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Do a Mitzvah to Honor the Founder of Judaism Online

November 17, 2023 12:21 PM

By the Grace of G‑d

Dear Friend,

This coming Shabbat marks 25 years since the passing of’s founder, Rabbi YY Kazen, who was affectionately known as “YYK” to his thousands of online correspondents.

Long before Google or Amazon were dreamed up, Chabad had already established a Jewish presence in what was then called “cyberspace.” Following the Rebbe’s vision and teachings to harness all technologies to make the world a better place, Rabbi Kazen was active in publishing Jewish ideas online and personally assisting fellow Jews all over the world.

Twenty-five years later, we can all appreciate his far-reaching vision. Like millions around the globe, if you are reading this, your life has probably been impacted by as well.

This week, we honor Harav Yosef Yitzchak ben Harav Shlomo Schneur Zalman Kazen on his 25th yahrtzeit on 12 Kislev. And we ask you to join us in paying tribute by doing something he was passionate about: spreading Torah and mitzvot to others. We encourage you to browse our Parshah section and choose one thought to share with friends and family, by sending them a link or by retelling the idea at your Shabbat table.

Rabbi Kazen dreamed of a world where access to Jewish wisdom and ideas would be freely available, and we are all part of that vision!

With best wishes,

The Team

P.S. If you knew Rabbi Kazen, or want to share some thoughts and comments for us to send to his family, please feel free to do so here.

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories

November 8, 2023 1:00 PM

Dear Friend,

Included in the offerings below, you will find a fascinating interview with a Chabad couple who are on the front lines of empowering and uplifting Jews on campus. Watch it to discover and learn from their amazing faith, love, and trust in G‑d, which they learned from the Rebbe. It’s part of Chana Weisberg’s podcast, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories. In case you missed it, we encourage you to click here to get updates whenever another extraordinary episode—and they’re all extraordinary—drops.

With wishes for true and lasting peace in the Holy Land,

Your Friends @

The War in Israel Is Personal

November 1, 2023 12:49 PM
Art by Rivka Korf Studio
Art by Rivka Korf Studio

Dear Friend,

The war in Israel is personal for every Jew. Every Jew is a brother and sister. And we all care and love each other. And I just saw that personal connection become even more apparent to me.

Last week, along with Jews everywhere, I read with relief of the release of Judith Raanan of Evanston, Ill. But it was only later that I learned that she had been an active participant at a Shabbat meal I was part of last Chanukah at her hometown Chabad House.

And then there is Hersh Polin-Goldberg, the gentle boy whose mother spoke at the UN about how he had been dragged into captivity in Gaza with his arm blown off. The name Goldberg is quite common, but I discovered that his grandmother, Marcy Goldberg, was the subject of a feature I’d written. Marcy is one of the kindest people in the world. For decades, she volunteers regularly, delivering Shabbat candles, grape juice, and challah on behalf of Chabad to Jewish patients in hospitals, and in her middle age, took in a family of inner-city kids.

While these drove home for me how connected we are, the soul connections exist whether we know it or not. We are one family, praying for each other, fighting for each other, and doing all we can—and more!—for each other.

Please G‑d, hear our prayers. Please repay Marcy and her family for her goodness, please hear the prayers of the hostages and their families, along with those of all Jews and our friends everywhere, and may we hear only good news from the Holy Land and beyond!

Menachem Posner
Managing Editor

Daily Study Meets Apple CarPlay

October 25, 2023 3:17 PM

Ever since the first commercial car radio was invented a century ago, driving and listening have gone hand in hand. Over the years, the old Motorola was replaced by more advanced devices, such as the 8-track, the cassette player, the CD player, and now satellite radio and streaming services.

For Jewish drivers, this technological evolution has been a blessing, as it has made it easier to access Torah content even while on the road. This is the literal fulfillment of the mitzvah to study Torah “when you go on the road and when you lie down and rise.”1

Now this experience has become even more convenient with the latest update to the Daily Study App, which is now compatible with Apple’s CarPlay.

CarPlay is a smarter and safer way to use your iPhone while driving, as it allows you to control your phone’s features from your car’s built-in display. With CarPlay, you can use the Daily Study App to listen to the daily lessons and switch between different topics and speakers without touching your phone.

This upgrade was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. David and Hila Warner for the safety and security of our brothers and sisters in the Land of Israel, and in memory of those who recently lost their lives al kiddush Hashem.


Kehot Tehillim App Free of Charge to Inspire Prayers for Israel

Limited offer for next eight days; upgrade highlights chapters said for those in danger

October 22, 2023
To help spread the saying of Psalms even further around the world during this time of crisis in Israel, the Kehot Publication Society's Tehillim app is being offered free of charge for the next eight days.
To help spread the saying of Psalms even further around the world during this time of crisis in Israel, the Kehot Publication Society's Tehillim app is being offered free of charge for the next eight days.

For thousands of years, through times of joy and sorrow, and particularly in times of danger, the Jewish people have turned for inspiration, courage and comfort to the emotionally charged words of King David in Tehillim (“Psalms”).

So from the moment that word of a massacre of Jews by Hamas terrorists began to spread on Shabbat morning, Oct. 7, countless people in synagogues and homes around the world immediately began to say Tehillim for the protection and safety of Israel. In the days that followed—with continuing rocket attacks battering the nation daily and hundreds of thousands of young soldiers preparing to enter the Gaza Strip—the number of people saying Tehillim has grown dramatically. It is likely that the number of people saying Tehillim today is greater than ever before in the history of the Jewish people.

