14) Kuntres Chof Marcheshvan, 5752: The Ohr Chodosh

14) Kuntres Chof Marcheshvan, 5752: The Ohr Chodosh

This maamor was edited and printed in honor of the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab, and it was handed out personally by the Rebbe in 770.*. It discusses deep inyonim of Chassidus, and demands attentive learning.  But here, we will focus only on one point from the maamor, which is overtly relevant to the concepts of Moshiach and Geuloh found in Dvar Malchus.

The Rebbe discusses here the concept of the Divine Light (Ohr) that preceded the tzimtzum (Tzimtzum being  the contraction of light by which it becomes possible to create limited, finite worlds).  This Ohr that existed prior to the tzimtzum possessed two dimensions: unlimited and limited.  These dimensions became the source for the two kinds of Divine revelation that exist now: Sovev (surrounding light, which cannot be grasped and thus is not revealed in the world), and Memaleh (filling light, which is limited and can this be grasped by the lower creatures).

Additionally: through the mitzvos we perform now, there will be the revelation of a new light in the time to come,  an Ohr Chodosh.  This Ohr Chodosh will bring about a new heavens and a new Earth (as stated by the novi Yeshaya).

The Rebbe clarifies: if we are referring to the revelation of the unlimited light that illumined before the tzimtzum (which is presently not revealed in the worlds), this is not truly new (אין זה חידוש אמיתי) — this Ohr was already revealed before the Tzimtzum, and afterwards was concealed from the world.   Thus, when this Ohr will return and be revealed again, it will not truly be something new.  The truly new Ohr Chodosh, which will generate a new heavens and a new Earth, is Ohr that is drawn down by our fulfilling Torah and Mitzvos now, an Ohr that didn’t exist even before the Tzimtzum!

In these words the Rebbe is giving us a small glimpse at the great significantly of the avoidah of a Yid in performing Torah and Mitzvos — it is a complete chiddush, and draws down an Ohr Chodosh that never existed previously!  Here, in the oisios of Chassidus, the Rebbe is explaining the famous words of 28 Nissan (“I’ve done all that I can do, now you must do all that you can do to bring the Geuloh…”) — because it is the avoidah of a Yid, davka, to make this lowest world a “dira b’tachtonim” that draws down the Ohr Chodosh, which is the revelation of the Geuloh.

(Note that  in the kuntres published for Rosh Chodesh Kislev of this year, the Rebbe will elaborate further on this subject, bringing out the point that the avoidah of the Yid is even greater than the Ohr Chodosh that comes from his avoidah!)

* Some want to suggest that perhaps the timing of the distribution of this maamor by the Rebbe served as a “distraction”, so to speak, from the amazing revelations found in the Sicha “Beis Rabbeinu sh’b’Bovel”, which was printed the same week.  (Chassidim had in their hands a maamor given to them personally by the Rebbe and a second kuntres dropped off unceremoniously in 770 — it is obvious which a chosid would learn first.)

Well known is the principle that the first luchos were given with a big “shturem”, but had to be shattered.  The final luchos, to the contrary, were brought down without lightning, thunder, and the sound of the Shofar — but they were not shattered, they endure.  In our case, Chassidim were so excited to learn a maamor that the Rebbe had handed to them personally, from his holy hand, that they didn’t have time to make a big deal overthe other kuntres (“Beis Rabbeinu…”)…  (But what can a goat understand from gazing at the moon…?)

Chayei Sara 5752: Shlichus is Finished, Now We Must Greet Moshiach

Chayei Sara 5752: Shlichus is Finished, Now We Must Greet Moshiach

This sicha was said on Shabbos during the annual Kinus Hashluchim gathering in 5752 (1991), and primarily addresses the task of shlichus.

Standing by the beginning and opening of the Kinus Hashluchim — emissaries of my father-in-law the Rebbe, Nosi Doreinu, in all corners of the globe — we must mention, first of all, the foundation [of the Shlichus] and to verbalize the task of the shluchim in our generation in general, and especially — the new element which has been added especially in the most recent time to the work of shlichus: to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu in the true and complete Geuloh. [Emphasis in the original]

The Rebbe proceeds to explain that periodically there a new element (“chiddush”) is added to the Shlichus, which becomes the gate through which all the other elements ascend, and in our generation and in this time “the special shlichus of our time: to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu.”  [it should be noted that in the original the expression is “lekabel pnei Moshiach Tzidkeinu”, which can be translated as “to greet”, but literally the words convey the meaning “to accept the face of Moshiach”.]

