Video Shiur: Re’eh 5751

Publicize That Moshiach is Coming Now

Chabadinfo.com Exclusive: In the Sicha of Parshas Re’eh 5751, the Rebbe speaks how we have to publicize to everyone that Moshiach is coming now. ● 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

 

Re’eh 5751: Publicize Geulah in Every Place

The name “Elul” famously stands for “Ani L‘dodi V‘dodi Li”, “I am for my Beloved, and my Beloved is for me”.  The first part of this verse, “I am for my Beloved”, refers to the avodah from below to Above, the second part (“and my Beloved is for me”) reflects the awakening from Above which follows.  In other words, in Elul we serve Hashem from our own power (taking a spiritual accounting, repenting for what is lacking, and making spiritual improvements) and this generates the Awakening from Above which are the lofty revelations of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

The Shelah writes that there is a connection between every parsha and the days when it comes out, meaning in our case a connection between parshas Re’eh and the month of Elul.  But whereas the emphasis in Elul is the avodah from below to Above, the very first verse of our parsha is the opposite: “See I am giving you today blessing”, from Above to below.  These are completely opposite?!  The Rebbe explains this seeming contradiction by first pointing out that although Elul is a month of avodah from below, but the initial letters of Elul include both aspects–below to Above (“I am for my Beloved”) and Above to below (“my Beloved is for me”).  More than that, the avodah of Elul itself includes both.  It is explained in Chassidus that in the month of Elul “the King is in the field”, meaning that there is a lofty–but hidden–revelation from Above which gives the potential to each and every Jew to bring himself, through his own effort from below, to be suitable to enter the King’s royal chambers on Rosh Hashanah.  Thus, the avodah of Elul is inclusive of both inyonim.

The Rebbe notes that:

The avodah of the person from below to Above (“I am for my Beloved”) is (not on a lower level, as implied by it coming from “below”, which is limited by the limitations and state of the person, but rather it is actually) a higher level (“Above”) which is above all limitation.  This is because as regards the true inner state of the Jew, the neshoma of the Jew, which is “truly a piece of G-dliness Above”, the level of Yechida, is in fact in a perfect state of unity with the Holy One, blessed be He.

All he needs to do is to reveal his true reality, that he is one with the Holy One, blessed be He.  This is accomplished by serving Hashem in a way which transcends limitation, avodah which comes from the essence of his existence, which is that he is one with the Holy One, blessed be He.  And because this is the essence of the existence of every Jew, it is relevant even at the beginning of his avodah.

Having said all that, the Rebbe proceeds to give “standing orders”:

It is incumbent to publicize and awaken in every place the avodah of Elul and, with particular emphasis, the inyan of Geulah, which in fact permeates all of this avodah.  All must be permeated and done with the spirit of the Geulah (including, and especially, through learning Torah on the subjects of Geulah and the Beis haMikdash), amidst anticipation and complete certainty that immediately we are seeing with fleshly eyes that “Behold, this one (Melech Hamoshiach) comes”.

Simply put: to proclaim and to publicize in every place — with words that come from the heart — that the Holy One, blessed be He says (through his servants the Prophets) to every single Jew “See, I am giving before you today blessing”, until that literally today mamash we see with fleshly eyes the blessing of the true and complete Geulah.

[And we should add and emphasize that this declaring and publicizing of the above must be also via those who claim that they still didn’t completely “get it”, meaning completely grasping and understanding in a conscious manner.  Since they also are complete in their belief, they are able (and thus, they must) publicize these things to others, beginning with their families (for surely they need not “suffer” from the fact that this matter is still not sitting well with him intellectually), and also all those who are found around him, every single Jew, and certainly through the proper effort the words will be accepted and will bring about the desired effect, including also in the one who is proclaiming and publicizing, that by him it will be internalized properly, etc.].

I have to proclaim and publicize even if I’m not completely with it?  Yes, even one who is not completely with it.

Perhaps if all of us took these words of the Rebbe seriously and acted on them properly, we would already see it with fleshly eyes.  It’s still not too late–“Today, if you will heed his voice“.

Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu, Melech Hamoshiach, l’olam vo’ed!

