Erev Sukkos, Esrogim, 5752

1. As was mentioned several times, the four species included in the lulav and esrog draw down influence for the entire year. This influence affects the spiritual matters of the Torah and its mitzvosand also our material sustenance from “His full, open, holy, and generous hand.” Similarly, our “rejoicing in our festivals,” draws down happiness for the entire year.

The holiday happiness begins already on the day before the holiday and increases throughout the duration of the holiday. Indeed, this rejoicing begins on the Shabbos on which the month of Elul is blessed. It continues throughout the month of Elul when “the King is in the field,” and is increased in the days of Selichos(particularly, this year when there are two Shabbasos associated with Selichos).

It is amplified by Rosh HaShanah when we “eat sumptuous foods and drink sweet beverages” and then increases throughout the year in both material and spiritual matters, for “the day is holy unto our L‑rd.” Furthermore, the influence is granted to the entire year, not only in a general manner, but also in regard to particular matters. Each day, the particular nature of this influence grows. This will include the ultimate of all particular matters, the coming of the Future Redemption when we will be gathered into Eretz Yisraelfrom all four corners of the word.

Kabetz (קבץ), the Hebrew for “gather,” is numerically equivalent to the sum of the Hebrew words bakol mikol kol, the threefold blessing given to our Patriarchs. This relates to the nature of the present year, shnas niflaos bakol, “a year of wonders in all things.” May we merit this, and the ultimate of wonders, the coming of the Redemption, today, the day preceding Sukkos.

And with Mashiach, we will proceed together with “our youth and our elders… our sons and our daughters” together with all our Torah service “on the clouds of heaven.” And then together, we will continue being together in our Holy Land, in Jerusalem, and in “the Sanctuary of G‑d established by Your hands.” We will celebrate the Simchas Beis HaShoeivah there. Since the Ultimate Redemption will already have come, there will be no need for any restricting decrees and the Simchas Beis HaShoeivah will be able to be held on the first day of the festival itself.

In Eretz Yisrael, the holiday of Sukkos has already begun at present (for as the Alter Rebbe writes in his Shulchan Aruch, the spiritual influences are dependent on the local time). Thus this is the beginning of the Simchas Beis HaShoeivah.

May we all — and the entire Jewish people — witness the Simchas Beis HaShoeivah and may this happiness be drawn down through the entire year. And this will be a year “which contains wonders” (נפלאות בו) and a year “of wonders in all things” (נפלאות בכל), evoking the influence of the threefold blessing to the Patriarchs bakol mikol kol. As mentioned, this phrase is numerically equivalent to the word kabetz. Thus there is the potential for the ultimate ingathering of the exiles and thus “all the inhabitants of the land will live upon it.”1

May this take place amid ever-increasing happiness beginning from the present time.

[Afterwards, the Rebbe told the representatives from Eretz Yisrael:] May you return to your homes in a healthy manner, each person at his appropriate time. May we hear good tidings from you before your journey and after your journey, in a manner of continually increasing happiness and light.

____________________________________________

FOOTNOTES

1.

The Hebrew phrase kol yoshvehoh eleha is significant. It implies that our people will live in Eretz Yisrael in a settled manner. When this is accomplished, the Jubilee Year will be renewed. In regard to the Jubilee, it is stated, “And you shall call freedom throughout the land,” including the ultimate freedom, freedom from exile.

Blessings After Minchah, Erev Yom Kippur, 5752

1. The principle, “Open with blessing,” is applicable at all times and particularly so because the time and the place of this gathering are unique. Whenever a subject is greater, contains more depth, or is higher,1 the principle “Open with blessing” applies with more force. And therefore, at the present time, the Ten Days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, it is particularly relevant.2

As mentioned on several occasions, there are only seven days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Nevertheless, the expression “ten days between” is appropriate, because there are two dimensions to these holidays, an essential aspect possessed by both Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur and a dimension in which these holidays share the qualities of and are included within the Ten Days of Repentance.

The name Rosh HaShanah means “the head of the year.” Just as the head contains the life-energy for the entire body, Rosh HaShanah contains the life-energy for the entire year. This concept also applies to Yom Kippur, for Yom Kippur is also called Rosh HaShanah by the prophet Yechezkel and the AriZal explains that, Yom Kippur reflects the inner dimensions of Rosh HaShanah. Furthermore, since the realm of holiness is structured according to the principle, “Always ascend higher in holy matters,” it follows there is an advantage to Yom Kippur over Rosh HaShanah. Indeed, Yom Kippur is achas bashanah, “once a year,” reflecting an aspect of oneness above the limits of our material world.

The above relates to the teaching quoted by the Tur that even on Erev Rosh HaShanah, “the nature of the Jewish nation” is to wear festive clothing and eat a festive meal, because they are confident that they will prevail in judgment. Since this is a custom of the Torah,3 it has the potential to change the nature of our judgment. Even when the judgment is associated with holiness, there is the possibility that it be altered and improved.4 This is the focus of the service of the second day of Rosh HaShanah and of the subsequent days of the Ten Days of Repentance, to contribute an additional dimension of holiness and light.

And thus G‑d will surely fulfill the inner will of every Jew — and the will of the Jews reflects the inner will of G‑d as the Rambam writes — and that inner will is for the Redemption to come. This is particularly true, because “all the appointed times for Mashiach’scoming have passed.” As the Previous Rebbe explained, all that is necessary is to “stand together prepared [to greet Mashiach]” and that has also been accomplished.

All that is necessary is one turn to G‑d. That will come natu­rally, there is no need for miracles. This is particularly relevant after all the Jews have endured and furthermore, there is a profound positive influence for we have studied the teachings of the Previous Rebbe5 in the realm of Pnimiyus HaTorah.

The above is surely relevant at present, after the majority of the Ten Days of Repentance have passed, and particularly, on the present day, the ninth of Tishrei. The ninth of Tishrei is intrinsically related to the tenth of Tishrei, Yom Kippur. Furthermore, that connection is not only spiritual, but also material in nature. The eating and drinking on the ninth of Tishrei makes possible the spiritual service of Yom Kippur. Moreover, this affects every Jew, man, woman, and child.

