Video Shiur: Noach 5752

G-d Commands You–Leave The Exile

 

Chabadinfo.com Exclusive: In the last Sicha we heard from the Rebbe on Parshas Noach, in the year 5752, the Rebbe explained how the end of the Parsha holds an urgent message for Jews, that we must leave exile immediately ● 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

 

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Noach 5752: Geulah is Dependent Only on Moshiach Himself

The chosid R’ Zushya Willemovsky, “The Partisan”, was told by the Rebbe in a private audience in the 1960s that there remained 20 or 21 things that needed to be accomplished in order for Moshiach to come.  From this we learn the significance of the sichos of Dvar Malchus in general, and parshas Noach in particular–that everything has been accomplished and nothing is preventing the Geulah.

In this sicha, the Rebbe speaks about the importance of periodically making a proper spiritual accounting (cheshbon tzedek) to search out a recognize the areas in ourselves which need improvement, even things that are very slight imperfections (such as causing someone to feel bad because we didn’t return their greeting(!)).  After describing how this should be done with joy, with recognition that it is easier than ever to rectify these matters because the Jewish people, who are like one body, “are found in a state of an individual who is healthy in all of his limbs and organs, both spiritually and physically, and thus anything that is lacking is likened to a weakness or a minor illness in one limb which can be healed quickly and easily”.

Furthermore, when a person takes stock of himself and recognizes that he has flaws and failings which need to be rectified, “this is not a contradiction, G-d forbid, to the testimony of the Leader of the Generation that the work has already been completed and we are standing ready to receive Moshiach Tzidkeinu.”  Yes, we need to search these things out, and upon identifying them to rectify them, but these things do not delay Moshiach’s coming.

Dependent Only on Moshiach Himself

“With absolute certainty all the ‘end times’ have passed, and [the Jewish people] have already done tshuva, and now the matter is not dependent upon anything other than Moshiach Tzidkeinu himself!  (Italics in the original.)  Towards the end of the sicha the Rebbe repeats: “…when we do a proper accounting at  the end of the first week of the year 5752, “it will be a year with wonders in it”, we come to the conclusion that the matter is not dependent upon anything other than Moshiach Tzidkeinu himself (as stated above)…”

It might seem that the implication of these words is that we have done all that we can do, now we are waiting for Moshiach to decide when to reveal himself.  However, this sicha was preceded a half a year earlier by the famous sicha of Chof-Ches Nissan, 5751, where the Rebbe told the Chassidim that he had done everything he could do, all that remains is to give it over to us to bring Moshiach.  (Several days later a woman passed by the Rebbe for dollars, crying that we were counting on the Rebbe to bring Moshiach, to which the Rebbe answers “it must be done by Klal Yisroel, you included, and this person included, and that person included…”)

This means that we need another way to understand the expression “the matter is not dependent upon anything other than Moshiach Tzidkeinu himself” since the Rebbe clearly has put in the hands of the Jewish people to “do all that you can” to bring Moshiach in actuality.  Crying out to Moshiach: “reveal yourself!” — this is not what the Rebbe has in mind.  If so, if it is not enough to wait patiently, then what is implied by the matter being dependent upon Moshiach himself?

We can better understand this expression in light of the words of the Rebbe in the sicha of Chayeh Sara (three weeks after parshas Noach) where the Rebbe describes the chiddush, the change in the shlichus which is now the gateway for the rest of the efforts of shlichus, namely: to accept Moshiach Tzidkeinu in the true and complete Geulah.”  (Italics in original.)  This sheds light on the expression in our sicha, “that the matter is not dependent upon anything other than Moshiach Tzidkeinu himself ” — not that we are waiting for Moshiach to do something, since we already know that we are the ones who have to do (“do all that you can“).  The statement comes to tell us what it is that we need to do, that our efforts to bring Moshiach pertain to Moshiach himself: to accept this individual as Moshiach, to make him (personally my, and collectively our) King.  Everything else has been done, the road has been paved to Moshiach.  Now, it is the acceptance of his Kingship by the people which “flicks the switch” to the true and complete Geulah!

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

Bereishis 5752: No Servitude to the Nations

The Rambam, in his “Laws of Kings and Their Wars and Melech HaMoshiach”, declares that the coming of Moshiach and the process of redemption are not dependent upon the miraculous.  “Do not expect that in the Days of Moshiach the  pattern of conduct of the world will change, but rather the word will conduct itself in a normal manner…”  “Our sages have taught that there is no difference between this world and the world to come is servitude to the nations.” (Chapter 12)  This means to say that even in the Messianic Era (the first stage), the world continues to go in a natural way, however the Jewish people are no longer in a state of “servitude” to the nations as they were during golus.

