Toldos 5752: The Essential Existence is Revealed

 

This week the sicha examines a simple but deep concept: the distinction between “essential existence” (“etzem metzius“) and the revelation of that existence.  This is illustrated by the difference between the birth of a person, the beginning of their essential existence, upon which everything they will do in the future depends, and the actual good deeds that they will do in their life.  Similarly, we find by the moon (this sicha was spoken on the Shabbos following Rosh Chodesh Kislev), that Rosh Chodesh is the “birth” of the new moon, from which it proceeds over the next 15 days to wax to greater and greater revelation of light.  The great light that reflects from the moon on the 15th of the month is the fulfillment of its ability to shine [the special quality of the 2nd half of the month is explained in the sicha of Parshas Vayishlach], but it all derives from the initial revelation of its essential existence on Rosh Chodesh.

In the case of a Yid: the first moment of revelation of his essential existence, etzem metziyuso, is the moment of birth, when the neshoma comes into a physical body.  All of what he will proceed to do afterwards is found in this initial moment of his coming into existence, and this moment is the main thing–“the entire existence of a person over the course of all the days of his life are contained in the moment when he is born and goes out into the air of the world.”  

Everything that proceeds after this is simply an expansion and greater revelation of that first moment.  The importance of what follows (his “good deeds”) is that these good deeds bring about the revelation of his essential existence (as a G-dly neshoma) to the world, and this is the fulfillment of his existence.  But the main thing is that moment when he comes into existence, birth.  We see this in the birth of a child, which is accompanied by rejoicing and celebration even before the child has done anything.  And more than this, the Rebbe explains:

the main quality of the Jewish people in their essential existence, “Yisroel and the Holy One, blessed be He, are all one”, is intact even without the performance of Torah and Mitzvos, “pleasing ways and good deeds”.  Like the metaphor of a fleshly King who has many sons, that the love he has for his sons is essential love even when they do not possess “pleasing ways and good deeds”.  (And on the contrary: regarding the sons who do possess “pleasing ways and good deeds”, and it is logical to love them, the essential  love is not so evident).

Of course one loves a son who’s ways are pleasing and deeds are good.  But to love a son who lacks pleasing ways and good deeds?  In such a case it is clear that the love derives not from the “nachas” of his behavior, but from his essential existence as the son of this father.

This shows also on the importance of the physical body of a Jew, that it has no special quality in and of itself, but nonetheless Hashem chose the Jewish body.  Thus, it expresses Hashem’s essential connection to a Jew more than the neshoma, because a neshoma has the unique quality of being a “part of G-dliness”(like a son whose ways are pleasing and deeds are good).  By being enclothed in a physical body and doing the work to refine it, the neshoma reveals that it also possess an essential connection to Hashem that is not dependent on its special qualities.

The concept of birth, and of the moon, are directly connected to the Geulah.  Just as birth, and the birth of the moon, is a moment which contains the entire essential existence of the person, so, too, the moment of the Geulah is the revelation of etzem haneshoma, the essence of the neshoma, which is higher than any name which we can give it, even higher than the name “Yechida” and “chelek Eloka“.  It is like when a person awakens from sleep, even before he has enough awareness to say “Modeh ani“, thanking Hashem for restoring his soul, he already has awoken to his essential existence.  This is the moment of Geulah–awakening to our true essential existence.

Not only that, but it is known that every Jew contains within him a spark of Moshiach.  The Geulah comes when each one reveals the spark of Moshiach within him–the revelation of the essence of the neshoma “etzem haneshoma mamash“.  This is “waking up from sleep”, and this waking up brings about that he will proceed to reveal the essence in actuality, which is the true inyan of the Coming of Moshiach.  How do we “wake up”?

When the chayus of every single Yid is in the inyan of Moshiach, this brings (automatically) to the state of Yemos Hamoshiach (the Days of Moshiach), that the essence of the Yidden will be revealed in actuality.

This is “breathing the air of Moshiach”, which allows us to feel the “spirit of Melech Hamoshiach”–the essence–which is more fundamental than eating and drinking, and higher than the “light” of Melech Hamoshiach.