Video Shiur: Eikev, 5751

Moshiach: What Do We Have to Do?

Chabadinfo.com Exclusive: In the Sicha of Parshas Eikev, the Rebbe explains that the cheshbon tzedek of Elul is that Moshiach must come already ● 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

 

Ekev 5751: To Awaken Hashem to Bring the Geulah

This Shabbos blesses the upcoming month of Elul.  Elul is an acronym (rashei teivos) for “Ani leDodi v’Dodi Li“, which means “I am for my beloved, and my beloved is for me”.  First comes “I am for my beloved”, the effort that comes from below (from us towards Hashem), using our own powers (avodah b’koach atzmo).

This is related to the fundamental concept of creation: Hashem wants to give us the opportunity to earn our reward, to avoid the embarrassment of receiving “free bread” (nahma d’kisufa).  This requires not only that we do what we are supposed to do, but that we do it in a way of yegia, exertion, using our own powers.  And more than that, to go beyond what we are accustomed to do and serve Hashem with exceptional effort.  Through this (the effort of “Ani leDodi“) we cause the response: “v’Dodi li“, an awakening from Above and a drawing down from Above to below.

Not only is this a fundamental aspect of our task in life, it also applies even when a Yid has arrived at the end of his avodah (represented by Elul, the last of the months of the year).  Because in Elul we have both the “below to Above” and the resulting “Above to below”, and it is specifically when the Jew does the avodah from his own powers that it draws down from Above in a way that it is internalized (b’pnimiyus).  This is also hinted at in the final letter of the alef-beis, the letter Tav, which has a numerical value of 400 which alludes to the “400 shekel kesef” with which Avraham Avinu purchased the cave of Machpela to bury his wife Sara.  These 400 shekel represent, according to Chassidus, a powerful longing (“kesef”, silver, related to “kisufim”, longing) for Divine revelation.

Although the emphasis here is on our avodah from below, which is the avodah of the body, we really must have as well the avodah from Above which is the avodah of the neshoma.  The difference between them is that the avodah from below takes place in a measured way, an orderly progression from level to level.  In fact, even the revelation of the neshoma from Above must be according to the limitations of the body.  We cannot “overload the circuit” in our intense desire to reveal the neshoma, but rather the revelation of the neshoma occurs in accordance with the body’s ability to contain it.

Having said all that, the Rebbe proceeds to state that all which we have needed to do has been done.

The only thing which remains is – that the Holy One, blessed be He, will take out Bnei Yisroel from the golus and bring them to the Holy Land… and therefore Yidden request and shout again and again – and now even more powerfully than before – “Ad Mosai”?!  How much longer?!

The ultimate goal being the true and complete Geulah (from Above to below) which will arrive at a unification of both aspects, that the lowest thing – golus – will become Geulah – “gola” with the addition of an “alef”.  Even though the ultimate level comes from Above, and is dependent on Hashem, nonetheless the Geulah is in our hands:

A Yid has the power to awaken himself, and to awaken other Yidden, and mainly to awaken, so to speak, the Holy One, blessed be He….  A Yid receives (in this place [770] and in this time [the Rebbe’s farbrengen]) the greatest potential, and thus he has both the greatest merit and obligation to request and to shout to the Almighty: Ad Mosai”?!  How much longer?!…Since we have already finished all the matters of “our deeds and our work”, and consequently we are shouting and demanding  “Ad Mosai”.  Immediately the question is asked: since all the matters have already been accomplished – how could it be that Moshiach still didn’t come?!…

The Rebbe proceeds to answer his own question by saying that since Moshiach still hasn’t come, then there might be one more thing that needs to be done, possibly in the area of spreading Chassidus, since Moshiach told the Baal Shem Tov that he will come when the wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov spread forth.  Perhaps there is one more thing left to do, to reach those who are blind.  And this has been accomplished by the publication of the Tanya in Braille.  So since we did the last thing, Moshiach must come immediately.

Here we see clearly the Rebbe’s approach: everything has been done.  But if Moshiach still hasn’t been revealed, we have to try one more thing because maybe this will arouse Hashem to bring the Geulah.  And surely this final thing will bring Moshiach, for if not– Ad Mosai”?!  How much longer?!

