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Shabbos Parshas Re'eh, Shabbos Mevorchim Elul, Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5737

Kuntres Motzei Simchas Torah, 5738

Kuntres Motzei Simchas Torah 5738

Kuntres Motzei Shabbos Breishis 5738

Kuntres Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Noach 5738

Kuntres Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Lech LCho 5738

Excerpts From Kuntres Motzoei Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Chayei Sarah

Yud-Tes Kislev, 5738

The Second Day Of Chanuka, 5738

Asora BTeves (10th Of Teves), 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Kodesh, Mevorchim Shvat, Parshas VaEra, 5738

Yud Shvat, 5738

15th OF SHVAT 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Mishpatim, 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Tzav

Motzoai Shabbos Parshas Shmini And Parah, Shabbos Mevorchim Nissan, 5738

Yud-Alef Nissan, 5738

Last Day Of Pesach, 5738

Parshas Acherei Shabbos Mevorchim Iyar

Parshas Emor, 5738

Lag BOmer, 5738

Motzoei Shavuos, 5738

Graduating Class Of Beis Rivka And To
The Staff Members Of The Girls Summer Camps
On The 13th Of Sivan, 5738

Parsha Shelach Shabbos Mivorcim Tammuz

3rd OF TAMMUZ, 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Chukas, 10th Of Tammuz, 5738

Yud-Beis Tammuz, 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Balak, 17 Tammuz 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Pinchas,
Mevorchim Hachodesh Menachem Av, 5738

15th OF AV, 5738

20th OF AV, 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Mevorchim Elul, 5738

Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5738



Sichos In English
Excerpts of Sichos delivered by The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
Vol. 1 5738

Motzoei Shabbos Mevorchim Elul, 5738

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  20th OF AV, 5738Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5738  

1. Our Sages established the custom of blessing each new month in the prayers of the last Sabbath of the preceding month. This relation between the two months can be considered as mere coincidence, without any intrinsic connection tying the two months together.

However, based on the principle that all occurrences are controlled by Hashgachah Protis, and the statement of the Baal Shem Tov that everything a Jew sees or hears must serve as a lesson in his service of G-d,418 it follows that a unique lesson is to be derived from the above connection. between the months of Elul and Av.419

Elul and Av represent two different phases in the service of G-d. Av is the month of destruction, recalling the lowest point in Jewish history, the period during which the Jewish people aroused G-ds wrath. It is marked by special laws of mourning and the diminution of joy.

Elul, on the other hand, represents a completely opposite trend. The Hebrew letters which form. the word Elul are an acronym for the phrase Ani Ldodi Vdodi Li, I am my lovers and my lover is mine. Elul. is the time when the Jews intensify their love for G-dliness, do Teshuvah, and apply themselves to Torah and Mitzvos with increased energy. Elul is se-.t aside as a time to assess the service of the previous year (what was lacking and what must be remedied), to make resolutions, and to prepare for the coming year. It is a special month, more spiritually elevated than the other months of the year.

The sequence of Av being followed by Elul is understandable. Av marks the ultimate descent experienced by the Jewish people. Thus, concomitant with the principle that every descent is for the purpose of ascent, the month which follows Av is Elul, during which a Jew attains new heights in service of G-d. The lofty service of Elul compensates for the inadequacies of the month of Av.

However, this concept is insufficient to describe the lesson to be learned from the placement of the blessing of the month of Elul in the month of Av. The term blessings, of the month of Elul implies that an impetus will be provide-_d by the month of Av which will allow for the service of Elul to be carried out in the fullest manner, i.e., Av endows Elul with the necessary energies. According to the above explanation, however, the opposite occurs Elul remedies Avs deficiencies.

A possible explanation for the above phenomenon lies in the concept elaborated upon in Tanya, that through the highest level of Teshuvah, Teshuvah from love, ones willful. transgressions are transformed into positive merits. The willful commission of sins is a grave descent described by the metaphor of a dry land, the land of the shadow of death. But this descent also produces a consciousness of separation from G-dliness, which in turn leads to a tremendous thirst and desire to cling to G-d. Thus, the awareness of having committed a sin leads to and causes this powerful expression of love.

A similar pattern can be observed in the relationship between the months of Elul and Av. The realization. by the Jewish people of the immensity of the descent experienced in the month of Av stimulates them to serve G-d with greater desire and intensity in the month of Elul.

