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Introduction

How To Celebrate

The History of Passover

Thoughts & Essays

   Tidbits

Short Essays

Long(er) Essays

Chasidic Discourses

   Kimei Tzeischa (1)

Kimei Tzeischa (2)

V'nocho Olov

   Foreword

Chapters 1-3

Chapters 4-10

Timeless Patterns in Time

Passover & Moshiach

Seder/Hagaddah Explanations

Letters From The Rebbe

Passover Anecdotes

Passover Stories

Children's Corner

Q & A

Last Days of Passover

Text of the Passover Haggadah

 
 Foreword Chapters 4-10


Chapters 1-3

"And the spirit of G-d will rest upon him.... And he will permeated by the spirit of the fear of G-d.... A wolf will dwell with the lamb." [1]

My revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, explains in a maamar beginning with this verse, [2] that with these verses the prophet describes the coming of Mashiach who will arrive and redeem us speedily in our days, highlighting several aspects of the King Mashiach's [personal qualities] and his conduct.

At the outset, it describes the spiritual level of Mashiach himself: "And the spirit of G-d will rest upon him...." And then it continues to describe his conduct: "And he will permeated by the spirit of the fear of G-d...." {This also reflects his conduct, [for our Sages interpret [3] this phrase to mean that] he will judge the righteous through his sense of smell. [4]}

Afterwards, the verse continues: "And a wolf shall dwell with a lamb...," indicating that Mashiach's conduct will bring about [5] the revelation of G-dliness throughout the world, not only among humans, but also among animals (the "wolf" and the "leopard" mentioned in the passage), [6] and also within the sphere of inanimate objects, [7] as the passage continues, "and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d." [8] Even the physical earth (inanimate matter) will be "filled with the knowledge of G-d ."

The [Previous Rebbe's] maamar continues, questioning: Since "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d," why will it be necessary to have a king in that age? [Seemingly, the purpose of a king is to enforce law and order. Since all existence will be permeated with the knowledge of G-d, seemingly such enforcement will not be necessary.]

In short, the explanation of the concept is, that [9] kingship is identified with the quality of hisnasus, exaltedness, the concept that a king is separate and uplifted above his people.

Even the commands given by a king (which on the surface reflect a movement toward closeness; the king draws closer to his people by leading them according to his desires) still reflect his loftiness and separation. [10] [For they are given] as orders and as decrees.

Similarly, with regard to the people, their obedience to the king's commands does not come because they know and appreciate the reason for the commands, but rather out of fear and dread for the king, as our Sages say, [11] "his dread must be upon you." Thus even the influence the king gives to his people reflects that he is exalted and separate.

This reflects the difference between the influence given by a teacher and that given by a king.

When a teacher influences a student, he draws close to him (and constricts his own understanding to a level that can be grasped by the student) so that the student will grasp the idea. The influence of a king, by contrast, remains separate from the people, above their intellectual comprehension. [12]

The source for these two types of influence [which Mashiach will provide] (that of a king and that of a teacher) is in the Torah, [13] for the Torah contains parallels to both these influences.

There are certain Torah concepts that have been enclothed in an intellectual form [paralleling the influence of a teacher], but the essence of the Torah remains above intellect [paralleling the influence of a king]. [14]

In the Era of the Redemption, both of these dimensions will become manifest, and thus Mashiach will be called both a teacher and a king.

Mashiach will teach the Torah to the entire Jewish people, [15] and convey a fine discerning and knowledgeable appreciation of [the Torah's mystic] secrets, P'nimiyus HaTorah. Because of this influence, Mashiach will be considered as a teacher.

And yet, Mashiach himself will comprehend infinitely more than he will communicate in an intellectual framework. [This dimension of his being, he will also convey to the people, but he] will do so in an encompassing [16] manner, as a king conveys influence.

Moreover, as is well known, [17] Mashiach will teach the people the Torah through the sense of sight, [a manner of instruction that] transcends [ordinary] comprehension. Thus the influence which he will convey as a king is [so transcendent] that it cannot even be revealed through the power of sight, which transcends intellectual understanding. And yet, because Mashiach will (also) serve as a king, he will reveal these matters to the Jewish people. Their revelation, however, will be in an encompassing matter.

II

The [Previous Rebbe's] maamar continues: [18] "And all of this - ( i.e., [the influence Mashiach conveys] as a teacher and as a king [19]) comes about as a result of [our] Divine service in the era of exile.

