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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

Yechidus

Shabbos Parshas Noach

Shabbos Parshas Lech Lecha

Birthday Of Rebbe Rashab

Sichos In English
Volume 23

Hosha'ana Rabbah, 5745

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  6th Day Of Sukkos, 5745Eve Of Simchas Torah, 5745  

1

Simchas Bais HaShoevah must be celebrated on all seven days of Sukkos. These festivities were instituted because of the water libation as implied by the verse, "You shall draw water with joy." Since that libation was brought on every day of the holiday, the accompanying celebration should also be held every night. Furthermore, on each night, the celebration should be increased in keeping with the principle "always proceed higher in holy matters."

Hosha'ana Rabbah, the present night, is marked by a number of customs in addition to Simchas Bais HaShoevah; the recitation of Tikkun, the Book of Psalms, etc. These customs require time in order to be observed in the proper manner.

These customs cannot be properly observed while participating in Simchas Bais HaShoevah. Nevertheless, surely their observance should not detract from Simchas Bais HaShoevah. According to Halachah, there are times when the observance of one practice supersedes and nullifies the observance of another. However, even in these circumstances, this is only because the spiritual influences that would be brought about by the practice which is nullified are drawn down by the fulfillment of the other practice.

For example, when Rosh HaShanah falls on Shabbos, the shofar is not sounded. However, Chassidus explains that we do not lack the spiritual influences that would be generated by sounding the shofar. Rather, those influences are drawn down by the sanctity of Shabbos. From this example, we can derive parallel concepts in other contexts.

Thus, we are forced to say that on Hosha'ana Rabbah, we are given the potential to celebrate and bring about the same effects as during Simchas Bais HaShoevah on the previous nights. Indeed, as above, we are able to increase those celebrations. Though there is less time, within this limited time, all this can be accomplished.

The ability to accomplish much in a limited amount of time is relevant to the other days of Sukkos as well as Hosha'ana Rabbah. Each night, it is necessary to add to the celebrations of the previous night. Though the nights become slightly longer, that addition is only minimal while the increase in happiness must be considerable. Thus, it is obvious that the increase in joy is qualitative and not quantitative. Within the same amount of time, we are able to come to a much higher degree of rejoicing.

This is related to the Alter Rebbe's interpretation of our Sages' description of the Messianic age as "the day which is entirely long." The Alter Rebbe commented: "Even at its beginning it is long." On the surface, the length of a day is noticeable at its conclusion and not at its beginning. However, the intent is that even at the beginning of the day, its unlimited potential can be appreciated.

Similarly, in regard to the present occasion, we have the potential to surpass the joy of the previous nights within the limited time available to celebrate Simchas Bais HaShoevah tonight.

"Deed is most essential." Surely, we must recite Tikkun, the Book of Psalms, etc. However, in addition, we must also celebrate with greater energy than on the previous nights. Furthermore, this rejoicing must not be confined to a person's own limits, but must also spread to the street and thus, show how the public thoroughfare can be transformed into a "private domain" for G-d.

We have been granted the potential for this service. G-d is the Creator and Controller of the entire world including the street. Therefore, when a Jew celebrates in the street, he has the potential to make it G-d's private domain.


2

Both the common and contrasting aspects of the Ushpizin mentioned in the Zohar and the Chassidic Ushpizin were discussed on the previous nights. The different and even opposite elements of their service can be combined and directed toward a single goal.

The Ushpizin of the present night are Dovid HaMelech and the Rebbe Rashab. The common element they share relates to the quality of kingship and sovereignty as will be explained. In particular, they share a connection to the crown, which is the fundamental expression of the king's authority.

(Thus, we find that Achashverosh reacted severely when Haman suggested that he grant his royal garb, horse, and crown to a person he desired to honor. The royal garb and the horse could be given, temporarily, to another person. However, the crown could only be worn by the king. It represents the essence of the kingdom.)

Dovid HaMelech was the personification of the attribute of Malchus, sovereignty. Thus, we see a distinction between him and all the other kings. King Saul was the first king. He was anointed by the prophet Shmuel and charged with the annihilation of Amalek, a mitzvah that must be performed by the king. Nevertheless, the reign of his family was limited.

Similarly, Solomon, who ruled after Dovid, possessed many great qualities. He built the Temple and he "sat on the throne of G-d." Nevertheless, Chassidus explains that Solomon represents "the wisdom of Malchus," while Dovid represents Malchus itself.

Dovid and his descendants also shared a unique relationship with the concept of crown. The Talmud (Avodah Zarah 44a) relates that the royal crown revealed the worthiness of the kings of the Davidic dynasty. If they were fit for their position, the crown would adjust itself to the size of their heads.

