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Parshas Vayechi
Yud Bais Teves

Volume 1
Issue 12

You have something which is very special. It's yours for life. It will go with you wherever you go. You don't have to pay for it, carry it, guard it, or make room for it. You didn't even have to work to get it.
Do you know what it is? It's your name!
Some people are named after great men or great women. Others are named after relatives who passed away.
Sometimes people are given names which tell us about events in their lives. Adam's name comes from the word adamah, earth, because HaShem created Adam from the earth. Moshe Rabbeinu's name comes from the word moshui, "pulled in" because the basket Moshe was lying in was pulled in from the Nile River.
Some names tell us about wishes, thoughts or ideas connected with the person. Rachel Imeinu's first child was born after many years of waiting, so he was named Yosef, which means "add." While she was waiting to have a child, Rachel wished and davenned that HaShem would bless her with an additional son.
Later, Yosef called his own children by names which tell us what he wished and hoped for.
Yosef named his first born son Menasheh, from the word nasho, "forget." Yosef did not want his family to forget where they came from or who they were. The name Menasheh was a reminder, as if someone was constantly saying: Let us not forget that we are the descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, even though we are now living in Egypt. Even when Jews are in golus, they must always remember who they are.
Yosef knew that HaShem sent the Jews into golus for a purpose. They are not just supposed to struggle through the golus and remember that they are Jews. They are supposed to make the golus fruitful, like a garden which flowers and blooms. By using everything in the golus for the Torah and its mitzvos, we make the world a dwelling place for HaShem. Wishing for this, Yosef named his second son Ephraim, which comes from the Hebrew word for fruitful.
This week's parshah tells us how Yaakov Avinu blessed Menasheh and Ephraim. Even though Menasheh was older, Ephraim received the greater blessing. Ephraim shows us the purpose of golus - that a Jew should prosper and be fruitful in the Torah way. That's why Yaakov gave him the greater blessing.
Still, Menasheh is the older brother and he comes first. This also teaches us an important lesson. Ephraim can succeed and be fruitful in golus because Menasheh constantly reminds him who he is and where he comes from.
Like Menasheh and Ephraim, we are living in golus and must remember the lessons both of their names teach. But we have to remember another lesson Yosef taught. Yosef told the people pekod pekadeti - the geulah would come, and HaShem would take them back to Eretz Yisrael.

From Please Tell me What the Rebbe Said (Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. V, Hosafot, Parshas Vayechi)

The answer to last week’s brain buster is Asher (in hebrew letters)
Congratulations to the Junik Family from London, England, for solving the brain buster.

Parshas Vayechi

What are my beginning and end.
If you turn my middle around, you will have a tooth.
Who am I?

____ ____ ____ ____


We are so happy with all the responses we are getting to the brain busters. Unfortunately, we are not able to print all of your names. Please continue sending your feedback and responses as we will make a gorel each week and pick one winner.

Thirty days before Yom Tov we begin preparing for the special day that is coming up.
We are now a month (30 days) before the yartzeit of the Frierdiker Rebbe which is on Yud Shevat. The 30-days of preparation actually starts on the special day of Asara B’Teves.
It was the Frierdiker Rebbe who told us that we are about to greet Moshiach very soon. He said that we have already completed our preparations and all that is left for us to do is to "polish the buttons" of our uniforms, so that we may go out and greet Moshiach with greater beauty and glory.
Now that the Frierdiker Rebbes’s yartzeit is coming up, we should put extra effort into following his instructions of “polishing our buttons” to greet Moshiach.
The Frierdiker Rebbe explained that his mashal to "polish the buttons," means to add in learning Torah, doing mitzvos with greater care, giving tzedakah, and to have extra kavannah in our davenning.
Im Yirtze Hashem for a hachanah for Yud Shevat, we will be having a special contest for the Yaldei Hashluchim to participate in. You will be getting the hachanah in your parents’ e-mail before Rosh Chodesh Shevat.

