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Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Section: Birkat Hachamah

Birkat Hachamah
Chabad.org has launched a new section devoted to the once-in-28-years mitzvah that will be performed this April 8, the morning of the eve of Passover: the “Blessing of the Sun.”

This blessing – called Birkat Hachamah – is recited when the sun returns to the exact position, at the same time of the week, which it occupied at the time of its creation—at the beginning of the fourth day of creation. Due to the rarity of this event, this blessing is customarily recited amid large public gatherings of men, women and children.

This comprehensive section contains an overview of this rare ceremony, the procedure, FAQs, as well as in-depth information on the astronomical calculations involved in computing the date.

More features will, G-d willing, be added in the coming days and weeks. Including: Global Birkat Hachamah Service Locator, all the texts of the Birkat Hachamah ceremony, an informational video, and more.

Click here to visit this new section.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Story of Life - In Twelve Short Chapters

The Story of Life

We are delighted to offer a new ‘monthly mp3 download feature’ from Rabbi Manis Friedman's ever so popular lecture series titled ‘The Story of Life: In Twelve Short Chapters’. The series expounds upon twelve passages from the written and oral Torah that the Lubavitcher Rebbe chose for children to learn.

Rabbi Friedman explains these verses as laying the groundwork for a wholesome Jewish life. He delves into such topics as living without doubt, self respect, optimism, living without constraints, knowing your true nature, the cure for narcissism, the world is yours to fix, and much more…

The first six verses are about our character and identity. The second six are about our responsibility to the world. Although this was begun as a campaign geared to children, the principles contained in these verses can change the lives of people of all ages.

Click here to download these new classes.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Section on the Economy: Your Input Needed

By the Grace of G-d

Dear Reader,

The continuing global economic crisis is, unfortunately, first and foremost on people's minds these days, with so many of us feeling the pinch.

As Jews, we always turn to the ageless teachings of the Torah for guidance—particularly when times are tough. To this end, we plan on dedicating the week of February 1-7 to discussing the multi-angled Jewish perspective on money crunches.

While our editors, writers and multimedia teams are currently producing some of the varied content for this section, we would like to devote a significant part of this section to submissions by you, our talented reader.

* Do you have any practical ideas on how to stay afloat during this crisis? Suggestions on budgeting, cutting back, ideas small and big—for the home, children, recreation, etc.? Please click here to share.
* Do you have any positive personal experiences you'd like to share? Perhaps about the affect the economy is having on you and your family, an incident of overt Divine Providence, the refocusing of values the situation has caused? Please click here to share.
* Do you have any helpful or inspirational thoughts or insights on the economy? Please click here to share.
* Or perhaps you have another idea or manner of expression altogether. Please tell us, we'd love to hear about it!

If possible, please include a brief bio of yourself along with your submission.

Looking forward to hearing from you, and with prayers for an abundance of blessings for you, yours, and everyone in need.


The Chabad.org Team

P.S. Here are some of the angles we plan on delving into in this section:

* Do we define ourselves based on our monetary value? What's the alternative?
* Moving from a consumer society to a planned buying society
* Realignment of communal and personal values
* Experts: They didn't foresee this calamity. Do we need them?
* Faith: Huh! How? In this climate?!
* Reexamining your relationship with your spouse after you've/he's/she's lost your/his/her money
* The global village; how interdependent we are
* What do we tell kids?

Please click here to submit your feedback about this.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Monthly Recovery On Sale

Monthly Recovery On Sale
Monthly Recovery On Sale

Everyone loves a bargain. Try tapping into the Jewish calendar's spiritual energy as you work the Steps; it's bound to aid in Jewish Recovery.

By Susan T.

Jewish months don’t always correlate with the secular calendar. Somehow, though, they come close. Thus, during January, the Hebrew lunar month is mostly Tevet. February will coincide with Shevat, March with Adar, and so on. Judaism teaches that time has spiritual significance; Shabbat, holidays, and even months have distinct sanctity and spiritual messages. A closer look at these monthly messages shows intriguing correlations to 12 Step work. There are no coincidences in G-d’s world. Perhaps we Jews in recovery can draw strength from what our tradition teaches us about our place in cosmic time as we work the Steps.