In this sicha, the Rebbe explains how the Jewish nation was chosen by Hashem and thus the entire Creation exists for the sake of the Jewish people and thus the truth is that the nations of the world do not truly hold sway over us (“servitude”).

Even though the Jewish people in exile are found in a state of “servitude to the nations”, and there is a command in the Torah “the law of the land is the law” (dina d’malchusa dina)…the reason is not due to fear of the nations of the world (at the time of exile) G-d-forbid, but quite the contrary: Jews are the primary thing (reishis) and the nations of the world were created for their sake….  Rather, the reason is that this is the way the Holy One, blessed be He, ordered things, that this is how things need to be in the time of exile.

Although in certain matters (monetary cases, taxes, and the like) “the law of the land is the law”, yet this does not infringe upon matters of Torah and Mitzvos, the soul, and also does infringe on the bodies and the physicality (and materiality) of a Jew, for he always remains primary (reishis) and above the nations of the world.  The command that “the law of the land is the law” is not because he is in a state of servitude to the nations of the world, but because this is what Hashem decreed to be the state of affairs in exile (“because of our sins [we were exiled from our land]”).

In other words, the Rebbe is quite clearly stating that we are not now in a state of servitude to the nations in any respect.  This is explained as having always been the case, however it is clear that the Rebbe is indicating that a new threshold has been reached: while the Jewish people have always been in essence above servitude to the nations, this was not something that was perceptible in the world (a world of persecution and suffering for the Jewish people, both materially and spiritually).  But now it is possible to recognize that although we and the world still operate in the natural way, the Jewish people are not in a state of servitude to the nations of the worlds.

This is evident in a simple sense (freedom to fulfill Torah and Mitzvos in every country where Jews live), as the Rebbe points out in the sicha.  It is also referring to something deeper (and not explained explicitly in the sicha).  According to Chassidus, the “nations of the world” (which are numbered as 70 according to Torah) refer to our midos, our natural responses to what we understand according to our human intellect which is informed by the physical world we inhabit.  Servitude to the nations of the world, according to Chassidus, means that a person cannot escape the feelings and emotions generated by his worldly outlook.  To be free of servitude to the nations means: although one still perceives the world as operating in the natural manner (according to “nature” rather than Torah) one is not bound to this perception, and in fact one is free to understand things according to Torah and to have feelings and emotions generated by Torah rather than the “way of nature”.

As an example: a person has a lack of income, the “nations of the world” tell him that he must cut down on the amount he gives to tzedaka, and work more hours, including on Shabbos, in order to generate more income.  The Torah says that he should increase the amount he gives to tzedaka and to be careful not to work on Shabbos.  Servitude to the nations of the world means that even though he knows what Torah says, nonetheless he feels forced to cut back on tzedaka and to work on Shabbos–he is enslaved to the outlook of the natural world.  To be freed from this servitude means that not only does he not feel “forced” to do these things, but on the contrary he can actually feel the need to give additional tzedaka. He has been liberated from the natural perspective, even though he continues to perceive the world as operating in a natural manner.

We still see a natural world, but we are now free to relate to that world in the way that Torah instructs without feeling compulsion from the nations of the world (from without or from within).  This is the first stage of the Messianic Era.

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


Links:
This sicha (translated by Sichos In English)
This sicha in Hebrew (from Otzar770)

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.

Blessing to the Yeshivah Students Erev Yom Kippur, 5752

1. (The Rebbe Shlita began by reciting the Priestly Blessing and the following verse. He then said:) There are two interpretations of the concluding phrase mentioned above, “And I will bless them”:

a) That it refers to the priests. According to the principle, “I will bless they who bless you,” because the priests bless the Jews, G‑d will convey a blessing to the priests.

b) It is a blessing for the Jewish people as a whole as reflected by the previous phrase, “And they shall convey My Name upon the children of Israel.”

There is a point of connection between these blessings and every member of the Jewish people, man, woman, or child. For as the Rambam writes, the spiritual qualities of the priests and the tribe of Levi are not exclusive and are within the grasp of every Jew who decides to separate himself from the vanities of this world and make G‑d — and thus His Torah — his portion. Surely, this applies to Yeshivah students, for “Torah is their livelihood.” In particular, it applies to those who study in Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim, the Yeshivah for which the Previous Rebbe1 was the first director. He set the basis for the functioning of the yeshivah, has directed it until the present day and indeed, will continue to direct it forever.