In regard to a child’s fasting, great care must be taken for there is danger involved and we follow the principle that a danger to life supersedes all the mitzvos of the Torah. What is the basis for this teaching? The awareness that ultimately, the temporary suspension of Torah observance will lead to greater observance, as our Sages stated, “Breaking one Shabbos in order to keep many Shabbasos.” Similarly, whenever Torah is sacrificed for the sake of a Jewish life:

a) It is a privilege for the Torah and the Torah is elevated to a higher level, for the Torah gave a Jew the opportunity to continue living.

b) We can be certain that ultimately the Jew will merit to observe many more mitzvos.

And thus, the Torah will be observed on a higher level. This relates to the manner in which the higher rung of teshuvah elevates our service of Torah and mitzvos. As explained, the higher rung of teshuvah relates to an inner bond with G‑d’s intellectual attributes, simply put, devoting oneself to Torah study with inner feeling. In this manner, a wondrous unity is established.

The necessity to supersede the mitzvah of fasting because of a danger to a Jew’s health will surely not be necessary and every Jew will be able to carry out the mitzvah of fasting on Yom Kippur as required. Furthermore, it is possible that this will not be required at all. Every day, we are expecting Mashiach to come and surely, this applies on the ninth of Tishrei. Should Mashiach come at present, as a continuation of the festive meals6 of the ninth of Tishrei, we will proceed to the festive celebration of Mashiach’scoming, the feast of the Leviathan, the wild ox, and the aged wine.

There is the potential to participate in these feasts on Yom Kippur itself. In regard to the dedication of the First Beis HaMikdash, we find that due to the great joy, the Jews continued the celebrations on Yom Kippur, eating and drinking on that holy day. Rather than this be considered as a negative factor, a heavenly voice proclaimed, “You are all assured of a portion in the World to Come.”7 Similarly, in regard to our present circumstances, should Mashiach come today, our festive celebrations will continue on Yom Kippur.8

Yom Kippur is a day of happiness as reflected in the AriZal’sinterpretation of the name Yom Kippurim, “a day like Purim.” I.e., Yom Kippur like Purim is a day of celebration. Indeed, from a certain perspective, the celebration of Yom Kippur surpasses that of Purim. If this is true at large, it is definitely true in the present year, 5752, “a year that will contain wonders,” and “a year of wonders in all things.” These wonders will surely include the coming of the Redemption.

This Redemption will affect the entire world, not only the Jewish people. Surely, the Jews will all come to a level of perfection in thought, speech, and deed. But this perfection will affect every entity in the entire world, other men, animals, plants, and even inanimate objects. Thus our Sages relate that in the Era of the Redemption, “the stones from the wall will cry out” reminding a person to conduct himself in a manner that befits a Jew. Furthermore, the expression “cry out” can be interpreted in a positive sense. Our Sages relate Rabbi Akiva9 cried with tears of joy, because the happiness he experienced when studying the Torah’s secrets was too great even for his mind to bear, so too, every element of existence10 will feel such all-encompassing happiness.

There is a connection between the above and the Torah reading associated with the present week Parshas Haazinu. Our Sages explained that the wording Moshe uses at the beginning of this Song indicates how he was “close to heaven and far removed from earth.” This potential is in truth possessed by every Jew.

This potential also relates to the ultimate feast of the Era of the Redemption. As mentioned, the potential exists that we will proceed from the feasts we will enjoy on the ninth of Tishrei to this ultimate celebration. Then we will sit down at a Chassidic farbrengen with the Previous Rebbe at our head. He will be joined by his father, [the Rebbe Rashab,] and his grandfather, [the Rebbe Maharash]. The latter was renown for his adage Lechat’chilah Aribber.11

Similarly, they will be joined by the Tzemach Tzedek, whose both names relate to Mashiach, and the Mitteler Rebbe whose name is DovBer. DovBer reflects a fusion of the Hebrew and Yiddish words for “bear.” Our Sages describe a bear as being “overladen with meat.” This refers to the potential — which can be realized at the meals eaten on the present day — to elevate the most material aspects of our existence.

And thus, our meals will resemble the sacrificial offerings eaten by the priests. Furthermore, we find that in a time of danger, a Jew was allowed to eat in the Holy of Holies itself. This alludes to how the material aspects of the world can become one with G‑d as reflected in the essential oneness of the Holy of Holies.

This concept is further emphasized by the description of the Holy of Holies in the narrative cited above as “the bedroom,” i.e., the place where figuratively speaking, “they will become as one flesh.” I.e., even flesh, the material existence of our world, will become one12 with G‑d’s essence.13

And then we will merit the consummation of the marriage relationship between G‑d and the Jewish people which began at the giving of the Torah.14 At that time, the love between G‑d and the Jewish people will be revealed and they will both rejoice with great happiness.

And all of the above will be openly revealed. For the world is described as G‑d’s dwelling and in a dwelling, one reveals oneself completely. He will not hide Himself with garments, for as our Sages emphasized, in a love relationship, there should be no garments. “And your eyes will behold your Master,” “and they shall be as one flesh,” joining together in a complete and wondrous unity.

May this take place in the immediate future and may it involve every individual Jew. “With our youth and with our elders… with our sons and with our daughters” to the ultimate celebration and feast of the Era of the Redemption.

FOOTNOTES

1.

Although depth and height are two separate matters, they are interrelated as reflected by the principle “The beginning is rooted at the end.” The latter is a fundamental principle in the sphere of holiness and tikkun.

2.

Similarly, there is a special importance to the place where this gathering is being held, a synagogue, a house of study, and a house of good deeds. The latter is particularly relevant at present in the Ten Days of Repentance, when the Jews customarily increase their good deeds, in particular, giving to tzedakah.In particular, this refers to the activities of providing Jews with their holiday needs, and doing so in a manner that, is representative of the Future Redemption, allowing them to “eat sumptuous foods and drink sweet beverages.”

3.

This relates to Rav Saadia Gaon’s statement that the Jews are a nation only by virtue of the Torah.

4.

This relates to the teaching that the entire purpose of Chassidus is to change the nature of one’s emotional characteristics, (or, according to an alternate version, “to change one’s natural emotions”).

5.

The Previous Rebbe is associated with the quality of happiness as reflected in his name Yitzchak. Similarly, his teachings of Pnimiyus HaTorah grant the potential for happiness and joy, a foretaste of the ultimate rejoicing of the Redemption when “our mouths will be filled with joy.”

