The nature of the month of Nissan is reflected by the holiday of Pesach, "the season of our freedom." This year this dimension is given additional emphasis because the Pesach holiday began on Shabbos. In regard to the days of the week, Shabbos is a day of freedom, a day when we are "freed" from work and other mundane activities and all of our needs have been prepared for previously. This allows each Jew to feel that he is free and, furthermore, that he controls his environment.
The freedom of Pesach resembles the freedom that will be experienced in the Era of Redemption. All redemptions share a common factor. In particular, the redemption from Egypt which is commemorated on Pesach was the first redemption and thus, includes within it the source for all subsequent redemptions, including the ultimate redemption.
Indeed, the redemption from Egypt was intended to lead directly to that ultimate redemption. This is reflected in the Jews' declaration in the song of the Red Sea, "G-d will reign forever and ever." This declaration reflected the state of the Jewish people at that time and would have been expressed within the world at large, allowing for a redemption that would never be followed by exile had not several undesirable events occurred.
Furthermore, the connection between the exodus from Egypt and the ultimate redemption began even before the splitting of the sea as reflected in the verse, "These are the journeys of the children of Israel who left the land of Egypt."
It took only one journey to leave Egypt. Why does the verse mention "journeys"? To intimate that all the journeys of the Jewish people, the entire progress of our people throughout the generations until they reach, "the Sanctuary of G-d established by Your hands," the Third Beis HaMikdash, was included in the first journey out of Egypt.
There is, however, a difference between the splitting of the sea and the exodus. Our Sages explain that even though the Jews left Egypt, they still feared the Egyptians within their hearts. It was not until the Egyptians were totally annihilated at the Red Sea did this fear depart from them.
In contrast, when the Jews left Egypt, the Egyptians were still in a position of power. Indeed, it was they who drove the Jews out of Egypt. This is reflected in the miracle associated with Shabbos HaGadol, "the smiting of Egypt with their firstborn." This implies that although the Egyptians were "smitten" by their own sons because they refused to free the Jews, nevertheless, they remained powerful. The miraculous nature of this process is that it was their own firstborn -- the power of the Egyptians -- who smote them so that they would release the Jews.
At present, in this, the year when "I will show you wonders," beginning from the days of Purim, we have seen a reenactment of the miracle of "To strike Egypt with their firstborn." Mitzrayim, Egypt in Hebrew, is related to the word meitzorim which means "cause suffering," and thus refers to "those who cause suffering to the Jews." The firstborn of Egypt, i.e., the most powerful forces among the gentiles, struck out against the power who desired to cause suffering to the Jews, humiliating him and forcing him to carry out all the directives which they dictated to him, beginning from his acknowledgement of regret for his previous conduct.
Purim was just the beginning of his downfall; his descent has continued from day to day, until at present, in the last days of Nissan, the firstborn of the gentiles (i.e., the United Nations) has given him a detailed list of instructions including: a) the return of all captives, and that this be supervised by the U.N. to ensure that this commitment is indeed kept, and b) payment for all the damages that he caused according to a fixed timetable. Furthermore, they are compelling him to reveal and to destroy all the weaponry which he has concealed until the present.
Therefore, when a Jew asks when can we actually see miracles, revealed wonders like those which accompanied the redemptions of Pesach and Purim, we should tell him to look at what is happening before his eyes.
Indeed, the miracles we are seeing surpass those of Purim. The miracles of Purim were enclothed within the natural order, and in order to allow us to appreciate them, it is necessary for the Megillah to relate the entire chronology of Achashverosh's reign. In contrast, the miracles of the present year are openly revealed and we see how the enemy of the Jewish people has been routed and humiliated, and furthermore, how that humiliation has continued and increased until the present day.
Everyone knows about all these matters because they have been published in the newspapers. For some reason, everyone feels that it's important that he knows everything which is printed in the newspapers, and indeed, that he know all the details and be able to venture an opinion about what the generals and the ministers say.
In truth, a Jew's direct effect on these matters is very limited. The primary manner in which he can have an effect is to recite a chapter of Tehillim or to increase his study of the Torah and his performance of its mitzvos, and to do the latter b'hiddur, in a beautiful and conscientious manner. And most important, to study P'nimiyus HaTorah which prepares the world for Mashiach's coming. This is where a Jew should devote his energies. Nevertheless, everyone wastes a certain amount of time clarifying these current events, finding out what so and so says, and trying to prove that so and so made a mistake and the like. This is the opposite of the conduct of "a wise and understanding nation." Indeed, even gentiles can appreciate its fruitlessness.
