17) Kuntres 19 Kislev: The Power of Chassidim

This maamor, originally spoken on Yud Tes Kislev 5726, is based on the familiar posuk “Podah v’sholom nafshi“, but it provides a completely different perspective than the maamor released a week earlier (for 10-14 Kislev, 5752).  Here, the Rebbe explains according to the words of our Sages that Hashem states: “whoever labors in Torah and in acts of Kindness (Gemilus Chassodim) and davens with the community, I consider it as though he redeemed me and my children from the nations of the world.”

Firstly, the Rebbe groups them as two: Torah and Gemilus Chassodim drawing down from Above, and Tefillah rising from below to Above.  The Rebbe describes the difference between Brocha (drawn down from Above) and Tefillah (from below), based on the verse “Your Chassidim will bless you” חסידיך יברכוך as explained by the Rebbe Rashab: that specifically Chassidim have the power to draw down brocha in a way that the Divine light illuminates Malchus (the lowest level, which “possesses nothing of its own”).

The advantage of a brocha (generally given by Tzaddikim) is that it has the power of a command: that one who is standing above the hashpo’ah can command that it descend to the recipient (despite the fact that there are obstacles preventing it from descending).  Thus, a brocha is a certainty.  The disadvantage is that it only relates to hashpo’ah that is already “in the pipeline”, for which there is already a Divine Will.

The advantage of Tefillah is that is has the power of “Yehi ratzon” — to create a new Divine Will.  Where previously an individual was ill, Tefillah can bring about a new ratzon that the individual will be healthy.  The disadvantage is that it is not guaranteed — sometimes the Tefillah is answered (and drawn down into the world), sometimes not.

The power of Chassidim is that they can draw down the power of both together: the new ratzon brought about through Tefillah with the certainty of a command found in a brocha.  This is because they draw down from the level of submission, hoda’ah, which is above intellect and understanding.  This level of brocha is similar to what is drawn down by Torah.  Torah can bring about a change in the world, something new which wasn’t before, as we find by Rashbi that during a decree of drought he brought down rain by saying Torah (changing Divine Will and nullifying the decree).  All this in a way that the change occurs automatically, without effort from below, with no need for a command.

This is also related to Chesed and Tzedaka (Chassidim and Tzaddikim): Tzedaka means providing a person with what is lacking for him, “but you are not commanded to make him rich”.  Chesed goes beyond that, one can even make a person wealthy.  Similarly, the level of Chosid (one who goes “above and beyond” in his service of Hashem) is able to draw down so much that he can make Malchus “wealthy”, and even beyond wealth, taking even the one who is already wealthy (lacking nothing) to an entirely new level.  This wealth, on a completely new level, is what nullifies the opponent, the menaged (the content of the posuk Podah v’Sholom).  There is a level where there is no war, but there is still a menaged; beyond that is the level of “sholom” (of l’asid lavo) where there isn’t even a menaged (see the previous maamar) — because even the sparks of holiness that “became evil” and lost all feeling for G-dliness will be affected.

These levels reflect differing levels of bittul: in Tefillah the individual feels himself separate from Elokus; higher than this is the Brocha commanded by a Tzaddik, where the individual’s reality is G-dliness, but the world remains a separate reality; the highest level is the level of Torah, where the results are automatic, because it represents a revelation of Atzmus — the reality of Elokus is the only reality and thus there isn’t even a need for a command.  This is also the level drawn down by “Your Chassidim will bless you” חסידיך יברכוך.

Through learning Pnimiyus Hatorah this nullifies the enemy (corresponding to the third level — where there is no reality besides Elokus).  This is connected with Yud Tes Kislev and the release of the Alter Rebbe which is the vindication of spreading the wellsprings outward.  That the maayonos will reach even the “outside”, and not only the waters of the wellsprings but the wellsprings themselves.  This is the spreading of the wellsprings that brings Moshiach, for it draws down the highest levels to the lowest levels (Pnimiyus haKesser to Malchus sh’b’Malchus), and itself is like the three levels that were described above: the one who labors in Torah and in Gemilus Chassodim and davens with the community.  “And through this ‘he redeems me and my children from among the nations’, at which time will take place the promise ‘I will remove the spirit of impurity from the earth’, and Hashem will be King over all the Earth, on that day Hashem will be one and His name will be one.”

 

 

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