Yisro 5752: Dwelling-Place and the One Who Dwells There

This sicha focuses on the 10 Commandments (“Aseres Hadibros“) and their relationship with Hashem’s desire for a “dwelling place down below” דירה בתחתונים.

There are two versions of the Dibros: those spoken by Hashem (in parshas Yisro), and those repeated by Moshe Rabbeinu in parshas V’eschanon.  The Rebbe refers to them as the “first Dibros” and the “last Dibros”.  Each version expresses something different: the first Dibros coming from Hashem Himself on Har Sinai, and the second spoken by Moshe “with slight changes”.

The goal of creation is to create a dwelling place in the lower worlds.  This means that just as a person’s essence is truly “at home” in his own dwelling place, we find the same by Hashem.  Explains the Rebbe: the true “dwelling place” for Hashem’s essence (“Atzmus“) is the Yidden themselves.  Why?  Because the Yidden are (“so to speak”) one thing with Atzmus (as is stated in the Zohar “Yisroel and the Holy One, Blessed be He, are all One”).  Furthermore, this enables them to make the world itself into a dwelling place down below — a “dira b’tachtonim”.

This is reflected in our two versions of the Aseres Hadibros: The first Dibros, which were heard from Hashem, give the power to make a “dwelling place for Him, may He be blessed–for His Essence” (דירה לו, יתברך — לו לעצמותו).  The last Dibros, spoken by Moshe Rabbeinu, give the power to the Yidden to affect the world on its own terms, since Moshe himself is found below.

We find here two concepts: a dwelling-place, and that it should be “down below”.  The special quality of the first Dibros (“G-d spoke all these things…”) is that they are a revelation drawn down from Hashem’s very essence (עצמוצתו ומהותו) without any intermediary at all, not even the “ish Elokim”, the G-dly man Moshe.  Even though Moshe is an “intermediary who connects“, and the Shechina is speaking from his throat, nonetheless there is some measure of change that occurs through him.  The special quality of the first Dibros is that they come direct, straight from Hashem Himself.  The drawback is that they nullified our existence and “with each speaking, their souls flew out” (פרחה נשמתן).  The special quality of the last Dibros is that the Yidden can receive them and internalize them without being nullified out of existence.

In the “dwelling place down below” itself there are two dimensions: a) the dwelling place itself (which must be “down below”), and b) the one who dwells there.  The dwelling place is not part of the dweller himself, it is separate from him and remains “tachton” — “down below”.  The last Dibros which we received from Moshe Rabbeinu are more the aspect of “down below”: we can internalize them better (as mentioned above), but they are not a revelation of “the One who dwells” in the dwelling place.  In contrast, the first Dibros are the dimension of a dwelling place for a revelation of the essence (“Atzmuso u-mehuso“) — Hashem Himself.

We could say that the last Dibros allow us to better understand and grasp what Hashem is telling us, but it’s not Hashem Himself.  Like one who hears a translation and explanation of the Rebbe’s sicha: he can understand the subject quite well, but it is not the same as if he would hear it directly lfrom the Rebbe himself.

As emphasized in most of the Dvar Malchus sichos, the Rebbe asserts that neither one of these dimensions is by itself complete.  Rather, the ultimate perfection is through the unity of both of them: the revelation of Hashem’s essence without a need for Moshe Rabbeinu (like the first Dibros), but in a way where the tachton is not nullified out of existence and the message can be internalized.  In such a unity, the “tachton” becomes a “channel” for Hashem’s speech, speech which comes from “Atzmuso u-mehuso” (“the One who dwells”), until it reaches the point that a Yid is, so to speak, one with the Eybershter.

This is also expressed in the numbers 10 and 11 (relevant to the luminescent days of Yud Shevat (the passing and Hillula of the Previous Rebbe in 5710) and Yud-Alef Shevat (the following day the next year when the Rebbe מה”מ accepted the position of Rebbe)).  The 10 Dibros given at Chorev (referring to Har Sinai) correspond to the 10 sefiros.  The number 11 (as stated in the posuk “eleven days journey to Chorev”) refers to the level of Kesser (the “Crown”) which is above all the sefiros in our Seder Hishtalshelus.  Their unification means drawing down the 11 (“Kesser“), the “transcending powers” (כוחות המקיפין) into our familiar world of 10 sefiros (“tachtonim“) down below.

