Virtual Kishinev - Letter by Rabbi Z. Abelsky B"H
August 30, 1996

To My Dear Brothers & Sisters:

We find ourselves now preparing for the upcoming holiday of Rosh HaShana.
Rosh HaShana marks the begining of the New Jewish Year. To the Jew,
the New Year is serious business. It is the Day of Judgement. Even angels
tremble as its announcement: "Who will live and who will die?.. Who by water
and who by fire?.. Who will rest and who will wander?.. Who will be poor and
who will be rich?.."

Each person has written new chapters in his own book of life during the past
year. Now the book is opened and scrutinized by the Almighty; everything
is recorded and each person's signature is there.

In His mercy G-d has ordained the month preceding Rosh HaShana, the
month in which we can take stock of our deeds and prepare our legal defense for
the Day of Judgement when we stand trial for our lives.

T'shuva - repentance. The magic, Divine gift that can erase the sound and
video portions of the tape that contains a record of our unsavory actions of the
past year, so that our book reads a little more respectable.

One who owns a business has the practice of designating certain days of the
year to take stock of his business, making an accounting and reckoning of where
the business stands in its financial and other operations. So too, we should
designate a certain portion of the year to take "spiritual stock" of our good deeds
religious observances, and obligations towards G-d, His Torah, Israel and Man Kind.

At this season of worry and fear, awe and anticipation, there is, strangely a
festive mood. Greetings and good wishes evincing confidence and faith for a
happy, sweet New Year. The festive meals, Kiddush, apples and honey, festive
songs. A New Year in which we can begin again and write good chapters in our
book of life.

How do we synthesize the seriousness of the day with the joyous holiday
atmosphere? Through prayer, laws, customs and traditions. By following the
guidence from the Torah, the sacred books, and the sages are we assured salvation
of atonement on Yom Kippur.

There is an interesting and fascinating lesson for all Jews that is brought out in
the holidays of Sukkot and Simchat Torah. These holidays emphasaize the significance
of each and every Jew. Every Jew is special and distinctive to G-d. Every day of Sukkot
we bless the etrog, accompanied with three other kinds of fruit: lulav, hadas, and arava.
When we bless the etrog we hold all the fruit in unison. Our sages taught us that each
of the fruit represents a different type of Jew.
The Etrog: has a smell and taste to it. The smell symbolizes a Jew who sits and
learns, and the taste symbolizes his taste for keeping the Mitzvot - Good Deeds.
The Lulav: has a taste but no smell. It symbolizes a Jew who places an effort
into keeping the Mitzvot, but does not spend any time sitting and learning.
The Hadas: has a smell but no taste. It symbolizes a Jew who places all his
effort into sitting and learning but no effort into Mitzvot.
The Arava: has no smell and no taste. It is a symbol of a Jew that unfortunately
does not spend any time learning and neither does he spend any time doing Mitzvot.

This is the beauty of the Jewish! Jews stand in unison! When we come before G-d,
all of us are dear and special to Him. When it comes time to make a bracha, we hold
all fruits together and make the blessing.

A very similar concept is brought out on the holiday of Simchat Torah. We finish
reading the Torah in its entirety and we begin to read it again. Every Jew stands
together and dances with the Torah. Every Jew irrelevant to whether or not he
opened the Torah scroll throughout the year stands together in unison and dances.

Saving money is not easy. It requires deprivation of immediate pleasures in order to
enjoy a fuller measure in the future. Spiritual capital is also accumulated by postponing
and delaying pleasures in order to study Torah and perform Mitzvot. It takes a
long time to accumulate a spiritual fortune, just as it is often does to accumulate a
material fortune. With compound interest we can achieve this goal much sooner.

This explains why Lubavitch goes out all over the world to help out Jews. Whether a Jew
is in Moldova, Germany, Prague or New York, he is a Jew with a Jewish Soul!. Our sages
have taught us that a Jew even he sinned, is still a Jew. The inside of a Jew can
never be changed.

For the upcoming holidays of Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot we will provide
services in the cities of Kishinev, Belts, Tiraspol, Bender, and Soroka. If anyone has
family or knows any people living in these cities, you are invited to send them to our
synagogue to be a part of our Services. We will be serving Holiday meals following the

For any further information please call the Kishinev Synagogue at: (3732)22-12-15

On behalf of my father I would like to wish all of you a good and healthy sweet year.


Rabbi Zushe Abelsky

Friends of Kishinev Jewry
775 Montgomery Street Suite #12
Brooklyn, NY 11213

Tel/Fax: (718)756-0458