The above is enhanced by the fact that this year, we read Parshas Shemini, eight times. It is said Shemini Shemoneh Shemainoh, "When Parshas Shemini is read eight times (i.e., this includes the readings on the Shabbos afternoons and on Mondays and Thursdays), it will be a plentiful year." The year will also be plentiful with miracles and wonders, including the wonders which everyone saw in the past, sees in the present, and will see more of in the future. As we see in the last days, there was another U.N. resolution against Saddam. Surely, we will see more wonders of this nature in the future, and in the very near future.
May G-d grant every Jew "eyes to see, ears to hear, and a knowing heart," to appreciate these wonders. Surely, these potentials have been granted for it is already past the fortieth year. It is written, "For forty years, I quarreled with a generation;" i.e., for forty years, G-d kept the Jews in the desert. Ultimately, however, the psalm concludes with the mention of "My resting place." In the fullest sense, this is a reference to the Era of Redemption when we will experience true rest and rest from this, the final exile.
In addition to each person's appreciation of these miracles, he has an obligation to make them known to a friend and to influence his friends to realize that he is seeing open miracles. His friend may have convinced himself that nothing special is happening, that everything is carrying on in an ordinary manner. It is necessary to explain to such a person that these are open miracles and that they are an expression of the miraculous nature of Nissan as our Sages said, "When a person sees a word with two nunnim in a dream, miracles of a truly wondrous nature will occur to him." If this is true when such a word appears in a dream, surely it is true in regard to the month of Nissan.
This is also the answer which a father or a mother must give a child when the child asks at the Seder "Why do we recline?" and the child continues asking: It says in the Haggadah, "The Holy One, blessed be He, did not redeem only our ancestors from Egypt, but rather, He redeemed us with them;" "Had the Holy One, blessed be He, not redeemed our ancestors from Egypt, we, our children and our children's children would be slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt." The child complains: We have not seen miracles like our ancestors did?
We must answer him that we have seen such miracles: We have seen how G-d "smote Egypt with their firstborn," one of the miracles which accompanied the exodus from Egypt.
May the redemption come immediately so that we will not have to spend any further time explaining about the miracles G-d works for us. There is a greater potential for this in the present year when the first day of Pesach and thus the last day of Pesach fall on Shabbos, "the days of your rejoicing." The last day of Pesach is when it is customary to hold the Feast of Mashiach, when the concept of Mashiach is internalized to the point where it becomes part of our flesh and blood. Thus, the distribution of kos shel berachah was on Saturday night, a time associated with partaking of the Melaveh Malkah, the meal associated with King David, the anointed king.
May we proceed from the last days of Pesach to the ultimate redemption. There is a connection between the two for the first days of Pesach are associated with the redemption from Egypt and the last days, and in particular, the eighth day, are associated with the ultimate redemption.
There is another dimension to the miraculous sequence of events which is taking place at present that resembles the exodus from Egypt. The Midrash relates that when the Jews "spoiled" the Egyptians, they took even the gold and the silver which was hidden away. When the Jews asked them for gifts, the Egyptians forced them to take all their treasured property.
Similarly, today, after the enemy of the Jews was routed, he was forced to reveal all his hidden treasures and give them to other nations, including generous nations who will employ these resources for positive purposes. Among these purposes are the settlement of those Jews who have in a very real way experienced an exodus from Egypt, i.e., the Jews who are leaving Russia and coming to settle in Eretz Yisrael. These funds are being used to meet the needs of these immigrants, and indeed to allow them to settle in prosperity, in a manner in which they will acquire both material and spiritual wealth.
Even those Jews who have left Russia and for various reasons settled in the U.S., in Australia, and in other lands will also join them soon in Eretz Yisrael, and we will proceed to Jerusalem whose Hebrew name Yerushalayim, relates to the concept of yirah shaleim ("complete fear"); i.e., when we see a Jew, we will be able to point to him and say "Here is a Jew who is a perfect example of a G-d-fearing person. Similarly, his wife and his children have all acquired this same quality."