Yud Shevat (the 10th of Shevat, the passing of the Previous Rebbe) is connected with the completion of the dimension of the last Dibros: making the world into a dwelling place.  The day of 11 Shevat (the acceptance of leadership by the Rebbe מה”מ) is the aspect of the first Dibros: drawing down Hashem’s essence (עצמותו יתברך) — the One who dwells — into the dwelling.  The Rebbe adds: “And we could say, that this is like the special quality and chiddush of the speaking of the first Dibros by G-d (the aspect of 11), after the last Dibros were also said [already] by Moshe (the aspect of 10).”  This amazing insight implies that the previous generation could only hear the word of Hashem through the holy intermediary of Moshe, ish haElokim; whereas in our generation we are hearing it directly from Hashem’s Essence!

 

 

 

 

 

The Rebbe also explains that when we say that Moshiach should come immediately, the word in the Holy Tongue (“מיד“) is also an acronym (“rashei teivos”) for:

מ — Moshiach (footnote 96 here: “to point out that ‘his name is Menachem’ (Sanhedrin 98b)” [להעיר שמנחם שמו]),

י — both names of the Previous Rebbe [“Yosef Yitzchok”], and

ד — their generation (דורם) [meaning that they lived in the same generation].

Bo-Beshallach, 5752: Gathering Tzaddikim For a Greater Elevation

It is brought in the writings of the Arizal that the generation of the future Geulah is a gilgul (reincarnation) of the generation that came out of Egypt, and according to this, we are redeemed in the merit of the righteous women in our generation, for they themselves are the righteous women in whose merit we came out of Egypt.

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What makes our generation special?  It is rooted in Nosi Hador, the leader of the generation:

The completion and perfection of the avodah (spiritual mission) of the Nosi Hador (on his Yom Hahillula [day of his passing–Yud Shevat]) is the completion and perfection of the avodah of the entire generation (for “the Nosi is everything” [Rashi on Chukas 21:21]), and since this generation is the final generation, then this is the completion and perfection of all of the avodah of Knesses Yisroel (woman) to make a dwelling place down below for Hashem, may He be blessed.

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This relates to the concept of the “disappearance (סלוק) of Tzaddikim” (yahrzeit and Hillula) upon the completion and perfection of their avodah, as the verse states “My beloved went down to his garden…to collect roses”, upon which the Midrash expounds: “to hide away (לסלק) the Tzaddikim that are among Yisroel” (which means that they have completed their souls through Torah and Mitzvos [commentaries “Yafeh Kol” and “Yadei Moshe” on this midrash]). More importantly: this “disappearance” (“סלוק”) is for a much greater elevation (incomparably so) which will be in the world of the resurrection, “those who dwell in the dust arise and sing”, and the Tzaddikim (the “roses”) at their head, souls in bodies in this physical world, in the true and complete Geulah.

The Rebbe proceeds to mention the inyan of the “breaking out of all the spiritual lights” (“ispariyu v’isgaleen minei kol nehorin“) in connection with the histalkus of Nosi Hador, which occurs at the time of histalkus.  The Rebbe clarifies that “the inyan of histalkus is not disappearing  (סלוק), chas v’sholom, but rather the revelation of the encompassing light (ohr hasovev kol almin) in the aspect of exaltedness” [note 44].  The main point, says the Rebbe, is that this “breaking out of all the spiritual lights” is the culmination of all the avodah of his lifetime.

