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Foreword

Maamar Eichah Yoshvah Bodad Hair Rabosi Am

Maamar Kimei Tzeischa Meieretz Mitzrayim Arenu Niflaos

Maamar VeNachah Alov Ruach HaShem

Maamar Vihayah Eikev Tishmaun

Maamar Beela Hamaves Lanetzach

Maamar Hachodesh Hazeh Lachem

Maamar Kimei Tzeischa Meieretz Mitzrayim Arenu Niflaos

Maamar Vihayah Bayom Hahu

Founders Of Chassidism & Leaders Of Chabad-Lubavitch

Glossary

Anticipating The Redemption - Volume 2

Maamar VeNachah Alov Ruach HaShem

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  Maamar Kimei Tzeischa Meieretz Mitzrayim Arenu NiflaosMaamar Vihayah Eikev Tishmaun  

KUNTRES ACHARON SHEL PESACH, 5747
(Sefer HaMaamarim Meluket, Vol. II, p. 45ff.)

By the Grace of G-d
Acharon Shel Pesach, 5725

"And the spirit of G-d shall rest upon him.... And he will be permeated with the spirit of the fear of the L-rd.... The wolf will dwell with the lamb."[1]

My revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, explains in a maamar beginning with this verse,[2] that with this passage, the prophet describes the coming of Mashiach who will arrive and redeem us speedily in our days, highlighting several aspects of the King Mashiach's [personal qualities] and his conduct.

At the outset, it describes the spiritual level of Mashiach himself: "And the spirit of G-d shall rest upon him...." And then it continues to describe his conduct: "And he will be permeated with the spirit of the fear of the L-rd...." {This also reflects his conduct, [for our Sages interpret[3] this phrase to mean that] he will judge the righteous through his sense of smell.[4]}

Afterwards, the verse continues: "And a wolf shall dwell with a lamb...," indicating that Mashiach's conduct will bring about[5] the revelation of G-dliness throughout the world, not only among humans, but also among animals (the "wolf" and the "leopard" mentioned in the passage),[6] and also within the sphere of inanimate objects,[7] as the passage continues, "and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d."[8] Even the physical earth (inanimate matter) will be "filled with the knowledge of G-d."

The [Previous Rebbe's] maamar continues, questioning: Since "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d," why will it be necessary to have a king in that age? [Seemingly, the purpose of a king is to enforce law and order. Since all existence will be permeated with the knowledge of G-d, it would appear that such enforcement will not be necessary.]

In short, the explanation of the concept is that[9] kingship is identified with the quality of hisnasus, exaltedness, the concept that a king is separate and uplifted above his people. Even the commands given by a king (which on the surface reflect a movement toward closeness; the king draws closer to his people by leading them according to his desires) still reflect his loftiness and separation.[10] [For they are given] as orders and as decrees.

Similarly, with regard to the people, their obedience to the king's commands does not come because they know and appreciate the reason for the commands, but rather out of fear and dread for the king, as our Sages say,[11] "his dread must be upon you." Thus even the influence the king gives to his people reflects that he is exalted and separate.

This reflects the difference between the influence given by a teacher and that given by a king. When a teacher influences a student, he draws close to him (and restricts his own understanding to a level that can be grasped by the student) so that the student will grasp the idea. The influence of a king, by contrast, remains separate from the people, above their intellectual comprehension.[12]

The source for these two types of influence [which Mashiach will provide] (that of a king and that of a teacher) is in the Torah,[13] for the Torah contains parallels to both these influences. There are certain Torah concepts that have been enclothed in an intellectual form [paralleling the influence of a teacher], but the essence of the Torah remains above intellect [paralleling the influence of a king].[14]

In the Era of the Redemption, both of these dimensions will become manifest, and thus Mashiach will be called both a teacher and a king. Mashiach will teach the Torah to the entire Jewish people[15] and convey a fine discerning and knowledgeable appreciation of [the Torah's mystic] secrets, P'nimiyus HaTorah. Because of this influence, Mashiach will be considered as a teacher.

And yet, Mashiach himself will comprehend infinitely more than he will communicate through intellect. [This dimension of his being he will also convey to the people, but he] will do so in an encompassing[16] manner, as a king conveys influence.

Moreover, as is well known,[17] Mashiach will teach the people the Torah using the medium of sight, [a manner of instruction that] transcends [ordinary] comprehension. Nevertheless, the influence which he will convey as a king is [so lofty] that it cannot even be revealed through the transcendent influence of sight. And yet, because Mashiach will (also) serve as a king, he will reveal [even] these matters to the Jewish people. Their revelation, however, will be in an encompassing matter.

II

The [Previous Rebbe's] maamar continues:[18] "And all of this (- i.e., [the influence Mashiach conveys] as a teacher and as a king[19]), comes about as a result of [our] Divine service in the era of exile.

