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Publisher’s Foreword

Shabbos Parshas Bechukosai
17th Day of Iyar, 5744

Lag B’Omer, 5744
— Address To Parade —

Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar
24th Day of Iyar, 5744

Pirkei Avos
Chapter 5 Mishnah 12

Convention of N’shei Ubnos Chabad
25th Day of Iyar, 5744

Tzivos Hashem
27th Day of Iyar, 5744

Shabbos Parshas Nasso
2nd Day of Sivan, 5744

Erev Shavuos, 5744

2nd Day of Shavuos, 5744

Yechidus
Eve of 11th of Sivan, 5744

Yechidus to Bar Mitzvah Boys & Their Parents

Yechidus to Chassanim & Kallos

Eve of 12th of Sivan, 5744

Graduates of Bais Rivka,
20th Day of Sivan, 5744

Shabbos Parshas Korach,
23rd Day of Sivan, 5744

Shabbos Parshas Chukas
1st Day of Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 5744

Shabbos Parshas Balak
7th Day of Tammuz, 5744

Pirkei Avos,
Chapter 5 Mishnah 9

12th Day of Tammuz, 5744

Sichos In English
Excerpts of Sichos delivered by The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
Vol. 21 — Iyar-Tammuz, 5744


Eve of 12th of Sivan, 5744

Published and copyright © by Sichos In English
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  Yechidus to Chassanim & KallosGraduates of Bais Rivka,
20th Day of Sivan, 5744
 

1. The twelfth of Sivan is the last of the supplementary days to Shavuos. If a person did not bring the festival sacrifice on Shavuos itself, he had until the 12th of Sivan to do so. In the words of the Alter Rebbe concerning those days in which tachanun is not recited: “From Rosh Chodesh Sivan until and including the twelfth of the month, i.e., five days after Shavuos — for the festival [sacrifices] may be supplemented all seven [days — i.e., starting from the first day of Shavuos (6th of Sivan) through the 12th; 7 days in all].

The Alter Rebbe specifically writes “until and including the twelfth of the month,” and is not content with writing only “the festival [sacrifices] may be supplemented all seven [days]” -which seemingly automatically tells us that the sacrifices may be offered until the 12th — for he wishes to specifically exclude the opinion that tachanun is omitted also on the thirteenth of Sivan, because a doubt of that day’s status. [That is, in the times when Rosh Chodesh was established by visual observation by the court in Yerushalayim, messengers were unable to reach places outside Eretz Yisrael to inform them when was Rosh Chodesh, in time for them to know when Yom Tov would be. Thus they kept a second day of Yom Tov out of doubt of that day’s status — if it was Yom Tov or not (e.g. Pesach could be the 15th or the 16th of Nissan). The same reasoning would apply to the thirteenth of Sivan — that there is a possibility that the 13th is really the seventh day after the Yom Tov of Shavuos (if Yom Tov was really the seventh of Sivan, not the sixth). Thus, there is an opinion that tachanun should not be recited on the thirteenth out of doubt of that day’s status].

The Alter Rebbe, however, is of the opinion that tachanun is recited on the thirteenth of Sivan, for the whole concept of supplementary days to Shavuos is only for the sacrifices — and there is no doubt of the day’s status concerning sacrifices (since the sacrifices were offered in the Bais HaMikdash, where there was no doubt as to when Yom Tov really was).

But now, the question is: If there is no doubt of the day’s status concerning sacrifices, what reason can there be for the opinion that we do not recite tachanun on the thirteenth?

We will understand the reason by first exploring the idea of a second day Yom Tov on Shavuos. As-noted above, a second day Yom Tov was observed outside Eretz Yisrael because the residents of those places did not know when exactly was Rosh Chodesh and therefore when was Yom Tov, and hence kp.J~[6] t.-two days out- of doubt. But this reassuring does not apply to the Yom Tov of Shavuos. The date when this Yom Tov is observed does not depend on when Rosh Chodesh Sivan is; it is the fiftieth day after Pesach. In the words of the Alter Rebbe:

“Scripture did not fix this festival on the day of Matan Torah, nor on a date of the month, but on the fiftieth day of the Omer.” During this fifty day period, there was enough time for all places to know when Pesach was (which was fixed according to when was Rosh Chodesh Nissan). Thus there was no doubt as to which day was Shavuos. The only reason there is a second day of Shavuos is “so as not to differentiate between festivals.”