Further explaining the connection with righteous women, the Rebbe mentions Miriam and her rejoicing with tambourines at the splitting of the sea, and brings the Midrash that “Miriam is named for merirus [=bitterness]”, that the most difficult period of “they made their lives bitter through servitude [in Egypt]” began when Miriam was born, and after this (and through this bitterness) “the Holy One, blessed be He, appointed the redeemer, this is Miriam” (for Dovid Hamelech is a descendant of Miriam, and similarly Moshiach Tzidkeinu who descends from Dovid).  This is coming to tell us that “the Geulah was through this that Miriam greatly felt the pain and bitterness of exile.”  So, too, our bitterness over exile, and our anticipation of and yearning for the Geulah will bring it in actuality.  In fact, according to the degree of her bitterness over the golus was her great joy upon the redemption, so that she took a tambourine in her hand and led all the women in celebration.

This celebration occurred when “they saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore”, for it was at that time that the fear of the Egyptians ceased to plague Bnei Yisroel, which is the completion of the redemption of Yisroel and thus the joy over the redemption was also complete.

…we are assured that immediately the true and complete Geulah is coming, and the women begin immediately (in the last moments of golus) to sing (“with consummate modesty, of course”) with tambourines and instruments, rejoicing over the coming of the true and complete Geulah!

More specifically: together with the tefillah, the request and the demand from the Holy One, blessed be He, that the Geulah should come immediately mamash, which is with a feeling of pain and bitterness over the length of golus, which expresses itself in the cry from the depths of the heart “Ad mosai, ad mosai, ad mosai”!…  [=”until when?!”]  yet they [the righteous women] are imbued with the feeling of joy, and the greatest joy which is expressed in song due to the great trust that “behold, this one (“the King Moshiach”) comes”, and already has come!

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This sicha was printed as a compilationof the talks of Shabbos Parshas Bo (6 Shevat 5752) and Shabbos Parshas Beshallach (13 Shevat 5752)

View the translation of Sichos in English

Bo 5752: G-dliness Revealed Without Histalkus

CONFRONTING PHARAOH

Our parsha begins with Hashem’s instruction to Moshe Rabbeinu “Come to Pharaoh”.  The question is asked: why “come to Pharaoh” and not “go to Pharaoh” (as stated in other verses)?  Furthermore, being that the Torah is eternal, what is the relevance of going to Pharaoh, King of Egypt, when we are standing at the end of golus–long after Egypt was rendered helpless and nothing remains of Pharaoh–at a time when the birurim of the klipah of Pharaoh are finished (as mentioned many times)?

The commentaries explain that Moshe Rabbeinu was afraid to go to the inner chambers of Pharaoh, and therefore Hashem said “Come [with Me] to Pharaoh” to ease Moshe’s fear of confronting Pharaoh alone.

However, our question becomes stronger when we learn, based on the Zohar, that the evil Pharaoh that we encountered in Egypt has his source in the “Pharaoh of kedusha (holiness)”, which refers to the revelation of G-dliness.  Why was Moshe afraid to go to the Pharoah of holiness, so much so that he needed a direct command from Hashem to “come” together with Hashem?!

The answer is that the revelation of G-dliness that is represented by the Pharaoh of kedusha is a revelation of all levels of holiness, up to and including Hashem’s very essence (“atzmus“).  The Zohar calls it “the breaking out of all the lights”.  A soul enclothed in a limited physical body cannot hope to receive such a revelation without being nullified out of existence.  Thus, Moshe was afraid.  So Hashem reassures him “come” to Pharaoh, meaning Hashem Himself, Hashem’s very essence, will accompany Moshe and because Hashem is all-capable (particularly expressed in Hashem’s essence), this will make it possible for Moshe–even as a soul enclothed in a body–to receive and internalize this revelation of G-dliness.

The Rebbe explains what sort of revelation we are speaking about: it is the revelation of the unlimited within the limited vessel of the body.  To reveal the unlimited within the limited–a complete contradiction–is only with in the power of Hashem’s essence.  Only Hashem’s atzmus can put the lights of Tohu into the vessels of Tikkun.