 

Eikev 5751: Three Dimensions of Elul

The month of Elul is blessed on Shabbos parshas Eikev, and Chassidus expounds upon the name of this month as corresponding to the rashei teivos (initial letters) of the verse “Ani leDodi, v’Dodi Li” (“I am for my beloved, and my beloved is for me”, from Shir Hashirim 6:3).

This verse expresses two directions or dimensions in Divine service: “I am for my beloved”–the service initiated from below to Above; and the continuation and outcome of that: “and my beloved is for me”–the awakening from Above.  The Rebbe adds that since they are both hinted at in one word–Elul–this indicates a third dimension, the unification of these two types of Divine service.

To understand what these expressions mean:

“I am for my beloved” is the effort to serve Hashem that comes from the awakening of the G-dly soul as it is enclothed in an animal soul and physical body which conceal G-dliness, the effort “from below” to reach out to and come closer to G-d through overcoming obstacles to fulfilling Hashem’s will.

“My beloved is for me” is the response that comes from Above in recognition of the effort made from below, a bestowal from Above which enables the G-dly soul to serve Hashem in a way that transcends the limitations of this world.

These also indicate the Divine service of a Jew fueled by his G-dly soul as it is Above the world and transcends the limitations of the world, drawing down from Above to influence the body and animal soul; and the effort of the soul as it is “in the lower realms”, enclothed in the limitations of the body and animal soul, meeting the challenges head-on without the benefit of “revelations from Above”.

These proceed from one to the other.  First comes “I am for my beloved”, the effort from below to Above struggling with the limitations of this world.  This is the primary thing, for through this we create a dwelling place for Hashem in this lowly world (“dira lo yisborech b’tachtonim“), which is the original desire for which the world was created.

The power of Atzmus (“essence”) from the Yesh HoAmiti (“the true existence”) becomes revealed specifically in the Yesh Hanivra (“the created existence”)…

In other words, only in the darkest “tachtonim” can we reveal the power of Atzmus within our souls by clinging to and manifesting our belief in Hashem’s oneness and control over the world.  When this effort is successful, it elicits “my beloved is for me”, the bestowal from Above which endows the ability to transcend the darkness of the world and its limitations.

The ultimate level is the unification of both dimensions in the service of “Elul” which is to serve Hashem within the natural boundaries and dimensions of the world, but in a way that is empowered from Above to transcend and overcome them even as one is within them.  The created existence (“yesh hanivra”) becomes a “yesh hoAmiti”, a true and eternal existence.

And the main thing in all of this is the true and complete Geulah…And since everything that we needed to accomplish [in “tachtonim“] has already been accomplished, even “polishing the buttons”, then the only thing that remains is for the Almighty to take the Yidden out of golus and to bring them to the Holy Land…and therefore Yidden ask and cry out again again — and now more strongly than before — “Ad Mosai”?!

Eve of 11 Menachem Av, 5751

1. This year, the fast of Tishah B’Av was postponed and was held today, the tenth of Av. We have already recited the Minchah prayers, including the passage Nachaim (“Take comfort”).

That passage is recited in the afternoon service, because Moshiach “is born” Tishah B’Av afternoon; i.e., this is the time when “mazalo, his spiritual source, shines powerfully.” Each year for the past two thousand years, on Tishah B’Av afternoon, Moshiach receives new power and new strength, and from year to year, this influence grows more powerfully.

In essence, this took place on Shabbos, on the afternoon of Tishah B’Av itself. For although the fast of Tishah B’Av and the undesirable aspects associated with that day were postponed, there is no need to say that the positive aspects connected with that day are postponed. On the contrary, Shabbos surely enhances and amplifies these positive influences.1 And thus the potential for Moshiach was strengthened this year, even before the fast was begun.

This is particularly true since Shabbos is Shabbos Chazon, the Shabbos on which we are shown the Third Beis HaMikdash in all its beauty and splendor. Included in the Third Beis HaMikdash will also be the previous two,2 and the three Batei Mikdashos together create a chazakah, a sequence connected with strength and permanence which will bring out the positive nature of these Three Weeks.

