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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

   Eve Of 27th Day Of Tishrei, 5745

Shabbos Parshas Noach

Shabbos Parshas Lech Lecha

Birthday Of Rebbe Rashab

Sichos In English
Volume 23

Yechidus
Eve Of 27th Day Of Tishrei, 5745
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  24th Day Of Tishrei, 5745 - 2nd Farbrengen2nd Day Of Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan, 5745  

1

The month of Tishrei has been called a month of "many holidays." Concerning the last holiday of the month Rashi writes in Bemidbar 29:36:

... Just like children who think to take leave of their father to whom he says, "Parting from you is very hard for me; stay one day more."

Having been together throughout the month of Tishrei and having celebrated the holidays in unison, when everyone has to return home, "parting is very hard."

On several occasions we have for discussed the wording, "Parting...is very hard for me." The Hebrew word used is pridaschem -- your parting -- and not pridaseinu -- our parting -- for there can never really be a parting between G-d and His nation. G-d is always with us.

What concerns the Holy One, Blessed be He, is the state of parting and separation which He discerns among the Jewish people. Being that everyone must return to his or her individual place, to fulfill the missions of the Holy One, Blessed be He, this physical dispersion and displacement might cause a spiritual parting.

The remedy is, "Stay one day more," make another holiday, namely Shemini Atzeres-Simchas Torah, and it will guarantee that you will not fall into a state of spiritual divisiveness. Therefore the additional holiday of Shemini Atzeres-Simchas Torah, which G-d gave us, must accomplish a unity among Jews, which supersedes their actual physical separation. This indicates to us the importance in G-d's eyes of the unity of the Jewish people; he gave us a special holiday to make sure we are unified even when we are separated.

The special observance of Shemini Atzeres-Simchas Torah is the completion of the yearly cycle of Torah reading. What connection does this have with, and how does it enhance, the unity and togetherness of Jews?

When we complete the cycle of Torah reading and commence again from Bereishis, we clearly see, that despite the 53 different weekly portions of the Torah, and the innumerable topics in Torah, it really is, "one Torah."

As we go through the cycle of Torah, starting from Bereishis, we see how each portion is really dependent on the other. When you learn the portion of Bereishis, for example, which covers the longest chronological period, you must still learn the following portion of Noach, in order to properly understand Bereishis. So, too, throughout the chapters of the Torah.

More specifically when you learn Rashi's commentary, that Bereishis means:

For the sake of the Torah which was called "first" ... and for the sake of the Jewish people who were called "first,"

(Rashi, Bereishis 1:1)

You understand that the purpose of the world is that Jews should study Torah -- the whole Torah!

Similarly in the case of the Jewish people. Every Jew is one "chapter" or "mitzvah" of holiness, yet he must also be part of the Jewish people, and then, together and united, they will fulfill the ultimate purpose of providing a dwelling place for the Name of G-d. Whenever a minyan of Jews convene their prayer is for the total Jewish nation -- as we say:

Bless us, our Father, all of us as one, with the light of Your countenance. (Siddur -- Amidah)

Now, why should mention be made of the feared separation of the Jews only after the holiday of Sukkos? True, during Sukkos Jews had gathered in Yerushalayim to celebrate the holidays together, and after the holidays they returned home. But this phenomenon took place during Pesach and Shavuos too, why is it mentioned only after Sukkos?

The answer is, that the means of overcoming the potential divisiveness is by understanding the unity of Torah -- and that is mainly stressed at the end of Sukkos, when the reading cycle is ended and begun again.

This shows us that the unity of the Jewish nation must come by, and from, Torah. For: "Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace." This negates the spiritual parting and divisiveness, even when there is physical distance between Jews.

Does this not present us with a glaring paradox? If the unity of the Jewish people is so important that G-d had to add a special holiday to give us the power to neutralize the divisiveness, then why not keep all the Jews together all the time?

The Baal Shem Tov explained the verse:

...for His Name to dwell there ..., (Devorim 26:2)

This means that wherever a Jew finds himself he must realize, that his purpose is to reveal G-dliness there and make it a dwelling place for His Name. So G-d wants a revelation of G-dliness in the whole world: in every country, every city, every neighborhood and every home.

Of course "His honor fills the whole world" (Yeshayahu 6:3), but it has to be revealed -- this happens through the Divine service of the Jewish people.

For this reason G-d has dispersed the Jews throughout the diaspora, all over the world, and not kept them in one place; they are the messengers of the Holy One, Blessed be He. In His stead and with His power they spread out to reveal and prepare the dwelling place for the Name of G-d in the four corners of the world. When each and every Jews fulfills this mission individually, the revelation becomes universal.