Why is it so important that Moshe receive this revelation while enclothed soul in body?  Because this represents the fulfillment of Hashem’s intent in Creation: to make a dwelling place down below, that the highest revelations (Hashem’s atzmus) should be revealed “below”–to a soul in a body.  This occurred in the most complete manner at Matan Torah, when Hashem gave us the Torah at Har Sinai, when this revelation was experienced by the entire Jewish people (and if not for the sin of the Golden Calf, it would have been the true and complete Geulah).  Thus, by giving this revelation to Moshe Rabbeinu, it is a preparation and the beginning of the process.

UNCIRCUMCIZED LIPS: THE WORLD’S SHORTCOMING

The Torah tells us that Moshe Rabbeinu doubted his ability to take the Bnei Yisroel out of Egypt because he was “heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue” and he had “uncircumcized lips”.  The explanation of this, according to Chassidus, the inner dimension of Torah, is that the level of Moshe Rabbeinu’s soul is so lofty that it is above the level that can be revealed in speech.  The source of Moshe Rabbeinu’s soul is in the primordial world of Tohu, unlimited spiritual lights which cannot be limited into constraining vessels.  Thus, to express this in a limited world was not possible–Moshe Rabbeinu’s self-expression was hindered by the world’s own limitations.  This was not Moshe’s problem, but the world’s problem. (By way of analogy: similar to when one turns up the volume too high for the loudspeakers to handle, the music comes out distorted.  Not because there is a problem with the music, but because the loudspeakers are unable to handle such a high level.)

This was true from the beginning, and the very fact that Moshe Rabbeinu was able to communicate at all in Egypt was only due to the fact that Hashem miraculously enabled him to be understood.  But Moshe was not yet “healed” from his “problem” until Hashem revealed His Essence at Matan Torah by saying “Anochi” in the Ten Commandments.  This is because the complete revelation in speech within the entire world could only occur after the destruction of klipas Mitzrayim.  Thus, “Come to Pharaoh”, which represents the breaking of that klipa was the first step in the revelation of Hashem’s atzmus, and via Moshe Rabbeinu it could then be drawn down to the entire Jewish people (at Matan Torah).

This revelation of Hashem’s essence which can unify the limited and the unlimited is the purpose of Creation, and thus we find that the Ramban writes (and Chassidus concurs) that the ultimate reward and ultimate state of being is souls in bodies at the resurrection of the dead (and not souls without bodies, which is the Rambam’s opinion).

This is also why the Bnei Yisroel had to borrow the gold and silver vessels from the Egyptians rather than take them (as well-earned back pay for generations of slavery): because not only does Egypt need to be “nullified”, but it needs to be transformed to the point that it willingly wants to help the Jewish people leave exile.  Only in cases where this cannot be accomplished, and there is no other choice, is there a need to “break” and “nullify”; otherwise, the preferred path is that it should be done in a peaceful way where the other side itself is a willing partner.)

At the time of the Egyptian exile the birurim (refinements) were not yet finished, but now we stand at the end of golus and all the refinement has been completed and thus we will leave this exile:

in a way of spiritual and physical ease, in a state of ultimate perfection and health — souls in bodies, and passing over immediately (without any interruption at all) to eternal life of souls in bodies in the true and complete Geulah (the ultimate state of reward, as mentioned above).

YUD SHEVAT

On Yud Shevat, 5710 (1950) the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe passed away.  Says the Rebbe: on Yud Shevat the Moshe Rabbeinu of our generation, the Previous Rebbe, experienced “Come to Pharaoh”–“the breaking out of all the lights”.   And through the fact that he received this revelation, now it can be drawn down to all the people of the generation.  Right now, however, this revelation remains in a way where the Previous Rebbe is found soul higher than the body.

The Previous Rebbe, like Moshe Rabbeinu, suffered from “speech being in exile” because later in life he was unable to speak clearly.  But we understand from what we learned about Moshe Rabbeinu that this was due to the limitation of the world, not of the Rebbe–because the birurim were not yet completed.  Thus, in the previous generation, there was a histalkus of the soul from the body, unlike in our generation when we can receive the revelation of “the breaking out of all the lights” in a way where the soul remains in the body!  This will occur through the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu immediately and will cause the ultimate elevation of all the generations that came before through the “awakening from the dust” (resurrection of the dead).