The second day of Yom Tov of the other festivals, in other words, is observed only out of doubt; that of Shavuos falls in the category of absolute certainty — an absolute enactment of the Rabbis “not to differentiate between festivals.” Because of this extra severity in the second day of Shavuos, one may maintain that the supplementary days of Shavuos extend to the 13th of Sivan, seven days from the second day of Shavuos. Nevertheless, the Alter Rebbe is of the opinion that these days extend only through the 12th of Sivan.

The supplementary days to Shavuos exist not just for the sacrifices, but also for the fact that Shavuos is the “Season of the Giving of our Torah.” The Torah was given on the sixth of Sivan. In the times when Rosh Chodesh was determined by visual testimony, Shavuos did not necessarily fall out on the sixth of Sivan, but “sometimes on the fifth, sometimes on the sixth, and sometimes on the seventh” (Rosh Hashanah 6b) — for, as noted above, Shavuos is determined as the fiftieth’ day of the Omer. [Hence, if the months of Nissan and Iyar are both full (containing 30 days), Shavuos, the 50th day from the second day of Pesach (from ~z~ .-we-start counting the Omer) is on the 5th-of Sivan; if both months are short (containing 29 days), Shavuos is on the seventh; if one is full and one is short, Shavuos is on the sixth.] Thus the festival of Shavuos and the Season of the Giving of our Torah are two separate concepts. Nevertheless, Rambam rules that “on the festival of Shavuos one says ‘this festival of holy assembly, this festival of Shavuos, the Season of the Giving of our Torah”’ — indicating that Shavuos and the Season of the Giving of our Torah are the same. Similarly, the Alter Rebbe, after writing that “Scripture does not fix this festival on the day of Matan Torah” (as quoted above), concludes that “we nevertheless say ‘the Season of the Giving of our Torah’ on the 50th day of the Omer, since for us it (Shavuos) is on the sixth of Sivan, and on the sixth of Sivan the Torah was given.”

Since Shavuos is the “Season of the Giving of our Torah,” the supplementary days to Shavuos apply also to the idea of Matan Torah. This applies in two aspects: “Supplementary” — meaning that in these days there is the opportunity to make up for a deficiency in the service of receiving the Torah; “Supplementary” — meaning that even if there was no deficiency, one has the opportunity to add to his service to make it yet better. And because one has a number of days to supplement his service of receiving the Torah (in both meanings), each day should see a higher level than the previous day, consonant to the directive, “Rise in sanctity.”

In this respect, the time of exile has an advantage over the time of the Bais HaMikdash. In the latter, the supplementary days were used to bring the festival sacrifices that one had not brought on Shavuos. Once those sacrifices were brought say on the 7th or 8th of Sivan — there was nothing more to supplement on the remaining supplementary days. In exile, when the Bais HaMikdash does not exist and sacrifices are not brought, the supplementary days are used to supplement one’s spiritual service. And as such, even if one has supplemented the service of Matan Torah on the 7th or 8th of Sivan, he can still add to and increase in service of each of the successive days.

This is the lofty nature of the twelfth of Sivan. Besides the fact that it is the conclusion of the supplementary days, and “everything follows the conclusion,” this day supplements (in both meanings) the service of Matan Torah in the highest fashion — for it follows the supplementary service of all the previous days, in which one rose higher every day in service: The culmination of all these days and service is the twelfth of Sivan.

2. The unique connection between the twelfth of Sivan and the Season of the Giving of our Torah is emphasized in the portion of Tehillim recited today. It states (68:19): “You ascended on high, you captured a captive, you took gifts.” This refers to the time of Matan Torah, when Moshe “ascended on high” to receive the Torah. The angels did not want to allow the Torah to be given to man; they wanted to keep it “captive” in heaven. Moshe was therefore forced to “capture the captive.” Afterwards, when the angels had accepted Moshe’s arguments that Torah properly belonged on earth, they bestowed “gifts” on Moshe. The connection to the twelfth of Sivan is that this day is the conclusion of the supplementary days to the “Season of the Giving of our Torah.”

This portion of Tehillim, however, is recited nQ~; just on the twelfth of Sivan, but on the twelfth day of every month. What connection has it to those other months? Chassidim understand very well the connection to the twelfth of Tammuz, for it is the day when the previous Rebbe was released from prison. He was imprisoned for his work in disseminating Torah, especially to Jewish children — and Torah study is principally associated with children, as written, “From the mouths of babes and sucklings You have ordained strength” — and ‘strength’ is only Torah.” The connection between the 12th of Sivan (conclusion of Matan Torah) and the 12th of Tammuz is that Matan Torah was possible only because the Jews said, “Our children will be our guarantors” that Torah will be kept and perpetuated — similar to the idea that “From the mouths of babes and sucklings You have ordained strength.”

