Devarim 5751: One More Request for Moshiach

This year, Tisha B’Av falls out on Shabbos.  The fast, together with all other aspects of mourning the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, are pushed off until the 10th (Sunday).  But the positive aspects of Tisha B’Av remain, which include it being an “auspicious time” (like every fast day) and also the birth of Moshiach.  Therefore, on Shabbos Tisha B’Av we are eating a feast!  Halacha permits one to sit and enjoy a repast as rich as Shlomo Hamelech’s even to the last moment before shkia (sunset) [unlike regular years, when we eat a mourner’s meal before the fast].

This itself is a taste of the Messianic Age, when all the fast days will be transformed to days of rejoicing, and as such our Shabbos meals on Tisha B’Av assume a Moshiach-like dimension of the feast of the Levyoson and Shor Habar (the Leviathan and Wild Bull).  On a deeper level: every year we re-experience the churban, the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, and the mourning, and then in the afternoon, at Mincha-time, comes the comforting–the birth of Moshiach.  This year we have the birth of Moshiach (who builds the 3rd Beis Hamikdash which will never be destroyed) without the churban!  This hints that b’pnimiyus the destruction of the 1st and 2nd Beis Hamikdash were really only for the sake of the building of the 3rd, eternal Beis Hamikdash.

All of this was in fact present at the time of the churban, but it was concealed.  The inner positive aspects of Tisha B’Av, the birth of Moshiach, does not become revealed until the 15th of Av, which is when the moon is full, the moon being the aspect of Dovid Malka Mashicha. (This also hints at the Jewish people, when they reach full potential to receive the light (as the moon receives and reflects from the sun), reveal that Moshiach was actually born on Tisha B’Av.

The three weeks leading up to Tisha B’Av hint at the “three moichin” (3 aspects of Supernal Intellect) which themselves correspond to the lands of the three nations–Keni, Kenizi, Kadmoni–which were promised to Avraham Avinu (along with the land of 7 nations conquered by Yehoshua).  The Torah forbids us to have anything to do with these lands during the time of until Moshiach comes, but the fact that part of these lands were conquered by other nations (Sichon and Og) and then conquered and settled by the tribes of Gad, Reuven, and Menashe, is itself a hint that these three dimensions of the Supernal Intellect come together with the land of 7 nations, which refers to the seven midos.

Sefer Devarim is Moshe Rabbeinu addressing the Jewish nation before they will enter the land of Israel.  Moshe knew that Hashem had decreed upon him not to enter the land, but still he did not cease to beseech Hashem in prayer asking Him to allow him to enter the land, reaching 515 prayers (the numerical value of “Va’eschanon”, the parsha we read at Mincha).

From here there is also something for all generations to learn from…that without looking at all the prayers and requests that were until now, we need again and again to daven and request from the Eybershter “Ad Mosai”–“until when”.

…and as was said,  immediately mamash, today mamash, since all the matters have been completed, and the Beis Hamikdash stands ready Above, and similarly all the matters–“everything is ready for the feast”, everything is ready as if in a closed chest and they have given the chest and its key to every single Jew.  The only thing that we are waiting for–that a Jew will shout another shout, with another request and demand and another reminder: “Ad Mosai“?!…

Devarim: Aquiring the Geulah in the Closed Chest

Several times in these talks of 5751-52 the Rebbe states that the “direct way” to bringing Moshiach is through learning the subjects of Moshiach and Geulah.

Parshas Devarim contains the instruction “do not disturb Moav” (אל תצר את מואב, Devarim 2:9), which is the nation living in one of the three lands “beyond the Yarden river” which were promised to Avraham Avinu and will be inherited in the future.  These lands are called the lands of the Keni, Kenizi,  and Kadmoni (lands of Ammon,  Moav, and Edom (Seir)–see Rashi on Devarim 2:5).