(Sicha of Asarah B’Teves 5747)

Hey Kids!
Being an inventor is hard work. Did you know that in order to invent something, you would need to be strong and sing and dance? I didn’t know that either until I tried it myself. I’m Dr. Getzel, eye doctor and inventor. Yesterday I finally had time to sit down and work on perfecting my newest invention. I still needed to find some missing ingredients in order to complete my lightweight, automatic, digital, multi-featured, future-vision COL lens. There I was, sitting on my worn out, polka-dotted swivel chair in my green-roofed office, looking at my invention and thinking about what I could do to improve it. I sat. And I looked. I looked. And I sat. But, unfortunately, none of the sitting or looking helped me come up with any ideas to improve the lens. I decided that I needed a change in tactic so I stood up and closed my eyes. Then I stood on my head and looked at the lens with one eye open and one eye closed. I still had no luck so I decided to leave my office and take a break.
I jogged down the street with my eyes, nose, ears, and mouth wide open (I had to close my mouth after a bird almost flew in!) looking for something to help me with my problem. Suddenly, I spotted an old lady wearing a big pink bowtie and carrying two heavy looking shopping bags. A thought popped into my mind: “Everything a person hears and sees is Hashgacha Protis and happens for a reason.” I concluded that Hashem made me see this lady because she would help me solve my problem and give me an idea to improve my COL lens.
I ran over to the lady and offered to carry her bags for her. As soon as I picked them up - Umph! I almost fell flat on my face! The bags felt like they were filled with rocks. They were so heavy that they made me loose my balance. Luckily, I activated my anti-trip, slip and fall device and managed to catch myself from falling, just in time to hear the old lady’s squeaky voice begin to speak. “Thank you so much for carrying my rocks, Zeeskeit,” she said smiling. “But be careful with them, my rock collection is very special to me.”
By the time we got to her house, my arms were sore, my back was stiff and I saw stars twinkling in front of my eyes (even though it was in middle of the day). I was so excited to put down the bags that I let go of them right where I was . . .and dropped them directly onto my big toe (which made my big toe bigger). I started yelling and hopping up and down. “Oy, Sheifalle!” cried the old lady. “That’s just what I need after a long day. How did you know that I love watching performances?
How could I say no to the little old lady? For the next half hour I danced around her living room (which is not an easy thing to do while holding one foot!) and pretended to be Avraham Fried while the little old lady sat on her couch and smiling and clapping.
When I finally got home that night with a hoarse voice and aching bones I had something to add to my lens. The old lady did help me with an idea in the end! I quickly turned on my machines, mixed some chemicals together and – Poof- I created the 70/80 feature. Most glasses help people see perfectly with 20/20 vision. My lens would help people see differently with 70/80 vision. 70/80 vision reminds you that a person could be alive for 70 or 80 years just to be able to do a favor for someone else. With that in mind, you’ll always run to help another Yid anytime with anything. So if you ever meet a lady who wants you to carry her rock collection or put on a show for her use the 70/80 vision and run to help!
Bye ‘till next week!

Dr. Getzel

Asara B’Teves

This coming Wednesday, December 22 is Asara B’Teves.
The 10th day of Teves is observed as a fast day. It is known as
Asara B’Teves and marks the beginning of the siege (surrounding) of Yerushalayim in 588 BCE by Nevuchadnetzar Melech Bavel. This seige was the beginning of the destruction of the first Bais Hamikdosh.
Asara B’Teves is the only Fast day that can fall on a Friday. When that happens, the Fast is not moved to Thursday or Sunday, since it is mentioned in Sefer Yechezkel as "..this exact day...this very day ."
We add special additions to our davenning, selichos and aneinu and we have a special Torah Reading for this day.
What else happened on Asara B’Teves:
- The Navi Zecharya passed away.
- The capture of Yerushalayim in 37 BCE by King Herod.
- The Decree for the Elimination of Jews from German Economic Life took effect in 1939.
- The Nazi District Commander of Warsaw decreed that no Jew was to greet a German in public, in 1939.