So there is a purpose in being separated, but this must not cause divisiveness! Especially as the separation itself must bring the greatest unity, the universal revelation of G-dliness.

This idea may be connected to the section of Rambam which we learn today:

If one acted unwittingly and took a consecrated object or money belonging to the Temple, and gave it to a messenger to expend it as if it were unhallowed, the sender committed the trespass if the messenger performed his errand ... in all of the law of Scripture no transgression by an agent made the sender culpable except in the case of a trespass....

(Rambam, Laws of Trespass 7:1-2)

Although there actually are several other cases where the action of the messenger could make the sender culpable, however, in those cases the sender either transgresses by the act of sending itself, or he has personal benefit from the act.

In the case of trespass even without these conditions the sender is culpable.

What does this symbolize for us?

The theme of trespass is that one must guard and protect everything that is holy. Whether it is consecrated for the altar or the repair of the Temple, whether it is of great value or of little value; as the Rambam writes: (5:1) "... or even if he consecrated a dunghill full of manure or earth or ashes." If he made it holy, there must be care on his part to guard it and not to use it for secular uses.

So too, every Jew must transform his place in the world into a dwelling place for G-d and then protect that place so that no one should trespass therein. The power for this is granted to every individual, as a "messenger [alike] of the Supernal Man."

To create the framework for this system of man as messenger for, and taking the place of, G-d, there must be room for free will. So there has to be a possibility for a messenger to act against the will of G-d -- this is only done with the hope that it will never happen -- but the free will must be there!

So in the case of trespass on the precincts of holiness there is the distinct possibility that the messenger will trespass and the sender will be guilty. Just as our goal is to be the messenger of G-d and reveal His G-dliness in the world and make the world a dwelling place for Him!

The connection between the Rambam and the unity of the Jewish people now becomes evident.

A Jew might ask, "How can you demand of someone to 'Love your neighbor as yourself' and to find unity with other Jews, when G-d Himself created us apart and sent us to separate places, to be involved in different aspects of Torah and mitzvos?"

The answer: "The messenger of the Supernal Man is like Him." Each and every Jew, in his role as messenger of G-d, brings with him the same mission and power of the Sender. What is that mission? to make the world a dwelling place for G-d. So the separation is not a sign of disunity, on the contrary, it is the source and path through which the whole world will be unified with G-dliness!

Simply put; every Jew upon awaking recites: "I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me...." (Siddur)

Now this creates a universality among all Jews, young and old, for they all know that G-d has restored their souls and they accept the yoke of heaven.

Knowing that his goal is to fulfill G-d's mission -- which is why his soul is restored -- he also realizes that all Jews have the same mission. This automatically creates a unity among all Jews, and when the mission is fulfilled, the unity extends to include the world and G-d.

Uniting as one makes us worthy to receive G-d's blessing: "Bless us, our Father ... with the light of Your countenance," men, women, young and old, in all that we require.

Especially now, at the start of the year, when we begin to read: "In the beginning G-d created the heavens and the earth," we pray for G-d's blessings in the matters pertaining to heaven and earth.

What are heavenly matters? To have the ability to study Torah and perform mitzvos, and to influence others likewise; all from a standpoint of proper health, comfort, joy and gladness of heart.

Earthly matters? livelihood, clothing, housing, etc. Here too, we hope for the blessing of the Holy One, Blessed be He: a bountiful living, health and joy, free of worry, and in a way that the income will be used for good and healthy matters; in general: children, life, livelihood and bountiful blessings.

The purpose we spoke about was to effect unity in the world. It is therefore understandable that our efforts must also be geared towards gentiles, to teach them the Seven Noachide Laws. As the Rambam writes, this responsibility was given to us in Torah. This will also help in the area that the non-Jews will feel responsibility for the protection of Jews, and stop others who might try to harm us.

All this will bring us close to the ultimate unity of the Jewish nation, and the unity of Torah and the unity of the Holy Land. So that in addition to the areas already under our control, the rest of the areas of Eretz Yisroel will be returned to us in a peaceful manner.

And may G-d grant, that all the good resolutions made from Rosh HaShanah till Shabbos Bereishis shall be fulfilled. And since Tishrei is the month which is satiated (full of everything), and bestows all its blessings on all the Jews for the entire year, may the blessing bring a year of blessing, light, joy and Torah.

Very speedily the redemption shall come through our righteous Moshiach who will redeem us and lead us quickly and upright to our Holy Land.

2

May the Holy One, Blessed be He, bless all the bar mitzvah celebrants and give them much success, together with their parents, brothers, sisters and all their relatives.

Every additional boy who reaches the age of bar mitzvah brings joy to the entire Jewish nation. May the blessings of G-d be bestowed on the family and all the Jewish people in the merit of the bar-mitzvah boys.

