Letter from R’Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin


Teire Kinderlach Sheyichyu,

Yesterday was a fast day and it took a little to get my thoughts together, to be able to share with you about how was Roish Hashana here in captivity?.

Every day here has its extreme difficulties to live thru. all of this gets magnified to much bigger when it comes to shabbos and Yoim Toiv. we take for granted the ability to go to shul, to daven and Learn and then have time with the Family by the table and with the Chaveirim by the Kiddush that brings out the life and the spirit of the Yoim Toiv. it is the same for the the  Seriousness of Roish Hashana or for the simcha of Sukkois and Simchas Toirah. there is the warmth and life that is felt and the Lichtikeit of Kedusha that you could feel in the air.

it is very different here, with the lifeless frigid Cold and ugly darkness that surrounds all that is here.

Prison is a place that man makes that destroys the very makeup of the human mind, the heart and his soul. the time that people are here, causes changes that are real bad and with total irreversable damage done to them.

it was the last day of the last Year and Erev Roish Hashana of the next year. i fervently davened to HASHEM to make it the day that i would be freed. i got up very early for Selichois that was said early in the morning alone, and without a Minyan and without another Yid to share the excitement of the Great and Holy day that was coming. then Shacharis, and some learning untill it was about after lunch and suddenly there was a loud anouncement that there was a Lock in and everybody needed to go into their cell.

it was only a few hours before Roisha Hashano, i made up to call mommy about then and and this was a surprise that i never thought of. also, we were in the dark about how  long this lock in would take, and there was no knowing of how long we would be locked into our cells. there is never any information given of why we were being locked in, and for how long we will locked in. i remebered the time the Bris of Shimon Eliyahu Sheyichye and were in our cells from friday till monday, but it would also be Possible that it could last a few hours or a few days or more. i Put my Bitachoin in HASHEM and started to say Tehilim, asking  HASHEM  to open the doors quickly so that we will have a Yoim Toiv. Baruch Hashem, a few hours later, and about 1 hour before Yoim Toiv strated the doors opened to the common area only. there would be the Minyan in the Chapel and i still need the Permission to get to the chapel. i explained that its already about 6 oclock, the time the Jewish New Year Services were scheduled to start, but the orders were that “they” would call me” and i needed to wait untill they will call me to go.

i really wanted very much to light the Yoim Toiv Licht before Shkia, and  also i needed to say the HATORAS NEDORIM, with the Vollunteers that came for Yoim Toiv.  every minute of waiting felt like it was really draging and finally about 6.30 i was able to go to chapel. it was already after Licht Tzinden time and ten minutes to Shkia, which gave just enough Time to say HATORAS NEDORIM, which i really needed to say and BARCUH HASHEM that was done.

We had the great ZECHUS and Aleph arranged that the Prison allow vollunteers that came to make Yoim Toiv for us and we were able to have a Minyan for EVERY TEFILLA starting Maariv on Roish Hashono till Maariv Motzay Shabbos and this was like oxygen and life to Neshomois that were Starved for so long without the KEDUSHA that permiated the place for the Three days.

i learned for many years and many times the inyan that says in the Gemara, that on Roish Hashana HASHEM says “IMRY LEFONAI MALCHIYOIS” so that we are Mamlich HASHEM as King, and that is done thru the Shoifar, which Renews anew the TAANUG and the ROTZOIN of HASHEM LEMLUCHO. this is the inner Penimius Life of all Creation which gives existance the energy to be.
On Roish Hashana the Life that was given last year leaves and goes back into its source, which leaves the world in a state of like a fainted person with only the external existance being maintained. much like when person does work when he is tired and has no desire to do it, without the Inner life that gives the work its life.

when we make HASHEM out king the world is given a new life that has the TAANUG and ROTZOIN HASHEM in his creation.
where before the Shoifar, all of the Life on all levels of  MAASEH DIBUR AND MACHSHOVO MIDDOIS AND SECHEL left and returned to its source, thru the Shoifar we bring down a fresh new Life to give us a Good and Healthy Year in all things that we need.

