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Shabbos Parshas Terumah

Shabbos Parshas Tetzaveh

Shabbos Parshas Ki Sissa

Shabbos Parshas Vayakhel, Parshas Shekalim

1st Day of Rosh Chodesh Adar II, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Pikudei

Shabbos Parshas Vayikra, Parshas Zachor

Ta'anis Esther, 5749

Purim, 5749

Motzoei Shushan Purim, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Tzav, Parshas Parah

Machne Israel Special Development Fund

Yechidus

   Eve of The 22nd Day of Adar II, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Shemini, Parshas Hachodesh

Shabbos Parshas Tazria

Shabbos Parshas Metzora, Shabbos Hagadol

Motzoei Shabbos, Parshas Metzora

Maamar Matzah Zu

Tzivos Hashem/Pesach

6th Day Of Pesach, 5749

Shevi'i Shel Pesach, 5749

Acharon Shel Pesach, 5749

Maamar Vehechrim

Shabbos Parshas Acharei

Yechidus

Shabbos Parshas Kedoshim

2nd Day Of Iyar, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Emor

Shabbos Parshas Behar,

Eve Of Lag Baomer, 5749

Evening Following Lag Baomer, 5749

Shabbos Parshas Bechukosai

Address To The Women's Convention

Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar

Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 5749

Eve Of The 4th Day Of Sivan, 5749

1st Day Of Shavuos, 5749

2nd Day Of Shavuos, 5749

Yechidus Following Shavuos

12th Day Of Sivan, 5749

Eve Of The 13th Of Sivan, 5749

Sichos In English
Volume 41

Yechidus
Eve of The 22nd Day of Adar II, 5749
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  20th Day of Adar II, 574925th Day of Adar II, 5749  

1

It is customary before guests depart that we come together once more in order to strengthen the unity which was enhanced during the time we spent together. Though we come from different backgrounds and places of residence, we have gathered together as a unified group.

This concept is intrinsically related to the present time, the days immediately following Purim. One of the central themes of Purim is the concept of Jewish unity. Thus, when Haman asked to destroy the Jews, he told Achashverosh, "There is one nation dispersed and separate among the nations...and their faith is different from other nations."

Through their service, the Jews were able to reveal a positive interpretation of this phrase: Even though they were "dispersed and separated," they remained "one nation." The fact that "their faith is different from other nations" fused them into a single entity. Despite the many differences between them, they were unified in their Torah observance and this unity brought about oneness in all their material activities as well, the individual differences between them further enhancing the oneness they share.

This concept is somewhat paradoxical. When there is no differences between individuals, the unity between them is not so obvious. When do we see genuine unity, when people are divided regarding everyday activities and they, nevertheless, join together in bonds of unity. Nevertheless, true oneness is not expressed when two separate entities join together, but when the oneness is established between entities that share an essential unity, e.g., the Jews being "one nation," as mentioned above, or the unity that exists within the limbs of the human body.

To explain in detail: The concept of unity as expressed by "one nation" exists among gentiles as well. The idea that different people can join together for a common purpose is acceptable even within a worldly1 perspective. However, the idea that people can join together with a unity that resembles that of the different limbs of the body -- i.e., though they are separate limbs, each with a different makeup and function, they possess a single identity and derive their life-energy from the same blood -- is unique to Judaism.

The unity which characterizes our nation resembles the unity of the limbs of the body.2 Just as all the limbs of the body receive their life-energy from the same blood, the entire Jewish people derive their energy from the same basic diet, kosher food. Furthermore, they recite blessings over that food, acknowledging how G-d created all existence and governs it at every moment.[3]

The essential oneness which pervades the Jewish people is emphasized when Jews who live in distant places gather together. This reveals how the physical distance between them does not create separation. On the contrary, the physical separation adds to the feelings of unity, motivating a yearning to be close.

It is important to grasp every opportunity to express this unity. These activities will have an effect in the future and cause the unity to be felt even in other matters. Since the Jews "consider their souls of primary importance and their bodies secondary," the spiritual feelings of unity will also effect their bodies.