The inheritance of these lands is explained at length in Chassidus as referring to the intellectual faculties (Chochma, Bina) and the super-intellectual level of Kesser (see Lech Lecha 5752, for example), which are part of our spiritual makeup, but we have not “acquired” them yet.  In fact, the names Keni, Kenizi and Kadmoni all contain  the letters of “kinyan” (the letters ק – נ – י), acquisition, hinting that these lofty levels must ultimately be “acquired”–internalized in a way where we have control over them.

With that in mind, note the interesting expression the Rebbe uses in the sicha for parshas Devarim, that all matters of the Geulah have been completed and are “as if in a closed chest”:

…all the matters have been completed, and the Beis Hamikdash stands ready Above, and similarly all the matters–“everything is ready for the feast”, everything is ready as if in a closed chest and they have given the chest and its key to every single Jew.

What makes this noteworthy is the following halacha of the Rambam in chapter 21 of the laws of Mechira (“Selling”):

RambamMechira21_3

(The “meshichah” mentioned here is the action of lifting an item through which one halachically acquires it)

The Rambam rules that one cannot acquire something if he does not know what he is acquiring!  We cannot acquire the “closed chest” which contains the Geulah until we know what is in it! Until we will know what Moshiach and Geulah are all about, we cannot “acquire” it! Even if we are handed “the closed chest” that contains them, and the keys as well —  we still need to learn about it in order to “acquire” it, to internalize it as our own.

And if you will ask: but we have the keys, why not just open the chest and we’ll know exactly what’s in it and that satisfies all requirements for kinyan (acquisition)?

Yes, this is true. But the fact is that the chest and the keys have been given over to every Jew, and yet no one has yet seen fit to open the chest and reveal the Geulah; thus, it seems that in order to arouse a Jew to do that he has to be motivated to do so by excitement over what is inside the chest that has been given to him.  How will he be motivated to open the chest?  Through fulfilling the Rebbe’s instruction to learn the subjects of Moshiach and Geulah, to know what is in the chest, and then certainly each one of us will realize the great treasure we have been given and we will rush to open it up — and the sooner the better!

 

Video Shiur: Matos-Masei 5751

How How Can I Bring Moshiach?

In the Sicha of Parshas Matos-Masei 5751, the Rebbe explains the importance of Ahavas Yisroel today, as a taste of how it will be when Moshiach comes ● Learn this week’s Sicha of the “Dvar Malchus” Sicha in English, presented by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lipskier, Mashpia of Mesivta of Melbourne, Australia ● Watch Video

 

Matos-Masei 5751

1. Among the unique factors associated with this Shabbos is the conclusion of the Book of Bamidbar and the public pronouncement which follows, Chazak, Chazak, Venischazaik (“Be strong, be strong, and we will be strengthened”). This threefold repetition1 produces a chazakah, a sequence associated with permanence and strength.

Significantly, the conclusion of the Book of Bamidbar always takes place in the Three Weeks, a period associated with exile and destruction. One might ask; Why does this always occur at a time when the Jews are weakened as it were?

It is possible to explain that the one is a result of the other. Because this is a time when the Jews are “weakened,” there is a need for encouragement and reinforcement. From the fact that the Shabbos is referred to as Shabbos Chazak, (“the Shabbos of reinforcement”), it would appear that there is a more intrinsic bond, that the time itself adds strength to the Jews’ observance of the Torah and its mitzvos.

This concept can be explained within the context of the connection of the expression Chazak, Chazak, Venischazaik to the parshiyos read this week, Mattos and Maasei. There is an obvious connection between the concept of strength and Parshas Mattos. Mattos means “staff,” and is a symbol of strength, permanence, and authority, as reflected in the verse, “staffs of strength for the rods of those who rule.”

Maasei, meaning “journeys,” seems, however, to indicate a state in direct opposition to this permanence and strength. And yet, it is Parshas Maasei which is always read as the last parshah of the Book of Bamidbar. In contrast, there are times when Parshas Mattos is read as a separate parshah on the week before the Book of Bamidbar is concluded.

