Our Tzoraas

In the landmark Sicha of Tazria-Metzoira 5751, the Rebbe explains how Tzoraas is a condition that occurs at the end of golus, after avoidas habirurim is finished (thus it appears in the Torah after parshas Tazria, which is the birth of Moshiach).  As we are now holding at that time and place–the end of golus, after the birurim are finished–the condition of Tzoraas is relevant to us.

In fact, the Rebbe states clearly that each and every Yid today can be said to be on the level of one who has completed his Avoidah and is holding in a state of the Metzora–all the bad is coming out, but the inside is completly refined.  (Reminiscent of chazal’s play on words that “Metzoira” is from the words “moitzi ra’“, a reference to loshon hora, but al pi Chassidus we can understand it literally “to put out the evil”–that all the evil has been purged from within and it’s appearance externally is really the final stage before it’s complete eradication.)

How can we understand this Tzoraas in our lives? Continue reading

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Achrei-Kedoshim 5751: Using Out Golus to Make Geulah

Dvar Malchus Achrei-Kedoshim 5751

Geulah is made from Golus (Exile)

With the heady excitement that comes when one begins to feel what the Rebbe has been expressing in the recent sichos–that we are truly on the cusp of the coming of Moshiach and the revelations of the true and complete Geulah–it could be possible to feel the desire to throw off the responsibilities of Golus and charge head-first and full-speed into Geulah.  For example, abandoning one’s job and devoting 24 hours a day to spreading the news of the redemption and learning the subject of Moshiach and Geulah.  (After all, the Rebbe said in the previous sicha that this learning is the direct path to bringing the Geulah, so why delay it by attending to earthly needs such as a job and a house?)  Such “over-the-top”  behavior is not the way to bring Moshiach, as the Rebbe explains here.  Or, from the other side, one could be worried that all of one’s efforts will go to waste with the coming of Moshiach, and this fear is also put to rest in this sicha.

As mentioned in the previous sichos, the Geulah (redemption) is the word exile (GOLA) with the addition of the letter “alef”, representing the revelation of Hashem in exile itself.  This is the concept of the Rambam that with the coming of Moshiach (in the first stage, at least) nothing will change in the conduct of the world–the world will conduct itself naturally–the only difference is that we will not be subjugated to physicality and the laws of nature as before.  However, this itself is no small matter!  What is means is that the miraculous will occur within the parameters of nature.  But reality is now miraculous.  In the words of the Rebbe:

 Redemption does not mean that we abandon all the activities which we carry out in the exile. On the contrary, by definition, the word implies that during the exile certain activities were carried out under subjugation to other forces, and in the Era of the Redemption, we will be freed from this subjugation.

The redemption will involve freeing all the elements of existence that have been subjugated in the exile. Nothing will be lost.  On the contrary, everything will be redeemed. Every single Jew will be redeemed. We will leave “with our youth and with our elders… with our sons and with our daughters.” And “their gold and silver will accompany them.” All the positive activities and achievements of the Jews (and also the non-Jews) in the exile will not be nullified. What will be nullified is the concealment of the world’s true inner being which is brought on by the material substance of the world and the subjugation to the rules of nature that exists at present. But all the positive aspects of the exile will remain, and indeed will be elevated.

The Rebbe continues then to speak about the need for the world–that it is by our effect on the world and the nations of the world that we bring about not only their elevation but also the elevation of our souls, the reason for which our souls were sent into this low world in the first place.  In other words, one might think “Moshiach is about to come, I need to abandon all worldly pursuits.”  Says the Rebbe: No!  On the contrary–continue these pursuits in the manner dictated by Torah and know that in this way you are inserting into them the “Alef” and they are thereby transformed from a state of Golus to a state of Geulah.  Don’t run and hide from the world, but go out and “conquer” the world.  Don’t make a war against the world, make a war against the aspect of darkness and concealment that is in the world.  How?  By combating the darkness with the light of Torah and Mitzvos, most of which involve physical things.

This is connected with the fact that the Jews are a “Priestly Nation”.  The High Priest required 8 special garments to enter the Holy of Holies, garments which the Torah describes as “honor and splendor”, and if he is lacking any of these garments his service is invalid.  Even though these garments are only external–for “honor and splendor”–nonetheless if they are lacking his service is invalid.  It follows that each Jew, as a member of the Nation of Priests, must be garbed in garments “honor and splendor” in order to show externally his true status.  This corresponds to the previous sicha where the Rebbe speaks about our generation being on the level of Rabbeinu Hakadosh who was internally perfect and only endured suffering due to the unrefined waste on the edge of his garments.  It will be recalled that according to Chassidus, “garments” of the soul refer to our thought, speech, and action.  These must be for “honor and splendor” as we approach the Geulah.  In the Rebbe’s words:

The priests’ service was performed wearing the priestly garments that were to be donned, “for honor and for beauty.”  This reflects how these two qualities, materialistic elements of our physical environment, are employed for the sake of the service of G‑d.