The Talmud asks how is it possible for a person to rejoice in the present era? In resolution it explains that when a person performs a mitzvah, there is a potential for happiness, and indeed, happiness so great that “our mouths will be filled with joy.” Moreover, this joy should be spread to the members of one’s household and to one’s entire surrounding environment.

6.

The Grace after Meals recited after these meals contains a reference to the threefold blessing given to our Patriarchs, bakol mikol kol. (As explained on previous occasions, these blessings are uniquely relevant in the present year.)

These blessings are extended to every Jew, even to a young child who does not recite the entire Grace and merely says, Brich Rachmana. (This short form of Grace is contained in many Siddurim.This relates to the practice mentioned on many previous occasions, that every child should have his or her own Siddur.This Siddur will thus become the child’s possession, the possession of his or her G‑dly soul. The child will treasure this Siddur, for whenever a child owns something, he holds it dear. This applies also to the tzedakah pushkah or other holy texts that the child owns.)

7.

This quote is cited in the tractate of Bava Basra. The three tractates described as bavos parallel the three Batei Mikdashos. Thus Bava Basra, the third of these tractates, relates to the Third Beis HaMikdash which will be built in the near future.

8.

The connection between the ultimate Redemption and Yom Kippur is reflected in that Yom Kippur is the tenth of Tishrei and the number ten is associated with several dimensions of the Era of the Redemption.

9.

Herein there is also a connection to Yom Kippur, for the martyrdom of Rabbi Akiva is mentioned in our prayers. In regard to his merit and that of his colleagues, our Sages stated, “No creation can stand in their place.”

10.

The happiness felt at that time will also affect the souls that are at present no longer incarnate. And then “those that lie in the dust will arise and sing.” In particular, this applies to the righteous and to the leaders of the Jewish people. In the latter category, however, is every Jew, for “Your people are all righteous.”

11.

As the Rebbe Maharash himself explained, this approach runs contrary to the approach of the world at large. “The world says, ‘If you can’t crawl under, climb over.’ But I say, Lechat’chilah Aribber, ‘At the outset, one should climb over.’ ”

12.

This oneness shares a connection to the Rebbe Maharash’s yahrzeit on the thirteenth of Tishrei, for thirteen is numerically equivalent to echad (אחד), the Hebrew for one.

13.

This also relates to the proclamations made after the Yom Kippur service when we declare Shema Yisrael and “G‑d is the L‑rd,” statements that emphasize the oneness of G‑d with our material existence. This oneness will be realized as we conclude “Next year in Jerusalem,” with the coming of the Redemption.

(Furthermore, as the Previous Rebbe explained, the intent of that statement is not that we must wait until next year for the Redemption to come. Instead, the Redemption will come immediately and, as a natural result, next year, we will celebrate the holiday in Jerusalem.)

14.

In the tractate of Taanis, our Sages associate the giving of the Torah (and thus, this marriage bond) with Yom Kippur, for Yom Kippur marks the giving of the second tablets.

 

Shabbos Parshas Haazinu, 13th Day of Tishrei, 5752

1. This Shabbos is the thirteenth of Tishrei, the yahrzeit of the Rebbe Maharash. A yahrzeit is a day when “all the deeds, Torah, and service of a person are revealed,”1 and thus there is a connection with the well-known adage which characterized the service of the Rebbe MaharashLechat’chilah Aribber, “The world says, ‘If you can’t crawl under, try to climb over,’ and I say, ‘At the outset, one should climb over.’ ”

The influence of the Rebbe Maharash’s yahrzeit is enhanced by the fact that it falls on Shabbos. In general, Shabbos elevates all matters with which it is concerned to a higher level of holiness.2 In particular, there is a unique quality to the present Shabbos, for it is the first Shabbos of an individual nature in the new year. I.e., Shabbos Shuvah is the first Shabbos of the year, but Shabbos Shuvah is of a general nature, including within it all the Shabbasosof the year to come. The present Shabbos is thus the first Shabbos of the year which is comparable to all the other Shabbasos.

Thirteen, today’s date, is the numerical equivalent of the word echad (אחד). There is a thematic relationship between oneness and Shabbos,3 because Shabbos is a day of spirituality and holiness. This spirituality and holiness is not dependent on man’s service and is a reflection of the spiritual order established by G‑d.4Nevertheless, man can enhance the Shabbos-like nature of the day as reflected in the command laasos es haShabbos, literally “to make the Shabbos.”

What is the nature of man’s Shabbos activity? “And you shall call the Shabbos a delight,” to introduce the quality of pleasure into the Shabbos. This is the fundamental dimension of the Shabbos day and each Jew is obligated to bring this quality into the Shabbos through his prayers and through all his Shabbos activities.

Pleasure is the highest of our human potentials. It permeates through all our other powers and serves as the motivating force for all our behavior. Although the Shabbos is characterized by pleasure by nature, even without man’s activity, man has the potential — and the obligation — to enhance and add to the pleasure of the Shabbos day.

These efforts — introducing pleasure — reflect the totality of man’s service within the world. For although G‑d derives a dimension of pleasure from the world even without man’s efforts, man was created in order to bring about a higher degree of Divine pleasure. This relates to our Sages’ interpretation of the word laasos as “to correct” in the phrase, “all that G‑d created laasos.” I.e., G‑d created the world in a manner that it can be corrected and brought to a higher level by man’s activity. Although there is a certain dimension of completion invested in the world by nature, the Jews have the potential to add a higher degree of perfection, breaking through the natural constraints of existence.

This concept is reflected in our Sages’ statement that “the world was created in a full state,” but that Mashiach will bring the world to an even higher level of fulfillment as reflected in the verse, “These are the generations of Peretz.” The name Peretz, the progenitor of the Mashiach, means “break through.” This implies that the fulfillment invested in the world at the outset was limited in nature. In contrast, through man’s service, the world can be brought to a level of fulfillment which is unbounded in nature.

Similarly, the pleasure that a Jew infuses into the creation is infinite in nature. He does not carry out his service because he realizes that it will create pleasure for G‑d. Were that to be the case, the pleasure that man would generate would be limited by the extent of his conception. Rather, to borrow an expression from the Rambam,he is “obsessed by the love of G‑d” with no thought of self; this love relationship characterizes the totality of his existence and thus generates infinite pleasure for G‑d.

