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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.

Vayeitzei 5779
Toldos 5779
Chaya Sora 5779
Vayera 5779
Lech Licha 5779

Lech Licha 5779

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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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This week's YouParsha Lech Licha https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j5CjLStnbY Hagar.

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This week, the portion of Lech Licha, Genesis 12 - 17, focuses on the life of the patriarch Abraham. The Zohar relates that Avrohom was the epitome of kindness. There was nothing that G'd desired that Abraham would not do.

Initially Avrohom’s name was Avrom. The Almighty added an additional letter. Avrohom was informed that he was to be the progenitor of the Jewish people and would be required to have his name changed. According to the laws of nature, Sarah could not have children. By changing their names, they became different people. It is Jewish custom today, to change the name of a sick person. This does not just change their luck, but makes them different people.

A person’s name is the channel for their soul to enliven their bodies. It is quite possible to discern a person’s character just by analyzing their name. There is an apocryphal story that the Rebbe’s father was opposed to his marriage to the Previous Rebbe’s daughter (his eventual wife) because he saw through name analysis that they would not have children. The name Avrom indicates the father of a single nation. At this time, he had already fathered Ishmael, the father of the Arabs. The name Avrohom indicates the father of a multitude of nations. Avrohom’s response to his new name and responsibility was that Ishmael should be worthy to carry on his lineage. Avrohom displayed inordinate kindness to his son from a slave woman, described as a wild beast of a man. Avrohom would have preferred that Yishmael be worthy of Divine blessing rather than having a Yitschok, one who was holy at birth. The Almighty’s response was that such kindness is improper and that Ishmael did not deserve to be a patriarch of the chosen people. Sometimes it is necessary to think if an act of kindness is indeed kindness.

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When Joseph Cabiliv, today a successful real estate developer, regained consciousness in the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, he remembered nothing of the circumstances that had brought him there. He felt an excruciating pain in his legs. The discovery that followed was far more horrendous: glancing under the sheet, he saw that both his legs had been amputated, the right leg at the knee, the left at mid-thigh. The day before, Joseph, who was serving on reserve duty in Zahal (the Israeli Defense Forces), was patrolling the Golan Heights with several other soldiers when their jeep hit an old Syrian land mine. Aside from the pain and disability, Joseph was confronted with society's incapacity to deal with the handicapped. "My friends would come to visit," he recalls, "sustain fifteen minutes of artificial cheer, and depart without once meeting my eye. People were quick to offer charity; no one had a job for a man without legs. "When I ventured out in my wheelchair, people kept their distance, so that a large empty space opened around me on the busiest street corner." When Joseph met with other disabled veterans he found that they all shared his experience: they had given their very bodies in defense of the nation, but the nation lacked the spiritual strength to confront their sacrifice.

"In the summer of 1976," Joseph tells, "Zahal sponsored a tour of the United States for a large group of disabled veterans. "While we were in New York, as part of the excursion, we went to Lubavitch World Headquarters. A special meeting with the Rebbe was set up. A white-bearded man of about 70 entered the room, followed by two secretaries. As if by a common signal, absolute silence pervaded the room. There was no mistaking the authority he radiated. We had all stood in the presence of military commanders and prime ministers, but this was unlike anything we had ever encountered. This must have been what people felt in the presence of royalty. He passed between us, resting his glance on each one of us and lifting his hand in greeting, and then seated himself opposite us. Again, he looked at each of us in turn. From that terrible day on which I had woken without my legs in the hospital, I have seen all sorts of things in the eyes of those who looked at me: pain, pity, revulsion, anger. This was the first time in all those years that I encountered true empathy. The Rebbe then began to speak about our "disability," saying that he objected to the use of the term, disabled. "If a person has been deprived of a limb or a faculty," he told, "this itself indicates that G'd has given him special powers to overcome their limitations and surpass the achievements of ordinary people. You are not "disabled" or "handicapped," but special and unique, as you possess potentials that the rest of us do not. "I therefore suggest," he continued, adding with a smile " - of course it is none of my business, but Jews are famous for voicing opinions on matters that do not concern them - that you should no longer be called n'chei Yisrael ("the disabled of Israel" our designation in the Zahal bureaucracy) but metzuyanei Yisrael ("the special of Israel")." "He spoke for several minutes more, and everything he said - and more importantly, the way in which he said it - addressed what had been churning within me since my injury. "In parting, he

gave each of us a dollar bill, in order - he explained - that we give it to charity in his behalf, making us partners in the fulfillment of a mitzvah. He walked from wheelchair to wheelchair, shaking our hands, giving each a dollar, and adding a personal word or two. When my turn came, I saw his face up close and I felt like a child. He gazed deeply into my eyes, took my hand between his own, pressed it firmly, and said "Thank you" with a slight nod of his head. "I later learned that he had said something different to each one of us. To me he said "Thank you" - somehow he sensed that that was exactly what I needed to hear. With those two words, the Rebbe erased all the bitterness and despair that had accumulated in my heart. I carried the Rebbe's "Thank you" back to Israel, and I carry it with me to this very day."

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