1. In connection with what was said on Motzaei Simchas Torah...
Shabbos Bereishis is the culmination of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah and the festivals preceding them. This has been stated in one of the printed letters of the leader of our generation, the [previous) Rebbe.3 It is therefore fitting that this present talk be in a manner which will allow us to communicate simultaneously with even [physically] distant places, thereby effecting a bond and unity amongst all those listening to these words, as was explained at length on Motzaei Simchas Torah.
Also, since the passage “and Yaakov went on his way” as it pertains to Motzaei Shabbos Bereishis indicates a parting of the ways (at least superficially], each one to his set task, with greater intensity than on Motzaei Simchas Torah (as will shortly be explained] — therefore it is now of great concern to stress the inherent unity and bond existing among all Jews.
2. As discussed once at length — the process of “and Yaakov went on his way” (which begins after Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur when each and every Jew is inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year) is an expression of two extremes: On the one hand, “Yaakov went on his way” refers to every Jew going on his separate way, i.e. to all the mundane aspects of day to day life which comprise his world and with which he occupies himself in order to transform them into a dwelling place for the Almighty, Blessed be He — this being accomplished by ensuring that “all your actions do for the sake of Heaven”4 and to “Know Him in all your ways”.5 In this aspect each Jew is distinct from [and should be distinct from] every other Jew.
On the other hand, referring as it does to the Jewish people as Yaakov (in the singular form),6 “and Yaakov went on his way” stresses that all Jews, notwithstanding their superficial differences, are “One People”.
In truth, “and Yaakov went on his way” comprises many levels in reference to different times, beginning with Motzaei Yom Kippur.
During the “ten days of Teshuvah” (occurring between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur], even though there are certain spiritual tasks which separate the heads of the tribes from the wood-choppers and water-carriers, nevertheless on Rosh Hashanah it is said that “Today you stand firmly ...all of you together”, i.e. all the ten types of Jews from the “heads of the tribes” to the “water-carriers” area together, all united as one.
Similarly (but not exactly so), .does this unity prevail in the days following Rosh Hashanah until we reach Yom Kippur.
On Yom Kippur, which is the one “unique time” of the year, when the specified service must be performed in the Holy of Holies [unique in space) by the Cohen Gadol [unique in Soul7) who alone can accomplish what is necessary — then all Jews become bound together in a complete and unique bond of unity.
Arriving at Motzaei Yom Kippur however, we see that the Jewish people begin to go their separate ways each one busying himself with preparing his own Sukkah8 and procuring his own Four Species [as it says “and take for yourself your own...”) At this point the process of “and Yaakov went on his way” begins, as we find stated in the Torah teachings of our Rabbis and leaders.
3. The second level in the process of “Yaakov went on his way” is reached on Motzaei Simchas Torah, and not until then, for during the four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkos “all Jews are occupied with Mitzvos,”9 and therefore they are all united since all mitzvos originate from one source — the Will of the Divine Mover.
This is particularly evident considering that the mitzvos with which all Jews occupy themselves during these days i.e. the Sukkah and the Four Species — specifically convey the idea of unity (as previously mentioned10.). Concerning the Sukkah it is stated “It is fitting that all of Israel dwell together in one Sukkah.”11 Regarding the mitzvah of taking the Four Species which, in addition to the unity symbolized in each species, consists of bringing together all of the Four Species, symbolizing the four different types of Jews12 and their forming one Union — “and they shell form one union to do Your Will wholeheartedly.” It is precisely when “all of you” are present [including those ,Jews who are symbolized by the willow which has neither taste nor fragrance — for the fulfillment of the mitzvah “taking for yourselves” requires the willow just as much as the esrog), on the level of “one union”, then one can begin to “fulfill Your Will wholeheartedly.”)
So too, concerning the days of Sukkos, called the “Festival of Joy”, since13 at this time G-dliness stands openly revealed; and moreover the days of Sukkos involve a double joy, for at this time “G-d will rejoice in His creatures” and “Israel will rejoice in their Maker”.