The Rambam associates such love with the service of Avraham, our Patriarch. This is significant for it implies that this love is part of the spiritual heritage which the Patriarchs impart to each one of their descendants. And thus, such love is within the potential of every Jew.

The ability to perform this service relates to the approach of Lechat’chilah Aribber mentioned above, for it involves going above the limits of our ordinary conduct, at the outset, a person sets as his goal to draw down the highest levels of pleasure into the creation.5

This approach of Lechat’chilah Aribber should be actualized by every Jew in his daily conduct, for the qualities of a Nasi are relevant to everyone of his followers.6 Furthermore, not only does the Nasi’s influence affect them in their personal lives, it affords them the opportunity to have an effect on the world at large.

The latter concept is reflected in the Rebbe Maharash’s adage which begins “The world says…” On the surface: Of what concern is it to a Nasi what the world says? The intent, however, is that the approach of Lechat’chilah Aribber should permeate the world at large.

Although a Nasi, like a king, is above all matters of the world,7 his service elevates the world at large. In particular, this is evident on a Nasi’s yahrzeit which “brings about salvation in the depths of the world.” (In microcosm, this pattern is reflected in every Jew who is veritably “a part of G‑d,” and simultaneously, his service must be carried out within the limits of our material world.)

The above concepts relate to the present year, 5752, whose equivalent in Hebrew (הי’ תהא שנת נפלאות בכל) serves as an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning, “This will be a year of wonders in all things.” Wonders, like pleasure, reflect a transcendent level and these wonders will, in a manner of Lechat’chilah Aribber, be drawn down into the world at large.

The above is particularly relevant on the Rebbe Maharash’s yahrzeit, a day when — like a birthday — “the spiritual source of his soul shines powerfully.” Since his name is Shmuel, there is also a connection to Chanah, the mother of Shmuel, the Prophet. {Herein, there is a connection to the previous Shabbos, the yahrzeit of [the Rebbetzin] Chanah8 and to Rosh HaShanah, when the Haftorah relates the story of Chanah and her prayer that G‑d “raise up the standard of His anointed (Meshicho).”}

The mention of Shmuel the Prophet has a connection with the Era of the Redemption, for at that time, “I will pour out My spirit to all flesh and your sons and your daughters will prophesy,” i.e., everyone will attain the gift of prophecy. This reflects an approach of Lechat’chilah Aribber, for generally, prophecy requires several preparatory levels. In that Era, however, prophecy will be granted indiscriminately to all. This is reflected in the expression, “I will pour out,” i.e., not pour into a vessel, but to pour out in an abundant manner where the liquid gushes over the walls of the container.

There is a greater emphasis on the above today, the Rebbe Maharash’s yahrzeit, because of the connection to Shmuel the Prophet. Everyone recognized Shmuel as a prophet and indeed, referred to him as “the seer.”9

Since the Rebbe Maharash was a Nasi, all the qualities he possessed are relevant to everyone, and in particular to those who study his teachings. In this context, it is worthy to note the maamarHaTzur Tamim Paalo, 5627. The verse which serves as the title of this maamar refers to the perfection of G‑d’s judgment. Surely this will be reflected in a positive judgment for every Jew. For a Jew is by nature totally above connection to any undesirable entities. Therefore, the judgment will only be positive. And with overwhelming joy, we will proceed to the Future Redemption. May it take place in the immediate future.

2. In connection with the maamar of the Rebbe Maharash mentioned previously, surely, everyone will study it on the Rebbe Maharash’s yahrzeit itself or at least in the days which follow as an extension of the Rebbe Maharash’s yahrzeit.

Similarly, it is appropriate to mention the importance of using the remaining days until the holiday of Sukkos to provide the needy with what they are lacking to celebrate the holiday in an appropriate manner.

This is particularly relevant since Sukkos is celebrated on the fifteenth of the month, the night on which the moon shines fully. This represents a state of completion in the service of the entire month, a month which includes Yom Kippur, a day of “pardon, atonement, and forgiveness.” These concepts surely must be considered in a positive sense, for a Jew is above sin in a simple sense; “Your nation are all righteous.” Thus in this context, teshuvah must be considered as reflecting the Zohar’s statement that, in the Era of the Redemption, Mashiach will “cause the righteous to turn in teshuvah.” This is surely true in light of tribulations our generation has endured and particularly, after the extensive efforts that have been undertaken to spread Chassidusoutward.10

In this context, it is appropriate to mention the importance of the journeys undertaken on Sukkos to spread holiday joy to those Jews living in outlying areas. These visits are used to spread the wellsprings of Chassidus and to encourage Jews to observe the Torah and its mitzvos, explaining that one’s prosperity in material things depends on such observance.

Needless to say, at this time, emphasis should be placed on the mitzvah of lulav and esrog, granting people the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah. Indeed, if a lulav and esrog is unavailable in these places, a set should be left behind so that the people living there will continue to be able to observe the mitzvah. (In this context, it should be noted that, in addition to the three hadassim, “myrtle branches,” which are required to be included in the lulav and esrog, three others should be included, for it is the Chabad custom to add extra hadassim.)

A person should take his wife and children with him on these trips and thus involve the entire family in spreading the wellsprings outward. And these journeys should spread holiday joy, the celebra­tions of Simchas Beis HaShoeivah. That joy should be enhanced by the knowledge that in the immediate future, Mashiachwill come. For the imminence of Mashiach’s coming is already an established fact and one’s exuberant celebrations should reflect one’s awareness of this.

One might ask: If Mashiach’s coming is imminent, why is it necessary to undertake these journeys? A resolution to this question can be derived from the conduct of the Previous Rebbe who declared LeAlter LeGeulah, “We will immediately proceed to the Redemption” and yet sent out emissaries to many places and established Yeshivos. For a Jew has the potential to fuse opposite qualities together. Thus although he is awaiting Mashiach’s coming on this very day, he can use the time before Mashiach comes to do whatever is necessary to spread Yiddishkeit within the context of the immediate circumstances, including detailed plans and journeys to distant places.11

Indeed, we see a parallel to this concept in the journeys of the Jewish people in the desert. Although they knew that they would break camp shortly so that they could proceed to Eretz Yisrael,each camp was established in a permanent manner. Similarly, at present, although we are preparing to journey to Eretz Yisrael in the Redemption at any time, we must use the time we are still in exile to spread Yiddishkeit and Chassidus.