To clarify the connection between [our] Divine service in the era of exile and the revelations of the Era of the Redemption, [the Previous Rebbe's maamar explains[20] that because of the great concealment [of G-dliness] that exists in the era of exile, the essential [aspect of our] Divine service involves the attribute of nitzachon,[21] to stand firm with regard to the actual performance of the mitzvos without considering any of the hurdles or obstacles which stand in one's path. In general, [this approach] reflects [a commitment to] Divine service with mesirus nefesh (self-sacrifice) that transcends rational understanding. The mesirus nefesh is reflected in the fact that one does not enter into a logical give and take [with regard to one's Divine service]. Instead, [one makes a commitment] because it is impossible to consider doing otherwise.[22]

To explain: At the time the Beis HaMikdash was standing, the entire Jewish people were on an elevated spiritual level.[23] Not only did they have profound intellectual capacities,[24] they were privileged to see G-dliness. (And [as mentioned above,] sight transcends [mere] intellectual comprehension). Thus on the verse:[25] "Three times a year should appear...," [our Sages comment:][26] "Just as [the Jews] would come to appear (,utrhk) [before G-d], so, too, they came to see (,utrk) [G-dliness]."

With regard to the era of exile, by contrast, our Sages applied[27] the verse,[28] "I am sleeping, [but my heart is awake]," commenting "I am sleeping in exile." [To develop the analogy:] When a person is asleep, all of his conscious powers, beginning with the power of intellect, become obscured. For during sleep, the power of intellect is withdrawn; all that remains is the power of imagination.[29] Moreover, the fundamental concealment (sleep brings about) is with regard to the power of sight. Indeed, this is reflected in one's actual physical person - while sleeping, one's eyes close.[30]

Similarly, with regard to the sleep of exile: the fundamental29 dimension of exile is that in exile, we no longer see G-dliness, as alluded in the verse:[31] "We do not see our signs." Moreover, even the comprehension of G-dliness (that is possible in the era of exile) cannot be compared at all with the comprehension in the era of the Beis HaMikdash, and instead, resembles the power of imagination that operates during sleep.[32]

For this reason, even the love and fear of G-d (in the era of exile) is not as it should be. In the era of exile, the complete bittul to G-dliness that was expressed in prostration [before G-d in the Beis HaMikdash] (i.e., an inner feeling of bittul) is impossible. For this comes as a result of the direct perception of G-dliness. This is alluded to in the phrase from the liturgy:[33] "We are unable to ascend, to appear, and to prostrate ourselves before You." [Implied is that] because we cannot ascend and appear before You, as a natural consequence, we cannot prostrate ourselves, i.e., the inner feeling of bittul cannot be summoned up.[34] Moreover, even the external feelings of bittul (which are expressed in bowing down[35]) that are dependent on an intellectual awareness of G-dliness (which is, in a general sense, possible during the era of exile) are not as they should be. For even the intellectual comprehension of G-dliness that exists in the era of exile does not represent a true awareness. Thus our Divine service is motivated primarily by the quality of nitzachon as mentioned above.

Moreover, within the era of exile itself, from generation to generation, our intellectual and emotional potential wanes. As our Sages comment:[36] "The hearts of those of the former generation were open as wide as the entrance to the Ulam,[37]... and our hearts are open like the eye of a needle." And in the generation of ikvesa diMeshicha, the time when Mashiach's approaching footsteps can be heard, in addition to [the continuation of this pattern of spiritual and] intellectual decline, the concealment [of G-dliness] has multiplied. Thus, in this era, the qualities of nitzachon and mesirus nefesh which transcend intellect are even more necessary.

Indeed, even those who possess a developed intellectual capacity today should put their intellect aside and not follow their understanding. (For intellect can cause an individual to swerve from the path of truth. In particular, this is true in an era that is characterized by the concealment [of G-dliness] to such a degree.) Instead, one should stand firm, not swaying even slightly from the Shulchan Aruch, [carrying out one's] Divine service with nitzachon and mesirus nefesh which transcends intellect.[38]

III

The reason the concealment [of G-dliness] in the era of exile (and the [intense] concealment experienced in the generation of ikvesa diMeshicha) affects only the conscious powers of the soul, and not the attribute of Netzach, is because the source for the attribute of Netzach is in the essence of the soul,[39] as explained in the Previous Rebbe's maamar.[40]

Similar concepts apply in the spiritual realms. The source of the attribute of Netzach is the inner dimension of Kesser. The inner dimension of Kesser is [constant,] immutable, as reflected in the verse:[41] "Netzach Yisrael ("the Champion of Israel") will not lie or change His mind, for He is not a man that He changes His mind."

