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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

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

   Before The Tahaluchah

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

Shevi'i Shel Pesach, 5749
Before The Tahaluchah
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  6th Day Of Pesach, 5749Acharon Shel Pesach, 5749  

1

The first days of Pesach are related to the redemption from Egypt and the final days, to the Messianic redemption. In particular, we see a similar difference between the seventh day of Pesach which is associated with the splitting of the Red Sea, the ultimate completion of the exodus from Egypt, and the eighth day on which the Haftorah dealing with the Messianic redemption is read.

The eighth day of Pesach has an advantage over the seventh day for the miracles that will accompany the Messianic redemption will transcend those associated with the exodus from Egypt as it has been prophesied, "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders;" i.e., the miracles associated with the Messianic redemption will be considered as "wonders" when compared to the miracles associated with the exodus from Egypt.

Nevertheless, the seventh day of Pesach has an advantage over the eighth day since the splitting of the Red Sea has already taken place while the Messianic redemption has not yet been realized. However, since the seventh day of Pesach is also associated with the Messianic redemption, it connects that redemption to an event which has already occurred. This connection is further emphasized at the present time -- after the Minchah service of the seventh day of Pesach -- which is a transition period, joining the Messianic redemption associated with the eighth day to a celebration, the seventh day, which is a present reality.

The above is related to a well-known concept. It is often explained that the blessing, Shehechiyanu, is not recited on the final days of Pesach because they are associated with the Messianic redemption and that redemption has not been realized as of yet. Since it is appropriate to recite Shehechiyanu only upon an event which has already transpired, the blessing is not recited on the final days of the holiday.

However, this explanation is difficult to accept for, as explained, the seventh day of Pesach is primarily associated with the splitting of the Red Sea, an event that has already occurred. Therefore, we are forced to say that the blessing, Shehechiyanu, recited on the first days of Pesach includes also the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea. (This concept is also reflected in Torah law. The Alter Rebbe writes that the obligation to recall the exodus from Egypt also includes recollection of the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea.)

The Shehechiyanu recited on the first days of Pesach is also connected with the Messianic redemption associated with the eighth day. [This concept is also reflected in the Seder when, at the conclusion of the first half of the Seder, we make the request that G-d bring about the time when "we will give thanks to You with a new song for our redemption and the liberation of our souls." Similarly, we mention the Messianic redemption in the second half of the Seder and conclude "Next year in Jerusalem." However, during the first days of Pesach, the Messianic redemption is only recalled, while during the holiday's final days, our attention focuses on making the Messianic redemption an actual reality.]

The above can be understood within the context of a deeper understanding of the central aspect of the seventh day of Pesach, the splitting of the Red Sea. In Chassidic thought, it is explained that the verse, "He transformed the sea into dry land," expresses the theme of the splitting of the Red Sea. "The sea" refers to the hidden worlds, i.e., the levels of spirituality too elevated to be revealed, while "dry land" refers to the revealed world.

Often, the potentials of thought and speech are used as metaphors for this concept for thought is hidden and is revealed through speech. Similarly, in the splitting of the Red Sea, "the sea," the hidden levels which are above revelation, was transformed into land, i.e., came into revelation.

However, a question can be raised: It is not at all unusual to speak about a concept that one previously conceived in thought. Indeed, this is a natural and ordinary facet of our existence. First, a concept is conceived intellectually and then, expressed in speech. If so, how can this be an appropriate metaphor to explain the splitting of the Red Sea, a great and wondrous miracle?

However, here, the intent is different. There are a number of levels in our thought processes. Each higher level is hidden and concealed when compared to the level below it. However, in the process of thought and speech, the lower aspects of the higher level are drawn down and revealed within the context of the lower level. This is not the process of revelation from thought to speech that is intended as a metaphor for the splitting of the Red Sea. Rather, the splitting of the Red Sea refers to the revelation of the highest levels of thought -- those which are concealed because they transcend entirely all concepts of revelation -- are revealed on the lowest plane of existence.[23]

2

On a deeper level, the splitting of the Red Sea does not represent merely a revelation of the higher, concealed levels, on the lower plane, but rather, a fusion of the two, that the upper and lower levels become fused into a single entity that transcends all division.

This concept is related to the discussion of the concepts of mashpia (source of influence) and mekabel (recipient) in the public letters sent out in connection with Pesach. The first letter describes the interrelation between the mashpia and the mekabel, explaining that just as the mashpia gives to the mekabel, the mekabel gives to the mashpia. Indeed, our Sages explained that the poor man does more for the rich man than the rich man does for the poor man.

The second letter describes a deeper conception of this relationship, a union between the mashpia and the mekabel to the extent that all differences between them are obscured. We see this at the Pesach Seder. At the outset, we announce, "Let all those who are hungry, come and eat. Let all those who are needy, come and celebrate the Pesach." Though at this stage, there is a difference between the mashpia (the person offering the invitation) and the mekabel (its recipient), as the Seder proceeds, these differences disappear and all the assembled recline together at the Seder table and it is impossible to tell who is the mashpia and who is the mekabel.