EVERYONE IS READY FOR GEULAH

Not only are the Jewish people standing ready for Geulah, the nations of the world are also standing ready for the Jewish people to go out of golus and to go to Eretz Yisroel in the true and complete Geulah.  This means souls in bodies without any interruption.  The Rebbe goes on to state that:

Spiritually (reaching to the highest levels) the matters are already completed up to the completion of the Geulah (spiritually).  The spiritual eyes of a Jew already see the Geulah; at present one needs only to open up the physical eyes, that they should also see the Geulah as it is revealed to eyes of flesh at this time…the chiddush of the Geulah is found in the revelation of “the breaking out of all the lights” will also be in the physicality of the world which appears to eyes of flesh, in physical time and place, making a dwelling place for Him down below.

A spiritual Geulah is not sufficient, it must be a Geulah that is visible to eyes of flesh.  First and foremost, this is to express in our own conduct a revelation of Hashem’s atzmus, Hashem’s essence, which permeates everything equally.  This means from the loftiest things (Torah, Tefillah, Chesed) to the most mundane things (eating, sleeping, working)–our entire lives must show the world that we are in a state of Geulah.  Through this even loftier things will be revealed to us, through the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu this very second!


For further reading:

All That Remains is to Open Up the Eyes

The Generation That Does Not Die

Vayechi 5752: Where Eternal Life is Drawn From

ונשיא דורנו – יוסף שבדורנו – ש”לא מת”, כמו יעקב אבינו (“אלה תולדות יעקב יוסף”), כידוע ש”נשיא” ר”ת “ניצוצו של יעקב אבינו”, וע”י ההתקשרות והביטול לנשיא הדור ה”ז נמשך בכל אחד ואחת מאנשי הדור…

“The Nosi of our generation — the Yosef in our generation — who “did not die”, like Yaakov Avinu (“these are the descendants of Yaakov, Yosef”), as is known that “Nosi” is composed of the initial letters of the phrase “A spark of Yaakov Avinu”, and through the hiskashrus (connection) and the bittul (self-nullification) to the Nosi of the generation, this [aspect of Yaakov Avinu who did not die] is drawn down into every single member of our generation…”

Q: Should I understand that the Rebbe is telling me that my own personal hiskashrus and bittul to the Nosi is what draws down his eternal life (חיים נצחיים) to every single Yid in the generation?!

Hard to support such an understanding.

Perhaps the intention that each one, through his own hiskashrus and bittul to the Nosi draws down eternal life (חיים נצחיים) to himself.

Maybe.

Perhaps a more correct reading is that the hiskashrus and bittul of the Rebbe himself to his Nossi (the Frierdicker Rebbe, who “did not die”) is what is drawing down eternal life (חיים נצחיים) to every single Yid in the generation!

Va’era 5752: The Rectification of Death

In the second sicha printed for parshas Va’era 5752, the Rebbe elaborates on the statement of the sages that “one who dies on Erev Shabbos, it is a good sign for him”.

The Gemara describes that when R’ Yehuda haNosi took ill, R’ Chiya visited him and found him crying.  He asked him why he was crying (assuming that he was afraid of death).  R’ Chiya proceeded to give him a list of signs that portend well for the fate of a person after death (and their opposite): Dying amidst laughter is a good sign, while crying is a not good; one who dies on Erev Shabbos is a good sign, after Shabbos is not good.  (And several others.)

R’ Yehuda haNosi responded that he was crying (not from a fear of his fate after death, but rather) because of the Torah and Mitzvos he would no longer be able to perform.  Seemingly, the list of good signs brought by R’ Chiya (several of which applied to R’ Yehuda haNosi and were meant to comfort him), do not help the reason given by R’ Yehuda for his crying, because seemingly being unable to perform Torah and Mitzvos after ones passing is not affected by the good signs of how a person passes away.  (The Rebbe brings a proof for this from the story in the Gemara about Dovid haMelech, who asked to pass away on Erev Shabbos (because then one is not subject to “chibut hakever“), and Hashem refused him, telling him that even one day of his Torah learning was more dear to Him.)

