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Glossary

Anticipating The Redemption - Volume 1

Maamar Borei Niv Sifasayim

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  Maamar Veatah TetzavehGlossary  

Published In Honor Of Rosh Chodesh Kislev, 5753

By the Grace of G-d
13 Tishrei, 5748

" 'I will create fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,' says G-d. 'I will heal him.' "[1]

When analyzing this verse in a maamar with this title that was recited on the thirteenth of Tishrei fifty years ago,[2] the Previous Rebbe explains that "the fruit of the lips" refers to the spontaneous expression of speech.[3] {The implications of the allusion "the fruit of the lips" is that "the fruit," i.e., the speech, comes from the lips themselves. The speech is not motivated by thought or a [specific] purpose, but rather comes as a spontaneous expression.} [This provokes a question:] What is the advantage of such spontaneous speech?

Also [worthy of attention is the verb] employed by the verse, "I will create the fruit of the lips." The word "create" refers to a new development, bringing into being a new entity which previously did not exist, similar to creation ex nihilo (yesh meiayin).[4] {The word "create" is also used in reference to entities which are created from other [previously] existing entities (yesh meiyesh). Thus we find that the term "creation," beriah, is used in reference to all the entities brought into being during the six days of creation.

(This includes even those particular created beings that were brought into existence after the first day of creation, despite the fact that they [were not created ex nihilo, but rather] were created from the heavens and the earth which were created on the first day[5] of creation.[6]) For example, it is written,[7] "And G-d created man," although [the source for] man's body [existed previously, for he] was formed from the earth.[8] Similarly, in regard to man's soul, it is written,[9] "And He blew into his nostrils a living soul." Blowing does not represent the creation of a new entity ex nihilo. Instead, blowing refers to extending the breath [of life] which existed beforehand, a transition from one entity to another (yesh meiyesh).

([In the latter context, the term yesh meiyesh, an entity from an entity, is particularly significant.] For the entity, yesh, from which the soul was brought into being is the true Yesh, the truth of all being. For it is explained[10] that when one blows, one blows from one's very depths. The "very depths" [of G-d's being], ("His inner dimension and His depths"[11]), represents the truth of existence.)

[This concept may be summarized as follows: Even when] the term beriah is used to describe the creation of an entity from a previously existing entity, it is used to refer to a new phase of existence which is comparable to creation ex nihilo.}

Accordingly, [to refer again to the verse] "I will create the fruit of the lips." [The use of the term borei ("I will create")] implies that "the fruit of the lips" is a new entity.[12]

This indicates that "the fruit of the lips," i.e., the spontaneous speech [emerging from the lips themselves] possesses an advantage - and indeed, an incomparable advantage ([for it represents] a new entity) - over speech which results from thought and is purpose-oriented. This requires explanation, for (from an obvious perspective), it would appear that speech which results from thought and which is purpose-oriented has an advantage over the spontaneous expression of speech. Nevertheless, the phrase "I will create the fruit of the lips" indicates that the spontaneous expression of speech possesses an advantage, and indeed, an incomparable advantage.

II

[The Previous Rebbe's] maamar continues, citing the commentary of the Radak to the above verse. That commentary mentions two interpretations of the phrase "to the far and to the near." The Radak himself interprets ["to the far"] as referring to one who is far removed from Jerusalem, and ["to the near,"] to one who is close to [that city].

Afterwards, he cites our Sages' interpretation that "the far" refers to baalei teshuvah ("those who turn to G-d in teshuvah"), and "the close" to tzaddikim ("the righteous"). Thus the Talmud states,[13] "The perfectly righteous cannot stand in the place of baalei teshuvah" as implied by the verse "Peace, peace, to the far and to the near," i.e., [the greetings of peace] are addressed to those who were originally far removed, and then came close.

Here also, there is a point which requires explanation: The fact that the maamar cites the interpretation of the Radak before the interpretation of the Talmud appears to indicate that the former interpretation is more closely related to the theme of the maamar than the interpretation of the Talmud. Here, clarification is necessary: For the maamar dwells on the advantage baalei teshuvah possess over the righteous (as will be explained), [a theme which seemingly relates to the interpretation of the Talmud]. Why then does the maamar mention the interpretation of the Radak - that "the far" refers to one far removed from Jerusalem - before mentioning the interpretation of the Talmud, that "the far" refers to baalei teshuvah.