Thus, how much more so during Simchas Torah and Shemini Atzeres when in addition to the “Festival of Joy” and “the time of our rejoicing,”14 there is a more profound unification and lack of division than at Sukkos time. As our Sages o.b.m.15 have pointed out — the unity expressed by the Holy Day offering of “one bullock” demonstrates that Jews are a “unique people” [i.e. not merely “one”, but “unique”16] and moreover their unity negates all sense of “[How hard for Me is) your parting”17 after Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah.18
This complete negation of division and disunity of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah also expresses itself in the manner of rejoicing, namely, dancing with our feet, — wherein we find an absolute equality amongst all Jews from the heads of the tribes to the wood-choppers and water-carriers.
[Indeed, in this is expressed a great quality of the Jews — that they can be likened to “feet” — for as it is with dancing in the plain sense, so too only through the “feet” dancing can the “heads” be raised and begin to dance.)
From this is clearly understood that despite the dispersion of the Jews in different lands, when a Jew in the diaspora celebrates Simchas Torah while another Jew celebrates it in the Holy Land [may it speedily be rebuilt], this “other” Jew is not separate, but they are both part of a “unique people”, as the dancing clearly demonstrates.
After Simchas Torah. upon leaving the joy and holiness of “the time of our rejoicing” and entering the week-days of the year, it becomes necessary for us to stress once again the concept of unity; and that unity which Jews enjoy during Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah should be drawn down in a recognizable fashion into the rest of the year.
This is precisely one of the reasons for the custom of publicly announcing on Motzaei Simchas Torah “and Yaakov went on his way” — to emphasize [and give the capability) to every Jew now going “on his way, i.e. encountering the world, to singularly perform the task of drawing unity into this world19 and thereby clearly demonstrating that the Jews are a “unique people in the world”20 [This is not the case on Motzaei Yom Kippur when “his way” refers solely to mitzvos]
4. Even so, the relevance of its lesson on Motzaei Simchas Torah, which is certainly to underscore the concept of unity, is not as emphatic as on Motzaei Shabbos Bereishis.
Since Shabbos is the culmination (in every sense of the word) of the six days preceding it, naturally the spiritual progress accomplished on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, projecting well into the days after these Holy Days, includes Shabbos Bereishis as their natural culmination. To be more correct; during Shabbos Bereishis the thematic consequences of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah reach to their highest degree of perfection. Even though week-days do intervene between Motzaei Simchas Torah and Shabbos Bereishis, nevertheless in all actuality we do not experience any week-day feelings until after Shabbos Bereishis since the day immediately following Simchas Torah is “Isru Chag” [“the day after the festival”] and then as Shabbos Bereishis approaches we are busily arranging and preparing for it. In general, during these days one is still saturated with the festive feeling of Sukkos, and in particular, Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah-]
Therefore Motzaei Shabbos Bereishis when we finally begin to feel the week-day feeling of the rest of the year, it becomes even more important to note [again) the lesson of “and Yaakov went on his way” (on all the levels of thought, speech, and action, with action being the key]; for even though each Jew has a special purpose and mission to accomplish with his own particular share in this world — to make it a “home for the Almighty, Blessed be He”21 — nevertheless “and Yaakov went on his way” is written in the singular form to indicate that all Jews are united by this one intention. This affirms (as previously explained22 the emphasis on permeating every day of the year with the feeling of just having experienced Shemini Atzeres the “one day” in which the Jewish people are shown to be a “unique nation”.
5. It was once explained at length that in addition to the lesson contained in the entire phrase “and Yaakov went on his way”, there is also a lesson implicit in each individual word of the phrase; a lesson both fundamental and wondrous.