On the surface, a sequence of three is a phenomenon which should exist only within holiness. To allow for free choice, however, G‑d granted the potential for this influence to be expressed in an undesirable fashion as reflected in the expression, “G‑d created the world in a manner, זה לעומת זה, this one opposite the other.”3

זה (“This one”) is numerically equivalent to twelve for the entire world is structured in a pattern of twelve as reflected in the twelve mazalos, (“heavenly sources of influences”). These mazalos parallel the twelve tribes of Israel, reflecting how the stars are used as an analogy for the Jews and emphasizing how the Jews dominate these sources of influence. And in regard to the Jews themselves “ain (אין) mazal liYisrael,” literally there is no mazal which controls the fate of the Jewish people. In a more homiletical sense, ayin (אין), transcendent G‑dliness, is the force which controls the Jews’ destiny.

And this is enhanced by our Minchah prayers. As explained in Chassidus,prayer represents “a redemption in microcosm” on the individual sphere, within a person’s soul and thus within the world at large. And may speaking of these matters bring the Redemption in macrocosm, the complete and total Redemption here in this lowly world.

In that Redemption (as opposed to the Return to Zion in the era of Ezra), the entire Jewish people will return to Eretz Yisrael. This includes the ingathering of exiles in our day (which is aided by the prayers of Rachel). And will also include the ingathering of the Jews who will be born in the future (for their birth will be hastened), and also the Jews of the previous generations; “Those that lie in the dust will arise and sing.”4

This is particularly true in the present year, a year when “I will show you wonders.” And it will be enhanced by the distribution of money to be given to tzedakah. Here too, we see a connection to the Redemption as emphasized by the closing verse of Shabbos’ Haftorah, “Zion will be redeemed by judgment and those who return to her, by tzedakah.

Had we merited, the complete and ultimate Redemption would have come even before Tishah B’Av. And then the tenth of Menachem Av5 would have been marked in a completely different manner. For whatever reason, a reason that cannot be understood, G‑d decided to hold back the Redemption, and thus the tenth of Av was associated with fasting, “And the tenth will be holy.” This will, however, be quickly followed by the singing of the tenth song, the song of the Redemption. May this be in the immediate future.

FOOTNOTES

1. The connection between Shabbos and the positive aspects affecting the Jewish people is reflected in our Sages’ statement that Shabbos and the Jews are a pair. I.e., each of the six preceding days found a complement in the day which either preceded or followed it. Shabbos had no complement and was therefore paired with the Jews who also have no complement; i.e., they cannot be paired with any other nation, nor even with G‑d’s ministering angels. (This is because everything in existence was created “for the sake of the Torah… and for the sake of the Jewish people.” Accordingly, there can be nothing in creation on the level of the Jews themselves.)

2. This is reflected in the association developed by Rashi in his commentary to Parshas Pekudei between the wordsMishkan, “sanctuary” and mashkon,“surety.” He explains that the first twoBatei Mikdashos were taken as “sureties” from the Jewish people. Sureties are, however, returned with the payment of the debt. So too, these Batei Mikdashos will be returned together with the Third Beis HaMikdash.

3. This also is associated with the possibility of the transformation of these negative influences into good. To borrow a concept, one’s intentional sins will be transformed into merits.

The three factors, the positive side, the negative side, and the transformation of the negative into the positive also represents a chazakah which is connected to the Third Beis HaMikdash.

4. Even those Jews who were not buried in Eretz Yisrael reach our Holy Land through underground channels. Thus, they are already there in Chebron together with the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, or in Jerusalem, or in other places there.

5.This implies that all the matters associated with Av are drawn down in a manner connected with Menachem,“comforting.”

 

Translation: SichosInEnglish

Video Shiur: Parshas Nachamu (Va’eschanan), 5751

Parshas Nachamu: ‘Nachamu Nachamu’ What is the Specialty?

Chabadinfo.com Exclusive: In the Sicha of Parshas V’Eschanon 5751, the Rebbe explains the significance of the Haftorah of Nachamu Nachamu ● 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