The reason that the level of baalei teshuvah surpasses the level of the righteous (as explained in [the Previous Rebbe's] maamar) is because the divine service of baalei teshuvah is [charged] with greater intensity.[14] The maamar explains that the reason for this greater intensity is the distance, i.e., that originally they were far removed from G-dliness. [This requires explanation:] Why should this factor give them an advantage over the righteous who were always close to G-d?"

Similarly, it is necessary to explain (as is highlighted in [the Previous Rebbe's] maamar) why after the verse states, " 'Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,' " the verse continues "says G-d. 'I will heal him.' " Seemingly, once those who are far removed have come close, and they have been granted peace, why is there a need for healing?

III

To explain [the above concepts]: the [Previous Rebbe's] maamar focuses first on the verse,[15] "All that is called by My name, indeed, it is for My glory that I have created it, formed it, and made it." The phrase "I have created it, formed it, and made it," berasiv, yetzartiv, af asitiv, refers to the three spiritual worlds Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah, which include all the [spiritual] realms.[16]

[The maamar explains that the connection of the worlds to Or Ein Sof ("G-d's infinite light") (in [their striving] to ascend) and the influence of Or Ein Sof within the worlds (as [diffused] from above) comes about through the Torah. This is the implication of the phrase "for My glory that I have created it, formed it, and made it." It is through "My glory" - and "the sole meaning of glory is Torah"[17] - that the connection between the worlds and Or Ein Sof [is established] and [through this same medium,] Or Ein Sof is drawn down into the worlds.

The maamar continues, explaining that [more particularly,] the connection of the worlds to Or Ein Sof and the influence of Or Ein Sof within the worlds comes about through three modes of observance, Torah study, divine service, and deeds of kindness. The reason [why these three modes of observance are necessary] is[18] because the three worlds Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah [parallel our three means of expression,] thought, speech, and action.

Therefore, the connection of these three worlds to Or Ein Sof and the influence of Or Ein Sof within these three worlds comes about through Torah study, divine service [prayer], and deeds of kindness. For these three [modes of observance parallel] thought, speech, and action: {Divine service parallels thought,[19] Torah study - speech,[20] and deeds of kindness - deed}.

[Although] the verse states "it is for My glory that I have created it, formed it, and made it" - and "My glory" refers to the Torah - [this is not to the exclusion of the other two modes of observance. They are also channels through which man establishes a bond with G-d and through which G-d diffuses influence to the worlds. The verse mentions the Torah alone explicitly,] because the other two [modes of observance], divine service and deeds of kindness must be governed by the Torah.

Similar concepts apply in regard to the creation of man, and the descent of his soul to [this material plane]. [In this process of] descent, [the soul] passes through the three worlds Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah [as reflected in our morning blessings,[21]] "You created it (Beriah), You formed it (Yetzirah), and You blew it into my nostrils (Asiyah)." For the connection of man to Or Ein Sof and the influence of Or Ein Sof to man comes about through his endeavors in these three [modes of observance]: Torah, divine service, and deeds of kindness. And it is through these modes of service that the soul returns to its source in the essence of Or Ein Sof. [Not only do these endeavors elevate the soul to the level of] "it is pure" (i.e., the level of Atzilus, the level of the soul before its descent [which is alluded to by the phrase] of "And You created it"), the soul ascends to its original source in the essence of Or Ein Sof.

[This spiritual attainment is reflected in the verse,[22]] "And the spirit shall return to G-d who granted it." [The intent in this verse is not the departure of the soul from the body, death,] but rather even as the soul exists on this earthly plane, enclothed in a material body, it will be united with G-d in complete oneness, just as it was included in the essence of Or Ein Sof (before the descent that began with G-d's breathing [the soul into man's nostrils]).[23]

IV

This concept, that "And the spirit shall return to G-d who granted it," {i.e., even as the soul exists on this earthly plane, it will be united with G-d in complete unity, just as it was included in the essence of Or Ein Sof}, is achieved primarily through the service of teshuvah. [Although previously, it was explained that through the three endeavors of Torah study, divine service, and deeds of kindness, the soul is reconnected with its source, a more complete dimension of this connection is established through the service of teshuvah.] It is possible to explain that this is alluded to in the above verse, "And the soul shall return," for "return" tashuv, shares the same root as teshuvah. The essence of the soul's return to its source ("to G-d which granted it") comes about through teshuvah.

