is well known, it is customary that on the Shabbos
before his wedding
a bridegroom is called to the Reading of the Torah.
As explained by my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], the reason for this custom is that in preparation for any activity a Jew should connect with the Torah; how much more so when we are speaking of the most wide-ranging activity of all -- the building of an everlasting Jewish home on the foundations of Torah and its mitzvos -- surely in preparation for this activity one should connect with the Torah. This is the point of being called to the Reading of the Torah on the Shabbos before a wedding.
Let us now understand why the means to connect oneself with the Torah as a preparation for marriage is specifically being called to the Reading of the Torah, i.e., making a connection specifically with the letters of the Written Law.
The Torah may be divided in various ways. For a start, there is the broad division between the Written Torah (Torah shebichsav) and the Oral Torah (Torah shebe'al-peh). These categories may be further subdivided. In the study of the Written Torah we may distinguish between (a) the recitation of its verses without even understanding what they mean; (b) the study of the verses at the level of their plain meaning only; and (c) studying the verses as they are explained by the classical commentators. Likewise, in the study of the Oral Torah, we may distinguish between (a) the study of the laws (dinim and halachos) of the Torah, and (b) the study of their underlying reasoning (taamei hahalachos) and dialectics (pilpul haTorah).
In passing: The distinction between the study of the laws and the study of the dialectics becomes crucial when one comes to define the obligation to study Torah before marriage.
The difference between these two categories lies in the fact that the study of pilpul is infinite: "There is no limit to the profundity of the reasons underlying the laws, nor to the dialectics which debate these reasons...." Indeed, concerning this aspect of Torah study it is written, "Its measure is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea." (This is why there is a constant obligation to study Torah: however much one knows, its infinity always leaves more to learn.) The laws of the Torah, in contrast, are finite and bounded. (This is why it is possible to "study the entire Torah." Thus we find in the Gemara: "Ben Dama asked..., 'I, for example, who have studied the entire Torah....'" Since the Torah is infinite, this statement clearly refers to the laws of the Torah, whose number is finite.)
This distinction, as we have said, becomes crucial when one seeks to define the obligation to study Torah before marriage. The study of the laws of the Torah is so preeminent that, as the Alter Rebbe points out in his Hilchos Talmud Torah and then at length in its Kuntreis Acharon, "it supersedes the mighty mitzvah to be fruitful, even though it is greater than all the mitzvos...; the latter mitzvah is deferred by the mitzvah of Torah study (Talmud Torah), which is equivalent to all the mitzvos."
Now, it is true that there is also an obligation to study the pilpul, the deductive argumentation, of the Torah, for this, too, was given to Moshe Rabbeinu, "who acted generously and gave it to Israel." Nevertheless, it is not granted the above-described precedence; it does not displace the mitzvah to be fruitful.
To revert now to our original question: Why, as a preparation for marriage, should one connect oneself with the Torah specifically by being called to the Reading of the Torah, where one reads specifically the Written Torah, and what one reads is its letters, with no explanation whatever, not even the simple meaning of the words that little children learn in cheder?
This question is related to today's parshah,
which describes how Yaakov Avinu conducted himself with regard to marriage, as he prepared himself to build the entire House of Israel.
It will of course be noted that Yaakov's mode of conduct is the conduct of the Jewish people in their pristine state, distinct unto themselves. As the Sages expressed it, "From Avraham there descended Ishmael..., from Yitzchak descended Eisav...," unlike "Yaakov, whose bed is perfect."
With regard to Yaakov's mode of conduct the Torah recounts a great number of details, all of which, like all the narratives of the Torah, constitute a lesson and a directive for all subsequent generations, in all places and at all times -- including our own, for the Torah is eternal.
For a start, our parshah begins by telling us again that "Yaakov left Be'er Sheva and went towards Charan," even though this was already stated at the end of last week's reading. (The narrative "returns to the earlier theme," as Rashi notes.) This in itself highlights this subject, for everything in the Torah has such a precise connotation that even one seemingly superfluous letter can serve as the source for a number of laws. How much more certainly must there be a lesson and a directive for all generations in the repetition of an entire subject.
