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2nd Day Of Rosh Hashanah, 5745

Shabbos Parshas Ha'azinu, Shabbos Shuvah

Shabbos Parshas Ha'azinu

Tzom Gedaliah

Tzivos Hashem

Eve Of 6th Day Of Tishrei, 5745

6th Day Of Tishrei, 5745

6th Day Of Tishrei, 5745

Equal Rights

Blessings Erev Yom Kippur, 5745

The Blessing To The Students of Tomchei Temimim Before Kol Nidrei

Yartzeit of Rebbe Maharash

1st Night Of Sukkos, 5745

2nd Night of Sukkos, 5745

3rd Night of Sukkos, 5745

4th Night Of Sukkos, 5745

5th Night Of Sukkos, 5745

6th Night Of Sukkos, 5745

Tzivos Hashem

Hosha'ana Rabbah, 5745

Eve Of Simchas Torah, 5745

Day Of Simchas Torah, 5745

Shabbos Parshas Bereishis

Shabbos Parshas Bereishis


Shabbos Parshas Noach

Shabbos Parshas Lech Lecha

Birthday Of Rebbe Rashab

Sichos In English
Volume 23

6th Night Of Sukkos, 5745

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  5th Night Of Sukkos, 57456th Day Of Sukkos, 5745  


The entire world is created in a manner of "How great are Your works, O G-d." Every individual creation reflects this multiplicity, possessing manifold different elements and particulars. The same applies regarding Simchas Beis HaShoe-vah. Thus, in this context, tonight, there are a number of relevant points to discuss. There is the aspect of: Simchas Beis HaShoe-vah in general; the particular lesson to be derived from today, the sixth day of Simchas Beis HaShoevah; the lesson to be derived from the Ushpizen of the present night, and, also, the connection to the portion of Chumash associated with the present evening.

When all these particular elements combine together, they must contain a common factor which can serve as a lesson in our service of G-d. The Baal Shem Tov taught that everything a Jew sees or hears can serve as a lesson in his service of G-d. Surely, this applies to these matters which are established according to the Torah.

The fundamental aspect which characterizes tonight is that it is the sixth night of Simchas Beis HaShoevah and thus, it is connected with the sixth of the Ushpizen, Yosef, and his counterpart among the "Chassidic Ushpizen," the Rebbe Maharash.

They are associated with the Sefirah of Yesod, the sixth Sefirah. (Yosef's connection with Yesod is frequently mentioned (Torah Or, Vayigash 44c). The Rebbe Maharash's connection with Yesod can be explained as follows: The Rebbe Maharash was the successor of the Tzemach Tzedek who was associated with the Sefirah of Da'as. Since Yesod is directly below Da'as, it can be understood that the Rebbe Maharash -- the sixth son of the Tzemach Tzedek -- is connected with Yesod.)

Also, both Yosef and the Rebbe Maharash expressed the quality of majesty, a broad openness and dominion over all matters even though they were found in exile. Though Yosef was subject to Pharaoh, in effect, he was the ruler of Egypt and distributed food to the entire nation. Similarly, the Rebbe Maharash, though living in the midst of exile, authored the adage L'Chatchilah Ariber, "I say one's first approach should be to go above."

These two leaders' example show a Jew how even when he is found in exile, amid negative factors, his first approach can be to go above, and in regard to all matters connected to Yiddishkeit, he can become "the ruler of Egypt," to the extent that "independent of you, no one will lift their hand or foot in the land of Egypt."

Though both these leaders share a common factor, there is also a contrast between them in which the two appear as opposite. However, ultimately, this contrast shows how they complement and assist each other as will be explained.

Both Yosef and the Rebbe Maharash were leaders of the entire Jewish people, and thus they were personally affected by the status of the Jewish people in their times. Thus, these differences seemingly reflect an inner difference between the two. Nevertheless, on deeper consideration, it appears that these differences complement each other.

The explanation of this concept requires the following preface: At all times, a Jew is required to feel two seemingly contradictory emotions: On one hand, he stand above everything with a position of majesty and strength. On the other hand, he cannot think that "my strength and my power brought me this success." Rather, he must "remember the L-rd, your G-d, for He is the one Who gives you strength to succeed."

In Yosef's times, the Jews lived in "the best part of the land." Yosef's position insured that there was no possibility of persecution from the gentiles. (The Egyptian slavery beginning only after Yosef and his entire generation passed away.)

In contrast, the Rebbe Maharash led the Jewish people through times of difficulty and persecution. Frequently, he was required to travel to the Russian capital or outside of Russia to intercede and become involved with the future of the people as a whole. (These activities were carried out in a manner of L'Chatchilah Ariber from the Rebbe Maharash going directly to high government officials. Nevertheless, the general climate was such that there was a need for such involvement and efforts.)

