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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

Eve Of Simchas Torah, 5745

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  Hosha'ana Rabbah, 5745Day Of Simchas Torah, 5745  


On each night during the holiday of Sukkos, it was explained how the rejoicing and celebrations of that night must surpass those of the preceding night since "one must always proceed higher in holy matters." Accordingly, it can be understood that on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, our happiness should reach even greater heights. Indeed, the rejoicing of these holidays transcends that of the entire year.

In general, the festivals are characterized by happiness and are, therefore, referred to as "holidays for rejoicing." In particular, in this aspect the holiday of Sukkos surpasses the other holidays for it is "the season of our rejoicing." Within Sukkos itself, each day must lead to even greater rejoicing. Indeed, a person who does not increase his rejoicing will have fulfilled the mitzvah of rejoicing on a holiday, but he will have not fulfilled the mitzvah of "always proceeding higher in holy matters." Thus, Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah are the culmination of this process of celebration.

Furthermore, Shemini Atzeres (lit. "the eighth day of assembly") possesses a unique quality: The number seven reflects a state of fulfillment within the context of creation. Therefore, there were seven days of creation. Even the Shabbos, the seventh day is included for Shabbos added a necessary element to existence as our Sages commented: "What did the world lack? Rest. Shabbos came and with it rest."

In contrast, eight represents a step above creation. Thus, the seven days of Sukkos reflect the ultimate of rejoicing within the limits of creation and Shemini Atzeres, rejoicing as it transcends those limits. Furthermore, eight is referred to as "the one which guards [nature's] cycle." Implied is the unbounded rejoicing of Shemini Atzeres which will protect the rejoicing of the seven days of Sukkos, ensuring that its influence on the year to come will continue without being weakened or cooled off.

The influence of every festival (particularly, the festivals of Tishrei) should continue throughout the year to come. However, there is a possibility that this influence will weaken over time. The rejoicing of Shemini Atzeres ensures that the rejoicing of Sukkos will continue to have an effect on all the days of the year to come.

Furthermore, this rejoicing will continue to have an effect for all time. The happiness of "the season of our rejoicing" is a mitzvah. The word mitzvah is related to tzavsah, meaning connection or bond. Each mitzvah is a bond with G-d. Hence, just as G-d is infinite and boundless, the mitzvah and its effect on the days that follow are also unlimited.

Though it was mentioned that the rejoicing of Sukkos has the ability to affect all the days of the coming year, the intent was not to limit Sukkos's effect. On the contrary, its effect is unbounded. The intent was to emphasize how it is G-d's will that each year a Jew increase his celebrations and add even greater rejoicing.

A similar concept can be seen in Likkutei Torah. In Parshas Berachah, the Alter Rebbe writes that the Aliyah L'Regel (pilgrimage) of each festival continues to have an effect until the next festival; for example, the influence of Pesach persists until Shavuos. This appears to be a restriction, for, as explained above, the particular element of each festival, e.g. the rejoicing of Sukkos, continues to have an effect throughout the entire year. Why does the Alter Rebbe seemingly reduce the effect of a festival?

However, the Alter Rebbe's intent was not to limit a festival's effect, but rather, to show how we have the opportunity to draw down even greater spiritual influences. Similarly, by stating that the influence of the festival continues to the following year, the intent is not to discount its eternal influence, but rather, to show how we have the possibility to add to this celebration each year.

Thus, we can appreciate the opportunity for boundless rejoicing granted by Shemini Atzeres. Furthermore, since the present Shemini Atzeres follows Shemini Atzeres of the previous year when the potential for boundless rejoicing also existed, it follows that we have the potential to reach a higher level within the level of infinity itself.

We find a parallel to this idea in regard to lighting Shabbos candles. The Midrash relates that Sarah's candles and Rivkah's candles burned from one Shabbos to the next. One might ask: Since the entire matter was a miracle -- normally, the candles would not burn that long -- why wasn't the miracle more pronounced? Why didn't the candles burn forever? The answer is the same as mentioned above: The candles would burn out on Friday to give them the opportunity of lighting candles again in a higher, more refined manner.

A similar point can be made regarding the Chanukah miracle. On the surface, once G-d already worked a miracle and had the cruse of oil burn longer than it would according to nature, why didn't He continue having it burn? Indeed, lighting the Menorah with natural oil appears as a great descent after it had burned miraculously.