Let us look at the opening verse: "Yaakov left Be'er Sheva and went towards Charan."
The Torah gives two explanations for the name Be'er Sheva: (a) it recalls the oath (shevuah) made at the time of the covenant between Avraham and Avimelech; (b) it recalls the seventh well (sheva = "seven") which Yitzchak's servants dug after peace had been made with Avimelech. Both explanations indicate that the Jews then enjoyed a state of tranquillity.
The name Charan indicates the opposite; as our Sages state, the very name Charan suggests "the raging fury of the world."
Nevertheless, the Torah tells us that "Yaakov left Be'er Sheva and went towards Charan" -- from a state of tranquil repose to "the raging fury of the world."
This change of direction answers a basic question.
G-d gave us Torah and mitzvos from His full and generous hand, so that whichever way one turns one has to fulfill one of the 248 positive commandments or their offshoots, or at least to refrain from transgressing one of the 365 prohibitive commandments or their offshoots. Surely, then, He should at least have spared us all kinds of worries -- galus, livelihood, and so on -- so that we would find it easier to observe the mitzvos! One step further: Would it not have been better if we did not have to deal at all with worldly things, but instead spent most of our time in the tents of Torah study?
In response to this question the Torah describes Yaakov's mode of conduct: When he was about to set up the House of Israel he was commanded to set out from Be'er Sheva, to leave even the yeshivos of Shem and Eiver, and to head for Charan, "the raging fury of the world."
Before the time came to build the House of Israel, surely he could and should have stayed in Be'er Sheva, where Divinity was palpably manifest, and where it was easy to observe mitzvos and difficult to sin. However, in order to build the House of Israel, he had to leave Be'er Sheva and go to Charan, a place where Divinity is obscured. (The world at any time conceals Divinity; indeed, the very word olam ("world") stems from helem ("concealment"); how much more so is this true of a place that is singled out as "the raging fury of the world.") And by withstanding trials specifically in this place, where sins present themselves readily and mitzvos are really difficult to observe, he was granted the merit of building up the entire House of Israel -- "his bed was perfect."694
This move is a directive for every single Jew. It is by mustering the fortitude to withstand trials that one is granted the merit of building a warm and luminous Jewish home.
The Torah proceeds to describe the first step of Yaakov's trek to Charan: vayifga bamakom
(lit., "he encountered the place"), where the Hebrew verb implies that Yaakov prayed
When he set out to find his match in Charan, would one not expect him to first of all learn its language and customs, to dress according to its fashions, and so on? Instead, Yaakov ignored all of these matters, and engaged in... the avodah of davenen.
So, too, today. A young Jew preparing to set up a Jewish home might think: Until now it was well and good to be occupied in the study of Torah, the observance of mitzvos, and the avodah of prayer. Now, he might think, when he is about to embark on his journey through the world, he should leave all of this aside and devote his efforts to learning and mimicking the customs of the land, pursuing the example of those around him, and so on.
Very different, however, is the directive that he can learn from Yaakov, who "prayed at that place." Now, more than ever, should the young man devote himself to the avodah of prayer, for his former avodah in Torah and mitzvos and prayer will not suffice for his present situation. Now, when he is about to go out into the world, he will have to withstand trials immeasurably greater than those of former times. Now, therefore, he will need to ask for G-d's help to contend with them.
The narrative continues:705 "He took some of the stones of that place and placed them at his head." Rashi
comments: "He made a kind of fence around his head for fear of wild animals."
Now why only around his head? If he trusted that G-d would watch over him, then he should not have tried to protect even his head; and if he did not want to depend on the supernatural, then surely he should have made the fence surround his body and feet as well!
