What follows was compiled and edited by the Rebbe, “in conjunction with the completion of the sefer HaRambam”, from sichos spoken over the course of Rosh Hashono, Shabbos Chol Hamoed Sukkos, and Simchas Torah 5752.
In the Mishna Torah, the Rambam gives us an orderly presentation of the entire Torah sh’b’al Peh, a sefer of “halachos halachos”. It possesses a special importance, comparable to the importance of the Torah sh’bichsav, which we learn out from the saying of our sages: “all the seforim of the Neviim and Kesuvim will in the future be nullified to the Days of Moshiach,” which is not the case with halachos: “Halachos of the Torah sh’b’al Peh will never be nullified.” (Which leads to the statement of the Rebbe [footnote 17 in the printed sicha] that the study of Rambam speeds up and accelerates [ממהרים ומזרזים] the time of Yemos Hamoshiach, at which time it will be revealed that the halachos are never nullified.)
The Rebbe then raises a question (based on something explained at length in Torah Chadasha, Shavuos 5751): there us a principle of Torah that the halacha goes according to Beis Hillel, but this is only in the time of golus; in the future, when the Beis Din Hagadol will return to Yerushalayim, the halacha will be like Beis Shammai (for Beis Shammai will be the majority in the future, and we rule according to the majority). If so, we find that the present halachos (which are in accordance with Beis Hillel) will in fact be nullified in the future?!
More than this: it is known that according to several opinions “mitzvos will be nullified in the time to come” — at Techiyas Hameisim, which is in the second stage (2nd tekufah) of Yemos Hamoshiach. This is learned out from a debate in the gemara about permitting burial shrouds to be woven out of “kilayim” (material made from a forbidden mixture of threads). This is permitted, according to Rav Yosef, because “mitzvos will be nullified in the time to come”. If so, then all of the halachos of the Torah sh’b’al Peh will be nullified in the future (in the second tekufah, Techiyas Hameisim) — if the mitzvos will be nullified, then it should follow that the halachos (the ruling of how to perform the mitzvos) will be nullified?
Mitzvos Will Be Nullified or Torah is Eternal?
To say that Mitzvos will be nullified is, apparently, a contradiction to the eternality of Torah. And if one will say that Mitzvos are an inyan of “today to fulfill them” to be followed by “tomorrow to receive their reward” when they will be nullified — this is not a sufficient answer. Why? Because (as explained in Chassidus) Mitzvos represent Hashem’s ratzon, His Will, which is independent of any other purpose (such as refining the person or the world and bringing them to perfection). Based on this, we have a strong question as to how Mitzvos, which “stand eternally”, could be said to be nullified in the time to come? Continue reading