To explain: The service of the righteous ([as expressed in the three modes of observance]: Torah study, divine service, and deeds of kindness) is limited. The service of teshuvah, [by contrast,] reflects an unbounded potential. [In the realm of time,] this is indicated by the fact that teshuvah is accomplished "with one turn, in one moment."[24]

Therefore, the soul's return to its source which is accomplished through teshuvah reflects a higher level of return than through [the three modes of observance:] Torah study, divine service, and deeds of kindness (the service of the righteous). On this basis, we can understand [the Talmud's interpretation of the phrase,] "Peace, peace, to the far and to the near," as referring to "those who were originally far removed, and then came close." For the peace that results from the service of teshuvah (one who comes close after being far removed) surpasses the peace achieved by the service of the righteous (those who were [always] close).

On this basis, [we can also comprehend] the continuation of the verse, "says G-d, 'I will heal him.' " For the advantage of the service of teshuvah (peace to those far removed) resembles healing[25] ("I will heal him").

[To explain] this concept ([based on the Previous Rebbe's] maamar[26]): In regard to [the ordinary intake of] food and drink, it is necessary [to ingest] a [relatively] large quantity of food to bring about the strengthening of the connection between the soul and the limbs of the body.

In regard to healing, by contrast, even one drop of medication has the power to strengthen the connection between the soul and the body. The rationale for this is that the power of medication is not bound by the same limitations as the power of food. Therefore, [its influence] is not as dependent on quantity.

Similar concepts apply to teshuvah which has been described with the simile of healing.[27] The reason why teshuvah is accomplished "with one turn, in one moment," and why with one thought of teshuvah, a person can be transformed from an utterly wicked person to a completely righteous person,[28] is because teshuvah is unlimited in nature.

In this context, we can understand the continuation of the verse, "says G-d. 'I will heal him.' " (Although every activity performed is a result, not of [man's] own power, but rather of power granted by G-d, [in teshuvah and healing, the Divine potential is revealed more openly].) For in regard to healing and teshuvah, an infinite potential [is revealed].[29] (And therefore, teshuvah is accomplished "with one turn, in one moment," and actual healing can be brought about by a single drop [of medicine].) In these matters, there is a specific [divine] potential granted from above. [This is indicated by the words] "says G-d."

V

It is possible to add (and [this additional concept is important] for {the matter to be explained} is a matter of necessity for the [entire] generation [as a whole], and for many individuals [in a personal sense]): The meaning of the phrase "I will heal him" is that the healing will be accomplished by G-d.[30]

In general, healing (even healing which comes about through an intermediary, a human being) emanates [from G-d], "G-d says." In this instance, since the healing is drawn down [directly] from G-d Himself, "I G-d am your healer,"[31] it causes that [as the above verse continues,] "all illnesses... I will not place upon you," ([i.e., not merely that G-d will heal illness, but that He will prevent illness from occurring] from the very outset).[32]

Moreover, even when the healing accomplished by "I G-d am your healer" comes, for various reasons, after an undesirable event took place, this healing can be completed without leaving a trace of infirmity, causing it to appear as if the disability never took place.

When healing is accomplished by human beings, firstly, the healing is only in regard to the future,[33] and also, even afterwards, a trace [of the infirmity] remains.[34] When, by contrast, the healing comes from "I G-d am your healer," the infirmity is removed as if it never was.

VI

The [Previous Rebbe's] maamar continues, [focusing on] the fact that the verse states, "says G-d. 'I will heal him,' " after it states "peace, peace to those who are far." This indicates that since originally, the person was far removed from G-d, even when he comes close to G-d (through teshuvah, a service [initiated by] the person himself), and even after he has been granted peace (through [Divine] influence diffused from above), he must still be healed.

This healing comes about through Torah study, and this is the allusion in the phrase "says G-d. 'I will heal him.' " Healing comes about through "says G-d," having [G-d's speech, i.e.,] the letters of the Torah engraved in one's memory.

Also noteworthy is that the maamar's statement that Torah study brings about healing applies also to actual physical healing as it is written,[35] "It [the Torah] is balm to one's entire flesh." Accordingly, it is possible to explain that the concept explained above (sec. 5) that the healing which comes about because, "says G-d. 'I will heal him,' " and which leaves no trace of infirmity, wiping away the disability as if it never took place, applies also when the healing [granted by] G-d comes through the medium of a mortal doctor who heals using medication. The Torah controls all existence, including the existence of healing (medical knowledge, and also the very phenomenon of healing itself). Accordingly, we can understand that it is within the power of the Torah, for even healing that is administered by a mortal using medications and the like, to leave no trace of infirmity and to wipe away the disability as if it never took place.