An answer may be found by a careful reading of the verse, "When you eat of the exertion of your hands, you will be happy and it will be well with you." Endeavors towards making a living should engage one's hands, leaving the head free to be immersed in Torah and avodah. When this is the case, then (as the verse concludes709) "you will be happy and it will be well with you." And not only spiritually, but materially as well -- for over-exerting one's head in engineering ways and wiles to make money is not only ineffectual, but even a hindrance. Thus it is written, "Nor is there bread unto the wise" (as is expounded in a number of sources).
To return now to our question: When he took the road to Charan, Yaakov knew very well what kind of a place awaited him. He knew that there he would have to cope with the bother of making a living by working for Lavan the Aramean. He knew that even while on the road before he arrived there he would be troubled by wild animals, by the challenges that would arise even while he was preparing to make a living. He therefore protected himself as he stepped out into the wide world, so that its adverse effects should have no access to his head. He saw to it vigilantly that his involvement in making a living (i.e., his employment in the household of Lavan) and his preparations for it (i.e., his journey to Charan) should exert his hands alone, while his head remained steeped in Torah and avodah.
When any Jew likewise steps out into the world, let him vigilantly safeguard his head by engaging it in Torah and avodah. And if his head is as it should be, then as a matter of course his hands and feet will also be as they should be: he will earn his livelihood in the spirit of the Shulchan Aruch; his hands will accord with the principle that "the left hand [alone] repels while the right hand brings near"; and his feet will run eagerly towards a mitzvah.
Significantly, the fence that Yaakov built to protect his head was made of stones.
Stones belong to domem, the silent and inanimate realm; they do not even have the growth-soul of the vegetative realm. Hence, in terms of avodah, they represent kabbalas ol, the unquestioning acceptance of the yoke of heaven's sovereignty, without thought or feeling. What does this signify in our context?
If a man is not to be adversely affected by his move into the wide world, then thought and feeling are insufficient. In addition, his kabbalas ol must be complete. This entails bittul, effacing himself to the point that he perceives himself as an inanimate stone. Thus it is written, "Surely I have stilled and quieted myself." Likewise we pray, "And may my soul be as dust to all."
An inanimate object cannot move independently: it must wait until someone picks it up and moves it from one place to another. Like a simple servant, a person should perceive himself as an inanimate object whom G-d carries about (and one must allow oneself to be carried!) from place to place, in order to fulfill the intended mission with which he has been charged.
This thought allows us to appreciate a later verse which begins, "And Yaakov took a vow, saying, 'If G-d will be with me...,'" thereby binding himself to G-d by means of a vow. Even if a person's will and mind and feelings do not prompt him to perform a particular action, a vow compels him to do it, out of a spirit of kabbalas ol.
This approach carries its own reward, as we read at the end of Yaakov's declaration: "...then this stone which I have set up will become a House of G-d." Even though we are dealing with ordinary stones (and certainly not silver and gold), and not even with stones used for building in the city but with stones that happen to be by the wayside, nevertheless, even they can become a House of G-d. Or, in terms of avodah, even the ordinary and mundane things, the mere wayside stones, that belong to a man with such an approach, all become suffused with kedushah; they themselves are transformed into a House of G-d.
Though this lesson is relevant to anyone, it applies particularly to a bridegroom and bride who are about to build a Jewish home.
A Jewish home ought to be a House of G-d, and through this it becomes permeated with kedushah. This means that not only the Siddur and the Chumash in the house are holy, but even the fork and the spoon are also permeated with kedushah.
Accomplishing this requires due preparation, which begins with the avodah of prayer ("He prayed at that place"), and then with the protection of one's head in a spirit of kabbalas ol ("He took some of the stones of that place and placed them at his head"). As a result, not only when one is awake, but even when he is asleep ("and he lay down in that place"705), he attains a state in which "This -- i.e., the place in which he is presently found -- is the gate of heaven." His house, including everything it contains, becomes a House of G-d.
We can now better understand why a chassan connects himself to the Torah on the Shabbos before his wedding specifically by an aliyah, by being called to a plain and unexpounded Reading of the Torah (as in sec. 1 above). For this custom makes it clear that one's preparation for marriage by means of a connection with the Torah is motivated not by intellect, by reasoned study, but by kabbalas ol. Hence we read the letters of the Torah, with no commentary whatever. This is the kind of preparation that suits the building of a Jewish home which will prove to be a House of G-d.
