After the Minchah Service, Asara b’Teves, 5752

Translation by Sichos In English:

1. The term divrei k’vushin (דברי כבושים) can be interpreted as a reference to “Suppress our iniquities (יכבוש עונותינו); cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” I.e., we can rest assured that when Jews are reminded to turn to G‑d in teshuvah, they will respond. Their teshuvah will in turn cause that G‑d “cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

This is particularly relevant at the present time, for as the Previous Rebbe has announced, “Everything is prepared for the feast.” Not only are we prepared for the Redemption, the Redemption will come as a feast of meat (the Wild Ox), fish (the Leviathan), and aged wine.1

To the above is added the positive influence of the Tenth of Teves, the tenth day of the tenth2 month.3 And “the tenth shall be holy.” In particular, this is appropriate in the present age, when “all the appropriate times for the Redemption have passed,” all the preparations have been completed, and we are ready for a redemption which will not be followed by exile.

This is enhanced by the influence of the present year, “a year imbued with wonders,” and “a year of wonders in all things.” Moreover, the Hebrew for “in all things,” bakol relates to the threefold expression of blessing associated with our Patriarchs, bakol mikol kol. This is also relevant at present, for we are nearing the time of the fulfillment of the prophecy “those who lie in the dust will arise and sing,” when we will witness the resurrection of the three Patriarchs.

They together with the four Matriarchs are seven personages,4thus representing the seven branches of the Menorah, a symbol of the seven categories of the Jewish people which reflect our seven emotional characteristics.5 (For the service of G‑d is essentially “the service of the heart,” and that service must be carried out “with all your heart.”)

More particularly, the number four is also found in regard to Yaakov’s wives, the mothers of the 12 tribes, from whom the Jewish people descended. The names of Yaakov’s wives, BilhahRachelZilpah, and Leah can be grouped together as an acronym to form the Hebrew word barzel6 (ברזל) meaning “iron.” Herein, we see a connection to Eretz Yisrael which is described as “a land whose stones are iron and from whose mountains brass can be quarried.” The Hebrew for stone אבם, relates to the word בם meaning “son.” Thus this verse can also be interpreted as a reference to the power of the Jewish people, the descendents of the women whose names form the acronym barzel.

There is also a connection between barzel, “iron,” and the Beis HaMikdash. Although “the sound of any iron utensil should not be heard within the House of our G‑d,” i.e., an iron tool could not be used within the area of the Beis HaMikdash, that restriction applied only within the confines of Mount Moriah. In practice, iron was used for preparing all the stones for the Beis HaMikdash; it is merely that this work was performed outside Mount Moriah.

Similarly, there is a connection between our times and brass, nechoshes (נחשת) in Hebrew. Our Sages explain that nechoshes is an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning, “The gift of a sick person who says ‘give.’ ” Thus it is a far lower level than gold, whose Hebrew name zahav (זהב) serves as an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning “the gift of a healthy person,” and silver, whose Hebrew name kessef (כסף) serves as an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning, “One who redeems [himself] when he sees danger.” For a sick person experiences, not only sees, danger.

This can be connected to the present era, when the Jews see the dangers of the exile, they tell G‑d, “Give,” bring the Redemption now, in this time, the time of “brass” when compared to the “gold” and “silver” of the previous generations. When Jews on this level demand the Redemption, G‑d will respond to them.

For we are in the last moment of exile, and on the eve of the first moment of the Redemption, when we will proceed “on the clouds of heaven” with the entire Jewish people to Eretz Yisrael, the “land whose stones are iron.” This will be hastened by the distribution of a double portion of money to be given to tzedakah at the conclusion of this gathering.

The above also relates to this week’s Torah reading which begins “And Yaakov lived in the land of Egypt…,” i.e., in Egypt, the limitations of exile, Yaakov appreciated true life.7 Similarly, at present, through the refinement of the exile, we will cause that the synagogues, houses of study, houses of good deeds, and indeed, every Jewish home in the exile be brought to Eretz Yisrael, for within these structures, G‑d’s presence rests.

And with the above, and together with all the holy texts and manuscripts being held in captivity, and together with the entire Jewish people, we will proceed to Eretz Yisrael, and to the Beis HaMikdash, “the Sanctuary of G‑d established by Your hands.”

FOOTNOTES

1.

The expression for “aged wine,” yayin hamishumar, can also be translated as “watched wine.” For if wine is not supervised, there is the possibility of a prohibition being involved in its consumption. (Indeed, the prohibition is even stricter than that which applies to meat that disappears from sight.)

2.

This is true both in a leap year and an ordinary year.

3.

This applies when the reckoning of the months begins from the month of Nissan, the month of Redemption.

4.

In particular, the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs had different paths in the service of G‑d as reflected in the Kabbalistic explanation that the wedding of Yitzchak and Rivkah represented the union of Mah and Ban. See Sichos Shabbos Parshas Toldos, 5752, in Sichos In English Vol. 50 pp. 222-231.

5.

These seven qualities are also reflected in the seven species of produce with which Eretz Yisrael is blessed.

6.

In this acronym, the names of the maid-servants Bilhah and Zilpah precede those of the wives Rachel and Leah, and Rachel, the younger daughter, precedes Leah. This is an allusion to the Era of the Redemption when the advantage of the mekabel will be revealed.

7.

This is expressed in the Hebrew phrase eretz Mitzrayim. Mitzrayim refers to Egypt, the boundaries and limitations of exile. Eretz, “the land” is interpreted by our Sages as referring to a desire to fulfill G‑d’s will. Thus the term eretz Mitzrayim refers to a process of transformation.

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