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Shabbos Hagadol

Yud Alef Nissan

Counting of the Omer

Pesach Sheni

   The Second Passover

Second Chances

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Women and Outreach

Never Despair

A Second Chance for Spiritual Progress

Still Time To Connect 1-4

Still Time To Connect 5-10

Continuing the Tasks

 
 A Second Chance for Spiritual Progress Still Time To Connect 5-10


Proceeding Together
Talks and Letters of the Rebbe in the Wake of Yud Shvat 5710 [1950]
as recorded in Toras Menachem

Still Time To Connect - Pesach Sheni - Parts 1 - 4

Published and copyright © by Sichos In English
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Publisher's Foreword

Most unexpectedly, the dominant theme of the present installment is - the message voiced by a misprint in the Siddur used by the Rebbe Rayatz.

In the passage before us, the Rebbe explains how by correcting this misprint, the Rebbe Rayatz actually affected the world's dynamics.

In times like these, when the darkness of the last days of the galus is almost palpable, it is reassuring to learn that "by writing Chessed shebeHod in his Siddur, the Rebbe Rayatz secured the revelation of Chessed that underlies the obscurity of the Gevuros, so that the ultimate intent underlying the obscurity will be revealed - and this gives rise to a revelation even more sublime."

In times like these, we can only pray that the Merciful One will allow us to experience the overt revelation of His underlying Chessed, in Eretz Yisrael and throughout the world, in a way that will not require extensive preliminary philosophizing.

Enough of galus!

Sichos In English
20 MarCheshvan, 5755

Still Time to Connect

1. Pesach Sheni.

The [1] present farbrengen, which is taking place after Maariv on the eve of the fifteenth of Iyar, is still connected to Pesach Sheni, [2] which falls on the fourteenth, because the times at which the sacrifice of Pesach Sheni was offered and eaten correspond to the times at which the sacrifice of the first Pesach was offered and eaten.

In both cases, the sacrifice was offered on the fourteenth, and eaten on the eve of the fifteenth. [3]

There is another connection between Pesach (Sheni) and the fifteenth of Iyar: [4] "On this day they ate the last of the hastily-baked matzos [5] (as it is written of the time of the Exodus, [6] 'They baked the dough which they had brought out of Egypt into matzah-cakes') and [now] needed manna."

(There is some debate [7] as to whether the manna actually began to fall on the fifteenth, or whether this was merely the date of the Divine promise [8] - "I shall cause bread to rain upon you from heaven" - which was first fulfilled on the sixteenth.

At any rate, there is no disagreement as to the above statement that the provisions brought from Egypt lasted only to the fifteenth.)

2. A Misprint with a Message.

In the Counting of the Omer, the Sefirah which characterizes Pesach Sheni is Chessed shebeHod. [9]

In the Siddur from which my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], prayed during the last years, this phrase appeared by mistake as Hod shebeChessed, which he corrected to Chessed shebeHod.

(In addition, it was the custom of the Rebbe [Rayatz] to make a mark in his Siddur after each evening's count, even though he certainly did not have to seek out ways of coping with possible forgetfulness; this might be appropriate with ordinary people, but not with the Rebbe. [10])

The Baal Shem Tov taught [11] that everything that occurs is regulated by Divine Providence [12] and contains a lesson for one's service of G-d.

(As was stated recently, [13] every subject should be related to one's service of G-d, for which reason the Rebbe [Rayatz] did not answer the query of a certain individual concerning avodah as practiced by angels.)

Accordingly, there is a need to explain the meaning of this circumstance, whereby the Siddur, by Divine Providence, carried the misprint Hod shebeChessed, which the Rebbe [Rayatz] corrected to Chessed shebeHod. [14]

3. Pesach Sheni in the Sefiros.

By way of introduction, let us understand the distinction between Chessed shebeHod and Hod shebeChessed as they relate to their respective days as counted in Sefiras HaOmer.

The Sefirah of Chessed shebeHod relates to Pesach Sheni, which is called a Yom-Tov (as in the language of the Mishnah, [15] "Pesach Katan" - "Minor Pesach"); the Sefirah of Hod shebeChessed, by contrast, relates to one of the non-festive intermediate days of Pesach which are known as Chol HaMoed.

Now this is paradoxical.

The dominant element of Hod shebeChessed is Chessed, which belongs to the Sefirah-sequence of the right side.

Indeed, Chessed is situated at the very beginning of the right side (relative to the middos, or in the middle of the right side, relative to the entire sequence that begins with the mochin).