We will merit this by reaching complete fear -- to the fullest extent possible -- at present in exile. Similarly, this will be enhanced by the efforts of the entire Jewish people helping these Russian Jews settle in Eretz Yisrael. Among those offering this assistance are Jews who previously did not have -- in an open and revealed way -- a connection to the Torah and its mitzvos. They will begin to develop such a connection by helping other people in their observance and, then step by step, they and their families will also begin studying the Torah and observing its mitzvos, and doing so with happiness and joy.
There is a greater emphasis on this in the month of Nissan, a month when the entire Jewish people are described as Tzaddikim, "righteous." This is reflected in the practice where Tachanun (which includes the confessional prayers) is omitted throughout the month of Nissan. In Nissan, a Jew is above the need for repentance for sin. He too will turn to G-d in teshuvah, but with teshuvah which has no connection with sin, but rather resembles the ultimate state of teshuvah to which Mashiach will motivate the righteous in the Era of Redemption.
May we merit to have all the above revealed openly. And this will start with our appreciation of the miracles which have happened already -- an appreciation so great that we will not be embarrassed to dance in celebration for we are witnessing open miracles each day. When we make an effort to explain this to others, we will see that this explanation will be readily accepted.
This together with our increase in the study of Torah, both P'nimiyus HaTorah and Nigleh, and the performance of its mitzvos b'hiddur will lead to the era when "the pleasantness of G-d will be upon us" and "the work of our hands will establish it."
Helping to Bring Mashiach
After a regular weekday Maariv last Thursday evening, the eve of 28 Nissan 5751, the Rebbe Shlita began to deliver what first appeared to be a regular sichah, whose format and style promised to resemble many hundreds of previous sichos. The Rebbe opened by relating the theme of redemption to the distinctive spiritual potential of the present year, the present month and week, and so on.
After a short time, however, everything changed. The intricate scholarly discussion came to an end, and in tones of intense clarity the Rebbe turned to the community of chassidim assembled that night at "770", addressing them directly -- most unusually -- in the second person. Unmistakably, this was a cry from the heart.
The Rebbe's words were highly charged: "What more can I do to motivate the entire Jewish people to clamor and cry out, and thus actually bring about the coming of Mashiach? All that has been done until now has been to no avail. For we are still in exile.... All that I can possibly do is to give the matter over to you. Now, do everything you can to bring Mashiach, here and now, immediately.... I have done whatever I can: from now on, you must do whatever you can...."
On the following Shabbos Parshas Shemini, the Rebbe explained his meaning: The responsibility lies on every individual to hasten the coming of Mashiach by increasing his study of the Torah, both on the revealed level (of Talmud, Torah law, etc.) and on the mystical level of pnimiyus haTorah (i.e., Chassidus), as well as by upgrading his performance of the mitzvos -- behiddur, in a beautiful and conscientious manner.
The Rebbe's message rings loud and clear: it is up to us to hear it.
Today is a day of distinctive import which shares a special connection with the true and ultimate Redemption. This bond is reflected in the present year; in the present month, and the day of the month; and in the present week, and the day of the week. In particular, this bond is reflected in this day as it figures within the context of the Counting of the Omer. In the latter context, our Sages taught, "It is a mitzvah to count the days and it is a mitzvah to count the weeks."
On this occasion, it is important to emphasize how essential it is that we complete our service of G-d which is directed to bringing about the true and ultimate Redemption.
The connection to the present year -- As mentioned frequently throughout the year, the Hebrew letters numerically equivalent to the date of the present year 5751 (Ç"ÉÖÜ) form an acronym for the words ÜàÇîöÉ àÉÇÿÇ ÜÉÖ ÇäÜ 'ëä -- "This will surely be a year when I will show you wonders."
In particular, in the order in which these letters are usually written (which is significant in Torah law, because legal documents are composed using this order, placing the tens before the units), the nun appears before the alef, àÉÇÿÇ ÜàÇîöÉ rather than ÜàÇîöÉ àÉÇÿÇ. In contrast, the order àÉÇÿÇ
ÜàÇîöÉ is the order in which these words appear in the verse, "As in the days of your exodus from the land of Egypt, I will show you wonders."
Both of these orders can provide us with insights regarding the nature of the year. The first order, àÉÇÿÇ ÜàÇîöÉ, implies that the "wonders" may exist without being openly revealed. This is reflected in our Sages' statement that a person to whom a miracle occurs may not recognize the miracle that has occurred to him. Although "wonders" are greater than "miracles," it is possible that these wonders will be so transcendent in nature that only G-d will be able to appreciate them. In this context, the verse "He works wonders alone," is interpreted to mean that some wonders are so great that G-d alone can appreciate them.