Yaakov, the name of all Jews, is not a name of valor — unlike Yisrael which embodies the passage “for you fought with angels and men, and you were triumphant.”23 On the contrary, Yaakov derives etymologically from “ekev” — “a heel”. Furthermore, Yaakov was so named because “his hand gripped Esau’s heel.”24 The name Yaakov therefore describes the Jew as he deals with [and “grips onto”] worldly matters — “the inheritance of the nations”25 (referring to Esau’s descendants) — in order to transform into “the estate of Yaakov”.
At first glance, the Jew thus occupied seems to be functioning on a lower level, and yet, only here can he attain perfection.
Each Jew comprises a whole world26 and what is true of the world in general, applies to him as well. Concerning the Creation of this material world it is said, “G-d desired a dwelling place amidst the lowly”, meaning, as the Alter Rebbe explains27 that the ultimate purpose in Creation is not fulfilled in the exalted spiritual worlds, but rather in this material world which is the very lowest form of existence. So too in the microcosm, every Jew fulfills his ultimate purpose when utilizing the very lowest of his abilities.
This idea is also expressed in the letters of the name Yaakov, which begins with the letter yud, representing the Yud in the Divine Name HaVaYeH.28
[Also, in the Name HaVaYeH, which is called “the Explicit Name,”29 “G-d’s Essential Name”, and the “Name Unified with His One-ness,” the Yud is the core — so much so, that as explained in Shaar haYichud veHaEmmuna, the Yud transcends all division, even the order of Division existing in the Divine Name.)
This is also expressed in the Point of the Yud, which exists above all form and transcends even the form of the letter Yud itself.
The letters of the name Yaakov therefore indicate that as the Yud, and the Point of the Yud, are drawn down to the level of “ekev” — “a heel” — and unite with it in comprising the whole name, so too the “heel” — one’s lowest powers — unites with the Yud even to the degree of the Point of the Yud — one’s highest powers imaginable.
Furthermore the letter Yud comes at the “head” of the name (being its first letter). Just as the head contains the life force of all the different limbs of the body, and thereby dictates and co-ordinates their actions even though they are each a “separate entity”, so too it is with the yud of Yaakov, that: 1] the yud includes the “heel”; and 2] even as it stands apart from the rest, (i.e. the letters “ekev” are readily apparent in the name Yaakov as forming the greatest portion of the word and comprising the main etymological reason for the name], the “heel” is nevertheless controlled by the yud, and the point of the yud.
The lesson implied in the word “went” is that not only should one constantly serve G-d, but one should always be “going”, i.e. rising higher, in this service.
Furthermore, since the word “went” is stated in the Torah of Truth it indicates “going” in the true sense of the word, which means completely leaving one’s original level, so that the level to which one rises is totally incomparable to that original level. (For as long as the new level he attains is comparable to the original one, he has not completely left behind his original position, and would therefore be described as “standing”.)
7. “on his way”
The true value of a road (“way”) is that it links the most far-flung corner of the king’s realm to the capital, even more — to the royal palace, and still more — to the king’s private chambers.
So it is too with the “way” on which “Yaakov” sets out. Although after Shabbos Bereishis a Jew departs from the festivals of the month of Tishrei and enters the world of mundane, weekday occupations (as explained in Sec. 4), yet he does this in a manner described as “going on his way”; that is he forms a way which links his ordinary actions to the chambers of the King of Kings. Thereby there is realized in all of his affairs a dwelling place for the Essence of G-d. Therein also lies the reason for emphasizing that Yaakov set out on his way. It indicates that the way on which a Jew travels during the entire year is his way — the unique way of a Jew, who wishes (as the Rambam specifically rules) to fulfill G-d’s Will — the desire “to have a dwelling place among the lowly”. This means that even the most insignificant aspect in the chain-like descent of Creation (i.e. the mundane material affairs occupying the least important level in the material world, which is itself the lowest form of existence] is linked to G-d, and it too become His dwelling place.
8. The power of the Jew to form this “way” (linking the lowliest with the King’s chamber] derives from the Torah. As is well known Israel and G-d become One through Torah. This idea is also reflected in the Aramaic word for Torah — “Oraisa” — which is a composite of two words, “Or” and “Yaisa”, meaning “light comes”.