To explain: A chazakah associated with the number three represents a true conception of strength, for this strength exists Continue reading

Video Shiur: Pinchas 5751

How How Can I Bring Moshiach?

Chabadinfo.com Exclusive: In the Sicha of Parshas Pinchas 5751, the Rebbe explains how one little person can impact the whole world and bring the Geulah ● 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

 

18 Tammuz, 5751

1. A fast day is “a time of will.” Therefore it is an appropriate time for Divrei Kivushin, “words which motivate teshuvah.” This is particularly true after the afternoon service, when most people have concluded their work. Thus, in the Talmudic era, it was at this time that the community was free to listen to Divrei Kivushin.

The term Divrei Kivushin also alludes to the expression Kovaish Avon, “suppress sin”; i.e., the intent is not to tell a Jew unfavorable things about his conduct, but rather to emphasize how G‑d will “cast all sins to the depths of the sea.” Furthermore, there is the potential that the sins themselves become transformed into merits, indeed, merits of a uniquely elevated nature for they come from the transformation of the lowest levels.

In particular, there is an emphasis on nullifying and transforming negative qualities associated with this fast, because the date of the Seventeenth of Tammuz fell on Shabbos and the fast was postponed until the present day. The Talmud teaches that there was an opinion — and indeed, the author of this opinion was Rebbi, Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi, the author of the Mishnah — that “since a fast is postponed, it should be nullified entirely.” Moreover, not only should the fast be nullified, but — especially in light of our service throughout these many years — the fast should be transformed into a positive factor. As the Rambam writes, in the Era of the Redemption, all the fasts will be transformed into festivals.

The above receives greater emphasis since many years have already passed since the Previous Rebbe1 announced that we have finished “polishing the buttons,” and we must “stand together prepared” to greet Mashiach.

Added emphasis also comes from the fact that Tammuz is referred to as “the month of redemption.” Since it is associated with the redemption of a Nasi and as Rashi writes, “the Nasi is the entire people,” every Jew shares a connection with this redemption. Thus the Previous Rebbe writes, “The Holy One, blessed be He, did not redeem me only, but also… all that are called by the name Israel.” The latter term includes even those Jews on the furthest peripheries of Jewish involvement;2 even they have a share in the redemption of Yud-Beis Tammuz.

The connection to the redemption is further emphasized by this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Pinchas. Our Sages identify Pinchas with Eliyahu, the prophet who will announce the redemption. It is possible that Eliyahu has already come and has seen the coming of the Mashiach, but that his announcement has not reached us as of yet. The ultimate redemption is unique, for when it comes, it will come in a complete and total manner. In this, we see a contrast to the other redemptions from exile. The previous redemptions came in stages, while the future redemption will be immediate and total.

Our Sages explain that the different redemptions experi­enced by the Jews are alluded to in the passage dealing with the Red Heifer. The Red Heifer was used to purify the Jewish people, “And I will pour pure water upon you and you will be purified.” This refers to the highest level of teshuvah, teshuvah which unites a person with an inner bond of joy with G‑d and therefore, has the potential to transform undesirable elements into good.

This inner bond is established through Torah study. Thus it relates to the coming of Mashiach who in addition to being the king of the Jewish people, will also serve as their teacher, exposing them to “the new [dimension of the] Torah that will emerge from Me.”

This will lead to a renewal of the heavens and the earth and then together with the entire Jewish people, we will proceed “on the clouds of heaven” to Eretz Yisrael, to Jerusalem, and to the Beis HaMikdash, “the Sanctuary of the L‑rd, established by Your hands.”

To hasten the coming of this, three dollars will be distributed to each individual to be given to tzedakah. On these bills, it is written “In G‑d We Trust.” Trust implies more than faith. It is faith so strong that one invests all that one has. Similarly, our faith in G‑d must encompass our entire being.

