The Previous Rebbe stated that all that is necessary to do is to “polish the buttons” — and even that service has been accomplished — and we need do no more than “stand together prepared” to greet Moshiach.
In particular, this is true in the present year, a year when “I will show wonders,” a year in which will be fulfilled the prophecy “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.” We have seen wonders of the nature that indicate — as mentioned in the Yalkut Shimoni — that this is “the year when the King Moshiach will be revealed” and that it is “the hour when the King Moshiach comes… and announces to the Jewish people, ‘Humble ones. The time for your redemption has come.’ ”
We are standing at the threshold of the Era of Moshiach, at the threshold of the beginning of the Redemption, and in the immediate future, it will be brought to its completion. In such a year, there is the potential, not only for the Three Weeks to be seen as a preparation for the Redemption, but for the Redemption to actual come, even on the present Shabbos, and thus transform the Three Weeks into a positive period.
In this context, a greater emphasis has to be put on the custom of studying the laws of the structure of the Beis HaMikdash in these Three Weeks. As G‑d told the prophet Yechezkel, through this study, it is considered as if we have been involved in the actual construction of the Beis HaMikdash.
Also, the approach to studying these laws must be different than the approach in previous years. The emphasis must be on, not on mourning over the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, but rather, on the desire and the yearning for the Third Beis HaMikdash of which it is said, “The glory of this later house will surpass the glory of the previous house.”
Thus the subject must be approached as a present reality. It is not that in the distant future these laws will be relevant, but rather that at any moment the Third Beis HaMikdash which is already built in the heavens will descend and be revealed on earth.
In this context, the study of these laws — as the study of the subjects ofMoshiach and the Redemption — should not be looked at as merely a means to hasten the coming of this future era. Rather, it is the beginning of the efforts to live with the concept of Moshiach, to “live with the times,” with the Era ofMoshiach. When these concepts are perceived intellectually, they will affect our feelings, and ultimately our deeds and our actions. Our conduct will be appropriate to the present era, a time when we are at the threshold of Moshiach’s coming.
Although our Sages declared, “Moshiach will come when our attention is diverted,” this is no contradiction to the emphasis on studying the subjects ofMoshiach and Redemption. A diversion of attention can also be interpreted as referring to a step above our ordinary conscious processes. After one has deepened his awareness of Moshiach to the extent that he appreciates that we are standing on the threshold of Moshiach, that we have completed all the service necessary for his coming, and at any moment, he will come, one can step beyond one’s ordinary thinking process and consider the Redemption in a new light.
These words are meant as a directive for action. Despite the outcry that has been made in the last months, and despite the wonders that we have seen in the present year which indicate that this is “the year when the King Moshiach will be revealed,” there is a difficulty in having this concept permeate people’s consciousness, that they should be aware that we are actually on the threshold of the Redemption, and that they should begin living with the concepts ofMoshiach and the Redemption.
Although this is a year when “I will show you wonders,” and wonders have taken place, they have not been shown to us in a complete manner. On the contrary, it has been necessary to explain and elaborate on the fact that we have seen wonders. When G‑d Himself will show the Jews the wonders in a completely manifest way, there will be no need to explain that we are on the threshold of the Redemption. But until that time, it is difficult for these concepts to make a thorough and effective impression on our thought processes.
How can this be changed? By studying about the concepts of Moshiach and Redemption. The power of the Torah, which is G‑d’s wisdom and His will, transcends the world and has the potential to change man’s character. Thus, even though someone feels on the outside when it comes to the Redemption, through studying about these matters, they can begin to live with the idea of Moshiach’s coming, and sense that he is coming in the immediate future.
There is a common thread running through almost all of the Dvar Malchus sichos of 5751-52: the concepts of “ratzo v’shov” (ascending and returning) and the influence from Above contrasted with the effort from below. These concepts are explained at great length in the teachings of Chassidus, and they receive added emphasis in Dvar Malchus.
The year this sicha was said (5751) Shabbos parshas Chukas was the 10th of the month of Tammuz. This means it carries the influence of the number seven (Shabbos) and the number ten (10th of the month). The Rebbe explains that seven represents the complete perfection of the world as it is created from Above, exemplified by the Written Torah which was given from Above, the revealed aspect of Torah. The number ten represents the perfection that is attained (and added to) via our effort from below, which finds expression in the Oral Torah, including Pnimiyus Hatorah. The added quality of ten, deriving from our effort, is that it brings to revelation the “concealed good” which is not openly revealed in the revealed Torah.