To clarify the connection between [our] Divine service in the era of exile and the revelations of the Era of the Redemption, that maamar explains [20] that because of the great concealment [of G-dliness] that exists in the era of exile, the essential [aspect of our] Divine service involves the attribute of nitzachon, [21] to stand firm with regard to the actual performance of the mitzvos without considering any of the hurdles or obstacles which stand in one's path.

In general, [this approach] reflects [a commitment to] Divine service with mesirus nefesh (self-sacrifice) that transcends rational understanding.

The mesirus nefesh is reflected in the fact that one does not enter into a logical give and take [with regard to one's Divine service]. Instead, [one makes a commitment] because it is impossible to consider doing otherwise. [22]

To explain: At the time the Beis HaMikdash was standing, the entire Jewish people were on an elevated spiritual level. [23] Not only did they have profound intellectual capacities, [24] they were privileged to see G-dliness (and [as mentioned above,] sight transcends [mere] intellectual comprehension).

Thus on the verse: [25] "Three times a year should appear...," [our Sages comment:] [26] "Just as [the Jews] would came to appear (layro'os) [before G-d], so too, they came to see (liro'os) [G-dliness]."

With regard to the era of exile, by contrast, our Sages applied [27] the verse, [28] "I am sleeping, [but my heart is awake]," commenting "I am sleeping in exile."

[To develop the analogy:] When a person is asleep, all of his conscious powers, beginning with the power of intellect become obscured. For during sleep, the power of intellect is withdrawn; all that remains is the power of imagination. [29]

The fundamental concealment (sleep brings about) is with regard to the power of sight. Indeed, this is reflected in one's actual physical person - while sleeping, one's eyes close. [30]

Similarly, with regard to the sleep of exile: the fundamental [29] dimension of exile is that in exile, we no longer see G-dliness, as alluded in the verse: [31] "We do not see our signs."

Moreover, even the comprehension of G-dliness (that is possible in the era of exile) cannot at all be compared to the comprehension in the era of the Beis HaMikdash, and instead, resembles the power of imagination that operates during sleep. [32]

For this reason, even the love and fear of G-d (in the era of exile) is not as should be. In the era of exile, the complete bittul to G-dliness that was expressed in prostration [before G-d in the Beis HaMikdash] (i.e., an inner feeling of bittul) is impossible. For this comes as a result of the direct perception of G-dliness.

This is alluded to in the phrase from the liturgy: [33] "We are unable to ascend, to appear, and to prostrate ourselves before You." [Implied is that] because we cannot ascend and appear before You, as a natural consequence, we cannot prostrate ourselves, i.e., the inner feeling of bittul cannot be summoned up. [34]

Moreover, even the external feelings of bittul (which are expressed in bowing down [35]) that are dependent on an intellectual awareness of G-dliness (which is, in a general sense, possible during the era of exile) are not as they should be.

For even the intellectual comprehension of G-dliness that exists in the era of exile does not represent a true awareness. Thus our Divine service is motivated primarily by the quality of nitzachon as mentioned above.

Moreover, within the era of exile itself, from generation to generation, our intellectual and emotional potential becomes diminished. As our Sages commented: [36] "The hearts of those of the former generation were open as wide as the entrance to the Ulam, [37]... and our hearts are open like a needlepoint." And in the generation of ikvesa diMeshicha, the time when Mashiach's approaching footsteps can be heard, in addition to [the continuation of this pattern of spiritual and] intellectual decline, the concealment [of G-dliness] has multiplied. Thus in this era, the qualities of nitzachon and mesirus nefesh which transcend intellect are even more necessary.

Indeed, even those who possess a developed intellectual capacity today should put their intellects aside, and not follow their understanding. (For intellect can cause an individual to swerve from the path of truth. In particular, this is true in an era that is characterized by the concealment [of G-dliness] to such a degree.) Instead, one should stand firm, not to sway even slightly from the Shulchan Aruch, [carrying out one's] Divine service with nitzachon and mesirus nefesh which transcends intellect. [38]

III

The reason why the concealment [of G-dliness] in the era of exile (and the [intense] concealment experienced in the generation of ikvesa diMeshicha) affects only the conscious powers of the soul, and not the attribute of netzach, is because the source for the attribute of netzach is in the essence of the soul, [39] as explained in the Previous Rebbe's maamar. [40]

Similar concepts apply in the spiritual realms.