This light refers to the Divine Light hidden in Torah — the light created on the first day; the light which G-d separated for Himself and then hid; for it is a light revealing G-d’s Essence, and thus, far too exalted to illuminate this world.
It also refers to the Divine Light as it is yet contained in its source, not yet existing independently as light, but as the Source of Light, as explained in Shaar haYichud veHaEmmuna. Moreover, even that Light as it is contained in the very Essence of G-d Himself is to be found in the Torah; and through Torah, “light comes”. Torah transmits light into every detail of the most remote corner of “Space, Time, and Soul”.
9. Since the main thing is to enact the deed, let us now draw practical conclusions from what was said above, namely, dedicating ourselves to spreading Torah and Judaism everywhere, even in the most remote corners of the world.
Let us begin with general matters, which include learning the well known daily lessons of Chumash, Tehillim, and Tanya; and giving charity daily. [This can be accomplished by contributing to the “Keren Hashanah” which distributes charity daily on the behalf of the donor, or by any other means.]
Obviously also included are the well known Mitzvah Campaigns; beginning with the campaign for Ahavas Yisrael (To love a Fellow Jew] which emphasizes the unity of the Jewish people, as explained in Tanya, Chapter “Lev” [Ch.32].
This will then be applied in the campaign to ensure that every Jewish child receives a Torah-true education; the campaign for Torah study; the Tefillin campaign; the Tzedakah campaign; and to see every Jewish home is full of Holy Books — “Yavneh and its Sages”.
Also those precepts which are especially pertinent to Jewish women and Jewish daughters, each of whom is a foundation of her own home, and who collectively form the foundation of the House of Israel [who are in turn called the “wife” and foundation of G-d’s “Home”, namely: the campaign for lighting candles on Shabbos and Holy Days, the campaign for eating and drinking Kosher food, and the campaign for Family Purity.
Activity in these “Mivtzoim”, especially the campaign for Family Purity, will intensify the hastening of the fulfillment of G-d’s promise, “and I will sprinkle waters of Purity upon you, and you will be purified” which will speedily take place with the true and complete Redemption, through our Righteous Mashiach.
10. Another important point pertaining to what was said above:
The job of spreading Torah and Judaism to the far-flung corners of the world must be accomplished joyfully and gladly. For although we are yet in exile...
[G-d forbid that we declare the beginning of the Redemption. The Rambam rules explicitly [without being contradicted by his commentators, who thereby show their agreement in this] that the beginning of the Redemption will occur only after Mashiach’s coming, and will be acheived only by Mashiach, and only after “he will compel all of Israel to go in the Torah’s ways; and will strengthen observance of Torah Law; and will fight G-d’s war”, and after “he has rebuilt the Temple in its place”.]
...and we are experiencing the period of exile which, although close on the heels of Mashiach, is the time of “double and redoubled darkness” — yet we have the G-d-given mission [and ability] to spread Torah and Judaism, and have been promised that our efforts will bring an end to the exile. This good news must serve to infuse life and joy into all our activities...
[As it is written of Yaakov, whose soul contains all souls, that even as he traveled to Choron — that place which, through the evil deeds of its inhabitants, aroused G-d’s anger [i.e. “choron of”] with the world — yet “Yaakov lifted his feet”, for “after having been foretold glad tidings..his heart caused his feet to lift, and his step became lighter”.]
...for joy expresses itself through alacrity and wonderful enthusiasm in all one’s actions. This zeal will, in turn, hasten in a phenomenal way the beginning of the Redemption, and will also spark “haste” in the “hastiness of the Complete Redemption.”
And very soon, speedily in our times, the true, complete Redemption will happen through our Righteous Mashiach, as he comes to redeem us and lead us proudly to our land.
11. Discourse: “In the Beginning G-d created etc.”
12. As we have often noted, everything which Rashi brings in his commentary to the Torah, even when he quotes Midrashic interpretations of our Sages o.b.m., are words brought to explain the plain meaning of the text. Rashi himself states on many occasions “I have come only to explain the simple meaning of the text” so that it can even be understood by a five year old Torah student.