The difference between 7 and 10 is 3, which refers to the “moichin“, the three intellectual dimensions of Chochma, Bina and Da’as (Chaba”d). It is our effort to use our intellectual abilities which brings out the hidden good. Says the Rebbe here:
To point out that last Shabbos was 3 Tammuz, the beginning of the Geulah. This Shabbos. the 10th of Tammuz, comes after 7 days of the week have passed–the avodah of refining the 7 midos. Together with this is the avodah of the 3 moichin (of 3 Tammuz)–and this brings about the revelation of the aspect of 10 (of Tammuz)…
This is the special quality of our effort (3 [moichin]) which adds to the completeness from Above (7 [midos]) and brings to the ultimate completeness and perfection of revealing the hidden good (10). [This is also connected with our parsha which speaks of the Red Heifer (Para Adumah), in which the Torah instructs that the sprinkling of the purifying waters take place on the third day and the seventh day.] The Rebbe explains further: “through understanding Pnimiyus Hatorah and the soul of the matter, one is able to see there also the hidden good, even though one does not see this revealed, or one even sees the opposite (the opposite of good).” According to Torah (and emphasized in Chassidus), everything is really good because nothing evil descends from Above. But in order to see this we need the aspect of “3”–our effort in using our 3 intellectual faculties to understand Pnimiyus Hatorah. The revelation of Pnimiyus Hatorah is the inyan of the three lands of Eretz Yisroel that will be inherited in the future: the lands of the Keni Kenizi and Kadmoni.
All of this is assisted by seeing the Rebbe’s face:
The revelation of Pnimiyus Hatorah is drawn down in an ongoing, perpetual way (since the time of the geulah [of the Previous Rebbe in 5687-1927])–via the Previous Rebbe’s students and the students of his students, as he is the Nosi of our generation, and “the Nosi is everything”–he gives the ability to every Jew in this generation, and particularly via his students who merited to see him with eyes of flesh, face to face…and seeing the face of the Tzaddik and the Nosi of our generation has an effect on those who see him, until it becomes firmly recognizable in them that they saw him, including first and foremost–in their avoda in “your wellsprings will spread outward”.
Since the period of time in which we find ourselves is characterized by things which appear to be the opposite of good (most strikingly the event of 3 Tammuz, which marks an interruption of seeing the Rebbe “with eyes of flesh, face to face”), we must implement the Rebbe’s instruction to make an effort to understand these things according to Pnimiyus Hatorah and in that way reveal the hidden good, which itself brings about open and revealed good in the world.
The Miracle of the Sun standing stil was only in order to allow Israel to defeat the enemy by their own power in a natural way.
Gimmel Tammuz is the day that the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe was released from Soviet prison in 5687 (1927).
Prior to that, we find that it was on this day that Yehoshua bin Nun performed a tremendous miracle, causing the sun to stand still. The story behind the miracle is that Israel were doing battle with the enemy. Sunset was approaching, and with the setting of the sun the battle would cease and the enemy would be able to escape. In order to enable Israel to defeat the enemy, Yehoshua instructed the sun to “be silent”, causing it to cease it’s flight in the heavens, preserving the daylight so that the battle could be won.
The Rebbe asks an obvious question: if one has the power to cause the sun (and the entire heavenly system with it) to pause, why not simply bring about the defeat of the enemy in a direct fashion? The preceding verses in Sefer Yehoshua tell us that more of the enemy were killed by stones which fell upon them from heaven than were killed by the sword. Is it not a simpler matter to rain down some more stones than to freeze the entire heavenly system?
The answer the Rebbe gives is that the battle is Israel’s battle, it must be won by them under their own power. Of course Hashem is helping with miraculous assistance from above, but this is only assistance. The war must be fought and pursued by Israel in a natural fashion, even if on top of that there is super-natural assistance. Thus, instead of Yehoshua simply bringing about the defeat of the enemy and Israel stand by passively, he used his power to give Israel more time to overcome the enemy in a natural way.