Step One: January/Tevet - Powerlessness.

The main event of the month of Tevet is the siege of Jerusalem, which occurred about 2500 years ago, and ultimately led to the destruction of the Holy Temple. The tenth of Tevet marks the day that the protective walls around Jerusalem were breached. Think about it: foreign armies surround your city, depriving you of water, food, dignity. It’s unmanageable! Your walls can no longer protect you. You can’t live like this! Powerless!

Click here to continue reading this article.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Solidarity Photos & Reports

The first pictures of the soldiers who have received letters of solidarity and support from all over the world have arrived.

Gallery 1

Gallery 2

Gallery 3

Gallery 4

Gallery 5

Volunteers Report from the Field - Reports from those delivering the letters you wrote and the packages you sent...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chabad.org on News 12

Web site set up to send e-mails to Middle East

(01/09/09) BROOKLYN HEIGHTS - Residents say a new Web site was set up to allow them to show support for civilians and soldiers caught in the Gaza conflict.

According to one Brooklyn family with relatives in Tel Aviv, the Web site letter-writing campaign helps them feel connected to their family members. They send several e-mails a day to show their support for their relatives and to acknowledge their awareness of the situation.

Brooklyn residents say the Web site helps them feel like they are making a difference in the lives of those in Gaza and Israel. Even though they can’t physically help them cope with the violence, neighbors say their messages give their friends and relatives in the Middle East hope.

Send your own letter here

Friday, January 09, 2009

Send a Package

Send a Care Package

Send Care Packages to IDF Soldiers and Families in Affected Areas

The courageous soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces are putting their lives on the line every day that the Gaza War rages. It is essential that we let them know that we all deeply appreciate their bravery and their heroic defense of the Jewish homeland.

With people spending increasing amounts of time in bomb shelters, the needs of the elderly, sick, and those below the poverty line have become an urgent priority. They need help with food, medicine and warm clothing.

Schools in the targeted areas of Israel have closed and the children spend a great deal of time in bomb shelters. The isolation and boredom increase their fear and anxiety.

Click here to provide an emergency care packages to be delivered to an IDF soldier, an affected Israeli family, or a child in a bomb shelter.

Stay Focused

With the Gaza offensive now well into its second week, it is natural for the feelings of deep concern we all initially felt to subside somewhat. Life resumes...

But life as normal has not resumed for our brethren in Israel. And as a united people, we must make an exerted effort to keep our minds and hearts focused on our brothers and sisters who find themselves in distress.

We urge you to visit our Gaza War section on a frequent basis. It is updated daily with new stories and perspectives, and you’ll find ways to show your support for the soldiers and affected citizens—spiritually, emotionally, and materially.

With blessings for lasting peace in the Holy Land.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Show Your Solidarity!

Show Your Solidarity

It's time to show them that we care. That we are in awe of their heroism and brimming with admiration for their courage. That all of us across the world are hoping, praying, learning and doing extra good deeds for their safety.

Write your thoughts to an IDF soldier, or to an Israeli living in an area where rockets are falling. We will hand-deliver your words of encouragement, and if you choose, your picture as well. Simply demonstrating your solidarity by mail is a mitzvah on its own. Taking on another mitzvah or learning some Torah on their behalf will accomplish even more.

Be there with them, hand in hand, providing even more strength and courage.

Click here to show your solidarity!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Front Line Blog - Dispatches From a Soldier on the Front

Front Line Blog

First Sergeant Yared M. Ben-Caro is a combat soldier in the Israel Defense Force. Born in Los Angeles, he immigrated to Israel in September, 2006, at the age of 21 after studying English, Pharmaceuticals, and Financial Management. As of January, 2009, he is serving in Paratrooper Battalion 890 in the Heavy Weapons & Recon Company as Lead Sharpshooter and Missile Specialist.

From his position on the Gaza front, Ben Caro is taking some time each day to text us updates from the field of operations.

Click here to read this new blog.

War in Gaza

As we follow the situation in Israel with concern, we would like to let you know about a new section put together addressing the situation in Gaza.

The section includes news, video, personal stories, "call to action", and more. Exclusive to Chabad.org is a paratrooper's text-message updates from the front.

Click here to visit this new section.