This is the intent of this gathering; to stress how physical distance will not weaken the feelings of closeness we share and will merely create yearning for each other. Furthermore, this yearning will be expressed by help and assistance which one will offer to the other. This is particularly true when this gathering is attended by families. In that instance, the unity they share is not only an aspect of their souls, but also of their bodies.

2

The above is also related to the previous Shabbos, Shabbos Parah: The ashes of the Red Heifer were used to purify the Jewish people to enable them to enter the Temple and bring sacrifices. The Torah also commands that some of these ashes be preserved "as a keepsake," and the ashes of the previous Red Heifer are used in bringing the following one. This establishes a bond between all the Red Heifers ever brought, beginning from the first Red Heifer brought by Moshe until the tenth Red Heifer which will be brought by the Mashiach.

From this, we can learn a lesson relevant to the oneness of the Jewish people. The ashes of all the previous Red Heifers must be preserved as a keepsake in order to allow for the purification of a single, individual Jew. This creates a bond of oneness between the Jews of all previous generations, not only in regard to spiritual matters, but even in regard to physical things. Indeed, it involves the lowest aspect of physical existence, ashes in which no sign of life is left.

Meditation on the above concept will intensify the longing each Jew feels for his fellow Jew and also the longing for the coming of the Mashiach, after which the tenth and final Red Heifer will be brought. This relates to the Rambam's statement that we must not only believe that the Mashiach will come, but also anxiously await his coming every day.

From Shabbos Parah, we proceed to Shabbos HaChodesh which is associated with the redemption of the Jews. Our Sages declared:

When G-d chose His world, He established Rashei Chadoshim and years. When He chose Jacob and his sons, He established for them a Rosh Chodesh of redemption.

The ultimate and complete expression of the concept of redemption will be in the Messianic age. The word chodesh also means "renewal," referring to the renewal of the moon each month. The moon relates to the Jewish people whose calendar is dependent upon it. Thus, HaChodesh also alludes to the renewal of the Jewish people which will reach its ultimate state in the Messianic redemption.

This applies in every month, how much more so in the month of Nissan, a month which is associated with miracles and "miracles of miracles." It is a month in which G-d will grant the Jews abundant good in both material and spiritual matters with a generosity that transcends the natural order, including the ultimate miracle, the Messianic redemption.

HaChodesh also implies a renewal of all aspects of the service of G-d. The renewal of each person's perception of the unity of the Jewish people depends on each Jew living and feeling Torah and Yiddishkeit in every aspect of his daily life. Not only does he regard Torah and Yiddishkeit as the essential elements of his life and his material concerns as secondary, he is able to permeate all these material concerns with Torah and Yiddishkeit.

[The above is further emphasized by the fact that this gathering is being held on Tuesday night, at the beginning of Wednesday. The Yiddish word for Wednesday is mitvoch, which literally means "the middle of the week," emphasizing how one is involved in the midst of one's mundane concerns. Nevertheless, the influence of Tuesday, the day on which the expression "And G-d saw that it was good" was repeated twice, is still felt. Our Sages explain that this refers to a twofold goodness, "good to the heavens," and "good to the creatures." Joining the two together on the same day implies that the "creatures" must be permeated by the spiritual influence of the heavens; thus, renewing oneself both spiritually and physically. This in turn will renew our faith in the coming of Mashiach.]

As is customary, each person will be given money to give to tzedakah. This will increase the unity among the assembled, for everyone will join together in the same mitzvah. (This is particularly true when the mitzvah in question is one which is intrinsically related to unity, establishing oneness between the giver and the receiver.) Furthermore, as our Sages emphasize, giving tzedakah hastens the coming of the Messianic redemption. (This is particularly true when one emphasizes the aspect of Jewish unity in tzedakah. Since the exile came about because of division among the Jews, by stressing unity we nullify the cause of the exile.)

Then we will merit the ultimate redemption, when we will proceed together with the entire Jewish people to Eretz Yisrael. There we will bring the tenth Red Heifer, and sing the tenth song of redemption.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) There is a reflection of this concept in Torah law: If one recites the blessing, Shehakol nehiyoh bid'varo ("everything was created with His word") on any food, it is sufficient for this is the essence of all blessings.


  20th Day of Adar II, 574925th Day of Adar II, 5749  
  
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