Beshallach/Yisro: Going From 10 to 11

From Har Sinai (also called “Chorev”) to Eretz Yisroel is a journey of 11 days.  The 11 days journey reflects “the aspect of One which is higher than the 10 Commandments which were given at Chorev…the aspect of Hashem’s Essence and Being (מהותו ועצמותו) which is higher than the 10 sefiros.”  However, everyone knows that the Bnei Yisroel wandered in the midbar for 40 years (instead of 11 days) as a punishment for the sin of the spies.  In our sicha, however, the Rebbe speaks of this as something positive.  What is positive about the same journey being drawn out over 40 years?!

The Rebbe explains that we can say that Hashem’s intention here was in order that the aspect of 11 (Hashem’s Essence) “will be drawn down and revealed in them in an internalized manner via their travels in the midbar for 40 years, in which ‘Hashem gave to you a heart to know, eyes to see, and ears to hear’.”  If Hashem would have taken them directly on the 11 days journey, all of the refinement which was accomplished over 40 years would have been achieved in a manner of Above to below, something which does not so much affect that which is “below”.  (Like the difference between the sense of “ownership” of a King who fought for territory and invested all his wealth and resources to conquer lands for his Kingdom, as opposed to his son who received everything without investing effort.)  In the process of 40 years, the Bnei Yisroel received the influence from Above, but in a way where they made the effort from below: “a unification of both qualities of ‘from Above to below’ and ‘from below to Above’ together”.

The Rebbe goes on to speak of how 10 is generally associated with Holiness, whereas 11 is generally associated with the opposite (as in “the eleven crowns of impurity” mentioned in sefer Tanya Kadisha).  The number 10 shows on the integration of Hashem’s life force with his creations; the number 11 reflects that life force being higher and removed from the creations, which allows for an exaggerated self-awareness to the point of feeling separated from G-dliness which can descend to actual idolatry.  However, there is also an aspect of Yud-Alef of holiness, which is hinted at the numerical value of the last 2 letters of Hashem’s name (vov-heh = 11) which are united with the first two letters (thus making Hashem’s name complete) which occurs with the elimination of Amalek.

The Rebbe connects all this with the month of Shevat, which is the 11th month, and in particular the 10th and 11th days of the month: the histalkus of the Previous Rebbe on the 10th, and the acceptance of leadership by the Rebbe on the 11th — the 11th day of the 11th month.  (And as known, the Rebbe was born on the 11th day of Nissan.)  Furthermore, on the 11th day of the 11th month we find the following dimensions coming together: 1) the aspect of 11 as “day”, meaning light and revelation [of the sun], and 2) the aspect of 11 as the month, which is determined according to the moon:

From this it is understood that the 11th month indicates the aspect of 11 as it is drawn down and revealed to the recipient (the moon), and the 11th day is the aspect of 11 as it is by the mashpia (the sun), which is 11 in its pure state.

We see from this the combination and unification of the higher and the lower, which should already be recognizable as one of the main foundations of the Dvar Malchus sichos.

The Rebbe closes by saying:

Especially as regards the prayer for the true and complete Geuloh (particularly after all the end times have already passed כלו כל הקיצין and all matters of the avoidah have been completed, as per the words of my father-in-law the Rebbe the leader of our generation) — that in addition to the feeling of yearning and desire and longing for the Geuloh (until now), there needs to be now also and mainly the feeling of the joy from the fact that the Geuloh is coming in actuality in this very moment.

The Rebbe tells us that it’s not enough to want the Geuloh, to yearn for the Geuloh — the main thing that needs to be is that we need to have a feeling of joy that the Geuloh is coming right now!

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