The added word àÉÇÿÇ, "I will show you," implies that G-d Himself will reveal these miracles, making it possible for us to appreciate them with our mortal eyes. We will be able to appreciate these wonders not because they are not great, but rather because G-d Himself will become involved with revealing miracles that are so transcendent that ordinarily He alone would be able to appreciate them. Otherwise, as the world exists within its own natural context, these miracles could not be perceived.
Nevertheless, the order in which the words appear in the verse ÜàÇîöÉ àÉÇÿÇ is also significant. It implies that, at the outset, there is already a revelation of wonders which transcend our worldly frame of reference.
Thus, the two orders complement each other: The order ÜàÇîöÉ àÉÇÿÇ implies that a transcendent level of G-dliness will be revealed, but that the revelation will be initiated from above, without being completely related to the framework of our world. In contrast, the order àÉÇÿÇ ÜàÇîöÉ emphasizes that the revelation will permeate our frame of reference. It does not, however, reflect a revelation that is utterly transcendent in nature.
Thus, the ultimate state results from a fusion of the two orders. In this ultimate state, the most transcendent levels of revelation permeate every aspect of this material world. First and foremost, this refers to the wonders described in the prophecy, "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders" -- the revelation of the wonders of the true and ultimate Redemption to be led by Mashiach.
The connection with the present month -- Nissan is a month of redemption, the month in which the exodus from Egypt took place, and the month in which the future redemption will take place. As our Sages declared, "In Nissan they were redeemed, and in Nissan they will ultimately be redeemed."
The connection with the present day -- This is the night between the 27th and 28th of Nissan. Each of those dates is significant. The number 27 is equivalent to the word èå, meaning "pure," as in the phrase "pure olive oil." Such oil produces a bright light. Thus the 27th of Nissan reflects how Nissan (the Redemption) will be brightly revealed.
The number 27 is also significant in that it is three times nine. Three is associated with the concept of chazakah, a threefold sequence associated with strength and permanence as in the continuum of three holy days (Rosh HaShanah and Shabbos) with which this year began. Nine is three times three, i.e., a chazakah in regard to this chazakah (as reflected in the three times this sequence was repeated in Tishrei), and 27 is a further multiple of three.
The number 28 is equivalent to the word çï, which reflects the strength and power of Nissan (i.e., the Redemption). Moreover, it indicates that the potential has been granted to actually bring about the Redemption.
The connection with the present week -- This week is associated with Parshas Shemini. Shemini means "the eighth," and thus relates to the Redemption, which is identified with the number eight. There is a particular emphasis on this on the present day, the day preceding the Shabbos when the entire parshah is read. Furthermore, this is the third week (a chazakah) associated with Parshas Shemini, the first portion of which is read eight times (when including the readings of Shabbos afternoon and of Mondays and Thursdays). Thus, within the current framework of redemption, this pattern of readings indicates a heightened degree of redemption.
The significance of the present time is also reflected in the coming days. The 29th of Nissan is the day before Rosh Chodesh (Iyar), a day often described as Yom Kippur Katan ("Yom Kippur in microcosm"). Our Sages describe Yom Kippur as the day of the marriage between G-d and the Jewish people (for on Yom Kippur, the Second Tablets were given). The consummation of this marital bond will take place in the era of Redemption.
In particular, this year is distinctive in that the day preceding Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbos. In months such as this, the penitential prayers of Yom Kippur Katan are recited before the advent of Shabbos. On Shabbos, all that remains is the service of G-d which is characterized by happiness, which is appropriate for Shabbos. As our Sages commented, " 'On your days of rejoicing' -- These are the Shabbosos." Also, Shabbos itself reflects the era of Redemption, which is described as "the day which is entirely Shabbos and rest for eternity."
We then proceed to Rosh Chodesh. This represents a renewal of the moon, which is intrinsically related to the Jewish people who "resemble the moon, fix their calendar according to the moon, and ultimately [in the era of Redemption] will be renewed as the moon is renewed." This month, there are two days of Rosh Chodesh, the first day of which leads us to the second day (which is the first day of the new month). Thus the dimension of Rosh Chodesh which is associated with the Redemption is repeated and reinforced.