As for the other months of the year, we can posit that the concept of the twelfth of Sivan is transmitted to and affects also the twelfth day of the other months.

There is a lesson from all of the above in actual deed, and “deed is paramount.” Today, the twelfth of Sivan, the conclusion of the supplementary days to the Season of the Giving of our Torah, is the appropriate time to resolve to increase in all aspects of Matan Torah, beginning with Torah study.

One should increase also in Ahavas Yisrael (love of Jews), and Achdus Yisrael (unity between Jews), for these concepts are emphasized in the idea of Matan Torah. The Torah was given to Jews only after G-d saw that they were united “as one man with one heart.” Also, the Talmud (Shabbos 31a) states concerning the mitzvah of “You shall love your fellow as yourself” that “This is the whole Torah in its entirety, and the rest is its ii)X Parpretation; go and learn.” Since “all — the mitzvos ... were given with their interpretations,11 it follows that the mitzvah “Love your fellow as yourself” was given from the start such that “it is the whole Torah in its entirety.”

This passage in the Talmud is telling us that the mitzvah, “Love your fellow as yourself” is not only “a great principle in the Torah” — which would mean there may be other great (or greater) principles — but that it is also “the whole Torah in its entirety”; the rest of Torah is only the interpretation of this mitzvah!

The Talmud adds to this, “Go and learn.” Had the Talmud said only, “The rest is its interpretation,” it could mean that there are other interpretations, and one may choose to interpret it any way he likes. When the Talmud says, “The rest is its interpretation; go and learn,” it means that although there are other interpretations, there is a command “Go and learn” applicable to this interpretation (the whole Torah) specifically. Thus one must learn the whole Torah as an interpretation of’ the mitzvah, “Love your fellow as yourself.”

Hence, in addition to the fact that Ahavas Yisrael and Achdus Yisrael (“as one man with one heart”) is an indispensable prerequisite to Matan Torah, Ahavas Yisrael is also a prime component in the increase in Torah study one should undertake today — for Ahavas Yisrael is “the whole Torah.”

It is for this reason that a farbrengen is being held today, on the 12th of Sivan. Since it is the conclusion of the supplementary days to Matan Torah, and is the ultimate expression in the concept of Matan Torah, it follows that there should be an increase in Ahavas Yisrael and Achdus Yisrael. And Ahavas Yisrael and Achdus Yisrael are addressed in a farbrengen, when Jews gather together.

3. The above applies to the twelfth of Sivan every year. In addition, there are lessons to be derived from this week’s parshah and from today’s portion of that parshah. Although this farbrengen is associated with the twelfth of Sivan, which is Tuesday, the Torah portion of which is the third section of parshas Shelach, the farbrengen is actually taking place on the night between the eleventh and twelfth of Sivan. Because of this, and also because “in sacred matters the night follows the day,” the Torah portion of Monday, the eleventh of Sivan, is also relevant. Moreover, the end of Monday’s Torah portion and the beginning of Tuesday’s Torah portion deal with the same theme and concept — both in the plain interpretation of Scripture and in the inner dimension of Torah. And since the twelfth of Sivan is the conclusion of the supplementary days to the Season of the Giving of our Torah, its Torah portion must be connected to the idea of Matan Torah.

The end of Monday’s Torah portion states (Bamidbar 14:7), “The land is very, very good;” the beginning of Tuesday’s portion states (14:8), “If the L-rd desires us, He will bring us to this land and will give it to us — a land flowing with milk and honey.” This passage in general is referring to the episode of the spies, who, sent by Moshe to spy out Eretz Yisrael before the Jews entered it, b6rought back a negative report about the possibility- of defeating its inhabitants and conquering the land. Of the twelve spies, only two, Yehoshua and Calev, brought back a positive report.

