Shabbos Parshas Ha'azinu, Shabbos Teshuvah
The Blessing to the Shluchim
Yom Kippur, 5751
The Blessing Delivered at the Distribution of Esrogim
First Night of Sukkos, 5751
Second Night of Sukkos, 5751
Third Night of Sukkos, 5751
Fourth Night of Sukkos, 5751
Fifth Night of Sukkos, 5751
Sixth Night of Sukkos, 5751
Hosha'ana Rabbah, 5751
Night of Simchas Torah, 5751
Shabbos Parshas Bereishis
Shabbos Parshas Noach
Shabbos Parshas, Lech Lecha
Shabbos Parshas Vayeira
Shabbos Parshas Chayei Sarah
Shabbos Parshas Toldos
Shabbos Parshas Vayeitze
Shabbos Parshas Vayishlach
Shabbos Parshas Vayeishev
Kollel Tiferes Zkeinim Levi Yitzchok & Chochmas Nashim
Shabbos Parshas Mikeitz, Shabbos Chanukah
Shabbos Parshas Vayigash
Simchas Beis HaShoevah continues throughout the holiday of Sukkos. Although it is associated with the verse, "And you shall draw water with joy from the springs of deliverance," which alludes to the water libation that was brought in the Beis HaMikdash, it is not solely confined to that occasion, but applies wherever Jews celebrate their holidays. The intent is to carry out the spiritual service associated with Simchas Beis HaShoevah and, although all the particular elements that were present in the Beis HaMikdash cannot be included, to express this spiritual service in an actual celebration.
We find a parallel to this in regard to the sacrifices which were offered in the Beis HaMikdash. As will be explained, at present, one element of the actual service in the Beis HaMikdash remains and, when that element is combined with the spiritual service which is the counterpart of the actual offering of the sacrifices, then "[the prayers of] our lips compensate for [the sacrifice of] bulls." Indeed, the word un'shalmah translated as "compensate" is also related to the word shelaimus meaning "perfection," indicating that we can reach a higher level of perfection at present than was possible during the time the sacrifices were actually offered.
To explain: The sacrifices were brought through the combined efforts of "the priests in their service, the Levites in chanting in the Israelites in attendance." The latter involved prayer. Today when it is impossible to actually offer the sacrifices, we can compensate for this lack through the service of prayer. This is a continuation of the service of the Israelites in attendance. Although the physical place where the prayers are recited is not the same, nevertheless, this is not the primary element of prayer and, to a certain extent, this is compensated for by the fact that our prayers are recited facing the site of the Beis HaMikdash.
The ultimate goal is, however, to fuse the two, the spiritual service and the actual sacrificial offerings. This will come about when G-d will cause the Beis HaMikdash which already exists in the spiritual worlds to descend. Surely, this will be in the near future for we have already "polished the buttons," and have performed the service of teshuvah, including the higher dimension of teshuvah which is associated with joy.
This is associated with Simchas Beis HaShoevah of which our Sages said, "Whoever did not see Simchas Beis HaShoevah, has not seen [true] joy in his life." This quote also leads to the understanding that seeing Simchas Beis HaShoevah heightens one's potential to "see," i.e., to appreciate, "true joy" in other situations.
The celebration of Simchas Beis HaShoevah at present is possible in all places, even in the Diaspora, and can, as explained above, take the place of the service in the Beis HaMikdash. The ultimate goal, however, is to fuse the advantages of our service with the service in the Beis HaMikdash. Indeed, we have the right to demand, "Why we should we be deprived?" How much longer must we wait in exile?
The Rebbeim would always emphasize the advantage of the service in which they were presently involved. For this reason, we find ma'amarim from each holiday explaining why that holiday reflects the highest and most essential revelations. There is no contradiction in doing so, for each holiday -- and each day -- has a particular quality in which it is the most complete expression of G-dliness and, on that day, all other elements of our service, are elevated through that quality. Thus, on each particularly festival, the Rebbeim would sense the unique dimension of that festival and explain how it reflects the highest revelations although, on the previous festival or even on the previous night, they had explained how that night or festival was associated with the highest revelations.
Tonight, the fourth night of Sukkos has several unique dimensions:
- The majority of the holiday of Sukkos has been celebrated. Thus, based on the Talmudic principle, "the majority of an entity can be considered as the entity in its totality," we have the advantage of the service of the entire holiday.
- It is associated with the ushpiz: Moshe, our teacher, and the Chassidic ushpiz, the Mitteler Rebbe.
