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Sichos In English
Volume 31

Shabbos Parshas Nasso
14th Day Of Sivan, 5746
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1

At the outset let us discuss the unique qualities and characteristics of this Shabbos, which is the first Shabbos after the Season of the Giving of Our Torah.

Of course this distinction applies only in the diaspora, where the second day of Shavuos was Shabbos, making this Shabbos the first Shabbos after Shavuos. On the other hand, in Eretz Yisroel where Shavuos was only one day, Friday, last Shabbos had the distinction of being the Shabbos after Shavuos.

Eretz Yisroel of course is very precious to us, just as it is to the Holy One, Blessed be He, and we might think that it would therefore be proper to accentuate the order of weeks as they are in Eretz Yisroel. Nevertheless, since the vast majority of the Jewish people are in the golus and the "Shechinah" itself is also in exile, we realize that the system of the diaspora carries greater importance.

The second day of Yom-Tov which we celebrate in the diaspora, may have the negative aspect that its spiritual power appears to be weaker and it takes two days to accomplish what can be done in Eretz Yisroel in one day. At the same time, the second day of Yom-Tov adds some very special aspects. First of all, another 24 hours of holiday! And, in the case of Shavuos, the second day was not instituted because of the inability to know precisely when Yom-Tov was, as was the case of Pesach and Sukkos. In the case of Pesach and Shavuos which are set on the fifteenth of the month, the second day of the diaspora was established because the messengers of the Sanhedrin sometimes did not arrive in time to verify which day was the 15th of the month.

In the case of Shavuos, however, it was set by counting 50 days from Pesach, and certainly during that long time-span the messengers would have arrived with the news from Yerushalayim.

Therefore the second day of Shavuos was instituted not because of doubt, but as a definite Yom-Tov to keep conformity among the holidays.

With this in mind it will be appropriate to speak first about this Shabbos which comes after Shavuos in the diaspora. The aspect of the first Shabbos after Mattan Torah which is most prominent is the obvious fact that although Shabbos was observed before Mattan Torah, when the Torah was given and we were commanded to observe the Shabbos, it took on new importance and significance. The Rambam expresses it this way:

It is a fundamental principle...that all our prohibitions or positive commandments are done only because the Holy One, Blessed be He, so commanded us through Moshe our teacher...as we were commanded at Sinai....

(Commentary to the Mishnah, Chulin, ch. 7)

A classic example of this rule would be the mitzvah of circumcision, which we observe not because Avraham practiced circumcision, but because we were so commanded by G-d through Moshe at Sinai.

The Sinai experience was primarily the revelation of the Holy One, Blessed be He, to the Jewish people through the Ten Commandments. Another essential innovation was effected through that revelation. Since creation there had been a restriction; those who were on high should not descend and those who were below could not ascend. The Mattan Torah experience rewrote that rule and those on high descended and imparted the potentiality for those below to ascend.

This created a framework for mitzvos in a physical manner in which the material existence can be infused with G-dliness.

Consequently, the Shabbos after Mattan Torah took a new intensity and dimension which Shabbos did not have before. And likewise, every year on this Shabbos, those initial powers are regenerated in a more intense fashion since we always increase in matters of holiness.

This analysis, however, is incomplete, for since Mattan Torah took place on Shabbos, why would it be necessary to wait for the following Shabbos to introduce the changes wrought by Mattan Torah -- incorporate them right then and there on the Shabbos of receiving the Torah. Likewise, when Shavuos falls on Shabbos as it did this year, then that day itself should include all the special qualities of Shabbos after Mattan Torah, why wait for the following week?

The answer is that Mattan Torah took place in the morning and therefore the first complete Shabbos infused with the full meaning of Mattan Torah was the following Shabbos. Likewise in contemporary times. The main theme of Shabbos effected by Mattan Torah will reach its full application specifically with the Shabbos following Shavuos.