In our day, Gimmel Tammuz is primarily associated with the transition from the years when we saw the Rebbe to the current situation where the Rebbe is not seen except in videos and dreams. Moshe Rabbeinu is likened to the sun, and the Rebbe, Moshe Rabbeinu in our generation, is still providing all the assistance necessary to win the war against evil. But the war must be won by us, under our own power. While the Rebbe was visible to all, it was possible to “rely on the Rebbe” to win the war. Today, when it seems that the sun, Moshe Rabbeinu, has “stopped moving” it is only in order to allow us to overcome the enemy using natural means.
For a more detailed explanation, with comprehensive references from Chassidus, see the Kuntres Inyonei Moshiach and Geulah for Gimmel Tammuz.
In the sicha of Parshas Shlach the Rebbe contrasts the spies who were sent by Moshe Rabbeinu in the parsha, and the spies sent by Yehoshua in the haftorah. By contrasting the differences, the Rebbe identifies for us two differing paths in our service of Hashem (and in “entering the land” — bringing the Geuloh) “which complement each other and complete each other for the sake of a singular goal, the conquest of and the entering into the land.”
The spies sent by Yehoshua were for the sake on conquering the land, whereas those sent by Moshe were supposed to aid and encourage entering the land (which includes settling the land after it is conquered). Moshe’s spies were assigned the task of scouting out the goodness of the land, to give Bnei Yisroel a tangible idea of the special land that awaits them (by bringing back the enormous fruits of the land), and through this to arouse in the Yidden a desire and excitement to enter Eretz Yisroel. As we know, the spies contradicted their mission and tried to scare Bnei Yisroel away from entering the land as a result of “mixing in” to Moshe Rabbeinu’s instructions. But, explains the Rebbe, in truth they did accomplish their mission: when Bnei Yisroel entered the land after 40 years wandering in the desert (the consequence of the spies “mixing in”), they did so with excitement that came from what they learned from those same spies. “If only they hadn’t caused damage by what they added to the shlichus (regarding [the doubting the success of] conquering the land)…then all of Bnei Yisroel would have entered the land of Israel immediately with joy and great desire.”
The Rebbe proceeds to identify the points of difference between the two groups of spies:
- 12 spies (Moshe), 2 spies (Yehoshua);
- Tribal leaders (Moshe), unidentified men (Yehoshua);
- Sent “in your opinion” (Moshe), sent by command of Hashem (Yehoshua);
- To “scout” the entire land (Moshe), to “spy out” Yericho only (Yehoshua);
- Travel openly (Moshe), travel secretly (Yehoshua);
- Identify the nature of the land and the people (Moshe), identify the morale of the population (Yehoshua).
Seemingly, these are completely different kinds of shlichus, deriving from the fact that under Moshe they would have entered the land miraculously, whereas in the times of Yehoshua they needed to conquer the land in a natural manner. But, as mentioned above, the Rebbe says that they complement and even complete each other, and this is also true in our avoidas Hashem to “enter the land” (bring the Geuloh). The spies of Moshe represent the inyan of “differentiation” (התחלקות), the unique and special qualities that different elements possess (to be explained momentarily). The spies of Yehoshua represent the inyan of “unity” (אחדות), where all differences are subsumed and nullified in the common underlying unity.
These differing aspects and approaches manifest themselves in the following areas:
- Torah is the aspect of unity, the wisdom of Hashem — just as He is One, so too His wisdom is One. Mitzvos are the aspect of differentiation, each mitzvah involving different limbs, different objects, having different effects.
- Within Torah itself there are these same two dimensions: Nigleh which is Torah as it differentiates to explain the various mitzvos, etc., and Pnimiyus Hatorah, which explains Elokus and reveals the unity of Hashem in all creation.
- The Neshoma possesses unique and differentiated “soul powers” (כוחות הפרטים) (intellect, midos) which are applied in different situations, and also it possesses Bittul, which shows on the unity of all aspects of Divine service.
The Rebbe says that the avoidah of refining the world is primarily accomplished through the aspect of differentiation (where one can be better than another, etc.) because the aspect of unity is above the world (and, thus, cannot affect it so much). Nonetheless, there is also a need for the dimension of unity which brings the avoidah of refining the world to its perfection — that G-dliness which is above the world is drawn down and revealed in the world to make true unity.