this year in captivity i found another moshol that really can be felt and seen, if at least by me, and let me share it with you.
the whole captive experiance, wether by design, or just the nature of it, is very similar to the Siluk and the leaving of the persons life in all levels. his MACHSHOVO DIBBUR AND MAASEH, is sapped of their TAANUG and ROTZOIN and become “Fartumelt”. HIS SECHEL AND MIDDOIS are changed daily by the constant attack on all that has learnt to know and feel and their life also returns to the essence of the soul to hide. the outer shell of the sechel and Middois, are there if only in a Mechanical way, without the Penimius and inner feeling of life. the confining of a person and seperating him from his family and freinds and community, causes that his Penimius Hachayus is Nistalek and goes back into his Etzem Haneshama.
when a child is born, his Neshama enters his body and he has all the Koichois in a Potential state. he has his Mind with his sechel. he has his heart with his Middois or feelings, and he has the ability to “THINK TALK AND ACT” in a capacity of the  Sechel and Middois that HASHEM has given him.  there is a great effort expended from the Parents and from the community to develop and BRING OUT his Neshama  and Reveal the Qualities that he is endowed with. then after many Years,  when he reaches manhood he will have Matured at least to be able to deal with his life and fullfill his Avoidah in this world. this is a long and hardearned education of Character building that has beed built for the person.

Yet This very life Building that was so labourasley built, is systematically taken apart and dismanteled when the person is in captivity. all the TAANUG AND ROTZOIN for real life that he has been able to bring out from his Neshama,  is attacked and his ability to THINK TALK DO FEEL UNDERSTAND are extinguished with the water of  time confinement and seperation.
there is no shouting of pain as the fire of life goes out Drop by drop. over the years in captivity all the Penimius of the persons life that has been revealed from his youth, leaves and returnes back into his soul. the person is changed forever.  this could be compared to the extinuishing of life in a Physical way or a delibating desease that attacks the body and eats away at slowly with the end result of lifeless.

this is what i felt like on the night of Roish HASHANA, the life that has left us and our feeling faint with the Loss of life. then as we gathered as Minyan, complete Koshois of Ten Yudden, with their freindly and warm smile and words, we felt how the life was coming back into our Neshanmois. it was just we learnt, of How HASHEM renews his desire to give his Life to the world that he created on Roish Hashana.  the Neshamois of the Yidden that are in captiivty all felt, the Life that HASHEM was imjecting back into our Sechel and Middois and Machshovo Dibbur and Maaseh with the Vollunteers who were Moiser Nefesh  to be with us and allow us to daven like yidden. During the Blowing of the Shoifar when we said YIVCHAR LONU we felt refreshed with the new life that HASHEM is choosing us to be his Avodim and allow us to crown HASHEM as Our King.

then there was a time when they needed to count everybody that was in the chapel. the inmates were told to all line up and say to the officer their number and their as he checked off his. yes he was counting each one as they passed him by, but he had no concern for them as people just as a number.


as i was davening Mussof and said Unesane Toikef the words of VESIFTACH ES SEFER HAZICHROINOIS that the book is opened for all to see and read. How diffrent is it to be standing in front of Real Tedek Umishapat of HAKODOSIH BARUCH HU in contrast to all that closed book stuff where no one know and no one can see what the is happening even when its during a court case and so many more diffrance. its as far as east is from west and even farther.

We Baruch Hashem were able to make Kiddush Tohether and wish each other a Leshono Toivo
and with the firm Bitachois that we are Zoiche Bedin in the Keseeva and with the GMAR CHASEEMA TOIVO That we will all receive for a GOOD YEAR IN FREEDOM AND TOGETHER AND WE WILL BE ZOICHE TO THE GEULAH WITH MOSHIACH TZIDKAYNU BIMHAYRO BEYOMAYNU
sholom mordechai halevi ben Rivka sheyichye

If you would like to write to Sholom Mordechai, his email address is: mailforsholom@gmail.com

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Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin 10755-029
FCI Otisville
Otisville, NY 10963