[At this point in the farbrengen the Rebbe asked those businessmen present who at least once a week maintained a study session with a chavrusa, a study partner, to say LeChaim!]
This year Shabbos Parshas Vayeitzei
falls on Tes
Kislev -- the festive anniversary of the passing
of the Mitteler Rebbe and also his birthday, for his histalkus
took place on the date of his birth.
There is a letter of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], on the significance of observing the hillula of a tzaddik by studying and farbrengen. He relates that on Tes Kislev, 5657 , which fell on Shabbos Parshas Vayeitzei (as it does this year), the Rebbe Rashab delivered the maamar which begins with the words, VehaEven HaZos. At the farbrengen that took place on that occasion he said: "The observance of the hillula of a tzaddik, by studying his teachings and by participating in a farbrengen, means that one is handing him a pidyon nefesh."
We may safely guess that if it were possible today to enter the study of the Mitteler Rebbe and to hand him a pidyon, anyone here would walk straight in without thinking twice and hand him a pidyon.
Now, according to what was just related, it is now possible to hand a pidyon to the Mitteler Rebbe -- by participating in the present farbrengen, and then later, when everyone goes home, by individually studying a subject discussed in one of his works.
This concept does not detract (G-d forbid) from one's bond with the Rebbe [Rayatz] -- the Nasi
of our generation is all we have -- because hiskashrus
by means of a pidyon
as described above relates to the Mitteler Rebbe inasmuch as he is incorporated in my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], the Nasi
of our generation.
Incidentally, as I once recounted, when the title page was being set out for the printed works of Chassidus, there was a debate as to whether the wording should be Kovetz Shalsheles HaOr ("The Chain-of-Light Series") or Kovetz Shalsheles HaMaor ("The Chain-of-Luminaries Series"). The former title was ultimately chosen, because the multiplicity of a chain cannot apply to a maor [lit., "luminary" -- a source of light, alluding to a Rebbe], because a maor is an atzmi [i.e., one who is absolutely true to his essential self, or etzem, and this implies individuality].
To relate this to what was said above: Every one of the Rebbeim is a maor (a "luminary"); within this category, however, each Rebbe has a distinguishing characteristic in accordance with his position in the scheme of the Sefiros. Thus, as is well known, the Baal Shem Tov corresponds to the level known as Atik; the Maggid [of Mezritch] corresponds to the level of Arich; the Alter Rebbe -- to Chochmah; the Mitteler Rebbe --to Binah; and so on. And my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], who is the luminary of this generation, incorporates all the luminaries -- the Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid, the Alter Rebbe, the Mitteler Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, the Rebbe Maharash, and the Rebbe Rashab -- because he brings about the same effects that they brought about in their respective generations.
Accordingly, we should now connect with the Mitteler Rebbe as a luminary inasmuch as he is incorporated in the luminary of this generation, viz., my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz].
We said above that observing the hillula
of a tzaddik
by participating in a farbrengen
is [part of] the pidyon
that one hands him. Accordingly, it would be proper that we now sing, at this farbrengen
on the hillula
of the Mitteler Rebbe, a niggun
which tradition traces to his chassidim.
One such niggun is Nie Zhuritze Khloptzi. As the Rebbe Rashab explains its allegory, the Mitteler Rebbe's soul-thirsty chassidim had only one worry -- how to reach the "tavern". They knew for sure that once they arrived there they would lack nothing.
When a man is out on the road he drops in to a wayside tavern here and there so that he can rest a little, daven, and find the peace of mind to concentrate on his daily study sessions.
As for us, "because of our sins we were exiled from our land." Today, too, all our people (both those in the Diaspora and those in Eretz Yisrael) are still out on the long road of galus. Here and there along the wayside, however, there are "taverns", the places occupied by our Rebbeim.
