Our parsha begins with Hashem’s instruction to Moshe Rabbeinu “Come to Pharaoh”. The question is asked: why “come to Pharaoh” and not “go to Pharaoh” (as stated in other verses)? Furthermore, being that the Torah is eternal, what is the relevance of going to Pharaoh, King of Egypt, when we are standing at the end of golus–long after Egypt was rendered helpless and nothing remains of Pharaoh–at a time when the birurim of the klipah of Pharaoh are finished (as mentioned many times)?
The commentaries explain that Moshe Rabbeinu was afraid to go to the inner chambers of Pharaoh, and therefore Hashem said “Come [with Me] to Pharaoh” to ease Moshe’s fear of confronting Pharaoh alone.
However, our question becomes stronger when we learn, based on the Zohar, that the evil Pharaoh that we encountered in Egypt has his source in the “Pharaoh of kedusha (holiness)”, which refers to the revelation of G-dliness. Why was Moshe afraid to go to the Pharoah of holiness, so much so that he needed a direct command from Hashem to “come” together with Hashem?!
The answer is that the revelation of G-dliness that is represented by the Pharaoh of kedusha is a revelation of all levels of holiness, up to and including Hashem’s very essence (“atzmus“). The Zohar calls it “the breaking out of all the lights”. A soul enclothed in a limited physical body cannot hope to receive such a revelation without being nullified out of existence. Thus, Moshe was afraid. So Hashem reassures him “come” to Pharaoh, meaning Hashem Himself, Hashem’s very essence, will accompany Moshe and because Hashem is all-capable (particularly expressed in Hashem’s essence), this will make it possible for Moshe–even as a soul enclothed in a body–to receive and internalize this revelation of G-dliness.
The Rebbe explains what sort of revelation we are speaking about: it is the revelation of the unlimited within the limited vessel of the body. To reveal the unlimited within the limited–a complete contradiction–is only with in the power of Hashem’s essence. Only Hashem’s atzmus can put the lights of Tohu into the vessels of Tikkun.
Why is it so important that Moshe receive this revelation while enclothed soul in body? Because this represents the fulfillment of Hashem’s intent in Creation: to make a dwelling place down below, that the highest revelations (Hashem’s atzmus) should be revealed “below”–to a soul in a body. This occurred in the most complete manner at Matan Torah, when Hashem gave us the Torah at Har Sinai, when this revelation was experienced by the entire Jewish people (and if not for the sin of the Golden Calf, it would have been the true and complete Geulah). Thus, by giving this revelation to Moshe Rabbeinu, it is a preparation and the beginning of the process.
UNCIRCUMCIZED LIPS: THE WORLD’S SHORTCOMING
The Torah tells us that Moshe Rabbeinu doubted his ability to take the Bnei Yisroel out of Egypt because he was “heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue” and he had “uncircumcized lips”. The explanation of this, according to Chassidus, the inner dimension of Torah, is that the level of Moshe Rabbeinu’s soul is so lofty that it is above the level that can be revealed in speech. The source of Moshe Rabbeinu’s soul is in the primordial world of Tohu, unlimited spiritual lights which cannot be limited into constraining vessels. Thus, to express this in a limited world was not possible–Moshe Rabbeinu’s self-expression was hindered by the world’s own limitations. This was not Moshe’s problem, but the world’s problem. (By way of analogy: similar to when one turns up the volume too high for the loudspeakers to handle, the music comes out distorted. Not because there is a problem with the music, but because the loudspeakers are unable to handle such a high level.)
This was true from the beginning, and the very fact that Moshe Rabbeinu was able to communicate at all in Egypt was only due to the fact that Hashem miraculously enabled him to be understood. But Moshe was not yet “healed” from his “problem” until Hashem revealed His Essence at Matan Torah by saying “Anochi” in the Ten Commandments. This is because the complete revelation in speech within the entire world could only occur after the destruction of klipas Mitzrayim. Thus, “Come to Pharaoh”, which represents the breaking of that klipa was the first step in the revelation of Hashem’s atzmus, and via Moshe Rabbeinu it could then be drawn down to the entire Jewish people (at Matan Torah).
This revelation of Hashem’s essence which can unify the limited and the unlimited is the purpose of Creation, and thus we find that the Ramban writes (and Chassidus concurs) that the ultimate reward and ultimate state of being is souls in bodies at the resurrection of the dead (and not souls without bodies, which is the Rambam’s opinion).
This is also why the Bnei Yisroel had to borrow the gold and silver vessels from the Egyptians rather than take them (as well-earned back pay for generations of slavery): because not only does Egypt need to be “nullified”, but it needs to be transformed to the point that it willingly wants to help the Jewish people leave exile. Only in cases where this cannot be accomplished, and there is no other choice, is there a need to “break” and “nullify”; otherwise, the preferred path is that it should be done in a peaceful way where the other side itself is a willing partner.)
At the time of the Egyptian exile the birurim (refinements) were not yet finished, but now we stand at the end of golus and all the refinement has been completed and thus we will leave this exile:
in a way of spiritual and physical ease, in a state of ultimate perfection and health — souls in bodies, and passing over immediately (without any interruption at all) to eternal life of souls in bodies in the true and complete Geulah (the ultimate state of reward, as mentioned above).
On Yud Shevat, 5710 (1950) the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe passed away. Says the Rebbe: on Yud Shevat the Moshe Rabbeinu of our generation, the Previous Rebbe, experienced “Come to Pharaoh”–“the breaking out of all the lights”. And through the fact that he received this revelation, now it can be drawn down to all the people of the generation. Right now, however, this revelation remains in a way where the Previous Rebbe is found soul higher than the body.
The Previous Rebbe, like Moshe Rabbeinu, suffered from “speech being in exile” because later in life he was unable to speak clearly. But we understand from what we learned about Moshe Rabbeinu that this was due to the limitation of the world, not of the Rebbe–because the birurim were not yet completed. Thus, in the previous generation, there was a histalkus of the soul from the body, unlike in our generation when we can receive the revelation of “the breaking out of all the lights” in a way where the soul remains in the body! This will occur through the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu immediately and will cause the ultimate elevation of all the generations that came before through the “awakening from the dust” (resurrection of the dead).
EVERYONE IS READY FOR GEULAH
Not only are the Jewish people standing ready for Geulah, the nations of the world are also standing ready for the Jewish people to go out of golus and to go to Eretz Yisroel in the true and complete Geulah. This means souls in bodies without any interruption. The Rebbe goes on to state that:
Spiritually (reaching to the highest levels) the matters are already completed up to the completion of the Geulah (spiritually). The spiritual eyes of a Jew already see the Geulah; at present one needs only to open up the physical eyes, that they should also see the Geulah as it is revealed to eyes of flesh at this time…the chiddush of the Geulah is found in the revelation of “the breaking out of all the lights” will also be in the physicality of the world which appears to eyes of flesh, in physical time and place, making a dwelling place for Him down below.
A spiritual Geulah is not sufficient, it must be a Geulah that is visible to eyes of flesh. First and foremost, this is to express in our own conduct a revelation of Hashem’s atzmus, Hashem’s essence, which permeates everything equally. This means from the loftiest things (Torah, Tefillah, Chesed) to the most mundane things (eating, sleeping, working)–our entire lives must show the world that we are in a state of Geulah. Through this even loftier things will be revealed to us, through the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu this very second!
For further reading:
All That Remains is to Open Up the Eyes
The Generation That Does Not Die