Then the Rebbe explains at length what a Shliach is, according to halacha, and how in fact every Jew is a shliach of the Holy One, blessed be He, to transform the world into a dwelling place for Him through Torah and Mitzvos, which is the avodah of unifying the spiritual and the physical.  The concept of a shliach receives emphasis on parshas Chayei Sara where the Torah goes on at great length about the first Shliach, Eliezer the servant of Avraham, to make the shidduch of Rivka and Yitzchok, which itself is the basis for the unification of the spiritual and the physical, the soul and the body, self-nullification (“bitul”) and individual being (“yesh”).  (This can be addressed in another post, with Hashem’s help.)  The Rebbe then returns to the subject of greeting Moshiach:

From this it is understood, that the only thing which now remains in the avodah of the shlichus is: to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu in actuality, so that he [Moshiach] will be able to fulfill his shlichus in actuality and to take all of Israel out of the golus!

In other words: in order for Moshiach to be able to fulfill his task of taking us out of exile, we need to “greet” him, to “accept his face”, meaning to recognize him and acknowledge that he is the one we follow to get out of golus — because only by following his guidance can we be lead out of golus!

In the name of the Rebbe Rayatz, we are already “standing ready” to greet Moshiach, tshuva has already been done, all the avoidah is finished, but yet the Geuloh has not yet come.  Thus, there must be something else that we must do.

What is in fact required of us? Our Sages explain that in each generation, there is an individual who is fit to be Moshiach and “when the time comes, G‑d will reveal Himself to him and send him.” The service at present is thus to be prepared to actually accept Moshiach and create a climate in which he can accomplish his mission and redeem Israel from the exile.

And this is the task of the International Conference of Shluchim: First and foremost, to make a public statement that this is the task confronting us — to prepare ourselves to accept Moshiach. Every aspect of our service and every dimension of our activity must be directed to this goal.

Every shliach should realize that he is responsible to explain the above concepts to all the individuals in his city. He must convey to them, in a manner which they can understand and relate to, the imminence of Moshiach’s coming and the need to study about Moshiach and the Era of the Redemption.

This sicha makes clear that not only are we dependent on Moshiach, but that — Moshiach is dependent on us!  He cannot lead us out of exile unless we recognize him and accept his leadership.  [And, as the Rebbe mentions in other sichos, the attribute of Kingship (“Malchus”) is only awakened to accept the Crown (“Kesser”) due to the expressed desire of the people, and the implications are easily understood.]

How do we fulfill this shlichus?  By conveying theses concepts in a manner which the other person can understand.  While the concepts like “Malchus“, “Kesser” and “pnimiyus Atik” may not understood by someone who hasn’t studied pnimiyus haTorah, but the concepts of a nation appointing and accepting a King are surely understood by all.  And the examples are many.

The key to it all: learning and teaching.  As the Rebbe expresses numerous times in the Dvar Malchus sichos, that the direct way to bring the Geuloh is by learning about the subject.  And in this particular sicha the Rebbe adds that this is speeded up by making a resolution to learn the entire Torah Ohr and Likkutei Torah of the Alter Rebbe.  Understanding Moshiach and Geuloh enables one to recognize the Moshiach.

Nothing else remains to be done.

Vayera 5752: To Truly Desire Divine Revelation (Audio)

Vayera 5752: To Truly Desire Divine Revelation (Audio)

[…] we are at a stage where there are no more obstacles to this revelation.  The Rebbe Rashab, when he founded the Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim, spoke about the two stages before the redemption which are hinted at in Psalm 89: those who are the “enemies of Hashem”, enemies of G-d and His Torah (the maskilim and reformers of his generation); and those who “scorn the footsteps of Your anointed one (Moshiach)”, meaning Torah-observant Jews who have little faith in Moshiach. The Rebbe Rashab noted then that the students of Tomchei Temimim are the “soldiers of the House of David” who fight these wars.  In our sicha of Parshas Vayera, the Rebbe says that even this has been completed, indicating that there are no longer any real “enemies of Hashem” among the Jewish people (only those who are like a “captured child” (תינוק שנשבה) raised by gentiles, not responsible for how he was raised), and similarly (and a greater chiddush)  — there is no longer any real opposition to Moshiach […]

AUDIO RECORDING:

Vayera 5752: To Truly Desire Divine Revelation

Vayera 5752: To Truly Desire Divine Revelation

This sicha begins with the story of the Rebbe Rashab as a young boy.  On his 4th or 5th birthday he was brought to his grandfather, the Tzemach Tzedek, to receive a blessing.  When he entered his grandfather’s room he burst out in tears and said “In cheder, we learned that G-d revealed Himself to Avraham.  Why does He not reveal Himself to me?”

The Tzemach Tzedek responded:When a Jew [alternatively, ‘When a tzaddik’] who is ninety-nine years old recognizes that he must undergo [the spiritual service of] circumcision, he is worthy of having G-d reveal Himself to him.”

Both the question and the answer contain clues to the process of redemption.