The best thing to do, therefore, is to spend as little time as possible on the way, and to spend as much time as possible in the "tavern", where the Rebbe is, since one knows full well that where the Rebbe is, one lacks nothing.
Anyway, as we were saying, it's time to sing this niggun (and no doubt everyone here knows it).
[Soon after the singing began the Rebbe remarked: "Why are people singing as if they were discharging a formal obligation? Why isn't the singing more alive?" A little while later the Rebbe again asked: "Let the singing be more alive!" There was a sense of arousal. The Rebbe joined in the singing and energetically marked the rhythm with his hand.]
We spoke earlier of handing a pidyon
to a tzaddik
by studying his teachings and participating in a farbrengen.
Such a pidyon relates not only to spiritual matters but also to material matters. It is true that in Tanya -- Iggeres HaKodesh the Alter Rebbe protests that his chassidim "ask for advice in mundane matters as to what one ought to do in matters of the physical world," a practice which is appropriate only in relation to "actual prophets." In fact, however, chassidim did not take his protest seriously...; they quietly continued -- and this includes even the most eminent chassidim -- to bring their questions on mundane matters, too.
Now once we know, from the Alter Rebbe's words, that giving answers on mundane matters is appropriate only for "actual prophets," we know that the Rebbe gives answers concerning mundane matters because he is an actual prophet!
Chassidim aren't afraid. If it is necessary that the Rebbe be a prophet, he is a prophet -- so long as he gives answers to the questions and requests that chassidim put to him.
As we were saying: Now that there has been a farbrengen relating to the hillula of the Mitteler Rebbe, and now that a niggun traced to his chassidim was sung, and in addition everyone here has undertaken to study a subject from one of his works, all of this together constitutes the giving of a pidyon with a request -- that the Rebbe help out not only in spiritual matters, but in material matters too.
And even though the Rebbe is now at a distance from the world, he will nevertheless transmit blessings in material things, too. Moreover, he will give people the strength to transform that materiality into a House of G-d. As we read today,722 "...then this stone which I have set up will become a House of G-d."
This concept is particularly relevant to what was said above
who are about to set up a Jewish home. It means that as a result of the above-described pidyon
the Rebbe is granting them redoubled strength to make their home a House of G-d -- a Jewish home, a home that is warm and luminous.
A Jewish home has to be warm, too (for it is possible that a Jewish home be cold, just as it is possible for a Jew to be cold). It also has to be luminous, a home that lights up its environment on all sides.
The requisite strength comes from pnimiyus haTorah -- the innermost dimension of the Torah, viz., Chassidus -- which is the luminary (the maor) within the Torah. And, as is explained in Torah Or, the Divine self-concealment known as tzimtzum applies only to "light" (or); it does not relate at all to a "luminary" (maor).
This principle applies too to the luminary within the Torah -- pnimiyus haTorah, to which restrictions are inapplicable. By means of pnimiyus haTorah one can light up one's whole environment. This is what is meant by "disseminating the wellsprings far afield."
The above theme is especially related to the baal hahillula, the Mitteler Rebbe. As is well known, while his father (the Alter Rebbe) was alive he began to deliver original discourses in Chassidus in his own distinctive style, with extensive explanations, and so on. When his father was told of this he said: "'Each generation has its expositors.' He (the Mitteler Rebbe) should expound Chassidus in this manner, and through him will come about the fulfillment of the destined promise, 'Your wellsprings [i.e., of the Baal Shem Tov] will be spread far afield.'"
- (Back to text) The farbrengen of Shabbos Parshas Vayeitzei, 5711 , fell on Tes (9) Kislev, the date which marks the birth (1773) and the passing (1827) of the Mitteler Rebbe. Sections 2-7 of this farbrengen appeared in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. I, p. 60ff.; the above account of the remaining sections is taken from the unauthenticated notes later recorded by some of those present.
- (Back to text) This sichah was delivered on the Shabbos preceding Yud-Daled (14) Kislev, the anniversary of the wedding of the Rebbe and the Rebbitzin Chayah Mushka, in 5689 .
