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2nd Day Of Rosh Hashanah, 5745

Shabbos Parshas Ha'azinu, Shabbos Shuvah

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1st Night Of Sukkos, 5745

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Day Of Simchas Torah, 5745

Shabbos Parshas Bereishis

Shabbos Parshas Bereishis


Shabbos Parshas Noach

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Birthday Of Rebbe Rashab

Sichos In English
Volume 23

4th Night Of Sukkos, 5745

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  3rd Night of Sukkos, 57455th Night Of Sukkos, 5745  


The Ushpizen of the fourth day of Sukkos are: Moshe and the Mitteler Rebbe. Though the Zohar also mentions an opinion that Yosef is the special Ushpizen connected with this day, the order listing Moshe as the fourth Ushpizen is generally accepted. Hence, both a connection and contrast between Moshe and the Mitteler Rebbe must be found.

Furthermore, this year, the fourth day of Sukkos begins on Saturday night, Motzoei Shabbos, whose very name emphasizes the connection to Shabbos. On Motzoei Shabbos, it is customary to eat a special meal Melaveh Malkah (literally, "accompanying the queen"). This meal is also referred to as "the meal of Dovid, the anointed king," implying an intrinsic connection between this time and Dovid HaMelech.

[Though Dovid is himself one of the Ushpizen and the seventh day of Sukkos is uniquely connected with him, he also shares a connection to the present occasion because of his relationship with the Melaveh Malkah meal.]

The name Melaveh Malkah also implies that there is also a connection to the preceding Shabbos. When describing the practice of Melaveh Malkah in his Shulchan Aruch, the Alter Rebbe writes: "We accompany the Shabbos as it departs as a gesture of honor... as one accompanies a king who leaves the city." Thus, though the Melaveh Malkah meal is eaten after Havdalah, when a separation between Shabbos and the following weekdays has already been made, it is a time when we are still together with the Shabbos, together with the king.

Furthermore, since the Melaveh Malkah meal is special, unique preparations are made for it. It is customary for special dishes to be cooked for Melaveh Malkah. Hence, it can be understood that it is held later in the evening after the celebrations of Simchas Beis HaShoevah have already begun. Then, afterwards, the celebrations of Simchas Beis HaShoe-vah are carried out with greater intensity, lasting the entire night as the Talmud (Sukkah 53a) states: "We didn't taste sleep."

The common aspect shared by Moshe and the Mitteler Rebbe was Torah. Moshe is totally identified with Torah to the point that Malachi 3:22 refers to the Torah as "the Torah of Moshe." Shemos Rabbah comments: "Since he sacrificed himself for it, it is called by his name." This applies, not only to the written law, but also to the oral tradition as the Rambam writes: "All the mitzvos were given to Moshe together with their explanation." This aspect of Torah study contains an infinite dimension and, thus, can be expanded upon without end.

This relates to the service of the Mitteler Rebbe which was characterized by expansion. The Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid of Mezeritch parallel the Sefirah of Keser and the Alter Rebbe, the Sefirah of Chochmah. Thus, the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid were transmitted as "points," above the level of intellect. In contrast, the Alter Rebbe, particularly, after his release from prison on Yud-Tes Kislev, communicated these teachings within a framework of Chabad which allowed for explanation and elaboration.

Nevertheless, even the Alter Rebbe's teachings can be seen as mere seminal points, "the point of Chochmah," when contrasted to the lengthy explanations and conceptual development seen in the works of the Mitteler Rebbe. His approached paralleled that of the Sefirah of Binah which allows for broad expansion.

This concept can be appreciated by even the most common person. All that is necessary to do is to show him the number of pages with which the Alter Rebbe explained a concept in his discourses and show him how the Mitteler Rebbe would use many more pages to explain the same concept. Thus, both Moshe and the Mitteler Rebbe share the quality of boundless expansion and elaboration within the realm of Torah study.

In this context, we can see the additional contribution of the fourth day of Sukkos in comparison to the third. It was explained last night that the service of the Ushpizen of the third day, Ya'akov, our forefather, and the Alter Rebbe, was that of Torah; in particular, the combination of both the revealed, legal realm of Torah study (Niglah) and Torah's mystic secrets (P'nimiyus Ha-Torah).

(Indeed, the service of Simchas Beis HaShoevah in general is related to Torah study. Those celebrations were centered around drawing water to be used as a libation and water is often used as a metaphor for Torah.)

Nevertheless, though they express the service of Torah study in a complete manner, a further and greater contribution is made by the Ushpizen of the fourth day who emphasizes the quality of infinite expansion in Torah study.

(This concept can be explained by comparison between the words "man," and "very." Though they are made up of the same letters, there is a significant difference between the two. Adam is derived from the word, "I resemble," as in Yeshayahu 14:14: "I will resemble the Most High." Thus, it represents perfection within the context of limitation. In contrast, Meod represents a step beyond limitation.)