The mitzvah of circumcision is a unique covenant with the Creator which is brought about by removing the foreskin, the “orlah“, an impure manifestation that obscures.  Although none of us is on the level of Avraham Avinu’s Divine service, we learn from him that even if a person has reached the 99th level of perfecting himself (corresponding to his 99 years at the time), he must take the next step to realize that there is a greater level of Divine revelation which can only be revealed by circumcising himself — removing the orlah which obscures that revelation (even if it may be very subtle and barely noticeable to him).  The goal is not “self-perfection” but rather G-dly revelation.  The orlah blocks this G-dly revelation from being complete, and must be removed even at the age of 99 years (and how much more so before then).

In order to accomplish this, we must tap into the same yearning, the same sense  that something critical is lacking, which caused the young Rebbe Rashab to burst into tears that G-d had not revealed Himself to him.  The goal of all of our effort and service of Hashem is to bring about this Divine revelation.  No matter what we have accomplished, no matter how far we have come (whether as individuals or the Jewish people as a whole), until we bring about this revelation of G-dliness we have not accomplished the goal.  Even if we have finished the Divine service of golus, we still need to bring about the revelation of G-dliness in the world, to bring into actuality the true and complete Geuloh.  To do this we need to feel a yearning for Hashem’s Divine revelation.

This is particularly evident in the mitzvah of milah (circumcision) which is “sealed in our flesh”, connecting the Divine command with the material body of each Jew.  Similarly, the Divine revelation of which we speak cannot remain spiritual, it must come down to the world, to the soul as it is enclothed in a material body.

The Rebbe explains that all of this is connected with the revelation of the spark of Moshiach which is contained in every Jew — that each one of us must reveal this spark of Moshiach which is within us.  Revealing it means bringing it out in our consciousness, in our actions, and in our influence on the world.  A person revealing his spark of Moshiach is a “personal redemption” and all of the “personal redemptions” come together to become the true and complete Geuloh.  How do we speed this up?  By acting as a shliach, meaning an “agent”, utilizing all 10 powers of soul (3 of intellect, 3 of emotion, 4 of action) to bring about G-d’s revelation in the world, primarily by learning and spreading the teachings of Chassidus in way where they are understood and internalized.  This is a preparation for the inner bond with Hashem that will be revealed.

Furthermore, we are at a stage where there are no more obstacles to this revelation.  The Rebbe Rashab, when he founded the Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim, spoke about the two stages before the redemption which are hinted at in Psalm 89: those who are the “enemies of Hashem”, enemies of G-d and His Torah (the maskilim and reformers of his generation); and those who “scorn the footsteps of Your anointed one (Moshiach)”, meaning Torah-observant Jews who have little faith in Moshiach (complete sicha of the Rebbe Rashab).  The Rebbe Rashab noted then that the students of Tomchei Temimim are the “soldiers of the House of David” who fight these wars.

In our sicha of Parshas Vayera, the Rebbe says that even this has been completed, indicating that there are no longer any real “enemies of Hashem” among the Jewish people (only those who are like a “captured child” (תינוק שנשבה) raised by gentiles, not responsible for how he was raised), and similarly (and a greater chiddush)  — there is no longer any real opposition to Moshiach.  Rather, we have entered the stage of Psalm 90 (the Rebbe’s kapital for the year 5751-52) which concludes with the verse “May the pleasantness of G-d our L-rd be upon us, establish for us the work of our hands,” referring to the Holy Temple.

Since we have reached the completion of our Divine service, all that remains is to awaken a yearning for Divine revelation like the young Rebbe Rashab and to act like Avraham Avinu and “circumcise ourselves” — meaning to remove from ourselves anything which obscures the Divine revelation, no matter how subtle it might be.  This, together with learning and teaching Chassidus and fulfilling our shlichus with all powers of our soul, speeds up and brings about the true and complete redemption which can take place immediately!

Conquering the 3 Lands Peacefully

Conquering the 3 Lands Peacefully

The Rebbe mentions in the Dvar Malchus of Parshas Lech Lecho that Avraham Avinu is promised by Hashem that his descendants will inherit the land.  Hashem made a covenant with Avraham, stating:  “To your seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt until the great river, the Euphrates river.  The Keni, the Kenizi, and the Kadmoni, And the Chitti and the Prizi and the Rephaim, And the Amori and the C’naani and the Girgashi and the Yevusi.”  (Parshas Lech Lecho, 15:18-21)

Rashi here points out that “There are ten nations [enumerated] here, but He gave them only seven nations. The [other] three are Edom, Moab, and Ammon, and they are [here referred to as] the Keni, the Kenizi, and the Kadmoni, which are destined to be [our] heritage in the future.”  The seven nations dwelled in the land of Canaan, which was conquered by the Bnei Yisroel when they entered the land with Yehoshua bin Nun.  The other three nations (Keni, Kenizi, Kadmoni) were not ever conquered, and in fact there are verses in the Torah warning the Bnei Yisroel “Do not distress Moav and do not provoke them to war…”, “When you approach opposite the children of Ammon, neither distress them, nor provoke them…”  In the time of golus these lands and nations who live in them are not to be provoked because Hashem says “I will not give you any of their land [as] an inheritance” until the time of the true and complete Geuloh.