May these activities enable us to proceed from the season of our rejoicing to many festive occasions for the Jewish people, weddings, circumcisions, the naming of girls,12 and the like. And from these celebrations, we will proceed to the ultimate expression of joy, when we will proceed to our Holy Land in the Future Redemption.

_____________________________________________

FOOTNOTES
1. Similarly, a yahrzeit represents an ascent for the soul and all its service.
2. There is an allusion to this in the verse which describes the advent of the first Shabbos, “And the heavens and the earth were completed.”
3. The Torah describes Sunday, the first day of creation as “one day,” and our Sages explain that it is a day when “the Holy One, blessed be He, was one with His world.” Nevertheless, in an open and revealed manner, this oneness is more evident on Shabbos.
4. This concept can be understood by contrasting the holiness of the Shabbos with that of the festivals. The holiness of the festivals is dependent on the holiness imparted to them by the Jewish people, while in contrast, Shabbos represents a spiritual level above the influence of man which is revealed by G‑d.
5. There is a parallel to this concept in regard to a Jew’s service at the beginning of the year. As the Tur writes, even on the eve of Rosh HaShanah, the Jews wear festive clothing and eat a festive meal, confident that they will prevail in judgment.
6. The Rebbe Maharash’s position as Nasi is significant for all of the sons of his father, the Tzemach Tzedek, were accomplished spiritual leaders. Indeed, the Previous Rebbe refers to them all with the title Admor. Nevertheless, it was the Maharash, the youngest son, who was chosen as Nasi.
7. The Tanach describes Shaul, the first king as “from the shoulders and up, above the people.” Chassidus explains that the king’s shoulders, the level which refer to the source for his emotions, are above the heads, the intellectual potential of the people at large. Surely, this applies to a king’s intellectual potentials.
8. Even though this is a personal matter, there is a connection to matters of general importance. For all women named Chanah share a connection to the first Chanah who was the one who prayed that the standard of the Mashiach be raised. This endows all connected with her with general significance.
9. Shmuel also said of himself, “I am the seer.” Anochi, “I am” in Hebrew, is also the first word of the Ten Commandments and, as explained in the works of Rav Saadia Gaon, contains within it the entire Torah. The word Roeh, “seer,” relates to the power of revelation. Thus Shmuel’s statement can figuratively be interpreted to mean that he, Shmuel, brought the entire Torah into revelation.
10. The merit for these activities is shared among those who actually performed the service of spreading Chassidus and those who support these activities. This applies if such an agreement is made before the tzedakah is given and before the activities are carried out.
11. In connection with the above, it is worthy to mention the printing of the Book of Shluchim which was completed at present. This printing was done in a luxurious manner with the intent of showing how the service of G‑d should be carried out in a beautiful manner, without lacking gold or silver.
12. In this context, it is worthy to mention the Chabad custom of naming girls at the earliest possible opportunity.

Blessings after Receiving the Pan Kloli Erev Rosh HaShanah, 5752

Translation by Sichos in English

1. The Holy One, blessed be He, has delivered a decision — particularly relevant in these days of judgment — that it is necessary that “the ruling body shall save;” i.e., in every judgment, saving is of paramount importance. This is particularly true in regard to our present status in exile, there is a necessity for saving and delivering our people, bringing the True and Complete Redemption.

At present, even those who are blessed with both material and spiritual prosperity, and even those who live in Eretz Yisrael, and more particularly, even those who live near the site of the Beis HaMikdash, must realize that, since the “Sanctuary of the L‑rd established by Your hands” has not been built, they are still in exile.

This state will continue until the entire Jewish people return to Eretz Yisrael. Then the Yovel will be reinstituted and thus, “each man will return to his family inheritance,” even those who declare “I love my master” and therefore are not freed by the Sabbatical year.

We must be ready to accept the coming of the True and Complete Redemption immediately. David, the anointed king, and the Previous Rebbe will be our leaders. The sooner we complete all the matters dependent on us, the sooner the Redemption will come.

As mentioned in the previous address, there are three unique factors this year. Since it is already Erev Rosh HaShanah, we can be sure that everything is prepared, for, as the Tur writes, it is the character of this nation that even before G‑d’s decision has been rendered, they know the nature of the decision. And therefore, they wear festive garments and “eat sumptuous foods and drink sweet beverages.” And the preparations for this is undertaken on ErevRosh HaShanah. Afterwards, our activity on Rosh HaShanah affects the entire year to come as the head controls and directs the functioning of the entire body.

And we can be assured that this will be “a year of wonders in all things.” The Hebrew “in all things” bakol reflects the three expressions of blessing found in relation to the Patriarchs: In regard to Avraham, it is written, “And G‑d blessed Avraham with everything (בכל).” In regard to Yitzchak, it is it is written, “I have eaten of all (מכל).” And in regard to Yaakov, it is written, “I have everything (כל).” Since these are the Patriarchs of the Jewish people, it is understood that these qualities are communicated to each of their descendants, men, women, and children. Every Jew will possess this threefold quality of blessing in the fullest possible manner in these last days of exile.

And this will lead to the entry into Eretz Yisrael and taking possession of the land in a full and complete manner in the immediate future so that “each man will be under his vine and each man under his fig tree.” And this will be influenced by the month of Elul, a month characterized by the verse, “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.” Since “my Beloved is mine,” even in the closing moments of Elul, G‑d will grant every individual Jew abundant blessings in both a spiritual and material sense.

This is influenced by the Torah reading of the previous Shabboswhich begins “You are all standing before G‑d, your L‑rd.” It proceeds to mention ten1 different categories of Jews, but emphasizes how they are all united “before G‑d, your L‑rd.” And this grants the potential, as we read in next week’s Torah reading, for every Jew to proceed, Vayeilech. And indeed, to proceed from exile to the Redemption, to Eretz Yisrael. And each Jew will merit, as reflected in Rashi’s commentary, “a fullness of days and years,” for his days and years will be full with the Torah and its mitzvos.Although Rashi’s statements are made in regard to Moshe, since every Jew possesses a spark of Moshe in his soul as explained in Tanya, this perfection can be reflected within him as well.

