Parshas Nitzavim, 5751: The Intrinsic Connection

The Rebbe brings out from a year where Rosh Hashana falls out on Monday and Tuesday an emphasis on the special value of the avodah of Yidden.  The world was created perfect, but it was a limited level of perfection, and it is only through the avodah of Yidden — an infinite neshoma enclothed in a limited physical body — that the world can transcend itself and achieve a higher level of perfection.  This is the idea, discussed in other sichos, of 10 and 11, where 10 is perfection and 11 transcends that original perfection.

The Rebbe also returns to the concept mentioned in last weeks sicha, that a Jew’s connection to Hashem is intrinsic and not dependent on his performance of Torah and Mitzvos.  Torah and Mitzvos simply serve to reveal  his intrinsic connection.  The Rebbe says that by emphasizing a Jew’s essential connection to Hashem this serves to in turn bring out a greater commitment to Torah and Mitzvos–because in truth a Jew really only does Torah and Mitzvos because this is an expression of his true nature.  In other words, we remove all aspects of fear of punishment and we find that he will do mitzvos even more enthusiastically!

And, as the Alter Rebbe said, that Moshiach’s arrival would be publicized in the newspapers, the Rebbe states:

May the Redemption come immediately, indeed, may it be that it has already come. For the newspapers have already written about Moshiach’s coming — may they continue to write more and may these articles be in the past tense for Moshiach’s coming will already be a reality.

Video Shiur: Nitzovim-RH-Vayelech 5752

 

Video Shiur: Savo 5751

Your Right To Demand The Redemption

Chabadinfo.com Exclusive: In the last Sicha the Rebbe said on Shabbos Parshas Savo (5751), the Rebbe explains why a Jew does not belong in exile, and must demand the redemption ● Now you too can understand the Rebbe’s words with ChabadInfo.com’s NEW Weekly Shiur of the “Dvar Malchus” Sicha in English, presented by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lipskier, Mashpia of Mesivta of Melbourne, Australia ● Watch Video

 

Savo 5751: Yisroel, the “First Fruits” of the World

The midrash says that there are two “firsts”, Yisroel and the Torah, and we don’t know which came first.  Until we see that in the Torah it states “command bnei Yisroel”, “say to Bnei Yisroel” , so then we know that Yisroel came first.  This is the concept of Bikkurim.

The Torah commands us that upon entering and settling Eretz Yisroel, we are to offer Bikkurim, the “first fruits” of the 7 species of which Eretz Yisroel is praised.  These first fruits, the initial blossoming of the seven species, are brought to the Beis Hamikdash in Yerushalayim, placed in a basket, presented to the Cohen and given to Hashem.

It turns out, then, that these first fruits achieve the highest purpose that is attainable–to be offered to Hashem in the Beis Hamikdash.  They purpose of fruits in the world, of the world itself, is represented by the these fruits being offered to Hashem.  Eating them, enjoying them–all this is secondary.  That a Yid gives of his finest to Hashem–this is the real purpose.

The Yidden, the Torah tells us, are the Bikkurim of the world.  The purpose and ultimate reason for the world’s existence.  Not only did Hashem consult with the souls of the Yidden before creating the world, but the world was (and is) created for the Yidden.  The world is created by Hashem through the Torah, but for the sake of the Yidden.  The connection of Yidden to Hashem is direct, with no need for the Torah at all (because the Yid is also one with the Torah).  The role of the Torah is that through keeping the Torah a Jew reveals that he is connected with Hashem in his very essence.  The Torah does not exist without Yidden to keep it, but a Yid exists even before he encounters the Torah.  And even if he is not keeping the Torah, chas v’sholom, he is still connected in his very essence with Hashem Himself.

The Rebbe elaborates at length in this sicha on the importance of each and every Yid, that his true reality is that he is one with the Holy One, blessed be He, which is concealed until it is revealed by his becoming Bikkurim.  And the Torah says that the Bikkurim need to be in a container–this is the body which contains the neshoma.  One who has the means brings a container made of precious materials.  But one who does not have the means brings a simple container and this simple container is kept by the Cohen, meaning that even the lowly material of which his container is made is elevated to be “before Hashem”.  The container–טנא–hints at the letters of Torah (טעמים, נקודות, אותיות), meaning that the neshoma’s “container” is the letters of Torah which become the thought, speech and action f the Jew.  Even if this relates to “lowly things” (he only understands Torah in a physical way), it is still a container for his Bikkurim and is elevated to “before Hashem”.  Thus, every thought, every word of speech, and every action of a Yid is important and is the very purpose of the existence of the world!  As regards this importance, the Rebbe says:

The preciousness of every Jew before the Holy One, blessed be He is unconditional, he does not need to be a Torah scholar, one who learns Torah or one who fulfills the Mitzvos or the like, but rather “anyone who wants [can approach the King when he is in the field (Elul)]” is able to greet the King, who “greets everyone with a pleasant countenance”.

This closeness to Hashem should cause one, especially in Elul, to take an accounting of his thought, speech, and action, because:

…even one thought, speech, or action which seems of little importance compared to the rest of his thoughts, speech, or actions–but even this thought, speech, or action is a part of his Bikkurim which are brought to the Beis Hamikdash, before Hashem your G-d — and the Cohen who will be in those days  is careful with his every movement — certainly [the Jew] will make every effort that even the smallest things, every detail of his conduct, will be done with the complete attention and carefulness.