This is reflected in two groups of spies. Moshe’s spies were sent “in accordance with your opinion” (Moshe Rabbeinu’s opinion), which itself reflects on the “differentiation” in Torah as it becomes enclothed in the person’s own intellect. Yehoshua’s spies, however, were sent upon command of Hashem, the aspect of bittul and kabbolos ‘ol. The 12 spies represent the different types of Divine service of the 12 tribes, each tribe being different in its strengths and weaknesses. The 2 spies of Yehoshua show on bittul of all of the powers of the neshoma to the two primary directions of Divine service: positive mitzvos and negative mitzvos.
Each one of us needs to utilize both forms of “spying out the land” in order to properly conquer and settle it. The actual conquering is best accomplished through the simplicity and bittul of Yehoshua’s spies. But arousing a desire to enter the land, and to settle it properly demands the approach of Moshe’s spies who utilize their unique abilities and capabilities to accomplish their shlichus.
It is possible to say that when the two dimensions are combined, the bittul of Yehoshua’s spies will keep us away from the mistake of Moshe Rabbeinu’s spies (who “mixed in” and “added” something undesirable to their shlichus) — that even when we make use of our personal strengths and uniqueness we will remain true to the shlichus and succeed to both conquer the land and to settle the land (with joy and desire) and to bring the true and complete Geuloh!
The Rebbe many times repeats the words of Tanya, chapter 37, that all the lofty revelations of the time to come are dependent on our Divine service during the time of exile. Although this is well known among those who learn Chassidus, there is nonetheless a common misconception that once we finish our labor in Golus, than everything else happens automatically. In almost every Sicha of Dvar Malchus, the Rebbe drives home the point that the end of exile is not the end of our labor. In this Sicha it is expressed as “lighting the lamps until the flame rises on its own.”
This is Rashi’s commentary on the words of Hashem to Aharon HaCohen in our Parshah: “When you light the lamps [of the menorah]”. Says Rashi, this literally means “when you bring up the lamps”, because Aharon “is required to kindle the lamp until the flame rises by itself.”
The object is not simply that the lamps should be illuminated (the lamps referring to neshomos Yisroel), because this occurs also while Aharon is holding the light to them. The Torah doesn’t say “light up the lamps”, but “bring up the lamps”. This means that even when the one who lights them removes his influence, the lamps stay lit. The Rebbe emphasizes that this means that the lamps burn on their own accord even without any outside influence.
Even though lighting and bringing up the lamps comes about through lamp-lighting Jews, nonetheless the lamp must be ignited in a way that afterward the light comes from itself, the flame goes “on its own”, without needing any assistance from the lamp-lighter.
This means that even though a person didn’t “light himself up” — he had a Rebbe, parents, teachers, mashpiim, friends, etc. who helped “light him up” with an enthusiasm in avoidas Hashem — nonetheless, the complete and true avoidah is when (after he is “lit up” by others) he becomes a “flame which rises on its own”. This means his own existence alone is what drives him, and not the influence of a mashpia (not even The Mashpia).
The significance to our times, after Gimmel Tammuz, should be obvious. We are not presently operating in an environment where we see the Rebbe giving dollars, a piece of lekach, Kos Shel brocha, or an enthusiastic wave of the hand. But if one refers to the “good old days” when Chassidim saw and felt all of that — he is missing the point. The “complete and true avoidah” is not when a Yid feels excited when the Rebbe is “lighting him up”, but rather after that, when he can prove that the Rebbe was truly successful in lighting him up — because he is showing that his fire for serving Hashem “rises on it’s own”, even when the “lamp-lighter” pulls away the lighter!
This may sound like a daunting challenge, to bring ourselves to Geuloh-dik avoidas Hashem without the “Mashpia” (the Rebbe) lighting us up. Firstly, we don’t have any choice in the matter: either we do this or, chas v’sholom, cool off. As to the “how” — how can we bring ourselves to this avoidah the Rebbe wants from us, to rise up on our own accord? The Rebbe brings in the Sicha from the Rebbe Rashab:
The nature to rise up [to its source] that is found in fire is not like something additional to it, not because it feels the loftiness of its source; but rather, because of its bittul and its lack of a metzius…
The more bittul we achieve, the less we are concerned with our own metzius (our feelings and our experiences of the Rebbe) and instead focus on what the Rebbe wants from us, we will find that we are “lit up” to bring Moshiach (in both our personal avoidah and our avoidah with others) in a more complete and true manner than was the case in the “good old days”. We will truly rise up on our own!