In a complete sense, this was reflected in the High Priest’s service for he wore eight priestly garments, wearing “the golden garments” in addition to the four garments worn by the common priests. A parallel to this concept is reflected in the idea that a High Priest is required to be wealthier than all the other priests. This is a clear indication of how his additional holiness must be reflected within the material elements of our world.

The nature of the world has begun to assist Jews to fulfill Torah and mitzvos, as evidenced by the changes in Russia.  Furthermore, “We see in fact that the nature of the world encourages such activities and in that context, it is worthy to mention the discovery of jewels in a far removed corner of the world. These jewels will be used for “bride’s ornaments”, to increase the merit of the Jewish people through gifts to tzedakah.”  This comes to show that the Rebbe is speaking very clearly about events in our physical world.

This extends also to the Nations of the World, that there is an imperative to teach the 7 Noahide Laws.  We see already that the Nations of the World have begun to change.  Whereas in the past they engaged in bloody wars of conquest against each other and only the Jewish nation (the smallest of all nations) was quietly busy with acts of kindness, today we see that many nations, lead by the United States, engage in acts of kindness even when there is no apparent benefit.  (The Rebbe mentions here the recent humanitarian aid given by the United States to impoverished citizens of a distant nation, perhaps a reference to protection from Saddam Hussein offered to the Kurds in mid-April, 1991, shortly before this sicha was said; or perhaps a prophecy of the relief efforts that would take place later in the year in Somalia).

We can see the thread running through the sichas: bringing G-dliness into action in this physical world, thereby elevating the world and making it a vessel for even greater revelations (miracles above nature, as in the 2nd period of the Messianic Era, including the resurrection of the dead).

 

Beis Iyar 5751: Lechatchila Arriber

The fundamental aspect of the Rebbe Maharash’s service is expressed in his adage Lechat’chilah aribber, “Right from the outset, you should climb over.” This is the message that should permeate our conduct throughout the entire day, beginning with our service of Torah and mitzvos, which is the essence of our being for “I was only created to serve my Creator,” and extending into every aspect of our conduct. All our efforts must be characterized by the approach of Lechat’chilah aribber.

Each person has the potential to carry out such service, and is aided in these efforts by G‑d Himself. G‑d’s help does not detract from the virtue of a person carrying out the service on his own initiative. Although G‑d offers assistance in every aspect of our service, it is man who carries the responsibility for this service from its beginning until its end.

The approach of Lechat’chilah aribber is particularly relevant this year, a year in which “I will show you wonders” and in particular, in the present days when since the 27th of Nissan, we have experienced two sets of three day periods of holiness and happiness.

This will be enhanced by the Jews uniting together in the service of “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This unity will amplify our achievements in the three services of Torah, prayer, and deeds of kindness. Similarly, it will prepare us for the ultimate of unity, the ingathering of the Jewish people in the Era of Redemption. Then it will be revealed how “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” This refers to the Third Beis HaMikdash, “the Sanctuary of G‑d established by Your hands.”

This will be brought about by the completion of our service. If anywhere there is a good deed, a good thought, or a good word that has to be completed, it will be completed and — in the spirit of the seven “perfect”2 weeks of the Counting of the Omer — completed in a perfect manner.

Indeed, this perfection will be revealed before the completion of the Counting of the Omer as reflected in the prayer recited after counting each night, “May the Merciful One return to us the service of the Beis HaMikdash speedily….” The intent is that the redemption should come directly after our reciting this prayer.

This will be enhanced by the firm resolutions made by the Jewish people. Their strength and their firmness will be revealed, not only by their continuity over an extended period, but in a manner of Lechat’chilah aribber, i.e., at the very outset, their strength will be seen.3 Furthermore, that strength will be reflected even in the mundane dimensions of our conduct.

To focus on the Rebbe Maharash’s statement at greater length: The Rebbe would say, “Generally, people say, ‘If you can’t crawl under, try to climb over,’ and I say, Lechat’chilah aribber, ‘Right from the outset, you should climb over.’ ” On the surface, it was unnecessary for the Rebbe to mention what others think. By doing so, however, he emphasizes that a Jew is aware of the approach which is generally accepted. Nevertheless, as a Jew, he has a potential to reveal a new approach, Lechat’chilah aribber, and have that approach permeate even the most mundane aspects of our existence.

May this enable us to merit the redemption immediately. In the prayer recited after Counting the Omer, we state how this counting corrects our souls (on all the three levels of nefesh, ruach, and neshamah). Similarly, it spreads “correction” in the world at large, elevating every dimension of existence.