A change of mind is possible only with regard to those aspects of G-dliness that are structured in a pattern resembling man, i.e., the levels reflected in the chainlike progression of spiritual worlds (Seder Hishtalshelus). The attribute of Netzach, by contrast, relates to the level at which "He is not a man," i.e., the level which transcends this chainlike progression. Therefore, the attribute of Netzach is above change and [in contrast to the other Divine attributes] is revealed also in the era of exile, and especially in the era of ikvesa diMeshicha, [when] the powers of nitzachon and mesirus nefesh are in greater revelation than in the era of the Beis HaMikdash.[42]

[In addition to the above,] it is possible to explain that the reason the Previous Rebbe's maamar expounds (at length) on the advantage of the source of the attribute of Netzach is (also) to explain why the revelations of the Era of the Redemption will come about through our Divine service in the era of exile. Our Divine service in the era of exile emphasizes the quality of nitzachon, and [the source for] the attribute of Netzach is the inner dimension of Kesser which is referred to by the phrase: "He made darkness His concealment,"[43] [i.e., it is a quality] above revelation. [Since the attribute of Netzach relates to this transcendent level,] the Divine service in the era of exile [which is motivated by this attribute] will precipitate the revelation in the Era of the Redemption of those qualities which transcend comprehension - and which transcend even sight (transcending [not only] the comprehension and sight [of the present era]), [but also the higher functioning of these qualities] in that [Future] era. These dimensions will be revealed by Mashiach through the quality of Kingship, as explained above.[44]

IV

The Previous Rebbe's maamar[45] continues, stating that the explanation of the above concept (- that the revelations of the Era of the Redemption are dependent on our Divine service in the era of exile -) can be understood from [a comparison to the concept of] the descent of the soul into the body, which is a descent for the sake of an ascent. For the Divine service in the era of exile will bring about the revelations of the Era of the Redemption which will be greater than the revelations of the era of the Beis HaMikdash.

It is possible to say that the addition of this explanation

(- that from the outset, the intent of the descent which exile involves is the ascent [it will bring about] -) comes to clarify the reason why the revelations which Mashiach will convey as a teacher, through comprehension and through sight, will come about through our Divine service in the era of exile (although the [true expression of the] comprehension and, how much more so, the direct perception [of G-dliness] was in the era of the Beis HaMikdash, as explained above).[46]

This concept can be seen from the pattern of descent that is manifest throughout the spiritual cosmos. The first descent is the initial tzimtzum. As is well known,[47] the tzimtzum impacted [both] the Or Ein Sof, which is infinite, and also the finite dimensions of the light (the light which illuminates the worlds).

The effect of the tzimtzum on the infinite light is to cause it to become hidden and absorbed within its source. Thus it no longer shines in a revealed manner within the empty cavity.[48] Thus the tzimtzum did not directly influence this light.

It is possible to explain that the reason for this is that this light is above all [relation] to the worlds. Accordingly, the tzimtzum is unable to cause it to descend or to become limited. The only effect that the tzimtzum can have on this light is to cause it not to shine within the empty cavity.

With regard to the light which illuminates the worlds, by contrast, the tzimtzum has an effect [- indeed several effects -] on the light itself. Among them:

  1. Before the tzimtzum, this light was intermingled with, and included within, the infinite light. The tzimtzum caused it to become a separate entity;[49] this brought about a descent in level.

  2. Because [this light] was transmitted through "leaping [the chasm]" of the tzimtzum, i.e., in an unnatural [manner], [the light] was subject to division, and [the existence of] the Ten Sefiros [became apparent].[50]

    {For as explained at length,[51] the existence of these Sefiros within the (Divine) light is not merely a function of the keilim (the vessels), but rather comes from the light itself.}

  3. Because of the tzimtzum, the light could afterwards enclothe itself in the keilim. This enclothment causes it to become more material in nature, making it like the keilim themselves.

V

Similar concepts apply with regard to the concealment involved in the soul's descent to this material plane. (For all concealments are rooted in the ultimate concealment [brought about by] the first tzimtzum.) Thus, [the soul's descent] brings about two changes that resemble two of the effects of the first tzimtzum:

  1. While the soul is in the spiritual realms, all of its powers shine forth in a revealed manner, while after its descent to this world, they become concealed.[52] This does not refer to the concealment brought about by the body, but rather, that there are certain dimensions of the soul which remain in the spiritual realms and are not enclothed within the body,[53] as the infinite dimension of G-d's light does not shine in the empty cavity.

  2. Even those dimensions of the soul which are enclothed in the body become more material in nature, as the keilim bring about concealment for the light of the kav.[54]

Similar patterns are found with regard to the concealment brought about by the exile, for parallels exist to both these thrusts:[55]

  1. In the era of exile, we do not receive the revelations of the Beis HaMikdash. Since the Beis HaMikdash is destroyed, "we cannot ascend and see..."; i.e., there is no direct perception of G-dliness.

  2. Even the comprehension of G-dliness in the era of exile is not true comprehension. This comes as a result (not only of the lack of the revelations of the Beis HaMikdash, but also) because of the concealment and hiddenness of the exile, which obscures our comprehension of G-dliness.

