By the Grace of G-d
First Day of Parshas Vayehi Bayom Hashemini1
11th of Nissan,2 Nassi of Asher,3 5742.
To the Sons and Daughters of
Our People Israel, Everywhere,
G-d bless you all!
Greeting and Blessing:
With reference to the letter of Motzoei Shabbos Kodesh, Mevorchim Chodesh Nissan, and since it is already after4 Shabbos Hagadol,5 and we have entered the week in which we commence the celebration of the Festival of Matzos,6 the Festival of Our Freedom,7 it is surely the right time to reflect more deeply on the various aspects of Pesach in general, including the points that have been touched upon in the said letter, at any rate, on several of them —
Beginning with the central point, that the Exodus from Egypt, i.e. the Geulo from the Golus in Mitzraim, is connected with the Geulo from the present Golus, and as it is written: “As in the days of your going out from the land of Mitzraim I will show you wonders”8 — meaning that Hashem assures the Jewish people that just as it was in the days of the Exodus from Mitzraim, so will He show wonders at the last Geulo,9 the true and complete Geulo through Mashiach Tzidkeinu. In this connection, our Sages declare:10 “In Nissan they were redeemed, and in Nissan they will be redeemed in the future.”
They also declared” that the wonders of the final redemption will even surpass the wonders of Yetzias Mitzraim.
The question has been asked,12 Why does it say “In the days of the Exodus,” in the plural, being that the Exodus from Mitzraim took place in one day, as it is also written in connection with the Mitzvah of remembering Yetzias Mitzraim: “Remember this day in which you went out of Mitzraim,”13 in the singular?
One of the explanations is that as from the day on which the Jewish people came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage,14 they were taken out forever of the category15 of slavery, transposed into a new category, that of free men. However, the transition from slavery to freedom is not a onetime happening, but a continuous process. It demands frequent and constant reflection so as to experience once again, in a personal way, the coming out from slavery into freedom, and to make the proper conclusions therefrom, conclusions that have to be expressed not only in thought and in words, but especially in a deep penetrating feeling which permeates the whole being, down to actions, to a corresponding conduct in all details and aspects of the everyday life.
Hence, although the Exodus from Mitzraim — of each and every Jew, together with their possessions, etc. — took place in one day, the true liberation, the spiritual liberation, including also from all constraints and limitations,16 is something that is accomplished through daily reflection and remembrance, as it is written,17 “In every generation, and in every day,18 a Jew should consider himself as though he personally came out this day from Mitzraim.” This is in keeping with the obligation to remember and mention Yetzias Mitzraim every day,19 and in a manner in which a remembrance in Torah has to be observed, namely, “Remembered and done,”20 as has often been emphasized, also in the said letter.
A noteworthy point that is common to both the Geulo from Mitzraim and the future Geulo that we expect imminently is that in both cases the subject is the Geulo of the entire Jewish people:21 Just as at the Exodus from Mitzraim not a single Jew remained in Golus there, so also the coming Geulo, when Mashiach Tzidkeinu will take us out from the present Golus, not a single Jew, man, woman and child will remain in Golus.
And from the Geulo of the Klal (community) to the Geulo of the Prat,22 the individual Jew — though as explained23 the individual is also a Klal, a complete world in himself;24 consisting of a soul and a body, with a variety of capacities, spiritual and physical, revealed and concealed, which express themselves in thoughts, words, and deeds — not a single particular aspect of each individual will remain in Golus, and he will be in a state of true and complete freedom in all details and aspects;
This coming complete Geulo, both of the Mal and of the Prat, being dependent upon our “actions and our service”25 — the actions and Divine service of each and all Jews during the period of the Golus, especially in the last period of it just before Mashiach’s arrival. And since there is always the promise of G-d’s help26 whenever a person is determined to do a good thing, and, moreover, G-d provides him with the necessary strength to carry it out — how much more so during the period when we are truly approaching the days of “I will show you wonders,” wonders also in the manner and measure of G-d’s help.
A further point that is found both in the Geulo from Mitzraim and in the coming Geulo is in the striving and action incumbent upon every Jew in carrying out his (her) G-d-given task in the fullest measure — both as an individual, who is a complete world in himself, and as a part of the whole Jewish people, the eternal people that is composed of all generations of Jews to the end of time, as discussed more fully in the letter of Motzoei Shabbos Kodesh, Mevorchim Chodesh Nissan. In regard to this there are different times: there are times when the accent in more on his activity as an individual, and there are times when the emphasis is more on his activity as part of the Tzibbur (community).