Today is the birthday of the Tzemach Tzedek, the day when the spiritual source of his soul shines powerfully. Surely, he is doing all that is dependent on him for his name, the name of Mashiach2 to be revealed.

And we will merit the revelation of all types of Divine light and influence, on both the spiritual and material planes in the immediate future. And this will be revealed on Erev Rosh HaShanah and will be reflected in the conduct of the Jews who “clothe themselves in white and robe themselves in white” even before Rosh HaShanah itself.

This is particularly true in the present year when Erev Rosh HaShanah is preceded by Shabbos. Shabbos represents a state of holiness that is not dependent on human activity.3 This quality is drawn down to every Jew. And from Shabbos, we proceed to Sunday, a day described as “one day,” i.e., “a day when G‑d was one with His world.” And thus we proceed to Rosh HaShanah on the second day of the week, a day associated with a difference of opinion for the sake of heaven, like the difference of opinion of Hillel and Shammai.4

And this will lead to the redemption immediately. Miyad (מיד), the Hebrew for “Immediately,” is an acronym for the three names Moshe (the mem), Yisrael (the Baal Shem Tov, the yud5 ), and David (the daled) and it fuses their influences together. And this will lead to the Redemption, when “And with our youth and with our elders… with our sons and with our daughters,” we will proceed to Eretz Yisrael, to Jerusalem, to the Beis HaMikdash, and to the Holy of Holies which contained the Even HaShtiah, the stone which served as the foundation for the entire world.

(The Even HaShtiah is associated with the Jews’ demand that the Redemption come immediately. For they maintain that they have completed the service of revealing how the entire world is based on the foundation of the Even HaShtiah as it exists without change in the Holy of Holies.)

And this will be in a manner of Atem Nitzavim, “you are standing,” which Chassidus associates with the firm and powerful stance of a king. I.e., every Jew will rule over his entire environment, and indeed, over the entire realm of existence. He will possess everything that he requires without the need for effort, for a king is not required to work. And he will accept the Kingship of the King of kings. The acceptance of G‑d as King is amplified because many people are gathered here and “The glory of the King is [revealed] in the multitude of people.”

And then, we will proceed together with the entire Jewish people, “on the clouds of the heavens,” to Eretz Yisrael, to Jerusalem, and to the Beis HaMikdash in the True and Complete Redemption, each Jew receiving a kesivah vachasimah tovah in both a material and a spiritual sense, a healthy body and a healthy soul. May this take place in the immediate future.
________________________________________________________

FOOTNOTES

1.

Similarly, in a personal sense, these ten categories reflect how all of the ten Sefiros shine in a revealed manner within every Jew’s soul.

2.

I.e., both the names Tzemach and Tzedek are associated with Mashiach.

This relates to the statement in Kabbalah that there are five names for the soul, the highest of these being the name yechidah, for Mashiach is identified with this potential. And thus the essence of Mashiach is one with G‑d’s essence.

3.

Shabbos also represents a microcosm of “the era which is all Shabbos and rest for eternity.”

4.

The name Moshe (van) can be interpreted as an acronym for the names Moshe, Hillel, and Shammai. Hillel and Shammai represent the two side vectors and Moshe the middle vector which connects them.

5.

The yud can be written as a single point. This relates to the essential Jewish point within every Jew’s soul, the pintele yid.

Translation by Sichos In English

Erev 27 Elul, 5752

Translation by Sichos in English

1. It is customary to “Open with blessing.” This principle applies throughout the year and particularly so in the month of Elul when it is customary to exchange blessings. It applies to a greater extent in the final twelve days of the month of Elul when each of these days corresponds to one of the months of the year and has the potential to elevate our conduct of that month. Similarly, these twelve days serve as a preparation for the twelve months of the coming year.1

We have, moreover, already past the first Shabbos after which Selichos is recited and we are approaching the second Shabbos. For this year is unique in that Selichos are recited in two weeks. This reflects the uniquely positive nature of the present year, a year when “I will show you wonders,”2 i.e., not only did wonders take place, but they were openly perceived.

There is also a unique significance to the present day, the sixth day of Selichos.3 Six is two times three. As mentioned our atonement is threefold including “pardon, forgiveness, and atonement.” Six represents a twofold portion of this threefold atonement. Furthermore, the sixth day of the week is significant for it commemorates the creation of man.

This comes in addition to the uniqueness of our present period within the scope of Jewish history. It is after the time when the AriZal stated that “it is a mitzvah to reveal this wisdom” and after the time when the Alter Rebbe brought these teachings down into a form in which they could be understood by an ordinary person. In particular, we are fortunate to have been born in the era of the Previous Rebbe, an era which began from the moment of his birth. Even those individuals who were born previously can consider themselves to have been born in his era, for it is customary among Chassidim to consider the day when they came to Lubavitch as their birthday.

There is a connection between the above and the portion of this week’s Torah reading connected with the present day, the sixth aliyah of Parshas Nitzavim.4 This reading contains the verse “For this mitzvah which I am commanding you today… is not in the heavens… nor is it across the sea.”

This verse is problematic. Seemingly, the concept it is communicating is self-evident.5 At the time Moshe made this statement, the Jews had been observing the Torah for almost forty years. Moshe himself stated that it was not until the present time that they had acquired “eyes that see, ears that hear, and a knowing heart,”6 i.e., only then was their sensitivity to the Torah fully developed. Nevertheless, their previous experience should have been sufficient to show them that the Torah was not merely a spiritual service reserved for the “heavens,” or deeds only to be observed in a far-off place in the world — “across the sea.” Instead, their forty years of Torah observance in the desert7 should have shown them that the Torah is meant to be lived and applied in our lives in this material world.

This difficulty can be explained as follows: Indeed, the Torah is “in the heavens” and indeed, the Torah is “across the sea,” a reference to the ultimate state of fulfillment when “the knowledge of G‑d will fill up the world as the water covers up the ocean bed.” And indeed, the true state of Torah is above even the heavens and the sea. Nevertheless, the Torah — as it includes these spiritual peaks — has descended into our material world. And, as the portion from the Torah reading concludes, “The matter is very close to you, in your hands and in your mouth, so that you may perform it.”