To help spread the saying of Psalms even further around the world, the Kehot Publication Society’s Tehillim app is being offered free of charge for the next eight days. The app, which had been available for $4.99, has been upgraded by developers at to highlight the chapters that are recommended to be said for the safety of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

At its core, the app presents a crisp digital version of the Kehot Publication Society’s beloved Tehillim Ohel Yosef Yitzchak with English translation. It provides the daily portion of Tehillim for those who follow the monthly cycle (as per the common custom), as well as for those who wish to complete the entire Tehillim on a weekly basis.

“I recently started saying Tehillim in Hebrew from a siddur, and I find it challenging,” Lily Chapnik Rosenthal, a lawyer in Toronto told “But saying the same words said by generations upon generations of Jews for connection and protection is so powerful. It’s worth the discomfort.”

She said she is excited about what the app will offer her. “Giving me a translation, more context and more guidance as to what Tehillim to say and when will make the experience much more accessible to people like me.”

Some have started saying Tehillim again after many years. “I’ve been saying Tehillim since the first terrorist attack,” said Chana, a nurse from Ma’ale Adumim, Israel. “It’s odd that it took me so long to get back to Tehillim, but I nearly always find it makes me feel closer to Hashem, and I always find myself wondering why I stayed away from it so long.”

Others have added to their regular daily schedule. “I’ve been saying Tehillim daily for more than ten years,” said David Avraham Kletz, a business consultant from Jerusalem, who said he has occasionally added chapters to provide special benefits. “In the past two weeks I’ve added the chapters said in times of distress,” he said.

Featured Chapters Have a Storied History

The specific psalms included in the upgrade have a long and storied history.

In the fall of 1940, American Jews watched from across the ocean with horror as the Nazis began the methodical plan to eradicate Europe’s Jews. The Sixth Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Shneersohn, of righteous memory, who had recently escaped Nazi-occupied Poland, issued a small booklet of prayers to say on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in synagogues all over. It included three chapters of Psalms: 20, 22 and 69.

More than 50 years later, in the spring of 1990, the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, issued a call to Jews everywhere to increase in Torah study, prayer and tzedakah (“charity”).

In addition to the three psalms selected by his predecessor, he requested that the final chapter of Psalms, Psalm 150 be added, noting that it concluded with the words, “All souls shall praise G‑d, Hallelujah.”

During the current war, many have added Psalm 122, which speaks specifically of the “welfare of Jerusalem” and repeatedly mentions the deep desire for peace. It is especially appropriate this year, 121 years since the Rebbe’s birth, when many say this specific psalm in his honor.

If you only knew the power of reciting Tehillim and their effect in the highest Heavens,” said the third Rebbe of Chabad, “you would recite them constantly.”

The original app was sponsored by the Ainsworth family in memory of their parents. The subsidy to make the app free for the 8 days was their initiative, and is sponsored by them “in the merit of the safety of our brothers and sisters in Israel, and in loving memory and honor of Tzvi & Itty Ainsworth ע"ה.”

Click here to access the Kehot Publication Society Tehillim App for Android or iOS.

Two Weeks of Grief and Faith

October 19, 2023 10:57 AM

Dear Friend,

It’s been nearly two weeks since our nation, the Jewish people, has been forever changed.

Two weeks of grief and mourning, of intense prayer and increased mitzvot, of our heroic soldiers and citizens putting themselves in harm's way to protect their brothers and sisters.

If there is one thing that the past two weeks have taught us, it is that we are one people, chosen by G‑d, and destined for a higher purpose. Gone are all the superficial differences. We’ve seen Jews from all walks of life rise above the fray and unite in ways that are at once extraordinarily heartbreaking and deeply uplifting.

It is this togetherness, this oneness, this unity, that the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, repeatedly assured will be the primary vehicle for G‑d's blessings of safety and success of our people.

Read about all this—and plenty more—in the articles below.

With prayerful wishes for the safety of our people everywhere—especially in the Holy Land, healing to the injured, safe return of our hostages, and that Israel’s leaders have the strength and fortitude to follow the Torah’s directives to act decisively for the protection our people.

Shabbat shalom!

The Team

P.S. Please remember throughout the coming days and weeks that every single one of our prayers and mitzvot (including our charity) plays a crucial role for the safety and security of our brothers and sisters in Israel! For our existence as a people throughout the millenia is a supra-natural one, dependent entirely on the blessings and protection of our Creator.

A Note From Our Hearts

October 11, 2023 5:25 PM

Dear Friend,

Words cannot describe how we all feel right now. There are simply no terms in the dictionary to describe the depth of the pain, the outrage, and the sadness.

But neither can words contain the strength of the Jewish People’s resolve, and the immense power of our faith and our unity. United as one and firm in our trust in G‑d, Torah assures us victory over the evil people who are blinded by darkness.

Following the guidance of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, we will march forward with joy, confident in G‑d's help.

It is no coincidence that the hostilities broke out on Simchat Torah, the day we joyously read how G‑d created heaven and earth. It was He who gave the Land of Israel to His beloved nation, and it is He who will surely watch over us today.

Please see below a selection of prayers, stories and insights which we hope can bring you some comfort, context, and encouragement.

Let’s remember: We are all in this together. And together, with G‑d’s help, we shall overcome.

We pray for healing for the injured, safe return for the hostages, and divine protection for our brave IDF soldiers.

The Team

P.S. If you’re looking for our regular weekly features for this week (Parshat Bereishit, click here.

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