The two opposite conditions in which these two leaders lived teach the two fundamental realizations mentioned above. When a Jew lives in "the best part of the land," when according to natural circumstances, the gentile powers can have no influence upon him, then he must realize that his success is Divinely inspired, he has been taken L'Chatchilah Ariber, above the limits of nature.

On the other hand, when he is found in a time of persecution, he cannot allow this circumstance to cause him to become depressed or weaken the strength of his stance. Quite the contrary, he must realize that even in such a situation, G-d "gives him strength to succeed," that he has the possibility of living in a manner of L'Chatchilah Ariber. Even though a Jew lives in a country with powerful rulers like Nikolai and Alexander, he must always be conscious that nothing can stand in the way of G-d's blessings for success and hence, he can live his life in a manner of L'Chatchilah Ariber.

A lesson can be derived from the above in regard to Sim-chas Beis HaShoevah: When a Jew celebrates Simchas Beis Ha-Shoevah in the public thoroughfare, in the street, celebrates in a manner which makes the street itself dance, and spreads that celebration to other communities as has become customary in recent years (and also by telephone hookups, communicates to even far-removed places), the yetzer hora can confront him with a question: "How do you have the strength to do such things while in the midst of exile?"

To this we answer that even in exile, a Jew must function. Wherever a Jew goes, G-d and the Torah accompany him. Thus, he acts with G-d's power, and therefore has the potential to rejoice in a manner that will have the far-reaching effects described above.

The above also has implications regarding a Jew's spiritual situation: At present, the gentile society in which we are living is generous and presents no obstacles to the spread of Torah and mitzvos. The matter is only dependent on one's own will. If one really desired, he could reach a much higher level than his present one. Thus, when a person considers his possible achievements, he realizes that his present level needs improvement, that he is in the midst of exile.

There is a clear proof of the above: Another person has to arouse him and motivate him to try to express greater joy than on the previous day or in the the previous year. Were he not in exile, he would himself feel the need to do so, and do so, naturally and spontaneously for every living thing grows.

Nevertheless, even when a person lacks the natural desire to celebrate in this manner, he should not postpone his rejoicing in Simchas Beis HaShoevah until he reaches that level. Rather, even in his present state he should celebrate in Simchas Beis HaShoe-vah with the fullest expression of joy, spreading his joy in the public thoroughfare to others, indeed, throughout the entire world.

The above is also related to the very name of tonight's Ushpizen, Yosef. The Torah explains that the name Yosef is associated with Rachel's prayer (Bereishis 30:24): "May G-d grant me another son." The Hebrew word for another, "acher," has negative connotations, implying one who is estranged. Chassidus explains that Yosef has the potential to transform even another into a son. Similarly, through the service of Yosef, we can transform the darkness of exile into light. (Last year, at the address of this night, a similar concept was explained in regard to Shmuel, the name of the Rebbe Maharash, the Chassidic Ushpizen associated with this night. See Sichos In English, vol. 18, p. 130.)

This is also related to the Torah portion connected to the present day, the third Aliyah in V'Zos HaBerachah which elaborates on the blessings given to Yosef. This portion describes the tribal inheritance given to Yosef in Eretz Yisroel, an inheritance richer and containing more abundant blessings than those found in the inheritance of any of the other tribes.

This is also related to the lesson of the third day on which the expression "and G-d saw that it was good" was repeated twice. Our Sages explain that this refers to a two-fold goodness: "good to the heavens" and "good to the creatures." In this context, it means that Simchas Beis HaShoevah must relate to both Jews on the level of "heaven" and those on the level of "creatures," and join them both together in a single experience.

A Jew who is "in the heavens" may think: Why should he participate in the celebrations of Simchas Beis HaShoevah? It would be better for him to study Torah, to occupy himself with prayer, "heavenly" things. Why should he lower himself to dance? To answer this question, the Talmud (end Tractate Megillah) relates that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananiah declared that during Sukkos, "we had no taste of sleep." This sage, one of the leaders of his generation, was so involved in Simchas Beis HaShoevah that he could not taste sleep.

However, the rejoicing of Simchas Beis HaShoevah should not be confined to sages alone. On the contrary, the third day teaches that both "heavens" and "creatures," i.e. Jews from the entire spectrum, must join together in one celebration. The Talmud's description of Simchas Beis HaShoevah states that the sages would dance and juggle torches and the people at large would stand on the side and watch, implying a certain differentiation between groupings. However this differentiation only applied to the technicalities of carrying out the celebration. In the feelings of joy that resulted, all Jews were one.

May these words have an effect on deed, for "deed is most essential," and cause the rejoicing of Simchas Beis HaShoe-vah tonight to surpass the rejoicing of the previous nights. May the unity expressed in the dancing herald the day when we all will dance together in the Messianic redemption. May the dancing in the street before all the gentiles serve as a preparation for the ultimate revelation of G-dliness when "the glory of G-d will be revealed and all flesh will see...." And may this all occur speedily in our days.

  5th Night Of Sukkos, 57456th Day Of Sukkos, 5745  
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