Even in regard to healing through ordinary means, there are times when treatment removes the infirmity entirely.[36] This, however, is unusual, and the medical treatments that are generally available leave a trace [of the infirmity]. Nevertheless, the fact that such treatment does exist makes it easier to comprehend how the power of the Torah can cause the medical treatment that is commonly available [to be effective] to the extent that it does not leave any trace [of the infirmity].

VII

The [Previous Rebbe's] maamar continues, [focusing again on the beginning of the verse,] "I will create the fruit of the lips. Peace... to those who are far," [stating] that the medium for a person who was far removed, a baal teshuvah, to correct and amend [his circumstance] is "the fruit of the lips," verbal confession. The expression "the fruit of the lips," which alludes to [- as explained at the beginning of this maamar -] the spontaneous expression of speech, is used, because the confession of a baal teshuvah pours out spontaneously, as a result of the anguish felt in the depths of his heart.

The interpretation that "the fruit of the lips" refers to confession follows the interpretation of the Talmud that "peace to those who are far" refers to baalei teshuvah. In regard to the interpretation of the Radak, that "peace to those who are far" refers to those who are distant from Jerusalem, the [Previous Rebbe's] maamar explains that Jerusalem refers to yiras shamayim, "the fear of heaven."[37] A person who is "distant from Jerusalem," is one whose nature is not inclined to the fear of heaven. The advice [offered] to correct [this tendency] is "the fruit of the lips," the study of the Torah.

It is possible to explain that Torah study is called "the fruit of the lips," [which as above] refers to the spontaneous expression of speech, to allude to the concept that a person must be so immersed in the study of the Torah that speaking words of Torah will be a spontaneous reaction.[38] (In a like vein, our Sages[39] state that bowing [when hearing the prayer modim should] be a reflex reaction.)

This concept can be related to the explanation given previously by the maamar regarding the phrase "says G-d. 'I will heal him," that the words of the Torah should be engraved in one's memory. When [letters] are engraved, they become one with the substance on which they are engraved.[40] When a person becomes one with the Torah, the Torah becomes his very being. And then, everything that he says, even when he is not explicitly quoting words of Torah, are Torah words. This is the meaning of "the fruit of the lips," that the fruit of a person's lips (speech which is expressed spontaneously, without intention) will be words of Torah, because the person has become transformed into a new entity; [his] being [is] the Torah.

On this basis, we can appreciate why the [Previous Rebbe's] maamar mentions the interpretation of the Radak [in regard to the phrase "those who are far"] before the interpretation of the Talmud. In regard to the advantage of "the fruit of the lips" (the first concept highlighted in the maamar), the interpretation of the Radak is of greater relevance.

In regard to the interpretation of the Talmud that "those who are far" refer to baalei teshuvah, the "fruit of the lips" refers to confession. In contrast, the concept that "the fruit of the lips" refers to the words of Torah follows the interpretation of the Radak, that "those who are far" refers to those distant from Jerusalem. [This interpretation is preferable,] because the primary advantage of "the fruit of the lips" (spontaneous speech) is when one speaks words of Torah without premeditation. For this reflects how the person has become a new entity, [how his] being [is] the Torah.

VIII

The recitation of the maamar beginning "I will create the fruit of the lips," by the Previous Rebbe, the leader of our generation, and particularly, the publication of the maamar, has granted a [unique] potential to every Jew - and in particular, to those who follow the Previous Rebbe's paths. [This has generated the possibility for] their study of the Torah, and similarly, their involvement in all matters that concern the Previous Rebbe, the leader of our generation, to be in a manner of "the fruit of the lips," i.e., that the people be so immersed in the activities of the leader of the generation that all their endeavors (even those performed spontaneously, without premeditation) will relate to the activities of the leader of the generation.

[And this will lead to a process of continual growth, constantly] "advancing further in holy matters."[41] Every day, our involvement in the matters of the leader [of the generation] will be with new energy, and with a new approach, indeed, a change of perspective so radical that it will resemble creation ex nihilo, as reflected in the phrase "I will create the fruit of the lips."