The importance of wholeness is especially emphasized on Shabbos, whose whole theme is completing and perfecting:

And the heavens and the earth...were completed.

(Bereishis 2:1)

Rashi also explains:

What did the world lack? Rest! Shabbos came -- rest came; and the work was thus finished and completed.

(Rashi, Bereishis 2:2)

Of course, this completeness which includes the eve of Shabbos as well as the day of Shabbos enhances each segment of the Shabbos so that not only is the eve of the Shabbos after Mattan Torah loftier than the previous Shabbos eve, but also the following morning is richer, being part of a Shabbos which started with the loftier evening.

Here the question may be asked, if the unique quality of this Shabbos is dependent upon the evening segment of Shabbos, then why speak about it at this time, in the afternoon, after the Torah reading and much later than Shabbos eve.

The answer is that a Jew controls not only the present and the future in his normal advancement in Divine service, but he also controls the past, through the Divine service of teshuvah which effects a double measure of success.

As the Alter Rebbe writes in Iggeres HaTeshuvah that the baal teshuvah doubles his efforts and actions in study, etc. and thereby corrects and rectifies also the past.

So, although, it is true that the eve of Shabbos has passed, the Jew can still exercise his control and modify the past, by increasing his level of Divine service in the present.

Teshuvah will also be effective in raising the caliber of his past actions which, at the time, were deemed to be respectable, but later, relative to his loftier state, may seem to be inferior. Here, too, the baal teshuvah can raise his former level of Divine service to be consistent with his present state.

The Divine service of teshuvah is, in fact, a form of consistent service of G-d which consists of continual increments and ascents to higher levels. This pattern must be present throughout a person's Divine service, and although it is considered to be part of a Chassidic approach nevertheless it is appropriate for all.

The Alter Rebbe explained that the teachings of Chassidus and Chassidic behavior is not just appropriate for a particular group of Chassidim, but also for the vast majority of the Jewish people.

In practical terms the full intensity of Shabbos, including the richness of the eve of Shabbos, must be realized, and if for some reason till this point this activity did not reach the intensity of "with all your might," you can still rectify this situation and raise it to a loftier level.

Let everyone accept upon himself/herself good resolutions in all these matters -- true resolutions -- not to be postponed, but to be carried out immediately.

And may you see And may you see immediate success -- the true redemption through our righteous Moshiach, truly and speedily in our time.

2

We have discussed the lessons to be garnered from the Shabbos following the holiday of Shavuos. There is also a lesson to be learned from the order of the Torah portions which designates that on this Shabbos we read the portion of Nasso.

The simple translation of the word "Nasso" is "lift up." When the Torah tells us "lift up the head" (count), it indicates a process of raising not only the head of the subject but also the entire body -- down to its feet.

How may we understand this in a person's Divine service?

The "head" represents the "brains," including the mental functions such as thinking, understanding, and, more specifically, Torah study.

In this vein, "lift up" would indicate the directive to raise the level of Torah study. By lifting the "head" everything else will follow, starting with the spinal column which supports the body. Analogously, this would refer to the Divine service of prayer; the feet would also rise; this is the attribute of enthusiasm, which causes one to run and do a mitzvah.

Reflexively, by raising all the levels of the body the original "lift" given to the head is enhanced. For if the study of Torah includes the emotion and enthusiasm of "every part of me shall say," it will also influence the study of Torah, which will be blessed, because it penetrates the entire body.

Here we see the connection of the Shabbos after Shavuos and the portion of Nasso.

The theme of Shabbos is completion and perfection of all the previous six days of the week, to the degree of delight. The Shabbos following Mattan Torah carries all the aspects of Mattan Torah to that lofty perfection of delight.

This thought is stressed by Nasso! For Nasso tells us that after Mattan Torah, when we have attained the exalted state of Torah study we must proceed and rise again and lift up that level of Torah to an even higher state of perfection. All of this occurs in a tranquil and graceful way -- in keeping with the theme of Shabbos; to bring delight.