VI

As is well known,[56] the intent of the tzimtzum is that the Or Ein Sof will be revealed within the worlds. Before the tzimtzum, when Or Ein Sof filled the entire cavity, it was impossible for the worlds to exist. As such, there was no revelation within the worlds themselves. The tzimtzum brought about a new [potential]: that the Or Ein Sof could also be revealed within the worlds.

This can be explained based on the [following] concept[57] (which applies with regard to the concealment of the tzimtzum which brings about the hiding of the infinite dimension of the light and its absorption in its source). Before the tzimtzum when Or Ein Sof filled the entire cavity (i.e., the infinite dimension of Or Ein Sof shined within it), G-dliness was bip'sheetus, [the initial, inherent object of conception], while other existence was bihischadshus, [a new and incremental element]. When the Or [Ein Sof] was removed, other existence became bip'sheetus, and G-dliness became bihischadshus.

There are many levels in our Divine service at which a distinction between these two approaches can be made. In general, this reflects the difference between seeing G-dliness and merely comprehending G-dliness. When [a person's] knowledge of G-dliness comes through sight - even the sight of [the eyes of] wisdom - and surely the sight of prophecy which is like actual sight,[58] his knowledge is bip'sheetus, [an integral and indigenous element of his being]. He does not need any proofs or supports for the concept. When, by contrast, his knowledge of G-d comes from logical proofs, it is bihischadshus, [a new and incremental element of his being].

In a more particular sense, however, [it can be explained that] it is only in the Era of the Redemption that the awareness of G-d will be bip'sheetus. In the present era, even the revelations of prophecy are a new and incremental element [of the prophet's existence]. For when it comes to physical things, everyone

[- even a prophet -] can see, and this is not considered wondrous at all. Prophecy, by contrast, is [a unique gift, granted] only to those fit for it. For "prophecy is endowed only to a sage of great wisdom, who has powerful control of his emotional qualities...,"[59] [i.e., it is an incremental aspect of the person's being]. This also applies to "seeing" with "[the eyes] of wisdom"; [such perception is] also granted just to a select few.

Thus the revelation of prophecy at present is a new development; it is not the natural aspect [of the person's life]. This is reflected by the fact that when we say that a person is a prophet, that is a new development, [something out of the ordinary].

The reason for this is that all the revelations of the present era, even the revelations of prophecy, come from the light of the kav which shines after the tzimtzum.[60] In the Era of the Redemption, by contrast, the Or Ein Sof which precedes the tzimtzum will be revealed, and then prophecy will be a natural phenomenon, experienced by everyone, even young boys and young girls, as it is written:[61] "And I will pour out My spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters will prophesy."13

VII

Similar concepts apply with regard to the direct perception of G-dliness experienced in the Beis HaMikdash. The reason every person experienced a direct perception of G-dliness in the Beis HaMikdash, [as implied by the verse,] "all your males shall appear,"[62] is that the Or Ein Sof, which was revealed before the tzimtzum, shined in the Beis HaMikdash.

Nevertheless, it cannot be said that the revelation in the Beis HaMikdash was an entirely natural phenomenon. Since this revelation was confined to the Beis HaMikdash {unlike ordinary material entities which are seen without the need for a special place}, the implication is that the direct perception of G-dliness in the Beis HaMikdash came because of a factor, [an external cause]. In the Era of the Redemption,[63] by contrast, we will see G-dliness just like we see ordinary material things at present, as implied by the verse:[64] "And all flesh shall see that the mouth of G-d has spoken." The natural tendency of our physical[65] eyes will be to see G-dliness.[66]

VIII

Explanation is nevertheless required: the revelation of the infinite dimensions of Or Ein Sof and the existence of the worlds are two opposites. Therefore when Or Ein Sof filled the entire cavity, it was impossible for the worlds to come into existence, and [indeed,] for them to come into existence, this [infinite] light had to be removed. Since bringing the worlds into existence required the removal of the light (the direct opposite of its revelation): how is it possible for the worlds (and more particularly, actual physical flesh) to exist and yet have its existence permeated by the revelation of G-dliness?

This concept can be explained as follows: Since the intent of the tzimtzum is for the sake of revelation (and that this revelation permeate the existence of the worlds as mentioned above), the inner dimension of the tzimtzum {and thus, the [inner dimension of] the worlds which came into being as a result of the tzimtzum} does not run contrary to [this movement to] revelation. On the contrary, revelation is its own inner purpose. Nevertheless, in order to reveal this inner purpose of the tzimtzum, the Divine service of the Jewish people, and particularly [the Divine service] in the era of exile, is required {as explained in sec. IX}.