In particular, this applies to the study of the Torah, for the "fruit of the lips" refers to Torah study (as explained above). [With this new approach,] our increase in the study of the Torah will be matchless. This is especially true, because fifty years have passed since [the Previous Rebbe's] recitation of this maamar. [Our Sages explain[42] that a period of] fifty years represents a world [order]. It is noteworthy that a fifty year cycle also shares a connection to [progress in regard to] wisdom and intellect as reflected in our Sages' statement,[43] "At fifty, [the potential to give] counsel."

Accordingly, we can comprehend that now, fifty years after the recitation of the maamar, a new world [order] will begin in regard to the comprehension and grasp of the study of the Torah. This will bring about a matchless increase and an ascent to a totally new plane of understanding of the Torah, comparable to Rabbi Zeira's ascent to the study of the Jerusalem Talmud, after studying the Babylonian Talmud.[44]

In order for all matters to reflect this new world [order], strenuous labor and effort is necessary. Nevertheless, there are some who believe and imagine that they do not desire to expend the effort to become a new entity, and [that they desire that] the future should continue to resemble the past. They must know that their attempts to convince themselves (that they will remain in their previous circumstances) will be of no value, for "the word of our L-rd will stand forever."[45] [The impetus towards change has been invested by G-d into the very fabric of our existence, and this impetus will prevail.]

Moreover, [even their self-image,] what they perceive to be their desire, (i.e., their unwillingness to labor to become a new entity), is merely an illusion. For the true desire of every Jewish person is to fulfill G-d's will, as reflected in the Rambam's renown ruling.[46] [Moreover,] when these people will explain to themselves what their genuine desire is, this desire will flourish into revelation, and their endeavors in the matters mentioned above will be carried out ambitiously and with pleasure.

And through laboring in the above-mentioned matters, we will discover [new plateaus of] success, [as our Sages said,[47]] "I labored and I discovered." And indeed, this will lead to the ultimate discovery, "I discovered David, My servant."[48]

The latter verse refers to Mashiach, who will come "when our attention is diverted."[49] The Previous Rebbe has explained that [the concept of Mashiach coming when "our attention is diverted" does not represent a contradiction to the need [to cry out to G-d, and] to demand the coming of Mashiach, to talk [continually] about Mashiach's coming, to write about this, and to raise a clamor concerning this issue. On the contrary, the true interpretation of "a diversion of attention" [is a commitment beyond the limits of intellect].[50] And [this is the approach that] will bring Mashiach's coming in our material world. And "He will not delay them for even the blinking of an eyelash";[51] may this take place in the immediate future.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 57:19.

  2. (Back to text) I.e., [the Previous Rebbe recited a maamar with this title] fifty years previous to the recitation of this maamar (in 5748), on Shabbos Parshas Haazinu 5698. This maamar is printed in Sefer HaMaamarim 5698 p. 47ff.

  3. (Back to text) See Metzudas Tzion to Yeshayahu, loc. cit.

  4. (Back to text) [For the word borei generally refers to creation ex nihilo. The Hebrew language contains other words which refer to creating an entity from an existing entity. See Ramban, commenting on Bereishis 1:1.]

  5. (Back to text) See Ramban, loc. cit. and Rashi, commenting on Bereishis 1:14, [who explain that on the first day, G-d created existence from non-existence (yesh meiayin). On the subsequent days of creation, He merely revealed entities that had been created in potential on the first day].

  6. (Back to text) [The concept that the term "create" can be used to refer to bringing an entity into being from an existing entity] is reflected in the verse (Bereishis 2:2), "from all His work which He created." ("Work" refers to the process of shaping a new being from an entity that existed previously.)]

  7. (Back to text) Bereishis 1:27.

  8. (Back to text) See ibid., 2:7.

  9. (Back to text) Ibid.

  10. (Back to text) Tanya, ch. 2, citing the Zohar. See Sefer HaMaamarim 5698 p. 48, note 11 for more detailed source references.

  11. (Back to text) Tanya, op. cit.

  12. (Back to text) See also the gloss of the Metzudas Tzion to Yeshayahu, loc. cit. which states, "Every new entity is called a creation."

  13. (Back to text) Berachos 34b, also cited in Sefer HaMaamarim 5698, loc. cit.

  14. (Back to text) See Zohar I, 129b, [cited] in Tanya, Iggeres HaTeshuvah, in the conclusion of ch. 8, and in other sources.

  15. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 43:7.

  16. (Back to text) See also the beginnings of ch. 49 of Tanya (p. 79a).

