By the Grace of G-d
Motzoei Shabbos Kodesh,1
Vayakheil-Pekudei, 25 Adar
Mevorchim Chodesh Nissan,
Parshas HaChodesh, 5742
To the Sons and Daughters of
Our People Israel, Everywhere,
G-d bless you all!
Greeting and Blessing:
Coming from the days of Purim, we turn our attention to the preparations for Pesach; especially when it is already after Shabbos Mevorchim Chodesh Nissan, Shabbos Parshas HaChodesh, and one begins to feel the presence and influence of the spirit of the Korban-Pesach and Yetzias-Mitzraim, about which we read in the special Torah portion this Shabbos.
Our Sages of blessed memory connect6conneCt the Geulo of Purim with the Geulo of Pesach, although the two deliverances were quite different. Yet the two also have certain features in common. One of them is the emphatic imperative to remember and observe these days to all posterity. Thus, in regard to Pesach the Torah declares (in Parshas HaChodesh): “And this day shall be unto you for a remembrance... unto your generations.” Similarly, in regard to Purim it is written: “And these days shall be remembered and done in every generation and generation. “
It has often been emphasized that a remembrance in Torah, as in Jewish life in general, is not meant for the purpose of merely recalling an important event, and the like; but the real purpose of it is to learn” from the event that happened in the past12—to learn, especially, specific practical lessons13 for today and tomorrow.
In this respect, too, there are points of instruction that are common to Pesach and Purim, and one of these will be spotlighted here.
The Mitzva of Korban-Pesach14 required15 that every man individually take a lamb (or kid) for an offering, for himself and his — household. In complying with this Mitzva, each person, each family, each chavurah (group) acted as separate entities, distinct from the whole Jewish people — each a world in itself. But at the same time they were all unified16 within “the whole congregation of Israel” which had received the same Divine commandment, to carry out the same Mitzva, at the same time, in the same manner, as emphasized again: “The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel,”17 all unified in the performance of a Mitzva that is connected with Yetzias-Mitzraim18—the Geulo from the first Golus, when all Jews19 came out of the Golus together as one nation, and came out triumphantly;—20
The first Geulo which is also the harbinger21 of the ultimate and complete Geulo, the Geulo from the present and last Golus.22
Similarly it is underscored in the Megilah, which tells the story of the Miracle and Geulo of Purim, that even when Jews are in Golus, “scattered and dispersed among the nations,”23 every Jew a world unto himself — they remain, nevertheless, “one people”24 and “their laws (of the Torah, their way of life) are different from those of all other nations.”
And also in the observance of Purim there is a similarity to the Korban-Pesach, as noted above, requiring that every Jew, individually, hear the reading of the Megilah, send portions (mishlo’ach monos) every man to his friend, and give gifts to the poor,25 etc. But the intent (soul) of these Mitzvoth26 is to bring closer and unify27 all these individuals (“man,” and “friend,” the “poor”)28 as well as their children — “young and old, infants and women”29 — so that everyone can see that they are one people, whose unity is emphasized also earlier in the Megilah, as the first step toward the Geulo: “Go assemble together all the Jews.”30
It is in this way that we achieve (while still in Golus)31 the position that “For the Jews there is light, joy, gladness, and honor.”32
In the Torah itself — the Torah which is “our life33 and the length of our days” — the point that has been brought out above is emphasized most conspicuously: A Sefer Torah (scroll) is composed of hundreds of thousands of separate letters,34 each set apart35 from the other letters, but this is the way they constitute one Torah;36 and this one Torah is kosher and complete only then, when not a single letter37 is missing from it. In other words, on one single letter, any letter, the completeness of the whole Torah depends.
The practical instruction that follows from all the above an instruction that should permeate every detail of the daily life of every Jew, man and woman, is:
Every Jew is a complete world in himself38 and has a — G-d given task39 from the Creator-of-man; a task that has to task that has to be carried out in the fullest measure40 according to the capacities that have been given him.41 This task has to be carried out by each person himself, individually, without relying on someone else, or on Mal Yisrael, to carry out his task for him.
On the other hand, he must know that he is a part of the one people, composed of millions and millions of Jews (may their numbers increase), a nation blessed “as the stars of heaven for multitude.”42
In a deeper sense, moreover, it is a one people that is composed of all generations43 of Jews, from the time of Mattan-Torah to the end of time.
It is clear, therefore, that everyone’s task is an integral part of the whole community of Israel; and the good of the Mal outweighs personal considerations and personal interests.
It also follows that when a Jew acts for the benefit of the Mal, for the good of the one people that embraces all generations, he draws strength from the inexhaustible wellspring of the eternal people, and he is bound to succeed in this effort, and thereby also in all in his personal affairs, both material and spiritual.
May G-d grant that everyone, man and woman, should indeed be thoroughly permeated with the thought and remembrance, of both extremes: That he (she) is a complete world, which he (she) must make a true living Jewish world,44 and at the same time — a part of the one people comprising all generations, which gives each and every Jew, man, woman, and child, extraordinary capacities, coupled with an extraordinary privilege and responsibility toward Mal Yisrael; hence there is no room for being discouraged by any difficulties in carrying out one’s G-d-given task; all the more so, considering that the difficulties are all his, whereas the benefit is (also and especially) for Mal Yisrael; —
And the good works of every Jew individually, and of all Jews collectively, are assembled and unified, and being thus “all of us like one”45 brings the fulfillment of “Bless us, our Father, with the light of Your Countenance,” and the ultimate realization of “Hashem46 Elokim Tzvoos, return us, enlighten Your Countenance and we shall be delivered” — with the true and complete Geulo47 through Mashiach Tzidkeinu, very soon in our days.
With esteem and with blessing for
Hatzlocho in all above, including the preparations for the Festival of Our Freedom,
and with blessing for a
Kosher and joyous Pesach
/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/