Based on the above, we can understand why, in [his] maamar, [the Previous Rebbe] adds [the concept of] descent for the purpose of ascent. With this concept, he clarifies (as explained in sec. IV) that the Divine service in the era of exile will be the catalyst for the revelations of the Era of the Redemption, not only the revelations which transcend intellectual understanding and sight (which Mashiach will reveal in his function as king), but also[67] those matters that can be contained within understanding and sight[68] which Mashiach will reveal in his function as teacher.[69] For these [revelations] are also dependent on our Divine service in the era of exile. For in the Era of the Redemption, "...all flesh shall see," and [as explained above,] this will be the natural tendency of flesh itself. [For this to happen,] it is necessary to reveal the inner intent of the descent [which began with the tzimtzum], and [show] that the descent is for the purpose of ascent.

IX

This concept (- that the tzimtzum is [intended] for the sake of revelation -) is brought into expression (primarily) through the Divine service in the era of exile. For the descent which exile involves is [also] for the sake of ascent (like the [descent of the] tzimtzum is for the sake of revelation). But with regard to (the descent which exile involves), we see an added factor; in the era of exile, we see in actual fact how the concealment of G-dliness in exile arouses the power of mesirus nefesh (self-sacrifice). As explained in a maamar [of the Previous Rebbe],[70] the power of mesirus nefesh is more revealed in the era of exile, and particularly, in the era of ikvesa diMeshicha, than in the era when the Beis HaMikdash was standing.

To explain this concept, [the Previous Rebbe] brings the example of the functioning of the power of will within our souls. Although [will] is an encompassing power and therefore permeates all the limbs; nevertheless, the fundamental revelation of the power of will is in the heels.[71] For this reason, it is easier for a person to place his heel in boiling water, than to pour boiling water over his head.

Similar concepts apply with regard to the Jewish people [as a whole, for they are also described with the analogy] of a human body. The power of mesirus nefesh (an unlimited potential that is above being enclothed in vessels) is revealed more in simple people (who can be described with the analogy of heels) than in intellectuals.

And similarly with regard to the entire pattern of history [which can also be described using the analogy of the human] body, it is in the generation of ikvesa diMeshicha when the power of mesirus nefesh is most intensely manifest. The reason the concealment of the exile arouses and reveals the power of mesirus nefesh (although concealment and revelation are two opposites) is that the source for the concealment of the exile is the concealment of the first tzimtzum which was intended for the sake of revelation.

And the Divine service of mesirus nefesh in the time of the exile reveals, in actual fact, the inner dimension of this concealment (i.e., the concealment of the exile, and the concealment of its source, the first tzimtzum), showing that it is intended for the sake of revelation.

X

Based on the above, we can understand why the Divine service in the era of exile, and particularly, in ikvesa diMeshicha, has two components: the study of P'nimiyus HaTorah in a manner of intellectual comprehension and the service of mesirus nefesh. For the study of P'nimiyus HaTorah serves as a catalyst for the revelation of two levels [of G-dly light] in the Era of the Redemption: those elements that can be grasped through comprehension and the essence of the P'nimiyus HaTorah which is also above intellectual comprehension (and which is also above sight).

Since all the revelations of the Era of the Redemption are dependent on our deeds and Divine service in the present era,[72] both types of service are demanded of each and every individual: involvement in the comprehension and study of the teachings of Chassidus[73] (which reflects the teachings of Mashiach) and the service of mesirus nefesh, i.e., giving over one's will. For these two types of service prepare for the revelation of Mashiach both as king and as teacher. May this take place in the immediate future.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 11:2ff.; the Haftorah recited on Acharon Shel Pesach.

  2. (Back to text) VeNachah Alov, 5709 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5709, p. 123ff.).

  3. (Back to text) Sanhedrin 93b.

  4. (Back to text) To emphasize that [this phrase refers to Mashiach's conduct], the Previous Rebbe includes the phrase ihtsu jrun in his maamar.

  5. (Back to text) See Or HaTorah Nach, p. 187, which quotes the Sefer Kli Paz which explains that because "he girds his loins with righteousness" (Yeshayahu 11:5), "the wolf will dwell with the lamb." Note also that the Rambam (Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim 11:4) when speaking of Mashiach "perfect[ing] the world" refers to mankind ([as indicated by the prooftext he chooses: "I will transform the nations...")]. The Rambam also interprets (ibid. 12:1): "And a wolf will dwell with a lamb," as an allegory [referring to mankind].

    On this basis, we can understand why, in the above maamar, the Previous Rebbe refers only to "the King Mashiach and his conduct" although he also mentions the [wondrous] conditions that will prevail in the world at large. For [since these conditions are a result of Mashiach's conduct,] one may say that reference to his conduct includes them as well.