“Holiness never departs from its place.” On the contrary, it continually increases and proceeds further. As such “he (the Previous Rebbe) gave — and is giving — his bread to the poor” — those who are involved with the service of bittul, “my soul will be as dust to all.” And the Previous Rebbe gives them “his bread,” his influence both material and spiritual (which became assimilated into his being as bread does), to bring about great success in the study of Nigleh (the revealed dimension of Torah law), the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah (Torah’s mystic dimension), and in the fusion of the two studies as one. This is reflected in the name Tomchei Temimim which relates to the description of the Torah as “perfect” (Temimah). Nevertheless, there are some who have a greater portion in the study of Nigleh, while others have a greater portion in the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah.

“Those with a good eye will be blessed.” All those who study in Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim possess “a good eye” and therefore they receive all the blessings necessary for themselves and all the blessings necessary for them to continue as possessing a “good eye” in their relations with others.

May each one2 of you together with the entire Jewish people be blessed with a healthy body and a healthy soul. May it be revealed within the body how the soul is a part of G‑d from Above. For as the Baal Shem Tov taught, each entity in the world shares a connection with G‑d’s essence. May you be blessed from the source of blessing, the Previous Rebbe and indeed, from the ultimate source, G‑d’s essence.

May G‑d’s essence be drawn down (the extended meaning of the word yivurach, “blessed” as explained in Chassidus) to all the matters of our generation and to all the people in our generation.3 And these blessings will be expressed in our material world, and in a revealed manner, establishing an all-encompassing unity with G‑d’s essence.

Herein, there is a connection to Yom Kippur which is described as achas bashanah, “once a year,” i.e., oneness in the dimension of time. Expressing this oneness are the Jewish people, “one nation in the world.” And this oneness will be revealed in the world and in the Torah. The latter is of primary importance, for it is through the Torah that the world was created. And it will be revealed how not only “Is there nothing else… apart from G‑d,” but rather, that there is simply “nothing else” at all.

And the entire Jewish people will be blessed in a manner of Atem Nitzavim, “you are standing in judgment,” which Chassidus interprets to standing with the strength of a king. For each Jew, by virtue of his study of the Torah is a king as our Sages declared, “Who are our kings? Our Rabbis.” And this will be drawn down (as the verse continues) lifneichem, “to your inner dimensions” so that Havayah will be Elokeichem, i.e., it will be revealed how “your strength and your vitality” is Havayah, G‑d’s transcendent dimension.4

May the mission — with which you as students of Torah are charged — be fulfilled and may you serve as channels of blessing for your household, to all those with whom you share a connection, and to all who support them.5

May you and the entire Jewish people receive the threefold blessing with which the Patriarchs were blessed bakol mikol kol. As mentioned, these words are numerically equivalent to the word kabetz (“gather in”). May this be a year of true redemption when the exiles will be gathered in. For G‑d will “sound the great shofar for our freedom,” and in this “the year of wonders in all things,” we will proceed together with the entire Jewish people to our Holy Land, to Jerusalem, and to the Beis HaMikdash. May this take place in the immediate future.

_____________________________________________

FOOTNOTES

1.

The Previous Rebbe was also the only son of the Rebbe Rashab and his successor.

2.

The importance of every individual is reflected in our Sages’ statement, “Every person is obligated to say, ‘The world was created for me.’ ”

3.

This particularly applies to those described as men, Adam, a name associated with the phrase Adamah l’Elyon, “I resemble the One Above.”

4.

This relates to Shabbos Shuvah and the Haftorah which begins, “Return, Israel to Havayah Elokecha.” [See the sichah to the members of the Machne Israel Development Fund.] From the Shabbos, all the days of the coming week are blessed.

5.

On the verse “those who support it are happy,” our Sages noted the connection between the Hebrew for happy (אושר) and wealth (עושר) and explained that those who support Torah scholars will be blessed with wealth.

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.