We speak of self and others -- the actions must be directed internally and externally. There is no Jew who in some way cannot be a "mashpia," a prompter and guide to other Jews. Why, even a pauper is required to give charity to another needy person (cf. Rambam, Laws of Gifts to the Poor 7:5)! How much more so, when we speak of spiritual charity -- everyone can and must encourage and instruct others.

There is no exception to this rule. Let no one assume that he/she is incapable to encourage others in matters of Torah and mitzvos. The Torah of Truth declares that every Jew can help another in some way.

You say you have no inclination to do so, you say you have no strength! Clearly "your evil inclination is inducing you" to think so. Your true desire is "to do all the mitzvos," including spiritual tzedakah, like instructing another Jew. As the Gemara expresses it:

More than the calf wishes to suck does the cow wish to suckle. (Pesachim 112b)

You have no feeling for this responsibility? It does not matter, so long as the mission is accomplished. Of primary importance is not to allow yourself to fall into a trap of:

...for they have turned their back to Me, and not their face. (Yermiyahu 2:27)

This means that they are turning to G-d, but with their backs, and not their faces. One may turn to G-d with his back while the face is at least not turned elsewhere. The worst condition is when the "face" is involved in an opposite movement.

In addition to all those explanations we must simply approach the Holy One, Blessed be He, in sincere supplication that He grant us the strength to overpower our evil inclination, as the prayer expresses it.

You so desire and we so desire, what hinders us, the "sourdough" (evil inclination); it is revealed and known to You that we really do not have the strength to withstand him, therefore may it be Thy gracious will...destroy him from upon us and conquer him. (Ma'aneh Lashon)

The portion of Nasso contributes to this theme the idea that a person must always rise and strive for greater heights -- then he not only overcomes the yetzer hora but he converts it to holiness.

This applies to all Jews -- those who say the blessing on the Torah reading and those who answer "Amen" on the blessings. For Amen is a form of victory.

And may G-d grant that everyone will implement the action of "lift up the head," introvertedly and extrovertedly, with pleasure and delight. Everything will then be uplifted, even the areas of materialism which are only "permitted," with abundance and graciousness in a revealed manner of goodness.

And may all our prayers be answered in a down-to-earth, real way. And through our prayer may we connect with G-d and reach spiritual self-nullification and become vessels for G-dliness.

And we will witness the fulfillment of our prayers.

May our eyes behold Your return to Tziyon in mercy,

(Siddur)

speedily and truly in our days.


3

In the portion of Nasso we find the section dealing with the suspected adulteress wife; Scripture says:

"[Ish, Ish] If any man's wife is suspected of going astray and being false to her husband. (Bemidbar 5:11)

On this Rashi comments:

The double expression -- Ish, Ish -- is employed to teach you that she (the faithless wife) deals treacherously in two respects -- against Him above (Who bears the appellation of Ish, as in the text), "The L-rd is a Man (Ish) of War" and against her husband (Ish'ah) here below.

(Rashi, loc. cit.)

On this Rashi the question has been raised:

This double expression -- Ish, Ish -- appears many times prior to this instance in Torah, but in the previous cases Rashi had not given any special commentary. The reason for Rashi's silence would appear to be elementary -- the phrase Ish, Ish in plain meaning signifies "anyone -- everyone," without exception. Even the five-year-old Chumash student instinctively understands this.

If so, why does Rashi suddenly seek some deeper meaning for the double expression, Ish, Ish?

If however we should suggest that for some reason this case of Ish, Ish is special and does need some further explanation, Rashi still should have turned to the Talmudic discussion of this verse:

Why does Scripture repeat the word Man, (Ish, Ish)? To include the wife of a deaf man, the wife of an imbecile, the wife of a weakminded man. (Sotah 27a)

This Talmudic discussion still fits with the plain meaning of the verse which says that "Ish, Ish" means any person. The Gemara simply elaborates and adds the additional possibilities of deaf, imbecile etc.