The above two verses — the last verse of Mon- Torah portion and the first verse of Tuesday’s portion — form one theme, both in their plain sense and in their inner sense. In the plain sense, the verse “The land in very, very good” and the verse “If the L-rd desires us, He will bring us to the land ...” are both the words of Yehoshua and Calev, who opposed the negative opinion of the spies by saying, “The land through which we passed to spy it out — the land is very, very good,” and then concluded by saying, “If the L-rd desires us, He will bring us to this land and will give it to US. it

The same applies to these verses in their inner sense. There is a chassidic discourse in Likkutei Torah, which, for its opening words, cites these two verses as one continuous concept. And from the discourse itself, we can understand the connection between the verses.

The concept of “The land is very, very good” with the word “very” said twice — is connected to the next verse, “If the L-rd desires (‘chafetz’) US.” “Desire” (chafeitzah) is the level of delight in “will,” for there are two levels in will:

    1) A person’s external will, which can be influenced by coercion. For example, if a person does not want to give a divorce to his wife, the court (under certain circumstances) “coerces him until he says ‘I want to.”’ Because the person has no real desire to give the will, but is forced to, his will to actually do so (produced by coercion) is an external one.

    2) An inner will, in which a person delights which is termed “desire” (chafeitzah).

A simple example of the two levels of will is when a Jew engages honestly in business with the g9al that “All your deeds should be for the sake of heaven it and “In all your ways you shall- know Him. 11 Although a person can engage honestly in business only if he has a will to do so, it is but an external will, for his true inner will — his “desire” — lies not in the actual business deals but in the goal of these deals: “the sake of heaven” and “knowing Him.”

The verse “if the L-rd desires (chofetz) us” refers therefore to the inner level of G-d’s will, delight and desire. This is also the meaning of the verse, “The land is very, very good”: The double “very” refers to the inner dimension of will — “desire.” And this is revealed below — “The land is very, very good. If the L-rd desires us, He will bring us to this land,” meaning, the level of “desire” and “very, very” is revealed in the land specifically. Let us clarify this further.

These verses are Calev’s and Yehoshua’s answer to the spies’ words that they did not wish to enter Eretz Yisrael. The above discourse in Likkutei Torah explains that the spies did not wish to enter the land, for the root of their souls was from the realm of thought — and as such, they did not wish to lower themselves to enter Eretz Yisrael which is of the realm of speech. Their claim was that they saw no reason to descend from the realm of thought to that of speech just to fulfill Torah and mitzvos in speech and deed — when they can fulfill it spiritually, in thought.

Alternatively, the generation of the desert were of the realm of speech, and were interested in Torah and mitzvos only in thought and speech; their opposition was to deed only.

Yehoshua and Calev answered them by saying, “The land is very, very good” — meaning, the ultimate goal is to fulfill Torah and mitzvos in the in-deed; and therefore Jews must enter-the land to fulfill mitzvos in deed, including those mitzvos connected with the earth, such as ploughing and sowing. Only then is G-d’s inner will revealed — “if the L-rd desires us.”

In other words, although thought (or alternatively, speech also) is a very lofty thing, nevertheless, the ultimate goal is to draw down thought into speech — and the speech must be translated into deed. Only then, is “The land very, very good” — only then is G-d’s innermost will drawn down and revealed.

Now we can understand the connection between today’s Torah portion and the twelfth of Sivan, the conclusion of the supplementary days to the Season of the Giving of our Torah. The whole idea of Matan Torah was that Torah descend to the world. The angels said, “Place Your glory on the heavens,” that Torah should remain above, in the spiritual worlds. Moshe Rabbeinu therefore had to “capture a captive” (as noted above) — to capture the Torah from above and bring it below.

In this world itself, Torah study in thought and speech alone is insufficient. Study must “lead to deed,” for “deed is paramount.” This is stressed in the Torah portion learned on the eleventh and twelfth of Sivan — “The land is very, very good. If the L-rd desires us, He will bring us to this land”: The ultimate goal is not thought or speech (as the spies claimed), but the fulfillment of mitzvos in deed.

lesson that we learn from the Torah portions of the eleventh and twelfth of Sivan, then, is that all aspects of Torah and mitzvos must be translated into concrete deed.

In addition to this lesson for man’s spiritual service, the plain meaning of the verses remains in force: “He will bring us to this land, and give it to us — a land flowing with milk and honey” the actual entrance into Eretz Yisrael in the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach. The spiritual service associated with Eretz Yisrael, lofty though it may be, is insufficient: It is a preparation to actually entering the land.

Likewise, a spiritual redemption is insufficient, but there must be the actual true and complete redemption. It is told that the Tzemach Tzedek said that the printing of Likkutei Torah is the concept of redemption. His son and successor responded that we need and want the literal redemption!