The word miracle, Neis, also has the meaning of "uplifted" or "raised." It is used in the context of raising a banner high so that it can be seen by those far away. A miracle involves elevating the world and lifting it up so that its G-dly nature can be perceived by all, even those far removed from G-dliness. They see something that goes beyond the rules of nature and they realize that it could only be accomplished by G-d's power. That, in turn, allows them to appreciate how even nature's rules are controlled by G-d.

If so, why was the Menorah to be lit by natural oil after it had burned miraculously?

The reply is that the ultimate intention is that the Temple be illuminated with natural oil. The purpose of lighting the Menorah was to generate light for the entire world. Therefore, the windows of the Temple were slanted outward, for the purpose was to make their light spread out to the world at large. It was desirable that the source of that light be natural oil, oil that was produced by man's service. Even though it is natural oil, it still has the power to illuminate the entire world.

Therefore, though the miracle could have lasted indefinitely, G-d only prolonged it for seven days, the time required to produce new oil. Thus, He demonstrated that His desire is for a Jew to carry out his service within the limitations of nature.

This is G-d's ultimate intent in creation that man carry out his service within the context of this physical world, with the body and other material entities. A Jew's soul is "a part of G-d from above." Thus, Torah proclaims: "You are children of the L-rd, your G-d"; "My son, My firstborn, Israel."

(By calling Israel, "My firstborn," the Torah does not intend to imply that the gentiles are also G-d's "sons." Rather, the intent is to show that Israel possesses the advantage of being the "firstborn" and not merely a "son.")

Nevertheless, G-d desired that the Jewish soul descend to this material world and encloth itself in a physical body. With this body, while it is in full power, the soul serves G-d through Torah and mitzvos. Thus, with the passage of time as the Jew advances in the service of G-d, every aspect of his service becomes elevated to a higher level.

Therefore, Sarah's and Rivkah's candles burned out on Erev Shabbos in order to allow them to kindle them again in a natural manner the following week. During the previous week, they advanced in the service of G-d and, thus, the following week, their lighting of the candles was carried out in a more refined manner.

A parallel concept exists in regard to every Jewish woman or girl. In a spiritual sense, her candles burn from Erev Shabbos to Erev Shabbos. This light illuminates the entire house and from the house, the light shines forth to all the surroundings. Indeed, it reaches the entire world.

Each Jewish home is a miniature Temple illuminating the world as did the light from the Temple. This light shines for an entire week. We may not see it! Our lack of perception does change the situation. The light exists and shines. Furthermore, in the Messianic age, when "the glory of G-d will be revealed," we will see how, in truth, the light of the Shabbos shines for an entire week! Furthermore, the only reason the light burns out is to allow it to be kindled again the following week.

The same concept applies in regard to the celebration of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah. The celebrations of these holidays the previous year have the potential to protect the happiness generated during Sukkos forever. Nevertheless, with the passage of a year, G-d desires that a Jew increase his happiness and celebration. Therefore, He grants them an opportunity of celebrating the holiday again in the present year.

This happiness must be experienced by the body within the context of this physical world. Thus, these celebrations combine two seemingly contradictory points. On one hand, they possess an infinite and unbounded quality. Nevertheless, that infinity is brought down within the context of our physical world.

"Deed is most essential." After the lengthy explanation of the elevated level of the celebrations of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, what is most important is the actual rejoicing and dancing. As the Previous Rebbe would say: "The mitzvah of the day is Simchah -- happiness." Listening to intellectual ideas generates a certain amount of satisfaction. However, that is not the happiness desired on these holidays.

The intent is celebration and dancing in a boundless, unlimited manner. Furthermore, there is no need to go out to the street to spread the happiness as was done during Sukkos. Rather, the intensity of the celebration within the shul itself generates an influence on the surroundings, just as the light of the Temple spread throughout the entire world.

This celebration will draw down the Alef, G-d, Alufo Shel Olam, the L-rd of the world, within the confines of the exile. Thus exile, golah, will be transformed into redemption, geulah, with the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our days.