The Rebbe concludes the sicha:

…we should have the begining of the true Geulah, via Moshiach Tzidkeinu–“a king will arise from the house of Dovid, etc.”, until “he will rectify the entire world to serve Hashem together…”  And as hinted at in the end of the haftorah of the previous week…which finishes with the declaration “Yechi Adoni Hamelech Dovid l’Olam” (“Live my master the King Dovid forever”)–the eternality of the Kingship of the house of Dovid…which reaches its perfection via Melech Hamoshiach…the meaning of this declaration is the revelation of the existence of Melech Hamoshiach.  And through this [declaration] comes his revelation before the eyes of all through his activities, etc.”

There is a need to wake up, to declare that there is the existence of Melech Hamoshiach (“Yechi Hamelech”), which is the essence of our own existence, and by doing this we bring about the revelation of Melech Hamoshiach.

Video Shiur: Toldos 5752

What Is The Relevance Of The Moon?

 

Chabadinfo.com Exclusive: In the last Sicha we heard from the Rebbe on Parshas Toldos, in the year 5752, the Rebbe discusses the idea of Rosh Chodesh, the new moon, and the connection to Jews and Moshiach ● Learn this week’s Sicha with ChabadInfo.com’s Weekly Shiur of the “Dvar Malchus” Sicha in English, presented by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lipskier, Mashpia of Mesivta of Melbourne, Australia ● Watch Video

 

Chayei Sara: The Message Beyond the Sicha

As we learned in the Dvar Malchus sicha of parshas Chayei Sarah, this parsha contains the first shilchus in Torah and that in our times shlichus has a new element: the acceptance and “kabbalas panim” of Moshiach.  In most years, it comes out to be the time when the International Gathering of the Rebbe’s shluchim is held.  The Rebbe often brings the words of the Shelah that everything is by hasgacha protis, and thus days and events which fall out near the Parsha are connected with that Parsha.  The Rebbe also speaks about the connection between the Torah portion and the daily section of Tanya, Tehillim, and Rambam.

If we look, we see a wonderful and eye-opening hasgacha protis as regards the Kinus Hashluchim.

When the Kinus Hashluchim falls out on parshas Chayei Sarah, thousands of Shluchim find themselves at the Kinus on Shabbos listening not only to the story of Eliezer, the servant of Avraham Avinu (the first shliach in the Torah), but also, of course, to the haftorah.  The haftorah for parshas Chayei Sarah (Melachim I, 1:1-31) describes the attempt by Adoniyahu, son of Dovid Hamelech, to usurp his aged father’s throne and rule in his father’s place instead of his brother Shlomo (Solomon, whom Dovid Hamelech had chosen as his successor).  Dovid is informed what his son is doing:

[Adoniyahu] has gone down this day and has slain oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and he called all the King’s sons, and the officers of the army, and Evyassar the priest, and behold they eat and drink before him, and they said, “Long live King Adoniyahu.” (“Yechi Hamelech Adoniyahu”)

The culmination of his attempt to usurp the throne is the people’s acceptance of his Kingship by declaring “Yechi Hamelech”!  Dovid Hamelech swears that Shlomo shall reign after him, and the haftorah ends with the words  “Let my lord King David live forever.” (“Yechi Adoni Hamelech Dovid L’olam”).

The importance of declaring “Yechi Hamelech” is explained by the Rebbe in the sicha of Beis Nissan, 5748 (1988), where the Rebbe brings the Rambam’s description of the king of the nation as the heart of the nation.  Just as the heart pumps blood, which is life, to all of the limbs of the body, giving life to the body, proper circulation is dependent on the limbs, which must also return the blood to the heart.  This, explains the Rebbe, is the people’s declaration of “Yechi Hamelech”–the limbs (the people) returning life-blood to the heart (the king).