However, this analogy, too, is not enough to describe the connection between the two months denoted by blessing the month of Elul in the month of Av. In the above analogy, it is impossible to maintain that the individuals sins actually provide him with the energy and the blessing which motivate him towards Teshuvah. Rather, the energy and the potential for Teshuvah eternally exists within the core of the Jewish soul.. The severity of the individual sirs and the awareness of. his deplorable spiritual condition, arouses the soul and causes it to activate its latent energies. However, sin itself does not, heaven forbid, generate the potential for those energies.

The intent in blessing the month is not merely to stimulate existing energies, but rather to provide the potential for the successful service of the ensuing month. Therefore, a different explanation must be used to explain why the month of Elul is blessed in the month of. Av.

That explanation. can be derived through consideration of the Baal Shem Tovs statement that the name of an object communicates its character and true nature. Likewise, the name of Av communicates the true nature of that month.

A question immediately arises. The Hebrew word Av means father. Naming a month with that term seems to signify that the father-son relationship which exists between G-d and the Jewish people is uniquely expressed in that month. However, the tragic events of the month of Av demonstrate, at least superficially, the complete opposite of fatherly love.420

Tree resolution of the above paradox lies in the fact that it is precisely these seemingly negative elements that serve as vehicles to express the true fatherly love for the Jewish people G-d holds towards the Jews. Only because of G-ds great love for the Jewish people is He willing, Himself, to wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion.

This concept is more completely understood through deeper consideration of the metaphor of the. father-son relationship. Many individuals will be willing to help their friends if they have difficulties with their children. They will offer advice, assistance, guidance. However, only the childs father will actually clean up his sons filth.

The father will neither hesitate nor desist from washing away his childs filth even if the child protests. Though the father is particularly sensitive to the pain his child feels, he will overcome his own feelings of mercy and continue washing the child even though he cries. The fathers love for the child motivates him to a genuine concern for the childs welfare. His dedication to the childs welfare moves the father to temporarily suppress his feelings of love and mercy.

Similarly, though Av is the month in which G-d poured out his wrath,421 it is nevertheless appropriate to be called Av, the father. Only because of G-ds immense love for the Jewish people was He motivated to express His anger, and by so doing, wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion.

The love G-d shows extends even beyond His activity of washing away the filth of His children. The Midrash comments Woe is the father who has driven his children away from, his table, woe are the children who have been driven away from, their fathers table.

For the children, exile has a redeeming factor in that they receive a positive benefit from being driven away from their fathers table. They are stimulated to struggle to return, and they achieve that return through their own efforts. Thus they can appreciate their father more, having achieved a connection with him by virtue of their own accomplishments. However, their father does not derive any benefit whatsoever from having driven away his children.

His childrens absence causes the father discomfort and pain. Had he not driven them away, he could have enjoyed their company, and they his. Through driving them away, he has helped them. Later, when they strive to return, through their own efforts and accomplishments they eventually will return, and then they will derive greater satisfaction.

Thus, exile benefits the children. They derive this greater422 pleasure from their accomplishments, but not their father. All the father has is the pain of his separation from his children. Yet, his love for his children is so great that the pleasure of his children becomes his pleasure, to the degree that he is willing to experience pain in order for his children to achieve greater pleasure.

The metaphor represents the relationship between G-d and the Jewish people. G-d is willing to undergo pain, as our Sages commented, In all of their pain, He feels pain and sends his children, the Jewish people, into exile. In exile, the Jewish people will achieve an awareness of G-dliness which will have come by virtue of their own service and efforts, and is thus more desirable.

From the above, it can be understood that though Rosh Chodesh Av, Tisha beAv, etc. are connected with mourning over the bitterest events of Jewish history, nevertheless, Av is still a month where G-ds fatherly love is in evidence, and to a greater degree than in those months when His kindness is more readily apparent.423

The revelation of G-ds fatherly love in the month of Av prepares and invests the month of Elul with the potential for a complete service of Teshuvah. During the month of Av, G-ds essence, the highest level of His fatherly love, is revealed, thus enabling the Jew, through his service of Teshuvah in Elul, to connect with that self-same level of G-dliness.424

2. The above explanation clarifies why the Torah name for the month is Av and not Menachem Av. The word Menachem, meaning the comforter, was added to the name of the month after the destruction of the second Temple. The name Av alone would and does communicate totally the concept of G-ds love for the Jewish people.425 However, since the Jews goal is to express all G-dly concepts in a manner appreciable even by the most simple, the term menachem was added to the name of the month. In this manner, all could realize how G-ds great love is communicated in that month.