Menachem Mendel Jaffe, age 9
Brisbane, Australia

My name is Mendel Jaffe and I live in Brisbane Australia, down-under (real Diroh Betachtonim)
I was born 6 weeks after my parents moved here 9 1/2 years ago and I go to Sinai College Jewish Day School, which is the only Jewish school in our city. My friends started wearing Tzitzis and one of them actually bought his Tzitzis with his own pocket money. My Tatty is also Rabbi in the City Shul so every Shabbos we pack up and go to the city. My friends often come over for Shabbos and we go to Shul together and we learn Mishnayos together with my Tatty. My friends really enjoy being in a proper Shabbos atmosphere. I sometimes go with my Tatty on Mivtzoim to visit people in hospital or at home, my job is to wrap up the Tefillin. All my friends have become members in Tzivos Hashem and I am very proud to be on Shlichos because I am following Hashem’s Torah and Mitzvos. Whenever I go to Melbourne or England I go to school there so I have friends in those places too.

Send us a short paragraph about your shlichus and we will publish it in our future “connections”! Please include your name, age, and location.
E-mail us at: cyh@shluchim.org

The Wonder Cure

This is a story about a Jew who lived in Vitebsk, a town in White Russia of old. He had always enjoyed good health, but one day he suddenly fell ill. He did not know what was wrong with him and despite the various remedies he took, he became worse from day to day. He saw a doctor, who prescribed a certain medicine, but that did not help him either. Finally, he decided to see the greatest doctor in town, who was known as the Professor, reputedly the greatest medical specialist in the whole region.
The Professor gave the patient a very thorough examination, asked him many questions, and then told him he was sorry he could not help him."Only G-d can help you," he said gravely.
Understandably the poor Jew was very worried.
Then he remembered hearing that in the nearby small town, Liozna, there was a holy Rebbe who had helped many people. So he set off for Liozna to visit this great man, the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman.
Arriving at the Rebbe's house he found many other Jews waiting to see him. Luckily (perhaps because he looked so worried,) he was admitted to see the Rebbe among the first ones on the list.
When he came into the presence of the Rebbe, he could not hold back his tears, and poured out his heart describing his desperate condition, begging the Rebbe to help him for the sake of his wife and children.
The Rebbe replied: "A doctor's job is to heal, and not to make his patient feel worse. Actually your condition is not at all serious; it is just a kind of fever and will pass."
Astonished, the Jew asked, "But Rebbe, if it is a fever, shouldn't I be shivering?"
"So you will shiver," answered the Rebbe, reassuringly.
The Jew could hardly believe what he had heard and was, of course, overjoyed.
No sooner had he left the Rebbe than he felt cold, and began to shiver slightly. And, as he continued on his way home, the shivering increased. As soon as he got home, he went straight to bed, feeling hot and cold all over, and shivering without a stop.
He stayed in bed for a few days, then suddenly the shivering stopped. He felt so much better that he was soon able to get out of bed, feeling like a new man!
Some time later, as the Jew was walking down the street, he came face to face with the professor, who recognized him at once. "Aren't you the patient who came to see me some time ago, critically ill?" the professor asked him.
"Yes, sir," answered the man.
“I am certainly delighted to see you looking so well," the professor continued. "Tell me, my friend, what happened to bring about such an unexpected recovery, and what medicine did you take?"
The Jew told him that after the professor had given him up, he went to see the famed Rebbe in Liozna, who told him that his illness was nothing but a kind of fever.
”That I also knew," said the doctor. "But a fever can be extremely dangerous unless it develops into hot and cold shivering. For that is the way the body can rid itself of the sickness. The trouble with you was that you showed no signs of shivering. I knew of no medicine that could bring about such shivering. That is why I told you I could not help you."
"As a matter of fact, when the Rebbe told me I had a fever, I asked him,`if I have a fever, would I not be shivering:', to which he replied,`So you will shiver.' And sure enough, no sooner did I leave the Rebbe's presence than I began to shiver, and the shivering steadily increased and became violent. I got into bed and shivered hot and cold for several days. Then,with Hashem's help, I recovered completely from my illness."
"`With Hashem’s help' - you said. "Wasn't that what I also told you, `I cannot help you, only Hashem can help you !'" the professor exclaimed happily.
All smiles, the professor and his patient shook hands, wishing each other good health.
Added the professor: "Some day I hope to see your Rebbe, but not in a professional capacity. No doubt he can do more for me than I for him."

(Taken from The Storyteller)

We know that we start preparing for a yom tov 30 days before. We are now a month before Yud Shevat. What are you doing to prepare for this special day?