4. We spoke above about today’s portion of Tehillim. It is therefore appropriate to now mention the previous Rebbets enactment to learn ChiTaS (Chumash, Tehillim, Tanya) every day. Chumash: The study of each day’s section of the weekly parshah; Tehillim: The recital of each day’s portion of Tehillim; Tanya: To study each day’s portion of Tanya — which is the inner dimension of Torah.

There has also recently been the proposal to unite all Jews through the study of the same subject in Torah, particularly something in which all are equal: the study of the Torah’s laws. When learning Torah dialectically, there is a great gu-If between the more and less intellectually advanced. When learning clearly stated laws, all Jews are the same.

Thus the proposal that all Jews learn Rambam’s %6~eh Torah, which is a compilation of- laws only., without the reasons (or even the citation of sources for the laws). For while there are great differences between people in the study of the reasons, all are equal in the study of the laws.

Although the Shulchan Aruch (by the Bais Yosef — R. Yosef Karo) is also a compilation of the laws without their reasons, there are some instances when two opinions are cited, and one has to do research to know what the Bais Yosef meant; the ruling is unclear. The Mishneh Torah, in contrast, is written “in clear language and terse style ... without citing difficulties and solutions or differences of views.” Only one opinion is cited, the clear halachah.

Of course, the proposal to study Mishneh Torah is not intended to negate the study of the laws with their reasons, G-d forbid (e.g. the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, in which the Alter Rebbe cites the laws with their reasons). The proposal is intended to add the study of a subject in which all Jews are equal, thereby uniting them; and such a quality is found only in Rambam’s Mishneh Torah.

Some people have questioned the study of Mishneh Torah on a daily basis on the following grounds. The Alter Rebbe, in Kuntreis Acharon to Hilchos Talmud Torah (beginning of ch. 2), cites two views as to the permissibility of ruling on halachah from straight laws, without knowing the reasons behind the laws. Rambam’s opinion is that one is permitted to do so, as evidenced from the feet- that “he compiled his sefer Mishneh Torah without giving any reasons for the laws; and he made- [this sefer for the purpose of] ruling from it alone, as he writes in his Introduction that ‘a pe:~,qon will not need another other work.”’ The Rosh is of the opinion that “All who rule from the wok-& of the Rambam. ... err,” for one may not give halachic rulings based on laws without knowing the reasons for the laws since one can them make an error.

The Alter Rebbe rules according to the Rosh, and therefore in his Shulchan Aruch he wrote the laws with their reasons. The question raised by some people is that the proposal to study Mishneh Torah is certainly intended for all Jews, including the descendants of the Alter Rebbe, his chassidim, and all those who follow his path. How then can the proposal be made to study, on a fixed, daily basis, Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, which is a compilation of the laws without reasons — contrary to the Alter Rebbe’s ruling that the laws must be studied with their reasons? The proposal to study Rambam could, according to the Alter Rebbe’s decision, lead people into error since they will not know the reasons for the laws!

This question derives from a basic misunderstanding of the Alter Rebbe’s view, stemming from an inadequate reading of his words. Indeed, according to the views of those people who raised this question, a further question may be asked concerning the everyday application of halachah.

The universal practice among Jewry, when a Jew asks a Rabbi what is the halachah in a particular situation, is that the Rabbi answers him “permitted” or “kosher” or “prohibited” or “treif” — and nothing else. We do not find the practice among Rabbis, in answering householders’ halachic questions, to give the halachic ruling together with the reason for it!

The reason for such a practice is not because it “ is easier for the Rabbi, but because this has been the tradition dating back to Moshe Rabbeinu. When the- Jews asked Moshe Rabbeinu what to do concerning those who were unable to offer the Pesach sacrifice, Moshe Rabbeinu answered, “Wait here, and I will hear what G-d will command you” and then delivered to them the actual law.

So was also the Sanhedrin’s method of delivering judgment. The litigants put forward their positions, testimony was heard, the judges deliberated, a count was taken to ascertain the majority opinion — and then the litigants were told the verdict in a brief ruling: “So and so is guilty” or “So and so has won” — without giving an account of the reasoning.

In the same tradition, a Rabbi delivers the halachic ruling without entering into detailed reasoning and arguments as to why he ruled the way he did. It is easy to imagine what would happen if the Rabbi had to argue about his ruling with every householder, and to explain his reasoning for his ruling — the householder would become the Rabbi’s judge!