- (Back to text) See Levush and Magen Avraham on Orach Chayim, end of sec. 282.
- (Back to text) See the end of the maamar which begins, VeChol Banayich, in Kuntreis Derushei Chassunah 5689 . (It is reprinted in Sefer HaMaamarim -- Kuntreisim, Vol. I, p. 19b, and in Sefer HaMaamarim 5689 , p. 79ff.)
- (Back to text) See the Alter Rebbe's Hilchos Talmud Torah, end of sec. 2, and references cited there.
- (Back to text) Op. cit. 2:1, and references cited there.
- (Back to text) Op. cit. 1:5.
- (Back to text) Iyov 11:9.
- (Back to text) Menachos 99b.
- (Back to text) 3:1.
- (Back to text) Sec. 1.
- (Back to text) Nedarim 38a, and Rashi there.
- (Back to text) Vayikra Rabbah 36:5. See also: Shabbos 146a; Pesachim 56a; Sifri on Devarim 6:4, 32:9 and 33b; Rashi on Bereishis 28:11.
- (Back to text) Zohar III, 152a.
- (Back to text) The word Torah is etymologically related to "a directive"; cf. Radak on Tehillim 19:8; Zohar III, 53b; and elsewhere.
- (Back to text) Tanya, beg. of ch. 17, and elsewhere.
- (Back to text) Bereishis 28:10.
- (Back to text) See: Likkutei Torah, Derushei Shemini Atzeres, p. 88a; Likkutei Torah on Parshas [Zos Ha]Berachah, p. 95d.
- (Back to text) Bereishis 21:31.
- (Back to text) Ibid. 26:33, and the commentary of Sforno there (cited in Or HaTorah on the beginning of our parshah, p. 172a).
- (Back to text) See Rashi on the end of Parshas Noach (explained in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XV, p. 63ff.).
- (Back to text) Rashi on Bereishis 28:11.
- (Back to text) Likkutei Torah on Parshas Shlach, p. 37d; Sefer HaMaamarim 5700 , p. 160ff.; and elsewhere.
- (Back to text) Bereishis 28:11.
- (Back to text) Rashi on this verse, based on Berachos 26b, and Bereishis Rabbah on our parshah, sec. 68:9.
- (Back to text) At this point, according to the unauthenticated recollection of one of those present, the Rebbe interpolated: "...(even if he considers that he has already become a man of stature, and even perfect...)."
- (Back to text) On the following discussion, see also Hisvaaduyos 5752 , Vol. I, p. 346ff., and references cited there.
- (Back to text) Tehillim 128:2.
- (Back to text) See: Likkutei Torah on Parshas Shlach, p. 42d; Sefer HaMaamarim -- Melukat, Vol. I, p. 273ff., and sources listed there.
- (Back to text) Koheles 9:11.
- (Back to text) Likkutei Torah on Parshas Chukas, p. 66c, and on Parshas [Ki] Seitzei, p. 37b ff.; the Introduction (p. 3b) to Derech Chayim; Derech Mitzvosecha, p. 107b.
- (Back to text) According to the unauthenticated recollection of one of those present, the Rebbe added at this point: "Since Yaakov is described in the Torah as being artless (ish tam; see Bereishis 25:27 and Rashi there), one might think that he was utterly ignorant of worldly matters. In fact, however, he knew very well what was going on around him, and prepared himself accordingly."
- (Back to text) Sotah 47a, and references there; the Alter Rebbe's Hilchos Talmud Torah 4:17.
- (Back to text) Cf. Avos 4:2.
- (Back to text) In the original, nefesh hatzomachas.
- (Back to text) Cf. Berachos 14b; the Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 2:8.
- (Back to text) Tehillim 131b, and the commentary of Ibn Ezra there.
- (Back to text) From the last paragraph of Shemoneh Esreh (see Siddur, p. 61; from Berachos 17a).
- (Back to text) Bereishis 28:20.