The source of the attribute of Netzach is the inner dimension of Kesser.

The inner dimension of Kesser is [constant,] immutable, as reflected in the verse: [41] "Netzach Yisrael ("the Champion of Israel") will not lie or change His mind, for He is not a man that He changes His mind."

A change of mind is possible only with regard to those aspects of G-dliness that are structured in a pattern resembling man, i.e., the levels reflected in the chainlike progression of spiritual worlds (Seder Hahishtalshelus).

The attribute of Netzach, by contrast, relates to the level at which "He is not a man," i.e., the level which transcends this chainlike progression. Therefore the attribute of Netzach is above change and [in contrast to the other Divine attributes] is revealed also in the era of exile, and especially in the era of ikvesa diMeshicha, [when] the power of nitzachon and mesirus nefesh are in greater revelation than in the era of the Beis HaMikdash. [42]

It is possible to explain that the reason the Previous Rebbe's maamar expounds (at length) on the advantage of the source of the attribute of Netzach is (also) to explain why the revelations of the Era of the Redemption will come about through our Divine service in the era of exile.

Our Divine service in the era of exile emphasizes the quality of nitzachon, and [the source for] the attribute of Netzach is the inner dimension of Kesser of which it is said: "You who dwell in the shade of the Most High," [43] [i.e., it is a quality] above revelation.

Therefore the Divine service in the era of exile will precipitate the revelation in the Era of the Redemption of those qualities which transcend comprehension - and transcends even sight (transcending [not only] the comprehension and sight [of the present era], [but also the higher functioning of these qualities] in that era.

These dimensions will be revealed by Mashiach through the quality of kingship, as explained above. [44]

Footnotes:

  1. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 11:2ff; the Haftorah recited on Acharon Shel Pesach.

  2. (Back to text) Venachah Alov, 5709 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5709, p. 123ff).

  3. (Back to text) Sanhedrin 93b.

  4. (Back to text) To emphasize that [this phrase refers to Mashiach's conduct, the Previous Rebbe includes the phrase] morach v'da'in in his maamar.

  5. (Back to text) See Or HaTorah Nach, p. 187, which quotes the Kli Paz which explains that because "he girds his loins with righteousness" (Yeshayahu 11:5), "the wolf will dwell with the lamb." Note also the Rambam (Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim 11:4) speaks of Mashiach "perfect[ing] the workd refers to mankind ([as indicated by the prooftext he chooses: "I will transform the nations...")], the Rambam also interprets (ibid. 12:1): "And a wolf will dwell with a lamb," as an allegory [referring to mankind].

    On this basis, we can understand why in the above maamar, the Previous Rebbe refers only to "the King Mashiach and his conduct" although he also mentions the [wondrous] conditions that will prevail in the world at large. For [since these conditions are a result of Mashiach's conduct], one may say that reference to his conduct includes them as well.

  6. (Back to text) [Although the Rambam maintains that this verse should be interpreted as an allegory, the sages of] Kabbalah and Chassidus rule that the verses should be interpreted according to their simple meaning. See the maamar entitled Ki Padeh (Sefer HaMaamarim, Eshalech Liozna, p. 58) by the Alter Rebbe, that maamar together with notes (Or HaTorah, Noach, Vol. III, p. 670a). See also Ibid., p. 670b ff., Maamarei Admur HaZakein, Inyanim, p. 87, and that maamar with notes Or HaTorah, loc. cit., 633b ff. The series of maamarim entitled VeKachah, 5637, sec. 94. The siyyum of the Rambam, Sichos Yud Shvat, 5747, sec. 9, et al.

  7. (Back to text) Note the verse (Chabakuk 2:11): "A stone from the wall will call out." As the Midrash Tehillim, the conclusion of ch. 73, states [this prophecy will be fulfilled in the Era of the Redemption].

  8. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 11:9.

  9. (Back to text) See Derech Mitzvosecha, Mitzvas Minui Melech, sec. 3 (p. 110b ff.).

  10. (Back to text) See Sefer HaMaamarim 5708, p. 45, which explains this concept at length.

  11. (Back to text) Sanhedrin 22a, commenting on Devarim 17:15; see also Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim 2:1.

  12. (Back to text) [For a king communicates his commands as decrees, to be accepted out of awe of him, and not because one understands.]