  6. (Back to text) [Although the Rambam maintains that this verse should be interpreted as an allegory, the sages of] Kabbalah and Chassidus rule that the verses should be interpreted according to their simple meaning. See the maamar entitled Ki Padah (Sefer HaMaamarim, Eshaleich Liozna, p. 58) by the Alter Rebbe, that maamar together with notes (Or HaTorah, Noach, Vol. III, p. 670a). See also ibid., p. 670b ff., Maamarei Admur HaZakein, Inyanim, p. 87, and that maamar with notes Or HaTorah, loc. cit., 633b ff. The series of maamarim entitled VeKachah, 5637, sec. 94. The siyyum of the Rambam, Sichos Yud Shvat, 5747, sec. 9, et al., adapted in the essay entitled "Two Periods in the Era of the Redemption" (I Await His Coming Every Day, Kehot, N.Y., 5751).

  7. (Back to text) Note the verse (Chabakuk 2:11): "A stone from the wall will call out." As the Midrash Tehillim, the conclusion of ch. 73, states [this prophecy will be fulfilled in the Era of the Redemption] showing how even inanimate objects will be permeated by G-dly energy.

  8. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 11:9.

  9. (Back to text) See Derech Mitzvosecha, Mitzvas Minui Melech, sec. 3 (p. 110b ff.).

  10. (Back to text) See Sefer HaMaamarim 5708, p. 45, which explains this concept at length.

  11. (Back to text) Sanhedrin 22a, commenting on Devarim 17:15; see also Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim 2:1.

  12. (Back to text) [For a king communicates his commands as decrees, to be accepted out of awe of him, and not because one understands.]

  13. (Back to text) The same is true with regard to all entities that exist, for they are all a reflection - after numerous intermediate levels - from concepts that exist in the Torah, as implied by the statement (Zohar, Vol. II, p. 161a,b): "[G-d] looked into the Torah and created the world."

  14. (Back to text) See the maamar entitled Mitzvas Ner Chanukah, 5738 (Sefer HaMaamarim Meluket, Vol. II, p. 17ff.), sec. 4.

  15. (Back to text) See Likkutei Torah, Vayikra 17a; Maamarei Admur HaZakein, Parshiyos HaTorah, Vol. I, p. 261; Shaar HaEmunah, sec. 56.

  16. (Back to text) [The word "encompassing," makkif in Hebrew, refers to a light or form of influence that is too powerful to be grasped and internalized and therefore is described as "encompassing." The point is, however, that this encompassing influence is not entirely transcendent. Instead, although it is too powerful to be internalized, it does relate to the person and influence him.]

  17. (Back to text) Likkutei Torah, loc. cit., a,b; Shaar HaEmunah, sec. 60, the [second] maamar entitled Vayidaber E-lohim, 5699, et. al.

  18. (Back to text) See the beginning of the Previous Rebbe's maamar cited previously.

  19. (Back to text) This is the simple meaning of the Hebrew words "kol zeh" mentioned in the [Previous Rebbe's] maamar. This concept is understood from the principle taught in Tanya (ch. 37) that all the revelations of the Era of the Redemption are dependent on our deeds and Divine service in the era of exile.

  20. (Back to text) The beginning of the Previous Rebbe's maamar states: "At first, we should preface what was explained above." "Above" refers to the maamarim released for the Pesach holiday in 5709. The maamar entitled VeNachah explains those concepts at length.

  21. (Back to text) [Nitzachon literally translates as "victory." Here, the intent is the understanding of the term in Kabbalah and Chassidus, which, as the Rebbe continues to explain, is a steadfast dedication to achieving one's purpose.]

  22. (Back to text) See Tanya, ch. 18.

  23. (Back to text) See the maamar entitled Ein HaKodesh Boruch Hu Bo Bitrunia, 5685 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5685, p. 263ff.).

  24. (Back to text) Ibid.; see also the series of maamarim published for Pesach, 5709, sec. 14 (p. 122).

  25. (Back to text) Shmos 23:17, 34:23.

  26. (Back to text) Chagigah 2a.

  27. (Back to text) Zohar, Vol. III, p. 95a.

  28. (Back to text) Shir HaShirim 5:2.

  29. (Back to text) Torah Or, Bereishis 28c.

  30. (Back to text) Sefer HaMaamarim 5669, sec. 70, p. 99ff.; explained at length in the maamar entitled Padah BiShalom, 5713.

  31. (Back to text) Tehillim 74:9.

  32. (Back to text) See also Torah Or, loc. cit.; Sefer HaMaamarim 5669, loc. cit.

  33. (Back to text) Musaf service for Festivals, Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 258.

  34. (Back to text) See Likkutei Torah, Devarim, p. 98b; see also the series of maamarim published for Pesach, 5709, sec. 2 (p. 108).

    [Certainly, we are capable of the physical act of prostrating ourselves. The prostration in the Beis HaMikdash, however, was not merely a physical act, but a reflection of the inner feelings of bittul, and that is not possible without the overt revelation of G-dliness that was present in the Beis HaMikdash.]

  35. (Back to text) See the maamarim of 5709, cited above, sec. 3 (p. 109).

  36. (Back to text) Eruvin 53a.

  37. (Back to text) [The entrance hall to the Beis HaMikdash, whose gate was larger than any other gate in the Beis HaMikdash.]