The Rebbe Rashab also expressed the quality of Malchus. Firstly, the very fact that he is the seventh of the Ushpizin shows his connection to the seventh of the middos, the quality of Malchus. Similarly, the Rebbe Rashab was born in the year 5621, kisra, which means "crown." Similarly, he was born on the twentieth of Cheshvan. The Hebrew word for twenty, esrim, is numerically equal to keser, crown (620). Similarly, the numerical equivalent of twenty, kof, is the first letter of the word keser.

The connection between King Dovid and the Rebbe Rashab is clearly evident. One of the most significant sichos recited by the Rebbe Rashab to his students began: "All those who leave for the wars of the house of Dovid...." With that sicha, he charged the students with the mission of fighting "the wars of the House of Dovid," urging them to become "soldiers of Dovid's house," dedicated to bringing the Moshiach and combating all those who oppose his coming.

Even those who cannot understand the complete message of the sicha realize how the fact that the Rebbe Rashab called his students "soldiers of the House of David," reveals an intrinsic connection between them.

Though these two leaders share a common element, there are also contrasts between them: Dovid's life was filled with wars and battle as I Divrei HaYomim 22:8 states: "You shed much blood." This quality was connected with Dovid's complexion itself -- he was ruddy. Indeed, Dovid's connection with blood was serious enough to prevent him from building the Temple.

In contrast, the Rebbe Rashab's first name was Sholom meaning "peace," the direct opposite of bloodshed. The true concept of peace is the resolution of difference. Two contradictory approaches exist. Nevertheless, rather than face each other in conflict or war, they coexist in peace.

The existence of an opposite approach is alluded to in the Rebbe Rashab's second name, DovBer, meaning "bear." Megillah 11a relates that a bear is "covered up with meat," i.e. the material dominating the spiritual. "Sholom," peace, implies that the intent is not to negate the existence of the flesh, but rather to transform it into use for a holy purpose.

Thus, the flesh can be transformed into the flesh of the Shlomim, the peace offerings, which bring "peace to the altar, to the priests, and to those who brought them." Furthermore, they add to the joy of the festivals as Pesachim 109a states: "There is no happiness except with meat."

Accordingly, we can learn a lesson from the service of both King Dovid and the Rebbe Rashab in relation to Simchas Bais HaShoevah. Simchas Bais HaShoevah must have an effect on the street, refining the world at large. The Ushpizin provide two different approaches to that challenge: King Dovid, the approach of war and the Rebbe Rashab, the approach of peace.

In both cases, the efforts toward this refinement must be carried out with the strength of a king: "The king spoke and mountains were uprooted." Nevertheless, the concept of kingship also implies that these efforts will be appreciated with an attitude of willing acceptance as we state in our prayers, "His Kingship they willing accepted."

(The latter concept is intrinsically related to the holiday of Sukkos. Chassidic thought explains that Sukkos reveals the qualities which were hidden on Rosh HaShanah. Rosh HaShanah's service revolves around the willful acceptance of G-d as King. Thus, Sukkos marks the celebrations associated with the king's coronation, as it were.)

The difference between these two approaches is expressed in regard to the effect of the celebrations of Simchas Bais HaShoevah on oneself and on others.

There are those who might feel: "How much must I dance? I danced an hour, even two hours, on the first night of Simchas Bais HaShoevah. Isn't that enough?"

The response to these questions depends on whether they are being asked by oneself or by another person. If a person feels that way himself, the response must be one of war (the approach of King Dovid) as the Talmud (Berachos 5a) states: "A person should always rouse the good impulse against the evil." The Alter Rebbe explains in Tanya that "one must rage against the animal soul... with stormy indignation."

However, if the question is asked by another person the response must be one of peace -- the approach of the Rebbe Rashab. (The Previous Rebbe once remarked that although the growth of nails represents a sign of maturity in an embryo's development, we must realize that nails are desirable only when used for oneself, not against others.)

To put the matter plainly, a person may go to Simchas Bais HaShoevah and confront a colleague who feels that he cannot participate because he is "covered with flesh." The latter complains that were he smaller, and lighter, he would dance. But how can you expect such an effort from a man of his size? The manner to deal with such a person is through the approach of peace, with Ahavas Yisroel, love for one's fellow Jew.

Thus, we must use the approach of war to motivate ourselves and that of peace to motivate others to take a greater role in the celebrations of Simchas Bais HaShoevah. With the power of kingship, we have the ability to increase these celebrations and despite our recitation of Tikkun and Psalms, and despite eating an apple dipped in honey....

(In previous generations, it was customary for the Gabbaim to give out apples to be eaten during the recitation of Psalms. Though now, that custom cannot be fulfilled in exactly the same manner, for we are careful not to eat even fruit outside a Sukkah, still the Gabbaim can distribute apples to the congregants which they can eat later. May this custom bring a good and sweet year.)

Despite all the above, it is still possible within the limited time available to combine both of the approaches, war and peace, and direct them to one goal, the celebration of Simchas Bais HaShoevah in the fullest way possible.


  6th Day Of Sukkos, 5745Eve Of Simchas Torah, 5745  
  
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