Furthermore, the Rebbe asks on this whole discussion a fundamental question:

“How is it possible to truthfully say (in Toras Emes, the Torah of truth) that “one who dies on Erev Shabbos it is a good sign for him” — a “good sign” in relation to the occurrence of death, the opposite of life, the ultimate opposite of good according to Torah?!”  

Sincethe Torah defines “good” as fulfilling the will of Hashem through the performance of Torah and Mitzvos as a soul in a body, then death is the opposite of Good, since it is the the departure of the soul from the body and the performance of Torah and Mitzvos ceases (thus it was the reason for R’ Yehuda haNosi’s crying).

In answer the Rebbe explains that:

The “good sign” of “one who dies on Erev Shabbos” indicates and emphasizes the rectification of the undesirable aspect in the general inyan of death, and automatically the reason for R’ Yehuda haNossi’s crying over the interruption of Torah and Mitzvos is nullified (and rectified), as we will explain.

The Rebbe proceeds to explain that already on the very first Erev Shabbos, when Adam Harishon was created, there was already something similar to death that took place, as the verse states “Hashem brought a drowsiness upon the Man and caused him to sleep”.  Sleep is called “one-sixtieth of death” by our sages, for when a person sleeps his life force (chayus) is not visible (through movement, expressing ideas, etc.).  This is seemingly an undesirable state, but in fact it is a sign that there will be an increase in the individual’s chayus (life-force) when he wakes up, an incomparable increase.  In the case of Adam Harishon this resulted in the creation of his wife, Chava, after which they could bring unlimited generations into being — an incomparable increase of chayus compared to before he slept, from the limited to the unlimited.

This model also holds in the bigger picture of the 6,000 years of this world which correspond to the days of Creation (the 7th millennium corresponding to the 7th day, Shabbos).  The 6th millennium (which we are in presently) corresponds to “Erev Shabbos”, the end of the time of golus, and there is this inyan of sleeping through which is brought about a union on a higher level (according to Kabbalah this is the union of Z”A and Malchus, the Holy One, blessed be He, and Knesses Yisroel), corresponding to the sleep of Adam Harishon that resulted in an infinitely higher state of being.

Thus, one who “dies on Erev Shabbos” also refers to one who passes away in our time, the eve of the 7th millennium; it is like the sleep we mentioned above.  So it turns out that this death (on “Erev Shabbos” at the end of golus) is for the sake of an increase and renewal of life.  This has two explanations:

a) Our sages say “Yaakov Avinu did not die…just as his descendants are alive, so, too, he is alive”, that through the continuation of the life of his descendants (true life, in accordance with Torah) this brings about that “also he is alive”.  And more than this, that this inyan of “he is alive” in its true sense, meaning eternal existence, is revealed by the continuation and eternality of “his descendants are alive” after his passing [in other words, Yaakov’s eternal life is revealed specifically after he passes away (or, at least, seemed to pass away) by the fact that his descendants continue to live the true life of Torah]that specifically then it can be seen in a revealed way the eternality (the truth) of “he is alive”.  So it turns out that through death comes about an increase and renewal of life — the revelation of the eternality and truth of life.

b) And this is the main thing: that the concealment (histalkus) of the chayus that occurs at death is for the sake of an increase and renewal of chayus as a soul in a body — at the resurrection of the dead, for then there will be life of a soul in a body in eternal life.

This enables us to answer the question of how does telling R’ Yehuda haNosi that “one who dies on Erev Shabbos it is a good sign for him”: since on Erev Shabbos it is emphasized that the concealment (histalkus) of the chayus is for the sake of an increase and renewal of the chayus.  Thus, it turns out that

…the time of death coming on Erev Shabbos is in a way that emphasizes in a revealed way the good aspect alone, the increase and renewal of chayus, both through the increase of the eternality and the truth of the life through the fact that “his descendants are alive”, and also and mainly through the Resurrection of the dead right after the time of burial.