Indeed, the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 35a) states: “When an ordinance is made in Eretz Yisrael, its reason is not revealed before 12 months pass, lest there be some who might not agree with the reason and would treat the ordinance lightly.” Rashi adds, “but now that the reason for the ordinance is not revealed, everyone will observe it properly, for they will reason that the Rabbis were acting against a situation from which injury could result, and it is we who do not know the reason.”

According to the people who asked the question concerning the study of Mishneh Torah, the same question must be asked of all the above: How can a Rabbi deliver his halachic ruling without giving his reasons, and how could the Rabbis forbid the revelation of the reason for an ordinance (for 12 months) such practices are contradictory to the Alter Rebbe’s ruling that the laws must be given with their reasons?

All these questions are resolved through a true understanding of the Alter Rebbe’s ruling. The Alter Rebbe decides in favor of the Rosh that one may not make halachic rulings from Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, since that work is a compilation of laws without reasons. In explaining the Rosh’s opinion, the Alter Rebbe writes that “He holds like the first reason in Rashi’s commentary.” The Talmud says that those who “rule on halachah from their studies” are called “destroyers of the world.” Rashi explains the reason for this as, “Since they do not know the reasons for the mishnah (halachah), it can sometimes lead to that they draw parallels to it that are not similar.”

What does “they draw parallels to it that are not similar” mean? An accepted method of arriving at a halachic decision in a case which has not yet been clearly ruled on, is to compare it to a case in which the law is already stated. If the cases are parallel, then one may infer that the law already established in one case applies also to the case under question. But one can use this method only if one knows the reason for the already established law. If one does not know the reasons, an error may be made in comparing cases which are not really similar — “they draw parallels to it that are not similar.” Such people are called “destroyers of the world,” and to avoid this, the Alter Rebbe rules like the Rosh that one may--not make halachic rulings from laws without knowing their reasons.

The above applies only to comparing one case to another, to derive principles; but when learning only the actual, established law itself (i.e., t4Dr-know that law,- and not to derive from it the law in another case), it is obvious that one may learn it without knowing the reasons. For in such a situation, there is no need to worry about any resulting errors — one is learning the clear-cut law itself.

The plain meaning of a clear-cut law cannot be misconstrued. When, however, one wishes to delve into the law in depth, to derive further implications or deduce inferences, error may result — and therefore precautions are necessary.

Rambam’s work, Mishneh Torah, is a compilation of the clear-cut laws, without reasons. When one learns Mishneh Torah to know only the actual laws, without comparing cases or deducing inferences, everyone agrees that one may do so.

In further clarification: There are two methods in studying the Torah’s laws:

    1) the obligation to study and know the actual laws, without reasons;

    2) the obligation to learn the reasons for the laws — at first briefly, and afterwards in depth, deriving inferences and ruling on new laws.

These two methods correspond to the respective functions of a Rabbi and a Rosh Yeshivah. A Rabbi’s function is to teach the actual, clear-cut laws, without explaining their reasons. A Rosh Yeshiva’s function is to explain the profound depths in the laws with their reasons. (Of course, a single individual may be both a Rabbi and a Rosh Yeshivah; we are concerned with the function of each position.)

When one wished-to know the clear-cut law (similar to posing a halachic question to a Rabbi,), one turned to Rambam’s Mishneh Torah (in Rambam’s times, before the Shulchan Aruch), which was, — written “in clear language-and terse style.” When one wishes to delve into the depths of the halachah (similar to learning from a Rosh Yeshivah), one turns to learning the “laws with their reasons” — the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, for example.

So, too, every Jew is obligated to learn the Torah’s laws in the above two ways. First, he must learn the straight laws without reasons; afterwards, he must study also the reasons, in depth.

We can posit that these two ways are rooted in the Ten Commandments. The beginning of the Ten Commandments is “I am the L-rd your G-d” — similar to the clear halachah without a reason; then the reason follows — “Who took you out from the land of Egypt” (and therefore it is only fitting that Jews serve G-d).

To return to our point: The unity of all Jews through the study of a subject in Torah in which everyone is equal, is possible only through the study of the Torah’s laws without reasons (for people vary greatly in their understanding of the reasons). All Jews should therefore study Rambam’s Mishneh Torah on a daily basis.


  Yechidus to Chassanim & KallosGraduates of Bais Rivka,
20th Day of Sivan, 5744
 
  
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