20) Kuntres Yud Shevat 5752: Avoidah, Stage 2

Note: This Maamor is NOT based on the chapter of Bosi Legani that we learn this year.  (Unless you are reading this in the year תשצ”ב)

For 40 years the Rebbe would say a Chassidic discourse on one of the 20 chapters of the last maamor (Chassidic discourse) written by the Frierdicker Rebbe, entitled Bosi LeGani.  Every year at the Yud Shevat farbrengen, the Rebbe would say a maamor (sometimes more than one) on that year’s chapter.  Beginning from 5749 the Rebbe did not say a new maamor, instead an edited version of a maamor on that year’s chapter was printed.  The cycle started again in 5751 (addressing chapter 1) and the maamor printed in 5752 can be expected to have added significance, as it was released during the year of Dvar Malchus sichos.  In fact, when looked at in this light one indeed finds a message that fits with the unique chiddushim of 5751-52.

A general point: the edited version of a maamor is often significantly different from the way the Rebbe originally said the maamor.  In some instances, the edited maamor is so different from the original that it presents a completely opposite perspective.  (For example: the Rebbe once said a maamor in which the he spoke about the superiority of Torah over Mitzvos; when edited and published, the maamor addresses the superiority of Mitzvos over Torah!)  In the maamor published for Yud Shevat 5752, it is noteworthy to point out that the relevant “chiddush” is not explicitly stated in the original, unedited version of the maamor which the Rebbe said in 5732 (which can be viewed here), but when edited in 5752 the Rebbe saw fit to state it clearly.  The matter is as follows:

One who has been following Dvar Malchus, or has learned the Rebbe’s sichos and maamorim from all the years, is likely familiar with the concepts of the revelation from Above as opposed to the effort we make from below.  In this maamor, this is associated with Matan Torah (from Above to below) and the Mishkan (the vessel for receiving the revelation of Elokus).  The Rebbe explains that “this that Hashem desired to have a dwelling place down below (“dira b’tachtonim”) is that there will be a revelation of Elokus below via the avoidoh of human beings.”  Thus, the main element is the Mishkan (and Mikdash), where the avoidah of korbanos takes place.

The Mishkan (and by extension, the Mikdash) has two distinct stages.  The first is the making of the Mishkan (עשיית המשכן), the second is the avoidah which takes place in the mikdash — the avoidah of iskafiya and is’hap’cha (“breaking” the evil inclination, and “elevating” the inclination).  There is an aspect of “ikkar Shechina” that is drawn down through the making of the Mishkan (ועשו לי מקדש) , and after this is a higher level (נעלית יותר) that is drawn down by the two aspects of avoidah.  States the Rebbe: “therefore, the main avoidah that took place in the Mishkan and Mikdash was the avoidah of sacrifices (korbanos), iskafiya and is’hap’cha.”

From here we see the first point: the main thing is not the making of the Mishkan, but rather the avoidah that follows.  The original maamar of Bosi Legani can leave one with the impression that the main thing is the making of the Mishkan and the gilui Shechina that comes with it (the work of Moshe Rabbeinu, the 7th generation, as quoted in the maamar).  Similarly, after hearing the Rebbe’s revelation that 770 is the actual place of the 3rd Beis Hamikdash (“Beis Rabbeinu sh’b’Bovel“), and that “all Jews will find themselves standing (איבערגעשטעלט) in our Holy Land together with the third Beis Hamikdosh WHICH WE HAVE HERE (וואס מ’האט דא)…” (Sicha of 28 Sivan, 5751), we might become so excited we might lose sight of the fact that this is only the first stage; the Rebbe is clarifying for us that only after the first stage does the work really begin!*

The second point involves the distinction between “breaking” and “transforming” the evil inclination (the avoidah of iskafiya and is’hap’cha).  In general, Chassidus explains that “breaking” the evil inclination is the challenge of the average Jew, the Beinoni, as he stands up to its challenges.  Tzaddikim, who are not tempted by evil, don’t have those nisyonos, and their avoidah is that of transforming evil.  This would lead one to imagine that the Beinoni graduates to the avoidah of transforming evil when his avoidas haBirurim is completed.  This would seemingly be supported by the shift in focus from iskafiya in the previous generations (exemplified by the conduct of great Chassidim like Itche der Masmid), to the avoidah of transforming and elevating the world around us.  In this maamar, the Rebbe clarifies that in fact the avoidah of transforming evil is primarily associated with the making of the Mishkan (the first stage, mentioned above), whereas the avoidah of korbanos (the second stage) is essentially breaking (nullifiying) evil, just as the korban itself is completely nullified in the fire of the mizbe’ach.  In other words: after the revelation of “ikkar shechina” that is drawn down by the making of the mishkan, the higher level revelation is drawn down by our avoidah of iskafiya.  Not only is iskafiya still relevant — it is the main avoidah(Not to say that the iskafiya of today is the same as the iskafiya of previous generations, ואין כאן המקום לאריך).

It comes out that while the every Bosi LeGani maamar since the original Yud Shevat begins with the greatness of the drawing down of the Shechina through the making of the Mishkan, here in the latest (as of now) maamar the Rebbe brings out clearly that there is a higher level achieved through the avoidah that is performed after the Mishkan is built.  Once could say that here the Rebbe is connecting the beginning of his leadership (“…Moshe, he is the 7th, and all 7ths are beloved, drew down the Shechina into this world…mainly in the Beis Hamikdash, as is stated ‘make for me a Mikdash’…”) with the completion of more than 40 years of that leadership (when we have “a heart to know, eyes to see, ears to hear, etc.”), and clarifying for us that we aren’t finished yet!

* Well-known is the comment of the Rebbe to J.J. Hecht, after the latter was working very hard on a particular project and expressed to the Rebbe that at least when Moshiach comes we’ll be able to relax.  The Rebbe responded that when Moshiach comes we will start to work several times harder!

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