The same thought applies in the selection of the prophets read as the Haftorah in the seven Sabbaths after Tisha beAv. The Torah readings continue unaltered. However, in order to stress the concept of love, the pattern of the Haftorahs is changed and seven selections from Isaiah, all stressing prophecies of comfort, are read. The addition of these seven Haftorahs426 clarifies how the Torah readings express G-ds love, similar to the way the addition of the word menachem clarified the meaning of the word Av.

3. In the above-discussed concept, a great stress was placed on the value of achievement. An allegory of the Previous Rebbe allows that concept to be understood more thoroughly.

Each Jew can be compared to a groom who has been promised all his needs by his wealthy father-in-law. The father-in-law has the means and the desire to support his son-in-law completely, and to satisfy all of his necessities without asking anything in return.

After supporting his son-in-law in this fashion for some time, he may ask his son-in-law to do some small tasks. Since his son-in-law is totally unaccustomed to work, even these minor tasks will be considered rigorous labor.427

Similarly, the object of the allegory, the soul, has no relation to the physical world. Its nature is totally spiritual, carved from G-ds throne. After making the tremendous descent into this world, described as a deep pit, any labor it fulfills, any tasks it accomplishes in service of G-d, must be considered the fruits of rigorous labor.

This concept is more powerfully true in the times of exile, when the children were exiled from their fathers table. Not only are the Jews subjected to the gross physicality of the world, but they must also bear the pains of Golus. If, in spite of these pains, they perform Torah and Mitzvos (in whatever small degree, since, as explained in the allegory, even small tasks are considered rigorous labor), then they have demonstrated their power of achievement, and have shown they are fit to sit at their fathers table.

There is no more need for Golus.428 Through their service of Torah and Mitzvos, our people have demonstrated that they deserve to sit at G-ds table. Mashiach is waiting to come. All that is necessary is Teshuvah and then the Jewish people will be redeemed immediately.

Teshuvah is not a protracted process. It may come in one moment. The Talmud explains that if any Jew, even the most wicked, enters into an agreement on the condition that he is a perfect Tzaddik, that agreement is considered valid because he had the potential to do Teshuvah. The Jewish people have the potential to perform Teshuvah, and when they do, their actions will bring the revelation of Mashiach, speedily in our days.

4. In the previous Farbrengen, much emphasis was placed on the concept of Chinuch. In this generation, it is the most pressing and most necessary Mitzvah. This declaration applies particularly now, right before the beginning of the school year in the Jewish communities of the United States, Israel, and the entire northern hemisphere.429

G-d is blessed daily as the Giver of the Torah (and the blessing is made in the present tense), yet special attention is paid to the giving of the Torah on the holiday of Shavuos. Similarly, the Mitzvah of vshinantom 1vanecha (the Mitzvah of Chinuch), though a constant obligation, needs added emphasis and stress at this time.

It is no coincidence that the school year begins at this time. Before Rosh Hashanah and before entering the phase of service of crowning G-d as king of the world, it is necessary to undergo a process of education, gain needed energies, and develop ones powers further. Efforts must be intensified to stress the importance of education for adults as well as children.430

The first days of the school year are of extreme importance. During those days the students approach their studies with more interest, warmth, and joy. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to make all possible attempts to immediately involve every Jewish child in proper educational programs.

This charge to involve children in proper education programs is not only limited to Jews. The Rambam explains that every Jew is obligated to teach non-Jews ethical behavior. They must be taught faith in the Creator and Director of the world, and be channeled in a program of growth and development, not left to run wild in the street.

Therefore, it is of extreme importance that before the new school year begins, the government of the city, state, or region should pronounce one day a day of education and concentrate on communicating the importance of education to parents and children. Each individual must find his own role in bringing about the day of education, publicizing it, and imparting its importance to those in his sphere of influence.

The necessity of beginning these activities immediately is apparent. The school year is quickly approaching. More important, the coming of Mashiach is quickly approaching. At that time, Mashiach will ask, where are the seedlings you have raised where are the Jewish children who have received a proper Jewish education?

The question is a rhetorical one. Every Jewish child who is properly educated will receive revelations of G-dliness. In fact, their revelations will be even greater than the adults (in a manner similar to the pattern in Egypt where G-d was first revealed to the children).

The first step in this process is the efforts toward the declaration of a day of education. If sincere effort is applied in this direction, then it will bring success. Particularly now, after as great a country as the United States has declared and publicized a day of education431 it will be easier to influence other states and municipalities to follow its example.