  38. (Back to text) See the maamarim of 5709, sec. 14ff. (pp. 122-3).

  39. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim entitled Basi LeGani, 5710, sec. 11ff.

  40. (Back to text) The maamar entitled VeNachah, 5709, sec. 15ff. (p. 124ff.).

  41. (Back to text) I Shmuel 15:29; see the interpretation in Torah Or, Shmos, p. 72c.

  42. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim released for Pesach, 5709, sec. 11ff. (p. 118ff.); see also sec. IX of this maamar.

  43. (Back to text) Tehillim 18:12.

  44. (Back to text) [For revelation is granted following the pattern (Nedarim 32a) "measure for measure." Since the Divine service of the Jewish people taps a level which transcends intellect, it will call forth the revelation of Divine attributes that are similarly transcendent.]

  45. (Back to text) Sec. 20 (the beginning of p. 130).

  46. (Back to text) [The intent is that we can understand why the revelation of the transcendent dimensions of G-dliness comes about through our Divine service in the era of exile. For it is that Divine service which brings to the surface the essential power of Netzach and which as a result draws down the essential revelations Mashiach will convey as a king.

    But as explained above, serving as a teacher is also one of the fundamental dimensions of Mashiach and that purpose does not appear to be advanced by the exile. On the contrary, the exile appears to bring about a descent and the concealment of G-dliness, preventing teaching from being effective. And so, it is explained that the descent is for the purpose of ascent. When one seeks to make a gradual advance, one proceeds in an ordered pattern of growth; but when one desires to make a radical advance, the motif of descent for the sake of ascent is employed.]

  47. (Back to text) With regard to the concepts that follow, see the maamar entitled Vayehi Ha'anan and the maamar which follows from the year 5675 (from the series of maamarim entitled BeShaah SheHikdimu 5672, Vol. II, p. 934ff.).

  48. (Back to text) [I.e., the space created by the retraction of the light to its source].

  49. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim released for Pesach 5709, secs. 23 and 24 (p. 133ff.).

    [The intent of saying that the finite dimension of the Or Ein Sof was included within the infinite dimension is that at that level, its finite qualities were subsumed because of the intensity of the infinite light.]

  50. (Back to text) [These Sefiros also existed in the light before the tzimtzum, but then they were genuzos, "entombed," within the infinite light, and were not at all apparent. The light was apparent as one simple, undivided entity. The unnatural extension of the light after the tzimtzum caused the Ten Sefiros to become distinct entities within the Divine light.]

  51. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim entitled BeShaah SheHikdimu 5672, Vol. II, sec. 70, p. 938ff.; the series of maamarim beginning Rosh HaShanah, 5694, secs. 20-21 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5711, p. 84).

  52. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim released for Pesach 5709, sec. 20 (p. 130ff.)

  53. (Back to text) See the maamarim cited in the previous note which explain that with the descent of the soul, its powers become concealed and its [functioning can be compared to] "a person who is asleep who does not see and does not hear at all." The concealment of sleep is not a result of the body, but rather of the withdrawal of the soul's powers from the body.

  54. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim entitled BeShaah SheHikdimu 5672, Vol. II, p. 990. [The kav is the vector of Divine light which shines after the tzimtzum.]

  55. (Back to text) [This can be explained because the perception of G-dliness via the medium of] sight (in particular within the Beis HaMikdash) comes about because of the revelation of the essence of Or Ein Sof (as explained in secs. 6-7 [of this maamar]). The comprehension [of G-dliness] (which allows for different levels and is a new development) comes as a result of the light of the kav.

    [The intent is that our potential for direct perception of G-dliness was withdrawn as the infinite light was withdrawn as a result of the tzimtzum, and our comprehension of G-dliness took on more material trappings as the light of the kav also became more material in nature.]

  56. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim entitled Yom Tov Shel Rosh HaShanah 5666, p. 4, et al.

  57. (Back to text) See the maamar entitled Vayehi Ha'anan cited above.

  58. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim entitled Yom Tov Shel Rosh HaShanah 5666, p. 98; see also Tanya, Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 19, and Derech Mitzvosecha, p. 173a.

  59. (Back to text) Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah 7:1.

  60. (Back to text) [And thus the fundamental characteristic of the tzimtzum, that individual existence is the starting point of our perception, governs this form of revelation as well.]

  61. (Back to text) Yoel 3:1.

  62. (Back to text) [Which as explained above can be interpreted to mean "all... shall see."]

  63. (Back to text) See the maamar entitled Vayehi Ha'anan cited above, p. 936, which states that "Or Ein Sof was revealed in the Beis HaMikdash.... and it will be revealed to a greater measure in the Era of the Redemption."

  64. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 40:5; see Shaar HaEmunah, ch. 55.

