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Back in 1996, Rabbi Finman was asked to speak to the niece of one of his students. After spending many hours answering her questions, the woman gave Rabbi Finman her e-mail address. Rabbi Finman wrote the woman a note and included in it a short insight into that week's Parsha and a short Chasidic story.

Realizing that this was something no one was yet doing,, Rabbi Finman sent the missive to his mailing list of about 30 people. Requests from recipients friends came pouring in. The next week Rabbi Finman sent the e-Parsha to 100 people. Within a year more than 2000 people were receiving it. Today, more than 14,000 receive the e-Parsha weekly and the requests keep coming in.

Bamidbar 5777
Behar/Bechukosai 5777
Emor 5777
Achrei Mos - Kedoshim 5777
Tazri-Metzora 5777

Behar/Bechukosai 5777

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In memory of Bennie Magy - Bentziyon ben Avraham v Elke Magy, who passed away Menachem Av 22, 5749 - August 23, 1989 and Rose Magy - Rivka Rayzel Bat Chayim Yaakov v'Chaya Tertza Arbit, who passed away Tamuz 2, 5765 - July 9, 2005. May their souls experience a lichtiger Gan Eden - an illuminated Garden of Eden and may their family only experience Simchas from now on. Sponsored by their son Paul Magy - Birmingham, Michigan.

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Don't forget the YouParsha for Behar/Bechukosai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYPS_geUwfc, Behar and Sefira.

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It is imperative to understand that Hashem is good and does only good. This is especially true of this week's double Parsha Behar-Bechukosai, Leviticus 25 - end, which features the tochicha - words of admonishment for misdeeds. We are promised rain, satiety and security if we keep the commandments. It does not make sense that the reward for keeping the Torah and Mitzvahs - for which the entire creation was made -should be a piece of bread and promise that no enemies with traverse our borders. The reward must be much greater. It therefore follows that the "punishments" mentioned in this week's Parsha for not fulfilling the Torah are not punishments either.

Chasidus explains that each of the 49 curses, when sung just a little different - are tremendous blessing. Ten women will bake in one kitchen; you will eat bread and not be satisfied. Bread, the basis of our diets, is an analogy for Torah. Bread sustains the physical body - Torah sustains the spiritual soul. Just as raw dough is inedible and must be baked into bread, so too, the Torah must be baked with the fiery love and fear of Hashem innate of the Jewish soul. Ten women will bake in one kitchen refers to the ten faculties of the soul. Our service to the Almighty is complete when we really "cook" in our Torah - using all of the soul's strengths. You will eat bead and not be satisfied can now be understood to mean that if one is excited about their Judaism, there is never enough. Even reviewing subjects seems exciting and one never has enough.

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The Russian Czars implemented a law whereby young boys were conscripted into the Russian army for Russification through schooling and serving in the army for up to 25 years. There they were taught to be proud Russian Orthodox Christian soldiers and devote their lives to their homeland. The majority of these boys either died or converted. Eli Leib Itzkovitz was among those who were tormented into converting. Eli - now Sasha - moved up in the army's social strata. After fifteen years he was given a ten day leave.

After a 10 hour train ride, Eli stood in front of his old house and knocked on the door. A woman answered. Could this be his mother? He hardly recognized her and she certainly did not recognize him. She treated him like a visiting Russian soldier, inviting him in and preparing a cup of tea.

She told him that her husband had passed away from cholera and her only son had been snatched into the army 15 years ago. Finally, Eli looked into his mother's eyes and said quietly. "Mother, it's me! I'm Eli!"

Hearing how Eli adopted Christianity, his mother begged him to be a Jew. She told him of his father's devotion, about Abraham and the thousands of years of Jewish self-sacrifice for the Torah. But it was no use. Eli stayed with her for a week. When it was time for him to return to his base, she begged him to go to the Alter Rebbe for a blessing.

As Eli entered he Rebbe's room, a feeling of fear and awe enveloped him that he had never before experienced. He looked into the Rebbe's eyes and felt the Rebbe's piercing glance on him. He handed the Rebbe a note given to him by his mother. The Rebbe asked him a few questions about himself and the army and finally said, "May the Almighty give you success in all that you do." As Eli left the Rebbe's house he felt different, he felt re-attached to something alive and infinite that he had lost. The next day when he returned to his base a notice was posted on the door of the mess hall that by order of the Czar anyone who wanted to return to the religion of his parents could do so. Eli immediately requested to be registered as a Jew. Within moments a priest and several officers called. They tried to convince him not to go back to being a Jew, warning him that he would lose all privileges. Eli said quietly but firmly, "The first Jew, Abraham was alone; the entire world was against him, but I'm with him." Then he turned to the priest and said, "I can't debate you, but I'm sure the Rebbe of Liadi knows all your arguments and nevertheless I'm sure he also is on Abraham's side."

At least once a year, Eli would gather his family together and repeat the story of how just seeing the face of the Alter Rebbe once, implanted in him the desire and strength to live as a Jew.

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Tune into the JEWISH HOUR - Detroit's only Jewish radio program, with your host, Herschel Finman. Sundays 11:00 - Noon on WLQV 1500 AM/92.7 FM - Detroit and www.faithtalk1500.com. Now available at the iTunes store and on your smartphone - download the free stitcher app.

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