In general, in the case of Yetzias Mitzraim the emphasis is more on the community, namely, the Jews as a nation of Tzivos Hashem (the Army of G-d);27 although at the beginning of the Golus in Mitzraim as well as after Yetzias Mitzraim, and Mattan Torah, we find an emphasis on the division of Jews into separate families, tribes, “banners,” into Kohanim, Leviim and Yisre’elim, and in all of them a subdivision into ten categories: Heads, etc. down to your waterdrawer.”28
So also in regard to the coming Geulo the emphasis is on uniting and unifying every Jew with all other Jews and with all of Mal Yisrael, as is also underscored in the verse: “A great kohol (community) shall return hither,”29 and as our Sages declare in Midrash:30 “The people of Israel shall be redeemed only when they become one union.”
The instruction from the above, in practical terms, since action is the essential thing,”31 is that to the extent that “our actions and our service” directly pertain to the coming Geulo Sheleimo, every Jew should be permeated with striving and actions that concentrate on bringing out and revealing how all Jews truly constitute one people even while “scattered and dispersed among the nations;”32nationS;”32 the one people that is designated as “one people on earth,”33 meaning that their oneness finds expression not only in spiritual matters, such as when praying in congregation, or studying Torah together, and the like, but also in material and “earthly” things, like eating and drinking, business and earning a living, etc. so that; “in all your things and in all your ways”34 it is seen that it is one people, since everything is done by all in accordance with the one Torah, the one and the same Torah for all Jews. Then. Far from being disunited by the diversification of Jews into different categories, from “Your heads” to your water drawer” — diversity is utilized, on the contrary, to complete and fulfill each other,35 each group completing the others and each individual completing the other individuals, to the mutual advantage and benefit of all. This brings out the completeness of every Jew as one individual, a complete world, together with the completeness of the one people, and in the fullest measure for both — which, as indicated above, is an essential preparation and precondition for the Complete Geulo which is now imminent.
The above point is also underscored right at the beginning of the festival, Chag HaMatzos, namely at the Pesach Seder, which is associated with eating (Matzah) and drinking (four cups of wine) and a major portion of the Haggadah has been dedicated for the benefit of the “Four Sons36 of SonS36of whom the Torah speaks in this connection.” The Seder calls for gathering together all the children at the Seder table to celebrate the Seder with them in the proper manner. Thus, though they were previously separated into four different and very diverse categories: “one who is wise,” etc., each of them a distinct “one,” distinguishable by his conduct, etc., yet after they become involved in the same Seder celebration, and they are told about the significance of Pesach, Matzah and Moror,37 and the meaning of being liberated from slavery into freedom38 — erstwhile separateness vanishes, and the different individuals become all one, and finally they all conclude the Seder with the same exclamation, which is sounded in a loud and clear voice, with inspiration and joy, reaffirming our complete trust in the Divine promise: L’shono habo’oh biYerushalayim! — “Next year in Jerusalem.”
This is not in contradiction, G-d forbid, to our daily reaffirmation, “Each day I wait for him39 (Mashiach Tzidkeinu)”, because what the above exclamation means40 is that the next Seder will be celebrated by us as pilgrims to Jerusalem the Holy City and the Beis HaMikdash, “the Sanctuary which You, O L-rd, have established,”41 referring to the Third Beis HaMikdash, which Hashem Himself42 will restore imminently, indeed even immediately, after this “(each) day.”
Then everyone will see eye to eye that “I43 am Hashem your G-d who brought you out, elevated you of the land of Mitzraim; open your mouth wide and I will fill it” — the same G-d who will show you wonders at the coming and final Geulo, and will fulfill all the requests and needs of each and all Jews, and in a “wide open”44 (lavish) manner, in all three general areas: (Nachas from) children, health, and ample sustenance, which will be most generously bestowed, because — ”Hashem Tzvo’os will enlighten His face to you.”45
And as it is written in the concluding verse of this Psalm:46 “And He feeds him the fat of wheat (symbolizing all necessities of life) and with honey (symbolizing all sorts of delights) He satisfies him to the full,”
In keeping with the Divine promise: “As in the days of your coming out of the land of Mitzraim I will show you wonders,” at the true and complete Geulo very soon indeed.
With esteem and blessing for a
Kosher and joyous Pesach,
Festival of Our Freedom
/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/