Thus, it turns out, that this “good sign” indicates and emphasizes the rectification of the undesirable aspect in death, and automatically the reason that Rebi [Yehuda haNosi] was crying over the nullification of Torah and Mitzvos is rectified as well, because when Tzaddikim arise at the Resurrection of the dead (at the beginning of Yemos Hamoshiach, forty years before the epoch of the Resurrection of the dead of all Bnei Yisroel) there is a continuation of the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvos (and to the contrary: in a higher degree of perfection — “as mitzvos of Your will”, כמצות רצונך)

In other words, death on Erev Shabbos is a good sign also as regards the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvos, for following on the heals of this death is the Resurrection of the dead which enables the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvos as a soul in a body in a perfected and unlimited way, immeasurably greater than the way it was before the “death on Erev Shabbos”!

The Rebbe then takes this even further: that the main intention of this “good sign” is not literal death, chas v’sholom, but rather the avodah of the Yid in his lifetime as a soul in a body.  This is especially after it has already occurred literally with unique individuals, and through them it is sufficient to fulfill the obligation of the rest of Bnei Yisroel (so that the rest of us do not need to literally pass away in order to attain the higher level described above). Consequently, by the rest of Bnei Yisroel there will be only the spiritual avodah of “death” (meaning self-nullification, bittul), with a seamless continuation to eternal life (without any interruption in between) in the time to come.

Death on Erev Shabbos (the 6th millennium, our times) is only a concealment as a preparation for a revelation of a higher level of life — eternal life of the soul in the body, in the ultimate state of perfection!

Shemos 5752: To Bring to the Days of Moshiach

This parsha, following the passing of Yaakov, Yosef, and the brothers, is the beginning of a new era in the history of Bnei Yisroel — the beginning of the Egyptian exile.  “These are the names of Bnei Yisroel who came to Egypt” — the first exile.

The midrash states that the reason for the subsequent redemption from Egypt was “due to the fact that [Bnei Yisroel] did not change their names…they went down as Reuvain and Shimon and they came up as Reuvain and Shimon.”  This is a comment on the name (and initial verse) of our parsha: Shemos (meaning, “names”), which refers to the beginning of the exile in Egypt, as mentioned.

The Rebbe derives from this that the verse “these are the names of Bnei Yisroel who came to Egypt” is also emphasizing the merit for which they were ultimately redeemed from Egypt (“that they didn’t change their names”).  In other words — it is referring both to the beginning of the golus and also to the future Geulah from that golus.

The whole idea of “coming to Egypt” is in truth the “Geulah of Yisroel”.  The descent which occurs in the meantime [until the Geulah comes] is on the superficial level (בחיצוניות), but on a deeper level (בפנימיות), the descent itself is (not only for the sake that through it will come the ascent that occurs through the redemption from Egypt, but more than that–) a part of the ascent and the Geulah itself, until we reach the ascent of the true and complete Geulah…the future Geulah.

In other words, not only is there a “descent for the sake of an ascent”, which makes the descent worthwhile in the end; here the Rebbe is saying something much greater: the descent itself is already part of the ultimate ascent!

At this point, the Rebbe turns to explain the familiar statement:

Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said: I am like a person seventy years old and yet I did not merit (to understand the source for the obligation) to recall the exodus from Egypt at night until Ben Zoma explained: “It is written, ‘so that you recall the day you left Egypt all the days of your life.’ ‘The days of your life,’ this refers to the actual days. ‘All the days of your life,’ includes the nights as well.” Our Sages say: “ ’The days of your life,’ this refers to the present era. ‘All the days of your life,’ includes the Era of the Redemption.”

There are three levels: Day (when the light of Hashem is shining); Night (the darkness of exile); and the Days of Moshiach (Yemos Hamoshiach, which we will explain).

