This discourse of the Rebbe was edited and printed for distribution for the Rebbe’s birthday, 11 Nissan, 5751. A lengthy and deep discourse, we mention here the main points, reflecting the themes of the Dvar Malchus sichos from the same period.
“Tefilla leMoshe” is called by our sages the prayer of a rich man, and “Tefilla leDovid” is the prayer of a poor man. Since tefilla is defined as our asking for our needs, what is a rich man’s prayer? What does he need?
We find that in Torah that one can must fill the needs of the poor man, and also fill his personal needs, such as a servant and a horse to run before him (if he had previously been wealthy and was accustomed to such a thing then for him this is lacking), but one is not obligated to make him rich. Thus, even having a servant and a horse running before him, i.e. to be not lacking anything, is still not wealthy.
Wealthy, explains the Rebbe, is “superabundance”, which is more than just that nothing is lacking. Furthermore, it means that this abundance is not received from another source (and thus could be cut off or taken away) but rather is inherently his–so that he is rich in essence (ashir b’etzem). This is why our sages say “there is no one wealthy except in da’as (knowledge)”, meaning that what he has learned has become unified with him and part of him as a result of his own effort (as opposed to remaining on the level of what others taught him).
Back to the question: one who is rich has superabundance, so what is his prayer? What more does he need to request from Hashem?! The answer: he prays for others. His tefilla is for the needs of others. This is Moshe Rabbeinu, who lacked nothing and needed nothing (not in the realm of da’as (as he is the one who gave us the Torah), and surely not materially)–his prayer was for the needs of the Jewish people, and spiritually for the attribute of Malchus.
But if Moshe Rabbeinu, the rich man, feels the lack of Israel so intensely, then he himself is lacking and thus he is not rich! The truth is, explains the Rebbe, that since he is “rich in essence” it is not possible for him to be lacking anything; and while he does feel for Israel, this is not the same as lacking something. More than that, from the perspective of “rich in essence” there is nothing lacking whatsoever in Hashem’s world nor by any of His creations. Thus, from Moshe Rabbeinu’s perspective the Jewish people are also “rich in essence” and not lacking anything. If so, what was his prayer for? His prayer was that this fact that Israel are in truth “rich in essence” should be felt in an open and revealed way by them. No one lacks anything other than the da’as, the knowledge to recognize this, and when this knowledge becomes revealed, he reveals to himself that he is rich in essence.
The discourse concludes by connecting all of this with the inyan of tefilla, that it is precisely prayer that draws this down. As our sages say about Moshe Rabbeinu that he was “ish Elo-kim“–a G-dly man–when he went up the mountain he was a man, when he descended he was Elo-kim. This is tefilla, prayer, that one “ascends the mountain” to reach Hashem, and draws this “down below” into his daily life so that this shleimus, perfection, is revealed in his behavior–when a Jew does this he causes the same thing in the attribute of Malchus, which brings about the true and complete Geulah.
View the original discourse here