In the sicha of Parshas Naso, the Rebbe states as follows:
There is a special quality in the Shabbos after Shavuos in this year:
To preface, it has been said numerous times that according to all the signs in the words of our sages about the end of days (in addition to the general announcement in the times of the gemara that “all the end-times have passed”), this generation is the last generation of the exile and the first generation of the Geulah. This was testified to by my father-in-law the Previous Rebbe — in connection with his well-known proclamation of “immediately to tshuva, immediately to Geulah” — that in his days (decades ago) all the matters of avodah had been finished, and all we need is only to “polish the buttons” and to stand ready to receive Moshiach Tzidkeinu. How much more so after all the work of spreading the wellsprings outward from then until now, especially upon the completion of 40 years (since his histalkus) it is absolutely certain that we have also finished “polishing the buttons”, and we are standing ready to receive Moshiach Tzidkeinu.
This is especially emphasized in this year — the year 5751 (1991) — [the Hebrew letters of this year, תנש”א] hinting at the verse “his kingship shall be exalted” (תנשא מלכותו) in the entire world, and it also stands for “I will show wonders”– beginning with the wonders that we already saw in actuality, revealed in the eyes of the whole world, in this year [referring to the miracles of the Gulf War]. That through [these events] the words of the Yalkut Shimoni midrash were fulfilled: “In the year that Melech Hamoshiach is revealed all the kings of the world will quarrel, the king of Persia [Iran/Iraq], the king of Arabia, and the Holy One, blessed be He, says to the Jewish people, “my children, do not be afraid, all that I have done I only did for you…the time of your Redemption has arrived.” Since that time, we are already standing at [the closing section of the Yalkut Shimoni midrash] “in the hour that Melech Hamoshiach comes, he announces to the Jewish people and says humble ones, the time of your redemption has arrived.”
Throughout the Gulf War, the Rebbe made references to this Yalkut Shimoni midrash, but here the Rebbe says unequivocally that “it has been fulfilled”, specifically quoting the words “in the year Melech Hamoshiach is revealed”. In other words: in 1991 Melech Hamoshiach was revealed. But despite this, as the Rebbe points out in other sichos, the Jewish people are still fearful and require Moshiach to tell them not to be afraid and to inform them that the Geulah has arrived. But the “breakthrough” has happened: the year Melech Hamoshiach is revealed.
To add further insight:
“The year in which Melech Hamoshiach is revealed…” (“שנה שמלך המשיח נגלה בו”). The word “year” in Hebrew is feminine, and grammatically we would expect this Midrash to read “נגלה בה“, meaning “in her [the year, feminine]”. So we need to explain why it says “בו” instead of “בה”: “the year Melech Hamoshiach is revealed in him“[masculine].
Regarding this logical question, it will help to take a look at the Ohr Hachama, the commentary of R’ Avraham Azulai, z”l, on the Zohar:
[…]so to it will be with the Moshiach after he merits to that neshoma and recognizes himself that he is Moshiach, as it states [in the Zohar] Moshiach will be revealed but he still won’t be recognized by the rest of the people[…] (Shemos 7b, quoting R’ Chayim Vital, z”l)
This describes how the initial “revelation” of Moshiach is when the neshoma of Moshiach is revealed to the individual who has been chosen by Hashem to be Moshiach. At the time that this individual receives the neshoma of Moshiach it is a private revelation, “but the rest of humanity will not recognize him”; only later will he be revealed to the people as Moshiach—what we refer to as the “coming of Moshiach”.
We could say that the Yalkut Shimoni’s use of the word “בו” transforms the literal meaning to “the year that Melech Hamoshiach is revealed in him”, a hint to “the year that [the neshoma of] Melech Hamoshiach is revealed in him [the one who will be Moshiach].” In 5751 there was a revelation of the “yechida of the yechida” (the lofty soul of Moshiach) in Moshiach himself. The delay is the recognition of this by the world.
The reason for this “delay” is found in the Ohr Hachama on Shemos 9a, where it state:
“Moshiach can’t redeem Israel from below…only from Above…there needs to be an awakening from below in order to awaken the rachamim from Above, even if the physical Moshiach wants to redeem [them].”