Now, included in Rashi’s Commentary is a certain reply to the nations who argue, “You Jews are thieves, for you have conquered the lands of the seven nations.” The reply is that “the entire earth belongs to G-d; by His Will He gave it to them, and by His Will He took it from them and gave it to us.” This reply, in keeping with Rashi’s own rules of inclusion, can be grasped by even a five year old.
Furthermore: Rashi intends these words as an actual reply to the nations. He says, “If the nations will say to Israel,.. etc... let them reply-etc..”. He means then if we were actually to declare this to the nations of the world, stating the unadulterated facts in no uncertain terms, just as they are recorded in the Torah of Truth, the nations would certainly acknowledge the veracity of it to the extent that they would voluntarily fulfill “yielding to them [Israel] the inheritance of the nations”, knowing that they will thereby attain greatness and importance for themselves. The passage, “Kings shall be thy chancellors, and their queens thy nursing mothers” will be fulfilled, for even the leaders of the nations [kings and queens] will plead for favor in serving as “chancellors and nursing mothers”, and this will be their greatest pride.
13. We see that although Jews have replied to the nations in the manner mentioned by Rashi, yet they [the nations] have stubbornly held onto their claim “You are thieves”. This stems either from the fact that the reply was made with too little conviction, or, for whatever reason, the reply has not yet reached the “Heavenly minister” of that nation.
It is however a foregone conclusion that since the reply was presented in answer to the nations, ultimately it will reach their Heavenly ministers with resounding force. From above,[where the inherent truth of this reply must be acknowledged even though it may not have been stated with conviction], there will accordingly descend into the hearts of kings and rulers [with or without their conscious acquiescence] the decided opinion that everything bounded by the Land of Israel does in fact belong to the Jewish people.
The only requirement for all of this to be realized is the determination on the part of the Jews to be firm in their claim to the entire land, together with a firm stance on complete Torah observance and on purity of Jewish nationhood.
14. Obviously we cannot delay action until the time everyone possesses such determination. We can, however, avail ourselves of the Torah ruling that the world is judged according to the behavior of the majority, and, that the world stands in a perfect balance between good and evil. Since the Torah of Truth commands a Jew to regard the world as being perfectly balanced — it must be that this is truly so, i.e. every moment of the year each person and the entire world hang in perfect balance. Therefore, the Law is clear: A good deed of a Jew, whether in action, speech, or thought, tips his personal balance towards good and the larger balance of the entire world with it: he brings salvation to himself and for the entire world.
15. May it be G-d’s Will that all of what was previously said concerning good deeds in action, speech, and thought [beginning with the general categories and campaigns mentioned in Sec.9] increase in ever expanding and more brightly shining degrees.
The [Previous] Rebbe writes in his letter  that Shabbos Bereishis should not only be a conclusion to the preceding festivals, but should also add something to them. The Rebbe continues that, amazingly enough, this addition must derive from “the light created on the first day of Creation”.
This clearly indicates that during Shabbos Bereishis even the simplest Jew is granted the ability to achieve [through even one good deed] an increase in “good light”, which will then extend throughout the entire year, causing it to shine so that it becomes a year of light; a year filled with all the blessings expressed by all the letters of the Aleph-bais, from the aleph of “Orah” [light] to the tof of Torah.
Then there will arise the greatest campaign of all — making this a Year of Redemption — the true and complete Redemption as it will be achieved by our Righteous Mashiach, may he come speedily.
16. Since everything discussed should be actualized in physical terms, it would be very appropriate, especially on this post-Shabbos Bereishis night, to conduct a Melava-Malka meal, which is called “the Feast of King David, the Mashiach.” May this cause to bind the Redemption to the physical world and bring Mashiach joyfully and glad-heartedly to reveal himself and lead us proudly to our Land very, very soon.