May it be G-ds will that the above activities proceed successfully, and bring every child into a program of education which teaches the value of justice and peace. In addition, may Jewish children merit to be educated according to the dictates of the Torah, and be exposed to Torahs full and complete truth.

And then, with our children and with our elders, with our sons and with our daughters, we will proceed to greet Mashiach in the third Temple, speedily in our days.

5. In consideration of the above-mentioned necessity to involve each Jewish child in a program of Torah education, it is important to have the most qualified and skilled teachers possible.

Since the present situation is one in which financial worries occupy a prominent place, it is necessary, in order to secure the best teachers, to alleviate their financial worries as much as possible.

It is, therefore my suggestion and request, that beginning with this school year, all those involved in education (teachers, Roshei Yeshivos, Mashpiim, etc.) should receive a 10% salary raise in addition to whatever raises they had been given in the past, or were scheduled to receive in the immediate or distant future.

This raise will relieve or at least reduce a teachers financial worries, and allow them to devote more attention to, and become more involved with their students. Also, they will see that their work and their dedication (and the goal to which they are dedicated providing every child with a proper education) is appreciated and valued.

It is possible that this suggestion may upset the schools administration and accountant. However, an analogy given by the Previous Rebbe will calm their discomfort. The Previous Rebbe explained that in Russia, the trains (the means of lonG-distance transportation) were divided into 3 sections, each more plush (and likewise more expensive) than the other. A person of moderate means would always travel 3rd class. Even a rich man would travel only second class. However, a poor man would always travel first class. Why would he be moved to such extravagance? The other two types of people paid for their tickets from their savings; therefore they felt it necessary to curb their spending. The poor man had no money and had to borrow to pay for his ticket. Since he was already borrowing money, he felt he might as well borrow a little more and travel first-class.

Similarly, those educators who are concerned about the size of their deficit, should give the teachers the raise suggested despite their fears. wince they are anyway operating in a deficient situation, an increase in the deficit should not trouble them.

The Previous Rebbe related that from the time he became involved in public affairs (education being one of the most important subjects to which he devoted his time), each year he closed his accounts in the debit column. He was able to pay off that deficit over the course of the following year. Yet the following years accounts closed with a greater deficit, which was again paid off in the coming year, etc. He described this pattern as a sign of living work.

The point of the matter is that the size of the deficit is unimportant. What is important is the standard of the education which the children receive. This is particularly true since Hashem has declared, I am the master of gold, I am the master of silver and has promised to pay the entire cost of furthering Jewish education.

6. In connection with the above remarks, an added suggestion might be offered, which is particularly relevant to the spreading of Chassidic teachings.

This year is a leap year, its intent being to make up for the difference in days between the solar and lunar calendars. This year is of particular importance. Even after other leap years, there remains a disparity of a number of days. This year, the entire 19 year cycle is completed, and the two calendars are perfectly juxtaposed without leaving any extra days, hours, or even minutes.432

The spiritual service required in the leap year is the remedying of all the inadequacies left over from ones service in previous years. This concept also applies to the service of spreading the teachings of Chassidus.

Therefore, it is suggested that those Chassidim who are living in countries in which the Tanya has of yet not been printed, immediately apply themselves to printing the Tanya in their country. Hopefully, they will be able to finish the printing of at least 1,000 copies by Chai Elul, a day which is intrinsically connected to the spreading of Chassidus.

This request is being made at a farbrengen, because there is no time or means to contact each person individually and encourage him to help print the Tanya. However, it is of fundamental importance that an attempt be made to print the Tanya in as many countries as possible.

The project has been made easier through the simplification of the printing process. The text can be printed by offset very rapidly. There is no need to make any corrections or changes in the text. The only difference between the texts would be the name of the branch of Kehos Publishing which is printing the text.433

As a supplement to the text, a complete table of the acronyms used throughout the Tanya will be added and a corrected list434 of the errors which have crept into the text will also be supplied.

This request is important and urgent. Tonight, or at least tomorrow, the attempt should begin to print the Tanya in as many countries as possible. The printing should be completed by Chai Elul, and if possible, one copy of each of the new editions be sent to 770, the place where the Previous Rebbe learnt and davened for the last ten years of his corporeal life.

May these efforts be carried out vigorously so as to be completed by Chai Elul, and may Mashiach come before Chai Elul and teach us from the new Seforim at that time.

  20th OF AV, 5738Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5738  
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