  65. (Back to text) See the maamar entitled Vayehi Ha'anan cited above, loc. cit., which states that "Just as now, it is natural to appreciate material existence, so, too, in the Era of the Redemption, the appreciation of G-dliness will be a natural phenomenon."

  66. (Back to text) This explains why the verse continues "and all flesh shall see..." after stating, "And the glory of G-d will be revealed." On the surface, "and all flesh shall see" is superfluous. If "the glory of G-d is revealed," and in a true sense, this means that the revelation will be apparent everywhere, [it is self-evident that "all flesh shall see"]. The maamar is explaining that "all flesh shall see" points to a [second] new development: that the perception of "all flesh" will come (- not only because "the glory of G-d will be revealed" -) but also [of a change in the nature] of the flesh itself.

  67. (Back to text) Note the series of maamarim released for Pesach, 5709, sec. 30, which states that the ultimate purpose of the descent of the soul into the body is "to behold the pleasantness of G-d" (Tehillim 27:4), i.e., to have a direct perception of G-dliness.

    The maamar proceeds to explain that before the descent into exile, the essence of the soul enjoyed a direct perception of G-dliness. The ascent that comes about because of the descent [of the soul into the body] enables also the revealed [powers] of the soul [i.e., intellect and emotion,] to receive a [direct perception of G-dliness which resembles] actual sight." Thus the ascent of the soul referred to here [contains two dimensions]: (not only) that the soul receives a higher [revelation] than that which it had been granted previously, but also that the [revelation] which it had received previously, (the direct perception of G-dliness,) will be appreciated also by the soul's revealed powers.

    Thus we can conclude that similar concepts apply with regard to the ascent that comes about through the descent of the exile. The ascent will involve not (only) those matters which Mashiach will reveal in his function as king, which were not revealed in the era of the Beis HaMikdash, but also that the intellectual appreciation of G-dliness and the [direct perception,] seeing G-dliness, (which existed in the era of the Beis HaMikdash), should also be appreciated by the material dimensions of existence as explained above.

  68. (Back to text) The concept of transforming the tzimtzum to light (through revealing the intent of the tzimtzum, that it was intended for the sake of revelation) applies both with regard to the revelation of the infinite light (as explained at length above) and with regard to the revelation of the light of the kav, [the finite dimension of Or Ein Sof].

    (See the series of maamarim entitled BeShaah SheHikdimu 5672, Vol. II, p. 991, [which speaks of]: "the vessel being transformed and becoming like light... and having the light shine... as it exists.")

    Therefore, both the direct perception of G-dliness (which comes about through the revelation of the infinite light), and the comprehension of G-dliness (which comes about through the light of the kav) are precipitated by our Divine service in the era of exile. For it is this service which reveals that the intent of the tzimtzum is revelation.

  69. (Back to text) In the series of maamarim entitled Yom Tov Shel Rosh HaShanah 5666, p. 4, it is explained that in addition to the fact that the tzimtzum will make it possible for the revelation of Or Ein Sof (which existed previously) to permeate the worlds in the Era of the Redemption, the inner dimension and essence of the Or Ein Sof which transcends the light which shined before the tzimtzum will be revealed.

    It is possible to explain [the spiritual process of causation as follows:] The fact that in the Era of the Redemption the direct perception of G-dliness will be a natural phenomenon, will result from the fact that in the Era of the Redemption, the revelation of the Or Ein Sof (which shined in a revealed manner even before the tzimtzum) will permeate the worlds. In addition, the influence which cannot be communicated through sight (which transcends revelation), which will be manifest by Mashiach in his function as king, reflects the revelation of the inner dimension and the essence of the Or Ein Sof which was not revealed even before the tzimtzum.

  70. (Back to text) The maamar entitled Ani Yesheinah in the series of maamarim released for Pesach, 5709.

  71. (Back to text) On the surface, it is possible to explain that the intellect which is located in the head conceals the will, but the heel does not. [For the sensitivity of the brain makes it more difficult for it to lose "self-consciousness," while the heel, because of its insensitivity, does not possess such "self-consciousness."]

    Note, however, Likkutei Sichos, Vol. IX, p. 75, note 30, which based on Torah Or, p. 1b explains: "And from this perspective, the heel can be considered as a head." From this, it can, however, be concluded that [there is a positive dimension to the heel]. The heel (because of its lowly station) is a vessel for [the manifestation of] the most lofty potentials.

  72. (Back to text) Tanya, ch. 37.

  73. (Back to text) According to the explanations above, sec. VIII, note 67, even those matters which Mashiach will reveal in his function as teacher will come through mesirus nefesh in exile, because it is through [the service of mesirus nefesh] that one reveals that the tzimtzum was intended for the sake of revelation.

    It must, however, be emphasized that the service of mesirus nefesh is necessary so that these matters can be revealed within the world, but the catalyst for the matters which Mashiach will reveal in his function as teacher is the service of study and comprehension. [For Divine revelations follow the pattern of] "measure for measure."


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