We then proceed to the second of Iyar, the birthday of the Rebbe Maharash, the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe. Chassidim emphasize the connection of that day to the Sefirah Tiferes ShebeTiferes ("Beauty within beauty"). This day is associated with his characteristic pattern of conduct, known as Lechat'chilah ariber. As the Rebbe Maharash would say, "Generally, people say, 'If you can't crawl under, try to climb over,' and I say, Lechat'chilah ariber: 'Right from the outset, you should climb over.' " This level of conduct can also have a retroactive effect, elevating all the preceding days (beginning with the 27th of Nissan), and causing them to reflect the qualities of Tiferes ShebeTiferes and Lechat'chilah ariber.
The connection with the days of the Counting of the Omer -- The days of the Counting of the Omer connect Pesach (the season of our freedom) with Shavuos (the season of the giving of our Torah). Thus the Counting of the Omer emphasizes how the exodus from Egypt was intended to lead to our receiving the Torah, and reflects likewise how the imminent exodus from the present exile is intended to lead to the consummation of the giving of the Torah -- the revelation of "the new [dimension of the] Torah which will emerge from Me."
There is an added emphasis on the Counting of the Omer this year, since Pesach falls on Shabbos. On the verse, "they shall be seven perfect weeks," the Midrash comments, "When are they perfect? When Pesach falls on Shabbos, and our counting begins on Saturday night. Thus the weeks are perfect," "because they begin on the first day of the week and conclude on Shabbos." Thus, since the Counting of the Omer is always associated with "perfection," this year this appears in a higher dimension, "perfection within perfection." This also adds greater perfection to the concept of redemption in these days.
In particular, the numbers counted on the current days provide us with unique lessons. The 27th of Nissan is the twelfth day of the Omer. The number twelve is associated with the Twelve Tribes, the complete Jewish nation, which will be reunited in the era of Redemption. The 28th of Nissan is the thirteenth day of the Omer. Thirteen is the numerical equivalent of the word echad, meaning "one," and thus points to the fulfillment of the prophecy that "On that day, G-d will be One and His name will be One."
This brings us to the fourteenth day of the Omer. Fourteen is numerically equivalent to the word yad, meaning "hand." In the narrative of the exodus, the word "hand" is mentioned three times: G-d's "strong hand," the Jews' "upraised hand," and G-d's "great hand."
This in turn brings us to the fifteenth day of the Omer, a number associated with a full moon, which reflects a state of completeness for the Jewish people, as explained above.
Because of the unique stress on the Redemption in this time, an astonishing question arises: How is it possible that despite all these factors, Mashiach has not yet come? This is beyond all possible comprehension.
It is also beyond comprehension that when ten (and many times ten) Jews gather together at a time that is appropriate for the Redemption to come, they do not raise a clamor great enough to cause Mashiach to come immediately. They are, heaven forbid, able to accept the possibility that Mashiach will not arrive tonight, and even that he will not arrive tomorrow, or on the day after tomorrow, heaven forbid.
Even when people cry out Ad masai? ("Until when will we remain in exile?"), they do so only because they were told to. If they had sincere intent and earnest desire, and cried out in truth, Mashiach would surely have come already.
What more can I to do to motivate the entire Jewish people to clamor and cry out, and thus actually bring about the coming of Mashiach? All that has been done until now has been to no avail. For we are still in exile; moreover, we are in an inner exile in regard to our own service of G-d.
All that I can possibly do is to give the matter over to you. Now, do everything you can to bring Mashiach, here and now, immediately. Act with all the energy and power of the lights of Tohu, but have your deeds balanced with the stability of the keilim of Tikkun.
May it be G-d's will that ultimately ten Jews will be found who are stubborn enough to resolve to secure G-d's consent to actually bring about the true and ultimate Redemption, here and now immediately. Their stubborn resolve will surely evoke G-d's favor, as reflected by the interpretation of the verse, "for [i.e., because] they are a stiff-necked people; You will pardon our sins and wrongdoings and make us Your possession."
As a further effort on my part to encourage and hasten the coming of the redemption, I will distribute money to each one of you with the intent that you give it to tzedakah, for "Tzedakah is great since it brings the redemption near."
I have done whatever I can; from now on, you must do whatever you can. May it be G-d's will that there will be one, two, or three among you who will appreciate what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, and may you actually be successful and bring about the true and complete redemption. May this take place immediately, in a spirit of happiness and with gladness of heart.
