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Tranforming darkness to light

Friday, 8 July, 2011 - 12:49 am

This week's Parshas Balak  is the Parshah of the future, where evil is transformed to good and curses emerge as blessings. It is in Balak that the most beautiful verses describing the uniqueness of Israel and the specialty of their relationship with the Almighty issue from the vile mouth of Balaam, summoned by Balak to curse the Jewish people. And it is in Balak that the most explicit reference to the era of Moshiach in the Five Books of Moses is found, in the form of a prophecy by the selfsame Balaam.

"Let Moses, who loves them, rebuke them," said G-d when the people of Israel needed rebuke, for rebuke from a loving heart is many times more effective. "And let Balaam, who hates them, bless them," for the blessing of an enemy is so much more real than a lovers praises. In the Parshah of Balak we enter a Moshiach-like world---a world of "the greater wisdom that comes from folly, and the greater light that comes from darkness" (Ecclesiastes 2:13). - The Lubavitcher Rebbe

Sheer pain rocked the Jewish community of Houston with the news of the tragic auto accident and the passing of Joshua and Robin Berry, leaving three surviving children - two of which are in serious condition. This Shabbos turn darkness into light. Light Shabbos candles (in Houston) at 8:08 pm in their memory and in honor of their three children's speedy recovery. When lighting the candles, say a prayer for a refuah shlaima, a complete and quick recovery, for the Berry children, Pinchas ben Shoshana, Aron ben Shoshana, and Batya bat Shoshana. Join the Facebook event and invite all of your friends in this worldwide effort.
(Related coverage & reading: Jewish Herald Voice; Why do bad things happen to good people?, 106 links on Pain, Suffering & Tragedy).

A reported 50,000 people (JTA, The Jewish Week, JPost, flowed through the doors of the Rebbe's Ohel in Queens commemorating his Yartzeit this past Tuesday. We (Rabbi Chaim, Chanie and Bluma) spent a meaningful few days in New York reconnecting with the Rebbe's mission and vision for ourselves and our world. There we along with our friends and family gained strength, inspiration and commitment to carry on the Rebbe's legacy of true love and care for the Torah, the Jewish people and all of humanity to make the world a better place with the ultimate coming of the Moshiach.

As we reported here a few weeks ago, Chabad of Uptown will be receiving a new Torah in memory of Shmuel (Leonard) ben Nosson Goldberg, a"h. The family has truly transformed pain into light. This Sunday will be the unveiling at the Beth Yeshurun Cemetery off of Allen Parkway and the family has requested we gather a minyan for kaddish. If you can make it, please let us know.

A double Mazel tov, mazel tov to Ben Shamoolian upon his engagement to Regina Levy of Caracas, Venezuela, sister and sister in law of Julliette & Ilan Melnik! May they build an eternal Jewish home with happiness, warmth and prosperity, illuminated with Torah and Mitzvos!

 We look forward to seeing you this Shabbos!

Shabbos Parshas Balak

Friday, July 8
Services at 7:30 pm
    Light Candles at 8:08 pmIn memory and in honor of the Berry's
    RSVP for Dinner

Shabbos, July 9
Pre Prayer Kabbala Study - Likkutei Torah 9:00 am
Services at 10 am
    Kiddush with the best Cholent this side of....
Mincha at 8:15 pm
    Ethics of our Fathers Chapter 5
Maariv, Havdalla and Shabbos Ends at 9:06 pm
Kiddush Levana - Sanctification of the Moon
Living Torah

Sunday, July 10
BLT at 9 am
Unveiling for Shmuel ben Nosson Goldberg, 10 am

Wednesday, July 13
Young Professionals Class and Social at 8:30 pm

Thursday, July 14 - Yud Beis Tammuz
Tanya Classes at Noon and at 8 pm

On the 12th of Tammuz of 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. 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, and Tammuz 12-13 is celebrated as a "festival of liberation" by the Chabad-Lubavitch community. Tammuz 12 is also Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak's birthday. Links: The Rebbe's Prison Diary; The Soviet war on Jewry

See you on Shabbos!!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 

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