And this lesson is amplified by the message of the present day which is associated with the service of teshuvah.Teshuvah has the potential to atone for all matters, even deficiencies in Torah, for Teshuvah establishes an internal bond with G‑d. And therefore, when G‑d was asked what should a person whose conduct has been lacking do, He replied, “He should turn in teshuvah and he will be granted atonement.”

In this context, the intent is the higher rung of teshuvah and therefore, the atonement is also on a more complete level. Not only are no traces of one’s sin mentioned in judgment — at this time, after much of the month of Elul and five days of Selichos have passed, this is self-understood, but also one’s sins are transformed into merits.

This is particularly true in the present age, when we have completed all the service required of us, and all our efforts should be concentrated on the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah.Needless to say, at this time, a Jew stands above judgment entirely and his connection to teshuvah is only to the higher rung of teshuvah, the teshuvah directly related to G‑d.

A Jew need not be concerned about his judgment for the coming year. From Rosh ChodeshElul on, and even previously, from the Fifteenth of Av,9 he was assured for a kesivah vachasimah tovah, that he be inscribed for a good and sweet year. And thus our service in the present days involves atonement and the higher rung of teshuvah. This causes the service to be permeated by happiness, and indeed, unbounded happiness, ad d’lo yoda.This happiness should be even greater than the celebrations of Purim, even the Purim of this year, whose celebrations were greater than those of Purim of the previous year.10

A Jew is a master of time. And he has the power to bring about a good inscription (chasimah tovah), a good final inscription (gmar chasimah tovah) and a good note (a guten kvitel) in the present days. And thus he can immediately proceed to the unbounded celebrations of Simchas Beis HaShoeivah and Simchas Torah.

And through the above, we will merit a fusion of the material and the spiritual. All the spiritual peaks of the Torah which are “in the heavens” and “across the sea,” will be revealed in our thought, speech, and action. For “The matter is very close to you, in your hands and in your mouth, so that you may perform it.”11

FOOTNOTES

1.
Preparation is significant for as the Previous Rebbe explained, before a Jew does anything (or even thinks or speaks anything), he should prepare himself.

2.
As explained on a number of occasions, niflaos, “wonders,” represent a higher revelation of G‑dliness than “nissim,” miracles.

3.
Although we have just recited the evening service, the preparations for the recitation of Selichos should start at this time. Indeed, despite the fact that Selichos should be recited in the early morning, we find certain communities who followed the custom of reciting Selichos at night, after midnight.

4.
This portion shares an intrinsic connection to Rosh HaShanah as explained in many sources.

5.
Although the hypothesis that the Torah is “in the heavens…” is immediately negated by the verse, the fact that they are mentioned at all is also significant. To explain this by referring to concepts in the Oral Law: Even ideas which the Talmud later rejects are still part of the Torah and were given to Moshe on Mount Sinai.

6.
Here we see a sequence of three. However, these three qualities should be fused in a single approach.

7.
The desert was an intermediary between Eretz Yisrael, the Jews’ destination, and Egypt, the place in which their journey originated. This process of transition is repeated every day in a Jew’s life. He begins his day in Egypt, in the boundaries and limitations of this world. And he must leave Egypt, experience the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai and proceed to Eretz Yisrael.

8.
Teshuvah brings an unlimited dimension to the service of Torah which is otherwise, characterized by limitation. And yet this unlimited dimension should be drawn down into our observance of the Torah and mitzvos as they exist within our limitations.

There is, however, an aspect of service with mesirus nefesh which surpasses the service of observing Torah within the limits of this world. Thus Rav Yosef Karo was informed that he was to die Al Kiddush Hashem, in Sanctification of G‑d’s Name. Afterwards, he was punished — and he himself writes that it was a punishment — and he was not privileged to carry out that elevated service. In his subsequent years, he authored his classic Torah texts, the Beis Yosef and the Shulchan Aruch. Nevertheless, it would have been considered a higher personal level of personal service to die Al Kiddush Hashem.

9.
Our Sages associate this date with Yom Kippur, the day associated with the highest and most innerfelt experience of teshuvah. We recite five different prayer services on Yom Kippur and each represents teshuvah for one of the five different levels of the soul.

10.
There is a unique dimension of eternality associated with the celebrations of Purim as reflected in our Sages’ interpretation of the verse, “And the memory [of these days of Purim] will never cease from among their descendants.”

11.
Significantly, the Alter Rebbe cites this verse as the basis for the entire Tanya and quotes it on the title page.

Erev 26 Elul, 5751

Translation by Sichos in English

1. In regard to every new concept, one must “open with blessing.” Indeed, in Pnimiyus HaTorah, the word “opening” refers to the development of a totally new concept. This represents one of the differences between the manner in which Sages are quoted in the Talmud and the manner in which they are quoted in Pnimiyus HaTorah. In Pnimiyus HaTorah, when a Sages makes a statement, the expression used is “Rabbi — opened,” i.e., he opened up a new means of Torah expression. In a larger sense, this applies in all realms of Torah study, for every Torah concept should constantly be regarded as “new,” as our Sages said, “Each day the words of Torah should be new in your eyes.” Nevertheless, this newness is particularly evident in regard to Pnimiyus HaTorah.

The above is particularly relevant at the present time, the conclusion of the 25th of Elul, the anniversary of the creation of the world. The Baal Shem Tov relates that the world is recreated at every moment1 from absolute nothingness. Although the existence of the world appears to be maintained in a continuous manner, in truth every entity is brought into being from absolute nothingness. This concept receives even greater emphasis on the anniversary of the world’s creation.2

2. There is a famous analogy used by the Alter Rebbe to explain the importance of spreading the wellsprings of Chassidus outward to Rabbi Pinchas of Koritz,3 which describes the crushing of the center jewel of a king’s crown to form an elixir that served as a remedy for the king’s son who had fainted and was critically ill.

This analogy refers to the Jews as they exist in exile. Any exile represents the very opposite of a Jew’s nature, which is to live in connection with G‑d, to be as a son at his father’s table, as it were.

In particular, the concept of exile is more acute, because every Jew can be likened to an only son of G‑d, King of Kings. Therefore, when he lives in exile, it is much more severe than an exile which a common person must suffer. For him, the exile is a drastic descent of the most serious order.

(In this context, we can understand the expression “the true and ultimate redemption.” The redemption is referred to as true, because it represents a revelation of a Jew’s true nature.)