- (Back to text) Looking over the history of Achashverosh's rule, one realizes how great a fool he was. Although he was the ruler of the entire world, he committed one stupidity after another. As the Megillah relates, in the third year of his reign, when he attempted to establish his rule over his empire, what did he do? First of all, he tried to join Mordechai and Haman together (as our Sages commented on the verse "to do the bidding of each and every man"). Everyone knew that Mordechai and Haman hated each other and yet, Achashverosh tried to get them to work together.
Afterwards, to impress his subjects, he threw a party intended for each person to get drunk, granting them as much wine as they could possibly drink. Every drunkard in Achashverosh's entire empire could receive as much wine as he wanted. This was the manner in which he thought to impress his people.
- (Back to text) The three generations mentioned reflect the theme of a chazakah, a concept that has been emphasized frequently this year.
- (Back to text) They are not being forced to travel on camels or donkeys, but are flying in airplanes, relating to the prophetic vision that the Jews will come to Eretz Yisrael "on the clouds of the heavens."
- (Back to text) In particular, this involves helping Russian Jews arrange for circumcision, a mitzvah which they are asking and indeed, fighting to be given the opportunity to fulfill.
- (Back to text) As explained in several places in Chassidic thought, Tishrei is associated with the service of teshuvah and Nissan with the service of tzaddikim.
- (Back to text) See Taanis 29a; Arachin 11b. See also Rashi's commentary to Behaalos'cha 9:7 and Ki Seitzei 22:8.
- (Back to text) Menachos 66a.
- (Back to text) The fact that the Counting of the Omer takes into consideration both the days and the weeks contributes an additional dimension to the days and the weeks that exist within the natural order.
This is particularly relevant this year when Pesach falls on Shabbos and we begin counting the Omer on Saturday night. Thus, the weeks of the Counting of the Omer are perfect insofar as they correspond to the weekly cycle, as will be explained. This further emphasizes the interrelationship between the Counting of the Omer and the weekly cycle, as explained in the farbrengen of Acharon shel Pesach.
- (Back to text) See the Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 126:5 and commentaries.
- (Back to text) Michah 7:15.
- (Back to text) Niddah 31a.
- (Back to text) Tehillim 136:4. See also the explanation of this verse in Or HaTorah -- Nach (p. 487) and Yahel Or 153 ff., which connects the prophecy "I will show you wonders" with the verse "He works wonders alone."
- (Back to text) Rashi, Niddah, loc. cit.
- (Back to text) For, as Shabbos 63a states, "The meaning of a verse never departs from its simple interpretation."
- (Back to text) The miracles of the ultimate Redemption will be considered as "wonders" even in comparison with the miracles of the exodus from Egypt (Or HaTorah -- Nach, ibid.).
- (Back to text) Shmos Rabbah 15:11.
- (Back to text) Rosh HaShanah 11a; Shmos Rabbah, loc. cit.
- (Back to text) Tetzaveh 27:20.
- (Back to text) Bava Metzia 106b.
- (Back to text) This is true in the diaspora where at present, in the era of exile, the majority of the Jewish people is located. In Eretz Yisrael there is also a connection with Parshas Shemini, for the blessing for the present week is drawn down from Shabbos Parshas Shemini.
- (Back to text) This is reflected in Arachin 13b, which states that the harp of the era of Mashiach will be of eight strands.
- (Back to text) Friday's portion of the weekly reading mentions the four non-kosher animals which represent the four kingdoms by which the Jews have been exiled, and whose influence will be nullified in the era of Redemption (Vayikra Rabbah at the conclusion of this parshah).
- (Back to text) On Shabbos, the entire parshah is read communally. On Friday it is studied by each individual, twice in the original and once in translation (Tur, Shulchan Aruch, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 285). The custom of the Rebbeim of Chabad was to begin this study on Thursday night (HaYom Yom, entry for 4 Teves).
- (Back to text) The interconnection between these days can be explained as follows: Shabbos is connected with Friday since, as our Sages declared, "Whoever prepares on Friday will eat on Shabbos." The days of the coming week are blessed through the preceding Shabbos and therefore also share its connection with Friday.