As explained regarding the Ushpizen of the previous nights, though the Ushpizen mentioned in the Zohar and the Chassidic Ushpizen share a common quality, there is also a contrast between them which allows one to complement the other.

Similarly, in this instance, there is a clear and apparent contrast between the service of Moshe and that of the Mitteler Rebbe. Even a superficial perusal of the lives of these two leaders reveals a striking contrast. The forty years during which Moshe led the Jewish people were filled with affluence and plenty. The basic needs of the Jews were met in a miraculous way. They received Manna for food, water from Miriam's well, the clouds of glory cleansed their garments and protected them from any harm. In all aspects, there was great plenty.

(The beginning of Moshe's leadership was marked by a decline in the fortunes of the Jewish people, "the situation of the nation became worse" (Shemos 5:23). Nevertheless, this period lasted a maximum of seven months: the amount of time between the seventh of Adar when Moshe celebrated his 80th birthday -- Shemos 7:7 relates that Moshe was 80 when he began speaking to Pharaoh -- and Rosh HaShanah when, as our Sages relate, the yoke of slavery was lifted from our people.)

In contrast, the Mitteler Rebbe led the Jewish people in a time of difficulty and poverty. Indeed, the Mitteler Rebbe himself was affected by the dire strains of the times. Nevertheless, despite these differences, the fact they are Ushpizen of the same night implies that the lesson they teach is applicable in both circumstances.

On the previous night, it was explained how the contrast between the Patriarch Ya'akov and the Alter Rebbe teaches how Torah study, the common factor they share, is necessary in all situations whether in times of difficulty as suffered by Ya'akov, "few and evil are my days," or in times of plenty and pleasure as in the period of the Alter Rebbe.

This principle is emphasized by the Rambam who states: "Every Israelite, whether rich or poor, is obligated to study Torah." Similarly, Yoma 35b states: "Hillel obligates the poor; Rabbi Elazar ben Chersom obligates the rich." No one is as poor as Hillel whose poverty the Talmud openly describes or as wealthy as Rabbi Elazar ben Chersom whose wealth the Talmud relates. Hence, just as they were able able to dedicate their lives to Torah study, similarly, every individual, regardless of the nature of his situation can involve himself in Torah study day and night.

The lesson taught by the Ushpizen of the present night further develops that concept. Moshe and the Mitteler Rebbe teach that not only must Torah be studied when found in both these extremes, Torah must be studied in a manner of unbounded expansion.

When a Jew is told that regardless of the nature of his personal situation, whether rich or poor, he is obligated to study Torah, it is possible for him to think this applies only to non-intensive study. He will realize that he has the potential to overcome all difficulties and sit down to study Torah. However, he may think that intensive study, probing to the motivating rationales behind the laws, is beyond his capacities. He can bring himself to study despite his difficulties. However, he does not see how he could possibly achieve the intense concentration necessary for "expansion" in Torah study.

In Tanya (ch. 12), the Alter Rebbe explains that we have the potential to rule over our thoughts to the extent that we can turn our attention away from an undesirable thought. However, we do not have the ability to prevent such a thought from arising. Thus, when disturbing thoughts enter his mind, it will be impossible for him to concentrate on his studies to the extent that he will be able to experience unbounded expansion in Torah study.

Thus, the Ushpizen from the present night reveal how within any and all circumstances, a person has the potential to succeed, not only in bringing himself to study Torah, but also in achieving "expansion" in Torah.


A deeper lesson can be appreciated from the fact that Moshe and the Mitteler Rebbe come together as Ushpizen. Even though they represent opposite qualities (affluence and difficult straits), the fact that they are combined together demonstrates that the two concepts complement each other:

In the spiritual realms, "the straits" can be understood as a reference to the Sefirah of Chochmah, wisdom, for Chochmah is a single point. "Affluence," can serve as a reference to the Sefirah of Binah, understanding, for Binah represents the quality of expansion. Though Chochmah and Binah are opposites, nevertheless, they share a close connection to the extent that the Zohar refers to them as "two friends that will never part."

The most complete expression of "the point of Chochmah" is when it comes into expression through the length and breadth of Binah. Conversely, the most complete expression of the quality of Binah is when it shares a constant connection to the point of Chochmah.

Thus, the two Ushpizen of the present night, Moshe and the Mitteler Rebbe, share a connection resembling that which they both share in relation to the Ushpizen of the previous night, Ya'akov and the Alter Rebbe.

This concept can also be connected with the service of Simchas Beis HaShoevah. Simchas Beis HaShoevah celebrates the offering of the water libation on Sukkos in addition to the wine libation offered throughout the year. The water libation is representative of the quality of Chochmah, expressive of the concentration into a single point, while the wine libation is representative of the quality of Binah, the quality of expansion and expression. Thus, in this instance as well, we find both a contrast and a combination of these two qualities.