[The Chassidim responded by singing a niggun with great joy. The Rebbe Shlita motioned to a number of individuals to recite L'Chayim over a large cup of wine. He continued:]

There are those who respond to the statement: "The mitzvah of the day is Simchah," and the call for great celebration, by saying L'Chayim on a small cup of wine. There are others who cover the wine with their hands so that I will not be able to see them taking only a small amount. Still others think they're wiser and try to hide so that I will not see them at all.

How silly to waste one's wisdom on such foolish matters! On the contrary, this is a time when a person can acquire the entire Torah with happiness. Generally, Torah study requires labor and effort. However, during these days, the entire Torah can be acquired through happiness. It's a great shame when a person uses his wisdom to run away from this opportunity.


In the name Shemini Atzeres, not only the word Shemini is significant, as described above; rather, the term Atzeres is also worthy of explanation.

The Rabbis frequently refer to the holiday of Shavuos with that name. The commentaries explain that Atzeres means "restraint from work." In contrast to Pesach, which is connected with the mitzvah of Matzah, and Sukkos which is associated with the Lulav and Esrog, there is no specific mitzvah connected with Shavuos. The only aspect that distinguishes it as a festival is Atzeres, "restraint from work."

This concept applies with even greater emphasis to Shemini Atzeres. Shavuos is distinguished by a unique sacrifice, the two breads, that have no parallel in other festive offerings. In contrast, even this distinguishing quality is lacking on Shemini Atzeres. Hence, the term Atzeres is an appropriate name.

On the surface, this concept appears to contradict the Previous Rebbe's statement mentioned above: "The mitzvah of the day is Simchah -- happiness." That statement implies there is a particular mitzvah associated with Shemini Atzeres -- happiness. Furthermore, the nature of that statement implies that happiness is the essential service associated with the holiday, over-shadowing all other elements of service on that day.

Another question also presents itself: Why was this concept only revealed in these later generations?

These questions can be explained on the basis of the following concept: Simchah must be a constant element of a Jew's service. As Tehillim 100:2 states: "Serve G-d with joy." Similarly, the Rambam writes: "The happiness with which a person rejoices in the service of G-d is a great service." Since a Jew must constantly serve G-d, it follows that he must constantly rejoice.

This concept is emphasized by the Rama who concludes the section of Shulchan Aruch entitled Orach Chayim ("the way of life") with the quote: "A good hearted person is always celebrating." If so, one may ask: How are Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah unique? Throughout the year, our service of G-d must be characterized by happiness.

This provokes an added question: Why is there an emphasis on drawing down the influence of these festivals on all the days of the year to come, as explained above?

In regard to Pesach, a person might assume that the experience of freedom is only relevant to Pesach night. Hence, it is necessary to emphasize how each day we must re-experience the exodus from Egypt. Similarly, a person might think that the giving of the Torah is only confined to Shavuos. Therefore, it is necessary to emphasize how each day we bless G-d as "the Giver of the Torah," using the present tense, implying that the Torah is given anew every moment. However, the question must be asked in regard to Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah: Why is it necessary to draw down its influence throughout the entire year? Happiness must be a constant factor present in all aspects of our service of G-d.

The above forces us to conclude that there is a difference between the happiness of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah and the happiness associated with the service of G-d throughout the year. The happiness experienced throughout the year is generated by particular elements of the service of G-d, each mitzvah generating a particular aspect of happiness. In contrast, the happiness of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah is an all-encompassing, essential experience which is not related to any particular element of a Jew's personality. It goes beyond any particular mitzvah, transcending even Torah study, and relates to a Jew's essential nature above any and all revelation.

This is the aspect of happiness that is drawn down from Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah to effect the entire year. The intent is that elements of this essential happiness should be revealed within the limited happiness associated with a particular mitzvah.

This concept is expressed through the custom associated with Simchas Torah, Hakafos. Hakafos involves encircling the platform upon which the Torah is read, while holding the Torah scrolls enclosed in their mantles and dancing with great joy. This celebration is not associated with the study of the Torah. On the contrary, while the Torah is closed, it is impossible to study from it.

This custom raises a question: Torah study is a constant mitzvah, incumbent upon us at all times. On the surface, after the entire service of Tishrei and after concluding the reading of the Torah throughout the entire year, it would seem most appropriate for the day to be devoted to Torah study. What is done? the very opposite. The Torah is taken out while closed and we dance with it. This may even appear as an affront to the honor of the Torah scroll.