These lands and the nations who dwell in them are described in the teachings of Chassidus: the seven nations (lands) correspond to the seven emotional character traits (midos) of the animal soul which must be conquered and then transformed from evil to Holiness.  The three nations/lands refer to the intellect (Wisdom and Understanding, Chochma-Bina) and the super-intellect (Crown, Kesser).  The avoidah of a Yid in the time of golus was focused on conquering the land of the seven nations, the midos of the animal soul.  Only after we have finished refining the midos can we begin to take possession of the other three lands, referring to the intellect.  We have already posted how Chassidus explains this process in the post entitled The 3 Nations and Geuloh.  Here we will present what the Rebbe says is the avoidah in the present time regarding the three additional lands of the Keni, Kenizi, and Kadmoni.

In section 12 of Dvar Malchus Lech Lecho, the Rebbe refers to “avoidas haMoichin“, the avoidah of the intellect, as being connected with taking possession of the three additional lands.  This is an avoidah which is relevant only at the end of golus, since until now we were busy with the midos.  In fact, even the intellectual labor in Torah that took place until now was for the purpose of influencing the midos.  However, in the Time to Come there will be intellectual labor for its own sake, “to unify with Elokus via the complete unification (“a wonderoud unity”, Tanya ch. 5) of the individual’s intellect with the Torah (Hashem’s wisdom, which is one with Him).  Via the fact the Torah and the Holy One, blessed be He, are all one, it will be revealed that Yisroel, the Torah, and the Holy One, blessed be He, are all one.”

At present we only have a revelation of the intellect in Torah as it relates to the midos (49 gates of wisdom, מ”ט שערי בינה).  In the future, there will be a revelation of the three intellectual attributes as they are in their essence (the 50th gate, שער הנו”ן).  The Rebbe takes notice that the names of these three nations all start with the letter Kuf (ק) which has a leg the goes below the line.  This hints at these lofty levels coming all the way down to this mundane world.  The Rebbe then tells us that the avoidah that is connected with this is to reveal chiddushim in Torah.  By doing so, the individual reveals hidden powers of his soul, including the essence of his intellect, his moichin b’etzem.  At this point there is a footnote that references the sicha the Rebbe said on the night of the 8th of Marcheshvan, a few days before Shabbos Lech Lecho. (Listen here.)

In the sicha of 8 Marcheshvan,  the Rebbe elaborates on the subject of avoidas haMoichin and taking possession of the lands of the three nations in our days.  Firstly, the Rebbe says that “it is incumbent to make an effort that already now there will be the avoidah which is a foretaste and example and preparation for the avoidah that will be in the true and complete Geuloh.”

 What is this avoidah?

There needs to be an effort and an increase mainly in the learning of Torah that is related to the time of the Geuloh — learning Torah that speaks about Moshiach Tzidkeinu and the true and complete Geuloh.  And more, and a main thing: an increase in learning Pnimiyus HaTorah in a way of understanding and grasping [the material] unified with the revealed dimension of Torah — one Torah.  And not just the first period of Yemos Hamoshiach, but also the second period.  [See The 3 Nations and Geuloh].  And more specifically — an increase regarding the “seven nations” which we were already given … the avoidah of the seven midos and also the avoidah of the three moichin

Since we are found truly close to the true and complete Geuloh, there needs to be a sampling and example and beginning of avoidas haMoichin as they are by themselves — via the learning and effort to fulfill in actuality the matters connected with avoidas haMoichin, even if not related to avoidas haMidos

This avoidas haMoichin means learning deep concepts of Chassidus (such as in the teachings of the Mitteler Rebbe).  The Rebbe says that all of this increase in learning (which will surely lead each one to the new unique insights (chiddushim) which the Rebbe asked for) will bring “broadness” (רחבות) in the learning and also in material matters, that “with only a small effort with one finger” he can receive his parnosa from Hashem.

Additionally, the Rebbe says to add in joyous Chassidishe farbrengens in which the participants will discuss matters of Pnimiyus HaTorah in a way of broad understanding and grasping the material.

And what does all of this accomplish?

Additionally, and this is the main thing — via this we speed up and hasten and bring about immediately that all of Bnei Yisroel will go to our Holy Land, “a great congregation will return here” — to the land of ten nations. 

To summarize: the Rebbe is telling us that since avoidas haBirurim is finished (as mentioned many times in Dvar Malchus) and everything is ready for the Geuloh, we must begin acquiring the complete land of Israel — the land of all ten nations — by beginning to be involved with avoidas haMoichin by adding in all the aspects of Torah that the Rebbe mentions (adding in learning the subjects of Moshiach and Geuloh, and adding in learning Chassidus as it shows itself united with the revealed dimension of Torah, and adding in learning deep subjects in Chassidus).  This represents our first steps into the avoidah of the future, an example of what the Rebbe is telling us throughout these sichos: by beginning to conduct our lives in a way that is fitting with the Geuloh, we speed up the revelation that the Geuloh is really here with us already.  It is primarily a switch in our perception, understanding, and outlook — the intellectual avoidah of bring into reality the Geuloh!