  17. (Back to text) Pirkei Avos 6:3.

  18. (Back to text) See Likkutei Torah, Acharei, p. 25d ff [where this concept is explained at length].

  19. (Back to text) [For divine service is referred to as "service in the heart" (Taanis 2a), and man's intent, his thoughts, are of fundamental importance.]

  20. (Back to text) [For the mitzvah of studying Torah focuses primarily on actually speaking the words of the Torah.]

  21. (Back to text) The blessing Elokai Neshamah, Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 6-7.

  22. (Back to text) Koheles 7:12; see Likkutei Torah, at the beginning of Parshas Haazinu.

  23. (Back to text) See Tanya, Iggeres HaTeshuvah, ch. 8 (p. 98a).

  24. (Back to text) Zohar I, 129a ff.

  25. (Back to text) See Yoma 86a.

  26. (Back to text) See also the Sefer HaMitzvos of the Tzemach Tzedek p. 39b.

  27. (Back to text) See Yoma, loc. cit.

  28. (Back to text) See Kiddushin 49b. See also the sources cited in Sefer HaMaamarim 5698 p. 55, note 73.

  29. (Back to text) [This is also indicated by the name for G-d employed in the above verse, Havayah (v-u-v-h). As explained (see the maamar, VeYadaata, 5657 [English translation, Kehot, N.Y., 5753] and the sources cited there), the name Havayah refers to the infinite dimension of G-dliness.]

  30. (Back to text) See the gloss of the Metzudas David to Yeshayahu, loc. cit. which explains that the word urafasiv implies that the healing will come from G-d Himself.

  31. (Back to text) Shmos 15:26.

  32. (Back to text) See the interpretation of Rashi to Shmos, ibid., according to the version of Rabbi Eliyahu Mizrachi.

  33. (Back to text) See Kesuvos 74b. [There a contrast is made between a doctor who heals infirmity only vis--vis the future and a sage who nullifies a vow, causing it to be as if the vow was never taken.]

  34. (Back to text) See Rashi, Yoma 86b who explains that even after a person with a physical ailment has been healed, his former condition is not considered to have left him entirely.

  35. (Back to text) Mishlei 4:22. See Eruvin 54a [which advises studying the Torah to deal with headaches, stomach problems, and other physical discomforts].

  36. (Back to text) See the gloss of the Tzophnas Paneach to Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Teshuvah, 2:2.

  37. (Back to text) See Tosafos, Taanis 16a. See also Likkutei Torah, Rosh HaShanah 60b and other sources [which explain that the Hebrew name for Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, relates to two Hebrew words yirah shaleim , "complete fear"].

  38. (Back to text) Note the conclusion of Chapter 3 of the Alter Rebbe's Hilchos Talmud Torah [which mentions that although it is forbidden to speak words of Torah in a lavatory or the like, it is possible that a sage will do so, because he will continue to speak words of Torah out of habit, without noticing where he is].

  39. (Back to text) The Jerusalem Talmud, Berachos 2:4.

  40. (Back to text) See Likkutei Torah, Chukas 56a, 59c, and other sources [which develop the contrast between letters carved into stone, and letters written on parchment].

  41. (Back to text) See Berachos 28a.

  42. (Back to text) Mechilta to Shmos 21:6; cited by the Ramban in his commentary on the verse.

  43. (Back to text) The conclusion of the fifth chapter of Pirkei Avos.

  44. (Back to text) Bava Metzia 85a. See the series of discourses entitled Yom Tov Shel Rosh HaShanah 5666, p. 13, and other sources.

  45. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 40:8.

  46. (Back to text) Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Gerushin 2:20, [which questions why a bill of divorce which a person is compelled by the sages to give is valid, for a bill of divorce given under duress is not acceptable. The Rambam answers, explaining that in truth, even such a person "desires to be part of the Jewish people, and desires to observe all the mitzvos and sequester himself from sin, it is merely his (evil) inclination which overpowers him." The compulsion applied by the court weakens the hold of his evil inclination, and therefore, his consent is considered to be genuine.]

  47. (Back to text) Megillah 6b.

  48. (Back to text) Tehillim 89:21.

  49. (Back to text) Sanhedrin 97a.

  50. (Back to text) See Tanya, Iggeres HaKodesh, the conclusion of Epistle 4 (p. 105b) [where this interpretation is offered].

  51. (Back to text) Cf. Mechilta and Rashi to Shmos 12:41.


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