To the Members שיחיו of the Machne Israel Development Fund Sunday, Tishrei 7, 5752

Experiencing G‑d’s Transcendence in This World

We are meeting in the midst of the Ten Days of Repentance, the days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

The nature of repentance, teshuvah in Hebrew, is explained by the Maggid of Mezritch1 in an interpretation of the phrase which opens the Haftorah recited on this past Shabbat:2 שובה ישראל עד הוי’ אלקיך — “Return Israel to G‑d, your L‑rd.”3

The Maggid focused on the verse’s use of two different names for G‑d and explained that, according to the Kabbalah,4 each reflects a different dimension of G‑dliness.

“G‑d” is a translation of the Name Havayah (v-u-v-h),5 which refers to G‑d’s transcendent dimension, the aspect of G‑dliness that lies beyond the limits of our existence. In contrast, “your L‑rd” is a translation of Elokecha (אלקיך), which refers to the dimension of G‑dliness that permeates our world. Indeed, this Hebrew word can be understood to mean “your strength and your vitality,” i.e., the G‑dly life-force that sustains every created being individually. Hence, the Maggid taught, a Jew’s teshuvah should bring him to the appreciation that Havayah, G‑d’s transcendent dimension, is Elokecha, “your strength and your vitality” — that G‑d is his own life-force, the source for his success and well-being.

Repentance Motivated by Love

Our service of teshuvah is enhanced by the influence of the past month, the month of Elul. Our Sages6 note that the name Elul (אלול) serves as an acronym for the Hebrew words אני לדודי ודודי לי, meaning “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine,”7 an expression of the loving relationship between G‑d and the Jewish people. During this month a Jew appreciates that he is “my Beloved’s”; he can feel G‑d’s manifest closeness, and can sense how this relationship encompasses every aspect of his personality.

A Body as a Unit; A Couple as a Unit

The above concepts apply not only to our spiritual lives, but are reflected — as are all aspects of the Torah and its mitzvot — within our existence in the world at large. When a person appreciates that his life-force and that of all the other created beings around him is transcendent G‑dliness, he becomes conscious of an all-encompassing Divine unity which permeates the totality of existence. Although the world contains a manifold number of diverse entities, there is a fundamental oneness pervading them all.

The human body likewise comprises various organs with differing potentials and functions; e.g. the brain and heart each have their own functions. Nevertheless, all these different functions and potentials are fused together as a single organism. One does not stop to calculate that he spent so much money caring for his head, and so much for his heart, etc. For it is natural to consider our bodies as a single organism and indeed, our bodies and souls together as one single entity.

This concept should be extended until it is mirrored in our relationships with others. On a family level, husband and wife are two different individuals, yet their relationship should be one of unity. Although each of them is occupied with his or her individual concerns, using the unique gifts which G‑d has given him/her, the fulfillment of one brings fulfillment to the other. Moreover, they share all aspects of their lives including a single bank account, for although they are two different individuals, they are unified in a loving relationship of mutual trust.

Togetherness in the Business World

Furthermore, this unity should be extended beyond one’s family until it also affects one’s business relationships. The business world revolves around the concept of competition. This competition, however, should be expressed in a Jewish way, not through trying to overpower another person or cause him loss, but by developing a partnership that challenges each of the partners to fully utilize his or her potential in the most complete manner possible. A relationship in which each individual complements the other, will foster sharing and trust between the partners.

The relationship between the various partners will surely be characterized by sharing and trust, reflecting their joint commitment to ahavat Yisrael, the commandment to love a fellow Jew as one loves oneself.8 And thus, they will not waste their time unduly trying to calculate and divide their respective shares. On the contrary, being busy with success, they will both be actively contributing to the flourishing of their joint enterprise. Through pooling their creative efforts, the partners will grow closer together and develop ever deeper bonds.

This trust should be developed to the extent that even the expense account is shared in a family — like manner. For the entire Jewish people are in fact one extended family.

Caring and Sharing

Such concerted effort will stimulate further growth, and will lead the partners to diversify, expanding into other countries. These efforts will surely be crowned with success and simultaneously will expand each person’s individual horizons.

This success should of course be reflected in the ultimate purpose of one’s business — using one’s wealth to help others, by giving tzedakah, “charity.” One’s gifts should be continually increased, and these increases should come willingly and naturally, for he will have established tzedakah as one of his primary concerns. Therefore, just as he uses all his potentials to see that his business concerns flourish, he will also devote his full potential to seeing that his involvement in tzedakah thrives. With each day and with each moment that he grows older, he should grow wiser and more sensitive to the needs of others. From one day to the next, therefore, he should be more willing to give. And this will be expressed in dollars and cents; simply put, the check that he actually writes today will be larger than the one he planned to write yesterday.