[Certain communities have a custom of reading from the Torah on Simchas Torah. However, even in those communities, this custom is an additional aspect, added after the Hakafos, the central point of Simchas Torah, are concluded.]

From this, we can conclude that the rejoicing of Simchas Torah is an essential quality, transcending all aspects of Torah observance, even the study of Torah. Therefore, all Jews, Torah scholars and simple people alike, participate equally in this celebration. Since this quality transcends all the particular aspects of Torah and mitzvos, it relates to all Jews equally, without any difference between them.

By participating in these celebrations three times: Shemini Atzeres at night, Simchas Torah at night, and Simchas Torah during the day, we establish a Chazakah, a fixed practice, which ensures that this happiness will be drawn down to the entire year.

Based on the above, we can explain the statement: "The mitzvah of the day is Simchah -- happiness." Though there are many aspects of Torah and mitzvos associated with Simchas Torah, the essential aspect of the day is associated with the essential joy of Hakafos.

A similar concept can be explained in regard to the statement made in regard to Rosh HaShanah: "The mitzvah of the day is Shofar." The Shofar refers to the essential call of the Jewish soul, transcending intellect and reason, establishing an essential bond between him and G-d. This is the essence of the service of Rosh HaShanah, the self-nullification of the Jew in accepting G-d as King. This service transcends all particular levels and relates to the essence of the soul, a level above all division.

This explains another statement of the Previous Rebbe. The same levels achieved on the two days of Rosh HaShanah through the service of awe can be accomplished on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah through celebration and rejoicing. On both days, the possibility of an essential connection with G-d represents the essence of both holidays.

On this basis, we can answer the questions raised at the beginning of the sicha: The term Atzeres, meaning that there is no Mitzvah associated with the day with the exception of the cessation of work, is appropriate for Shemini Atzeres. Though "the mitzvah of the day is Simchah," that happiness is an essential point that transcends all aspects of Torah and mitzvos, reflecting the essence of the Jewish soul.

Therefore, this celebration transcends the particular aspects of Shemini Atzeres. Shemini Atzeres as defined by Torah law and the Sages of the Talmud does not relate to this essential quality. Only in the later generations (in the time of the Rama) did the Jews begin the custom of Hakafos which expresses this essential bond. This custom emphasizes how the essence of the Jew transcends Torah and mitzvos.

Accordingly, the stress on this essential joy was also revealed only in the later generations (by the Previous Rebbe) for the custom of Hakafos themselves was a "recent" halachic institution.

The essential and transcendent joy of Simchas Torah is related to the joy with which we will proceed to greet Moshiach. This joy will be a constant aspect of that age, the essence of that era, just as the mitzvah of celebration represents the essence of Simchas Torah.

This also raises a question: The Rambam writes that in the Messianic age, the occupation (esek) of the entire world will only be to know G-d. (The word occupation (esek) is also used in the blessings over the Torah. The commentaries explain that it was chosen to imply that just as a businessman is constantly preoccupied with his business and it dominates every aspect of his day, i.e., he eats and sleeps the business, so, too, a person must be occupied with the study of Torah. Similarly, the Rambam's choice of this term implies that, in the Messianic age, we will be totally preoccupied with "the knowledge of G-d.")

On the surface, this "occupation" with "the knowledge of G-d" appears to be a contradiction to the concept that the happiness of the Messianic age will be constant and all encompassing.

This contradiction can be resolved as follows: The "occupation" of the Jews and the entire world will be the knowledge of G-d. However, as in the happiness of Simchas Torah, the Messianic age will be characterized by transcendent happiness that surpasses the people's "occupation."

Thus, we can appreciate how the celebrations of Simchas Torah parallel the celebrations of the Messianic age. Furthermore, they will help bring about the coming of the Messianic age, and from the celebrations of Simchas Torah, we will dance to greet Moshiach, speedily, in our days.


During the holiday of Sukkos, explanations were given associating the Ushpizin, "honored guests," mentioned by the Zohar, with the Chassidic Ushpizin, beginning with the Baal Shem Tov and ending with the Rebbe Rashab.