First and foremost may each and every bar mitzvah celebrant grow up to be a truly G-d fearing individual, a scholar and a chossid. May he go from "strength to strength" in all good matters, Yiddishkeit, Torah study and observance of mitzvos, with good health and gladness of heart.

As is customary, on the day of the bar-mitzvah, the bar mitzvah boy should contribute to tzedakah from his own money and if the birthday falls on Shabbos he should give tzedakah on Friday and Sunday.

It is also a good idea that the parents, brothers and sisters should give tzedakah in his merit on that day.

All this should increase the blessings of G-d, and the parents and the entire family should derive pleasure and spiritual satisfaction from the bar-mitzvah celebrant -- in a healthy, happy and joyous atmosphere.

And may we all speedily merit to greet the righteous Moshiach with the true and complete redemption.

My participation in the simchah will be to give each of you one dollar which will also increase the mitzvah of tzedakah, for each of you should give the dollar (or a substitute) to charity.

This activity should bring the redemption even closer.

Certainly everyone is aware of the importance of learning chapter 14 in Tehillim on the day of the bar-mitzvah and will fulfill it.

3

The Holy One, Blessed be He, should bless each and every one of you that all of the preparations for your weddings shall be successful and in the spirit of Yiddishkeit, Torah and Chassidus. Above all, the wedding itself shall be in a good and auspicious time, and your marriage shall be an everlasting edifice based on the foundations of Torah and mitzvos.

It is customary for the groom and bride to contribute to charity on the morning of the wedding and it is also commendable that the parents give tzedakah in merit of their children.

In the merit of the mitzvah of tzedakah, which is equivalent to all the mitzvos, may the blessings of G-d be increased, to bestow upon you the blessing of an everlasting edifice, based on the foundation of Torah and mitzvos, and to see sons and daughters who will be involved in Torah and mitzvos.

Most important, may these blessings be bestowed with a revealed beneficence, starting from the preparations for the wedding, the wedding itself and the Sheva Berachos of the week of celebration, and then on through the rest of your lives; as we said, an "everlasting edifice."

And may we merit very soon to go together with all Israel to greet our righteous Moshiach, when all Jews will meet with great joy. And then the Matrimonial blessing will be fulfilled: "... Let there speedily be heard in the cities of Yehudah and in the streets of Yerushalayim, the sound of joy and the sound of happiness, the sound of a groom and the sound of a bride."

As participation in this great and lofty mitzvah I will give each of you a dollar bill, which you should donate (or a substitute) to charity on the day of your wedding. Certainly you will also add of your own money.

May this good act bring the true and complete redemption even closer, through our righteous Moshiach, speedily and truly in our days.

4

I would like to add to the blessings spoken at the general Yechidus, which certainly included all of you, a special blessing pertaining specifically to you and to the mission placed upon you.

The Mishnah in tractate Kiddushin states: "I was created to serve my Master." This credo applies to all Jews. Yet, the Talmud also states that each individual is a whole world, which would indicate that each person has a distinct and unique form of service to G-d.

Similarly, when we speak of blessings and the bestowal of power to fulfill one's role and mission in life, there must be a general all-encompassing blessing which applies to all of Israel, in addition to which there are also specific benedictions relating to individual persons or situations. We find this thought in Ya'akov's blessings: "He gave each one his own special blessing" (Berachos 49:28), which was matched to his specific mission.

What is the role and mission of yeshivah students, and especially the students of Tomchei Temimim? The Rebbes and Nessi'im of Chabad have explained that their role is to be "illuminating lights" [lit. lamps which cause illumination]. This cliche has often been interpreted to mean that your influence must be strong enough to cause others to also become beacons of light. How is this role fulfilled? by being a living example. "I am as a marvel to many" (Tehillim 71:7). When the marvel is revealed then many are influenced. Seeing that he is an "illuminating light," he can evoke in others the power to be a lamp which will cause illumination in others.

This develops into a chain reaction and then brings the ultimate goal, which is to reveal the presence of G-dliness as the true essence of the world, thereby nullifying the restrictiveness and concealment of the physical world. This concept, of revealing the G-dliness of the world, was the goal of the Patriarch, Avraham. As Chassidus explains, Avraham proclaimed, "G-d [is the] world" (Berachos 21:33) and not "G-d of the world." The latter would imply that the world has its own independent existence and G-d is the ruler of the world. The former means that the world has no independent existence, for its true reality is G-dliness.

It is this goal that Avraham has bequeathed to each and every Jew, so that through your Divine service you too can effect the revelation of "G-d [is the] world"; this leads to the ultimate revelation of the Creator in creation:

And the glory of the L-rd shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the L-rd has spoken it. (Yeshayahu 40:5)

This responsibility, to reveal the G-dliness of everything may be connected to the section of Rambam for today, which deals with the Laws of Trespass.