This describes a situation where there already exists the “physical Moshiach” (i.e., the individual to whom has been bestowed the lofty neshoma of Moshiach) who himself knows that he is Moshiach, but the revelation to all of Israel has not yet occurred. We can see this in the language of the Yalkut Shimoni itself: the Midrash begins with “the year in which the King Moshiach is revealed”, and the Midrash concludes with “the hour in which the King Moshiach comes”.
The year in which Moshiach is revealed refers to the initial revelation, when there is still a need to explain the events of the world to the Jewish people, “don’t be afraid”, etc. The hour when Moshiach comes refers to that transcendent moment when the Jews themselves are able to actually see and recognize the light of Moshiach (as stated in the continuation of the Yalkut Shimoni, brought in different sichos).
In other words, the revelation of Moshiach precedes and is distinct from the coming of Moshiach. (And it is self-understood that when there is such a situation—a situation where the tzaddik who himself is Moshiach is the only one to whom this has been revealed– then only this tzaddik himself is able to know and to inform others that “the year in which the King Moshiach is revealed” has been fulfilled, etc.) .
See 5751–The Year Moshiach Is Revealed for more insights into the relevance of this Yalkut Shimoni to the Gulf War and the present world situation.
One of the most prominent features of the Messianic era is the spreading forth of Divine knowledge. It begins with Moshiach Tzidkeinu himself (“he will possess great wisdom greater than Shlomo Hamelech, and will be a great Prophet (Novi) close to [and exceeding] Moshe Rabbeinu”), and proceeds to the entire Jewish nation (“Yisroel will be great sages and will know the hidden things and will grasp the knowledge of their Creator according to their [individual] ablity”). This is expressed by the verse in Yeshaya “Because Torah will go forth from Me” (“כי תורה מאתי תצא”), upon which the Midrash explains “A new Torah will come forth from Me, innovation in Torah (chiddush Torah) will go forth from Me” (תורה חדשה מאתי תצא, חידוש תורה מאתי תצא). [As explained in many places in Chassidus, the “new Torah” refers to new and deeper understanding of the very same Torah that was given to Moshe Rabbeinu at Har Sinai: the very same Torah, the very same letters, etc.]
PROPHECY AND HALACHA
The Rebbe explains that there are two aspects to the chiddush Torah: the newly revealed secrets of the Torah, and chiddush in halacha (specifically the shechting of the Shor Habar with the fins of the Leviyoson, as the Rebbe will explain in depth.)
That Moshiach will reveal secrets of Torah is readily understood. But to say that he will make innovations in halacha presents a difficulty, because (as mentioned above) Moshiach is a Novi and there is a priciple that a Novi is not permitted to make innovations in halacha (אלה המצוות, אין נביא רשאי לחדש עוד דבר מעתה). Furthermore, what is the idea of an innovation in Torah anyway?! The entire Torah (including the future innovations of a sage, “talmid vosik“) was given to Moshe Rabbeinu on Har Sinai — so what room is there to “innovate”?
The answer the Rebbe gives is that the effort of the talmid vosik to find and reveal the answer (using the 13 rules through which the Torah is explained) makes it his own chiddush. On a deeper level, such a chiddush is only revealing something that was “concealed, but existing” (העלם שישנו במציאות). Meaning that using the tools of the 13 rules the human intellect is capable of revealing this concept. But in the Messianic Era, the chiddush will come from the level of things which are “concealed, and not in existence” (העלם שאינו במציאות). Meaning that human intellect could never arrive at such a conclusion, it must be revealed into human intellect from Above by the Holy One, blessed be He. Thus the midrash tells us that this new dimension of Torah comes “from Me” (from Above) and “goes forth” — goes out into human intellect.
This also answers the difficulty of Moshiach as a Novi making innovations in halacha: the revelation of prophecy to Moshiach (revelation of Hashem from Above) does not remain “Above” (in which case it has no bearing on halacha), but rather: Moshiach draws it into the understanding of his own intellect, and proceeds to teaches it to the people, enabling the masses to understand these Divine revelations with their own human intellect. Once it becomes understood with the human mind, it is “not in the heavens” (לא בשמים היא) and thus is valid to make halachic rulings.