Since Shemini Atzeres follows the seven days of Sukkos, it follows that there are also Ushpizin associated with it. Though only seven Ushpizin are mentioned, that is because the "Ushpizin" of Shemini Atzeres are on a different level than those of Sukkos.

It is logical to assume that the "Ushpizin" of Shemini Atzeres, the eighth day, will be King Solomon and the Previous Rebbe, the successors to the Ushpizin of the seventh day, King Dovid and the Rebbe Rashab.

Both these leaders share a connection to Shemini Atzeres. The Haftorah of Shemini Atzeres mentions King Solomon's dedication of the Temple. Similarly, it is explained that Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukkos are associated with Avraham, Yitzchok, and Ya'akov respectively. Shemini Atzeres is associated with Yosef, the Previous Rebbe's first name. Thus, as during the holiday of Sukkos, it is fitting to relate the common factor the two share and the different aspects of that service in which they complement each other.

The common aspect uniting the two also relates to the difference between Sukkos and Shemini Atzeres. A Sukkah is a temporary dwelling. On Shemini Atzeres, we leave the temporary dwellings in which we lived for seven days and enter our homes, permanent structures. Similarly, both King Solomon and the Previous Rebbe shared the quality of establishing permanence and stability within the world.

In regard to King Solomon, there are three manifestations of this quality: a) the construction of the Temple; b) the introduction of a state of peace for the Jewish people; c) the refinement of the entire world.

  1. The construction of the Temple -- In contrast to the Sanctuary, the Temple represented a permanent dwelling for G-d. However, even though the plans for the Temple's construction were made by King Dovid, it was Solomon who saw to the Temple's actual construction and brought about the permanent dwelling place for the Divine Presence. Dovid is thus associated with temporary revelations, and we therefore find reference to "Sukkas Dovid." In contrast, as described by the Haftorah, Solomon is associated with a permanent dwelling for G-d.

  2. The introduction of a state of peace for the Jewish people -- King David's entire reign was involved with waging wars to establish the political stability of the Jewish nation. In contrast, during Solomon's reign, that stability was regarded as a fait ac-compli and the years of his rule were characterized by peace and rest, "every man under his vine and under his fig tree."

  3. The refinement of the entire world -- A great torch draws toward it many smaller sparks. Similarly, in Solomon's time, the light of the Divine Presence shined so powerfully that it drew to it sparks of G-dliness from the furthest corners of the world. Thus, the queen of Shebah came to Solomon and brought with her the wealth of her land, showing how even the G-dly sparks enclothed in that darkness can be transformed into light.

(The concept of transformation of darkness to light helps us understand a problematic story in the Bible. After the Bible describes how G-d granted Solomon wisdom, it relates how "two prostitutes" came to him to resolve a conflict about children they bore. On the surface, wouldn't it have been more appropriate to choose a more modest situation to reveal Solomon's wisdom?

However, precisely such circumstances reveal how Solomon's wisdom involved the transformation of darkness into light and how a higher quality of light is revealed in this manner.)

The major contribution of the Previous Rebbe was the spreading of the wellsprings of Chassidus outward, to every place in the world, to the most far-removed corners of existence possible. He intended that the light of holiness, in its most complete expression, the inner truths of Torah permeate and become a fixed aspect of every place in the world and transform the darkness into light.

This quality is revealed in the very first stages of the Previous Rebbe's service; his work as the head of the Lubavitcher Yeshivah, Tomchei Temimim. The purpose of establishing Tomchei Temimim was to firmly establish the study of Chassidus and to integrate its study with that of Torah's legal aspects.

Before the establishment of Tomchei Temimim, there were also yeshivos in which Chassidus was studied, but there was no fixed pattern to the times of study or the subject matter. In contrast, in Tomchei Temimim, a) Chassidus became a part of the daily schedule of study, and b) it was studied in a thorough and systematic manner.

This concept is associated with Simchas Torah which also marks the transition to "a permanent dwelling" as explained above. Indeed, the name Tomchei Temimim was given on Simchas Torah and is taken from the Hakafos themselves.

Let us explain the contrast between Sukkos and Simchas Torah in greater detail. The fact that the Sukkah is a mitzvah endows it with an aspect of permanence. However, that permanence only applies in regard to the spiritual matters above. In regard to the material aspects of our existence, a Sukkah is a temporary dwelling.