The homiletical interpretation which Rashi does quote seems out of place. For in the plain meaning of Scripture it would seem absurd to say that the word Ish referred to in the context of the unfaithful wife would be the Holy One, Blessed be He!?

Why should I think that the word Ish refers to G-d? Because in the Song of the Sea -- the word Ish is used in reference to G-d? This is completely illogical.

Therefore we focus on two points:

  1. What motivates Rashi to explain the double expression specifically in this case?

  2. Supposing that there is a cause for the explanation of Ish, Ish, why does Rashi choose a commentary which does not seem to fit with the plain meaning of the verse.

In searching for clarification of this perplexity we should also investigate the connection to the subject of Ahavas Yisroel and Jewish unity.

In the farbrengens prior to and during the holiday of Shavuos, we sought to discover and elaborate on themes connected to Ahavas Yisroel and Jewish unity, which were stressed at the time of Shavuos.

However, these themes are really applicable to all aspects of Torah, all year-round. Loving your fellow Jew was designated to be an "important rule of Torah" by R. Akiva. Hillel said that it was "the whole Torah," the rest of Torah being but commentary on Ahavas Yisroel, "go and study." Consequently, the ultimate study of Torah must reveal the aspect of Ahavas Yisroel in every area of Torah. The "commentary" on Ahavas Yisroel will be found in all places in Torah.

The explanation of Rashi:

When we come to the verse: "[Ish, Ish] if any man's wife is suspected...false to her husband," we are faced with a troubling perplexity (klotz-kashe). Normally, the phrase "Ish, Ish" indicates a common situation which can occur to anyone, at any time (and often does).

However, here in the case of the suspected wife, obviously we are dealing with a very uncommon case, as such, the term "Ish, Ish" should really not apply?!

Rashi himself has this question in mind, which we may see from the sequence in the Rashi on this verse.

The first part of Rashi's commentary deals with the sequence of the chapters, why the chapter of Sotah follows the section dealing with the laws of the priestly gifts gleaned from the sacrifices. Rashi says:

What is stated above (immediately before) this section? If you retain the gifts due to the Kohen, by your life, you will have to come to him in order to bring him your faithless wife. (Rashi, Bemidbar 5:12)

That is the first part of Rashi. Then Rashi again cites the words "Ish, Ish" and teaches: "...she deals treacherously in two respects" (see above). Then Rashi goes into a third segment and writes:

Our rabbis have taught....

At first glance it would appear that Rashi's sequence follows a logical order, first explaining the association with the previous section, then he goes on to explain the various parts of the verse at hand.

We can however buttress this explanation and say that Rashi's explanation of the juxtaposition of the chapters also adds meaning to his explanation of the words "Ish, Ish," for it sharply focuses on the underlying question, "Why use the introduction 'Ish, Ish -- every man,' if we are speaking of a sequence." The same person who in the last chapter denied the Kohen his rightful due is now forced to come to the Kohen with his suspect wife. Consequently, if the last chapter could be introduced by the single word "Ish," why do we need the double term "Ish, Ish" in this case?!

Moreover, the person in question could have repented from his stinginess and he would then not be led by Divine Providence to come to the Kohen. Therefore, the possibility of Sotah is even less common than the previous case of the non-donor to the Kohen. Yet, here the Torah introduces the case of Sotah with the term "Ish, Ish," as if it were a very broad and common occurrence.

The sequence in Rashi now becomes crystal clear. For this reason it becomes obvious that the use of "Ish, Ish," in the chapter of Sotah is unique, and does not mean to convey the impression of a common widespread occurrence. Nor would it mean all types of Jews -- in fact -- it is not at all common.

In this context Rashi decides that it is closer to the plain meaning to explain that the term "Ish, Ish" means:

She deals treacherously in two respects -- against Him above -- "the L-rd is a Man of war" and against her husband here below (based on Tanchuma).