At any rate, the right side is characterized by a disposition to diffuse and reveal [the Divine light or energy], not only on a theoretical but also on a practical level (as in the triad of Sefiros comprising Netzach-Hod-Yesod). This, indeed, is the function of Hod shebeChessed.

The dominant element of Chessed shebeHod, by contrast, is Hod, which belongs to the Sefirah-sequence of the left side.

Indeed, Hod is situated at the very end of the left side, which is characterized by Gevurah, a disposition to withhold and obscure [the Divine light or energy].

How, then, is it possible that the day of Chessed shebeHod, which belongs at the end of the left side, should be a Yom-Tov, while the day of Hod shebeChessed, which is predominantly Chessed that belongs at the beginning of the right side, is no more that one of the non-festive intermediate days known as Chol HaMoed?

This paradox may be resolved as follows.

When we are close to the Yom-Tov that celebrates the Exodus from Egypt, at a time at which Chessed is revealed, then even Hod shebeChessed suffices, that is, no more than the lowest level of Chessed (in terms of its practical manifestation). Accordingly, the day on which this Sefirah is dominant is not Yom-Tov, but merely Chol HaMoed.

However, as with time we grow progressively further from the revelation of the Yom-Tov and approach a state in which the light is obscured - a state of Gevurah, which includes Hod, a branch of Gevurah - then the attenuated irradiation of Hod shebeChessed no longer suffices (since this is not a time of revealed Chessed). Instead, there is a need to reveal the underlying element of Chessed which is to be found within Hod.

There is a need to reveal that the ultimate intent underlying the obscurity [i.e., the Divine self-concealment] of Hod, which is a branch of Gevurah, is the revelation expressed by Chessed.

Indeed, the Divinely-intended revelation of Chessed is so sublime, that the day on which this Sefirah is dominant is Yom- Tov, (and thus superior to the day of Hod shebeChessed, which is no more than Chol HaMoed).

4. A Cosmic Correction.

The above insight will enable us to understand the inner meaning of the correction which my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], made in his Siddur, from Hod shebeChessed to Chessed shebeHod.

The fact that during the printing of the Siddur the phrase Chessed shebeHod was (by Divine Providence) omitted, indicates that because of the thickening gloom of the galus, there was a kitrug - a prosecuting voice in the Heavenly Court - that would seek to withhold the revelation of Chessed that underlies the obscurity of the Gevuros.

This was rectified by the Rebbe [Rayatz], the Nassi of the Jewish people at the end of the galus.

By writing Chessed shebeHod in his Siddur, he secured the revelation of Chessed that underlies the obscurity of the Gevuros, so that the ultimate intent underlying the obscurity would be revealed - and this gives rise to a revelation even more sublime.

Footnotes:

  1. (Back to text) The above text is taken from the unauthenticated notes recorded by one of those present when the talk was delivered at the close of Pesach Sheni, 5710 [1950].

  2. (Back to text) Pesach Sheni (lit., "the second Pesach") was an opportunity given to certain persons who were unable to offer the Pesach sacrifice (on 14 Nissan) to do so one month later (on 14 Iyar); see Bamidbar 9:6-14.

  3. (Back to text) Rambam, Hilchos Korban Pesach 8:3.

  4. (Back to text) Mechilta, and Rashi on Shmos 16:1 (based on Shabbos 87b).

  5. (Back to text) In the original, chararah, which was the remnants of their matzah or dough.

  6. (Back to text) Shmos 12:39.

  7. (Back to text) See (e.g.) the commentaries of R. Eliyahu Mizrachi and Gur Aryeh on Shmos 16:1.

  8. (Back to text) Shmos 16:4.

  9. (Back to text) Literally, Chessed means "kindness" and Hod means "splendor". For orientation in the Kabbalistic terms used above in Sections 2-4, see: Rabbi Jacob Immanuel Schochet, Mystical Concepts in Chassidism, ch. 3, entitled Sefirot.

  10. (Back to text) This subject is explained in the sichah of Lag BaOmer, 5710 [1950], sec. 12.

  11. (Back to text) Addenda to Keser Shem Tov, sec. 119ff., and sources indicated there.

  12. (Back to text) In the original, hashgachah peratis.

  13. (Back to text) See the sichah of Parshas Shemini, 5710 [1950], sec. 4 (in Proceeding Together, Installment 5, p. 6).

  14. (Back to text) See the sichah of 2 Iyar, 5710 [1950], sec. 3 (in Hebrew).

  15. (Back to text) Conclusion of Challah; Rosh HaShanah 18a.
 A Second Chance for Spiritual Progress Still Time To Connect 5-10



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