This recalls the Alter Rebbe's statements in Tanya (Chapter 25) regarding the performance of all the mitzvos: "This union is eternal in the spiritual realms... However, here, below, [the union] is within the limits of time, persisting only during the time when one is occupied with the study of Torah or the performance of a commandment."

A similar concept applies regarding the study of Chassidus. In a spiritual sense, the study of Torah remains as a eternal factor. However, within the world, it is subject to the limits of time. The establishment of Tomchei Temimim made the study of Chassidus a fixed matter even within the context of our material world.

This relates to the first contribution of Solomon, the construction of the Temple. In general, Eretz Yisroel is described as "the land on which the eyes of G-d are upon it constantly." The Temple is on an even higher level, described as "to see, the face of G-d" (Shemos 34:24). Similarly, Chassidus is described as Pnimiyus HaTorah the inner aspects of Torah which allow one to relate to the inner aspects of G-d.

This contribution of the Previous Rebbe was relevant to those individuals who were already on the level where they were prepared to study in a yeshivah. When he assumed the leadership of the Chassidic movement, the Previous Rebbe made an even greater contribution; spreading the teachings of Chassidus outward and revealing them in a manner that made Chassidus a permanent aspect of life in even the most far-removed places.

For example, among the contributions of the Previous Rebbe was the translation of the teachings of Chassidus into other languages so that even a Jew who did not understand Hebrew or Yiddish could also benefit from its teachings.

(From the time of the Baal Shem Tov, the teachings of Chassidus were communicated in Yiddish. Though they were usually written in Hebrew, they were generally recited in Yiddish. Even though Yiddish is lower than Hebrew, "the holy tongue," it is still higher than the other languages. It compares to Aramaic, the language in which the Talmud was composed.)

Furthermore, the Previous Rebbe sent Shluchim, emissaries, throughout the entire world to spread the observance of Judaism and the teachings of Chassidus. The intent was to motivate a process of transformation. This is alluded to in his name Yosef. Bereishis 30:24 explains that Yosef was given that name with the prayer that G-d "Yosef Havayah li ben acher," literally, "add to me another son." However, the phrase also alludes to the transformation of acher, a person estranged from Judaism, into a ben, a son.

One of the missions on which the Previous Rebbe sent the Chassidim is particularly relevant to the present occasion. He would urge the Chassidim to go to other shuls, even if they were distant, to help add to the rejoicing of the congregants there. Afterwards, the Shluchim would return to the Previous Rebbe's shul to celebrate with even greater fervor. At times, people from the other shuls would come back with them. After seeing the Shluchim's vitality, they desired to see the source which inspired it.

These efforts to spread Torah, mitzvos, and the wellsprings of Chassidus to even the most far-removed corners of the world are still bearing fruit today. Each year, the effects of the Previous Rebbe's activities grow and expand.

This parallels King Solomon's establishment of rest and peace as a fixed element of the lives of the Jews. The essential element of a Jew's life is Torah and mitzvos. Hence, the Previous Rebbe's achievements in spreading Torah and mitzvos to all Jews, even those far-removed to the point that it was necessary to translate Torah into the "seventy languages" of the world for them to understand, brought spiritual peace and rest to the Jews. This parallels the achievements of the first Yosef, who established the Jews in a position of prosperity in the midst of Egypt.

These activities are also the key to the redemption from exile. The coming of Moshiach is dependent on the spreading of Chassidus. This is also alluded to in the Previous Rebbe's second name, Yitzchok, which relates to the concept of joy. It is in the Messianic age when "our mouths will be filled with joy." Only then will we experience the ultimate happiness.

In addition to the spreading of Chassidus to all factions of the Jewish people, there is an aspect of the Previous Rebbe's activity which reflects the transformation of darkness to light accomplished by King Solomon.

The Previous Rebbe carried out his service in times of ultimate darkness as evidenced by his struggle against the oppression of the Russian authorities. He, himself, was imprisoned because of these activities. Nevertheless, these difficulties did not effect the Previous Rebbe at all. On the contrary, he proceeded with his activities to the point where his efforts transformed darkness into light. Not only were the Russians forced to free him from jail, but in doing so, they brought about a new festival celebrating the spreading of Torah and mitzvos.