Why does Rashi refer to G-d as the "Man of war"? because it has bearing in this case too.

When we speak of one who withholds the Kohanic gifts we speak not of a case where he transgresses a sin by his stinginess. For example he seeks a manner which would exempt him from the tithe:

If however, he brings in his produce by way of roofs or outer enclosures, it is exempt from...tithes.

(Rambam, Laws of Tithe 4:1)

True, he has done no sin -- but the Kohen has not received that which is coming to him. Here Rashi tells us that the Torah directs the attention of this miserly man to the effect and result of his action, "you will have to bring your suspected wife to the Kohen."

Your circumspection will bring to a case of actual, if only alleged, misdeeds.

Since we speak of sin it is appropriate that the Man Above is the "Man of war," for sin represents war so to speak, against the One Above. This would engender a state of war from Above downwards to destroy the evil in the individual.

This brings us to a broader explanation of the topic of Ahavas Yisroel in relation to this context.

The Torah deals with the case of a wife who is suspected of having committed a sin because she was filled with a spirit of folly to the point of insanity. Maybe in such a case G-d forgets about her and lets her be. The rule of the Holy One, Blessed be He, is always to give "measure for measure," and since she did not consider G-d, then perhaps G-d would not consider her, and not give her any of His blessings. But, the Holy One, Blessed be He, would not necessarily turn to deal with her -- perhaps she is not worthy of G-d's (punishing) attention?

"Man of war," applied to G-d's attitude towards Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who refused to free the Jews from bondage -- so G-d had to deal with him in a manner of "Man of war." But to deal with a woman overcome by a spirit of craziness, why bother!?

However, here we see G-d's tremendous love for each and every Jewish soul. The condition of a crazed woman who allegedly acted treacherously against G-d -- bothers G-d very much -- to the degree that G-d goes out to hold battle and destroy the evil.

This is the type of case the Alter Rebbe had in mind when he wrote:

As in the simile of the great and awesome king who, out of his great love, personally washed the filth from his only son.... (Iggeres Hakodesh, ch. 22)

Certainly in His confrontation, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will be victorious and the evil will be destroyed, for there is the promise:

That none of us be banished. (Shmuel II, 14:14)

And since she will repent, she will reach a state of:

Premeditated sins are accounted as though they were merits, (Yoma 86b)

and thereby reach a higher level than before. This is, after all, the intention of the closing words of the chapter:

She shall conceive seed: i.e. if hitherto she used to bear children in pain she will from now bear in ease, if up to now she used to bear black (ugly) children from now on she will bear white (beautiful) children.

(Rashi, Bemidbar 5:28)

The blessing of easy and beautiful birth also applies to the subject of the ultimate redemption.

Because the Jewish people are beloved to G-d, the redemption will be in a manner of brilliance -- the opposite of the darkness of the golus. With comfort and ease, the opposite of the birth pains of the pre-Moshiach era.

We have already experienced all the necessary suffering during the long golus years. Just being in golus an extra moment is itself the greatest suffering; a Jew has no place in the golus, he belongs at his Father, the King's table.

Thus, it is clear and definite that the redemption must come immediately -- to "give birth in ease and comfort."

And just as in Egypt, even before the redemption, the Jews had light in their dwellings, so too may it be now.

To merit the blessings of the Holy One, Blessed be He, in all our needs -- children, life and health and abundant sustenance -- as the banquets of King Shlomo in his time.

May we speedily merit the true and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach.


4

On this Shabbos after Shavuos it is appropriate to speak of Torah study and arranging increases in the study of Torah, in time and intensity.

First and foremost, relating to each person, especially in the intensity of "Work hard and you will find." Torah may be studied without any special exertion, in a laid-back, relaxing manner, realizing that G-d is the ultimate salvation. In this manner he takes it easy, reserving his strength for other mitzvos and good deeds. This, however, is not the proper way, for on the contrary, one must work diligently and with much exertion to study Torah. The Zohar says that Torah study must be "backbreaking work" with "mortar and bricks" -- the "Kal Vachomer -- a minori ad majus" (mortar) -- and "forging of the halachah" (levainim -- bricks).