There is another dimension of the above concept which is related to the seventh day of Pesach and the verse, "He transformed the sea into dry land." Chassidic thought mentions two contrasting interpretations of this miracle: The Zohar explains that the connection between the higher, concealed levels; and lower, revealed levels was established through an ascent from below to above. The lower spiritual worlds (the worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah) ascended to the worlds of Atzilus. In contrast, the AriZal explains that the connection was established by revelation from above to below, that the world of Atzilus was revealed within the other lower worlds.

Chassidic thought explains that "these and these are the words of the living G-d;" i.e., both perspectives are true and explain different dimensions of the miracle, each possessing an advantage which the other lacks.

The advantage of the ascent from below to above is that when the revelation comes from the highest levels, it descends and is revealed within the context of the lower levels. In contrast, in the process of ascent from below to above, the lower entity rises above its previous level and reaches a higher plane.

The advantage of the revelation from above to below is that it is accompanied by greater energy and excitement. A similar concept is explained in regard to the service of the Ofanim and Chayos (angels on a low spiritual level) which is "with great noise." It is explained that "the great noise" is produced because they are not used to the revelation of spirituality and therefore, react in such a manner. Our Sages explain a parallel concept, describing the difference between the excitement of a villager who sees the king and the calmness with which an inhabitant of a city will react to the same sight. When is there more excitement and energy? When one is on the lower plane. When one ascends to a higher plane, the revelation is not unique and therefore, does not arouse excitement.

Not only does the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea contain both of these dimensions, but rather, the two dimensions become fused into a single bond. (This is reflected in Chassidic thought in which both perspectives are described in a single ma'amar.) True unity does not come only through ascent from below or revelation from above, but rather from a fusion of both approaches which obliterates all divisions between the revealed and the concealed levels (and between the mashpia and the mekabel). The potential for such a union comes about from the very essence of G-d's infinity which transcends all concepts of hiddenness and revelation.

This is reflected in the unity of the Jewish people. Not only is a relationship established between the mashpia and the mekabel, but they become fused together in a transcendent bond which obliterates all previous differences. Because they are united -- through the Jewish soul[24] -- with G-d who transcends all limitation and form, they are able to establish such unity among themselves.

This concept is particularly relevant at present, directly before the Tahaluchah[25] in which the concepts explained in the above-mentioned letters will be related in other synagogues and houses of study. Even though the explanation of these concepts to Jews who do not know about them would seem to establish the roles of mashpia (the person teaching the concept) and mekabel (those learning it), the manner in which these concepts are taught must create a unity between the two to the extent that there is no difference between them.

3

From the seventh day of Pesach, we proceed to Acharon Shel Pesach, the final day of the holiday, which is associated with the Messianic redemption. The seventh day of Pesach and the splitting of the Red Sea reflect how the highest levels are drawn down to the lowest planes (and from a deeper perspective, how all differences between the higher and lower levels are obliterated). This is a proper preparation for the Messianic redemption which involves "wondrous" miracles (so great that they must be concealed at present), but miracles which will be drawn down within the context of this world.

Thus, the final days of Pesach draw down the Messianic redemption, bringing it from a concealed state to open revelation. This also explains the custom of eating "the feast of Mashiach" on the final day of Pesach. This feast associates the coming of Mashiach, not only with speech, as does the Haftorah recited on that day, but also with deed, with an actual meal. In this manner, we draw down the concept of Mashiach, making it part of our physical being. This, in turn, hastens the coming of the time when the Messianic redemption will become an actual reality.[26]

This is also related to the seventh day of Pesach for in Eretz Yisrael, "the feast of Mashiach" is eaten on the seventh day of Pesach. This also effects the diaspora for the entire world is influenced by the happenings in Eretz Yisrael. Thus, the process of drawing down the Messianic redemption into actual reality already begins on the seventh of Pesach.

May we proceed from the seventh of Pesach to the Messianic redemption. That redemption is dependent on our deeds at present, particularly when carried out in a manner of joy which "breaks down barriers," including the barriers of the exile. Then, we will proceed to the ultimate redemption, when led by Mashiach, we will go to Eretz Yisrael, to Jerusalem, and to the Third Temple, where we will celebrate "the feast of Mashiach."

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) The fact that the revelation is on the lowest plane of existence indicates that the revelation has its source in the highest levels because the higher a level is, the lower it can be revealed.

  2. (Back to text) In the second chapter of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe describes the Jewish soul as "a part of G-d from above mamash." On one hand, the latter word is translated as "truly," meaning that the soul is truly a part of G-d's essence. However, the word mamash also allows for the interpretation, "tangible," i.e., G-d's essence is revealed in a tangible manner.

  3. (Back to text) Trans. Note: The custom of the Chassidim marching en masse to neighboring Jewish communities on the festivals to spread the holiday spirit. Tahaluchah means "parade," the manner in which the Chassidim march to these communities.

  4. (Back to text) Drawing down the Messianic redemption into deed is significant. At present, our Sages teach that study is greater than deed. In the Messianic era, however, it will be revealed that deed is more prominent.


  6th Day Of Pesach, 5749Acharon Shel Pesach, 5749  
  
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