physical distance between us is of no consequence. At this core, a positive deed on our part will help bring salvation to a brother and sister in distress. Click herefor practical suggestions for mitzvahs that you can do.

In family news...

  • On Sunday, we had a great family day outing to Franklin, Texas to feed the animals at a very cute safari... Click here for the video clip...
  • Mendel is at overnight camp! Send him a message, and make his day! To send an email to Mendel, go, click on "register now", user name: mendellazaroff, password: guest 

Today is the 12th of Tammuz. On this date in 1927, the sixth Lubavitcher rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, was officially granted release from his sentence of exile to Kastroma in the interior of Russia. Tammuz 12-13 is celebrated as a "festival of liberation" by the Chabad-Lubavitch community. Tammuz 12 is also Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak's birthday.

Twenty-seven days earlier, the Rebbe had been arrested by agents of the GPU and the Yevsektzia ("Jewish Section" of the Communist Party) for his activities to preserve Judaism throughout the Soviet empire and sentenced to death, G-d forbid. International pressure forced the Soviets to commute the sentence to exile and, subsequently, to release him completely. The actual release took place on Tammuz 13.

This Tuesday, July 15, is the Tammuz 17 fast day, devoted to mourning the breaching of Jerusalem's walls and the other tragic events that occurred on this day and repenting and rectifying their causes. We refrain from all food and drink from "daybreak" at 5:09 am (in Houston) until nightfall, 8:51 pm (in Houston). Special prayers and Torah readings are added to the day's services.

The 17th of Tammuz also marks the beginning of The Three Weeks period of mourning which culminates on the 9th of Av, commemorating the conquest of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Holy Temple and the dispersion of the Jewish people. Weddings and other joyful events are not held during this period; like mourners, we do not cut our hair, and various pleasurable activities are limited or prescribed. The Lubavitcher Rebbe urged that the Three Weeks should be a time of increased giving of charity and Torah study (in keeping with the verse (Isaiah 1:27), "Zion shall be redeemed by law, and her returnees by charity"), particularly the study of those portions of Torah that deal with the laws and the deeper significance of the Holy Temple. Links:,Some Laws and Customs of the Three Weeks, About Holy Temple

July 4th was Rabbi Chaim's birthDATE. But. this coming Wednesday night and Thursday, July 17, is 19 Tammuz, Rabbi Chaim's Jewish, his real birthday.

  • It is customary to get an aliya on the Shabbos before one's birthday. As summer travels has many absent, please let us know if we can count on you for a minyan. 
  • The Wed. night dinner, class & social for (men & women) young professionals will cover the topic of birthdays. Event on Facebook.
  • As is customary among Chabad Chasidim, I will be making a birthday "farbrengen(FOR MEN) in honor of my birthday on Thursday evening, 19 Tammuz, at my home at 4311 Bettis beginning at about 9 p.m, (after the Thursday evening Tanya class at 8). I fully understand if your schedule does not allow you to attend. Please let me know if you can make it. (For more about celebrating birthdays read: What is a Jewish Birthday? and related articles there on the right).

Five Sisters: The Story of Tzelafchad’s Daughters

“Why should our father’s name be eliminated from his family because he had no sons? Give us a landholding among our father’s brothers!” more...

Shabbos Parshas Pinchas


Friday, July 11
Services at 7:30 pm
Candle Lighting at 8:07 pm

Shabbos, July 12
Chassidus study at 9 am
Services at 10 am
Followed by Shabbos Kiddush
Mincha at 8:10 pm
Ethics of our Fathers Ch. 6
Maariv, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 9:05 pm
Living Torah

Have a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Follow us on FacebookTwitter & YouTube @youngchabad!

Power of Three

Three Tammuz. Three Boys. Three Pillars. Three Days. Three Celebrations.

game night.jpgThree Tammuz. The three of us, Rabbi Chaim, Chaya Mushka and Mendel, joined the many thousands who visited the Ohel on this special day. It was very special to spend just a few moments at the ohel on this auspicious day.

Three Boys. During our trip, the world was reeling with the horrific news of the horrific death of our three boys in Israel. What can we do when there is tragedy in the world of this magnitude?

Three Pillars. We must strengthen the three pillars upon which the world rests (Pirkei Avos 1:2) Torah, Prayer, and Acts of Loving Kindness. In memory of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali may Hashem avenge their murder we strengthen our dark world adding Torah, Prayer and Tzedakah. At our weekly young professionals dinner & social we had a game night, but, not without first including these three pillars.

Times Square Ferris Wheel-MOTION.gif

Three Days. Uniquely, on this trip the kids had the opportunity to do some tourist stuff. Mendel went off to camp in upstate Michigan with a camp chartered bus on Wednesday night, that left us with an extra day to explore the city that never stops / sleeps. They got their first real subway experience, rode the Staten Island Ferris past the Freedom Tower and the Statue of Liberty, explored Times Square and the ToysRus four story store, ferris wheel, giant lego sculptures, while stopping for pizza.... And, it was nice to catch up with Josh Neuman...

Three Celebrations. This weekend, July 4, its back to reality. One. We thank Hashem for this great nation, that allows us to live and express our Judaism freely. Two. On this date, at 11:55 pm, just a few years ago, Chaim Tzvi Lazaroff breathed his first breath. When he was three years old, he (cutely) thought his name was Chaim Three. Naturally, when he turned four his name became Chaim Four. A subject of much funstatue of liberty cropped close.jpgfor his siblings to roll in laughter asking "What's your name?" "Chaim Four!" But, as the country burst the skies open with fireworks, we will greet the Shabbos queen as she descends to join us from on high with the Lecho Dodi. Rabbi Chaim's real birthday is 19 Tammuz, in a few weeks. Three. It is also the First Friday of the month and tradition is tradition, notwithstanding any vacationers plans. You know what that means.... Time for "First Fridays"!! Join other Jewish young professionals for a USA themed Shabbos dinner with Franks in blanks, fried chicken, apple pie and red, white & blue desserts among other USA eats and drinks (um, I mean l'chaims). RSVP

The Hardest Word to Hear

The character of Bilam remains ambiguous, in both the Torah and subsequent Jewish tradition. Was he a diviner (reading omens and signs), or a sorcerer (practicing occult arts)? Was he a genuine prophet, or a fraud? more...

Shabbos Parshas Balak


Friday, July 4
Services at 7:30 pm
Candle Lighting at 8:08 pm | First Fridays USA

Shabbos, July 5
Chassidus at 9 am
Services at 10 am
Followed by Shabbos Kiddush
Mincha at 8:10 pm
Ethics of our Fathers, Ch. 5
Maariv, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 9:07 pm
Living Torah

Have a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Follow us on FacebookTwitter & YouTube @youngchabad!

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