This emphasis on the agonizing labor of Torah may be connected with the adage of Avos:

Whosoever fulfills the Torah in poverty will ultimately fulfill it in wealth. (Avos 4:8)

This refers not to the plain meaning of material "poverty," rather to its spiritual counterpart, as the Gemara makes reference to the "intellectual pauper." Learning must be approached with a feeling of humility and the realization of limited ability -- for after all, the Torah is infinite:

Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea. (Iyov 11:9)

So that the more one studies and knows, he still stands as a "pauper," relative to the true richness of Torah.

Simply put, one should not think of himself as the greatest sage who learns more Torah only to add to his already vast knowledge! Rather, he must admit that so long as there is one more thing for him to learn, he is an utter pauper in Torah.

It follows, that his diligence and thirst for Torah will reflect this attitude and emotion.

All this applies to each individual, introspectively.

The same also applies when we try to influence and teach and motivate others, here too the element of hard labor must also be introduced in order to bring the proper results.

In speaking of students, the men of the Great Assembly teach us, in this week's chapter of Avos, that we must "raise up many students" unlimited numbers and unlimited quality. This is in accordance with the decision of the Gemara:

On that day the doorkeeper was removed and permission was given to the disciples to enter [not in accordance with Rabban Gamliel who had said no disciple whose character does not correspond to his exterior may enter the Bais Hamidrash], on that day many chairs were added...one authority says 400 the other says 700.

(Berachos 28a)

Four-hundred, or 700 more students!

The same Mishnah in Avos concludes "and make a fence for Torah."

One must not isolate himself in the closed precincts of Torah, instead he must go out and teach many students and "raise up" many students -- without checking up about them.

One might fear that these students will have a bad influence on him -- therefore the teaching: "make a fence and protective wall for yourself."

Regarding your students you must also seek that protective element which will remedy those who are not "first quality, through and through."

The order? First raise up and teach many students and then find the means of making a fence and protection for yourself and for them.

If the order were reversed by placing the restrictions first -- to first protect oneself and then to think of others -- you can understand what the result would be and how the directive "raise up many students" would not be fulfilled.

There is a special significance and emphasis in this subject for rabbis and those involved in practical Halachah.

In the city of Lubavitch they used to call the Holiday of Shavuos -- Chag Hamatzos (Ma'Tz'os) for the Morey Tzedek (the rabbis), used to come to Lubavitch for Shavuos in contrast to Pesach and Sukkos when the nature of the holidays and the many halachic questions involved did not allow them to leave their communities.

Here in Lubavitch (in Brooklyn) we try to follow those customs of Lubavitch (in Russia) and although we cannot truly compare to that great and lofty place and time, yet we endeavor to transpose those customs here, where Shavuos is also the holiday of the rabbonim. It is therefore appropriate to discuss the role and responsibility of rabbis and spiritual leaders.

A rabbi cannot sit at home and wait until someone will come to him with a question so that he can answer him. If he is kept busy by those who come to ask questions, fine! But if not, he must leave his house and go out to find those Jews who must be taught the way of G-d and the deeds that must be done.

A rabbi must not wait for the honors of a first class airline ticket in order to travel to teach -- nor may he delay his travels until he is "announced" by all sorts of heralds who will announce: "Welcome to Rabbi so and so, the great sage!" He must take steps and go from place to place, in order to teach the word of G-d to all of Israel.

As the Gemara puts it:

Do you imagine that I offer you rulership? It is servitude that I offer you. (Horayos 10a)

And thus we find in Tanna D. Eliyahu Rabbah:

The members of the Great Sanhedrin should have tied iron chains around their waists and rolled up their sleeves...and travelled to and fro in all the small towns of Eretz Yisroel and in all places where there were Jewish settlements and teach Torah to the Jewish people.