- (Back to text) The letters of Iyar (ÿëëÇ) serve as an acronym for the names Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov and Rachel (Meorei Or 1:84), who represent the four "legs" of the heavenly chariot. This indicates the uniqueness of the fourth "leg" of the chariot which is associated with King David (Zohar I, 248b). David is referred as "the anointed king," Malka Meshicha.
- (Back to text) See the notes of the Pri Chadash to Orach Chayim, chap. 417; Shnei Luchos HaBris (120b).
- (Back to text) Taanis 26b; see also Rashi's commentary to Taanis 30b.
- (Back to text) Shmos Rabbah, the conclusion of chap. 15.
- (Back to text) This is emphasized by the recitation of the haftorah, which begins, "Tomorrow is the new moon."
- (Back to text) The above-mentioned Pri Chadash cites the discussion which concludes that when Rosh Chodesh falls on Sunday, the prayer service of Yom Kippur Katan is carried out on Thursday. This further emphasizes the connection between Thursday and Shabbos.
- (Back to text) Sifri, Behaalos'cha 10:10.
- (Back to text) The conclusion of Tractate Tamid.
- (Back to text) See Sukkah 29a.
- (Back to text) The Kiddush Levanah prayers (Sanhedrin 42a).
- (Back to text) In contrast, the first day of Rosh Chodesh is counted as the 30th day of the previous month (Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 126:6).
- (Back to text) The concept of repetition itself is connected with the redemption (cf. Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer, sec. 48).
- (Back to text) HaYom Yom, entry for 2 Iyar.
- (Back to text) See Igrois Koidesh (the letters of the Previous Rebbe), Vol. I, page 617.
- (Back to text) All the ruling kingdoms (and exiles) are included under the title, Mitzrayim (i.e., Egypt; cf. Vayikra Rabbah, at the conclusion of Parshas Shemini).
- (Back to text) The giving of the Torah takes place on the fiftieth day of the Counting of the Omer, when the fiftieth gate of understanding is revealed (see Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar 10d ff). Nun (which equals 50) is the first letter of -- and thus can be considered as an acronym for -- the Hebrew word Niflaos, meaning "wonders." The connection between 50 and Niflaos is also emphasized by the fact that Niflaos (ÜàÇîöÉ) can be divided into nun pla'os (ÜàÇîö É), meaning "50 wonders" (Zohar I, 261b).
- (Back to text) Yeshayahu 51:4; Vayikra Rabbah 13:3.
Since G-d "looked into the Torah and created the world" (Zohar I, 161b), the revelation of a new dimension of Torah will bring about a renewal in the world at large, bringing into being "a new heaven and a new earth" (Yeshayahu 66:22). How much more so will it bring about a renewal within the Jewish people (for whose sake the world was created). As the above verse continues, "and so your seed and your name will stand." (See the conclusion of Likkutei Torah.)
- (Back to text) Emor 23:15.
- (Back to text) Pesikta deRav Kahana, chap. 8.
- (Back to text) Rashi on Menachos 65b.
- (Back to text) See Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXII, p. 145.
- (Back to text) Note that the daily portion of the Mishneh Torah of the Rambam studied on Friday deals with the Counting of the Omer (Hilchos Temidim U'Musafim, chap. 7).
- (Back to text) Thirteen is also the numerical equivalent of the word yavo in the phrase yavo shilo ("Shilo will come"), which alludes to the coming of Mashiach (Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XI, page 8).
- (Back to text) Zechariah 14:9.
- (Back to text) See Likkutei Torah, Naso, 21b ff.
- (Back to text) Bo 13:3.
- (Back to text) Beshalach 14:8.
- (Back to text) Ibid. 14:31.
- (Back to text) See the Zohar I, 150a, regarding the significance of the full moon.
- (Back to text) [Tohu represents the primordial world-order in which the distinctive spiritual energy (the "light") of each Sefirah is released uncompounded and unrestrained. Tikkun, by contrast, represents the modified world-order in which the distinctive spiritual energy of the various Sefiros is harnessed and synthesized in the "vessels" of reason.]
- (Back to text) Significantly, the verse "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders" is interpreted as G-d's answer to the prophet's prayer for the coming of the ultimate redemption (Radak, Metzudas David).
- (Back to text) See Shmos Rabbah, the conclusion of chap. 42, Likkutei Torah, Balak 67d.
- (Back to text) Ki Sisa 34:9.
- (Back to text) Bava Basra 10a, and see Tanya, chap. 37.