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An Unconventional Building Campaign

Friday, 25 July, 2014 - 11:52 am

The prophet Ezekiel received a prophecy regarding the design of the Temple just soon after the Babylonian Exile commenced. “Tell the people of Israel of the House... and measure the design." (Ezekiel 43:10) Our Sages relate: Yechezkel replied to Him: "Master of the Earth, why are You telling me to go and tell Israel the form of the House... They are now in exile in the land of our enemies. Is there anything they can do [about it]? Let them be until they return from the exile. Then, I will go and inform them." G-d answered: "Should the construction of My House be ignored just because My children are in exile?" G-d declared: "The study of the Torah's [design of the Beit Hamikdash] can be equated to its [actual] construction.”

From this Midrash we derive that during the times of exile, studying the laws of the Temple is the actual fulfillment of the command in Exodus, “Make for Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst.” Taking it one step deeper, the Beit Hamikdash has two elements, the physical Temple and the spiritual Temple. At the time of the rebuilding of the Temple, the spiritual Temple will be invested into the physical building thereby endowing it with eternality. While the physical Temple may not be built until the proper time, with the coming of Moshiach, by learning the Torah - the laws of the Temple, we actively engage in constructing the spiritual Temple, which will then be revealed when the time comes.

To learn more about the Laws of the Temple, go to www.chabadneworleans.com/144586. Join us also for our Lunch N Learn this week, where the topic is the Temple Mount. For more info www.chabadneworleans.com/1725755.

The situation is Israel continues to occupy front and center space in our minds and in the media. To follow the situation see www.chabadneworleans.com/2639944. To support the efforts of Chabad Terror Victims Project go to www.ctvp.org.

25 Rabbis walked into a bar. The bartender said, “What is this? Some kind of joke”. This week 25 Rabbis, Shluchim of the Southern Region from North Carolina to Florida to Texas and everywhere in between, converged upon New Orleans for our annual regional conference. There was a good spirit of camaraderie. We engaged in study sessions and discussed important issues including, increased cooperation among Chabad centers in the region and beyond and working with other Jewish organizations. Older Shluchim shared guidance they had from the Rebbe in their work. We enjoyed a presentation by Bradley Bain on empowering lay leaders. A community event that featured an activity called "Who said it best?" whereby three Rabbis were asked to answer several tough questions in rapid fire succession while a panel of judges evaluated their performance. Enjoy the photos below.

Later in the week a wonderful event for women, Ladies Night Out, was held. Great food, informative presentations and an art project rounded out an enjoyable evening. See photos below.

The New Orleans Eruv, a collaborative project of Anshe Sfard and Chabad Uptown, has been in the planning stages for some time now. A grant from the Jewish Federation allowed us to launch the project onto the path of reality. This week, Rabbi David Polsky and I spent several days in the company of Eruv expert, Rabbi Moshe Unsdorfer. We canvassed the city to the north, south, east and west to design an Eruv that will serve our Jewish population as well as tourists and conventioneers. This was an important step that brings us closer to having an actual Eruv in the near future, G-d willing. See photos below.

Mazel Tov to the Ceitlin/Nemes family upon the Bris of Sholom Dovber Ceitlin.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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