 

Lech Lecho: The 3 Nations and Geuloh

Lech Lecho: The 3 Nations and Geuloh

We present this worked-over translation of a maamer of the Tzemach Tzedek to give a deeper understanding of the land of the 3 nations mentioned in Dvar Malchus and the connection to Geuloh.

The Borders of the Land of Israel in the Future

We are promised in the Torah that in the time to come the Jewish people will receive the land of Israel consisting not only of the land of the 7 nations of Canaan but also the land of the three nations of Edom, Moav, and Amon (the Keni, Kenizi and Kadmoni).

This being so, we are confronted with a question: The prophecy of Yechezkiel describes the borders of the land of Israel as they will be in the time to come, but in his prophecy they are clearly defined as being the same borders as were conquered by Yehoshua ‐‐ the land of only 7 nations. His prophecy is about the time to come: why doesn’t he mention the lands of the other 3 nations?

This is also connected to the additional three refuge cities (arei miklat) which we are instructed to establish in those lands. These refuge cities are, in turn, associated with the rectification of Hevel.  Kayin was able to kill Hevel because Hevel was already condemned to death (“chayav misa“) for having “gazed at the shechina” while offering his sacrifice.

Chazal (Sanhedrin, 98a) explain the verse “in its time I will hasten it” (“B’itah Achishena“) as referring to two distinct end times (ketz, plural: kitzin): “if they merit, I will hurry it (Achishena), if they don’t merit, [Hashem will bring the Geuloh] in its time (B’itah)”. If the ketz comes in its last possible moment ‐‐ B’itah ‐‐ all the descendants of Hevel will be rectified. But, if the Jewish people will merit to the redemption before the ketz of the rectification Hevel is completed, then there will be need for refuge cites (arei miklat) for those (descendants of Kayin) who will kill accidentally (but not intentionally).

[Important to note what is explained in Chassidus: that the rectification of the souls that derive from Hevel are the basis of “refining the sparks of holiness”, the “avoidas habirurim“, which the Jewish people accomplish during the time of golus. See also Toras Chayim, Shemos II, 277a.]

Achishena — An Awakening from Below

In order to understand this matter of B’itah and Achishena, we find that chazal say “the woman conceives first and a male is born; the man conceives first and a female is born.” This means that when Knesses Yisroel (the collective soul of the Jewish people) will “conceive first”, which is the aspect of “elevating the feminine waters” (hala’as ma”n) from below to above, like the yearning of the woman for her husband, then this awakening from below will generate the awakening from Above which draws down the masculine waters (hamshachas ma”d) from a very lofty level so that a male will be born, meaning a higher level [than a female].

We are talking here about the avoidah that gives birth to love in the Jewish people, a male child representing “great love” (ahava raba). But, if the man (Hashem) will conceive first, then a female will be born, meaning the aspect of love [of Hashem] in order to receive a reward in Gan Eden (see Likkutei Torah, Tazria, “Sos Tasis“).

So, too, in our case: if the ketz will be via the awakening of Knesses Yisroel, meaning that through the awakening from below there will be an awakening from Above to speed up the matter before its time, which is the aspect of Achishena, then Hashem will widen the borders and we will inherit the land of the Keni, Knizi and Kadmoni. But, if it will be the man conceiving first, meaning the ketz will come due to an awakening from Above in its (pre‐determined) time, then the borders of the land will remain unchanged, as in the prophecy of Yechezkiel, and the lands of the three nations will be left a desolate wasteland.

Refining the Sparks (Avodas Habirurim)

To explain this matter: the shattering of the vessels occurred primarily in the 7 midos of Tohu (the emotions), but not so much in the Kesser, Chochma and Bina (intellect and super‐intellect) of Tohu.  Thus, as regards their rectification, which is the avoidas habirurim performed by the Jewish people down in this world via Torah and Mitzvos, this is performed on the 7 midos.  At the same time, the three dimensions of Kesser, Chochma and Bina of Tohu are being rectified together with them.

According to this, it would be fitting that the Jewish people should inherit these lands when they finish the task of refining the 7 midos of Tohu; however, this depends on the actions of the Jews in this world, whether it will be “in its time” or “I will hasten it” (B’itah or Achishena, which was explained above as dependent on whether there is first an awakening from below). The expression “inheriting these lands” means the revelation of the good found in the aspect of Kesser, Chochma and Bina of Tohu.