Nothing Succeeds like Generosity

Many successful businessmen have a separate account for charity so that, regardless of the fluctuation of their personal finances, they will be able to give tzedakah at all times. Often the responsibility of dispensing charity from this account is entrusted to the secretary. The secretary should be confident that he or she can write a generous check, knowing that the employer is inclined to give generously and with an open hand.

Generosity of this kind will bring added success in one’s business ventures. For on the verse rag, rag — “You shall surely tithe,”9 the Sages taught עשר בשביל שתתעשר — “Tithe so that you will become rich.”10 Such generosity coupled with the awareness that “G‑d is one’s strength and one’s vitality,” endows him with an infinite capacity to develop his many and diverse potentials and thus be blessed with success in all his endeavors. This realization should motivate him to share with others and this act of sharing will in turn bring him further success which will be crowned with happiness and contentment.

Shabbat: Material Pleasure, Spiritual Bliss

This contentment is deeply experienced on Shabbat, the day which G‑d gave the Jewish people for rest and pleasure. This pleasure is unique in nature. Although it is expressed in a physical way, inasmuch as one eats well and dresses in fine clothing, the contentment received is from the spiritual nature of Shabbat.

This is reflected in our Sages’ expression,11 hame’aneg et haShabbat, which literally means, “one who brings pleasure to the Shabbat.” A Jew shows how the happiness and contentment expressed on Shabbat is not only spiritual, as reflected in his thought and speech, but is also drawn down into the material realm, even to his actual food. And such efforts bring pleasure, as it were, to the Shabbat itself.

This pleasure is shared by the entire family who join at the Shabbat table, as they sing the Shabbat melodies together and happily respond Amen to each other’s blessings.

A Year of Wonders in All Things

The above blessings are highlighted by the unique nature of this new year, 5752. Its Hebrew equivalent, תשנ”ב, serves as an acronym for the words הי’ תהא שנת נפלאות בכל — “This will surely be a year of wonders in all things.”12 We have seen, and we will see, wonders in material success, in health (so that the profits from one’s business endeavors need not be spent on medical bills), in our personal matters and on a global sphere. Each one of us is thus granted the potential to broaden his activities in an unlimited manner and to do so with success and good fortune.

A Helping Hand for Russian Émigrés

Among the unique wonders of this era is the mass exodus of Jews from countries in which emigration was previously restricted. Now, thousands of Jews are being given the opportunity to emigrate and to do so with dignity. Many have settled in the United States and in other countries, and a large proportion have made aliyah to Eretz Yisrael, our Holy Land. They should surely be given the means to enjoy prosperity and success, both material and spiritual, in their new homes. And the privilege and merit to help them achieve such prosperity has been granted to every one of us.

* * *

The above is particularly relevant at present in the days following Rosh HaShanah, when we, together with the entire Jewish people, have received a Ketivah VaChatimah Tovah: we have just been inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year, a year of wondrous success, including the ultimate good — the coming of the Redemption.
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FOOTNOTES:

1. HaYom Yom, entry for 3 Tishrei.
2. This Shabbat is called Shabbat Shuvah, from the first word of the Haftorah, which highlights its connection to the service of repentance.
3. Hosea 14:2.
4. See Tanya, Shaar HaYichud VehaEmunah, ch. 6.
5. The term Havayah is derived from a rearrangement of the letters of the Name (v-u-v-h) which, because of its holiness, is not pronounced in the usual manner.
6. Abudraham, Seder Tefillat Rosh HaShanah, on the authority of classical expositors of the Torah; Pri Etz Chayim, Shaar Rosh HaShanah, sec. 1.
7. Song of Songs 6:3.
8. Leviticus 19:18; Maimonides, Sefer HaMitzvot, Positive Commandment #206.
9. Deuteronomy 14:22.
10. Taanit 9a.
11. Shabbat 118a.
12. Bakol (“in all things”) is one of the three expressions of blessing associated with the Patriarchs — bakol, mikol, kol, as we recite in the Grace After Meals (Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 93, see Bava Batra 16b-17a). 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; Genesis 27:33). And regarding Yaakov it is written, “I have everything” (כל; ibid., 33:11).

And, in fact, each of the Patriarchs was wealthy and they all were exceedingly charitable. Since they are the Patriarchs of the Jewish people, it is self-understood that the above blessings are transmitted in every generation to all of their descendants, men, women, and children.