Based on what was explained above, we can understand how in the Messianic Era it will be permissible to shecht the Shor Habar with the fins of the Leviyoson (a shechita which now would be forbidden because it is not kosher to shecht with a jagged edge): it will be revealed that the halachos of shechita never pertained to this shechita (of the Shor Habar). An example of such a thing: halacha rules that shechita is forbidden on Shabbos. In a case of saving a life there is a special heter which permits it. But this halacha never referred to the shechting of korbanos — it is permitted to do so on Shabbos without the need for a special heter (since the halacha, from the outset, never applied to this shechita of korbonos). Similarly, the halacha that shechting with a jagged edge is not kosher never pertained to the shechting of the Shor Habar.
BEIS SHAMMAI and BEIS HILLEL
What is the connection between the two dimensions of the future Chiddush Torah: the secrets and the halacha (since they are referred to together in the same posuk)? The Rebbe explains that this can be understood by examining the difference between Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel. As is known, Beis Shamai ruled very strictly in almost every case, whereas Beis Hillel ruled leniently. Furthermore, the sages tell us that the halacha is (with a few specific exceptions) according to Beis Hillel.
Beis Shamai’s strictness comes from the fact that they rule in accordance with Pnimiyus Hatorah, whereas Beis Hillel rule according to Nigleh, the revealed dimension of Torah. Beis Shamai were “sharper”, so there was a basis that halacha should go according to their opinion. But the halacha is like Beis Hillel because they were the majority, which the Rebbe explains to mean that their reasoning could be understood by the majority. (Similarly, we find that although Rebbi Meir was greatly praised as being unique in his generation, the halacha does not go with his opinion — because the majority of sages could not grasp the depth of his reasoning.)
The halacha like Beis Hillel is true until in the Messianic Era. But in the time of Moshiach the halacha will be like Beis Shamai, because their sharper reasoning will be grasped by the majority (ultimately everyone will grasp it). We learn from this the crucial point that a halachic ruling must be in accordance with what the Rov understands. A Rov must use his intellect to arrive at his decision, not his kabbolos ‘ol to the Rebbe (which hopefully he has — he can save it for other things, but not halachic rulings). [Interesting to note that even when the Rebbe “guided” Rabbonim to certain rulings (such as ruling that those coming from Eretz Yisroel should keep two days of Yom Tov when they come to the Rebbe), the rulings still had to be halachically sound and not just because “the Rebbe said”. And we can learn from here as regards the Psak Din on Moshiach…]
The Rebbe raises here another two questions: Since Beis Shamai is almost always more strict, why are we saying that in the Messianic Era (when his opinion will be halacha), the shechita of the Shor Habar with the fins of the Leviyoson will be permitted— this is not more strict, it is more lenient! And even more: why do we need to be strict in the Messianic era when there will be no more evil?!
THE FUTURE REFUGE CITIES (AREI MIKLOT)
The revealed dimension of Torah, Nigleh, deals with revealed good and revealed evil. Pnimiyus HaTorah deals with hidden good and hidden evil.
Both of these concepts are expressed in the mitzvah of establishing refuge cities for accidental murderers — Arei Miklot. Six such cities were established in Eretz Yisroel in the times of Moshe and Yehoshua. Three more, the Rambam rules, will be established in time of Moshiach. Here we have the same question: will there be murderers in the times of Moshiach?!
Even after avoidas haBirurim is finished (as the Rebbe tells us, in other sichos: this has already occurred) — there will still be the existence of evil in the world (until the resurrection of the Dead, the second, miraculous stage of the Messianic Era). This evil in the world will cause the continued existence of accidental deaths (though premeditated murder will cease). Thus, there will be a need for the Arei Miklot also in the Messianic Era.
Looking more deeply, the Rebbe explains that the concept of a refuge city refers to words of Torah. Learning Torah is a “refuge” which protects the person. The three new Arei Miklot of the Messianic Era refers to the inner dimension of Torah that will be revealed at that time. These cities are to be established in the three lands of the Keni, Kenizi, and Kadmoni (the nations of Moav, Amon, and Edom) which will be acquired at that time. The land of Israel that was conquered in the earlier generations was only the land of the 7 Cananite nations, which correspond to the 7 midos which the Jewish people had to refine. These three lands that will be acquired in the Messianic Era correspond to the 3 intellectual faculties (Chabad — Chochma, Bina, and Daas), reflecting the refinement of the intellect, the Moichin which occurs in the times of Moshiach.