In this manner, the world at large and the Jewish people become ready to receive the revelations that will accompany the future redemption. This is enhanced by the influence of the last months: Adar, a month associated with health and strength and Nissan, a month of miracles of a truly wondrous nature. Similarly, this is amplified by the influence of the present month, Iyar, whose name (אייר) serves as an acronym for the names Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, and Rachel who represent the four “legs” of the Heavenly Chariot.

(Here we see a unique connection to Jewish women. For although the fourth leg of the Chariot is also associated with King David, the connection to David is merely an allusion, while the connection to Rachel is explicit. Rachel is representative of the righteous women in whose merit came the redemption, and in whose merit will come the ultimate redemption.)

The above will also be enhanced by the Torah portion which is associated with the present days, Parshas Tazria. This Torah portion which begins, “When a woman conceives and gives birth,” refers to the Jewish people who — in their relationship with G‑d — are described as a woman. They will soon give birth, a metaphor for the coming redemption.

The Talmud also associates the above with Jewish children whom it describes with the verse “Do not touch My anointed (Mishichoi).” This points to a connection between Jewish children and Mashiach.

May we merit the coming of Mashiach when all Jews will be like children studying Torah and G‑d will be our teacher, revealing the “new [dimension of the] Torah which will emerge from Me.”

This will be enhanced by the distribution of money to be given to tzedakah4 which will bring near the redemption. Then we will merit the ultimate ingathering of the exiles when G‑d will lead each person by the hand, bringing us back toEretz Yisrael, to Jerusalem, and to the Beis HaMikdash, “the Sanctuary of G‑d established by Your hands.”

FOOTNOTES

1.

As explained on several occasions, what occurs to one particular generation effects the totality of the history of our nation. It affects the previous generations, because this is their continuity, and it affects the coming generations because it sets the tone for their service.

Based on the concept that a father transfers the essence of his being to his children, we can assume that it is not merely the superficial aspects, but rather the essence of each generation which is conveyed.

This concept also relates to the teaching of the Baal Shem Tov that G‑d cherishes every Jew like an only child born to a father in his old age.

2.

This perfection results from the fact that the weeks of the Counting of the Omerbegin Saturday night and conclude on Shabbos.

3.

We see a parallel to this concept in the Rebbe Maharash’s position within the Chabad Nesi’im. He was the fourth of the Rebbeim. Thus the first threeRebbeim can be considered as bringing about a chazakah, a threefold sequence associated with strength and permanence, and the Rebbe Maharash and the two Rebbeim who followed him, can be considered as bringing about a second chazakah. The Rebbe Maharash begins that secondchazakah with a strong stance at its very outset, in a manner ofLechat’chilah aribber.

4.

Our Sages state that it is “a tzedakahthat G‑d dispersed the Jews among the nations.” The Hebrew for “dispersed them” pizran, resembles the wordperazos, “open” as in the prophecy, “Jerusalem will be open.” Although there will not be a material wall around the city, the city will be protected, “for I (G‑d) will be a wall of fire around her.”
Translation: Sichos In English

Video Shiur: Tazria-Metzora 5751

“Quickest Way to Bring Moshiach”

 

Chabadinfo.com Exclusive: In the Sicha of Parshas Tazria-Metzora 5751, the Rebbe explains what and how every Yid has to do to bring 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

 

Tazria-Metzora 5751: Spiritually Complete But Still Suffering Exile

Dvar Malchus Tzaria-Metzora 5751

This Generation is Completely Rectified; Remaining External Signs of Disease Can Be Rectified Through Torah—Learning About Moshiach Speeds Geulah.

For this sicha it is necessary to define the following terms: Tzora’as—a supernatural illness where certain types of lesions appear on the skin (not the physical disease of “leprosy”); Metzora—One who suffers from this illness (sometimes called a ‘leper’); Nega (plural: Negoyim)—the general name of the lesions associated with the disease.

 

Moshiach in Exile is Called “Metzora

With the completion of the month of Nissan of the year 5751 [when the sicha was spoken] “all the end times have passed” (“kolu kol hakitzin”): both ketz hayamim and keitz hayemin, in a simple sense (”kipshuto mamash”).   [Ketz Hayamim=the end of the “left side” of klipa; Ketz Hayemin=the end (meaning: the starting point) of the “right side” of holiness.]  This is in addition to the fact that the statement “kolu kol hakitzin” was said in the times of the Gemara. [The Rebbe is making clear that he is not merely quoting the gemara, but that something new has taken place that was not included in the intent of the sages.  The “Ketz HaYemin” is a most noteworthy expression, indicating more than the just end of exile, but also the beginning (although still concealed) of Geulah.]  The parsha Tazria begins with the words “a woman who gives seed and gives birth to a male”—this hints at the birth (revelation) of the soul of Moshiach.  Giving seed, this refers to our deeds and effort (“avodah”) in the time of exile, followed immediately by the sprouting—the complete Geulah.