The union of these two qualities of concentration, "the straits" and expansion, were expressed by the Mitteler Rebbe. The Mitteler Rebbe was noted for the power of expansion, expressing the concepts which the Alter Rebbe had taught in the manner of the point of concentration of Chochmah with the power of expression of Binah. This burst of expansion of the teachings of Chassidus came precisely at a time when the Jews' material standing was in the most difficult straits.

As obvious from the letters sent out by the Rebbeim, the Rebbeim did not live apart from the people at large and felt the same material constraints as the people at large. Thus, the Mitteler Rebbe was surely affected by the difficult and trying times. Nevertheless, precisely in these times, he revealed Chassidus in a manner of great expansion.

This recalls the verses: "as they oppressed them, so they multiplied and so they spread out," (Shemos 1:12) and "Out of the straits, I called you L-rd; You answered me with the breadth of the L-rd" (Tehillim 118:5). Our Sages bring out a similar point commenting on the fact that the Levi'im were the smallest of all the tribes. They explain that since the Levi'im were not subjected to the oppression of Egyptian slavery, they lacked the blessing for proliferation that resulted from it. Though they were more spiritually refined than the other tribes, they alone were chosen to serve in the Sanctuary, nevertheless, because they had not suffered under the Egyptians, they were not granted the blessing for proliferation.

We see similar concepts in our Sages' teachings: "Whoever maintains the Torah while poor, will merit to maintain it while wealthy"; "Take care regarding the children of the poor, for from them will emerge Torah." Because these people suffer through poverty, they will merit these great blessings.

It must be emphasized that these statements should not at all be interpreted as a justification for the continuation of the exile. Despite all the positive qualities that the exile can bring, Ad Mosai, it is high time for the redemption to come.

Furthermore, it must be emphasized that being in exile does not necessarily constitute a need for poverty and need in the simple sense. Poverty is a relative term. Someone who is used to eating fine meats and drinking aged wine will consider anything less than that as dire poverty.

Similarly, in regard to the Jewish people, the Talmud explicitly states that since each Jew is a descendant of Avraham, Yitzchok, and Ya'akov, even giving him the meals on which King Shlomo feasted would not suffice. Furthermore, this does not refer to a Shabbos or Yom-Tov feast, but rather a meal served in the middle of the week.

Furthermore, the Rambam writes that in the Messianic age, "delicacies will be as abundant as dust." Since, before the Messianic age, we will "taste" the revelations that will be manifest then, it follows that we should also experience an abundance of plenty and material welfare. (True, the Rambam uses the term "as dust" to emphasize that in that time, we will give no more importance to these pleasures than to dust. Nevertheless, he emphasizes that these pleasures will be found abundantly.)

On the verse: "He tells His words to Ya'akov, His statutes and judgments to Israel," our Sages comment: "What G-d tells Israel to do, He does Himself." Thus, if as explained above, it is an explicit Mishnah that the very fact that a Jew is a descendant of the Patriarchs is sufficient for him to merit feasts as great as Shlomo's, we can be sure that G-d will grant him this affluence.

Indeed, this knowledge will inspire trust that G-d will fulfill this promise. Indeed, this trust will become so strong that he will feel that he actually sees the promise being fulfilled. This will give him great pleasure which, in turn, will hasten the expression of G-d's blessings.

The above is relevant to the celebrations of Simchas Beis Ha-Shoevah. A Jew might ask: How can one possibly ask him to participate in the celebrations of Simchas Beis HaShoevah, and furthermore, to increase his celebration every night while the exile continues?

To this we reply that the entire purpose of the exile is to bring about "so they multiplied and so they spread out." When a Jew appreciates this, he sees the future and can celebrate, sing, and dance because of this ultimate revelation. Thus, he can celebrate at Simchas Beis HaShoevah, dancing in the streets and making the street, which is a public domain, a private domain for G-d. Indeed, he can inspire the street itself to dance.

Furthermore, there is an additional quality to tonight's celebration. This is the first time that it will be possible for musical instruments to accompany the singing and dancing. In other words, on the previous nights, we had not reached the level where we could use musical instruments in a manner where we could refine them. The fact that tonight Torah law permits such use indicates that we can refine them tonight and use them in a manner that will intensify the rejoicing of Simchas Beis Ha-Shoevah.

Through rejoicing at Simchas Beis HaShoevah at present we will merit to celebrate in Simchas Beis HaShoevah in the most complete manner, in Eretz Yisroel, in the Temple, with the coming of Moshiach. May it be speedily in our days.

  3rd Night of Sukkos, 57455th Night Of Sukkos, 5745  
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