In conjunction with this: being that we are in essence one with Hashem, when we have an awakening from below, we cause an awakening from Above–and in this way we are able to bring the Geulah!  In the Rebbe’s words:

Since a Jew is “one” with the Holy One, blessed be He…he has no private will, but rather in the words of the Mishnah (Pirkei Avos) — “make your will like His will in order that He will make His will like your will” — the will of the Holy One, blessed be He is the will of a Yid and the will of a Yid is the will of the Holy One, blessed be He.  Thus, it is in the power of every Jew to (influence the Holy One, blessed be He and to) nullify the golus and to bring the Geulah immediately!

 

 

Video Shiur: Ki Seitze 5751

A “Holy War” And Its Spoils

Chabadinfo.com Exclusive: In the last Sicha the Rebbe said on Shabbos Parshas Ki-Tetze (5751), the Rebbe discusses the idea of the “Holy War” being waged and the connection to Moshiach ● Now you too can understand the Rebbe’s words with ChabadInfo.com’s NEW Weekly Shiur of the “Dvar Malchus” Sicha in English, presented by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lipskier, Mashpia of Mesivta of Melbourne, Australia ● Watch Video

Ki Seitze, 5751: Tasting the Reward Now

On this Shabbos, two parshas are read: Ki Seitze (“when you go out to war on your enemy”) in the morning, and in the afternoon the first section of “Ki Savo” (“when you will enter the land to inherit it and to settle it…”).  Thus, on one single Shabbos we have two seemingly opposite lessons from the Torah: going to war against an enemy (the avodah of golus), and settling the land (the reward of the Messianic Era).

Since everything is guided by Divine Providence, the Rebbe says we have to learn from this combination: that we can be a situation of doing the avodah of making a war on the enemy in the time of golus and yet at the same time be in a completely “settled” state, which is the reward for this avodah.

How can we accomplish this?  Through the knowledge that in essence a Jew is completely above the existence of any opposition, because Hashem “consulted” with the souls of the Jewish people before creating the world, showing that we are in fact one with Hashem and above the world.  If so, then why would we agree to the creation of a world that contains “enemies” whom we will have to overcome in war?  Simply because Hashem (with our agreement) did not want to give us “bread of shame” (unearned reward), and therefore He created a world for us to earn the reward.  In order for His desire for a dwelling place in the lower realms there must be lower realms where there is the possibility of war.  But the truth of the matter is: a Jew in his source is, and even enclothed in a physical body in this world he remains higher than the concept of any opposition.

When a Jew is aware that this is the true reality, then even his “going out to war against the enemy” is infused with the aspect of “settling the land” (“the land”, which implies Eretz Yisroel, which “desired to do perform the will of her creator”–where there is no longer a “war” to fulfill Torah and Mitzvos, but rather one overcomes his evil inclination with ease).

The Rebbe adds that:

“the main thing –that the avodah is amidst ease and comfort in the simple sense, ease of the soul and ease of the body, which is achieved through the Holy One, blessed be He, giving to every single Jew all that he needs materially and spiritually, and with abundance.”

This includes all that a Jew needs in order to do the avodah itself, and after that as a reward for the avodah that he performs.  And this material (and spiritual) reward is a sampling of the physical reward that will be in the Messianic Era.  Not only that, but the Rebbe makes a revolutionary statement, that the verse “then their mouths will be filled with laughter”, which is explained by Chazal and the Chassidic Discourses as referring to the Time to Come, is applicable now–“then” is “now” in the presente tense.  The rewards of the Time to Come, the Messianic Age, are available to us now.  Although they are “locked in a box”, every Jew can open the box whenever he wants.  How?  By performing one more mitzvah.  As the saying goes “the future is now”, but by the Rebbe this is not merely a slogan, it is the reality!

All this receives greater emphasis since the year the sicha was said was 5751–תנש”א– which is the command that “you will be exalted”, referring to Moshiach, “both as regards the revelation and coming of Moshiach” (the distinction between these to concepts will be explained separately, G-d willing) “and as regards the wedding of Knesses Yisroel and the Holy One, blessed be He in the Messianic Era, and in the words of the [midrash] Yalkut Shimoni: ‘the year Melech HaMoshiach is revealed in him…he stands on the roof of the Beis Hamikdash …and says humble ones, the time of your redemption has arrived’.”  The Rebbe adds in the footnote the continuation of this Midrash: “And if you don’t believe, see via my light…at the same time the Holy One, blessed be He, shines the light of Melech Hamoshiach and of Yisroel and they all go to the light of Melech Hamoshiach and of Yisroel, and they [the nations of the world] come and lick the dust from beneath the feet of Melech Hamoshiach…”

While explaining this may be a divergence from the main body of the sicha, it is important to note what the Midrash is telling us: that there will come a time following the initial revelation of Moshiach (“Moshiach is revealed in him” means the revelation of the soul of Moshiach in the one who has been anointed by Hashem to be Moshiach, explained here) when nonetheless the Jewish people will not be prepared to believe him when he says that indeed the time of their redemption has arrived.  How do they get out of their own lack of confidence in themselves and in the words of Moshiach?  The Midrash says “see via my light” (ראו באורי שזרח עליכם), that through Moshiach’s light, meaning wisdom–the Torah that Moshiach teaches–they will be able to see the reality that Moshiach is describing to them.

Through our effort to learn and understand the Torah that Moshiach is revealing to us, we will merit to see the reality that he is describing to us, the reality that “the time of your redemption has arrived”!