[In other words, we have two factors: the avoidas habirurim and the awakening from below. If the avoidah is finished before there is an awakening from below, this is called B’itah. If the awakening occurs before the avoidah is completed, this is called Achishena. This determines the inheritance of the land.]

Inheriting the Land of the 7 or the 10 Nations?

If the good that is in them will be revealed in a tangible way in the Jewish people, then these lands will be considered part of the Land of Israel and this will take place in the simple sense as well. But, if we will not inherit these lands, then the gentiles in those places will (as stated in the prophecies) be wiped out along with the evil that is there, however, the lofty good that is there will not be revealed directly; rather, it will only be revealed through being enclothed in the 7 midos (the land of the 7 nations of Canaan). Which case will take place depends on the actions of the Jewish people down in this world.

If we bring about Achishena, an awakening from below (hala’as ma”n), the woman conceives first: this will cause a drawing down from below (hamshachas ma”d) and the inheriting of the 3 lands of Kesser, Chochma and Bina of Tohu, and the good that has been refined from them will actually shine forth there. Those lands will be considered as part of the land of Israel, and physically the borders of Israel will reflect this.

However, if it will be B’itah, from Above, even though the spirit of impurity will be removed, nonetheless the good in them will not be revealed; rather, it will only appear through being enclothed in he midos, the land of the 7 nations. In such a case, the lands of the 3 nations will be left desolate.

[We could explain that these revelations will not have a vessel in which to be revealed. These levels of lofty understanding cannot be revealed in the regular vessels of intellect which we presently possess.  Thus, they will only be revealed in the midos, like a person who feels strongly attracted to something or feel vehemently against something without understanding the reason.]

Why Yechezkiel Saw a Future of the Land of 7 Nations

Since the expansion of the land of Israel to include the 3 lands is dependent on the ketz being in a way of Achishena (love that derives from an awakening from below, as explained above), this is why Yechezkiel’s prophecy describes only the land of the 7 nations: because he prophesied about the final ketz which is the ketz B’itah where the borders of the land of Israel remain as they were in the days of Yehoshua.

We notice that in the prophecy of Yechezkiel, the land is divided into 13 sections. The question is: how do we arrive at the number 13 when there are only 10 sefiros? The answer is that the 7 midos each possesses 3 moichin (the Chabad of the midos, bringing to 10) and further the Kesser, Chochma and Bina of Tohu are enclothed in them in a hidden way (bringing to a total of 13).

Thus, we see that the prophecy of Yechezkiel is on the ketz B’itah wherein Kesser, Chochma and Bina will be enclothed in the 7 midos in a hidden way, because the awakening is from Above, that the supernal Man conceives first and there will not be an actual inheritance of the 3 lands. But, afterwards, in the days of Moshiach, through the avoidah of Yisroel they will arrive and merit after several years to the aspect of Achishena, inheriting the 3 lands as part of the land of Israel, until the good in Kesser, Chochma and Bina of Tohu will be actually revealed there.

We see from this maamar of the Tzemach Tzedek that if the Jewish people finish avoidas habirurim but still have not had an “awakening from below” on their own, then the Geuloh arrives but they lack the vessels to perceive the lights of Tohu that have been refined from level of Kesser, Chochma, and Bina of Tohu. If this occurs, then they will have to do the avoidah in Yemos Hamoshiach in order to reach the level where they will “inherit the land of the Keni, Kenizi and Kadmoni”, meaning a revelation of the lights of Tohu in a revealed way.

This explains the assertion of the Rebbe that:

  1. Avoidas habirurim has been completed,
  2. We only need shout “ad Mosai”, to open our eyes to see that the Geuloh is here, and
  3. That we are presently found in Yemos Hamoshiach.

Based on the maamor of the Tzemach Tzedek printed in Ohr HaTorah, Bereishis, page 1167 תתשסז

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Lech Lecha 5752: Pick up and Leave

Lech Lecha 5752: Pick up and Leave

Hashem’s instruction to Avraham Avinu “Lech Lecha” is a leaving (from “your land, your birth place, your father’s house”) for the sake of arriving: arriving to “the land I will show you”, Eretz Yisroel.

According to Chassidus, each of these expressions of leaving has a spiritual counterpart in the avodah of a Jew:

  • Your land (artzecha) refers to one’s will (ratzon), that one has to leave his concepts of “I want”;
  • Your birth place refers to the traits one was born with, to leave the concept of “that’s the way I am”;
  • Your father’s house refers to the education and training that one has become accustomed to.

First one must completely leave these three limiting self-conceptions (even if they are in the realm of Holiness), and having left them he can now proceed towards “the land I will show you”, the Land of Israel.  Back in parshas Pinchas the Rebbe explained that a Jew must “make here Eretz Yisroel”, make it “a place where G‑dliness, holiness, and Yiddishkeit are openly revealed”, and further: to conduct ourselves in the spirit of the Geulah.  Here the Rebbe says that we are far beyond the beginning of the process of conquering the land outside of  Israel and making it Eretz Yisroel, and thus the instruction to “go out from your land” in our case refers also to the land that has already been made into Eretz Yisrael. To not only “go out” from negative things, but to “go out” from the current, limited level we have obtained even in holy things.