This brings us back to Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel. There are certain things that everyone agrees that they are permitted by Torah, and other things that everyone agrees are forbidden by Torah. The cases of machloikes between Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel are on things where there is a doubt whether it is evil and Torah forbids it, or if it contains good and Torah wants us to elevate it. Beis Shamai, who were stricter, who ruled in accordance with Pnimiyus HaTorah, deal with a case of doubt by forbidding it, pushing it away, due to the hidden potential evil that the thing may possesses. Beis Hillel, on the other hand, who are based on Nigleh, the revealed Torah, only push away revealed evil. (They each have an inherent logic: to permit something that contains evil strengthens the “other side”, but also to push away something that we could be lenient with also gives strength to the “other side”.) The shechting of the Shor Habar with the fins of the Leviyoson is different because will be done by Hashem himself, which leaves no room for any possibility of evil (and thus even Beis Shamai will permit such a shechita).
THE SHOR HABAR: A DEEPER DIMENSION
It is explained in Chassidus that the expression of the gemara that equates shechting with pulling or drawing (אין ושחט אלא ומשך) means that the act of slaughtering an animal in a kosher manner takes something that was forbidden to eat (the live animal) and “draws” it into the the realm of the permissible. Once it becomes permissible, a Jew can eat the flesh of this animal, internalizing and elevating it. What as forbidden to eat becomes permissible to eat. Eating refers to internalizing Torah, drawing it down and grasping the concepts. The Arei Miklot of the Messianic era are the new revelations of Pnimiyus Hatorah from Moshiach, revelations so lofty that on their own they cannot be grasped and internalized — they are in the category of “forbidden (unable) to be eaten (internalized)”. Shechita means taking that which cannot be internalized and making it able to be internalized.
The Leviyoson, who lives in the sea, the hidden world, represents serving Hashem spiritually via lofty spiritual unifications (יחודים עליונים). The Shor Habar, which lives on dry land, the revealed world, represents the service of Hashem by refining physicality. Each one has what the other lacks: the spiritual Leviyoson is in a way of elevation from Above, grasping lofty lights but they cannot be drawn down below; the Shor Habar is drawing everything into physicality, but it lacks the lofty revelations.
In the future there will the qualities of both of these dimensions together — that the lofty lights will be drawn down and revealed below. How? By shechting the Shor Habar with the fins of the Leviyoson*, meaning that great spiritual levels associated with the Leviyoson will be revealed in those matters associated with the Shor Habar type of Divine Service. This means even the most lofty matters, things which cannot be grasped by the human intellect, will be drawn down in a way that they can indeed be grasped, that the Torah “from Me” which cannot be grasped at this time, will “go forth” to be grasped by human intellect. The loftiest spiritual revelations will be drawn down below to into halacha that deals with physical objects.
And with this explanation in mind, let us note (and grasp) what the Rebbe says in the sicha of Parshas Vayeitzei, 5752:
The only thing lacking is — that a Jew should open his eyes properly, and should see how everything is ready for the Geulah! There is the “set table” already, and there is already the Leviyoson and the Shor Habor and the aged wine, and Yidden are sitting at the table — “their father’s table”, together with Moshiach Tzidkeinu (as stated in seforim that in every generation there is one of the seed of Dovid who, due to his righteousness, is fitting to be Moshiach), and there is already a “heart to know and eyes to see and ears to hear”.
The table is set with the teachings of Moshiach, teaching things that we could never arrive at on our own, which enable us to grasp, in the vessels of Nigleh (Tanach, Midrashim, Mishnayos, Gemara, Halacha) great and lofty things which would otherwise be beyond human intellect. All we need to do is to open our eyes to this reality, and proceed to “eat” — to learn and internalize these teachings, completing the refinement of the intellect, and bringing into our reality the revelations of the true and complete Geuloh!
“All the rest is commentary, now go and learn.”
* To note: the Midrash informs us that the Shor Habar will be shechted by the fins of the Leviyoson: the jagged edge of the fins tells us that this shechting will take place “step by step”, level after level.