Thus, we can see how both King Solomon and the Previous Rebbe were able to draw holiness into the world in a fixed and permanent manner. They were able to achieve this goal in the realm of holiness itself through the building of the Temple and in the establishment of Tomchei Temimim respectively; for the Jewish people as a nation -- Solomon in the material sphere, the Previous Rebbe in the spiritual sphere; and in the world at large in the transformation of darkness into light.

Based on the above, we can explain why King Solomon and the Previous Rebbe are not included in the Ushpizin of Sukkos: The word Ushpizin means "honored guest," implying a temporary relationship. Therefore, it is appropriate for Sukkos whose celebrations center on a "temporary dwelling." King Solomon and the Previous Rebbe represent permanent qualities. Thus, it is more appropriate to call them baalei batim meaning "home-owners," rather than Ushpizin, "guests."

As explained in regard to the Ushpizin of Sukkos, though the Chassidic Ushpizin share a common factor with those mentioned by the Zohar, there is also a contrast between them in which one complements the service of the other. The same applies regarding King Solomon and the Previous Rebbe.

King Solomon lived in a time of material peace and prosperity. G-d promised: "I will grant peace and tranquility in his days." Each individual found rest "under his vine and fig tree." In contrast, the Previous Rebbe's time was filled with persecution and oppression of the Jews. Though he was able to establish permanence and stability regarding the Jews' spiritual situation, the physical difficulties and obstacles that faced the Jews were extremely severe.

Even after the Previous Rebbe arrived in America, he was faced with difficulty. He personally was physically incapacitated. Among the difficulties from which he suffered was his inability to speak. For the Previous Rebbe, this represented a very severe limitation. He was used to reciting Chassidic discourses and, in that condition, he was limited to writing them.

To a certain extent, this was a more severe limitation than those suffered in Russia. In Russia, the difficulties came from the outside, from the government. Here, the difficulty stemmed from his own body. Furthermore, this was not only a general lack of health, itself a limitation in the service of G-d as the Rambam writes: "The [maintenance of the] health and complete state of the body is one of the paths of the service of G-d." Here, it affected precisely the power with which he made his greatest contribution to the spreading of the wellsprings of Chassidus outward.

One of the doctors who treated the Previous Rebbe commented on this fact. He asked the Rebbe: "How can a Jew who believes in G-d explain why infirmity struck you precisely in the power most necessary in your service of G-d?"

(The doctor's intent can be explained as follows. He saw that within the rules of nature, there was little chance of healing the Previous Rebbe. Hence, he tried to motivate the Previous Rebbe to heal himself by stepping above nature for as Ta'anis 23a relates G-d fulfills a tzaddik's decrees to happen. The doctor hoped that when the Previous Rebbe saw that his infirmity affected the faith of another Jew, he would surely heal himself.]

Thus, the Previous Rebbe's situation can be seen as the direct opposite of that of King Solomon. Nevertheless, despite these difficulties, he dedicated himself to spreading Judaism and Chassidus outward, transcending all limitations.

Thus, the two services complement one another. From the examples of these leaders, we can learn how both in times of prosperity and in times of difficulty, we must devote ourselves to drawing down G-dly light in a permanent manner by spreading Judaism and Chassidus outward.

Furthermore, even when, in general, a person's situation is one of prosperity, there are times when it is necessary to undertake certain difficulties. For example, in order to make the pilgrimage journies to Yerushalayim, the people would leave their homes and travel through other cities, sleeping in the streets (Bikkurim 3:2).

We can take a lesson from this. Our present situation is one of relative prosperity. Thus, it is possible to think that the proper course of action is to relax in one's home, "under one's vine and fig tree," and close oneself off in the world of Torah. Here, we see that the approach must be to go out to "the streets of the city" and attempt to spread Judaism and Chassidus there.

"Deed is most essential." Everyone must resolve to take a more active role in spreading Judaism and Chassidus. Anyone who dedicates himself to this goal will be able to see the fruits of his labor. These activities will nullify the last remaining aspects of exile and we will be able to proceed to the true and complete redemption led by Moshiach.

Every addition within the sphere of Torah and mitzvos will hasten the above. In particular, through the unbounded celebrations of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah -- "happiness breaks down barriers" -- we will break down the barriers of exile and proceed to the true and complete redemption "with eternal joy."

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