Now see more hashagacha protis:

In the portion of Tanya that was learned on this same Shabbos, the Alter Rebbe writes about the circulation of the blood in spiritual terms:

The cause of illness or health lies in the distribution and flow of the life-force from the heart to all the organs, [this life-force] being vested in the blood of life which flows from the heart to all the organs; and the spirit of life and the blood circulates all around into all the limbs, through the veins that are embedded in them, and returns to the heart.  Now, if the circulation and flow of this spirit of life is always as it should be…then the individual is perfectly healthy.  …But should there be any disorder in any place, restraining, hindering or reducing the circulation and flow of the blood with the spirit of life vested in it, then this bond — which connects all the limbs with the heart by means of this circulation — is severed (which would extinguish life), or diminished, in which case the individual will fall ill and sick (May G‑d protect us!)

To summarize: On the Shabbos day when all the Shluchim of the Rebbe are gathered together to discuss the goals and techniques of their Shlichus, Divine Providence brings about that:

  1. the “latest word” from the Rebbe on this parsha the Rebbe informs us what is the new element in shlichus in our times: that in each generation, there is an individual who is fit to be Moshiach and “when the time comes, G‑d will reveal Himself to him and send him.” The service at present is thus to be prepared to actually accept Moshiach and create a climate in which he can accomplish his mission and redeem Israel from the exile.
  2. the haftorah concludes with the declaration “Yechi Hamelech” (describing how “Yechi Adoni Hamelech Dovid L’olam” negates and prevents the undesirable “Yechi Hamelech Adoniahu”), and
  3. the daily section of Tanya teaches that spiritual health derives from proper circulation, when the limbs return the flow of blood to the heart–the exact metaphor that the Rebbe uses to explain the declaration “Yechi Hamelech”!

For those who need a hint in this matter, Hashgacha Protis has provided it.

We conclude with a brocha that every single one of the Rebbe’s shluchim (and, as the Rebbe says in the sicha, every Jew in our generation has been appointed a shliach of the [Previous] Rebbe) should be healthy in all their limbs and in their heart, both physically and spiritually, and that they should be successful in fulfilling the shlichus of the one who sent them, including and especially the “new element” that has become the “gateway” for the entire shlichus–to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu in actual reality, through the final words of the haftorah as they apply in our generation, the generation of Moshiach (a descendant of Dovid through his son Shlomo*):

Let our Master our Teacher and our Rebbe, Melech Hamoshiach, live forever!

* Rambam, 13 Principles of Faith, #12

See the original sicha and also  questions and answers by Rabbi Shlomo Majeski

Chayei Sara 5752: Shlichus is Finished, Now We Must Greet Moshiach

This sicha was said on Shabbos during the annual Kinus Hashluchim gathering in 5752 (1991), and primarily addresses the task of shlichus.

Standing by the beginning and opening of the Kinus Hashluchim–emissaries of my father-in-law the Rebbe, Nosi Doreinu, in all corners of the globe–we must mention, first of all, the foundation [of the Shlichus] and to verbalize the task of the shluchim in our generation in general, and especially–the new element which has been added especially in the most recent time to the work of shlichus: to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu in the true and complete Geulah. [Emphasis in the original]

The Rebbe proceeds to explain that periodically there a new element (“chiddush”) is added to the Shlichus, which becomes the gate through which all the other elements ascend, and in our generation and in this time “the special shlichus of our time: to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu.”  [it should be noted that in the original the expression is “lekabel pnei Moshiach Tzidkeinu”, which can be translated as “to greet”, but literally the words convey the meaning “to accept the face of Moshiach”.]

Then the Rebbe explains at length what a Shliach is, according to halacha, and how in fact every Jew is a shliach of the Holy One, blessed be He, to transform the world into a dwelling place for Him through Torah and Mitzvos, which is the avodah of unifying the spiritual and the physical.  The concept of a shliach receives emphasis on parshas Chayei Sara where the Torah goes on at great length about the first Shliach, Eliezer the servant of Avraham, to make the shidduch of Rivka and Yitzchok, which itself is the basis for the unification of the spiritual and the physical, the soul and the body, self-nullification (“bitul”) and individual being (“yesh”).  (This can be addressed in another post, with Hashem’s help.)  The Rebbe then returns to the subject of greeting Moshiach:

From this it is understood, that the only thing which now remains in the avodah of the shlichus is: to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu in actuality, so that he [Moshiach] will be able to fulfill his shlichus in actuality and to take all of Israel out of the golus!

