This sicha focuses on the 10 Commandments (“Aseres Hadibros“) and their connection with Hashem’s desire for a “dwelling place down below” דירה בתחתונים.
There are two versions of the Dibros: those spoken by Hashem (in parshas Yisro), and those repeated by Moshe Rabbeinu in parshas V’eschanon. The Rebbe refers to them as the “first Dibros” and the “last Dibros”. Each version expresses something different: the first Dibros coming from Hashem Himself on Har Sinai, and the second spoken by Moshe “with slight changes”.
The goal of creation is to create a dwelling place in the lower worlds. This means that just as a person’s essence is truly “at home” in his own dwelling place, we find the same by Hashem. Explains the Rebbe: the true “dwelling place” for Hashem’s essence (“Atzmus“) is the Yidden themselves. Why? Because the Yidden are (“so to speak”) one thing with Atzmus (as is stated in the Zohar “Yisroel and the Holy One, Blessed be He, are all One”). Furthermore, this enables them to make the world itself into a dwelling place down below — a “dira b’tachtonim”.
This is reflected in our two versions of the Aseres Hadibros: The first Dibros, which were heard from Hashem, give the power to make a “dwelling place for Him, may He be blessed His — Essence” (דירה לו, יתברך — לו לעצמותו). The last Dibros, spoken by Moshe Rabbeinu, give the power to the Yidden to affect the world on its own terms, since Moshe himself is found below.
We find here two concepts: a dwelling-place, and that it should be “down below”. The special quality of the first Dibros (“G-d spoke all these things…”) is that they are a revelation drawn down from Hashem’s very essence (עצמוצתו ומהותו) without any intermediary at all, not even the “ish Elokim”, the G-dly man Moshe. Even though Moshe is an “intermediary who connects“, and the Shechina is speaking from his throat, nonetheless there is some measure of change that occurs through him. The special quality of the first Dibros is that they come direct, straight from Hashem Himself. The drawback is that they nullified our existence and “with each speaking, their souls flew out” (פרחה נשמתן). The special quality of the last Dibros is that the Yidden can receive them and internalize them without being nullified out of existence.
In the “dwelling place down below” itself there are two dimensions: a) the dwelling place itself (which must be “down below”), and b) the one who dwells there. The dwelling place is not part of the dweller himself, it is separate from him and remains “tachton” — “down below”. The last Dibros which we received from Moshe Rabbeinu are more the aspect of “down below”: we can internalize them better (as mentioned above), but they are not a revelation of “the One who dwells” in the dwelling place. In contrast, the first Dibros are the dimension of a dwelling place for a revelation of the essence (“Atzmuso u-mehuso“) — Hashem Himself.
We could say that the last Dibros allow us to better understand and grasp what Hashem is telling us, but it’s not Hashem Himself. Like one who hears a translation and explanation of the Rebbe’s sicha: he can understand the subject quite well, he can even ask questions and receive clear answers; but the experience doesn’t compare to hearing it directly from the Rebbe himself.
As emphasized in most of the Dvar Malchus sichos, the Rebbe asserts that neither one of these dimensions is by itself complete. Rather, the ultimate perfection is through the unity of both of them: the revelation of Hashem’s essence without a need for Moshe Rabbeinu (like the first Dibros), but in a way where the tachton is not nullified out of existence and the message can be internalized. In such a unity, the “tachton” becomes a “channel” for Hashem’s speech, speech which comes from “Atzmuso u-mehuso” (“the One who dwells”), until it reaches the point that a Yid is, so to speak, one with the Eybershter.
This is also expressed in the numbers 10 and 11 (relevant to the luminescent days of Yud Shevat (the passing and Hillula of the Previous Rebbe in 5710) and Yud-Alef Shevat (the next day the following year when the Rebbe מה”מ accepted the position of Rebbe)). The 10 Dibros given at Chorev (referring to Har Sinai) correspond to the 10 sefiros. The number 11 (as stated in the posuk “eleven days journey to Chorev”) refers to the level of Kesser (the “Crown”) which is above all the sefiros in our Seder Hishtalshelus. Their unification means drawing down the 11 (“Kesser“), the “transcending powers” (כוחות המקיפין) into our familiar world of 10 sefiros (“tachtonim“) down below.
Yud Shevat (the 10th of Shevat, the passing of the Previous Rebbe) is connected with the completion of the dimension of the last Dibros: making the world into a dwelling place. The day of 11 Shevat (the acceptance of leadership by the Rebbe מה”מ) is the aspect of the first Dibros: drawing down Hashem’s essence (עצמותו יתברך) — the One who dwells — into the dwelling. The Rebbe adds:
“And we could say, that this is like the special quality and chiddush of the speaking of the first Dibros by G-d (the aspect of 11), after the last Dibros were also said [already] by Moshe (the aspect of 10).“
This amazing insight implies that the previous generation could only hear the word of Hashem through the holy intermediary of Moshe, ish haElokim; whereas, in our generation we hear it directly from Hashem’s Essence!
The Rebbe also explains that when we say that Moshiach should come immediately, the word in the Holy Tongue (“מיד“) is also an acronym (“rashei teivos”) for:
מ — Moshiach (footnote 96 here: “to point out that ‘his name is Menachem’ (Sanhedrin 98b)” [להעיר שמנחם שמו]),
י — both names of the Previous Rebbe [“Yosef Yitzchok”], and
ד — their generation (דורם) [meaning that they lived in the same generation].