There is a connection to the above and the portion of this week’s Torah reading connected with the present day, which describes the ingathering of the exiles. As it states, “And G‑d your L‑rd will return your captivity and He will again gather you in from all the nations.” Kibbutz, the Hebrew for “gathering in,” has the connotation, not only of collecting different entities, but of establishing unity among them.

Kibbutz (קבץ) is also numerically equivalent to the expressions of blessing used for each of the Patriarchs בכל מכל כל. In regard to Avraham, it is written, “And G‑d blessed Avraham with everything” (בכל; Genesis 24:1). In regard to Yitzchak, it is written, “I have eaten of all” (מכל; ibid., 27:33). And regarding Yaakov it is written, “I have everything” (כל; ibid., 33:11).” Since these are the Patriarchs of the Jewish people, it is understood that these qualities are communicated to each of their descendants and every Jew will have this threefold quality of blessing in the fullest possible manner. We can be certain that every Jew has turned to G‑d in teshuvah4 and gathered in his thought, speech, and deed which were “in exile,” and thus become worthy of these blessings.

To focus on the verse “And G‑d your L‑rd will return your captivity”: This implies that there is an exile, “captivity,” and there is “G‑d.” Furthermore, G‑d becomes “your L‑rd,” i.e., E‑lokecha(translated as “your L‑rd”) can also be interpreted to mean “your strength and your nature.” And when a Jew makes G‑d his strength and his nature — and this is accomplished for Torah study, for Torah, Israel, and G‑d are one — he steps beyond the exile and experiences redemption.

This relates to the concept that it is in the Era of the Redemption when the wedding bond between G‑d and the Jewish people will be consummated.5 (This is particularly relevant in the month of Elul for in this month, the love relationship between G‑d and the Jews is stressed as reflected in the connection with the verse, “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.”)

To explain: The concept of union is reflected in the Rambam’s conclusion of his description of the Era of the Redemption, “And the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G‑d as the waters cover up the ocean bed.”6 The ocean is unique in that it covers up all the living beings that inhabit it to the extent that all one sees is the ocean. Similarly, through Torah study, a Jew enters into an all-encompassing bond of unity with G‑d to the extent that he loses his self-concern entirely. He is totally at one with G‑d and this oneness encompasses every aspect of his being.

* * *

3. The Torah reading of the previous week mentions the concept of bringing bikkurim, the first fruits offered in the Beis HaMikdash. The most choice fruits from the seven species of fruit for which Eretz Yisrael was blessed were brought. (Among these seven species is also a pomegranate. This relates to the first day of Rosh HaShanah when it is customary to eat pomegranates as a sign of blessing.7 ) Each Jew has the potential to make every entity in this world bikkurim. And these bikkurim must include every aspect of our experience to the extent that everything which a Jew does can be seen as a thanksgiving offering brought to G‑d in the Beis HaMikdash.

And this will lead to the fulfillment, in a simple and literal way, of the verse “And G‑d will return your captivity.” “A verse never departs from its simple meaning.” And the meaning of this verse is clear, that G‑d will gather in the Jews from all four corners of the world to Eretz Yisrael and there they will be able to bring bikkurim, the offerings of the first fruit, in Jerusalem with joyous song and a proud declaration of thanks.

And this will lead to an extended meaning of the verse, “And this is the blessing with which Moshe blessed them,” that every Jew will receive a blessing from Moshe who will arise in the Resurrection.8 And the Jews will stand in regal garments as the Megillah relates in regard to Mordechai9 and — to continue the reference to Mordechai — “will seek peace for all his people.”

And when the Jews gather together their thought, speech, and action and direct it toward G‑d, it will evoke a response from Him.10 And “G‑d your L‑rd will return your captivity,” bringing the Jews to Eretz Yisrael from the four corners of the world. May this take place in the immediate future.

FOOTNOTES

 

1. And indeed, the entire concept of time is also brought into being anew for, time itself is also a creation.

 

2. There is another point of connection to the beginning of the creation at this time, for the first day of Selichos is always a Sunday, the day on which the creation began.

3.

It is seemingly difficult to understand why the Alter Rebbe communicated the concept in the form of an analogy. Both he and Rabbi Pinchas of Koritz could have grasped the concept equally well had he explained the idea itself.

4.

This is reflected in our Sages’ statement that if one sees a Torah scholar commit a transgression, one should not look askance at him, for he has surely repented. Although our Sages made this statement about a Torah scholar, there is a point of relevance to all Jews, because “all your children shall be students of G‑d.”

(Our Sages comment on that verse, a Torah scholar “increases peace in the world,” for the word baneich, “your children,” should be read as boneich, “your builders.” This does not, however, change the relevance of the verse’s simple meaning. Whenever our Sages offer an alternative expanded reading for a verse, the intent is not the simple meaning is not applicable, but rather, that both the simple meaning and the expanded meaning of the verse are applicable.

5.

The wedding relationship between G‑d and the Jews also relates to Shabbos as reflected in the phrase, “Come my beloved to greet the bride. Let us welcome the Shabbos.” And the Shabbos is associated with the Era of the Redemption, the “era which is all Shabbos and rest for eternity.”

6.

This relates to the very beginning of the creation, for on the verse “And the spirit of G‑d hovered over the waters,” Rashi comments, “This refers to the spirit of Mashiach.”

7.

The pomegranates are eaten at the beginning of the meal. As the Previous Rebbe explained in regard to the apple dipped in honey, since the Alter Rebbe states that it should be eaten at the beginning of the meal, this means after eating of the HaMotzi. In this manner, there is no question regarding reciting a blessing after these fruits, for they are included in the Grace after Meals.

8.

This blessing will be of a higher quality than those which Moshe gave previously, for this blessing will be given after Moshe has gained the level of perfection associated with the service of “And to earth, you shall return.”

9.

The words the Megillah uses as a preface to the mention of Mordechai’s regal garments, “And Mordechai went out before the king,” also relates to every Jew. Each Jew “goes out” to perform the service of G‑d, the King of the world, to transform this world into a dwelling for Him.

10.

We see this in our Sages’ statement that when a Jew studies, “the Holy One, blessed be He studies opposite him.” Furthermore, when the Jews make a decision in Torah law, e.g., choosing to follow the School of Hillel or the School of Shamai, the halachah is decided accordingly in the heavenly realms.