The theme of the Laws of Trespass is that a Jew must carefully protect anything that is hallowed or sacred. This includes animals consecrated for the Altar, or any item made sacred and dedicated for use in repairing the Temple. It may also include such items, which on their own, may not be used in repairing the Temple, but can be redeemed, and then their value may be applied to the Temple work. In all cases one must be careful of trespass.

What connection does this have with our Divine service today? That the Jew has the ability to hallow and sanctify all aspects of the worldly existence. This expresses itself most interestingly in the ruling that sanctification, and thereby protection from trespass, is not restricted to any class of material or beings. The law of trespass will apply whether you consecrate the most precious items in the world, or, to the opposite extreme: "... even a dunghill full of manure..." (Rambam, Laws of Trespass 5:1). With regard to the element of time, there is also no limitation:

Trespasses were to be added together over a long period of time. In what way? If one had enjoyed a consecrated thing one day and after many years enjoyed something again in the same lapse of knowledge, both enjoyments were to be added together to a "perutah" and a trespass would be committed. (Rambam, Laws of Trespass 5:4)

Thus, the Laws of Trespass cover the full gamut of existence, which teaches that your responsibility to sanctify and to hallow applies to everything and your ability to reveal G-dliness in the world relates to all aspects of life and to everything you come in contact with. The lesson from today's Rambam: Increase your protection and care of all aspects of holiness, beginning with your Torah study, which is the Holy of Holies, as the Talmud in Sotah explains, on the verse of Mishlei 3:15: "She [Torah learning] is more precious than rubies, i.e. more precious than the Kohen Gadol who enters into the innermost sanctuary." [Note: "innermost sanctuary" in Hebrew is "Lifnai Ulifnim" -- a play on the words "Mip'ninim" of the verse in Mishlei.] On the other hand, you must also sanctify your involvement in worldly matters, and reveal the G-dliness in them.

The role of "illuminating lights" applies more specifically on this day which is Tuesday, of which Rashi says, "That it was good was doubled -- meaning good to heaven and good to people." As lamps which cause light, you must not only give light, but must also influence others to become illuminating lights. Thus you must be "good to heaven and to people." Become a "marvel to many."

Naturally, when you must influence others your activities must be that much stronger, as the beneficiary always takes only a small share of what the benefactor has. The result however will invigorate and strengthen both lamplighter and luminary, as explained in Tanya.

May G-d grant that from Simchas Torah and the following day of Shabbos, which blesses this Tuesday, you shall all merit a year of Torah. Your study of the exoteric and esoteric aspects should be enhanced, and your good influence on others should be increased, and the light of Torah will make the year a year of brilliance and blessing, a year of Torah and Teshuvah and Tefillah.

And this will quicken the "year of redemption," so that you will merit among all of Israel to study the Torah of Moshiach, in a manner of "seeing."

My participation in this will be, to give each of you a dollar bill, and make you "messengers of a mitzvah" so that you will donate it to tzedakah, "which is equivalent to all the mitzvos!" And since "The mitzvah of tzedakah is great because it brings the redemption closer" (B. Basra 10a), through your tzedakah we will quicken the true and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach. "With our youth and elders ... with our sons and daughters"; true unity, with the unity of the exoteric and esoteric aspects of Torah, and a taste of the Torah of Moshiach. This brings the completeness of the spiritual land and also the physical Holy Land, "a land constantly under G-d your L-rd's scrutiny; the eyes of G-d your L-rd are on it at all times from the beginning of the year until the end of the year" (Devorim 11:12).

Truly soon may it be; for all the "signs" have passed, and the true and complete redemption shall come speedily in our days. As the Previous Rebbe interpreted the world mamash to mean 'touch' -- let us already 'touch it,' not just hear about it.

May G-d bless you with success to increase and to rise to higher levels in Chassidus, fear of heaven and scholarship. As the Torah says: "To go from strength to strength." The word Ch'Y'L' [strength] has the initial letters of Chassidim, Yiras Sho-mayim (fear of Heaven) and "Lomdim" (scholars).

And may we speedily merit to go and greet Moshiach and see the fulfillment of the promise: "Then shall the offering of Yehudah and Yerushalayim be pleasant to the L-rd, as in the days of old and as in former years." This promise is connected also with the portion of this week -- Noach -- for our sages in the Midrash say that the "days of old" (yimai olam) is connected to the "waters of Noach" (mai Noach). Speedily and truly in our days.


  24th Day Of Tishrei, 5745 - 2nd Farbrengen2nd Day Of Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan, 5745  
  
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