- (Back to text) See also Or HaTorah on our parshah, in Vol. V, p. 851b ff.
- (Back to text) Bereishis 28:22.
- (Back to text) See also Sefer HaMaamarim -- Melukat, Vol. II, p. 163ff.
- (Back to text) Bereishis 28:17.
- (Back to text) In the original Aram., hillula. The yahrzeit is described as festive because the soul of a tzaddik is permitted, every year on the anniversary of his passing, to enjoy loftier and yet loftier perceptions of Elokus.
- (Back to text) The letter appears in Kuntreis Beis Nissan, which was published in 5698  to mark the anniversary of the passing of his father, the Rebbe Rashab, in 5680 ), and which was later reprinted in Sefer HaMaamarim -- Kuntreisim, Vol. II, p. 403b ff. The letter also appears in Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Rayatz, Vol. IV, p. 235ff.; and see references there.
- (Back to text) Likkutei Dibburim (in the Heb./Yid. edition), Vol. I, p. 36a (and in Eng. translation: Vol. I, p. 85ff.); Sefer HaSichos 5696 , p. 141; Sefer HaSichos 5697 , p. 215; Sefer HaSichos 5699 , p. 322; Sefer HaSichos 5702 , p. 19; Sefer HaSichos 5705 , p. 60; Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Rayatz, Vol. IX, p. 416.
- (Back to text) Translated into English that fits its rhythm, this rollicking Russian peasant song runs like this:
"You young fellows, don't despair!
For tomorrow, have no care!
The tavern's only round the corner:
There's loads of vodka there!"
On a number of occasions the Rebbe Rayatz explained what this allegory has meant to generations of farflung chassidim thirsting for the life-giving waters of Chassidus; see Sefer HaNiggunim -- Niggunei Chassidei Chabad, Vol. I (Nichoach, N.Y., 1948), pp. 57-58 (Heb./Yid.). The notes to the melody appear there on p. 98.
- (Back to text) Sefer HaSichos -- Toras Shalom, p. 157ff. See also: Sefer HaSichos 5701 , p. 112; Sefer HaSichos 5704 , p. 41.
- (Back to text) From the Mussaf prayer for the Three Pilgrim Festivals; Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 258.
- (Back to text) Beg. of Epistle 22, in Lessons In Tanya, Vol. V, pp. 21-22.
- (Back to text) See: Sefer HaSichos -- Toras Shalom, p. 169; Likkutei Dibburim (in the Heb./Yid. edition), Vol. IV, p. 1323, and in Eng. translation: Vol. IV, p. 224. See also the sichah of Shabbos Parshas Shoftim, 5751 , sec. 9ff. (in Sefer HaSichos 5751 , Vol. II, p. 786ff.)
- (Back to text) Sec. 7.
- (Back to text) In the Yid. original, a Yiddishe shtub, a varme shtub, a lichtike shtub.
- (Back to text) See Korban HaEidah on the Talmud Yerushalmi, Tractate Chagigah 1:7; Yefeh Anaf on the Pesichta to Eichah Rabbasi, sec. 2; Or HaTorah on Parshas Tetzaveh, p. 1258; Sefer HaMaamarim 5647 , pp. 87-88; Hemshech 5672 , Vol. III, p. 1322; Sefer HaMaamarim 5679 , p. 250; Sefer HaMaamarim 5689 , p. 76.
- (Back to text) On Bereishis, p. 14b.
- (Back to text) I.e., the tzaddik whose yahrzeit is being observed.
- (Back to text) At this point in the farbrengen the Rebbe discussed the way in which the Mitteler Rebbe (in Shaar HaTefillah, p. 57a ff.) expounded the phrase hakshurim lYaakov (Bereishis 30:42) and its connection with pnimiyus haTorah. No record of this discussion is extant.
- (Back to text) From a letter of Maharil of Yanovitch which appears in Beis Rebbe, Part II, ch. 2.
- (Back to text) Sanhedrin 38b.
- (Back to text) No record remains of the conclusion of this farbrengen.