This includes not only the land of the 7 nations, which correspond to the 7 midos (the 7 emotional attributes of chesed, gevurah, etc.), but the land of all 10 nations that was promised to Avraham, including the 3 nations of Keni, Kenizi and Kadmoni, which correspond to the 3 moichin (the 3 intellectual attributes of the soul: Kesser, Chochma, and Bina).  And the acquisition of this land will take place peacefully, without the war that was required to conquer the 7 lands, meaning the 7 midos.

This process of “Lech Lecha” — leaving what one is accustomed to, even good and holy things — takes place by revealing powers that one did not even know he had.  This includes adding in learning Torah and making chiddushim (novel insights), gathering people on Shabbos to teach them Torah.  This process of “Lech Lecha” is the preparation needed to reach the “Torah of Moshiach”, which is connected with the acquisition of the 3 lands, the 3 moichin, which is the “sha’ar haNun“, the 50th gate which Moshe Rabbeinu was only able to reach at the end of his life.  And through this we will reach the complete revelation of the Torah that was given at Har Sinai: the level of “a new Torah will go forth from Me” (Vayikra Rabba 13:3 on Yeshayahu 51:4).

Noach Saw a New World (Audio)

Noach Saw a New World (Audio)

….So the “new world” that Noach saw was not a new form of creation, but a new perception: he could now perceive how the world of Elokim is really a world of YKVK.  It was recognizable and revealed to him.  He saw the same world but in an entirely new way, thus he saw a “new world”….

RECORDED ON AUDIO: 

Noach “Saw a New World”

Noach “Saw a New World”

The opening verse in Parshas Noach says that “נֹ֗חַ אִ֥ישׁ צַדִּ֛יק תָּמִ֥ים הָיָ֖ה בְּדֹֽרֹתָ֑יו” “Noach was a righteous man, he was perfect in his generations”.  The Midrash on this posuk (Midrash Rabba Noach, 30:8) says in the name of R’ Levi: “Whoever it is said about them ‘he was’ saw a new world.”  The Midrash then enumerates five individuals, the first being Noach, citing that when he and his family exited the ark, they saw a new world.

In what sense did Noach see a new world?  Obviously, it was the same Earth, although following the waters of the flood surely the surface of the Earth looked different than it did previously.  And of course, the evildoers who populated the Earth previously were no longer around.  But can we really say that this is what it means to see a “new world”?

The Rebbe, in the sicha of Noach 5752, clues us in to what is being implied here according to pnimiyus haTorah:

In the creation of the world, the Torah refers to Hashem using two names: YKVK and Elokim.  YKVK is G-dliness that is above the world.  Elokim is the name which indicates concealment, allowing independent-feeling worlds to come into existence.  In the words of Tehillim: “The Sun and a shield [these are the names] YKVK [and] Elokim”.  The name YKVK is the emanation of worlds, the infinite “light” of the worlds, and Elokim is the “shield” or “filter” that conceals the light in order that finite worlds can come into existence.

“That in the reality of the world as it is created via the name Elokim is revealed the name YKVK, until it is recognizable in a revealed way that “YKVK is Elokim” (הוי’ הוא האלקים), that in truth the contraction and concealment (Elokim)  are really the name YKVK. הצמצום וההסתר (אלקים) הוא לאמיתתו שם הוי-ה

(Sicha Parshas Noach, 5752)

Meaning that the world is still the same world that was created via the name Elokim, only that it becomes revealed that really even this name Elokim is just a reduction of the light of YKVK, but not something independent or separate.

So the “new world” that Noach saw was not a new form of creation, but a new perception: he could now perceive how the world of Elokim is really a world of YKVK.  It was recognizable and revealed to him.  He saw the same world but in an entirely new way, thus he saw a “new world”.

We can use this to understand many things the Rebbe is trying to tell us in these Dvar Malchus sichos, giving us the tools to “open our eyes”, including the subject of last week’s sicha regarding “servitude to the nations”.  Over there the Rebbe explains how there is servitude to the nations in the time of Golus, but that this servitude does not extend to our neshomas, nor to our bodies as regards matters of Torah and mitzvos.  And even those things where we must follow the law of the land because “dina d’malchusa dina” (the law of the land is the law) is not because we are in servitude to the nations of the world, but because this is how Hashem wants it to be in the time of Golus.