Metzora refers to Moshiach; as our sages say: he bears our sicknesses.  The name of Moshiach in the time of exile is “Metzora”.  The opening words of this parsha, “This is the Torah of the metzora on the day of his purification”—the day of his purification, the day that his nega (skin lesion associated with tzora’as) is healed, meaning his condition when he is revealed and redeems the children of Israel in the true Geulah.

What is the connection?  Tazria is birth, meaning Geulah; metzora is one who needs to be brought to purification.  Seemingly, if the eternal Geulah is born, it is not related in any way to the state of a metzora, who is connected with exile.  However, the content of parshas Tazria is all about the various types of lesions of a metzora, a matter of exile.  And parshas Metzora teaches the laws of the purification of the metzora—the matter of Geulah.  Seemingly, it should be reversed.

Tzora’as—Illness After Completing Everything

The verse that begins to describe the illness of tzora’as states “A man who has a on the skin of his flesh…”  The word for man here is “Adam”, “Adam is a great level, the perfection of everything” (Zohar Tazria, 48a).  Although he has rectified everything, nonetheless, on the skin of his flesh the evil is still not refined, the waste material remains.  He has refined his nefesh and his body, only the ends of his garments are still not refined; but this is only an external matter.  [Let us recall that according to Chassidus the garments of the soul are thought, speech, and action.] This condition is not connected at all to the “essence” (etzem, atzmiyus) of the person, not even to his flesh which changes through eating and drinking.  It is only related to the skin which surrounds him externally.  And even this—there is a nega present on the skin (from the word “nogea”, meaning to touch—not even the skin itself is really affected).

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28 Nissan: Do All You Can to Bring Moshiach Into Reality!

What follows is from the “famous sicha of koach (28) Nissan”, which the Rebbe spoke after Maariv prayers to a small crowd in 770.  Although the words were–and remain–shocking, an attempt to shake Chassidim out of their complacency in golus, they would be followed by nearly a year of sichos containing some of the loftiest revelations, which are the subject of this website: the Dvar Malchus sichos of 5751-52.

The shliach and mashpia R’ Zalman שיחיה Liberow is fond of pointing out that although the Rebbe’s words are strong, disturbing, and sound almost as though the Rebbe “doesn’t know what to do with these people” (chas v’sholom), if we take a second look we find that the Rebbe says that he is doing “the only thing left to do”, which should give us tremendous encouragement! It means that literally there is nothing else that needs to be done (by the Rebbe) to bring Moshiach. If the Rebbe gives it over to us, it means that we have the power to do it! “Karov eleicha hadavar me’od.”

Perhaps it is worth noting that 28 Nissan is the 13th day in counting the Omer, Yesod sh’b’Gevurah. It is the day that the walls of Yericho, the first city conquered by Yehoshua bin Nun and the bnei Yisroel upon entering Eretz Yisroel. It is also the day (in 5714 [1954]) that the Rebbe taught the famous niggun of “Tzema Lecha Nafshi”, a niggun of longing for G-dly revelation. 


View the video with English subtitles:


A translation of part of the sicha:

Because of the unique stress on the Redemption in this time, an astonishing question arises: How is it possible that despite all these factors, Moshiach has not yet come? This is beyond all possible comprehension.

It is also beyond comprehension that when ten (and many times ten) Jews gather together at a time that is appropriate for the Redemption to come, they do not raise a clamor great enough to cause Moshiach to come immediately. They are, heaven forbid, able to accept the possibility that Moshiach will not arrive tonight, and even that he will not arrive tomorrow, or on the day after tomorrow, heaven forbid.

Even when people cry out “Ad mosai” — Until when will we remain in exile?’ they do so only because they were told to. If they had sincere intent and earnest desire, and cried out in truth, Moshiach would surely have come already.

What more can I do to motivate the entire Jewish people to clamor and cry out, and thus actually bring about the coming of Moshiach. All that has been done until now has been to no avail, for we are still in exile; moreover, we are in an inner exile in regard to our own service of G-d.

All that I can possibly do is to give the matter over to you. Now, do everything you can to bring Moshiach, here and now, immediately.

May it be G-d’s will that ultimately ten Jews will be found who are stubborn enough to resolve to secure G-d’s consent to actually bring about the true and ultimate Redemption, here and now immediately. Their stubborn resolve will surely evoke G-d’s favor, as reflected by the interpretation of the verse, “For they are a stiff necked people; You will pardon our sins and wrongdoings and make us Your possession.”

I have done whatever I can; from now on, you must do whatever you can. May it be G-d’s will that there will be one, two, or three among you who will appreciate what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, and may you actually be successful and bring about the true and complete Redemption. May this take place immediately, in a spirit of happiness and gladness of heart.