As mentioned on previous occasions, it is customary to "open with blessing." This is particularly relevant on the present day which shares an intrinsic connection with blessing as reflected in the Torah portion associated with the present day which describes the encounter between Avraham and Malchitzedek and states: "And he blessed
him saying, "Blessed be Avram... and blessed be G-d, Most High."
That encounter was characterized by tzedakah for Malchitzedek fulfilled the mitzvah of tzedakah in the simplest sense, giving Avraham "bread and wine." Similarly, Avraham fulfilled the mitzvah of tzedakah, giving Malchitzedek "one tenth of everything."
Similarly, the Torah reading associated with the coming day contains a narrative relevant to the present age, the description of the Covenant Bein HaBesarim which includes also the promise of the True and Complete Redemption. The complete nature of that redemption will be reflected in the fact that in that age, Eretz Yisrael will contain the lands of, not only seven, but ten nations, including also the lands of the Keini, Kenizi, and the Kadmoni.
As explained in Chassidus, the seven nations parallel our emotions and the additional three nations, our intellectual faculties. In the present age, our service centers on the development of our emotions, while in the Era of the Redemption, our service will be one of intellect.
This does not mean that intellect is not relevant in the present era. On the contrary, intellect is also significant. The emphasis, however, is on the manner in which intellect stimulates and encourages the emotions, not on the service of intellect itself. In the Era of the Redemption, by contrast, the emphasis will be on intellect as an independent and self-contained service. This will be reflected in the fulfillment of the prophecy quoted by the Rambam at the conclusion of his description of the Era of the Redemption, "And the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover up the ocean bed," for the entire world will be devoted to the knowledge of G-d.
Nevertheless, a foretaste of this service is also possible at present and is reflected in the study of Chassidus, and in particular, in the study of the teachings of the Mitteler Rebbe. Furthermore, it is through the study of these teachings of Chassidus -- and the efforts to integrate them within our personalities including our emotions -- that we will merit the Redemption. Then we will take possession of Eretz Yisrael in its entirety and the totality of the Jewish people -- even the descendants of the Ten Tribes -- will dwell upon it.
May these words bring about an increase in the study of P'nimiyus HaTorah and may this increase in study be carried out amidst prosperity to the extent of a person's efforts. For G-d will grant a person success and prosperity if he does what is dependent on him. Even with minimal effort, one can merit material prosperity and success in his spiritual service.
This is particularly relevant after the positive influence of the month of Tishrei and similarly, the influence of the seventh of MarCheshvan, the day on which the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael begin to ask for rain and dew. Although they are also living in exile as reflected in their recitation of the phrase, "Because of our sins, we were exiled from our land," in the Musaf service, they make this request on that date. For when compared to the Jews who live in the Diaspora, those living in Eretz Yisrael appreciate a foretaste of the Redemption.
And as this week's Torah portion, Lech Lecha teaches, we must "go out from our land," and indeed, constantly seek to advance to a higher level, until we proceed to Eretz Yisrael. This is of particular relevance at present, for we are on the threshold of the Redemption, "the buttons have already been polished." Each Jew possesses a portion of Eretz Yisrael and at present, all that is necessary is to stretch forth one's hand and take one's part in the Redemption and take one's portion in Eretz Yisrael.
Indeed, we will take possession of Eretz Yisrael in its entirety, also the lands of the Keini, Kenizi, and the Kadmoni. Although these lands are presently in the hands of the gentiles, the Jews will soon take possession of them. And this will be accomplished in a peaceful manner, for in the Era of the Redemption, "there will be no war, envy, or competition." Then "a great congregation will return here," including the entire Jewish people, men, women, and children -- even the Ten Tribes.
This will be hastened by an increase in the study of P'nimiyus HaTorah, particularly, those elements of P'nimiyus HaTorah which are relevant to the Redemption. Furthermore, this study should also influence a student's approach to Nigleh to the extent that the two dimensions of the Torah are unified into a single united approach.
May there be an increase in joyous Chassidic farbrengens, and may concepts of P'nimiyus HaTorah be discussed and explained at these gatherings. And may we soon proceed to the ultimate Redemption; may this take place in the immediate future.
- (Back to text) These blessings were unique in nature. Although this occurred before the Torah was given, since Malchitzedek was "a priest to G-d, Most High," the blessings he granted -- like the Priestly Blessing -- drew down particularly elevated spiritual influences.
- (Back to text) As the commentaries explain, there is a relationship between this covenant and Avraham's victory.
- (Back to text) A service of this nature, being totally absorbed in the knowledge of G-d, is not possible through the study of Nigleh, the revealed dimension of Torah law, in the present era.
- (Back to text) Although this intellectual service is not for the sake of the emotions, it can be reflected within the emotions.
- (Back to text) At this time, the Yovel, the Jubilee Year will be observed and its observance will never be interrupted.
- (Back to text) In a spiritual sense, both of these factors are significant. Rain refers to those influences dependent on the service of man. In contrast, dew refers to those influences which are granted as a revelation from Above without any connection to man's service.
- (Back to text) Chata'einu, the Hebrew word translated as "our sins," can also be rendered as "our lacking." This is more appropriate, because a Jew is far above sin in the simple sense. Nevertheless, when compared to his true potential, for every Jew is one with G-d's essence, G-d's only son as it were, it is possible that his service is lacking.
- (Back to text) Lech Lecha reflects a repetition which is, as the Rebbe Maharash explains, associated with the redemption.
- (Back to text) This united approach characterizes the approach to study used in Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim and its various branches.