- The fourth day of Sukkos is associated with Jewish women. The number three is associated with the three Patriarchs and the number four, with the four Matriarchs. This points to the advantage of Jewish women as expressed in their kindling of Shabbos and festival candles. This contributes light to their household and to the entire household of Israel.
Similarly, the uniqueness of Jewish women is reflected in the quality of tzniyus, "modesty."
In this dimension, we have seen an improvement in the last years. To a greater degree, women are now dressing in a manner which reflects the inner beauty of the Jewish woman without arousing undesirable thoughts in the minds of others.
Our Sages stated, "In the merit of righteous women, we left Egypt." Similarly, the merit of the righteous women of our generation will lead to the fulfillment of the prophecy, "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders."
This will be enhanced by our celebration of Simchas Beis HaShoevah. If the coming of Mashiach is delayed, that celebration will take place here in Brooklyn. However, through celebrating in a complete manner, "making the street itself dance" as explained in previous years, we will soon find ourselves in Eretz Yisrael and in Jerusalem, where we will continue the celebration of Simchas Beis HaShoevah.
- (Back to text) This is possible because "G-d desires the heart," and through our heartfelt prayers we can reach a higher level.
- (Back to text) Although there was an element of prayer involved in the service of the service of the priests and the chanting of the Levites, prayer was primarily associated with the worship of the Israelites.
- (Back to text) As the Alter Rebbe explains in Likkutei Torah, this relates to a person bringing his animal soul close to G-d as implied by the verse, "A person who will sacrifice from you an animal..." The somewhat awkward phraseology of the verse focuses our attention on the fact that the sacrifices must come "from you," from the animal within us.
- (Back to text) Here, there is also a connection to the sacrifices which were offered for all the Jews who contributed their half-shekalim to the Beis HaMikdash, even those in the Diaspora. Furthermore, those sacrifices were offered with the intent that all those who would later contribute would have a portion in those offerings.
The latter concept can be extended to include all those Jews who lived in the era after the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed and will give their contribution of a half-shekel later in the era of the Resurrection. Why should they be denied a portion in the sacrificial offerings?
- (Back to text) Demanding, "Why should we be deprived?", is important. We find that when a number of Jews made that demand in regard to the Pesach sacrifice, not only weren't they punished for making the demand, they (and the entire Jewish people in subsequent generations) were given a new mitzvah, the mitzvah of Pesach Sheni and an entire new portion in Torah, because they made this demand. (This mitzvah teaches us, as the Previous Rebbe explains, that "Nothing is ever lost and there is always the opportunity to correct the situation.")
- (Back to text) The uniqueness of each of the ushpizen was spoken about in previous years and these sichos have already been printed together with notes and references.
Printing Torah thoughts with notes and references is advantageous because, in this manner, one is exposed to a "wealth of knowledge" that one might not appreciate originally.
[May this also be reflected in actual wealth. This is particularly relevant on the festivals when there are many expenses and especially, on Sukkos when there are also the expenses of the sukkah and a lulav and esrog. (In this context, it is worthy to mention the conduct of the Arizal, who would never ask the price of an article he would purchase for a mitzvah. Instead, he would reach into his wallet and pay for it generously without even looking at the amount he paid.)]
- (Back to text) Together, three and four equal seven which represents the total of our emotional potentials.
Significantly, three precedes four. This reflects how the Patriarchs set the tone for the service of the Matriarchs as our Sages declared, "Who is a proper woman? One who fulfills the will of her husband."
[There is room for latitude in this. Indeed, we find G-d instructing Avraham to listen to everything which Sarah tells him. Similarly, the word oseh, translated as "fulfills" in the above quote, literally means "makes." This allows for the interpretation that a woman has the potential to make, i.e., channel in a new direction, her husband's will. Nevertheless, these are exceptions, and, in general, a woman should follow her husband's guidance.]
- (Back to text) In this context, it is significant to note that the Knesses Yisrael, the spiritual source for the Jewish souls, is referred to in feminine terms.
- (Back to text) The importance of tzinius is not only confined to Jews. On the contrary, the modesty of the women in the world at large is also important as evidenced by the flood which came because of the lack of this quality.
- (Back to text) This is particularly associated with the present year, Ç"ÉÖÜ which is a year when, "I will show you wonders."
- (Back to text) Tonight is also a time when the limitations of Shabbos and the festivals are lifted and the celebrations can be enhanced by musical instruments. Similarly, there is the potential to travel to other cities as is customary and spread the joy and happiness that is felt here to other places.