In other words: in order for Moshiach to be able to fulfill his task of taking us out of exile, we need to “greet” him, to “accept his face”, meaning to recognize him and acknowledge that he is the one we follow to get out of golus!

In the name of the Previous Rebbe, we are already “standing ready” to greet Moshiach, tshuva has already been done, all the avodah is finished, but yet the Geulah has not yet come.  Thus, there must be something else that we must do.

What is in fact required of us? Our Sages explain that in each generation, there is an individual who is fit to be Moshiach and “when the time comes, G‑d will reveal Himself to him and send him.” The service at present is thus to be prepared to actually accept Moshiach and create a climate in which he can accomplish his mission and redeem Israel from the exile.

And this is the task of the International Conference of Shluchim: First and foremost, to make a public statement that this is the task confronting us — to prepare ourselves to accept Moshiach. Every aspect of our service and every dimension of our activity must be directed to this goal.

Every shliach should realize that he is responsible to explain the above concepts to all the individuals in his city. He must convey to them, in a manner which they can understand and relate to, the imminence of Moshiach’s coming and the need to study about Moshiach and the Era of the Redemption.

This sicha makes clear that not only are we dependent on Moshiach, but that–Moshiach is dependent on us!  He cannot lead us out of exile unless we recognize him and accept his leadership.  [And, as the Rebbe mentions in other sichos, the attribute of Kingship (“Malchus”) is only awakened to accept the Crown (“Kesser”) due to the expressed desire of the people, and the implications are easily understood.]

How do we fulfill this shlichus?  By conveying theses concepts in a manner which the other person can understand.  While the concepts like “Malchus“, “Kesser” and “pnimiyus Atik” may not understood by someone who hasn’t studied pnimiyus haTorah, but the concepts of a nation appointing and accepting a King are surely understood by all.  And the examples are many.

The key to it all: learning and teaching.  As the Rebbe expresses numerous times in the Dvar Malchus sichos, that the direct way to bring the Geulah is by learning about the subject.  And in this particular sicha the Rebbe adds that this is speeded up by making a resolution to learn the entire Torah Ohr and Likkutei Torah of the Alter Rebbe.  (To fulfill this study in an orderly manner, visit dachyomi.com.)  Understanding Moshiach and Geulah enables one to recognize the Moshiach.

Nothing else remains to be done.

Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu Melech Hamoshiach L’olam Vo’ed!

Video Shiur: Chayei Sara 5752

Shlichus As We Know It, Is Over

Chabadinfo.com Exclusive: In the last Sicha we heard from the Rebbe on Parshas Chayei Sarah, in the year 5752, in honor of the Shluchim, the Rebbe explains that Shlichus as we know it, is over, and now the Shluchim’s job is solely to “prepare the world for the coming of Moshiach” ● Learn this week’s Sicha with ChabadInfo.com’s Weekly Shiur of the “Dvar Malchus” Sicha in English, presented by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lipskier, Mashpia of Mesivta of Melbourne, Australia ● Watch Video

 

The Beis Hamikdosh Here in the Time and Place of Golus

The Rebbe mentions, in the printed sicha of Vayera 5752 (last week), a midrash* which states that the month of Marcheshvan (when the construction of the first Beis Hamikdash was completed, but it wasn’t opened until the following Tishrei) “lost out” and in the time to come the Holy One, blessed be He, will pay her back with the inauguration (chanukas) of the 3rd Beis Hamikdash which will take place in the month of Marcheshvan.

What significance does this have to the events of Marcheshvan 5752, when the sicha was spoken and printed?  Several days after the sicha was spoken, and a day or two before the sicha appeared, in that very month of Marcheshvan, there was a revelation of the Beis Hamikdash.