The Rebbe refers here to Yemos Hamoshiach as a time of “a state of Geulah”, which seemingly is not the same thing as Geulah.  Rather, it is a unification of Geulah (which completely transcends all limitations) and golus, where the unlimited aspect of the Geulah is “drawn down into the limitations of the reality of olam hazeh”.

How can such a thing happen, the unlimited being drawn into the limited?  This is the unique power of the Nosi, the leader of the generation (as was Rabbi Elazar ben Azaria, mentioned above):

The chiddush of the leader of Yisroel (“Nosi b’Yisroel” — the world “Nosi” coming from the word “exalted” התנשאות) is that he connects and unifies “all the days of your life” of every single Jew and of all of Israel — “all the days of your life” the physical days in olam hazeh and particularly in the time of golus (“nights”) — with the Geulah in general and with Yemos Hamoshiach in particular…specifically the Nosi has the power to connect and unify the golus with the Geulah.

For us, this means that “all the days of your life” — as a soul in a body in this physical and material world and in the time of golus, we can go out from the limitations of this world and, more than this: put ourselves in a state of Yemos Hamoshiach!  It is true that the complete Geulah depends on everything being “as it should be” (תוכו כברו).  Nonetheless, even in a personal state of golus (when one is not “as he should be”) he is given special help from the Holy One, blessed be He, and he is given the ability to bring about the true and complete Geulah.  This is why Rabbi Elazar ben Azaria changed the policy and opened up the doors to the study halls to allow students who were not “as they should be” — because he gives them the power to transform things even while in a state of golus!

Thus, even in the “night” of golus, having descending into Egypt, surrounded by 70 nations, he can bring himself to a state of Geulah — “all the days of your life, to bring Yemos Hamoshiach”.

How realistic is this for us?  The Rebbe states:

The instruction from this is understood in simple terms, especially in our generation and our time: as has been said numerous times the words of my father-in-law the leader of our generation (“Nosi Doreinu”), that in addition to the fact that already “all of the end-times have passed”, and Bnei Yisroel have already done tshuva, and finished everything, including polishing the buttons, and all that is needed is that the Holy One, blessed be He, will open up the eyes of Bnei Yisroel so they will see that the true and complete Geulah exists already, and we are already sitting at the set table, at the feast of the Levyoson and the Shor Habar, etc., etc….

This includes transitioning seamlessly from “the days of your life” into “Yemos Hamoshiach”:

and from “the days of your life” at this time and in this place, without any delay in between, chas v’sholom, every single Jew passes immediately with the ultimate perfection in a continuation of “all the days of your life” in Yemos Hamoshiach, and the eternal life that will be then.

What is our job?  Our job is to actually to bring to “Yemos Hamoshiach”, with an emphasis to recognize the one who accomplishes all this:

As regards actual action, the intent is that the avodah of Bnei Yisroel now must be “to bring to Yemos Hamoshiach”, to reveal already in actuality that the state of “coming to Egypt” in golus is in truth a state of “the Geulah of Yisroel”, through this that they prepare themselves and prepare others for the state of “Yemos Hamoshiach”…and since there is already the “king from the house of Dovid who is involved in Torah and busy with Mitzvos like his father Dovid…and he will force all of Israel to go in it and to rectify its breaches and fight the wars of Hashem” — for then “we can assume that he is Moshiach” (בחזקת משיח) — that already immediately he will be “certainly Moshiach” (משיח בודאי), through this that “he did all this and succeeded and built the Beis Hamikdash in his place and gathered in the dispersed of Israel…and rectified the entire world to serve Hashem together, etc.”

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Video Shiur: Vayechi 5752

The Meal is Ready, Are You Ready?

Chabadinfo.com Exclusive: In the last Sicha we heard from the Rebbe on Parshas Vayechi, in the year 5752, the Rebbe states that our work has been done, and the Royal Meal of the Livyasan, and Shor Habar is ready ● Learn this week’s Sicha with ChabadInfo.com’s Weekly Shiur of the “Dvar Malchus” Sicha in English, presented by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lipskier, Mashpia of Mesivta of Melbourne, Australia ● Watch Video