In those short paragraphs, the Rebbe has opened our eyes to a “new world”: a world where there is no servitude to the nations, which is the definition of (the first period of) the Days of Moshiach!  In other words, if one is in a personal Golus and in fact believes that the Jewish people is in servitude to the nations, then in fact he is in such a state, r”l.  But when one internalizes what the Rebbe says there, he discovers that not only our neshomas and our bodies (as regards performing Torah and Mitzvos) are not in servitude to the nations, even those areas where we do go according to their decisions (monetary matters and the like) — this is not due to any form of “servitude” but rather it is Hashem’s will!  So by following civil monetary law, we are in fact fulfilling Hashem’s will no less than in other halachic matters!  Externally, it is the same Golus, but the Rebbe has given us the tools to “see through” the darkness of Golus and realize that the concealment of the name Elokim (Golus) is really coming from YKVK — a new world!

This is one example of many to be found in Chassidus in general, the Rebbe’s teachings in particular, and the Dvar Malchus sichos most especially.  By making these changes in our perception and understanding of the world, we place ourselves in a state of Geulah even while the world “continues in its natural way”.  This is the beginning of Yemos Hamoshiach, each one coming to the realization based on his own efforts to internalize these concepts.

Noach 5752: Geuloh is Dependent Only on Moshiach Himself

Noach 5752: Geuloh is Dependent Only on Moshiach Himself

The chosid R’ Zushya Willemovsky, “The Partisan”, was told by the Rebbe in a private audience in the 1960s that there remained 20 or 21 things that needed to be accomplished in order for Moshiach to come.  From this we learn the significance of the sichos of Dvar Malchus in general, and parshas Noach in particular — that everything has been accomplished and nothing is preventing the Geuoh.

In this sicha, the Rebbe speaks about the importance of periodically making a proper spiritual accounting (cheshbon tzedek) to search out a recognize the areas in ourselves which need improvement, even things that are very slight imperfections (such as causing someone to feel bad because we didn’t return their greeting(!)).  This should be done with joy, with recognition that it is easier than ever to rectify these matters because the Jewish people, who are like one body, “are found in a state of an individual who is healthy in all of his limbs and organs, both spiritually and physically, and thus anything that is lacking is likened to a weakness or a minor illness in one limb which can be healed quickly and easily”.

Furthermore, when a person takes stock of himself and recognizes that he has flaws and failings which need to be rectified, “this is not a contradiction, G-d forbid, to the testimony of the Leader of the Generation that the work has already been completed and we are standing ready to receive Moshiach Tzidkeinu.”  Yes, we need to search these things out, and upon identifying them to rectify them, but these things do not delay Moshiach’s coming.

Dependent Only on Moshiach Himself

“With absolute certainty all the ‘end times’ have passed, and [the Jewish people] have already done tshuva, and now the matter is not dependent upon anything other than Moshiach Tzidkeinu himself!  (Italics in the original.)  Towards the end of the sicha the Rebbe repeats: “…when we do a proper accounting at  the end of the first week of the year 5752, “it will be a year with wonders in it”, we come to the conclusion that the matter is not dependent upon anything other than Moshiach Tzidkeinu himself (as stated above)…”

It might seem that the implication of these words is that we have done all that we can do, now all that remains would be to wait for Moshiach to decide when to reveal himself.  However, this sicha was preceded a half a year earlier by the famous sicha of Chof-Ches Nissan, 5751, where the Rebbe told the Chassidim that he had done everything he could do, all that remains is to give it over to us to bring Moshiach.  (Several days later a woman passed by the Rebbe for dollars, crying that we were counting on the Rebbe to bring Moshiach, to which the Rebbe answers “it must be done by Klal Yisroel, you included, and this person included, and that person included…”)

This means that we need a different way to understand the expression “the matter is not dependent upon anything other than Moshiach Tzidkeinu himself” — since the Rebbe clearly has put in the hands of the Jewish people to “do all that you can” to bring Moshiach in actuality.  Meaning that it is clearly not the Rebbe’s intention that we stage around crying out to Moshiach: “reveal yourself!”  If so, if it is not enough to wait patiently (or, even impatiently) — then what is implied by the matter being dependent upon Moshiach himself?

We can better understand this expression in light of the words of the Rebbe in the sicha of Chayeh Sara (three weeks after this parshas Noach) in which the Rebbe describes the chiddush, the change in the shlichus which becomes the new gateway for the rest of the efforts of shlichus, namely: to accept Moshiach Tzidkeinu in the true and complete Geuloh.”  (Italics in original.)

 This sheds light on the expression in our sicha, “that the matter is not dependent upon anything other than Moshiach Tzidkeinu himself ” — it is not that we are waiting for Moshiach to do something, since we already know that we are the ones who have to do (“do all that you can“).  Rather, the statement comes to tell us what it is that we need to do, that our efforts to bring Moshiach pertain to Moshiach himself: to accept this individual as Moshiach, to make him (personally my, and collectively our) King.  Everything else has been done, the road has been paved to Moshiach.  Now, all that remains is the acceptance of his Kingship by the people, and this is what “flicks the switch” to the true and complete Geuloh!