This revelation was (and is) contained in a small booklet, the Kuntres Beis Rabbeinu sh’b’Bavel, edited by the Rebbe and published in honor of 20 Marcheshvan (birthday of the Rebbe Rashab).  In this Kuntres, the Rebbe explains the words of the Gemara that the following the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, the revelation of the Shechina which was revealed in the Beis Hamikdash “traveled” from Yerushalayim together with the Jews as they went into golus.  Where did it settle?  In the study hall and synagogue of the leader of the respective generations.  In our generation, explains the Rebbe, this is 770 Eastern Parkway, the study hall and synagogue of the Rebbe, the leader of the generation (of course, the Rebbe makes the reference to his father-in-law, the Previous Rebbe).

Not only is every shul a “mikdash me’at“, a “miniature sanctuary”, but the shul of the leader of the generation is in fact a counterpart to the Beis Hamikdash that stood in Yerushalayim, and the revelation of the Shechina which is present there is the same revelation that was in Yerushalayim.  (If one will ask why we don’t see this, learn the Dvar Malchus of parshas Vayera, wherein the Rebbe explains the difference between something being revealed from Above, and the concurrent need for the recipient to be a fitting vessel for that revelation in order to experience it.)

In other words, 770 Eastern Parkway is the place in golus where the revelation of the Shechina is presently situated as long as the Jews are in golus.  And it will be the first place where the Third Beis Hamikdash will be revealed, after which it will return to Yerushalayim.  In the Rebbe’s words:

Now we can appreciate the unique greatness of Beis Rabbeinu: As the main Small Temple of the final exile, Beis Rabbeinu is the very place of the future Beis Hamikdash, and moreover, the place where the future Beis Hamikdash will first be revealed, and the place from which it will return to Yerushalayim.

The implications are startling: this Kuntres reveals to us, based on the Rebbe’s explanation of a posuk in Yechezkiel and a sugya in the gemora, that the Beis Hamikdash is located at 770 Eastern Parkway, and this is the “very place itself”** (מקום המקדש גופיה דלעתיד) where the 3rd Beis Hamikdash will descend from Heaven, and from this place it will travel to Yerushalayim!

In other words, in the realm of the intellect the Beis Hamikdash (as well as the place of the 3rd Beis Hamikdash) has been revealed!  In the month of Marcheshvan.  And as the Rebbe explains, in last week’s sicha, in order to experience the revelation we have to desire it and labor to make ourselves a fitting vessel (like Avraham Avinu did and thus he merited that Hashem was revealed to him).

Please, do not suffice with these few words in this meager essay, but take the opportunity to read through (and even better–learn properly and in depth) the Kuntres Beis Rabbeinu sh’b’Bavel (available for viewing and printing here).  After all, the Rebbe emphasizes numerous times that it is through learning the inyonim of Moshiach and Geulah that we speed up the actual true and complete Geulah.  As the Rebbe says–all elements of the Geulah are here, we simply need to agree and desire and open our eyes.  Learning these inyonim is the “fast way” to open our eyes.

It’s up to us!

* Yalkut Shimoni, Melachim I, remez 184.  Footnote #108 in the sicha.

** See the maamor “Gadol Habayis Hazeh”, section IV and forward, for the significance of the place of the Beis Hamikdash as opposed to the structure itself.

“Beis Rabbeinu sh’b’Bavel” — A must!

This incredible kuntres (edited by the Rebbe  and distributed for 20 Cheshvan, 5752, the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab), is a systematic explanation of how in every generation the synagogue and study hall of the Nosi Hador, the spiritual head of the generation, is the replacement for the Holy Temple during the exile.  It is the place where the Shechina is revealed in the strongest measure.  In our times, this is 770 Eastern Parkway, the synagogue and study hall of “my father-in-law the Rebbe, the leader of the generation”.  Additionally, the Rebbe explains how the Nosi Hador is the Moshiach of the generation.

Click below to access a PDF file containing a professionally produced, accurate translation (by R’ Alexander Zushe Kohn שיחיה) with accompanying footnotes.  Not to be missed!

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Annotated translation of the Kuntres Beis Rabbeinu sh’b’Bavel — “The Holy Temple In Transit”