(Ch. 11)

We speak here of members of the highest tribunal who were picked and chosen for their greatness and sagacity, as the Rambam describes it:

It is essential that everyone of the members thereof possess the following seven qualifications.... Used to send messengers throughout the Land of Israel to examine candidates for the office of judge. Whoever was found to be wise, sinfearing, humble and contrite, of unblemished character was installed as a local judge. From the local court he was promoted to the court situated at the entrance to the Temple Mount; thence to the court...thence to the Supreme Court (Sanhedrin).

(Rambam, Laws of Sanhedrin 3:7-8)

Nevertheless, these great sages had to leave their chambers in the Bais Hamikdosh and travel through all the Jewish towns to teach Jews how to live and act. They had to undertake arduous journeys to reach the far-away places; they had to gird themselves with iron chains and protect their clothing from the perils of the trip, etc. to teach other Jews.

And should it occur that the rabbi will have to go to places of filth and unholiness, the rabbi might think, "Where do I come to such places? I belong in the four cubits of holiness -- the synagogue and study hall -- oh yes, once in a while to step out into the street. But to places of filth -- G-d forbid!"

The answer: How can you hide yourself from those Jews who are in those places. They must also be brought closer to their Father in heaven. You may want to remain ensconced in the precincts of Torah but not at the expense of the life-threatening situation of those who are lost in those G-d-forsaken places.

We may find a additional symbolic reference to the role of a "Rav" in a place of filth, from the Talmud:

Even if he enlightened his eyes in a single mishnah only, he is his teacher. Rava said, "For example Rav Sachora who taught me the meaning of Zohama Lisitron -- a soup ladle used to skim the dirt off the soup." (B. Metzia 33a)

Here the Gemara seems to be hinting, that it is the duty of a rabbi to seek out and rehabilitate lost Jewish souls even if they are in a place where the filth must be shunted away to the sides.

It must therefore be stressed that when it comes to spreading the wellsprings of Torah and Yiddishkeit to the outside, it is the responsibility of every Jew, and especially the rabbis, to leave the closed precincts of Halachah and go out in order to bring Jews closer to Torah.

In practical terms:

There are many rabbis gathered here from many different places. Chassidic rabbis who formulate their halachic rulings according to the halachic decisions of the Alter Rebbe, Mitteler Rebbe and the Tzemach Tzedek, and who further rule according to the rule of Chassidus -- beyond the minimum requirement of the law -- which very often in our times has become the accepted basic rule.

Let them therefore gather and meet to develop ways and means to increase all activities on behalf of strengthening and increasing Torah and Yiddishkeit in their cities and neighborhoods and how to encourage and motivate other rabbis, their colleagues, so that they too will endeavor to increase Torah and Yiddishkeit.

It should be self-evident that I speak also of the rebbetzins -- the wives of the rabbis -- whose role and responsibility it is to help and assist their husbands in this vital task among the Jewish women. This activity should be geared primarily in the area of the three mitzvos especially important for women: lighting candles on the eve of Shabbos and Yom-Tov, Kashrus and Taharas Hamishpachah, the laws of family purity. They should also increase their efforts in the area of Jewish education for the children, in which the women play a major role.

When all this will be executed properly they will find overwhelming success in all their endeavors. Although these days we see an increase in the negative powers in the world -- there is also a concomitant increase in matters of holiness.

And the Holy One, Blessed be He, will surely bless them with abundance and comfort in all their needs so that they will carry out their missions in material and spiritual abundance.

May this usher in the true and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach, when we will go with our youth and elders, sons and daughters to our Holy Land together with all the synagogues and study halls:

The synagogues and houses of learning in Babylon will in time to come be planted in Eretz Yisroel, (Megillah 29a)

to Yerushalayim our Holy City and to the Bais Hamikdosh.


  12th Day Of Sivan, 574617th Day Of Sivan, 5746  
  
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