  13. (Back to text) The same is true with regard to all entities that exist, for they all are a reflection - after numerous intermediate levels - from concepts that exist in the Torah, as implied by the statement (Zohar, Vol. II, p. 161a,b): "[G-d] looked into the Torah and created the world."

  14. (Back to text) See the maamar entitled Mitzvas Ner Chanukah, 5738 (Sefer HaMaamarim Meluket, Vol. II, p. 17ff.), sec. 4.

  15. (Back to text) See Likkutei Torah, Vayikra 17a; Maamarei Admur HaZakein, Parshiyos HaTorah, Vol. I, p. 261; Shaar HaEmunah, sec. 56.

  16. (Back to text) [The word "encompassing," makkif in Hebrew, refers to a light or form of influence that is too powerful to be grasp and internalized, and therefore is described as "encompassing."

    The point is, however, that this encompassing influence is not entirely transcendent. Instead, although it is too powerful to be internalized, it does relate to the person and influence him.]

  17. (Back to text) Likkutei Torah, loc. Cit., a,b; Shaar HaEmunah, sec. 60, the [second] maamar entitled Vayidaber E-lohim, 5699, et. al.

  18. (Back to text) See the beginning of the Previous Rebbe's maamar cited previously.

  19. (Back to text) This is the simple meaning of the Hebrew words kol zeh mentioned in the [Previous Rebbe's] maamar. This concept is understood from the principle taught in Tanya (ch. 37) that all the revelations of the Era of the Redemption are dependent on our deeds and Divine service in the era of exile.

  20. (Back to text) The beginning of the Previous Rebbe's maamar states: "At first, we should preface what was explained above." "Above" refers to the maamarim released for the Pesach holiday in 5709. The maamar entitled Venachah explains those concepts at length.

  21. (Back to text) [Nitzachon literally translates as "victory." Here the intent appears to be, as the Rebbe continues to explain, a steadfast dedication to achieving one's purpose.]

  22. (Back to text) See Tanya, ch. 18.

  23. (Back to text) See the maamar entitled Ein HaKodesh Boruch Hu Bo Bitrunia, 5685 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5685, p. 263ff.).

  24. (Back to text) Ibid; see also the series of maamarim published for Pesach, 5709, sec. 14 (p. 122).

  25. (Back to text) Shmos 23:17, 34:23.

  26. (Back to text) Chagigah 2a.

  27. (Back to text) Zohar, Vol. III, p. 95a.

  28. (Back to text) Shir HaShirim 5:2.

  29. (Back to text) Torah Or, Bereishis 28c.

  30. (Back to text) Sefer HaMaamarim 5669, sec. 70, p . 99ff; explained at length in the maamar entitled Padeh BiSholom, 5713.

  31. (Back to text) Tehillim 74:9.

  32. (Back to text) See also Torah Or, loc. cit.; Sefer HaMaamarim 5669, loc. cit.

  33. (Back to text) Musaf service for Festivals, Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 258.

  34. (Back to text) See Likkutei Torah, Devarim 98b; see also the series of maamarim published for Pesach, 5709, sec. 2 (p. 108).

    [Certainly, we are capable of the physical act of prostrating ourselves. The prostration in the Beis HaMikdash, however, was not merely a physical act, but a reflection of the inner feelings of bittul, and that is not possible without the overt revelation of G-dliness that was present in the Beis HaMikdash.]

  35. (Back to text) See the maamarim of 5709 cited above, sec. 3 (p. 109).

  36. (Back to text) Eruvin 53a.

  37. (Back to text) [The entrance hall to the Beis HaMikdash whose gate was larger than any other gate in the Beis HaMikdash.]

  38. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim released for Pesach, 5709, sec. 15ff. (p. 124ff).

  39. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim entitled Basi LeGani, 5710, sec. 11ff.

  40. (Back to text) The maamar entitled Venachah, 5709, sec. 15ff. (p. 124ff.).

  41. (Back to text) I Shmuel 15:29; see the interpretation in Torah Or, Shmos, p. 72c.

  42. (Back to text) See the series of maamarim released for Pesach, 5709, sec. 11ff. (p. 118ff); see also sec. IX of this maamar.

  43. (Back to text) Tehillim 91:1.

  44. (Back to text) [For revelation is granted following the pattern (Nedarim 32a) "measure for measure." Since the Divine service of the Jewish people taps a level which transcends intellect, it will call forth the revelation of Divine attributes that are similarly transcendent.]
 Foreword Chapters 4-10



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