Dr. Getzel

Kids! Fill out the answers to the questions below and fax it to the Shluchim Office to at (718) 221– 0985. We will IY"H be making a raffle and mailing prizes to the winners!

My children and I live by the sea,
Merchants and sailors are we.
My olam hazeh I share with my brother,
And in olam habah we will walk together.

I am: ______________

Brothers to attack wherever we go,
______ and ______, of us you surely know,
With swords in our hands, there seemed no other way,
To save our sister Dina from shechem that day.

We are:____________ and _______

At running I can outrace anyone.
That’s why I was chosen by Yakov to run.
To run back to Mitzrayim and bring with me,
The papers for Esav, my uncle to see,
That the last place in the special cave,
Was supposed to be my father’s grave.

I am: ______________

I am not the bechor but from me kings come;
Dovid Hamelech and Shlomo his son.
I’m as strong as a lion and respected as well.
What is my name? Do I need to tell?

I am: ______________

I am the youngest of 12, that’s me,
I complete this wonderful family.
But sad to say, when I was born,
For Rachel, our mother, we had to mourn.

I am: ______________

I am the first born of Bilhah– that’s me.
In the Mitdbar my shevet had a big job, you see.
At the back of the camp it was us you would find,
To make sure nothing got left behind.

I am: ______________

Brave and courageous is my tribe,
First in battle we always ride.
As judges we have been chosen too,
And Hashem’s justice we will always do.

I am: ______________

I am the firstborn, mighty and strong,
In selling my brother Yosef I did no wrong.
“Don’t shed his blood, but throw him into this pit.”
Until I return, that’s where he will sit.

I am: ______________

A strong-boned donkey am I.
Part of my Torah did my brother buy.
My brother spends his time by the great big sea,
To earn money for himself and me.

I am: ______________

The first drops of oil from the olives that I grow,
Are used to light the Menorah you know.
At the time of Chanukah a jar so small,
Was found and lasted for 8 days in all.

I am: ______________

I am my father’s favorite son,
Born to Rochel, I was her very first one.
My brothers were jealous and to Mitzrayim I was sold.
But when they came to buy grain, my story was told.
To Potifar I was sold and worked without a groan,
But his wife told a big lie and to prison I was thrown.

I am: ______________

QUESTION: When the Tzemach Tzedek was a young boy he learned the ???? in this week's Parsha – Parshas Vayechi: "And Yakov lived in Mitzrayim for seventeen years." His teacher explained that these years were the best of Yaakov's entire life.
When the Tzemach Tzedek came home from cheder he asked his grandfather, the Alter Rebbe, how this was possible. How could those years be the best of Yakov’s life? He wanted to know. Wasn't Mitzrayim the most corrupt and immoral place on earth?
In response, the Alter Rebbe quoted another Passuk: "And Yehudah he sent before him to Yosef, to direct him to Goshen." The Midrash relates that Yakov sent Yehudah to MItzrayim to establish a yeshiva. Throughout the time they spent in Mitzrayim the Twelve Shevatim devoted themselves to the study of Torah. By learning Torah, a Jew draws near to hashem; thus it was possible for Yakov to "live," even in such a bad country like Mitzrayim.
* * *
ANSWER: The finest years of Yakov’s life were the 17 he spent with Yosef in Mitzrayim. When Yakov saw that his son was alive, and that despite the fact that he was a Mishna Lamelech in Mitzrayim, Yosef had continued to conduct himself in a manner befitting the son of one of the Avos, it brought Yakov great joy.
This joy was even more pronounced because it came after many years during which Yakov could not see his son, and did not know if he was still a Tzaddik.This joy is similar to a light that follows the darkness.
Obviously, light is always preferable to darkness, but the advantage it has is much more striking when it comes after total darkness. The more intense the darkness, the brighter the light appears when it finally arrives.

That’s why the years Yakov spent in Mitzrayim were the best of his life, even better than the ones he had spent in the land of Canaan. Because a light that follows the darkest darkness is the very brightest light of all.
(From L’Chaim Weekly, Adapted from Likutei Sichos, Volume 10)

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