And this will lead to the era when we will achieve a higher level of faith. “The world will be filled with the knowledge of G‑d” and thus, having achieved this level of knowledge, our faith will be focused on even higher levels of G‑dliness. And in that era, there will be no strife or war, for “delicacies will be available like dust,” i.e., they will be so plentiful that they will have no more importance than dust. A foretaste of this wealth will be granted at present, even before Mashiach comes and then, in the immediate future, we will hear the announcement of Pinchas, i.e., Eliyahu, that Mashiach has come.

(Translation by Sichos in English)

Footnotes
1. Another connection to the redemption is seen in the Previous Rebbe’s name Yosef which refers to the verse Yosef Hashem,… “G‑d will again stretch forth His hand to gather His people.” Similarly, the name Yosef is associated with Rachel’s prayer, “May G‑d add on to me another son,” which Chassidus interprets as referring to the service of transforming “another,” a person who is alienated from his Jewish roots, into a son. This is possible for, in truth, as the Baal Shem Tov explains, each Jew is as dear to G‑d as an only son born to parents in their old age.
2. This is alluded to by the Hebrew term yichuneh, which as explained in the halachic literature connected with gittim (“bills of divorce”), refers to the name which is not used prominently. Even when the way a Jew is most prominently referred to is not “Israel,” as long as that is part of his identity — and it surely is for, “Even if a Jew sins, he remains ‘Israel’ ” — he shares in the redemption of Yud-Beis Tammuz.

Pinchas 5751–Make “Here” Eretz Yisroel

A chosid once asked the Tzemach Tzedek for a brocha to go live in the Holy Land so that he could devote his life there to Torah study and avodas Hashem; the Tzemach Tzedek replied, “R’ Hillel (Paritcher, a legendary chosid called by the Rebbeim “half a Rebbe”) doesn’t lack Eretz Yisroel. Make here Eretz Yisroel.”

In this week’s Dvar Malchus the Rebbe connects this story with the description in parashas Pinchas of the distribution of Eretz Yisroel among the 12 tribes and how it relates to our individual avodah in the last moments of exile.

The purpose of our exile (individual and collective) is to refine and elevate the world at large, transforming it into the level of the Land of Israel, our part in the words of the midrash that in the Time to Come the land of Israel will spread out to all the lands.  However, at the same time Yerushalayim will spread out to all of the land of Israel (Israel remaining on a higher level than the rest of the world) and thus Moshiach will come to gather every Jew and bring him to Eretz Yisroel.

Given this, one might think that “making here Eretz Yisroel” is only an intermediary step to bring the Geulah, when we will leave “here” and go to Eretz Yisroel itself.  One could come to diminish the importance of “making here Eretz Yisroel” because he has his eyes on the future when he will go with Moshiach to the Geulah in the true Eretz Yisroel.  In fact, this would be a big mistake, explains the Rebbe.  Because the preparations for something must be done with the same complete focus, energy, and desire as we feel for the final goal.

Thus, devoting ourselves totally and completely to the task of “making here Eretz Yisroel” becomes a vessel to receive the desired goal: the true and complete Geulah!  In fact, the Rebbe refers to this as “making ourselves accustomed” to the Geulah even while we are still in exile.  This complete effort while still in exile is in fact what brings the Geulah.

More than this: although each one has the obligation to make “here” (where he is, physically as well as spiritually) into Eretz Yisroel (“the land which wanted to do her Creator’s will”), we find that in Eretz Yisrael each portion contains within it all the other portions.  So, too, by each individual Yid–he contains within himself the entire world, and by doing his avodah completely, he is able to rectify the entire world, including all previous incarnations.  One little Jew can bring Geulah to all the world and all generations!

Although we must strongly feel that “we want Moshiach now”–right now!–the Rebbe guides us how to proceed when still find ourselves in golus:

Since the Geulah still didn’t come in this moment,and by Divine Providence we are still found “here”, in this time and place — without a doubt we need to capitalize on this and fulfill the instruction to “make here Eretz Yisroel”.

Thus, it is our task to publicize the injunction to “make here Eretz Yisroel” and to fulfill it in a complete manner, and through this we will actually bring the Geulah in revealed actuality.